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  1. Those who love having a beautiful garden know the struggles that the cold of winter can cause. Here are some ideas for flowers that will keep your garden beautiful and luxurious all year round.

    Flowers in Winter

    Winter is a tough time for the smaller species of the plant world. One too-harsh snowfall could decimate your flowerbeds. With annual flowers, this doesn’t tend to be a problem with this type of plant, the seeds fall to the ground and survive through the winter. Perennials, on the other hand, don’t die off and disperse their seeds every year. They stay put throughout the seasons. If you want your perennial flowers to be guaranteed to flower again next spring, be sure to plant species that are cold-resistant.

    Winter-Hardy Flowering Plants

    Not all perennials will survive through the winter if it’s too cold. If you want your perennials to tough out even the chilliest weather, pick a species that is known for being cold-resistant. Here are some flowers that are almost guaranteed to pop back up next spring:

    Baptisia
    Catmint
    Coneflower
    Heliopsis, also known as ox-eye daisy or false sunflower
    Lily-of-the-valley
    Monarda, or bee balm
    “Moonbeam” coreopsis
    New England asters
    Peonies
    Wild columbine

    Additionally, most bulb flowers will survive winter to bloom again in the springtime. However, one of the most cold-resistant bulb flowers is the Siberian iris. This species is a great choice if your region routinely experiences deep, snowy winters.

    Flowers That Bloom in Winter

    Aside from the perennials that merely survive winter, there are actually quite a few species that flourish and bloom during the coldest months of the year! Many winter-blooming flower species have special adaptations that let them be pollinated by the wind since bees and other pollinating insects aren’t out and about during this time of year. Here are some species to plant to keep your garden cheerful-looking in the darker months:
    “Jelena” witch hazel
    Daphne
    Hellebore
    Leatherleaf mahonia
    Phlox
    Snowdrops
    Winter jasmine

    Depending on the USDA agricultural zone that you live in, there may be additional plants that will bloom in the winter months, such as:

    Carolina jessamine
    Christmas aster
    Crocuses
    Lenten rose
    Missouri violet
    Narcissus
    Pansies
    Snapdragon hybrids
    Some species of camellia
    Winter aconite
    Winter honeysuckle
    Wintersweet

    To make the most of winter gardening, be sure to find out exactly which flowers will bloom in the winter months for your particular zone.

    When it comes to landscaping, winter services can be super helpful if you don’t know where to start. We can help you maintain beautiful gardens all year round with our winter services. Get in touch with us if you’re in need of winter flower landscaping.

  2. Lawn StripingKeeping your lawn beautiful and tidy isn’t the simplest thing for anyone. If you want to attain and maintain a gorgeous, immaculate and desirable lawn for the whole world to see, it has to be a big priority in your life. You don’t necessarily have to be a landscaping expert to have a beautiful lawn, either. You just need the assistance of a professional landscaping business. Knowledgeable landscapers can provide you with routine maintenance service that means smooth sailing for your lawn. If you want to rejuvenate your outdoor space and give it more vitality and beauty than ever before, frequent professional maintenance work may be the best route for you.

    Lawn Rejuvenation Frequency

    Only a landscaping professional can tell you how often you need to rejuvenate your lawn. That’s because a lot of factors come into play. Your specific landscaping requirements aren’t the same as those of other people. You may have a lawn that’s particularly low-maintenance. You may have one, on the other hand, that requires a significant amount of upkeep work and time. It always depends. Climate is yet another major consideration. If you want to establish a lawn care and rejuvenation schedule that will work best for your outdoor space, you should get in contact with a landscaper who can assess your situation properly. It doesn’t matter if you need weekly or monthly rejuvenation work. Your goal should be to do whatever you can to promote the health and well-being of your lawn. Your lawn is more than worth the effort.

    The Advantages of Regular Lawn Rejuvenation Service

    Professional rejuvenation and maintenance work can be great for your lawn in so many diverse ways. It can make your lawn less vulnerable to dangers such as disease. If you want to protect your gorgeous lawn from disease at all times of the year, routiFertilizing Lawnne rejuvenation is critical. Rejuvenation service can also be beneficial for people who want their lawns to be able to tolerate volatile climate factors well. If you want a lawn that can handle severe weather and that displays glowing health all year long, frequent aeration and fertilization assistance can be extremely helpful. Rejuvenation can also help keep your lawn full of vital nutrients. Soil aeration and fertilization can be great for people who want their lawns to take in moisture and nutrients efficiently. If you dream of maintaining a lawn that can breathe, rejuvenation is essential. Rejuvenation service can also be good for people who have concerns that involve potentially detrimental weeds and insects. If you could use high-quality weed and insect management assistance, nothing can top than regular rejuvenation work.

    Call Our Landscaping Business Today

    If you’re looking to rejuvenate your lovely lawn anywhere in Ann Arbor, Michigan, our full-service local company is available to take care of your needs. Contact our distinguished business as soon as possible to receive a quote and to make an appointment for our outstanding landscaping work. Your lawn deserves our rejuvenation expertise.

  3. Every year, more than 11,000 children and adults get injured while shoveling snow. Common injuries include overworked muscles, soft tissue injuries, falls, being hit with the shovel, cuts, and broken bones. However, there are steps you can take in order to be safe while engaging in snow removal activities.

    Get the Right Gear

    Take a few moments to gear up with the right choices. Slip-resistant boots will allow you to maintain traction on the driveway and sidewalk. Dress in layers so that you can adjust accordingly when you’re out in the cold. You lose a good deal of body heat through your head and hands, so be sure to add a warm hat and gloves. The mittens or gloves will also protect your hands from blisters as you work.

    Start with a Stretch

    Shoveling snow is a workout, so you’ll want to warm up beforehand. Stretch your muscles before you pick up the shovel and start tackling the buildup.

    Keep Up with the Snowfall

    It’s easier to go out and shovel an inch of snow three or four times a day than it is to clear four to six inches of snow at one time. This is because the weight of the fallen snow will rapidly add up, and the heavier load will be much more difficult to handle. Shovel at the start of the snowfall and go outside frequently to keep up with the accumulation.

    All About Pushing

    Get a snow shovel with a nice long handle that will allow you to grasp it while still placing the lower edge on the ground in front of you. Rather than lifting and twisting to move the snow to the side, simply, use your shovel like a bulldozer to push it in front you from one side of the driveway to the other. Focus on keeping your back reasonably straight and supported as you work.

    You’ll still reach points where the snow has to be lifted and moved out of the way. When this happens, remember to bend your knees so that you lift with your legs rather than your back. Instead of trying to throw the snow in any direction, position yourself so that you can pick up the snow and toss it into a pile in front of you. This will eliminate the risk of back injuries caused by rotating while lifting.

    Watch the Time

    Ideally, you should only spend 20 to 25 minutes at a time working on the snow removal. When the time is up, you should return indoors to warm yourself and get some water.

    Another option is to let the professionals handle the snow for you. Homeowners can contract with snow removal to clear away the snow after every storm, or you can have them come out and treat your property after the larger storms. If you do decide to deal with the snow on your own, follow these preceding tips to stay safe and avoid injuries.

     

  4. Twin Oaks Landscape, Inc. of Ann Arbor

    Awarded Best Of Houzz 2017

    Over 40 Million Monthly Unique Users Nominated Best Home Building,

    Remodeling and Design Professionals in North America and Around the World

    Twin Oaks Lanscape, Inc. Custom Gazebo

    Twin Oaks Lanscape, Inc. Custom Gazebo

     

    Ann Arbor, United States, January 24, 2017 – Twin Oaks Landscape, Inc. of Ann Arbor, Michigan has won “Best Of Design and Customer Service” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The “The landscaping business founded in 1933″ was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

    The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 40 million monthly users on Houzz. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2016. Architecture and interior design photographers whose images were most popular are recognized with the Photography award. A “Best Of Houzz 2017” badge will appear on winners’ profiles, as a sign of  their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.

     

    “We are honored to receive this award, as it is a great example of how pleased our clients are with the work we perform at their home.”

    “We’re so pleased to award Best of Houzz 2017 to this incredible group of talented and customer-focused professionals, including Twin Oaks Landscape, Inc.,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of Industry Marketing for Houzz. “Each of these businesses was singled out for recognition by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts for helping to turn their home improvement dreams into reality.”

    Follow Twin Oaks Landscape, Inc. on Houzz http://www.houzz.com/pro/twinoakslandscape/twin-oaks-landscape-inc

     

    About Twin Oaks Lanscape, Inc.

    For over twenty years Twin Oaks has provided the people of Michigan with expert landscaping and lawn maintained services. Working in both residential and commercial applications, Twin Oaks has proven time and time again to be a versatile and resourceful business, the kind which can truly be relied upon. That’s due to two primary factors: our level of experience and general knowledge concerning our field and our unwavering focus on the needs of the customer. We promise not only to do a professional, careful job, but to do so while carrying out your precise wishes. Come to us with a landscaping goal in mind and we’ll accomplish it. At Twin Oaks, we believe that the customer should be just as involved in the process as they want to be and that we’re simply not finished unless said customer is satisfied with the work we’ve done.

    About Houzz

    Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow and Tokyo. Houzz and the Houzz logo are registered trademarks of Houzz Inc. worldwide. For more information, visit houzz.com.

     

     

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  5. Winter is an unpredictable season due to the heavy rains and ice storms. This harsh weather can take a heavy toll on your basement. Basement waterproofing before winter prepares the basement to weather the harsh winter conditions. Contractors can examine your basement to check for cracks and structural weaknesses. Failure to address these problems before winter can lead to cracks, water stains, musty odors, wood rot, and mold/mildew. This, of course, means higher energy bills. Waterproofing your basement helps to:

    1. Maintain the structural integrity of your houseFrozen water under your basement puts extra pressure on the soil beneath. The pressure may not cause any immediate risks, however, with the passage of time it may lead to foundation damage. Once your foundation cracks, the structural integrity of your house is compromised. Any damage to the basement will eventually affect the foundation of the house. A wet basement can also lower the value of your home. This is because a humid and damaged basement can turn away potential buyers. Keeping the basement in top shape helps you to sell it for more should you decide to put it up for sale.

    2. Protect the health of your family

    A wet basement provides a good breeding ground for mold and many types of bacteria. If not addressed immediately, these microorganisms can lead to diseases and infections which can affect the entire family. Mold can also eat up the concrete foundation. Basement waterproofing contractors can help detect any potential problems in your basement.

    3. Prevent floods and water damage

    Winter often comes with heavy rains and snow storms. This means that it easy for your house to flood as a result of the rain or melted snow. Experts estimate that 98 percent of households experience water damage at one point or another. A basement that has cracks or leaks makes it easy for water to slip through and even damage other items in the house. It is ill advised to wait until your house is leaking before bringing in a professional. This will cost you more in terms of repair. Landscaping contractors also conduct inspections.

    4. Creates space for storage

    The basement can create extra storage space. However, a wet basement will damage the items you store. It is important to assess the condition of the basement prior to storing items especially before winter. This creates an extra room or space where you can even entertain visitors.

    There are several tell signs that your basement needs waterproofing. You need to check for these signs regularly:
    • High humidity
    • Mold and mildew
    • Water stains
    • Concrete spalling
    • Wood rot
    • Higher energy bills.

    The drastic temperature change experienced in winter can weaken the foundation of a house with time. It is difficult for contractors to work outside during the cold winter. It is best to have these problems detected before the harsh winter months kick in. You should not wait till winter to have basement waterproofing done.

  6. Even in this part of the country, dry spells can happen often enough to make an irrigation system worth the bother. There’s more than one way to do this, and picking out the right one depends on several factors concerning the yard. The good news is that different methods can be combined to handle the mix of needs. Deciding on the best way to take care of thirsty plants in the Toledo, Ohio area starts with a quick overview of the primary irrigation approaches.
    dripDrip Lines
    Whether they’re set in the ground or temporarily placed on top, drip lines offer the most efficient means of irrigation since there’s minimal evaporation. Because the water travels a short distance from the line, an expensively large number would be needed to handle the blanket of grass in a lawn.Sprayers
    This technique sends a continuous curtain of water to gently bathe surrounding plants. This method consumes more water than the alternatives, but the spray pattern can be customized for irregular yard shapes much better than the rival methods. The water ejected by the spray heads won’t travel far since it’s at a relatively low pressure.Rotary Sprinklers
    With water rapidly fired in a single stream, rotary sprinklers don’t waste as much water as sprayers do. They’re also fairly inexpensive since a solitary sprinkler can cover a wide expanse of lawn. A big drawback to this technique is limited yard shape versSprinkleratility because water is expelled in a sweeping arc.With these basic features in mind, there are also certain yard conditions to consider, too. The most important ones are the following.

    Yard Size
    Only rotary sprinklers can cost-effectively handle very large areas. With the water discharged under high pressure, it can easily cover the more impressive residential yards found in the Toledo, Ohio region. Sprayers and drip lines are best suited for smaller parcels.

    Yard Slope
    If the lawn tilts at an angle, water is likely to run off. Since drip lines deposit water directly in the ground, this won’t be a problem for them. Sprinklers also perform well here because they send a discreet amount of water in one spot before moving on. This allows time for the water to be absorbed before the next pass occurs.

    Soil Type
    This consideration is similar to ground slope in that it affects water absorption. Both heavy clay soils that slowly imbibe water and porous sandy soils can be found in this area. The continuous flow of water from sprayers can overwhelm clay soils but also protect sandy soils from getting too dry.

    Types of Plants
    Since they’re set in the ground, drip lines don’t mix well with garden annuals. Most flowers and vegetables also don’t tolerate getting hit by the high-pressure jet from a sprinkler. Turf and shrubbery, on the other hand, have no trouble with a sprinkler system.

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  7. drainage - does your yard look like thisAs a homeowner in the Ann Arbor area, you may be aware that your grass will lie dormant throughout much of the winter season. Freezing temperatures and limited sunlight cause grass to become dormant, and this means that the grass is still alive but essentially is hibernating for the winter. Because dormant grass is still alive, it does require water or moisture from time to time to maintain its health, and you may be wondering if you need to water your lawn during the winter months. More than that, you may wonder if standing water left on the ground from natural rainfall or from watering could damage your yard if it freezes.

    The Effects of Frozen Water on Your Yard
    Frozen water in the soil can easily damage grass roots, and frozen ponds or pools of water on your grass can kill the blades. Different types of grass are hearty down to a certain temperature, so it is important to research the specific temperature limitations for the type of grass that you have in your yard. Creating pools and ponds of water in your yard during the winter season from watering should be avoided. This is because you cannot control the evaporation rate or absorption rate in the soil, and temperatures often dip below freezing at night. This means that a pond or pool likely will freeze if it stands overnight.

    When to Water Your Yard During the Winter Months
    Typically, homeowners do not need to water a yard in Ann Arbor during the winter months. Keep in mind that cooler temperatures and less direct sunlight on the yard for shorter periods of time each day mean that natural moisture remains in the soil for longer periods of time. Furthermore, natural moisture from freezing rain, sleet, snow and more are more common during the cooler months of the year. This freezing precipitation will eventually melt and will turn to water for your yard. Never water your lawn when it is freezing or when freezing temperatures are anticipated with the next few days.

    How to Use a Sprinkler System During the Cold Weather Season
    Some homeowners in the Ann Arbor area benefit from the regular use of a sprinkler system. A sprinkler system offers a convenient way to keep your lawn hydrated during warmer months, but it generally should not be used during the cold weather season. Its use can create ponds or pools of water that can be difficult to dry up before freezing temperatures hit. More than that, the system should be winterized, and this is because the pipes can freeze and rupture. When this occurs, you have a costly repair to deal with, and you also may have water leaking into the yard. This could result in more pooling to contend with.

    Standing water can indeed damage your yard if it freezes, and it can come from a variety of sources. While your water still needs to be hydrated during the winter, it is best to allow Mother Nature to handle this job for you until warmer temperatures arrive.

  8. Fall Cleanup - Leaves In GutterYour gutters and downspouts are two of the most essential components of the exterior of your home. If they are not functioning properly, your roof can be damaged. In addition, water damage can happen inside your home if your gutters and downspouts are not channeling water away from your home in the correct manner. Therefore, it is crucial that you take good care of them. Here are five tips for maintaining your gutters and downspouts.

    1. Keep Those Gutters Clean

    The number one thing you must do to maintain your gutters is to clean them regularly. Leaves, twigs, dirt and other debris collects in your gutters over time. If you do not remove this clutter, your gutters can get clogged up. If this happens, it can cause water to back up onto the roof or overflow the gutters. At least twice a year, you need to get up on a ladder and remove all of the debris in your gutters by hand.

    The best times to do these biannual cleanings are in the spring and the fall. It is especially important to clean you gutters in the fall so that melting snow can run off your roof. Otherwise, the snow will simply melt and refreeze, which can lead to ice dams that severely damage your roof.

    2. Wash Your Gutters

    After you have removed all of the debris in your gutters, you can then rinse them out with a hose to make sure they are completely clean and water is flowing out of the downspouts correctly. You must remove the debris before you turn the hose on your gutters. If you just try to rinse your gutters out with the hose from the start, it will often just create worse clogs in your gutters that are more difficult to remove.

    3. Snake the Downspouts

    Sometimes, you will find that your gutters are clean but the water is not flowing out of your downspouts as it should. If this happens, you need to clear the obstructions that are blocking them. The best way to do this is with a plumber’s snake.

    3. Inspect Your Gutters and Downspouts

    When you are doing your biannual cleaning of your gutters, you should take time to inspect your downspouts along with your gutters. Check for wear and tear. Make sure there are not holes anywhere. Make sure all the seams are secure. If you see any rusty spots, use a wire brush to remove the rust, and then paint the scraped spots with a rust-inhibiting paint.

    4. Replace Damage Sections

    While you are doing your inspection, you may come across sections of your gutters or downspouts that are severely damaged. If you don’t think you can repair the damage completely, it is always best to just replace the damaged section.

    5. Install Gutter Guards

    If you find cleaning out your gutters twice a year to be a real hassle, you should think about installing gutter guards. Gutter guards are wire screens that fit over your gutters to keep debris from collecting inside them. The best gutter guards are made from aluminum so that they will not rust.

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  9. GrassAround here, lawns are typically pretty lush compared to some other places, so it’s easy to take them for granted. They’re often thought of as being uniform and durable. In reality, there are many different species of grass plants with distinct characteristics. Not all of them are suited to the Ann Arbor Michigan climate. One of the most important features in choosing the right kind for this region is winter hardiness. Here’s a list of lawn grasses that have the right stuff for the area.

    *Perennial Ryegrass
    *Tall Fescue
    *Creeping Red Fescue
    *Kentucky Bluegrass
    *Creeping Bentgrass

    Perennial Ryegrass
    This grass stands out as the fastest-germinating turf grass available. It can be up in less than a week. Specially prepared seeds with the hulls removed will sprout even quicker. Like the other grasses on this list, ryegrass is best planted in the fall. Once established, perennial ryegrass easily handles low temperatures while maintaining a fairly green color. The grass does tend to grow in clumps but still provides an evenly distributed mat that withstands foot traffic better than any others. Ryegrass won’t need many winter services, but it can be vulnerable to severe heat, heavy shade, and dry spells.

    Tall Fescue
    This fescue grass was originally rather coarse, but newer varieties have been bred with finer blades that look great in the lawn. Aside from its winter tolerance, tall fescue also supplies durability and a fair amount of drought and shade tolerance. Since it grows in clumps, it’s usually best not to mix it with mat-forming species like bluegrass.

    Creeping Red Fescue
    This species of grass has three outstanding features. First, the fine blades produced by creeping red fescue don’t grow very fast or very high. This keeps mowing to a minimum. Second, it doesn’t mind the shade. It’s a great backup for other grasses when the lawn comes up against the north side of a building. Finally, it doesn’t demand much fertilizing. The only real drawback to this grass is its moderate tolerance for being trampled. On the other hand, it can tackle the occasional Ann Arbor Michigan dry spells along with winter cold.

    Kentucky Bluegrass
    Bluegrass is just as tough as ryegrass against cold temperatures. Also, like ryegrass, its seed can be spread on top of snow cover. Having a winter services business perform this job can ensure some quick green in the spring after the snow melts, but it won’t have nearly the success rate of a fall planting. With a period of two to four weeks, Kentucky bluegrass has the slowest germination time of all the species on this list.

    Creeping Bentgrass
    Several species of bentgrass are used in lawn mixes, but this is the most common variety. It easily tolerates winter temperatures but it loses most of its deep green color as early as fall. Creeping bentgrass is a favorite on golf courses due to its delicate appearance and thick, matted growth habit that crowds out other grasses and weeds.

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