Memorial Day is the unofficial kick-off to summer. It brings in barbeques, pool parties, and late night festivities with your friends, family, and neighbors. It’s one of our favorite times of the year in northern Virginia! And after you’ve spent several weeks sprucing up the backyard or building your new patio, it’s time to really celebrate in style. But when planning your big kick-off celebration, make sure you take these following safety tips into consideration, so the fun isn’t put on hold to address an emergency situation.
Have ample sunscreen, bug spray, and water on hand. The summer temperatures can climb quickly, causing burns or dehydration. Simple preparations can keep the party going long after the sun goes down.
Houzz is a great resource for backyard landscape design ideas. Many of our clients find inspiration from pictures they see on our Houzz page and then call us to design and build.
Established in 1986 we have been providing award winning designs and installations for over twenty-nine years to clients in Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria, Prince William and the surrounding areas. Call us today at (703)368-7539 to discuss transforming your landscape or hardscape ideas into reality.
Will March bring snow to our region, or cherry blossoms that bloom ahead of schedule? The ever unpredictable third month offers something different, but this year, northern Virginia homeowners are rejoicing in the pleasant temperatures, the renewing rains. They’re removing burlap from trees and shrubs shrouded from winter’s cold; pruning branches to make room for new growth; cutting back spent perennials, and pulling up old annuals; and perhaps most exciting of all: beginning to plan their big spring landscaping projects.
But first — before the garden can be laid in, and before the plans for that new flagstone patio can be drawn up, there’s cleanup work to be done.
Snow and wind (and especially a good strong blizzard) can do a number on tree and shrub branches. Now that the weather has cleared, and for good, prune those that are dead or damaged back to live stems. Use a handsaw for anything larger than a half-inch in diameter, and hand pruners instead of electric shears to shape hedges. (A note: summer-flowering shrubs can be pruned before buds appear, but forsythia and other such spring bloomers should not be pruned until they flower.)
Grab the rake and rid the garden of fallen leaves and other dead foliage that can smother plans and foster disease. Pull up any spent annuals, and remove existing mulch to begin prepping the beds for fertilizer and spring planting.
Those leaves and last year’s mulch, don’t just throw all that away. Compost it! It’s easy to do with a three-foot square of wire fence or even a sturdy plastic bin. Leaves and chip branches larger than a half-inch in diameter should be shredded to accelerate decomposition. Keep the pile moist; aerate every couple of weeks; and voila: ready made fertilizer. Just don’t add any early spring weeds that have gone to seed, because they might not decompose, but sprout instead.
Gravel… travels. Rake any that’s escaped back into walkways and patios, and consider ordering more to fill any large gaps. Refill joints between flagstones by sweeping in new sand or stone dust; water with a hose to set it, then repeat. And then break out the pressure washer to rid the surfaces of slippery algae spots or leaf stains.
Now, with a yard free of mess and debris:
We’re excited to say the Capitol Remodel + Garden Show (held last weekend, February 26–28, at the Dulles Expo Center) was a rip roaring success. As northern Virginia’s hardscape designer, this event is something we look forward to every year — twice a year — where homeowners gather to find innovative products, new ideas, and practical advice from home improvement and remodeling professionals the region over. (And this year, from Jeff Lewis, too!)
Event attendees who visited the Grigg Design booth were treated to… well, quite the treat! Showcasing a beautiful flagstone patio, a custom-built fire pit, and a water feature, the true highlight here was this:
“What we wanted to do was show specifically what you can do in a small space — with what Steve [Grigg] calls vertical landscaping — or as an alternative to just putting up lattice as a screen,” said Juanita Grigg of this striking architectural element that had people stopping to photograph, or ask questions about all weekend. With this sort of vertical landscaping, any plain wall or fence can be turned into a ‘living wall’; it’s a trend that’s all the rage.
Perhaps we saw some of you there. We talked hardscaping, and landscaping too; you walked away with a lot of great ideas — and now it’s time to put those ideas into action! You know who to call: