Landscape Strategy: Will Your Property Be Ready When You Are?

Barn with mulching on the side

For a recent project, CVTS-L’s Landscaping division took painstaking steps to perfectly accentuate and accommodate a house on a property. Our landscape strategy accounted for how the house will look from the road, and we accounted for how the road will look when it is viewed from inside the house.

We planted trees along the perimeter of the property to shield the house from the headlights of passing cars.

We installed plant beds along the side of a barn to enhance the view from inside the house.

We planted the trees ahead of time so they will be closer to maturity when the house is occupied.

Everything is just right.

The only thing missing is the house.

This particular project is for a property owner who owns land on either side of a road. On one side there is a large home, where the property owner currently lives, and on the other is an old farm. The client has plans to eventually build a house on the farm side. Once the house is constructed, they can sell it, rent it or live in it themselves.

Regardless of who ends up living in the new house, it is an investment on the part of the owner, and we designed and installed the landscaping accordingly.

We may not know when the house will be built or who will be living in it, but the trees and plants will already be providing privacy, shade and beauty when they arrive.

Here are five ways that our landscape strategy prepared the property to achieve its full potential – when the time comes. This project provides a glimpse of what we mean when we talk about “landscaping for the long-term.”

1. We gave the plants a head start.

It was important to the homeowner that the trees and plants already be established when the house is completed. Accordingly, we have already planted the trees and plants so they will be closer to maturity by the time the home is complete. CVTS-L is also able to provide critical guidance throughout the construction process to protect the fledgling trees and plants. For example, parking construction vehicles or other equipment on the roots can severely damage them.

2. We maintained cohesive design elements throughout the landscape strategy.

In most cases, roadways are clear property lines. This property is unique because it straddles both sides of the street. We selected and placed trees and plants that will provide a sense of design continuity on both sides of the street. Now, instead of cars driving by the property, they will have a sense of driving through the property.

3. We incorporated existing structures into the new landscape strategy.

The side of the property where the new house will be built already includes a barn and several out-buildings. The house might not exist yet, but we are still able to plant beds alongside the barn to optimize the view from inside the house. Around the perimeter of the property, we planted a naturalized mixture of evergreen trees to create a natural green wall for privacy. The property owner has very high standards regarding the overall care and maintenance of their lawn. Accordingly, we made sure to plant the young trees far enough away from the fence that even after they reach maturity, the owner will still be able to mow between the trees and the fencing. The result will be a clean strip of grass.

If the design only considered the visual aesthetics on the blueprint, the trees might have been placed as close to the fence as possible to maximize the total yard space, which would have resulted in a narrow border. It would have been difficult (if not impossible) to maintain this area, and it would inevitably be overcome with weeds, thus undoing the property owner’s attention to detail everywhere else on the property. We even considered elements beyond the perimeter of the property: the trees along the perimeter will shield the home from the headlights of passing cars – once it is built, of course.

4. We paced the installation schedule to the needs of the plants.

We completed approximately 75% of the project last fall. Fall is an ideal time to plant most trees because it gives them a cool, wet fall and a cool, wet spring to establish themselves before the harsh stress of summer hits. There are, however, exceptions. Select evergreen species – primarily broadleaf evergreens (as opposed to needled evergreens) are fall planting hazards. These plants are often susceptible to desiccation (winter burn) in their leaves over winter. We will return in the spring to plant the Green Giant Arborvitae and Yoshino Cryptomeria.

5. We communicated with the client every step of the way.

Our landscape strategy has the unique advantage of being informed by the expertise of our Tree Care and Plant Health Care Divisions. Being knowledgeable in horticulture, we know, for example, to avoid installing fall planting hazard trees in the autumn months. While some contractors might be more interested in wrapping the job up as quickly as possible, we would rather build something for the client that will stand the test of time. We communicate these concerns clearly to the client so they understand that when we plant can be as important as what we plant. Splitting the work into multiple sessions might not provide instant gratification, but ultimately it can be in the homeowner’s best interest when considering the long-term health of the trees and plants.

At CVTS-L, we believe in taking the long-view when it comes to landscape design. Our Landscape Design Professionals choose plants that have proven themselves year after year. Our installers arrange their schedules after consulting with our Tree Care and Plant Health Care Divisions. We steer clients towards design elements that will stand the test of time, so the only reason the plants would ever need to be removed is if the homeowner finds a new inspiration down the road.

We believe in providing clients with properties that will grow and mature along with them. Maybe it’s because we’ve been around for more than 40 years ourselves.

This landscape design will make the house, once it is built, a home.