Landscaping & Lawn Care in Plano
01 Apr 2020

The Secret to a Great Landscape

Examples of what you don’t want to do. These landscapes don’t frame the house or have anything interesting near the entrance. There are also far too many rectangles and mushrooms in this landscape design.

Today I am going to share a secret about how to create a great landscape design. Whether you do it yourself or use Village Green, the key to a great landscape is to follow the great painter’s lead and create a frame around your home.

How do you do that? You start with the foundation planting at the bottom of your frame. You want the foundation plants to be dwarf type plants and ground cover. The reason this is important, so the plants do not obstruct the view of your home and hurt your drive-up appeal. You mustn’t cover up any interesting architectural details like columns, windows, and doors (see examples.)

Examples of what you don’t want to do. These landscapes don’t frame the house or have anything interesting near the entrance. There are also far too many rectangles and mushrooms in this landscape design.

You want your foundation planting designed to guide your eye to the entry of your home. Use a variety of shapes, forms, and textures to achieve this, and the style of the landscape will dictate your arrangement. Nearly always simple is best, and less is more. Keep the variety of plants to a minimum and mass them, so your eye is drawn toward the entry. The area around the door should have a vertical accent (3′-5’ tall) with seasonal color and more variety to draw your eye to this area.

The corner of your home should consist of larger shrubs and ornamental trees, usually 6′ or so, that make up the sides of the frame. This planting serves as a backdrop for the layering of plants that will help guide your eye to the entry. Tall plants at the corners and progressively smaller plants draw the eye to your entry.

The top of the frame generally consists of shade trees in your front yard; however, a grouping of ornamental trees along the foundation or shade trees in the back that is visible from the front can achieve the same effect.

If you have any questions about your landscape or want more information give us a call at 972-495-6990 or email Ken@VillageGreen-Inc.com.

26 Mar 2020
Ken Hyatt

A Message from Ken About COVID-19

Like everyone else, I’ve been closely following COVID-19 to determine best what I can do to help reduce the spread as a community member and small business owner. Also, many customers have contacted us concerned about the continuation of our services since spring has sprung in North Texas. It’s times like these that show us just how much we value our home as a sanctuary, and a big part of that is your lawn and landscape. Village Green is an essential business, so we will be continuing to service our customers as scheduled. Our shop and office are also open during regular hours if you have any questions or require any service.

Below are some of the extra steps we are taking during the COVID-19 crisis to do our part as an essential business that is still operating in North Texas.

Village Green COVID-19 MEASURES
Team Instructions

  • Wash hands regularly.
  • Special schedule including limited time in our Plano shop to limit personal contact.
  • Trucks are stocked with proper cleaning supplies to allow frequent cleaning of tools and equipment.
  • Team members to follow social distancing recommendations (6 feet.)
  • Office employees to clean work areas frequently and follow social distancing recommendations in the office and with team members who work in the field.
  • After work, go home and stay inside.

For our customers, there will be a few changes to our regular operating procedures but no interruption in our scheduled service.

  • There will not be a Village Green bag placed on your door after service.
  • Team members will not shake hands or any other greeting that requires personal touch.
  • Team members will not be entering customer homes.
  • Please help us by following social distance guidelines if you need to speak with one of our team members in the field.
  • We are offering landscape estimates and presentations via Zoom Meetings.

I want to reiterate that our top priority is to provide a safe environment for our team members while still offering an essential service to our community.

We are monitoring each team member and all vehicles and equipment to make sure that we are all practicing proper hygiene in these uncertain times.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call or email.

Sincerely,
Ken Hyatt
Founder and President
Village Green Lawn & Landscape

11 Mar 2020

Landscape Spotlight: Take a Video Tour of our Latest Landscape in Garland, Texas

This was a fun project that was twenty years in the marking! It all started Ken and Debbie’s daughter was in Indian Princess’ with Mr. H’s daughter. Over the years the landscape would come up and all the possibilities were discussed. Fast forward twenty years and that landscape dream is now a reality.

If you have any lawn or landscape projects in mind Village Green would love to earn your business. We install landscapes ranging from $2,500 up to $100,000 + and have been helping our North Texas neighbors create beautiful outdoor spaces since 1980. Contact us at 972-495-6990 or Ken@VillageGreen-Inc.com.

22 Jul 2019

Landscape Spotlight: Mr. & Mrs. O’s Zero-Lot Line Patio Home Transformation


Check out the new patio and landscape we installed for Mr. and Mrs. O in Dallas.
Their lovely home sits on a tiny zero-lot line backyard which didn’t afford much landscape space. On their wish list was a patterned concrete patio for their new hot tub plus plants that would soften all the concrete in their backyard.

Most think a small backyard doesn’t need or even deserve a good design which is not true. Small backyards are actually some of the most challenging projects we tackle at Village Green because it is imperative that you maximize every square inch. The reason that is so hard is because you must be smart about your choices not only is every square inch seen, it is also valuable which means you don’t want to waste any of the space with a poor plant choice.

I’m happy to report that not only do Mr. and Mrs. O love their new backyard oasis. They also raved about their experience with working with the Village Green team, especially Hannah, Kristian and Salvador. In fact they were so pleased with our work and service that Mrs. O took the time to post the following review on Google.

“Village Green Lawn & Landscape is a wonderful company! We couldn’t be more pleased with their design and service! We have a small backyard and wanted to turn it into something special. Village Green came out, looked at our project, made a design and implemented it wonderfully. They are top notch from the beginning to the end. Ken and his people are very professional and just a delight to work with. We can recommend without any reservations!” – Mrs. O.

There’s that old phrase, cheap becomes expensive which certainly can be applied to landscape work. It may seem that handling your design and installation, especially on a small project like the O’s will save you money. That is not true. What tends to happen is you end up spending more money and time than you plan and still don’t get exactly what you want. I know it sounds (and is) self-serving, but you really would be better off working with a reputable lawn and landscape company like Village Green. Typically, in the end you spend more time and money than you had planned and would have been better off (and a lot happier) to hire a professional landscape company (like Village Green.) If you are considering a project give us a chance to earn your business. You can get more information or get an estimate started by calling us at 972-495-6990 or email me at Ken@VillageGreen-Inc.com.

17 Apr 2019

Landscape Spotlight: Dr. C’s NW Plano Project

Like many of our landscape clients, Dr. C originally called Village Green to talk solutions for his thinning grass at his northwest Plano home. As we discussed his lawn it became clear that the answer would need to be a combination of sod and redoing his landscape because of several trees in his front lawn.

Dr. C liked a lot of things about his current landscape which he had done himself. He is an emergency room doctor, and one year, to reduce stress, he pulled out his old landscape and installed an all new landscape, including boulders and stone borders – pretty impressive. His landscape had a lot of perennials, and Dr. C loved the informal look. The problem was in the winter most of them would go dormant and he lost a large part of his landscape. He also had taller plants along his city sidewalk that obscured the view of his home.

David Daigle, our landscape architect, and I came up with a plan that shifted his beds away from the sidewalk to make his landscape feel less like a barrier and more welcoming. Dr. C also wanted grass and that allowed us to install zoysia grass in the slightly sunnier area near the sidewalk. We planted taller variegated pittosporums along the outside edge of his home. We shifted his large (and very heavy) boulders inside the beds and planted plum yew, a fern like plant that form a nice backdrop for them. We added pringle yews to frame the entry. We re-used his Mexican petunias by shifting them behind the boulders. Andres, our stone mason, installed a beautiful stone border and then we installed a decomposed granite path. As you can see from the before and after photos , Dr. C now has the informal look he loves all year round and you can see all of the beautiful brick texture of his home.

Take the stress out of your next landscape update or project by giving Village Green the opportunity to earn your business. We’ve been designing and installing landscapes in North Texas since 1980, and I guarantee we can solve any lawn or landscape issue you may be facing at your home. For more information or to get an estimate on your project give us a call at 972-495-6990 or email me at Ken@VillageGreen-Inc.com.

13 Oct 2014

How To Get Fall Color in Your Lawn and Landscape

View More: http://ingridhunsickerphotography.pass.us/nallswebWe are officially in the fall season. The temperatures have come down to a more pleasant level and that means that your lawn no longer needs as heavy a watering schedule as it did through the summer (don’t forget to adjust your automatic sprinklers.) You shouldn’t be watering the same amount as you did during the summer.

Typically at this time of year most flower beds and borders look worn out. But though it may feel counterintuitive, fall is the best time to plant in North Texas for a few good reasons.

  • Your soil is still warm in fall in North Texas.
  • The air is cooling down which means plants will lose less moisture through their leaves.
  • And most importantly, these conditions lead to stronger root growth than any other season of the year. 

I went into much greater detail on this subject on our blog a few weeks back. You can read that entry here if you like.

At this time of the year nurseries are well stocked with hardy, late-blooming plants to refresh your bed. And the best part about planting at this time of year is that the plants will have ideal conditions to grow strong roots over winter, so they’ll be ready to sprint into bloom next spring.

If you want to introduce some fall color some of our favorites are…

  • Pansies:   In North Texas Dallas if you want colorful blooms over the winter your go-to flower are pansies.  I’ve never understood why the name pansy got associated with wimpy when they’re the toughest flower I’ve seen.  They can weather single digit temperatures and wintry precipitation.  Then, a few sunny days later, will bounce back and start blooming again.  They will bloom better with a high phosphorous fertilizer (5-30-5 ratio.)  Like most flowers they prefer a loose well drained soil so they don’t stay wet after watering.  An easy way to accomplish that is to add potting soil to the bed.  Pansies are like candy to rabbits, so if you have a large population in your area, it may be challenge to grow them.
  • Violas:  They have pansy-like blooms except the blooms are tiny.  You can plant these in similar conditions to pansies.
  • Kale and/or Cabbage:  Oddly enough, if you have rabbit problems, you are safe planting kale and/or cable.  Rabbits would rather eat your pansies versus eating your vegetables!  These aren’t as colorful as pansies but they’re easy to grow.  To make them look nice later in the spring, trim off the blooms.
  • Mums:  These are wonderful fall plants.  Like azaleas, they only bloom a few weeks out of the year, but when they bloom they look great, especially with pumpkins.
  • Cyclamen:  These are beautiful, delicate flowers but a our North Texas winters can be too harsh for them.  I recommend planting a few of them for a nice change of color in your lawn or landscape, but don’t get carried away.

You can also introduce a burst of color by purchasing some pumpkins and gourds at a local pumpkin patch. As a long time member of Arapaho United Methodist Church I’d like to put in a plug for you to visit our patch at the NE corner of Arapaho and Coit if you live in the area.  For customers living farther east, check out Cornerstone United Methodist Church (this is my parent’s church) in Garland.

Village Green offers full landscaping design and installation for our customers. I invite you to view our online portfolio and if you are thinking of adding some fall color, or doing any landscape work to give us the opportunity to earn your business. We’re happy to do a free quote and answer any questions you may have. Simply call 972-495-6990 or email ken@villagegreen-inc.com.

30 Sep 2014

How Do I Keep Armadillos From Destroying My Lawn and Landscape?

armadilloOver the past couple of weeks we’ve seen an increase in calls regarding lawn and landscape damage caused by armadillos.  Namely how can our customers stop armadillos from digging up their lawns?

The armadillo is an unusual creature. They’ve been around forever, and are in a family that is similar to anteaters.  They thrive in warm climates with soft soil, such as Texas.   They have an excellent sense of smell. When startled, they often jump straight up, and then run surprisingly fast. They are usually about two feet long and about 12 pounds as adults. They are primarily nocturnal, but sometimes emerge after a rain or in cool weather.    The problem with armadillos in urban areas is that they dig for all of their food, which consists primarily of grubs and earthworms.  Armadillos are expert diggers and they can cause serious damage to a lawn or a nicely landscaped area.  They often dig holes in undesirable places, such as underneath a concrete porch, the foundation of a house, or near gas/water lines. If they remove too much dirt from under a concrete foundation, the foundation faces the danger of cracking.

Village Green’s first line of defense against armadillos is grub prevention (click to learn more.)  Be sure and treat your lawn in late spring/early summer with a grub preventative to reduce the amount of food in the lawn.  This doesn’t always prevent the armadillos but it seems to cut down on them.

If they still decide to dig in your lawn (armadillos aren’t the smartest animals around) we have seen some success with applying sulfur.   We have also been using it to chase rabbits out of lawns because of the damage they do to the yard.  It’s sort of voodoo when you use it to chase off animals and it’s certainly not a guaranteed cure but more often than not it improves things.  For those worried about applying sulfur, rest easy; many people apply sulfur to their legs when they are hiking to prevent chiggers.  It is also safe on lawns (in fact up north it is used to change the PH of their soil.)

If you still need help or have questions please give us a call at 972-495-6990, email me at ken@villagegreen-inc.com or fill out our contact form. We offer a full range of affordable services for your lawn and landscape and would be happy to give you a free quote on any of our services.

28 Jul 2014

Lawn Care Help Wanted

Village Green is currently  seeking a person to join our lawn cutting team. This position is year round (not seasonal) and has the opportunity for advancement (both in pay and responsibility) for the right, hard-working candidate willing to learn (training provided for sprinkler repair, landscape, fertilization, and pest control.) A few other details.

  • No experience in the lawn and landscape business required
  • Must have a valid drivers license
  • Ability to speak conversational English (for customer interaction)

Village Green is the place for you if you enjoy…

  • A flexible, family oriented work environment
  • Having most weekends off (and nearly every Sunday)
  • Want the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day off
  • Hard physical work outdoors
  • Variety in work sites (moving around a lot throughout the day)
  • Working for a stable, secure, company (Village Green has been around since 1980)
  • Caring and kind management team (we often provide ice cream and cool drinks after work in the hot summer months, and hot chocolate and coffee during the cold winter months…our team are like members of our extended family)

Village Green isn’t the place for you if you dislike…

  • The North Texas weather (it is HOT in the summer and cold in the winter and you’ll be working outside)
  • Muddy, dirty, dusty, wet, windy, etc. conditions (the job is outside, we’re at the mercy of the elements)
  • Hard physical labor (the position involves a lot of pushing, pulling, digging, and lifting)
  • A 45 to 50 hour work week most of the year (it drops to 20-25 January – March, and can spike up to 60 hours a week during especially busy times)
  • Starting early…7am (most days we’re finished by 4pm, but we can work as late as 6pm depending on projects and work load)

If you feel Village Green and this position are right for you, please fill out our Village Green Questionnaire and Village Green Application.  Please note we will be doing background checks and drug testing on all applicants. When you are finished please email them both to Charley.  If you have any questions please call 469-209-5484.

24 Jul 2014

How To Get Rid of Bare Patches in a Shady Lawn

Landscaping in PlanoJust the other day I got this email from a customer:  “I am unable to grow grass on the heavily-shaded west side of my house. I have tried seeding and St. Augustine sod. Nothing has worked and now I have mostly dirt. Any suggestions?”

I wish I had a quarter for every time I’ve been asked this question. In fact, It is one of the most frequently asked questions I get regarding lawn care.

Over the years, I have heard countless people tell me they have spent thousands of dollars replacing the grass in the shady areas of their lawns. Then time after time, they end up watching it disappear a year later.

If the conditions are right to grow grass, it will fill into an area by itself. But if not, installing sod or seeding is only going to cause you to waste money and become frustrated.*

I believe in education first and foremost, so let me share the rules of thumb for turf sun requirements.

  • Bermuda needs about 8 hours of sunlight to survive.
  • St. Augustine needs about 6 to establish, once established you can plant a tree and as the tree casts more shade the St. Augustine will gradually acclimate to less light (which explains why your neighbor may have thick St. Augustine under his trees and you don’t).
  • Zoysia is starting to become popular and has similar light requirements as St. Augustine.
  • Fescue doesn’t mind the shade, but it’s a cheap short-term solution because you have to replant it each year.

Right about now you are probably thinking, what if I prune my tree limbs. If I cut them back, I’ll get more sun and it will fix my problem.

It’s a logical thought, but please do not prune you trees in order to grow grass in your bare spots. It is a bad idea. Thinning trees is like removing an arm or two of an umbrella. At the end of the day you are still going to have an umbrella, albeit, an ugly one! Studies have shown there is virtually no difference in the light hitting the ground under a thinned tree versus one that has been thinned. Pruning a tree can be great for a tree, but don’t do it with the hope it will help the grass underneath it.

So what’s the solution? Surely something can be done to make those dirt patch area look better.

The best solution is acceptance. If you have a shady area you need to accept it, and adapt to it by installing plants that like the shade. There are plenty of ground covers and shrubs that do well in little to no light. Most of the landscapes we install are in very heavy shade. If you can accept the shade, and find plants that thrive in the shade, you can easily change an eyesore to a pleasant spot where you can escape the brutal Texas summer heat.

If you need help finding solutions for your lawn, give us a call at 972-495-6990, email me at ken@villagegreen-inc.org or fill out our contact form. I’d be happy to answer any questions. For those that don’t’ want to invest the time and energy into transforming their yards, Village Green offers affordable landscaping design and installation which can transform your lawn in no time! Many of our projects include transforming shady lawns filled with dirt patches into an oasis for our customers. You can see some of our work in our landscape portfolio here.

*More Resources and Information

  1. Secrets to a Health Lawn:  Water
  2. Secrets to a Healthy Lawn:  Sun
  3. Secrets to a Healthy Lawn:  Food

 

10 Jun 2014

Summer Watering Guide

Sprinkler Repair in Richardson TX As the temperature gets closer and closer to the century mark, I get more and more questions about how to keep your lawn and landscape looking good in this Texas heat.  Not to mention during Stage 3 water restrictions. First, you need to water for about sixty minutes per week in the summer. That can vary based on a few variables (has it rained? Do you have a lot of shade?) But sixty minutes is a good basic guideline for our area. The challenge though is the infamous clay soil in North Texas can only absorb so much watering at one time.  Often, anything beyond 10 minutes (the number is actually 7 or 8 minutes, but it’s simpler to explain and program 10 minutes to our customers,) is going to run off which is bad for your water bill and our environment. This is further complicated by the fact that about 2/3rds of our customers can only water every two weeks. Below are a few scenarios based on various water restrictions in our area.

  1. The ideal watering plan is twice per week, with 3 ten-minute bursts each morning.
  2. The second best is once per week, with 3 ten-minute bursts in the morning and 3 at night.
  3. The third best (and what 2/3rds of our customers are having to do under current restrictions) is every two weeks, with 3 twenty-minute bursts in the morning and 3 at night.

You may have to pull out a calculator to make sure the sprinklers will stop before the cut-off times and those with larger properties may not have enough minutes in the day to do what we recommend (especially those with every two weeks.) The programming has become so complicated for many of our customers that we’re installing a lot of new controllers that support the every two-week scheduling.  Two models that do this are the Rainbird ESP Controller and Weathermatic Smartline Controller.  They start at about $350 and go up from there based on the number of zones you have. One final point, if your sprinkler system has rotary heads (that turn out slowly and send out long streams of water) you will need to water those zones twice as long.  The reason being they are covering twice the area with the same number of gallons and need to run twice as long to put out an inch of water. If you need more help programming your sprinkler, or making sure your system is in top condition give us a call at 972-495-6990, email me at ken@villagegreen-inc.com or fill out our contact form. We offer affordable sprinkler system inspections and tune-ups that will guarantee appropriate and adequate water coverage for your lawn. Our certified irrigation technicians can also install water-conserving nozzles and applicators so that water usage is as efficient as possible.

Village Green Downloadable Resource Guides

Water Resources

Water Schedules

Village Green is open for essential business. Please see this message from our owner, Ken.