It probably comes as no surprise that April is National Garden Month in the U.S. April is not only known for its showers, but it’s also the time that most homeowners gaze at their yards with a critical eye, trying to decide what new plants to purchase and whether or not a new infusion of mulch is necessary. If you are considering a new Columbus porch, patio or other outdoor living area, this annual event is also a good reminder that no “hardscaping” project is truly complete without including some thought for the “softscape” or landscaping around it.
We build outside because we enjoy being outside and the bushes, trees, lawns, and flowers are a huge part of what makes spending time in the yard so relaxing. Some of our clients are diehard gardeners, a few of them professionals even, and they work closely with us during the design phase to help us determine where planting beds should be and to what depth they should be dug. Others don’t know what they want, but know that they would love to have something lush and green and that they would prefer that it be low maintenance. We are happy to accommodate both of those groups and all of the homeowners in between.
Our softscaping services include analysis of your soil and a professional assessment of what kinds of plants will do well in the different areas of your yard. We’ll consider how the plants will grow and complement one another over time so that you don’t have a festival of color in June, but nothing left in August. We’ll also design for the long haul; we want your yard to look even better 5 years from now.
Because we design and create new hardscapes and softscapes in tandem, we have the flexibility to deal with the unique challenges in your yard. We can address drainage issues that might arise through the changes to water movement associated with your project. Perhaps we will need to build fences or choose plants that will deter wild (or domestic) animals from visiting certain parts of your property. Archadeck will evaluate the sun, shade, and orientation of the different parts of your home and yard to create spaces that are both comfortable and beautiful. Visit this archived blog to learn more about key considerations for your Columbus softscape. Or check out some beautiful tips from the National Gardening Association.
If you’re thinking about adding an outdoor living space to your Columbus backyard, give us a call to see how we can make creating your dream backyard an enjoyable experience, start to finish. The consultation is completely free. Call (740) 879 – 3730, email us at email@example.com or visit our website at columbus.archadeck.com. We look forward to connecting with you.
There is nothing more interesting than when Archadeck of Columbus gets the chance to work on a historic home in our local geography. It certainly does present some challenges in terms of keeping the integrity of the home while providing homeowners with all the practical elements and benefits that are all about today’s outdoor lifestyle. We recently worked on a project in London, OH, with a home built in 1865 on 7.5 acres that has steep history during the Civil War/Antebellum era.
The house has been restored numerous times throughout its lifespan, and luckily the previous owner did renovations to the home to code back in 2000 after investing almost $750K to restore it, including the home’s stunning original brick veneer. This home’s newest owners also wanted to do right to the structure to continue its legacy in the proper way and preserve its integrity, but also add plenty of energy that would enhance the exterior. They wanted a masterful intermingling of new and old.
On a project of this scope, the homeowner’s needed a highly skilled company with expertise in these areas for a large-scale outdoor additions complete with landscaping that would elegantly blend the new upgrades so they would complement the existing look and feel of the home. The homeowners didn’t necessarily want to have a historically accurate renovation, but rather have the improvements to the outdoor entertaining areas marry beautifully with what was already in place. This delicate balance was struck with the addition of a large paver patio, retaining/seating walls and fire pit along with extensive landscape installation to create a tasteful and practical outdoor living space that would complement this gracious home and property without overpowering its handsome simple lines.
The home originally had an existing deck off the back which was long overdue for an upgrade, so we tore it down to make way for a whole new look that was more in keeping with the historical nature of the brick building. Archadeck of Columbus added a hardscape outdoor living environment with stunning curved tiered steps lead from one area to the other in a dreamy way that tempers the hard lines and materials. The project also includes all the softscape foliage landscaping as well.
The hardscapes are built solely using Unilock and Belgard pavers due to their beauty and hard-wearing nature. The patio features Unilock pavers from the Camelot series in the Riverblend color with plenty of natural hues. All the vertical hardscapes were built using Belgard pavers from their Bel-air line in the Fossil Beige color. Both of these beautifully complement each other and have a seamless feel. The softscaping installation pairs well with all the stonework and adds plenty of color thanks to gorgeous specimens of Hydrangeas, Lavender, KnockOut Roses, new trees and evergreens for year round green.
The family is beyond overjoyed at their new outdoor living environment, and you can see it looks heavenly. These homeowner’s are now in the process of adding a tranquil backyard pool to further their enjoyment and are currently in discussions with Archadeck of Columbus to design and build a paver pool surround, pavilion and a pool house — they are so excited, and we are too!
Not only did we meet their challenge of merging old and new, but the property now boasts a multi-faceted and multi-functional outdoor living space that increases the livability of this stately 18th century home.
As the first portion in part 3 of our series on softscapes, Archadeck of Columbus discusses the importance of environmental sustainability within the landscape.
Have you ever heard the old saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder?” When it comes to creating beauty within your landscape, what is beautiful to the naked eye can also be planned in such a way that is beautiful for our environment. The importance of creating environmentally sustaining landscapes in our own backyards can contribute to sustainability on a global level. A little extra effort, and thinking beyond the here and now when planning your softscape design is doing our part to support our environment.
According to the EPA “traditional landscaping and current landscape maintenance practices, while frequently meeting human needs and aesthetics, often have harmful impacts. The clearing of native woodlands and other natural habitats for urban/suburban growth and subsequent planting of grounds with vast lawns and manicured arrangements of exotic ornamental plants place a heavy toll on environmental and human health. This type of landscape requires extensive use of mechanical equipment, unnecessary consumption of our limited natural resources (water and fossil fuels), frequent application of fertilizers and pesticides, and the generation of significant quantities of solid waste. As a result, our surface and ground waters are being polluted; destructive flooding is more commonplace; our neighborhood’s tranquility and air quality are compromised by noisy, polluting landscape equipment; and our landfills are being consumed by yard waste. Furthermore, the biodiversity of our ecosystems is suffering from the introduction of invasive exotic landscape plants.”
One of the biggest problems in an urban environment is water runoff. Keep in mind that a lawn, or garden, has less than 10% the water absorption capacity of natural woodland. This is a main reason for suburban flooding. In addition, it is not just water that is “running off” into storm drains either. Yard wastes including grass clippings, and even landscaping materials such as mulch comprise 20% of municipal solid waste collected and most still ends up in landfills.
Keep in mind, from a global perspective, we cannot forever continue to abuse our surroundings and still expect a healthy, attractive community or planet for future generations to enjoy! In order for success we must learn to balance our needs with those of the environment. Beneficial landscaping attempts to do just that. And, in addition to protecting and conserving our natural resources, this method of landscaping can save considerable time and money for homeowners with reduced maintenance requirements. Archadeck of Columbus embraces the use of environmental guidelines for responsible landscaping in all of our softscape designs and installations. We also encourage the homeowner to continue “green” practices when maintaining and using their softscape.
Below is a list of tips and ideas that will help reduce the global impact your landscape has on the environment:
Learn about your site or yard – Knowing about your yard’s resources and problems is key to making good decisions about your plants, soil, water, and wildlife.
Choose the right plant for the right spot – If a plant is in a location where it must struggle to survive, chances are the homeowner will respond with additional water, fertilizers, or pesticides to improve the situation. A properly acclimated plant will require less maintenance and pruning and avoid the cost and waste of replacing it.
Select regionally native plants -To form the backbone of the landscape. Select appropriate plants for each particular site (each plant has its unique requirements and most sites have a variety of conditions). While there isn’t usually a problem with occasional use of exotic plants, native plants have evolved to local conditions over millions of years and they form an integral part in the life cycles of the local wildlife. They also give an area its unique sense of place.
Use plantings to reduce heating/cooling needs – Deciduous trees planted appropriately along the south sides of buildings can reduce air conditioning costs by up to 20%. In winter they allow the sun’s rays to warm buildings. Coniferous trees planted to block prevailing NW winter winds can reduce heating costs.
Avoid choosing invasive exotics – These out compete native plants and result in declines in biodiversity. Examples include: Norway maples, kudzu, purple loosestrife, Japanese honeysuckle and multiflora rose. Here’s a great rule of thumb. If it’s going to take over, then steer clear from planting in within your landscape!
Build healthy soil and use fertilizer responsibly – Healthy and fertile soil is necessary for good plant growth, supports microorganisms, and results in plants that are more resistant to disease and pests.
Reduce waste and recycle nutrients – Reducing yard waste that otherwise could be sent to a landﬁll reduces the need to create more or larger landﬁll operations. Recycling nutrients through composting and recycling grass clippings reduces the need for fertilizers or other soil supplements.
Practice soil and water conservation – Stabilize slopes with natural plantings, mulch around plants, and install drought- tolerant species. Even hardscaped areas can be planned and built in such as way as to promote water-run off. Using pavers that water can soak through, such as Unilock and Belgard’s permeable pavers allow you to recharge groundwater on site. This means you don’t have to create extra ditches, and/or piping to move the water away into storm drains. Permeable pavers can also aid in helping landscapes with existing drainage issues too!
Many of these helpful hints come from The Lawns and the Environment Initiative as outlined by the Center for Resource Management and from the EPA outline for Greener communities through beneficial landscaping.
Archadeck of Columbus realizes that knowledgeable and thoughtful plant selection, soil criteria and averting water runoff are key factors in creating an environmentally friendly softscape. We can help you plan and design the outdoor oasis you have always imagined with a keen eye on how your little slice of heaven can impact the world as a whole — we firmly believe a greener tomorrow begins in your own backyard! (740) 879 – 3730 firstname.lastname@example.org
Please visit our extensive hardscape photo gallery on our website, including our patios and covered patio photo galleries, for more backyard ideas!
Archadeck of Columbus is constantly striving to improve our business, as well as diversify the type of projects we offer.
Through the years we have worked with several quality landscape companies to assist us with hardscapes, such as paver patios, seating walls, outdoor fireplaces and firepits. Starting in 2011, we are taking the information we have learned over the years and will be providing those hardscape services right here at Archadeck!
We would like to introduce Rob Mitchell, our Outdoor Living Design Consultant. Rob has a 16 year background in landscape/hardscape design and installation. Archadeck of Columbus has had the pleasure of working with Rob on numerous projects over the last 10 years. Impressed with his attention to detail, ability to listen to client’s needs, customer service skills and knowledge, his services are just what we need to assist us in our continued growth.
Rob has been involved in the design, installation and management of projects such as paver patios, retaining walls, seating walls, firepits, fireplaces, outdoor kitchens, natural stone patios, natural stone retaining walls, boulder accents, masonry applications, low voltage outdoor lighting, bed formations and plant installations. His product knowledge and vast experience will be a tremendous benefit to our clients.
We would like to welcome Rob to our team and urge you to consider Archadeck of Columbus for “All Your Outdoor Living Needs”.