Water is Life and Irrigation is Key

Water is life: regular watering from rainfall or irrigation systems is necessary for most of the beautiful plants in your landscape design.  Unfortunately, many Florida homeowners have unknowingly spent as much as half of their utility bill on watering lawns and landscaping, when watering wisely can be so much easier than you may realize. We are professional irrigation specialists - licensed by the State of Florida FC12361: we can set up, repair, and calibrate your watering system.  

All plants need to be watered during the first weeks after planting or transplanting, and during development.  Then they fall into different categories according to water needs, from the very thirsty to the drought tolerant.  In irrigation terms, efficiency refers to how much of the water applied to the plants is finally used by them and uniformity refers to how evenly the water is applied to the plants.  This is the science we employ to keep your landscaping looking its best.

A knowledgeable landscape designer will divide your plantings and irrigation segments into watering zones (hydro-zones): oasis, transitional, and xeric. The oasis zone is for the thirstiest plants and will be placed closest to a water source. The xeric zone is for plants that need no supplemental water after being established. The transitional zone will contain plants that need occasional watering, or regular watering during a drought.

It is concepts such as the three watering zones that explain why an expertly designed, installed, and maintained lawn and landscape design will look better and thrive unequivocally through the dramatic seasons of Florida.  Your comprehensive site plan will include placement of water sources among the plantings, and you will be able to recognize the oasis, transitional, and xeric zones if you look closely.   Perhaps it is your preference to feature one of the three hydro-zones predominantly in your landscaping and we can do just that.  

A licensed landscaper, who is foremost an irrigation professional, knows the science behind a lush and waterwise landscape.  We make it our business to understand unique concepts such as field capacity, which refers to the maximum amount of water a soil may hold before draining to become runoff.  An irrigation controller is an automatic timing device that operates irrigation zones for a predetermined time and frequency.  Scheduling of irrigation is based on factors such as soil type, root zone depth, and weather conditions - it should be regularly calibrated and checked for proper functionality.

North Florida wavers between extreme drought conditions and record rainfalls.  Contact GreenFlex Landscaping for a free estimate when you need assistance with your irrigation.  We are a full service landscape design, installation, and lawn care company for residential and commercial customers in St. Johns, Volusia, and Flagler Counties.

How to Make a Home for Sale Stand Out

This custom built home in Palm Coast recently went on the market for sale and it is a perfect example of landscape design, outdoor lighting, and paver hardscaping services by GreenFlex Landscaping.  Homes with paver driveways are known to sell quicker than those with driveways made of concrete, which can easily crack.  Large palm trees accentuate the architecture of this luxury house.  

This home literally glows in the evening hours!  Outdoor lighting adds elegance to a home's exterior as well as curb appeal when it is for sale (many prospective buyers drive by a house at night).  A home that lights up is more secure and more welcoming and the choice of low wattage lights is cost effective when it comes to your electric bill.

This home, located on a lake in Palm Coast Plantation, was built for outdoor entertaining day or night.  The fire pit and paver patio are so inviting and take advantage of the relaxing view.  Lighted pathways through the landscape design create movement for the eye to follow, as well as making the backyard much more enjoyable for those who prefer to walk on strong, flat footing. 

In a competitive real estate market, professionally maintained landscaping makes a home stand out from the rest.  A visitor's first impression of this house on Heron Drive in Palm Coast, Florida is that has been properly cared for, inside and out.  Contact GreenFlex to light up your landscape, install pavers, or create a landscape design that adds value for many years to come

Now What? Freeze Damaged Landscaping in North Florida

This year our area had a few hard freezes (temperatures dipped to or below the freezing point, 32 degrees Fahrenheit, at night). This is known to cause browning and sometimes killing of plants, especially tropicals. Just because a planting has turned brown does not mean it's not going to revive itself eventually. Trust a professional landscaper to assist you with freeze damaged landscape designs in Flagler, Volusia, and St. Johns Counties, Florida: contact GreenFlex Landscaping today.

We know that frost damage looks unattractive and your first instinct may be to prune it off or get rid of the plant all together, but it's best to wait until the coldest weather has passed. The brown leaves protect the inner parts of the plant that may still be alive, just sitting dormant until the warm rays of the sun bring it back to its full potential. We also know how and when to fertilize and treat valuable plantings that were affected by freezing temperatures.

Frost damage typically happens on clear nights when the temperature goes below 32 degrees - we had a few nights of this and the problem occurs when water vapor freezes on the leaves of plants, creating frost. There were even reports of snow falling in North Florida this winter, an oddity. Freezes, which we also had, are worse than frosts because they are even colder and cause severe damage to sensitive plants. We had one night that was in the 20s this year, very unusual!

The reason why frosts can damage or kill plants is because during a freeze, water both inside and outside the plant cells freeze, puncturing them and destroying whatever part of the plant where this happens. That's why you may only see browning on part of the plant but not all. Besides browning of leaves, you may also see wilting leaves or even leaves that turn black. You won't know if the plant survived until all cold weather has passed.

If your tropical plants were young and not protected, you may have lost a few. Get in touch with us to replant so that your landscaping design does not suffer from this loss. Semi tropical plants such as hibiscus and bougainvillea may have just been severely damaged and we can prune them properly for the best renewal this spring.

After hard freezing, a plant may die or it may need a minor pruning or a total cut back.  Each plant is different, let us take a look and determine what your best course of action is going to be. If you are unsure, please don't prune your valuable plantings yourself! You run the risk of causing more damage because the new growth that you create is extremely susceptible to cold weather. 

GreenFlex Landscaping provides design, installation, and ongoing maintenance of your beautiful residential and commercial landscaping in North Florida. Find out more about what we offer!

Facts About Landscaping and Insurance Coverage

Landscaping is an investment in your home's appearance that increases its value, curb appeal, and your enjoyment of your property.  Homeowners insurance covers some aspects of this investment but not others, although you may be able to purchase additional coverage. 

What landscaping is covered by standard homeowners policies? Your basic policy may offer protection for trees, shrubs, and plants against specific problems such as fire, lightning, explosion, vandalism, riot, theft, or damage caused by someone else's vehicle.

How much does homeowners insurance cover for landscaping? Policies usually have limits on how much landscaping coverage is available, for example they may limit coverage for landscaping to a percentage of the dwelling protection and each particular tree or shrub may have a limit.

Is my landscaping covered in a hurricane? Damage to the plants themselves caused by weather disasters is typically not covered, but if falling trees damage your home or other structures on your property, repair to those buildings would be covered by your homeowners.

Damage to your landscaping caused by insects, pests, or diseases is not covered by homeowners insurance, which is why your investment in landscape design is best served by hiring a professional company to maintain your property so these factors do not become an issue.

You will most likely pay a deductible before any coverage begins for damage to your landscaping, home, or structures.  One of the most important things to keep in mind is if someone else's tree falls on your home, your homeowners insurance will be the one to cover this damage.

If you are found negligible for not taking care of a rotting tree on your property that falls, your structures may not be covered by your homeowners insurance.  We maintain our customers' properties with meticulous care and observe the health of the trees for you.   

We recommend that if you are concerned about coverage for your landscaping, you contact your homeowners insurance agent.  Inquire about additional coverage because some insurers offer options that could help provide additional protection for your valuable landscaping.

Our Partnership to Build the Perfect Custom Home and Landscape Design

GreenFlex Landscaping plans, installs, and maintains the most beautiful landscape designs for new homes located in St. Johns, Flagler, and Volusia Counties.

This impeccable landscaping often includes outstanding elements such as water features, hardscaping and pavers, outdoor lighting, fire pits, and other unique additions.

As licensed landscapers, GreenFlex creates a verdant lawn and landscape design that will grow and thrive for years to come.  Expert maintenance by GreenFlex Landscaping protects your investment for the long term.

But what about the home itself? If you plan to build a custom home in Florida, keep in mind that GreenFlex Landscaping is owned by respected home builder George Duran, co-owner with Bill Stoughton of Stoughton and Duran Custom Homes.

With these companies working together, you can be assured that the home and landscape will be designed to complement each other for years to come.  This means each focal point in the landscaping will accentuate the architecture of the house, and vice versa.

Trees will be placed for maximum impact and growth potential.  Color of foliage and flowers will be considered with exterior home colors.  The views from each room of the new home will be windows to the elegant landscaping.  Because the companies work in tandem with each other, there will be no conflicts between your home builder and landscape designer as the home takes shape.

Begin your new life in a custom built home with curb appeal and natural vitality by trusting the experts at Stoughton and Duran Custom Homes and GreenFlex Landscaping!  Here are some beautiful examples of custom homes by Stoughton and Duran with landscape design that takes them to the farthest reaches of luxury and style:

A Look at Homeowner Landscape Design Data Reports

The new research reported by the 2017 U.S. Houzz Landscape Trends Study was on target for our industry and we would like to present some highlights here.  As North Florida landscapers, our goal is to meet our customers' best expectations and our ability to understand our market sets us ahead of the competition.

The results of the research survey come from approximately 1000 American homeowners who have completed outdoor projects in the last year, who are currently in the middle of an landscaping project, or who plan to do it soon.  These landscape designs are upgrades or updates of the current homeowner's exterior spaces, with the typical goal to make the space their own.

How much do people spend? The majority of the respondents (23 percent) spent between $1000-$5000.  Complete overhauls or major luxury landscaping were not a rare occurrence: 15 percent of the projects were over $50,000 in budget. Bottom line: Spending money on improving landscaping is considered worth the expense.

Where are the landscape projects? We know that landscaping is known to increase curb appeal exponentially, yet 69 percent of the landscaping jobs were completed in the backyard of the home.  44 percent were the front yard, and 32 percent were side yards. (Keep in mind some projects were in multiple locations.) Bottom line: We care the most about our living and entertaining spaces.

What needs are being addressed with landscaping? The number one issues that landscape design and installation were focused on were "drainage" and/or "poor use of space".  This was followed by "lack of privacy".  If curb appeal were the main goal of the landscaping work, the most important feature was flower beds/borders by a wide margin. Bottom line: Landscaping equals functionality.

How long does the project take?  It is important to remember that unforeseen problems such as extreme weather (especially in Florida) can upset project schedules. But these were the averages for three different levels of landscaping work:

Minor project: 3 months of planning/3 months of implementation
Major project: 5 months of planning/4 months of implementation
Complete overhaul: 6 months of planning/6 months of implementation

What plants are the most popular? For the past several years of studying these statistics, the top answer to this question is "low-maintenance", followed by "flowering". (Pictured at top is the stunning camellia variety, "Pink Perfection", which grows well in North Florida landscape designs.) Bottom line: Combine color with waterwise hardiness.

Ultimately, 73 percent of landscape projects are completed by a professional landscaper such as GreenFlex Landscaping.  Although, of those homeowners who are currently in the planning stage of their landscape job, only 63 percent plan to hire a professional.  We understand that sometimes you get to the point where you need help, and we will step in and assist you at any step of the way.  Contact GreenFlex Landscaping for landscape design, installation, and maintenance in St. Johns, Volusia, and Flagler Counties, Florida.