D.C. Lawn Services:
Sunday, April 10 2016
In Washington D.C. many homeowners desire a beautiful landscape but are often discouraged by the lack of time and money needed to create and care for the garden of their dreams for Washington D.C. landscaping. A pleasing, low-care, low-cost landscape is possible, however, with careful planning, appropriate plant choices in Washington, and thoughtful design. Following are four basic time- and money-saving strategies for residential landscapes in Washington D.C. provided by Phocas Landscaping a leader in Washington. D.C. lawn care & landscaping.
For your Washington D.C. landscaping the goal is to do less trimming, weeding, and fertilizing and use less water, energy, and chemicals. The tips below for low-care, low-cost landscapes include ideas for plant selection and organization as well as hardscape selection and design.
Consider the following when selecting plants in D.C.-
1. Select Washington D.C. friendly landscaping plants. Drought-tolerant plants require less water, and pest-resistant plants need less time and fewer chemicals to prevent and treat pest problems. Choose plants appropriate for your area. Check the hardiness zone for cold tolerance, select long-lived plants that thrive in your soil conditions, note insect problems and susceptibility to disease, and consider sturdiness and wind resistance. Pay attention to plants that work well and repeat them in areas with similar conditions.
2. Base plant choices more on interesting foliage than flowers often require time for deadheading, regular maintenance, and replacement. Look for large foliage with color and interesting shapes and textures. Variegated foliage often has stripes or splashes of red, yellow, and orange. Coarse-textured plants are attractive because of their large foliage and complex shapes.
3. Use large plants with a wide spread, such as arching, cascading, or vase shapes and low-growing plants with mounding or irregular shapes to cover large plant beds. Large plants allow for the use of fewer plants, and fewer plants require less maintenance. Substitute small shrubs for perennials; once they grow to their mature height and width, they need little maintenance other than an annual pruning. Low-growing, sprawling groundcovers cover larger areas and reduce the need for many small bedding plants.
4. Choose evergreen plants to provide color and foliage all year in your Washington D.C. landscape. Many evergreens, including junipers and small shrubs, have a neat growth habit that requires little trimming. The needlelike foliage of some evergreens typically sheds very little, and the small needle litter can be left for mulch.
5. Conduct a D.C. soil test to determine the pH, fertility, and structure of the soil. This test is available through your local extension office. The best strategy is to use plants that naturally thrive in your soil type, particularly if you have a large garden. Amend and improve the soil with compost in the most visible planted areas, such as by the front door and patio areas. Use organic mulch, such as pine bark or pine straw, to keep soil moist, build soil structure, and insulate plant roots from winter cold and summer heat.
Consider the following when locating plants-
6. Use a simple plant palette with fewer, hardier plants. Select 10–15 plants to use in large masses and repeat them throughout the yard. Repeating the same types of plants in several plant beds simplifies the maintenance with the same care requirements. Group plants with the same water needs, and use drip irrigation when possible to reduce water use throughout the garden.
7. Homeowners can use some or all of these ideas to create a low-cost, low-care garden. The design is unified through the repetition of circles—a simple geometric form that contrasts with the organic plant material. Pathways of gravel, groundcover, and mulch provide access throughout the yard, separate plant beds for a neat look, and organize spaces.
Elements in the backyard include a deck and three circular gathering areas that give structure to the planted areas. Reused concrete pieces laid in gravel provide a permeable hard surface for gathering off the deck, and the adjacent dining area includes a colorful umbrella and chairs to add variety and interest against the green foliage plants surrounding the circle of gravel. Another circular form holds an arbor structure that provides shade over a swing and vertical height for more emphasis in the corner. These hardscape areas and structures help to maintain the spatial organization of the garden during times of the year when plant material may be thin.
Containers on the deck and a few select garden ornaments add a punch of easy-care, colorful focal points to the yard. Raised, built-in planters help define the edge of the deck and make it easy to care for plants from all sides. A fence and large plants hide an unattractive dog run on the side of the house, and a trellis is used to hide a blank wall on the garage and utilities beside the house.
A simple plant palette is repeated throughout the yard, and plants are tightly spaced to prevent weed growth. Emphasis is on evergreen plants with a pleasing natural form that will not outgrow the space. Colorful foliage, interesting shapes, and coarse texture add to the aesthetic quality of the plants you choose in Washington D.C.