Brookfield Landscaping

Welcome to Brookfield's home for landscaping and grading information!

The articles section should provide you with a wealth of information about different landscaping jobs. If you can't find the right article for you let us know and we will be glad to find if for you.

For more Landscaping Information visit a local landcaping and grading blog here. 

Hardscaping near Brookfield and Elm Grove

36 Features in Hardscaping

Here you will find another great page of articles from HGTV. This page is full of hardscaping and landscaping ideas, designs, and pictures.

100 Features in Patios
The experts at HGTV have over 100 articles ranging from laying pavers to creating shade for a patio that gets too much sun. It can be a great source for any patio project.

Retaining Wall Design and Construction
Pro Garden Biz created an article discussing retaining walls, what they do, and the correct way to go about making them.

How Hardscaping Works
As opposed to the plant life in a yard, which is called softscaping, hardscaping has to do with all the nonplant design elements of a yard.


Build your own rain garden!

Rain gardens are a way for homeowners as well as businesses to participate in the reduction of polluted runoff, simply by planting a specialized garden. It is a popular way to reduce nonpoint source pollution and protect our lakes and streams.

How to Grow Grass in Wisconsin Soil
If you live in a colder climate, like Wisconsin, the growing season for grass lawns is shorter than in many other climates. Having a green lawn is not without some difficulties and will need your attention.

Supranova Poa Supina Shade Grass
This is the best primo shade lawn grass on market today. Supranova Poa Supina shade grass has been developed over the last 20 years and the breeding keeps improving.

Drainage System Design: 3 Mistakes to Avoid

Inadequate drainage, as any homeowner will tell you, can cause soggy lawns, muddy gardens, and flooded yards. These problems can often be corrected with a good drainage system design. You can avoid 3 common mistakes by designing and installing the right drainage system

1. Creating the System Without Knowing Excess Water Source

Drainage problems are usually caused by excessive water. Sometimes water pools up from continuous rain or melting snow, but it can also come from a high water table, a broken underground irrigation pipe or a leaky water pipe. Before spending time and cost associated with the design and construction of a drainage system, you should determine the source of your excessive water. If you can stop its flow, you may find that there is no need to construct a drainage system.

If excessive water, rainwater or an underground spring, for example, cannot be stopped, the only solution may be to design and build a drainage system.

2. Overlooking Soil Composition

Soil composed mostly of clay is the worst in allowing water to drain. However, don't make the mistake of assuming you can't work with this kind of soil. You can often change its composition by mixing it with compost, gypsum or sand. Just spread the added topsoil and use a garden tiller to mix it in. Another method is to add sand over the top of your clay soil and get better drainage without tilling the soil.

3. Creating the Wrong Kind of Drainage System

If it is not possible for you to solve your drainage problem by changing soil composition or by stopping the flow of excessive water, your last option may be to install a drainage system.

Based on materials you have to work with, the slope of your property, and available equipment, there are 3 types of drainage systems from which you can choose. But if you choose the wrong one you could find your system clogged with mud from drainage water, or water that is draining too slow. You need to Know before installing your system, which one will work best for you.

  1. Open Ditch: An open ditch will drain fast and is not as likely to become clogged with mud, but you may not want an open ditch on your property.
  2. Gravel Trench: If you fill your ditch with gravel and cover it with topsoil or grass, your drain will be hidden and the water will still drain at a good rate. This type of drain is more likely to become clogged with dirt and mud. 
  3. Drainage Pipe: In burying a drainage pipe into the trench, your water will drain faster, you can avoid having an open ditch and the pipe is less likely to become clogged (if it's 10 inches in diameter or larger). The cost of the pipe and the extra work it will take to seal its joints will be greater.   

Most drainage problems can be resolved by one of the 3 methods mentioned above.

Read more:

   Landscaping Drainage Issues and Solutions

Brick Streets and Paver Driveways make a comeback

Brookfield homeowners hardscaping is gaining popularity. When your deck or concrete patio needs replacement think about replacing it with brick or concrete pavers installed by Bob's Grading Inc.  


Brick Streets Making Comeback!


By Steve Lake



Almost every town had them, at one time or another, those solid brick streets that used to lead the way all over the cities and towns of this country, that is.  German Village a small village in Columbus Ohio is one of the best known examples of communities who still get around on brick streets. Anyone who has visited that area knows the rumble of their tires passing over the ancient bricks covering the roadways.


Today Bricks are making a comeback with new more road-friendly designs and patterns to bring back the warm, friendly look from yesteryear.   Today’s paver bricks are an eco-friendly material that reduces the expense of repairs and/or resurfacing.  Other advantages of the brick road, aside from esthetics are bricks last for over 100 years and make small road repairs easier to manage as well. 


There are some who might think that Brick streets are a natural way to slow down the flow of traffic in town and in small villages.  New curbs, sidewalks and brick streets give a warm look and an identity to the road.  There is definitely a place for Brick and Paver streets although they would not be practical or comfortable on highways or expressways.


The higher cost of a brick road project is most likely offset by lower maintenance and less resurfacing.  That certainly would be a relief to those of us who loiter in our cars and trucks at summer resurfacing sites. Most agree the bricks slow traffic and enhance property values too.  The 2.5 inch bricks are usually laid over 4” of sand and 6” of concrete which explains their long life. Broken bricks and repairs are less intrusive to traffic and in most cases faster to manage. Today there are new designs in snow plow blades made of flexible materials to handle snow plowing in the winter.


If restoration is your interest then there are companies like Historical Bricks in Iowa City Iowa where reclaimed bricks are gathered, sorted and resold for driveways, walk ways. John Gavin at Historical Bricks says there is a market for older salvaged bricks and his company ships them all over the nation. Gavin’s company ships between 40-50 million pounds of reclaimed brick from Iowa all over the country.


In any event whether the cities or towns in and around your area are planning to resurface their streets you might want to put in a word for Brick and Pavers as a option to concrete and asphalt.


Sometimes there are brick streets under layers of decaying asphalt and in places like Winter Park Florida the city and residents liked the bricks so much better they decided to repave the city in Brick.  This led to residents adding brick walks and driveways.


Cumberland, Maryland had a downtown area paved in brick and in 2004 added another 6 square miles to Cumberland streets.  As the seasons change this would be a good time to do a little marketing to see if your company can get in on the rebirth of brick streets.  Homeowners often upgrade to brick and pavers too.

Brick and concrete pavers make a comeback

Brick is back: clay pavers make a comeback in city streets and backyards

The material our country was built on is coming back in style in a big way. Communities are restoring and creating brickscapes for both pedestrian and vehicular traffic in an effort to replace concrete jungles with a surface that exudes warmth and just keeps looking better as it ages. Brick paver use has increased 30 percent in recent years from 170 million units in 2000 to 240 million in 2002.



Historical areas like Bostons Beacon Hill have maintained their brick sidewalks for more than 200 years. Other communities, like Pittsburghs West Chester Borough, are emphasizing their history by creating new brick-paved districts. But not all cities who are choosing brick are doing it for historical authenticity. Large metropolitan areas are also choosing the material for areas with a distinctly urban feel. In Houston, for example, 19 blocks along the new state-of-the-art light rail corridor downtown was paved with brick. According to Guy Hagstette, director of Planning & Development of the Houston Downtown Management District, while other segmental paving products we have used are very durable, the aesthetics just dont hold up over time. The main benefit to clay pavers is their rich color and resistance to fading and staining.

Main Street is a special place, and we knew we wanted clay pavers."



The clay paver revolution is not just for these large-scale projects, though. Homeowners across America are increasingly using the product to bring the same rich look to their own backyards. They are discovering that the product made from the earth is the most natural choice for all their paving needs. Do-it-yourselfers find that laying clay pavers makes a great weekend project and saves them labor costs, as well.



"Trends in home improvement indicate that outdoor spaces, such as patios and enclosed courtyards, continue to be just as important to curb appeal and market value as the gourmet kitchen and luxury bathroom," notes Ted Corvey, paver director for Pine Hall Brick. Smart Money magazine estimates that landscaping and hardscaping can increase home values by as much as 15 percent, while the National Association of Realtors found that outdoor rooms can deliver 77 percent return on investment at sale time ¬ó and theyre less expensive per square foot than additions or kitchen or bath remodels.



While genuine clay pavers make the perfect "floor" for these outdoor living spaces, they are strong enough for a driveway and can even be continued into the garage for a unique upgrade to a space where design and beauty is often forgotten. Many people are surprised to learn that clay pavers are actually stronger than most other paving materials with strengths reaching up to 36,000 pounds per square inch (psi).



Visit the Brick Industry Associations new

genuine clay paver website at pavers1 to download free booklets, brochures and videos filled with ideas to get you started on your own backyard project.