residential landscape design

Colorful Plants for the Summer Heat

One of the biggest problems that gardeners encounter is identifying plants that provide color and can withstand the intense summer heat of South Florida. There’s no need to despair. There are a number of plants that can take the heat while providing waves of color from spring through autumn.

Canna

The lilies are available in standard and dwarf varieties in shades of red, yellow, orange, pink, apricot and salmon. Standard size cannas grow 4 to 5 ft. and dwarf varieties are 3 to 4 ft. They do need shelter from high winds, don’t like to become too dry, and are heavy feeders.

Coneflowers

Echinacea blooms all summer long and grows up to 36 in. tall. They’re drought-resistant and available in colors of red, yellow, orange, purple, pink and white. Some bi-color hybrids are also available. They’re highly attractive to bees and butterflies, blooming summer through autumn. The plants self-sow easily.

Cosmos

A native of Mexico, these are annuals that won’t wilt in the heat. Cosmos come in colors of red, orange, lavender, pink and white. They begin blooming in late summer and species are available ranging from 1 to 6 ft. in height.

Gerbera

The plants bloom summer through autumn in shades of red, yellow, orange, lavender, pink and white. They grow 6 to 12 inches tall and the blossoms can be cut for use in bouquets. They are equally at home in flowerbeds or containers. Gerberas are typically treated as perennials in South Florida. They like morning sun and afternoon shade.

Marigolds

The red, orange and yellows of marigolds provide color from spring to fall. The annuals can be grown in flowerbeds or as a potted plant and are attractive to butterflies. They’re available in species ranging from 6 in. tall to those that can reach 3 to 4 ft. in height.

Shooting Stars

Available in pink, purple and white varieties, shooting stars bloom May through June with uniquely shaped blossoms. A perennial and native wildflower found throughout the U.S. in wetlands and woodlands to semi-arid prairies, they grow to about 2 ft. high.

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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mulch

Benefits of Adding Mulch to Your Landscape

Mulch is a highly underrated addition to your landscape and it has a myriad of benefits. Multiple types of materials are being used as mulch, with those made of organic materials being the best for plantings and the soil. You may have heard some of the reasons for mulching and its benefits, but there are others of which you may not be aware.

Earthworms

An organic mulch provides an environment for earthworms to live and prosper. Soil with earthworms is healthier. Earthworms tunnel through the ground, allowing water and air to circulate into the soil. They also aid in breaking down organic materials to enrich the soil, as does their excrement. Avoid mulches of rubber, pebbles, polished glass and dyed wood chips if you want earthworms.

Hard Soil

Hard soils like clay and those that are tightly compacted drain slower. Mulch helps break up hard soil, allowing air and water to enter more freely.

Sandy Soil

Mulch improves sandy soil by increasing nutrient levels and improving its ability to retain moisture.

Insect Repellent

Cedar and cypress mulch contains natural oils and chemicals that insects such as ticks, fleas and gnats find unpleasant. Either type of mulch can be used around the foundation of structures to deter those insects.

Reduces Evaporation

Mulch is an excellent way to reduce the rate of evaporation around trees and bushes, and in flower beds. It helps you conserve water, which means less watering and savings on your water bills.

Damage Barrier

Placing mulch around plantings creates a barrier that prevents damage from lawnmowers and weed whackers.

Weed Growth

An application of mulch in flower beds and around larger plantings such as trees and bushes reduce weed growth by blocking sun weeds need to germinate and grow.

Erosion

Watering, rainwater, and the resultant runoff can lead to erosion of soil in flower beds. Mulch aids in minimizing the problem.

Soil Temperature

Mulch helps keep soil temperatures cooler and mitigates the potential for root burn in the hot Florida sun.

 Curb Appeal

A nicely mulched landscape adds curb appeal and value to a property. It’s available in multiple colors and gives the property a more manicured appearance.

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

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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Need Landscaping Ideas? Take a Drive

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

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

Artificial Turf

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

Less Lawn

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

Perennials

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

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

Trees

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

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

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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How your HOA can Ruin your Landscape Plan

If you’re like most homeowners, you dream of creating a landscape that provides the privacy and beauty you crave. You may want to erect a fence, plant flowers, install a mini orchard, or raise a garden. All of your landscaping dreams can easily be ruined if you live in a community governed by a homeowners association (HOA).

An HOA closely regulates every aspect of landscaping from the types of plantings you can have to the materials, style and height of your fencing. You won’t even get a break during the holidays – HOA rules extend to the way you can decorate, when your holiday lights can be on, and the noise level if you synch your lights to music.

Fencing

One of the goals of HOAs is the uninterrupted view of expansive lawns. Fences interfere with that. You can be required to alter the fence or take it down and be subject to fines. Those rules can also deprive your children of a safe place to play unimpeded. If your landscaping plans include a pool, that restrictive fence rule will come into play since pools are required to have a fence around them.

Plantings

One area in which HOAs excel is in regulating plantings. They have regulations about the length of your grass, hedge trimming, where plants can be located on the property, and even the species of plants that you can place in your yard. The organizations also have instructions about the type of lawn grass you can have, the annuals you plant, and perennials usually won’t be tolerated.

A fruit tree or even two may not raise eyebrows as long as they conform to height requirements, but trying to cultivate even a small garden or herb patch won’t be appreciated. You may even encounter specific guidelines on the color of flowers you can plant.

If you favor drooping tree species, you’re going to be disappointed. HOAs typically have canopy rules that require the bottom branches of trees to remain at least 8 ft. above the ground. Many people are letting dandelions grow as a food source for bees and butterflies – a definite no-no for an HOA. Dandelions and native plants are often considered weeds and you’ll have to eradicate them.

Know The Rules

For some, HOAs provide an ideal environment where conformity is the keyword. If you have visions of pools, fences, or specific trees, bushes and flowers – an HOA can ruin all your landscaping plans. Read the HOA rules thoroughly before you buy since they can vary widely from place to place. It will save trouble and regret later on.

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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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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Gardening with Kids

Florida is a fortunate place to live for gardeners. Unlike colder climates where gardening depends on the whims of the weather and seasons, people in Florida can garden even during the winter. It’s also an ideal time to introduce kids to the joys of gardening and growing their own food.

Make a Plan

Decide what you want to plant, preferably vegetables that kids actually enjoy eating. Plants will need to be located in an area in which they receive at least six hours of light each day. Since watering will be part of the gardening process, make sure the garden is near a ready source of water that doesn’t have to be carried a significant distance.

You can use raised beds or create an in-ground bed. For success, pay attention to optimal planting dates as there is variation depending upon which part of the state you live. You can purchase seedlings for some plants, while some seeds can be planted directly in the ground – a task that’s easy for even young children.

Winter Vegetables

There’s an abundance of cold-weather vegetables that can be cultivated in Florida. They include carrots, radishes and cabbage to arugula, Swiss chard, and multiple types of lettuce. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kohlrabi are other good choices.

You may be surprised to learn that it’s possible to grow garlic, onions, celery, beans, and English peas during the winter months. You and your child can also cultivate multiple types of herbs. An additional benefit of gardening in the winter is that there will be fewer insect pests to worry about.

Learning Opportunities

There’s nothing quite like the wonder on a child’s face when they harvest the first produce to eat that they’ve grown themselves. Planting a variety of vegetables gives children the opportunity to observe the growing habits of different plant types. Peas and beans also provide an opportunity for your child to learn about vertical gardening.

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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Why add a Waterfall to your Landscape

The sound of water has a biological connection to the human body and the brain itself. The sound of water, or even the sight of water without sound, causes the brain to release neurochemicals that have a calming effect. Adding a waterfall to your landscape beautifies the environment and has a wealth of health-related benefits.

There are multiple styles of waterfalls from which to choose and the water feature doesn’t have to be large or elaborate to enhance the landscape. A waterfall can be freestanding design, lodged against a wall, or added to a corner of a swimming pool. A waterfall can also be designed as part of an in-ground reflection pool.

One of the best reasons to add a waterfall to your landscape is that it’s a great way to melt away stress. Multiple studies have demonstrated that the sound of water promotes wellness by lowering blood pressure, improving circulation, and inducing relaxation.

Waterfalls make wonderful focal points within the landscape where you can gather with family and friends. They can be customized in a wide variety of ways to reflect personal tastes and style preferences. Lighting can be incorporated for a unique appearance and they provide texture within the landscape.

A waterfall is a feature that can be adapted to fit into virtually any area, even awkward spaces that you don’t normally use, making the area more functional and adding visual interest. They’re economical to operate and won’t increase your water bill since the water is continually recirculated.

The water feature will be an enhancement to the natural ecosystem. If you’re a fan of wildlife, you’ll find that a waterfall will attract a variety of bird species and dragonflies that eat undesirable insects that include mosquitoes.

Waterfalls are beautiful, add interest and texture to any landscape, and the sound of water calms the mind, body and spirit. The sight and sound of a waterfall has a profound effect on the environment and the human body that’s healthy and restful.

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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Unique Landscapes: Bamboo

The bamboo plant is one of the most often overlooked options for the landscape. Its appearance enables individuals to create unique environments. Bamboo has advantages and drawbacks. For individuals that are attempting a DIY project, it’s critical to understand the growth habits of the two types of bamboo and what the planting will be designed to accomplish.

Bamboo is a fast grower and can gain 2-3 feet in height each day, attaining its full height in four years. Some varieties throw out underground runners and spend more of their energy growing outward rather than upward. Running bamboo seldom stays where it’s planted and can be extremely invasive.  Clumping bamboos typically only grow a few inches in width each year.

Individuals need to be aware that even clumping bamboo is capable of damaging foundations, driveways, walkways, fountains, pools, and similar items over time. There are also plants that resemble bamboo in appearance and gardeners should make sure that they actually have bamboo and not an invasive plant that they’ll regret planting.

The growth habit of clumping bamboo makes it appropriate for use as privacy screens and sound barriers. Bamboo is often used against chain link to hide the fence from view. Bamboo provides a pleasingly contrasting texture and color to the landscape, along with an exotic feel.

The plant is a member of the grass family and the canes will get larger in diameter each year. With clumping bamboo, it’s easy to create a graceful oasis in any corner of the yard. Bamboo isn’t always a uniform green hue, either. There are species featuring stem banding in shades of blue, black, purple, brown, pink and yellow.

It’s a good idea to consult with a landscaping professional who is knowledgeable about the various types of bamboo and the growth habits of each. While most bamboo prefers a sunny location, there are also species that grow best in shaded areas. No matter what color is preferred, bamboo is sure to add interest within any 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

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