If you want to see a dramatic landscape design on a large scale, visit downtown Maryville, Tenn. and swing by the Maryville-Alcoa Greenway as it meanders along Pistol Creek. That’s where you’ll find the headquarters of the booming chain of fashion boutiques called Altar’d State (in the former Ruby Tuesday headquarters building). In 2017, the Altar’d State team brought us on as their landscape architects to put together a landscape design plan that would create an unexpected experience for visitors. That’s what we did, and here’s how …

Wish List

The Altar’d State executives had several things on their landscaping wish list. In addition to the most important — a wow experience — they wanted:

  • A small outdoor employee lounge area where their teams could relax and recharge together.
  • A small fenced area for employees’ dogs (that’s right, just like Carex Design Group, their offices are dog-friendly!).
  • New landscaping, including shrubs, trees and other plants for an expansive area sloping dramatically down to Pistol Creek.
Outdoor Dog Oasis

For these working fashion hounds, no simple fenced kennel space would do. First, we needed a level area near the building to work with. To create that, we designed and built an enormous retaining wall that was nearly 14 feet at its tallest point.

Given the limited access for mowers and other maintenance equipment to the dog area, we opted to use artificial turf for easy maintenance with low-maintenance planting surrounding the turf. The artificial turf will not only make maintenance easy, but it will hold up well to the scratches and scrapes of heavy four-legged traffic. We also included a shade sail in the space to keep dogs and their pet parents protected from the hot sun. And no doggie play-pen would be complete without a reliable fence. For this project, we chose an American Classic black aluminium fence for easy upkeep.

We also included low-voltage landscape lighting by Vista Lighting for added safety in the dog area as well as on the expansive steps leading from the dog area down to Pistol Creek.

Dog on Artificial Turf

Patio and Gas Fire Pit

To create a complimentary space for Altar’d States human employees, we designed and built a circular overlook patio that provides sweeping views of the creek below as well as a clear view to the dog area so folks could keep an eye on their furry friends. We also included a gas fire pit to keep everyone toasty in cooler weather and create a space where the employee community could gather — it’s Altar’d State’s equivalent to the water cooler.


Statement Planting Design

The executives at Altar’d State wanted a planted space that defied expectations. The sloped back section of the property gave us quite a canvas with which to work. The space is highly visible from park, as well as passing cars and the city-county building. With that in mind, we created a landscape design that featured large sweeping bands of color and texture, mixing several species of shrubs to create year-round interest. There’s a sweeping swale of river slicks to divert some of the down-hill run-off and add another layer of visual interest. We also included three evergreen butterfly icons within the planting, pulling inspiration from one of the company‚Äôs logos.

Landscape Design

The Outcome

In the end, we were pleased with the result, and more importantly, so were the Altar’d State Executives, so much so, that we’ve continued our work with them on another property.

Whether you need a landscape design for a commercial or corporate space such as this or want to scale these ideas to create an outdoor living space at home, call me at 865-765-5550 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation.