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Friday, April 19, 2013

While It Has Been Raining We've Had Plenty To Do!

Let's face it, this has been more than a "cats and dogs" rainy season. In fact, we'll go so far as to say it's raining frogs. This eye-catching couple represented the massive population which thoroughly enjoys the rain and our pond in the back yard. They have brought in all their relatives. In the evenings there is frog choir practice and we truly enjoy the mixture of voices! During the day, as you see, they are keenly aware of what is going on around their established residence. Ruby and Megan, all the guys, and our dogs have to watch their steps.

We learn by doing but we do not learn by doing a job for the first time at your home! Although there has been a fire pit and a "surround" for years here, we decided to upgrade and update, oddly at just about the time we would be reviewing techniques and polishing skills at pre-season gathering (work). We keep up with trends, ideas, improvements, methods, and materials. We strive to keep our designs current while also maintaining a sense of longevity. Here's a look at our new fire pit area. Come see it in person! Zsa-Zsa will be there to greet you and show you around. (Olive may be working in the nursery or the office. In our new setup you see we have plenty of room for seating: at a children's picnic table, on a nearby bench, and along the wall built as multi-purpose. That wall also can be used as a serving area. We may end up putting a plant or two on the pillars. Who knows?

Then there is our greenhouse.
Can you say, "good to go"? We are! There little space left and we are awaiting a semi-truck delivery, once the roads are clear enough for heavy loads to travel on safely. We're pretty certain it will be today. But look at the inside already. Then there's the rock; we have a new one called bark rock - G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S, along with the more familiar shades of nature in everything from moss-loaded and lichen-covered boulders to flagstone of varying shapes/sizes, down to pea gravel. We'll be loading up daily to do some catching up. The two-hour a day work schedule we have managed will be changing soon.

As always, we appreciate your calls and notes. We gladly share our photos with you as inspiration as well as a little insight into who we are and what goes on around here.
Thank you.
We remain, 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Don't look now...OH! Go ahead!!!!

Duck? Duck? Goose?
We thought our spring surprises were over when we found the dove's nest a couple of days ago. However, we have learned never to second guess Mother Nature - she always has a comeback and this time we came upon another nest with bigger eggs in it. The picture was captured after Mama confronted one of the crew but then stalked away temporarily, expressing her displeasure with our arrival, invading her territory.
Worry not, we moved away quickly and she returned to care for the soon-to-be brood. This is quite a supply of eggs coming from one bird. And, that one bird is a...wait for it...DUCK!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Which Came First?

as we started working

as we finished working

We have to admit there are times when it seems all we do is move dirt around but there are days we are reminded just how fortunate it is to be doing that. We discover parts of nature we would otherwise miss seeing, such as this nest. Mama dove had carefully laid one egg in her domain prior to our arrival. In the process of walking the property and finalizing the days activities for the crew her labor was noted. We left well-enough alone!  There's plenty of space on every job site to allow those who first owned the land to use it.

Off we went to implement the plan and, yes, move dirt. But before we left we couldn't help but stop by for a quick look at the next, one more time. Imagine our joyful surprise when we found that she'd returned and continued her family's expansion. 

We won't be back there to see them hatch but that's fine; we're content knowing we were fortunate enough to be a part of these lives at their beginning. It's a marvelous reminder of what really matters most. We hope you will be able to get out and enjoy the world we have all been given the privilege to care for, and that you will do it soon and often.

(Earth Day is ON THE WAY!)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

What did we do? Get ready for a great year!

You may think we work, work, work. We have to admit it not only seems that way to us, quite often it is true. However, we do not want to mislead you! During the short, cold season, we take a bit of a breather. Naturally any place we go we are looking around at who is doing what in the way of landscapes but we would not have it any other way for we can be inspired, educated, enlightened, and thankful. Typically we come home re-assured we are on the right track with what we do.

Twenty-eight years of paying attention leads to changes, growth, improvements; all are shared and enjoyed with staff and clients. This busy season begins with renewed spirits as we walk out and explore what was delivered by our American and Canadian suppliers and as we meet inside to examine and stage the plans for projects we soon will begin. Let the excitement begin!

Out in our nursery and in our storage areas long-time staff members have kept up with maintenance and organization tasks. Maintenance is year-round as we prefer preventative maintenance over replacement! We admit to having an organized office but there are (rare) occasions when just the right tool takes some digging to find in the big buildings or the truck in which it was last transported to a job site. So the guys get everything back in place, cleaned up and ready to go.

Like you we enjoy discovering what new products are out on the market, ranging from new hybrids to heirloom plants and all the gadgets for making those and many other landscaping and gardening projects more efficient and even more snazzy. Perhaps we look at the catalog or web pictures a bit differently than you, maybe with a broader perspective, maybe wondering if something will “last” or is merely a trend. 

During the so-called off month or two we communicate with a lot of people, many friends and many suppliers. We do the calling; so do they. It’s the time of year we know we’ll find each other. We attend workshops. We shop. We work on our business plans. We go places. We read. We give thanks and give back.

Maybe you’re thinking is right. We do work, work, work. But when you love what you do as much as we do, it just never seems that way to us!

Here's where we hope to see you soon!

Monday, December 10, 2012

There is still time to go
Down to Virden where there is no

Check out the remaining great selection of trees! Get tree stands or get trees to plant. There are wreaths of varying shapes and sizes - all for your holiday delights. Wouldn't it be nice to surprise someone else with a lovely wreath? SURE!

While you're there, pick up some small gift items for friends, family, pets, neighbors and others. Make Christmas memorable in some small way for those you know and appreciate.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The calls and notes and emails have continued to arrive. Seems when people are inside, in the coolness of the AC, they come up with some pretty creative questions. Once again we have chosen those which we think are of interest and application for a large reading audience. If you have something you want to ask, speak up/write up. We’ll tackle your questions as long as they are relevant to what we do. We’re just not inclined to get in the middle of discussions with leading questions such as “How do I convince my better half that I need a _______?” or “Will you tell our neighbors to fix ________?”. Uh, no.

Let’s see what we have in the mail bag and on voice mail this time.

Rose Petal called and asked if her raised garden (one we installed) can be re-planted for fall and early winter crops? She keeps going by asking if she needs to do anything to the soil before planting in it again and if she decides not to plant does she need to treat the soil before it rests for the winter?

To Rose we say, “You go, girl!” She’s one ambitious gardener! By all means, Rose and the rest of you should go ahead and plant fall crops. Till in a little slow release fertilizer ahead of time. If you decide it’s best to let the soil and yourself rest then keep the soil tilled so it is loose for springtime planting.

An email came in from Pete Moss, wondering about this drought and whether it is going to impact fall tree planting. Specifically he writes “Will it be all right to have Designer Landscapes Inc plant trees this fall or is it going to be too dry? Will they require more watering than usual, even if we get rain between now and the planting? Will you be planting later in the fall this year? Will it be better to plant bigger trees or smaller ones?”

Clearly Pete has put some thought into this and we suspect he’s pretty particular about caring for newly planted trees any year. We are glad to provide the answers to his questions. It will be fine to plant trees this fall. In fact, we’re certain that our Creator will let loose of some more of His rain anytime now, maybe as you all are reading this. Indeed, it WILL take more watering initially. We believe smaller trees are better to plant. Let’s use 1 ½” caliper as an ideal size. They grow faster as their root systems are not stunted as much when root balling is done. If you’re unsure what we mean by caliper, it’s pretty much the same as diameter. As for root balling, well, it’s what we do to pack up the roots then re-establish the tree in the ground for safe keeping, until it moves to a permanent home. It assures that the tap root and others are secured to the tree when the time comes to move it.

We love hearing from you! Keep those cards and letters coming. Send us photos of projects we completed for you that have "matured" so we can see how everything has grown! Please use our email address, posted on . If you haven't checked out the new web site this is the time to do it!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New Web Site to Launch SOON!

Are you ready for the launch? The new web site, found at the same address ( ) is designated to launch before June 1, 2012. The design is stunning, both in terms of looks and functionality.
Our catalog is on line and we have added the capability that allows you to create a wish list and share it with us. Our portfolio will be running soon; photos are being selected, edited, uploaded. We included a new, easy to use, custom contact form so you can tell us what you want and need. The phone still works too so you have a choice!
We hope you like what you see and use it often. There will be tips posted to encourage your gardening and landscaping spirit and imagination along with whatever "hits" us as interesting or important! There is a link to the blog (thank you) and you can sign up to get future newsletters by going to the aforementioned contact form.
Coming soon to your neighborhood.........our trucks, our staff, our website.......stop by!