Choosing the right plant for an area can be tricky. One must take into account many aspects like exposure, water requirements, drainage, and oh yeah; how large will the plant grow at maturity. We have seen way too many plant choice mistakes in regards to not having the proper space available for the plant chosen. Crape myrtles and jap maples are popular plants often planted too close to homes.

Take the Weeping Willow for example, the Salix babylonica. Beautiful, majestic shape, likes alot of moisture, grows quickly and oh yeah it will grow to over 40′ wide and tall. You wouldnt want this tree up close to a home or in a tight spot right? Well apparently not all of us got the proper plant memo. Here are a couple of pics taken from areas while we were out and about this week. Scary just scary!

Mature weeping willow

Mature weeping willow

Where is the House?

Where is the House?

Landscape Architect Fail

Landscape Architect Fail

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Get ready for Halloween in style! If you have considered having a low-voltage outdoor lighting system installed, we have a scary deal for you!

For the entire month of October; purchase any 10+ lighting ground system from Fontaine and receive a free 200w stainless steel led transformer- a $250 value!

Upon the initial consultation, we will talk a

bout the possibilities to design and choose from an elegant copper or brass fixture list. These long lasting products are made by the top manufacturers of upscale outdoor lighting; Coppermoon, Unique and Kichler. A typical 10 fixture Coppermoon system with led bulbs, wire, and fully installed will start from $2,500.

Already have a system, but using the old halogen bulbs? Have Fontaine retro-fit your exising system with super efficient and energy saving LED bulbs. Many of the older fixtures will accept the new led bulbs. Receive a free led bulb replacement for every 10+ replacements made. Depending on the bulb type, prices start from $65/bulb- we replace bulb, test voltage, and clean the fixture. If you have a fixture or wiring issue, we can quote a fast fix.

Fontaine provides full service Lightscaping! Design, Installation, Maintenance & Repair

We also provide routine grounds maintenance contracts and planting enhancementslogo-final

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Call us today at (919) 380-8286 or email us sales@fontainelandscaping.com

Visit us at http://www.Fontainelandscaping.com

 

 

 

 

 

So it’s a Saturday morning; the long work week has gotten you all twisted. Spilling the morning coffee; feeling frustrated, you have an urge to get outside and vent. You stumble out through the garage and haphazardly reach for those old loppers hanging amongst spider webs on the wall. You don’t know what your doing, you just know something needs to be hacked. Walking out in the yard with the loppers in hand, you scour over the plants and trees in the landscape with ill intent. Snipping, lunging, lopping without regard. You start talking to yourself, sweating.

You turn the corner; something touches your shoulder. Your taken off-guard. It’s your Crape Myrtle! It glistens in the sunlight, with its unmistakable smooth bark and arching branches.  smirk, your fingers tighten around the handles. Your hands are now sweating and you walk over, slowly towards that taunting evil branch. You anticipate; widening the loppers as you approach. Fellow greenery whispers in the wind… NOOOOOOO!

If this is you or someone you may know; this is a form of Crape MURDER.

Help is available. Fontaine Landscaping, in Holly Springs, NC has opened up a national help line on our YouTube channel for those affected that need help with their landscape. http://www.youtube.com/c/Fontainelandscaping

Watch the Crape Murder trailer; with the full length DIY to follow this Fall 2016.

 

(c) John NybergYay, spring is finally in the air! How do we know? Besides the milder temps, there are buds on trees, daffodils blooming, and the birds are singing away. And with this season change comes a few lawn care needs.

crabgrass 1Weed control is a very important part of keeping a lawn green, lush, and healthy. Now is the perfect time to treat for some of those annoying weeds before they establish themselves in your lawn. Crabgrass is best treated with an herbicide mid-March before it starts to grow. Once the weed has developed, however, herbicide will have much less effect on it.

tea roseDo you have repeat-blooming roses such as floribunda and hybrid tea roses? This is a good time to prune them, just as the buds break dormancy. It’s best to prune once-flowering roses after the bloom.

Bermuda grassIs your lawn a warm season grass (Bermuda and Zoysia)? If you overseeded it for the winter, now is the time for an application of nitrogen. If you did not overseed your warm weather grass, or have Centipede or St. Augustine grasses, do not apply any fertilizer.

white grubIf you have found that your lawn is suffering from a white grub problem, you should start the cycle of treatment now. A good weapon against them is bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis, but it does take a little time to build up in the soil.

sprinkler headBecause irrigation systems will be started up soon, now is an excellent time to inspect them for any issues and then make the appropriate repairs and upgrades. If you set your irrigation times, you may want to just go over your manual to make sure you remember how to do it. If you have your landscaping company or someone else turn your system on, give them a call to schedule a quick inspection and to discuss what your system’s clock will be set for.

Have any lawn care questions? Give us a holler on our facebook page or via twitter.

januaryIt’s January. Yeah, that January. The month where it’s cold, there’s very little green outside, and you dream of summer days. Don’t despair though. There are actually things you can be doing for your yard and landscape, and there are plants that do bloom.

DSC_0067Believe it or not, you can enjoy winter blooming perennials such as hellebores, rosemary and camellias. Yes, there are plants that bloom during the colder season. While trees may be bare, and leaves brown, you still can find color in your landscape. If you don’t have blooming plants, you may have plants with berries, and the red ones really pop against the brown of the season.

The cooler weather is also a good time to prune most plants/trees/shrubs. Do not prune azalea, dogwood, forsythia, redbud and rhododendron as they should be pruned after they bloom, since they set blooms in the fall. (White spirea should also be pruned right after it blooms in the spring, and even now you may see some blooms on the plant.) Almost anything that blooms after June 1, with the exception of oakleaf hydrangea and late-flowering azalea cultivars, can be pruned safely now.

Big TreeDid you know that January is a good time to plant new shrubs and trees? In fact, the winter months when trees are dormant are excellent times to plant. You will need to be careful that you do not plant them too deep or with too much soil amendment. It’s a great time for you to take a look and evaluate your landscape. Remove unattractive plants and replace them with others that you prefer. You should also browse garden catalogs for the coming season to make plans for future outdoor projects.

If you are planning on planting new bulbs, trees, and shrubs in the spring, or even laying sod, you should get a head start by getting your soil tested through the NC Extension Service. Results take a few weeks so the sooner you submit the sample, the sooner you get the results. This way you will be ready come spring, preventing delay of your new plant installations.

Winter grassCool season turf, such as fescue, is active during the winter months. However, grasses such as Bermuda and other warm season turf, is dormant. This doesn’t mean you can’t run a mower over it. In fact, a dry winter day is a good time to mow a dormant, warm-season lawn (if there is no frost, of course). Besides this grooming the lawn and removing fallen leaves and pine needles, it also allows you to inspect your yard for winter weeds. It’s best to control these weeds by spraying when the weather warms in spring.

You can and should still water your outdoor plants. Make sure to do so just before a cold snap to help plants survive bitter temperatures. For your indoor plants, many of them are in a semi-dormant state. This means you should not fertilize them and they require less watering.

Replacing, adding, or refreshing mulch is a perfect project for the winter. It helps keep your plants warm and makes your landscape look clean, especially now that there is less foliage to create a screen.

cardinalIf you love watching wildlife, you should keep your bird feeder well stocked with seed and your suet fresh. There are also other treats you can put outside to attract and feed local birds, including peanuts. Just make sure your feeder isn’t easy access for squirrels.

DSC_1318-1sOutdoor lighting has come quite a long way since it first appeared on landscapes. There are many more options, from the types of fixtures to bulb colors, that most anyone can find something that not only fits in their budget, but also takes care of their outdoor lighting needs. One of the biggest changes in landscape lighting fixtures is the bulb. LED lighting has come into its own, replacing the old Edison, energy-sucking bulbs.

lighting treeIf you had previously considered converting your system to LED, but didn’t like the white/blue color the bulbs gave off, you should think about it again. The new LED bulbs now give off that warm glow that made the halogen lighting so popular. You can achieve the exact same look, but use much less energy and save yourself money.

IMG_0393Did you know that you also free up space on your transformer? The older, non-LED systems generally have transformers loaded to 80%, which is maximum capacity according to the National Electrical Code. Just by converting a few fixtures to LED, you can free up space to add more lights to your system. By converting the whole system to LED, you can install four times the number of fixtures as the original system!

pathlight 2All outdoor lighting systems require regular maintenance. This ranges from cleaning lenses and replacing bulbs to cutting back overgrown plants and fixing exposed wires. Halogen systems require more maintenance, and time for that maintenance, than an LED system. In fact, halogen systems put more strain on its infrastructure, reducing its life, but converting to LED can prolong that system’s life by reducing the load the system has to handle. An older, and very loaded, system requires more maintenance and repair than an efficient one. Just another money-saving reason to convert to LED.

IMG_2759Another advantage of LED lighting is the fact that there are many, many options on fixtures, including quite small ones that can be hidden in places, allowing for more of a ‘Wow’ effect. The bulbs last ten times longer than regular bulbs, are cooler burning, and burn more efficiently in colder surroundings.

If your landscape has matured and requires more lighting, or if you want to reduce your energy usage, contact us about converting your old halogen system to an LED one.

autumn landscape mainIt’s mid Fall and there is still much you can be doing for your yard. Just because it’s colder and leaves are falling doesn’t mean it’s time to ignore your landscape. By keeping up on your yard maintenance, and planning ahead for next year, your outdoor space will continue to look good year-round.

bulbsNovember is an especially good time to plant your spring bulbs. While these plants are referred to as spring-blooming, daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, and crocuses can actually start blooming as early as January. The plants do best where they do not get mid-day sun, making them a great plant for around the base of trees.

If you are planning a flower bed for spring, you will want to do a soil test first. It’s not an immediate turn-around, so the sooner you do it, the sooner you get the results and can prep your soil for planting.

AppleDo you have any fruit trees on your property? If you do, remove any mummified fruits then rake up and dispose of any leaves and branches. They can harbor disease over winter.

Fescue and other cool-season grass lawns should receive their third application of fertilizer. As the name indicates, cool-season grasses do the majority of their growing in the cooler weather, generally between September and June. This is why you should fertilize in the fall and winter and not in the summer. DO NOT fertilize warm-season grasses this late in the season. You can actually harm it by stimulating it to break its dormancy during a warm spell then causing it damage when the temps drop again.

PHOTO/Becky Griffin

PHOTO/Becky Griffin

If you do have warm-season grass and you noticed a fluffy, dandelion-like weed in your lawn during the spring to fall, you may need to treat your turf for trampweed. It’s a common weed in South Carolina, but it is starting to make appearances here in North Carolina according to the NC State Cooperative Extension. You can contact your local extension for advice and a plan of attack. Fescue and cool-season lawns should be treated for this weed in February.

Another lawn weed to treat for is wild garlic and onion. If your number of weeds is low, you can always pull this grass so long as you make sure to remove the bulbs and bublets, otherwise they will regrow. You can also use a trowel and hand dig them out of the turf. Regular mowing won’t kill the weed off, but can prevent it from seeding. There are no preemergence herbicides, only postemergence, and even those will need multiple applications to get the weed under control.

hansen irrig clockHave an irrigation system? Now is the time to winterize it and shut it down before the first freeze. Water will need to be drained from the pump and any water in the system will need to be removed, usually done by pumping compressed air to force all remaining water out. This is very important as any remaining water can freeze in the system causing a crack in the pump casing. Rainfall is usually plentiful for your turf’s needs this time of year, and if you water your lawn, you risk freezing it and that will cause it damage.

leavesDon’t slack on the leaf removal. There are many options for you when it comes to where to put those leaves. You can compost them, mulch them, till them into your plant beds, place them in the woody area behind your house, or bag them. Removing the leaves is crucial for your turf’s health as it deprives it from much needed sunlight, air, water, and nutrients. The leaves also become a breeding ground for fungi and insects. If you plan to mulch the leaves, don’t let the carpet of leaves become too thick or they won’t be shredded evenly.

There is no reason why your turf can’t be happy and healthy during the fall and winter as long as you take proper care of it.