Garden Tour

Posted by Joel Port
September 19, 2012

Since we've been experienceing very smoky skies over Portland during the past few weeks, I figured the filtered sunlight would be ideal for taking photos of some past projects. So, I hopped in the truck and made the rounds. I was glad to see that the gardens are all looking nice and our clients have been enjoying them. It's always fun to see how our gardens have evolved over time.


First, I visited a home in the SW hills where Sam and I had done an extensive design for a backyard with new retaining walls, walkways, and a circular patio. It even included a greenhouse, alpine slope and a peat bed for the avid, alpine-plant collecting homeowner. Construction was completed in May.

The greenhouse (by Sturdi-built Greenhouses of Portland) and the "Alpine Slope" with the homeowners' collection of alpine trees, sub-shrubs and forbs.

A dry-laid, basalt wall (by Stone Sculptures) retained the steeply-sloping hillside and provided a level area for a small lawn.

The homeowners (and their two dogs) have gotten a lot of use out of their bluestone patio.


Next, I visited a project that Courtney was the project manager for. It was finished this spring.

The homeowners have found that the dining terrace and fireplace (by J&L Masonry) have been well-suited for entertaing guests.

I really like this casual sitting area. In the background, Anemone (Windflower) and Caryopteris (Bluebeard or Blue Mist Spirea) are really showing off their late-summer glory.


The garden for the next property on my tour was originally designed by noted, Portland-area landscape designer Barbara Feeley decades ago. Sam and I designed a dry-laid stone terrace to replace the rotted wood deck.

The homeowner requested an area for tending to his small collection of bonsai trees. We were able to integrate that into a curving seatwall that surrounds the patio on one side.


Here's another one of Courtney and Sam's outdoor fireplaces. The new homeowners told me they've used this area everyday this summer.


Finally, I stopped by the project that I've been covering over the past few months. All of the large elements have been built. Now it's down to the detailed, finish work. Everyone involved with construction has done a wonderful job.

The pavilion's roof has been completed. All of the paving has been laid. Cabinets for the grill area have also arrived and are being installed as I write this!

Perennial plantings and the edging for the curved path have also been installed. Gravel will be spread tomorrow and the lawn will be seeded next week!


Houzz Profile

Posted by Joel Port
September 11, 2012

Houzz is a great resource for designers and homeowners alike. As a designer and active do-it-yourselfer, I like to check out the latest products, photos, and discussions regarding everything house-related. I'm always finding something fun or inspiring. There's even a section for locating design professionals, contractors and suppliers throughout the country.

SHWA has a profile and extensive image gallery...


Our Latest Plan

Posted by Joel Port
September 10, 2012

We've just completed a schematic plan for an assisted living facility's garden space (see image, below).

We really wanted to offer a plan that would stretch the expectations of the owners. We approached the design process as an opportunity to offer a variety of spaces and experiences for the residents to enjoy. All the while, it was critical that all of the current safety standards for elderly users be met. The end result was a plan that, if implemented, will be a functional and therapeutic asset for the users.

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