Landscape Planning

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Our Landscape Plan

We had an architect and plans, we had a builder, we were proceeding with the project ... modifying specs furiously adding and subtracting elements, and we were following the BuiltGreen Checklist.

The checklist has a long list of items that represent best practices.  The Checklist contains a section of items such as minimal lawn area, preservation of natural vegetation, use of drought tolerant plants, etc...

On the fun/nongreen aspects, we wanted a water fall and pond area.  Mort and Christian had one on their initial sketches, and it made sense with the contours of our site.  The water feature had to be built early before the foundation and heating system were installed, because it would be difficult to reach the area with large boulders once construction was underway, and nearly impossible once we completed the berming of the southern walls..

So, like we did with a builder and architect, we set out to find a landscape designer.  We interviewed 5 companies.  Here Mort James was the key resource with recommendations of good landscape designers.  We visited, got a sense, and got a quote.

All would have done a great job, but Mort James said that for ponds and waterfalls Phil Hulbert was the best in the area to build a waterfall.  OK, we did not go with Phil (he no longer did landscape plans and concentrating on his nursery business), but we did go with his inhouse landscape designer Tamisha Gilliam (pictured with Barrett Burr and, at the time, very expecting her first daughter.)  Tamisha developed a beautiful plan.  However, if you spend anytime going through this website, you will find that things have changed.  We brought Tamisha back into the picture several times to make modifications as the project developed.

As we got closer to permitting and construction, we got the distinct impression that Phil did not want the work ... he never returned our calls.  Fortunately, Barrett was able to recommend Alan Rose with Sun and Rain Landscapers.  The results speak for themselves.  Alan did a great job on the waterfall, pond, beach, and rock steps.

This is our dream house, so we want everything done up front.  We figure that once we have spent the money, we will be broke or simply unwilling to go through a major building, remodeling etc... project for many years to come.

Again, we knew that the waterfall and pond would be in an area that would require heavy equipment with massive rocks to travel over our small lawn and heating pipes for our ground sourced heat pump and septic lines. It seemed like a good idea to do the hardscape of our landscape plan early to avoid problems later. There is an advantage of thinking through all elements of the project in a team environment. We are following the landscape plan that Tamisha Gilliam produced before we started the house.

We had a budget for landscaping, and so on  August 1, we have a pond and barren site ... and we moved tons of rock before we poured a foundation and installed our heating and septic lines.


We welcome your comments on this site.
You can email Christine Garst at
cbgarst@aol.com
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