Completed in the winter of 2014, this project remains as one of the installs we wish we would see outside of our own front door. Sandblasted Leuders limestone takes you to the front, board-formed concrete is beneath your feet in the back, and 5/8" black basalt provides the base throughout. Everything in between is tied together through the use of both painted and raw mild steel. This site is exempt from local watering restrictions.
Typically, we show up to a site seemingly void of any attempt at improvements to the out of doors. The first main challenge during this installation was to remove 8 fully mature Agave Americanas, an impressive stack of berms created from leftover construction overburden, and a clump of timber bamboo two stories tall. We graded out the lot to the natural contours of the land and then articulated the space with an equal mix of steel, plants, and gravels to create a wonderful new balance between the ingredients. This site is exempt from local watering restrictions.
Beginning with a tired space packed tight with struggling trees, healthy weeds, and impossible ups and downs in the grade, we decided to remove all of the existing. Once level we then added the aspects of the landscape from the client's wish list including a new patio, steel trellis' to house multi-colored vines, and a steel screen to hide unsightly mechanical required by the home.
FRENCH PLACE I
In terms of balance throughout the space, this project is one of our favorites. The plant palette is minimal and hand watered infrequently. The entry concrete is punctuated via built-in planters with natives throughout. The space thrives in the hot sun and requires minimal maintenance to look it's best.
Raising the grade to meet the home, this installation is defined with simple lines, clear definition between hardscape and softscape, and a suite of various non-fruiting olive plants and trees. The entire west side is kept private by an 8' steel trellis populated by Star Jasmine throughout the year. Materials include washed 3/8" pea gravel, concrete, Western Red Cedar, both raw and painted mild steel, Amerishade sod, and various olive varieties. This site is exempt from local watering restrictions.
FRENCH PLACE II
As an antique dealer often showing from her home, this client "hated" to bring buyers over only to have them navigate a poorly executed gravel pathway on an uneven slope. To mitigate the existing terrain, we built up the site to create a level entryway flanked by some of the greenest grass we have grown to date. The materials palette includes mild steel, concrete, and Zorro zoysia. This site is exempt from local watering restrictions.
Tucked at the end of a cul-de-sac and overlooking the hill country to the west, this project is soon to be populated by both xeric tolerant plants as well as a broad list of others with strong medicinal properties. Drainage, drainage, drainage was the main concern from the start as the site serves as a natural drainage basin for the hill above, especially during the heavy rains of 2014. Multiple strip, surface, and french drains are found throughout to mitigate the surrounding hillsides that slope towards the home on almost all sides. More photos to follow as the project nears completion.
CENTRAL EAST AUSTIN
Diversity in color with blurred lines between hard and softscapes defines this space. Color is strong throughout this installation as multiple ground covers and trailing plants creep during the hot summer months. Texas Mt. Laurels bloom in the spring, Anacacho Orchids bloom throughout the summer, and a large mix of perennials bring additional color the remainder of the year. Complete with only 125 square feet of green grass. This site is exempt from local watering restrictions.
Ellipses, rectangles, and arcs are found throughout to house the limited selection of ornamentals grasses and perennials. Beginning with a sea of decomposed granite we elevated the beds between 4" and 12" and dressed all in a gravel mulch where new sod was not installed. Long rectangular beds compliment the lines of the existing fence and contrast well with the less rectilinear shapes in the center of the space. This site is exempt from local watering restrictions.
FRENCH PLACE III
Just before their home renovation began, in an instant a strong thunderstorm took out a handful of heritage Post Oaks creating a new landscape with little protection from direct sun. After the home renovation was completed we began our update by removing years of previous renter's unfinished gardening projects. Drainage was an ongoing issue and multiple downspouts were piped away from the home with a few filling slimline rain tanks. In the back, a dry well was installed to manage the water during heavy downpours and was fed by two rain chains and the overflow from another collection tank. New concrete throughout, steel vegetable beds, stone patios, and a generous and varied plant palette make this one of the most diverse and colorful landscapes in the neighborhood.