It’s a modern Thoreau’s dream. Imagine living in a cute-but-modern cabin nestled in the upper reaches of the Northwest Portland hill country. The distance view is breathtaking, but it’s the foreground sights that really catch your eye.
A luscious green meadow unfurls around the cabin. Along the fringes of the meadow, the grass stretches up to the flourishing hedge of blackberries, expanding vertically into a wall of evergreens and Douglas Firs. A natural stone garden surrounds the dwelling area with imposing strength and rugged beauty. And amidst the verdant grandeur of nature itself, lies a simple and eco-friendly dwelling place that looks perfectly in place in the center of this lush beauty.
It can be easy to get envious of a striking 40-acre plot like the Hockensmiths have. But envy be gone, it’s something that’s not beyond the reach of other Portland-dwellers. With a bit of yard space and a hint of interest, green integration is possible on your plot of ground. Although you may not have a house designed by Pietro Belluschi, the renowned architect of the Hockensmith’s home, you can have an outdoor space crafted and inspired by nature itself.
Part of the task of creating beautiful green space is allowing the plants of the Pacific Northwest to have their way. You may have to obliterate some of the more aggressive pests, such as ragweed, thistle and other weeds, but you can give way to indigenous berry bushes, cacti, citrus trees, and other beautiful plants. If your property is expansive enough for the bigger trees, you’re in luck. The Hockensmith’s 40-acre plot gives them room enough for a veritable forest of conifers and skyscraping green trees. Most medium-size lawns have room for at least a few trees.
Wherever you live and whatever your property looks like, you can do what the Hockensmith’s did and “[try] to be stewards of the land in the most sensitive manner possible.” Along the way, you’ll discover a way of life that is more beautiful, enjoyable, and relaxing than you may have thought was possible.