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autumn preparations for snow ice management baltimore md

The summer's barely over, but weather watchers across the mid-Atlantic region are already talking about the threat of snow and ice this winter. Whether it's a wooly worm you've consulted, the Farmer's Almanac, or computer-generated weather projections, if you're concerned about winter weather then you need to think about snow & ice management.

Fall is the perfect season for making the little changes needed to help you get through the winter's unpredictable weather as safely as possible. For your home or business, these tips will help make it easier to get in and out all winter.

Check Your Power Lines

Spring and summer growth might have brought trees and shrubs too close to your power lines. Trim your trees so that if heavy snow or ice breaks branches, it doesn't also snap your power lines. You may also want to make sure downed limbs won't damage your roof or vehicles. For you business, check to make sure falling limbs won't damage customers' vehicles or block you parking areas.

Inspect your Handrails

On the stairs leading to the door or on the deck behind the house, handrails can become loose over time. Be sure they are in good condition so that when people need the support to preventing falling on snow and ice the rail is ready.

Look for Drainage Concerns

Much of the ice that collects in our region begins as freezing rain, so it's a good idea to check your sidewalks, porches, and parking areas for spots that don't drain off. Where water collects now can be icy spots once the temperatures drop.

Stock Up on Supplies

Fall is the perfect time to check your supply of basic winter necessities. Even when you contact us for your snow and ice management needs, you will still want to make sure that your home and business have the basics for immediate storm response. Check to make sure you have a shovel in good condition, ice melt, and a basic emergency kit in case the winter weather hits when you aren't expecting it.

Prepare your Vehicle

Before the weather turns frightful is the best time to get it ready for what may come. Check your tires for both regular wear and damage from the summer heat. It's a good idea to have the fluids topped off and double-check your defroster to make sure it is in top condition.

While thinking about your car, consider adding an extra blanket and small emergency kit in the trunk in case others are not as conscientious with their ice and snow management plans as you are.

Clean your Vents and Chimneys

Fall is a great time to have your local HVAC team out to clean your ducts and give your heating system a check-up. Chances are it's been off for months, getting dusty and being ignored. Don't wait for the first bad storm to find out that your heater is going out.

Likewise, if you have a fireplace or wood stove, clean the chimney now. No one wants a chimney fire and no one wants to climb on the roof when it's 35 degrees to remove the squirrel's nest.

Contact a Snow and Ice Removal Team

In the midst of back-to-school and then prepping for the fall holidays, snow and ice may not be something you're thinking about. But waiting until the skies turn gray before making your snow and ice removal plans can lead to delays or, worse yet, finding that your preferred company simply can't take your business.

Talk to your snow removal experts now to develop a plan for winter storms. You should discuss how soon after the snow starts and stops they will be available to clear your parking lot, how they intend to treat it to handle ice or prevent ice accumulation, and even to clarify exactly what they handle. Do they shovel the sidewalk to the door or is that your responsibility?

By preparing for snow and ice now, you can avoid headaches and delays when the bad weather arrives.

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia


 Project Olmsted Winner
Chapel Valley's Baltimore Branch Manager receiving the award.

This summer Chapel Valley won the “People’s Choice Award” from Project Olmsted, a new summer-long exhibition of planting beds designed in the tradition of celebrated landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.

The beds are located in the historic Sherwood Gardens, located in the Guilford Community in Baltimore, MD. The design was created by Chapel Valley’s in-house designer and was maintained by their branch located in Linthicum Heights.

The “People’s Choice Award” was chosen by the communities homeowners and visitors who came to the garden.

make early plans for snow plowing to get your business ready for the inevitable alexandria va

Maintaining commercial property is generally quite doable, especially with professional assistance, but it can become overwhelming during wintertime when the snow starts coming down. Not having a plan can cause a number of problems, but you can avoid them by making plans early on for snow plowing.

Create a Customized Plan to Handle the Season

Since your business has its own days and hours of operation, you want to create a customized plan based around this information. Snow plowing is a common necessity during the snowy season, so making plans as early as possible will prevent you from getting stuck with an inconvenient plan.

Snow Will Get in the Way of Making Money

Although you may enjoy snow on personal time, it will get in the way of your business. Snow prevents people from using your business, either by slowing them down or stopping them completely. The roads will be tough enough, so you want to keep them from having parking or driving troubles on your property.

Get It Done at Nonintrusive Times

Snow plowing service is often essential to keep your business running smoothly, but you also want to get it done at nonintrusive times to avoid pushing potential customers away. Establishing a plan early on will ensure you get to schedule routine plowing at times that will not disrupt your business’s operation.

Avoid Handling It on Your Own

Without professional assistance, you or your employees would have to get outside and start plowing snow. However, most businesses do not have the ideal equipment for the job, which makes it inefficient and undoubtedly cuts into valuable time that could be better spent on business-related projects.

No Need to Worry about Damage

If you were to take matters into your own hands and start plowing snow, you would have to research all of the right methods to avoid causing damage to any part of your commercial property. Since snow covers almost everything, the amount of knowledge you would need to have is quite extensive, which makes it easier to opt for snow plowing services as the professionals will already know what they need to do.

Put an End to Avoidable Accidents

Although you cannot stop all accidents from occurring, you can substantially reduce the chance of an accident happening that is related to the snow by getting snow plowing service. Maintaining your property is not just crucial to help your customers reach your business, but to prevent them from getting injured.

Go Into Work with Confidence

By creating a seasonal plan with a professional company, you can wake up in the morning without having to worry about your property's condition. Whether it is you or one of your employees who opens the business on a daily basis, you will enjoy knowing that the snow will not be a problem upon arrival.

Enjoy Planned Service over Getting It As Needed

Although you could attempt to get professional snow plowing only at times when the snow becomes too excessive, not having a plan can lead to some short-term issues with companies having a booked schedule. By creating a plan before the snow season begins, you can go into this season with confidence.

Just as with any part of your business, when you know you have inevitable obstacles ahead of you, preparing ahead of time is the most effective way to keep them from becoming problematic. Making plans and knowing that snow will not be an issue come wintertime is an important achievement to have.

If you have any questions about our snow plowing services or you would like to create a personalized winter plan for your business, feel free to contact us at any time.

Photo Courtesy of Flickr

ten dos and donts of sidewalk snow removal sterling vaAfter a snowstorm, clearing your sidewalks is essential to ensure foot traffic is able to enter your business. When it comes to sidewalk snow removal, there is a lot to get right, and perhaps just as much to get wrong. Here are ten do's and don'ts when it comes to this concept.

#1. Do shovel sidewalks early and often

Waiting until after all the snow has fallen may seem like a good idea; however, removing several inches of snow all at once can be back breaking. Instead, shovel smaller amounts of snow as it falls, and you’ll find it much easier to remove.

#2. Do dress appropriately for the weather

Hypothermia often results whenever people attempt to shovel snow without the right protective clothing. Ideally, you should dress in layers so you can add or remove clothing as needed. It’s also important to wear thermal socks and gloves to prevent frostbite to your extremities.

#3. Do use the right equipment

A snow shovel differs from a spade or regular shovel in that it has a flat blade that makes it ideal for scooping with. It is also more lightweight, so it is easier on your back. You are also less likely to remove gravel or scrape your sidewalk when using a snow shovel.

#4. Do take frequent breaks

Shoveling snow can be exhausting work. In fact, a good number of people each year suffer a heart attack while shoveling snow. To avoid serious problems, take breaks every 30 minutes or so, or more often if the temperatures are especially frigid.

#5. Do remain hydrated

Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you can’t become dehydrated. In fact, you may actually sweat a great deal and need to replenish fluids. Even if you do not feel thirsty, be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after shoveling snow.

#6. Do not use salt or commercial ice melt products

These products contain harmful chemicals that might run off into sewers and drainage ditches, where they will eventually enter the water supply. They also pose a hazard to pets, as animals can get residue on their paws that may be ingested if they lick them.

#7. Do not break up ice with the end of a shovel

A special ice breaker tool is ideal for breaking up ice, and will make this task much easier. An ice breaker tool contains a long handle with a flat blade at the end that can be used to crack through ice so that it can then be scooped up.

#8 Do not use kitty litter or sand to melt the ice

These products are actually not effective at melting ice, and instead only provide traction. They also make snow shoveling a whole lot messier. You may use sand or kitty litter only after shoveling to help provide better footing on your wet sidewalk. Removing it then will not be difficult, because you can simply sweep it away with a broom.

#9. Do not shovel without first warming up your muscles

You should warm up before shoveling, just as you would before any other workout. Performing some light activity to get your heartrate up, followed by a bit of light stretching is all you need to prevent injury.

#10. Do not use alcohol or tobacco while shoveling snow

These things can affect blood flow and increase your risk of a heart attack. They also make it more likely you will suffer from hypothermia.

Keeping track of all these dos and don’ts can be difficult, which is why you may want to leave sidewalk shoveling to a professional. Not only that, but removing snow and ice can leave you with little time to take care of the other aspects of running a business. Avoid liability and ensure customers can get to your location-contact us today for a free estimate. Thanks.

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

residential landscaping ideasLandscaping season isn’t over with Labor Day. In fact, late summer is a great time to get outside and enjoy the last gardening-worthy months before autumn truly sets in. Here are five easy residential landscaping ideas that work well from late August through first frost:

  1. Fight Fungus
    Slighter cooler weather often makes it possible for fungus to set in in your lawn. And if you’ve been doing your own mowing, rather than hiring a professional landscape company, it’s likely that you’ve let a fair amount of thatch build up on your lawn, blocking sunlight and exacerbating the problem. Make sure you don’t overspray with chemicals in an effort to keep your lawn looking nice for longer, however; many bugs are good for your lawn (and the rest of the environment), and harsh sprays can kill them.

  2. Trim and Tame
    As some plants thin out, things can start to look a bit straggly in your yard. Take this time of year to clear out dead branches and trim hedges into neater shapes to combat the unkempt look that tends to replace lush summer vegetation.

  3. Add Some Color
    The best perennials to plant will depend on your region, of course, but there are numerous options that will add some bright color to your yard between now and first frost. Try Alternanthera, pineapple sage, pincushion flower, Salvia, or black-eyed Susan to get started.

  4. Plant a Tree
    September is an excellent time of year to plant evergreens; deciduous trees can be planted all the way until early November. Trees are useful, as well as attractive. They can reduce bothersome noise by up to 50%. You may have also heard that proper landscaping shading windows and walls can reduce air conditioning costs by up to half; those benefits carry over in the winter and reduce heating costs because trees create a windbreak.

  5. Opt for Edibles
    Most residential landscaping ideas focus on looks. But ornamental plants don’t have to be the only thing in your yard. There’s still barely enough time to start a fall crop of lettuce or radishes. The latter are fun for kids, particularly, who will love pulling out the brightly colored radishes at harvest time. As long as you keep the beds neat, edible plants can look very attractive in your backyard.

Do you have any other residential landscaping ideas to share before it’s time to turn your attention to snow removal plans instead? Join the discussion in the comments.

Rose rosette Knock Out Rose Alan Windham website

Image of Rose Rosette by Alan Windham, Professor at UT Institute of Agriculture

Over the past few years, roses have made a comeback in commercial landscapes thanks to the Knock-Out Rose and the Double Knock-Out Rose; they are both resistant to black spot disease and powdery mildew, and are able to produce blooms throughout the growing season, making them favorable for urban environments—until recently.

Landscapers are concerned, because of two environmental factors that are causing health problems to these cultivars of roses. One being rose rosette, a disease that is incurable and spreads very easily—two good reasons why landscapers need to keep an eye out for it.

Once detected, the rose bush should be removed and rid of immediately; doing this will help prevent nearby roses from being infected. However, this can be difficult because symptoms can look similar to ones caused by herbicide damage. It is best to determine damage during the spring when new growth is present.

Symptoms include:

• Increased growth/rapid elongation of shoots
• Abnormal red discoloration of shoots and foliage
• Witches broom appearance from new growth (prolific clustering of small shoots)
• Overabundance of pliable thorns
• Deformed buds and flowers
• Lack of winter hardiness
• Increased susceptibility to other diseases, such as powdery mildew.

How do you control this disease? The mite, Phyllocoptes fructiphilus, transmits the disease to the roses and by controlling them with an insecticide, the rose’s chances of being infected are lower. Another way to control rose rosette, is by removing multiflora roses that are within 100 yards of the landscape. Multiflora roses are wild and typically grow in weeded areas on roadsides and pastures; they are highly susceptible to rose rosette, and can increase the chances of spreading of rose disease in commercial landscapes.

The other culprit causing health problems in Knock-Out Roses is the Sawfly. Landscapers are seeing an increase in sawfly population, which is likely from the large amount of plantings installed this year. Roses attract sawflies because they make a great incubation spot for their larvae. The best way to control sawflies is to use an insecticide, only when larvae are present.

Chapel Valley highly suggests for their clients to have an integrated pest management program included in their yearly maintenance plan. Our team of certified experts will take preventative actions to control diseases that spread easily. Contact us for more information on our landscaping services.

snow removal planIf you own any type of property, residential or commercial, it’s time to face some bad news: It’s already time to start thinking about preparing your outdoor landscape for winter. That might seem premature, but cold temperatures, snow and ice will be coming sooner than you think, and it will be much easier to take the necessary steps now than it will be when you’re fighting early storms beginning in the fall. Plus, if you get everything out of the way now, you’ll be able to enjoy the rest of your summer worry-free. There are basically five steps you’ll need to take:

  1. Making a Snow Removal Plan It’s good to have a snow removal plan in place now because you’ll get the best pricing and accommodation if your contract is locked down before September. Snow and ice removal can be handled in several ways, and you’ll probably want a combination of services. Salting is generally considered the safest and most effective way to clear paths, but you should keep in mind that relying too heavily on salt can damage your landscaping by changing the salinity of the surrounding soil. Given that your landscaping is probably an important part of your home value (7-15%), you don’t want to sabotage yourself for next spring.
  2. Upgrading Outdoor Lighting Make sure your landscape lighting will stand up to snow. That may mean upgrading simple stake lights, or at least supplementing them. People are often going to work and heading home in the dark during winter, so this is a safety issue.
  3. Preparing Hardscaping Hardscaping such as walkways and patios can be damaged both by the freeze/thaw cycle and by the salt and chemicals used to clear snow and ice in the winter. You can prevent some of this damage by covering concrete or pavers with specialized sealants to minimize chemical burns and water absorption.
  4. Protecting Plant Beds Annual plants won’t hold up to winter’s chill no matter what you do -- that’s why they’re called annuals. But you can preserve as many perennial plants as possible by ensuring that your plant beds have enough mulch, which will regulate soil temperature over the wintertime.
  5. Assessing Tree Health If your trees have any damage at the moment, they’re likely to develop frost cracks when it gets cold. You may be able to save them by getting special treatments and wraps that are designed to promote wound healing. It’s worth taking care of your trees in the winter; properly placed landscaping provides windbreaks that can cut down on heating costs.

Have you talked to your commercial or residential landscaping company yet about choosing a snow removal plan and getting your outdoor space ready for winter? Join the discussion in the comments.

commercial landscaping in atlanta overwhelmed with copious amounts of clay atlanta ga

Soil in the Southeast, especially in the Atlanta area, is full of clay. Clay-rich soil is notoriously alkaline, dense and tacky, which can mean a great deal of trouble for those hoping to work the land. Because of its inherent properties, the soil is heavy to lift. It is also prone to frost heave, over saturation and compaction, which can prohibit healthy root growth. On a positive note, commercial landscaping in Atlanta includes routine core aeration and soil amendment.

Core aeration is a part of commercial landscaping in Atlanta because it improves top growth, spurs microbial activity, increases rooting, decreases run-off and allows natural soil amendment to take place. It is often worked into an Atlanta property’s commercial landscaping schedule at least once annually. Although, there have been occasions when it must be done more frequently.

In general, the area scheduled to be aerated is watered at least 24 to 48 hours before the actual, mechanical aeration process begins. The water helps soften the ground, which enables the machinery to operate at peak efficiency. At the same time, commercial landscaping crews mark all areas that should not be touched with the aeration equipment (e.g. subsurface irrigation lines and underground wires).

Next, commercial landscaping crews ready their core aeration machines, which come with a choice of hollow tines. The hollow tines come in a combination of sizes and spacing combinations. They are designed to puncture the clay-rich soil, pull out and discard cylindrical-shaped pieces of compact dirt commonly referred to as cores. The cores are typically discarded on to the soil’s surface and left there so they may break apart and eventually become part of the top soil.

When the core aeration machine is ready, it is run across the Atlanta property in a criss-cross pattern until the entire, designated area has been covered. Afterward, the soil is typically amended while the ¼ to ½ inch wide and 2 to 4 inch deep holes are still fresh. Amendment may include adding water, organic and inorganic materials. To find out more and schedule core aeration for your property in Atlanta, please contact the Chapel Valley Landscape Company.

commercial landscaping service

Part of making any commercial space pleasant and attractive is good landscaping. But, all too often, property owners make major mistakes that impede the goal of sustainable, affordable commercial landscaping designs. Are you among them? Here are the seven deadly sins you’ll want to avoid:

  1. Greed: Pinching Pennies

    First of all, you need to head into any landscape project thinking of it as an investment. Yes, landscaping is a $74 billion industry in the U.S. and it's easy to get carried away, but trying to penny pinch on a landscape design often leads to increased costs or missed savings opportunities down the road; the shading produced by good landscaping, for example, can lead to a 50% savings in air conditioning costs.

  2. Sloth: Neglecting Maintenance

    Don’t wait until your plants are dying to take care of them. A regular maintenance plan will extend the life of your landscape design and maximize its impact on tenant satisfaction and property value. Keep in mind that snow and ice removal are also an important part of maintenance (for both plant health and human safety reasons) if you live somewhere with winter weather.

  3. Lust: Ignoring Your Ecosystem

    Do your best not to fall in love with plants that aren’t native to your climate. If you talk to a local landscaper, you’ll almost certainly find there are beautiful plants that won’t have to struggle to survive in your region.

  4. Gluttony: Overwatering

    Commercial irrigation systems, in particular, need to be carefully designed so as to not waste water. This concern is part environmental, but it’s also smart when it comes to your finances, especially as water prices may increase as drought conditions spread across the country.

  5. Envy: Not Copying What’s Good

    Don’t just envy good designs; instead, take proactive steps to make sure your property looks just as nice. Most commercial buildings aren’t located in areas where plants will take care of themselves, so you should expect to put in a little effort.

  6. Wrath: Getting Frustrated

    Whatever you do, don’t get frustrated and give up. Yes, landscaping can be challenging (especially in certain climates). But it’s worth it in the long run.

  7. Pride: Trying to Do It All Yourself

    Don’t be too proud to call in a professional landscape company. Commercial landscaping services can help you avoid common pitfalls and even save you money in the long run -- not to mention some major headaches. Between commercial landscaping services and residential landscaping services, there are 401,473 landscape-related businesses in the U.S., employing 888,426 people. So there’s plenty of help available.

Are you already working with commercial landscaping services, or are you trying to go it alone? Confess your landscaping sins and discuss in the comments.

Creating the Best Planter Display on the Block

Large planter pots make quite the statement when placed on sites with little to no space for landscaping. Implementing large containers with an assortment of overflowing flowers is eye catching and can serve as a great focal point for your commercial site.

Believe it or not, there are rules to designing planter pots. You need to use flowers that look good in a pot (opposed to the ground), thrive under the same conditions, and that have a tasteful color palette. Despite how great large planters look, plenty of things can go wrong. Here are some tips for creating the best planter pots on the block-

1. Combing the right plant material

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the right plant material for your pots. The most important aspect is environmental conditions; use plants with the same water, soil, and sunlight requirements. Using plants that are cohesive will ensure a successful pot.

Space is another thing to consider. Plants will change shape as they grow; understand that they will look much different a few months after they are installed. You do now want your planter to look overcrowded, so make sure that you choose plants that won’t compete with one another.

2. Distinct Textures

Use lots of color and texture to make your planter stand out.

Color is huge when it comes to planters; the more, the better! Mixing bright and subtle colors, does an excellent job of attracting people’s attention. Instead of using different hues of one color, add a variety of colors that work together.

There is a variety of flowers and leaves with textures that are waxy, shiny, fuzzy, or prickly. By using multiple textures, you won’t have to worry about your plant material blending and looking too much alike.

3. The three-ingredient recipe: filler, spiller, and thriller

You will always have an exceptional planter when you use this simple three-ingredient recipe: filler, spiller, and thriller.

Fillers are good for adding mass to the overall composition of the planter, they also add a textural contrast or colorful counterpoint. Examples of filler plants include: begonias, coleus, impatiens, Persian shield, plectranthus, heliotrope, and dusty miller.

Spillers are excellent for creating a “waterfall” effect. These plants cascade over the side of container, softening its edges and giving a more natural look. Some great spillers are: alternantheras, bacopas, golden creeping Jenny, helichrysum, sweet potato vines, or callibrachoa.

Thrillers are the star of the pot; they are tall, drawl the most attention and are typically vertical (upright). These typically have the most outstanding qualities. A helpful tip is to start your planter with the thriller in the center, and build around it. Examples of exceptional thrillers include: fuschsia, canna, purple fountain grass, taros, calla pennisetum, or phormium.

4. Have Self-Watering Planters

Using self-watering planters give your plants a better chance of looking good all season long. They also dissolve issues related to moldy roots or plant disease. Self-watering planters reserve water at the bottom of them, allowing the roots to soak up water when needed. This is very helpful in the summer, when the heat index is high.

Day of Service at Moveable Feast

Last Friday, team members from Chapel Valley volunteered at Moveable Feast, an organization in Baltimore that provides nutritious meals and other services at no cost to people who are sick and need support. The day of service at the organization included carpet cleaning, waxing floors, painting walls, power washing kitchen floors, van detailing, handyman repairs, and preparation of 500 flowers (donated by Chapel Valley). The service saved the organization $10,000 in repairs, which can now be used towards more meals for sick people.

Chapel Valley was told that after one of the deliveries, Moveable Feast received a call from a client who started crying on the phone; he said he had been so lonely and depressed. He said the flowers gave him the ‘pick me up’ he needed to get through his day.

If you would like to learn more about Moveable Feast visit them at http://www.mfeast.org/


Chapel Valley Landscape Designers

Chapel Valley has in-house landscape designers to support our teams in enhancements, upgrades, design-build, and any other design-related projects. Ideally, we want clients to use this to their advantage. Common landscaping upgrades will not only improve appearance but will also reduce future maintenance costs. We understand that landscaping can be a costly investment, however, this is not a problem; our landscape designer can create long-term plans that work within budgets to meet your specific needs.

Want to separate your sites from the competition? Try upgrading your curb appeal to draw more attention to your site. Our landscape designer will produce an intricate design, with colorful and unique plant material to make it stand out from the rest, which in return will leave a lasting impression.


2015 Planter Pot Contest

This will be Chapel Valley’s 2nd annual Planter Pot Contest, held between our employees and the general public to submit photos of their best planter pots. This is a great competition for those who want to show off their creativity, and win $100.

To enter the competition, upload your best photos to www.chapelvalley.com/planter-pot-contest . Once they are submitted, we will upload them to our social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag . The contestant with the most “likes” will win. #CVLCplanterpot2015

Tips for winning:
• Have lots of color, to make your planter ‘pop’
• Have a variety of plants to add texture and depth.
• Promote your planter by advertising your photo on your wall from our page.

Lunch & Learn with Chapel Valley

Want to learn more about specific landscaping topics? At Chapel Valley we offer a program that includes a short introduction to your team, a lunch of your choice provided by us, followed by a presentation on 1-2 topics that you are interested in learning more about.

From our Lunch & Learn’s, you will learn valuable information that will help you manage your properties even better. This program gives your team the opportunity to be more educated on landscaping; by having an interactive education session, you can ask questions and get an answer right away.

Topics to consider for the upcoming fall season are: over-seeding & aerating, fall flower enhancements, fall clean-up, snow removal, and rejuvenation pruning.

To schedule a Lunch & Learn at your office email: susanh@chapelvalley.com

are you ready for commercial landscaping routines to change baltimore mdWe’re about half way through summer and that means it’s almost time to change-up our commercial landscaping routines. During the height of summer it is important to take care of issues related to irrigation, organic pest control, mowing, weed control and disease prevention. But as summer wanes, businesses in Maryland and Virginia will need to start looking at other things.

Commercial Landscaping in the Late Summer

Late summer is the ideal time to core aerate commercial properties as well as test the soil for nutrients. Those activities will help loosen up compacted soil and identify any potential problems that will need to be addressed before the growing season comes to a close. Keep in mind that depending on how busy the labs are, these final tasks could take a few weeks to complete.

Fertilization efforts, planting cool season ground cover, applying herbicides and engaging in over-seeding activities generally follow as our commercial landscaping experts start to prepare areas for fall’s arrival. Such tasks will often take up a significant time as well, especially when it comes to large areas. So, we guess that you could say things get a little hectic as the last blooms of summer start to fade.

Commercial Landscaping in the Fall

And no, it’s not too premature to at least start thinking about the winter. Ice and snow management contracts should ideally be locked down before the end of September.  As such, it may be a conversation best taken up the next time our commercial landscaping team arrives to perform seasonal flower rotations. Seasonal rotations, by the way, tend to take place at the end of summer so they’ll be in place by early fall.

As the growing season comes to an end, our commercial landscaping team will be doing more than just rotating flowers. The fall is generally an ideal time to prune, apply winter fertilizers and pre-emergent weed killers. Irrigation systems will typically need to be winterized and anti-desiccants may be needed for properties with evergreens. To learn more about end of summer and fall tasks that will help keep commercial properties in shape, please contact Chapel Valley Landscaping Company today.

do your commercial irrigation and landscaping plans include synthetic turf sterling vaThe latest flap over artificial turf has caused some people to rethink their commercial irrigation and landscaping plans. In case you missed it, the Consumer Product Safety Commission came out and began openly questioning the safety of certain types of synthetic turf.  By all media accounts, their concerns center on containments allegedly inherent in ground rubber products.

Of course that prompted a quick, decisive response by the Synthetic Turf Councilscientists, environmentalists and a number of others who wanted to wade into the conversation. They largely allege that the CPSC has is all wrong and the majority of man-made turf products are safe on all fronts. And some of them cited studies to prove it. Others urged caution and suggested doing further research.

So where does that leave companies in the middle of mulling over their commercial landscaping plans? We’d suggest making an appointment to sit down with our commercial irrigation and landscaping experts. We’ve been involved with green technology and eco-friendly, safe irrigation and landscaping practices for years.  Consequently, we are well positioned to help commercial businesses choose irrigation systems and landscape designs that are beneficial to everyone.

Our commercial irrigation and landscaping team only work with products that they can feel good about using. And from our perspective, that means using materials widely deemed safe for humans, pets, wildlife and more. We can go over which materials our team likes the most during a sit down with you and members of your team.

In addition, we can talk about issues like water conservation, preserving native landscapes and creating public spaces that help at-risk pollinators. They are all subjects near to our hearts because we believe in being good stewards. To learn more about the ongoing debate over synthetic turf and what our commercial landscaping company can do for you, please contact us today.

commercial landscape maintenance make room for marvelous moonbeams atlanta gaWe know that native Georgian and The River of Winged Dreams’ author, Aberjhani, wasn’t talking about flowers when he said the following:

“Now come the whispers bearing bouquets of moonbeams and sunlight trembling.”

But our commercial landscape maintenance crew members can’t help recall his words when presented with a tray of Moonbeams. Also known as Coreopsis Verticillata, they are low maintenance perennials that produce showy, yellow blooms throughout the summer months. And that’s not all there is to love about these marvelous Moonbeams.

There is a lot about this herbaceous member of the Asteraceae that helps make it one of the Peach State’s favorite natives. For starters, it’s extremely tolerant of skin-soaking humidity, full sun, drought, high heat and sandy, so-so soil. Plus, if deadheaded at the right time, it is possible to get the plants to bloom twice, once in the summer and again in the fall.

Commercial property owners also adore Moonbeams for their ability to attract colorful butterflies as well as resist foragers, insects and disease. One word of caution though, it is prone to developing crown rot if left in wet soil for extended periods of time. Therefore, our commercial landscape maintenance team recommends placing it at the top of slopes, raised beds or in well-drained areas.

And don’t worry. Moonbeams handle rocky terrain well too. So rock garden and hardscapes won’t deter this hardy, low maintenance plant. As a matter of fact, they may prove to be the perfect areas for a cluster of Moonbeams. Just leave enough room for them to spread out 2-feet and reach similar heights. On top of that, you might want to keep in mind that it’s best to divide them periodically. We generally recommend doing so every three years or as needed.

To learn more about Moonbeams and other low maintenance, sterile cultivators that do well in Georgia’s USDA Zones, please contact us at Chapel Valley Landscaping.

Photo by I, Chrumps. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

commercial landscaping ideasNo one wants to pull into the parking lot at their typical nine to five office job and see a barren or rugged-looking landscape. Some of the most successful companies in the world understand that it isn't just important to have a great internal work atmosphere, but also an aesthetically pleasing building in order to keep employees happy and improve company image.

The American landscaping industry has around 401,473 businesses and 888,462 employees scattered throughout the nation that are always willing to take on the challenge of working on a commercial landscape design. Businesses may wonder what commercial landscaping ideas are the most economical. Generally, properly selected, placed, and well-maintained landscaping plants can provide wind protection, therefore reducing heating costs. For those living in a warmer climate, plants stationed closer to the building can reduce air conditioning costs. Below are five great design ideas that a profession commercial landscaping service can produce.

Commercial Landscaping Ideas:

  • Focus on the facade of the building. Welcome both employees and clients with a stunning and sophisticated entrance to the company. It is important not to go completely overboard here, so be sure to include a few lush, overgrown green filler plants that will serve as a guide to the front door.

  • Adding a pop of color makes one memorable. After designing a facade, consult your professional landscaper and figure out what types of colorful, yet affordable, flowers to place around the building. For a lower cost, opt for perennial local species. The colorful plants work well in areas where a bench might be placed for employees.

  • Having a few benches strategically placed around the company grounds is a great way to get your employees outside for some fresh air -- and as an added bonus they will enjoy the perfectly laid out commercial landscaping design. Let the outdoor furniture mimic or complement the building's interior furniture. There are plenty of options from sleek and modern to antique and rustic.

  • Save room for growing and maturing plants. The building may be new and everything fits just right indoors, but know that plants need room to grow! Professional landscapers will know to properly space out trees and larger shrubs, yet always ask for a finished layout before giving the go-ahead to start the project. Note that some species of plants or trees are very thick and may obstruct the view of entrances.

  • Thinking about adding some sustainability to the company's list of commercial landscaping ideas will end up decreasing overall costs in the long run. As mentioned, look for local species of trees and plants. Other options include installing irrigation channels in order to funnel rainwater to areas that need it most. In warmer climates, the trend now is to use gravel and weather-resistant plants such as cacti.

Note that the landscaping process will be a long one, and may consist of sod laying, mowing, trimming, planting, watering, fertilizing, digging, raking, a sprinkler system, or the installation of retaining walls.

commercial landscaping in atlanta spotlight on the beauty of blue ice

If you swung by our booth at Vornado’s Green Fair Conference last April, chances are you noticed that we had Amsonia Tabernemontana on display. Also known as Blue Ice, it is often added to commercial landscaping in Atlanta for many reasons. Today, we wanted to share some of those reasons and temporarily highlight the attractive, native plant.

Widely considered a warm weather perennial, it grows well in USDA Zones 4 through 9. Atlanta is Zone 7b and the rest of Georgia runs from 6a to 9a. So, Blue Ice will feasibly thrive in all areas of the Peach State as long as the soil content is right. In this case, the optimum locations are ones known to have well-drained but moist, nutrient rich, neutral soil and full or partial sun.

Ideally, the area should also have enough space to accommodate the plant’s characteristic, slow-moving spread of 18 to 24-inches. Height wise, we are talking about a 12 to 16-inch allowance. And if the plant does thrive, you can count on it producing green foliage that has a slightly blue tint. In some areas, the foliage will also change colors in the fall. Our commercial landscapers have seen some turn a beautiful, golden hue.

As for the blooms, they have a star shape and tend to form charming, periwinkle blue clusters in the late spring. In general, the clusters will generally stick around for 30 to 40 days. However, it is not unusual for the Atlanta region’s seasonal variances to cause the blooms to linger a little longer or fade away faster. Either way, they make an excellent ground cover in commercial locations and pair well with other flowering perennials.

Beside the benefits we already touched upon, Blue Ice is known to turn off foraging herbivores and common pests. It is also drought resistant and needs little, if any, commercial landscaping attention after the initial planting activities are complete. Consequently, many Atlanta businesses find it’s the perfect plant for their commercial landscaping needs. To learn more about Blue Ice and other native plants our commercial landscapers would recommend to Atlanta businesses operating in USDA Zone 7b, please contact us today.

Chapel Valley Wins Post Properties First Annual Tulip Competition

Chapel Valley is the winner of Post Properties first annual tulip competition. Out of 20 pictures submitted from vendors across the country, Chapel Valley had the most votes for their purple tulips at Post Carlyle, a multifamily complex located in Alexandria, VA. 

Post Properties is one of the largest developers and operators of upscale multifamily communities in the United States with ownership of more than 22,000 apartment units in 58 communities. 

Below are the other two photos we submitted:Post Park in Hyattsville, MD (left)  and Post Tysons in McLean, VA (right)


Post Tysons Courtyard       Post Tysons