BauerCombs & Associates, Inc. is delighted to announce that our Landscape Architect, Susan Combs Bauer, was featured in WSU's Landscape Architecture Newsletter. Each quarter, their newsletter features one landscape architect alumni. Here's what they had to say:
Growing up in the Northwest, Susan has always enjoyed the outdoors and everything green! Her interest in Landscape Architecture blossomed at the young age of eleven when she discovered a miniature garden in a bottle (terrarium) at a local Gig Harbor boutique store. The world of art and science was introduced to Susan, and she was hooked!
After graduating from WSU, Susan worked for an Urban Planning firm as a Site Planner. She later accepted a position at WA Department of Transportation, followed by a Landscape Architecture position at WA Department of Natural Resources. Although Susan enjoyed her work and colleagues, she knew it was time to develop her own firm. Since then, Susan has designed hundreds of projects across the United States to help people connect with community and nature through sensory design. Her projects range from private estates to sustainable housing developments, healing gardens, sensory trails, and senior living campuses. All-in-all, Susan has had a fun journey along the way and is looking forward to more exciting adventures ahead!
Susan enjoys research and knowledge. She says it is a good day when she learns something new! As an award-winning landscape architect, Susan is also an accredited Rainwater Collection Systems Professional, certified Permaculture Design Consultant, and well-known leader in Sensory Design.
Susan has fond memories of WSU's Landscape Architecture program and has kept in contact with several classmates over the years. "It is truly a joy to stay in touch with my old classmates and to learn how life brings us all together. To those of you just entering or graduating soon from the WSU Landscape architecture program, cheers to all of you! You have chosen a meaningful and gratifying career. "
About BauerCombs & Associates, Inc.
We are an award-winning landscape architecture and project management firm located in beautiful North Bend, WA. We serve Seattle, Bellevue, Mercer Island, Sammamish,
Cle Elum, Suncadia, and the greater Puget Sound area. With our signature sensory design methods, we create captivating landscapes that bring life to outdoor spaces through the artistic balance of color and patterns, scent, touch, taste, and sound. Our work has been published in several magazines and continues to grow in reputation for creating healthy outdoor environments for people and communities.
To learn more about our design style and project tips, we invite you to download our free ebook. If you would like to discuss your upcoming project, please give us a call at (425) 496-7772.
Copyright © 2019 BauerCombs & Associates, Inc. www.bauercombs.com
Make it count and get the most out of your on-site landscape design consultation. Whether you're a developer, estate manager, or property owner, preparing in advance will help you get so much more out of your meeting.
When setting up your meeting, your landscape architect may ask you to fill out a detailed questionnaire. Take advantage of this opportunity to share your thoughts! Set aside time to answer all the questions; the more detail you provide, the better! Your landscape architect's goal is to fully understand your thoughts and vision and help you achieve it.
If you happen to have a property survey, architectural plans, or geotechnical report, bring a copy to the meeting! You don't need to give away your copy at this point, but let your landscape architect know what information exists and what it looks like. Any site information you share may help to lower the cost of your design fee. Bonus!
Be Ready to Answer Questions
Here are a few of our favorites:
If you're uncertain of the amount you want to spend, your landscape architect can help you establish an appropriate budget for the project you envision. Typical budget ranges are $75-100K, $100-150K, $150- 200K, $200-250K or $250K+.
Besides, bringing a property survey, architectural plans, or geotechnical report, if you happen to have them, photos are a great way to convey your design preferences and desires.
As they say, "pictures speak 1000 words". If you have the time, collect a few visual aids for your meeting. Find photos of styles you like (or don't like) in books, magazines, or online.
The most crucial aspect of your meeting is to have fun! The design process can be just as much rewarding as the finished project. Your landscape architect is there for you to hear your thoughts, learn what you want to achieve, and ultimately create your vision with long-lasting enjoyment.
There you have it; you are ready now to rock your landscape consultation meeting! If you're ready to get started, give us a call at (425) 496-7772. Also, please check out our projects on BauerCombs website or download our free e-book. We are currently taking on new projects and would love to chat.
Blog author: Susan Combs Bauer, principal landscape architect and president of BauerCombs & Associates, Inc. "Connecting People to Nature by Design." www.bauercombs.com
We all need a special place to escape from reality from time to time. Some people find going to the movies, taking a long-awaited vacation, or a walk in the park, the perfect outlet to unwind and get away. Although these activities are all great solutions, there’s nothing like having a refuge in your own backyard.
I recently came across the perfect phrase in an advertisement from Sun Mountain Lodge, “The key to happiness is feeding your soul a regular dose of nature.” This phase is what sanctuary gardens are all about! A sanctuary garden helps to focus in on your surroundings and relaxes your mind to find a more meaningful awareness.
Are you ready to get started? To create your sanctuary garden, here are my top six essentials:
1. Identify Your Desire
Identify why you have the desire to create a Sanctuary Garden. Now is the fun part, get out your markers and flip chart, and write your thoughts on paper. If you are a list maker, you’ll need to step out of your comfort zone and randomly jot down ideas in no particular order. Mind-mapping is my favorite way of getting thoughts on paper.
2. Find Your Space
We are drawn to gardens because it creates a sense of connection to the ground beneath us and mother earth. To find your sanctuary garden space, stand and pause in several different locations. The selected space should be where you feel most comfortable and a sense of belonging. This is a bit hard to explain, but you’ll know when you’ve found the perfect spot!
3. Create an Entrance
By creating an entrance to your sanctuary space, you create an invisible portal to leave your busy life and responsibilities behind. An entrance may be created by a stack of stones, a garden entry sign (with your garden’s name), an overhead arbor, crushed stone path, or fragrant plant to name a few.
4. Provide a Place to Sit
As a child, I loved to create secret outdoor rooms in the woods by my house. I would use fir branches as brooms to delineate the floor areas and sit for hours on the tree limbs above.
Although you may not have a tall tree, or the desire to climb one, a chair, bench, or stump will do! By providing a place to sit, it reminds you to sit and relax and enjoy the natural surroundings.
5. Add Water
It is incredible to me how quickly the sound of running water creates calmness and clarity. Water is one of the most important essentials for Sanctuary gardens. However, it is not necessary to build a pond or waterfall or fancy fountain. Hand watering plants can create the same effect. Another idea is to place a dish rock in your garden to collect rainwater, or snuggle in a tabletop water fountain near your sitting area.
6. Choose a Color Palette
Choose colors that make you feel fabulous rather than what you think will look good. Are you more comfortable with purples and greens, or hints of blues? One easy test is to bring home several paint chip samples from the hardware store like Home Depot. Spread the samples out over a table and see what type of joy or feelings they provoke. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started.
To learn more about colors for outdoor spaces, see Setting the Mood.
About BauerCombs Landscape Architects
BauerCombs is an award-winning landscape architecture firm that specializes in designing sensory gardens in the greater Seattle, Bellevue, Eastside areas, and across the United States. With our signature sensory design methods, we create captivating landscapes that bring life to outdoor spaces through the artistic balance of color and patterns, scent, touch, taste, and sound.
Our work has been published in several magazines and continues to grow in reputation for creating healthy outdoor environments for people and communities. To learn more about BauerCombs and our design tips, we invite you to download our free ebook.
Author: Susan Combs Bauer, Landscape Architect, Copyright © 2019 BauerCombs & Associates, Inc. www.bauercombs.com (425) 496-7772
Sensory gardens are intimate spaces designed to help people experience and enjoy outdoor environments to the fullest. These type of gardens provide peaceful escapes and a sense of well-being from day-to-day stress and challenges. When selecting landscape features for your sensory garden, the best place to start is with the five senses.
The first impression of a landscape is how it looks. It only takes a moment to get your first impression. Initially, we scan our surroundings for overall color, composition, patterns, and shapes. By adding certain colors, we can create increased energy, calmness, cheerfulness, or sense of comfort.
We all know that advertising companies use color to trigger emotions for increased sales. So, why not use the power of color to create a preferred feeling or mood for our outdoor living spaces? With just a few adjustments, it’s simple to create the perfect outdoor space for your desired mood and ambiance.
For further reading about color, see our blog Setting the Mood.
Sound is often overlooked or goes unnoticed in landscape design. Is there a particular sound you are looking for, or an absence of sound? These are good questions to consider when incorporating sound elements into your landscape. Some people enjoy absolute quite while others prefer the sound of trickling water, songbirds, or soft music in the background.
Incorporating fragrant plants throughout the landscape creates an uplifting effect. Scent and fragrances are closely linked to our memories and can positively awaken our senses. Try placing fragrant flowering plants near entrances and under bedroom windows to experience a sweet whiff of flowers on a warm summer evening.
When you were a child, you most likely heard the phrase “don’t touch that!” Beyond curiosity, I’m not sure what gives us the uncontrollable urge to touch and feel, but touch can add a rich dimension to your landscape. Texture and touch can be added to the landscape through the use of plants, pebbles, artwork, giant boulders, smooth glass, metal, and more.
Incorporate edibles into your landscape. It may takes a bit of effort, but the outcome is delicious! Many people get stuck in a rut growing edibles in the traditional neat and tidy rows. Try intermixing tasty herbs, berries, and vegetables in raised planting beds along pathways and outdoor dining areas. There is nothing more satisfying than harvesting home-grown edibles!
Balancing the 5 Sensory Design Elements
Balancing sensory design elements is a powerful tool that can transform your garden into a peaceful and therapeutic escape. It is not necessary to awaken the five senses all at the same time, but if you do, achieving the right balance does take some finesse.
Please keep in mind that the art and science of sensory design may be complex depending on who your audience is such as, people with special needs or memory loss.
If you are not sure where to start, BauerCombs Landscape Architects would love to help. Give us a call at (425) 496-7772 or schedule a 20-minute phone visit with us. Our studio is located in beautiful North Bend, Washington (a hiker's haven just outside the metropolitan areas of Seattle, Bellevue, and Issaquah).
BauerCombs is an award-winning landscape architecture firm that specializes in designing sensory gardens in the greater Seattle area and across the United States. With our signature sensory design methods, we create captivating landscapes that bring life to outdoor spaces through the artistic balance of sight, color, scent, touch, taste, and sound. Our work has been published in several magazines and continues to grow in reputation for creating healthy outdoor environments for people and communities.
To learn more about BauerCombs and our design tips, we invite you to download our free ebook.
Author: Susan Combs Bauer, Landscape Architect, Copyright © 2019 BauerCombs & Associates, Inc. www.bauercombs.com (425) 496-7772
BauerCombs News + Landscape Garden Design Tips with Susan.
Susan Combs Bauer, Landscape Architect www.bauercombs.com