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Hardscape Solutions: From dune to done

May 8, 2020 -  By

Company: ProGreen Turf & Landscape
Location: Morehead City, N.C.

Word-of-mouth helped ProGreen Turf & Landscape land this project, but owner Michael Hall says it was a full mock-up of the design using Realtime Landscaping Pro software that secured the job.

The backyard was essentially a dune with weeds and vines. Hall says it is one of the highest points in the area.

“There was no access to get down to the seawall and the dock,” says Hall, noting the southwest winds off the Bogue Sound were a challenge for the design, so Hall used river rock as groundcover instead of straw or mulch. The plants are salt resistant, with grasses, roses and lantanas. “Salt and wind are the biggest things we fight,” he says.

Other challenges included moving the materials needed, rains washing away sand and positioning each layer of wall inset to the other. There was only a 5-foot-wide gap to bring products from the front to the back of the property. The crews used Ditch Witch SK1050 mini skid-steers and worked with neighbors to get an excavator to the backyard to start the project.

Hall and his team installed drainage, drip irrigation in the beds and turf irrigation for each tier of the wall. The company used a Belgard Tandem wall system to provided a stacked look. Hall says the homeowner is pleased with the result.

This project earned ProGreen Turf & Landscape a 2019 Silver Award from the National Association of Landscape Professionals’ Award of Excellence program.

Sand dune hardscape project (Photo: ProGreen Turf & Landscape)

Photo: ProGreen Turf & Landscape

A before photo shows the natural weeds and vines that grew up along the side of the dune.

Sand dune hardscape project (Photo: ProGreen Turf & Landscape)

Photo: ProGreen Turf & Landscape

ProGreen Turf & Landscape clears the job site and starts the construction of a retaining wall on the left side.

Sand dune hardscape project (Photo: ProGreen Turf & Landscape)

Photo: ProGreen Turf & Landscape

An excavator that had to be brought in through a neighbor’s access point digs trenches to build the retaining walls.

Sand dune hardscape project (Photo: ProGreen Turf & Landscape)

Photo: ProGreen Turf & Landscape

Crews set up the base of a retaining wall.

Sand dune hardscape project (Photo: ProGreen Turf & Landscape)

Photo: ProGreen Turf & Landscape

The client wanted to have easy waterfront access with stairs. Here, the stairs and a retaining wall to help protect the home in the event of a major storm are in the early stages of construction.

Sand dune hardscape project (Photo: ProGreen Turf & Landscape)

Photo: ProGreen Turf & Landscape

The site is being graded, cleared and prepared for an application of fresh sod.

Sand dune hardscape project (Photo: ProGreen Turf & Landscape)

Photo: ProGreen Turf & Landscape

The top of the hill is being prepared to construct the upper level of retaining walls.

Sand dune hardscape project (Photo: ProGreen Turf & Landscape)

Photo: ProGreen Turf & Landscape

The stairs and each level of retaining wall were designed to gradually scale the backyard dune from the dock to the house.

Sand dune hardscape project (Photo: ProGreen Turf & Landscape)

Sand dune hardscape project (Photo: ProGreen Turf & Landscape)

Salt-tolerant plants and river rock were selected for the backyard plantings as the southwest winds bring lots of salinity off the coast.

Sand dune hardscape project (Photo: ProGreen Turf & Landscape)

Photo: ProGreen Turf & Landscape

Using a visual mockup of the design helped secure the project as the client couldn’t picture the result.

Sand dune hardscape project (Photo: ProGreen Turf & Landscape)

Photo: ProGreen Turf & Landscape)

A view of the finished product.

Christina Herrick

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