Sharon’s Way: Accessible Landscaping

Our landscape designer recently asked for video of my sister using the garden ramp.  From what I gather, it is fairly unusual to see ramps incorporated into landscaping.  The more I’ve thought about it, the more it makes sense for all of us.  We’ve worked hard as a society to create accessibility in the work place, on the corner sidewalk, in schools and even sporting events.  I think there is a wonderful niche market for creating inviting landscapes that also allow all our friends and family to visit with ease.  It’s also an investment in our own future; a way to age in place.

Do you think this trend could catch on?

Design by Bergez & Associates.
Installation by Natural Bridges Landscaping

Patio Progress: Concentric Circles

Progress Photos

Our beautiful patio is done.  We are already enjoying the improvements throughout the yard.  The patio moved closer to the house.  It feels more intimate, something we’ve missed with it in the center of the garden.  Its sheltered now from the late afternoon summer sun so we can enjoy dinners outdoors once again.  Work on the pathway in front of the vegetable garden resumes this week, followed by repairs to the irrigation system.  A bit of grass will replace the former patio.  We’ll fill in with plants in the spring.

We were able to use about one-third of the flagstone in a concentric circle surrounding the poured concrete.  The patio integrates with the walkway, using Connecticut Bluestone to match the existing treads on the stairs.  As an added and unexpected bonus, the pretty tile trim under the stair treads now stand out against the “Sombrero Buff” concrete.  Even the cats love it!  They no longer have to walk gingerly on the stones like we did, trying to avoid the cracks.  All three of the cats have been out there exploring the new environment.

Cats on the Patio

Additional stones will be re-purposed for the vegetable garden walkway.  We hope to free-cycle the rest.  More pictures to follow later this week.

Designer: Bergez & Associates, J.P. Bergez featured in Sunset Magazine

Installation: Natural Bridges Landscaping, David Ross

Green Thumbs are Genetic

Dad was a horticulturist by trade; a gardener by hobby. It recently struck me how much he loved both. Because I was so young when he died, I’ve had to work hard at separating the gentleman from the myth, the man versus the legend. I’ve coveted every detail our mother could share until her memory faded with age and dementia. In 1989 I met his sister and my name sake Aunt Alys at her home in Northwood, England, returning with a fistful of photos.

What I’ve learned is this: he was a beloved brother, a generous spouse and a dad who loved his kids. He involved us in his hobbies, took each of his daughters on individual “dates,” and regularly brought home small gifts that he would hide behind his back till you guessed “which hand.” He was also a big tease, finding ways to “steal” your desert when you weren’t looking. He enjoyed photography and home movies and filled them with images of his children, the cats and the garden. He painted with oils with our mother as his muse and taught us what it meant to have compassion and integrity.

One of the most precious gifts our mother gave us was to say “your father would be so proud of you girls.” Daddy, the feeling is mutual.

Eric Milner: Landscape Notebook

Eric Milner: Landscape Notebook

A Method of Growing Grass to Water's Edge

Carport Patio Design

Garden Steps