Urban Forest Retreat

Highly engaged gardeners, people with strong opinions about their gardens, who fully enjoy the time they spend in their gardens, make the most interesting clients. Add to that a friendship that goes back decades, which makes for more even enjoyment when it comes to developing a design. And as if what wasn’t enough, add the particular design challenges posed by a triangular, sloping property with especially difficult soils, and some pre-existing hardscape features that just weren’t meeting the clients’ needs for outdoor living space. In a nutshell, that was the situation we started with in Scott & Jenise’s northeast Seattle garden. Wonderful friends with some interesting puzzles to solve in terms of existing site conditions. 2013 – Phase one – The patio garden The Starting Point.  The reason the grass was so green: it was wet most of the time.  The concrete was unattractive and really “old school,” poured in patches separated by wood, but …

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Why Permaculture?

What makes ME believe this wholistic movement is a positive change that can address our environmental crisis? Around 2001, I was once asked if I’d ever heard of Permaculture and I had to admit that I hadn’t; then Gaia’s Garden, by Toby Hemenway, was published; I read it and was hooked by the ideas the author presented. It helped bring my though process full-circle, as it revisited my early interests in ecology (TESC) and later landscape design (Oregon). Not long thereafter I was heading to the Lost Valley Educational Center, near Dexter, Oregon, to take a two-week PDC (Permaculture Design Course) with Jude Hobbs, Toby Hemenway, and Rick Valley. Since then I’ve been fortunate to take advanced design courses with some really outstanding teachers. David Jacke, in Helena, Montana, on edible forest design; Jenny Pell & Andrew Millison (OSU), at Breitenbush Hot Springs, Oregon, on community planning; and especially, David Holmgren, at …

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