The Art of Plants


Time to Plant:

Time for Summer Gardens

May 4, 2014

We have had a warm dry winter but now is the time to start planting our summer gardens. Hot weather is perfect for tomatoes especially Heirlooms which have more flavor. Plants some Roma's for pasta sauces as they are meatier and have less water. Also consider zucchini and summer squash, Corn, Cucumbers and beans. Make sure that you have Basil, Dill, Fennel, Sage and Thyme to had flavor to your dishes. Check out a vegetable page for the best plants to grow in the summer. Make sure to add and till in a slow acting, low concentrate of Nitrogen, Phosprous and Potassium. For an organic solution for Nitrogen use Bloodmeal, Cottonseed Meal or well composted manure, for Phosphorous use bone meal and for Potassium use a kelp meal or wood ash.

Water Conservation

Steps to Reduce Water Use.

May 4, 2014

Water is a problem here in Southern California, especially after our dry warm winter. The following suggestions will help cut down your water bill. If you must water by hand, use a soaker hose or sprinkler wand. They are more effecient than a regular hose and nozzle. Make sure that you store your hoses in the shade. Hot water coming out of a hose that has sat in the sun all day can stress and damage your plants. Let the water run and cool down before you shower your plants. Lawns need about 1 inch of water per week and perennials need 1 to 2 inches of water per week, so don't over water. If it is overly hot and windy, you may have to add additional water - Just don't over do it. Too much water can cause root rot. Water in the root zone, which is about double the size of the canopy. If the water starts to run off, let the water soak in before continuing. Water runoff is the biggest waste of water. Keep an eye on sprinklers to make sure your plants are receiving the benefit of the water and not the sidewalk. Keep your mulch fresh and loose. If it looks crusty, rake it up to allow the water to soak through. Water in the morning to allow the plants to soak up the water for the lond hot day.

Call now to schedule a yard spruce up. 818 371-8005

Summer in So California

Hot Hot Hot

May 4, 2014

With our hot summers in Southern California, one of the best things you can do is to apply Mulch to your garden areas. A good organic mulch will not only reduce the amount of water evaporation from your soil but will also add essential nutrients back in. It helps break up the clay in the soil providing for better water satuation. It also insulates the soil and, most importantly, helps keep the weeds down. If you notice bare areas in your garden that could use a boost of organic mulch, call us to schedule a fresh layer of mulch to be installed. Not only will your plants love it but it will give your yard a clean fresh look for the summer.

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State Contractor's License

# 457152

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What's New


The purpose of softscape is to lend character to the landscaping. Softscape refers to the elements of a landscapethat comprise live, horticultural elements. Softscaping can include, flowers, plants, shrubs, trees, flower bSoftscapeeds, etc.

The most important element in you garden is a good substructure. This includes the soil and amendments, drainage and irrigation. A garden with poor soil will have scrawny and sparse plants. The same will happen when you do not have adequate irrigation or drainage. Many plants cannot stand to be in wet boogy soil and others will not thrive in sandy dry soil. The key is to assess your property and select plants that will thrive in your area. Because of the constant water shortage, many peole are turning to Xeriscaping, which is the use of dought tolerent plants. This does not mean you have to forego beautiful flowers and only uses cactus and succulents. There are many aromatic herbs that are both drought tolerent, have flowers that attract hummingbirds and can be cut and used to cook with. Let's start with the bottom and work our way up.


Drainage systems are necessary when water does not properly drain away from your property. Water retention can do serious damage to the base structure of your home. In severe cases, a heavy rain can cause your house to flood inside or weaken your foundation and eventually crack the structure. Proper drainage can also help minimize the damage or erosion issues caused by the weather. We offer a many different drainage systems that will prevent serious water damage to your home and landscape catchbasin drain.


Another important part of your landscape design is to have a professionally installed irrigation system. We will develop an irrigation plan for your garden that will allow plants of different moisture needs to be irrigated with plants that have similar needs. Today there are different irrigation controllers that have the ability to hook up to a moisture sensor. This will prevent the sprinkler system from coming on when the ground has enough water already. Your monthly water bill is reduced with this addition.


The final stage of a softscape design that will enhance your landscapes beauty is the incorporation of a professionally installed outdoor lighting system. The right landscape lighting at night will enhance the beauty of your garden that can be enjoyed into the evening from within your house or while relaxing in your yard. Up lights will bring attention to your specimen trees and shrubs, while path lights will illuminate your garden paths and walkways. Down lighting can enhance that special hidden seating area at the end of a garden path. Landscape lights will offer a warm welcome to those guest stopping by for a evening visit.


One of the most important steps in softscape design is how your plant materials are planted. Plants need a space for their roots to grow and thrive in, so typically a landscaper will dig a whole twice the diameter of the root ball. The open space around the root ball is filled with a planting mix of 50% native soil mixed with 50% garden compost. Add some fertilizer to give your plant a good start. When planting trees over 6 feet in height, we use tree stakes to prevent the tree from falling over or snapping from high winds.

In our softscape design, we usually plant shrubs in odd numbers of 3, 5, 7 or 9. By planting taller shrubs in the back of the planting area, and lower shrubs, perennials and flowers in the foreground, we can create a depth and demension to the landscape. By using the same type of shrubs for an area, creating a repeating theme, rather than scattering the plants amongst other types of plants, we can create a design will look more natural.


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