The Installation Sequence – Part 1: What Happens First
In The Garden – By Stephen and Kristin Pategas
The landscape design is completed, and you are ready to install plants. Or are you? To have a successful installation don’t put the shovel before the process. Follow this sequence and read next month’s (#s 8-23) and you will have a smooth journey.
- Take “before” and “progress” photographs. This will document the conditions before the work starts and may be useful if there are problems with contractors. Let neighbors know what you have planned. No one likes to be surprised when their surroundings change drastically, or a Bobcat cranks up at 7 a.m.
- Complete remodeling, pool rehab or installation, painting, gutter installation, and repairs. Of course, you could plant first and have everything within ten feet of the house trampled to death.
Confirm what permits will be required – typically tee removal and fence, structure, and hard surface installation. Those inspectors are roaming about and a future house sale may be compromised due to unpermitted work.
- Determine what existing ornaments and furnishings are not being reused and get rid of them before the contractors show up. Give them some space to work! Photograph and inventory the ones to reuse. Store them or protect them from workers and the dust generated by the saw cutting of concrete or pavers.
- Call Sunshine State One at 800-432-4770/ http://www.sunshine811.com (not your municipality) to have most underground utilities located (water and sewer lines to the house may not be located). Guess what? It’s the law! Hint: Do not call until five days before you dig, or the painted marks and flags may wear out or be mown over. Please, if you have a septic tank and a drain field tell everyone who may be working in your yard. Equipment upended in a septic tank is only a funny sight to the passers-by.
- Call in the arborist for an evaluation of your trees if the designer didn’t already do it as part of the design process. The condition of the tree and whether it is invasive (i.e. camphor) should be a consideration. Each municipality has its specific requirements. Make sure the stumps and major roots are ground thoroughly or landscape installation is more difficult. If the shade conditions are altered, make sure shade-loving plants are not now slated for too much sun. Crispy ferns aren’t pretty.
Landscape demolition is up next. Confirm that all plant material to remain or be transplanted is tagged and allow up to three weeks for applications of herbicides on those weedy areas. Get the invasive vines and weeds and their roots out now or curse them again and again when they keep popping up later through the new mulch.
Hortus Oasis (FL26000315) in Winter Park is a boutique garden design company specializing in residential, commercial and specialty gardens. Stephen is a registered landscape architect and Kristin is a certified landscape designer. Contact them at 407-622-4886/ firstname.lastname@example.org and visit www.houzz.com/pro/hortusoasis/__public.
Credit: All photography by Stephen G. Pategas/Hortus Oasis