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Tag Archives: landscape

Turn on the Bright Lights: Exterior and Interior Lighting Basics

When it comes to upgrading your home’s lighting, careful consideration will help you achieve your desired effect. Photo: Knights’ Electric, Inc. (2015)

When it comes to upgrading your home’s lighting, careful consideration will help you achieve your desired effect. Photo: Knights’ Electric, Inc. (2015)

Have you ever been in a seemingly well-lit room and suddenly found yourself straining to see? If so, you know how frustrating bad lighting can be. And yet, many people continue to regard lighting as purely one-dimensional, not realizing there’s a lot more to it than its most basic function. In reality, it’s not merely our ability to see in the dark that counts, but how well we’re able to see, as well as how lighting makes us feel. By comprehending the true complexity involved in achieving good lighting, you can make the most of illumination in both your interior and exterior living spaces. Continue reading “Turn on the Bright Lights: Exterior and Interior Lighting Basics” »

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Drought Busters: Expert Tips on Landscape Water Conservation

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With the current drought conditions in California, it’s time to rethink the way we approach landscape irrigation. Photo: American Ratings Corporation (2015)

For more information on water conservation, visit our drought resource page here.

In light of the ongoing drought in California, the government has called for a 30 percent statewide reduction in water usage. While measures like minimizing shower durations and running dishwashers less frequently will help, in order to achieve this goal, we need to focus our conservation efforts where the lion’s share of our water is expended: outdoors.

There are several ways to conserve water on a landscape, but these can be boiled down to three primary aspects: rethinking conventional watering methods, upgrading inefficient irrigation equipment and implementing drought-tolerant landscaping techniques. To address these points, we’ve asked four Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to weigh in with some professional insight.

Amend your watering habits
Californians have a tendency to overwater lawns, trees and plants, but with the current drought conditions, this is no longer a luxury we can afford. That’s why Jeff Sheehan of Confidence Landscaping, Inc. proposes a switch from conventional watering practices to a “need-based” approach. Continue reading “Drought Busters: Expert Tips on Landscape Water Conservation” »

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Tree Service Overview: Q&A with Justin Greer

arborist-tree-care

Justin Greer is an 18-year veteran of the tree service industry and Director of Operations at Western Tree Removal Specialists, a Diamond Certified company. Photo: American Ratings Corporation (2015)

Justin Greer has been servicing trees for Sonoma County residents since he was a teenager, and today, he’s the director of operations at Western Tree Removal Specialists. We took a few minutes to speak with Justin about his field of expertise and gain some helpful knowledge.

Q: Do trees really need to be serviced? Can’t we just let them be?
A: There are a couple reasons why trees need to be serviced, both of which are tied to changed environmental factors. Before humans came on the scene, trees grew in fierce competition for resources, which kept growth in check. Picture a forest where not a drop of light gets through the broad canopy and the trees grow so close together that they’re practically holding each other up.

Flash forward to today, where the circumstances are reversed: Trees are often situated alone or in small groups, and they’re able to get all the water and sunlight they need—not to mention the synthesized nutrients we feed them via fertilizers, which are basically plant steroids. Altogether, this causes trees to grow much faster and larger than they had under previous circumstances. Continue reading “Tree Service Overview: Q&A with Justin Greer” »

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Party on the Patio: How to Get Your Yard Set for Summer Fun

summer-garden

With summer fast approaching, you’ll want to prepare your outdoor living space for optimum enjoyment of the warm, sunny weather. Photo: Hansen Landscape Contractor (2015)

If you’re like most Bay Area residents, as the long days and balmy evenings of summer set in, you’ll want to be spending as much time as possible outside. An outdoor living space can serve a variety of functions, whether an ambient setting to entertain guests or a relaxing oasis for lounging during your annual staycation. In order to get the most enjoyment out of your space, however, you’ll first need to get it clean and functional again after having sat unused all winter. Here are a few aspects likely to require your attention:

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Proper swimming pool maintenance consists of two essential aspects: cleaning and sanitation. Photo: Royal Pools of Santa Clara, Inc. (2015)

Swimming Pool
Following its winter dormancy, your swimming pool needs a bit of maintenance to get it ready for summer use. According to John Pittman of Roger’s Pool and Spa Service, Inc., it’s best to start by getting the pool and its filter cleaned. You can clean the filter by disassembling it and using a garden hose to wash off the individual parts. You’ll also need to adjust your filter’s run time, from the minimal off-season setting up to 6-8 hours a day during the summer. Continue reading “Party on the Patio: How to Get Your Yard Set for Summer Fun” »

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Water Conservation Tips for Your Home and Landscape

Water conservation is always a priority in California, but it’s even more important during times of drought, which is why now is a great time for Bay Area residents to focus on minimizing their usage and waste. Here are some helpful tips from three Diamond Certified Expert Contributors on how to maximize water conservation in your home and on your property.

By utilizing modern water-saving products and methods, you can significantly reduce water usage both inside and outside of your home. Photo: Rivas Landscape Group (2014)

By utilizing modern water-saving products and methods, you can significantly reduce water usage both inside and outside of your home. Photo: Rivas Landscape Group (2014)

1. Go low-flow. According to Jamie Rogers, president of Rogers Remodel Inc., one of the simplest ways to conserve water in your home is to replace faucet aerators, shower heads and toilets with low-flow models. Continue reading “Water Conservation Tips for Your Home and Landscape” »

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