Landscaping and Gardening Services in Pismo Beach and SLO County
264 Irish Way, Pismo Beach, CA 93449
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12 Jul 2017

How to Keep Hardscapes Clean

clean hardscapesLike all landscaping and landscaping elements, hardscapes require maintenance. Hardscape maintenance is usually seasonal and consists of cleaning. Seasonal cleaning often reveals small repair issues that can be fixed immediately to save you hassle and money.

What is a Hardscape?

Hardscapes include:

• Patios
• Sidewalks
• Decorative walkways
• Retaining walls
• Driveways
• Dry creek beds
• Decorative fencing
• Pergolas
• Gazebos
• Raised garden beds

Ill-maintained hardscapes make your lawn look shabby and bring down your property’s curb appeal.

How Do Hardscapes Get Dirty?

Mud, salt, mildew and mold are the most common things that spoil the look of your pergola or retaining wall. You may not think of mold and mildew as a problem if you live in a drought-prone area, but if you have a swimming pool or sprinklers, you have dampness. That dampness can cause ugly, unhealthy mold and mildew.

If your yard is dry, summer winds can drive waves of dirt against your white retaining walls. Hard storms leave mud splashed on walls, patios and sidewalks. Storms off the oceans scour stain and paint off your wooden fencing or pergola. Salt is very damaging to some hardscapes.

No matter where you live, sidewalks deteriorate over time. Stone walkways also develop cracks. With regular hardscape cleaning, you can catch damage in the early stages, and repairs will be easier and less expensive.

Cleaning hardscapes is like seasonal yard cleaning. If you let it go, your enjoyment of your landscaping will suffer, and you may end up paying more to fix a big problem than you would have with seasonal cleaning.

How Do You Clean Hardscapes?

Cleaning hardscapes depends on the surface material and whether it’s painted or stained. Every cleaning is a multi-step process.

The first step is to evaluate the surface. Is it an older surface or relatively new? Is it just in need of cleaning, or does it require repair? Sometimes damage can’t be seen until the surface is cleaned.

If your sidewalk or stone pathway needs cleaning, a landscaper will remove weeds and look for cracks. Pressure washing will remove the roots of weeds and brighten the surface, making it look new again.

Pressure washing is the go-to cleaning method for retaining walls and patios. Depending on the structure, wood can be scrubbed with a brush designed for outdoor cleaning or pressure washed. If you want your wood fence to look new without the expense of replacing it, pressure washing and restaining is the ideal solution.

The above also applies to decks. For the best-looking deck in the neighborhood, have yours pressure washed at the end of winter, and restain it if necessary.

If your landscaper finds problems like cracks or mold growth with your hardscapes, ask about moving your sprinklers.

Things to Remember:
• Mold and mildew can grow in any environment
• Cleaning can reveal minor damage before it becomes serious
Seasonal cleaning makes wood last longer
• Your landscaper knows the best cleaning methods for different hardscapes

Contact us today to arrange seasonal cleaning for your property.

05 Jul 2017

Landscaping Problems and Do’s and Don’ts – When to Call a Professional

The DIY lifestyle can be satisfying, but some jobs or repairs should only be done by pros. Calling a professional to fix a DIY project results in extra expense to you. You or your family could also be injured if you don’t have the experience or equipment needed for your project.

sprinkler systemInstalling and Repairing Sprinkler Systems

Anything that involves extensive digging in your yard is a job for a landscaper. It can be extremely dangerous if you hit a gas line. The city, county or municipality can also fine you if you cause a gas leak. An experienced landscaper will find your gas line and avoid it.

Maintaining and repairing irrigation systems is also tricky. DIY repairs often result in additional damage. We install, repair and perform seasonal maintenance on sprinkler systems and other water elements.

Retaining Wallsretaining walls

Cracks or damage to brick or concrete retaining walls should have professional attention to avoid further deterioration or collapse.

Piled-stone retaining walls may seem simple enough, but they have to have a proper foundation. If a child or large dog pushes over your DIY retaining wall, the results could be disastrous. Let us build a retaining wall for you so you can rest assured that it’s safe.

Pallet Ideas For GardeningPallet Gardening

Pallet retaining walls are very trendy. They’re popular for raised flowerbeds and small gardens. Imagine putting in all the work of building your garden foundation, planting the garden and having it collapse. Upcycling wood is a great idea, but it has to be treated to resist insect infestation and water damage that can weaken it.

Let your landscaper build a raised garden (also called a built-up garden) for you. You can have the satisfaction of planting your own vegetables or flowers while knowing your work won’t be wasted by an unstable foundation.

Water Elementswater elements

When you live in a drought-prone area, a fountain or creek stone with trickling water is a treasure. Installing a water element involves substantial digging and connecting to a water source. To avoid damage to water lines or irrigation systems, let your landscaper install your water element. Professional installation also ensures that your fountain or waterfall doesn’t waste water.

Building a pond takes special equipment. Ponds must be lined and require cleaning and maintenance. Let us install and maintain your pond so you can enjoy it instead of handling chemicals and cleaning it.

lawn chemicalsLawn Chemicals

Does your lawn need fertilizer? Do you need pesticide for your flowers? Only a landscaper can tell for sure.

Unnecessary or improperly applied lawn fertilizer can burn healthy grass. You may only need dethatching and overseeding. Endangered butterflies in their caterpillar stage may have made holes in the leaves of native California plants. Hold off on chemicals until you consult a professional.

Things to Remember:

  • DIY can actually cost you more than hiring a landscaper
  • Sprinkler systems last longer and perform better when installed by a pro
  • Water elements require professional installation and maintenance
  • Using chemicals may result in the opposite of what you intended

Evergreen Landscaping is just a phone call away to keep you and your family safe. Contact us a 805-773-5395 when you need a professional landscaper.

28 Jun 2017

Lawn Decorations Do’s and Dont’s [Infographic]

lawn decorations do and donts

Everyone knows bad lawn decor when they see it.

Do you have any of these “don’ts” lurking in your yard?

Birds of a Feather
Don’t: Flocks of flamingos take the attention off your landscaping.
Do: A birdbath and feeder makes everyone happy.

No Outdoor Plumbing
Don’t: Yes, an old toilet has the characteristics of a great planter, but it’s just plain tacky.
Do: If you want a novelty planter, try an old wheelbarrow with holes drilled in the bottom for drainage.

Check Your Rear
Don’t: Wooden grandmas with their bloomers showing aren’t stylish.
Do: An elegant piece of statuary can be a beautiful part of your landscaping.

•Keep On Trucking
Don’t: Old tires will deteriorate and spoil your lawn.
Do: Ask your landscaper about building an attractive raised flowerbed.

Gnome You Didn’t
Don’t: Some lawn gnomes can be as frightening as creepy clowns.
Do: Gazing balls are popular, and classier than staring gnomes.

Apostrophes Are Possessive
Don’t: Name signs like “The Jones’s” are all too common displays of grammatical errors.
Do: Skip the sign altogether. It can be dangerous to advertise your name to passers-by.

Holiday Fusion
Don’t: Red, white and blue bunting doesn’t flatter reindeer.
Do: Take holiday decorations down before they lose that special seasonal vibe.

For the best-decorated and landscaped lawn on the block, contact Evergreen Landscaping at (805) 773-5395.

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21 Jun 2017

Outdoor Gardening You Can Do With Your Kids

Gardening with ChildrenDo you want to pass your love of gardening on to your children or grandchildren? Gardening with kids is a great way to get them offline, outside and give them a lifelong, productive hobby.

Kids and Gardening: Getting Started

It’s easiest to get your children or grandchildren started gardening when they’re around age five. Kindergarten-age children are old enough to remember the difference between weeds and plants that you actually want. They’re also very curious about everything around them and love “helping” you.

It can take some prodding to interest older children in gardening. Online farming games are very popular. If your older child is playing a farming game, present gardening to them as the real-life version. Give them their own plot of your garden or flowerbed. When they start to see seedlings coming up or flower buds appearing, they may find real life gardening more fun than a game.

Kids and Gardening: Tools You’ll Need

Real, sturdy gardening tools scaled down for children are available in dollar stores. One thing all young children love is playing in the dirt. Give your child a shovel so she can help you with your spring flowerbed. Your plants may not be spaced perfectly, but your child will feel a sense of accomplishment.

Another thing young children love is water. Your child will love having his own watering can. Watering plants gives you an opportunity to talk to your children about the importance of caring for plants while not wasting water.

Older children can learn to use pruning shears under your supervision. Kids can help you deadhead flowering bushes. You may feel safer letting your child use blunt scissors and then move up to a small pair of pruning shears as they get older.

With a small rake, your child can help you clean out flowerbeds in the spring. If you have a rock garden, let your child work with you and learn to keep it neat.

Kids and Gardening: Choosing Plants

Before you take your child into your garden, make sure the plants they’ll be exposed to aren’t toxic. Your landscaper can suggest non-toxic, child-friendly plants.

Choose plants that germinate soon after planting so kids won’t lose interest. Sunflowers are a great choice. Their seedlings pop up in about a week, and the “mammoth” varieties can top out at five feet tall.

Sunflowers are drought-resistant and make a classic border for a vegetable garden. If you want your child to love fresh vegetables and herbs, get them involved in growing their own food.

Tomatoes and basil are a perfect combination for a kitchen garden. Basil grows quickly, and you and your child can harvest it almost daily. A tomato plant’s life cycle is interesting, and the fruit, paired with fresh basil, can help your child develop a taste for vegetables.

A landscaper can prepare flowerbeds and vegetable plots for you and help you choose plants kids will enjoy.

Things to Remember:

  • Keep it fun and entertaining
  • Give kids tools made for small hands
  • Make sure seeds and plants are non-toxic
  • You should have fun too

Contact us today and we’ll get your yard in shape so you can start gardening with your kids.

 

06 Jun 2017

I Just Moved In and My Yard is a Total Disaster!

Yard DisasterYou’ve just bought a house with zero curb appeal. Maybe you loved the house so much you overlooked the lawn. Maybe you got a good price because the property is a disaster. Now you have a great house with an awful lawn. Under the overgrown hedges, dying grass and out of control wild plants, there’s a good lawn that you can restore.

Restoring a Lawn Takes Time

Lawn neglect is usually the result of the previous homeowner being unable to keep up with the property due to age or infirmity. When homeowners don’t use a full-service landscaper, large properties get out of hand.

Completely restoring your lawn will take about a year. Landscaping work is done seasonally. You can’t prune your flowering trees in the spring. That has to wait until fall. Overseeding your lawn and removing unwanted plants will make an immediate difference.

Planning a Lawn Makeover

No one wants to live with an ugly lawn for a year. With proper landscaping and temporary solutions, you don’t have to.

An initial consultation should include walking your property with your landscaper and making a seasonal lawn repair plan. Things to include in your plan are:

  • Grass care
  • Cutting back overgrowth
  • Installing/repairing irrigation systems
  • Tree inventory
  • Planning your new lawn
  • Planting in-season plants and trees
  • Adding water elements and hardscapes

Seeing changes right away will make you feel better about your lawn and give you ideas about what you’d like to do next.

Getting Started

Removing unwanted landscaping elements gives a yard an immediate lift and clears the way for your landscaper to start work.

Install or make sprinkler system repairs and any other repairs that involve digging up the yard. Then have your soil pH tested. The soil’s pH tells your landscaper what your lawn needs in terms of fertilizer.

Hard-packed soil needs aeration so that the roots of your grass can breathe. This is done before overseeding. When you overseed your lawn, you seed it all and then go over thin spots again when your new grass starts to grow.

Inventorying Trees

Dead or dying trees need to be marked for removal. This must be done in the spring or summer when foliage begins to appear and your landscaper can assess the trees’ health. The landscaper will mark other trees for pruning at the appropriate time.

Your New Lawn

Now it’s time for the fun part: designing your dream lawn. There are many more drought-tolerant plants available besides succulents, cacti and wild grasses. You can have a flower garden, fruit trees or a rock garden.

Don’t forget decor like water elements. They need to go in before your plants. Hardscaping includes everything from creek rock to retaining walls.

Potted plants will give your yard color and can be planted after all the essential tasks are accomplished.

Things to Remember:

  • Fully restoring a lawn doesn’t happen overnight
  • Potted plants and annuals are excellent temporary solutions
  • You need a full-service landscaper to repair a lawn disaster

We’ve turned wrecked properties into showplaces. Contact us today to get started on your beautiful new lawn.

23 May 2017

Dangerous Landscaping [Infographic]

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02 May 2017

Three Little Landscaping Ideas that Bring Big Results

When you live in an area where drought-tolerant plants are a must, all the lawns start to look alike.

These simple landscaping ideas will make your lawn stand out from your neighbor’s yard. When you try these landscaping tricks, you’ll want to spend all your time in your garden.

Add Planters to Your Garden

landscaping ideasPlanters can keep your lawn colorful and your garden going during the worst droughts. Even if you’re under severe water restrictions, you can still water them. Planters of differing sizes give your garden extra visual appeal. You can also bring your garden onto your patio or to your poolside with containers.

really big planter can overflow with flowers typically used as groundcover, making them a focal point for a change. If you want a container full of color, choose a flower like Purple Owl’s Clover that doesn’t get too tall. You can also create a mini garden in an extra-large planter.

A big ceramic bowl planter looks great with tall native grasses and shorter plants. Asymmetrical design makes your container garden design even more interesting. Don’t put the tall plants in the middle. Place them at the side of the planter and let succulents and trailing greenery fill out the planter.

Do you love fresh herbs? Big planters full of basil and peppermint will look great on your patio and smell divine on hot summer evenings.

Give Plants Support

You don’t have to have a full white picket fence to enjoy the traditional effect. Just one short section of fencing with tall flowers like California Peony leaning through the pickets will brighten your lawn.

If white pickets aren’t your style, try a more California style of fencing. A corner of decorative rail fencing helps shrubs stand up and suits Mission and Southwestern style homes. Redwood or a redwood stain is the perfect touch.

The key to making decorative fencing work is to use it sparingly. Too much will overwhelm your lawn.

Climbing plantings like Clematis need a trellis. Use a traditional trellis to frame your walkway or door. Vines with heavy foliage or flowers and a roof trellis make a shady spot on your lawn or a beautiful entrance to your patio.

Pacific Garden Pathways

You don’t have to have a big garden to add a pathway or two. Pea stones in small or medium sizes are perfect for paths from your back door or patio that wander through your garden. If you’re entertaining, lining your path with torches will ensure your party is successful.

Try edging your path with red volcanic rock for a classic California look. This is a great look if you have Cacti in your garden.

Do you have a large garden? Multiple wandering paths are perfect for relaxing meditative walks. Add a waterfall or pond and bench for the ultimate luxury garden.

Whether it’s picking herbs or sitting by a waterfall watching butterflies in your flowers, your garden should engage you and your guests. To learn more about implementing these landscaping ideas, contact us today.

 

21 Apr 2017

Dangers of Hiring an Unlicensed Landscaper

It’s vital to check a landscaper’s background before hiring them. Hiring an unlicensed landscaper can lead to delays, poor results and even damage to your property. For peace of mind and a great looking lawn, make sure that your landscaper is licensed and insured.

Landscaping Shouldn’t Be Stressful

Landscaping your property should be enjoyable. You should see changes and improvements from your first appointment. Some warning signs to watch out for are:

• Inability to provide a license and insurance paperworkunlicensed landscaper
• Drastic changes in quotes after starting work
• No thorough consultation
• Delays and canceled appointments
• Poor attitude towards your ideas

If a company doesn’t have a license and there’s a problem with a job, it can be difficult for you to file a complaint. An unlicensed contractor can disappear with your money and leave your job unfinished. Don’t be afraid to ask for verification of your landscaper’s licensing status.

A good landscaper will be on time. Sometimes delays are inevitable. In that case, the workers should contact you. You shouldn’t have to take time off work to wait for someone who can’t be reached by phone.

It’s difficult to give you a quote without seeing your lawn. Your landscaper should offer free consultations and walk your entire property with you. This helps your landscaper get an idea of sun and soil conditions so that you get the lawn and garden you want.

You and your landscaper should be partners. If they display negativity towards what you want, that’s a sign to keep looking.

Landscaping Disasters

An unlicensed landscaper is probably inexperienced. Inexperienced workers may not give you the results you want. They may even cause damage to your grass, existing plants or trees. This can lead to a big expense for you and a lot of stress.

Experienced pros will trace your sprinkler system and check it for damage. An amateur can easily ruin your sprinkler system and disappear, leaving you with a wrecked lawn and a big repair bill. This is why it’s so important that your landscaper be insured.

Lawn chemicals must be used with knowledge and care. Using too much weed killer can kill your flowers or burn your grass. Improperly applied chemicals are dangerous to children and pets.

Weed killers and fertilizers belong in the hands of lawn care professionals. Don’t let an unlicensed landscaper ruin your lawn and kill bees and butterflies with too many chemicals. Make sure that you hire someone with a license and lawn care expertise.

How to Find the Best Landscapers

Start with neighbors and friends. Ask for references. If you’re new to the area, contact the local chamber of commerce to learn about a specific business. You can also get information from the Better Business Bureau.

If you’re in Pismo Beach or anywhere else in San Luis Obispo County, give us a call. We’re a licensed and insured full-service landscaping company. Our professional contractors are courteous and punctual. We offer everything from gardening to irrigation services. You’ll love your lawn and yard when you work with us.

 

30 Mar 2017

Toxic Indoor Plants

All parents have been surprised at the things small children will put in their mouths. Every dog owner knows that a dog will eat anything it can reach. Even finicky cats are attracted to greenery. It’s important to know if a houseplant, a bouquet of holiday flowers or garden flowers can make your children or pets seriously ill.

Indoor Greenery that Can Be Dangerous

  • Philodendron
  • Arrowhead
  • Golden Pothos 
  • Dieffenbachia 
  •  Caladium

 

Philodendrons are some of the most common houseplants in the U.S. They’re easy to grow from cuttings and to keep alive in soil and water. Homeowners may keep hanging varieties inside year-round. Larger plants like Fiddle Leaf Philodendron are typically kept on the patio unless the weather goes below freezing. Philodendron has a high level of toxicity to children and pets. 
 
Arrowhead is a handsome potted plant. It has glossy medium green leaves streaked with white. Both the leaves and sap can cause digestive upset and breathing difficulties in cats and dogs.  
 
Dieffenbachia has dramatically colored white and green leaves. Its juice is so toxic that some South American tribes used the juice to make poison arrows. The juice causes skin damage and digestive upset. This plant should not be in a home with children or pets, and you should exercise caution when handling it. 
 
Golden Pothos is another plant with green and white leaves. It’s commonly given as cuttings because it can live in water alone. Do not keep Golden Pothos in a household with pets. It can cause death due to asphyxiation or kidney failure. 
 
Caladium is another dangerous potted plant. It has beautiful heart-shaped leaves with deep red veins. It can cause asphyxia in children and pets and burns to the lips and mouth. 

Hazardous Cut Flowers

  • Calla Lily 
  •  Daffodil 
  •  Hydrangea 
  •  Iris
  •  Gladiolus 
  •  Tulip 


Spring is nearly here, bringing with it holidays that often include cut flower bouquets. Some of the most beautiful and common flowers from the florist or your 
spring garden are toxic. 
 
Vases of flowers pose particular danger to cats because cats love to knock over anything containing water. Cats also habitually rub their faces on things, especially something new. Calla Lily causes choking, drooling and digestive upset in cats and dogs. It should not be brought into a house with pets. 
 
Daffodils can cause severe digestive upset in humans and pets. 
 
Keep Hydrangea out of the house. If ingested, it can cause illness ranging from stomach upset to convulsions and even coma. Be careful touching the plant. Hydrangea can cause skin irritation. 
 
Irises and Gladioli are in the same family and are moderately toxic to dogs and cats. 
 
Tulips can cause digestive upset, dizziness and, in extreme cases, convulsions.

What to Do About Toxic Plants 

In an emergency, call Poison Control: 888-426-4435 for pets and 800-222-1222 for children. 
 
For suggestions about non-toxic houseplants or cut bouquets, contact us. We can suggest many safe options so that you can still enjoy plants in the house.