This Modern Northwest Cottage Garden in Sequim was designed by landscape architect Emily Russell. Sequim is not an area that we typically service due to the commute and unpredictable bridge openings.
If this project had come to us any other way than through our good friend Emily, chances are likely we would have said no.
In hindsight, saying yes was a brilliant decision. This project ended up being the brightest spot of a year – 2020 – that was riddled with hardship and uncertainty.
The job itself was totally in our wheelhouse, so to speak.
It included the installation of an extensive drainage system, an irrigation system, new garden beds and plants, pathways and edging, a new lawn, a fire pit patio, decorative rocks, cut stone steps, a formal courtyard, stamped concrete pathways and landscape lighting.
Typing all of that – it’s no wonder the project took us nearly the entire summer to install!
The grades – or what we call the “dirt work” – were mostly established prior to our work beginning. Some minor manipulation of the grades is usually needed to make sure we have proper slope for drainage purposes.
Below, you see hard pipe and funny pipe coming out of the ground. All of it signals weeks of digging, trenching, and laying and gluing pipe.
On this water side of the property, the landscape’s most prominent feature is a fire pit and surrounding gravel and rock patio.
We decided to increase the size of the decorative rock used for this area during the installation process, due to the grand scale of the gravel fire pit patio and our clients’ expansive, water and sky views. This required careful maneuvering of the rocks while setting them with our mini-excavator and skid steer.
The informal rock retention and garden bed in the photo below was not in Emily’s plan. During the construction process, we realized it was necessary due to the lower grade of the lawn area, and the higher placement of the gravel pathway against the deck that leads to the fire pit.
Changes to an original design are not uncommon, although we remain true to the designer’s vision as much as possible.
At the front of the house is where the landscape really lives up to its name – A Modern Northwest Cottage Garden.
Formal courtyard plantings include a Boxwood hedge on the outside of the masonry, and a Sweet Box hedge on the inside. Dogwood trees were a requested feature and will look fantastic in bloom come spring.
Our client refers to her landscape as “party in the back, business in the front” with a smile.
To really get a sense of this landscape, watch the video below.
It begins at the front door, in the courtyard area, and takes the viewer on a tour to the back waterside of the home. Watching it, one understands the significance of the gravel walkways as a connective feature, tying together all areas of this landscape.
Our clients selected a more upscale gravel “dust” product. Because it’s so fine, it actually compacts better than other gravels over time.
This was such a rewarding project to watch come together.
It gave us the opportunity to showcase our specific specialization of high-end landscaping and decorative concrete. It was also the largest landscape lighting project we’ve ever completed, and it allowed us to grow our knowledge about landscape lighting materials and best practices for installation.
iPhone images are all we have of this completed project, but we’re excited to return in spring to capture it with professional photography.
Truly, installing this Modern Northwest Cottage Garden was an awesome experience. Our clients were very happy.
Here’s what they had to say about working with us:
Leave us a comment below to tell us what you think of this project!
And if you’re interested in working with us, please contact us. We’d love to hear how we can help you create the landscape of your dreams.
Thanks for reading our blog. Northwest Construction & Landscape, LLC is a Kitsap County landscaping company that offers landscaping, decorative concrete and lawn maintenance services to homes and businesses across Kitsap and Pierce counties.