The Installation Sequence – Part 2: 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 after reading the previous article (#’s 1-7) and you will have a smooth journey.
- Grading and drainage elements follow next. These may include depressions to hold stormwater and prevent polluting stormwater runoff into adjacent water bodies. These areas also help recharge our aquifer which supplies our potable water. Piping from downspouts and yard drains happen now. Make sure soil levels are at least three inches below adjacent pavement edges so the edges hold the mulch in place. Consider that extra soil will come in with plant root balls so grades should be lower before planting or excavated soil should be disposed of off-site.
Install sleeves for lighting, water, electrical, and irrigation under proposed pavement areas, decks, or walls. Are you taking those “progress” photographs? The grounds already look different.
- It’s now hardscape time with pavement installation for driveways, walks, patios, and decks. Construct large structures such as sheds, pergolas, and walls. Finally, it’s starting to look something like what the designer gushed about.
- Now it’s back to the dirt moving with trenching and piping for irrigation, lighting, electrical and water features. Some trenches may share uses so plan on that. If you missed any sleeves under pavement, you’ll find out now.
- Install fencing now but leave access for large items not yet installed. Make sure the fence is really on your property. Not on good terms with your neighbor? Check twice!
The eye candy is ready to be displayed. Larger ornaments such as trellises, arbors, fountains, and leveling bases for smaller ornaments need to appear now.
- The site is ready for lighting wiring and irrigation head installation.
- Call your pest control company to schedule any needed termite treatment if soils or devices were disturbed.
- Can we plant now? Sure, but start with the big items like trees and palms then work down to shrubs, and groundcovers.
- Smaller ornaments such as statues, benches, and containers are ready for placement on stable footers.
- Attach lighting fixtures and anticipate that outdoor evening dinner party with the landscape aglow.
- It’s time for finishing touches with container plantings, mulching (renewable and organic of course, but not cypress mulch), and sod.
Tweak the irrigation and lighting. Take “after” photographs and repeat as the landscape matures. Photograph at dusk with a blue sky for good shots with landscape lighting.
- Send out an announcement with a photo of your fabulous new landscape so your future guests can find the house that looks much better than before.
- With your favorite beverage in hand, enjoy the garden and the album organized with an amazing progression of images.
- Keep the camera handy; the album still has empty pages or bytes for shots of the maturing garden and the smiling guests that visit.
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 Oasisby