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GardenSMART Episode

Show #49/5010. Landscape Installation - Irrigation And Containers

Summary of Show

Entry Wall
One of the more pivotal elements to the whole design is a simple, yet elegant WALL that brings definition to the entryway of the house and accents the amazing stairway that leads us to the front porch. It's this kind of detail that really transforms a space and elevates it to a whole new level.
For More Information Click Here

Technological Advancements With Irrigation Systems
Over the years there have been a lot of TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENTS made with equipment. One of those advances has been with controller technology - the ability of the controllers to be programmed to not only adhere to any water restrictions that may be implemented, but also control the days that the irrigation system operates, control the time that they run and the amount of water they distribute.
For More Information Click Here

Advancements With Sprinkler Head Technology
Additionally, advancements in SPRINKLER HEAD TECHNOLOGY have improved substantially over the years. Nozzle technology, pressure, all of those things factor into making sure that we apply the right amount of water at the right time.
For More Information Click Here

Irrigation Design Consultant
Eric meets Debbi and asks - Debbi you work in a very interesting field, you're an IRRIGATION DESIGN CONSULTANT. Would you talk to us a little about what that means. An irrigation design consultant works with the developers or the homeowners and develops an irrigation plan for them.
For More Information Click Here

Irrigation Zones
So, we've got MULTIPLE ZONES here, some zones are for the taller woody ornamental plants as well as some perennials. So she specked some 12-inch pop-up sprinklers since some plants are going to be a little bit taller in this area. We're going to utilize 12-inch pop-ups so the water can reach over the boxwoods and over other taller plant material. Debbi is also going to use the finger spray nozzles which will put nice gentle water under the existing material.
For More Information Click Here

Johnnie Gowan Irrigation Installer
Now that we have our plan put together and have the right equipment sourced we need to find a QUALIFIED INSTALLER. Luckily for us Johnnie Gowin with Gowin Land Development is right around the corner. Johnnie is a veteran in the field, he and his crew will make sure everything goes in the ground correctly and all the fine-tune adjustments are made so we get the water coverage we need to help this landscape thrive.
For More Information Click Here

Installing Irrigation In Existing Landscape
With the EXISTING LANDSCAPE with turf they go in with a vibratory plough and use the vibratory plough to install piping. There is some minimal digging that will then need to be restored.
For More Information Click Here

Different Zones And Requirements
Eric notes that this property has all these DIFFERENT ZONES AND ENVIRONMENTS - things like trees, different areas of shrubs, turf and annuals, which of course, require a lot more water.
For More Information Click Here

Containers
CONTAINERS provide us with so many opportunities in the garden. And they are wonderful accent pieces that offer architectural interest melded with botanical beauty. Containers are also a great place to showcase seasonal beauty and house dynamic pops of color. One of our favorite horticulturists, James Szadek, also happens to have a keen eye for color combinations and making each container a unique focal point.
For More Information Click Here

Containers For A Shady Spot
The guys move on to several more containers. They are two different containers. With the first they put together a container for a nice SHADY SPOT. They start with a little bit of height utilizing a Carex.
For More Information Click Here

LINKS:

J. Frank Schmidt
J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co. Wholesale Tree Growers

Hartstone
Hartstone Tile | Hand Crafted Concrete Tile

Rain Bird
Rain Bird: Sprinkler Systems, Commercial Irrigation, Residential Irrigation, Lawn Sprinklers, Drip Irrigation, Golf Course Irrigation and Agricultural Irrigation

wc3design
WC3 Design

Monrovia
Monrovia

Proven Winners Annuals
Annuals | Proven Winners

Longshadow Containers
LONGSHADOW Planters & Garden Ornaments

Plant List

Show #49/5010. Landscape Installation - Irrigation And Containers

Transcript of Show

In this episode GardenSMART takes a trip back to our landscape design and installation project in Louisville, Kentucky. The project is now well underway, things are shaping up great but we've still got a lot of work to do.

This is the second stage of of our landscape installation project and the pieces are coming to life. Much of the heavy lifting like grading and site preparation is out of the way and this is where we see the design really starting to take more of a finished form.

Darren Hardy is our tireless general contractor and has a real passion for making sure the details come together just right. Eric checks in with Darren to see how the project is coming together.

Eric welcomes Darren back. Thank you Eric it's good to be back. There's a lot that has happened already, we're moving right along at a blistering pace on this landscape install. Give us a recap of what's been done and then what we have going on today? As you remember we started on the right side of this home last year and built a berm. It has done really well since last year. All the boxwoods, hollies and trees were planted and have done well. We did lose one tree which is not unusual, not a big deal we're just going to match it up with another specimen. We have been using temporary irrigation which will all go away after this week because we're installing a permanent irrigation system.

We've also planted a lot of the smaller trees around the perimeter that will provide some future screening. The smaller trees need irrigation so we have a drip line, on a hose, run to those. We've also started work on the wall in the front of the home. It incorporates some brick and some Hartstone from the porch to tie everything together. All that Hartstone needs to be placed by hand and the irrigation installed which is why all these men are working hard. Irrigation is a really important part of this project. And we have a great crew working on irrigation. Eric thinks it's important to have irrigation up and running as soon as the plants are in the ground so that the plant material will get water immediately.

One of the more pivotal elements to the whole design is a simple, yet elegant WALL that brings definition to the entryway of the house and accents the amazing stairway that leads us to the front porch. It's this kind of detail that really transforms a space and elevates it to a whole new level. The masons are busy working away on the entryway of this home, the foundation of the wall is mostly installed. Really a number of things could have been done here to resolve this change in elevation - there's maybe about a 5 to 6-foot drop. Eric asks Darren why did he feel like the wall was important? Well, we needed the wall to retain the area up near the porch, for a couple reasons. It allows us to add more elements and importantly adds a real impact or feel to the front of the house. Eventually, we're going to have a little flagstone seating area and path. So it's much more user friendly if we can get this area fairly level. We could have just graded it down to the driveway with a nice slope and might have done that if this was going to be mostly turf. Eric think it's really nice that the materials chosen echo the porch and steps. They're using the same brick utilized in the foundation. There is, of course, a lot of the Hartstone tile on the actual deck, that same stone will be used as capstones for the top of the wall. All of this is a very heavyweight design, a high impact piece that matches the materials of the home. And importantly as one is driving up it really defines this as the entrance. It's very much in scale with a home. They didn't want to use landscape timbers or anything like that. The brick is just a much more permanent solution and helps tie the material to the house. It is a really nice entry feature that is important because it provides a sense of arrival and adds a bit of formality. Throughout the landscape design has a formal quality to it, the very nicely defined garden rooms that move people through the landscape are a great example.

We will be using some nice larger trees that go into these insets, so the wall helps define those areas and gives the trees a space of their own. They provide additional privacy for the seating areas. They did have to make a few adjustments to the wall. It's nice to look at the landscape plan but sometimes it's not always installed per the plan which is ok, but they've worked past that and are now standing on fairly level ground. This area will eventually lead to other parts of the garden. As it happens, so often in construction, everything may be perfect on paper but there are adjustments that need to be made because it's kind of a living breathing thing that is adjusting to the terrain and changes that may not have been reflected on the plan. In this case there were certain sections of the initial construction of the wall that had to be cut out to match the steps. It was very important that these steps mirror the steps that are actually going up to the house. So 13 inches of the wall was removed to make that uniform. And part of doing a great landscape install is being flexible, being creative, looking at your surroundings, determining what you have in front of you, then making those adjustments so that ultimately the homeowner is happy with the final product. We adjust where we can, then where we can't we just have to work around and make it look nice the best we can. Luckily the finish guys are very skilled they, know what they're doing and were able to adjust some of the deviations with the wall to make it work. Eric thinks Darren is doing a great job. It is really shaping up.

One cannot overstate the importance of water for a healthy and vigorous garden. Making sure that we get it right the first time saves us a host of potential problems down the road. Chris Dimmick has spent years understanding and implementing the right tools for homeowners, growers, and institutions to maximize the results they get from their irrigation system.

Eric welcomes Chris. Chris notes that the homeowners have spent a lot of effort getting this landscape installed, and during the first phase they were actually dragging hoses around with sprinklers. Now they're installing an irrigation system. Why might homeowners consider an irrigation system? And, what does Chris think is important to consider when choosing and installing an irrigation system? The biggest reason is to get away from dragging hoses around. And, irrigation systems are an insurance policy. It helps ensure the investment they've made in plant material and their lawn. Those are the two biggest reasons people should consider an irrigation system.

Also, when using more of the broadcast type sprinklers we're indiscriminately adding a blanket of water across our entire landscape. And there is a big difference between turf and say shrubs, perennials and annuals and their water needs. Also that's very water wasteful, a lot of that water evaporates off the leaves which tends to cause more disease problems.

Over the years there have been a lot of TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENTS made with equipment. One of those advances has been with controller technology - the ability of the controllers to be programmed to not only adhere to any water restrictions that may be implemented, but also control the days that the irrigation system operates, control the time that they run and the amount of water they distribute. There are also controller add-on devices that can be installed that enable people to water based on weather conditions from the previous 24 hours, meaning we can get away from a lot of water waste. In addition to that there are rain sensor devices that can be installed which means when it's raining we don't have irrigation water running. That's a very intelligent way of using water. We can stop the growth of a plant as fast by overwatering it as we can by under watering it. And in fact by getting the watering ratio exactly right one can improve the growth of a plant by up to 30% to 50% just by giving it water when it needs it. And that also goes for time of day, getting water out at the right time of day. And that differs from planting to planting.

Additionally, advancements in SPRINKLER HEAD TECHNOLOGY have improved substantially over the years. Nozzle technology, pressure, all of those things factor into making sure that we apply the right amount of water at the right time. The analogy Chris likes to use is when you're using your garden hose and trying to water something if you have it set on the jet setting you get a single stream of water and that's not covering an area very well. But if changed to the gentle shower setting you then effect a much better broadcast application of water. So, think about the sprinkler head and nozzle technology available these days as being able to apply a highly efficient application of water.

With this design we brought in a professional garden designer to make sure that the landscape looked exactly right and to ensure it was thoughtfully designed. Eric asks, with irrigation should we think about bringing in someone to correctly design the irrigation system as well? Chris feels that is absolutely a critical piece of putting this all together. This is a professionally designed landscape, we need the same thing to happen with the irrigation system because it's very scientific, it's not just about getting an area wet. There are things that need to be factored in - we need to have separation of the lawn areas from the plant areas, separation from areas that are low lying, areas receiving more sun or less sun. So, it's a very critical piece to the success of the irrigation system and allows the homeowner to create these different microclimates and then, importantly, control them.

Eric meets Debbi and asks - Debbi you work in a very interesting field, you're an IRRIGATION DESIGN CONSULTANT. Would you talk to us a little about what that means. An irrigation design consultant works with the developers or the homeowners and develops an irrigation plan for them. She looks at the property, takes into consideration all of the characteristics of the property, elevation changes, water sources, power sources, existing plant material and non-existing plant material. In many ways Debbi works as kind of in between the landscape designer - they put together what they want everything to look like - and the irrigation installer who is really good at putting the irrigation system together, installing the irrigation. Debbie's job is basically to figure out what are the different zones of irrigation, what kind of considerations need to come into play and then generate a beautiful plan.

Eric would like to walk through the plan. This is our site and this is the plan Debbie put together for it. Where does she start? Initially she is going to learn where the power source is going to be. In this case it's located in the garage, and the water source is on the side of the house. We need to know what the water source is going to be - what size is the water source, what kind of pressure is available. That dictates what we're going to work around in our design. And with this design we have some existing plant material. So we're going to choose to put a drip line in that area because we don't want to run through the roots of the existing material. The drip flag goes on top of the surface but under the mulch and it pinpoints a very little bit of what's existing.

So, we've got MULTIPLE ZONES here, some zones are for the taller woody ornamental plants as well as some perennials. So she specked some 12-inch pop-up sprinklers since some plants are going to be a little bit taller in this area. We're going to utilize 12-inch pop-ups so the water can reach over the boxwoods and over other taller plant material. Debbi is also going to use the finger spray nozzles which will put nice gentle water under the existing material. We have some turf. What are we going to do differently in that section? In these areas Debbi is using 4-inch pop-ups because we only have to get over the turf area. It's a little pop up spray nozzle and it will water that perfectly. We also have 3-different grove areas where the homeowner put in these really nice, native hardwood trees that will create a great screen around the house. What is Debbi going to do differently there? Well, this year, before the new plant material was added, the homeowner actually put a make-shift drip irrigation system in and was watering with a hose. What we're going to do is hook up those three areas to the new irrigation system. It will be automated so they will never have to worry about watering those trees by hand anymore. The last section of interest is the two beds of annuals. Of course annuals, in most cases, love water and their water needs are very different from the way that we would treat woody ornamentals or turf. So, for this area Debbi is going to put the 12-inch pop-ups but is going to put them on a separate zone because, as mentioned, they do like a lot more water than everything else. The timer will be set to provide the exact water needs for those plants.

Eric is super excited about this, it's going to be great seeing it all come into play and thinks the homeowners are going to be thrilled. Debbi agrees, they'll like it once it's all done, they won't have to touch it.

Now that we have our plan put together and have the right equipment sourced we need to find a QUALIFIED INSTALLER. Luckily for us Johnnie Gowin with Gowin Land Development is right around the corner. Johnnie is a veteran in the field, he and his crew will make sure everything goes in the ground correctly and all the fine-tune adjustments are made so we get the water coverage we need to help this landscape thrive.

Eric meets Johnnie and thanks him for being with us. We're talking about the irrigation for this property and on one side of this home we had basically two different environments - the first is basically a bare ground, new installation, so with it we don't have to work around plants; the second is an existing landscape that was planted earlier. It has established sod, it has trees and shrubs that he will have to work around. What are the differences in Johnnie's approach with these two different areas?

With the EXISTING LANDSCAPE with turf they go in with a vibratory plough and use the vibratory plough to install piping. There is some minimal digging that will then need to be restored. So, it is a little more work but basically that's how you want to approach an existing landscape to minimize disrupting the plants in the area.

With new landscape or bare ground, you're going to use a basic trencher to install the irrigation. You're trench it out and install as normal. That is what one uses, probably, 80% of the time.

Eric notes that this property has all these DIFFERENT ZONES AND ENVIRONMENTS - things like trees, different areas of shrubs, turf and annuals, which of course, require a lot more water. There are many different nozzles. What options are available to us? On the existing landscape we might use drip tubing - the drip tubing is going to service a large concentrated area and allow that water to go in and soak in the landscape. There are emitters that will be installed in the tree grove, those emitters are going to be a solo single type emitter for each tree.

Go from that to your landscape beds where you can use concentrated nozzles, there they will go with rotary nozzles that will water a larger section. The rotary nozzles can also be used for turf. It is a low gallonage nozzle and allows water to soak in a little easier. They will utilize spray heads either for turf or rotors for turf that are designed for large areas covering a 25 to 40-foot distance, one can cover large areas with those.

Eric would like to talk about containers as well. We get questions oftentimes from viewers who are trying to figure out the best way to keep their containers alive. Of course containers tend to dry out faster and their water needs are very different from something that basically has this big soil reservoir. How would Johnnie recommend irrigating containers? The containers can be irrigated with drip tubing or one can use a spaghetti tubing. If you want you can actually use a stake spray if you have annuals that you want to get a little more concentrated water applied in a short period of time.

CONTAINERS provide us with so many opportunities in the garden. And they are wonderful accent pieces that offer architectural interest melded with botanical beauty. Containers are also a great place to showcase seasonal beauty and house dynamic pops of color. One of our favorite horticulturists, James Szadek, also happens to have a keen eye for color combinations and making each container a unique focal point. James walks us through his approach to good container design. Eric notes that the containers James designed for the front porch are dramatic. Eric really loves the way they've come together. There's a lot of white here, the house is white, the containers are white and James has used softer pinks, purples and almost blue like hues that really work well. James tells us he choose soft pastel, cooling, calming colors that he thought would be great, blooming plants that would be wonderful at different heights and different sizes, different textures. James thought it turned out really well. As one see there's duplication in containers throughout the patio area to accentuate the landscape design. Repetition or continuity is something that a lot of people don't get with their containers. It's really an extension of the landscape. When a container is beautiful you want it to kind of match the landscape. So, repeated themes are very important in design unless you're going for something that is more of a blend like an English country garden. But that's not what this is, this is a pretty formal design, these are very formal containers. We have a larger container and four smaller ones and we've repeated themes of the lavender and then the supertunias which are a really floriferous, then a low growing creeping petunia, it has tons of flowers and works well. The one plant James particularly loved to incorporate was Phenomenal lavender. It's a french type of lavender a selection that was a mutation from the plant the lavender-grosso, it was a full plant mutation, was discovered in Pennsylvania and has a very high essential oil content. It's a zone-5 hardiness, most lavenders are zone-7, so this works here in Louisville and goes throughout zone-5. We also have some salvia. Between the lavender and the salvia this is going to attract butterflies and bees - pollinators. They will bring some wildlife up on the porch. James realizes this and additionally realizes this might be controversial because these containers are close to the seating areas. Some might worry about bees so close to people but these bees are not after people - they're honeybees they don't want to sting, most of them are going to be so loaded up with pollen, on their pollen sacks, that they kind of hover like a helicopter as they fly away. So, they shouldn't really bother anybody. James finishes the containers off with the beautiful Japanese anemone. The delicate texture of it - the bigger leaves add a nice backdrop to this setting as well. This is one of James' favorite flowers - it's just a really simple elegant flower. It appears in fall, so it's kind of a trigger plant that will bloom in fall and then go away. Really simple and dainty; great for little girls, they love this flower. Eric thinks this is a great arrangement, well done James.

James and Wes next design several containers and these containers are for the landscape. They are permanent so James will make them reflect the landscape design. What James is going to do for the vertical element is utilize Chocolate Vine, an Akebia which gets a white bloom in spring that smells like chocolate. Wes then sticks in several pretty little coral-bells. This one is called Primo 'Pretty Pistachio,' it's a coral-bell that can take a little bit more sun. The lime green color really ties in well. Very simple, very elegant and the lime green of the pistachio will pull together the new flush on all the boxwood in the surrounding area.

The guys move on to several more containers. They are two different containers. With the first they put together a container for a nice SHADY SPOT. They start with a little bit of height utilizing a Carex. This one is called toffee twist, it provides a little bit of height and really nice texture to bounce off the Heuchera Primo 'Black Pearl.' It has a really dark color and a nice broadleaf. Wes next sticks in a little Lamium Pink Chablis in the front to give us a little bit of color and a little spill over the edge.

James is making his container for the sun and utilizes a vertical plant as his thriller, then a spiller and a filler. For his vertical element he uses a Juncus Blue Mohawk, then a petunia, Vista Bubblegum, for his spiller and a Heuchera 'Pretty Pistachio' for his filler. Since these are seasonal containers James is going to jam and cram and make them look full.

In this episode our project has really taken a big step forward as we've completed the instal of our irrigation system, installed some very important hardscape features, and put the finishing touches on some of our containers. There is more to come in upcoming episodes so keep checking back.

LINKS:

J. Frank Schmidt
J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co. Wholesale Tree Growers

Hartstone
Hartstone Tile | Hand Crafted Concrete Tile

Rain Bird
Rain Bird: Sprinkler Systems, Commercial Irrigation, Residential Irrigation, Lawn Sprinklers, Drip Irrigation, Golf Course Irrigation and Agricultural Irrigation

wc3design
WC3 Design

Monrovia
Monrovia

Proven Winners Annuals
Annuals | Proven Winners

Longshadow Containers
LONGSHADOW Planters & Garden Ornaments

Plant List

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By InstantHedge, Photographs courtesy of InstantHedge

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