4 Reasons to Outsource your HOA Landscape Maintenance
As a decision maker for a Florida HOA, you inevitably become very familiar with the outdoor common areas of your neighborhood. One of the top responsibilities for HOA board’s is to take care of landscape maintenance and general upkeep of community property. Whether you currently employ a landscape maintenance provider, and are unhappy, or you take care of landscaping in-house, there are many advantages that come with an experienced, reliable landscape maintenance company that can fully service your needs. While some members of your board, or homeowners in your HOA may complain about the added cost, there are a variety of reasons why a Professional Landscape Maintenance service is right for your HOA (and may even save you money!).
Although it may seem obvious, one of the main allures of hiring a professional landscaping company is the professional expertise of trained crews, who have operated in the industry for years. When you take on a professional, they should be able to quickly and easily identify your needs and issues, and provide you the most relevant solutions. Reliance on your eye, and additional research can keep you afloat, but it takes more than a google search to maintain a beautiful Florida HOA landscape. At Estate Landscaping, we find ourselves often working with HOA’s, so we know a thing or two. Professional certifications and licenses exist to give you the peace of mind that your landscape is in great hands.
Although at first glance it may seem like an obvious increase in cost, hiring a professional landscape maintenance company can save you money in multiple ways. Whether it be bulk pricing on materials, such as mulch and rock, or the mitigated risk of preventing future problems, money is saved. You do not want to be caught off guard by each new unique challenge, causing budgetary issues, but have the confidence that a professional is taking care of you and your HOA. This consistent, reliable cost is often much lower than attempting to take short cuts, and keep maintenance in-house.
Consistency and Reliability
For the same reasons that a Landscape Maintenance company can save you money, they will also be consistent. When a professional, well coordinated maintenance team takes over your HOA, everything can fall into sync. When your homeowners see the consistency of branded trucks, uniformed workers and quality workmanship every week, it will inspire confidence in where their hard earned money is going. Additionally, the benefits of having one full service provider will prevent the headache of having to manage separate relationships for various projects. Keeping it clean and streamlined will add a more organized feel to your landscaping experience.
When you take on a contract with a Landscape Maintenance Contractor, your association can avoid liability for landscape mishaps. This is not to say that something will go wrong, as with a professional, insured and experienced team, the likelihood of a mishap decreases significantly. But when your association’s credibility is on the line, it is best to leave it in the hands of the professionals, like our team here at Estate Landscaping.
Hearty Shrubs Options For Your Southwest Florida Property
Shrubs are an instrumental part of every property’s ecosystem. They provide shade, improve soil stability, enhance air quality and create habitats for all types of wildlife. Of course, shrubs and small trees are also beautiful to look at, especially when you choose varieties that add seasonal interest to your landscape.
Benefits of Shrubs to your Property
The aesthetic value of shrubs is one benefit that can protect you from an unattractive view. Use shrubs wisely and your neighbor’s junkyard will cease to exist when you’re enjoying your morning coffee on the patio. You can also use shrubs to grow a living privacy boundary and to separate one area of your yard from another. On top of that, landscaped properties have a greater value than their bare counterparts. Established trees and shrubs are particularly appreciated because it can take some time for them to reach a mature size. Households that have established landscapes appreciate home values 5 to 20 percent higher than those that don’t.
Shrub Varieties to Consider
Hamelia patens can be a shrub or small tree. It has beautiful orange to red flowers that bloom year-round — unless nipped by the cold — and small red berries. Butterflies, birds and even hummingbirds are attracted to it. In years with cold spells, it will die back but return in the spring as a small shrub that can grow quite large. It likes sun or shade.
The Dwarf Ixora is a stunning addition to a garden in the warmer parts of the country, making Florida an ideal location. Its striking red blooms have earned it its name as the flame of the woods. It is relatively easy to take care of with the proper moisture and soil conditions. For your effort, you’ll enjoy a beautiful display of flowers all season long.
Light up a shade border with a Gold Dust plant, also called aucuba. This slow-growing, evergreen shrub has yellow speckled foliage or bright green glossy foliage depending on the cultivar. It keeps its leaves year-round, providing color and texture when other plants go dormant for winter. Gold Dust plant is grown for its berries as well as its leaves. Female plants produce bright red berries in fall when a male pollinator is nearby.
Popular as hedges and foundation plantings, these plants can also punctuate perennial beds and borders in the tropics and subtropics. Different varieties grow different sizes, but you can find types that grow from 4 to 10 feet tall and wide. Most are relatively slow growers as landscape shrubs and take well to pruning. Once established, Crotons are relatively drought tolerant, so they are easy to care for. There are varieties that thrive in full sun and others that prefer part shade, making it easy to use them in your landscape.
Why are we all not planting more hedges and massing these wonderfully versatile shrubs? They hold their own in every season from bloom of spring flowers to, for many species, late summer to fall fruits and colorful fall foliage. And, they are so undemanding and unfussy, filling in just about every sort of garden puzzle.
5 Landscaping Trends for your Commercial Property
Enhance with Local Nature and Exciting Colors
Today’s world is obsessed with bright and eccentric colors and the landscape design industry is no exception. With the reportedly most popular plant color of 2020 being purple, you can expect landscape design teams to use both expected plants such as Sun Patients and Begonias in addition to more extravagant choices such as Coleus and Oyster Plant. The combination of expected and “out there” will bring a great balanced aesthetic to your landscaping.
Another popular trend right now is the use of multiple levels to create depth and definition in landscaping. Having distinct looks on every different level gives you the opportunity to create multiple unique gardens within one outdoor space. This is great for business owners who hope to present different types of aesthetics to their client base. It is also a good way to appeal to the masses by having a little something for everyone as they move through your landscaping.
The social trend of staying true to one’s self and embracing one’s uniqueness is being echoed in currently popular landscape design techniques. Rather than adhering to the strict and rigid format of clear lines and shapes, there has been a switch to more asymmetric styles with unstructured edges and curves. This look appears more natural and lets business owners blend their landscaping into the natural world around them. But how can you keep your asymmetric garden from looking too overgrown and unkempt?
Balance is always going to be a key factor in any landscape design trend. By having well-thought-out placement and a consideration for shapes and colors, designers can create asymmetrical balance in your garden that appeals visually to anyone who sees it.
Add Some Water
Water features have always been and continue to be one of the strongest landscaping trends there is. Not only are they beautiful and intriguing parts of your landscaping but they can also offer a wide variety of benefits to your business.
To start with, water features bring one of the most calming sounds from nature to your commercial landscaping, which is a great break from traffic horns, news alerts, and ringing phones that you and your clients have to hear most of the day. By adding stunning water features to your landscaping, you can have the most soothing sounds right outside your doorway.
Landscape lighting is a cost-effective way to emphasize the nighttime exterior beauty of your home or business and the landscaping surrounding your property. If you’re like most of us, your home or business is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make. By installing outdoor lights in a way that visually complements your overall property, you greatly improve your curb appeal and potentially your property’s market value.
Safety is key with landscape lighting. Landscape lighting, in addition to its beautifying qualities and making a space more usable at night, is an amazing and effective way to combat trespassing and deter theft. It can sometimes be addressed with floodlights, but a much better approach is to strategically place low levels of light throughout the property to create cohesion or smooth transitions of light. This does two things: It eliminates what we call “black holes” or dark spots where intruders can hide and prevents glaring light that can be fatiguing to the eye of a homeowner scanning the property.
Keep these ideas in mind and start planning your next landscape design today with our team at Estate Landscaping.
Landscape Company Red Flags
Picture this; you walk out into your backyard and see an unkempt, unsightly area that you do not want to spend time in. You think to yourself “I should hire a landscape company to help me turn this place around.” However, if you aren't experienced in working with landscape companies, this may be a tall ask, and you may get lost in the process. We want you to be amply prepared as you look around for the right landscaper, whether it be for your home, HOA or commercial property. These red flags can help you cross out companies off your list that exhibit qualities we know you do not want to deal with.
1.) Poor Communication
When a landscape company cares about your business, they will show you, or at least have a system in place to prevent you from being lost in the horde. If you get the sense that this company will be difficult to reach, or does not respond quickly from the get-go, you have to wonder how easy they will be to work with, knee deep in a project. Not only is this unprofessional, it can be detrimental to any design-build, maintenance or general landscaping project.
2.) Company Size
If you are looking for a small home project, a national landscape firm may not be the choice for you, dealing with multi-million dollar contracts, you may get lost in the shuffle. The same can be said for too small, as a HOA, you wouldn't want to engage with a company too small to meet the needs of your relatively large property. You want to choose a company that is just the right size to fit your needs.
3.) Employee Turnover
Any company that cannot keep its own employees on long term, is typically not going to be a high quality company worth working with. Important to any landscaping project is a cohesive team that you feel comfortable working with, and a revolving door of employees certainly doesn't foster comfort. This company may just be hiring anyone with a pair of legs and arms.
4.) Lack of Reviews or Testimonials
If when looking for a landscaping company, you can't find reviews on their website, google my business or frankly anywhere else, that may be a red flag. Any experienced company is inevitably going to have feedback somewhere, and a lack of it may indicate severe inexperience. Bad testimonials and reviews can also be another obvious sign of poor workmanship and possibly a bad company to work with.
5.) Lack of Educational Content
Estate Landscaping cares about the community. Whether you choose us or someone else to meet your landscaping needs, we want you to at least be educated in your decision making process. We want you to make good choices, leading to even better results.
Top Landscape Lighting Trends
Nothing feels better than taking a walk out your backdoor to a well lit patio for an evening drink with friends and family. Having a well lit outdoor space opens up another half of your day for hosting, playing with the kids or even just a nice area to get some evening work done. For this purpose we have gathered the top current trends that you can employ in your backyard space to lighten your night, and possibly even your mood.
Lanterns: Timeless Style
There is a reason lanterns are tried and true, they can illuminate your landscape an uncontroversial, aesthetically safe way. Recently designed materials have become more innovative, and their finish can create almost any look you wish. Nothing wrong with sticking with what has worked, continues to work, and stays trendy always.
Eco Friendly Lighting
It is not surprising that in 2020, home owners are looking for lighting that supports their eco-friendly lifestyle. At this moment, LED lighting is the go to. With expected life spans of up to 100,000 hours and incredible energy efficiency, they are a very attractive option. Solar Powered lights are also in at the moment, popularized by homeowners looking to efficiently employ natural resources in their favor.
In contrast to small lights, big, bold, feature lights are also en vogue. There are some incredible looks that can be created with white or colored orbs (also known as illuminated globes and glow balls.) For their relatively inexpensive cost, they provide quite amazingly sophisticated looks and can be quite the conversation starters.
Fairy lights feature dainty lights or clusters, often on a string. They automatically add a sense of whim to any space, transforming your backyard into something out of a movie. If you’re looking for something a bit more distinctive than what you’d find in some pastoral wedding ceremony, look into coloured fairy lights. You could go with a soft pastel if you’re still looking for the delicacy and elegance of white lights. Alternatively, you could go with something bolder if you’re looking for some more intense, dramatic action.
Patio Lights: LED Step and Path Lights
These bright LED lights are usually tubes or short LED arrays that you can install around steps and garden paths. We find homeowners choosing these lights more regularly because they are a great safety feature and LED lights are particularly well-suited to these illumination tasks, with their small size and longevity.