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April showers, May flowers…and June heat waves.

When spring gives way to summer, your landscaping to-do list grows even longer. Let’s get ready for the season ahead with a brief refresher on what summer means for homeowners who have a yard and/or garden.

The Right Way to Water More

Even though you may think your plants have received enough water to last through summer, once we get a few days of 90-degree temperatures, those plants will need more water. However, watering more means watering more thoroughly—not necessarily more frequently. The best way to do this is to water slowly. Then, walk away for a few minutes and come back to water a little more. You want the soil to be fully saturated, at least 6 inches deep, to ensure the roots are collecting and storing the water. See more summer watering tips.

Controlling Summer Fungus

The bliss of a summer garden can quickly dissipate when summer fungus arises. Powdery mildew, in particular, spreads very quickly and can force you to part with your plants. To reduce the risk of summer fungus, keep your garden well-maintained and consider choosing disease-resistant plants. Also be sure to prune regularly, and water in the mornings so that the soil does not sit damp through humid summer nights. Learn more about finding and treating summer fungus.

Weed Control & Lawn Care

Weeds are perhaps the most widespread summer nuisance. Broadleaf and crabgrass grow prolifically in late summer and can be difficult to completely eliminate once they have popped up. Mowing your lawn at a higher height in summer is a great DIY trick for keeping weeds away, however, a professional turf care program is a must if you truly want to minimize weed growth.

Creating Shade

Even plants that prefer full sun will begin to struggle in the summer heat. Whenever high temps and sunny days are in the forecast, consider covering your plants with shade cloth. This material is available at just about any home improvement store and comes in many different styles offering different levels of shade. For natural shade, a beech tree or red maple can add much-needed levels to your landscaping. Height not only brings shade, but also adds an eye-catching element to any landscape design.

Enjoying Summer Colors

Spring gets all the credit for flowers, but summer can certainly be colorful, too. There are many plants that bloom all summer long, from petunias to marigolds to brown-eyed Susans and more. Add bright pops of color against deep green foliage for a lively and eye-catching display.

Hosting in Style

Summer landscaping is a lot of work. Why not leave it to the pros at High Tech? That way, you can focus on hosting the perfect backyard BBQ. Learn more about our residential landscaping services and contact us today.

The post Quick Landscaping Tips for the Home Stretch to Summer appeared first on Hightech Landscapes.

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Do you love the ambiance of summer flora? Do you want to plant some trees or flowers in your garden that bloom throughout the year? If you want to find out which plants are best able to answer these questions, then you are in the right place. Flowers and plants in your garden enhance the ambiance of your house by spreading positive energy and scent to the entire area. The great challenge that most people face is during the summer season that dries out the plants with excessive heat and lack of rain. You can actually grow the following plants in your garden, which can survive the summer season easily while maintaining an appropriate and beautiful ambiance:

1. Petunia

Petunias are usually considered to be the best plant that thrives throughout the growing season, starting in the spring and continuing to the winter months. Hybrid petunias, commonly known as “Purple Wave”, offer trailing habits which are considered to be more versatile in nature. It has the ability to produce flowers throughout the year irrespective of the season. The color of the original petunia flowers were initially deemed purple, but now they can be produced in a variety of colors, such as pink, blue, red or even creamy white.

2. Zinnias

This type of flowering plant usually loves the warmth and can be grown in the summer planting season. They are considered to be reliable when it comes to handling the temperature and can fill your garden with flowers that will last for longer periods of time. This plant also provides you with a choice of types of flowers you wish to grow, such as small-sized flowers, daisy-kinds of zinnias producing a single flower, pom-pom kinds of flowers which are generally large in size, and many more. The dwarf kinds of zinnias make better bedding plants or when used around fences.

3. Gaillardia

This is another type of flower which is best grown in the summer season. The best feature of this flower is that it will thrive even in soil of poor quality with ease, even if it is not watered on a daily basis. Though this plant only lives for a short period of time, returns yearly to enhance the beauty of your garden.

4. Globe Amaranth

This beautiful plant, with a paper-like petal, lasts for a longer period of time and can be easily grown in your gardens. You can choose from red, lilac, white, purple, or pink colored flowers in order to show extensive color in your garden. As this plant needs complete or partial shade and a moderate amount of water, it is known to be best grown in the summer and watered often.

5. Sea Holly

This plant appears to be so exotic in appearance that people are easily attracted to your garden. You will definitely love the color of the leaves, which are actually a mixture of silver and blue. It requires complete sunlight to grow and an average amount of water, hence it is considered amongst the top when it comes to summer flowering plants.

6. Stella de Oro Daylily

Without a doubt the daylily will enhance the beauty of your garden and will grow extremely well in the summer season. As the name suggests, daylilies only last until the sun sets. It is advisable to grow Stella de Oro Daylilies which have a lasting lifespan of up to five months. Daylilies do require as much sunshine as possible with regular watering to thrive.

7. Evergreen Candytuft

This beautiful flowering plant has flowers that are white in color. It grows in the early spring season and lasts up to the winter season. The beauty of this plant will require sharing as everyone will want one of their own. The evergreen candytuft does require plenty of sunshine and regular watering for successful growth.

8. Brown-Eyed Susan

The flowers of this plant are the main attraction of any garden. This plant generally yields yellow flowers or to some extent orange flowers and has a large dark brown to black center. It does require regular watering and full sun to grow.

9. Joe Pye Weed

This wildflower attracts a lot of beautiful butterflies and birds due to its height of five to seven feet. It requires abundant water and full sun to grow at its best and tallest.

10. Purple Coneflower

Offering similar characteristics to that of the brown-eyed Susan plant, this plant grows to a height of four inches. It blooms the best during the summer season, especially in the midsummer and right into the autumn season. You have to water this plant regularly and offer plenty of sunlight for proper growth.

11. Marigolds

This flower definitely enhances the beauty of your garden and creates a magnificent ambiance in your garden or house. Typically gifted with yellow or orange colored blooms, this flower has the ability to lighten up your garden, bringing it up to the next level. Marigolds thrive with plenty of sunlight and access to regular watering.

Flowers bring color and fragrance to a garden or home. If you add to your garden each year it is always easiest to not have to replant or to use the same flowers that will bloom long term. This post has explored options in both areas to make sure your garden blooms bright when you can enjoy it most.

The post 11 Plants That Bloom All Summer Long appeared first on Hightech Landscapes.

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Easygoing and long-blooming, Walker’s Low is one of the most commonly grown catmint varieties in home gardens. By easygoing, we mean that it can grow in just about any soil and sunlight with minimal maintenance. That said, the ideal spot for Walker’s Low is in full sun and dry surroundings.

The lovely lavender flowers of this catmint will show in early summer and last through the season. The plant is a little wider than it is tall, but no more than three feet in either direction at maturity. Use Walker’s Low to line pathways, or to complement other showy perennials.

Did You Know?
It’s not quite catnip, but close. Catmint and catnip are essentially the same plant, with catmint being the more ornamental of the two. If you want the neighborhood cats to visit and play in your garden, plant catnip. If you would rather they pass by with little interest, stick with catmint.

Other Fun Facts About Catmint

  • It is believed that the Ancient Romans cultivated catmint as an herbal tea in the town of Nepeti—perhaps the origin of catmint’s genus, Nepeta.
  • Walker’s Low is resistant to and will even repel most garden nuisances, including insects, deer and rabbits.
  • Bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, however, do love catmint. With this wonderful plant, the pretty things come and the pests go!

The post Walker’s Low Catmint appeared first on Hightech Landscapes.

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Daylilies might not be true lilies, but they are certainly one of the most popular flowering perennials you’ll find. That’s likely because they come in all sorts of colors and combinations, while being ultra-reliable and easy to maintain. Better yet, some daylilies—such as the Stella D’Oro—bloom at both the beginning and end of summer.

Daylilies make the perfect container plants. Most prefer full sun (or at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day) and well-drained soil. Follow these simple guidelines, along with mulching before winter, and you can expect your daylilies to bloom again and again.

Did You Know?
The reason daylilies are not technically considered lilies is because they belong to the Hemerocallis genus, while true lilies belong to the Lilium genus.

Other Fun Facts About Daylilies

  • There are 20 species and more than 20,000 hybrids of daylilies.
  • Each daylily flower only lasts one day. Luckily, there are many buds on each of many stalks of a daylily, forming a cluster of lasting color.
  • Daylilies are drought tolerant.
  • In Asia, daylilies are consumed as a vegetable. Your daylily flowers can be eaten raw or cooked.

The post Daylily appeared first on Hightech Landscapes.

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Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer in New Jersey—which means it’s time to fire up the grill, chill the beverages, invite friends and family over, and soak up every second you can spend outside. Hosting a backyard BBQ is a fun and refreshing experience when you do it right. The key is to let your landscape do most of the hard work, so you can enjoy the time with your loved ones.

Spruce Up the Patio
Every winter is a long winter when you live up north. If you spent the cold months planning for the warm months like we recommend doing, go ahead and skip to the next section. If you’re only realizing in May that winter did a number on your yard, we’re not going to lie—you’re a little behind. But that’s okay! Focus on cleaning up first, and then get ahead of your summer landscaping.

Bring the Kitchen Outside
Carrying food back and forth between your kitchen and yard adds a lot of mileage to your day. If you really love to BBQ, consider investing in an outdoor kitchen. High Tech Landscapes can design and build a custom outdoor kitchen based on your preferences, so you can focus less on logistics and more on being the grill master. See outdoor kitchen options and examples here.

Let Your Guests Relax
A cookout is laid back by nature; don’t worry about keeping everyone engaged and entertained at all times. Besides, you have the grill to attend to. The more important thing is that everyone feels comfortable, so make sure you have ample seating and visually pleasing surroundings. Water features—such as a pond, fountain or waterfall—can add an extra sense of serenity. Choosing your plants thoughtfully is, of course, a must, along with insect control to keep summer bugs away.

Move the Party to the Pool
If you’re fortunate enough to have a pool in your backyard, it’s safe to say that everyone attending your BBQ is going to want to jump in (or, at the very least, lounge poolside). Turn your pool into a poolscape with the right combination of constructed and natural features. If your pool and outdoor kitchen are adjacent to each other, we’ll just say you’ve really got it made in the shade.

Wind Down by the Fire
What’s better than summer days? Summer nights! Keep your get-together going strong—albeit inevitably slowing down, perhaps—with a bonfire. In order to do that safely, you’ll want a fire pit. The benefit of owning a fire pit is that you can have a relaxing evening by the fire any time of year. Our fire pit designs include propane, brick, wood and covered patio firepits.

If you love spending summer outside, there’s no better place than home to soak up the season. Contact High Tech Landscapes to bring your landscape to life and make your backyard the ultimate summer hangout.

The post How to Host the Perfect Backyard Summer BBQ appeared first on Hightech Landscapes.

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When summer scorchers are hanging on into fall, who wouldn’t want a pear tree in their backyard? Pears can be harvested in New Jersey from August to December, which means you can have a delicious and nutritious snack ripe for the picking nearly half of the year.

There are two types of pear trees: fruiting and ornamental. Growing a fruiting pear tree takes a little more work, and a lot of looking up. These trees can grow up to 40 feet. If you’re not all that interested in having your own homegrown pears, you might consider an ornamental pear tree instead. Ornamental pear trees trade juicy pears for showy flowers—and do still grow smaller fruits (which you won’t want to eat). It’s just a matter of which tree interests you most. Regardless, most pear trees prefer full sun.

Did You Know?
A newly planted pear tree will bear fruit after three to five years. Talk about eating the fruit of your labor! 

Other Fun Facts About Pear Trees

  • There are more than 3,000 different types of pears in the world.
  • People have been eating pears since as far back as 1000 B.C.
  • Ornamental pear trees will often have tinges of light green in their bark, a unique touch from Mother Nature.
  • Some ornamental pear trees, such as the Winter Glow, bloom in the colder months.

The post Pear Tree appeared first on Hightech Landscapes.

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An ornamental plant is one that is grown primarily for aesthetics, which the purple leaf plum tree delivers in elegant fashion. Also known as cherry plums, purple leaf plum trees are known for their deep maroon leaves, paired with white and light pink flowers in early spring.

Plant a purple leaf plum tree in full sun to ensure you see those beautiful blossoms in April and May. Sun also helps the tree keep its unique foliage color, which will turn the typical green if it gets too much shade. You can expect a purple leaf plum tree to grow a foot or two each year, reaching up to 25 feet at maturity. Water weekly, or a little more often during summer heat waves.

Did You Know?
Purple leaf plum trees grow small, edible fruits after blooming. Give them a try around mid-summer when they’re ripe. If you’re feeling creative, make them into jam!

Other Fun Facts About Purple Leaf Plum

  • Purple leaf plum trees are commonly found in Japanese gardens.
  • The purple leaf plum is considered both an ornamental and flowering tree.
  • You have competition for those purple leaf plum fruits; birds and wildlife love them, too.

The post Purple Leaf Plum appeared first on Hightech Landscapes.

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While you may already have a perfect design in mind for your landscape, spaces can present obstacles that stop you from achieving your desires. Perhaps the terrace is smaller than you thought, or there’s a corner that won’t get enough light for the plants you had planned.

Working with the space you have in front of you, and not the one you imagined, can be daunting. If these are the kind of worries that keep you up nights, look for a design firm who can work with you to reach your ideal landscape design. After peeking at the lawns and landscapes of your neighboring flora enthusiasts, you may find that your garden worked out just perfectly for you.

Before finding the perfect landscaper for you, let’s familiarize ourselves with tips and original landscaping ideas for all seasons. You can keep these in mind when embarking on your quest for the right design for your space.

Building up a Backyard Landscape Design for All Seasons
The initial step in planning any new landscape design is to remove existing structures. This can be as simple as pulling the endless weeds that have thrived in your absence, or as labor-intensive as breaking down a rotted deck that predates your ownership.

Once these are removed, your space will be opened up to its full potential. You can even repurpose some of the refuse construction materials, for example, old stones could be used to create a footpath between the patio and the garden.

Establishing a fully fenced-in space while designing your landscape can also help your peace of mind if you have small children or adventurous pets.

Taking every season into consideration when planning your landscape can be a good way to start setting realistic goals. Picture a cedar pergola with open-finished gables, covered in snow and intertwined with bare branches. Now picture it in Spring, new green growth and flower buds overhead. Make sure your dream space won’t just end up disappointing you when the bloom is off the rose.

If you know your area has a predisposition to insects in the warmer months, or inclement weather in the fall, a fully or partly enclosed gazebo can be a better choice than an open pergola. Furnished with all your preferred luxuries, these can be an ideal spot to relax or work while enjoying your outdoor space.

Apart from the initial design, remember your landscape is a living thing. Keep seeking design experts for inspiration the same way you would redecorate an indoor space!

Spring brings warmer weather, and with it, the chance to refresh your open space. Use this opportunity to address whatever dissatisfactions appeared in the winter, and immerse yourself in a perfect summer experience.

With the experience of each season separately, you will be more fully informed on your preferences when talking to professionals. Bearing each of these tips in mind, you can work through a fully satisfying renovation, moving from the larger picture all the way down to the smallest nuance to achieve your vision through every growth period.

Bring the Indoors Out
Everyone wants to make the most of the space they have, to feel at home in their own house. A large part of this feeling will include how comfortable you feel in your outdoor space. Consider bringing the coziness of your inner sanctum to the outside. Take your outdoor lighting system as seriously as you take your indoor one. Well structured lighting can add warmth and depth to any area.

Whether raising a glass around the warm glow of a chimney or descending a stair to an illuminated pool, a good lighting arrangement can improve the experience of your own space.

Make Comfortable Gathering and Entertaining Spaces
Being able to provide warmth and sustenance is a good way to start planning any space where you’d like to entertain guests. Make sure to consider larger spaces for substantial gatherings. Include outdoor chimneys or radiators to broaden your seasonal options, and optimize your lighting plans to expand the experience.

Hiring a decorator can help make your outdoor space feel like a natural expansion of your interior. If you wish to use your backyard as an ideal entertainment space, try incorporating more aspects of what is available inside. An open-air kitchen or bar, along with outdoor speakers, can make the experience outdoors as amenable and engaging as any inside.

Include Functional Kitchen and Bath Features
Do you spend your colder months anticipating spring? Are you holding your breath to be hanging out in the sunshine, grabbing ice for your drink and enjoying the summer as you unwind poolside this season?

You can maximize your experience with an outdoor kitchen, or an open-air shower, coordinated into your ideal summer setting for an outdoor experience.

In the same way that a good floor plan directs you through an indoor space, a good landscape design flows and subtly informs you on the best way to travel through the space, or where to pause and enjoy the moment.

As with interior design, landscape design is a wonderful meeting of form and function. The placement must agree with both utilization and aesthetic, where each furnishing and addition should further the feeling given by the landscape as a whole.

The post Home Landscape Design Tips and Resources for All Seasons appeared first on Hightech Landscapes.

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Any one of our landscape architects will tell you that safety is just as important as aesthetics in designing your ideal outdoor space, particularly when it comes to curb appeal. If you’re looking to add true value to your home, consider these investments that bring a beautiful balance of form and functionality.

Landscape Lighting
From the time we “fall back” in November until we “spring forward” in March, much of our leisure time at home after work is spent in the dark. Early mornings are relatively dark for a good portion of the year, too. Minimize the likelihood of slips, trips and falls while creating a uniquely illuminated ambiance with landscape lighting. If you’re the type who likes to kick back and take in some fresh air after a long day, even better! Having the right lighting on your porch will encourage you to make good use of it.

Paved Walkways
Take a look around the perimeter of your home. Is it safe and simple to get where you want to go? From the driveway to the porch, yard to garden, custom walkways add much-needed navigation to your landscape. Sure, you know where you’re going. But those routes can have dips or other inconsistencies that you just never quite remember to watch out for. A walkway also helps your guests know where to walk, perhaps leading to a grand reveal of an outdoor kitchen or poolscape.

Front Yard Privacy
Not everyone feels comfortable putting their home on full display, and even those who do usually want at least some barrier to entry onto the property. With the right trees and shrubs, you can create a natural fence. Blue Point Juniper, emerald green arborvitae and skip laurel are a few examples of foliage that can serve as a form of privacy.

Insect Control
You might not know you need insect control for your landscape—until you do. Fleas, ticks and mosquitos pose significant health risks. Did you know that New Jersey has one of the highest rates of Lyme disease (commonly carried by ticks) in the U.S.? Controlling these tiny-but-troublesome intruders tends to feel like a losing battle during an infestation. Instead of trying to get them away, make a concerted effort to keep them away with organic insect control.

Professional Landscaping Services
The easiest way to make your outdoor space safer and more visually appealing all around is to hire a full-service residential landscaping company like High Tech Landscapes. We can provide all of the above and more with quality materials, reliable service and decades of experience. View our residential gallery for inspiration and contact us today!

The post Real Curb Appeal: 5 Ways to Make Your Landscape Safer and Prettier at the Same Time appeared first on Hightech Landscapes.

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Those of us with green thumbs and black thumbs alike can appreciate the comfort and beauty living plants bring. This is why most of us love the season of spring; spring brings the blooms and bursting life. It brings the world around us back from New Jersey winter’s shroud and makes our gardens flourish again.

There are hundreds and thousands of variety of flowers in the world. Some are known for their unique scents, while others are loved for their beautiful colors. Every flower has its own distinctive grace and charm, but only some are hardy enough to herald the coming warmth with blooms before the rest! Today we will be discussing 5 spring blooming plants that you can add to your property to bring the beauty of new buds, even when the rest of the flora hasn’t quite caught up to your spring fever. With that being said, let’s just jump right into it.

1. Hellebores:

First up on our list is the lovely Hellebores. This plant is known for its quick blooming period, and it is said that it blooms as soon as a warm winter day comes. This plant is also famous by names such as Lenten Rose or Christmas rose. These nicknames grow from the idea that it grows even in the cold climate of winter, especially near Christmas.

Hellebores offer a variety of colors as the months pass by. In January, they bloom a shade of white, in February blooms a pink shade, and by March will change into purple. They are grown in semi-shaded areas and require only regular moisture, so if you have a relatively shaded area and prefer a low maintenance garden, Hellebores could be your perfect flower.

2. Arnold Promise Witch Hazel:

If you are looking for a plant that will have everyone’s gaze land admiringly upon the garden, then Arnold Promise Witch Hazel is the early bloomer for you. It blooms in late winters and early springs, and produces flowers which are golden-yellow in color and give off a wonderful citrus scent.

The best part about Arnold Promise Witch Hazel is that it is a carefree plant, which means that it does not attract insects or diseases. This makes it perfect for those who are extra cautious about such kind of aspects. They grow at a slow-to-moderate pace, but can reach up to a height of 10 feet. These plants offer a great visual appeal when they are planted as borders or on transition zones.

3. Snow Fountain Cherry Tree:

If you appreciate an option on the taller side, the Snow Fountain Cherry Tree could be a great choice for your space. This plant is famous for its visual charm and appeal, and it offers a spectacular addition to the entire garden.

This plant grows in winter, spring and summer, so you do not really have to worry about its imposing empty presence in an off-season. In winter and spring, it offers lovely cascading white flowers, and in summer bears red ornamental fruit. This plant is also insect and disease resistant, so you can use it throughout your garden without any issues. You can plant them in any soil with good drainage, under direct sunlight for best growth.

4. Snowmound Spirea:

The shape of this plant follows its name in perfect accordance. Snowmound Spirea produces cascading mounds of white flowers that can grow up to 3 feet in height, so if you were interested in a more moderate sized garden adornment, this could be the plant you’ve been waiting for. They grow in the later spring season and continue their growth into the summer season, while the color of the flower grows from light green in the spring to dark green in its later blooms.

This plant is very popular for its low maintenance needs. If you do not have time for regular maintenance but appreciate some greenery outside your home, then you can go for this plant without thinking too much. All you really have to take care of is to take the roots off the plant every two years.

5. Dwarf Forsythia:

The last in our list, Dwarf Forsythia, might fool you with its title. It is not really dwarfed in any real sense, as it grows about 2 to 3 feet, but the classic forsythia can triple that height. If, like the Spirea, you are interested in shrub-sized additions, the Dwarf Forsythia could be for you. It comes in a variety of sunshine-esque shades, and they are great for landscaping as they carry the essence of Big Forsythia.

These were just some of the best spring blossoms that you can add to your garden to enhance its charm in the earlier seasons. To kickstart your garden, please check out our Integrated Plan Healthcare System and our residential gallery.

The post 5 Spring Blooming Plants to Add to Your Property appeared first on Hightech Landscapes.

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