Specialized information on Hardscape Landscape Waterscape Ecoscape

Green Schemes creates landscape plans for beautiful sustainable gardens in the Jacksonville area.  Owned by Florida Certified Landscape Designer Laurie Prescott, Green Schemes has been doing business in Jacksonville for over 25 years.  We will work with you to design a dream landscape that is both aesthetically pleasing and practical. Each design is tailored to the homeowner’needs and wishes. Specialty gardens such as butterfly, native or water gardens are really special. Hardscape design makes fences, decks,  arbors and paver, brick or concrete patios easy.  Planting designs put the right plant in the right place.  Residential landscape renovation is our specialty, so if it's a jungle out there we can tame it!  For more information about Green Schemes of Jacksonville please visit www.greenschemesjacksonville.com

Tuesday
Nov252008

Most Common Backyard Features Requested at Jacksonville Backyard

Custom Pergola

Many homeowners have been adding focal point and functional features to their yard or garden such as arbors, pergolas, or trellises. The character that the nicely crafted pergola adds is often a comparative bargain when an overall three dimensional appeal is desired. By adding a strategically placed, aesthetically designed custom pergola or garden arbor, Jacksonville Backyard clients can easily make their yard the stand out on the block- a good investment when it comes to resale value.

Seating Wall

Instead of building a flat patio, a recent trend in Jacksonville is building up portions of the patio to include a seating wall, which adds some depth to the patio. This can be done very nicely with a complementary paver wall in a tumbled or split face. Seating walls can also be added on to a project later down the road to save cost and provide immediate enjoyment to the paver patio. Important considerations are deciding where the seats will go, how large they will be and how many guests it should accommodate. Our typical seating wall is 18” tall, providing a comfortable seating height, and also integrating well into the landscape.

Fire Pit

Along with seating walls, a built in fire pit is a wonderful way to add continuity to your new patio and a place to entertain guests. The area of the fire pit is usually in a central location on the patio, but we can also build the fire pit into the side of the patio to save space in kind of a “half on and half off” design. Most fire pits are built in a circular shape, but we have done squares and ovals as well.

Integrated Planter Beds

There are several ways to incorporate a plant bed into your patio. This may include a raised garden area built with stone or brick pavers, or a portion of the patio left unpaved, such as a circular cut out for a palm tree. The design flexibility of pavers and natural stone allow for easy incorporation of a garden, or a meandering planter bed around the borders of the patio. The integrated beds can help the patio maintain a natural feel, but can also incorporate the same material as the patio for edging in order to maintain continuity throughout the design.

Water Feature

A water fountain or waterfall is also often a centerpiece to a patio and can add beauty and tranquility to a variety of patio designs. Waterfalls can be created with natural stones and boulders mimicking nature. Most water fountains are made of cement or stone, but there are also some made of copper, fiberglass and ceramic. If you prefer the looks without the upkeep of a waterfall or pond, consider a dry fountain or a pondless waterfall.

Monday
Oct132008

Small Garden Design and Layout

The small garden design begins and ends with thoughtful, precise planning. However, small does not mean limited. A small garden design can still deliver striking results.

There are some challenges associated with having a small backyard or garden to work with. You may have a small lot in the Jacksonville Beaches or in one of the historic sides of town. Maybe you have some difficult angles to accommodate, or a septic system that prohibits planting or hardscape in that area. Or you have recently remodeled and added more interior space and reduced the size of your backyard, all of which affect the relationship to the existing landscape.

With small garden design, as with most landscape design, your goal may be to create spaces in which the home and architectural elements have a relationship with the yard and surrounding area. First, I like to step back and consider the big picture- look at some of the areas you may have thought of as being a negative and see if you can step outside the box for new uses of the area. We recently transformed a small area behind a garage into a nice quaint secret garden. Even smaller Jacksonville backyards can be looked at as a division of areas- in the same approach as larger landscapes. Write out your goal list, and then make a bubble plan to begin carving out the uses for those areas.

Decks, patios, pergolas, arbors and other hardscapes can be used to help define a small space, break it up or create interest. These choices, in effect, create other rooms. Your material selection adds further texture, thus making the space come alive. Water features such as a small splash pool or outdoor water fountains can be custom-made to fit into a small design. Water features create movement and pleasant sounds, both elements that heighten your enjoyment of a landscape. Landscape lighting can bring a small landscape alive at night. It is good to keep in mind that your landscape is enjoyed at night about half as much as it is enjoyed during daylight hours- even more so for those of us who work long hours. Extending the usable hours or your landscape with lighting is usually a very good investment.

The overall objective of any great landscape design, including small garden designs, is to create a space that harmonizes well with the home and has a relationship to its surroundings. It should reflect your style and visual desires.

Contact us, or feel free to send us questions if you need help or ideas with your small garden design and planning in the Jacksonville area.