Investing in Curb Appeal adds tangible value to your home. Did you know that fixing safety issues increases your home’s curb appeal too??
Is your house the one that didn’t get visited this Halloween?
Improve visibility with better landscape lighting. Replace those garish flood-lights that cast bright spots and deep shadows, with softer lighting to enhance your welcoming front door. Make your front walk visible, placing lights strategically at steps and corners, instead of creating an airport runway to the door. One new trend is Moon-Lighting; mimicking the cast of moonshadows by highlight featured trees and plantings along your front walk. Read more about using low-voltage LEDs and let our design and installation team turn your home from spooky to stunning!
Worried about Winter Winds?
Are you struggling to reach your door, ducking under branches and around that shrub that is swallowing your sidewalk? Proper pruning keeps branches from crashing down in our winter wind storms. Our professionals keep an eye on the health of your trees, noticing any summer drought stress, overgrown branches, or insect damage. Our skilled tree service can assess your tree health, provide fungal/insect treatments, install cabling and bracing, or safely remove any dead or diseased wood. With skilled pruning your trees will be healthier and you can be worry-free.
Narrow, overgrown walkways cramping your style?
Nandina domestica Gulfstream, courtesy Great Plant Picks
Just shearing plants to clear the walk leaves unsightly edges and shortens the life of your landscape investment. Our team keeps an eye out for new plant selections that perform well in our local landscapes. Construction Manager Shaun Schmitt recommends the new Nandina Gulfstream, with its colorful foliage in all seasons, and its compact shape. Native plants are also perfectly suited to our growing conditions, but choosing the ones that work best in urban landscapes requires knowledge of how they grow over time. Proper plant placement with these considerations in mind, results in a better looking landscape, and safe front walk.
Make the Call
Are you ready to for a worry-free winter with curb appeal that functions as well as it looks? We’d love to assess your landscape and help you enjoy your home this winter. Call us for an appointment today at (360) 574-8979
Fall is an ideal time to fix your landscape with the cool weather. Now that the kids are back in school and have finally picked up their bicycles and soccer balls, you can finally see what your landscape needs without all of that clutter.
- Did that pretty Maple tree you got as a house-warming gift shrivel in our hot summer? Plant new trees or shrubs to fill the gap.
- Do you get squishy shoes when you go out to the mailbox all winter? Anticipate and resolve drainage problems now, while making the solution beautiful too!
- Want a new vegetable garden? Get a jump-start on installing or changing your irrigation, and be ready to plant as soon as it warms up next spring.
Whatever your project, fall is the perfect time to call us.
Summer Shrubs get Stressed
This plant sails through our seasons! Nandina domestica Gulfstream, courtesy Great Plant Picks, is Shaun’s favorite
Hot, dry weather and bright sunlight causes plants to sunburn and wilt. Plants shut down until the cool weather returns and there is enough water to encourage growth again. Shaun Schmitt, Construction Manager at Frontier Landscaping, loves planting trees and shrubs in the fall, where the cool temperatures and free irrigation help plants settle into their landscape. “When plants are going into dormancy, there is less stress, and plants can put their effort into growing stronger roots instead of trying to flower.” His new favorite shrub, the trouble-free Gulfstream Nandina, has a compact shape, and requires little maintenance. Its solid green color is enhanced by bronze new leaves in spring, and changes to copper and gold in the fall. Let our construction team give you a stress-free fall.
Winter Wet isn’t Here Yet
Now is the perfect time to solve those drainage problems, before soils become too water-logged to work on. We had an astonishing 45 inches of rainfall last winter, making it the second-wettest winter recorded. For a smart, long-lasting solution, think about installing a dry creek-bed. These stylish drainage solutions work hard, can be planted with locally-adapted plants, and can absorb even the largest volumes of water. Schmitt says, “French Drains can become plugged up with silt and bark-dust over time.” When the creek-bed is installed properly, it slows down the erosion-causing deluge and allows the water to percolate into the ground responsibly, instead of into storm drains or your neighbor’s garage. Then, all you need to do is add beautiful plants for a year-round show! Download this Oregon Rain Garden Guide for some great planting suggestions. Check out examples of our recent work, as seen on the Parade of Homes!
Get the Jump on Spring
Want the juiciest tomatoes next year? Convert that unused section of lawn to a drip-irrigation watered vegetable garden. Dreaming of the lushest lawn, or want to surprise your spouse with beautiful new maple tree? Add new lines to protect your investment. When you make these changes now in the off season, you’ll be ready to go in the spring. Leave the math to us, and we’ll work out the most efficient water-saving layout for your new garden. The best time to plant a tree is ten years ago, and the best time to install spring irrigation is today. Call our Construction Department to schedule a visit now!
The crisp fall mornings remind us that the hard-working summer garden has earned its winter rest. Sweeping the front walk and gathering leaves is a quiet exercise in mindfulness, and lets us gather our thoughts for the season ahead. Even though we enjoy our mild weather late into November, we can get occasional freezes and should clear out the irrigation system to prevent cracked pipes. As Halloween nears, ensuring you have a well-lit paths and driveways will make a cheerful and safe approach. And don’t forget to do some minor pruning to remove any broken branches or those that crowd and cover paths. These simple landscaping reminders for fall will ensure you have a problem-free winter.
Winterizing irrigation is quick and easy
We’re lucky here in the Vancouver area to enjoy long stretches of cool, autumn weather, and we typically don’t get the long hard freezes that cause problems. However, it’s always wise to unhook your hoses from the faucets, and add a little extra insulation to any pipes that are exposed. Bring any tender plants in pots up to the porch for extra protection, and buy a bale of hay for extra insulation in the garden.
Plan on shutting down your irrigation system. Even if you drain out your sprinklers, some water remains and can still freeze and crack your pipes, causing costly and unsightly repairs. To minimize your risk, call a professional to blow out any remaining water using the right-sized equipment. We schedule sprinkler winterization from October through early December, but now is a great time to get us on your calendar.
Throw some light on it
It’s also the perfect time to check on your outdoor lighting. Make sure paths are clear and well lit to greet you when you come home from work, and are safe when you have an armload of groceries. For convenience and to save energy, flood lights should be set to come on automatically when you arrive. Properly designed lighting colors and intensity give your home a cheerful welcome. Using LED lighting for landscaping makes sense, saving energy, and lasting longer than traditional lights. October is also a great time for stargazing, so a lighting expert can help you determine how to highlight only the areas you need to be safe without being overly bright.
Fall Maintenance Pruning
All the tips for Summer Tree Care still hold true – cut back shrubs after blooming, and prune fruit trees when they become dormant because it’s easier to see where to prune when the leaves drop. Unfortunately, we’ve also had a prolonged period of drought, so you may have had some branch die-back on a variety of trees and shrubs on your property. Now is a good time to have a Tree Hazard Risk assessment done before the winter storms come. We’ll look for damaged and overhanging branches, weak branch-joins, and insect or fungal diseases that impact the health of your trees. Selective pruning can also open the canopy and make trees more resilient to winter storms. Get an expert to assess your landscape before it becomes a bigger problem.
Frontier Landscaping provides exceptional customer service. Schedule an appointment with our seasoned and reliable crew today.
Dry creek beds provide attractive, functional relief, especially if your landscape is plagued by standing water. In the wet PNW, drainage problems are a common headache. Do any of these sound familiar?
- Flooded flower beds
- Pooling water below a deck
- Swampy places in the lawn
- Puddles around a foundation
Leaving drainage issues unaddressed has serious consequences, from dead lawn and plants to costly repairs and decreased property value.
The Good News
Frontier Landscaping has years of experience designing and implementing features that effectively carry water away from problem areas. Dry creek beds are star performers, particularly in sloped terrain. They work twice as hard for a landscape by running water from Point A to B, and standing alone as an attractive feature in drier months of the year.
“Even property owners with no drainage issues may choose to install a dry creek bed due to the elements of natural beauty in the way they look.”
Controlling Water Flow
Dry creek beds are an excellent choice for addressing places in the landscape that are hard-hit by heavy rains. While a flat place in the yard may benefit more from a simple lawn drain, gradients and hillsides need the water capacity and speed that a dry creek bed can provide during extreme conditions. Effectively redirecting the flow of water saves you from ongoing erosion and long-term damage.
When property owners are looking for a greener way to landscape, dry creek beds play an exciting role. Different-sized rocks, boulders, and choice plantings give eye-pleasing texture to outdoor spaces, but require much less water than an expanse of lawn. While bark dust alone can look flat, a dry creek bed introduces definition and contrast. It’s aesthetically pleasing and earth-friendly — a winning combination.
Dry Creek Beds for Natural Beauty
We regularly install dry creek beds to add natural beauty to a landscape. Expertly balancing a few key ingredients (a natural shape, native plantings, multiple sizes of stone) brings a natural, organic flow to an area. The results are breathtaking in any season, wet or dry.
No two landscapes are exactly alike, and the solution that works for one may not work for another. While dry creek beds are particularly suited to slopes and hillsides, they aren’t usually the best choice for flat ground.
Other elements, like French drains, catch basins, and lawn drains also have a part to play — and that’s just the beginning. Frontier’s installation team has years of experience solving drainage problems for local property owners.
French drain pipe (L), installed as a garden path (R).
French drains are a functional solution for flat terrain and less water. They often have a part to play in designing an overall solution for moving water in a landscape. Read more about them here.
Ranging in size from 6 to 24 inches, catch basins can be square or circular. These grated drains are typically placed alongside a driveway or in a low or sloped spot in the yard or hardscaping, like a patio. This is a straightforward fix for diverting water away from wet spots. A blend of rocks around it allows the catch basin to blend in with the landscape.
From basic to beautiful, there are many combinations of elements we can put to work that provide an effective long-term solution for drainage issues in your landscape.
Ready to learn how can we help you solve your standing water problems? Call (360) 574-8979 or email us for a consultation. We’ll work with you to protect your landscape with the right drainage solution to meet your needs.
Find more inspiration for dry creek beds and landscape design by visiting us on Houzz!
Fall’s a great time to assess your yard and think about making changes.
Before plants go dormant and while memory is still fresh, walk around and evaluate the yard as if for the first time. What areas failed to please in the looks department this year? Are there areas that remain parched and dry, no matter how diligent you are? Take notes and photos, if necessary.There may be a spot where a prized plant has its moment of glory – then leaves its surroundings bleak the rest of the season.
Where is it bare and in need of plants? Where is it too crowded? If you can’t stand to throw perfectly good plant material into the compost pile, there are undoubtably people around you who would greatly appreciate them!
Would you like to create more shady areas – or open things up for more sun? Could you use more outdoor seating or eating areas? Need lawn or a lawn alternative? Want a vegetable patch next year?
It can be helpful to get opinions from friends, too, as to which areas need help – and which are standouts just as they are!
We at Frontier Landscaping are all about helping you design a landscape that serves your purposes and reflects who you are – just as you like your house to do. Maybe you realize you need help maintaining it or would like an overgrown tree taken out. Let us help you take care of landscape issues now so you can reap the rewards for years to come!
There is nothing better than apple pie on a fall day. Apple season is not over yet! Use up those leftover apples from your trees with this delicious classic. Enjoy!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening
- 4 to 6 tablespoons cold water
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 8 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (8 medium)
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
In medium bowl, mix 2 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).
Gather pastry into a ball. Divide in half; shape into 2 flattened rounds on lightly floured surface. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable. This allows the shortening to become slightly firm, which helps make the baked pastry flakier. If refrigerated longer, let pastry soften slightly before rolling.
Heat oven to 425°F. With floured rolling pin, roll one pastry round into round 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side.
In large bowl, mix sugar, 1/4 cup flour, the cinnamon, nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Stir in apples until well mixed. Spoon into pastry-lined pie plate. Cut butter into small pieces; sprinkle over filling. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1/2 inch from rim of plate.
Roll other round of pastry into 10-inch round. Fold into fourths and cut slits so steam can escape. Unfold top pastry over filling; trim overhanging edge 1 inch from rim of plate. Fold and roll top edge under lower edge, pressing on rim to seal; flute as desired. Cover edge with 2- to 3-inch strip of foil to prevent excessive browning.
Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust, removing foil for last 15 minutes of baking. Serve warm if desired.
For a pretty glazed top crust, brush this—and any other double crust pie—with milk or cream and sprinkle with sugar before baking.
Recipe thanks to Betty Crocker