Posts Tagged ‘New American Garden’

In August 2011, Oehme, van Sweden (OvS) Principal Eric Groft was on site to bring the New American Garden to the shores of Carlin Bay on Lake Coeur d’Alene near Harrison, Idaho. Assisted by Jim Fink of StyleBuilt Construction for grading and hardscape and Aspen Nursery for landscape, the garden was laid out and installed. The hardscape included new decks and verandahs, stone terraces and paths using the local Cabinet Gorge paving stone, re-alignment of the driveway paved with a rainbow gravel, enormous slabs of the Cabinet Gorge stone placed along the shore, and the placement of “basking rocks” for sunbathing. The steep slope is traversed with a new 10% gravel path that will allow gator traffic as well as a Porters Rope to negotiate the steepest slopes from the house to the water’s edge.

The Lake Shore features the remants of enormous Cedar stumps up to 12’ in diameter, as well as a greensward of lawn for passive recreation. A new rustic outdoor shower, boathouse and tent platform are organized around a Cowboy Cauldron for outdoor fires and cooking.

The site is covered with towering Logpole Pine, Spruce and Fir trees. Perennials, grasses, sedges, ferns and ground covers were installed in large swaths to provide a lush backdrop to the rustic garden features as well as sustainable erosion control for the steep slopes that exceed 30% in some areas. In addition to the OvS regulars of Panicum North Wind, Senecio aureus, Pynanthem muticum, Rudbeckia maxima and ‘Herbsonne’, we also used the native Andropogon/Big Blue Grass, Boutelua/Blue Gamma Grass, Bergenia and Mahonia to naturalize the site.

Lake Couer d’Alene, just 30 minutes from Spokane Washington, tranlates in French as ‘Heart of the Owl’ and is an ancient glacial Lake stretching 25 miles and covering 30,000 acres, with a depth that is not documented! Please take a look at OvS in the Rocky Mountians in this remote and enchanting Northern Idaho panhandle location…

Coeur d'Alene landscape

Coeur d'Alene landscape

Cabinet Gorge stones

Coeur d'Alene home

Coeur d'Alene home

Lake Coeur d'Alene

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Detail of Honeysuckle blooming on the vegetable garden fence

On Friday May 4th Eric Groft visited Harrison and Sue Wellford at Kendale Farm on the Rappahannock River in Virginia. It had been several years since Eric had a chance to review the garden and in general the garden and grounds look amazing. Kendale Farm is featured in our new book THE ARTFUL GARDEN: CREATIVE INSPIRATION FOR LANDSCAPE DESIGN. You’ll find a panoramic spread of the farm in Chapter 4: Rhythm & Movement.

Lady Banksia Roses just finish blooming in the cut flower garden


Iris Ceasars Brother blooming in front of summer kitchenCut Garden detail


Sue Wellford standing in front of a glorius stand of PeaoniesCut flower garden framed by old summer kitchen now used as a potting shedFront of Kendale FarmThe fields of barley were simply mesmerizingDetail of Barley

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Revisiting the Fed

August’s stifling heat has some advantages – many plants have been lured by the sun into their full summer exuberance. Oehme, van Sweden staff members spent a recent lunch break basking in the sun ourselves and enjoying lush plantings at the Federal Reserve campus in Washington, DC.

The Federal Reserve was one of OvS’ earliest “big breaks” – our first large government project, designed and planted in the late 1970’s. Bold sweeps of perennials and grasses marked a striking departure from the formal style of the surrounding federal landscapes. Over the decades, Oehme, van Sweden has maintained a close relationship with the Federal Reserve and recently designed improvements for integrated perimeter site security (including custom bronze bollards, raised planters that incorporate benches and walls, pedestrian and vehicular access and circulation, and kiosk locations).

During our lunchtime tour, OvS Principal Eric Groft pointed out ways in which the new design is integrated into the original and how the integrity of the original design (including now mature canopy trees, sweeps of ornamental grasses, and robust perennials) is honored. Eric was joined by OvS Associate Marisa Scalera (who has been involved in the Federal Reserve designs since 2003) and members of the OvS design staff including Christie Ciabotti, Lisa Cutshaw, John Knowlton, Nick Ries, and Liz Stetson.

See our website for photos of our work at the Federal Reserve.

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A Visit to the Gund Partnership

Earlier this week, Eric Groft traveled to Boston, Massachussetts to meet with Graham Gund and the Gund Partnership architectural team. Gund Partnership is a nationally recognized architecture and planning firm working with leading institutions across the country to design transformative buildings. Since the firm’s founding in 1971, Gund Partnership has earned more than 100 national and regional awards for design excellence.

The purpose of Eric’s visit to Gund Partnership was to present three schemes for the corporate campus of the Services Credit Union in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. One scheme was preferred and will be developed to be presented later in August to the client.

As part of his visit to Gund Partnership, Eric was invited for a meet and greet with the firm’s marketing team and others on staff to familiarize them with the work of Oehme van Sweden and the philosophy behind our New American Garden style.

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Welcome to the Oehme, van Sweden blog!

Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Oehme, van Sweden & Associates blog. Founded in 1977 by Principals Wolfgang Oehme and James van Sweden, both fellows of the American Society of Landscape Architects, Oehme, van Sweden is widely known for our artistic design solutions that balance sustainable practices with concerns about life-cycle costs and maintenance. Our deep appreciation of nature and consistent focus on horticulture are the inspirations behind our “New American Garden” style of landscape architecture, which is based on the year-round qualities of the natural environment.

Today, Oehme, van Sweden’s twelve professional landscape architects create outdoor environments that honor the legacy of our founders while breaking new ground in the field of landscape architecture. Through our blog, we look forward to sharing our inspirations, exploring new developments in the field of landscape architecture, and keeping you abreast of our latest news.

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