Archives for Landscape Design

Shrubs or Fence for Privacy

There are basically two options for establishing privacy – shrubs or fencing. There’s a myriad of elements to consider when choosing which is best for any given location and circumstance. Before making a decision, consider the advantages and disadvantages of each. The following are some pros and cons of each type.

Shrubs

Shrubs provide a natural living fence that offer a friendlier and less regimented look than an artificial barrier. It’s important to understand that the appearance of a live fence will depend on the shrubs selected. A formal, manicured hedge will require more time and effort to maintain. Some shrubs look best when left to grow naturally. There are also flowering and non-flowering shrubs.

The plants are eco-friendly and provide an environment in which wildlife can shelter. Depending on the size of the selected shrubs, it may take some time for the plants to provide the desired level of privacy. However, a living privacy fence isn’t the best option for homes that are very close together as the plants can encroach on a neighbor’s property.

Shrubs aid in buffering noise and dirt, while providing a good windbreak. It’s usually necessary for individuals to obtain a permit before any planting can begin. The cost of installing shrubs will be less than that of erecting a traditional fence.

Fencing

A traditional fence of wood or manmade materials has the ability to provide immediate privacy without the wait. There are new fencing materials that can be recycled and that aid in muting sound and dust from the outside. Those same materials can mimic the appearance and texture of wood and stone. Some are able to withstand winds of up to 110 mph., are resistant to UV rays, and are almost maintenance free.

Traditional fences enhance a property’s value and are a good choice when homes are very close together as they require less space to erect. Individuals will definitely need a permit before construction of the fence can commence. The installation and associated costs of installing a traditional fence will be substantially more expensive than the alternative.

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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Different Tree Shapes to Accent your Yard

Trees have a wide variety of growth habits and that diversity can add special interest to any landscape. Knowing the shape of a tree is an important facet when choosing a new tree to plant in the landscape.

Classifying tree shapes doesn’t always depend on a tree’s silhouette, but on the manner in which the branches grow. The trick is matching the shape and growth habit with the landscape environment. Different varieties within the same species can also demonstrate varying shapes. Those are just some of the reasons why it pays to consult with a landscaping expert for guidance.

Columnar

These grow in same shape as the name implies. Columnar trees present a formal appearance and are tidy with uniform branch lengths. Examples are arborvitae, Lombardy poplar, Italian cypress, some junipers, and Japanese holly. There are also specially developed columnar fruit trees.

Fastigiate

The branches in this group of trees appear to grow vertically or almost horizontally to the trunk. They tend to be tall, narrow and erect in growth. Some junipers and yews are in this grouping, along with thujas of the cypress family.

Globe/Round

Regular, rounded tops are the earmarks of these trees. When planted in rows along a drive they provide a stately appearance. A good example is the Black maple and some flowering dogwoods fit the classification.

Horizontal

These trees tend to be massive in size and often have a blocky appearance. The branches are horizontal along the entire trunk and can overwhelm small environments. Red and White oaks and Red cedars are some examples.

Open-Headed/Irregular

The trees in this group often have no exact or definable shape. A good example is the honey mesquite.

Oval

Trees with oval shaped heads are often lumped into the same category as those with rounded heads. Examples include green mountain ash, Bradford pear, and Norway maples.

Pyramidal/Cone

This is a very large grouping that includes conifers and deciduous trees. They can create a dramatic effect in the landscape. The Dawn redwood, Colorado blue spruce, some cedars and cypresses.

Umbrella

An umbrella-shaped tree is exactly like it sounds and resembles an open umbrella. Acacias, Japanese maples, and palo verdes are in this category.

Vase

These trees are small at the bottom and open up gracefully like a vase at the top. They provide shade without inhibiting the headroom of those walking beneath them. Crape myrtles, redbuds, and American elms are good examples.

Weeping

Willows are the most expressive example of this category, though there are also a variety of other species that exhibit the weeping growth habit that includes some birches, cherries, hemlock, and weeping white pine.

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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Plan Your Landscaping with a Professional

If you’re contemplating any type of landscaping change, hire a professional. It will be more expensive than a DIY project, but you’ll be glad you did. Professional landscapers have the experience and knowledge to ensure every element works in harmony and you’ll have an environment that will make you happy for years to come.

Landscapers do far more than plant greenery in the soil. They have comprehensive knowledge of all types of plants and their requirements. They can help you choose plants for your environment that provide unique visual interest, complement each other, and won’t overgrow their space.

Qualifications

There are many professional organizations with which professional landscapers may hold memberships. Some landscaping companies offer a variety of services, while others specialize in one area. Hire a professional that has expertise and experience in the type of work you want to be done.

Ideas

Your landscaper can help you choose materials and create a cohesive design. They’ll be knowledgeable about drainage features, architecture, irrigation, soil composition, and plants of all types. They can help you achieve the oasis of your dreams while remaining within budgetary requirements.

Pitfalls

A major advantage of hiring a landscaper is that they will know how to avoid common mistakes. Many people invest time and money doing their own landscaping, only to discover what they want to accomplish won’t work in their particular location.

Permits

A wide array of permits and permissions will be required. A professional will know what permits are needed according to prevailing safety laws and local regulations. Without the proper permits, you could easily find that your new plants or patio must be removed after it’s already installed.

Multiple Services

Your landscaper will be able to provide landscape architecture and installation of features ranging from fire pits, fireplaces and kitchens to pools, spas, landscape lighting, and fountains. They’ll be able to install irrigation systems, build custom decks and patios, and ensure every plant is right for its environment.

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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Why add a Waterfall to your Landscape

The sound of water has a biological connection to the human body and the brain itself. The sound of water, or even the sight of water without sound, causes the brain to release neurochemicals that have a calming effect. Adding a waterfall to your landscape beautifies the environment and has a wealth of health-related benefits.

There are multiple styles of waterfalls from which to choose and the water feature doesn’t have to be large or elaborate to enhance the landscape. A waterfall can be freestanding design, lodged against a wall, or added to a corner of a swimming pool. A waterfall can also be designed as part of an in-ground reflection pool.

One of the best reasons to add a waterfall to your landscape is that it’s a great way to melt away stress. Multiple studies have demonstrated that the sound of water promotes wellness by lowering blood pressure, improving circulation, and inducing relaxation.

Waterfalls make wonderful focal points within the landscape where you can gather with family and friends. They can be customized in a wide variety of ways to reflect personal tastes and style preferences. Lighting can be incorporated for a unique appearance and they provide texture within the landscape.

A waterfall is a feature that can be adapted to fit into virtually any area, even awkward spaces that you don’t normally use, making the area more functional and adding visual interest. They’re economical to operate and won’t increase your water bill since the water is continually recirculated.

The water feature will be an enhancement to the natural ecosystem. If you’re a fan of wildlife, you’ll find that a waterfall will attract a variety of bird species and dragonflies that eat undesirable insects that include mosquitoes.

Waterfalls are beautiful, add interest and texture to any landscape, and the sound of water calms the mind, body and spirit. The sight and sound of a waterfall has a profound effect on the environment and the human body that’s healthy and restful.

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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The Best Shade Trees for South Florida Yards

Shade trees beautify properties, help keep environments cool, and clean the air while providing oxygen. Their limbs and branches also provide shelter and nesting spaces for a variety of wild bird species and help save on cooling costs. Each tree species has its own growth and space requirements of which individuals should be aware before planting. The following are some of the best shade trees for South Florida yards, in no particular order.

Bald Cypress

This is a good tree for low spots as it likes a lot of water, though it will tolerate a mild drought. It’s a unique conifer with needles that turn a rusty red color and fall in the autumn. It grows about 50 ft. high, with a canopy diameter of about half that size. It has far reaching roots and should be planted at least 15 feet away from buildings and walkways.

Florida Maple

The Florida Maple grows to 40 ft. in height and leaves turn a bright reddish-bronze in the fall. They’re fairly fast growing and good for medium sized yards. The tree will tolerate some flooding and will grow in full sun or partial shade. As it matures, the roots tend to breach the ground surface. Mulching around the tree will minimize mowing problems.

Live Oak

This is a tree that can live for centuries. It’s very resilient and can act as a windbreak against winds. It’s deeply rooted and can tolerate some flooding. The trees can grow 65 ft. high have large canopies and far reaching branches making them a good choice for large landscapes. The disadvantage to the tree is that the blooms can be messy in the spring. It does produce acorns that squirrels like and will require trimming when young.

Mahogany

Known primarily for the value of its wood, the leaf texture can add interest to the landscape. It’s an evergreen, but will drop its leaves for a short time each year. It’s on Florida’s endangered species list and planting one will aid in maintaining the species. They’re drought and salt tolerant, but do have aggressive roots. The tree shouldn’t be planted closer than a minimum of 20 feet from structures and no closer than 6 ft. from walkways and curbs. Mahogany can live up to 350 years, grow up to 60 ft. tall, and have a 50-ft. canopy spread.

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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Fragrant Plants for your South Florida Yard

People design their yards for a variety of purposes. Some are eco-friendly for water efficiency and others are planted to attract birds, butterflies, and honey bees. One of the most popular trends is the fragrant garden, planted to celebrate the many plants with pleasing scents.

Living in South Florida, you’re fortunate in that you have options not readily available to other locations within the nation that include trees, vines, and bushes. The following are some of the more fragrant plants you may want to plant in your yard.

Banana Shrub

Foodies will love this bush with flowers that smell like ripe bananas. It can grow large, but it’s easy to keep trimmed and within bounds. It’s very hardy and has one-inch flowers that resemble magnolia blossoms edged with crimson.

Gardenia

These are best situated in smaller beds, but they also thrive as a container plant where they can be treated to the nutrient-rich soil they crave. The large white blossoms are famous for their use in perfumes.

Jasmine

Angel wing and star jasmine have delicate white blossoms that attract bees. The former can be trained to climb, be grown in a hanging basket, or as a container plant. The latter is a vine that’s prized for its aromatic star-shaped blooms.

Magnolia

The tree is known for its enormous white blossoms that can be as large as a saucer when fully open. Highly fragrant, both evergreen and deciduous varieties are available. Magnolia fossils have been found dating to 100 million years ago.

YLang Ylang Tree

If you have plenty of room and want a shade tree that will emit the scent of Chanel No. 5, this is the tree for you. It’s the basis for the perfume and can grow up to 50 ft. in height. The aroma is said to be an aphrodisiac.

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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Pros of Adding Rock to Plant Beds

Rock is quickly becoming a go-to in South Florida gardens. The material has a higher initial cost, but is highly durable. Rocks offer a multitude of design options and they’re available in a wide range of colors, sizes, shapes, and types. Highly versatile, they can be used as mulch or edging. It’s best to use smaller stones since heavier stones can begin to sink into the ground over time.

Adds Minerals

Many soils are lacking in essential minerals that plants can’t manufacture on their own. While rocks in and of themselves won’t help mineralize soil, powdered rock can be added to plant beds.

Curb Appeal

No matter what type is chosen – rocks, stones or pebbles – the material offers clean lines and a lighter appearance that adds to curb appeal.

Doesn’t Decompose

Rock doesn’t decay, so it doesn’t need to be replaced like traditional wood-based mulch, which begins to decompose when exposed to moisture. A small amount of rock may need to be added after its initial settling and rock is so durable that it can even outlast the lifetime of the garden.

Drainage

For those that are employing raised beds, pea gravel and similar stones provide additional drainage so plant roots don’t become water logged. Pebbles and rocks are equally beneficial for plant beds that suffer with drainage issues.

Low Maintenance

Rocks aren’t easily disturbed by rain, wind, people, or pets and require very little maintenance. They retain their color and appearance for years; though they may need an occasional hosing down to remove dust.

Minimizes Weeds

While no type of mulch will completely eliminate weeds in the flower bed, rocks will significantly limit their growth. Any undesirable growth can easily be plucked out.

Reduces Erosion

Wind and rain can gradually move soil around. Stones reduce that movement making them ideal for preserving soil, even in heavy rains.

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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Beautiful Palm Trees

A number of palm tree species grow in Florida and they’re highly prized. There are actually 2,500 different species of palm trees from around the world, all of which will grow and flourish in the state’s tropical environment. While all of them aren’t cultivated, there’s a palm species to please practically anyone.

Palms vary widely. There are those known as “mini” palms, such as the Pygmy Date Palm that typically grows from 6-12 feet in height and the Arikury Palm that grows to 6 ft. tall. The Areca Palm remains small and is popular as a houseplant in cold climates. The most commonly grown palms in Florida range in size from the modest 15-foot height of the Christmas Palm to the stately 80-ft. height of the Coconut Palm and Royal Palm.

Some grow very slowly and make great specimen trees, while others are quick growing and require a significant amount of room. There are palms that are ideal for around the pool and those that are best grown in a formal garden setting. The long, weeping fronds of the Piccabeen Palm enables it to tolerate high winds and there’s also the Sabal Palm, the state tree of Florida.

Aside from choosing the right size palm tree for the available space, another concern will be fronds and fruit that can cause injuries to people and pets or damage to property when they fall. Those that shed dead fronds on their own are called self-cleaning palms. It’s essential that professionals be called to remove fronds and fruits from these trees.

Palm trees have varying types of foliage depending on the species that can range from bright green outstretched fronds to beautiful silver-green fans. Some grow as majestic single trunked trees, but others are multi-stemmed varieties. The appearance of the trunks also has considerable variation. Some palm trunks are relatively smooth or resemble bottles, while others have trunks covered in spines.

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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Pros and Cons of Adding a Bougainvillea

A bougainvillea is among one of the most popular vines and you may want to add it to your landscape. Beautiful blossoms are just one of the most attractive features of the vine. There are many reasons to plant one in your own yard, but there are also some drawbacks about which you may not be aware. The following are some of the pros and cons of adding a bougainvillea vine to your landscape.

Pros

The vines have become popular for planting around homes and along fences as a security feature and intruder deterrent due to their very sharp thorns.

They’re fast growing.

A bougainvillea will produce a profusion of showy blooms over the course of three to five weeks, depending on the health of the vine.

It’s drought resistant and adapts to a wide variety of soil conditions.

Bougainvillea can be grown in containers on the patio, which will assist in keeping it under control, but it will still require a trellis or other type of support. It’s never a good idea to cultivate them indoors due to the thorns.

Cons

Bougainvillea’s sharp thorns are able to piece clothing and deliver a nasty wound to bare skin. They’re not recommended in homes with children, the elderly, or pets.

The vine’s sap is toxic and if ingested in sufficient amounts, people and pets can become very ill.

If pricked by one of the thorns, you may develop an allergic response similar to that of poison ivy or poison oak. It may produce symptoms that include blisters, swelling, pain, or itching and stinging.

It blooms best when water stressed. That can be a problem for homes with automatic irrigation systems. That can be remedied by planting it in specific locations or adjusting the irrigation system to deliver less moisture to the area where the vine is planted.

Bougainvillea has the potential to become invasive due to its fast growing nature and adaptability if it’s not managed and maintained properly.

It needs to be planted a minimum of four feet from walkways and similar locations to prevent injuries to people and pets. To ensure it doesn’t disturb other landscape plants, it should be grown at least six to nine feet from any other plant.

The vine will require support. Make sure arbors and trellises are strong enough to support it.

Bougainvillea requires regular pruning to promote a proper form and prevent it from running rampant.

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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Tips for an Allergy-Friendly Yard

The wide array of beautiful blossoms that many people enjoy is often denied those with allergies. It’s just not bedding plants that increase the symptoms of allergies. Even trees that may have no obvious discernable blooms emit pollen and can trigger an allergic reaction. No one has to be content with a plant-free yard or settle for adorning their yard with statuary.

It’s important to understand that even though individuals may take every precaution to protect themselves, pollen is borne on the wind and the plants that a neighbor has six houses down can still affect them. It’s a good idea to consult with a landscape professional to discover plantings that produce the least amount of pollen.

If at all possible, have an allergy test performed. It will provide answers about the substances to which someone is most susceptible. Using information obtained by the test, individuals will know what not to plant in their yard. To minimize allergies, try the following tips.

  • Begin an allergy medication regimen about two weeks before pollen season starts.
  • Keep windows closed and use air conditioning to help filter out pollen.
  • Wear a NIOSH approved mask, but if one isn’t available, any mouth/nose covering is better than none. Glasses, gloves and long sleeves can minimize contact with pollen.
  • Immediately change clothes, wash what was worn outside when coming in from outdoors, and shower and wash hair.
  • Have a friend mow if grass produces an allergic response or use a lawn service.
  • Garden on windless days, early in the morning, or after a rain.

There are numerous flowers, bushes, trees, vines, and grasses that are known to produce less pollen than others or that typically don’t stimulate an allergic response as easily. Included in that list are snapdragons, zinnias, impatiens, clematis and begonias. Pears, plums, and Chinese palms are good tree choices for those with allergies.

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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