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 the Arts-and-Crafts Movement Moves Me

Finding beauty in the everyday objects that comprise the material necessities of our lives, is in essence the key to understanding the allure of the Arts-and-Crafts Movement. Begun in the salons of the elites who could afford such privileges, to build a world of handcrafted objects, including gardens, where form and function was celebrated, the movement sprung from a serious response to the changes wrought by the Industrial Revolution. The American Arts-and-Crafts Movement expressed this concern in a decidedly a more democratic movement, producing the great bungalow design aesthetic. Regardless, the central element remains a devotion to living a life in beauty and functionality, issues that remain important today. In my opinion the current environmental movement, as a response to our damaged physical and social ecology, traces back to an earlier expression in the Arts-and-Crafts Movement. Since the first Earth Day in 1970, concern for the environment has gone from …

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