APLDWA Featured Designer:
Janine Anderson and Terry LeLievre
North Beach Landscapes
Member since 2008
This quarter we welcome Janine Anderson and Terry LeLievre as APLD-WA featured designers. Janine and Terry of North Beach Landscapes are based in Port Townsend, WA, and are long-time APLD members. We are excited to catch up with them here.
This modern patio was inspired by one seen at a Frank Lloyd Wright–designed residence in Detroit. Here, a fire pit was temporarily converted into a social-distancing table during the pandemic.
(All photos by Janine Anderson)
We encourage clients to create as many areas as possible that afford intimacy with the outdoor environment.
How would you describe your design style?
Janine Anderson and Terry LeLievre
are the principals of North Beach Landscapes in Port Townsend.
Contrasts in texture, form, color, and scale are factors when selecting plants.
Who inspires you and your designs?
Inspiration comes from travel, visiting gardens, and studying landscapes created by fellow designers. Far-flung travels have introduced us to landscapes and plants as diverse as those in southern Africa, New Zealand, Japan, Central America, France, Italy, and Scandinavia. The United States also has an amazing variety of mesmerizing landscapes, from the hardwood forests of the Midwest and northeast to the southwest’s Sonoran Desert and the southeast’s tropical lushness. And here, in our own backyard, the Pacific Northwest continues to inspire us with its grandeur of mountains and seas, forests, deserts and islands. We take advantage of numerous continuing education opportunities—garden tours, lectures, webinars, conferences, and symposia. Our field is anything but static. The science evolves, as do the esthetics, materials, and sustainable practices. We try to stay abreast of it all.
Birds and other pollinators are a high priority. Here, a Rufous hummingbird gathers nectar from the tubular, flaming red flowers of a Chilean Fire Tree.
Is your focus design? Or do you also manage installation, build, and maintain gardens?
We are licensed and bonded contractors and can manage all phases of a project. North Beach Landscapes has no employees other than us, the owners. We utilize specialists for many elements of our projects. Although no two projects are identical, we generally subcontract most hardscape elements, such as excavating, patios, and fences. Then we might install the paths, edging, irrigation, and lighting ourselves. We procure and place plants, after which they are installed and mulched by our subs. Our company does not have a maintenance arm, though we do help troubleshoot and fine-tune the landscapes we have created. This often involves pruning, irrigation adjustments, pest and disease diagnosis, enhancements, and container planting.
A newly planted deer-resistant pollinator and fragrance garden borders the entry to this home. Inside the fence the garden is primarily devoted to food, including three large bench planters and a sunny, south-facing orchard flanking the path beyond.
What experiences as a designer have you found to be most challenging?
Challenges abound in our multifaceted profession. Many of us who enter the landscape industry do so because we are passionate about gardens and landscapes, and we feel we have something to offer. It turns out, however, that our field is far more complex than just bringing beauty to a garden. Issues related to soil structure, drainage, erosion control, client mobility, slope retention, and grading are among the many critical challenges that we must address before we can create a garden that will give our clients immense pleasure.
Where we operate North Beach Landscapes – on the Olympic Peninsula in the small community of Port Townsend – finding qualified subcontractors to handle the various aspects of an installation is a huge challenge. The pool of highly-skilled craftspeople is quite small. And hiring someone for a few days or a week is problematic, especially with the current boom in new home construction. Similarly, a narrower range of materials is available on the peninsula when compared with urban areas, such as Seattle. And delivery is seldom offered.
Another challenge is the growing deer population in our community – a serious threat to landscapes. The only solution in this battle is to fence the entire property. But not everyone wants that degree of enclosure. Clients often breathe more easily after fencing at least a portion of their property. Elsewhere, we select deer-resistant plant varieties, although even “deer-resistant” plants are becoming less so as we find deer are expanding their palates. It’s becoming impossible to know what they might pass by. The only thing we can truthfully say is, “I haven’t seen them eat it yet.”
In this backyard renovation, lawn was removed to make room for flagstone patio and paths, expanded border plantings, and hot tub.
Which experiences have you found to be most rewarding?
There is nothing more rewarding, after all is said and done, than clients who are ecstatic about their completed garden, which continues to bring them immense pleasure in the years that follow. No project flows totally smoothly. Hiccups are inevitable during the design and installation process, which can be frustrating and disheartening for all parties involved. Difficulties arise – scheduling, sourcing plants and materials, reliability of subcontractors, injuries, code restrictions, compacted soil and debris related to construction activities, etc. But when the job is completed, and the client is happy, any headaches encountered along the way are forgotten. With clients who continue to reach out to us year after year for advice and modifications, we feel we have done our job well!
Birds flock to the large dish rock, which is cleaned and refilled daily and is visible from kitchen and dining areas.
This generously proportioned backyard has four seating areas, including this one with a fire pit, plus a small studio and food garden area.
What would your ideal project and client be?
We appreciate clients who have at least a general idea of what they are looking for in a design and in a designer, then allow us the freedom to bring our creativity, expertise, and passion to the process. Once a design is finalized, we hope our relationship has become strong, with enough trust established that the client doesn’t feel the need to micromanage, something we feel is counterproductive. We want to please our clients. But if they are constantly looking over our shoulders and second-guessing what we do, we feel inhibited and believe the outcome is often inferior to what it would have been had they given us more leeway.
We also enjoy the challenge of larger projects, either new construction or major renovations. With a large project, we have the opportunity to create a comprehensive, integrated design that compliments the site and the architecture of the home. And it’s helpful when clients understand the costs associated with a project of this scale, with a budget flexible enough to absorb price increases and occasional changes.
Our clients wanted lush plantings along the sidewalk that could be enjoyed by pedestrians.
This client wanted a boardwalk as the entry walk to their new home. Although we were skeptical, everyone’s happy with the result. The planks are discarded snow fencing from Colorado, and flanking the walk is a sea of no-mow lawn.
Beauty and sustainability coexist here as Western swallowtail butterfly feeds on nectar of Agapanthus ‘Blue Leap’.