Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Great Curb Appeal for all Seasons

Your landscape helps shape the first impression of your home or business, and a little careful planning will help your property look its best. Here are some secrets to keep your landscape looking great through every season.

1. Spread out your flower times to get something interesting in different seasons. Some plants flower for several weeks or even months. Traditional lilacs are an old favorite in the spring, but tend to last only a week or two at most. There is now a reblooming variety of lilac available called "bloomerang". Consider planting reblooming daylilies and shrub roses for lasting flower color with minimal effort.

2. Try to balance your landscape with both evergreen and flowering plants. I like to use boxwood or arborvitae to provide garden structure and dress things up with my flowering plants.

3. Think about elements other than flowers, since most only last a few weeks. Leaf color, stem color, peeling bark, and changes in texture (leaf size or shape) add interest that lasts all season long. Contrast a fine-leafed red Japanese maple with a large, yellow leafed plant like Gold Standard Hosta. Plants with fruit or berries that persist through the fall and winter will attract cardinals, robins and blue jays that you may not otherwise see in your landscape. Try Blue Muffin Viburnum or Red Jewel Crabapple to keep your feathered friends coming around all year long.

4. Plan your landscape in layers. Use lower, spreading foreground plants (0'-2'), well shaped middle-ground plants (2'-5'), and strong boned background plants (5' and up) to create complementary and contrasting relationships.

5. Consider a special feature like a bench, water feature, sculpture or wind chime as a focal point. It could be functional or purely aesthetic, and it should complement the character of your house.

These helpful hints will add character and value to your curb appeal. Remember, your landscape is one of the few purchases that you will ever make that increases in value. 

For additional information, call us at 309-303-0919 or fill out the form and we'll be happy to help!

Lawn Care FAQ - Part 2

Q: I have grubs every year. How can I prevent them?

A: Most homeowners who have grubs need to have them treated each year. Like most pests, it is important to catch them early. The most successful way to beat grubs is to apply a treatment during the earliest pupa stage in late June. It is difficult to control grubs in the early spring.  

Q: How high should I mow my grass?

A: You should mow the grass at the highest setting on your mower or at least 3 inches. Each time you mow, you should cut no more than 1/3 of the grass height. While you may have to mow more often, your lawn will be healthier and less susceptible to disease and weed growth.

Q: How should I water my lawn?

A: Lawns will be most healthy if they are watered deeply and infrequently. The goal for most lawns is 1" of water per week, and it is best if water is delivered slowly but "all at once" instead of over several days. Longer, deeper watering will allow roots to penetrate deeper over the course of the week. Frequent, short waterings keep roots shallow and sensitive to drought.

For additional information, call us at 309-303-0919 or fill out the form and we'll be happy to help!

May's Landscape To-Do's

Trees and Shrubs

  • Flowering trees and shrubs may be pruned after they have completed flowering. 
  • Watch for bag worm development on arborvitae, spruce and juniper. This is the only month that spraying is effective. After May the bags should be pulled off.
  • Plant annual flowers after Mother's Day to protect them from a late frost.


  • Lawn care application #2 can be made late in the month.
  • Begin to raise lawn height as summer temperatures arrive.

Hardscapes and Water Features

  • Clean leaves and debris from ponds and install pumps. Increase water level to proper height.
  • Consider sealing pavers prior to busy summer season.

For additional information, call us at 309-303-0919 or fill out the form and we'll be happy to help!