Friday, November 9, 2012

Before and After

There are times when a Before and After image can really help you understand exactly what can happen when you transform a yard.  Here are a few of our favorite Before and After shots.  Enjoy!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Okay, so we've been slack with blogging...

But we've been anything BUT slack when it comes to our work this fall.

Here's what we've been up to.

Told you we've been busy!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Welcome to September

It's still summer, but it certainly isn't too early to address the items in your yard that will winterize your property.  There are many things to do.  Planting.  Cleaning out beds.  Deadheading.  Removing.  Mulching.  Pruning.  We've reviewed all these outdoor items with you, but there are a few others we want to touch on.

Schedule to have your irrigation system shut down prior to the first freeze.

Drain all hoses and bring them inside.  If you fail to keep them out of the elements during the winter, you can pretty much bet you'll be replacing them in the spring.

Winterize fountains and water features.  Yes.  Do it!

Clean out your gutters and downspouts.  If you have a lot of trees on your property, you will definitely need to do this more than once and possibly several times during the fall winter season.

If you make a list, start making it.  Make the necessary appointments, hire the appropriate people if these are jobs you cannot handle and get your fall projects started.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Happy Labor Day!

Dr. Dan's Landscaping & Architectural Design wishes you wonderful holiday weekend!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Will You Labor on Labor Day?

When you think of Labor Day, you think of end of summer picnics, a day on the water, back to school prep and relaxing.  But for the typical gardening aficionado it means the beginning of the fall playing season.  In coastal Virginia we still have quite a bit of heat to deal with, but the days are shorter and the nights are cooler, making it the perfect time for planting and perfecting your landscape.   

Now is the time to get your lawn in shape.  We've had a wet August and September is the perfect time to plant grass or lay sod.  The conditions are perfect for the growth of grass.  If you do plant grass, remember to let it grow to a taller height before mowing.  Two and a half to three inches is optimal.  Fertilize your lawn as well.   Select and apply the proper fertilizer for your grass type.

Because the soil is warm, September may just be the best time of the year for planting trees and shrubs, as well as perennials and bulbs.  It's the perfect time to redesign your landscape or extend the variety and number of plants in your landscape.  One thing to keep in mind when planting a fall landscape, watering is still important.  Even though the temperatures are cooler and the sunlight shorter, you need to continue to water on a regular basis through the fall.

Fall is transplant time.  Be sure you transplant correctly and at the right time.  Transplanting can be touchy, so consulting with a professional may be your best bet if you're a novice.

It's not too early to start cleaning up your landscape and preparing for the winter months.  Cut back those plants that are done with their bloom season.  Add a layer of mulch to keep the new plants warm and to refresh the look of your landscape.

And when you're done, enjoy a cold glass of Sweet Southern Iced Tea.  Don't forget to add a freshly picked mint leaf or two from your herb garden.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Hurricane Season

Although Hurricane Season has officially been in effect for awhile now, it's usually late August when we really  start to consider what things need to be done to protect our homes.  The list below is a good one and was borrowed from the LSU Agricultural Center.

The biggest risk to homes, away from the coast, is flying debris, therefore picking up items from your yard as a storm approaches is a good first step.

Hurricane winds can turn movable items into missiles that cause damage or injury to anything or anyone they strike. If a limb or a lawn chair propelled by 100-mile-per-hour winds break a window or smash through your roof, the damage then is complicated by rain and wind that rush into your home.

Here are some tips for preparations you can complete yourself to protect your home:
  • Make a list of items to bring inside in the event of a storm. Then use that checklist to help you remember anything that can be broken or picked up by strong winds, and make sure those items are brought inside or secured before a storm hits.

  • Check your yard for debris, and keep it picked up. Hurricane winds can pick up anything that’s not secured, and even trash and debris can cause damage to things they hit.

  • Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed. Make trees more wind resistant by removing diseased or damaged limbs. Also, strategically remove branches so wind can blow through. You may need the help of a license arborist to complete big jobs, and it’s important these chores are done well in advance of a storm, so you don’t have piles of debris or trimmings lying around.

  • Clear clogged rain gutters and downspouts, and make sure none of them are loose. Hurricanes often bring long periods of heavy rain. Providing clear drainage will help prevent flooding that could result if water can’t run off.

  • If you don’t have impact-rated hurricane shutters, cut half-inch-thick plywood panels to span each opening (well in advance, if possible), buy long mounting screws or specialty hardware and drill the mounting holes into framing (not just in trim or brick veneer) in advance, so you can cover the windows and doors quickly. Be sure to mark which board fits which window to save time, too.

  • Keep in mind that tape does not prevent windows from breaking. Taping windows is not recommended and really can just take critical time from more effective preparedness measures. The only thing tape might do is to help reduce the scattering of broken glass. It’s important to buy the supplies you’ll need well ahead of time. Well ahead of time, buy the items you’ll need to board up windows, tie things down and take other measures to protect your home. When a hurricane threatens, supplies are quickly sold out at many stores – and the stock generally may not be replenished until after the storm.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Just Peachy

When I think of August and summer fruit harvesting, I think of peaches.  After all, August is National Peach Month.  Biting into a super ripe peach, juices dripping down my chin, on my hands, over my wrist and all the way to my elbow.  It's all part of the love for my favorite fruit.  While nothing beats a freshly picked peach, the recipe choices are abundant.  Everything from appetizers, salad, main dishes, desserts and even beverages.  Peaches are plentiful in August and so are the ways to use them.

If you want to start your morning with peaches, consider Peach Pancakes.  This simple recipe from the folks at will certainly bring a smile to the faces of the peach lovers in your home.  Make sure to save some peach slices to top them with, too.

By now, most of us have tried that pre-made Peach Iced Tea, but when peaches are plentiful then it's time to make it fresh.  Not trying this made from scratch recipe from Food Network would just be wrong!

If Iced Tea is not your drink, then a peach smoothie might be just the thing to tempt your taste buds.  Taste of Home's recipe is delicious and the small amount of effort is more than worth it.

Need that adult kick in your beverage.  Crank it up a notch with this Peach Mojito recipe from MyRecipes.  That perfect blend of peaches, mint and rum will make you feel like you're in Cuba, relaxing by the Caribbean.  

If you're hosting a little get together and Peach Mojitos are the drink of the night, why not whip up a batch of  Fresh Peach Salsa and tortilla chips to completely keep the peach theme going.  Southern Living's recipe will have your guests liberally tossing out the compliments.  

Peaches have a perfect spot in salads.  One of my favorite salads is a good caprese.  The Refined Chef has a great caprese salad, smartly referred to as Georgia Caprese.  Try it out for a new take on a well known favorite.

The flavors of peaches and pork mingle well together.  This Roasted Pork Chops and Peaches dish from Real Simple is sure to be a hit during peach season.

Seafood, particularly fish, also compliments a good peach.  Real Simple is on target once again with this Gingery Salmon with Peaches recipes.  Your grilling skills will most assuredly win kudos when this recipe makes an appearance on your table.

And now for dessert!  Can I just say that I LOVE peach cobbler.  A warm bowl of cobbler topped with a cold scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream may just be my favorite dessert in the entire world.  An August without it is just incomplete on so many levels.  This recipe is from Big Red Kitchen and it's easy, quick and delicious.  (You're on your own with finding the right vanilla ice cream.)

It's National Peach Month. Celebrate! From the words of those Classic Rock favorites, The Allman Brothers, Eat a Peach!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Creating From Nature

On rainy days, as summer starts to creep away and thoughts turn to cooler days and even cooler nights, ways to bring the outdoors inside also mingle through our minds.  This weekend, during a particularly rainy spell, I searched for ideas that would do just that...bring a touch of nature into my home.  I thought I'd share a few of my finds with our readers.

If you've got some blank walls, this simple wall art project from Dishfunctional Designs uses only a few materials and will provide you with original artwork, with minimal expense.  Offbeat Home describes a similar project.

If you've got an area of your house that needs some cool, but minimal lighting then this idea from Crafts Warehouse will probably make the top of your list.  It's another easy way, but will definitely start a conversation with your guests.

Create a beautiful piece of fabric art to wear or hang. Try DIY Sun Printing!  This tutorial on Garden Design tells you exactly how.

Turn ordinary candles into a showcase for colorful fall leaves.  They will turn your table into instant art.  Better Homes & Gardens will show you how.

There are so many beautiful ideas to be found.  Take some hints from the work of others, and come up with your own unique was to beautify your indoor space with outdoor items.