It’s been 5 months since we started work on The Boulevard Show House and I’m pleased to say that things are moving right along! We ended 2017 with new windows and are starting 2018 by turning our attention to the landscaping. Right now it’s a mess, but we have recruited some experts to help transform this construction site into something beautiful.
We are so excited to be partnering with Moss Landscaping on the exterior design. We sat down with Blair Chesnut, project manager and landscape designer at Moss Landscaping to get the scoop on what they have in mind for our landscape design. From drainage and irrigation to aesthetic, they’re doing it all. And I can’t wait!
LU: Tell us about your role in the Boulevard Show House project and what Moss Landscaping is working on specifically?
ML: My name is Blair Chesnut and I am the Moss Landscaping project manager and landscape designer for The Boulevard Show House. We are providing the formal design and installation for the home’s landscaping.
LU: What will you be installing in the Boulevard Show House?
ML: Drainage and irrigation will go in first. Then we will begin prepping the beds and planting. Right at the home’s entrance will be a traditional English parterre garden. It will frame an obelisk focal point and feature annuals each season. We also designed a series of accent trees, azalea hedges and rows of giant walking iris to complete this classic, southern garden with a contemporary flair!
LU: What does your landscape design process look like?
ML: As a design-build landscape architecture firm, we oversee the process from conception to installation and often remain on the property for regular maintenance once the project is completed. The project started with an initial meeting with all the contractors to present the conceptual master landscaping plan. We wanted to ensure that the design worked cohesively with the architectural features of the home as well as Laura’s vision.
LU: What services are you most excited to be including in the Boulevard Show House?
ML: The garden design! The colors and textures of the plants we selected will compliment each other very well and enhance the classic architecture of the home. We incorporated crepe myrtles, eagleston hollies and tons of azaleas, which offer seasonal interest throughout the year!
LU: How did the selection process work for our home? Do you conduct brainstorm meetings, walkthroughs? Do you need floor plans, dimensions, and images of home?
ML: All of the above! The more insight a client can give into their vision, the better! Many of our projects start off with the client sharing a Houzz or Pinterest page that gives us great insight into their style and desired look. We always ask for a survey of the property and use that as a base for our initial landscape design. We also perform a site analysis to shoot grade elevations and ensure all measurements are accurate so the installation process goes according to plan.
LU: Introduce us to the team members involved in this project, what are their roles?
ML: The Moss Landscaping team will include myself, Joey Canahuati – Chief Operating Officer, Bruce Waddle – Installation Supervisor, Staley Tomforde – Construction Department Assistant, Tacho Betancourt – Irrigation & Drainage Manager, Randall Wauson – Tree Care Manager, Joshua Robbins – Design Associate and Ashley Olmsted – Marketing Director.
LU: What needs to happen first in order for you to install/renovate the landscaping throughout the exterior of the home?
ML: Once the exterior work on the house is complete, we can begin the landscape portion. This prevents other contractors from having to “step through” the planted gardens to access their work. Our first task is to install the drainage and irrigation. This isn’t the most glamorous part of our scope, but it’s easily the most important. Houston is a great city with the potential for amazing gardens, but we also receive an excessive amount of rainfall and experience extremely hot summers. It can take a year or more for a newly planted landscape to “mature” and bloom into its intended design. So proper drainage and irrigation at the start will give a garden a much higher likelihood for success!
LU: What is the process for selecting the landscape design for the home?
ML: A lot of factors come into play during the design process! Of course, Laura’s style is at the top of the list. We also consider the architecture of the home and the amount of sunlight that each area of the property receives. We look at the views from the interior of the residence so the finished gardens become a visual extension of the home.
LU: Have there been any challenges so far?
ML: Fortunately, not yet! There are often unforeseen obstacles when rehabbing a historic home, but we know we’re working with knowledgeable contractors who are ready and willing to do what it takes to make the Boulevard Showhouse a success!
LU: Will it be difficult to install these designs or get approval from Historic Houston Committee?
ML: We often work with neighborhood HOAs, such as Piney Point, Hunter’s Creek and Carlton Woods. It’s important to reach out early in the design process to any neighborhood or historic association to ensure your proposed design meets their criteria. We find that good communication and an understanding of the neighborhood’s requirements help ease the approval process. Boulevard Oaks attracts homeowners who appreciate the charm and character of this historic neighborhood which is why this project is so exciting. The Boulevard Show House is all about restoring the home to its original grandeur and we have already received so much positive feedback from the community for respecting the home’s historic significance.
LU: Tell us about Moss Landscaping. What is your specialty and the background behind your services?
ML: Moss Landscaping is a full-service landscape architecture firm serving the Greater Houston area, including River Oaks, Memorial, West University and The Woodlands. We have an in-house drainage and irrigation department, as well as a full tree care division. From the maintenance and enhancement to design and installation, Moss Landscaping does it all!
Just stunning! I can’t wait for my own English parterre garden (*heart eyes*)
LU: How can people get in contact Moss Landscaping?
ML: If you are interested in landscape work, you can submit a landscape request form on our website and the right team member will reach out to you to discuss your project. You can also view photos of our projects and hear about upcoming garden events by following us on Facebook and Instagram.
LU: Do you have any advice for people wanting to design and install new landscaping in Houston?
ML: Yes! If you are building a new home, hire a landscape architect early on! The sooner you can finalize your landscape plan, the easier it will be to coordinate drainage, irrigation, and hardscapes with your general contractor and get approvals from HOAs.
LU: Is there anything you would like to add about working on this project?
ML: We are honored to be included in The Boulevard Show House! We love all of our gardens, but it’s an added joy to be able to help restore properties with such historic significance. It’s also rewarding to work alongside so many talented leaders in our industry. We are so excited for the opportunity to bring Laura and Michael’s gardens to life!
Thank you so much, Blair, for sharing your expertise about all things landscaping! I can’t wait to see it completed and watch how it blooms throughout the year. I just know it’s going to be breathtaking and I can’t wait for you to see it in person in the spring when The Boulevard Show House is open for tours. Be sure to check out the Show House website for more updates and pop over to Facebook for more behind the scenes sneak peeks.