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Rain Garden

Shade Garden

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Resistance To Challenges




Name: Floricycle

Open to the public? No


USDA Hardiness Zone: 

Extension Demonstration Garden? No

Approximate year the garden/landscape was established: 2019

What to look for: A narrow parcel of land behind our cottage sat vacant for more than fifty years after a turn-of-the-century motel had been torn down. The main grading challenges were controlling water runoff and preserving the integrity of the street above. Two steep slopes were created with a swale between the two to channel excess water to a buried drain along the south side of the property. The upper slope spans the full width of the property while the lower slope extends 122 linear feet in a half-circle around the back of the house. Stone steps installed through the lower slope provide access to the upper level. 

“Floricycle” was first used to describe the garden design of the Darwin D. Martin House in Buffalo, New York designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built between 1903 and 1905. Records from the time suggest this was an invented word between Martin and Wright to describe this concept of planting in a hemicycle, or half circle, with a sequential cycle of blooming plants from March to November. 

The property owner’s first landscaping priority was for privacy from the street up above and the house next door with the second priority was growing as many flowering plants as would fit into the space. 

Horticulture: The planting includes herbs, perennials, bulbs, shrubs, grasses, trees, ground covers, natives, and vines. The left field is full sun, while the center and right fields enjoy part-sun, giving me the opportunity to grow a wide range of plants and accommodate their various needs.