734-213-6911 | 4100 S. Maple Road Ann Arbor, MI 48108

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  1. Landscaping efforts are often only as good as the enhancements strategically placed throughout the region. For example, plants around a focal point can make all the difference in the world. Likewise, the right mulch can turn a beautiful garden into a breathtaking piece of paradise. Of course, it helps to stay on top of everything by keeping furnishings up-to-date and tending to plants. They are all very simple efforts to enhance your landscaping, but every single suggestion is worth every ounce of effort.

    Beautifying Focal Points

    Some focal points are, by design, architectural masterpieces such as elegant entrances and luxurious clubhouses. However, others are not quite the beautiful scene one would hope for, like street signs. That isn’t to say you cannot take steps to make them more attractive. In fact, a beautiful way to enhance focal points is to add plants. If you lack the space to plant anything, invest in matching planters to draw the eye and beautify the area with a touch of green.

    A Contrasting Touch

    A variety of plants, from trees to flowers, are used in HOA Landscaping to beautify the neighborhood as well as create a natural paradise. However, the missing piece that will set the plants off and make the area a breathtaking sight to behold is mulch. In fact, selecting the right mulch helps to make the plants pop and adds depth to flowerbeds with sharp, clean lines. Better yet, mulch not only helps prevent weeds but also aids in holding moisture in to reduce water usage.

    Stay on Top of Furnishings

    A couple of park benches add a touch of class that is difficult to compete with. That is unless the paint has chipped off the iron or the wood has faded and rotted. Likewise, trash cans, recycling cans, and pottery that looks tired and worn out will drag the rest of your HOA Landscaping down with it. Rather than allow a worn bench detract from the area’s overall appearance, stay on top of your furnishing by:

    • Repairing damaged furniture
    • Replacing destroyed furnishings
    • Adding a fresh coat of paint once a year

    Prune Your Plants

    Plants do indeed add a fresh, natural kind of beauty people find relaxing and peaceful. However, dying and dead plants seem to sap the energy out of an otherwise beautiful park or walkway. However, untended bushes and plants growing out of control serve to add a quality of wilderness some people appreciate. In short, stay on top of the foliage by clearing out dead plants, tending dying plants, and keeping everything pruned and clean.

    Enhancing HOA Landscaping doesn’t have to take a lot of time and effort, just a creative touch. A prime example is adding mulch to make plants pop or adding some plants around focal points to beautify them. Granted, keeping furnishing beautiful rather than worn out and staying on top of your landscaping will ensure your neighborhood is indeed a breathtaking paradise.


  2. As spring approaches, your thoughts turn to your lawn and landscape. Perhaps your vision of shade trees, blooming color, and a winding garden pathway is not yet a reality. Maybe one of your DIY projects to beautify your landscape did not turned out as you wished. It may be time to hire a commercial landscape firm to bring out the best features of your property.


    Finding the Right Commercial Landscape Company for Your Property

    Is there a problem with the landscape at your business? You are aware that your outdoors creates the first impression for potential customers, but maybe you haven’t gotten the chance yet to clean it up or been able to maintain what is there. An unkempt lawn outside your business may be a situation where you need the services of a landscape firm. Professional landscapers can green up the lawn and add a few attractive flowerbeds to offer blooming color and a welcoming scenario to those who may do business inside. Easy maintenance and plants that last may simplify issues with the landscape at your business.

    Do you find the plantings in your landscape are becoming an overgrown mess? The shrubbery has no shape and blooms are limited, the lawn has brown patches, the trees no longer look healthy, branches broken by winter storms litter the ground, and you do not know where to begin. You realize that you need help in all these situations, leading to the question: What type of commercial landscape firm should I hire?


    Finding the Right Commercial Landscape Firm

    Begin the process by looking for referrals from friends and neighbors. If you’ve noticed a beautiful lawn in your neighborhood, keep an eye out for signs there and names on the trucks or just ask your neighbor with the lovely landscape. If you have a special project to complete, such as flower gardens lining the fence, a professional can be of great assistance.

    Once you’ve collected company names, you should:

    1. Take a look at previous jobs the company has installed.
    1. Be sure to question reliability and professionalism.
    1. Compare prices on both installation of new materials and maintenance of what is already growing in your yard.
    1. Most importantly, make sure the landscaper knows your wishes. If you would like to handle some of the maintenance yourself, make sure that is agreeable to the landscaper providing the estimate.

    Discuss scheduling and decide about how much time you will need the service. How much time is an important consideration. Do you have a large lawn with trees, shrubs, and flowerbeds, that need regular care? Keeping the yard manicured regularly calls for someone to be there with proper equipment who also knows when and how to fertilize the lawn.


    Simple is Beautiful

    Consider that simple is often the most attractive method of creating a beautiful landscape. Simple yard designs impact your outdoor space with coordinating colors and long-lasting blooms. The right plant in the right place offers a sense of continuity that delights the eye. Homeowners can rarely accomplish this feel with DIY designs and plant material from the big-box store. Ask the landscape professional how the company would implement your vision.


    Perhaps the campus of your business would benefit from easy maintenance and plants that last. Call us for a simple, well-planned design. Our experience has shown us which plants thrive in the often temperamental Ann Arbor landscape. Simple yard ideas installed at your business can help to provide the feeling of success. A well-manicured landscape helps attract new customers.


  3. The care and maintenance of your commercial property’s landscaping can impact everything from curb appeal to water consumption and more. In some communities, such as apartments, office buildings, and retail centers, regular landscaping maintenance tasks must be performed almost weekly to tend to the needs of the property. While many properties have ongoing maintenance needs, there are also seasonal needs that must be considered. You can better plan out your commercial property maintenance services throughout the year when you focus on these points.


    Seasonal Landscaping Maintenance Needs

    In a cold weather climate, commercial property owners must take steps seasonally to provide the best care for vegetation and landscaping features. For example, each fall before the first freeze, property owners should winterize their irrigation systems. If you fail to perform this step, you may have to deal with burst pipes in the irrigation system and costly repairs, damage to vegetation, and more. Likewise, in the spring, when temperatures rise, the irrigation system must be brought back online. This allows you to irrigate the landscaping as needed throughout the warm months of the year. In addition, to irrigation system maintenance, raking leaves, fertilizing the lawn, aerating the soil, and mulching, the flowerbeds must be tended to seasonally.


    Year-Round Maintenance Tasks

    While there are many seasonal landscaping tasks that require attention throughout the year, there are also year-round tasks that must be addressed by property owners. Lawn mowing services, weeding services for your beds, tree and bush trimming services, and more are required throughout most months of the year. Commercial property maintenance services can generally be customized to fit the exact needs of the property. Professional services will greatly reduce the amount of time and effort needed to maintain your landscaping in great condition year-round.


    A Comprehensive Maintenance Service Plan

    Very few commercial property owners handle landscaping tasks on their own. Some have an on-site groundskeeper who will handle the work for them, but most outsource landscaping tasks to a professional crew. When looking for a professional landscaping company to hire, search for a company that offers the full range of services you need throughout the year. In addition, look for a company that will take the lead on developing and implementing a year-round plan for the care of your landscaping. This will ensure the best care of your property while minimizing the amount of time and attention you need to focus on this task.


    A key component to property maintenance involves lawn and garden care. These tasks can improve your property’s curb appeal and bolster property value. They can affect how customers and clients view your property and your business. They can also impact property condition, erosion, energy efficiency, water conservation, and more. However, caring for your landscaping features requires a considerable amount of time and effort. A smart idea is to look for a skilled landscaping team to assist you with developing and executing a landscaping maintenance plan for your commercial property.


    People work hard to install hardscaping that compliments their property. Sadly, much of that is undone throughout the winter months. You can spare yourself the tears, however, by properly maintaining your porch and walkway. Keep snow off your hardscaping, avoid harsh chemicals and use the right tools to protect your walkway and porch. Don’t forget to keep up general maintenance, including rerouting runoff, and you’ll discover your hardscaping beautifully weather the winter.

    Snow Maintenance

    Snow blanketing the earth in pristine white is a beautiful vision to behold. Unfortunately, warmer weather melts the snow, water seeps into the cracks of your hardscaping and then freezes when temperatures plummet. Rather than allow the resulting ice to damage your hardscaping, shovel the snow off as soon as it settles. Otherwise, the constant Ann Arbor Michigan winter pattern of freezing and thawing will destroy your hard work.

    Chemical Risks

    Deicing agents are tempting because they make hardscaping maintenance easy. The downside is they also stain and damage the surface of your porch and walkway. Instead of spending your spring repairing the damage caused by deicing agents, avoid using them and preserve the beauty of your lawn. However, if a deicing agent is a must, use less destructive products such as:

    • Sand
    • Sawdust
    • Wood Shavings
    • Kitty Litter

    Decrease the Damage

    People often damage their hardscape without realizing it by using the wrong tools or wearing the wrong shoes. There’s no doubt spikes on your shoes spare you from suffering a bad fall, but stomping around on your porch damages the surface. Likewise, using a metal shovel leaves scratches in your hardscape. You can minimize the winter damage by using a heavy duty plastic or rubber-tipped shovel.

    Protective Maintenance

    A crucial step in maintenance throughout the winter in Ann Arbor Michigan is repairing scratches and cracks in your hardscaping. If left untended, the weakened areas become a serious issue when water fills the cracks and freezes. Spare yourself the major spring overhaul and repair the minor damage when you find it. Replace broken stones, fill cracks and seal your hardscaping.

    Runoff Sorrows

    Winter weather doesn’t just mean snow for Ann Arbor Michigan residents. Rain, hail and sleet are as likely, all of which can lead to heavy runoff from your home’s roof. Unfortunately, the impact of the water will erode pavers and concrete as well as rot wood. However, you can prevent the damage by routing runoff away from your hardscaping. Finally, make sure you continue to check the runoff as part of your general hardscaping maintenance.

    Winter maintenance of your hardscaping is far easier when you follow a few simple steps. That includes using rubber tipped or plastic shovels, avoiding chemicals and spikes and keeping runoff away from your home. In addition, shoveling snow off your walkway and porch and repairing cracks at the earliest opportunity also goes a long way to preserving the beauty of your home’s hardscaping.

  5. Some homeowners grow ornamental grasses in their gardens because many they retain their beauty or sculptural interest even through the winter. However, not all grasses are pretty when they go dormant and snow and ice arrive. Should some grasses be trimmed in winter?

    The answer to the question is, generally, no, ornamental grasses shouldn’t be trimmed in winter. This applies to warm and cool season grasses.

    Warm Season Grasses

    Warm season grasses begin their growth in the middle of spring to the early weeks of summer and start to flower when temperatures are hot. The grasses then go to seed and turn brown, and if they are unattractive, fall is the time to trim them back. If they’re not trimmed in the fall, the gardener should wait and trim them in very early spring while they’re still dormant. They should be trimmed back fairly hard, with only an inch or two remaining above the ground.

    Warm season ornamentals include Spartina, Fountain Grass, Switch Grass, Northern Sea Oats, types of Grama Grass, Japanese Silver Grass, Graybeard Grass, and Indian grass.

    Cool Season Grasses

    As their name suggests, cool season grasses grow in early spring and fall after the last frost of the former and the first frost of the latter. They dislike heat and don’t grow much in the height of summer. Because these grasses are attractive even in winter, the gardener should wait till spring to trim them. However, they should not be cut back as hard as warm season grasses. The gardener should remove about two thirds of the plant. If the winter has been mild, the grass can be cut in the very last days of the season.

    Cool season grasses include Blue Oat Grass, Golden Foxtail Grass, Tufted Hair Grass, varieties of Fescue, Blue Meadow Grass, Autumn Moor Grass, and Green Needle Grass.

    How to Trim Grass

    Grass that doesn’t grow very tall can be trimmed with pruning shears. The blades must be sharp to avoid crushing the stems of the plant as opposed to delivering a clean cut. Crushing invites disease and pests. Taller grasses can be bundled together with their tops tied. This allows the stalks to be cut in one fell swoop, and in the end the gardener can just pick up the bundle and toss it in the compost bin or pack it in the truck to take it to the recycling place.

    Some gardeners use power tools such as hedge trimmers or weed whackers to deal with tall grasses, while some still use scythes. Experts recommend using weed whackers with a blade as opposed to a string. Other gardeners make do with bread knives or pruning saws.

    It’s also important for the gardener to be dressed properly when it comes time to trim ornamental grasses. Some of these grasses are razor sharp, and it’s imperative to wear thick, heavy gloves, long pants, long sleeves, and eye protection, especially if power tools are being used to remove them.


  6. Have you ever wished you could create a cozy, inviting living space in your yard? Consider adding an outdoor. As a beautiful, visual focal point, a fire feature creates an instant atmosphere of warmth and light. Your family will enjoy gathering around the fire for conversation and family time. And with the additional warmth from the fire, you can extend the use of your yard when the cold weather rolls in.
    Choosing the right fire feature could be daunting. Here is a list of key information about the most popular fire features.
    Outdoor Fireplaces – Beautiful Backdrop for Entertaining
    When you think of an outdoor feature, you likely think of an outdoor fireplace. Usually located close to the house, an outdoor fireplace lends a visual weight, anchors the outdoor space, and provides a beautiful backdrop for outdoor living and entertaining. Usually made of brick or natural stone, outdoor fireplaces can be built in any number of sizes and styles. You can choose a wood-burning design or the convenience of gas.
    An outdoor fireplace is a great choice, but there are a few things to consider. Remember, it can only seat about 4 to 6 people, all facing the hearth. The chimney may block views, and if the cost is a primary consideration, you may prefer one of the less expensive fire feature options.
    Fire Pits – Versatile Seating for a Cozy Gathering
    A backyard fire pit offers more versatility than an outdoor fireplace. A classic fire pit allows seating 360 ° around the fire, accommodating about 10 to 12 people for a cozy gathering. A custom-built fire pit can be either in-ground or above-ground, and designed in any shape or style. Pre-made fire pits also come in a variety of styles, and many are portable.
    Like fireplaces, fire pits can burn either wood or gas. Made of concrete, stone or metal, a wood-burning pit is simple and produces a big flame with an authentic smoky smell. A gas fire pit uses a gas burner for greater convenience, a more controlled flame, and no smoky smell.
    Fire Tables – Contemporary Style
    Fire tables offer yet another option for a fire feature. Just like it sounds, a fire table looks and functions similarly to a table. They even come in different heights reminiscent of table types: coffee table (23″), dining table (29″), and bar table (35″). Fire tables tend to have more contemporary designs, and are well-suited to a modern style home.
    Fire Bowls – Warm Patio Accent
    Perhaps you love the idea of a warm flame flickering on your patio, but don’t want something as big as a fireplace or fire pit. A fire bowl can provide just that little bit of warmth to accent your outdoor space. These small, portable bowls can burn wood or gas, and come in simple or more elaborate designs in concrete, metal, copper, or quartz stone.
    A fire feature is a great addition to any backyard. Consider adding one to your property this spring.

  7. When you live somewhere far north, it is important to take steps to protect your yard from the full force of winter. Taking advantage of a professional landscaping company that specializes in winter services is a smart move. Here are the ways to create a yard that can stand up to the frost.


    Preparing Your Yard for Winter

    Getting your yard safely through winter starts with preparing it in the fall. It is a good idea to fertilize your lawn in the fall so that it will be primed and ready for new growth in the spring. Choose a fertilizer that has a phosphorus level between 10 and 15 percent. Phosphorus promotes new root growth, which is essential for your plants to make it through the winter as hardily as possible.


    You should always leave your grass long heading into winter. Keep the final mow at a height of two or three inches to create a cushion of grass that will help protect your soil over winter.


    One of the overlooked ways to use fall to your lawn’s advantage is to let the leaves stay on it through the winter. The leaves will decompose over the winter and enrich your soil. Instead of spending a bunch of time raking or blowing your leaves, think about letting them sit there for a natural way to turbocharge the growth of your lawn next spring.

    Stay off the Grass

    The most important time of year to stay off the grass is winter. Any kind of walking on the grass will damage it greatly when it is frozen over. Try to keep your kids and pets off your grass as much as possible during the winter to protect your lawn.


    Winter Watering Is Crucial

    If you want your lawn and other plants to remain healthy throughout the winter, it is crucial to water the soil when it is not covered by snow. Wet soil retains heat much better than dry soil. Regular watering of your yard will keep frost out of the soil as much as possible. Try to give your lawn a half-inch of water weekly during the winter to keep your soil properly hydrated.

    Just because it is winter, it doesn’t mean your lawn or other plants have to die. If you consult with a professional landscaping company that specializes in winter services, your yard will make it in good shape through the worst of winters. Make sure that you follow the necessary steps in the fall to protect your yard for the winter. Getting into your fall preparation will ensure that your yard is ready to burst forth with new life in the spring.

  8. Your lawn takes the brunt of every weather condition, especially in Ann Arbor MI. Searing summer heat and winter’s chill affects grass growth rates and influences the overall beauty of your property. Lawn rejuvenation is a common chore that most people perform after winter. Early spring is one of the most effective times to improve your lawn, but also consider fall as another time for grass care.

    • Aerate Without Hard Soil FrustrationsLawn aeration

    Aerating your lawn is one of the most important tasks you can complete after winter. This lawn care process involves the creation of holes by using an aerating tool. You could use a pitchfork to form the holes as an alternative. These holes allow air to permeate the ground and enhance soil conditions. If you perform this lawn care item during the winter, you’ll be greeted with frozen conditions and poor aeration as a result.

    • Pinpoint Dead Patches

    After winter, snow and ice melt away to reveal your hibernating grass. During this early spring period, it’s much easier to pinpoint dead patches of grass. You have a chance to pull these sections out and reseed the area. With spring approaching, the grass has a chance to grow and establish itself before winter strikes again. Leaving dead patches on your lawn only contributes to possible disease spread and further grass problems.

    • Consider Fall Seeding

    Seeding your entire lawn after winter seems to be a smart idea, but autumn is a better choice in most cases. As cool autumn breezes set in, your grass seeds have a chance to grow deeply into the soil. They don’t have to compete with spring weeds trying to make space for their own roots. You can seed after winter, but you must pay careful attention to any weeds that take over a lawn area.

    • Feed in the Early Springlawn-fertilization

    Fertilizing after winter is a perfect time for soil conditioning. Established grass and new seeds are looking for a large influx of nutrients as they prepare for vigorous growth. Add fertilizer to your lawn in the early spring, and you’ll see rapid growth well into the summer. Apply the fertilizer as directed by the manufacturer, however. If you add too much fertilizer, it’s possible to burn the grass and cause dieback conditions instead.

    • Sod After Winter

    When you have a large grass area to rejuvenate, sodding is usually the most cost-effective solution. This grass is already partially grown and laid out just like carpet. Add sod to your yard in the spring so that it has time to establish itself under warm conditions. Roots cannot grow into the frozen ground that could be present in the late fall or winter. The sod has both the spring and summer to grow successfully before next winter arrives.Installing new lawn

    If you’re ever concerned about the right steps for lawn rejuvenation, contact a local landscaper in the Ann Arbor MI area. They have extensive knowledge of the region and its indigenous grasses. In the end, you’ll have a lawn that’s almost picture-perfect each growing season.

    Get your yard looking its absolute best with custom landscaping solutions from Twin Oaks. Find us online at http://twinoakslandscape.biz/, visit us in Ann Arbor, MI at 4100 South Maple Road, or call us at (734) 213-6911.


    Gardening is the last thing on anyone’s mind in the winter. The reality is that, as far as many deciduous plants are concerned, this is the ideal time for pruning. Whether it’s a tree, shrub, or vine, there’s a perfect period over this season for getting them in order. While winter pruning isn’t for every plant, especially evergreens, it does have the following benefits for many.

    *Insect and Disease Protection
    *Energy for Healing
    *Less Unhealthy Growth
    *Clear View of Plant Structure
    *Reduced Secondary Damage
    *Available Time
    *Winter Stress Relief

    Insect and Disease Protection
    Pruning trees and other woody plants during the growing season guarantees free-flowing sap that signals insect pests that there’s a vulnerable plant to attack. As if the invading bugs weren’t enough, many of them carry infectious agents with them. Bacteria and fungus can also gain entry through the fresh cuts on their own. This is particularly true for trees like oaks, elms, crabapples, and honey locusts. The great advantage of an Ann Arbor Michigan winter is that it forces these threats to go dormant.

    Energy for Healing
    Once the growing season is underway, sap carries sugars and nutrients through the branches for leaf production. During the period after the leaves have dropped while there’s still sap flowing, the plant can engage in some winter maintenance by focusing energy on repairing exposed areas caused by pruning.

    Less Unhealthy Growth
    Another undesirable result of summer pruning are water sprouts. This is particularly true when branches aren’t cut back to the nearest bud. Water sprouts are straight branches growing at right angles to the main branch they emerge from. Along with giving a tree or shrub an unnatural shape, they weigh down limbs and increase the risk of breakage.

    Clear View of the Work
    In winter, there are no leaves obscuring the work. For ornamental plants, this allows the gardener to see how things need to be reshaped to achieve the desired look. For fruit-bearing trees, shrubs, and vines, a clear view of excess growth that drains energy from fruit production.

    Reduced Secondary Damage
    The area around woody plants contains grass and even perennial flowers. The more time spent standing around a tree or shrub means more trampling of these smaller plants. Performing the work while they’re dormant helps protect them from the additional foot traffic.

    Available Time
    The growing season is a busy time in the garden. There’s more than enough to do in summer without adding pruning to the list. With lots of free time, a long Ann Arbor Michigan winter offers an opportunity to take on the task of pruning when there are few other distractions.

    Winter Stress Relief
    Winter in Ann Arbor Michigan can be a depressing, lethargic time if there’s nothing of interest to do. Pruning can supply a nice bit of exercise during a cold, dark time of the year. Thinking about the rewards to reap from this winter maintenance chore provides the motivation while lifting the spirit.

  10. Landscaping projects seem overwhelming at first. However, if you have an idea of what to do, your projects will succeed. For example, consider your climate and local pests while planning your landscaping project. In the end, you’ll thank yourself for taking these steps to create your personal landscaped paradise.

    Plan for Your Climate

    You’ve dreamed of nurturing your lawn into a garden of neighborhood envy, but one miscalculation will undermine your plans. You haven’t taken your climate into consideration and much less that many of your favorite plants will wither in your region. Spare yourself the frustration by formulating your landscaping plans around your climate, including the shady and sunny areas of your yard and which plants will flourish in each.

    Assess Your Lawn

    Walk around your yard and look over your hard work from the previous spring and summer. This will give you a better idea of which plants to include in your spring landscaping project, what plants to forgo and what new additions you might consider. This is also the ideal time to determine which plants you need to divide and help your garden thrive.

    Identify the Local Pests

    When you think of pesky pests, you think of the countless insects that can threaten your yard. However, stray animals and wildlife do just as much damage if you don’t take steps to protect your lawn. Research local threats to your lawn to determine what you’ll need, including wire mesh and fencing. You may even include local plants known to deter pests in your spring landscaping project.

    lan for the Future

    The image you hold as you plan your landscaping project is a lawn with full, vibrant plants. As such, you should think about how large they’ll be at that point. Don’t plan your plant locations based on their current size or you’ll find yourself dealing with a major replanting project in six months. Instead, plan for plant growth and design your landscaping project around the future.

    Your Manicured Lawn

    You’ve planned, designed and purchased all you need for your perfect lawn. That question that remains is did you prepare for lawn maintenance? Proper maintenance is not only a year long task but also one that some plants require more than others. Research your chosen plants and determine how much care the require and what you’ll need. If time isn’t on your side, perhaps a low maintenance lawn is your best option while people with a passion for gardening may well prefer a high maintenance garden to keep them busy.

    There are quite a few steps to take while planning your landscaping project for spring and you don’t want to miss a single one. For that reason, walk your yard and assess your plants, plan for growth and prepare for maintenance. Keeping these tips in mind will take you one more step closer to the lawn you always dreamed of owning.