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

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  1. Pumpkin Crunch Cake

    English bulldogs and a pumpkin

    1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
    1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
    3 eggs
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 box yellow cake mix
    1 cup pecans, chopped (roasted, candied optional)
    1 cup butter/margarine, melted

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Pour into greased 13×9 baking dish. Layer DRY cake mix evenly on top of pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle pecans on top of cake mix. Drizzle melted butter evenly over the top. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown. Serve either warm or chilled with cream!

     

  2. Cracked FoundationMany homeowners take great pride in their homes. Also, many homeowners want to make their homes appealing for a variety of reasons. One of the best ways that homeowners can make their homes more appealing is by developing and maintaining a beautiful manicured yard. However, one of the biggest problems that many homeowners face regarding a beautiful yard is inadequate drainage.

    When many people think about yards, they rarely think about the need for good drainage. The focus is usually on how good the yard looks and other things such as the type of grass growing in the yard. While a good-looking yard along with nice grass, flowers, and decorations is wonderful, the need for good drainage is essential.

    Ten Inadequate Drainage Warning Signs

    Poor yard drainage can lead to a variety of serious issues that can ultimately harm a home. Therefore, homeowners should always take the time to look for warning signs that can provide an indication of inadequate drainage. Some warnings signs that can give an indication of insufficient drainage include:

    1. Cracks in the home foundation.
    2. Leaking in the home foundation.
    3. Bare spots in the yard.
    4. Wet areas in the yard.
    5. Standing water in the yard.
    6. Heavy runoff areas in the yard.Couple Concerned About Lawn
    7. Erosion of the soil in various areas in the yard.
    8. Water settling around the home.

    Every Yard is Different

    Many homeowners will notice more than one warning sign concerning insufficient drainage, but every yard is different. The warning signs will typically be different for different yards. The specific warning signs can help provide a specific solution to the drainage problems in a yard, but inadequate drainage is a serious problem that should be handled by professionals who are trained in this area.

    Homeowners Should Seek Professional Assistance

    Therefore, homeowners should seek the assistance of a professional landscaping company to help determine the nature of a yard drainage problem and the best drainage solutions. A professional company will take the time to determine the most effective drainage solutions for every situation because drainage solutions vary from yard to yard.

    In Ann Arbor MI, there are specific things that are needed to develop and maintain a great looking yard. In addition, the solution to drainage problems in Ann Arbor MI can sometimes be different than other locations. This is why it is a good idea to contact a local company that understands the local area. Local knowledge pertaining to developing and maintaining yards along with solving yard problems is very important.

    There is much more to a beautiful yard than just cutting, edging, and trimming grass. The need for proper yard drainage is at the core of maintaining a great yard and a great home. Poor drainage can ruin a yard, but it can also damage the home. By taking the time to look for warning signs regarding inadequate drainage, homeowners can avoid a lot of heartache and financial strain that can result from poor yard drainage.

    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.

  3. There are few things that are as devastating to a home as water damage following a storm. Most cities have a comprehensive plan to deal with excess water, but families in Ann Arbor MI should also take some time to prepare their home and yard for the wet season. Here is a look at the basics of storm water management and what you can do to keep your property secure and your family safe.

    Maintain Your Vehicle
    One of the most important steps in storm water management is protecting your local watershed from vehicle fluids. Families in Ann Arbor MI must be especially careful during the wet season when it comes to any leaks that would spill motor oil or antifreeze. Those that do decide to change their own fluids should wait until designated hazardous waste removal days to get rid of these products. This includes brake fluid, transmission fluid, windshield wiper fluid, freon, and car batteries.

    bigstock-Ice-on-roof-and-gutters-52324966Check Gutters and Downspouts
    Maintaining gutters and downspouts throughout your property is one of the best ways to protect the foundation of your home. When water is allowed to collected near the base of a building, it could result in expensive foundation cracks. Gutters and downspouts should be checked and cleaned frequently throughout the wet season. Families should ensure that downspouts are not only free of debris, but that they also lead far away from the home.

    Creating Grooves and Channels
    Homes in Ann Arbor MI that are especially prone to flooding should have a series of grooves and channels to lead water away from the property. The most basic channel is nothing more than a slight indentation in the lawn that is filled with rocks. These channels must be strategically placed in order to maximize on the downhill movement of water. As an added bonus, grooves and channels that are filled with rocks will further filter the water before it leads off one’s property.

    Test Your Sump Pump
    A sump pump is typically the last line of defense against storm water and could protect one’s home from expensive damage. These simple devices are placed in a sump basinReplacing The Old Sump Pump In A Basement that is designed to collect any water below the home. The pump can then pull the water out of the basin and redirect off of one’s property. Sump pumps are designed to withstand years of abuse, but they can be clogged with leaves, rocks, and other debris. Homeowners should test their sump pump just before the wet season to ensure that it is in working order.

    Contacting the Professionals
    One way to simplify this process is to contact a professional landscaping company well before the wet season to identify any potential problems. Homeowners that are not sure how to create lawn channels or fortify their soil risk damaging their home and lawn. Landscapers will also be able to help families with comprehensive storm water management features such as storm retention ponds that will collect water throughout the fall and winter.

    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.

  4. bigstock-Rain-gutter-full-of-autumn-lea-37528768Gutters are vital to a home’s functioning, but they can easily become clogged with debris and leaves, particularly during the fall. The more you prevent gutter clogs now, the less you’ll have to do later. Consider these five tips for keeping your gutters in Ann Arbor MI debris-free during the fall.

    1. Cut Away Overhanging Branches

    The trees closet to your house are going to wreak the most havoc on your roof. To limit the amount of leaves that cause gutter clog, cut away any branches that hang over the home. This could also protect your home from other damage, like scraping or broken branches going through windows during a storm.

    2. Install Gutter Covers

    Gutter covers and leaf guards have a host of benefits, including managing water flow so that it’s directed away from the home, protecting your home’s foundation, protecting the property’s landscaping, preventing overflow, preventing animals from nesting, and preventing mold. There are three main types of gutter covers:

    • Flexible Mesh: You can get 20-foot rolls of flexible mesh and then cut it to fit each gutter. This is the least expensive option, but it’s also the most difficult to setup, as the mesh has to be cut to the exact right size in order to fit and work properly.

    • Solid Guards: These gutter covers offer a lot of protection and they’re also very easy to install.

    • Solid Screens: Solid screens will either snap in to protect the gutter or be placed on top of the gutter. Unfortunately, some solid screens don’t attach well, depending on your gutter type.

    3. Use a Gutterpillar

    If you don’t like any of the screen options, consider getting a Gutterpillar. This type of gutter guard keeps debris and leaves out of the way. It looks like a brush and it slips into the gutter. The bristles let water pass through but they keep debris away. When it’s time for a gutter cleaning, you just have to take out the Gutterpillar and rinse it off with a hose.

    4. Give Them a Final Flush

    Once you’ve cleared any debris and leaves, complete the gutter cleaning with a final flush of water. This’ll wash away any remaining dirt and debris. You’ll also make sure that water is flowing as it should. Keep in mind that if you have a very tall house or are unsteady on your feet, you may want to hire a professional gutter cleaner in Ann Arbor MI.

    5. Stick to a Maintenance Schedule

    Make it a point to clean the gutters at least once a year. If there are a lot of trees around your home, you’ll want to clean them more frequently, at least every six months. Some people schedule gutter maintenance every three months to make sure a buildup doesn’t get out of control. Also, always make sure to check them following a storm.

    Don’t wait until it’s too late to think about gutter cleaning! You could face leaks, holes and broken attachments if you put it off too long.

    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.

  5. Three Tier FountainThe right landscaping in Ann Arbor, MI can turn your yard into a beautiful oasis for you to enjoy all year. The soothing sounds of a water feature and the vibrant colors of the changing leaves in Michigan make for a great combination in any landscape. However visually appealing the coloring of the trees is, they make for a not so great addition to your outside water feature. When you live in areas like Scio or Whitmore Lake, keeping these yearly intruders out of your water features and under control are easy with these handy tips and tricks.

    Small Ponds and Features

    Many people enjoy small areas of flowing water or fish ponds. These water areas are easy to manage with a few preventative actions.

    Black Netting
    To control the leaves from entering small areas it is possible to cover the area with a section of black netting. Place the netting over the entire pond area and secure around the outside. This will keep the leaves above the water and the netting removes easily with the leaves securely inside. For areas with large amounts of leaf dropping, you can empty the net into a composting area and replaced as often as necessary.

    Manual Removal
    A not so popular and time-consuming method is removing the debris by hand regularly. Although this method will result in a clean pond, the maintenance and time factor may make this an unpopular choice for eliminating leaves from the ponds in Michigan.

    Planned PlantingHome Tropical Garden With Pond
    Being aware of where you are placing new trees or a new water feature on a property in Ann Arbor MI may reduce or eliminate the need for this type of maintenance. Keeping trees that drop their leaves or needles in the fall away from your outdoor water feature will aid in the reduction of the amount of debris that is able to reach the pond.

    Large Ponds

    For those who enjoy a larger pond or lake on their property it is more difficult to keep this type of debris out of their oversized outdoor water feature. There are steps that you can take to reduce the amount of harmful decomposing debris that reaches the bottom.

    Shorelines
    Clear away shorelines by hand with rakes and put the debris in compost piles or old growing beds.

    Bacterial Pellets
    It is possible to use bacterial pellets to breakdown the unwanted materials that have settled on the bottom of the body of water. Water temperature is a major factor in the success of this method.

    Aerate
    Add an aeration system to the water feature. This removes dangerous gases such as ammonia and it adds oxygen for the fish and plants that grow naturally. An aeration system will also keep the water from winter freeze-over during the frigid winters in Ann Arbor MI.

    In Ann Arbor MI when debris from fallen leaves, twigs, and needles sink to the bottom of your outdoor water feature, they begin to decompose and cause a number of unwanted problems. It is essential that you eliminate these unwanted elements. You can make this necessary but unpopular chore easier with a little preparation and diligence, using these handy guides and tips.

    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.

  6. Gardening JobsAs fall arrives in Ann Arbor MI, you may be thinking of enjoying the outside as much as you possibly can before snow starts to fall from the sky. However, as much as you want to sit back and relax in the sun, consider what is going to happen to your landscape if you fail to remove the fallen leaves. Raking leaves may not be your idea of fun, but it is something that needs to be done. Seasonal cleanup can prevent a lot of problems for you in the future.

    Suffocation of Plants
    In the autumn, leaves start to fall from the trees. Leaves that fall on your plants can quickly suffocate them. The plants are no longer getting the sun and will fail to thrive. As colder weather approaches, they will not be able to dig their roots in deep to get through the winter. What this means for you is a stark garden come spring. By removing the leaves, the sun will be able to do its job in helping them to prepare for the coming winter.

    Leaf Mold
    Failure to perform seasonal cleanup in the removal of leaves can cause leaf mold. While leaf mold has its benefits in soil, for a plant it can be deadly. Certain fungi will actually get inside the plant and steal the nutrients from the soil. In turn, the plant will be severely affected by the fungi and may even die. To prevent this from happening, it is a simple matter of removing the leaves from your garden in the fall.

    Killing of the Grass
    You may also have grass in your garden and leaves are going to be what kills it off. If the leaves are left for a small amount of time and then removed, you may notice that your grass is starting to turn brown. The fact is that many grasses in the Ann Arbor MI area do best in the cooler season. Fall is the time of year that they thrive. This is the time their root systems are strengthened and, if covered in leaves, they will not be able to do this and will succumb to disease or die.

    Seasonal cleanup may not be one of the things you want to do in the fall. After all, this is the time of year that you can get outside and do many of the things you enjoy, whether it is hiking in the woods or taking a trip in the country. However, if you fail to do the necessary chore of raking leaves this fall, your garden is going to suffer. If you find that you simply do not have the time it takes or the energy to get the job done, consider hiring an expert. A professional landscaping company can come in and remove all leaves from your garden in a timely manner. Once your garden and yard area is cleaned up, you may just want to have one last hoorah barbecue for family and friends before the snow starts to fall.

    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.

  7. Garden Bed Retaining Wall

    Retaining walls can provide both practical and aesthetic value to an Ann Arbor MI home. Not only can they beautify and protect your landscaping, they are also able to increase your home’s value. However, in order for a homeowner to get these benefits, their retaining wall will have to be properly designed and installed. These walls are essential for properties located on hills and slopes. A homeowner who sees the need for a retaining wall will need to hire an experienced landscaping contractor to ensure that it is securely installed.

    Here are some of the ways that a retaining wall can be beneficial for a lawn in Ann Arbor MI:

    1. They Help to Create Flat Space
    If a part of your yard is elevated and you would like to turn it into a flat space, a retaining wall can help you to do this. They can be used in flat areas of your yard as well, but are most important effective for dealing with slopes and inclines where drainage is an issue. With a retaining wall in place, you will not have to be concerned about flooding or erosion in your garden or lawn.

    2. They Can Be Attractive
    It is well known that hardscapes can be extremely attractive features that add to a homeowner’s enjoyment of their property. Elements like patios, walkways and retaining walls fall into this category.

    3. They Can Help With the Management of Water Runoff
    A retaining wall can help to slow the speed and flow of rainwater as it runs off. This can help to protect your lawn and garden from being damaged by torrents of water. Retaining walls can help to control the flow of water by diverting it to the location that you desire.

    4. Multiple Design Options
    There are different design options for this kind of wall. The most common ones are:

    • Gravity Walls
    These are thicker at the base than at the top and lean back at the top. This kind of retaining wall leans back against the materials that it is retaining.

    • Cantilever Walls
    These single-layered walls are the same thickness throughout and have a base that is connected to a slab. Cantilever walls require steel reinforcement in both the base and slab. The steel extends from the base to the slab so that the wall works as a cohesive unit. In this design, the base is extremely important and must be designed in such a way that it allows the wall to resist the pressure of the earth.

    • Sheet Pile Walls
    These use planks that are pushed into the soil and that are supported by it on both sides. The planks may be made of different materials such as steel, wood or vinyl. In some cases, this type of wall will be anchored with a cable. Having a landscaping company handle the installation will ensure that a sheetpile wall is able to handle the pressure from the earth that it is retaining. Typically, this kind of retaining wall is used on softer soils.

    • Anchored Walls
    These walls use cables to enhance the strength of the wall, similar to sheet pile walls. The cables are used to connect the top and the base and have anchors attached to them. The anchors are expanded in the ground.

    • Counterfort (or Buttress) Walls
    This kind of wall has vertical concrete webs that are installed along the wall’s rear side. They tie the slab and the base together to lower shear forces and the bending movements caused by the soil.

    5. Maintenance is Easy
    Because of the materials used in its construction, a retaining wall requires relatively little maintenance. These walls are often made of stone or other natural mineral products. Aside from stone, other materials commonly used include wood that has been treated to resist moisture.

    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.

  8. Drainage Project

    Drainage issues are very common problems for exterior environments that are too flat or that may be comprised of dense non-porous earth and soil. A professionally designed trench drainage system can be essential for ensuring stormwater and runoff is able to be properly channeled. Essential drainage is essential when it comes to protecting your property and landscaping from the damages caused by soil erosion or standing water. Property owners in Ann Arbor MI would be wise to seek out the equipment installation options and other landscaping services that only an experienced professional can provide.

    Common Causes for Drainage Issues

    From homes built in flood-prone areas to outdoor landscaping that has been poorly designed, there are many common causes for drainage problems.

    • Landscaping and architecture design that fails to account for water flow and runoff.
    • Hardpan soil and non-porous surfaces that may leave standing water with nowhere to go.
    • High water table locations and lower elevations that may be inundated with off-site runoff.

    The installation of a drainage system can ensure that excessive water and moisture can be effectively channeled away from any areas where it has the potential to create problems.

    Perimeter Drainage Solutions for High-Traffic Areas

    Being unable to access areas of your yard or property due to standing water or excessive mud and damp soil can become a source of considerable inconvenience. Poor or insufficient drainage in high-traffic areas like outdoor footpaths, walkways and even parking areas can become an even greater inconvenience as it may restrict access to outdoor areas or limit your ability come and go with ease. Trench systems and other perimeter drainage equipment options and solutions can ensure that high-traffic areas can drain more quickly and efficiently, eliminating many of the issues and inconveniences associated with insufficient drainage.

    Protecting Your Landscape and Property

    Poor drainage may result in problems far more severe than than a muddy yard or swampy exterior area. Runoff that is not properly channeled can lead to extensive soil erosion which may damage outdoor landscaping, drown or uproot expensive plants or even lead to issues with your home’s foundation and structural integrity. For property owners in Ann Arbor Mi, trench drainage systems and installations can be an important asset, one that can help to ensure their home and property will be kept safe from the potential damages that be caused by runoff, standing water or the presence of constant moisture.

    Professional Solutions Ensure Superior Drainage

    Arranging for the installation of a trench drainage system through the wrong service provider could be a costly misstep. Landscaping service providers that lack the training, experience and tools needed to properly assess the drainage needs of an outdoor area and ensure that equipment choices and installation efforts are able to be as effective as possible may be little more than a liability. For home and property owners who are interested in ensuring superior results or getting the best value for their investment, it always pays to do business with the best.

    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.

  9. a cute bull dog on the grass toned with a warm filter effectWhen winter rolls around, you know that you will not be seeing your lawn for several months. While it is buried under the heavy snows, it is natural to worry about whether it will survive the harsh conditions. If you want it to come through will flying colors, there are some smart moves you can make. Here is a look at five steps you can take to keep your lawn’s turf viable during the winter.

    1. Fertilize Your Turf
    One of the most important steps you need to take to get your lawn ready for winter is to fertilize it. Add a fertilizer that contains nitrogen and potash. This will stimulate the growth of the turf and repair the damage caused over the summer. It will also harden the turf to help it survive the winter.

    2. Overseed Your Lawn

    Another smart move is to overseed your lawn in the fall. This will have a two-pronged effect. It will help to repair the damage done during the summer, and it will also ensure that the maximum amount of turf comes back in the spring.

    3. Take Control of the Thatch
    Thatch is one of the most harmful factors that can cause your lawn problems over the course of the winter. Thatch is a breeding ground for diseases and harmful pests, and it also causes the turf to have a higher growing point. Lawns with excess thatch will have a hard time surviving the winter. If you want to get rid of thatch, the best thing you can do is to aerate your lawn in the fall. When you aerate your lawn, the plugs that come up will contain microorganisms that will help to break down the thatch.

    4. Get Rid of Tree Leaves
    You need to get rid of the fallen tree leaves as soon as possible. If you leave leaves on the turf, your grass will not get the light it needs to survive. There are two ways that you can get rid of the leaves on your lawn. You can remove the leaves by raking them or using a leaf blower. However, you can also use a mulching mower with sharp blades to mulch the leaves. You can mulch a layer of leaves up to 15 centimeters deep without harming your turf.

    a bull dog rolling in the grass5. Mow as Low as You Can Go
    For the majority of the year, you are supposed to avoid mowing your lawn too short. Doing so can damage your lawn. However, the exception to the rule is when you make your final mow of the year. The last time you mow your lawn before the snow falls, you should set your lawnmower at its lowest
    setting possible. Doing this will keep prevent your lawn from getting damaged by snow and disease during the winter.

    If you follow these five tips, you lawn will come through the harsh Michigan winters with a minimum of damage. It takes some effort to get your lawn ready for winter, but it is well worth your time.

    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.