Drought Conditions Starting Already

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.

When planting for privacy, most people want screens to reach above average eye level or at least six feet.

Natural screens can:

  • Separate the street or neighbors from areas where you entertain or relax.
    Privacy landscaping is an effective, natural way to increase the privacy of your yard and maximize your enjoyment of the outdoors.
  • 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.

Drainage Solutions For Your Landscape

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.

Heavy downpours can cause poorly drained sites to become flooded.

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.

Proper drainage allows you to get the most out of your lawn and landscape today, and it can help you avoid problems that might arise in the future.
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

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.

Landscaping can add 15% to the value of your home.

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.

Subtle and attractive landscape lighting can be added to welcome evening visitors and to provide an after-dark display.

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.

Looking Ahead to Summer Entertaining!

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.

Paver Patios

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.

Outdoor Kitchens

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.

Outdoor Fireplaces
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.

Landscape Lighting

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!

Caring for Your Green Investment

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.

Every lawn and each landscape, no matter how large or small, is a valuable part of the larger green investment we all share.

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.

Your landscape can add up to 15% to the value of your home, in addition to providing ongoing health and environmental benefits.

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.”

Fired Up for Fall!

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.

Enjoy these months with outdoor fires that your friends and family will appreciate.

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.

Fire provides a focal point of warmth and light that is incredibly inviting.

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.

Let Us Help You Get Ready for Fall

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.

Leaf Removal

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 leaves with rake

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.

Fall Is For Planting, Fall is for Planning

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.

Luxury Outdoor Living

There are plenty of long summer days and nights ahead of us, and next year seems a long ways off. We’ve learned, though, that nature works in long cycles, and that when planning truly great landscapes, we should as well.

The term “hardscaping” refers to landscaping features that are permanently established and typically nonliving. Patios, water elements, fire pits and outdoor shelters all fall into this category. Hardscaping additions can transform an underused area of your property into an inviting living space which allows your family and friends to fully enjoy the warmer months.

The key to getting the most out of your hardscaping is proper planning. The first step in effective planning is to decide what you want from your new space. You may want a quiet retreat, a place to host large gatherings, or an area that can be a little of both.

Start Now

Getting ahead on new projects is more important now than ever. You have no doubt heard about supply chain disruptions which have affected product inventories worldwide. These disruptions have influenced the cost of building materials as well as the timing necessary to complete new construction. Because of this unusual situation, even the most thorough plans will likely take longer than you would expect.

Landscape and hardscape projects require many moving parts working together properly. The process of designing a plan, procuring the necessary materials and scheduling the labor already takes a considerable amount of time. Over the past year or so, this process has become lengthier and more complicated. If you’re considering new projects for 2023, now is the time to lay out the specifics. Patience and planning go hand in hand. If you have thoughts about new additions, give us a call, and we will set the process in motion.