A Good Time to Mulch

If you’re thinking about mulching your plant beds, NOW is better than later, unless you want to wait til December!  If you have any amount of deciduous (leaf dropping) trees in your yard, they’ve probably just been completely cleared.  Why not get the most out of your mulch job by placing it now?  If you mulch now, you’ll have 7 months with no leaves covering your beautiful mulch job.  If you mulch it in July, the material will cost more per yard, and you’ll only have 2 or 3 months before your beds are covered with leaves again.  If you still have leaves in your beds, DON’T RAKE THEM OUT.  Those leaves are critical for replacing lost nutrients in your soil.  You can mulch right over those leaves and your beds will look just as great.  Not only that, but you’re plants will thank you for that rich food.  Remember, your typical hardwood mulch doesn’t have nearly the nutritive quality of leaves as they break down.  Contact us if you would like to get a quote on mulching your plant beds!

T1’s Halloween Garden wins first place at the NC State Fair!

Heddou's Shanty, First Place NC State Fair Garden

Heddou's Shanty

Back in March when we first drew the Halloween theme for the 2010 NC State Fair Garden Competition, I was  a little skeptical.  I couldn’t quite imagine where this theme could take us.  Luckily, the guy spearheading the project design was Bryson Trexler, our on staff Horticulturalist and Landscape Designer.  From a voodoo potman named Heddou Marco (framed up with rebar and dressed with black landscaping pots) to tribal skulls with Tongue ferns coming out of the mouth, he really conceived a tremendous outcome right from the beginning.  As things began to shape up in the week prior to the fair, it went from just a fun publicity project, to a competition that we might actually win.  And win we did by scoring 96 out of 100 to edge the 12 time champions by one point.  It was a great project and a lot of fun.  Check the gallery for additional photos, and let us know if you’d like a spooky scary hideaway right in your own backyard!

Fun in the snow….not for all

Greetings SledGod!

Greetings SledGod!

In central North Carolina, everyone loves a good snow.  Well, almost everyone.  While carting my mother up to the local Kinko’s a few days ago. I noticed several other landscaping companies out spreading salt and shoveling ice.  I thought to myself that this could be me one day, but quickly vanquished the horrifying thought.  As a young boy, I grew up at our local RDU International airport slinging bags and mail in the cryptic underbellies of DC-9’s and 737’s.  This was an exciting time for a 15 year old kid, but I  remember my father’s disgust of constantly having to fill in for employees who wouldn’t show up for work.  His least favorite thing was de-icing airplanes.  When Raleigh would receive a rare snow or ice-storm, there was no time to play with the kids as he was off to the airport before the sun would rise.  I suppose it’s like that for some landscapers as well.

For now, T1 Earthcare will enjoy it’s snow days. It’s going to take some serious money, to get a Raleigh landscaper into the snow removal biz.  It’s tough to put a price on “not sledding”.

Enjoy the weather folks!

Fall…..Creation…..Landscape

 

beautiful fall landscape

beautiful fall landscape

Welcome Fall to Raleigh, NC! There’s nothing like the cool breeze and the smell of leaves blowing in the air to remind us of the beauty of creation. The cycle of life that we see in the landscape is incredible. The trees are starting to look bare, but we know that the spring will come and renew all of those bare branches and that everything will surge back to life again come March and April.

Landscaping to me is a re-ordering of that which has already been ordered. Something seems to have placed this world here, but it seems that it was left in progress, as if someone is supposed to carry on the work that “is” this world.

Humans for some reason have this innate desire to take the world as it is and make it something different. Most of the time, this is a good thing. In the world of landscape, we have the ability to order water, rocks, and plants to create something beautiful. It is a great honor and a whole lot of fun. As a project completes and you stand back and admire that which has been accomplished, it brings an ancient phrase to mind.

”and it was good.”

Go re-order something in your landscape today! If you don’t have a landscape, borrow your neighbors!

Green or Gimmick?

I’ve been asking myself this question left and right over the past two years or so.  It seems that every business on the face of the planet has decided that it can’t operate unless it boasts some sort of “Green” product or service.

So what is wrong with this?  Well, I suppose I would be the devil if I tried to say that there is something wrong with being green or earth friendly.  Of course there is nothing wrong with it, I just get the feeling from a lot of these companies that I’m the target of their gimmicking.  I feel like I’m being taken for a fool when certain entities try to tell me that I should use them because they are now recycling paper.  Are they serious?  We’ve been recycling paper since I was in middle school people!  This isn’t something anybody should be too proud of.  It’s kind of like a 40 year old man on a first date, boasting that he now manages the hygiene of his own rear end.

Let me pick on an entity that can probably handle the criticism.  I just read through Ebay’s Green Team website.  You can visit that here.  They even go so far as to say the purchase of used handbags over the past few years is equal to planting 2 million trees!  Wow!  Is it really?  Perhaps what “it” really is, is the tipping point that a 20 year old Gucci-eyed college girl needs to get a great deal on a real Gucci purse that she really doesn’t need.  Come on Ebay, we know your heart isn’t in the tree planting offset and we know that as a business entity, you probably don’t care that much.  What you might care about a little more is that your website hosted 8.5 Billion dollars in sales last year.  I wonder how much of that was encouraged by this Green Team thing?

The reason I mention this is because we at T1 Earthcare make our living amongst the green things that only divinity could make.  What could be more relevant among this new culture than planting trees and mowing grass?

I’ve had some people ask me about our earth friendliness or how green we are.  The truth is that we are banging our heads against the wall trying to figure this out.  T1 Earthcare will be testing at least one site in 2009 with a more green approach to lawn care.  My opinion is that there remains to be no easy alternative to the existing methods of producing a beautiful and weed-free lawn.  There is also not a lot of validity to the claim that our current methods and products are all that detrimental to people or the environment when applied and used properly.  Sure, if you run a greenhouse and let your dogs sleep under your herbicide storage shed, that will very likely shorten their life.  So the lesson is, “don’t let your kids sleep where you keep your Clorox!”

Look forward to future posts regarding some of the “organic” methods to lawn-maintenance that are being adopted (mostly by home-owners) here in the United States.  I haven’t found a landscaper yet that provides these services exclusively up to this point.  Be aware that there are many organic products popping up for your lawn, the question remains, “Is this really Green, or just Gimmick?”

Thanks for reading.

Bed Edges

bed_edges1

One of the first things in the landscape that my eyes are drawn to during the off-season are bed edges.  Not too many people are thinking about landscaping during early-February around North Carolina.  Even Tall Fescue while green is somewhat sad to look at as it hunkers down tight to the earth like George Castanza fresh out of the pool.  Despite the fact that most of your plant matter is dormant and playing it conservative this time of year, that doesn’t mean that the garden areas shouldn’t look in order.  A lot of people think that you have to use one of those fancy bed edgers to make a plant bed look right.  This is just not true.  Plant beds were looking nice way before this machine ever came onto the scene.  All you need is a traditional edger, a blower, and a shovel to totally overhaul your edges. [Read more…]