Raised beds have become increasingly popular among gardeners, and for a good reason. They are an attractive addition to any outdoor space and provide numerous practical benefits that make gardening more accessible and rewarding. Raised bed gardening may be the perfect solution to elevate your gardening game.
Easy to Maintain
Raised beds are ideal for anyone looking for a low-maintenance garden setup. The soil level allows you to work on your plants without bending down or kneeling on the ground. This makes it easier to pull weeds, add compost, and water your plants. The improved drainage means they don’t need as much attention when watering as ground-level soil. You can also control the soil mix in a raised bed, which makes it easier to maintain your plants’ nutrient needs.
The higher elevation of the soil helps water flow away from the plant roots, reducing the risk of fungal diseases and root rot that can occur with overly wet soil. This can be especially helpful in areas of the landscape where water drains slowly or is prone to pooling. Adding gravel or a layer of plastic beneath the soil also helps further improve drainage.
Control Your Soil
Raised beds allow you to control the type of soil you use for your garden. By building up the sides of the bed, you can fill it with soil from a local garden center or make your own blend. This allows you to tailor the soil to your specific needs and the plants that will be planted in the bed.
A good soil mix is essential for healthy plants and a bountiful harvest. A good soil mix will contain both organic material and inorganic materials to provide necessary nutrients, retain moisture, and aerate the soil. Composted manure, peat moss, or coco coir can be used in raised beds mixed with sand, vermiculite, and perlite. You can create your own custom blend of these to make a soil blend for your plants.
You Can Plant Earlier
Raised beds are typically warmer than traditional gardens because they are off the ground. Extra height and insulation of the soil increase the temperature. This can be beneficial in early spring when the ground can remain cold. With a raised bed, you can start planting earlier in the season.
Make harvesting easier
Raised beds can make harvesting easier because the vegetables are up off the ground and in easy-to-reach locations. It can also eliminate bending over and ensures you’re not pulling up weeds or disturbing the soil. This can save time and energy and help your harvest last longer. Raised beds also provide a convenient platform for trellising, so your vegetables can grow vertically and can be easily harvested.
Frontier Landscaping builds raised beds using a variety of materials. We can also add drip irrigation in the beds and outdoor lighting. Give us a call today for a free estimate at (360) 574-8979.
When it’s summer in the Pacific Northwest we want to enjoy the beautiful weather in an outdoor living space. Although outdoor spaces used to just be for patio furniture and a grill they can now include TVs, outdoor kitchens, fire pits, lighting, and more.
Creating an outdoor living space can be a great way to add value to your home and create an area to relax and entertain. Whether you’re starting from scratch or making changes to an existing outdoor area, the time is now to get started on your new landscape.
Suited to your own aesthetic tastes, we can create living outdoor living spaces that extend the hospitality of your home, extend and open up an area for entertaining or create a quiet retreat.
Planning Your Outdoor Living Space
By planning your new landscape project now we are also able to see how your landscape handles drainage issues so we can see if this needs to be incorporated into your landscape project.
Before you start shopping for furniture and think about hardscapes, take some time to think about how you want to use your outdoor living area. Do you want a place to cook and entertain? A spot to relax with a good book or some music? A place for your kids to play? Consider your needs and lifestyle when deciding how to design your space. With these ideas in mind, you can begin to create a design plan that works best for you and your family.
There are endless design options you can create by choosing natural stone, pavers, bricks, river rocks, and more. Our Professionals at Frontier Landscape can help you design outdoor living spaces that are truly your own.
Outdoor Furniture and Accessories
When you’re planning your outdoor living area, it’s important to choose furniture and accessories that match your style. Think about what kind of atmosphere you want to create with your space. If you’re looking for a cozy and intimate vibe, opt for comfortable seating and inviting fabrics. If you want something more modern and sleek, go for metal furniture and low-maintenance materials.
When deciding what kind of hardscaping to add, consider the size and shape of your outdoor living area. If you have a small area, then you may want to focus on creating walkways and adding a few steps. If you have a larger area, then you could add a patio or an outdoor kitchen. No matter what type of hardscaping you choose, make sure it fits the overall style of your outdoor living area.
If you have a smaller area next to a slope consider installing a retaining wall. Retaining Walls can. They can incorporate straight or curved lines, steps, and corners and serve as added seating. Retaining walls are often used for grade changes, and for other functional reasons such as widening driveways, and walkways, or creating more space in a patio outdoor area. More usable area for your Landscapes and Outdoor Spaces.
Paths and Patios
Paths and Patios can be created using slate, brick, concrete, rough stone, gravel, crushed granite, pavers of all shapes and colors, or a mix therein. We can add a path leading through your property to the patio or any route in between.
Should your outdoor living space need any permits we can get those started for you sooner rather than later. In order to have your outdoor living space ready for summer you need to think now and schedule a free consultation!
When the cold winter months arrive, your garden doesn’t have to become a dull, lifeless space. With a few simple additions, you can transform it into a winter wonderland and enjoy the outdoors even during the colder months. Here are some tips on adding winter interest to your garden and keeping your space looking beautiful all year round.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to add winter garden interest is planting evergreen shrubs. Evergreens are versatile and can be used to create privacy or as an anchor for flower beds and other garden areas. Evergreens come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, making them perfect for adding texture and color to your garden, even in the coldest months of the year. Planting evergreens also provide shelter and food for wildlife in the winter. Species that can provide year-round interest include boxwood, holly, juniper, pine, and spruce.
Incorporate different textures
Texture is an important element to consider when creating a winter garden. Adding various textures can help to create interest and dimension in the garden, even during the coldest months of the year. Start by planting a few evergreens. Pine, fir, juniper, and holly are nice options. They will add structure and texture to your garden. Grasses and ornamental grasses are also great for adding texture, especially when covered in a layer of frost or snow. When choosing plants, select those with interesting foliage or textured bark.
Use winter-blooming flowers
Bring life to your garden with winter-blooming flowers! While many plants go dormant during the colder months, some will bring color to your garden. Consider planting pansies, violas, and primroses for a burst of vibrant color. Or opt for hellebores or winter daphne for more subtle blooms.
Winter Container Gardening
Cheerful winter pots outdoors can help brighten up and decorate your yard. Make sure your vessels can survive fluctuating temperatures. Porous materials like ceramic and terracotta are subject to flaking and can crack in freezing temperatures.
Best Types of Planters
Planters made of metal, fiberglass, heavy-duty plastic, or wood are the least likely to crack during freezing temperatures. If you have stone, cement, or concrete planters outside, make sure they have drainage holes so water doesn’t get trapped to freeze and thaw, causing damage to them.
Ideas for Winter Containers Include:
- Coral Bells
- Ornamental Cabbage
Berries are a great way to add winter interest to your garden! Not only do they provide a vibrant burst of color, but they also attract wildlife, such as birds.
- Winterberry has beautiful red berries that can stay on the plant throughout the season, providing beautiful contrast against the snow.
- Beautyberry produces clusters of purple berries that can provide a dramatic display in winter.
- Pyracantha is another great option, as it bears clusters of bright yellow or orange berries throughout the winter
- Japanese Skimmia is an evergreen shrub that has red berries that remain in winter and white flowers in late spring.
Lighting can be used to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere in your garden during the winter months. Solar-powered garden lights are a great option for those who want to conserve energy, and LED lights are very energy-efficient and long-lasting. No matter what type of lighting you choose, it will add a unique touch to your garden and make it look even more beautiful during winter.
Let us know how we can help with winter gardening for your landscape, give us a call at 360-574-8979.
Winter is such a beautiful time of year, and it’s not all cold and snowy. It’s also an amazing time to enjoy the wildlife in our area. Whether you want to make your backyard a winter haven for birds or hibernating insects, there are many ways that you can add plants and food for winter wildlife interest.
One of the best ways to provide natural shelter in the winter garden is by planting an evergreen hedge or tree. These plants will provide cover from predators and allow animals to nest underneath them if they choose. In addition, evergreens will block out wind and provide heat when needed during colder months, as well as shade on warmer days.
Incorporate Plants with Seeds and Berries
Some plants have seeds that stay on the plant through winter, so if you have a garden, consider leaving any remaining plants that have seeds. You can also use perennial plants as a natural way to attract wildlife in your yard. Tall weeds like milkweed and amaranth provide important habitats for monarch butterflies and other pollinators. And bushes like huckleberry, blueberry, and rose hips provide food for birds and mammals during winter months.
Leave Some Areas for Shelter
Don’t bag up all your leaves; spread them on the flower beds; it’s good for your soil and provides shelter for frogs and insects. Leave some pots and piles of bricks lying around for frogs. Make or buy some bug hotels and other insects such as lacewings and ladybugs, or just drill some holes in a log! Build nesting boxes with an entrance hole big enough for an animal to enter and exit easily. In colder climates with snow cover, pile snow near plants to insulate them from cold air. If you have a compost heap, place hay bales on top of it so that animals can find food and cover.
Attract birds by providing feeders filled with seeds and suet during the colder months. Be sure to keep the feeders clean by regularly sterilizing them. Bird feeders are busy in the winter and can spread disease.
Offer Water in Winter
Birds need water year-round, but in winter, it becomes more important for their survival. Even if the ground is frozen, there are ways to provide water for birds. Placing bird baths near windows or feeding stations will allow the birds to get close enough to drink from the bath.
For help with the design and maintenance of your winter landscape, give us a call at 360-574-8979.
A garden can be a great source of physical activity and mental stimulation. Still, if you have health issues or disabilities, you may need to adjust your garden before digging in the dirt. Read on to learn how to modify your garden, so it’s accessible and enjoyable.
Raised beds are an excellent way to garden for people who have limited mobility or can’t bend over—these need to be at a comfortable height for seniors and disabled individuals.
Add potting benches to allow people sitting in wheelchairs to reach over the bed without having to climb onto it. The bed height should be 24 inches for someone seated in a wheelchair and 30 inches for someone who will stand while gardening but has difficulty bending and reaching.
Gardening in containers is adaptable to indoor and outdoor gardening. Containers can be placed on patios or porches or along walkways. You can also move them so they get enough sunlight.
Climbing plants are fantastic in the garden and can add privacy or disguise a view. They can also provide visual interest year-round, depending on the selected plants. Make sure you are growing the right plants for the right height and can reach them at maturity. For example, consider growing up if you cannot bend down to harvest cucumbers.
A trellis can be placed in a raised bed, container, or the ground. Make sure plant stakes are not sharp and not a tripping hazard.
Some Plants suitable for vertical gardening are:
Clear and Even Paths
Ensure all paths and walkways are wide enough for someone in a wheelchair. Avoid any slopes or edges that may cause someone to slip or fall. Use a rake to level the soil, especially near the seating area. Be sure that paths have a slight slope so water can run off and prevent slipperiness. Brush hard surfaces with a stiff broom to remove moss.
Adaptive Gardening Tools
Gardening tools come in a variety of sizes for a variety of abilities and situations. If you have difficulty gripping tools, look for larger handled tools or consider adding or modifying existing tools.
These are some of the adaptive gardening tools you might find helpful:
- Kneeling benches or garden scooters can reach plants lower to the ground.
- Arm cuffs go around your forearm and attach to various tools to help extend reach and increase leverage and grip. The tools available for attachment are trowels, forks, and cultivators.
- Telescopic garden tools have an extendable reach, so you can rake or prune by lengthening the handles, even if you are in a wheelchair.
- Grabbers to pick up debris like a giant pair of tongs.
- Hand seed dispensers are simple and plastic for those who have difficulty gripping small objects.
Let us know how we can help make gardening more accessible for you. We create raised beds, seating areas, pathways, and patios depending on your unique needs. Contact us today!
Landscape lighting can add atmosphere and ambiance to your outdoor living space and make it easier to navigate at night. However, where exactly should you install landscape lights? Here are some tips on how to use landscape lighting to create the perfect outdoor oasis and save energy at the same time.
Consider LED lighting
Landscape lighting is a great way to make your outdoor space feel safe, inviting, and romantic.
There are many different types of lighting fixtures that can be used in landscape lighting projects.
The most commonly used type is LED lighting. They have an incredibly long lifespan compared with other lighting options.
Landscape lighting is used to help accentuate your home’s exterior and make it look more attractive. Placing landscape lighting in front of your house can help highlight what you consider to be your home’s most valuable features, like a beautiful garden or a breathtaking view. It can also be used as an additional security measure if you live in a neighborhood that has lots of foot traffic or break-ins.
Lighting Your Patio
If you’re looking for a way to spruce up your patio, consider adding landscape lighting. This will create the perfect space for entertaining during summer evenings, and it’s also an excellent way of ensuring safety in your garden by keeping intruders away at night.
There are many different types of outdoor lights that you can use, so start by deciding what type of lighting you want: spotlights, wall packs, or lights on poles. You may also want to think about how many light fixtures you need and what color bulbs would work best to create the right ambiance.
Lighting for Driveways, Walkways, and Steps
The driveway and walkways are typically the first areas people see when they pull up to a home. The light from these areas can be used to help you create a feel for what is waiting just inside.
Lighting up your steps is a great way to create an inviting pathway and can even be used as a safety feature. If you have children or pets, it will help them see where they are going at night. When picking out bulbs, choose ones that mimic natural daylight so people don’t feel uncomfortable when they are outside after dark.
Light Up Your Focal Points
If you need more of a focal point for your landscape lighting, consider using lights on trees or shrubs that line your walkways or use accent lights in between the plants in your flowerbeds.
Put up spotlights that focus all their attention on one tree (or any other part of the yard) to create a focal point and a tranquil atmosphere. They provide a focused beam of light on a certain area, but they don’t reach far into the surrounding area.
Floodlights: These lights typically have an oval or circular shape and cast light over a wide range. You may want to use these on a house’s exterior if you want to illuminate it at night, but they can also be used on landscaping features.
There are also lights for your water features that can be beautifully lit at night.
Let the Frontier Landscaping team install your landscape lighting. We’ll help you find the types and styles of lighting that create the atmosphere you want surrounding your home. Installing the right lighting in the right place in your yard can increase its beauty and functionality. Contact us today!
If you’re looking to reduce your water consumption, there’s no better place to start than your own yard. Whether you’re planting annuals or putting in new shrubs and trees, there are plenty of drought-tolerant gardening tips you can follow to create a beautiful garden with less water.
Drought-Tolerant Plants for the Garden
The best plants for low-water gardens are xeric plants (from the Greek word meaning dry) which are hardy and do well in dry climates. These plants have developed over time to be drought tolerant and use less water than traditional garden varieties.
Arbutus unedo ‘Compacta’
Pacific Wax Myrtle
Sweet Potato Vine
Another option is drought-tolerant ground covers like creeping thyme or purple sage. These types of plants will not only make your garden look lovely but will help conserve water as well!
These plants will still need to be watered during dry spells for the first year or two until they become established. Once established, these water-thrifty plants will save you time.
Keep your soil in check with mulch
Compost and mulch are two of the easiest ways to retain moisture in your garden. A layer of mulch can cut down on water consumption by up to 50%. Compost is also an excellent addition to any soil because it will increase the amount of organic matter present in the soil. Organic matter increases the water-holding capacity of soils and improves nutrient availability. These two materials will both help you create a beautiful garden that won’t need much watering!
Plant closer together
Plant trees and shrubs closer together to provide shade and reduce the need for watering. Put large plants in the center of your garden, or place small plants around them to offer them some protection from strong winds.
Use Stones for Visual Interest
Using stones is one way to add interest to your garden. Stones are natural materials that are found in nature and can be used as focal points in your landscaping. They can also be used to create paths throughout the garden as well as act as barriers and even create shade around plants that need to be protected from the sun.
Dry Creek Beds
You may want to consider adding a dry creek bed to your drought-tolerant landscape. A dry creek bed is a type of garden design that mimics the natural environment by including rock or gravel as pathways and raised beds where plants can be planted.
Install a Water Feature
Installing a fountain in your drought-tolerant garden can actually help reduce water consumption. Typically fountains use about 3 gallons of water per hour. A typical backyard fountain can use up to 300 gallons of water per day. If you are using an electric pump then the cost is more as well. An aerating fountain only uses 3-5 gallons of water per hour. This type of fountain recycles the same amount of water over and over again without ever recharging the reservoir tank with new water.
Incorporating some traditional elements of Japanese gardening into your garden space can help promote calmness and tranquility in your daily life. Many elements of Japanese garden design can help you achieve peace and relaxation.
Japanese gardens can contain zen gardens, statuary, water features, lighting, and more. Pick your spot with an appropriate space for the garden size you want to create. Think about focal points like fountains or statues in strategic locations to draw the eye or act as transitional areas from one area of interest to another part of the garden.
Plants for the Japanese Garden
Trees in Japanese garden design are usually pruned into shapes that reveal their architectural form. Ponderosa pine, Thuja plicata, Rocky Mountain juniper, and of course Japanese Maples are just some of the trees that work well in a Japanese garden design. Suitable shrubs for this type of garden include Oregon boxwood, witch hazel, and hydrangea. Some flowers can be used as a ground cover or to create a border around your garden; these include lily-of-the-valley vine, azaleas, and trilliums. Consider using an assortment of sedums and irises as they thrive in shade environments.
materials also include bamboo plants because bamboo symbolizes strength and peace in Japanese culture. It is important to use these elements because they help to create tranquility within the space by helping people relax through various senses including touch.
Bamboo fencing can help create garden rooms and block unsightly views. If you plant bamboo, only choose a clumping variety, so it doesn’t get out of control and become invasive.
All elements blend in a uniquely Asian style in the Japanese garden. Japanese blood grass, stone pagoda lantern, and moss-covered rocks can surround a water feature like a fountain or a pond.
This Japanese Zen garden design features raked gravel or sand around stones, representing ripples of waves around islands. This can be done in a large or small format. It is easy to maintain and can promote contemplative thought.
Stones and Statuary
Stone lanterns shaped as zen pagodas or other Japanese symbols can add Japanese style to a small garden. Rocks are key components of this style of garden because they represent the relationship between earth and water, which is an important part of Japanese culture.
Let us know how we can help incorporate elements of Japanese garden design into your landscape. Contact Us Today!
If you love attracting hummingbirds to your garden, why not consider creating a garden for them? Hummingbirds are amazing to watch and fun to attract to your outdoor space.
There are a few key elements to keep in mind when attracting these winged beauties to your landscape.
Eliminate Pesticides and Add Favorite Plants
To make your yard safe and inviting to these charming birds, eliminate pesticides and add native and hummingbird-friendly plants and insect-pollinated flowers. Our winged friends can eat insects in midair, so a pesticide-free and healthy garden is essential.
Hummingbirds prefer to nest near a ready supply of nectar and other food. You can encourage them to nest in your yard by maintaining shrubs and small deciduous trees for a protected place to rest and obtain cover.
The best way to create a hummingbird garden is to provide a wide variety of plants that produce nectar-rich flowers that are bright in color and tubular in shape. This is the fun part of the hummingbird garden!
Hummingbirds are attracted to bright red and orange flowers but will visit flowers in other hues after they find out about your garden. The following are a few plants that hummingbirds like.
- Red Hot Poker
- Flowering Currant
Water for Hummingbirds
Along with a nectar source, hummingbirds also like a supply of water. Their baths can be brightly colored and shallow, featuring a mister, dripper, or even a fountain.
Traditional bird baths tend to be too large for their tiny bodies. As a result, you’ll want to choose shallower bird baths when trying to attract hummingbirds to your garden. If you’d like to use a regular bird bath, you can add gravel or rocks to the bottom of the bird bath to create a shallow area.
When adding a mister, whether connected to your bird bath or not, try to position it next to a plant with leaves. Hummingbirds will rub their bodies against wet leaves to bathe.
August is a maintenance month for landscapers and gardeners. It is time to ensure your landscape is well-watered, weed-free, and looking good heading into fall. Below are a few of our August landscaping tips.
Plant Fall Perennials
Are you looking for more colors to carry you into the fall? Plant your fall perennials to keep your garden looking fresh. Chrysanthemums, sedums, Japanese anemones, and echinaceas are excellent choices.
Many herbs should be harvested this month to use during the coming year. Although most herbs are fresh and fragrant for many months, they often hit their peak in late summer. Harvest in the early morning after the dew dries but before the day heats up. Herbs can be dried or frozen or incorporated into recipes.
Both annual and perennial weeds will start producing seeds now. If left unchecked, these can become extremely difficult to eliminate. The best time to weed is right after rain when the soil is still moist. If there is no rainfall, water your garden the night before you start weeding. You can pull weeds by hand or use a hoe. Just be sure to remove the entire plant including the roots.
Continue to deadhead annuals for more blooms. Consider adding a few more annuals to make it until fall.
Container gardens will require fertilizer this month. One handful of fertilizer is equivalent to one tablespoon. Containers may need extra watering to look their best on hot days.
Be sure to keep evergreen trees and shrubs hydrated along with young trees and other plants. Sections of lawns that border driveways and sidewalks may need more water due to the added heat of concrete. Make appropriate adjustments to your irrigation system depending on the weather during the month.