Boca Raton landscape design

koi pond

Adding a Koi Pond to your Landscape

A symbol of good luck in Japan, fish fanciers in Florida are installing backyard ponds to house their fish, even if they only have room for one. The descendants of the common carp have much to recommend them and are extremely popular. They’re colorful, very hardy, can live happily outdoors year-round, and thrive in the Florida climate.

The record-holding koi in the UK was one called Big Girl that weighed in at 90 lbs. in 2007 and came from Japan. A koi named Hanako lived for an amazing 226 years before her death in 1977. The scarlet beauty was born in Japan in 1751 and carefully kept records verified her longevity.

Koi enthusiasts need to know that a little 5-inch koi can attain lengths of 2 to 4 ft., weigh 12 to 20 lbs., and live up to 35 years under the proper conditions. Outdoor ponds will need to be at least 3 ft. deep to prevent incursions by fish-eating birds and raccoons. The pond will need to be placed out of direct sunlight, be sufficiently oxygenated, and have appropriate plants provided.

Aquatic veterinarians recommend a minimum of 250 gallons of water for a single adult koi. A young koi won’t need 250 gallons, but a full-grown koi will and they grow fairly quickly. Anything less will stunt their growth. Every koi won’t attain 24-inches in length, but genetics are tricky. Individuals need to be prepared for the possibility if they want their fish to flourish and live a long and happy life.

Koi is available in patterns of red, blue, yellow, cream, white and black, along with those that have a metallic sheen. There are approximately 100 named varieties of koi. They’re fairly intelligent and can be trained to eat from a person’s hand. There are even koi shows. Highly graceful, they impart a sense of peace and tranquility. As living creatures, koi shouldn’t be viewed simply as a design element in landscapes, but as treasured friends.

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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backyard waterfall

Create a Backyard Waterfall

The sound of water is soothing and relaxing, and many people are constructing backyard waterfalls to rest and recharge. The design includes a small pond. The array of premade pond liners makes it easy to create an aquatic retreat, even for those that have little space.

The Pond

Choose a pre-made pond size to accommodate the space available. The pond is where the water will fall into. Individuals will also need a pump to circulate the water when the cascading wall is complete. Choose where the pond will go.

If there’s a small slope in the yard, it can be utilized to attain more height for the water to fall. A small slope can be created if desired. Dig a hole, place the pond, and fill in around it with the dirt that was removed. A slight incline is needed for the water to run down and back into the pool.

A channel will need to be established between the waterfall and the pond. There are premade channels that can be purchased where the pond was bought. Individuals can also use a flexible liner laid on the ground between the falls and the pond. Rocks can be placed on the liner to hold it down and hide it.

The Waterfall

There are a number of premade waterfalls that can be purchased and easily incorporated into the design. Some are made of precast plastic or concrete. For those that have access to approximately 30 rocks, a waterfall can be constructed, but the rocks will need to be fairly flat with squarish, sharp edges to facilitate water moving over them.

Plastic tubing will need to be run between the pond and the falls. A clay flowerpot works well to anchor and hide the pump, and hold the tubing in place while other work is performed. The tubing will run from the pump to the top of the rocks, where it will cascade over the rocks, down the channel and back into the pool.

Power

A pump is critical to move the water and that will necessitate access to electricity. Individuals will need to have a certified electrician install a line of power to the pond. It’s important to turn off the power whenever individuals are gone or the backyard waterfall isn’t in use.

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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What is a Landscape Design Drawing?

Planning a new landscape is fun and exciting, but without a landscape design drawing serious problems can arise. A landscape design drawing is essentially a floor plan of how the property appears. It shows where man-made and natural elements are located, and it’s properly scaled for distance and size.

Without a design drawing, there’s no way of knowing if planned features will actually fit into the landscape, if trees will be too close to structures, or if they’ll interfere with utility infrastructures. A design drawing also enables people to make accurate estimates about the cost of their intended project.

Do-it-yourself fans can purchase software programs to help in the process. The software ranges from simple to extremely complex. However, not all programs provide the needed tools to accurately plan a project.

The landscape design drawing begins with creating an outline of the project area. It may include an entire yard or just a portion of it. Each pertinent facet of the project area should be included from outbuildings and fences to rocks, power poles and other features that won’t be moved. The idea is to create a visual representation of the project area.

Add existing elements slowly and ensure that their size is accurately represented within the plan. Once the design drawing has those features, the new elements for the landscape can be added. That includes trees, flowers, shrubs or hardscapes such as fountains, ponds, patios and walkways.

Bear in mind that wanting a particular tree or plant and being able to have it in the landscape can be two very different things. Professional designers work with plant experts that are knowledgeable about the growth habits of an extensive variety of species. The mature version of a tree or bush may not fit into the allotted space. Installing it would be a waste of money. A professional landscaping company can advise individuals about their choices and suggest alternatives when 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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types of grass

How Many Types of Grass are There?

There are 10 commonly used types of grass for lawns, but only 4 are predominantly used in South Florida landscapes. The warm and humid climate is great for warmth-loving grasses. For the cooler and transitional months, many residents sow a mix of grasses to ensure a green lawn throughout the year.

St. Augustine Grass

St. Augustine grass is considered the easiest to grow in South Florida and is widely favored. It grows quickly and intensely dislikes cold, making it an ideal choice for the warm Florida climate. It can tolerate shade and does best when kept cut to a height of 2 to 4 inches in height. It does go dormant during winter months, which is why other types are usually planted with St. Augustine grass. It doesn’t tolerate heavy foot traffic well.

Zoysia Grass

The grass is equally happy in sun and shade, and it’s a relatively slow growing variety. It can be kept at a height of 1 to 1½ inches without impeding growth. It’s resistant to disease and weed growth, doesn’t require much fertilizer or water, and is low maintenance.

Buffalo Grass

For a carpet of blue-green colored lawn, buffalo grass is the solution. It actually flourishes in high temperatures and tends to remain green year-round. It thrives when kept at a height of 1½ to 3 inches, doesn’t like overwatering, and does best with light to medium foot traffic.

Bermuda Grass

Popular for golf courses and athletic fields, Bermuda grass doesn’t mind being manicured to a height of 1 to 1 ½ inches. The grass is able to handle heavy foot traffic and withstands heat and direct sun. It’s well-suited to a variety of different soil types. A creeping grower, it will enter flower beds and gardens if restraint measures aren’t taken.

Other Options

Bahiagrass is resilient, thrives in sandy soils, has deep roots enabling it to survive drought conditions, and can survive without an irrigation system. It prefers full sun and has a coarse texture. Keep it at 2 to 4 inches. The grass is low maintenance and won’t fail under foot traffic. It’s becoming increasingly popular for lawns, even though it was originally used for pasture land.

Centipede grass is also an option since it likes acidic and sandy soils. Keep it at 1½ to 3 inches high. It usually doesn’t require fertilizer, is low maintenance, and grows relatively slowly. It may go dormant during drought conditions and doesn’t care for a lot of foot traffic.

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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poinsettia

Best Place to Plant Poinsettias in Florida

The beauty of poinsettias is present during the Christmas season and in South Florida, it’s possible to plant the potted flowers in the outdoor garden. They can be a little tricky to grow, but with the right care, they can live to bloom on through many seasons.

Planting Poinsettias

One of the primary requirements for poinsettias to thrive and bloom is dark nights. They need total darkness during the autumn months. Even a little artificial light reaching them at night can delay bloom time or prevent the plant from flowering at all.

Keep holiday poinsettias in a bright, sunny location until time to plant in the spring and keep them watered. Optimal growth occurs when a poinsettia is planted in moist, fertile, well-drained soil.

Lighting

Gardeners will need to choose a place in the garden where the plant will receive full sun for most of the day, though slightly filtered shade during the hottest part of the day is acceptable. Individuals will need to pinch back the poinsettia several times throughout the summer to nurture a robust plant with numerous flower heads. Stop pinching about mid-Aug.

It’s important to keep in mind that poinsettias are large plants and will need sufficient room to grow and spread. In their native environment, poinsettias can grow into large bushes/scraggly trees, and attain heights and widths of 10 to 15 ft. Pinching back helps limit growth.

Native to Southern Mexico, the flowers have played a role in religious ceremonies for centuries. The first clippings arrived in the U.S. in 1828 thanks to Dr. Joel Poinsett, the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, who sent them to his home in South Carolina. His breeding program resulted in plants with a longer bloom time.

A Mexican legend about the plant says a little girl had nothing but weeds to bring Jesus on Christmas day. When she walked into a church, the plant burst into the beautiful red plant associated with Christmas. The plant is known in Mexico as Flores de Noche Buena, meaning flowers of the holy night.

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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Fertilizing Plants Can Help Restore Life

Before gardeners decide to uproot that dead-looking plant in their flower bed, try fertilizing it first. Most people assume that a poorly performing plant is suffering from lack of water, and while it may be, it’s important to understand that the plant’s health will fail if it’s not receiving the nutrients it needs.

Fertilizing Plants

Before taking any action, diagnosing the problem is critical. The plant may be getting too much water or not enough. It may need more or less sun. Be on the lookout for insect pests that can sap a plants strength and vitality.

Assuming that the roots are still alive, it’s often possible to rejuvenate a seemingly dead plant by fertilizing it. Don’t overfertilize and burn the roots. Check the root ball for signs of healthy, white roots. Plants use the nutrients in the soil as fuel for growth and flowering. Over time, those nutrients are depleted. Fertilization replaces nutrients and can give a favorite plant a new lease on life.

One of the problems stems from the South Florida soil. It’s primarily composed of rock known as Miami limestone, sand, muck, and a type of soil known as marl. Limestone has a high pH value and doesn’t retain water or nutrients well. That makes it difficult to grow plants unless the dirt has been amended or topsoil is added.

Signs to look for in a plant that lacks nutrients are stems that are weak and dying. It may also have discolored or deformed leaves, and exhibit slow or stunted growth. Before applying fertilizer, trim back any dead leaves or stems. If the stems look completely dead, trim the stem back, leaving a small amount of the stem above the soil line.

After fertilizing the problematic plant, wait at least a month. If it shows no sign of new growth, it’s probably beyond any hope of recovering. However, that dead plant can still be used to support and give life to new plants through composting.

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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Transform Your Yard by Adding Rock

If you’re looking to change or update your yard, but don’t know where to begin, consider the versatility of rock. The use of rock in the landscape isn’t a new concept and is referred to as hardscaping by landscaping professionals. Using rock in your yard can take many forms from gravel to large rocks and encompasses a myriad of opportunities to be creative.

Flowerbeds

Gravel in your flowerbed makes a striking contrast to the surrounding greenery and acts as a form of mulch. Using rocks is an excellent choice for areas where drainage is a problem and one of the most attractive attributes is that stone requires no maintenance.

The material is available in multiple sizes and colors, prevents weed growth, and keeps soil from washing away. If you don’t have in-the-ground flowerbeds, you can create attractive freestanding flowerboxes constructed of stone.

Rock Beds

To eliminate the work involved in beds for live plants, consider a rock bed. They can be used in the same way as a flowerbed to create interest and beauty. Combine rocks with contrasting pottery or statuary to create the semblance of a Greek stone garden.

Pathways

Rocks, stone and gravel are an easy way to create pathways and walkways. Rock can also be combined with pavers in a variety of styles. They’re equally applicable for designing unique, one-of-a-kind mosaics or “rivers” made of stone. Rocks can be utilized to create patios that will be the envy of all your neighbors. Stone pathways help keep people off grassy areas and keeps visitor’s shoes clean for less dirt in the house.

Firepits

A firepit of lava rock or fire-rated brick is an excellent way to dress up your yard. It provides warmth if the weather turns chilly and creates a focal point for festivities with family and friends.

Pond Barrier

An increasing number of people are adding ponds to their yards for relaxation and interest. Even the smallest of ponds can be ringed with stones and combined with small plantings for a fairytale look. The rocks also serve to camouflage the pond liner.

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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