landscape and design

Home/landscape and design

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

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

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

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!

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

Summertime and the Living is Easy… Let’s Plan for Easy (outdoor) Living in the Fall

Summer is here and living part of your life outdoors is easy and expected. But have you thought about the fact that it can be JUST as welcoming in the Fall? If you have visions of you and your family and friends gathered around the fire pit roasting marshmallows in October, NOW is the time to plan and make it happen. Creating beautiful, yet functional outdoor living spaces is an outdoor living trend that can add value to your home and endless options to your evenings through all seasons. Sunrise Landscape and Design has over 30 years of experience in landscape design, build and maintenance. We work with you through the whole process – from inception to implementation. Before you start – here are some things to consider to make your dream a reality! Purpose - Your yard should be a go-to destination Spring, Summer AND Fall so start by considering how you really use your yard. Keeping in mind how you really use your space, if you love to entertain, a fire pit may be a better choice than a fireplace because more people can sit around it. If entertaining on a much smaller scale is your go-to, a fireplace provides that cozy feel that encourages hours of lingering. Making space for an outdoor kitchen, whether it’s as simple as building in a small grill to installing countertops, a fully functional sink, a wet bar, and even a pizza oven. Size - The size of the structure should be in direct proportion to the size of your yard. Your outdoor patio or deck can be a big investment, so you want to make sure you have the right size parameters in mind before you

The Dirt on Dirt: It’s Not All Created Equal

Dirt is arguably the most crucial factor when it comes to growing plants and grass. While fertilizers, water, and sunlight are important, dirt serves as the foundation for all growth. Not all dirt can sustain life; if you choose the wrong dirt or don’t know what’s in your own yard, you’ll be wasting your time and money trying to grow something where it simply cannot grow. By knowing what kind of soil you have, you can ensure that your spring planting turns into a full year of vibrant, healthy plants.  Sunrise Landscape and Design understands dirt and has over 30 years of experience in creating thriving Northern Virginia landscapes – contact us to get the info on your dirt! What is Dirt? Dirt is soil. It consists of organic material that has decomposed, organic material that is still decomposing, broken down rocks, metals, minerals, and even fossils. The composition of dirt varies from area to area, and particle sizes vary based on the primary component in the soil.   Why is Dirt so important to your lawn and garden? The basic function of dirt is to anchor plants by holding roots and storing nutrients and water that are essential for plant growth. The ability of these plants to thrive in a landscape depends on certain characteristics of the soil. A soil test can provide the necessary information for proper fertilization.  When the proper amount of fertilization is applied at the appropriate time, nutrient runoff is minimized, money saved and plant health is optimized.   What is a soil test? A soil test is an analysis of the nutrient content, composition, and other characteristics of soil, such as the acidity or pH level. Tests are performed

Planning Your Big Landscape Changes for 2017

Even though we just recently went through our first snowfall of the season, it’s already time to start thinking about what you’d like to change in your landscape this spring. While maintenance is always important, the things you need to be planning right now are the bigger and bolder design elements of your landscape – like hardscapes, water features, and landscape lighting. These elements can make a huge impact on your appearance of your lawn, but they also require a lot of forethought before warmer weather arrives. Hardscapes Hardscaping consists of the man-made features that contrast with your plants. They can be made out of concrete, brick, pavers, tiles, stone, or wood. While some hardscapes are meant to spotlight and frame your landscape, others can provide you with year-round outdoor living spaces. Regardless of your preference, make sure that your hardscape looks like it flows smoothly and fits in with your garden and lawn. There’s nothing worse a feature that sticks out in a bad way. Hardscapes include: Retaining Walls Walkways Patios Fire Pits Fireplaces Outdoor Kitchens Water Features Often called waterscapes, water features include anything involving water in your landscape. Nothing adds visual interest to your yard like a water feature. And contrary to popular belief, many features require minimal maintenance. If you are looking to add a soothing, relaxing element to your landscape, then a water feature may be just right for you. Common water features include: Pools Waterfalls Fountains Ponds Landscape Lighting Once you invest in hardscaping or a water feature, you'll want to enjoy it all day long – even when it's dark outside. Landscape lighting can highlight unique characteristics of your home or landscape, enhancing its curb appeal and giving