Maryland Landscaping

Proudly serving Maryland homeowners for over 40 years.

Blog Home

East Coast Landscape Design FAQs

What is a hardy perennial to use in Bethesda MD?
Baptisia (AKA False Indigo) is a good hardy perennial for use in Bethesda MD.
What is a French Drain?
A French drain is a term for a gently sloping trench that has a perforated pipe, wrapped with a lightweight fabric, which allows water in but keeps the soil out. This pipe is then covered with any type of drainage stone (ranging between 1/2" to 3") to allow water to percolate through the stones, into the pipe, and then toward an exit point.Contrary to what one may think, the French Drain wasn't invented in France. It is the invention of a Concord, MA, farmer named Henry French. He hit on the idea when trying to fix swampy areas on his property. 
What does the word hardscape mean?
Hardscape consists of the non-living elements of landscaping, including but not limited to: lumber and masonry work. Examples of hardscape are the construction of retaining walls (lumber and stone), patios, walkways, steps, driveways, outdoor fireplaces and kitchens. It could also include structures like pergolas, water features, and boulders, which could be used in your landscape.
What is a drainage system and what does it entail?
A drainage system controls the flow of water using natural means: regrading of soil and gravity; or by artificial means: drain pipes, French drains, catch basins, swales, dry wells, rain gardens, and permeable paver structures to reroute or divert storm water runoff to appropriate locations. Includes storm water management. The positive aspects of natural drainage (drainage using gravity) is that water will flow away from the house without the possibility of pipes clogging. When using artificial means, there may be a possibility of pipes becoming clogged, that will end up resulting in more maintenance to keep the pipes clean. We recommend using PVC pipes because they provide a strong, smooth surface that allows water and debris to flow freely. A clean out connection piece, which is connected to a downspout, works well to access pipes at key points to prevent possible clogging.
Is drainage work expensive?
Drainage work can be expensive depending on the situation and how long the issue has been occurring. Depending on the severity of the situation and your budget, there are 2 main types of solutions available for locations in Maryland and Washington DC. *If there is water pooling in certain areas after a heavy rainfall: You can either have drainage pipes, a swale, or some other applicable solution, to divert and redirect the water to a more appropriate area.*If the problem is more severe, like water in the basement: There is the option of a more permanent (and more expensive) solution of digging the soil away from the foundation of the home, installing a waterproof membrane to the foundation, then installing drainage pipes to exit at daylight. This means that the water will exit the pipe and spill out onto the lawn.
What is a catch basin?
A catch basin is a type of box, available in various sizes (between 6" to 3') and materials that is placed in the ground near areas of standing water to help facilitate proper water drainage and avoid property damage. The top of the box features a removable grate through which excess water and debris drain into the underground box. The solid particles then settle at the bottom of the box while the water collects until it reaches the outlet trap. The outlet trap is connected to an underground piping system that exits at daylight. Once the solids accumulate and account for one-third of the basin's contents, you must remove the top grate and clean out the catch basin so it can continue to function properly.  
What is a swale?
A swale is a low area or trench of land that can refer to a natural landscape feature or a human-created one. Swales are designed to slow and capture runoff by spreading it horizontally across the landscape, facilitating runoff infiltration into the soil. Without swales, rain water from hills or gutters could form gullies that erode the soil away. Swales catch water and direct it to where it's needed, which is in the soil. Instead of water running off or pooling above ground, swales direct it downward into an underground reservoir. As a result, swales can be turned into rain gardens with the application of native, deep rooted plants that have been placed inside and along the sides of the swale area.
What is a dry well?
A dry well is large hole that is dug in the ground at a low spot on the property (typically 3-4' wide by 3-4' deep; but can be larger), that is lined with filter fabric and filled with 2-3" drainage stone, then covered with approximately 2-3" of soil and topped with grass seed or sod. The dry well allows excess water to slowly soak into the ground, dissipating the excess runoff into the groundwater. Typically, gutters or swales are connected to the dry wells to contain and dissipate the excess rain water.
What is a rain garden and what are the benefits of using one on my property in Washington DC or Columbia MD?
A rain garden is a shallow depression that is planted with deep-rooted native plants and grasses. The garden should be positioned near a runoff source like a downspout, driveway or sump pump to capture rainwater runoff and stop the water from reaching the sewer system. Rain gardens increase your contribution to preserving clean rainwater, creating habitat and preventing local flooding and water pollution. 
I am having erosion problems on my property in Bethesda MD, what should I do?
If the erosion is minimal, installing drainage pipes to redirect the water should stop the soil from being carried away. If the erosion is occurring on a hill, a possible solution is to install some type of ground cover (like 'Pachysandra' or 'Perriwinkle') should stop the erosion. If it is more severe, the consultant may suggest installing a retaining wall with drainage pipes installed behind it to redirect the flow of water.
What is the whitish residue that I have noticed on some of my bricks and/or pavers?
This residue is often referred to as efflorescence, and is both normal and common in concrete and clay brick products. Occasionally, the mineral salts from the cement and aggregates that are embedded in the product are dislodged by absorbed water and transported to the surface; it is not a product defect nor is it harmful to the pavers. Efflorescence usually appears white, gray or black depending on the region. The efflorescence will weather off with time as exposure to the elements will loosen the salts and they will eventually wash away (within 6 months to a year). Concrete product manufacturers are unable to warrant against the presence of efflorescence. Recommended efflorescence cleaners: FlexLock www.flex-lock.com Alliance Gator www.alliancegator.com   
Will removing snow hurt my new paver patio, walkway, or driveway?
Just like with concrete and asphalt pavements, Techo-Bloc pavers can be plowed and shoveled. Actually, the edges and joints around the pavers assist in melting snow and ice. When using a contractor for snow removal, it is recommended to verify that their equipment uses Teflon blades to avoid scratching the pavers. Using de-icing salt (sodium chloride or calcium chloride) to remove snow and ice will not harm Techo-Bloc paving stones. 
What kind of materials can be used for hardscape work?
There are several types of materials that can be used for hardsccape work like patios and retaining walls, including including, but not limited to: interlocking concrete pavers, bricks, flagstone, poured concrete, permeable pavers, or natural stone.
What are permeable pavers and the benefits of using them over non-permeable materials?
Permeable pavers are a type of hardscape material that allows water to flow in between and around the joints of the pavers, unlike non-permeable surfaces where water can pool and collect. Non permeable paver areas have to be sloped away from the house so water doesn't flow toward the house or pool on the surface. Permeable pavers are used for paving vehicle and pedestrian pathways that allows for rainwater to pass through the material and percolate back into the ground. The material used for the base of permeable paving may be porous to allow for fluids to flow through it or nonporous media that are spaced so that water may flow in between the paver's joints. In addition to reducing surface runoff, permeable paving can trap suspended solids therefore filtering pollutants from storm water. 
When it rains, water gets into the basement in Howard County. What kind of drainage solution should be installed?
In addition to the application of other drainage solutions, like drain pipes or swales, there is the option of a more permanent (and more expensive) solution called waterproofing. this means that existing soil is dug away from the foundation of the home, installing a waterproof membrane to the foundation, then installing drainage stone and pipes to exit at daylight. This means that the water will exit the pipe and spill out onto the lawn. The waterproof membranes are adhered directly to the foundation so that the chance of water draining into the basement from outside sources is guaranteed to not happen again.
How expensive are permeable pavers compared to non-permeable pavers?
Permeable pavers do cost a little more per square foot than non-permeable pavers.*Permeable pavers cost approximately $5 to $7 a square foot (plus labor and installation) depending on the style of pavers. The main difference between permeable and non-permeable structures is that this process uses more materials and more soil has to be removed from the area to allow for the drainage stone depth of about 18-22".*Non-permeable pavers typically cost around $4 to $8 (plus labor and installation).
How expensive are pavers versus flagstone?
Generally, Flagstone material is more expensive that paver stones.*Pavers typically cost around $4 to $6 (plus labor and installation).*Flagstone typically costs around $5 to $9 (plus labor and installation) and depending on the type of Flagstone, the thickness, and the shape/cut of the stone (square, rectangle, irregular, or random).
What are the different drainage options available in Maryland and Virginia?
There are 2 main types of solutions for drainage issues: capturing or diverting the water to appropriate locations, or waterproofing. *If there is water pooling in certain areas after a heavy rainfall: There is the option of installing one of the listed drainage systems: Drain pipes: Drainage pipes are either rigid PVC or flexible pipes that are buried underground to carry excess rain water to a desired location, away from the house. The flexible drain pipes can be solid or perforated to allow the excess water to dissipate into the soil.French drains: A French drain is a perforated pipe that is buried underground, that is wrapped with a lightweight fabric, which allows water in but keeps the soil out. This pipe is then covered with any type of drainage stone (ranging between 1/2" to 3") to allow water to percolate through the stones, into the pipe, and then toward an exit point. Contrary to what one may think, the French Drain wasn't invented in France. It is the invention of a Concord, MA, farmer named Henry French. He hit on the idea when trying to fix swampy areas on his property.Catch basins: A catch basin is a type of box, made out of a durable hard plastic, that is available in various sizes (between 6" to 3') and materials that is placed in the ground near areas of standing water to help facilitate proper water drainage and avoid property damage. The top of the box features a removable grate through which excess water and debris drain into the underground box. The solid particles then settle at the bottom of the box while the water collects until it reaches the outlet trap. The outlet trap is connected to an underground piping system that exits at daylight. Once the solids accumulate and account for one-third of the basin's contents, you must remove the top grate and clean out the catch basin so it can continue to function properly.Swales: A swale is a low area or trench of land that can refer to a natural landscape feature or a human-created one. Swales are designed to slow and capture runoff by spreading it horizontally across the landscape, facilitating runoff infiltration into the soil. Without swales, rain water from hills or gutters could form gullies that erode the soil away. Swales catch water and direct it to where it's needed, which is in the soil. Instead of water running off or pooling above ground, swales direct it downward into an underground reservoir. As a result, swales can be turned into rain gardens with the application of native, deep rooted plants that have been placed inside and along the sides of the swale area.Dry well system: A dry well is large hole that is dug in the ground at a low spot on the property (typically 3-4' wide by 3-4' deep; but can be larger), that is lined with filter fabric and filled with 2-3" drainage stone, then covered with approximately 2-3" of soil and topped with grass seed or sod. The dry well allows excess water to slowly soak into the ground, dissipating the excess runoff into the groundwater. Typically, gutters or swales are connected to the dry wells to contain and dissipate the excess rain water.Rain garden: a rain garden is a shallow depression that is planted with deep-rooted native plants and grasses. The garden should be positioned near a runoff source like a downspout, driveway or sump pump to capture rainwater runoff and stop the water from reaching the sewer system. Rain gardens increase your contribution to preserving clean rainwater, creating habitat and preventing local flooding and water pollution.Permeable Pavers: Permeable pavers are used for paving vehicle and pedestrian pathways that allows for rainwater to pass through the material and percolate back into the ground. The material used for the base of permeable paving may be porous to allow for fluids to flow through it or nonporous media that are spaced so that water may flow in between the paver's joints. In addition to reducing surface runoff, permeable paving can trap suspended solids therefore filtering pollutants from storm water. *If the drainage problem is more severe, like water in the basement: There is the option of a more permanent (and more expensive) solution of digging the soil away from the foundation of the home, installing a waterproof membrane to the foundation, then installing drainage pipes to exit at daylight. This means that the water will exit the pipe and spill out onto the lawn.
What is thermal flagstone?
Thermal flagstone is a term used for flagstone where the edges have been specially treated to get a straight edge. This is accomplished by taking a piece of sawcut flagstone, wetting down the edge, and heating it with a torch. Done correctly the water turns to steam and pops off small pieces of the stone, resulting in a smoothly textured and very consistent, uniform surface.
How expensive is the typical firepit install?
Firepit kits typically run between $2-3,000.00. Firepit accessories available. Summer 2017- Firepit install with accessories constructed in NW Washington, shown below.
How expensive is the typical outdoor kitchen install?
The typical outdoor kitchen install costs around $8,000.00, but can cost more depending on the size and number of appliances to hook up and install. The client would provide the appliances prior to construction (grill, refrigerator, pizza oven, sink, etc.) and our company would install and do any wiring/gas hookups necessary. Summer 2017- Kitchen install with Grill and green Smoker Egg constructed in NW Washington, shown below. 
What is thermal flagstone?
Thermal flagstone is a term used for flagstone where the edges have been specially treated to get a straight edge. This is accomplished by taking a piece of sawcut flagstone, wetting down the edge, and heating it with a torch. Done correctly the water turns to steam and pops off small pieces of the stone, resulting in a smoothly textured and very consistent, uniform surface. 
Would the company provide and install the grill/sink/electrical for the outdoor kitchen?
The client would provide the appliances prior to construction (grill, microwave, etc.) and our company would install and do any wiring/gas hookups necessary. Appliances are needed prior to construction to make sure that they will fit seamlessly into the finished outdoor kitchen.
What are the different types of retaining walls and how much they cost to install: Segmented, Stacked Stone, Mortared Stone, and Lumber Walls?
*Stacked Stone Wall: Stacked stone walls are gravity retaining walls that rely on the weight of the material to ensure they do not shift or fall over. Construction generally does not use any mortar or glue to hold the stones in place. The maximum height of this type of wall is 4 feet, under ideal conditions. Stacked stone retaining walls typically cost between $35-45 per square foot  *Lumber Wall: Lumber walls are constructed using 6x6" pressure treated Southern Pine tree logs or railroad ties. Lumber walls typically cost between $40-50 per square foot  *Segmented Wall: Segmental retaining walls consist of concrete blocks that are interlocked with each other and have a cap stone. With the unique construction of segmented retaining walls, higher and steeper walls can be constructed with the ability to retain the force of soil weight and gravity created by the backfill soil. This type of wall is sometimes also used to surround patios for aesthetics, privacy, and as a short seat wall. Segmented retaining walls can be installed in a wide variety of colors, sizes, and textures. They can incorporate straight or curved lines, steps, and corners. Segmented retaining walls typically run $45-75 per square foot and depending on the choice of materials  *Mortared Stone Wall: Mortared stone retaining walls are built with a concrete footer or base, after that cinder blocks are laid and filled with reinforcement bars and concrete for stability. Stones are then mortared to the cinder blocks for the final look. Mortared stone walls typically cost between $65-95 per square foot
Would there be drainage behind my retaining wall?
It is on a case by case basis if drainage would be needed behind your retaining wall and would be discussed during the consultation; but as a general rule, drainage behind retaining walls is standard.   
Is there a guarantee for hardscape work?
Yes, there is a 10 year warranty for most new construction. No warranty if client provides materials, not the company. *1 year warranty for concrete work. *There is no warranty for any hairline cracking on new concrete or mortar joints.
What does the word “landscaping” mean and what does landscaping work entail?
The Landscaping aspect of a project is the "soft," or living, things in your project such as plants, trees, shrubs, and flowers. Landscaping entails installing the desired new plants and maintenance of existing ones. As well as mulching and watering those areas to ensure a healthy yard or planter bed. Onley Gardens Nursery, Silver Spring MD; one of the distributor of plants for East Coast Landscape Design jobs, pictured below.
What is the difference between “softscape” and “landscape”?
The terms "softscape" and "landscape" are synonymous with each other, meaning the planted or living aspects of your project; the plants and flowers that you would like installed. Summer 2013- landscaping installed in NW Washington, DC, shown below.
I have a shady area of my yard in Montgomery County where grass won’t grow. What should I plant instead of grass?
The type of cover you use depends on the type of environment you have to deal with. Depending on the area in questions light and water conditions, a ground cover would work better in that location over lawn grass. Ground cover is described as a low growing plant that covers the ground, and adds to the overall appearance of the landscape. *The term ground cover encompasses (but is not limited to) plants like:  plant is a shrubby, evergreen ground cover which grows 8-12" high and spreads to form a dense carpet of rich, dark green foliage. Oval leaves appear primarily in whorls at the stem ends. Tiny white flowers in 1-2" long spikes bloom in early spring. Flowers are not particularly showy, but on close inspection are quite attractive. This evergreen perennial is native to the southeastern United States. White to pink flowers appear in early spring. Prefers moist soil. Commonly called "Lilyturf' or "Blue Lily Turf", is a tufted, tuberous-rooted, grass-like perennial which typically grows 12-18" tall and features clumps of strap-like, arching, glossy, dark green leaves. The showy flower spikes have tiered whorls of dense, violet-purple flowers that rise above the leaves in late summer. Flowers give way to blackish berries which often persist into winter. Prefers partial or full sun and well-drained soil. It is a deer-resistant ground cover. (Rock Geranium): these plants have palm-shaped or lobed leaves on long stems, and a thick, woody root system. Best grown in organically rich, humusy, dry to medium moisture, moist to well-drained soils, in full sun to part shade. Some verities are native to Maryland.  is characterized by 4-petaled, "spider-like" flowers hanging in clusters in shades of yellow, beige, pink, lavender, purple, red, or white, and bloom from spring to early summer. New leaves emerge with bronzy pink edges before turning green in summer. There are evergreen and deciduous species. Thrives in full to partial shade with rich, well-drained soil.  (Sweet Box): Commonly called "Sweetbox", this plant is a low-growing, broadleaf evergreen shrub that can grow to 5' tall that spreads, albeit slowly, by underground root runners over time in shady areas of the landscape. Has lustrous, leathery, dark green leaves and tiny, tubular, fragrant, white flowers that bloom in March-April. Female flowers give way to globose, shiny, black fruits. Best grown in organically rich, acidic, moist, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade.  Christmas Fern: This native Maryland fern stays green all winter. Its distinctive fronds are sometimes used in holiday decorations. Is an excellent choice for shaded gardens as it happily thrives under trees and rocky areas. Though it prefers partial shade, the Christmas fern also tolerates direct sun if the soil is kept damp. The fern typically grows in a fountain-like clump to 2' tall and features leathery, lance-shaped evergreen fronds.Young fiddleheads (or crosiers) are silvery and scaled, and are typically found in the spring. 
What does ground cover mean and what are some types of ground cover that are native to Maryland, DC, and Virginia?
Ground cover is essentially a term that is used to refer to perennials that are known for their ability to spread and are relatively low growing, cover the ground, and add to the overall appearance of the landscape. While lawn grasses are the most commonly used ground cover, the term "ground cover" usually refers to plants other than lawn grasses.  Most ground covers are not intended to be walked on and may be damaged by pedestrian traffic. When skillfully interplanted with trees and shrubs, groundcovers impart a textural balance to the planting. Groundcovers also give unity to the landscape by tying together all the elements of the planting.  In practice, the groundcovers most frequently used are those that are vigorous growing, hardy, and most easily propagated.  Any slope greater than 12 percent is best planted with a groundcover.  Around buildings, groundcovers are superior to paving.  They perform extremely well to reduce heat, glare, noise, and dust.   *The term ground cover encompasses (but is not limited to) plants like:  plant is a shrubby, evergreen ground cover which grows 8-12" high and spreads to form a dense carpet of rich, dark green foliage. Oval leaves appear primarily in whorls at the stem ends. Tiny white flowers in 1-2" long spikes bloom in early spring. Flowers are not particularly showy, but on close inspection are quite attractive. This evergreen perennial is native to the southeastern United States. White to pink flowers appear in early spring. Prefers moist soil. Commonly called "Lilyturf' or "Blue Lily Turf", is a tufted, tuberous-rooted, grass-like perennial which typically grows 12-18" tall and features clumps of strap-like, arching, glossy, dark green leaves. The showy flower spikes have tiered whorls of dense, violet-purple flowers that rise above the leaves in late summer. Flowers give way to blackish berries which often persist into winter. Prefers partial or full sun and well-drained soil. It is a deer-resistant ground cover. (Rock Geranium): these plants have palm-shaped or lobed leaves on long stems, and a thick, woody root system. Best grown in organically rich, humusy, dry to medium moisture, moist to well-drained soils, in full sun to part shade. Some verities are native to Maryland.  is characterized by 4-petaled, "spider-like" flowers hanging in clusters in shades of yellow, beige, pink, lavender, purple, red, or white, and bloom from spring to early summer. New leaves emerge with bronzy pink edges before turning green in summer. There are evergreen and deciduous species. Thrives in full to partial shade with rich, well-drained soil.  (Sweet Box): Commonly called "Sweetbox", this plant is a low-growing, broadleaf evergreen shrub that can grow to 5' tall that spreads, albeit slowly, by underground root runners over time in shady areas of the landscape. Has lustrous, leathery, dark green leaves and tiny, tubular, fragrant, white flowers that bloom in March-April. Female flowers give way to globose, shiny, black fruits. Best grown in organically rich, acidic, moist, well-drained soils in part shade to full shade.  Christmas Fern: This native Maryland fern stays green all winter. Its distinctive fronds are sometimes used in holiday decorations. Is an excellent choice for shaded gardens as it happily thrives under trees and rocky areas. Though it prefers partial shade, the Christmas fern also tolerates direct sun if the soil is kept damp. The fern typically grows in a fountain-like clump to 2' tall and features leathery, lance-shaped evergreen fronds.Young fiddleheads (or crosiers) are silvery and scaled, and are typically found in the spring.
What are the benefits of ground cover over grass?
Having grass in your yard looks great. It is truly an American favorite. However, with up keeping grass there is maintenance, money, and the cost of your time. Also, grass doesn't always do well in a shady area that doesn't receive much or any sun. Lawn grass is superior to ground cover in that it is a uniform ground cover that people and pets can walk over. Ground cover is essentially a term that is used to refer to perennials that are known for their ability to spread. Some of the benefits of ground cover are:-Installed in areas too shady for lawn grasses to grow properly-Installed in narrow, oddly shaped areas where mowing and edging is difficult-Installed to reduce overall landscape maintenance-Control erosion, especially on slopes where lawn grass is difficult to maintain-Attractive accents for areas too small to accommodate shrubs-Obstruct traffic without impeding view-Provide vegetative growth for very wet or very dry locations-Used in areas to control weeds 
What kinds of plants are deer/animal resistant?
Deer tend to stay away from poisonous plants and fragrant plants with strong scents. They also do not like plants that are prickly (unless they're desperate). Some plants that deer typically, but not always, stay away from are: Deer resistant trees: Red Chestnut tree, Serviceberry, Kwanzan Cherry tree, Dogwood, Hawthorn trees, Ash, Beech, Birch, Honeylocust, (Japanese, Siugar, Red) Maple, Mugo Pine, Sprucce, and Holly trees. Deer resistant shrubs: Boxwoods, Pieris Japonica, Mahonia (or Barberry), Caryopteris, Butterfly Bush, and Carol Mackie. Deer resistant ornamental grasses: Miscanthus, Purple Fountain 'Rubrum', and Lilyturf. Deer resistant perennials: Bleeding Hearts plants, Catmint, Yellow Alyssum, Foxglove, Salvia plants, Iris flowers, Lambs Ear, Lavender plants, Lenten Rose, Peonies, and Poppy flowers. Deer resistant bulbs: Snowdrops, Glory of the Snow, Crocus, Scilla Siberica, Hyacinths and Grape Hyacinths, Daffodils, and the Allium. Deer resistant ground covers: Pachysandra, Liriope, and Bugleweed.
What are some plants that are low maintenance?
Some low maintenance plants that can be planted in your yard are ground covers, plants from the Nandina family, Laurels, Perennials, low growing evergreens, and Hydrangeas.
Does the company provide lawn maintenance services?
Our company does provide annual clean up but we do not offer lawn mowing, tree trimming, mulching, and weeding. We do offer the last 3 services if our crew is already on site doing other services.
How late in the year can we still plant landscaping?
Depending on the temperature and weather in Maryland and Virginia, plants can still be planted up until December when the ground freezes. After the temperature drops and consistently stays below below 30 degrees, it is not recommended to install plants and guarantee their survival into spring.
How often should I water new plants?
After new plantings are installed, it is critical to provide water to the plants. This will settle the soil around the plants roots and remove any air pockets. Proper watering is critical for establishment and health of your plants. Water new plants every other day for the first month, the 2+ times a month. After that, water new plants once a week until the end of the season.To water the plants, use a garden hose with a nozzle that has a gentle out flow and water for 1-3 minutes per plant. For individual trees, place the hose at the base of the trunk and let the water trickle for an hour. For all new plantings, if the temperature is over 90 degrees, water plants twice as often as mentioned above.
What is the difference between a perennial and an annual?
Annuals are flowers that complete their life cycle in one growing season, during which time they grow, flower, and produce seed. Although some varieties will self-sow, or naturally re-seed themselves. Perennials are flowers or bushes that live year after year. This means the tops of the plants die back to the ground each Fall with the first freeze. Every Spring, new plant tops arise from the crown or roots, which persisted through the winter. Perennials are said to be hardy because they live through the winter.
What is the guarantee for hardscape work?
There is a 10 year warranty for most new construction. There is no warranty if client provides materials, not the company.1 year warranty for concrete work.
After receiving the proposal, what steps need to be taken to start the project?
After receiving the proposal and all changes have been made, if the client is ready to proceed with the project, they would sign the bottom of the proposal and the contract and send in the deposit payment.After the company has received the paperwork and the deposit, the client would be given an approximate start date. As the approximate start date nears, a more exact date will be given.Miss Utility and any other preparations (ie. ordering plants and materials) will be made before beginning work.A few days before the start date, we will call to confirm the that the start date still works for the homeowner.After work is complete, the client will receive a link to rate how the project install went and will offer a chance to leave a testimonial.
What is the guarantee for landscape work?
Plants and grass sod are guaranteed for 1 year. East Coast Landscape Design is not responsible for replacing dead plants as a result of client not watering enough.
What would void my warranty or not qualify for a warranty?
The warranty would be void if materials were provided by the client, not the company or if there is damage to the hardscape/landscape work as a result of mother nature (example: animal damage; which may be subject to a service fee0.
Does the company only install new lighting or do they service existing fixtures?
East Coast Landscape Design installs new transformers and lighting fixtures as well as services existing ones.
What is an uplight verses a downlight and where would each type of lighting be used?
An uplight is a light on the ground that spotlights trees or landscaping from below. A downlight by comparison lights up landscaping from above. Shown below is an example of an uplight. They are placed on the ground and angled in such a way as to accent trees and shrubs.Shown below is an example of an downlight. They are typically placed on walls to accent walkways and driveways, but can have many uses and placements.
Can lighting be installed in steps instead of beside them?
Yes, lights can be installed in the risers of steps, under the tread (the part that you walk on). This type of light can also be used on retaining walls.  Spring 2008- lighting installed in retaining wall and steps, constructed in Clarksville MD, shown below.
Can lighting be installed in retaining walls?
Yes, lighting can be installed in retaining walls, either in-between layers of stone on the wall, or directly under the cap stone. The installation of both locations are similar, the only difference is personal preference of the client and if they want the lighting to be an accent or used to navigate the area at night. Spring 2008- lighting installed in retaining wall and steps, constructed in Clarksville MD, shown below.
What type of lighting options can be used to highlight a home and yard?
There are several different types of lighting that can accent your property. Each type of lighting has a unique look and purpose. Some of the types of lighting available is accent lighting or spotlighting and functional lighting that allows someone to navigate in the dark. -The two types of accent lighting are uplights and downlights. An uplight is a light on the ground that spolights landscaping or trees from below. A downlight by comparison lights up landscaping from above.-Some examples of functional lighting is path lights, step lights, and lights installed in retaining walls.Spring 2008- lighting installed in retaining wall and steps and 1 path light, constructed in Clarksville MD, shown below.
What type/model of lights does the company use?
East Coast Landscape Design uses the Unique brand of lights, assembled in California. Picture 1= step light or light in retaining wall. Picture 2= uplight. Picture 3= accent light. Picture 4= downlight. Picture 5= path light.     
Would my project need multiple transformers?
Depending on the size of the project, number of lights desired, and the voltage/wats of any existing transformers, jobs may need to have another transformer installed. The transformer our company generally installs is 360W, 120V and costs approximately $700.
How many lights can be attached to one transformer?
Approximately 25-35 lights can be attached to each transformer, depending on if anything else (not lighting systems) is connected to the transformer.
What is a design and would my project need one?
A design is a to-scale representation of your project and where/what things will be installed, planted, or changed. It may be in color or black and white. Depending on the types of projects you are interested in, the consultant may recommend one. 
Would my consultation appointment include a design?
Not necessarily. Your consultant will takes notes on your project and may create a rough sketch of what you are looking to do; but if you want something more detailed and to scale, you would need a full scale design/master plan. Generally, if you are doing multiple projects at a location (example: patio, retaining wall, and landscaping) or are interested in landscaping both the back and front yard, a design is recommended.
What to expect from a consultation appointment?
After making a in-house appointment, you should receive a confirmation email (if email was provided), confirming the desired day/time of the appointment, as well as providing details of who your consultant is and what to expect during the appointment. During the appointment, the consultant will provide you with several options for your project, educate you on the different plants, materials, and products that can be used, take measurements and pictures, as well as share the level of care involved and what you can expect from the process. * When deciding on constructing a new hardscape project for your property, you as the client or the consultant will take into consideration the existing stone and materials on the property so that the new work will complement the existing fixtures and structures.
What is the difference between a Landscape Architect and a Landscape Designer?
A Landscape Architect is a person who focuses more on urban planning, city and regional parks, civic and corporate landscapes, large scale interdisciplinary projects, and delegation to contractors after completing designs. They specialize in designing outdoor environments, and develop land for human use and enjoyment through effective placement of structures, vehicular and pedestrian ways.  A Landscape Designer is a person who focuses on both the integrated master landscape planning of a property and the specific garden design of landscape elements and plants within it. The practical, aesthetic, horticultural, and environmental sustainability are also components of landscape design. It is often divided into hardscape design and softscape design. Landscape designers often collaborate with related disciplines such as architecture and geography, soils and civil engineering, surveying, landscape contracting, botany, and artisan specialties.Design factors include objective qualities such as: climate and microclimates; topography and orientation, site drainage; municipal and resource building codes; soils and irrigation; human and vehicular access and circulation; furnishings and lighting; native plant habitat botany when present; property safety and security; client's needs and preferences; desirable plants and elements to retain on site, modify, or replace; construction detailing; and other measurable considerations. *There can be significant overlap of talent and skill between the two roles, depending on the education, licensing, and experience of the professional. Both landscape designers and landscape architects practice landscape design.
How much does a design usually cost?
A full color, to scale design generally runs between $400-600 for part of a property (ex. Front Yard only).If the client is interested in a design for the whole property, designs generally run between $600-1,000.
What plants can be used in my rain garden?
Attached is a link for all of the native plants to the Chesapeake area. https://www.fws.gov/Chesapeakebay/pdf/NativePlantsforWildlifeHabitatandConservationLandscaping.pdf
What plants are native to the Maryland, DC area?
Attached is a link for all the plants native to the Chesapeake area that will thrive in the existing environment. https://www.fws.gov/Chesapeakebay/pdf/NativePlantsforWildlifeHabitatandConservationLandscaping.pdf
East Coast Landscape Affiliations

©2019 East Coast Landscape Design