4 Simple Steps for Achieving a Low Maintenance Landscape

Everybody loves a beautiful landscape but who really loves taking care of it? If you’re a homeowner who envies a gorgeous landscape design but dreads the idea of having to take care of one yourself, take heart – we’ll show you how to achieve the landscaping of your dreams with minimal maintenance.

Let’s demystify the term “low maintenance”

Most people realize that “low maintenance” does not mean “no maintenance.” All landscapes requires some kind of care, but with a little planning and insight, maintenance can be minimized.

A simple, irrefutable fact of nature is that nature abhors a vacuum – that is, nature likes to fill in open spaces with plants. So any homeowner who takes a completely hands-off approach will find their property filling in with whatever plants happen to like their property’s environment. This is something ecologists call “succession” -- a term that is used to describe the successive process of plant establishment and growth over time. For example, shrubs and weedy growth will be the first plants to establish themselves in an untouched meadow, followed by fast-growing evergreens and other softwoods that eventually are replaced by hardwoods. The meadow, over time, turns into mature forest, known as a climax community.

Topics: Home Landscape Ideas

3 Reasons Why Fall Is Perfect For Planting

When most people think about the fall they think about dead leaves, diminishing light, and the inevitable appearance of old man winter. No person in their right mind would consider planting at this time of year, right? Wrong! Savvy gardeners know that autumn is the perfect time to make improvements to your garden by adding new plants as well as dividing larger existing plants and moving them about to add new life to your plant beds.

Topics: Home Landscape Ideas

Top 3 Season-Extending Gardening Tips

If you just love gardens with WOW-Factor, the season always seems to come to an end way too soon. Trees, shrubs, and perennials are traditional favorites for creating layers and lots of landscaping interest, but there can be a periodic lapse between flowerings that may cause things to go a little dull.

Topics: Home Landscape Ideas Ecological and Sustainable Landscapes

5 Top Fall Tasks To Give Your Landscape The Biggest Bang For Your Buck

Many homeowners don’t realize that fall is a critical time for lawns and gardens. Even though the summer bloom is off, bright colors are beginning to fade, and winter is just around the corner, fall is actually an important time to get your property ready for the next growing season.

Here are five helpful fall tasks that will save you time and money by tackling the right tasks at the right time using the right techniques:

Topics: Home Landscape Ideas Landscape and Garden Maintenance Commercial and Public Landscapes

How to DeadHead Salvia

…and the answers to many other questions about this popular plant

Salvias are like that old childhood friend you still love to hang out with; easy-going, dependable, and undeterred by life’s ups and downs. Salvias are perhaps the easiest perennial, next to daylilies, that just about anyone can grow with success. There are so many amazing choices of Salvia that it’s hard to get bored by them.

Topics: Home Landscape Ideas Landscape and Garden Maintenance Landscape How-To Videos

Learn How to Choose the Best Planning Lead Time for Your Next Landscape Project

We New Englanders have a tendency to stumble out of our homes after a long, hard winter, blink in the bright sunshine like bears emerging from their dens and say, “Man, the yard looks terrible! We need to spruce things up, maybe think about some new gardens, a tree or even an updated patio…” 

The problem is that people don’t think about landscaping until the weather takes a turn toward warmer, blue-sky days and they feel comfortable outside. And that’s exactly the WRONG time to start in on planning a landscape project.

Topics: Home Landscape Ideas Designing Gardens and Landscapes

5 Proper Ways to Use Fences in a Landscape

Fences are one of the most challenging landscape elements. People often install fences without first thinking the project through and the less-than-satisfactory results can range from simply inappropriate to downright claustrophobic.

Most people use fences to create privacy yet they don’t realize there are different levels of privacy: full, moderate, and “suggested.” Wait, “suggested”? Yes, that’s a type of privacy in which an illusion of intimacy and separateness is created with light or low screening that doesn’t really hide anything from view, but rather suggests the space is set apart from the rest of the landscape. Knowing which level of privacy you’re looking to achieve will help you focus on appropriate designs and materials to create that specific effect.

Topics: Home Landscape Ideas Hardscape Features In The Landscape Designing Gardens and Landscapes

5 Driveway Design Tips Guaranteed to Give Your Home the Best Curb Appeal

When talk turns to ways of improving property value and creating more “curb appeal” – the visual attractiveness easily seen when first driving up to a home  – driveways don’t quickly come to mind.

In fact, driveways get little respect in general. Builders often focus on the house and then install a driveway almost as an afterthought – building a straight and narrow driveway with minimal materials to accommodate a vehicle or two and nothing more.

Topics: Home Landscape Ideas Designing Gardens and Landscapes Landscape and Garden Maintenance

3 Tips for Optimal Placement & Size of Outdoor Landscape Features

One of the biggest mistakes to make when designing outdoor living spaces is to plunk things down wherever it seems easiest. These seemingly easy or convenient spaces may be exactly the wrong places to install landscape elements that you hope to incorporate into regular use. This is what we call “feature-scaping” – a practice that includes installing outdoor landscape features where it’s the least costly or the most convenient for construction.

Traditional landscape companies are often guilty of feature-scaping. Without much consideration being given to how the homeowner will actually interact with this feature or space, chances are good the placement and installation will be less than satisfactory in the long run and consequently won’t get used much.

Topics: Home Landscape Ideas Designing Gardens and Landscapes

3 Easy Ways to Integrate Indoor & Outdoor Spaces

Many homeowners are eager to add outdoor space to their property that integrates nicely with their home. Often this is a great way to expand a home and open up additional living space that flows easily from indoors to outdoors. So what’s the best way to integrate indoor and outdoor spaces so they work well together and are both attractive and functional? Start by thinking inside out. This will provide clues about how to integrate the two.  

Topics: Home Landscape Ideas Designing Gardens and Landscapes Landscape and Garden Maintenance