A new weapon to help you become an expert on Pacific Northwest conifers
Proper Landscaping Inc.
by Vas Sladek
1d ago
Testing, testing I openly admit to struggling with conifer plant identification. For example, just last week I was on a large strata site in White Rock. My co-worker kept on calling the conifer in his hand Japanese cedar and I looked at him suspiciously. I knew that the botanical name for Japanese cedar -always try to use botanical names- was Cryptomeria japonica; and there were several mature specimens on this site. The conifer he had to remove didn’t look like Japanese cedar but at that moment, its name escaped me. Alas, that’s usually what happens to people who desperately try to learn bota ..read more
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Honda stopping gas mower production after 2023
Proper Landscaping Inc.
by Vas Sladek
4d ago
Old news I had no idea Honda had announced it was stopping their gas mower production after this year, until I talked to James, the owner of this website and Proper Landscaping Inc. This happened in September 2022. Why would Honda stop making mowers? “Honda mowers will go down in history as the most durable commercial mowers”, says Desmond Early. Des owns and runs Foreshore Equipment, the best dealer in British Columbia. He would know. Years ago, when he upgraded his mower fleet, he sold me one of his Honda commercial mowers for just over $100. I still have it, and it still runs. Since I don’t ..read more
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Why linden trees can put a smile on your face
Proper Landscaping Inc.
by Vas Sladek
1w ago
No time to stop Landscaping work in the private sector is driven by profit, and it’s very difficult to generate profits if your workers stop to notice details in the landscape. It’s go, go, go all the time. This past summer I was helping at an older site, predictably populated by mature trees. And right at the entrance to an inside planted courtyard stand three mature small-leaved linden trees (Tilia cordata). Now, as I made passes through the entrance, I noticed something different in the air, but I pressed on with my regular lawn care duties. Lawn care is always done first. Asian mommy Just ..read more
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Early 2023 fine-tuning tasks for your garden
Proper Landscaping Inc.
by Vas Sladek
1w ago
New season The new year is here and the garden is very quiet. But if you look closely, there is some fine-tuning you can do now. Assuming you feel motivated to go out into your garden in January. Let’s take a look at some of my work. Black eyed Susans I’m not a fan of stubs. On trees they die and create a pathway for diseases to enter. On perennials like Rudbeckias, they create homes for bugs to move into and sharp sticks for gardeners to get stabbed with. I hate this look. If you must cutback your Rudbeckias early, use hand snips and enjoy the work. Remove the entire flower stalk so only the ..read more
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Why I loved UBC’s 2022 native plant seminars
Proper Landscaping Inc.
by Vas Sladek
1w ago
Lots to love I really enjoyed the two native plant seminars I attended last summer at the University of British Columbia (UBC) botanical garden. Sadly, I missed the first one because I had side-hustle clients to keep happy. Everything came together nicely for me. First, I stumbled upon the seminar ads online purely by chance and at $40 per session it was a steal. I signed up online right away. Keep reading if you want to know why. Second, my wife and kids were away visiting the in-laws in Western Japan. This meant that I could drive over to UBC after work without having to make special soccer ..read more
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On plants and light availability
Proper Landscaping Inc.
by Vas Sladek
2w ago
Observation I love going back to sites and seeing how my plant installs are doing. We know it’s not always good news, like the case of my yew screen. I always feel responsible for the plants, as if they were my dependents. The line of Portuguese laurels (Prunus lusitanica) shown below is doing well. We didn’t lose a single specimen, which is fantastic. We’re finding that Portuguese laurels do much better in heat than cedars (Thuja occidentalis). Also, note that the heights are mostly uniform because the light levels are fairly even. Prunus lusitanica Portuguese laurelsEnglish laurels Now let’s ..read more
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Are Pampas grasses back in fashion?
Proper Landscaping Inc.
by Vas Sladek
2w ago
Pampas Friday I have a weakness for ornamental grasses. They look awesome when the wind sets them in motion, they flower in the fall, and they look fantastic when frost covers them. We cut them back in early spring and then leave them on autopilot for the rest of the season. If the clumps get too big, you can dig them up and divide them in late spring. This past Friday, one of my co-workers kept referring to Pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) all day when, I was hundred percent sure, we were looking at Chinese silver grass (Miscanthus sinensis). I quietly ignored the directions to cut them bac ..read more
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How to turn your expertise into a new income stream on Quora.com
Proper Landscaping Inc.
by Vas Sladek
3w ago
Quora.com I have written about Quora.com before: “A place to share knowledge and better understand the world”. It’s a great website if you have a burning question to ask; or, if you have expertise you can share with the world. I obviously answer questions about lawn care, gardening, landscaping, trees, blogging and side-hustles. Once, I blitzed the site with lots of answers just to get to a top 10 ranking in certain categories, like landscaping. Then I realized it was a lot of free labor and time that could have been spent on better things. Like an actual side-gig for real clients. Monetizatio ..read more
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My favorite moment of 2022
Proper Landscaping Inc.
by Vas Sladek
1M ago
The best moment While spending some time on LinkedIn recently, I came across a post asking a simple question: what was your favorite moment of 2022? It didn’t take me long to think of my favorite moment. What about you? City note Early in the season, I picked up what would quickly become my best-paying client. It’s a logistics company and business is good because goods have to move. The business is based at the back of a residence and both employees and clients pass through the gardens on their way in and out. Therefore, everything has to look presentable. When I first took on the work, there ..read more
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Gardening and karaoke
Proper Landscaping Inc.
by Vas Sladek
1M ago
On demand gardening The text message came through exactly one week from Christmas; and flurries in the forecast. Looking at the weekend forecast, I was totally prepared to shut down my side-hustle operation. It’s been a good, long season. But I’m a well-known landscape slut. I can’t say no. Plus, this was a serious request. My client was having a karaoke party and the garden looked like hell after the recent snow melted away. Could I clean it all up and also give the back pool area a blow? Absolutely! Residential service This is exactly why my side-hustle business exists: you enjoy your party ..read more
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