May 25, 2010

“Black Gold” from Mother Nature

Filed under: Landscape Maintenance — admin @ 2:23 pm

DSCN3616Mulch is Mother Nature’s black gold and worth every ounce to the garden.  Mulch is very effective in the home landscape as a physical barrier to prevent weed germination smother newly emerging plants.  Mulch works by preventing sunlight from reaching the soil surface and by exhausting the food reserves of young seedlings before they become established. Live Oak Landscape Maintenance uses only triple shredded hardwood to keep plants healthy and beautiful for your landscape.

Organic mulches include straw, woodchips, bark, shredded leaves, grass clippings, and newspaper.  Coarsely textured nuggets or chips provide a less hospitable environment for germinating weed seedlings than finely shredded mulches.  A mulch layer 2-3 inches thick is sufficient for weed control and moisture retention.  Alternatively, laying down a few sheets of newspapers can reduce the amount of mulch needed.  Using excessive much is unnecessary and unhealthy for plants.

Mulch gradually decays and weed seeds may be deposited on top by wind, birds, mowers or blowers so application must be repeated to maintain weed suppression.

DSCN3640Our professional and experienced  crews at Live Oak Landscape Maintenance  gives meticulous attention to your landscape.

May 21, 2010

Professional Landscape Architects in New Jersey

Filed under: Landscape Design — admin @ 1:35 pm

DSCN3624Attractive home landscaping begins with you.  Beautiful and functional grounds are the result of careful  planning  and our landscape analysis starts that critical process.  Live Oak Landscaping Contractors have certified landscape architects to help  you think about your landscape  in terms of how you and your family would use and enjoy it.  Our task is to bring together the right combination of science and artistic expression to best fulfill the objectives you sent forth.  The information that you provide, imaginatively reinterpreted by our skilled landscape architects allows for the creation of an outdoor environment as uniquely suited to your family’s needs and tastes as that warm, comfortable indoor environment  that makes your house a home.

May 17, 2010

Rain Gardens

Filed under: Rain Gardens NJ,Water Conservation — admin @ 2:08 pm

rain garden image-houseWhat is a Rain Garden?

There are many important reasons why you should be interested in having a rain garden. Rain carries pollutants like oil, chemicals, pesticides, and sediments into storm drains and ultimately into streams and rivers. A rain garden utilizes bioretention, where plants and soil remove these pollutants from storm water. Traditionally, curbs, gutters, and storm drains are used to carry runoff directly into streams and rivers without bioretention filtering. Rain gardens are built in low-lying areas using layers of soil, sand, and organic mulch that filter the rain. This soil absorbs and stores the rainwater and nourishes the trees, grasses, and other native plants. Thus, the rain garden filters and reuses the water reducing storm water pollution and providing attractive landscaping.

A rain garden is a shallow landscape depression incorporated into an existing landscape to treat storm water runoff  mainly  from roofs but also from driveways and patios.   A rain garden is designed to merge two important goals:  aesthetics and water quality.

Rain gardens look like regular flower gardens  and by using native plants, the design is natural and   is  a habitat to support birds and butterflies.  In addition to using native plant species in your rain garden, this is  an excellent way to increase native plants.

May 12, 2010

Live Oak Landscape Contractors – Landscape Lighting, Part IV

Filed under: Outdoor Lighting — admin @ 9:34 am

Wall_Wash_landscape_lighting_Gallery-smWall Lighting adds drama to your landscape and  can be done  several ways.  One technique is grazing.  Grazing is accomplished by installing a light approximately 6 inches from the edge of your wall or facade and aiming it vertically up the wall.  The textures of your house, fences or retaining walls will be highlighted and accentuated using this technique.  Another way to light a wall is by using spot lights.  Spot lighting can be done either up or down lighting.  A creative way to use spot lighting is to up light a tree or any ornamental structure -  for example, a statue,  by shadowing it.

Shadowing lighting is another treatment for a tree or shrub in front of a wall.  This is  accomplished by positioning a light in front of the object and aiming the light through it towards the wall. The light will do double duty, both illuminating the plant and casting its form in shadow against the wall.

Silhouetting an object is another example of up lighting a wall using spot lights. If a small tree or shrub with attractive symmetry or unusual form is growing in front of a wall, you can feature it by placing a light behind the plant to show it in full relief  You will  want to locate your landscape light in between your ornamental piece and the wall, then position the light to shine on the wall at a 30 to 45 degree for a beautiful night time design.

For over 20 years our company, April Showers, has been installing and servicing landscape lighting systems all over New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

Credit to Casey Dodson

May 6, 2010

Landscape Lighting, Part III

Filed under: Outdoor Lighting — admin @ 11:29 am

As you can see, there are a lot important elements to outdoor lighting!  Our company, April Showers, has professional landscape lighting designers who will make the world of difference in your night-time landscaping.

walkway lightingWalkway lighting is crucial because it adds safety as well as accentuates the materials used on your path as well as surrounding plantings. You can use either low-level units, choosing downward-cast beams to avoid dazzle, or taller lamps that diffuse light more widely.

outdoor_tree_lightingTree lighting usually involves up lighting and/or down lighting.  Up lighting can be accomplished using fixtures that are mounted at the tree base or around the drip line and aimed toward the trunk and branches.  This is a great technique when you have specimen trees with interesting branching patterns for example, the live oaks.  Down lighting is another option for tree lighting.  Mounting lights in large trees on established branches and then aiming the lights downward to highlight bedding areas.

In Part IV, we will show you what wall lighting is and how many ways you can use this spectacular display of lights.

Credit to Casey Dodson