Top 5 Reasons You Should Hire a Landscape Contractor Right Now!

Sometimes, we’ve got projects in our landscape that we can handle. A small firepit, laying some new patio stones, or maybe mulching. But when it comes to a landscape overhaul, we feel it is best to hire a landscape contractor, and it isn’t just because we want your business. It really is mostly beneficial to you, and here are the top 5 reasons why.

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5 Reasons To Hire a Landscape Contractor

  1. It could save you money. Let me rephrase that, you will most likely save money. Often, contractors get deals with suppliers for large pieces like firplaces or pools, as well as special deals on small things like pavers and more. In addition, we see it more often than not DIYers starting a landscape project that gets away from them, and the repair costs can be more than it owuld have to complete the project correctly on its own. If you are planning a major landscaping change, hiring a landscape contractor will save you money 90% of the time.
  2. It will be done quicker. Instead of wasting the entire summer working on your yard, it will eb done before we even start busting out the BBQs. Enjoy your yard instead of sacrificing the entire sunny season, we don’t get enough sun as it is here in Oregon!
  3. You will get what you want – no settling. When you get in a pickle on your DIY landscape project we often start cutting corners and settling for things we don’t really want. Different colors, or doing something the cheap way. By hiring a landscape contractor, there are rarely surprises. Contractors know what things cost and are really good at informing clients upfront about any potential surprises that may occur. In the end, clients get exactly what they wanted with little room for settling.
  4. Your brain and body will thank you. Sometimes, doing your own landscape overhaul can be like a chef trying to perform brain surgery. We all have different skills and talents, and landscaping is not everyone’s – and that is okay. The more bogged down your brain gets thinking about your landscaping, and the more your body is exhausted fromt eh physical labor, the more apt you are to not be performing at your best. Leaving it to those who’ve put in the time to become experts in their field does have its advantages – and you will sleep far better at night not worrying if you installed that irrigation system correctly or if you water bill will be through the roof next month.
  5. They are experts and have a lot more experience than you. There are reasons they do what they do. If you’ve done your due diligence and are pleased with their past work, there is good reason to trust your landscape contractor. They will be more efficient and cost effective than you. A good landscape contractor will also tell you when you are out of your mind. If there is no way to install an inground pool, your contractor should tell you that upfront. Let’s face it, you’d probably try to do it and fail miserably.awards1

Bottom line – don’t fail miserably. Call us now to help you get your landscape overhaul done before your ready to hop into the pool. To get a better idea of our work check out our picture galleries.

We always provide a free quote, so give as a ring and let’s discuss your dream landscape.

2014 Yard, Garden, and Patio Show Photo Review

Well, we are excited to have completed our most ambitious endeavor yet at the Yard, Garden, and Patio Show just a few weeks ago. With months and months of planning, the All Oregon Landscaping team put up a display that left most show-goers swooning. Complete with spaces for everyone in the family, this landscape design was polished, refined, and well thought out. Tony Prunty created the “hardscape layout” of the garden’s base and Elida Rivera finalized the design in a fabulous “team effort.”  We are lucky to have both of them as part of the All Oregon Landscaping team.

The week leading up to the opening of the show is hectic at best, and it takes a lot of organization skills to pull off such a grand design implemented in four days.  Thanks to Tony Prunty and our fabulous crew, our design came together right on time, and with every detail executed seamlessly. At the end of a long week of preparations, it is time for the judges to have their say.

The Judging Process at the Yard, Garden, and Patio Show

The judging process at the show is a bit different than you might think. Every display is set up without any signage or representation of which company has designed which display. The three judges were hand selected from outside the Portland Metropolitan Area.  They are all professionals within the landscaping industry, such as published authors, landscape architects, horticulturalists, and highly sought after “guest speakers” that fully understand all of the elements that are essential in developing and implementing an award-winning garden.  The judging was performed prior to the show opening to the public on that Friday morning.  They judges were able to experience and critique each display and pour over the details and design elements implemented in each garden.  In the end, the process of choosing which displays receive awards is done without any of the judges having any inkling as to who is responsible for each design.

The way the judging takes place makes us even prouder of winning both the Best in Show and Best Use of Space awards at this year’s Yard, Garden, and Patio Show. Let us know if you agree with the judges on our design, by checking out this photo gallery of selected images from our display.

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BEST OF SHOW

1st Place: All Oregon Landscaping Inc., Inside Out: A Family Portrait
2nd Place: Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping & Garden Centers, Come Alive Outside
3rd Place: Autumn Leaf Landscaping Inc., Abstract Reflections

 

BEST OF CATEGORY

Best Use of Space: All Oregon Landscaping Inc., Inside Out: A Family Portrait
Best Use of Plants: Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping & Garden Centers, Come Alive Outside
Best Use of Color: Autumn Leaf Landscaping Inc., Abstract Reflections

 

If you’d like to read more about what it takes to get a grand display like this inside of a building, take a peek at some of our past posts that include photos of how we made it happen.

As always, we love hearing your biggest yard ideas and then helping them become a reality. We handle all aspects of landscape design and offer a free quote for any of our services.

2013 Was Great, But 2014 Will Be Better!

When you look back at the year All Oregon Landscaping had in 2013, you think “Wow. That was a lot.” It really was. A plethora of work led us all over the Portland and Vancouver area to places like Lake Oswego, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Oregon City, Sherwood, and more. It was a wild ride, but we’ve loved every moment. Transforming yards into dream-worthy landscapes is a fun job to have. Here’s a recap of what 2013 was like at All Oregon Landscaping.

2013 – Landscape Designs and Being on Television

XGrass Partnership

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All Oregon Landscaping partnered with XGrass in 2013.

In early 2013 we signed a deal with XGrass to provide installation of synthetic lawns. The artificial lawn business is gaining around 20% each year, so we know that more and more people are looking for this type of sustainable solution. We are grateful to be able to provide a high quality synthetic option for those seeking it. You can read more about XGrass and our partnership in our post, Synthetic Lawns are a Safe and Sustainable Solution for Oregon Homes.

KOIN Local 6 Television Special

Sherwood residence featured on KOIN Local 6.

 

Fire Pit and Seating Area by All Oregon Landscaping
Outdoor seating area with integrated fire pit. Sherwood residence featured on KOIN Local 6.

Later in 2013 we were honored to be asked to participate in KOIN Local 6’s Fall Home Refresh Series. Aired alongside weekend football, it was the perfect opportunity to show off some of the great work we did at a local Sherwood Residence. If you want to see more about the special and the Sherwood residence, visit our post, Sherwood Residence featured on KOIN Local 6 Fall Home Refresh.

2014 – The Yard Show Starts Us With A Bang

Custom outdoor fireplace installed for Yard Garden and Patio show.
Our display from a previous Yard, Garden, and Patio Show.

The Yard, Garden, and Patio Show is just around the corner (Feb. 28- March 2nd) and we are already getting pieces put together to make this our best display yet. We’ve made things wow-worthy in the past, but this year we are taking things to the next level. Keep tuned to our blog and Facebook for the latest on our display, and be sure to  read, Plans For The Yard, Garden, and Patio Show 2014.

We are sure 2014 is going to be even better than 2013. If you want to be part of our 2014 story, give us a ring now! January and February are the best months for planning your landscape design. The winter months are prime for native plants and bulbs. Also, we can get a jump-start on any bigger projects like custom countertops, fire pits, outdoor fireplaces, kitchens, and more. Together, let’s make 2014 the year of amazing  landscaping!

Oregon Lawn Fertilization

Want to have a fabulous, lush, and green lawn? Well, it takes work, and fertilization is a key aspect of a healthy and beautiful lawn. Today we will discuss the basics of lawn fertilization in western Oregon. It is true that most lawns in Oregon are not fertilized and still manage to be functional, but the best looking lawns are always a product of great care. Unfertilized lawns have a tendency to be light green or even brown and contain a high weed population. Perennial ryegrass is the most commonly planted grass throughout Oregon and is especially prone to diseases like red thread, rust, and brown blight. This is more apt to happen when lawns are not fertilized. Oregon lawns that are fertilized withstand a lot more wear and tear, compete stronger against weeds, and are able to recover from damage more quickly. The fact is, lawn fertilization will keep your lawn both healthy and beautiful.

When to Fertilize in Oregon?

lawn fertilizationDark, lush looking lawns need food to continue to thrive. How often to fertilize your lawn depends on many factors. To maintain high quality grass in Oregon, lawns should be fertilized three times per season. Once in April, again in late may to early June, and one more time in late August to early September. It is important to have soil tested before fertilizing. All golf courses and specialty lawns have soil tests done each year to help determine the proper formula of food for that grass and soil combination. Soil tests help to determine the pH and chemical makeup of your soil to see what food will be best in helping your lawn to thrive.

What Exactly Is Fertilizer?

Fertilizer is made up of elements like nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, iron, calcium, and magnesium. Nitrogen is perhaps the most important nutrient in fertilizer, it is what stimulates grass growth, improves density, and makes grass that dark green color. By stimulating growth, nitrogen also helps to prevent diseases like red thread, rust, and brown blight. Potassium helps grass develop hardiness to heat and cold and increase wear tolerance. The fertilizer you or your lawn caretaker choose should incorporate the above elements in a fashion to produce the optimal pH level for your type of grass. For example, if too much sulfur is added to a lawn, it can create overly acidic soil. Finding the proper blend is imperative to good lawn fertilization.

Optimal Soil pH level for Common Grasses in Oregon

Bentgrass: 5.0-6.5

Perennial Ryegrass: 5.5-6.5

Fine Fescues: 5.5-6.5

Tall Fescue: 5.5-6.5

Annual Bluegrass: 6.0-7.0

Kentucky Bluegrass: 6.0-7.0

maintenance15All Oregon Landscaping Makes Lawn Fertilization and Yard Maintenance Easy

All of this science sounding a little complicated? It is. But All Oregon Landscaping is experienced and trained in dealing with all types of grasses and soil in western Oregon. Let us help you find the right fertilization program for your lawn to keep it looking healthy, lush, and green all season long. We can handle the science behind creating a vibrant green lawn as well as the application and other maintenance aspects of lawn care such as mowing, dethatching, aeration, and seeding. We work all over western Oregon and Washington, including Portland, Vancouver, Lake Oswego, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Gresham, Happy Valley, Oregon City, West Linn, Sherwood, and more. Call us today, before you miss the first round of optimal fertilizing in May!

Plant A Native Garden To Attract Hummingbirds in Oregon

800px-Fem_Anna's_HummingbirdSpring is just around the corner, and I have started to hear birds chirping in the mornings. Nothing is more exciting than the return of spring in a yard or garden, and some of us anxiously await the return of certain birds to the area. Many bird watchers are mesmerized by hummingbirds, and if you’ve spotted any about 3.9-4.3 inches tall with a bronze-green back, a pale grey chest and belly, and green flanks, it might have been an Anna’s Hummingbird. The Anna’s Hummingbird is a year round resident west of the cascades, so it is possible to have a year round supply of nectar for these little birds in any Portland yard or garden. There are a few native plants that will help attract not only the Anna’s Hummingbird, but also the adored Rufous Hummingbird which loves to show up just when the weather is warm enough.  The adult male Rufous Hummingbird has a white breast, reddish brown face, upper parts, flanks and tail and an iridescent orange-red throat patch. Some males have some green on back and/or crown. The female has green upper parts with some white, some iridescent orange feathers in the center of the throat, and a dark tail with white tips and reddish brown base. The Rufous Hummingbird is tiny; weighing around 2–5 g (0.071–0.18 oz), and measuring 7–9 cm (2.8–3.5 in) long with wing spans of 11 cm (4.3 in). Whether you want host a home for either the Anna’s Hummingbird or the Rufous Hummingbird, All Oregon Landscaping has some native plant suggestions to ensure your garden is a prime destination for these lovely birds.

Native Plants To Attract Hummingbirds in Portland

Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquafolium)

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Oregon Grape will attract hummingbirds if you’ve got any in bloom for the late winter. Oregon Grape can bloom as early as January, but often begins in February.

Ribes sanguineum

This is probably the first true hummingbird magnet to come into bloom. Ribes Sanguineum is bright whitish pink to deep rose with clusters of flowers.

Western Bleeding Heart (Dicentra formosa)

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With bright green, fern-like foliage and pink heart-shaped flowers atop 1-2’ stalks, this is a sure way to attract hummingbirds to a shade garden. Most effective in the spring, this plant will go dormant in the summer months.

Columbines (specifically Aquilegia formosa)

This is a great choice for attracting humminbirds as a plant that tolerates sun to partial shade. Considered a self seeding perennial you can count on it blooming every year in your garden. The bright orange and yellow coloring of this particular flower make it stunning addition to any yard. It is a hummingbird favorite and is sure to draw them all throughout the spring and into summer.

Honeysuckle (specifically Lonicera ciliosa)

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The Honeysuckle’s tubular flowers make them an ideal choice for hummingbirds, and this one even more so with it’s narrow flowers which are too small for bumblebees and weed out the competition. With bright yellow to orange flowers, this plant prefers open shade to only partial sun.

Other Natives To Attract Hummingbirds in the Pacific Northwest

Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium)
Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja ssp.)
Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)
Monkeyflower (Mimulus ssp)
Spirea (Spiraea ssp.)
Checkermallow (Sidalcea ssp.)
Penstemon (around fifty native varieties)

All Oregon Landscaping Brings Portland Gardens To Life

With all of these choices for native plants, it can be difficult finding a winning combination that works in your Portland yard. All Oregon Landscaping has experts to help you plan your yard and garden from start to finish whether you are looking to attract hummingbirds or create an outdoor kitchen complete with every amenity. All Oregon Landscaping specializes in pergolas and trellises, water features, custom concrete, outdoor lighting, intimate spaces, and more. Call us today to discuss how to transform your yard into the place you or the hummingbirds want to be all year round.

 

 Photo 1 By Paddyspig (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo 2 by Tersk, Lauren (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo 3 by Walter Siegmund (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo 4 by Walter Siegmund (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Outdoor Kitchen Design Tips

By mid-February, summer is creeping into minds all over Portland, so I thought we could bring “summer” to the landscaping blog by dishing out some design tips for outdoor kitchens. There is no question that outdoor kitchens have gained momentous popularity in the last few years, and All Oregon Landscaping is proud to have won, “Best in Show” and “Best Use of Color” at the 2011 Yard, Garden, and Patio Show in Portland for our elaborate outdoor kitchen design. Outdoor kitchen designs are a fun challenge for All Oregon Landscaping; combining the elements that make a great kitchen with the elements that make a great yard and landscape. There are a few factors homeowners should pay particular attention to when working on an outdoor kitchen design.

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Tips For Designing an Outdoor Kitchen

  1. Exposure to the elements is often the biggest difference between an indoor and outdoor kitchen design. This is particularly important when considering what will need waterproofing (especially here in Portland), as well as what materials you will choose for flooring, countertops, and appliances. In general, you want to find materials that will not be slippery when wet, are durable, and easy to clean. 
  2. Consider the maintenance your kitchen design will need. We find that the less maintenance needed to take care of an outdoor kitchen, the more apt the homeowner is to use and enjoy their investment. Materials like high quality stainless steel are a great low maintenance choice.
  3. Think about flow. Ask yourself, “How will people walk through and use this space?”. Flow in the outdoor kitchen space is important, but so is how the outdoor kitchen flows with the rest of the yard and other areas like a pool, garden, outdoor living room or other space. If you plan to use the space for entertaining guests, also consider how you will use both the indoor and outdoor kitchen at the same time. The outdoor kitchen design should be reflective of how you plan to use the space.
  4. In Portland, the rainy season can be really long. Don’t limit the use of your outdoor kitchen to a few months a year. Heating elements and shelter from the rain can lengthen the amount of time you can spend in your outdoor kitchen. Pergolas and awnings can cover the main preparation and seating areas, but you will probably want to leave the space about the grill open to let smoke escape. Natural gas patio heaters will make a big difference in damp Portland winter.
  5. Adequate lighting will ensure that your kitchen is usable after dark as well as on gray days. Task lighting and ambient lighting can be achieved by using a dimmer system. At All Oregon Landscaping, we love to recommend LED lights because the are more efficient than traditional lighting.

All Oregon Landscaping

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All Oregon Landscaping is a premiere Portland company focusing on outdoor kitchen design, pergolas, awnings, outdoor lighting, water features, outdoor fireplaces, intimate spaces, and more. Call us anytime to discuss your yard needs, questions, or concerns. We work in Portland, Oregon and surrounding areas and are happy to help you transform your yard into something you love!

Garden Show Exhibits Showcase Oregon Landscapers Expertise

All Oregon Landscaping has been known throughout Portland and Oregon as a premiere provider of landscaping ideas, incredible outdoor craftsmanship  and unprecedented hard work. Over the past 20 years, All Oregon Landscaping has participated in exhibits for the Portland Home and Garden Show as well as the Yard, Garden, Patio Show. Although we enjoy showcasing our work at these events, this year we are taking a break from these shows to participate as the preferred vendor for Haggart Homes in the Street of Dreams. Putting elaborate landscaping ideas to the test, we love surpassing everyone’s expectations for these types of events and have no doubt that our presence at the Street of Dreams this summer will not go unnoticed.

Portland landscaping design by All Oregon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In both 2010 and 2011 All Oregon Landscaping was awarded the titles, Best In Show and Best Use of Color at the Yard, Garden, Patio Show in Portland. Our 2011 design showcased both an outdoor kitchen and an outdoor living room complete with a fireplace, custom concrete table, a pressed concrete water feature, fully functional kitchen, and more. Awards in tow, we left the show prideful of our creative landscaping ideas and keen eye as Oregon landscapers. All Oregon Landscaping has found great company morale from our garden show displays, and we expect the same for the Street of Dreams this year. In some ways, creating these displays is very similar to our other Portland landscaping projects.

How A Garden Show Display Is Like Our Other Portland Landscaping Projects

With our plethora of experience in garden show exhibits, we thought it might be nice to explain how preparing these elaborate displays is actually very similar to how the average Portland landscaping project is handled. The biggest difference is simply that with garden show displays, we are the sole contributor to the design. When one of our landscaping architects visits your home to prepare a landscaping design, their goal is to combine all of your wants, needs, and ideas for your outdoor space along with their own brilliant landscaping ideas.

custom concrete water feature landscaping ideas from All Oregon landscapers

Otherwise, the landscaping design we develop for your home is executed in the same manner as our elaborate displays in the past for the Portland Home and Garden Show and the Yard, Garden, Patio Show. After a landscaping  designer holds a consultation with the client, he or she comes back to All Oregon Landscaping headquarters to brainstorm about aesthetics, function, and budget. Our landscaping designer will include the best options from each category as they draw up a  3D model of your yard incorporating all of their landscaping ideas. Once the 3D model is complete, it is presented to the client. Minor adjustments are usually made at the request of the client. After the design is agreed upon by both parties, our builders and landscapers get right to work on preparing the elements involved.  For a garden show, this can mean days or weeks of work in advance of the show. Pieces like custom concrete counter tops, framing for an outdoor fireplace, or other pressed concrete elements are all constructed ahead of time at All Oregon Landscaping headquarters and then transported to the show. When your landscaping design includes unique elements like these we build everything per your custom speculations and then install it at the proper time according to our design plan.

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outdoor fireplace landscaping ideas All Oregon

We are proud of our work as one of the premiere Portland landscaping design companies in Oregon. We provide unparalleled high quality craftsmanship for every client; serving Portland, Vancouver, Gresham, Lake Oswego, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Happy Valley, Oregon City, West Linn, Sherwood, Tigard, Gladstone, Aloha, Cedar Hills, Tualatin, and other surrounding areas. If you’d like to transform your yard into something you can be proud of, give us a call to discuss your own landscaping ideas.

 

All Oregon Wins Awards From Yard, Garden, Patio Show With Stunning Outdoor Kitchen and Living Room

The Yard, Garden, Patio Show in Portland is quickly approaching and in celebration we are excited to highlight our 2011 display. In 2011, we designed an elaborate outdoor kitchen and living room just for the Yard, Garden, Patio Show. Each year the show hosts several live gardens, and All Oregon Landscaping has been proud to participate many times since the 1990s. These live garden displays involve the entire company  for several days and many for weeks, and have been a large source of company pride. In 2011, we designed an elaborate outdoor kitchen and living room in an intimate space of approximately 1600 square feet. Always ready with new landscaping ideas, we wanted to incorporate everything used in an indoor kitchen and living room and make it accessible and functional in an outdoor setting.

2011 Yard garden patio show in Portland
Aerial shot of our display garden for the 2011 Yard Garden Patio show.

Planning For The Yard, Garden, Patio Show Display

The planning began months in advance of the Yard, Garden, Patio Show, when our landscaping team developed the design for the show. The design for the outdoor kitchen and living room began with an all encompassing brainstorming session where several employees gathered to discuss the possibilities for the show. Out of the meeting it was determined that All Oregon Landscaping couldn’t help but go above and beyond for the show; an outdoor kitchen and living room, custom concrete counter tops, a working gas stove, a gas fireplace, a water feature with pressed concrete blocks, and more. Knowing what a challenge pulling this off would be, we were sure to plan out every detail in advance. A clear timeline was developed.

custom concrete table by All Oregon
On of our in house fabricated concrete table tops.

Weeks before the Yard, Garden, Patio Show, some elements of the outdoor kitchen and living room were constructed at All Oregon Landscaping headquarters in Sherwood. Pieces like the metal frame for the fireplace, the custom concrete table, the concrete counters, pressed concrete for the water feature, and more were assembled weeks in advance. For almost the entire month before the show, 3 employees worked tirelessly to create the pieces needed for the outdoor kitchen design.

If that seems like a lot of work, it was. However, the majority of the work for these types of displays actually happens in the four days leading up to the opening of the show. Four intense, often 14 hours days for a display that will be showcased for only three days. In the four days before the show, All Oregon Landscaping began loading in pavers, pre-built pieces, appliances, dirt, and plants to construct the outdoor kitchen, living room, and surroundings. Special tasks like hooking up running water for the fountain, and getting permission from the Fire Marshall to run the gas fireplace were completed. As usual, Tony Prunty was our master problem solver helping to troubleshoot any problems incurred along the way. In the four days allotted, we managed to complete a functioning outdoor kitchen, a custom designed gas fireplace, a pressed concrete water feature, custom concrete furniture and all of the lush landscaping to surround it.

The Results

outdoor kitchen design All Oregon Landscaping
2011 Yard Garden and Patio show display kitchen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the end, after the perilous and exhausting days preparing it was all worth it when the staff of All Oregon saw the reaction from the yard, garden, patio show guests. They were stunned with what we had been able to bring into the convention center, and we were more than happy to show it off. When the judges for the show came to view our display, they were equally stunned. After a  unanimous vote, All Oregon Landscaping was presented the Best in Show and the Best Use of Color awards. In the end, the hard work felt justified with the overwhelming support of show guests and the show judges.

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water feature landscaping ideas
Interesting linear water feature design and install at 2011 YGP show.
outdoor fireplace landscaping ideas All Oregon
Outdoor Fireplace for the 2011 YGP Show
Planting ideas for winter by All Oregon Landscaping
Use of Witch Hazel as winter interest in our display garden, 2011 YGP Show.

Other Unique Tidbits About The Outdoor Kitchen Design

  • Because we were indoors, we had to take metered readings of emissions from the gas fireplace to ensure Yard, Garden, Patio Show guests were not being blasted with toxic fumes. A great idea to keep everyone safe.
  • The refrigerator was fully functional and appropriately stocked with beer. Perfect for Oregon, craft brew capital of the world.
  • In the four days leading up to the show, we got to use landscaping equipment inside the convention center. It is not every day you can drive a backhoe in a building.

There is no way to convey the copious amount of work and planning involved in a display like this at the yard, garden, patio show. Our belief at All Oregon Landscaping is that every landscaping project deserves the same attention to detail and respect. We practice the same care with each of landscaping clients and would be happy to answer any questions you may have about Portland landscaping at any time.

Cast Stone Vs. Natural Stone

Whether to use cast stone or natural stone can be a big debate for landscape designers and homeowners who are looking to drastically alter the architectural elements of their yard. There are pros and cons to both cast stone  and natural stone, so today we would like to help you determine which option is the best for your landscape design or yard renovation. There are benefits and drawbacks to each choice, which are outlined below.

Cast Stone

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Also known as cultured stone, cast stone is man made from cement. Pigments and crushed natural stone are incorporated to give it a natural stone appeal. It is molded and formed to look like natural stone. It is widely accepted as a great replacement for sandstone, brownstone, limestone, granite, slate, coral rock, and many other types of natural stone.

Pros of Using Cast Stone

  • Versatility. Because cast stone is man made, the only limits for color and style are the imagination.  A plethora of options are available.
  • Time. It is usually much quicker to install cast stone (as long as it is ready from the supplier).
  • Cast stone is generally, although not always, significantly cheaper than natural stone.

Cons of Using Cast Stone

  • The look of cast stone is fabricated and may not appear as unique  or detailed as natural stone.
  • Some claim it is less durable. Much of this depends on  the quality of cast stone you use.
  • Over time, the coloring may change.

Natural Stone

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Natural stone refers to any stone found in the earth, quarried, and then processed for use in landscapes, water features, sculptures, and gardens. We like to work with Mutual Materials for many of our landscape projects, and some of our favorite natural stone choices are the Camas Ledgestone, Iron Mountain Flagstone, Lavender Flagstone, Oregon Rive Rock, and Rainbow River Cobbles. The Pacific Northwest offers some great options for color and style in natural stone.

Pros of Using Natural Stone

  • The durability of natural stone is not in question. It will last forever and does not really incite the same debate as cast stone.
  • Each stone has its own unique texture, veining, patterning and color, ensuring a distinct look for each project.

Cons of Using Natural Stone

  • Natural stone can cost quite a bit more than cast stone. It requires a lot more labor by a skilled professional to hand shape pieces.
  • It can take a lot longer to install due to the hand crafted nature.

Overall, the most important thing to pay attention to is the exact nature of the product you will be using. If using cast stone, know the  durability and technical specifications are so that there are no surprises later. Generally, cast stone is around $10-$20 cheaper per square foot. At All Oregon Landscaping we only use high quality products, regardless of whether it is natural stone or cast stone.

All Oregon Landscaping Works With Both Cast Stone and Natural Stone

If you need experts in working with either cast stone or natural stone; you’ve found the right place. We work throughout Oregon, in Portland, Beaverton, Lake Oswego, Sherwood, Tualatin, Hillsboro, Wilsonville, Gresham, Happy Valley, Oregon City, Molalla and more. Contact us today with questions about your outdoor space renovation. We specialize in water features, outdoor kitchens, intimate spaces, retaining walls, trellises, pergolas, and more. With the help of All Oregon Landscaping, you could be enjoying your yard to its fullest this summer, so don’t hesitate to contact us soon!

 

5 Winter Plants To Brighten Any Portland Landscape

The Pacific Northwest, and Portland specifically, can become very dismal, dreary, and gray over the long wintry rainy months from October – May. Homeowners stay tucked in their houses drinking coffee, peering outside only to see if there is that small chance that the sun may pay a visit. Finding a bright moment in those long months can be a challenge for even the most positive of attitudes, but you can make it a little easier by donning your landscaping with some good choices of winter flowers perfect for Portland rainy and wintry weather.

5 Winter Plants for Portland

Winter plants, Hellebore great for Portland
Hellebore

1. Hellebore – Traditionally known as a Christmas Rose, these plants are very resistant to frost. They grow well in the shade and provide the perfect little pop of color as part of the buttercup family.
2. Mahonia – Gorgeous shrubs that can grow to as much as 8-15 feet tall. Related to the Oregon grape they are a ray of sunshine with a spray of bright yellow flowers starting December or January and lasting until February or March. The hummingbirds will love this addition to your landscape!
3. Grevillea victoriae – This is probably the most unique of the five offering quirky buds with star burst shaped blossoms. You can find this one in bright colors ranging from red, dark orange, apricot, yellow, and even pinks. This Australian native works particularly well in city conditions.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
4. Hamamelis x intermedia – A fragrant winter bloom. Grows slowly up to 10 feet making it a great city dwelling plant.
5. Cornus sanguinea – Also known as ‘Midwinter Fire’, this plant will reach heights up to 9 feet.  The orange, yellow and red blooms offer a great contrast to the wintry dark greens found in the Pacific Northwest.

Mahonia is a great winter plant for PortlandAll Oregon Provides Landscaping in Portland

Need help deciding what winter plants your landscape needs to bring a pop of color during our rainy season? Let the experts at All Oregon Landscaping help you create a usable and beautiful outdoor space. We provide expertise in retaining walls, outdoor lighting, water features, custom concrete, pergolas, trellises, wood work, and custom outdoor living. Call today to start planning a new life for your backyard and landscape in Portland and surrounding areas.

 Photo 1 by Simon Garbutt – Hellebore

Photo 2 by Stan Shebs – Mahonia