CONCEPT. This residential landscape is designed around the inspiration theme of SIMPLICITY. Bold, parallel lines are drawn both in layout and planting heights to deliver functional programmatic elements in an elegant, simplistic fashion.
The inspiration piece assigned to this project was the Apple Corporation. This company is known world-wide for their simplistic, elegant industrial designs, which are the qualities I chose to guide my concept.
The theme of simplicity extends not just to the shape of bedlines, but to the plant selections themselves. Although the beds in the front of the house feature plants for sun, some of the selections are also used in the shade gardens that flank the east and west facades. Oftentimes there are plants that are pigeon-holed into a single function: sun or shade. But many plants are very tolerant of varying light conditions. Perfect examples of this are Sesleria caerulea and Stachys officinalis ‘Hummelo’. This design capitalizes on the adaptability of these specimens, to tie the compositions together throughout multiple garden beds.
Inspiration Project - Front Yard
The design is arranged into three major zones: public, personal, and park, in increasing degrees of privacy. These zones are demarcated through the use of hicks yew hedges, laid out as banding elements in the plan. As you approach the property from the street, the design provides neighborly curb appeal through a pair of curbside perennial beds lined by a white picket fence.
Front yard - Planting detail
Sunny perennial bed at front yard. Perennial forbs and grasses are planted in drift patterns before a 4-foot picket fence. Ratio of grasses to forbs is balanced to bring winter interest. Early blooming bulbs such as Allium moly (AM) and Chionodoxa forbesii (CF) are scattered throughout the planting to provide early spring interest. Summer-blooming bulb Allium atropurpureum (AA) provides a punch of color through mid-season.
Walking out of the house and into the backyard, an area for outdoor dining and entertaining is provided. Reflecting water pools in simple rectangular shapes draw your eye to the axially aligned Corneliancherry dogwoods (CM). These beautiful ornamental trees provide nodes that beckon people to explore the corners around the house, and enhance a sense of mystery and excitement.
Shade garden - Rendered perspective
Around the western corner of the house, you will find a part shade garden filled with hostas, coral bells, betony, moor grass, wood asters, and cranesbill. The varying leaf textures of these plants will provide season-long interest, while their flowering habits will provide moments of color in different months. The betony and moor grass will provide winter interest.
Front yard - Perspective
Sunny perennial border for Inspiration Project. Plant composition based on Know Maintenance approach. On the foreground, the seed heads of Sesleria caerulea pickup the purple hues of Salvia nemerosa and Stachys officinalis. The panicle haze of Sporobolus heterolepis sheers the backgorund.
Inspiration Project - Backyard Animation
LOCATION. Ames, Iowa
CONCEPT. This design is intended to offer low-maintenance front and back yard garden to compliment the ranch home’s prairie style architecture and setting. Like Iowa prairies, both gardens highlight warm season grass and forb-centric compositions, while offering the outdoor living comforts that reflect the family’s style.
The front yard of the Weber Residence is planted in a perennial drift arrangement, with a large shrub border that separates the planting bed from the restored prairie areas. More structured and formal in appearance than a matrix planting, this style is better suited for added curb appeal at the front-of-house.
This large property is located in a suburban development outside of Ames, Iowa. A restored prairie was proposed around all areas peripheral to the house, which effectively screens a large propane tank on the west side of the property, and provides a seamless transition between the property line and surrounding undeveloped plots.
The backyard employs the use of a more informal, matrix-style planting, reminiscent of the adjacent restored prairie. The matrix is made up of Betoula graiclis 'Blonde Ambition', a warm season grass, which provides year-round interest with its fine texture, beautiful seedheads, and winter inflorescence. This serves a similar function to increase the biomass in the soil, improve soil moisture, and inhibit the growth of invasive weeds.
OWL Sensory Garden
LOCATION. Ankeny, Iowa
TEAM. Andrew Foy, Katrina Knudsen, Alejandra Feliciano
CONCEPT. Our group’s initial design for the OWL Sensory Garden was inspired by the different regions of the brain – specifically how each region relates to the functional activities we carry out on a day-to-day basis. Unlike a neurologically healthy person, patients admitted to the OWL Rehabilitation Center may not be able to effectively utilize one, or several, of these brain region due to previous traumatic brain injury. To facilitate the reactivation and rehabilitation of these specific brain areas, our healing garden design is broken down into distinct areas that encourage activities that engage a specific part of the brain.
Frontal Lobe A recreational area containing a playground, exercise equipment, a basketball court, and a putting green; Engages motor skills and promotes skeletal & muscle movement.
Cerebellum A farm/construction-like area that contains several “activity stations” (i.e. – sandbox/gravel digging pit, railroad tracks, curbed & stair areas, etc.); Engages fine motor & muscle control skills.
Occipital Lobe A butterfly garden featuring colorful flowers and other bird and butterfly attracting plants.
Tempo-ral Lobe Incorporates the serenity of Zen garden design and soothing sounds of soft instruments to improve hearing and memory skills.
Parietal Lobe Features handicapped-accessible, raised beds capable of growing fruits and vegetables.
Olfactory Bulb Utilizes strong-smelling aromatic plants and herbs to engage smell.
Hippocampus Utilizes comfort of an overhead structure (pergola, gazebo) and amenities (water fountain, electrical plug-ins) to create relaxing environment that promotes memory and reading activities (i.e. tables for outdoor speech therapy, plant signage for memory excercises)
On With Life - Front Patio
On With Life Sensory Garden - Masterplan
Our group’s initial design for the On With Life healing garden was inspired by the different compartments of the brain – specifically how each compartment relates to the functional activities we carry out on a day-to-day basis. Unlike a neurologically healthy person, patients admitted to the OWL Rehabilitation Center may not be able to effectively utilize one, or several, of these brain compartments due to previous, traumatic brain injury. To facilitate the reactivation and rehabilitation of these,specific brain areas, our healing garden design is broken down into distinct areas that encourage activities that engage a specific compartment of the brain.
Putting area detail
As part of the Fun-tal Lobe, OWL clients are encouraged to improve on their motor skills in a small golf putting area. Changing pavement textures from concrete pavers to artificial turf provide an additional challenge for recovering patients.
Tempo-ral Lobe Garden
Fun-tal Lobe - Playground Detail
A playground, conveniently located between client family housing and the OWL facility, provides a place for therapy and to visit with family. Plants closer to the parking lot east of the garden enclose the sapce while allowing for parental monitoring form across the street.
This early-stage design concept illustrates a main accessible looped path which connects all regions of the brain. Smaller connecting paths provide opportunities for more challenging walks, to explore other areas in each garden.
Entrance patio planting
Tempo-ral Lobe Garden island bed planting
Rendered in LumenRT. This digital rendering illustrates the planting composition on the island bed which anchors the Tempo-ral Lobe Garden.
Andrew Jackson Downing Farmhouse
LOCATION. Iowa State University Campus
TO OUR FRIENDS ~ The plan of the Farmhouse is herewith spread before you, for such judgement as may seem to you most just and proper.This design for a front yard of a modest italianate country house is inspired by the Downing landscape style. It aims to elevate horticultural practices to the front stage as herald of the future site of a certain agricultural College.
CONCEPT. Upon doing research on the history of the Farmhouse Museum, I stumbled upon this sheet you see before you—the original proposed layout for the ISU Farmhouse Garden! This small Italianate style cottage was designed complete with a Masterplan done in the Andrew Jackson Downing landscape style. Although I was only able to track down the design for the front yard, the downing style is evident in the celebration of the lawn, the placement of trees—which frame views out of the home’s windows—and the enclosure of service areas, such as the orchard and flower garden by fence and hedge.
Unlike a typical Downing design, this layout stands out in that it places both the orchard and flower garden in the front, rather than back of the house. It would seem the original designer’s intent was to celebrate horticultural practices by having them at center stage as carriages would drive around the front of the house. Although the flower garden is not meant to be enjoyed over the winter months due to Iowa’s harsh climate, the horticultural innovations are evident in the plant selections, which extends interest from Spring through Fall. The ‘sampler’ orchard contained varieties of Mr. Welch’s favorite apple variety—Astracan Red. It is said that Mr. Welch would love to walk out his front porch and grab apples from this orchard before breakfast. A more extensive orchard and vegetable garden is thought to have been built in the back of the house. This layout plan and planting plan give some insight into the reason why this site was selected as the origin of the Iowa State College, one of the best agricultural colleges in the Union.
An alphabetized legend on the left side of the sheet enumerates rustic wood site amenities such as square and round pedestals, a woven wood fence, triangular tuteurs, and a drying shed.
The area across the front porch (b.) of the property features a fashionable lawn, flanked by an Apple Orchard with a hay understory (e.) and Kitchen Gardens (d.). Wooden pedestals (2.) signal both entry and exit through the curved gravel drive (c.).
Kitchen Garden - Planting Detail
LOCATION. Historic residental neighborhood in Ames, Iowa
CONCEPT. Team project. This design pays homage to Gilmour B. and Edith Craig MacDonald, the original owners and former Chair of the ISU Horticulture Department; it is inspired by a Pacific Northwest woodland shade garden and the Reilly-McIntire’s love of Fall color.
Group design - Masterplan
This is the final masterplan for this group project. Teams produced individual preliminary designs per team member, then agreed upon a final iteration.
Individual Preliminary Design - Masteprlan
My individual preliminary masterplan used an eccentric grid layout to activate the outdoor spaces.
Final Masterplan - Sheet
Backyard - Individual Preliminary Design
Includes fire pit, access to antique garage, patio, and access to basement.
Front yard - Individual Preliminary
Boulders and owner's collected antiques are placed strategically through the garden to signal entry points into distinct areas, such as entry wlakway, picnic lawn, and side patio.
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.
LOCATION: Suburban subdivision in Iowa
CONCEPT: Moved by the home’s rectilinear aesthetic, this landscape implements a blue monochromatic design to complement those angles, while balancing the values of economy, ease of care, and expression of individuality.
PROGRAM: The client would like a design that makes their house stand out without being a slave to their landscape. They plan to phase the project over a period of five years. The design must be a monochromatic color scheme incorporating ovals and angles. The clients are a young couple with two young children and a dog.
Drifts of low-growing purple-blooming perennials are dotted by taller, white flowering perennials along the main entrance path. A row of white-blooming pear trees accentuate the limestone path into the home. A Miscanthus sinesis 'Dixieland' backdrop provides a foundation that ties the design together.
Early design phase.
PROGRAM. The Berryhills are a retired couple that loves to garden. The property is located in a traditional neighborhood with homes of similar cost and design. They plan to spend a lot of time outside either working in the garden or entertaining. The Berryhills have specifically asked for a perennial garden, an outdoor patio with shade, a potting shed, an area to grow vines, and a cutting garden. They are drawn to more traditional, formal gardens.
CONCEPT. Inspired by their love of formal gardens, this design provides the Berryhills with their own miniature Versailles. The entry processional establishes a strong East-West axis to guide guests from the driveway to the entry. Once inside, the gardens may be accessed through the kitchen or dining room, establishing a connection with the major entertainment nodes of the home.
The backyard provides a variety of rooms to keep party guests eager to explore. These are arranged in a continuous loop to eliminate dead-end corridors and improve way-finding. As a bonus, this design provides the Berryhills a with miniature Labrynth and a soothing terraced water feature.