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Turning a plain space into a modern oasis

Privacy and price

The client also mentioned the importance of privacy. Glancy considered options like selectively placed privacy screens, using cedars or other plant material that would grow up quickly and produce an organic barrier. He also contemplated positioning sitting and gathering places in natural areas of privacy. As drawings were reviewed, Glancy realized the grade change in itself would establish areas of privacy, by creating vertical distance. Combined with certain plantings, this would provide the sought-after privacy.

“Budget is also a key element to consider before a design can be done,” Glancy says. In this case, a budget of roughly $25,000 was established. Glancy kept this in mind as he created the initial design drawing that included hardscapes, water feature and garden beds. Of course, a range of material choices is available for each of these elements. Quality is key, Glancy says, but knowing which choices fit within the client’s budget determines the extent of usage for things like stone, the cost of which can add up quickly.

After approving the initial landscape plan with the client, specific choices in hard materials were discussed and finally agreed upon. “Stone was an important and prevalent part of this project,” Glancy says, noting he showed the client several samples and outlined each option’s pros and cons. Given the complexity of the design, Glancy and his client settled on a large-sized precast stone, which was not only more affordable and eco-friendly, but whose simplicity and consistent appearance complements the strong design. The chalk-white colour of the precast also contrasts nicely with the black mulch and green foliage, especially in high-shade areas.

Next, Glancy concentrated on drawing up a planting plan for his client to approve. Plant materials were chosen based on shade tolerance, ease of care and visual impact relative to the stone and water elements. Glancy opted for a subtle colour palette to further emphasize the architecture of the space, including violet-flowered perennial geraniums, hardy cedars, fountain grass and a Japanese maple, ‘Bloodgood’ variety, for a showy punch of autumn colour.

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