COMMUNITY... in the garden

This week Shelly Long, from the HAPA Collaborative reached out from her work placement in Rotterdam. Shelly worked on this Project and this talented woman is preparing for her final exam to receive registration in B.C. as a Landscape Architect. Joe you did well to bring this talent onto your team at Hapa. This post is a nod and thank you to Hapa Collaborative and Shelly : such a star.

These wood block pavers create a great play between the charcoal pavers and the fabulous fence (more to come on the fence shortly). The wood blocks were chosen as they are a direct nod to the old roads and what lies beneath the asphalt, particularly on Union St.. If you’re interested in that history here’s a link to an article in Scout Vancouver that featured that story — Since the original house here was built in 1898 you can rest assured those roads in this hood had those wooden blocks.

Next to the wood pavers to the east we have a crazy fun fence, I promised to show. Everyone who comes to the property can’t help but comment positively on how cool, fun, different, playful … it is. I see it as a theme wall for all the parties to follow. We debated on wether to paint it the racoon fur colour used on the Octopus and all the new additions to the Pink House or to just leave it the natural wood color. You can see what we ended up doing, which I think looks great, but I’m sure you can appreciate why it was a debate/ deliberation (yet another decision) at all. Right?

Let’s take a look at another interesting wall and entrance to the Project that focuses on another material. You guessed it, the concrete hag is coming out. I love the contrast of material and lush soft plants as they interplay on our visual senses (note to Olfaction: the most fragrant roses are close to the path as you head to the main entrance, by the guys in the window (smile)).

Small stones lead you to the entrance of the Pink House (as you can see in the photo above) and larger stones are used to create the garden’s retaining walls and function for drainage as well as looking “Beauty”. Here’s a bit of that progress.

… and in a few short weeks to a month it looks like this.

I really love the interplay with hardscape and plants and these photos are a sneak peak at the before of that play. Corsican Mint will be planted between these pavers so not only will the visual be pleasant but it will keep giving in a non-skunk like manner. This will be a stones throw away from the Katsura tree growing through the back deck.

On the note of fragrance and smelling, the Katsura tree will be connected to a pink party most assuredly. In the fall when the leaves change color certain people, genetically pre-disposed, can smell it. Hmmm, I think we may have a theme developing for that fun fence…

See you at the party!

PROGRESS... in the home stretch

This week let’s look at a few before and almost afters:

Garden suite: (851 Union)

The Grand Dame: (853 Union)

The Octopus (Studio ):

The Octopus: (855 Union)

The Octopus: (857 Union — Mama’s place)

ART...where will I hang it all

My art collection is waiting to come out of storage and find it’s place on the walls. My brain is working as I walk around looking at the millwork going in and watching space open up. Hmmm, “What would be amazing on this wall or that one?”, whirls around my mind. “Oh that is def. going on the memory wall”. These are some of the early planning thoughts floating about my head as I walk the Pink House and the Octopus. The art of placement and detail, a different kind of hand of the Artist.

Speaking of “opening up” and making room and tossing in a little before for effect of architectural art; take a peek…

Back to the art. Here’s a share of the art as hung in my old place.

Those many pieces of art you see are just the tip of the art-berg. Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun’s work is peeking out but the tree drawings are missing from these photos. Also you don’t see the work of Anida Yoeu Ali hung but it too is waiting for a wall. I’m going to help rope you into this special person and her work, enjoy the worm hole you’re going to want to explore further...

Let’s work on getting that Buddhist Bug to perform here on the Project 851 site and bring her to Vancouver, hmmm do I hear the Vancouver Art Gallery calling her? How fun will that be!!

PEOPLE...missing (haha)

This week while people , as in worker people, were on site things were flying: stairs blued and waxed, millwork in the octopus, piece meal tiles going in, front door primed, garden suite patio graded, meetings… While Dino was coordinating all that, I thought I’d toss in a little guerrilla project for us to add to the mix. He helped me with a guerrilla tree planting; now there is a Dino/Mira tree planted in a super secret place! The usual Friday strudel arrived, via Mama, to feed the workers on site and prep them for a nice Canada Day weekend.

I, on the other hand, did not go away for the weekend and with all the people missing proceeded to step up to the work table and did a little priming.

What are those spindles for you may be asking? Well those puppies will be going outside on the porch around the front door. If you recall the Newell post blog you’ll understand how they’ll work together. It’s a fun transition of indoor details going outside. This kind of play of inside/outside, old/new/, octopus/pinkhouse and metaphors of reference have given me a lot of joy. At those times I feel I can’t take it anymore and am going to sit down and cry for a year that is what helps me through the journey of the never ending project.

I recall a friend building in N. Vancouver years ago calling his house “the house that will never be built”, going through this process gives me a whole new perspective on his positive outlook on a difficult journey. Little does he know how those words would actually help me survive construction fatigue.

Here’s to the old inside going outside…