Spring is here, let's go enjoy it. Things are busy at Garden View... Our construction and landscape maintenance business is brisk, and the nursery is busy but we are still waiting for Edison to finish their Tehachapi wind power transmission project. It has been going on for 4 years, nothing is being done, and we can't use the land in the middle of the nursery. We still have a great selection however, including 1000's of trees, hedges, shrubs, and perennials in our main yard along the 605 Freeway and in another nearby yard.
Also in this newsletter we've got some samples of our new 3D Video Landscape designs. Pretty amazing stuff!
Recently one of our customers hired an unlicensed contractor to do some tree work for them. The tree person died on the job and there are serious consequences. Please read about how to protect yourself below.
Mark Meahl (President Garden View Inc.)
|3D Video Landscape Design|
New technology has come to the landscape business. Garden View can provide 3D video design so that the customer can visualize their blueprint in a realistic 3D rendering. Our customers are very impressed with the new technology and can now see much more clearly what their design will look like.
This technology helps us communicate what we have designed. Good design is still paramount and no amount of technology will substitute for creativity, knowledge, experience, expertise, and artistic vision.
Click Here to See 3D Designs
|March + April Gardening Tips
DEADHEADING TO EXTEND BLOOMING AND ANNUAL FLOWER LIFE: Deadheading is removing the spent or dead flowers from the plant. In simple terms most plants produce flowers to produce seeds to reproduce. If the flower is removed before the seed has been dropped from the plant the plant will usually keep trying to reproduce. This in turn means the plant will probably produce more flowers for a longer period of time.
Many annuals (plants that live for one season only) will die if they are not deadheaded. But if they are deadheaded they will continue to produce flowers for an extended time.
Garden View Maintenance crews do this on a weekly basis.
Breaking off the flower where the stem meets the stalk is the way to successfully deadhead Long-stem flowers, such as this daylily, that grows in a succession of blooms on a single stalk. Pull down gently on the spent flower until it cleanly snaps off. Breaking off faded daylilies will add to the plant's appearance if not the overall flower productivity. Other flowers to break off include iris, Gladiola, and Kangaroo Paw.
THIN FRUITS: Thinning fruits now, while they are the size of an olive or grape gives you fewer but larger fruits at harvest time, thinned limbs are also less likely to break under an overload of fruit. Thin nectarines, peaches, and Japanese plum about 4 to 6 inches apart. European plums don't need to be thinned.
If it was cold this winter your Cuphea plants might have lost some or much of their leaves. Garden View crews feed Cuphea with a high nitrogen fertilizer and they usually recover quickly.
Abutilon takes pruning well. Tip prune young plants, to spur new growth and get a fuller shape. If yours starts to become tall and gangly, snipping it back to a leaf joint will encourage it to send out new branches. Abutilon can also be pruned back hard in the spring, if you want to control its size.
Abutilon is a heavy feeder. Keep up the fertilizer for maximum bloom.
BIRD OF PARADISE:
Red bird of paradise (left) should be pruned in late winter or early spring. Mexican bird of paradise and yellow bird of paradise can also be pruned at that time but should be pruned more sparingly (if at all).
BRUNFELSIA: - Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow plants (right) have an abundent bloom in spring, The name comes front the flowers tha change color over a three day period. Trim in early spring and periodically to keep compact. The plant likes regular feeding throughout the year.
Bigleaf type hydrangea set their flower buds at the ends of the upright or lateral branches, during late summer to early fall. Pruning bigleaf hydrangea in the spring or even late fall, after the buds have been set, will remove the flower buds and any chance of getting flowers that season.
Bigleaf hydrangea should be pruned as soon as the flowers have faded. You should begin to see new growth coming in from the base of the plant. To keep the plant vigorous, selectively prune out the dead and weaker stems, both old and new. Don't prune out all the old wood, since this is what will keep flowering as the new growth matures.
Click Here to Read the Rest of this Article!
Click Here to Read this Article in Spanish!
|Unlicensed / Uninsured Contractors|
can put you at tremendous financial risk!
One of our associates doing unlicensed gardening work for a friend got stuck in the middle of a very ugly situation recently. At the homeowners request, he hired an unlicensed tree trimmer for some palm trees. There was a terrible accident and the tree trimmer died on the job. Neither the tree trimmer, nor the gardener had insurance. As you can imagine, things are a mess with OSHA, possible law suits, liability questions, insurance issues, etc.
You will probably save money, but when you as a homeowner have an unlicensed and/or uninsured contractor or worker doing work on your property, you put yourself at tremendous financial risk. You run the risk of being subject to any or all of the following if the contractor is injured while working on your home:
- Medical bills for injured contractor/handyman
- Lawsuit by contractor/handyman
- Increase in insurance policy cost or cancellation of policy by insurance company
- possibly no coverage for liability for damage or injury to property or people injured on your property or other properties
Regardless of whether the contractor/handyman or gardener is remodeling your entire home or just putting up a shelf, you open yourself up to significant liability as a homeowner. Read more...
- Unlicensed usually means uninsured.If you use a contractor who is uninsured, it means the contractor has no way of reimbursing you for any property damage he or she causes. This means you end up paying the price. Likewise, if contractor carelessness leads to injury or damage to someone else's property, the problem is likely to become yours.
- No coverage under homeowner's policy. Some homeowners believe it is safe to use an uninsured contractor, assuming that any damages incurred would be covered under their own insurance policies. However, this isn't the case. Most homeowner policies require that any work to the property be done by licensed contractors; coverage is often specifically excluded for damages caused by "bootleg" contractors.
- Noncompliance with building codes. Most building projects, even minor ones, usually require permits and inspections. Unlicensed contractors are often unfamiliar with the applicable building codes and are unable to obtain permits. If your project isn't permitted or doesn't comply with building and zoning codes, you may - and probably will - be ordered to remove or repair the job. Even if a building inspector doesn't "catch" your code violation right away, you will almost certainly have to correct it if and when you try to sell your house.
|In the Dirt|
with Julie Meahl (Garden View Nursery)
After Cabin Fever - Comes Spring?
During this past long cold winter everyone at Garden View Nursery worked very hard to bring in this new spring season. The breeze fills the air with the sweet smell of the stone fruit blossoms, apricots, peaches, and plums. Add the wisteria's fragrance and you are in 10th heaven. The smell of nature's spring brings smiles to everyone's faces.
Listening to the news or reading the paper headlines are all about child obesity lately. Our children and even adults are getting lazy and larger. So I'm thinking, "now that the sun is warmer and the air is sweet, let's get the kids and parents outside and active!"
Here are 12 things to do in the garden before you're 12:
- Make a scarecrow
- Plant a row of lettuce and watch them grow, then harvest!
- Build a tree house or fort
- Rake leaves
- Plant a tree or shrub
- Dig for worms in the garden
- Setup a bird bath, and count the different types of birds that come to the garden
- Plant up a flower bowl or basket
- Plant strawberries, and watch the fruit grow
- Build a miniature fairy or dinosaur garden
- Identify five flowers
- Identify five types of insects that live in the garden
If you do not have a garden, come and walk around our 13 acres as a family. We would love to see you!
(Julie Meahl is the Retail Manager and Vice President of Garden View, Inc.)
Blake's Landscape Maintenance Blog
If you live in Southern California you are all too familiar with the mow, blow and go gardener. You may not have realized it but they are really simple to spot. Here is a Jeff Foxworthy approach to identification.
You know you are a mow, blow, and go gardener if:
- You drive your beat up 1981 Nissan pickup consistently 4 MPH under the speed limit
- The back of your pickup truck consistently sags lower than the front
- Your employees consist of your step-son, cousin's cousin, and 14 year old nephew
- You/crew wear oversize Bob Marley T-shirt as uniform
- You have 2 settings for shrub trimming - Lollipop or Box on Stick
- You have an eclectic array of power equipment which is miraculously replaced not repaired
The things you aren't seeing - Translation:
- The crew is not licensed to drive, let alone work on your property
- Dangerous lack of vehicle maintenance with illegal weight capacity
- Training and horticultural knowledge are nonexistent
- No uniforms means you are never sure who is on your property
- Unhealthy and unattractive trimming/horticultural practice
- Lack of proper weed control and irrigation efficiency
- Stolen power tools from Garden View and other competition
- High liability to the customer in case of injury to worker, property or others
The mow, blow and go independent gardener is hands down the least expensive type of service you can acquire. While these are some pretty unfair, lighthearted stereotypes; without having to pay living wages, taxes, insurances, management, for trucks and equipment, etc. it is very easy to keep their prices so low. As a result we have found our niche makes the most sense with commercial properties who are required to have legal vendors, as well as customers who want the extra professionalism, quality and peace of mind. Garden View works consistently in the spirit of constant improvement and is continuously training employees to become more effective. Not all gardening crews are created equal and the ones that stuff their homemade business cards in your car door handle may be a hell of a lot cheaper; but at the end of the day you get what you pay for!
(Blake Meahl is the Operations Manager for Garden View's Maintenance Division.)
If you have any suggestions on articles you would like to
see in our newsletter or suggestions for improvement please let us know.
-Tyler Meahl (Technical Manager and Special Projects
Coordinator for Garden View Inc.)