Designer in the Spotlight: Ben Bowen

Ben Bowen has been a landscape designer only a few years, but has been working in the landscape industry as long as he can remember. As a teen he got his start installing irrigation timers for his grandfather’s company. Over the years Ben gradually gained knowledge and experience in all facets of residential landscape construction, gradually transitioning to a lead role and eventually design. That background gives him the ability to create landscape designs that work in reality, not just on paper. Ben specializes in high end residential landscapes and especially enjoys Japanese gardens and contemporary spaces. He is the sole designer at his family’s design/build firm, Ross NW Watergardens.

The landscape featured here is a complete renovation of the front and back yards for a beautiful Mid-Century Modern home.


modern-low-maintenance-Ben-BowenThe home is a Rummer, and the client wanted a low maintenance landscape that would highlight it’s great lines. Ben blended elements from contemporary landscapes with Japanese influences to create a garden that truly meets these demands.

The front lawn was eliminated, replaced with decomposed granite and narrow planting beds. Boulders add texture and weight to the simple layout.


The plantings both soften the blank front face of the home and emphasize its modern lines.



Back lawn was minimized, with a small area left for the client’s dogs. Decomposed granite was used to create a small gathering area, now home to a concrete fire pit.








An aging retaining wall was replaced by a juniper timber wall with a shou-sugi-ban finish.
The new back fence and screens use cedar boards to echo the feel of Japanese bamboo screening.