A lot of people would look at this rusty metal frame with wrapped wires and have no idea what they would do with it. Enter Stone Soup Gardens. When we went to discuss what type of work our client wanted done in the front of her home near Mount Baker, she mentioned "industrial, modern victorian, curvy." Deciphering our clients wants, needs and aesthetics can be somewhat of an interpretative dance, but in this case, I think we nailed it.
Upon shopping for her upcoming project, we found these rusty metal panels in one of our favorite stores, Second Use. Apparently, they had initially been created as dividers for a restaurant that, unfortunately, didn't quite last. Their loss = our gain. They were perfect for our client, and we immediately went to work incorporating them into her design.
We installed a short curvaceous block wall that accentuates the front of the yard, which adds a tiered effect, rather than a flat surface. The fence and arbor are Shou Sugi Ban, which is undesirable to pests, fire proof, rot resistant, and darn attractive. The arbor is a nice focal point for the entrance to the home, and the fence creates a more intimate space for the front garden which is otherwise open to the street.
The rusty panels allow for more light to penetrate, while still retaining an element of privacy, and adding a personal bit of pizzazz to the property. You certainly don't see these everyday.
Our crew did a fabulous job on this one, and the client it pleased with our interpretation of her desires. We still have a bit of planting to do, and the homeowner was keen to tell me that I needed to come back after the finished porch stairs were painted, but I think the work resonates with curvy modern industrial victorian charm, nonetheless.
Fall is here and we couldn't be more excited about our recent addition to the Stone Soup Family: The Starlight Hideout. Aptly named by our client's kids who are super stoked to have this little gem all to themselves. Earlier this year we built the fence in this backyard, along with a couple of raingardens in the front yard. For a look back on the project, click here.
But first, I introduce you to our new treehouse:
Isn't it wonderful! So much fun to design and build, and a great tree to build it in. This hideout comes with a selection of fairies, a fairy nest, and loads of little charms to keep the parental spirits away.
The raingardens in the front of the property are also looking pretty great with all of the recent rain we've received. Our clients opted for a nice mix of wildflowers, ground cover, and sedge to provide lots of colorful layers.
Interested in having a treehouse build in your yard? Whether its for cats, chickens, children, or perhaps just for you - give us a call and we can get the ideas flowing.
For five years our client was unable to reach the backyard from the deck without having to circumnavigate the house. Due to this, the backyard didn't see much action, or much love. In cases like this, it is great to be able to reunite people with the landscapes that they intimately live with.
We designed and built steps from the second floor deck that would enable to owners, their kids, and their dog, the ability to use the backyard as a gathering space. We built a small flagstone patio, and will eventually plant out the garden to create a bit more privacy and greenery to cozy up the area and make it a destination, rather than just an inaccessible eyesore.
We also installed tiered greenbeds in the front yard, and a cistern along the side of the house that they can use to water the vegetables with. All in all, a lovely project, and so great to see the yard become a favorite spot for the family to enjoy.
Stage 3: Next up... plants!
The sun has come out and our gardens are growing! Here is a look at one of our jobs last year where we installed a David Bowie mosaic flagstone patio into the garden. This was a great project with a large raingarden, we planted out the front rockery, and created a dog zone outside the front door with a gate and pet friendly plants. After all this rain, it is great to see the plants filling out, blooming, and coming into their own. Take a look at how it looked last year.
How is your garden looking? Are you in need of any early summer maintenance? Stone Soup Gardens is here to help. Let us get your garden cleaned and primed for your beautiful summer enjoyment! Give us a call, or email our maintenance lead Jesse Barber at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sometimes all it takes is a few well placed features to make the garden feel a more like home. With this lovely mid-century, drainage was a bit of an issue. The house sits at the bottom of a slope, and ends in a cul-de-sac. In order to alleviate this, we created raingardens on each side of the house in a couple of small pocket garden spaces. This will help funnel water and keep it from pooling in the yard. The raingardens will also filter the water from the driveway runoff which is essential since Lake Washington is just a short stroll away.
We also installed a plank board fence and arbor along the west side of the property which will provide privacy and a safe play space for the kids, while creating an area for trailing plants in the shadier areas of the backyard.
A lovely project, lovely clients, and a lovely home, what more could we ask for?
As the weather gradually warms, and the crocuses pop, our crew is busily maneuvering through the sometimes muddy, sometimes snowy world of landscaping. It's been nonstop around here as we work to finish off projects and begin new ones. Here is a peak at what we've been up to lately:
Installing a backyard deck and brick paver patio
Building a raised faswall bed, a pocket fence, and installing plants
Building a Catio
In 2014, our clients asked us to do a compete renovation on their backyard. We installed a stone patio, hugelculture beds, mushroom beds, and did a general clean up of the yard. This year, they asked to come back and do some sprucing in the front yard. While the yard is small, they've done a lovely job creating more interest in the front with the recent painting of the house.
To create more visual interest, we created a nice stone wall along both sides of the driveway. We added some new edibles such as huckleberry, blueberry, lingonberries, and mulberries. Not to mention artichokes, wild ginger, an Italian plum, lavender, echinacea, and more. This layering of plants will be a nice touch of color, and will also tie in nicely with the new house color. To finish, we added a new gate to the backyard and put in the trough for containing those wily herbs. A fun little project, to be sure.
We are embracing the digital age here at Stone Soup Gardens with our mighty new Instagram Account. Come on over and follow us and see what we are up to. Photos from life, love, landscaping, hardscaping, permaculture, events, and more!
Talk about a cute little front yard. These clients were looking to maximize their garden space, while adding interest through the use of arbors. We do so love to build arbors. The arbor running along the side of the house is actually an arborduct. It houses the pipes running from the gutters of the home into the raingarden, which will filter the roof runoff before heading into the Puget Sound.
The second arbor is simply to provide a bit of architectural interest to the front yard while mimicking the shape of the windows on the house, and providing a bit of screening from the neighbors.
For both arbors, we used the same stain as the garage door, which ties the look of the house and the garden together nicely. Soon we will be returning to finish out the pathways leading up to the house, and from the house to the garage.
A raingarden is a fantastic addition to a landscape, and can be customized to fit your needs, your wants, and your budget. Whether you want a small streambed, shallow pool, or a simple swale, these features will reduce toxic roof runoff into the side sewer and help protect our valuable Puget Sound.
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.