-Hardscape Installation (video)

This is a short video of a natural stone staircase project completed by Designscape in beautiful Brown County (fall of 2014).  After sorting through thousands of trail camera pictures we compiled them into this 2min  video.  Designscape excels in installations where the logistics and mobilization of equipment and materials are in difficult/hard to reach areas.  All 100+tons of material for this job had to travel a half mile down an old atv trail before reaching their final destination.

-WE ARE STILL PLANTING TREES!

The frigid temperature is providing us opportunities to plant specific varieties of hardy trees in normally high impact and hard to reach areas.  If you have a nice lawn and don’t want your grass torn up while planting a giant tree the crust of frost provides a great time to bring heavy equipment in.

Specifically DHS is planting hardy: spruce (Norway and White), oaks, maples, arborvitae, and select shrubs like winterberry holly and viburnum.

-Spring is here and going quickly!

Maple Leaves

As the rush of spring started late it looks like it may be short lived as well.  Now is the time to be checking for winter damage on all your landscape plants.  This includes those time tested favorites we all thought were zone hardy.  Here’s a link to a great video put out by our friends at Purdue to help explain the effects of old man winter.

 PURDUE PRESS RELEASE

-Bob’s Blog: Go NATIVE; don’t lose out! (drought-tolerant perennials)

Gardens that look good in fall work well all year long, gardeners in-the-know often say.

Many native plants tend to be deep-rooted, strutting their stuff, their blooms, in late summer and fall. These include asters, coneflowers, sunflowers, sneezeweed, bergamot, milkweeds, blazing stars, goldenrods, culver’s root, turtleheads, Joe Pye weed, cup plant, compass plant, wild senna and grasses such as big and little bluestem.

Other deep-rooted perennials offering earlycolor and interest include false indigo, sweet flags, irises, penstemons, celandine poppies and meadowsweet.

Using native plants in rain gardens, bioswales, prairie and wildflower gardens maximizes sustainability because they are tough, hardy and reliable. The gardener using native plants lowers the risk of losing plant stock during drought. Because many of these plants are so adaptable, they often weather rainy springs and winters common in our part of the country.

Other drought-tolerant plants include dry denizens such as Russian sage and other sages, lamb’s ears, sedum, hens-and-chicks, daylilies, and the long line of clumping, spreading plants that work well in herb gardens: lavender, rosemary, yarrow, artemesia, hyssop, oregano, thyme, catmint and calamint. Fragrant plants also have an advantage; they’re not popular with deer, which can’t stand their smelly aroma.

Gardening doesn’t have to mean buying expensive, high-maintenance, exotic plants that last only aseason or two. Don’t lose out; choose proven, adaptable performers that spread and stand up to adverse conditions.

-Bob’s Blog: Fence out four-legged intruders

Whitetail Deer

The wail of homeowners discovering their yards prone to four-legged intruders is all too familiar: “We tried everything to deter deer:  repellents, soap hanging in trees, human hair, even urine. The deer would not leave our gardens alone.”

Experts agree that one of the surest ways to keep deer out is fencing. The type of fence is usually dictated by budget, aesthetics, site conditions and how many months of the year protection is needed.

Prefab deer netting, stretched between metal posts or trees, offers a flexible, lightweight, easy-to-install, less expensive method for low to moderate deer pressure. Netting works well in hilly areas where rigid wire fencing is more difficult to install, and offers temporary solutions, perhaps in spring and fall when deer are more troublesome.

Heavier-duty, ultraviolet light-resistant, polypropylene varieties, often 7 ½-8 feet tall, are available. Nylon cable run horizontally through the top of the netting and three feet above ground (considered deer’s highest impact area) further secures the netting. Stress points where gates are installed usually require larger posts, perhaps anchored in concrete.

More permanent and vulnerable garden settings, such as orchards, vegetable and rose gardens, may mandate sturdier, more expensive woven- , braided- and welded-wire fences, slanted fences, double-row fences or electric fences. Again, wire fences are recommended to be at least 8 feet tall with 12-foot-tall posts to enable them to be buried 3-4 feet.

Slanted fences with repeated parallel single strands of wire, extending outward at a 45-degree angle, need not be as tall as standard fences, requiring deer to clear both the height and width of the fence. Double-row fences 4-5 feet apart also need be only 4-5 feet tall, also playing on deer fears of jumping without landing safely.

While electric fences offer deterrence at generally lower cost than wire fences, their use mandates precautions. Chargers, either 110-volt or battery types, often must be protected from the elements. Desirable chargers emit higher voltage, lower-amperage current at short pulses to “teach deer a lesson.” Plastic polytape fence maximizes visibility and arrests deer curiosity. A type of copper and polyester braided wire, used on horse farms, also works well.

After installation, electric fences should be monitored regularly.

WRITTEN BY

Bob Baird
DHS Landscape Designer/Consultant
Garden Columnist

Professional Landscapes