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Edible Landscape - Before and After

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

Location: Portland, Oregon

Landscape Design: Alana Chau for Landscape Design in a Day

Install: Donna Burdick from D&J Landscape Contractors

Castohn stepping stones, Rtf sod, cedar chip patio with stumps, family front yard, fenced front yard, Alana chau landscape design Portland Oregon
Family play space in the front yard complete with stepping stone paths, edible plants, tree stump circle to jump on (seasonally, a firepit) and the just the right amount of lawn for ever-changing play.

This wonderful family of 5 wanted a yard to really live in. They wanted to grow some food, play outside, eat dinner alfresco and gather with friends and neighbors. The largest constraint was the tricky lot, which was entirely a front yard.

Before: The property was all front yard and dead grass.
Before: The property was all front yard and dead grass.

Corner lots can be challenging to create distinct spaces and privacy. We worked with City of Portland to understand possible locations for the "back" yard. The layout we chose fits better with the neighborhood and creates an outdoor dining area that is closer to the kitchen door.

D&J crew creating the spaces.
Cedar privacy fence, cattle panel fence, paver path, rain garden, family garden, Alana chau landscape design Portland Oregon
After: a distinct front yard and back yard

Stormwater Management


One of my favorite challenges with downtown Portland projects is stormwater management. I would love all the downspouts in the city to be properly hooked up to rain gardens and soakage trenches and dry wells instead of creating combined sewage overflows, polluting the Willamette River. (Key word there is "properly" hooked up, not creating basement water issues or just draining to the street.)


Often there will be more than one stormwater solution on a property, but this site made more sense to point all 4 downspouts to one oversized rain garden. Note the concave rock that has already been claimed as a dinosaur watering hole. The first spring, the rain garden filled up to the brim but did not overflow.


rain garden with basalt and river rock, castohn stepping stones, steel edging, cattle panel fence, Portland Oregon landscape, Alana Chau landscape design
This rain garden receives water from 4 downspouts piped underneath the Castohn stepping stone path.

Courtyard Backyard


The new backyard is designed as a courtyard due to lack of space and the clients east coast roots. It's just large enough to comfortably fit a dining table and small couch.



Castohn Stepping stone, steel edging, crushed rock, cedar fence with steel posts, Rtf sod, Alana chau landscape design Portland Oregon
View from the new Courtyard looking toward the Front Yard. Mutual Material pavers and Castohn stepping stones.

The plants include an Frantoio Olive, Liberty Apple, Fuyu Persimmon, Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries and a Juniper raised bed for annual veggies. I will put more pictures up, especially the plants, as the landscape matures.


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