About our Company

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Landenberg, Pennsylvania, United States
Based in Landenberg, PA PLG offers Landscape Installation and Maintenance to Southern Chester County and Northern Delaware

Friday, July 26, 2013

10 Reasons to Hire Pickel Landscape Group to Design and Install Your Landscape

  1. Planning is the most important part of any project.
    1. A good landscape design will bring beauty and style to any home. It also can raise your property value 10%-15%. A plan also directs the project, without it a project can quickly become out of hand or go over budget.
  2. Saves you money in the end.
    1. We can work within budgets, plants, and materials to realize your vision. 
  3. Our designer closely with install crew.
    1. This ensures the vision on the paper is realized in actuality.
  4. Materials and Plants Selection
    1. Selections of materials can be very challenging. We can filter through colors, styles, and specific applications to get the best results and a cohesive design.
  5. A landscaping project can be overwhelming.
    1. We can ground your project and fix your problem with a designed solution that is beautiful as well as practical.
  6. Improves the final product.
    1. Landscape designers are masters of the design process. They close the gap between what the client wants and reality.
    2. Reconcile existing conditions, views, and elements with a great design.
  7. Professionally Drawn and Scaled Plan.
    1. We will produce a scaled plan using a CAD program.
    2. PLG also offers 3D Fly Throughs of the proposed landscape.
  8. Designing and installing a landscape plan takes a lot longer than you think.
    1. You don't have time to purchase plants, materials, and install a plan. The average landscape plan takes about a 40 hour week to install.
  9. A landscape designer provides clear direction. 
    1. Choose plants that survive in your location and the best material for the application.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The LawnScapes Design Process

Takes place on the job site and is the meeting where we will discuss your needs, preferences, and ideas for your landscaping.  We appreciate you having any measurements, house plans, lot survey, pictures, or any other helpful materials copied and available for the designer to take.  It is a good idea if you go through our design questionnaire before this meeting.  At this meeting we will also provide you with a design contract and upon receiving payment we will add you to the design schedule.  

Site Analysis
This is the phase where we study and visit the site to gain a full understanding of the existing conditions.  We make one more site visit to take measurements, elevations, make note of the sunny and shady spots, elevations, and any other pertinent information required to create a landscape design. 
Schematic Design

In this phase we reconcile the client’s needs and desires with the functional aspects of the site.  During this phase the designer uses a technique call ‘Bubble Diagramming’ to layout the spaces, the pathways between them, and their uses.  Sometimes another meeting is required to discuss these ideas with the client.

Quick Bubble Diagram
Quick Circulation Diagram

Final Plans
This is where the design will be drafted using CAD software.  All elements of the design will be included, and details will be drawn to locate all elements, and to show paving patterns, etc.  When this work is completed a meeting will be scheduled to present the plan, selection of materials, and information on the installation.

Example of a Final Plan

Design Implementation
In this phase we provide the final estimate and proposal for the proposed landscape installation.  Once the proposal is accepted and the initial payment is provided you will be placed on our installation schedule.

LawnScapes Design Services

Masterplan- complete design for your entire property

Landscape Rejuvenation Plan- Plans detailing the removal and replacement of any unhealthy trees, shrubs, and can include transplanting existing plant material. 

Hardscape Plan- Plan detailing walkways, retaining walls, seat walls, and patios.  A hardscape plan Includes proposed materials, dimensions, and paving patterns for the installation.

Landscape Planting Plan- layout plans can detail your entire property or a very small portion of your yard.  These plans include spot plantings, foundation plantings, buffer plantings, shade, native, butterfly, and bird gardens.

Specialty Design Detail- this would include a design for a custom fireplace, bulb plantings, outdoor kitchens, water features, vegetable gardens, perennial plantings (Country Gardens), etc.

Lighting Plan- Layout plan and engineering for outdoor lighting. This includes sizing the transformer, choosing the correct fixtures, and the selecting the correct wire gauge.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Choosing Hardscape Materials

Material choice is, perhaps, the most fun step in a landscape design.  Material can (and will!) determine the direction a project takes.  It can determine the paving pattern, whether the design in curvy or posses straight lines, and the formality of the space.  Do you want a modern feeling space?  Do you want to have a monolithic wall or have it broken up with smaller stone?  Would you like natural stone or an interlocking concrete paving system?  These are all choices you need to make when thinking about a hardscape.  

PA Irregular Flagstone with a reclaimed brick border.
Quarter Ton Brown Boulders are great features in planting beds or dry creek beds.
Materials also determine the character of the space.  Whether you are going for an extremely modern space or want your patio to look like it is a hundred years old, material choice is very important.  Colors, architectural elements, and paving materials all need to work together to create a cohesive space.  At LawnScapes, we like to take our clients to a supplier’s yard to show them the wide range of natural materials and the options to be had.  Nothing is more fun that a shopping trip!  I tend to advise clients to take the time to choose the boulders, colors, and materials in person so that they know exactly what the materials look like. 

The rustic character of this space is accentuated by the stacked stone wall, broken flagstone cap and the stepping stones.
This entry courtyard is meant to be very formal.  The Rectilinear design, double sailor course of brick, and the range pattern flagstone really adds to the gravitas of the space.

Visit Delaware Hardscape Supply’s Website, CST Pavers, and EP Henry to pick out some of your favorite materials.  As always, please do not hesitate to visit our website at www.lawn-scapes.net to give us feedback! 

-Matt Bradley

Friday, May 18, 2012

Race Street Pier

View of the upper level of the pier and the Ben Franklin Bridge.

               A couple of months ago the Race Street Pier in Philadelphia opened to the public.  Since this was a brand new work of landscape architecture right in my backyard I figured I should take a trip into the city to see it.  I hopped a SEPTA Train at the Malvern Station with my trusty road bike, camera, and my head full of great expectations. 

               The Race Street Pier was formerly known as ‘Pier 11’ and was a rundown unused urban space.  Located right next to the Ben Franklin Bridge and offering dramatic views of the Delaware River, this Pier was ripe for redevelopment.  This is one of the first of many public parks built by the Delaware Waterfront Corporation.  Three designs were presented and ‘The Slice’ won.  I must say as a designer this design is spectacularly dynamic.  Check out all of the designs HERE
The lighting at the end of the pier is quite unique.  Place randomly into the pavers, it really creates a show when viewed from the bridge above or even on ground level.

One of the most striking details is the use of ‘Cor-Ten’ steel for the raised planters.  Cor-Ten steel is meant to rust, protecting it from the any further degradation from climatic forces.  Once it takes on the dramatic brownish, red color the protective barrier has formed.  This material really harkens back to the Piers more humble, industrial beginnings.    
The winning design is dominated by a large, sloping ramp that rises along the north side of the pier.  Constructed of ‘Trex’ wood it should last a very long time.  
Dramatic view of the Ben Franklin Bridge
View from the end of the Pier toward the city.  Notice Comcast Center peaking it's head out of the mist.
Native plantings with Cor-Ten steel planters

If you have any question don't hesitate to visit our web page at www.lawn-scapes.net!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Composting Tips and Tricks

This week I am going to talk about composting.  We will cover the benefits, the how, and the why.  Composting is a great way to recycle, create your own rich soil, and to amend your existing soil with.  Given air and water in sufficient quantities, a compost pile will create useable soil from waste materials in a very reasonable amount of time.
            There are several potential materials that can be composted:
1.     Leaves
2.     Grass Clippings
3.     Raw Kitchen Materials
4.     Coffee Grounds
5.     Vacuum Cleaner Fluff
6.     Sawdust
7.     Newspapers (must be soaked down, very well)
Woody materials, such as limbs and trimmings should be avoided, because it will slow down the decomposition of your compost pile.  Other materials that should not be included into your compost pile are: cooked food scraps (they will attract wild animals), diseased plants, roots of perennial weeds, and seed of perennial weeds.  Most of these materials will spread disease, or allow weeds to grow.
The compost pile should be constructed in a hidden part of your yard, or garden.  You can build an open, stacked compost pile, or construct a bin out of lumber and chicken wire.  Do not try to compost in a close bin or a trash can, because they do not allow proper air circulation bacteria need to digest materials.  To build an open compost pile you should start with a 1’ thick layer of grass clippings, leaves, or hay laid in a 5’x5’ square.  Pack this layer down and wet it well with a hose.  Once wet, sprinkle on ammonium sulfate (if your soil is basic) or sodium nitrate (if you soil is acidic).  Cover this preliminary layer with at least two inches of soil.  Continue this process gradually by adding material as it becomes available.  After each 12” layer of suitable material is completed, wet and cover with soil exactly like the first layer until the pile is about 5’ tall.  The top layer should be covered with 3”-4” of soil and be slightly concave to catch rain water.  Make sure to keep your compost pile slightly wet at all times to speed up decomposition.
      When the compost is ready it will be black or dark brown, crumbly, and sweet smelling.  This process can take about 3 months in the summer and slightly longer in the winter but, depends upon how much material you can contribute.  Now get out there and make some soil!  If you any questions don't hesitate to visit our web page at www.lawn-scapes.net!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

LawnScapes Spring Clean Up!!!!

Well spring is here and it is time to get your landscaping in order!  Right now is the perfect time to call us and schedule a LawnScapes Spring Clean Up.  Our Spring Clean Up includes spreading 14-14-14 fertilizer on all beds to feed all of your plants all year long.  Any mulch that is built up more than 2” thick will be removed and raked down.  Extra mulch built up around plants can promote disease and general unhealthiness.  Our crew members will weed the beds, spread pellitized pre-emergent (to prevent Spring weed growth), and then spread and dress new 2” of new mulch of your choice.  Perhaps one of the most important things is cutting back your perennials and properly trimming your shrubs and trees.  In short let us do all the dirty work for you so all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the weather!  Check out mulch options HERE.  IF you have any questions don't hesitate to visit our web page at www.lawn-scapes.net.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Spring has Sprung!

Cherry Blossoms! In mid-March....
               Well, it is looking like we are going to get an extra month of spring here in South Eastern Pennsylvania!  Last year it snowed on April 1st!  Here at LawnScapes we have been in contact with our suppliers and everyone is ready to go.  99% of the perennials are ready to be picked up, shrubs and trees are ready to be planted, and our guys are itching’ to get back to work.  Mike and I think that it would be best to wait until at least the second week in April for any planting, just to head off any freak frosts we might have but, mulching and spring clean ups are a go.  Let’s enjoy this weather and use it to get a jump start on our summer projects!  Go ahead and schedule your spring clean up and mulching job so your yard is ready for that Easter Egg Hunt.  Since the ground never really froze this winter, the weeds are getting a head start and we need to head them off at the pass.  Please call us for your lawn weed and feed so we can get your lawn looking great for the months ahead.  If you have any questions don't hesitate to visit our web page at www.lawn-scapes.net.

-Matt Bradley, BLA, PCH