Hardscape Solutions: Revealing a view

January 9, 2019 -  By

Location: Irving, Texas
Company: Custom Greenscaping

What started as a desire to have an outside tenant area for gatherings and events evolved into an overhaul of 70 percent of a corporate campus’ landscape. To reveal a beautiful view of the river and a country club at the back of the property, a large berm of soil was removed and used along the hillside to plant wildflowers. Custom Greenscaping used John Deere’s 310SL backhoe and 333G compact track loader to grade the displaced soil and install two new retaining walls.

It was a must that the stone used for the two new 90-inch walls — Austin cream limestone — was an exact match to the building. Two hundred feet of drainage was installed behind the walls for irrigation and rainfall. The back of the property and the main entrance were renewed with planting beds that incorporate Texas mountain laurel, Mexican feather grass and coton-easter, along with other native and drought-tolerant plants. Since the renovation, the area, which includes outdoor seating areas, grills and a putting green, sees daily use.

The project earned Custom Greenscaping a 2018 Silver Award from the National Association of Landscape Professionals’ Awards of Excellence program.

Photo: Custom Greenscaping

Photo: Custom Greenscaping

An employee balcony overlooks the new tenant recreation area.

Photo: Custom Greenscaping

Photo: Custom Greenscaping

In this photo of the original landscaping, the berm came across the back of the property. Over 200 CY of soil was relocated down the hill and planted with wild flowers.

Outdoor seating (Photo: Custom Greenscaping)

Photo: Custom Greenscaping

Outdoor seating areas, along with grills were built are used daily by the building’s tenants.

Seasonal color enhancements (Photo: Custom Greenscaping)

Photo: Custom Greenscaping

A mix of ornamental trees, shrubs, perennials and seasonal color helps enhance the gathering area.

Putting green (Photo: Custom Greenscaping)

Photo: Custom Greenscaping

During construction, the owner requested a change to install a putting green around the grills.

Property boarders a river (Photo: Custom Greenscaping)

Photo: Custom Greenscaping

The facility backs up along a river bordering a country club. To break up the long berm across the back of the building, planting beds where installed using shrubs and flowering perennials.

Walls with matching stone (Photo: Custom Greenscaping)

Photo: Custom Greenscaping

Two 90-inch retaining walls were built to hold back the berm. Austin cream limestone was used to match the building’s original stone.

Retaining walls (Photo: Custom Greenscaping)

Photo: Custom Greenscaping

Along the back of the retaining walls, 200 feet of drainage was installed to keep structural integrity of the walls and move irrigation and rainfall away.

View of landscape from lower level (Photo: Custom Greenscaping)

Photo: Custom Greenscaping

The main goal was tenant visibility and usage. The lowest level was converted in to a tenant lounge with games, seating and a full bar. New floor to ceiling windows were installed to bring the outside in.

Hitting mats (Photo: Custom Greenscaping)

Photo: Custom Greenscaping

With a country club’s 11th green just across the water, hitting mats were installed to be used for corporate events involving “Closest to the Pin” challenges in cooperation with the country club.

Front of building landscaping (Photo: Custom Greenscaping)

Photo: Custom Greenscaping

While construction was happening at the back of the property, the client realized the front needed a makeover as well. Old planting beds were updated with ornamental trees, shrubs and flowers.

Drought tolerant plants (Photo: Custom Greenscaping)

Photo: Custom Greenscaping

Texas mountain laurel, Mexican feather grass, cotoneaster and other drought tolerant plants were installed in planting beds along the front foundation.

Colorful, native plant selection (Photo: Custom Greenscaping)

Photo: Custom Greenscaping

Creating a new colorful, yet native plant selection became the goal at the main entrance for Custom Greenscaping.

Parking lot walkway (Photo: Custom Greenscaping)

Photo: Custom Greenscaping

Across from the main entry was an overgrown island through the parking lot. Shrubs, grasses, flowers and stone were brought in to enhance the area between the main entry and the parking lot.

Tranquil entrance (Photo: Custom Greenscaping)

Photo: Custom Greenscaping

What once was overgrown became a tranquil area to walk through on the way to the entrance.

Front entrance signage (Photo: Custom Greenscaping)

Photo: Custom Greenscaping

Two overgrown trees were removed and native grasses with Texas mountain laurels were installed to accentuate the front signage.

Property blueprint design (Photo: Custom Greenscaping)

Photo: Custom Greenscaping

A project that started with a renovation to back of the property for tenant gatherings, morphed into a full campus renovation. When Custom Greenscaping finished the project, 70 percent of the landscape was renovated or altered, leaving only the existing large trees and turf areas.

Danielle Pesta

About the Author:

Danielle Pesta is the associate editor of Landscape Management. She started writing for the green industry in 2014 and has won multiple awards from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA). She can be reached at dpesta@northcoastmedia.net.

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