After getting over 6 inches of rain we decided to plant. Native plants were purchased. The group of ASLA students and LA 122 students from the plant identification class at UC Berkeley's Landscape Architecture Dept. set them out according to our planting design. A small group of students and volunteers worked on terracing an eroding hillside with cardboard to block the weeds, jute netting to hold the cardboard down and support mulch from slipping down the hill and then redwood branches from a recently downed redwood were staked in to hold the bank. We'll plant red twig dogwood, a appropriate riparian shrub, through holes cut through the mulch, netting, and cardboard. As the materials rots the dogwood will be dropping their roots into the soil and hold the creek bank from eroding.
With the new ADA (American with Disabilities Act) compliant path completed, students from the UC Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning Dept, ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architecture) student chapter came to the garden for a design workshop and came up with a planting plan of California native plants which they are going to plant. But first we had to clear ivy, blackberries, and poison oak from the site, as well as open up the view by pruning some of the redwood trees in the area. We are waiting for the rain before we start planting. Hopefully that will be very soon. A step will be designed and built out of redwood that leads to the greenhouse. Plants and materials will be purchased with a money from The Green Initiative Granting Fund.
With the new pathway to the head-house almost completed there was a concrete wall that seemed to need something. The area was too narrow to plant so we decided to put something on the wall: a mosaic made with broken china from the Blake house with additional broken tiles from Albany High School Art Dept. and from Urban Ore, a warehouse filled with recyclable materials. Our four Albany High School interns from the EDSET (Environmental Design, Science Engineering and Technology) program helped by designing and building along with other volunteers from the garden. The result: a stream of bird, butterflies, flowers and people edges the path that crosses the creek.
charrette, a design workshop, to design the new handicap ramp area. The design is currently being created with all the input that came from the charrette along with other comments from students familiar with the site but unable to attend the on-site design workshop. [nggallery id=216]
A topographical model of Blake Garden was made and donated by students in U.C Berkeley Landscape Design 101. The model aided the students in developing their project "Revealing the Landscape" that recently was installed in the garden. The model will be a great addition as a teaching tool for future students and for visitors to get a sense of our terrific hillside garden.
The progress continues on the handicap ramp leading to our new handicap bathroom. Steel posts were put into the ground ten feet deep and then concrete was poured into the hole to hold them in place. The path structure will be attached to the top of the posts.
Recently our neighbor's bamboo grove went to seed and was cut down by contractors. With the help of our EDSET interns from Albany High School, we cut, bundled, and hauled it to the garden. The timing was good, for all of our bamboo structures that have been up for several years ( see the posts about the bamboo tunnel, the bamboo aqueduct) need repair or replacement.
Kinya Shiraishi, a graduate student from U.C. Berkeley's Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, has been volunteering for the garden all summer. On his last day before school starts we decided to design and build a simple fence to keep people from damaging a hedge by cutting through to get to a little pool of water. We started by harvesting some golden bamboo growing in the wetland, laid out our harvest, put in some steel rebar as supports and then tied the structure together with palm cord after it was soaked in water for about 15 minutes.
[In]Land, a summer program in the U.C. Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning has started for the summer. Their first project is "Revealing the Landscape" at Blake Garden. Students in teams of 2 or 3 tour the garden and then respond to a site with a temporary installation or intervention. Most of he projects will remain up until Fri. July 26.