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Designer Linda Meyer - The Ruff Garden

When an older home in a well-established neighborhood gets a ‘lift’, adding head space in the basement, along with a new garage housing a wood working studio and second story office space, what happens to the already small back yard? There isn’t much left to accommodate the client’s request for a quiet, relaxing space that meets all of their needs. They would like a place to entertain family and friends and let them unwind from day-to-day life.

The Ruff yard boasts a variegated blue stone patio complete with fire pit, water feature and private hot tub.  With proper planning and layout there is plenty of space for a full size dining table for six and room to spare. Additional seating is available as well, as is an area to add extra serving tables without impacting movement around the area. The new entry to the main level provides a storage area to tuck away items when not in use.

Adjacent to the dining and grilling areas the owners can entertain their guests around a fire pit that overlooks a basalt column water feature. Wood storage is out of the way but handy, behind the double story garage. The water feature serves as a bird friendly bathing area providing additional entertainment, and a basalt based bench gives a space to sit between the two. 

A custom corner pergola creates a secluded ‘nook’ over the hot tub.  Boulder steps give a solid, safe entry.  Akebia vines wrap around the Lexan covered pergola to soften the space and provides a semi evergreen covering to soften the light from Edison bulb light strands.

The driveway was reconstructed from existing pavers along with additional matching pavers to widen and correct drainage issues.  A custom designed automatic gate was added and allows for the owners to spill into the driveway area if needed for larger entertaining or games. A matching custom gate on the north side of the house completes the border of the private areas.

Easy maintenance throughout the back continues into the front yard.  A proportionate landing at the base of the stairs, replaces a broken-up sidewalk and continues across the parking strip for ease of access.  

The plant materials chosen for the landscape are smaller in size but big on impact. Combinations of perennial and evergreen plants provide year-round color and texture and keep the homeowners enjoying the living space, while not being slaves to maintaining the garden. 

The Ruff garden proves that no matter what the size of the yard, if there is a good layout and good circulation, there can be any number of ‘rooms’ available to enjoy the out of doors.

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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