Backyard Habitat Certification Program now in Gresham and Fairview

by Ben Bowen

The Backyard Habitat program is growing!

This is good news for all the animals we share our neighborhoods with.

The program is already in Portland and Lake Oswego. I see the little "Backyard Habitat" signs all over my neighborhood in NE PDX. It's not surprising to see this great initiative growing.

Now Gresham and Fairview landscapes can be certified too.

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Our Favorite Things: Bluestone

by Ben Bowen

Here at Ross NW Watergardens we love stone. Mica slate, river rock, Mexican pebbles, gravel, decomposed granite, basalt... and probably some other ones I am forgetting. 

Bluestone, however, has a special place in our hearts.

We don't use it the most often and it's not right for every landscape design client. But when we do utilize bluestone it's fantastic.

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Restoring A West Linn Japanese Garden

by Ben Bowen

I am sure it was a beautiful garden at one time. But over the years it had really suffered. Plants had been sheared into balls. The water feature had been taken apart and put back together badly. Random plants had sprouted in odd places. Trees had been mangled by storms.

Could this mature landscape be saved? Perhaps even be restored to something better? Check out the first batch of pictures from phase 1 of this large renovation!

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ASLA Publishes "The Landscape Architect's Guide To Portland, OR"

by Ben Bowen

Portland is a town full of wonderful outdoor spaces- and Landscape Architects have played a major role in that.

Apparently it's not just Portlanders who recognize this. The American Society of Landscape Architects has published an interactive guide to the city of Portland. It's well done and a nice recognition of what our outdoor spaces have to offer.

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Kid Friendly Landscape Design

by Ben Bowen

"Kid friendly landscaping" is a landscape design style or attitude that your family will love.

During the summer, when Portland's weather is sublime, your kids will want to be out in the yard exploring and enjoying. A landscape can be both kid friendly and beautiful- really, it can!

What are key elements of kid friendly landscapes?

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The Advantages of Design / Build Landscaping

by Ben Bowen

Ross NW Watergardens is a design/build landscape firm. What does that mean? We create the design and then install the landscape based on that design.

There are some definite advantages to this model for our clients. Like what? Here are three good reasons to hire a design/build landscaper:

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Rain Gardens: Depressions For A Happy Garden

by Ben Bowen

Rain hits your roof, driveway, and patios. All that rain that should be nourishing plants and replenishing groundwater supplies. But since it has picked up oil, chemicals, and debris so it has to be treated like waste. What a shame, right?

Happily, there is a way to mitigate the damaging effects of all those impervious surfaces. Rain gardens to the rescue!

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SW Portland Japanese Garden

by Ben Bowen

This garden, in SW Portland, is a beautiful example of small garden design. I wish I could say that I had designed it- but the designer is Mike Ellena of Ellena Gardens.

This narrow courtyard now houses a Japanese garden. And while it has many elements, it does not seem busy- a product of great design and a skillful installation.

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