The design was inspired by Piet Mondrian’s rectilinear signature piece ‘Line Over Form’, as the building used a similar primary color palette of vibrant blue, red, and yellow. In ‘Line Over Form’ the white open spaces form a matrices so in this design we used a matrices of white perennials and white pluming grasses. We mirrored the blocks of the primary color triad but also balanced the triad with intense greens, purples and orange to make the dominant red brick of the building pop with modern boldness. The sites features two micro prairies, 3 hedgerows, two mixed borders, and a number of bespoke vine trellises.
In this specimen garden there are 68 native species including keystone species and species endemic to Georgia:
10 Native Grasses
38 Native Perennials
5 Native Vines
14 Native Shrubs & Trees
The garden will support thousands of native insects and native birds, making the garden eligible for the Homegrown National Park program, wildlife sanctuary status with the Georgia Audubon and gold status with the Georgia Native Plant Society.
It is designed as a legacy garden; native plantings to last for generations, resilient to a changing climate. The installation was completed using traditional woman power, with only biodegradable and/or recycled materials, and no GHG emitting machinery. The site is lawn less and irrigation less site, which will clean, filter, absorb, and slow rainwater, helping support Atlanta’s overextended stormwater system. The use of native plants and soil means lack of need for high maintenance conditions and pollutive fertilizers, also helping the stormwater system and the fauna that live there. As a carbon sink, the garden will help to cool the surrounding heat island effect of midtown Atlanta. It features 68 native species, many of which are either endemic only to Georgia or are in rare or threatened conservation status.
With 50 host plants on site - specific native insects lay eggs and feed on these, and only these, specific plants - the garden will support native beneficial insects and birds, many of which have compromised conservation status as well. For human sustenance, there are native fruit trees and vines, as well as medicinal and herbal plants. For generations, this garden will serve as conservation source site for rare native species and it will help grow the native ecological corridor that already exists in nearby Atlanta Botanical Gardens.
Client wanted to decrease their lawn and requested native plants to help pollinators and so they could join the Beecatur movement and take the pollinator pledge (www.beecaturga.com). They wanted tall, summertime privacy from the heavily trafficked street, with no particular colour palette so we chose a natural yet not too wild and unkempt looking mix of orange and yellow matrix with occasional pops of white and pink. We put in Georgia natives plus a couple of bee favorites that are native to the west coast and all the pollinators went wild! In the 2019 Georgia pollinator census they counted over 30 different insect species and 250 visits.
Client requested native plants with significant evergreen foliage for winter interest to block the fence view and also the traffic noise from the street. The site was tricky as there were 3 kinds of soil in 3 joined locations; mesic woodland, ultisol, and sandy loam. We amended each kind of soil accordingly to our soil test results and used alkaline, clay, and sand loving plants respectively for each location and it made for a really diverse plant ecosystem with a rock garden in it's center, evergreen vines and shrubs along the back line, and creeping/trailing perennials to hang over the modern railway sleeper wall. We used over 30 different specimens - many endemic just to Georgia, and other south eastern natives, to create a poly culture. The colour palette was subtley mixed and varied depending on bloom time to give four season colour. We had to be super careful to pick plants that wouldn’t cause any contact dermatitis if their almost 3 year old touched it. They were on a low budget so we used young plants that will fill in later. The client later added on a full back yard install. Image shown is 6 months post install and still in infancy stages. Sleeper wall will gray over time and match fence colour. Garden decorations and child shown are clients own and not part of the design :)
Client was frustrated with her generic installation of hostas, ferns, hellebores, and heuchera which are the standard go tos in Atlanta for shade gardens. She wanted a riotous cottage feel, lots of colour, and plenty of pollinators.
We added trellises painted to match her home for vines and intense French blue pots for façade decoration. We added an evergreen back line of dwarf Kalmia latifolia for spring and winter interest, plus dwarf Hydrangea quercifolia for summer interest. Also evergreen Clematis viorna 'Richard Ware' vines for the trellises, reused some hostas and hellebores for structure and added 15 native perennials for spring, summer, and fall blooms, all with a blue, purple and pink colour palette to suit the gray home. Client was delighted she could have so many blooms in complete shade. Current image is 8 months post install and still in infancy.
Client was tired with her dark, untidy and overgrown courtyard and wanted to spruce things up to put the home on the market. She wanted a modern cottage feel, and we decided on a coral and white colour palette to suit the existing gray with blue accent home colours. We painted the back wall white to open up the space to more light and we reused the existing seating due to budget constraints. The aspect light was full shade at one end and full sun at the other and she wanted 100% evergreen and year round colour so we used a nice mix of cottage style plants - but also larger leaved to add to the contemporary look - with the majority being native. She wanted to keep her confederate jasmine vine so we custom made, painted, and fitted a modern square lattice trellis to her courtyard fence interior and relocated the vine there. Current images are immediately post install and still in infancy stages. Client plans to add lighting and wall planters when budget allows.
10 / 3 / 2021
Installed 68 native species for Robert Cain Architect commercial offices becoming first commercial office in Atlanta eligible for gold status with both the GNPS and Georgia Audobon
10 / 5 / 2021
We are proud to announce that our Cain specimen garden will be part of the Atlanta Design Festival 2021
10/9/21 10am - 4pm
242 11th Street NE Atlanta 30309
10 / 15 / 2021