Monday, January 28, 2013

NEWSLETTER – Winter 2013

In The News

This has been an unseasonably cold winter this year in Boise. I hope everyone was able to stay warm!!  We have been busy here at Breckon land design with a couple of exciting updates:

·         Best of Houzz 2013!! – For the second straight year we have won the customer satisfaction award from Houzz!!!  Less than 3% of all Houzz professionals won an award this year, I am very excited that we were able to win two years in a row!! Whoo Hoo!! Check out our Houzz profile here.

·         Company Web site – we updated the company wide website. On the residential side, not much has changed –we used our residential site as the design theme for the entire company site. A big thanks goes out to Andrew Conkey for making this happen. If you have not had a chance to check out the update site, why not check it out now!!


·         2013 Boise Flower and garden Show – Sterling landscape will be installing and manning the Lobby Theme Garden this year.  The theme this year was modern landscape with water; Sterling contacted us to come up with a couple of different concepts for the space. We come up with a few concepts – you will have to check out the Boise Flower and Garden Show on March 22-24, to find out which design Sterling installed! Stop by our Booth after viewing the main lobby, we are located at booth #312

Lobby Concept plan #1
Lobby Concept plan #2
Lobby Concept plan #3
Lobby Concept plan #4
Which design is your favorite?

·         KTVB – News at Noon – For the last 5 months I have been appearing once a month during the News at noon segments to talk with Carolyn Holly about Landscape design. Our past topics have been about adding shade to the yard, water features, fall color, the front entry walk and landscape lighting. My next segment will be Monday, February 11th, why not check it out!!

In our Winter Issue we are going to talk about one of my favorite evergreen trees - The Hoopsi Blue Spruce.  In our project spot light we will review the Two Rivers Residence, which details an extensive landscape installation. In our Contractor Spotlight we will highlight a local landscape contractor LCG.  I will also share a couple of websites that I like to visit which deal with unique hardscape items and plant material. I hope you sit back and enjoy the Winter issue of “Sense of Place”.

Focus on plants - Hoopsi Blue Spruce

 Focus on plants

                                Hoopsi Blue Spruce
                One of the best evergreen trees for a typical sized yard is the Hoopsi blue spruce. First off, it is by far the brightest blue of all the spruces, so it will add a lot of color and interest to the yard. Secondly, the Hoopsi blue spruce is a grafted spruce, and will be a fraction of the size of a standard Colorado blue spruce.

The tree will get large, with an approximate mature size of 30’ tall by 12’ wide, but compared to the size of a Colorado spruce (50’+ high by 20’+ wide) it stays quite compact.  If you have the space and would like to add an evergreen tree with great blue coloring, why not try the Hoopsi Blue Spruce!!
Hoopsi Blue Spruce - The brightest Blue of all the spruces!!


Project Spotlight - Two Rivers Residence

Project Spotlight -- Two Rivers Residence

                This Two Rivers Residence had a typical “builder special” landscape that did not match my client’s tastes.  My clients we looking for a more attractive curb appeal, better circulation,  more additional patio area, privacy from the neighbors, year round color and an area for gardening. We initially came up with 4 concept plans for the yard.
Front Yard - Before

Back Yard - Before

Landscape Master Plan (2011)

Concept #1 – Key Points

·         The existing  entry walk was removed and a new paver walk connects the front door to the street
·         Small front yard waterfall
·         Small entry patio
·         Large, multi-level back yard patio
·         Landscape walls with plantings to screen out neighbors
·         Open view to existing lake
·         Flagstone paths from back yard to side yards
·         Raised beds garden area

Concept #1 - Video

Concept #2 – Key Points

·         Existing entry walk is removed and a new larger entry courtyard with pavers, cmu wall and wrought iron accents act as the main focal point for the front yard.
·         A small lattice structure is attached to the roof to add additional shade to the back patio
·         landscape wall and plantings to add privacy from the neighbor to the south
·         A private sitting area by the existing lake
·         Small garden area
Concept #2 - video

Concept #3 – Key Points

·         The existing walk is removed and new paver entry walk adds a connection to the street
·         A curved CMU wall (stone to match residence) with lush plantings act as the foundation to the front yard
·         No turf back yard
·         Large shade structure to ad shade to the back yard
·         Large multi-level flagstone patio with CMU walls (stone to match residence) and heavy plantings adds a woodsy and secluded feeling to this back yard
·         A large waterfall and disappearing stream adds to the woodsy feeling
·         Small garden area

Concept #3 - video

Concept #4 – Key Points

·         Remove existing front walk and add new paver entry walk
·         Island planter to break up the sea of lawn
·         Expanded paver patio
·         Multi-level deck with outdoor fireplace
Concept #4 - video
After presenting the 4 concepts to our client, they gravitated towards concept #1, but they also like elements from the other concepts.  The final concept was designed and approved

Final Concept– Key Points
·         Basalite paver entry walk and back yard multi-level patios and bullnose pavers for all steps
·         paths along both side yards
·         Basalite Landscape walls with heavy plantings to add privacy from the neighbor
·         Raised bed garden area
·         Lush plantings for year round color

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, pavers, paths, walls…..
·         Planting Plan – to illustrate all plant material proposed for the project

Now that all the drawings were done, it was time to get bids from Howard landscape and Sterling Landscape. After reviewing the bid packages, the client decided to go with Sterling Landscape.
The first step of construction was to demo the hardscape items (existing concrete walk and landing landing) and softscape items (existing grass and plants that were to be removed). Once the site was clear it was time to start construction.
start of site demo
The site was then prepped for pavers, steps and all other hardscape items.  The paver and wall were then installed (Basalite pavers and wall units, plus bullnose pavers for all the steps). Once most of the hardscape was installed, additional top soil was then brought in and berms were roughed in.  Boulders were then installed. Once all the hardscape items were in, the new irrigation system was trenched in.
Base prep for the new paver walk and steps
time for boulders to be placed and dug in.. top soil still needs to be added to give the boulders a more "buried" look
With the majority of the hard work competed it was time to spray out the bed lines and place the plants. Once the plants were adjusted and planted, soil aid mulch was applied to the beds and fresh sod was installed.
the plants have been placed and the bed lines are sprayed out
New sod and multi-level patio
New raised garden beds with Drip
New entry walk and steps
Flagstone stepping stone path
As with all new installations, I recommend patience, as the beds will look rather open at first, but with time the plants will mature and the yard will grow up!  A special thanks to Sterling Landscape, for making this project looks so good!
Salvia in bloom next to a boulder
New entry walk
Mass of Vinca Minor
Bull nose steps with new rock light
Lower patio with view of the pond
Lower patio
Back paver patio
Basalite bullnose paver steps and wall

Back patio
Golden Zebra Coral Bells
Coral Bark Japanese Maple
Design By:
Installed by
                Here is a sneak peek at the project we will highlight in our Spring issue …..

Contractor Spotlight – LCG

Contractor Spotlight – LCG

 LCG, or Land Construction Group, Inc,   is one of Valleys premier and most complete landscape construction and Maintenance Companies. From complex residential estate projects, commercial projects to Municipal/state and federal agencies – LCG can handle it all.

                The Company is headed up by Tom Morton and is headquartered out of Nampa, Idaho. LCG can handle all elements of landscape installation from complex outdoor living rooms to lush plantings. Tom take great pride to make sure the project is installed correctly the first time and that it exceeds your expectations. Tom specialty is handling complex estate projects, from installation thru maintenance but he also tackles smaller projects with the same detailed focus.
LCG can handle your typical mowing and fertilization service to more detailed services that includes annual color planting, Holiday light design/installation and more.  If you are in need of some landscape construction or maintenance services, please feel free to contact Tom at LCG today!

Cool landscape 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.  Here are a few of my favorite sites to visit:

Plant sitePerennial Resource –- A great site if you like perennials. The have an extensive perennial encyclopedia, with glorious pictures and detailed descriptions that will get you excited about perennials!

Hardscape site Ore Containers a cool site if you are looking for some planters, benches or other garden elements, but you want something a little different… Ore Containers, located out of North Salt lake City, might just be the ticket!!

Winter 2013 Newsletter Partners

I hope you enjoyed our 2013 Winter Newsletter. I would like to thank our partners for their help to make this newsletter possible.  Please visit their web sites to review their products and services. Thanks!!

Our Main Partners are:







Our associate partners are: