The Design Process
C&S Landscaping of Virginia, Inc has been in the professional landscape design and installation business for over 20 years. Mr. Edmondson focuses on creating unique and inviting outdoor spaces to complement the ideas and lifestyles of his clients.
Browntown Backyard Retreat
For 2007, the Allman Project won first place for both Design/Installation as well as for Residential. One day while planting trees for the clients, he asked me to make his existing pond look better. A week later, I met with him and his wife, she wanted to spend more time relaxing by the pond but there was not a sitting area. He wanted a more friendly and accessible walkway with a patio space. The existing landscape was about seven years old and very established. The challenge was to preserve as much plant material as possible as well as the fish from the pond.
I needed to come up with a design to meet all of these aspects. The design has an irregular flagstone walkway and patio laid in concrete leading up to the newly formed stone and mortared pond. Reorganizing some of the plants and adding a planting bed between the patio and new pond were some of the elements incorporated into the design. I came up with the design and presented it to the clients. They were excited and had high expectations with the new layout.
We got started and the challenge began. Everything had to be dug by hand including the footer for the walkway, the patio, and the new, deeper, bigger pond which is eleven feet by eight feet and three feet deep. We started in late April, it was 90 plus degrees in the full sun and getting hotter as the days went on. The pond is done with concrete and mortar. We mortared rocks found on the property to make the walls of the pond and the waterfalls. There are five waterfalls, four more then they had before. The pond has two filter systems one internal and one external with a UV light. The pond has two underwater and two waterfall lights on a timer. All the plants survived and we brought in some new plant material. The fish are enjoying their new home. It took us four weeks to complete the project. The homeowners were so pleased as it met and exceeded all of their expectations.
Cabin In The Woods
The Cabin in the Woods project won second place for Residential as well as Design/Installation for Keep Virginia Beautiful, Inc. for 2007. The Cabin’s owner gave us a call and he needed his property landscaped so he could spend more time outside at his cabin. I designed the landscaping around the house, along the driveway as well as an outdoor entertaining space. Two obstacles with a property in the woods are deer and space. The deer eat everything, I had to design with that in mind plus with the space being overly expansive, so did the outdoor entertaining space. The space has everything you would need for outdoor entertaining in the country. The entertaining area has an eleven hundred square foot patio using a new product using formed concrete but looks like flagstone. A custom outdoor grill/cooking area with storage is located on one corner with a flagstone countertop and natural stone covering the outside of the storage area. All of this was custom made. Custom pergola anchors another corner using rough sawn oak timbers from a local sawmill along with the benches made of the same material. The pergola was built with handmade custom steel brackets. The benches are eighteen inches wide and fifteen inches high. To make for a more comfortable seat, all of the seated surfaces are planed to make them more safe. The benches are strategically located to allow for conversation with all of the entertaining areas.
When you are outside and need to roast some marshmallows, you need a firepit. We constructed an outdoor firepit with a concrete footer, laid cinder block and faced it with natural stone with fire brick on the inside. The top is irregular flagstone to match the custom grill. The fire pit measures seven foot in diameter and sits eighteen inches above the patio so his daughter can roast marshmallows safely while the adults can sit on the edge. The client says it was more than he expected and he comes to his cabin more now than he did before all because of the outdoor living area as it turned out exceptional.
circa 1836 Farmhouse
Our clients bought this old farm house from 1836. They wanted us to solve their drainage issues and create a usable outdoor dining area. In the first consultation, the first issue I found was the area slopes directly towards the house causing all of the rainwater to flow towards the house and foundation. The plan called for a natural stone retaining wall with a drain system to control the flow of water. Along with the wall, there was a need for an outdoor dining space with access via a sidewalk to the driveway.
All of the stone for the retaining wall came from the property. Gathering the wall stone became a challenge as the stone was located down a steep hill behind the house as part of an old stone wall dating to the 1800's. There were broken bits of pottery and glass bottles as well as other treasures found while moving the exceptionally large stones. We built two walls with stone steps. The first wall was thirty feet long and two feet tall with a set of steps built into the wall connecting the walkway to the patio. The second retaining wall was forty-two feet long and three feet high with a set of steps built into the wall leading up to the patio from the lawn with access to the shed. The walls created an intimate space for entertaining while solving the drainage and access issues. The planting areas created by the walls have given the clients the opportunity to add lots of plant material and planting pockets in the wall spaces.
The patio needed a complex drain system. The drain system design has channel drains along the foundation of the house with box drains for a hose bib so as the over spray would go down the drain and not sit on the patio. In front of the retaining wall there is another set of channel drains. All of the water now moves away from the foundation and the house.
The final part of this project was the patio. The homeowners wanted the patio to look as if it had been there since the house had been built. They chose a natural clay brick paver with varying tones from red-orange to a dark gray. The pattern of the pavers is done in a herringbone style with a soldier course border. The paver color and texture along with the pattern really makes the space.
This project placed second for the Residential as well as the Design/Installation Category.