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Archives for Landscape Design

Great Plants for Shade

Every property has them – shady spots where nothing seems to grow. The good news is that there are a variety of shade-loving plants that will flourish without full sun. Some also have bright blossoms that will add a splash of color. Few annuals tolerate shade well, so your best option will be ground covers and perennials.

The first item of business is to determine what type of shade you have – light, moderate or deep shade. Some plants prefer four or fewer hours of sun in the morning or afternoon. Others are happy in dappled shade through tree leaves and some are happy in the shifting shade that comes in close proximity to pines and evergreens.

The most difficult areas of shade are those that are very dry or wet, where no sun shines at all, soil that has a significant amount of tree roots, and locations that are shaded by structures. In some instances, it can be helpful to thin and prune trees and bushes. It allows more indirect light to enter, but should only be done by a professional. The following plants are all good for shade gardening.

Begonias – Many types are available for varying degrees of shade, have showy flowers of white, yellow, red or orange and have single, double and ruffled blossoms.

Bleeding heart – Available in red, pink, yellow and white, they bloom profusely in the spring and may bloom sporadically throughout the year.

Campanula – Known as bellflowers, they’re offered in white and hues of pink, blue, and lavender, and range from dwarf varieties to those of 12 inches in height.

Hosta – They have very dense root systems, come in variegated and non-variegated leaf varieties, and have stalks of white, to deep purple blossoms.

Iris – The plants are available in a rainbow of flower colors and each species has its own bloom time.

Primrose – Available in a multitude of single and bi-colors, they’re low-growing and the species will determine bloom times.

Shade gardening can be especially challenging, but there are numerous perennial species from which to choose that will thrive in various states of shade. They also provide brightly colored blooms that will keep you enchanted throughout the year.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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Toxic Plants

Despite their beauty, there are many popular garden plants that no one should cultivate if there’s any way that children or pets may come into contact with them. Some can cause a painful or itchy skin rash if touched, while others can result in death if the leaves, flowers or seeds are ingested. Some of the most deadly include the following.

Larkspur is a member of the genus delphinium and they provide a bright splash of color in gardens. The entire plant is deadly, especially young leaves and mature seeds. Nausea, vomiting and burning of the mouth is almost immediate when ingested. The plants can be lethal in six hours or less.

One of the harbingers of spring, lily-of-the-valley is a sweet-smelling ground cover. The entire plant is toxic, especially the leaves, and affects the heart. A single bite can cause symptoms ranging from hot flashes and hallucinations to clammy skin before coma and death occur.

Hydrangeas were popular funerary arrangements at one time. They have large, showy flowers and while the entire plant is toxic, the flower buds are especially so. Ingesting any part of the plant is like consuming cyanide.

Known as poet’s daffodil, this variety of narcissus is smaller than others and is a cheery sight in the spring. They won’t attract deer, rabbits or rodents and all parts of the plant are toxic, especially the bulbs. Even the scent from a bouquet of narcissus in a room can cause a severe headache.

Rhododendrons produce showy displays of brilliant color in the garden, but the entire plant can be deadly. Swallowing any part of the plant will cause drooling, violent vomiting, low blood pressure, and seizures and coma before death occurs.

Dozens of common garden plants enhance landscapes and few know the dangers of death that they present. Individuals should thoroughly research any plant they’re considering adding to their property to avert a deadly disaster to their own children and pets, along with others in the neighborhood.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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What Goes into a Commercial Landscape Site Design?

Creating a commercial landscape design is a multi-step process that incorporates a myriad of factors. It must accommodate the needs of the client, be aesthetically pleasing, meet a variety of regulatory specifications, and fulfill security and safety requirements.

A commercial landscape company will work closely with clients to determine their needs and turn their vision into a completed project. It involves a variety of elements and services that combines functionality with beauty to accommodate the unique needs of each commercial space whether it’s the property surrounding a warehouse facility or an apartment complex.

A landscaping professional will visit the property to assess it and ascertain any issues that may arise with drainage, pooling or erosion. The design will factor in where trees, flowers and bushes will be planted, where parking spaces, fencing, and driveways will be constructed, and where lighting will be installed.

Elements such as where gutters and rainwater runoff will flow will be determined. A commercial landscaping company will also be able to create, install and service irrigation systems. They can assist with the planning of walkways, playgrounds, water features, and the placement of bike racks, depending upon the property. They also provide solutions for commercial property owners that desire eco-friendly elements.

Attention will be paid to existing surroundings and materials chosen to complement architecture and surroundings. Consideration will be given to upkeep of the finished project to ensure low-maintenance requirements encompassing mowing, clean-up and even pest control that are also cost effective.

Landscape design companies have established relationships with a variety of service providers that work to provide customized solutions that are tailored to the needs of clients. They have the ability to dramatically transform the appearance of properties that will also enhance and increase their value.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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tree services boca raton florida

Strategic Tree Placement on Commercial Properties

Any commercial property will benefit from the addition of trees. They provide a pleasant and welcoming appearance, help cool the environment, are eco-friendly, and add value to any property. Trees are a wonderful addition, but their placement and the type of trees that will be planted require careful consideration.

Commercial landscapers will factor in elements such as how the green spaces they occupy will be utilized, along with the need for pruning, growth habits and mature height. The trees must have the ability to thrive in commercial landscapes and will need minimum distance from structures and areas of heavy traffic.

A combination of traditional shade trees and evergreens adds diversity to the landscape and interest in multiple seasons. They also act as buffers against noise, protect against harsh winds, provide privacy, and purify the air.

Planting trees on the west side of structures is beneficial for helping to cool buildings and lower air conditioning costs, particularly if they provide shade for windows since the sun’s rays are more intense from the west. Trees planted on the east side of a building can also aid in reducing the use of air conditioning.

Trees planted on the south side of properties can work to lower the demand for energy in the summer, providing they don’t obstruct the sun from entering windows during cooler months or block energy-efficient strategies such as solar panels and wind turbines. Placing air conditioning units in the shade will help them operate more efficiently.

Trees can increase the value of properties by up to 12 percent, making them an excellent investment for commercial landscapes. They add beauty and provide a myriad of functions. A professional landscaper will have the knowledge and experience to know what trees will grow best in specific locations and how to strategically place them within commercial properties to the best advantage.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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When is it Time to Refresh Your Landscape?

A professionally designed landscape will add beauty and visual interest for many years as it changes and evolves. However, there comes a time when the green space you’re living with just doesn’t evoke the same joy as it once did. When that happens, it may be time to refresh your landscape.

It’s a good idea to look closely at your landscape every 5-10 years and evaluate its appearance. Improper pruning and plantings that have sustained significant damage need to be removed and/or replaced. The same can be said for flowers, bushes or hedges that have overgrown their space. If you can’t enjoy your property in the way you wish, it’s time for an update.

Begin by really looking at the front yard. The entry should be open, attractive and welcoming. Pedestrians shouldn’t scurry by your home as if it were a haunted house. Visitors should be able to clearly see the driveway and open their car doors all the way to exit their vehicle without stepping on plants or scratching their car.

Lighting after dark is always a welcome addition. It conveys a sense of warmth and is essential for guests trying to navigate walkways and stairs. Plant and trees shouldn’t encroach on walkways. Take a walk back and forth in front of your home and try to see it from the perspective of a stranger.

If you’re spending a significant amount of time and money watering your property, it may be time to install a programmable irrigation system and transition to a more low-maintenance landscape. You’ll save time and money with both.

Backyards need tender loving care, too. If the backyard isn’t being used to its full potential or the family’s needs have changed, it’s time to refresh your landscape. Pools, decks, balconies, and fireplaces can make a dramatic difference and create a space you’ll cherish.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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Annuals vs. Perennials

Flowering plants create an ever-changing perspective in landscapes and provide an important source of food for butterflies, hummingbirds, and honey bees. Individuals can choose from annuals, perennials or a combination of both to produce a bounty of blooms. There are also biennials that live and flower over the course of two growing seasons.

Annuals

Gardeners typically plant annuals in the spring and summer months. These are the plants normally found in abundance at nurseries and popular chain stores. They grow and flower for a single season, then die. However, due to South Florida’s unique weather and growing conditions, some annuals may reseed themselves.

Annuals will require more work since they need to be replanted each year, but the trade-off is a profusion of spectacularly colored blossoms. Deadheading annuals will keep them looking neat and encourage new blooms. One of the advantages of annuals is that they bloom over a longer period and do so freely. They’re an excellent way to have showy flowers between the bloom cycles of perennials.

Planting annuals ensures a continually changing kaleidoscope of colors, but they do require more fertilizer and watering to remain healthy. If a gardener plants a variety they don’t care for, they can simply plant something different the next year. Annuals are also less expensive than perennials. Popular annuals include petunias, zinnias, pansies, marigolds, begonias, snapdragons, and impatiens, along with moss roses, geraniums, celosia, and calendula.

Perennials

These are an ideal solution for those that want to “plant it and forget it.” While they’re not entirely maintenance-free, they grow and multiply each year without any help from gardeners. Depending on the type of perennial, they may need to be trimmed or cut back at the end of their bloom cycle. Some types may need to be divided periodically to prevent them from overgrowing their allotted space.

Perennials have a stronger and deeper root system that enables them to adapt to extremes in weather. Their root systems also require less water and fertilizer since they forage for nutrients from deeper in the soil. Those same roots help hold and stabilize soil and aid in minimizing weed growth.

They’re more expensive since they’re a one-time purchase, but younger plants can be obtained at less cost for those that are willing to watch them grow. Perennials include a variety of flowering bulbs such as daffodils, tulips, and lilies. Other perennials encompass delphiniums, phlox, some carnations, coneflowers, bleeding hearts, and lavender.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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Controlling Water Consumption

A lush, green outdoor environment requires water, but ensuring that lawns and plantings obtain the liquid they need can be expensive and result in unintended consequences that include pooling, puddling, runoff, and erosion. There are a variety of ways to control water consumption ranging from irrigation systems to landscaping.

One way to control water consumption is by installing plants that have low water requirements. A variety of trees and bushes provide beauty and shade, while offering flowers that are attractive to bees, butterflies and hummingbirds and fruits that attract song birds.

Flowers such as bougainvillea, moss roses, living stones and blanket flowers require less water than most and bloom readily in beds for a splash of color. Many also have dense root balls that won’t be easily uprooted in the event of heavy rains. Mulching will help hold moisture longer and impede evaporation for less watering.

An irrigation system makes any watering task easier. Today’s systems are programmable to manage the delivery of water. They provide the right amount of water at the correct time for efficiency and savings in time and money. The best time to water is early morning or late in the evening to minimize evaporation.

A properly landscaped property will go a long way toward avoiding problems with drainage that can result in unwanted runoff that wastes water and deprives plants of the moisture they need. Landscaping for controlling water consumption can include a variety of methods that also provide attractive features and interest in residential and commercial areas.

One way is to use rocks in low spots to create a “rock creek.” Perforated pipes can be installed that channels water into the ground rather than letting it pool. Another technique is creating a rain garden that captures moisture for less watering.

With the proper landscaping, anyone can have lush, green grounds without spending a fortune on watering costs. The installation of metered irrigation systems eliminates water wastage and the time-consuming task of watering. A landscaping professional can design and create a complete eco-system that controls water consumption in an efficient and cost effective manner.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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Popular Florida Groundcover Plants

Groundcovers are landscaping opportunities that are ornamental, effective for solving a variety of soil and contouring problems, and their value is often overlooked. There are perennial types for those that desire a self-sustaining low-maintenance solution, along with annual forms that enable home and business owners to change and refresh their look every year.

One of the advantages of groundcovers is that they come in a variety of heights to accommodate any preference and they grow in sun or shade. Some create a carpet of green, while others have spectacularly colored blossoms Groundcovers come in multiple shades of green and a myriad of textures that add interest to the landscape and can be utilized to address challenges of erosion to poor soils.

Depending upon the chosen groundcover, they can also be an effective barrier against rampant weed growth.  One of the best known ground covers is creeping phlox, with blossoms in shades of blue, pink or white. Typically staying at about two inches tall, it can attain a height of six inches during its bloom season. Candytuft is also popular for its sweetly scented white flowers and it grows up to 12 inches high.

For those that enjoy the spring blooms of hyacinths, tulips and daffodils, the good news is that many groundcovers can be combined with spring-blooming bulbs. The bulbs will grow through groundcovers such as pachysandra or speedwell, providing bright spring color before the groundcover takes over for the summer.

Beach flower is a native of Florida that’s ideal for hot, dry areas. It attracts butterflies, is salt-tolerant for coastal areas, and grows quickly. Individuals can also choose from groundcovers encompassing ferns or Asiatic jasmine. For a non-living groundcover, consider decorative stones or mulch.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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Best Times to Fertilize the Grass

Many homeowners have fertilized their grass, only to see it slowly wither, brown out, and die – or show no improvement at all. While the problem may be the type of fertilizer used or the amount that was applied, it can also be the result of improper timing.

Florida lawns are different than those in other parts of the U.S. and standard guidelines often don’t apply due to the state’s unique climate and weather. It’s important for homeowners to know that warm-season grasses will brown out when temperatures dip, it’s normal, and they often spring back.

The best time to apply fertilizer is in the spring when grass begins to grow and throw out new shoots – typically around mid-April. Fertilizer provides essential nutrients to maintain health and replenish elements that may have become depleted in long-established lawns. It supports healthy root growth and enables grass to recover from conditions ranging from pests to hurricanes.

Florida contains some areas that restrict the use of fertilizer during months when heavy rains are a concern. People living in those areas can still feed their lawn with a time-release fertilizer before the restrictions go into effect that will nourish the lawn throughout the season.

To be effective, fertilizer must have the time to release nutrients and for it to be absorbed into the soil where grass can utilize it. Just as it’s important to know when to fertilize, it’s equally essential that homeowners understand when not to apply it. Fertilizer shouldn’t be applied:

  • When a storm – especially a tropical storm – is expected within 24 hours
  • If more than two inches of rain is anticipated
  • When new turf grass has just been planted
  • After mid-September to mid-May

Fertilizer will typically need to be reapplied to the average lawn every 6-8 weeks throughout the summer, but be careful not to over-fertilize. Err on the side of caution. Fertilizing too early can promote weed growth, while fertilizing when the weather is extremely hot can weaken and damage grass. Getting it “just right” will ensure a lush, green lawn throughout the year. Whenever possible, utilize the experience of a lawn care professional.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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Adding Shade to Your Property

Shade provides more than pleasant place to while away a summer afternoon. It’s eco-friendly, adds value to your property, and will save you money. Landscaping your property to provide shade can take a variety of forms. The easiest and least inexpensive way is to plant trees.

Popular trees for providing shade in Florida include the black olive, live oak, mahogany, ficus, and the gumbo limbo, though others grow equally well. They feature multiple growing habits and textures that add interest throughout the year.

Trees provide ample shade, help purify the air, and act as a windbreak. It’s essential that you match the growth habits of the trees to the size of your yard. Trees cool the land, the air, and reduce the cost of cooling homes and businesses.

If you prefer a structure rather than a living source of shade, you have a myriad of choices ranging from tiki huts and pergolas to pavilions and gazebos. They can be customized in multiple ways and erected in a variety of locations to obtain optimal shade value for homes and around swimming pools. They also provide unique opportunities for entertaining.

Arbors are another option for shade where vines provide the shade as they twine around the structure. Sleek shade sails and retractable awnings can be attached to homes and decks to provide shade during specific times of the day. They have the advantage of providing instant shade whenever and wherever it’s required.

Outdoor living spaces offer exciting opportunities for spending time with friends and family, but no one wants to swelter in the sun. From trees and tiki huts to awnings, there are multiple types of landscaping options that provide shade, increase the value of your property, and can help reduce the cost of your cooling costs. However, trees still remain the most economical and eco-friendly option.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

Read more