Thursday, March 22, 2012

NEWSLETTER – Spring 2012

In The News
Spring is here and we just finished up with the 2012 Boise Flower and Garden Show. It was nice to see so many past clients and to talk to some possible future clients. I would like to thank Sterling Landscape for all their help with the set up of our booth! Here are a few pictures from the show!!!!

I am sure that you are aware that we have several sites that we are featured on. I would like to share with you some of the most popular projects on each site.

On Houzz our top three viewed projects are the Moongate Courtyard, Curved deck and the Boise Foothills Residence.

On our YouTube Page our top 3 most viewed animations are Thornwood Drive Residence, 2 Rivers Residence and the Riverside Village residence.

On our Residential Website the top three viewed projects were the Horizon View Residence, Boulder Creek Residence and the Hidden Springs Residence.

In our spring Issue we are going to talk about one of my favorite shrubs, the Ivory Halo Dogwood. In our project spot light we will review the Troutner Way Residence, which details a landscape maters plan with extensive paving using Abbotsford Hydropressed pavers. In our Contractor Spotlight we will highlight a local Landscape Construction Company – Sterling Landscape. I will also share a couple of websites that I like to visit which deal with unique hardscape items, plant materials and design elements. I hope you sit back and enjoy the Spring issue of “Sense of Place”.

Focus on plants - Ivory Halo Dogwood

Ivory Halo Dogwood
One of my favorite shrubs has to be the Ivory Halo Dogwood. This is a great contrast plant as the leaves are green with a white edge – it is prefect to lighten up dark areas! This is a middle to background shrub as it’s mature size is 5x5, but it can be pruned back hard to keep it smaller, if you like.  The green and white leaves take a red tint in the fall time. After the leaves drop the blood red twigs add winter interest. This is a great multipurpose shrub that can be grown in full sun to part shade and is very hardy. If you are looking to add some year round interest, why not try the Ivory Halo Dogwood!

Cool landscape/design related web site from around the world

Trying to stay up on the latest trends in plants, hardscape items and design elements, has kept me busy searching the Web. I will pass on a few of my favorite site to visit:

Plant site – Oregon State University Plant Catalog –- The department of Horticulture’s Plant images, identification and information site. This site has Lots of great pictures and info on mostly woody plants from around the Northwest.

Hardscape site – Eldorado Stone Outdoor Living Products – Light weight blocks to construct outdoor kitchens and fireplaces on top of an existing patio – you just have to add your stone, stucco, wood or any other finish to bring the space to life.

Design site – LandscapingNetwork – A great design site feature Residential Landscape Architects and designers from around the world. This site has a huge picture library with great topics and info for anyone interested in landscaping.

Project Spotlight - Troutner Way Residence

This Trounter Way residence had a typical “builder special” landscape that did not make a statement. My clients were looking for more additional patio area, some shade in the back yard and the front yard was in dire need, to make a statement. We initially came up with 4 concept plans for the yard.

Landscape Master Plan (2009)

Concept #1 – Key Points

• A stone and wrought iron fence along the front of the lot with new wrought iron pedestrian gate

• New paver entry walk, landing and entry patio

• No lawn front yard

• Mulch path along side yard

• Spiral staircase off existing deck

• New paver patio under deck

• Raised beds

Concept #2 – Key Points

• A stone pillar and wrought iron fence along the front of the lot.

• No lawn front

• Basalt columns with stone slab benches to add interest ad additional sitting areas

• New entry walk, landing and entry patio

• Mulch path along side yard

• New staircase down from existing deck

• New paver patio in back yard

• Freestanding shade structure

• Raised

Concept #3 – Key Points

• Wrought Iron fence along front of lot

• New landing, entry walk and entry patio

• Meandering side yard path with evergreen trees, stone slab steps and lush plantings

• Large back yard patio with shade structure

• Raised garden beds

Concept #4 – Key Points

• keep existing concrete entry walk and landing

• add small front entry patio

• large back paver patio with freestanding shade structure

• raised garden beds

After presenting the 4 concepts to our client, they gravitated towards concept #3, but they also like elements from the other concepts. The final concept was designed and approved

Final Concept– Key Points

• We used concept #3 as our base

• From Concept #4 we added the raised beds against the house

• From Concept #4 we took the smaller freestanding shade structure

The client loved the final concept and we went on to our next step, construction documents.

• Materials Plan – to illustrate, note and detail all hardscape items like, composite deck, paver patio, shade structure, vertical screen fence, raised beds…..

• Planting Plan – to illustrate all plant material proposed for the project

• Irrigation Plan – To illustrate the proposed irrigation system

Now that all the drawing was done, it was time to get bids from Franz Witte Landscape and Sterling Landscape. After reviewing the bids, the client decided to go with Sterling Landscape.

The first step of construction was to remove the old existing decking and install the drainage system under the new 2-tone Trex deck to make the lower patio nice and dry. The existing stairs were removed and the new decking was added.

The large concrete patio was then removed to make way for the multi level Abbotsford Hydropressed slab paver patio. The new staircase to the upper deck was then framed up. The concrete footings were then installed for the CMU walls for the back yard. Concrete was then poured for the base of the back yard steps as transition between the multiple level patios. The T&G roof was then installed under the upper deck to give the lower patio a finished feeling.

A small keystone landscape wall was installed to make the back yard level – this wall would not be seen from any of the patio areas, so a less expensive material was chosen for this wall. The posts for the shade structure here installed and the base for all the backyard patio areas were prepped. Plants were then installed while we still had access to the back yard.

The 2-tone deck was then finished with new railing, and the raised garden beds were installed with their own drip system. The Abbotsford pavers (in 3 sizes and 2 colors) were then installed for all the back yard patio areas. Cultured stone was then added to the face of the CMU walls and the concrete steps – the stone matched the stone on the front of the residence.

With the back yard almost complete, the front and side yards became the focus. Large sandstone slab step and boulders were then installed along the side yard to make the entrance to the back yard more of a statement. CMU walls were then installed for the front entry courtyard/patio. Concrete was then poured for the base of the front yard steps and landing to act as a transition between the landing and lower patio. Pavers were then installed for the main patio. Cultured stone was then added to the front walls with stone that matches the residence. Plants were then brought in to finish off the front yard.


Here is a sneak peek at the project we will highlight in our Summer issue …..

Contractor Spotlight – Sterling Landscape

Contractor Spotlight – Sterling Landscape
Sterling landscape is one of my most trusted Landscape Contractors, in fact, we worked together to design-build the main show garden for last year’s Boise Flower and Garden Show.
My Design.......

Sterling's Hard Work.......
The Landscape division is headed up by three project managers (Lavon Webb, Jody Hurst and Thad Heidemann) and they can install pretty much anything I can think up. Not only does Sterling do an awesome job installing my designs, of the High-end installers there are probably one of the most cost effective. In fact over the last 5 years they have won approximately 65% of the bids on my designs against other high-end landscape contractors. The do a fantastic job installing my projects and they make sure my clients are happy. They can do anything, from simply planting a few trees to installing the yard of your dreams!

Sterling can handle all aspects of landscape construction and maintenance, with 4 main divisions (the landscape division, the maintenance division, the personal gardener division and Harrington Farms  - the tree field division). If you just need some yard maintenance, your driveway shoveled,  or a personal gardener service to a total landscape remodel, you can trust Sterling to treat you right.

If you are in need of some landscape construction or maintenance services, please feel free to contact Sterling Landscape!