Los Angeles Landscape Design http://designrobinson.com Robinson Environmental Design Sun, 15 Oct 2017 17:58:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.6 http://designrobinson.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/cropped-logo_dr-32x32.png Los Angeles Landscape Design http://designrobinson.com 32 32 5 Ways to Add Shade to Your Outdoor Space http://designrobinson.com/5-ways-add-shade-outdoor-space/ Sun, 10 Sep 2017 21:29:16 +0000 /?p=2422 The post 5 Ways to Add Shade to Your Outdoor Space appeared first on Los Angeles Landscape Design.

5 Ways to Add Shade to Your Outdoor Space The outdoor space that surrounds the perimeter of your home is some of the most valuable real-estate on your property. It is a physical extension of your home’s interior, and should be treated with the same level of care and consideration as your living room, kitchen, […]

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5 Ways to Add Shade to Your Outdoor Space

The outdoor space that surrounds the perimeter of your home is some of the most valuable real-estate on your property. It is a physical extension of your home’s interior, and should be treated with the same level of care and consideration as your living room, kitchen, and other more public areas of your floor plan.

However, it can be difficult to provide those exterior spaces with the environmental protection necessary to keep them up to a habitable level of comfort, especially in the more extreme weather months of the year. In particular, protecting your outdoor space in the summer from exposure to direct sunlight is vital in cultivating functional areas that people can enjoy without squinting, sweating, and running for the closest and strongest tube of sunscreen.

Shade is the key to a cool, comfortable outdoor space that your family and guests can enjoy a fresh breeze and a cold drink free from the extreme heat of the sun. There are a number of creative ways you can shade your deck, patio, or perfectly manicured patch of grass that go beyond a giant umbrella.

Here are 5 ways to add shade to your outdoor space.

  1. Vegetated Trellis

A trellis is an overhang structure, usually supported by 4 to 6 wood or steel posts, featuring a lattice work that allows vines or other plants to attached onto and grow. It’s a great way to provide shade that can also be incorporated as a landscape element. The trellis structure also provides areas to easily hang potted plants, herbs, or flowers that further blend the exterior space with the rest of your landscaped yard.

Trellises work best over wood decks, but can also be designed around entry wood walkways, patios, or if you have an especially large backyard, isolated areas such as gazebos or outdoor kitchens. These wood deck products from Kebony are perfect when being paired with a shade structure such as a vegetated trellis.

  1. Trees, Plants, and Hedges

It might seem obvious to include something like a tree on this list, but natural shade is the best kind of shade, and if you’re in a position to incorporate either an existing tree or plan for future growth, you should be organizing your functional exterior space around it. Hiring a landscape architect or professional goes a long way to integrating species of plant and tree that grow well together, ensuring the areas of shade develop and mature as intended.

However, the best way to make use of natural shade is to use what’s already there. If you can find a few areas of your yard that are already well protected from the sun, consider designing wood decks, patios, and wood walkways around those areas and cut down on the time (and patience) it takes to grow something yourself.

  1. Tensile Shade Canopy

Tensile structures are typically made of canvas, or some other water and weather resistant fabric pulled tight between three to four posts. They are not only great for providing your rear yard with shade, they can be incorporated into the landscape as a unique design element and focal point. They work especially well in arid climates like the desert, where sun protection is most essential to exterior comfort.

Be careful about installing tensile structures in areas that can experience extreme winds, as what you are installing is essentially a giant sail. Combining one or more tensile structures help them cover more deck area, and are capable of producing infinite unique architectural designs.

  1. Roll-Up Awning

Since your deck design is likely attached to a commonly used area of your home such as a living room or kitchen, it presents an opportunity to attach a shade structure directly to the side of your house, effectively extending the interior space onto a deck or patio without a dramatic drop-off of weather protection. Roll-up awnings are inexpensive and can be installed by any homeowner and DIYer with a power drill and the will to self-perform the work.

Another advantage is the ability to retract the shade structures when a little bit of sunshine is called for, or in the evening when the full visual splendor of your back yard is begging to be put on display.

  1. Umbrella

I know I threw a bit of shade (pardon the pun) on the idea of using an umbrella earlier, but they actually make the perfect quick-and-easy solution to carving out a few select areas of shade in your yard or on your deck. There are a massive amount of styles, sizes, and color options available for umbrellas, so no matter your personal preference, there will certainly be something out there that tickles your design sense.

They aren’t the most permanent shade solution, but for a quick fix, the price is certainly right.

 

 

 

 

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3 Ways Hardscaping Can Add Value to Your Landscape http://designrobinson.com/3-ways-hardscaping-can-add-value-landscape/ Tue, 22 Aug 2017 17:49:08 +0000 /?p=2403 The post 3 Ways Hardscaping Can Add Value to Your Landscape appeared first on Los Angeles Landscape Design.

Adding hardscaping to your landscape design is one of the easiest ways to enhance the visual appeal and livability of your outdoor space. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, hardscaping is one of the two major categories of landscaping—the other being softscape. It is the process of using different elements, such as concrete, […]

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Adding hardscaping to your landscape design is one of the easiest ways to enhance the visual appeal and livability of your outdoor space. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, hardscaping is one of the two major categories of landscaping—the other being softscape. It is the process of using different elements, such as concrete, brick, wood, and stone to develop several different types of hardscapes like patios, fences, retaining walls, decks, gazebos, etc.

Contrary to what most people think, hardscapes not just add to the aesthetic appeal of your landscape design, but also offer utility and practical value. To help you better understand why hardscaping is one of the most valuable landscaping ideas, we have listed the 3 primary functions served by hardscapes.

  1. Hardscaping Creates a Cohesive View

    When working on a landscaping project, very few individuals consider how their landscaping
    design interacts with their interiors. Since hardscaping allows you to use the same elements
    that have been used in the interiors of your home, it helps create a more cohesive picture
    and brings harmony to the surroundings.

  2. Hardscaping Offers Year-Round Value

    Unlike softscapes, hardscapes require less frequent maintenance and offer you constant value throughout the year. Even during the winters, when the plants are covered with snow, hardscaping retains its value. During summers, hardscapes complement the colors and textures of softscapes, creating a well-balanced, aesthetically pleasant look.

  3. Hardscaping Increases the Market Value of Your Home

    This is perhaps the most well-known benefit of investing in the landscaping design of a home. According to SmartMoney.com, an outdoor patio designed by a professional landscape designer can increase the value of a home by 12.4 percent. Similarly, outdoor kitchens and swimming pool are among the most valuable landscaping investments that offer almost a 100 percent ROI, provided that they are built using high-quality, durable materials.

To summarize, hardscaping offers you lifelong value by enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your garden and by providing you a space where you can spend your time outdoors with your loved ones and enjoy the natural beauty of flowerbeds and plantation. To

To explore more landscaping ideas, please contact us at 310 387 3548 or email at info@designrobinson.com.

 

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Key Steps On How To Prepare The Land For A Beautiful Water Fountain http://designrobinson.com/key-steps-prepare-land-beautiful-water-fountain/ Mon, 10 Jul 2017 15:49:42 +0000 /?p=2380 The post Key Steps On How To Prepare The Land For A Beautiful Water Fountain appeared first on Los Angeles Landscape Design.

Imagine gazing longingly across your pristine and luscious lawn to see a stunning water feature — especially one that you helped establish yourself. Water fountains can be an interesting and beautiful touch to any landscape. The soothing sounds of the bubbling water and the wow factor of your new backyard feature will delight both family […]

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Imagine gazing longingly across your pristine and luscious lawn to see a stunning water feature — especially one that you helped establish yourself. Water fountains can be an interesting and beautiful touch to any landscape. The soothing sounds of the bubbling water and the wow factor of your new backyard feature will delight both family members and garden party guests. Not only that, but water fountains are relatively easy for any homeowner to install and maintain. However, preparation is key and these simple steps will help you get the land ready for for your new outdoor fountain.

Pick the perfect location

You will want to spend some time thinking about the best location for your new backyard addition. The fountain can range in sizes so you will have to consider if your large fountain could end up obstructing a view, or if your small one could be a tripping hazard. It is important to also think about if the fountain will need to be connected to your main water source and therefore needs to be placed close to the house. Another reason to consider having it close to the house would be for those warm summer nights — falling asleep to the tranquil sounds of running water could be a very, very relaxing way to end the day.

Level out the ground

The area in which the fountain will be located should be as flat as possible. The functionality of the fountain will be compromised if placed on a slanted or uneven patch of grass. The bowl or base of the fountain must be flat, otherwise the water will not flow properly. At the very least, if you plan on adding a pedestal fountain and the desired area is not flat, you can use soil to help get it that way.

Think about support and stabilization

You will want to ensure that your new fountain will stand the test of time. It will be exposed to a variety of weather elements — heavy winds, snow, and rain — and it is important that it can withstand these conditions and remain erect. There are a few different ways in which your new fountain can be supported at its base. Each method differs in what materials are used, what benefits it offers, the aesthetic qualities, and estimated costs.

  • Concrete pads: concrete is generally one of the best ways to support a new fountain — but it is also a method that will involve the most effort and construction, meaning that it is a better project for someone who has worked with concrete before. The benefits of using concrete are that you will have a nearly permanent surface that should remain stable. When using concrete for the base, the concrete is prepared then poured into a cast with all electric lines and cords built into the concrete. Once finished, the concrete should require very little maintenance and not shift over time.
  • Sand and gravel base: using sand and gravel is probably the most common method, as its low cost and relatively easy preparation and construction make it a viable option for many homeowners. What could be completed as just a quick weekend project, the topsoil from the designated area is removed, a layer of sand is added (about two-three inches), then a top layer is poured over everything. One benefit with this method is that the gravel can help prevent rain from forming puddles by allowing it to flow off into the surrounding grass. Also, the gravel and its rough surface should prevent the fountain from sliding and shifting — making it a relatively simple and sturdy option.
  • Stone foundation: this method is generally chosen for its aesthetic qualities, with a stone base offering an elegant and fitting base that can be chosen to match the design of the fountain itself. To ensure that the stones will not shift and that the stone base will remain stable over time, it is recommended that a layer of sand and gravel is added before the stones are placed. While a stone fountain base can end up being the most costly option, the style and aesthetic benefits may outweigh the financial costs.

So, there you have it. By now you have probably already decided on or designed that perfect water fountain and by considering these steps, you can now begin preparing the land for your new garden addition. After finding a perfect spot and ensuring that the land is level, you can choose what type of base your new outdoor feature will rest upon. It is good to know that there are different foundations for homeowners with any type of experience, taste and budget — and that in just a few weekends you can revel in the peaceful sights and sounds of your new water fountain.

Mark Richmond

With over 20 years in the Australian garden maintenance industry, Mark is passionate about maximizing the appeal of your Australia home and garden through education on horticultural best practices reliable gardening services offered by Jims Mowing Geelong. As a leading professional in lawn care in Australia, he knows what it takes to develop luscious green lawns, and we have the right equipment and expertise to create one at your place.

 

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Robinson Environmental Design — Leading the Way in Designing Sustainable yet Artistic Landscape http://designrobinson.com/robinson-environmental-design-leading-way-designing-sustainable-yet-artistic-landscape/ http://designrobinson.com/robinson-environmental-design-leading-way-designing-sustainable-yet-artistic-landscape/#respond Tue, 04 Apr 2017 15:50:28 +0000 /?p=2341 The post Robinson Environmental Design — Leading the Way in Designing Sustainable yet Artistic Landscape appeared first on Los Angeles Landscape Design.

Designing a sustainable landscape is not just about using drought-friendly plants or installing a water-wise irrigation system. Instead, it is about developing a well-rounded landscaping solution that makes use of eco-friendly materials and environmentally friendly techniques to effectively manage resources, reduce waste, and prevent pollution. Robinson Environmental Design, being a leading landscaping company serving households […]

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Designing a sustainable landscape is not just about using drought-friendly plants or installing a water-wise irrigation system. Instead, it is about developing a well-rounded landscaping solution that makes use of eco-friendly materials and environmentally friendly techniques to effectively manage resources, reduce waste, and prevent pollution.

Robinson Environmental Design, being a leading landscaping company serving households and businesses in Los Angeles and surrounding areas, specializes in the planning, design, and installation of sustainable yet artistic landscapes that not only help you reduce your carbon footprint, but also add to the curb appeal of your home and give it a more appealing and distinctive look. Our commitment to help our clients build their own personal backyard oasis where they can sit, relax, and unwind has gained us the attention and appreciation of industry experts.

Robinson Environment Design Gets Featured on Houzz

The right combination of hardscapes and softscapes is essential to create a landscape that not only looks vibrantly green, but also offers great practical value. Keeping this principle in mind, we designed a contemporary yet artistic landscape for a client. The landscape that features a bronze water fountain as the focal point, accompanied with pristine white marble benches earned us the appreciation of Lauren Dunec Hoang.

Lauren, who has served as an editor at Sunset Magazine, recently wrote an article titled Help Your Garden Hit the Mark with These 12 Focal Points. The article, which was published on Houzz, provides readers with 12 unique ideas to use sculpture, benches, and plants to create a focal point that can draw eyes and direct attention to a landscape. Ralph Robinson’s ability to creatively combine elegantly rustic hardscape elements with softscapes and the surrounding landscape gained RED a spot in this list of artistic landscapes that make the perfect use of different hardscape elements to create an appealing, eye-catching look.

5 Times RED Earned Accolade from Its Esteemed Customers

At Robinson Environment Design, we specialize in the design and installation of striking landscapes that look distinctively beautiful because of their smart use of conventional landscaping elements. While every landscape design created by our experts has a one-of-its-own-kind look, there are a few projects that gained us special accolade from our customers*.

Elle Saling — Project Cost: $10,000 — $49,999

“We cannot say enough about Ralph and his team. From planning to execution, the project was on schedule, on budget, and ended up better than we even imagined.”

Pernell — $10,000 — $49,999

Robinson Environmental Design did an outstanding job transforming my backyard into a garden. The space was very challenging given the various levels of the hillside. After several design iterations, we settled on a design that met most, if not all, of my family’s needs. The best dimension of the new garden is the use of color and flora. Who knew such subtleties could create amazing layers and textures. Walking into the space is like walking into a different space — like a tropical oasis.”

Dave — Project Cost $50,000 — $100,000

“Robinson Environmental Design exceeded our expectations in every regard. We asked Ralph to design and build the entire landscape of our home, and are so happy and proud of the results. Ralph is a real artist, with extensive knowledge of landscape and design.”

These reviews not only drive the landscaping experts at Robinson Environment Design to consistently innovate and create beautiful and eco-friendly gardens, but also help us connect with more customers who want to transform their yard into an inviting, peaceful, and beautiful oasis that offers them an opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and spend some time enjoying the natural beauty.

We believe that the highest compliment our customers can give us is provide us another opportunity to create an inviting outdoor space by recommending our services to a friend or family member. Each referral received helps us ensure that we are fulfilling our daily mission of enhancing the beauty and value of our client’s homes by creating functional, sustainable, and striking outdoor living spaces.

If you were satisfied with our service or have browsed through our portfolio and liked our work, please don’t hesitate to send your friends and family members our way. We promise to provide them with the same great quality work and customer service.

To view our work, please visit http://designrobinson.com/landscape-design-ideas/.

*Detailed reviews about the landscaping solutions and services provided by Robinson Environmental Design can be found at Houzz.

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Choosing the Right Natural Stone for an Outdoor Fireplace http://designrobinson.com/choosing-right-natural-stone-outdoor-fireplace/ http://designrobinson.com/choosing-right-natural-stone-outdoor-fireplace/#respond Thu, 16 Mar 2017 11:00:18 +0000 /?p=2331 The post Choosing the Right Natural Stone for an Outdoor Fireplace appeared first on Los Angeles Landscape Design.

An outdoor fireplace is an uncommon sight, but when designed and built the right way, it can add enhance the aesthetic appeal of your backyard landscape and increase the market value of your home. However, in order to extract maximum value from this unique landscaping idea, it is important that you select the right material […]

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An outdoor fireplace is an uncommon sight, but when designed and built the right way, it can add enhance the aesthetic appeal of your backyard landscape and increase the market value of your home. However, in order to extract maximum value from this unique landscaping idea, it is important that you select the right material that not only complements your home’s architecture and surrounding landscape, but is also strong and durable to offer you lasting value.

Natural stone, because of its unique colors and textures and excellent durability, is preferred over bricks, stucco, and other materials that are commonly used in the construction of indoor fireplaces. So, if you are ready to add this unique hardscaping element to your landscape design, here are a few options that will make the right choice for your outdoor fireplace.

1. Granite

Exceptionally hard and resistant to scratching, granite offers you unparalleled strength and durability. The natural stone has a distinctive appearance that is sure to enhance the look and feel of your backyard landscape. However, it is important to learn that it is a porous material, which means that it can absorb liquids and catch stains very quickly. Therefore, if you are considering using granite for your outdoor fireplace, you will be required to apply a protective layer of a good sealant in order to preserve its pristine look.

2. Marble

Marble’s inherent beauty and its aesthetically pleasant, unusual texture make it the preferred choice of homeowners who want to make an outdoor fireplace the cornerstone of their landscape design. However, the elegant and sophisticated look of marble is prone to damage by a number of environmental reasons. It has a crystalline structure, which means that it can be easily scratched. Also, it is sensitive to acidic substances which may etch the surface and cause discoloration. Therefore, make sure that you keep the maintenance needs of marble fireplace under consideration and invest in it only if you have the time and resources to take good care of your investment.

3. Limestone

The primary benefit of choosing limestone for your outdoor fireplace is that it is highly versatile and can work with different designs, styles, and themes. The stone has a warm, natural look which makes it the right choice for homes with a more elegant look. Probably the only drawback of this stone is that it can adsorb liquids easily and is soft to touch which makes it vulnerable to scratching and staining. Therefore, you will be required to seal the surface in order to preserve its natural spotless beauty and smooth finish.

To conclude, outdoor fireplaces make a smart landscaping investment as they not only offer you warmth during cooler months of the year, but also brighten up the space and make your backyard landscape more accessible and livable at night.

To explore more landscaping ideas, please contact us at 310 387 3548 or email at info@designrobinson.com.

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A Quick and Simple Guide to Container Gardening http://designrobinson.com/quick-simple-guide-container-gardening/ http://designrobinson.com/quick-simple-guide-container-gardening/#respond Fri, 10 Mar 2017 15:45:03 +0000 /?p=2324 The post A Quick and Simple Guide to Container Gardening appeared first on Los Angeles Landscape Design.

A viable solution for those who enjoy gardening but are unable to grow and take care of a full sized garden because of limited space, poor soil conditions, or lack of time, container gardening is becoming one of the most popular gardening techniques not just among apartment dwellers, but also among those who have the […]

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Landscape designA viable solution for those who enjoy gardening but are unable to grow and take care of a full sized garden because of limited space, poor soil conditions, or lack of time, container gardening is becoming one of the most popular gardening techniques not just among apartment dwellers, but also among those who have the space to grow an in-ground garden.

While there are a number of reasons people choose to grow plants in pots, the low maintenance needs and the ease of taking your favorite plants with you to a new location have contributed primarily to the increasing popularity of container gardening. So, if you are considering adding a little greenery to your landscape design or grow edible vegetables in your backyard, this post will help you get acquainted to container gardening and guide you through the entire process right from site selection to fertilization.

Growing Plants in Containers

Container gardening may sound like one of those quick and simple landscaping ideas that require little effort and time. While this is true to some extent, there are a number of factors to keep under consideration when it comes to contain gardening. These include:

1. Amount of Sunlight

Landscaping ideasWhile you can move potted plants anywhere you like, it is important that you consider the amount of sunlight needed by different plants to ensure their survival and optimal growth. If you are growing vegetables, your containers will require 5 to 6 hours of sunlight on average. However, this doesn’t stand true for leafy vegetables that can tolerate more shade. Others, such as carrots, beets, tomatoes, and eggplants will need more than 8 hours of sunlight each day. If you are growing flowers, the needs may vary depending on the varieties you aim to grow.

2. Type of Container

When selecting containers, keep two factors under consideration — set, drainage, and material.

  • Size — You do not want to select the ones that have a narrow opening as they will make repotting very difficult. Similarly, those with restricted root area may dry out very quickly, affecting plant’s growth.
  • Drainage — Make sure that the pots you select have adequate drainage. Place pots on bricks or blocks to allow easy drainage of water.
  • Material — There are three types of containers that are most commonly use in gardening — plastic, ceramic, and clay pots. Each of these has its own unique disadvantages. For example, plastic pots are susceptible to damage by sunlight and may require repotting of the plants, while clay pots may dry out rapidly and require more frequent watering.

3. Selection of Plants

This is the most challenging yet exciting part of container gardening. While it’s easy to walk into a nursery and choose plants that feature the most striking colors, keeping the following factors under consideration is essential when selecting plants for container gardening.

  • How big is my pot? — You want to get plants that are in proportion to the size of your pot. Selecting too tall or too short plants not only influences the visual appeal of your garden, but also impacts plant growth.
  • How much sunlight does the plant need? — Determine how much sunlight your pots will get and choose plants accordingly. Some of the edible plants that require full sun include beans, carrots, cucumbers, peppers, spinach, tomato, turnips, onions, and eggplants.
  • How much time am I willing to dedicate? — If you are often out of the town or you are unable to water plants regularly due to any other reason, you should look for the ones that require less frequent care. Or alternatively, you may consider installing an automatic drip irrigation system to maintain adequate soil moisture levels.

4. Container Soil Mix

Contrary to what most people do, you cannot use garden soil to fill the containers. Garden soil is often infected with fungi and other diseases, as well as slow to drain. To ensure optimal growth of your container plants, you need a high-quality soil mix that ensures:

  • Optimal Drainage and Moisture Retention — Because the soil column in containers is relatively shallow than garden soil, it must have a looser structure to allow adequate flow of water.
  • Plenty of Pore Space — The soil should have both large and small pore spaces (macro and micro pores) to allow optimal water drainage and moisture retention. For drought tolerant plants, such as cactuses, you will need a soil mix that has plenty of macropores. On the other hand, for plants that require more moisture, such as lavender and rosemary, you will need soil that offers good drainage but also retains moisture.
  • Lack of Contamination — An in-ground garden is a complete ecosystem that contains both disease-causing and disease-fighting organisms. Using the same soil for container gardening can disrupt this balance and result in a variety of plant diseases. Therefore, always opt for a soil mix that has been specifically formulated for the purpose of container gardening.

5. Fertilizing

Potted plants have more frequent fertilization needs because watering the plants may cause the fertilizer to wash out from the soil, resulting in the deficiency of essential nutrients. It is recommended to fertilize potted plants using a water soluble fertilizer every two to four weeks. When selecting a fertilizer mix, pay attention to the numbers mentioned on the package. Fertilizers that come with a 10:10:10 formulation contain equal quantities of:

  • Nitrogen (for leaves)
  • Phosphorus (for flowers and fruits)
  • Potassium (for roots)

When one of the numbers is higher than the other, it means that the fertilizer has been specifically designed for promote more rapid growth of leaves, roots, or flowers.

Container gardening is certainly a viable solution for those with limited time or space. However, to make the most of your decision to plant a container garden, it is important that you partner with a landscaping expert who can help you select the right plants that will complement your home’s landscape and enhance its curb appeal.

To know more about container gardening, please contact Robinson Environmental Design at 310 387 3548 or email at info@designrobinson.com.

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3 Top Landscaping Trends for 2017 http://designrobinson.com/3-top-landscaping-trends-2017/ http://designrobinson.com/3-top-landscaping-trends-2017/#respond Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:05:57 +0000 /?p=2281 The post 3 Top Landscaping Trends for 2017 appeared first on Los Angeles Landscape Design.

The end of the year always gets people reflecting on what the next year will bring. At Robinson Environmental Design, we are witnessing a number of new and innovative landscaping trends gaining popularity in 2017. Both landscaping architects and homeowners are introducing new elements to design a landscape that is simplistic, sustainable, and sophisticated. So, […]

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The end of the year always gets people reflecting on what the next year will bring. At Robinson Environmental Design, we are witnessing a number of new and innovative landscaping trends gaining popularity in 2017. Both landscaping architects and homeowners are introducing new elements to design a landscape that is simplistic, sustainable, and sophisticated.

So, if you’re considering undertaking a landscaping project this year, this article that lists the top 3 landscaping trends for 2017 is sure to help you transform your idea of a perfect garden into reality.

1. Natural Materials

After years of dominance of minimalist outdoor furniture and hardscaping materials, industry experts are witnessing a renewed interest in natural materials, particularly natural stones. Featuring unique textures and colors, natural stones have become a popular option among homeowners who want to create a more authentic look. To add more depth, color, and texture to a landscape design, landscaping experts are interweaving different hardscaping materials, such as wooden decks with stone retaining walls or pebble paths with natural stone planters.

2. Hyperlocalism

‘Locally sourced’ has become more of a buzzword today and the landscaping industry is no exception. Landscaping architects and horticulturalists are putting an increasing emphasis on the use of native and endemic plants. But the trend of hyperlocalism is not restricted to shrubs and flowerbeds only. Even hardscaping materials are being sourced locally to design sustainable landscapes with a regionally-focused design.

3. Smart Landscapes

To minimize the input of resources and output of waste in gardens, landscaping experts are adopting smart landscaping technologies. From the use of recycled materials in the construction of a landscape to low-water-use plantation, landscaping professionals are using a multitude of techniques to help people reduce their carbon footprint, conserve more water, and benefit from the rebates and incentives offered to homes with environmentally friendly landscapes. Of all these, xeriscaping, desertscaping, drip irrigation, and installation of artificial turfs are the four techniques that are most frequently used by landscaping architects.

Moving into 2017, the primary concern of homeowners, as well as landscaping architects is to invest in landscaping techniques and materials that offer them more value per square foot and improved environmental sustainable.

To learn more about landscaping trends and tips and tricks, contact us at info@designrobinson.com

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Choosing Plants for Your Landscaping: What You Must Know http://designrobinson.com/choosing-plants-landscaping-must-know/ http://designrobinson.com/choosing-plants-landscaping-must-know/#respond Tue, 14 Feb 2017 00:44:03 +0000 /?p=2277 The post Choosing Plants for Your Landscaping: What You Must Know appeared first on Los Angeles Landscape Design.

Proper plant selection is the key secret to successful landscaping. Choosing the perfect landscaping plants for a garden depends on a number of factors, such as the regional climate, the topography of the garden, and the soil type. Considering all these factors is important to ensure that the plants you select have the best chance […]

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Pbackyard garden fountainroper plant selection is the key secret to successful landscaping. Choosing the perfect landscaping plants for a garden depends on a number of factors, such as the regional climate,
the topography of the garden, and the soil type. Considering all these factors is important to ensure that the plants you select have the best chance for healthy growth and long-term survival.

Our landscaping experts have written this quick and simple guide to help you select the right plants that will require low maintenance and add more color and texture to your landscape.

1. Know Your Yard

In order to ensure that your plants thrive and offer you aesthetic value for a long time, it is important that you select the ones that complement your regional climate and the topography of your garden. The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map can provide you valuable information regarding the climate of your region. It divides the US into 26 zones depending on the average annual minimum temperature of the zone. You can use this map to determine which plants are most likely to thrive in your location.

In addition to regional climate, the microclimate of your landscape is another factor that can influence the survival and growth of plants. Depending on the amount of sunshine and shade area, your landscape can be categorized into any one of the four types of microclimate.

  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
  • Shade
  • Deep shade

Once you have determined the regional and microclimate of your garden, the next thing you need to do is analyze the topography of the garden as it affects the drainage of water and in turn influences the health and growth of plants.

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2. Consider the Function of Plants

Plants can work in a multitude of ways in a landscape. They can be used to provide cool shade or eliminate an undesirable view. So, when selecting plants for your landscape, it is imperative that you consider their functional use and make the right choice accordingly.

Plants can be divided into a number of categories based on their functional use. Here we have listed the four types that are most frequently used in residential landscaping.

Shade Trees — These plants are used to produce dense shades and are particularly suitable for neighborhoods with hot, humid summers. In addition to providing cool shade, these plants can also help low the cooling costs, and therefore, are considered an ideal choice for sustainable landscapes. Examples, oak and maple trees.

Specimens — As the name implies, specimen plants can work as a focal point in any landscape on their own. These are ornamental plants with unique colors, textures, branching, flowers, and fruits. Examples include flowering crabapple, Japanese tree lilac, and more.

Screens — These plants are used to block an undesirable view, noise, wind, or dust and debris. Most screen plants are evergreens and have low branches. Most landscapes make use of only specie of specimen plants, planted in a row. Examples include pines, firs, spruces, Eastern red-cedar, and more.

Hedges — These are one of the most well-known landscaping plants. These are planted close together in a single or double row to define different sections of a landscape. Depending on the design of a landscape, these can be ornamental plants or barrier plants that are used to deter foot traffic. Examples of barrier plants include barberries, hawthorns, and shrub roses. Examples of hedges include yews, boxwoods, lilacs, dogwoods, and more.

3. Consider the Plant-Related Factors

Since most trees and shrubs are planted when they are young, people tend to overlook how their growth will impact the design of their landscape. Therefore, when selecting plants for your landscape, you must consider the growth rate and the height, width, and overall shape of the plants when they are fully grown.

When planting trees and shrubs, make sure that you leave enough space so that they don’t obstruct sidewalks, roads, and pathways when they have reached their mature height and width. Here’s a quick guide to help you ensure that you space your plants the right way.

Height of Plant Spacing
5 feet 3 to 5 inches
10 feet 8 to 12 inches
25 feet 12 to 20 inches

Also consider the growth rate of plants. Plants that grow quickly require frequent pruning, such as silver maples, willows, and Siberian elm. On the other hand, slow-growing plants, such as ginkgo and Koreanspice viburnum, can be planted near streets because of their low maintenance needs.

4. Consider the Soil-Related Factors

Needless to mention, the texture, pH, temperature, and mineral composition of your landscape soil greatly influences the survival and growth of plants. Therefore, it is advisable that you get a sample of the soil tested to determine what kinds of plants will best thrive in your garden.

Soil Texture —The texture of your soil refers to the presence of sand, silt, and clay. Soil texture influences the fertility, drainage, and aeration of the soil. Also, it’s very expensive to modify the texture of the soil. Therefore, instead of spending a considerable sum of money on improving the soil texture, you should focus on selecting plants that can adapt to it.

Soil Texture Best Plant Choices
Dry, Sandy Soils Red pine, black oak, eastern red-cedar, creeping juniper, shagbark hickory, rugosa rose, yuccas
Clay and silt soils Crab apple, mahonia, camellia, sorbus, rose, lilac, Japanese maple, foxglove, bluebells, peony

Keeping these factors under consideration, you can create a lush green landscape that will not only add to the curb appeal of your home, but also provide you with a comfortable, welcoming space where you can spend your spare time enjoying the natural beauty of shrubs and flowerbeds around you. Soil Moisture — Most plants like well-drained, highly moist soils, but there are drought-tolerant choices available as well. Also, drought-tolerant plants require less water and are frequently used in smart, sustainable landscapes. Examples of such plants include but oak, gray dogwood, junipers, and cotoneasters.

 

 

Need help selecting the right plants for your garden? Let our experts help you. Call us today at 310 387 3548 or send an email at info@designrobinson.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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4 Best Drought-Tolerant Plants for a Modern, Sustainable Landscape http://designrobinson.com/drought-tolerant-plants-modern-sustainable-landscape/ http://designrobinson.com/drought-tolerant-plants-modern-sustainable-landscape/#respond Mon, 13 Feb 2017 00:30:35 +0000 /?p=2269 The post 4 Best Drought-Tolerant Plants for a Modern, Sustainable Landscape appeared first on Los Angeles Landscape Design.

As drought and climate change restrict the US’s water supply, homeowners are compelled to reduce their irrigation water supply. However, conserving water doesn’t mean that you must live with a dry, neglected garden. Instead, there are a number of ways you can reduce your garden’s water utilization and design a water-wise, sustainable landscape. The easiest […]

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The post 4 Best Drought-Tolerant Plants for a Modern, Sustainable Landscape appeared first on Los Angeles Landscape Design.

As drought and climate change restrict the US’s water supply, homeowners are compelled to reduce their irrigation water supply. However, conserving water doesn’t mean that you must live with a dry, neglected garden. Instead, there are a number of ways you can reduce your garden’s water utilization and design a water-wise, sustainable landscape. The easiest way to do this is planting drought-tolerant shrubs and trees that offer you the same aesthetic value but require less water.

We have shortlisted the top 4 drought-tolerant plants that look gorgeous and make the perfect choice for just about any landscape.

1. Echinacea Species

With their pinkish petals and magenta center, Echinacea species add a tinge of color to otherwise dull landscapes. This low-water, resilient perennial is available in white and orange varieties too and blooms all through summer. Best suited for the backs borders of flowerbeds, Echinacea species should be planted in clumps for a dramatic effect.

2. Echinops Blue Globe

Echinops Blue Globe, which is also known as globe thistle, is a low-maintenance, low-water choice that thrives best in well-drained soils with low to medium moisture. The metallic blue flowers of globe thistle bloom all through summers and have prickly dark green leaves that add to the plant’s pleasantly unique appearance. This ornamental plant is best suited for perennial borders because of its high resistance to pests and plant diseases.

3. Stachys Byzantina

Also known as Lamb’s Ear, Stachys byzantina has characteristic fuzzy gray-green leaves and spiky pink or purple flowers. Best suited as a groundcover, the plant best thrives in well-drained soils and hot and humid conditions. Most landscaping architects and horticulturists prefer combining the pink- or purple-colored flowers of Stachys byzantine with other drought-tolerant plants and shrubs in pastel colors, such as dianthus or salvia.

4. Hydrangea

A popular choice for cottage gardens, Hydrangea is a perennial shrub with billowy big blooms in a variety of colors, including white, pink, red, and blue. The species requires full sun and best grows in well-drained choice. While Hydrangea can tolerate soils of different textures, the pH of the soil can affect the color of flowers, with soils with an alkaline pH yielding pink and red flowers.

 

To learn more about smart and sustainable landscaping techniques, contact Robinson Environmental Design at 310 387 3548 or email at info@designrobinson.com.

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Drought Tolerant Landscape Design – More Than Just a Cactus http://designrobinson.com/drought-tolerant-landscape-design-more-than-just-a-cactus/ http://designrobinson.com/drought-tolerant-landscape-design-more-than-just-a-cactus/#respond Mon, 11 Apr 2016 21:00:07 +0000 http://designrobinson.com/?p=2036 The post Drought Tolerant Landscape Design – More Than Just a Cactus appeared first on Los Angeles Landscape Design.

Some of the most unique, innovative and attractive landscapes are those that are designed to take advantage of their natural surroundings. Still, even those interested in having a sustainable garden or landscape design are sometimes a little unclear on just what is involved. Drought tolerant landscape design can produce breathtaking results, while at the same […]

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The post Drought Tolerant Landscape Design – More Than Just a Cactus appeared first on Los Angeles Landscape Design.

Some of the most unique, innovative and attractive landscapes are those that are designed to take advantage of their natural surroundings. Still, even those interested in having a sustainable garden or landscape design are sometimes a little unclear on just what is involved. Drought tolerant landscape design can produce breathtaking results, while at the same time conserving water and saving you time and money. After all, gardens should be places of magic and beauty, whether they in areas with an overabundance of moisture, or in dry, desert-like conditions.

Creating a Desert Look – Or Not

When many people think of xeriscaping, a type of landscaping that reduces the need for supplemental irrigation, the first thing that comes to mind is a garden full of cactus plants. This can be a daunting (and painful!) vision for homeowners with young children or rambunctious pets. The good thing is, cactus is not a required plant for drought tolerant landscape design, though it is a popular one because of its ability to withstand dryness.

Some low-water plants are delicate flowers, or flowing tendrils that add sustainable beauty to any garden. Others are colorful shrubs, flowering vines and eye-catching succulents. And if you do want to go the cactus route, there are about 2000 species in existence today, and not all of them harbor painful spikes to hook the unwary.

An Amazing Variety to Choose From

People are sometimes amazed when they realize just what choices they have available in native plant, flower and grass species. Take this L.A. artist’s creative garden for example. A garden created with drought tolerant landscape design in mind is often a garden full of surprises. A plant that may seem lowly and subdued during some seasons will suddenly burst into splendid color just when it’s least expected. Other plants change colors and even shapes as the seasons go by, never dying off, just adapting to their surroundings. Sustainable gardens can be full of lush color and life, requiring little maintenance but producing spectacular returns.

A Well-Planned Irrigation System for Drought Tolerant Landscape Design

One of the main keys to designing any landscape, but particularly one with a focus on sustainability, is irrigation system design. All plants need some water, it’s just that some plants need less water than others. Those who live in areas with less moisture can find themselves saddled with huge water bills in an effort to maintain a traditional garden. Efficiently planned xeriscaped gardens, on the other hand, use low-water plants and strategic placement to help a little bit of water go a long way. This method of landscaping saves money, but it also helps sustain the environment by not wasting water and other resources.

A Partner in Beauty and Magic

Some garden owners want nothing more than to wander their gardens and enjoy its fruits. The actual care and work in the garden, they leave to someone else. Others love it most when they can dig their own hands into the dirt and feel the earth under their fingers. There is nothing wrong with either type, or something in between.

At Robinson Environmental Design, we believe that a garden should be an escape, a place to revitalize, to experience the magic of the design–not a burden. That’s why we are passionate about creating gardens for people—especially those who don’t have a fortune and all the time in the world to devote to the space. Let us show you how we can create a beautiful, easy to maintain and environmentally friendly space for you. Call us at 310-387-3548 or schedule an appointment online.

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