Location and site selection are key to having a successful landscape

Location, Location, Location!

So you just had your Father’s Day cookout, and realized your yard wasn’t nearly as attractive as you remembered. There’s crispy perennials in the hot sun, spindly shrubs in the shade, and that overgrown tree 5 feet from your house. You water the flowers every day, load the shrubs with fertilizer, and trim the tree every year, but nothing helps. What gives?!

Location and site selection of the plant material you use are key to having a successful landscape.

Site selection can go beyond a shady location and a sunny spot. There are many factors to consider when designing your landscape. Here are just a few.

-Soil: Get a soil test kit from any Fairfax County Library. (There is a small fee of $10.00) You can analyze the soil composition, and pinpoint exactly what you need for specific plants. Beyond the chemical composition, you should look at the physical composition as well. Is it compacted clay with poor drainage with little oxygen, or is it sandy/rocky with great drainage? Certain plants can tolerate wet roots, others will not.

-Mature Size: How large will the plant be at full maturity? It’s important you check the size a plant will be once it is fully established, so it doesn’t overtake the plants around it. Simply pruning a plant every year to maintain a certain size is time consuming, and detrimental to the health of the plant. (Unless your plan is for a Bonsai Garden)

-Sheltered: Are you planting in a location that is sheltered from strong winds? Even on a cloudy day, your plants can lose water through transpiration when there is a constant and strong breeze. If you are landscaping in a windy location, try using plants that are drought resistant. Look for leaves with waxy cuticle, typically characteristic of a rigid shiny leaf. Plants that have smaller or less leaves also help, because the decreased surface area reduces water loss.

There are several more factors that go into a proper landscape, but we will discuss those later.

For now, keep these in mind and it will limit the maintenance of your landscape, as well as increase its overall health. Healthy plants are better at fending off and surviving infections and insect attack.  Less maintenance means more time to enjoy life!

If you want an established professional to do the work for you, contact Grigg Design of Northern Virginia at (703)368-7539 to design and install your landscape!

Experience & Knowledge Trumps Low Prices

Like most things in life, you get what you pay for–and you expect to pay more for experience and knowledge. For instance, companies pay employees who have 15 years of experience more than a recent college graduate.  This same pay scale applies when selecting a landscape design company in Northern Virginia; you would expect to pay more for a company who’s been in business for 30 years as opposed to a company only a few years old.

Companies like Grigg Design know which trees to plant, stones to use and designs to incorporate just for your home!  We’ve seen just about every landscape and we use our experience to create a custom solution that fits within your budget.

When selecting any professional to work with, you need to do your homework to ensure you are hiring the best.  When it comes to implementing your project, every minor detail matters. When trying to determine value and quality of the professional you are working with, here are some questions to ask:

  • Is the company/person properly licensed?
  • Do they have adequate insurance?
  • Are they using their own employees or subcontracting?
  • How long have the employees been with the company?
  • Are the trucks marked as company trucks and are the employees in uniforms?
  • How much training have the employees had?
  • Do they wear the proper safety equipment for the task at hand? Have they been properly trained on the equipment and well versed in its use?
  • Is the job site kept clean and well organized? Is Safety the number 1 job on a project?

These are all landmarks of a well-run and trained company and employees. Sure, somebody can do any project or task for less. This is true in any Industry/Profession. However, the question that experienced consumers will ask is “How much does a low price project really cost me? “

Grigg Design is one of Northern Virginia’s premier landscape design & build companies. Established in 1986 we have been providing award winning landscape designs and installations for over 30 years to clients in Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria, Prince William County and the surrounding areas. We pride ourselves on the fact that a high percentage of our work is repeat business from our clients and referrals.

If you need a Retaining Wall, Patio, Stone Fireplace, stamped concrete or any other hardscape projects, we’re the company you can trust from the design to implementation.  Give us a call today at 703-368-7539 for a free estimate.