GardenSmart :: EPISODES :: 2010 show41
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Show 41/2202. Landscape Makeover - Part 2

The Irrigation System
Eric meets with Joel, the landscape contractor, and they discuss THE IRRIGATION SYSTEM. There is an existing irrigation system on site, but there are changes and upgrades Joel wants to make. Joel discusses those changes. We reduced the amount of grass quite a bit in the back yard, so the system will require different heads in different areas. In the side area he will replace the existing heads with some new rotors, then in the beds he will ensure that the heads cover the new plants. For More Information Click here

Sub-Surface Drip Irrigation
There is a new type irrigation available and Eric thinks it worthwhile to discuss it since we're discussing irrigation products. It's SUB-SURFACE DRIP IRRIGATION. It waters the lawn from underneath the turf. As the water percolates up you get no run off, less evaporation and is 95% efficient. To install this type system one takes the sod out, then puts sod over the top of the irrigation system meaning water is dispensed right at the root zone of the plants. Joel talks us through the process. For More Information Click here

The Swale
Additionally, in this landscape water comes off the back yard, plus comes off the roof of the house and ends up around the foundation. Doug wants to capture that water and send it on its way around the house. He resolved the drainage issue a number of ways. First, he put in a DRAINAGE SWALE. Then, when they took out the soil for the swale they moved that soil and put it around the foundation, raising the grade to where it was supposed to be. They didn't over raise the soil there is still a good 3 boards width up to the siding. When installing the swale they checked the drainage by running water from a hose to make sure the water would run away from the house. A swale is a natural feature, it's just as low point in the soil. Doug says a swale is basically a fancy name for a ditch. Doug and the crew did a wonderful job of constructing this swale. For More Information Click here

Paver Patio
Joel's job is to take Doug's plans and bring them to life. One of the most dramatic changes has been the beautiful PAVER PATIO. Joel takes us back to the beginning. This was an unusual situation. There was an existing slab. It was a somewhat unsightly concrete slab and it had settled some, it was not really level. The foundation now looks level to Eric. Joel and crew did level it off. First they started by building a kind of fake wall by taking some of the edging pavers that were used in the yard. They used them to face the concrete slab, then on top added a cap and made sure the cap was completely level. For More Information Click here

Staining The Deck
The plants are installed, it's now time to start adding those little fine point details that really make the project pop. One of the things that the homeowners needed was for THEIR DECKS to be addressed. They hadn't been stained or painted in a while, thus there were areas of just raw wood. But where does one start, there are so many choices? When you walk into a paint shop there are hundreds, if not thousands of different swatches to choose from and that can be a little daunting. For More Information Click here

Containers
CONTAINERS are a wonderful way of bringing color right up to the front of the house and they allow you to incorporate plants into the deck areas. Eric and the crew had a great time shopping for containers and got some wonderful advice from the independent garden center. And, he brought home many containers, Doug then selected his favorites and has arranged them beautifully and artistically. Doug explains his thought process. Like furnishing your home you don't want to over accessorize, you just want to add a little highlight here and there. For More Information Click here

Selecting Outdoor Furniture
SELECTING OUTDOOR FURNITURE can be an equally daunting task. Crystal's garden center has some really nice selections. Eric feels there are millions of options when it comes to outdoor furniture and he hasn't had a lot of luck selecting the correct furniture. It seems that whatever he buys ends up falling apart, getting wobbly, it just doesn't hold up in the outdoor weather. Crystal believes that material selection is key in choosing patio furniture. They're sitting on an outdoor furniture set that is cast aluminum, something she recommends. For More Information Click here

Placement of Accessories
Back at the makeover site Eric talks with Doug about his purchases and how they should be PLACED IN THIS BACKYARD. Doug opines - There are 2 distinct decks. One is for dining, it's close to the kitchen, is elevated and just the right scale. That's where we've placed the beautiful table and chairs Eric just found at the garden center. With the other deck, we took the railing off, which opens the view to the garden. It's a smaller deck, perfect for relaxing or reading a book. The area in between is the paver area, that's where the grill will go because we want no burns to occur on the decks. For More Information Click here



LINKS:

Loews Hotel Denver

Rain Bird Sprinklers and Irrigation Systems for Homeowners

Outdoor Furniture - Hanamint










Garden Smart Plant List



Complete transcript of the show.

Landscape Makeover shows are always exciting. And these shows are no exception. We're halfway through with the transformation of the Centennial, Colorado property and in this show put the finishing touches on this beautiful outdoor living space.

In the first show we met with the homeowners and they shared with us their concerns and considerations for what they wanted their future outdoor living space to look like. We then met with the landscape architect, he was able to take the homeowners vision and special concerns for their site and render it beautifully on paper in a series of drawings. Those drawings were then passed on to the landscape contractor enabling him to know the basics of what the finished product was supposed to look like. From there we went through the nitty gritty work of the demolition and excavation of the site, getting everything ready for the future hardscape, then getting the ground prepped for planting. We went to our local independent garden center and found some wonderful plants with a full range of colors, textures, foliage and year round interest. Everything was planted and it looks fantastic. In show number 2 we will look at the hardscape, we'll install a beautiful cobble swale which will address some of the preexisting drainage problems, and we'll be installing a great looking patio upgrade. It will basically lay on top of what originally was an unsightly concrete slab. It will really spruce up the area. We'll be staining the decks. They are older and the stain will not only protect the wood but look beautiful. We'll upgrade the irrigation system, paying particular attention to irrigation around the new plants. This will eliminate much worry for the homeowners, they won't need to be concerned about the watering needs of the new plants, plus it will conserve water and bring water right to the plants. Containers on the decks will provide a great finishing touch bringing color right up to the house. There is a lot to do. Eric is ready to get started. Top


Eric meets with Joel, the landscape contractor, and they discuss THE IRRIGATION SYSTEM. There is an existing irrigation system on site, but there are changes and upgrades Joel wants to make. Joel discusses those changes. We reduced the amount of grass quite a bit in the back yard, so the system will require different heads in different areas. In the side area he will replace the existing heads with some new rotors, then in the beds he will ensure that the heads cover the new plants. The beds will be covered with mulch which will reduce evaporation. This will be a very efficient irrigation system. Water, today, is always a big concern and one of the over arching themes of this landscape makeover is to make this eco-friendly. The Denver area doesn't get a tremendous amount of rainfall, water is a precious resource and Joel has some very eco friendly irrigation upgrades. First, Joel shows us a water smart clock which includes a weather type station. It has a rain gauge and a heat sensor that measures the outside temperature and rainfall, it feeds that information into the clock and then waters accordingly. This rain station takes all the guess work out of watering, the homeowners won't need to worry about watering too much or not enough, the clock takes care of it all. It makes adjustments to its normal schedule on the basis of rainfall. If the temperature is intense; it increases the amount of water, with cooler weather it will cut back the amount of water. Another interesting feature is the face of the control pops off allowing one to walk around the yard and enter in the information for the property. It's really convenient. Top


There is a new type irrigation available and Eric thinks it worthwhile to discuss it since we're discussing irrigation products. It's SUB-SURFACE DRIP IRRIGATION. It waters the lawn from underneath the turf. As the water percolates up you get no run off, less evaporation and is 95% efficient. To install this type system one takes the sod out, then puts sod over the top of the irrigation system meaning water is dispensed right at the root zone of the plants. Joel talks us through the process. He would remove the sod, build a manifold up one side of the property, then run a grid system underneath the grass, then put 4 to 6 inches of top soil on that, then roll out new sod on top of that. One of the things that makes it different from standard drip is standard drip doesn't have anyway of keeping roots from growing into the orifice where water is emitted. It isn't a concern with surface drip but is when below ground. This system has a copper tip. Copper has been used for years as a natural way of pruning root tips. Used in this application one doesn't have the concern of this being installed under the lawn and roots growing and plugging the orifice creating a problem with the system. This is a very smart way of using water. Top


Drainage was another concern for the homeowner. That was one of the first things the homeowners told Doug. Their basement was flooding. The ground had settled around the foundation, which is something fairly common around foundations. After building originally the construction crew simply filled in around the foundation with loose dirt. But that dirt settles over time, creating a negative drainage situation. Additionally, in this landscape water comes off the back yard, plus comes off the roof of the house and ends up around the foundation. Doug wants to capture that water and send it on its way around the house. He resolved the drainage issue a number of ways. First, he put in a DRAINAGE SWALE. Then, when they took out the soil for the swale they moved that soil and put it around the foundation, raising the grade to where it was supposed to be. They didn't over raise the soil there is still a good 3 boards width up to the siding. When installing the swale they checked the drainage by running water from a hose to make sure the water would run away from the house. A swale is a natural feature, it's just as low point in the soil. Doug says a swale is basically a fancy name for a ditch. Doug and the crew did a wonderful job of constructing this swale. It marries well with the other natural and earth tone elements. But this is no normal swale. Doug incorporated miscanthus and blue oat grass. Both are really nice touches. But, why the plants? Doug starts with a functional design solution then adds the aesthetic touches. A pile of rocks in the yard would not be that pretty and Doug wanted it to look like the swale belonged here. The miscanthus provides the scale needed, it provides a focal point. Think of this as a dining room table where this is a center piece, this is what one will be focusing on. It really starts to give the yard a lot of interest, not only when walking around this feature but also from the inside looking out. The grasses can be left up year round. They'll dry but look wonderful in the winter time. In the spring, cut them down and they'll pop right back up again. Eric really appreciates Doug's attention to detail on this project. When standing in the living room looking through the window this becomes a prominent focal point from the interior of the house.


Doug mentions that a lot of the gravel mulch that had been used previously is now used in the swale. Here it creates texture. Plus we didn't haul the rock off which saved money. But he did want to change the scale a little so they brought in some small boulders and some cobble stone. They provide the scale needed. Just the gravel would not have had the right look. This is not only a very practical solution to the problem but a very efficient, beautiful feature which becomes the center piece of this landscape. Doug feels that if the homeowners wanted to really set the area off they could add some little landscape up lights, 12 volt, very safe, put them down in the gravel and shine them up on the grasses. Summer time, winter time when the snow is falling, it would be magic. Just the thought gives Eric goosebumps (just kidding). Top


Eric spends some more time with Joel, the landscape contractor. Joel's job is to take Doug's plans and bring them to life. One of the most dramatic changes has been the beautiful PAVER PATIO. Joel takes us back to the beginning. This was an unusual situation. There was an existing slab. It was a somewhat unsightly concrete slab and it had settled some, it was not really level. The foundation now looks level to Eric. Joel and crew did level it off. First they started by building a kind of fake wall by taking some of the edging pavers that were used in the yard. They used them to face the concrete slab, then on top added a cap and made sure the cap was completely level. At that point they had a level surface allowing them to drag their board across the sand on top of the concrete enabling them to set the pavers in a perfectly level environment. Joel's group used beautiful earth tone pavers which is a bit of a departure from traditional red brick pavers. Joel likes these pavers because they have a kind of natural stone look, their top is textured and the color and style matches the decks quite nicely. They almost look like real stone. Eric likes the natural look, it certainly goes with the new plants. Joel tells us how they were laid, it's an informal pattern. Joel instructed his guys to not make any crosses, he didn't want 4 corners of the pavers to come together, in an attempt to break up the linear lines. There are gaps between each paver and Eric assumes that when walking on them there would be movement. That's true but Joel will lock them into place with a polymeric sand. They just sweep it into the joints, hit the stones with a plate compactor, get it wet and the polymeric sand will dry almost like concrete. The plate compactor vibrates ensuring there are no gaps in the sand. Once done it will be one solid patio. It already looks fantastic, Eric can't wait to see it when completed. Top


Back to Doug. The plants are installed, it's now time to start adding those little fine point details that really make the project pop. One of the things that the homeowners needed was for THEIR DECKS to be addressed. They hadn't been stained or painted in a while, thus there were areas of just raw wood. But where does one start, there are so many choices? When you walk into a paint shop there are hundreds, if not thousands of different swatches to choose from and that can be a little daunting. Eric was wondering how Doug selected the color. Doug started with the pavers first. The pavers are a neutral dark to light brown color. They laid those down first, brought in the paint samples and matched the two. Doug also wanted to make sure the wood chip mulch matched because it is underneath the deck and in the foreground thus wanted the whole composition to look good together. The beautiful dark brown look of the deck stain works well with all the different elements. The deck looks earthy, it looks like wood. As it should.


There are a number of steps involved in making sure you have a successful stain job or a successful paint job. Eric will review the process with Rick Watt, our very accomplished painting contractor. Rick talks Eric through the process. First they pressure wash the deck. That will clean it and remove all the dirt, debris and gunk that has built up over several years. This will produce a nice clean surface before the stain is applied. If you have any kind of oils or algae on a deck, stain or paint won't penetrate, meaning it will fail. So, a clean surface is needed for adherence. They have selected a stain. Why a stain over paint for a deck? Stain is meant to penetrate the wood, it actually absorbs into the wood and allows the wood to breathe allowing moisture in, the water will evaporate and you won't have any peeling or other issues with stain. Stain will fade over time and it's meant for horizontal surfaces where you have snow or ice as well as hundred degree plus temperatures. It's meant to withstand those harsh conditions.


This deck was previously stained. Eric inquires how Rick knows the product he's putting down is safe to go on what was there before? A good test to make sure the stain will be able to penetrate and absorb into the wood is to take a little water, put it on the deck, if it beads up on the old stain it is still protecting the deck and you wouldn't want to stain over it because the new stain won't penetrate the wood, thus won't adhere. What is the longevity of stain? How often does a surface need to be stained? That depends on the weather conditions. Again, here they have 100 degree days, then freezing temps in the winter with snow and ice sitting on the decks. Typically every several years or so these decks will need to be stained. The key is to keep the wood protected. Do it before the wood is bare. Because when the damage starts not only will you need to stain again but additionally and quite possibly you will need to replace boards before they rot. Rick and his crew have been working hard on the decks and they look fantastic. This has made a huge improvement to the look of the whole backyard. Top


CONTAINERS are a wonderful way of bringing color right up to the front of the house and they allow you to incorporate plants into the deck areas. Eric and the crew had a great time shopping for containers and got some wonderful advice from the independent garden center. And, he brought home many containers, Doug then selected his favorites and has arranged them beautifully and artistically. Doug explains his thought process. Like furnishing your home you don't want to over accessorize, you just want to add a little highlight here and there. He wants color and wants some height and balance on the decks. A true plant lover, Doug has added shrubs and ground cover plants to the containers, not perennials nor annuals because the shrubs and ground covers will carry through the winter. They're very low maintenance, beautiful and, of course, provide focal points and pops of color. It's an immediate effect. Top


To review the container selection process we flashback to the garden center and Eric's interaction with Crystal. Crystal believes containers are a great way to add splashes of color and a different element to the garden. Eric likes using containers in his garden to contain plants that grow a little faster or for plants that are a little more aggressive than he would want and they allow him to keep plants in one place. Choosing a container can be a challenge and Crystal's garden center has thousands of options. Crystal believes when choosing a container that first one needs to know where you want to place it because that will provide an idea of the size of the pot. Once you have an idea about size, next look at color. Color can have a dramatic effect on how your landscape looks based on the color of the wall behind the container or the color of the plants going in the container. Also, note the drainage the pot allows because some don't have drainage holes, they're really intended for water features rather than plants. Good drainage is important. Top


SELECTING OUTDOOR FURNITURE can be an equally daunting task. Crystal's garden center has some really nice selections. Eric feels there are millions of options when it comes to outdoor furniture and he hasn't had a lot of luck selecting the correct furniture. It seems that whatever he buys ends up falling apart, getting wobbly, it just doesn't hold up in the outdoor weather. Crystal believes that material selection is key in choosing patio furniture. They're sitting on an outdoor furniture set that is cast aluminum, something she recommends. With cast aluminum one can get a lot of detail in the patterns on the chairs and tables. Plus they have weight, meaning they don't get caught in the wind and blow down the street. And cast aluminum will last a long time in the elements. This set is beautiful, durable and even has some bells and whistles. Top


Back at the makeover site Eric talks with Doug about his purchases and how they should be PLACED IN THIS BACKYARD. Doug opines - There are 2 distinct decks. One is for dining, it's close to the kitchen, is elevated and just the right scale. That's where we've placed the beautiful table and chairs Eric just found at the garden center. With the other deck, we took the railing off, which opens the view to the garden. It's a smaller deck, perfect for relaxing or reading a book. The area in between is the paver area, that's where the grill will go because we want no burns to occur on the decks. Although there are 3 distinct rooms, it becomes one space, all connected. It's wonderfully done and all the finishing touches are complete. This place looks fantastic. Eric is ready to bring out the homeowners. Top


Jeannie and Jeff join Joel, Doug and Eric. Jeannie and Jeff think this is awesome, they love it. The swale, with the rocks and the grasses, addresses the water problem. It's a great design and should really help with the water issue. Doug's design is fantastic. Joel and his crew worked very hard and did a great job. There are a lot of fantastic plants, the furniture and containers are wonderful. Rick did a great job staining the decks, they love the color. The trees are beautiful, they really add a sense of privacy. Jeannie and Jeff can't imagine it turning out any better, it's awesome. They will now spend a lot of time out here. Thanks to everyone. This is functional, low maintenance and above all else, stunningly beautiful. They're very happy. Thanks so much.


Eric next meets with Doug and Joel for their thoughts on the project. Eric is impressed with how all the different parts came together beautifully. From the design to the implementation Doug and Joel did a great job. The end result is impactful.


Doug shares his thoughts. For Doug the hardscape made the greatest impact. Taking off the railing on the smaller deck, opened it up. The decks were refurbished and they look like new. The pavers over the concrete patio made a huge difference and of corse the cobble swale set the tone for the entire planting design. From a designers standpoint Doug feels it's important to work with a good contractor. Work with the contractor on changes, plant selections, that sort of thing. Work with someone that can work with you.


Joel and his guys did an outstanding job. The part of the project that made the greatest impact for Joel was cutting out the beds and adding all the shrubbery. That made a big impact and that was because of the design. Eric wants to know from a homeowners implementation standpoint what practical advice can Joel give a homeowner to make their backyard look great? His advice is to focus on the details. In this project they used really nice hardscape edging, the plants were top notch and will last in the long run. If you focus on the details and make sure everything looks right you'll be happy with your project.


Well, Eric is definitely happy with this project. It's been an honor to work with both Doug and Joel. Both did a fantastic job. The crews were wonderful. Thanks to everyone.

Top



LINKS:


Loews Hotel Denver











Colorado Community Newspapers Online - Growing smarter ... on PBS

Garden Smart Plant List



   
 
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