Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

A Garden Walk

Enjoy a Spring walk today.  The wonderful weather we’ve been having lures us outside to explore and enjoy our landscapes.
You might want to consider a visit to a public garden for inspiration or
relaxation.  Try packing a picnic and don’t forget your camera.

Here in North Carolina, the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill area has many wonderful gardens to tour.  Try the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh.  How about the Sarah P. Duke Gardens in Durham?

In Chapel Hill, the  NC Botanical Garden is another great choice.

In the Charlotte area, consider a trip to the
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

Heading up to D.C. soon?   Stop by the  US National Arboretum right in the capital city.  

Or check out the  Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden near Richmond, Virginia.

Travelling somewhere else in the country?  Check out this website to
search for gardens near your destination:  American Public Gardens Association.

Once you come back home see how you can use your new inspirations in your own garden.  What can you do to create your garden dreams right at home?  The possibilities are endless.


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OK, so the economy’s got you down.  Maybe you’d like to move to your dream house, but the market to sell your existing home stinks right now.  Maybe you just need a place to de-stress easily.  Why not make your current home your dream home?  Create a place to de-stress.   Sure, indoor renovations are great, but as we get closer to Spring consider what you might be able to do outside.  

When that warm weather comes–actually, here in NC we are enjoying temps this week around 70 degrees–wouldn’t you like to be able to hang out with friends and family outdoors?

A landscape designer can help you design an outdoor space for cooking, dining, playing or whatever you’d like to do.

Stone kitchen with pergola

Stone kitchen with pergola


Consider kitchens.  

 These can be elaborate with many built-in appliances or very simple with just space for a barbeque grill. 

Functionality is as important for outdoor kitchens as for those indoors.  Imagine being able to cook an entire meal outdoors while you hang out with your guests.  






What about dining space?   Perhaps a table with an umbrella is all you need, but consider covering your table with a  pergola with an outdoor chandelier.  Or maybe a rain-proof pavilion with both cooking and dining areas.  A ceiling over your table, created by a structure, umbrella or trees can bring a comfortable human scale to your space.

Pergola covering dining area with outdoor chandelier.

Pergola covering dining area with outdoor chandelier.

Patio with firepit and seating wall.

Patio with firepit and seating wall.

Sitting areas are important.  Just some comfortable chairs for lounging or maybe some seating walls around a patio.  Outdoor fireplaces or firepits are fun and can really extend your outdoor seasons.





Of course pools are always an option.  There are many bells and whistles you can add to any type of pool you like.  Lounging areas with shallow water, fun slides, water fountains, jets and falls.

Dragonfly shaped pool with water jets.
Dragonfly shaped pool with water jets.

How about play areas for kids?   Think beyond slides and swings.  How about a zip line?  Or if you have a great hill, a tunnel slide made from a large drain pipe?  All of these can be integrated into the landscape.

There are so many things you can do to improve your outdoor living space.   Start work on it now and you can enjoy Spring even more!

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Oxford Project

Last winter I had the opportunity to work with an amazing couple on their dream house in Oxford.  I was called in when the house, detached garage and pool were nearly finished.  Usually, I’d prefer to come in a bit earlier, especially when there is a pool, but I can start at any stage.
deck design

This deck design works for the client.

To better illustrate why it’s good to have the landscape designer in early, consider the deck.  When I first came on site, the deck was nearly ready to be constructed–materials were on site.  I soon realized that the deck design would not fit the site, the home and the owner’s needs very well and asked if I could redesign it. 

I was able to redesign it and I was able to use the materials already on site for the changes.  Now the flow from the house to the pool and to the rest of the yard really works.  
Another challenge was to design the motor court/parking area.  There was a three foot elevation difference between the
The motor court was a challenge.

The motor court was a challenge.

garages and they weren’t that far apart!  I needed to allow for cars to enter the garages, guests to park and water to stay away from everything.   During the design process, the owners realized they wanted a wall at the side of the motor court–the place water was supposed to go!  So by adding a drainage system we were able to install a fantastic wall that really makes the courtyard area.

 A wonderful mason had done the stone work on the house and we were planning to do a lot more stone work on site.   Our stone walls needed to match the home so we’d get a consistent look.  We used the same stone in our many dry stacked stone walls that the mason used for the stone on the house.  We added some steps and columns at the front entry that needed to match the existing work on the house.  I think Greenscape’s skilled crews did a great job!
We wanted our work to match the existing steps and veneer on the house.

We wanted our work to match the existing steps and veneer on the house.

This project was a joy, the clients were wonderful and I had a great time working on it.
Our crews enjoyed the installation too, but after 6 months on the job we were all happy when it was over.  Our clients were happy to finally have their wonderful new home to themselves.  But they still see Greenscape crews once a week when we come out to maintain the property.

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