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Winter Landscape Revamps

Winter Landscape Revamps

Even though winter can be stormy and rainy in the Pacific Northwest, our climate is mild enough that most landscape installations can take place regardless.

A big benefit of landscape renovation in the off season is your landscape is ready to enjoy once warmer spring temperatures resume. Here are a few things you may consider adding this winter.

Retaining walls

Retaining walls are an excellent way to increase your curb appeal. They allow for integration with landscape lighting and maximize your planting space. We can create retaining walls that include staircases, raised or terraced garden beds.
When you add plants and areas for flowers, it breaks up the hardscape and adds year-round interest, it also secures your slope and can be used to redirect water away from your structures.

Our retaining wall projects will leave your landscape beautiful, strong, functional, and long lasting.

We are preferred contractors at Mutual Materials. We can help in all aspects of your wall-building project including design, grading, excavation, drainage and wall construction.

Hedging and privacy screening

Now that outdoor socializing is happening year-round, you may realize that you are outside and in view of neighbors. For added privacy consider and evergreen hedge, mixed border, or landscape trees to separate your property from your neighbors.

Hedging helps not only provide much needed privacy, but it also buffers noise, provides habitat for birds and can provide shade to your patio or garden. As long as the ground is not frozen, winter is an excellent time to get new plants established, with a reduced risk of transplant shock.

Landscape Lighting

Adding new lights can aid with entertaining, safety, and security around your home. Installing outdoor lights can also enhance the time you can enjoy your landscape for entertaining.

Give us a call today to start a project! You will be happy you got yours in ahead of the rush!

Winter Landscape Maintenance Tasks for an Effortless Spring

Winter Landscape Maintenance Tasks for an Effortless Spring

Just because it is winter, doesn’t mean Mother Nature is entirely asleep. Although your landscape plants are dormant this time of year, there are tasks you can do now that will give you a healthier and more beautiful landscape next spring.

Winter clean ups help prevent pest issues over the winter months and get you a head start on spring gardening!

Leaf clean-up

If you haven’t done so already now is the time to gather and pick up fallen leaves from your deciduous plants and trees. While you can utilize leaves as a way to mulch there are a few tips to make sure you don’t lead to pathogens or weeds later.

If your plants showed any signs of disease, do not use those leaves, this is especially important in ornamental cherry trees, rose bushes, and fruit trees. All clippings need to be disposed of away from your landscape. You should also be careful to make sure there are no seed heads in your leaf piles that may try to germinate in your leaves over the winter.

Mulching for an easier spring

Do not mulch over the crowns of your plants or change the depth at the base of your landscape trees. This can inhibit the air circulation and lead to fungal issues with your plants next spring. With mulching, there can be too much of a good thing, so make sure you don’t overwhelm your plants with mulch, create a consistent application and avoid overdoing it on slopes. You don’t want rain to wash away your product!

When properly applied, mulch will help your soil retain water next spring and prevent winter weeds. Be sure to mulch the non-planted areas about three inches deep with compost, mulch, or bark for the best visual impact and practical success. There are winter and early spring weeds, so mulch will help prevent those before they can take hold in your soil.

Cutting back perennial plants

Many perennials “die-back” to the ground and return effortlessly the following spring. By this time of year you will be able to identify what plants remain woody and above ground and what have retreated back to below ground level. If your perennial truly is herbaceous (no woody above ground structure) you are free to remove the last season’s foliage. Hostas, coneflowers, and other flowering perennial plants are ready to be “put to bed” now.

There are a few perennial plants that can play tricks on you, like potentilla, lavender, and rosemary. These plants have a woody structure and are technically small woody shrubs often grouped with perennials because of their size. These perform best to shearing no more than a third of the whole plant, rather than a tough cut back. If you go too deep they will not grow back vigorously like other perennial plants. If they do get very woody and you can’t maintain their shape, it may be wise to replace them with younger plants.

Spent blooms

There are many reasons to hire a professional landscaper and flowering plants is one of them. Often folks who struggle with “Why won’t my plant bloom,” have mistakenly pruned off the flower buds in the winter.

It is safe to cut off the blooms of hydrangeas and roses in the winter. Do not prune your rhododendrons, azaleas, or lilacs right now, because you may be removing their spring buds inadvertently in the process. If in doubt, consider the bloom time. It’s best to be cautious not to over prune your spring blooming plants if you can’t accurately identify them.

Contact us today for help getting your garden prepared this winter for a lovely spring.

Enjoy your patio this winter!

Enjoy your patio this winter!

Updating your patio can make it an area you enjoy year round. With new restrictions gathering outdoors can give you peace of mind to spend quality time with your family and observe social distance this winter.

Having an outdoor living area creates the feeling of an extension of your home. As we are spending more and more time indoors and at home this year your patio can offer you a personal escape from the stresses of everyday life, distance learning and working from home take a toll and having a patio to escape can help you stay sane and connected to your landscape.

Fire Pits

A fire pit is the perfect spot to gather and relax with your family this winter. They provide warmth, community (even if it’s just your family gathering right now), and the feeling of being around a campfire, right in your own backyard. We are experts at designing your fire pit to integrate into other areas of your landscaping so you can enjoy it year round.

We can integrate water permeable stone or pavers, space for seating, and paths to weave from your home to your fire area and have everything function for safety and long lasting durability.

Outdoor Seating

Comfort is the key to enjoying your outdoor space. Investing in long lasting outdoor seating will make your patio a place you can truly enjoy. The Northwest naturally has a damp winter climate so storing your cushions out of the rain is the key to helping them last longer. You can include a built in storage area into the design of your patio, so that when you want to add additional comfort they are not packed far away.

Including seating to your patio design in the form of benches and seating areas around a fire pit is an additional enhancement that will personalize your space. Adding touches of home can help you blend your personal style with your patio by using pillows, candles, and outdoor art to style your space.

Landscape Lighting

Adding lighting on your patio, not only improves the safety to you and your family, it also changes the mood. We use energy efficient LED lighting to enhance your patio. There are so many different types of outdoor lights available now, we can help you create a style all your own, or mimic the designs in your home. Lights really make a patio or seating area welcoming and we can enhance your system by adding dimmers, motion lights, or uplighting specimen plants in your landscape.
We can install all your lighting needs, from lighting pathways to and from your fire pit, to spotlightling trees you want to see from your back patio.

Bring plants closer to your home with containers on your patio

Container gardens on your patio are the perfect way to bring your landscape closer to your home. Planting a container garden is a great way to have fresh herbs, like rosemary or bay leaf, just a few steps away from the grill or your kitchen door. Container gardening is a great way to bring nature closer to your home and enjoy beautiful plants in all seasons.

You can also change your pots throughout the year to add seasonal interest! Things to plant this time of year include, winter pansies, small evergreen trees decorated for the holidays, or spring flowering bulbs.

We love creating beautiful patios and outdoor living spaces for you to enjoy- year round. Contact us today for an outdoor living space that maximizes your enjoyment, relaxation, and functionality.

Preparing for Winter

Preparing for Winter

The quality of “rest” or rather, dormancy affects the health and well being of your trees and landscapes year after year…Season after Season.

Plants and trees experience life cycles through the Seasons. Most trees “sleep” or go dormant each Winter to one degree or another. While some trees defoliate completely, others maintain their foliage but with both types, their growth rate slows to a crawl depending on the variety of the Tree. The quality of their rest period determines how healthy and productive they are when their growth period returns.

At Frontier, we prepare your Trees and Landscapes to do their very best throughout the Winter Season and set them up to thrive when Spring comes back around.

  • Mulching to insulate tree roots and soil
  • Proper Pruning and staking to protect trees during potentially harsh winter’s.
  • Preparation in Winter creates healthy growth in Spring

It is important to protect the root systems of young plants and trees. Mulching is a good way to accomplish that task. Mulching works as a weed deterrent during the growth periods as well as retaining moisture. During the Winter months, it acts as an insulator to preserve warmth near the roots and soil.

Proper Tree Pruning and Tree Staking are also essential to protect your Trees from potentially harsh weather and to set them up to grow well again in the Spring.

Frontiers’ highly skilled team can prepare your Trees and Landscapes for the Winter and the coming growth season.

Contact us to schedule an appointment to get your Trees and Landscapes ready for Winter!

Why Winter Pruning is Essential to Fine Gardening

Why Winter Pruning is Essential to Fine Gardening

Every year when the cold weather arrives, and the last leaves are falling off your favorite tree, you may think to yourself: “My garden is done for the year!” Well, think again! Some of the most important and rewarding garden endeavors can only be initiated during the winter months. One of these is winter pruning, and it is something that will pay big dividends in your garden or landscape! Pruning your trees and shrubs during the winter months can greatly improve the look (Not to mention the health) of your plants, so that they go into spring looking fabulous! Here are some insights into winter pruning, and why it is so essential:
The single biggest reason that winter is a great time to prune is the fact that your plants will be in a
state of dormancy. When plants are dormant, they are far less susceptible to shock from pruning. One thing to keep in mind when it comes to pruning is that you should aspire to prune your plants as needed from a young age rather than having to do a bunch of drastic pruning later on. You can still prune many older plants, but they are far more likely to become “Frankentrees” if they must be pruned drastically.
Another great reason for winter pruning is that the lack of foliage on your deciduous plants makes
pruning cuts easy to see. This really helps when it comes to bringing out your plant’s best form. If you’ve never pruned ornamental trees and shrubs before, here are some of the things to look for when pruning for form:

  1. Prune off any dead or dying branches. These branches can harbor pests and disease, plus they just don’t look very good!
  2. Prune crossing branches or branches that are going towards the center of the plant. Ideally, you want the branching structure of your plant to radiate outward. This is the healthiest shape for your plant, because branches that cross or meet each other are more likely to split or break.
  3. Prune off any small interior branches that don’t really amount to anything. The goal is to allow good airflow to pass through your plant, and many trees and shrubs can get gummed up with unnecessary foliage on the interior that does nothing for the look of your plant but encourages potential disease issues.
  4. You’ll also want to selectively thin out the branching on the exterior of the plant so that it allows air and light to pass through the plant. Keep the healthiest, nicest looking branches while removing some of their neighbors. When you prune off these branches, take them back to a branch union (Where they attach to another branch) This helps to keep your pruning cuts from being obvious.
  5. If you are pruning a plant for size (Like a fruit tree or hedge), be sure to make your pruning cuts right above outward-facing buds. This will generally help future growth to grow in the right direction, and will avoid having long dead stubs at the ends of your branches.

One more great thing about winter pruning? Your plants will flush out lots of fresh growth quickly the
following spring, and you will get to spend the whole warm season enjoying the beauty of your plants rather than looking at chopped up looking trees and shrubs! Enjoy your beautifully pruned plants! Our Certified Arborists can help you get the job done right. Contact us today at 360-574- 8979 if you are interested in sprucing up your fine garden.

Sow Now, Reap Later – Ten Winter Tasks to get a Start on Spring

Sow Now, Reap Later – Ten Winter Tasks to get a Start on Spring

It looks like we’re going to get a week of sunny and dry weather so it’s a perfect time to tackle some of our top Winter Tasks to help you get a start on Spring. Then, curl up with a warm drink at the end of the day and outline the projects you want to accomplish next year. Here are our top tips:

 

  1. Skip a day at the gym and sweep regularly to keep sidewalks safe. Exercise clears the mind and lets you daydream about your goals.
  2. Be observant and keep on top of cool-season weeds like Lamium, Clover, and Chickweeds. Don’t know which weed? Check out Oregon State’s Weed ID Handbook.
  3. If the ground isn’t frozen, you still have time to plant bulbs for a beautiful Spring display. But if you’re smothered in snow? Call us for snow plowing or parking-lot de-icing!
  4. Is your lawn shaggy or does it have any bald-spots? Take your hairdresser’s advice and take only a little bit off the top.
  5. Send leaves from any plants that showed stress or disease to the Municipal Yard Waste; their hot composting system will break it down completely. Mow the remaining leaves and put them back on your garden beds as a protective mulch.
  6. Broken branches or other storm damage? Have our expert tree-pruning crew keep you safe.
  7. Grow your own? If you’re a home vegetable gardener, planning your seed order is both fun and challenging! The Oregon Extension office has great resources for growing techniques for our area, and the best varieties to help you narrow down your seed order.
  8. Ensure your new landscaping sails through a stressful summer and put in a water-saving irrigation system.
  9. Concerned about flooding on your property? Is it time to build that rain garden for year-round water management that is as beautiful, as it is effective?
  10. Dreaming about outdoor dining on our warm summer nights? Is this the year to finally build that patio? Pull out that stack of magazines and start marking pages, or visit our Houzz page and create your own idea book.

Check out our other winter maintenance services and give us a call.

CALL US!

Call us today for a free quote on all your landscaping needs!