Written by: Douglas Owens-Pike
Our specialty at EnergyScapes is planning and transforming landscapes for sustainable results. This aim most often focuses on a native plant diversity designed to bring benefits beyond the plants themselves. For example, native plants provide habitat for insects that are the base of food chain, supporting birds, butterflies and other wildlife that people can enjoy viewing in their yard.
A challenge to this approach, especially in the shade garden, is that flowering is focused on spring ephemerals. These plants do their work early in the growing season, flowering before the leaves emerge on mature trees. After the spring blush of blooms we are primarily left with a variety of leaf shapes and sizes, or texture. Of course, there are fruits beginning to form and other woodland plants that do bloom later in the growing season. For this post we want to focus on one of our projects located near Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis to see how texture adds depth in this woodsy setting. The below images and captions tell the story.
The water feature below was built in the early 1970’s using concrete and limestone. Limestone was set directly into concrete during the initial construction. The two rocks expand and contract at different rates and over the years extensive cracks developed. The feature was badly leaking and we repaired it by covering the old concrete basin with resilient rubber (EPDM) pond liner. We salvaged the beautifully aged limestone and set it back on top of the waterproof membrane.
As the heat of the summer bears down upon us this week, take a break to stroll your neighborhood (early or late in the cool of the day). Note how textures of natural or horticultural gardens influence your mood as you walk. We welcome your feedback.
Don’t forget to see what others on the Garden Designers Roundtable have posted on this subject:
Thomas Rainer : Grounded Design : Washington, D.C.
Rebecca Sweet : Gossip In The Garden : Los Altos, CA
Pam Penick : Digging : Austin, TX
Lesley Hegarty & Robert Webber : Hegarty Webber Partnership : Bristol, UK
Deborah Silver : Dirt Simple : Detroit, MI
David Cristiani : The Desert Edge : Albuquerque, NM
Christina Salwitz : Personal Garden Coach : Renton, WA
Andrew Keys : Garden Smackdown : Boston, MA
Rochelle Greayer : Studio G : Boston, MA