Don't Let Your Dreams be Dreams
I'm sure this image of an outdoor room is the farthest from your mind right now because of the cold, wet weather we have. This really is the best time to think about planning your spring and summer landscape projects.
By the time you want to use it, most landscape professionals will be booked 2-3 months until they can work on it for you. As a country, we are experiencing a good economy which means supply and demand are good.
Just imagine yourself with your ideal, low maintenance yard this spring and summer, with little to do in the yard, except enjoy it.
We are different than most landscape professionals. We design and plan your landscape for your ideal garden. We want you to have the best of everything you desire.
After designing your plan, we'll even give you recommendations of contractors we know and trust along with detailed plans and specifications so it will be installed with high quality and beauty.
We turn ordinary yards into extraordinary Gardens. With over 30 years experience we'll help you to insure it's done right the first time. Give us a call for a consultation. The first 30 minutes are free!
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Posted on February 04, 2020
Practical Landscaping Ideas
When people think about landscaping, they usually want ideas to improve their property's looks with beautiful plants, paths, water features, and lights. I usually direct them to first think about what they want their landscape to do for them in a very practical way
Starting from the ground up is the logical way to proceed.
If a beautiful yard doesn't provide the necessary function, it's just a beautiful yard that serves no purpose.
Looking at some landscapes from a distance, they seem nice, but, upon closer examination, you see little functionality.
One of the first landscaping needs to look at is good drainage.
If after a major rain storm there is standing water for longer than six hours, it usually means there is a drainage problem.
Sometimes this problem will cause other complications such as building foundation problems, crawl space problems, unhealthy plants, and access problems.
Most drainage problems are caused by poor soil, improper grading, or water runoff from other areas or springs.
Until the cause of the drainage problem is diagnosed, it's almost impossible to recommend a long term solution.
Irrigation solutions are among many valuable landscaping ideas.
In Clark County Washington, we usually have a good 3-4 months of summer weather a year.
It is recommended that new landscapes include at least an automatic drip irrigation system for plants.
Even plants that will become drought tolerant need some watering during the first 2-3 years in a new landscape.
Lawns after the first season will recover if allowed to go dormant in the summer, so irrigation is not as necessary to lawns unless you want to keep your lawn green all the time. If that is your desire, then an automatic sprinkler system for your lawn makes sense. It will get the right amount of water in the right place which is almost impossible with the hose and sprinkler method.
Hard surfaces (patios, deck, and walkways)
Created so people can have entertaining areas or move from one area to another in comfort and safety.
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Posted on May 17, 2019
Creating a Landscape Where Your Plants Thrive
Your landscape has an environment where plants thrive or suffer, depending on how it is created and cared for. This article is to help you create an environment on your property where plants thrive abundantly.
You've heard the saying, “what you put in you will get out” . Zig Zigler tells a story of two farmers driving in Alabama on a hot day in August. They both agree it's too hot and they are thirsty. So, they stop by a hand water pump behind a farm house and begin pumping. After pumping for several minutes, they realize they need to go to stream and bring a little water to prime the pump. They almost gave up thinking that there was no water left in that well, but finally after much effort and a little priming the water began and they got as much water as they needed.
Our landscapes are a lot like that well, if given the right input they'll produce abundantly fruit, flowers, fragrance, privacy and beauty.
There is input from above the soil and input from inside the soil. Let's briefly take a look at these inputs.
The input into your plants coming from above the soil effects plants leaves and roots. It includes light, water, air, nutrients, and pollution. These inputs are the reason it is critical to “plant the right plant in the right place”. Sun, shade, or partial sun create a different environment needed by different plants. All plants need nutrients, water and air. These environmental elements are usually available to some degree and will in some ways determine how plants respond to their environment. Pollution comes in the form of industrial, automotive, chemical, insects, and disease. It is best to remove as much of these pollutants from our environment as possible. If there are know pollution problems in your landscape then you'll only want to plant varieties that will tolerate the existing pollution.
The input from the soil effects plants roots. Within the soil there is a subterranean environment. Many times this environment creates a “dead” or “living “ soil. Most of the time your soil can be improved to become more living over time. Living soil is composed of soil, organic matter, insects, good bacteria, good fungus and plant life. Unless there are chemical contaminants in your soil, the best way to develop living soil is by adding organic material in the form of good, well decomposed compost. Compost has a positive effect on the life in the soil. It feeds the microbial activity which will improve the soil nutrients and texture making more water, air, and nutrients available to plant roots.
In order to create a healthy landscape, like the farmers water pump, we need to input hard work into a healthy environment. Please contact us if we can help you make a plan to accomplish this in your landscape.
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Posted on July 16, 2017
How to start your dream landscape for less?
A beautiful, useful, safe, and easy to maintain landscape is greatly desired by homeowners. The mystery for most people is... how?
Let's start with a story about Dave and Connie. They purchased a home in Washougal and wanted to landscape it in a way that met their needs and desires. When meeting with them we discussed their wants and needs as we walked together around their property. They needed soil work, retaining walls, pathways, fencing, a water feature, plantings, outdoor lighting, and lawn. It was obvious that they needed help defining their project in a clear, cost effective manner. After talking with many landscape contractors, they had the wisdom to choose a professional landscape designer to create a written plan. See their testimony at Dave's testimony
You would not build a house without a set of written plans. Neither should you attempt a major landscape project without a written plan. Written plans clearly define the project for you, and your landscape contractor will follow it like a road map.. The process of design helps you discover what will really work for you, your property, and your budget. Written plans help make your project cost effective, with a predetermined outcome. Written plans save money, time, frustration, and stress.
Finding an experienced professional landscape designer can sometimes be a challenge. Not everyone who claims to be a landscape designer has the credentials and experience necessary to make a detailed written landscape plan. There are many variables to consider on every property. Not all designers have had appropriate training or know industry standards for the many different aspects of installing a landscape.
Most landscape contractors will claim to be able to design your landscape without a plan, ignoring the proven written, detailed design method. They mean well and a few contractors will even listen to you, although they usually plan on installing based on what they have on hand, or have done before.
Look for a landscape designer who has been practicing landscape design fulltime for over five years and also has many years of hands on experience working in landscape construction. A landscape designer should have a professional certification in horticulture and landscaping. They should be willing to listen and interact with you in order to help you discover what will really work for your family, your property, and your budget. A design professional will be able to show you several proofs before your final plan is done. Your landscape designer should be analytical and creative, making sure the design is functional, beautiful and cost effective.
Before starting your landscape project, it is important to have a detailed landscape plan completed. I have met dozens of people who have tried to begin their landscape project many times, and spent thousands of dollars, to find . . . More Inside
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Posted on June 13, 2017