Look here bahia...

yardvaarkMarch 8, 2012

Bahia, I barely ever can capture an image... and especially after things are grown in (like you seem to have an endless supply of!) Here's a sampling and I confess, there's photo-tweaking done to some of them. Photos often taken before work finished.

"Before" - because of dark shade you can't see but has conc. stoop on l. side. (Isn't this a strange looking house?)...with one of everything at front! The slope to street is deceiving; there's more of it than appears.

"rose" on trellis painted (admittedly not very good!) Cupola and porches my adds. Front is parking court.

To give you an approximation of how things laid out.

Today, I would do away with annuals planted in front of "bay" of wall. Porch rafters are 3" nominal thickness lumber. Cedar timber brackets are curved which you can probably see better in other picture.

Panorama of 3 photos (steps don't really bend!) everything square & straight. Liriope bloom is painted; grass is photoshopped. Intent of tree forms is perfect domes (no haircut yet.) Trunks are painted metallic gold & uplit (110v); hedge is Osmanthus.

Sadly, the grass not there for photo so is "Shopped" (not by me; I don't know how to do that.) While the columns were there, they were only half painted so from black stripe down is Photoshopped. Is 1st year Asparagus at top. Has irrigation, uplight... are green "clouds" at night. (Will be Atlanta palm tree!) Note tip of buried stone obelisk in background...talk about re-purposed!... what to do with the trash rubble pile. (Lawn would have continued wrapping house. All beyond was mulch in various stages of becoming ivy.)

Columns after painting. (No planning. Just free-hand whim.) ... a little over 9' ht. Mirror image pair. Bell is metallic gold. (obviously, not the typical client... or the typical community!)

Spring bloom. Driveway not in yet so is "painted"; also power lines painted out. The "lawn" is Dianthus... a little much for a couple of weeks, but as a friend of mine always used to say, "Anything worth doing is worth overdoing!" In other shots "stone" is genuine, but here is painted. Bowl is 5'd.

Looking down the street. Originally, there was a sourwood in the bowl. Beyond Susans is only big trees (not being killed by e. ivy!)

An early project. grass not in at time of photo, so painted. "Before" below.

By yardvaark at 2012-03-08

Aerial shot of central part of small campus. I outlined shaded parts of walkways so you could see better. Also included lighting, furniture, plantings. : ( I see a couple trees have died.

Big surprise... flowers are "painted"! Trees are Zelkovas so will form giant gothic arch. Lawn is used for outdoor ceremonies. Wish I had access to "before" pictures so you could see. All sidewalks were 4' wide utility concrete. They shot straight in all manner of angles like an airport runway system. All lighting was farm mercury vapor lamps on galvanized plumbing pipe!

Walkway view

Over the years I've wondered how to describe my style. I see it as neither "formal" nor "informal". Could never come up with what to call it. But looking here today, I think it has a "funeral home" feel and quality about it. I don't mean that in a morbid sense. Don't know what to think about that! There must be a better term.

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That first house made so much more sense when you were finished with it - well done!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 5:47PM
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"Funeral home" feel? Not sure what that means? can you explain?

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 6:56PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Solemn? Doesn't apply to the house (love those pillars!), but to the public space.

Karin L

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 7:23PM
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No, not solemn. Maybe a bit stage set and without clutter.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 11:37PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

Those columns are wild, what was the inspiration for the painting style? I must admit that the amount of landscape details that were "painted" makes me a bit dizzy,too bad you can't get back and reshoot photos as the garden designs are fully completed and more mature. I can see the tie-in with typical funeral home landscape style, but I'd suggest you rethink that sort of self-labeling even in jest; I don't think that would be an incentive sort of style label for potential clients.

Getting good photos of completed gardens does take some time and effort. I generally forgo the initial photos of in-progress work or just completed myself, but try to get photos at 6 months out and beyond. There is one project I worked on that I wish I had taken more pictures of; the 8 acres of palace landscaping in Saudi Arabia for a Saudi prince. Part of the gardens were an exact replica of the Alhambra palace and courtyards. Personal photography was prohibited so any photos taken had to be discretely taken, and it was before I started shooting digital. Someday I'll get around to scanning my backlog of 35mm slides which date to the overseas work I did in the 1980's and 1990's.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 11:02AM
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The house makes so much more sense after. In the before picture, I would almost think it was a power substation or some other utility building.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 12:37PM
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"the amount of landscape details that were "painted" makes me a bit dizzy..." Nothing done to change design, just complete grass & grow a little bloom. Inspiration for column painting my affection for tribal art.

Scanning backlog of slides... now there's a project I could procrastinate on for some time!

@ tanowicki... I thought that house looked like a little apartment bldg. or Baptist church without steeple.

@ Karin... I'm not sure if "... but to the public space." is a question.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 1:59PM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

Love the columns, very Egyptian revival looking.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 2:15PM
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You do love the multi-branched shrubby trees. I was driving yesterday and saw a very wide one and thought to take a picture for you but it was the highway and getting dark. The "trunk" was probably 10 ft in diameter and had tens of trunks. Kind of hard to say for certain.

I also love the columns. Perhaps I could work one into my yard and have it be my little folly.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 2:43PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

Did I understand correctly that you also painted the trunks of those Lagerstroemia gold? Something that would seem to visually conflict with the attractive bark the tree is known for, and not very long lasting since the bark sheds every year; or did I misunderstand?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 4:51PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

I know a good word... stately? That works for the campus layout.
No, my previous post wasn't a question, just an observation.

I don't see painted trunks though...

Karin L

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 1:21AM
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Not my cup of tea, which only tells us just how fickle taste is. The little house went from austere to busy just like that which makes an odd juxtaposition with the campus grounds that yard considers funereal, I assume from that, busy is the preference.

On a totally frivolous note I bet you are a leg man judging by your penchant for limbed up gold painted shrubs.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 5:21PM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

I appreciate the newly painted front door with the shed roof, side bracing and painted wood veneer side panels. It's a nice juxtaposition to the brick facade.
I find it unsettling to my eye to view the planting with the photoshopped imaging added. It throws my mind's eye balance off.

Having attended a campus that had crisscrossing walk ways thru-out the commons I can understand how well those 'spokes of a wheel' walkways work functionally but from an aesthetic overhead perspective view a nice simple wide grid looks so much more appealing and gracious. Like the new sidewalk width and clean lines that align with the architecture.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 6:54PM
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Catkim... Thank you. It was impossible to stand facing the pair of them and not feel livened up in a positive way. I think with completely different paint jobs or finishes (mosaic tile for instance) they could work in other settings.

Tanowicki, Thank you, too, about columns. (They are cheap except for the moving them into place. However, now I believe I know how this could be done manually.)

Yes, I do love the tree form shrubs because they can transform the otherwise blank wall into something as interesting as the plants that can be found. (If you recall from an earlier thread I can't hardly stand the tangled twist of trunks or beat up trunks which is how most of them are.)

Bahia, those not Crapes, they're burning bush. The gold painting was experimental and not a success in my book. They looked OK at night, but not enough difference for the effort.

Karin, "stately" ...hmmm. Leave it to you for words better than what I said. I couldn't find the word. My thought about the gold painted trunks was that there just wasn't enough mass there to make a difference. It read as beige unless bright light directly on it. (I'm itching to do a palm tree though!)

Ink, I do not consider the yard "funereal." If I could take back a word, I wish I hadn't added that last minute thinking-out-loud comment. It came across in a way that was not intended or what I meant. The picture that was in MY mind as I thought it was an old school funeral home...that actually looked homey, though mansionesque or stately old homes (as they used to be.) Truthfully, as I thought the comment, I was really thinking about the interior decor, not the landscaping. Not commercial, still "homey", but in a very elegant, expensive looking way with above-average furnishings, appointments and lighting.

"from austere to busy just like that..." Hmmm... ?... though the house was austere to begin with, the plantings in front of it were 7 individual shrubs with no repetition. I might not understand your comment or definition of "busy."

DD, "I find it unsettling to my eye to view the planting with the photoshopped imaging added." I guess you're talking about the grass? If it was supposed to be something else, but grass was photoshopped in its place, I could see an issue with that. But since it's supposed to be grass, looks like grass and the disclosure was made, It doesn't mislead. I think it would be disconcerting to see dirt when grass is supposed to be there. I'm trying to show the product of my thinking. Not the product of my incomplete thinking.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 9:43PM
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The original planting is more or less what is planted up against the foundations of way too many hoses in these parts but I didn't mean that particularly when I said 'austere'. I meant the general ambiance of a windowless facade with a stretch of grass in front of it.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 2:12PM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

No , not just the grass , several of the other photos have some computer added painter-ness such as roses on the trellis, lirope, columns, ect... that gives the images a manipulated / computer augmented look .
My eye, (others may not have the problem) reads the images as manipulated thus a sense of unbalance occurs.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 5:06PM
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There is certainly no obsession or clutter here.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 8:34PM
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Project 1: I like the improvements on the door, hardscape materials, groundcover plants, the column is fun.. but sorry to say, the thing I like least are your "signature" multi-stemmed trees when planted so close to the wall (they'd be OK with room to walk around them)... and maybe I'd have kept the foundation beds rectangular.
What was the campus like before?

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 7:17AM
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@ timbu... "...I like least are your "signature" multi-stemmed trees when planted so close to the wall..."

What guides your thought process? Would you think about it differently if those ornaments were something other than plants? (Not saying you must.)

Before, the campus was a collection of beautiful buildings set in an industrial style landscape. Many narrow concrete sidewalks (less than 4' width) ran arrow straight, criss-crossing one another in a hodge-podge that looked like a miniature airport runway system. There had been no consideration whatsoever other than getting from point A to point B. In a couple of instances they were elevated with multiple culverts below to allow for drainage. Very ugly. All the lighting was mercury vapor farm style lamps on galvanized genuine plumbing pipe. While there were a few existing trees there wasn't much in the way of plant groupings. It was mostly scattered individuals. Eventually, the two rows of Zelkovas will form a cathedral-like arch over the main quad... but that's a long way off.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 9:15AM
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Trying to put a gut feeling into words isn't always easy... but the main thing is probably this: the outer contour of trees follows the contour of the house too perfectly, and thus obscures the shape of the house more than I'd like. In which case, it doesn't matter if we have a tree or another object placed there since it's all about abstract form.
Secondary gut feelings might include something like:
...I associate that shape of tree with "savannah" type landscape - vast, open, rolling plains with wide-canopied trees here and there, casting patches of shadow underneath... so seeing them pressed to the wall is equivalent to seeing a wild animal in a cage (OK getting way too poetic now)
To sum up - same shape, but either bigger and more distant, or vice versa, much smaller and in pots, would be more to my taste. And taste, of course, is personal.
That's the best I can do - hope it made sense.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 7:07AM
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