Dunedin

Curb appeal

Curb appeal

Front entrance

The front of this house was poorly planned and a mix of overgrown and dying bushes that completely obscured the view outside and inside. The plants were chosen to provide beauty and color while still maintaining a manageable size.

Shade perennial garden

Shade perennial garden

Side of home

Before we began on this part of the garden, the side of the house was grass all the way to the brick wall. We transplanted shrubs from the front of the house, created a contoured, raised bed along the entire length of the side, and planted a variety of perennials to complete the design.

Beautifying a corner

Beautifying a corner

Utilities box

The stone wall was extended to include the corner of the yard where the utility box was located. Large perennials planted in front of the box helped to camouflage it and draw the eye away from it.

Stone walls and perennials

Stone walls and perennials

Back garden

Previously only a series of crepe myrtles planted at intervals in front of the wall, we expanded the available planting area to include a wide variety of perennials and flowering shrubs, bordered by a low, dry stacked, stone wall.

Stone wall and perennials

Stone wall and perennials

Back garden

One end of a long narrow perennial and flowering shrub garden with a stone wall border.

View from the porch

View from the porch

Back yard

The previous view was of a brick wall with a couple of crepe myrtles. Now it is a riot of color and interest.

North Davidson perennial bed

North Davidson perennial bed

Sidewalk garden

This house had no gutters, so the water falling off the roof line kept washing away mulch and soil from around the plant roots. The creek stone solves that problem and does so beautifully.

Kannapolis renovation

Front yard

Front yard

Before

A view of the front of the house from the road shows an uninspired and mostly dead landscape strip across the front of the property. Plants and trees were simply put in holes with no preparation or amendments and the irrigation was improperly set without being monitored. The plants that died basically drowned and the soil was saturated clay.

Front yard

Front yard

After

All the dead plant material was removed, the garden strip was redesigned, tilled, amended and replanted with new healthy plants and trees, and mulched.

Front yard

Front yard

Added planting area

To further reduce lawn area and provide additional planting space, an additional area was created in the middle of the very extensive front lawn. This was planted with a gingko tree surrounded by Encore azaleas.

Strip along the road

Strip along the road

Before

Another perspective of the front garden strip before it was repaired and replanted.

Strip along the road

Strip along the road

After

The homeowners wanted some screening across the front of the house, so large osmanthus trees, ornamental grasses and other evergreens were installed.

Strip along the road

Strip along the road

1 year later

We added plants to fill in open areas and to add more of the homeowners favorite perennials.

Strip along the road

Strip along the road

Another perspective

Strip along the road

Strip along the road

additional plantings

A year later, we came back and added bushes along the end of the bed for a splash of color and to fill in a more open area.

Driveway garden edge

Driveway garden edge

Before

Like the bed across the front of the house, the plants in the beds along the driveway drowned and were largely dead.

Driveway garden edge

Driveway garden edge

After

Like the front, this bed was cleaned out, prepared, and replanted and mulched.

Roadside garden

Roadside garden

before

On the other side of the driveway, the trees and plants there were suffering the same fate and drowning in the saturated clay.

Roadside gardern

Roadside gardern

after

To help control the water collected in the bed, we planted river birches and ornamental grasses after tilling in organic amendments and allowing the beds to dry out for a number of weeks.

Beds flanking the driveway

Beds flanking the driveway

Before

Very little remained alive in these two beds except two very small dissectum Japanese maples which were rescued and potted for later use.

Beds flanking driveway

Beds flanking driveway

After

These beds were amended, allowed to dry, and planted with ornamental grasses on both sides.

Beds flanking driveway

Beds flanking driveway

After

The other side.

Alongside the driveway

Alongside the driveway

expanded bed

We joined two separate beds together along the driveway for a more unified look.

Foundation plantings, left side

Foundation plantings, left side

Before

Some of the worst of the saturated clay was found in the beds around the house itself. The house is situated below the grade of the street, so much of the water from the street naturally ends up near the house. The plants in this area suffered from too much water, but also either too much or not enough sun.

Foundation plantings, left side

Foundation plantings, left side

Mid-renovation

All the plants were removed and set aside if re-usable. Much of the saturated and poor quality clay was removed and new good soil brought in to mix and replace. The existing drainage pipe was removed and replace and a catch basin placed at the bottom end of the sidewalk.

Foundation plantings, left side

Foundation plantings, left side

After

New foundation shrubs were planted and the existing plants that were usable and appropriate to the conditions were re-installed.

Foundation plantings, left side

Foundation plantings, left side

Another perspective

Japanese maple, acorus 'Ogon'

Foundation plantings, right side

Foundation plantings, right side

Before

Between the results of the soil test and the extremely saturated clay in this bed, nearly all the existing soil need to be removed. Again, plants that were usable were removed and set aside for later use.

Foundation plantings, right side

Foundation plantings, right side

Mid-renovation

Poor, wet soil was removed and new, good quality soil was put in. A French drain also was installed along the sidewalk.

Foundation plantings, right side

Foundation plantings, right side

After

New foundation bushes were installed, usable existing plants were put back, and other additional plantings were put in as well. Everything was mulched.

Corner by the driveway

Corner by the driveway

Before

Corner by the driveway

Corner by the driveway

After

New bed, center of lawn

New bed, center of lawn

More space to plant

The homeowners wanted more color and less lawn, so we jointly created another planting area in the relative center of the lawn. The area was edged, the grass was skimmed off and the area was amended and prepped for planting.

New Bed, Center of lawn

New Bed, Center of lawn

After

Planted with a gingko tree and Encore azaleas.

New bed, Center of lawn

New bed, Center of lawn

1 year later

Added Cryptomeria globosa 'Nana' around the gingko tree in the center bed.

Kannapolis poolside

Stone steps down the hill

Stone steps down the hill

Poolside

Steps were created and stablized with base stone (ABC gravel), screenings were used to level the stone pieces, and metal edging prevents the steps from spreading apart over time with use.

Stone steps down the hill

Stone steps down the hill

Plants

To soften and "pad" the steps, mazus (a mixture of both white and blue) was planted between the flagstone pieces. (April, 2016)

Stone steps down the hill

Stone steps down the hill

Poolside

In just a few months, the plants have spread to cover the edges of the stone, while allowing to see where the steps are.

Poolside vegetable garden

Poolside vegetable garden

Mid-project - raised beds

Poolside vegetable garden

Poolside vegetable garden

raised beds

A new pool was installed and the fill dirt around it was a steep grade. To provide both screening plantings by the pool and a large vegetable garden, 6x6 were secured to create raised beds on the south facing side of the pool. The area was tilled and filled with good soil.

Poolside vegetable garden

Poolside vegetable garden

Raised beds

Timbers were placed to close the end of the beds and prevent the soil from washing down the slope.

Poolside vegetable bed

Poolside vegetable bed

another perspective

Poolside vegetable garden

Poolside vegetable garden

Mid-summer

Gate entrance

Gate entrance

Riot of color and texture

Near the woods

Near the woods

10 months later

American purple beautyberries and Miscanthus 'Morning Light'

Poolside perennials

Poolside perennials

along the fence

Besided the creeping phlox, vines were planted along the fence so that it too would provide visual interest and add some screening to the driveway.

Hiding the pool pump

Hiding the pool pump

just planted

Hiding the pool pump

Hiding the pool pump

8 months later

Poolside bank

Poolside bank

just planted

Poolside bank

Poolside bank

8 months later

Poolside bank

Poolside bank

8 months later

Taken from the bottom of the bank, you can also see the stone steps planted with mazus.

Huntersville renovation

Huntersville renovation

Huntersville renovation

Before

Contractors often plant bushes as foundation plantings that become too large and difficult to take care of. This homeowner chose to have everything removed in order to install a landscape that would be easier to care for while still providing curb appeal and color.

Huntersville renovation

Huntersville renovation

After

The house is now visible, and because of careful choices, should remain so even after the shrubbery is fully mature.

Huntersville renovation

Huntersville renovation

After

A closer look...

Replanted front foundation bed

Replanted front foundation bed

After

Another perspective. Due to the slope, we added a low retaining wall to keep the end of the bed in place.

Garage and right side

Garage and right side

Before

The bushes flanking the garage door were so large and dense that the lights there were completely hidden and unusable.

Front entrance bed

Front entrance bed

Before

Dead and dying junipers populated the bed leading to the front door.

Front entrance bed

Front entrance bed

Mid-project

All existing plant material was removed and roots cleaned out of the bed. A catch basin and drain was installed in the back corner to help transport water away from the house foundation. The bed was tilled, amended, and raked.

Front entrance bed

Front entrance bed

After

The bed by the front entrance was completely redesigned to provide color, texture, and beauty while maintaining ease of care.

Front entrance bed

Front entrance bed

After

Another perspective.

Mailbox

Mailbox

Redone

Before, the mailbox was simply surrounded by old, weedy, white pea gravel and scalloped brick colored edging. Now there is more interest, a softer look, and a more welcoming introduction to the home.

Indian Trail redesign

View of the home

View of the home

Before

The homeowner had removed all of the previous landscape plants and was then overwhelmed with how to renovate. Weeds then quickly took over the beds.

Foundation beds

Foundation beds

Before

All that is here is weeds and weedy grass.

Bed in front of garage

Bed in front of garage

Before

More weeds

Foundation and garage

Foundation and garage

After

The homeowners chose smaller plants with great space between in order to need less maintenance and a more sparse appearance.

Driveway bed

Driveway bed

Before

Weeds again....

Driveway bed

Driveway bed

After

A grouping of 'Kaliedoscope' abelia and a border of drift roses add color and softening. There is also a group of Pink Muhly grass at the corner of the sidewalk.

Dilworth Dermatology

Renovated strip garden

Renovated strip garden

Parking lot

Raspberry support

Raspberry support

Raspberry support

Before

This raspberry had outgrown and collapsed its previous bamboo support frame. Something sturdier and longer lasting was in order

Rasberry support

Rasberry support

After

We combined ideas from the homeowner with long lasting materials and built this strong and attractive frame for the raspberry with side supports that can be removed for easy access.

Dilworth path and patio

Patio layout

Patio layout

Mid-project

Initial layout of flagstone for patio

Pathway to patio

Pathway to patio

Mid-project

Laying out flagstones

Path to shed

Path to shed

Mid-project

Initial flagstone layout

Path to deck

Path to deck

Mid-project

Initial flagstone layout.

Path to deck

Path to deck

Finished

Flagstone has been leveled and stablilized, brown pea gravel has been used around each stepping stone and plants have been installed between the stones themselves. Metal edging has been use to maintain the edge with the grass and rose bed on either side.

Matthews--Drab to Fab

Front foundation

Front foundation

Before

The shrubbery in front of this house had become overgrown and out of hand, so the homeowners had their son pull it all out. This left them with another problem--what to put there?!

Front foundation

Front foundation

After

After finding out what kind of a look the homeowners wanted, we installed a row of Korean boxwoods across the back of the bed as a low growing hedge and red drift roses for color.

Patio planting

Patio planting

Before

Nothing to see looking out the bedroom or kitchen window.

Patio planting

Patio planting

After

A camellia provides color outside the bedroom window, and the loropetalum will eventually grow tall enough to screen the air conditioner.

Patio planting

Patio planting

Before

There is nothing in the bed but solar lighting and pine needles.

Patio planting

Patio planting

After

A combination of low growing camellias and pink drift roses provides interest without blocking the view.

View from the street

View from the street

After

Another perspective...

Evening elegance

Evening elegance

Night lighting in front

The homeowners were so pleased with their new landscaping, they wanted to be able to see it when they came home after dark, since they work long hours. The landscape lighting adds elegance, but also a measure of safety. Lighting was also installed in the back yard around the patio area and trees.

Concord terrace garden

Front wall

Front wall

Road frontage

This wall was 70 years or so old and was falling down all on its own. Made of a single thickness of brick with some rebar at the corners, the weight of the soil behind it was pushing it over.

Front wall

Front wall

Foundation

The brick wall was removed and a foundation for the front wall dug to provide a stable base.

Front wall

Front wall

Terraced walls

Two walls were built with gravel and drainage pipe to carry away excess water. Conduit was also run out to the wall so that lighting and irrigation could be installed at a later date.

Front wall

Front wall

Terraced garden

When the walls were completed, soil amendments were added and the areas tilled.

Front wall garden

Front wall garden

Garden plantings

For ease of care, the area was planted with ornamental grasses, junipers, and creeping phlox.

Washington, DC

Front corner specimen

Front corner specimen

Front garden

When my paternal grandfather died, my mother's siblings gave my parents a Japanese maple in his memory. I incorporated the tree into the garden design and it has been a beautiful and enduring reminder of my grandfather's presence.

Garden for retirement

Garden for retirement

Front garden

When my parents retired, my gift to them was a design and installation of a garden across the front of their home. The low stone wall gives a neat edge at the front of a largely perennial garden. Ornamental grasses provide the illusion of a hedge without blocking the view of the house itself. Low maintenance and low water needs complete the ease of care.

Front sidewalk

Front sidewalk

Before

This sidewalk was installed in 1926 when the house was built and over time, the flagstone pieces have settled in a very uneven manner, making for a walkway that could be dangerous, especially in wet or icy weather.

Front sidewalk

Front sidewalk

After

Each stone was lifted, cleaned, and relaid in a bed of stone fines, which were also swept in around them.

Front stoop

Front stoop

Before

Water was pooling beside the front steps and the step had sunk half of its depth in to the soil.

Front stoop

Front stoop

Before

The height of the top step often caused difficulty for older individuals to climb, sometimes causing a tripping hazard.

Front stoop

Front stoop

After

The sidewalk level flagstones were leveled and reset, and the step was lifted and reset to provide a safer and easier ascent and descent of the steps.

Concord drainage and patio

Instead of gutters

Instead of gutters

Step one

This homeowner hated the idea of putting gutters on the home and they had a large roof. Most of the roof water dumped into the same area, so we place a large catch basin attached to a series of dry wells designed to contain the water and route it away from the home. In addition, this system was built under a larger patio for a new outdoor living area for the family.

Instead of gutters

Instead of gutters

Step two

Using PVC pipe, the catch basin is connected to a series of dry wells. The hole was dug with a 36" auger.

Instead of gutters

Instead of gutters

Step three

Drainage gravel is added to the bottom of the hole

Instead of gutters

Instead of gutters

Step four

The plastic container is placed in the hole on the bed of gravel and the PVC pipe is placed in the access hole.

Instead of gutters

Instead of gutters

Step five

An "exit pipe" is fitted to the other side and the lid is secured.

Instead of gutters

Instead of gutters

Step six

More drainage gravel is installed around and on top of the empty catch barrel.

Instead of gutters

Instead of gutters

Step seven

The barrels can be linked together in a series, depending upon the estimated amount of water to be moved during a 100 year storm. This house had a series of 5 barrels.

Instead of gutters

Instead of gutters

Step eight

Because a patio was going to be built, the area was then covered with stone screenings/fines to provide a base for the flagstone pieces.

Instead of gutters

Instead of gutters

Step eight continued

Screenings have been raked and smoothed to designate the patio area.

Instead of gutters

Instead of gutters

Step nine

Flagstone pieces are placed to cover the patio area, using edging to maintain the profile and channel gutters (in the ground) to help carry away runoff from the patio.

Instead of gutters

Instead of gutters

Final view

The area surrounding the patio was mulched and stepping stones added to provide easier access to the patio from the driveway.

Linda Lake

A front shade garden and water guide

A front shade garden and water guide

Front garden

This house is located at the bottom of a slope and water from the slope and the road at the top ran hard and fast towards the house, washing away grass and anything else in its path. By installing a catch basin, a French drain, and a stacked stone wall, the water has been slowed and diverted, and a usable garden planted to greet visitors.

Kannapolis Hospice

Secret prayer garden

Secret prayer garden

fountain

We helped with an Eagle Scout project to create a peaceful and secluded prayer garden on the grounds of the Kannapolis Hospice Center.

Grass to Gravel

South facing hillside

South facing hillside

Before

The homeowners were unable to maintain any semblance of attractive lawn on the hill in the front of the house. They decided to make a bold change and remove all the grass, choosing to replace it with boulders, stone, and pea gravel for a Southwestern xeriscape look.

South facing hillside

South facing hillside

Before

Prior to installing the new landscaping, the hillside needed to be stripped of the existing grass and weeds. It was cleaned and edged with metal edging to help maintain a clean border

Strip along driveway

Strip along driveway

We created oases of plants within the stretches of stone and pea gravel. Several large boulders were placed as well, and a variety of sizes and colors of stone were utilized.

South facing hillside

South facing hillside

After

Boulders, creek stone, pea gravel, and plants combined to create a Southwestern feel, a water saving landscape, and an unsusual feature in an otherwise "uniform" neighborhood.

Southfacing Hillside

Southfacing Hillside

After

An important part of the design was including features that would prevent water from rushing down the hill and carrying the stone along with it. A dry creek bed was installed, along with strategically placed boulders and plants, to slow the downhill velocity of the water going down hill.

New Build Improvements

Side yard

Side yard

Before

The builder provided sod to a certain point, but behind the edge of the sod, the height difference between the soil and the grass created a water backup area that was rarely dry, even after several days. The homeowner also wanted color and interest along the side of the house.

Side of the house

Side of the house

Before

Another perspective of proposed work area.

Side of house

Side of house

After, sodded and new beds added

We cleaned and prepped the area behind the sod, added more soil in both the grass and the new planting bed areas, then installed two pallets of fescue sod and all the plants in the beds. There is room for more planting later, as some of the bushes in the front of the house will eventually be moved there.

Retaining wall

Retaining wall

At the end of the front bed, the land drops off sharply and the homeowner was losing a large amount of dirt that was washing down the hill. We installed a two foot retaining wall designed with both beauty and practicality in mind.

Sedgefield spruce-up

Front garden beds

Front garden beds

Before

We were originally called to provide weeding and cleanup for the property. As we walked around, though, it became clear that more was needed and desired. The homeowner built this raised bed using block and placed on the end of the concrete driveway. It was disorganized and needed a bit of variety.

Front garden, left of the front door

Front garden, left of the front door

Before

The homeowner had planted this bed without much thought to organization in the long run, and when thing got too big, she just cut them down and let them grow back.

Front garden bed right of front door

Front garden bed right of front door

Before

Again, the plant choices were not bad, but the bed looked messy and disorganized due to the lack of planning and design.

Front garden beds, left of front door

Front garden beds, left of front door

After

We removed most of the plantings. The beds were cleaned, tilled and amended, and the plants were re-installed with more planning. The border walls were rebuilt, and the beds were cleaned and mulched.

Front garden bed, right of front door

Front garden bed, right of front door

After

Again, the plants were removed, the beds cleaned and "reconditioned", then the plants were replaced in an organized fashion. Both beds had some new plants included, with the remaining specimens being replanted elsewhere on the property.

Tega Cay Terracing

Steep foundation bank

Steep foundation bank

Before

In the back of this lakeside house in Tega Cay, this steep bank had simply been covered with weed fabric and left to its own devices. It was beginning to erode, and was an eyesore from the viewpoint of the dock and paths.

Steep foundation bank

Steep foundation bank

Before

It was decided that terraced beds would be installed encompassing the area from the corner of the house to the edge of the deck, and planted with low maintenance plants and mulched.

Steep foundation bank

Steep foundation bank

After

Using 6x6 timbers, the bank was dug and reshaped to provide beds that were attractive and easy to maintain. They were positioned to take advantage of the slope and built in several levels.

Steep foundation bank

Steep foundation bank

After

Another perspective view

Steep foundation bank

Steep foundation bank

After

View from the deck.