When Quality Counts
Toggle Bar

1-888-285-5355

plant-health-care-pros-can-help-property-owners-deal-with-bluegrass-billbugs-fairfax-vaThere are a handful of occurrences that are guaranteed to ruffle the neck hairs of property owners in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. One of them is a bluegrass billbug invasion. They can literally turn a lush lawn or healthy field full of crops into a barren wasteland in what seems like no time at all. Good thing our plant health care experts know what it takes to win the battle against these wicked weevils.

The first order of business is to set up linear or pitfall traps. The traps will help confirm that an invasion has taken place and let the property owner know how bad the situation may have already become. Depending on the type, adult billbugs are anywhere from ¼-inch to 7/18-inch in length. The bluegrass variety tends to be 5/18-inches long. The majority of the adult species have puncture marks on their pronotums and wing covers. They may also sport a brown, gray, black or yellowish hue.

As for the larva, they may be up to 3/8-inches long and the pupae that follow are often up to 2-inches long. They tend to range in color from white and cream to a reddish brown. Most of the species’ lay their eggs during May and June, so the larvae often appear in July and August. By early September, they enter the pupae stage and emerge as adults shortly thereafter.

Overwintering understandably starts once the temperatures drop. Thus, the best time to address a billbug invasion is while they are in the adult stage. However, they may be confronted when they are in the larval stage too. The list of treatment options includes, but is not limited to insecticide granules and sprays. For additional information on handling bluegrass billbug invasions, please contact our plant health care pros today.

 

Contact Us Today

 

 

 

august-plant-health-care-baltimore-mdAugust bring hotter weather which means it can be more difficult to keep the plants in your landscape looking healthy. That is why plant health care is a primary concern for many people, especially in August. So, what can you do to keep your plants healthy and keep your landscaping looking great?

1. Water your plants. They might need extra water during the hotter days. If you are in an area with water restrictions due to drought, first water the newly planted trees and shrubs, then the perennials that you planted this year. Then water the lawn, although with water restrictions, you probably cannot water your lawn. If you planted annual plants, those should be watered last.

2. Weed your flower beds. Continue to weed the flower beds since you don't want the weeds using the water and nutrients the plants need. It might be hot, but don't give up on weeding.

3. Monitor insects. Keep monitoring for insects. It might be hot, but those insects rarely give up, even in the heat. So, take some time while you are watering to check for those pesky insects that can damage your plants.

4. Wait to prune. Pruning is not advisable during the hot August days. Your plants are already working harder to live, you don't want to give them something else to deal with.

Wondering about specific plants in your landscape and how to best take care of them during the hotter August days? We'd love to help, just contact us and let's work together to keep your landscape looking great.

 

Contact Us Today

 

 

 

the-benefits-of-green-roofs-columbia-mdGreen roofs have been gaining popularity in recent years as more people have become aware of the ecological benefits that these roofs can provide. However, many homeowners are still unaware of the many benefits of green roofs. Furthermore, many homeowners are skeptical that they can make a difference in their neighborhood by turning their roof into a green roof. The fact is, however, that there are many benefits that a single green roof can provide. Here are just a few of the many reasons why you should consider converting your roof to a green roof.

Improves Air Quality

Green roofing vegetation helps to filter out dust, smog, and CO2 out of the air. The plants on green roofs help to remove these harmful particles and elements from the air, and help to replace them with cleaner oxygen. While more homes with green roofs in your neighborhood would help to improve air quality in your town, even a single home having a green roof could help to remove harmful materials from the air.

Improves Noise Protection

It is well known that plants act as natural sound insulators, and it is for this reason that many individuals plant large plants and hedges around their home when they live near a highway and/or in a noisy neighborhood. For this reason, it should come as no surprise how beneficial green roofs can be in further improving a home’s noise insulation. Green roofs can be particularly helpful for homes that live under a flight path as the vegetation can help to keep out noise from the planes above.

Greener Construction

Green roofs can be further beneficial to the environment in that they often make use of recycled products and renewable resources in their construction. This helps to save valuable resources, and it helps to lessen the effect production of the products for these roofs have on the environment. This makes these roofs green in their construction as well as in their implementation.

Green roofs can be extremely beneficial for the environment in your local community. In fact, these are just a few of the many benefits that green roofs provide. Contact us to find out about more of the ways in which green roofs can help the environment as well as to find out about having your roof converted into a green roof.

Contact Us Today

 

 

 

469572c5-912a-4285-e889-6d453e0d5d8b

Building a green roof is a more complex process than building a standard roof, and this is because you will actually be using your roof for a multitude of purposes. It is ideal to take your time with this kind of decision-making as you do not want to regret any decisions you make with designs for green roofs.

The Type of Roof It Is Going to Be

If you are interested in heavier plants and heavy growth, you need to understand that this will be an intensive roof that is able to handle 30 pounds or more within a single square foot. However, there are still limitations in regard to what you can grow on a roof, so you should express your ideas and concerns to professionals that deal in the industry of constructing green roofs. For homeowners that are looking to grow lightweight plants, an extensive roof may be all that is necessary for their green roof, which means every square foot can withstand a weight of 18 to 22 pounds.

Retaining Storm Water

When you have a sloped roof, you will notice that water can descend rather quickly, which can leave some plants with excessive water and others with not enough. It is important to combat this with a thought-out irrigation system, which can be done with careful planning by placing plants that need a lot of water towards to the bottom of your roof, and plants that do not need much at the top.

Types of Plants to Be Planted

Since having a green roof means growing plants on your roof, you need to decide what kind of plants are going to be grown. For instance, while you should avoid plants that have sprawling root systems, there are still plenty of herbs and vegetables that can be grown with ease and great success.

Contact Us Today

 

 

 

73459fa0-f9f6-4286-c952-e7ab76b7d36dWhen it comes to the overall appearance of a home, landscape and hardscape must work together. While a homeowner can have a beautiful garden, a garden can only look as good as its surroundings. It is essential not to forget about the importance of hardscape design  on your property. Although it can be a little overwhelming with the amount of options you have for hardscape, having patience is the key.

Take Advantage of Storage Opportunities

Although you may be thinking of functional space in your backyard, you will most likely need to store items outside, so you might as well do it in an attractive and functional manner. For instance, you can store gardening tools with wall hangers, which eliminates the amount of horizontal space consumed. Using this method works in quite a few ways, such as planting a wall-mounted garden. If you decide on customs designs for your yard, you should really look into multi-purpose options to add storage.

Stick with the Relative Scale of Your Home

While it is fairly easy to make use of a small backyard by minimizing the size of everything, this can lead to an awkward appearance to your backyard as it does not mesh with the rest of your property. It is best to stay within relative scale, which means wide stairs, large fire pits, or outdoor fireplaces. As long as you are able to have enough moving space and are able to get the functions you want for your yard, there is absolutely nothing wrong with going large on your property.

Avoid Solid Fencing

Although you may think that a large wood fence can give you boundaries to work with, this can actually make your property feel smaller than it really is. As an alternative, you can use open fencing, such as a white picket fence to separate your property from other properties and public space. While this may not provide the same amount of privacy as various types of fencing, this does provide safety for children, pets, while also enhancing the appearance of your property

Contact Us Today

Intern Outing Graphic
James Reeve, CEO (top left); Jackie, LA intern (top right); Jackie, Amanda, Hayley, Caddy (bottom left); Chris (bottom right)
 
Last Friday, the 2014 summer interns had an eventful day with Chapel Valley; they attended our new team training event, played mini golf, and went to the Frederick Keys baseball game. It was a successful day of learning and fun, and we were happy to show the interns our appreciation for choosing us to work with. The outing gave mentors and their interns the opportunity to build a stronger relationship, which is one of the goals of the program. We are a company that hires interns, which is another reason why we spend time with them outside of the office in a more relaxed environment. Chapel Valley’s culture is special, because our people do what we love and it shows; we love plants and landscapes and strive to stay abreast of the latest methods, techniques, and products that are good for clients properties and the environment. 
 
 
As a landscape industry leader for over 45 years, Chapel Valley has made the preservation of natural resources a top priority. As a result, we have focused our efforts on lowering our impact on the environment which has led us to our most recent purchase of mulching mowers and Toyota Prius’. 
 
Running a landscape company, it is our duty to meet with new and existing customers, as well as visit property sites on a regular basis.  Given the vast amount of time spent on the road to fulfil these responsibilities, we have provided our high mileage drivers with a Toyota Prius to reduce gasoline consumption. Another way we have reduced our fuel consumption is by placing our satellite offices geographically close to their corresponding maintenance branch. Our innovation to sustain green has not stopped here and we will always look for ways to reduce our carbon footprint. 
 
For those of you who don’t know, due to Maryland’s lawn fertilizer law that took effect on October 1st, 2013, lawn fertilizer products have been reformed. The law claims that lawn care professionals must follow regulations for the amount of fertilizer used on turf because the nutrients in them were harming the Chesapeake Bay.  Nitrogen and Phosphorus are the key ingredients found in fertilizer and are also the nutrients that keep your lawn looking nice and green.
 
When this law took place we knew we had to make a change to keep our lawns maintained appropriately. After doing some research, we made two business decisions to help Chapel Valley Landscape make a positive impact on our turfgrass program.  First, we partnered with a high-quality, local contractor to apply fertilization and weed control to client’s turf.  This partner is not only well respected in the Mid-Atlantic area, they pride themselves on developing appropriate application programs that minimize the approved ingredients to surpass the law’s requirement and to surpass our customer’s expectations of a healthy turf.
 
Next, we invested in upgrading our entire fleet of mowers and added mulching kits to each mower. Mulching mowers are different because they leave grass clippings on the lawn. Because grass clippings are high in nitrogen, this is one of the best ways to return nutrients to the soil. With new nitrogen laws in effect, we use this method to keep your lawn looking fresh, green, and healthy. The mow height of your lawn is also a factor that we keep into consideration. We leave the mow height around 4 inches, because if it were cut any shorter, then the roots would not be as deep. 
 
In addition to the benefit to the turf quality, mulching kits also reduce the large amounts of yard waste and energy required to handle landscape debris at dump locations.  Mulching kits provide an additional benefit of keeping grass out of landscape beds and tree rings, plus the reduction in possible flying debris that comes out the side of a typical discharge style mower. Here at Chapel Valley we are happy to make these improvements and we value that we can satisfy our customers and save the environment at the same time! 
 
Summer Garden
 
 
During the summer, our gardens are at risk for two different types of climates: severe drought or excessive rain. It is important to maintain your plants health correctly if your gardens are exposed to either of these conditions. Staying informed about possible weather situations and best practices for preventative maintenance could be what makes or breaks your garden or turf this summer. 
 
Severe Drought: When there is no precipitation for days or weeks and it’s extremely hot out 
 
•Due to lack of water, plants will become stressed and go dormant. 
•If not properly irrigated, grass will turn brown.
 
Maintenance for Severe Drought: 
 
•Water plants either early in the morning or late in the evening.
•If watered during the middle of the day, droplets can function as collecting lenses and focus the sunlight directly on the leaves, thus burning the foliage.
•Soak your turf for multiple hours, 3x a week – this is better than watering it every day for short periods, because the water will reach the roots.
 
Rainy Season: When there are rainy days and hot humid nights 
 
•This climate doesn’t allow the turf to dry out.
•The moist environment can cause harmful diseases to develop.
•Diseases include: Dollar Spot and Brown Patch.
 
Maintenance for Rainy Season 
 
•Using a “fungicide program” prior to the rainy season will help this problem. 
•The program starts in May and includes 4-5 treatments, depending on the climate. 
 
 
Jenn Giunta Newsletter graphic
Our Alexandria office has the pleasure of frequently performing commercial maintenance in our nation’s capital. With that honor comes the challenge of finding parking, navigating traffic and finding the right plants for each environment. Learn more in this interview with Jenn Giunta, our Alexandria Branch Manager.
 
Q: What are some unique challenges that you experience?
Jenn: Some unique challenges include excessive use on properties caused by everything from regular use by residents to dogs to pedestrians. This wear and tear on the landscape requires extra upkeep.  
 
Q: How is maintaining commercial properties different than residential?
Jenn: When treating commercial properties the structure is much different than residential maintenance. It is challenging because it requires a comprehensive mentality. Additionally, horticulture in the city differs from residential because you really need to know the plants and their characteristics. Also, you need to be a great investigator and problem solver.
 
Q: Being in DC, how do you approach sites that deal with a lot of traffic?
Jenn: When trying to find parking we may work with the properties themselves to find possibly, an alley or a load dock. If that isn’t possible we may partner with a nearby building. When there isn’t a clear space for parking we just figure it out! Our men are crafty, smart and creative when it comes to parking. We’ve learned what roads you can and cannot park on. It’s important to know the layout of the city for jobs like these.
 
Q: How do you maintain plants in a harsh environment?
Jenn: For harsh environments, such as high winds, microclimates and heat islands there are a multiple elements to consider. One important element is picking the right plants for the right location. Different plants thrive in different locations so something for a shopping center or a corporate business may not be right for apartments or condos. 
 
Q: What are some ways you determine the right plants for the location?
Jenn: To choose the right plants we often take clues from existing plants in the area. We also do background research and speak with the property manager or engineer of the building. Sometimes trial and error is necessary to find the right plants for your location.
 
Additionally, we take into consideration take into consideration foreseeable events such as wind, as well as unforeseeable such as dog traffic, environment, microclimates and heat islands.
 
Q: What are some difficulties you face in the court garden?
Jenn: Some difficulties in the court garden include the amount of light exposure and lack of sunlight due to shadows from surrounding buildings, as well as very distinct microclimates.
Another difficulty we have is the location of the courtyard. If it’s on a roof or the only entrance is through a lobby we make sure that all our staff are wearing booties on top of their shoes to prevent dirty floors.
 
Q: What drives your success
Jenn: The major element of our success is our people. Our team thrives because of the people. Our highly trained staff works together effortlessly, communicating to each other and property managers every step of the way.
 

 

d125d179-886b-43c5-c9a1-0d4e986de7a1

BBQ success is usually thought of as the type of sauce used. After all, there is a song written about BBQ.

In the mountains of Tennessee, they like a smoky sauce.

But over there in ole Memphis, a dry rubbed rib is boss.

The folks down in Georgia can't make up their mind,

You can give it to 'em sweet or spicy, and they'll say "that tastes alright."

But, we think BBQ success is in the landscape lighting. Once you have that great sauce that everyone wants to taste, how is it served? Is it served outside with porch lights that give off a little circle of light that attracts bugs? Or can you only serve your BBQ sauce in the daylight because you don't have night lighting?

Whatever the case is, landscape lighting is the key to your great BBQ. Go ahead, create your great sauce, and contact us to make your event a success. We will come to your residence and help you decide where you want guests to enjoy your BBQ. Then we will install subtle lights that help them enjoy your sauce and enjoy the conversation of friends.

We can help you light pathways so friends can walk and enjoy your BBQ sauce, or we can help light up niches with tables so friends can sit. We will help you create a moonlight effect from your trees to add to your gathering of friends. If you have a pool, we can create lighting so people can enjoy a swim after eating.

This summer, create your great BBQ sauce, but don't forget the landscape lighting that will make it a great BBQ time with friends. After all, BBQ'ing is not just for the south. BBQ is a summer American tradition for all to enjoy.

Contact Us Today

 

 

 

 

1975dcd2-48f8-4ad0-9763-b223b206697aSpring has come and gone, the flowers are all blooming and the grass is green. We are now approaching the hotter summer months were there is fun in the sun, BBQ parties, and swimming. You might enjoy the warmer weather, but to your plants this can be a stressful time. Here are some suggestions to help with your plants health care during these hot months.

  • Check your sprinklers - If you have an automatic sprinkler system, check that it is functionally properly. Having a professional take a look at it is a good idea. 
  • Provide some shade - Having some big shade trees in your yard not only gives you a place to get out of the heat, but also your plants. 
  • Deadhead and trim - Help keep your plants happy by removing old spend blooms and dead branches. This will allow for good airflow around and through the plant.
  • Keep the pest away - Your plants will already be stressed from the heat, they don't need pest stressing them more. Look closely at your plants weekly so that you can catch little intruders early. 
  • Small plants are more vulnerable - Smaller and newly planted plants are more vulnerable to the heat and are at greater risk of stress. Take special care with these to keep them from being burned.
  • Mulch - Having a good mulch around the base of your plants will help keep the soil cooler and retain more moisture.  


Contact Us Today

 

 

 

compressed

On June 17th, 5 members from Chapel Valley had the pleasure of mingling and dining, at the Great Arboretum cookout. The event is held annually each year in June, when the Arboretum grounds are in full bloom. Attending the cookout is a great way for our team to stay involved with people who share the common interest of supporting the gardens and programs at the Arboretum. Each year a different state is honored, and this year, they proudly presented Missouri. 
 
If you are not familiar with the U.S. National Arboretum, it is administrated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s, Agricultural Research Service; to provide the public need for scientific research, education, and gardens that conserve and showcase plants to enhance the environment. The Arboretum is very valuable, because it plays an important role of preservation.  Our founder, J. Landon Reeve, is very passionate about the Arboretum, and contributes by being an officer on the board of directors. 
 

 

039e11d0-fd16-4f1d-fe38-dd537f7afe56Most people consider a green roof a topper using sustainable materials. In actuality, green roofs are a span of living plants and grasses atop a house or commercial building. In a sea of bleak black, the green roof is a return to nature, a mitigating force for different species of birds and insects. Where man has built, birds, butterflies and insects have lost their habitat. Green roofs not only provide beauty, but they return to exiled species their rightful milieu.

Awareness of the unfortunate species isn’t only where green roofs stop. Awareness is being raised of their effect on greenhouse gases and pollution, their effect on the carbon footprint left by heat and cooling systems and their effect on the quality of life for inhabitants of a home topped by a green roof. Yes, the initial cost of laying the roof will be expensive, but the savings will be both immediate and substantial. Add to this the health benefits of a green roof, and homeowners with asthmatic family members will ask where to sign. But even this isn’t the rest of the story.

Water Quality

Plants filter pollutants from rainwater. The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, says that green roofs return cleaner water to the storm runoff drains. Water crossing parking lots and roads contain oils and other chemicals. Water absorbed into the ground contains lawn fertilizers and other chemicals, pet waste and bacteria. All that flows into the stormwater drains. Some is filtered out, but sometimes the sheer volume of water can not only cause flooding and the destruction of natural habitats, but the pollutants can overpower the filtering process. The sum of these problems is the poisoning of water downstream in addition to natural habitats. Green roofs can help. 

Reduction of Heat Islands

The EPA describes a heat island as an area that is built-up or industrialized that is warmer than the countryside around it. A heat island can be one to five degrees warmer than its rural cousins. This means more air conditioning, more air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and heat-related diseases or illnesses. Green roofs cancel out heat absorbed into black asphalt roofs. There will be no need for more and more air conditioning, thereby reducing the heat island effect.

Is Your House Right for a Green Roof?

That will take an expert to tell you. For example, homes with flat roofs are perfect for green roofs. Obviously, commercial enterprises with flat roofs would work. Those homes, however, with a pitch of over 30 degrees will need an expert’s advice. A very real worry is if the structure will support a green roof. Most county building inspectors are structural engineers, and they can tell homeowners, often free of charge, what needs to be done. The components of a green roof are:

  • Weatherproof membrane. This seals the roof off from potential water damage.
  • Root protection barrier. This will be inorganic, due to its inability to rot and its inability to absorb plant roots.
  • Drainage layer. This prevents roof leaks and keeps the plants from drowning. It is also a major concern to the structure, because most drainage layers are made from pulverized brick, sand, clay or gravel.
  • Growing medium. On flatter roofs, this could encompass trees and bushes. On pitched roofs, this could include ground cover, grasses and flowers.

There is much to understand about a structure, from load to wood species. Before construction, the homeowner should also know how the square footage of the plants affects the roof. A do-it-yourselfer, if properly trained in carpentry, could pull off a green roof without it falling on top of him. Anyone else should seek the advice of a professional. Green roofs do so many good things for so many people.


Contact Us Today

 

 

 

Image for Blog Post

Planter Pots are a great way to add appeal to your property, for those with little or no garden space. They serve as colorful decorations, great focal points, and are fun to design. Place them on your deck, around the pool, the front steps, or the patio, to enhance your garden space.

Summer is the best season for people to display their planter pots. The sun is shining, and the climate is just right for planter pots to flourish. Now is your chance to show off all the hard work you have invested into your planter pots! Compete with our experts at Chapel Valley, along with others, for the chance to win a $100 VISA gift card and hold title as master container plant gardener.
Starting this month, submit your most elegant arrangements to the link below. Once submitted, we will take your photo and upload it to our Facebook page under the album "planter pot competition", where your picture will be available for our followers to "like". There is no limit to posting pictures, so feel free to upload as many as you want! You have from now until Labor Day, to upload photos of your most treasured arrangements.

Click the link below to submit your photos!

Click to Submit

 

a3a1f9ad-d020-4240-fbdd-2385b1426a5b

A popular trend in home landscape design is the green roof. If you don't have ample yard space to create the landscape you have always wanted, think about creating it on your roof. It provides ample benefits not only to you, but also to the environment. With our experienced landscape designers and architects, we will help you weigh out the factors in creating an amazing rooftop oasis.

What a green roof can do for you

  • It can help cool and heat your home more efficiently by providing shade and insulation. Moisture evaporation from the greenery can also cool surrounding air.
  • It can extend your current roof life. A green roof protects from debris, UV and temperature extremes.
  • A green roof filters storm water, leaving city storm drains much cleaner.
  • A green roof is capable of absorbing up to 90% of rain water, helping to reduce flooding.
  • Green roofs are noise reducers.

Factors to consider in design

  • What is the surrounding climate and your rooftop microclimate? 
  • What is the structure capable of supporting? Can you go with an intensive green roof or do you need an extensive? Intensive roofs can support a complex landscape including trees and even small water features. Extensive ones typically have soil less than 6 inches deep and are suited more for grasses, herbs and succulents. 
  • What is the size, slope and direction of your roof? The maximum pitch for a conventional green roof is 7:12, but with various methods steeper roofs can be greened.
  • What type of drainage do you currently have in place?
  • What type of roof do you now have? What kind of waterproofing?
  • What aesthetic look are you going for?

We at Chapel Valley Landscape Company will work with you through each step of the process, helping you decide exactly what you want in your green roof. Our creative and highly trained staff will make sure you have the garden oasis of your dreams.


Contact Us Today

 

 

 

 

13f340f5-61a1-433d-dc6e-a43bb75fa1adOrganic gardening has numerous benefits that you should seriously consider if you are planning to plant a garden this season. Whether you want to simply use a patch of land in your backyard or want to install a master garden that is environmentally sound, you can decide for yourself how to go about it or obtain the help of a professional garden designer and architect.

 

Transforming a dead area of your yard or rooftop into something healthy that is also spectacular to look at with lots of color is a dream come true. There is such a large variety available of landscape designs incorporating shrubs, trees, foliage, flowers, ornamental plants, fruits and vegetables that you can create something magnificent and totally your own individual choices as to contents.

 

Organic gardening continues to gain popularity as more people realize the benefits that minimize the environmental impact. It is the art and science of soil building, growing, conservation and pest management. For example, everyone wants the food served to their families to be safe and healthy. Growing organically is a way of taking control so that the foods you serve are full of good things and free of bad things.

 

Don't be the person down the street who uses chemical fertilizers on the garden and lawn, sprays pesticides, uses way too much water and does other applications with the thought that they are the right things to do. They are not.

 

Upgrading your soil quality, applying compost that you’ve possibly made yourself, and utilizing sustainable gardening practices will yield vigorous growth and bountiful harvests that will be the envy of the neighborhood. In addition, you will have peace of mind because your soil will improve naturally and you have also removed known carcinogens and other dangerous ingredients from the environment and from the yard where your children and pets play. Organic lawn care is safer for your family because you will no longer have a lawn full of poisonous sprays and harmful chemicals mixed in with the soil.

 

Try your hand at organic gardening if you want a hobby that will provide fantastic and enjoyable results. Follow the way our great grandparents enjoyed their garden and the way people raised food for thousands of years.


Contact Us Today

 

 

 

 

Salamander Farm

If your home is completely furnished and decorated, you may want to consider landscaping for your next home improvement project. This would be an ideal time for you to turn your outdoor space into the property of your dreams, now that you are able to turn your focus elsewhere. Considering it is a  large investment, you want to make sure that it is done correctly the first time around. This is where a landscape designer comes in. Once you have chosen a landscape company, a designer will be sent to your home, to help you come up with a design that is tailored to your needs.

Prior to the meeting, you want to have a comprehensive understanding of what you intend on doing with your outdoor space. You want to give the designer as much information as possible to help lead them in the right direction.

If you are having trouble with this, ask yourself the following questions:

1. How will you be using the space? What do you vision when you picture yourself enjoying your space? Will you be relaxing, entertaining, cooking, enjoying family recreation, or perhaps dining?

2. How many people will the space need to cater to? Do you have a large family or is it just for two?

3. Who will use the space? Are there children or animals which require their own spaces? Do you wish to have a lawn for recreational purposes?

4. What problems have you encountered with your space? Is there erosion, flooding issues, or diminished grass? Are there any permanent structures you want to hide?

5. Do you want privacy from your neighbors or the streets?

6. Do you want native adaptive plants?

7. Do you want sustainability features?

8. What areas of your yard receive sunlight and shade? This will help designers know which plants are appropriate for designated spots.

9. Know your likes and dislikes. Do you like stone or brick hardscape? Do you like lots of color or little color?

10. Do you want to use your space at night

11. Are you and your significant other on the same page with ideas?

12. Do you have a copy of the plat for your house? A plat includes a survey, property line, and closing documents when you buy a house.

13. What is your budget? You want to keep a budget in mind, that way designers will not exceed your limits. Having a budget in mind will save you and your designer time.


Contact Us Today

 

 

 

be201999-e01d-4511-bdf5-4fec276d1ba7

If residential water management is important to you, or if frugality is your thing, consider a new sprinkler that harnesses the power of the cloud. Droplet combines cloud computing and robotics in a most ingenious way. For the "green" homeowner that wants to conserve water, Droplet offers a simple-to-use and yet sophisticated solution. The manufacturer claims reduced sprinkler water consumption of as much as 90 percent. In some areas, this could translate into savings on one's water bill of more than $200 per year. 

Covers up to 2,700 Sq-ft 

Droplet can handle an area up to 2,700 square feet in size, according to the manufacturer. Its flow rate is four gallons per minute. Droplet only measures about 10" x 10" x 6", and it weighs just six pounds. Its range is a radius of 30-feet in any direction. The device requires a hose capable of delivering water at 40 psi. 

This wi-fi operated device will work up to 50-feet from one's home, although the distance is somewhat dependent upon the exact location of your router. Droplet is powered by its own 120v power pack. 

The Initial Setup

To set up Droplet, the user first inputs plant types and locations into a mobile iOS device (Android capability is coming soon, they say). This is easier than it may sound, thanks in part to the Droplet website. 

Data Sourced From the Cloud

Once the robotic sprinkler is configured, a user enjoys the advantages that accrue to any cloud-based device. He or she is now in charge of their watering from anywhere in the world. Not that such oversight is all that necessary. That's because Droplet accesses a wealth of relevant data via the cloud. Data from weather stations, biological information about your plants and soil conditions in your area are all computed to determine watering frequency and water distribution. Weather data is also factored into calculations regarding recent rainfall, an essential component of a true water-saving sprinkler. 

Precision Saves Water

Droplet is capable of dispensing the proper amount of water directly to each plant. It is also fully capable of watering the lawn while leaving the driveway, patio and fences relatively "high and dry." 

Because it can deliver such a precise stream of water, even potted plants can be included in the watering scheme. The lawn, by contrast, is watered in "rows." What about trees? The system actually waters the tree at its drip line, rather than at the trunk, to maximize water absorption. 

Although Droplet tackles are rather modest amount of territory, it is perfect for the smaller and yet heavily landscaped yard. And, especially in semi-arid to arid climates, the effiiciency with which Droplet delivers precious water is impressive indeed.


Contact Us Today

 

 

 

Winter Burn PictureAfter the coldest winter in recent memory, plummeting temperatures along with high winds left many plants with cases of winter burn. There are three causes of winter burn: low soil moisture, freezing temperatures, and harsh wind. When these three factors are in place, plants loose water from their leaves faster then they can replace it (transpiration). With that being said, one can probably guess that massive plant damage took place over this past winter.

Knowing there was a high probability of winter burn this season, we strongly advise everyone to check their plants this spring for any damage. You begin by looking for any brown, yellow, or discoloration on the foliage. For a deeper look, scrape back the bark of the plant and see what color it is; if it is brown, then this is an indicator of damage. To take care of this, you will want to provide maintenance to your plants by pruning the deadwood out, in order to promote new. Don’t automatically assume the plant is dead if you see signs of winter burn. It is important to wait until growing season to determine the plants life, because this is when new buds emerge. If no new buds grow, then there is a good chance that the plant is dead. My best advice to anyone who is concerned about winter burn is to be patient and wait! Unfortunately, you will have to tolerate the look of a desiccated plant for a few months, but waiting will allow you to fully understand the condition of your plant.

Below are strategies to help prevent winter burn for next year:

1. Water adequately. Make sure to have 1 inch per week or saturation to the depth of 12 to 18 inches. Only water the plants if the ground is not frozen.

2. Use burlap covering to protect the plants from wind.

3. Mulch around the area of the plant so that the root zone is shielded. By doing this, you will help contain moisture for the roots to absorb.

 


Contact Us Today

 

 

 

8bc7a33c-be43-44e0-fccd-2a3afe9b7be6

Edible residential landscaping is in the news in Idaho, so why not at your home? Why not have edible landscaping that functions by adding beauty to your home, yet is also a food source? What is edible landscaping?

  1. Fruit and nut trees. In your area, landscapers can tell you what is best for the climate. But consider almond trees, apple trees, or a walnut tree. They provide beauty, shade, and you and your family will enjoy harvesting fruit and nuts from your backyard.
  2. For vines, think about grape vines. They provide an interesting landscaping look with twisted vines, and provide grapes for the family to enjoy.
  3. There are many perennial plants that provide greenery, flowers, and you can enjoy with your meals. Consider growing artichokes, asparagus, chamomile, lemon balm, mints, oregano, rhubarb, and strawberries. The list can go on and on, so consult with a local landscaper, such as us -contact us- for what is best for your home.
  4. There are edible flowers such as daylily, chive, lilac, pansy, and scented geranium. These can add beauty and intrigue to the meals that you serve.
  5. Vegetables add beauty to any garden, and provide you fresh and natural foods. In most climates you can grow brussels sprouts, cabbages, garlic, kale, lettuce, onions, and tomatoes.

All of those edible plants can be part of your landscaping. Now is a good time to start planning. The best landscapes are the result of good planning, good design, and hard work.


Contact Us Today