Choosing the right tree for your yard takes a lot of planning and consideration. You should start this process by asking: What reason do I want or need a tree? Is it for shade, privacy, or appearance? Many trees start out looking great and only get better as they age. Others have the potential to create a generation of issues as they may drop messy bark, sap, acorns, etc. Therefore, it is very important to take your time and choose a tree that offers the best combination of everything you are looking for.
How fast a tree grows should also be taken into consideration. Do you need shade or privacy now, or can you wait several years? Slower growing trees are hardwoods and they tend to live longer. However, if you need shade or other benefits soon, you best choose a fast-growing tree. Typically, these types of trees are smaller, have soft wood, and might not live as long.
You should also choose a tree to fit its surroundings. If you have a smaller home, it’s recommended to choose a small or medium size tree. We also recommend planting smaller trees near the house and taller ones farther out in the yard or near its edge. Not only do trees balance the layout of any outdoor space, but deciduous trees can block between 60% and 90% of the summer sun’s rays. This valuable shade can help other plants or shrubs that may not fair well in direct sun and help decrease your cooling bills. Here are a few trees to consider:
Crabapple: The crabapple tree is the perfect first tree to have in your yard, as it produces beautiful blossoms as well as fruit. When spring comes, you’ll first see vivid pink buds sprout all over your crabapple tree. These buds will turn into white blossoms and small apples that ripen in late summer and fall.
Japanese Maple: With the Japanese maple’s striking colors and size versatility, these trees are a classic staple for gardeners everywhere. A Japanese maple typically reaches its peak colors in November, when the leaves blaze in yellows, oranges, and reds. These trees range in heights, from anywhere between 3 and 20 feet.
Dogwood: A smaller ornamental tree, produces both blossoms and fruit. However, if you have small children be careful as the small red berries on a dogwood tree are not edible, despite their strong resemblance to raspberries. Before the tree produces these berries in the fall, it will display branches full of beautiful white flowers in the early summer.
Pine (Pinus): Foliage is evergreen for year-round beauty and is composed of bundles of soft, long needles. Though some pines are a bit brittle in harsh weather, they’re often used for wind and privacy screening.
Fig Tree: Have you ever wanted to grow your own Mediterranean treat? A fig tree allows you to do just that. These trees need plenty of sun to produce their sweet and chewy fruits. They also need plenty of patience, as figs begin to form in the autumn and are ready to harvest the following summer.
Redbud: While the name suggests a reddish color, an eastern redbud tree will give your landscape a lovely pop of pinkish-purple flowers in early spring. These flowers then take on a smokey tone as the season turns to autumn. No matter what time of year it is, you’ll be delighted at the redbud’s vibrant tones.
Honey locust: Is tough and adaptable, grows 30 to 50 feet tall, and beware it also drops pods. Its foliage turns yellow in fall. The honey locust, also known as the thorny locust, is a deciduous tree in the Fabaceae family, native to central North America where it is mostly found in the moist soil of river valleys. We recommend choosing the thornless variety.
Willow oak: This tree has narrow and pointed foliage, and forms a fine-texture, dense conical canopy, rising to about 50 feet at maturity. It makes a good street and shade tree and is easy to transplant. Foliage turns yellow before it drops in the fall.
Grigg Design is one of Northern Virginia’s premier landscape design build company. Established in 1986 we have been providing award winning designs and installations for over thirty-two years to clients in Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria, Prince William County and the surrounding areas. We can help you choose everything from the right trees and placement, to a complete backyard renovation.
A previously posted, we’ve been busy this spring providing Arlington, VA residents with a variety of landscape design and build services. Since the late 1980s we’ve done projects of all shapes and sizes. Whether you have a new home built on an older property or an older home that needs a fresh design, we can help.
When you contact Grigg Design the first thing we will do is set up an on-site interview to assess your home and talk about ideas and options available. We’ll ask a lot of questions regarding how you want to use the landscape, and if you have any favorite plants and even favorite colors.
Grigg Design is Arlington’s leader in installing courtyards, patios, walkways, steps and driveways with concrete pavers or natural flagstone. We specialize in installing low maintenance landscapes with focus on outdoor living areas, giving you more time to enjoy your back yard retreat instead of working in it.
We’ll guide you through the entire process of choosing the right product and design to insure that your hardscape project will not only be long lasting, but will compliment your property and your landscape.
Thank you for your interest in Grigg Design, Arlington’s best landscaping company, and for visiting our website. If you would like to speak with someone about an upcoming project that you might have in mind, please feel free to call us at 703-368-7539 or fill out our contact form and we will respond right away.
Northern Virginia’s premier landscape builder Grigg Design is excited to return the Capital Remodel + Garden Show at the Dulles Expo Center Friday Feb 22nd 10 am to 9 pm, Saturday 23rd from 10 am to 9 pm, and Sunday Feb 24th from 10 am to 6 pm. You can easily find them in the same booth as last year #1147.
For the booth this year, they have created a beautiful backyard patio space to showcase hardscape and landscape capabilities. This beautifully designed 10- by 20-foot booth features a stacked stone wall, raised flagstone patio, concrete paver patio, veneered stone pillar, planting, and a custom stone fountain — all, or some of which, could be yours. It is the perfect oasis for all seasons.
Capital Remodel + Garden Show attendees will find innovative products, new ideas, and practical advice from hardscape and landscaping experts, home improvement and remodeling professionals; entertainment and electronics options galore; and so much more!
Here are a few tips for attendees:
Meet designers Steve Grigg, and Sam Eashum at the Capital Remodel + Garden Show. They look forward to discussing your landscape design ideas and how they can make your vision a reality!
About Grigg Design, Inc.
Established in 1986, Grigg Design has been providing award winning designs and installations for over 33 years to clients in Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria, Prince William County and the surrounding areas. Grigg Design is a full-service landscape design build firm; from conception to completion, their primary focus is providing clients with a finished, fully functional landscape, from design all the way through implementation. Hire the expert team at Grigg Design to install a single feature such as a garden installation, patio, walkway, retaining wall, etc.; or to manage a project with many facets. Grigg ‘designs on the human scale’, all while employing the best horticultural engineering practices. For more information, visit https://www.gdiva.com/.
A retaining wall is an important structure. These walls are responsible for keeping soil off walkways, roads, driveways, and patios. While retaining walls are functional structures, they are highly visible. It’s important that functionality isn’t the only consideration in their design.
Creating a retaining wall is not a simple task. These walls must hold the pressure of large amounts of soil. This is especially true when dealing with hillsides and slopes. Prior to construction, the designer must take into consideration a number of factors including the height of the wall, the slope of the ground above the wall, the type of soil behind the wall, and any additional weight on the soil above the wall. This additional weight might be from plants, garden structures, or even vehicles and buildings.
Height of the Retaining Wall
Height plays a significant role in the design of retaining walls. The higher the wall, the more force pushing against it. If not properly constructed, this force could break through, causing damage and possible injury to people and pets.
Slope is another factor to consider. It’s important to remember that the wall will hold the soil directly behind it as well as the upslope of soil above it. This can add a significant amount of pressure against the wall. In fact, the weight from soil can get up to thousands of pounds.
Drainage is another important factor to consider. The retaining wall must allow water to escape in a safe and reasonable fashion. This prevents flooding, but also reduces the amount of weight pushing against the wall. Without proper drainage, water buildup can create excessive force, reducing the retaining wall’s lifespan and increasing the chance of damage.
In order to allow for proper drainage, the wall’s construction should include drainage tile, washed gravel backfill, and weep holes. These must be strategically placed to maximize their efficiency.
Design and Construction of Retaining Walls Takes Time and Resources
The design and construction of a retaining wall is a major undertaking. These walls require a lot of time, labor, and money. They also require an understanding of the land and the types of materials used. Hiring a professional can provide peace of mind.
Experienced Design and Build Company
An experienced design and build company can help you with the design and construction of attractive, functional retaining walls. The right builder understands how to construct retaining walls to properly complement and enhance your landscape. They know what needs to be done to ensure the longevity and safety of the wall.
Grigg Design has over thirty years of experience designing and constructing quality retaining walls and landscapes. We work directly with each of our clients to evaluate their space and develop a plan that meets their unique needs and requirements. We are pleased to provide our design and build services to both businesses and residential customers throughout Northern Virginia. Please contact us for more information about our services.