Outdoor Living Trends: Kitchens
In recent years, the outdoor kitchen craze has escalated into a full-scale industry, and it's easy to see why.
Custom outdoor kitchens expand the livable space of your home and give you the freedom to enjoy socializing with friends while preparing a meal. In fact, outdoor kitchens have become so popular that they are the most requested amenity from new home buyers!
Below are some of our favorite outdoor kitchens which we have helped design and install for clients like you.
Party Time on the Patio
This kitchen incorporates chic stainless steel appliances like a stove, fridge, and freezer. Along with carefully positioned lighting, it creates an ambiance perfect for a summer party.
How about a pergola to give your guests a break from the sun while having a drink or a bite to eat at this elegant outdoor kitchen including a BBQ and a wine fridge?
This is a great outdoor space incorporating an outdoor kitchen with bar style seating, as well as two different spaces with seating for groups.
This is another great use of this back yard where we were able to create two unique dining spaces (possibly an adult and children's table for entertaining) as well as a grill, a seated bench and plenty of space for the playground in the yard.
Summer Container Plants
Now that May is here it's time to start planning your summer garden!
Summer is the perfect time of year to plant container plants. We have creative ideas that we want to share with you to help you get some fun new inspiration into your garden.
You may be wondering: what is a container garden? A container garden can be a playful tub filled with vegetables, a window box with annual flowers, or an old crate filled with flowers.
It is truly any pot containing plants so get as creative as you'd like and utilize plants that will flourish and grow in your conditions (taking into consideration sunlight, shade, geographical location, etc.).
Selecting the container for your garden:
As you pick what container best fits your garden, think about the types of plants you want to grow in it, where you plan to put it, and whether there's proper drainage.
Setting up your container:
Start with an inch or two of crushed gravel, Styrofoam pellets or broken shards of terra cotta that will provide sufficient drainage in large pots. However, before you get started, make sure you've considered what kind of pot to use.
Container Pot Options:
o Rooftop gardens: For rooftop container plants large pots are recommended to avoid small pots being blown over in high winds. Sometimes these pots are anchored with cables attaching to the rooftop surface to be extra safe from the winds.
o Terra cotta pots: Terra cotta pots are very popular with their medium-priced costs and the flexibility of sizes available which make for a beautiful grouping. The porous clay evaporates faster than plastic which is great for the plants but does provide extra work for the gardener!
o Cement composite containers: Cement planters such as hyper tufa English troughs are wide but shallow, great for alpine plants, miniature conifers, sedums, and other small collections. These mini gardens are ideal to be placed on a table top, a step, garden wall, or within a larger garden.
o Plastic containers: Plastic containers are inexpensive, lightweight, nonporous and ideal for hanging baskets or for plants which are inserted into a larger more decorative container. Plastic trays are ideal for window liners.
o Molded plastic pots: Molded plastic pots are well priced, lightweight and simulate terra cotta, limestone, and other natural materials at a much smaller cost.
o Natural wood: Natural wood is beautiful in a garden but will rot unless you line with metal or plastic. Treated wood will last longer but is not advisable for growing edible plants.
Once you've selected your pot, don't forget to choose the right soil, water, and fertilizers.
Soil, Water & Fertilizers:
Soilless potting mix is recommended for container plants because of its lightweight and how quickly it drains, encouraging quick root growth. Most soilless mixes are made of peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite, sometimes with a little sand and fertilizer.
Container pots tend to dry out quickly, especially in climates that experience hot summers and windy weather. This type of climate requires frequent watering which can flush out the soil nutrients. To combat this, we recommend regular use of fertilizer to add back the nutrients. Begin by watering the plants before fertilizing with a diluted quarter-strength balanced product and continue to use a few times a month afterwards. Plants that flower constantly until frost need fertilizer the most.
We hope this has helped you get started planting your very own summer container!
Holiday lighting makes your home sparkle at night, but adding beautiful displays of green garland and seasonal planters will brighten your entryway all day long!
Contact Lisa Morgenthal at 720-881-4310 to schedule your holiday lighting and to order your holiday planters.
Outdoor lights are a time-honored tradition around the holidas. When the trees are bare and the grass has turned brown, the twinkling of holiday lights is one small detail that creates a big impact by adding warmth and seasonal charm to your home's exterior.
Let our holiday lighting experts help ease the stresses of your holiday preparation by getting your home merry and bright for the season!
The Importance of Winter Watering
When the leaves fall and the weather turns cold it can be hard to think about pulling out the watering hose, however Colorado often experiences dry winters which can leave your lawn, trees, and shrubs susceptible to damage and death. Many people believe that the cold is your landscape’s biggest threat, but often it’s dehydration that kills your landscape especially if they are already stressed after the tight watering restrictions from the summer.
The following guide will provide you with a few tips and tricks for winter watering and ensure that you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful and healthy landscape in the spring:
· Water only when the air and soil temperature are above 40 degrees with no snow cover.
· Apply water midday to allow it to soak in completely before freezing temperatures settle in at night.
· Water more frequently in south and west facing areas and windy areas prone to drying.
· Lawns and warm exposure areas are more prone to mites. Providing plenty of water is the best treatment for turf damage.
· Monitor the snow fall and extended dry spells. Water plants one to two times per month.
· Use sprinklers, deep-root fork needle, soaker hose, or a soft spray wand for deep watering.
· Water trees all around the natural drip line at a rate of 10 gallons per inch of trunk diameter.
More information and tips can be found at Colorado State University's Extension website on Colorado winter watering.
Ultimately, investing in professional landscape services with a landscape management company can be the best option for maintaining and protecting your landscape throughout the winter season. Contact L.I.D. Landscapes for professional and knowledgeable services regarding you winter landscape needs.
Five Reasons why the Connected Yard is Changing the Irrigation Business
Smart Sprinkler Controllers are becoming the new hit in the irrigation industry, both for irrigation professionals and their clients. Smart controllers rely on Wi-Fi connectivity to allow remote access and monitoring via smart phones. Here are the top 5 reasons to make the switch to this new technology:
Remote Access of Sprinkler ControllersSmart controllers allow for instant access to a client’s system through a phone, allowing for quick and easy adjustments to greatly increase effectiveness and efficiency
Ease of ProgrammingInteractive programming ensures that you can accurately program how much water is needed to each zone in a client’s yard, while avoiding over watering or runoff.
Real-time Weather AdjustmentsThe new technology in these systems allows the controllers to connect to a vast network of weather stations, so that the sprinklers can automatically adjust watering based on the forecasts given.
Automatic Adjustments for Municipality Restrictions:Smart controllers make sure that the amount of outdoor water usage is falling under the municipality restrictions, as these restrictions have been changing over time and place. This makes sure that the client can avoid fines for watering on restricted days without having to do any outside research.
Better Understanding of Your CustomersAccess to the controllers can help you understand your client’s needs, as well as provide quicker service and information to increase the level of satisfaction.
Survey Says: Americans Love their Yards and they are Important to a Home’s Resale Value
April is National Lawn Care Month so it is a great time to think about what your lawn and landscape do for you. Even in the age of the smartphone and T.V. show binge watching, the love affair with the American yard is not over.
According to an online survey commissioned by the National Association of Landscape Professionals and conducted by Harris Poll in May 2015, eighty-three percent of Americans think having a yard is important. Here are a few insights about the value of our lawns and backyards.
Your neighborhood’s landscaping is important. Americans (91%) want to live in an area where they can see or walk to nice landscaping. So if you want the best chance of increasing the home prices in your neighborhood, make sure the landscaping looks good.
Nice landscaping helps to sell your house. Eighty-four percent say that the quality of a home’s landscaping would affect their decision about whether or not to buy. Great neighborhood landscaping helps, but it isn’t enough; yours needs to look good too.
Your neighbors care what your yard looks like. Seventy-one percent think it is important that their neighbors have well-maintained yards. Perhaps “good landscaping makes good neighbors” should be the new adage.
We want to enjoy our yards. Seventy-five percent of people feel that it is important to spend time outside in their yards.
Despite common misperceptions, even Millennials want to spend time in their yards. Seventy-five percent of Millennials (18–34 year olds) think spending time outside in their yards is important.
People want help with their landscape. A large majority of Americans (67%) agree that professional landscape help would allow them to have a nicer yard.
So, this April, don’t take your yard for granted: make the most of it and it will return many financial and emotional benefits.
L.I.D. Landscapes is Lean and Green
Jim Martin, owner of L.I.D. Landscapes, not only believes in finding ways to reduce his industry’s carbon footprint, he wrote the book on it. In Lean Management for the Green Industry, Martin establishes the case for using lean management processes in the landscape industry to reduce waste – and, in the process, save money.
Lean management is the process of driving out waste in operations in order to become more efficient and effective. The environment naturally reaps rewards when a company – particularly a company in the business of green – is lean. “As you drive out waste, you become more energy efficient,” says Martin, who is a past president of the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET, currently known as NALP). At a time when corporate consciousness and public awareness about environmental sustainability is high, that’s a business advantage.
L.I.D. Landscapes and the firm’s customers have realized measurable, significant gains in the eleven years since the company began adopting the lean management processes that Martin describes in his book. The company estimates that it has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by over 2 million pounds over the last eleven years. That huge reduction came from initiatives such as: cutting the company’s service area, using high-efficiency mowers and biodiesel fuel, reducing equipment use, creating local, organic mulch and using brine for ice management:
“It’s good for everybody,” says Martin, “For our clients, for our company and for the environment.”
Should You Consider A Waterless Lawn?
Grass will always need water to survive. In fact, according to the Handbook of Water Use and Conservation, the average residential lawn requires 10,000 gallons of water each year. So when you hear the term “waterless lawn,” it doesn’t mean that turf grass researchers have figured out a way to avoid watering your lawn. Instead, it means using synthetic grass as part of your residential landscaping.
Not long ago, ABC-30 in Fresno, Calif., featured a home owner who installed synthetic grass on his property. Besides not having to mow or fertilize the lawn, he no longer needed to irrigate his lawn!
While irrigation is not a requirement for a lawn’s survival, for many landscapes it is necessary to keep lawns looking lush and green through the hot summers.
If you’re thinking of a waterless lawn for your Boulder home landscape, consider the pros and cons of both:
- According to OPEI, an average, managed lawn captures four times the carbon from the air than the carbon output of a typical mower.
- According to Hometalk, synthetic lawns are made from a non-renewable, petroleum-based source that will one day wear down and end up in a dump.
- Natural grass has a cooling effect, while synthetic grass absorbs heat.
- Synthetic turf stands up to high levels of activity, while natural grass needs maintenance to keep high traffic areas looking good – core aeration, overseeding and fertilization.
- Based on a cost comparison “Sod versus Synthetic Turf,” the cost to maintain real grass over 3 years is still less than the upfront cost of installing synthetic grass.
Let’s talk more about caring for your residential lawn! Call (303) 440-7833 for more information!
Benefits of Hiring Landscape Architects for
Home or Business
Before you begin another costly DIY home landscape design in Boulder or anywhere else, consider the benefits of hiring a Landscape Architect and save thousands of dollars of missteps.
We’ve replaced many patios that were improperly installed by a homeowner. The patios sometimes pitched toward the house and the water runoff went into the basement, or had an insufficient base causing the patio to heave and crack.
Besides saving money, there are many other benefits of hiring a professional Landscape Architect. Not only will a Landscape Architect create a beautiful and functional design to meet your specific needs and preferences, they also have the skills and knowledge to ensure a proper installation.
When you hire a Landscape Architect, you’re connecting to a vast network of professionals who are the best in their fields. Does the design include a pool, irrigation, patio, or lighting? Landscape Architects know the right experts and best materials for any job.
A Landscape Architect has extensive knowledge of plants that are suitable for the Boulder area home and commercial landscapes. Each plant has its own individual needs to be taken into consideration. The growth of the plant and the desired growing conditions are important factors to consider when choosing the right plants. You can count on the assistance of a Landscape Architect for picking the right plant for the right place.
Building codes can change from year to year and vary depending on the property location. A Landscape Architect is familiar with local requirements and can navigate through permit applications and processes.
Need another reason to hire a Landscape Architect? A beautifully designed landscape can increase the value of your property! A Clemson University study found landscaping can result in more than a 100% return on investment. The report concluded that “Homeowners wanting to increase the value of their property will do well to consider the cost? effective, return potential of quality landscaping, and to safeguard their investments by hiring licensed, professional landscape contractors to perform the work.” According to the Appraisal Institute, good landscaping can not only increase a home’s value, but may also help sell a property much quicker.
Spring is here and now is the time to prepare your landscape. Often times we assume trees and shrubs require little or no care because they are dormant (leafless). This is not the case. Correct pruning can have a greater effect on the overall health of your plants for the seasons to come.
Dormant pruning is the removal of plant parts to improve health by removing dead, diseased or damaged materials.
There are three parts to dormant pruning:
- Corrective pruning: reduces overgrown shrubs and redirects growth to achieve a desired shape and natural looking plant
- Preventative pruning: removes dead, diseased or damaged material or problem branches
- Rejuvenating pruning: cuts back heavy growth and thins crowded and older plants to encourage new growth
The advantages of dormant pruning are multifold. Because the branching is more visible, we can reduce most shrubs up to 1/3 in size. Often plants can be rejuvenated and will have an increased growth response in the spring due to fewer growth points.
Order Your Plants and Flowers Early
Next time you see a home in the Boulder area with a beautiful assortment of plants and flowers, keep in mind that those plants and flowers were likely ordered the previous year.
Did you know annual growers actually choose the flower varieties and quantities they will grow based on what they think they can sell? Those decisions are usually made the year before so the seed can be ordered and the plants can be started sometime in winter of the year they will be sold.
Are the annuals you see in the store just not the right size? Order early and it can be grown to any size you like. All those beautiful annuals that you see in home and garden magazines can also be grown specifically for you if you plan ahead.
Another good reason to order early is to get first pick of the crops. There’s more of a guarantee that you’ll get what you want. Once a crop has been sold out, substitutions will be made.
Remember, to get the flowers of your dreams … it’s always best to order early! Contact your landscape company to help you make the best selections.
growing dreams .....
3131 North 75th Street
Boulder, Colorado 80301
Phone: (303) 440-7833
Fax: (303) 440-6041