Project Description

Bird Haven Garden Design

This homeowner found a new hobby of photography and bird watching. She would enjoy watching and photographing birds at the feeder and it dawned on her to transform, not only her backyard but the entire property into a bird haven.

The other concerns that spurred this transformation were the realization of the cost and environmental impact of maintaining a typical suburban property. The homeowner was tired of the routine of mowing a lawn with no real benefit to the ecology of her property. The biggest challenge was the removal of the existing landscape and delivery of the plants and path materials. Access along the sides of the house and alley was limited through a 4 ft. wide gate. Removals were all done by hand or by small power equipment. Staging of the removals and deliveries had to be scheduled during certain times of the day so that the crews would not obstruct access of the alley or street. We encourage the participation of any homeowner in the planning of the landscape installation, but as the project shifts into the actual installation phase, most of the homeowner’s involvement becomes more observation than participation. But this homeowner wanted to be involved with choosing the plants and the installation of them as well.

The project would be phased over a period of one year to allow the homeowner to collaborate her research of favorite plant material as well as get comfortable with the outdoor spaces as they evolved. Laying out the proposed paths and planting beds with lath stakes and small flags helped the homeowner visualize the size and scale of the garden.

Over the years the homeowner never paid attention to the rainwater from the adjacent properties draining into her yard because the overgrown plant material concealing that issue. As the invasive plant material was removed, and after a heavy downpour of rain, the issue presented itself. There was no other place to channel the water since the site was the lowest elevation. So, after consulting with the homeowner a rain garden was created which end up enhancing the garden even more.