Johnson's Landscaping Service


discovered wet basemement walls follow these steps chevy chase md

Have you recently discovered wet basement walls in your home? If so, then you're probably feeling understandably worried. Perhaps you're concerned that water problems in your home are going to damage your foundation, harm your indoor air quality, or even lead to a mold problem. Before you go into panic mode, understand that there are plenty of possible solutions to the issue of wet walls in your basement. Start by looking into these potential solutions and working with a professional to determine the best course of action for your needs and budget.

Check Gutters and Downspouts

First of all, understand that basement moisture problems can very well be caused by poor roof and gutter drainage. In fact, this is one of the easiest and cheapest fixes, which is why it's generally recommended that you start here. Either get on a ladder yourself and check out your gutters or hiring a roofing professional to do it for you; specifically, be on the lookout for clogs or problems with your downspouts. Make sure, for example, that downspouts are carrying water at least five feet away from your home's foundation.

If not, then downspout extensions and/or a gutter cleaning could be the simple fix to your wet basement wall problem.

Consider Interior Drainage Solutions

If your solution isn't quite this simple, then it's time to move on to other potential causes of your basement moisture issue. If there's no simple way to keep water from coming into your basement (for example, your home is located at the bottom of a slope and there's no affordable way to change the landscape), then you might need to install an interior drainage system.

One common option in terms of interior drainage is that of installing a sump pump. Specifically, this involves having a small channel drilled into the floor of your basement; this channel carries water swiftly out and away from the home itself. This isn't always the most ideal solution, as it does tend to cost a few thousand dollars and can create an eyesore in finished basement spaces. However, it's a great alternative if you have outdoor patios, decking, or landscaping that you don't want to tear up to install an exterior drainage system.

Explore Full Basement Waterproofing

Last but not least, there's always the option of having your basement walls waterproofed. There are many different forms of waterproofing systems available, ranging from sprays and paints that are applied to the walls themselves to more involved systems, such as French drains. The costs of these can vary greatly depending on the size of your basement and your specific needs, but the French drain system tends to be the more expensive option, as it often requires the digging up of outdoor landscaping.

Generally, the best way to determine the most cost-effective and long-term solution for your home's wet basement problem is to work with a professional waterproofing company. They'll be able to send some experts out to assess the problem and then come up with a series of options in addition to a recommendation based on the homeowner's specific budget. From there, you can rest assured that, when all is said and done, your home's basement will be protected from future water damage. As a result, you'll be able to breathe a sigh of relief and avoid potentially expensive foundation damage, mold, and other issues.

If you're looking for assistance with resolving your wet basement problems, be sure to contact us as soon as possible. We'd be happy to schedule an appointment at your convenience to assess your home and determine the best course of action.

5 signs that your basement needs to be waterproofed kensington md

Because of its location, your basement is more prone to moisture damage than any other part of your home. In fact, many people think that it's normal for a basement to be a bit moist.

However, even though moisture problems might be common in the basement, your basement should be just as dry as any other part of your house. If it's not, then you need to hire someone like Johnson's Landscaping to help you with waterproofing basement services.

If you're like a lot of homeowners, however, you might not even know about all of the moisture that is going on in the lowest level of your home. These are a few signs that your basement has moisture problems. Look out for these signs, and make a move soon if any of them relate to you; otherwise, the moisture could lead to foundation damage and could destroy the flooring, walls and other parts of your basement.

1. There's a Musty Odor in Your Basement

Have you noticed that your basement smells bad? Over time, moisture in your basement can lead to an unpleasant, musty odor. Simply cleaning your basement or using air fresheners might help with the smell, but it's best to attack the source of the problem by determining where your basement leak is coming from.

2. Your Walls Have Water Markings

Take a look at the walls in your basement. There might be water marks that you haven't yet noticed, especially if your basement is dark. If moisture has been seeping into your basement, water marks will form on the walls over time. Examine the walls near the baseboards to look for these water marks.

3. You've Noticed Mold or Mildew Grow

There shouldn't be mold or mildew in your basement, since mold and mildew both require moisture in order to grow. Mold and mildew can both cause property damage, and mold can even pose a health hazard for you and your family. Along with attacking the source of the leak, you will also need to hire a professional to get rid of the mold safely and effectively.

4. Your Floors or Walls Feel Soft to the Touch

Constant moisture can cause your floors or walls to slowly but surely rot. It doesn't even require a lot of moisture for this to happen; instead, it only requires an ongoing problem that is not repaired. If your walls or floors are soft to the touch, it's imperative to get rid of the leak before you make repairs; otherwise, your repair efforts will be futile, and you'll probably face the same problem later.

5. The Air Feels "Moist"

Sometimes, you might not be able to see the signs of basement moisture right away. However, you might be able to feel it. If you feel sticky and gross when you head into your basement, there is probably a lot of humidity in the air. Although the humidity can be affected by the weather conditions outside -- since you can even experience high humidity in the other parts of your home, especially during the summer or after periods of a lot of rain -- it can also be a sign of basement leaking, especially if it's an ongoing issue that you notice all year long.

As you can see, there are a few signs that you can look out for if you are keeping your eye out for moisture in your basement. If you notice any of these five things or otherwise think that there might be a leak in your basement, contact us right away. We can help you put a stop to your basement leak before the moisture causes serious damage.

Monday, 02 November 2015 11:00

Signs and Causes of Water in Basements | Olney, MD

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signs and causes of water in basements olney md

Having a basement can be a plus for homeowners needing extra space, whether it’s to store items or to eventually convert an unfinished basement into a finished room. On the other hand, a basement can be a nightmare if water seeps into it. If you have a basement, here are some basic clues that you may have water in your basement, along with a few of the most common causes of this problem.

Recognizing Signs of Water in a Basement

Sometimes, there can be water in a basement without the obvious sign of water. If you have a basement and have experienced significant rainfall, you need to look for possible clues that you may have a problem. Just because there isn’t visible water doesn’t mean your basement is safe. A few of the common red lights indicating water in a basement include those such as:

  • Noting small water pools in a basement or crawlspace can indicate a problem somewhere.
  • Spotting mildew or mold can suggest an excess of moisture.
  • Damp basement walls may be a sign of water.
  • Dripping or trickling water is another red light.
  • Humid, damp air can also be a warning.

Reasons for Water Entering a Basement

After realizing there is a problem of water seeping into your basement, the next step is determining the reason for it. Here are a few of main causes of water invading a basement.

  • Flawed window wells can lead to flooding. Many basements have small vents or windows on their outside walls. These windows, known as window wells, should be constructed  so that water doesn’t enter a basement or a crawlspace. However, if they’re defective or not designed properly, they can funnel pooled water into a house.
  • A defective water heater can create severe flooding issues in a basement.
  • Fractured water lines, due to frozen pipes, punctures or deteriorated plumbing, can also cause major basement flooding.
  • Cracks in the foundation or walls can be culprits. That’s why you need to regularly inspect your house for possible cracks. Even tiny cracks can eventually cause big issues.
  • Faulty, clogged or missing gutters and downspouts are causes. When gutters and downspouts are defective or gone, improperly installed or defective, rainwater falls around the edges of a house, eventually seeping into a basement.

Considerations and Warnings

  • The most common pathways that water takes to get into a basement are through walls, floors, windows or foundation cracks. Water can also seep into a basement or crawlspace through the seams that are between a floor and wall. In most cases, water takes the easiest path, offering the least amount of resistance.
  • Although the rainy season is considered to be the worst time of year for basements to flood, a heavy winter snowfall can be even worse. For example, snow can quickly melt when the above-ground temperature is above freezing, turning snow into water that can leak into a basement.
  • Basement flooding occurs more in older houses than it does in newer constructions.
  • Above-ground basements, and especially those built on elevated land, such as hills or mountains, are less likely to have flooding problems than below-ground basements. 
  • If you have coverage for flooding, promptly call your insurance agent. But if you lack insurance coverage for flooding, be sure to quickly contact a qualified restoration specialist who can property restore the damage. 

Sometimes water can invade basements because the land on a home site isn’t graded properly, or it is on an improper slope. Improper grading or erosion that has altered how your land is graded can cause water to flow in the direction of a house, entering a basement.

One of the many services of Johnson Landscaping is providing drainage solutions. Please contact us so that we can diagnose your drainage problems or take care of any landscaping projects that you may have been postponing.

effective solutions for common yard drainage problems potomac md

A yard that looks like a swamp after a hard rain can be a nightmare for many homeowners. Besides being unattractive, standing water on grass can also present other serious issues such as compromising the health of your plants and lawn. Even worse, this condition can encourage pests such as mosquitoes or cause water to seep into a basement. What’s more, you can’t enjoy your yard until it’s repaired.

Some yards are more likely to have drainage problems than others. These include situations in which soils are that are dense, flat land and yards with high water tables. If you’re concerned about your lawn draining properly, here are some common yard drainage problems and solutions.

Solving the Problem of a High Water Table

Yards that lie in low areas can easily suffer from a high water table, making it hard to landscape. Because plant roots don’t get enough oxygen in saturated soil during their growing season, they rot much like houseplants that are overly watered. Some ways to resolve this issue include these options:

  • Use plants in your landscape that are naturally acclimated to a high water landscape such as fens and bogs. For trees, plant those species that come from similar wetlands. Use wet sun plants for a sunny yard, but if you have a shady yard, choose wet shade plants.
  • Elevate planting areas. Although this can be expensive, it works. If you’re wondering how high you need to raise the soil, it depends on what you want to plant. For example, large shrubs or trees require a considerably greater height so that the root crown is high enough to keep it dry. On the other hand, smaller shrubs don’t require as much height. As a result, the cost is less expensive.

Solutions for Drainage Issues Caused by Clay Soil

Yards that have clay soil can easily have drainage problems. In fact, clay soil is the cause of most minor yard drainage problems. Because soil that’s rich in clay has more density than loamy or sandy soil, rainwater doesn’t filter through it as quickly. To solve this condition, consider these options:

  • Growing plants that prefer soils that are rich in clay can gradually change the nature of clay soil. However, this can take a long time.
  • Adding things that can make your soil more permeable and richer is another option. You can do this either chemically or naturally. The chemical approach can entail adding limestone and gypsum to break up the clay, while the natural method is adding organic matter that's mixed into the soil to enrich it, as well as help in plant growth. The organic way is better because it doesn’t take as long to work.
  • Another solution is to create an underground “soakway” for water to filter down slowly.

Using an Underground Drain for Compacted Soil

Creating an underground drain is another option for solving a yard drainage issue. The type of underground drain that is typically used is called a “French Drain.”

This is basically a ditch that contains covered gravel. Besides using an underground drain for a compacted soil problem, you can also use it for soil that has hard sub-layers.

Using Rain Barrels for Rainwater That Falls from Nearby Buildings

In addition to dealing with rainwater falling directly in a yard, sometimes yards also suffer from rainwater from nearby structures. By attaching rain barrels to downspouts, you can collect rainwater that would otherwise gush into a yard. Why not save the rainwater and use it for irrigating your lawn.  

You don’t have to settle for poor yard drainage. Solving this problem can be frustrating and isn’t a job for the average homeowner. That’s why you need to call Johnson’s Landscaping Service. Our highly trained and experienced lawn landscaping designers can complete your landscaping project with proficiency and creativity. Please contact us for all your landscaping needs.

homeLandscaping is one of the best investments a homeowner can make to increase the value of their home. Money Magazine reported that a properly implemented and maintained landscape design could bring the recovery value of a home up by 100 to 200% at selling time. But not all gardens are perfect. A poorly designed landscape can end up costing a homeowner hundreds of extra dollars, or leave them with an ugly yard. Here are some landscaping mistakes that you should avoid when planning out your new yard.

Not Enough Planning
If you’re thinking about landscaping, you’re going to need a complete plan before implementing your landscape design. The first step in landscaping is to take inventory of your yard, making an analysis of soil, climate conditions, and any existing vegetation. Make sure the plants you choose are able to grow in your garden environment, or risk ending up with a yard full of dead plant life.

Neglectful Nurture
One of the biggest landscaping mistakes a homeowner can make is not watering enough, which causes your plants to wilt and die. Expert landscape architects suggest that a homeowner install a simple drip-irrigation system, which can be attached to a hose and set on a timer.

No Predator Protection
Nobody will love your beautiful garden more than pests. Insects, rodents, and other hungry intruders will target your yard, leaving you with a barren yard. If you’re worried about pests, install deer fencing or chicken wire to protect your plants. You can also plant some pest repellents, such as anise, mint, bleeding heart, or fountain grass, which will keep away larger critters like deer or rabbits.

Forgetting Seasonal Changes
Not all plants last throughout the year. When planning your home landscape, keep in mind that the flowers you pick may not be in bloom all year round. If you choose plants that only bloom during one season, you’ll leave your yard looking underwhelming during the rest of the months. Try to opt for plants that last through all seasons, such as bushes or ferns.

In the U.S., the landscaping industry generates an estimated $74 billion each year as homeowners look to improve the value of their homes. But if you don’t know that much about landscaping, it can be easy to turn a beautiful landscape design into a nightmare. There are plenty of landscaping mistakes that can leave the front of your home looking neglected. Here are 3 of the most common mistakes a homeowner can make while implementing their landscape design.

Improper Planning
Many homeowners think they can just start planting before they take the time to plan. However, there are many things that need to be taken into consideration. The first step in landscaping is to take an inventory of your yard, and note the conditions of the soil, drainage, climate conditions, and any existing vegetation. Try to implement plants that will last all year round, rather than a single season.

Overcrowded Plants
Plants need space in order to ensure the proper amount of air circulation. If your plants or shrubs are planted too close to each other, it can stunt their growth. Overcrowded landscaping forces plants to compete over water and nutrients in the soil, which can put the entire cluster of plants at risk. When planning your design, keep in mind how tall and wide each type of plant is expected to grow.

Not Watering Enough
To maintain a beautiful landscape, your plants must be watered on a regular basis. Not watering often enough is one of the biggest landscaping mistakes a homeowner can make. Professional landscapers suggest that homeowners invest in a simple drip-irrigation system. These systems can be attached to a spigot with a timer, ensuring your landscape will always get the water it needs to flourish.

landscape designIf you're looking to beautify your home's exterior, landscaping is a great way to create an eye-catching, beautiful yard. But many homeowners may not understand the benefits that come with a professional landscape design. Besides creating an aesthetically pleasing front yard, many contemporary garden designs have practical applications that can make your life a little easier.

It Can Lower Your Bills
Landscaping that is properly selected, placed, and maintained can actually save you money on your monthly heating or cooling costs. During the warmer months, plants and bushes can block the sun from entering your home, keeping your house's internal temperature cooler, so you don't have to keep raising the AC. These plants also help during the winter, as they can prevent cool wind from entering your home.

It Increases Your Privacy
Your home should be a place to relax, separate from the rest of the world. But this isn't always the case, especially if you have multiple neighbors or live on a busy street. Certain landscape designs can help give your home the privacy you need. For example, planting a tree in your yard can reduce bothersome noise by up to 50%, as stated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Landscaping can also be a good way to create separation between yards, rather than having to put up large, expensive fencing.

It Improves The Value of Your Home
Whether you're looking to sell your home, refinance, or just raise its value, landscaping is a great investment. A report by Money Magazine stated that landscaping can bring a recovery value of 100 to 200%. Gardens that are attractive and well kept will boost the sale price of a home, as first impressions are often the most lasting for potential home buyers.

landscapeFor many homeowners, home is a place where you can relax and be away from the world. However, that relaxation can easily be disrupted by a noisy neighbor or busy side street. When looking to increase the privacy of your home, homeowners may look to investing in expensive fence installation. However, there is another solution to your home privacy issues that you may not have considered: landscape design. Here are a few ways you can enhance your landscape while making your home the sanctuary you deserve.

Planting a private hedge may be one of the best solutions for creating privacy for your home. These hedges go around the perimeter of your home, similar to a fence. However, these hedges need constant care, and require regular trimmings. If you're looking for a more picturesque look, try planting layers of plants with different heights in a cluster. If you do not want to do a lot of lawn maintenance, consider planting a few trees in around your yard. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reported that trees can reduce noise by up to 50%, replacing that noise with quiet, pleasant sound.

In addition to privacy, intuitive landscaping placement can help save you money all year round. If you properly placed and maintain your garden, your home will be provided with excellent wind protection, which will help reduce heating costs during the colder months. During the summer months, landscaping can reduce your air conditioning costs up to 50% by shading the windows and walls according to the American Public Power Association.

There are plenty of reasons you want privacy in your home, but none of them should force you to be separate from nature. Landscaping can be a great way to turn your home into a relaxing sanctuary, without having to sacrifice the view of a perfect lawn.

landscape maintenanceAs the cold weather begins to thaw and spring comes around, it's time to work on your garden. Spring is one of the most important times for landscape maintenance, and proper care keeps your yard looking fresh all year round. Here are some quick tips that will help maintain a beautiful landscape:

The first step in maintaining your garden is to take stock of the landscape. Check the soil to make sure it is ideal for your garden, making sure it's got the correct pH levels. Winter weather can alter your soil, creating an environment that can hinder the growth of your plants, such as the compacting of soil. It's also good to check on other factors that may affect your landscape, such as drainage or how weather and climate affect your plants. Before doing any other work, it's good to mow your lawn to help promote better root development.

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make in landscape maintenance is improper watering. To ensure proper watering, install a simple drip-irrigation water system, which can be attached to a spigot with a timer. This way, you can maintain your garden without having to worry whether or not your plants are getting enough water. It can also be beneficial to lay down fertilizer to help stimulate growth early in the season. Be sure to check what kind of fertilizer is best for your plants, as if it is not used properly it could actually damage your plants. If there are patches of dead or brown grass, seed your lawn and cover it with fertilizer to bring your grass back to life.

Spring-time landscape maintenance will set the tone for the rest of the year. A properly maintained lawn will help your house look great, and can even help raise the value of your home. Money Magazine wrote that landscaping can bring up the recovery value of your home by 100 to 200% at selling time. So whether you're trying to sell your house, or just want a beautiful yard, following these simple tips can help enhance your garden year round.

enhance your landscapeWhether you’re looking to enhance your landscape design or have your yard landscaped for the first time, there are plenty of good reasons to landscape your home. There are economic reasons, health reasons, and environment and social reasons. The benefits of good landscape design are broad and varied and completely worth it.

Landscaping increases the value of your home, making it look more appealing to a prospective buyer and reducing the time it takes for your home to sell. Money Magazine noted that landscaping can bring a recovery value of 100% to 200% at selling time. Landscaping can also reduce heating and cooling costs. Properly selected, placed, and maintained landscaping can provide excellent wind protection, or windbreaks, which reduces heating costs. It can also reduce air conditioning by up to 50% by shading the windows and walls of a home.

Economic reasons alone would be enough, but the benefits don’t stop there.

Landscaping your home creates a healthier and safer environment for you to enjoy. For example, choosing gravel consisting of smaller stones for your driveway or landscaping project can make it easier to walk on, providing more traction for high foot traffic areas. The plants filter the pollutants and create cleaner air, which is always a plus in our book. A thoughtful landscape design will decrease your stress level too. Not only can a well crafted design offer privacy, but the trees can reduce bothersome noise by up to 50% and mask unwanted noises with pleasant sounds.

Environmental reasons to invest in landscaping include controlling erosion, controlling temperature extremes, reducing soil degradation and evaporation, and reducing storm water runoff that prevents local flooding. Of course, you shouldn’t expect these kind of results without the help of an experienced landscape designer who specializes in environmental landscaping.

Social reasons encompass all the others. Landscaping can improve the quality of your life by doing all of the above. You can entertain, enhance your landscape and give back to your home environment with a beautiful yard and landscape maintenance.

Who wouldn’t want to reap the benefits of landscaping?

gardenHow is gardening and landscape design changing? How is it staying the same? Just like anything else, advancements in technology, including convenient mobile apps and more, can help you spruce up the garden and enhance your landscape. And these advancements may be just in time, too.

New Apps Help Gardens Flourish
Contemporary garden design -- and, in fact, contemporary gardening, period -- is not as straightforward as you might think. First, relax; it's a good thing. New knowledge makes it possible to plant gardens that are more sustainable, environmentally-friendly, and drought-resistant than ever before. Homeowners are also making a point of planting gardens that look good and serve a practical purpose. In other words, more Americans are planting herbs and fresh produce. According to, "More than 35% of American households are growing some of their own fruits and vegetables." Now, free applications are available to help streamline the process. The apps advise homeowners about spacing, yield, location, days until ripe, video tutorials, and other details about specific fruit and vegetable varieties. Of course, when in doubt, it is always wise to consult a professional gardening or landscaping service

Some Things Never Change
While apps may help homeowners grow more fruitful gardens, conventional wisdom and old tactics still stand. For example, if you are struggling with high air conditioning costs or noisy neighbors, some well-placed trees can solve your problems. Trees can reduce noise and air conditioning needs by 50% each. And trees aren't a must. Any sort of elaborate garden or landscaping averages a return on investment (ROI) of 100 to 200%, Money Magazine writes.

The right landscape can do wonders for your property. New mobile apps can help you plant gardens that bear plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit, or planting a few trees can help immeasurably with A/C costs and noise pollution.

yardLet’s be honest, the perfectly manicured yard is, without a doubt, part of what the picturesque American Dream looks like. Not surprisingly, the landscaping industry in the United States generates an estimated $74 billion annually. We all want the perfect outdoor space to complement the perfect indoor space, which, of course, resides in the best city in the best country in the entire world. It’s not rocket science, it’s just idealism, and we all secretly indulge in it. Turns out, though, there are actually some practical benefits to keeping your yard looking trim.

It’s cost-effective
 The proper landscape design can provide wind protection, which in turn will reduce heating costs. It can also reduce air conditioning costs by up to 50% by shading a home’s windows and walls. Landscaping can bring a recovery value of 100-200% at selling time. According to a survey of home builders, elegant patios or decks are some of the top features requested by new home buyers. Add in a contemporary garden design, and your property value probably increases even more.

It keeps your yard safe
 Walkways and exterior lights aside, did you know that choosing gravel that consists of smaller stones can provide more traction for high traffic areas? More traction means less tripping and less tripping means less scraped knees.

It literally keeps your home peaceful
 Not only does landscape maintenance generate inner peace by being pretty to look at, but a beautiful yard with strategic landscape design can offer privacy and less unwanted noise. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency notes that trees can reduce bothersome noise by up to 50% and can mask unwanted noises with more pleasant sounds. That means your neighbors won’t complain as much about the kids playing loudly, and you won’t hear your neighbor's defective lawnmower as much. Everyone wins.

Whether you’re pursuing the American Dream, or you’re just tired of people tripping in your yard and complaining about noise, your life can be made a little simpler with some thoughtful landscape design.

elegant patiosBelieve it or not, studies show that a beautiful yard can make you happy. According to an article in Miller-McCune, "Having plants, going for a walk in the park, or even looking at a landscape poster could produce psychological benefits, reduce stress, and improve concentration." And that means that professional landscaping, lush gardens, and elegant patios may be an investment in your health, not "just a luxury." Here is a look at some of the ways a beautiful lawn can make you happy:

A Stunning Landscape Can Help You Stay Mentally Fit
A report from the Ellison Chair in International Floriculture backs up the notion that a spring landscape, botanical gardens, and flowers can significantly lower stress levels -- but that's not all. "Being outside in a natural environment can improve memory performance and attention span by 20%," the report continues. Psychology Today adds that the presence of nature and plants can also improve attentiveness and productivity at work, raise job satisfaction, and lower blood pressure. (In other words, it's not a terrible idea to keep up your yard at home -- and bring some flowers or a plant or two in for your desk.)

Let's Talk About Trees
Trees can be an attractive and pleasing part of landscape design -- all while making you feel better, too. The benefits of trees are a little more concrete. According to the American Public Power Association, trees and landscaping can cast a shade on your home and ultimately reduce air conditioning costs by up to 50% (and who isn't happy paying less for bills?). Similarly, trees can block up to 50% of unwanted noise, creating a more peaceful and relaxing environment for you and your home.

The verdict is in; lush, green lawns, elaborate landscaping, and elegant patios keep you happy! (Not to mention, landscaping can increase a home's resale value by 100 to 200%.) Go ahead and splurge a little. Live amongst nature, and enjoy the benefits.

landscape designersIt seems that just about everyone is going "green" these days in an effort to become more environmentally friendly and conscious. Now, more than ever, people have a greater understanding of the link between environment and their own well being, with some even going as far as to grow their own food.

Naturally, the professional landscaping industry has followed suite. Eco-friendly and sustainable landscape design has become increasingly popular as more and more individuals and even large corporations explore the benefits of going green.

However, landscaping has always served a dual purpose. Aside from simply being nice to look at it, landscaping inherently has several green qualities. For example, properly selected, placed, and maintained landscaping can act as a wind barrier, which in turn can reduce heating costs. Similarly, according to the American Public Power Association, landscaping can reduce the need for air conditioning by up to 50% by shading windows and walls from the sun. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also notes that trees can reduce bothersome noise by as much as 50% and can mask unwanted noises with pleasant, more natural sounds such as chirping birds.

Sustainable, contemporary garden design not only looks beautiful but can serve several different purposes. If you're interested in creating such a design, it's important to consult with landscape designers who are experienced in eco-friendly practices and who can help in implementing your design.

Even if you already have a green thumb, it doesn't hurt to have the green thumbs of landscape designers help you bring your eco-friendly ideas to fruition. Landscaping professionals who specialize in sustainable landscape designs can help you determine what solutions are best for your specific goals. For example, they can help you identify which native plant species you can plant in order to conserve water. In addition, they can help teach you how to maintain your sustainable design throughout the year and as the seasons change.

landscape designerApril showers are said to bring May flowers, but wouldn't you rather have an experienced and professional landscape designer carry out your spring landscape design process instead of leaving it up to the weather? After all, the green thumb of a landscaping professional can do a lot more than make your yard look good; it can help save you money.

Did you know that properly selected, placed, and maintained landscaping can significantly reduce heating costs by providing protection from the elements? In addition, according to the American Public Power Association, landscaping can reduce air conditioning costs by as much as 50% by shading the walls and windows of a home. Furthermore, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notes that trees can reduce noise pollution by up to 50% and can mask unpleasant noise with pleasant sounds.

With all the benefits that landscaping provides, it's important to find the right landscape designer for the job. Here are just a few ways to get started.

Ask around
Keeping up with the Jones' isn't always a bad thing, especially if they have beautiful landscaping. One of the best ways to find a landscape designer is by word of mouth. If you see a neighbor whose yard makes you green with envy, it's a good idea to ask who their landscaper was. Or, your family or friends may be able to recommend a service they've used in the past.

Have an idea of what you want
Not all landscaping projects are created equal. Therefore, you can save time -- and perhaps even money -- by first identifying what the scope of work of your project will entail. For example, if you're interested in creating sustainable design that incorporates native plant species and other eco-friendly aspects such as rain water collection, you should hire a landscape designer that has direct experience in this area.

The more, the merrier
Getting multiple bids for the the same project allows you to find the right price for your budget. You can compare bids to make sure you're not paying more than you should. However, be wary of bids that are too low to be true. This may be a sign of hidden fees or shoddy work. Before working with any landscaping professional it's also a good idea to ensure they are both licensed and insured.

contemporary garden designAfter a long, drawn out winter, spring is officially here -- finally -- which means it's the perfect time to get cracking on planning out your landscape design process if you haven't started already. The spring and summer months are especially busy for landscape designers and other landscaping professionals, so it's important to schedule any appointments or consultations early. However, regardless of whether you're using professional landscaping services or you're tackling this project yourself, it's important to have a plan.

The U.S. landscaping industry generates an estimated $74 billion each year and it's easy to see why: landscaping projects can be expensive. However, they're well worth the cost. Not only can properly selected, placed, and maintained landscaping protect your home from the elements, but it can also help to reduce heating and cooling costs. In addition, Money Magazine wrote that landscaping can bring a recovery value of 100-200% for a home at selling time. While it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of planning a landscaping project, it's equally -- if not more -- important to create a comfortable, realistic budget and stick to it.

This may seem self-explanatory, but identifying the end-goal or purpose of your landscaping project not only makes it easier to stick to your budget, but it also creates a clearer vision for the landscaping professional doing the work. Even if you decide to do part or all of the project yourself, having a clear purpose will ensure that things go smoothly. For example, many people may choose to incorporate eco-friendly elements into their modern or contemporary garden designs such as native plant species or rain water collecting systems, while others may want an aesthetically-pleasing flower garden.

Unlike most interior home improvement projects, landscape design can be affected by sun and wind patterns. Some contemporary garden designs have plant species that require more shade or sunlight than others, so it's important to get a feel for where the sun rises and sets on your home. Or wind can easily extinguish a poorly placed fire pit. In order to get the most enjoyment from your landscape design, you should account for the changing sun and wind patterns throughout the year.

professional landscaping

It may seem hard to believe, but winter is almost over. The temperature is slowly beginning to creep above freezing -- and stay there -- while the days continue to grow longer. Soon, spring and summer will be here, which makes now the perfect time to begin fleshing out the landscape design process.

Professional landscaping is about much more than maintaining your garden. In fact, taking advantage or professional landscaping services in your area provides a whole host of benefits. Here's how.

Reduce energy costs
Did you know that trees are the longest living organisms on the entire planet? They're also highly effective in masking unpleasant noise and sound. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), trees can reduce bothersome and unwanted noise by up to 50%. In addition, properly selected and placed trees can serve as a protective barrier and a form of insulation, which in turn can reduce heating and cooling costs.

Whether you're creating a flower center or edible garden center in order to cultivate your own produce, professional landscaping can be used to beautify your home's exterior. In order to bring your creative vision to life, it's important to communicate your vision clearly with your professional yard designer or landscape architect. It may be helpful to include visual references such as pictures.

Also, it's important to find a landscaping professional who has the right combination of experience and education in order to meet your needs. For example, if you're creating a permaculture garden, it's best to work with a landscape designer who has experience in creating permaculture designs that are both beautiful and sustainable.

Increase home value
It's no secret that the real estate market is based on curb appeal. Perhaps you shouldn't judge a book by its cover; however, potential buyers often scrutinize a home's outward appearance and landscaping when making a decision. According to Money Magazine, landscaping can bring recovery values of 100 to 200% come selling time. Adding eco-friendly and sustainable features to your landscaping design can also increase recovery values.

maintain your garden

Landscaping is big now. As Americans continue to become more environmentally conscious, and look for ways to balance their environmental concerns with aesthetics, beautiful yard concepts are in abundance. For example, did you know that trees -- some of the longest living organisms on the planet -- are able to reduce noise pollution by as much as 50% when planted properly around a home?

While winter may not seem like an ideal or practical time to maintain your garden, it's a great time to begin planning and fleshing out the landscape design process for spring and summer. Planning your spring or summer landscaping will make implementing your design that much easier once the warmer months come around, allowing you to love your new garden that much sooner.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when preparing to maintain your garden.

Take stock

It's important to take inventory of the soil's condition following the end of winter, as well as drainage, and existing vegetation. Will you be planting new plants, and if so, what kind? This will help you determine their placement, as different plant species require varying degrees of sunlight and water. You may also find it helpful to create a basic sketch of where you'd like to place different elements of your garden.


Weeds can be a nuisance; however, it's important to develop a weed management plan that is both safe and effective. If you're striving for an organic garden, you must stay away from chemical pesticides such as Ready Round Up and others. These may not be safe for consumption. However, by planting native species which encourage biodiversity, you may find that you'll need to weed less.

Keep it Short

It's more than likely that you'll need to do some clean up in order to maintain your garden once the winter ends. It's best to keep grass short and more frequently. Taking off the blade tips helps to keep your grass dense and healthy. In addition, you won't need to use a catcher!

Friday, 06 February 2015 22:32

What You Need to Know About Landscaping

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beautify your homes exteriorThe cold winter weather makes it difficult to imagine or even think about landscaping, but the truth is winter is the perfect time to get a head start on fleshing out the landscape design process for the spring and summer months. After all, cabin fever is no fun. The best way to keep it at bay is to stay busy as a bee by brainstorming ways to beautify your homes exterior.

Believe it or not, landscaping services aren't just about adding beauty to the outside of your home, they're also serving a practical purpose. Did you know that landscaping can add value to your home? In addition, did you know that planting shrubs and trees can significantly reduce your home energy costs as well as provide protection from wind and unwanted noise? That's plant power for you!

However, a core element of landscape design is aesthetics, so it's important to find ways to beautify your homes exterior that speak to you. For example, perhaps you enjoy the sound of falling water, in which case a small waterfall can be installed. Or perhaps sustainability is important to you, in which case solar panels or rainwater collection bins can be installed in order to irrigate your miniature eco-system.

Permaculture, as well, has made its way into the landscape design scene as Americans continue to become more environmentally conscious. Permaculture practices aim to replace what is taken from nature by creating a self-sustaining landscape. Common elements are edible forest gardens that consist of natural shrubbery that is native to the area.

It's important find a landscaper or yard designer who understands your design and end goals. There are a variety of landscape contractors, yard designers, and landscape architects that specialize in different areas of landscape design. As such, it's important to find one that is knowledgeable in regard to your needs.

landscape design processAlthough it's hard to imagine winter will soon be over, considering that the beginning of the new year has been unseasonably cold, spring is just around the corner. Winter is the perfect time to hunker down and get a head start on planning your spring or summer landscape design. After all, there's no better way to beat cabin fever than to stay busy and dream of warmer weather!

When planning your landscape design process, it's important to identify your needs, both aesthetic and functional. Landscaping services do more than just beautify the areas surrounding your home; they serve a purpose too.

For example, did you know that trees can reduce unwanted noise by up to 50 percent? In addition, professional landscaping can not only reduce your home's heating and cool bills, it can add value to your home. Therefore, it's important to consider what's most important to you.

Perhaps you'd like to include eco-friendly, sustainable aspects to your design such as rainwater collection bins or a dry spring, or you'd like to incorporate elements of permaculture such as an edible forest garden center. Have fun finding inspiration throughout the landscape design process!

Once you've begun fleshing out your ideal landscape design, it's time to start crunching those numbers. It's important to create a realistic budget that is both reasonable and practical. Consider unforeseen expenses. You may even want to consider taking out a loan, especially if you are incorporating more expensive elements such as solar panels.

Last but not least, it's important to find landscape designers or architects who are able to bring your creative vision to life. If you have a specific idea in mind or a special request, it's best to find a yard designer who specializes in that area. Feel free to ask for personal recommendations or run an online search. There are a variety of online forums that may be helpful as well.

When in doubt, don't be afraid to pick up the phone and call the landscaping company directly for a quote.

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