Hardscape Solutions: Dilapidated to delightful

July 23, 2019 -  By

Location Newark, Ohio
Company Hidden Creek Landscaping

The Dawes Arboretum sits on nearly 2,000 acres in Newark, Ohio. Located in an original dairy barn, the arboretum’s Zand Education Center and surrounding area needed an upgrade. The client wanted to create a space that included a vehicular drop-off, raised gardens with a garden shed, learning gardens, a patio adjacent to the building and a connection to the pond.

With a conceptual landscape plan that wasn’t to its satisfaction and a tight time frame, The Dawes Arboretum hired Hidden Creek Landscaping and gave the team six months to redesign and execute the project.

The team used the civil survey, verified grades and removed the majority of the proposed stairs, introducing strategically placed retaining walls.

In addition to the tight schedule, Hidden Creek encountered unknown utilities during construction as well as an old septic system. The company collaborated with the Dawes staff to identify the old lines and determine if they could be abandoned in place, which most of them were. The septic system was broken up, backfilled and abandoned as well.

The project earned Hidden Creek Landscaping a 2018 Silver Award from the National Association of Landscape Professionals’ Awards of Excellence program.

Photo: Marshall Evan Photography

The central raised stone planter is both a visual destination as well as a place to sit and relax. The main paths are concrete, while a secondary gravel path allows more access to view and learn about the plants. A few trees and shrubs create a framework for the arboretum to fill in the rest. Photo: Marshall Evan Photography

Photo: Prestige Pro Photo

The Dawes Arboretum’s elements included a vehicular drop-off, raised gardens with a garden shed, learning gardens, a formal patio adjacent to the building and a connection to the pond. Photo: Prestige Pro Photo

Photo: Prestige Pro Photo

The new landscape is connected by axial paths with a series of circles to mark either decision points or destinations. The entry road was expanded and regraded to allow for an accessible drop-off area, highlighted by permeable brick pavers and a cedar-wood pergola. The dilapidated entry ramp was removed and replaced with a generous sidewalk leading all visitors to the front door. Photo: Prestige Pro Photo

Photo: Marshall Evan Photography

A new design element was the pergola overlook. This permeable brick area is defined by a larger cedar-wood pergola with swings. It encourages visitors to sit, relax and enjoy the surrounding area. Photo: Marshall Evan Photography

Photo: Prestige Pro Photo

The northern wing of the educational building was demolished to create a space for learning gardens and to open up the views to the adjacent pond. Photo: Prestige Pro Photo

Photo: Prestige Pro Photo

This before shot of the Zand Education Center after the wing had been removed shows a partial brick patio and an existing pergola the team hoped to salvage. Photo: Prestige Pro Photo

Photo: Marshall Evan Photography

The current Zand outdoor patio. Photo: Marshall Evan Photography

Photo: Prestige Pro Photo

The finished installation continues to evolve as one of the great learning destinations at The Dawes Arboretum. Photo: Prestige Pro Photo

Photo: Marshall Evan Photography

Wood from the existing pergola was incorporated into entry arbors leading into the formal patio. Photo: Marshall Evan Photography

Photo: Prestige Pro Photo

The old patio doubled in size and is now enclosed by another double wide stone seat wall. The existing brick was salvaged and reused with matching brick installed. Photo: Prestige Pro Photo

Photo: Marshall Evan Photography

This view shows dramatic improvement to the space following Hidden Creek’s renovation. Photo: Marshall Evan Photography

Photo: Prestige Pro Photo

The Dawes Arboretum, founded in 1929, sits on nearly 2,000 acres in Newark, Ohio. The Zand Education Center provides interior and exterior classroom space as well as learning gardens and event gathering spaces to take advantage of the surrounding views. Photo: Prestige Pro Photo

Photo: Marshall Evan Photography

Each raised bed is irrigated and connected to a below grade drainage system .Photo: Marshall Evan Photography

Photo: Prestige Pro Photo

An informal learning garden of raised bed and a garden shed with a green roof immediately greets the visitor. A double wide stone seat wall defines the space and retains the patio. Photo: Prestige Pro Photo

Abby Hart

About the Author:

Abby Hart is the managing editor of Landscape Management. A native Clevelander, she spent 10 years in Chicago, where she was operations manager of a global hospitality consultancy. She also worked as managing editor of Illumine, a health and wellness magazine; and a marketing specialist for B2B publications. Abby has a degree in journalism from Boston University’s College of Communication.

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