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EASTERN WA PRAIRIE

BEFORE

BEFORE-house front
A new prairie style home was constructed in the high desert area of eastern Washington State. The surrounding existing landscape is stark with local tumbleweeds (Artemisia) as the primary native plant.

THE DESIGN

The plan for the new garden.
(click to enlarge)
Eastern Prairie-PLAN-SM

AFTER

AFTER-Front Walk
The new front walk uses concrete pavers and a sparkling stone to coordinate with the house masonry and the new masonry wall that wraps the back garden.

BEFORE-side slope
Above: the NE slope and entry drive before; Below: The new drive wrapping around the retained and planted slope
Retained slope and drive
Below: AFTER-Bouteloua and Gaura 'Whirling Butterflies' at the back entry gate
AFTER-Bouteloua and Gaura at gate

MORE BEFORE & AFTER PHOTOS
AFTER-Across the back garden
Above:xxx; Below: AFTER: Sitting rock at end of walk near house
Sitting Rock, back garden
Below: AFTER-Looking across the back garden lawn, prairie and raised beds.
AFTER-Back Garden

AFTER: near entry
Above: AFTER-looking south near entry Below: AFTER: looking west from driveway near the street; the masonry wall behind Bouteloua 'Blonde Ambition' and Yucca 'Color Guard'.
View west from street side
Below: AFTER-Front garden prairie.AFTER-Front Garden Prairie

ABOUT

  • A young couple built a new Prairie-Style home in the Tri-Cities area of eastern Washington State. They wanted something different than the usual expanse of lawn with shrubbery skirting the house.

  • The open expanse of the high desert was the view surrounding the house, with houses here and there, including a large McMansion house next door with a hotel-like landscape..
  • Although water was not an issue, they preferred a landscape that didn't require large amounts of water or maintenance.

  • They wanted a fire pit. raised beds for edibles, and a small herb garden..

  • There were existing patio areas that had been installed as part of the new house construction.

  • Deep slope issues were near the garage that needed to be resolved and a new asphalt driveway needed to be installed.

  • The area is very dry and windy. The soil is sandy and alkaline and the temperatures are extreme; very hot during the summer and very cold during the winter. It is a zone 5 property.

 

PROJECT GOALS

  • Install an inexpensive boulder retaining wall, per the owner's request, to address the slope by the garage. Plant to disguise boulders over time.

  • Disguise septic and well caps.

  • Install a masonry wall around the back of the house (which is adjacent to the main road) and a black, aluminum fence with gates to keep dogs from escaping.

  • Create expanses of grasses with perennials that will wave during the many windy days in this climate.

  • Include evergreen conifers and broadleaf evergreen plants to provide structure during the growing season and have a presence during the winter.

  • Provide a privacy barrier near the south end of the masonry wall to disguise the neighbor's house.

  • The garden can be mowed annually around shrubbery and trees in late winter for easy maintenance.

DESIGN CONCEPTS

  • Blend the garden in with the local environment.

  • Reflect the colors of the masonry on the house for the selection of materials for the masonry wall, raised beds, fire pit, and paving.

  • Provide some plant structure among all of the grasses, perennials, and shrubs.

  • Some native plants and other non-invasive, drought-tolerant ornamentals were used in the landscape, in order to create a highly sustainable, yet beautiful, garden.
  • Include plenty of color among the grasses.

 

 

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REVISED:9/7/16
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