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Designer Linda Meyer - The Robbins Garden

The Robbins’ garden is a collaboration of talented artist, and homeowner, Marlene Robbins, and designer Linda Meyer. Marlene’s   vision for the garden included turning her garden shed into a studio and adding a labyrinth to the yard. Privacy from the neighbors for a hot tub and retaining a large Empress Tree were also must-haves. A simple, yet effective, dry creek bed solved the problem of poor drainage and water saturation in the front yard.    A natural way to improve wet sites, the creek bed now runs from the back corner of the house, down its side and across the front yard, picking up water en route.  Groups of grasses, native plants, pollinator friendly perennials and a stand of column rock enhance the impact of the street facing front garden.

In the back garden, organic shapes combine to create various work spaces for classes and meetings, as well as a vegetable garden, labyrinth, studio and Marlene’s private patio and hot tub.  Berms separate the spaces, and paths create connection between them. Flagstone indicate the beginning and end of pathways and help keep gravel from moving onto the patio.

In the vegetable garden, livestock troughs create raised planting beds, and berms are planted with strawberries and blueberries. Whimsical structures house hand tools and allow vines to crawl up the fence line. Repurposing is all part of the game! Repurposing stacks of river rock, left by the previous owners, were used to edge the labyrinth, and create-- Marlene’s unique place of meditation.  Additional boulders were brought in as trail heads, room markers and one in particular, a Montana Rainbow boulder is simply a beautiful addition—no other job necessary! 

At the back of the property is a shade garden, complete with sitting area and small trickling water feature.  Other structures in the garden include screens surrounding the hot tub. Die cut steel panels encased in cedar frames create a natural trellis for climbing clematis and jasmine.  A custom screen to hide the air conditioning units was personalized with a row of metal bird silhouettes.

Keep your eyes open for other colorful art pieces dotted throughout the garden Some of the plants include rue, native rhododendron, ‘Ebony Pearl’ rhododendron, Lewisia cotyledon, Edgeworthia, succulents, huckleberries, Sophora, various ornamental grasses and many ‘gifted’ plants received from gardening friends.  Marlene’s garden is ever evolving as she finds new varieties that intrigue and delight her, each one labeled for ease of passing on information to the next new friend.

Linda Meyer - LMeyer Design

Designer Linda Meyer has always been interested in art, the outdoors, and gardens.  After starting out as a graphic designer, she did a myriad of jobs that ultimately led to landscape design.

After attending Portland Community College and receiving a degree and certificate in Landscape Design and Landscape Construction, Linda started working on her own business and hasn’t slowed down since.

Photographer:  Doreen Wynja

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