landscape design and installation

Shopping Tips when Visiting a Nursery

A nursery can be a wondrous place full of familiar favorites and exotic finds. The typical gardener will arrive home with far more plants than they planned for and some that they absolutely should have avoided. The following are some tips to use when visiting a nursery.

Shop Local Nurseries

Big box stores and similar outlets typically offer more plants, but they often lack the knowledge to guide consumers on their choices beyond what’s written on the included tag. Local nurseries are more likely to have varieties that will thrive and flourish in the South Florida landscape and personnel are far better equipped to answer any questions.

Plan the Plants

Gardeners should have some idea of what they’re seeking before visiting the nursery. That will require some research on the part of individuals. Just because a tree or plant looks good in someone else’s landscape doesn’t mean it’s right in every yard. It could grow too large, produce a large amount of debris from leaves or blossoms, develop thorns as it matures, or be toxic to children and pets.

Shop on Weekdays

Shopping will be a much less stressful outing during the week. Large crowds are normal on weekends. Workers will also have more time to answer questions.

Look First

Make it a point of wandering through the entire nursery before making a decision to purchase anything. Read the tags and observe where plants are placed – sun or shade. Annuals may not present a problem with overgrowing their area, but they could self-seed and be invasive. Perennials may stay in their allotted space better and bloom more freely once established. Don’t buy in haste.

Buds and Roots

When plants are transplanted to the landscape, they’ll need to undergo a period of recovery. Choose plants with more buds than open blooms. The plant will experience less shock. Blossoms often wither and die, while buds will usually recover.

It’s not a good idea to purchase a plant that’s completely root-bound. The roots will be so tightly bound that it will be difficult for the plant to absorb the nutrients it needs from the soil. A root-bound plant needs to have its roots loosened before planting and watered well until it becomes established.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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When to Add Fresh Soil to Plant Beds

There will come a time when individuals will need to add fresh soil to their plant beds. Every plant bed can benefit from the addition of fresh soil, particularly in the form of compost. A mixture of 10 percent potting soil, 30 percent compost and 60 percent topsoil can be purchased and is equally beneficial. The exception to that mix is plants such as succulents that require specialized soil mediums.

One way to identify if it’s time to amend the soil in beds is to observe the condition of the previous year’s plants. If they were underperforming in regard to blooms, appeared weak, or had roots showing its time to add some soil. It’s a good idea to add fresh soil every couple of years.

A certain amount of soil will be displaced, such as when plants are removed at the end of their productive season, and will need to be replaced. Soil will also be compacted through rain, watering and other factors.

The nutrients in soil become depleted over time and simply adding fertilizer won’t work forever. Whether individuals are raising their plants in raised beds or directly in the ground, the addition of new soil provides a fresh infusion of nutrients and enriches the soil for lusher growth, better blooms, and a greater yield for vegetable plants.

The best time to incorporate fresh soil in an empty bed is during the spring before any plants are placed in the ground or in the autumn in preparation for the following planting season. For those that have existing beds of perennials, the plants can be dug up and the fresh dirt worked into the soil before quickly interring the plants again. The plants will require a period of adjustment as they reset their roots.

Conversely, soil can be amended in stages. Each time a new plant goes in the ground, add a handful of new soil or compost to the hole that’s been prepared. If plants have already been placed in the ground, a top dressing can be applied by spreading the new soil over the top of existing dirt, being careful not to “bury” the plants or cover their leaves.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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Shrubs or Fence for Privacy

There are basically two options for establishing privacy – shrubs or fencing. There’s a myriad of elements to consider when choosing which is best for any given location and circumstance. Before making a decision, consider the advantages and disadvantages of each. The following are some pros and cons of each type.

Shrubs

Shrubs provide a natural living fence that offer a friendlier and less regimented look than an artificial barrier. It’s important to understand that the appearance of a live fence will depend on the shrubs selected. A formal, manicured hedge will require more time and effort to maintain. Some shrubs look best when left to grow naturally. There are also flowering and non-flowering shrubs.

The plants are eco-friendly and provide an environment in which wildlife can shelter. Depending on the size of the selected shrubs, it may take some time for the plants to provide the desired level of privacy. However, a living privacy fence isn’t the best option for homes that are very close together as the plants can encroach on a neighbor’s property.

Shrubs aid in buffering noise and dirt, while providing a good windbreak. It’s usually necessary for individuals to obtain a permit before any planting can begin. The cost of installing shrubs will be less than that of erecting a traditional fence.

Fencing

A traditional fence of wood or manmade materials has the ability to provide immediate privacy without the wait. There are new fencing materials that can be recycled and that aid in muting sound and dust from the outside. Those same materials can mimic the appearance and texture of wood and stone. Some are able to withstand winds of up to 110 mph., are resistant to UV rays, and are almost maintenance free.

Traditional fences enhance a property’s value and are a good choice when homes are very close together as they require less space to erect. Individuals will definitely need a permit before construction of the fence can commence. The installation and associated costs of installing a traditional fence will be substantially more expensive than the alternative.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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residential lanscaping boca raton

Plan Your Landscaping with a Professional

If you’re contemplating any type of landscaping change, hire a professional. It will be more expensive than a DIY project, but you’ll be glad you did. Professional landscapers have the experience and knowledge to ensure every element works in harmony and you’ll have an environment that will make you happy for years to come.

Landscapers do far more than plant greenery in the soil. They have comprehensive knowledge of all types of plants and their requirements. They can help you choose plants for your environment that provide unique visual interest, complement each other, and won’t overgrow their space.

Qualifications

There are many professional organizations with which professional landscapers may hold memberships. Some landscaping companies offer a variety of services, while others specialize in one area. Hire a professional that has expertise and experience in the type of work you want to be done.

Ideas

Your landscaper can help you choose materials and create a cohesive design. They’ll be knowledgeable about drainage features, architecture, irrigation, soil composition, and plants of all types. They can help you achieve the oasis of your dreams while remaining within budgetary requirements.

Pitfalls

A major advantage of hiring a landscaper is that they will know how to avoid common mistakes. Many people invest time and money doing their own landscaping, only to discover what they want to accomplish won’t work in their particular location.

Permits

A wide array of permits and permissions will be required. A professional will know what permits are needed according to prevailing safety laws and local regulations. Without the proper permits, you could easily find that your new plants or patio must be removed after it’s already installed.

Multiple Services

Your landscaper will be able to provide landscape architecture and installation of features ranging from fire pits, fireplaces and kitchens to pools, spas, landscape lighting, and fountains. They’ll be able to install irrigation systems, build custom decks and patios, and ensure every plant is right for its environment.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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The Best Shade Trees for South Florida Yards

Shade trees beautify properties, help keep environments cool, and clean the air while providing oxygen. Their limbs and branches also provide shelter and nesting spaces for a variety of wild bird species and help save on cooling costs. Each tree species has its own growth and space requirements of which individuals should be aware before planting. The following are some of the best shade trees for South Florida yards, in no particular order.

Bald Cypress

This is a good tree for low spots as it likes a lot of water, though it will tolerate a mild drought. It’s a unique conifer with needles that turn a rusty red color and fall in the autumn. It grows about 50 ft. high, with a canopy diameter of about half that size. It has far reaching roots and should be planted at least 15 feet away from buildings and walkways.

Florida Maple

The Florida Maple grows to 40 ft. in height and leaves turn a bright reddish-bronze in the fall. They’re fairly fast growing and good for medium sized yards. The tree will tolerate some flooding and will grow in full sun or partial shade. As it matures, the roots tend to breach the ground surface. Mulching around the tree will minimize mowing problems.

Live Oak

This is a tree that can live for centuries. It’s very resilient and can act as a windbreak against winds. It’s deeply rooted and can tolerate some flooding. The trees can grow 65 ft. high have large canopies and far reaching branches making them a good choice for large landscapes. The disadvantage to the tree is that the blooms can be messy in the spring. It does produce acorns that squirrels like and will require trimming when young.

Mahogany

Known primarily for the value of its wood, the leaf texture can add interest to the landscape. It’s an evergreen, but will drop its leaves for a short time each year. It’s on Florida’s endangered species list and planting one will aid in maintaining the species. They’re drought and salt tolerant, but do have aggressive roots. The tree shouldn’t be planted closer than a minimum of 20 feet from structures and no closer than 6 ft. from walkways and curbs. Mahogany can live up to 350 years, grow up to 60 ft. tall, and have a 50-ft. canopy spread.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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Tips for an Allergy-Friendly Yard

The wide array of beautiful blossoms that many people enjoy is often denied those with allergies. It’s just not bedding plants that increase the symptoms of allergies. Even trees that may have no obvious discernable blooms emit pollen and can trigger an allergic reaction. No one has to be content with a plant-free yard or settle for adorning their yard with statuary.

It’s important to understand that even though individuals may take every precaution to protect themselves, pollen is borne on the wind and the plants that a neighbor has six houses down can still affect them. It’s a good idea to consult with a landscape professional to discover plantings that produce the least amount of pollen.

If at all possible, have an allergy test performed. It will provide answers about the substances to which someone is most susceptible. Using information obtained by the test, individuals will know what not to plant in their yard. To minimize allergies, try the following tips.

  • Begin an allergy medication regimen about two weeks before pollen season starts.
  • Keep windows closed and use air conditioning to help filter out pollen.
  • Wear a NIOSH approved mask, but if one isn’t available, any mouth/nose covering is better than none. Glasses, gloves and long sleeves can minimize contact with pollen.
  • Immediately change clothes, wash what was worn outside when coming in from outdoors, and shower and wash hair.
  • Have a friend mow if grass produces an allergic response or use a lawn service.
  • Garden on windless days, early in the morning, or after a rain.

There are numerous flowers, bushes, trees, vines, and grasses that are known to produce less pollen than others or that typically don’t stimulate an allergic response as easily. Included in that list are snapdragons, zinnias, impatiens, clematis and begonias. Pears, plums, and Chinese palms are good tree choices for those with allergies.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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Popular Hardscape Materials

The term hardscape refers to the hard elements within a landscape that don’t change as time goes on, unlike trees, bushes, flowers, vines, and lawn grass. There are several types of hardscape materials from which to choose encompassing wood and faux wood; rocks, gravel, and stones; and concrete, bricks, and pavers.

Hardscapes are non-living items in the environment that includes statuary and water features, driveways and pathways, patios and decks, fireplaces and firepits, and walls, steps, and fences. The following are the most popular hardscape materials, in no particular order.

Wood

The use of wood in the landscape is perhaps one of the most popular options of all time. Available in a multitude of natural colors, it’s used for fencing, decks, and pergolas. Composite decking or “faux wood,” is equally popular since it provides the appearance of wood, but lasts longer.

Concrete

Whether it’s a birdbath or a driveway, most homes have at least one concrete item as part of the landscape. Concrete is popular for its durability, versatility, and longevity. It can be used to create walls, courtyards, patios and walkways. Concrete can be polished or stamped to create unique patterns and textures. It’s also popular for creating water features.

Stone

Loose stone comes in different sizes and colors that can be used in and around flower beds, as walkways, and around pool areas. It’s a fairly inexpensive option for sprucing up around the yard. An alternative is natural stone that can be cut into specific shapes for steps, patios, and walkways. Pavers also fall into this category and it’s easy to replace if one happens to sustain damage.

Asphalt

An increasingly popular material is asphalt for driveways and even walkways due to its durability and longevity. It’s the same material used to pave roads. It can last for 30 years, its dark color aids in camouflaging stains, and it’s typically much less expensive to install than concrete.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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Heat Tolerant Perennials

Perennial plants offer the advantage of coming back every year without the need to plant anew each spring. In South Florida, gardeners have the very real concern of locating plants that can also withstand the high heat that summer brings. There are actually a number of heat tolerant flowering perennials that provide brightly colored blossoms and food for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

  • Monarda, also known as bee balm, attracts honey bees and butterflies, is deer and rabbit resistant, and blooms July-Aug. The foliage also emits a minty scent. Seek cultivars that are mildew-resistant.
  • Coneflower features a variety of colors, is deer-resistant, and grows 1-3 ft. tall. It provides three months of bloom from June-Aug. and can be used as a cut flower.
  • Coreopsis is a low-maintenance perennial that will even grow in soil that’s rocky or sandy in nature. It’s sometimes called tick seed due to the appearance of the seed capsules. They’re deer-resistant and butterflies flock to them.
  • Gaillardia, also known as blanket flower, is native to Florida and features a wealth of red and gold blooms. It can bloom year-round, and is also salt tolerant for locations near the ocean.
  • Pentas are native to Africa, producing clumps of flowers in a wide range of colors. They’re attractive to butterflies and available in low-growing and taller varieties.
  • Phlox is heat tolerant, mildew resistant, has showy blossoms, and makes an excellent cut flower for indoor use.

It should be noted that many flowers considered annuals in northern climates will easily self-seed in Florida and come back year after year. Morning glories are one such climber and they’re available in day and night blooming varieties. The low-growing portulaca, also known as moss rose, is another species that will readily reseed itself and generate many years of blossoms from the original sowing.

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

Mixing Color and Greenery in Plant Beds

When choosing plants for their beds, most individuals focus on the color of the flowers the plants will bear. Little thought is typically expended on the green portion of the plants, but it’s equally important and affects the appearance of the bed. Plants aren’t uniformly a single shade of green and that opens up vast horizons for the landscape.

Greenery in the home garden is much more than just the green color of the plants that support blooms. Homeowners can utilize a combination of flower color and greenery to make a shady corner of the yard appear brighter. Choose plants with brightly colored blossoms and those that have foliage in lighter shades of green.

Blossom colors and plants with different shades of green foliage can be repeated in plant beds for a more formal appearance. For those that are planning plant beds to surround areas of relaxation or near a reflection pool, consider using softer colors in both blossoms and greenery to enhance the ambiance.

A bed featuring flowers of all one color, for instance, pink or white, can benefit from non-flowering plants randomly interspersed or planted by design to create a dramatic effect and additional interest. Multi-colored foliage plants are an excellent way to remain true to a color scheme.

Ornamental grasses offer one of the easiest means of mixing greenery in an outdoor plant bed. There are dozens of hues and variegated varieties with vertical stripes or bands of alternating color. Not all greenery is actually green – grasses also come in shades of red and yellow. Some grass types also have small blooms, while others have plumes.

With so many options from which to choose, the most difficult decision will be what to use in creating a plant bed of complimentary greenery and color. Greenery encompasses the plants that support blooms, decorative grasses, and predominantly foliage plants such as caladiums, hosta, and sedum – all of which are great additions.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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Landscaping a Small Yard

Landscaping a small yard can present an extreme challenge, especially if homeowners are looking for ways to make it appear larger. Many homeowners deprive themselves of plantings and other features in the mistaken belief that keeping the environment open makes it appear larger. Also, remember that fences narrow the perception of the space.

The single most important step is pre-planning. Homeowners need to define the predominate use of the space – a private retreat or an area for entertaining. Some may choose to create an edible garden. No matter what the primary usage, it’s important to plan the layout for maximum effect.

A good start is by removing unnecessary objects such as trash cans that take up space and contribute to a cluttered and undesirable appearance. The goal is to create a destination space in which people want to spend time. That can involve adding a small fire pit, compact yet comfortable seating, or a grill. A small patio set can be more effective in small settings than oversized furnishings.

When selecting trees for a small yard, it’s essential to choose trees that grow up rather than out. Some trees have a more compact and columnar growth habit, such as evergreens and dwarf varieties. They provide important shade and ambiance without the spread of oaks and maples, for example. Consider the strategic use of shrubs for a lush appearance that uses less space than a tree.

Perhaps one of the best ways to make small yards appear larger is through vertical plantings. That can include the use of hanging baskets or vines. Flower pots and pouches can be mounted to walls and fences. With a little creativity and a strong infrastructure, 2-3 pots can even be strung together on chains. Individuals can also create a dedicated “wall” of wire netting to increase the available space in their backyard.

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