What is the Budget for Your Landscape Design?

Designing your ideal landscape is a dream many homeowners have, especially first time buyers. However setting up a budget can be difficult to do if you aren’t going into the job prepared. There are many elements to consider when establishing a budget for your landscape including dimensions of the property, theme of your design and preparation of the land. A beautiful landscape goes farther than simply looks, it can contribute considerably to the curb appeal and add to the overall value of the property.

Join me as we breakdown key elements you need to consider when assessing your budget for your dream landscape design.

Inspecting and Preparation

Before you get started it’s a good idea to have your property surveyed and inspected. You’ll want to avoid any potential liability that needs to be fixed prior to having people begin work.  What you should be looking for are toxic plants, tripping hazards, and dead or dying trees. Other items to keep an eye on include: 

  • Erosion Issues
  • Poor Drainage
  • Poor Lighting
  • Damaged Fencing
  • Damaged Irrigation

The type of soil can affect the amount of preparation required as well. As an example if your soil is primarily clay based many vegetables and fruit trees have a difficult time growing. 

Walking through your property gives you a unique opportunity to see the dimensions of your yard as well as what existing features and plants you like and would like to reuse. Reusing elements from your existing landscape whether its plants, pavers, or  hardscape can go a long way in stretching your budget.

Choose a Theme

Once preparations are underway, you should begin to think of what kind of landscape you are looking for. You can make your own design from scratch or a theme as a starting point. We offer a variety of different landscaping themes to suit every need such as:

  • Contemporary
  • Drought Tolerant
  • Water Wise
  • Low Maintenance
  • Modern
  • Vegetable Gardens
  • English Gardens
  • Mediterranean
  • Tropical
  • Xeriscape

Keep in mind that some plants cost more than others, especially when trying to buy plants that arent in season. As for the hardscape, Importing rocks and other elements can be worth the investment but can be more costly than people realize.

We’ll meet with you to discuss your vision and landscaping needs. Once you’ve selected a theme our landscape designer can help you select everything else you’ll need including grass, irrigation, lighting, layout, plant selection and more.

Prioritize Needs, then Wants

Do you want to grow fruits and vegetables? You’ll need nutrient rich fertile soil and maybe a raised bed.

Do you want to conserve water during the dry seasons? Then you’ll need mulch and an irrigation controller.

The plants and trees you want may have individual needs. Depending on the plants you want to have, you may need to have an irrigation system to support your landscape design. It’s important to keep the necessary landscaping support in mind. Afterall, it’s easier to add more plants or stones to your landscape then it is to redesign everything because you didn’t prioritize the landscape’s needs.

Consult with a Landscaping Company

If there is anything you’re unsure of, talking with a landscaping company can help. That’s why they are the professionals, they should be able to give you estimates, and offer unique solutions to your problems. Oftentimes they may recommend a resolution that fits what you want and what your landscape design needs.

Landscaping companies can help you itemize the costs of your projects to better understand what your budget should look like. If you decide to forgo hiring a company keep in mind you’ll need to include the costs for permits, tool rental, and even fuel.

How would you feel with a yard expressly designed to fit your unique home and personality?

Our staff is dedicated to delivering unique landscapes that 100% fit the needs of homeowners. Each yard is designed in-house by our landscape designer. Our expertise and experience in Long Beach, Lakewood, Seal Beach, Rossmoor & surrounding communities allow us to custom design the perfect landscape for you.

Our team of experts carefully manages your project. Fill out our Landscape Design request for your landscape to fit your aesthetic. Feel free to call us at (562) 225-9460 or get a free quote for your project.

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Types of Landscaping to Consider for Your Long Beach Home

You’ve decided that you’re finally ready to get your landscaping professionally done. That’s great! Now it’s time for you to decide on what type of landscape you’ll want for your Long Beach home.

There are many types to choose from to fit the style and budget of anyone. As to not overwhelm you, today we’re going to go through the different types we offer at MC Landscaping. You can use this to choose the overall theme and style, or to incorporate some features when deciding your landscaping design.

English Garden Style

An English garden uses more geometric shapes like squares, rectangles and ovals to organize the different plants in the landscape. Its design style is to emphasize contrasts. An example is  you can have neatly trimmed hedges, but at the base there is a bed of wild flowers. This style attempts to use materials used to build the home like brick or stone to create garden walls, columns, ponds and other features. This makes the landscaping feel like an extension of the home, not just “the yard”. Ideally the plants you choose from should change along with the seasons. These require a great deal of maintenance to keep their aesthetic.

Organic Gardens

Organic gardens are ideal for homeowners concerned with sustainability, as well as staying away from chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. Organic garden landscaping creates and maintains a natural sustaining system where soil, plant nutrition and plant health is accomplished without the use of those chemicals.This type of landscaping uses an abundance of mulch, typically being topped off yearly. Without this layer of mulch, your soil can become dry which makes it difficult for some plants to naturally grow a strong root system. Mulch benefits the landscape in more ways than one, including feeding microfauna to keep your soil loose and healthy. 

Drought Resistant Landscaping

Unfortunately Southern California often suffers with droughts. To help conserve water and maintain beautiful landscaping, many homeowners have begun to design their landscapes to be drought resistant. This typically means removing many of the old dying plants and replacing them with plants native to your area or plants from areas with similar climates and conditions. A drought resistant lawn will still have the bright green grass so many love to see, though usually not year round due to a dormancy period though some choose to paint the grass during this period. Instead of letting plants dry up and die during times of water scarcity, a drought resistant landscape will provide plants that won’t mind the lack of water.

Oriental Landscape

Oriental landscapes have defining hardscape elements such as a bridge, archway or stone walkway. By design an oriental garden provides refuge filled with eastern mysticism. It is meant to be a place of both relaxation and movement. People should engage with an oriental landscape design by walking through different pathways leading to the different features. If budget allows oriental landscapes, a koi pond can be an option to add an authentic oriental experience.

Modern Landscape

With clean edges and a clean look the modern landscape is designed to fit a contemporary home or to contrast with a traditional rustic architecture. Modern landscaping is characterized by the use of sleek, smooth and refined stylings. Generally the modern style emphasizes the architecture and building material over the plants and trees. Stone, concrete, hardwoods and metals are used to shape a modern landscape design.

Tropical Landscape

 Tropical landscapes are meant to be lush, bright, and vivid. Plants such as bromeliads, orchids and hibiscus are often used in garden beds or containers for their bright colors. Large leaved plants  like elephant ear or birds or paradise provide large areas of coverage like a tropical jungle. Due to tropical landscaping being filled with different plants, decor is often overlooked. Decorative stones not only provide a different texture to the abundance of plants, they retain heat which is helpful in regulating temperatures for some tropical plants. Tropical landscapes are also great environments for birds to come and visit, if you are a lover of birds a birdbath can be a great addition to a tropical landscape.

How would you feel with a yard expressly designed to fit your unique home and personality?

Our staff is dedicated to delivering unique landscapes that 100% fit the needs of homeowners. Each yard is designed in-house by our landscape designer. Our expertise and experience in the cities of Long Beach, Lakewood, Seal Beach, Rossmoor & surrounding communities allows us to custom design the perfect landscape for you.

Your project is carefully managed by our team of experts. Whether you are looking to turn your front yard into a showpiece or creating the backyard of your dreams we are here to help. Fill out our Landscape Design request for landscape to fit your aesthetic today. Feel free to call us at (562) 225-9460 or get a free quote for the project you have in mind.

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Decorative Mulch… What Does it Really do?

Mulch is a nutritional base for many plants used for landscaping

I’m sure you’ve seen wood chips or bark around plants and in gardens, and maybe you’ve wondered what it is and why people use it so often.

The chips are known as mulch, and there are many different options for mulch as well as a number of benefits for using it. 

What is mulch?

Mulch is a layer of material which is applied to the surface of your soil. Simple enough however, there are many ways to use it, from benefiting the growth of vegetables in your garden to adding some color to make some landscaping features stand out. 

Join me as we learn some of the nuances of mulch and why it’s so good for your landscape.

Why use Mulch?

A big reason right now to use mulch, is that it helps prevent water from evaporating from your soil. This allows you to conserve more water while maintaining the health of your plants and trees. 

Mulch can be used nearly anywhere in your landscape project, and when maintenance is done it should be replaced when necessary. Because mulch is almost always wood chips or bark, it will decompose over time. This is actually a benefit though, as it decomposes it enriches the soil under it with nutrients it may otherwise never get. Soil with high levels of sand can especially benefit from the decomposition of mulch because it not only gains nutrients, it also gains the ability to better retain water. Once again helping with water conservation.

A layer of hay or straw over a flower bed or garden bed can also help control weeds. Typically weeds will not be able to break through the layer of mulch. If you feel like you want a natural pest control use cypress or cedar chips. These trees contain natural chemicals and oils that deter insects. Cedar chips in particular can even kill insects like cockroaches. Though they may also be too heavy for smaller plants to grow from seed. In these cases it’s better to use established plants that can get transplanted.

Increase Curb Appeal with Mulch

Mulch can instantly add a splash of color and a nice finished look to your home. Mulch comes in a variety of colors, materials and sizes. Common organic materials include:

  • Hard/softwood chips
  • Bark
  • Evergreen needles
  • Grass trimming
  • Cut leaves

A dark wood chip mulch can contrast with flowers allowing them to stand out. You can also improve the theme and design of your landscape by adding red or brown bark to complement a brick wall. 

Mulch can also be In-organic materials such as:

  • Lava rock
  • Stones
  • Crushed stone/pebbles
  • Rubber

Stones and pebbles can be used to make walkways and paths. These rarely need to be replenished making them cost effective as they’re a one time investment of material and labor. Although the stone may look appealing, it’s best not to use it on trees and other plants. The stones retain heat which can cook roots and kill your plants during hot days.

For play areas, you can use pulverized rubber as mulch. This is inexpensive and usually made from recycled tires. It can prevent children from injuring themselves during play time while accenting other parts of your landscape and architecture. Rubber mulch doesn’t decompose like organic mulch, making it a poor choice for any other parts of your landscape. Its uncertain if rubber can leach toxins into soil as well, for that reason we recommend you keep it away from any plants.

When Should I Replace My Mulch?

The tell tale signs you should replace or replenish your mulch is if you begin to notice signs of decomposition, discoloration or soil erosion.  Try to maintain your organic mulch 2-3 inches deep. This will provide you with the best results. You may have to replenish every year or every other year depending on the amount of mulch, the weather, foot traffic and watering habits. Usually you won’t need to replace your mulch for 5-6 years. 

How would you feel with a yard expressly designed to fit your unique home and personality?

Our staff is dedicated to delivering unique landscapes that 100% fit the needs of homeowners. Each yard is designed in-house by our landscape designer. Our expertise and experience in the cities of Long Beach, Lakewood, Seal Beach, Rossmoor & surrounding communities allows us to custom design the perfect landscape for you.

Your project is carefully managed by our team of experts. Whether you are looking to turn your front yard into a showpiece or creating the backyard of your dreams we are here to help. Fill out our Landscape Design request for landscape to fit your aesthetic today. Feel free to call us at (562) 225-9460 or get a free quote for the project you have in mind.

When it Comes to Maintaining Your Landscaping, it Takes More than Mowing

Mowing is the most common lawn maintenance but there is more to that when it comes to landscaping maintenance.

Landscaping Maintenance

Maintaining beautiful landscaping takes much more than simply mowing the grass and blowing leaves. With summer temperatures rising, how about letting the professionals take care of your landscape. We can visit your residential or commercial property once or twice a month. Whether one of our designs or not we strive to not only maintain your landscape but to protect your investment.

Join me as we go into detail about our landscaping maintenance service and how we keep your landscape looking the best it can all year long. 

Mowing

Of course we still need to mow the lawn. But we don’t stop there, we care about every detail. Our mower’s blades are kept razor sharp to prevent ragged edges that make the lawn look grayish-brown. We’ll mow around the perimeter of any obstacles first before creating straight lines and angles in those areas.

Once the grass has been trimmed we begin to edge your lawn. Following the path of the driveway or walkway to improve the overall look, and keep paths clear.

Finally we work clean. We’ll make sure to clean up after mowing so you can go back to enjoying your day.

Weeding

Everyone hates seeing weeds growing in their landscape, most weeds are taller and grow faster than more pleasing plants. Weeds can make lawns and gardens less attractive and look like they’re not cared for.

Weeds can damage the health and beauty of your entire landscape, they use soil nutrients that are vital for the plants and grass you’re growing. Getting rid of weeds while they are still small increases the chance of your landscape to grow healthy and minimizes the amount of fertilizer you may need in the future.

We’ll get rid of any weeds we see when doing our maintenance to keep your landscape looking as good as it can.

Sprinkler Monitoring and Optimization

On every one of our visits we’ll turn on your irrigation system and check for accuracy and any leaks. The last thing you want to deal with is getting reported for having too much water run off due to bad hardware.

We’ll make sure all irrigation sources are releasing water uniformly to ensure no water is going to waste. If some areas are being overwatered this can affect the health of your plants. We’ll also make sure to water any and all potted plants, or plants not being irrigated.

Plant Care

Not just gardens and lawns are part of your landscape, therefore we also take care of other plants on the property like bushes, hedges, and trees. By pruning bushes and trees, it helps to stimulate new growth while getting rid of dead or diseased parts of the plant. Not only revitalizing them, but also helping them keep their shape and aesthetic.

Occasionally some features may need to be replenished such as mulch or bark. If we notice some of your plants aren’t healthy, we’ll fertilize and care for them. If the plant or tree is dying or was affected by disease we’ll remove and replace them as needed. 

How would you feel with a yard expressly designed to fit your unique home and personality?

Our staff is dedicated to delivering unique landscapes that 100% fit the needs of homeowners. Each yard is designed in-house by our landscape designer. Our expertise and experience in the cities of Long Beach, Lakewood, Seal Beach, Rossmoor & surrounding communities allows us to custom design the perfect landscape for you.

Your project is carefully managed by our team of experts. Whether you are looking to turn your front yard into a showpiece, creating the backyard of your dreams or looking to maintain its beauty we are here to help. Fill out our Landscape Design request today or feel free to call us at (562) 225-9460 or get a free quote for the project you have in mind.