This new home and garden in rural Oregon lies in a clearing surrounded by Douglas fir forest. The home combines modern aesthetics with ecological ideals, elements which extend into the surrounding garden. At the entry to the house, the structure of the planting reinforces the bold geometry of the circular driveway court of gravel, stone, and concrete. Steep slopes above the house are protected from erosion by swaths of native shrubs.
The focal point of the back garden is a wildflower meadow cradled by timber retaining walls scattered like twigs. Drought-tolerant native and exotic shrubs, flowers, grasses, and groundcovers, as well as a small plot of vegetables, spill over the walls. A unique landscape element is the garden swale, which is both a stormwater management tool and a beautiful ephemeral water feature. For much of the year it is a dry, pebbly stream bed, but during storms it comes to life as it carries rainwater through the garden.