Montgomery Full Yard
About this project
- Location: Montgomery, Calgary, AB
- Scope: Design and Installation
- Timeline: 2014 to 2017
This passive solar home in Montgomery (designed and built by Bioi) is located on an irregular shaped lot with steep slopes in the back and side yards; the homeowners wanted to optimize their unique and challenging site conditions using the best of permaculture principles and strategies, and contacted us to help with the design and installation of the project. They wanted to create a well planned space that met their various needs, including mitigating drainage issues, ensuring good pathway flow around the entire property, having increased privacy, room for a social space, and a low maintenance, perennial, water-harvesting, food-producing landscape with no lawn! They wanted their yard to blend in with the natural environment, feature many native plants, and grow into a beautiful space that they love to spend time in with their family and friends.
Responding to these goals and challenges resulted in a beautiful and functional design that takes advantage of the site characteristics. A thorough design process lead to a full yard landscape plan that addressed these goals and wove them together through the choice and placement of various elements, including dry creek beds that lead to water harvesting basins with food forest plantings, a raintank system for roof rainwater harvesting, a pathway system consisting of primary, secondary, and tertiary paths for easy access to the entire landscape, a large patio made of pavers, annual vegetable gardens in the sunniest and easiest to access areas, a reading nook and children’s play area, a backyard utility area with firewood storage, and a hops trellis for home brewing. All of the elements work together to form a cohesive space that can be enjoyed by the homeowners and their friends and family.
After the first two years of establishment, the clients have reported that maintenance requirements for the garden dropped significantly, including requiring no supplemental irrigation to the food forest areas that cover the majority of their landscape. A full perennial ground cover has all but eliminated the task of weeding! The space continues to produce more and more food each year, with an abundance of fruits and berries that they are now preserving to last for the entire year. Their yard serves as an example of sustainable human habitat and a place where they can educate others, including their family, in fact one of their children spoke “strawberry” amongst her very first words.
The design process took place from 2014 to early 2015, and the majority of the installation also happened in late 2015, with small additions in 2016 and 2017. The clients have now fully taken on the stewardship of their landscape, and they continue to learn (and harvest!) more every year.
We (previously) lived in a small townhouse with no yard and no sun. (We) tried growing whatever (we) could in pots and containers but it never worked! When we were building our new house we knew we wanted to create an amazing space that would provide us with beautiful surroundings, native plants and lots of food, and take advantage of the south exposure. The biggest challenge was probably the shape of the yard and how to lay everything out. The challenges we faced were exciting because we knew that reGenerate Design would help us realize our goals and maximize the use of the space.
We had a great vibe after our initial meeting and really appreciated the approach to starting the design – digging deep down into our goals and hopes for the project. That was something we didn’t think about but going through the exercise really helped us articulate what we wanted to achieve. Once we went through that it was easy to have reGenerate Design bring the project to life.
Our yard was transformed from a mud pit with weeds into an amazing space! The design in our space was very creative and also met the goals we outlined at the beginning.
We have truly enjoyed working with everyone at reGenerate Design. The project process and final result was a very positive experience and we are so happy with how everything turned out. We also really appreciate that we have continued to work together to keep tabs on the garden, even though it’s been four years since the installation. That shows us how much they care about us and what they are doing!