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.
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.
To soften and "pad" the steps, mazus (a mixture of both white and blue) was planted between the flagstone pieces. (April, 2016)
In just a few months, the plants have spread to cover the edges of the stone, while allowing to see where the steps are.
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.
Initial layout of flagstone for patio
Laying out flagstones
Initial flagstone layout
Initial flagstone layout.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Each stone was lifted, cleaned, and relaid in a bed of stone fines, which were also swept in around them.
Water was pooling beside the front steps and the step had sunk half of its depth in to the soil.
The height of the top step often caused difficulty for older individuals to climb, sometimes causing a tripping hazard.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After all the trees and bushes died, the homeowners chose to completely renovate the entire landscape in the front of their home. This is the view from the driveway across the front of the property by the road. Large osmanthus trees were spaced along the front to provide some screening from the street. Shrubs and grasses add color, variety, and constant blooming throughout the year.
Raised and revamped to keep water from draining against the house foundation, new bushes and trees were placed in beds across the entire front. They were chosen for their ease of care, their tolerance of growing conditions, and their beauty. Drainage was also added to reduce flooding on the front sidewalks.
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.
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.
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.