We’ve been able to observe the property through a whole year now and discussion points with Land Architects were as follows:
- In-ground water collection system, with on-site drainage and infiltration into dry stream and rain gardens, designed to keep all storm water runoff on-site
- Restoration and planting of drought-tolerant, low water-use native plants
- Hardscaping with concrete salvaged during renovation and other reclaimed or locally procured materials
- Create a sustainable maintenance and stewardship plan including controlled burning for meadow plantings.
- Rehabilitate soils and protect native vegetation
- Removal of invasive non-native species
- Preserve historic and cultural features of the site
- Use materials and plantings to minimize heat island effects
One of my requirements for restoration of the property was that as much of the “secret garden” feel of the yard be preserved as possible. The property had been abandoned for over 10 years. The overgrowth, particularly behind the house was tremendous and there was a wonder overgrown tunnel behind the house that joined the upper front year with yard behind the house. I was hoping to preserve and restore some of that, but was disappointed to show up at the house one day to find the entire tunnel in the back was gone to drill the geothermal wells.
I was informed that it all had to go anyway as there were invasive species such as buckthorn, honeysuckle and wild grape vines. I was still a bit sad to see it go.
My other requirement was that there be several outdoor living spaces immediately around the house. I wanted a dining area out in front and a private garden off the master bedroom. I also have future plans for a connector path between the house and the studio, and a water feature. Those will have to wait…