With Seattle being hilly, yard space is often sculpted around unusual terrain. We see this fairly often, and find many owners that are at a loss on how to take full advantage of these uneven spaces. As well as being difficult to envision, the spaces are generally hard to tame, manage, or manipulate into something worth enjoying.
Stone Soup Gardens loves these kinds of challenges. Whether you have a steep slope, a soggy pit, or a hilly blackberry divide, we can turn your unused space into something for you and your family to enjoy. We can create a functional area for growing edible plants, or create a level retreat for those sunny spring and summer days.
One of our clients in Columbia City has just such a space. While the yard area itself is fairly level, it is raised up sharply on a hill overlooking the street, and the backyard was a bramble patch. Seeing the unused potential of the area, our client contacted us to see what we could do. Hence, the great berry wall came into play.
The great berry wall was built using downed timber from a local contact. We had the majority of the logs cut to a specific size, while others we trimmed to create easy step access in and out of the raised bed. This allows for ease of picking as the berries come into season, as well as for watering and pruning once summer and fall roll around.
We planted the raised bed out with different types of raspberries, strawberries, gumi berries, lingon berries, thimbleberry, chilean guava, lavender, and sage, as well as espalier apples and pears, chives, and red flowering currant in other parts of the yard. This means that there will be a good selection of plants that stay green throughout the year, as well as those that will shed their leaves during the winter. It also creates a nice color palette for the eyes, as well as flavors for the mouth!
For a bit of flare, we also included a bike wheel arbor along the front wall of the house, which was a great way to add interest, while providing a surface for things to climb on. We installed a laundry to landscape greywater system in the front yard which will water the espalier trees and herbs, and in the backyard we installed a cistern to side sewer which will provide water for the raised bed in the backyard.
Take a look at the project beforehand:
And here it is now:
Stone Soup Gardens is so up on our design trends! Recently, a client of ours asked us to do a Sugi Ban Fence for their front yard in order to create a bit of privacy between them and their neighbors, while creating a beautiful long-lasting fence. Not afraid of a challenge, we dove right in.
What is Shou Sugi Ban, you ask? Shou Sugi Ban is an ancient Japanese technique that preserves the wood, particularly cedar, by charring it with fire. Shou Sugi Ban is an environmentally friendly way to preserve timber and (paradoxically) it actually makes it fire-resistant. Chemical preservatives, paints, and stains become unnecessary as the burning also preserves the wood, and it becomes insect, rodent proof, and weather resistant. It is said to last 80 years with little to no maintenance.
While the process takes time, and can be a bit dangerous, the end result is a stunning and appealing option for our rainy northwest climate.
Here is a look at the project before we got started:
And here is the sexy Sugi Ban effect:
Saturday March 11, 2017 9 AM- 3 PM
King Conservation District (west parking lot)
1107 SW Grady Way
Renton, WA 98057
Cash, Visa, Mastercard (sorry no checks)
Plants Available for Purchase: http://kingcd.org/programs-native-walk-up-sale.htm
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.