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It’s no secret that a beautiful lawn needs water to stay lush and green. While Southeast Missouri is lucky to get quite a bit of rain in the spring, rainfall in the summer can be intermittent causing lawns to suffer if they area don't get a significant amount.

So what can you do to keep your lawn looking great all year, especially in the hot, dry months of summer?

Easy: install a sprinkler or irrigation system.

Use of a modern sprinkler system can benefit the health and appearance of your lawn and save you time and money over traditional hand watering methods.

A sprinkler system is one of the best ways to keep your lawn looking great, but it can also increase the value of your home. A home with an installed sprinkler and irrigation system can increase the value by up to 15 percent! It also allows buyers to know their potential new lawn is well cared for and will be easy to maintain.

Modern sprinkler systems are also better for the environment because they are designed to be as efficient as possible using moisture sensing technology. Meaning, they measure when your lawn needs to be watered and monitor the amount of water used at one time. This system keeps your lawn from being over watered while saving the amount of water used compared to traditional watering methods. These systems also reduce your monthly water bill and help the environment in times of drought! Additionally, a healthy lawn can reduce the emission of greenhouse gases around your home, produce oxygen and decrease surface temperature, allowing it to be naturally cooler, therefore decreasing the amount of energy needed to run your air conditioning.

One of the most redeeming qualities of a sprinkler system is their convenience. Instead of praying for rain or dragging a cumbersome garden hose around, let your lawn water itself. The recommended time to water your lawn is early in the morning hours, but who honestly wants to wake up early just to water their lawn? With a modern sprinkler system, you can get a few extra minutes of sleep by programming your system to water without your oversight. You can also set your system to water your lawn while you’re away or cancel a watering if rain is in the forecast all from your smartphone!

As you can see, a sprinkler system is a modern and low maintenance way to keep your lawn healthy and green without doing much work. Interested in having one installed in your yard?
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You never get another chance to make a first impression. What kind of first impression is your home making to potential buyers?

The “curb appeal” is the first impression your home can make to visitors, neighbors and potential buyers. Your home’s exterior combined with the lawn, garden beds, front door and porch or entryway create a home’s curb appeal. Curb appeal can add character and charm to your home, making it attractive to others and potential buyers.

Your landscaping can have a major impact on the curb appeal of your home. In fact, good landscaping can help increase your home’s perceived value anywhere from 10 to 12 percent. A $150,000 home can be perceived to be worth $8,250 to $19,000 more than its actual value with the help of sophisticated landscaping.

Good landscaping can really help your home make a good first impression, especially in neighborhoods where homes have similar or identical styles. A landscaping that is eye-catching for the right reasons can help your home stand out among others which is especially helpful in a competitive housing market. Poor landscaping can make your home unattractive to buyers who may choose not to even view the inside of the home.

Here are a few ways you can improve your landscape to increase your home’s value:

Identify what needs to improve:

Take the opportunity to look at your landscape with a whole new perspective to identify which areas in your lawn can be improved. Start by viewing it from different angles. Look at it from down the road or across the street. Like what you see? What needs to change? Write down what you see and start brainstorming how you can improve your landscape.

Add color:

Color is one of the major design elements that can help your landscape stand out. Whether its colored flowers or colored planters for those flowers, a couple pops of color can help improve the feel of your landscape. Use a color palette that accentuates the unique features of your home’s exterior like the stone or brick work. Repainting patio furniture or adding cushions to seating areas are also great ways to add color!

Define borders:

Defining the borders of your lawn can help create the illusion of an clean landscape. Look at the grass line of your lawn. Is it infringing on other garden beds and creating an uneven line? It’s time to trim it. Chip away at the lawn to create a new line and add stone work or mulch to help create a clean new border between your grass and garden beds. Adding mulch or decorative rock to your garden bed after this is also another way to define borders within your landscape.

Maintain shrubs:

Shrubs are great for establishing a sense of privacy or creating some levels to your landscaping allowing the eye to travel. However, an unruly shrub can be a huge distraction. Care for your shrubs by giving them a little prune or trim to help it maintain its shape. A well-shaped shrub can help contribute to a well-liked yard!

Add some visual levels:

If while looking at your landscape you notice your eye maintains the same line, it might be time to add a few plants to create some levels in your landscape. Trees, small bushes, hedges or flowers can create new levels and add interest to your outdoor space that can help to increase your overall curb appeal. The best part about adding plants is that your lawn will continue to improve over time as the plants grow and mature!

Add lighting:

Lighting the exterior of your home can help your home stand out after the sun goes down. Use lighting to highlight particular elements of your landscape like shrubs, trees and gardens. Even if potential buyers visit your home during the day, seeing that lighting is available lets them know walkways are safe at night.

Keep it simple:

When planning your outdoor landscaping update, remember above all to keep it simple! Adding plants and color can be overwhelming so don’t put too much stress on yourself. A landscape should be interesting yet pleasing to the eye. Too many plants or fixtures can create too much visual noise and appear cluttered. Your landscape should be attractive but not high maintenance. While landscaping can help sell your home faster and increase its value, a yard that appears high maintenance can turn buyers away.

Give us a call:

No matter how much work you need to do to improve your landscape, we’re here to help! Whether it’s adding lighting, planting new flowers, or even repaving your walkway, we can get the job done! Give us a call at (573) 803-0046 to set up a consultation and see how we can help you increase the value of your home!

 

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Spring Landscaping Projects

With the dreary skies and cold temperatures of winter lingering, you may not be thinking about getting those spring landscaping projects started, but now is the best time to start! Before you know it, the sunny days of summer will be back and you’ll wish you’d started your dream landscaping project sooner! Lucky for you, we’re already thinking about spring and the sunny days of summer and we are ready to help you start making your outdoor space your own!

Why start now?

Well, why not? Starting your project now gives you and your family plenty of time to work through the design elements of your dream space. Starting now gives you the time to brainstorm and decide what elements you want the most like a pool or hardscape for grilling and hosting family and friends. Starting now also gives you plenty of headstart on the rush for summer projects meaning your project can be ready sooner so you can enjoy it longer! In Spring, supplies are in abundance meaning we can get you the materials you need in a timely manner without having to wait. While the kids are still in school, you can get work started on your project meaning you don’t have to schedule around summer sport tournaments or family vacations. More continuous work on your project means less inconvenience for you and your family (as if you need something else to schedule around). A more technical reason to start your project now is planting! Pre-existing plants are easier to relocate while they’re still in winter dormancy, but spring is also the best time to plant a lot of those bright flowers and other grasses or shrubs you may want to use to add focal points to your outdoor space. Ensure your new plants are in full bloom when you want to enjoy their beauty!

Where do you start?

The hardest part of any project is getting started, but luckily, starting a landscaping project is actually really easy: just think about what you want. If you already have an idea of what you want, take the time to find more inspiration! Take a look around your neighborhood and see what’s worked in your area and take some tips of what plants grow around you. Browse websites like Pinterest to find images of features you’d like to include in your design like an outdoor kitchen, grassy lawn or spectacular garden. Key features are important for any design project as they set the tone for the rest of the design and can be focal point for your new space.

Here are a few things you should consider while brainstorming your dream project.

The style of your home

Landscaping should compliment or contrast the type of design of home you have. If your house is modern and minimalist, you may want your outdoor space to more simplistic and minimal as well. If your home is more classically, don’t be afraid to go big and accentuate the features your home has to offer.

Climate

We don’t want to burst your bubble but palm trees and cacti don’t really like southeast Missouri so if you’re wanting your outdoor space to be a tropical paradise, you may be in the wrong region! Fortunately, there are plenty of flora and fauna that grow really well here so there are plenty to choose from.

Maintenance

How much work are you willing to do to maintain the beauty of your outdoor space? If you don’t want to mow, large grassy patches are probably not for you. If you’re not interested in gardening and pulling weeds, you’re also limited in what plants you would probably want to use.

Who uses the space

Boulders and rocks are popular accents for decorating spaces, but if you’re worried about the kids hurting themselves, you may want to avoid them! If you have pets, you may want to know what plants are safe and pet-friendly.

Set a budget

Think about how much you’re able or willing to spend to make your outdoor environment special, but also consider how much you want to spend to maintain the environment as well. Plants needs water and if you want them to flourish you may want to add a sprinkler system. While the initial installation is an investment, you’ll end up saving money in the long run because of efficiently!

Call us

Once you have an idea of what you want, let us help you with the rest! We’ll help you understand your space a little better by figuring out the type of soil you have, drainage opportunities, sun patterns and the other natural features of your outdoor space. After that, we’ll take some measurements and help you finalize your design. Our team are experts on local flora and fauna so we can help you choose the best plants for your space! We can help you add color that doesn’t break the bank. We will use your ideas and incorporate our knowledge and expertise of the local area and landscaping skills to create the perfect design for your space. We can also pick a timeline that works best for you and your schedule! We know that spring and summer can get busy so let us help you get your project done as well and as quickly as possible without any added inconvenience for you! Projects can also be completed over a number of years if necessary for your budget! We can help you choose which features are most important to start the project and how to prepare for future projects!

Let the magic happen

Once design is finalized, we can take it from there. Our team members are experts in all areas of a project and can team up to complete your project from start to finish. From digging up existing features, relocating plants, building patios, and so much more, we do it all and you don’t have to lift a finger. Just watch as your old backyard becomes the outdoor oasis of your dreams! Once your project is complete, it’s all yours to enjoy! Invite your friends and family over to celebrate holidays, watch the kiddos play soccer or take a break from your busy schedule in your new at-home escape! Of course, we can be there to help you maintain the space and keep it beautiful! Our maintenance services include landscape trimming, monitoring your irrigation systems and even designing and installing seasonal color displays! So why not start making your dream outdoor space a reality today?
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Thank You 2017!

We can’t believe it’s already the end of 2017--what a year!

We are so happy for all of the homes and businesses we were able to make beautiful this year. For us, it’s a real gift to be able to bring your landscaping dreams to life.

From all of us here at Stork Landscaping, thank you for your loyal business this year.

We hope that 2018 is full of flourishing gardens, family gatherings around outdoor fireplaces, and starlit nights on your patios!

We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year--we’ll see you in 2018!

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Winterization Is Coming

What is winterization?

Winter--can you believe it’s already time to say that word? It seems like just yesterday we were enjoying the crispness of freshly cut grass and now here we are, talking about prepping our lawns for the coming of frost. Unfortunately, the cold is coming sooner than you think and it’s vital for the health of your landscaping to get it winter-ready. Winterizing your lawn means preparing your grass and plants for the cold winter months.


Why is winterization important?

Like bears, plants also hibernate through the frozen season, but unlike bears, they aren’t as quick to hunt and gather their own food. That’s where you come in. To give plants a chance to grow back just as strong and healthy in spring, they need to be tended properly as they begin to respond to the changes in nature.


What’s involved with getting my lawn winter ready?

It starts with fall clean-up. Rid your yard of leaves, twigs, and any leftover summer debris (frisbees, soccer balls, sidewalk chalk--you know the drill). Once your lawn is clear, it’s time to begin winterizing.


Choose a winterizing fertilizer that will compensate for the changes in your plants. Winter fertilizers have high amounts of potassium to keep plants strong and more able to withstand the cold temperatures; typically, they’ll also include small amounts of nitrogen for leaf and stem growth and phosphorus for root health.


Winterization for Your Irrigation System

After so many months of heat, it’s hard to believe that the temps are about to drop--and stay there. But they are supposed to fall next week.


Each year before the first freeze, it’s vital for the health and wellness of your irrigation system to winterize. The term for this is a “blow out” and it refers to getting everything out of your pipes before they freeze. Cold pipes that have water in them may crack or break under the pressure of changing weather. And if that cold water seeps into the mechanisms and freezes, you’re in much hotter water (no pun intended) than mere pipe damage.


To minimize the risk of freeze damage, you'll need to winterize your irrigation system. Winterization includes draining of any excess water from the pipes and shutting down your backflow preventer and irrigation system. This service protects your sprinkler system during the winter months by preventing major problems including broken backflow preventers, broken pipes/heads, leaks and other issues that can occur with frozen pipes.


Fall is not only the perfect time to plan ahead for winter, but is actually a great time to plan ahead for spring, too! Install a new irrigation system now--before the ground freezes--and be ready for all your spring blooms. As if that wasn’t enough, Stork Landscaping also offers winter discounts. Learn more about our irrigation services here; and call today and get winter (and spring) ready!

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5 Reasons You Need a Fire Pit

Do not get us wrong--we love the bright sunshine and vibrant green grass of a summer’s day, but there’s something about an autumn evening that just cannot be beat. So besides pumpkins, cinnamon scents, and cooler temps, what could make your fall season even better? A fire pit.


You don’t have to choose between comfort or fresh air.

Before you had a fire pit, you had to sit in the stale air of your family room or bring out every blanket and fuzzy hat in an effort to enjoy the cool temperatures without risking freezing. But now, you’re free to sit in your sweater and breathe in the crisp autumn air while your feet warm by the crackling logs. A win-win if we say so ourselves.


Need we say s’more?

There are many foods that just taste better when cooked over an open flame; hot dogs, popcorn, steak--and of course, s’mores. Nothing toasts a marshmallow to perfection faster than a fire pit. Check out these ways to add even more flavor to the perfect campfire snack.


Extend the life of your outdoor space.

After a wonderful summer of enjoying your backyard, the drop in temps can feel like you’re being boxed into your own home. Say goodbye to looking longingly out the window at your patio space. Thanks to a fire pit, you can comfortably enjoy the same space and warmth as you did all summer long.


Like going camping, but better.

All of the fun of sitting around a campfire telling stories and laughing, but when you get to sleep in your own warm, snuggly bed.


It brings people together.

Social calendars take a dive when people aren’t outside as much, but you can still be the talk of the neighborhood as you wave people over to join your cozy fire pit. Host your own fire pit party! Here’s how.


Sold yet? Contact us today to get yours installed before the autumn and winter seasons!


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It’s that glorious time of year. The grill is fired up for Labor Day, the temps are finally dropping to a reasonable 85--and your yard is full of patches of dead grass.

Areas of dead or matted grass in your lawn can be a result of many external factors. Most often, weather and foot traffic are the two major culprits. However, if you’re not sure how your lawn ended up so raggedy, give us a call. We can come out to inspect, diagnose, and treat whatever issues your yard is facing.

But if you already know that your lawn’s enemy is feet, animals, and the summer sun, then overseeding may be the right answer for you!

Overseeding can breathe life back into your lawn, using fresh seed to bulk up your grass. In addition to enhancing your curb appeal, overseeding is also great for the quality of your lawn. Fresh new grass will ward against weeds, many insects, drought, and the usual wear-and-tear that every good ole American lawn goes through.

Here are the three steps to overseeding your lawn this autumn:

Get the lawn ready.
For seeds to take to the ground, they need to touch it. If your grass is too tall, or your yard is covered in brush, the new seedlings won’t attach and thrive. Before you put your seed down, be sure to clear your yard.

Lay the seed.
Your method for laying seed will be determined by your equipment, your experience, and the size of your land. You can use machinery, raking, or even your own two hands.

Tend the land.
Water the seeds after you lay them, and cover them over with a thin layer of straw if there is no live grass around. Then steer clear. Wait a week or two until the seeds begin to germinate before walking on or mowing your lawn.

Got questions? Give us a call for more expert advice on keeping your lawn up to snuff.
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This is not a drill: Before we know it, it will be labor day and we’ll be closing the pools and getting out the pumpkin spice and turkey. But don’t worry, we’ll tell you how to make the most of the remainder of summer!

Get Out(side)

Don’t underestimate how much you’ll miss walking outside to beautiful scenic views of bright colors and green grass. Invite the neighbors, friends and family over to have a pool day! The best part? The pool does most of the work! Have a simple lunch or snacks for your guests, and the rest is off your shoulders! 

Don’t have a pool? No problem! There are so many ways to stay cool and have fun doing it. If you have a younger crowd to please, try sprinklers, a homemade water slide or even a baseball water slide! If you’re gathering is more adult-focused, have plenty of fans and shade around, and provide cold snacks and beverages.

Make Everything An Occasion

This is the time to live it up before you’re stuck inside! Be over the top with your space, and get more enjoyment out of the everyday! Here’s some ideas to get you started:
  • Make “just a glass of wine” with friends more festive with snacks and decorative glassware!
  • Add some festive pool floats to bring fun and personality to any gathering!
  • String lights make almost any gathering feel like a party- liven up your space by stringing them under a pavilion like our client above, along a fence or deck!

There’s Always Something To Do

Summer is the one time you are not allowed to say you’re bored. There’s simply no time for it with the restricting cold weather slowly sneaking up. Cape Girardeau has awesome summertime fun that you have to check out for yourself:

Cape Splash
We make sure the landscaping and atmosphere is beautiful and fun at Cape Splash! Head there, or your neighborhood pool, for a fun-filled day! Bring along a picnic lunch, and you have an easy outing that everyone will enjoy.

Ice Cream Heaven
In Cape Girardeau, we know our frozen treats. Check out the best places to get ice cream in Cape, and cool down the best way we know how! 

Downtown Livin’
We are lucky to have such a fun and lively downtown atmosphere. There’s something for absolutely anyone on Main St from shops to great food and bars.

 

We hope we gave you plenty of reasons to take the ending of summer more seriously. If you have more ideas, leave them in the comments!

 

 

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Unfortunately, your home needs more than a great personality to sell. This month's Yard Envy is all about putting the wow factor into your front yard!

Everyone knows the phrase ‘Curb Appeal’, but that phrase takes on a whole new meaning when you want to sell your home. Your front yard is the first thing someone sees when they pull up; making that first impression a crucial aspect for the tone that is set for the buyer, before they even look inside.

We narrowed it down to the top 5 ways you can liven up the look and feel of your home!

Paved Driveways and Sidewalks

A paved driveway or sidewalk adds a classy and customized look to your residence. Not only can it improve the overall look and feel; it gives it an inviting characteristic that will appeal to anyone looking for a place to call home. With so many colors and shapes to choose from, there is an option for any color or type of house.

Bright Colors & Green Grass

There’s nothing less homey than an untouched and impersonal landscape. If you want someone to be interested in your home, show them how great it can be! Whether your lawn needs fresh seed or just a little watering, it’s worth your time and effort to make sure it’s green and bright. To add some character and beauty to your front yard, flowers are a quick fix. Always search for flowers that are good in the summer heat (you know Missouri weather), and get planting!

Landscape Lighting

Let’s light up the night! But really, nothing makes your home look more elegant than perfectly aligned lights to show it off. Landscape lighting used to be a few lights along you sidewalk, but times have quickly changed! Now, the trend is to light up your whole house with perfect angles and distinction, and it’s easy to see why. Displaying the value and architecture of your residence 24 hours a day will increase the average amount of people that can see it’s potential.

Water Features

There’s nothing more inviting than a fun and entertaining water fountain or pond. Water features look and sound beautiful, but most importantly, they add a unique characteristic to your home that no one will forget. 

Comfort

When someone looks at your house, you want them to visualize their family living there and making it their home: That becomes pretty hard to achieve when you have a blank yard with no homey or intimate features. There are many ways to add character to your yard, but the best way is to shoot for comfort. You can achieve that look of comfort with something as simple as a rocking chair or even better, outdoor furniture and accessories!

 

From larger projects like paving and water features to minor updates, Stork can work with any need and budget. Reach out to us today; we would love to evaluate your property! 

 

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Is this the summer you want to turn your outdoor space into the place everyone wants to be? We can tell you how to create an environment that will impress and entertain, in this month's Yard Envy.

So, what's the secret for outstanding outdoor entertaining? We could go on all season, but instead we narrowed it down to the top three essentials for the perfect outdoor destination for summer fun.

Be Creative with Different Seating Options

A great seating arrangement can transform the feel and flow of your outdoor space. Giving guests the choice of where to sit will not only make them more comfortable, but it will open the door to them sitting by who they choose to. That means more conversation, more good times and a gathering that suits everyone! Don't know where to start? Here are some great ways to change-up your sit-downs:

  • Create the perfect flow by having separate lounging areas with seating and places for guests to easily set down their food or drinks.
  • Make it comfortable! Everyone likes a pleasant place to sit; outdoor couches and other furniture are a great addition to any outdoor space, and they are becoming more popular and affordable each year.

Atmosphere is Everything

Even the best party can be brought down by a dull backdrop. When you think of summer, you think of bright colors, green grass and tiki torches. Ok, maybe that's a little specific, but you can see where we're going! Bring the summer spirit into your patio or yard with some of these fun extras:

It's All About Variety

We won't ask you to plan a special performance or hire flame throwers just for a barbecue, but providing some extra things for guests to do is the perfect way to please a group of people. Whether it's variety in what you serve, different games or places to chat, you'll have a stress free night of entertaining. Here are some likable idea's to liven up your next gathering:

Now you're pretty much set to have the best summer ever. Need any help making your yard look 5 star? Give us a call- we would love to work with you!

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