How to Dog-Proof your Yard

Keep your furry friends safe


One of the best things about owning a home is having a space for your pet to run wild. But how does one create a beautiful yard that is both environmentally friendly and pet-safe? 


Avoid thorny and spiny plants, which can cause serious eye injuries. Many wild mushrooms can be fatal if ingested by dogs. If mushrooms appear, dig and dispose of them immediately. Find out online or talk to your vet about which plants are toxic to your dog, as different dog breeds are sensitive to different plants. There are some dog-friendly plants, and even some that help with fleas.



This may seem obvious, but it is extremely important to have a fence that is not only tall enough to keep your dog inside but also to keep other (possibly dangerous) animals out.
Make sure the fence is at least six feet tall. After it is installed, check the perimeter for spaces where your dog might be able to slip underneath.
Interested in fence installation? Click here


If this summer was any reminder, Los Angeles can get unbearably hot. It's important to provide your dog with a shady area such as a pergola—or better yet, a doghouse with heat-absorbing clay tiling on the roof—to cool off in.

St. Augustine

St. Augustine


A green lawn is a wonderful place for the pups (and kids) to roll around in. We’ve found St. Augustine to work best for its durability and pest resistant qualities. A drought-tolerant and low-maintenance solution is DG—decomposed granite. It’s easy to clean and soft on paws.


Flagstone & DG—decomposed granite Walkway

Flagstone & DG—decomposed granite Walkway

Gentle hardscape: Smooth flagstones and pebbles form a pathway that dogs can comfortably tread on.

Mulch: Small cedar chips are easy on paws yet large enough so they won’t cling to silky coats.

Plant protection: Planters and planter boxes help. Also you can densely plant large plants and shrubs or put gravel around them.

Running track: A long, winding path provides dogs with plenty of exercise. DG works well here.

We now provide dog-friendly design and installation as one of our landscape services. Our goal is to create a perfect environment where both the homeowner and his best friend can enjoy a healthy and aesthetic landscape.

Want a personalized landscaping consultation for your yard?

Leaving Your Landscape for a Vacation

by Marc Knox of mygardening411

For any homeowner, one of the real worries that crops up almost every year is what to do when it is time to leave town, be it overseas or somewhere in your home country.

You don’t want to forgo your vacation, but you also want to make sure that you come back to a well-tended garden which is not going to have suffered from your absence. The real problem here is that most vacations start right in the height of summer, a time most important for your garden.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to ensure that your garden not only survives, but thrives, while you are away for a week or even two or three.



Let The Garden Tend For Itself

It is actually possible to ensure that your garden is tending for itself while you are away too, and that can be achieved more easily than you might have thought. Using something like a hydroponic gardening system, you will not have to worry about any additional watering to the garden for at least a couple of weeks – perfect for your average kind of holiday time.

Of course, you will want to make sure that you are keen on this system first and that you trust it, which means mostly going to a supplier you trust, but also that you might want to install it early and try it out while you are still home. Just make sure that it works before you go away for too long.

If hydroponics seems a bit too complicated for your 2 week holiday, consider installing an automatic water timer to your hose set up. They are relatively inexpensive and can be used all year round, perfect for when you are not in the mood to water the garden.


Hire Maintenance or Ask For A Neighbor’s Help

It is always possible that you might have a neighbor who is able and willing to give you a helping hand, and if so you should absolutely make the most of that opportunity. Even if all they do is water the plants while you are gone, then you will at least be able to ensure that everything is going to be healthy enough until you get back.

Hiring a professional service for feeding or weeding and pruning is even better – but just watering will suffice in most occasions.

Go On Vacation Later

You can of course simply schedule your vacation a bit earlier or later in the year when the weather is less extreme. Then you will be able to leave your garden for much longer, as it will not need quite so much in the way of tending. However, if you are often away on business trips, the above tips can help keep your landscape looking pristine year-round. 

Looking for professional Landscaping? Schedule a free consultation today.

A Creative Take on California Landscaping


Gravels, Black Mulch, Cactus and Wood Borders

Gravels, Black Mulch, Cactus and Wood Borders

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.


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. 

Cactus & Succulents in Gravel

Cactus & Succulents in Gravel

Succulents in Colored Gravel

Succulents in Colored Gravel

"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.

Marathon 2—a “green all-year-long” Grass

Marathon 2—a “green all-year-long” Grass

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.

Globe Lights

Globe Lights

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