Have you ever wondered what a Joy Creek garden design/build project would be like? This weekend you have a chance to view one of our lovely installed gardens and talk with the homeowners and the designer during the 9th Annual Designers Garden Tour in Portland.
Yes, one of our favorite services is landscape design and installation, especially enjoying doing them for our nursery customers. We do the infrastructure and “bones” garden work, and you get to do the fun stuff—your plants! This Saturday, June 22, one of our gardens is featured along with six others on the Designers’ Garden Tour that is a benefit for the Association of Northwest Landscape Designers’ scholarship program.
This garden was designed for Joy Creek Nursery customers Gina and Regan Leon of NW Portland. Gina had frequented Joy Creek for shade perennials, herbs and—her favorite—clematis. She loved to garden, but their back yard was small, sloped, difficult and cramped. The drainage issues had become so bad that it was impossible to mow their small patch of lawn. The existing patio was not much of a destination, and the homeowners rarely spent time outside.
In Spring of 2011, all that changed, with a new garden plan by our staff designer, Alyse Lansing. She worked with the Leons to create a design that inspired them, the project was bid, the Leons agreed to the costs proposed, and the project began with our talented Joy Creek crews.
First, drainage was added. Then patios were improved and expanded, and the small site was visually and spatially expanded with two terraces on a new angle from the house. The new angles and levels help divert the eye away from less attractive tall neighboring houses and “borrow” better views to make this small yard feel much bigger than it is. Attractive low walls of dry-stacked stone hold back the new lushly amended soil, which now supports healthy, happy plants.
“It’s now so inviting and relaxing,” Gina said. “Coming out to sweep the patios and putter in the garden is now one of my delights rather than a chore to be endured.” Weeding is now so manageable, it’s a pleasure!
The best part is how much they enjoy the outdoor space. When previously they never ate outside, now, in summer, they eat outdoors, al fresco, almost every night. The small back yard has a warm, relaxed feel, even somewhat “grand”, like the European courtyards that were the original dream.
We love doing this work for our customers. Come out and see Alyse at the Tour on Saturday! She’d love to chat with you about your yard. With the other gardens on tour as well, it’s a great place for inspiration.
Tickets are on sale at seven garden centers in the Portland area until Friday night (6/21), and at three of the garden centers on tour day (Saturday 6/22). Tickets will also be available at two of the gardens starting at 10 am on the day of the tour, cash or check only. All locations are listed on the ANLD web page.