At High Ridge Haven, we have been busy implementing a landscape design plan by Landscape Architect, Ted Spaid of SWT Design. Our project is "small potatoes" when compared to the large parks, greenways, trails, commercial & municipal projects taken on by his firm. But he's my brother and he's happily leant his talents to our High Ridge Haven residential project.
We've come a long way from the days when we worked in our youth at the Missouri Botanical Gardens, an environment that shaped each of us in our future pursuits and passions. Ted was a grounds keeper at the garden tilling, trimming, pruning, watering, fertilizing and developed a strong horticultural background, which has served him well as a landscape architect. On the flipside, I was a utility maintenance worker who maintained fountains, worked with all the different tradesmen, and in short, was Mike Rowe on Dirty Jobs before the show Dirty Jobs. And it was a fabulous learning experience giving me the confidence to tackle just about any home project!
Budget vs Brawn: In terms of budget to install the landscape we received quotes that would exceed $100k. In the mountains it is often hard to find workers whether it is a shortage of workers or for the fact that workers are otherwise engaged with high dollar golf club communities. This is why in terms of brawn, we decided to lend our own muscle to all aspects of the project.
Stop & Go: One luxury to doing the work yourself is you can stop to allow guests to enjoy the property and then pick up again when the home is not rented. Of course we have had to ensure that the property isn't looking like a construction zone. We continually move materials needed to perform the work or to creatively find logical stopping points in the work itself so the amenities and the mountain views can be enjoyed to their fullest.
"The home, the little trails on the property, the cabin for the kids, the 270 degree views, and the hot tub were awesome!" - Recent Guest
Planting Plan: Ted has put together a planting plan of primarily native plants and we've acquired as many of these plants as possible to get them in the ground now. We have found this planting palette to be a helpful resource for knowing the different shrubs and flowers going into the landscape.
We tapped into wholesale landscape nurseries, online ordering as well as local box hardware stores that have garden centers.
On a recent trip to High Ridge Haven, we managed to transport over 600 plants and shrubs in our SUV. This wouldn't be possible if it weren't for the boxes of plants purchased as roots, which is a great way of purchasing large quantities of plants at an affordable price. It was still a feat given the number of three gallon Lime Light Hydrangea and one gallon azaleas that were cleverly stacked into the car.
Although seemingly an impossible task, we did manage to get all plants and shrubs planted. This included, 450 Pachysandra (a ground cover), over 60 Christmas Ferns. a dozen azaleas, a dozen hydrangea, several Mt. Airy.
We tilled and planted a flowering and herb garden as well, planting white and pink coneflowers, mint, sage, basil, thyme, coronation gold yarrow with a second wave of plants bringing the total to over 700. We will invite guests to take cuttings from the herb garden where the plants are being conveniently placed near the log border. The herbs will be a nice compliment to picking also from our mushroom nursery.
Hardscape Installation: One of the last parts to the landscape installtion is the installation of the patio pavers. We are using pavers from Belgard, frequently seen on HGTV Dream Home since 2016. The Belgard Origins™ 3-piece system emulates the look and texture of natural stone and will replace the pea gravel between the stone steps as well as wrap around the hot tub. With the hot tub sunken below grade, it will provide for easy in and out access. Given the importance of this particular part of the installation we are engaging a professional Belgard contractor to complete this step of the installation.
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