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Creative Ideas for Shade in the Backyard

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With summer right around the corner, we will definitely be spending more time outdoors. Your backyard is fair game for get-togethers, barbecues, pool parties and relaxing with your family. However, nothing ruins the outdoors quite like too much sun, so having shade in the backyard is a must.

If you don’t already have shade in your backyard, it’s easy to shield areas from the sun. Creating shade in your backyard can completely change the look and feel of your yard, and make it a better place to entertain guests and spend your time. Consider these creative ways to add shade in the backyard.

Fabric and Tarps

By draping fabric or tarps you can create a restful, aesthetically pleasing space. Depending on what type of structures you have in place already in your backyard, you will have to get creative with how you drape the fabric. If you have a pergola or slatted ceiling, for example, it could be as simple as laying a tarp across the structure. If you have a deck, you can anchor the fabric to the deck railings to create a canopy. Make sure you choose a fade resistant and water resistant fabric or tarp specifically made for the outdoors.

Umbrellas

Perhaps the easiest way to create shade, a patio umbrella can make a great addition to your yard. They are available at most hardware and home decor stores, and you can match them to patio furniture to help keep dining outdoors cooler and more enjoyable. Drinks and appetizers in your backyard never sounded better!

Umbrellas are also mobile, meaning that they can move with you wherever you go. Whether you’re hanging out by the pool or tending to your backyard garden, an umbrella has you covered.

Pergola

A pergola is another great way to help create shade in the backyyard. It can help filter out sunlight and provide an architectural point of interest in your yard. There a ton of options depending on your style and budget and are available at most home décor stores. There are even DIY tutorials so that you can make your own.

Since a pergola doesn’t provide a completely shaded area, you can always use a tarp or fabric draped across the top to completely cover your space, as mentioned above. A pergola gives you more freedom when it comes to creating shade, allowing partial sun to warm you up on cooler days and the option to create total shade to cool you down on warmer days.

Natural Shade

This vine has a mythical look that can make a beautiful addition to your backyard. You can train the vine to grow and cover a free standing structure or a pergola to create an oasis of shade. Wisteria is a high climbing vine that droops in clusters of lilac flowers. It blooms in the spring, but the vines and leaves can provide shade year-round. It needs to be planted in fertile soil with full access to sunlight and can be trained to grow along a structure. Because wisteria can grow quickly, it is best to plant it in an area without other plants as it may overtake their area.

Trees are another great source of shade for your backyard. They are naturally cooling, and can provide a nice focal point if your yard is bare. You should choose a fast-growing tree that is suited for your area. Since trees can last a long time, you want to make sure you choose the right kind for your climate and one that fits your style. Rather than just going to a nursery to pick out a tree on the spot, take some time and research different kinds of trees that will do well in your yard.

Lawnscape has been serving Southern California since 1979. We service turf and ground cover areas, caring for both professionals and homeowners alike. Our fertilization, weed, insect and disease control services will ensure that the grass will always be greener on your lawn.

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Best Landscaping Ideas for a Small Yard

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There are all sorts of conflicting information about how you can make your small lawn look bigger. However, one thing is for sure: what’s most important is that you can enjoy your yard as much as possible. Fortunately, you can make your lawn a hospitable retreat while at the same time creating the illusion of a larger space by creating a destination and focal point in your landscaping. Not sure where to start? Here is some of the best landscaping for small backyards to inspire you.

Channel the Coast

Even if you don’t have an expansive seaside estate, you can incorporate elements of the sea into your landscaping. Tall sea grasses such as sedge not only have a coastal feel, when they blow in the wind they create an almost wave-like texture. Boardwalk paths and a fire pit reminiscent of oceanside bonfires add to the beachy feel. Add in some low maintenance, low water plants, like succulents and palm varieties, around your grass to provide variation in color and texture, and one or more water or sand features to round out your coastal getaway. This is just one of many ways landscaping for small backyards can act as a way to transport you to a different location.

Oasis for Edibles

Landscaping for small backyards can act as an outdoor dining room while also providing a space to foster edible plants. Place an outdoor dining set in your yard, but keep proportion in mind. You don’t want a table that is so large that it will overwhelm the space. Whether it’s a full dining table or a breakfast table, make sure your table is the right size for your yard. Built in or extendable tables are a great way to get extra space with minimal use of space. You can also install a fold-down, murphy bar or build a bar out of cinder blocks for a space efficient drink serving station. For variety in vegetation, herbs planted in tiered planters and vertical wall gardens can maximize space without giving up precious turf space, and draw the eye up, creating the illusion of a larger lawn. Tomatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, and figs are larger, but still space efficient edible options, which thrive in the Los Angeles climate.

Relaxing Retreat

Landscaping for small backyards can transform any space into a relaxing oasis. Outdoor beds, hammocks, loungers, and other seating and reclining options can provide a place to stretch out, while canopies or trees can create shade overhead. Outdoor grade throw pillows and blankets can provide an extra dimension of coziness. Don’t forget citronella candles and lamps to get bugs at bay and give off light for night time relaxation. Electrical string lights can top of your lighting needs while also adding to the cozy mood. Finally, border your lawn with tall vegetation, vertical planters, or decorative fencing to block out any unsightly views and close in the soothing and comfortable ambiance that you’ve created.

Warm Welcome

Take advantage of small front lawns by using them to create a beautiful and welcoming first impression for your home. Make sure views of the front door aren’t obstructed to draw the eye towards the entrance to your home, but use boldly colored or textured plants to line your driveway and pathways and to frame your front door. Put accents along the front fence or just along the front property line to enhance the appearance of depth and emphasize the full width of your lot. However, avoid large accent vegetation away from the edges of the lawn, which can create visual divisions and disruptions, to ensure that your yard maintains a feeling of openness.

Hire a Professional Lawn Care Service

It may seem like a smaller lawn is easier to take care of, but the reality is it just comes with its own set of problems. For example, damage from disease, drought, and more are far more likely to kill your entire turf, making it harder for you to recover your lawn than if you had a similarly sized damaged patch in a larger lawn. It is for these reasons why landscaping for small backyards isn’t always a breeze. Fortunately, a professional lawn care service like Lawnscape Systems, Inc. can help you keep your lawn healthy and gorgeous no matter how large it is, so that you and your family can get as much enjoyment out of it as possible. Whether you want to use one of our two lawn care plans to wash your hands of most or all of your lawn care, or just want our lawn care specialist to provide a few of our other additional services, Lawnscape can help. Contact Lawnscape Systems today to make sure that your lawn is taken care of.

Top 5 Spring Gardening Ideas

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Spring is the perfect opportunity to put some time into your garden. Being surrounded by the season’s new life is inspiring, it feels great to spend some time outside in the comfortable temperatures, and the weather conditions are perfect for both cultivating new plants and just helping existing plants to reach their full potential. Just like you, Lawnscape Systems loves the change of seasons, so we’ve put together a few of the best Spring gardening ideas to help you take advantage of the season and improve your lawn and garden.

1. Introduce New Colors and Textures

If you feel like your landscaping has grown a bit monotonous, Spring provides an excellent opportunity to shake up your flora. For hardy, low maintenance color, try wildflowers like trillium, trout lily, and wild columbine. Remember that you can also bring in reds and blues with grasses and bushes. Mix bold and delicate leaves to create interest. Vines can make a statement on their own or provide a backdrop for other plants. When planted in mass the right grasses, like meadowy sedge or plains-native bluegrass, can create the feeling of water as they ripple in a breeze, providing a unique feel to even dry gardens.

2. Try a Container Garden

Adding new vegetation doesn’t require uprooting your lawn or existing garden. Containers provide an excellent option that allows you to add plants without having to necessarily commit to a single location or damage your landscaping. And designing your own container garden is easier than it looks! Seed mixes specifically for planting in containers can be bought at virtually any garden store for a no effort solution. Mix pansies of a variety of colors to add color but maintain a consistent shape. For a tasty and interestingly textured container garden, try planting a variety of salad greens. For newcomers, the key to designing an attractive container garden is to try to contrast texture or color, but not both.

3. Place Plants Strategically

Whether placing in the ground or in a container, be sure to place your plants for the best possible effect. You can place your plants along your driveway and near your front door to greet guests, or along your front fence to make your home stand out from others on the street. Use plants to frame archways, water features, and other focal points in your landscaping for dramatic effect. Use tall plants, stacked and hanging planters, and climbing plants to provide privacy or hide unsightly outdoor structures.

4. Add Height to Your Landscaping

Think above ground level. For the best effect, you don’t want all of your interesting plants to be low to the ground. Blooming shrubs, like Chinese snowball, can add a bit of height to your landscaping, while flowering trees, like flowering cherry trees or purple-leaf plum trees, can take your landscaping to even greater heights. Bushes and shrubs are low maintenance, but can take some work to install. If you want something a little easier to put in, try elevated planters and hanging baskets instead.

5. Take Advantage of the Season with Lawn Maintenance

Even if you don’t want to make any major changes to your landscaping, spring is the perfect time to take a few steps to keep your lawn beautiful all year long. First take care of any lawn cleanup, including weeding, and tend to existing flowers, shrubs, and trees as needed. Perform a soil test and apply fertilizer and lime as needed. Till or aerate your soil and fluff up and apply knew mulch to improve drainage and soil nutrition. Rake to remove excess thatch.

For even less work and the best Spring gardening ideas, simply hire a professional lawn care service to take care of maintenance for you, letting you take advantage of the spring weather without having to put in the work yourself. Lawnscape Systems, Inc. offers two comprehensive lawn care programs and a wide variety of additional lawn care services, so whether you want a little assistance in keeping your lawn healthy and beautiful just this once or want to eliminate lawn care chores from your life entirely, Lawnscape has an option for you. Lawnscape has been a leader in lawn care since our creation in 1979, so you know you can trust our experienced lawn care professionals (just ask our happy customers) and we only use EPA certified products, so you don’t have to worry about what’s being applied to your property.

Spring is the ideal time to turn your lawn into the oasis you deserve, so don’t wait. Contact Lawnscape Systems today for the top Spring gardening ideas.

Choosing the Perfect Lawn Ornaments for Your LA Home

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lawn-ornaments-flamingo

Lawn ornaments come in all kinds of styles and at different price points. From the traditional pink flamingo to unique and elaborate sculptures, ornamentation for every style and budget is out there. This article will help you find the perfect lawn ornament for your yard.

Choosing Your Lawn Ornament

When choosing the perfect lawn ornament for your garden, it is important to consider how the ornaments will draw attention to, and enhance, your lawn.

It is important not to remember to use too many lawn ornaments. Too many ornaments can overwhelm viewers, and can detract from your lawn; making it look messy and cluttered, rather than stylishly landscaped.

When choosing the ideal ornaments for your lawn, think about the style and design of your property. It doesn’t make sense to place kitschy lawn ornaments in your lawn when your style is classic or old-fashioned. Similarly, if you’re going for a fun and funky look, stone statues are probably not what you’re looking for.

Types of Lawn Ornaments

Almost anything can be a lawn ornament – from traditional garden gnomes and plastic pink flamingos; to statues, birdbaths, or homemade knicknacks. What you choose to place on your lawn largely depends on the look you want to create and the space you have.

If you’re looking to create an old-fashioned or classic look, consider stone birdbaths or fountains, especially if you have a large yard you want to draw attention to.

If you’ve got a limited budget, or you want something unique that nobody else has, consider making your own lawn and garden ornaments. Instead of buying Tiki torches to set up along your yard or patio, consider making your own, out of old wine bottles. 

Want a fountain or water feature in your yard, but don’t like any of the commercially available stone or concrete fountains? Make your own out of some steel pipes and an old teapot.  Or, create a lighthouse for your lawn out of oversized clay pots and a candle lantern.

Placement

Once you’ve decided on your perfect lawn ornaments, the next thing you need to do is decide where to put them.  Do you want your lawn ornaments to draw attention to your home from the street? Or do you want your ornament to be something that only guests and family members can see?

It is also important to consider the size of your lawn and the size of the lawn ornament. Large statues or birdbaths may look out of place and overwhelm a small yard, while small ornaments might not even be seen in a large yard.

The Perfect Lawn is More than Just Ornaments

While choosing the right ornaments for your yard is important, routine maintenance is just as important when it comes to making your lawn stand out and, more important, staying healthy. Lawnscape offers aeration, weed control, and a wide range of other lawncare services. Contact the experts at Lawnscape today to find out more.