Archives for Residential Landscaping

poinsettia

Holiday Plants to add to Your Front Yard

Florida residents are unique in that they have a wide variety of plants they can cultivate in their yard and garden to get them in the Christmas spirit. However, you should be aware that many of the plants associated with the holidays are toxic to pets and children.

Amaryllis

The big, beautiful blossoms of amaryllis can easily be 6 inches across and they’re long lasting. Get bulbs in Nov. and they’ll bloom in 4 to 8 weeks. They need indirect sun and don’t overwater them.

Candy Cane Sorrel

The red and white striped, trumpet shaped blooms can be grown in full sun or partial shade. The blooms fold up at night, further enhancing the candy cane appearance. They’re low-growing and are great planted near the door. They don’t like high heat or humidity, so they often wither during the summer. They like direct sunlight or partial shade.

Cyclamen

Available in red, white, pink and purple, they’re especially welcoming around the front door. They prefer cooler temperatures, should be planted in the autumn, and protected from temps 40 F and below. They’re toxic to children and pets.

Holly

Resistant to hurricanes, the green foliage and red berries are indicative of the holiday season. Only female holly plants bear berries. Left on its own, holly can grow 12 ft. wide and 40 ft. tall. It’s best grown as a hedge.

Mistletoe

A parasitic plant, it must attach itself to another plant to grow and thrive. It can be grown on elm, hackberry, laurel oak, sycamore and wild cherry. Mistletoe is poisonous when ingested. Always wash your hands after handling it.

Poinsettia

The tropical plant is associated with Christmas and the holiday season. In South Florida, it can be planted outdoors, though it typically doesn’t thrive due to overwatering. It needs at least 6 hours of indirect sunlight, temperatures between 55 and 65 F. at night, and 65 to 70 F in the day. Water sparingly and only when the leaves feel dry to the touch.

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 has 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 Herbs for Indoor Gardens

Herbs add flavor and color to any culinary endeavor and they can be grown indoors. No one has to go without herbs, even if they don’t have outdoor garden space. Herb growers should choose herbs they regularly use when cooking.

The biggest challenge for most people is finding the sunniest space in their home for the herbs to thrive. For those that don’t have a sufficiently sunny space, consider grow lights under kitchen cabinets and similar locations. Herbs will require at least 6 hours of light each day.

Small herb starts can be purchased and cultivated at home or grown from seed. It’s important to plant them in pots that will be large enough for them to expand. Planters should have drainage holes to allow water to drain without drowning.

The most common – and easiest – herbs to grow indoors are:

  • Basil – for salads, sauces, sandwiches
  • Bay laurel – for soup, stew, rice pilaf
  • Chervil – for Bearnaise sauce, omelet, salad, poultry, egg dishes
  • Chives – for garnishes, soups, salads
  • Cilantro – for soup, stew, Mexican dishes, garnish
  • Kaffir lime – for curry, soup, stew, fried rice, stir fry
  • Lemongrass – for sauces, marinades, curry paste, grilled meat
  • Mint – for salads, desserts, tea, mixed drinks
  • Oregano – for soup, stew, casseroles, meat, tomato sauce
  • Parsley – for soup, salad, sauces, stuffing, fish, meat dishes
  • Rosemary – for potatoes, soup, salad, meat dishes
  • Sage – meat, stuffing, vegetable dishes, pastas dishes
  • Thyme – for soup, stew, sauces, potatoes, rice

For adventurous herb fans, there are also herbs that grow without full or bright sunlight. They’ll do well with indirect light. They include lovage, a plant with a lemony flavor that’s good for tea, soups and salads, and potatoes. It grows rather large for indoor environments – up to 6 ft. in the right conditions. Other low-light options are sweet cicely, also known as myrrh; Corsican mint; wasabi; tarragon; and angelica.

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 has 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 Layering

Everyone has experienced bloom interruption in their garden at least once. It happens when one variety is past its peak bloom season and another hasn’t risen to take its place. That’s when landscape layering can help.

It’s a technique in which a variety of different species are interplanted so when one stops blooming, another species begins flowering. It’s an effective method for ensuring bright, attractive blooms and interest throughout the season.

Landscape layering uses multiple design principles encompassing depth, scale, flow and repetition. Plants can be grouped by size, color, texture and shape to make a dramatic visual display. The strategy can incorporate flowers, grasses, shrubs and trees for a balanced appearance. It’s also effective for highlighting plants, hardscapes and focal points throughout the environment.

Plant Selection

This is a critical element in the process. It’s important to install plants that thrive in the prevailing soil and weather conditions. At the very least, the plants should be able to easily adapt.

Sun and Moisture

Each plant has its own specific sun and moisture requirements to thrive. A plant that requires full sun will perform poorly in deep shade. It pays to research the plants you want to add to the environment. South Florida has a subtropical climate and species that need a drier climate aren’t going to do well.

Visualize

Individuals can choose from multiple types of plantings and it’s important to visualize how the installations will appear when they’re mature. There are evergreen and deciduous trees from which to choose, along with ornamental types and fruit trees.

Their height and size will determine their placement in the landscape. The same is true for shrubs, grasses and flowers. It also applies to groundcovers in areas that are hilly or have poor soil. Another factor is the available area each planting will have in which to expand.

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 has 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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residential landscaping boca raton florida

Things That Can Ruin Your Landscaping

A well designed and maintained landscape is beautiful to behold. Unfortunately, there are a number of things that can occur that will ruin the entire landscape. Some situations you can control, others you can’t.

Insects

Insects are all around, but an infestation is something to avoid at all costs. The problem with insects is that you never know when they’re going to appear, from where, and in what numbers. There’s also the potential for an invasive species with no natural predators. Trying to control them with chemical methods can result in the death of beneficial insects and your plantings.

Too Much Water

South Florida receives a significant amount of rain each year and it’s typically more than enough to keep plants hydrated. However, the area is also at the mercy of hurricanes and storm surges that can wash miles inland. Plants don’t like salt water. Even localized flooding from a heavy rain can be detrimental.

Drought

While drought isn’t a situation that typically occurs in Florida, the possibility does exist. Install a programmable irrigation system with a moisture detector to deliver just the right amount water to each individual area. Always water during cooler evening hours.

Chemicals

The use of chemicals, whether it’s fertilizer, an herbicide or insecticide, can do irreparable damage to lawns and other plantings.

Inappropriate Planting

Installing the wrong type of plant in the environment can quickly lead to several problems. Some spread quickly, overgrow their neighbors, and become invasive. Others need different growing conditions than where they’ve been installed. Planting too close together creates overcrowding and discourages healthy growth. It also sets up conditions for disease and pests.

Over Trimming

In your pursuit of keeping lawns mowed, trees trimmed and bushes beat back, you can inadvertently over mow, cut and trim. Some types of plantings may be able to slowly recover. Others can’t. Trim and cut judiciously and keep lawns to about 3½ inches. Any shorter and it weakens the roots, resulting in poor growth or death that will leave bare patches.

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 has 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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Avoid Weed Killer in Your Vegetable Garden

It can be tempting to use a weed killer on your garden to reduce the amount of work involved in keeping it weed free. Don’t do it. You should never apply weed killer to a vegetable garden for a number of very good reasons. Also known as herbicides, it’s important to understand how weed killers work.

The chemicals used in weed killers linger in the soil for months and some remain for years. The spray can drift to kill nearby plants and they can be especially dangerous when it rains. Soil that contains the chemicals can be washed downhill during heavy rains which it affects gardens, lawns, native plants, and waterways. It can also enter the water storage systems that supply drinking water and aquifers.

Some weed killers work by inhibiting or destroying root formation. Others block protein production or photosynthesis. Individuals need protective equipment to apply them. People, pets and wildlife can become sick when exposed to them and they even have the ability to affect DNA. Even after they’ve dried, the residue from weed killers are dangerous and can be tracked into homes and other locations by people and pets.

There are alternatives to weed killers, but they do require more effort. Other options can be highly attractive compared to the dangers and toxic effects of weed killers. Pulling weeds when they’re small prevents them from maturing, flowering, and spreading seeds far and wide.

Home remedies of vinegar, water and dish soap are effective on weeds, but the spray can affect nearby plants. Unlike commercial preparations, the formula doesn’t remain in the soil very long and typically breaks down in 2-3 days – less if it rains.

However, one of the most effective ways to prevent weed growth is mulching. It reduces evaporation and helps retain moisture in the soil, which means less irrigation and reduced water bills. As it decomposes, it adds nutrients to the soil and increases the ability of soil to hold water.

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 has 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 Vegetables to Grow in Pots

Almost anyone can grow a garden and they don’t need acres of space to do it. There are a number of vegetables that grow well in pots and can be placed on patios, decks or next to fences. They can be tucked in any place there’s enough space for the pot in which they’ll grow. A minimum pot depth of 12 in. is required, with sufficient drainage holes. Avoid black pots due to the tropical climate.

Beans

Bush type beans can be grown without support. A climbing variety is happy to ramble over a trellis or vertically on a deck or up a fence with a little help.

Chili Peppers

Multiple varieties are available, each with its own level of spiciness.

Lettuce

Leaf lettuce – rather than head lettuce – grows well in pots and gardeners can choose from varieties in various colors to add interest to dishes. “Baby” leaves can be harvested or individuals can wait until the leaves mature to pick them.

Peas

Just like beans, growing peas in a pot is easy. A dwarf or bushy variety works very well in pots and typically won’t need support. Climbing varieties can be grown in a pot and allowed to climb vertically up a fence, pole or netting.

Spinach

This is a veggie that can even be grown on a windowsill. It has a shallow root system, so be careful when harvesting. Different varieties have different colors and variations in flavor.

Sweet Peppers

Choose traditional bell peppers or one of the long sweet varieties. Both adapt well to being grown in containers.

Tomatoes

Known as a vegetable, but classified as a fruit, its highly productive and needs full sun. Choose a cherry or grape tomato variety. However, one species, the Atlas Hybrid, is a beefsteak tomato created specifically for growing in pots. Just be prepared to provide plant support if needed.

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 has 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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5 Groundcovers for a Full Sun Plant Bed

Groundcovers are an often-overlooked option for flower beds. They require little care, quickly fill in their allotted area, and provide a brilliant burst of color. There are also types that don’t bloom, but produce interesting foliage. Groundcovers help keep down weed growth and help curb erosion.

Beach Verbena

This is a perennial groundcover that can stabilize dunes and it’s equally at home in full sun landscapes inland. There are tall and short versions, with the shorter varieties making the best groundcover. They bloom profusely throughout the summer. Verbena is heat and drought tolerant, and available in colors of red, blue, purple, pink, lavender, white, and bi-colors.

Moss Roses

The delicate appearance of moss roses belies its hardiness. Sold as an annual, it will freely reseed itself even in northern climates. It requires full sun and is a semi-succulent. Blooms encompass single and double varieties in shades of red, yellow, white, pink, orange, scarlet and bi-colors. The groundcover will happily bloom all season. However, it can be poisonous to pets if ingested.

Sea Fig

Also known as ice plant, the succulent rarely grows over 6 in. in height. Bright pink, white or yellow blooms adorn the plants for most of the summer and into autumn. The foliage evergreen, but plants will experience some dieback in winter months. They’re resistant to drought, heat and salt, and honey bees find them very attractive. They like full sun, but will tolerate light shade.

Dwarf Chenille

It grows to about 6 in. in high and flowers in full sun to partial shade. Flowers are brighter red the more sun they receive. A relatively slow grower, it blooms more during warm weather, but will do so periodically throughout the year. The blossoms are upright and have a fuzzy appearance. It will even tolerate mowing to encourage new growth, as long as it’s not cut too short.

Sunshine Mimosa

This is a perennial legume that likes full sun to light shade. It’s also known as powderpuff mimosa. Blossoms are small and have the appearance of pink puff balls. Leaves are fernlike and will shrink back when touched. It’s a quick grower and excellent for areas where erosion is a problem.

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 has 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 Plants for the Summer Heat

One of the biggest problems that gardeners encounter is identifying plants that provide color and can withstand the intense summer heat of South Florida. There’s no need to despair. There are a number of plants that can take the heat while providing waves of color from spring through autumn.

Canna

The lilies are available in standard and dwarf varieties in shades of red, yellow, orange, pink, apricot and salmon. Standard size cannas grow 4 to 5 ft. and dwarf varieties are 3 to 4 ft. They do need shelter from high winds, don’t like to become too dry, and are heavy feeders.

Coneflowers

Echinacea blooms all summer long and grows up to 36 in. tall. They’re drought-resistant and available in colors of red, yellow, orange, purple, pink and white. Some bi-color hybrids are also available. They’re highly attractive to bees and butterflies, blooming summer through autumn. The plants self-sow easily.

Cosmos

A native of Mexico, these are annuals that won’t wilt in the heat. Cosmos come in colors of red, orange, lavender, pink and white. They begin blooming in late summer and species are available ranging from 1 to 6 ft. in height.

Gerbera

The plants bloom summer through autumn in shades of red, yellow, orange, lavender, pink and white. They grow 6 to 12 inches tall and the blossoms can be cut for use in bouquets. They are equally at home in flowerbeds or containers. Gerberas are typically treated as perennials in South Florida. They like morning sun and afternoon shade.

Marigolds

The red, orange and yellows of marigolds provide color from spring to fall. The annuals can be grown in flowerbeds or as a potted plant and are attractive to butterflies. They’re available in species ranging from 6 in. tall to those that can reach 3 to 4 ft. in height.

Shooting Stars

Available in pink, purple and white varieties, shooting stars bloom May through June with uniquely shaped blossoms. A perennial and native wildflower found throughout the U.S. in wetlands and woodlands to semi-arid prairies, they grow to about 2 ft. 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 has 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 is an English Landscape?

More popularly known as an English garden, its characterized by structured informality that gives it a wild appearance to the untrained eye. It provides a stark contrast to the strictly planted and regimented style typical of most gardens in the U.S.

The style was highly popular in England from the mid-18th century to early 19th century and can still be seen in the English countryside. It was designed as an idealized version of nature and pioneered by William Kent and Charles Bridgemen as a protest against rigid architectural style gardens.

Elements encompassed lakes or ponds, gently rolling lawns, tree groves, bridges, and even decorative Gothic type ruins were used to create a pastoral landscape in large tracts of land. In later years, it was revised to include graveled walkways, shrubs and flowers.

In rural areas, English gardens were practiced on a smaller scale that primarily focused on the plants without the rolling lawns, lakes, bridges and other decorative touches. Also known as cottage gardens, they relied more heavily on plants with fragrant blossoms, along with medicinals, herbs and vegetables. The English garden was also invested with political meaning – as in disrupting the established norms. Shrubs were often used as natural borders.

An English garden is full of contrasting colors, textures, shapes and sizes that provide relief from the formal, regimented styles of strict lines to create a softer look. The gardens were installed with mindfulness for complimentary plantings, successive bloom times, and natural harmony.

English and American gardeners have a distinctly different view of gardening. For those that prefer straight lines, minimal maintenance, want to impress the neighbors, or just want an appealing view from the outside, an English garden won’t satisfy. Those that enjoy a little wildness in their garden can create an English garden landscape that’s practical, whimsical and low maintenance with the correct mix of plants.

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 has 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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Grow Herbs

How to Grow Herbs in Florida

In days gone by, almost every home had a small herb garden just outside the back door. The herbs were used to flavor dishes and in preserving garden produce for the winter. The practice declined for many years, but is making a spectacular comeback as people seek natural spices and healthy alternatives.

Herbs typically don’t do well in intense heat and are best planted in the spring or autumn months in South Florida. However, herbs that include oregano, rosemary and thyme can be planted almost any time of the year and thrive. Some stay where they’re planted, while others like to spread and sprawl.

Plants or seeds can be planted directly in the ground, in raised beds, and in containers on decks and patios. It’s easy to tuck herbs in amongst flower beds. They’ll require at least 6 hours of sun and will do well being shaded from intense, afternoon sun – especially mint.

Plucking the newest leaves and pinching back plants when needed aids in extending the harvest, while helping to keep them from flowering. Herb production slows down when the plants bloom and they’ll try to produce seeds.

Basil is extremely popular and while some varieties are annuals, there are also perennial types. Peppermint and spearmint easily spread to other areas via underground roots. It’s best grown in pots where it can be contained. Oregano can be grown year-round as a perennial. Rosemary is a perennial that can get very large if not pinched back.

Chives can be cut to the ground if they become overgrown and they’ll begin to regrow in about a week. Dill adds flavor to a variety of dishes and can become a host for black swallowtail butterflies. Fennel is another herb that can be cut to the ground and regrow. It’s often a perennial in South Florida and also provides a home for the black swallowtail – along with parsley.

Sage is an herb that can also be grown as an ornamental. Shiso is a Japanese herb that does well in South Florida for those that enjoy Asian cuisine. Typically used as a sushi garnish, it’s also known as beefsteak plant.

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 has 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
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