Landscape Swamp to Garden Paradise
Vicki Masterson wanted her dream garden. She and her husband Pete were recently retired. She had a beautiful new home and was looking forward to having a yard to play gardener in for the first time in her life.
She expressed her deep concerns about the landscape’s ability to ever play its part in her dream. She and Pete had never worked with a landscape and yet accurately diagnosed severe drainage problems and an extremely high water table on their site. Her neighbors told her that in winter, “everything is pretty much a lake“. Their soil was sludge and the view from the great room was a 10′ high wall consisting of straight stacked ugly boulders, topped with a 6′ wood fence.
Amending the soil and hiding this ugly wall with plants was not possible due to the high winter water table. On our design day it was still summer – so instead of water logged muck – we had impossibly hard baked clay. I was glad to know that I could solve it all and give Vicki her dream. The first thing I did was meet with Donna Burdick of D&J Landscape Contracting. Over coffee we poured over photos and discussed the site’s problems.
Donna designed a professional drainage plan. With this kind of collaboration, the designer’s vision leads the process and the clients dreams are realized. The drainage solution disappears into the design.
Good drainage opened the plant palette so I could pick from thousands of possible plants and combinations for Vicki and Peter Matterson. Deciduous shrubs such as Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ provide stunning winter interest with its rich orange, red and yellow stems. I created an area for wetland plants with varieties that will be perfectly happy with the high water table and tall enough to visually soften the wall.
“I LOVE the bones of the garden and all of the possibilities for me to play in. It is a perfect garden for a senior to enjoy. I thank you because it is perfect for me. Donna and her crew did an excellent job with the structure and construction which is so important to me. Again thank you, I am glad I called you and got the benefit of your knowledge.”
“The longer I am here the more I appreciate the thought and your knowledge at designing my garden. Our main concern was the drainage and we have
had no drainage problems so far. Many thank you’s for designing my garden to fit my yard and my life.” – commented Vicki Masterson