Johnson's Landscaping Service



For the most part, a rock garden landscaping plan includes perennial succulents, low-growing herbs and some drought-tolerant annuals such as portulaca and California poppy. However, there are a number of flowering bulbs that grow very well in the Washington, DC area and that are appropriate for growing in a rock garden.

Most of these flowering bulbs bloom during the spring. There are a few that flower during summer and fall that should be considered in order to round out the growing season.

Northern Virginia and Maryland experience fairly warm winters, but luckily, there are enough winter days during which the temperature falls below 32 so spring-flowering bulbs develop blooms. Some of the best choices for a rock garden include galanthus, species crocus some species tulips, miniature narcissus and grape hyacinths. Both galanthus and the species crocus burst into bloom when the last of the snow melts. At times, these very hardy flowers will bloom in the snow. Species tulips such as the Kaufmannia varieties open in April. Although the stem length of the species tulips tends to be very short (4" to 6"), the flowers can be used for arranging as long as they are sunk into floral foam. The miniature narcissus share the stage with species tulips, and provide white and gold highlights to the tulips' overwhelmingly red, pink and purple shades. Finally, grape hyacinths flower during mid-spring. The most familiar grape hyacinth is a blue-purple color, but there are other varieties that bloom in white, pink, pale blue and deep purple.

The rain lily, or Zephyranthes, is the next in line to bloom. These dainty flowers send up flowering stems just after a late summer rain. They are a member of the Amaryllis family, so each flower stalk contains one or two showy blooms in shades of pink or white. There are some hybridized Zephyranthes that come in vivid orange and yellow, but these may grow too tall to include in a rock garden. Rain lilies naturalize easily and are an excellent choice for a maintenance-free garden.

Finally, the autumn-flowering crocus provides visual interest and, for the patient person, a source of culinary saffron. This bright lavender crocus grows only 4" tall and pops into bloom during autumn. Its tiny stamens contain threads of saffron, which is actually the pollen. The dedicated kitchen gardener will have to compete with the bees to harvest this delicacy.

It's not too late to consider adding bulbs to an existing rock garden or to begin a miniature bulb rock garden. For some excellent rock garden landscaping plans that include flowering bulbs, contact us.






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professional landscapingIt seems that everyone has heard of permaculture yet very few know what it actually means. Permaculture is much more than a trendy buzz word; it's a branch of sustainable ecological design that is regenerative and self-maintaining. Think of gardens that work with nature and gave back to the natural environment instead of being disruptive and taking from it.

Permaculture can be used in conjunction with professional landscaping services to create an edible garden and landscape that is both practical and beautiful. Landscape design can also save you a significant amount of money. In fact, according to Money Magazine, taking advantage of landscaping services can bring a home's recovery value up at selling time by a whopping 100 to 200 percent. In addition, professional landscaping can reduce bothersome noise and save on heating and cooling costs.

While there is a plethora of online resources in regards to permaculture and professional landscaping services, for amateurs who are new to the world of sustainable gardening, it's best to consult with a professional permaculture specialist or yard designer instead of tackling the project yourself.

Sustainable landscaping professionals will work closely work with you in order to determine your goals and create a plan of action that will bring them to life.

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It's all about landscaping, folks. Between outdoor lighting, edible herb and flower centers, and sustainable garden centers, landscaping seems to be all the rage. Though the cold winter weather is upon us, and landscaping services may be the last thing on your mind, the winter months are an excellent time to plan your landscape design for the spring and summer months.

Before you begin your search for the right landscaping professionals to bring your creative vision to life, it's best to understand the difference between landscape designers and landscape contractors. If you have a massive, complex makeover in mind, such as the installation of a swimming pool or retaining wall, it may be best to hire a landscape architect or contractor. However, if your vision involves installing flower beds or a small water fall, a landscape designer would suffice.

Regardless of the kind of landscaping professional you need, finding a reputable one doesn't have to be difficult. Begin your search by asking family, friends, co-workers or anyone in your network of family, friends, and acquaintances. Even though it's the digital age, it's important to remember that some of the best landscaping professionals do little to no advertising, relying instead on the satisfaction of their clients and the quality of their work to speak for their services. You may find that you feel more comfortable receiving a personal recommendation from someone you know and trust.

Be sure to browse online forums for reviews on landscape professionals in your area. Keep in mind that one poor or negative review may not be reason alone to write off a landscape contractor, especially if there is a high number of positive reviews. It's helpful to take notes to ask questions when you schedule a meeting.

The most important thing to remember, however, is to go with your gut.

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Permaculture seems to have made its way into the vocabulary of not only modern day, tree-hugging, organic fair trade coffee sipping, almond milk drinking self-proclaimed hippies, but suburban soccer moms as well. As Americans become more environmentally conscious, and the popularity of eco-friendly and "green" practices continue to increase in popularity, so too has landscape design changed.

So what does this buzz word (permaculture) actually mean? Permaculture is the development and creation of agricultural ecosystems which are purposefully designed to be sustainable and self sufficient. Permaculture is all about creating a beautiful yard that is both practical and sustainable while producing nourishing produce, all while contributing to the health of the environment. For example, edible flower centers and herb garden centers are prime examples of simple permaculture systems. Many landscape professionals often incorporate small livestock, such as chickens, into their landscape design process.

In fact, a carefully selected and properly placed forest garden not only looks beautiful, but can reduce heating costs, thereby reducing a home's energy consumption. In the summer, landscaping can cut a home's cooling costs by 50%, according to the American Public Power Association. Looking to sell? Landscaping can increase a home's recovery value by 100 to 200% at selling time, according to Money Magazine.

So where do you find a permaculture yard designer? It might be easier than you think. While sustainable yard designers may be difficult to find in more rural areas, the idea of permaculture has been around for sometime. If you live a metropolitan or suburban setting, start by asking those closest to you for personal recommendations. Also, be sure to browse social media websites. There's a good chance you will stumble upon the personal website or social media pages of permaculture yard designers in your area. Be sure to carefully review examples of their work.

If you're interested in creating a beautiful, personal landscape that provides healthy food, and promotes a more sustainable lifestyle, consult with a permaculture designer in your area.

Saturday, 22 November 2014 07:46

Garrett Park: An English Village | Kensington, MD

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Garrett Park was incorporated as a town in 1898 and was intended to be a suburban development reminiscent of an English village. As you drive through Garrett Park, you will see this in the names of the streets. Many of the street names are locations in the novels of Walter Scott.

As part of the commitment to the original English village concept, in 1977, Garrett Park was officially established as an Arboretum. Since that date, more than 400 trees and shrubs have been planted. This abundance of trees and shrubs maintains a canopy of shade trees throughout Garrett Park and provides color for all the four seasons.

We want to help you have that English village landscape on your property in Garrett Park. We will come to your residence or business and talk with you about adding walkways surrounded by gardens. 

We will ask you to make choices:

  • What kind of rock or brick do you want to create walkways in your garden?
  • Do you want a true English garden without lawn, or a hybrid with a small lawn?
  • Do you want climbing plants such as roses?
  • What color scheme do you want? Two or three colors, or all the possible plant colors?
  • Do you want a bench to rest on in your garden?

Then let's talk about landscape lighting so you can enjoy your English garden in the evenings. We will suggest places to place soft lights so you can see to walk the pathways at night, and it will seem like you are walking in moonlight.

After that, we will even help you maintain your landscape, or give you information on how you can maintain it yourself. It's easy to get that English garden landscape in Garrett Park. Just contact us!






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During spring and summer, it may seem pretty easy to create an appealing landscape outside, especially with the amount of furniture offered for outdoor activity. However, when it comes to outdoor landscape design in wintertime, homeowners often skip the backyard for most of the season and come back later.

Although it may not be as easy to get your landscape looking great in the winter, you can accomplish this goal by making several decisions that help make it easier to succeed.

Mesh Hardscape with Landscape

It is not possible for everything to grow in the wintertime, so you need to take advantage of hardscape to really polish the look of your outdoor space. Adding a simple or elegant bench can make an enormous difference, and trellises look very nice, even when surrounded by naked trees.

Don’t Forget Evergreens

Since it looks good to have some greenery in your backyard during wintertime, you should not forget to grow evergreens throughout the landscape. However, just because many evergreens come in green, you can actually choose from a multitude of colors including blue and yellow.

Rely on Year-Round Perennials

In order to keep your landscape lively throughout the year, you need to invest in four-season perennials, or just choose them over all of your other options. Getting these perennials allows you to enjoy foliage for the entire year, and they are generally easier to care for compared to other perennials.

Making your outdoor landscape beautiful has a lot to do with knowledge, and then applying this knowledge to ensure your yard not only looks great in the wintertime, but every other season, as well.

Contact us to get professional assistance with making your landscape a winter wonderland.






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Saturday, 08 November 2014 07:50

Six Ways to Improve your Patio Lighting | Potomac, MD

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We've got six ways to improve your patio lighting, and, let's face it, that's a great goal. Let's get started.

  • Add a dramatic pendant for impact and light: Pendant lights work well for patios, and provide more light than wall-mounted sconces. To turn your patio into a statement piece and light it, look for an unusual and interesting pendant light. If you want, add a dime switch to help control the amount of light shown. 
  • Protect safety with under-stair lighting: Under-stair lighting can be an attractive and simple way to highlight stairs and prevent falls. If you have just a couple of stairs, or narrow stairs, it can be easy for guests to miss a step and trip in the dark.  
  • Don't forget about landscape lighting: Landscape lighting can complement your patio lighting and light the way from the patio to the grill, the garbage can, or the garage. Solar-powered landscape lights are an eco-friendly option; path lights can helpfully keep family members and guests on the walkway and off the lawn. 
  • Add exterior outlets: Exterior outlets are a wonderful way to capitalize on your patio with string lights, lanterns, and other devices. Even if you plan to wire lights, have the electrician add exterior outlets to your home to increase your patio's versatility. 
  • Consider motion-sensing light: Motion-sensing lights offer homes a measure of security and can keep would-be burglars away from the home. When having an electrician out to install outdoor patio lights, consider having the electrician also put in a motion-detecting light. 
  • Add a timer: To save money and get the most from your patio lighting, put your lights on a timer. This way, they'll automatically come on at the pre-determined time and go off when they're not needed, saving you money. 

To talk more about this, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.






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Saturday, 01 November 2014 08:02

Five Outdoor Patio Trends for Fall | Bethesda, MD

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Fall is here, and with it comes your last chance to get some outdoor maintenance and yardwork done before the winter. Outdoor patios are increasingly becoming a trendy way to expand your living space. We've got six trends in outdoor patio design to inspire you this fall.

  1. Natural stone patio: Natural stone makes a great choice for outdoor patios, because it complements the landscape. A slate patio, for example, adds rich and natural texture and color to your home while blending seamlessly into your garden or lawn. 
  2. Multi-use spaces: Patios these days are all about multiple uses. Many homeowners put their grills on their patios, have chaises for lounging, or install a small dining table for al fresco parties. When planning your patio, think about how you want to use it and design for multi-use. 
  3. Embedded fire pits: Another major trend in outdoor living is fire puts. We're seeing more and more patios that accommodate fire pits, either built right into the patio or installed on it. Stone patios are perfect for fire pits as the material is naturally non-flammable. Other popular trends to consider instead of or in addition to a fire pit include fireplaces and outdoor brick ovens.
  4. Container gardening: Lots of homeowners are opting to add small container gardens to the edges of their patios to mix the patio space with the yard space. Herb gardens are popular, as it is easy to come out and take a clipping of fresh herbs to use for dinner. 
  5. Patio lighting: At night, your patio can be difficult to use if you do not have installed lighting. We're seeing a lot of patios these days factor in LED lighting, which does not consume a lot of power and lasts a long time. 

To talk more about this, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.






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When landscaping your yard, there are many design elements that you can choose to incorporate into your property. One design element that can add to the beauty, functionality, and design of your yard is a landscape retaining wall. Adding a retaining wall can be extremely beneficial to you; here are just a few of the benefits a retaining wall can provide.

Prevent Erosion

One of the primary reasons homeowners will choose to install a retaining wall on their property is to prevent erosion from occurring on slopped areas or in any areas prone to erosion. In fact, retaining walls are the best lines of defense against erosion and the effects of land movement.

Make More Usable Gardening Space

For homeowners whose property is extremely sloped, it can seem as if their yard space is unusable. Tiered retaining/landscaping walls can create useable space for the placements of gardens, play space, and can even create space for the creation of a patio. This can make retaining walls doubly functional for homeowners.

Create Focal Points

Adding hardscaping can add to the beauty and contrast of your yard. Landscaping walls can draw visitors eyes to specific areas of your landscaping you may want to highlight. Thusly, landscaping walls can give you the opportunity to define focal points in your yard. Use garden spaces created by landscaping walls to create beautiful, unique flowerbeds that will enhance your yard space.

Landscape walls can be a great addition to any yard space due to the multiple functions they can perform. Not only can they protect your yard from erosion, but also they can make your yard more functional and appealing for everyday use. Contact us to find out more about the benefits you and your family could gain from adding retaining walls to your to your property.






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Gardens tend to use water, and some designs use more than others. Many people wonder how they can conserve water, since watering plants takes time out of your day and frequently costs money. In the Washington DC area, you can save on water. It all starts with landscape design  that fits your area. Any landscape design for the DC area can save water by using some of the following ideas.

Consider pavers or rocks for parts of your garden. A plain lawn looks dead without water, but concrete pavers look stylish no matter how little water you give it. A judicious use of rocks follows the same principle. You can pick rocks with enticing layers adn bright colors to act as garden enhancers, and once they are in place, there is nothing more you need to do with them.

Pick plants that are native to Washington DC that tolerate dry weather. There are many excellent choices here: Wild Columbine, Plantain Pusseytoes, Wild Bleeding Heart, and Woodland Coreopsis come to mind. When you pick native plants and site them properly, they don't need much maintenance and will thrive on Maryland and Virginia's normal amount of rain. Ferns can make lovely, low-maintenance ornaments, too.

Consider stone walls that capture water and manage drainage. These can look elegant and be useful at the same time. Walls can provide discreet places for catching and draining water.

When you consider the time and effort spent on watering your yard, it makes sense to take these ideas into account when planning your initial design. A little planning now can lead to a lot of free time later. To talk more about this, or anything else, please contact us.






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We all love a bountiful display of blossoms in the spring. Prepare now for spring blooms on your property with flower garden landscaping. Numerous paper and online catalogs display slick photos of the final result: flowering plants. But they don’t look anything like those photos when you plant them.

Fall planting of bulbs, corms, tubers  and rhizomes results in a bevy of bountiful blooms in spring and throughout the year. Most gardeners refer to all of these underground flower sources as bulbs. They are all underground food storage units that eventually produce flowers.

When you know the difference, it doesn’t really matter what you call them. However, it is helpful to be aware of the appearance and results before you begin ordering and planting.

  • True Bulbs are split into two categories, tender and hardy. Hardy bulbs are planted in autumn. Bulbs are layered inside, similar to an onion. They are rounded in shape. Healthy bulbs are solid, not soft or mushy. Many bulbs have a pointed end that should be planted upward
  • Bulbs are either tunicate (with a papery skin) or scaly (without a papery skin).Bulbs remain in the spot where they’re planted and produce baby bulbs, called offsets. Numerous varieties of flowers grow from bulbs; Lilies, Daffodils, Crocosmias and many more.
  • Corms are similar to bulbs, but don’t have layers. Corms are actually the base of the stem and die when they produce flowers. Before they get to the flowering stage, they will also produce offsets for flowers in future seasons. Liatris, Daisies and Gladiolus are flowers that grow from corms. 
  • Tubers are shaped somewhat like a potato. In fact, a potato is a tuber. Many food crops grow from tubers. The eyes on the tubers produce food and flowers. Begonia, Canna lily, Ranunculus and Anemones grow from tubers. Some flowers, such as Dahlia, grow from a unit called a tuberous root. 
  • Rhizomes are stems that grow beneath the ground: They grow horizontally, with only the flower stems growing upward. Often, these spread quickly and may need division sooner than the other types of storage units. Flowers that grow from rhizomes, such as bearded Iris, can quickly cover a bare area in the landscape. The popular Solomon’s seal grows from rhizomes as does the Shamrock plant.

Many of these underground storage units benefit from fall planting. Some, such as tulips, require the winter chill to bloom. If this kind of flower garden landscaping would benefit your yard and flowerbeds, contact us for a professional plan. We know what grows well in the area and how to locate bulbs for a maximum effect. 





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When it comes to designing your property, there are many details to consider. Among them is the kind of outdoor lighting you'll use.

Outdoor lighting can serve both practical and decorative purposes.

For example, let's look at how lighting can play a role in the upcoming holiday of Halloween. An optimal outdoor lighting set-up will make it safe for trick-or-treaters to find their way across your property to your front door. Beyond that, you may want to make temporary alterations to your lighting to reflect the season and the Halloween atmosphere, such as using some lanterns to cast a glow on your property.

Lighting efficiency, safety and aesthetics

Outdoor lighting projects should generally be undertaken with the assistance of experts.

With professional assistance, you can make sure that your lighting is efficient and not taking a heavier toll on your wallet. You can also look into more eco-friendly lighting options that conserve energy.

Professionals will make sure your lighting is installed correctly so as to minimize the chances of a fire. Your lighting configuration can also help keep you safer by lighting up various entrances to your home or the walkways that lead to your house. You can get a clearer idea of who or what is on your property and also make your way to your door without tripping over anything or slipping on ice.

In addition to improved safety, you also decrease the chances of your lighting burning out or otherwise malfunctioning, if you receive professional assistance with its installation.

And then comes the beauty that good lighting can add to your property. In the winter time, for example, your garden can look like a cozy, glowing retreat, twinkling at night. Lighting also helps you make the most of warm weather, as you enjoy the outdoors well into the evening.

Don't hesitate to contact expert Northwest, Washington, DC landscape designers to help you install high-quality lighting. Every property is different; we will help you come up with a lighting set-up that best suits you.





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Just as working in the garden is easier on you  when temperatures cool a bit, so it is with your plants. Fall is a great time to divide many ornamental garden specimens. Do it early so they can set new roots and get established before frost and freezes occur. 

With all those extra plants you'll get from division, you may want to revamp your landscape garden design. If this chore is more than you wish to handle, contact us and let us help.

Chart a plan

It is often helpful to walk through the garden and consider what blooms in each spot at various times. This can jog the memory and allow you to plant complimentary colors, foliage and blooms that will appear at just the right time and season.

Don’t forget about flowering trees and shrubs that bloom in your gardens or nearby. Background colors can be used as a complimentary asset for the garden. Similar to taking a picture, fill the frame of the landscape.

Trees and shrubs that are already growing need proper care as well. Pruning is an important part of preparing for winter. Our professionals know what is needed and can ready your valuable specimens to survive the harshest of winters.

We can provide classic color in the landscape and get everything in order for autumn. Many of those bulbs that need division bloom in spring, so you can be ready and accentuate their beauty with manicured surroundings. An attractive layer of mulch helps protect plants and spruces up the appearance of your garden beds.

Autumn Updates

Autumn is also a great time to add decorative hardscapes to your outdoor area. Don't put off those needed outdoor improvements any longer. Take care of your outdoor wish list now to be ready for a beautiful landscape in spring.





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With the cooler weather on its way, you may have put the task of having a fire pit built on your agenda. Fire pits can be a great addition to any home, they give homeowners a chance to enjoy the outdoors well beyond the warmer summer months.

If you are considering having a fire pit installed, materials should be your major consideration, many times a fire bit will be built, only to find out that it won't stand up to the fire that is being lit inside of it. Building a fire safe fire pit should be the most important factor and will ensure that your fire pit holds up to a fire lit inside of it and lasts the test of time.

Fire Resistant Materials for Fire Pits

Here are some general ideas that can help you have a fire pit built, that includes fire resistant materials. These materials should be used to create a fire pit that can withstand the high temperatures.

  • Firebricks - Firebricks should be placed on the inside of fire pits. The reason for this is that fire bricks absorb heat and can withstand the heat of fire. Firebricks are heavy clay bricks and can come in many shapes and sizes. Having firebricks installed on the inside of fire pits can ensure that the fire pit will still be standing without cracks and damage in years to come.
  • Fire Mortar - Fire mortar or fire proof mortar, is made specifically to help resist fire and heat damage. This makes it the perfect mortar to use alongside fire bricks. This mortar can actually be used in any application where normal mortar would be used.
  • Outside Design Elements - Stone works well for fire pits as it tends to blend in with the surrounding area better than other materials. Stone also makes a wise choice because it is a non-combustible material. Other materials that are non-combustible include bricks and concrete. You will want to avoid any material that is combustible or that can reach high temperatures. Stone work such as flagstone can let you design a fire pit that is both safe and aesthetically pleasing.

If you are looking for a team of landscape designers, that can build the perfect outdoor living space for your home, contact us today at Johnson's Landscaping Services. We can build the perfect fire safe, fire pit, for your home.





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The purpose of a retaining wall is to hold back soil that would otherwise slide downwards due to gravity. The retaining wall is the best and most efficient solution to manage sloping property when a level surface is desired or warranted, as it helps create more usable space. Incorporated into the overall landscape design, a retaining wall can be an interesting architectural feature.

Retaining walls are constructed of durable materials that uphold structural integrity when properly designed and constructed. The walls have to withstand lateral soil pressure, the effects of gravity and a change in grade that exceeds the angle of repose of the soil. There are a variety of materials used on retaining wall construction including stone, concrete, timber, brick and interlocking blocks and pavers.

If retaining wall construction is not in compliance with proper design and construction standards and methods, the wall will not perform the intended job and the wall will fail causing it to tilt, crack or crumble under the weight of the soil. If this happens, the failing wall could cause damage to property and any persons in the area at the time of failure.

In addition to the fundamental need for a retaining wall, there are additional features that can be incorporated into the design. Adding seats along the wall will provide the property owner and visitors a place to sit and relax or adding planters and lighting will add elegance to the retaining wall that will only enhance the property and the visual effects of the wall.

When considering retaining wall construction it is always essential to hire an expert in such design and construction. It is important to keep in mind retaining wall design and construction is more than a simple fence. It is also important to be aware of municipal building codes to make sure the design and construction are in compliance and meet all structural, environmental and construction standards and demands.

To help with any questions and concerns you may have about retaining wall construction, please contact us. Thank you.





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Now that autumn is upon us, chances are you may be using your patio in the dark more often. As such, you may want to change up your lighting a bit to keep up with the changes in season. Here are some patio lighting ideas that are perfect for fall you may want to consider.

Using Christmas Lights

Believe it or not, Christmas lights can be a very welcome addition to your autumn patio décor. Some creative ways to use them for lighting include:

  • Spreading a garland of artificial colored leaves on a table, and then intertwining a strand of miniature lights throughout
  • Suspending a tree branch from the ceiling of your covered patio, and then adding a strand of bigger bulbs to it as a sort of rustic chandelier
  • Stuffing a strand of lights inside a clear suspension rod and then hanging it in a strategic area

Mason Jars

Mason jars are perfect for holding candles in, and can even be covered with colored leaves, pine cones or corn shucks for a seasonal flair. You could also make them very simple yet attractive by adding layers of colored sand inside them to resemble a piece of candy corn. Hang your jars on your fence or sit them on your table or deck rails to cast small bits of light into very dark corners.

Outdoor Fireplace

Your outdoor fireplace can be an excellent source of both heat and light this time of year. Spruce it up for the fall season by adding a pot of mums in glow-in-the-dark containers on either side of it. The container will reflect the fire, and the flowers will add a dash of seasonal color to your landscape as well.

Although these ideas are perfect for an autumn patio, they shouldn’t be relied on as your only source of light. To ensure everyone’s safety, you should still ensure your walkways, stairs and entryways are well lit whenever you are walking on them at night. That’s where we come in- contact us to find out more.





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Is selecting the right patio paver giving you a headache? Are you having trouble deciding between materials, colors, and design? We know, the paver you choose is a lot like picking kitchen counters or even carpet, so doing it right the first time can be pretty taxing. 

With so many options for you to choose, how do you know what is best for your situation? We're here to help.

Here are 5 things to help you select patio pavers.

Select for Value: A patio paver is an investment, like all things you do to spruce up your home. But selecting based on value may not always be your best option. If you do decide to pick a material that doesn't promise longevity, be sure to apply a proper sealer to add years to its life.

Placement: Are you building a patio? Adding a meandering, whimsical footpath around your home? Or adding a wonderfully beautiful pathway circumnavigating your pool? No matter your answer, pick the paver for the placement. Sometimes one paver is superior to the next in terms of necessity, which is an easy way to help you make a selection.

Material Features: Sometimes your need can be amended by the generous features a material has to offer. Thus, if you are looking for safety, select a paver that is slip-resistant. If it is a place where your bare feet are a consideration, don't select rough textures like gravel (ouch!). If you plan to drive a vehicle on it, select for durability. 

Climate: Although pavers appear indestructible, which is only mostly true, picking a paver for the climate will save you a lot of future headaches. Consider, before you install, if the paver will see a lot of sun, or if being in constant contact with water is a consideration. In many instances, the appropriate paver will select itself.

Design: If you have a grand scheme in mind, a wonderful pattern, or are trying to match the paver to other color schemes, use them to help in your selection. For instance a herringbone pattern, in the color you want, may only be possible with a particular brick. So in that case, choose what will work! 

Ready for some help? Then don't sweat it! Feel free to contact us to discuss how our service can help you with all of your outdoor needs.





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A flower garden design can be outstanding with the use of perennials, plants that grow and bloom each season, die back, and return the following year from root stock (bulbs, rhizomes, tubers and woody crowns) rather than from seeding themselves the way annual plants do. One way to remember “perennial” is that it also begins with the letter “p” as does “permanent”.

Some perennials live longer than others, depending on the climate and environment, and they vary in size from a few millimeters to more than 100 yards tall. A big advantage is that they typically grow bigger and stronger each year rather than having to be replanted. Perennials usually form the foundation for most flower gardens because they tolerate poor soil and drought, if necessary. However, most perennials only bloom for a few weeks each year.

Roses thrive in rich moist soil and full sun. Disease resistant varieties are "Crimson Bouquet" and "Honey Perfume". Some roses, like some heirloom varieties, bloom throughout the summer. Wild roses usually bloom only once in late spring, but they could continue to bloom through late June but if they are located in an appropriate microclimate. Nearly all roses need a minimum of six hours of sunlight a day.

Gladiolus grows from 18 inches to 5 feet high, and the flowers open from the bottom toward the top of the stem. All colors except blue are available, and some blossoms may contain more than one color.

Daylilies bloom continuously through the summer. Each flower only lasts for one day; however, one plant can produce a myriad of blossoms.

Baby's breath sprays are often used as filler in floral arrangements and bouquets. This plant features many long-lasting, double white flowers (1/4" wide) in open, airy panicles in summer.

The Shasta daisy, a 1991 All-America award winner, is a compact dwarf plant which grows 12" tall and has 2.5" diameter flower heads with white rays and yellow center disks. It blooms most of the summer and is an excellent and long-lasting fresh cut flower.

The Black-eyed Susan has daisy-like huge flower heads (6-9” diameter) with bright and bold yellow to orange-yellow rays and dark chocolate-brown center disks.

Goldenrod is compact and spreading with tiny bright yellow flowers in dense plumes 15-18" tall in late summer to fall. Heart-shaped foliage forms an attractive dark green ground cover. It is attractive to butterflies and bees and is a good cut flower.

Ladybells grow 1 1/2 to 2 feet tall with erect stems topped with bell-shaped fragrant blue flowers.

The ox eye daisy grows 2 to 3 feet tall and has single or double daisy-like flowers which are 2 to 3 inches in diameter with yellow rays and deep yellow-orange centers. It grows from summer to early fall and is a good fresh cut flower.

Garden phlox typically grows upright 3 to 4 feet tall. The pink-violet flowers are fragrant. Blooms last from mid to late summer and sometimes extends into early fall. This is another good fresh cut flower, is attractive to hummingbirds, and is an excellent selection for a bird garden.

For more interesting information regarding landscaping design, please visit our website or contact us.





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Johnson’s Landscaping has provided quality service to the communities of Northwest D.C., Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Kensington, Silver Spring, Rockville, Potomac, and Olney since 1960. Over the years, one thing our customers ask us time and time again is what plants are best for the area. Maryland is considered to be Zone 7 for hardiness so plants chosen for landscaping need to be hardy in this region. There are many beautiful flowers, shrubs, trees, and groundcovers that thrive in the Potomac area, and here is just a sampling of them!

Astilbe is a perennial plant that gets a very beautiful, showy flower plumes and has glossy foliage that resembles ferns. Its flower clusters can be anywhere from 6 inches to 2 feet in height there are many varieties from dwarf to giant Astilbe that can be 6 inches tall to more than three feet tall. Astilbe may look delicate but they are tough and thrive in Zone 7 conditions and are great for shady areas that need a splash of color!

Hyacinth is a very common Northern flower that comes from bulbs which are planted in the fall and bloom in the spring. They have a sweet, lingering fragrance and can be planted in staggering rows to bring bight color and relaxing fragrance to any garden. The spikes of flowers are made up of smaller bell-shaped flowers that can be either single or double. These beautiful flowers work great outdoors and can also be used in containers for use on patios, decks, and baloneys.

Sedum is a beautiful perennial flower that grows well in the Potomac area. It has thick, succulent leaves, fleshy stems, and the colorful blooms are formed in large clusters of tiny star-shaped flowers. There are many types of sedums, which makes it a versatile plant for use in gardens and can be used as a foreground or background plant, focal piece, or in larger mass plantings and beds. Sedums are easy to care for and are good for cut flowers so you enjoy their beauty outside and inside your home.

Zinnias are among the easiest annuals to grow in the Maryland area. They grow quickly and bloom heavily, bringing a bright splash of vibrant color. They make a great option for mass plantings and can also be used in flower beds for borders or in containers and hanging baskets too. Zinnias have a single bright, daisy-like flower at the end of each stem. There are many color combinations and several different types that offer variations on flower structure and overall plant size.

Contact us today to discover even more amazing plants that work well in our Zone 7 area. Johnson’s Landscaping is ready to help you make your yard or garden the best that is possibly can be with beautiful flowers that are perfect for our area!





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There are many different types of garden types that you can explore. Some require a lot of space, time and planning and others are very simplistic and easy to maintain. Beautiful rock garden landscaping designs are a great way to add color, style, and value to your home or business. While they do require a little more planning at the start, a well designed and installed rock garden can be very easy to maintain. There are three primary areas you need to focus on when it comes to rock garden landscaping:


One of the most appealing things about rock gardens is that they can be any size. The size of your available space will determine the size of the rocks you use and the type of design you implement. large areas can utilize larger stones and rocks to take up space and create bold focal points. Smaller rock gardens use smaller stones and rely more on the plants to create the strong focal points. You can get some great ideas for how space impacts your garden design by looking through photos others have shared on social media sites like Pinterest


While rocks gardens are known for their stonework, you cannot have a garden without plants. Any plant technically can be used in a rock garden provided it has room to grow, but there are many wonderful plants that are excellent options for use in a rock garden. You will want to include some tall plants for focal points, bright colors, small plants to peek out from between the stones, and creeping ground cover plants that can cascade over the rocks. The important thing to remember is that the plants you want to use in your rock garden landscaping project need to be able to survive in your climate zone. It would be a good idea to take the advice of the National Gardening Association and check your plants against the zone lists to see what will and will not survive in your area.


One of the best features of the rock garden, and one of the main reasons they are so popular, is that once they are installed and established, they require very little care. If you have used plants that are suited for your climate zone and have considered water and light needs, you will only need to do occasional trimming and maintenance on your rock garden. There are many great resources to check out for helpful tips that can help you enjoy your rock garden landscaping as much as possible. 

If you would like more information on rock garden landscaping tips and ideas, please feel free to contact us. We would love to hear from you!





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