When you purchase a home in Asheville, North Carolina, undertaking a landscaping project will feature some unique challenges and opportunities than if you were landscaping a home in a different part of the country.
As newcomers head to Asheville in droves, understanding what's different about landscaping in Asheville before you buy a home here can help you budget correctly for the project and have an idea of all the unique and beautiful possibilities for your new home.
What’s Asheville’s Climate Like?
Mild summers and not too cold winters draw people to Asheville.
Asheville’s summers see temperatures around 83°F and rarely reach above 89°F. While sitting outside on your Asheville property, you’ll feel warm and some humidity in the air.
During the winter, Asheville residents experience cold, wet, and partly cloudy weather. Winter temperatures will average a low of 28°F and are rarely below 14°F. Mountain weather is volatile, but in a good way. Because Asheville at 2000’, is nearly the same planting zone as NYC. There are very few days where the highs are below freezing OR over 90 degrees. In practical terms, there is not a month where you can’t find some nice golfing days or similar outdoor possibilities. It also means frequent patio use days because you won’t ‘lose’ your outdoor living space regularly to snow drifts.
Unfortunately, our mountains are susceptible to fall and winter rains when there are fewer trees taking up groundwater. The wet season can lead to soil erosion which can cause property damage and even damage to nearby rivers. Proper landscaping can mitigate this damage, and proper patio and wall construction takes this into account with frequent use of dry streams for the sudden water volume and the force it carries at 8lbs per gallon.
Our soil is also more porous than most other mountain forests because it is so old. This means that visitors moving here have to take extra precautions for erosion. For example, the road banks here must be cut back at a much more gentle angle than what is allowed in other states. A licensed contractor will have lots of local experience adjusting to these possibilities when installing walls and patios.
Many move to Asheville to explore the nearby mountains and embrace the emerging local culture, but you can create a paradise in your own backyard with the proper landscaping.
When it comes to landscaping your home, choosing the native plants, trees, shrubs, and even specific hardscaping materials will be essential to having a long-lasting durable - and beautiful - outdoor space that also feels easy to maintain. Installing them to enhance the stability of the hardscapes makes a great deal of difference in the overall integrity and enjoyment.
How Does Asheville’s Climate Affect Landscaping My Home?
Given Asheville’s wet climate, hardscapes work hand-in-hand with your landscaping to help you better maintain your yard. If your property is on a slope, like so many Asheville homes are, any excess rain or snow can easily build up and cause long term damage if not dealt with properly.
Adding hardscaping to your backyard can create a clean pathway for you to walk around, so less mud is tracked into your new Asheville home. Hardscaping also creates a gathering space to entertain and enjoy outdoor meals with your family and guests. The walkways can often be made to double as waterways for stormwater.
Natural stonework provides the most durable hardscaping for your Asheville backyard. Natural stone costs more upfront, but is easier to maintain in the long run, making the cost even out over time.
What Landscaping Features Should I Add to My Asheville Home?
To stay warm during the slightly chiller Asheville fall and winter nights, install an outdoor fire pit or fireplace. Adding one of these cozy features can help you and your family enjoy the outdoors for more months of the year. If you would like more privacy from the noise of nearby houses, consider a water feature. The mild climate means it won’t be locked in ice and un-useable for long periods of time, but ready to enjoy frequently. If you install decorative natural dry-streams, you can enjoy them running often during these months.
Adding the right hardscaping to your yard creates an entertaining space but also works to keep erosion at bay. Water features, such as a stone waterfall or dry streams, can also add beauty, enjoyment and water control to your yard. Water brings wildlife, so you can use these features to attract animals like a magnet. Asheville has many pluses to its climate, but proper hardscaping can also turn some of the challenges to your advantage.
Guest blog from:
Steve Ambrose has lived in Asheville for many years. His company, Ambrose Landscapes, is a landscape contractor specializing in natural stone hardscapes and can create a beautiful outdoor living space in which his customers are confident and will enjoy because they understand everything involved in making it a beautiful space.