Category Archives: Outdoor Living

How to Protect Trees from Deer

How to manage deer damage on trees and other plants | UMN Extension

Deer are infamous for damaging trees and shrubs. Hungry animals may browse on leaves, pine needles, buds, or bark. But deer don’t just eat your landscape; territorial bucks can also kill trees by scraping them with their antlers. Young and recently planted landscapes are the most susceptible to these animal antics, so take steps now to protect your trees from deer.

Physical Barriers Provide the Best Protection

You have probably heard all kinds of ideas for how to protect trees from deer. Deterrents range from mothballs and heavily scented soaps to garlic and decaying fish heads. All repellants work to some degree, but deer can acclimate, or the scents can lose their potency following rainfall or irrigation.

One surefire way to keep deer from eating your pine trees and evergreen shrubs is to install a physical barrier. You have a few options, depending on the size of your property and your aesthetic preferences. Here are the top suggestions:

Install nylon netting over low-lying shrubs: Cover the plants with a nylon mesh screen, pinning down the corners with twine or zip-ties attached to tent stakes.

Wrap shrubs in burlap: Deer are a big threat to young shrubs in the wintertime. Encasing plants in burlap sacks doesn’t just cover up the tempting foliage; it also helps prevent the branches from bending out of shape during wet, heavy snowfall.

Surround plants with wire metal cages: The cages should stand at least six feet tall. Position them a few feet out from young trees or shrubs and support the cages with stakes. Even though deer can leap over a six-foot fence, they are reluctant to enter a small space, such as a fenced-in bed of rhododendrons or yews. Have a small plant you want to protect? Surround it with an old tomato cage, wire-hanging basket, or milk crate anchored with tent stakes.

Wrap trunks with tree wrap: Paper or plastic tree wrap protects young and thin-barked trees from buck rubs. Replace the wrap every few months to prevent moisture buildup or insect infestation.

Install a deer-proof fence around your entire yard: Conventional residential fencing can keep deer out as long as it’s at least eight feet tall. Other options include exclusion fencing, snow fencing, slanted outrigger fencing, and binder twine fencing. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has more information about constructing different kinds of fences.

Build a Simple Fence to Protect Fruit Trees From Deer - Hobby Farms

Other Ways to Protect Trees from Deer

In addition to installing a physical barrier, here are other methods that have proven effective against hungry and territorial deer:

Remove plants from your landscape that deer are known to love, such as cedar, yew, rhododendron, maples, and roses.

Choose plants that deer dislike, such as those with fern-like foliage, fuzzy leaves, spines, or strong odors.

Spray vulnerable trees and shrubs with smelly, bitter-tasting deer repellent.

Remove food sources from your yard, including bird feeders and pet food dishes.

Install motion-detector sprinklers to scare deer away.

2021 Outdoor Living Trends Forecast

By Outdoor Living By Belgard

Looking ahead into 2021, we see some new outdoor living trends emerging. Much of this movement has been influenced by the rapid cultural shifts in lifestyle caused by the pandemic. As more homeowners begin to think of their outdoor living spaces as an extension of their interior spaces (and not just a place to barbecue or watch the kids play), interior design trends continue to have a major impact on look and functionality. Here’s how Belgard predicts outdoor living to further evolve in 2021.

Large Scale Outdoor Living Projects are the New Norm

Over recent years, there has been a shift to creating outdoor areas with multiple rooms for family and friends to enjoy. This school of thought exploded in 2020 and will continue to expand moving forward. A recent HIRI survey confirms that outdoor areas have been the focus on much remodeling activity with strong growth in landscaping, decks and outdoor living rooms. Additionally, Thomas James Homes revealed that individuals are requesting multiple rooms within the outdoor space. Anticipating this increase in demand, Belgard began developing a new program in 2020 that will simplify design of cohesive multi-room outdoor spaces that coordinate with the specific architectural style of a home. Stay tuned for our big announcement in 2021!

The Shift from Entertaining to Daily Outdoor Living

With the increase in at-home living, more areas of the home are being regularly utilized than ever before. Nearly 4 in 5 homeowners report they were thinking about changes that could help them enjoy their homes more, with outdoor projects at the top of the wish list (35%). Outdoor spaces are no longer just a place to hang out during downtime. They have become a space of productivity as more people are working and learning remotely.

Fully Functional Microspaces

Microspaces are emerging as a dominant form of renovation in cities and neighborhoods where lot sizes are small. With more and more single-family homes lacking an abundant backyard, utilizing the space alongside a home or even on the front porches is becoming vital to the ability to add an outdoor living space. Homeowners are also beginning to annex sections of an outdoor living area to create microspaces for exercising and working from home (20% each).

Integrating Technology

Outdoor access to technology has become more vital than ever. It’s no longer just about piping in music or watching the big game. Technology integration is becoming necessary to carry out daily functions. This includes incorporating heating and lighting into an outdoor area, as well as WiFi and easily accessible electrical outlets to create a fully functional space that can support more activities throughout the year.

Technology brings new level of comfort to outdoor living

Modular and Geometric Patterns

Clean and simple lines continue to grow in popularity for pavers and landscape walls. These simplistic patterns allow for an uncluttered aesthetic that puts emphasis on furniture or features in the space, while also fostering easier installation and maximization of space. The newly emerging trend is to incorporate geometric shapes to add a visually interesting accent or to create a retro look.

Contact us today to plan your dream outdoor living space!

Pros and Cons of Stamped Concrete vs Pavers

When designing a patio, walkway or driveway, many homeowners have a difficult time choosing between stamped concrete and pavers. In short, concrete pavers are a much better choice for a variety of factors. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each factor.

COLOR DURABILITY

In most cases, the colors of a stamped concrete design are not integrated throughout the entire concrete slab. Instead, it is a layer or treatment added to the top of the slab. Because of this, the color can wear or chip off. Belgard pavers use sophisticated color blends that are integrated throughout each stone and are more resistant to wear and fading.

STRENGTH COMPARISON

Pavers are significantly stronger than stamped concrete and more resistant to the effects of freeze-thaw cycles. In fact, Belgard pavers are guaranteed to last the life of the home and are backed by a transferrable warranty. To help make stamped concrete more resistant to cracking, it must be constructed with control (or expansion) joints. But even with the joints, as like any concrete slab, it will eventually crack. Also, joints typically cut through the pattern, which detracts from the overall look. Pavers do not require expansion joints, and should a paver ever be damaged, a single paver can easily be replaced without having to replace an entire section.

DESIGN VERSATILITY

Pavers come in a much wider variety of styles, shapes, colors and textures. The ability to mix and match pavers and create intricate paver patterns is endless. Whereas, stamped concrete is limited to a handful of stone or brick textures. Intricate stamped concrete designs are very difficult and costly.

INSTALLATION CONSIDERATIONS

Compaction and base prep are key for both, but poured concrete can be radically impacted by daily weather conditions. Rain, heat, cold and humidity can all affect dry times, strength and finish in a big way. Pavers, on the other hand, since they are made in a controlled environment, don’t have to contend with those factors….and because of that, can be guaranteed. Stamped concrete slabs, on the other hand, can only be guaranteed to crack at some point.

MAINTENANCE CONSIDERATIONS

Both stamped concrete and pavers should be sealed regularly to increase durability. However, stamped concrete may require sealant to be applied more frequently for comparable durability. Not only does this increase lifetime maintenance costs, sealant can affect the color of stamped concrete and can also make the surface slippery. In contrast, paver sealant does not affect the color and pavers retain their slip-resistance.

STAMPED CONCRETE VS PAVER COST COMPARISON

Is stamped concrete cheaper than pavers? Although it varies by market, the cost of a stamped concrete installation is actually very comparable to a paver installations in most cases. With all the negatives, why would someone risk choosing stamped concrete that offers fewer design options, potential slip hazards, additional maintenance, the likelihood of cracks, and a shorter overall life cycle? A stamped concrete patio will likely need patching or replacing at some point, however, a Belgard paver patio is warrantied to last the life of your home. So, even if you do save a couple of bucks on the front end (and not in every case), you’ll end up paying more in the long run.

It’s Time To Plan Your Warsaw, IN Landscape Project

Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadwo this year, meaning spring is predicted to come early! That is great news for everyone in the Warsaw, In & Syracuse, IN areas! It’s been one of the worst winters in recent memory simply because we haven’t had much snow at all.

Bulbs add color to your landscaping in early spring in Warsaw, IN and Syracuse, IN.

If you want to augment, update, or totally renovate your landscaping or outdoor living space this year, now is the time to start the planning process so that you can enjoy your beautiful Warsaw, In weekends.

Top 5 Planning Tips for Your Warsaw, IN Landscaping Project

  1. Develop a clear vision of your project goals: Before you get started, it’s important to consider how you will use the space. Why do want to do this project? Is there a problem? How do you want to entertain your Warsaw, IN guests?
  2. Determine your budget: For any project, it’s important to do some homework to discover how much a landscape project will cost based on your scope of work or what you want to achieve. The best place to start is with friends and family who have had a project installed recently by a reputable contractor. If you still aren’t sure, you can visit our website to learn more. During the Initial Consultation, our sales staff will also help provide you with Budget Figures for your project.
  3. Prioritize: In order to stay within budget, decide which items or areas are most important to you and your family and the goals of the landscaping project.
  4. Research Contractors: Spend time online, asking friends & family, and others in your neighborhood who they recommend for installing a project. Don’t always make your decision based on price! Sometimes you may think you’re getting a great deal and you aren’t. Pick a contractor who has been in business more than a couple years with a portfolio of projects similar to yours. Ask for referrals if they don’t already provide some. Do they answer the phone? Are they on time for their appointment? These are very important things to consider when choosing a contractor.
  5. Get inspired: Go online to Pinterest and check out our Boards for inspiration. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to see updated project pictures.

A Balanced Landscape for your Warsaw, IN Landscaping

Phlox is a great perennial for your landscape in Warsaw, Winona Lake, and Syracuse.

One of the comments I hear most as I meet with clients in Warsaw, Syracuse, Leesburg, and Winona Lake is “I would really like to have a balanced landscape and plantings.” Balance means alot of different things to different people throughout the greater Warsaw, In area. In this post, I would like to provide some explanation of what I consider to be a balanced landscape.

Me idea of a balanced landscape in Warsaw, IN & Syracuse, IN includes proper scale, flowing design, easy maintenance, evergreen and deciduous shrubs and trees, perennial and annual flowers, water, sunlight, shade and good air movement. In Warsaw, Winona Lake, and Syracuse there is no shortage of water as most properties are either on the water or near it.

Proper Scale

A landscape should reflect the the size and scale of your home or lake house. This means that in time, mature plantings should appear that they belong. Wise choices avoid the pitfalls of designs that incorporate planting that are too large, too small, and too many or too few. All of us have seen foundation plantings that cover windows and crowd out walkways or hedges so think that plants are diseased and sickly. A landscape in Warsaw or Syracuse should express the uniqueness of the homeowner while enhancing the architecture. There is no right or wrong but a casual passerby should see the home and the landscape as one beautifully framed picture.

Flowing Design

A design integrates the needs of the homeowner with the use of the outdoor spaces created. I like an easy traffic pattern that moves one from the front of the home to the rear or lakeside with color and interest, while positioning service areas for air conditioners, pool equipment, trash cans, and storage sheds for quick accessibility but not necessarily in the line of vision. For those of you that live or have cottages on one of our many lakes in Warsaw, Winona Lake, Syracuse, North Webster, Leesburg or Culver, getting all that lake gear from the garage to the lake can be a problem. Traffic patterns become critical.

Next week I will continue with this blog post by providing more details on maintenance, planting suggestions, and water requirements.

Warsaw, IN Trends in Brick Pavers and Retaining Walls

Brick Paver Patio with Fire Pit in Warsaw, IN

Most people agree that despite the old saying, things are not necessarily the same all over. Whether we are talking about clothes, food or interior design, what is popular in New York isn’t always as popular in Warsaw, IN or Syracuse, IN. Especially for landscaping and brick pavers and retaining wall products and projects. WLM, Inc. knows this better than any other landscape company in Warsaw, IN. Looking at the projects we have installed for our Warsaw, In and Syracuse, IN clients over the past 5 years provided us with some insights on which styles and colors are rising in popularity in different areas of our market. People that live on the water/lakes have different styles than homeowners who live in town Warsaw, IN.

Trending Styles

When looking at which styles of pavers are trending, we looked back at the landscaping projects we have installed for our Warsaw, IN and Syracuse, IN clients. We looked at colors, textures, and shapes to determine which brick pavers were the most popular for our clients. The trend leans towards smooth-faced pavers in large formats or sizes. Rectangular shaped pavers with a mixture of grey and tan colors are the predominant color blends for brick paver patios installed by WLM, Inc. in Warsaw, IN and Syracuse, IN. Of course, there are some projects that had varying products installed and varying style attributes.

Brick Paver Patio with Fire Pit in Warsaw, IN

Trending Landscape Retaining Wall Styles in Warsaw, IN

Looking back at the projects installed in Warsaw, IN and Syracuse we decided to divide the retaining wall block materials into two categories. Texture and Pattern. The trends we discovered in our Warsaw, In landscaping market are a contemporary modular pattern in color tones that compliment the brick pavers. The texture varies widely by where the project is installed throughout the county. For years, the trend in Warsaw, In retaining wall block was the rough faced split stone but now WLM, Inc. is seeing a more tailored chiseled stone look becoming popular with our clients.

Unilock Brick Paver Patio in Warsaw, IN

Landscaping:  Brick Paver Patio.  Fire Pit.  Bar with Grill Area.  It’s all here!

This landscape project installed by WLM in Warsaw In has everything but the kitchen sink.  This project started as the winter weather began to leave Warsaw and allowed us to finally get some landscaping projects off the ground.

This landscaping project in Warsaw started out with having a deck that the homeowner couldn’t use for outdoor living and entertaining.  They also wanted to have a new landscape installed.  We were able to help them out by giving them an outdoor space and landscaping they will love.  Check out this video of what it will look like at completion.

With any new outdoor living area and landscaping, we have the capability to show the customer what the project will look like before it ever gets installed.  We install to manufacturers brick pavers for our landscaping projects in Warsaw, IN.  We install Belgard Hardscape Products.  We also install Unilock Brick Paver and Retaining Wall products in our Warsaw and Syracuse landscape projects.  The landscaping project in Warsaw we are featuring here is installed using Unilock brick pavers and retaining wall block.

Proper planning of your landscape project is the key to having a successful project installed smoothly.  Also, hiring the right contractor who has the skills and capabilities of installing complicated projects makes landscape projects successful.

We will update with more pictures and videos as the project takes shape.  You can also visit our website to learn more about outdoor living projects and landscape projects in Warsaw.

http://wlminc.biz/landscape-installation

 

Trends in Retaining Wall for Warsaw, IN and Syracuse, IN

Retaining wall blocks add dimension and definition to your outdoor living spaces. Whether utilizing a retaining wall to control sloped hillsides in your lawn or lakeside cottage, or to add additional space for a brick paver patio or outdoor living space, retaining walls can help in many ways and help solve your landscape problems.

Terraced Retaining Walls

Retaining walls can be used to convert a sloped lawn or backyard into a space that is now usable for the whole family. You can also terrace retaining walls to create level spaces for planting beds or additional patio space.

Raised Gardens with Retaining Walls

A new trend that we are finding in Warsaw, Syracuse, Leesburg, Ft. Wayne, Columbia City, Winona Lake and Culver is the construction of raised gardens. Raised Gardens can take your landscaping to a new level and add alot of visual interest and color with perennial plants to your existing landscape or patio area.

Outdoor Space Room Definition

The use of seating walls, pillars, and the combination of the two can help define your outdoor brick paver patio in Warsaw, IN and Syracuse, IN.

Outdoor Kitchens

Patios bring families closer together.

Outdoor kitchens are probably the fastest growing segment of all the hardscape installations we install in Warsaw, IN and Syracuse, IN. These outdoor kitchen and bar areas can be completely customized to allow the best use of space for large or small areas.

Pillars & Columns

Don’t forget about adding a Pillar to your project.  They can even be installed as mailboxes and have lighting installed under the cap for additional interest.

Crazy Things You Might Not Know About WLM

Wihebrink Landscape Management, Inc. located in Warsaw, In and serving Syracuse, Leesburg, Culver, Ft. Wayne, Columbia City, North Webster, Winona Lake and all the lakes in the Kosciusko county area has some pretty unique things that make us alot different than most landscape companies.

Here are some Crazy Things You Might Not Know About WLM:

  1.  We have two Purdue University graduates with degrees in Horticulture & Landscape Design.
  2.  We employ nearly 23 people during the peak of the landscape season.
  3.  WLM is a full time, year round employer.  We do not lay off in the winter.
  4. We do company cookouts at our shop/office in Warsaw before all three summer holiday weekends.
  5. We have an all woman crew!  That’s right, we an entire crew entirely staffed with women.  Paula leads that crew with over 14 years of experience at WLM.
  6. WLM has two staff people in the office full time to help provide administrative support and customer support.  No other company in our area provides better customer support.
  7. We provide our clients with design options for your landscape project.  Most only provide you with one option and hope you love it.
  8. Our shop is the cleanest you’ll ever find!  And so are the trucks.
  9. We have had every college and university in Indiana represented at our company at some point except Notre Dame.  Not really sure why???
  10. WLM employs individuals with disabilities.  We don’t consider them disabilities, but special gifts that we could only see.  

Fundamental Foundation of Outdoor Decor for your Warsaw, IN & Syracuse, IN Home

Decking is more than a surface to set a lawn chair on or to roll out the grill for the weekend cookout in Warsaw, IN and Syracuse, IN.  It’s the fundamental foundation in the exterior decor.  Homeowners should take thoughtful consideration when selecting a product – not just the color and finish of the material but also the function, maintenance and durability.

There are alternatives to pouring a slab of concrete, with pavers becoming the go-to decking material for residential applications in Warsaw, Syracuse, Culver, Leesburg, Winona Lake, and all of Kosciusko County.  Travertine, natural stone, porcelain and simulated wood are taking the lead in the exterior landscape installation projects in Warsaw & Syracuse especially.

As the top installer in Warsaw & Syracuse for hardscape products and projects, Wihebrink Landscape Management, Inc. offers our clients a wide selection of pavers including the hottest trends in exterior flooring and brick pavers.

Our projects are designed to serve more that a functional purpose other than gray concrete.  We want people in Warsaw, Winona Lake & Syracuse areas to use these products in a way that look great and make them look forward to spending time outside.  We can help the design and product selections.