April Showers Bring May Flowers!
Ask the Expert: Landscaping F.A.Q.
See How the Right Landscaping Enhances your Project & Learn How to Achieve Green Grass Year-Round
Spring has sprung which means on any given weekend, you can find homeowners sprucing-up yards, filling planters, and pruning shrubs. This season is prime outside time, and the perfect opportunity to enhance your home’s curb appeal. It’s a chance to put your home’s right foot forward and present it in its best light. Like these homeowners, our projects use landscaping in a similar capacity. However, those outside of the landscaping industry might be intrigued to learn that landscaping does more than just create the right first impression. Beyond attractive curb appeal, the right landscaping also ensures stable ground and protection from the elements. Today, we’re speaking with our friends and colleagues at Breedlove Land Planning. As our partner for more than two decades, there’s no one we’d trust more for this valuable insight. They’re sharing more about how landscaping enhances a project and are teaching us tips for keeping our personal homes looking their best.
EVERGREEN: First things first. How is landscaping an integral part of a construction project?
BREEDLOVE: A well designed and installed landscape is integral to the success of any construction project. First and foremost, the landscape serves as the final stabilization measure of erosion control by stabilizing the site and preventing future erosion. Landscape plantingsalso play an integral role in stormwater management by reducing the stormwater runoff from the new constructed site. Plants are also key to removing stormwater pollutants when installed in bio-retention areas. Landscape plantings are often needed to provide a buffer between adjacent properties and reduce the heat island effect from newly installed impervious surfaces. Finally, landscaping provides immediate visual impact to compliment the architectural features of the developed site.
EVERGREEN: For those who aren’t familiar with how things work, what does the landscaping process look like? Is there a landscape designer? An architect? What does landscaping consist of from start to finish?
BREEDLOVE: Landscaping can be a simple process or very intricate depending on the desired
outcome. It could be as simple as homeowner installing a new tree in their yard, or as complex as the design and implementation for a master planned development. Identifying the desired goals are the initial steps needed for success of any landscape project. A successful landscape designer will listen to the goals and needs of their client to establish a landscape plan. Sometimes a landscape designer needs to call on architects and engineers to meet goals and outcomes as well.
EVERGREEN: What are some of the trends in landscape design? Where is landscaping headed in the future?
BREEDLOVE: Xeriscaping is a current trend which involves the use of drought resistant plants that require little or no irrigation to thrive. This trend is becoming more important given the
state of global climate change and periods of prolonged droughts. Often cities ban the use of outdoor irrigation during drought conditions as water supply dwindles. The use of drought resistant plants will enable landscapes to survive when water reserves are limited.
EVERGREEN: We all know the importance of curb appeal, but few of us have the budgets that big construction projects have (obviously). How can we take note of what large businesses are doing and recreate a similar look at home?
BREEDLOVE: Starting small is the key to landscaping on a budget. Pick an area at your home you wish to improve and start there. While it may take many years to complete, eventually your hard work will produce the desired results.
EVERGREEN: What types of plants should we steer clear from in the South, and what types of plants should we embrace?
BREEDLOVE: Two words: INVASIVE SPECIES! Often these are some of the most commonly available plants in nurseries and garden stores. Some of the more commonly installed invasive plants includes; bradford pears, English ivy, wisteria and periwinkle. Native plants are always best suited for the local growing environment and should be strongly considered when choosing plants.
EVERGREEN: Green grass is sometimes the thing of dreams and fairy tales. Any tips for keeping grass green year-round?
BREEDLOVE: Apart from artificial turf, no turf grass species are green year-round. Turf grasses are usually divided into warm and cool season grasses. Warm season grasses are green through the spring, summer and early fall, then go dormant once the cool temperatures set in. Cool season grasses are the opposite and are green from the late fall through spring and are dormant during the heat of summer. If the desire for year-round greenery is a goal, warm season grasses such as Bermuda grass can be over-seeded with fescue during the fall to provide color throughout the winter. Additionally, ensuring that grass receives regular watering by either rainfall or irrigation and providing fertilization treatments throughout the year are key to a healthy green lawn.
EVERGREEN: When is the best time to complete landscaping? Is it truly the last thing on the checklist?
BREEDLOVE: Trees and shrubs should be planted during late fall and winter for best results. Perennials and annuals can be planted year-round depending on the species.
Thanks so much to Breedlove Land Planning for their unique perspective and expert guidance when it comes to landscaping. We trust Breedlove as proactive problem solvers and excellent designers. They always do a great job selecting the best plants for any given project, and we are looking forward to working with them on our most recent award, Walton High School Replacement – Phase 2. For even more about the latest in construction trends and news, head to the Evergreen blog. There, you’ll find a range of educational and informative topics.