This project was simply taking unusable land and making it usable. The homeowner was looking for more area for his kids to play and we found that it may be possible to make a play area. After bouncing around ideas of a swing set, Japanese garden, and square 4×4 timbers; we found that we should work with the land instead of fighting it.
In the pictures you can see many things going on but there’s a reason for it all! On the creek bank we noticed a lot of erosion and didn’t want it to continue getting worst and possibly even washing out the “play area”. So we installed the largest rip rap that the local quarry had to offer. This allows for the rocks to interlock together and prevent soil erosion. Luckily enough a huge storm came by in August and we were able to see what mother nature can do and see how the rip rap will hold up against the flooding of the creek!
We originally wanted to do square 4×4 timbers to hold the mulch in but found that it would take much more grading and excavation to get everything level enough for an 8 foot timbers. So we found that cobble stones work well to keep the playground mulch in. Also, you get more life out of a cobble stone compared to a traditional 4×4 timber. The good thing about the cobble stone border is that we can always repair after damage or adjust it to accommodate future projects.
We also thought long and hard on how we can incorporate rocks in on the project! So we decided to purchase a tri-axle of boulders from Mulch Works in Aston PA. After the purchase we moved them up on the hill side with our machine and much labor. The home owner and I picked out many plants that would compliment the rocks on the hillside, and we then installed them in the fall! The fall is the best time to plant! We added in 500 Pachysandra to help with erosion. We also added in coral bells, Astilbes, and many Ferns and other shade plants that will work well under the canopy of the trees above.
We also wanted a complete look to project so we added in pine straw on the hillside to also help with erosion. We put up a lot of straw rolls around the rocks on the hill but it just didn’t look right. But, by blending the southern pine straw look to our landscape it helped make it more eye appealing.
This landscape is a blend of native plants, Japanese culture, southern and modern style landscapes!
Now with this project complete and after plants installed we wait to see what grows and what areas need more improvements! This was project that really stretched our imaginations and pushed our crew to the limits! We look forward to adding on to this landscape because this is just the beginning phase of this area. To perfect it, it will take time and love.