2013 Award of Merit,
ASLA Alabama Chapter
Plants are intriguing creatures. Emerging from tiny seeds, some species are able to surpass the height of a human in a single growing season. The gravel garden explores the spatial qualities of this ephemeral transformation. Tapping into the ongoing research in plant phenology, this experimental garden employs annual species to transform the open, clean surface of the eastern terrace of the 274 Bragg Avenue project into a dense volume of plants in the summer.
Giving the garden its name, a continuous groundplane of gravel extends over the entire terrace, allowing any area to shift between being plantable or walkable at any given time. The images that follow capture an iteration of the garden where spring seeds are sown in a meticulous grid. This grid of plants eventually grow up and weave together to form a series of ephemeral rooms within the terrace. Greens and chartreuses of spring methodically transform into lovely browns and grays of winter. In late winter/early spring the thicket of stalks and seedheads are removed to make way for the next iteration of the garden in the spring.