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:
Northern Virginia’s go-to for landscape and hardscape design and construction, Grigg Design has recently been honored with its second consecutive Best of Houzz Award for 2016. This annual award, given to just three percent of home improvement professionals, celebrates the minds at work behind the most popular photos featured on Houzz.
“To win Best of Houzz last year was so exciting. But then to win again this year, we just couldn’t believe it. It’s such an honor,” said Steve Grigg, Owner of Grigg Design. “We’ve long allowed our work to speak for itself — in terms of quality and craftsmanship, and design. This only reinforces that message. Thank you, Houzz users! Thank you.”
The Best of Houzz is awarded in three categories: Design, Customer Service, and Photography. Customer Service award winners, the category in which Grigg Design was recognized, are lauded as the best of the best, the highest and the most well-reviewed among the design and home improvement professionals featured on Houzz.
With more than 35 million active users, Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish — online or from a mobile device. From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow and Tokyo. For more information, visit www.houzz.com.
Make plans to attend the Capital Remodel + Garden Show at the Dulles Expo Center next month, February 26-28. Event attendees will find innovative products, new ideas, and practical advice from hardscape and landscaping experts (Find Grigg Design on the show floor in booth #1051.); home improvement and remodeling professionals; entertainment and electronics options galore; and so much more!
Established in 1986, Grigg Design has been providing award winning designs and installations for 30 years to clients in Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria, Prince William County and the surrounding areas. Grigg Design is a full service landscape design build firm; from conception to completion, their primary focus is providing clients with a finished, fully functional landscape, from design all the way through implementation. Hire the expert team at Grigg Design to install a single feature such as a garden installation, patio, walkway, retaining wall, etc.; or to manage a project with many facets. Grigg ‘designs on the human scale’, all while employing the best horticultural engineering practices. For more information, visit www.gdiva.com.
What a weird, weird winter we’re experiencing. With temperatures in the 50s, the 60s, and even the 70s the week of Christmas, many northern Virginians are rejoicing over the unseasonably warm temperatures, but landscape designers and garden enthusiasts are growing a little concerned about how such unusual conditions might affect the landscape’s survival.
Lawns go dormant in the wintertime; grass remains alive, but does not actively grow like it does in the spring and summer months. When the winter is warm, things change. Things continue to grow, but will likely grow weak due to a lack of a real chance to rest. This can be incredibly stressful for your lawn, and to prevent your precious grass from dying or falling subject to a lawn diseases, consider the following care tips.
Plants respond to temperature and light, both of which are generally in low supply during the winter months. But not so this year. When the temperature rises and plants get more sunshine than they are used to in winter, they can’t help but think it’s springtime and start to bloom or grow. Poor confused plants just won’t react well once the cold weather returns.
It’s nearly impossible to predict when the temperatures will shift, and so it’s hard to know exactly how to prepare your plants for this kind of uncertainty because of all the factors involved. But there are a few things you can do to help keep your northern VA landscape looking lush and pleasant.
Shrubs and bushes remain relatively unaffected no matter the type of winter northern Virginia sees. Why? Because they usually set their bulbs in the spring.
The exception here is if flowering bushes attempt to flower; the cold air takes away valuable moisture and warmth from the buds and dries them out causing them to die, so you may simply have fewer blooms in the springtime. And there’s sadly not much you can do about that.
Contact the landscape and hardscape design experts; contact Grigg Design.
When it comes to northern VA hardscapes, our work speaks for itself.
For this homeowner in Burke, Grigg Design was hired to plan, install and perfect a dry stack stone wal, a random run full range color flagstone patio, and a sitting wall. And let’s not forget to mention the gorgeous plantings that add color, fragrance, and movement to the luscious northern Virginia landscape.
This Clifton resident really wanted to a fresh new look for the entrance of their home, and so Grigg Design was called in to lay random run flagstone (with field stone veneer) over a concrete walkway. The finished product was truly something to see.
When there’s a stoop in Oakton that needs a little updating, northern Virginia knows who to call: the hardscape and landscape design experts at Grigg Design.