Made in the Shade

Color without the commitment. For those clients who like their landscapes to change with the seasons, annual plants are the way to go. Annuals offer contrast against a backdrop of perennial plants – and when used in comination with perennials, you can diversify the landscape at will without having to completely replace beds. Plus, annuals are less expensive than perennials, so you can give your clients a big color show for very little money. […]

By | January 4th, 2011|ODB Blog|Comments Off on Made in the Shade

Sophisticated Spaces

Sophisticated Spaces 10 Guidelines for outdoor kitchen design It is a home feature that continues to grow in demand. Acquiring the skills needed to design and install it opens up new business possibilities for firms and designers involved in the landscape industry. A recent National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) study found that demand for outdoor kitchens in upscale homes is predicted to rise steadily over the next 10 years. Of those surveyed, 71 percent believe the outdoor kitchen will be a critical feature of high-end homes. “More people are turning to their backyards as retreats — creating spaces that are gathering points for family and friends,” said Russ Faulk, vice president of marketing and product development at Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet. He said he sees the trend continuing, especially as the outlook for the economy improves. Outdoor kitchens extend a home’s living area, making the space more functional. “What began as little more than a built-in grill has quickly become more sophisticated,” said Faulk. “Fully functional outdoor kitchens are now the norm, featuring refrigeration, sinks, prep areas and pizza ovens [...]

By | January 2nd, 2011|ODB Blog|Comments Off on Sophisticated Spaces

Design, then Build

Why do you think they call it landscape architecture? It’s no different than any other home construction or improvement project. It begins with an idea and a budget. Then you consult the experts- architects, contractors and designers to develop the plan and design. And, of course, there’s always a set of permits and approvals to be obtained. In addition to the architectural and design aspects, landscaping also requires a working knowledge of soils, mulches, lawns, woodworking, stone work, mortar use, concrete and asphalt, water, drainage, night lighting, irrigation, not to mention the mathematics required to calculate any of the preceding. The plans required for your landscaping project must be every bit as detailed and accurate as any other construction project. Do you know the height of the pergola and the thickness of its beams? Pressure-treated or Cedar? Color? Do you know the size of the patio? What about your paver style and color? Got a permit for those walls? You need a well thought out set of plans approved by all, before beginning any landscape project. Generally, all landscape projects [...]

By | January 1st, 2011|ODB Blog|Comments Off on Design, then Build

Cornett Project

Thirteen years ago my husband and I built just the right house, in just the right neighborhood, on just the right street. The lot, on the other hand, wasn’t so right. In fact it was just wrong -soil of rock and clay, no privacy, no trees and a steep hillside with a less than imaginative retaining wall. So after three years of futile efforts, we decided to call on the professionals to turn our wasteland into something special… and, that’s just what they did. Thanks to David and his team we had a yard to enjoy for many years. Ten years later, the house and the yard still look pretty good… but could it be better? We then decided to see if we could take our good-looking yard and make it into something spectacular.

 Since we had such a great experience with David on our earlier project, he was the first person we called. We were delighted to learn he had spent the past few years specializing in outdoor living environments. His portfolio was impressive thus making the [...]

By | January 1st, 2011|ODB Projects|Comments Off on Cornett Project