Author: Mike Haley

Mediterranean Flair: Practical Landscaping Blog

Mediterranean Flair: Practical Landscaping

Practical Landscaping is a trend that you will see more and more homeowners leaning towards in the days ahead.  For a long time, the trend in America was landscaping of well trimmed grass with a few shrubs or trees.  People wanted curb appeal, or low maintenance.  However, the Mediterranean style of landscaping has been starting to take hold in America, and soon, people will want landscaping that is as practical as it is beautiful. 

In the Mediterranean, people tend to live much like their fathers and their fathers before them stretching all the way back to antiquity. Curb appeal wasn’t a concern in ancient Greece. Instead, people focused on more practical landscaping. Landscaping that they could eat, or use to protect their property, whether it be from natural forces, or other people.

Edible Landscaping

Mediterranean Flair: Practical LandscapingSure, having a few mature fruit trees in your yard is nice, but edible landscaping goes so much further then that.  Edible landscaping means choosing attractive plants that happen to have another purpose.  

For example, rosemary is a beautiful shrub that not only is used in cooking, and repelling mosquito’s, it also looks great around doors or under windows.  

Climbers like grape vines, or Malabar spinach looks amazing over a pergola, and provides food.  

Succulents like aloe can be eaten (and have high levels of antioxidants), used as medicine, and even protect your home from fires.

Practical Landscaping Can Protect Your Home

The proper landscaping design can protect your home from fire, floods or even burglars.  

If you live in an area where wildfires are a real concern, you can design your landscaping to create firebreaks between your home and outlying areas.  Hardscaping can keep burning materials away from your home, and water rich vegetation like succulents can add an extra layer of protection. 

Creating dry riverbed features that drain water away from your home and to water hungry plants can protect your home from flooding or water intrusion, and make a great looking, unique landscaping arrangement.  

Landscaping can also keep unwanted guests from your home.  A river rock path around the perimeter of your home can make getting to close to your home a noisy enough affair to alert your household pets.  Additionally, cacti and thorny plants placed under windows can make burglars decide to look for an easier mark.  

Of course, practical landscaping can also provide shade to lower your cooling bills. Properly placed trees and hedges can provide privacy. Landscaping can also be used to aid in pest control. 

Overall, Landscapers today have to think beyond curb appeal or simple maintenance when designing landscaping for a property. People today want more out of every facet of their lives, and their property is someplace where they can get so much more. 

If your landscaping company is busy trying to get more done and create stunning landscapes for your clients, you might want to check out Obex Billing to free up some of your time by letting us handle your billing for you.

How Your Landscaping Company Can Get More Done With Fewer Staff Blog

How Your Landscaping Company Can Get More Done With…

The Wall Street Journal Recently ran a story claiming that U.S. Job openings have reached 6.7 million with only 6.3 million people unemployed.  Although this may be great news for the economy, and even better news for those 6.3 million unemployed people, it is sobering news for small business owners.  It is particularly bad news for a Landscaping Company.  

Typical Landscaping Companies staff up in season, and lay off in the off season.  Because of this, many Landscaping Companies are looking for staff right now, and they are not finding them.  Landscaping is a difficult job.  The constant exposure to the elements makes it so.  In addition, the struggle to keep competitive pricing and competitive wages can often lead to slim margins for Landscaping Companies. 

How Your Landscaping Company Can Get More Done With Fewer StaffWork Smarter, Not Harder

For years now we have been hearing people warn that the day was coming when technology would take our jobs.  Well, when we don’t have enough people to fill the positions, maybe it is time to hand over some jobs to technology.  Or, at least, start using technology to make our jobs easier, so that we can get more done with less staff. 

Tech Toys For Landscapers

These days, we have tools and apps for almost everything you need as a Landscaper.  There are tools to monitor the Ph levels, moisture and salinity levels of soil, there are tools to tell you how much sunlight any one particular spot is getting, and there are digital rain gauges.  All these tools can help you make better informed decisions on how to manage your clients landscaping with less actual work from your crew.  

There Is An App For That

There are a lot of apps that can be of enormous use to Landscapers.  These apps can save you time, money and headaches allowing you to have more time to do more work. 

The Planimeter app allows you to make accurate estimate of the size of a clients lawn using google maps.  You don’t even need to leave your office.  You can do remote site surveys and save loads of time. 

Landscape and Garden Calculator app can help you determine the quantity of materials, such as fertilizer and mulch, needed for an area you input.  This handy app can also help you determine fence lengths, and spaces between objects

SoilWeb app allows the landscaper to determine their location and figure out what soil type is there. 

Obex Billing is so much more then just an app. Obex allows landscapers to forget about the hassle of billing their clients. You just enter your clients info, and recurring services and Obex generates and sends out your bills for you, automatically, every month. If you do extra work, you can input from your phone, while you are doing the work. 

Obex also allows you to have complete access to your clients billing account from any device. This allows you to review your customers account with them from the job site using only your smartphone. 

All of these services allow Landscapers to do more with their day, and get more done with less staff. Something that is needed as the amount of available workers continues to decline.

The right landscaping increases home value Blog

How The Right Landscaping Can Increase Your Homes Value

Seven Landscaping Tips to Increase Your Property’s Value

Most people spend a lot of time embarking on projects that improve only the inside of the house. Do not get me wrong, even though it is important to keep your house in good shape the outside environment should also be appealing. If you are planning to sell your property, you should know that many people judge the book by its cover. Therefore, if you need to improve your landscape, Obex Data Services we have over 30 years’ experience in offering the latter service. Below are some unique tips that we recommend, to increase the value of your property.

  • Define lawn edges

The right landscaping increases home valueYou should always mow and edge your lawn. A trimmed edge makes the garden/compound look appealing, restrained and tamed. When people are looking for homes to buy, they first look at the condition of the lawn. The process of edging a lawn is simple. All you need is a sharp spade and you can customize your compound to whatever style you want.

  • Plant Trees

Probably you have heard that trees help in conserving water catchment areas and the environment in general. Apart from this condition, trees make the environment beautiful and improve the quality of the air we breathe during the day. Additionally, they normally come in handy during hot weather as they provide cover from the sun. To make your landscape look appealing plant a couple of trees—notably those with a pleasant bloom like the Japanese Maples. Nonetheless, you should minimize the number of tree species. Minimal species helps your garden to look uniform and are easy to maintain. Even though plant diversity encourages biodiversity, we do not recommend it in landscaping.

  • Add color to your property

Potted plants can be flowers, cactus, and moss just to mention a few. Notably, we keep these plants around the house for decoration purposes and adding color to the compound, driveways, and porch. Plants in container give clients a good impression of the property. Additionally, they are advantageous for homeowners who keep on moving because you can take them with you to your new property.

  • Plant Shrubs

Addition of shrubs in the sparse area makes your compound more appealing. Shrubs are always good since they increase the privacy of the property. You should always invest in shrubs that have beautiful bloom. Furthermore, you should trim them from time to time for a well-manicured appearance.

  • Add Landscaping Lighting

These lightings serve two purposes—act as security lights and make the landscape more appealing at night. The lights play a greater role in enticing clients since everybody wants to live in a secure place. With the advancement of technology, you can install photoelectric lights that automatically switch on at dusk and switch off at dawn.

  • Lay New Lawn

Presently, there is artificial synthetic grass that makes your lawn look appealing. This type of grass is vital as it does not require watering during the dry spell and requires less maintenance. However, if you cannot afford it you can use buffalo grass and make sure you mow it from time to time.

  • Freshen your Mulch

You should at all-time weed and mulch your garden to make them appealing. When choosing the mulch you should go for the forest fine or pine bark rather than using the conventional “gardener Preferred” mulch such as Lucerne. Utility mulch looks neater than the gardener mulch. You should always keep in mind not to use too much dyed woodchip since they can mess the appearance of your garden.

Summer Landscaping Ideas Blog

Summer Landscaping Ideas Your Clients Will Love

Your home is certainly your castle, but rather than have it surrounded by moat, consider using any of the landscaping ideas listed below. They will add warmth to your home and make it more welcoming. Some of the ideas include growing blooming flower shrubs to painting your fence too. There are many more ways of making your home more appealing and inviting. Each landscaping idea is functional and really attractive. Let each idea stir your imagination and help you create stunning outdoor landscapes for your home.

Color the Fence with a Bold Color

Summer Landscaping IdeasFinding a nice wooden fence colour shouldn’t be hard. There are countless colours for your fence in your local store. It’s time you considered brighter colours and shunned the typical dark brown fence colour. An example of a nice colour you can consider for your fence is the Golden Ember. It is a dark yellow stain that gives your fence that classic and traditional look. The golden ember adds a tinge of the avant-garde on your fence too.

Planting Flowers Around the Yard

The most adorable thing in your backyard during summer is when flowers burst forth and add glamour and vibrant blooms to your landscape. It can be more exciting when the plants also have berries hanging below. Flowers make your landscape warmer and inviting.

Plant an Edible Garden

This is yet another fantastic summer landscaping idea that your clients will love. An edible garden may include berries and fruit trees that don’t require a lot of space. You can also consider a hanging edible garden to ensure that your pets don’t ruin your fruits too. Fruits can be a very welcoming site for birds and small animals like squirrels. This adds up a very natural look in your client’s landscape too. It also adds up as a preferred summer landscaping idea by most people around.

A Trimmed Watered Lawn

Lawns have been used for centuries to improve the appearance of the landscape. You can consider watering your lawn more often and having it trimmed from time to time. You can reinvent the lawn this summer by trimming it nicely and perhaps adding some more plants in areas they might have dried out. You can also use harbiturf grass since it requires very little attention.

Linear Pools

Nothing is as awesome as having a pool at your compound. Pools reflect the sky blue colour sprucing your backyard with life. Pools reflect moonlight in the night giving a very magical look to your home too. It can be used for entertainment too. Having a pool in your home is a perfect landscaping idea this summer.

Outdoor Furniture

Remember it is summer, so no need to worry about your wooden furniture getting spoilt. Without furniture, your backyard may look a little bit boring. Adding some furniture like a table, some chairs and a bench transforms your landscape a great deal. Depending on the theme that you want on your landscape, you can choose different types of furniture at your local dealer’s shop.

Final Thought

Summer landscaping ideas provided in this article are easy and cheap to implement. Shaping up your landscape this summer should be easy and fun. You may choose one of the ideas or even combine a number to spice up your landscape.