Landscaping Blog

Spring Cleaning and New Retaining Wall in Naperville

Written on March 14, 2017 at 5:10 pm | Written by Green T
Green T Landscaping offers spring cleanup services for your lawn, including debris and leaf removal, edging, mulching, pruning and trimming.

Spring cleaning isn’t just for the inside of the home. Your home exterior and landscaping benefit from a good clean up to remove the months of debris that accumulate during the cold winter months.

You don’t have to stop with just a simple cleaning though. With our hardscaping and softscaping services, we can transform your property.

We just recently built this new bench retaining wall around the patio of a local Naperville resident.

This improved the look of their patio area while adding functional seating for outdoor cookouts this summer.

We also power washed their patio, trimmed the bushes, removed some unwanted evergreens, and laid down new mulch.

Related: Why you need a brick patio

The side of the home is looking freshened up and is ready for new plantings this spring.

Once the spring flowers are planted, the curb appeal of this home is going to be even better!

Related: Top 10 Low Maintenance Plants for Illinois Landscaping


Let Green T do the spring cleaning for you!

Call 630-231-0007

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Will the Late Snow Kill My Flowers

Written on March 13, 2017 at 9:47 pm | Written by Green T
It’s times like these you are reminded that you live in Northern Illinois.

One weekend you are enjoying sixty degree temperatures and the next you’re worried that your flowers are going to be killed by a snowstorm.

It is the joy of midwest living.

The early warm weather sure was great you know you’re going to pay for it later. Once the tulips and daffodils have mature leaves and shoots, you’re excited for spring.

Then the snow comes.

How will the snow affect my flowers?

The good news is that most flowering plants are very hearty. Most of them can survive a snowstorm no problem.

The biggest danger is not actually snow but an extended cold snap after the flowers have their flowering buds.

Related: Flowers and Other Plants for Your Garden that Resist Rabbits

Tulips in the snow

Tulips can handle short cold snaps of cold and snow without much of a problem. The biggest danger to tulips is extended below freezing temperatures after the flower buds have formed.

Usually, they will survive, but when the buds are about to bloom, the flowers are at their most delicate moment. Extreme cold could harm the flower. They may cause a few browns spots on the flower or leaves.

The good news is that even if the flower is damaged, the bulbs will be fine and will come back again next year.

Daffodils in the snow

Daffodils, being one of the earliest blooming flowers, are very well adapted to cold weather.

I saw proof of this myself last year. We spent a lot of time planting bulbs in late fall and then in March we had a snowstorm as all the flowers were starting to bloom. A yard full of daffodils with snow on them.

But they survived! Daffodils my not have a real long bloom cycle but the snow did not kill them. And they all came back next year.

Hyacinths in the snow

We’ve seen freezing temperatures and snow have different results on hyacinths. Often they seem to do quite well. People have reported snow causing their hyacinths shock though, causing the flowers to wilt. Most of the time they should be okay.

Magnolias

Flowers on magnolia trees are unfortunately susceptible to snow and cold. If flower buds are already present, they will be threatened by the cold. If they are damaged, the flowers may not bloom and you will unfortunately, have to wait until next spring to see them.

Would you like professional help with your landscaping?
Save yourself time this summer and find out how affordable landscaping services can be.

Call (630) 717-0007

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Getting the Most out of your Garden this Spring

Written on March 6, 2017 at 8:37 pm | Written by Green T

Spring is almost here and we have that Spring fever. Everyone is itching to be outside, the spring clean ups have started and your looking to do more with your landscape this year. Well we have some tips for planning the spring garden you always wanted.

Give your soil a little more thought

Amend your soil with as much organic matter as possible. You can consider starting your own compost pile or by adding bags of composted manure. Adding organic matter helps give your soil texture and a little more fertility.

Are you remembering that last year your soil always held a little extra moisture? Try growing plants that can tolerate the extra moisture, or install a French drain to get rid of the excess water. Check out this article “Plant Watering Tips” to help control the moisture build up!

Understand the Light

Image result for sunlight images

It’s important to know how your garden receives sunlight, which areas get most and which have the least. Too much sun can burn the plant, whereas too little sun will leave it lanky and weak.

Once you know how your garden receives light, you can choose plants that can that will grow well under those conditions. Partly sunny to fully shaded areas are best for your perennials and small trees. Whereas vegetables and most flowers will flourish in full sunlight.

Plant for all four seasons

Planting for all the season help to keep your garden lively all year not just in the springtime. Summer blooms include cone flowers, and Black-eyed Susan’s. For a little fun in the winter, look to evergreens or trees with interesting branch patterns.

 

Need a little extra help with your spring design? Give Green T a call today and let us get the garden you’ve dreamed about.

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Spring Cleanup for Your Lawn

Written on February 24, 2017 at 6:29 pm | Written by Green T

Schedule Your Spring Lawn Cleanup

Spring cleaning isn’t just for the inside of your home. Our spring lawn cleanup services will give your landscape the shine and polish to make it sparkle throughout the upcoming season.

Spring Cleanup Services Include:

Spring Lawn Cleanup Mulching Pruning and Trimming

1 Clearing & Leaf Removal

Clearing the lawn of any debris including leaves rocks, twigs, and branches. This frees your lawn and plant beds of dead leaves, plant matter, annual removal, and other debris for the upcoming growing season.

2 Edging

Edging to clean up plant beds, borders, walk ways, and patios. A distinct edge helps to highlight certain features of your landscape and keep grass clippings out of the planting beds.

3 Mulching

Raking existing mulch to loosen it and break up the clumps. Applying new mulch around trees, shrubs, and planting beds to maintain proper depth and to help retain moisture and warmth. Learn more about mulching.

4 Pruning and Trimming

We also include trimming and pruning for your trees, shrubs, perennials. Proper pruning and trimming rejuvenates growth and promotes plant health. Learn more about pruning.

Additional cleanup services are available. Contact us today to discuss your spring cleanup needs and for a free estimate.

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Why you NEED a Brick Patio!

Written on February 8, 2017 at 10:04 pm | Written by Green T
 
Your home is a reflection of your personality, so why not let that show on a new patio? Brick is one material that has a constant and continual appeal. And it will continue to provide style to your home for years to come. Whether your looking for a classic or elegant style, a brick patio will help you get it.

Design Options

Using brick to build your new patio opens up a large variety of design options. And that fact that it is extremely low maintenance doesn’t hurt its aesthetic appeal. Brick can be arranged in a variety of different ways to make you patio even more unique. Designs can be square, rectangular, circular, or curved.

Long Lasting

One of the best characteristics of brick is that it is long lasting. The color stays consistent, taking away the worry that it’ll fade. It’s also long lasting in the durable sense, meaning it can withstand the harsh weather conditions of the Mid-west. Even durable enough to with stand heavy patio furniture.

Color Choices

Brick has so many different color choices, not just the standard red associated with the word, brick. You can get pink, grey, brown, or venture into the world of multi-colored.  With brick you can even combine different shades of brick to a design to enhance its aesthetic appeal.

Affordability

Brick is affordable, costing less than stones. If damage does occur, it’s also easy to replace, as the brick can simply be taken out and a new one can be put in its place. No worrying about the replaced brick standing out since the rich color on the surrounding bricks won’t be faded. Considering using brick for you next patio design? Contact us today and schedule your free estimate!
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What you can do for your garden now!

Written on January 26, 2017 at 7:09 pm | Written by Green T
 
It’s already that time again to start thinking about your landscape and gardens. But if you have a that wonderful green thumb chances are you haven’t stopped thinking about new ideas for your gardens and ways to make them better. With February, right around the corner here are some ideas that you can do to help make it the best year yet for your landscape and garden.
  • Start ordering your perennial plants and bulbs. Look for good locations to plant flowers, and shrubs, and finalize your garden plans on paper. This way if you are having a professional landscaper install them, it limits confusion and helps make the project run smoother.

Need help coming up with ideas? Contact us we can help!

  • Planting a garden? Make sure you finish ordering your seeds and that your seed starting containers are ready too. You can wash and sterilize them in 1 part bleach to 9 parts water.
 
  • Your house plants need re-plotting, now is a great time to get it done. Getting it done ensure that you have the time and energy to complete the task, before spending all your time outdoors taking care of that amazing garden. Remember to fertilize them after you see signs of growth.
 
  • You can also start growing your fresh herbs, like parsley and cilantro, in your windows. Not only is an herb garden a fun craft décor project but it also makes your house smell good.
 
  • Now you can start pruning fruit trees if you have them, and make sure to fertilize them after the last frost.

Thinking your landscape project might be too ambitious for you to handle all by yourself? Contact us today and see if we can help.

Image: Crafthubs
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Tips for Melting Ice That Won’t Harm Your Plants.

Written on December 12, 2016 at 8:19 pm | Written by Green T
Frozen buds

Frozen buds

We hope this bout of freezing rain doesn’t catch you unprepared, but just in case it does, here are a few tips:
1. Do not step outside quickly in the morning. Black ice is hard to see, and if you start to slide, your only hope is to pull your arms to your sides and try and protect your wrists and your head.
2. The best way to make your walkway safe is to pre-treat it, preferably with a plant and lawn safe ice-melt product. Calcium chloride is the best choice because it melts ice at very low temperatures and is probably the safest chemical choice for lawns and landscapes. To pre-treat, spread a very small amount on your walkways before the ice or freezing rain begins. Pre-treatment requires only a quarter of the amount it would take to melt ice after the fact.
3. Other good ice-melt choices are potassium chloride and magnesium chloride.
4. If all you have is rock salt (NACL), which is damaging to lawns and landscaping, use it as a pre-treatment before the freezing rain. A small amount will make the walkway safe. Try and keep it away from the edges of your lawn and landscape plants. Buy some calcium chloride or play sand for the next round of solid water.
5. If you wake up to dangerous surfaces, use whatever you have on hand, but be prepared to wait about a half hour to allow it to melt the ice and provide some traction.
6. Some of the best after-the-storm choices are play sand (like you’d buy for a child’s sandbox) and kitty litter. Both will provide good traction without any possible harm to your landscape plants. And you don’t have to wait.
Source: http://wtop.com/garden-plot-living/2016/12/garden-plot-plant-safe-ice-melting-tips/ Source image: http://wtop.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/341107.jpg
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6 Winter Landscaping Tips

Written on December 5, 2016 at 9:47 pm | Written by Green T
winter_landscaping
Gardeners in snowy regions have plenty of reasons to get cold feet about winter: Plants are at rest and their bright colors dissipate, leaving a palette of white and gray. And with nothing to plant, they might think there are few winter landscaping tips — or to dos. In fact, careful planning in spring, summer, and fall — plus a few easy accents during winter — can lead to a beautiful landscape that shines against the stark relief of the restful season. “If you want to be sure you have some winter interest in your garden, you are really looking at just a few things,” says Barbara Pierson, nursery manager at White Flower Farm in Litchfield, Connecticut.

1. Focus on bark. Sure, deciduous trees lose their leaves in wintertime, leaving their branches and trunks in focus. But that can be a good thing, Pierson says, “if you have any interesting ornamental trees that have really visually distinctive bark, which will end up adding winter interest.” Many of those trees and some shrubs are smaller, meaning they’re easier to find spots for in the winter landscape. A few of Pierson’s favorites include dogwoods and birch trees, great for both texture and color.

2. Include berries. Many trees and shrubs have berries they hold onto during fall and winter, and those can provide food for birds overwintering in your area. “Crabapples hold their little fruit,” Pierson says, and they make a great addition to the winter landscape. “A holly with berries is really beautiful,” she says.

3. Remember evergreens. Evergreens are great in the winter landscape for many reasons. First, there’s color: Evergreens are not just green; they’re available in yellow, such as Gold Thread false cypress, and blues, including dwarf blue spruce, and all colors in between. And evergreens just make good design sense, Pierson says. “They are really important for a winter landscape, but they make good focal points all year-round,” she says. “I always like to have at least one or two evergreens and work a border around those. When you are planting a new bed, you always want to have at least one evergreen.”

4. Rely on your hardscape. Winter is a good time to critically assess your landscape, figuring out where it’s missing focal points. The solution to enhancing your winter landscaping might not be a plant at all. “Winter is the best time to consider hardscape,” Pierson says. “A trellis, a bench, an arbor, even a garden sculpture are really essential.”

5. Adorn your summertime containers. Window boxes, hanging baskets, winter-hardy containers: All are indispensable for winter landscaping. Miniature dwarf Alberta spruce and broadleaf evergreens, such as Japanese Andromeda, holly and rhododendron, are perfect for wintertime, but they all have to be watered during dry periods. You don’t have to spend money on plants, Pierson says. “Fill containers with evergreen boughs of different textures and colors and interesting twigs,” she says, “anything with color in it.”

6. Stick with four-season perennials. Some perennials have evergreen foliage — ornamental grasses, hellebores, even dianthus with its beautiful low-creeping foliage — making them great for winter landscaping, Pierson says. “Make sure to read the plant label and find out if the plant has foliage in the winter, so you can see it year-round,” she says. Winter is also a great time to stock up on the nonplant elements you’ll need for the next year’s garden, Pierson says. “It’s a good time to bargain-shop for anything for the garden,” she says. Take a tape measure, research plants, figure out seeds you’ll need, and write down what worked and what didn’t in the current year. Source by: http://www.bhg.com/gardening/landscaping-projects/landscape-basics/winter-landscaping-tips/ Image source: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/19/25/bf/1925bf29f8ca9dc75444ddc488069bc5.jpg

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Fall Cleanup Time

Written on September 6, 2016 at 2:29 pm | Written by Green T

It is that time again to put your landscaping beds to bed for the winter. This a very important step if you want your landscape looking fresh and revived in the spring. We’ve got a great team here to take that large or small job off your hands. Below is a list of what you want to do every fall to your landscape beds.

Collect Leaves

Collecting the leaves not only will help keep your yard looking clean and well kept, but it reduces the chances for mildew build up underneath them after a long winter. Mildew build up can leave your yard more susceptible to disease when spring arrives. Clean up the fallen leaves to keep your lawn healthy.

Plant New Shrubs

Planting shrubs in early fall gives the plants a head start at establishing roots in the season’s cool, moist soil. The soil is also warmer now than in the spring, so there is still time for roots to form before the unwanted snow falls. Roots can grow in soil as cold as 40 degrees, and the soil remains warm long after the temperature becomes frigid.

Think Spring!

Here we are talking about preparing for winter and now were telling you to think spring; let’s clarify. Just like with planting new shrubs, it is important to think about your spring perennials so they look extra awesome in the spring. By planting them in the fall, they have a better chance of establishing root growth, and getting more buds. Pictured above are daffodils, one of our favorites! They’re beautiful in spring. The best time to plant these flowers are 2 to 4 weeks before the ground freezes. Plants these this fall to give your yard a pop of color this spring!

Trim Dead Limbs

Trimming out lifeless branches can help protect small ornamental trees from further damage by cutting cracked, loose, and diseased limbs close to (but not flush with) the trunk; leave the wounds exposed to heal. The benefit of trimming back the dead limbs is that it allows nutrients to flow to the healthy limbs, which allows the tree or shrub grow much stronger. It also helps prevent further decay.

Cut Back Perennials

This probably one of the best chores you could do this fall. Removing the old flowers is beneficial for the plant because it promotes the growth of new flowers. If the dead flowers are left on the plants they will eventually consume the majority of the plant’s energy. By removing the dead flowers, the plants energy is now focused on root growth, which contribute to a stronger plant.

Mulch Young Plants

Mulch provides insulation to soil around the newly planted plants, which would help protect the roots from colder temperatures associated with fall. It also retains water helping to keep the roots moist. Mulch provides protection from weeds.

Whether your job is big or small, call us today to schedule your Fall Clean Up Estimate!

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Best Summer Flowers

Written on August 10, 2016 at 4:17 pm | Written by Green T
In the summer months of Illinois, sunshine and heat are plenty, while rain can be hit and miss. Some plants fare better in this weather and are surprisingly low maintenance. Add some of these summer favorites to your landscape and garden for hearty beauties that will thrive in the summer. Sunflowers – The sunflower is a bright, cheery addition to any landscape. Depending on the variety, they grow a couple feet to 12 feet tall! Sunflowers are drought tolerant and their roots can span quite a distance to find water. Bonus: once established, sunflowers grow faster than weeds. Zinnias – Zinnias are easy-to-grow, beautiful flowers that are relatives of marigolds. They come in a variety of brilliant colors and blossom all summer long. Zinnias thrive in sunshine and well-drained soil, making them a perfect summertime plant. Peonies – A popular wedding favorite, peonies are lovely flowers that are surprisingly low maintenance. They are known to bloom for 100 years with little attention! Peonies love sunshine and blossom during spring and early summer. Yarrow – Yarrow is one of the best perennials for summer. They prefer hot, dry, sunny weather, but are quite adaptable. Yarrow is very low maintenance and yields bright yellow flowers all summer long. Blanket Flower – Gaillardia, also known as blanket flower, is a brightly flowering species related to sunflowers. They attract butterflies and make a great addition to a butterfly garden. Blanket flowers love sunshine and are drought resistant.
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