Enhance Your Evenings with Landscaping Lighting
In planning your landscaping, don’t forget what your yard will – or could – look like after the sun goes down. The right lighting can add an entirely new dimension to your landscaping that will increase both the functionality and visual appeal of your outdoor spaces.
Lighting can use your larger landscape features and your house itself to create dramatic shadows or silhouettes. Different effects can be created by up-lighting a shrub or tree (shining light from the ground up) or by down-lighting it (shining light down from overhead). The right illumination can also transform an otherwise neglected porch or patio into an inviting living space for warm summer nights.
Well-placed landscape lights also provide enhanced safety and security. Exterior landscape lighting makes your great outdoors safer for your guests and more secure from unwanted visitors. It can light paths to help guests reach your door safely and eliminate shadows where an intruder might hide.
Hively can design a lighting plan to use various types of lights – wash lights, bullets, path or spread lights, or well lights – where each will effectively contribute to an overall pleasing scheme without creating an overly lighted effect. Installation is not disruptive to existing landscapes, and most light fixtures can be tucked out of plain view.
Mother Nature can be both a friend and a foe, and when it comes to drought, there’s nothing friendly about her! During hot and dry spells, our lawns and landscape plants can really use our help to get by.
What Are the Signs of Drought Stress?
Different plants show different symptoms. Grass can turn bluish-green or brown in color, with footprints remaining in the turf after you’ve walked on it. Trees and shrubs usually have wilting, yellowing leaves when suffering from drought.
What You Should Do
Ideally, you’ll provide your lawn with 1″ to 1 1/2″ of water per week in the absence of rainfall. Your trees and shrubs will benefit from a deep weekly soaking as well. Naturally, if watering restrictions are in place, you should follow local guidelines for water conservation, watering your lawn, trees and shrubs whenever you can. You may also want to set priorities as to what gets watered first. Valuable specimen trees or anything that was recently planted (trees, shrubs or grass) should get special attention.
It’s very important to keep your lawn and landscape plants well fertilized. Mulching around trees, shrubs and planting beds is beneficial as well. These practices lead to deeper, denser root systems, making it easier for plants to withstand drought conditions (and related problems like insects and disease).
With proper watering, fertilizing and mulching, your lawn and landscape will be much better equipped for the hot, dry weather ahead of us!
Natural Screens for Protection and Privacy
Today’s backyards have truly become outdoor living rooms, perfect places for entertaining, family fun and everyday activities. However, outdoor living often means we need a little more privacy or protection from the elements. Trees, shrubs or vines can provide a natural solution. Natural screens can be less expensive than fences or walls. They can add texture, color and fragrance as well as privacy. Plants can also help control noise, keep dirt and debris from your yard, and protect you and your lawn from too much wind or sun.
Natural screens can:
- Separate the street or neighbors from areas where you entertain or relax.
- Hide work and storage areas.
- Divide parts of your lawn, like garden and play areas, and guide foot traffic.
Here are a few options:
- For maximum privacy, a solid hedge of shrubs works well. Evergreens provide year-round screening and can be informal or formal, depending on how you trim them.
- Vines on trellises are quick-growing and inexpensive. They work especially well in narrow spaces.
- Even single trees or shrubs, carefully placed in a line of view, can solve privacy problems.
- Plants can channel air for a soft, relaxing breeze or create the right amount of shade for that late-afternoon barbecue.
Shrubs, trees and vines can also help you control the climate of your yard for more enjoyable entertaining year-round. In fact, the air temperature in the shade of a tree can be 10-15 degrees lower than in an unshaded area.
Don’t Let Your Landscape Go Down the Drain!
When talking about landscaping, the word “drainage” is not the most exciting topic. The fact is that drainage is critically important in making the most of your property.
Without proper drainage, water may collect to undermine foundation structures and drown expensive plants, turning parts of your new landscape into perpetually wet, unusable swamps. Excessive water creates all sorts of problems for construction and limits your planting options. In addition, poor drainage can promote an increase in mosquitoes and accompanying health risks.
Spotting problem areas is the first step in solving them through design. In some cases, excess water can be addressed with water-thirsty plantings. This organic approach is non-intrusive and adds new plant life to your landscape. In many situations, the best solution is to install a subsurface drainage tile system, in order to move excess water away from the area. This process is more involved upfront but is generally more thorough and effective.
In addition to addressing water-related concerns in existing landscapes, drainage control and water management is often a necessary and, in some cases, a required part of installing a new landscape or outdoor living area. Your landscape professional should be knowledgeable in the local municipal requirements regarding drainage for your specific project.
Welcome the World with a Perfect Entry
The ideal entryway landscape directs and leads friends and family to your door in a way that makes them feel truly welcomed. Additionally, entryway landscaping increases your home’s curb appeal in a way that will add to your enjoyment and the value of your property.
Your home’s front door should be its natural focal point. The walkway directs visitors physically to your door, and plantings lead the eye there. First, make sure your front walk is wide enough to accommodate two people walking side by side and that its surface is safe. Walkway materials can complement any architectural style or preference.
Large front lawns can use a big specimen tree near the street or driveway to attract the eye first. An ornamental tree’s canopy over a front walkway can be inviting, and a low hedge or fence can present a feeling of cozy enclosure. There’s a lot involved in choosing plants that will not grow to overwhelm an entrance but will stand the test of time. We can help you choose plants that won’t outgrow their spaces, create litter on walkways or look bad during winter.
It’s time to think about your plans for outdoor summer entertaining. Getting ready for long, enjoyable evenings with family, neighbors and friends starts by accessing your outdoor living areas. If you are looking to expand your entertaining spaces, now is the best time to start the conversation with our landscape design team.
We can help with many aspects of your landscape, and here are a few ideas to consider.
Is your outdoor living and entertaining space big enough to comfortably fit everything you like to do? Do you favor small gatherings, or do you want to be the place where everyone wants to hang out? Thinking through all the things you enjoy doing on your patio or deck can help you begin to imagine how it could be improved or possibly expanded.
If you love the process of cooking outdoors or cooking for others, expand your living space outdoors! From simple to elaborate, there are options to meet every taste and budget.
and Fire Pits
Fireplaces create a natural focal point for every backyard landscape. Outdoor fireplaces and smaller outdoor fire pits are the perfect party features for socializing long after the sun goes down. Let us help you find the right fire feature for your space and keep the party going year-round.
Great for both the front and back yards, landscape lighting is useful for more than just aesthetics. Landscape lighting ensures better safety and allows you to continue your fun long into the night. It is especially important to consider good lighting on paths from the front to the back yard, so guests can clearly see where they’re stepping.
Professional Lawn Care
A lush, green lawn is part of the summertime experience. Professional lawn care from Hively Landscape is a safe and sustainable service that will keep your lawn green and growing all season long, so you can enjoy your yard instead of working in it!
Landscapes are one of the hardest-working parts of any living environment. Your lawn and trees clean and filter water and air, produce a tremendous amount of oxygen, provide natural air conditioning in the summer and add to your home’s insulation in the winter. Turf and trees also absorb sound very efficiently and help reduce runoff and erosion. Your landscape can be a relaxing spot in a hectic world.
In addition to all of these practical, scientific benefits, most trees and shrubs provide a changing kaleidoscope of color and texture throughout the year. Lawns and landscapes give us natural space on our own property. They give us an opportunity to spend time outdoors, with family, friends, or by ourselves, as we each see fit.
When you consider the aesthetics of natural beauty combined with the health-giving benefits, your lawn and landscape become one of your very best investments. Your landscape benefits you and your community, and our goal as lawn and landscape professionals is to make sure you get the most out of your green investment.
Our goal is to help you enjoy your lawn and landscape more. We’ll keep you informed of news and pass on ideas and suggestions that can help. We’ll try to explain how and why things happen the way they do and remind you of important seasonal needs.
So stay tuned and enjoy the season. Together, we’ll make the most of your investment in “green commodities.”
People have been gathering around fires for thousands of years, and there’s no wonder why. Outdoor fires allow you to comfortably enjoy crisp fall weather with friends and family.
There are countless options to bring the ancient allure of fire to your backyard. One initial design question to consider: Do you picture a circular fire with seating encircling the feature or more of an outdoor hearth that acts as a border of your living space?
If you like to grill, you’re familiar with the choice of gas versus charcoal, and a similar question presents itself when considering outdoor fire features. Gas-powered fire features eliminate the need for firewood as well as woodsmoke and ash cleanup. These sleek fire elements produce flames that dance upon a bed of lava rock or colorful glass beads. These can be activated at the push of a button and are ideal for close-quartered sitting areas. On the other hand, if you love building and tending a fire, nothing beats the ambiance of a wood fire.
Cooler temperatures need not drive you indoors for the season. Whether you prefer the simplicity of gas fixtures or the beauty of a traditional wood fire, a fire feature is a welcome addition to your landscape.
Fall weather can be a wild card. Days go from mild and sunny to cold and gray literally overnight. Once the weather turns, the notion of yard work becomes less attractive. In spite of that, it pays to give your yard a thorough fall cleanup before winter sets in.
Typically, the biggest cleanup task at this time of year is leaf removal. Thick blankets of leaves left to lie can damage grass by blocking needed sunlight, thus weakening the turf’s viability. If left on the ground through the winter, fallen leaves can also render your lawn more susceptible to winter damage. Hively offers leaf removal as part of our fall cleanup service.
Fall Bed Cleanup
Cutting back perennials and removing dead or dying branches from trees and shrubs will help prepare both for go-time in the spring. Plant beds are also notorious for collecting dead leaves, debris, and trash during the fall. These messes only get worse over the course of the winter. By the time the warm, wet spring rolls around, you’ll find yourself with mucky beds full of slime. In addition to being unsightly, unkempt plant beds are also breeding grounds for pests and fungus.
Plan Now for Spring-Blooming Bulbs
Colorful blooms from bulbs will be a sight for sore eyes after another gray winter. Spring-flowering bulbs of all kinds are a major contributor to year-round color in any landscape. It’s important to remember that different bulbs have different blooming times. Bulbs look great in massive plantings of single types or in beds that combine many varieties. As a general rule, bulbs provide the best display when planted in groups of 15 or more.
Living landscaping such as shrubs and trees is a big investment in your home. When handled wisely, these landscape elements can mature into prominent aspects of your property that can be enjoyed for years and even decades. If your landscape needs some reworking or a complete redo, fall is a great time.
When you plan new landscape additions, proper timing goes a long way. Planting in the fall gives new trees and shrubs the best chance for long-term health and vitality. New plants are put in a tough situation when planted at the height of summer. The mild weather of fall spares new plantings the intense, dry heat of summer.
The cooler temperatures of autumn allow new root systems to develop and establish themselves in advance of winter. New plantings will go into winter dormancy equipped for a vibrant spring emergence. Next year, when the weather warms, your new trees and shrubs will green up and bloom in spectacular fashion.
Are you ready to finally add the patio or outdoor kitchen you’ve been wishing for? Make next year’s outdoor season complete by having it put in now. You’ll be able to enjoy it from the first warm days. Whatever your landscape needs, we’re ready to help. Living landscaping can shape your property for years to come. While spring planting may seem like the most logical timing, fall planting is actually better. If your landscape could use some improvements, don’t hesitate.