Choosing the right landscape professional for your project. Have you ever wondered of all if those titles and abbreviations after someone’s name actually make them more credible? They do. The landscape industry is no different than any other facet of corporate America in accrediting individuals based upon education, knowledge and experience. It is these select few who have invested in themselves and their companies to be better suited to service their clientele and provide the highest quality product. The following are three certifications commonly seen in the landscape realm which should be considered by any homeowner anticipating having a landscape/hardscape project completed.
Incorporating Wi-Fi devices to control outdoor systems? The smartphone and tablet have proven to take control of our daily lives with apps and features to manipulate just about everything. Home automation from these applications has become common place in new construction and renovations, so why not extend that same ease of Wi-Fi use outdoors? Irrigation systems, LED landscape lighting and outdoor audio can all be controlled with just a simple swipe of the hand. These functions not only make operation a breeze but also are environmentally friendly by optimizing water usage and energy consumption.
Bring warmth to that outdoor entertainment space. Now that the holidays have passed, Old Man Winter has set in and the shock of all the credit card bills is just now beginning to diminish, it’s time to start thinking about your landscape again. You know that barren wasteland of which a glimpse is caught now and again through a frosty window. The summer barbecues, family parties and relaxing sunsets are now all just a fond memory. An outdoor entertainment space doesn’t have to be left vacant during the winter months. Just how we turn up the thermostat inside when a chill is in the air, warmth can also be brought outside to make these spaces enjoyable and functional with the use of fire. This is no secret because fire has been warming souls and bringing people together since the beginning of time. It’s today’s applications and uses to harness this primeval element which makes it easily added to any outdoor environment.
Developing a comprehensive landscape design. Every great plan begins with just an idea: An idea of that outdoor entertainment space, complete with fireplace and bar top, or just how to arrange landscape plantings to complement the style of your home. It’s the next steps which are so important in transforming this idea into a reality. Site evaluations, conceptual drawings and final site plans/3D imagery all compose the path leading your ultimate “staycation.” Before jumping into this process, the undoubtedly most important aspect is determining a budget. This mystical number will help guide the direction of the plans and how they are composed.
That is the Question: And Here’s the Answer. With literally thousands of plant species and varieties available to introduce in your landscape, it is sometimes a daunting task to select the ones best suited for the space. There are multiple factors, if considered, that will ensure a healthy life for the new addition to your landscape family. Size (growth habit), zone (hardiness), exposure (sun/shade), soil (clay/sand), water (wet/dry) and wildlife (wanted/unwanted) are the main factors to focus on when making this choice. A little initial research can prove to be extremely beneficial in protecting your exterior investment.
Achieving the Ultimate in Outdoor Entertainment. Ever since I can remember, it has always been engrained in school to study hard, pay attention, try your best and straight A’s will come your way. This couldn’t have proved to be truer, with one exception, the designing and implementation of an outdoor entertainment area. I now personally strive for straight F’s when developing architectural plans for these spaces. Food, Fire and Fluidity have become the main elements, when brought together, which deliver the ultimate staycation of any homeowners dreams.
And Much, Much More: An Array of Colors, Varieties and Sizes. February is undoubtedly the month of love and the rose has come to symbolize and strengthen this bond for hundreds of years. The high demand for this coveted flower during Valentine’s Day can easily triple in cost compared to that of the summer months. Men across the country can be seen rushing around last minute on Feb. 14 dropping $60-$100 just to pick up 12 of these beauties for their loved one.
The dog days of summer are now long behind us, days are shorter and temperatures much more comfortable. It’s this time of year, the fall, which is the most ideal for introductions into your landscape. Plants are beginning to prepare for winter and going into a stage of dormancy to conserve energy for the long, harsh winter. This reduced growth activity is exactly what allows their installation/transplant with little or no stress to the plant itself. Also take advantage of the array of vibrant colors the fall has to offer in making your selections.