Seattle, Washington: Falling waters

This garden combines engineering, landscaping, and art
Lauren Bonar Swezey

A devastating landslide on John and Julie Denney's hillside property turned a serious disaster into a fantastic opportunity. What once had been an unusable slope rising steeply out of Puget Sound has become a gorgeous garden filled with waterfalls, streams, granitelike outcroppings, and lush shade plants.

Using a combination of engineering skills, landscaping talent, and artistic sensibilities, designer Hendrikus Schraven stabilized the hillside and transformed unsightly structural retaining walls into manmade rock outcroppings and ledges that naturally blend into the hillside.

A recirculating spring emerges from the granite rocks and tumbles down the hillside into a series of pools. New rock outcroppings also expanded the usable garden space next to the house, creating a level outdoor lawn and garden area. "Each detail was finished to perfection," noted a juror.

DESIGNER: Hendrikus Schraven, Hendrikus Schraven Landscape Construction & Design, Issaquah, WA (425/392-9977)