Flat wall, Small Space

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by White Gardens, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,783

    Got a possible opportunity to do a landscape on a commercial property.

    Basically the building is a blank canvas, white in color.

    I only have about 5 feet from the wall to the property line. What I was possibly thinking is doing some sort of Wall Espalier. Or possibly trellises of sorts that will keep itself on or close to the building.

    Or, if anyone else has any other suggestions (*caugh* hmmm, AGLA) on any other plant that might work in this situation, that would be great.

    I'll play around with some ideas in the meantime and post some photos.

    Thanks,

    Nick


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  2. SDLandscapes VT

    SDLandscapes VT LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 582

    what exposure is the wall and what material is the wall?
     
  3. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,740

    The first questions that come to mind have to do with what activities need to take place in this 5'. Do you need access to doors or through the space? Is it the front side or rear of the building? Is it highly visible and important to "dress up"? Are there windows (views [good or bad]out, views in, potential burgular access)? Is the building nice to look at or should it be screened? Building height is going to affect the design in a big way. You probably processed all of that on your own so quickly that you did not realize that you had done it simply from being on the site - designer's often think that they "feel" the design, but trust me on this - it is done through reasoning whether they know it or not.

    These questions should go toward figuring out what the functions of the landscape on that side of the building should be. Once you have a sense of that, think of what form that should take, then follow that with what the limitations are in choosing your materials especially plants (ie, sun exposure, water conditions, compaction, maintenance to building and for plants,...). My guess is that you are already to this point because I know you are an experienced designer.

    Is there a fence on the property line?

    I'm going to guess that you have done all of this and are now looking to green up the limited space to dress up the building that is seen from off the property. I like the espalier idea because it gives you height and width that you can't get from a three dimensional plant in that space. You might want to work some columnar trees close to the property line to add some depth (if you are able to maintain them to stay narrow). Another way to add interest is to not put anything in front of the espaliers so the planting is plat up against the buildings, then use shrubs to bring the planting out in other areas so that it does not look like you simply filled the space with vegetation. The building is most likely the most important thing that your planting is affecting in such a space - it is less about getting pretty plants and more about affecting the look of the building whether it is mitigating height or enhancing an entrance, or covering up some ugly.
     
  4. I'd do vine or espalier. Espalier is more unique and would prob draw more attention. If you do a vine, use stainless steel wire and tap cons. A trellis is an eyesore IMO.
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  5. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,783

    Thanks for the input so far.

    On Monday I'm going in to see exactly what the lot lines are on the Blueprints to at least guesstimate where it's at. As far as I can tell, it's only about 5 feet from the building, maybe 8.

    Here's the pics. One of the biggest problems is that the ditch along side the building is for drainage purposes. I don't want to be doing too much that will impeded the water flow in heavy rains.

    Across the 4 lane road is a semi-upscale restaurant. The idea is to visually dress the place up from that perspective.

    And keep in mind, I took these pics last spring. The place is fried right now turf wise and looks like straw.

    As for attaching anything to the building, I don't think that's going to fly.

    Marken1.jpg

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    Marken4.jpg

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  6. SDLandscapes VT

    SDLandscapes VT LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 582

    what about a nice dry creek bed in the drainage swale--functional and lower maintenance--then build the planting across-through the dry creek bed to add depth and visual appeal to the high end restaurant. The plus side of this sale would be no/less irrigation required and much more drought tolerant than the existing turf--much preferable to what is going on now. the problem I run into is espalier and columnar plants are very formal in nature and the dry creek bed is informal
     
  7. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,783

    Thought about it, but the berm on the State/City right away basically would block the view of the creek bed.

    That and the elevation of the restaurant across the way is lower than the road, so it probably wouldn't be viable at all.

    That's why I'm thinking up and tight. Might have to search around for some columnar plants on-line too to see what I could put against the building.

    I might have to go have lunch at the restaurant also to get a perspective from that angle.

    I might try to talk to the city also and see if they'll put a small tree in there somewhere to help hide that hideous pole.....

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  8. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,783

    So here's what I got.

    I have about 10 ft. to play with for depth of the bed.

    Personally this design is driving me nuts. I feel this first image is too busy.

    WilliamMRK(2).jpg

    WilliamMRK(2).jpg
     
  9. TaylorCustomScapes

    TaylorCustomScapes LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    I hope you can get the city to put the tree in there, helped a lot.
    The only constructive criticism I have to offer is the following; the first things I looked at was the tree, and the Rhododendron. Then my eyes moved to the junipers, and kind of stopped. I looked over the rest of the landscape, but it didn't seem to move well. You have quite the challenging property in my opinion sir. I don't know what to do, but I thought maybe I could let you know what I saw.
     
  10. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,783

    Thanks for the input, I much appreciate it.

    I plan on playing with the design and changing things up.

    Right now, at the minimum I might move the Rhodo's and Azaleas to the left under the sign on the building.

    That are put in some purple sand cherry's down there on the end.

    As for the tree, I can submit a request to the city to put a tree in there at the property owners expense. The only thing that stinks is that it then becomes the property of the city.

    The Japanese Lilac Tree is the only one on the list of approved trees that might be small enough to work. What I don't want to happen is the tree to eventually interfere with the pole and the road.

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