What is Grounds Maintenance?
While landscape design gets all the rave reviews, it is actually grounds maintenance that takes a newly-installed landscape and makes sure it comes to full fruition. It is the regular service, attention to detail, and continuous nurturing that keeps a yard at a high wow factor. And it includes maintenance for your greenscapes and your hardscapes.
Who Can Help With Ground Maintenance?
Landscape service firms offer a full range of landscape services, which besides landscape maintenance, may include consultation, landscape design and landscape installation. Landscape service companies and landscape design firms usually specialize in one or more areas and subcontract some of the related services such as irrigation systems, drainage systems, hardscapes, luxury swimming pools, outdoor fountains, outdoor kitchens, and landscape lighting. Your open communication and expectation of the final results are crucial in determining which landscape designer or service provider to hire for your outdoor project.
The Essence of Ground Maintenance
Regularly-scheduled landscape service is the driver that insures your investment in landscaping continues to develop into a mature and beautiful outdoor environment. Most residential maintenance contracts include the following:
- Mowing of all lawn areas
- Proper trimming of plant material
- Chemical programs to optimize plant health
- Persistent observation, diagnosis and treatment of plant pests and diseases
- Aeration of lawn areas, sometimes with the application of winter rye grass
- Water management through regular inspection of the irrigation heads, controller, and seasonal watering times
Maintenance of Your Focal Points and Hardscapes
As a homeowner, you may have personalized your yard—made it your own and made it memorable—by adding hardscapes. Many landscape service firms will include the required maintenance of these items in their service contact.
Or perhaps you are looking for a new way to enliven your landscape design. One such idea, which can be simple or elaborate, is a garden structure. The list of structures is long and varied but includes garden arches, also called garden arbors, which can be either decorative or functional. This classical element of landscape architecture creates an entrance when paired with a gate or, when arranged in a series, highlights a pathway.
A related structure is a gazebo. Popular in both public and private gardens, many gazebo designs resemble Victorian-style structures; however, they can be designed to suit any setting, say, a contemporary garden design. Most often, they are open-air structures, but screen-in gazebos are practical for mosquito-ridden areas like Houston. A close cousin is the pergola, a shade structure often built over a deck or patio. Its supporting pillars can be used as a trellis for climbing vines. Because of the pergola’s open fretwork, they are outstanding additions to a patio design that includes a covered outdoor room as it creates a transition space between the full shade of the room and the full sun of the yard.
And speaking of trellises, they are also popular garden structures. A dainty garden trellis works well in a formal landscape design, for example, with its emphasis on straight lines and traditional forms. Rose pillars, single columns covered in flowers such as roses, honeysuckle, wisteria and bougainvillea, add variety to your landscape. Place them along paths, by doors and gates, or beside a luxury swimming pool. Antique garden structures can be fanciful or practical. The list includes marble urns and columns, stone benches and gates.