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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, February 25, 2011

On Mulch and Mulching.......

            Everyone knows that mulch makes our flower beds much, much more attractive.  Mulch is defined as a soil cover that is composed of organic material.  The forest creates its own natural mulch each year when deciduous plant and trees drop their leaves.  Because of this we should replicate natural process in our gardens.  We recommend bark mulch for your beds because it lasts a long time and looks really good.  I usually stay away from stone chips and river jack because they retain heat and can cause root damage.  Using stone as mulch also removes the benefits of decomposition and adding amendments back to the soil.  Mulching should be done about twice a year, once in the spring to freshen your beds and once in the winter to insulate your plant’s roots from the cold.   
            There are many benefits of mulching your beds and garden.  Mulch keeps weeding to minimum by keeping their seeds from sprouting.  Water in soil naturally evaporates; mulch insulates the soil from drying out.  Mulching can also prevent soil borne diseases from spreading to fruits and leaves.  This happens when water splashes the soil onto the leaves.  Soil will also take longer to change temperatures.  Decomposing slowly, mulch adds nutrients to the soil, and makes the soil looser.  Earth worms really enjoy mulch.  The worms break down the mulch and aerate the soil.  Before mulching it is important to remove weeds currently growing and water thoroughly.  Finer mulches should be applied no more than 2” deep.  Coarser mulches can be laid up to 4” thick.  In order to determine how much mulch you need measure the square footage of your beds you can use this formula:
x= the square footage to cover
y= the depth of the mulch in inches
z= cubic feet
(x)(y/12)=z/27=Cubic Yards
Mulch is generally sold by the cubic yard.  A cubic yard is about one bucket of a loader.  In order to make sure that you have enough, I recommend adding 20%-35%, more to the total cubic yards you require.

Check out Delaware Hardscape Supply's Website to see different mulch options!
Call LawnScapes for a mulching estimate today!!!

-Matt Bradley, BLA

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Art and Ornamentation in the Garden

               These are the elements that provide your garden's character and speak of your personal style.  Gardens appeal to many senses and ornamentation adds to this by adding sight, sound, and touch.  Using form to emphasize certain elements in the garden such as: axes or the end of a walkway we add interest to the garden as well as directing the view and movement of the pedestrian. 
·        Garden Ornamentation can be either Formal or Informal
o   Your ornamentation should match your garden style match your formality.
·        Statues
o   Perhaps one of the most popular garden accessories.
o   Can be classical or abstract in form.
o   Obelisks, orbs, and sundials, are usually used to emphasize central points and cross axes.
o   Think about the space where the art is being placed:  If the art is meant to be viewed from one side it should be placed against all wall; a piece of art that is meant to viewed from all directions should be placed in the center of the space.
·        Informal Art and Ornamentation
o   Informal art and ornamentation can be anything from: well heads, millstones, hitching posts, chimney pots, or any interesting architectural elements.
·        Using trees as Sculptural Elements
o   Trees are very sculptural when use correctly in the garden.
o   Evergreens have very distinctive, very formal forms that they keep all year long.
o   Deciduous trees such as Japanese Maples are very sculptural in summer and winter.  During the winter, a deciduous tree’s branching form is exposed adding even more interest. 
o   When using a tree as sculpture, remember to place it individually to highlight its uniqueness.  Many trees (not including formal evergreens) have a very informal and irregular shape; highlight this by hiding a tree behind a wall or allow it to peak around a corner highlighting its form.  
·        Rocks and boulders in the Garden
o   Very effective as sculpture in the garden.
o   Japanese garden designers used rocks as sculptural elements in the garden, sometimes constructing the entire garden out of stones.
o   Boulders are often irregularly shaped tending to be very dynamic elements.
o   Placing stones in the middle of planting beds is very effective.  Allowing naturalistic planting to drape over a boulder provides a lot of interest.
·        Decorative Planters
o   Decorative planters combine sculptural elements and plant material in a unique and dynamic situation.
o   Pots and containers can be used to fill empty corners and top walls.
o   Use plants such as yuccas, cacti, and other sculptural botany that need to be admired on their own. 
·        Sound
o   Very important element in the garden though it is usually forgotten
o   Can be provided by plants, wind chimes, or a fountain.
o   Use wind chimes to provide sound but are very effective when hidden, adding mystery to the garden.
o   Mobiles and moving sculptures use wind to create movement and interests.
·        Wildlife in the Garden
o   Birds, bees, and butterflies add a dynamic to the garden no other sculpture can. 
o   By using plants, bird baths, and bird houses, you can attract these species that add to the garden with their darting, songs, and bright colors.

Hopefully you found this interesting and as always feel free to shoot me an email or a phone call!!  IF you have any questions please do not hesitate to visit our website at www.lawn-scapes.net.

-Matt Bradley, BLA
Landscape Designer

Welcome to the LawnScapes Blog!!

It is here that I am going to provide general punditry and thoughts on landscape design and maintenance.  Hopefully you fine readers find some of this information interesting and helpful.  As always if you have any suggestions for topics or new information for to add to the posts please let me know!!

Thanks so much for reading!!  If you have any questions don't hesitate to visit our web page at www.lawn-scapes.net.

-Matt Bradley, Landscape Designer