At Graham Landscape and Design, we hear from homeowners in Lane, Linn, and Douglas Counties who would love to create the landscape of their dreams, but just do not know where to begin.
The question often arises, "I know I need some landscape design help, but should I hire a landscape architect or a landscape contractor?"
The truth of the matter is that transforming a landscape can be an overwhelming proposition, in terms of process, emotions, and budgets. It is a tough decision for some to make a significant investment in an architectural landscape plan, knowing they then have to turn around and invest in the landscaping contractor to put the plan into action on the ground.
If this sounds like you, we're here to guide you in the process, and we've got a few tips for you to help you save a little dough.
At some point in time, chances are you will need to bring machinery or work crews into your backyard, to grind a stump, perform a repair, etc. If you plan ahead for providing the necessary access, you can prevent uprooting your plantings or undoing your landscape design.
When you step out into your landscape, think about where you want your focus to be. If your yard is large, perhaps this could be a view or a sizable tree. If your yard is smaller, then maybe your focal point is a fountain or a special bench.
Upkeep becomes one of the biggest challenges with designing your landscape. Many people love the designs they see in magazines or online but often don't realize the level of maintenance required. Be honest with yourself about the level of commitment you have for maintaining your landscape yourself, and if you don't plan to do the work yourself, consider budgeting for a regular maintenance service.
Movement & Curves
Every landscape should incorporate a sense of movement or flow -- how will you and your guests move through the space? But, while this is an important element, be sure not to overdue it. Too many curves or movement can cause a sense of unrest and detract from your focal points.
Remember Your House
While you are totally free to choose a landscape design of any persuasion, the best designs are those that incorporate the architectural style and size of the house. Your landscape should be an extension of your living space, and each one should complement the other.
"Right Plant, Right Spot"
Make this your gardening mantra and live by it. When plantings are misplaced, you risk compromising the proper sunlight and air circulation which could lead to poor or excessive growth, fungal and insect problems. Also, keep in mind the full-grown size of every plant, so you space your plantings to accommodate their future growth.
Last but not least, survey your landscape as though you've never seen it before. Look at those items you perhaps thought of as obstacles (overgrown shrubs, sheds, etc.) and consider their removal. Likewise, keep an open mind about the features of your house and the surrounding space as you might find elements that can be featured vs. masked.
The Graham Landscape and Design team is well versed in each of these areas and can work with you to make the most of your space and maximize the use of your budget so you can have a result sure to bring you years of enjoyment. Contact us today to get started!
It's happened to the best of us... We work hard to fertilize and maintain the perfect lawn but then it happens... a brown spot or two. How could this be? We did everything right! Well, eventually, no matter how diligent you are, you're bound to experience a lawn pest or two. Here are some common lawn pests in the Pacific Northwest and what you can do to get rid of them.
In the Pacific Northwest, there are many native crane flies and they serve as decomposers in our streams and forests. However, they are also known for wreaking havoc on our lawns. It's the larvae, also known as leather jackets, that feed on the roots of plants, mainly turf grass, and cause the most damage.
During the summer months, the adult crane flies emerge, mate, and deposit their eggs. Unfortunately, because of their abundance, it isn't practical to try to kill them at this point in the year. You're better off treating the problem in the spring (typically March-April) if the lawn doesn't recover over the winter. You'll know you need to do something if you dig out a patch of lawn 12 inches square and count more than 25-30 larvae. You can use beneficial nematodes (microscopic worms) or insecticides, available at lawn and garden stores.
Every garden has slugs, and they can cause more damage than most garden invaders. Like the crane fliers, slugs help with decomposition and are beneficial in creating mulch, however, when they choose to chomp on your hostas, hydrangeas, etc., they're not so loved.
While there are several pesticide choices at your local lawn and garden store, we recommend a more natural approach. Here are a few that are fairly easy to implement.
If you find you're dealing with more lawn pests than you know what to do with, please give the Graham Landscape & Design Maintenance Crew a call. We can come out, assess your situation, and provide the necessary treatments to get your yard back into shape. 541-729-8029
How many times have you come home after a long day at work, only to think to yourself, “Ugh, I need to do something about my yard.” but only found yourself uninspired or simply too tired to do anything about it? If this is you, you’re not alone. Here are three great ways to add a little curb appeal to your landscape that won’t take a lot of time or break the bank.
Adding bark to your landscape is quick and easy. You can spread it along your walkway plantings, in your planter beds, around the base of trees, and anywhere else where bare dirt is showing. Not only does bark look great, but many varieties also provide excellent weed control and hold in moisture thereby reducing the need to water as much. Bottom line, it adds beauty and makes your yard easier to maintain.
If you’re not a “go-getter” gardener, chances are some of your plants are starting to look a little haggard and tired. Limbs have become wispy, and maybe some of your plants don’t bloom the way they used to. Perhaps even some of your plants have become overgrown and unwieldy. A simple fix is to replace those old plantings with new ones. If you ask your local nursery for some hearty local plants, you should be able to get recommendations right for your landscape. At Graham Landscape & Design, we look for plantings that will have the level of required maintenance that matches your available time and skill. We also search for plants that when matured, will still complement each other and look aesthetically pleasing.
Update A Hardscape
While this one might be a bit more involved, it can be easily accomplished over the course of a weekend, depending on the scope of your project. If you have a walkway, consider adding a complementary stone along the edge, or pavers in an accent color. You could even create beautiful planters with bricks or other stones. Maybe a flagstone path is right for your yard… or perhaps the addition of a few beautiful boulders strategically placed amongst your plantings.
These are just a few quick ideas to help you get started. If you would like more ideas or a professional consultation to see the possibilities for your landscape, please contact us. At Graham Landscape & Design, our team of professionals can help you design, install, and even maintain your landscape so you can enjoy it for years to come.
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