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Posts Tagged: landscape

Extend your evenings with landscape lighting

With days getting shorter, now is a great time to be thinking about how lighting can help you make the most of your yard. We are almost a month out from the first day of fall, landscape lighting can help give us more time outdoors. There are three main ways lighting can enhance our outdoor experiences; accessibility, security and ambiance.

  • Landscape lighting benefits

Whether it is lighting a walkway or stairs, adding light to darker parts of the yard, or making a patio more welcoming, we can enhance these spaces through lighting and make them more useable for more of the  year.

  • Landscape lighting technology options

Landscape lighting is continually advancing with technology. LED is common for improving efficiency. Smart controllers are available for both retrofitting an existing system or starting a fresh new one. You can even add color changing lights that can give some extra fun outside for a special event.

There are numerous landscape professionals designing and installing systems who can help you with your installation.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Continue to learn about new plants – changing your landscape

Flower breeding companies put in years of time and money into coming up with new plant varieties, new colors, and new plant traits. They are always working on improving current varieties, like the ability to withstand extreme weather conditions. Some of the specific traits they look for in flower breeding are; more flowers, bigger flowers, different flower shapes, certain colors, and disease resistance. This same process happens for vegetables, roses, perennials, and trees and shrubs.

There are thousands of new plants and the growers will pick which ones they will grow. Garden centers will then have samples of some of the new varieties for sale. Check them out, try them, let the garden centers know your outcomes. You never know what beauty they could bring to your landscape.

  • Flower Trials
    Every year the plant breeding companies hold “Flower Trials”. Each company is working on new plants, improved plants or crosses of plants. The trails are fun and a great opportunity to see 1,000’s of new plants that will be on the market in the coming years.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Pollinator Waterers and Shelters

 

sunflower

Pollinators need sources of water for many purposes, including drinking. Butterflies, for example, will gather and sip at shallow pools, mud puddles or even birdbaths. You can easily create one of these water sources in your landscapes.

Why it is important to provide water for beneficial insects.

  • Pollinators need sources of water for many purposes including drinking and reproduction.
  • Foraging honeybees collect water to dilute honey, regulate humidity, and cool the hive.
  • Butterflies get salts and nutrients from water and mud puddles.
  • Mud puddles can provide nesting holes for many insects.

Ways we can provide water in our gardens for these insects.

  • This can be as easy as adding a bird bath or puddling area for butterflies or is complex as a water feature.
  • There are many variations that can be great projects for kids.

Why shelters are important.

  • Pollinators use shelters to nest, which will protect developing larvae.
  • Winter conditions can be extreme, so pollinator insects use shelters like Dead wood, rock piles, leftover perennials, and grasses, for overwintering.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Invite beneficial bugs to your yard

beneficial bugs

There are those of us who don’t relish contact with insects and worms while working in the yard, but many of them are actually quite beneficial.

For instance:

  • Ladybugs and lacewings prey upon damaging aphids and whiteflies.
  • Ground beetles eat caterpillars and Colorado potato beetles, so they may serve an important function in your garden.

By establishing your landscape, you’ve created an ecosystem, and many of those insects serve a purpose. If pests are damaging your plants, you can consult a landscape professional or a garden center to bring in more of those beneficial insects.

If you find exotic plant species like bindweed, knapweed, or Canada thistle wreaking havoc on your landscape, you can even call in the Department of Agriculture for insect assistance. Their Request-a-Bug service operates an insectary that provides biological pest controls—aka, bugs that prey upon those invasive plants. Colorado residents may request the bio controls for a fee, and if supplies are sufficient, the Department of Ag will ship them to you, along with instructions for releasing them in your landscape.

Fees currently run around $30 depending on the request, and they’re due upon delivery. Supplies are limited and vary year to year. Consequently, the Insectary may not be able to provide mites for every request per season.

The advantages of biological controls include lessening or eliminating the use of pesticides and establishing useful populations of predatory insects. As with other treatments, more than one control might be required.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

2022 plants of the year

2022 plants of the year

Each year, the National Garden Bureau (NGB) chooses its plants of the year in several categories: annuals, perennials, bulbs, shrubs, and edible plants. This year they also added a houseplant to the roster.

Below are their picks for 2022. Take some time to learn more about these trendy plants and plan to add them to your own landscape in the new year:

  • Gladiolus (bulb) – Dramatic flowers grow from these bulbs (corms, to be exact) each summer. Fun fact: Gladiolus is the official flower of the City of Greeley, once known as “Glad City.”
  • Lilac (shrub) – Lilacs produce beautiful flowers, a wonderful fragrance and are drought-tolerant too.
  • Phlox (perennial) – Phlox is a North American native wildflower that will give you showy spring flowers.
  • Verbena (annual) – NGB chose annual varieties of verbena for 2022, but we like the perennial varieties that are native to Colorado, like Glandularia bipinnatifida.
  • Salad greens (edible) – Red lettuce, chicory, kale, arugula, spinach…this category is big, diverse, and delicious. There are even some greens that grow wild in Colorado and can be foraged. Find an expert to help you forage the right plant and avoid illness through misidentification.
  • Peperomia (houseplant) – As the name suggests, this diverse family of plants comes from the pepper family.

Talk with a landscape or garden center professional to find the best on-trend plant for your landscape’s conditions. Learn more about the categories above at the NGB website.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Wildlife in your landscape

Wildlife in your landscape
  • Did you know that your landscape can support wildlife? There are many birds that overwinter in Colorado, including chickadees, juncos, crows, and the striking cedar waxwing (pictured above). A healthy landscape can provide food and shelter for them.
  • Many landscape plants can be a home or a meal for birds. Sunflowers, yarrow, and blue flax are among the plants that can give sustenance to our feathered friends. Yarrow can provide nest material as well. Trees and shrubs like blue spruce, Rocky Mountain juniper, and chokecherry are also good choices. Talk with a landscape professional about plants you might add to your landscape next year to support wildlife.
  • In the meantime, if you put out a feeder, decide which birds are likely to be in your area and which birds you want to see in your landscape. There are many varieties of bird seed; choose a mix that your local birds will eat. According to CSU Extension, black oil sunflower seed is a safe bet that many wild birds in Colorado enjoy.
  • A suet bird feeder will appeal to chickadees and woodpeckers. Get an inexpensive feeder available at your local hardware store that holds a block of suet—or go DIY with a pinecone coated with peanut butter or fat.
  • Be sure to provide a water source as well, especially in these dry conditions. A bird bath or simply a shallow tray of water will work. Replenish it daily and clean it weekly to be sure wildlife have a clean place to take a drink.

Just a note: We’re taking next week off, but we’ll be back on December 31 with a New Year’s Eve Tip of the Week!

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Gifts for the plant lover

Gifts for the plant lover
  • This Sunday is National Poinsettia Day. Poinsettias are a great gift for this time of year. While they are not edible and could cause mild illness, they aren’t poisonous to kids or pets. Use them to decorate your home without fear but know that it can take some effort to keep them alive and healthy in Colorado. If the gift recipient isn’t a dedicated plant lover, you might consider a different, hardier gift plant.
  • If indoor houseplants are more their speed, consider a snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata), which does well even with a little neglect. It can handle a chilly night or low light conditions, making it versatile to place in nearly any room of the home.
  • For a gift they can keep outdoors in a container or plant in their landscape when spring comes, consider Rocky Mountain juniper, a native evergreen that is beautiful and aromatic. Outdoors it can withstand Colorado’s cold, harsh conditions.
  • A green gift is a nice way to give a friend or loved one a bit of nature during the winter months.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Have you thanked your landscape?

thanked your landscape

Over the last couple of years, many of us have spent more time than ever in our yards. When you were giving thanks yesterday, we hope that you spent a moment appreciating all that your landscape does for you.

Our outdoor spaces can give us:

  • Better health. Gardening is a great method of exercise. It’s also good for you mental health, helping boost your mood by interacting with nature.
  • Better environment. Plants clean the air and provide oxygen. They cool our homes in summer and can protect us and our homes from wind and weather.
  • Better home value. A good landscape raises property values and can help your home sell faster and for a higher price.
  • Better eating. Growing edible plants in your yard makes life more delicious. Fresher food, picked just outside your door, tastes better and has more nutrients for a healthier lifestyle.

One way to “thank” your landscape is to hand-water it this winter so it will come back healthy in the spring, ready to provide its many benefits for another season.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Water your landscape

Water your landscape

The Front Range continues to experience drought conditions. To avoid winter drought stress, we need to water our landscapes. Drought stress can dehydrate roots. Freeze damage can leave plants vulnerable to insects or other stressors later. Stressed lawns can attract pests like turf mites. By the time summer heat returns, your plants may no longer be strong enough to survive.

Warm days during fall and winter dry out plants and roots. Supplemental watering during dry spells in the fall and winter can keep plants healthy enough to move on and deal with the next stress factor more successfully. Here are some tips for successful cold-season watering:

  • If you check the soil and it is dry down to about 3 inches deep, then you should apply supplemental water to the lawn, trees and other plants.
  • As long as daytime temps are above freezing and the soil is not frozen, plants can be watered.
  • It’s best to water trees with a deep root watering device attached to the hose so that water gets deeper into the soil where roots live. A landscape or tree professional can help you with this.

Run the hose with a sprinkler attached to water the lawn. Just as you should do in the summer, use a cycle-and-soak approach to give the lawn a long, slow drink that it can absorb.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

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