Your Next Landscape Design

landscape design-CAD drawings

When getting ready to update your existing landscape a blueprint or visuals come in handy. We can help with preparing a landscape design and provide virtual images and CAD drawings. After recently completing two-day training in Atlanta, we can give you more to visualize before making those crucial decisions about your landscape. If you’re not adept at visualizing, we have a software program that we can set the plants into your actual landscape or foundation. With the experience and information about each plant and its growth habits and light needs, we choose plants that will work within your environment. You will get an overall look or a ‘fast-forward’ in time of what it will look like now and in 10 years of growth. In our presentation, we have a ‘grow tool’ that can be advanced to help you visualize the

Landscape Design Visuals Give a Virtual Image

In our presentations, we can also make a booklet that will have each plant and a description along with photos to keep. You can refer to it when you’re in question about a name or want to know more about the plant’s habits. We can also show season views and what will be blooming at different times of the year to give you better visual ideas of the garden.

Landscape Design CAD Blueprints Prepared for Review Boards

Blueprints can be necessary to know exact placement and to present to an HOA or Architectural Review Board in your community. Our CAD designs will give you an aerial visual requested either in color or black and white. Our CAD designs also have the necessary information such as plant material names and a legend tying the symbols together, so it’s easier to understand.landscape design

Image visuals, a four-colored booklet with plant pictures and names and CAD drawings are all aspects of the design process we offer. Now is the time, when you’re inside sipping on apple cider to start thinking about what you’d like to change for next year’s garden. Then, when Spring comes and the plants are in the nurseries, you’ll have a head start in getting yours in the ground first! Call us today for a consultation to see our new software and what we can do with it!

Curb Appeal to Increase Your Real Estate

curb appeal-driveway-real estate

What is the first thing seen when you drive into a driveway? A potential buyer (if your home is on the market) or a visitor will notice the cracks and broken pieces around the driveway or walkway leading up to the house. Curb appeal gives a better impression when all the eyesores are repaired and tidy. How to increase your real estate sell is the focus of any seller. Let’s look at the options available.

If you are planning on selling your home or investment property, arrange in advance by observing curb appeal-driveway-walkwayproblem areas. Walk around and notice all the problem spots from a buyer’s point of view and take notes. If the driveway needs consideration, will there be repairs or replaced entirely? Contact a licensed contractor to give advice and make recommendations for the best options to enhance the curb appeal of the home.

Enhance Curb Appeal with Repairs & Replacements

If an asphalt driveway is cracking, consider patching it. Cracks can expedite the deterioration if not filled in and repaired. Repairing a concrete or asphalt driveway may take up to 2-3 days. If installing a new concrete driveway, it won’t be ready to drive on for seven days, so planning is prudent. Otherwise, crushed stone or gravel can be installed in a day’s time. Pavers are a great alternative and can last upwards of 100 years or more. There are many varieties of pavers with patterns that can be laid to enhance the entrance to your home. These pavers can be tied into the walkway entrance with the same pattern.

Walkways and porches are areas that will be noticed by a visitor or a potential buyer. Concrete is usually a material used by default but also consider all your options. In some spaces, pea gravel with spots of large flagstone as stepping-stones can be used with the appropriate style of home. Brick and flagstone or decorative pavers add curb appeal and a favorable response welcoming friends and family.

If you are ready to add some curb appeal to your home, we can help with the best approach to your budget. Give us a call and let’s discuss.

Hillside Gardening: Steep Slope Maintenance & Runoff

Handling Maintenance on a Steep Slope

Walking up a steep slope demands perseverance and stamina. Making it easier to access is key to maintaining your steep slope if there’s any hope of gardening on it. While aerobics might not be palatable, there are a few ways to access with some pre-planning and not skin your knees in the process.

steep slope-hillside gardeningTerracing your steep slope is an option with retaining walls. Depending on how steep the grade, will determine the height requirements. Retaining walls are a big plus in accessing more room to garden and for increasing usability in your space. As gardeners in the mountain, we try to find every ounce of flat land we can to make it easier and accessible. Having terraces can make it easier to access and give more flexibility in your planting palette. Terracing can also relieve rainwater runoff and slow the water down to soak into the leveled areas on the terrace. This prevents erosion and gives the gardener a reprieve in the daily chore.

In smaller gardens, gardening from the edge of the pathway or terrace will suffice. In bigger gardens, paths, steps and walkways along the grade can be built for easier gardening.

Rainwater Runoff on a Steep Slope

Rainwater runoff can be a problem if not tackled alongside planning the garden. Along with terracing, winding river rock into a natural forming creek bed is another solution. Creating a creek bed down the slope, gentling grading the hillside toward this area can be an attractive and useful resolution. The water is slowed down and allowed to soak into the bed. A rain garden can be added to the base of the creek bed for an additional filtering of water and to take advantage of more gardening space.

Once the water has reached the bottom of the hillside, installing berms and French drains that will direct water away from the foundation and entertainment areas is the next step. This ensures water isn’t eroding away your home and assets.

All of these different aspects can be addressed when planning your hillside garden area. Taking advantage of the many options with a customization plan in mind is what we do. We access each area of your property and determine the best solutions for your property. Give us a call to set up a consultation.


Landscaping on a Steep Slope

Landscaping can be a challenge on a steep slope. What plant is right for my hillside gardening? Let’s look at a few and how to make the proper selection for your hillside. The selections will also keep your erosion under control and the soil in your yard instead of washing away to the neighbors!

landscaping-steep slope-erosion controlOne of the considerations all horticulturist teach is ‘right plant, right place’ for its longevity and survival. Observe which direction the slope is facing. How much sunlight will your plants be getting?  Three hours versus eight hours? Eastern light versus western light will play a part in the selection of plant materials.

Since plants will be on a steep slope, drought tolerant varieties are highly suggested since irrigation may be at a minimum. On steep grades, the drainage will be more rapid than on a lesser grade surface.

Ideal Plants for Steep Slopes

Select conifers we recommend for sunny locations are: Cryptomeria japonica ‘Globosa Nana’ or Pinus thenbergii, Picea pungens ‘Fat Albert,’ Juniperus squamata ‘Blue Star’.

Evergreens for partial shade are: Picea abies ‘Nidiformis’, Microbiota decussate, Tsuga canadensis ‘Jeddeloh’, Magnolia grandflora ‘Little Gem.’

Other Shrubs: Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’, Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’, Viburnum, PJM Rhododendrons, Cephalataxus, Pieris Japonica, Chaenomeles speciosa, Ilex verticillata

Grasses: Panicum virgatum ‘Rotstrahlbush’ (Switch Grass), Muhlenbergia capillaris, Schizachryium scoparium (Little Bluestem), Calamagrostis acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’

Groundcovers: Rubus calycinoides, Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’, Delosperma cooperi, and Dianthus

Steep Slope Planting & Irrigation

When landscaping for a steep slope, do not plant vertically out of the hillside. It will look like the leaning tower of Pisa and will not perform well. Prepare a mini terrace for each plant. The bottom part of plant’s soil base will need to be built up in a half well to support the plant. This method helps retain moisture to soak deep into the root system.

Irrigation has to be maintained the first 2-3 years for the best survival rates. Installing a drip irrigation might help with consistent watering schedules and be a timesaver for the homeowner. Place plants with more watering requirements at the bottom or halfway down the slope. The plants at the bottom will have more of the accumulation of water from drainage. Once your plants are established after the third year, continue to monitor for water needs and adjust according to the weather.

Hillside gardening can be a challenge if you don’t know which plant material works best. Ryan Houston is an NC Plant Professional and an NC Licensed Landscape Contractor and can give you the best solutions to your hillside gardening needs. Give us a call for a scheduled consultation. We will go over your options and suggest a customized solution for your landscape.