Creative Hardscapes: Changing the Flow of your Landscape

Parke-company-nashville-changing-flow-landscape

Spending weeks or months cooped up indoors has left many of us restless and ready for something to shake up the mundane. One of the best ways to change up your environment and get out of the quarantine funk is to engage in a landscaping project. 

Aside from planting flowers and trimming trees, a great way to change up your landscape is through the design and installation of creative hardscapes. Here’s what you need to know about changing the flow of your landscape through hardscapes. 

Shape 

Hardscapes like fountains and paved walkways can provide something that is difficult to achieve through plants alone: diverse shapes. 

In most circumstances, flower beds and small gardens must be contained in a fairly square or rectangular shape — not so for hardscapes. 

By installing a pond or fountain, you can incorporate virtually any shape you like into your landscape without being bound by boxes or lines. Paved walkways can be laid in any winding or circular shapes you wish to add variety to your landscape and create a more dynamic backyard experience. 

Function

Changing the flow of your landscape might also involve installations that offer a variety of functions rather than just aesthetic improvements. 

While flower beds are beautiful, they don’t offer much activity during your next small, backyard gathering. Installations like ponds and fire pits can help answer the elusive “What are we going to do?” question and and change up your landscape in the process. 

Shelter

While social distancing practices remain crucial for reducing the spread of COVID-19, many of us are able to reconnect with small numbers of friends and family by hosting gatherings outdoors. 

This reconnection may be threatened, however, when bad weather strikes. When rain comes around, it may feel like your long-awaited reunions must be cancelled. 

This can be avoided, however, by installing hardscapes like gazebos or other covered structures. Not only does a gazebo improve the aesthetic appeal of your landscape, it can also change up the flow of your landscape by offering new gathering spaces that were not possible previously.

Hiring Landscaping Services

While DIY backyard projects may be fun, installing a pond or gazebo isn’t a task you should take on by yourself. Leave it up to the experienced professionals at The Parke Company. 

Our landscaping experts have the experience and skills necessary to help you devise the best ways to add some variety to your landscape. Our technicians know just how to get you the biggest bang for your buck and add value to your home. 

From lawn mowing to tree removal, the landscaping professionals at The Parke Company have the experience and the skills to handle lawn problems and answer your landscaping services questions. Let us meet the unique needs of your property and bring your design dreams to life. 

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

The Dangers of DIY Tree Removal

Parke Company dead tree removal

Be Safe and Trust Professionals With Tree Removal

A do-it-yourself project always starts off as a good idea. You may get the opportunity to learn a new skill. You might save money. Plus, you get to revel in the glory of a job personally well done. 

In most situations, however, the best laid plans for a DIY project usually result in a half-completed project and a lot of frustration.

Attempting to complete your own landscaping can pose a lot more challenges than stray fabric scraps or a half-assembled bookshelf. Especially when it comes to tree removal, this is one project you don’t want to do without professional help. 

Here’s what you should know. 

Tree Removal Services

Tree removal is a bit more involved than many of the other common landscaping services you might otherwise be able to complete on your own. 

Those attempting to remove their own trees might go about it in the old fashioned way by looping a chain around the trunk of the damaged tree, attaching the chain to a truck, and putting their foot on the gas. 

While this might seem like a straightforward approach, it is fraught with danger for those removing the tree and everyone around. 

Removing a tree through this method, without proper techniques, puts your car at risk for significant damage. It can be difficult to estimate only through a visual inspection just how strong a tree’s roots are. 

If inaccurately measured, attempting to remove a tree by using a car could mean losing a bumper– and that’s not the worst damage you may suffer. 

For the amateur landscaper, guessing which direction a tree will fall can be a gamble. You might get lucky and the tree will land where you want it to. If Marshall’s law is in effect, the tree is much more likely to fall on your home, your garage, or another place in your yard that puts you in danger. 

Aside from the destruction, attempting to remove your own tree could also involve removing a tree that still has life remaining. An experienced landscaping professional will know how to determine whether your tree can still be saved through simple tree trimming or maintenance, rather than removal altogether. 

Unless you have extensive experience in landscaping, it can be nearly impossible to tell whether you should remove or repair the trees in your yard. 

Even if you want to remove the trees on your property for cosmetic purposes, the dangers of DIY tree removal could result in more cosmetic damage than aesthetic improvement.    

In any case, the most important thing is that you don’t do tree removal alone. The landscaping professionals at The Parke Company have the experience and the skills to meet the unique needs of your property and bring your design dreams to life. 

Our landscaping experts have the skills and experience to keep your landscape healthy using safe and effective procedures. Don’t leave tree removal up to chance. Trust the experts!

For lawn problems, raking leaves, or other landscaping services, give us a call (615-350-6033) or contact us online today to see how The Parke Company difference can work for you.

Fertilizer Options

Parke Company soil in gardener's hands

Know Your Options and Pick the Best Fertilizer for You

As the spring months slip by, so do our chances of preparing our landscapes for summer gatherings and backyard hangouts. Creating a beautiful backyard landscape is a lot more involved than just lawn mowing and sprinkling a few seeds. 

For your landscape to reach its full potential, you need a nourished foundation that can foster healthy, lush plant life. The best way to ensure your soil produces green grass and pretty flowers is through properly fertilized soil. 

Here’s what you need to know about making the right fertilizer choice for your property.  

Inorganic vs Organic

When it comes to nourishing your soil, one of the biggest decisions you will have to make is the choice between inorganic and organic materials for your fertilizer. 

Choosing an inorganic fertilizer does not necessarily mean that you end up pumping your land with dangerous chemicals. 

While inorganic fertilizers are processed to some degree, many of them contain the naturally occurring chemicals that are already at work in the soil on your property, with a little added help for your plants. 

When you look into the components of inorganic fertilizers, you will probably hear terms like carbon, nitrogen, and ammonium. While these may sound like the materials of a mad scientist, they are actually the very components at work to help your plants grow. 

Take this explanation from SFGate, “Balanced inorganic fertilizers, high in all three macronutrients, commonly include products like ammonium nitrate, ammonium sulfate, potassium chloride (potash), triple superphosphate, and magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) . . . inorganic fertilizers provide this nutrition in plant-ready form immediately.” 

Inorganic fertilizers may be a better choice if you want to add nutrients to your soil at a low cost and quickly improve the overall quality of your foundation. 

Organic Fertilizer

As is the case for many products on the market, fertilizer made of organic components is attractive for a number of reasons. 

While inorganic fertilizers provide nutrients to soil rapidly, organic fertilizers transmit a bit more slowly and their actual nutritional contents cannot be appraised without laboratory testing. That being said, slow and steady does result in a greater improvement in the long term. 

Choosing an organic fertilizer does result in a greater upfront cost, but the longstanding improvements to soil over time may result in a foundation that stays healthier for season after season, making it a cost-effective choice in the long run. 

When it comes to choosing the right type of fertilizer, there are a number of factors to consider. Some individuals want to make quick improvements to their landscape in order to expedite the beautification of their property as much as possible. In this case, inorganic fertilizer is your best option. 

Other property owners may want landscape improvement for the long haul and opt for the environmentally-friendly organic options. 

At the same time, some people just don’t want the mess and odor of organic fertilizers made from manure or compost, so an inorganic fertilizer eliminates some hassle. 

The most important thing when it comes to choosing a fertilizer is that you choose the product that perfectly coordinates with your unique property, your budget, and the aspirations for your landscape. 

A great landscape starts with a nourished foundation. Don’t leave the health of your landscape up to chance, leave it up to the experienced professionals at The Parke Company to help you choose the perfect fertilizer. 

From lawn problems to tree removal, the landscaping professionals at The Parke Company have the experience and the skills to handle lawn problems and answer your landscaping services questions.

Let us meet the unique needs of your property and bring your design dreams to life. 
Give us a call (615-350-6033) or contact us online today to see how The Parke Company difference can work for you.

Common Weeds found in Tennessee

Dandelion weeds in a Tennessee lawn

Watch Out for These Weeds in Your Tennessee Lawn

Blowing on dandelions and watching their fluffy seedlings float through the air is a cherished summertime memory nearly everyone can relate to. But if you remember the joy of playing with dandelions, you can probably also recall the frustration of your mom or dad as they scolded you for spreading seeds across the lawn that would eventually turn into weeds. 

As an adult, you know better. At this point in time, your first thought when you see a weed is how you can keep it from infiltrating your lawn or garden. 

But just like all desirable plants are a little bit different in how they grow, different weeds are kept at bay by different methods. 

Here’s what you need to know to protect your Nashville landscape from weeds. 

Three Categories of Weeds

According to the landscaping experts at Preen, there are three different categories of weeds: broadleaf weeds, grassy weeds, and woody weeds. 

Each type of weed is named for their appearance. Broadleaf weeds are identified by the large leaves they tend to grow. Grassy weeds are similar in appearance to grass, which can make them difficult to identify. Woody weeds get their name from the strong, twig-like stems they grow, making them exceptionally tricky to remove. 

In Tennessee, the most common weeds you’ll find will likely fall into the broadleaf or grassy weed categories. 

Common Broadleaf Weeds

Bull Thistle

If you’ve ever walked through your lawn barefoot, only to feel the shock of a sharp pain underfoot, chances are that you’ve come in contact with some bull thistle.

These weeds have spines that are sharp and stiff and can grow between two and five feet tall. They develop a thick taproot within a year, so be sure to address these quickly. 

Honeyvine Milkweed

This member of the milkweed family has heart-shaped leaves and white veins. Honeyvine can grow to be up to fifteen feet long and will wrap around any nearby vegetation or fences. 

Removing these weeds is crucial for maintaining the health of the rest of your landscape.   

Common Grassy Weeds

Crabgrass

Crabgrass is every property owner’s nightmare because it can present a whole host of lawn problems. 

Crabgrass is often difficult to approach simply because it looks so similar to grass around it. This weed typically spreads outward, but it can grow up to two feet upright. 

Green Foxtail

Chances are that you have seen this weed crawling up the sides of your buildings or creeping out of cracks in the pavement. 

Green foxtail is a weed that forms clumps of grass, growing up to three feet tall with bristly “fox tails” at the top.  

While these four are some of the most common types of weeds you may encounter in Tennessee, the list goes on and on. It is crucial that you have an advanced understanding of exactly what you’re dealing with on your property. 

In any case, don’t leave the health of your landscape up to chance, leave it up to the experienced professionals at The Parke Company. 

From lawn mowing to tree removal, the landscaping professionals at The Parke Company have the experience and the skills to handle lawn problems and answer your landscaping services questions.

Let us meet the unique needs of your property and bring your design dreams to life. Let’s start with those weeds.  

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

Jumpstarting Your Spring Irrigation System

Sprinkler dispensing water

Get Ahead of Irrigation This Spring

Spring has arrived, and in some regions of the U.S., the warmer weather has already begun. After another long winter, you might be tempted to jump right back into your lawn maintenance and landscaping, and no one would blame you. After all, winter weather can take a heavy toll on your natural outdoor spaces, and you might think that the sooner you can breathe life back into your greenery, the better.

That said, you must approach these processes carefully and strategically, especially when it comes to jumpstarting your irrigation system. Failing to take the proper precautions can damage your lawn and your irrigation system itself.

Understanding Your Irrigation

The first step to avoiding an irritating irrigation experience this spring is having a basic understanding of how your irrigation system works. While there is plenty of variation between these systems, they can serve the same purpose and function similarly. Their purpose, of course, is to automatically and consistently provide your lawn and garden with the right amount of hydration they need to thrive. When properly installed and calibrated, your irrigation system should save you time, energy, and water in the long run.

Irrigation systems are made up of several key components, namely pipes, sprinkler heads, and valves. Of course, the size, shape, and material of these components will vary based on your circumstances, needs, and budget. In order for your irrigation system to operate efficiently and safely, the GPM (gallons per minute) of your water source must be measured. This rating will help determine the flow, size, and overall design of your system. 

Your system must also be optimized for the type and size of surfaces being watered. For example, lawns require larger sprinklers to remain hydrated, and flower beds (which are more delicate) benefit from smaller heads. Sprinkler heads may also be stationary or rotate at a certain rate and angle. Lastly, your system’s shut-off valve and backflow prevention valve(s) should be placed in convenient locations to save on water costs and allow you to control flow.

Taking Proper Precaution When Rebooting Your Irrigation System

Even with a rudimentary notion of how your irrigation system functions, you might wonder why improperly restarting it in the spring can lead to lawn problems and potentially damage your system’s components.

Consider this: your pipes (which are beneath the soil) and sprinkler heads (which are just above it) have just endured several months of freezing temperatures at the ground level. Additionally, water has not been flowing through your system during this time. All of this means that the inside of your system will be stiff and fragile, even if spring has already commenced. If you suddenly send gallons of water through it right after this dormant period, you’re bound to burst a pipe at the very least.

In order to jumpstart your irrigation system this spring without any problems, the first step is to be patient. You’ll want to wait until the ground has fully thawed. You can do so by inserting a shovel into the soil, aiming to penetrate at least 12” before contacting hard, frozen ground. Then, be sure to inspect your system’s components (sprinkler heads, valves, etc.). Check for damage and remove any dirt, debris, clogs, etc.

Also, make sure your backflow prevention device is properly attached to your system (you or your lawn services may have removed it for the winter months) and close test cocks, open shut-off valves, and tighten all bolts. Once everything checks out, you can turn on the water, but do it very, very slowly, opening the main valve just a bit so a small amount of water can enter the system. The less pressure, the better.

When in Doubt, Rely on the Professionals


All of the steps outlined above are necessary for getting your irrigation system back in action for spring. But if it all sounds too complicated or you simply want a professional touch, hire a reliable irrigation and/or landscaping service. At The Parke Company, our irrigation services include installation of new systems, add-ons to existing ones, repairs, backflow testing, winterization and spring startups, and more. Let us  help you prepare your lawn for the warm weather. Give us a call today at 615-350-6033.