Sculpting the Embrace of the Earth

Bulldozer spreads the dirt on the landscape of New Cottage in the Woods.

Bulldozers rest on the property of New Cottage in the Woods.The real test of my education in Landscape Architecture has arrived.

The ground work surrounding and within the foundation is done. Now it’s time to grade the earth back fill, so that it looks like a twin rotor Huey helicopter dropped the home lightly in place, while not disturbing the existing conditions.

Sure…keep in mind that we were building an eight foot berm at the down hill side of the home, to avoid putting a guard rail on the back patio. Code determines that the distance from the concrete deck to the placed berm cannot exceed 30 inches in height. Plus from an aesthetic point of view, it should really look like the created conditions have been there for centuries.

The blending of the existing conditions to the new should be predictable and natural in appearance. Truth is, as I paced around, I kept on imagining a raging winter rain storm, one that drops 2+ inches of rain in twenty four hours, and new run off drainage patterns appear. And above all else, enhance the health of the existing trees for that timeless appearance. NOT something one would do in an altered state of mind.

The good news: with a track hoe, backhoe, bulldozer, and rubber tired front end loader there is much I can’t do, like drive off the edge of a bank.

New Cottage in the Woods - Front end loader working on the new house

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