The latest cold snap probably shocked your early blooming daffodils; Spring has officially started, but the thermostat says otherwise at the moment. Mother Nature tries to adhere to a calendar, but at the end of the day, we are at her mercy. Over all, our weather is considerably more hospitable this time of year, but there may still be a few more surprises, as evidenced by our recent snow storm. It’s time to prepare your blooming fruit trees, vegetables or flowers from these potential cold snaps. There are several methods of protection for your landscape while the weather remains in flux. It’s important to note that it doesn’t have to freeze for plants to be damaged by frost. It just has to get cold enough for water vapor to condense on cold plants that have been chilled. Young trees or varieties of trees that have thin bark, (some fruit trees fall in this category), as well as the evergreens and firs are very susceptible to branches breaking from the heavy wet snow that often happens in the springtime. The best way to remove the snow is to gently brush the snow off by hand or with a broom with upward strokes. Gently shaking the branches can also be done, but this needs to be done carefully. Branches can be brittle during the winter months, so you could be doing more harm than good. You can also remove snow throughout the snow event to make removal easier and minimize the weight that’s on your plants at any given time. There are many varieties of plants that can handle the sudden cold temperatures, such as azaleas, hollies and pansies – these can
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
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
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.
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!
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