Posts tagged Durango Landscaping

Durango Landscaping Contractor Gardenhart Landscape Design Recommends Recycled Plastic and Steel Edge

Durango Colorado Landscaping Companies Use Quality Edging Products for Results

When we look at landscapes everywhere, various elements are delineated by landscape edging, grass areas from perennial beds, vegetable gardens from the compost pile, gravel walkways from shrub beds and many other applications.  I think that the material we use is an important piece of the design.

First, before we discuss the different materials , I should say that here in Durango Colorado, our ground freezes in the winter, so we need to use an edging material that will resist frost heaving.  This process will tend to push some edging material out of the ground, creating an unsightly and dangerous situation.  An installer should use the pins or stake materials provided with the edging.

Lets discuss the general types and their suitability.

1)  Steel, usually available in 10′ sections, green and brown, they are easy to transport and not to difficult to install.  They have slots for the stakes to hold them together and to hold them in the ground.  Gardenhart Landscape & Design has installed hundreds of them over the years as it was the only option.

steel edge Durango Colorado landscape ideas

Stakes hold pieces together and in the ground

Landscape architects Durango Colorado

Defines grass from plantings

Durango Colorado steel edge installation

application next to sidewalk

Steel edge application for sidewalk

2) Aluminum, available in 10′ as well, not easy to find, need to purchase pins to hold it in place and only comes in silver.  Can be difficult to cut and work with.

landscape ideas durango Landscape architect

aluminum edge separates grass from plants

Landscape Architect Durango Colorado  ideas edging

pins similar to steel edge

3) Plastic, comes in a roll, 10′ long ,black , comes with stakes to hold it down and dowels to join the pieces together.  Inexpensive and available in big box stores.  I find it difficult to work with and does NOT stay in the ground, however well installed.

gardenhart landscape & design durango colorado

plastic edging in ground

landscape architect Durango Colorado

edge separates materials

4) Recycled Plastic, 20′ piece, tan in color, difficult to transport for most people, rather expensive and requires special pins to hold it in the ground. I have used it in several applications and am starting to prefer it over steel.  Lots of Gardenhart’s clients like the recycled aspect of the product.

recycled plastic edge ideas landscape how to install edge

installed above grade

Durango landscape ideas borders planting areas

similar to Trex but for edging

In summary, we at Gardenhart Landscape & Design, strive to use products that represent the wishes of its clients while providing a high quality landscape design and installation.  We are open to learning about new developments in our industry and providing them to our clients in the Four Corners area of Southwestern Colorado.

Cheers,

David Hart

Gardenhart Landscape & Design

Durango, Colorado

970-749-1555

http://www.gardenhartlandscapedesign.com

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Selecting a Landscaping Professional: What Questions To Ask in Durango Colorado

Questions to Ask a Landscaping Professional in Durango Colorado

In a previous blog, I was writing about how to select a landscape architect, designer or contractor to design and complete landscaping projects on your property.  I am assuming that you read that post and now you are ready to actually call someone and set an appointment for them to come to your site and talk about what you want to accomplish.

One of the first things you should notice is do they answer their phone or promptly call you back. It should not take them days to return your call, by the next morning if not sooner. Once you have them on the Landscaping Durango Colorado Gardenhart Landscape & Designphone, they will probably ask you a few questions about what you are hoping to achieve, how you got their number and then they might want to schedule and appointment to meet at your house.

This is where you really can decide whom you want to work with, you can get an understanding of them as a person. Do they listen to what you want and ask lots of questions or have they decided what you need? A good designer will gather as much information as possible about how you hope to use the land and incorporate that into their planning.

If you did not discuss their qualification before meeting them, you should do so now, asking about schooling and what area of the country have they done most of their work, are they familiar with the soil, plants, climate attributes specific to your geographical area?

Check out this article for even more details.

I recently looked in our local Durango, Colorado yellow pages and counted over fifty companies listed under Landscaping Contractors, obviously, they have different levels of experience, some who have been in the industry and this locale for many years and have numerous references. There are others who have a shovel and a pickup truck and can plant a bush. Your job is to determine who will give you the best value, a functional outdoor space for an appropriate price.

Thanks,
David Hart
Gardenhart Landscape & Design
970-749-1555

http://www.gardenhartlandscapedesign.com

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How Do You Select A Landscape Architect, Designer or Contractor for Your Durango Colorado Landscape Project?

How To Select a Landscape Professional for Your Durango, Colorado  Landscaping Project

If you are considering having improvements made to your outdoor landscape this summer, you might be wondering who to turn to for the best advice and the most value for your dollar.  After a quick look at the FourDurango Colorado Landscaper Gardenhart Landscaping Corners Directory Plus phone book under the heading for Landscape we see no less than five landscape architects, seventeen landscape designers and SIXTY FOUR people and companies listed as landscape contractors.  How do you get started?

1)  Do a web search, the first two pages will narrow the possibilities down considerably, leaving you established companies with satisfied clients and their referrals.  I would then look at all of their websites, looking at the content and photos of work completed and read the referrals.

2)  Contact the individuals if they are named and get a firsthand account of their experience with the company.  If they give their name, they are probably willing to speak honestly with you about the landscape designer or landscape contractor.

3)   Call and set up an appointment with the companies or individuals that you feel most reflect the type of work you wish to see on your property

Gardenhart Landscape & Design and I, David Hart, hope that this gives you a good place to start on your search for help with creating the landscape that you have always dreamed of, easy to take care of, affordable, wild fire resistant and practical for our climate in the Durango Colorado area.

In upcoming posts, I will give you some ideas about the skill sets comparing Landscape Designers, Landscape Architects and Landscape Contractors.  You might be surprised that they are quite different.  I will also discuss what to ask during your first interview with a possible designer, architect or contractor.

Thanks,
David Hart
Gardenhart Landscape & Design
970-749-1555

http://www.gardenhartlandscapedesign.com

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Fencing that Protects Trees from Wildlife in SW Colorado

Fencing: The Most Effective Control

Trees in our landscapes are prone to damage from many factors, including wild and domestic animals. Let’s talk about one method of control that can lessen the impacts on our trees.

Fencing can be a very effective method to prevent animals from coming into contact with our plants, if we can fence the entire property with an eight foot wire fence and provide a gate for vehicular access, then you have gone a long way to prevent damage from deer and elk and the damage they bring to our trees.  However, this is not usually a practical solution for the average homeowner, the neighbors and the City will have something to say about the prison look you have introduced to the neighborhood.

Effective deer fencing in Durango Colorado

So, given that we cannot control the larger movement of animals, let’s just stop them from hurting the individual tree, or groups of trees.  We can put up fences to protect the trunks from rubbing of antlers and the feeding on leaves.  I like to use Remesh, the wire grid that concrete installers put in large slabs to strengthen and prevent cracks from happening in concrete.  You can purchase it at lumber stores, it comes in 150′ x 5′ rolls and is made from 10 gauge wire.  It is very heavy , usually rusty and is rather unpleasant to work with, but it will stand up on its own when cut into a circle and placed around the tree.

Individual fence around a tree to protect deer & wildlife

This fence will last for many years, some clients remove it during the summer, when deer and elk are less apt to be in the yard, looking to feast on your plants, or rub the velvet off their antlers, then put it back up in the fall.

I hope this is helpful, let me know if you have specific questions about containing and eliminating damage from specific critters you may have.

Cheers,

David Hart

Gardenhart Landscape & Design

970-749-1555

http://www.gardenhartlandscapedesign.com

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Is Your Spruce Tree Browning? Answers to Common Spruce Tree Problems

common spruce tree pest doesn't harm tree

Cooley Spruce Gall

Cooley Spruce Gall

My neighborhood spruce trees have been attacked by aphid-like insects, Cooley spruce gall adelgids that make the ends or the new growth of each branch brown.  Colorado State University Extension has the best description of this pest.

My neighbor has asked to remove his tree because of his mis- diagnosis of the problem.  This gall doesn’t harm the tree, it just makes it look less healthy than it could.  Even applications of pesticides are not that effective in controlling the problem.  The indicator that I find strange is that it needs a douglas fir species to complete their life cycle, since we don’t have Douglas Fir in our immediate neighborhood, I’m quite perplexed to see such an abundance of the spruce gall affecting about 30 trees.

Western Spruce Budworm Damage

Western Spruce Budworm Damage

Western Spruce Budworm

Utah State has a great description of the Western Spruce Budworm  as does the Colorado State Extention.  This is a very debilitating worm that can kill off stands of spruce, douglas fir, white fir and subalpine fir.  Its larvae feed on young developing buds, needles, shoots, and other plant parts.

Spruce Tree Fungus

Spruce Cytospora Canker

Cytospora Canker

Colorado State Extention Description is very good.  This canker  is a fungi in the species cytospora and can kill the plant.  This canker affects many different kinds of trees and the only evergreen tree that is affected is the spruce.  The other trees that are also affected include apple, ash, aspen, birch, cherry, cottonwood, elm, maple, peach and willow.

Spruce Tree Rhizosphera NeedlecastRhizosphaera Needlecast

The Rhizosphaera Needlecast symptoms of the disease are discoloration of the needles, needle drop, and eventual defoliation. Infected needles turn yellow in July and then reddish-purple in August. The needles eventually turn brown and fall off one to several branches. A severely affected tree will have many bare branches. Premature needle drop is the primary damage, causing the tree to become unsightly. However, branches that are defoliated for four or five years may die. If left uncontrolled, the disease can eventually kill the tree.  New Mexico State University has the best description.

How to distinguish between Needlecast and Cytospora

Overall, if you have browning needles on your spruce tree, they may be one of these problems.  It is best to determine which one it could be and utilize a control as soon as possible.  There are a few others possibilities that may make your spruce turn brown, although I haven’t seen much evidence around Durango Colorado.

Cheers,

David Hart

Gardenhart Landscape & Design

970-749-1555

http://www.gardenhartlandscapedesign.com

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Fire Mitigation, Landscaping and Defensible Space

Dry winter and spring can make for very fire prone conditions.  The Firewise website has a bunch of great tips.  It’s important when installing new plants and trees to be aware of how this could impact your home in a fire.  They have a form that helps you to measure how your home is currently protected against wildfire.

Is Your Home Protected from Wildfire?

durango colorado fire prevention effort

Firewise is a national non profit organization.  The national Firewise Communities program is a multi-agency effort designed to reach beyond the fire service by involving homeowners, community leaders, planners, developers, and others in the effort to protect people, property, and natural resources from the risk of wildland fire – before a fire starts.

VISION: Wildland fires can occur in areas of residential development without the occurrence of disastrous loss.

MISSION: To promote community-wide responsibility in the use of technology, policy and practices that minimize the loss of life and property to wildland fire independent of fire fighting efforts.

durango colorado landscape fire prevention ideas

What Kind of Landscaping is the Best Fire Defense?

Especially when you are installing a new landscape, make sure to plan for defensible space around your home.  This is very important in most states in the mountain west. For already existing landscapes, remove all dead material; including trees, shrubs and grasses.  The best defense is a healthy green wet landscape.

Defensible Landscaping from Gardenhart Landscape & designI have found so many good tips and information from the Firewise website.  I recommend protecting your home and community by being well educated.

Cheers,

David Hart

Gardenhart Landscape & Design

970-749-1555

http://www.gardenhartlandscapedesign.com

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Landscape Watering Dilemmas in Durango Colorado: How Much?

Wildlife Resistant Landscape

How Much Do I water these Trees and Perennials?

How much do I water my SW Colorado landscape?

There is a very similar outcome when you water too much or too little.  One way to really decide whether to water or not is to actually feel the soil.  If you will dig down about three inches and grab a handful of soil and try to squeeze  it into a ball.  If it sticks together, then it still has sufficient moisture.  The problem with over watering is that the water molecules replace the oxygen in the soil and causes distress to plants.

Durango Landscaping Services by Gardenhart Landscape & Design

Sod & Grass use different amounts of water than many Trees and Plants

Signs of Over watering from Gardenhart Landscape & Design

It seems to me that my garden has not been growing very well and perhaps it is because it has been over watered.  The soil at my house is very hard packed river bottom and even though we have  tilled the garden area and applied compost and soil amendments numerous times, we still do not have a “well-drained soil”.  Watering here is difficult, too much and it runs off and not enough we water only the surface, which encourages shallow roots.  Ideal soil will absorb water down to about eighteen inches or deeper, then allow it to gradually dry out over a predictable period of time.  The plant roots will seek the moisture by going deeper in the soil,  thus they are less susceptible to dry times.

Durango Colorado Landscaping Companies help figure out how much to water

How Much Water Does Sod Need?

In summary, watering is very site specific, depending on your soil composition and the requirements of the individual plants.   As long as the soil will absorb water, deep watering is preferred.  You must pay attention to what is going on with your plants and the soil they are trying to grow in.

Cheers,

David Hart

Gardenhart Landscape & Design

970-749-1555

http://www.gardenhartlandscapedesign.com

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