Some have the idea I or any designer think we’re above reproach. No – some of us are actually our biggest critics, and that’s not being a perfectionist – it’s simply wanting to improve each time.
At the end of a long desert road, southern Nevada, late June 2015 –
I’m unsure why I didn’t revisit Mike the architect’s suggestion (namely a tree for the L-shaped seat wall), but if only I stepped back and visualized summer – especially in Las Vegas!
Now imagine a sunken swale down that planting area splitting the sidewalks. Catclaws, screwbeans or desert willows filling in the canyon created by both buildings, the entire length. Maybe some grasses or shady plants under, maybe just gravel.
Also, when I designed this in 2009-10, I hadn’t yet seen Loree’s blog to become more indoctrinated like today, so there’s no excuse for such an act :-)
While many of the above plants no longer get permanent drip irrigation due to the LEED Gold rating, basins and some hand-watering in summer could keep some going. Though perhaps not desert willows…
Where can people sit? Is there room once the plants grow in, those the contractor wants to substitute over the plants and alternates that I specified?
A favorite quote is from Antoine de Saint-Exupery, “a designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”
As I continue on a few designs, that plus starting with the big idea like shade, might help force the rest of the design how it needs to go.