Equinox just completed the finishing touches on the landscape for the HGTV Urban Oasis project in Asheville, and it looks great! This was an exciting project for us not only because it will be featured on national television but also because it was a design/build effort between Equinox and Gardenology.
The design team, led by Dena Chandler, provided a sustainable landscape design based upon the “urban oasis” theme to create a wildlife friendly landscape in an urban setting. The National Wildlife Federation® (NWF) has already recognized the project as an official Certified Wildlife Habitat™. The landscape features all of the components necessary to create a healthy haven for wildlife – a variety of food sources, a rain garden that provides water, evergreen and deciduous shelter for safety, and creative places to rear and raise offspring.
While the overall design theme was centered around creating this pocket wildlife sanctuary for birds and pollinators, the ‘human’ landscape was of course our main focus. We wanted to create an aesthetically pleasing landscape with a variety of materials for interest such as boulders, stepping stones, and decorative gravel. In combination with these “hardscape” elements, attention was given to creating interesting color and textural combinations for visual interest. The shady nature of the site lends itself to native woodland vegetation including coral bells, maidenhair fern, wild geranium, mountain laurel and rhododendron. With shade gardens, we placed extra attention on textures and colors to make things pop, such as grouping fine texture chartreuse green plants next to big leaved evergreens or deep purple foilage. Another key part of wildlife habitat is of course open space, so we included a small lawn area surrounded with masses of Pennsylvania Sedge (Carex pensylvanica) as a great lawn alternative.