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

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  1. No matter where in Ann Arbor MI you make your home, nothing else adds to your enjoyment and the value of your home like the right landscaping and hardscaping elements. Once the landscaping is complete, you need the right lighting to illuminate the area. Proper outdoor lighting not only improves nighttime safety, it can add a serene yet eye-catching elegance to your property. Our specially trained, highly skilled landscape designers and installers can add energy-efficient, low-voltage, landscape lighting that will transform your yard into a paradise.

    Light Your Yard

    We can install outdoor lights that combine beauty, style, and dependability while drawing attention to all of your gorgeous landscape elements. We offer exterior lights and garden light designs that will make your yard the envy of all your neighbors. We will use our creativity, innovation, wide selection of outdoor lights, and years of experience with exterior lighting to make your property the perfect place for relaxing and entertaining friends and family. Our team of experienced landscape lighting professionals will install the perfect combination of lights for your landscaping.

    Where The Lights Will Be

    We will add light to certain key places in your yard. They include:

    1. Walkways
    2. Gardens
    3. Ponds
    4. Fountains
    5. Trees Clusters
    6. Patios
    7. Benches
    8. Statues
    9. Cooking Areas

    Our professionally installed landscape lighting can highlight your yard’s focal points, add warmth and intimacy, accentuate interesting landscaping elements, and allow people to safely use your property’s sidewalks, patio, and walkways after dark. Whether you want special lighting to set a soft, romantic mood, focus attention on hardscapes, simply mark boundaries, or create a stunning landscape people can enjoy at night, we have the inventive outdoor lighting solutions you need and know precisely how to deploy them.

    Lighting Options

    We have a wide variety of lights we can use to create a truly unique and special setting in your yard. Some of the lighting choices we offer include:

    *Flood Lights
    *Accent Lights
    *Outdoor Lamps
    *Recessed Lights
    *Wall Wash Lights
    *Cap Lights
    *Step Lights
    *Solar Lights
    *LED Lights
    *Copper Lights
    *Low-Voltage Landscape Lights
    *High-Voltage Landscape Lights
    *Zen Garden Lighting

    Our licensed electricians and innovative hardscapes designers will work together to install the exterior lighting elements at various angles and distances. They will make your property a safe, inviting, and comfortable place for people to gather for meals and special occasions. The exterior lighting also extend the amount of time you can spend outdoors and creates an enjoyable nighttime ambience. We employ a variety of advanced lighting techniques and strategies including the use of path-lights, up-lighting, and down-lighting and follow good Dark Sky Practices to reduce light pollution.

    Landscape lighting design can be a complex endeavor. One that can be used to achieve beauty, safety, security, beauty, energy efficiency, functionality, and environmental goals. We can use spotlights with glare guards, hidden light sources, staggered walkway lights, and more to make the outdoor lighting in your Ann Arbor MI home a subtle, yet powerful landscaping addition.

    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.

  2. Many people consider early summer and spring as the best times to plant trees around the yard or provide tree care to the plants on their yards. Winter is not often considered the best time for tree care because of the snow and cold that usually comes with the season. However, certain plants are capable of surviving bitter winter colds. Having information on the types of crops that can survive the winter can help ensure you have healthy trees on your yard.

    The Paper Birch Tree River Birch Bark
    This tree blooms with beautiful yellow leaves during fall. In winter, its white bark provides a beautiful contrast in a backdrop of evergreens. Many people use this plant as the focal point in Christmas displays. Plant paper birch trees in shallow holes with mulch to retain moisture. This plant grows well in all seasons.

    This is one of the most popular winter plants recommended for Ann Arbor MI. Camellia is an evergreen that starts to bloom from autumn and spring and has brightly colored rose-like flowers that provide the perfect contrast to the unexciting winter landscape. Plant camellia at a spot in your yard that gets direct sunlight, but is protected from strong winds.

    This plant is related to holly. Winterberries lose their leaves in autumn so that the only thing that remains clinging to the plant is its bright red berries. Consider planting this plant in your yard if you love birds because its bright red fruits attract many birds during winter. Sow winterberries in a cold frame in the fall and transplant them during spring. Winterberries are slow growing and germination may take two to three months.

    Red Twig Dogwood
    This is another winter favorite for Ann Arbor MI. Red Twig Dogwoods have striking red stems that are attractive on their own but also make great accents when combined with evergreen plants like Camellia. The stems retain their colors throughout the year but regular pruning is necessary, especially during winter and spring, to remove excess leaves and reveal the stems. The plant becomes brightest during summer when it receives maximum amount of sunlight.

    This hardy perennial plant is attractive throughout winter. The plant features small clusters of blooming white flowers in spring and bright leaves the rest of the year. Its small berries remain yellow or orange long after winter is over.

    Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick or Corkscrew Hazel
    This is an unusually interesting winter plant. Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick or Corkscrew Hazel is a shrub that flowers in the spring and develops winding and twisted branches during winter adding a touch of beauty to the winter landscape. However, Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick or Corkscrew Hazel requires regular trimming to maintain their impressive look otherwise it will look like an overgrown tangle of branches.

    Paperback Maple
    This beautiful tree has a copper colored bark that peels off during winter creating an appealing sight, both when on the plant and after falling off on the ground. It produces green leaves during summer and cinnamon colored leaves during autumn and winter.

    This plant has always been very popular in Europe, but its appeal was overlooked in the U.S. until recently when people began to recognize it as a winter plant. In winter, Heather produces thick foliage that lights up the dull winter landscape.

    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. Cracked FoundationWinter weather can be rough in Ann Arbor MI, and water-related issues can develop year-round. Even snowy winter weather can harm the foundation of your home, resulting in costly repairs. Here are a few things to be aware of as we head into the freezing cold months ahead.

    Soil pressure cracks.

    When significant precipitation occurs, as snow and ice build up on the ground surface surrounding a home, moisture seeps into the soil. Depending on the type of soil, the moisture may dissipate and cause no problems. But if water leaches into sponge-like soil that absorbs and holds on to moisture, the soil will begin to expand and gradually press against your home’s concrete foundation.

    Over time, left unchecked, that pressure can cause cracks to develop, which may leak into your basement and cause serious damage. If the problem continues, the concrete walls could eventually begin to lean inward, weakening the home’s overall foundational structure and causing damage.

    Hydrostatic pressure.

    Deeper in the ground where water collects, during periods of extreme rain or snowfall that gradually melts, the water level can rise and push against the bottom of a home’s foundation. Cracks will appear in the concrete floor, or moisture will surface in slab foundations. Mold and mildew may develop to compound the problem.

    Desiccation pressure.

    The opposite of too much moisture is the absence of water in the ground, which causes the soil to contract or shrink. The home’s foundation may sink as the earth beneath it pulls away. This can lead to an uneven floor, cracks, or water seepage. A house may experience hydrostatic pressure at one point, and then soon after, as water levels shift, begin to experience different pressure, which can lead to the need for foundation repair.

    Qualified experts.

    Whether or not your home’s foundation has begun showing signs of winter weather damage, it’s a good idea to contact foundation experts who can address the potential threat of water damage to your basement. Well-trained engineers understand the engineering issues associated with potential or actual water damage from winter weather to a foundation. They can recommend prescriptive measures that can help prevent the need for costly foundation repair.

    Where problems have already developed, qualified foundation professionals can diagnose the source of the problem and suggest a plan of action for repair and future protection. In many cases, waterproofing will be needed to combat the threat of moisture in a basement or slab foundation. Waterproofing product will need to be the right grade for the type of basement being treated, and adequate safety precautions for applying the substance must be taken.

    If you are concerned about real or possible foundation problems in Ann Arbor MI this winter, don’t wait for something major to happen. Request an inspection to see if your home is vulnerable to damaging winter weather, or if early signs have begun to appear that indicate treatment is needed. Getting a jump on any possible problems before they begin or become significant can save time and money later.

    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. Garden Bed Retaining Wall

    Although most of Michigan is pretty cold, the Ann Arbor MI area is actually quite moderate. In fact, while nearby spots vary, the city itself is firmly in plant hardiness zone 6a. Despite this, heavy winter snows and high winds can still wreak havoc on any plants in the yard. While retaining walls are usually thought of as just a way to even out sloping ground on the property, here are some problems winter weather can cause in this corner of Michigan that a retaining wall can help deal with.

    *Soil Erosion
    *Wind Damage
    *Cold Spells

    Preserving the Soil
    Retaining walls are often constructed to prevent soil erosion that’s normally associated with warm weather. This threat actually continues through the winter around here, though. With a relatively temperate climate, Ann Arbor MI can experience warm spells during the winter that can quickly melt the heavy snows that are common in the region. This can wash away topsoil along with plants. In addition, the end of the season brings another chance for nutrient-bearing topsoil to be lost. The level earth behind a retaining wall provides a stable environment for plants to flourish.

    Putting Water Where It’s Needed
    Aside from washing dirt away from hillsides, melting snows can be funneled into low spots where they can’t soak down into the ground fast enough. When the next blast of cold air hits, these areas of standing water freeze to ice that damages the trunks or stems of trees, shrubs, and perennials located in them. Along with eliminating slopes and gullies, retaining walls include drainage tiles that carry excess water out of the yard or channel it to those dry, sandy spots in the lawn where it can be beneficial.

    Shelter from the Wind
    Winter winds in Michigan are sometimes intense. This rarely presents itself as a direct threat to the plants unless they’re species that hold most of their leaves through winter, but it can cause trouble in an indirect way. Snow is actually a pretty good insulator against even colder temperatures. A good blanket of snow can protect vulnerable plants that can’t tolerate extreme cold that strikes from time to time. Depending on how it’s designed, a retaining wall can keep the snow from blowing away and leaving the plants exposed all the way to the bare ground.

    Keeping Warm
    Another way these walls provide for plants in winter is by retaining warmth. While walls built of timber have some heat retention capability, it’s especially true of masonry walls that they can absorb the rays of the low winter sun and radiate the warmth back out at night. With a well-designed south-facing wall that shelters against the north wind, a microclimate that’s warmer than the surrounding area can be created. Plants typical of Michigan benefit from the protection of the wall, but this also opens up the possibility for growing perennials like camellia or agapanthus that are usually durable only to hardiness zone 7.

    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. A Perfectly Edged Brick WalkwayWinters in Ann Arbor MI often endure 45 to 50 inches of snow each season. Snow, ice and sleet can affect landscapes and hardscapes adversely. There are several types of hardscaping materials that can survive winter most effectively. In order of durability, these include:
    . Precast pavers
    . Concrete
    . Asphalt

    It may be surprising that today’s precast pavers are the most durable hardscaping material. Durable pavers meet the ASTM C936 / C936M – 09 standard specifications for concrete aggregates, light-weight masonry aggregates and interlocking pavers. The ASTM standard proves customers with insurance that their hardscaping materials are highest quality, durable and will perform according to the manufacturer’s warranty. The more buyers of hardscaping materials know and understand about the quality and standards; it is easier to make educated choices of which materials are best for Ann Arbor MI temperatures and winter storm events.

    How to Choose the Most Effective Hardscape Material
    Most hardscapes are comprised of sidewalks, walkways, retaining walls and garden ornaments of hard cast aggregates. Sidewalks and areas like walkways that receive heavy foot traffic can be damaged by snow shoveling and de-icing with harsh salts and de-icing chemicals.

    One of the reasons interlocking pavers are so durable is their flexibility. Unlike concrete or asphalt, pavers endure the cycles of freezing and thawing without damage due to the shifting of pavers that protects them from cracking and damage. Because pavers tend to shift with the natural movement of soil, they are able to avoid the kind of rigidity that causes cracks in asphalt and concrete.

    The Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI) Technical Committee, located in Virginia, has cited several advantageous features of pavers over concrete that’s of the ready mix type. These advantages include:

    1. Pavers have a lower variation of the properties of the material of manufacturer. This helps eliminate over-finishing of the surface of the material. Pavers are designed and created for production in higher controlled manufacturing processes and plants.

    2. Pavers have a lower water to cement ratio, lower compaction and vibration of the manufacturing process. This eliminates over-watering and also increases aggregate to cement contact.

    3. Pavers can be installed successfully in cold weather due to “curing” prior to the completion of the manufacturing process. For residents of Ann Arbor, this is a big consideration, given the severity of winters in this region of the country.

    To choose the most effective hardscape materials, consult with a licensed, professional landscaping expert. These landscaping technicians possess a broad range of knowledge of materials for landscaping and hardscaping uses. In addition, a hardscaping expert provides highest quality installation of hardscape materials that will endure through the severe winters and unusually hot summers. The extremes of severe winters and high temperatures in summer are the cause of wear on concrete and asphalt. When winter de-icing is part of the cycle of wear, the overall value of interlocking pavers compared to concrete and asphalt show that high quality interlocking pavers are strong enough to survive Ann Arbor winters most effectively.

    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. Frost is the bane of every gardener’s existence. It can be highly stressful to be worrying about your plants and flowers during a cold snap, especially when you have worked so hard to keep them healthy and productive. This is why learning a few basic frost protection techniques can save you a lot of stress and keep your garden thriving, even during colder weather. Listed below are some of the most effective and easy ways to ensure that your garden is safe from frost.

    sheared-shrubs_largeSpreading Organic Material

    Layering a few inches of organic material over plants is definitely the most commonly used method among lawn care professionals and home gardeners alike when it comes to keeping frost at bay. This time honored strategy has been used forever because it is simple and highly effective. Make sure to always keep a supply of hay or mulch on your property for use before an upcoming dip in temperatures.

    Water Your Garden Thoroughly

    Watering your plants thoroughly before a frost is especially important around Ann Arbor MI. Plants that are full of water are less likely to freeze than ones that are not, as plants that are fully watered are healthier and stronger when it comes to fighting the cold. Watering will also saturate the soil around your plants, which provides an added layer of insulation against the cold. By simply establishing a regular watering routine for your garden, you can always be sure that your plants are prepared for an impromptu frost.

    Using Blankets And Sheets

    Frost blankets and sheets are items that every gardener should keep on hand. These can be purchased at any home improvement store. Your local lawn care professional will also have access to these types of protective coverings. Draping sheets and blankets over plants keeps them insulated, warm and out of the way of freezing precipitation. Try to keep the sheets from touching your plants directly to achieve the best results, and always remember to remove the coverings as soon as temperatures rise again to prevent them from keeping your plants too warm.

    Sheltering Individual Plants

    Placing overturned buckets and pots over plants and sprouts that are especially delicate and susceptible to cold is always a good idea when temperatures are going down around Ann Arbor MI. This method, combined with other frost prevention techniques, can ensure that even the smallest and least developed of your plants are still protected. This means that you won’t lose any of that hard-earned progress you have made on your garden. The best part about this method is that as a gardener you probably have a lot of extra buckets and pots lying around already.

    These are just a few of the many frost protection methods available to you as a gardener. It is highly encouraged that you take the time to properly insulate your plants and flowers before the arrival of cold weather, or that you have your professional lawn care company take care of the job for you. Taking even the simplest of steps toward protecting your garden can ensure that you have a beautiful and productive garden space for years to come.

    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. Lighting_largeCollege towns bring the vibrancy and diversity in life to savor by yourself or if one is raising a family. Ann Arbor MI is the home of your Wolverines and a mecca for culture and night life that extends from Main Street outward. With the ebb and flow of visitors that are attracted to the city, it is imperative to keep your loved ones protected from individuals of a transient nature. Few things relax the minds of everyone you love than having the outside of your homestead adequately lit. Here are the methods to add or improve upon your outdoor lighting to keep the property you live on safe.

    Avoid Going DEFCON

    The nuclear option with a few very intense lamps is not the way to go. Not only could it be disconcerting to your neighbors but when used in conjunction with security cameras it is counter productive. Glare is much more likely from those highly focused beams of light. Instead opt for more lights but at a medium intensity. The job still gets done and those around you run much less the risk of becoming offended.

    Modern Motion Control

    Ability to fine tune to your surroundings will alleviate a lot of the problems with earlier systems. Remember when any little chipmunk or blowing leaves would cause the system to trigger. Now the level of sophistication is present where it can differentiate between ambient background motion and nefarious activity.

    Blend Into the Surroundings

    Vibrant and decorative yards are part of the appeal to living in Ann Arbor MI. Choose a system that not only gets the job done but is non intrusive to the theme or look you wish the property to portray. Security should blend into the features and not be an eyesore. Best method to do this is to consult with an outdoor lighting professional from an area landscaping company. Let their decades of experience aid and assist you in being both secure and maintaining the integrity of your yard’s visual appeal.

    All the Entries

    Porch and sliding doors are the inexperienced thieves mode of entry. One must look at every nook and cranny as a port of entry. Every window should have the ability to be bathed in light if the corresponding motion control sensor is tripped. Not only that but pathways in which an intruder can go vertical must be considered. Upper floors suffer because the homeowner under estimates the desire of the intruder to make into your home. Do not forget about your driveway or garage. Cars make for quick pit stops for glove compartment looting. Garages morph into a shopping spree for the would be pilferer if not protected.

    A consultation with a local landscaping company is affordable and provides feedback on approaches that might be missing with your outdoor lighting. Let their decades of experience reinforce the options that are already present on your property. In the end, all of us work far too hard to let a thief interrupt our family’s serenity.

    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. Hiding Underground Power Line Boxes With Giant Ornamental GrasseGiving your yard a makeover might seem like a daunting task, but creating a lush and beautiful garden is a fantastic investment. More importantly, creating colorful softscapes that are easy on the eyes will make springtime after the long Ann Arbor MI winter even more appealing and give you a relaxing space to decompress. There are several reasons that you should consider digging in and planting that garden.

    1. Increased Property Values

    With the Ann Arbor MI property market as competitive as it is, adding some softscapes in the front yard can increase your home’s value by thousands. Something as simple as accenting your yard with a bed of Geraniums or Black-eyed Susans around the mailbox can really make your home stand out to potential buyers when the time comes to sell. If your neighbors get on board and add some greenery of their own, your street becomes that much more desirable.

    2. Get in Touch With Your Green Thumb

    Dedicate a corner of your yard to seasonal fruits and vegetables. This is such a great way to learn a new skill, save money, and enjoy the “fruits of your labor.” Grow tomatoes on a trellis, start a strawberry patch, and add beds of your favorite herbs. Creating a whimsical raised bed can add some dimension to your softscape and allow you to use the space better. While you wouldn’t want to make a farm of your backyard, adding a few patches of edible plants can keep things interesting. Imagine waking up one morning to find the summer’s first strawberry right there in your backyard. It’s much easier than you think!

    3. Unique Designs

    Adding custom softscapes to your property can transform your home in such a unique way. Whether it means planting a zen Japanese-style garden or a lush English garden, you can alter the whole look and feel of your property. Pulling some of the elements of your garden into your home can help bring the outdoors in by creating a cohesive design theme. Understanding the aesthetic elements of softscaping will give you new perspectives in interior design. It will inspire you to get creative with indoor plants, terrariums, and windowboxes. Adding splashes of green to the interior of your home can truly transform your space – especially during those gray Ann Arbor winters!

    Cozy little back yard terrace with table and chair.4. Create an Oasis

    Last but not least, creating a beautiful garden essentially means adding another room to your home. When springtime comes, you’ll have a new space to entertain and relax. Imagine having drinks on the patio on a Friday night among the butterflies and birds that have taken up residence in your new backyard, or feeling the sun on your face as you delve into your summer reading list. Add a hammock or a bench swing among the greenery and give yourself a space to get off your feet and breathe. With so much of our lives spent indoors, it’s so important to give yourself a small oasis that is teeming with life.

    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.