Greenhaven Landscapes Blog
Updates and Tips Straight From Your Trusted Landscaper.
The last storm in the Portland metro area left a lot of damaged trees and landscape. As we continue to clean up here are some tips on how to get your landscape back into shape and ready for spring.
Tips to Evaluating Your Yard
- Assess trees. Heavy snow has done damage to many trees in the area. Even if branches have snapped off there may be stressed branches that are ready to go, which can cause potential breakage in the future. Look for cracks in tree limbs and other damage and if necessary contact a arborist. Don’t know one? Contact us and we have recommendations.
- Trim torn branches. Those ragged, broken limbs on your tree are an invitation to disease and insects. Protect the tree by trimming torn branches with clean, straight cuts.
- Assess trees and shrubs. Shrubs and bushes might have been damaged. Some of these will bounce back in the spring, but if the damage is severe contact your landscape maintenance professionals to do an inspection. Don’t have landscape maintenance professionals? Call us for a quote.
- Keep off your lawns until they dry. Many lawns are over saturated with water which will turn to mud if walked on excessively. To keep your lawn better able to bounce back, don’t do more damage by spending more time than you need to on it.
- Mud slides and bark runoff are fixable. But these may be a sign of a larger problem. Have your landscape professional evaluate whether the runoff and mud slides can be fixed with landscape fabric, mulching or some ground cover that will hold soil in place. Extensive erosion may need some hardscaping, drainage or other next level landscape intervention to prevent future issues.
Need landscape maintenance? Call us for a quote and yard assessment.
Winter can seem long and dreary with no color or flowering plants. However, winter beauty isn’t hard to create. Here are some ways that you can place fun pops of color into your winter yard.
Creating Winter Beauty in 4 Ways
- Hellebores are an excellent hardy shade perennial that is renowned for their tolerance of drought and neglect. They are also known for their ability to repel deer and other garden-eating wildlife, which can be a bonus for those struggling against those cute destroyers of landscapes and gardens. Hellebores can be found at more high-end nurseries and begin blooming in January, a reminder of the coming delights of spring
- Colored-twig dogwoods are also a fantastic choice for your winter landscape. These brilliantly barked trees come with red, yellow or orange stems that create a dramatic pop of color in your yard. These fast-growing shrubs maintain their beauty long after the leaves have fallen and the cut stems are a long lasting addition to a holiday wreath or decor. Good pruning is the key to keeping these garden delights in top shape for winter.
- Conifers are also another plant to consider when thinking of your winter yard. A new variety of arborvitae called ‘Techny Gold’ put a dash of lime-green coloring into a winter landscape. Pair these with Pinus mugo ‘Zundert’, a dwarf Japanese black pine, or Japanese plume cedars, and you will have attractive eye-catchers that will enhance your winter landscapes.
- Ornamental grasses, such as variegated sweet flag or silver spear are excellent year-round landscape plants. And flowering ornamental cabbage, winter growing annuals, like pansies and violas, and edibles, such as Swiss chard, are all great container plants. Container plants add interest and texture to your yard and are easily replaced.
Other Ways to Bring in Winter Beauty
Birds are an often unremembered part of the winter landscape. Once the leaves fall, bird antics among the bare branches can be a peaceful way to pass a cold winter afternoon. Attracting birds in the winter can bring a small little piece of delight into your landscape. Bird baths, bird feeders, and other attractive features can be a bright spot for you and for your little garden guests.
Need More Ideas?
Give us a call and we can plan a beautiful landscape for you that shines in summer and in winter.
It is that time of year again, the time when is seems that the days revolve around dark, darker and darkest. For months we arrive home after dark and leave before light. It sometimes is hard to imagine creating something beautiful from the darkness but landscape lighting is the perfect match for our dark fall and winter months.
Take back your yard from the night
There are a variety of functional reasons to add outdoor lights to your landscape – security, being able to see obstacles, marking a driveway or door. These are all excellent reasons to put lights outside, but lighting can be so much more than merely functional. When function meets beauty your home will look warmer and more inviting while being safer. Additionally, outdoor lighting can create spaces to entertain longer into the fall months after darkness descends. Kids can run in the yard after dark, patios can entertain people later and outdoor trees and architecture are transformed. Your backyard at night is wholly unexplored territory.
Outdoor lighting has lots of options
Outdoor lighting has a variety of options and when installed by a knowledgeable person can create dramatic and beautiful effects that enhance your outdoor areas in the darkest of winter.
- Uplighting creates nighttime drama by spotlighting focal plants and architecture. They can also create depth to flat outdoor surfaces such as walls and fences. Uplighting is especially lovely in highlighting the limb structures of ornamental trees so they can be enjoyed after the sun goes down.
- Path lighting provides safety for walking but it also can create a feeling of elegance and welcome. Adding lights to stairs also be useful in highlighting these structures at night so guests and family don’t trip.
- Downlighting points down from an elevated position and mimics the glow of moonlight onto trees, decks, and or stone pavers. Downlighting adds visual interest, drama and dimension to your outdoor space all while giving a feeling of security.
- Accent lighting draws special attention to a landscaping feature and can add a bit of mystery and depth. Accent lighting can be a combination of uplighting, downlighting or cross lighting.
All the ways to nightscape your yard
There are a variety of ways to apply night lighting to your own yard:
Water Feature Lighting
Using lights well so that your home is more beautiful and functional requires planning, creativity and a good design so that your lights will look amazing years from now.
Need help designing your outdoor lighting?
We are lighting experts. We have years of lighting knowledge and use quality lights. Contact us today and see how we can help you take back your yard from the night.
The cool air of fall is upon us and it is the time to get your lawn and landscaping in order. Autumn is a great time to prep your yard so that it can get healthy and look awesome next summer.
Here a some tips for a healthy fall lawn:
- Return your mower to it’s pre-summer height. Cutting your lawn so that it is shorter in the fall helps reduce matting and damage from leaves and snow. Keeping your lawn at a healthy height – about 2 inches – will reduce weeds and keep your lawn’s root system vibrant.
- Adjust your watering. If the rains have come then it is time to reduce your watering system’s output. Overwatering is wasteful and can cause grasses to die from fungal diseases and other issues.
- Overseed your lawn. Take a proactive approach to brown and bare spots in your yard with overseeding. Lawns that have a chance to gain root growth in the fall and winter are better able to withstand the summer’s heat.
- Fertilize cool season grasses. Fall is the best season to fertilize those cool season grasses that thrive in the cooler Pacific Northwest weather.
- Lay sod. Fall is also a great time to lay new sod if you have been planning to make that happen.
- Aerate. Prevent thatch, which can lead to disease and insect damage, by aerating your lawn. Aeration, which basically consists of pulling plugs out of your lawn, improves drainage and loosens soil helping your lawns root system stay healthy.
- Remove leaves and debris. Don’t let your grass smother under that carpet of fallen leaves you have been admiring for it’s beauty. Clean up fallen leaves and put them on your compost pile. Don’t compost? Find out how here.
- Drain irrigation lines. Have irrigation? Fall is the time to drain them and put them away, if necessary, before they freeze and crack in winter’s freezing weather.
Don’t Have Time to Care for Your Fall Lawn?
Greenhaven is a full service landscape company. We can help get your lawn in tip top shape for the coming winter months.
Here are just a few of the things we can do to help with your Fall Clean Up:
Mowing and Edging
Weed and Debris Management
Call us today to see how we can help.
Selling your home? Fall is a great time to prepare your home for sale. The brilliant colors of fall leaves and the snap of the crisp fall air creates an inviting charm for potential buyers. All those fall colors don’t sell your house by themselves though. You need to do a little work to keep your house in top condition for showings.
Tips for selling your house in the fall
- Clean up fall leaves regularly. A few leaves on the ground can be picturesque, too many and you are starting to look a little neglectful.
- Plant fall flowers. As summer plants die off planting some fresh flowers for fall will keep your house inviting rather than haunted.
- Clean gutters and roofs. Overhanging trees can create blockages in gutters and make roofs look cluttered. Maintaining your roofs and gutters will also keep water from damaging your house by directing it to the proper places.
- Get a wreath for your door. And some potted plants. Create an inviting atmosphere at your front door that welcomes people into the home with wreathes and touches of beauty. But keep it tasteful. More is sometimes just overpowering.
- Mow, pull weeds and fertilize brown grass. This may seem obvious but keeping your lawn maintenance fresh and crisp will convince potential buyers that you have been faithful in your house maintenance. And you have, haven’t you?
- Add outdoor lighting. As the days become shorter and it becomes darker earlier, lighting is a great way to enhance your home creating safety, visual appeal and highlighting your home’s best features.
Need help creating curb appeal?
Contact us and find out how we can help you light up your home, maintain your lawn and more.
What HOAs should look for in a Landscape Professional
Homeowner Associations have a large amount of high visibility landscaping to consider when they look at hiring and budgeting for landscape maintenance. But saving money and looking good don’t need to be incompatible. Good looking landscape maintenance creates value in the community. When all the houses in a neighborhood have a well maintained landscape it creates an inviting neighborhood that improves property values and encourages buyers.
Conformity makes neighborhoods with HOA-directed landscape maintenance appealing. HOAs help create consistency within the community that is assured no matter who lives in the neighborhood. HOAs should carefully consider who they hire to maintain their landscaping. Going with the cheap bid, while initially inviting, is not always going to save you the most money in the long run. HOAs need to carefully look at the long game when it comes to landscape maintenance. Hiring a professional with a quality reputation is the first step in making sure your trees, turf, shrubs and other plants not only survive but thrive.
Let’s look at ways your HOA can evaluate who to hire and how to save money with the future in mind.
Paying for professional expertise can save in overall costs
What is the experience of the company you are considering? Have you looked at the other neighborhoods that they maintain? How long have they been doing landscape maintenance?
It takes more than a green thumb and some water to make sure plants live and thrive. Pruning, soil amendments, and irrigation checks are all part of what a quality landscape maintenance professional should provide. Professional landscape maintenance companies train their staff to understand the different needs of the plants in your neighborhood. Long term quality care for your community landscape translates into money saved because replacing dead plants cost money. Dead plants also reduce the overall appeal of a uniformed looking landscape.
Landscapers bulk discounts can save you money
Landscaping professionals have access to good quality plants and supplies at discounted rates. These discounted rates can translate into savings for your HOA when plants need to be replaced and repairs need to be made.
Professional landscapers know what to plant
Professional landscapers also have a great deal of knowledge about native plants that survive the best in your region. Unwise plant choices can cost an Association significant money in both watering needs and plant replacement when the cheaper, non-native plant doesn’t survive. Poor plant choices can also cost money when a bad tree choice grows to be a behemoth in the wrong place. Tree roots are notorious destroyers of sidewalks which ultimately end up costing the HOA in both sidewalk repair and tree removal costs. Professional landscapers know which trees to plant close to sidewalks and homes and what the size and shape of a mature tree will be. They can also spot problems before they become an issue and can make recommendations.
Having an irrigation expert available can save in water costs
All water lines can break. Water leaks and aging irrigation lines can cost the HOA money in water bills. Having a professional run regular checks on the water and irrigation line, rescheduling watering timers for the rainy season and adjusting problem areas can save in costly water bills. Some HOAs have reduced their water bills by 40 percent by having an excellent irrigation professional who anticipates needs and is available to help when things go wrong.
Landscape professionals ensure that new plantings have proper care
Plants sometimes don’t survive despite best efforts. When a plant does need to be replaced professional maintenance companies can buy a new plant at a discount and then ensure that the replacement plant is well cared for. Additionally, landscapers guarantee newly planted shrubs and trees so that the HOA does not have to pay twice for dead replacement plants.
Maintenance companies prune potentially dangerous obstructions
Without regular maintenance some shrubs and trees can become dangerous, blocking line-of-sight for drivers and pedestrians. Trees and shrubs can also overhang sidewalks and dead branches can break and fall. Maintenance companies will assess how shrubs and trees are doing, prune back obstructions and deal with dead and dying branches and trees that can become potential hazards. By removing problems before they start your Association can focus on other community matters and not worry about potential liabilities created by poorly managed hazards.
Quality of life in the community
Landscaping is the face of the community, reflecting the vibrancy of the neighborhood. Living in a community who values quality of life is important both to the people who live in the community and those who are considering joining it. Because of its “first impression” value landscaping is a significant part of how the community portrays itself. And curb appeal creates instant value by creating desirability to potential buyers.
Looking for a high quality landscape maintenance company is a good choice for HOAs who are looking to the future. Does quality cost? Yes. But it can also save significant money over the long term. When done correctly neighborhood plants live to grow and become established, the seasonal colors are lovely, lawns are green and weed free and the community glows with charm and vitality.
We can help
Greenhaven can help you and your HOA maintain your neighborhood charm. Contact us today to see what we can do for you.
Don’t miss the Green Home Street Fair
Don’t miss out on this great local event! You are invited to join us August 19-21, 2016 from 10:00 – 6:00 pm to view how innovative green construction is being used in Vancouver. Tour a See-Through Home, visit some beautiful showcase homes and enjoy some amazing cart food from Rolling Pin Eatery and La Sorrentina. There will be over 30 vendors available to discuss the latest in green products and technologies.
Bring the whole family! There will be kids activities including balloon artists and face painting, juggling and magic. Local musicians will be playing all weekend. And a beer garden for those 21 and over. And it is all FREE!
Green Industry fosters sustainable practices
As Clark County and the nation grow it is becoming important that we find ways to help us build homes and create landscapes that are sustainable and look to the future. Greenhaven has a long history of best landscape practices and we have joined other like-minded industry leaders in creating a showcase for sustainable communities.
Come talk with us
Come meet with Greenhaven and see what the possibilities are. You can view green options for your landscape and home needs, enjoy wandering the park, eat some great food, listen in on some local musicians and taste some beer from the beer garden. So much to do! We look forward to seeing you there.
Everything is happening at Urban Oaks 10707 NE 152nd, Vancouver.