How Efficient is Your Irrigation System?

“I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.” ― Ruth Stout Do you have an automated sprinkler system?  How much confidence do you have in its effectiveness, running cost and efficiency?  Is your system keeping your plants healthy (protecting your investment) and conserving water (saving your money) as you originally intended when you installed it?  Does the current configuration and settings still apply to your matured landscape?  Do you have runoff? Dry spots? Puddling? When was the last time someone tested and evaluated the performance of your landscape irrigation system? A well-designed and well-maintained landscape sprinkler system should provide your lawn and plants with the supplemental water they need to look their best and to survive a harsh summer heat wave.  However, more often than not, people assume that the system they installed will perform the same for an indefinite period, regardless of the constant change occurring in their landscapes.  Your current sprinkler system may still be very good at doing

Winter Projects

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” ― John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America Here in Seattle, our gentle Winter climate allows us to install landscape elements year-round. If you have been considering a project for your yard, do not dismiss Winter as an opportunity.  Many people mistakenly postpone landscape installations until Spring, when they will have to cross their fingers that it can be planned and installed in time for that party they are hosting, or their child’s graduation celebration, or some other deadline that will cause panic and stress.  Winter is a great time to plan and install patios and walkways, irrigation and lighting systems, water features and accent stones. Winter is a truly viable time to landscape in Seattle and you are encouraged to take advantage of it! Winterize Irrigation Systems While Seattle rarely experiences periods of extended, deep freezing temperatures, it is still always a good idea to properly shut down your automated irrigation

What to do with Leaves?

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” ― Albert Camus Where are all these leaves coming from and will they ever stop? Autumn leaves are full of beauty while in their trees.  Even during their short, final flight of life there is plenty of intrigue.  But nothing depreciates faster than the aesthetics of a leaf upon contact with the earth.   Although this annual leaf-drop cycle plays a vital role for both the individual health of the tree as well as the communal health of the forest, in our urban setting the leaf litter can be unsightly, create undesirable issues in our residential landscapes as well as being dangerously slippery when wet. So what to do about all these leaves?  In a natural environment, such as a forest, the leaves decompose and replenish the soil with nutrients and maintain the humus layer of the forest floor that absorbs and holds rainfall. Fallen leaves are also food for numerous soil organisms vital to the forest ecosystem.  However, in

Fall Care and Maintenance

“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.” [Notebook, Oct. 10, 1842]” ― Nathaniel Hawthorne, The American Notebooks Isn’t Fall in Seattle a beautiful time of year?  Sure, it’s getting dark too early and it’s raining whenever you want to take a walk, but the air is so crisp and the colors are so vibrant.  Fall is nature’s last hurrah before Winter.  Fall is also your last chance to give your landscape some care that it will surely reciprocate with beauty next Spring. Lawn Care In the Pacific Northwest our lawns are composed of primarily cool season grasses, therefore they are growing the most during the Spring and Fall months, and not so much during the summer.  Because of this, Fall is a very important time to maintain and improve the health of your lawn.  In addition to fertilizing, Fall is an ideal time to aerate as well as over-seed stressed and tired lawns.  This time of year is also great for

Landscape Lighting Ideas

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables   Let’s not let this wonderful endless Seattle summer fool us.  We are all appreciating the abundance of beautiful, sunny days, but we need to keep in mind that Fall is upon us, and with that, there are some important tasks that need to be addressed in your landscape.   Landscape Lighting The end of Summer means shorter days and longer nights.  Your outdoor lighting system needs to be in top shape to provide the safety and security necessary for the extended periods of darkness ahead.  Landscape lighting will also enhance the enjoyment of your landscape; especially when your plants may be going dormant and it always seems to be dark outside; dark when you leave for work and dark when you come home from work.  Lighting allows us to enjoy our landscapes in another way throughout the Winter.   Lighting systems should be checked to ensure that all of the

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