Benjamin Exterior: Renderings vs. Reality

Our Benjamin property is now officially on the market. Last week we showed you our kitchen designers 3D renderings compared to the the true end result that you can see here.  Now that Spring has sprung, our landscaping now more resembles the renderings that our landscape architects at McHale Landscape Design in McLean, VA designed. 

Here's a few side-by-side comparisons showing the projected landscape and our end result that you can see in person now.

Landscaping Planning - Part 3: Concept Plan

Now that we have our Bubble Diagram #2, we are ready to refine our drawings with what will and will not work. There are smaller processes that are involved with a concept plan before we can even identify what concepts we want to implement.

While in the early stages of making your concept plan, we recommend getting a soil sample from the property and sending it to the Virginia Tech Soil Testing Laboratory here: VA Tech Soil Testing Lab (or you can always pick up a soil testing kit at your local library).

The soil sample testing will indicate a variety of results, including our secondary Elements of Design, not to be confused with the Principles of Design:

  1. Drought Intolerance
  2. Insect & Disease Resistance
  3. Soil Adaptability
  4. Sun/Shade Tolerance
  5. Moisture Tolerance

See below for our soil results, which alerts us to the soil pH, buffer index, acidity and a variety of specific elements in the soil, including Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc and Potassium that could potentially be harmful to newly introduced plants. For a more detailed explanation of the report, click here to read to breakdown that the laboratory provides with the results.


The other process involved in a Concept Plan is obtaining accurate measurements beyond the estimated space allotted in your Bubble Diagrams. Using your Diagrams, you will determine whether the allocated space is appropriate to pursue forward. Looking at our Concept Plan {Figure #2}, you will see the generic plant type that we would ideally use and in their general locations. Staking out the property with string and ribbon will give you a visual interpretation of what space and measurements you actually have, not what you originally estimated.

The staking out helps identify what else we need to revise from our Bubble Diagram #2. With these revisions, we now have a Concept Plan and are able to move into the Draft Plan phase.

Landscaping Planning - Part 1: So you want to make a landscaping plan

Landscaping Planning - Part 1: So you want to make a landscaping plan

This is the first in a series of posts that we plan on publishing regarding our process and steps taken all the way from concept to implementation of a full landscape design plan for the new homes we build.  We aren’t professional landscapers, nor do we claim to be; we simply are attempting to teach ourselves the process and relay it in a simple and visual process that can be replicated by others. 

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