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Designer Places Studio Garage for Perfect Property Flow

My clients had a large property that had been a historic dairy.  They already had the fabulous old craftsman house that they had lovingly restored.  I was hired to create a landscape design.  They needed a detached garage for cars, extra parking and a studio for Hudson’s photography business.

Clients needed a garage studio placed for best use of property and curb appeal

Clients needed a garage studio placed for best use of property and curb appeal

They had a design for the studio/garage and thought they had the perfect placement.   I quickly realized the placement of the garage was all wrong as it would have the patio, outdoor dining and entertaining area looking directly at parked cars when they had guests.  After establishing my credibility, I told them I could make it so much better and that we needed to think about the property as a whole in order to place the garage to its best advantage. They were surprised and then grateful.  As we got into the design process, we discovered the right location for the garage meant changes to their original garage design.  It was the right thing to do.

New location alters the design of the garage

New location of the garage/studio.


No matter how much I love plants, landscape and garden design, design is all about how you move through the property…. and that includes cars. When I’m having dinner with my friends outside, I don’t want to look at parked cars. They had a large property but we needed clever use of the usable space.


My design: I turned the garage so that while on the back porch of the grand old house or down in the woodland patio, what we saw was the inviting studio entrance complete with its own small porch and softening summer interest plantings.  We did not see the garage doors.

Soft plantings soften studio porch entry.

Soft plantings soften studio porch

The garage was turned so the cars would enter on the 45° angle. This also created more room for lawn and plantings on their property.  I used screening plants to hide guest’s parked cars.  Driving into the property we saw the attractive facade of the garage with overhead arbor. Because the garage is angled, the doors are not the most powerful visual you see as you drive up.  This greatly enhances curb appeal.

When they were working with their architect, they didn’t know the questions to ask that might have led them to the same placement I selected. While they thought they were hiring me just to create the garden, they were very pleased that I took on the task of designing for the whole property.

We created wonderful plantings for the new woodland patio garden and foundation plantings for both the house and the garage. This is one of my happiest designs because I was able to make the property work so much better. 

Henry before garage studio

“The landscape design is perfect for the property. There was a lot more to placing the garage that we didn’t realize until Carol pointed it out.”

After Landscape Design in a Day

With the new placement of garage and studio, there is room for a fire pit patio, and a real patch of lawn. Photo by Hudson Henry

“The landscape design is perfect for the property. There was a lot more to placing the garage that we didn’t realize until Carol pointed it out.”

Inspiring landscape shows for 2015

It’s easy to organize getting inspired and waking up your inner greenie by going to the spring home and garden shows. There are many summer garden tours but only one where every garden is professionally designed.

The biggest show in Seattle is the Northwest Flower and Garden Show.NWFGS_2012_horizontal_r  Some of my clients and my garden obsessed  sister will be getting hotel rooms and making a weekend out of it as they do every year.  It’s hard to say what is the best feature of this show but for me it is the highly entertaining and informative seminars and hands on demonstrations.  Our green world has its share of rock stars and some of them are hilarious and in their best form.  It’s basically stand up comedy with a screen backdrop of fabulous “over the top” gardens and lush plants.  And yes you can learn a lot as well if you are interested in gardening no matter your level of experience.

Portland Home and Garden Show

Show Garden uses recycled wood as part of the hardscape brilliantly.

Back home in Portland, I won’t be setting up my own booth this year.  Come and see me at the Portland Home and Garden Show, February 19th through the 22nd. I will be in The Showcase Gardens in the ANLD display garden.  Last year out moonlight garden won first prize.  In addition to the usual dizzying array of trades folk, artists, and plant vendors, this show has the display garden competition which is my favorite.

Yard Garden and Patio Show 2015


I will be at the Yard, Garden and Patio show representing the Association of NW Landscape Designers.   I’d be delighted to meet you.   Portland Yard Garden and Patio Show- February 27th through March 1st.

ANLD Garden Designers Tour

This year the Association of NW Landscape Designers will  have their famous Designers Garden Tour tickets at the YGP show available for discounted early purchase.  If you (like many of my clients) tend to go to this garden tour every year anyway, come on down to the show and get your garden tour tickets at the early bird price. The tour is June 20, 2015.  It has become one of the hot west coast garden tours and typically sells out, so taking advantage of early bird discounts saves you money and ensures you will have a ticket.  Here is a link to photos of the 2014 ANLD Designers Garden tour which was our Silver Jubilee year.

It’s never to early to start planning and it’s always disappointing when time gets away with me and I miss attending at least one of the shows.

Giving Thanks

I’ve been writing this blog for about 2 years now and I’ve stuck to topics that are in some way about landscape,  but today I am going to pause and thank some people that help me create landscape designs that help me fulfill my clients’ dreams.

Bob and Daizzie summer copy  2014

Bob and Daizzie enjoying a boat ride

My husband Bob Lindsay, Urban Renaissance,  is a designer builder who has designed and built 20 plus homes on difficult hillsides in NW Portland.  He has the best editor eye even when the work is not in his field.  I even ask him to critique my landscape paintings (my hobby), when I get stuck and he points out the very thing that isn’t working.  He makes a suggestion that usually works perfectly.  Sometimes I need advice from a builder when a decision for the landscape, such as adding new french doors, is out of my scope.  We have also worked together when I’ve designed a new driveway or a garden studio, projects where his expertise is invaluable.  He’s a great resource and of course he’s also my guy.

peggy out of the office

Peggy on site during landscape installation

My assistant Peggy Kreman is like me, not overly fond of computers but together we go into those scary computer software places, such as producing this blog. She has made working with computers bearable and workable.  She has also set up systems that don’t rely on the computer where it makes sense and this has been such a relief.  Sometimes a notebook of information properly organized makes life easier than hunting for it behind 8 drop down menus!  She has a keen eye for detail that is completely different than mine so she sees things in landscapes and in my drawings that I don’t see.  We make a great team and I’m quite grateful we met.

I have been a member of The Association of Northwest Landscape Designers for over 20 years.  ANLD keeps me up to date with educational programs and has challenged me to take on leadership roles such as producing our now famous Designers Garden Tour.  I am grateful for the amazing people who have supported my design career… basically we’ve grown up together.  I can’t imagine that other professional organizations contain such a huge number of the nicest people on the planet.  Also you haven’t been to a potluck until you’ve been to one of ours, the food is incredible!  ANLD has also provided me with a pool of wonderful professional collaborators.

autumn leaf paintings

One of my paintings inspired by Marla Baggetta

I have a chiropractor and naturopathic team that keep me ticking and also help me take care of myself so that as I age I’m still on target.   So far, years of experience seems to outweigh having to wear readers and not leaping over a 36” wall just to show the guys I can.  Thanks to Dr. Valerie Vogel, DC  at GroundSpring Healing Center and Dr. Arlette Sieckman, ND.

Happy Thanksgiving   Carol


The Best of 2011 showcases Landscape Design In A Day

Check out the Oregonians Best of 2011 which showcases me and Landscape Design in a Day.  The article talks about how today’s landscape and garden designers do it all…….a carefully conceived plan just has to encompass layout of hardscape and plant materials compositions….read on o gentle reader…………