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Breaking Down Decomposed Granite

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]By Justin White, CEO of K & D Landscaping

As trends continue to develop and evolve in landscaping, its likely you’ve heard of decomposed granite. Commonly referred to in its abbreviated form, DG, it has become quite popular in modern landscape designs. Not only for its aesthetic allure, but also for its functionality and cost-effectiveness. You may have considered using decomposed granite in your landscape, but what exactly is this hardscape material?

Starting off as solid granite stone, the rock decomposes into finer particles after rain, wind and temperature conditions continue to weather it down. For landscaping use, the gravel pieces are usually three-eighths of an inch or smaller. The gravel is then compacted into a semi-hard, but permeable surface. DG is an excellent option for paths, driveways, patios and even large areas of commercial installations like playgrounds and trails. As an organic material, its natural appearance is appealing to many types of clients and it can also help contribute LEED points for certifications in the construction industry. One of the drawbacks of DG is that it can erode over time or become soft after a rain event, potentially tracking into your home on the soles of shoes. Fortunately, there are many binding options that can help secure your DG in place while protecting against the elements.

. . .

The best option is to mix in a binder with the product before installing the DG. The longest lasting and highest quality product on the market today is called GraniteCrete. This patented binder combines with water and DG to create a concrete-like surface that is also permeable. It can be used in almost any application and while it is on the more expensive side due to the labor-intensive mixing process, the end result will last for decades. The next step down is a spray-on stabilizer that is applied atop the DG before compaction. Install the granite into your hardscape area, spray on the stabilizer as directed, and then compact for a finished patio, walkway or playing surface. The spray-on stabilizer can lose its grip or be washed away after a few years of rain fall due to the fact it’s not mixed in like the GraniteCrete. But it is a lower cost and less labor consuming process.


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McClellan Ranch: Preserving Nature and History


Located in the Monta Vista neighborhood of Cupertino, the McClellan Ranch Preserve is the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with nature.

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The Stevens Creek Trail at the McClellan Ranch Preserve.

Once the site of a horse ranch owned by the McClellan family in the 1930s and 1940s, the 18-acre natural preserve is now home to the local 4-H Club, the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society, and a large community garden.

The property features the original ranch house, a working milk barn and livestock barn, and two transplanted buildings: a replica blacksmith shop and a water tower.  It also features an Environmental Education Center opened in 2015.

Visitors to the preserve can participate in an after-school nature program, enjoy some birdwatching, help with a habitat restoration project, learn about the area’s history, or follow the paved Stevens Creek Trail that winds through the preserve to Blackberry Farm and the Stocklmeir Orchard.

Designed by SSA Landscape Architects, GraniteCrete was chosen to pave the Stevens Creek Trail “primarily for its natural looking aesthetic and for ADA-accessibility purposes.”

Christian Harris, one of the architects on the project, said SSALA “uses GraniteCrete frequently and will continue to use [it] on projects ranging from residential installs to public parks. We like the look of the product, its durability relative to other decomposed granite stabilizers, and that we can use it as an accessible surface.”

We’re thrilled GraniteCrete was chosen to play a key part in helping visitors enjoy this beautiful and historic preserve.

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