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Landscaping Ideas and Updates
Johnson’s Landscaping Blog
Posted by: JLS
on Jun 10, 2013
Tagged in: swimming pool
, Patio Lighting
, patio design washington dc
, patio design virginia
, patio design maryland
, patio design
, patio container gardens
, patio bistro set
, patio bar
, outdoor serving cart
, outdoor rugs
, outdoor kitchen
, open air kitchen
, koi pond
, fire pit
Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia
Sometimes change is a good thing -- especially if that patio is looking a little lack-luster. You don’t need to spend a lot of money or have a large space to put life back into your patio. From the patio designs listed below, you can pick just one eye-catching idea or use a couple of them together.
1. Just Add Some Water
If your patio area doesn’t have a koi pond or swimming pool, add a fountain! The sound of trickling water is always very soothing and even if you don’t have a very big space, you can still add a table-top fountain. But if you have the room (and the money), go all out and buy a birdbath with a fountain built in or a free-standing fountain.
2. Shade for Your Patio
The weather is warmer and you’d like to use the patio more than you do, but it’s so hot in the sun! There are many ideas that can provide shade for at least some of your patio such as: umbrellas, awnings, sails, pergolas and building a roof. Look at the space you have and be sure you know how you want to show off your personality; also make sure that no matter what you choose, it can stand up to any type of weather. If you choose a pergola, then you can add colorful climbing plants to add natural shade; umbrellas go with almost any type of style as do sails which are modern. If you choose an awning, remember that it has to be attached to your home somehow.
3. Fire Pits Are Great for Conversation Areas
A fire pit is a wonderful addition and a must have for a patio. The air can be a bit cool in the Spring and Fall but if you put some comfy chairs around your fire pit, you can enjoy the evenings and the warmth it gives off.
4. Patio Lighting
You should be able to use your patio at night just as you do in the daytime and the heat will be more tolerable then as well. There are various ways to light up your patio:
- · Landscape Lighting – Solar powered lights are a great way to light up the patio and they turn on by themselves as it grows dark. These lights need the sun to charge them so don’t place them in shady areas. Purchase several types so that you can put them all over: on tables, in your garden and on deck railings.
- · Outdoor Light Fixtures – If you want lighting to be permanent for your area, this is the way to go. These lights can be connected to a pole, house or another structure and they are available in lots of varieties.
- · Umbrella Lights – You can add lights to your umbrella canopy or buy a light centerpiece that will encompass the pole.
- · Decorative String Lighting – If you’re throwing a party or celebrating a holiday like the Fourth of July, string lights are popular. They come in all sizes and shapes and you won’t have any difficulty finding lights for your theme.
- · Outdoor Torches – These are great for not only providing light but keeping those pesky insects away as well! They come in all kinds of styles so you are sure to be able to find the right one that completes your patio.
5. Patio Container Gardens
Container gardens can contribute quite a bit to a patio and they don’t take much time. For the “wow” factor, go with colorful pots or perhaps use earth tone colored pots and let the flowers or plants bring that “pop” of color. You can use a couple of big pots with bold-color flowers or place several small, brightly colored containers around the patio or you could even have themed containers such as a teacup planter. The possibilities are endless and your patio will definitely be brighter!
6. Outdoor Rugs for Your Patio
Outdoor rugs will divide the wood, stone or concrete surface of your patio and will give it a comfy, warm, homey feeling. With outdoor rugs you could use the occasion to add those bursts of color or purchase rugs that will flatter the colors of your patio to make it a calm and relaxing area. One way or another other, your patio will definitely be appealing!
7. Add a Bar Cabinet or Party Cooler to Your Patio
If you like to have get-togethers with friends or family, then a bar cabinet may be just the thing for your patio. You don’t need a real bar, but if you have space then go for it. Otherwise, a bar cabinet will work just fine. Make sure that your bar cabinet is made to withstand all types of climate and that it’s large enough to store many different types of alcohol and wine – padlocked to prevent little hands from reaching inside. If you’re looking for something that will store food as well as beverages how about a party cooler? They come in several different sizes and styles from stainless steel to rustic.
8. Add a Patio Bistro Set
These 3-piece sets can be put anywhere in the backyard: in the garden, on the patio or by a gazebo or arbor. Bistro sets come in different types of material such as resin, metal and wood; and they also are available in several styles. The bar height bistro set is ideal by a deck railing, in a patio corner or at an outside bar space. A bistro set will make conversations a little more private.
9. Outdoor Serving Cart
Service carts are a terrific idea because they are very movable from one place to the next and can be used outside or inside. They have many uses as an appetizer cart, beverage cart, a portable table for guests or dessert cart. Serving carts are stylish and some even have a removable top table for serving or can be folded for easier storage. No matter which one you choose, your serving cart will be an added bonus to your patio.
10. Add an Open-air Kitchen to Your Patio Area
If you want a completely new way to barbecue, an open-air kitchen is a great concept and they come in several styles that will compliment any patio. If you have lots of space, and money, these kitchens are well worth it when you consider that not only could you have grilling materials but also a cooking island, refrigerator and a prep counter!
These are just a few of the many patio design ideas that are out there and they’ll get you pointed in the right direction. You may even come up with your own ideas if you take a look at your patio. So go ahead, take a long hard look at your patio area. Could it use some sprucing up? When you’re ready, contact us and we’ll be happy to help!
Posted by: JLS
on Jun 3, 2013
Washington, DC | Maryland | Virginia
We all need them, in front yards or back. We need walkways in order to get from one part of the yard to another. And we’ve all seen those straight, concrete walkways that cut through the grass, marching toward the door as if nothing will—or can—get in their way. But walkways don’t have to be that way; they can add interest, beauty or a sense of exploration to your yard. So whatever you have now, here are some ways in which landscaping walkways can transform the experience of walking through your yard.
First, you need to decide whether you want to emphasize or minimize your walkway. If it’s the primary way to get from the street to your front door, and you love visitors, then you might well want to emphasize your walkway. If it’s one of those straight concrete pathways and you are happy with that, then think about some ways you can accent that walkway. Plants are a lovely way to do this, and you can create groupings of plants, with differences in height, to emphasize the walkway and still make it interesting. For example, you can have a pair of large flowering shrubs at the end of the walkway, one on each side, to emphasize the point toward which visitors are headed: your front door. Then line your walkway with a series of smaller plant groupings, perhaps a mix of boxwood or other shrubs, with some annuals mixed in for color.
If you are starting from scratch, then you might want to create a path that makes a large curve as it approaches your front door, giving visitors a chance to look in different directions and see more of your house as they walk. In this case, you might prefer a series of large flagstones as stepping stones for your path, perhaps with taller stones along the sides, to help delineate the pathway. Plant patches of colorful ground cover in the midst of those large boundary stones, or add fragrant ground cover plants, such as creeping red thyme, that are strong enough to be walked on, amongst the stones of the path itself.
In the back yard, you might prefer to minimize your walkway, making it more a path of discovery than direction. By planting taller, flowering plants, like roses and hollyhocks, and adding an archway with climbing vines such as clematis or honeysuckle, you can make the destination of your walkway a mystery to be explored, around the next bend in your landscaping. Perhaps the path itself can be made of bricks, or smooth river stones, adding to the sense of old world charm. If you have a backyard pond, perhaps the path can arch over the pond itself, and a bench set into a curve can encourage walkers to pause, sit and admire the beauty of your back yard.
The possibilities truly are endless when it comes to landscaping your walkways, so contact us today for more suggestions or to arrange a visit from our landscaping team.
Posted by: JLS
on May 31, 2013
Washington, DC | Maryland | Virginia
When considering how best to update the curb appeal of your home, paver walkways should be at the top of your list. The versatility and durability of brick pavers makes them well worth the increase in price over concrete.
Paver walkways can beautifully define the path from the street to your front door and make that path so inviting that friends and neighbors will always enjoy the walk. Whether in a straight line or a graceful curve, there are many benefits of paver walkways.
- Pavers don't crack or peel like concrete or asphalt.
- Bricks are non-skid and low maintenance.
- Using sand in between the joints means pavers are a permeable hard surface. Water will sink into the ground rather than run off into the sewers.
- Pavers are available in many sizes, shapes, textures and colors to fit any landscape design.
- It's easy to replace a damaged paver if necessary. Just replace the single damaged brick instead of the whole sidewalk.
- Overall, paver walkways are affordable because they last far longer than concrete.
Curb appeal should extend into the back yard as well. When used to surface a patio or garden area, pavers are a very versatile way of adding a distinctive design component to an otherwise ordinary setting. Because of the many choices in paver design, color, size and layout, unique patterns can separate various areas of the patio, such as the cooking and dining area from the relaxing area. A winding path can lead further into the yard to encourage exploration of the gardens just out of sight.
The front and back of your house should complement each other and flow together seamlessly. Too many diverse design elements or products start to look choppy. So when you're ready to discuss paver walkways and create the curb appeal that sets your home apart from others in your neighborhood, contact us to help you develop a design that will deliver the relaxing and welcoming atmosphere your home should showcase.
Posted by: JLS
on May 28, 2013
Washington DC | Maryland | Virginia
Very seldom in this area of the country do you find the truly flat landscapes that you find in the Midwest. Here we have rolling hills, rivers and streams, as well as rock outcroppings, which could lead to building a house or designing a yard on a slope. This often requires the need for a retaining wall in order to prevent future damage to your home, deck, pool or other feature that requires flat land for its foundations.
So now that you have a retaining wall, how can you integrate it into your landscape design? Whether it’s a solid, unsightly slab of concrete or a rock wall, here are some ideas for beautifying your retaining wall and incorporating it into your yard.
- If it’s a block wall, find some way to cover it. There are some great outdoor paints which will withstand the weather for a few years. You can make it a focal point if you are artistic, or cover it with stucco if you wish it to blend in a bit more. You can also seal it with a waterproof material and then erect a living wall in front of it (like a vertical garden). We do encourage you to seal and then cover the top of the wall with stones to prevent moisture from getting into the concrete.
- If it’s well placed, make good use of it. If the wall provides shade in the summer afternoons and evenings, build a patio at the bottom of the retaining wall to create a lovely outdoor dining space. You can insert some outdoor wall sconces to provide a romantic atmosphere for dining or drinks.
- If the wall faces into the sun, capture that heat with a small planting area. You can easily create a planting bed with a second level of wall, lower than the first and using the same materials, to highlight plants that love the sun. Make sure to line your bed with impervious materials so that no water gets into your retaining wall when you water the plants.
- If it varies in height, use that to your advantage. You could build a waterfall that flows over your retaining wall and into a small fish pond, for example. Again, it’s important to use impervious membranes when building your waterfall and pond, so that no water weakens your retaining wall.
So are you ready to transform your plain, unsightly or just boring retaining wall? Contact us today to discuss these ideas and more!
Posted by: JLS
on May 13, 2013
Washington, DC | Maryland | Northern Virginia
Nothing is quite as soothing as a backyard swimming pool, and that's even more the case when it is surrounded by the right landscaping. Pool landscape design takes quite a bit of planning in order to come up with a look that is aesthetically pleasing yet does not detract from its usability.
Trees can certainly create an interesting backdrop for a swimming pool; however, there can also be some problems associated with them. Deciduous trees can result in a great deal of leaves for you to remove from your pool water, thereby resulting in more maintenance. Evergreen trees can be just as bad, as these specimens shed needles that could be even more difficult to remove than leaves. Rather than planting trees around your swimming pool, opt for a privacy hedge made from Boxwood or Japanese Barberry instead.
Just because trees aren't recommended near swimming pools doesn't mean you have to forego greenery altogether. In fact, some tropical plants in large containers can make an excellent backdrop for your pool area. Try some ferns or banana plants near a fence or retaining wall. You could surround these with hanging baskets full of annuals such as African marigold, geranium or daisies in order to add bright splashes of color.
The right hardscaping can help tie your plants and swimming pool together. Why not consider a brick walkway that winds gently through your garden on its way to your pool stairs? A trickling waterfall or gushing fountain can also help lend an exotic feel to your backyard and make taking a refreshing dip all the more exciting.
You'll get more out of your pool when you consider landscape lighting to accent this area. Add a few path lights to your walkway so you'll be able to get to the swimming pool easily once the sun goes down. A string of lantern lights along a fence could be ideal for a late-night gathering, while lights inside the pool might be better if you plan regular evening swims.
When it comes to landscape pool design, there are plenty of things to consider. We'd love to help you turn your swimming pool area into a work of art that you'll be proud to show off to your family and friends. Contact us for more information.
Posted by: JLS
on May 1, 2013
Washington, DC | Northern Virginia | Maryland
Chances are good that wherever you live, Spring has sprung! The daffodils may be in bloom, and you may even have a fruit tree that looks like pink cotton candy right about now. Most of us have even felt the urge to start turning over the soil and planting. Before we dive right into spring there are a few areas where we can pay some special attention and in return we will get the most bang for our buck in visual impact.
When we view the front of our home from across the street, and with the eye of a home buyer, we may see things that don't stand out so clearly when we are up close. Grab a pad and take some notes on improvements that you can make to start the season off right. Start with those things that are most obvious from across the street.
Curb appeal is often as important to you as it would be to any prospective home buyer so start by making sure your landscaping is neat, clean and pleasing to the eye. The early flowers of spring are enjoyed by everyone so a bulb garden is an easy way to ensure a splash of color each year. Plants and flowers are the best way to bring life to your outdoor space. Don't overlook your lawn and its health because it is probably the most eye-catching feature in front of many homes. Now is the time of year to feed the lawn as well as perform its yearly maintenance.
Keep in mind that a well-designed yard can add value to your home but a poorly designed landscape that has no "flow" could actually hurt your home's curb appeal and value.
Outdoor Living Space
It's not just a deck with a table and a few stackable chairs anymore. Today’s deck, patio and outdoor living spaces are more comfortable with a focus on making family and friends want to linger. The table and chairs have been replaced with couches, chaise lounges and fire-pit tables. The effect is warm and cozy. Add splashes of color with bright throw pillows and hanging baskets of flowers. Many outdoor spaces also include a place for cooking and eating and some are a real extension of your indoor kitchen, including all the necessary accoutrements. Another appreciated addition includes built-in sound systems and even outdoor televisions.
It has been reported that you can expect to recoup more than half, and sometimes much more, of the investment you made in your outdoor living space when you sell your home.
When you consider that you will realize an increase in house value of about 10%, on average, just with an investment in good quality landscape design, you can understand the real value.
If you have been thinking about patio & landscape design services for your home, we would like to invite you to contact us and let us introduce you to our design process.
Posted by: JLS
on Apr 19, 2013
Do you want to grow vegetables, but feel like you don’t have enough room? One popular option for people with limited space is vertical gardening. This garden landscape approach is often a low-maintenance way to grow a significant amount of produce.
First take a good look at your property and locate areas that get 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day. Also look for spaces that could benefit from vertical plants. For example, do you want more privacy? Vertical plants can be used to create a living privacy fence. Is there a utility pole or maybe a garage wall that you are tired of viewing?
Once you establish locations that will work, make a list of what you want to plant. Do you primarily want flowers? Vegetables? Both? Once you decide on locations and what to plant, you are ready to begin.
Structures and support
To ease into vertical gardening, whenever possible use existing structures like fences, trellises, or walls for your garden. As you become more accustomed to vertical gardening, you can build or buy structures for a more elaborate look.
Vegetables & Fruit
Plenty of vegetables thrive in a vertical garden environment. Natural climbers actually benefit from the increased air circulation. Excellent vegetable choices include: pole beans, lima beans, peas, tomatoes and cucumbers.
You can also grow squash, melon, and pumpkin, but their fruit will need some form of support as they grow to prevent them from breaking off.
Fruit trees – like dwarf apple trees- can be trained to grow in a horizontal plane next to a wall or fence. This method, known as espalier, creates a beautiful looking specimen that easily produces fruit in a limited space.
If you only want flowers, or want to add flowers to the mix, annual flowering vines that climb without becoming too heavy are your best choice. A few of these are: black-eyed Susan vine. cardinal climber, moonflower. morning glory and scarlet runner bean.
Things to remember
Plants grown vertically are exposed to more wind and sun, so vertical gardens tend to dry out more quickly. You may have to water and fertilize more often than with a conventional garden. Also, tall plants cast shadows on smaller ones – so be sure to place shade-tolerant plants next to them.
Contact us today for more landscaping ideas.
Posted by: JLS
on Apr 15, 2013
Residential landscape design becomes more challenging when you have to deal with slopes. A skillful approach will help protect your home and your soil while creating a beautiful and functional outdoor environment.
If you love the view from your home on top of a hill, you also need to deal with the practical issues that come along with it. In addition to making the daily climb and tasks like mowing as easy as possible, you need to be extra careful about site stability and fire safety. In general, you want to limit the incline to a ratio of 3:1 or less, meaning up to a one foot rise in elevation over every three feet of distance. Drainage issues are also especially important for houses built near a slope.
Creating a series of short terraces is one of the best and most common techniques in this situation. They reduce erosion by breaking up a long slope into multiple steps that are less steep. That way more rain water soaks into the soil instead of washing away topsoil and killing your plants. If you want your terraces to blend in, use natural wood along with grass beds or other plants. For a more formal look, use materials like brick or stone.
To minimize your uphill walk, crisscrossing paths can be kept more level than straight ones. It’s also helpful to fill them in with firm materials that won’t spill out like loose gravel or pebbles. Flat areas and visual details can provide resting spots for your body and your eyes. Install a bench on a flat, paved area about one-third of the way up a lengthy slope or use a gate to call attention to the end of a flight of stairs.
Johnson’s Landscaping Service, Inc. is a family owned and operated business providing full service landscaping for Northwest DC and Montgomery County. Contact us to discuss solutions for slopes and other challenges.
Posted by: JLS
on Apr 11, 2013
Warm weather is on its way and with it, Spring. A time for birds returning, flowers blooming, trees beginning to leaf and lawns filling in with lush green grass. Your yard is looking a little lack-luster but you haven’t quite decided what kind of landscaping you want to do. Before you call us for help, some landscape maintenance is required.
First, if you didn’t remove the leaves from your lawn in the fall, now is the time. It’s important to rake the leaves off the lawn because leave-cover prevents the sunlight from assisting with grass growth. Check for insects and dead spots; if you have dead spots, grass seed is the solution.
Whether or not seeding is necessary, fertilizing in early spring is essential. This renews the lawn’s nutrients used during the long winter months. There are good brands of fertilizer to select that can be found at any hardware or home improvement store. Don’t forget to fertilize your lawn throughout the summer and early fall. How often? That will depend on your soil condition and grass type.
Before the mowing season begins, make sure your lawn mower is working properly and that the blade is sharp. When mowing, remember that different grasses should be cut at different heights. Cool-season grasses need to be cut at three and a half inches and warm-season grasses cut at two inches. Leave the grass clippings on the lawn because it’s actually helpful. It recycles the grass, known as “grass-cycling”. During those warm summer months, water your lawn on the really hot, dry days. Be sure to water only in the early morning or late evening, never mid-day; the hot sunlight will just evaporate the water. Don’t forget about those pesky weeds! A good weed killer, like Ortho Weed-B-Gon, will take care of that problem.
So now that you know the basics and once you get an idea of what you want your yard to look like, contact us and we will be glad to help you design and landscape your yard. We will even maintain it for you if you’d like!
Posted by: JLS
on Apr 11, 2013
With spring comes the anticipation of gardening, landscaping and flowers. Part of a beautiful front yard landscape is a well-manicured lawn. But, keeping a lawn healthy is work. For starters, you need to know what type of grass you have: warm-season or cool-season. A lot of the grass in this area is a cool-season variety like fescue of Kentucky Bluegrass. The most common warm-season grass in the region is Zoysia or Bermuda grass.
Once you have identified your turf grass variety, here are a few things you need to do to get your lawn off to a strong start.
- Apply crabgrass herbicide if you experienced a lot of crabgrass last year.
- Reseed any bare spots in March or early April.
- Hand pull or use herbicide to spot treat any broadleaf weeds.
- Apply broadleaf herbicide to kill wild onion or garlic in your lawn.
- Do a soil test to prepare any upcoming lawn renovation.
- Apply fertilizer after spring green up -- usually in May.
- If you need to establish a warm-season grass, wait until the soil is warm enough -- usually May or June.
- Aerate or use a reel mower to remove any thatch build up.
If your cool-season grass was not fertilized in the fall and you intend to fertilize it this spring, apply it at the rate used for all the grasses mentioned here -- .9 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. Ideally tall fescue and Kentucky Bluegrass are fed in September and October.
The warm-season grasses Zoysia and fine fescue are fed only once per year. Feed Zoysia in June and fine fescue in October. Bermuda grass should be fed twice, once in June and again in July, according to the Unversity of Maryland extension office.
Contact us today to discuss your lawn care and landscaping needs.
Posted by: JLS
on Mar 22, 2013
A landscape walkway is a valuable element in your outside environment. Walkways provide useful access for getting around your site and add visual appeal by organizing your design. They also raise several safety issues that you’ll need to address.
Living in the Washington, D.C. area, you have to be prepared for snow and ice. It’s a good idea to clear your walkways of any debris or tools before a storm hits to make snow removal easier. Getting cracks and other damage repaired before the winter weather sets in will also help to keep problem spots and repair bills from growing. The amount of incline is another potentially dangerous factor. Steep rises and drops can be extremely hazardous when covered with ice. You may need to consider adding level landings or handrails in addition to using de-icing products.
Proper drainage is another factor. Melting snow and other water needs to be able to flow away. Otherwise it will cause puddles or freeze under the walkway and lead to cracks. One solution may be washes. These are slopes that tilt the walk slightly to one side so water drains off.
Texture and lighting are two more approaches for making walkways safer and avoiding accidents. Textured surfaces provide more traction so people are less likely to lose their footing. You may decide to use materials like flagstone or pavers instead of concrete. Strategic lighting has similar safety benefits. Adequate illumination is especially necessary around steps and other critical points like landings, entryways and exits.
Johnson’s Landscaping Service creates custom landscapes to fulfill your wants and needs. We invite you to visit our photo gallery for more ideas about beautiful and functional steps and walkways, and contact us for a free consultation.
Posted by: JLS
on Mar 14, 2013
A house on a higher elevation or slope has some great advantages: it’s far less likely to suffer flood damage, and the natural drainage means less standing water to weaken the foundation or seep into the basement.
However, a slope presents certain problems for landscaping. Not only is there erosion into neighboring yards, but whatever plants do grow on a slope are likely to be an eyesore without painstaking maintenance.
Obviously, the best solution is a retaining wall. But even that is inadequate without consideration of what will grow above the wall. Let’s look at some examples of how the wall location, construction and landscaping work together to create an attractive, low-maintenance exterior design.
Above on the left is a fantastic outdoor living area created by retaining walls and raised flower beds. Above on the right is another view showing the steps from the house to the sunken area.) The profuse, low-maintenance bushes and trailing vines above the walls provide a sense of privacy and insulation, while the beds provide space in front of the shrubs for annual or perennial color. The raised beds are ideal for healthy root growth, and the stone allows easy bed maintenance with very little clean-up. This is an heirloom-quality outdoor area that will be here for many years to come.
A retaining wall inside a fence serves an important function around a pool or patio area: while the wooden fence provides privacy, the retaining wall allows for professional landscaping that is protected from chlorinated pool water or fire-pit flames. The raised beds are spacious enough for trees, shrubs and flowering plants all. Below is another example, newly completed and planted.
Here is an example of a wooden retaining wall used on a steep slope bordering a play area. The new starter plants on the slope will quickly cover it, providing a nice backdrop to the play area. And wood, properly treated and installed, will also last for years.
Finally, below is another beautiful retaining wall, built to preserve valuable trees around new construction. This wall also contains space for shade-loving plants to complement the surrounding woodland.
These are only a few examples of how retaining walls enhance a property’s use and value. To see how Johnson's Landscaping Service, Inc., can serve you in the Washington, D.C./Maryland area, contact us today.
Posted by: JLS
on Mar 7, 2013
Even though there is still snow on the ground it is time to start thinking about flower garden landscaping for the coming year. With proper planning, the garden can have color from Spring until late Fall.
One way to ensure that a flower garden will do well in any environment is to choose native plants. These plants are already acclimated to the climate and the growing season. There are a wide variety of plants and flowers in almost any locality that will bloom and add color throughout the growing season. From spring bulbs to fall grasses, choosing native plants will make a garden easier to care for and less likely to fail from disease.
If there are non-native flowers desired, verify they are hardy enough to withstand local weather. This means understanding what they need for temperatures, soil, water and sunlight. Careful planning before the first seed is planted will help provide a garden that requires less work over the course of the growing season.
Blooms and Berries
When choosing plants it is also important to understand how long they take to germinate and produce blooms. Learn how long the flowers last and what can be done to extend the life of those blooms. Will pinching off blooms as they wither help the plant to produce more color, or will it just cause the plant to shut down?
Choose several plants and flowers that will grow and bloom at different times of the year. Don't forget to check into the berries that may be produced in the fall as these are a great way to add color to any garden. Consider flowering ground cover as well. The green leaves and colored flowers can create contrast and cover areas where larger flowers are not able to grow.
Add Some Height
Tall flowers are one way to add some interest to a garden because they add height. Consider adding grasses or flowering bushes for height as well. There are many grasses that produce leaves with colors and patterns that start as green in the spring and last into fall. Bushes with spring blooms may also have leaves that turn colors in the fall.
Planning a flower garden a year in advance is the best way to create a lasting impression. There are many bulbs that must be planted in the Fall so they can flower in early Spring. There are also seeds that must be planted in the spring to provide summer or even fall color. Choosing a wide variety of flowers and plants will create a garden that lives from early spring to late fall. Adding new flowers and plants each year will help maintain an interesting garden.
If you live in Northwest, Washington, DC or Montgomery County, MD, and you want more information on flower garden landscaping contact us.
Posted by: JLS
on Feb 28, 2013
Even if you plan to move soon, there are many attractive and functional residential landscape designs that can help you enjoy your Northwest Washington, DC or Montgomery County, MD home. In fact, landscaping your surroundings may be even more important when you’re trying to create curb appeal to attract potential buyers. These are 5 ideas that produce fast results.
Sod the Lawn: You can quickly cover bare surfaces with transplanted sod instead of grass seed. You’ll get an instant lawn that should be relatively weed-free for a while. Note that if you want to prevent future grass loss, you’ll still need to diagnose and treat any soil problems.
Select Fast Growing Trees and Shrubs: Trees and shrubs that grow quickly are ideal if you’ll only be around for a couple of years. Of course, these plants tend to need more pruning later on.
Put Up Quick Privacy Screens: Inexpensive barriers are easy when you use fast-growing annuals like sunflowers or rampant vines. They’ll quickly spread and obscure whatever support you put under them so all you see are the flowers and vines.
Plant Container Flowers: Planting in containers is always an effective way to beautify and brighten your surroundings. Colorful flowers will call attention to your entryway and other best assets while playing down any parts of your property that may be less appealing. If you’ll be leaving at the end of the season, a single batch of annuals may be all that you need.
Create Walkways: Walkways make your yard look more welcoming, and they provide access for basic necessities like bringing in the groceries. If you don’t have time to pour concrete sidewalks, you can make paths more quickly with materials like paving stones or flagstones.
Residential landscaping can be adapted to suit the amount of time you’ll be staying in your home, whether that means a few months or many years. If you live in Northwest Washington, DC or Montgomery County, MD, and you want more information on premium landscape solutions and services, contact us.
Posted by: JLS
on Feb 22, 2013
If an area of your yard is an eyesore because it’s rocky, uneven, or too shaded for grass to grow well, you might want to consider rock garden landscaping. The possibilities are just about endless, as are the advantages:
If rocks on site are a problem, incorporating them into the landscape design makes more sense ecologically than hauling them off. Rocks add texture and visual interest to a garden. They help fill space between new plants, and supply support for vining or spreading plants. Additionally, they are a natural framework for water features such as ponds or waterfalls.
Using rocks and pebbles as a landscape cover cuts down on weeds and maintenance. There is no lawn grass to water or mow. Ornamental grasses, however, look especially dramatic among rocks.
Rock gardens are ideal for setting off one focal point of the yard, such as a flowering tree, where grass is undesirable. With the right landscaping around the tree, all you need is a comfortable bench nearby to enjoy the whole area. For that matter, large rocks with flat faces can even be used as seating or a play area. (Chances are they’d be used that way regardless.)
A rock garden makes a good setting for the display of potted palms, tropicals, or fruit trees. When the weather turns cold, they can simply be carted indoors. Rock gardens also make a natural companion to a walkway, or they can become the walkway itself.
Then again, a really good landscaping service can use rocks another way: to install French drains in low-lying areas of the yard to channel away standing water. We can even build a small footbridge over the drain for additional convenience.
If any of these advantages have started you thinking about what you’d like to see in your yard, feel free to contact us.
Posted by: JLS
on Feb 22, 2013
If you are looking to add timeless and long-lasting beauty to your outdoor space, flagstone walkways can be designed to fit the size, shape and style of any environment.
Flagstone is sedimentary rock, usually sandstone, that is often used for walkways, steps, and patios. Flagstone can come in a variety of colors including blue, gray, red and beige. Flagstone is often the best choice for an outdoor walkway because it is so attractive, durable, maintenance-free, versatile and adaptable. A flagstone walkway blends well with almost any type of outdoor decor, from formal to rustic.
A simple walkway is great, but you can also expand on the concept and personalize your outdoor area even more. Here are a few ideas:
- Connect your walkway to a flagstone patio. Like walkways, patios can be designed to fit any size and style of living space.
- Stairs made with flagstone can range from a basic, rough-hewn look to a more formal and elegant design.
- Make your garden more inviting with meandering flagstone pathways. You can even create your own private mediation spot.
For more ideas and to see the kind of quality work we do, check out our photo gallery of steps and walkways, or view our full gallery to see a variety examples of walkways, patios, retaining walls and water features that can be built by our experienced, talented masons. Contact us and let us help you start planning the outdoor living space of your dreams.
Posted by: JLS
on Feb 22, 2013
The visual appeal of a pergola is unmatched in landscape design when it comes to the focal point of your outdoor living space. It can act as an extension of your home or, more often, as a source of shade that also allows for gentle breezes to surround you. One of the best things about the addition of a pergola is how it provides you with a framework that many lovely climbing plants can thrive on and around.
A common feature of climbing vines are the "suckers" or sticky tips they use to attach to a structure. They leave residue behind and can also cause damage to some building materials. Some examples of these vines include, the Virginia Creeper and Boston Ivy. Both of these grow very quickly and can be difficult to control.
There are some climbing vines that grow well in our climate and do not leave damage or discoloration behind. Favorites include the Crossvine or the Wisteria. They may take a bit longer to fully cover your structure, but they provide beautiful flowers that insects don't find irresistible. They both require a sturdy structure as they can become quite heavy in maturity.
If you are dreaming of a fragrant retreat, you might consider the Trumpet Honeysuckle. But be aware that the bees will also enjoy their fragrance. On the plus side, so do the hummingbirds. The Climbing Hydrangea is a grower's favorite with its beautiful blooms. Consider alternate shading until this plant has had a chance to become established.
At Johnson's Landscaping Service we want to make sure that you know all about the wonderful uses of the pergola you have been dreaming about. If you live in Northwest DC or Montgomery County, MD, Contact us today to find out how we can make your outdoor living space dream your new reality!
Posted by: JLS
on Feb 12, 2013
Low Maintenance Landscaping Design Offers Stunning Results with Minimal Effort | Washington DC
Most people love to spend their free time from work and obligations being able to unwind with their family and friends. When you have to spend hours working on your yard every week to keep it looking perfectly green, your relaxation time is reduced. A low maintenance landscaping design uses a variety of environmental friendly native and exotic plants with eye-catching stones and pavers to make your yard look like a peaceful oasis.
The majority of low maintenance landscaping designs take into account your yearly precipitation and average temperatures to offer you lush scenery all year. If you have dry summers, your designer may recommend a drought resistant grass or to avoid grass period and use a creeping ground cover. There are a large variety of plants that are trouble free; they resist diseases and require very little routine care besides yearly cuttings. Mulch is often used between plants and pavers to reduce the need for weeding and help plant roots retain water longer.
Some of your favorite selections of trees, shrubs and flowers may be perfect for your new minimal maintenance garden. Evergreens are requiring little care once deeply rooted and add various green shades to your yard year round. The elegant deep purple leaves of a velvet smoke tree are perfect for adding that mysterious effect to your yard. If you prefer bushy cheerful flowers, the perennial peony offers you an easy to care for flower that will return every year. For larger areas that you prefer to have bright spots of color, hydrangeas are more resistant to droughts than other flowers and bloom all summer.
A landscape designer in the Northwest DC area knows what plants will look natural and help you design a landscaping plan that will require minimal effort on your behalf. If you don’t want to put any effort into maintenance of your property, then contact Johnson Landscaping Service. They are available to come to your home up to once a month or even once a week to fulfill all your landscaping needs.
Click here and come visit us today for more low maintenance landscaping design inspirations in Washington, DC.
Posted by: JLS
on Feb 4, 2013
Backyard Landscape Designs Creating More Living Space | Washington DC
According to the Zillow Home Value Index, the average price of a home in Washington, DC runs upwards of $400,000. Each year those prices continue to rise.
What does this mean for people living in the Washington, DC area? If they want to experience the joys of home ownership, they are going to have to dig deep into their pockets to finance their living spaces.
Are you one of those who do a lot of living in your home but still come up short when it comes to having enough space to do all of your living? If so, one solution is to consider how you can create more living space by expanding some of the living you do into the outdoors.
That's right. Urban living spaces often have more space outdoors that homeowners can incorporate into their homes, provided they think outside the box and utilize space that might work well. If only they could figure out the “how-to”!
Wise is the city dweller who incorporates backyard landscape design ideas so that the outside living space becomes an extension of home living spaces.
With the help of an experienced lawn and patio team, you can come up with ways of taking existing outside space and turning it into an additional living area. Carefully placed plants, shrubbery, outdoor furniture and even custom-built carpentry can turn outdoor areas, either cozy and small or roomy and large, into an outdoor landscape design you'll be proud to show to family and friends.
Is reading or relaxation your thing? Add a small water feature, a hammock and a wooden privacy wall or vine-covered latticework just outside your back door.
Do you need more space to entertain? How about a custom-designed patio or gazebo complete with a comfortable sofa, table and chairs near your outdoor fireplace or grill?
The right plantings, flowers and other shrubbery can take your outdoor living spaces to an entirely new dimension. So, too, can your choices of exterior lighting add atmosphere, mood and perhaps a bit of magic to your evenings spent at home.
For help in beautifying your outdoor living spaces and turning them into additional living areas, visit Johnson's Landscaping Service, Inc. For more information, contact us online or visit our website.
Posted by: JLS
on Feb 4, 2013
Patio Designs For Your Small Backyard Space: Important Considerations
Perhaps you have been thinking about how you might utilize your small backyard space so that the design will create the most impact. Or maybe you just want a small, intimate space where you can enjoy the peace and tranquility of the outdoors. Creating a useable, easily maintained and visually stunning patio in a small space means extra consideration is necessary.
We want to figure how we can best place our materials to be able to get the most use out of the smaller space. At the same time we want to be sure to include spaces for plantings or small water features which will improve the ambience of the outdoor space. Here are three important things you should take into consideration when thinking about your patio design.
Where It Fits
Find a tape measure because in a small space, the details are most important. Determine the length and width and then consider the addition of outdoor furniture. Make sure that your vision matches the space with some room to maneuver or include guests. A bench can take the place of two chairs and be placed out of the way when not in use.
When Will It Be Used
If evenings will be your prime time to use your patio, think about outdoor lighting and heating in your design. If a cool mid-day retreat is your dream, think about the addition of a small pergola for shade. This can also serve as a framework for climbing vines. Take into consideration where the sun shines in the space to either take advantage of it or to avoid it.
What It Should Include
Many people desire a water feature for their outdoor space. Others express an interest in a small outdoor kitchen or a firepit. Ideally, you will have one main focal point with the addition of flowers and plants to finish the look. Decide your most important feature and build around it. The benefit of a small space it that it will feel complete without adding very much.
When you are ready to make your dream a reality, contact us at Johnson's Landscaping Service and speak to our Design Team. We will be with you every step of the way to make that dream come true!
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