What the client wanted:

A recent transplant from the San Francisco Bay Area, the client wanted to grow her own tomatoes and have a nice lawn for her family to play on.

What we did:

The soil test indicated an unusually acid soil—perfect conditions for blueberries, not so great for veggies. BB designed a stone-edged, geometric garden of raised planting beds and brought in topsoil and compost to make soil conditions suitable for vegetables. After installation, rains from a heavy storm carved a path through the yard. Recognizing the serious run-off problem, we turned the water’s path into a dry stream, removed a decaying pond and installed a rain garden to manage this run-off. We re-used stones that had surrounded the old pond as material for a path through the garden.

What we love:

The beauty of the new asparagus bed in its first year, the cucumber vine that climbed 15 feet up a tree and our clients passion for her kitchen garden. The new ‘Eco Lawn’ grows so slowly it only needs mowing once a month. Its roots penetrate deep into the soil, making it more drought tolerant than traditional lawns, and therefore, less resource intensive. Like the one at McNeill, this garden epitomizes the new semi-urban yard: beautiful, functional and responsible.