Tips & Advice

There’s nothing more enjoyable than spending quality time outdoors with your family, including your furry companion(s). Please enjoy some tips to create a backyard paradise that is safe yet inviting for your four-legged family members.

  • Create a hardscape that you and your pup will enjoy together.

  • Dogs and lush lawns don’t always jive. For smaller problem areas, consider switching from a grass/turf expanse to hardscape. Choose materials that won’t get too hot when you walk on it. Concrete, brick, flagstone, pebbles, and smooth rocks are all excellent options. Most mulch and small bark chips are dog friendly. Stone is especially useful for landscaping with furry friends because it minimizes the mess dogs make through urinating and digging.
  • Can’t give up your luscious green grass?
    When you see your pup(s) urinating on the grass, grab the garden hose. By washing the bodily fluids away, it also flushes the harmful elements in the urine.
  • Create a shady spot for our Michigan sunny days.
    Too much sun exposure could give your dog sunburn and even heatstroke, which may lead to serious injury. Planting a large tree or dense shrubbery will give you and your dog(s) a break from the direct exposure.
  • Switch to a turf grass that can handle more traffic.
    A tired dog is a good dog. However, an unexercised or bored dog will look for trouble. Create a space where your dog(s) can run freely, and you will have far less worries. Some grasses hold up better to traffic than others. Among the warm-season grasses, Bermuda grass is among the toughest. If you need a cool-season grass for landscaping with dogs, try Kentucky bluegrass.
  • Get to know your furry friends patterns.
    Try to plan your yard around your dog’s predictability. Installation of a stone walkway over existing dog paths is always a brilliant and stress-free option. Plus, everyone will be happy: the dog still has its path, and you get to have a better-looking yard. Stone walkways exude charm and are a desirable addition to your landscaping regardless of potential doggie problems.

Things are starting to heat up in the Oakland County area. The rising temperatures can put extreme stress on even the most well established plants.

Here are a few quick tips to help your landscape survive the heat.

  • Mulch around all trees and shrubs to provide maximum insulation to plant root systems from heat. Apply 2 to 3 inches of mulch.
  • Water thoroughly in the early morning hours. Water your plants before daybreak. This will minimize evaporation.
  • Plant material that shows stress by wilting may need some additional watering to bounce back. Hand watering can really help in this situation.
  • Additional tips to help any annual survive the summer heat:
    • Pinch off spent blooms regularly so your plant can conserve its energy, especially during hot temperatures.
    • Container plants and new transplants need plenty of water. Be sure your plants drain well between watering.

We may not always notice the bees, birds, hummingbirds, bats, beetles, and butterflies that carry pollen from plant to plant as they collect nectar. However, without them, wildlife would have far less nutritious berries and seeds, and we would miss many fruits, vegetables, and nuts, like blueberries, squash, and almonds in addition to chocolate and coffee, which also depend on these pollinators.

When choosing plants in your garden for pollinators to your landscape it’s best to have a variety of plants. This will offer a range of flowers throughout the growing season. Installing one species in clumps will attract more pollinators than individual plants scattered around the landscape. Also, consider planting several colors of flowers to help pollinators find the flowers. Bees, for example, are especially attracted to blue, purple, violet, white, and yellow flowers.

Here are a few pollinator-friendly plants to consider when adding color to your landscape.

  1. Agastache – These flowers are attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies
  2. Sedum – Bees & butterflies like Sedum because the flowers are flat, star-shaped, and really easy to collect pollen and nectar.
  3. Lavender – These flowers are highly attractive to bees and butterflies
  4. Salvia
  5. Sunflowers – Bees are very attracted to them!
  6. Lamb’s Ear – Its nectar will attract not only bees but hummingbirds, as well.
  7. Sea Holly
  8. Coreopsis
  9. Coneflower
  10. Lantana – Butterflies will flock to these flowers

Article by: Emily Creamer, Office Manager of Lake’s Lawn & Landscape

Deciding on what materials you want to go with can have a major effect on the overall budget of your project. It is also one of the most satisfying parts of planning. Can you repurpose existing material? Gathering existing materials such as wood, plants, stone, pavers that can be moved around in your new plan could help your budget tremendously. Don’t have any existing material? Try visiting your local salvage yard or landscape yards for materials they will potentially throw out. Nurseries often have clearance sales and many plants might be able to be divided and transplanted.

Want to take the easy route that might not be so easy on your pocket but unsure what material you want to use to create the perfect look for your project? Keep in mind, you want every material to be weatherproof! A helpful tip: stick to 3 different materials at MAX. Too many different materials, can throw off the elegance of your project. Below are some examples of great materials to consider for your project:

  • Gravel: There are many different kinds of gravel to be used, in which will give you different looks. You want a whimsical garden setting?- pea gravel or river rock would be perfect. Are you looking for a modern and clean look?- marble chips or crushed granite are great choices.
  • Concrete: Poured concrete is typically the most cost efficient, for a hardscape. Concrete pavers are also a great value and has incredible durability compared to poured concrete. Stamped concrete is a little more money than poured, but the overall look is worth the upcharge.
  • Decking/Wood: For busy areas you will want to choose a durable and stable material. Hardwoods such as timber, oak, and teak would make a perfect option for a high traffic area. Decking typically requires maintenance every now and then, such as power washing to keep slippery substances away.
  • Pavers: SO many great paver options. They tend to be very low maintenance and do not require continuous efforts in upkeep. Repair is also painless, as you are able to repair one paver at a time.

We all want the longest-lasting mums possible, right? A beautiful plant that is already bursting with gorgeous fall-toned flowers is tempting, but pick one that is not in full bloom yet. This is key to the longest-lasting fall plants. Pick a plant that has a lot of buds and lush green foliage instead of one that is currently blooming.

Mums that are already covered in open flowers are most likely at or beyond their peak blooming time. Thus, these while pretty now, will likely not last much longer. Mums that are just at the budding stage will give you a much longer display. Trust us– It’s worth the wait!

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