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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.


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Technology has brought a great many improvements to many areas of construction and one of the upgrades is commercial irrigation systems. Coupled with water saving measures, such irrigation is beneficial for keeping landscaping bright, lively and colorful with a maximum of efficiency and a minimum of human effort. Commercial irrigation is designed to deliver the proper amount of irrigation without wasting water, which is especially important during drought conditions.

Watering by hand, while effective, will result in about 50% of water waste through evaporation and runoff. Automatic commercial irrigation systems can be programmed to run during times when evaporation rates are low. The environment will also benefit from proper watering rather than over watering to compensate for water loss.

Two types of commercial irrigation systems include drip emitters and spray heads.

Drip Emitter Irrigation Systems

A drip irrigation system directs the water into the root system of plants. This method eliminates loss of water through runoff and evaporation. This type of commercial irrigation system is facilitated by using drip emitters attached to a water source. The emitters are located on the ground and typically arranged in rows. The drip emitters are connected to a water source by a drip hose or the emitters are built into the hose.

Drip emitters control the volume of water delivered to a plant in a slow and measured manner. Because the emitters are located on the ground and close to the root of the plant, the water will be absorbed into the ground more efficiently and be more effective with its objective. In hot weather, water delivered through drip emitters will be less likely to evaporate before reaching its destination. A well designed and installed drip commercial irrigation system will eliminate water waste because it produces no or very little runoff.

As the area of vegetation grows, additional emitters can be added to the system.

Spray Head Irrigation System

The Spray head system is stationary and sprays a fine mist around the circumference of the head and covers areas between 4 to 15 feet. Commercial irrigation spray heads are available in pop-up style and only rise above ground when the system is activated and the designs include rotating and stationary spray heads. The precipitation rate of the spray heads is dependent on the system water pressure, spray head spacing, and nozzle size and manufacturers specifications.

The spray heads spray the water over the vegetation similar to a portable water sprinkler and each spray head is designed to cover a certain area. The layout of the spray heads can be configured to avoid overlapping areas that result in over watering some vegetation. As the water falls to the soil it is absorbed into the soil and provides hydration to the root system.


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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.


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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.


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Spring is here and we are all watering our laws and plants. That means higher water bills, or does it? Watering plants does not automatically mean higher water bills, if you use some water management techniques.

Rain barrels are a great way to integrate water management into your landscaping. Rain barrels can be free standing to catch a few inches of rain water at a time, or can be hooked to your gutter downspout to catch gallons of rain at a time.

There are many types of rain barrels that range in price from a few dollars to hundred of dollars. You can find a rain barrel that easily fits in your landscape, or just contact us and we will help you find the perfect barrel. We would suggest a rain barrel that captures at least 40 gallons at a time. Why so big? Well, one inch of rainfall typically generates about 600 gallons of runoff. So, a 40 gallon rain barrel at each downspout will capture plenty of water.

The rain water you collect is safe to water all your plants. It is free from the typical minerals and chemicals found in municipal water. You can even use it to wash your car or truck.

You can elevate the barrel so you can use a hose, or you can use a watering can and carry the water a short distance. We suggest you let us create a platform for your rain barrel that makes it seem part of your landscape. Then, you can use a hose and let gravity water your plants.

So, before your water bill is higher this summer, let us help you management your water with rain barrels that fit great into your landscaping. Or better yet, let us landscape around your rain barrel so it won't even be noticed.


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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.


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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.

 


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As a business owner or manager, you probably spend a great deal of time ensuring that everything is running smooth, you're staying within your budget and that your ROI is in line with what was projected for the year.  But have you ever thought about what your commercial landscape maintenance is saying to your customers?

Your landscape maintenance could make or break the next sale. 

And here's why:

  • A good landscape maintenance plan will showcase your curb appeal.  It's what the customer sees before they ever step foot in your facility for the first time.  If your property looks sloppy or unkempt, the customer may keep driving and not even give your company a second thought.
  • If your landscaping looks high quality, it will automatically give your customer the impression that you are a successful, professional company. 
  • Your curb appeal is a testimonial to the quality of work you expect from your contractors and a clear indication to the customer that your expectations for their finished project will be just as high. 

Here are some things you can do to improve your landscaping and overall curb appeal. 

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What does your curb appeal look like from the street to the front door.  Step back and look at the big picture.  What do you see?  Does anything enhance or detract from the look you're trying to convey?
  • What does your entrance way look like?
  • Do you have seasonal color in place in the way of annuals and perennials?
  • Are the tree branches and shrubs pruned away from the walkways and doors? 
  • Are the grounds free of trash, leaves and debris?
  • Is the lawn turf weed free and void of any brown patches?
  • Does your lawn turf look green, evenly cut and well manicured?
  • Are the grounds free of grass clippings?
  • Are the landscape beds well defined?

A well planned landscape maintenance program is the first step in making a great first impression and the show of your quality and professionalism as a company


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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.


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The right hardscaping can really add an interesting dimension to your landscape, not to mention the fact that it can also be functional. If you're looking at hardscape design, here are some things you should take into consideration first.

Purpose

Perhaps the biggest consideration when choosing hardscaping is its purpose. Just a few things hardscaping can be used for include:

  • Creating a walkway
  • Adding a seating area
  • Attracting birds or butterflies
  • Creating a focal point for a garden
  • Breaking up the landscape into sections so that it can serve multiple purposes

Surrounding Landscape

You’ll want to make sure your hardscaping blends well with the rest of its surroundings if it is to look nice. That doesn’t mean you have to use all of the same materials throughout, as mixing and matching different ones is actually a good idea. Just be sure the hardscaping elements you add are in keeping with the theme or style of your landscaping, as rustic elements in a formal garden would seem rather out of place.

Budget

One of the biggest considerations you’ll need to keep in mind is your budget. Even if you are on a rather tight budget, you can still find hardscaping elements that will add a new dimension to your garden without costing you an arm and a leg in the process.

Maintenance

It’s important to think about how you will maintain your hardscaping elements once they are in place. Fountains and garden ponds look nice, but require a great deal of care in order to ensure they continue to be attractive. Likewise, patio furniture may need to be stored away during the winter or cleaned from time to time as well. If the hardscaping elements you choose require more maintenance than you desire, chances are you’ll quickly grow tired of them.

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The right hardscaping can really add an interesting dimension to your landscape, not to mention the fact that it can also be functional. If you're looking at hardscape design, here are some things you should take into consideration first.

Purpose

Perhaps the biggest consideration when choosing hardscaping is its purpose. Just a few things hardscaping can be used for include:

  • Creating a walkway
  • Adding a seating area
  • Attracting birds or butterflies
  • Creating a focal point for a garden
  • Breaking up the landscape into sections so that it can serve multiple purposes

Surrounding Landscape

You’ll want to make sure your hardscaping blends well with the rest of its surroundings if it is to look nice. That doesn’t mean you have to use all of the same materials throughout, as mixing and matching different ones is actually a good idea. Just be sure the hardscaping elements you add are in keeping with the theme or style of your landscaping, as rustic elements in a formal garden would seem rather out of place.

Budget

One of the biggest considerations you’ll need to keep in mind is your budget. Even if you are on a rather tight budget, you can still find hardscaping elements that will add a new dimension to your garden without costing you an arm and a leg in the process.

Maintenance

It’s important to think about how you will maintain your hardscaping elements once they are in place. Fountains and garden ponds look nice, but require a great deal of care in order to ensure they continue to be attractive. Likewise, patio furniture may need to be stored away during the winter or cleaned from time to time as well. If the hardscaping elements you choose require more maintenance than you desire, chances are you’ll quickly grow tired of them.

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"I'm a introvert... I love being by myself, love being outdoors, love taking a long walk with my dogs and looking at the trees, flowers, the sky." (Audrey Hepburn).

Are you an introvert like Hepburn who just needs time alone to reenergize and meditate on the day? Do you identify with Audrey Hepburn in that you love to have time to yourself and enjoy the trees, flowers, and the sky? Does your residential landscaping include all you need to have that time to reenergize yourself? Other introverts will tell you that having what you need to reenergize is a key to enjoying life and relationships more.

If you don't have that place at your residence, now is the time to make some changes. Take a look at your landscape and think about these things:

  • Where would you like to walk?
  • What would you most like to see while walking?
  • What would you most like to smell while walking?
  • How much seclusion do you want?
  • Do you want a bench or two to rest during your walk?
  • Do you want a special place to meditate during your walk?

With the answers to those questions, we can help you build that place where you can walk and enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of nature. Landscapers can add fragrant bushes and flowers, a variety of textures, and whatever seclusion you need. They can even help you choose a special bench to relax on and watch the birds and butterflies enjoying your new landscaping.

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As most homeowners quickly become aware of when they try to tackle a landscaping project on their own, landscaping can be a difficult and confusing home remodel project. There are many more elements that go into the design and installation of a new home landscape than many homeowners are prepared for, and they may quickly find themselves in over their heads. Instead of dealing with all the stress involved with landscape design, consider hiring a residential landscaping design professional. Here are just a few of the many benefits doing so provides homeowners.

Landscape Design Planning

Many homeowners find themselves unprepared for how involved the process is of designing a new landscape. There are often many more decisions to make than homeowners were aware of and prepared for. Furthermore, most homeowners have a hard time figuring out which plants looks best together, and in which section of their yard certain plants should be planted. Hiring a landscape design professional removes this stress, as they are highly trained in coming up with and executing the perfect landscape design plan that will have your yard looking breathtaking in no time.

Choosing the Right Plants

Each homes landscape is unique depending on the environment surrounding the home, and on the amount of space that is available for landscaping. This often requires and in depth knowledge of plants and ecosystem when designing a home’s landscape, as it is important to choose the right plants that will not overcrowd a yard and that will survive in the surrounding climate. Landscape design professionals have an in-depth knowledge of what plants work best in certain sized yards, and in specific climates. This will ensure that your homes new landscape is not only beautiful, but is also perfectly proportioned and healthy.

Cost

Another factor many homeowners are not aware of is the cost that can be involved with designing a new landscape for their home. This is one of the areas in which a professional landscaper can be the most helpful as they will know what can be done for a yard with a specific budget. Based on the amount of money you have to spend landscaping your yard, a professional landscape designer will be able to create the perfect budget friendly design for your home.

When designing a new landscape for a home, the decisions that must be made can be overwhelming, particularly for those who do not have much experience with landscape design. Remove some of this stress by hiring a landscape design professional to take care of transforming your yard.

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Every homeowner dreams of having their own custom lighting system to display the luxury of their humble abode at night. However, deciding exactly what you want can be challenging. By learning more about how to set up a custom residential landscape lighting system, deciding on the right outdoor landscape for you should be achievable in no time at all.

Consider Indirect Ambient Lighting

Although some may take pride in lighting up their entire property for the entire world to see, an indirect approach focused on the dim lighting of certain areas on your property can often be much for effective and luxurious. According to Freshome, "Outdoor lighting doesn’t have to only be utilitarian.  Wall sconces can provide washes of light against the exterior walls of your home to create ambiance in the evening hours.  Directional sconces pointing upwards or downwards can focus on architectural elements on your home, and draw attention to exterior niches and plantings around your home."

Consider Motion Sensor Lights

Motion sensor lights have a number of advantages. This include security, convenience and energy efficiency. Lights which are motion activated have an automatic shut off time, preventing a waste of electricity. Also, motion activated lights are perfect for an evening stroll around your property to light the path. As a security measure, motion sensor lights are bound to scare any potential thief and also alert you to their presence. Lights which are meant for security purposes are best placed around the perimeter of your home close to entrances.

Consider Solar Lighting

Solar lights are the easiest type of lighting to install because they don't require connecting a cord to them underground. If you live in an area where sunlight is relatively constant throughout the year, solar lights can provide a reliable source of lighting year round.

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Almost every homeowner wants to show off their backyard, even if it happens to be at night. One of the best ways to do this is with a low intensity lighting system with a high intensity adjustable option. By learning more about how to implement landscape lighting, showing off your backyard during anytime of the day should be achievable in no time at all.

Balance Beauty With Security and Safety

One reason that people typically install a landscape lighting system is for an enhanced sense of security at night. Focus on illuminating walkways and entrances to your home. According to diynetwork, "Path lights are always a great addition. They make your garden and home inviting to visitors, and they're also very important for safety. There are so many different design options that you can easily find something to match your style. Up-lights are designed to light things from below. You can use this to highlight features such as trees or a stone wall." Program the lights so that they can be activated with a motion sensor or manually turned. Besides, motion sensor lights will be more likely to deter a potential thief and alert to you to potential criminal activity than lights which are constantly turned on.

Consider Solar Lights

Solar lights are a great option because they don't need underground wiring and will automatically recharge themselves with energy from the sun during the day. The only disadvantage is that during the fall and winter these lights may emit less light due to the absence of light to charge them during the day. 

 

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The holidays are approaching and you are probably making plans for those holidays lights. You love hearing your neighbors and friends tell you your house is the best in the neighborhood! 

But why just have the best lighting for the holidays? Why not plan your holiday lighting so that it can be year round?

  • Strategically placing lighting in your yard and around your house can enhance your holiday decorations. The great part is, that same lighting will enhance your property year round. The second great part is, once that lighting is installed, you don't have to reinstall it next year for the holidays.
  • Do you put reindeer or a nativity on your lawn? At night, you need subtle lighting to show off the display, angled in just the right way to show off that reindeer and give it dimension in the night.
  • Why not have a display near a tree or bush? Then the subtle lighting is used for the display during the holidays and to light the tree or bush year round.
  • Thinking about hanging some decorations on your house? Let us install some lighting around the house that shows off those decorations during the  holidays, and shows off your house year round.
  • You can even change the color of the bulbs in your landscape lighting so they are part of your holiday lights. Then change them back for the rest of the year.

Sound like a way to start planning your holiday decorations? We would love to help your house be the best-lit in the neighborhood.

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(Photo courtesy of Flickr)

 

 

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Green roofs are literally, the cool new thing in roofing technology.  Not only do you reduce your carbon footprint by installing one of these roof systems, but you actually keep your roof cool!  Many commercial buildings are using green roof systems to protect their roofs from sunlight, reducing toxins that may be contained in the run off from storm waters, decreasing emissions from heated roofing materials and of course, keeping their roofs cooler.

First, let's explore the definition of a cool roof system.  A cool roof system is usually made up of materials that will reflect the suns energy.  You could use a light colored paint, light colored roof tiles, single ply rubber membrane or light colored shingles.  You will find lots of white roofing in Bermuda for example where the sun can be brutal!

Green roofs consist of several layers, just like your typical garden bed. First there is a waterproof membrane.  To that you will need to add a drainage system, growing medium and of course, the plants!

There are two types of green roofs.  Extensive and intensive.  Extensive roofs use plants that will stand up to a drought or other extreme conditions.  These plants don't need a lot of attention or supplements.  Intensive green roofs are set up more like a garden or a park, where things are planted purposefully, and any type of plant may be used.  Can you guess which type is more expensive and needs more care?

According to the EPA, the three major benefits to a cool roof are:

1. Lower energy use.  There is less heat transferred from the roof to the home, therefore, you spend less energy and dollars cooling your quarters. (In a green roof, the plants absorb most of the sun's energy)

2. A cool roof reduces pollution and emissions by lowering energy use, (a green roof will also reduce your footprint by eliminating the potentially toxic off-gassing from heated roof materials.)

3. Health and comfort. This really can't be measured in dollars can it?  Looking back at the previous two points, reducing the air temperature, reducing the amount of time that you have to run an air conditioner, decreases the likelihood of heat related illness, and let's face it, reduce your stress when it comes to how much money you are spending to stay cool!

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With the time change, have you noticed the evenings are darker? Have you noticed it is more difficult to see around your yard? Thinking safety might be a concern for friends and family? Not security, but safety. You don’t want your friends and family tripping over low bushes, or tripping on the steps that were designed to blend in with the landscaping.

So, let’s talk about safety landscape lighting.

First step is to look at your property and think about the paths that are taken in the dark. If you have a pool, what is the path people will take? If you have an outdoor fire pit, what is the path people will take? The best way to accomplish this is invite a friend over and have them walk those paths in the daylight. Or, invite us over to look at your landscape and we will help determine those paths for you.

Second step is to decide who will be taking these paths. If children or the elderly will need access to certain areas in the dark, then the lighting will need to be brighter than if they don’t need access. The same is true if a person with disabilities wants access to those areas.

Third step is to let us design a plan that will:

  1. Target areas such as pathways, steps, pools, tripping hazards.
  2. Show where the lights will be low illumination and where they will be slightly brighter.
  3. Avoid using bright floodlights.
  4. Increase safety yet add to the value of your property.

You really can create safety lighting that increases the beauty of your property.

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Have you noticed that some of your landscape lighting is not working? You have changed the bulbs, and there is still a problem. So, you do an Internet search and most of the sites say the problem is probably a bad connection. eHow.com states “landscape lighting wire is buried under the ground and has splices. The ground is a hostile environment that will corrode and damage wire splices, interrupting the electrical connection.”

Ok, so that makes sense. But, how do you find the bad splice, if that is the problem?

You could dig up around that light to find the splice, and then fix it. But, that is only if you want to tear up your lawn and if you know how to fix an electrical splice SAFELY.

Of course, it might not be the splice. It might be one or a combination of several problems:

  1. Programming on the controller which does not require digging up your lawn. If you assumed a splice was the problem, you would have dug up areas of the lawn for nothing.
  2. There might be a connection problem in the controller. Fixing this does not require digging up the lawn, but does require knowledge of electricity.
  3. It might not be the splice to a particularly light, but just the connection.

So, we are back to the original question – Have you noticed that some of your landscape lighting is not working?

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Are you one of those who makes a New Year’s resolution, but really doesn’t keep it? Has upgrading your landscaping been on your list of resolutions for a few years?

You could research how to install landscape lighting. There are several books, websites, and videos on how to install landscape lighting. If you only want one or two, that is probably your best choice. But, think about that for a minute. Do you really only want one or two lights as your landscape lighting? Is that really upgrading your landscaping and fulfilling your resolution?

You could research and DIY the lights. But why? Why not let us help you keep your New Year’s resolution, and at the same time give you more than one or two lights. Let us look at your property and show you a plan that will:

  1. Highlight what you consider special.
  2. Add security and safety.
  3. Add drama and dimensions to your property at night.
  4. Add romance.

How will we do that? First, by listening to you. Second, by walking around your property. Third, by strategically locating lights.

Will you see ugly black lights and boxes all over your property? NO! Our process includes hiding the wires, lights, and boxes so they don’t ruin the lighting effects. We will listen to you from start to finish and in 2014 you will be able to proudly say you kept your New Year’s resolution to upgrade your landscaping.

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