Friday, July 18, 2014

Cartwright Canyon Residence

Cartwright Canyon Residence

Existing Conditions:

 Located in the Boise Foothills this backyard has the challenge of a steep vertical incline. The front yard is comprised of a driveway and additional hardscape that will remain untouched in this design. An existing fence runs the perimeter of the backyard.

The backyard has a deck located off the second floor of the home. The second floor deck hangs over a ground floor deck. The ground floor deck has a seat wall marking its edge. Surrounding the deck is a small turf pad, with scattered stepping stones. 

A rock retaining wall lies where the grass pad ends, at this point the steep incline of the backyard begins. The hill is adorned with native grasses and a few red doiser dogwoods, but the hillside is unusable due to its steep nature. There are steps that traverse the hillside from the grass pad by the house. The steps extend up to the northern tip of the property boundary. The steps are deteriorating and unsafe. The yard was lackluster at this point, yet held full potential to aid in the marvel and woe of living on the hillside of the Boise Foothills.


To make this yard more livable, a tiered deck was introduced, extending further and climbing higher into the hillside than the previous deck. This project was installed by Sterling Landscape.

A shade structure was extended from the existing second story deck. 

A water feature was implemented next to the deck, for a focal point, as well as to attract birds and create subtle sounds of tranquility. 

A paver patio replaced the previous turf area and leads to the new staircase.

The staircase is reconstructed and engineered for stability, now welcoming to people of all ages. 

Lush plantings adorn the retaining wall planter bed.

Through the use of a rock wall that surrounds the deck, boulders and the stone slab staircase, texture is added to the space. A gas fire place is located at the focal point of the tiered deck. 

Rich, lush, native plantings add color and interest to the hillside.

Vendor Spotlight - Idaho Patio


Vendor Spotlight:
 Idaho Patio

Have a great outdoor space but can’t use it because it’s too hot, too sunny or not safe? Idaho patio can help! Offering a range of products from patio covers, awnings, shade screens, screen rooms, hand rails and patio misters. Idaho Patio can transform your patio. Idaho Patio also offers free estimates, warranty coverage, custom design services, knowledgeable employees with excellent customer service and in-house financing options. For more information call Idaho Patio at 208-608-5550, or stop by, Idaho Patio is located at 11760 W Executive Drive Boise, Idaho.

Idaho Patio was responsible for the design and implementation of the kitchen area and the shade structure in the project below, which is located in the Bridgetower neighborhood in Meridian, Idaho. It is a great example of the beautiful work Idaho Patio does!

With the summer heat - now is a great time to add a shade structure to your yard... Make you space livable and enjoy the great outdoors!!!!  Stop By Idaho Patio's Showroom to check out the latest in shade structures, outdoor kitchens and more!!!

Landscape Contractor Spotlight


Landscape Spotlight: 

Green Lawn Care and Landscape, Incorporated

Green Lawn Care can help you tackle your lawn maintenance and landscape projects. With knowledge from over twenty years of experience, Green Lawn Care can aid in lawn mowing, pest control, water features, irrigation, pavers, stonework and snow removal and much, much more!!.

No project is too big or too small -Green Lawn care does it all. From maintenance, installation and repair, Green Lawn Care is there for all phases of your landscape’s lifecycle. Call today at 208-376-4967, or stop by, Green Lawn Care is located at 4580 Henry Street Boise, Idaho.

Landscape Design Tips

Landscape Design Tips: 
Plan for Maturity, Not Instant Gratification

When planting a garden, a grove or a tree, plan for maturity. Give plants enough space to grow to their full potential. Placing plants too close together, which is tempting because it makes your garden look fuller, will stunt the plants hindering their ability to grow as lush and full as possible. Think about the roots of plants and trees, they are similar to glaciers, where the top portion which is above ground is only about 50% of the whole plant. When plants are placed too close there isn’t enough room for proper root growth, which will harm the plant or tree.

 Consider the placement of the plant or tree. For example, planting a deciduous tree outside your window with southern exposure will be a great way to keep your home cool and shady in the summer and allow sun to penetrate indoors in the winter, but keep in mind, the tree will grow. Limbs extend and proximity will be shortened. There are also power lines to consider in many neighborhoods. If you plant a tree in close to proximity to a power line they are likely to get butchered by the city tree maintenance in an effort to keep the limbs from stretching towards the lines. 

Think about the shade planting a tree will provide, this is often a good thing, as it helps in addressing urban heat island effect. Yet, if you have a vegetable garden or a garden that thrives in full sun, placing a young tree nearby will cover it in shade in ten years, or sooner! It is also important to consider the future of the space you are planting. Will you be constructing a deck in a few years? Expanding your living room? Plant for longevity, not temporary aesthetics. It is also important to note the form the tree or plant is going to take as it matures, will it need growing support? Structure? Does it spread? Is it invasive? Does it prefer full sun or shade? What are its water requirements? There is a lot to consider when planting a garden or a tree. Read about it and then plan for maturity, not instant gratification.

Munstead Lavender

Munstead Lavender

Botanical Name: Lavandula angustifolia ‘Munstead’
Flowers: Blue in color, blooming late spring through summer
Leaves: grayish/green, narrow in form
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Size: (H x W) 20” x 18”
Fragrance: sweet, released with touch
Attracts: Butterflies, bees
Tolerant of: Heat, bunnies, deer, drought, dry/shallow/rocky soil, air pollution, repels mosquitos
Issues: Leaf spot and root rot

Munstead Lavender is named after the home of Gertrude Jeckyll. Gertrude Jeckyll was a famous garden designer and horticulturist, known for her many garden designs of the early 1900s, in which she collaborated with the English architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens.

The Munstead lavender is a great plant to use in the Boise area due to the cultivar’s toleration of heat and drought. It excels in dry, shallow, and rocky soil and is resistant to deer and bunny rabbits. The Munstead lavender flowers early, with a blue hue, and continues to bloom from late spring throughout summer. Use this plant to naturally help repel mosquitoes, while attracting butterflies and bees to your garden.

Native to the mountainous region of the Western Mediterranean, place the Munstead lavender plant in an area with full sun and remember the plant needs little water to survive. If watered too much, it will suffer from root rot. The plant’s leaves are grayish green in color and narrow in form. The blooms are tight and loaded with a sweet fragrance, which is released with touch. To promote a continuous bloom, remove faded flowers throughout the season. In early spring, trim back for a surge of new growth in the upcoming growing season.

 Not only is the Munstead lavender a beautiful and water wise addition to your garden, it has several traditional uses. In ancient times lavender was used for the process of mummification. It was worn as a perfume by the Egyptians and Arabs. The Greeks and Romans bathed in lavender water, giving the plant its botanical name. Lavo means to wash, while Angustifolia means narrow leaf. Lavender oil is the most popular essential oil in the United States, aiding in relaxation and tranquility. It is also popular for its disinfection properties; it is also used as an herbal supplement for stress, insomnia, depression, indigestion and headache treatments and relief. To make lavender into oil, distill it by steam.

For current uses, experiment using your Munstead lavender plants for cooking, potpourris, fresh bouquets, teas, soaps and candles. To use Munstead lavender in cooking, pick when bloom has just opened, use only the flower petals. Lavender can adorn both sweet and savory dishes, but remember when cooking, that lavender is a strong herb, and a little goes a long way. If too much lavender is used, it will turn a dish or baked item very bitter. For use in soaps, shampoos, bouquets, potpourri, add either dry or fresh lavender, as it will dry with time. For a strong scent, dry lavender is best as lavender’s potency increases with drying. For a simple, yet beautiful gift, wrap a bouquet of lavender with a purple ribbon and give to your friends. 

Animation Spotlight

Animation Spotlight: Summer Projects

Join us in a fly through of the some of our highlighted projects we have been working on this summer!

To check out all our animations, please check out our YouTube Page!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

BLD Update
We have been very busy this spring and we some exciting news!! We have totally rebuilt our website, added new staff members and have completed some really fun projects!!! Right now Breckon Land Design is in a stage of growth and is excited to take on new projects.  Check out our New Web site Here!!

At the end of March we did a combined booth with Sterling Landscape at The 2014 Boise Flower and Garden Show.  As always, it was a pleasure to see past clients and prospective future clients. Check out the pictures below to see our exhibit.

Feels like the beach in Boise!!

We have been working on some very exciting projects this spring, Click the video below for an animation to see what we have been working on!!!!! 

With our animation Software we can take any model (sketchUp, Revit, ArchiCAD...) and make it come to life.

Breckon Land Design Spring Showcase

Featured Plant: Burkwood Viburnum
Thriving in zones 4 to 8, the Burkwood Viburnum is a perfect choice for a shrub bed located in Boise, Idaho. It is a showy plant, both in the spring and in the fall seasons. For two weeks in the spring, the Burkwood Viburnum’s pink buds will evolve into fragrant flowers, resembling the smell of Gardenias!!  This is a semi-evergreen shrub - meaning, depending upon our winter the shrub will be evergreen or the leaves will get a red tint and fall off. When fully grown, the plant will reach a height of 8 to 10 feet+, with a width of 6 to 8 feet. It has an upright, full bodied shape and will be a great addition to your garden. The shrub can be pruned and kept at a 4x4 full shrub or can be limbed up to make a small tree. This is a great versatile shrub that is great for spring fragrance. For more information on this great shrub - check out OSU's plant data base - click here to go to their site!!

 Project Spotlight: Two Rivers Residence

As of 2011, the Two Rivers Residence was a newly constructed home, meaning the landscape was a blank slate. Located on a lake in the Two Rivers Neighborhood in Eagle, Idaho, this was an exciting canvas in which the client desired a unique design that offered several intimate spaces. The back yard sloped down to the lake - and the home owner wanted a level - usable yard. A large, natural boulder wall was designed along the lake edge to make the entire back yard level. The newly designed landscape features a variety of outdoor rooms with multi-level paver patios with freestanding boulders that function as sitting benches, overlooking the water. The design also features a rim flow, vanishing edge spa,  a gas fire pit,  a disappearing waterfall and much, much more. Overall the newly designed space is a great area to relax in the comfort of nature, in one’s own backyard.

This project was installed with great care by the following contractors - 
Landscape - Dan Baird Landscape 
Spa and Fire Pit - CHI Pool 
Paver Driveway and patios - Nostalgic Paver Systems
Boulder walls and landscape Boulders - The Rock Pacing Company

Before Photograph:

a true blank slate

Concept Design:

 a view from overhead

The entry walk with a waterfall and hedging

The large boulder wall to make the back yard level, next to the lake.

A view of the rim flow/vanishing edge spa with the gas fire pit close by.

During construction photographs:

The boulder wall is in!

The back yard in now usable, thanks to the boulder wall.

A few pavers arrive on site!!

The multi-level patio and spa area.

Almost done!

Final Product:

                            Rim flow - vanishing edge spa. The lake and spa seem to flow together as one!!

Belgard paver driveway

New entry walk

Back patio

Multi-level paver patio with large boulders and plantings.

Back Patio

Contractor Spotlight:

Eagle Landscape Contractors Inc.
Located on North Ballantyne Lane in Eagle, Idaho, Eagle Landscape Contractors Inc. has been serving the Treasure Valley for thirty years. Specializing on subdivision design and residential design, Eagle Landscape Contractors has experience with over 2,500 homes in the Valley. Additional services include landscape design, construction, paver patios, walls, water features, irrigation and specimen trees and plantings. If you are looking to buy trees locally grown in the Valley, Eagle Landscape Contractors also has wholesale options that stem from their 15 acre tree farm, grown in Eagle Idaho. The pictures below are designed by BLD and installed by Eagle Landscape.

Pristine Pools:
Pristine Pools, located on North Eagle Road in Meridian, focused on poolscapes, hot tubs, patio furniture, and barbeque grills. With a custom pool builder, waterscape designer and outdoor retailer on staff Pristine Pools is available for residential, commercial and resort scales. Stop by the show room to browse the wide selection of hot tubs and patio furniture, as well as a pool supply store. If you are looking to improve your health with the great benefits of swimming and relaxation, look no further than Pristine Pools. I love just walking around their showroom, to check out all the new stuff!

Landscape Design Tips: The Flowering Pear
Originating in the Middle East, the flowering pear tree is a pollution tolerant and drought resistant tree that has showy flowers from March to April and turns red orange in the fall. When the wind blows, the white flowers fall off the tree, looking like snow in the wind. That being said the flowering pear, although beautiful, is an extremely messy tree. Other issues with the tree include common insect and mold infection, wind and ice damage, its strong rampant odor and its sensitivity to tolerating excess water. Place this tree with extra care and thought, as a unique specimen in your landscape. Avoid mass plantings of the flowering pear, as monocultures are more susceptible to the spread of disease and infection. Also mass planting the flowering pear will ensure a spring mess, as well as an allergy prone person’s worst nightmare.

The Flowering Pear is a great tree (form, early flowers, later fall color...), but beware - the flowers stink!  These trees should not be planted next to patios, sidewalks or by your front door. For around two weeks the flowers will kind of smell like dead fish... ughhh!!  This is a spectacular tree - but in the right space. We went to the opening of Captain America at the Village in Meridian (Wow I just love that place!!!) -- but the extensive use of the flowering Pears in the space made us want to walk very fast thru the space. The smell does not overpower the whole area, but when you walk right beside it - look out, because you will be asking yourself "What Stinks?"  The Village is such a Great Development with an abundance of sitting areas and things to do.. if you have not checked out - you should (just watch out for the flowing Pears in the spring)!