Here in San Diego we are all aware of just how expensive home are and with such a premium we need to utilize every square inch to its maximum. So no mater the size of your yard you can transform that space from a under utilized cracked concrete slab for example into an extension of your home with some creative idea.  Some quick points to remember are to envision how you want to use the space and how that would pair with your homes style. Then think about what areas you might need to open up or screen off. When it comes to plant and material selection take extra care for they need to be well thought out for each one will have a greater impact then it would in a larger landscape. Don’t forget to look to design accents that will help bring it all together with the home and help draw you into your new outdoor space. These pointers along with a handful of other(we cant give it all away) will help you in creating a small outdoor space that will live larger then it really is.

If you are interested in have Cleator Landscape Design create a outdoor living space for your property please contact us at 619.917.3644

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Here in San Diego as across the world bees are in decline. I know I have spoken about this before, but I found a great little product that you can use to help give these vital pollinators a helping hand. Beside avoiding pesticides in your garden and planting bee friendly plants, you can help out by installing a bee house. Now these great looking homes are constructed out of scrap wood making them even more eco friendly and should be installed on the southwest side of your home with a little protection from the elements. With the ability to visit close to 20 blooms in a minute bees can quickly help get your garden back in shape and blooming like never before, all the while your helping out your garden allies.

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If your looking for to redesign your outdoor space please contact Cleator Landscape Design at 619.917.3644

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Here in San Diego summer has come to a close, but that in no way means you cant still get out and enjoy all the garden has to offer.

September is still a beautiful month here(we really dont have any bad ones anyways) but its also a great time to do a little yard work. I highly recommend pruning your Pennisteum now so they will have had time to rebound by winter when most gardens could benefit from the movement they provide. Feeding roses one last time along with your established trees and shrubs is another great idea. You can also start buying and planting bulbs such as Daffodil to set early. These are just a few ideas on how to keep your outdoor space humming right along as we traverse out of summer here in San Diego.

If you would like to have Cleator Landscape Design help create a beautiful outdoor space for your property please contact us at 619.917.3644

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Landscaping design in San Diego can mean different things to different people, but the common thread is drought resistant. For good reason, we are in the midst of a serious drought and with all the other factors such as increasing regional temperatures and population growth we must do what we can to save every drop. I’m not promoting we all leave with barren landscapes, far from it. Properly landscaped areas help reduce run off, cool surround air, give wildlife a home, and clean the air among many other wonderful things we all need to survive. So today I wanted to  share with you a few San Diego appropriate plants that you can incorporate into your garden.

California Fushia with its scarlet flowers which hummingbirds adore and it ability to handle tough conditions, its a real standout.

Matilija Poppy has large white blooms with the feel of paper mache, great drainage is a must.

Deer Grass is a beautiful native grass that can handle a wide array of conditions without missing a beat.

Cleveland Sage is another native that displays great blueish purple flowers while provided a nice aroma.

Coyote Bush is a “go to” plant for the worst conditions you have to face here in San Diego.

All these plants plus many others can beautify your without putting additional strain on our environment.

If you would like to have Cleator Landscape Design create a beautiful outdoor space that is easy on the environment, please contact us at 619.917.3644

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Here is San Diego we are blessed with a surplus of landscape maintenance companies to select from. However the overwhelming majority of the them are unprofessional and at best a “mow and blow” service. That may be fine for some people, but even the most basic landscape stills needs some level of care. When was the last time you saw an abandoned lot and said “wow look how nice that yard looks”, every yard need looking after.

With the popularity of drought tolerant landscapes people think they are “no maintenance” that is completely false. Yes the may require less maintenance then a formal cottage garden but they still need looking after by a trained individual that has a vested interest in the success of that outdoor space. So please select a maintenance company not on how cheap they are but on successful examples of other property they maintain. Then speak with the homeowners of these projects to see how much of the work they are really doing themselves, you may be surprised that they do all the fine tuning while the gardens do only the mowing and weed pulling.

As the homeowner you take great pride in your property and we both know that you spent a great deal of money to achieve a certain look, the designer too has poured their heart into the success of the space only to have a guy with a mower and blower come wreck the whole thing for $75 bucks a month. No matter how great the design all landscapes can be ruined without proper maintenance, so please pick your maintenance company with as much care as you selected your landscape designer for we are counting on it.

If you would like to have Cleator Landscape Design create a beautiful outdoor space for your property please contact us at 619.917.3644

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I just wanted to write a quick blog post today about the drought. I know that unless you leave under a rock everyone here in San Diego knows about the drought, but I wanted to give the single best tip on helping to ease our water emergency.

Remove your lawn, that’s it.

Cover your lawn with 6-8 layers of newspaper, then top it off with 6 ” of aged steer manure and let it all sit for about 4 months (if you have a bermuda lawn then strip the lawn first with a spade). The newspaper and manure will kill the lawn and prep the soil for future drought resilient plants such as Ceanothus and Arctostaphylos among others.

By doing this one thing we can vastly reduce our dependance on imported water while equally reducing your water bill. If you are interested in having Cleator Landscape Design create a beautiful drought tolerant outdoor space for your property please contact us at 619.917.3644Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 10.02.24 AM

 

Continuing on the theme from last week about the newly implemented water restrictions here in San Diego, this week we will discuss what to do if you find yourself with a higher then expected water bill.

The most common reason for a higher then normal water bill is pretty straight forward, you used more water. With more then half of a typical residents water being used on their landscape other areas despite being a much smaller percentage can add up. Think back and see if you can remember what might have caused that, did you have guest staying at your place, did your child move home for the summer, these will cause a rise in usage. The second most common is a leak, even if they are small when left unattended they can be costly. Often they are in the irrigation system and the best way to find out is to search for an abnormally wet spot as well as visually inspect each head on each zone for a broken or missing part. If you are looking for a leak not associated with your irrigation system the best way to do that is to turn off the water to your home and all water using appliances. Read the meter and then again 15 min later, if the dial has not moved you don’t have a leak. If the dial moved then start inspection faucets, and toilets if you don’t find anything the leak is in a underground pipe and you will need to call a plumber. The third and least likely reason behind a increased water bill is reader error. While this is unlikely its possible, visual read your meter yourself and compare the findings to what they billed you for.

Like I have mentioned before, I highly recommend transforming your landscape from water thirsty plants to more climate appropriate plants schemes, but I believe we should all do whatever we can to limit water usage in all aspects of our lives and being aware of ones overall water usage and how to detect a leak is a great way to be water smart.

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If you would like Cleator Landscape Design to help create a drought tolerant outdoor space for your property, please contact us at 619.917.3644

New San Diego permanent and Level 1 water restrictions went into place on July 1st, and they have many people asking “what changed”. Well if you follow this blog and our environmentally conscience then the answer is not much.

Some of the items are pretty simple and you probably have been doing for years. Such as dont water between 10:00am and 6:oo pm, dont use a hose to wash down sidewalks, fountains need a recirculating pump, dont water when its raining, and my favorite limiting the use of fire hydrants to fire fighting.

We all need to be aware of the drought and limit our use of water wherever we can. I personally feel that we should take it upon ourselves to not only follow the new regulations but take it another step further and be a example in our community on how to really curb our dependance on water. Great ways to do so are removing lawns and thirsty plants, installing a smart irrigation system, run dishwasher and other water using appliances only when full, use gray water where possible, capture what rainfall we do get and many other things that can save water and hopefully get others to do the same.

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If you would like Cleator Landscape Design to help with creating a beautiful low water use outdoor space for you, please contact us at 619.917.3644

Here in San Diego and throughout much of California we are able to grow a wide range of  beautiful trees for our outdoor spaces, but if your looking for a native standout you may find yourself stumped. One great family of native trees are the Oaks, in our area some that do especially well are the Coastal Live Oak, Interior Live Oak, Black Oak, Canyon Live Oak and the Scrub Oak.  If you are looking to grow your own iconic California tree I recommend planting your acorns right after the first rain of the season (typically in November) in a site with great drainage. Place the acorn on its side in a hole about as wide and deep as your hand, cover with about an inch of soil. Due to the fact that most critters like to harvest acorns its best to protect them with a small diameter metal screen for the first few years. Let the rain help with the watering chores however its best to give them a few drinks during the summer for the first few years to help them along. In time you will have your own iconic tree to be enjoyed by future generations.

If you would like to have Cleator Landscape Design help create a beautiful outdoor space please contact us at 619.917.3644

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Here are a few bits of information that should help you in your San Diego garden this month.

Tending to your citrus this time of year is a great way to ensure you will have fruit to enjoy in the future. I recommend feeding your citrus right about now, and if you are replanting an older tree or planting a new tree be sure to dial in the soil. Proper soil will help to supply the tree with the nutrients it needs but also will reduce the frequency of waterings.

Removing your lawn. Water it well then cover it completely with clear plastic, secure the edges and leave in place for 6 or more weeks to completely destroy the grass. Then re-water and see what pops up, remove thoes few stragglers and you should be good.

Prune your spent hydrangea blooms to only two buds per stalk.

Prune off your grapes leaves within about 6-8 inches of the fruit when fruit is about the size of a pea. Leaving the foliage on the south side of the vine to help shade it from the summer sun. This will improve air circulation while still shading the fruit as it matures.

If you would like to have Cleator Landscape Design help create a beautiful outdoor space please contact us a 619.917.3644

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In San Diego’s urban setting with it’s small lots, makes use of every inch of your property can help to make it function more like a larger space. Making double duty out of your landscape elements is one way to achieve this feeling. Think of all your landscape features that could be reused or redesigned to give you the space and flexibility you need is a great way to go.

One idea is to incorporate storage under built-in seats, or allow for a sandbox to also be a firepit. Growing edible such as lemon or orange trees offer vertical height, screening and the added benefit of homegrown goodness.  Have a small yard but need a pool and a larger entertaining space, consider a rectangular pool with a metal retractable cover to act as dance floor when called for.

This kind of thinking can allow your outdoor space to move and adjust to the needs of the client at any moment. If you would like to have Cleator Landscape Design help create a multi-functional space for your property please contact us at 619.917.3644

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Its now mid June and its time to tend your gardens. Most of your plants that are actively growing will benefit from a balanced fertilizer. However don’t feed or even give much water to any Mediterranean or native plants, they have evolved to handle our dry summers. But your lawn, any roses, annuals, perennials will all enjoy a nice boost.  Its also a great time to manage giant white fly, remove infected leaves and blast remain leaves with a strong blast of water to dislodge remain insects. You can also plant summers annuals  such as Gaillardia or Ratibida columnifera. Adding 2-4 inches of mulch will also help to maintain soil temp and conserve water as summer temperatures continue to rise. If you are growing tomatoes, be sure to pick off hornworms and irrigate every 5-7 days. Adding a nice layer of organic mulch around their base will also help. That’s a quick to-do list for June gardeners here is San Diego.

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If you would like Cleator Landscape Design to help create a beautiful outdoor space for your property please contacts us at 619.917.3644