Landscaping Design to Preserve Water Pipes in SIlver Spring MD

Proper landscaping design can preserve the water pipes to and from your home in Silver Spring MD.

Tree roots are naturally attracted to water and sewer lines; these pipes are a source of water, nutrients, and oxygen that the trees need. When a root finds a leak in a pipe, it will quickly make its way into the smallest crack, making the crack bigger, and the root will be growing bigger as it goes deeper into the pipe. Eventually, the roots will stop up the pipe, and stop the flow of waste coming from your home.

Ever see those yards around town, with the front yards dug up from the house to the street? You can guess what happened – tree roots broke into and clogged up the pipes. The pipes broke, and thousands of dollars later, the homeowner has root-free pipes.

So what can been done to reduce the likelihood that tree roots will cause that kind of damage to your pipes? The right landscaping design, using slow-growing trees with less aggressive root systems, placed the proper distance away from the pipes at your Silver Spring MD home.

Trees to Avoid If You Want to Protect Your Water Pipes
Certain trees should never be planted near water lines, as they are often fast-growing with particularly aggressive roots.

  • Many species in the Acer (maple) genus
  • Populus species
  • Ashes
  • Sycamore
  • Several oaks
  • Willows, basswood
  • Tuliptree
  • Elms
  • Birches
  • Mulberry
  • Figs
  • Large eucalyptus
  • Beech

Root Barriers
In addition, some homeowners choose to create root barriers around their pipes to slow down or prevent roots from getting too close to pipes. Slow-release chemicals, such as copper sulfate and potassium hydroxide, spread near the sewer line will discourage growth into the area. Metal or wood barriers buried 6 to 12 inches deeper than the pipe and running vertically next to sewer lines can also stop roots from getting at the pipes.

For more information on landscaping in Silver Spring MD, please contact East Coast Landscape Design. For over 30 years, East Coast Landscape Design has been Silver Spring, MD’s leading licensed landscape contractor. Located in Montgomery County, Maryland since 1979, the company has designed, installed, and cared for landscape projects and irrigation systems.


Landscaping in Rockville, MD: Small Trees and Shrubs, Less Aggressive Root Systems

If you’re looking to add small trees or shrubs to you landscaping in Rockville, MD – choose those with less aggressive root systems. That’s because aggressive root systems can cause some severe damage to your hardscapes.

The bottom line is that choosing slow-growing small trees or bushes with less aggressive root systems species for your landscaping in Rockville MD – along with properly preparing the planting site – helps to protect your hardscapes.

Site Preparation
You should plant your small trees or shrubs at least 10 feet away from your hardscapes. If you decide that you’d like to install a root barrier around your tree, the barrier should extend at least 2 feet below the soil surface. It should be at least 5 feet away from both the hardscaping and the tree’s planting hole and should extend along the entire length of the hardscaping near the tree.

Slow-Growing Deciduous Trees with Less Aggressive Root Systems
The following can be usually be planted 10 feet away from your hardscaping, without causing  problems:

  • Japanese maple cultivars
  • Ilex species
  • Several types of magnolias
  • Carolina buckthorn
  • Quince
  • Wintersweet
  • Acoma crape myrtle
  • Certain crabapples
  • Hoptree
  • Stewartia
  • Weeping Higan and Hally Jolivette cherries

    Slow-Growing Evergreen Trees with Maximum Height Under 20 Feet
    Certain slow-growing trees with a maximum height under 20 feet are unlikely to damage hardscaping and offer year-round foliage.
  • Boxwood tree
  • Dr. Hurd manzanita
  • Tea-oil
  • Yennan camelia
  • Mediterranean fan palm
  • Akapuka, variegatum Japanese privet
  • Evergreen magnolias
  • Some omanthus and photinia species or varieties
  • Cabbage palm
  • Awabuki sweet viburnum
  • Weeping blue atlas cedar
  • Chinese and Japanese plum yews
  • Fernspray cypress
  • Slender hinoki cypress.

For more information on landscaping in Rockville MD, please contact East Coast Landscape Design. For over 30 years, East Coast Landscape Design has been Rockville, MD’s leading licensed landscape contractor. Located in Montgomery County, Maryland since 1979, the company has designed, installed, and cared for landscape projects and irrigation systems.

Patio Design Trends for Gaithersburg MD

Time to think beyond the plain concrete slab – here are some great patio design trends for Gaithersburg MD.

Planning Your Patio
Patios have come a long way from a plain white concrete square or rectangle shaped slab.
Patios can be designed for any shape, size, color, pattern, or type of flooring you might want at your Gaithersburg MD home. Think about your wants and needs; then budget accordingly.

Patio Flooring
Concrete – While concrete is still the most popular type of patio flooring, how it looks and is used has changed. It’s now treated a flooring option that can be stamped into any pattern you can imagine, and there is a huge variety of stain colors to choose from.

Paver Stones – interlocking paver stones have grown in popularity over the years. Pavers are four times stronger than concrete, come in a variety of colors, and can be installed to create patterns. Unlike cement, if there is a problem with a paver or pavers, there’s no need to tear up the patio – the pavers can be easily replaced. If you have issues with flooding around your patio area, water permeable pavers may be your best bet. Made of porous materials, water drains down through the pavers when it rains.

Other Materials – There are other patio flooring materials that you may also want to consider.  These materials include classic wood, natural slate, sandstone, granite, brick, a wood composite and even porcelain.

Patio Edging
Patios need edging – they just don’t look “finished” without edging. Edging also keeps weeds and grass from growing over the patio flooring. Edging can be made of cement, bricks, pavers, gravel, or other stone.  You have so many choices, really – so just say “no” to black rubber edging. You’ll be glad you did.

Looking for information about a new patio design in Gaithersburg MD? Please contact the experts East Coast Landscape Design. The East Coast Landscape Design team has over a quarter century of experience in the design, installation, and care of beautiful patios in Gaithersburg, MD, as well we the rest of suburban Maryland.


Hardy Herb Perennials for your Landscape Design in Bethesda MD

Looking to add perennial herbs to your landscape design in Bethesda MD? The following herbs can serve one or more purposes; they can be an aromatic, used for food presentation or cooking (culinary), and/or useful in landscaping.

Lavender, English (Lavandula angustifolia)
Lavender, Grosso (Lavandula ‘Grosso’)
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
Mint (multiple)
Sage, Clary (Salvia sclarea)
Thyme (multiple)

Angelica (Angelica archangelica)
Catnip (Nepeta cataria)
Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)
Lavender, English (Lavandula angustifolia)
Lavender, Grosso (Lavandula ‘Grosso’)
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
Marjoram (Origanum vulgare)
Mint (multiple)
Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
Parsley (Petroselinum)
Rue (Ruta graveolens)
Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Tarragon – French (Artemisia dracunculus)
Thyme (multiple)

Angelica (Angelica archangelica)
Catnip (Nepeta cataria)
Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)
Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)
Rue (Ruta graveolens)
Thyme (multiple)

Need help with incorporating herbs into your landscape design in Bethesda MD? You’ll want to contact the experts at East Coast Landscape Design. East Coast Landscape Design has designed and installed beautiful landscape and hardscape projects around Bethesda MD and surrounding communities for over 30 years.

Recommended by Landscapers in Silver Spring MD: Groundcovers for Dry Shady Areas

Your landscapers in SIlver Spring MD, East Coast Landscape Design, have some recommendations for groundcovers for those dry shady areas of your yard.

  • Snow on the Mountain or Bishop’s Weed: mall white flowers appear late May-June above the low variegated foliage. Variegated Aegopodium spreads rapidly through the summer under high limbed trees, in the rock garden, and in a range of difficult areas.

  • Barrenwort: semi-evergreen heart-shaped leaves that are tinged red-bronze on the edges. It is the best groundcover for dry shade needing a good loamy soil. Great for planting among trees in a woodland setting.

  • ‘Sulphureum’ Barrenwort:  lots of small deep yellow star-shaped flowers in April;  heart-shaped leaves on wiry stems are bronze when young, then mature to green. Massed in the foreground of a shady bed or as edging, this drought tolerant perennial can’t be beat.

  • ‘Monroe White’ Lilyturf Liriope grows best in acid soil in partial to full shade, which protects it from sun damage in both summer and winter. It is both heat tolerant and resistant to pests and diseases, handles dry shade, and is evergreen in quality.

Requirements for establishing and keeping the groundcovers we’ve listed above healthy:

  • Plant your groundcovers in the appropriate soil.

  • Leave room for growth when placing groundcovers

  • Divide plants and move to another location when they are near to over-growing their space.

  • Keep planting areas at an even level, or else plants in the lower-lying areas will get too much moisture.

  • Ensure good drainage, since the shade-loving ground covers we’ve listed above either really love dry soil, or are drought tolerant.

    Want to learn more about making the most of dry shady areas of your yard from expert landscapers in Silver Spring, MD? Please contact the award-winning landscapers serving Silver Spring MD, East Coast Landscape Design.

How Important is Mulch to Your Landscaping in Bethesda MD?

Mulch is much more that just something that’s used on your yard for “looks.” Putting down the right mulch is important to the overall health of your landscaping.

Here are 5 ways mulch is beneficial to your landscaping in Bethesda MD:Mulch slows weed growth.

  1. Mulch slows water evaporation, reducing water loss from the soil.
  2. Mulch protects plant roots from temperature extremes and sudden temperature fluctuations.
  3. Organic types of mulch improve the soil quality as they decompose.
  4. Mulch ads color and texture to your landscape design.

So which mulch is the right mulch for your landscaping?
The answer depends on the needs of your landscaping, and can change based on those needs. For instance, what you mulch you use in one area of your yard, may not be the best choice for other areas of your yard.

For instance, areas in your landscaping that need soil improvement could do with an aged (partially decomposed) organic mulch. If you don’t need soil improvement, and just want to control weeds, then a fresh organic mulch will do.

Rocks, stones or gravel mulch can shore up low-lying areas in your landscaping that can get washed out during hard rain. Landscapers will also use stones or gravel to create French drains to help prevent flooding in your yard. (Note: rocks, stones, or gravel can get and keep heat easily, so don’t use them around tender plants or those with shallow roots.)

For more information about the most appropriate mulches for your landscaping in Bethesda MD, please contact East Coast Landscape Design. East Coast Landscape Design is head and shoulders above other landscaping companies in Bethesda MD. For over 30 years, East Coast Landscape Design has designed and installed beautiful landscape and hardscape projects around Bethesda MD and surrounding communities.


Hardy Shrubs Important to Landscape Design in Rockville MD

Hardy shrubs are an important addition to landscape design for your Rockville MD home.

There are at least 3 things you will want some hardy shrubs to do for your landscaping: provide visual depth, seasonal interest, and increased visits from wildlife (butterflies, birds, and other small animals)

You’ll want to stay away from high maintenance shrubs, and look for shrubs which are low maintenance, hardy for our zone, and can provide color and interest for 3- 4 seasons of the year.

Two Spring Starters
The Red Chokeberry is an easy to grow gorgeous shrub that attracts early butterflies and pollinators to the nectar of the white to light pink flower clusters that appear along the branches. The flowers are followed in late summer by abundant clusters of red berries that last through the fall and well into winter (these berries can be made into jams and jellies.) The glossy dark green leaves turn a brilliant red in fall.

The ‘Midwinter Fire’ Dogwood also has fragrant tiny white flowers appear in late spring that will attract butterflies. These flowers transform into clusters of dark purple berries in summer that are very attractive to birds. By the fall, there’s a golden foliage followed by branches and stems that start out yellow at the base of the plant and gradually turn bright orange, then to crimson red towards the tip of the plant.

An Early to Mid-Summer Starter
The Bottlebrush Buckeye is a great shade area shrub, and it blooms from early to mid-summer. This shrub white flowers with pink filaments that attract the attention of hummingbirds and butterflies. The   leaves change from bronze to dark green to shades of yellow in fall. 

A Midsummer Starter
The Smooth Hydrangea thrives in shady areas, and produces large pom-poms (up to 12 inches across). Blooming from midsummer to early fall, the pom-poms start out lime-green, change to cream, then to a brilliant white for weeks, then back to pale green in late summer before switching to a tan shade in fall. The pom-poms look great in dried flower arrangements.

For more information on including these and other gorgeous shrubs in the landscape design for your Rockville MD home, please contact East Coast Landscape Design. For over 30 years, East Coast Landscape Design has designed and installed landscapes in Rockville MD and the rest of suburban Maryland that enhance our clients’ lifestyles and the beauty of their homes.

Dark Colors Trending in Landscape Design for Silver Spring MD Homes

Dark colors are trending because they bring drama and eye-catching contrast to landscape design in Silver Spring MD.

Painting or staining fences, decks, pergolas, gazebos, lattice screens or home walls dark, neutral colors has an amazing effect on your landscape design. The dark colors

absorb the light, allowing plants in the foreground to reflect and radiate light. Plus, dark colors make anything brightly colored – flowers, plants, bushes, or furniture – “pop” against the darker colors.

If your yard seems like a “sea of green,” darker colors will also enable the eye to better see the differences in the green hues of plants and shrubs. Plumes that might otherwise be missed, along with the textures of leaves, will stand out in sharp contrast to the flat, dark colors.

Those dark colors sound a little scary to you? Dip your toes into this trend by adding black, charcoal gray, or dark brown window or balcony boxes. Add colorful plants to those boxes, and you’ll see the gorgeous contrast we’ve been talking about.

For more information on the latest trends in landscape design for your Silver Spring MD home, please contact East Coast Landscape Design. For over 30 years, East Coast Landscape Design has designed and installed landscapes in Silver Spring MD that enhance our clients’ lifestyles and the beauty of their homes.

Heated Patios in Gaithersburg MD

Heated patios – who wouldn’t want them in Gaithersburg MD?

  • Heated patios are used more often, and some homeowners even use their heated patios year round.  
  • Heated patios are safer than non-heated in Gaithersburg MD; no snow or ice to slip and fall, and no back pain from shoveling. 
  • Heated patios are eco-friendly; they don’t need salt or other de-icers, which hurt the environment (including our Chesapeake Bay).

How are patios heated in Gaithersburg MD? 

  • Electric cables or mats are installed underneath patios to warm up the surface of the patios. These plug into a junction box, and often can be controlled remotely. 

  • Hydronic heating – a much more involved process – uses copper tubing or cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) with a liquid treated with antifreeze to warm the driveway or walkway. A boiler, circulating pump, and manifold are required to run hydronic heating.

Can existing patios be heated?

  • Yes – in some situations, electric cables can be laid in grooves of existing slabs or pavers. 
  • No – homeowners in Gaithersburg MD usually wait until they are installing new patios to include radiant heating systems. 

For more information on heated patios in Gaithersburg MD, please contact East Coast Landscape Design. The experienced professionals at East Coast Landscape Design work with homeowners to design dream patios that can be used year-round Gaithersburg MD.

Get Irrigation Systems in Silver Spring MD Ready for Winter

Homeowners with irrigation systems in Silver Spring MD need to get them ready for winter.

You may think that the irrigation system pipes are immune from freezing because they are underground. The truth is that pipes within irrigation systems in Silver Spring MD can freeze and crack or burst when water is left in them.

Every year, we hear about pipes bursting due to a hard freeze. Those homeowners who fail to winterize their irrigation systems in Silver Spring MD are in for hefty water bills, replacement costs – and in some cases, a yard that is dug up to replace an irrigation system.

So what’s involved with winterizing irrigation systems in Silver Spring MD?

— An inspection of your irrigation system

— A sprinkler blow out, where water is blown out of your sprinkler piping and heads, using commercial equipment

— Parts are replaced where necessary

Please note: antifreeze should never be used to winterize irrigation systems in Silver Spring MD. Antifreeze won’t do the job, and it is unsafe for use around animals.

For more information on winterizing irrigation systems in Silver Spring MD, please contact East Coast Landscape Design. For over 30 years, East Coast Landscape Design has designed and installed irrigation systems and other landscape projects.