What is the Newest Landscaping Trend for 2018?

Like home styles, decor colors, and automobiles, home landscaping develops trends also. In 2018, according to Garden Media, landscaping is no longer merely concerned with balance, beauty, and curb appeal, but is also being directed toward an environment that supports healthy mind and spirits.

Finding real peace and quiet in today’s world has become a nearly unattainable objective. From the time we awaken, we become attached to our smartphones, pads, and computers in a quest to be continually connected and informed. Whether at work or home, the bombardment of both essential and wholly trivial communication and information never ends. And, when data is not coming to us, we fill the gaps by looking for more.

Sometime, somehow, there must be a break in the action.

Trees, Plants, Soothing Surroundings, and Renewed Mental Focus

Imagine a quiet, shady spot among trees, shrubs, beautiful flowers, and perhaps a trickling water feature where all electronics are banned and silent reflection is encouraged. Imagine this spot to be not in a distant and remote pine forest but in your own backyard. Landscape designers and architects are actively beginning to incorporate this concept into the newest landscape designs by creating a particular area for just such an escape.

Why is Serenity among Plants Important?

An August 2014 Business Insider article highlights a University of Michigan study that determined that heading into a wooded environment helps short-term memory and concentration. They concluded that a natural environment could become a restorative setting, helping to rebuild an individual’s mental energy and focus.

To further underscore the importance of exposure to nature, the same Business Insider article mentions that children with ADHD experienced better concentration after just 20 minutes in a park.

Happiness, Health, and Healing with Trees and Plants

A Texas A&M treatise on floriculture expands on the benefits of communing with plants and escaping for a time from the bustle of modern life. Their findings mention the marked influence on overall happiness and health.

The article highlights other benefits including:

  • Accelerated healing
  • Improved relationships
  • Boosted performance
  • Raised perceived quality of life
  • Reduced stress

While trends come and go, the benefits of a meditative setting within your own landscape are essential to coping with our modern, stressful lives.

Contact Heritage Oak Farm for ProLine™ Landscaping Equipment

Call Heritage for the best in tree and plant handling equipment at (888)-288-5308.

 

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How Landscape Designers Add Real Value

As you drive through certain neighborhoods, some landscapes capture your attention immediately. Most eye-catching surroundings are not that way by accident. Those attractive lawns and gardens are likely the work of a gifted professional landscape designer who worked with the contours and planting areas to create the most appealing settings for plants, trees, lawns, hardscapes, and other decorative features.

Homeowners spend hundreds of thousands of dollars over time to improve the appearance and functionality of the exterior facade of their homes while balking at paying extra to enhance the presence of their landscapes. An elegant and inviting lawn can do as much for the curb appeal and value of the home as any other exterior upgrade.

Why Hiring a Professional Landscape Designer Adds Value

An experienced landscape designer has acquired knowledge and experience of identifying what works in any setting, soil type and climate, creating and maintaining a kaleidoscope of color and texture as the seasons pass, and knowing how to create a scene that brings out the best in a home’s overall appearance.

A well-maintained landscape created by a professional landscape designer only gets better as time passes. Doing it right the first time pays dividends in value and enjoyment.

What Should a Customer Ask a Professional Landscape Designer?

Generally, landscape designers offer a free consultation to view the setting, offer suggestions, and determine if they and the homeowner have compatible attitudes and visions.

While the homeowner is searching for their landscape designer, certain questions are likely to arise. Landscape designers should be prepared to answer these:

  1. What vision do you have for my property?
  2. What would be the process, cost, and timeline for developing a plan and then executing it?
  3. How long will the new elements take to fill in? What will this look like next year?
  4. What are some suggestions to lower the cost while still creating a significant positive impact on my landscape?
  5. Do you or I choose who the contractor will be?
  6. How much maintenance will be required to keep it up?

Heritage Oak Farm ProLine™ Equipment

Heritage Oak Farm has long been a leader in nursery, landscaping, and lawn maintenance equipment. With the complete ProLine menu of plant and tree transporting and planting equipment, landscape professionals can reduce the time, cost, and labor to handle any project.

For more information, contact Heritage Oak Farm at 888.288.5308.

 

Add Curb Appeal with Potted Plants

It is no wonder that today’s homeowners and nursery managers are adding more potted plants to an already wide-ranging spectrum of landscaping ideas. Flower pots are no longer restricted to kitchen windows, nor are beautiful and elegant plants limited to front and backyard gardens and plots.

Containerized plants of all kinds add flexibility to any scene. Portable and easily tended, these allow for an ever-changing view, mixing and matching as the weeks pass. The containers themselves can vary in type and style which adds even further interest to the scene. Blending colors, shapes, and textures in a particular setting is part of the fun and creativity of landscaping with pots and other types of containers.

Advantages of Potted Plants for Landscaping

  • Individually managed, each flower or shrub benefits from the precise amount of TLC required, never too much nor too little as with garden settings with a variety of different plants.
  • Potted vegetation can be used to create an ever-changing scene. Framing an entryway, lining front stairways, skirting a driveway, or providing a border around a patio or deck, potted greenery and flowers can add drama or a relaxing aura to just about any environment.
  • When the weather turns and a freak hailstorm, deluge, or another nasty event should occur, moving potted plants to safety is possible. Not so with plants planted directly into the ground.
  • Potted plants are the perfect option for townhouses and apartments where space is limited.

Create a Beautiful and Productive Balance

Arranging the plants in an appealing array enhances the curb appeal and the owners’ personal enjoyment. Placing taller plants in the rear and shorter ones in front is a natural strategy, but creating well-coordinated color contrasts is essential.

Adding herbs gives contrast and supplies the homeowner chef with a continual supply of flavor enhancers.

Heritage Oak Farm

Heritage Oak Farm has been a producer and equipment supplier to nurseries and landscape professionals for decades. Built upon their extensive experience in growing, lifting, and transplanting trees, shrubs, and other nursery products, Heritage created their ProLine™ series of equipment designed to:

  • Make tree and shrub handling easier
  • Reduce damage to trees and shrubs during transport
  • Help nursery and landscaping operations become efficient

For more information regarding ProLine™ equipment, visit their website to view the extensive range of labor-saving equipment.

For questions, contact the Heritage Oak Farm ProLine professionals at 888.288.5308.

 

Positives of Professional Lawncare Services

As you drive around certain neighborhoods, you’ll notice some lawns have a consistently better appearance. This is because the homeowner 1) is knowledgeable and gives many hours to lawn care or b) has hired a quality full-service lawn care service to care for the property.

Some lawn care companies only mow. Some spray. A few handle more than one function. However, a full-service lawn care company takes full responsibility for the lawn, treating the landscape as if it were theirs.

However, few homeowners and business owners have time to maintain their landscape and lawns in the condition they would like. Lawns require regular attention to ensure they are nourished, sustained and kept free of problems. Unfortunately, do-it-yourselfers discover issues only after they have worsened and are unable to return the lawn to the desired state.

Hiring a professional lawn care service offers many advantages.

Knowledge

Lawncare professionals understand how to create a perfect lawn. Lawn maintenance involves expertise and consistency with proper watering, fertilizing, insect and weed elimination, winter prep, and spring restoration. Pros identify potential problems before they become serious. They tend to use the right amounts of products.

Tools

Proper lawn care requires tools that must be well maintained. Professionals use the highest quality, well-maintained tools to do their work.

Right Products for the Job

Professionals know which products work best and which should be eliminated. They also know the precise application amounts.

Healing the Lawn

If a problem begins to develop, a professional lawn care service professional will:

  • Identify the problem
  • Treat the area to ensure the problem does not spread
  • Repair the area
  • Restore completely

Most homeowners do not recognize diseases until they have spread and often will attempt to treat the problem with the wrong products.

Overall Cost

The efficiency of a lawn care service stems from having several customers to spread their fixed costs. When a homeowner considers the complete cost of doing it themselves, they are often surprised:

  • Lawn mower and maintenance cost
  • Fuel
  • Products: fertilizers, weed prevention, restoration products, seed for bare spots
  • Edgers
  • Weed cutters
  • Storage

Two more considerations are time and quality. Several hours of work per week to achieve a mediocre lawn may not justify the effort.

Heritage Oak Farm

Heritage Oak Farm provides high-quality ProLine™ landscaping equipment to nurseries and landscape professionals.

For information regarding the full line of products, phone (888)-288-5308

 

Finding the Right Landscape Designer

In most instances, it is easy to discern whether a professional landscape designer has been involved in developing a plan for a new or reworked landscape. The balance, placement, color, seasonal variations, and hardscape designs are clear signs that a professional has been at work. As an artist approaches a new canvas, a landscape designer imagines a setting that is beautiful, functional, and practical without excessive expense and required maintenance.

Selecting a landscape professional for home or business requires weighing several variables. The first step is to consider what you are willing to spend and which elements of the job the landscape designer should complete.

Finding a Professional Landscape Designer

The world abounds with landscape architects, designers, experts, and specialists. Some are better at implementing and maintaining, while others are proven geniuses at imagining and designing. Some landscape companies staff professionals for each discipline.

Home or business owners should choose a few candidates to interview to determine who:

  • Communicates well
  • Shares your vision
  • Presents a substantial portfolio of design experience
  • Provides a solid list of references

Checking references is important. How past projects were handled, the ease of communication and outcome will determine if a candidate is solid or should be eliminated from the list.

Questions to Ask a Landscape Designer Candidate

Does the designer provide a free, upfront consultation?

A one or two-hour consultation is an opportunity to become familiar with each other as the designer talks philosophy and provides off-the-cuff suggestions about how to approach the project. This meeting is an opportunity to share vision and budget requirements while determining if you are compatible with each other.

What will be the process?

Once a design is presented, perhaps modified, and accepted, and the cost is agreed upon, how will the project proceed? If the contract is for design only, then you must start again to find the professionals to implement the plan.

Executing the Plan

You may be requesting a design only if you had another professional capable and prepared to implement the plan.

Alternatively, in a design-build scenario, the designer may oversee the full implementation of the project, using associated professionals to complete the job. In situations that require extensive construction and sophisticated grading, using the design company to carry out the plan can be economically advantageous and uninterrupted.

ProLine from Heritage Oak Farm

Contact Heritage Oak Farm about ProLine™  professional landscaping equipment at (888)-288-5308.

 

The Joy of Spring Flowers

There may be no greater joy for many homeowners than witnessing the first bloom of spring flowers. Color replaces the drab grays of winter as the first flowering signals a new season of outdoor activity and pleasure.

Depending on the climate zone, many varieties of annual and perennial spring bloomers are available. Selection may rely on color preference, timing, and size.

Popular Spring Flowers

Pansy: The variety of petal colors make this the most common spring offering for many gardeners. The delicate blooms are magnificent in your early spring planting pots and window boxes.

Yellow Trillium: These true spring plants begin to offer up yellow blooms in April, then fade away by June. Ideal for shady spots, the plants work best in Zones 5-8.

New Guinea Impatiens Hybrid: In many climate zones, the Impatiens varieties can be an annual or a perennial. Best with morning sun or full sun, these flowers are great in beds with foliage plants and also in pots or hanging baskets.

Bloodroot: These perennial flowers begin to appear as early as March in Zones 3-9. With white blooms, these will continue until late June. These herbaceous plantings usually reach about 6 inches in height while spreading at least a foot in width.

Snowdrop Anemone: Best in Zones 4-8, Snowdrop Anemone grows well in sunny or only lightly shaded. The plant offers up sweet white clusters of blooms in the early spring and, according to Better Homes and Gardens, may even rebloom in the autumn.

Twinspur: Perennial in some zones and annual in others, these blooms are best in full sun, although should have some afternoon shade in really hot climates. Sunset suggests that Twinspur looks great as a complement to roses and thrives in the same conditions.

Zinnia: Simple flowers to grow from seed, Zinnia Elegans are annuals in all zones. These plants favor full sun. Flowers should be snipped off when fading so that new replacements can grow in their place.

Lilac: The fragrance of lilac is synonymous with springtime. Certain varieties of lilac range from dwarf shrubs to small trees. Best in Zones 4-8, lilacs can grow to a height of twenty feet.

Contact Heritage Oak Farm

Heritage Oak Farm offers its ProLine™ full menu of efficient, high-performance nursery and landscape equipment designed for professional landscapers. Check out the Heritage Oak Farm website, or call (888)-288-5308 to learn more.

 

Get a Jump on the Spring Gardening Season

Even though the ground is still frozen and, in some areas, snow-covered, gardening projects can still begin. It may not be placing those delicate flowers and vegetables out yet, but important details can be accomplished before the calendar gives the “go ahead” to start the annual planting process.

Planning

Rather than wait until the last minute to rush through the nursery with a half-baked list of ideas, late winter is always a great time to plan. Look for new ideas, perhaps at one of the important garden shows in the area, or consult with a professional landscape designer or nursery to plan that spectacular garden design.

Besides sketching the vegetable and flower plantings, late winter is an excellent time to re-imagine the yard with new trees and shrubs.

Clean Up and Service the Equipment

While your equipment may have received a cursory cleaning last fall, late winter is a great time to service machinery and prepare for the coming season. Tillers and lawn mowers should get fresh oil and fuel, and a start-up test can be beneficial to identify any operating problems.

Remove the Dead Leaves and Accumulated Debris

Some of last year’s leaves and small fallen branches undoubtedly remain, either from your trees or from the neighbors’. Cleaning these up now will leave your planting areas and lawn looking great as you wait for the real gardening season to begin. Matted leaves can restrict the early growth of perennials and provide a comfortable home for insects.

Eliminate the Weeds

Weeds will begin to pop up as soon as the ground is soft. Attack the problem shortly after the soil can be worked, often before the last frost. Till the soil to discourage weeds from taking root. Pull and discard any that may have established themselves late last year. Cover the area with mulch for now until planting begins. Mulching should continue to keep weeds from developing.

Perennial Pruning and Care

Cut back ornamental grasses to allow new growth to develop. Also, for many trees and shrubs, late winter is the right time to consider pruning. However, if you are not sure, consult an expert who has experience in the varieties and climate with which you are working.

Some varieties of perennials like hostas, asters, and Siberian iris can even be divided at this time to create new plants, free of charge.