Hively Landcapes http://www.hivelylandscapes.com/
Project Entry: Stairway to Heaven
2013 PLNA Awards for Landscape Excellence Winner
Category: Residential Up to $15,000
Award Level: Bronze
Battling age arid multiple sclerosis would not deter these homeowners from a relaxing and interactive backyard getaway. It was important to block the nearby homes from the view, while creating an open environment for neighbors to meet and socialize. Their love for landscaping and birds, needed to be joined with a relaxing water feature that could be enjoyed from desired locations inside the house as well as outside. I wanted to incorporate plants they liked, that would work on such a tough slope, and provide year-long interest. By making the water feature the prominent piece in the garden I had to make it naturalize into the hillside, as if it was always there. By the end, a never ending and insurmountable hillside was transformed into their, "stairway to heaven."
This new home construction left little quality topsoil with large amounts of fill soil to stabilize for a successful water feature. Topsoil and mushroom soil were used to amend planting holes for plants, and proper base materials were used for water feature and stairs. Such a steep hill makes equipment difficult to manage. By setting equipment on top of the hill, we were able to drag/winch materials up the hill to put in place.
Due to health conditions of the client, navigation of the hill would require a more functional access. Natural steps and materials were the clients desire, and Techo Bloc's Rocka steps filled both needs. The water feature was constructed with a natural stone bridge to cross and flat stones strategically placed as foot holds. The pondless water feature is constructed using Aquascape's engineered system for filtration and flow. Waterfall rocks are from local quarries to ensure blending and natural elements. Plants were selected to have multiple aesthetic features along with a habitat for many birds. Color was necessary from the first bloom on the Phlox to the first snow dancing on the Miscanthus plume. To meet the client's budget, we designed the garden, planted the trees, supplied the plants and placed the plants for the client to install. The homeowner had the railing and smaller steps installed by others.
With the clients uplifting attitude and determination they became the ushers of the development to welcome new families into the area. Their peaceful transition became a weekend and holiday hotspot where adults can appreciate the beauty while the children playfully splash each other in the stream. Multiple sclerosis is a debilitating disease that can confine your life experiences. Their dreams and conviction led to a therapeutic garden that appears to disappear into the sky. This illusion has brought joy to them and others and trademarked their slogan, "stairway to heaven."
Photo Credit: Hively Landscapes
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