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Creating Curb Appeal – It’s All About the Landscaping Plan

Whether you are selling your home or just want to have the most attractive landscape in the neighborhood, creating curb appeal can transform your yard into a beautiful, attractive space.  The most successful landscapes have a well thought out and planned approach to curb appeal.  It can simply be adding color with flower pots and seasonal plantings, or adding character and dimension with walkways and water features.  How simple or complex your curb appeal should be, is up to you.  Either way, a landscaping plan is the most effective way to bring your ideas to life.  When putting together a landscaping plan, consider the following: Hardscape – Curb appeal is ultimately about moving the eye from the street to the front of the house.  An attractive walkway with curves and flower bed accents is a great way to make this a pleasant transition.  Adding a bench creates a separate focal place and provides a spot for additional plantings. Lighting – Simple outdoor lighting can bring your home to life at night.  Use accent lights to highlight architectural or landscaping details.Seasons – When designing for curb appeal, make sure it will look inviting through all seasons.  As spring flowers begin to die down and lose their appeal, shrubs and trees can take over as the dominant features. Maintenance – All good landscaping plans should incorporate maintenance.  Spring and fall clean-ups, pruning, lawn care, weeding, edging and mulching are all important tasks in maximizing curb appeal. Color – Adding color to your landscape can be accomplished in many ways.  Try adding one or two large, uniquely shaped pots and fill with colorful plantings.  Add a splash of color by painting the door or a bench.  Be sure

How to Prevent Deer From Eating Your Winter Garden!

According to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, the deer population in the state of Virginia is roughly between 800,000 and 1 million and growing. Deer are especially seen throughout Fairfax and Loudoun Counties in Northern Virginia grazing on the side of roads, in parks and in our backyards and gardens. Each fall we start prepping our landscape for the long, cold winter ahead by fertilizing our lawns, trimming back shrubs and bushes and planting fall bulbs. All with the hope of creating a beautiful spring garden!  Unfortunately, in rural Loudoun County, we are making it especially easy for the deer to find food in these cooler months, leaving us with half eaten shrubs and plants that are damaged or destroyed. This fall, it is time to take back control of your garden with DeerPro Repellent. This long-lasting, professional deer repellent will allow you to enjoy your gardens all fall and winter without having to reapply daily or weekly. Each application provides four to six weeks of constant protection that is not washed away with each rain or snow shower. DeerPro is a commercial application that can only be applied by a licensed professional and is the only deer repellent that is approved by the EPA. The team at Sunrise Landscape + Design has been trained on the proper use and application of DeerPro and is ready to start protecting your winter garden and landscape so that your spring shrubs and buds have a chance1 The DeerPro Repellent is an egg-based spray that has low odor and covers your plants and shrubs with an invisible protection coating. Not only does DeerPro protect plants that are currently sprouting but also covers new growth in the areas treated by the

An Idea turned into a Tradition: Giving back to Sycolin Creek Elementary School

Giving back and educating the Loudoun community are two core principles infused into the team at Sunrise Landscape + Design. One of the opportunities to give back came while dropping off Dillon, son of Sunrise Owner, Joe Markell, off at school. In 2009 Dillion, attended the two years old Sycolin Creek Elementary School where the grounds were bare. There were no trees to sit under and read a book or to offer shade to those students that were too hot from the summer sun.  With an idea and a desire to give back to their community, Sunrise Landscape + Design decided to donate trees and shrubs to Sycolin Creek Elementary School and teach their students about proper planting, pruning and the benefits of planting trees for their school. Now in their fifth year, the dedicated team at Sunrise Landscape + Design just completed their annual Arbor Day plantings at Sycolin Creek Elementary. Over the past five years, Sunrise has donated two Saucer Magnolia’s, three Kwansan Cherry and Willow Oak Trees, three Zelkova’s, a Maple Tree and a new bench for the front of the school. An idea has become a tradition that everyone involved looks forward to each year! Are you interested in Sunrise Landscape + Design’s Education and Community involvement programs? If so, Contact Us to learn more! 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 to

What is Lawn Disease?

Lawn disease is a common problem with essentially any grass type.   In Northern Virginia, the most common type of grass is Turf type tall fescue. Microscopic living organisms such as fungi, bacteria, phytoplasmas and a specific type of mold called pathogenic fungi are the most common types of disease that will cause havoc and destruction to your lawn. The severity can depend on how you manage your lawn. However, for lawn disease to begin, other factors are necessary for its development. Environmental conditions such as humidity must be in place for the disease to grow as well as your specific type of grass must be susceptible to the specific organism. Although you may have these types of pathogens embedded in your soil, if the grass type will not foster disease growth and the environmental conditions are not in place, you may not see a sign of the disease until it is too late. Brown patch and large patch are two of the most common signs of lawn disease and although they have similar qualities, each one develops in different environmental conditions. During the summer, when the daytime air is hot and humid, and the overnight temperatures are at or above 70 degrees, brown patch disease becomes active. During spring and fall, when the temperatures become cooler, this is when large patch disease is most dynamic. It may be difficult to identify the type of disease your lawn has when it first appears. Both brown patch and large patch begins as a small circle but quickly can become larger depending on the severity if the environmental conditions. As the diseases progress, the circle becomes brown and discolored yet the size of the patch varies greatly with

Crape Murder!

Around this time of year, Crape Myrtle fever strikes Northern Virginia. This colorful tree has become a favorite for residential and commercial landscape; lining streets and office complexes as well as adorning front yards everywhere. What’s not to love? The Crape Myrtle has a pageant of colors from dark purple, to red, white and pink, which blooms for months on end throughout the summer. These trees showcase their beautiful petals against the pink and orange sky of summer sunsets. Not all people love the Crape Myrtle. For some reason, this tree turns ordinary people into Edward Scissorhands. Typically in March or early April, you will see these Crape Murderers removing mature branches in an effort to cut the tree back; hindering its growth. In fact, when removing the mature branches, you are disfiguring the tree and causing it to decay. No one knows when this murderous trend began or even why this tree is the victim of over-pruning every year. Some landscape crews, as well as homeowners, chop away at these trees because they think the tree has outgrown its space. Regardless of the reason, Crape Myrtles can be pruned to reduce their size without committing Crape Murder. At Sunrise Landscape + Design, we employ a technique called crown reduction to scale the tree in size without over-pruning. We gently remove specific upper branches and shorten remaining branches where they meet an outward-facing bud or a branch lower to the ground. We work with the organic structure of the tree to foster natural growth and keep the Crape Myrtle’s appearance intact. You know who these Crape Murders are. It is time to put down the shears, step away from the Crape Myrtle and contact the

What are Invasive Plants?

The temperatures are warm and new growth is exploding throughout the Northern Virginia region. However, not all new growth is good for your landscape. Invasive plants can cause havoc on native and introduced species and overtake your entire landscape. The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation's Division of Natural Heritage currently identifies 90 invasive plant species that threaten our natural landscape in the mountain, piedmont and coastal areas of Virginia. Invasive plants are species that grow in a geographic area by accident or with the intention of destruction to natural plants and resources natural to the area. For example, two common invasive plants in Northern Virginia are The Tree of Heaven and the Canada thistle. The Tree of Heaven is native to China and is known to be a rapidly growing deciduous tree with large compound leaves. This invasive tree spreads an ample amount of seeds and can reproduce through the root system. The Tree of Heaven releases a chemical that can harm or destroy plants nearby. The Canada thistle is a sneaking perennial that is difficult to control due to its vast root system. This invasive plant reproduces vegetative buds in the actual root system from its seeds. It can colonize an area up to six feet in just two years. Attempts to cut or control this plant are futile as it can recover from control attempts; infesting plants, crops, pastures and non-crop areas. It is important to know what plants, trees and shrubs in your landscaping are meant to be there and those that are there to harm and destroy native and introduced plants. The landscaping professionals at Sunrise Landscape + Design provide landscape maintenance as well as proper plant installation for both

How to Prevent Deer From Eating Your Garden!

According to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, the deer population in the state of Virginia is roughly between 800,000 and 1 million and growing. Deer are especially seen throughout Fairfax and Loudoun Counties in Northern Virginia grazing on the side of roads, in parks and in our backyards and gardens. Each spring we start prepping our gardens for the long, hot summer ahead by tilling, planting new seeds and watering, a long process, but a true labor of love. Unfortunately, in rural Loudoun County, what we are ultimately creating is a bountiful buffet of our plants and flowers for the deer to enjoy; leaving us with half eaten plants and flowers that are damaged and destroyed. This spring and summer there is a new sheriff in town; DeerPro Repellent. This long-lasting, professional deer repellent will allow you to enjoy your gardens all spring and summer without having to reapply daily or weekly. Each application provides four to six weeks of constant protection that is not washed away with each spring shower and summer thunderstorm. DeerPro is a commercial application that can only be applied by a licensed professional and is the only deer repellent that is approved by the EPA. The team at Sunrise Landscape + Design has been trained on the proper use and application of DeerPro and is ready to start protecting your beautiful spring and summer shrubs and buds. The DeerPro Repellent is an egg-based spray that has low odor and covers your plants and flowers with an invisible protection coating. Not only does DeerPro protect plants that are currently sprouting but also covers new growth in the areas treated by the deterrent. This spray also has an added

Spring Cleaning – To Prune or Not To Prune? That is the Question..

March is right around the corner and with that comes thoughts of baseball season, March Madness and of warm, spring weather. Its’ our time to come out of hibernation; replace our snow boots for flip flops (maybe) and assess how things look as the winter thaw subsides. What this means for you, that it is time for spring cleaning both inside and outside your home. Your yard, trees, plants, bushes and remnants of your garden, all take a beating during the winter months. In order to have golf course type lawns this summer, you must start preparing your property now. The first thing we recommend is to take inventory of what your turf, trees, bushes and all plants look like. Do you have dead spots throughout your turf, tree limbs hanging down and broken, damage to shrubs and plants; what areas do you need to focus on? Next, eliminate dead turf and turn over your yard and add new soil and seed. Water the area daily to promote growth. During this process you will see downed tree limbs, loose dirt and leaves. Remove these items from your lawn so they do not hinder new growth. During the spring cleaning process, it is also important to prune bushes and cut back trees to encourage progress. However, specific species should be pruned at different times, so do your homework before becoming Edward Scissor Hands on your plants. Pull weeds from your garden and flower beds and prepare the area with new soil by turning it over just as you did your lawn. Sketch out a flower design for your beds; one in which the colors compliment the exterior of your home or attract certain types of butterflies

Leaf Removal is Important to Your Lawn

Yes it is that time of year where leaf clean ups and removals are going on all around us.  Did you know that 75% of our fall waste stream is leaf debris?  Most municipalities and even some private collection stations take this leaf debris and compost if for future use in planting or mulching around trees and shrubs!  For many landscape companies leaf clean ups and removals are a service that is provided to their clients for many reasons: 1)      One big reason to remove excessive leaf debris from parts of your landscape is that it can smother turf and actually kill some of the new grass that you just planted!!!  Wet matted leaves can not only cut off the air supply to the turf-grass plant but they also block out the sun which the leaves need to turn into energy for food storage in the root areas for the upcoming growing months.  So save your turf and get the heavy leaf accumulations off the grass over the winter months.  During the growing season it is not an issue due to the turf being mowed on a regular basis.  And by the way it is great for the soil and the turf if some of the leaves are chewed up and returned to the soil.  You just want to make sure the leaves don’t smoother the turf blades! 2)      For safety reasons it may be good to remove leaves from driveways, sidewalks and other hard surfaces as many of you may have found out; leaves are slippery, especially when wet!!!  Leaves also can mask other hazards such as holes or other items that you cannot easily see which can cause you to trip or fall.

Invasion of the Emerald Ash Borer

The Emerald Ash Borer is a non-native pest that entered the United States in the early 2000’s. Since then it has spread through several states, including Maryland and Virginia. From my observations in both Fairfax and Loudoun County, this pernicious beetle is well-established and active in destroying native species of Ash trees. Most commonly we see Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) and White Ash (Fraxinus americana) in our area. The beetle is a striking bright green color, and the adult insect is aptly names “emerald”. However attractive, the life cycle of this insect includes a larval stage boring through the bark and wood of ash trees, and it is this aspect of the insect that is killing trees. I have seen many local trees in commercial and residential sites with severe dieback, decline, and even outright death. Once a tree is infested, it may take 2-3 years before it begins to show obvious symptoms. Treatment with systemic insecticide after the borers have begun colonizing a tree can slow the decline, but is unlikely to completely control the problem. The best control method is prevention. If a home or business owner has Ash trees on their property, or needs help identifying a tree, it would be a proactive approach to have a professional horticulturist or arborist take a look to see if there is any current infestation. If trees are showing signs of several years’ damage, it may be best to remove the tree and replace with a different species. If an Ash tree is not yet having issues, a professional can treat aggressively with a systemic insecticide, usually in the form of a soil drench. This type of product can provide protection to a valuable ornamental