Getting Your Garden Ready for Summer

Summer is around the corner, and it is time to enjoy the sunshine and cool evening out in the open; start getting your garden ready. It is not difficult, and it gives you a chance to get started on all the landscaping plans you made during the winter. Remember, even with COVID 19 vaccinations and other precautions, the home is still the safest place to be and if you want to entertain, the garden is the place to do it.

  • Tidy Things Up: It normal to tidy up a house (or even a man cave!) before guests arrive. So why not do the same for the garden? Neatly edged flowerbeds, trimmed shrubs, the absence of leaves and twigs lying around all go into creating the impression of a garden that has been cared for.
  • Clean Up the Lawn: Remove any weeds that may have found their way into the grass. Check the lawnmower to ensure the blades are sharp, and the grass will be cut neatly. Do not trim the grass too short so that the next mowing will be due later. A mowing height of 2 to 3 inches will allow the grass to develop stronger roots and make the lawn more drought-resistant.
  • Add Color: The first impression that a person gets about a garden is from the colors that the eye beholds. The brighter and more different the colors, the more the optical senses are excited, and this, in turn, leads to the beginning of the “Wow” factor. Besides refreshing the flower beds, think about hanging baskets around the patio or other places where people will be spending time.
  • Fragrance: It is easy to overlook the importance of fragrance in landscaping. Scent may not make the same kind of immediate impact as sight, but it can be as influential in affecting the perception of beauty and creating a higher level of peace and comfort. Aromatherapy is not pseudoscience. Research proves that it plays an important role in our appreciation of the world around us.
  • Create a Fresh, Interesting Landscape: The landscape is a way to show your personal style to the world. Besides the foliage, you can use statues, large urns, benches, driftwood, retaining walls, walkways, lighting, water features, and much more to create an outdoor world that is your own.
  • Do Not Forget The Patio: This is the multi-function area of the garden. It is where you can chill out, exercise, entertain, barbeque, or just do nothing. Patio landscaping is not easy – the patio must be functional while still adding to the beauty of the overall landscape.

Also Read: 5 Common Patio Landscape Mistake to Avoid

You can do a lot to build the perfect open-air environment this summer. However, keep in mind that the best results require more than just your green thumb. Knowledge of soil and climatic conditions, irrigation needs, artistic sensibilities, maintenance needs, and experience in landscaping all come together to provide the platform for a great garden. It is for this reason that the best landscapes, the ones where people love to spend time out in the open, are those that are created by a professional landscaping service.

How to Pick the Right Landscape Maintenance Service

Creating a beautifully landscaped garden or yard can change the look of your home and increase its curb appeal and market value. Making a great landscape requires the kind of expertise and experience that only a professional landscaping company will possess. People often try their hand at DIY landscaping to save money, but the results are never going to be as good as a professional job. Professionals also know how to stretch a budget and maximize the return on every dollar spent on landscaping. The other area where homeowners often slip up is landscape maintenance.

A beautiful and professionally created landscape needs to be maintained to keep it looking its best. Homeowners rarely, if ever, have the specialized skills required for landscape maintenance. Watching a lovely yard deteriorate because the maintenance is unable to keep it at its best is not just sad, it also creates a depressing atmosphere that affects everyone living in the home. That is why landscape maintenance is as important as landscape design and creation.

Landscape Maintenance – Finding the Right Service


The ideal course of action is to have a landscape designed, executed and maintained by the same professional landscape service. However, if that is not possible or if you have a landscaped yard and are searching for a landscaping company to maintain it, here is what you need to look for:


Check testimonials from other clients to see how focused the company is on providing quality service and maintaining standards.
• Check on the qualifications and experience of the company and its staff. Do not hesitate to ask questions to get the information you want.
• Avoid companies that try to confuse you with jargon – they usually have something to hide. Go for the company that gives clear and direct answers to your questions.
• Check on the scope of the available services. Are they what you need? Can they be tailored to meet your specific requirements?
• Will the company do other work you may require such as patio landscaping or installing pavers?
• Check on the cost. Ask for a detailed breakup on any work that seems to be too expensive. A good landscape service will do this willingly. While cost is an important consideration, remember that compromising on landscape maintenance is compromising on the upkeep of your home and repairing a badly maintained garden is more expensive than paying a reasonable amount for proper maintenance.

Professional landscaping companies are generally eager to take up maintenance work. According to the National Association of Landscaping Professionals over 33% of them say that this is the fastest-growing area of service. Picking the right landscape service to maintain your yard is not something you should compromise on. Pick the best landscaping company in your area and enjoy your home without any maintenance hassles.

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.

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.

Valuable Tips for Creating Beautiful Garden Landscapes

We all want a beautiful garden. Therefore, it is important that when you buy new plants for your space, you must make sure that they match with the landscape and add beauty. There are many aspects you should be aware of to get the best out of your investment.

While some gardens look completely haphazard, some are known to have an organized look. The main reason behind a haphazard garden is the failure of the designer in planning the garden properly. Here are a few tips that can help you create a beautiful garden.

Plan Properly
The garden landscape should be planned in such a way that it looks attractive and at the same time has the flexibility to change in the future. It is best to plant the plants in a manner that allows space for change in case a stump grinder or a mower need to enter for a building project or for your patio or porch. If you do not plan this in time, then you may be forced to remove the plants so that you have space for using such equipment.


Think of Creating a Focal Point
The garden’s focal point should be created in such a manner that it attracts visitors and family members and engages attention. While it should be distinctive, it must not look out-of-place. For instance, you can keep a beautiful garden bench and use it as the focal point. Refrain from using anything that is not connected to the garden. An oak tree or a body of water can be a good focal point too and can give a new dimension to the garden landscape.


Check the Curves
While it is a great idea to create curved flower beds or pathways in a garden, you should take care not to overdo them. Keep the space simple to make sure its geometric design stands out. If shapes are used too often, they may become common and nobody will notice them.


Highlight the House
The design you choose for the garden should always match with your house. In case your house does not have any architectural design, then soften the edges with a garden. However, make sure you do not overdo matching your house with the outer landscape. It should be done in a way that your house is not hidden by the trees in the garden. The right form of landscaping is one that highlights the architectural features of the house as well.


Choose Plants According to Locations
Whenever you choose a plant for a specific spot within the garden, think of the growth rate and the final size of the plant. If your selection is not based on such considerations, then you may end up making mistakes that will cost you in the future. You may have to spend a lot of money in making adjustments.
Most of all, make sure your space is comfortable and free of pests. To avoid any mistakes during your landscaping project it is best to hire a landscaping expert.

Source : http://blog.doolinglandscapeservice.com/2019/11/valuable-tips-for-creating-beautiful.html

The Best Garden Furniture to Go with Your Landscape

There is nothing more enjoyable than spending the evening in your own garden and having a drink or two in the piquant atmosphere. The whole ambiance gets further enhanced if the garden furniture is attractive and adds to the look and feel of the garden.

Here are a few tips that can help you select the right type of furniture for the outdoors.


Deciding on the Material:


Wood:


It would be a good idea to decide on the material for the furniture ahead. You can select wooden furniture which definitely looks attractive and strong. However, if the user lives in a place where the air is usually moist, then there is always the possibility of the wood getting attacked by fungi. It is good to bear in mind that such furnishings cannot look fresh for too long either. Hence, if the user does not want the furniture to spoil too soon, it would be best to invest in other materials such as metal.


Metal:


Metal furniture is normally built from powder-coated aluminum and steel and was a very popular choice during the Victorian era. Garden furniture made out of metal has both durability and style and that makes it a favored choice for many, especially those who are keen on having low maintenance furniture.


Rattan:


Rattan garden furniture is often made by combining rattan with wood.  Outdoor rattan garden furniture is definitely the most stylish and sophisticated and it amplifies any garden’s beauty. There is no better feeling than sitting outside on the deck enjoying the sunset with the barbecue smoking. Rattan furniture has been popular for several years, primarily because the usage of rattan for making furniture has been employed since the very beginning of time. 

The best way to design an outdoor space is by decorating the furniture with greenery. Make sure you create a space where you can entertain in all kinds of weather. At the same time, it’s not a great idea to spend a lot on costly pieces as they will be outdoors the whole year through.  

If you want a good deal on furniture then it is definitely a good idea to surf online. You will find unique pieces at pretty reasonable rates. Moreover, some of the stores also offer free shipping, saving on the total cost. A huge variety of deck chairs, garden hammocks, and garden umbrellas are available online as well.  All these additions will definitely make the garden look like a well put together space.
Finally, it is important to understand that your garden too is an extension of your living space and must be maintained in a beautiful manner. Hence it is a good idea to spend your time and money not only in choosing the right furniture but also by hiring an experienced landscaping expert.
The best way to search for a landscape professional is to ask friends and family or to look online.

Source : http://blog.doolinglandscapeservice.com/2019/08/the-best-garden-furniture-to-go-with_23.html

Trends in Garden Furniture That You Will Love

Interior designers and architects are coming up with various types of patios and backyard designs. This has led to a revolution in the home furnishing industry with a variety of outdoor furniture to look out for.

Begin by thinking of how you would like to make use of the outdoors. Will you prefer entertaining and eating, which will require chairs and a dining table, or just relaxing while reading a book, which in turn will require a cozy sun lounger. Perhaps you prefer an outdoor area that is extremely versatile; you must include something for the children too. From small bistros to complete dining sets, or benches to swings, take out time for considering what kind of garden furniture you will require and create a list.

Just like with purchasing other furniture, you should understand the amount of space you have before buying anything new. Measure the outdoor area using a measuring tape to ensure you do not end up ordering furniture which is too big or too small.
The equipment for outside can include, garden furniture sets, accessories, and much more.


Wooden patio fitments

When compared to interior fittings, wooden furniture for the courtyard has its own range. The providers offer from mid-range to high end and even low-priced fixtures. Most of the wooden fitments for patios are extremely expensive. They are essentially high maintenance ones. However, some such as teak, may be resistant to any form of swelling. One can also go for reasonable ones and cover them with a coating for protection.

Few of the most famous wood varieties that are utilized for making outdoor furniture are eucalyptus, cedar, and pines. However, wooden patio chattels will necessitate regular oil application for maintaining their condition.

Metallic units

Since wood can be expensive, metal has also evolved as an extremely popular option among a lot of people. Normally aluminum, a metal which is both light weight and easy to maintain is a good choice. Apart from this, another alternative is steel.

Both aluminum and steel require a coating of powder to offer a protective finish. They are available in numerous options for clients within the same pricing.

Plastic fittings

Equipment made of plastic can be utilized for outdoors as they are low maintenance. The flexible fitments are extremely durable and do not need any staining like metallic units. Apart from this, they are easily moulded to different shapes making them extremely marketable.  Ultraviolet stabilizing hues are utilized to slow down the process of fading. On top of this, plastic can be wiped using a cloth.

Fabric 

People who love to soak in some sun during afternoons would love outdoor sofas. Options include cushions on powder covered steel. The outer fabric of the sofas provide coziness and comfort that is almost the same as the interior fittings.

Hence, these are some of the many ideas in outdoor furnishings that people can use to make their outdoors beautiful and usable. House owners can choose from all of these choices depending on their needs or hire landscaping experts for advice.

Source : http://blog.doolinglandscapeservice.com/2019/02/trends-in-garden-furniture-that-you.html

Tips on Landscaping Your Garden

There is no doubt that the main element of an attractive house is having a landscaped garden. Landscape planning does require some effort. There are numerous common design features and ideas available over the internet for inspiration while planning an attractive project. With some helpful tips, you can save money without sacrificing beauty or quality and get yourself a satisfying landscaping experience.


Tip #1 – Before you plan, look for resources you already have.


Before starting, look for resources that you already have with you. Make a list of likes and dislikes in your current landscape, the way you want to use the space, the transformations you would like to make and the type of landscaping design you wish to have. 

Tips #2 –Take cues from others when needed


While it is good to stay original, the rule does not apply to landscaping. In case you like a certain design, copy it, and make the required changes to help it fit into your space. When you decide to go with your original ideas, you will have to be prepared for things not always going the way you imagined.


Gather ideas by looking at magazines, pictures on the internet or taking advice from friends and family. Apart from this also make a note of things you will need for tweaking the design and constructing that specific feature, you want. Combine various design ideas that can help you achieve your goals, while considering what you have already have.

Tips #3 –Keep the style of your house in mind


There is nothing more awful than creating a landscape that does not match with your house. Before starting the project, take into account the overall style of your house. Also, consider your lifestyle. Do you have the time to care for hundreds of plants or clip beds of roses? If you are someone who prefers to spend time relaxing, then consider aneasy-care landscape.


Tips #4 –Visualize the final design before going ahead with it


Keep in mind, the function and style of your landscape. In case you own a rural cottage, a very formal garden will not look good. Make sure you keep the utility value of the space in mind while planning. Do you wish to have a barbeque or a separate area for entertaining guests? Will a flowerbed amidst your lawn constrain family games? Do you wish to have an area where your children can play? Concentrate on the outdoor space where you will be spending maximum  time. This is the best place to start with.


When thinking of landscaping, it is certainly a good idea to hire a professional. However, independent designers demand a lot of money. Hence, before you hire someone to do the job for you, make sure you compare the rates and go through their work. There are several skilled landscaping experts who do an amazing job at extremely competitive prices.

Source : http://blog.doolinglandscapeservice.com/2018/12/tips-on-landscaping-your-garden.html

Creating a Zen Garden in your Backyard

If you are planning to upgrade creatively your back yard, you can employ an exciting Japanese landscaping technique long known as the Zen Garden. It provides a cozy spot for yoga practice, meditation, unwinding, or just a beautiful alternative to a typical lawn.

In the early days, Zen gardens were completely dry, composed only of sand and rocks. However, new designs have accommodated bridges, water, and even lights. You can create one that encompasses all your outdoor space, or just a small area of the backyard.

The following are eight popular additions you can consider:

1. Bridge

Bridges made of wood or stone, placed above gravel paths or ponds, or even connecting small islands make a great add-on. According to the Japanese, bridges are a symbol of transition from one space to another.


2. Island

You can create an island using a single rock or a landform patterned with soil and rocks. In case you do not have enough space to create an actual island, you can represent one with big stones coming out of your pond.


3. Plants or flowers

Colorful, blooming flowers are not normally seen in Zen gardens. However, you may sometimes see lotus, lilies, and iris close to the shrubs or water, made into bonsai trees. Stones and moss growing on logs can help add greenery to the design.


4. Sand

White sand is used widely in this type of landscaping. You can either rake it or keep it unraked. When you rake the sand into curves, you create ripples very similar to what you will find in water bodies. It’s apt to keep the sand within low walls or fences. There are many other creative ways to keep the sand within boundaries.


5. Stones

Another prominent feature of Zen gardens would be stones that often symbolize islands, mountains, shrubs or animals. However, you should have an uneven number of stones to make them look natural. In addition, you can bury partially big rocks in the ground so that they appear to sprout from the earth.


6. Trees

Flowering plum, bamboo, cherry, dogwood, Japanese maple or old pine trees do extremely well in Zen style landscaping. After planting, the trees require just watering and rare fertilizing.


7. Pond

There is nothing more calming and relaxing than flowing or still water. In case you already have a pond in your garden, go for your Zen garden around the structure. Otherwise, create a pond and grow lotus blossoms for providing the right setting for meditation. You can also intersperse the pond with rocks, sand, and moss.


8. Waterfall

Water bodies emanate ever optimistic and positive energy. A waterfall can flow into a pond or cascade on rocks. Zen waterfalls are normally partly bordered by big rocks. You may also create a waterfall by using rocks in a plain sand garden.


You can do so much with your Zen garden with just a little bit of imagination. You can install statues, stone lamps, or lights that brighten your garden at night. You would do well to seek help from a landscaping expert for best results and aesthetic appeal.

Source : http://blog.doolinglandscapeservice.com/2017/08/creating-zen-garden-in-your-backyard.html