A Word About Landscape Architecture and Garden Design

Posts tagged ‘Valerie Easton’

“Growing Gracefully” – A Brooks Kolb North Capitol Hill Garden Featured in “Pacific NW” Magazine

The Entry Gates – all photos by Seattle Times Photographer, Mike Siegel

Seattle Landscape Architect Brooks Kolb was once again featured in the Seattle Times’ “Pacific NW” Magazine on September 7, 2014, in an article by the noted Times garden writer, Valerie Easton. Titled “Growing Gracefully, A Redesign mixes the best of old and new,” the column lead with the following paragraphs:

“It’s not often a landscape architect gets another shot at a garden he designed years ago. But when horticulturist Sue Nicol was hired to come up with a fresh plant palette for an aging Capitol Hill garden, she asked Brooks Kolb to collaborate with her on the project. And it turns out that Kolb, along with his partner, Bill Talley, had renovated the garden in 1997 for an earlier owner.” ….New owners Don and Marty Sands “remodeled the (1932 brick Tudor) inside and out, then turned their attention to updating the garden. The couple appreciated the dramatic entry gates, as well as the matuing Japanese maples, Korean dogwoods and Hinoki cypress from the earlier renovation. Marty loves how the garden wraps around the house ‘like a little haven.’ And she calls the majestic copper beech that dominates the scene ‘a Grandfather tree.’”

Since the house is located on the corner of a curving street near Interlaken Boulevard, Brooks loved the original opportunity to remove a scruffy lawn, replacing it with a path that curves parallel to the road, connecting several distinct garden rooms along the way.

Mike Siegel 9-7-14.6  Mike Siegel 9-7-14.7

All photos by Seattle Times Photographer, Mike Siegel:  The House and Rockery from the Street; the Entry Gates

Mike Siegel 9-7-14.5Mike Siegel 9-7-14.4

The Birdbath with Japanese Forest Grass; Owners Marty and Don Sands

Olson ftnMike Siegel 9-7-14.8

The Fountain in 1997; The Fountain Today, with its Lily Bud Jet

Inteviewing Brooks, Valerie asked, “What was it like for Kolb to re-imagine a garden he designed long ago? ‘It’s a wonderful chance to come back in and retool a garden,’ he says. He planted a necklace of new daphnes around the old fountain and left alone the huge white wisteria growing on the hefty arbor at the side of the house.”

Brooks also relished the opportunity to work collaboratively with Sue Nicol, whose contributions to the jointly designed planting plan included the “intensely fragrant” Daphne bholua and ‘Korean Apricot’ chrysanthemums, among many other selections. Brooks has collaborated with Sue for her horticultural and arborist expertise on a number of Seattle area garden designs.


Transforming Volunteer Park’s Reservoir

The future of Volunteer Park’s reservoir as a reflecting pond looks bright.  As mentioned in past blog posts, City officials will reach a decision in the next few years about whether to “lid” the reservoir or decommission it.  Either way, this significant water basin will look better than in the past, because Volunteer Park’s new status as a Seattle landmark means that changes to the reservoir will have to be consistent with its historic value as a reflecting pond viewed from the plaza in front of the Asian Art Museum.  The unsightly chain link fences keeping people out can come down and a wading pool or reflecting pond can be installed, filling the basin to the brim.  This exciting turn of events was reported in Valerie Easton’s column, “The Natural Gardener,” in the September 29, 2013 edition of the Seattle Times’ “Pacific NW” magazine.  The article featured Seattle Landscape Architect Brooks Kolb’s sketch rendering of the reservoir re-conceived as a model boating basin.  Already several local model boat racing clubs have expressed enthusiasm at the idea!

Improvements to the reservoir in the offing also underscore the opportunity to re-create the “Sunset Promenade” envisioned by the park’s original  landscape architects, The Olmsted Brothers.  As Doug Bayley, chair of the Volunteer Park Trust put it in the “Pacific NW” article, “We want to create a promenade where people could stroll and watch the sun go down over the city and the water.”  And as Valerie Easton concluded, “That sweeping westward view now incoludes the Space Needle, a sight never imagined when the Olmsted Brothers designed the venerable park.”

Volunteer park sketch low res