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A Backyard Makeover

This project transformed an uninviting backyard into a comfortable, family-friendly garden. Wide steps were added to allow better flow between the interior and exteriors spaces.  A seating/dining terrace, turf play area, raised vegetable beds and cedar hot tub were integrated together to create an outdoor living room. Lush plantings envelope the space.


Concrete by Zuber Concrete, Inc.

A Curated Garden

The IndigoBirch property is a carefully-crafted, Japanese-inspired garden.  Outdoor rooms, of various sizes, set up opportunities for the homeowners and visitors to experience the garden in different ways.  In the backyard, a central stone patio and firepit area comfortably provides enough space to entertain guests.  Whereas a secondary patio and smaller seating area under a gazebo provide more intimate environments. Narrow, meandering paths intentionally slows you down and direct your attention underfoot where basalt flagstones are surrounded by river rock, ferns, black mondo grass and cyclamen.  There are many other unique features to discover in this garden too: a tsukubi water feature, specimen plants, basalt masonry walls, screen panels, numerous sculptures, and a cedar hot tub.

Landscape lighting by Innovative Nightscapes.

A Backyard Transformation


This small, contemporary backyard was completely transformed.  Extra-wide steps lead directly from the backdoor to the bluestone patio and provide casual seating options.  'Kay Parris' Magnolias will eventually provide evergreen shade along the western fence line.  Additional space for outdoor living was taken from the oversized driveway and now serves as a grilling area.  Landscape lighting completes the garden and makes it a comfortable space any time of day.

Stone masonry by Feather and Wedge Inc.

A Family Garden


This multi-generational family wanted garden spaces that would provide areas for communal outdoor living.  Amenities of the main patio area include a vertical water feature, masonry seatwalls, grill, and lush plantings.  Every square-foot of this property was carefully designed to maximize the small space for function and meet the homeowner's contemporary aesthetic.

Seatwall and water feature masonry by Feather and Wedge Inc.

House and ADU architecture by SQFT Studios, LLC.

An Urban Retreat


The challenge of this garden was to create separate outdoor rooms for both the main house and the new accessory dwelling unit (ADU) called the "Songbird Urban Retreat".   The space was divided with a creative layout that utilizing privacy fencing, plantings, and a pergola.  

Other amenities include off-street parking, distinctive seating areas, landscape lighting, water features, accent boulders, exhuberant plantings and an integrated trash enclosure.

ADU architecture by Propel Studio Architecture

An ADU Garden


These SE Portland homeowners wanted to achieve a lot in a fairly small space. The primary design goal here was to create a shared outdoor living space between their house and newly-built accessory dwelling unit (ADU) and offer privacy from the street. The homeowners also wanted a place to entertain guests and a raised bed for growing their own vegetables. This was a collaborative process with many iterations. We chose permeable pavers and drywells to mitigate storm water run-off and offer ADA accessibility. To keep the garden low-maintenance, we opted for natives with low moisture requirements such as evergreen hucklberry, sword fern, ocean spray and vine maple. A unique feature is the custom fire pit.

ADU architecture by Ivon Street Studio

A Garden Oasis


You don’t need a big space to create big impact. A basalt water feature helped transform this postage stamp-sized yard into a modern oasis. Bamboo, in black containers, offer year-round interest and privacy from neighbors.

A Contemporary Courtyard Garden


The challenge for this project was to create a tranquil outdoor living area that was harmonious with the contemporary architecture of the ADU.  From the layout of the hardscaping to the selection of specific plant materials, every detail was carefully considered. Components includes a main patio, sunken fire pit area, built-in cedar bench, bubbling water feature, landscape lighting, and specimen bamboos.   The result is a complete garden that flows seamlessly with the interior spaces... aesthetically and functionally.  

ADU architecture by Ivon Street Studio

A Front Yard Transformation


These homeowners came to me with designs already in-hand, and I worked to implement those plans to rewrite the story of their front yard.  The garden includes bluestone entry and secondary paths, accent boulders, a small seating area, a rain garden to collect roof run-off, and new plantings.

Design by Samuel H. Williamson Associates

A Strolling Garden


This project first required addressing several drainage issues to collect and direct stormwater away from the house. An old rotting deck was dismantled in favor of a mortared flagstone patio. I realigned several dry-laid paths to better engage people as they move through the space.  Basalt steps set into a sloping lawn eased the transition to the lower lawn.  Since the homeowner is an avid gardener, we also worked to maximize garden bed space.

Woodwork Gallery


Sometimes homeowners aren't looking to transform their entire landscape.  Here are some examples of smaller projects- fences, gates, arbors, decks, benches and raised vegetable beds I have designed and/or built at various sites.  

Hardscape Gallery


Here are some examples of components I have designed and built at various sites, including stone and brick patios, retaining walls, pathways, steps, and landscape lighting. Some are mortared, others are dry-laid, depending on the desired look and required function.

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