“Nosy Parker”

by ESP on February 15, 2015

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I will start with a design challenge I have recently completed.

My client had lived with this floating ‘peanut’ bed for some time and was ready for a change…

…a deserted island in an ocean of grass.

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This garden had some great bones and great oaks, the layout was just lacking purpose, rationale and flow.

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A recently refurbished back deck was in a spacial war with the encroaching peanut, a peanut that was lined with small ‘mortared’ chunks of limestone and holy rocks…what is this obsession with concreting things into a landscape?

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To make matters worse, the mortar that was holding these small rocks solidly above ground had to be about a foot deep. Oh yes, I said a foot deep.

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They were like little limestone icebergs, small above ground but with enough concrete below to half fill a dumpster and keep my crew busy for half a day. They were the first thing on my sledgehammers ‘things to hit’ list.

The second thing I wanted to address was the integration of the decking steps into the landscape to visually and functionally give them purpose and anchor them into the new scheme.

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A visualization was generated to capture and communicate the design intent:

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Over-sized Oklahoma flagstone was introduced to bridge the stairwells, creating an expanded central planting bed in the void between them.

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Here is the new layout before any planting:

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And looking the other way,

Before:

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Visualization:

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Installation:

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Fence-softening loquats and bamboo muhly grasses ease the transition between turf and flagstone. The new layout creates a flowing and naturalistic aesthetic.

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An intense stare from this piece of flagstone.

Back in the Patch…

…somebody had been sticking his nose where he shouldn’t,

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through a corrugated metal fence of all things to fight with a pit bull.

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The end result:

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Fence / Napoleon complex: 7 stitches, Pit Bull: 0

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The cookies have almost gone for another year.

I knew those pallets would come in useful.

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Gopher plants are in full swing,

Euphorbia rigida

 

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they look great around broad paddles and are particularly effective when weaving through edging boulders.

Boulders

Fatsia Japonica have finished flowering and are now

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producing thousands of green berries.

Berries

These will mature to shiny black as winter draws to an end, a great late winter feast for the birds.

Berries

scale copy

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Now this is what I call an infestation!

I have this scale (Diaspis echinocacti) on two opuntia paddles.

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I had no idea how these tiny oysters functioned.

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Treatment was easy…snap off infected paddle and discard.

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Stay Tuned For:

“Branching Out”

 

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All material © 2015 for eastsidepatch. Unauthorized
intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by late (and extremely unpleasant)
14th century planet Earth techniques.

mr-spock

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