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Plants that are not only beautiful, but can perform through our intense Houston summer heat.Read More
Build a worm farm and have an excellent organic form of fertilizer for your plants, as well as reduce the amount of waste going into a landfill. It's easy! Find out how here...Read More
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The summer beauty of all the blooming Crape Myrtles is everywhere. Wouldn't it be lovely if we could enjoy these blooms year round? Although that's not possible, there are some ways we can prolong the crape myrtle's blooming season. Here are some tips...
- Now is the time to deadhead it (cutting off the dead blooms and seed heads as soon as they fade), which can often make it bloom again. Don't confuse developing seed heads with seed heads though because they can look very similar. Keep in mind this can be done anytime throughout June and July.
- After deadheading, try to boost the blooms by feeding your Crape Myrtle with a water-soluble, bloom-booster or even Miracle Gro.
- Avoid pruning in the fall, since pruning can stimulate new sprout growth that may be killed by the coming cold weather.
- Remember the best time to prune crape myrtles is in February, since this is when the fully dormant Crape Myrtle's naked branches give you a view of its structure and frame. But definitely avoid the "Crape Murder" trend of your neighbors!
Living Expression Landscapes is a full-service landscape design and maintenance company. Call us to take care of all your year-round landscape needs, including pruning and fertilizing, so your yard always looks at it's best!
"Nightscaping" outdoor spaces, becomes a great addition to your home. While it's often an afterthought, it's actually one of the most important aspects of your landscape. Nightscaping helps make your outdoor living space:
- More comfortable, safe and inviting when its dark out.
- Increases the time available to enjoy your yard.
- Illuminate paths, steps, architectural features, and landscape elements, such as fountains and statuary.
When designing your 'Nightscape', it's important to remember that the shadows are just as important as the lights. The purpose of Nightscaping is not just to make a dimmer version of your daytime landscape. You have opportunity to create a completely different vista both physically – as in the case of illuminating a seating area for use, but also visually – by adding depth to your view after dark from inside or outside your home.
There are many lighting options which have different effects that allow you to utilize or highlight important areas in your yard. Here are some ideas to consider with outdoor lighting:
Paths, Sidewalks, Steps or Driveways – Lights help you get safely from one place to another; mix up the fixtures along these areas. You can use down-lights from surrounding trees, a few lights along a pathway, and also up-lights to help light up your steps. The idea is to light an interesting area or feature close to the walk or drive and allow the light to spill over to light your way – avoiding the runway look.
Entry Ways – The walkways to your home. They should be lit with right amount of light to create a warm, inviting welcome and allow you and your guests to see where you are going. Make sure lights won't shine in eyes either coming in or going out the door.
Trees & Shrubs – Up-lighting creates bold shadows or silhouettes in the landscape that can make a dramatic, yet elegant effect. Down-lighting mimics the effect of moonlight forming soft, diffused shadows in your yard.
Decks, Patios, Gazebos – Lighting these features creates an inviting ambiance allowing more time that can be spent outside enjoying life after the sun goes down.
Water Features – Lights in ponds or on fountains highlight the rippling water and make your water feature a focal point, even from indoors. During the day you are drawn to the sound and appearance, while at night the lights will enhance the presence of your water feature.
Architectural Features – Lighting pillars, stone and veneer make shadows and cast light into your landscape. Using lights in this way makes your home more interesting and inviting.
With shorter days coming soon in the Fall, now is an excellent time to plan your outdoor lighting project. You will need to make a few decisions before you get started. Anyone can install the plastic lighting from the big box stores and have inexpensive lights the same day. You shouldn't expect those lights to last more than a season or two at most.
Professional fixtures and transformers are guaranteed for many years, but they do cost more. You will also need to decide between halogen lights and LED lights. Halogens have been used for many years to create a golden glow with a warm and cozy light effect. However, they need larger amounts of energy, have a limited life and should be installed by someone who understands voltage drop. The bulbs can be costly to replace. LED fixtures and lights cost more than halogen, but most professional grade manufacturers guarantee them for up to ten years. LED lights have a long life, are very energy-efficient and durable. If you consider the time and money involved in purchasing and changing the halogen bulbs, LEDs might be more cost-effective in the long run.
Our long, hot summer will be behind us and we'll want more time outside enjoying our wonderful fall weather... Lighting up your outside world is a great way to improve your home and now is the time to do it! Living Expression Landscapes can help make it a reality, either full design and installation or consultation on a DIY job – just give us a call at 281-681-8715
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Awareness, Cheerful, Warming
Yellow is the color of the sun, we find it uplifting and illuminating as it relates to the mind and intellect which is warming. This color resonates with the left logic side of the brain and inspires inquisitiveness. Yellow, one of the primary colors, is highly visible. Like all warm colors it advances to the eye and is easily noticeable.
The color yellow is cheerful and lifts spirits around the home. Many people like yellow in the kitchen, since it provides a brightening effect, while others use it in any small room to increase a sense of space. It is often used in children's rooms to promote happiness and liveliness. Yellow shines with optimism and will advance from surrounding colors in a home to also spark creative thoughts.
Used outside, yellow radiates and draws the eye. A narrow side yard or dim courtyard takes on a bright new look when it features flowers and plantings with yellow hues. Baskets, window boxes and containers with splashes of yellow flowers provide a friendly element. Lemon trees, such as meyer lemon, grow in areas with full sunlight and make for a beautiful, fragrant natural yellow large shrub or small tree.
There are a multitude of yellow flowering plants and foliage to choose from, that can be planted at different times throughout the year. So if you want a cheery and vibrant essence added to your outdoor spaces, plant lots of yellow flowers and foliage.
Here at Living Expression Landscapes we love to help our clients choose plants that work best for them. We are happy to recommend yellow plants and flowers that will attract the eye, keeping your spirits high and work well in our area.
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