GardenSmart :: EPISODES :: 2010 show40
GardenSMART Newsletter Signup
 
Visit our Sponsors!
Visit our Sponsors and win.
Past Shows:

Show 40/2201 Landscape Makeover Part 1

The Winners/Homeowners

ERIC FIRST MEETS THE WINNERS/HOMEOWNERS, Jeannie and Jeff. Jeff had heard about GardenSMART and was surfing the web one day when he noticed the Sweepstakes announcement. Jeff decided to enter.

For More Information Click here


The Landscape Architect

THE NEXT STEP WAS MEETING THE LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT, Doug Rockne. They found Doug to be a wonderful individual. Doug came over and wanted to get to know Jeff and Jeannie. He was interested in their personalities, he toured the inside of their home to get a sense of their interests. 


For More Information Click here


Develop A Plan

The next step was to DEVELOP AND PRODUCE A FORMAL PLAN. The guys go over Doug's drawings or plans. They are on different pages, with the different pages representing different steps. The first step is to basically address demolition, excavation, the parameters of the job. 


For More Information Click here


The Garden Center

ERIC GOES TO THE GARDEN CENTER and meets Crystal. Eric is impressed with this garden center, it's beautiful, has a tremendous range of species, everything looks great, well cared for. Crystal gets many questions each day about what is the correct plant for a particular spot, what can one do with this or that plant, etc.


For More Information Click here


Selecting Plant Material

They wanted PLANT MATERIAL THAT WOULD PROVIDE YEAR ROUND INTEREST, also plants that will be durable. Winter here can be tricky and there isn't a whole lot that blooms in winter thus he was looking for plants that may be either evergreen or have interesting bark. That is why they chose the Yellow Twig Dogwood and the Red Twig Dogwood. These plants, right after they drop their beautiful foliage, have really neat bright red and bright yellow twigs that stand up in the garden like little soldiers and provide really nice color accents during winter. 


For More Information Click here


Meeting The Landscape Contractor And Putting The Plants In

Eric likes this part of the process and show because this is where they get to PUT THE PLANTS IN. They talk first about site preparation. This is an important step, we need to make sure these beautiful plants have nice soil. Joel feels we're lucky here because when the homeowners bought the house they trucked in loads of top soil, meaning they now have 4 to 6 inches of top soil throughout their entire back yard. 


For More Information Click here


Mycorrhizae

Another thing they're doing here that Eric likes is they're using a MYCORRHIZAL COMPLEX. They add it to each planting hole. Joel comments that the place they buy trees supplies them with the Mycorrhizae and they give a 2 year warranty if they use the product. So, after they take the basket off and the burlap off the trees they put a little Mycorrhizae on the root base before they put it in the hole. They use it on the small shrubs as well.


For More Information Click here


Placing The Plants

Eric talks with Doug again. Eric comments that they've moved all the plant material on site and he would like to know how Doug starts with this giant group of plants, then makes sure EVERYTHING GETS IN THE CORRECT PLACE. Doug goes through the process. First they unload the truck, the crew is very useful in unloading the truck and getting the plants in the back yard. Doug then works with the crew to position each plant at the spot in the bed where it belongs.


For More Information Click here


Plants For Sun And Shade

Eric notices a DIFFERENT PLANTING SCHEME BETWEEN THE WEST DECK AND THE EAST DECK. What were the considerations there? The west deck projects further out from the house than the east deck. The guys are standing on the north side of the house and are in the sun. The west deck gets sun. The east deck rarely gets sun, it's closer to the house, the house shades that deck. Thus Doug has specified that the west deck have a lot of colorful plants, they can grow a lot of flowering plants in the sun.


For More Information Click here


Mulch

THE MULCH MATERIAL on this site was originally rocks or pebbles and Doug is moving to a wood mulch. Doug did that for a variety of reasons. It looks better, it's a lot easier on your back to put in and it holds the moisture better. Rock tends to heat up quite a bit which dries out the plants roots, it tends to burn the foliage that touches those rocks so wood chip mulch is a better way to go.


For More Information Click here


Edging

Eric comments on THE BEAUTIFUL EDGING. What was here before was steel edging which has been replaced with a great looking concrete edging. The owners Jeff and Jeannie have dogs and the metal edgers tend to get really sharp on the top edge and dogs tend to cut their feet on them. The metal edger also tends to pull out during freeze and thaw cycles.


For More Information Click here



LINKS:

Loews Hotel Denver

Centennial, Colorado

Rockne Corty Design - Landscape Architects; Residential & Public Spaces in Denver,CO.

Greenspace Inc Landscape and Lawn Maintenance

Landscape Ideas, Walkways, Retaining Walls

Pavers and Retaining Walls by Belgard Pavers

Monrovia Plants

Mycorrhizae

Echter's Nursery & Garden Center

Garden Smart Plant List

 


Complete transcript of the show.

Last season we had a Landscape Makeover Sweepstakes, the response was incredible, people entered from all over the country. Our lucky winners have been selected and live in Centennial, Colorado, a suburb of Denver. In this show we meet the homeowners, then the landscape architect and the landscape contractor, discuss plant selection, make hardscape decisions and walk through the first stages of landscaping their yard. And, we address some of the finishing touches that will make this space particularly special.

ERIC FIRST MEETS THE WINNERS/HOMEOWNERS, Jeannie and Jeff. Jeff had heard about GardenSMART and was surfing the web one day when he noticed the Sweepstakes announcement. Jeff decided to enter. They love their backyard - spend a lot of time here playing games, barbecuing, basically enjoying the Colorado weather. They are not landscapers, everything in their yard is very simple, there's not a design element to this space. They would like to make it a cozy spot with trees and atmosphere. Top

THE NEXT STEP WAS MEETING THE LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT, Doug Rockne. They found Doug to be a wonderful individual. Doug came over and wanted to get to know Jeff and Jeannie. He was interested in their personalities, he toured the inside of their home to get a sense of their interests. He looked at the yard and inquired about yard issues. They do have a drainage issue, when it rains hard one of the window wells leaks into the basement. Doug made a note of that issue. He walked around and noted they hang out outside and on the deck, thus decided to make the deck a point of interest in the makeover. Eric is intrigued and wants to meet Doug. Top

Eric meets Doug on his sailboat and comments that he loves Doug's mobile office. Doug enjoys his floating office, he has a land office but prefers to work on his sail boat. This is where he gets his most creative ideas. Doug tells a little about himself. He is a landscape architect, has a degree in landscape architecture and is certified in the state of Colorado. He belongs to the American Society of Landscape Architects and has had his own firm for 30 years. He does a lot of park design but loves residential  design as well. Residential is where some of the more creative opportunities occur. And, it's rewarding, people really appreciate the changes he makes in their yards. Top

Doug met with the homeowners, Jeff and Jeannie, who had certain concerns, considerations and ideas about the way they wanted their space to be used. While walking the yard and listening to the owners ideas he found their goal was for a low maintenance, medium cost landscape. The front yard is in pretty good shape, it fits with the neighborhood and they keep it well maintained. The backyard, on the other hand, was never totally landscaped which kept them from using it as much as they might like. So, Doug decided to focus on the back yard. He wanted to address existing conditions, and make functional corrections to some of those conditions. For example, drainage was a big problem but Doug views problems as opportunities and he sees the makeover as a real opportunity. Doug tries to address the functional things first, then put the aesthetic touches on after that. Top

The next step was to DEVELOP AND PRODUCE A FORMAL PLAN. The guys go over Doug's drawings or plans. They are on different pages, with the different pages representing different steps. The first step is to basically address demolition, excavation, the parameters of the job. This step shows the existing conditions and tells the contractor where he wants the beds cut, for example. The second plan is what Doug calls the hardscape improvements. By that he means anything that doesn't grow. They will be putting in a cobble swale to intercept and direct drainage. They will put in wood chip mulch to take the place of grass. Doug has tried to cut back the amount of grass which will mean cutting back the amount of water needed in the backyard. He will upgrade the decks and upgrade the patio with pavers. But Doug has saved the best for last, it is the fun stuff, this is where the color comes in. The last page identifies where the plantings go in the landscape. Where they presently have areas that are mulched with pebbles he will use some heavier plantings; with the new cobble swail he'll use some grasses because he wants a lot of texture there. Where they have tree root problems he'll use shrubs to cover those. He also has some beautiful flower pots coming to add color. Doug comments that he believes the views from inside the house looking out are just as important as what it looks like from the outside looking around the yard. So, the landscape will have a foreground, a middle ground and a background. And, it should be very interesting, providing year round views. Eric can relate to Doug's ideas behind the plan, it makes sense, he is starting to see it coming together.

Eric will next take Doug's plan, look at what he has specified in the way of plants, grasses, shrubs, ground cover, trees, etc. and head over to the nursery and select the plants. Doug realizes that it's late in the year, it is Fall, thus plants may be picked over somewhat. But with an idea in mind of what we want in the way of plants our task should be simplified. Top

ERIC GOES TO THE GARDEN CENTER and meets Crystal. Eric is impressed with this garden center, it's beautiful, has a tremendous range of species, everything looks great, well cared for. Crystal gets many questions each day about what is the correct plant for a particular spot, what can one do with this or that plant, etc. She first wants to know what kind of light the plant will have available. Sometimes it's full sun, sometimes shady conditions, sometimes the people live in the mountains (it is Colorado). Higher elevation definitely effects the amount of sunlight. Soil conditions are important. Is the homeowner dealing with clay or sand. With this information Crystal can direct them to possible soil amendments, allowing them to build the best home for their new plants. That is an important point about independent garden centers, the staff is passionate about what they're doing, they're knowledgeable and able to steer people in the right direction. This allows one to find the plant that's going to be the most successful. They have a great diversity of species, something one doesn't typically find in the larger stores which typically carry more general plant material. Eric likes the plant selection here and has picked out some amazing plants. Crystal and Eric look them over. Top

They wanted PLANT MATERIAL THAT WOULD PROVIDE YEAR ROUND INTEREST, also plants that will be durable. Winter here can be tricky and there isn't a whole lot that blooms in winter thus he was looking for plants that may be either evergreen or have interesting bark. That is why they chose the Yellow Twig Dogwood and the Red Twig Dogwood. These plants, right after they drop their beautiful foliage, have really neat bright red and bright yellow twigs that stand up in the garden like little soldiers and provide really nice color accents during winter. The Miscanthus Sinensis is a favorite of Eric's. Its green and yellow striped foliage is a beautiful vertical accent. Its fine foliage with different textures works great with some of the larger leaf plants like the hydrangea Angels Blush which has beautiful whitish green flowers that turn into blushing pink flowers, then finally into dried flower heads that work well indoors. Bring them indoors when in their prime and after drying and they make a really nice dried arrangement. Thus they provide multi seasons of interest. Crystal feels they create a type of drama in the winter. The dramatic foliage on the Diablo Nine-Bark also creates a focal point where ever it's placed and the Clematis is a great choice for vertical interest in a garden. If one has a small space it provides an opportunity to make the most of your garden by going vertical. The Blue Oat grass is great. Crystal is particularly fond of grasses because they catch the wind and breeze adding an element of movement into a garden plus they add texture to a garden. Euonymous Gaiety is a great selection because in the fall and winter months it starts to pick up a pink hue in the foliage, providing winter interest. And, of course, what garden would be complete without roses? Eric has chosen Carpet Roses and they are probably the easiest of all the roses to grow. It's difficult to harm them, you could actually trim them by running them over with your lawn mower. They create a lot of color and last all summer long. The common thread through all of these selections is the interest their foliage provides. The variegated foliage with Miscanthus, the dark foliage with the Physocarpus, some nice even tones of green with the others, all add interest. We also have flower interest with the Physocarpus and its beautiful pink flowers. The Hydrangea and the stunning Clematis also have beautiful flowers. The different types of textures and the combinations of all those pieces working together should make for a very interesting and unique landscape. Eric is pleased with the plant selections and returns to the makeover yard.

He next meets with Joel, the landscape contractor. Joel is the owner of GreenSpace an exceptional  landscape contracting company in the Denver area. Top

Eric likes this part of the process and show because this is where they get to PUT THE PLANTS IN. They talk first about site preparation. This is an important step, we need to make sure these beautiful plants have nice soil. Joel feels we're lucky here because when the homeowners bought the house they trucked in loads of top soil, meaning they now have 4 to 6 inches of top soil throughout their entire back yard. Thus Joel doesn't need to do what he normally must do which is bring in compost, at least 4 inches, and then rototill that in. Here that has already been done. At this point all that is needed is to dig holes 40% bigger than the root ball and put the plants into the ground, then back fill them. Eric comments on the soil. It is obviously good soil, he can tell it has lots of humic material and a lot of compost material, as well as enough sand to provide good drainage. These are the things one needs to think about when considering good soil. It should have enough organic material to hold water but but not so much or it will get soggy. The soil must also have enough drainage type material, like sand or small pebbles, so water can move through. When planting don't plant too low, be very careful with that. Joel and his team have been very cautious in this regard, they've left plants a little raised. If planted too deep water will, of course, follow the path of least resistance and roll down into the hole. When that happens you will have major problems. Joel kept the shrubs about 2 inches up from ground level and the big trees they kept about 4 to 6 inches off the ground. With the larger trees they built a well around the root ball with top soil and that helps water get to the plant. With container plants that have a very firm root ball Joel has broken up that root ball which allows nice root penetration, it allows the roots to go out into the soil. And, that's important. Often times in containers the roots will grow around in a circle, they follow the trajectory of the pot. The problem with that is when we install the plant the roots continue that trajectory, they continue circling, thus don't integrate well into the new soil. In contrast, with some of the bigger trees Joel has used some balled and burlap material. These are field dug trees. The grower will come in with a mechanical spade and lift the tree out of the ground, then put it in burlap with a wire basket that surrounds the ball. Eric loves this type product because they are grown in real soil, they're not grown in artificial potting media, bark media, and there is no opportunity for cycling roots because they are basically excavating something that had roots growing out in all directions. So when the tree gets planted they pull the basket off, put the tree in the ground and the roots are able to integrate from soil directly into soil which means you don't get nearly as much transplant shock. It's a wonderful product. Especially for big trees Eric recommends balled and burlap. Top

Another thing they're doing here that Eric likes is they're using a MYCORRHIZAL COMPLEX. They add it to each planting hole. Joel comments that the place they buy trees supplies them with the Mycorrhizae and they give a 2 year warranty if they use the product. So, after they take the basket off and the burlap off the trees they put a little Mycorrhizae on the root base before they put it in the hole. They use it on the small shrubs as well. Eric comments that Mycorrhizae has been around since the dawn of time. It is a very eco friendly product, a natural product. It is basically a fungal mycorrhizae and it attaches itself to the root tips and basically expands their surface area, adding a symbiotic relationship with the plant. The plant provides some sugar and some carbohydrates for its growth and in exchange for that the Mycorrhizae helps it absorb water in the surrounding soil. It can actually remarkably increase the ability of the plant to uptake water so it's a wonderful product. Eric is glad to see Joel and his team using it. Top

Eric talks with Doug again. Eric comments that they've moved all the plant material on site and he would like to know how Doug starts with this giant group of plants, then makes sure EVERYTHING GETS IN THE CORRECT PLACE. Doug goes through the process. First they unload the truck, the crew is very useful in unloading the truck and getting the plants in the back yard. Doug then works with the crew to position each plant at the spot in the bed where it belongs. They have a few more plants than expected and they have some different species. These plants are all upgraded from what had been planned. Doug had a very basic plan, not knowing what might be available, but ended up with some wonderful shrubs and great ground cover plants. By moving the plants into the beds the crew then takes the plant and digs the hole underneath where the plant goes. Doug then looks at the plant from all angles, from outside as well inside, because that is the way the homeowner will see them. He looks at them from the decks and from the yard and positions them ensuring they provide a nice composition. Top

Eric notices a DIFFERENT PLANTING SCHEME BETWEEN THE WEST DECK AND THE EAST DECK. What were the considerations there? The west deck projects further out from the house than the east deck. The guys are standing on the north side of the house and are in the sun. The west deck gets sun. The east deck rarely gets sun, it's closer to the house, the house shades that deck. Thus Doug has specified that the west deck have a lot of colorful plants, they can grow a lot of flowering plants in the sun. Also the west deck sits higher thus it needs taller plants. Doug doesn't believe the east deck has gotten an hour of sun all morning, and he's been here all day, thus he is using shade loving plants in that area. He will use the Emerald Gaiety which loves to grow in this environment and will hide the space underneath the deck. He is using plants on the west deck to similarly hide that space, although it's a bigger, taller space.

Eric likes the way Doug has incorporated ground cover plants into the plan. Carpet roses and Euonymous are two. Ground covers are important from a standpoint of water retention. Also, they can cover a tremendous amount of space and that cuts down on the need for mulch. Doug mentions that the client at the design stage had indicated an interest in cutting down the need for a lot of grass. When you reduce the grass you must replace it with something. Doug is trying to reduce maintenance and replace grass with a more interesting plant. In this case it's going to be ground cover roses. Top

THE MULCH MATERIAL on this site was originally rocks or pebbles and Doug is moving to a wood mulch. Doug did that for a variety of reasons. It looks better, it's a lot easier on your back to put in and it holds the moisture better. Rock tends to heat up quite a bit which dries out the plants roots, it tends to burn the foliage that touches those rocks so wood chip mulch is a better way to go. And, wood chip mulch from year to year adds organic material to the soil which rocks don't. Top

Eric comments on THE BEAUTIFUL EDGING. What was here before was steel edging which has been replaced with a great looking concrete edging. The owners Jeff and Jeannie have dogs and the metal edgers tend to get really sharp on the top edge and dogs tend to cut their feet on them. The metal edger also tends to pull out during freeze and thaw cycles. There's nothing you can do about that, no number of stakes will keep them in place. The concrete edger is a really smart edger because it will stay in place because it's heavy, it's a concrete segmental piece that allows one to place it flush with the grass on one side and mulch on the other side. Their weight keeps them in place. They look great and are very practical. Top

Eric summarizes what's happened so far. There is a lot that goes into putting together a great landscape and in this show we've had a behind the scenes look into the process. We started with the homeowner's cares and concerns which centered around some drainage issues and good water maintenance. They wanted something that was eco friendly, low maintenance and had sustainability and importantly was an enjoyable place to spend time. So we decided to take a lot of the lawn area out. Grass is a water hog. We are converting a lot of the space from grass to planting space and adding mulch which will help retain water. The landscape architect was able to render those things on paper allowing the contractor to get started. We went to the local garden center and selected some beautiful plants. We picked up some wonderful tips and ideas from our landscape contractor and our landscape architect on the proper way of spacing plants before we plant them as well as some great planting tips whether in a container or with a balled and burlap plants. But, as much as we've gotten done we have lot more in store in the next show when we put the finishing touches on this landscape makeover. Join us next time as we GardenSMART. Top

LINKS:

Loews Hotel Denver

Centennial, Colorado

Rockne Corty Design - Landscape Architects; Residential & Public Spaces in Denver,CO.

Greenspace Inc Landscape and Lawn Maintenance

Landscape Ideas, Walkways, Retaining Walls

Pavers and Retaining Walls by Belgard Pavers

Monrovia Plants

Mycorrhizae

Echter's Nursery & Garden Center

Garden Smart Plant List

Top


   
 
FEATURED ARTICLE
GardenSMART Featured Article

By InstantHedge, Photographs courtesy of InstantHedge

We have a new sponsor - InstantHedge. InstantHedge is unique, they utilize precision agriculture techniques that make purchasing a clean looking, square hedge, that has typically required years of waiting and work, possible in a single day. Thank you InstantHedge for your support of GardenSMART. Underwriter dollars make GardenSMART possible. To read more about InstantHedge and an interesting article click here.


  Click here to sign up for our monthly NEWSLETTER packed with great articles and helpful tips for your home, garden and pets!  
   
   
 
   
   
Copyright © 1998-2012 GSPC. All Rights Reserved.