Happy Vernal Equinox! The first day of spring is officially upon us. The Stone Soup Crew has been busy this spring, in fact, it is our busiest spring on record. All of this fine warm weather provides lots of opportunities for garden improvements.
Recently, we were approached by a client who had already imagined and designed his garden space, and brought us this illustration to execute.
As it turns out, the client had several family heirloom stained glass panels in his possession, and he had a very specific vision of how the stained glass would fit into his existing landscape. The windows had originally been a part of his dad and stepmom's outdoor cabana. The cabana was built by his dad, and the stained glass windows were made by his stepmom. They were both in their 90's when they passed away in 2013, and the people who bought their house offered our client and his brother the stained glass panels. It was a wonderful gesture, as the new home owners were redesigning the home and wanted to ensure the windows were safely returned. It also provided our client and his brother a chance to decorate their own spaces while keeping those beautiful family memories alive.
Here are the glass panels in the cabana built by our client's father.
The client has a very specific Roman style for his garden space, and he wanted to build the arbors as a way to safely display the stained glass, while staying true to his design aesthetic. It was a wonderful project to be able to walk into and complete. Here is the original garden space, as well as the start of the arbor installation.
The lovely finished arbor, complete with a grape kiwi on one end, boxwoods in the containers, winter jasmine on the other end, and columnar cypresses to lend height and drama to the column effect of the arbor. These plants will help provide privacy along the fence line with his neighbors, and attract some fluttering friends to the garden.
The development of a landscape happens year round. Yet, the times we take notice are usually in the spring and fall when the color and smell demand our attention. Recently we revisited a project from 2013 in the View Ridge neighborhood. It was a lovely circular space from the front yard to the backyard, and our clients wanted a functional patio rather than the mushy northwest lawn of winter.
Here is the peak at the lawn as we started ripping it out in early spring:
Raingarden installation soon to follow:
Flagstone patio installation, heading into summer:
The completed garden in mid-summer:
And finally, the winter garden. It has a muted color palette with lots of different textures to consider, yet still possesses small bursts of color to draw your eye.
As the flagstone was being set from the last project (Grass Removal Business), Dusty was busy prepping and planting out the raingarden. The pallet for this design was mostly native plants and pollinators, which we received from our friends at Go Natives! Northwest Native Plant Nursery. We also included several birch trees for shade while creating a bit more privacy in this large corner lot.
This was a lovely project. We built an arbor to ferry the water into the double raingarden, which runs the length of the house in a dry creek bed style. We included a winding bark pathway that curves around the front of the house, and gives a nice complementary texture. There will eventually be a small circle of grass (to please the dog) which is seeded out and on the grow.
The place looks great, and I am excited to be able to watch it flourish and develop. Nothing beats working in my own neighborhood, as I can watch all of my little raingarden landscapes grow and change over the years.
This is how Stone Soup Gardens rolls - check out our blog for current, upcoming, and past projects, events, and other super cool stuff worth mentioning.