Rainwise 101 at Columbia Branch Library
FREE Rainwise 101 Workshop
Thursday, October 20, 6 - 7:30 pm
Columbia Branch Library, 4721 Rainier Ave S
Learn about how rain gardens and cisterns help manage storm water, hear from delighted RainWise homeowners, including our client, Sheri Richardson, and get inspired by slides of their raingardens, meet trained RainWise contractors who can offer a free consultation, learn about big rebates from SPU and King County (up to 100% of the total cost), and get set to take the next step. Interested?
Registration website: http://www.sustainableballard.org/register
Tires, tires, and more tires
This is a major renovation. We are removing three feet of soil from the front yard and relocating it to the backyard. Creating a new entry for the house, and a home for fifty some odd used tires. We'll be replacing the existing support wall due to structural concerns and replacing it with a new sloping terraced wall. We've removed the concrete stairs from the front of the house and are using those in the tiered section of garden in the backyard.
Why, you ask? Our client recently moved into this house, though her daughter has owned it for years. It had been rented out by a tenant who worked on cars and amassed quite a large pile of old used tires. In order to reduce waste and to create a more permanent home for the tires without throwing them in a landfill, we will be using them to create a new retaining wall in the backyard. In addition, the giant tree was also taken down from the side of the house due to insurance concerns, and the logs from the tree will be used to create the base of that retaining wall.
Here is a before photo of the house, along with an aerial layout of the property.
And the beginning of the massive revisioning of the space.
An AirBnB Retreat
This was a great little project we just completed. Our clients wanted to create a more hospitable space in the backyard in order to attract more AirBnB guests, as well as for themselves. The backyard used to be a sloped, weedy, wet mess. We leveled the space, and created a nice flat gravel patio for outdoor fires, complete with fire pit. Leveling and using the gravel will help keep the space from becoming oversaturated with water during the rainy winters. We also used varying colors and textures of bark to delineate spaces and to add a nice aesthetic appeal in the garden.
To further assist with drainage, we built a dispersion swale which will direct the water as it flows through the gravel. The swale is also a nice visual feature, as we used river rock to mimic the look of a stream bed and logs as a foot stepping path to the outer reaches of the yard. Our clients also qualified for a rebate on a cistern, which we installed along the side of the house. Since the cistern isn't located in a place that creates great water pressure for watering the backyard, we installed a small pump to assist with building pressure, so our clients can water their new space using rain collected from their roof.
The best feature of this yard, however, is really our Hugelculture raised bed made from repurposed logs. This arc shaped bed is a lovely focal point for the space, while creating additional seating for that outdoor fire.
Much to do about a Fence
Back in February we were working on a cute bungalow in Columbia City (see posts HERE and HERE). We installed a raingarden and swale in the front and side of the home, and took out a huge concrete pad in the backyard. One of the last projects the clients wanted to do was complete the fence. We'd torn out the old fence due to its crumbling ways while we were renovating the backyard, and the owners wanted to move forward with enclosing their cozy new backyard space.
Here's a look at the backyard before the work started, and during the fence construction.
Overall all it was a really great project. There is nothing more satisfying than getting rid of concrete and providing our clients with a wonderful yard space that they can enjoy for years to come!
Ahhh, it feels good to complete a project. Particularly one that involves a lot of demo. There is something so satisfying about the end result. I can't wait to see how this new space flourishes and develops. We've completed the small swale and raingarden, installed a tiered raised bed out of the recycled concrete we removed, installed a bit of grass, took down the collapsing fenceline, and planted a few trees and plants that will love this warm wet winter. I must say, Stone Soup Gardens has great clients, and I have an excellent team.
For more photos from this project, go here.
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.