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Old 05-17-2013, 10:40 PM   #1
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Why do professional landscape jobs look mounded?


On every home I see that has been "professionally" landscaped, the beds around the house, as well as the ones scattered throughout the lawn, look raised, or mounded--almost as if dirt was brought in.

1. What is the point of this? It looks nice, but is there another agenda?

2. Is it likely fill dirt or just thick mulch?

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Old 05-17-2013, 11:06 PM   #2
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A little of both, but mostly just mulch.

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Old 05-18-2013, 03:38 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
A little of both, but mostly just mulch.

True. A true professional will never let the mulch mound up directly against the tree trunk. It provides a home for borers and such insects harmful to trees.
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Old 05-18-2013, 04:21 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by smokey847 View Post
Why do professional landscape jobs look mounded?
For the same basic reason that professionally made cakes have fancy
high icing.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:41 AM   #5
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its easier for the pros to do it that way. and makes it easier for the home owner to see what they are paying for. and most people probably like the way it looks.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:59 AM   #6
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Berms was the term I used for them when doing landscape design. Nicely planned they provide movement and visual interest to an otherwise, often more or less flat piece of land. You can use them as islands to showcase tree, shrub or even groundcover and annual or perennial plantings. Or incorporate a nice boulder or bench into the side of one a bit taller.

As a practical device, unless planted with turf, they are an effective way to reduce high maintenance lawn areas in a pleasing looking manner.

Of course berms can also be a solution to re-routing drainage problems in an esthetic manner.

Indigenous Americans used berms as burial mounds. Some serpentine ones were very long and winding and still exist today. Hopefully landscapers do not use them for this purpose---too often in residential landscapes. I don't care in commercial landscapes or in golf course design. The latter seems the logical place to lay some nasty old, meddling, inbred, blueblood geezer to rest. More the merrier.

And no, mulch should never be piled that high. In addition to attracting bugs and disease spores, raw mulch can build up an amazing amount of heat as it decomposes (just improving the environment for disease spores).
A foot of mulch in yard is probably not going to start on fire but you will notice steam coming off a bed mulched too thick on a cool morning.
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:07 AM   #7
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If you are golfer, the only thing about good and reasonably flat is a green is being smooth without big "mounds", but enough to make it interesting.

They appreciate some changes in elevation on the course and makes everything more attractive.

Any home with some variation in grade is attractive unless you want it dead flat and may want the option to carpet it.

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Old 05-18-2013, 09:26 AM   #8
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Any home with some variation in grade is attractive unless you want it dead flat and may want the option to carpet it.
Unless people go overboard and construct them out of scale (usually too high) with the home and the plot. Or they looked totally wacked in context of neighboring landscapes. You don't want so many your place looks like it has been attacked by giant space alien gophers or moles.

And if you are going to plant turf on them, make sure they are not so steep your mower blade saws dishes into the turf because of the bad grade angle.
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:37 PM   #9
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SdSester, the most famous serpent mound is the one in Ohio. Been there once when I was around six, before we moved back to Illinois, due to dad relocating for the telephone company.
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Old 05-18-2013, 02:01 PM   #10
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SdSester, the most famous serpent mound is the one in Ohio. Been there once when I was around six, before we moved back to Illinois, due to dad relocating for the telephone company.
I could not remember if it was in Ohio or Kentucky. When building a museum for kids for the precious people of Cincy our favorite book was something like "Two Hours from Cincinnati" but actually anything with "from Cincy" would have worked for us. I was surprised the holier than thou Cincy religious fanatics allowed such heathen and pagan burial grounds to stay undisturbed.

I know the mounds you mean though. They had gone through some degree of careful restoration when we visited and among other things I understood better vantage points for viewing them were new. Pretty incredible when you consider the age.

Just heard some bozo of a bulldozer operator tore up a corner of a 2,000+ year old Mayan pyramid in Belize last week. It could not have been an accident. Speculation is it was some sort of ethnic or anti-ethnic or anti-religion thing. I am glad I got to see the pyramid intact. Glad you remembered the serpent mound from your past.

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Old 05-18-2013, 04:29 PM   #11
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So I suppose they bring in fill dirt to build it up?
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Old 05-18-2013, 06:18 PM   #12
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So I suppose they bring in fill dirt to build it up?
Usually that is a starting point. Sometimes, if it was not hauled off when the land was scraped for new construction foundations and so forth their is an adequate amount of nice topsoil material sitting in piles that a landscape grading contractor can grade out nicely. You just have to plan for this before it gets loaded into dump trucks and hauled away.

If you can rescue those piles of topsoil early in the construction process and get them moved and rough graded as the place is built, it saves you having to truck in and pay for new topsoil. You will have to go back and finish grade after everybody else is done driving all over the site, and rake off all the stuff other contractor's mothers did not come and clean up for them, but at least the soil will be there and will match what you have elsewhere. If you need more, you will need less.

If you do get new topsoil you should be sure and do a soil analysis for the entire landscaped yard in multiple location as it may not match what was there.
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Old 05-21-2013, 03:13 PM   #13
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sds, (off topic)

I climbed to the top of Xunantunich, in Belize a few months ago. (and couldn't walk the next day)

I'll have to google which ruin was damaged.

PS, found this info which is sickening to me:

A construction company has essentially destroyed one of Belize's largest Mayan pyramids with diggers and bulldozers to extract crushed rock for a road-building project, authorities have announced.

Last edited by Startingover; 05-21-2013 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
I could not remember if it was in Ohio or Kentucky. When building a museum for kids for the precious people of Cincy our favorite book was something like "Two Hours from Cincinnati" but actually anything with "from Cincy" would have worked for us. I was surprised the holier than thou Cincy religious fanatics allowed such heathen and pagan burial grounds to stay undisturbed.
Or perhaps these "fanatics" don't actually fit into your neat pigeonhole.
Quote:
Just heard some bozo of a bulldozer operator tore up a corner of a 2,000+ year old Mayan pyramid in Belize last week. It could not have been an accident. Speculation is it was some sort of ethnic or anti-ethnic or anti-religion thing. I am glad I got to see the pyramid intact. Glad you remembered the serpent mound from your past.
Perhaps it was some anti-religion FSM fanatic. I would not be surprised, as I could not see them tolerating a structure to superstition like that. See how it works?

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