Project Completion…Are New Landscapes Ever Complete? – RB Project #6.20

Design, Plantings · Written by Roger

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Landscapes are often a work in progress.  No matter how thorough your planning has been, the project is looking for those added tweaks so that…well, it just feels right.

Years ago I worked for a design/build company as a crew foreman.  This company had its own nursery/garden center.  The designer would ask me to gather all the plants listed on the planting plan for the project.  After I had every plant set aside, he would then request additional plants be brought along.  Why?  So he could add, change and tweak his arrangements right then and there.

pool.finish1cAccording to the plans and contracts this project (#6) is complete.  But now should come the tweaks and enhancements that take it to the next level.


Let The Landscape’s Needs Speak For Themselves

The homeowners’ previous property had many large trees.  This caused their house to be dark inside.  Out of concern for that happening again they requested no additional trees be planted on the new site.

As a result, the landscape lacks the “ceiling” effect that larger trees provide.  The space feels too open.  In addition, well-positioned trees would help integrate the large home onto the site better.  There’s a wood deck on the southwest side of the house (pass the sunblock, please) that would  really benefit with a shade tree planted nearby.  A recently installed retractable awning helps in the meantime.

pool.finish3cPlanting The Nooks & Crannies Is Key

This is especially true when working with boulders and other hardscape features.  Many plants have already been planted to soften the rock, and in 2-3 years it will look quite different.

But to really set this landscape apart, we need to identify the remaining open spaces between the rocks and along steps and pathways.  (The pic below clearly shows examples of these voids.) Here is where all those awesome plants with interesting colors, textures and forms can be used to soften the hard stone edges.  When this nooks & cranny planting has filled in (along with the original plantings), all the landscape’s elements will appear as if they had been there for years.

This is the attention to detail that distinguishes the OK gardens from the amazing gardens.  This is what makes people pause, look and feel as though it’s just been there all along.pool.finish4c

Here’s the previous post to this project.

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