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





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

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

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!

Smart Irrigation Month: Join the Party!

Smart Irrigation Month 2014It’s time to celebrate! July is Smart Irrigation Month – a public awareness campaign to promote efficient water use. And while we love talking about sensible lawn care, we also believe that every month represents an opportunity for property owners to be smart about their watering habits.

Using water wisely is not only the right thing to do, it has many benefits, including lower utility bills, protected community water supplies, and other environmental benefits like healthier green spaces. So what are some ways you can make a difference during Smart Irrigation Month? Take a look at some of our top tips:

Plant the Right Way

  • Consider your lawn and landscaping conditions (as well as your local climate), and then choose the plants that will thrive in those conditions.

  • Don’t forget to mulch! Using 2 to 4 inches of mulch helps reduce evaporation and moderates soil temperatures. It also improves water penetration and helps control weeds.

  • Save your planting for spring or fall, when temperatures are cooler and watering requirements decrease.

  • Aerate your lawn (and around trees) at least once a year. This helps water travel down to the roots faster.

  • Whenever you plant something, turn and cultivate the soil and add fertilizer or compost to improve moisture retention. Your plants will be healthier and require less water to stay strong.

Install an Irrigation System

  • Although an automated irrigation system might seem like an extravagance, it’s actually one of the best ways to keep your lawn healthy and looking great while minimizing water waste.

  • Choose a system that will allow you to adjust the amount of water applied to different areas. And install extra connections, even if you don’t need them at the time. It’ll be less expensive down the road when you want to expand your landscaping.

  • Invest in “smart” controls that will automatically adjust watering patterns according to soil moisture, rain fall and evaporation.

  • Resist the urge to cut corners and buy the cheapest system possible. By choosing the best components within your budget, you will minimize future maintenance and total lifetime costs of your system.

  • Make sure you check your water pressure before you choose your sprinkler system, as it can dramatically affect performance.

Watch the Watering

  • If you have an irrigation system, customize your watering schedule according to your sprinkler type, sun exposure and soil. The type of soil you have affects how quickly water will be absorbed. Overwatering will result in runoff and waste.

  • Don’t water too much. You need to saturate root zones and then let the soil dry. Too much water can lead to disease and fungus, weed growth and shallow roots.

  • Don’t water during the heat of the day, as you can lose up to 30 percent to evaporation. Water when the sun is down or low, and when winds are calm and temperatures are cool.

  • Water more often for shorter periods. For instance, instead of watering for a solid 30 minutes, set your system (or your watch) and water at 10-minute intervals. This will allow your soil to absorb more in between watering periods, and reduce waste and runoff.

Contact Us

There are lots of things you can do to be smart about your watering habits. If you would like to know more about Smart Irrigation Month (and improve your lawn and landscaping at the same time), please give us a call at (317) 259-9222. We’d love to help!

Family Garden Ideas for Summer Fun

Kids gardening ideasIt’s almost summer. Which means that many of you are wistfully gazing out the window each morning, sipping your coffee and pondering important life questions like, “How in the world am I going to keep my kids out of trouble this summer?”
We’ve got your answer, and it’s called a garden! But planting one isn’t as simple as just throwing a bunch of seeds on the ground (which is why it’s the perfect family activity). It takes a little planning, some old-fashioned TLC, and a good dose of elbow grease.
For many of us, the acts of planting, watering and nurturing seedlings are a part of our precious childhood memories. We remember anxiously waiting for that first glimpse of life to peek out from under the dark, rich soil. We cherish the days spent with parents, siblings or neighbors, just watching our gardens grow.
Here are some ways you can carry on that tradition by creating your own family garden (and keeping your kids busy at the same time), with five family gardens to make your summer fun:

Snackable Garden

Even if your kids resist eating their vegetables, it’s a whole different ballgame when they can pick them fresh from the garden. Besides, everyone knows that homegrown produce tastes better! Some of the easiest vegetables to grow are carrots, tomatoes, radishes, potatoes and peas.
And speaking of peas, add a playful touch to your garden by constructing a bean pole teepee. Start with six to eight bamboo poles or thin wooden rods. They should be tall enough to accommodate the height of your child. Tie the ends of the pole together, then spread out the other ends in a circular teepee formation. Push the ends securely in the soil, and then plant garden peas or any other type of climbing vines around the base. As they grow and climb the poles, your kids will have a natural fort in which to play.

Butterfly Garden

Who doesn’t love saying hello to butterflies on a summer day? If you want to attract these little beauties, start by choosing a sunny, open area (they need space to fly). Be sure to refrain from using any pesticides, as they will rid your garden of butterflies, natural predators and other beneficial insects. In addition, consider the following:

  • Wind-protected areas work best. Trellises, short brick walls, fencing or dense shrubs can serve as wind barriers.
  • Clusters of plants (large groupings of shapes and colors) are easier for butterflies to find, as they have poor eyesight from a distance.
  • Since male butterflies naturally gather around watering holes, add a bowl of wet sand or create mud puddles nearby.
  • Butterflies love rotting fruit and tree sap. You can make your own concoction with a mixture of mashed rotten bananas, molasses, sugar, stale beer, fruit juices and water. It might sound nasty to us humans, but spread it over garden rocks and watch what happens!

Fruit Garden

Fruit gardens take patience and time, but the pay-off is worth it. Some fruits take more than one season to produce, so make sure you do your research before choosing your plants.
Strawberries are probably the most common in family gardens, mainly because they’re so versatile. You can plant them in containers, hanging baskets, window boxes and of course, flower beds. They do well in most soil types, but will do best in well-drained sandy loam or loam soils.
Blueberries are popular too, but require a bit more attention to soil. The good news is they have few pest problems, and are consistently productive.
If you’re really feeling daring, give tropical fruit a try! Even though the Midwest zone is not ideal, it’s possible to grow things like rose apples, dwarf common figs, star fruit or persimmon.

Water Garden

Most kids love water, so it only makes sense that they’ll love getting their hands wet with a water garden. The good news is that they don’t have to be big, expensive ponds or fancy waterfalls. In fact, you can create delightful water gardens in small containers (ideally 24”W x 18”D), made of plastic or clay … even wood, as long as you make them water tight with durable plastic liners or layers of sealant.
Cluster different container sizes and types together around your patio, or use them to accentuate decks, fences or seating areas. Choose plants that contrast in size and color for dramatic displays, including tall, spiky varieties and softer, marginal plants.
With water gardens, less is better. Too many plants crammed in one small space will cover up the water and defeat its purpose! And if you’re worried about mosquitoes, you can wash out the larvae by overfilling the container, or even add a few mosquito fish.

Vertical Garden

If you don’t have suitable garden space, or if you just want to liven up an empty wall or fence, then vertical gardens might be just the answer for you. This doesn’t mean that you’re just going to plant climbing vines, it means that you’re actually going to create a vertical space in which to grow plants.
Some of the best plants that work well with vertical gardens are vegetables (like the pole beans we already talked about), fruits like grapes or strawberries, and flowering plants like creeping phlox or morning glories.
If you’re working with a fence or existing vertical structure, a few small touches can create the perfect environment for your plants, like:

  • Adding string to eaves
  • Attaching eye-hooks to porches
  • Securing sections of chained link fence

If you don’t have an existing vertical structure, you can get started with a makeshift trellis (depending on how handy you are), or purchase vertical growing kits, grow bags or hanging planters.

Ready, set, go!

If you’re ready to get busy with a fun family garden, we’re here to help! Just contact us with questions or concerns. Don’t forget to take pictures and post them here … we’d love to see what you come up with!