Friday, October 23, 2015

Harris Ranch Residence

This East Boise residence involved the rethinking of a combination side yard/courtyard space that had been previously used (and overused) by the owners’ dogs. According to Landscape Architect Chuck B. Edwards, “The dogs had all but eaten the trees.”
Belgard Patio Pavers | Central Fire Pit | Annual Color Pots
New landscape concepts aimed to maximize the livability of this long narrow space, and create an inviting outdoor room for people and pets that would be functionally dog-proof. The plans featured a contemporary aesthetic in terms of materials and site furnishings, and included concrete pavers, raised planters and a central fire pit. A custom fabricated screen buffered the proximity of the neighboring residence by adding artistic interest, and interplay of layers to create depth and shadow, especially when illuminated. Natural-wood fencing provided textural interest and warmth, as well as screening for the trash can area.
Fire Pit | Custom Screen
Natural Wood Screen
Plant materials were shade-loving, with an emphasis on foliage interest, as opposed to blooms.
For non-hardscape areas, synthetic turf provided a more durable play area for the canines.  Versions of this product have seen a vast increase in quality as well as a ‘reality factor’ in recent years.  Not only does synthetic turf now provide a friendly feel underfoot, some products offer subtle color variation and even a thatch layer that helps it appear more natural. With careful attention to subsurface materials and drainage, the turf is permeable and easily cleaned—in short, an ideal product for pet-heavy areas like small yards, dog parks, and dog runs.
Synthetic Turf

What Have We Been Up To?

Breckon landdesign is proud of our recent work on a number of public projects.  If you visited the Western Idaho Fair this year, you may have noted the new entry plaza and landscape design we completed in conjunction with Hummel Architects.  
But the projects we’re most excited about involve conceptual designs for future parks in the Meridian and Boise areas.

Golda Harris Nature Preserve
Mayor Bieter presents the designs for the Golda Harris Nature Preserve
We recently completed a conceptual plan for this 3.6-acre future park on the Boise River near the Parkcenter Bridge and the new Marianne Williams Park in east Boise. Our landscape architects will continue to work with LeNir LTD and Boise Parks & Recreation staff to further refine this plan for development into a natural riverfront park.

Proposed amenities include walking paths and gathering places for education, wildlife observation, and meditation. The plan also calls for enhancements to existing vegetation to strengthen the landscape’s habitat value, as well as interpretive signage, and integration of art pieces that key into the history of the area and the significance of the Boise River to our community.

Our staff attended an on-site dedication ceremony on Monday, October 19 where plans for the park were shared with the public. Members of the Harris Family also spoke about the park’s namesake and her love of the area. Both the Boise Weekly and the Idaho Statesman covered the dedication.

Meridian Parks & Recreation Master Plan

Kim Warren of Breckon landdesignalongside Meridian Parks and Recreation Director, Steve Siddoway, 
presents the design for the South Meridian Regional Park
For much of 2015, our staff has been working with GreenPlay LLC on a Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Master Plan for the City of Meridian. The project began with a thorough inventory and assessment of Meridian’s existing facilities along with a rigorous community input process involving interviews, stakeholder groups, and a community survey. This helped determine and prioritize need for Meridian’s Parks and Recreation Facilities and Programs. 

Our role focused on designing the preliminary master plans for three proposed regional parks: South Meridian Regional Park near South Eagle Road and Lake Hazel; West Meridian Regional Park at Cherry Lane and McDermott Road; and Margaret Aldape Park northwest of Linder Road and Chinden Blvd.

Margaret Aldape Park, a 60-acre parcel donated by Sherrie and John Ewing, will have the distinction of being Meridian's first riverfront park. It will be developed as a passive-use natural area with walking paths, ponds for non-motorized boats and water recreation, as well as areas for community and cultural events. Plans for the park will preserve and enhance habitat for a variety of wildlife species on site, including deer, elk, turkey, Great Blue Heron, and fox.

In additional to the three proposed park plans, our team also worked on an update to the 2010 Meridian Pathways Master Plan and developed strategic objectives for the Urban Forestry department to ensure the continued growth, health, and longevity of Meridian’s Urban Forest.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Contractor Spotlight: Boden Haus


Boden Haus Landscape is a complete landscape design and construction company. The mission of Boden Haus is to create sustainable landscapes through custom planning and implementation, while carving a niche in the local landscape industry with exceptional craftsmanship, and quality of service delivered to every client. Services include all exterior landscape site elements:

  • Brick Paver Patios & Driveways
  • Water Features
  • Retaining Walls
  • Water Features
  • Outdoor Kitchens
  • Fire Pits
  • Pergolas
  • Irrigation Systems
  • Swimming Pools
  • Plantings
  • Sod & Seed Lawn Areas

This month's Project Spotlight, A North End Residence, was installed by Boden Haus in 2015.

A Tuscany residence installed by Boden Haus in 2014:



A Hillside residence installed by Boden Haus in 2014.


Boden Haus
(p) 208-898-4232
(f) 208-475-6034
Serving the Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Nampa, Caldwell, Middleton, Star, Mountain Home, Cascade, McCall, and Donnelly areas

Vendor Spotlight: ShadeWorks


ShadeWorks provides low maintenance aluminum patio covers and pergolas that are proudly manufactured in the United States.

What makes their products so outstanding?
  • Environmentally ResponsibleConstructed entirely of aluminum, ShadeWorks products are environmentally friendly and recyclable.
  • Withstand Extreme WindAll structures are designed, engineered and constructed to withstand winds up to 120 mph.
  • Snow Zone FriendlyShadeWorks structures exceed all local and national building code requirements for snow loads.
  • Fire ResistantBecause all structures are constructed of high quality aluminum, they will not burn.
  • Termite & Insect ProofYou never have to worry about unwanted guests with these aluminum structures.
  • Never Needs PaintingA paint finish with a lifetime warranty that will never need to be painted or stained for as long as you own it.
  • Lifetime Warranty | ShadeWorks products feature the most complete lifetime warranty in the industry.
ShadeWorks products are designed to integrate with your home expanding your outdoor living spaces while adding character and style. While they are made from durable aluminum, they are designed to give the appearance of rough sawn wood.

ShadeWorks even offers an opening/closing roof system, the ultimate addition to any outdoor space. With the touch of a button you can control the sunlight.

Shadeworks also offers optional skylight panels that allow your patio to be lit with natural sunlight while staying cool and protected from the weather all year long.

One of the "coolest" features of their patio covers is the ability to integrate a ceiling fan to keep you cool all summer long.

Make your patio the focal point of your home. A gathering place for friends and family. The coolest place to relax and unwind. Kick your feet up and take advantage of the great outdoors from just outside your back door with ShadeWorks.

Locations in Idaho, Utah & Washington

Monday, October 12, 2015

Plant Feature: 'Karl Foerster' Feather Reed Grass

Physical Description
Botanical Name: Calamagrostis
Foliage: Long, thin, green blade-like leaves
Flower: Feathery white blooms with a hint of purple, fade to yellow and buff during Fall months.
Sun: Full sun to partial shade
Water: Medium to wet soils
Size: 3’-5’ h, 1.5’-2.5’ w
Zone: 4-9

General Information
This fast growing ornamental grass has a narrow, upright form with a clumping habit. Little maintenance is required once established. Additionally, foliage and blooms maintain good fall color and interest, primarily in temperate climates as it tends to act like an evergreen. Blooms last a significant amount of time and maintain an upright position throughout the fall and winter months.

History | Symbolism
Calamagrostis acutilifora ‘Karl Foerster’ is a hybrid of C. epigejos and C. arundinacea, native to Europe and Asia. It was brought to the U.S. from Denmark in 1964 and has been found throughout American gardens without becoming an invasive species. The species itself was documented by German nurseryman Karl Foerster, who wrote articles and lectures about plant identification, as well as owned and managed a 5000 square meter garden and nursery in Potsdam, Germany. Foerster’s nursery was controversial during the Nazi era, due to his decision to employee Jewish friends while resisting the Nazi insistence to propagate and sell pure, native German plant species. Karl Foerster also had a significant impact on show gardens and demonstration gardens throughout Germany.

Care | Propagation | Pests
Plant grasses in early to late spring for quick and healthy root establishment. Any dividing of a specimen should occur in early fall. Cut stems back to about 6” in height during late winter or early spring to encourage blooming during growing season.

This particular grass tolerates erosion, wetness, and heavier clay soils, making it a suitable specimen for ponds and stream banks. Unlike most ornamental grasses, ‘Karl Foerster’ does not self-seed due to sterility. Additionally, it has no known serious insect or disease problems, and is deer resistant.