I thought I'd put this on a separate thread so I wouldn't feel too guilty about putting too much stuff - if you're not interested, skip this thread! :- )
I submitted the assignment at noon today. I'm sure there's lots wrong with it because everytime I look at it I notice something I should have added or changed! But it's time to move on and focus on other priorities so I said 'to --ll with it' and submitted it as it is.
Don't bother trying to read the small labels - they largely refer to a plant list that is a separate document. The overall plan:
The isometric elevation, rotated the 'proper' 30 degrees. Note that the house is drawn 'transparent' at the teacher's request so all sides of the garden show. The back corner got cut off as, rotated, the drawing no longer fits on the paper size:
(The teacher and I argued to a standstill over the isometric issue. She said she can understand why I found the unrotated one I submitted for Assignment B useful but that she is required to teach - and grade based on - the industry standard rotated view. 12 out of the 30 marks available for assignment B were for the elevation. The teacher only gave me 6 on the elevation part but 100% on the rest so my assignment B mark came out as 24/30 or 80% - so I think she was trying not to penalize me while still staying on-side to her teaching requirements! I agreed to do the rotated view for this assignment but I maintain is is uneccessary work as the unrotated view is perfectly adequate to give a reasonable 3-D feel for the design and probably only takes 10% of the effort required to do the rotated view! And there are examples in the text of non-rotated elevations.... I will use the non-rotated approach when I'm playing with the changes for my garden.)
Here is the general explanatory text that goes with the plan:
My client wanted a fairly simple and lower maintenance garden, with the main activities planned for the garden being dining, sunbathing and, at some future point, play space for grandchildren. The plan is, therefore, quite simple with clean lines and as much open space as possible with colorful, scented plantings to add interest.
The plan includes re-grading the backyard to a 2% slope to eliminate the step down at the back and make for a continuous surface from the dining patio to the lawn area so both the patio and the lawn can be used for sunbathing and play surfaces with no impediments of steps or level changes. The main hard surface material is exposed aggregate concrete (or client could easily substitute plain poured concrete which would probably cost a small amount less) The concrete was chosen because it is low cost, low maintenance, less prone to frost heave, long-lasting, and visually simple so it wonÂt add Âbusy-nessÂ of pattern when, in the future, there may be a clutter of child toys, and in the meantime, provide a neutral background that allows the display of color from the plantings to have center stage. Utility paths (to the clothes-dryer and along the garage) are narrower to emphasize their secondary status and of inexpensive concrete slabs (client could choose to substitute and use the exposed aggregate for a somewhat higher cost.)
The fences are mainly Âsee-throughÂ (a preference expressed by the client) black aluminum with a plain wood one on the south side where the neighbours have a pool. That one is stained Pewter Gray to fade into the background, provide a foil for the lilac thicket and the blue-toned juniper hedge along the path by the garage. On the north side, the style chosen has closer-spaced pickets which will provide greater screening (in combination with the vines on the fence) of the neighboursÂ unattractive garden. The west fence between the garden and the nature preserve has more open spacing of the pickets to allow the view of the nature preserve to flow into the backyard. The fence also has vines to provide some screening from people who may be passing by in the nature preserve. A lockable gate in the fence provides access to the preserve while maintaining security.
Scent, color and edible things are important elements of the garden. There are two pear trees (the clientÂs preferred fruit tree) as two varieties are needed for optimal pollination and fruiting. The trees are underplanted with low, flowering groundcover to allow for easy access to harvest the fruit and clean up windfalls. An underplanting of spring bulbs adds further color and the orange-scented thyme under the front garden pear adds scent opportunities from spring to fall. The groundcover of alpine strawberries along the back fence provides all-summer fruiting for snacking while the honeysuckle on the fence provides summer color and scent. The small vegetable garden is stocked with the clientÂs expressed preference for tomatoes, peppers and onions. The iron tuteur in it provides support for the indeterminate (vining) cherry tomatoes and also a year-round focal point for the view from the family room sliding door. A ÂThe PresidentÂ clematis is planted on the back fence, aligned with the tuteur, to enhance the focal point with a color splash in early summer. A lilac thicket is planted along the south fence beside the patio to provide a generous source of the clientÂs favorite scent. ÂPolish SpiritÂ clematis is planted with the lilacs to climb into the lilacs and add extend the bloom season. ÂSweet AutumnÂ clematis on the north fence adds late summer color and scent and adds to the screening and earlier fragrance of the honeysuckle vines. It the front garden narcissi and lilies underplanted in the driveway borders adds early and late scent. Mockorange and summersweet add summer and late summer scent in various places. Blue and white predominate in the colors (clientÂs expressed preference).
While I learned some interesting and useful things in the course, on the whole it was not what I was hoping for. I was looking for something where discussion of design at a more conceptual level would be the bulk of the course, perhaps with 'what's wrong with this picture?' type analysis to illustrate/reinforce the design principles. Instead, this course was largely about how to do the drawings. (The isometric drawing was not a part of the course as such. I just refused to do the depthless type so taught myself - by reading one of the recommended texts -how to do the isometric approach. I'm sure I drove the teacher crazy!) The design concept stuff was there but it was largely a self-study thing plus feedback from the teacher on how well you incorporated the elements into the plan. But, since there was only one property planned (thank goodness, given the amount of work involved!), the exposure to different situations and solutions was minimal.
I'm not sure if I'll take any more courses in the program. It might be fun to try the CAD one where you get to play with professional software (on a limited-time student license from the software company...) I wouldn't take any course during prime garden season though so I'll have to see when it is scheduled for. And who knows if I'll be wanting do do anything like this come fall or winter....