Your Home Outdoors: Starting with Your Needs to Plan Your Dream Outdoor Living Space

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When it comes to planning a new outdoor living space, dreaming big is the easy part. The sky’s the limit in our minds, but the nitty gritty of establishing a budget and a plan can often feel confusing and disorienting.

Here at The Park Company, we want to use  our landscaping services, irrigation services, and tree services to transform your outdoor living space according to your dreams while still staying within your budget. Here’s how the process works.

Start with Anything and Everything

If you’re dreaming, dream big. When planning a major (or minor) renovation to your outdoor living space, there is no reason to initially constrain yourself. (That comes later.) Have fun and start by putting it all out on the table. Do you want a fountain? Great! An outdoor kitchen with a full wet bar? Why not! A koi pond and Japanese zen garden? Sounds wonderfully serene! The goal for this step in the process is to brainstorm in order to gather as many ideas and options as possible. Nothing is off limits.

We recommend exploring our website and the various services we offer as you begin to develop ideas. Drive around your neighborhood to look at your neighbor’s outdoor spaces. Talk to friends and family. Use the image search feature of your favorite search engine. Think long-term (what you’d like your outdoor space to look like in 20 years) and short-term (what you’d like to have by next year). Think about the potential for multi-seasonal use of your outdoor spaces. Imagine what you’d like to do in your backyard if anything was possible. Think of things you do inside and envision doing them outside. Compile a list of outdoor activities you leave your property to accomplish and then imagine what would have to happen for you to be able to complete these activities in your own yard.

Generate as many ideas as possible, but make sure to record them somewhere. An online folder with pictures and a written list is always a great way to start. It will make the next step much easier.

Organize Your Ideas to Fit Your Specific Outdoor Space

Now that you have an extensive list of ideas, it’s time to organize them. There are many ways to do this. You may want to organize by season, by types of outdoor activities, by varietal of plant species, by some sort of color scheme, by keeping or cutting your trees, by things that you can do yourself versus things you would need professional help to complete (think raking leaves versus stump grinding), etc.

The main thing to avoid at this stage of the game is eliminating anything. Sure, your own personal nine-hole golf course might be a bit outside your price range, but for the organizational stage, it is still important that anything goes. Keeping a full list will help you see trends in your own desires and may make the process of onboarding a professional that much easier.

One simple, but highly effective tool you can utilize is a graphic organizer such as a Venn diagram or T-chart. By using different organizational structures and then placing this side-by-side, you will start to get a clearer picture of which ideas are common across all of the different potential renovation plans and which only fit into very specific outdoor living space concepts.

Budget, Prioritize, and Plan

Once you’ve organized your ideas, it’s time to get real by budgeting, prioritizing, and planning. It’s also time to contact a professional.

Budgeting is, for most people, the least enjoyable step in realizing your outdoor living space dreams, but it doesn’t have to be. With support from the professionals at The Parke Company, you might be surprised by just how far your money can go. This is especially true when planning long-term, multi-year renovation projects.

Once you’ve determined a realistic and sustainable budget, your next step is to begin to prioritize various outdoor projects or concepts. You may not have the money for the aforementioned golf course, but perhaps a putting green is feasible. A wet bar may be outside your reach, but a tiki bar may be obtainable. Maybe the deck comes this year, the grill next year, and the jacuzzi the year after that. Though these are highly personal decisions, a landscaping professional can help you see which aspects of your overall plan can be easily realized within your budget and help to you determine what and where to cut, if necessary.

Finally, it’s time to plan. Your dream is specific to you and your landscape is different from others. The planning stage should take into consideration your organized and prioritized ideas, your budget, your timeline, and the attributes of your current landscape and home. Only once all of these aspects are taken into account can a thoughtful and realistic plan, be developed.

Let The Parke Company Help You Make Your Dream Outdoor Living Space a Reality

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 outdoor living spaces, we have all your bases covered. We know the soil, water tables, plants, and seasons and how each of these may directly or indirectly impact your specific landscape. We have the local experience, knowledge, and know how to help you realize your dreams.

Our certified team of Nashville locals has a reputation for being clean, consistent, and professional, and for being leaders in their industries. Here at The Parke Company, we 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 at (615) 350-6033 or contact us online today to see how The Parke Company difference can work for you.

Keep or Cut: Guide to Setting a Whole-Property Vision for your Trees

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When it comes to large landscaping projects like extensive tree removal, it is important to take the time necessary to plan before taking action. Cutting down a tree, or multiple trees, on your property can have many benefits, but it can also have many long-lasting negative effects. Pros and cons aside, once the tree is gone it can take years, even decades, to replace it.

All Tree Removal Projects Should Start with Comprehensive Planning

To keep or to cut? That is the question. The permanence of these decisions requires that they not be taken lightly. When deciding whether or not to remove a tree, or multiple trees, from your landscape, we recommend reaching out to the trusted professionals at The Parke Company. Our landscaping design and tree service team and ISA certified arborists have years of experience in all aspects of the profession and will work with you every step of the way. We can help you best plan for and carry out the installation or removal of trees and stumps. Our goal is not to make the decision for you, but to provide you with a planning service that addresses your specific questions and is patented to your specific needs. If you do decide to move forward on your project, our goal is to provide a service that exceeds your expectations and keeps you coming back year after year. Our goal is to serve our community by becoming your go-to for tree and landscaping services in the Nashville area. Our goal is to help you achieve your goal. To facilitate this, we have listed below some of the common “pros” and “cons” of tree removal.

Some of the Possible Benefits of Tree Removal

More Space and Light

Removal of trees, especially of older trees with large trunks and canopies, opens up your property to an increase in space and light. If you have a small backyard or a yard that is permanently shaded, you may be amazed by how the removal of a few carefully selected trees can drastically improve your landscape. Similarly, if you have any outdoor living spaces, such as a porch or a patio, intentional tree removal may dramatically improve these spaces and extend their usage (early and later each day, earlier in spring and later into the fall season).

Tree and Plant Health

Tightly packed trees, or trees that are competing for space, not only block the light from other trees and plants, but they can also grow unnaturally and take on an unkempt or unhealthy appearance. Similarly, certain trees require lots of water and can end up stealing water from surrounding plants or trees. Tree removal can thus provide an opening for the remaining trees to grow in a more beautiful and natural way and can relieve the water stress placed on other plants.

Trees Can Be Dangerous

Due to age, heavy snow, or strong winds, trees, branches, or limbs can fall on your home, automobiles, power lines, or landscape features causing catastrophic damage or even death. Even trees and branches that do not fall may rub up against your home, potentially causing damage to your home’s exterior and roof. Trees within falling distance of your home should be thoroughly inspected often to ensure that they are in good health. However, good health does not guarantee safety.

Trees Can Be Expensive

Even beyond the previously mentioned watering and upkeep costs, trees will shed branches, limbs, leaves, needles, and bark. All of these can create a mess and cost money to clean up. Furthermore, dripping sap can be an incredible nuisance and can cost irreversible damage to your home’s (or car’s) exterior.

Some of the Possible Negative Consequences of Tree Removal

Unforeseen Damage to Your Landscape’s Ecosystem

Plants rely on each other in a wide-variety of ways that scientists are still just beginning to understand. Your backyard is a system of complex interactions between the plants and animals that live there. Cutting down a tree, or multiple trees, can dramatically alter the light and moisture levels, as well as the soil pH and mineral composition. Furthermore, removal of native trees in particular may increase the chances of insect infestations. Native trees have a better chance of attracting native wildlife such as birds that will reduce insect numbers. Additionally, abrupt changes can weaken the remaining plants, making them more susceptible to pests. Finally, tree root systems help to maintain the integrity of your land. If a tree is removed and the roots die, steep slopes or areas near shorelines or riverbanks can become increasingly susceptible to erosion. Some of these changes happen quickly, others may take a long time, but all of them will impact your landscape.

Unforeseen Loss of Your Landscape’s Visual Harmony

It’s hard to imagine what your landscape will look like without a feature as important and prominent as a tree. Even the removal of one tree can dramatically change the composition of your backyard and skyline. Removal of multiple trees could create a landscape that feels desolate or empty, especially if you have always had trees in your backward.

Expensive, Irreplicable Change

Tree removal in itself is normally an easy and inexpensive procedure, but stump grinding or stump removal can be costly and time-consuming. Adding insult to injury, if you later decide that you wish you had not removed the tree or trees, there’s not much you can do. Bringing in full-grown trees is incredibly expensive and sometimes impossible. Therefore, if you have removed a tree that you wish you hadn’t, often the only option is to wait until a newly planted sapling grows to fill the space. This could take decades.

On the bright side, in addition to tree and stump removal, The Parke Company offers on-site mulching services that can decrease costs and increase the nutrient and moisture levels of your soil and the beauty of your backyard.

Additional Tree Services

Sometimes the appropriate decision to make is not one of the obvious choices. If cutting is too drastic, yet you are unhappy with the current state of the trees in your landscape, we have additional options for you.

Perhaps your trees just need to be trimmed. Tree trimming can offer many of the same benefits as tree removal without the permanence or the hassle of deciding what to do with the stubborn and unsightly stumps and root systems.

Maybe you require additional tree services. From removal to trimming, pruning to crown thinning, cabling and bolting to weight reduction, The Parke Company has the experience to assess your current situation and develop a plan that best fits your landscape vision.

If you have decided to go ahead with the removal process, but do not like the final results; or if your landscape feels empty as it is, we can help you make decisions around which trees grow the fastest and are the best suited for your specific landscape geography and desires.

A History and Reputation We Stand Behind

No matter what you decide, we are honored to be a part of the decision-making process. 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.