WE EXPLAIN THE WHAT, WHEN, AND WHY STRATEGIES TO HELP DETERMINE WHAT WILL GIVE YOU THE BEST RETURN ON INVESTMENT FOR YOUR LANDSCAPE…
Taking the plunge to re-invest in your property’s landscape can seem intimidating – but the pay-off you’ll see in reduced maintenance costs and fewer issues greatly outweighs any trepidation you may feel at the beginning of the process! We’ve begun to redefine the services we offer to current and new customers who are interested in landscape redesign and wanted to share information about our ecological enhancement services that are available, when to start the planning process, and why choosing environmentally-thoughtful changes will provide a return on your investment in comparison with traditional landscape designs and services.
In 2018 we launched our initiative called “A Better Way”, the purpose of which is to re-define traditional landscape services and make them ecologically friendly, as well as put the landscaping industry as a whole in position to enhance and protect the environment instead of harming it. As a result we now offer ecological landscaping services that provide a return on investment for our customers. We use only native plants that are strategically placed in order to fill space without becoming overgrown – this reduces the need for multiple pruning visits each year. Native plants are also adapted to the area so they have fewer pests and diseases. Layered plantings that include groundcover (living mulch), perennials, and native shrubs mean a customer can cut back or eliminate mulch costs in the following years. Rain gardens installed in poorly-drained areas prevent the need for future drainage fixes and damage to buildings on a property. These are cost-saving tactics that designer Robin Anglemyer employed while creating a complete landscape redesign for Village Green, a well-known residential apartment complex in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania.
“It’s been a long time in the making,” says Abbie Seibert, property manager at Village Green, who’s been part of the 2-year planning process for the project. “When we switched management companies in 2017, we started planning for exterior renovations. Once those renovations were approved, we decided it would be a great time to move forward with replacing the landscaping too.” Set to begin in fall of 2019, Village Green’s landscape redesign and enhancement work will encapsulate everything that makes A Better Way the only way.
“This isn’t the future of landscape design, it’s a space that all landscape companies need to be working in right now.” Robin, who this year celebrated her 11th of service with Strauser Nature’s Helpers, has dedicated a large part of that time to educating herself and others, and becoming certified in “green” landscape design and installation through Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professionals’ program. “We’re working really hard to encourage our current and new customers that investing in ecological landscaping now will provide huge cost-savings in the near future by greatly reducing maintenance costs. It’s a no-brainer!”
Ecological services provide not only financial savings, but are aesthetically pleasing as well. Replacing large areas of unused lawn space with native wildflower meadows reduces and even removes the need for future maintenance through mowing, reduces pesticide use and the cost of lawn applications, and provides multi-season interest on your property. It also reduces your property’s carbon footprint by eliminating mower and small engine use normally spent maintaining grassy areas. Utilizing groundcover in plant beds reduces the need for annual mulching which usually makes up a large portion of the budget.
If you’re ready to take the plunge, start the process now. Generally, planting jobs are best done in spring or fall – though summer is an option, it will require a lot more watering in throughout the year. Having adequate time to meet with a designer and horticulturist and create a plan that fits your budget, your aesthetic preference, and your unique property is necessary in order to achieve the best results. In the end, it will pay off in ways you never imagined.
“Our main goal is to make this a place that people are proud to call their home, a place that’s well taken care of. The exterior is ultimately the first thing people see. Landscaping plays a big role in that, and helps from a business standpoint,” says Abbie. “I had a prospective renter tell me recently that they could tell our property was well-maintained before they even saw an apartment. This project will make people more inclined to rent. It makes them more confident in their decision.”
For more information on “A Better Way” or to speak with us about ecological landscaping options for your property, call our office at (570) 424-9434.