The White Whale

The White Whale

Green-factor, what it takes to create sustainable modern landscapes for built-green homes.

So what if someone asked you to create a modern landscape design¬†that meet the rigorous GSI and Green-Factor code requirements of Seattle’s DPD.

You have to figure out what is required to receive a .6 score on their score sheet and the work will need to be completed by a RLA (Predigested Landscape Architect).

To meet the requirements you must do the following:

  • Mitigate an area of 4,881 sf
  • Add seven new evergreen trees
  • Add eight new deciduous trees
  • Bio-retention area that can mitigate a contributing area of up to 3,120 sf with a pounding depth of 6″ and a design infiltration rate of .25 in/hr
  • Create a Permeable pavement surface of 1,988 sf with a subgrade slope less that 2%
  • 2,853 sf of landscape areas with soil depth of 24″ or greater
  • 1,389 sf of mulch, ground covers, or other plants less than 2′ tall at maturity
  • 284 shrubs or perennials that will be 2’+ at maturity

and the list goes on and on and on. All before getting to the most important part which is creating an enjoyable environment for ones family.

Modern landscaping to us is about creating a life changing positive experiences around your home. Making the whole experience positive and uplifting for the client and their end user is what makes us unlike most Design/Build firm.

At True Scape Design we specialize in creating Modern Landscapes for Modern builders. We also have a large impact in the Mid-Century Modern community where our district characteristics really shine.


A lot more goes into creating something awesome than many may think. Understanding the codes and requirements is one part but having hands on soil and plant specialists focused only on what we call Groundworks is where the biggest impact is made.

Our professional staff doesn’t just get you through permitting with an awesome design that fits the clients end budget goals. Our Ground-working people are applying best practices in the art of installation.



Take this project The White Whale. Lets install it. But wait… Lets install it in a Seattle heat wave with temperatures well into the 90’s. Lets go one step further into our Clients end game

Orca Homes wants curb appeal. They know the area this home is in is up and coming and very soon wont seem so industrial. They want to show the community the future by presenting them now with a vibrant project indicative of the awesomeness to come even if the project is not 100% complete.



Orcas Homes like everyone knows landscapes, plants and trees need water to survive. Still they had no one to water and couldn’t justify irrigation on a project that was designed to be drought tolerant. They just wanted through the break in period and make it out of the heat waive.




We suggested a make shift temporary irrigation system which could water things for them while they finished the interiors and got the homes on the market. This watering system takes into account rain fall and waters accordingly at set intervals.

What you see here is pictures one month after install. The project is now done and on the market. The new homeowners will arrive soon and their drought tolerant, sustainable landscape is now well rooted and extremely healthy.


Here at True Scape Design, Modern landscaping is more than just putting plants in the ground. Its planning, vision, love and compassion. Its remembering how we felt as children playing in the spaces around our homes. Its creating that space for others in a way that connects young and old. And with new construction it’s doing all that while following about 100 or more other rules and requirements.

It’s this passion that wakes us up excited every day ready to solve problems and make memories.



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