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White Gardens

Discussion in 'Original Pictures Forum' started by White Gardens, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    Pic #1 of post 76.... that still looks like a wall in front of a walkway. Is it a platform for dismounting from a horse, or a small retaining wall?
  2. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    In this situation it's both. It's main purpose was to be a ledge for dismounting your horse, or dismounting a wagon/carriage.

    Post #69, picture #1 is an example of one in the area that was built on flat ground.
  3. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    Gotchya... will that wall be just a wall, or will there be some matching pavers just behind it, like a platform? In other words, more than a wall, a very small patio/dismounting platform behind the wall that would graduate into the walkway? I think that would work nicely when approaching that structure from the house, as opposed to the opposite view from the lawn that you have there.

    Post 69 pic 1 DOES look like a dismounting structure, while a retaining wall without some matching pavers of some kind behind it would not, in my mind's eye. It would not have to be large... just large enough for the ladies dressed from that period (long dresses) to land their feet on stone, and not mud or another less stable surface.

    I like the change for the stairway angled more towards that walkway a lot. Works a lot better for me, anyways. Visually, and from a practical standpoint... I like that change.

    I also like the change in wall material a lot.

    What is he HO's opinion? Do they like the idea of keeping within the period of the house?... or did they want to go for a more modern look, and as I and others have said, an idea we aren't crazy about.

    I'm sitting here drooling.... maybe some day I can land a design like this one... you got a gem here.
  4. A-Land

    A-Land LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 856

    Why do you like to plant in groups of two?

    I always use three or more.

    I'd also like to see you add some flowers that bloom at different times of year.
  5. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Thanks Whitey, it is a gem, not only because it is a property with local history, but also in the fact the HO is great to work with on many levels.

    Before meeting with the HO I spent 2 hours looking for pics of the property at the local library. I found a family picture of the the original owners (creepy) and also a pic of the property at a distance that was taken in 1901 (me thinks going by the stamp on the pic). The property was originally a small Stock Yard, and the owner raised a specific breed of horses.

    The pics didn't show much. The distance was too far away, and from what I can tell, there wasn't much for trees or plants around the property.

    I've been racking my brain on how to do the landing for the walls, and depending on materials, I'll probably build a 3 foot wide platform even with the height of the wall, just behind it.

    The HO decide to go with more of a formed, but tumbled block similar to the design in post #65, pic #1. She likes the balance between old and new with that style of block.

    The conclusion I've come to about materials is that I really don't think I can go wrong with anything I use. What I mean about that is the house was built around 1860. Since then it seems that every 50 years or so, something was done to the house. I can't find any evidence locally that they used flagstone block for dismounting, or even around the property. The only place I've found Flagstone used in construction is where I grew up west of here. There is an old barn built in 1824 that used a dry-laid flagstone foundation. After that era I don't see it used anywhere else. The one thing that keeps coming up is that around 1900- 1910, locally everyone started using concrete for their hitching posts and landings. And I think these landings and side-walks were done around that period, as the name of the original owner is stamped in the landing area.

    Another thing that keeps coming up is that people in the area generally moved their houses when they re-located :)hammerhead:). The house on this property is actually 2 different houses, along with an addition, and an added garage.

    So what do I do ?? In one respect I feel I should go back to concrete, as that seemed to be the norm around here. So to find balance, I think a block wall will look OK, but not my first choice.

    Ultimately, regardless of what material is used, I want to keep the basic theme or feel of the property without doing an injustice. The only other theme I could work with is that the property is planted in more of a Victorian style currently, and I want to run with that, adding a few more beds on the fence line and maybe a few statuaries and seating areas.

    I might be able to get them talk into some low-voltage lamp posts too.
  6. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    The designs are just conceptual. I generally like groups of three or odd numbers. On this property I'll be going more Victorian style, so it will do more with plant groupings that you won't be able to tell how many are actually planted.

    As for the different bloom times, I'll be working on that. Last year I planted 250 tulips around the fence line to help with spring blooming. This HO has been through 4 different scapers through the years. She has stated that so far I'm the best. So, hopefully I keep this account for a very long time, and can add and subtract plants every year to help fill in color.
  7. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    I might try to post some pics of the entire property this evening if I have a chance.

    I need to get out of the house right now though, I've got a small job to get done the next couple of days, and it will help take my mind off the bigger project.

    The boy didn't sleep too well last night, and it's taking forever to wake up.
  8. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    I gave this more thought... and basically, what bothered me was the abrupt change from what looks like a brick walkway to the landing platform, and then using a very different stone for the landing wall and the step halfway up the walk.

    I think I might want to go with all matching brick right to the landing, including that one step. Then, if I were to use another stone for the landing wall, I would also use that same stone for the area one would step onto when dismounting. In other words, use a different stone for the landing wall, but use matching pavers (matched to the wall stone) for a rectangular or semi-circle landing platform, or small patio, if you get my drift.

    Concrete may be historically correct, because the house has had many reno's and upgrades, but that is one thing that just doesn't excite me. While concrete may be historically correct, so would going back to previous construction materials be as well.

    Understand, my opinion is more from that of my preferences "if I owned this house" sort of thing. I would want more retro, older period construction and materials in terms of the design. Easy for me to say... I don't have to please the HO!

    Thanks for posting this... it's interesting, and no doubt, I am learning things along the way too. Kudos to you for the research.... only a dedicated man would do as much. I hope the HO appreciated that sort of attention to detail and effort.
  9. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    I think the biggest problem with this project is trying to utilize what materials are available to me. The smaller hardscaping jobs I've done really have shown me how hard it is to use 3 different products from 3 different companies and then try to make it all match.

    Originally, Whitacre made a clay wall block that matched the pavers, but they quit making it a couple of years ago. That would have made life much easier when it comes to matching it all up.

    I receive my hard-goods from a local landscaping and home building stone supply company. They are the easiest to work with and I can have everything delivered on site and they have a spider to unload it for me.

    My only other option is to try and locate dealers and have the material shipped in, but then costs will start to soar, and I will need the means to load-unload the materials, and I don't want to deal with a large skid steer for this project when I don't need to.

    Regardless Whitey, you feel my pain on this one. A lot of those little details will get worked out once I figure out the exact materials that will be involve, and I also figure out how tall the ledge and step will be.

    I do appreciate your opinions Whitey (and everyone else). Don't lose any sleep over it though, leave that up to me. :laugh:. I'm also glad to know that the postings about this project are interesting to people who are following it. Sometimes I wonder if others on this site think I'm an idiot or awesome. I'm sure it could go both ways.

    You've hit the nail on the head about "If it were my property". When I hand a design to a customer, I tell them, "this is what I would do, and it is only my opinion". The customer is king, so whatever they want to live with is what I'll give them.

    And finally (Whew!), the HO does appreciate the effort that I have put into this project. I get some customers that are a bear to work with, but this HO is far from it. On a scale of 1-10, I give them a 9.5.

    Thanks again Whitey, and anyone else who have contributed.

    Right now, the ingredients for the project have been put together. It's still on the front burner but has been turned down to a simmer. Hopefully I'll have more updates for you guys sooner than later. I'm also thinking about playing with the designs a little bit, for my own reasons and the HO wants to maybe push the patio out a little more and put a "green space" in front of the patio wall to help soften it up some.
  10. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776


    Just had this moved to the pic forum. Hopefully I'll get a few more comments.

    Keep it clean and above the belt. :laugh:

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