Thursday, March 26, 2015

Jersey Landscaping - Landscaping for Winter in New Jersey

For many homeowners, winter is simply a time to stop using the yard and wait for spring to come. They long for that time they can create a beautiful backyard landscape full of flowering plants and lush green trees. With the cold, snow and the tendency of flowers and plants to hibernate, landscaping for winter doesn’t seem possible. Well, good new. It is!

How to Master Landscape Planting in the Winter

Winter offers tons of possibilities for landscaping with everything from fast growing trees to hardy NJ plants. Here are the top four ways to build a beautiful winter landscape in New Jersey

1.Do a fall cleanup
Start with a fresh slate by clearing up any debris from the fall season. Rake the leaves and debris, and bag them up for the trash pickup. Examine your shrubs and tress for damage and sweep up your walkways.

2. Plant flowers that bloom in winter. 
Many NJ plants flower during the cold of winter. Add color to your landscape planting by choosing varieties, including:

  • ·         Witch hazel boasts large blooms through fall and winter with flowers ranging from orange to a subtle yellow.  The Jelena variety is an excellent option
  • ·         The Christmas rose is good for landscape planting in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 4 to 8, and provides beautiful blooming flowers.

  • ·         Add a bright splash of color by choosing NJ plants with berries, like holly plants, which are evergreen shrubs with spiked, shiny leaves and red berries. 
  • ·         Winter jasmine is a small yellow flower that grows in USDA Zones 6 to 10, so it will survive the New Jersey winter. a small yellow flower, blooms in January, meaning that you will have this color in your garden until the snows melt and other flowers begin to bloom in spring.

3. Find hardy shrubs and fast growing trees.
Winter is perfect for fast growing tress like the evergreen. These trees native to New Jersey do not lose their leaves, and can survive very harsh conditions.

  • ·         The white pine, a native plant of New Jersey, has evergreen needles that make a pretty backdrop against snow.
  • ·         Relatives of roses, chokeberry plants are another native of New Jersey—deciduous shrubs are typically found in damp areas, and can be cultivated for ornamentation or food purposes.
  • ·         Another evergreen shrub excellent for landscape planting is the Japanese andromeda (Pieris japonica) with its purple or pink blooms that last throughout fall and winter. All these NJ plants and trees like the cold and can survive NJ winters. If your yard contains deciduous trees that lost their leaves during the fall consider hanging ornaments or wreaths on the branches for a decorative touch.

4. Consider other aspects of landscaping for winter.
Don’t forget to focus on your hardscaping in the winter. Consider adding some pieces like outdoor fireplaces or fire pits.

With so many beautiful landscape planting options available for your NJ landscape, you’re sure to design a beautiful escape from those bleak winter days.  Factors like color texture, height, evergreen or deciduous all impact landscaping for winter. So choose the right plants and trees for the right location, and enjoy!

Jersey Landscaping - Why You Need an Outdoor Kitchen Designer Today

Who wants to be stuck indoors at mealtimes all the time, and especially in the summer? With an outdoor kitchen, you can grill and chill, cook and eat—all while enjoying the scenery that surrounds you. Partner with one of your local outdoorkitchen builders or patio installer and experience what it’s like to enjoy an outdoor feast with family and friends without running in and out of the house to cook a million times.

Top Reasons Outdoor Kitchen Builders Make Life More Enjoyable

Reason #1: It’s the ultimate way to entertain guests.
An outdoor kitchen is so much more than just a grill. These days an outdoor kitchen designer custom builds fully functional spaces with built-in appliances, plumbing and electric. When you partner with an outdoor kitchen designer, you open a whole new world of entertainment. With plenty of counter space and cooking space, you can serve up delicious food at home surrounded by your family and friends. Plus, who doesn’t love chilling by the grill to see what's cooking? Landscape contractors or patio installers can build up the space around your kitchen, adding patio furniture, outdoor fireplaces, fire pits and more.

Reason #2: Cooking is more convenient.
When you cook outdoors, there’s no chance of your house filling up with smoke or heating up from the high temperatures of your stove and oven. Plus, you’ll cut the costs of running your AC constantly since it’s not so hot. And with an outdoor kitchen, you won’t deal with any food odors lingering around your home. Outdoor kitchen builders customize the space with everything from refrigerators and side burners to full plumbing capabilities. That means fewer trips in and out of the house.

Reason #3: They boost your home value.
Landscape contractors find that compared with other outdoor home improvement projects, building an outdoor kitchen has one of the highest rates of return on investment. Plus, when you put your home on the market, you’ll have much more interest with such a great addition.

Reason #4: You can extend your living space
If you work with an outdoor kitchen designer that fully understands your style and lifestyle, they can build you a space that will be the perfect complement to your indoor space. Plus, you should consider consulting a patio installer to so you can have a kitchen that can still function in bad weather. Just imagine all the memories you’ll make with outdoor parties, birthdays and peaceful summer evenings. 

Reason #5: Outdoor kitchen builders can customize your space
The best thing about building outdoor kitchens that you have the ability to customize everything, from the choice of materials to counter to other accessories. Whether you want to incorporate your outdoor kitchen into existing space, or go with a customized L-shaped, U-shaped, island, bar-style or round, there’s a design that’ll fit your needs and budget.

Many homeowners feel outdoor kitchens are a luxury they can’t afford, but that’s simply not the case. With the right planning and budgeting with an outdoor kitchen designer and/or patio installer, many homeowners are able to afford an outdoor kitchen, customized to their lifestyle and functional needs.

Jersey Landscaping - The Best Landscaping Projects for Winter

The temperatures may be dropping but that doesn’t mean you can’t take on some landscaping projects. The fact is, it’s actually best to undertake landscaping planning and projects during the winter months. You’re not using your outdoor space as much, if at all, during the colder months, so you’ll have more access and availability of areas in your yard. So what projects should you do this winter? From residential landscape lighting design to working with a patio builder, there’s plenty of landscaping projects for you to tackle.

Winter Landscape Planning

When doing your winter landscape planning, consider what type of things you could use in the colder months, as well as the warmer ones. Check out a few landscaping projects to focus on

  • Outdoor Fireplaces and Fire Pits. While these items may not get as much use in the colder months, they’re perfect for spring and fall. Having some heat outdoors provides a cozy place to relax with family and friends.

  • Patios and Pool Decks. Since you’re not swimming in the winter, it’s a great idea to hire a patio builder to install a new pool deck or patio.

  • Outdoor Kitchens. Who doesn’t love a fun summer cookout? Winter is the perfect time to build a fully functional outdoor kitchen for the ultimate space to entertain.

  • Residential Landscape Lighting Design. You can do a great deal with a residential landscape lighting design professional to light up key features of your yard or just to brighten dark areas.

  • Add architecture. You can improve the look of your winter landscape with architectural elements. Work with a patio builder or landscaper who can install brick and stone walkways along with some residential landscape lighting design.

Keep in mind, it’s important to preserve your existing landscaping, too. Replacing plants in the winter is no easy task, so you’ll want to protect it. Here are some tips to ensure your current landscaping survives the colder months:

  • Prune plants in the fall. Pruning your plants or adding new plants are great landscaping projects to prepare for winter. Just go ahead and cut back any summer growth from evergreen shrubs as well as perennials. If you don’t have a green thumb, work with your patio builder or other landscaping company to help.

  • Prepare for snow. Don’t learn the hard way how badly a snowstorm can damage the health of your plants. The weight of heavy snow can crush plants. Use any type of string to tie up your plants when you know a storm is coming. But don’t keep them tied up all season.

  • Care for your lawn. Feed your lawn during the fall. You’ll find it helps to create a strong root system, developing a fuller lawn in the spring.

If you’re like most homeowners, you love enjoying your outdoor space in the spring and summer, but now you can enjoy it in the winter too! Any landscape designer or patio builder will tell you that more and more people are taking on landscaping projects and landscape planning in the fall. And now, you should too!