Small Front Yard Landscaping Can Present Some Challenges
There seems to be a trend with home builders these days. They are moving the garage around back, accessible by an alley, they are adding front porches with neighborhood socializing in mind and they are reducing the size of those expansive front lawns we have become accustomed to seeing. With smaller front yard areas to work with there is great opportunity to use alternatives to grass.
From a Japanese style rock garden to a dry riverbed created with various sizes of river rock, this type of landscaping can be practically maintenance free. Rocks are also a good choice when reducing the amount of grass area. You can create a border with timbers or other barriers and then fill the space with decorative rock. There are many colors, sizes and textures to choose from.
·You Can Still Have Trees
They may not be as numerous or as large as in the past but there are some beautiful small trees that pack a big visual punch. A tree like the Crape Myrtle with it's big clusters of flowers is a good choice for a small front yard. The Japanese Maple is an excellent addition to a river rock bed and the contrast between the red maple leaves and the grey-black of the rocks is striking.
·A Small Water Garden
One of the best things about using a water feature as the focal point to yourfront yard landscapingis the variety of designs that can be created. All you need is the perfect vessel. A half-barrel, beautiful planter or colorful flower pot can be used to build your water garden. Allow enough room for the addition of aquatic plants which can produce spectacular flowers and even create a healthy environment for some small fish. There is something so peaceful and relaxing about a water feature.
Landscaping in the smaller, urban areas of Washington, DC, Chevy Chase, and Bethesda, can present some unique challenges. There needs to be careful attention paid to avoiding over crowding. For small spaces, simple can be best and with just the right plants and materials, your small front yard landscaping of can be as striking as any large landscaping project.
Contact us when you are ready to explore the many options for your smaller space.
It’s almost December, and we in the DC area are in Plant Hardiness Zone 7 as defined by the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. Many folks may be wondering, if I live in Zone 7, is it OK to plant and/or transplant in December?
There is an old saying that, “when the ground is soft enough to plant, the plants are soft enough to be planted.” In other words, you can plant until the soil is frozen solid and the temperatures remain consistently above freezing. Even if the soil freezes immediately after planting, your shrub or tree will be just fine.
In fact, the Plant Manwrites, “Because they are in their dormant period, trees and shrubs are less likely to suffer ‘transplantation shock’ at this time of year.” (December).
The following additional links will be helpful to you as well.
Worried about your home's current value? Visit these links to learn how landscaping can help!
Lawn and Garden Equity While studies show that you'll only recoup 80 to 90 cents on every dollar you spend to upgrade your kitchen or bath, professional landscape designers estimate that improvements to your lawn and garden can boost your home's value by 7 percent to 15 percent. Those findings have been confirmed by survey results from the Gallup Organization and the National Gardening Association, or NGA. (read more)
Adding Value to Your Yard: Value added: Consumers perceive a home with proper landscaping to be worth up to 11.3 percent more than its assessed value, according to 1999 study by Clemson University. The same study found that the return on the landscaping dollar is more than 100 percent. (read more)
It Pays to Clean Up Your Yard "The whole trend for living outside is enormous right now," says Denis Flanagan, host of HGTV's One Garden, Two Looks and manager of membership services and PR for Landscape Ontario. "The garden has become an extension of the house." (read more)
The latest special at Johnson's Landscaping Service is here, and almost like time travel!
"Fall Back" to 2001 prices! This saves up to 20% on jobs over $2,000. This offer is based on 2011 prices, compared to a decade ago!
Use this offer on a new contract for landscape construction, planting and clean up jobs. Not good with other offers, and prior sales excluded.
This offer expires on 12/15/11, so hurry and book your time travel price on our services!
Have questions about this special? Give Johnson’s Landscaping Service, Inc. a call at 301-740-8850 to learn more about services in Northwest, Washington, DC and Montgomery County, Maryland.
Many clients of Johnson’s Landscaping Service, Inc. now enjoy better outdoor living because of the quality decks, arbors, pergolas, gazebos, trellises, and fences custom built by our carpentry team.
Crafted to meet your design specifications, our decks offer our clients increased living and entertainment space. And while sitting on your deck overlooking the landscape, you can remain cool underneath a custom built pergola, designed to bring shade and, if desired, picturesque flowering vines throughout.
Click here to learn more about the Carpentry Division at Johnson’s Landscaping.
Call us at 301-740-8850 to learn more about custom built decks, fences, arbors, trellises, pergolas, and gazebos, built for you by Johnson’s Landscaping Service, Inc. for your home!
When winter weather transforms your sidewalk and driveway into a dangerous skating rink, how do you melt the ice and snow without destroying your lawn and ornamental plants?
The key is to choose an environmentally safer deicer, use it in moderation and according to instructions, and to apply it before it begins to sleet or snow.
All chemical deicers essentially work in the same manner, by lowering the freezing point of water. The most common ice melter is sodium chloride (NaCl), otherwise known as good old-fashioned rock salt. Its popularity can be attributed to its low price and wide availability. However, since salt water still freezes at 0°F (or -18°C), it is of little help when the temperature falls below this point. Rock salt can also be destructive: it can corrode your car and your concrete walkway, and it can damage or kill your lawn and ornamental plants.
A better bet is to use one of the alternative, safer salts on the market. These include Calcium Chloride (CaCl2), Magnesium Chloride (MgCl2), and Potassium Chloride (KCl). In general, these salts are more effective in reducing the freezing point of water to a lower temperature than rock salt, thus making them more effective in colder weather. Moreover, they tend to be less corrosive to metals and concrete, and are safer for lawns and ground-covers. Be sure to carefully look at the manufacturer's label for the listing of chemicals.
A newer, salt-free melting agent is calcium magnesium acetate (CMA), which is made from dolomitic limestone and acetic acid (the main compound of vinegar). This material has little impact on plants and animals, and is a good alternative for environmentally-sensitive areas. Pelleted fertilizers containing ammonium nitrate or ammonium sulfate are sometimes also used for melting snow and ice, but these tend to damage concrete more than the salts. For locations where chemical deicers are not appropriate, sand, kitty litter, or gravel can provide some traction, but they will not melt ice or snow.
Whatever product you choose, be sure to read the manufacturer's instructions carefully and do not over-apply. Too many people erroneously believe that if 8 ounces is good, then 16 ounces must be better. Improper use of any chemical deicer may cause plant injury, which appears as drying, stunting, dieback, or "burning" of the foliage.
By Ryan Sarvis, Johnson’s Landscaping Service, Inc.
Are you deterred from venturing outside by cold weather and annoying pests? Do you shy away from inviting friends and family over because the only gathering place is inside your cramped house? This fall, why not add value to your property and extend your living space with an outdoor fireplace?
With a return to the coolness of Autumn and the decline of the sizzling hot and humid summer evenings, many Washington, DC area residents are now returning to the outdoors from their air conditioned enclaves. To combat cold temperatures and biting insects well into the Fall season, you can install an outdoor fireplace that will warm and protect you and your family while you gather around the warmth of a glowing fire.
The options for outdoor fires are numerous, but Johnson's Landscaping Service, Inc. has many years of experience building fire pits, fire rings, fire places with chimneys. Our experienced stone masons can build any fire place that you may desire with a wide range of material options. We can provide both natural and manufactured stone to build a fireplace. You have the option of a wood or gas burning fireplace. Whearas gas is cleaner, no mess, and easier to start, wood has a great smell, prevents pests, and provides a little charm to your patio. Please contact one of our professional designers so we may design a fireplace that will suit your outdoor living needs.
The outdoor fireplace adds a centerpiece to your landscape that will last forever and will bring friends and families together for years to come. In addition to the outdoor fireplace, there are many other options to enhance our outdoor living spaces, to include landscape lighting, shade structures, patios, and seating walls.
Interested? Contact us today!
By Ryan Sarvis, Landscape Designer, Johnson’s Landscaping Service, Inc.
There are many ways to compost your yard refuse. DC and Montgomery County, Maryland area homeowners spend money each year on soil conditioners such as leaf grow, compost, and peat humus. Did you know that the county collects and composts this material from you and turns around and sells it back to county residents? Why not do it yourself and save the money for other landscaping projects?
There are many different composters available, depending on the space you have available, and the length of time you are willing to wait for composting to take full effect.
If you have little space and a short time period to compost, one option is “the tumbler.” This is essentially an empty oil drum on its side with a turn handle used to aerate the inside. The tumbler is the best composter for people with little space time. The key to composting quickly (3 weeks-6 months) is aeration of the compost. This allows air to enter the compost and speed up the breakdown process. Also, heat is very important. Locate the composter in a sunny location so the core temperature inside the tumbler gets high enough to breakdown the material.
The most popular composter is “the bin.” This is a four sided plastic "box" with a lid. The upside to the bin is that it is neatly enclosed and is great for limited space areas. However, this unit cannot be aerated easily, so the composting process may take 6 months to 2 years.
Yet another option is to simply create a compost pile. This option is best for larger properties where it can be done out of sight. If turned regularly with a pitchfork or other instrument, one can create compost rather quickly.
Now that you know the different ways to compost, it’s important to know what you can and cannot compost. You can put most yard refuse in your compost. Leaves, grass clippings, weeds, and dead plants are great. Do not worry about weeds and their seeds because the heat of the compost will sterilize the weed seeds. However, placing other items in a compost pile may prove hazardous. Do not put the following items in your compost: Meat, bone, fish, dairy products, grease, dog, cat and bird feces, and large branches.
Custom Designed Compost Bin
Johnson's Landscaping Service, Inc. can install or custom build a compost bin that will meet your needs and situation. Mixing in compost with your plantings may be one of the best things you can do for your garden, and it is organic. Please call Johnson's Landscaping Service, Inc. to consult with one of our professional designers about your composting needs.
Worried about your home's current value? Visit these links to learn how landscaping can help!
Lawn and Garden Equity
While studies show that you'll only recoup 80 to 90 cents on every dollar you spend to upgrade your kitchen or bath, professional landscape designers estimate that improvements to your lawn and garden can boost your home's value by 7 percent to 15 percent. Those findings have been confirmed by survey results from the Gallup Organization and the National Gardening Association, or NGA.
Value added: Consumers perceive a home with proper landscaping to be worth up to 11.3 percent more than its assessed value, according to 1999 study by Clemson University. The same study found that the return on the landscaping dollar is more than 100 percent.
"The whole trend for living outside is enormous right now" says Denis Flanagan, host of HGTV's One Garden, Two Looks and manager of membership services and PR for Landscape Ontario. "The garden has become an extension of the house."