Yearly Archives: 2012

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Winter is a Great Time to Prune!

Not many people are thinking of their landscapes during these winter months.  However, it is a great time of year to actually do some things in your landscape that will make everything look better during the growing season.  Pruning of your trees and shrubs is one thing that can really improve the overall appearance as well as the long term health of your plants.  Structural pruning of your ornamental trees is actually better to do in the winter when the foliage is not on the tree.  It allows you to see the branching so you can remove weak or rubbing branches as well as dead or dying wood. Shrubs can also be shaped, structurally pruned and reduced in size if necessary.  All of this can be done during the winter months prior to spring growth.  For evergreens a rejuvenation pruning can be done in late winter, early spring, and can actually improve the overall appearance and fullness. Perennials, in my opinion, add some interest to the landscape when they are left standing as they go into dormancy.  They provide food and cover for birds, rabbits and other wildlife throughout the winter.  Grasses are particularly interesting through the winter.  Their form, how they flow in the wind, and the contrast of the plant when it snows add to the overall look of your landscape.  With that being said, as we go through the winter, perennials and grasses get beaten down by the snow and other elements and at some point can be cut back closer to the ground.   Certainly in the spring most all perennials should be cut back before their new growth get's going.  It helps make way for the new growth and removing the dead,

Extend the Outdoor Season

With the days getting shorter and the temperatures dropping, you may be resigning yourself to hunkering down indoors until spring. That does not have to be the case; there are ways to spend time outdoors, or on your patio, even in colder weather. Have you ever considered a fireplace or fire pit? There are fabricated units such as the ‘Foyer’ fireplace from Techo-Bloc, or this fire pit kit from E.P. Henry. We can also build custom units such as the ones below that can be viewed on our website. A fireplace can not only provide warmth and atmosphere in chillier weather but everyone knows how much children love roasting marshmallows.  The prolonged darkness can also be battled through the use of a low-voltage lighting system. Your residence and landscaping can be lit in ways to provide many dramatic effects. Lighting your walkways and patio can not only be useful but offer increased safety as well. The product that we use most often is Unique Lighting Systems, they have developed numerous innovations in the field and when you hold one of their fixtures in your hand you will understand the value and how they can have a lifetime  guaranty.     Sunrise Landscape + Design has experienced designers and installers that can make these projects into a reality for you so that you can ‘extend the outdoor season’. If you would like more information on how we can extend your outdoor season check out our website or give us a call at 703.544.0028.

Holiday Lighting and Decorations

The holidays can be a great excuse to have fun with not only your landscape but with your home as well. Holiday lights and decorations can really make your house stand out during the winter season. Lights can be tastefully done to accentuate the architecture of your home or the shapes of your trees. Decoration can also add elements of fun and interest that make your home remembered each and every holiday season. A couple of things to consider: 1) with the introduction and improvement of LED lights we can now use a lot of lights without drawing much electricity and reducing the number of outlets necessary for a great display. 2) Simple things such as wreaths, ribbons and garland can add a real touch of class to your property. 3) If planned out correctly these elements can be reused year after year thus keeping the cost reasonable. As with anything in the landscape it all starts with a good plan and proper selection of what you are going to use. If the thought of outside decorations bring dread or fear to mind Sunrise Landscape + Design can install them for you. We even offer services to take them down and store them for you until next year. Give us a call if you'd like any help! 703-544-0028   Contact Sunrise Landscape and Design, Northern Virginia’s premier landscaping company for all your lawn maintenance needs.  We are a full service landscape contractor serving Northern Virginia's Fairfax County and Loudoun County.  Whether you need landscape design with water features, landscape lighting, walkways and patios or lawn maintenance services such as lawn mowing, mulching turf care, leaf clean-up or garden clean-up we work with you

Certifications, Who Cares?

I personally hold over 6 certifications and licenses that include being a "Certified Land Disturber", "Certified Landscape Professional (Manager)", "Certified Horticulturalist", "Certified Pesticide Applicator" and I am a certified paver installer thru ICPI (Interlocking Concrete Paver Institute) and Segmented Retaining Wall (SRW) certified by NCMA (National Concrete Masonry Association) to install segmented block retaining walls. My company, employees and I have many more on top of that. What does all that mean to you as a consumer? Basically for me, it means I am held accountable for doing things properly and keeping up with the latest in training and safety. I am held to a standard by my peers. For you the customer, it should give you peace of mind that we know what we are doing and any work will be done properly and to some credible standards. This would equal real value. This is what sets Sunrise Landscape + Design apart from most companies. I do not get many call backs to fix problems with work completed and, if we do, it is typically minor and we just take care of them. I do get several inquiries on how to fix someone else's work. My guess is they had no certifications or real training and the customer saved a few dollars. But did they? Typically it costs alot more to fix someone else's problem than spending a little more in the beginning to get it right. This is where the certifications and training really come into play. It is an easy way to distinguish between a company that knows what they are doing and can save you money in the long run verses a fly by night company that really just want to get your money

Seeding For Quality Turf. Now is the time!!!!

This is the best time of year to improve your existing turf or start a new stand of turf.  (From the second week in August to the 3rd week in October depending on the temperature).  With the cool nights, warm days and consistent moisture there is no better time of year to get your grass growing! A few things to remember when trying to grow grass from seed: 1) Make sure you choose the appropriate seed for the area and what you want the end result to be.  You can visit the Virginia Cooperative Extension to learn more about seed http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/426/426-719/426-719.html . 2) Another very important way to get successful germination is to make sure you have good seed to soil contact.  You can achieve this by using a machine such as a core aerator, spiker or slit seeder to help break up the soil so the seed either falls into a hole or slit for good contact that will provide moisture, nutrients and the proper environment to root.  You can also top dress the area you are seeding with compost to help get the seed going. 3) After the seed gets going it needs proper water and fertilization to continue to grow and thrive. Follow these 3 simple things and you will get your new turf off to a good start. If you don't have the time or proper equipment, you can hire a landscape professional like Sunrise to help you get the job done right! Give us a call with any questions - 703-544-0028. Contact Sunrise Landscape and Design, Northern Virginia’s premier landscaping company for all your lawn maintenance needs.  We are a full service landscape contractor serving Northern Virginia's Fairfax County and Loudoun

Crape Murder!

Don’t commit “Crape Murder”! As I was running some errands this past weekend I was amazed to see the legion of men outside on a gorgeous Sunday morning armed with their saws, loppers, and pruners committing “crape murder” as their wives stood guard with a menacing smirk. I could almost hear the trees begging for me to stop them.

Snow Removal: What Does it Take?

Snow removal in the Northern Virginia area is all over the place as far as snow totals and what is a "normal" year.  We have been plowing snow and managing ice for 25 years. One thing I have learned is that there is no such thing as "normal" when it comes to winter weather.  The individual snow totals can be anywhere from 1"-30"  as we have seen over the past few years.  The snow can be wet and heavy or dry and light which changes how you deal with it.. A lot of customers don't understand what it takes to be ready for snow even before the first flakes fall.  I would like to let you know what goes on behind the scenes here at Sunrise Landscape + Design prior to a snow event: First we have to send out contracts to our prior customers as well as to new customers or potential customers that will fit in our route.  After the contracts are in we have to determine that we have the proper equipment  and supplies to service those contracts.  If we need to add a plow you are looking at $5000+, snow blowers $1300, brooms $1600, salt spreaders/sanders can run $2600-$8000.  Loaders and trucks can be anywhere from $40K-$80K.  Even used equipment is $30+K and you never know what you are really getting.  Add snow shovels (minimum of 20-30 units to service out current contracts), rain suits for the guys (24-30 sets), and parts to fix any damaged machines from last year.  That is just the start; now we need to make sure we have enough sand and deicing materials in stock for at least 2 storms.  That equates to approximately 30 tons of sand