Posted by & filed under Poolscapes, Water Features.

Backyard pools are a great way to enjoy lazy summer days and warm evenings. And the more attractive your poolscape or pool landscaping is, the more time you will want to spend in your little private oasis.

poolscape

 

If you haven’t given the ambience of your pool area much thought before, here are five ideas to help you put a little more oomph into your pool design.

 

1.  Light it up

 

Adding lighting to your pool area is a great idea if you want to enjoy more evening swims, not to mention a good way to increase the safety of the area. LED lights are ideal for in-pool lighting as they come in a wide range of styles and colours.

Don’t forget that you can also add some lighting around the area too to help create the perfect atmosphere for evening get-togethers on the deck. It is usually best to go with low voltage lighting it is extremely versatile and gives you an almost endless array of options.

 

2.  Add some water features

 

Water features are another great way to enhance your poolscape adding both visual interest and the calming sound of trickling water. Fountains or waterfalls around the pool tend to be a big hit with people of all ages. Think your space is too small for a water feature? Think again!

Water features can be large and elaborate but they can also be small, very simple, and easy to install. Floating fountains, for example, can simply be dropped in your pool.

 

3.  Add a fire feature

 

Fire and water may seem like opposites, but they can go well together. Imagine all the fun that you can have, going for a nice long swim, warming yourself by the fire, and then jumping back in the pool again!

A firepit or outdoor fireplace can make an ideal place for friends and family to gather around, and it can help let you enjoy your outdoor space well into the winter months.

 

4.  Add a little structure

 

Structures around your pool such as cabanas, pergolas and arbours can help add even more usability to your pool area, giving you and your guests more spaces to lounge and get out of the hot sun for awhile.

They can also help make the entire area feel more relaxed and inviting.

 

5.  Don’t forget your landscape!

 

When designing your poolscape, you want to have an area that flows seamlessly to and from the surrounding landscape. Consider adding some greenery or flowers around your pool area.

Don’t worry if you do not have a green thumb – there are many options for low maintenance and easy to care for plants that you can consider.

By taking some time and paying attention to some of the finer details around your pool area, you can have even more enjoyment out of your space. And if you need a little help with your poolscape, you can always count on the professional service and high-quality workmanship of Evergreen Landscaping.

Posted by & filed under Lawn.

Now that summer has arrived; every Hamilton homeowner wants a carpet of healthy green for their lawn. Getting lush green grass is a labor of love that takes some time to achieve, but it’s worth the effort. There are some fundamentals you should follow if you want to be the envy of your neighbourhood and attain the best results. Understanding how to proceed is essential in producing a thick, healthy green lawn.

grass

 

Here are some guidelines to keep your grass green this year.

 

Test Your Soil

 

The first thing you want to do is test your soil to find out if your lawn has any deficiencies that may prevent you from achieving healthy green grass. Testing your soil will help you determine if your soil is lacking essential nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus. When you find out what your lawn’s pH levels are, you can add specific products that will help boost your soil.

 

Choose a Grass That Works Best in Your Yard

 

Not all properties are the same, and that applies to your grass type as well. There are many different types of grass, and each type grows best under different conditions. You want to set yourself up for success, so understanding your property’s requirements is the first step to achieving a positive outcome.

 

While some grass grows in colder temperatures, others require more sunshine; therefore, you need to determine which varieties of sod or seed are best suited for your location. Walk your property carefully and look at the area during the morning, afternoon and early evening hours to decide what areas receive sun, shade or part-sun. This will help you to decide what to buy for grass varieties.

 

Fertilizer

 

Your soil test will let you know if specific nutrient levels are low, medium, optimum, or high. You can take your soil test results to a gardening centre and ask the staff to recommend a fertilizer with a nutrient ratio that fits your needs.

 

You’ll want to get a slow-release fertilizer that suits your soil’s requirements and fertilizes your lawn in the late spring and fall. A slow-release fertilizer will allow your lawn to absorb the nutrients over a more extended period. Fall fertilizing is especially important because, during the fall, grass soaks up nutrients to store for the winter.

 

Water Thoroughly

 

Watering your lawn properly is paramount, but don’t overwater. Many Hamilton homeowners water lightly every day or second day, but this is not the best method. This method encourages the roots to stay close to the soil, which makes your lawn more vulnerable to heat and drought. To combat this potential problem, you should water deeply only a few times per week. This system encourages deep root growth. It is best to water in the early morning which will help avoid prolonged moisture overnight that can cause disease.

 

Height to Mow

 

Avoid mowing your grass too short, which creates more work and maintenance in the long run. Proper mowing is one of the essential practices in keeping your lawn healthy. Most landscape companies pay close attention to mowing at the correct height and never remove more than one-third of the total leaf surface with each cutting.

 

Also remember that dull mower blades often cause brown, rough grass, so keep them nice and sharp. Since clippings provide nutrients and help retain moisture, leave them in the yard after mowing your lawn.

 

Aerate Your Lawn

 

Lastly, aerate your lawn before fertilizing it. Aerating allows water, nutrients and air to penetrate deeper into the soil and access the roots. This process also creates better drainage which reduces runoff and lost moisture. The best time to aerate your lawn is in spring and fall before you fertilize.

 

Your Lawn

 

Getting a healthy, green lawn takes a bit of work and understanding of your property, but with a bit of research and a process, you can have a beautiful, lush green lawn during the summer season.

Posted by & filed under Outdoor Kitchens.

With the winter months beginning to melt away and spring right around the corner, many homeowners are thinking about renovation projects that will enhance their backyard enjoyment. For backyard loving homeowners, an outdoor kitchen is top on their list as the ideal improvement for their home.

 

outdoor kitchen

 

If you love cooking and entertaining outdoors, while surrounded by the sounds of nature, then a functional, custom-built outdoor kitchen is the perfect way to turn your backyard into something unique and special.

 

An outdoor kitchen will improve your outdoor living space, create a stylish atmosphere of relaxation, enhance your outdoor experience and increase the property value of your home. A professionally designed outdoor kitchen is not only appealing, but it’s a worthwhile investment that you’ll be proud to show off to family and friends.

 

Here are a few of the benefits you’ll enjoy by having an outdoor kitchen:

 

Entertaining with an Outdoor Kitchen

 

The best reason for incorporating an outdoor kitchen is that it’s the perfect space for entertaining family and friends. It’s a wonderful atmosphere to socialize with guests when you have more freedom to move around.  Furthermore, kitchen cleanup is a breeze with an outdoor sink for washing dirty dishes. You eliminate the need to go back and forth to the inside of the house and make a mess indoors.

 

Increase your House Value with an Outdoor Kitchen

 

The popularity of an outdoor kitchen makes this renovation a great home improvement project with a high rate of return on the investment. Its popularity has significantly increased over the past few years to one of the top-rated outdoor home improvements.

 

Reduce Utility Costs by Cooking Outside

 

By doing your grilling outside, you save on energy costs of running your AC to keep your house cool if cooking indoors during the summertime. You get to enjoy the outdoors and save money at the same time on utility bills.

 

Reduce Indoor Cooking Smells

 

Some foods can smell less desirable while cooking, such as fish or deep-fried items. Outdoor kitchens allow those aromas to remain outside instead of inside the house. You home stays fresher without leftover aromas.

 

Increase Your Living Space

 

You can increase your living space instead of the need to add on another room. A covered patio allows you to have your appliances outdoors, but still in close proximity to the rest of the house for ease of access.

 

Enjoy Healthier Foods

 

Many people enjoy a selection of healthier foods during the summer months. Outdoor kitchens allow you to indulge in a variety of farm fresh foods like grilled asparaus, and roasted red peppers.  When you have your own outdoor kitchen, you can reduce or eliminate the need to spend money on going to restaurants and eating high calorie meals. Not only will you love being in the privacy of your own backyard, you save a few bucks along the way.

 

Outdoor Cooking has Come a Long Way

 

Outdoor cooking has come a long way from a barbecue grill and a beer on the deck. It has become a focal point of the landscape with homeowners incorporating the same conveniences as their indoor kitchens.  Just take a look at our outdoor kitchen gallery to see how beautiful your backyard can look!

 

Enjoy the upcoming summer months by having an outdoor kitchen in your backyard by calling Evergreen Landscapes today. We can build a beautiful stone outdoor kitchen for your home that encompasses both stone and stainless steel. Any kitchen appliance you desire, from ovens, sinks, and grills can be installed.

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Landscaping is a big investment in your property. You’ll want to hire the best professionals you can find because not all landscaping companies are the same. Therefore, it’s important you research ahead of time for the company best suited to your property.

 

backyard landscape burlington

 

For those who want to enjoy the benefits of a beautifully crafted landscape, it’s essential that you find a landscaping company that will address your needs adequately. You’ll want to find someone who can provide regular maintenance and quality care at an affordable price.

 

The best place for you to begin your search is to define your needs for landscaping care and get an idea of what you want. This process will help to narrow down your search before you contact different landscape companies to ask questions and compare quotes for the best deal on your property.

 

Whether you’re planning retaining walls, walkways, patio kitchens, wooden or water features, look for a company who will be easy to work with on a regular basis, receptive to your ideas and goals. They should answer all of your questions and concerns while offering you peace of mind.

 

You want to find a company who takes the time to get to know your space and asks you questions about how you’ll use your space, what kinds of things you like, and what kind of feeling you’d like your space to evoke.

 

Here are some top items on your list that you should be asking a contractor beforehand.

 

Landscape Contractor Environment Specialty

 

You want to find a landscaping company that understands harmonious design and environmental concerns because it is one of the most important aspects of having a beautiful landscape. You’ll want to ask if they understand how to combine plants that work in conjunction with your lawn setting. You will also want to know if they employ horticultural professionals that know this information, since poorly placed plants can destroy a beautiful and flourishing landscape.

 

Your property is unique with existing areas of sun or shade, slopes, soil, and drainage. This will affect the design and plants located on your property. You should ask if the firm recognizes these alternating conditions and plant accordingly.

 

You should also inquire if the company is familiar with pest-resistant plants. This knowledge greatly improves your landscape’s chances of blossoming. Since water is the blood life of successful landscaping, you should ask if the design company understands the watering needs of various plants to get optimum results.

 

Contracting Licenses

 

Although there are no mandatory licence requirements for landscape companies, good landscape companies will have a crew with certificates and diplomas in horticulture. This is an important piece of information that you need to know. Ask questions whether their crew has taken additional courses to learn of new trends in the landscaping business.

 

You’ll also want to know if the company carries insurance in the event an accident occurs on your property. In addition, you should question whether they are in good standing with all governing bodies regarding workplace safety.

 

Landscape Industry Experience

 

Your questions should include whether your prospective company is knowledgeable in understanding landscape design and maintenance. How long have they been in business? Good landscape companies have years of experience in the industry. On average, a company with a history of more than ten years in the business is a reputable one. Take advantage of checking out the online ratings and reviews on their website. This is a good indicator of the quality of their work, experience, history and any other professional credentials that they hold.

 

Contractor References

 

Always ask for references. A reputable company should provide you with a list of references and you should contact them. Ask questions of the past clientele regarding their experience with the company. This is an ideal way to decide whether the landscape company is going to fulfill your expectations.

 

Due Diligence

 

When all is said and done, you have to be the judge of your making your final selection. If you have done your research ahead of time, asked a lot of questions and are satisfied with the answers, you’ll have a better shot at finding the company that’s just right for you.

 

If you live in the Burlington Ontario area, we encourage you to consider Evergreen Landscapes. Since 1984 we have serviced the Burlington, Waterdown, Aldershot, and Dundas area.

Posted by & filed under Gardens, Landscape Construction, Landscaping Design.

In the world of real estate, most homeowners agree that landscaping in a big investment for enhancing a home’s property value. You’ll want to make sure that your money is being well spent, so hiring a professional landscape design firm is a logical choice to achieve your goal. However, you may discover that not all landscape design firms are the same, so it’s critical that you research ahead of time for the company best suited to your property.

 

Burlington Yard

 

A good landscaping company will address your needs adequately, both for designing your landscape in addition to regular maintenance and quality care at an affordable price. For those who want to enjoy the benefits of a beautifully crafted landscape, it’s important that you choose wisely prior to any contract commencement.

 

The best place for you to begin your search is to define your needs for your landscaping care and get an idea of what you want. Are you looking to install a walkway, patio, wooden feature or a water feature? This process will help to narrow down your search before you get in touch with different landscape companies to compare quotes for the best deal.

 

Most importantly, look for a company who will be easy to work with on a regular basis, receptive to your ideas and goals. They should answer all of your questions and concerns while offering you peace of mind.

 

You can even sketch a design that expresses what you envision, which might help in your search for the right design firm. Whether you sketch or write a brief description of what you’re looking for regarding your property, the more communication, the better end result.

 

Professional Landscapers and the Environment

 

One of the most important aspects of having a beautiful landscape is finding a landscaping company that understands harmonious design and environmental concerns. It’s critical that they understand how to combine plants that work in conjunction with your lawn setting. Most reputable landscaping companies employ horticultural professionals that know this information since poorly placed plants can destroy a beautiful and flourishing landscape.

 

Finding a Landscape for your Property

 

Existing areas of your property with sun or shade, slopes, soil, drainage, and moisture affect design and plants. A good landscape design firm will recognize these alternating conditions and plant accordingly.

 

You should also determine whether the company is familiar with pest-resistant plants. This knowledge improves your landscape’s chances of blossoming. Since water is the blood life of successful landscaping, your design company should keep in mind the watering needs of various plants to get optimum results.

 

Landscape Licenses and Certifications

 

Although there are no mandatory licence requirements for landscape companies, good landscape companies will have a crew with certificates and diplomas in horticulture. Their staff may take additional courses during the winter month to learn about new trends in the landscaping business. The company will also carry insurance in the event an accident occurs on your property, which relieves you of any liability. They should be in good standing with all governing bodies regarding workplace safety.

 

Researching a Landscape Company’s Experience

 

In addition to being knowledgeable in understanding landscape design and maintenance, good landscape companies have years of experience in the industry. On average, a company with a history of more than ten years in the business is a reputable one. You can also take a look at the online ratings and reviews on their website. This is a good indicator regarding the quality of their work, experience, history and any other professional credentials that they hold.

 

Ask for Landscaping Company References

 

The landscape company should provide you with a list of references, and you should contact them. Reviews from past or current customers are an ideal way to decide whether the landscape company is going to fulfill your expectations.

 

Due Diligence

 

When all is said and done, you have to be the judge of your making your final selection, but if you have done your research ahead of time, you’ll have a better shot at finding the company that’s just right for you.

 

Located in Waterdown Ontario, Evergreen Landscapes has over 30 years experience in the landscape industry for Burlington, Hamilton, Aldershot, Dundas, and beyond.

Posted by & filed under Gardens, Landscaping Design, Outdoor Kitchens.

Each year, there is always some new trend on the horizon and once again, the 2018 season in going to be a marker year for up-and-coming landscape projects. The trends for 2018 focus on the concept of providing pleasure to people in their gardens. They center on growing food, providing a refuge for wildlife and creating a relaxing environment for family and friends to gather for a meal.

 

an award winning landscape by evergreen landscapes

 

The New Outdoor Dining

 

Over the past years, outdoor dining has been designed to be located as an extension of the house and conveniently positioned right off the kitchen. However, today’s trend includes these eatery spaces pushed out further into the garden. Although the convenience of designing an outdoor dining space right off the kitchen is undeniable, the distance between the new dining space and the kitchen is well worth the extra step. The backyard retreat for outdoor dining draws you out into the garden for a more intimate experience, and the landscape will immerse individuals in the ambiance of their surroundings. This provides a more lavish experience, and guests will get to take in more of your beautiful gardens.

 

Three tips for creating the ultimate destination for outdoor dining

 

  • Use special lighting, flooring, and furniture to transform your dining area into a spectacular sanctuary
  • For a lush feeling, surround your outdoor dining space with container and in-ground plants
  • Include a nearby pool, fire pit or other spaces in the landscaping design for pre-dinner and post-dinner entertainment
  •  

    Embracing the Small Garden

     

    With space at a premium these days, today’s trend is to make even the smallest of gardens useful and attractive. While small gardens are not new, the new emphasis is on the way they are designed so that less really can be more. Everything in a small garden needs to have multiple uses where function and visual appeal is the goal.

     

    The use of planters throughout is an example. They can be used as borders or curb edging for the deck, or a concrete fire feature would create a bold element running through the space that can provide seating when not in use.

     

    Restore Natural Habitat

     

    As our expanding cities and sprawling suburbs continue to impact our natural habitat, your backyard can be designed to encourage their return. Most gardeners are aware that bees and butterflies are in decline, but habitat loss is also impacting birds, frogs, and even turtles. With the proper design, there is no reason we can’t create convenient, beautiful landscapes that also meet the needs of many of our animal neighbors. In terms of mass urbanization, most of this dwindling habitat is happening because spaces have been designed for convenience and aesthetics, with little thought to the needs of local wildlife writes Doug Tallamy, professor and chair of the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware.

     

    Suggestions for creating a habitat garden

     

    • Grow both seed-producing and berry-bearing plants
    • Restrict or stop using insecticides
    • Consider replacing some or all of your lawn

     

    Be Trendy

     

    When considering your 2018 landscape projects, consider being part of the trend with your dining area, creating a small and appealing garden and encouraging natural habitat to your environment. Not only will you have beautiful surroundings, but delight in the nature that is abundant all around us. Contact Evergreen Landscapes Today for complete landscape design and builds for the Waterdown, Burlinton and Aldershot area.

    Posted by & filed under Landscaping Design.

    With the snow piled high and temperatures dipped below freezing, you may not even be thinking about spring, but now is a great time to start planning your landscape projects. While you’re huddled inside staying warm, you have a wonderful opportunity to plan out your spring landscape design in the comfort of your home without the demands of outside work.

     
    couple looking out window
     

    Plan Ahead for Spring:

     

    Whether you’re considering a new or revamped design for your landscape, adding a backyard patio, deck, outside kitchen or even a pool, winter is the opportune time for you to think about what you want and how to tackle it. A detailed understanding of your goals is necessary from the onset of any design process.

     

    A well thought out landscaping project not only increases your property’s value, but it boosts your home’s curb appeal. A prepared-in-advance design helps to solve problems ranging from ugly views and lack of privacy to poor drainage and nondescript plantings. And now is the time to jumpstart your long-term landscape plan and develop it.

     

    Garden Paradise Master Plan:

     

    Having a master plan is essential to any landscaping project. You don’t have to worry about planning every detail to the nth degree, but a master plan is more about broad strokes, a theme, a look and a feeling that you want to evoke.

     

    While you’re hunkered down in the house during the winter months, you have the opportunity to think through the entire landscape design, from hard-scapes or soft-scapes. It’s a great time of year to help you focus on your initial goals and provides a touchstone for ideas, changes, and decisions down the line. By having a master plan, you will less likely end up with a mishmash of hard-scapes, inappropriate colours, proportions and lacklustre design.

     

    A master plan can help you to create, design and update your yard ranging from the practical to the indulgent while improving curb appeal, privacy, and functionality. Maybe last year you noticed a safety issue that you want to address this spring season. Now is a great time to think about some of those safety issues, such as a pool fence, fire-scaping or erosion on parts of the property that caused headaches last year.

     

    Landscape Planning Guides:

     

    There are several Landscaping Planning Guides on the market that will show you what to consider in planning your landscaping project. They provide you with the information you need to choose the right design and products. You can often begin your adventure by downloading and filling out a landscape priorities questionnaire that will guide you through your likes and dislikes and ultimate goal. Some of these guides may even have a landscape analysis worksheet that covers a multitude of issues pertaining to your specific home.

     

    Professional Landscape Designer:

     

    Winter is a great time to consult with a professional landscape designer, like the professionals at Evergreen Landscapes. During this time of year when everything is dormant and their workload is reduced, their time availably to sit and discuss your ideas is ideal.

     

    Even if gardening is your passion and you think you’ve got a good idea of what you want and how to achieve it, a professional landscape designer may see solutions you never dreamed of and help you avoid costly mistakes. They can assess your property’s strengths and weaknesses, think about the ways you envision using your yard, and understand the steps involved in the landscape design process.

     

    Think Spring!

     

    So, while you’re idling the hours away huddled in your home during the winter months, now is a perfect opportunity to think about your landscaping projects for the spring and jumpstart the process. You’ll be ahead of the crowd without the stress of last minute planning and prepare to enjoy the final results for the upcoming summer. Contact Evergreen Landscapes Today for complete landscape design and builds for the Waterdown, Burlinton and Aldershot area.

    Posted by & filed under Outdoor Lighting.

    Now that winter is officially upon us and daylight hours are reduced, you’ll want to keep your outdoor landscape lights shining bright. With early sunsets, we find ourselves in the dark at an earlier hour; however with proper placement and care, your landscape lighting will provide you safe passage for the rest of the evening.
     
    lighted stairs
     

    By keeping your landscape lights well maintained during the winter months, your home will still be inviting and you can enjoy your outside space for longer while providing a safer environment during the wintertime.

     

    Safety is always a priority, but there are other benefits as well, such as enhancing the beauty of your home at night, preventing potential intruders or unwelcomed visitors, and avoiding injuries due to dangerous slips or falls because of black ice or snow.

     

    Here are some guidelines to keep your landscape lighting in tip-top shape:

     

    Clean the Lens

    Outdoor light fixtures can accumulate bugs, dirt, mineral deposits and other debris that can dim or block the light from the fixture. Shut off the fixture and use a damp cloth to wipe down the exterior metal. You can clean the lens by using a non-abrasive damp cloth with a solution of CLR or something similar. If you use halogen lights in the fixture, the heat will melt most of the snow, but LED bulbs produce less heat and you may have to clear them off on occasion after a snowfall.
     

    Change Bulbs

     
    Due to extreme swings in temperatures during the winter months making the bulbs run longer, the lifespan of the bulbs may be shortened. Change bulbs as soon as possible when one burns out because a low voltage system draws a small amount of voltage on each bulb when running. As bulbs burn out, the nearby bulbs receive more voltage and this shortens the life span of the remaining bulbs.
     
    You may want to consider switching to LEDs since they last, on average, three to ten years and perform better in cold temperatures.
     

    Position Lights Properly

     
    You should take some time and inspect the locations of your landscape lights to be sure that they are positioned properly, both from an illumination perspective and one of safety. Fixtures can get moved out of alignment and become crooked due to snow accumulation, drifting snow or high winds.
     
    If you have a snow removal company maintaining your property, alert them to where the fixtures are located near the driveway and walkways. You can also place indicator flags where the lights are located.
     
    Be particularly aware of positioning where you have walking paths or along the driveway. Also, be on the lookout for exposed wires due to temperature fluctuations that cause a wire to resurface. If any are found, bury them back down into the ground. If any wire is showing damage, repair it first before reburying it.
     

    Dim Lights

     
    Now that the leaves have completely fallen from the branches, you can adjust the brightness down a bit so that the bare branches don’t look so severe in the spotlights. By dimming down, your home will appear to have a less haunted house effect. You can even add frosted lenses in order to soften the lighting or lower the angle of the light to highlight the trunk instead of the exposed branches.
     

    Adjust Timers

     
    With daylight savings time over and darkness descending at an earlier time, remember to adjust the outside timers accordingly. Some timers work on a dusk to dawn setting while others operate on a definitive start time and end selection, such as 4-8 hours of operation. Also remember that if there is a power outage, you’ll need to reset the landscape lighting timer again.
     

    Make it Easy

     
    Winter landscape lighting and maintenance doesn’t have to be difficult if you take the time to inspect, position and replace burned out bulbs when they occur. Your home will look warm and inviting plus provide the added safety that landscaping lighting offers.
     
    For the ultimate installation and service for outdoor lighting in Burlington and Aldershot, contact Evergreen Landscapes today.  We will work closely with you to achieve the perfect night scape your property deserves.

    Posted by & filed under Landscaping Design.

    The most important question every homeowner should consider is whether a landscape renovation will pay off and boost the value of their home. Although, you may not be planning to sell your home anytime soon, redesigning your landscape can add value to your home, improve your family’s quality of life and attract future buyers. The payoff may vary as landscape return on investment is determined from neighborhood to neighborhood and regionally as well.

    grass

     

    There is no need to go into overblown projects to recapture your investment. A good rule of thumb is no more than 10 percent of your home’s value. You want to be cautious about having your home’s landscaped property the most expensive house in the neighborhood.
     
    However, a well-designed landscape that fits the style, size, and character of the rest of the home will enhance its overall curb appeal and value. Any good realtor will tell you that sprucing up your property is also one of the most important aspects for attracting potential buyers, now or in the future.
     

    Increased Value

    A home with an attractive and well-maintained landscape will increase your home’s value and add up to twenty percent to the overall value of your home, according to renowned home project expert Bob Vila. When you consider that your home is probably the biggest investment you own, the return on investment is something you seriously want to encourage to maximize its full potential.
     
    So, with a little patience, energy, research and the right design, you can create a great first impression that will carry through to the rest of the property and pay off big-time. Surveys show that landscaping determines whether your home feels inviting and the money is well spent. Seventy-one percent of potential buyers say that curb appeal has a tremendous influence on their decision making process when choosing a house.
     
    Follow these basic rules in order to get the best return on your investment:
     

    The Basics

    Landscape architecture is more than just plantings or soft-scaping. Basic landscaping can include structural features like lighting, fences, garden paths, fire pits, swimming pools, and ponds. The popular outside room and kitchen including terraces and decks are also high-yield structural or hardscaping investments.
     

    Planning Your Landscape

    Property assessment is the first step in achieving the desired goal. Hiring a qualified arborist can help distinguish between dying trees and removal or those just in need a bit of care. A certified landscape architect can also help you to determine where to place an on-grade patio, above-grade deck, a front walk, complementary plantings in the front yard and exterior lighting that are extremely desirable these days as a means to showcase the natural world at night using up-lights, down-lights, and tree-lights. They will also help you to determine what looks overgrown, what’s obscuring windows, what needs to be pruned or taken out.
     

    Trends

    Landscape trends have changed over the years. Today’s hottest trends in landscape architecture are the outdoor room or terrace extension. The adjacent outside terrace brings views into the house using fountains, a grove of trees, or arbors and used as a continuation of the surrounding environment. The interest in landscaping and property enhancement is a natural extension of the boom in home renovation. Improvements are being made in the rear of the property.
     

    Keep It Green

    Designing your landscape is not sufficient to maintaining the value of your home. It’s important to protect your landscaping investment and keep your property looking its very best. A landscape company can help you achieve a consistently beautiful appearance by scheduling for upkeep and maintenance. If time is of the essence to you, it’s worth protecting your investment by hiring the regular services of a landscaping maintenance company, like the pros at Evergreen Landscapes.
     

    Your Home’s Value

    Landscaping your property to enhance its appearance and curb appeal will result in a substantial return on investment that will add to the overall value of your property. It’s an investment well worth making.

     

    Check out some of our other blogs on landscape design.

    A woman pruning

    Posted by & filed under Gardens.

    As the fall comes rolling in, homeowners start the chore of cleaning up their property. They crave getting outside to prepare their gardens and landscape for the upcoming winter and part of their routine is to prune shrubs, trees and plants.  Before you ask yourself “Should I prune in the fall” and start hacking away at those bushes, learn a few lessons about pruning in fall that will help you avoid mistakes on your landscape.

    According to gardening expert Mike McGrath, author of Mike McGrath’s Book of Compost, and radio host of the show You Bet Your Garden, the rule of pruning is that you should NOT prune in fall.  That’s right, nothing and no exceptions.

     

    Why Fall is Not Prime Time for Pruning

    Any gardening expert will tell you, (contrary to what you may believe) that pruning encourages new growth just when the plant is trying to go dormant and new growth doesn’t have enough time to harden before the first frost and freezing temperatures hit. Pruning at this time of year will severely weaken the plants.
     

    This is disastrous for the plants and all the hard work you did during the year to make your landscape beautiful. If you can wait until all the leaves have fallen, you will allow the trees and shrubs the ability to have better structure and strength to make it through the winter to next spring without any damage. So, put your pruners away for another month or two and let plants go completely dormant. Once the dormancy has settled in, you can prune trees and shrubs after all the leaves have dropped. Pruning during the right time of year for overgrown flowering shrubs or fruit trees will help the plants produce more flowers and fruit when spring rolls around again.

     

    Weather Conditions

    It should also be noted that pruning is not advised if it is damp or wet outside. You will run the risk of spreading a lot of diseases in addition to the damp weather encouraging microbes to grow at a considerably faster rate. This growth will wreak havoc on the pruning that you just completed. An ideal condition is a dry, sunny situation where the cut is clean and the wound can heal correctly.

     

    Exceptions

    Any major pruning that you might be considering should be done in late winter-early spring when the wound will heal faster. However, there is one exception to the rule of thumb on pruning during the fall. You can prune any dead, diseased and damaged wood including anything on the property, (like a big branch over the roof) that might be hazardous to you or your home.

     

    What You Can Do Now

    What you can and should do is focus your attention on raking up the leaves (don’t leave them on the lawn), mulching and topping up the gardens so that they have a protective bed during the winter months. You can also consider amending the soils so that it is in tip-top shape come spring. Additionally, spring bloomers can be pruned after they have finished flowering.

     

    Technique

    The benefit of pruning is that it allows more sunlight and air to filter through the trees and shrubs, so it’s important to focus first on removing dead or dying branches by cutting between the diseased spot and the main body of the plant. You should also prune when branches are rubbing or crossing each other, cutting the smaller of the two off. Taking off low hanging branches that interfere with foot traffic or lawnmowers is perfectly acceptable as with any branch that might be growing vertically. Always try to cut back to the main stem or body of the plant.

     

    Healthy Circle

    What goes around comes around once again and pruning properly during the correct time of year will produce a healthier and more robust plant for the next season. So set your sights on pruning when it’s appropriate and avoid the pitfall of pruning in the fall for a more beautiful landscape next spring.

     

    Read some more gardening tips in our gardening blog category.