Steep Slope Erosion Control Options

Steep slope erosion control can be a challenge and is a continual source of irritation to newcomers to the mountains of Western North Carolina. Welcome to gardening on steep slopes! The following are some ideas to make the chore not such a dilemma and easier to manage. While it might seem like a challenge, we’ll give some ideas on how to make the most of your hilly gardening venue, so you don’t ever want to move back to the flat land again.

Terracing for Steep Slope Erosion Control

Terracing can be an option to steep slope erosion control. Building retaining walls not only gives more room for gardening but also slows down the water to prevent runoff. The rainwater can be captured, and erosion is kept to a minimum or eliminated. Depending on the height of the slope and grade, will determine the use of terracing.

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Placing boulders in the bank as outcroppings can also add to erosion control and add native objects to the landscape.

If terracing isn’t an option or your grade is slighter than most, then other options come into play. Plant selection and certain mulches will retain the soil in place to prevent steep slope erosion. Placing boulders in the bank as outcroppings can also add to erosion control and add native objects to the landscape.

Plants for Steep Slope Erosion Control

Select plants for steep slope erosion control that are drought tolerant since the water will be draining off fairly quickly. This selection should include plants with deep root systems to hold in the soil and add to its drought tolerance. Select trees, small and medium shrubbery, grasses and perennials used will be good coverage to the steep slope turning it into a lush garden.

Mulches for Steep Slope Erosion Control

Mulches that hold together, are coarser and shredded will knit together better than solid chips. Double ground hardwood bark is a favorite since it is from maples and oaks. It is heavy; thus, it doesn’t blow or wash away as easy. It’s staying power is ideal for sloped beds and gardens. A depth of 2-3 inches is recommended to retain moisture and a top dressing for the beds and slopes. Pine straw can be used as well because the needles know together and don’t slide or move on a slope. Some would argue that it’s harder to blow out leaves in the fall so keep this in mind when selecting for erosion control.

If you need some advice on your steep slope, then call a professional to get the job done and keep your precious soil in place and not running out from under you!

A Landscape Collaboration Across Continents

Long distance relationships can be hard if you don’t have willing partners to accommodate and communicate well. In this instance, there was full cooperation. The homeowners live in London, England and travel to their landscape-Leicester-mulch-paver patio-driveway-drainage-stoneworkinherited homestead a couple times a year. The premise around this installation was to finish the exterior renovations that had started from the inside out. The homeowner wanted to resurrect this old home that her Grandparents had lived and give it all the tender loving care that preempted her proprietorship.  The couple had great ideas to incorporate into the landscape layout.  The finished product would be installed just in time for the pair’s post-nuptial celebrations in the states with family and friends.

Months of communicating went back and forth over email with preliminary drawings sent via Google drive to establish borders and planting material suggestions.  Clear descriptions of plants and photos helped the homeowners to envision the finished landscape.  Once a final drawing was established and agreed upon, installation began. But not without major hindrances of weather and water to hold up production. A deluge of March and April showers as well as discovering a spring in the midst of the area being installed set installations back to a point that the crews had to work overtime and weekends to meet the deadline for the wedding celebrations.

Old trees that had overgrown their welcome and had become a hindrance to safety were removed.  Drainage was installed to remove excessive water pooling in places and grading was done. Once the infrastructure was established, a foundation was installed for a concrete paver patio. A concrete paver walkway and driveway were included along with a custom built native stonewall around the perimeter of the patio.  A BBQ roasting pit was the focal point for those big family gatherings.

Farmhouse and farm equipment artifacts were dug out of the barn and repurposed in the landscape to remember ‘days gone by’ and the loving hands that had first established this old homestead. The new and old merged to create a splendid collaboration that moved across continents. Grandma and Grandpa would be proud!

If you need to collaborate on a new landscape addition, we are just a phone call away at 828.712.1590.

Six Ways to Expand Your Outdoor Living Area

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Square footage is at a premium thus expanding on what you have available makes sense (cents)! Take a walk around the exterior of your home and envision these five ways to enlarge your space. Make every square foot count by creating a more usable and enjoyable environment.

  1. Connect your outdoor living space with formal or informal walkways. Adding a brick walkway flanked by a stonewall or flowering shrubs, perennials and dwarf trees can give a sense of enclosure as well as make easier access to all the outdoor spaces. Pathways to these spots in the landscape will make them seam together for an overall cohesion.
  2. Add an outdoor fireplace or firepit to the patio area for enjoyment on a cool autumn’s night. Adding adequate space for eating around the cooking area or roasting marshmallows should be considered as well as lighting for night-time entertaining.
  3. Build a custom water feature to appreciate as a focal point including serene background sound. Water brings in wildlife to your outdoor space, making your land a nice backyard habitat for beneficials too!
  4. Build a secluded seating spot in your outdoor living area surrounded by your favorite blooming plants for all season. Using an underutilized area of the space for intimate gatherings or just a place to get some sunshine can draw people outdoors for healthier living.
  5. Add a living green screen of dwarf trees and shrubs to shield for privacy in the yard. A green screen can drown out noise and make a nice backdrop while inviting wildlife into the space. It also gives a clear boundary without being obtrusive to neighbors. From all sides a green screen is easily enjoyed.
  6. Add a cutting garden of perennials and annuals to a sunny spot in the landscape. This garden will give the homeowner hours of enjoyment closeup or from a view inside. Perennials can be divided and multiplied for years of lasting enjoyment with an abundance of bouquets.

These are services we provide and more. Take a look at our website and decide what you want to add to your home garden today!

2014 Super Service Award from Angie’s List

Lawn-N-Order Landscaping Earns Esteemed 2014 Angie’s List Super Service Award

Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service

Lawn-N-Order Landscaping, serving the Asheville and surrounding area has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2014.

Ryan Houston: “We accomplished this award in seven categories by keeping our Angie's List-Super Service Award-Asheville landscaperservices focused on quality, and by dealing with each property individually with focus on the end result.  We work with each client one on one, to come to the end result, being a property transformation that they are happy to pay for.  We do this by giving the customer a turnkey operation with attention to detail, and better than what was expected.”

Founded in 2000 as Houston Landscaping, Lawn-N-Order Landscaping gives low maintenance landscape solutions in Western North Carolina

The business originated in 2000 under the owner’s name “Houston’s Landscaping.” With some flyers and a borrowed weed-eater, Ryan Houston began his business on a song and a prayer. One job lead to another one and his American dream was born founded from his love and interest of the outdoors. In 2003 the business name was changed to Lawn-N-Order Landscaping. Since the businesses inception, LNO works locally as well as in surrounding states (Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida) and the Cayman Islands. We are passionate about our service and love to maintain the artistic attributes of nature through landscaping. Education is part of our life long commitment to excellence in our field to develop, expand and educate ourselves on improved techniques and thus improving our service to clients. Experienced, uniformed and qualified team members perform all of our work with a job supervisor on each project site.

The owner, Ryan Houston will personally consult, plan, propose and oversee most of the larger jobs. He is a WNC native and has twenty-four years experience with WNC plants and wildlife. Ryan is an accredited NC Licensed Landscape Contractor certificate #1933, one of less than 2000 ever in the history of North Carolina with only approximately 1000 of who are still active. He is also a Certified Plant Professional as well as completing rigorous testing from the State of North Carolina to achieve this certification. Ryan Houston and staff are also NC State Certified in the knowledge and application of pesticide and herbicide application making them knowledgeable about plant pests and diseases. This contributes to his overall knowledge of how to plant hardy and low maintenance landscapes that will thrive in the mountains of WNC. He specializes in dealing with sloping properties and hillside problems such as erosion, water runoff, and planting on steep slopes. Ryan and his crewmembers were awarded the ICPI Certification. They participated in two days of extensive training and review on interlocking concrete pavers. Lawn-N-Order holds the title of “ICPI Certified Installer’ and has met all the nationally recognized guidelines for interlocking concrete pavement installations. With Ryan’s client testimonials, you will see that he has excellently handled large projects and has several long-term fans for his rewards.

“Only about 5 percent of the landscape companies in Asheville/Buncombe County have performed so consistently well enough to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a really high standard.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2014 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.