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Old 02-18-2011, 06:44 PM
maglandscape maglandscape is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Virginia Beach
Posts: 26
A Challenge that Reawakened me

As a landscape architect I spent many years working in an office and all of the jobs that came to my desk were pretty much the same, government bids. Be sure to create a design that allows for as many parking spaces as possible, use plants that are tolerant to heat and need little to no care. When I left to begin my own design/build firm, while many of the designs I did for my residential clients required much more creativity, after a while I got in a rut. I met with a client one day who was so full of passion and joy and she requested a complete yard overhaul and wanted her new yard to reflect her Texan and Japanese heritage.
This job reawakened me; it caused me to research and create a design so different from what I had been doing. I loved bringing in elements of two very different landscapes and having them meld to create a place that truly reflected who my client is. We created a large Zen garden using Texas Rose stone and have boulders as well as cowboy boot focal point in the garden. We included a Japanese entry gate and deer chasing fountain for other Japanese elements. Choosing plants that were symbolic of two different landscapes that would survive in a Virginia climate was a challenge, but one that we met. We included Heavenly Bamboo Nandina, Beautyberry, and Dwarf Japanese Garden Junipers. The installation went well, although creating the curvature of the deck was complicated.
Since this job I have been invigorated in my designs and look forward to making each project different from the last.
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Old 02-22-2011, 02:18 PM
MLClawn MLClawn is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: des moines, ia
Posts: 1
Landscape Revival

After walking throught the property with the homeowner we went over different and new ways to design the orignal landscape to bring a new feel and flow for the property. The most challenging part of this project was designing the landscape to fit the customers $6000 budget. After the final design and final cost we finally came to an agreement and this is the outcome.
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Old 02-22-2011, 04:27 PM
shoeman shoeman is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: mass
Posts: 1
Patio 911!

This project involved the challenge of expanding the patio area by a pool to create a more "usable" space. Pre-existing conditions did not utilize the area to it's fullest potential.

We decided to remove existing stone wall, push it back to the fence line and add a large brick paver patio inviting you to the area with a curved set of steps. A more intricate pattern was chosen for the pavers and 85% of the stones for the wall came from the excavated area.

Some of the challanges were getting the skid steer through the woods behind the chain link fence. Stock piling stones and sizing them correctly for the wall. Deciding how to incorporate stairs into the whole area. Not damaging or killing the mature Japanese Maple on the left hand side of photos, "whew!" (still alive today)

This entire project was designed "on the go" as we invisioned it by myself and my experienced mason.
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Old 02-22-2011, 05:10 PM
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Paradise Views Paradise Views is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: 34 Riverwood Parkway suite 35 Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 14
Back yard living space

This was a design build project built in very tight area total size of the backyard was 30 by 25 feet and existing fences and huge tree posed as problems. there was a stop work order on the first day so dealing with the neighbors was hell to say the least. the end result was more man hours than expected, but the job looked spectacular and i still turned a good profit and the front entrance and driveway on the same house turned out very nice and less problematic mostly machine work for excavation and aggregates. more pictures of this project in my gallery
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:05 PM
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White Gardens White Gardens is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Bloomington IL
Posts: 6,783
400' paver sidewalk project

This 400' paver sidewalk project is one that is dear to me. Not only was it a "larger" project and a challenge for my company, but also the history of the property alone was enough to want to do the best that we could offer. The sidewalks led out to old hitching ledges used back in the day of the horse and buggy.

The initial designs were rendered using Landscape Pro Image Editor.

The original owner raised award-winning Percheron horses imported from France.

The problems that existed were that the sub-grade was virgin black soil with no compaction, so a well-constructed over-sized, 45-ton base was needed for stability of the sidewalk. Also, a Vermeer S600TX was used on the project for excavating and to transport material, but due to the wet weather, it wasn't on-site after the excavating, so all-6000+ Whitacre clay pavers were moved by hand.

The job took 8 weeks to complete due to the constant, record rain-fall we received in the fall of 2009, and the project was finished by floodlight before the first snow-fall fell for the season.

This property is an on-going project that includes more hardscaping, landscaping, and a routine maintenance schedule every season. Next on the list is to restore the 2 hitching ledges that this sidewalk leads to.

I just want to say it's an honor to post my photos of my work along side other quality businesses in this thread, and also on Lawnsite. Also, if requested, I can post a link to the section of my LS thread that was an on-line documentation of this project.

Also I would like to add that I don't want to share the project budget out of privacy respect for my client. That info can be provided in private if requested.

Here is also a link to the full photo album. Farm House

Attachment 212779

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White Gardens On Facebook.......WG Thread......Greencare For Troops......... construction)

2005- Completion of University of Illinois Master Gardner's Program.
Old 02-23-2011, 03:02 AM
jx75deere jx75deere is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: raleigh nc
Posts: 1
Dentist Office Install

I am a full-time NC State Undergraduate student in the 4-year Turf management program. I own a landscaping co in the N. Raleigh area with over 125 active clients. I have been bidding on commercial jobs now for alittle over a year now that I have a large residential base (while attending college). Anyways, I finally landed a project that involved a dentist office near downtown Raleigh in the historic area. This was a remodel of a 100 year old house that was to be converted into a dentist office. My employees / fraternity brothers helped me to complete the job, of all the landscaping that was designed by the city of Raleigh, as the base requirements. From the original plans we have also done additional installations in a phase process. This was a good weeks worth of work for us as I learned to install for commercial properties and how to expand in the commercial world as well. I have used mini track skid steers before on residential sod jobs but this was one job that required more effort and time. This install was nearly 2 years ago now, and currently I am 21 years old, growing the business at and average of 30% each year, now doing more and more commercial work!
-Ryan Walsh
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:51 PM
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Dirtman2007 Dirtman2007 is offline
LawnSite Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 4,366
Building a 1 acre pond

Im 23 years old. I was born into the excavating business. Here we are Building a 1 acre pond. Took about a month to complete this project. we also drove the posts for a future dock.




"Life is like running a motor grader. You have to look down the road and plan for whats ahead and not down at your feet!"

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Old 02-27-2011, 11:33 PM
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procut procut is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Don't worry about it...
Posts: 1,853
New Build Home

This was a design and install project for a new build home situated on 13 acres and over-looked a 4 acre private pond. The project was basically broken into three phases. Phase 1 being the flagstone wall and steps leading to entrance, along with the foundation plantings. Phase two was grading and seeding the turf area. Finally phase 3 was constructing a boulder wall and plant bed in the center island of the driveway and beach near the pond.

For the walkway, there was 7" of fall between the concrete landing where the steps were to be located, and the concrete driveway that the walkway would meet. Fortunately we were able to grade the base in such a way that the slope was not much of an obstacle. At the end of the walkway the client specified that he wanted something that looked like, "two half moons" for steps. So, we came up with the idea to use Physique wall block to build the risers for the steps, and then use the same Ohio Blue flagstone that was used for the walkway for the tread. The final product turned out very well and the client tells me that the walkway and steps are the first thing almost everyone comments on when visiting for the first time.

The next challenge was grading and seeding roughly three acres. The rough final grade has been established by the excavating contractor using a bulldozer. We used a power rake on the back of a utility tractor to prepare the seed bed. One unfortunate side effect of the power rake was that it dug up a TON of 3/4" to 3" rocks. We windrowed them as best we could with the power rake, and then used a 3 point landscape rake to pile them and then remove them with the front end loader. Additionally, there was an area near the pond where the soil was of a gravel like consistency that would not have been suitable for growing grass. We brought in 40 yards of quality topsoil and spread it with the front end loader and 3 point landscape rake. We then used a 3 point drill seeder to seed the turf grass. We broadcast a starter fertilizer, and used a straw blower to cover the new seed with wheat straw. Fortunately, we hit the time of the year right, and we got rain a few days after seeding and then continued to get rain throughout the rest of fall, and the seed never really dried out. By the following spring, the new lawn was looking good!

The final phase was constructing a raised bed in the center of the driveway. Fortunately there were a number of 18"-36" boulders located in a pile at the end of the property that I knew we could put to good use. We used about 25 cubic yards of fill dirt to raise the elevation of the center island. We built about of 2' high boulder retaining wall at the end facing the entrance and then sloped the rest back to meet existing grade. In the center of the island we planted a clump River Birch a long with many other perennials, some bulbs, and a few accent rocks. We then sodded the area around the wall and plant bed to meet the driveway. Since the couple had five young children that were always near the pond, we selected about a 400 square foot area, and brought in a few truck loads of mortar sand and graded it to create a beach for the kids to play in and keep their toys.

Overall this was a really fun project that I really learned a lot from.
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Old 04-01-2011, 05:01 PM
ZKSLAWN's Avatar
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Berlin, CT
Posts: 301
In the Business for Less Than a Year

Here is the biggest project i have done to date. Not much but i am really aiming to get into the hardscape market of the business. I have been in the business for less than a year but love the work and showing everyone what I can do. I could use the skid steer for a bunch of jobs i have to work smarter not harder. These are the only pics i have it snowed soon after but it is much cleaner now. What you see is just some left over poly sand that was removed after i wet it.

90% Of Your Headaches Come From 10% Of Your Customers.

2000 Ford F150
6.5 x 10 Open Trailer
Exmark Metro commercial 48"
Bobcat Ransome 48"
Husqvarna 128LD attatchment system
Stihl BR550
Stihl BG65
Stihl 034AV
8hp Little Wonder Walk Behind Blower
8hp Leaf Loader.
Tons of hand tools
Old 06-17-2011, 01:40 AM
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B&GLandscaping B&GLandscaping is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Huntington, IN
Posts: 32
Paver Patio!

These pictures are of a patio and retaining wall I built (First one ever!). The patio was approx 19' x 33'. The patio was all brick pavers. This took me roughly 100 man hours (did it by myself). Had approx 20 tons of base stone and sand. Roughly 400 bricks for patio and wall. Their is also a drain alongside the patio. I didn't get any pictures taken before the customer put her furniture out there, she was excited and couldn't wait for me to finish. Here is a link to a thread of more pics.
Thanks and I would appreciate your vote!
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98 Chevy Silverado
8x16 Trailer
Dixon Grizzly 60"
Exmark Metro 36"
CubCadet 21"
Stihl KM110R Trimmer (Kombi)
Stihl FS45 Trimmer
Stihl BG86 Blower/Vac
Stihl Hedge Trimmers
(2) Stihl Chainsaws

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