New gathering space/council ring constructed!

See how simple natural stones can be fashioned in a pleasing (and very democratic) seating space:

• Regional inspiration – 7 large natural stones (each weighs an average of 1800 pounds) are sited around a natural stone firepit. Room is left between each natural stone seat for additional seating etc. Each seating stone will comfortably seat two people so this space can handle smaller groups up to much larger sized.

o The seating stones were locally quarried in Waupon, WI and provided to us by our friends at Madison Block & Stone (thanks Todd!!)

• Hardy, native vegetation means less maintenance – Native swamp white oak and hackberry trees help provide the vertical walls that help make this council ring a true outdoor space. Walls, overhead canopy and views out make this a cozy and comfortable space.

• It all starts with a plan – The most important component of this outdoor seating space is to get the scale right – if the space is too big it won’t feel intimate enough and if it’s too small it will feel crammed and to tight (and maybe a little hot).

• Lastly, in order to render the firepit immediately useful, we opted to use turf sod around the firepit area and seed/straw for the lawn areas beyond the council ring. This was mainly done to reduce the likelihood of straw catching fire when using the firepit. In a few short months the lawn seed will germinate and fill in (and the straw will biodegrade and be gone).

Before photo of site

Before photo of site

 

Landscape Design

Landscape Design

 

Subbase for firepit is complete and seating stones are placed in approximate location.

Subbase for firepit is complete and seating stones are placed in approximate location.

 

Seating stones are dug in and leveled.  Now we’re ready for the firepit, finish grading and turf seed & sod!

Seating stones are dug in and leveled. Now we’re ready for the firepit, finish grading and turf seed & sod!

 

Local sandstone boulders were placed at the trailhead to demarcate access and to visually connect with the council ring & firepit location.

Local sandstone boulders were placed at the trailhead to demarcate access and to visually connect with the council ring & firepit location.

David takes a quick break after finishing the firepit installation.  This is locally quarried limestone that is cut to fit into a simple, but elegant firepit.  This is a 6’ diameter pit, two course tall, with one cap stone course.  Beautiful huh?

David takes a quick break after finishing the firepit installation. This is locally quarried limestone that is cut to fit into a simple, but elegant firepit. This is a 6’ diameter pit, two course tall, with one cap stone course. Beautiful huh?

 

Close-up of the finished product – Natural seating stones, firepit, trees & shrubs & turf sod.  What a combination :)?

Close-up of the finished product – Natural seating stones, firepit, trees & shrubs & turf sod. What a combination :)?

 

Watering the trees & hazelnut shrubs & rinsing the seating stones off before we leave!

Watering the trees & hazelnut shrubs & rinsing the seating stones off before we leave!

 

A distant shot of our completed council ring and firepit.

A distant shot of our completed council ring and firepit.