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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

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

Solving Drainage and Erosion Issues in your Landscape

If you own a home, chances are that at some point weather conditions, perhaps too much rain, ice melting, or even wind, have caused a certain amount of drainage and erosion issues on your property.  This is all but a certainty if your home is on a slope. What are the telling signs?  Exposed roots, gutted out areas on your lawn or swampy and puddled sections are a clear indication that it’s time to act and stop the deterioration from getting worse.  This is where a professional landscaping company can help.  It’s imperative to assess the depth and severity of the issue at the outset so that you can determine the best method for preventing additional damage.   The professionals at Sunrise Landscape and Design can provide an accurate diagnosis of the extent of the damage and will help you make the right decision as to the course of action you should take, saving you time, money and your landscape in the process. The easiest and possibly the most economical way to battle an eroding yard is to plant, plant, plant!  Planting flowers and trees acts as a shield, lessening the impact of rainfall, ice, and wind that can wash away the soil. These plants and trees also help stabilize the dirt by putting in roots that anchor the soil and soak up excess water. Be sure what you decide to plant is native to your area (we can help with that too) so that it is likely to grow a healthy root structure.  Wild flowers work well for blanketing an area prone to soil erosion, as do herbs or shrubs. Once you plant, consider adding a layer of mulch and fertilizer.  Each of these will

Incorporating Water Features in Your Landscape

Having a water feature in your garden is one of the most tranquil and relaxing upgrades you can make to your outdoor environment.  The sound of water can transplant you to far away places without ever leaving home.  Whatever you decide to do, it ultimately depends on your taste and the physical characteristics of your yard. You want your water feature to complement your existing landscape, not detract from it.  Niagara Falls is lovely, but not necessarily when it is rushing through your yard. Sunrise Landscape and Design has over 30 years of experience creating beautiful landscapes.  We have an extensive portfolio of landscape designs incorporating water features.  If you are thinking of adding a water feature to your landscape consider the following: A pond can be a beautiful addition to your landscape if the ground conditions are favorable.  Once our experts determine the ground is stable enough to support a pond, you should consider the surrounding landscape and make sure your pond looks organic to your garden.  Selecting the proper edging is key to creating a natural look. If your dream is to have a pond stocked with fish, be sure to select the right location.  The care and maintenance of fish doesn’t necessarily have to take up that much time if you chose a proper location for your pond.  The health of the habitat for your fish depends on the amount of light available, the plant life, feeding and cleaning of the pond.  Fish need shady areas and floating plants can also be a source of shade.  However, the placement of the pond is critical.  Aside from the light considerations, it’s important to avoid low areas of the yard where pesticides and fertilizer

Keeping Your Hardscape Healthy

Winter weather can exacerbate hardscape issues. Water, in the wrong place, can freeze and thaw in a cycle that creates movement leading to problems with materials above and below the surface. This motion can cause settling of improperly installed base materials leaving sunken pavers or concrete walkways separated from front landings. Any opportunity water has to infiltrate in the potential wrong place within your hardscape, it will. Signs of trouble are typically easy to spot, but it’s a good idea to start looking for problem areas before the spring rains arrive. If you do uncover issues, a professional can assess the severity of the damage and suggest and implement repairs that can prolong the life of your hardscape. With the right repair solution, you'll be able to enjoy your investment as soon as spring makes its debut. Signs of Hardscape Issues Indications of hardscape problems are usually easy to see. Take a walk around your property and look for these warning signs: Retaining Walls, Firepits, and Fireplaces Cracks Crumbling Loose bricks or pavers Movement (e.g., bowing or leaning (unlevel), signs of sepration) Patios and Walkway Areas that appear to be sinking Pavers that are moving or shifting Cracks in concrete or mortar joints, space developing between pavers Pitting Spalling (i.e., pieces are chipping off) Pooled water Loose step treads   Hardscape Repairs While it may seem like you can repair your hardscaping on your own, it’s best to have an expert fix any problems. Sometimes issues that seem minor are more significant and extensive than you think. A skilled professional will be able to diagnose the cause of the damage and suggest repairs that will prevent further issues down the road. Paver issues: Just like with

Our 30 Favorite Hardscape and Landscape Features

Landscaping is the process of improving the appearance of your yard. It includes adding decorative plants to your property like flowers, trees, and shrubs, maintaining your lawn, and sometimes even changing its natural grading. Hardscaping, on the other hand, consists of all the features in your landscape that are non-plant. Usually, hardscapes are made of concrete, metal, wood, stone, or brick. To honor our 30th year in business, here are our 30 favorite hardscape and landscape features! Walking paths – Concrete, brick, or stone – the possibilities for walking paths are endless. They can lead visitors to your front door or to a tranquil reading spot. Flower beds – The best beds provide color and texture year-round. Try cabbages and pansies for some color during colder weather, and for texture, try Baby’s Breath, Asters, or Amsonia. Fire pits – Pass the s’mores! You can incorporate a fire pit into a patio design or give it its own space to establish a really fun focal point in your yard. Outdoor fireplaces – The big brother of the fire pit, outdoor fireplaces are a great way to produce heat so that you can enjoy your outdoor living space during the fall and winter months. Ponds – Everyone loves ponds. Pair them with some live fish and floating plants (e.g. water hyacinths and water lettuce) and you’ll feel like you’ve got the coolest fish tank in the neighborhood. Pools – Who doesn’t love an oasis in their own back yard? Make sure to strategize when you are considering the decking and landscaping that is going to surround the pool, though; there’s nothing worse than cleaning grass clippings out of the pool filter. Waterfalls – Waterfalls are beautiful accents