This backyard in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis had been neglected was bursting with our biggest urban weed enemy – Campanula, also know as Creeping Bellflower. Our first goal was a removal plan to eradicate this persistent weed. We’ve found that neither mechanical removal nor sheet mulching are sufficient, and chemical eradication was not under consideration because as a company we are dedicated to chemical-free methods.
We decided on a mass solarization (plastic smothering) technique–plastic went down in the late summer which gave us time in the fall and winter to develop a design to bring the “north shore” into this private backyard.
The resident has a small cabin in Northeastern Minnesota and wanted to feel like they were at home in both locations. We selected a combination of textural native and non-native species for the dry, shady conditions under the mature birch trees on site. We chose to reuse the existing granite cobblestones for a classic fire pit, added topography through the use of berms to give it the feel of an undulating landscape, installed jagged boulder outcroppings to create microclimates and seating areas, added a secondary gathering space for sitting and contemplation, and created movement to throughout the site with gravel paths leading to a new cedar hot tub.