- First Came the Hardscape
Posted:4/14/2017 9:39:48 AM
Before you begin planting your garden this spring, you will want to complete your hardscaping projects. With so many materials and uses, bringing hardscaping plans to fruition is just as rewarding as watching your garden bloom.
A few of the more common hardscape materials are natural stone, brick, concrete and wood. When deciding which material to use, consider the following:
- What is your desired look or style?
- Which material best complements the exterior of your home?
- What is the function of the hardscape?
- Which material is the best natural fit for your yard?
- Planning Your Landscape
Posted:3/6/2017 8:29:04 AM
Planning a landscape is thrilling (well, of course we think so!) but the DIY approach can also be a bit daunting. To help you get started, we’ve provided a few tips. The beauty is that you can take your planning as far as you’d like – and we’ll be happy to jump in any time in the process to help!
- A Landscaping Perspective
Posted:2/16/2017 8:10:51 AM
Check out Reynolds Landscaping’s backyard retreat made for relaxing and entertaining. This beach house property features wood and stone hardscaping, a relaxing hot tub, cozy fire pit and sitting area, a sunbathing deck, an outdoor dining room and bar, sleek lighting and even automated windows for climate control. This spectacular outdoor living space offers something for everyone. Call us today to discuss how we can help you visualize, design and create your own outdoor retreat.
- Founded in Family: Reynolds Garden Shop and Landscaping
Posted:1/31/2017 10:37:28 AM
by Southern Ocean Chamber of Commerce
It’s hard to miss the Reynolds Garden Shop when traveling along East Bay Avenue in Manahawkin. The property is lined with impressive flora, gorgeous landscaping and breathtaking design elements. Reynolds Garden Shop offers patrons a florist, full service nursery and garden center as well as residential and commercial landscape design and installation services.
With 10 full time family members working at Reynolds Garden Shop, owners Mark and Peg Reynolds know a thing or two about running a family business.
“From sales to retail management to accounting, there is a Reynolds family member in almost every field at Reynolds,” notes Peg.
Their son Luke manages landscaping while their daughter Katie runs the florist down the street. Their son-in-law, Tanek, specializes in lighting and sound design and installation. Their daughter-in-law Ashley has managed the garden shops since 2009. The business that now spans over two blocks and inhabits 3 buildings on East Bay Avenue started out over three decades ago in a much smaller capacity – it all began with a small roadside flower stand.
- Spring into Fall
Posted:9/21/2016 7:48:51 AM
In the spring, we’re excited about all the flowers and often buy on impulse those that will provide instant gratification. That’s really fun and your garden can look lush, colorful and magnificent in no time.
But perhaps in all that excitement, you neglected to consider what your garden would look like come late summer and fall. Your garden now may no longer have the joie de vivre you saw earlier in the season.
The good news is now that many of your plants have already entered dormancy leaving your garden a little blah, it’s a great time to reassess your landscape and determine which areas need a pick-me-up. With a little planning, next fall you will experience beautiful blooms like those you enjoy at the beginning of the season.
So now is the time to window shop – or garden browse – to see which late-blooming perennials will best suit your landscape when you plant them in the spring. Sometimes looking at other yards provides the best perspective and will help determine which look you prefer.
Some of the perennials you’re likely to see blooming now are Black-eyed Susans, Cardinal flowers, Common bonesets, Great blue lobelias, Joe-Pye Weed, Mistflowers, New England Asters, Seaside Goldenrod, Sneezeweed and White Turtleheads. All of these are native, bloom through October and thrive on LBI.
Has “garden browsing” left you overwhelmed? Not to worry. We’re here to help advise you on your plant choices and garden design. Just give us a call at 609-597-6099!
- Have Your Garden and Eat It Too!
Posted:9/3/2016 9:33:45 AM
If you need to get your hands dirty before it gets cold, get your fix by starting a winter veggie garden now. It’s a great way to enjoy the Indian summer and be rewarded for your hard work with a bountiful harvest.
At the beginning of September plant beets, kale, kohlrabi and mustard greens.
Beets thrive in cooler weather and can be directly sown for a maintenance-free fall crop. Beets are thirsty, so cover them with 1 to 2 inches of compost and water frequently.
Kale is a great fall crop that should mature before the first frost hits. It will keep producing into December as it can handle temperatures as low as 20 degrees.
Kohlrabi grows best in temperatures between 40 and 75 degrees. Planted now, this crop should reach maturity by mid to end October.
Mustard Greens grow well in well-drained, loosened soil. Mustard seeds can be planted after the hottest part of the summer (now) for a fall harvest.
Up to the middle of September, sow Chinese cabbage, peas and turnips and spinach.
Chinese cabbage includes pak choy, bok choy, Michihli and celery cabbage is a great cool weather vegetable. You should sow the seeds directly into your garden.
Peas are often considered a spring vegetable, but since they are a cooler weather crop they are well-suited as a fall vegetable.
Turnips are easy to grow in any well-drained soil. Once the greens appear, cover them with 2 inches of mulch to ensure even water dispersion and drainage.
Spinach grows better in the fall than in the spring. This crop prefers fertilized soil so be sure to add compost before planting.
Leaf lettuce should be planted by the beginning of October at the latest. Radishes still have time to produce if you get them in by mid-October.
Lettuce is a no-hassle crop. Just sprinkle seeds over a prepared bed and reap the benefits.
Radishes can be planted later than any other root crop and still get a harvest.
Toward the end of October, get ready to plant broccoli and cabbage.
Broccoli is sweeter and more tender if grown as a cool weather crop. You want to leave a full month or more for broccoli plants to get started before the first expected frost in mid-November.
Cabbage that matures in cool weather is deliciously sweet. Plants that have been exposed to cool weather become “hardened” and are tolerant of frost. This crop likes well fertilized soil (with compost).
Now is the time to start digging in! If farming is not on your resume but you crave a winter vegetable garden, give us a ring and we will help tend your plot!
- Putting Down Roots
Posted:8/29/2016 11:57:55 AM
Fall is often misconceived as the end of the growing season. In fact, it is the ideal time to plant most trees and shrubs, especially those purchased in containers or with root balls.
During the fall, tree shoot growth halts. Because the days are shorter and cooler, the rate of photosynthesis decreases. As a result of shoot dormancy, trees put all their energy into expanding and strengthening their roots. Therefore, planting a tree during the fall capitalizes on the specimen’s natural cycle.
Warm soil combined with cool temperatures stimulate root growth. This helps ensure that transplanted shrubs and trees are established enough to not only withstand winter’s frozen ground, but are also better equipped to withstand the following summer’s heat.
Many trees and shrubs are sensitive to dry spells so planting in the fall immediately gives them a leg up over planting in late spring or early summer. With wetter conditions and increased rainfall, a shrub planted in the fall requires only to be watered a few times per week until mid-November. The same plant in the spring would require daily watering plus weekly soakings during summer months.
Here in New Jersey, all evergreens, such as spruces, Leyland Cyprus and weeping pines, transplant well in the fall.
While you don’t need to begin planting today (although it’s never too early to begin planning!) don’t wait too long into fall. September through November is the best time for planting or more specifically, six weeks before the first sign of hard frost. Around the middle of November the ground begins to freeze and planting is no longer a viable option.
Need some help? Call us at 609.597.6099 and we’ll help you decide which trees and shrubs would best complement your landscape.
- Go with the Flow
Posted:7/20/2016 9:38:53 AM
This week we’re diving into one of our favorite summer topics: pools and water features. Sometimes pools are the focal point of a yard while other times they mesh seamlessly with the environment. Pools add value to a home – not to mention the value they add to your lifestyle! Here are some of the popular pool and water-related trends flowing this summer.
Also known as vanishing edge pools, infinity pools are no longer reserved for resorts. Bring the resort home and enjoy endless views as the pool edge meets the sky. Infinity pools have an amazing effect on oceanfront properties where the pool seems to lead directly to the ocean.
Some of our clients don’t have the space for a big pool or don’t want a pool to consume their yard. They just want a place too cool off and enjoy the ambiance a small oasis provides. For them, the petite pool is the perfect option. With a little design creativity, a pool can be nestled into any space. For those who don’t want a big pool, but want to swim laps, there is the option of an endless pool which provides current so you can still get in your laps.
Pool lounges are exactly what the name implies: an outdoor lounge involving a pool. They provide a whole area – in the water and out – for people to enjoy. Imagine cooling off in the pool, hopping out on the pool deck only to be directly next to the nice warm fire pit.
Some clients already have their overall pool design in mind but want to add a little pizzazz. Designing pools with glass tiles is fun and can quickly turn a simple oasis into a piece of art. There are so many available colors, textures and shapes, glass tiles to achieve any look you’re seeking whether it’s sleek, sophisticated, contemporary, Venetian or a masterpiece. You can use glass tiles throughout your pool or as accent pieces. The options can be overwhelming but we can help you achieve your look as well as ensure the design flows with the rest of your landscape.
These shallow areas around the pool providing a sitting area in the pool and are perfect for relaxing and staying cool without treading water. This is yet another way to create an outdoor living space.
Rain walls, fountains and waterfalls add to the relaxation of any swimming hole. The beauty of these features is that they can be scaled and added to any size pool. And a fun fact about flowing water: Studies have proven that flowing water adds to individuals’ mental and physical wellbeing.
If you have questions about designing your oasis or need some advice on which water features would work best for your yard, give us a call to set up a consultation.
- Innovation and Creativity Meet Water Management
Posted:7/7/2016 9:37:08 AM
Usually we don’t think of water management as being very exciting. But with the right approach and strategies, designing your landscape for saving water and managing stormwater can be fun.
The practice of harvesting rain has been around for centuries and is widely used in Europe, Australia, India and the Bahamas as well as countries who rely solely on rainwater to fulfill their needs. The trend has really taken hold in the U.S. and it becoming more common to see rainwater barrels on the sides of homes collecting water from roof downspouts. The more simple method involves using water from barrels that have accumulated water from the roof gutter via rain chains (some of which are gorgeous!). More intricate systems involve filtration pumps and storage cisterns. Obviously, the use of the water depends on the degree of filtration, but even the barrel method provides water for landscaping and car washing.
Also known as bio-retention systems, rain gardens mimic natural water retention and serve as stormwater management while providing a beautiful garden. Rain gardens are created in low-lying areas to absorb and filter runoff from roofs and driveways. Planted with native plants adapted for high levels of water, the plants help hold the runoff and filter pollutants while the runoff water slowly soaks into the ground. As for which plants to use, there is a huge selection (too many to list here!) of native shrubs, perennials, ferns and trees that will work for your rain garden.
Permeable paving is hardscaping that allows the movement of stormwater through its surface. In addition to reducing runoff, the pavers effectively trap solids and filter pollutants from the water. These “paving” methods can take any look from flagstone, bricks, cobblestones, cut stone, pea gravel or stepping stones.
Last week we mentioned garden design and grouping plants with similar water needs together. But we can take this much farther by employing strategies such as:
- Planting specific gardens according to the amount of sun needs and availability.
- Working within microclimates, areas on the property that are warmer or cooler because of the house orientation and other plants on the property.
- Locating deciduous trees to provide shade to planting beds and outdoor sitting areas.
- Placing fences and shrubs to provide shade for specific plants and funnel summer breezes toward patios, decks and porches.
We are happy to consult with you on harvesting, rain gardens, pavers, design and even irrigation systems. Call us to find out which strategies are best suited for your landscape.
- Cooling off gardens with the summer’s hottest trend
Posted:6/29/2016 11:07:29 AM
Last year’s drought in California brought about a strong national trend we’re experiencing in landscaping even here in coastal New Jersey. Officially termed xeriscaping, it’s the practice of systematically promoting water conservation in landscaped areas.
Here are a few ways to incorporate water-saving strategies into your landscape.
Select appropriate plants
Choose indigenous plants to help decrease water demand as native plants thrive according to the natural amount of rainfall. We have many native drought-tolerant plants in all shapes and sizes from the more colorful Trumpet Creeper, Winged Sumac and Kiss Me Quick to the lower profile Kinnikinnick and Pennsylvania Sedge.
Strategically design gardens
Group plants with similar watering needs together. Not only will this save water but will prevent lower-usage plants from being overwatered.
Decrease lawn space
Since grass requires heavy watering, consider replacing turf with plants, groundcover, trees, shrubs – or creative hardscaping. Submit defeat to those hard-to-grow patches under the trees and create a shaded outdoor living room instead!
Water in the mornings and use soaker hoses and drip irrigation systems versus sprayers. These devices put water in the soil as opposed to on the leaves where it will quickly evaporate. If you already have irrigation system fit it with a rain sensor which will shut off the system as soon as it starts raining.
Improving the quality of the soil enables the ground to more efficiently absorb water and encourages deeper roots. This can be achieved by simply adding organic materials such as leaf mulch or aged manure to your soil.
Mulch helps keep plants cool, minimizes evaporation, prevents soil from crusting and reduces weed growth. You can use organic mulch (such as wood chips or shredded bark) or inorganic (such as cobblestones or indigenous rocks). With so many types and colors of mulch to choose from, adding mulch to your garden is as much fun as adding flowers.
Maintain Your Garden
After all, it’s not weeds you’re trying to grow! Regular weeding will ensure your plants enjoy every last drop.
If you have questions about plants, design, irrigation systems, soil or mulch, feel free to call us for advice or to help you implement these strategies.
And stay tuned! Next week’s blog will take xeriscaping to the next level as we explore rain gardens, water gathering and other fun and creative water-saving strategies for your yard.