Consult NJ Landscapers About Your Yard’s Energy Saving Potentials

By: on

It’s important to customize landscaping efforts to local factors. In New Jersey, landscaping must be done under a temperate microclimate, where there is relative balance of warm and cool. To establish this kind of microclimate, the DOE suggests designing a landscape based on three important considerations.

Let the Warmth in…

New Jersey is classified under the Temperate Region in the DOE infographic. This means that homes will not need as many trees as those in the “hot” regions, to allow a house to take advantage of the sun’s rays during winter.

…But Maintain Shade

However, trees are still needed for shade and protection from the hot summer sun. Expert NJ landscapers like those in Scenic Landscaping, LLC incorporate trees in landscape designs for this reason, as well as to add beauty and richness to a garden.

As to the type of tree to plant, both deciduous and evergreen trees offer benefits. The moderately-dense canopies of the former block winter winds but allow sunlight to pass through. They also change color with the seasons, providing a change in scenery. Native deciduous trees like maple, hickory, beech, and oak should ideally be placed facing north and northwest.

Build Windbreaks

A windbreak is a line of trees and shrubs that act as a barrier against cold northerly winds. In agriculture, windbreaks help hasten the maturity rate and improve the yield of certain crops like berries and potatoes due to their ability to contain warmth. In the residential setting, this warming property can potentially reduce household fuel consumption by around 40 percent during the cold months.

Organic windbreaks are more cost-effective but take years to reach their full potential. On the other hand, constructed ones take effect instantly but may cost more in maintenance.

The potential for energy saving adds another layer of benefit from landscaping. To get optimum results while beautifying your home, consult seasoned NJ landscape designers who can help put together the right landscaping elements to achieve this end.

(Source: Slash Your Energy Bill with Smart Landscaping, Lifehacker, May 27, 2014)

NJ Landscape Experts Help Create Memorable Outdoor Dining Experiences

By: on

In recent times, the outdoor kitchen has been growing from a simple fixed barbecue grill to a full kitchen suite, including fixtures like refrigerators, cupboards, etc. Safety and functional considerations require weatherproofing the appliances; but if done right, the investment could very well be worth the cost. Consulting two design experts, Associated Press writer Melissa Rayworth gives some pointers on how to step up outdoor kitchens in NJ and elsewhere.

Have a Countertop

An outdoor kitchen can hardly be called one without a place to season the meat or prep the veggies. This makes a countertop essential, either attached to the grill or as a separate section. Granite countertops are a popular choice, provided they have been treated with a sealant.

If you want a separate countertop but don’t have the space for it, go modular. Design an outdoor countertop to serve as both a workstation and dining area. To minimize surface damage to the stone, clean up stains right away and use pot mats for hot pots and casseroles. Also, avoid damaging granite from contact with sharp objects.

Make It All-Season

Cooking outdoors wouldn’t be fun if the temperature outside is a frigid ten below zero. Experts recommend installing a fireplace, either a free-standing or a wall-mounted one, on the outdoor kitchen. Design the fireplace such that smoke doesn’t blow over your guests.

Before planning an outdoor fireplace, however, check the local code first; not all areas permit outdoor fireplaces. Fortunately, New Jersey allows recreational fires under Chapter 307 of the state residential code. However, the fireplace must be at least 25 feet away from any structure.

Frame It

Pergolas and drapes provide shade and beauty to the outdoor kitchen, but flammable fabric should be kept away from any stove, as specified in the residential code. Pergolas also give you additional options such as installing extra lighting for a cozy ambience.

For that unforgettable outdoor dining experience, however, beautiful landscaping, complete with hardscape and flora, is unmatched. Consult NJ landscape services like Scenic Landscaping for an outdoor kitchen design that is safe, functional, and provides a feast to the eyes.

(Source: The evolving outdoor kitchen, The Seattle Times, June 13, 2014)

Complement Your Dream Swimming Pool in NJ with Beautiful Landscaping

By: on

To achieve this, homeowners should work not only with pool contractors, but also landscaping experts who have plenty of experience in designing a pool area. This usually involves a smooth transitioning from the pool to the surroundings, incorporating a deck or patio to blend in all the elements. An article in About.com discusses the various factors that need to be considered in designing a pool patio:

“Design Considerations

Ideally, a patio should be incorporated into the overall plan and design of a pool project, using the same style, shape andmaterials as the pool area. Other design considerations for poolside patios include:

The surrounding landscape and garden, including individual trees, shrubs and plants, and how they relate to the design and function of the pool area.

Proximity to the main residence, or, if you are lucky — a pool house or cabana.
Materials — while they should complement the pool and surrounding area, special attention needs to be paid to the safety of swimmers and guests, who will be walking with bare feet on wet surfaces. Choose patio flooring that has an anti-slip surface. Paving should also be cool underfoot to avoid burning sensitive feet.”

Well-designed landscaping around a well-built NJ pool isn’t only meant for embellishment and aesthetics. Stones, concrete, and other patio or deck flooring offer safety for swimmers through textured surfaces that can prevent slips, particularly among running children. Bushes and shrubs provide shade when the sun is high. Additionally, outdoor furniture provide visual and physical relief as they blend with the flora.

The job of designing and building swimming pools in NJ and adding landscaping are best done by a skilled landscape contractor, such as Scenic Landscaping, which has close ties with a pool building company. Having the right professionals working together on the project better guarantees the kind of finish that will put together all the design elements of the home, the pool, and their surroundings.

(Source: What is a Poolside Patio?, About.com)

Hire NJ Landscaping Professionals to Avoid Common Landscaping Mistakes

By: on

With images of relaxing outdoor dining or fun barbecues in their minds, it is not surprising that many people are interested in landscaping. Some even want to go as far as doing their own design and maintenance. While it may look simple enough, however, landscaping involves more than just a weekend spent hoeing and watering. Laborious jobs, such as weeding, digging, and lifting heavy stones, may be required, depending on the landscape design and the present condition of the yard.

New Jersey residents who choose to do their own landscaping should be aware that an amateur job might only lead to mistakes, which could take more time, money, and effort to correct. An article in HGTV.com identifies some of the most common landscaping mistakes that DIYers commit:

“Overlooking Maintenance

Part of planning a garden is also planning time to maintain it. Make up a maintenance schedule and abide by it. Garden beds need to be weeded at least once or twice a month, minimum. If you don’t have the time to take care of your garden, make sure you have enough money to pay somebody to do it.

Mismatched Style

When selecting plants, you should match the architecture of your home with the theme of your garden. Besides the plants in your garden, you need to think about your hardscape. If you are putting in a deck, for example, you need to make sure those elements of your garden also reflect positively upon your house.”

Besides style and maintenance needs, landscaping also requires the use of specialized tools. These are not just the rakes and vacuums that people can stash in their sheds, but power equipment needed for heavy-duty work. For example, many homeowners would likely not have chippers or log splitters, used to cut wood materials into small pieces. For a more thorough and beautiful finish, therefore, hiring an NJ landscaping contractor like Scenic Landscaping remains the more viable option.

A landscape company in NJ and in other places is usually manned by licensed professionals who have gone through years of education, and the necessary licensing tests. Thus, one can be assured that their knowledge in horticulture and landscape design is unparalleled. Not only can they design a yard with the right landscape architecture, they will also know which trees, shrubs, and blooms to grow and where to grow them, considering seasonality, colors, and functions.

(Source: 25 Biggest Landscaping Mistakes, HGTV.com)

Call an NJ Landscaping Company for Intensive Lawn Care this Summer

By: on

Along with this spectacle, however, summer always brings a host of weather and soil conditions that make landscaping rather challenging. This year is likely to be the same, but with an added dash of challenge. Sarah Bloom of WWBT says that the harsh winter season has led to more serious snow and ice damage on evergreen trees throughout Richmond, Virginia. Coupled with last fall’s spider mite infestation, some delicate horticultural work is definitely needed this season.

Considering that evergreens and spider mites are found in the Northeastern United States, Bloom’s assessment on summer landscaping this year also holds true in New Jersey. That said, not everyone has the skills, tools, and/or the time to prune their trees or get rid of mites in their lawns. In fact, it is likely that many people in New Jersey have other things to worry about, like repairing snow and ice damage done to their homes.

Luckily, a reliable landscaping company in NJ, like Scenic Landscaping, can be called on to lend a hand. While homeowners focus on more pressing matters, landscaping companies can work on trimming problematic trees, replanting, and doing other essential summer lawn care.

In addition to restoring the health of the evergreens, one of the things landscaping experts can look out for this summer is dehydration among plants. Homeowners who have little time or skills for gardening can easily overlook this problem as the symptoms come gradually. Plants on the verge of dehydration usually have brownish, curling leaf edges and keeled over stems.

On the other hand, yellowish leaves, coupled with blossoms falling prematurely, are a sign of serious dehydration, which means that the plants need to be watered immediately. Newly planted trees, shrubs, and perennials are likely to suffer from dehydration, although old flower beds can also wither quickly from the heat.

While dehydration is a pressing concern in summer lawn care, simpler tasks like weed removal and soil tilling shouldn’t be forgotten. A follow-up to winter and fall lawn cleaning is necessary, to clear away dead plants, fallen tree limbs, and other debris. Reliable landscaping companies in NJ can be counted on to do these tasks.

Homeowners shouldn’t be intimidated if this year’s summer season has rather different landscaping concerns. Professional care from reliable landscaping companies will make a good starting point in caring for lawns all season long. After all, no one knows evergreens, spider mites, plant dehydration, and other gardening concerns better than they.

(Source: Landscaping warnings for Summer, WWBT, May 28, 2014)

How Good Landscaping in NJ Homes Adds Value to Properties for Sale

By: on

First impressions are very important in real estate, which is why realtors encourage home sellers to work on their property’s landscaping before putting up their homes for sale. According to The Seattle Times contributor Calovich, a porch or lawn isn’t really necessary to wow a prospective buyer. What really matters is a front yard that is well-kept and beautiful to look at:

“That first glance is the most important,” says Realtor Margie Zwiesler of Re/Max Premier. “When I show a house and all the dead leaves are still there in the flower beds, it just gives the impression [the homeowners] don’t care. Overgrown trees and shrubs that cover up the house also need to be pruned to advantage.”

The 2012 Husqvarna Global Garden Report says that 63 percent of all real estate buyers are willing to pay for a property with excellent green spaces. There is actually more to a beautiful landscape than meets the eye. Studies have shown that spending time in a well-maintained garden can reduce stress and lighten mood.

In fact, the Harvard Medical School says that children with ADHD can focus better when they’re in an outdoor environment with trees and flowers. A good landscape design can also help regulate temperature, air pollution, and noise, all of which can contribute to a better living experience. It can lend the perfect backdrop to summer barbecues with friends and families, and relaxing afternoons by the pool.

Thus, home sellers in New Jersey who want to have the advantage over the competition should pay closer attention to the state and appearance of their lawns and gardens. Admittedly, not all homeowners have green thumbs, nor do they have enough landscaping knowhow to decide which trees and flowers to grow in their gardens. Fortunately, New Jersey homeowners can rely on reputable NJ landscaping companies like Scenic Landscaping to design, build, and maintain a garden that can greatly enhance their properties’ curb appeal.

There is another reason why homeowners should tap the professionals in creating a beautiful NJ landscape design. In addition to better curb appeal, the monetary value that a landscape design can add to a property may be influenced by the size, species, and rarity of the planted trees. Trees’ placement can also have a significant impact, and those that are strategically located to enhance the design of the landscape can actually bring in more money for the home seller.

(Source: Tidy landscaping gives a home curb appeal, The Seattle Times, June 6, 2014)