This is a verbal as well as a visual journey into my work, the design process, and what it took to create what has been considered the most beautiful landscape in the county (county, I said county, not country...though just wait, one day!)
In the fall of 2007 I received an offer to bid on a landscape design project in Park City, Utah. I asked for the CAD files to be sent over in preparation for a meeting with the builder and when they arrived I about fell out of my chair - "Rivendell" was the title.
THE DESIGN PROCESS: FROM THE CAD FILE TO THE MASTER LANDSCAPE PLAN - click to enlarge and read the description.
Now one thing you should know about me is that my name comes from the Lord of The Rings by JRR Tolkien. Lothlorien is the forest, the golden wood, where Lady Galadriel lives. So, not only is it fate that I became a designer of woods per se, but that I would have a chance to create the outdoor atmosphere for a residence called Rivendell. When I first heard the client say "You were born for this project!" I laughed to myself. But now - 6 years later, I think so too.
I started out as the landscape designer who was going to create a Master Plan and that was it. By the end of 2007 the design was complete and received with tears of joy! By the time spring rolled around I was given the title of "Lady Lorien" and officially welcomed to the team. In order to maintain my vision, I was placed as the landscape coordinator and would now have the responsibility of designing every detail, collaborating with every vendor, sourcing all the goods, and making sure it all was done in time for an on-site wedding that summer (no pressure). As the builder put it, "your greatest dream and your worst nightmare just came true." I was responsible for it all. Yikes.
I work really well in a team where everyone has their separate roles and responsibilities, but they work together to help each other achieve a greater dream. And that's how Rivendell moved forward and why it was a success. I was surrounded and assisted by so many amazing and dedicated individuals. I had solid support from my clients, priceless input from the architect, constant guidance from the builder, feedback from the stone mason, the carpenter, the painter, the electrician... you name it - even the interior designers. I was given an explanation of the phrase - "help me, help you" - and that advice still sticks with me today as I work through projects.
Below is a list of several extremely talented groups I had the honor of coordinating with to make the two-dimensional Rivendell landscape plan become a three-dimensional reality.
SKETCHES & CONCEPT DETAILS - WORKING THROUGH THE OPTIONS - click to enlarge and read the description
These are just a portion of the sketches and concept details that went into discovering the best possible solution for each feature in the Rivendell landscape. Design is a process and it's beneficial to explore several avenues before coming to the final conclusion. Sketching down your ideas helps to weed out the not-so-great concepts so the finished product is deliberate and well-thought out.
LIST OF RIVENDELL RESPONSIBILITIES - Here is a list of my responsibilities and tasks I undertook as the designer and coordinator of the Rivendell Landscape, from the concept stage to creating the standards of maintenance.
- Worked from the site plan to create a concept drawing, which was revised many times into the final Master Plan, which included all plant material, coordinated with Christopher Homes
- Project Coordinator for the installation of the Master Plan which included all plant material placement, hardscape layout, final grading for lawn areas, layout of hardscape features
- Sourced and hand-selected plant material
- Created a bulb layout for daffodils, tulips, and crocus
- Outdoor sound design, coordinated with Aurant
- Designed the gazebo, coordinated with RHT Homes and had it engineered
- Designed fencing for dog run, coordinated with Tresco
- Designed the stone bridge
- Oversaw landscape lighting, coordinated with Orion Outdoor Lighting
- Christmas lighting layout in coordination with Orion Outdoor Lighting
- Sounds Design for the Wind Chime Garden
- Sourced all plant containers
- Sourced pine straw
- Sourced top dressing
- Designed decorative stone wall, coordinated with RJ Enterprises
- Created an as-built Master Lighting Plan using Illustrator
- Created an as-built Master Irrigation Plan using Illustrator
- Created drawings for the re-design on the pond and fall areas, coordinated with Christopher Homes
- Designed the layout for pond plantings, coordinated with Utah Ponds
- Designed a stone deck and a wooden deck
- Built a 30'x30' map of Middle Earth out of stone, metal, glass, ground cover and crushed stone (still in progress)
- Dead wood removal, coordinated with 7 Trees
- Designed the sub-contractors bathroom and project managed the installation, sourced all materials used.
- Approved and many times sourced all soft and hardscape material used in the landscape
- Managed the garden maintenance crew, including all new plantings, annuals, weeding, pruning, dead-heading, and pest and disease control, tree health.
- Developed and wrote the landscape maintenance manual.
- Continue on as a design consultant