Plans for the Yard, Garden, and Patio Show 2014

We are excited to be participating in the 2014 Yard, Garden, and Patio Show. After a little hiatus from the chaos the past few years, we are gearing up to make the 2014 show one of our best! Be sure to set a day aside between February 28th and March 2nd to come see our display garden and all the other wonderful vendors at the Yard, Garden, and Patio Show. Here’s what we’ve been working on for our display.

All Oregon Landscaping’s Design Plan for 2014

We’ve got big plans for the 2014 Yard, Garden, Patio show. We’ve been scheming for months and so far we’ve chosen to focus on the family in the 2014 design. You’ll see multiple use spaces for every family activity including outdoor cooking, dining, relaxation, and entertainment. The entertainment area will be state-of-the art, showcasing all of the newest ways to include technology in your outdoor entertainment area. This outdoor living room will be complete with a television, sound system, and fireplace.  On the upper terrace you’ll find a relaxation area, which includes a comforting fire pit. All Oregon Landscaping will also include an outdoor kitchen area worth swooning over. Look for innovative cooking design with an eye for functionality and elegance.  Want to see a sneak peek? We thought so.

Sneak Peek at Yard, Garden, and Patio Show 2014 Design

All Oregon Landscaping's 3D landscape design for the 2014 Yard, Garden, and Patio Show.
All Oregon Landscaping’s preliminary landscape design for the 2014 Yard, Garden, and Patio Show.

Don’t believe it’s going to be that great? Check out our past Yard, Garden, and Patio Show displays in these previous posts for more proof:

The final design plan is likely to spotlight the use of lighting and plant design to accentuate each area. Outdoor lighting and plant design are what merge each area together and offers a cohesive appeal to their entire landscape design.

Getting ready for the Yard, Garden, and Patio Show is a show in itself. It takes a logistical expert, hundreds of man hours, and a lot of determination to get the display ready. Think dump trucks, forklifts, and bull dozers indoors. Yes, really. It takes almost as long as the show runs to set it up, and with a staunch deadline, there is no room for error. We’ll fill you in on how all of that works in posts as we get closer to the 2014 show. Have ideas about what you like in the display? Leave us a comment or tell us on Facebook.

Build a Rain Garden: Be Proactive with a Functioning Stormwater Facility

While the cold temperatures have many of us huddled inside with little thought of working outdoors, now is the perfect time to start planning your spring landscaping projects. A rain garden is a great venture that can provide many benefits to you, your yard, and the environment.

What is a Rain Garden?

Think of it as a shallow landscaped hole designed to capture excess rainwater from impermeable areas around your home such as your roof, sidewalks and other hard surfaces. This runoff would normally end up in the storm drain system and flow out to our rivers and waterways which causes erosion, flooding, water pollution and decreased groundwater. Rain gardens also help conserve H2O by reducing the need for irrigation, and some municipal water agencies even offer discounts in storm water charges.  In addition to creating an ecological force field and saving money, you’ll be building a habitat for insects, birds and amphibians. How neighborly of you!

Proper Planning is Key to an Efficient Rain Garden

Choose an area that runoff naturally flows through. The idea is to capture this water before it enters the drain system and instead, allow it to absorb back into the ground.  Excavate an area to about a foot and a half, although it may need to be deeper depending on the soil absorbency. Don’t forget to call the local utility notification center prior to digging! In Oregon the number is 811 and the service is free. The excavated area will then need to be filled with high permeability soils. Finally, you’ll want to pick out some drought and wet-tolerant vegetation to be planted.

Choosing the Most Effective Plants

Ideally you want to select plants that do not require additional water. Native plants are a great choice, but it’s a good idea to research the amount of sunlight the area gets per day, the size of the matured plant, and its seasonality. You may also want to consider if the plants attract beneficial insects and/or wildlife. Finally, don’t forget that you want your rain garden to be aesthetically appealing in addition to being a place to capture and treat runoff.

While a rain garden requires careful planning, the benefits can be enjoyed with little maintenance once the job is completed. Whether you choose to tackle a rain garden project yourself or need some assistance, the experts at  All Oregon are available to answer any questions you have or to help you start preparation now. Post your inquiries in the comment section here, or on our Facebook page.

Caring for Live Christmas Trees and Poinsettias

With Thanksgiving this week, it officially rings in the holiday season, and for us in the plant and landscaping world, that means live Christmas trees and poinsettias. There are important factors in keeping both thriving throughout the holidays, so here is our advice.

Christmas Tree Care

Some don’t feel Christmas is real without a fresh-cut Christmas tree. Unfortunately, these days most fresh-cut trees in tree lots aren’t exactly fresh. Unless you’ve cut the tree yourself, you will need to prepare the tree before putting it int he stand. To do this, slice an extra inch off of the bottom of the trunk to allow the tree to establish a good channel for absorbing water. When the bottom of the tree dries out, it blocks the tree from taking in water and it will quickly become an instant fire hazard. You’ll want to  make the cut flat across and avoid bruising it or getting it dirty. Then get the tree into water right away. Removing the bottom of the tree trunk is the most important thing to remember about live Christmas trees. Other things to keep in mind are as follows.

512px-Christmas_Tree_NS

Live Christmas Tree Tips

  1.  Using a traditional reservoir type stand is the most effective way of maintaining their freshness and minimizing needle loss.
  2. The base of the tree should ALWAYS be submerged in water.
  3. Get the right tree stand. It should be able to hold 1 quart of water per inch of stem diameter. It also needs to be large enough to hold the trunk without shaving off the sides. The outer layers of the wood are the best at soaking in water and should not be removed.
  4. Although tempting, don’t put the tree next to the fireplace. It will dry out and become a fire hazard. Same goes for next to a vent or heater.
  5. Using smaller lights helps prevent the death of the tree. Miniature or LED lights are best.

In addition, there are also a lot of watering myths out there. Adding aspirin or anything else to the water won’t help. The water temperature doesn’t matter, and drilling a hole in the trunk isn’t going to do anything.  If all of this fuss is too much for you, consider a fake Christmas tree, a rental tree, or one the can be planted in the yard after Christmas.  Planting your Christmas trees each year can be a fun family tradition that keeps on giving to you, your family , and the Earth. In Oregon, we have several companies offering this type of tree. You can read more about it on inhabitat.com.

Poinsettia Care

640px-Poinsettia_on_table_at_Christmas_time

Poinsettias are tropical plants and prefer a great deal of sun. Find an east, west, or south-facing window to situate your poinsettia in. Temperature is very important. You’ll want to keep your poinsettias in a room between 65 and 75 degrees at all times. Dipping a little lower at night may be okay, but temperature quickly effects these temperamental plants. Avoid letting the leaves touch a cold window or cold drafts to reach the plant. When the temperature isn’t right for a poinsettia, it starts losing leaves and becomes very sad-looking very quickly. Water a poinsettia when the surface of the dirt is dry. Water until it flows out the bottom, but be careful not to over-water. In the winter, houses lack humidity, so you will probably find yourself watering your poinsettas every day throughout the holidays.

Whether it is live Christmas trees, poinsettias, or an entire landscape, All Oregon remains industry experts in everything to do with your yard. Feel free to ask questions in the comments, or post them to our Facebook page.

Christmas tree photo by JJ Harrison (jjharrison89@facebook.com) (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Poinsettia photo by Vouliagmeni (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

How To Use Fall Foliage To Decorate Throughout the Holidays

Pine branches, pine cones, and dehydrated fruits make great holiday decorations! Bring your landscape inside by using fresh fall foliage to scent and add a festive appeal to your home. There are several things you can create, but nothing beat those cinnamon pine cones. Dehydrated fruits are perhaps the oldest known Christmas decorations, so creating garlands, wreaths, and centerpieces with them gives your home that warm, traditional, holiday feel.

fall foliage taken by Alyssa Roehrenbeck in Lake Oswego, Orgon

Cinnamon Pine Cones

Cinnamon pine cones are easy to make. You’ll need pine cones (in Oregon these are plentiful), baking trays, aluminum foil, cinnamon scented oil (found at craft stores), cinnamon sticks, an old craft paint brush, and resealable bags. First, gather your pine cones and clean them with water. Next, dry them back out by baking on aluminum foil lined baking sheets for 20 minutes at about 250 degrees. Let them cool. Use the paintbrush to paint the scented oil onto each pine cone. Then, fill up the resealable bags with pine cones, tossing in a few extra drops of scent and real cinnamon sticks. Shake and let sit for 1-2 weeks. After 1-2 weeks, the cinnamon scenet will be properly infused. Use them all around your house to make things smell good, or give them away as small gifts!

Dehydrating Fruits For Holiday Decorations

Slides of Oranges

Apples, pears, oranges, and cranberries make beautiful holiday decorations. Use whatever you have growing in your yard. In Oregon, that probably means an overflow of apples and pears right about now. You can even use the less than perfect apples and pears for the decorations. Once you’ve got them collected up and cleaned, you’ll need to prepare them for the dehydrator. There are two steps for this.

  1. Cutting – Only cut as much as will fit into your dehydrator or on trays in your oven. The most important thing is to cut them as evenly as possible. If you are making gifts or want them perfect, use a mandolin. A mandolin will make the slicing infinitely easier and is worth the investment. Slicing the fruit evenly will help everything dehydrate at the same rate and will save you a lot of babysitting time.
  2. Treat them to keep the color. There are several ways to do this, but my favorite is to keep a big bowl of cool water with a cup of lemon juice in it. Once cut, just toss the fruit in and swirl until you are ready to place them in the dehydrator.

arranging

The preparation is the hardest part, once all the cutting is done, just place the fruit in the dehydrator and flip it on. You can also dry fruit by placing them in the oven at 200 degrees. Check them often. You don’t want to over dehydrate, but if you don’t get all the moisture out, you will develop a mold problem. So make sure they are really dry before calling them done!

Once you’ve got your cinnamon pine cones and dried fruit ready, the holiday decor ideas are endless. Tie them together to make garland for the tree or the fireplace mantle. Twine is a great choice to continue with the warm Christmas feel. Grab some small pine branches from your yard and you’ve got all the right tools for a wreath or centerpiece.  You can also make ornaments and potpourri. Some of my favorite holiday decor ideas are the following.

Dried Fruit Garland

Baked Fruit Ornaments

In Oregon, we have plentiful fall foliage, so don’t miss the opportunity to use your landscape for something just a little different this holiday season. Share you handmade holiday decorations with us on our Facebook page.

Why Fall is Perfect for Planning Your Landscape Overhaul

as-seen-on-koin-cornerFall is the perfect time to begin planning your landscape overhaul. It takes time to get everything in your landscape design just right, so starting in the fall makes perfect sense. KOIN Local 6, a Portland News Station agreed with us in airing a series specifically designed to show off how home improvement can be beneficial in the fall. Titled, Fall Home Refresh, this series shows off the immaculate details of a local Sherwood residence where we were honored to complete an intricate landscape design spanning several outdoor rooms. We’ve recapped the important pieces of the landscape design in our recent blog post, “Sherwood Residence Featured on KOIN Local 6 Fall Home Refresh“. Here’s a little more insight into how our design process works.

Sherwood Residence Featured on KOIN Local 6

Sherwood Before and After

 

 

How the Landscape Design Process Works with All Oregon Landscaping

We have a proven system for initiating work with new clients. All of our landscaping clients receive a visit from our landscape design experts who walk the property with the clients, learning all of their wants and needs. Our experts pay attention to the big and small details, asking as many  questions as necessary to get the full picture of how you’d love your yard to appear. It is important to also discuss the budget so that our designers can effectively provide a feasible design for your yard. They then return to our All Oregon Landscaping offices where they do their best to bring your landscape dreams to life. Drawing out every detail, they don’ t release a landscape design until they are positive they have worked through the best solutions available for your yard.

Once our design is done, it is presented to the clients for approval and scrutiny. We work closely together to tie up any loose ends in the design and agree on the final price. Once that is settled, we get to work making it all a reality. Working alongside our landscape design experts, we’ve hired the best there is to install and add the finishing touches to all of our elaborate landscape designs. The Sherwood residence featured on KOIN local 6 is an excellent example of the quality and precision we strive for in every yard. We want all of our clients to be amazed with what our team can do, and hope that you will give us the opportunity. Call today to get a free estimate!

Planting Bed Landscape Design

Planting Bed Landscape Design

Thoughtful landscape design and plant selection should include a variety of species to fill your landscape bed. Here, is an example of how Flax can add dramatic flair to a traditional landscape bed.

Visual interest is vital in creating a successful planting bed.
This planting bed features a variety of complementary plants. Play off textures, size, shape, direction, and color to generate visual interest in a planting bed.

Landscape Construction Before and After

Landscape Construction Before and After

Taking before and after pictures is a great way to outline the success of any project. Here we have dramatically transformed the character of this house with the construction of an outdoor living area and landscaped pool patio area.

Before and after picture of our recent work.
Before and after picture of our recent work.

 

Landscape Design Graphic Plan

Landscape Design Graphic Plan

There is no substitute for a properly laid out and drawn landscape design. A graphic plan, such a s this, gives the homeowner a direct look into the future of their landscape. These documents prove invaluable in establishing a clear communication process, cost estimating, and design construction.

Landscape design by All Oregon Landscaping.
Detailed and beautiful landscape design.

Landscape Design Before and After

Landscape Design Before and After

This photo depicts the major work this landscape underwent. The design included an outdoor kitchen and living area, pool, multi-level patio, and landscape garden beds to tie everything together.

Before and after picture of our recent work.
Before and after picture of our recent work.

Sherwood Residence featured on KOIN Local 6 Fall Home Refresh

All Oregon Landscaping is very excited to be featured on the KOIN Local 6 special Fall Home Refresh series this October. We showed KOIN Local 6 some of the best of what we do – flawless landscapes with any and all of the amenities you could want for your friends, family, and guests. All Oregon Landscaping strives to make every single want and dream a reality for our clients. After the client contacted us, we sent out a landscape designer to suss out all of their needs and wants of the client. After carefully asking all the right questions, we came up with a landscape design incorporating everything into one seamlessly flowing yard. This residence is a large property, and we created several outdoor rooms throughout. We’d love to share details and photos of each room in case you missed the Fall Home Refresh special, or just have to see the stunning design again.

Landscape Design at the Sherwood Residence

With a large property such as this one, it gave us an opportunity to create distinct areas of purpose and enjoyment. The three main sections of our design were the entertainment area, pool and hot tub area, and the kid’s play area. What really makes a large landscape design like this impressive is the ability to make all of the outdoor rooms appear as part of the same integrated design. Let’s take a closer look at how we did that at this residence.

Entertainment Area

All Oregon Landscaping design at the Mehta Residence, the table and firplace
Dining table and fireplace in the entertainment area.
BBQ with concrete countertops.
BBQ with concrete countertops.
All Oregon Landscaping landscape design.
The upper entertainment area from the lower section of the yard.

The entertainment area at the Sherwood residence included heaters (this area is usable in the winter), fan, a built-in BBQ with stool seating, and a nice, cozy fireplace. The Entertainment Area of any landscape design should have features that make it usable year-round if not as close to that as possible. Items like fans and heaters make using the entertaining area of your yard idealistic even over the winter holidays. At this residence, this upper entertainment area has a fantastic view of the lower area where the pool and other amenities are found.

Built-In Pool and Hot Tub

Built-in pool and hot tub.
Built-in pool and hot tub. Pool by Anderson Poolworks.
Nice detailing on the built-in hot tub.
Nice detailing on the built-in hot tub.

Part of our landscape design included a pool and hot tub in the lower section of the yard. The pool design ended up being one of the most challenging aspects of the design because the pool was slated to be set on a big sloping section of the yard. Our in-house design team quickly remedied the issue by adding a structural block retaining wall that was gravel back-filled to level out the area for the pool to be built. Also part of the lower area is the firepit.

Firepit

firepit by All Oregon Landscaping
The firepit next to the pool.

We really enjoy adding a firepit into a landscape design, and have executed many in past landscape designs. We’ve even provided information for you to build your own firepit on our blog. One of the most important aspects of building a great firepit is to make sure that the seating is the appropriate height in relationship to the pit portion. If you can get that right and make sure it is safe to use; firepits are a great addition in Oregon. They can be used on cool summer evenings or well into the fall/winter.

Water Features

One of the water features on the property.
One of the water features on the property.

Water features add a level of elegance to any landscape design. The water features for this client were worked seamlessly into the landscape design. Water features also create a sense of tranquility and relaxation.

Kid’s Play Area

Kid's play area at the Sherwood residence on KOIN Local 6 news
Kid’s play area with trampoline, playground, and playhouse. Carvings by RFC.

For families with kids, a kid’s play area is an absolute must-have item. Parents want to be able to keep an eye on their kids while playing, so this design is perfect with the upper entertainment area overseeing the kids play area and the pool area. In this play area there is a trampoline,  playground equipment, and a playhouse. Behind the playhouse is a garden, with special pathways for the kids to ride their bicycles through.

Garden Area

All Oregon Landscaping designed a fruit and vegetable garden at the Mehta Residence featured on KOIN Local 6
Fruit and vegetable garden behind the playhouse.

Located behind the playhouse, we constructed a vegetable and fruit garden. Sustainability is often in the mind’s of Oregonians in their landscape design, so this element stands out as truly Oregonian. A well kept vegetable garden can feed your family with plenty of fresh veggies all summer long. We help clients determine what types of vegetables and fruits to grow and how to arrange them.

Private Gated Entry

private gated entry at the Sherwood residence.
Private gated entry.

We designed this gorgeous private gated entrance for the client’s driveway. Part of a great landscape design is incorporating all of the pieces or outdoor rooms together. In this gated entrance you can see some of the same materials used in other aspects of the landscape design.

Front Door Planters

Natural stone planters.
Natural stone planters.

With planters on a large property, it is a big bonus to have someone help choose the right sizes and styles. Collectively with the client we chose natural stone planters that can be found from the front door all the way throughout the property.

Hardscapes

All Oregon Landscaping used various hardscape materials to build walkways and planters at the Sherwood residence.
Various hardscape materials.

Like planters, hardscapes take work to design and build. In this landscape design we used many types of hardscape materials including colored and stamped concrete, pavers, asphalt, concrete countertops, and pre-cast concrete.  Making sure that the hardscape materials are durable, functional, and aesthetically pleasing is part of our job at All Oregon Landscaping.

All Oregon Landscaping crew hard at work on the Sherwood residence landscape design.
All Oregon Landscaping crew hard at work on the landscape design in Sherwood.

Sherwood Before and After

Whew! It was a lot of work, but both the client and All Oregon Landscaping were elated with the finished product from the pavers to the challenging pool design. At All Oregon, we realize we are only as good as our employees, and the execution of this project was top-notch. If you saw something at the Sherwood residence similar to what you’d like to see in your landscape, give us a call. We can handle any project, big or small, from start to finish. We’ll send a landscaping expert out right away to discuss your next yard transformation.

Ready to get started on your next project?

Click Here to Get a FREE Consultation