This cute little Tudor cottage needed a bit of freshening up in the front yard. The house is pretty eclectic and our client's wanted to stay true to that in the design.
We decided to create a tiered raised bed that would give the owners a bit more growing space in the front yard. We mulched and added some nutrients to the existing soil for the areas around the raised bed, under the front window, and on the north side of the house.
To add a bit of curb appeal we planted bold bloomers such as Lupine, Columbine, and Red Flowering Currant. We also put in some edibles and herbs including echinacea, strawberry, blueberries, lavender, artichokes, and sage.
For the patio, we created a square design out of different colors of pavers in order to mimic the brick on the front of the house, as well as to give a nod to the squareness of the house.
This is continued in the corners of the patio which have a bit of a serrated edge appearance, rather than just a straight path.
To give a bit shade to the front porch, we added a cute little arbor and put in some evergreen huckleberry, ceanothus, and a daphne to create a layered color palette that will compliment the home. Stay tuned to watch how this little garden grows!
Oh yes we did. When our awesome music loving clients requested a David Bowie lightening bolt for their garden pathway, we made it happen. The pathway is made from two different colors of flagstone, with a gravel pathway leading along the edges of the property around the raingarden, and through the front gate.
The raingarden, which will be rebated through the Rainwise Program, was heavy and full after a huge amount of rain the previous day. We built the fence to create a dog run area, and decided to run an arborduct to conceal the raingarden duct work. This arborduct is one of our favorites, as it provides complete coverage for the pipes running from the house into the raingarden.
Through the gate we created a gravel dog run. It contains dog friendly plants including salmonberry, thimbleberry, and a strawberry tree. This makes the poop easy to clean up, and keeps the grassy area behind the house clean for the kids.
The raised beds were constructed out of cut alder logs. Logs are a sturdy and long lasting way to create a nice uniform visual in your garden, and a great place to sit while planting, weeding, or simply enjoying the space. The other areas, including the rockery in the front of the home, contain native plants that will create a pollinator habitat which will be friendly to the birds and the bees once the plants mature.
Our clients for this job have been working with us over the last few years to do a number of great changes on their backyard garden retreat. Last year we put in the long arbor and fenced off portions of the backyard for the chickens.
Here is the before and after:
This year we returned to put in brick and flagstone pathways between the studio and the raised beds to help keep the area dry and walkable during the rainy season.
The clients wanted to replace the original stone beds with something that looked a bit medieval, maybe with turrets, they said. This is what we came up with. These beds will last a very long time. Needless to say, we have two very happy clients.
This house in North Seattle has been a great transformation. Our designer, Jackie Cramer, did a fabulous job on this design. Even with the smaller yard size, we were really able to pack a lot of wonderful features into this smaller garden space.
The raingarden in the front will be full of edible plants, along with the fence line and arbor running across the front side of the house and the patio. The owners will be able to walk along on their newly installed pathway and pick all sorts of things including figs, kiwi, lavender, sage, rosemary, and huckleberry, just to name a few!
We graded the yard and created the small rockery for the rain garden in the front, while also leveling the area behind the fence. We installed a 530 gallon cistern which will capture the roof runoff and flow into the rain garden.
We installed the poured concrete patio and arbor which is a gorgeous place to be on a sunny day. We also put in a small patio in the back, and are completing the project by laying the front with a small grassy area for the kids to play, and finishing up with the final installation of the plants.
Removing grassy lawns always makes me happy. There are so many more interesting ways to create an awesome yard than just laying down grass. For this client, we did a total yard overhaul. The grass is gone, and instead, we have a lovely habitat for the birds and bees that travel through the neighborhood. We also took out the concrete walkway and added a lovely flagstone path to the front door. This adds an eye-catching element to the front entryway, and also allows for better drainage during the wetter months.
Here are some photos of the yard before we started the overhaul.
Setting flagstone is like a giant, very heavy jigsaw puzzle. It's a good brain tease, but it is also very labor intensive. It's nice to see the crew can still have fun with it. Here are a few photos of the flagstone patio going in.
The rest of the yard is also taking shape. Check back soon, I'll post more photos of this project as it rolls along!
Stone work is something we find ourselves doing more and more often here at Stone Soup Gardens. From retaining walls, to rockeries, to patios, we do our best to fit our client's needs with something beautiful, long lasting, and creative.
One such project is in the Mt. Baker neighborhood. Our client was in the process of putting on a new deck, and wanted to create a more useable space in their backyard. While the yard is fairly small and rectangular, it had a good deal of space for a couple of raised beds, a nice area for a hummingbird habitat, and the perfect spot under the stairs for a mushroom patch.
We installed two beautiful raised beds with extended planks for outdoor seating. Once those were completed we started on the patio. Since the backyard is generally in shade, the client's wanted something permeable but walkable during our long wet winters. The client had a decent pile of used bricks from a previous project, so we rounded up a selection of used brick from our local salvage store to complement the design.
The client also asked that we make room for a lovely Buddha statue and fountain, which we also installed, to create a quiet meditative place that will flower and bloom during the year. We are still putting the finishing touches on the place now, but I think it will be a wonderful garden retreat for our clients in the years to come!
Stone Soup Gardens is starting a trend. Rather than building fences between neighbors, we've been working to tear down neighborhood fences in order to create a shared atmosphere, a common space, and a sense of community amongst our clients and their neighbors.
It started innocently enough. We had a client request to remove part of a fence to create a pathway between their home and the neighbors front porch in order to make it more accessible. We created that pathway, and took it several steps farther by including an adjoining trail along the sides of the homes, as well as between the backyards. This opened up the area to more garden planting space, a better view between the homes, and greater opportunities for neighbors to hang out with neighbors.
We are excited about this project, and look forward to working in concert with other neighbors while building community. Stay tuned for more photos as we continue to work to completion on this project, and many others.
Do you have a neighbor you'd like to share space with? Contact Stone Soup Gardens today to tear down those fences!
Washington State University and Stewardship Partners are spearheading a campaign to install 12,000 rain gardens in the Seattle/Puget Sound Region by 2016!
Visit www.12000raingardens.org to register your rain garden today and be a part of the water pollution solution!
Rain gardens are a proven way to prevent flooding, reduce water pollution and beautify your yard. Every year, heavy rains lead to massive flooding across Seattle and Puget Sound, wiping out roads, flooding homes and waterways with sewage. Rain gardens are very affordable options for homeowners compared with traditional pipe and drain systems, and require minimal time or skill to maintain each year. When planted with native plant species, the gardens attract birds, bees, and butterflies.
And, new education and incentive programs through Seattle RainWise Program help homeowners with rain garden installations at little to no cost. Contact us today to see if you qualify!
Stone Soup Gardens is happy to announce our recent relocation! It is an exciting transition for us, and one that will bring a host of new opportunities. Living in the Central District was a great start for our business, but we have moved south to Columbia City in order to expand as our business grows. We now have a proper office, an organized tool shed, a much bigger chicken coop for our ladies, and a big yard to develop!
First, before we even moved in, we laid the foundation for our new tool shed, outdoor storage, and plant staging area.
Gradually we moved into the basement and prepped our new office and indoor tool storage area. I can't tell you how exciting it is to have a space and a place for everything.
We built a lovely new coop and run for our little ladies in the front yard. It has great access, shelter from the trees, views of the sidewalk, and a lot more room.
We look forward to many happy years at our new location. Stay tuned for more information about upcoming workshops, classes, and photos as we continue to develop and change our new yard into an urban retreat.
Author Susan MacLaren
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.