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Charles Miller Companies Blog

Getting the best out of your landscapes.

Top 5 Questions your Landscape Designer Should Ask

The 5 most important questions your landscape architect should ask you…

To truly create a space you will love for years to come depends on several questions you should be prepared to answer when hiring a landscape architect.

First. What do you want your property to look like in 10 years? An experienced landscape architect will create a landscape plan that will reflect what your property will look like in 10 years. A proper landscape plan encompasses your entire property and takes into account the way the garden will mature and grow.

Second. Do you have the necessary documentation of your property? (i.e. land survey, plat, POA guidelines)

A landscape plan and certified landscape architect will correct or take into account any and all erosion, grading, or setbacks on your property. Grading is extremely important when building a home and installing an outdoor living space and garden. If your property is not properly graded you will most certainly have to correct the issue in a matter of years, and if set backs aren’t accommodated that too will be an issue that needs to be corrected.

Third. How do you want to use your outdoor living space? A landscape architect should always listen to how you want to use your property. Is it for entertaining, privacy and leisure on the weekends, recreation for grandchildren, or just a space to enjoy the outdoors? These questions are important for a landscape architect because they are able to customize the position, size, and even materials of your space.

Fourth. What would you like to see when you look through your windows? An experienced landscape architect should be very aware your views. If at all possible it is best to bring in a landscape architect to help position the home before building. He or she will be able to assist with views throughout the home, and proper placement of pools, outdoor structures, or even driveways.

And last but not least….TIME. A landscape architect should consider how much time you want to spend maintaining your outdoor space. The answer to this question helps the architect decide types of plants, size of sodded areas, and even types of materials. An experienced landscape maintenance crew is imperative to properly maintain the investment and space you have created. An efficient and experienced landscape maintenance crew can also be a large provider of the extra time you are looking to spend with your family and not in your yard.

Before you meet with a landscape architect you should consider your answers to these questions. Your answers will help you to get the most out our your property and investment, and  help you truly enjoy your outdoor living space for years to come.

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How To Be A Mindful Consumer

This day in age we are all our own best advocates. We find ourselves having to express our needs, wants, and expectations in order to receive what it is that we are asking for.

The professional landscape industry is no different that any other. It is critical that you are a mindful consumer. You should able to fully express your expectations, and arm yourself with the knowledge of which landscape professional has the qualities and proper expertise that are the best fit you and your property.

A landscape professional needs an authoritative knowledge of the industry. This type of knowledge allows them to tell you what is best to plant in your region. So many things vary from region to region….length of seasons, soil types, temperatures, etc. You don’t want your plants to make it through 3 seasons, you want them to still be growing and thriving for years tocome.

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A comprehensive knowledge based approach is also vital to the success of your garden. Just as you wouldn’t hire a baker who had knowledge of the ingredients, but who had never actually baked a cake before; you shouldn’t hire someone who just knows the names of the plants. An experienced landscape professional will not only know which plants will thrive & where to place them, but also what they will look like in 10 years on your property.

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Another aspect to consider while thinking what it is that you want for your property would be...

“Do I actually like this landscape professional’s design style? “

You should consider their taste just as you would your interior designer. The final product should be a beautiful seamless extension of the exterior of your home as well as a reflection of your own personal style.

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Last but not least...always ask for references. The experience of designing your garden should be enjoyable, and a landscape professional with great references should give you the peace of mind to enjoy the process and know that your needs, wants, and expectations will be met and that your investment is a good one.

 

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Protect Your Plants from Frost: 5 Things you need to know

Protect Your Plants from Frost: 5 Things you need to know

Our region is facing a very large cold front so we wanted to make sure you knew exactly what to do to protect your plants from the frigid temps.

We compiled a very short list of the 5 most important things to do to protect your plants and trees from frost:

1. Bring in small potted plants: It is extremely important to bring your small potted plants indoors. 

2. Bring larger potted trees/shrubs under cover: A garage, pergola, or even other trees all serve as a protective barrier for larger potted plants. Be sure to cover the roots with blankets or sheets (escpecially any fruit barring tree/shrub).

3. Water well: Believe it or not it is good to give plants/trees a bit of water early in the day. It helps them to withstand the cold temps at night. (Do not over water...just certain animals hybernate and don't need as much food in the Winter, plants are accustomed to not needing nearly as much water in colder temperatures)

4. Do not cut back the damaged branches: Although the dead branches are not attractive, these branches will better protect the healthy part of the plant in future frosts. 

5. Apply mulch/pinestraw: Mulch and pinestraw both create a layer of protection for all plants, trees, and shrubs. It is wise to apply a layer each Spring and Fall to protect plants from hot temps in the Summer and Cold temps in the Winter. 

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Make The Absolute Best Out Of What You Have

Make the ABSOLUTE best out of what you have... 

The term "sore thumb" means something that does not blend in with its surroundings.

As landscape architects, our goal is the do the exact opposite. We want a landscape and outdoor living space to seamlessly fit in to the surrounding landscape as if it has been there the whole time.

One of our most recent completed projects is a perfect example of combining a client's interest with the existing elements to create something special. At this existing 10 year old home, we incorporated several of the architectural design elements into our landscape design. The color and type of stone, the color of the pool deck, and natural boulders were all chosen with the existing property and home as a guide. We designed the shape of the pool, pool deck, and path ways with natural lines to fit the style and slope of the property.

Natural elements are not only very important to the overall look of a landscape design, but also just as important for the sustainability and longevity of the finishes. We all know it can be fun to incorporate unusual materials and exotic plants, but a great design always takes into account the existing surroundings and environment for their long term relevance of the materials. 

At Charles Miller Companies, we provide our clients with a personal, hands on experience to create seamlessly beautiful landscapes that will  grow and flourish over time. We know the importance of using the right quality materials and plants to create a perfect outdoor living space.

Please take a look below to see the before and after photos of this project...
 
 
                                                                                     
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As you can see whether your home is new or existing, you can feel completely confident that we have the experience and expertise to incorporate an absolutely beautiful living space that will bring joy, entertainment, and relaxation to you and your family for years to come.

Take a fresh look at things from our perspective and you may be surprised what you can see.....
 
To view all the photos of this project, please visit our gallery page and click on "Log Cabin Retreat".
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Staying Cool in this brutal Summer Heat

The heat is bearing down, and you can be literally standing in the swimming pool and still feel like you are baking. Imagine a cool mist blowing in your face in that exact moment! Having misters installed around your pool is a fantastic way to stay cool as you enjoy your outdoor living area...not to mention it is a great conversation starter!

More and more people these days are installing these misters through our their outdoor living spaces. They can be installed in your outdoor kitchen, around your outdoor bar, under your porch, or around your swimming pool. The misters help you maximize the time you spend outdoors.

In the meantime, stay cool and enjoy your summer!

 

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Welcome to Charles Miller Companies!

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If you are reading this you are taking a look at our newly launched and redesigned website! We couldn’t be more proud of it.

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Mailing Address

Charles Miller Companies

6350 Lake Oconee Parkway
Suite 110 PMB 109
Greensboro, Georgia 30642

P: 706-485-6424

E: aracely@charlesmillerandcompany.com

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