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Spring Clean Ups: Schedule Today

Front Landscape Portfolio

Now is the time to schedule your property’s Spring Clean Up. This service includes:

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Fall Clean Up

Fall Leaves

Get your home ready for the Winter season with Westside Pro

Need some help preparing for the Rochester Winter ahead? Let us do the work for you this season.

Autumn Leaves Covering Lawn
Our Services include:
- Rake lawn and bed areas
- Top dress damaged lawn areas with topsoil and seed
- Remove dead annuals and trim perennials

Call today to schedule your fall clean up services and get your home looking its best.

Mention this post and receive a 20.00 credit on your service!

Autumn coloured leaves on outdoor steps, portland, oregon, united states of america

Late-Summer Lawn Tips: Preparing for Fall

Grass E1367269544913

Leaves won’t be the only thing changing this fall. Here are some helpful hints as we prepare for the shift in seasons:

Thatch

Photo via Fino Land Co.

The problem with too much thatch in your lawn:
Thatch is a layer of living and dead organic matter that builds up gradually on your lawn. If your thatch exceeds a 1/2″, it blocks air, water and fertilizer from reaching the soil and the root zone.

How do you take care of thatch that is too thick?
Aeration breaks up the thatch layer without damaging the integrity of your lawn by pulling an even distribution of approximately 2″ to 3″ core samples out via the use of a machine and spreading them back over your turf.

CoreAeration

Photo via Green Max Lawns.

Why is aeration good for my lawn?
By removing thouands of soil cores from your lawn and depositing them above the thatch layer, you create tiny pockets in your lawn to catch and hold air, water and fertalizer. As rain begins to fall, the soil cores will dissolve. This soil is mixing with the thatch layer and helps the decomposition, preventing a thick, soild blanket of thatch from covering your lawn. 

When should I make an appointment for core aeration?
New root development is much greater in the fall than during any other time of the year, and it continues through most of the winter. Your lawn can recover from many kinds of stress during this time of the year. Aeration creates the growth zone new roots need to take the fullest advantage of the season. Schedule yours soon! Give us a call at (585)594-8420 for a free quote.

Featured Plants: Container Flowers

Snapdragon

Looking for a way to spruce up your yard? Container plantings can add bursts of color and visual interest instantly. Here’s what you need to know to ensure your lovely arrangements are low maintenance:

Container Flowers

 Photo via Houzz.

The Basics. Nearly any type of smaller plant that can be grown in the ground can be used in a hanging basket. The plants that tend to look the best, however, are the ones that have a soft downward trailing or mounding habit rather than a stiff upright growth pattern. Opt for plants like ivies, pothos, ferns, succulents, vines and annuals like petunias, impatiens, geraniums, calibrachoa, lobelia and fuschias.

Watering. The soil in hanging containers will dry out much more quickly than soil in your garden, so be prepared to water daily unless you are using very arid plants. Plants that are in more direct sun might even need a twice-daily watering (once in the morning and again in the evening) to keep them well hydrated.

Fertilizing. Nutrients in the soil leach out much more quickly in containers, so you’ll have to supplement your plants’ feeding schedule to ensure their health. Avoid overfertilizing, though, as that can actually harm plants and keep them from blooming. Use an all-purpose water-soluble fertilizer or a fertilizer that is formulated for the specific plants you are using.

Here are a few Drought Tolerant Perennials to help boost the ease of container flower gardens:

Nasturtium

Photo and content via Houzz.

Nasturtium: An edible flower you can love in your salad, but deer seem to avoid. Plant it alongside herbs or other edibles to try to keep deer at bay.

Light requirementFull sun
Water requirement: Medium
Size1 foot to 2 feet tall and 6 to 12 inches wide

Snapdragon

Photo via Coming Together Events. Content via Plant Finder.

Snapdragon: Produces colorful spikes of flowers in spring and early summer. Great for cutting too!

Light requirementFull sun
Water requirement: Medium/ Moderate
Size1 foot to 2 feet tall and 6 to 12 inches wide

Marigold

Photo and content via Houzz.

Marigold: Cheerful summer annual that can help keep pests away from your tomatoes and other edibles.

Light requirementFull sun
Water requirementMedium
Size6 to 12 inches tall and 6 to 9 inches wide

Libertia

Photo via Macrophylla. Content via Plant Finder.

Libertia: Contains swordlike leaves and clusters of white flowers from late spring to midsummer. Blooms consist of three large petals and three much smaller ones, giving them a triangular look.

Light requirementFull to partial sun
Water requirementMedium/ moderate
Size: 2ft tall and 1ft wide

Ageraturm

Photo and content via Houzz.

Ageraturm: Its flowers come in a variety of blues and look great paired with whites and yellows. It can also protect itself and nearby plants from insects, and is toxic to grazing animals.

Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade
Water requirement: Medium
Size: 1 foot to 2½ feet tall and 6 to 18 inches wide

Assortments: Retaining Walls

Rock Wall Featured Image

A properly placed retaining wall can make for the perfect patio accompaniment. Here are a few of our favorite accent ideas found in this Houzz post. Perhaps some of them will spark a creative redesign!

Let your rock wall double as patio seating. A low rock wall is often naturally the right height for perching, so why not go with it? A gentle “S” curve adds shape to patios and flower beds, while soft cushions make it clear to guests that sitting on the wall is encouraged.

Rock Wall as Seating 2

Define outdoor rooms with a series of rock walls. Multiple rock walls create a second home outdoors. Here low rock walls define an outdoor dining area, and beyond, a stone fireplace and an outdoor living room.

Rock wall as Seating

Carve out a private spot with a stone retaining wall. A single stone retaining wall is another option for those with a hill to incorporate. This works best with a gently sloping hillside as pictured in the first image following. You can also use a terraced-garden approach (such as the one in the second, following photo) on steep hillsides instead.

Rock Wall and Hill 2

 

Rock Wall and Hill

Create a cozy nook. Take a cue from this stunning patio and use a curved rock wall with an attached bench to define a seating area around a fire pit.

Rock Wall and FIre Pit

Get along with Less Lawn

No Lawn Featured Image

A pristine lawn works well as a play space for family and friends or as a direct path through an otherwise foliage ridden landscape, but their high maintenance needs can be over the top.

Lawns can be a drain on water resources, and they demand regular mowing and fertilizing, not to mention weeding and aerating. Most home landscapes offer plenty of opportunities to create colorful, engaging and more sustainable options. Here are some ways to help you look at your landscape with fresh eyes and move beyond the lawn:

Remove lawns where they are not being used for active play or entertainment.Front yards are prime candidates for this treatment. These are typically smaller spaces that can become beautiful no-lawn showcases.

No Lawn Front 2

 

Photo via HGTV.

No Lawn Front 3

Photo via Great Ecology.

Replace small lawn areas with a low-maintenance perennial ground cover. Small areas and those that are hard to access may best be served by this low-maintenance solution. Creeping lilyturf, has a lush, grass-like look and is also evergreen. Additional choices — depending on your garden’s growing conditions — might include periwinklecreeping thyme or snow-in-summer. This link has even more plants for your pathways.

No Lawn Perrenial Ground Cover

Photo via Houzz.

Replace lawns with larger, ornamental plants for more visual punch and biodiversity. Large lawns are visual deserts. Replacing them with more diverse plantings creates a feast for the eyes that creates interest and invites interaction with the landscape. Color, texture, form and fragrance — all of the garden elements that we prize — can transform a boring lawn into a beautiful outdoor space.

This is gardening on a larger scale that takes planning and maintenance, certainly, but proper plant selection can make for a joyful and more sustainable lawn substitute. Walkways or paths of stepping stones, can help organize these larger spaces and invite exploration, too.

No Lawn Path

Photo via Houzz.

Replace lawns with gathering places to enhance the way you live now. Not using your lawn for active games and play? Create a variety of outdoor spaces in your landscape that take advantage of both sun and shade, are quiet and intimate, or are large enough for the whole gang to enjoy.

No Lawn Gathering Place 2

 

Photo via Landscaping Network.

No Lawn Gathering Place

Photo via Houzz.

Assortments: Water features

Water Feature Blog Post

Creating an oasis right in your own backyard can be very rewarding over the years. Installing a water feature into your existing landscape will increase property values and provide a lovely backdrop to any outdoor gathering. Here are a few water features found around the web to get your creative juices flowing.

WaterFeature1

Photo via Belgard Hardscapes.

Water Feature Blog Post

Photo via Westside Professional Landscape.

WaterFeature1

Photo via Houzz.

WaterFeature4

Photo via Houzz.

WaterFeature2

Photo via Fine Gardening.

WaterFeature5

Photo via Houzz.

WaterFeature3

Photo via Fine Gardening.

WaterFeature2

Photo via Houzz.

HPIM0343.JPG

Photo via The Cranes Nest.

WaterFeature3

Photo via Houzz.

Mulch: How to pick the right kind.

Mulch Post

Nowadays, mulch is understood as a shredded wood or bark product. This is a misconception, and in fact, mulch is a term referring to or any product — organic or inorganic — that serves as a topdressing for soil. There are two categories of mulch – organic or inorganic. Jocelyn H Chilvers, a contributor for Houzz.com explains the differences between the two.

Organic Mulch

Organic mulches are typically wood products: materials such as pine needles or bark, shredded cedar, aspen chips, arborists’ tree trimmings or even recycled Christmas trees. However,compost, grass clippings, nut hulls, ground corn cobs and even seashells are ideal for this purpose.

Organic Mulch 1 Organic Mulch 2

Images via Houzz.

Advantages of organic mulches:

  • Highly permeable, allowing air and moisture to reach the plants’ root zone. As they decompose, they contribute nutrients to both soil organisms and plants. Organic mulch won’t hold or radiate heat, making it a good choice for urban areas.
  • Most are lightweight and easy for homeowners to work with.

Disadvantages of organic mulches:

  • They are not permanent and will need to be replaced over time.
  • They may harbor insect pests.

Cost and considerations:

  • Organic mulches are often the by-product of local agricultural industries and may be quite economical — even free.
  • Due to their light weight, organic mulches are less expensive to transport and install than inorganic mulches.
  • A cubic yard of organic mulch will cover about 100 square feet to a 3-inch depth.

Maintenance: Organic mulches will decompose, may blow off in heavy winds and can shift in heavy rains. They will need to be tidied up from time to time and replenished every year or two to maintain a 2-inch deep layer. Hand pull or spot spray weeds as needed.

Design considerations: Organic mulches have a soft, rustic appearance that can enhance an informal design or add a nice stroke of contrast to formal or modernist elements.

 

Inorganic Mulch

Inorganic mulches include all of the many rock products — from decomposed granite or crusher fines to cobblestones and riprap. Recycled materials like glass, rubber (tires) and crushed concrete also fall into this category. Think local when you’re sourcing products for your landscape.

Inorganicmulch1 Inorganic Mulch 2

Photos via Houzz.

Advantages of inorganic mulches:

  • Highly stable and should be considered a permanent part of your landscape.
  • One of river rock or crushed stone is ideal in areas where high winds or forest fires are a threat.
  • A wide variation in color, texture and size makes them very adaptable for creative landscape designs.

Disadvantages of inorganic mulches:

  • Most absorb and radiate heat, warming the living environment for both you and your plants.

Cost and considerations:

  • A locally sourced product will be easier on your budget than those imported from another region.
  • A ton of 1 1/2-inch rock will cover 55 square feet to a 3-inch depth.
  • Rock products in particular are very heavy and can require special equipment and professional installation help.

Maintenance: Use a blower every week or two to clear debris from your inorganic mulch. Hand pull or spot spray weeds as needed.

Design considerations: In many regions inorganic mulch mimics the natural environment, making it an ecofriendly choice for use with native plants.

Companion Plants for your Rose Garden

Persian Shield

Looking for a way to make your roses really shine? Check out these companion plants from around the web. But first, what is companion planting? Companion planting simply means that some plants can, and should, be planted together to create a beautiful and healthy garden. When choosing companion plants for your roses, opt for ones that have the same sun and water requirements first, and then choose for beauty. In case you missed it, here is the previous post about rose varieties. Here are a few plant types to consider as companions:

Shrubs and evergreens. Shrubs, trees and evergreens provide structure in the garden, so that there is something to look at during the cooler months, when flowers are not as plentiful.

Vines and Ground Cover: Flowering vines that soar overhead and ground covers that creep around the rose’s base are the perfect bookends to your shrub roses’ form.

Foliage Plants: Their stunning leaf shapes, colors and sizes play off the more recognizable form of roses.

Flowering perennials. An almost unlimited number of flowering perennials pair well with roses. You’ll want to choose other flowers that complement, rather than compete with, your roses, so look for perennials with smaller or larger forms, different leaf types and a variety of flower colors and shapes.

Ornamental grasses. This is a more unexpected pairing, but one that really works. The smaller leaves of roses and the pop of their color are striking against the softer, more free-form appearance of ornamental grasses.

Here are a few plants from around the web that fit into these complimentary categories.
Content for post inspired by this Houzz article. Can you learn about even more companion plants there.

Boxwood

Boxwood/ Shrub. Photo via It Takes Two.

Chartreuse-spirea

Spirea/ Shrub. Photo via Colleen Plimpton.

rose_glow_barberry

Barberry/ Shrub. Photo via Mr. Jack’s Farm.

Hostas

Hostas/ Foliage plant. Photo via House and Home Tid Bits.

Persian Shield

Persian Shield/ Foliage plant. Photo via Ohippo.

English Ivy

English Ivy/ Ground cover. Photo via Bioweb.

Jasmine

Jasmine/ Flowering ground cover. Photo via Flower Tops.

orange-daylilies

Day Lilies/ Flowering perennial. Photo via Mooseys Country Garden.

Lady Lavender

Lavender/ Flowering Perennial. Photo via Wild Ginger Farm.

Zebra Grass

Ornamental Grass. Photo via P Base.

 

Featured Plants: Roses, A garden staple

Oso Easy Roses

Looking to plant something new for fall? Liven up your garden with roses. A garden staple, these lovely, regal flowers are the perfect addition to your landscape and will compliment your other plantings by providing different level interest.

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