Welcome to our April edition. I received a lot of positive comments with March’s edition, so thank you. I find in sharing our challenges and successes without promoting my company, I accomplish my goal of being helpful to others but at the same time the company is benefitted.  It is a win, win combination that I have followed now going on our tenth year of writing. 

In that House2Home Showcase has just recently expanded its circulation, many of you are new readers. I would like to welcome you to the magazine and more importantly to Executive Care Landscape. We have been in business since 1989. We have a website where request for appointments can be made as well as other features including a slide show that samples some of our work, the title heading “Publications,” which is where H2H articles are kept and “Client Comments,” which as implied are comments from past clients. I encourage you to read both the articles and the client comments.  All this is an introduction to Executive Care, and as the owner I also desire to make our website a tool for teaching, so you will find information regarding plant care, fertilization, irrigation etc. 

We are located in Roseville so all addresses south of highway 50 e.g., Elk Grove, and west of  highway 99 e.g., Davis, are considered consultations which are fee based; though if we are hired, the fee is credited back.  Since the start of any positive relationship begins with confidence and trust by being very public I am taking the first step to reach out. Once you become a client we are with you throughout the year with instructions on watering as well as in the winter for frost protection for the plants. 

Lastly, with this being spring we are very busy, but I encourage you to be patient.  Landscapes are an investment, a onetime event if done correctly. Many of our jobs are redo’s so to prevent you from paying twice, being patient does pays off. Now for our article.  

In our March edition  we discussed the intent of the first meeting and how knowing something of the family structure helps in determining the landscape design. A good landscape solves problems that all yards have without being aware that a problem has been solved. The problem is hidden behind the beauty of the plants, or by the design of the hardscape. An easy example is when a client has a need for privacy. We can build tall lattices, which are obvious and direct the eye to the problem or use specific small trees or upright-growing shrubs, which not only adds life but makes the yard more inviting.  This type of approach, using plants in unique ways, works for a multitude of problem situations in one’s yard and combining them with structures gives us the best of both worlds. See if you can identify the problems we solved in Ted and Martha’s yard. There are three clue, I noted them last month. 

 

A design flaw in many landscape plans that I often see is that in the warmer months the landscape can look inviting, however let winter come and it is not so inviting. So combining deciduous plants and trees with evergreen plants and trees is critical to always maintain a sense of life in the yard, even in the winter. Looking at the picture of this yard know that it is March and much of the winter look still remains in that the trees are just now leafing out. And though there are a fair number of deciduous trees, the evergreen plants and trees still give an inviting presence to the yard. In about one week the Crabapples will be in bloom (see close up) and other flowering perennials will be in bloom a few weeks later.   The whole view of the yard will continue to change throughout the year making it always a place to enjoy. Note the beauty of the Weeping Cherry, Martha gets to enjoy it as she prepares dinner or washes dishes. Even if you dislike washing dishes, one view of this will put anyone in a good mood. 

 I am grateful for my years of growing plants in wholesale nurseries as it has given me an invaluable education. Not only is the knowledge of what plants to use priceless but also what plants to keep. For example, we will be starting a renovation very soon that has an unusual configuration. The back fence is wrought iron and behind it is a cul-de-sac where driveways and front of homes are completely visible. On my client’s side of the wrought iron fence is their pool, something that I would classify as a high privacy zone. The plant that is currently providing privacy is one of my least favorite shrubs, a Waxleaf Privet or Ligustrum texanum as I know it. It has smelly flowers and attracts bees when it blooms and as I said, it is by their pool. So I need to make the decision of whether to remove it or keep it and the only way I can make that is by knowing plants.. Summer is coming and there are two months for something to grow and provide the privacy that they are accustomed to or at least close to it. I can give our clients  options and not the standard “go to” answer,which Ligustrum is one of them.  Similar decisions are made with new homes. As you can see in the pictures the landscape has grown immensely in the last six years, and it has done exactly what I wanted it to do, providing a variety of color, texture and size and overall giving a park-like feel. It is very rewarding to come back several years later and find the landscape being all that it was intended to be, in part due to our maintenance division that comes throughout the year and helps our clients with their landscapes.Next month will be the conclusion of this yard, wewill visit another client whose landscape is also going on its sixth year.

Gardeners, now the fun begins. Sometime in April/May we get our first wave of aphid. Have your soaps ready. The best defense is just to keep the plants healthy by proper and thorough watering followed by a dry-out period ( both watering time and dry out period increase  as the plant roots grow deeper) and an organic fertilize applied half rate each month. 

Until next time – Good Gardening.