Winter Wonders?
Start Planning Now! 

     Looking forward until winter's over so you can start enjoying spending time outside?  Why wait?  Start planning your new landscape now!  Start early and you'll have plenty of time to put careful thought into your design, get it properly installed, and have it ready to enjoy by the time flowers start to bloom.
     An even better reason to think about landscaping now is because your yard has to stand up through the rigors of all four seasons. Thinking about your yard in terms of the most challenging climate can help create a landscape design you'll enjoy all year long.

     Start with the big picture.  Think about how you use your yard through all the seasons. Do you want to create indoor-outdoor connection with a paved patio or covered deck?  Do you need more privacy? A special place for the kids to play? A vegetable garden?  How about an outdoor fireplace? Think about all the different ways you currently, and ideally, would make use of the space.  Then, consider the challenges in your yard. Do you need a retaining wall? Better drainage? Is there an area where, despite your best efforts, grass just will not grow? Make a list of all the things you want to consider.

     Start visualizing by making a rough sketch of your yard's shape. As you're thinking, be sure to designate areas for greenery and hardscape features such as patios, walkways, walls and edging that frame the beds and guide you through your garden. Thoughtful integration of hardscape and greenery not only adds design interest but, by limiting the planting space, can make your yard much easier to maintain as well.

     We can help you develop your ideas, guide your choices of plants and materials, and make sure what you have in mind is appropriate for your particular conditions.  We'll help you make the most of your space - and your budget! It does take time to do landscape planning, which is why there's no time like the present to start. 


Professional tips for designing with winter conditions in mind

When designing your landscape, it's easy to focus on the growing season and forget about the long winter. However, considering winter maintenance during the design phase can save you a great deal of money and energy on snow management. Good design can also allow you to use your landscaping in winter rather than just look at it from indoors.
Reducing snow management expense 
When you start the design process remember:
  • Paved driveways are best if you want it plowed.
    In a bad winter the best way of managing snow is with a plow truck. Driveways surfaced with crushed stone are not compatible with snow plows. It is near impossible to plow a stone driveway without pushing the stone with the snow.
  • Leave a place to put the snow.
    Set the landscaping back 10 or more feet off the end of the drive so you have a place to put the snow.  Also, leave space along the side of the driveway.
  • Keep landscaping highly visible.
    Plant high value plants away from the driveway and in highly visible locations and mark them with snow stakes each year. When everything is covered in snow, it's tough for you to protect delicate plantings.
  • Walkways should have an even surface.
    Unevenly-laid flagstone or other surfaces create a tripping hazard, and snow shovels can catch on the edges and destabilize the stones. Keep up with repairs during the summer for easy winter maintenance.
  • Avoid lighting, fences and other vulnerable structures next to the driveway where possible.
    Any light fixtures, posts, or other elements next to the driveway that could be damaged by a plow make it harder for your snow management service to get in and out quickly, which raises the expense.

Using your landscape in winter 
With just a little attention during the design process, you can keep your landscape usable and safe in winter. Many families use the hot tub, barbecue and fire pit during the winter and you may still need to access outbuildings and sheds. Good design also increases your visual enjoyment of the winter landscape, even if you're just looking at it from your favorite chair indoors.

Consider Low-voltage lighting - use uplighting or downlighting on trees, statuary, or water features. You'll be surprised how much wildlife you can see at night!

Did You Know?

Snow Clearing tips - many of your plants could be damaged from excess accumulation of snow on the branches. This is especially true of evergreen trees, such as Arbor Vitae. Carefully and gently, brush the snow in an upward direction off the limbs and boughs. If they become coated with ice, leave them alone. Trying to break off the ice could damage the tree or shrub, and won't help much with your tree maintenance. The ice normally melts at a rapid pace, even if the temperatures are below freezing.



Lawn Sense

Winter Mower Maintenance

      Your lawn mower needs attention at the end of the mowing season. Drain the gas tank or add a few drops of a stabilizing agent to the tank to keep the gas from getting 'old'. It is also a good time to change the oil, clean the underside of the deck, sharpen the blade, and replace the spark plug and air cleaner. Be sure to disconnect the spark plug wire before attempting any repair on your mower, regardless of the time of year the maintenance or repair work is performed
Have you been thinking about going organic?

            Make the switch this new year!  Contact us today! - We will evaluate your lawn and plant care needs, provide a customized plan and a price estimate.  See why Nature Guard is the natural choice for a beautiful, safe and eco-friendly landscape.


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