Ecology + Design

Landscape Design, Construction and Installation – Somers NY

It all starts with a vision! To imagine the possibilities for beauty…for enhancing your lifestyle… for greater enjoyment of your outdoor living space…start with a plan! We all need help picturing exactly what our home improvement and landscape projects will look like. How will we benefit? What features will make us feel better just because they are attractive to look at or what features will we love so much that we use them all the time? What is on our short list of things we want right away and what are we willing to wait for? In the process of transforming the mediocre to the extraordinary we need to visualize what can be while looking at what is there now. Priorities are important. Communication of wishes and desires are also important.

In the case of this project, developing and intimate, serene space is absolutely important. Screening is important but so are the circulation paths connecting with the home interior, deck and driveway areas. Part of any complete master plan for your landscape should include any expansion of the infrastructural or hardscape surface. This may involve drainage solutions depending on existing conditions and how construction affects or changes drainage. As is often the case here the house sits on a hill, water flows away. Retaining features in the form of retaining walls and more informal natural rip-boulders were used to establish different elevations by terracing to support patios, walks and planting beds. One of the most desirable features of the intimate rear garden was a secluded, intimate hot tub area. A dense privacy screen was required to make our clients supremely comfortable. A fabulous water feature including a waterfall, stream and pond were added to suggest motion and tranquility.

Integrating these features into the design instead of trying to add them individually later is critical to the composition. We do not consider the design process to be complicated. It’s actually a lot of fun! What has been achieved in this landscape design and construction project is nothing short of a masterpiece. The design and installation from beginning to end took less than six months. Starting in the front the existing planting was rearranged, new beds added, including lots of color.

A small bubbler was installed (custom made) by drilling through a natural stone boulder and recirculating water through an irrigation pipe.

A mass planting of waves of evergreen ground cover was planted under the flowering cherry trees along the driveway/slope for added curb appeal as well as erosion control, thereby serving a dual function. A retaining wall was built to accommodate an additional parking area with a gravel surface, to improve drainage. In addition, a decorative gravel area with subsurface piping conveyed water to the rear utilizing gravity.

Now that’s sustainable resource management in action! Similarly we installed a river rock/boulder bio-swale at the bottom of the property which serves a similar function while being an attractive landscape element. A retaining wall in front of the house was needed to raise and support and terrace a foundation planting as the grade declined rapidly on the right side of the property. This was also the case in the rear (as with many home sites we have worked on). Entering the rear yard/garden though a rose arbor you are invited to an awesome secluded space!

Large fieldstone steps take you to the deck on the right, make a left and cross over a stream and waterfall on a stone bridge to the hot tub, straight ahead you arrive at the patio/terrace overlooking the fish pond. Everywhere surrounded by beauty! It all starts with a plan and vision with Landscapes for a Better Living!

Jay Archer, President




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