LOCATION: Johnston, Iowa
CONCEPT: This design is influenced by the Barkley's love of all things retro, specifically vintage jeans. Vintage corduroy jeans are emblematic of the industrial revolution, and this design will be incorporating retro elements from the industrial style, while taking cues from the textile itself.
The garden zones are delineated by an abstraction of cog shapes meshing together. A fenced ‘cog’ zone is delineated in the back of the house and encloses the outdoor patio to allow the owners to enjoy their time outdoors with their dog. This a four-foot tall fence made of corten steel with industrial motifs is intended to keep the dogs confined while allowing views of the garden. The reduced linear footage of the fencing zone provides further economy. Other zones of interest include the water garden and garage, complete with a fountain that trickles down into row reflecting pools.
Plantings are organized in a patchwork of corduroy wales, quilted into the cogs in different directions to enhance the wale effect from different viewpoints. Row crop planting was selected to evoke the ‘wale’ effect. Plants are spaced tightly in a row while leaving significant space between rows. To provide a fuller design, an understory of red heuchera is planted in this space.
The design purposefully avoided the use of evegreens in the landscape. Instead, densely wooded deciduous shrubs and trees were used to provide a fuzzy row-like appearance structure over the winter months. The ornamental grasses selected create a similar spray-like effect when in bloom as well.
In addition, the design implements a variety of strategies to incorporate sustainability targeted at reducing waste and managing stormwater on site. Permeable materials, such as wood decking boards and permeable pavers are used for all hardscapes to allow for local groundwater aquifer recharge. The site slopes down to a creek on the north corner, and this design ensures the water being deposited into the creek has been filtered by the dense planting that precedes it. Recycled and reclaimed materials, as well as reduced maintenance strategies help reduce waste.
In the end, this design aims for the Barkley’s to make the most out of their entire property. The originally dense western portion of the site is now balanced by locating new destinations along looped paths that allow you to experience the eastern side of the property.
Foundation plants Physocarpus opulifolious 'Mindia' (Po) and Fothergilla gardenii (Fg) were selected for their densely wooded architecture, to provide a fuzzy woody appearance in the winter months. 'Fuzzy’ textural qualities in many of the plant selections are reminiscent of corduroy tactile features.
This design uses color themes in ochre and analogous orange colors to evoke common corduroy jeans colors. Boardwalks, patio deck, herb garden deck, and water garden bench are intended to be detailed using reclaimed or salvaged wood. Most reclaimed lumber comes from timbers and decking rescued from industrial factories and warehouses. Decking assemblies allow storm water to permeate into the soil.