With so many lawn care companies eager to solicit your business, it can be difficult to discern the good from the bad and to identify the right company for your specific needs. Before you hire a company to provide regular lawn care maintenance, there are some important things you will want to consider.
What is their reputation?
Reputation can be one of the more difficult items to determine as it is subjective, but it is still important. You'll want to do your research. What do people say about the company on Google, on Facebook, Yelp, Angie's List, etc.? Have they been featured in any local news coverage or publications? Have friends or neighbors used them and did they have good things to say?
Are they licensed?
In the state of Oregon, all lawn care companies are required to be licensed and registered with the Construction Contractors Board. If a company can't provide you their CCB#, steer clear.
Are they insured?
In addition to being licensed, it is critical that the company care proper insurance. As a homeowner, you don't want to held liable if one of their workers gets injured or if they cause damage to someone else's property. Ask the company the types of coverage they carry and what the policy limits are. At a minimum, they should have general liability and workers' compensation.
What is the company organization?
Is the lawn care company a single person operation or do they have a team to service your property? Is the crew consistent visit to visit, or is there high turnover with new people each time? Who will care for your lawn if someone gets sick, injured, or goes on vacation?
How is their customer service?
During the sales process, how is the communication? Are they easy to talk to? Easy to reach? Responsive to your questions? You'll want to invest in a company with which you can easily communicate. Never is this truer than if an issue arises. You'll want to know you can talk with the company to work things out.
How does their equipment/vehicle appear to be maintained?
While it might seem superficial, how a company cares for its vehicles and equipment can speak volumes for how they take care of everything else. Choose a company that takes pride in their appearance. Chances are they will be better at maintaining the sharpness of their mower blades, keep other equipment in peak operating condition, etc. This matters because better tools paired with skilled workers yields a better-looking yard.
Do they provide a written contract for services?
Make sure the lawn care company can provide you a written contract for services that details the services to be performed, the frequency, and the cost of providing those services. Does it include provisions for unsatisfactory service? How long will the contract last and how will it be renewed? All of these are important details for your contract.
How do they handle pricing?
When it comes to pricing, be sure to get a written quote. Written quotes will enable you to compare companies and to go back to your top selections with additional questions. If a company provides you a guaranteed rate without seeing your lawn first, this can be a red flag.
Can they provide the services you need?
Before reaching out to lawn care maintenance companies to solicit bids, make sure you know what you want and what you can afford. A good company can help create a maintenance plan that's right for your needs, not just a cookie-cutter solution.
Will they be reliable?
Even with the best research, reviews might not be enough. Ask to talk with current customers to get a better sense of the company's reliability. A good company will have no problem providing references.
If you have more questions and would like to speak with our lawn care maintenance team, please contact us online or give us a call at 541-729-8029. Our fully licensed and insured maintenance team services residential and commercial properties in the Eugene, Springfield area, as well as cities in the Willamette Valley.
At the thought of weeding, do you decide you’d rather alphabetize your bookshelf or finally work through and delete the emails mounting in your inbox? Well, what if there was a better way, a way to weed without taking up so much time? Did you know that the landscape design and irrigation system of your garden can help or hinder the growth of weeds? A few tips and some landscape maintenance can go a long way in the fight against pesky weeds.
Mulch is a very helpful tool for reducing the weeds among your plants. When soil is nourished and happy, weeds find somewhere else to grow. Replenish the mulch often so that it remains at about 2 inches deep and dense. More than three inches is too much.
Layer the soil first with newspaper, cardboard, or other biodegradable material, then spread the mulch over the top. This keeps the light away from weed seeds so they do not grow.
This is another factor that can help the spread of weeds. It’s simple, but you may not have given it much thought. The more space between plants, the more surface area that is available for weed seeds to proliferate.
If you’re just starting out, you must be aware of the mature size of the plants. You will need to give them space to grow. In the beginning, you may have to do a bit more maintenance, but it will be worth it later on.
Only Weed When Necessary
That sounds good, right? There are weed seeds all over your garden, but the underlying seeds can remain dormant for long periods. If you churn up too much soil, the seeds will then come to the surface.
Use a sharp tool to localize your digging and target exact areas of soil.
The other part of this tip is to wait until the weed is 3-4 inches tall before taking it out. It is easier to get the whole weed, roots and all, when it has developed a bit longer. With a young weed, part of the root may stay in the soil, which means you’ll have to return to the same weed again later. Double work and effort? No thanks!
Just as your flowers and plants thrive with water, so do weeds! What can you do to streamline your watering? Install an irrigation system.
You can also use a hose and place it around your plants underneath the mulch to keep the soil moist while depriving nearby weeds of nourishment.
For more tips and tricks on keeping weeds at bay, irrigation installation, or irrigation repair, contact us at Graham Landscape & Design, serving Eugene, Springfield, and communities throughout the Willamette Valley in Oregon.
You have the pool, but your landscape design and landscape maintenance are not complete until you decide how to surround your space with a pool deck.
In the Pacific Northwest weather, you’ll need something resistant to the rain and wind that comes after the summer season. Many materials might work. We’ll summarize a few options here that are the most popular.
You can browse thousands of ideas and designs online. Your budget and preferences will determine the result!
Pressure-treated wood is the most popular material for pool decking, because of the ease of use and price. The average price is $2 per square foot. The wood used is cheap pine that is treated to resist mold, rot, and insects. It is prone to warp over time, however, so the maintenance can end up being more involved than you’d like.
Cedar is such a beautiful color, and is another option for pool decking. This option is for those who love the natural look in their yard. The wood is lightweight but sturdy. Make sure you treat it with weather-resistant stain so that it retains its original color. Otherwise, it will gradually turn gray. The cost is about $6 per square foot.
Composites are quickly becoming a popular choice. A composite is made of synthetic materials made to look like wood. The price is higher - up to about $10 per square foot - but the maintenance is minimal. You’re paying more but can rest assured that it will last.
Another attractive choice is to use pavers for your pool deck. They have the look of natural stone, are slip resistant, and very durable. With pavers, the choice is endless. There are so many shades and styles that you can match them to create the best look for your space.
If for some reason one of the pavers becomes damaged, you can spot replace them very easily. Make sure to fill in between the gaps with a polymer sand and protect with a sealant at installation. The average cost of pavers is between $16 and $24 per square foot.
Whether it’s wood, composite, or pavers, you’ll want a pool deck that complements your outdoor space in the warm Willamette Valley sunshine. We can help you here at Graham Landscape with a design and materials that work best for your budget and lifestyle needs.
“Here Comes the Sun…”
You know that famous Beatles tune? Here in the Pacific Northwest, you may not feel it’s always appropriate with those gray days of winter! Anyway, in this post, we’re giving you landscape design suggestions to make the most of summer, with a few flowers and plants that thrive in the Willamette Valley summer sunshine.
Let’s start with a plant that will last from spring all the way through to late fall when other flowers fade. The Hosta (Plantain Lily) is native to Asia and thrives in the mild Oregon weather. There are many varieties of the Hosta, so you can find one to your color preference and size. They can grow to up to 3 feet and some have a slight fragrance.
Depending on the variety, this plant grows best in partial sun, so put it close to a nearby tree, although some enjoy full sun too. If you’re just starting out, this plant is a sturdy one to try. You’ll have a beautiful plant without much work at all!
For a dramatic touch to your garden, add a “Masterpiece” lupine (Lupinus) with its bold red/purple color and tall spires about 2 feet tall. Butterflies and hummingbirds will flock to these tall flowers. They are a stunning addition for late spring into early summer.
Following the early summer lupine, the late summer/early fall Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) adds its bright red hue as the seasons move towards a cooler temperature. It can grow 2-4 feet tall and is deer- and rabbit-resistant, too!
Evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) is a lovely yellow flower that opens early evening into the morning, and from summer into fall. They attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees and are best used as a border or in a wildflower setting.
The leaves and flowers are also edible, so you can try something a little different in your summer salad.
Another lovely and cheerful yellow flower, commonly known as the “Black-Eyed Susan” (Rudbeckia hirta) will thrive in the Pacific Northwest climate. They are resilient and can survive with less rain if it happens to be a drier summer than usual. They stand 1-3 feet tall and are versatile. Plant them as border flower, in a pot, or as an accent plant in a larger area.
There are a great many more plants and flowers that can accent your garden. For more ideas and help, contact us at Graham Landscape for all your landscape design needs in the Eugene, Springfield, Corvallis, Salem, and Roseburg areas of Oregon.
A pergola is a garden feature that forms a shaded walkway, passageway, or sitting area. It is made of vertical posts or pillars that usually support cross-beams and a sturdy open lattice, often upon which woody vines are trained. Pergolas are sometimes confused with arbors, and the terms are often used interchangeably. An arbor is generally regarded as a wooden bench seat with a roof, usually enclosed by lattice panels forming a framework for climbing plants. A pergola, on the other hand, is a much larger and more open structure and does not typically include integral seating.
Pergolas date back to the 17th century and have been prominent features of gardens ever since. Construction materials have ranged from wood and stone to more modern materials such as vinyl, fiberglass, aluminum, and CPVC. At Graham Landscape & Design, we typically build our pergolas in the Eugene-Springfield area out of wood with cedar and redwood being the top choices.
Like any wooden structure, regular maintenance is advised to extend the life and beauty of a pergola. A natural or colored stain is advised, and reapplication should take place every couple of years.
Typically, pergolas are paired with climbing plants such as grapes, wisteria, bougainvillea, honeysuckle, passion flower, jasmine, and bleeding heart.
If you're considering a pergola for your yard, you'll want to make sure you have a large enough area so that you don't feel claustrophobic. Your yard should have plenty of open space where the pergola can be freestanding or be featured as an extension of your home. Regarding height, you will want a pergola to be in the 10-12 foot height range to allow for plant growth and to have hanging vines.
To learn more if a pergola will work in your space, give us a call at 541-729-8029 and we can explore your options with you. We serve all of the Willamette Valley in Oregon.
We've all done it... spending time pondering the "I wonder what it would look like if..." question when it comes to our landscapes. Probably even have a handful of sketches laying around, too, right? We all do this and it's just a part of who we are. At Graham Landscape & Design, we celebrate DIY, but, when it comes to putting dreams into action, our belief is you really need someone who can work with your ideas, or bring ideas of their own to the table, and who also has a deep understanding of the local area, horticulture, soil biology, engineering, art, etc. It really takes all of these disciples and then some to pull together a winning design.
With this in mind, here are 3 reasons why a landscape designer is important for making a project successful.
1. Site Analysis
If you think about it, every piece of land is unique both in its own qualities but also in how it relates to the larger ecosystem. You can't take a cookie-cutter approach from what you read in a magazine and expect success. A professional landscape designer will have the skill to understand the big picture and how one choice affects another, in addition to being able to define the elements in smaller areas of focus. In other words, a landscape designer can help you make the most of your landscape in a way that works for your terrain and in a way that also complements the surrounding area.
2. Construction Planning
While a lot of ideas can be translated from paper to reality, not all ideas are actually buildable or sustainable. Working with a landscape designer will help ensure your ideas not only have the ability to be built but also to be sustained. He or she will know how to specify the plans such that the construction crew can order the correct types and quantities of supplies. Furthermore, landscape designers often have access to a much greater library of materials and vendors to work with. This translates into more creativity and potential savings vs. shopping at the big box gardening/home improvement store.
3. Contractor Liaison
We've all seen it happen... You had a vision and then when it came time for implementation, something went wrong in translation and the end result did not match up with expectations. Having a landscape designer in your corner who can act as a liaison between you and the contractors is HUGE in preventing this sort of disappointment. Landscape designers are fluent in contractor language and will work on your behalf to make sure the design is executed as specified so you get exactly what you are expecting.
At Graham Landscape & Design, we provide these services as well as project management. We are a true "design & build" firm which means we both design and construct landscapes. Not only does this save our customers money overall, it provides a seamless experience between concept and reality.
Have some ideas swirling around in your head? Contact our design team and let us create a landscape you can enjoy for years to come. 541-729-8029
I feel blessed to be working with the very best in the local green industry. Our company has been built from the ground up right here in Eugene, Oregon. We have relied on attracting qualified individuals that have a passion for creating and maintaining beautiful landscapes. People who love what they do day in and day out build solid relationships in the community and this makes running a company a lot more fun. We take great pride in our work, honor our warranties, take care of our people and our customers and as a result we have grown exponentially. We plan to continue this successful formula until someone proves to us that it doesn't work.
As for me, I started out in the trade almost two decades ago. I have had the fortunate experience of learning the business from the ground up. I performed regular landscape maintenance for the first 5 years of my green industry life. This allowed me to learn my plants, weeds, pests, diseases, pruning techniques, growing habits, proper lawn care, and a lot more. I moved up through installing, troubleshooting, and maintaining irrigation systems as it is an integral part of landscaping in the Willamette Valley. Naturally, I progressed into landscape construction, estimating, and designing residential landscapes. Finally, I ended up assisting full time in the operations and administration of another local landscape company. All of this experience has helped tremendously in forming and operating Graham Landscape and Design LLC.
I am most passionate about making sure our company is treating our employees, customers, vendors, and local business community in the way that we would like to be treated and creating and maintaining amazing landscapes that our customers love to come home to.
Beyond work, my family is my life. My wife and two sons are a great joy in my life and I love spending time with them riding bikes, hiking Spencer's Butte, and working in our home landscape together.
I am the irrigation manager for Graham Landscape & Design. I have been with the Graham team for 4 years now and what a GREAT 4 years it has been. I have always had a desire to work in a field that is hands on, creative, and outdoors. I started in the landscaping industry over 10 years ago and found my niche immediately. How much fun can one person have getting to play in the dirt all day?
My focus was quickly concentrated on the irrigation aspect of landscaping. Not only do I get to dig in the dirt, now I get to build stuff, bury it, and water plants, shrubs, and turf by the push of a button. I was sold. I have been building and servicing irrigation systems ever since.
After moving to the Eugene area, Graham Landscape and I have centered our irrigation goals on water quality and water conservation. What a great ride it has been so far. Graham Landscapes’ teamwork and camaraderie throughout the company is amazing. I am currently on track educating our existing clients on the importance of backflow protection. I look forward to the coming years and the wonders it will bring with Graham Landscape & Design.
I have been afforded the amazing opportunity to become part of - as all the maintenance team has expressed - "the greatest landscape maintenance company in Lane county." Our team is devoted to fulfilling the needs of our amazing clientele base, seeking to become the preferred choice for landscape Maintenance, residential or commercial in the mid Willamette Valley.
I have always enjoyed working outdoors learning the needs of turf and horticulture. There is great satisfaction in seeing a landscape flourish. Our Clients are terrific! Customizing a maintenance routine to fit their needs is our privilege and priority.
Since joining the team in fall 2015, I could not be happier with Graham Landscape & Design as an employer. They have allowed me to use my imagination and creativity to build our maintenance team and department into the outstanding unit they are. With our professional and knowledgeable team members, we are ready and willing to take on the smallest of projects from residential, large commercial properties and apartment complexes, to even the challenging clean ups that require skill and meticulous attention.
I began my Landscape career in 2000 working for a property management company, eventually becoming a crew overseer. I built my skills through courses in turf, hardscapes, and plant care at local seminars and on the job at high end residential homes, complexes, apartments, commercial buildings, and even cemeteries. Mid way through my career I owned and operated a mid size landscape maintenance company from 2004-2010, where I continued to sharpen my skills.
Since 2004, I have had the great privilege of been involved with a volunteer work that has taken me across the country to clean up storm debris and remove trees off of peoples homes and properties after Hurricane Katrina. With that group I have overseen the installation of new landscapes and other large renovation projects, even having had the privilege of training dozens of volunteers to use their skills on projects of their own.
Outside of work, I spend a good amount of my time volunteering helping others to understand the bible more. I am blessed with an amazing marriage resulting in the joy of raising two wonderful boys. Being an active person I especially enjoy running and roller skating. With the wealth of knowledge and experience I have gained over the years, I feel our maintenance team would be a valuable asset to you and your property or place of residence.
Graham Landscape & Design provides the opportunity to work in a creative, dynamic environment, where personal and professional growth is gained through challenging and rewarding projects. It is an honor to work with such a talented and devoted team, where the attitudes, professionalism, and dedication to clients and each other, provide a positive and rewarding experience.
My favorite part of working for this award winning company is being given the opportunity to transform a client's vision into reality on a daily basis.
Blaine studied Landscape Architecture at UCLA. He also earned his certification as an AutoCAD technician and Mechanical draftsperson from Technology Development Center in Ventura, California. He began his landscape profession in 2002.
Blaine has a unique and wide variety of experience in both landscape construction management and landscape design. He has designed high-end residential estates, model homes for developers, public works, public bikeways, rooftop gardens, as well as tree surveying experience. He joined the Graham Landscape and Design team in 2012 and couldn't be happier with his decision to do so.
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