Even though the evenings are still staying light, it's a perfect time to talk about landscape lighting, especially if you don't have any. Planning now will have you enjoying your yard this fall and winter when it gets dark before you even get home from work.
Here are a few tips on how and where to incorporate lighting into your landscape design.
If your landscape doesn't include any lighting and you would like to explore your options, please give us a call at 541-729-8029. Our design team can work with you to find a solution to bring nighttime enjoyment to your landscape.
Keeping a lawn healthy and green can feel like an uphill battle, especially when dealing with weeds. Lawns are also susceptible to disease, making things even more complicated. Here's how to identify three common lawn diseases, their causes, and what you can do to turn things around.
With Dollar Spot, grass tends to die in small, circular spots 4 to 12 inches wide. As the spots grow, they may fuse together creating big, brown blotches in your lawn. Favorable conditions for Dollar Spot include mild to warm weather (60 to 85 degrees), excessive moisture, and under-fertilization. Thatch in your lawn can also encourage this disease.
What you can do: 1. Raise the cutting height of your mower to 3 to 4 inches to allow grass leaves to dry between watering. 2. Fertilize your lawn, starting in the spring, at least a few times throughout the year, in regular intervals. 3. Adjust your sprinklers so you're watering deeply but infrequently, ideally in the early morning hours.
With Rust, grass blades develop dust-like, orange-colored spores. Areas in your lawn that are affected will have a rusty look. Rust doesn't typically hurt the grass but it can be a nuisance and detract from that lush, green aesthetic you'd probably prefer. Over time, it can lessen the vigor of your grass which can attract other diseases to infect your lawn. Favorable conditions for Rust include mild temperatures (60 to 75 degrees), dry weather conditions. Over-fertilization and heavy thatch can also encourage the spread of Rust.
What you can do: 1. Mow your lawn frequently at a moderate height (2 to 3 inches) and rinse off lawn equipment to prevent the spread of the disease. 2. Rake and remove any thatch that becomes more than a half-inch deep. 3. Water early in the day so the grass has a chance to dry before the warmest point of the day.
With Pythium Blight, grass will develop orange to copper-colored circular spots from 1 to 6 six inches in diameter. These grow quickly, however, and can cause large areas of discoloration and dead turf in your lawn, especially in areas with poor drainage. Favorable conditions for Pythium Blight include warm to hot, humid weather (think of those days when it doesn't even seem to cool down at night) and lush lawns that hold a lot of moisture.
What you can do: 1. Watch your lawn for what appear to be darker green areas that might look wet or dewy (this is due to the greasy or oiliness of infected grasses). At first sign, you will want to introduce the use of a fungicide because this disease is a difficult one to control. 2. Make sure you address any drainage issues with your lawn to remove excess water build-up. 3. Rake and remove any thatch that becomes more than a half-inch deep.
In the Eugene-Springfield area, Graham Landscape & Design works with homeowners and business owners to maintain healthy lawns and beautiful landscapes. If you suspect you're dealing with lawn disease or could use some help with maintenance to prevent disease, please give us a call at 541-729-8029 to schedule a consult today.
With the warmer weather, it can be difficult to tell if your lawn is getting enough water unless it turns brown, and no one wants that happening.
First, you will be glad to know that it's not necessary to water lawns and plants every day. And, in general, more plants are killed through over-watering than under-watering.
Second, you will want to take some time to understand the properties of the soil in your yard. You might not have known this, but water penetrates and behaves differently depending on the type of soil that's present. Do you have sandy or loose soil? Or, are you dealing with lots of rocks or clay? Depending on your soil composition, the goal is to set up a watering system that allows for water penetration 6" to 8" below the ground surface.
To determine this, you'll need to find out how deep your current watering set up is allowing the water to penetrate into the soil. With a shovel, you'll want to pick an inconspicuous spot where you've been watering. Thirty minutes after the watering cycle is finished, dig a small hole and use your hand to measure how deeply the water has penetrated. Remember the goal is 6" to 8" beneath the surface of the soil.
Check a few different locations to see if your watering is even throughout the yard. If there are dry spots, mark where those are so you can plan for them in your new irrigation setup.
What's important to note, however, is even if you water regularly it's not likely that the water is being dispersed uniformly. Also if all the surface seems wet, you may find that there are wetter spots and drier spots around your yard where the penetration was more or less.
To check whether your watering system is working evenly across your yard, you can place some plastic cups around your yard before you water. A few coins in the bottoms of the cups will help prevent them from blowing over. Once the cups are placed, turn on your sprinkler system. Water will collect in the cups as you water. After watering for about 30 minutes, compare the level of water in each of the cups. You may discover that there is more water in some of the cups than in others. Frequently, areas within close proximity to the sprinkler receive less water than areas several yards away. Use this information to plan out if you need to select different heads for your sprinklers, extend or move lines, etc.
When it comes to installing or repairing irrigation lines, it is often best to bring in a professional who has the experience and tools to do the job right. The irrigation team at Graham Landscape & Design can work with you to make sure your lawn is getting the water it needs, where it needs it, so you can enjoy a healthy, beautiful lawn all summer long. Give us a call today at 54-729-8029.
Beyond adding value to your property, outdoor kitchens are as much about beauty as they are about functionality. Whether you only cook outdoors when the weather is beautiful or if you're a year-round grill master, an outdoor kitchen can bring years of enjoyment and variety to the dinner table. The following items are things you should keep in mind when planning the addition of an outdoor kitchen for your home.
A great place to start your plan is by making a list of all the elements you would like included in your outdoor kitchen. Think big and long-term. Do you want things like a grill, sink, an island, gas cooktop, pizza oven, refrigerator, dining space or a bar? If incorporating all of your wish list items breaks the bank, split your list into "must have" and "nice to have" items. This doesn't mean you have to give up on the "nice to have" items. When working with your designer, talk about ways to add the "nice to have" items at a later date so he or she can create a layout to accommodate future additions.
In terms of style, outdoor kitchens can be made to fit in with any style you can think of, but you'll want to talk with your designer, so you pick the right materials to match your tastes, as well as to complement the aesthetic of your home and yard. Are you into a sleek, modern look? Or, do you prefer a more rustic "out in the woods" kind of finish? Different styles have their respective costs, but your designer can help you find the materials that fit within your budget and achieve your aesthetic goals.
When planning your outdoor kitchen, carefully consider the amount of square footage needed. You won't want your new outdoor kitchen to overwhelm your yard by being too large. Instead, it should be proportionate to the size of your home and leave plenty of room for people to socialize (kitchens, indoors or out, are natural gathering spots). Another space requirement you will want to consider is whether you have room to allow for seating. Do you have enough space for food prep or will you do that indoors? Is there adequate space for walking around the outdoor kitchen to get to other parts of your yard?
Last, but not least, you'll want to give some thought to ventilation and lighting. Even with an outdoor kitchen, ventilation is essential to consider, as is lighting. There's nothing worse than trying to cook in the dark or being buried in smoke.
If you're interested in what an outdoor kitchen might look like in your yard, give the Graham Landscape & Design team a call at 541-729-8029. Our expert designers can work with you to plan the outdoor kitchen of your dreams.
It's happened to the best of us. Life got busy and before you knew it your yard got out of control. At first, it was no big deal... "I'll take care of those leaves over the weekend, " or "I'll clear out the berry bushes over break." Then more time slipped by and taking care of the yard dropped further and further down the 'to do' list. Sound familiar?
Well, we've got good news for you.
Graham Landscape & Design offers clean-up services for both residential and commercial properties. Clean-up service entails coming to your property and clearing out unwanted brush and debris or cleaning up your plantings and grounds, giving you essentially a blank slate or fresh start. Clean-ups are commonly used for seasonal purposes to clear the leaves, prune or trim trees and shrubs, remove moss and other unwanted invasive plants, etc. They can also be scheduled other times of the year, too, whenever your yard needs a reboot.
Most clean-ups are completed in one visit. Occasionally, larger jobs can take more time, but it's dependent on what you'd like to do with your property. For example, if you need some bushes cleared back so you can see your yard again, that's more than likely a one-day job. However, if you're looking at stripping things away to get a true blank canvas, that could take a few more days.
A member of our team will come to your property and walk through with you what you'd like to have done, ask questions, and offer suggestions so we can best accomplish what you'd like to achieve. This way, you'll get a more accurate estimate and timeline for completion. We can also provide an estimate for ongoing maintenance, so things don't get out of control again.
Clients who use our clean-up services say one of the biggest benefits is the considerable time savings we provide, freeing up your weekend so you can do the things you want to do. Also, our clean-up services let you focus on the fun part of working with your yard (planting and gardening, etc.) and not the labor-intensive removal, chore-like aspects. Also, when we're done, we haul everything away, so you don't have to. What could be better than that?
If a clean-up service or ongoing maintenance sounds like something you could use, please give us a call at 541-729-8029. We're here to help and would love to turn your yard back into a place you can truly enjoy.
If you have a pond in your yard, now is the time to start thinking about how to care for it this summer. The following is a brief checklist of the things you'll want to make sure are in order so you can enjoy your pond all summer long.
Graham Landscape & Design has been designing and installing ponds in landscapes throughout the Willamette Valley since 2010. Give us a call today at 541-729-8029 if you're interested in a pond or other water feature for your yard.
Beyond natural slug treatments, did you know the design of your yard, along with the materials and features used can also help deter the presence of these pests? Here are some great tips to help manage slugs through smart design.
If you'd like help in designing a garden that's slug-unfriendly, let us know. We can help. Give our team a call today at 541-729-8029.
Slugs are in every garden and cause more damage than most other invaders. Commercial slug killers are available, but they can be toxic to birds and other wildlife and tend to be less effective after it rains which is when slugs are the most active. So, what can you do? Here are a few tips for how you can tackle the slugs in your garden, naturally.
Small strips of copper can be placed around flowerpots or raised beds as obstructions for slugs to crawl over. Cut 2″ strips of thin copper and wrap around the lower part of flower pots, like a ribbon. Or set the strips in the soil on edge, making a “fence” for the slugs to climb. Check to make sure no vegetation hangs over the copper, which might provide a ‘bridge’ for the slugs. Copper barriers also work well around wood barrels used as planters.
Like diatomaceous earth, slugs will avoid the abrasive surface of lava rock. Lava rock can be used as a barrier around plantings but should be left mostly above soil level. Otherwise, dirt or vegetation soon forms a bridge for slugs to cross.
Rove beetles are very good at eating slug eggs and baby slugs. You can encourage these beetles by creating homes for them by turning a plastic box upside down over a pile of straw with a small pile of rocks inside to hide in or a pile of rocks under some overhanging plants.
If you have access to seaweed, it’s well worth the effort to gather some. Seaweed is a good soil amendment for the garden and a natural repellent for slugs. Mulch with seaweed around the base of plants or perimeter of planter bed. Pile it on 3″ to 4″ thick – when it dries, it will shrink to just an inch or so deep. Seaweed is salty, and slugs avoid salt. Push the seaweed away from plant stems, so it’s not in direct contact. During hot weather, seaweed will dry and become very rough which also deters the slugs.
Slugs are attracted to beer. Set a small amount of beer in a wide shallow jar buried in the soil up to its neck. Slugs will crawl in and drown. Take the jar lid and prop it up with a small stick so rain won’t dilute the beer. Leave space for slugs to enter the trap.
Far and away the best course of action against slugs in your garden is a simple adjustment in the watering schedule. Slugs are most active at night and are most efficient in damp conditions. Avoid watering your garden in the evening if you have a slug problem. Water in the morning – the surface soil will be dry by evening. Studies show this can reduce slug damage by 80%.
If you suffer from slugs destroying the plants in your yard or garden, we can help. Our skilled maintenance team can work with you on a plan for preserving your plants and managing pests. Give us a call today: 541-729-8029
If you have a newer home (think built 2000 or newer), chances are you have a somewhat large house on a relatively small plot of land. If this is you, have you felt frustrated by the lack of space? Have you given up on thinking you can do anything with your yard? Have you settled on something 'boring' because you didn't think anything else was possible for your space? If this is you, keep reading. We have some tips to help with your compact design.
All spaces have the potential to be both functional and beautiful. The trick is to consider the relationship between your space (the form) and your use of that space (the function).
Step 1: Analyze the space you have
Think first about the underlying structure of your space – is it wet or dry? Flat or rolling? Earthy or rocky? Symmetrical or asymmetrical? How can you reasonably use that space? How do the elements work together, such as the house walls, trees, property lines, etc. What challenges are presented in your space (aside from size)? While it can be tempting to start thinking about plants at this point, don't do it. A small space has little room for error and choosing plants at this point puts constraints on other decisions that you've yet to make.
Step 2: Plan your circulation
Now that you have a sense of your space from a more analytical perspective, you can begin to see how the details of your space will start to direct your design. At the top of your list should be the challenges or the things that will be most difficult to overcome or change. If these challenge items can't be moved or changed, this will affect your circulation or flow for how you and others move about in the space. You want to spend some time at this stage assessing how movement occurs in the space and how you enter and exit the space. You want the movement to be natural and flowing so the space feels welcoming.
Step 3: Layout the gathering spaces
Once you've made decisions about the space's circulation, next you want to take an honest assessment of where people gather or relax. Every inch of space is important in compact landscape design so taking the time at this stage is crucial so you don't accidentally create a space that feels cramped. Remember to take into account areas where there is a lot of sun or shade so you can make any necessary adjustments. Think about what is it like in the spring and fall... Will you use the space in the winter? Think about your space in every season of use and how that use might change throughout the year.
Step 4: Select your materials
The next step is selecting the materials needed for your compact design. Because the space is smaller, don't shy away from high-end materials. You'll want to start with hardscape elements such as patio and wall materials, even furniture. One of the many benefits of a small space is that it provides an opportunity to use higher-end, more expensive materials for key areas because you’ll need less of it. For instance, instead of choosing concrete or pavers you might choose granite or a local stone. Instead of using pressure treated wood, you could choose a sustainably harvested wood. You don’t have to break the bank on every element – select one or two things that will be focal points in your small space.
Step 5: Choose your plants
With this last step, it is finally time to choose plants. Plants bring life to a space so you'll want to choose wisely. Think about the year-round look of each plant selected, as well as how it will grow in your space. Best bets are plants that grow tall vs. wide. If your design incorporates latticework, think about plant varieties that climb or could look nice woven into the lattice.
As you maintain your space, it will be important to understand how and when to prune. You'll want to avoid chopping and hacking plants to fit.
But remember, nature is flowy and soft, so make sure you place plants to soften the corners. That will minimize the boxy, confined feeling that can occur in small spaces. And limit your plant variety. Distill it down to plants that give you more flowers and foliage and an interesting bark texture.
The design team at Graham Landscape & Design can help walk you through the process of working with your small space. We work with homeowners throughout Eugene, Springfield, Veneta, and the surrounding areas. Give us a call today to discuss your project. 541-729-8029
So often when people start thinking about a landscaping project, it's common to get swept up in the "ooh la la" aka the features and the plants and how everything is going to look gorgeous together. It's rare when someone thinks about irrigation first unless of course, you do this for a living.
There are many options to consider when planning your irrigation, and if planned well, you can save money for years to come. Here are some tips to help your planning.
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