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This idea popped into my head one night at the end of a busy day. As I have written about in the past, one of our specialties at Outdoor Design Group is to work with large residential and commercial properties to renovate their landscaping to save water and maintenance. We call these our Site Renovation services. Often times the landscape is drastically changed, as we convert high water-use areas (usually irrigated lawns) into more sustainable Xeriscape style landscaping with trees, flowering shrubs, perennials, and ornamental grasses.  I already knew what these changes looked like on the ground, but I wondered what they might look like from the sky…

Landscape Renovation Before and After Aerial Image

In the project above, we worked with a home owner’s association (HOA) to design and oversee the installation of a water-saving landscape renovation.  Significant drainage problems were also addressed in the design. The aerial photo above shows Phase 1 of the improvements.  Because the high water-use turf areas were replaced with low water-use Xeriscape plantings, the renovation shown above will result in water savings of over 900,000 gallons of water per year that will no longer be needed for irrigation.  Because of the success of the project, the client asked us to design 2 more large phases that were subsequently completed.

Xeriscape Renovation Before and After Aerial Photo

The site in the second example, shown above, included a long narrow strip of irrigated lawn along the border of a multi-family property.  The lawn area was not being utilized by the residents, and since it was on a west facing slope the grass did not grow well and the irrigation water often produced wasteful run-off onto the parking lot and into the storm drain.  Furthermore, the adjacent wood fence along this strip was getting severely damaged by the overspray from the irrigation.  As I noted in a previous post, this is a condition to avoid.

The design solution for this landscape renovation was to limit the lawn areas to smaller, yet large enough to be usable, areas for the resident and their dogs.  We also utilized non-irrigated native seeding (visible in the lower left hand corner of the site) in the back areas along the fence.  This landscape renovation project resulted in significant reductions in water-use and maintenance, saving the community association a substantial amount of money in their annual budget.

This is the official blog of Outdoor Design Group, Colorado Landscape Architects.  For more information about our business and our services, click here.

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