Saturday, June 19, 2010

"Homegrown" at Powerhouse Plants

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, Minnesota has a special summer exhibition called "Powerhouse Plants" which focuses on the multitude connections between plants and people: as nourishment, energy source and inspiration. Part of the fun is a juried art competition where artists and designers where asked to intepret these connections in new ways. Avocado Green was honored to be one of the five submissions selected for installation.

Our installation was assembled the last week of May. Entitled "Homegrown," the installation is in essence a "green wall" layered in a familiar context to appeal to the kid in all of us. Here is a quick synopsis of the design intent:
Approaching "Homegrown", one sees a simple building facade not unlike a child's drawing of a house. Upon crossing through the door, a wall of garden springs to life with a vertical cascade of color, smell and texture. A vertical garden presents the familiar in a brand new light, inspiring a fresh look at the role plants play in our lives. The landscapes that surround us often become "background" for the casual observer; here plants are "front-and-center". The installation becomes in both form and message a billboard for the power of plants to go beyond their perceived passive role in our everyday lives.

I've included some construction photos here, along with a few hints of the completed work, but you are going to have to visit the Arboretum to experience the work in it's entirety. It's located on the trail near the Sensory Garden and the Iris Gardens, and maps are provided at the gatehouse for this, the other artists' installations, and all the other special exhibits comprising "Powerhouse Plants."

Special thanks to our carpenter and all-around handyman extraordinaire Gary Bieniek and irrigation contractor MJ Holasek Irrigation for their services in making this project a reality.

If you aren't familiar with the Arboretum, it is a fantastic regional resource for all ages and interest levels: intense gardener to the casual picnicker. Acres of display gardens and trails can easily consume an afternoon. Visit for more information.

The "Powerhouse Plants" exhibition runs through October 10th. For those of you who can't make the trek, I'll be posting more photos over the summer tracking how the garden wall grows!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Lake Minnetonka magazine

Avocado Green got a shout-out in the June 2010 issue of Lake Minnetonka magazine. The article "Alfresco Living," by our friend Diane Timba, discussed trends in residential landscapes and included some of our thoughts on good landscape design.

Thanks Diane for including us!