Best Perennials to Plant in the Fall

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As a general rule of thumb in our industry, fall is for planting. When it comes to the best perennials to plant in the fall, it is important to plant now, before the ground freezes, to make way for springtime blooming. Perennial bulbs must be planted in the fall season, before the ground begins to freeze. Daffodils, crocus, hyacinths, and tulips will all bloom in the springtime; giving you that early color display we always long for once winter passes.

Perennial flowers are those that continue to grow year after year, and will remain dormant during the winter months. Where as annuals are typically planted in the spring and summer months, and will bloom for the season before dying off. Gardeners often supplant perennial gardens with lively, colorful annuals to enhance the gardens and planting beds. Typically, you will notice a mixture of both to create interesting, textured spaces.

NJ Fall Flowering and Blooming Perennials

In this area of the east coast. Asters, Mums (also in the annual family), heuchera/coral bells, some varieties of grasses (this is not a flowering plant but can be used for ornamental color) are great to plant during the fall season. Bulbs would consist of daffodils, alliums, muscari, and many more to choose from that adds color and fragrance to your garden as soon as spring arrives.

Is Fall a Good Time to Plant Perennials?

Perennials are at risk of dying from early frosts if planted late in the fall.  As the weather begins to cool it is best to plant larger trees and shrubs so they can begin to establish for the upcoming spring. When designing an outdoor garden, or outdoor living space, it is important to keep in mind where the planting beds will be. Keep in mind there is a need for proper irrigation even through the fall months, shade and sun exposure, and winter garden closures. This proper maintenance and planning will ensure successful fall perennials as well as plant materials and bulbs all year round.

What to Plant in the Fall for Spring

Bulbs are planted late in the fall and will bloom in the early to late spring months.  This includes daffodils, alliums, muscari, hyacinth. While we do service our clients for these in the fall, ensuring to plant them before the ground freezes, homeowner will not be able to tell for month. Once the winter passes and spring arrives, the bulbs will start to pop up from the ground and add long awaited color. In this industry, it is important to continue to plan ahead each season.

If you are interested in enhancing you fall garden property, or would like to learn more about the best perennials to plant in fall, our horticultural specialists are available to help. Feel free to contact us today. This is a great time of year to plan for the following year ahead, use these cooler months to enhance your yard with fall flowering perennials, and plan ahead for the bulbs you would love to see appear in the spring.


leveling a sloped yard

Leveling a Sloped Yard

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While every property is different, and every client has a unique taste, we see many similar tasks on most of our jobs. More often than not, a new project we take on requires the same initial steps. The best way for clients to get the most out of their property, is by leveling a sloped yard. Slopes and hills on a property make the space unusable. By creating a level lawn, or creating spaces with a sloped yard, the area to work on or enjoy is maximized.

Depending on the site size and difficulty, the cost and time required will vary. Many clients want to know how much does it cost to level a sloped yard? It is a tricky question to answer. Prices vary from anywhere starting at a couple hundred dollars for minor jobs to the upper thousands for larger scale projects. However, working with a landscape architect can help. Initial consultations and plans will determine the cost and time involved to achieve your desired end result.

Creative Ideas for Yard Leveling

There are ways to be creative too, when working with a slope. Adding in retaining walls, stairs or stone steps throughout the area can make the slope work to your advantage. Often times, clients will choose to work with the natural landscape, and create tiers to the property. Such as creating an upper level to the lawn, and perhaps a lower patio area on the bottom. We have designed stone stairways leading up a slope, or carved into the side of a mountain property to create a pool boulder wall. Working with a talented firm can provide you with new ideas and concepts to get the most out of the yard.

How Leveling a Planting Bed is Used in Design

Often times we find leveling a sloped yard creates a great medium for planting beds. By adding retaining walls with stone, you are able to create barriers and rooms within the property. Adding planting material creates a beautiful backdrop, while adding screening and privacy throughout the area. It is another way to use the slope to your advantage, and carve out spaces.

As part of a lawn leveling service, the design aspect is just as crucial. It is important to keep in mind what you would like to achieve with the space. Working with a designer will help make sure you are maximizing the benefits of your existing property. Whether the overall goal is to completely flatten the yard for backyard play, or to work with the slope to create tiers or sections of the property, consulting with a professional is advantageous.

If you are interested in leveling a sloped yard or would like to know more about yard grading services, feel free to contact us now. The fall is the best time of year to start planning ahead. This will help to prepare your yard for spring time enjoyment. Get ahead of the curve with permits and plans now. We will work with you to make sure you are getting maximum potential out of your property.

landscaping for privacy

Landscaping for Privacy and Noise Reduction

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A main concern for many homeowners when it comes to their property, is seclusion. Whether your home is close by a neighbor, or your house is situated on a busy road, landscaping for privacy is often the main priority. We meet with many clients every year that are looking for ways to use landscaping to block road noise, or landscaping ideas to block out neighbors.

When it comes to creating an outdoor space, there are a lot of factors that go into the overall design. Looking at the property as a whole, and the purpose of the project, determines what it will entail. With swimming pools, patios, and outdoor dining areas, most homeowners want these outdoor rooms to feel enclosed. Rather than being on display from the street, or from a bordering property, landscaping is used to create walls. We always tell our clients that landscaping is what ties together all the hardscape and outdoor living space into one. It is the final touch of color and texture to blend the home from it’s indoor to it’s outdoor space.

Best Plants for Noise Reduction and Landscaping for Privacy

  • Arborvitae
  • Willow Trees
  • Cypress
  • Hollies
  • Boxwood
  • Juniper
  • Flowering Trees – dogwood, magnolia, plum, cherry

There are eco-friendly benefits to using landscaping for privacy as well. Rather than choosing to add a large expensive or high fence to your property, trees bring in a natural and beneficial border. Many homeowners find high fences to be an eyesore. It will require permits from the town and change the view of your property. With landscape screen walls, you are able to add a natural and beautiful border to your property that will only enhance it’s curb appeal. It is a softer approach to adding walls to your backyard. Many of these trees used in screening will add a green color to your property, often lasting year round even through the winter months. From foliage to snow fall, to flowering spring and summertime, a greenery wall is a perfect backdrop to a backyard space.

Large plant materials and trees will work to block road noise and act as a buffer to surrounding sounds. It also provides an enclosed and comforting border to the backyard. With proper care and maintenance, landscaping will only continue to grow and thrive over time, growing with the property and providing more and more privacy and noise reduction over time.

It is important to work with landscape professionals when choosing the best landscaping for privacy and noise reduction. If you are unsure which plants are best for your climate or location, they will be able to assist you in choosing what will work best. This is an investment and you should have a professional to help make sure your money is being best spent. Planting large trees on your property requires proper irrigation, as well as choosing the right specimens for sun or shade location. If you are interested in adding landscaping for privacy to your property, or are interested in learning more about options with landscaping to block road noise, feel free to contact us today. We look forward to helping you create a peaceful and private space.

custom outdoor bar design

Custom Outdoor Bar Design Ideas and Tips

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With summer in full swing and 4th of July around the corner, homeowners are spending more time outdoors. Right now, our team is busy installing and maintaining outdoor living spaces. A popular feature that many gravitate towards is a custom outdoor bar design. Nothing says hosting a party or enjoying your outdoor meals, with your own bar area right there. It becomes a great feature for guests and family to use together in any season. It is soon to be your favorite feature to use in BBQ summer season.

When we meet with homeowners to help develop a new outdoor space, it is helpful to learn about their goals and lifestyle. For many, the ability to host outdoors is a main goal. Providing a space with ample seating and dining options, pairs well with kitchens and bars. Creating a new outdoor room becomes an extension of the home, the same as investing in an addition to create new space and memories.

Custom Outdoor Bar Designs: Factors to Consider

  • Budget you wish to spend on this custom piece
  • Size of bar depending on space allowed and needs
  • Additional features such as fridge, shelving, beer taps
  • Materials Used such as stone, brick, marble wood, stainless steel appliances
  • Style to match home, such as a modern outdoor bar or a rustic one
  • Amenities to include to create a more luxury modern bar, such as bar seating and outdoor televisions

This is an idea of the checklist of features we go over when creating and customizing a new outdoor bar design with a client. Given the amount of features and materials, the ways to customize are endless. We encourage this process to be fun, every selection a representation of your own unique traits. From the stones you choose, to the colors. From the style and shape, to the chairs and appliances. Every design element can be a reflection of yourself. Our designers and architets are available to help assist in the process, and can suggest the elements they believe work best for your custom outdoor bar design. But we encourage you to stay involved and active in the process, letting the final outcome be a rewarding group effort.

An outdoor bar provides a new atmosphere to the backyard. A new fixture in the property used to gather and bring people together. We have designed bar area that have beers taps, as well as wine fridges. There are custom ice features, shelving areas, counter space and bar stools. There are many ways to bring an elevated and functional outdoor bar design to life. Depending on budget and size restraints, the new bar can be created to best suit your lifestyle and needs.

If you are interested in learning about our process or want to meet with someone to create your own outdoor bar design, we are here and ready to help. Get the most out of your months spent outdoors and create a space to enjoy for years to come. Contact us today, we look forward to customizing a new room for you and your loved ones.


spring home maintenance

Spring Home Maintenance

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Spring has sprung! Now that we are in the end of the month of April, it is easy to see signs of spring all around us. The soil is warming up, buds have bloomed, daylight is lasting longer and allergy season has arrived! Spring always brings about the time for projects and plans. Homeowners are looking to clean and reorganize, to tackle projects that were left dormant all winter. It’s that time of year for spring home maintenance projects. For both inside and outside of your home.

This is the time of year to clean your gardens. Be sure to get rid of all the debris from winter. The damage from the cold weather and storms can wreck havoc on your property. Take the time to remove all dead branches, leaves and material from your yard. It is time to start fertilizing your lawn, in order to allow grass to come back green, without patches. Cleaning the planting beds, adding mulch will help with new flower growth. Being sure there is adequate irrigation to the soil. Especially in the coming weeks where the sun becomes stronger. Water is vital at this time of year.

Spring home maintenance requires due diligence. It takes time and patience to properly care for gardens. The time and effort that is put in and spent on the property will show in the weeks to come.

Spring Home Maintenance Projects: To Do List for Your Property

  • Planting beds for the season
  • Cultivation and weeding of planting beds.
  • Specific fertilizers are put down for different plants.
  • Selective pruning of plant material.
  • Redefine edges of planting beds.
  • Cleaning up lawns of leaves, sticks debris from the winter months.
  • Planting spring flowers once temperatures remain consistent..
  • Installing mulch in planting beds.

There are many different types of spring home maintenance projects. This is the time of year we see homeowners power-washing both their homes and cleaning their cars. Properties come back to life, color is brought back into the landscape. We see families spending more time outside, walking around the neighborhood and playing in their yards. It is a busy time in our industry, where all our clients want to improve their properties and get the most out of this season. Cleaning the property and gardens is the best place to start. Whether you do this with your own green thumb, or hire professionals, spring is the time to clean and enhance your surroundings.

Now is also a great time to let us know about any additions you would like to make to your gardens. A garden is never complete – there are always ways to enhance and beautify your grounds. Let us know if you have any interest in adding perennials or ornamentals, or any additional spring home improvement projects for this season. Once the gardens and planting beds are cleaned, you will see the areas that can be added to for filling in space. Spring is a good time to be planting and planning in your gardens and throughout your entire property. Contact us today, we are ready to help.

Boxwood Blight and How It May Affect Your Property

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Boxwood Blight

Scenic would like to take this opportunity to bring you up to speed with a nationwide epidemic that may be affecting your property.

Across the United States, blight has been spreading quickly and killing boxwoods. Blight is a natural occurring, incurable fungal disease that affects boxwoods; both the plant and the surrounding soil. It became more prevalent in the past year due to extreme weather conditions. With the warm, wet and humid weather we had in 2018, we have been seeing cases of blight spreading throughout the tri-state area. Keep an eye out on your property for any signs of boxwood blight.

Scenic is staying proactive to make sure our clients are informed and aware. We are working with industry specialists to develop a fungal spray program that will help manage the blight.

In the meantime, we have solutions and alternatives available for damaged boxwoods.

While it is not harmful to humans or pets, please do not touch. It is possible for it to spread to other boxwoods on your property.

If you would like to read more, click here.

What to look for:

  • Browned out dead spots on boxwood
  • Black striation on stems of plant near the base
  • Defoliation – loss of leaves and color

boxwood blight

If you do see blight on your boxwoods, please get in contact with us. 973-616-9600.