The summer season is almost here and that means lots of barbecues and quality time outdoors! It might also mean that it’s time to upgrade your backyard to make the most out of the summer months. Imagine having your own custom-built patio at your fingertips, always ready for a family gathering or party.
Frontier Landscaping designs and builds custom patios, using quality materials and innovative creativity. We work with you to design a patio that will work with your space and how you want to use it. We can select pavers and other materials to complement the aesthetics of your home and make the most out of your backyard.
A patio can really bring a landscape together. It becomes the gathering place for everything from brunch to barbecues to birthday parties! Create a special, relaxing, outdoor dining area and living space. It is the perfect place to enjoy the beauty of your backyard patio. It is also ripe for fun additions, beyond the barbecue, such as a water feature. Consider building an outdoor kitchen, new patio furniture, or a fire pit on your patio, to make your yard the premier gathering place for your community. You can also add amazing outdoor furniture or porch swings to maximize relaxation. With proper design and installation, a new patio can enhance your enjoyment of the landscape and increase the property value of your home!
Getting your Patio
To start the process, just contact us through the website or over the phone to discuss the possibilities and get an estimate. The Frontier Landscaping team will then come to your home to survey the space and talk with you about how you envision your dream summer patio. From there, we will build a plan and begin to implement it. Our installation team works quickly and precisely to make sure the design is executed perfectly. We always clean up when we are finished and you get to have final approval over everything we do.
Our expert design and installation team have created many gorgeous, successful patios in the Portland-Vancouver area. All the photos you see here are from recent projects completed by our team. To see more of our work, please visit the gallery section of our website. To discuss your ideas for your patio, contact us online today or call us at (888) 544-5006!
this post was updated March 7, 2020
Rain gardens are growing in popularity as drainage solutions for environmentally-conscious property owners. These carefully-designed landscapes add more than beauty to their surroundings. They are proven to have a significant impact in reducing the flow of contaminated water from urban areas to wetlands, streams, lakes, and other natural waterways.
Installing a rain garden is a powerful way to directly contribute a positive impact on the environment surrounding your home or business.
Why Do Rain Gardens Matter?
As communities grow and develop, buildings, roads, and rooftops replace native habitats. During times of precipitation, the original flow of water through the enviroscape is disturbed. Instead of being naturally filtered through pre-existing forests and soil, stormwater now flows at a high rate over hard surfaces and carries man-made pollutants with it. Erosion and increased flooding become problematic.
Additionally, the higher flow rate of water and contaminants that result from development cause real problems for regional aquatic life and water resources. However, rain gardens offer an exciting array of solutions.
- Slow erosion and alleviate flooding
- Decrease pollution and waste
- Clean runoff naturally
- Reduce the workload for wastewater facilities
- Can be created in public and private spaces of any shape and size, including businesses, residences, or public spaces
What Is A Rain Garden?
Rain gardens are bowl-shaped depressions in a landscape that collect and clean rainwater runoff from hard surfaces nearby, like driveways, roofs, parking areas, and patios.
They are designed with special soil mixes that allow speedy absorption of water — usually a combination of sand, topsoil, and compost. This amended soil filters runoff and also supports a variety of plant growth.
Note: Rain gardens are not permanent ponds. They are sized to allow temporary pooling after rain. In a well-designed garden, all water passes through very quickly, typically from one to two hours (maximum of one to two days) after a storm. This prevents stagnation and mosquitoes.
Photo: WSU Extension
There are a number of ways water can be diverted to a rain garden through a landscape. It may be that one approach works well for a back yard/patio area, but a different one is more effective for dealing with runoff issues in the front.
Design Features of a Rain Garden
Soil is where it all begins. Reworking the ground to provide the right blend of soil, sand, and compost is critical to having a healthy rain garden. Absorption, drainage, and filtration all rests on getting this foundation prepared correctly.
There are three planting zones in a rain garden:
Zone 1 The wettest area, at the bottom of the rain garden. Important to install plants in this zone that can handle “wet feet” for several hours at a time.
Zone 2 The sloped sides of the garden, which may become wet from time to time. These plants provide stability and prevent erosion.
Zone 3 The perimeter of the rain garden, with the driest soil.
Since rain garden design is based on earth-friendly practice, using native plantings to fill out the three zones makes a lot of sense. Native plants create a nourishing habitat for local wildlife, birds, butterflies, and other important pollinators.
Photo: Washington State Department of Ecology
“Plants and soil work together in the rain garden. The plant roots and soil organisms build soil structure, create channels and pores to soak up and filter water, and improve nutrient and oxygen availability necessary to support an abundance of life. While plants help the rain garden absorb stormwater, they also create an attractive landscape for your yard and neighborhood.” — WSU Extension, Rain Garden Handbook for Western WA
How to Know If A Rain Garden Is Right For You
A rain garden may be a good fit for you if you answer “yes” to the following questions:
- Do you want to improve the landscaping and appearance of your property?
- Would you like to directly reduce the amount of pollutants reaching groundwater and storm drains in your community (as well as wetlands, streams, and other natural waters)?
- Would you like to reduce flooding, prevent sewer overflows, and erosion in streams by absorbing runoff from hard surfaces?
- Is providing habitat for beneficial insects and birds important to you?
- Would you like to be responsible for recharging local groundwater by increasing the amount of water that soaks into the ground on your property
Let’s Get To Work
Frontier Landscaping offers professional expertise and support for residential and commercial clients committed to environmentally-conscious landscaping. While the best time for testing soil drainage and groundwater levels is in late winter months, we are available to walk you through the planning process for a rain garden at any time of year:
- Site assessment & testing
- Garden location
- Soil amendment & excavation
- Planting requirements
- Design aesthetic
- Maintenance goals
- Compliance with city/county regulations
- Long-term success
Call (360) 574-8979 or contact us to get started on your path to a cleaner, greener future.
Additional Reading: Washington State Extension Rain Garden Guide
At Frontier Landscaping we receive many requests for Retaining Walls. This is one of the more frequently discussed additions with regards to a clients’ hardscaping, when deciding on their Landscape designs. This can be with a brand-new landscape or an addition to an existing landscape. Some of our clients live on more sloped areas and it is not unusual to want to create flat or level spots within the Outdoor areas to get more usage from the property. When deciding on a Landscape or improvement to the existing Landscape, at Frontier Landscaping we discuss the best way to increase the living spaces and or enhance by adding these features to the design.
A Few attributes of adding retaining walls
- Creates more useable Outdoor Spaces
- Rapid Installation
- Creates vertical, horizontal areas as well as adding curvature
- Concrete, wood, synthetics, brick, blocks, etc.
- Wide variety of colors, sizes and textures
- Provides support
One method of building Retaining Walls consists of modular concrete blocks that interlock with each other. They can be used to hold back a sloping face of soil to provide a solid, vertical front. Without adequate retention, slopes can cave, slump or slide. With construction of our Retaining Walls, higher and steeper walls can be constructed with the ability to retain the force of earth pressure created by the backfill soil, giving more flexibility to your design choices.
Retaining Walls can be installed in a wide variety of colors, sizes, and textures. They can incorporate straight or curved lines, steps, and corners. They are ideal for not only slope support, but also for widening areas that would otherwise be unusable due to the natural slope of the land. Retaining walls are often used for grade changes, and for other functional reasons such as widening driveways, walkways, or creating more space in a patio outdoor area. More usable area for your Landscapes and Outdoor Spaces.
Retaining Walls provide lateral support to vertical slopes of soil. They retain soil which would otherwise collapse into a more natural shape. The retained soil is referred to as backfill.