Archives for Residential Landscaping

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

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garden

Family-Friendly Edible Garden Ideas

An increasing number of people are turning to gardening to provide fresh food and to alleviate stress. Gardening can be extremely relaxing and provides opportunities for bonding experiences with children. Before deciding to plant a garden, consider how the bounty of the garden will be used and whether seeds will be planted in the ground or in raised boxes. It’s possible to create an urban garden that’s appealing to every member of the family.

Raised Beds

Easy to construct or purchase as pre-made, raised beds are easier to establish, maintain, and ensure the plants are receiving adequate water and nourishment. Raised boxes can be crafted in any size desired. Just add soil and they’re ready to plant. Depending on the available space, individual boxes can be assigned to children of different ages so they can grow their favorite vegetables – just don’t be surprised if they choose flowers instead of edibles.

Vertical Vegetables

Growing vertical veggies saves space, makes harvesting easier, and its fun for youngsters. There are multiple types of beans, peas and tomatoes that can be grown around a three-piece pole “teepee.” There’s also climbing spinach and cucumbers can be trained on trellises. While not edible, the smallest varieties of gourds and pumpkins can be grown vertically and appeal to children.

Containers

Great for gardeners with little space, container gardening isn’t just for flowers. Primarily used for salad greens and herbs, containers can also accommodate produce that includes peppers, green onions and mini cucumbers. They can be placed on decks and patios.

Preferred Vegetables

Perhaps the most important consideration when gardening is to plant vegetables that the whole family actually likes and will eat. Crops can even be rotated throughout the year. Some, such as lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes and carrots are cool weather crops that grow best before the heat of high summer arrives. Warm weather crops include zucchini, watermelon, sweet potatoes, okra and eggplant.

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 Company Boca

Your Lawn Requires Fewer Cuts in the Winter Time

South Florida residents are proud of their lawns and rightly so. During the winter months when other U.S. locations are suffering with cold and snow, Florida temperatures are warm, mild, and green things are still growing. A big concern for many residents is managing their lawn during cooler months and the No. 1 rule is don’t cut it as often.

Many people have lawns comprised of warm-season grasses, such as St. Augustine grass, which tends to grow much slower in cooler winter temperatures. For that reason, ryegrass is often overplanted so lawns will remain vibrant and green. Ryegrass is a cool-weather grass that does great during South Florida winters for a green lawn year-round.

Lawn

It’s important for individuals to understand that their lawn will need less mowing during the winter months. Cutting it too often will result in a lawn that appears weak and unhealthy. Even ryegrass, which grows well in cooler weather, will still grow at a slower rate. Warm weather St. Augustine grass will still continue to grow during colder months, but at a much slower rate.

Rainfall

Another factor that affects lawn growth and frequency of mowing in the winter is rainfall. October to May is the dry season in Florida and less rain means slower grass growth. Lawns typically need about 1 inch of rain during winter months.

That amount provides enough moisture to reach the roots without saturating the soil and creating runoff. If precipitation falls below that level, those with irrigation systems will need to have them adjusted to deliver the appropriate amount of water.

A word of warning about fertilizer – don’t do it during the winter. Fertilizing the lawn during winter won’t make the grass grow better, longer or lusher and can actually harm it. Lawns should be maintained at a height of about 3 inches for optimal health.

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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vibrant garden

Bringing Your Garden Back to Life

If your plantings aren’t meeting the vision you have for your garden, there are multiple ways to revitalize it and bring the garden back to vibrant life. Each garden is different and may call for a combination of methods. Much will depend on what you want to accomplish, how much work you want to invest in the process, and your budget.

Take Stock

Make a list of existing plants and anything you do or don’t like about them. They may be invasive, not suitable for the soil or climate, and require extensive tending that you may not have the time to perform. A plant may have overgrown its space and you may even discover that a pretty plant you chose is actually toxic to people and pets.

Thinning and Trimming

There’s no way around it – some of those plants will need to be thinned and trimmed to aid in eliminating clutter. That can encompass hiring a professional service to safely remove trees that are diseased, dying or interfering with the growth of other plantings. Trimming and thinning are excellent ways to promote new growth and blooming on poorly performing vines and bushes.

Transplant or Remove

You may want to transplant some plants to a new location if their sun, shade or moisture requirements aren’t being met. Another solution for plants you really want to keep but have outgrown their space, is to simply remove part of them. Don’t forget the value of leaving spaces for highly colorful annuals. Don’t despair over plants that must be completely removed – it’s an inevitable part of the process.

Soil and Mulch

Soil loses nutrients as plants use them. Be sure to check pH levels and amend the soil or fertilize as needed. Without proper nutrients, no garden will thrive and flourish. Mulch is also a critical ingredient. It preserves moisture and aids in minimizing weeds. If you have little time for the upkeep of a garden but want the benefits, choose plants that require little maintenance and grow well in the South Florida climate.

Hard Features

You may also want to plan for some hard features in your garden such as accent lighting, fountains, waterfalls, birdbaths, and pathways. It will all depend on the size of the garden and your budget, but even without hard features, you can bring your garden to life and make it the envy of your 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 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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fragrant shrubs

Great Smelling Shrubs

Plants and shrubs provide visual interest for people and food for bees, butterflies and birds. One of the most overlooked benefits when choosing plantings is ignoring the fragrance factor. There are dozens of aromatic plants that can be cultivated in the South Florida climate.

The sandy soil that’s prevalent in South Florida isn’t conducive to many plants. That doesn’t mean people have to deprive themselves of the joy of fragrant plants and bushes, providing that they’re given a nutrient-rich soil, ample moisture, and some accommodation is made for their needs. The following are just a few sweet-smelling options.

Butterfly Bush

This is a fast-growing plant with spires of red, white, pink, purple or yellow blossoms. While not as overtly fragrant as others, the sweet smell is a magnet for pollinators that includes butterflies and bees. Judicious trimming will keep it to a moderate 5 to 6 ft. tall. It’s best planted in containers to minimize insects and maximize appearance.

Camelia

The flowers are available in white, pink, red and even blue, and can attain widths of up to 4 inches across. The bush can grow 2 to 3 feet high and is one of the earliest to bloom.

Cherry Sage

A low-growing shrub reaching up to 2 ft., the flowers range from pink and red to salmon and white, with a bloom time of spring to fall. Butterflies and hummingbirds love it.

Gardenia

The waxy white flowers of the gardenia bush are perhaps best known for their use in high-end perfumes. Gardenias are best utilized in smaller garden spaces and in large containers.

Jasmine

Jasmine is available in multiple varieties, but night-blooming jasmine does exactly what the name indicates. It blooms at night and distributes its scent liberally throughout the environment. It can grow up to 10 feet tall and 6 feet across. The shrub’s night-blooming habit makes it popular around pools and decks.

Rose

While roses can be difficult to grow in South Florida, it’s not impossible to accomplish. There are several varieties that are heat and humidity tolerant and they’re always a favorite of bees and butterflies. Depending on the variety, roses can range from 3 to 8 feet in height. Smaller varieties can be grown in large containers and some feature blooms of up to 5 inches across.

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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Why Tree Trimming is Important

Trees provide a wealth of benefits within the environment and most people believe that once a tree has been planted and is growing, the work ends there. Trees are stalwarts of the environment, but even trees need some help in the form of judicial trimming. It’s best to seek the assistance of a professional for the task as inexperienced trimming can kill a tree.

Strengthens

Trimming a tree eliminates weak branches and limbs to strengthen the overall tree. It’s especially important in South Florida where the potential exists for hurricanes. Trimming better prepares a tree to withstand high winds and other stressors.

Safety

Weak limbs and branches can easily break and high winds compound the problem. They present a danger to people, pets and property. Professional trimming eliminates weak crotches, crossed limbs, and branches and limbs that are dead or dying. Addressing those types of problems must be done carefully to maintain the health of the tree and prevent damage to surroundings.

Sunlight

Trees need sufficient sunlight for photosynthesis to occur and trimming is an easy way to open up the canopy. It allows the inside of the tree to receive more sunlight. A lack of sunlight within the canopy can lead to dead branches.

Disease and Insects

Trees that are well-trimmed and healthy are more resistant to disease and insect infestations. If trees do become infected, trimming safely removes affected parts of the tree and helps prevent disease and insect pests from spreading to other plantings. It’s also helpful for detecting potential problems early.

Structure and Appearance

Some trees grow as textbook examples of their species while others do not. Trimming improves the appearance and structure of the tree, gently steering and shaping its growth in the desired direction. An expert tree trimmer knows what the appearance of each species should be and has the expertise to keep trees looking beautiful, which adds value to properties.

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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wildlife

Be Aware of Wildlife When Gardening

South Florida is home to extensive diversity of wildlife that individuals may encounter in their garden. Some are poisonous, others deliver a painful bite, while some are just scary looking. They seek shelter in gardens and want to be left alone, but they will defend themselves against what they perceive as an attack.

The best solution when gardening is wearing pants, long sleeves, socks and shoes – not sandals – look carefully where hands and feet are placed or if movement is detected. Individuals may also want to contact a professional should an infestation become apparent.

Spiders

Spiders are the most common type of wildlife that individuals will encounter. The two most dangerous are the southern black widow and the brown recluse. Humans typically won’t encounter a brown recluse, but it’s important to be aware. While it’s not poisonous, it’s dangerous in the effect it has. The venom injected by a bite result in liquification of the flesh around the bite site.

Southern black widows don’t have the distinguishing red hourglass markings of their northern counterparts. They’re venomous, but their bite typically won’t result in death. The bite can cause pain, burning, swelling, redness, nausea and severe pain. The venom affects the nervous system. Some people are relatively unaffected, while others may have a severe reaction.

Snakes

Between breeders and owners releasing exotic snakes into the wild and hurricanes that send snakes seeking higher ground, there are many different types of snakes in South Florida that people may encounter. Only six species are truly dangerous with bites that can harm people, but no snake should be trifled with, just to be safe.

Dangerous species include the Canebrake rattlesnake, copperhead, coral snake, cottonmouth/water moccasin, diamondback rattlesnake and pigmy rattlesnake. While most people won’t encounter the pythons or any of the other constrictors, they can appear. Snakes typically enter gardens in search of food such as moles, voles and mice, along with gophers, chipmunks and other rodents.

Fire Ants

Gardeners may encounter several species of fire ants that inhabit Florida. The red fire ant is the biggest problem. The species is native to South America and found a favorable environment in Florida. The imported species is aggressive and attacks anything that disturbs them. They come out of their mounds en masse and each ant can sting numerous times. The most common reaction is pain, itching and swelling. While the sting is painful to most, it can result in a life-threatening reaction for some.

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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Need Landscaping Ideas? Take a Drive

Those that are at a loss with what to do with their landscape have only to take a drive to see dozens of ideas that can easily fit their current environment, along with those that can be scaled up or down to accommodate larger or smaller properties.

Individuals will find original options by professional designers, along with those of non-professionals that have an eye for design. Ideas are available for individuals that have extensive time to spend on landscaping and low-maintenance landscaping options that required little work to maintain.

Artificial Turf

For those that like a flawless green lawn but don’t want to spend every weekend mowing, try artificial grass. It can be obtained in varying gradations of green and multiple heights to accommodate any preference.

Less Lawn

The less lawn that an environment has, the less tending and mowing there will be. That means patios and other elements that only requires an occasional sweeping to keep them looking great. Pavers and custom designed stonework provide an excellent gathering place for family and friends. Hardscapes such as falls and fountains have the ability to provide a relaxing environment.

Perennials

Consider planting perennials for a gift of blossoms that returns each year. There are dozens of species that provide the bright colors of annuals, without the fuss of planting them anew each year. Individuals can also select easy care ground covers to eliminate weeds on hills and slopes.

Native plants that are adapted to the South Florida climate are more resistant to the depredations of insects, weeds and wildlife. Consider mulching with small stones and gravel to control weeds and provide a point of interest. When planning a landscape, less is more and there’s no reason to cram plants together in a small space. A few strategically placed plants make a powerful impact.

Trees

There’s an endless variety of trees and shrubs that can be planted to provide shade and beautiful blossoms. Be careful when making selections, as some can litter the ground with faded flowers and dropped fruit. Another consideration is the mature height and spread that has the potential to interfere with foundations and utility lines above and below ground.

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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disease

Diseases that will Ruin Your Landscape

Insects that can infect your landscape and create havoc may be your primary concern. However, there are a variety of diseases of which you need to be aware. Some have the potential to infect plantings near and far. Others can wreak so much damage that flower beds may need to be evacuated and trees eliminated if the disease isn’t identified early and control measures prove ineffective.

Diseases can affect the roots, stem/trunk or flower/fruit production. Other diseases are cosmetic in nature. While they won’t kill plantings, they can affect their aesthetic value and the appearance of your property. Diseases are difficult to identify, as some are similar in appearance to insect predations. It’s always best to seek the expertise of a plant specialist.

Armillaria Root Rot

Also known as mushroom root rot, a tree or shrub infected with the fungi may appear wilted, have little foliage, and remaining leaves look shriveled and dry. The fungus prevents plantings from absorbing water and it’s the most common fungi species infecting shrubs and trees in Florida.

Bacteria

More than 170 types of bacteria can affect plants and they can cause symptoms ranging from leaf spots and yellowing of leaves and fronds to plant wilt and death. Citrus Greening is one example. Typically found in citrus groves, it can also affect backyard citrus. Yields drop, eventually stop, and the tree dies.

Black Spot/Leaf Spot

Both types of the fungi produce black spots on the upper surface of leaves. Primarily affecting roses, it can also be found on the leaves, flowers and fruits of other plantings. It flourishes in hot, humid conditions. Black spot is the most serious disease of roses in Florida and can cause severe defoliation.

In Cercospora Leaf Spot, a small round spot appears and grows larger as the disease progresses. The center of the spot eventually turns a tan/gray color. The leaf dies and the lesions can appear on any other part of the plant.

Lethal Bronzing Disease

Affecting palms, the disease is relatively new to Florida and is caused by a phytoplasma – a unique type of bacteria. It results in a quick decline of the palm and death. There is no cure.

Mildew

Powdery mildew and downy mildew are both fungus infections that are similar in appearance The symptoms of yellowing leaves and white spots are the same, but downy mildew is more grayish colored. Powdery mildew can be anywhere on the leaf surface, while downy mildew is limited by leaf veins.

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