RED BUTTE GARDEN - WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN
Project Confirmation Number: 9493V
Specialty Masonry: Masonry featured in walls, fencing, walk ways, and/or entry features.
300 Wakara Way
Salt Lake City, Utah 84108
Brief description of the project:
The Water Conservation Garden is a new feature at Red Butte Garden that has been designed to demonstrate that beautiful gardens need not require heavy application of water. This amazing garden will be used to educate home and business owners in the use of water-wise landscapes and plants
Size of Building:
3 Acre Site
Amount of Masonry Used (include all types and number of units):
Back-up stone material: 28,500 SF
Mountain Valley Flagstone: 4,500 SF
Mountain Valley Red Sandstone: 10,000 SF
Boulder Material: 1,200 SF
Paving Material: 250 SF
Stone Cap: 2,000 LF
Project completion date: 2017
Explain the project and its unique use of masonry materials and techniques.
Red Butte Garden assembled a design team to create a compellingly beautiful three-acre series of garden terraces set within the spectacular scenery backdrop of the Salt Lake City foothills and mountains. The major goal was to transform positively people’s understanding of water-wise gardening by immersing them in engaging and compelling garden spaces with rich horticultural palettes.
Each garden room celebrates aspects of and messages about responsible gardening in arid climates, including: water-savvy traditional mixed borders; the beauty of dryland plant evolutionary adaptations; water wise replacements for typical landscape plants; dry-adapted groundcovers and shrubs for slopes; optimization of irrigation to produce food; use of storm water in rain gardens; and gravel gardening.
Other goals included adding visitor destinations, expanding plant collections, presenting decorative hardscape elements, augmenting learning opportunities, and achieving ADA access up the site’s steep topography.
The new Water Conservation Garden is an immense, interactive landscape, perched on a hillside with gently winding paths, decorative stone steps and strategically placed pavilions that provide an expansive view of the Salt Lake Valley.
Natural stone terrace walls have been artistically arranged to provide planter boundaries and give beautiful backdrops to better showcase the many plant varieties within the garden.
Besides providing an element of natural beauty, these hardscape stone elements can assist in the design of a water-wise landscape.
Four differing styles of stonework add to the variety and beauty of the complex.
The top terrace wall is constructed of massive boulders which provides the upper boundary of the garden separating it from the natural mountain landscape above.
Tall battered walls clad in buff colored flagstone provide the primary structure for the upper terrace walls, paths, and lookout points.
Mid elevation terrace walls are constructed with a red sandstone installed in horizontal bands of alternating thickness which provides a more elegant controlled design.
Lower terrace walls utilized a red sandstone dry-stack installation constructed in an ashlar pattern. Several stone staircases connect terrace levels to provide easy access throughout the gardens and provide additional design elements.
Part garden, part outdoor adventure, part educational classroom, the Water Conservation Garden occupies the uppermost point of Red Butte Garden, making it the venue's largest formal garden.
More than 29,000 native, drought-tolerant and water-wise plants — some 350 species — are arranged in 10 themed areas or "rooms" that collectively convey one simple message: Skimping on water does not mean skimping on beauty.
Executive Director, Greg Lee expressed, "We don't want to guilt people into using these plants; we want to seduce them into having an absolutely stunning landscape using water-wise plants.”
Lee said the garden has been part of Red Butte's master plan for nearly a decade and cost about $6 million, paid for through private donations and grants.
While the garden sits on a steep slope, the pathways were built with a gentle 5 percent grade, making it ADA accessible and a great place for young and old to enjoy the outdoors just a few minutes from downtown.
RED BUTTE GARDEN
UNIVERSITY OF UTAH
ASH GROVE PACKAGING, AN OLDCASTLE COMPANY
Click on photos below to enlarge.
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