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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

Tips for Protecting Your Landscape from the Harsh Winter

Winter can be brutal on your landscape. Between snow, ice, wind, and cold, it seems like you never know what plants will make it until next spring. With a little planning and preparation, though, it is possible to winter-proof your lawn, trees, shrubs, and other plants. All it takes is a little ingenuity - and probably some burlap. 15 Ways to Get Your Landscape Through Winter: Fertilize your lawn. Give your lawn one more mineral boost so that it has all the nutrients it needs during the cold winter months. Cut your lawn one last time. There’s a lot of back and forth on how short you should cut your grass for the winter. In Virginia, anywhere from two to three inches should be good to avoid issues with snow mold, but it’s best to ask a professional what works best for your turf type. Remove debris from your yard. No one wants to run over a stick or other debris while sledding! It’s also good to get rid of sticks and branches now so that they don’t deteriorate and turn into tiny bits of shrapnel when you run the mower over them next spring. Prevent animals from snacking on your plants. The lack of growth in the fall sends animals like deer and rabbits on a rampage through your garden. Cover young tree trunks with hardware cloth or fencing with very small openings to prevent nibbling. If animals have decided to snack on other plants, you can either cover them with mesh or garden fabric, or you can try out an animal repellent spray.  If deer are a problem, Sunrise Landscape and Design is trained in the proper use and application of DeerPro, the

Fall Landscaping Tips: 30 Ways to Prepare Your Landscape for Winter and Spring

There’s no denying the beauty of Northern Virginia in the fall. Bright oranges, deep reds and maroons, and even flashy yellows adorn our trees, creating picturesque views and perfect bonfire backdrops. Even though you may want to linger a little longer on your deck or patio these days, there’s a lot you can be doing right now to prepare your landscape for colder weather – and even next year’s growth. To honor our 30th anniversary, here are 30 fall landscaping tips: Swap out your summer annuals for fall plants. Pansies and mums are a wonderful way to add a little color as the temperature drops. Pull weeds from your beds. The more you get rid of now, the less you’ll have to deal with next year. Apply an herbicide to your lawn. Kill dandelions and other pesky weeds that are choking out your grass. Keep in mind, though, that most herbicides work best when it is 60 degrees or warmer. Test your soil. Get the intelligence now that you can use to keep your lawn lush and healthy next year. Our turf renovation blog  has information on inexpensive, invaluable soil tests for Virginia residents. Aerate and reseed your lawn. Why is core aeration and overseeding so important? Check out our blog on core aeration and overseeding. Fill in bald spots. If you have areas of turf that died over the summer, now is the time to patch them with compost and seed. Start a new lawn – if you have to. If your lawn is completely overrun with weeds or has extremely large bare areas, you may need to just start over. Fall is a great time to seed or lay sod. Fertilize your turf. Roots