Washington DC Landscape Design
  Conservation landscapes
  Chesapeake Bay Grant Project
  A Rainscape Landscape
  Entance Terraces and Backyard Patios
  Woodland Retreat
  Native Plants
DC Landscape Design | Sustainable Landscape & Garden Rainscapes Conservation Landscapes

A Rainscapes Landscape

The shady front yard with its grassy drainage ditch was a perfect opportunity to incorporate ecological gardening techniques. I did not replace any soil, and planted mostly shade plants that could survive periodic inundations of rainfall and drought. In the rear yard I also built a "bioswale" which contains runoff that once caused unsightly erosion. There is now a back patio and beautiful garden in its place.

Project images can be found in the Rainscapes Gallery

A Backyard Native Plant Sanctuary

In this garden I used conservation landscaping to capture and soak up rainfall to prevent pooling in low areas where runoff can't escape. This method is less expensive to install than a rain garden. This landscape was designed to be aesthetically pleasing and is also carefully engineered to spread rainfall to planting beds. Additionally, twenty-five native plant species provide color and texture all year and are tough enough to sustain periods of wet and drought. The owners received a $2,500 rebate from the Montgomery County Rainscapes Program for the conservation landscaping.

Project images can be found in the Rainscapes Gallery

A Welcoming Entrance Terrace

The homeowners needed a new entrance to replace crumbling steps and overgrown landscaping. They sought to make the most of their entire front yard since their rear yard was primarily a steep forested slope. The entrance terrace was designed to accommodate a table and chairs, as well as additional lounge chairs. Careful attention to detail in stone materials and patterns enrich the design of this multi-level terrace. This detailing further works to differentiate the new front walk and steps from the connecting terrace. Seat walls enclose the terrace to create a cozy, intimate garden room that is also large enough to host parties. The structure of the walls additionally create space for the homeowner’s collection of potted plants and artwork.

Project images can be found in the Patios and Stonework Gallery


A Woodland Oasis for Meditation

The community of Sandy Spring Friends School in Olney, Maryland sought to memorialize a recently deceased member with a Meditation Garden. In designing this project, I used Buddhist principles such as a gate through which one enters this sacred space of secluded areas for individual meditation and reflection. This design incorporates other program elements requested by the school community and the family of the deceased -- a sun Mandela, stones with inspirational quotes, and decorative tiles designed by students.  These elements were as carefully crafted using different natural stone materials and entrance piers made of stacked boulders with a rebar drilled through them.

Project images can be found in the Woodland Retreats Gallery

Sloped Rainscape Garden

These homeowners had built an extensive addition into their sloped property, close to their neighbor’s property line.  They needed access from the front yard to the back on this steep and narrow slope, scoured by intense runoff that pooled at the bottom of the slope. Extensive tree roots ruled the heavy rain garden, so another solution had to be employed.  We created “rainwater reservoirs” with natural river stones nestled among the water-loving and deer resistant native plants.  These shallow dry wells capture and absorb runoff, and the boulders add structure and interest to the slope garden, especially in winter. The owners received a $2,500 rebate from the Montgomery County Rainscapes Program for the conservation landscaping.

Project images can be found in the Rainscapes Gallery

An Educational Project on Storm Water Management

This project was developed to demonstrate how homeowners with storm water issues can use Rainscapes techniques to capture and absorb runoff. Working with the Carderock Springs Citizens Association in Bethesda, Maryland I wrote and received grant funding from the Chesapeake Bay Trust for the design and installation of a project for one neighborhood property with complex runoff issues. This project is one piece of a proposed “treatment train” to capture and absorb excessive runoff on the property. The design was developed as an attractive, cost-effective, and accessible solution to control runoff down a sloping rear yard resulting in substantial flooding of the front yard. The property is situated at a low point in the hilly neighborhood street, and receives substantial runoff from all sides. Low “check dams” act as speed bumps to slow the runoff, which is then absorbed by the water-loving native plants.