Correct pruning is a landscape practice that can enhance the health, vigor, and aesthetics of your yard's trees and shrubs. While you should prune some plants and trees at other times of the year, there are distinct advantages to pruning in the winter.
So, which plants should you prune in the winter? Here is a short list of plants that appreciate a good trim in late winter.
What should you NOT prune in the winter? Here is a list of plants that prefer to be pruned in late spring or summer.
If you would like some help with your winter yard maintenance, including pruning, please give us a call at 541-729-8029, and we'll schedule an appointment that works for you.
You may not have the space, soil, or patience to become a master gardener, but just about anyone can master container gardening. All you need is a container (there are so many options), potting soil, some plants, and you’ll be set. Container gardening ideas are limitless so your imagination can run wild. To get you started in the right direction, we've listed a few helpful pointers.
Working in Pairs
Potted plants are incredibly versatile. You can use them as props, helping to offset or highlight other focal points in your landscape. For instance, potted plants can be used in pairs to help frame things like a walkway, a set of stairs, or the entrance to a path. You can even use potted plants as the base for climbing roses or morning glory next to a pergola or trellis.
Sculpture or Focal Points
Try copying the Chinese and Japanese and use a few beautiful, shapely plants to create an eye-catching picture. You can do this easily with larger pots and interesting plants like Japanese Maple or other topiary plants.
Rhythm and Order
Repeat planting—and that applies to both containers and plants—has many advantages. It creates a formal, organized look, especially with topiary cubes and balls, and lends itself to an overall sense of harmony. Repeat planting can also draw the eye in a certain direction, either drawing attention to a display like a water feature or diverting the focus away from eyesores.
Scale and Proportion
Placing potted plant combinations within a context can accentuate the overall look and feel of your space. For example, if you have a yellow wall, try creating a mix of yellow and white blooming plants. The green leaves will create contrast while the petals will create consistency.
If you want to create a sense of drama, consider mixing hues. For instance, if you have a lot of green non-blooming plants and green lawn, create a splash with fiery red containers.
When grouping potted plants, consider using like materials but of various heights. Groupings in odd numbers like 3 or 5 works best for this effect.
One of the other benefits of landscaping with potted plants is the flexibility you'll experience. You can move plants around until you have an arrangement you like, or you can regularly rearrange to create new spaces.
If you would like some help on how to get started, or if you'd like to work with one of our designers to create a container landscape, please contact us. We work with homeowners and commercial properties throughout Eugene, Springfield, and communities in the Willamette Valley.
Deciding to add ground cover plants to your landscape offers many different benefits. You will have to decide on which benefits you want, and then choose a ground cover that can provide what you are looking for. Maybe you are looking for a way to fill in space, control erosion, or to create a landscape that requires less maintenance than a purely grass lawn. This article aims to serve as a starting point in your search for the perfect ground cover plants. Here are some ground cover plants that will thrive in the Pacific Northwest.
Beach Strawberry (Fragaria chilioensis)
A native of the Pacific Coast regions, this plant is perfect for gardens and landscapes in the Northwest. This plant will provide visual appeal as it flowers in both winter and spring. Other benefits include the plant's low maintenance, ability to control erosion, and its potential to attract pollinators. This plant will do best in full to partial sun areas of your landscape.
Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans)
For a space in need of fast ground cover, bugleweed is a great choice. Typically, this plant will provide a carpet of blue-flowering and evergreen ground cover. This is a very stout species that will tolerate many conditions but prefers partial to total shade and moist soil. Benefits include weed control, erosion control, beautification, and attraction of pollinators. Keep in mind that this plant will require maintenance as it is fast growing and can overrun other portions of your landscape.
Scotch Moss (Sagina Subulata)
Scotch moss is a lush green ground cover. This is perfect as a replacement for grass and can withstand light to moderate foot traffic. Scotch moss will thrive in partial to full sun and needs moisture in the soil. If you are looking for a grass replacement that provides low maintenance and will brighten up your landscape, look no further.
Inside-Out Flower (Vancouveria hexandra)
When not flowering, this plant is similar in look to ivy. While this plant grows slowly, it establishes itself with a thick matting which can help to prevent weeds in your landscape. The inside-out flower craves partial to full shade and moist soil, however, one benefit of this ground cover option is its ability to withstand periods of drought. During the late spring and early summer, this plant will provide flowering stems that rise above the lower evergreen leaves.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of ground cover options. Call today, and the Graham Landscape & Design team can help you choose the best option for your landscape! 541-729-8029
There are many options when it comes to adding hardscape features to your landscape. This blog series will focus on a different landscape feature each time and will help you determine the best materials to use for each type of project. In this first blog of the series, we will explore the different options for decking materials. There are many options, and this article should help you make a more informed choice when you are ready to pick your materials.
Out of all the options available, wood is the most traditional deck material. In general, wood is the least expensive option in the lineup and provides the most natural look. Sunny days won’t be as much of a problem with wood as it does not absorb as much heat as the other choices. On the downside, wood is the material that requires the most maintenance to ensure longevity. Additionally, availability and price are subject to change based on where you live.
Composites are made from a mixture of plastics and recycled wood materials. People choose composite decking for its durability, weight, and overall low maintenance needs. Although looks have come a long way, composites still have a reputation for looking “fake.” Over time, age will show and without proper reinforcement composite decks are subject to sagging. Another thing to consider is the price which can be 60-70% more than traditional wood decking.
One of the best parts about plastic decking is the environmental aspect. Much of the material is made with other recycled plastics. This material will stand the test of time and requires little maintenance. Color fade was once a factor; however, production methods have come a long way in preventing this eyesore of a problem. Negatives of this material include a need for extra structural support and its un-natural look. Additionally, unlike wood, this type of decking is extremely hot when under direct sunlight and can make the space unusable.
When choosing which materials to use for your deck, it is important to weigh the pros and cons and choose which material is best for your specific situation. For more information about decking materials, please give us a call. The professionals at Graham Landscape & Design are here to make sure you have the tools to make the best decision for your home. 541-729-8029
Moss in a lawn can make or break a homeowner's dream of the perfect landscape. It is important to understand what causes the growth of moss and what conditions in your yard are contributing to the problem. Once you are armed with this knowledge, you can create a maintenance plan to tackle the problem head-on. Some causes of moss are simple to fix, and others may require more work and professional assistance. Let’s look at some of the most common causes of moss in lawns.
The condition of your lawn's soil is one of the biggest factors in the determining why moss is growing. For instance, acidic soil creates a perfect environment where moss can grow and thrive while your grass dies. In addition to the acidity, it is essential to ensure that your soil is fertile. You can test for these conditions at home and develop a maintenance plan to treat the soil and create an environment that is conducive to grass growth rather than moss.
Too much water? Too little water? Drainage? Knowing how much water your lawn needs is a critical step in the fight against moss. Too little water causes grass to die, and it then leaves open soil for moss to grow in. Too much water and poor drainage both create soggy soil which is a perfect breeding ground for moss. A straightforward way to ensure you are only watering as much as you need is by using a rain gauge. In addition, watch for areas of pooling which can be an indicator of poor drainage — something you will also want to address.
Many other causes lead to the growth of moss in lawns. Some causes include limited sun exposure, too much foot traffic, animal urine, and mowing grass too far down. All of these factors have the potential of killing your lawn and leaving behind conditions that allow moss to develop and grow continually.
Every lawn is different and is exposed to different household and environmental stresses. Knowing the conditions that promote moss growth allow you to create a plan to fight it. Contact us as Graham Landscape & Design, and we can work together to decide on the best course of action for your lawn. You can give us a call at 541-729-8029 or contact us here. With years of experience in the landscape industry, we can help you have the lawn that you have always dreamed of.
Colors are changing and the days are getting shorter. For some, it might seem like the days of outdoor entertaining are over. Time to winterize your outdoor kitchen and stay inside until the big thaw. We at Graham Landscape and Design are here to tell you this does not have to be the case. We have all of the tips and ideas to make sure that you can enjoy your outdoor space year round. So, call your friends because your fun outside has only just begun.
One of the biggest concerns, when the weather starts to turn, is warmth. Make sure your space has heating elements such as a fireplace or outdoor heaters to keep everyone nice and cozy, even in the coldest months. Fireplaces can also add a sense of elegance and class, further adding to the enjoyment of your outdoor space.
Often overlooked when building an outdoor kitchen is location and cover. Make sure to build your outdoor kitchen where it is best protected from elements such as wind and rain. In addition, consider building a tall cover for your outdoor space to keep you dry during the wet months. In summer months, the cover can also keep you out of direct sunlight, making the space comfortable all year long.
With shorter days, lighting is an important element to ensure that you get the most out of your additional space. Many options are available when it comes to adding lighting elements, and often the choice comes down to personal taste and style. Just make sure that you don’t skip this step, and year-round enjoyment will not be a problem.
If you are trying to create a space that can be utilized all year, make sure you plan from the beginning. Choose durable materials that can withstand the elements. Choosing the right materials will protect your investment and ensure ease of maintenance.
Contact us by calling 541-729-8029 or clicking here. Our experts can help in all aspects of your project. From initial brainstorming and idea generation to construction and completion, you will have a new space that truly extends your existing living area to the outdoors. Once your friends see what you have created, they will not want to leave.
There are several ways you can add curb appeal to your front yard. Everyone talks about the importance of curb appeal when you're trying to sell your home. While that's important, it's equally important to simply enjoy coming home to a beautiful front yard after a long day at work.
From simple plantings to elaborate construction projects, just about anything can be done to add curb appeal. Depending on your vision and budget, you can scale a concept up or down to meet your needs. Here are a few curb appeal ideas to get your imagination going.
Complement your home's style
A core concept in design is creating harmony between elements. Applying this concept to your landscape means thinking about the style of your home and choosing plants and landscape features to match. For instance, is your home modern in design or more traditional? Is there a regional influence, such as Spanish design or English Tudor? Look up traditional plantings and features for homes built in the same style or era as yours. This approach will create a harmonious feel between structure and landscape.
Consider the seasons
When flowers are bloom, every yard has curb appeal. But, what about the rest of the year when plants are not flowering? Consider upgrading the plantings in your yard with varieties that bloom during different seasons. Or, if not blooming, that have vibrant hues during otherwise gloomy times of the year. With this approach, you'll have visual interest year-round and a yard your neighbors will envy.
Consider your terrain
Not all homes are built on flat parcels. In fact, if your home is in the Willamette Valley, chances are your home is constructed on a grade. Knowing this, you can consider how best to work with a sloped yard. For example, if when it rains you get a river or a lake in your yard, you could install French drains or a dry creek bed. These are both beautiful and functional. Or, if you like working in your yard, you can consider installing retaining walls to terrace your yard, creating multiple flat sections for plantings or other uses.
If you would like more ideas or a professional consultation to see the possibilities for your landscape, please contact us. We service homes in the Eugene/Springfield area, as well as other communities throughout the Willamette Valley. At Graham Landscape and Design, our team of professionals can help you design, install, and even maintain your landscape so you can enjoy it for years to come.
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.
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