choosing the right annuals and perennials for your olathe garden

Olathe Flowers: the Difference Between Annuals and Perennials and Choosing the Right Ones

choosing the right annuals and perennials for your olathe garden

Start with Basics

It’s ok if choosing flowers for your landscape is overwhelming. There are so many choices, a rainbow of colors, and considerations that reach beyond picking what you think is pretty—like budget, the amount of time you have to tend your landscape, the composition of your soil, and what grows well in your climate.

So let’s start with the basics. First, flowers are typically organized in one of three categories at the nursery: annuals, biennials, and perennials. Here’s the difference: annuals live for one season only. Biennials live for two years. And perennials come back year after year.

Knowing this can help you decide which flowers best fit your current goals and lifestyle. For instance, if you’re planning to move soon or want to experiment with flower type and placement, annuals or biennials might be a good choice. Or, if you have settled into your dream home and know exactly how you want your landscape to look, perennials will continue to flower every year.

Remember that annuals will flower in one season, but biennials won’t. Instead, a biennial grows and stems, but doesn’t bloom. This means the flowering doesn’t happen until year two. Choosing these means you have to have patience, but the results are so often breathtaking: think of a field of poppies or Black-Eyed Susans!

Should I Plant Annuals or Perennials?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question other than to say that rarely does one have to choose one over the other. There are so many considerations when it comes to choosing the right flowers for your Olathe landscape, only one of which is how often you want to replant those plants.

If you’re looking solely at how long plants will last, think about this: planting annuals has to be done more often (every year) than choosing perennials. If you’ll be in your home for more than a year or two, and you’re most concerned with not planting every year, then planting perennials might be your best option.

However, choosing annuals means you can vary your plants year to year. This means the overall look of your landscape can change more often. Weighing these considerations: the time that must be invested vs. the ability to change how your landscape looks can help you determine which plan to implement.

Why Pick Just One Flower Type?

If you aren’t steadfastly set on either planting only once (as might be the case with perennials) or being able to completely change your garden every year (as might be the case with annuals), your best option might be to plant a combination of annuals, biennials, and perennials.

Employ the Olathe Flower and Landscape Experts

No one knows what grows best in Olathe gardens like local landscape experts. Curious about which flowers grow well in the Johnson County area? Give us a call; we’d love to talk to you about your landscaping projects.

How to De-Winterize Your Home Landscape and Prep for Spring

Goodbye winter, hello sun!

Spring spruce-ups aren’t just for kitchen cabinets and family rooms! Daylight Savings Time has given us back a bit more daylight and the temperatures will start to tick upward. This means it’s time to start thinking about how to de-winterize your home landscape and prepare for the upcoming warmer weather. And what you do now is particularly important to creating a home landscape that you’ll love all year. Keep reading for easy steps to take to prep your yard for spring.

Undo What You’ve Done

Did you winterize water lines or outdoor kitchens before freezing temperatures hit? If so, it’s time to reverse those actions. Turn the water back on and flush hoses and lines. Make sure lines are clear, and check for any maintenance issues. Be sure to pay special attention to your irrigation system so you’re ready to properly water plants once the time is right.

Out With the Old

The best landscapers in Olathe will tell you that the difference between a typical lawn and a landscape that wows is part planning, part hard work, part timing. Now’s the time to think about what you want your space to look like and to speak to your lawn and landscaping experts.

The first step is to clean up what winter left behind. Are there dead branches and debris? Plants that need to be pruned and/or relocated, because they’ve outgrown their current space? As you clear what’s no longer healthy and/or attractive, think about replacement options.

Plan Ahead

You might not be thinking about weeds just yet, but now is the time to get a head start on weed control. The best way to control weeds is to prevent them, and landscape experts know when and how to prevent weeds in your lawn and garden.

Now is also the time to think about a schedule: do you know when to plant, when to fertilize, when to aerate? You can search online to find tips, but the best way is to trust the experts. We know Johnson County and can help you create the lawn and landscape you’ve always wanted.

Getting Your Lawn to Turn Green Before Your Neighbor!

Yellow might be the perfect color for your favorite flower bed, but it’s not what you want to see in your lawn! Spring means green—St. Patrick’s Day, sure, but also lush, green grass. Read on for tips to turn your lawn into a space that makes your neighbors green with envy!

Aerate!

Aerating is the act of making small holes in the surface of your lawn. This allows water, nutrients, and air to soak deeper into the soil. This, in turn, nourishes roots—and healthy roots lead to healthy lawns! It’s best practice to always aerate before fertilizing.

Fertilize, Seed, and Water

Do you know the right fertilizer to use for your specific soil and grass? Have you had your soil tested? The K-State Extension Office says that soil testing provides accurate information about the chemical makeup of your lawn, which will help you understand which fertilizer will best suit your needs.

After you’ve aerated and fertilized, it’s time to put down seed. Not all grass seed is created equally, but we can help you determine what works best for your budget, your desired aesthetic, and our climate and soil conditions. If you decide to DIY your planting, remember that a general rule is that grass seed has the best chance of sprouting if laid in cooler weather. So you want to think early spring rather than just before summer.

Let the Sun Shine!

It’s true that this one is out of our control, but there’s no doubt about it: seeds need sun to sprout and grass needs sun to grow. What’s also true is that taking the necessary steps above (aerate, fertilize, plant, water) means that when the sun does shine, your lawn will be ready to grow!

Ready to make your lawn the greenest it’s ever been? So are we! Check out some of our work, visit us on Facebook, or shoot us a message. We’d love to help you plan and then create the lawn and landscape you’ve always wanted.

How to Choose the Right Type of Patio For Your Hardscape Project This Spring

How to Choose the Right Type of Patio For Your Landscape/Home Project This Spring

Hardscape: it’s a word you might not know, but you’ve certainly seen it in landscaping. Simply put, hardscapes are the solid, hard elements of your landscape design that remain the same for years. Unlike trees, grasses, and flowers that can change with the season and your preferences, hardscapes are often static. They are the foundation—or the base and/or structures—that determine the design, organization, and look of your space.

Elements like patios, walkways, outdoor kitchens, water features, retaining walls, decks, and driveways are hardscapes. Once completed, they don’t change unless major projects require they do so, or if major repair is necessary. Of those various hardscape elements, patios are one of the most popular.

Why invest in a hardscape project or new patio?

Design aesthetics aside, there are practical reasons to include a patio in your landscape plan. The obvious is the creation of additional outdoor living space. By turning part of a grassy or barren area into a patio, you can extend your living area. This creates room for relaxing, entertaining, cooking, and a myriad of other outdoor activities.

Practically, patios also make financial sense. Patios are typically less expensive to install than decks. Patios also usually require less maintenance. The drawback might be that installing a patio may not increase the resale value of your home as much as a deck might.

 What are my hardscape options?

The best landscapers in Olathe will tell you that you have countless options in patios. One of the first choices to make is whether you want your patio to be ground level or raised. Like retaining walls, raised patios can help with uneven slopes on your property. They can also create a more dramatic, unique look that can enhance your overall landscape design.

Your choice of materials for a patio, whether ground level or raised, are different than that of decks. Decks are usually built from wood, composite, or plastic. Patios can also be built from wood, though it’s a choice that requires more maintenance and frequent replacement when compared to materials like stamped concrete, pavers, stone and flagstone, gravel, or tile.

How to Choose the Right Patio Material

The first step is to talk to your landscape designer. We can help you determine the best use of your space and the perfect material for our personal design preferences. We’ll also help you determine the best options for climate concerns. And we’ll talk about your willingness/ability to maintain and repair your hardscape.

It’s also important to think about how you want your patio to look. Concrete is a popular option but offers little design appeal, as it can be bland. Stamped concrete can fix that by offering more design options. The downside is that it also requires more upkeep. Gravel is the most popular patio option and is affordable. Stone and flagstone are elegant and beautiful, but also expensive.

Ready to design the patio of your dreams? Check out our previous projects and call to discuss how we can help you turn those dreams into a reality.

 

The Benefits Of 24-Hour Commercial Snow Removal

The Benefits Of 24-Hour Commercial Snow Removal

The Benefits Of 24-Hour Commercial Snow Removal

How many times have you called a company—maybe your internet service provider or the phone company—and heard the dreaded recording: we are experiencing heavy call volume. Please stay on the line. You stay on the line and you wait and wait. Finally, it’s the end of the business day and you realize you have to start all over again tomorrow.

OK, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But we all know the feeling of not being able to reach the companies we do business with when we need help. And the truth is, the people in our office, those who answer our phones, are human just like everyone else. We’ve been the client who needs help; and because of that, we treat every client how we want to be treated.

It’s All About Relationships

We focus on service, no matter what we’re doing and part of good service is being reachable, being responsive, and being there when you need us. In this respect, commercial snow removal is unique. We wouldn’t expect someone to need emergency landscaping (but if you do, call us!), but we know that weather is unpredictable. And we know that businesses want to be ready for clients first thing, not whenever their snow removal company can squeeze them into their schedule.

Convenience Matters

Contracting with a commercial snow removal company that provides 24-hour snow removal means that you’re being taken care of even when others are off the clock. It means your customers can pull into your parking lot . They can walk into your business without having to walk through snow or on ice. It means that you can keep doing business when others can’t even open their doors. All of this is because you have us working for you around the clock.

Sometimes, It’s Personal

It also means you can stay healthier this season. Did you know that each year, emergency rooms treat an average of 11,500 snow shoveling-related injuries? Slips and falls, lower back problems, and injuries to arms and hands are all realities when trying to clear snow. Left to us, however, you can stay warm, safe, and busy working with clients and customers.

A quick response, coupled with our professional equipment and expert staff, means less downtime for your business. And this translates into a healthier bottom line, even when weather tries to disrupt best-laid plans.

We’d love to talk to you about your snow removal, salting, and de-icing needs. Reach out to schedule a conversation, give us a like and follow our projects on Facebook, or click through our website to learn more about what we do.

Why You Should Utilize Your Snow Removal Service Provider

Why You Should Utilize Your Snow Removal Service Provider

Why You Should Utilize Your Snow Removal Service Provider

Picture this: you’re cozy, curled up with family after a warm, delicious meal. Maybe the Christmas tree lights are twinkling. Maybe your dog is snoring. No matter the details, the scene is the epitome of serene: a blanket of snow outside and more on the way, warm beverages to share, and nowhere to be other than right here.

Now come back to reality. The hard truth is this: snow means work. It means shoveling and blowing and bundling up in layers to stay somewhat warm. It means huffing and puffing and sweating under all that insulation. And, if you own a business, snow can also mean liablity: what if someone slips and falls? What if you steer your snowplow into a client’s car? What if…. it’s what keeps business owners awake at night.

The bad news is that we cannot make the snow stop—nor can we prevent ice or cold temperatures or the need to deal with it all. The good news is that we can take those worries away and make sure you stay warm, cozy, and happy all the way to Spring. To be honest, that’s just one of the many reasons you should call us to take care of snow removal. Need more reason than saving time that can be spent doing anything that makes you happy? Here are two more:

Snow Removal Service Providers Save You Money

Sure, there’s a cost involved in hiring a professional snow removal service. But have you looked at the cost of snow removal equipment? There’s not just the initial investment, which runs into the thousands; there’s also maintenance, and storage, and insurance. Think of how much trying to DIY your snow removal efforts will add to your bottom line and compare that to the fee you’ll pay. Chances are, you’ll save money in the long-run.

Snow Removal Services Give You Piece of Mind

Sometimes the best investment of all is knowing that something will be done even if you can’t—or don’t want to—do it. What with holiday travel, family obligations, and everything else that comes with this time of year, it’s likely that snow and ice may happen when you’re not even here. Who do you call then?

When you’ve built a relationship with a snow removal professional, you can be confident not only that your paths and parking lots will be clear, but that it will be done quickly. More importantly, it will be done correctly. The peace of mind that comes from knowing that others will be safe on your property, whether that’s a neighborhood sidewalk or a business parking lot, is priceless.

There are other benefits, to be sure—and just like your landscaping needs, we know your snow removal, salting, and de-icing needs are unique. Give us a call and let’s find a way to help you enjoy this season just a bit more.

The Benefits of Utilizing Salt for Snow and Ice Prevention This Winter

Salt: it’s our oldest food seasoning, an essential nutrient for good heath, a relaxing and therapeutic addition to a hot bath, and, in some religions and cultures, part of rituals and deeply held beliefs.

It’s also what we dispense on roads in winter to keep them safe for travel even when there’s winter weather. Why? There’s science behind the importance of ice prevention and winter-weather salt procedures. Salt lowers the freezing temperature of water and melts ice because heat is generated when salt is in contact with water. This chemical reaction is what results in decreasing temperature and, therefore, melting (rather than solid) ice.

Because of this, it’s a common practice ice prevention by salting roads before a storm or to use salt to melt ice that’s accumulated on sidewalks and roadways. Doing so has been proven effective; according to the American Highway Users Alliance, salting roads decreases collisions by up to 85%.

Use Salt for Snow and Ice Prevention

But it’s not just roads that get icy or snow packed. Sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots need attention, too. Some of this is easy to do on your own. By keeping a container of commercially available salt and salting before the snow or ice hits, you can prevent dangerous conditions.

What kind of salt is best to use?

What differentiates table salt from ice melt isn’t the chemical composition of each. The salt you buy to spread on your sidewalk is the same, structurally, as the stuff you shake into your bowl of soup. What’s different is the size. Table salt is small and fine while commercially available rock salt/ice melt is larger and coarse. This means you could, technically, use table salt to keep ice off of your sidewalks. The question is, would you want to?

It’s Natural, So It’s Safe. Right?

The answer to that question isn’t a simple yes or no. Yes, salt is a natural mineral. But just like having too much in your diet can lead to unwanted and dangerous health conditions, using salt incorrectly or in excess to remedy winter weather conditions can also have unwanted consequences.

It’s important to take care when sprinkling salt. It can adversely affect metal, for example—and if you’re salting your driveway or parking space, this means that it can affect your car or other vehicles. Simply put, the more your vehicle is in contact with salt, the more rust you can expect. You can also track salt into your home via boots, which means it might embed in your carpet.

Think Globally, Act Locally

There are other considerations, to be sure. And many of those factors affect you and your neighbors, both on local and global scales. The truth is, damage to infrastructure sometimes occurs when using salt. In fact, it’s estimated that damage due to corrosion costs between $3.5 to $7 billion dollars every year.

These concerns don’t mean we shouldn’t overlook the benefits of using salt for snow and ice prevention. But it does mean consulting with professionals to understand which salt is best to use, to determine best practices in application and frequency, and to ensure that it’s being used in the most economically and environmentally favorable way.

We can help with all those questions and we’d love to discuss this with you before the first flake falls this winter! Reach out to start that conversation.

5 Must-Do Landscaping Tips to Prepare Your Lawn for Winter

6 Must-Do Landscaping Tips to Prepare Your Lawn for Winter

6 Must-Do Landscaping Tips to Prepare Your Lawn for Winter

It’s time to think about ice, snow, and freezing temperatures—and how those elements affect your lawn. Before it turns too cold to be outside, think about doing the following to ensure your lawn is prepared for its long winter’s nap.

1) Keep It Clean

We’ve said it once, but we’ll say it again: it’s vital to rake leaves and remove debris from your lawn before snow and ice settles in. If there’s still time to mow, do that now—not only is it important to cut your grass shorter before winter comes, but mowing will shred any leaves you’ve missed while raking.

2) Aerate and Seed

Now’s the time to aerate and seed for next season. Doing so in the fall helps fill in bare spots. It’s also important to water your lawn, fertilize trees, and cut back perennials. Not sure how or when to aerate, or need help with seeding your lawn? We’d love to help.

4) Prep Your Plants

You want to protect your plants as much as possible to help them survive freezing temperatures. To do this, be sure to mulch; remove dead leaves/branches and debris; and, if appropriate, wrap with burlap or another protective cover. Have roses? Learn more about caring for them here.

5) Clear the Lines

If you have an outdoor kitchen, it’s imperative to turn off water sources and to drain lines. Same is true of your sprinkler system. Making sure all water is drained will prevent freezing, which can lead to significant damage.

6) Plant for Later

Even though you can see your breath on some Fall mornings, the soil is still relatively warm, which means it’s a great time to plant bulbs, trees, and shrubs. October is the prime month for this planting, so don’t wait—if you haven’t yet, get busy and cross this task off your list! You’ll be glad you did once the snow clears and buds start appearing next Spring.

Need help getting your lawn and landscape ready for our impending Kansas winter? If so, you don’t have to do it alone. We’re here to help, whether it’s landscaping, snow removal, or prepping for warmer weather. Take a peek at the projects we’ve been working on over on our Facebook page, or give us a call to talk!

10 Great Fall Decorative Ideas to Enhance Your Landscaping and Curb Appeal

10 Great Fall Decorative Ideas to Enhance Your Landscaping and Curb Appeal

10 Great Fall Decorative Ideas to Enhance Your Landscaping and Curb Appeal

It’s officially fall —the seasons have changed! Have you noticed the shift in places you frequent? Grocery stores are sporting pumpkins and apples, clothing stores are filled with muted plaid long-sleeved shirts and cozy scarves, and restaurants are featuring new specials—think portobello ravioli or roasted acorn squash.

Just like those places, your landscaping is ready for a change, too! And Fall is the perfect time to not just ready your lawn for winter, but to add special decorative touches that amp up your curb appeal—and just might make you the envy of your neighbors.

You might think that you have to make major changes to improve your fall landscaping, and it’s true that big projects like retaining walls or outdoor kitchens can make a huge difference. But there are more modest, easy to implement ideas that will enhance your landscaping and increase your curb appeal. Here are a ten of our favorites:

1) Start with a Clean Slate

We talk about Spring cleaning, but Fall cleaning matters too! Power wash your hard surfaces, clear out your gutters, and remove debris from your space. This is the first step to making your landscape shine.

2) Mulch, Mulch, Mulch!

Not all mulch is created equally. Sure, mulch is practical: it helps prevent weeds and can make your space look better. But you have a choice when it comes to which mulch you use. Instead of picking up a discount bag, check out shredded hardwood mulch—or try a colored variety.

3) Break Out the Shears

Fall is a good time to prune bushes and trees, but there’s a catch: you have to do it at the right time. Learn more here.

4) Add Color

Mums are the (un)official arbiter of Fall flower beds. Choose from yellow, rust, orange, red, or purple and pair them with ornamental cabbages or peppers for a potted arrangement that screams bonfires and s’mores.

5) Focus on Your Porch

Think of your porch like you would your dining room table and plan a display that reflects your personal or family aesthetic. Love Halloween? Turn your porch into a spooky spot with store-bought decorations. Prefer Thanksgiving? Stack a hay bale or two, strew various sizes of pumpkins, add a bench with a cozy blanket.

6) Short on Space?

Even if you don’t have a porch to decorate, you can spiff up your entryway to welcome the season. You might consider painting your front door an interesting new color. If that’s too much of a commitment, opt for a new wreath.

7) Light it Up

Even if you don’t have substantial installations like a retaining wall, you can add lighting to enhance your curb appeal. Try pathway lights that sink right into the ground or hanging lanterns to add a spooky (or welcoming) glow.

8) Replace Bulbs

While you’re at it, make sure your existing lighting has fresh bulbs. It’s starting to get dark earlier, which means longer hours for porch and other outdoor lights. Be prepped and ready.

9) Keep Raking

As the leaves fall, it’s important to keep your lawn free of debris. Surprise wet or snowy conditions can trap extra leaves and lead to unwanted lawn issues. But don’t worry if you don’t get every single stray leaf; once you mow, you’ll shred any stragglers that might cause problems.

10) Take Note

As you enjoy the chilly air and spend time outdoors, think about what you want for your space next Fall. Wish you had a firepit? Dream about firing up the outdoor oven to prep a pizza? Think having an outdoor dinner party would be fun—but you just don’t have the right set-up? Write it down, then call us. We’ll work with you to make your space perfect for you.

Three Ways Professional Landscaping Brings Value to Your Fall Landscaping Projects

Can you feel it? Yes, the air is still hot here in KC, but there’s a tinge of Fall in all these high temperatures. Maybe it’s the back-to-school shopping or the Halloween and pumpkin displays already popping up at local stores. Or maybe it’s because Starbucks is bringing back the much-discussed pumpkin latte earlier than ever this year. Whatever it is, there’s no escaping that Summer is waning and Fall is ready to return to Kansas City.

Before that happens, give some thought to what you can do now and as the temperatures start to chill out to bring the most value to your landscape and your home. In fact, think about how much value the right professional landscaping can add to your home!

Professional Landscaping Increases Home Values

Let’s talk about curb appeal. It’s a buzzword for real estate pros and it’s important for every homeowner to understand. Simply put, curb appeal is how appealing your property is to the average viewer. Think about when you take a walk or a drive: you look at neighborhoods, don’t you? And you look at the houses in those neighborhoods. You can’t see inside, but you can tell something about the property from the curb and what you see makes an impression.

That first impression—that curb appeal—can mean more money in your pocket when it comes time to sell, if planned and executed right.

How Professional Landscaping Can Make You Money

How much value can positive curb appeal put in your pocket? This article says well-landscaped homes sell for 5.5 percent to 12.7 percent more than non-landscaped homes. If your home is worth $300,000, that means quality landscaping can add between $16,500 and $38,100 to the value of your home.

Let’s be clear, though: simply cutting your grass or planting a few flowers won’t make for stunning curb appeal. It takes planning, vision, and commitment to turn a hum-drum lawn to an oh-wow display—and all of that takes time and professional help.

Expert Help Means Added Value

Most buyers want stunning curb appeal. They want sophisticated layouts and mature trees and plants. It’s been proven that large, deciduous, evergreen and annual, colorful plants increase a home’s resale value. Working with a professional landscaping company can not only save you time; it can also ensure that your space is planned in the best possible way.

Now is the perfect time to reassess your landscaping plan with an eye to curb appeal and resale value, and we have great ideas to bring Fall flair to your lawn and garden. Reach out to learn more!