Countdown to Annuals!

As we look out the window and see the snow, it’s hard to imagine that we will soon be planting our annuals but know that Spring is just around the corner!

Here is a countdown to the first day of Spring, which will be Friday, March 20, 2015, as well as a gallery of annuals that we have planted in the Indianapolis area. Enjoy!

Countdown to Spring 2015

The countdown has already ended!
indianapolis landscape tips

Landscape Planning Guide for 2015

indianapolis landscaping gardenerMake your dream landscape design part of your New Year’s resolutions with these five easy steps.

It’s that time of year again … when you countdown to midnight on Dec. 31, and then write down all those things you want to do in the New Year. You know the drill … lose weight, exercise more or maybe spend more time with family.

But what about all those landscaping projects and renovations that keep calling your name every year? They need some attention, too! In fact, now is the perfect time to take stock of your outdoor living space and plan for the year. And we’re here to help. Take a look at our Landscape Planning Guide for 2015.

Assess your needs. Get started by identifying what you want from your outdoor living space. Do you want to be able to entertain guests and accommodate large groups? Are you a gardener, and will you want to cultivate flower beds and plants, or would you rather have low-maintenance features? And what about open spaces – do you want areas in which to exercise, meditate or just sit back and look at the stars? These are all things to consider as you create your landscaping plan.

Dream big. Most homeowners have specific beds, trees or existing landscapes that they love. And then they have areas that they just can’t stand or are in great need of attention. Take stock of what it is you like (or can live with), and what absolutely has to be changed, improved or destroyed. Then list, in order, what your dream outdoor living space would include. Even though you might not be able to afford to make all the changes on your list immediately, it will help to know where you should concentrate your efforts first. Some of the features you might want to consider include:

  • Hardscaping
  • Pavers, natural stone, retaining walls
  • Gardens
  • Landscape installations
  • Water features
  • Irrigation systems
  • Lighting
  • Designer art sculptures and elements
  • Arbors

Develop a budget. This is probably the hardest thing for most homeowners to do, as it’s difficult to even know where to begin. Of course, landscaping costs vary greatly by markets and size of projects. According to the American Society of Landscape Architects, a ballpark figure for larger projects is 5-10 percent of your home’s worth. Keep in mind that a professional landscape design can add as much as 15 percent more value to your home, when compared to other properties in your area.

Consult a professional. While there are plenty of projects that you feel you can do yourself, consulting a professional will help you realize the possibilities (and limitations) of your outdoor space. Our experienced team members will create a custom design that can be done all at once, or in phases to fit your budget and needs. We will take into consideration your lifestyle and priorities in order to provide a comprehensive plan to suit your personality and property.

What do you think?

While focusing on self-improvement is a given during this time of year, developing goals for your home – and your lawn and garden in particular – can improve your quality of life and the value of your property. This is the perfect time of year to get started.

We’d love to know more about your landscaping resolutions. What features are on your wish-list, and what areas do you find more challenging or overwhelming? Leave any comments or questions below.

 

 

 

How to Prepare Your Lawn and Landscape for Winter

Protect landscaping in winterWill this winter be as brutal as last year, and will we have to hear the words polar and vortex in the same sentence for months on end? We don’t know the answer to those questions, but regardless of how low the temperatures drop, we do know that winter is well on its way. The good news is that you still have time to prepare your landscape and lawn for the frigid months ahead.

With just a little elbow grease (and definitely some extra layers of clothes), you can protect all that hard work you’ve done over the spring and summer months. Or … you can give us a call, and we’ll have your lawn and landscaping ready to face winter in no time.

Mulch. Even though most property owners pour on the mulch in spring, fall is actually the perfect time to mulch. It helps retain moisture during a dry winter, and protects roots from frost. Aim for 2-3 inches of mulch around trees, shrubs and in flower beds.

Clear out the dead. Although you don’t want to heavily prune in the fall, it’s a great time to tidy up your dead annuals and cut back ornamental grasses and perennials. If you do have dying tree or shrub branches, lightly prune them back. If you have dried hydrangea blossoms, carefully cut them off but don’t remove the stalks (even though they look dead).

Protect. If you have any delicate shrubs (like boxwoods), wrap them in burlap for winter. Protect small plants with overturned plastic pots or buckets, and surround vulnerable trees with shredded leaves. Stock up on frost protection fabric, and prepare to cover any particularly vulnerable plants when necessary.

Look for bugs. If our winter is as cold as predicted, chances are you won’t have to worry about insects feeding on your plants longer than normal. But even so, keep an eye out for any lingering bugs, identify them, and take action with appropriate horticultural soaps or insecticides.

Beware of salt. If you have any plants near corners or high-traveled streets where salt and melting agents are applied, consider placing protective fencing around them. Salt can damage evergreens as well as groundcovers. In addition, if your lawn tends to suffer at the hands of well-meaning snow plows, purchase guide markers (also called snow sticks) to clearly identify curbs or pathways.

Protecting your landscape during the harsh winter months will certainly pay off in spring, when the ground thaws and plants welcome the warmer weather. If you have any questions about these or any other landscaping tips, give us a call. We’re happy to help.

All Seasons is an Indianapolis landscaping company serving the northern and northeastern areas of the city including Geist, Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville and more.

Top Fall Design Tips for Your Outdoor Living Space

Listen closely. Can you hear it? Your back yard is calling your name.

As cooler temperatures usher in the crisp smells of autumn, and leaves transform into blinding hues of orange and red, it’s time to get out there and enjoy your outdoor living space. But wait … you say you don’t really have one?

No need to panic – with our fall design tips for sprucing up your deck or patio, you’ll have a gorgeous, relaxing and party-ready space for friends and family in no time.

Define your space

One of the easiest things you can do to create definition around your patio or deck is by adding structural elements. This could include things like walls made of bamboo or tall grass, flowing curtains on existing structures, or decorative screens used for privacy and texture.

In addition, place potted plants like mums and asters along the base of your structural elements or along the edges of your patio or deck. Create container gardens and layer them with coral bells, ivy and shorter ornamental grasses. Strategically placed fall plants can accentuate seating or dining areas while adding warmth and color.

And as a side note, if your patio furniture is looking worn or damaged, fall is the perfect time to replace them. Take advantage of end-of-season clearance sales and get a new set while prices are low.

Add light and color

Landscae lighting installation IndianapolisOnce you have your area defined and layered, it’s time to decorate and illuminate.

 First, let’s talk about lighting. No matter what your budget is, there are plenty of options that can transform any evening activity into a magical experience. Tiki lights, for example, are inexpensive and can be found in a wide range of styles. And they’re easy to install – as are light strands, which can be placed overhead or along fences or structures.

Permanent lighting along walkways or in flower beds can provide illumination year round, as well as an added safety feature for guests and family members. They can also create depth and drama to your landscape and trees.

As for adding color … that’s easy with outdoor pillows, cushions, decorations and lanterns or candles. Get inspired by nature’s palette, and add pops of gold, burgundy or pumpkin. Cushions are also usually on the clearance aisle this time of year … so go wild!

 

Warm it up

Indianapolis firepit installationNothing says fall quite like an element of fire. Whether it’s a heat lamp or a fire pit, the warmth will keep you and your guests cozy when the sun goes down.

Portable fire pits are an easy addition to any outdoor setting, and can be found in multiple sizes and shapes. But if you really want to make a statement, built-in fire pits can take any run-of-the-mill back yard and make it feel exotic, decadent and enticing. Styles and shapes are limited only by your imagination. Add some large stones and built-in seating, and you’ve got yourself an outdoor oasis at your beck and call.

What’s left?

Once you have your defined space, your heat, lighting and splashes of color and texture, there’s only one thing left – good friends and a good time. So we’d love to hear from you: what are your favorite things to do that make your back yard a fall paradise? Do you have any design tricks you’d like to share with us? Let us know, and we might use them in a blog.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or you’d like us to help you transform your outdoor space for fall, give us a call. Now … get outside and enjoy!

Creative Landscaping Ideas: Just Add Water

Are you bored with your back yard? Do you need to spice up your outdoor living space, and transform it into more than just grass and a ho-hum fence? We’ve got your solution in three simple words: just add water.

No matter what the form, water elements can do wonders for both your property and state-of-mind. But this is nothing new … in fact, the ancient Greeks considered fountains to be sacred. And those living during Byzantine times saw water as a symbol of health, life and civilization – a crucial element of Paradise.

Today, property owners can enjoy a number of different aquatic design features in their outdoor environment, serving to interrupt visual monotony or update neglected landscapes. Not only do water elements stimulate the senses, they come in a variety of styles and sizes, shapes and functions to meet a wide array of needs (and budgets). Here are some to consider:

Fountain installation indianapolisFountains
Who doesn’t love the beauty of a fountain? Whether it’s positioned in a pond, or all by itself as a tranquil compliment to a deck or patio, fountains can:

  • Increase the value of your home
  • Provide relaxation
  • Serve as a distraction from outside noises, like traffic, neighbors or nearby businesses
  • Circulate water in ponds, decreasing mosquitos and stagnate water odors

 

 

bubbling boulder indianapolisBubbling Boulders
Bubbling boulders can be whimsical, comforting and peaceful additions to almost any outdoor setting. They can also:

  • Fit perfectly in tight or awkward spaces
  • Be designed and shaped to compliment small or large areas
  • Make perfect focal points for walkways, patios or decks
  • Require very little maintenance
  • Add natural color and texture to almost any landscape
  • Be installed quickly and easily

 

 

 

 

Ponds
For natural beauty and drama, nothing compares to backyard ponds. Besides visual interest, ponds can:

  • Provide educational opportunities for learning about nature and life cycles
  • Create a bountiful habitat for various life forms
  • Accommodate beautiful water plants
  • Provide attractive solutions for soggy areas or rain runoff

Waterfalls
waterfall installation IndianapolisWaterfalls can be dramatic additions to any yard or pond, and they can be installed almost anywhere: in the sun or shade; in the back, side or front of your house; and in an existing water element or all alone. Property owners love water falls of all types because they provide mesmerizing sounds, visual stimulation, and can transform outdoor environments into soothing retreats.

In addition, waterfalls installed in existing ponds:

  • Create constant movement and flow, keeping water clear and free of algae
  • Add oxygen to water through aeration, which is necessary for raising fish and growing plants
  • Add design interest to otherwise bland water elements

You might opt for a pondless waterfall if you:

  • Have smaller or limited outdoor space
  • Prefer a water element that requires less maintenance
  • Are looking for an immediate environment transformation
  • Have small children or pets

More
erosion control indianapolisIn addition to the water elements mentioned above, we can also provide creative solutions for dry creek beds, and help with erosion control for ponds and lakes.

Would you like to find out more about water features for your Indianapolis home or Indianapolis commercial property? We’d love to answer any questions you might have about adding water to your outdoor environment. Just give us a call!

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