Bulldozers, Bobcats, and mini Trac-hoes

posted; 06/10/06
dozer workOn Thursday afternoon we had it all going on in trying to create some rolling berms for a residential project. Too often we let the given state of terrain act as a given and do nothing to enhance the typography.

What makes higher end residential work more compelling is having the budget to allow for some sculpting of the soil to create a more interesting setting. Too often designers skip this possibility and just try and make the sight more interesting through hardscape and a lot (and I mean a lot) of plant material.

I gotta believe Designers are (A) either selling themselves short, or (B) not taking advantage of the ground plane-either by ignorance, lack of skill, or trepidation to think bigger.

When given the budget or opportunity—-explore all the possibilities, all the dimensions of space you are working in, take chances to be more creative in the framework of the site you are working in. By framework I mean the berms need to be of a “certain: height to fit the scale of the project, and to not look like Civil War revetments, or Indian Burial Mounds. Lastly do not sculpt mounds for plants alone.

The plants only mounds are one of my great pet peeves, roll some grass up on that sucker!! play with the way the planting beds and lawn space interact. Think about how shadows will work across the berm(s).

My thanks to Enviroscapes Inc, of Louisville, Ohio. Not only to bring me in on this project, but to post their men and machines in action.

By Rick Anderson

The Whispering Crane Institute was originally formed to act as the umbrella organization for the Philosophy of Design Symposium, and other seminars and workshops given by Rick Anderson and Richard L. Dube’. In the year 2000 WCI became a sole proprietorship owned by Rick Anderson. Today the WCI provides design and consultation services for Landscape Contractors, acts as a Green Industry think tank, and provides training for others in the form of workshops, seminars, and individual consulting. The WCI also provides written material, opinions, case-studies and how-to articles for industry trade magazines.

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