12Dec2018
4 Ways to Create the Best Holiday Yard in Your Neighbourhood

4 Ways to Create the Best Holiday Yard in Your Neighbourhood

One of the best parts about the holiday season is seeing the dazzling and colourful decorations light up the dark and dull nights. And it’s always fun to see people really get into the spirit of the season with elaborate and creative displays across their front yards. If you’re eager to make your home stand out this season, here are four ways to create the best holiday yard in your neighbourhood.

Plan Before Getting Started

It’s always helpful to have an idea of how you want your home to look like once it’s all decorated. This also helps keep your final display looking cohesive. So start by thinking of a specific theme. You can choose one by focusing on your favourite aspect of Christmas, whether it’s Santa and his reindeer, a nativity scene, the Grinch, or the classic red, white, and green combinations.

Think About Where to Place Your Lights

Next up, plan our your light display by walking to the curb and taking a few moments to look at your home from a distance. Consider where you’d like to hang your lights and where the best spots are for them to be seen from the street and sidewalk. Lights are a great way to accentuate favourite features of your home and garden. You can place strings of lights in your windows, wrap them around your tree, and place colourful spotlights throughout your garden.

Don’t Be Afraid to Go Bold!

To really create the best holiday yard in your neighbourhood, you need something a little extra that will make people stop and say wow. You could consider a giant inflatable Santa, an electronic reindeer set, holiday-themed music, or doing something fun and unique with your lights. Think outside the box and don’t be afraid to go bold with your decorations.

Light Up Your Walkway

Another simple idea is to use lanterns (battery-operated or solar) and place them along with your walkway or front porch steps. These can instantly make your exterior look magical while also making it easier to get to and from your front doorway.

Add some holiday magic and cheer to your yard this year by taking the time to plan it out first. Consider your theme, placement of lights, and adding something extra special and unique to give it that “wow” factor.

30Nov2018
Retaining Wall Upkeep for Colder Weather

Retaining Wall Upkeep for Colder Weather

Retaining walls serve an important purpose — they contain soil and prevent erosion while retaining the difference in the level ground. And, for some properties, they’re installed to simply enhance the aesthetics of the exterior. Either way, performing some regular maintenance is always recommended to prevent any damage from occurring to the wall structure. To get yours ready for the winter, here are some tips for retaining wall upkeep for colder weather.

Inspect Drainage & Repair if Necessary

Whether you have a big retaining wall or a smaller one, having adequate drainage is important. That’s because saturated soil becomes very heavy, and it can place a whole lot of extra weight on the wall. If your wall is old or hasn’t been designed to allow water to percolate and drain through it properly, it can cause the wall to deteriorate. So keep an eye on it regularly.

Check for Excessive Settling

As moisture and soil mix and move, the retaining wall will naturally shift and resettle. However, too much movement can highlight a problem. Inspect it for any low lying areas. If you notice some, dig out the soil and mulch to replace it with new soil or gravel and a wall liner. This will help fix the grading issue and prevent shifting.

Maintain Surrounding Landscape

Believe it or not, your surface treatments, like the grass, vegetation, and ground cover, play an important role in protecting retaining walls. The vegetation helps to capture and absorb water while preventing soil erosion. So keeping your turf in good condition is necessary for protecting your wall. Take a walk through to see what areas could use new sod, seed, and attention to encourage better growth once the spring arrives next year.

Avoid Using Salt or Deicers Near Wall

During the winter, try to avoid placing any salt or deicer on or near the wall as these can damage the surface of it. Avoid piling any snow and salt residue on or near the wall. Instead, redirect it away so it can eventually melt without impact it.

You may not give your retaining wall much thought, but it plays an important role in stabilizing the ground level and landscape around it. To have your wall inspected, or to have your retaining wall upkeep for the cold weather taken care of for you, give us a call! Our team at Grow Green can perform any maintenance or repairs that it may need.

27Nov2018
5 Final Steps to Prepare Your Home’s Exterior for Winter

5 Final Steps to Prepare Your Home’s Exterior for Winter

The snow, wind, and ice can cause some serious damage to the outside of your home – especially during our long Canadian winters. Taking time to get it ready and prepared is essential to avoid dealing with any damage and repairs come spring. When it’s time to address that outdoor to-do list, here are some final steps to prepare your home’s exterior for winter.

Put Away Garden Equipment & Protect Plants

Before the first frost arrives, we recommend taking some time to tuck your garden and plants away from the winter. Rake up any leaves so they don’t weigh down and damage your turf or plants. Apply a generous amount of mulch to protect the roots and soil in your garden. Use burlap to wrap and protect any young trees or shrubs from the wind and cold.

Repair Unstable Surfaces

If you have interlock or patio stones along your walkway and steps, now’s the time to replace any crumbling stones or areas that are loose and uneven. Once the ground gets covered in ice and snow, these areas can create potential slip and fall hazards. So it’s a good idea to have them repaired and replaced now.

Pressure Washing

Towards the latter end of fall, before the temperatures dip below freezing, give your patio stones, deck and walkways a good wash with a pressure hose. This will remove any mould, mildew or algae which can cause damage to the surfaces over time.

Drain & Cover Water Features

If you have any water features, these should be drained and turned off well before the temperatures hit the freezing mark. Also, use the appropriate cover recommended by the installer to protect your water features from the heavy snow.

Clean Your Gutters

Once all the leaves have fallen, don’t forget to clean out your gutters! The accumulation of leaves and moisture can end up blocking your eaves trough, which can cause water to pool and freeze. This can end up damaging to the roof, gutter system, and even the foundation of your home.

With the winter in close view, now’s the time to get these final steps done to prepare your home’s exterior for winter. If you’d rather leave your to-do tasks to someone else, give us a call! At Green Grow, we offer landscape, interlock, and maintenance services so you can dedicate your time to what matters and leave the tedious maintenance duties up to us. Call us today!