“Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.”
Jackson Brown, Jr.
In this article, we are returning to our conversation about how to create a beautiful, low-maintenance, eco-friendly yard. If you’re just joining us, consider reading the first part here, but you don’t need to in order to enjoy these tips. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a veteran gardener in search of new ideas, we’re glad you’ve joined us.
J&S Landscaping has served Walled Lake and surrounding areas for over twenty years. We are a full-service landscaping, hardscaping, and exterior care company. Our crews provide services to both residential and commercial residences. We know the challenges of lawn care in Walled Lake and providing the best environment for plants and trees and are happy to help you with your landscaping and hardscaping needs.
Let’s look at some other ways you can create an eco-friendly yard. We’ve included links to our state extension office to aid you along the way.
Choosing flowers that are bee and butterfly friendly will provide mutually beneficial advantages. You will enjoy the sight of the busy bees visiting flower after flower. And you will provide an endangered population with an important food source.
The same goes for butterflies, especially our summer visitors, the Monarch Butterfly. While Monarchs are just passing through, they spend their summers with us and then fly on to Mexico. They do most of their feeding in northern states like Michigan before heading south. You can find a long list of resources for adding a butterfly and bee-friendly garden at the University of Michigan’s Extension site.
For this same reason, you want to minimize—if not eliminate—the use of pesticides in your yard. If you decide to use our landscaping services, you can ask J&S Landscaping about your options. We understand the importance of having an eco-friendly yard and will be happy to help.
Remember that suggestion that you note the sections of your yard where water pools when it rains? Here’s why we made it.
A rain garden can be a beautiful, efficient way to make use of all that run-off that’s pooling in that section of the yard. Placing the right plants in soil that is always soggy is a great way to beautify your yard and soak up the excess water. You can find more information about the kinds of plants you can use on Michigan State University’s site.
J&S Landscaping can help you by incorporating a “dry creek bed” that channels run-off into the section of yard where you want your rain garden. A dry creek bed is essentially a trench filled with attractive river rock that carries water away from areas where it’s not wanted into places where it will do less damage. This is a beautiful way to solve an otherwise troublesome issue and can resolve many issues common to lawn care in Walled Lake. And when you combine it with a paver patio, walkway, and a beautiful yard, it raises it is a thing of beauty.
Best Addition to An Eco-friendly Yard? Native Plant gardens.
Native plant gardens are fun to grow and are a great edition to an eco-friendly yard. Native plants are hardy and attractive. And with a little planning, you can have blooms in the bed all season long. No pesticides and very little fertilizer is needed. Even better—they attract butterflies, birds, and bees! A serious win-win! You can find more information about what native plants grow best in what locations HERE.
“Xeros” is Greek for “dry”. A Xeriscape garden is a low maintenance answer to having a beautiful low maintenance garden during those warm, dry months in which you get little or no rain. And if you fill it with drought-tolerant native plants, you’ve got a two-fer! Beauty and ease! Check out Michigan State University’s site for more information. You can ask us about how to prevent the problems often seen with lawn care in Walled Lake during dry periods.
Choose the Right Grass
Choosing the right grass for your yard is an important decision. You will need to consider how much sun your yard gets, how much time you have to invest in its care, and what kind of soil you have. Otherwise, you’re just throwing away good grass seed (and money).
If you’re re-thinking the appearance of your lawn and aren’t sure what kind of grasses work for you and/or don’t have time to care for it, J&S Landscaping can help! Our crews are reliable and professional and they know exactly how to handle any of the problems common to lawn care in Walled Lake. And you will never have to worry about whether they will show up on time. Never again will you have to worry about your overgrown or dying lawn! We’ve got your back!
Be like the Mayans!
Sloped yards are challenging to live with—valuable topsoil washes away, baring tree roots which leads to weakened or sick trees, and plants suffer too. And if your slope is especially notable, you risk mud slides, which can translate to property damage.
The ancient Mayans who lived in the mountains found an answer to your problem a long time ago! They used retaining walls and terraces to grow food and control run-off.
J&S Landscaping can help with this too! In addition to paver patios and outdoor living spaces, we build beautiful retaining walls that can provide you with more usable space in your yard. Or—if you prefer, we can build terraced gardens that provide multiple benefits. Terraced gardens are an ancient solution to many ticklish gardening issues—preventing run-off, mudslides, and moisture management. Terracing allows you to have more plants and/or shrubs than if you just attempted to garden on a hill.
Become a saver!
Want a beautiful garden but don’t like the water bill? Become a saver—a rain saver, that is! Make the most of all that rain Michigan gets and use it to water plants and flowers when you go a week or two between rains. And it will help you with your goal to have an eco-friendly yard as you won’t be wasting water. More information here.
Adding mulch to your flower beds and around your trees will decrease the need to weed, protect against insect damage, and keep the soil around the roots of your plants cool and moist. You don’t need to water as often, which will save on your water bill, and the right mulch is attractive. The most environmentally friendly mulches are organic and include wood chips, straw, leaves, grass, peat moss, coconut fibers, cardboard or newspapers.
J&S Landscaping offers only high-quality fresh premium wood chip mulches. We guarantee our mulches will last for the length of a growing season. They come in several attractive colors that will provide a clean, neat backdrop for your plants.
Consider adding a compost bin to your yard where you can save yard cuttings and non-meat kitchen scraps. Add a few enzymes and within a few months, you will have rich compost to add to your flower beds. This keeps your yard cleaner and saves money. Here’s some information about soil management and how composting can help you have an even more beautiful eco-friendly yard!
We hope you’ve found some additional tips to help you create an eco-friendly yard you can be proud of! Be sure and return to read more ideas and suggestions every month. And if you’d like some help with your landscaping and planning, don’t hesitate to contact us.
J&S Landscaping is a member of the Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association. We provide the best lawn care services in Walled Lake and surrounding areas. We also plant and care for plants, trees, and shrubs. Everything we purchase and plant for you has a one-year guarantee.
J&S Landscaping is certified by the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute to install paver patios & walkways, brick paver driveways, retaining walls and more. We are an authorized contractor for Belgard and we’re so confident of our work that we certify our installations for two years. All of our crews are carefully trained, certified, and bonded.
Call today to learn more about what our company can do for you!