15 May 2020

Spring 2020 Landscaping Trends

At Serene Landscape Group, our team works hard to stay up on current landscaping trends, which are changing constantly. Through the National Associate of Landscape Professionals, we’re sharing their top trends for the 2020 season. Check them out below:

SHADES OF BLUE
Yep, you read that correctly, shades of blue have become amongst the most popular colors for the 2020 season. This is in part thanks to Pantone naming blue its color of the year. Whether it’s in accent pieces or water features, you will likely spot a variation of blue shades incorporated.

ORNATE, GEOMETRIC HARDSCAPING
Waves, lattice, chevron, basket weave; these are some popular interior patterns making the jump into hardscaping. Thanks to Unilock’s modern technology, we can incorporate it into your patio, walkway, retaining walls, and more!

CONTEMPORARY AND TRANSITIONAL LANDSCAPE DESIGN
Modern, sleek, and simple are key words all generations use to describe their dream landscape. Incorporating both function and flair will be a big theme in 2020.

INCORPORATING YOU INTO YOUR DESIGN
People are incorporating their personal, unique style into their landscaping. Big into growing your own produce? Install plenty of raised beds and garden space. Do you love cooking for your family? Design a built-in cooking area and wood-fire pizza oven. The possibilities are endless for how you can create your outdoor space to reflect you!

REMOTE-CONTROLLED IRRIGATION
Smart technology has taken over this year and it’s made its way into landscaping. Instead of manually watering your lawn, you can get it done with the click of a button through a website or phone app.

Looking to invest in one of these trends and incorporate it into your landscape design? Contact #teamserene today to get started!

26 Apr 2020

Properly Mulching your Landscape Bed

By Daphney McCristal, Landscape Designer

This week we’re discussing mulch and the role it plays in your landscape beds!

Using mulch in your landscape beds is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also very beneficial to your landscape plants as well. Some of these benefits include feeding the soil, conserving water, and smothering weeds.

Using a non-dyed, natural wood mulch is recommended for adding essential nutrients to the soil. Some types of natural mulch include Cedar, Pine Bark, and natural hardwood.

Cover your landscape beds in a thick 3 to 4” layer of mulch to help smother/suppress weeds and retain soil moisture. Less than 2” of mulch will let in enough light through to allow weed seeds to germinate.

Once you’ve added mulch to your landscape beds, you should only need to topdress with 1 to 2” of mulch yearly to replenish it. Not only does mulch make a landscape look great after it’s installed, your plants and soil will appreciate it too.

Still lost or anxious about doing this yourself? Contact Serene Landscape Group! While we can’t be there to perform our jobs on site right now, we are still operating remotely to get ready for business’ to be open once again! Call us today or visit our contact page to get started.

15 Apr 2020

Spring Clean Your Landscape in 3 Easy Steps

By Daphney McCristal, Landscape Designer

Spring cleaning isn’t just for inside your home, but outside it as well! As your lawn and landscape start to wake up after a long winter, they are going to need some TLC.

It’s still early in the season to begin planting and seeding, as Michigan is still experiencing cold temperatures, these are a few things you can do to make sure your yard will be ready for #teamserene once the stay-at-home order is lifted and we can open up for business.

Check out these three easy steps that will help get you ready for a great growing season:

 

Remove any debris from your lawn and landscape beds

A big part of cleaning up in the spring is picking up any debris that may have blown onto your property this winter. Picking up litter, sticks, leaves, etc. is essential to help spruce up your property and allow for new growth. It’s a tedious task, especially if you had a lot of trees drop their leaves late this fall, but it is a huge first step in prepping for the growing season.

Rake your lawn

Your rake isn’t just for removing those pesky leaves every fall. It’s a great tool to use to dethatch your lawn. This will help fluff any matted patches in your yard and assist with new growth.

Clean up spent perennials

Landscape bed clean-up begins with removing any dead stalks or leaves from perennials. This is also the time to cut back any ornamental grasses that were not cut back in the fall. Cut the grasses down to about 6” above the base for best growing results.

 

Tackling these tasks are an essential part of making sure your property will look good and establish healthy growth habits this season.

As always, we are here for you through the current global pandemic. While our staff is not working on projects at the moment and are not in offices, our management, designers, and administration are working remotely to make sure we’re ready to start installations as soon as we can! Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns!

28 Feb 2020

Revamp your Landscape this Spring!

Spring is our favorite time of year at Serene Landscape Group. As the snow thaws and greenery returns to Michigan, we are working hard on designing projects for clients so we can hit the ground running once the season begins. Are you looking for some inspiration on ways to revamp your landscape this spring? Here are a few favorites from #teamserene:

  • A Built-In Fire Pit: This is the perfect way to not only give your home a modern look and increase its value but bring your family together. This addition will allow you to enjoy nights outside by the fire well through the fall.
  • A Seated Wall: For those who might be short on space in their yard or are looking to add other amenities other than chairs, the addition of a seated wall is the perfect way to add elevation to your landscape and increase seating. Our trusted professionals can help you design this build using Unilock, our paver manufacturer, to give you a clean, unique look.
  • An Outdoor Kitchen: This is the ultimate amenity for frequent entertainers. A big trend that will continue into 2020 is bringing the indoors, outdoors, and this is the perfect way to do just that.
  • Plants, Plants, and More Plants: Great landscaping will always increase the value of your home, and plants are the easiest way to do so. Our expert designers will work closely with you to help choose the right plants that not only match the style of your home but your personality.
  • A Unilock Driveway: We utilize Unilock in all of our paver projects. Their pavers are beautiful, but most importantly, they are durable and will extend the life of your driveway.

If you’re interested in adding any of these amenities to your home, contact Serene Landscape Group today to make your home dreams a reality!

19 Dec 2019

Trends to Take Your Landscaping into the New Decade

The winter is prime time for Serene Landscape Group to start planning landscaping projects and renovations for the spring/summer. Planning is essential to any successful installation, but doing so can be difficult if you’re not on top of the upcoming trends for this season.

Thanks to Mom’s Design Build Blog, we can stay ahead of the game and help you design your landscape accordingly. Here are just four predicted landscaping trends for 2020:

  1. The intersection of indoor and outdoor living: A cool trend in 2020 will be all about combining the elements and bringing indoor living to the outdoors. Sofas, comfortable chairs, and throw cushions, in turn, will live outdoors on patios – making lounging outside a comfort fest.
  2. Smart technology: We live in the age of advanced technology and smart features are enhancing home design everywhere. A perfect example of smart technology is phantom screens, which are retractable screen doors that can be used in outdoor spaces.
  3. Unique outdoor lighting: Sleek, minimalist, linear lighting will be all the rage in 2020. The addition of outdoor lighting illuminates your landscape and softens the design elements all-around your home. LED light channels hiding under sidewalks and patio spaces make for a soothing feel. Essentially, the lighting enhances the curves and texture of the design, boosting the look and creating safety and visibility for guests and family.
  4. Modern Patio Flooring: This year, a more modernized look with patio flooring will be on the rise. We can create unique designs for all of our clients using Unilock, which can be utilized not only on patios, but for walkways, driveways, and more. You can learn more about our paver manufacturer and what we can do using their products here.

Are you looking to update your landscaping this spring/summer? #TeamSerene is here to help! Contact us and our designers will help make your landscape dreams a reality.

This post originally appeared on Mom’s Design Blog and was written by Brittany Chaffee. You can view the original here: http://bit.ly/34FfQWl

18 Sep 2019

Fall Maintenance Guarantees Healthy Spring Lawns

What’s the key to a healthy lawn in the spring when the ground thaws and landscape comes back to life? It’s continued maintenance in the fall! While many homeowners focus on the leaves during the season change, it’s important to prep your lawn for Michigan’s notorious winter. Here are some tips on getting ahead and achieving a beautiful lawn come spring-time:

  • Pull weeds: This is not exclusive to fall and important all year round, but it can lead to less weeds in the spring when growth begins again.
  • Overseed and fertilize: Seed dead or bare spots and overseed your entire lawn to get dense, plush grass that is vibrant in color. Additionally, fertilizer should be laid mid-September for cold-winter climates and mid-October for mild-winter climates.
  • Continue Cutting Your Grass: It’s important to keep it at 2 to 2.5 inches tall, as more than 3 inches will cause it to mat, and lead to winter lawn disease problems such as snow mold. If you cut shorter than 2 inches, you’ll limit the ability to make and store food for growth in the spring and encourage weed growth.
  • Rake and Remove Debris: Raking and removing your leaves in the yard may seem like common sense, but it’s important to understand the damage it can cause to your yard. Aside from a healthier lawn, built up leaves that are left to freeze and unfreeze can leave room for bacteria to grow and release forms of phosphate and nitrates.
  • Prune Plants: Cut most perennials back close to the ground.

While this won’t guarantee a lush, green lawn when winter ends, following this guide will help you achieve the best lawn on the block and save time, money, and energy come spring. Of course, you can always contact Serene Landscape Group and take part in one of our lawncare programs. We are here to help!

These tips originally appeared in “A Seasonal Guide: Fall Lawn and Landscape Care” on www.loveyourlandscape.org. You can read the full article here.

03 Jul 2019

It’s Not Too Late to Get Your Yard into Top Shape!

 

Now is the height of lawn care and landscape maintenance season. While summer is generally the peak time for upkeep in your yard and growth for plants, it’s important to get ahead of maintenance early and practice it regularly throughout the summer and into the fall.

When you skip out on spring clean up, it can leave your yard in a disastrous state, leaving zero room for new growth, allowing fungi to thrive, and making your landscape the eyesore on the street.

While skipping out on spring clean up can cause serious damage to your yard, Serene Landscape Group can reverse that damage through disaster relief. Below are the following services we provide to turn your yard with time to spare before summer ends:

  • Lawn care and fertilization: Promoting growth in your lawn after a harsh Michigan winter and continued neglect can be difficult. Serene Landscape Group is a full-service lawn care company. We not only provide quality mowing but also treatments and fertilization that are catered to each individual client’s needs.
  • Landscape maintenance: We can provide complete care for all of your landscape needs. From the cleanup of landscape beds, tree, and shrub care programs, gardening, and weeding, we can bring life back to your yard and even install some new additions.
  • Gutter and window cleaning: This is a part of your landscape and home that people tend to neglect the most. Adventure Window Cleaning, a division of Serene, is our window and gutter cleaning company. We service both commercial and residential clients throughout southeast Michigan.

Continuing that maintenance throughout the summer and into the fall will keep the necessary labor and cost minimal. Summer may almost be halfway over, but it’s not too late for our trusted professionals to get and keep your landscape in top shape. Contact us today to get started!

21 May 2019

Small Projects Can Have a Big Impact on Your Home

Recently, the professionals at Serene Landscaping Group did a simple driveway expansion in Plymouth, Mich. and while the project was small, all of our work deserves the utmost care in planning and preparation. The key to any successful project like this one is a really good, well-executed plan.

In the installation for this and many of our driveway projects, geo-fabric is used to prevent sub-soils from mixing with base material and a rigid poly paver restraint is secured in place with 10” nails, which are driven into the base extension. Essentially and in layman’s terms, this extends the life of your driveway.

All of our paver projects are installed to Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute(ICPI) specifications and backed up by Unilock, our paver manufacturer. Unilock provides endless design opportunities not only for your driveway but for other landscaping features including the following:

  1. Outdoor Kitchen- You can add a whole new dimension to an outdoor grill by creating functional counter space around it. Adding a bar island will allow for extra seating and can bring your kitchen party outside during the summer months.
  2. Fire Feature- A Unilock fireplace or fire pit can serve as a focal point of your outdoor space. These features can be used year-round and can be custom built by the professionals at Serene Landscaping Group.
  3. Gathering Place- One of the biggest trends in landscaping is extending your living space outdoors. If you love to entertain, you can add something like a seat wall which can provide built-in seating and is also an attractive way to define your space.
  4. Outdoor Rooms- You can make any small space feel larger by using elevation changes, different paver patterns, and borders to create the feeling of distinct “rooms” in your outdoor space.
  5. Borders and Banding- We can add borders and banding accents in your pavers and walls to elevate your project from good to great.

 

You can see a variety of Unilock paver projects and other ways to incorporate it into your driveway or landscaping design in our gallery or on the Unilock website. Contact us today to get started on your summer projects!

BEFORE:

 

AFTER:

02 Dec 2018

Winter Landscaping

Ah, Winter. It is that time of year that we see our beautiful landscape transformed by the snow and ice, leaving a sense of longing for the Spring when we can start the planting season again. Despite the season, there are a number of things we can do to stem the “Winter Blues” and keep our landscaping looking top-shelf. Barbara Pierson, nursery manager at White Flower Farm in Litchfield, Connecticut offers a few tips to “make you love your yard in every season!”

Originally Posted in Home and Gardens: By Kelly Roberson, https://www.bhg.com/gardening/landscaping-projects/landscape-basics/winter-landscaping-tips/

1. Focus on bark. Sure, deciduous trees lose their leaves in wintertime, leaving their branches and trunks in focus. But that can be a good thing, Pierson says, “if you have any interesting ornamental trees that have really visually distinctive bark, which will end up adding winter interest.” Many of those trees and some shrubs are smaller, meaning they’re easier to find spots for in the winter landscape. A few of Pierson’s favorites include dogwoods and birch trees, great for both texture and color.

2. Include berries. Many trees and shrubs have berries they hold onto during fall and winter, and those can provide food for birds overwintering in your area. “Crabapples hold their little fruit,” Pierson says, and they make a great addition to the winter landscape. “A holly with berries is really beautiful,” she says.

3. Remember evergreens. Evergreens are great in the winter landscape for many reasons. First, there’s color: Evergreens are not just green; they’re available in yellow, such as Gold Thread false cypress, and blues, including dwarf blue spruce, and all colors in between. And evergreens just make good design sense, Pierson says. “They are really important for a winter landscape, but they make good focal points all year-round,” she says. “I always like to have at least one or two evergreens and work a border around those. When you are planting a new bed, you always want to have at least one evergreen.”

4. Rely on your hardscape. Winter is a good time to critically assess your landscape, figuring out where it’s missing focal points. The solution to enhancing your winter landscaping might not be a plant at all. “Winter is the best time to consider hardscape,” Pierson says. “A trellis, a bench, an arbor, even a garden sculpture are really essential.”

5. Adorn your summertime containers. Window boxes, hanging baskets, winter-hardy containers: All are indispensable for winter landscaping. Miniature dwarf Alberta spruce and broadleaf evergreens, such as Japanese Andromeda, holly and rhododendron, are perfect for wintertime, but they all have to be watered during dry periods. You don’t have to spend money on plants, Pierson says. “Fill containers with evergreen boughs of different textures and colors and interesting twigs,” she says, “anything with color in it.”

6. Stick with four-season perennials. Some perennials have evergreen foliage — ornamental grasses, hellebores, even dianthus with its beautiful low-creeping foliage — making them great for winter landscaping, Pierson says. “Make sure to read the plant label and find out if the plant has foliage in the winter, so you can see it year-round,” she says.

So, no need to dread the Winter season. We can enjoy the change of scenery and find ways to keep our landscaping love alive and well.

Also, you can schedule your Spring appointment with Serene Surroundings today, giving you something to look forward to in 2019!

Call today – (734) 416-9062

09 Nov 2018

Nature Can Improve Moods

We love sharing articles with our readers that demonstrate the positive effects of nature on people. Nature can improve moods and it nurtures our mental well-being. Many of our clients express that their own yards and landscapes are natural getaways from their daily stresses and anxieties. We love to provide serene surroundings to our clients; it’s not just a clever name!

Mood Enhancers: An excerpt from Landscape Architecture Magazine, June 2018

Byline: Joann Plockova

A Cross-Disciplinary Team Examines the Effects of Nature on the Urban Mind in Real Time.

According to the results of the pilot phase of a project called Urban Mind, nature does indeed nurture. Urban Mind uses smartphone technology to assess the impact of nature on mental well-being in cities, merging the immediacy of real-time data collection with a growing body of evidence about environments and mental health.

Developed in response to an open call put out by the Van Alen Institute, the research project and open source app were created by a cross-disciplinary team including the neuroscientist Andrea Mechelli of King’s College London, the artist and researcher Michael Smythe of Nomad Projects, and the landscape architects Johanna Gibbons and Neil Davidson of J & L Gibbons. It’s one of several smartphone-based studies, including LondonMood and Mappiness, that explore the effects of the environment on mental well-being, but Urban Mind is distinguished by its cross-disciplinary team and the inclusion of specific types and amounts of nature—sky, trees, birdsong, and so forth. “We’ve had a long-standing interest in how nature and landscapes influence our health,”

Davidson, a partner at the London-based firm, says. “In regard to mental health, we always had a sort of instinct of how important it might be, but there’s been a lack of robust scientific data to support that hypothesis.” As a member of the mixed team of academics and practitioners, “we saw some benefits in the different disciplines challenging each other’s preconceptions,” Davidson says. J & L Gibbons brought a knowledge of city planning, a strong interest in research, and a decade of experience working with the mayor of London on a policy framework project focused on the city’s green infrastructure plans. “We think landscape architects are quite well placed across a lot of disciplines to see where there might be opportunities to connect the dots,” Davidson says.

A serene patio by Serene Landscape Group

Preceded by a baseline assessment that included demographics and trait impulsivity (an indicator of those at greater risk of mental health issues), the app poses a series of questions that asks participants about their current environment (Can you see trees? Can you hear birds singing?) and mental well-being in the moment. Prompts were sent to participants seven times per day over a period of one week. Data was collected in real time using a technique called ecological momentary assessment. “So as you’re walking around the city or in your office, the questions you’re asked require a response within a fairly limited time frame,” Davidson says. “What that means is that the responses you are getting are without bias.”

Results, published in January in BioScience, showed that exposure to natural elements such as trees, sky, and birdsong positively affect mental well-being in the moment, but also that those effects linger beyond the moment. And for people with more potential to develop mental health issues, those benefits were even greater. “In real terms,” Davidson says, “this might inform the work of landscape architects to inform a frequency and a distribution of urban nature interventions that can lead to the improved long-term well-being for urban communities.”