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Archives for Landscape Design

How to Choose a Landscape Designer

One of the most important steps any homeowner can make before engaging the services of a landscape designer is to know what they want. There’s a big difference between a landscape facelift and a complete makeover. Knowing what they want before hiring a landscape designer will help him/her create the desired features. Provide as much information to the designer as possible about available space, soil types, and existing plantings.

Research is Imperative

Having a solid idea of the available budget toward realizing a dream landscape is essential. Once individuals have a ballpark figure of how much they have to spend, add an additional one-third of that amount to the final cost.

Research is equally important about the designer. Narrow the search to a top three and don’t be afraid to ask for references from former customers. The designer should be licensed, bonded, insured, and have professional affiliations, education, and experience.

Style

Understanding the style of the proposed landscape is a critical concern. It will be governed by elements ranging from how the space will be used, how often, and the style of the surrounding architecture. Engage a design expert that specializes in the preferred style.

Collaborative Effort

It’s important that the project be a collaborative effort between the homeowner and the design expert. The landscape expert can offer creative suggestions about features, materials, plantings, and alternatives for space considerations. He/she should encourage questions and explain why each element is appropriate.

Understand the Process

A landscape designer should be able to explain in detail how long the process will take and provide a written estimate. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a landscape facelift or a complete makeover, understanding the process and the time required will make the wait easier as individuals watch their new outdoor space take shape.

Significant Investment

Making changes to the landscape is a major undertaking and represents a significant financial investment. Individuals shouldn’t sign a contract or commit to any work unless they’re completely satisfied with the design. Those that prefer environmentally-friendly solutions should search for a landscape designer that specializes in green practices.

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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Small Flowering Trees South Florida Edition

Small trees are an often overlooked option in the landscape of homes and businesses. They’re an ideal solution for smaller properties and their vibrant and unusual flowers provide visual interest. Many are salt-tolerant and can be used to create a screen, while others provide shade and remain compact enough to preserve a specific view. Some of the best flowering trees for Florida encompass the following, in no particular order.

Plumeria

The plant’s scientific name is Plumeria, but it’s also known as Frangipani. Its ugly duckling appearance in the winter is misleading. Blooms of red, white, yellow, pink and multi-colors transform it into a tropical showcase as it flowers profusely from spring to autumn. The blossoms are fragrant, used to make leis in Hawaii, and in lotions, candles and perfumes. It can grow up to 20 ft., is drought and salt tolerant, and is both a succulent and deciduous.

Japonica

There are several different types of the japonica species. The most petite is the Desert Cassia. It grows fairly quickly to a height of 10 ft., flowers in the spring and autumn, is salt tolerant, and attracts butterflies. The tree is also known as “scrambled egg tree” and “golden shower tree” due to its prolific yellow blossoms. Its cousin, Cassia surattensis, grows from 12-15 ft. in height and tolerates salt.

Jatropha

The compact/dwarf version will amaze with blooms every day of the year. It has small red flowers, can be grown as a bush, or trained as a single-trunk tree. It attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. It’s one of the smallest of the species, but quickly grows to about eight ft., and is drought tolerant.

Red Cluster Bottlebrush

This is a showy specimen featuring bright red flowers. Homeowners can cultivate it as a single or multi-trunk tree or a bush. Excellent for small yards and as an accent plant, the flower spikes resemble a bottlebrush and appear periodically throughout the year. It’s highly attractive to honey bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. A weeping version is also available and both are moderately tolerant to salt and can grow up to 25 ft. high.

Pick a Favorite

No matter what size yard or the preferred blossom color, there’s a small tree to accommodate any need in Florida. The temperate climate and mild winters allow dozens of small flowering trees to thrive, providing interest, beauty, and nectar for wildlife.

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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Colorful Shrubs

Shrubs don’t have to have exotic blossoms to be landscape standouts. There are many shrubs that have extremely colorful foliage that provide interest in unique ways. Many combine spectacular floral displays with unusually-colored leaves that put on their own show at various times of the year. For those that crave colorful shrubs, the following are some suggestions in no particular order.

Dart’s Gold™ Ninebark

Foliage is yellow gold in spring, turns lime green, and then transitions to golden yellow with a hint of bronze in the autumn. It has small white flowers in clusters that produce small red fruits. The bush grows 4-5 feet high and wide.

Goshiki™ Variegated False Holly

The evergreen features white, cream, yellow, pink and orange hues on each leaf, adding interest during slower winter months. It’s drought tolerant, deer resistant, and grows 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide.

Nightglow™ Diervilla

Emergent burgundy foliage gives way to leaves that approach black in color during summer and then turns red in the autumn before the bush sheds its leaves. It also has tubular, bright yellow flowers and reaches 2-3 feet in height and width.

Purple Hebe

White flowers emerge and rise above the burgundy/plum spotted foliage in late summer. Leaves fade to green as they age. It grows 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide.

Rainbow Fizz™ Spirea

Foliage begins as a copper red color in the spring, transitioning to shades of yellow, gold and orange all at the same time in summer’s heat. It has fuzzy pink blooms throughout the summer and foliage turns copper again with autumn. It grows 3-4 feet in width and height.

Wine & Roses™ Weigela

The combination of rosy pink flowers against dark purple foliage provides a show stopping vision. Spring foliage is so dark it almost appears black. The award-winning shrub requires little maintenance, is deer resistant, and grows 4-5 feet wide and high.

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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landscape design company boca raton

Hardscape can Enhance your Landscape

Most people automatically think of plants when they hear the word landscape, but it also encompasses a wide variety of other features that enhance, beautify, and add interest and value to properties. Within landscapes, there are ample opportunities to incorporate hardscapes.

Hardscapes can include paved paths and driveways, fountains, waterfalls, and pools, along with statuary, patios, fire pits and retaining walls. It can embrace decks, gazebos, pergolas, and stairways. Hardscape features are those made of materials such as metal, stone, brick, concrete and wood – the non-living elements within a landscape.

A hardscape can be decorative, practical or both. It can be as simple as adding a bench or something more complicated such as installing fencing. The elements work together to complement current or future landscaping, the architectural style of a home or business, improve functionality of the outdoor space, and meet the needs of the property owner.

Hardscaping is also an efficient and effective way to create a sense of dimension or emphasize boundaries between properties or other elements in the landscape. Fences and water hardscapes are particularly beneficial for masking traffic noise and water hardscapes are desirable for relaxing and entertaining.

In the past, the practice was typically to utilize one type of hardscaping to the exclusion of another. Today, the trend in cutting edge landscape design is to combine features for a more well-rounded approach or create ‘zones.’

Other trends include sleek and modern that utilizes linear and contemporary design with modern materials such as porcelain, that’re easy to clean and maintain. Another trend features multipurpose walls that double as benches, raised planters, or garden beds in which to grow a kitchen garden. Adding state-of-the-art lighting is also popular and contributes to safety and security.

No matter what type of hardscapes you may have envisioned, your landscape designer is sure to have ideas and concepts you may never have even considered. A landscape professional can introduce you to a wide variety of hardscape options and assist you in deciding what will work best on your property.

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 Plants to Shady Areas

Every property has them – areas of shade where nothing ever seems to want to grow. To fill in shady spots in the garden or landscape, it’s essential that the greenery that’s planted is shade-loving or shade-tolerant at the very least.

It’s possible to fill in those less well-lit areas with distinctly colored and patterned foliage. There are even plants that will bloom in those conditions for a burst of color in an unexpected location. There are annuals for those that like to change up their look each year, or the ever popular plant-them-and-forget-them perennials. First, you have to determine what type of shade you have – filtered, partial, full or deep.

Filtered Shade

This is one of the most common situations in landscapes, whether it’s a large estate or a small backyard. In filtered shade, sunlight is filtered through a canopy of leaves. The pattern of light shifts all day. Filtered shade is also known as dappled light. Begonias, fuchsias and bleeding heart are good choices.

Partial Shade

Another common situation is partial shade. It occurs when an area receives 2-4 hours of sun per day. Lily of the valley will grow in partial or full shade. Impatiens don’t mind shade and caladiums and coleus are valued for their showy foliage.

Full Shade

You have full shade when very little sunlight reaches plants due to thick trees, canopies or overhangs on structures. Hostas like shade and potted dead nettle is another option that’s non-invasive and doesn’t sting like ordinary nettles.

Deep/dense Shade

This occurs when plants receive no direct sun exposure and the light they do receive is reflected or indirect. It’s a difficult situation, but there are remedies. Primroses, coral bells, and foxglove are just some of the options for this type of environment.

Choose Carefully

If you purchase from a nursery, talk with one of their specialists to ensure the plants you choose will grow in the conditions where you plan to place them. If you’re going to purchase plants from a supermarket or similar outlet, research your options online before making a purchase.

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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Landscaping and Irrigation go Hand-in-Hand

One of the most important aspects of maintaining a beautiful landscape is ensuring it has sufficient moisture to thrive. Providing the water it needs when required can be a lot of time intensive work. It’s just one of the reasons that landscaping and irrigation go hand-in-hand.

Landscaping provides an aesthetically pleasing environment and adds value to any property. The same is true of an irrigation system. Modern systems are wonders of technology that are able to detect when plants need to be watered and can compensate for local rainfall to save property owners money.

Irrigation systems need to be installed and configured by a professional. They have the experience, knowledge and expertise to design an appropriate system, install directional sprinkler heads, program the system, and calculate the correct amount of water for different areas of the landscape. Drip irrigation can also be installed in appropriate locations.

When an irrigation system is installed, the designer will factor in a wide variety of elements. Those encompass soil types, different kinds of plantings, any areas where pooling or puddling are likely to occur, and runoff potential.

They’ll also configure the system so clients only water the soil and moisture isn’t directed to streets, sidewalks and walkways. An irrigation specialist will be able to adjust the water pressure appropriately so water is distributed in a uniform way.

Without the proper moisture levels at the correct times, everything from grass and flowers to bushes, trees and vines will wither and die. Conversely, too much water will drown them and lead to the growth of mold and mildew that can be expensive to alleviate.

For attractive and well-maintained landscapes, irrigation is a necessity. It eliminates the time and effort of watering by hand, saves water and money, and ensures the right amount of water is distributed in each zone. Irrigation ensures that every inch of properties are lush and green.

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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How to Choose a Landscape Designer

Designing or redesigning your landscape can be exciting. There are so many choices available it can be difficult to decide exactly what you want. However, what you envision may not be feasible due to considerations such as budget, space, or climate.

While most plants will thrive in South Florida, some may be an invasive species or grow too large for your space. That’s when the expertise of a landscape designer is essential and there are several things to consider when selecting a professional.

What do you want?

Know what type of features you want, how quickly you want the work done, and your budget. When those details have been decided, a landscape designer will be able to tell you if the vision is possible.

Do the research

Visit the websites of landscape designers to see some of their projects and reviews. Ask friends, family and coworkers that have had work done about their designer. If possible, view some of their projects in person.

Shop around

Consult with multiple firms and narrow your final choices to three. Don’t be afraid to request references and obtain quotes from each of your selections. Feel free to check the credentials and memberships of professional organizations the designer is affiliated with and make sure they’re fully insured should something go awry – accidents do happen.

Explanations

The landscape firms with which you consult should be able to explain the process to you in detail and provide estimates on time and cost. The firm should also be able to explain if certain plants or features won’t work in your space and why, and offer alternatives.

Great expectations

Even if you’re having a minor facelift performed on your property, landscape design is a significant investment and you want it to reflect your sense of style and aesthetics. Working with a landscape designer that shares your vision and provides the information you need allows you to make informed decisions.

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 Foliage

When people think about fragrance in the garden, they typically envision annual or perennial flowers in beds, borders or containers with a profusion of blooms. There are several different types of bushes and vines with lush foliage and highly fragrant blossoms that produce a pleasant aroma. They can generate enough fragrance to scent an entire yard and with some the aroma is particularly strong at night.

The following plants are especially attractive to hummingbirds, along with pollinators such as bees and butterflies. The philosophy of Feng shui says that fragrant flowers planted in a front yard will attract natural energy. Studies have also shown that fragrant flowers can reduce stress.

Evergreen Clematis

The lush foliage is ideal for screens and to trail over fences since they’re fast growing. It produces small flowers at a time when other plants typically don’t and the flowers are sweetly scented.

Gardenia

These shrubs are well-known for their shiny foliage and strongly-scented white blossoms. Their fragrance has been described as exotic and intoxicating and the plant is highly valued for its use in high-end perfumes.

Night Blooming Jasmine

While not a true jasmine, it has attractive glossy green leaves and white flowers that are highly aromatic. It’s highly cultivated in Asia and India for its use in perfume making. It’s a shrub that can grow up to 10 feet tall and the fragrance can be overpowering if someone is sensitive to scents. Use caution when planting, however. It produces berries that are toxic to people and pets if ingested.

Sweet Almond

Also known as incense bush, it’s a large shrub that produces white flower spikes and will bloom intermittently year-round. When in bloom, it fills the air with a scent that’s been described as that of almonds, almond cookies or amaretto liquor.

Wisteria

This vine can be left to ramble over fences and trellises, or trained to grow in the form of a bush. Depending on the variety, flower spikes can range from 6-12 inches in length and the scent fills the air long before the plant is spotted. It’s especially attractive to pollinators.

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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Lighting Can Make Your Yard Stand Out

One of the most under-utilized and misunderstood components of landscaping is lighting. It has the ability to beautify properties, increase curb appeal, and improve security. The installation of an outdoor lighting system can be used as accent lighting for unique plant specimens and to create dramatic effects for pools, fountains and waterfalls.

A well-lit yard is an effective deterrent to intruders and trespassers. Properties can be tastefully and artfully illuminated, while still remaining unattractive to those up to no good. It requires proper positioning to ensure the yard is lit without being a distraction, while eliminating shadowy areas in which people can conceal themselves.

At the same time, adding an outdoor illumination system also increases curb appeal. It’s essential for entryways to be well-lighted. It makes the home look inviting, welcoming, and it’s easier to see anyone that approaches the door after dark. It’s an important component of safety for friends and family so they don’t trip or fall on steps, stairs or other potential hazards.

Homes with unusual or unique architectural features can benefit from lighting that highlights rockwork, pillars and similar items. There are specific tricks to getting the lighting angled correctly so it showcases rather than making those features look garish. The same is true for garden attributes. Select lighting options are an effective way to highlight specific items within the landscape such as statuary, waterfalls, pools, and topiaries.

Lighting in any environment is important and especially so when highlighting homes or landscape features. There’s a myriad of selections from which to choose and the best way to know all the options is to seek the services of a landscape lighting designer. He/she can create a single illumination plan to accomplish safety, curb appeal and beautification, while maintaining the character of the home and surrounding landscape.

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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Great Annuals for Cooler Florida Weather

The unique weather conditions in Florida means that you can still have colorful blossoms, even during the cooler months. Many flowering annuals can be planted in October and will provide color until spring.

African Daisy

Similar in appearance to a daisy, they’re available in striking single and bi-colored varieties. They’re especially prolific when temperatures are in the 50s or 60s. They’re great in beds, borders, and containers.

Calendula

Bold golden or yellow flowers and easy-care plants make this a favorite for brightening up any location. They’re best in beds and borders, but won’t balk at containers.

Cyclamen

Variegated, heart-shaped leaves and blooms in an array of colors are the hallmarks of this plant. They make a big impact in the garden or when planted in pots or containers.

Dianthus

There are dozens of fragrant species that achieve multiple heights and even a light frost won’t stop them. They’re great in borders or containers and some are tough enough that they’re classified as bi-annuals.

Dusty Miller

While they do bloom, the main attraction with these is their silver foliage. They’re an ideal filler plant for baskets and containers. They’re resistant to deer, drought, and disease.

Geraniums

These vigorous plants bloom profusely in cooler weather. They come in an assortment of colors, in upright and trailing varieties, that are great in pots, planters, and window boxes.

Pansies

These cheerful flowers love cooler weather and are available in a multitude of colors. They can be planted in beds, pots or containers.

Petunias

These hardy and prolific flowers actually do better outside the heat of summer. They’re available in solid and uniquely striped bi-colors and are happy in beds, pots or containers.

Snapdragons

They’re available in dwarf, standard and trailing types in multiple, vibrant colors. Depending on the size, they’re excellent in beds, containers and as cut flowers.

Sweet Alyssum

Bountiful blooms in multiple colors on small plants make them a welcome addition. They’re fragrant and perfectly happy in pots, borders and beds.

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