Looking for landscape architect/designer

jakabedy(Alabama)August 18, 2008


I seldom stray from the decorating/kitchens forum, but the time has come to do something with our yard. I'm hoping you kind folks can help.

It's mostly wooded, some cleared area, and we're not wanting to do anything fancy. But there will have to be some changes to either grading or drainage (natural runoff runs across a prominent area near the house to the drive, and also right in front of an outbuilding), so we're looking for some help. Ideally, we'd like someone who can address the drainage issues and do a master plan, which we could then implement over time.

This is not going to be a formal garden -- it's an MCM house in the woods. We're south of Birmingham, and about an hour from Montgomery. Does any one have any recommendations?

Thank you!


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Do you live in a city or out in the country? I ask as we ran into a problem one time when trying to reroute water flow. We were told in the city we could not block the natural water flow. About fell over on that one.
If just looking for ideas, what about the county extension office. Do they have someone that could take a look at it?
I don't know of any landscapers around here that will just give you ideas and not get paid to do the work. Maybe a college around there has a department that as a project or may charge for the service but could give you some options.
First thing is if you want to divert the water, where do you want the water to go? What would need done for that to happen - terrace that area, wall, pond?
Wish you luck.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 6:50PM
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pfllh -

Thanks for the response. We're in unincorporated Shelby County on three acres. We're just wanting to change where the water flows near the house. We're not looking to send it onto anyone else's property (my mother is on the receiving end of an issue like that right now, and I wouldn't do that to anybody).

It's really a matter of the water flowing past the house and onto the driveway and then on to the ditch further down the drive. Further down the lot the water flows directly in front of a barn/shop building, which leaves a lot of exposed roots and red clay.

I'm hoping to be able to build up the wet/washed areas and take the drainage underneath until it is further down the drive, then let it go into the same ditch where it has always drained. This will likely require some fill and possibly some low retaining walls, along with the install of the drains.

Oh, and I'm not expecting to get this for free. I'm happy to pay for a workable plan. I do plan to contact the extension office and a junior college that has a program.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 11:18AM
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It appears you have sloping land. Terracing it would be difficult with your acreage. Our land is terraced as prior farmland. We had topsoil brought in when we built the house and sloped it away from the house.
With the terraces, a lot of the water went down the drive but would sit as it hit another terrace. I dug a deep trench and put a 6" PVC pipe to let the water go through the terrace and on back to our back property.
Of course I'm not an engineer so had to come up with something I could do. I just looked to where the water ran to and went from there.
My daughter has a place in her yard on the side of the property where all the surrounding water runs. It started to wash out bad. They got some larger river rocks and put in there to slow the water and stop the wash out.
Another thought would be to direct the water take a pipe slant it with the angle of the land, dig a large hole, maybe 3x3x3 and fill with gravel. The water would collect there and drain into the ground and not run causing wash out.
I certainly hope you can find someone local to look at the problem and either do the work reasonably priced or give you some options.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 5:08PM
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Jennifer, contact Lawson State/Bessemer Community college or Jefferson State CC. There is a Jeff St. campus in Shelby County just off CR 17 (Valleydale Rd. near Spain Park High School). Both have garden and landscaping classes. The students may have to present projects so you may get someone with good ideas for a very fair price. College kids can always use money. You may also contact Central Alabama CC in Alex City. Finally, I believe Myer's Pottery & Nursery in Pelham does landscape work. They could probably draw up a master plan for you.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 9:16PM
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