Greenwoods design

Discussion in 'Garden Design and Plant Suggestions' started by Carol Ja, Feb 13, 2006.

  1. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    The one picture was taken right after the design was completed, the other was taken two years later when the plants had grown in.
    Carol Ja
     

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  2. bcgift52

    bcgift52 Active Member

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    Nice stonework. For a wall that height is it necessary to actually mortar the stones in place ?
     
  3. NiftyNiall

    NiftyNiall Active Member 10 Years

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    Yes it should really be mortared in place. The old way of dry wall, construction, would consist of a few rows of stone, interlocking them together as much as possible. If the wall shown is not mortared, and the drainage is poor behind it, the plants and cold conditions will have their way with it eventually. In the situation shown the height is probably about as high as one would want to go with one row,(and it will move).
     
  4. bcgift52

    bcgift52 Active Member

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    Thanks NiftyNiall - I was just hoping to save myself some work.
     
  5. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    Regarding the stonework question, it is not at all necessary to mortar it in place; witness drystone constructions over a century old still holding strong. I have installed a number of drystone retaining walls, and seen several well over the height shown. With proper construction, and a good batter (angle), no mortar is required. In severe winter climates, frost heave can destabilize a drystone wall, but builders have developed techniques to offset this. Just a clarification, and a defense of a dying art.
     
  6. goat

    goat Member

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    I'm impressed! Looks very nice.

    I have never seen such large alchemilla.
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    From this angle its greenish flowers would show better left of the rush(?), with the blue flowers next to it and the maple behind. That hole left of the sedge needs something with big leaves for contrast anyway, as well as to face down the silk tree--altough a broadleaf evergreen shrub would be better for that latter function.
     
  8. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    The stone work is mortared in, as the patients at this facility roll their wheelchairs around and might bang into it. However, it could be done dry if someone wanted it to be. As for the plantings, these two pictures are taken only from one angle, They look fine where they are when you look at it from the main viewing area off to the left. Some of the little stuff was put in by the patients, as it is a therapy garden. Dementia and planting schemes probably don't mix well, but the people doing it are enjoying themselves.
    Carol Ja
     
  9. NiftyNiall

    NiftyNiall Active Member 10 Years

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    Where I live in Coquitlam, not far away is Buntzen Lake, where mostly Scottish masons, built dry-stone walls, some over 20 feet tall, in very steep terrain, near the the original powerhouses, they are almost 100 years old, and most are in excellant shape, they also incorporated very good drainage,uphill and through them.
    Works of art.
     
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Bolder planting around the bottom of the tree would also correspond to the appearance of outward movement created by the shape of the bed. Like bodies of water, planting beds have visual flow based on their shapes. For most pleasing effect should relate to this. See Grant & Grant, GARDEN DESIGN ILLUSTRATED.
     
  11. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    You can try telling people with Dementia that Ron, they'll understand it then forget it five minutes later.
    Cheers Carol Ja
     
  12. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Somebody else reading this thread might be interested in planting design.
     
  13. bcgift52

    bcgift52 Active Member

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    I hate to go off on another tangent, but can we have more specific directions to the stonewalls at Buntzen Lake ?
     
  14. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    I had another garden where the planting scheme wasn't being changed constantly by people with Dementia, it is over in the Photography and art section, its called a finished garden.
    I think the planting theme works much better.
    Most Landscape designs for us (spouse and I ) involves more of the hardscaping than the plants. I joined the forum out of interest in plants and wanting to know more.
    anyway, the finished garden works better with the planting. As this garden works well for the patients who use it.
    Garden design is all in the eye of the beholder. If you like it look a little longer, if you don't move on.
    Cheer Carol Ja
     
  15. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Are you the moderator now?
     
  16. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    No new moderators. Carol started the thread and it shows images of her beautiful work, so I imagine she might take critique of the design a bit personally. This garden's purpose is obviously different than most. I suppose people with dementia appreciate really different things from a garden than the average person - maybe they would really appreciate fragrance?

    This is a design forum and I have noted that people say the beauty is in the subjective eye of the beholder, but there is a whole developed science/art of design. I think the fact is that due to the way we are made, most of us do perceive certain design elements as pleasing or displeasing. Generally people like repetition and rhythm in design for instance. There are reasons behind good design. It's not just subjective preference. That is the point of all the study, courses and writing on design principles, isn't it? I think the goal of the design forum should be to identify those type of elements as well as discussing the technical physical aspects of design - drainage, construction, stonework, etc.
     
  17. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks Eric,
    Designing properties/gardens is a funny sort of business in that your obligated to serve the client, yet at the same time you want your two cents worth, or there is no satisfaction in the work. The greenwoods design was a tough job in that we (spouse and I ) had to cater to not just the patients ,but, to the people who run the facility, and those who run the garden program. I wish I could share a before shot, as it was a gravel slope, that looked towards the helicopter pad of the hospital next door. I was dismal. It is an awkward space, it slopes up away from the building, (nightmare for drainage) its long and narrow, and goes around a few corners. With all of the request for what goes into the space I'm still amazed that we squished it all in.
    The more people who got envolved in the decision making of the garden the harder it got. I personally grew up in a small village in England an enjoy looking at the cottage gardens that I grew up with. My spouse who is from the Philippines likes a totally different style. Each person involved in a design has and idea of what the space should look like. ( Each person needs to be taken into concideration, yet the design still needs to look good, function and keep the client happy).
    The most important parts of this garden, have nothing to do with the plants, the paths and the fence are the parts that were needed the most. The patients at this facillity were not able to go outside (for fear of them wandering off)
    Now, they can safely go out, wheelchairs, walkers, and beds if need, be can be brought out where people can enjoy the fresh air. This means that the design of the project works well for those who need to use it.

    Does this mean I would make my backyard (or front) look like this? Not likely.
    I don't have dementia yet! ;)

    Carol Ja
     
  18. goat

    goat Member

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    Lol!!! The fact that they are enjoying themselves is the key thing; well, actually, isn't it the key thing about every person's garden?
     
  19. Anne Taylor

    Anne Taylor Active Member 10 Years

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    Right on goat!
    In the bunch of years I've been designing, I found that that you find out a lot about the client when you start designing their garden! Lot's more than the usual questions. But when they trust you to do a 'setting' for their leisure hours, and you wind up launching them into a whole new appreciation of their yard and outdoorscape, that's when it's all good. I've designed for people, with people and sometimes inspite of people, and only once have I walked away from a design wanting no further part. Each time I learned a little bit more of how folks relate to the earth. And how much I buy into their understanding. It's the nicest by-product of designing, OK getting paid is good too :o), and yes I guess seeing the design growing in is rather satisfying.
    Carol, I think it's wonderful that you have given a focused garden to these folks. We may never know what a part that my play in their pleasure relating to their surroundings. May we never have to suffer as they do. May we always be respectful to the earth.
     

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