A Creative Take on California Landscaping

PROJECT SPOTLIGHT

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What is the best part of landscaping in Los Angeles? Our eclectic and artistic clientele. In this project, a Hollywood creative mixed desert & modern landscape design for a completely unexpected feel.

 This modern tile patio contrasts with colored gravel and drought-tolerant plants to help make this a landscape unlike any other.

This modern tile patio contrasts with colored gravel and drought-tolerant plants to help make this a landscape unlike any other.

 Redwood fence sits atop a traditional white stucco wall while prickly pear cactus rests in colored gravel, giving this area a hip desert feel.

Redwood fence sits atop a traditional white stucco wall while prickly pear cactus rests in colored gravel, giving this area a hip desert feel.

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A perfect place to entertain with its unique, abstract tiling; this patio is a sure conversation starter.  The lightly-stained redwood fence gives privacy and a touch of natural elegance while the colored-gravel border and red-star dracaena tie it all together. 

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"Designing in Los Angeles is so exciting," says Rumaldo Flores, "We have such a variety of plants and hardscape elements to choose from. This gives the client a huge palette from which to choose exactly what speaks to them. There are so many creative people in this city and it's a joy working with them to come up with something that brings their landscape to life."


Ready to create your perfect backyard landscape? Schedule a free consultation today.

Easy tips for a yard you'll actually want to use

By Clara Beaufort

Summer is already in full swing, and maybe your yard isn’t where you’d like it to be. The good news is it’s not too late to give your yard a makeover so that you and your family can enjoy summertime fun and relaxation. What’s more: these tips and ideas don’t require a lot of time, so you can get up and running no matter how busy your schedule is.

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Start With the Foundation: The Lawn

The lawn is the foundation and focal point of your outdoor space. If your lawn is unhealthy or unkempt, it is a major distraction from all the hard work you put into your landscape or outdoor patio. Start by allotting time to mow your yard at least once a week. This seems like a lot, but the key is to adjust the mower blade so that you are only cutting off one-third of the length. Plus, the more you mow, the more nutrient-rich grass clippings you produce. Don’t forget to keep your yard watered as well, especially if rain is in short supply. Rather than waste water on the entire yard, conserve water and focus only on the areas that are in dire need or serve as the main focal points of your yard. In addition to mowing, tackle those weeds using spot treatment as opposed to treating your entire yard with unnecessary amounts of herbicide. Speaking of spots, those with four-legged family members might find it helpful to spot-train Fido. The nitrogen in dog urine causes unsightly yellow, dead spots in your yard, so it best to train your dog to use the bathroom in one area.

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Light It Up

With the right lighting, you can show off your yard long after the sun goes down. Before you install outdoor lighting, it’s important that you assess your lighting needs. Maybe your yard could benefit from extra lighting to increase outdoor safety by lighting up dark parts of your yard or illuminating walkways to prevent falls. Perhaps you’d like to boost your curb appeal or add decorative lighting for outdoor gatherings with path lights, tree lights, or accent lights. When it comes to lighting, you have plenty of options, such as:

  • Floodlights – light up large areas and are an easy way to add security and protection from prowlers
  • Landscape lights – small lights used to illuminate flowers/greenery, architecture, pathways, and outdoor areas
  • Motion sensor lights – add an extra layer of security and alert you to any movement in your yard, whether a person or animal
  • Spotlights – used to illuminate doors, flagpoles, fixtures, and details using a direct beam of light

You might also consider adding a fun touch with some of these DIY lighting options courtesy of Buzzfeed, such as string lights, mason jar lights, or hanging tea lights.

Prevent Bites

Once you get your yard looking nice, it’s obvious that the next step is to start spending time outside or host a summer party. However, pesky mosquitos and ticks can quickly bring an end to the summer fun, making your yard a den of misery rather than relaxation. To prevent mosquitos, make sure there isn’t any standing water in your yard (it only takes a thimble full to start a breeding ground). Install candles and lanterns with citronella, lemongrass, or chrysanthemum scents to draw mosquitoes away from food and your exposed skin. You can even install mosquito-repelling lights such as sodium lamps or LED lights. As for other pests, such as ticks, ants, and spiders, take the time to trim bushes and trees and remove debris piles before pests have time to set up shop. If the pests are really becoming a problem, you might consider having a pest-control service come in to spray your yard. Be sure to ask about organic treatment options that are non-toxic and safe for children and pets.

The hot summer days are here to stay, so make sure your yard is ready to beat the heat. Crank up the lawn mower, add lighting, and get rid of pesky bugs for a yard that not only looks nice but feels nice too. Summer barbeque, yes, please.


Ready for a perfect outdoor living space you can enjoy year round? Contact Flores Artscape for a free consultation and estimate 

A Desert Paradise Nestled in the Hills

PROJECT SHOWCASE

One of our favorite draught-tolerant projects is this colorful landscape in Pasadena, California. Our designers utilized the large space with a modern design and a variety of plants including lovely calandrinia spectabilis, vibrant kangaroo paw, and bold foxtail agave.

Environmentally Friendly Can be Gorgeous

Despite it's size and diversity, this landscape is practically maintenance-free and extremely water conservative. In fact, this 750 square foot area uses only 48 gallons of water per month; whereas a plain grass lawn of this size would require almost 2000 gallons of water per month.

Many of our clients like to imbue their homes with a sense of creativity and this project was no exception. Our team always takes ideas and questions into account, making our projects extremely unique and personal.

Why You Should Garden with your Kids

By Clara Beaufort

Most children love playing in the dirt, so gardening could be just the solution to getting them outdoors and exposing them to a new activity. Check out these tips to help you get started.

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Let them get dirty. Encourage your child to dig in and get a little dirt on their hands by letting them participate in some age-appropriate gardening. Watching a seed sprout into a full grown plant will seem like magic in the eyes of a child, and they’ll enjoy getting to eat the fruits and veggies grown from their very own gardens. Gardening is also an excellent way for children to develop a positive relationship with their food, which is good news for all the parents of picky eaters out there.

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Make it kid-size. Children will naturally want to use your tools, but adult-sized tools will be difficult to use. To avoid frustration, invest in some tools made specifically for small hands. Let your child pick out their own set of tools, and turn it into a learning process as you teach them how each tool is properly used.

Give them their own space. Make the process even more special by giving your child their own special spot to start their garden. It will instill a sense of independence, and give them the freedom to garden as they please. They can decorate their area with pots, stones, or toys. Your child can walk around barefoot or even lie down and sing to their seedlings. With their own plot, the possibilities are endless.

Children are natural explorers, so let them discover what dirt, water, and sun can do by planting their own garden. You’ll get to spend quality time with your child and watch as they discover what a little hard work can do.

Can I Really Grow Vegetables at Home?

Admit it, you’ve thought about having your own garden to grow vegetables and herbs. Who hasn’t? In a city like LA any opportunity to get back to our roots (pun intended) and enjoy Mother Nature should be taken; not only for our physical but our spiritual health. It’s no secret that most city-dwellers spend the majority of our days indoors, but studies have shown that just 15 minutes of sunlight can boost creativity and concentration.

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So, if you consider your local farmer’s market a “haunt” and would like an excuse to get out even more often, perhaps it’s time to graduate to home-grown fresh produce. 

Almost any sized yard can be utilized for a vegetable garden. In fact, a plot of about 16X10 feet is enough to feed a family of four for one whole summer. To get started, you’ll need ample sunlight and few simple tools and materials. Here are the simple steps to get your garden started.

TOOLS

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LOCATION

First, plant in a sunny location. Most vegetables need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. The more sunlight they receive, the greater the harvest, the bigger the veggies, and the better the taste.

Next, you must plant in good soil. Plants’ roots penetrate soft soil more easily. Enriching your soil with compost provides needed nutrients. Proper drainage will ensure that water neither collects on top nor drains away too quickly

DIG + PLANT!

Dig and turn the soil with a shovel to break up any large chunks of dirt. Remove any stones and roots with a sod cutter, then mix in fresh garden soil

Prepare the hole with a hand trowel, making sure it is at least two times deeper and wider than the plant container. 

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Use the trowel to position the plant into the soil. Read the instructions on your seed or seedling package for the correct depth. 

Lightly cover the base of the plant with the surrounding soil. Do not mound or pile on extra dirt.

Make sure you give each plant enough space! Directions on spacing should be on the seed or seedling package.

Water your plants only when the soil is dry 1/2 inch deep.

 

Stand back, and admire your work. Congrats! You will soon have a delicious vegetable garden to share with your family and friends.

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