A Closer Look: Re-evaluate the yard

landscape patio Vancouver, WAFall’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!

57We 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!

Apple Pie Recipe

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!

apple pie

Pastry

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons cold water

Filling

  • 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

Inspect Your Trees to Avoid Winter Damage!

It’s not unusual to have a cold, stormy winter for the Pacific Northwest. For us here in the Vancouver-Portland metro area, that can mean lots of rain, wind storms and maybe even some snow!

It’s exciting to think about snow days and cozy rainy nights. However, we don’t want them interrupted by unexpected power outages and costly damage to your home as the result of falling trees and branches.

broken tree branch

Many trees in Vancouver were planted several decades ago and are beginning to show signs of their age. This includes dead branches, weak spots and rotting from the inside out. They may seem ok in the light of day but, with the right winter storm, they can come crashing down. In our urban setting, this often leads to power lines coming down and- even worse- a tree landing on someone’s home.

We can all do our part to avoid these costly and dangerous accidents by assessing large trees before storm season kicks in. Frontier Tree Service provides professional Tree Hazard Risk Assessment to make sure that your trees (and your neighbors’) do not pose a threat to the neighborhood.

We can come to your home or business to check for weak spots, areas of damage, as well as any dead material that should be removed. We determine the health and safety of a given tree, to help customers decide whether or not it is in danger of breaking, falling or dying.

tree risk assessment snow

Our tree experts can give you a detailed assessment of the health of your trees and recommend any services or treatment, accordingly. We offer tree pruning as well as complete tree removal, if necessary. We also can apply hardware (cables and braces) to prevent damage and preserve the tree.

If you have old trees or suspect that they may have dead or diseased sections, call Frontier Tree Service to assess the situation and help you avoid dangerous and costly accidents later on. 1-888-544-5006

 

Surround Yourself with Autumn Color!

Hello friends.  September is a transitional time for the garden. We are past the hottest days of the year so it’s a good time to think about fall planting. Whether you want to transform your landscape or just add a little color, fall is the perfect time to plant! The soil is warm, the air is cool and the rains are about to return.

Add a little spunk and pizzazz to your landscape this year with one of these fall beauties! Each one enhances the color and interest of your landscape. If you want these or any other new plants in your yard, give us a call. We can discuss placement and species and help you get the right plants for your landscape.

Contact Frontier Landscaping today to discuss some new plantings in your landscape!

 

Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba 'Fastigiata'

This is a gorgeous ornamental specimen with distinctive fan-shaped leaves. Ginkgo is a deciduous tree with a narrow, upright growth habit and attractive emerald green foliage that turns a brilliant golden yellow in the fall.

Oak Trees (Quercus species)

Quercus ellipsoidalis 'Shooting Star'  

Many oak trees look spectacular in the landscape in autumn. Their signature lobed leaves turn brilliant shades of purple and red, depending on the species. Oak trees are reliable stately specimens for shade and as a street tree.

Sweet Gum (Liquidambar styraciflua)

Sweet Gum

This tall, spreading tree has spectacular autumn color. It’s broad, palm-shaped leaves turn from green to incredible shades of bright yellow, orange, red and purple- practically a rainbow of autumn hues. This tree requires some regular maintenance and pruning to stay at its best but that color display is worth it.

Compact Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus “Compactus”)

Burning bush

This showy shrub is perfect for creating exciting hedges, border plantings and more. It grows in a dense, compact form with green, pointy leaves that turn a luminous rosy-red in the fall. The cherry-red leaves light up the fall landscape and are particularly stunning when several plants are paired together.

Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)

Oakleaf Hydrangea

This delightful shrub stands out no matter what! The Oakleaf Hydrangea produces large clusters of panicle-shaped white flowers in the summer. In autumn, foliage turns a spectacular mix of reds, purples and auburns for a brilliant display.

Sumac (Rhus species)

Sumac

This hardy shrub has a two-part showcase every autumn. Part one: summer flowers give way to interesting spikes of reddish-purple berries that persist into the winter. Part two: large fronds of compound leaves turn from classic green to brilliant shades of maroon and crimson. Both features bring the autumn landscape to life!

Purple Smokebush (Cotinus coggygria)

Purple Smokebush

Smoky ethereal beauty gives way to scarlet brilliance every fall in the form of the Purple Smokebush. Its billowy tufts of unusual leaves have a cloudy lavender-purple effect throughout the season, with a surprise red firework display of a finish in autumn.

Burgundy Hearts Redbud (Cercis canadensis ‘Greswan’)

Redbud

This bold beautiful bush has incredible red-purple foliage that turns burgundy as it matures. Another transformation takes place each fall as the burgundy foliage takes on a golden yellow hue. This versatile and exciting shrub makes an excellent addition to just about any landscape.

Fall is a great time for planting all types of trees and shrubs! Contact Frontier Landscaping today to discuss some new plantings in your landscape!

 

Autumn: Both Marvelous and Messy!

Beautiful Northwest Autumn

Photo Thanks to 7×7

What an incredible autumn so far! We have had some gorgeous, fall weather.  The Columbia River Gorge is awash with autumn splendor and, everywhere you look, the leaves are turning. However, that also means that they are falling to the ground and creating a mess for you, your neighbors and just about everyone.

Why Fall Clean-ups?

Don’t wait too long to get those leaves off the ground! Matted, old leaves start to mold and can choke and kill grass and (worst of all) attract rodents and slugs. Yikes! While we haven’t had too many storms yet, we all know they will be coming. Storms, rain, and wind bring down the fall leaves as well as loose branches and debris. It also brings an excess of water that needs to move freely.

Fall clean-up is important for the health of our watershed and waterways. Built-up debris can clog storm drains and cause back-ups. This can lead to local flooding (aka- your yard!) but can also create problem areas throughout the drains in the area, affecting the health of wildlife and the waterways.

Frontier can Help!

Fall Clean-ups from Frontier Landscaping

Many folks need help with fall clean-ups. Some people have a big yard, or a particularly messy tree. Some folks don’t have the time or ability to rake all those leaves. Whatever the reason, our dependable maintenance crew is here to help! We will rake and clean up your yard efficiently, including cleaning out storm drains and gutters to keep the water flowing. We take away all leaves, branches and debris and end with a sweep from our leaf blowers, for a polished finish.

We can take care of the needs of any property, whether it is a home, school, business or municipal property. We can provide you with a maintenance plan tailored to your specific needs, whether it is a one-time visit or an ongoing service.

Contact us today to get a quote on your yard!

Autumnal Activities: Timely Tasks for the October Landscape

Happy Autumn, friends! It’s time now to begin to prepare for winter. This means fall clean-ups and fall planting as well improving the drainage around your home and winterizing your sprinkler system.

drainage

Improve your Drainage!

Is recent rain leaving you with puddles in your yard?

If you have persistent puddles, wet spots or swampy areas, you most likely have poor drainage. It is important to take care of those wet spots for the health of your plants and the groundwater in the area. It also helps to lower the risk flooding in and around your home! Sometimes, simply amending the soil can help; a good amount of organic matter can help break up compacted soil and improve the water flow. However, more often than not, the ground needs more assistance.

Our landscaping team is fully equipped to help you solve these issues. We can work on repairing the soil, improving drainage, and replanting the area, whether it is part of your lawn or garden. We can recommend (and install) some plants that love wet soil, to help with the issue, or we can come out and totally redo your lawn and drainage. Give us a call to discuss the possibilities!

Irrigation Winterization

Protect your pipes from freezing this winter! Frontier Landscaping offers professional sprinkler winterization to protect your system and prepare it for winter. We will come to your home to prepare your pipes for the cold season. Our irrigation team will go through each zone and blow out or drain 80% of the water from your pipes, heads and backflows so they don’t freeze and crack during the winter. This can save you a TON of money in repairs and new pipe next spring. When it’s time to get going again in the spring, we can help you start it back up again!

Frontier Landscaping offers full irrigation winterization for all types of systems. We look forward to hearing from you!

We are here to help! Call us today to discuss your needs at (360) 574- 8979 or contact us here.

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