Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Before ~ During ~ and After

The Transitions of a Built Landscape

There had been some talk lately on a gardening website that people should disclose how much money it took to complete a project.

I am a little dubious of giving this information out because I think it can be more confusing than helpful and set up some unrealistic expectations.

If I was to say that the job entitle ‘Napa’ cost approximately $ 750,000.00 to install I wonder if people would understand why.
Would they understand what kind of work was required to tame the 3 : 1 hillside into a flat fairway/ soccer field or how much labor and machinery it took to crane in two dozen 70 year old Olive trees ?

Then there is the whole ‘regional’ situation.
The cost of New England Bluestone per ton is about $ 650 a ton here in California but on the east coast this material cost half as much.

I’m not sure what the answer is, but as the old saying goes, “plan to spend more than what was originally quoted’. - cuz that’s the way the construction cookie crumbles.


The Napa Job -
New landscaping along the entry driveway of two dozen 70 year old fruiting Olive trees , large field stone boulders and an underplanting of ornamental grasses.



Giving the planting holes scale-


The crane work -


The specialized forklift scooting the rootballs into some of the holes.


The driveway 9 months later - First Growing Season


Just beyond Olive trees , over the hill, lies the soccer field, fairway and bocce ball area.
The area required a tremendous amount of excavation to tame the 3 : 1 hilliside into a flat playing area.



Cutting into the toe of the slope to install the footing for the retaining wall that is adjacent to the bocce ball court



The day the planting and the sod was installed.


The finished project 9 months later
Two matching bookend metal arbors were fabricated, beyond you can see one of the sand traps, the motorcross bike and golf cart track and putting green.


The first season -
Wild flowers blooming on the cut hillside, lavenders struggling along after a very challenging growing season and the lawn , sandtraps and green is looking pretty good.

2 comments:

phrago said...

Hi Michelle,
I really like this project, the scale of it is daunting, but the change is well worth it. Wow, I love that driveway! So where did you guys get those big Olives! Great job as always... Patrick

Jen said...

I didn't think I could get this excited about a driveway, but do you know since I first saw that picture, I've thought about it many times?

It's swoon-worthy.