The design process starts with an idea, vision or list of what you want in your yard. The job of a client is to outline your desires and budget for your designer. The job of the designer is to listen, look and study the landscape then incorporate your goals into your site. This may require a range of meetings and site visits depending on the complexity or hands on nature you may wish to have on the design.
The design process begins with the conceptual plan. What is a conceptual plan? It’s the cohesive vision of the designers understanding of the site and your ideas and needs for the landscape. The designer will present their complete vision of the landscape to you.
Design revisions take place after the designer has presented the conceptual drawing. During that meeting you and the designer will discuss your thoughts and the other possibilities of the site. This is also a good time to discuss costs again.
The revision process end with the final plan. This will be the construction document that will be used by the builders to construction your yard. This plan should only be deviated from if there is an unforeseen circumstance. If by chance during construction process has begun, you feel something must be added or removed at which time your final construction cost will change.
Depending on the complexity of the features in your landscape you may wish to have the designer develop detail drawings of specific features or a digital 3D model to assist in the visualization of the feature. This will happen prior to construction during the design process.
After the design process has been completed there may be some final changes with guard to materials and cost or a phasing plan. After all the kinks have been ironed out and the budget has been accepted, it’s demolition time.
Looks like Oregon is in for another successful Christmas tree season, still reigning as the #1 supplier of Christmas trees, despite a national shortage as reported by CNBC. While we are all for bringing a bit of the outdoors in, there are a few things everyone needs to remember to celebrate the season safely. Otherwise, you may end up in the next YouTube Christmas Tree FAIL compilation. No one wants to be the lady in the high heels. Follow our Christmas tree safety tips to avoid an unexpected holiday fire.
Keeping a Christmas tree fresh and moist is the secret to safety.
As Oregonians, we are proud of the Christmas tree industry and support local growers and suppliers. Want a Christmas tree you can plant when the holidays are over? Give us a ring and we can help you figure it out. We are experts in plant care, maintenance, landscape design, and more; working in Portland, Beaverton, Lake Oswego, Hillsboro, Oregon City, Gresham, and more. Give us a call to talk about your landscaping needs.
Many Portlanders believe winter is the time to hide indoors, hibernate, and wait out the long, long rainy season. We say, not so! There is plenty you can do to winterize Portland landscaping, making everything in your yard healthier and prettier come spring.
thought to how this harsh pruning will affect the flow of nutrients to the plant(s). Our best advice, prune gently! Remove any crossed branches and open up space near the heart of the plant. If you are uncertain, always call an expert (like us), we know all the ins and outs of popular Portland plants, flowers, and shrubs.
Whew, now that that is all done, head indoors for a nice warm cup of apple cider and prepare for the holiday season. With the yard looking so nice, maybe even consider a turkey roasted over the fire pit?
We feel like a broken record saying this year after year, but it is really true, winter gives both you and our landscape design team more than enough time to develop a one of a kind landscape for your Portland property. See some of our past designs for inspiration, then give us a call to speak to a designer today!
Cooking outdoors is a favorite pastime of many Americans, especially Oregonians, and so is Thanksgiving! Why not combine them with a fire pit Thanksgiving? If you’re looking for a unique way to spice up the Thanksgiving feastival, and have a few extra layers of warm clothing, fire roasting your turkey will surely give your family and friends something to talk about. Below is one of our favorite ways of cooking a turkey in a fire pit and requires minimal maintenance once it’s roasting. Ready the waterproof layers and try something new this Thanksgiving.
If you’d like to try another way of cooking with wood fire, take a look at this video, though we would not recommend soaking your spit in a chlorinated pool. That is just strange.
Or, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, take a look at A Campfire Thanksgiving Dinner! for a full menu of thanksgiving dishes that can be cooked over a fire.
With millions of birds living in the Pacific Northwest it’s easy to think that all of the vast tree friendly neighborhoods in Portland, Beaverton, Lake Oswego, Sherwood, West Linn, Aloha and more would be home to a bird population far more diverse than our human population. Oddly, it’s not true. Expect to see a robin, crow, starling or sparrow, and probably not much else unless you put in some real effort. Many reasons impact where certain birds can be found; not all birds call trees home and many of those that do are territorial and migratory. While birds that typically nest on the ground find the city and suburbs dangerous, lurking with pets and people. All of the urban development in Portland isn’t helping either, it destroys bird living and nesting areas and forces many species to move elsewhere. Luckily, there are a few tactics you can try to increase the diversity of birds in your backyard.
The most important thing to remember when trying to attract new birds to your yard is that new tactics will attract new birds. Here are a few that have proven successful time and time again.
After you’ve tried one or all of the above, be patient and watch your yard closely. Despite loving the new food and water, they may still be in and out of the backyard at first. The longer food, water, and shelter are available, the more birds, and likely uncommon birds you’ll see for longer periods of time. Trust us.
All Oregon Landscaping provides native plant expertise, water feature design and build, and any other landscaping to help you enjoy the birds in your backyard. We work in Portland, Beaverton, Lake Oswego, Sherwood, West Linn, Aloha and more. Give us a call to talk about your backyard plans, or tell us how you’ve been able to attract new birds in the comments!
Long before the pumpkin spiced latte became the fall drink of choice, the beverage that signified the start of autumn was apple cider. It dates back to at least 55 BC when the Romans first arrived in England and discovered the people there enjoying a drink made form the apples that grew plentiful in the region. This beverage is made from the juice of apples that have been crushed in a cider or fruit press, a machine that is rarely seen today but was once commonplace. While it’s certainly easier to head down to the local market and pick up a jug of cider, there is something satisfying about homemade cider and if you happen to have an apple tree, it’s a great way to use those apples before they go to waste. Best of all, you don’t need to track down a cider press to do it. Here is an easy and fun way to make your own, with equipment you already have or is easy to find.
The best cider comes from a mix of tart and sweet apples. If you don’t have a variety in your yard don’t worry, you can supplement with some from the local supermarket or farmstand. Ultimately, it’s up to your personal taste, if you like sweet cider, use all sweet apples or if you have only tart apples and don’t want to buy extra, you can always add sugar.
What you’ll need for 1 gallon of homemade cider:
Instructions for Making Homemade Cider
You now have homemade cider! To store, simply keep it in the refrigerator for up to a week and enjoy hot or cold.
What is your favorite thing to do with the apples from your yard? Do you have a different, or superior apple cider recipe? Feel free to share with us in the comments or on Facebook.
It’s that time of year, the temperature is dropping and the sunshine is beginning to be replaced with endless rain showers. Soon, the leaves will begin to turn, offering a colorful palette of autumn hues for us to enjoy. That is until they start to fall. Those who have mature trees on their property understand that the novelty of falling leaves is short lived when it’s time to start the cleanup process. The trees that provided cooling shade only weeks before now shed a seemingly endless torrent of yard work. Soggy piles of leaves begin to dot the neighborhood, debris bags become lawn decor and the once beautiful yard becomes a storage space as they wait for yard bins to be emptied. But it doesn’t have to be a dreaded chore, here in the Northwest we are masters of recycling and reusing and there are some fantastic uses for those colorful fall leaves.
Hopefully this bit of information has inspired your Northwest recycling spirit but if not, All Oregon Landscaping can help. We provide many services to get you through the season including regular maintenance or one time clean up and are committed to providing you with the best options for your space and budget. Give us a call for a free consultation
The Summer of 2015 came fast and doesn’t appear to be letting up anytime soon. Even though BBQ season seems destined to linger, the kids will be back in school very soon and autumn will officially begin in less than a month – can you believe it? Though the warm weather will probably continue into October, the trees will eventually change color, the winds will pick up and the leaves will begin falling in what may seem like a never ending torrent of yard work. The time that was spent enjoying the sun turns into cleanup and summer fun will officially be over. For many, this means unfinished projects and plans are shelved until next season. Thoughts will turn indoors to upcoming holidays and the outside space will be forgotten until next year. If you are one of the people who find the summers to be too short to bring to life your outdoor living dream, All Oregon Landscaping believes that you don’t have to wait to start the work on next years project. Fall is the perfect time to begin the process. Here’s why.
Here are a few selected pictures of some of our favorite outdoor living space designs.
All Oregon Landscaping works in Portland and all of the surrounding areas including Beaverton, Lake Oswego, Tigard, Oregon City, Sherwood, Tualatin, West Linn, and more. Give us a call to get your 2016 outdoor living space project started this fall.
For those who love growing their own vegetables, spring and early summers are spent working the soil, planting rows of seeds and keeping them watered during the hot, dry spells. At the end of summer when the hours of labor have resulted in a beautiful and lush garden, the challenge turns from maintenance to harvesting the bounty. This is when many of us seem to have the most trouble. We’ve all been there: one day your zucchini are the size of a baby’s thumb and overnight they seem to go through a time warp and explode into a monster squash. But it’s not just the zucchini. A few days of not checking the garden can result in overripe food which means the time spent nurturing the garden has also been wasted. The trick to keeping up with the deluge of produce is the same as what it takes to create it: a good plan.
The best source of harvest information is right on the seed packet. Because there are so many different varieties of most every vegetable, there isn’t going to be an all-encompassing answer for any one type. Certain green beans have the best flavor when they are five to six inches while others should be picked at fifteen to eighteen inches. It will also depend on when your vegetables were planted. Seed packets usually show the approximate days to harvest, a number that many gardeners use when planting to determine if they still have enough time to grow. Hopefully, you’ve kept your seed packet, but if you haven’t you should still be able to find the information you need online. Companies like Burpee have some great resources available to know when to harvest vegetables.
Keep a garden journal and record the date you plant each vegetable and when it’s due to be mature. You can keep a traditional book or folder which is also a good place to store the seed packet for later reference. There are also several great apps for your tablet or phone which can set reminders for you. If you failed to keep seed packets and have forgotten when you planted your vegetables and what type you planted, you can still keep up with the harvest but you may not get your veggies when they are at their peak, depending on which cultivars you have. When it looks like it’s close to harvest, the best thing to do is make a habit of checking your garden every day and picking any produce that is ripe. This will not only ensure that you’re not letting anything go to waste, but also encourage the plant to continue producing.
Looking for something more specific on how to harvest vegetables? Take a look at a few past articles we’ve written:
How do you manage to stay on top of your garden harvest? Feel free to share your stories with us in the comments or on Facebook.
In the Northwest we try and spend as much time outdoors as possible during the summer. Whether it’s cooking and enjoying an outdoor kitchen and dining area, or relaxing alone or with friends outdoors, we love enjoying the sun and warm weather. If you want to kick up the outdoor living a bit, try these easy and fun DIY yard games.
2×4 Jenga – A simple and easy outdoor game for all ages. Simply cut 2x4s into 48 10 ½ inch pieces. If you don’t wish to cut them yourself, most lumber yards will cut them for you for a small fee. After you have your pieces, be sure to sand the edges and any rough spots to make them easy to slide. Stack three by three, alternating the direction of each row, and you have a giant Jenga set. Setup the big Jenga on a small table and invite some friends over for the fun.
Giant Checkers – A huge checker board made from concrete step stones can be a seasonal or permanent fixture in the yard for outdoor summer fun. A standard checker board is 8×8 so you’ll need 64 squares all together. Simply place them in the designated area in rows of 8, alternating between two colors. For the checkers, you can use paper plates (if it’s not too breezy), paint lids, big rocks or whatever else you can think of for the pieces. Get creative and find something that matches your personality and outdoor decor.
Spray Paint Twister – Spray painting colored dots on the grass is an easy way to set up a yard game of outdoor twister without trying to anchor an indoor game board to the ground. You’ll need white, blue, red and yellow spray paint to create the dots, with each color creating one row with six dots for each color. If you are a perfectionist you can measure, or just wing it and see what kind of chaos non-perfect lawn twister dots can create!
Non-Lethal Lawn Darts – Well, these are not really lawn darts at all, but the concept is still the same. This is probably the easiest game to make and can be a lot of fun if turned into a
tournaments for big groups. Fill the ends of six old socks with dried beans and tie them off so you have a bean bag with a tail – three for each team. Use hula hoops as your targets. This is a great game to play with younger kids as well as adults who remember the original lawn darts and would rather forego impalement.
What are your favorite yard games? Feel free to share with us on Facebook or in the comments below. Need help making the landscape DIY yard game worthy? Contact us for landscaping ideas or a free quote on your next project.