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Thursday
Sep272012

Goldberg & Rodler Wins National Maintenance Award!

Goldberg & Rodler has won a national PLANET award for maintenance. Goldberg & Rodler has recently expanded our services in the past few years (the original G&R Gardeners would be proud) and now offers a multitude of property maintenance services. Read on to find out more!

Woodland PatioOur client loves living in the woods but she wants a woodland feel without a woodland mess. She is the CEO of a large corporation and has a demanding workload. When she comes home to her 2-acre estate, she wants to spend time with her family and enjoy her property. She prefers a natural look and feel, (everything is hand-pruned) and she wants ease of access to her entire property keeping it a safe environment for her children and grandchildren to explore. 

Woodland PathOn a weekly basis we mow the lawn, pick up the pet-waste, weed the beds and play area, police the property for deer and mole problems, and check on the drains, gutters, downspouts and drainage paths.  The plants are inspected for damage from disease, insects or water issues. Our crew maintains a service access path on the side of the property to get to the rear yard. This prevents us from damaging the lawn, plants, and patios with repetitive traffic. We make sure the 2-story tall evergreen screening is maintained, pruning throughout the seasons after plants flower. We avoid a massive seasonal pruning job by pruning a little each visit, keeping the maintenance costs down for our client and adding to the natural look of the property. Bed edging is kept to a minimum to balance neatness with the woodland aesthetic throughout the property.

Summer ColorEvery spring we power wash all paving, the roof and walls of the house, and the furniture and pots that we wrapped and stored for the winter. We plant the evergreen shrubs from the pots in the landscape. We start up the irrigation system and inspect pool equipment. We install annuals and tropical plants for the summer months, concentrating a huge display of color in the pool area.  Our client looks forward to seeing something different and unique each year. She has no window treatments in the residence to maintain open views of her property.

Annual PotWe install fall annuals such as kale and mums around entryways. Our crews divide and transplant perennials and make sure all the light fixtures are clear and working during a nighttime test. Before winter starts we apply organic compost around the major trees and shrubs to prevent soil heaving and apply an anti-transpirant to the broadleaf evergreens to guard against moisture loss and desiccation of the foliage. We pre-treat the pavements before snowstorms and plow and shovel during and after the snow falls. Our client has knee problems so we take extra care to ensure those surfaces are as clean and dry as possible. After a heavy storm two years ago we even went up on the roof and removed the snow deposits to make certain that ice dams would not form and cause leaks.

Summer ColorWe maintain a gravel strip along the road with a short decorative iron fence to delineate the property in a neighborhood without curbs.  This also prevents the neighborhood dogs from using it as a bathroom. In the back of the property, a section of woods remains untouched. If a tree fails in the wooded area we take it down and leave it to decompose naturally and provide wildlife habitats away from the main living areas.

Spa & PoolAfter redoing the pool a few years ago, we rototilled the lawn area and added compost and topsoil. However, after failing to get a thriving lawn even with the amendments, during a maintenance visit we took a shovel and dug a test pit. We discovered that the pool company had backfilled with very poor soil and a 3-foot layer of clay was preventing the water from draining. Using a backhoe, we broke through the compacted clay layer and got the drainage flowing properly. Thanks to our weekly visits we were able to nip the issue in the bud and avoid replacing the lawn every year.

Graduation PartyThe homeowner likes to entertain at her residence and we organize the events for her from planning and setup to post-party cleanup. She likes having a garden theme and we create seasonal cut flower arrangements. We add tropical foliage plants and after the party take them to her corporate office to decorate the lobby. We also do the maintenance at her office building as it is very important to her that her employees enjoy their work atmosphere. The office building and grounds has a more manicured look to offer a pleasant but corporate feel to the property.

 

Photos by Susan Sotera

Tuesday
Sep252012

Goldberg & Rodler Wins National Landscape Award!

Plan: Click to enlarge

Goldberg & Rodler has won another national award (from PLANET) for one of our projects.We're so pleased that the judges recognized our team's hard work on the design and the installation of this residence. Read on to discover exactly what we did and to see pictures, before and after, of the project.

When our clients bought this waterfront residence it was virtually un-maintained for several years and needed a complete overhaul. Their wish list included making the steep and narrow driveway easier to navigate, creating inviting entertaining spaces, a putting green, a BBQ, removals of invasive plants, renovating the leaking gunite pool, extensive outdoor lighting, better dock access and storage space for recreation items.

Overgrown, dead and invasive plantings were the first big challenge with the site. Removing hemlocks infested with wooly adelgid, controlling invasive English Ivy, removing Poison Ivy and essential pruning for the property's shade trees. Most existing retaining walls on site were failing and had to be replaced or repaired. The leaking gunite pool needed extensive renovation. Raccoons had made the dock their personal bathroom. The current drainage pattern was down the driveway (about 20 feet higher than the house at the street), straight to the house.

Before: Click to enlarge

After: Click to enlargeWe re-graded the driveway changing a 17% slope to a 15% slope and built boulder walls at the road and below for guest parking. A custom Belgian Block Cobble culvert, strip drain and surface drains catch runoff coming down the driveway and direct it into 3 new drywells. A shed off the parking stall holds family bikes and there's space for one-on-one basketball.

Green: Click to enlarge

Waterfall: Click to enlarge

A cozy putting green sits below the pool area. A large brick and bluestone patio surrounds the renovated gunite pool, complete with a new bluestone coping. We added a swim out to the deep end and converted the existing pond to a reservoir that spills into the pool, circulating the water. Random bricks break up the sheet of water into tranquil white noise.

Pool Area: Click to enlargeLighting: Click to enlargeA new composite deck with glass paneled railings keeps the view unobstructed. The steps lead to irregular bluestone with lawn joints out to open lawn. A custom railing and gate keeps raccoons from wreaking havoc on the dock. We designed an extensive lighting plan to highlight the landscape and make the property usable all day.

BBQ: Click to enlargeWater View: Click to enlargeAll of the bluff planting was retained to ensure slope stability and we selectively pruned along the bluff to maintain a dramatic view to the water. As part of our philosophy, we try to reuse as much of the existing vegetation and materials as possible. Existing daylilies were transplanted along the top of the slope to help prevent washout erosion and we rehabilitated and transplanted rhododendrons from the pool area to a woodland setting where they could thrive.

The property had many dilapidated boulder structures scattered about, built years ago by a monk, and had sentimental value to our clients. We salvaged and repurposed every boulder for new boulder and gabion walls and also for rip rap in various places to retain slopes.

Difficulties during construction included a massive rainstorm in the middle of the driveway construction. The basement flooded and we discovered the previous owners had concealed a major issue: they had built a false wall in the basement to hide the fact that there was no waterproofing on the foundation. We worked through the night with the family to empty the basement of water and came back the next day to waterproof the foundation. Also, gutters were pitched incorrectly and downspouts were broken or clogged. We replaced all leaders and gutters and calculated drainage capacity for the new drywells. Other discoveries included rotten wood and a leaking roof which were both replaced with high tech, low-maintenance materials (a slate substitute and Azek columns) to maintain the historic look of the house.

 

Photos by Susan Sotera

Monday
Sep242012

The Time Is Now

We're already thinking about Memorial Day at Goldberg & Rodler. It's a common deadline for landscape construction. People want to have parties, family gatherings, use their outdoor spaces to the fullest when the sun is shining. Our office gets flooded with calls when spring rolls around, usually when the crocus and daffodil pop up. Nobody thinks about summer flowers and sitting out on their decks and patios or going swimming when there's snow on the ground. Get a head start with a landscape design in the fall or winter and you can break ground in the spring. Get a head start on construction and you can be having fun in the spring!

If you're building a new home or an addition, think about installing screen planting now. As long as the trees and/or shrubs aren't in the way of the contractors the plants will have a whole season's head start on growing. When your construction is complete the screen planting will be there to provide privacy to enjoy your new space.

If you already have a plan and the ground hasn't frozen yet, get a head start on the construction. If you have concrete work in your plans, start pouring before the winter sets in. Concrete takes a long time to cure and getting a jump on it helps when spring comes and you're ready to set the pavers or mortar a veneer. It also allows time for the sub-grade and/or backfill to settle.

Fall is the time to start planning, planting and building. It gives you ample time to get necessary permits approved. If a permit is denied to either need to revise and resubmit or apply for a variance. Either way it is a long process. It never hurts to plan ahead! Once the weather warms up, you want to be out there enjoying your property, not watching from inside while it get's ripped up and put back together.

Tuesday
Aug282012

Autumn To Dos & Don'ts

A few things to think about as cooler weather looms near.
 
Fall is the best time to seed your lawn. Depending on the variety, grass seed needs a temperature range of 45-65 degrees Fahrenheit to germinate properly. Make sure to water adequately while not overwatering and that the seeds is in contact with the soil. Birds LOVE grass seed. To protect your seed sprinkle a light dusting of compost over it. This will also help keep the seed moist.
 
Plant your bulbs before the ground freezes and water thoroughly after installation. They will wow you in the spring! Daffodils are critter resistant but tulips are on the menu for deer, squirrels and other furry friends. Crocus and wood scilla are the first to pop up, usually in March. Daffodils and tulips can range anywhere from March through late May. Alliums bloom later around June. Planned correctly, your garden will be a riot of color through every season.
 
DO NOT PRUNE YOUR TREES AND SHRUBS! Don’t be tempted to prune as it gets colder. Pruning forces tender new growth that can be destroyed by the upcoming freezing temperatures. Wait until spring or, even better, after the particular plant flowers so you don’t remove any buds on early bloomers like azaleas and rhododendrons. DO cut down your perennials and ornamental grasses.

 

Tuesday
Aug212012

Is Your Landscape Ready for a Major Storm Event?

Goldberg & Rodler crew removing a tree from a house after Hurricane Sandy.
Storm damage is not entirely preventable but proper seasonal pruning for shade trees, shrubs and other ornamental plants help to protect your landscape investment, home, family and vehicles. By removing dead or damaged limbs, you lower your chances of serious damage during a severe wind or snowstorm.

Removing weak and malformed branches will prevent them from snapping and damaging the surrounding healthy limbs. Damage from poor air circulation or low light penetration can be corrected with proper pruning as well. Allowing air and light to penetrate between the limbs and move through the leaves contribute to overall tree health.

A large limb from a unhealthy Sycamore crashed through a client's fence.Clients who have their trees and shrubs routinely pruned report minimal damage after big storms. One client praised our certified arborist, Gary Carbocci, for helping him protect his landscape and his investment. Several of our clients who don't have regular pruning done by us reported big losses with major limbs snapping. A few  large trees were reported as toppling over. This is a costly expense to repair and/or replace.

Goldberg & Rodler is up to date with industry licensing and certifications, fully insured, and is active in the Long Island Arboricultural Association (LIAA), Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA, formerly National Arborist Association), Nassau Suffolk Landscape Gardeners Association (NSLGA), New York State Nursery and Landscape Association (NYSNLA), National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), and  Long Island Nursery & Landscape Association (LINLA).

 

Call us today at (631)-271-6460 or click here to contact us about preventative maintenance for your trees!