Plan Your Low Maintenance Maryland Landscape

A lot of people have taken an interest in landscaping, and many have learned that they enjoy working in the yard. Others have also discovered that they hate working in the yard. Just because you don’t like working in the yard does not mean you cannot have a great looking landscape.

Planning the best landscape for your home will take into consideration the amount of maintenance that can be provided. Doing some of the maintenance work yourself may save some money, but there is a time cost involved.

Hiring someone to do all the maintenance on a high maintenance landscape design can be expensive. Finding the perfect balance is what an experienced landscape designer does.

The landscape designer can help you make choices of plants and shrubs that look great and fit the maintenance you want to offer. Maybe you have allergies and want a yard that will require fewer mowings or has less tree pollen. Be sure to discuss this with the landscape designer.

If you need to talk with an experienced landscape designer to see what is possible, be sure to call the Maryland landscape design experts at East Coast Landscape Design.

Irrigation Systems in MD: Better for Your Yard and Wallet

Homeowners: irrigation systems for Maryland homes are better for your yards and wallets. How many times have you under watered or over watered your yard with a hose or old fashioned sprinkler? Probably too many times to count — and your yard and wallet have suffered because of it.

Under or over watering damages your lawn and other landscaping, and increases the likelihood that you will have to replace sod or plants every year. Also, when you over water, you are spending much more on water than you need to, and are wasting water. And that wasted water gets washed right down into the Chesapeake, damaging the environment.

Irrigation systems help MD homeowners to vary the amount of water used, when the water is used, and where it is used on their landscape. Adjusting for current weather and seasons, irrigations systems in MD provide the right amount of water according to the specific needs of your landscaping.

For more information on irrigation systems in suburban Maryland, please contact East Coast Landscape Design. For over 30 years, East Coast Landscape Design has been suburban MD’s leading licensed landscape design company. Located in Montgomery County, Maryland since 1979, the company has designed and installed irrigation systems and other landscape projects for many happy customers. Please contact East Coast Landscape Design today for a consultation on irrigation systems.

Flagstone Patios in MD: Performance in Heat and Humidity

Flagstone patios are becoming more popular in MD; they can be a beautiful and natural alternative to brick or cement patios. But how do they perform in the heat and humidity in Maryland?

Flagstones reflect the sun, and can be quite hot to walk on with bare feet. However, flagstone patios in MD can handle our state’s various climates, and they don’t expand and contract when the temperature or humidity changes.

So the good news is that – when installed correctly – flagstone patios can be extremely durable, and last for decades in the MD heat and humidity. However, installing flagstone patios in MD correctly is not really a DIY project. It’s a back-breaking and time intensive job, which requires experience with ensuring a level outcome, and an eye for fitting those stones beautifully together.

For more information about flagstone patios in MD, please contact East Coast Landscape Design. The East Coast Landscape Design team has over a quarter century of experience in the design, installation, and care of practical and beautiful flagstone patios, walkways, and driveways in suburban MD.

Walkway Design in Silver Spring MD: Which Materials Best Suit Your Needs?

Walkway design in Silver Spring MD is dependent on which materials you select for your walkway. When deciding on the materials, you must consider style, cost, and maintenance. Here are some good options for your walkway:

  • Stone is a great option for the walkway design at your Silver Spring MD home. Stone is durable and versatile. Depending on the stone you choose, your walkway design could be very precise or look more natural when you choose uncut stones. Stone also can make the walkway design for your Silver Spring MD home pretty affordable.
  • Brick is a safe choice, because it goes well with just about any home architecture. Brick is easily accessible, and it presents a clean looking finish. Bricks are maintenance free, and their uniform allow for precise walkway design for your Maryland home.
  • Concrete is another option for the walkway design for your Silver Spring MD home. Poured concrete is available in a variety of colors as it can be dyed, textured or tumbled to lend the appearance of natural stone. The size and shape of poured concrete is only limited by the walkway design for your Silver Spring MD home.

For more information on walkway design for your Silver Spring MD home, please contact East Coast Landscape Design. The East Coast Landscape Design team has over a quarter century of experience in the design and installation of practical and beautiful walkways and pathways. Our design philosophy incorporates walkways seamlessly into the natural landscape of your Silver Spring MD home. We work with you to select the best materials to meet your needs, and offer an assortment of low-maintenance, recycled and natural stone materials.

Irrigation Systems in MD: Are you Overwatering or Under watering?

During a long, hot summer irrigation systems can overwater or underwater Maryland homes. How do you know when you are overwatering or under watering? While some signs are easy – like dry crunchy brown grass – while with others like wilting plants, it’s hard to tell the difference.

Here are some signs of over or under watering:

  • Leaves turn brown and wilt: under watering will result in crispy leaves; too much water and the leaves will feel soft and limp in your hand. Overwatering will cause slow growth and yellowing leaves. If you have yellowing leaves, old leaves, and new leaves falling at the same accelerated rate, you are overwatering.
  • Soil moisture and softness: stick a finger a couple of inches down into the soil – if the soil is moist, and you have some of the conditions above, you will want to reduce your water. Another way to tell soil moisture, and whether it’s uniform throughout your property: press a long screwdriver into the ground. When the soil is moist, the screwdriver should penetrate the soil easily. The depth of penetration will vary by the soil type, size of screwdriver, and your strength. As the soil dries up, the screwdriver will be harder and harder to push into the soil.
  • Slowed in growth is a sign a plant is not receiving enough water. This can be a temporary or permanent situation. If the plant experiences a temporary decrease in water supply, the growth may just slow for a short period. If the challenge is more permanent you may see new leaf growth being smaller than normal.
  • Foot prints remain visible on the grass: walk across your lawn late in the day, and look for your footprints. If the grass blades don’t bounce back after walking on them, the grass is being under watered.

For more information on overwatering and under watering using irrigation systems in Maryland, please contact East Coast Landscape Design. For over 30 years, East Coast Landscape Design has been a leading licensed landscape design company in Maryland. Located in Montgomery County, Maryland since 1979, the company has designed and installed irrigation systems and other landscape projects. Please contact East Coast Landscape Design today for a consultation on irrigation systems in suburban Maryland.

Creating More Privacy for Flagstone Patios in MD

Flagstone patios are a popular with MD homeowners – but how can you make your flagstone patio feel more private? The solution is to use a combination of hardscape and landscape design techniques. Here’s how:

  • Plant hedges and ornamental grasses that grow lush and tall around your flagstone patio
  • Install a privacy fence around your flagstone patio
  • Add some latticework to your flagstone patio
  • Obscure the view by creating a curved pathway leading to your flagstone patio
  • Build a simple pergola and plant climbing vines around your flagstone patio
  • Create a wall of planters
  • Add a canopy over the flagstone patio
  • Build retaining walls to enclose your flagstone patio

Need more ideas about creating more privacy for flagstone patios in MD? Please contact East Coast Landscape Design. The East Coast Landscape Design team has over a quarter century of experience in the design, installation, and care of beautifully private flagstone patios in MD.

Four Things to Consider About Retaining Walls in Rockville, MD

Retaining walls hold back soil when there is a difference in earth elevation. Many retaining walls in Rockville, MD are used to terrace yards with steep slopes, to help create usable outdoor space, and to control erosion. Low retaining walls are mostly used as planting beds and can add interest to an otherwise flat yard.

It’s important to have a basic understanding of what goes into proper retaining wall design before you hire someone to build a landscape retaining wall on your property.  Here are four things to consider:

  1. Base: a retaining wall must be built on a suitable base, set below ground level. The taller a wall is, the further below ground level it should be set. In order to support the rest of the wall, a good base should consist of compacted soil and at least a six inch layer of compacted sand and gravel.
  2. Backfill: a retaining wall must have properly compacted backfill dirt behind the wall. There should be at least 12 inches of granular backfill (gravel or a similar aggregate) installed directly behind the wall in order to provide proper drainage. Compacted native soil can be used to backfill the rest of the space behind the wall. If you intend to do landscaping behind the wall, a 6+ inch layer of native soil should also be placed over the gravel fill.
  3. Drainage: efficient drainage is important, since water can’t pass through most retaining walls. Drainage problems can cause bulging or cracking in your retaining wall. How to ensure proper drainage of water from behind a retaining wall? You can require that your landscaping contractor backfills at least a foot of space behind the wall with gravel. You can also have a perforated pipe installed along the inside, or backfilled, bottom of the wall. Be sure to ask your landscaping contractor if weep holes will be needed to allow water to drain through the wall.
  4. Height: the height of a retaining wall determines the load it can bear and how much extra reinforcement will be necessary. Residential retaining walls are usually built between 3 and 4 feet high, because that height provides excellent strength without requiring additional reinforcements.

For more information on retaining walls in Rockville, MD, please contact East Coast Landscape Design, the Washington D.C. area’s leading licensed landscape design company. Located in Montgomery County, Maryland since 1979, the company, under the leadership of President Mark Simpson, has designed and installed landscape projects, including patios, outdoor kitchens, driveways, and retaining walls.

Tips for Making Your Kensington, MD Patio Perfect

You’ve seen some of those fabulous patios on TV or the Web – and East Coast Landscape Design can create the Kensington, MD patio of your dreams. Here are some tips to add those finishing touches that make your patio perfect for you and your family.

Make your patio an extension of your home.

  • Make your outdoor seating comfortable and stylish.
  • Coordinate your outdoor colors – furniture cushions and accessories with plants and flowers.
  • Add lighting – like interesting lanterns – to your patio
  • Add a fire-pit or chiminea together around on those chilly nights.
  • Add ways to cool off –  add a pergola with vines, plant a tree or add a simple canopy for shade

Create privacy by incorporating several view-blocking techniques.

  • Plant hedges and using fences or walls to create your private sanctuary
  • Create a curved pathway to your “hidden” patio.
  • A virtual wall of planters at the back of the patio creates a soothing hedge.
  • A stucco wall around the patio makes it feel even more enclosed and intimate.
  • Add bamboo panels for an inexpensive way to create privacy.

Create a view with a beautiful focal point, and make your patio a destination.

  • A well-designed formal garden creates a perfect backdrop for luxury seating.
  • A fountain creates pleasant and soothing background sounds.
  • Surround the patio with fragrant flowers, such as roses, for even more sensory appeal.
  • A flowering small tree, such as a dogwood, that adds shade and extra interest.

Rest assured that the experienced professionals at East Coast Landscape Design can design and build your Kensington, MD dream patio. East Coast Landscape Design uses a wide variety of materials including stone, brick pavers, interlocking bricks, and stamped concrete. These experts will work with you to select materials for your Kensington, MD patio that compliment your home, providing seamless function and style. Please contact East Coast Landscape Design today at 301-421-4141.