Did everyone have a wonderful Father's Day weekend? I certainly did. While doing my research for today's blog I came across this great video containing lawn care advice. Enjoy!
Did everyone have a wonderful Father's Day weekend? I certainly did. While doing my research for today's blog I came across this great video containing lawn care advice. Enjoy!
Tags: lawn care advice
Father's Day is coming up on Sunday and I am so excited to be able to spend some one on one time with my family. What does everyone have planned for this great day? I have always been inspired by the groups of people that plant a tree on special occasions such as this one.
Planting a beautiful, gift tree is a wonderful way to celebrate Father's Day. An oak tree symbolizing strength, endurance character is the prefect way to remember dad. Or choose from a Magnolia or a Tulip Tree. With care, many of these trees can last centuries as a testimony to Dad's enduring strength, wisdom and character. You can research the areas zip code to match the correct oak or flowering tree species for that growing region.
Trees help to reduce global warming by cleaning the air. A greenhouse gas that causes global warming is carbon dioxide. Trees breathe just like we do except when they breathe they take in carbon dioxide, they store the carbon in their trunks and branches for years, and they release the oxygen.
Trees also hold the soil in place and prevent flooding by absorbing water. They shade our homes, causing us to use less energy. They provide habitat for many species of animals, and trees provide essential products such as fruit, nuts, timber and many other products we use every day.
Some lawn care advice to you from Amazing Scapes would be that it is a great idea to add in some trees to a landscape and then you can add in great flowers that grow in the shade. This makes a whole new area for your landscape design.
I can't think of a better gift to give this year to a Father. What do you think?
The first step in the plan and design of a backyard play area is to map out the play yard. All other decisions will depend on this so take some time to think about how you want the play yard to function. Do you want a simple play yard with jungle-gym equipment and a sandbox, or do you require an elaborate play yard with zones for things such as basketball, swimming or a trampoline?
After deciding which equipment to include, determine the fall zone for each piece of stationary equipment. The fall zone is a clear, level, properly surfaced area surrounding the equipment. Its size depends on the type of equipment. For example, a fall zone for a flat-lying piece, such as a sand box, is a 6-foot border surrounding each side. The formula for determining the fall zone for equipment that rises upward is different. For a swing set, measure the height of the equipment, multiply by two, and use this number for the front and back dimensions. For example, if the swing set is 10 feet tall, the side dimensions of the fall zone are the standard 6 feet, while the front and back dimensions are 20 feet. For a lookout tower, use the same formula but apply to all sides of the equipment.
A fence is a good idea for keeping kids in and strangers out. City zoning regulations sometimes require fencing for things such as pools and trampolines so if you will be adding either of these to your play yard, check city-zoning requirements. Regardless, fencing the play area is a good idea. Install a fence after all construction is complete.
Map out your play yard area on graph paper, ensure there is room for each piece of equipment, and then mark out the plan in your yard with flags or spray paint. Call your local electric company to mark any buried power lines.
Use a tiller to clear grass or plantings from the area. Lay a plastic weed barrier over the area to discourage weed growth. Add sufficient filler to cover the area to a depth of 9 to 12 inches. Good materials to use as fillers are wood chips, shredded bark mulch, sand, or pea gravel.
For a basketball court, install a playing surface of asphalt or concrete in the dimensions you choose.
Be sure the equipment you install is age-appropriate for your children. If you have very young children, consider purchasing basic equipment you can add-on to later.
Start with the largest and work down to the smallest. It is critical that you follow all manufacturer instructions completely. Anchor swing sets and lookout towers in cement for better security.
To anchor using concrete, use a post-hole digger or shovel to dig a 12-inch hole for each leg and fill in with 3 inches of gravel. Set a leg in each post-hole, check with a level to ensure the equipment is not crooked, and fill in with gravel as necessary until level. Mix up some fast-setting cement and pour in. Let dry until concrete is hard and set.
Install fencing, either around specific areas or preferably around the entire yard.
What a fun way to ramp up your outdoor living spaces for the children! Once all of this is completed just HAVE FUN!!!
Over the weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Keep Columbus Beautiful Tour of Gardens. I have heard how awesome it is and I was finally able to see for myself. It was great to get out and see the ideas that other garden designers have.
This tour consisted of gardens at the homes of the following:
1- The Garden of Bettye and Cecil Cheves
2- The Garden of Gina and Hal Averett
3- Two Shared Gardens in Glen Arden
4- The Garden of Helen and Comer Hobbs
5- Garden of Sue Anne and Champ Baker
6- The Garden of Gigi and George McCluskey
7- The Garden of Elinor and Billy Harper
8- The Garden of Sam and Dusty Wellborn
9- Columbus Museum's Bradley Olmstead Garden
10- The Garden of Betsy and Al Ramsay
11- The Garden of Sally and Brad Turner
Due to time we were not able to visit every single home but my 2 favorite parts of the tour were the beautiful water feature at Sue Anne and Champ Bakers and the meditation garden at Gigi and George McCluskey's home.
If you were not able to attend this wonderful event this year make sure and put it on your calendar for next year. It is for a wonderful nonprofit and it is so amazing to see for yourself. It is great if you are even just in need of some great flower garden ideas. Happy Monday Everyone!
If you haven't noticed, gardens are popping up in some unconventional places – from prison yards to retirement and veteran homes to programs for troubled youth.
Most are handy sources of fresh and local food, but increasingly they're also an extension of therapy for people with mental health issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety.
It's called horticultural therapy. Some doctors, psychologists and occupational therapists are now at work to test whether building, planting, and harvesting a garden can be a therapeutic process in its own right.
Horticulture therapy dates back to Socrates, but it didn't become a scientific pursuit until the 18th century. That's when Benjamin Rush, a psychiatrist and Declaration of Independence cosignatory, began documenting how gardening benefited his mentally ill patients.
Much of the science behind just how gardening affects the mind and brain still remains a mystery. What scientists do know is that gardening reduces stress and calms the nerves. It decreases cortisol, a hormone that plays a role in stress response. So what about the biological mechanism behind mental disorders?
A 2011 study at a juvenile rehabilitation center in southwestern Ohio with a gardening program showed that horticulture therapy helped the kids see themselves in a more positive light and helped them better manage their emotional and behavioral problems. And most of the kids said they would continue gardening after the program, according to the findings.
Programs like a camp for troubled teens in Hawaii, called Pacific Quest believe the garden is a beneficial tool to emotionally engage kids.
Students — many with psychological issues from trauma, adoption, depression — band together and run a garden from the seed to the dinner plate. "They are introduced to the garden by eating the food planted by a camper, who was in their shoes just a few months ago," Travis Slagle, a Horticultural Therapy Association member and land supervisor for Pacific Quest, says.
Horticulture therapy offers at least one big advantage for the kids: The garden setting never changes. This gives them ample time to connect with their surroundings and feel at home.
"With the garden, you're living in a place and learning about the community and building a community," he says. That stable environment can help the kids let their guard down.
Students build the garden beds, plant the seeds, care for the seedlings, cook food from the garden and even come up with flower garden ideas. This is all with minimal lawn care advice from the staff. The teens learn how to problem solve on their own, as well. Slagle says they build rock walls for support and plant companion plants for certain veggies or fruit. They end up garden designers in a short amount of time.
"They can see the parallel of the garden and relate it to their own lives," he says. "It provides ways to engage in conversation and life lessons." The kids, who meet with counselors and therapists regularly throughout the process, are learning to prepare for the moment but also to plan for the future, he says. "Doing both at the same time requires maturity, and wisdom and that's something the garden brings out," he says.
The kids take the extra passion fruit, kale, onions, carrots, beets, bananas, and pineapples to the local farmer's market to sell. The profit is donated to a local charity. "The garden allows them to recognize that it's not something that's just going to benefit themselves," he says. "It teaches that in an experiential way."
You may not have a troubled mind like some of these examples but it is a huge advantage to get out and garden! I know it is my favorite past time. Who agrees? Let us know in the comments of this blog.
What does customer satisfaction mean to you?
Customer satisfaction means a lot to us. It means everything when it comes to a business especially a small business like ours. I go places all the time and every once and a while I come across some really bad customer service. I always have a really hard time understanding how they can live with themselves. A customers satisfaction is #1 and that is how it should always be.
I have listed below some really great customer satisfaction stories that I came across online. The management team from each of these companies gets a gold star from us.
A customer’s mother had recently had some medical treatment that left her feet numb and sensitive to pressure and also rendering most of her shoes totally useless. She ordered her mother six pairs of shoes from Zappos, hoping that at least one of them would work. After receiving the shoes, her mother called Zappos to get instructions on how to return the shoes that didn’t work, explaining why she was returning so many shoes. Two days later, she received a large bouquet of flowers from Zappos, wishing her well and hoping that she recovered from her treatments soon. Two days later, the customer, her mother and her sister were all upgraded to “Zappos VIP Members,” which gives them all free expedited shipping on all orders. I have heard wonderful things about Zappos and this takes the cake. Everyone could learn from Zapps.
An 89-year-old man got snowed in a couple years ago and didn’t have much in the house for meals. His daughter called several markets in the area to see if any of them had grocery delivery services, but the only one that said they did was Trader Joe’s. They don’t, actually, but were willing to help out this WWII vet. As the man’s daughter placed an order, the Trader Joe’s representative on the phone recommended other items that would be good for her dad’s low-sodium diet. An up-sell, you may be asking? Nope. They didn’t charge her a dime for the delivery or the groceries.
A writer was in Nashville for a blogging conference and adored the clock radio at her hotel, the Gaylord Opryland. It wasn’t just any clock radio, but a clock radio/noise machine with very specific spa-style music that relaxed this writer as if she were actually getting a deep-tissue massage every time it played. Wanting to experience the same serenity at home, the blogger took to Twitter to ask the folks at the hotel where she could purchase one. Their response, essentially, was, “Sorry, it's made just for us, but here’s a similar one at the Sharper Image.” Unfortunately, the one they recommended lacked the spa music feature that the blogger loved so much. She told them as much and thanked them for the effort anyway. When she returned to her room later, she found a second clock radio sitting next to the permanent one, along with a note saying, “We hope you enjoy these spa sounds at home.”
This one may be a rumor, but the story was all over the place with the launch of the iPad 2. Apparently a man bought an iPad online, then returned it to the company almost immediately, affixing a Post-It to the front of the device that simply read, “Wife said no.” Returns processors must have gotten a kick out of it, because the story eventually made its way to a couple of Apple VPs, who refunded the customer and returned the iPad with an attached Post-It that said, “Apple said yes.” If it is a rumor, perhaps Apple should take note with the upcoming iPad 3 launch.
Because of their son’s food allergies, a family vacationing at the Ritz-Carlton, Bali, was always careful to bring their own supply of specialized eggs and milk. In this particular instance, however, the food was ruined en route. The Ritz-Carlton manager couldn’t find any of the special items in town, but his executive chef recalled that a store in Singapore sold them. The chef contacted his mother-in-law, who lived there, and had her purchase the items, then fly to Bali (about 2.5 hours) to deliver them. Only at the Ritz-Carlton.
If you order a PlayStation online and it gets snatched from your doorstep instead of being delivered safely to your living room, that’s your problem, right? Or maybe it’s the delivery service’s problem. Or it’s the problem of the neighbor who signed for your expensive gaming system but didn’t bother to bring it inside to protect it from sticky fingers. Wherever the blame lands, it’s definitely not the problem of the company who fulfilled their end of the bargain by shipping the system using a secure method. However, when this scenario happened to an Amazon customer a few years ago, he called them to beg – plead – to see if there was anything that could be done because his son was expecting a PlayStation from Santa. Much to the customer’s shock, they not only sent another, but they didn’t even charge him for shipping. It even made it there on time for Christmas.
It is stories like these that inspire us and make us so proud of these companies. At Amazing Scapes we believe in great customer satisfaction.
I recently set my lawn on fire.
Why? Well, let me explain….
Using fire to burn dormant turf is a means of eliminating dead leaf blades on bermudagrass and zoysiagrass. This practice was historically used on some turf areas including golf courses, but now it is seldom used on golf courses except for native areas.
Burning your lawn with fire is a practice sometimes used by rural homeowners in the late winter and early spring. Advantages for burning your lawn would include:
1) removing dormant/dead leaf tissue
2) reduction in thatch
3) possible reduction in pest populations
4) enhanced spring green-up.
The main advantage is that there will be some enhanced spring green-up because the existing leaf tissue is removed and the soil is warmed quicker from the dark color of the charred lawn. It is not clear how well this process works to remove thatch since heat from the fire is limited in duration and limited to the surface and these controlled burns often do not change the soil temperature deeper in the soil profile. If you are on a search for how to kill weeds this could very possibly be your solution.
We all know the saying “you only get one chance to make a first impression.” The same is true when selling a house. The front yard is usually the first view a potential buyer has when shopping for a new home. In a slower housing market this impression can be what intrigues or attracts a buyer to look at a home. Creating curb appeal can make or break the sale of a home.
Many buyers have difficulty visualizing the potential of a home’s landscape. Providing a well maintained yard can create comfort for the potential buyer as they view the interior and exterior elements of a home.
So, what can be done to improve the curb appeal? First it might be helpful to view your house from the street. Look at your yard as a potential buyer would as they approach for the first time. Notice any unruly or tall shrubs that may be blocking interesting architectural features or views. These can easily be pruned back creating a more manicured look and open the landscape.
Keep lawn areas mowed and fertilized. A well kept lawn and its surroundings will let a buyer know that the house is well cared for. Pull or spray weeds that may be growing in planter beds and look for grasses growing up through walkway cracks. A buyer’s opinion of a home will begin to develop as they walk towards the front door. Keep this area clear of debris and consider adding seasonal color along the walkway. A decorative pot of bright colored flowers is always a nice welcome at the doorway.
Don’t forget about the backyard. This area may not be visible from the road but can be just as important as front yard curb appeal. Perspective buyers may drive by a house prior to a viewing and peak over fences or find vantage points to explore the outdoor surroundings of the house for sale. Keep toys and garden tools stored away so they don’t distract from the overall feel of the yard. Make sure patio and walkways are kept swept and clean.
A few quick ways to brighten up the backyard include adding seasonal color to flower beds and adding lights to brighten the yard and patio area. Lighting can be a quick fix to enhance evening curb side appeal. Outdoor lights can be placed along driveways and walks to welcome guests. They can also be strategically placed to illuminate shrubbery and other landscape elements. The shadows cast by lighting can create a beautiful look for a home. Lights can also be added to the exterior of the house to enhance the visibility of an entry way and add architectural interest.
The yard is a good place to spend a little extra time and money when trying to sell your home. A well planned and visually appealing landscape will not only assist in the sale of a home but add value too. The landscape is one of the few areas around the home that you can be sure to see your invested money returned but be careful not to over do it. When adding improvements you probably won’t get value out of adding features that enhance your home well beyond that of your surrounding neighborhood. Take the time to explore the surrounding homes and plan a beautiful landscape that will be comfortable, inviting and competitive with the homes in your community.
By trying some of the suggestions above you’ll be on your way to creating a home with great curb side appeal. If you feel intimidated by the task you can try strolling through your local nursery and discussing your ideas with their staff. It is also possible to obtain lawn care service for a low cost. Remember a potential buyer will form opinions of your home from the instant they see it whether it is in a photo or from the street. Hopefully, these suggestions can help you to improve your curb appeal, and create a lasting impression with a warm welcoming home.
Have you ever heard the saying "The Best Fertilizer is the Gardener's Shadow?"
It is not the weed control, the best lawn sprinkler or the lawn irrigation but the gardener's shadow.
"Half the interest of a garden is the constant exercise of the imagination."
~Mrs. C.W. Earle, Pot-Pourri from a Surrey Garden, 1897
What is it about a garden that effects us so much?
Someone once said "There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling." This is such a true example of how gardening can make someone feel.
A garden flourishes when the gardener visits it regularly to administer his tender loving care.
The ending quote about gardening is "If you are not prepared to make time in your schedule for your lawn than don't begin."
When was the last time you got dirty in your yard and gardened?