Different Types of Landscaping Services

The increased amount of time that most people spent in their houses in 2020 made them more aware of both the comforts of the home and its limitations. One of the biggest problems was the feeling of being cooped up indoors. The yard offered a welcome change but it was rarely enough to counter the negative impact of the lockdown. Even though the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines means that the end of the pandemic is in sight, the importance of having a yard to spend time in remains. Landscaping plays a key role in making the yard inviting and relaxing. A top-quality landscape that truly offers the benefits of being outdoors requires professional landscaping.

If you area rookie, here is a basic summary of what a professional landscape service must offer you.

  • Design: A great landscape combines beauty and functionality. A qualified and experienced landscaper will be able to understand your sensibilities, the kind of landscape you want, your budget and how your yard will be used. With all this in mind, he will create designs for you and work with you to give you the perfect landscape.
  • Creation: Once you have decided on a design you like, the landscaping company will bring the design to life for you.

However, this is not the end of it. A yard, with all its flowers, plants, shrubs and foliage is a living organism. This means it needs to be cared for to keep it looking its best. This care and maintenance involves:

  • Bed Maintenance and Detailing: Your flower beds need to be weeded, trimmed, pruned and cleaned regularly. Done properly, they will remain a thing of beauty. If neglected, they will become an eyesore.
  • Pruning and Hedging: Plants grow at different rates and need pruning at different times. Many also have specific times of the year when they need to be pruned to remain healthy. If this is not done, the yard will look unkempt and the plants will become sick and straggly.
  • Seasonal Clean-up: With the change in seasons, the yard will need to be deep cleaned to remove any accumulated dirt and debris that could damage the plants.
  • Soil Supplements: The turf cannot be ignored. It needs supplements to keep it healthy and to make it fertile for the plants. Special treatment may be required to ensure that no fungal growth damages the plants.
  • Pest Control: Healthy plants attract all kinds of pests and if they are not dealt with, they will kill the plant. The type of pest control is important – it needs to get rid of the pests without damaging the plants.
  • Irrigation: Depending on the soil, the climatic conditions and the types of plants in the yard, irrigation may be required. Only a professional landscaping service will be able to design and put in place an irrigation system that will be effective.
  • Walkways and Patios: These can add character to a landscape. Paver installation, if not done correctly, will be ugly, uneven and awkward to walk on. Patio landscaping is a special talent because it must blend the deck with the landscape while making it a place for the outdoor activities the family enjoys.
  • Lighting: A beautiful yard is for both, the day and the night. With the right landscape lighting, it can become a place to spend time in after sunset, either to relax or to entertain.

Using a professional landscaper is the right way to create and maintain a yard in which the whole family will love to spend time.

5 Common Patio Landscape Mistake to Avoid – Dooling Landscape Service

A patio is a great way to expand the usable space of the house and connect the indoors and outdoors. The appeal and usability of a patio are not only dependent on its size, although that is important. The design, layout, access and the look of the area around it, all impact the utility and feel of the patio. These are the key factors in making a great patio that a professional landscaping company will always keep in mind:

  • Size: Homeowners with limited outdoor space often make the mistake of designing a patio that is the wrong size. If it is too small, its utility and the comfort of those spending time there will be compromised. But making it too big can be just as bad. If this happens, the patio will not blend in with the house and will stick out like a sore thumb. Not having enough green area around it will also detract from the appeal of the patio. The right design can often compensate for a small patio.
  • Walkways: If the yard is large, then walkways are a good way of connecting the patio to the more distant parts of the yard. The material used for the walkway need not be the same as the patio paving, but it should not present a glaring contrast either. Keep the width of the walkway in mind –3 feet is normal but if 4 feet is possible then that makes accommodating wheel barrows, lawnmowers, garbage cans, etc. easier. Using the same style of lighting for the patio and the walkways will add a feel of continuity over the area.
  • Piecemeal Work: Creating a large patio takes time and money. For this reason, those with large open areas often think of starting small and adding on to the patio when time and money permit. This sounds like a good idea but making a patio in stages may end up costing more than getting the whole job done in one go. However, if this is the way you want to go, ensure that you have an overall patio design in place so that each stage of the work fits seamlessly into the whole and the completed patio does not have a haphazard, disconnected look.
  • The Wrong Plants and Shrubs: The type of foliage around the patio is a matter of personal taste. However, a common mistake is to place oversize plants around the patio to give it a “green” feel. This will not work. It will only serve to isolate the patio from the rest of the open area and make it feel less open. Finding the right foliage for the open space around the patio is critical for the overall look and feel.
  • Connecting Indoors and Outdoors: There should be a seamless connection from the interior to the exterior. While the feel of the patio will be different from the indoors, it must also feel like an integral part of the house. Using flooring and colors that connect the inside with the out is the simplest way of providing continuity between the indoors and the patio.

Also Read: Choosing a Picnic Table for Your Patio

The key to creating a great patio is to remember that this is a place not where you have to spend time, but where you want to be. If you want the most attractive and appealing patio as part of your home, the right way to do it would be to use the services of a professional landscape designer who includes paver installation among his specialization. This, coupled with beautifully landscaped surroundings, will make it a patio that you will hate to leave.

Landscaping Mistakes That Hurt the Value of Your Home

Anyone who has ever bought or sold a house knows the importance of curb appeal in determining its market value. Realtors know the importance of first impressions which is why they make sure a house is looking its best before showing it to prospective buyers. Several elements go into the curb appeal, but none are as important as landscaping.

Real estate professionals will tell you that a great landscape design can increase the value of a property by 20%. On the other hand, bad landscaping can reduce the value. Even if you are not selling your house, the first impression that the landscape design creates will affect people’s perceptions about the interiors of the house and its occupants.

How a landscape is designed depends on the artistic sensibilities of the homeowner and the creative skills of the landscape designer, but some landscaping mistakes can have a significant impact on the selling price of the house and on the impression people get of the occupants.

  • Creating a landscape in bits and pieces will result in a disjointed design and the landscape will have no continuity; this will hurt the market value.
  • Landscaping is not a “fit and forget” project. Maintenance is required to keep it at its best and if that is not done,the negative impact will become apparent immediately.
  • Potential drainage and storm water problems are not only things a savvy buyer will look into but these could be the cause of major issues for you when you are living in the house.
  • Trees are always nice because of the beauty and shade they offer. But too many of them will make an open area claustrophobic and dark.
  • Damaged or unkempt patios are both ugly to look at and a potential source of accidents and injuries.
  • Water features like koi ponds can enhance the appeal of a landscape, but they require a great deal of maintenance to look their best.
  • Unplanned irrigation can leave some areas of the yard dry and arid and other areas soggy and muddy. Neither the occupants nor the buyers will want to spend time there.
  • Lighting is a key factor in landscaping. The lighting, to be effective, must be an integral part of the design.

These are just a few of the landscaping mistakes that can affect the curb appeal of a house.

Your home should have the landscape design you want. Only a professional landscape designer will be able to take your concepts and turn them into the reality that will give your home the look and feel you desire. Trying to do the design yourself will never produce the same results because there is so much technical knowledge that goes into the design – the type of soil, the climate, the need for irrigation, the maintenance requirements, etc. all have to be considered.

Overlooking or not having the skills to deal with any of the many factors that are required for the right landscape will leave the exterior of the home looking a lot less appealing. If you are planning on selling your home, asking a landscape designer to improve the look of the exterior is essential. If you are not planning on selling, great landscaping will make the home a very  pleasant place to live in. DIY efforts will never produce the same results as a landscaping expert.

Tips to Planning for a Great Landscape

Your home’s external appearance is important. The use of a front or backyard depends on the homeowner – it could be a place to enjoy natural beauty, to have an outdoor kitchen for entertaining or to play football with the family. Whatever the use, planning the landscape to suit the use is critical.

The Planning Parameters You Should Not Ignore

  • Know How the Garden Will Be Used: Open spaces rarely have only one use. One family member may want a quiet place to unwind while another may want to practice shooting hoops. Creating a landscape to meet the various requirements of the family is not easy and compromises may need to be made. What is important is to ensure that everyone has something that they want and that the various uses do not negatively affect the other–kids playing catch and crashing into the barbeque will make no one happy.
  • You Probably Cannot Fit in Everything: Even with big yards, space is limited. Being out in the open usually leads to people forgetting the space limitations and trying to fit in too much. You may want a fountain, a pergola, a fire pit, an herb garden, lots of flower beds and more. But trying to cram too much into a limited space will create a landscape that is crowded, uncomfortable and not all nice to look at.
  • Know Your Budget: Be sure of how much you can afford to spend on developing the landscape and how much it will cost you. Running short of money before the project is complete will result in the remaining work staying unfinished or being done to a lower standard than the rest of the garden. Either way, the result will not be what you were aiming for and the pleasure you get from the yard will be greatly diminished.

Also Read: Staying Outdoors While at Home

  • Plan for Maintenance: Creating a beautiful landscape is one thing – ensuring it stays that way is another. Maintenance is going to be required and you need to not only have the budget in place but you will also have to devote enough time to keep the garden looking the way it should. A badly maintained landscape can often be worse than no landscape at all.
  • What Do Local Ordinances Allow? Local ordinances vary greatly. In some places, you can do pretty much what you want within your property limits while in others there are restrictions and limitations to having a pool, an outdoor kitchen, a patio, etc. Your homeowners’ association may also have some rules in place that you need to know about. Being sure that what you plan will not cause problems with local authorities will save you the hassle and cost of making changes in the future.
  • Get Expert Help: This is the key to creating a great landscape. A landscaping professional will be aware of all these points and many others that need to be taken into account when planning a landscape. He will be able to give you the landscape you want, at the cost you can afford and he will also continue to look after it in the future so that you can enjoy it without any worries.

Creating a Meditation Garden

The restrictions on movement and social interactions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in people spending more time at home than ever before. This can be a strain both on the personal level and for family dynamics as well – the most loved family members can get on each other’s nerves after a period of time.

Social interactions which help to break the monotony and relieve stress are also severely limited. Things will improve in the future, but it could take some time. Finding a way to unwind and destress at home offers a great way to overcome the hassles that excessive home time can cause. One of the best ways to do this is to create a meditation garden.

The Oldest Relaxation Method

Meditation is one of the oldest forms of relaxation and stress relief known to man. It has been practiced in some form or another throughout history. Meditation is not tied to any religion or belief -people of every faith and of no faith at all find peace, comfort and relaxation, both mentally and physically, through meditation. Centuries of proof cannot be ignored.

Creating a Meditation Garden

The first step is to clean up and declutter the area where the garden will be set up. Once the space is clear, it will be easier to envisage the possibilities. This is important also because meditation requires a comfortable space, not one that is overcrowded. The layout and view must be given importance. Meditation involves contemplation and this is not possible if there are distractions or sights that move the mind away from serenity. Even an excess of brightly colored plants and flowers can have this effect. Bright colors are known to stimulate the mind and spirit. Ideally, the meditation area should be set apart from the rest of the garden so that it has a focused ambience that will help everyone relax.

Besides the plants, in some cases a small pergola could serve as a creative retreat. The right lighting will enable the area to be enjoyed even after dark. If there is enough space, a water feature is a good addition to the garden as the sound of flowing water has a calming and soothing effect that is conducive to stress reduction.

What makes for a peaceful meditation garden will depend on the personalities and nature of the people who use it. Fashioning an atmosphere that will suit all those who go to the garden is not easy. Creating a garden can be a time consuming and tiring task, even for those who love gardening. That effort and stress will defeat the purpose of a meditation garden. The ideal meditation garden should be created by a landscaping professional who understands the client’s wants and needs. He will know how to make the best use of the space available, how to use plants and shrubs, lighting and other features to create the right atmosphere and if needed, maintain the area so that it always looks it best without the homeowner needing to put in any effort. Once a meditation garden is set up, it will continue to be enjoyed long after the pandemic is over.

The Hidden Risks of DIY Landscaping

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lock down has many people spending more time at home than ever before. While this has many benefits, restlessness and boredom do force people to try and find things to do safely outdoors. One of these is tinkering with the yard layout and design, or to put it more plainly, DIY landscaping. It seems like a good idea at first; you will be occupied and will spend time outdoors, the exercise will be beneficial and the money you save by going the DIY way can be used for something else. And of course, you think that you will be able to give your home that exterior look that you have always wanted. The problem with this train of thought is that it overlooks many of the serious problems that DIY landscaping causes. The cost of repairing the damage caused by DIY landscaping efforts may be higher than the cost of having the work done by a professional in the first place.

What Goes Wrong

The number of things that could go wrong when DIY landscaping is attempted are varied and many of these may be site or project specific issues that are unique to a specific property. However, there are several problems that are common to all DIY landscaping projects:

  • Planning and design are critical for creating the right landscape. The overall ambience of the yard must be a cohesive and complete whole – it should not look like a number of plants and shrubs located haphazardly.
  • Finding the right plants is very important. Plant, shrubs and trees grow and perform differently. Some bloom year-round while others are seasonal. Some require shade while others demand a lot of sun. Some need more water and fertilizers than others. If the mix is not right and the location chaotic, the yard will never look as it should.
  • Using space correctly is another important feature. A landscape is more than just a lot of plants. There must be open space to sit, walk and generally move around. This must be a part of the design.
  • Overlooking irrigation and lighting requirements.
  • Using the right type of pavers for walkway and paths.
  • Balancing the indoor and outdoor views. A large shrub or tree may look good when seen from the outside, but what if it happened to block the view from a window?
  • It is easy to think that DIY means that cost control is simple. This is not so. Landscaping involves many types of expenditure and these can build up without your knowledge until you find that you have exceeded your budget and the cost of the project is not worth it.

Do It Safe – Do It Right

Landscaping is a far more complex and specialized process than people often realize. It is only after the work has started that the obstacles become obvious. By that time, the homeowner will have wasted a great deal of time and money. This is why DIY landscaping is simply not worth it. It makes far more sense to call in a landscaping professional who will be able to create the right design and look and use plants, shrubs, pavers and other materials that are suited to the climate, soil and environment. They will also work within a budget, ensure that no collateral damage occurs and provide any future maintenance that may be required. This will allow you to spend time outdoors without any landscaping hassles or worries about upkeep.

Adding Health and Value to Your Home

A home should be as welcoming outside as it is on the inside. When you turn into your street, the beautiful façade of your home should lift your spirits and bring a smile to your lips. The external appearance or curb appeal of a house affects the mood and attitude of all those who enter it, even if they are occupants who have lived there for years. It also plays an important part when you are planning to sell the house, as the exterior of your home is what a potential buyer will see first. That could influence their interest in the house.

Landscape plays an essential part in the way the exterior of your home looks. Here are some smart landscaping tips that won’t burn a hole in your pocket.

Focal point

Using a prop or part of the façade as a focal point is a great way to draw the eye. It could be an addition like a bench, a porch swing, or a fountain, or it could be something that already exists, like the front door or a tree. Use that as the centerpiece and arrange plants to complement the piece.

Pathways

An exciting pathway is an excellent addition to your exterior. It could be part of your drive, it could run through your garden, or it could lead to the front door. Make it enjoyable by choosing materials and plants that complement each other.

Plant walls

This is becoming increasingly popular. You can use an already existing wall, picket fence, or trellis as the base for your new plant wall. Depending on how high or long your wall is, you can decorate it with climbing vines, colorful planters, and interesting wrought-iron bric-a-bracs.

Curb appeal is not something to think about only when selling a home. It is an integral part of making a house a happier place to live in.When adding to the exterior of your home, remember that your imagination only limits you. Landscaping is the right way to enhance the beauty of a house and make it a place where both occupants and visitors are eager to enter.

Maintaining a Garden with Landscape Irrigation

Landscape irrigation has become an important part of any landscaping project as experts understand the need for installing a proper watering system. Landscaping is essentially the method of beautifying an area with lawns, gardens, courtyards, shrubs, trees, plants and more. The notion of a beautiful commercial or residential space appeals to everyone and consequently landscaping is not only the growing of shrubs and trees, but doing it in such a way that the landscaped area looks beautiful and is pleasing aesthetically.

Landscaping originated in the year 1598 when the Dutch introduced this genre in the field of arts. This later took many forms with different artists painting different pictures of sceneries. This in turn led to the creation of magnificent gardens and commercial spaces using numerous techniques and systems.

While setting up a vibrant and beautiful garden is a simple and easy process, maintaining it throughout the years in the same condition can be a different matter. The availability or supply of water is an important factor, as most plants depend on regular watering for survival. To assist in garden maintenance, there are numerous water irrigation systems.

  • Common Garden Irrigation Methods:Irrigation Systems That Use Rainwater:

This irrigation system works best for the health of the plants as the water is natural and does not contain any of the toxins or chemicals that may be utilized by the local water supply for treating and purifying the water. Rainwater certainly helps to grow healthier and larger plants. If the state faces a dry year, it may force the landscapers to utilize less water due to legal restrictions by local authorities, but a rainwater harvesting system if installed can permit them to water the plants as needed.

  • Drip Irrigation Systems:

This system runs water continuously and requires a lot of power. While they are great for the plants, providing specialized and targeted watering (and at times fertilizer)can make it expensive because of the electricity cost of the pumps. An irrigation system which is solar powered will assist in decreasing costs and can also deliver the advantages of a drip irrigation technique.

  • Sprinkler Irrigation Systems:

This system waters plants in a way that is similar to rainfall. Using pipes that are attached to spray heads, water is pumped out covering a pre-determined distance. The water falls on the land as droplets, like rain. Such systems can also be placed underground. This assists in keeping the area free of pipes and reduces the likelihood of animals destroying the equipment.

One can find numerous variations in irrigation systems. The choice should ultimately be based on aspects such as water availability, budgetary considerations, local regulations and the preferences of the individual ordering the system. Getting in touch with a professional landscaping expert or an irrigation contractor to choose an irrigation system for the area will ensure that you have an appropriate solution for your irrigation needs. The experts will have the necessary experience and will know which option is correct for your area.

Staying Outdoors While at Home

Although the COVID-19 lock down is being lifted, in the future we will all be spending a lot more time at home. While this has its benefits, it can also become a source of stress and tension for a family. Creating a landscaped yard enables everyone to spend time outdoors without leaving the security of the home.

COVID-19 forced us all to spend far more time at home than we ever did before. The lock down restrictions are now slowly being eased and going out and resuming some semblance of “normal” life can be anticipated. However, the “new normal” and the way we will live will be different from what it was in pre-pandemic times. How things will pan out remains to be seen, but one thing all the experts agree on is that we will be spending much more time at home.

Being stuck indoors for long periods can be very stressful, especially if it looks like the walls will be a major part of your life in the future. This is where the phrase “climbing the walls” came from. There is a way out – literally. The solution is to spend more time outdoors without actually leaving the house. Taking a chair and placing it in the back yard will not work. The family needs an open area that is calm, soothing, relaxing and appealing so that spending time there will not be just to escape the confines of the house but to actually enjoy the ambience of the place. Creating a beautiful garden/yard is not a luxury. It is an investment in the well-being of the family while increasing the home’s curb appeal and adding to its value. Here are a few ideas for you to think about.

Landscaping Concepts to Think About

  • Put in an arbour or a pergola. Small landscapes benefit from this because it creates a focal point which adds depth to the vista.
  • Break up the open area into smaller spaces using shrubs, trees, plants, etc. This will make the landscape appear larger.
  • Create a small cozy space for those who want a little alone time. It will be a place where they can read, listen to music or just unwind.
  • Use retaining walls to create multiple levels. This will not only add to the appeal of the landscape but it will also give it more depth.
  • Use lighting to give the landscape a different look and feel after sunset.
  • Add more color and variety to the landscape by going vertical. This means using plants and shrubs that are slim and tall so that more can be planted in a limited area without making it look overcrowded.
  • But also make sure that you do not get carried away with these and other concepts you come across. Adding features to a landscape increases its beauty and appeal, but if overdone, it can create the impression of messiness and clutter.
  • Think about maintenance. A beautiful landscape needs to be kept that way. Think about how much time you will be able to devote to caring for it and what your budget will be.

A landscaping professional will be able to create a landscape which will give you the peace, tranquillity and freedom that you need at home. In addition, you will be free from maintenance worries and will be able to enjoy your beautiful landscape in peace.

Why Should You Hire an Expert When Installing Interlocking Stones?

When it comes to laying stones, you probably think it is a natural process. When driving by a neighborhood, you see the stunning landscape created from paved walkways, you probably look at the gorgeous stones and think of how beautiful they may appear in your outdoor space. While using stones is a great idea, installing them on your own is not. Laying them requires several types of tools, which are specific to art. Only a professional landscaper has the proper knowledge and tools to ensure the job is done well.

The Process
Laying down interlocking stones is a very demanding task. Apart from the right knowledge, you also require precise attention to detail and proper planning.


Here is what the project entails:
1. Mapping out the area and planning accordingly and searching for things that may create hurdles in your plan. These may include protruded roots or a water body. 
2. Some areas may have to be demolished. This will create debris that will have to be removed appropriately.
3. It is essential to prepare the ground itself. The field requires to be examined for flexibility to make sure the stones stay in one place.
4. Cutting stones precisely so that they fit into the positions.
5. Rigorous and meticulous planning will ensure the stones remain secure, they are cut evenly, and that they can withstand being reshaped.
6. If the right kind of stone is not purchased, cutting them can make them split apart. Stone cutting is done through professional tools. In case you do not have the equipment, it will have to be purchased or rented, and that does not come cheap.
7. You will require tools for preparing the grounds. You will need different bonding agents and the right know-how of how these components are used to ensure that the stones are interlocking tightly.

The professional advantage:
When you hire an expert, they will ensure that your landscape keeps looking the way it is intended.


They ensure:
1. Every single stone is laid properly
2. The debris is hauled correctly away
3. Proper tools are utilized for the job to ensure flawless work, and
4. An expert will have the working knowledge and experience to ensure the job meets longevity, specific standards, and inspires beauty to not just your house, but also your neighborhood.

Source: http://blog.doolinglandscapeservice.com/2020/05/why-should-you-hire-expert-when.html