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

Winter Wonderland Landscaping Ideas

How can you transform your Pismo Beach property into a winter wonderland for the New Year? It’s easy when you combine tasteful holiday decor with your existing landscaping.

winter wonderland landscaping ideas

Elements of Winter

What makes you think of winter, no matter your climate? The basics of a winter theme include:

• Snow
• Winter plants
• Color combinations
• Lighting
• Inside decor

Instead of filling your yard with out-of-date, oversized decorations, weave elegant decor elements through your landscaping and onto your porch and patio for a look that will enchant your family and friends.

Creating Winter in Your California Yard

You may already have some white flowering plants that bloom in winter. If not, your landscaper can either add some to your yard or provide you with potted plants. Potted flowers are a good choice for holiday decorating because you can place them anywhere you like.

Jade Plant is a succulent with masses of little white flowers resembling snowflakes. Jade Plant starts blooming in December.

jade plant

Cyclamen is best known for its pink to lavender palette, but it’s also available in white and looks great in large planters.

Cyclamen

White, silver and blue convey a cool impression. Use white and blue strings of lights around your door. You can also light up large shrubs or small trees. Remember with lights, less is more. Your guests will appreciate a pleasant touch of cool color more than a blaze of lighting outlining your house.

Instead of lighting up the house, light up the garden. Glowing globes hanging from your trees will create a fantasy atmosphere.

Silver and blue wreaths can be traditional or modern. Whatever style you prefer, the colors will add to your wintry atmosphere.

Decor

Holiday yard decor detracts from your landscaping and lighting. Consider taking your lawn colors into the house with decorations that enhance your winter theme.

Spiral tree decorations in clear plastic or crystal resemble icicles. Snowflake decorations are a must. Silver, blue and white glass balls continue the dreamy winter vibe. If you’ve taken down your tree or didn’t put up a tree, you can hang decorations from your mantel or even from potted trees. Green garland wrapped around your stair banisters adds an authentic winter element and keeps your whites and blues from becoming overwhelming. Garland is also a great way to display ornaments.

Traditional or Modern Decor?

If your home is traditional, we recommend plants like Poinsettias. Poinsettias come in red and ivory. A basket looks great in a traditional setting. A white ceramic pot is perfect for a modern setting. White Orchids are perfect for a modern home.

Small potted Evergreens are classic holiday decorations and, depending on the type of tree, bring the fragrance of the forest into your home. You can plant them in your yard after the holidays. Your landscaper can help you select the perfect Evergreen.

Things to Remember:
• Cool colors evoke the spirit of winter
• Modern, understated lighting is flattering
• Potted winter plants inside and out complete the winter atmosphere

Ring in the New Year in a beautiful winter wonderland. Call us today for plants and landscaping planning.

13 Dec 2017

How to Create a Holiday Garden Landscape

Your garden can be a part of your holiday decor. Some of your flowers will carry over into fall and winter. You can still order bedding and container plants. Don’t just settle for evergreens when you can have colorful autumn and winter flowers.

How to Create a Holiday Garden Landscape

Planning Your Holiday Landscaping

Some of your summer flowers will bloom well into November and December. You can plant other flowers that will come into bloom in winter. You can also order flats of some flowers for the holidays. Some landscaping flowers to consider are:

  • Marigolds are yellow to deep orange annuals that will re-seed themselves as summer comes to an end and the seed heads dry up and turn brown. Don’t deadhead your Marigolds if you want a second blooming starting in fall. Marigolds can withstand some freezing or just below freezing nights and are good bedding plants. The central plant is a viney growth with spreading flowers six to eight inches tall.
  • Daphne bholua is a wonderful evergreen shrub that grows to about eight feet tall and flowers in midwinter. Each stem has many blooms ranging from white to deep mauve.
  • Pansies provide brilliant color in low-growing bedding plants. Scarlet Pansies with almost black centers are an excellent choice for December. Landscapers have flats ready for pre-holiday planting.
  • Snapdragons may not seem like a winter flower, but at up to three feet tall, they can be your colorful winter standout. Plant them in early autumn for maximum height and blossoms in December. You can also order them from your landscaper.
  • Iceland Poppies are all colorful drama on a tall stem bare of leaves. The blooms are a spiral of orange, red and neon pink. Plant full-grown Iceland Poppies in full sun in late autumn and early winter.

Outdoor Container Plants for Late Fall and Winter

Container plants look great flanking your front doors and steps. They also dress up your deck. Fall and winter container plants accentuate decorative greenery and are especially beautiful when placed next to areas with holiday lights. Some container plants for holiday decor are:

  • Cyclamen’s white petals also feature the pale and deep reds you associate with Christmas flowers. Keep them on your porch in partial shade. Water Cyclamen frequently.
  • The yellow blooms of English Primrose are a welcome sight in winter. The color and trailing flowers are a perfect complement to Thanksgiving decor.

Winter Berries

Nandina, also called Heavenly Bamboo, reaches heights over eight feet. In spring, bumblebees love to forage in its tiny, pale yellow flowers that grow on its slender stems. Nandina’s red berries feed colorful songbirds in winter. The leaves change from deep green to gold to red. You can order juvenile Nandinas with colorful leaves now.

Things to remember:

  • Use a combination of landscaping and container plants
  • Plant and seed in early fall for winter color
  • Add permanent beauty to your landscaping with shrubs

Is your landscaping losing its color? It’s not too late to call us for natural holiday beauty. Contact us today.

30 Nov 2017

How Your Indoor Plants Can Be Used for Holiday Decoration

 

Do your houseplants disappear behind your holiday decorations? Incorporating your plants into your holiday decor is a growing trend. We have some suggestions for making your plants stand out this holiday season.

Tall Plants

Do you have tall potted trees like Fiddle Leaf Figs, Yucca, Ficus or one of the many varieties of potted Palm? Here are some ways you can make them into holiday standouts:

  • Light them up with short strings of white lights or red lights that will complement their greenery. Keep pets away from cords. Essential oils like lavender, lemon and eucalyptus applied to the pot will deter cats.
  • Decorate them. Small plastic balls are preferable. They’re light enough not to damage the plant. We don’t recommend glass ornaments unless you don’t have kids or pets. As with all ornaments, make sure they’re securely attached. Metal hooks, ribbons and twine are all dangerous to pets.
  • Surround them with tall decorations like reindeer, nutcrackers or Santas.
  • Tie silver and gold bows or ribbons to their branches. This decorating technique is especially pretty in the dining room.
  • Do you want to change things up this year? Skip the traditional central tree and place your gifts around your potted trees. Flank your fireplace with tall trees with gifts stacked around them. The kids will have more room to open gifts, and you’ll have a unique background for your holiday photos.

 

How Your Indoor Plants Can Be Used for Holiday Decoration

 

Medium and Small Plants

Smaller plants can be an essential part of holiday decorating with plants. Ideas for decorating with medium and small plants like Calatheas, Jade plants, Peace Lily include:

  • Use miniature decorations. If the leaves won’t support the decorations, tuck them into the plant. Red, silver and gold are good colors for this decorating technique because they catch the eye amidst greenery.
  • Buy your own ribbon and gently tie bows into plants like Asparagus Fern.
  • Cut sturdy wrapping paper into wide strips, wrap around the plant’s container and tape it. Alternatively, put big velvety or shiny bows on the pots.
  • Add wildlife. Dollar stores are great places to find small ceramic birds, rabbits, squirrels and deer.

Special Holiday Plants

Poinsettias aren’t the only Christmas houseplants. Ivy and Christmas Cactus can be used together or alone to line your mantel. A string of white lights edging the mantel is the perfect finishing touch.

For a unique centerpiece that delights the nose as well as the eyes, put your Peppermint plant in the middle of the table. Surround it with red, gold, silver and clear glass balls. You can put a few in the pot without damaging the plant. Tall white taper candles or white candles in jars will complete the simple and natural centerpiece.

Things to Remember:

    • Gold and silver are the hot colors for holiday this year
    • Use plants of different sizes
    • Make sure hanging ornaments are lightweight

Do you need holiday plants, or do your indoor potted trees need attention? Contact us for all your holiday plant needs.

13 Sep 2017

How Do You Properly Transplant Trees Without Hurting Them?

tree transplantingTransplanting both young and mature trees safely is possible. The ease of transplanting a tree depends on the type and size of tree, preparation and proper equipment.

Why Transplant a Tree?

Transplanting trees is a bigger project than moving plants, and it does carry risks. It’s best to have your tree moved by a licensed landscaper, especially larger and mature trees.

There are several reasons for moving a tree, including:

• You prefer another location
• The tree is sickly or just not thriving
• You’re redoing your landscaping
• The mature tree is shading plants that need sun
• You’re building onto your home and want to keep the tree

Young trees, or saplings, are the most frequently transplanted. This is usually because the property owner changes their mind about the location, or the tree appears limp, loses leaves or just doesn’t grow.

Tools for Transplanting Trees

• Shovels with sharp points (moving a tree requires multiple people)
• A post hole digger
• A ten gallon bucket for each tree
• Large containers for big trees
• A yard dolly/cart or large wheelbarrow

The best shovels to get a tree out of the ground without damage feature solid shank construction for strength and longer, narrower blades than a standard pointed irrigation shovel. A post hole digger makes digging a new hole for a young tree a breeze. You’ll need regular sharp-pointed shovels to dig large holes for mature trees.

Preparing to Transplant a Tree

Make sure that you know where utility lines are before doing any extensive digging in your yard.

Moving an established tree requires substantial preparation. Root pruning must be done the season before transplanting the tree. Root pruning should be done by an experienced landscaper. It diminishes transplant shock and is necessary to move mature trees with long-running roots.

Find a location as similar to the original for a mature tree. If you’re transplanting a young tree that isn’t doing well, ask your landscaper about a location with a better ratio of sun and shade and richer or better-draining soil.

Dig the new hole in advance. Depending on the size of the tree, just digging a new hole could take more than a day. It’s possible to move trees up to 50 feet tall, but that requires professional landscaping equipment.

Thoroughly water the tree’s new home the day before transplanting. If the hole is large enough for children or pets to fall into, cover it with a tarp held down by cinder blocks.

Dig around the tree about half a foot from the new root ball formed by root pruning. Any plant should be dug out from underneath, not pulled up by the stem or trunk. Wrap the root ball in burlap for moving the tree to the new location. Water the area again after replanting the tree.

Things to Remember:

• Transplanting trees must be planned in advance
• The right tools will make the job easier
• A landscaper should move a large tree

For the best results in moving your tree, contact us and let us do the job for you.

29 Aug 2017

10 Low Maintenance Plants

Low-Maintenance Plants for Easy LandscapingIf you don’t have a green thumb but you want decorative plants and some color in your yard, there are many low maintenance plants to suit your needs.

Not all of them are wild grasses and succulents. By their nature, drought resistant plants are usually low maintenance. They come in all varieties, sizes and colors.

Colorful Low Maintenance Plants

  • Purple Sabre is a perennial with long, spiky leaves. It grows to about three feet tall. Purple Sabres are actually more colorful and put new branches when rarely watered.
  • Most Irises need little care other than occasional summer water. Many Irises, including African Irises, are sun worshippers. African Irises have blue-white petals with splashes of yellow and purple centers. They’re perfect for banks of flowers in your flowerbeds or for edging sunny walkways.
  • Few flowers brighten up a yard like the Santa Barbara Daisy. Each flower has a profusion of long, slender pale purple flowers and a sunny yellow center. Masses of Santa Barbara Daisies are impressive and require almost no maintenance.
  • Sea Lavender has small, true purple flowers interspersed with a few white flowers here and there. It grows to around a foot tall and is perfect to plant in front of wild grasses. It’s ideal for small bouquets and for drying.

Beautiful Low Maintenance Shrubs

  • For something unusual and attractive, try Kangaroo Paw. It’s a large shrub reaching five feet in height. Its burgundy flowers appear in spring and add color to your yard through June.
  • California Fuchsia brings hot tropical color your yard. The neon pink blooms open to reveal a pinkish-white “underskirt” of petals and long stamens. California Fuchsia grows to a width and height of two feet.
  • Apricot Mallow, also known as Desert Mallow, is a shrub with small orange flowers. It likes sandy soil, clay and lots of sun. It grows one to two feet tall in the desert. In your yard, it can reach a height of five feet.

Succulents

  • California’s succulents are beautiful and interesting. Gardeners on the East Coast are usually frustrated in their attempts to grow succulents like Hens-and-Chicks, also called Chicks-and-Biddies. This is a popular succulent because the parent plant puts out small new plants with their own root system. Hens-and-Chicks is usually used as an easily transplantable groundcover.
  • For a colorful succulent, try Sedum Spurium. Sedum Spurium has little red flowers that form perfect rosettes and bloom in summer.

Wild Grasses

  • Ornamental grasses are a must as a backdrop for your drought resistant garden. One ornamental grass you’re sure to love is Little Bluestem. It’s native to the prairie. In autumn, each blade of grass changes from grayish-green to all the colors of a prairie sunset.

Things to Remember:

  • Your low maintenance garden should have a variety of plants for year-round interest
  • There are many plants available that aren’t grasses or succulents
  • Ornamental grasses and succulents form the basis of a low maintenance garden

To plan next year’s easy care garden, contact us today.

 

04 Aug 2017

How to Choose Solar Pathway Lights

Solar Pathway LightsSolar pathway lights can be decorative or functional. They make driveways and walkways safe in the dark and add color and style to your yard or patio. 

The most important thing to remember about solar yard lights is that inexpensive isn’t always a bargain.

Reasons for Adding Solar Pathway Lights to Your Landscaping

When comparing styles of solar lights for your yard, choose the type that’s best for you by identifying your primary need for lighting.

  • You want lighting for safety purposes
  • You love the look of garden lights
  • You need outside lighting and want to keep it green

There’s a style of solar yard lighting to meet everyone’s needs. Now, let’s consider pricing.

How Much Does Solar Pathway Lighting Cost?

Professional installation varies depending on the type and amount of lighting and the terrain of your property.

We recommend consulting your landscaper regarding installing sunken lights and any other permanent lighting, including lights on steps.

You can find novelty lighting in most chain stores. They’re not made to last more than a season and often don’t make it to the end of summer.

They are popular because they are easy to install and kitschy. More than a couple of novelty lights tend to drag down your landscaping.

Novelty solar lights can turn out to be an annoyance because they function one night and won’t light up the next.

Some yard lighting available in stores are tasteful and mimic the look of professional lighting, but can have the same drawbacks as novelty lighting.

Most solar lights contain rechargeable batteries that may be dead out of the box.

It’s frustrating to line your pathway and discover you have one or two dim lights.

It’s not worth your time to pry open cheap battery compartments and find defective components.
Going with higher-end lighting will let you enjoy your yard instead of replacing batteries or returning defective lights.

Maintaining Solar Pathway Lights

Your landscaper will inspect professionally installed lighting and make any necessary repairs.

Seasonal stake-in-the-ground lighting should be stored at the end of summer. If not, they can be damaged by winter storms and ocean winds.

Painted lights may be so faded at the end of summer that they aren’t worth keeping.

When storing solar yard lights, remove the rechargeable batteries. They can leak over the winter.

Permanent lights installed for safety will require cleaning during the fall and winter so that the solar panel and battery can charge and again at the beginning of the season.

Landscaping with Solar Pathway Lights

Decorative lighting shows off your landscaping for after-dark entertaining.

From hanging lanterns to colorful globes, solar lights are the finishing touch for your landscaping.

Standard lights illuminate your colorful flowerbeds. Dual color solar lights cast rotating colored designs on your lawn. You can even choose solar bamboo-style lights.

Things to Remember:

  • Cheap lights are more of a hassle than a bargain
  • Safety lights should be professionally installed
  • Solar lights require maintenance

For solar pathway lighting selection, installation and maintenance, contact us by phone or email today.

 

 

25 Jul 2017

How to Keep Pets from Destroying Indoor Plants [Infographic]

how to keep pets from destroying indoor plants

Cats and dogs will make a mess of your houseplants if they can reach them. In addition to protecting your plants, it’s important to keep pets away from them because many common houseplants are toxic.

  • Hanging baskets in your windows are a good solution for trailing plants like philodendrons, and they’ll get plenty of sun.
  • Indoor plant stands work well if you have a small dog that can’t knock them over.
  • If you have cats, try a plant shelf located away from furniture and appliances.
  • Wall planters are a unique decorative choice. They work especially well for growing herbs in the kitchen.
  • Cats particularly dislike citrus scents. Some pet owners use essential oils to keep cats away from planters and off furniture.
  • To create an enclosed plant stand, paint a sturdy metal birdcage and stand to match your decor. Put small or medium plants inside. Make sure the stand is well braced.
  • Do you have built-in bookcases? Reserve the top shelf for plants.
  • “Cat grass” may satisfy a cat’s urge to chew on plants.
  • If all else fails, designate a “no pets” plant room. A sunny garden room will allow you to overwinter plants from your patio.
  • To keep your pets safe, ask your landscaper about non-toxic houseplants.

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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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