“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”
— Albert Einstein
Frequently, here on Long island, when we visit the property of a new client to discuss an upgrade, we are welcomed into a lush woodland scene. “So whatever they are looking for to enhance their outdoor living,” says Deck and Patio owner Dave Stockwell, “our first priority is to safeguard those trees. And if there are none, we often recommend planting some as part of the landscaping design plan.”
In our work, we utilize a wide range of landscaping elements such as flowers, shrubs, ground cover, waterfalls, and, of course, trees, in and around useful hardscapes, such as decks, patios and pool surrounds. And while most appreciate trees for their color or shade, their full value to the landscape isn’t always well known.
Value of Trees
Trees are truly worth hugging. They filter the air which can be full of pollutants such as dust and impurities.
“Trees can also collect and filter rainfall,” adds Dave, “which is something we are very invested in as a company. Our division, Rainwater Harvesting, focuses on capturing rainwater underground through permeable pavers and roof runoff, etc. We are also mindful of the advantages of trees doing the same work, side-by-side with our man-made systems, preventing pollutants from entering local waterways.”
Trees, of course, are better known for their ability to release pure oxygen back into the air after they have filtered out any pollutants. It has been said that just one large tree can improve the air for four adults.
“So you can see why we feel trees are so worth either preserving or transplanting in when there are no trees at all,” says Dave.
Some realtors suggest another benefit from trees. Apparently healthy trees add to the value of a property’s appraisal, which helps provide a return for any investment made by transplanting trees into one’s landscape or protecting those that are there.
Plant Once, By Doing It Right
While most people can put a plant or bulb into the soil, a tree can be a bit tricker and requires some expertise.
“Just like it’s important to know how to work around a woodland area so as not to damage any existing precious trees,” says Dave, “it takes some art and experience to plant a tree effectively.”
Some common mistakes our landscapers come across are trees being planted too deep with too much mulch, and or tree roots being strangled in wire baskets, plastic rope or burlap.
Deck and Patio Projects
The above photo is a great example of a pre-existing wooded area on a local property where Deck and Patio was brought in for an upgrade. We secured the trees ahead of time so no machinery damaged them in any way.
Within this already beautiful setting, we added stone steps, streams and waterfalls. The clients already had a bridge so we designed water features and stepping areas to fit around it.
We also added additional plantings and lots of green ground cover. Now they have the perfect space to take in their property’s natural beauty before they start their day and when they return home at day’s end.
The key in creating or updating spaces as they appear in nature is to add only amenities that fit naturally in that environment.
In this case, Deck and Patio added a bridge, water feature, imported boulders and rocks and landscaped it with robust plantings.
It feels like you are in upstate New York, in the mountains.
Yet, it’s right in our clients’ backyard. As you can see, the wooded areas are healthy, blending perfectly with the landscaping plan without interference with their ongoing job: to clean the air and add more oxygen.
As you can see from this Deck and Patio-designed backyard refuge, we were careful to safeguard the existing woodland areas.
Extending out from the parkland areas, the new water feature was brought forward to the entertaining areas through the addition of a pondless waterfall.
The new multi-level patios were carefully designed so that each patio space had a specific use. The complete project was a perfect blend of softscapes with hardscapes.
For this space, we took advantage of the family’s desire to hide their pool equipment by creating a private woodland path. We brought in bushes and plantings and fit them among existing old-growth trees.
Adding bluestone stepping stones that lead to a larger woodland area contributes to an extended nature walk.
Such an uplifting nature walk gives one’s technology-driven life a break, and leaves the barbells behind. No place offers a better space for that than a quiet woodland area.
Today’s feature photo at top of page: This Deck and Patio pool/patio/landscaping project was done in collaboration with True Blue Swimming Pools.