Friday, April 22, 2011

Hand Drafting

This is what my workspace looks like in the middle of a project. Scale ruler, pencils, erasers, pens, circle templates, straight edges, lots of trash paper, and a laptop for googling plant characteristics and pictures to make sure that they're perfect for their intended spot.
A lot of designers today use CAD (computer aided design) for about 90% of their work. I do like to use CAD for the most basic base map, but I find that hand drafting the more organic lines of plants and pathways provides a much more aesthetically pleasing planting plan for my clients. It would be quite simple (and utilitarian) to have a plain base map with a bunch of labeled circles to show where the various plants are to go, but it would also be boring and wouldn't communicate the feeling of the design nearly as well as a hand drafted and detailed plan.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Brausen Residence

This was a simple design that I did for a house in the Fort Russel District here in Moscow. The home was owned by an elderly lady who just wanted a few little additions here and there and was very clear that she did not like the cottage garden look - just simple and clean (and super low maintenance). This was very difficult for me as I tend to pack as much as I can into a planting bed, but I think that the design ended up being exactly what she wanted.

This is a great example of a small yet comprehensive plan. When you have an already established landscape, sometimes all you need is some guidance in a few areas to revamp what you have and use it to its fullest potential. We planted a few additional shrubs to screen off her side patio, put in a hedge to screen off the neighbor's yard, added a path around the house on the north side, and added some edging to clean up the boundaries between planting beds and lawn. Simple, but effective.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Moscow Wisescape Awards

"The City of Moscow established the Wisescape concepts in 2008 to promote water-efficient landscaping on the Palouse. The concepts include landscape design, reduction of resource use, soil enhancements, and plant selection."
Two of my designs have been nominated for the City of Moscow Wisescape Award. My design at Wingers was nominated in 2008 and my collaborative design at 2402 Itani was nominated in 2010.  I don't think either of them actually won (I could never find a list of winners), but it's nice to be nominated!

Current Project

This is a project I am currently working on. I like to have as much info as I can before I even get on site and I find that that generally makes the site visit the most productive. I compiled this base map from some basic GPS mapped plot lines given by the client and then printed out a topographic map from Google Earth to the same scale and traced. It's also very helpful to have cleanly drawn lines rather than the highly pixelated ones that you tend to get when printing off small sections of USGS topographic maps!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Rodeo Drive Mall

I drew up the landscape plan for the Rodeo Drive Mall on the north end of Moscow back in 2005. The biggest design challenge for this site was the city zoning requirements. Section 6-9 of the City of Moscow Zoning Code has some very specific requirements for what is planted between differently zoned areas, particularly between a motor business area and two different types of residential areas.

In the end I was pleased with how the design turned out and I had high hopes for how it would look upon completion. But this is the point in the design process where my job ends and it's up to the contractor (or homeowner in some cases) to either follow my design or substitute as they sometimes see fit. Some substitutions were made at the mall which has resulted in some oddities, but the overall idea has remained basically the same and I am pleased with that.