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Lighting Up Your Landscape

You’ve worked hard to ensure that your home and your landscape show off all the work you’ve put into them.  While they may be beautiful during the day, your efforts do not have to be limited to just the daylight hours.  If you light your landscape properly in the evenings, that hard work can really have a wow factor.  Landscape lighting is about artistry as much as it is about technical knowledge.  If your lighting is installed in the right places, it can highlight the architectural features of your home as well as the different characteristics of your plantings and trees. In addition to adding character, it can add safety as well; a well-lit walkway is as important as having a properly constructed one.  Good landscape design should incorporate elements that are functional as well as beautiful any time of day.   Most landscape lighting is low-voltage because it is less costly to install and much safer to work with.  There are stunning variations of the type of lighting you can achieve with a low-voltage installation.  Lighting a tree canopy, a glow over a landscape feature, or lighting aimed directly at your home are a few of the many options available.   Factors such as brightness, color and beam width are in every element of the lighting design.  The technical aspects of this, such as the type of bulb, the housing for the bulb, and the cables and stakes used to keep them in place all have to be chosen for their most effective usage.  Once the proper elements are in place you can “play” with the light.  For example, when lighting foliage, you should always include the trunk, otherwise it will look like a

Holiday Decorating Tips Using Your Winter Landscape

The tradition of bringing the outdoors in during the Winter months dates back thousands of years, and as the holidays approach and the weather changes, aside from being a terrifically beautiful way to remind us of the outside, it makes your home truly live and breathe natural beauty this holiday season. First things first:  take a look around your landscape and see what you have that could work indoors.  You have to consider what stands the best chance of surviving indoors, where the heat and lack of humidity of central heating can dry it out prematurely.  If you have holly, ivy, pine trees or spruce, as well as magnolia trees, these make great candidates for indoor decorating.   However, make sure to choose greenery that looks healthy to begin with.  Pruning correctly is critical, make sure you cut where they start growing. Incidentally, it’s not only greenery that would work.  Bare branches can look lovely clustered in vases as well, so don’t limit yourself, you might find the perfect vase fillers laying on the ground! If you love the look of berries, keep a close eye on whether they shed, quite a few of them can be poisonous to children and pets. It’s often safer to opt for artificial berries that can be attached with green floral wire to your cut stems or branches. If you plan on decorating with green cuttings, make sure you keep them fresh as long as possible by keeping the ends dipped in tepid water.  Inserting them in moist floral foam when displaying on your mantle and keeping them out of the way of your heating vents will also prolong their life for the holiday season.  If you decide to use

Take Advantage of Winter and Start Planning for your Spring Landscape

It may surprise you to know that now, when the ground begins to prepare for the cold of Winter, is the absolute perfect time to plan for your Spring landscape.  It’s the slow season in the landscaping business as well, so now is the time to dream out loud and evaluate what you’d like to see when the weather changes again and Nature awakens.   Beat the rush and contact a professional landscape design company like Sunrise Landscape and Design and be ready to enjoy your new landscape by the time the first flowers bloom.  Take a look at how one of our clients transformed their yard into the landscape of their dreams: Before After                 An honest evaluation of your current landscape is the first step.  Will you need mulching, pruning, shaping of bushes or trees?  Would you prefer a low-maintenance plan you can keep up with yourself or do you want to dream big and incorporate new features?   It’s important to be honest with what you will realistically be able to maintain on your own.  What, if any, changes will have to take place in your current landscape to incorporate new features such as walkways, arbors or water features?   This is where having an abundance of time works in your favor, the more thorough the planning stages, the more seamless the execution when the weather permits.   Use resources such as Pinterest and Houzz; the more ideas you bring to the table, the better prepared we are to begin the concrete process of planning and keeping realistic expectations in mind during the process.  There are many options available that can be modified to

The Beauty of Hardscape – Functional and Aesthetic Solutions for Your Landscape

How many hours have you spent worrying about the slip sliding away of your sloping lawn, as well as dreading the resulting moist or marshy land from poor drainage? If you’ve had issues with your landscape that require constant TLC in the Spring and Summer now is the time to consider installing hardscape features that will solve these issues as well as maximize the beauty and usable space of your yard.  A landscape professional such as Sunrise Landscape and Design will be able to evaluate the extent of the problem and recommend both a functional and aesthetic solution. Why not enjoy the changing of the seasons instead of worrying about the problems in your landscape? If your home is built on a slope, you are, or will soon be experiencing erosion.  The soil on a slope is not compact, but rather loose and unstable, which can lead to serious issues for your home’s foundation.  The installation of the correct type of hardscape can prevent long term damage.  A retaining wall will keep the soil where it should be, as well as add a decorative element to your yard.  They can be built tiered or accented with bushes, plants or flowers.  Depending on the height of the wall, they can also serve as integrated seating.  When you can make a retaining wall functional as well as a beautiful feature, you have a win-win as a homeowner. Then, there’s drainage.  Even a small amount of rain can cause you to be knee-deep in swampland. If you have a drainage issue, the longer it is ignored, the more severe the damage to your home’s foundation or landscape can be.  It’s easy to disregard the potential problem when the

Loudoun Times 2017 Fall Guide to Homes

Be sure to read the article on Sunrise Landscape + Design in the 2017 Fall Guide to Homes from Loudoun Times.  For easy readability, we’ve reproduced it below.  You can see the full guide here.  Sunrise is featured on pages 24-25.   Sunrise Landscape Partners with Clients to Achieve Success By Kristin Crosby Water features promote relaxation and can hide noise In 1986, Joe Markell decided to start a landscaping business with an old pick-up truck, two mowers, and one employee.  Over 30 years later, Sunrise Landscape + Design has grown much larger than its humble roots.  Markell has an impressive array of trucks and landscaping equipment and more than 40 employees serving every inch of Northern Virginia.   The Sunrise name has actually been in the Markell’s family for over seven decades.  His great grandparents ran Sun Rise Dairy in the Herndon area, and his grandfather and father operated Sunrise Amoco on Route 7 in Reston.   Sunrise Landscape + Design is all about upholding the family legacy with quality and value.  “Our goal is to keep customers for life,” says Markell.  The company prides itself on partnering with customers and creating relationships with them.  Not only is that the best way to meet and exceed expectations, but it also allows them to satisfy the needs of every client.   Sunrise offers a wide variety of landscape management services, from lawn care and fall cleanups to core aeration and pruning.  On the design side, they “can visualize what customers want in a way that functionally works,” says Markell.  They work on everything from patios and retaining walls to water features and landscape lighting.  Sunrise also works on both residential and commercial properties

Planning for an Outdoor Fireplace/Fire Pit

Fall is a time abundant with warm and cozy associations.  Do you see yourself bundled up in a sweater, with a warm mug of something delicious, enjoying the cool and crisp air?  Chances are, this image includes an outdoor fire.  Whether you imagine an outdoor fireplace or a fire pit, there are several factors to consider in the planning, and as in most things landscape, location, location, location is first on the list. How trafficked is the area in which you are planning to place your fireplace/pit?  Should it be on a deck, or patio adjacent to your home?  An outdoor fireplace or fire pit will extend your home’s living space, making it an area you can enjoy almost year around, not to mention increase your home’s property value.  Keeping in mind how you like to entertain will help you figure out what is the best placement for either a permanent structure or a portable one.  For example, if you have a pool, you might want to consider placing the fireplace or fire pit nearby; your friends and family will gravitate towards it after a dip.  On the other hand, if you have smaller yard, you might want to put it closer to your house and let the surrounding landscape be a strong supporting player.  Whatever you decide, size and scale is always important.  Sunrise Landscape and Design has lots of ideas and we are happy to help you pick the best location for what you want. It’s also important to really think about how you will use your fireplace/fire pit.  An outdoor fireplace or fire pit will immediately become the focal point of your landscape.  The warm glow of a fire is always inviting. 

Trees – Superstars of Fall Landscaping

One of the great joys of Seasonal change is being able to look out your window and see it happen right before your eyes.  The most beautiful and decorative way to display seasonal color is through the proper placement of trees.  Although they may require a bit more time and care initially, in the long run, they are easier to care for than flowers or shrubs.  The practical benefits of trees include, reduction in storm runoff, providing your home with shade that could save you money on your cooling bills, reducing noise pollution, and producing about 260 lbs of oxygen per year!  The aesthetic benefits carry tremendous value as well.   A well-rounded landscape will have at least one specimen that can showcase each season.    Let’s look at a few options to spark up your Fall. The Maple Tree These are the royalty of the Fall foliage tour.  Folks are apt to drive hundreds of miles to take a look at the stunning color array of these trees.  A fast-grower, the maple tree is an excellent shade tree, and the smaller version, the Japanese Maple, with its deep red leaves, makes for a lovely landscape in both Summer AND Autumn. The River Birch Gorgeous color in Fall, but what really makes it a star attraction is its beautiful bark.  They are also very tolerant of wet areas in your landscape, which makes it a very versatile tree if you have drainage issues. The Sunburst Honey Locust Say hello to a fast-growing resilient tree that would not only look great in front of your home, but does so in the face of little to no watering, tolerates road salt and keeps its leaves, which makes for less of

Early Fall Turf Care – Tips for Keeping Your Lawn Looking Great in the Fall

If you’re thinking that now is the time to take a breather on lawn care since Summer is quickly coming to a close and grass can’t possibly continue to grow this quickly, it’s time to reconsider. While grass is not growing at the speed it was in Spring and Summer, this is the time when grass “powers up” so to speak, absorbing moisture and nutrients to prepare for its dormancy in Winter. To this end, we’d like to offer some tips to prepare for a healthy lawn in the Spring, when you’ll really want to stop and smell those flowers. Grab that rake and attack those leaves.  You’ll notice that leaves don’t wait until the official start of Autumn to fall.  You’ll find your lawn scattered with tree confetti as early as August.  As soon as they begin to fall, rake. If leaves are left on the ground for too long, they will become matted down with rain and begin to suffocate your grass and possibly lead to fungal disease in your lawn. Contact us about soil aeration.  We have the equipment and expertise to properly prepare your soil. This is crucial to allow the soil to absorb water, fertilizer and nutrients.  Again, this will be needed through Winter so that when the first thaw of Spring arrives, your lawn will be ready to thrive.  Incidentally, do continue to water.  Obviously it will not be a necessary as it was in July, but keep your eyes out for dry patches. Fall is the best time to fertilize.  Though the growth of grass slows down considerably in the Fall, its roots continue to thrive.  Applying the right mix of fertilizer now is essential to building food

Sunrise Landscape + Design – Curb Appeal Infographic

Sunrise Landscape and Design believes its all about the landscape!  Enjoy our info-graphic on Creating Curb Appeal!                                                         Sunrise Landscape and Design is Northern Virginia’s best landscaping company, offering a full range of landscaping services. Our landscape and design services include hardscapes, water features, irrigation and landscape lighting. Our property maintenance services will keep your landscape vibrant and healthy year round with mulching, edging, seasonal cleanups, lawn mowing and tree care. Contact us today for all your landscape and lawn maintenance needs!

Nothing says “Welcome” like an Inviting Walkway or Patio

A beautiful walkway and a “come sit by me and stay a while” patio are a wonderful addition to your home, they also increase your property value.  Your walkway is the first impression people will have as they approach your home; it should harmonize with the surrounding landscape and should serve as a snapshot of your home’s personality.  Something beautiful to see when driving from either side of the street towards your house; it’s literally your home’s best foot forward.  A patio, on the other hand is an extension of your living space, where you can express your personality as well as your home’s, and where you can create a vacation oasis within the confines of your property.  Paying attention to the design of both of these elements can pay great long-term dividends. For example, having a beautiful, well-maintained front walk increases curb appeal immediately, adds value to your home and not coincidentally, makes coming home each day a more pleasant experience.  Who couldn’t use THAT at the end of a long work day?  Aside from being unsightly, cracked and damaged walkways present an inherent danger to you and your family, and frankly, to anyone who approaches your front door.  Beauty as well as safety need to be taken into account when deciding whether to repair or replace.  This is where consulting an expert is critical.  A proper evaluation must be done to weigh the cost of repair versus the need to replace completely based on cracking, chipping and potential soil erosion. If you decide replacing is the best option, it’s important to consider the types of materials available.  Crushed stone and gravel are inexpensive and easy to install, though the gravel will scatter and need replenishing from