fbpx

Archives for Residential Landscaping

Herbs that Grow Well in South Florida

Few things are as tasty and satisfying as cooking with homegrown herbs. There are dozens of culinary herbs from which to choose and with South Florida’s climate, nothing is off the table. While it’s possible to grow some of the more exotic herbs and spices, there are 10 basic herbs that no kitchen garden should be without and they grow extremely well in Florida.

  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Lemon balm
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme

You can buy plants from a nursery – it’s easier and you won’t have to wait for them to sprout, but herbs are fairly easy to start from seed. Spring and summer are the best times to begin a kitchen garden. If you want new plants for the following season, let the herbs flower and go to seed. Many self-sow easily.

The 10 basic herbs are an ideal place to start before graduating to more difficult herbs to grow. Begin by growing what you like and what you’ll use most often. If you buy seedlings, be sure you know what you’re getting. There are many different types of mint and thyme, for example. It’s important to make distinctions.

You’ll also want to know the growth habits of the herbs you plant. Mint and oregano can be aggressive in the garden and overpower their neighbors. Some herbs are best grown in pots to keep them contained, but it will mean they’ll need to be watered more often and have excellent drainage.

Harvesting your herbs can be tricky. You don’t want to pick them too often or not enough, but they will need to be pinched to encourage growth. Doing so will ensure the plants remain more compact and produce a greater yield.

Having success with one type of herb is a heady experience and you’ll be tempted to add several more. Don’t do it. Each herb has its own particular needs and it’s best to introduce one more at a time to the kitchen garden.

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

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

Read more

Unique Looking Trees for South Florida

Most are familiar with the shape of maples, oaks and flowering pear trees. There are some unusual trees native to countries around the world that can be grown in Florida due to the state’s unique climate. The trees have unusual appearances, growth habits, and histories that make them well worth the effort. It’s important before planting any species to ensure it’s not invasive.

Baobab

The first impression when people see a Baobab tree is that it was planted upside down. The effect is heightened when the tree sheds it leaves. It can be grown in South Florida, but may be tricky. It’s often referred to as the “Tree of Life” since it can live thousands of years. The trunks can hold several gallons of water and in its native Africa, it’s tapped and plugged for water.

Dawn Redwood

A holdover from prehistoric times and once thought to be extinct, it’s a deciduous tree that looks like an evergreen and has a distinctly pyramidal shape. The tree’s needles turn yellow and rust red each year before dropping. The hardy tree regrows its foliage each spring. It’s the smallest of the redwood species and can even survive northern winters.

Dragon’s Blood Tree

A native of the Socotra archipelago, it’s technically not a tree and gets its name from the red sap it produces. Its upturned canopy resembles an umbrella. Scientists classify the tree as a remnant of the Mio-Pliocene Laurasian forests that are almost entirely extinct.

Jabuticaba Tree

It’s an ordinary looking tree native to Brazil – until it produces fruit. Hairy white blooms give way to black fruit that grows in the branches and along the trunk. If conditions are right, it can fruit several times a year and many use the fruits to make juice or wine.

Rainbow Eucalyptus

This isn’t a tree to be grown in limited space as it can grow up to 250 ft. tall and is one of the fastest growing in the world. It gets its name from the strange coloration it displays when its bark is shed and each layer can be a different color. Over time, it returns to its natural brown hue before repeating the process. It has leaves that are more than six inches long that are aromatic when crushed and small white flowers when in bloom. It doesn’t tolerate frost.

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

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

 

Read more

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

Read more

Dangerous Holiday Plants

Poinsettias and mistletoe add color and interest to homes during the holiday season, providing a festive environment. What you may not know is that many of those traditional decorative plants can cause a rash at the very least and some are highly toxic to children and pets.

It will be safer to purchase imitation plants with which to decorate. If you absolutely have to decorate with live plants, be sure they’re well above reach of children, dogs, cats, ferrets, birds and other pets. The following are some of the most popular plants for decorating during the holidays that you should know about.

Holly

The berries of the holly plant resemble candies to children and a plaything to pets, but eating the berries can be fatal.

Amaryllis

The big, beautiful blooms of amaryllis are a sight to behold and popular for decorating and gift giving. The bulbs and leaves are both toxic and can result in abdominal pain, convulsions and irregular heartbeat.

Calla Lily

The tubers are the primary danger. Ingesting them causes nausea and vomiting, along with convulsions and paralysis.

Cyclamen

Available in multiple colors, the tubers can result in nausea and vomiting, convulsions and paralysis.

Christmas Cactus

None of the cacti sold around the holidays is poisonous, but it causes nausea and vomiting in cats.

Christmas Trees

While cedars, firs and pines are only mildly toxic, ingesting the needles can result in perorations to the intestinal system. It’s unlikely that kids or pets would try to eat the needles, but it’s something of which you need to be aware.

Jerusalem Cherry

The plant is a species of nightshade and the fruits are poisonous. The fruits resemble cherry tomatoes, which make them attractive to children and pets, but they’re extremely dangerous to people, dogs, cats and birds.

Mistletoe

It may be fun to kiss under the mistletoe, but the plant produces a deadly toxin. Ingesting any part of the plant can cause nausea and abdominal pain, along with blurred vision and changes in blood pressure.

Peace Lily

The large white flowers of the peace lily beautiful, but they’re toxic to people if eaten and poisonous to dogs and cats.

Poinsettia

The brightly colored holiday flower isn’t poisonous, but the sap can cause varying degrees of irritation to the mouth, esophagus and stomach, resulting in nausea and vomiting.

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

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

Vines You’ll Love

One of the most overlooked options in the landscape is vines. They provide shade when grown over a trellis and they’re a source of food for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Vines offer cover for birds and their blossoms can put on a spectacular display of color.

Many people avoid vines in the mistaken belief that represent too much work or they’re too invasive. While some can require more effort than others, vines can be trimmed and pruned to limit their growth and their fragrance and beauty are well worth the time. Some of the most popular vines are the following.

Clematis – This vine is easy to keep within bounds, but can grow up to 20 feet in height. Flowers come in red, blue, yellow, pink, purple and bi-color. Blooms can be single, double, or bell-shaped.

Honeysuckle – The vine has sweet-smelling blooms particularly attractive to birds, bees and butterflies, with autumn fruits that attract larger birds. Shrub varieties can attain a height of 15 feet, vining types can grow up to 25 feet high with support, but it can also be trimmed to a desired height. Blossoms come in red, yellow, orange and white.

Jasmine – Its fragrance is easily recognizable from its use in perfumes. Growing 15 to 30 feet depending on the species, it has star-shaped white blossoms that can scent an entire area. Flower colors encompass red, blue, yellow, orange, purple, pink and white.

Wisteria – This is one of the easiest to grow and can be trained over a trellis or pruned into a small specimen tree. Depending on the species, it can have fragrant flower clusters of white, pink, lavender and violet ranging from 6-36 inches in length. It grows quickly and can reach 30 feet in height with proper support.

Despite a reputation for rampant growth, vines can be trimmed and pruned to remain at specific heights or left to ramble over pergolas, pagodas, trellises and fences. They add beauty and grace to landscapes and an abundance of showy, fragrant blossoms to please people and 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

Read more

Weed Control! Is it Even Possible?

There are hundreds of places where weeds can crop up. Good weed control begins with appropriate precautions. There are numerous methods that can be utilized to minimize weed growth in lawns, flowerbeds and gardens that that doesn’t rely on chemicals.

Till the Soil

Tilling and turning the soil between plants makes it more difficult for weeds to root. It’s a strategy that should only be performed by landscaping professionals. They have the knowledge and experience to do so without inadvertently spreading weed seeds.

Mulching

In addition to impeding weed growth, mulching aids in retaining moisture for desirable plants. As the mulch breaks down and decomposes, it contributes to the health of the soil.

Landscape Fabric/Plastic Sheets

Landscape fabric is constructed with very tiny holes that allow water to flow through to the soil while blocking shoots from weeds. It’s best used in conjunction with mulch. Plastic sheeting can be laid in flower beds to block weed growth. Cutouts in the plastic allow for the planting of desirable plants in specific ways.

Edging

Using edging around plant beds and along drives and walkways prevents weeds from sending roots into unwanted areas and spreading.

Autumn Care

Many common weeds are dead by the autumn. Reseeding a lawn is one method that can be employed in the fall to help combat weeds. As the grass seed germinates and attempts to spread its roots, it will help block weeds that are trying to rejuvenate themselves and make it more difficult for them to take root in the spring.

It’s essential that the seeds from weeds not be allowed to be disseminated to sow themselves in other locations. The best way to accomplish that is by eliminating them before they have time to flower and spread or by burning stalks. A single dandelion has the ability to produce 15,000 seeds every year and they have a high germination rate.

A thick and healthy lawn will reduce the growth of weeds through the simply expedient of crowding them out. Groundcovers are also an option to minimize weeds. The truth is that weeds exploit any open area. There’s no way to completely and permanently prevent weeds, but they can be significantly reduced.

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

Hedge, Fence or Both?

Most people think in terms of one or the other when considering a fence or hedge. Home and business owners don’t have to limit themselves to just one option. There are charming and innovative ways for individuals to combine both if they desire.

Hedges

A living hedge has a softer, more natural look. A myriad of bushes can be used to accommodate varying height preferences and to create a formal or informal look. Hedges are less expensive, offer some shade, and provide shelter for wildlife. They’re also beneficial as a noise barrier, make a good windbreak, and increase the value of the property.

The drawback is that they can require several years to reach mature height and will require work to maintain a pleasing appearance. They can also easily encroach on the property of others if not trimmed regularly and may require a permit to install.

Fences

While fences have a harder appearance than a hedge, they’re also far more effective at keeping people out if security is an issue. Fencing options are now available that are eco-friendly, almost entirely maintenance free, and can even withstand hurricane force winds. Depending upon the type of fencing, they won’t need painting or staining.

A fence will almost definitely require a permit to install. They’re more expensive, but offer a good return on the investment. Fencing offers instant privacy, security, and a barrier against sound.

Hedges and Fences

The two can be combined for the most advantageous benefits of both. The most common pairing is chain link or fencing with a wrought iron look that’s combined traditional hedge plantings. The fence is placed on the outside for security and the hedge is planted on the inside of the fence. The arrangement will keep children and pets contained in safety and the plantings will provide shade and noise barrier.

No Simple Choice

Fencing, hedges or a combination of both each have their adherents. Ultimately, the decision will be up to the home or business owner, their budget, and the primary reason for the installation. It’s best to consult with a landscaping professional that can provide advice on the different options available.

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