Dakin brings over 20 years of experience in landscape architecture to each venture. Her practice hinges on the understanding that each project has a unique context, both human and ecological. For Dakin, the design process is a collaboration between landscape architect, client and site: both a discipline and an art.


A Landscape-Driven Estate



Dakin has been working on this ongoing project since 2005. Because of the owners’ deep engagement with their land and garden, the landscape has guided the entire design process, from architecture to civil engineering to landscape design. All architecture on site is oriented toward the garden, a park-like, multi-use environment that includes a walking labyrinth, restored prairie, a Japanese garden, an orchard, vegetable beds, berry brambles, a croquet lawn and a charred wood outdoor shower. Dakin has had the privilege of creating an arboretum of diverse and rare trees that she based on Olmsted’s design for Central Park. Trees were selected to display a variety of seasonally shifting delights: spring blooms, fall berries, winter branch structure. Mature trees onsite were preserved and sometimes moved to new locations. In addition to its diversity of garden types, this permacultural paradise is home to chickens, ducks, and bees. A complex irrigation system was designed to draw alternately from wells and cisterns.