Basswood Residence

June 4, 2009

Another great design and install project. We’ve been working on this project over the last several years. It’s one of our favorites. Here’s a little taste to show how the gardens are coming along in the front yard. Notice how the steps we designed shift gracefully through the gardens. The gardens are really taking shape. They were planted about a year ago. Keep posted. We’ll get photos of the back soon. IMG_0878 IMG_0880 IMG_0887 IMG_0879 IMG_0883 IMG_0884 IMG_0882


We have really enjoyed working on this project. You may remember a couple of posts from last summer and fall showing some of the installation process and materials. The transformation of this space is beautiful. It demonstrates what good design and detailed execution can do especially when working in a small space.

Phillips Garden Studio Space

December 18, 2008

Phillips Garden studio has a great history .  A gas station transformed into a design studio.  Not only is this space a great example of reuse but the space is downright beautiful.  Ed Burke, the owner of Phillips Garden, designed and built the studio from the ground up (with the help of others).  In 2005 a second floor addition was added.  Below is a photo journey of the studio space and all its transformations…

The original structure for what is now Phillips Garden

beginning the construction

a fish sculpture was built out front by artist (and professor) Jeff Millikan


In time the fish was removed and would be replaced by a new sculpture (you will see below), Jeff Millikan is still a good friend of Phillips Garden and comes has coffee with us from time to time.  We all miss the fish a little…

at one point Phillips was also a coffee shop, now this space is closed to the public but still open for staff use.  It’s awesome.

the downstairs studio…

after the fish we got a new sculpture by Su-Chen Hung, a San Francisco based artist

It is a large bamboo windchime with the beginnings of a blanket of thyme on the ground

In 2005 a second level weeHouse was added to Phillips Garden studio

… with a crane

it looks great on the inside too

we love it

our studio today – 2008

Our fall services…

October 6, 2008

Now is a great time to get on the calendar for fall work that will help keep your gardens looking their best while preparing them for a good winter and a beautiful (next) spring.  Ways to do this are:

1.  Planting fall annuals: Gardens can be kept interesting throughout the fall season with plantings of kale cabbage and mums to name a few (see images below)

2.  Fall bulb planting: Bulb planting now will result in a spring garden filled with tulips, daffodils and crocus (see examples of tuilps/daffodils below)

3.  Garden Renovation: Plant division and cutbacks – We can rearrange problem areas in the garden as well as dividing plants to thin out over-crowded areas and use divisions to fill in empty areas.

4.  Seasonal Arrangements for winter: Planting pots with wintertime arrangements can really help a yard celebrate the season.  Below are two examples of planters we did last year

5.  Winter protection from cold and critters: As winter approaches it is important to put the garden to bed.  Covering the plantings with hay helps to protect fragile perennials from harsh winter conditions and wrapping small tress helps protect them from animals.

If you have any questions please contact us!

contact information can be found at our website:

Minneapolis Design Project

August 22, 2008

One of the projects we are currently working on is a residence in Minneapolis; a chartreuse house with a bit of a midwestern farm aesthetic.  The design is very geometric and minimal in its plant palette.   This phase of the project consists of a patio made of concrete pavers set within a grove of birch trees.  Their dog is below… painfully cute.

The following set of pictures show the home before the project began through the end of phase one.  We can’t wait to see the whole thing finished!


August 15, 2008

In 2006 we comissioned a San Francisco based artist Su Chen Hung to create a sculpture for the front of our studio space. She came up with a spiral design made of steel and bamboo with spiraled ground-cover of Creeping Thyme that mimics the sculptural design. This piece is called “Walk around Time”, and acts as both a wind chime and a piece of art:

This design in Minneapolis at Phillips Garden Studio, inspired Su Chen to create another piece in Taiwan taking the idea of the bamboo spiral further. This piece was created in 2008 and is called “In Praise of Light and Sound” it can be found at the Shisanhang Museum of Archeology in Taipei, Taiwan.

Design Project

August 12, 2008

This project near Cedar Lake in Minneapolis is one we’ve been working on for a while now.  A beautiful modern home… wow!  This will be the first of a couple posts chronicling the progress and completion of this project.


pre landscape construction

backyard pre landscape construction


putting in a row of Hawthorns…

concrete pavers

Side of house in progress. Horizontal fencing.


The front walk

finally some grass!


backyard (in progress)


backyard (in progress)


backyard (in progress)