"I could not be more pleased with the work that Alan's company has done in completely transforming the backyard of my town home from an overgrown, plant-filled, unusable space -- to two separate levels of paved patios below my deck -- one level with a beautiful fire pit and the second with a lovely water feature that feels zen-like. Where before we only looked down at the plants, now we are drawn down there -- and it feels wonderful to have taken a smallish backyard area and expanded so that it is not only usable, but also just makes you want to go down and sit and enjoy! Alan's team (led by Hugo and Ken) could not have been more professional. They were always on time, very courteous, did a thorough clean-up at the end of each day, and I'll even say, artists in their own right. Ken's work in building the fire pit was detailed and finished perfectly. He worked on it like it was his own... I couldn't be more happy with the finished result -- it FAR exceeds my expectations!!! To Alan and his team, a big thank you!" Coby S. (Fall 2015)"- Coby S.
- Why choose Classic? Top 10 Reasons.
At Classic, we approach your project differently.
We will design, organize and stage each project as if it were being done at our own home.
So how are we different from other landscape companies?
Beyond being an award-winning 5 star Envirostar company with over 30 years building locally...
1. We offer complimentary on-site consultations with a prompt and accurate on budget proposal. Each project is reviewed by our on-staff landscape architect.
2. We are the only company you will find with a 10 acre nursery. This gives us unparalleled access to plant material, including big trees, a myriad of shrubs, edibles, groundcover and recurring perennials.
3. Our clients have the unique ability to "see the plants before we start" and consult at length with our professional horticultural staff.
4. We have put together a private online database of over 10,000 locally available plants and we update it monthly, so we know where to get if we dont have it.
5. We offer more types of plan services than anyone, including Garden coaching plans, 'Signature Sketches', 'SimplePlans', comprehensive estate planning, digital imaging and full blown property animations.
6. We include "Option List' pricing on our proposals, offering you choices reflecting garden art, additional plants, lighting, flagstone options and more.
7. Our proposals tell you how long each project is expected to take, so you can plan your calendar around our work at your home.
8. We provide a comprehensive 'Close-out packet' with a continuing care calendar, coupons and more.
9. Our landscape clients get the 'Classic Card' that includes 20% off on future purchases of plant material all year long.
10. We have an innovative overstock product list that allows our landscape clients to purchase paving and stone at below cost prices.
- What's the 12 Step process?
Visit our 12 Steps to your Renovation pdf to learn more about our the unique, easy and methodical way we put it all together.
- 20 Questions to ask your designer.
(Print this out and put your designer on the hot seat.)
1. If we want to revise our plan after our meeting, will you update it at no charge?
2. Will your plan be scaled and blueprinted? If appropriate, will the plan encompass my entire property?Do you bring extra copies to our meeting?
3. Can I see my plants at the nursery before we start?
4. Will the plan be accompanied by an estimate for the work? Can you guarantee pricing?
5. Can you also give me phases or unit prices?
6. Can you prepare plans for work I will complete myself?
7. Do you bring plant books, catalogs and product samples for me to our presentation?
8. Are you affiliated with a Nursery where we can see the plants before the installation?
9. Can I get estimates from other landscape companies using the supplied plan?
10. Are you able to estimate and build other construction,ie; decks, patios, spas and fencing?
11. Are you familiar with availability, sizes, varieties and unit prices for plants locally?
12. Are you familiar with unit prices for construction finishes such as brick, flagstone,etc?
13. Can I reach you easily? Can I contact you by cell phone, webpage, fax and email?
14. Can you supply references?
15. Do you have a licensed landscape architect on staff? Are you a member of ASLA,WALP, APLD and the Master Builders Association?
16. Do you have a portfolio? Has your work been published or received awards?
17. Are you recommended by respected suppliers, such as Marenakos Rock Center, Mutual Materials and Molbaks?
18. Can I come in to your office and meet with your design staff?
19. Are you using organic and all-natural products and are you a 5 star King County Envirostar Company?
20. Do you guarantee all that you do including all of the new plant materials?
21. Want to know our answers to all these questions? Find out already!
- Project scheduled? Whats next?
If you have not already, review and sign the installation agreement. We will send you a more comprehensive installation agreement for review and signature, often as a digital signing document. This document notifies you regarding lien rights as required by state law, liability, warranty and payment issues. Once we have the paper or digital signature copies, your project will be scheduled. Check in and get your scheduled start date or we will email you with an approximated start date. Please note that start dates may change, as our projects may vary from their anticipated start and end times. You can generally expect us within no more than ten days of the first date noted to you, but we are usually right on or very close to the assigned date. It may be earlier if we have a postponement or cancellation and you want an earlier date. You can stay up to date with the schedule by contacting our front desk by phone or email.
Send in your initial deposit. This is 2% of your project amount and a minimum of $500, whichever is greater. Don't worry, our bookkeeper will invoice you by email on this. As we get to within 10 days of our start date, if you have not made your remaining 50% deposit, please drop it by the Nursery, pay it online or mail it . We will invoice you for that as well. Prior to the start date, the site is marked for utilities. We will send a "Locating Service" out to your site. (You don't have to be there to meet them). They will spray out approximated locations of major utilities. (You may want to note these locations for your future reference). Take cell phone pics of the marks after they leave!
We may "pre-review" the project. Your Project Manager may be out to the site approximately 5-10 days before the anticipated start date to "line-out" the project, paint out new bed locations and further choreograph the scope of work to be completed. Take a few minutes to review your plant list. You may want to contact the Garden Center manager, Don Rosebrook to review plant selections and make substitutions if necessary. Garden Center staff are normally available by appointment each day except Thursday and Friday. You can email Don at email@example.com. Don’t be afraid to change plants around. Nursery staff love to do that (I think because it makes them look smarter than the design staff). The nursery will coordinate plant alterations in quantity, size or variety with you for your approval by email as well. Stay in touch. Your Project Manager will be out intermittently throughout the project. You can reach your project manager (or your landscape foreman) through the design office, their cell number or email. You can also reach us all by cell or simply email on the "Contact us" page.
Understand anticipated "extras". Additional items may be requested of us from you as the project gets under way. Typically, our clients may request drainage, soil, rock accents or may want additional plants. If you desire unit prices in anticipation of these items, ask your Project Manager to note these to you in an email. Each "Extra" will be written up as a work order - usually as an email to you - or you will receive a copy on site, by mail and/or fax. If you don't get a written or email copy of an "extra" item, noting the charges, please call the Classic office manager and request a copy for your file. Expect an invoice as things are done. For some small projects, you'll get a single invoice for the remainder due at the final project walk-through. In the case of a larger project that goes more than a week, we will update you with weekly progress reports that describe the completed work to date. We may ask for a progress payment equal to the amount of the work completed through that date. Schedule a walk through before project completion. You may request a complimentary "walk-through" if one was not suggested to you after completion, to talk about care for your landscape and discuss your warranties.
Finally, enjoy your landscape... sit back and relax! And please, come in and see us and bookmark our website for sales, tours and garden classes. As always, we thank you for your business. We appreciate that you have selected us and we plan to do our best to make this an enjoyable experience for you.
- Do I need a plan or just a proposal?
Having some confusion as to whether a complimentary proposal or a landscape plan is the best way to move ahead with your project? At the time of your initial consultation, we'll be happy to write up a free proposal for you. It usually takes a few days to put it together, and then we'll email the proposal and also send it by mail. A plan is a more methodical process, involving more time, (from two weeks to a month or more), as well as an additional investment on your part. We base your design investment on a very reasonable $65 per hour charge with a 10 hour minimum. This includes not only multiple drafted, scaled, blueprinted copies, but accurate estimates and a revision to the plan at your request. The design fee is not based upon your budget, but the overall complexity of the design. This could be related to issues involving your property measurements, the types of construction and whether your brother in law is going to be giving us advice.
Most properties will fall into the 20-40 hour range. If you are having trouble determining whether to have a complimentary estimate prepared or invest in a design plan, the following information may help:
Choosing an estimate only for your project: Advantage: No charge, Can be prepared in 7-10 days. Disadvantage: Does not graphically show you where each item is placed.
Choosing a plan and estimate for your project: Advantage: Shows all the work to be completed. May be implemented as a "Do it Yourself" or phased project more easily. Allows a number of companies to bid the same thing. Disadvantage: Invest $40hr, minimum 10hr charge or more.
Note: One way to determine whether a landscape architectural plan might be a good value for you is to consider how long you will live in your home. Cut that time in half and assume that you will be done with all of your landscape phases within that period. Try to project how much you will have been comfortable investing in the landscape (including decks, walks and patios, etc.) by that future date.
Now, take 5% of that number, and if you can have plans prepared for 5% or less, design plans may be a good value for you. Again, please note that planning costs are not based upon your budget, but on the complexity of the project. Just being able to discuss ideas clearly with your spouse and methodically "plant the lavender on the corner of the patio" yourself during phase two has good value once you know where everything is going. All of our plans are reviewed by our on staff licensed landscape architect and include firm estimates based upon the discussed and approved budget.
Read on to establish a simple budget and find out what questions to ask a garden designer.
- Have a proposal? What's next?
Review the plan or proposal and make some email comments to us. Remember, if you have a plan, there is a complimentary drawing and estimate revision. No worries! We are very flexible and, between you, your project manager and the nursery staff, it is common to change material selections as we get closer to the job start. All the change orders are noted to you in writing with specific additional (or credits, god forbid you should save some money!) pricing, so all you need to do is email your confirmation. A lot of folks have questions and want to study things further - or meet again, but also "just want to get on the schedule". If that's your concern, just sign your proposal and "get on the board" with us. There is a nominal 2% deposit due at that time, but we will likely have plenty of time to further refine the ideas, change plant selections, finalize the patio layout and get all of our ducks in a row - before work begins.
If you have a plan or proposal, see our unique process page to find out what your next step is.
- When should I plant?
We try to make landscaping an easy to understand and enjoyable process for you. As part of this effort, we create landscapes utilizing readily available, low-maintenance plants that are hardy in our climate. As you may know, we guarantee our plants for a year, so it is in all of our best interest as well to choose reliable materials when we look at plant materials. Except for certain situations, we generally select hardy broadleaf evergreen plants with a mix of deciduous materials for seasonal interest. We limit the use of annuals in the landscape, preferring the value and recurring color of perennials. We do encourage annuals in containers and in seasonal color rotation planting.
Horticulturally, FALL is the best time to plant. The season is cooling and existing planted vegetation is more forgiving of rigors of transplant shock. Best of all, we have our annual Fall sale.
WINTER can be a good time to plant as plants are fully dormant and are resistant to transplant shock. Our landscape crews may be more readily available to concentrate on your project during winter as well. In addition, drainage issues are more easily seen and corrected.
SPRING offers the best availability of plants and "feels" like the right season to plant. This time of year is very busy and our crews can book out 90 days or more in advance! While we can always service you in a timely manner, be sure to plan ahead and call us early if you want a Spring installation.
With our cool and temperate climate, SUMMER can also be a great time to plant. Many people worry about watering during the hotter season and this may be an issue for some folks. That noted, the sun will get those roots and new foliage established in time for the cool fall season. We will usually plant using a natural water-retention additive for summer planting. If you water adequately and take generally good care of your landscaping, our one-year warranty may be the assurance you need to complete a successful Summer landscaping project.
- How about retaining walls, patios, etc.?
Rock walls may be constructed from ledgestone or boulders. Boulders are generally measured in “man” size, roughly 1-5 man basalt or granite. Allow an additional foot below grade and drainage behind the wall. Make sure you have good trackhoe access for large rock, at least a clear 8 foot opening. Smaller format “1 to 2 man” stone walls can also be built by hand. Typically, walls are measured by "vertical square foot" or "face footage" (FF). Cost: $10-30 per FF. $30+ FF for ledgestone. If the slope is not too severe, we can also save on the budget by creating an aesthetically pleasing "dry stream" out of softball-sized river cobble mixed with bowling ball sized small basalt boulders. Cut into the slope, this type of retaining can channel water as well as minimize erosion and the cost savings can be put into accent planting. Cost: $10-20 per SF.
Generally use pressure treated Douglas fir at a minimum 4" (4x4x8) size. Allow for visqueen or waterproofing behind the wall. Perpendicular "deadman" timbers are placed into the slope at regular intervals. Cost $20-30 per FF.
MODULAR BLOCK WALLS
Precast concrete units. Hand stacked by our skilled crew, this type of construction has the advantage of forming a very uniform geometry of wall and steps and can be built using alternating wall and cap colors. A variety of products are available from inexpensive smaller blocks to more architectural grade "Pisa" type stone. Cost: $20-30 per FF.
OTHER TYPES OF WALLS
At the high end of the spectrum, you can elect to have a concrete wall built, then finished (typically to complement your homes existing finishes) using stucco, dryvit, brick or any number of "cultured stone" products. Cost: $30-50+ per FF.
Paths & patios
For the simplest of exterior finished paths, we use a 5/8"(-) basalt crushed rock with an underlying weed barrier and a construction-grade vinyl edge. You can also select a cobbled rock, steel, aluminum or brick/paver edge. This type of path forms a good basis for a perimeter route or path in a natural area. Crushed rock can also serve as a base for a later installation of concrete or a paver. You'll want to avoid pea gravel or drainrock, as this tends to give way underfoot. Cost: $3-9 per SF.
Concrete is typically designated as smooth finished, hard finished with a broom or as exposed aggregate. You should have a plan that shows tooled scoring or cut joints at regular, sensible intervals. Try not to allow any clear areas larger than 6x6ft without a score or joint. You can also add color in a variety of ways. Stamped concrete is a unique way to get the look of a paver without going to the expense. In this type of construction, a flexible form is pressed into the concrete and typically two colors are added and hand-finished into the area. Cost $6-10 per SF (concrete), $7-14+ (stamped).
A myriad of concrete and stone pavers are available from interlocking units to antique roman cobble. Set in a base of sand or mortared onto a concrete base, this type of paving can create a pleasing effect. Edges can be set in a mortared base or set against a rigid steel or aluminum form. Cut to form a complex geometry in basketweave or herringbone, accented with edge and field colors and mixed and matched, pavers can create limitless patterns. Cost: $9-12 per SF (sandset), $12-20 (mortared).
Flagstone is requested more often than any other walk or patio finish. Complementing any home, a finished flagstone walk or patio is perhaps the most attractive type of walk or patio. Flagstone is available in a wide array of stone types and thickness. Flagstone is sold by the ton and coverage per ton is critical to determining cost. The thicker the stone, the less coverage you'll get. Look for 2"(+) thickness for sandset installations, 2"(-) for mortared work. In addition, look for stone with a regular, uniform flat finish and a dense structure. This will create a comfortable walk surface that will absorb less water and thus not crack as easily during a winter freeze. Cost $18-30 per SF.
Most local decks are constructed with a pressure treated Douglas fir structure and cedar walk surface. Above 32" height in many municipalities you will need a railing. After completion, you may want to color stain the deck and/or seal the finish to preserve the woods integrity. Although a deck may represent the most cost per square foot, if it is cantilevered over a sloped that otherwise might require retaining; it can actually save in overall costs. Cost: $12-16+ per SF. $16-30+ per SF for recycled or other manufactured lumber. Railing cost: $18+ per lineal foot. Steps: $20-30 per SF.
In addition to our Redmond sample library, good places to review these products are: Trendset Products (Redmond), Marenakos Rock Center (Issaquah), Mutual Materials (Redmond) or Rock Mountain Products (Redmond/Ames Lake area). Keep in mind that minimum costs may apply, both for work that you contract directly and to allow for delivery. For example, a trackhoe operator might charge a minimum price of $800 or so to come out and do any work at your home or a load of stone may cost a minimum of $100 to have delivered.
- Should I choose pavers or flagstone?
Our skilled installation crews are building paths and patios all over the Puget Sound today. Your Classic project manager may already have given you the free hardscape catalog at our initial complimentary on site meeting at your home. For the most part, the advantage to stone is just that, using real stone as a material, though it may be somewhat irregular as a random flagstone and vary in thickness as a dimensional (squared/rectangular) stone. For this reason, it takes more time typically to set - and takes a bit more time and budget investment. Tumbled or dimensional pavers may be a good option, as they can be set in many colors and patterns and are regular in aspect and appearance. Often times we will suggest a tumbled paver patio that integrates well with the home's architecture and perhaps a random flagstone landing, step or path surface as a walk through the landscape. Good resources here can be found on our links page and include marenakos.com, mutualmaterials.com, trendset.net and belgard.com.
- So how about water features?
A waterfall, stream or re-circulating pond can be an attractive and calming amenity for any home. The pleasant sound of splashing water and the beauty of colorful fish can create a wonderful sense of serenity in even a small backyard. At Classic, we have been building water features for years. We know that a successful waterfall or pond should look like a natural element in the landscape. Creating that effect involves utilizing a wide range of materials, including rock, concrete, PVC pipe and pump assemblies. There are also considerations regarding placement, excavation of soil, electrical and plumbing utilities and access for equipment.
As we consult with you on your home site, you have some choices in creating your water environment. First, we can simply mark out an area on the ground, outlining a possible pond and falls and write up an estimate for the work. You can then watch it come together as what we call a "field installation". (There is no charge for the estimate). You may also have a landscape architectural plan drawn up for the area at an additional charge. If so, you may want to allow for additional work such as expanded patios, walks or other design elements or perhaps go ahead and master plan the entire site. After seeing a few different ponds and waterfalls, you'll notice that our ponds and water features are built quite a bit differently from the average installation. For example:
- Our water features are easier to care for - The Classic pond utilizes a debris skimmer, much like a swimming pool. Other pond installations may have a filter around the pump area. These filters are often difficult to reach and clean and can diminish your pumps effectiveness over time. Our skimmer assembly is cleaned simply by lifting a hidden cover, taking out a reusable filter and rinsing it with a hose. Second, we have additional filters in the skimmer and at the falls area. Finally, we provide a bacterial additive and ask that you purchase inexpensive fish to create a relatively self-sustaining "ecosystem".
- We offer a range of pond options - We can provide overflow assemblies, pump timers, self-filling valves, pond lighting and a wide range of aquatic plants and different types of flagstone, rock and paving materials.
- Our ponds are built to last - We provide a one-year guarantee for all of our construction. Our high-efficiency pumps are a little more expensive, but can save you in monthly electrical costs. (Keep in mind that your pond pump is essentially a little motor that runs virtually all of the time). We also use a "double liner" construction that utilizes a fabric "underliner" beneath the heavy gauge butyl pond liner. This minimizes the possibility of rips and tears along vertical faces of the pond. Most companies use a sand base that only covers flat areas well. We also give you a printed "owners manual".
- Can you tell me about my drainage?
A well-conceived drainage system may not be the most exciting thing that you will purchase from us, but you generally know when you need one. The problem with most locally installed perforated pipe type installations is the method of construction. Most perf-type systems won't last more than five years or so due to pipe siltation buildup. In our experience completing a number of projects for the City of Bellevue as well as a range of residential systems, we've just about seen it all. The key to most per type systems is a working outflow at the end of the drainage pattern and one or more "cleanouts" (a sweep or a "T") that will enable you to periodically flush the system out with a hose. This will give you the ability to wash out fine silt and debris, keeping the drain clear for a much longer period.
- How do I control weeds and pests?
One of the problems with creating a rich environment for planting is that it can become a rich environment for weeds as well. Controlling weeds does not necessarily mean continually applying herbicides. The best way to inhibit weed growth is to introduce groundcovers that will compete with undesirable weeds. Bark mulch can also slow weed growth, but does so in part by depleting your soils of nitrogen, thereby slowing the growth of desirable plants. It also breaks down to "become" part of the soil and, as such, must be purchased anew each year.
As a company known for environmental outreach efforts, we do not recommend chemical use, but, on occasion selected products can be helpful. Used minimally, herbicides such as Roundup can help kill growing weeds, while breaking down to become a nitrogen-like product in the soil. Surflan herbicide, essentially a sugar-based product, helps inhibit weed seed from sprouting. At the nursery, we sell “Burnout”, an effective clove oil and vinegar based herbicide that is devastating to weeds and makes your garden smell like you just came back from seeing Van Halen at the Gorge. Nevertheless, a closely planted groundcover such as native bearberry or salal can save you thousand in future bark installations if planted early.
IPM or Integrated Pest Management offers a new approach to managing your outdoor environment. Essentially, IPM dictates that you take a moment to try to understand what is happening in an ecological sense and respond in a way that reflects your own tolerance for the pest, weed or plant disease, while using a "least-toxic" approach. Our professional Nursery & Landscape staff can help you make the right decisions and offer you appropriate products and research materials.
- What about irrigation & lighting?
Sprinkler systems offer a convenient way to keep your plant materials healthy. At Classic, we can install almost any type of irrigation system. With scores of guaranteed watering system completed throughout King County, we typically use Rainbird 1800 or Hunter series "pop-up" type heads for shrub and small lawn zones and Hunter spray heads for larger bed and lawn areas. As with all of our new installation work, we guarantee our irrigation systems for one year. Ever concerned about conserving water (and saving you money), we will also install a rain sensing device that will "sense" when it is wet in order to keep your system from coming on unnecessarily. We will also locate our green valve boxes in bed areas (not in your lawn as some landscape companies do), pre-program your automatic clock for you and install additional hose bibbs at your request.
Low voltage lighting adds a dramatic dimension to your landscape, giving you the ability to see landscape elements at night, define circulation around your home and giving you greater security. We will usually provide you with a consultation at night to best show our lighting fixtures and to make sure they are located to your best advantage. A myriad of fixtures are available. Under most circumstances, we will typically install a high-quality copper "mushroom-type" pathlight that will patina nicely with age. Your lighting system can be integrated with your home computer, simply switched from inside your home or set with motion sensors. For most lighting systems, we will simply install an outdoor transformer and timer/photocell. This allows the system to come on automatically at dusk throughout the year, while being timed to shut off at a prescribed time.
- What to do before my consultation?
Visit our unique process page to learn more about the steps you should take before a consultation.
- Where is the Plant Warranty Form?
See the Warranty Request page.
- How about edible planting?
Our professional horticulturalists know quite a bit about edibles - and whether it's fruit, herbs or vegetables that you are inquiring about - we will have answers for you. Want to mix herbs and leafy greens into your landscape planting? No problem - we do that...and we can help you understand how to select how to best cross-pollinate your fruit trees and how to create a very low maintenance berry garden with huckleberry, blueberry and currants, to name a few. Oh, and we may still have the new thornless dwarf 'Strawberry shortcake' shrub raspberry, as well as new hybrid evergreen blueberry and apple & pear espaliers in stock - imagine...up to six different apples on one plant!
- Can I get a nursery discount?
We appreciate you choosing Classic for your landscaping project and as your local gardening resource center. We know that there are a lot of landscape companies out there and that you have probably looked around. As you might expect, we would like to become your horticultural resource. Beyond good service, our seasonal, monthly and annual fall sale, website specials, and our email "Garden Tips" are all part of the value we offer to our clients. A substantial value combined with an unprecedented plant warranty, continuing plant discounts and innovative design form the basis of our landscape service. Learning about you as a customer, we hope to keep you as a friend. Landscape clients, after completion - receive a "Classic Card", good for 20% off of plant purchases from the nursery for one year. Our seasonal care clients have the Classic Card for as long as we are caring for their property.
- How about choices for raised beds?
In order of cost and assuming good access on site, your raised garden beds are typically made of '1-man' basalt or granite stacked boulders, galvanized tubs (see our portfolio page on these), precast concrete modular block or pressure treated or Wolmanized lumber. Wood is often thought of as the 'cheapest' material, but it is not, in that it takes longer to put together firmly and correctly. Plant to be 18" high if you want the bed at a minimum seat height and allow 36"+ between beds for wheelbarrow access. Regarding materials, we also may have 'overstock' material to offer - ask your designer - that is available in limited quantities at a below wholesale price!
- Should I treat the native edge differently?
Click Here To View Native Plant Information
During the process of development, most residential property areas were cleared of trees and native vegetation. Soil may have been artificially graded to site your home and the grounds around your home may have been further compacted. Native alder, broom and blackberry, among other things, may be coming up all around your property. You may have a neighbor that can peek at you from behind a thinned-out native edge area. The key to maximizing the potential of your native areas is to understand how you might use it, if at all. Do you just need screening? Would you like to walk through it? Are there a lot of non-native "weed" species disturbing it? These and other questions will yield the answers that will help us determine how to improve these areas. In many cases, we will re-introduce native tree selections such as Hemlock and Douglas Fir to screen and fill as needed. Dogwood, Mountain ash, Serviceberry and Maple can offer seasonal color. Blueberry, lingonberry, evergreen huckleberry and a wide variety of native plants can make your natural areas interactive and educational, attract wildlife and add to your properties value.
- How do I care for my new landscape?
We appreciate the significant investment to have work done by Classic and the success of your landscape is important to us. We would like you to consider us as your horticultural resource in the months ahead. To help your plants get well established, it’s important for you to nurture them over the next year. While we have taken care to select and guarantee a variety of low-maintenance plant materials, you will need to monitor and care for your new plants to ensure that they take root and grow.
Proper watering is a key to your plants survival. During the warmer season from mid-April to late September, your plants may need watering every day on dry days. During the first year, some new plants may need supplemental watering even if you have an irrigation system. If you have sprinklers, it’s important to keep your irrigation system properly timed and adjusted. In the Puget Sound, sprinklers are normally turned off from Halloween to Easter. In the fall, systems are “blown out” to minimize water in the lines and the potential for pipes bursting in freezing temperatures.
Caring for your lawns need not be as complicated as the big box stores or garden pundits would have you believe. Lawns don't need fertilizing and weed control applications three times a year as we are frequently told. These are falsehoods designed to get you to buy product, so take care not to over-apply garden chemicals. A recent King County survey found chemicals in local streams reaching toxic levels during the spring season. Many believe this to be caused by excessive and unnecessary application of garden chemicals. The truth is that your lawn only needs a single application of 3-1-2 ratio fertilizer right around Labor Day. We will also encourage you to lime your lawn perhaps 2x annually and aerate at that time as well. Good dates for this are Easter and Labor day.
Native plants may not need any supplemental fertilizer and you might not need to fertilize your ornamental plants until the spring after the installation is complete. Newly seeded lawns need to be kept somewhat moist, so depending upon your soil and sun orientation, you may need to water every day to get the seed completely germinated or sod fully rooted. This may take three weeks for germination. Lawn seed can be fully walkable at about six weeks and with a new lawn and intermittent rains, you are advised to hand seed to fill in as needed. Lawns may have some difficulty fully establishing between Memorial Day and Labor Day and may require additional soil with seeding.
You will likely notice some weeds in the bed areas. That’s natural, as we have created an environment that is healthy for plants. Early and methodical weed control will help to make minimize your garden care. Start looking for weeds in March and April and use a hand tool such as a “hula-hoe” to remove weeds before they go to seed. Keep in mind that weeds can be an indicator of other issues; clover indicates soil compaction and low fertility, buttercup can be a symptom of excessive moisture. If you plan to spray weed killer, Classic offers a great product called “Burnout”, made from vinegar and clove oil. It’s devastating on weeds. Put it in a pump sprayer and keep it in the garage, ready to go. You might also try a teakettle of boiling water on more limited weed areas. You can also control many chewing insect by mixing up a diluted solution of 1 part laundry soap and 10 parts water to be a natural born killer.
Prune your shrubs only when they get larger than you desire, lightly and carefully. Unless you are cultivating a hedge, most shrubs don’t want to be groomed into tight shapes. Be mindful of pruning considerations regarding plant bloom, fruit and overall shape. A good rule to follow is to not take off more than 10% of your plants foliage when pruning.
Sometime in the future, you may want to add additional shrubs, groundcover or perennials. We can help you with advice and plant lists. Use your new discount card (The 'Classic Card') when you purchase - and be sure to go online to subscribe to our “Gardentips” email to keep up with what to do next in the garden. (You can receive garden tips monthly by signing up at http://classicnursery.com/monthly-tips/). You’ll find generous coupons at the website and a monthly plant pick that’s offered at a great discount.
You may find that you need to make a warranty claim at some point. Go online to our warranty form and submit that to us. (It’s at http://classicnursery.com/warranty-request/). We’ll get back to you with a response right away. Larger plants are replaced and construction repairs are completed by Classic on site; we ask that you pick up smaller plants at the nursery for your replacement. See your proposal and the corresponding long form landscape agreement for additional limitations and details.
Your business is important to us. When your project is complete, please take a moment to fill out the survey we have provided and mail it back in the self-addressed envelope. We succeed by honoring our commitments to our families, our work and to the environment. In this regard, our business achievements are measured by your referrals. If you will, please take a moment to submit a positive review on our behalf. When you do, please let us know and we will be happy to send you a garden gift for taking the time to mention us!
- What is my landscape warranty?
Here's how we write it on your proposal: "Except as set forth below and upon timely payment in full of all invoices, Classic warrants that the workmanship and materials supplied by Classic shall be of good quality and within the description and criteria set forth within the approved proposal(s) and this Agreement. This warranty is given in lieu of all other warranties, express or implied. Plant and construction materials supplied by others, annuals and transplanted materials are not guaranteed. Warranty shall be voided in the event that any payment is not received within 30 days of the invoice date. Warranted plants larger than 5 gallon size shall be replaced by Classic personnel on site; all others shall be picked up by Client at the Nursery and planted by Client. Classic may elect not to replace plant material based upon its sole determination that said plantings have died as a result of unusual weather conditions, Client neglect or damage beyond Classic’s control. Plants rated as not hardy in the planted site climate zone will not be guaranteed against heat or cold damage. Plant materials purchased from Classic and installed by Client are guaranteed for a period of 90 days from the date of purchase unless otherwise specified by Classic in writing. Client is not required to bring expired plant material to the Nursery unless directed to do so by Classic staff. Clients that do not have automatic irrigation systems in place at time and landscape bed location(s) of planting will be required to remit 50% of the claimed plant retail value as determined by Classic prior to procurement of any replacement plants. Client shall notify Classic of a warranty claim in writing by letter, fax or email, identifying the warranted material that needs replacing. If approved, Classic shall then prepare a work order authorizing Client to pick up replacement plants at the Nursery or will arrange replacement as noted above. Client agrees to pickup any outstanding warranty claim plant materials or to utilize the warranty credit within 90 days of written approval of the warranty claim or such claim will be deemed invalid. In some instances prior to or at the time of initial installation, substitute type, size and/or quantity of plant or hardscape materials may be supplied due to unavailability or poor quality of regionally available materials. At Client’s request, plants that are not available or have quality issues will be backordered under a separate work order and installed when available. In this instance, Client may elect to receive a credit on the final invoice for plants and installation labor. If Client elects to wait for the installation of backordered plant materials, all unpaid invoices must be paid in full. Healthy plant materials refused by Client after special order to the nursery or delivery to Client site may be subject to a restocking charge equal to 25% of the retail price. In the event that Classic’s Nursery is seasonally or otherwise closed, plant materials will be made available to the Client at Classic’s discretion upon re-opening. If a Client claim is requested after May 1 and before September 1, plant materials will be made available to the Client at Classic’s discretion after September to ensure better plant viability. Sod lawn areas will be guaranteed under our plant warranty as described above. Seeded lawn areas are fully guaranteed only if fully installed between April 15 and October 15. Seed lawn installations shall be considered complete upon the initial seeding of the lawn, regardless of date. As a warranty response to any lawn installation, Classic will hand seed the lawn one time over the existing grade. After a sand set paver and/or stone installations some loose sand may be seen over newly paved surfaces. Additional application(s) of sand by Client may be required after installation. Flagstone sizes, thickness and the installed gap between stones may vary depending upon the approved stone allowance and stone availability. Should stone re-setting be requested by Client, additional charges may apply. Due to the inability to predict subterranean water flow, drainage systems are not guaranteed for efficacy."
- Where can I see overstock stuff?
Check out our Overstock pdf to learn more about the special sale and one-off items that we have in paving, stone, flagstone and more.
- Doing a project? Use our online store.
If you have a planned Classic project under way, you can simply order materials from the online store and we will take steps to get the material to your doorstep and, as appropriate - installed in place on your property. Delivery charges may be waived on some materials, so long as the Classic project has not been completed and there is ample time to fulfill your order before the final project date. You don't have to pay yet in full in this instance, but we will ask for a 50% deposit. The balance will be due upon project completion as per our Landscape Installation Agreement with you.
- What about soils & bed finishes?
Providing good soils for you means more to us than just bringing out compost. Our local glacial till soils generally lack a great deal of nutrient and may not be the best medium for ornamental shrubs and perennials. In addition, with a new home, you may be looking at fill soils or over-turned soil as a result of recent construction. We can fix that. Rototilling your bed soils is the first key to a healthy planting environment. Liming your soils may also be necessary. Finally tilling in or using a topdress of compost can create the "diggable", nutrient rich environment that your new landscape desires. Keep in mind that it may not always be prudent to create a "nutrient-rich" soil environment. Native plant materials may actually prefer to be planted in un-amended local glacial-till soils. Look further into our landscape handbook for a discussion of other aspects of your outdoor environment such as retaining walls, paths, patios, irrigation, lighting and our award-winning water features.
Cedar Grove compost and Vegetable Garden Mix are available at the nursery, as well as Fertil-Mulch, medium-fine bark and gravel. Our bulk products are available for pick up or delivery. We also offer a full line of bagged soils, bark and other soil amendments.
- What happens when my project is over?
When your project is done, we want to ensure that everything has been completed to your satisfaction and that any remaining questions or items are resolved. In most instances, you will walk-through the project with your Classic designer and we will write up a punchlist to complete any items that are still outstanding. In addition, we give you a folder that contains:
1. Your 'Classic Card', offering you a continuing discount at the nursery, 20% off for one year.
2. A 'Classic Care Guide' with a simple calendar showing you what to do in your garden and when.
3. A Classic Events Calendar, giving you exclusive access to daily discounts and surprise specials.
4. A recap of the project as an invoice.
5. A survey asking your opinion and suggestions about how we can improve our effort.
6. Your 'Best in the industry' landscape warranty.