Comprehensive Guide to Winterizing Your Landscape Assets

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Winterization is the process or processes required to prepare something for Winter. For a pool, this may mean drainage or covering. For a motorcycle, this may mean removing the gasoline and placing the battery on a drip charger. For people, this may mean procuring a few more sweaters and socks and purchasing firewood.

For your property, this may mean any number of things. Since each person’s property is different and unique, every landscape requires different processes to ensure effective and efficient winterization. Below are some of the more frequent winterization steps, though this list is certainly not extensive. For peace of mind and to guarantee that your property is ready for winter, reach out to the winterization professionals at The Parke Company to see how our landscaping services, irrigation services, and tree services can best support your land’s transition into the colder months.

Tree Winterization

When you think of winter, you think of the beautiful snow-blanketed landscape. When we think of winter, we think of snow blanketed dead tree limbs that are unable to carry the load and that break and fall on to your home. Sound bleak? It doesn’t have to be. One of the first steps to tree winterization is to check for dead or damaged limbs. Those that pose a threat to your home, vehicles, safety, or property should be removed before the snow or freezing rains fall. Additionally, to best prepare for winter storms, plants or brush that have built up on the trees and bushes around your home should also be removed. Overgrown plants should also be trimmed and pruned to mitigate unbearable loads during times of snow or freezing rain. The Parke Company has a variety of pruning and tree trimming services to choose from to ensure that your trees and bushes are to safe to take on the colder weather to come.

Lawn Winterization

Though they may spend much of the winter months buried beneath the snow, there are a few simple steps that should be taken to ensure that your lawns are ready for the cold weather. The first step is to cut your grass low to reduce weight and limit exposure to freezing temperatures. Long grasses will bend over under the snow and damage the growth beneath them. For the same reason, leaves and other litter should be raked and removed to prevent sunlight blockage, extra weight, and moisture retention. Once your lawn is ready, make sure that people, plants, and vehicles stay off it. One easy step is to set up flags or markers to outline your driveway and walkways. It seems silly to say, but stray shovel strokes or an improperly placed snowplow can cause extensive damage to your land. Finally, clear your lawn of unnecessary ornamentation that may also squash or damage your grass.

Of course, if you have an irrigation system, it is highly important that you properly drain and pressurize the system before the first frost. Cold weather and water-filled pipes don’t go together. Cracked or broken pipes and valves can be costly and time-consuming to repair. To ensure your irrigation system is properly winterized, consult our expert team. They have extensive knowledge in properly preparing systems of all shapes, sizes, and layouts.

Winter Plant and Shrub Coverings

Small and fragile plants and shrubs should be covered with burlap or something similar. This will prevent the build up of potentially damaging snow and freezing rain.

Winter Mulching and Fertilization

Your lawn, gardens, and trees receive very little nutrients during the winter months. Help them make it through these harsh days by applying fresh mulch and fertilizer before the freezing temperatures arrive. Mulch will help your soil retain temperature and moisture while fertilizer will give your plants a boost when the warmer weather arrives in spring.

Winter is Here, Snow is Falling, Now What?

Though proper winterization is paramount to a successful winter, there are many landscaping services that can be done during the winter months and a few that can only be done during winter. As the nights get colder and snow falls, there are several important things to consider.

First, do you have a snow clean-up plan? If not, take advantage of The Parke Company’s snow removal services to ensure your walkways and driveways are clean so that the winter weather doesn’t get in the way of you going about your life.

With or without snow, icy buildup on your exterior stairs and walkways can be very annoying or seriously dangerous. Unfortunately, many commercially available rock salts can have incredibly detrimental effects on your plants, gardens, and lawn. Make sure that you are utilizing safe salt options so that spring will find your property in good health and ready to take on the bountiful rains and sunshine.

Much of what needs to be done during the winter months you can do yourself. However, it is often safer and less time consuming to hire a professional. When it comes to ice and snow removal, it is important to know what you can safely do and when the project is over your head. If you are unsure, be safe and give us a call.

Is Winter Finally Over?

As the winter season ends and warmer weather rapidly approaches, there is a whole new list of things to do to get your landscapes ready for spring. Make sure you reach out to the professionals at The Parke Company to help you meet these seasonal changes head on to ensure that your property gets the fresh start it deserves.

Whatever Your Winterization Needs Are, Let The Parke Company Go to Work for You

Locally owned and operated, The Parke Company provides community-centered, high quality, and affordable tree and landscaping services to municipalities, businesses, and private residences in the greater Nashville area. We know Nashville. When it comes to winterization. We know the soil, water tables, and the specific winterization requirements for species endemic to Tennessee and for non-native plants and trees. We have experienced many Nashville winters ourselves and know how to best prepare for them. Even more, we know what to do when the unexpected happens and when the preparation is not enough. Our certified team of Nashville locals has a reputation for being clean, consistent, and professional and for being leaders in their industries. We at The Parke Company stand behind our work and pride ourselves on our ability to respond quickly, provide efficient and cost-effective services, and meet your needs every step of the way. Please feel free to give us a call (615-350-6033) or contact us online today to see how The Parke Company difference can work for you.

The Year Round Guide to Maintaining Landscaping Irrigation Systems in Nashville

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No matter the size of your lawn and gardens, irrigation can have many benefits for your property and should be a key component of your lawn maintenance plan. An individualized, thought out, properly installed and maintained irrigation system can save you money and time, as well as conserve water. These benefits alone make it both a sensible and an environmentally conscious way to improve your property.

However, an irrigation system that is poorly planned, improperly installed, or not maintained can have the opposite effect and end up costing you both time and money in the long-term. Therefore, it is incredibly important to consult a highly trained landscape professional for every aspect of your irrigation planning, installation, and maintenance needs.

Maintenance Can Make or Break an Irrigation System

A well designed and installed irrigation system is only as efficient and effective as its maintenance plan. An unmaintained or improperly maintained system can be wracked by a plethora of issues. Broken or cracked pipes can leak. This will end up costing you money, interrupting irrigation, and flooding your property. Tilted, sunken, or improperly installed spray heads provide uneven water distribution and can lead to dry patches and overly saturated areas. Blocked or improperly placed heads (such as behind a tree) can also lead to large portions of your lawn or garden not receiving adequate irrigation. Timers that are either broken or not properly set up can lead to over or under watering, or can foster a system that irrigates during the hottest hours of the day when evaporation will undermine the effectiveness of your irrigation system. Additionally, water pressure that is either too high or too low can lead to evaporation, flooding, or inefficient coverage, and can potentially damage your lawn or garden.

All of these issues can be identified, mitigated, or corrected through frequent and proper irrigation system maintenance. Ideally, your system should be checked monthly, though seasonal maintenance is a minimum. Below are the steps that should be taken seasonally to ensure that your irrigation system is running as smoothly, effectively, and efficiently as possible.

Please note: a professional irrigation company should always be utilized to guarantee proper servicing of your specific system. Though do-it-yourself irrigation system installations and fixes may be tempting, improper care can simply be too risky and too costly.

Winter Maintenance

Winter irrigation preparation and maintenance is vitally important in order to prevent damages during the colder months. Winterization is a necessary step for all irrigation systems in Tennessee.

The first step is to shut off the main water source and to open manual drain valves to allow gravity to facilitate drainage. If you have an automatic controller, it is also very important to shut this off or switch it to manual. Next, your newly empty system should be pressurized with compressed air. This should be done to each system or zone until the heads in all zones blow air, ensuring full system compression and drainage. Finally, your controllers should be reset to automatic to run a few minutes every month over the winter.

Seem complicated? It is. This is why we strongly recommend hiring a professional to help facilitate the winterization of your irrigation system.

Spring Maintenance

Proper spring startup of your irrigation system is just as important as effective winterization. Start by making sure you have all the necessary replacement parts on hand. If you uncover any issues during the repressurization process, it is important to be able to fix them quickly. Next, test your lawns and gardens to ensure they are frost free. For a buried system, you should also check the soil to the depth of the pipes. Filling frozen pipes with water is an all but guaranteed way to crack or break them. Finally, if the system seems ready, close all manual drains and re-open the main valve to the water supply. Once each zone has water flowing, thoroughly check your system for damages sustained during the winter months. Even a small crack or a slightly relocated or realigned head could result in costly water loss or improper watering in the long run.

Summer & Fall Maintenance

Though not as important as winterization and spring startup, consistent maintenance throughout the summer and fall months is paramount to a well-functioning irrigation system. Your system should be frequently and thoroughly inspected for leaks; misaligned, sunken, or clogged heads; improperly set timers; irregularities in valves and flow; insufficient water pressure, etc. Any problems that are discovered during routine inspections should be swiftly and effectively dealt with to maintain the integrity of your irrigation systems.

It Doesn’t Stop at Maintenance – Other Irrigation Support

From planning to installation, maintenance to monitoring, and everything in between, The Parke Company is here to help you and support your irrigation system. We offer a wide variety of irrigation and lawn services, and have the skills and experience to meet your irrigation needs, whatever they may be. Our expert irrigators not only ensure excellence in design, installation techniques, and equipment used, but they are also specialists in water and resource conservation. Using pressure-regulated sprays and proper scheduling can make a substantial environmental impact. We’ll make sure you get the best advice when planning your irrigation project to ensure you create the perfect system to fit your needs. Whether you are looking for a new installation or seasonal tune-up, it’s important to remember that your irrigation system is a vital part of your landscaping investment.

Whatever Your Irrigation Needs Are, Let The Parke Company Go to Work for You

Locally owned and operated, The Parke Company provides community-centered, high quality, and affordable tree and landscaping services to municipalities, businesses, and private residences in the greater Nashville area. We know Nashville. When it comes to irrigation, we know the soil, water tables, and the specific water requirements for species endemic to Tennessee. Our certified team of Nashville locals has a reputation for being clean, consistent, professional, and for being leaders in their industries. We at The Parke Company stand behind our work and pride ourselves on our ability to respond quickly, provide efficient and cost-effective services, and meet your needs every step of the way.

Please feel free to give us a call (615-350-6033) or contact us online today to see how The Parke Company difference can work for you.

Nashville Tree Guide: Selecting and Installing the Right Trees for Your Property and Needs

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Trees are important. More than important, trees are an essential part of the Tennessee countryside. From food to firewood, shade to oxygen, soil erosion prevention to creation of habitats for endemic birds and other species, trees in the greater Nashville area are much more than simply a beautiful adornment to the landscape. It’s hard to imagine the rolling hills of Davidson County without their picturesque blanket of naturally occurring trees. While Mother Nature has done an incredible job of creating this beautiful scene, there are many important factors to take into consideration when selecting and installing the right species of trees for your property and needs.

Why It’s Important to Start By Thinking Endemic

When developing a tree installation plan, start by considering endemic species. Endemic species are those that are native to a given area. Endemic tree species in Tennessee have been here for thousands, even hundreds of thousands of years. Over this extended period of time, these trees have developed mutually beneficial relationships with other plants and animals that are also endemic to the area. They have also adapted to the environment, weather, seasons, soil conditions, etc. Both of these attributes make them more adept at restricting and limiting the establishment of invasive species (such as the emerald ash borer) and at surviving and flourishing within this geographical region. Endemic trees require less maintenance, are more likely to survive, and will be more likely to attract local bird species.

Maple and Ash and Oak, Oh My! – Trees Native to Tennessee

Due to the incredibly diverse forested landscapes in the temperate forests of Tennessee, Nashville area residents have a lot of endemic tree species to choose from.

If you are interested in something traditional, consider maple, ash, or oak. For maple, there are several larger options (red maple, silver maple, and sugar maple) and smaller options (striped maple and mountain maple) to choose from. However, the native ash (white ash and green ash) and oak (white oak, scarlet oak, southern red oak, overcup oak, bur oak, swamp chestnut oak, chinkapin oak, water oak, nuttall oak, cherrybark oak, willow oak, chestnut oak, northern red oak, shumard oak, post oak, and black oak) varietals are typically on the larger side.

Perhaps you prefer conifers to deciduous trees? If this is the case, you have the eastern red cedar, shortleaf pine, eastern white pine, loblolly pine, and eastern hemlock to choose from.

Maybe you’re looking for something a little more unique. Some options could include the pecan, hickories, black walnut, sycamore, black cherry, American linden, hornbeam, dogwood, hawthorn, or witch hazel.

Maybe you’re looking for a fast growing tree that will quickly fill in a desired space in your landscape or a hole created by a recently dead or removed tree.

If your head is starting to spin, don’t be ashamed. Nature has provided Tennesseans with perhaps too many options. Don’t panic! We’re here to help you select the right tree for your individual situation, desire, or needs.

What to Consider if Selecting Non-Native Trees

Don’t feel bad if you are thinking about incorporating a non-native tree species into your landscape. Certain decorative trees are highly appealing based on their aesthetic value. We understand.

However, when incorporating a non-native plant or tree into your landscape it is important that you work with an arborist who knows the species, what it requires, and how it interacts with other plants and animals. All too often, well-intentioned plans are ruined by incorporating a tree that simply cannot survive in a specific climate, soil, moisture gradient, or in close proximity to other specific species. This can be frustrating and costly. Give yourself peace of mind and let us help you establish a tree selection and installation plan that is right for you. We guarantee that we will help you realize your goals while also honoring and understanding the geographic and environmental limitations and constraints of the Tennessee landscape.

Tree Selection and Installation: What’s Right For You?

With so many options, it’s incredibly difficult to decide what’s right for you and for your specific landscape. This is why it can be incredibly beneficial to contact the tree experts at The Parke Company when planning your next tree installation project. Our certified arborists have decades of experience working with endemic and non-native tree species in every type of ecosystem and landscape that the greater Nashville area has to offer. We can help you decide where to plant specific species of trees in order to achieve your goals, whatever they may be. Just as important, we can also help you avoid planting trees in areas, soils, or habitats where they will struggle to survive, potentially saving you lots of frustration, time, and money in the long run.

Do You Have Issues with Trees on Your Property? The Parke Company is Here to Help

In addition to selection and installation, we are also here to help you with all of your tree needs. From crown thinning to cold weather care, weight reduction to cabling and bolting, tree removal to stump grinding, we offer a wide variety of tree services. However, we don’t stop there. Trees come with leaves – and we’ve got leaf cleanup and removal covered as well! We can also work with you to develop a landscape management plan to ensure that all aspects of your land, lawn, and gardens are well-maintained and cared for, not just your trees.

Whatever Your Tree Needs Are, Let The Parke Company Go to Work for You

Locally owned and operated, The Parke Company provides community-centered, high quality, and affordable tree and landscaping services to municipalities, businesses, and private residences in the greater Nashville area. Our certified team of Nashville locals has a reputation for being clean, consistent, professional, and for being leaders in their industries. We at The Parke Company stand behind our work and pride ourselves on our ability to respond quickly, provide efficient and cost-effective services, and meet your needs every step of the way. Please feel free to give us a call (615-350-6033) or contact us online today to see how The Parke Company difference can work for you.

Community Spotlight: Debris Clearing and Storm Response in Forest Hills with The Parke Company

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From microbursts to thunderstorms to the occasional freak snowstorm, Forest Hills and the surrounding Tennessee municipalities are exposed to weather of all kinds. No matter what is coming, these communities owe it to their residents to do whatever it takes to be prepared.

Yet, preparation does not always equal prevention. It is just as important that well planned and thought out storm damage response plans are in place. Microbursts can tear down trees, rip up bushes, and relocate mulch and sod. Thunderstorms can flood roads, lawns, and parking lots at lower elevations and can lead to extensive erosion damage. Snow and ice storms can leave people stranded as roads become increasingly dangerous and impassable. The topography of Forest Hills is also susceptible to landslides, increased flooding, and lost integrity to root systems, which can result in extensive tree and landscape damage. In all of these situations, a swift recovery is necessary to ensure that people are able to get wherever they are going, home or back to work, as soon as possible and as safely as possible.

With one call to The Parke Company, Forest Hills residents can rest easy knowing that their municipality is in good hands. When the winds pick up, we suit up. While the snow or rain falls, we are warming up our equipment. While you are getting off the roads, we are already starting the cleanup process.

Our first and most important goal after any storm is re-establishing and maintaining safe conditions. Therefore, our municipal service teams start by clearing the roads of trees, debris, snow, etc. This also allows for safe passage so that we can get to work cleaning up damage as soon as possible.

From clean roads, we turn to restoration, whatever that entails. Whether it be debris clearing, reapplying sod, shoring up slopes and embankments, or emergency tree removal or trimming services, we have the crew, experience, and equipment to get it done. After severe weather, the people that have been affected have their hands full just trying to pick up the pieces. Our municipal storm damage services are here to lend a helping hand and to assist in your municipality’s storm damage clean up process in any way possible.

Municipal Landscaping Services With The Parke Company

Though we do this incredibly well, we don’t just offer storm damage response and clearing services. From Forest Hills to Nashville, and everywhere in between, we have what it takes to take on your municipal landscaping and tree service projects as well. Though we are experts in the field of private landscaping and tree removal, we are also known for our ability to take on much larger projects.

If your municipality or organization is looking for planting, gardening maintenance, weed control, mowing, or hardscaping services, let our team of professionals work for you. From brush clearing to right-of-way work, storm damage and emergency tree services to bag leaf removal, we have the skills, experience, and equipment to meet your needs. No matter the size, we offer a comprehensive list of municipal services and can tailor these to fit your land improvement or maintenance plan, whatever it might entail.

The Main Difference Between Private and Municipal Landscaping and Storm Response Jobs: Size

Though the customer interaction process is, of course, different, the main difference between a private job and a municipality job is the size. We pride ourselves on maintaining a large and highly trained crew, fleet of vehicles, and enough equipment to take on jobs of any size in a truly timely manner.

The Parke Company is owned and operated by Nashville natives and hires locals who are masters in their field of work. We are personally familiar with all that Mother Nature can throw at Tennessee and how to best respond. Being local not only helps us to better understand what to expect, it also helps us respond more quickly and provides us with a deeply-rooted, vested interested in protecting and maintaining the beautiful landscapes we all live in and love.

Why The Parke Company Is the Go-To Landscaping Company for Municipalities in the Forest Hills Area

Our team of professional, certified landscapers, and arborists have years of experience working with municipalities of all sizes in the Forest Hills and greater Nashville area. We know how to deal with organizations large and small and can operate within any budget. No matter your bureaucratic, financial, or time constraints, our team will work with you to ensure that we get your job done the way you want: in a timely manner and as cost-efficiently as possible.

We have worked with a wide variety of municipalities designing, installing, and maintaining landscapes, and providing emergency and non-emergency landscaping services and storm damage preparation, prevention, and response. Our success has been built upon trust and that trust is built upon open and honest communication. Throughout the consultation, planning, and implementation process, our team of professionals maintains clear and constant lines of communications with the managers, directors, and stakeholders within your organization that have a vested interest in the project. These conversations are always two-way to ensure that your opinions are always considered and that our expertise is coupled with your desire to get the results you are hoping for.

We at The Parke Company, have successfully completed countless municipal projects and provided emergency storm damage response services to many municipalities within the greater Forest Hills and Nashville area. No matter the scope, breadth, or depth of your project, let us put our reputation to work for you and your constituents.

No Matter Your Size or Your Emergency Storm Response, Landscaping, or Tree Service Needs, The Parke Company is Here to Help

Locally owned and operated, The Parke Company provides community-centered, high quality, and affordable tree and landscaping services to municipalities, businesses, and private residences in the greater Nashville area. Our certified team of Nashville locals has a reputation for being clean, consistent, and professional and for being leaders in their industries. We at The Parke Company stand behind our work and pride ourselves on our ability to respond quickly, provide efficient and cost-effective services, and meet your needs every step of the way. Please feel free to give us a call (615-350-6033) or contact us online today to see how The Parke Company difference can work for you.

Irrigation Project Plan: The Key Decisions to Consider to Plan Your Irrigation Project

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What does it take to ensure you have a truly perfect yard, a yard that’s inevitably the envy of the block? It can often start with the perfect irrigation plan. The Parke Company can help you plan, install, test, and maintain an irrigation system that will ensure your plants flourish for years to come. Here are some important aspects to consider as you plan your ideal irrigation project.

Irrigation Project Planning and Design

Before any planning can start, it is critical to measure and draw your property lines, examining the property carefully, and making a map that can be referred to as key decisions are made. During the irrigation system planning and designing process any and all obstacles must be considered –  driveways, walkways, trees, shrubs, decks, etc.

The next crucial step is to identify the different areas of your property (lawn, vegetable garden, flower beds, groves, etc.) and designate watering zones based on the needs of each area. Different watering zones will require different sprinkler heads. An analysis of the watering needs for each area should happen before any key decisions are made. Watering zones should be determined based on the characteristics of the soil, amount of natural light, and the water needs of the plants within that zone. Different plants will, of course, have different watering needs, and shaded areas have different water requirements than those exposed to lots of sun. A well-designed irrigation system will have one type of sprinkler head per watering zone. Each zone will thus use the same type of sprinkler head and have its own valve and appropriate sized pipe to serve those sprinklers. Your irrigation system design should ensure that sprinklers are spaced evenly and spray patterns overlap for complete coverage that makes certain there are no dry patches in your plan.

Key Components For Your Irrigation Project

The key components needed to implement an irrigation system are proper irrigation pipes, sprinkler heads, and valves (preferably with timers). Before you make key decisions around what types of components are needed to implement your irrigation plan, you’ll need to determine the water flow of the entire system. This will inform decisions around what size pipes you will need, how many sprinkler heads you will need, and what type of valves are best suited for your specific needs. Your water source’s GPM (gallons per minute) will also need to be measured in order to design and implement an irrigation plan that best suits your property.

When it comes to irrigation pipes, the pipe length, the number of sprinkler heads the pipe serves, and the water flow (or GPM) for each pipe will determine what size pipe belongs where in your irrigation system. Each watering zone will also require appropriate sized sprinkler heads. Lawn maintenance, for example, will require large sprinklers while flower beds benefit from smaller sprinklers. It is vital that you choose a sprinkler that thoroughly covers the watering zone. Other considerations include whether the area would benefit more from a rotating (rotor) sprinkler head or a fixed spray head. Once you’ve decided what type of sprinkler heads go where, ensure that you have the correct number of sprinkler heads to adequately water the area. Once the layout of water lines and sprinkler heads has been decided, it is important to establish the best placement for the system’s main shut-off valve, which will be connected to the sprinkler valve manifolds. A backflow prevention device valve will also be a vital part of your system in order to prevent unwanted materials from backflowing into your main water supply. Timers are also great assets to include in a quality irrigation system.

Further Considerations to Keep in Mind as You Plan Your Irrigation System

Water conservation should be a primary consideration as you plan your irrigation system. Conserving water is not only vital for the environment, it also prevents excessive water runoff that can cause damage to your lawn. Moreover, water conservation saves you money as it often results in lower utility costs. There are a variety of ways to ensure your system uses optimal water conservation techniques. For starters, you’ll want to set up the system to ensure you are only watering areas that need it while avoiding pavement or other areas that don’t need to be watered. The system should only water at night and in the early morning to prevent evaporation. Timers should be used as efficiently as possible and it is often a good idea to install a rain sensor so the system shuts off during rainfall. You’ll want to choose the smallest sprinkler heads required to cover each watering zone and keep in mind that short bursts of watering are often better than extended periods.

Additional information to consider when making decisions around your irrigation system include potential winterizing strategies, recommendations around what type of underground piping you should use in your area, and even whether or not your area requires permits or has any regulations around irrigation systems.

Let The Parke Company Help Plan the Perfect Irrigation System for You

The Parke Company’s irrigation services include the installation of new systems, re-energizing existing systems, additions and repairs to existing systems, backflow testing, and winterization and spring start up of systems. Our expert irrigators not only ensure excellence in design, installation techniques, and equipment used, but they are also specialists in water and resource conservation. Using pressure-regulated sprays and proper scheduling can make a substantial environmental impact. We’ll make sure you get the best advice when planning your irrigation project to ensure you create the perfect system to fit your needs. Whether you are looking for a new installation or seasonal tune-up, see why an irrigation system is a vital part of your landscaping investment.

Locally owned and operated, The Parke Company provides community-centered, high quality, and affordable tree and landscaping services to municipalities, businesses, and private residences in the greater Nashville area. Our certified team of Nashville arborists and irrigation professionals has a reputation for being clean, consistent, and professional and for being leaders in their industries. We at The Parke Company stand behind our work and pride ourselves on our ability to respond quickly, provide efficient and cost-effective services, and meet your needs every step of the way. To inquire further about The Parke Company’s top-notch lawn services, please feel free to give us a call (615-350-6033) or contact us online today to see how The Parke Company difference can work for you.