Landscaping & Lawn Care in Plano
12 Nov 2016

Landscape Spotlight: From Bare Dirt and Dated To Serene Sanctuary

Today’s landscape spotlight illustrates how much our work can transform a home. Michael and Melissa D’s home was the definition of a blank slate.  But their property was amazing with a lot of potential, and as soon as David (our landscape architect) and I started discussing the project I knew we had the opportunity to create Michael and Melissa their dream landscapes.

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Michael and Melissa’s landscape request was simple.  And specific.  Update our tired front yard and make the mud in our backyard disappear!
 
The front yard part of this project was pretty straight forward for us but the back was quite special because of the yard’s unique features.  They have a large patio that overlooks their backyard which includes a lovely koi pond and a bridge that leads further into the large backyard.  The yard, which has many large trees that provide ample shade, was pretty much nothing but bare dirt (which turned to mud when we had rain.)

Their backyard was amazing (even with all that dirt!)  Even with a koi pond with bridge, it was very large and curved around the back of the home.  One of Michael’s dreams for the space was to have pathways through the backyard that he could use to walk or sit and enjoy the abundant nature his property provided.   In the photos of the project you’ll see our design accomplished that goal.  There are paths through the backyard with a large, stone water feature dropping into the koi pond which create the perfect ambience for that leisurely stroll Michael desired.

The entire property has a lot of large trees which provide ample shade but also make one of Melissa’s goals for the front, growing grass, a challenge. She also wanted to get rid of the dated look, and tame what landscape they did have which she felt had become overgrown to the point of covering up the home’s exterior features.  She felt this made the entrance feel cramped.

As you’ll see in my photos, our design created an open look for the front of the home.  We replaced their grass with a ground cover called mondo grass and, closer to the home, fern like plants called plum yew.  On either side of the entrance are soft caress mahonia which is a medium sized plant that will frame the entrance and make it feel more inviting.

Most couples will appreciate the biggest challenge Michael and Melissa faced when I presented our design.  Which area to do first,  Michael’s dream backyard or Melissa’s front?  After a few days they called to say that they had compromised, they would be doing both at the SAME time!

Thank you Michael and Melissa for allowing me to spotlight this landscape project.  Village Green has been transforming lawns and landscapes in your neighborhood since 1980.  We specialize in creating extraordinary outdoor spaces at all budget points for our customers.  Our personalized one-on-one approach allow us to take your ideas and inspiration and transform them into a beautiful landscape that will enrich your life.  If you’d like more information or an estimate on your project contact us at 972-495-6990 or Ken@VillageGreen-Inc.com.

07 Nov 2016

Ken’s Quick Tip: Answers Your Fall Lawn & Landscape Questions

The past week I’ve had time in the office to answer many fall related questions that I think would benefit all our customers.  I hope you find the answers to these common fall questions helpful!

What should I do with the leaves on my lawn and landscape?  Short answer is that leaves left on your lawn are bad (they can lead to fungal problems in your lawn.)  Leaves in your beds are good (think free mulch!)  Learn more here.

Can I plant or install a landscape in the fall or winter in North Texas?  I know it sounds backwards, but fall and winter are actually better seasons to plant landscapes in than spring.  If we choose the right plants, the weather around here doesn’t stay cold long enough to damage them, plus planting at this time of year lets the plants develop roots deep enough to be mostly established before the hot North Texas summer.  This is important because it makes them much hardier to extreme heat and they will need less water.

How much should I water in the fall?  Just like you turned back your clocks this past weekend, now is the time to dial back on your watering.  If you need instructions download our free fall watering guide here.

Is it smart to change your lawn and landscape plan at this time of the year?  This one is counter intuitive to what most people think.  Typical thinking is at fall, things are no longer growing, so you take a break from your regular lawn and landscape plan and/or company (the thought being you can wait to worry about it in the spring when things will be growing again.)  This is wrong.  The reason is what you do this fall and winter will get you better results come spring and summer.  Our fall and winter visits are probably the most important lawn care visits we make because our pre-emergents prevent most of the weeds you’ve seen before they even show up.  Don’t put off a good lawn care program in the fall and the winter.  If you are considering making a change in your plan or lawn care company, do it now.  Then when next spring rolls around you’ll be way ahead of the game and can focus on making your good grass happy and healthy.

If you have questions or need help give us a call at 972-495-6990 or email me at ken@villagegreen-inc.comWe have been serving North Texas lawn and landscape needs for over 30 years and would love to earn your business.

29 Oct 2016

Ken’s Quick Tip: Brown Patch

Each year there’s a surefire way I can tell fall has arrived in North Texas beyond shorter days and the cooler night-time temperatures.  We start getting calls about brown rings (or patches) in our customer’s lawns. 

These brown rings are called Brown Patch and is a fungus that attacks St. Augustine in the fall (and spring.)  The reason we experience so much Brown Patch during these two seasons is because our warm days and cool evenings mean your lawn never full dries and brown patch thrives on these conditions.

To understand Brown Patch you need to consider that St. Augustine is a tropical plant and our North Texas summers of blistering heat coupled with cold winter days put far more stress on it than its more natural home in places like Houston or Orlando, Florida. 

The stress of summer (in this instance) followed by our fall condition of warm days and cool nights create the perfect environment for Brown Patch. 

The truth is that for the most part Brown Patch is just unsightly for a while (it will go away after our first frost.) The risk is if we have a cold enough winter, these weakened areas might suffer freeze damage.

If you want to avoid or treat Brown Patch I recommend watering your lawn in the morning so it has the best chance to dry during the day.  You can also cut back your watering in shady areas.  Instead of 30 minutes per week, try 10 or 15 minutes in those areas (download our free fall watering guide here.)

Another thing to note if you are doing your own fertilization is that Brown Patch feeds on nitrogen.  You need to avoid high-nitrogen fertilizers in St. Augustine lawns during early spring and fall.  At Village Green we use a 5-10-31 ratio fertilizer.

Finally, if you see signs of Brown Patch you should treat the areas with Propiconazole.  This isn’t going to make the Brown Patch go away, but it will stop the spread into other areas of your lawn. 

If you have questions or need help give us a call at 972-495-6990 or email me at ken@villagegreen-inc.com.  We have been offering preventative programs for Brown Patch in North Texas for over 30 years and would love to earn your fertilization business. 

12 Oct 2016

Barry T. Landscape Project Spotlight

I’m excited about showcasing this project for Barry T because it illustrates that Village Green has the capabilities to handle a wide variety of landscape jobs.

Barry, who lives in Richardson, is a single dad who doesn’t have a lot of time to spend working on his lawn and landscape.  He also didn’t want to spend a lot of money on the update, so he had set a modest budget for this job.  Another major factor was the non-working sprinkler system that the previous owner had installed.  In the end Barry wanted Village Green to install a nice looking landscape on a modest budget that would be easy to maintain.

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The past couple of landscapes we’ve profiled are based on designs from our landscape architect, David Daigle.  Since we had a tight budget on this one, Barry asked me to come up with a design and plan for his home.  You can see my ‘fancy’ design above, and quickly understand why our larger landscape projects require David’s professional design work.  That being said, my design, although simple gets the job done in a way where you quickly understand the idea for this project.

Since Barry’s sprinkler system doesn’t work, and he doesn’t have any immediate plans to fix it, we decided on heat tolerant plants such as nandina compactas, Mexican petunias and variegated pittosporums.   These plants need water to get started, but once they are established, they are fine with occasional watering making them the very definition of low maintenance.

As you can see from the photos above, this is a very informal, natural landscape and Barry will only need to prune the plants once or twice per year.  Which is perfect for this single dad, he can stay focused on his family instead of the landscape!

I followed up with Barry the day we finished our installation to make sure he was happy with my design and our installation work.  He told me that his new landscape is the best on the block now, and was so energized and proud that he had already been to Home Depot to invest in some soaker hoses to get those plants established!

A huge thank you to Barry for allowing me to spotlight his landscape project which shows we have the capabilities to handle a wide variety of landscape jobs.  In fact, since 1980 we have specialized in creating extraordinary landscapes at all budget points for our customers. Our personalized one-on-one approach allow us to take your ideas and inspiration and transform them into a beautiful landscape that will enhance your home and happiness.  For more information and/or an estimate on your project contact us at 972-495-6990 or Ken@VillageGreen-Inc.com.

28 Sep 2016

Ken’s Quick Tip: Fall Watering Guide

The State Fair of Texas starts Friday, which means fall has arrived in North Texas!  I kid, fall officially began last week, but with a daytime high temperature in Dallas of 95 degrees on the first day of fall, I didn’t want anyone to change their watering schedule just yet.  Typically in North Texas we get our first cool front around the time the State Fair rolls into town which appears to be the case for 2016.  That is why I wanted to send out our Fall Watering Guide today.  Now is the time to make sure you are watering properly for the fall season.

Download our fall watering guide >

If you have any lawn or landscape questions or need additional help with your sprinkler system give us a call at 972.495.6990 or email Ken@VillageGreen-Inc.com. I love to answer your questions and often can share the information for our Quick Tip series that helps all Village Green customers.

05 Sep 2016

Troy S. Landscape Project Spotlight Tour

Troy S., is a typical Village Green landscape customer.  He takes a tremendous amount of pride in the overall appearance of his home, but with a hectic work schedule, he doesn’t have the time to dedicate to landscaping.  This has resulted to Troy’s landscape taking on what he called a ‘hodgepodge’ feel which detracted from the exterior beauty of his home.

Which is why Troy came to Village Green.  He wanted us to help him create an inviting, low maintenance landscape that made complemented his home.
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As you can see in the photos above, we left the larger plants in place in the front of the home and replaced the shrubs with smaller, dwarf and semi-dwarf plants, such as carex grass and kaleidoscope abelias . 
You’ll note on Troy’s design that it looks like we went overboard on plants, but the reality is that most of our selections will only get a foot or so tall which means as they mature they only rarely will need to be trimmed.  The plants were also selected because they open the home up so you can see more of the beautiful details of the exterior.  In the circular drive bed, the original shrubs were tall enough to screen the view of the home which made the home less inviting.  Which is why we replaced some of those plants with smaller ones such as purple heart and trailing rosemary.

In the back, Troy was less than pleased with seeing his neighbor’s roof every time he looked back across his patio and pool.  Our plan provided savanah holly trees which will eventually screen the roof.

Another problem area for Troy was what he felt was a wasted area behind his outdoor fireplace (where he stores his bull shaped grill.)  We made sure to fill in the area with blooming cannalilies.  The rest of the backyard landscape was fine, so we decided to keep most of the plants, and added some small perennials around the pool to give the area more color.

For those of you who wonder if landscapes can be installed in hot weather, I’d like to point out that this landscape was installed just before our hottest weather this summer.  And as you can see from our recent photos, the plants we chose did just fine in our North Texas heat.

Troy is very pleased with our work and we appreciate the opportunity to be able to spotlight his lovely home to our customers to illustrate the landscape capabilities of Village Green.In fact, since 1980 we have specialized in creating extraordinary landscapes for our customers. Our personalized, one-on-one approach allow us to take your ideas and inspiration and transform them into a beautiful landscape that will enhance your home and happiness.  We are currently scheduling landscape projects for the fall, which is one of the best times of the year to install a landscape.  For more information and/or an estimate on your project contact us at 972-495-6990 or Ken@VillageGreen-Inc.com.

22 Aug 2016

Ken’s Quick Tip: Why You Should Aerate Your Lawn

Lawn aeration is an extremely simple process that anyone can do to their lawn.  Whether you want to do it yourself or hire Village Green boils down to the amount of time you want to invest punching thousands of smalls holes in your turf.  If you would like for us to do it for you, schedule by September 2 and we will aerate your lawn at for $20 of the cost.  You can contact us at 972-495-6990 or ken@villagegreen-inc.com for the exact price for your lawn.

The reason it is so important in North Texas is because of our infamous clay soil which are made up of tiny particles that compact over time.  The longer you go without aerating your lawn the more they compact.  This is bad for your lawn because it makes it hard for it to take in water, oxygen, and fertilizer (major components if you want a healthy lawn.)  If you have a lot of traffic on your lawn, whether it be people or pets, the problem increases which is why golf courses aerate their greens and fairways several times a year.

As a homeowner, you don’t need to go that far, but it is a wise investment to aerate your lawn once a year.  Once you poke thousands of holes in your lawn, you are creating little cups that will collect water, oxygen and fertilizer.  These components will be able to penetrate deep into your soil down to the root system of your grass, which will lead to a healthier lawn.

Which is why I recommend lawn aeration to our customers.  It makes sense.  Financially and environmentally, and better yet, the end result will be a much healthier and more beautiful lawn when you combine aeration with your ongoing lawn maintenance program.  

If you have any questions regarding lawn aeration or would like to save $20 and schedule your lawn aeration special, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 972-495-6990 ken@villagegreen-inc.comI’d be happy to answer any of your questions.

01 Aug 2016

Made in the Shade: Jim and Kris S. Landscape Project Spotlight

Jim and Kris S. have lived in their home in an older part of Dallas for many years.  The couple engaged Village Green to help design and install a landscape for the front of the property that would update the look of their home as well as help a few problem areas.  Since the home is an established area of Dallas, the trees in the front yard are large and full and the resulting shade has resulted in the loss of the grass since the couple first moved into the home.

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The project involved removing existing hedges, expanding beds, and installing shade thriving plants that are lower to the ground so the features of their home would provide maximum curb appeal.  In addition to our landscape design, and installation, our stone mason, Andres, created retaining walls, including a decorative wall stretching in front of the circular driveway.

The end result is stunning and Jim and Kris were so pleased with the project that they have graciously allowed us to feature their home in this special landscape project profile.

Since 1980, Village Green has specialized in creating extraordinary landscapes for our customers. Our personalized, one-on-one approach allow us to take your ideas and inspiration and transform them into a beautiful landscape that will enhance your home and happiness.  We are currently scheduling landscape projects for the fall, which is one of the best times of the year to install a landscape (it allows the plants to establish well in advance of the dog days of summer which can be especially hard on young plants.)  For more information and/or an estimate on your project contact us at 972-495-6990 or Ken@VillageGreen-Inc.com.

16 Jul 2016

Ken’s Quick Tip: What is drought stress and how do I fix it?

Drought stress is almost always caused by under-watering.  In my experience,  the two likely culprits are not watering long enough and/or unknown sprinkler system issues that cause under-watering.

If you are unsure if you have drought stress, you can watch my short drought stress video here.  It will show you the telltale signs.  If you do see signs of drought stress in your lawn, here is what you can do to reduce possible damage to your lawn and landscape:

1.  Make sure that your sprinkler is programmed properly and that you are watering long enough.  You can download our free summer watering guide here.

2. Test your sprinkler system to make sure that you don’t have any nozzle or valve issues and that you are getting good coverage in all areas of your lawn and landscape.  Learn more about sprinkler troubleshooting here.

3.  Call Village Green.  We offer affordable sprinkler tune-up services where our certified technicians will make sure your sprinkler system is working properly (including programming it based on our summer watering guide recommendations.)

If you have any lawn or landscape questions give us a call at 972.495.6990 or email Ken@VillageGreen-Inc.com. I love to answer your questions and often can share the information for our Quick Tip series that helps all Village Green customers.

 
20 Jun 2016

Ken’s Quick Tip: Summer Watering Guide

The only thing hotter than our weather at this time of year are our phones!  We are getting bombarded with calls and emails about watering guidelines and sprinkler repairs.   

Long time readers of my Quick Tip series know I’m a big believer in education which is why I wanted to send you our summer watering guide. It contains all the info you need to program your sprinkler for this summer.

If you aren’t the do it yourself type or need a little extra help in programming your sprinkler I’ll take $20 off the price* of our special sprinkler tune-up.

We’ve helped many of our customers make sure they were getting the most out of their watering.  In fact, here’s a very nice testimonial that hit my inbox just the other day.

Ken, I wanted to pass along how great of an experience we’ve had with Village Green so far. I have scheduled irrigation work with you twice, last year and today. Sam has been our technician both times and he really does a phenomenal job. He is thorough, efficient and sincere. Both times, I was left with the impression that he takes ownership in his work and that transcends to ownership of our lawn’s appearance… as if he is working on his own property. I would definitely recommend Village Green to any of my neighbors. Thanks again, Shari C.

Our certified irrigation technicians, like Sam, are some of the best in the business and will make sure your lawn is getting appropriate and adequate water coverage during your tune-up.  They can program your system for summer watering (based on our summer water guide,) and they can also install water-conserving nozzles and applicators so that water usage is as efficient as possible.   Our tune-up is a great value and a good way to make sure you get the most out of your summer watering.

If you have any lawn or landscape questions give us a call at 972.495.6990 or email Ken@VillageGreen-Inc.com. I love to answer your questions and often can share the information for our Quick Tip series that helps all Village Green customers.

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