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.

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How To Move Plants Indoors

If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to move  plants indoors (especially fragile plants) for the Oregon winter. This can be tricky, so we’d thought we’d share our thoughts on how to successfully get your plants indoors and into protection from the elements.

how to move potted plants indoors for the winter in Oregon

Transition is Key When You  Move Plants Indoors

Because our houses are so much drier than conditions outdoors (especially in the Pacific NW), you’ll need to find the best way to transition your plants before moving them indoors. For about a week before moving them in the house for good, move the plants to a garage, sun porch, unheated greenhouse, or sheltered patio so they can adjust to drier and warmer conditions. If you bring them straight into the house, they could be shocked by the much warmer and drier conditions, so don’t skip this.

Pick the Right Spot for Potted Plants Indoors

Look for a spot in your house where your plants will be the most comfortable. Considering most plants thrive in full sun during their growing season, try to find the sunniest location in the house to situate them in. Plants want moisture in the air as well. If your house is too dry, their leaves may become brittle, brown and fall off. Watch that your sunny location doesn’t get too warm. Plants prefer cooler temperatures. 60 degrees during the day, and roughly 10 degrees cooler at night. This may not be feasible in your home, but try to find the sunniest, coolest spot, with the most humidity for your plants.

Think of the Winter as Plant Vacation

Winter is the resting period for your plants. You generally do not need to fertilize plants in the winter. Water the plants just enough to keep them moist. They won’t need as much water as in the growing season.

If you follow these instructions when you move plants indoors, you should find that your plants are bursting to get back outdoors come springtime. Again, consider transitioning them back outdoors when you are ready. At All Oregon Landscaping, we love sharing key gardening and landscaping information with our readers as a way to bridge the gap between client and business. We hope you found this post helpful, and if so you may be interested in our other winter landscaping posts:

We handle landscape design in Oregon including Portland, Vancouver, Lake Oswego, Beaverton, Hillsboro, West Linn, Tigard, Oregon City, Sherwood, Happy Valley, Gresham, and more. Call today if you’d like to talk to one of landscaping experts.

Photo By Beverlynation (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

Landscape Design Ideas for Using Your Yard Year-Round

Some joke that Oregon has only two seasons. Rainy season and construction season. Unfortunately, construction season, AKA summer, is officially coming to an end. Fortunately, we have some landscape ideas for using your yard year-round. There are a lot of ways to get more of the outdoors in the rainy season. Here are our best landscape design ideas for this Oregonian predicament.

All Oregon Landscape Design Ideas for Yard Use Year-Round

Awnings: In Portland, awnings mean more protection from the rain. Even Portland parks are starting to see the benefits of having an outdoor retreat that is dry. Some of our newest parks contain state-of-the-art awnings. Your yard can have a stylish, streamlined awning too.

Fireplaces and Firepits: We’ve posted about building your own firepit in the past. Fireplaces and firepits create a gathering space as well as a heat source for drizzly Oregon nights.

Plan a cozy firepit for the fall.
Plan a cozy firepit for the fall.

Enclosures: There are a lot of well designed systems for partitioning part of your yard and actually creating a temporary enclosure to be protected from the elements. Lots of restaurants are now using them to have extra patio seating year-round. Why not adapt it for your home?

Outdoor Kitchens: Everyone loves to eat. Being able to BBQ year-round will ensure that you and your guests will enjoy your yard throughout the winter. If you build an awning over-top, you won’t even need to plan around the rain.

Outdoor kitchens extend the use of your outdoor space.
Outdoor kitchens extend the use of your outdoor space.

Lighting: This is probably the easiest and most important thing to change to get more use of your yard in the fall and winter. No one wants to make their way into a dark black hole; by adding lighting you can create a romantic and inviting atmosphere in your yard. Using LED lights will make it affordable and easy.

Outdoor lighting creates a cozy feeling outside.
Outdoor lighting creates a cozy feeling outside.

Combine any of the above to make a truly usable yard year-round.

All Oregon Landscaping Designs Year-Round Features Through-Out Portland

If you want help with any landscape design ideas to help make your yard more usable in the winter, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We have experience with awnings, outdoor fireplaces, outdoor kitchens, enclosures, and outdoor lighting. We work throughout Portland, Vancouver and any surrounding areas including, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Gresham, Oregon City, West Linn, Sherwood, Gladstone, Milwaukee, Happy Valley, Lake Oswego, Tigard, and more. Let us know what you have in mind, and we’ll send a landscape designer out to ask questions get started on a quote!

Fall Lawn Care Checklist and Tips

Fall has officially hit in Oregon. Today is cool, cloudy, and we may even see some drizzle. Sigh. With summer fading fast, we put together our fall lawn care checklist for Oregonians along with some handy fall lawn maintenance tips. Tip One: You’ll want to complete this list by the end of October, so don’t slack off!

Fall Lawn Care Checklist

  1. fall lawn care checklist in OregonAdjust the height of your lawn mower blades. You’ll want the blades to be about 2 inches high throughout the fall. This is a bit shorter than in the summer to help avoid the grass getting matted down from heavy, wet leaves. Tip Two: Don’t go any shorter than 2″, or you’ll risk giving weeds a foothold.
  2. Overseed. If your lawn seems thins or sparse, overseed and keep the lawn moist while grass sprouts.
  3. Adjust your watering schedule. In Oregon, fall brings back the rain. Make sure to adjust any irrigation systems, or your watering schedule so plants aren’t getting too much water.
  4. Fertilize. Making sure to feed your lawn in the fall will allow you to enjoy the look of your lawn much earlier next spring.  Fertilize in September and late October if possible.
  5. Eliminate perennial weeds. This is really the best time of year to spray for problem weeds. Tip Three: Choose a day with moderate temperatures when the ground is already moist to spray for weeds.
  6. Repair dead patches of grass. You will most likely have more success repairing dead patches in the fall than in the spring. You won’t need to worry as much about weeds or the stress of hot weather.
  7. Check for thatch in your lawn. If you need to know how to check your thatch, read our post: Keep Your Lawn Soft: Don’t Forget to Dethatch!
  8. Apply a top dressing. Add a thin layer of soil to the top of your lawn to reduce thatch, increase the amount of organic matter in the soil, smooth bumps, and lessen the need for fertilizer. Use equal parts loam, sand, and peat. Work the top dressing in using a rake. Tip Four: Be sure to dethatch before applying a top dressing.
  9. Remove dead leaves and other fallen yard debris. Be sure to do this before it mats down the lawn.
  10. Drain any irrigation lines. Before the chance of freezing weather, be sure to drain your irrigation system. This can be done using compressed air or drain valves. Tip Five: Don’t exceed 50 psi if you use an air compressor.

All Oregon Landscaping Handles Lawn Maintenance in Portland

Seem like a lot of work? It is. If you would rather let someone else handle your fall lawn care checklist, don’t hesitate to call All Oregon Landscaping. We supply maintenance services all across the Portland and Vancouver area including Lake Oswego, Beaverton, Camas, Happy Valley, Oregon City, Hillsboro, West Linn, Gresham, Milwaukee, and the West Hills. We also provide a plethora of landscaping design services including custom concrete, outdoor lighting, intimate space design, outdoor kitchens, water features, irrigation systems and more. Contact us today to find out more about our services or for a free quote.

Photo By Symphony999 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Living Fences: Natural, Sustainable Privacy Solutions

Did you know that George Washington dreamed of having an extensive system of living fences and was one of the first Americans to try to propagate a living fence? Like so many of us, his various attempts were continually thwarted by deer! In honor of his idea, there is now a Honey Locust hedge at Mount Vernon. Traditionally, living fences have not been commonplace in the United States. This is curious considering their popularity throughout history in Europe, with the majority of the settlers in America having European decent. Nonetheless, living fences are becoming more and more popular in the United States as people shift their thinking into being eco-minded, even in their landscaping. There are a lot of benefits to designing, installing, and owning living fences, here are just a few.

bamboo works great for living fences
Bamboo is a low-maintenance option for living fences.

Benefits of a Living Fence

  • They can provide a source of food. Think about small fruit trees or grapes.
  • They create a habitat for birds and wildlife in your yard or keep predators that may harm pets out. For the most protection, choose a plant with thorns!
  • In rural areas, living fences provide a wind break for livestock or crops. In urban areas, living fences can provide wind  protection to pets, chickens or other sensitive plants.
  • It can be a source of medicine. Consider planting something medicinal.
  • Plants provide a great sound barrier from streets, sidewalks, or loud-mouthed neighbors.
  • Living fences can last much longer than a man-made fence.
  • Living fences add beauty and enhances your landscape design.

Living Fences: Plant Ideas

Oregon grape makes a great living fence
Oregon Grape is a great native choice for a living fence.

Wondering what sort of plants you can use for a living fence? There are a lot of options. Apple and pear trees work well if you are looking for an additional food source. Trees and plants with pliable branches work the best. Considering Oregon’s perfect climate for filberts, hazelnut trees are another great option. Or consider red-twig or yellow-twig dogwood. Want flowers? Some good options might be Fothergilla, smoke bush or a Oregonian favorite, Oregon Grape.

As far as evergreens go, we like Japanese holly. And there is always sturdy old bamboo. For those with busy lives, bamboo is an elegant, sustainable solution. Bamboo is particularly low maintenance and one of the fastest growing plants in existence. With over 1,000 varieties, you can match your style and personality with a bamboo of your choice. If you want something a bit different, think about black bamboo.

For more resources on yard ideas and landscaping tips, follow-up this article with some of our other blog posts:

Want more ideas for living fences? Call All Oregon Landscaping to discuss how we can help you build a living fence where you need it most.

Bamboo Photo By François Obada (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

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

How To Care for Roses

Portland is known throughout the world as the City of Roses, so it’s no surprise that we have an abundance of streets, yards, and gardens lined and filled with an array of fascinating and gorgeous rose bushes. Portland became known as the City of Roses during the Lewis and Clark Exposition in 1905. During that time, over 20 miles of city streets were lined with the Madame Caroline Testout rose (pictured below). The name stuck. Considering so many Portlanders are growing roses, today we thought we’d share some tips on how to care for roses in the City or Roses.

Portland is known as the City of Roses

How To Care for Roses in Portland

Watering

Roses need about 1-2 inches of water per week. More is needed for container roses. When watering, avoid getting water directly onto leaves, buds, and blooms. If you stick your finger in the soil and it’s dry, you need to add water. If the soil feels muddy, you may be over-watering, cut back.

Feeding

Feeding roses does not have to be tricky. Roses thrive most when fertilized a few times each season. If you think about it like rewarding the plant with extra food after successful growth bursts, you’ll get it right. We suggest after the bush first leafs out, then after each flush of fresh blooms for the rest of the season. Stop fertilizing around Labor Day, or 2 months before the first potential frost.

Mulching

Mulching around rose beds is a great way to care for roses. It keeps soil moist, adds extra nutrients, and prevent weeds from surfacing. Generously spread 2-4 inches of mulch (organic preferred) over rose beds, leaving a small area around the base of the rose bush.

Pests

The biggest pests to roses in Portland are aphids. Aphids will suck the sap from the tender parts of your rose bush. If you find you have a problem with them, the best solution is to douse your roses in soap and water. This will also help to control mites. If you see other small bugs, just pluck them from the roses as you see them.

Pruning

Don’t be afraid to prune, prune, prune! Generous pruning creates bigger plants with more flowers. For modern varieties, pruning keeps them flowering all season long. Established hybrid teas, floribundas, and grandiflores should be pruned in the early spring. Roses that bloom only once a year should be pruned right after flowering.

All Oregon Maintains Yards in Portland Including Roses

Want help with your unwieldy roses? All Oregon Landscaping can help care for roses and anything else you find hard to maintain in your landscape. We design, implement, and maintain landscapes throughout Portland and the surrounding areas.  We work in Portland, Beaverton, Lake Oswego, West Linn, Oregon City, Gresham, Sherwood, Sellwood, Hillsboro, Tigard, and any other surrounding community. Call today to get started!

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