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Subject: Re: 2nd Edition of Time Saver Standards available in office

Amy Pin 6:34 PM (1 hour ago)

to [Design Team], and me

Thank youuuuuu!

Penelope Gain 2:23 PM (5 hours ago)

to [Design Team], and me

You’re a rock star!

 

Paul Close 1:30 PM (6 hours ago)

to [Design Team], and me

OMGOMGOMG

 

From: Margaret Campoverde
Sent: Monday, 1:22 PM
To: Roy Billings
Cc: [Design Team], and me
Subject: Re: 2nd Edition of Time Saver Standards available in office 

Tamara,

You're so dreamy. 

 XOXO

M

On Mon, Apr 29, 2019 at 1:20 PM Roy Billings <roy@ourwebsite.com> wrote:

NICE!!!!

Thanks

_____________________________________________________________

Welcome to another redesign for the Campion Walker Landscape’s Blog!

My name is George and I’m the new Admin here at CWL, so, in addition to the blog, I’m responsible to be up to date on the progress of the projects we have in process across Southern California, a duty I manage in part by reading through a good part of company correspondence, which is cc’d to me ‘for the record.’

Now, full disclosure, I love plants, and I have occasionally begun to cultivate cactus and succulent gardens, but I did not last long enough in the rental spaces where they were planted for any of these efforts to have amounted to much.  So, as a horticulturalist, and therefore with regard to most of Campion Walker Landscape’s ‘design and build’ business, I am a complete and total novice.

That said, I am my own kind of a nerd, a people-watching kind, among others, so it immediately caught my eye when I saw the first few responses in this chain.  We are a team of creative professionals—drawn together by a shared love of native and drought-resistant plants, sustainable design and low-impact materials, granted, but still creatives and professionals, so to get buy-in from six of the eight members of the team, and one of the holdouts the e-mail averse owner himself—even I know that this is very nearly a miracle in its own right.

And these aren’t pro-forma thank yous, either.  Every one of them, notice, even down to the gruff-but-amiable DOO ‘Roy’ (I’ve changed the team’s names for their privacy), they all include some form of emphasis, from exclamation points and allcaps, to OMGs of excitement, to shameless flattery, almost everyone is not only satisfied with this new asset, they’re excited about it.

So what IS this Time Saver Standards that the design team is so excited about…?

_____________________________________________________________

On Mon, Apr 29, 2019 at 1:17 PM Tamara Dunwiddie  <tamara@ourwebsite.com> wrote:

Hi guys!

Found a used copy of the huge second edition of Time Saver Standards for Landscape Architects and I’ve made it available for everyone’s reference at the office.  At 900+ pages, it is probably the most comprehensive reference text for landscape architects, and has been cited as an official reference text for all of the LARE tests. Inside you'll find construction design details, info on circulation/ turning radius standards, stormwater management, spatial standards, working within natural hazard zones, pool design, lighting design, planting specs, grading, site analysis, wood/ metal/ concrete/ stone/ glass etc etc- pretty much everything we're supposed to know.  

Happy hunting!

Best,

Tamara Dunwiddie 

--

Tamara Dunwiddie | Associate Designer

_____________________________________________________________

Oh, a book!  Now I get it.

Wait, no I don’t.  Y’all say you’re all excited about a book on stormwater management, working within natural hazard zones and turning radius standards?  These people must be crazy!

I’m kidding, I didn’t think that.  Not for long, at least.

A shaded path makes a lovely place for a stroll outside the greenhouses at the Elizabeth Taylor residence.

A shaded path makes a lovely place for a stroll outside the greenhouses at the Elizabeth Taylor residence.

As a history student, I’ve learned to keep an eye out for records that furnish a complete image, or a story that illuminates an essential element of human nature, and to interrogate that record for evidence of how that one moment or story—or artifact—is seen, used, or acted upon by many different people of diverse backgrounds and different motivations.  So perhaps it will be obvious, why the foregoing exchange between my new co-workers intrigues and delights me.

Here on the blog, my job is to provide a mix of useful landscape design and fabrication information, ‘human interest’ dimensions to both our employees and our projects, and, let’s face it, encounterable search engine keywords related to landscaping, design, sustainability, native plants, drought-resistant horticulture, low-impact, environmentally friendly materials(…I’m really sorry, this is just getting gratuitous).  To best accomplish this, I’ve been asked to balance my glaring, painful ignorance of the subject against Campion Walker’s nearly forty years of expertise designing, building and nurturing some of the most beautiful properties in Topanga, and across the Southern California region.

The stunning full-page index spreads in  Botanica , top, are just one of the beautiful and utilitarian resources scattered about the Campion Walker Landscapes office, informing and inspiring the work we do every day.

The stunning full-page index spreads in Botanica, top, are just one of the beautiful and utilitarian resources scattered about the Campion Walker Landscapes office, informing and inspiring the work we do every day.

Quite soon, for instance, I will do a lovely little ‘fluff’ article on a project we did some years ago on the grounds of the inimitable Elizabeth Taylor’s residence, a beautiful, classically verdant garden with a truly breathtaking bower and lovely fountains, it will be full of pictures so enchanting you may actually be able to ignore my ramblings for a moment or two.  It’s okay.  I won’t mind.  That’s what I’m here for, just filler copy for your pintresting…

I’ve quizzed my new co-workers about new trends in the field, too, flipped through the professional magazines around the office and started taking closer notice of the interesting plants adorning my everyday life.  I’ve done a bit of poking around in the community of Topanga, took that terrifying first trip along Saddle Peak Rd., both trying and trying not to look out over that breathtaking 1600ft. descent into Little Las Flores Canyon, and I’ve tried some of the local food places, including ‘The’ taco truck, which supplements the sparse lunch-food selection in the canyon from a semi-permanent parking spot just thirty steps up the road from the little town center, such as it is.

Gibbaeum gibbosum.png

None of that seems quite as endearing, however, as this exchange amongst my new co-workers, so I thought I would take that as a starting point for this newest effort at a blog.  I began by asking around the office about other reference standards, and they quickly pointed me around the room to the stacks of influential books in the field, arranged oh-so-tastefully on the shelves about our office and interspersed among the surprisingly beautiful arrangements of material samples, the glass and the colorful ceramic tiles alternating with stone and composites of an impressive variety of color and even pattern.

Check out Botanica, they told me, referring to the imposing, 1020 page ‘alphabet’ of plant species, an encyclopedia and compendium of thumbnail images with over 10,000 different plant species that includes stunning index page spreads like the above, of a Gerbera jamesonii flower.

The ‘G’ section of this compendium led me to this little cutie, Gibbaeum gibbosum a succulent from South Africa, for which I have an affection stemming partly from another favorite book and partly from my own travels in Southern Africa.

But Botanica is not a strong representation of our own firm, some noted, objecting to the abundance of temperate climate foliage included in the volume and pointing to Bob Perry’s Landscape Plants for California Design, a far more serious and academical tome, which, in fairness, is filled with sticky-note tabbing for ease of reference, a clear indication that it is often in use here in the office. And so I took a look at Perry.

But even then, someone else noted, we don’t really use any of the reference books as much as you might think.  In fact, of all the books in the office, they pointed out, the most used is the Sunset Western Garden Book, which, sure enough, is present in multiple copies, one of which is open on ‘Roy’s’ desk as I write these words.  This, however, is not a book with cachet or prestige.  ‘Pedestrian’ is the word that was used for it, and inside I note that the paper has the same quality as phonebook rag, though perhaps a bit heavier.  Still, this book is so fundamental to their trade (the gardener’s bible, they call it), that one CW employee has a collection of every single edition of the book ever printed, going back some eighty years.

Landscape Plants for California Gardens is a far more disciplined and utilitarian reference, with larger pictures and entries, but little concern for beauty. Campion Walker balances spacial simplicity and tasteful details against the artless efficiency and robotic optimization of contemporary living to create elegant solutions that our clients can live  with , and  in , and  among .

Landscape Plants for California Gardens is a far more disciplined and utilitarian reference, with larger pictures and entries, but little concern for beauty. Campion Walker balances spacial simplicity and tasteful details against the artless efficiency and robotic optimization of contemporary living to create elegant solutions that our clients can live with, and in, and among.

Landscape design is about fitting the wild, uncontrollable growth of the natural world inside the rigid boundaries of contemporary (or ‘postmodern’ as historians and other equally boring types call it) living.  It’s about building connections through reverence for the old way of doing things, the weathered textures of passed ages of utility and value interleaved seamlessly with the economies of the present day: optimal productivity; peak efficiency; ethical growing and local sourcing.

Books offer another kind of connection, one that I am more familiar with, but one that is no less fundamental to the old ways of doing things.  Design, too, is about slowing down, appreciating the thought put into the perception of endless viewers, over time, and I know that in these books and on the shelves where all of these surprisingly beautiful arrays of design samples reside are a wealth of opportunities to learn the exquisite style and considered approach that all of my co-workers so clearly value here at Campion Walker Landscapes.