The Business Benefits to Landscape Lighting

Whether you run a successful business out of your home or you see clients at your office, the proper outdoor environment constitutes the hallmark of a great first impression. Your appearance is your brand and first impressions really do matter.

As a business owner, you know that client meetings can become the foundation of your success. When you run business meetings outdoors at your home or another establishment, the environment must be warm, comfortable and inviting. When the sun goes down, your outdoor space must shine and display an atmosphere of professionalism. A professional landscape will not only help you to land new customers, but it will also help you to retain them.

Visibility

You may love your business, but if it is hidden behind brush and darkness, your potential clients/prospects will never know you exist. Outdoor landscape lighting will invite new and existing professionals to pay attention to your business. Furthermore, your customers must be able to locate your business quickly and without difficulty. The proper lighting makes all the difference.

Security

The security of your business is a top priority. If you have employees, you must ensure their safety when exiting the building at night or arriving early in the morning before the sun rises. A dark entryway signifies possible safety concerns especially for people who are sensitive to these unsatisfactory conditions.

Your customers must also feel safe in the winter months when you are open for business even when it is dark outside. Your clients must also feel comfortable and safe to arrive at your place of work at any time of the day. Furthermore, proper landscape lighting will protect you from any legal liability should a harmful incident occur on your private property.

If you run a business inside your home, ensure that all pathways, stairs and entryways that lead to a door are lit well. From the driveway to the entryway, every step should be illuminated enough so that even the physically challenged can find their way without difficulty.

Aside from lighting a landscape, ensure that your business is secure from burglary. Burglars will gravitate towards darker homes so they can hide without being spotted. The right lighting can scare them away since they cannot enter your home inconspicuously.

Impression

Everyone knows that a beautifully lit landscape design will turn the heads of even the most high-profile clients. Whether in front of your home or in a courtyard of your office building, landscape lighting brings a level of luxury that speaks to the high-quality of your business. Yes, people shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but in the business world, the better looking the cover, the more attractive the inside. An elegant, well thought-out, sophisticated landscape shows your customers and your potential clients that you take the time to make your establishment inviting which automatically suggests that you will invest the same time and dedication into your products and services.

First impressions are everything in business. Make yours count!

 

How to Control Garden Weeds Organically

It’s the classic gardener’s dilemma—you want nice, fertile soil for your plants to grow, but it never fails that weeds shoot up right alongside your precious sprouts. Weeds are arguably the most prevalent garden nuisances, and they will single-handedly destroy your plants unless you take swift action to rectify the situation.

If your plan is to cultivate an organic garden, then harmful pesticides are simply not an option. Luckily, there are other ways to win the war on weeds without using chemicals.

Control Weeds with Physical Barriers

The best way to keep weeds out of your garden is to use some form of weed barrier. Weed barriers prevent weeds from growing and will help you keep your precious flowers from being suffocated.

A popular weed barrier is landscape fabric. It’s a biodegradable sheet you can cut to fit your garden’s space. Stretch it over the length of your garden and slit holes to guide your plants carefully through the material. Then, use a rake to smooth the fabric. This creates a physical barrier that blocks weeds from sprouting while maintaining the integrity of your plants.

Another commonly used weed barrier is mulch. Select organic mulch and add it to your garden very cautiously to prevent your plants from harm. As you spread the much, remove any rocks, debris, or weeds you discover along the way.

Till Your Garden’s Soil to Protect against Weeds

Tilling your garden is a necessity for healthy plants. Till early and often to encourage your seeds to sprout. This will also properly oxygenate your soil. After tilling, water thoroughly to give your seeds a good foundation for sprouting.

Keep a close eye on your garden for the next few weeks as you wait for your plants to sprout. Then, once they do, use a good garden rake to extract any weed roots you find growing near your new seedlings. Till again at this point – but this time, do it more gently, taking care to keep your digging shallow.

Home Remedies for Weed Infestation

Boiling water kills plant life. It’s also an effective tool to fight weeds – if you’re extremely careful. Pour boiling water directly on the weed to kill the roots and eliminate the weed from your garden. Use extreme caution, however. If you get the water anywhere near your plants, you risk killing them, too.

Vinegar is another great alternative to harmful chemical weed killers. Fill a spray bottle with vinegar and spray the weeds in your garden. This will kill them at the root as well, but similar to boiling water, use great care. Vinegar can kill your plants if you get it anywhere near them.

It is possible to win the battle against weeds without resorting to chemicals. Perseverance and vigilance are your main weapons, so check your garden every day and remove weeds before they grow out of control. In time, you will have a beautiful weed-free garden to show for all of your efforts.

Landscape Lighting Design Tips to Get the Creative Juices Flowing

Contrary to what you many people think, a large number of homeowners do not know where to begin when it comes to landscape lighting design. They know they want to illuminate their yard but they don’t know what will work with their landscape and how the entire design will mesh together.

Landscape lighting design should be a fun experience even though it requires some work. Regard the process as a learning experience and a chance to create a new atmosphere for your landscape. The end goal will make the entire process worth everything you invested into it.

If you are feeling a little creatively challenged, try some of these pointers:

Features

Observe your landscape during the day and notice the features that would look beautiful when illuminated. Remove your bias about what you see in catalogs and in pictures and imagine each feature with a soft glow or a spotlight.

Here are some places where lighting will enhance the landscape:

  • Walkways
  • Driveways
  • Pathways
  • Patios
  • Decks
  • Steps
  • Rocks
  • Trees and shrubs
  • Borders

Evening Research

Once you complete your daytime research, observe your landscape in the evening and use a flashlight to illuminate the areas you listed from the previous step. Notice how they look when lit and the shadows and glows they cast on objects around them. Use varying beam widths if you have them and different light strengths. Play around with colors as well.

Position the flashlight in different areas and uplight a tree or spotlight a water feature. Add a glow to water to see the reflection it casts. Shine a light on one feature and observe how nearby elements are affected. You may notice you prefer a stronger beam in certain areas and a weaker beam in others.

Write your ideas as soon as possible so you don’t forget. It will be helpful to have someone to assist you since you will be in the dark. Have your helper follow you around the yard and write your thoughts. Walk around your landscape several times since you are bound to miss an important feature if you are not concentrating. Step back after you complete this step and have someone shine the flashlight on the areas you chose so you can view how the lighting looks from more than one angle.

Draw a blueprint of your yard and place a marker at each area you chose to illuminate. List the type of light as well, whether spotlight, solar, low-voltage and the direction the fixtures will emit the light. This plan will aid you during your purchase process.

More Research

If you need more ideas, consult with a professional or search online. Visit DIY sites and related forums where homeowners will be more than happy to share their experiences. Ask a lot of questions before you dive in. Be prepared before you tackle the project so no unnecessary mishaps try to steal your flow. Good luck!