Woke up to snow the other day. If you looked out the window, flakes were falling, it was bright. It was Christmas. Holidays. Aren’t they meant to bring the family together? Well they always do, but this year it brought us together to shovel and plow. Three brothers and our dad, was it a bad thing? Looking back now. It was what it was. Not bad, not good but can be depending on how you think it. So another Christmas in the books. They always said that time flies even faster as you get older. And it does. I agree.
November and the leaves, still barely hanging on, can’t help but appreciate the change in seasons. Darkness filling the sky, early, the cold brisk air, it makes me feel more alive. Walking on the leaves, listening to them crumple as I walk, fall, with the leaves changing colors and falling to the ground, the scene is still vivid in my memory. As a landscaper, you can only appreciate the outdoors, the small things, random things. Fall cleanups, blowing and raking of the leaves, then sucking them up in the back of the truck with the vacuum, not easy work but it feels good. Feels good to be alive, to be working, to receive a joyous text message from a customer saying, “Thank you!! Our yard looks fantastic even on a dark and rainy night!”. Sitting on the steps at night with the scent of a fire place nearby filling the air, how much I love fall, the changing of seasons. It’s a good feeling. One, that everyone should appreciate.
“Work is work. Whatever it is, it’s hard to find help. Nobody wants to do anything anymore.”, Mrs. Freedland was explaining from her back porch. I just kept working and moving, but that phrase stuck in my head. “Work is work”, such a deep thing that Mrs. Freedland said, had me thinking. Mrs. Freedland finished explaining. She was old enough for me to always listen carefully, and her wisdom was always present. Which got me thinking of other customers, other phrases or things that I have remembered from clients of ours. “It is better to live one day as a lion than one hundred years as a sheep”, Martignetti explained to me in Italian, this saying from Benito Mussolini. Santoro explained how he was in the army and in Vietnam, one day when I was sitting in his kitchen talking to him as he had a trip down memory lane. Bob told me about IRA’s, and investing into stocks. Explained his life, as member of the Navy and how he served a number of years going ship to ship, traveling. Lots of stories.
Thinking of adding a bit of spice to your yard. You want to make it more attractive? Make it bright & cheery?! When decorating your yard, you first must think of your objective. What are you trying to do? Add color, or are you adding shade, or are you trying to hide the ugly cement wall with some English Ivy? We’ve had customers say “Hey, can we make this yard a bit more colorful, pretty?”, many times. Two key terms you should be aware of: annuals & perennials. An annual flower/plant comes flowers once a year, and then must be replanted/repurchased the following year. Geraniums are an example of an annual. A perennial comes back year, after year. Gloriosa daisy, is one that adds powerful, beautiful yellow to the yard. Once you decide, if you want to go with low-maintenance perennials or have some annuals you’d love to plant, you’re then ready for the next step. You must learn how much sun does that area get. This will dictate what plants will thrive, and which will not do so well. “Full Sun”= 6+ hours per day, “Partial Sun”= 3-6 hours per day. Now that you’ve figured your objective, and how much sun your area gets, you are now ready to visit a nursery or shop online or call up a professional.
Many customers of ours, we’ve noticed aren’t familiar with what core aeration is. In a brief quick explanation, core aerating is the process of a machine pulling plugs of soil, 1-3 inches deep from your lawn and dropping them back on your lawn. Almost looking like some sort of animal left many droppings all over your lawn. So what does this do, why do we recommend all of our customers to core aerate a minimum, of once a year? Core aerating has many benefits. First one, it reduces compaction. On many lawns we mow, you can walk on and it will feel as if you are walking on a cement. By aerating this lawn, pulling out “cores” of soil, it leaves the lawn less compact. It allow water, air, nutrients, and any additional supplements you add to reach the soil, root system of the lawn. Core aerating is a natural process, where you are improving the soil, which in turn effects the appearance of your lawn. When core aerating we suggest you overseed to promote a dense thick lawn..You can give it a feeding, apply lime to balance acidity. Or even just give your lawn an organic feeding. After a year like this with very little precipitation, aerating in the fall would be a great relief, where the lawn did not see much water.
April 1st, 2015
Today, April 1st with snow still on the ground, we were outside removing some boards and changing an oil filter. Couldn’t feel any better with the sun beaming down on us and a breeze telling us that Spring had finally arrived. As I looked around the yard and at the distant trees I began to reminisce about different landscaping experiences from the past. My first recollection was of my father (Mike) leading the way, taking charge, showing me and my brothers how things were done. As I looked at him now with a shovel in hand, moving the snow around a puddle, making a path for water to flow, I couldn’t help but realize how true it is when people say “time flies”. And then I pictured myself and brothers at a younger age around my father (a yonger version), just working, doing different activities. At the time I did not appreciate those experiences, but now it is no longer just ‘work’, it is something I enjoy and appreciate. A family business, that my father started part time, as we were young, Mike and Sons Landsdcaping Inc., has become part of my life and holds many good memories.