Each landscaping process begins with an in-depth site assessment and an analysis of existing conditions. Based on these results, Landscape Site Planning can make preliminary decisions about what will be incorporated into the site master plan.
Once we understand what we have to work with, we can sketch out concepts that we know buildable – based on known characteristics of the site. The landscape architect then produces a rendering which is the equivalent of a constructor’s construction drawing. This landscaping master plan details all aspects of the design and shows how the multiple-use areas will work together to create a balanced and consistent outdoor living environment.
Drainage and leveling
Drainage is almost always a problem of great importance at the start of any landscaping project in northern Virginia. In the design and construction of landscape elements, we use leveling to control the direction and speed of surface water. The landscape architect can mix permeable surfaces with buried drainage pipes and allow water to seep naturally into the soil.
We use Fairfax County soil maps to help us anticipate site problems, but we never really know what we can find before we start excavating. We may find that the soil needs amendment because the original soil has been removed and replaced with fill. In addition, the architect’s design plan must comply with the zoning restrictions for counties and communities.
Site topography: leveling and elevations
Depending on the goals of the Landscape Site Planning, we can use steps to create varying on a flat site. This helps us define the areas of use and add variety to the landscape. We could decide to modify a slope by removing the earth and make another area more horizontal. Retaining walls are often used to contain sloping areas or to create a flat area.
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