A typical residential landscape installation will be installed in Sequence as follows:
1. Demolition: Removal of all unwanted and unrelated debris including but not limited to plant materials, concrete, and masonry elements. Essentially clearing the site in order to begin construction.
2. Swimming Pool, Spa, Fountain, Large Water Feature, Waterfall Installation:
Since these components require major access for equipment they become first in Sequence. These primary construction elements have elevations that determine the fall on paving and decking and thus the flow of drainage water on the entire project.
3. Drainage System: This is clearly the most important component of your landscape. Without proper installation and design, all work that follows may be compromised. Drain systems collect water from catch basins set either in planters, lawn areas and decks as well as from behind retaining walls through their French drain systems. Roof gutter and downspout water is often tied into the drain system as well. Drainage water needs to be daylighted or directed to street gutters, an approved energy dissipater or an approved natural runoff location where it will not adversely affect those downhill from it.
4. Irrigation System or Sprinklers: Whether you are using spray irrigation or drip irrigation, mainline pressure pipe, remote control wire for the valves and some lateral PVC pipe are usually dropped into the same deep trenches as the drainage system. It is critical to compact adequately as this large trench is backfilled.
5. Large Specimen Tree and Boulders: Requiring heavy equipment or cranes . Need to be planted and placed before access is eliminated.
6. Masonry Footings and 1st Courses of Block Walls: The underground supporting portion of retaining walls, bbqs, fireplaces and fountains or “the footings” are excavated, steel reinforced and poured with concrete. The entire footing is below finish grade. It is imperative that the established grade at the top of the footing never be compromised by setting the top of the footing elevation too high. Tops of footings and edges or “copings” of swimming pools set the elevations for what follows as well as facilitating the flow of drainage system water, with minimal noticeable fall.
7. Paving: Concrete Construction, Interlocking Paver, Etc: Concrete paving along with innumerable combinations of stone, brick, tile, and interlocking pavers constructed for pathways, patios and driveways. Compaction upon backfill of all trenches leading under decking is essential to the success and the stability of the decking surface. All conduits and sleeves for future sewer, gas, electric, lighting and sound need to be in place. Once decking is complete, care needs to be taken to preserve it for the duration of the project.
8. Masonry Construction: Masonry construction often possesses the character or architectural style of your landscape. Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits are natural gathering places. BBQ’s and outdoor kitchens in tandem with outdoor rooms provide natural “outdoor living spaces”. Retaining, screening and seat walls add structure and character to the garden. These “hardscape” components are typically assembled in full at this point in construction. Your project will begin to really take shape as these detailed masonry elements are handcrafted in place right before your eyes! Upon completion of this phase your “hardscaping” is complete.
9. Soil Preparation: Either simultaneous with or following just after masonry, soil preparation is an integral component of your “softscape” phase. This includes the enrichment of your on site soils with organic matter, topsoil, and a multitude of organic fertilizers and soil conditioners. Each part of San Diego County lies within one of several distinctly different soil types ranging from sandy silted coastal soil to impregnable cobble and clay. Our on staff horticulturist will prescribe the preparation formula. Components and ratios vary depending upon the zone.
10. Irrigation: Continuation of the sprinkler system or irrigation system is accomplished by extending the previously installed and capped pipe installed during the drainage phase. Installation of PVC, drip pipe, sprinkler heads and drip emitters are taken with great care as to selection of head type, spacing, overlap and zone separation. It’s critically important to separate irrigation zones including but not limited to:
• Lawn & Planter
• Fruit Trees
• Vegetable Gardens
• Intense All Day Heat Areas
11. Plantings: Once the soil is prepared, graded and your watering system is in place, you may begin the planting phase. If you are drip irrigating, the planting and drip installation are somewhat simultaneous. Planting of the smaller boxed trees first followed by the bigger background and then smaller foreground shrubs. Care should be taken to lay low voltage wiring cable prior to ground cover and lawn installation.
Your planting will reflect distinctive style by integration of a multitude of different types of plant material including but not limited to:
• Cacti and Succulents
• Woody Shrubs, Broadleaf Evergreen Trees and Shrubs
• Evergreens or Coniferous Plants
• Tropical Palms and Subtropical Plants
• Native Plants
Use of water conservation throughout any theme is highly recommended. Incorporation of drought tolerant plants, mulches, or aggregate coverings of different sizes and textures. Also, the use of cacti and succulents, native plants and grasses requiring less overall water consumption.
12. Wood Construction: Taking place either simultaneously to planting or masonry. The wood construction phase will provide more architectural form and help complete your desired style. Wood construction provides function in the garden through shade structures, decks, benches, fencing and gates. Shade is of the utmost importance for any desired gathering, patio or outdoor room atmosphere. The successful design of these spaces is most critical to whether or not these spaces are used and enjoyed by family and friends. Either attached or freestanding, pergolas, pavilions, loggias, gazebos, patio covers and arbors create a cool, comfortable atmosphere year round. They may all be constructed with details to accompany your theme or compliment your architecture.
13. Low Voltage Lighting: Adding extended use of your landscape into the evening hours and providing visual drama, low voltage or line voltage lighting brings every project to life at night. The subtle illumination of architectural elements, objects of art, and Niche and wall lighting combined with path lighting will insure the safe passage of garden visitors in the evening.
14. Accoutrements: Misc. components such as pottery, murals, furniture, garden art, spheres, globes, sun dials, statuary, will greatly expand on your theme and style.
15. Clean-up & Detailing: Summit’s high standards are reflected in the impeccable condition your finished landscape and home are in when your landscape project is completed.
16. Maintenance: Because a garden is really never finished. Providing on going service and individualized maintenance is just as important as a quality installation.