Monday, March 26, 2018

6 Trends in Landscaping to Add to Your Wish List

Your yard is no longer just a place to plant a few shrubs. Think second living room or playroom, outdoor kitchen, fresh air office, and more.
Stimulated by a healthy economy, homeowners are innovating their landscapes in fun, new ways.  Here are some of the top landscape trends for 2018. 
To protect against the elements, "climate-cognizant landscaping" allows homeowners to quickly accommodate shifts in weather: Think pergolas with retractable canopies, outdoor heaters, and hardscape materials that can withstand drastic temperature fluctuations. Perfect for West Michigan climates.
1. Outdoor fireplaces
Move over, fire pit: Why hunker over a hole with hot coals in the ground when you can lounge next to a bona fide fireplace? It's the perfect addition to an outdoor living space with couches, particularly in colder climes where it might otherwise be too chilly to hang outdoors.
2. Creative play structures 
Seriously, who wouldn't want to play chess in their backyard? It's all part of the trend of "experiential landscape design," in which you interact with your surroundings in a playful, multisensory way.
3. Wonderful Water Features
Interest continues to grow in water features such as waterfalls or small ponds. Landscape and garden designers say water elements are among the biggest trends. We love the sound of water in the garden: water features from inexpensive self-contained systems in an urn or portable fountain to a high-end water wall are popular across all budgets.
4. The Birds and the Bees
It's back-to-the-earth functionality in more and more backyards. Besides figuring out how to incorporate veggie gardens and fruit trees into the landscape, some homeowners are also adding chickens and bees. 
5. Plants in playful colors and patterns
While the simple elegance of greenery was all the rage last year, 2018 will see a renewed interest in adding pops of color and whimsy to landscapes. With UltraViolet named the Color of the Year by Pantone, a leading provider of color systems and an influencer on interior and exterior design, landscape professionals expect to integrate more violets, verbena, clematis, iris, and other purple flowers into landscapes. “Patterned” plants are also getting their time in the garden spotlight, as these unique plants are revered for their intricate details, such as striped leaves or brightly colored veins.
6. Mainstream Sustainability
Low-maintenance gardens, drought-tolerant plants, and less turfgrass have become the norm in landscape design. Homeowners now assume sustainable design will be a major part of the plan — both for economic and environmental reasons. 
Let's get creative and discuss your idea list. Your outdoor living space can be as inventive as you wish with RRR Lawn & Landscape.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Good soil prep is the key to successful gardening

"Make your bed" is one of those statements that we each must have heard a million times as kids.  As gardeners though, this simple phrase has a different meaning.  "Make your bed" is all about preparing the soil for planting.  Every gardener gets excited by the thought of finally getting his or her hands in the soil and planting out the newest plant acquisitions.  The joy of finally getting to see the garden come together in spring is certainly a rewarding experience.  However, the key to success starts before the first plant even sees the garden. 
Soil amendment is just one of the steps we take at Seasonal Color by RRR Lawn & Landscape. Our designers are sticklers on "good preparation procedures" so here are some tips for your own lawn, landscape, and seasonal color. If it sounds overwhelming, give us a call, we'll do it all, 616-893-5765.
Soil Amendment | Flower Bed Design & Installation | Container Design & Installation
Custom Hanging Baskets | Rotation of Seasonal Annuals
Maintenance Programs including Fertilization, Deadheading & Watering

The roots of a plant are the foundation on which that plant thrives.  Good roots will generally mean that you have a happy, healthy plant that can survive the rigors of spring and summer.  A poor root system means your plants cannot grow to their full potential and leaves them vulnerable to damage from insects and disease, which is why we order through Proven Winners for all of our Seasonal Color plantings.  The most important factor for good roots is good soil preparation.  
There are three basic types of beds you might be preparing.  The first type is a brand new bed that has never been planted before.  The second type is an empty bed that has been planted before and the third type is a bed with existing perennials, bulbs, and/or shrubs.

Brand New Beds

The first step when planning to add a new flower bed or even if you are simply planting a tree or shrub is to check if there are any buried utility lines on your property. In addition to public utility lines, you will want to make sure you have identified any irrigation lines that might be buried on your property. 
1.  Work the soil when it is moist, but not wet.
2.  Turn the soil over to a depth of at least 12 inches.
3.  Add 2-3 inches of compost and turn it into the bed.
4.  Either cover the bed with a thick (3-4") layer of mulch or use a weed and feed to help keep weed seeds from germinating.
5.  Top dress with another layer of compost to keep down weeds and preserve moisture.

Existing Beds

1.  Add 2-3 inches of compost and turn it into the bed.
2.  Work the soil when it is moist, but not wet.
3.  Turn the soil over to a depth of at least 12 inches.
5.  Top dress with another layer of compost to keep down weeds and preserve moisture.

Existing Beds With Plants

1.  Add 2-3 inches of compost and work it into the top layer of soil, if possible
2.  Work the soil when it is moist, but not wet.
3.  Do not allow the compost to come into contact with plant stems
5.  Top dress with another layer of compost to keep down weeds and preserve moisture.
Preparing the soil in your beds doesn't have to be difficult, although it is great exercise.  Adding organic matter is the one thing that all soils can benefit from whether your soil is sand or clay based.  The addition of organic matter is beneficial, even if you are blessed with loam soil.  Are there more in-depth steps that can be taken?  Sure.  However, this is a good place to start. 
You may also be asking where you can get compost or organic matter.  You can make your own, you can buy it from your local garden center, or many municipalities have compost for sale or even for free.  

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Is Your Landscape Ready For Spring?

It's March and we both know there are a few more snowfalls to come but how excited are you to see your grass and think about how great your yard will look this year?

Hmm, not so excited? Concerned in fact, let us help you with that.

Creating an eye-catching lawn is an important part of establishing your home’s uniqueness and individuality in the neighborhood. It’s important to have the brightest lights at Christmastime, right? The same thing goes for your flowers, your trees and your general plant decorations all year round. 
Luxury Landscape Design can actually have practical applicability for your home or commercial property in addition to making it look striking. 
Here are four important ways a good landscape design plan will benefit you:
  •   Increasing the resale value
  •   Cutting down on monthly costs
  •   Improving the function of your landscape
  •   Giving your property a bit more privacy
Landscape design can include not only all your wishes but also create solutions for problem areas such as water drainage, defining an entrance or fixing a retaining wall.

Once the design is agreed upon, let our Landscape Management & Lawn Care take care of your weekly maintenance and our Seasonal Color service manage your flower beds, planters, and hanging baskets.

Our four seasons, Spring, Summer, Winter & Fall, of Seasonal Color services are sure to keep your home or business looking colorful and festive all year round.  Our design team will select appropriate plant varieties for your beds and containers based upon conditions; sun/shade, irrigation availability, soil condition and climate.

Seasonal Color Installation Options:
  • Rotation of Seasonal Annuals
  • Flower Bed Design & Installation
  • Container Design & Installation
  • Custom Hanging Baskets
  • Soil Amendment
  • Maintenance Programs including Fertilization, Deadheading & Watering
Give us a call, let us present a plan and then take it from there! You will love your yard again, (616) 893-5765.