How Installing Retaining Walls Can Help Your Landscape and Prevent Spring Runoff

How Installing Retaining Walls Can Help Your Landscape and Prevent Spring Runoff

Spring means the beginning of watering lawns and landscape. That also means it’s time to worry about runoff. What is runoff? The technical definition is: the flow of water that occurs when excess storm water, meltwater, or other sources flows over the Earth’s surface. Running water is powerful—it has carved canyons and moved boulders. You might not worry about issues of this scale, but it’s a fair question to ask what runoff might do to your landscape.

The short answer to that question is erosion. Spring runoff can lead to erosion on your property. This isn’t just an issue of being an eyesore. Erosion can affect your home’s foundation. Installing a retaining wall can help prevent soil erosion. By doing so, you can help protect your landscape and your property.

What’s Your Slope?

It can be a bit technical, but the slope of your landscape dictates what kind of retaining wall you need. It’s something best left to experts, though there are resources to consult if you want to learn more, like this guide from the National Resources Conservation Service. Is it possible to DIY your retaining wall? Sure it is, though in our opinion it’s best to consult an expert. If you decide to go solo, be sure to do your homework and to consider every option carefully.

How Retaining Walls Work

Simply put, a retaining wall holds soil in place.  When designed properly, retaining walls also ensure that excess water drains in ways that don’t erode the soil. Think of these channels almost like water slides at a big amusement park: with the right structure and construction, you can change the direction of drainage in your space, making sure that runoff water goes where you want it to go.

There are several options to consider: full retaining walls, partial walls, and raised terraces with plantings, just to name a few. Construction can vary too, depending on design need and aesthetic preference. Concrete, brick, and wood are all options. The best way to decide is to discuss the variety of options with a company that specializes in retaining walls in your area. We do just that.

 

tips for hiring the best olathe landscape architect

Tips for Hiring the Best Landscape Architect

We’re mid-way into the first month of the new year—time to think about the resolutions you made! If you’re a homeowner, chances are at least one of your resolutions is about your home. Maybe you’d like to  make it more comfortable, more aesthetically pleasing, more cost-effective, or more “you.”

It might seem counterintuitive to think about outdoor and yard and lawn goals in the dead of winter, but the opposite is actually true. Taking time now to plan for the year and giving yourself ample time to research, talk with professionals, and hire the perfect expert for the job will ensure that when the weather thaws, your lawn and gardens will be ready to bloom.

So the question at hand is this: are there tips for hiring the best possible landscape architect? And the answer to that question is a resounding yes!

Start by Dreaming and Scheming

It’s not impossible, but it’s difficult to hire the right person for a job when you don’t know what that job is. This month is the perfect time to really think about what you want from your lawn and gardens. Do you want to keep things as simple as possible? Repeat what you did last year? Change things up and plant something new? Think not only about how you want your lawn and garden to look, but also what it might take to achieve those goals. Think about your budget, and how much you are comfortable and/or willing to invest in professional help. If you’re thinking of selling your home in the coming year, think about curb appeal and be sure to consult a real estate expert to discuss which investments garner the best returns.

Talk to Your Neighbors

And your coworkers and your friends, especially those who maintain outdoor spaces that you admire. Ask what they wished they’d known about retaining walls before they had one installed or pepper them with questions about how and why they use their outdoor kitchen. Ask, too, for referrals—and make sure to check out each referral for references, both public and private. The most reputable businesses have fans eager to sing their praises!

Interview the Experts

Every business model is different, but ours is built on a foundation of trust, communication, and quality. We always work with our clients to meet their budget and their needs, and we pride ourselves on delivering exceptional service and products. Why? These are the qualities we look for in others, so we embody them ourselves—and we’ve been in business for 50 years now. So don’t be shy–reach out to ask us questions. We enjoy being a resource to our clients and because we’re always learning something new, we’re always sharing new and exciting information.

How to Clean Up Your Landscape After a Brutal Winter

Make no mistake about it! The winter is not easy on your lawn. From the brutally cold temperatures to the lack of sun, it’s easy for a lawn to go from green to lean when the winter months roll in. The good news is there are a few simple solutions.

By properly cleaning up your lawn after the tough winter months, you can get your lawn back on track quickly. That’s where we come in. At Huston Contracting, we specialize in getting your lawn looking great again – and fast! That’s what professional Olathe landscapers are supposed to do.

How to Clean Up Your Landscape After a Brutal Winter

With that in mind, we wanted to talk a little bit about how to clean your lawn up after winter and share some tricks and tips to make life easier. So, that’s exactly what we did. Below you’ll find a detailed guide for cleaning up Mother Nature’s mess after wintertime:

Get Rid of Debris

First and foremost, you must get rid of any and all debris. Seriously, winter can spread trash, branches, road gravel, and so much more all over your lawn. All these items look bad, but that’s not even the worst part. They can affect how your grass grows and looks.

Don’t let debris fester throughout your property. Clean the stuff up before spring has sprung and flung. Or hire a team of Olathe landscapers to do it for you. Either way, this is the first step before moving on to anything else on the list.

Fresh Fertilizer

Once you have a clean and debris-free yard, it’s time to get your lawn looking even lovelier. This means adding a little fuel to the fire by laying down grass seed and fertilizer. You want everything looking good as summer rolls in and a little fertilizer will surely do just that.

Some people opt for professional help here. At Huston Contracting, we offer fertilizing services in and around the Olathe area. For landscaping veterans, you could also do this yourself.

Add New Life

Once the lawn is cleaned up and the fertilizer laid down, it’s time to add to your Olathe landscape. This means bringing new plant life into the fold. Spring is the ideal time to add elements to your landscaping.

One of our favorite ideas? Spring is the perfect time for annual flower designs and installation. A few fresh flowers always make a landscape look lovely, especially when blooming.

Quick Springtime Tips, Impressive Results

Here at Huston Contracting, we’re all about quick tips that get great results. By implementing the three ideas above, you’re sure to turn that wintertime frown upside down and have your lawn looking amazing before the heat hits us.

If you need any Olathe landscaping help, we’re always here. Just reach out to the professionals at Huston Contracting and we’ll be in touch.

 

4 Low Water Usage Olathe Landscaping Ideas

Some think your lawn can’t look great unless it’s April through July and the grass is as green as it’s ever been before.

At Huston Contracting, we know that’s just not true. So we wanted to show you a few low water usage Olathe landscaping ideas. Using these unique ideas, you’ll be able to improve your lawn and keep your landscape looking good.

It won’t matter if the rain isn’t falling or you’re looking to cut back on the watering, you can still implement these ideas.

Low Water Usage Olathe Landscaping Ideas

Let’s take a look at these ideas and how you can improve your Olathe landscaping without using much water:

  • Create an Outdoor Environment

This is the easiest way to improve your Olathe landscape without using a ton of water. You can add features like an outdoor kitchen, retaining wall, or a covered porch. These unique features won’t cost any water and will add significant value to your landscaping, especially in the backyard area.

Don’t delay, though! By investing in an outdoor kitchen early in the season, you’ll be able to enjoy it even more this year.

  • Find the Right Plants

Certain plants require water every single day. If you don’t water some species of plants daily, they will look withered and weak. On the other hand, there are some plants that look great year around – whether they get a ton of water or not.

If you plant species like Agave, Sage, Lavender Cotton, and more – you won’t have to water these plants often. These species simply don’t require a lot of water to look great, especially in the spring and summer.

  • Walkways Galore

Walkways are one easy way to change the whole face of your landscaping without using much water or breaking the bank. Using natural stone to create unique walkways to your covered porch, outdoor kitchen, or a sitting area is a great Olathe landscaping idea for the coming months.

  • Maybe a Little Mulch

Ok, this idea might be a little basic. We get that. But there’s really never a bad time to add a little mulch around your landscaping. Fresh mulch looks exactly like it sounds – fresh! You don’t need any water to add a little mulch and this small change will add a lot of life to your landscaping like never before.

Create Your Ideal Landscape…Today!

You don’t need to waste water all the time to keep your lawn looking ideal, especially around this time of the year. Just get in contact with Huston Contracting. As the Olathe Landscaping experts, we’re here to help you create the lawn of your dreams. We look forward to working with you!

 

When Is It Time to Redesign Your Landscaping?

With spring coming, many people are wondering when is a good time to redesign their Olathe landscaping. While we’re firm believers that there’s no bad time to redesign a landscape, there’s a few rules to follow that ensure you get the most out of your time and money invested.

At Huston Contracting, we’ve seen some amazing Olathe landscapes. We’ve also noted some horrific lawns that could use a redesign. Here’s how to ensure you redesign your landscape at the ideal time:

When is the best time to redesign your landscaping?

You can begin redesigning your Olathe landscaping whenever you please. There’s different ways to improve your lawn and landscaping in every single season. However, certain jobs are better completed at different times.

For example, you’ll want to plant most plants towards the beginning of spring or the end of summer. This depends on the plant, but generally gives them the best chance to plant roots and grow during the mild temperatures of spring and fall.

In the winter, you have a great opportunity to improve your landscaping infrastructure. Spaces like outdoor kitchens, fireplaces, and more can all be installed during the winter months when there’s no snow around.

In the hot summer months, your landscaping is easiest to mold. You can do a lot of projects during this time. We often recommend completing projects like irrigation systems, retaining walls, and more during these warm months.

How Do You Know When It’s Time?

Now, every single landscape is different. There’s no perfect or exact time to redesign your landscaping. Generally, it all comes down to the individual or family. It comes down to when you’re ready to redesign your Olathe landscaping.

You have to be ready to invest your time and potentially, your money, into your new landscape design in Olathe. If you’re not willing to invest resources, then it’s not a good time to redesign. If your landscape is enough of a priority to invest resources, then it’s time to get going.

Huston Contracting and Landscaping is here for You!

For many Olathe residents, the landscape becomes a priority in the springtime. This means the sun starts shining, weather warms up a bit, and you realize that the lawn needs a little love and care.

We’ve been there, too! If that’s you, then it’s time to get going. Make a list of landscaping projects you want to complete. Decide which projects you can do by yourself. Then see if anything would require professional help.

If so, get in touch with the pros at Huston Contracting. As the premier Olathe landscaping contractors, we’re here to make your lawn look great, again. Just get in touch. We look forward to helping you with projects like planting, outdoor kitchens, irrigation systems, and so much more!

5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Olathe Outdoor Kitchen

While wintertime may not be the ideal time to build an outdoor kitchen, there’s no reason you can’t improve the one you’ve got. With that in mind, we wanted to detail a few ways our clients have been adding, improving, and updating.

At Huston Contracting, we specialize in Olathe outdoor kitchens. We know how important an outdoor gathering space can be for families and friends. We also know a few minor tweaks can take your space from a place to cook to the premier gathering spot in the neighborhood.

5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Olathe Outdoor Kitchen

With that in mind, here are a few different ways you can improve your Olathe outdoor kitchen in the coming year:

  • Strip Lighting

One quick and simple way to add a ton of value to your outdoor kitchen? Strip lighting. Use strip lighting to highlight stairs, walkways, and so much more. You can even put lighting under fixed seating areas and storage units.

Strip lighting partially makes a space look great, but there’s another aspect to it. Strip lighting is a safety feature when it’s dark out.

  • Fire Pits For All

One way to add huge entertainment value to your outdoor kitchen area? Add a stunning fire pit that the whole family can sit around.

These days there’s a fire pit for every size and situation. They have some that can be moved around to different areas, while others are designed to stay in one place. They even have fire pits that can double as coffee tables.

  • Build the Bar

Often, a family builds an outdoor kitchen with cooking and socializing in mind. Building an outdoor bar is often an afterthought. But maybe it shouldn’t be.

Most Olathe outdoor kitchens would only need a few minor updates and additions from a professional, like our staff here at Huston Contracting, to turn your outdoor kitchen into a bar/kitchen combo space.

  • More Stone

At Huston Contracting, we’re a little partial to outdoor kitchens with natural stone. While you can build with any style you please, we’ve found natural stone truly compliments the outdoors better than almost any other material. If you’re looking for a quick improvement, add a little stone around the area.

  • Covered Porches

Ok, this is a little bit more than a quick and simple improvement. In fact, most will want to work with professionals to add a covered porch to their outdoor kitchen.

But, there’s no denying the benefits of adding covered space. Many families start to use their outdoor kitchen more and more each passing year. Instead of taking the food inside, they want to eat it in the great outdoors – where it was cooked.

That’s where a covered porch comes in. Instead of baking in the sun or worrying about the rain, you simply cook the meal outdoors and then eat it under the comforts of your covered porch. A true win-win!

 

 

The Basics of Proper Landscape Design

Proper landscape design is art form. People go to college to learn how to design amazing landscapes for homes and commercial buildings alike. While things can get incredibly complex, they don’t have to – especially when taking Olathe landscape design into account. 

Instead of having you read books, take classes, and go overboard – at Huston Contracting, we wanted to break down the basics of proper landscape design. We’re going for simplicity here, so experts may roll your eyes. But if you’re new to landscaping, let’s dig in.

Proper Landscape Design 101

Now, landscaping can be different in every single climate. As such, we’ll be focusing on the great state of Kansas – specifically landscaping in Olathe. Here we go:

  • Plan for the Future

The first and most important aspect of proper landscape design – plan for the future. Plants grow, and not always where we want them to. As such, you need to plan growth into your design. Make sure no matter how a plant grows you’ll still have access to anywhere and everywhere you need to.

  • Focus on Focal Points

Now, when talking about Olathe landscape design, you must decide what the focal point of your yard will be. Is it the outdoor kitchen? The immaculate yard work? The huge tree with a swing attached to it?

Once you have the focal point (or two) of your Olathe landscaping, coming up with the rest of the design will be so much easier.

  • Accent Your Home

It’s much easier to change how your landscaping looks than to change how your home looks. As such, you should focus on cultivating a landscape that accents your home. Not vice versa. Our favorite way to do just that is by softening the edges of a home with pots and plants.

  • Start Small

If you’re new to landscaping projects and design, it’s absolutely important to start small and work your way into things. Make a small garden. Add some plants to the front patio. Trim the trees and bushes. Once the basics are handled and you feel comfortable, you can move onto other projects.

  • Mulch Matters

While this is a fairly basic tip, it’s also advanced. Mulch is a simple, yet effective way to add colors and layers to your landscaping. By keeping the mulch fresh each season, you’re sure to add visual appeal to your yard.

  • Change the Focal Point

When you’re ready to make a huge landscaping change, think about your focal point. You can change the whole landscape with a major project. Maybe you want to add a retaining wall, a small pond, or an outdoor kitchen. This could have a dramatic effect on the landscaping around your house.

The Olathe Landscapers You Need

As professional landscape designers, the staff at Huston Contracting is here to help you. If you have any Olathe landscaping needs, just give us a call today. We look forward to helping you design the yard of your dreams!

Thinking of Doing Some Landscaping This Summer? Let’s Get Started

The summer is right around the corner. The sunshine is fine, and the heat is almost here. It’s almost pool time. Boating season isn’t far off. We’ll all be breaking out the bathing suits soon.

But that doesn’t mean you can neglect your lawn and landscaping. You should pay your yard a little more attention during this time of year. There are a few fun things that are best done during the summer landscaping season.

Thinking of Doing Some Landscaping This Summer?

If you’re interested in doing some summer landscaping in Olathe, Kansas – get in touch. Here at Huston Contracting, our professional landscapers and designers work year around to keep your yard looking great.

A few of our summertime specialties include:

This should come as no surprise. Lawn care and maintenance are essential to keeping your landscape looking good in the summertime. With even a few weeks of neglect, you lush lawn could go from green to brown.

At Huston Contracting, we can help you keep things green and clean. Our experts offer services like:

  • Mowing
  • Pruning
  • Mulching
  • Weed control
  • Cleanup services
  • Irrigation systems

…And more!

There’s nothing better than a good ole’ fashion Kansas City barbecue. Well, except for one that happens in your backyard outdoor kitchen. Put simply – there’s no better time to install an Olathe outdoor kitchen than the summer.

You’ll get more use out of your outdoor kitchen in the summer and fall than any other months. You’ll be able to host barbecues and gatherings with ease – all from the comfort of your home.

For veteran Olathe landscapers looking to take things to the next level, nothing says “pro” like adding a water feature or two to your yard. At Huston Contracting, we can change the focus of your landscape by offering features like:

  • Natural stone waterfalls
  • Pondless waterfalls
  • Koi ponds
  • Natural creek beds
  • Bubbler rocks

…And more!

Remember how amazing the fireplace feels inside your home during the winter months? Adding an outdoor fireplace to your landscape can offer similar benefits during the breezy summer nights in Olathe.

If you’re looking for focal point of your landscape to change, an outdoor fireplace can do just that in the backyard.

No matter what type of Olathe landscaping services you need, we can help change the look of your yard this summer. From irrigation design to natural stone installation to sod installation and drainage solutions – Huston Contracting is a full-service professional landscaping company.

Get In Touch With Huston Contracting Today!

Summer is nearly here. Don’t wait another day. If you’re looking to tackle some big landscaping projects before the blistering heat, get in touch today. Our team looks forward to hearing from you and helping you have the best yard in the whole neighborhood!

5 Quick New Year Tips From an Olathe Landscaper

As the New Year rolls in, we all make resolutions and focus on improving certain areas of our life. Some of us focus on fitness. Others make our family, friends, and relationships a priority in the coming year. Many focus on finances, too.  Whatever you choose to focus on in the coming year, we want to wish you the best of luck in achieving your resolution.

The Olathe Landscaper in us hopes you make your lawn, landscaping, and garden a priority in the coming year.

If you’re planning to improve your landscaping and lawn in 2017, here are five quick tips from an Olathe Landscaper:

  • Find Inspiration

Motivation is always necessary. No matter what you’re doing, you need to have the motivation to get it done. Landscaping is no different. You don’t need to drive around for hours on end admiring the neighbors’ lawns from the car. Just open a browser and start looking through landscaping ideas from around the world on the web.

  • The Perfect Plan

Once you have a few fun ideas and some inspiration, it’s time to plan your landscaping ideas out. Make a strategy and stick to it. How many days do you need to complete a landscaping project? Do you need to hire a professional Olathe landscaper?

To ensure your plan will work to perfection; you’ll want to map everything out precisely. Make sure everyone will have space to walk around your landscape. You’ll also need to plan for growth because your plants will grow during the year.

  • Stick to the Script

The best way to avoid a landscaping disaster is to stay on schedule and stick to the script. This means you need to plant your garden at the suggest time of the year. Listen to the horticulturalists. You can’t plant a perennial in the dog days of summer and expect great things.

  • Create the Contrast

Some of the best landscapes I’ve ever seen offer a stark contrast to the exterior of the home. For example, if you have a modern designed exterior, then a Zen-like garden could provide a tranquil, yet stunning contrast to your home.

  • Understanding Maintenance

Before you go head over heels on a challenging landscaping project, make sure to pay attention to maintenance. Be honest about the amount of effort you’re willing to spend on maintenance and only plant things that fit within your lifestyle.

Luckily, there are plants for every effort-level. You can find high and low maintenance plants. Just ask your Olathe landscaper to give you some helpful hints when picking plants in the New Year. 

Another interesting aspect of maintenance is pest planning. You’ll want to understand the pest found in your area and take them into account from a maintenance aspect. You may need to add fencing or wire mesh during certain times of the year to ensure your efforts don’t get destroyed.

What Does an Olathe Landscape Architect Actually Do?

landscape_design_02An Olathe landscape architect sounds like a fancy term for someone who cuts lawns with lines in it. However, landscape architecture is a profession that varies vastly and encompasses much more than mowing lawns. To clear the air, we wanted to break down what it means to be a landscape architect and what they do.

What an Olathe Landscape Architect Does

More than mowing lawns, landscape architecture is the profession associated with the design and planning of the land. Olathe landscape architecture is all around us. From the retaining wall in your backyard to the design of the playground down the street to the highways you drive on to work – an architect has designed every aspect of our urban land.

Here are a few things Olathe landscape architects work on:

Site Planning

Every home, office building, shopping center, or community requires site planning to ensure the spaces are created for human use. This aspect of the job includes technical aspects like utility layouts, circulation patterns, and more. Often, site design includes minimizing environmental impacts and costs.

Landscape Design

The core concept of becoming an Olathe landscape architect stems from landscape design. Site analysis, sharing of spaces, design concepts, a balance of indoor and outdoor spaces, selecting construction materials and much more go into this part of the job.

Park Planning

Designing parks in urban areas are big business. So are the redesign and cultivation of recreation spaces. Parks, golf courses, basketball courts, waterfront developments, and national parks all benefit from this part of landscape architecture.

Urban Design

Designing a full city or town is not an easy job. A lot of planning and strategy is involved. Plazas and streetscapes don’t just form themselves. Providing detailed plans and designs for implementation in cities is a huge aspect of the profession.

Land Development & Design

Undeveloped land often has city regulations and roadblocks to development, especially for commercial use. Olathe landscape architects connect policy with individual redesign projects to ensure economics, real estate, regulation and more come together to make a project reality.

Regional Landscape Planning

Regional landscape planning really took off once environmentalism became a hot button issue in the 1970’s. Before an urban development project can begin, surveys of natural resources, habitats and much more must be concluded. This is a major area of practice for many within the profession.

The Best Olathe Landscape Architects

At Huston Contracting, we have an experienced and professional landscape architect ready to turn your next project into a design masterpiece. Reach out today for a consultation. We can handle any project and look forward to making your landscaping dreams become a reality.