Project Type: Commercial

Project Description

The Enchanted Garden located on the premise of a new Howard County public library completed in 2011, was  developed on a site which was originally intended to be open space. The library brought 5 design/ build companies to the table and hosted a competition to determine who would design and build the children’s garden they desired. The design process took into consideration storm water runoff, the use of environmentally sensitive materials, educational elements, and useable space for large groups.

The landscape contractor was awarded the project because of their comprehensive design and playful details which exceeded the library’s expectations. The design incorporated two circular gathering areas for groups of children, furnished with custom chairs cut from large diameter logs. A pond and stream, permeable paver patio, cedar pergola, decomposed granite pathways, native plant pallet and raised planter beds all helped to make the space interactive and inviting to both children and adults.

The surrounding  garden has a stone veneer wall and metal fence to provide security. After one has passed through the curved iron gate, visitors are presented with the option to enter the permeable paver patio, partially covered by a custom built Western Red Cedar pergola, or can follow the decomposed granite path which winds through perennial gardens. Along the interior of the walls, decorative tiles were installed, each stamped with the hand print of a child who visited the library and participated in the commemoration of the garden. The pathways continue through gardens planted with various ferns, Juncus, Phlox, Amelanchier, and other native plants.

Located throughout the planting areas are drain inlets which flow into a storm sewer system installed by the landscape contractor. This system allows the site to drain runoff from any location with minimal sheeting across planting beds and pathways, preventing erosion and organic matter from flowing into the storm system , which leads to the public storm sewer.

A pond and stream dissect the northern half of the site, providing a teaching tool for lessons on aquatic ecosystems. The stream is lined with large boulders providing seating for visitors. Adjacent to the stream is a custom built steel arbor, planted with climbing roses. The arbor is constructed using curved galvanized tubing for the hoops, and is strung with stainless steel aircraft cable, utilizing hidden turnbuckles for tension adjustment. Adjacent to the pond and stream is the demonstration garden, built using 6×6 cedar timbers to form raised planter boxes and a matching potting bench. Double gates were installed at the north end of the garden to allow easy access for vehicles.

Ornamental trees are lit, as is the pergola, to provide night interest during events. The garden serves not only as a teaching resource with ornamental plaques labeling plants and highlighting the local ecosystem, but also as a center piece for the new library which opened in late 2011.

Special or Unusual Problems

The existing site plans were used as a base for the drawings which would become the Enchanted Garden, but grading and drainage modifications were necessary to ensure that all water would be adequately drained into the storm sewer system. The contractor worked with the project Civil Engineer to develop a drain system which was large enough to handle the flow for a 100 year storm. This required the installation of nearly 300 feet of 12″ diameter drain pipe, connecting to 9 drain inlets located across the surface of the garden. This drain system was also designed to handle water infiltration from the garden’s 1,000 square feet of permeable paver patio. The drain inlets were disguised by incorporating them into planting beds surrounded by a variety of water loving plants.

The landscape contractor was hired directly by the library, but because the entire building was still under construction, the project was coordinated through the building’s general contractor. The site was rough graded before the garden project began, but all excavation and fine grading was left to the landscape contractor. Over 230 cubic yards of soil were excavated and removed from the site to transform the area into the Enchanted Garden.

All plant material for the project was sourced from nurseries within a 50 mile radius of the project site, at the request of the library. Certain perennials, which were unavailable, forced the library and landscape contractor to agree on substitutions in order to keep the planting phase of the project on schedule during the fall of 2011.

Installation of the decomposed granite pathways included a compacted sub base with a weed barrier cloth installed on top of the soil. The granite was installed in 2″ lifts to ensure compaction through the entire depth. Liquid binding agent was mixed with the granite using a concrete drum mixer to ensure an even blend throughout and prevent the material from washing away during rain storms. After mixing, the material was spread over the surface, raked to final grade and mechanically compacted. This was done to cover the 2,600 square foot area, ensuring a consistent decomposed granite surface throughout the garden.

Spanning the stream is a 9 foot long, 3 foot wide and 12″ thick bluestone slab bridge. The stone was set in place before any of the pathways were installed, but after the stream was completed, to ensure the stone extended beyond each side of the rubber liner. Weighing nearly 2 tons, the stone was set in place using an excavator and final adjustments were made by hand to ensure the perfect fit. This bridge has become one of the highlights of the garden, allowing children to watch the water disappear beneath their feet.

Project Description

Stages, a new music studio and education center in Cockeysville, Maryland, was looking
to update and convert their exterior learning space to allow for students to forget that they were
located in the middle of an industrial park. The objective of this project was to transform the
surrounding area of the studio into an outdoor performance space and learning space, while
staying true to the client’s vision of creating a natural setting similar to Bozeman, Montana.
Through the construction of an outdoor patio, fireplace, grill area, walkways, and the placement
of boulders as benches, we constructed a space reminiscent of being out west with a focus on
comfortability, tranquility, and an overall vitalizing atmosphere. Ultimately we erected a space
that allowed for the dreariness of the industrial park to fade away, a space for students to learn
and perform in serenity. We converted what was once stone lots into a multipurpose arena that
can be used for both small learning environments and large outdoor concerts, in the day and the
night utilizing the lighting we created, and through three of the seasons. We transformed the
space into one reminiscent of being in the mountains of Montana, and this student and audience
friendly, peaceful setting we produced has become a treasured place of creativity and
expression.
The immediate challenge of this project was drainage as the outdoor patio space we
built was at the bottom of a hill of the neighboring commercial building and also lower than the
new music studio. To get water out of the entire outdoor space, while staying true to the client’s
vision of natural paths, we had to use special products such as gravel lok to create water
permeable walkways, as well as extensive underground piping and drain boxes tied in to the
storm drain system. The client wanted a large fireplace with a tall chimney, which proved to be a
challenge in the middle of an industrial park with strict fire safety codes and regulations. We had
to work with the Baltimore County fire marshalls in design and construction in order to comply
with the fire codes within an industrial park. To comply with OSHA safety codes three out of the
four of the sides of the fireplace had to have scaffolding, and the crew had to use harnesses and tie
offs. We were able to build a workable fireplace that complied with all of the safety standards.
The client wanted a western feel, however we were contracted to build this project in an
industrial park with tall commercial buildings surrounding us. To block out the commercial
buildings, and defeat the industrial feel, w e had to install 16 ft spruce trees with 50 inch root balls
on a 2:1 slope that separated stages from the neighboring industrial building. The clients vision of
Bozeman, Montana also proved to be a challenge as this meant that all products, such as stone
and wood, had to appear natural and fit in aesthetically with the overall design. We had to find
perfectly rectangular boulders to make sitting benches, which proved to be a lengthy challenge
and forced us into New Hampshire and Maine in order to locate.

Project Description

The Healing Garden was challenged from the very beginning with such issues as timing, access, materials, and installations.  As an overview, the project was awarded in May for 750,000 and had a completion deadline of July 3rd, consisting of 45 days of duration.  Therefore, the stone for the patio and pathways was placed in a container to be shipped the next day from China, while the trees were tagged in one day, and soil mix was engineered, designed, sampled, tested, and approved in five days.  Upon starting the project, access became a challenging issue.  All materials for the site were transported either through a double door or over the existing hospital with the usage of a crane.  While these items were challenging for the production team, the greatest challenge was the layout, cutting, and staking of the foam board base to exact specifications.  The 300,000 board feet of foam, was installed in 2” lifts to establish a lightweight working surface on which all concrete was poured upon.  In order to achieve the exact layout, the production team used GPS guided survey equipment to establish corner and center line references across the entire site.  Once all foam board was installed, free floating concrete forms were used to pour all concrete walkways and paver bases.  Next came the task of placing all sandstone pavers, bluestone pavers, and the 1,200 tons of soil mix on the roof.  As access was a challenge, all pavers were craned over the existing hospital and the soils were installed via a blower truck. The blower truck placed soil mixes throughout the garden in depths up to 4 feet.  The final challenge was craning large caliper trees from the loading dock over the entire hospital and onto the green roof all within one Saturday as to not disrupt the activities of a busy hospital.  While we were challenged with many logistical problems, we successfully completed this unique green roof on time and on budget.

 

Creating an intimate sanctuary for cancer survivor patients and their families was the initial concept of this project.  What was conceived was a 14,770 SF garden of peace, hope, and love.  The Healing Garden, as it is called, was built atop of the Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air.  From the beginning, the green roof was designed to be an interactive space for patients through the usage of five separate doors leading to the various walking paths and seating areas within.  This unusual garden provides survivors with the sounds of water, the smell of fresh flowers, and the feel of shade under many of the gardens large caliper trees.  This peaceful refuge also features six quiet nook bluestone patio areas surrounded by colorful plant selections and water features that evoke a sense of tranquility and meditation.   While the Healing Garden serves to help patients, it also serves to help nature as a Storm Water Management Facility for the Cancer Center and the Hospital.  This is accomplished through the collection of water from the surrounding impervious roof structures.  As rain water is channeled through down spouts to the Healing Garden, the green roof and its plants filter and absorb the water to effectively and efficiently minimize runoff.

 

Project Description

Live Green was just as excited as the rest of the state when McCormick announced in 2015 that the company would remain in Maryland. The Baltimore-based business recently moved into its new six-story, 320,000-square-foot headquarters located on 20 acres in Hunt Valley, and Live Green had the honor of assisting in the landscaping of the new location.

The job involved the installation of more than 33,000 square feet of pavers at the entrance of the building to spruce up the place. Tree pits were also installed, complete with uplighting and large benches in the courtyard. The attached parking lot was also redone, with new trees and shrubs planted throughout. The curb appeal of the building was enhanced with new street lighting and landscaping.

Employees began moving into the new facility in July of 2018, and the Grand Opening celebration was held last fall. We’re thrilled to have been a part of the historic move!

Project Description

The next time you’re in town stop by The Avenue at White Marsh for a close-up look at one of our most recent projects. Nestled next to the Titled Kilt we completed a 13,120-square-foot paver installation and planted 36 trees, 350 shrubs, 2,400 bulbs, 3,060 grasses and 2,000 perennials. We even installed a complete irrigation system to water the plants over the spring and summer.

The job included installation of 7”, 8” and 9” caliper balled-and-burlapped trees weighing over 10,000 pounds! The only way to position these trees was via crane. We coordinated the entire installation, which included crane placement and the strategic positioning of tractor trailers within reach of the crane. We installed 7,175 square feet of artificial turf that can be removed in the winter revealing an ice rink underneath! It was an impressive project and we are so proud of the finished product. It’s wonderful to see so many families enjoying themselves every weekend outdoors.