Takoma Park, Maryland Property

Over a span of two years we completed several projects at this Takoma Park, Maryland property. We cleaned up the backyard, renovated an existing swale, and installed water loving plants. The following year, we replaced the old pea gravel driveway with a permeable paver driveway. While doing the driveway we encountered spongey clay that was saturated from a leaking water line. We had to install concrete piers down to virgin soil to bear the weight of the walkway. The driveway excavation had to take into account the root zones of large trees. To avoid the surface roots we used a minimal excavation design.

Our ultimate goal with this project was to ensure that the new walkways provided a safe and comfortable path for the homeowners and guest to get from their cars to porch whether parked along the street or in the driveway. To provide an extra layer of security, we added low-voltage lighting to accent trees and light the walkway, which were programmed to come on at dusk and turn off automatically at dawn.

The new plantings are native species including River Birch, Swamp Hibiscus, Blue Flag Iris, and Common Rush, that are adapted to growing in wet soils. The permeable paver driveway will reduce runoff by storing rain in gravel base while allowing it to be absorbed into the soil below. The paver surface eliminates the tracking of pea gravel into the house while allowing heels to walk on it without sinking in. The swale handles runoff from all the uphill properties and the gravel keeps it from becoming a soggy mess. 

During seasonal months, snow and leaf removal are greatly eased by having a hard surface to shovel or rake. The permeable pavers used are Techo-Bloc Villagio in Shale Grey and we installed a granite Belgian block border. We replaced existing broken concrete walkway with new curving flagstone walkway and connected the front steps to the driveway and side steps. All projects were consulted with the City of Takoma Park’s Urban Forest Manager, and the Montgomery County Historical Preservation Commission.

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