landscape design and installation

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

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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

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Use a Landscaper to Add Home Value

Landscaping is far more difficult than it appears. The professionals make it look easy due to their extensive experience. They also bring an enormous amount of technical knowledge to landscaping projects. A professional will know the composition of the soil and what plants will grow best in it. They can create and install irrigation systems tailored to a specific location.

A landscaper will know what plants to use, based on an individual’s preferences, such as low-maintenance, water saving, or one that’s attractive to butterflies. Landscapers know how to frame a property to make it stand out, while adhering to local standards. They’ll also be able to pull all the numerous permits required for a landscaping project.

Individuals will see some immediate benefits and value after a landscaping project is completed, but landscaping is also an endeavor that pays dividends over time. There’s only one opportunity to make a good first impression and that’s particularly important if a home owner anticipates selling a property in the future. A properly landscaped home provides enhanced curb appeal.

Most individuals cultivate plants they like or that catch their eye in the moment. It can lead to an overgrown, cluttered, disorganized, and incoherent appearance. A landscaping professional leaves nothing to chance. They preplan every aspect of the environment, down to the smallest detail, with a vision to how it will look in the future as the plants grow and evolve.

Landscapes require a certain amount of tending and maintenance, even those that are easy-care. The needs of homeowners change over the years, along with their ability and available time they can devote to tasks. A landscaper can take an individual’s vision for their ultimate landscape and pair it with specific needs to arrive at a solution that’s beautiful and functional.

A mature landscape is one that adds more value to a home than a newly completed project. It’s just one of the reasons that individuals should plan early in their property ownership for appropriate landscaping. When it’s time to sell, the landscape will provide buyers with an immediate impression of a property that’s been well-maintained and add significantly to the purchase price of any home.

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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Why Add Edging and Borders?

Edging is one of the most useful tools in a gardener’s arsenal. Edging comes in many forms, from plastic, steel and aluminum to wood, brick, concrete and stone. They all have one thing in common – they form a border to separate one area from another. Edging delineates the lines between flower beds, lawns, driveways, shrubs, and trees from surrounding areas. Landscape edging provides a wealth of benefits.

Adds Value

The crisp lines created by edging provide a manicured appearance that adds value to properties. It also increases curb appeal for those that are trying to sell their homes.

Inexpensive Update

Adding edging is one of the less expensive ways to update the appearance of any landscape. It’s also a project that individuals can perform themselves.

Keeps Materials in Place

Gravel, rock and even seashells have become popular for creating walkways and stylized areas within the landscape. Many landscapes also contain mulch. All of those materials have the potential to shift and move into lawn spaces without a barrier to keep them in place. Edging provides an effective impediment that prevents materials from migrating away from where they’re placed.

Less Work

Edging creates a border between areas where grass is wanted and where it’s not. Installing edging means less work to keep grass from growing over and into driveways and areas such as patios. Time spent trimming and edging is significantly reduced, while making mowing easier.

Weeds and Roots

Creating a border has two advantages. The first is that it prevents grass roots from growing into flowerbeds and gardens. The second is that, while it won’t eliminate every weed from growing, it will aid in substantially reducing the number of potential weeds that will take root and will also prevent flower roots from crossing over into the lawn.

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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5 Palm Trees for a South Florida Landscape

There are dozens of palm tree species and one to suit every need. They have a diverse array of shapes and heights, enabling them to fit in any landscape. Palms also have a range of leaf colors to add interest.

Palms run the gamut from sun-loving to shade, with varieties that can be grown in containers around the pool to those that can soar to heights of 98 ft. Some are even able to tolerate temperatures slightly below freezing and are drought-hardy, while others prefer significant amounts of water.

Coconut Palms

Tall and stately, after the age of 6-10 years they begin to produce edible coconuts. The fruits should be removed to prevent them from falling and injuring people, pets, and causing damage to fences, buildings, and vehicles. Coconut palms can live up to 80 years, can grow 98 ft. tall, prefer full sun, and need well-drained soil.

European Fan Palm

A palm that grows 8-15 ft. tall, it has a spread of 6-10 ft. and its hardy nature has made it a favorite in South Florida. It’s equally at home at poolside, as an accent piece in the landscape, and can even be grown in containers. Fronds range from light green to sliver and the palm produces small clusters of yellow flowers with insignificant fruits. The palm grows in clumps rather than single trunks and it’s able to withstand temperatures of up to minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

Montgomery Palm

An ideal tree for planting near pools, it has stiff fronds of feathery emerald green that form a fan shape. It’s a jaunty looking palm with a somewhat furry/fuzzy appearance that’s able to fit in small spaces with an average height of 25-35 ft. It’s equally at home in residential and commercial settings. They require full sun, plenty of moisture, and require little maintenance.

Red Sealing Wax Palms

The stems of these palms are the color of red sealing wax. They produce feathery green leaves and prefer locations that are shady and receive significant amounts of water. Highly ornamental, they’re slow growing, have the potential to reach 50 ft. in height, and have fronds that can grow five ft. long. They produce fruits that ripen to a bluish-black color, can grow in shady areas, and are resistant to major diseases and pests.

Pygmy Date Palm

This is an excellent palm for multiple environments where a smaller tree is desired. It grows 6-10 ft. in height with fronds of up to 6 ft. in length. It produces small, yellow flowers followed by tiny dates that are purple. It can be planted in containers, within landscapes, and around pools. It does require significant moisture and can need occasional pruning to remove foliage that’s old or has sustained damage from pests or disease.

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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Landscape on a Budget

There are a variety of ways to add interest to residential landscapes that are inexpensive. Most people automatically think of plants in regard to landscapes, but landscaping also encompasses pathways, fountains, ponds, statuary, and even mulching can make a significant change in the appearance and care of landscapes. With a little imagination, anyone can create innovative, one-of-a-kind solutions on a budget.

Firepit

A firepit is a great place to gather with family and friends to spend leisure time. Consider purchasing concrete retaining wall blocks or cinder blocks to create a DIY firepit. Even rocks can be used to build a homemade firepit. The materials can be fashioned into any shape or height to accommodate individual space requirements. It doesn’t have to be big to be effective.

Lighting

LED string lights emit more illumination than traditional bulbs so individuals can use fewer of them and they’re much cheaper to operate. One advantage is that they can be strung horizontally, vertically, placed in trees, and around flower beds. Rope lighting is another low-cost option.

Mulching

Adding mulch around plants, bushes and trees will give landscapes an updated appearance, aid in reducing weed growth, and save money on watering costs. Mulch is available in multiple forms encompassing wood and cocoa chips, stone, specially processed rubber, and lava rock.

Planters

A planter can add warmth and provide a focal point. Inexpensive planters of wood, plastic and pottery can be found at yard sales and second hand stores. Ordinary items such as rubber tires and almost any type of jars or bottles can be painted and repurposed into a planter. Even old wooden pallets and ladders can be transformed into tiered, vertical planters rather than horizontal options.

Seating

A wide variety of gently used furniture can be found at yard sales and thrift shops for outdoor seating. Sealants can be used to waterproof wood and similar materials. Waterproof cushions can be added for additional comfort.

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