A Gathering Place

The Challenge

The house had undergone extensive restoration from a major fire, and during the time the garden had been neglected and damaged. The first generation of children had grown up, and the multigenerational household needed outdoor space to gather and entertain. The area was very exposed to both street traffic and a major entry point for a busy parks trailhead.

The Design

We provided screening from the street with deciduous Cotinus coggygria, giving privacy during the summer months and evergreen Osmanthus delavayi supplies a delicious fragrance to the garden. A circular patio and continuing path to an in-law suite provides space for outdoor dining and socializing upon arrival. A curving pathway provides entry to the park with a large existing Rhododendron and Lilac providing privacy screening. The family is interested in food growing, so the sunny areas with Peonies and Roses share space with edible plants and fruit. Flowers of edible garden greens provide food for pollinators. Blueberries and tomatoes provide easy snacking from the patio, and potatoes are happily harvested in the later summer by the youngest members of the family. Mahonia nervosa provides privacy to a second, lower level entryway and barbecue area. Echinacea purpurea provides nectar for Swallowtail butterflies.

Since a large parking was needed we used the same interlocking pavers as the patio for a modern cohesive look with a base and subbase that allow the movement of stormwater through the surface. In addition to reducing runoff, this effectively traps suspended solids and filters pollutants from the water.

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