North Windy Ridge Landscaping Team Gets Their Hands Dirty for a Good Cause

Excerpt from Weaverville Tribune

North Windy Ridge Landscaping Team Gets Their Hands Dirty for a Good Cause

Parents at North Windy Ridge Intermediate (NWRIS) are dedicated to helping maintain a beautiful school- inside and out. Ryan Houston, parent of a 6th grader at NWRIS and owner of Lawn-N-Order,  recently led a crew in a major landscaping job. With the help of other volunteers, in just two days flower beds were spruced-up, trees and shrubs were trimmed, and the iconic campus water fountain was rebuilt. Not only is the fountain back to its original beauty (including a newly constructed cascade water feature), but it’s now a larger habitat for the koi and goldfish that call it home.

Parents will continue to collaborate with school teachers and staff for other beautification efforts. The art teacher and students will create plant identification markers around campus. School custodians will keep diligently trimming the many shrubs and bushes around the campus. And the school’s garden club will turn the flowerbed by the school sign into a showcase for their gardening skills!

“We are so lucky to have this inspiring water feature for our students and visitors to enjoy as they pass through the walkway to enter our building,” says GeGe Sinclair, PTO Member. “Future project ideas will focus on the beautification of the school’s entrance area; we’ll plant additional trees, install flagstone, and construct benches or sitting stones. We also want to install plants that will attract butterflies and birds.”

Parents will continue to collaborate with school teachers and staff for other beautification efforts. The art teacher and students will create plant identification markers around campus. School custodians will keep diligently trimming the many shrubs and bushes around the campus. And the school’s garden club will turn the flowerbed by the school sign into a showcase for their gardening skills!

“I hope to contribute by creating a landscaping notebook that will help future PTO volunteers with a maintenance plan of action,” said Ms. Sinclair. “We hope to establish ourselves as a nonprofit and, therefore, be able to accept donations to help fund the ongoing beautification and maintenance efforts across our extensive campus! We will work on the best way to accomplish this goal of raising funds for our landscaping wishlist.”

The school’s PTO seeks any input, suggestions, or comments from the community and school stakeholders. This ongoing collaboration aims to create the best possible outdoor landscape for the staff, students, and visitors at North Windy Ridge, who will enjoy the campus and learn more about its connection with the natural world. Parent volunteers say they plan to work together to make NWRIS the most beautiful and serene campus for students for generations to come.

The school’s PTO has started a GoFundMe Page that can be found via THIS LINK.

 

 

We thank you for your interest and support for our community – LNO Team

 

6 Considerations When Building Your Patio Space

Thinking about making the leap and building that patio space you’ve always wanted? Lawn-N-Order Landscaping Inc. can make that dream a reality. However, we recommend taking some time to think about the aspects you’re looking for in a patio space. There are several factors to consider when choosing your new patio design. After all, you’re likely going to spend 1,000’s on a nice, professionally constructed patio space depending on the additional features you might want to add. That said, here are 6 considerations when building your patio space.

Purpose of Patio Space

Are you looking for a private, intimate setting with a small area for relaxing and enjoying your peaceful outdoor space? Instead, are you interested in large BBQ pits, fireplaces and a patio space large enough to hold parties and host various social gatherings. Many times, smaller, more intimate spaces are great when clients desire patios strictly used for family spaces.

We suggest a design that surrounds this type of smaller area with natural gardens, landscape designs and possibly small ponds or water features. Patios meant for outdoor social gatherings should be much larger in area and contain certain features. BBQ pits, fireplaces, built in seating and some covered areas are all ideal features for those outdoor spaces designed for large social events. 

View or No View

One of the biggest reasons we all love living in Western North Carolina is the stunning views of the beautiful Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains. With more and more homes having built in views of the lovely Blue Ridge Mountains, having a patio with a lovely view is one area of your patio’s construction to consider.

Some enjoy wide open views while others enjoy private, secluded areas surrounded by the beautiful flora and fauna found here in WNC. Patios are like your outdoor living room, so it only makes sense that you create the perfect environment for your new patio. Consider the type of view and surrounding areas around your patio.

Budget for Patio Space

budget for a patio space

Whenever you begin researching your landcaping and hardscaping projects, you will certainly want to consider your budget. At Lawn-N-Order Landscaping, we have the ability to build you a custom designed patio area that can be simple in design with just the basics, or an elaborate fully functioning outdoor space complete with fire pits, and outdoor kitchen and much more.

Regardless, we consider your project budget and our professionals do everything possible to accommodate your needs. We are dedicated to providing clients with the absolute best patio space that meets their budget needs. We can even work with clients in phases where we will build and add various features to your patio in a series of projects.

We can lay down the basic patio surface to begin with, and then come back at a later time to construct additional features. We’re here to serve your needs, and we vow to do our best to take your budget into account when creating your proposal.

Fill out a contact form, or call one of our experienced staff at 828-712-1590 to learn more about your options for building a custom patio space.

Do You Want Multiple Patio Spaces?

It is very common these days for homeowners, especially here in the mountains, to build more than one outdoor area and patio space. Many of our clients want the best of both worlds as they require a small, intimate space for private family functions, but they also would like a larger outdoor patio space for entertaining guests and hosting social functions.

The pros at Lawn-N-Order Landscaping are experienced when it comes to accommodating both needs – family and social patios. Consultations can be scheduled with our owner, Mr. Ryan Houston, who is a licensed NC Landscape Contractor (#0063) where he will come out to your site personally and evaluate your needs and provide expert recommendations and options for constructing multiple patio spaces.

Patio Space Accessibility

When you think about your new patio space project, one major consideration to make is if whether or not you would like the patio accessible from the house or free standing at another location in the yard.

Not all homes in the mountains are equipped or designed to attach a patio directly off of the house. It is very common for patio spaces to stand alone in another part of the property. Perhaps you would like some steps or a walkway leading down to your patio space, but nonetheless, accessibility is a very important consideration to make when looking at building your patio space.

Feel free to call us at 828-712-1590 to discuss your options, check availability and talk to one of our professionals.

Patio Space Add-Ons

A patio space does not have to be a simple slab of concrete sitting in the middle of your yard. At Lawn-N-Order Landscaping, we have the ability to customize you patio space in a way that makes it 100 percent unique, meeting all of your needs. Perhaps you would like to add a serene, peaceful water feature to create that perfect outdoor space that you have always dreamed of. No matter your desires, Lawn-N-Order Landscaping can help make your dreams a reality.

patios-landscape-blueprints-fireplace

Outdoor Patio

Other add-on options include incorporating outdoor kitchens, pergolas, gazebos, swimming pools, fire and BBQ pits and much more. Although we do not specialize in building swimming pools, we can customize your patio space in a way that sets it up for a pool install, and we can also provide you with some recommendations and referrals for getting a pool area built and added on to your patio.

 

 

Get that patio of your dreams just in time for those beautiful October and November nights here in the lovely mountains of WNC. Don’t wait any longer!

Call or contact us today to check our availability, schedule a consultation with our licensed landscaping professional and discover all the various options for building the patio space of your dreams.

5 Types Of Retaining Walls To Consider

Retaining walls serve a multitude of different purposes around your property’s landscape. Whether you need erosion control or you simply want to increase the space around your yard, a retaining wall will serve that purpose and likely meet your needs. Now that you understand the purpose of a retaining wall, it’s time to discuss your options. Retaining walls come in many different shapes and sizes. That said, how do you know which type of wall is the right style to meet your needs? We are here to help you with that. Today, we have 5 types of retaining walls to consider.

Masonry Block Retaining Walls

Masonry block walls are a very common type of retaining wall that you have likely seen around the mountains. The masonry block walls feature the ability to control erosion and hold back the earth when it starts to move. Masonry block is both weather and pest resistant, and can be constructed without using mortar or concrete to hold the blocks in place. Many masonry block walls are great for controlling and cutting down on erosion plus they tend to work well in curved designs. This is certainly one of our most installed types of walls.

Brick Retaining Walls

Brick retaining walls have the same versatility as blocks and come in a variety of colors and sizes to enhance the home’s surroundings and add continuity and durability. They need little maintenance after they are finished being built. Brick retaining walls are incredibly versatile and they complement both traditional and contemporary architectural schemes.

Natural Stone Retaining Wallsstonewall-retaining wall-stone

Natural stone walls provide a naturalistic look to the space and is one of the most commonly used in Western North Carolina. They can be used for curvilinear designs with long lasting attractiveness. Their shape, color, size and texture provide natural characteristics to the landscape garden. Rock is unaffected by water, and pests and is fire resistant and can lasts for centuries. No two walls are alike which gives an exclusive character.

Pressure Treated Timber Retaining Walls

Pressure treated timber retaining walls are fairly simple installations recommended for walls under four feet high. These are incredibly common to see around the mountains of Western North Carolina. Pressure treated timbers are versatile and match most any style of architecture while blending in with the landscape. These types of walls can be incorporated seamlessly around most landscapes and they look like a naturally occurring product. If installed properly, the materials, with waterproofing and proper drainage, can last for 20 years or more.

Stacked Boulder Retaining Walls

boulder rock-retaining wallStacked boulder walls are a practical solution to changes in the grade of your landscape. There are a wide range of architectural backdrops which lend themselves to the design of stacked mountain boulders. Boulders are found naturally in the rural landscape around the mountains of WNC, and can often be harvested onsite around your property. Water drains naturally in and around these large boulders, which ends up elevating a drainage system that’s in place or being installed. Our professionals have the long-term advantage of working with these products and can guarantee your lasting enjoyment.

If you are or have been thinking about constructing a retaining wall on your property, then don’t hesitate to give the pros at Lawn-N-Order Landscaping a call. We are a fully licensed landscape construction company capable of handling your retaining wall project. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our licensed professional landscape contractor.

How To Make A Safe Homemade Insecticide

It’s spring time, and that means it’s time to start thinking about the overall health and safety of your plants and shrubs. One of the biggest challenges to maintaining lively looking plants, bushes and shrubs involves controlling harmful bugs and insects. It’s an especially painstaking process when you are trying to do it without using harmful sprays and insecticides. Well, no worries friends, there is a solution. Today, we’re showing you how to make a your own homemade insecticide that is both non-toxic and safe. It also works great for keeping the insects away and the landscaping bills down.homemade insecticide

The recipe for making this is extremely cost effective and easy to follow. By using a combination of common household items, you can create a powerful safe homemade insecticide. Simply combine Dawn dish soap, water, vegetable oil, and epsom salt to concoct an environmentally friendly, insect repellent and mineral rich spray. Also, the good news is you will not be harming helpful insects such as bees and other pollinating insects, but you will simply be repelling them as opposed to killing them. Combine all of the ingredients listed on our chart in an empty spray bottle. Make sure you’re using a spray bottle that you can easily use adjust to create a mist spray as to not damage the leaves and stems of your plants. Don’t worry about the order in which you combine the ingredients, but you might want to add your water first to avoid heavy bubbles from the Dawn dish soap.

Once you have finished combining your ingredients, you’re ready to rid your valued plants, flowers and shrubs of those pesky chewing and destructive insects. Start by lightly spraying all of your plants, flowers and bushes around their leaves, stems and base with this homemade insecticide. Doing this one to two times per month will organically help keep harmful pests away.

Using this environmentally safe, inexpensive, homemade insecticide is incredibly effective in controlling unwanted plant, flower, and bush eating insects. You can apply this homemade insecticide to kill and control invasive insects including:

  • aphids
  • mites
  • scales
  • beetles

It’s likely that you have already spent enough money and time finding and hiring a landscaping company to build your mulch bed, plant your shrubs, and maintain your property’s plants and overall landscaping features. Prevent from having call your landscaper or plant expert, once again, to eradicate insects using harmful chemical filled insecticides by using our recipe for a simple and easy to make homemade insecticide.

Best Machinery for Efficient Lot Clearing

Lot clearing is not for sissy’s. Contractors run into bee hives, snakes, ticks and skunks. If you have an area that is overgrown and it’s bigger than one man can handle, consider the capabilities of an experienced landscaping crew with the right machinery. Eliminate unwanted vegetation in a matter of hours or days with a forestry mulcher and chippers.

Mulching Head Attachment for Lot Clearing
When big jobs are encountered, the forces are brought in. The vegetation that is advantageous to the environment and that lot clearing-forestry mulcher-wood chipperwill give the overall property an aesthetic appeal is preserved. These specimens are marked to preserve them from harm. We then, start to eliminate the vegetation and trees that are in danger of falling or invasive. Lot clearing is done with our Terex mulching head specifically for the CAT 299D XHP. This CAT 299D XHP is the most powerful skid loader in its class at 110 HP and a hydraulic flow of 40 gallons per minute!  The machine weighs 12,000 lbs. and the head itself weighs 2500 lbs.  It is capable of taking down and mulching up to 10″ diameter soft wood trees such as pine and poplar.  The machine can clear between 1-3 acres in a day depending on terrain and thickness.  Brush, bramble, briars, small saplings and such on flat ground it could do 3 acres in 8 hours pretty easy.  But burning 6 gallons of fuel per hour, and touting 34 carbide teeth that cost $120 each to replace. This forestry mulching machine has a price tag of $130,000. It operates at $300 per hour but is well worth it for the right project!

Lot Clearing Made Easy
This forestry mulching machine can eliminate a lot of man-power in a single day by being done by one person operating it. This CAT 299D XHP can clear more acreage than a five-man crew can using hand tools and a chipper. This machine is flexible enough to move around preserved specimens and eliminate undesirable underbrush and debris. Not only is it lot clearing-mulching-land clearing-forestry mulchernibble, it carries a low ground pressure, creating less ground disturbance for sensitive areas. With the stick-arm, it can attack vegetation from higher areas.

And bonus! The mulched materials are left on-site to create a mulch material, help eliminate more weed growth and add nutrients as it decomposes back into the soil.

Eliminate Disposal Concerns

When felling trees, a wood chipper can reduce the brush, limbs and disposal concerns by chipping the unwanted and cleared vegetation into smaller pieces that will deteriorate faster. This chipped debris can be dumped in a compost to deteriorate and later be used for soil regeneration.

 

The overall low impact to the environment by using forestry mulching machinery will create a healthier and sustainable property.

If you are considering clearing the view, give us a call for a consultation today.

Stormwater Runoff and Soil Erosion

stormwater runoff-soil erosion-drainage-Asheville-landscape ideas

Stormwater runoff is an ongoing problem in the mountains. The heavy pelting of raindrops causes compaction in the soil thereby causing more stormwater runoff not to be able to absorb into the ground. Taking measures to help the soil to be more permeable will prevent soil erosion. Let’s keep our natural resources in our yard and not migrating to the neighbors!

Add Organic Matter & Mulch

First, the soil must be aerated and conditioned to absorb the water and retain it. In WNC, most of the soil is clay. While clay contains rich nutrients, it may be too acidic or too alkaline. Working in organic matter and aged manure to the top 3 inches of the soil will lighten the heavy clay and enable the plants to absorb the nutrients they need. Clay holds water and drains slowly. Too much water on the roots of your plants can cause wet-logged roots and rot. Oxygen-poor soils will also contribute to plant decline. To prevent stormwater runoff and erosion, also add mulch to the beds to prevent soil from being impacted by strong downpours. The slow breakdown of mulch will also feed organic matter into the soil and help with water absorption.

Redirect Stormwater Runoff: Gutters, Rain Barrels, Rain Gardens

stormwater runoff-french drains-drainage-AshevilleCapturing stormwater runoff and redirecting starts often with the roof and gutters of the home or building. An adequate guttering system that holds the amount of water coming off the roof and directing it into the gutters and downspouts is the first step. Rain barrels can be set up at the exits of downspouts for later use in the garden. If working in clay soils, rain gardens can be installed and be amended with sand, topsoil, and organic compost to help with adequate permeability.

Redirect Stormwater Runoff: Swales, French Drains, Catch Basins

Filtering the stormwater runoff before it moves downhill is advantageous to neighbor properties and the health of rivers and streams. To do this, create broad, shallow swales that water can run over while soaking into the grassy surface. If water is moving at a faster speed and erosion is a problem, install a French drain below the surface. A French drain is lined with landscape fabric, dug 18-24 inches deep and wide with 6 inches of a gravel base. A 4-6 inch perforated socked pipe will sit on this surface, and backfill of gravel surrounds the pipe diameter and provides support against lateral pipe deformation under heavy loads above the surface. The surface will be lined with landscape fabric to prevent silt buildup, and topsoil and turf applied or a decorative rock placed on the surface to mimic a dry river rock bed. Transits are used to drop the pipe 3 inches every 10 feet. Measurements will ensure the water exits at the proper flow.

A catch basin has up to three inlets. This collection box redirects surface runoff and directs water to pass through to a solid, buried drainpipe. It is buried at the lowest point so that the rainwater can naturally route into it. The exiting drainpipe under the surface would deposit the water to another location or outlet that carries the water to rivers and streams.

These are some of the ways stormwater runoff can be captured and filtered, leaving the best assets of Mother Nature in your garden and lawn. If you need help identifying what you may need in your landscape, give us a call. We are a Certified Stormwater BMP Inspector and will give you the best possible solution.

Steep Slope Erosion Control Options

Steep slope erosion control can be a challenge and is a continual source of irritation to newcomers to the mountains of Western North Carolina. Welcome to gardening on steep slopes! The following are some ideas to make the chore not such a dilemma and easier to manage. While it might seem like a challenge, we’ll give some ideas on how to make the most of your hilly gardening venue, so you don’t ever want to move back to the flat land again.

Terracing for Steep Slope Erosion Control

Terracing can be an option to steep slope erosion control. Building retaining walls not only gives more room for gardening but also slows down the water to prevent runoff. The rainwater can be captured, and erosion is kept to a minimum or eliminated. Depending on the height of the slope and grade, will determine the use of terracing.

steep-slope-erosion-control-conifers-hillside gardening

Placing boulders in the bank as outcroppings can also add to erosion control and add native objects to the landscape.

If terracing isn’t an option or your grade is slighter than most, then other options come into play. Plant selection and certain mulches will retain the soil in place to prevent steep slope erosion. Placing boulders in the bank as outcroppings can also add to erosion control and add native objects to the landscape.

Plants for Steep Slope Erosion Control

Select plants for steep slope erosion control that are drought tolerant since the water will be draining off fairly quickly. This selection should include plants with deep root systems to hold in the soil and add to its drought tolerance. Select trees, small and medium shrubbery, grasses and perennials used will be good coverage to the steep slope turning it into a lush garden.

Mulches for Steep Slope Erosion Control

Mulches that hold together, are coarser and shredded will knit together better than solid chips. Double ground hardwood bark is a favorite since it is from maples and oaks. It is heavy; thus, it doesn’t blow or wash away as easy. It’s staying power is ideal for sloped beds and gardens. A depth of 2-3 inches is recommended to retain moisture and a top dressing for the beds and slopes. Pine straw can be used as well because the needles know together and don’t slide or move on a slope. Some would argue that it’s harder to blow out leaves in the fall so keep this in mind when selecting for erosion control.

If you need some advice on your steep slope, then call a professional to get the job done and keep your precious soil in place and not running out from under you!

7 Steps to ‘Re-leaf’

Those leaves hanging off the branches will soon be down on the ground so here’s some expert advice on getting some ‘re-leaf’ for the situation!

  • Before you start the regular lawn mowing regiment, put on your safety gear including ear and eye protection. A respirator is recommended too when working with leaves to guard against the aggravation of mold and dust kicking up. (Yes, that means you, macho man!)
  • We recommend using a heavy duty (preferably gas powered backpack blower with a flexible hose and variable speed triggers) to blow all the leaves out of the beds and leave-cleanup-removalinto the lawn area.
  • Obviously it will be prudent to pick a day when the leaves are dry for better mobility.
  • Set the height of your mower blades to the highest they will go. Using mulch blades on your lawn mower will pulverize the clippings and leaves and they will drop back into the turf to decompose and add nutrients to the soil.
  • Go over the leaves multiple times with the mulcher blades to disperse around the lawn making sure the tiny bits of leaves are pulverized and easier to decompose faster.
  • If there are too many leaves and they are covering your grass blades to an extent that it would smoother, then stop! Rake part of the shredded leaves onto a tarp and relocate into your garden beds for a great layer of mulch that will decompose over the winter and leave decomposed ‘black gold’ for you to dig through next spring. Planet Natural claims that one pound of leaves contains “twice the mineral content of manure.”
  • Do this weekly to provide a better end result during the decomposition process.

As the leaves start to change and fall, start with this easy regiment to keep ahead of the game. If leaves make you sneeze, then you can contact us or call and get on our fall calendar for leaf cleanup at 828.774.1590.

How to Make Life Easier with Lawn Care

Got grass but no time to cut it? We can make life easier! We have a dedicated crew for lawn care and are taking new clients. Whether you need a simple cut, trim and blow or something more substantial, we’re here to meet your needs.

lawn-grass-maintenance-yardTo ensure you have a green lawn with no hassles this summer, follow some helpful tips from Ryan:

1. Sharpen your blades on the lawn mower to guarantee and clean, sharp cut. Doing this will prevent diseases to your grass.

2. Wash the belly of your mower after use to prevent the spread of weed seeds throughout the yard.

3.  Practice safe cutting  by only removing 1/3rd of the height of the grass. If more is removed, brown patch and other funguses can proliferate.
If you need lawn care maintenance, sign up for one of our annual contracts! See our packages and choose the one that suits your needs.