The Benefits of Working with a Landscape Professional

Though many DIY landscapers enjoy maintaining their home inside and out, some are fed up with the work and want to hire a professional. Between the season changes, grass and weed growth, and worrying, handing over the work to someone who has much more experience may be just what the doctor ordered.

Climates

Landscape professionals are familiar working in varying climates. Experienced landscapers know which plants fare well in different seasons and they will help you choose accordingly. Throughout the year, your plants’ needs will change and they must be cared for appropriately. If you are not ready for the challenge, you could lose your plants and risk the beauty of your garden.

Maintenance

If your garden consists of a small stretch of grass and a few rose bushes, the maintenance may be a breeze. But, larger landscapes require more time and care and most homeowners do not want to invest the time and resources to keeping it up to standard.

The appearance of your landscape is very important especially if you plan to sell your home in the future. Your lawn and yard is a direct reflection of how well you keep your home and its inherent monetary value. Curb appeal is one of the top selling features of a home and one of the factors that contributes to the overall value of a neighborhood.  Climate change, neglect and lack of knowledge can affect the look of your landscape and the future value of your home.

Curb appeal is also a reflection on you. Homeowners want to make a good impression in front of friends and family and a poorly maintained home speaks volumes to onlookers. People consider a poorly maintained home as a reflection on the ideals of the homeowner regardless of whether they are true or not.

Time

Many homeowners have little time to care for their properties and the last thing they want to spend their time on is their lawn. With families, demanding jobs, and no free time to enjoy, lawn maintenance is a job they can do without. In these cases, hiring a professional is a good choice. The stress and lack of family time is not worth the small cost of weekly lawn maintenance.

Loss of Control

Many homeowners feel out of control when maintaining and designing their landscapes, especially if they are novices. They are forced to leave other important matters behind because the stress of landscaping is always at the forefront of their minds. They are left to worry about climate changes, weed pulling, grass growing and how to keep the yard looking beautiful year-round. For an experienced professional, these issues are par for the course, but for an inexperienced homeowner, they are details he/she can do without.

If any part of landscaping has your stomach in knots, consider the work of a professional. By handing over the stress, you can rest easier and enjoy more time with the people you love. If you hire the right landscaper, you can be confident that your lawn is in great hands and you will never need to lift a landscaping finger again.

 

 

Helpful Landscape Tips for Lighting Your Driveway

Did you forget the driveway when you designed your landscape lighting? It’s a common error to design an entire lighting scheme and forget about the lonely driveway in front of the house.

It’s also a common misconception that driveway lights are only installed for safety reasons. While safety is the number one concern, driveway lighting also adds a level of luxury to the home and sets it apart from other homes that do not take advantage of the same attention to detail.

Before you run out to decorate your driveway, consider these tips first:

Take Proper Measurements

Measure the length and width of your driveway. If your driveway is larger than average, make sure your lights are large enough to illuminate at least halfway across the width of the driveway. Also, don’t overpower a small driveway with large lighting fixtures.

Devise a design on paper to help you determine how many lights you will need and how far to space them apart. Take into account surrounding scenery and safety issues. The lights should not be too bright so they blind night walkers or passing cars, but bright enough to illuminate the driveway so people can feel safe to walk. Observe where water can penetrate and run the wires to avoid potentially hazardous situations.

Lighting Types

Choose from surface, flush mounted or post lights. You can also select lanterns in large or small sizes depending on your personal style. To save money, use low-voltage or solar lights. Solar lights install easily, cost virtually nothing to operate, and use the energy from the sun to illuminate its surroundings. The only drawback with solar lighting is they need to be installed in a place that receives ample sunlight. Also, if you live in a location that gets cloudy or endures harsh winters, you may not receive enough energy from the sun during the day to light the driveway at night. In these cases, low-voltage lighting may be the best choice as they are relatively inexpensive as well.

Before you purchase your fixtures, assess your ideal purpose for the lights. Of course, safety is the utmost concern, but what else do you have in mind when you think of lighting your driveway? Do you want to include some of your personal style? Impress your neighbors? Use them for a functional purpose? Use the answers to these questions to guide you in your purchase process.

If you are a low-maintenance type of person, choose fixtures that won’t cost an “arm and a leg” to maintain. You should be able to change the light bulb and keep them clean without much hassle.

Installation

Homeowners should take extra precaution when installing driveway lighting. If you are using solar lighting or even low-voltage, your risks are not as severe. If you decide to run off your home electricity, it is recommended to hire a professional. These projects can be very dangerous for someone who does not understand proper handling.

Enjoy!

Once you install your driveway lights, your landscape will be complete, front and back. You will be the envy of your neighbors and the talk of the town and your home will look great from every angle.

How to Jumpstart a Fantastic Landscape Design

Homeowners generally compile a hodge-podge of items they love for their landscapes but never understand how to put everything together. They end up with a mis-match of features and an overall confusing landscape design.

The key to a fantastic landscape design isn’t in any one element. The goal is to discover how the features work together as one cohesive whole.

Creating a fantastic landscape design is not as difficult as it seems. When organizing your landscape, look at the overall layout tin terms of these dynamics:

Focal Point – Similar to how a fireplace becomes the focal point of a living room, every landscape design must have a focal point.

A living room with a beautiful fireplace should contain elements that enhance it not distract from it. Homeowners should arrange couches and chairs around the fireplace and avoid placing any large object near it.

In your landscape, add an area of interest and start there. Add more features around it not to over-power it, but to make the focal point stand out even more.

Unification – Building on the focal point, ensure all features are unified in style, design and energy. For example, an elegant, Paris-like water fountain should not exist next to a bright yellow sunflower. The two clash in terms of tone and harmony. Your landscape design should seamlessly blend from one part to the next much like an artistic masterpiece. Consider unity when selecting trees, shrubs and flowers. Consider function as well but don’t forget how they fit into the entire “look” of the design.

Balance and Proportion – Think about the size and breadth of your landscape when choosing features. For example, small-sized plants would not fare well next to a large picture window. They would be drowned out instantly. Conversely, a landscaper would not plant a large oak tree next to a small cottage.

Though the focal point will be one of the largest features, it still should not dominate the entire landscape or the size of your home. Assess your home’s size and the width of the yard before you create a design.

Plan out your design on paper to scale and squint your eyes while looking at it. Does any feature look out of place? Is the entire design balanced and symmetrical? Symmetrical doesn’t necessarily mean every feature is same height. A lack of symmetry refers more to excessive repetition and inappropriate use of flowers and plants that gives an overall messy and undefined look.

When designing your landscape, stay true to your style and love for variety, but remember that all elements work together in harmony to form one cohesive whole. Sometimes less is more. A simple design can create more depth and life than a scattered one. A space can stay empty and still have a purpose. A patch of grass holds a meaning even if it is not covered with exotic flowers. Look at every piece of the landscape, whether full or empty, as one part of an amazing whole.