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Landscaping and Gardening

Star Essential land shaping and planting around your new house.


Excavator 160 Long Reach

Excavator And Dozer Together 

Ahead of time on your plot map you need to decide the various heights that you want to terraform the land to.  Use a self leveling laser and a pole with markers to establish the height of the ground.

Excavation Height Measuring Stick 

You can use paint on the ground to indicate how much ground still needs to be excavated away.

Excavation Heights Marked With Paint 

The excavator operator may also have their own laser system (but it is still best to have your own self leveling laser).

Excavator With Laser 

Excavator Laser Depth Checking 

Changing buckets on excavator.

Changing Buckets On Excavator

East Back Grading 

Grade Transition From East 

View From Down Hole 

Rigging strings is another way to establish levels.

Strings Showing Required Grade

Site Lower Area 


Path Being Formed 

Rock walls

Rock Wall Burnt Rock 

Rock Wall Burnt And Round 

Rock strips

Rock Strip Rain Garden 


Yard Wood Rock Steps 


Henley Wood Bridge 

Grow enclosures

It is necessary to have mesh to keep out pests.  Use window fly-screen.

It is best to have the soil beds completely off the ground.  No need to raise the area where you walk.  Make the bed units modular and stand alone.  A height of 2 feet is a good choice.  Provide sticks that stick up from back of soil container.

It is ok to use cottonwood (but not sure how may years it will last).

Make each enclosure just under 200 sqft to avoid needing a permit.

Grow Enclosure Drawing 

Here is an example grow enclosure (not mine)...

Grow Enclosure Example 




Wild flowers

Wild Flower Planting Instructions  Wild Flower Planting Instructions


Wild Flower Planting Instructions  Wild Flower Planting Instructions


Wild Flower Planting Instructions  Wild Flower Planting Instructions


Fruit trees

Typically these are purchased as bare root stock, but I have had poor experiences.

Trees Bare Root Unpackaging


Growing vegetables

Companion plants

It is good to grow flowers mixed in with your vegetables because the right flowers can help keep the bugs away and attract the desired insects that help with pollination.

Repel unwanted bugs

Basil, garlic, geraniums, marigolds, lavender, nasturtiums, petunias, rosemary, sage and thyme.

Attract beneficial insects

Alyssum, bachelor’s button, cosmos and chamomile.