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LM Wander & Sons Landscaping, Inc Blog

Jun 9, 2015
Hardscape Installation: Facts and Factors
The decision to begin a hardscape project is a big one. First, you have to know what it is that you want to install and where it is going to be placed. Bigger than that, you have to make the choice between concrete or pavers and the multitude of color and texture options within each of those categories. Then, you still have to figure out if you want to add on an outdoor fire pit or fireplace and if you do, which will suit you and your home best. It can be overwhelming, especially when most people do not have the time to learn all the key differences between all of their options. So, where do you turn when you need information about hardscape installation? Well, in this case, all you have to do is keep reading!

When deciding between concrete and paver patios, the most important factors are appearance, required maintenance after installation, how it will fare against the Northwestern Pennsylvania weather and, of course, how much it will cost. Each option has its pros and cons, so we made a few charts to help you sort through all of the information.
Image courtesy of Houzz
CONCRETE PATIO
PROS - Can be stamped with details that look similar to brick and stone.
CONS - Slippery when wet / light glares off of it.
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PROS - A textured pattern may help to hide the appearance of the inevitable cracking of concrete but unfortunately, there is no way to prevent it from occurring in the first place.
CONS - Almost guaranteed to crack over time. According to Bahler Brothers, there are two types of concrete: “cracked and gonna crack.” That is due to the fact that it is just one large slab, so pressure, settlement, shrinkage and changes in weather cause the material to move and break.
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PROS - The cheaper installation of concrete often catch the consumer’s eye, but keep in mind that the lifetime maintenance of this material often exceeds the cost of others options.
CONS - Due to concrete’s harder finish, more wear and tear is visible on the surface and because concrete is installed as one whole unit, finding a perfect match to your existing concrete when making repairs / replacing sections is nearly impossible.
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CONS - Takes 3-5 days to cure before it can be used.
Image from our 2013 Projects
PAVER PATIO
PROS - Has increased skid resistance because of the number of joints between each paver.
CONS - More expensive initial installation.
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PROS - Aids in drainage from rain and snow and has numerous ecological benefits. Read more about those benefits by clicking HERE
CONS - The sand installed between joints will need “topped off” periodically (every few years).
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PROS - Absorbs less heat because it is installed with a base and sand between the paver joints.
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PROS - Easy to repair / replace sections thanks to the individual units that can be removed without affecting the remainder of the patio.
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PROS - Do not crack as frequently / easily as a concrete patio, as they allow more space between the joints to help the structure withstand pressure, contraction and expansion. They are themselves molded under extreme pressure, so they are well-suited to climate changes and the natural heaving that occurs in the ground as it freezes and thaws during cold winters.
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PROS - Proper base installation prevents settling and movement, as well as the installation of polymeric sand between the paver joints. This sand will also help to prevent weeds and bugs from coming through.
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PROS - Paver patios actually increase their structural capacity over time. In fact, pavers are second in strength after bricks.
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PROS - There are a wide variety of pavers in style, texture and pattern, giving designers a significant amount of freedom in the appearance of the patio.
After looking at the differences between concrete and paver patios, your mind may be swimming with all of the ideas you cannot wait to put in your own backyard. However, your search is not quite done yet if you have been considering a fire place or fire pit. Though both can use either wood or natural gas and produce warmth and a beautiful focus to your patio area, there are a few characteristics that separate them.
Image courtesy of My Independent Contractor 
FIRE PLACE
PROS - Provides an intimate setting with room for approximately 1-4 people.
CONS - More expensive than a fire pit.
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PROS - Better for windy conditions, as it is enclosed and can serve as a windbreak for you and your guests. 
CONS - Must follow building codes / regulations and proper permits must be acquired.
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PROS - Keeps smoke from getting into your face and flying embers from being scattered around.
CONS - Can obstruct property views.
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PROS - Creates a more sophisticated ambiance perfect for dinner parties and the holidays.
CONS - Often requires the purchase of additional seating.
Image from our 2013 Homeshow display
FIRE PIT
PROS - Ideal for larger groups with 360 degree access that opens the area up to as many as you can fit!
CONS - Is not enclosed, leaving you exposed to flying embers and smoke.
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PROS - Provides a a campfire environment that allows for an openness associated with family events and the ability to grill a few hot dogs over the fire.
CONS - Can be difficult to light in windy conditions.
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PROS - Does not require compliance with building codes.
CONS - Provides less privacy.
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PROS - Less expensive than a fireplace.
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PROS - Leaves the rest of your property in clear view.
As was stated above, both, fireplaces and fire pits can be used with wood or natural gas. Though you are always free to choose which you prefer, there are a few important facts you should know about the benefits of natural gas. It is cheaper, does not attract any bugs, provides instant heat, requires a low amount of maintenance (no need to search for wood or clean-up ash) and is much better for the environment. While this option requires connecting a gas line by trenching through your lawn, it is definitely something for you and your family to consider.

While there are many, many websites and articles claiming to provide the perfect DIY (do-it-yourself) checklist for installing patios and fire pits please keep in mind that without proper installation, you are leaving yourself far more susceptible to heaving, cracking, settling, movement and more. The best method of having these incredible hardscape projects installed is always by hiring a professional, whether it is our company or someone else’s. If you are interested in pursuing an estimate and design with LM Wander & Sons Landscaping, Inc, however, feel free to call us anytime to set up an appointment! (814) 864-5507

For examples of the patio and fire pit installations we have done in the past, check out our Photo Gallery or head over to our Facebook page! 
References:

May 22, 2015
Memorial Day: Celebrate. Honor. Remember.
Celebrated on the last Monday of May, Memorial Day is a national moment of silence for all those who have lost their lives while serving in the armed forces of the United States of America. Originally, the holiday was called "Decoration Day" and was introduced to recognize specifically those who died in the Civil War. The first Decoration Day boasted more than 5,000 people who placed flowers and other decorations on the graves of more than 20,000 fallen Union and Confederate soldiers. After World War I, the holiday expanded to honor all who had fallen in service to our country. With this day, we vow to never forget those who have paid the highest cost in order to protect our freedom.
In December of 2000, The National Remembrance Moment resolution was passed that calls for every American at 3:00 PM each Memorial Day "to voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence." There is no guilt in celebrating the lives of these brave soldiers with grilled hamburgers and cold beers, but let us not lose sight of the significance of their sacrifice.

Thank you to all who have served and to all who still do. Our lives and freedom are a direct result of your hard work and dedication to this country and while you deserve far more than a simple day of memoriam, we hope that this Memorial Day reminds you how grateful we are.

Apr 28, 2015
Best Blooms for Spring
We are gearing up for spring weather to arrive here at Wanders, which means ordering plenty of mulch and topsoil, as well as a plethora of plants to keep the lawns of Erie looking fresh and beautiful. If you are considering a landscaping project this year, you might be wondering which trees and shrubs you should have installed in your lawn. With literally hundreds of shrubs to choose from, we understand how overwhelming the search can be. That is why we put together the following list of the best blooms for you to consider this spring, a culmination of our favorite trees and shrubs that produce the most beautiful flowers.

TREES that flower
Eastern Redbud:This tree has purple-pink flowers that appear in April and May, are high in Vitamin C and are commonly used in salads,
as well as a handful of other foods. It is a low maintenance tree, requiring full sun or partial shade. Growing up to 30 feet tall and equally 
as wide, the Eastern Redbud attracts fluttering butterflies but still remains resistant to deer.
Snowfountain Japanese Weeping Cherry: Growing fragrant, white flowers in April, this tree attracts birds, as well as butterflies. Eventually, the flowers
will become small, black, edible fruit and the dark green leaves will turn bright orange in the fall. The Snowfountain Japanese Weeping Cherry reaches approximately 15 feet tall and 8 feet wide and requires full sun and some light pruning after flowering in order to remain healthy.
Hydrangea / Tree Form:Large, fragrant clusters of white flowers slowly become pink-bronze in the fall on the Hydrangea tree. It can
reach 7-12 feet in height, with flower heads growing 6-18 inches. This tree also attracts butterflies and is resistant to deer.
Louisa Weeping Crabapple:Reaching 10-20 feet tall, the Louisa Weeping Crabapple attracts both butterflies and birds and is resistant
to disease. It sprouts pink blossoms in spring that become yellow fruit in the fall, with dark green leaves framing each. Though there are
a number of options for flowering crabapples, this one is our most common (and our favorite).
Chanticleer Pear: This tree’s white flowers emerge in the spring, with green leaves changing to red-yellow in the fall. Requiring full sun, 
it can grow to be 25-30 feet tall and 13-16 feet wide. It is another low maintenance option and attracts a variety of birds.

SHRUBS that flower
Dwarf Korean Lilac: This shrub touts red-purple buds, opening to fragrant lilac flowers that bloom profusely in mid-May. The leaves are
mostly green, with a red-purple edge. This shrub is very compact and requires partial to full sun. It grows 4-5 feet tall and 5-7 feet wide.
Knockout Rose:This shrub is available in a handful of colors from white and yellow, pink and red and more. Its bright flowers bloom from
June until winter and are framed by green leaves that have a touch or burgundy. They are ever-blooming, incredibly hardy and disease resistant.  
They grow 3-4 feet tall and just as wide, attracting butterflies and requiring full sun to partial shade. One of the more popular and low maintenance
shrubs, this is a great option if you do not have a lot of attention to spare for your garden.
Endless Summer Hydrangea: The shrub form of the hydrangea has a variety to choose from, but our personal favorite is the Endless Summer.
It grows 9-inch pink and blue flower heads, depending on the soil it’s planted in. A repeat bloomer, it does require that you remove old flowers
in order for it to continue blooming from spring until fall. It requires partial shade and grows 3-5 feet tall and wide.
False Spiraea: This attractive shrub requires moderate maintenance, and will spread only where you allow it to. Glossy green leaves grow in
May and feathery flowers bloom in a number of different colors from June to July. Incredibly hardy, the False Spiraea grows 5-10 feet long
and equally as wide, and it requires partial shade to partial sun.


While these are a few of our more commonly used trees and shrubs, do not forget that there is a nearly unlimited selection not contained on this page as well. However, with our use of 3D imaging software that can show you an accurate representation of any of these plants against the backdrop of your home, you can rest assured that you will find the perfect landscaping plan - and the best part of it all is that the estimate and design for your home is COMPLETELY FREE. 

Call us today at (814) 864-5507 to set an appointment and see what your dream landscaping will look like!

Apr 8, 2015
5 Tips to Get Your Lawn Ready for Spring
It’s the beginning of April after what felt like an eternity of snow, which means two things are on their way: rain and sunshine. Fortunately for your lawns, these are the two key ingredients to revitalizing your grass and shrubs, but there are a few other tips that you may not realize are also crucial to sprucing up and maintaining all that greenery. We have put together the following list of some of the most important steps you should take to get your lawn and shrubs ready for this spring.
  1. Fertilizer / Weed Killing: Fertilizers supply essential nutrients to your lawn, keeping it bright, strong and healthy, and are often the best defense against weeds. When that is not enough, however, a weed control becomes necessary. Because different weeds tend to grow at different times during the season, it is usually best to sign up for a weed control program with applications that span the entire year. When beginning the fertilizing process, don’t forget that too much fertilizer can lead to disease and further weed complications, and that not all weeds are the same! They each require specific treatment based on their type, so be sure to consult a professional before investing in any applications. (While our company does not personally provide fertilizing and weed removal services, they are a vital component of your lawn care, especially going into the first months of spring. If you need any recommendations for lawn care businesses that specialize in weed prevention and removal, just give us a call and we would be happy to help!)
  2. Raking / Dethatching: In order to get the most out of your lawn after a long winter, raking is relatively unknown to many but makes a huge difference. It helps to remove snow mold and prevent or resolve excessive thatching, which is a tight layer of any combination of living and dead stems, leaves or roots that can accumulate between currently growing grass and the soil beneath. Thatch is in itself a lawn killer, as it restricts the air, water, fertilizer and anything else you were hoping to use in growing your grass from traveling to the roots. This significantly diminishes the aesthetic appeal of your lawn, not to mention the overall health.
  3. Aeration: Everything from rain to simply walking across your lawn can contribute to the compaction of the soil underneath, which can greatly reduce the overall health of your lawn. Hard soil inhibits the penetration of water through the surface, resulting in runoff and air flow restriction to the root system. Typically going hand and hand with the raking process, aeration improves air flow and the overall appearance of your lawn by removing plugs of thatch and soil (up to 4-6 inches in length). According to Quality Lawn Services, other benefits include “improved air exchange between the soil and atmosphere, improved fertilizer uptake and use, reduced water runoff and puddling, stronger grass roots, reduce soil compaction, enhanced heat and drought stress tolerance, improved resiliency & cushioning, and enhanced thatch breakdown.” This is best done in the spring, as it can contribute to the fertilization process and create a more sustainable lawn for warm weather temperatures.
  4. Seeding: While applying seed and growing lawns is a feat best left for early autumn, you may need to pursue this option earlier if the winter has left too many unsightly bare spots throughout your lawn. Though there are different methods for seeding, our company first preps your lawn, applying limestone and fertilizer and then spraying a hydroseed containing the best seed mixture for the area and growing conditions.
  5. Clean-Up: Hands down our most commonly requested service, the spring clean-up is typically the removal of any leftover leaves and debris from winter, edging any flower beds you may have, touching up the necessary shrubs, pulling weeds, applying a basic weed preventative and adding mulch where it is needed. This helps to prepare your lawn and shrubs so that they can be as healthy and eye-catching as possible during the summer months! 
While many of these may seem like simple, do-it-yourself steps, and your uncle swears he maintained his own lawn perfectly for years without a landscaping company, keep in mind that there are crucial guidelines you must follow when performing any of the items listed in the maintenance program above. In order to create and maintain a pristine lawn and attain that golf course glow you’ve been dreaming about, the most effective course of action would be to contact a lawn care professional. Call into our office today to set up your FREE estimate, so we can help you get the lawn that you deserve!

Have any more lawn care tips? Go to our Facebook page by clicking HERE and let us know! 
For more information on spring and year-round tips, check out the following references: 
extension.usmass.edu/turf/fact-sheets
 
landscaping.about.com/od/lawns/9/spring-lawns-3.htm 
lawncaremaine.com/blog

bhg.com/gardening/gardening-by-region/northeast/lawn-care-calendar-for-the-northeast/

Feb 9, 2015
Weather in History
Living in Erie County, we all know just how unpredictable the weather can be when you are nestled snugly in the Snow Belt. Last year, we saw heavy snowfall as well as freezing temperatures, while this winter has brought average snowfall with strange temperature fluctuation. Curious, we decided to do a little bit of research and find out how far off our version of normal is from weather history across the nation, the state and in the city of Erie. Below is the result and we have to say, some of it surprised even the most snow-friendly of our employees!
United States
 
Lowest Temperature: -80°F on January 23rd, 1971 in Prospect Creek, Alaska
 
Highest Temperature: 134°F on July 10th, 1913 in Death Valley, California
Snow Records
 
Largest Seasonal Snowfall: 1,140 inches (95 feet) in 1998-1999 in Mount Baker, Washington

Greatest Depth of Snow: 451 inches (37.5 feet) on March 11th, 1911 in Tamarack, California

Most Snow Measured in One Day: 75.8 inches (6.3 feet) from April 14-15th, 1921 in Silver Lake, Colorado
Pennsylvania
 
Lowest Temperature: -42°F on January 5th, 1904

Highest Temperature: 111°F on July 10th, 1936
Snow Records
 
Most Snow Measured in One Day: 40 inches from March 13-14th, 1993 in Seven Springs

Greatest Depth of Snow: 60 inches from March 22-23rd, 1958 in Gouldsboro
City of Erie
 
Lowest Temperature: -18°F in January 1994

Highest Temperature: 100°F in June 1988
Snow Records
 
Average Snowfall: 102 inches

Largest Seasonal Snowfall: 149.1 inches in 2000-2001
References:
Goldensnowglobe.com 
 
Wikipedia.org

USClimatedata.com
Weather.com/safety/winter/news/five-snowfall-extremes-20130103#/5

Weather-warehouse.com/WeatherHistory/PastWeatherData_ErieIntlArpt_Erie_PA_June.html

Dec 8, 2014
Coming Up Christmas: A One Stop Guide to Choosing the Perfect Christmas Tree
December 1st may not be an official holiday, but it seems to be the unspoken, designated date for the beginning of Christmas celebrations. With Thanksgiving having just ended, you are finally free to marathon Christmas classics like A Christmas Story and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, you can put up your wreaths and go caroling without shame, and you can pull your ornaments and stockings out of their boxes and hang them against the beautiful and aromatic needles of your Christmas tree at last. However, before you get started placing those glitter covered angels and that beautiful, glowing star, you still have one crucial decision to make. Which type of tree is best suited to your holiday festivities? Real or fake? Pine or fir? Cut tree or B&B? With so many options, the once merry tradition of decorating your tree can become an overwhelming obstacle, so we have compiled a helpful guide to walk you through making the best evergreen decision for you and your family.

(For information on other miscellaneous evergreens, make sure you like us on Facebook and take a look at The Green Fourteen – every day for fourteen days, we posted photos and information about a different tree or shrub so that you can better understand your evergreen options!)

REAL OR FAKE? | The hassle of cleaning up needles and tree disposal after the end of the holiday lead many people in the direction of the pre-lit trees lighting up the aisles of their local supercenter. Collapsible, reusable, completely convenient for families who may not have the time or patience for all that a real tree entails, fake Christmas trees are becoming increasingly popular in the United States. Unfortunately, many consumers do not realize the environmental implication of purchasing a fake tree. Because they are created using petroleum based plastic that is not biodegradable, fake trees will never decompose and instead end up occupying landfills for centuries, whereas real trees are not only completely recyclable, but they also emit fresh oxygen and help to remove carbon dioxide and other harmful gases (and they can even be replanted in your yard to add appeal for years to come!). 

(For more information on recycling your Christmas tree and the effects of fake trees on our environment, go to: http://www.earth911.com/home-garden/real-vs-artificial-christmas-trees/)

PINE OR FIR? | While the pine and fir are the most popular options for real Christmas trees, they are not your only choices this holiday season. The following chart comes from the National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA) and will give you a better idea of which evergreen is best for you!
White Pine: The largest pine in the U.S., the white pine has soft, flexible needles and is bluish-green in color. Needles are 2½ - 5 inches long. White pines have good needle retention, but have little aroma. They aren't recommended for heavy ornaments.

White Spruce: The white spruce is excellent for ornaments; its short, stiff needles are ½ to ¾ in. long and have a blunt tip. They are bluish-green - green in color, but have a bad aroma when needles are crushed. They have excellent foliage color and have a good, natural shape. The needle retention is better in a white spruce than it is among other spruces.

Fraser Fir: The Fraser fir branches turn slightly upward. They have good form and needle-retention. They are dark blue-green in color. They have a pleasant scent, and excellent shipping characteristics as well.

Colorado Blue Spruce: Often used for stuffing pine-pillows, these sharp needles are 1 to 1 ½ in. in length. This species is bluish-gray in color. Needles have an unpleasant odor when crushed. This Christmas Tree has good symmetrical form and an attractive blue foliage. It also has good needle retention.

Concolor Fir: These small, narrow needles are around 1 to 1½ in. in length and occur in rows. They have good foliage color, good needle retention, and a pleasing shape and aroma.
Douglas Fir: These soft needles are dark green to blue green in color and are approximately 1 to 1 ½ in. in length. Douglas-fir needles radiate in all directions from the branch. When crushed, these needles have a sweet fragrance. They are one of the top major Christmas tree species in the U.S.

Balsam Fir: These needles are ¾ to 1½ in. in length and last a very long time. This tree has a dark-green appearance and retains its pleasing fragrance throughout the Christmas season.

Scotch Pine: Approximately 1 in. in length, these needles don't even fall when they're dry, providing excellent needle retention. The color is a bright green. A common Christmas tree in the U.S., the scotch pine has an excellent survival rate, is easy to replant, has great keep ability and will remain fresh throughout the holiday season.

Noble Fir: These needles turn upward, exposing the lower branches. Known for its beauty, the noble fir has a long keep ability, and its stiff branches make it a good tree for heavy ornaments, as well as providing excellent greenery for wreaths and garland.
CUT OR B&B? | Live trees are either cut or balled and burlapped (B&B) with their roots intact. A cut tree will require that you cut an additional ½ inch disc off of the bottom to open up its vascular system due to the sap that will seal it off after being cut from the field, and it will then need a healthy amount of water to survive (more than a quart a day). Cut trees are more often used by families who intend to use their tree only for Christmas celebrations and who plan to have their tree inside for a few weeks (cut trees can survive 3-4 weeks). A B&B tree is typically used by families who hope to plant the evergreen in their own yard after the holiday and who do not care to have the tree inside for more than seven days, as its chances of survival after planting are greatly decreased with further exposure to indoor conditions.

WHERE TO FIND CHRISTMAS TREES | Though any Google search may lead you in the direction you need, the following list from pickyourownchristmastree.org provides details on where to find tree farms in Erie county.

(For more comprehensive information, including business hours and directions, or a list for a different county in Northwestern Pennsylvania, click through to this website: http://pickyourownchristmastree.org/PAxmasnw.php)
Arkwright's Tree and Wreath Farm: Christmas trees-you choose and you cut OR you choose and we cut. Pre-cut Christmas trees, Christmas wreaths, winter wagon rides, Christmas event or festivals!  

8662 Kinsey Rd., Cranesville, PA 16410. Phone: 814-572-4464.
 
Port Farms: Christmas trees-you choose and you cut OR you choose and we cut. Living Christmas trees (to plant later), Christmas wreaths, Christmas boughs, Santa appearances, Christmas decorations, trees tied, tree shaking provided, trees baled, saws provided, Christmas event or festival, gift shop, concessions / refreshment stand, porta-potties, picnic area, farm animals, weddings and wedding parties, school tours!
2055 Stone Quarry Road, Waterford, PA 16441. Phone: 814-796-4500. Fax: 814-796-3570.

Rick Walker Farms: Christmas trees-you choose and you cut. Pre-cut Christmas trees, Living Christmas trees (to plant later), Christmas wreaths, Christmas boughs, trees bagged, tree shaking provided, trees baled, saws provided, winter wagon rides, free hot coffee, free hot chocolate, porta-potties, school tours!

12525 Hamilton Road, Edinboro, PA 16412. Phone: 814-434-2582
With so many decisions to make when choosing this year’s Christmas tree, it is easy to believe that this is the most important facet of your Christmas celebrations and that without the perfect tree, your holiday won’t carry with it the same magical aura you remember from the year before, but never forget that the magic from your memory does not come from the shiniest ornaments or the greenest tree – it comes from you, from your family, from your friends. The holidays are a reminder of the love, joy and togetherness that can so often become lost beneath the weight of our daily lives, so whether your tree is real or fake, whether it is a pine or a fir, it will be these feelings that add the most important pieces to your Christmas decor.

From our family to yours, Wander’s wishes you all a very, merry Christmas! 

Nov 13, 2014
Winter Wonderland: Why Snowfall Does Not Mean a Dreary Landscape
With an annual average of over 100 inches of snow in Erie, PA from the months of October to April, the gloominess of winter can be a little overwhelming. The leaves have all fallen, leaving their empty, grey branches to torture us with the remembered contrast of precious spring and summer color. And while Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without flakes falling outside our windows, by January we are dreaming of the day when the snow will melt away so that our flowers, shrubs and trees can finally regain the effortless beauty that comes only from warm, brilliant sunshine. Luckily, we have stumbled upon a few solutions that do not involve moving to an entirely different state or a top secret plot to speed up global warming. The following assortment of plants has somehow remained under the radar, despite maintaining brilliant colors and beautiful blooms throughout those treacherous seven months of winter. Keep reading to learn which shrubs and trees you can plant to keep your home bright when nature is determined to drown it out. 
Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick 

Without a doubt, Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick is a sight to see when its leaves finally fall away. Its winding and twisting branches lend an eerie yet undeniably beautiful appearance to any landscape. In the fall, its typically green leaves will become a golden yellow before slowly dying off. In late winter to early spring, it will bloom green-yellow catkins that hang loose off its branches. Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick can grow to be 8-10 feet tall and 6-8 feet wide. This tree requires regular trimming to keep it from looking like nothing more than an unorganized mess of branches, rather than the unique, breathtaking array of crooked angles that will take your breath away.
Holly

The most popular choice for winter plants and DIY crafts, the Holly’s shiny, green leaves and bright red berries bring with them the feelings of merriment and tradition that go hand in hand with the holidays. These shrubs are hardy, adaptable and drought tolerant, making them a no-fuss solution to the winter blues. Unfortunately, the Holly’s berries are inedible and can be slightly toxic to humans. While they do require a male plant to pollinate any female plants if you want them to produce berries, there are over 400 different varieties of Holly ranging from small accents to 80 foot tall giants, meaning that no matter what aesthetic you are after when you decorate your landscape, this is the plant you are looking for.
Flowering Quince 

Virtually indestructible, these low-maintenance plants are exceptionally tolerant, even faring well against climate extremes and neglect. They blossom bright flowers in January, followed by edible yellow fruit in the spring. When the winter ends, the Flowering Quince is an array of thorns and foliage that makes for great hedging and fencing. The foliage opens red-bronze and will become dark green throughout summer. This shrub will grow to be 5-10 feet high and is very tolerant of drying winds.
Crocus

The Crocus is well-known as a sure sign of spring arriving and while it is true that it emerges when the snow finally melts away, it sprouts blooms during the winter as well. It grows in both full sun and partial sun, and comes in a variety of bright and beautiful colors (pink, orange, yellow, blue, etc.). It grows to be approximately 3-6 inches high and is perfect to plant around your rock garden. It is not typically bothered by rabbits or deer and they spread and return year after year all on its own, so you’ll continue to be reminded of the spring for years to come!
Red-Twig Dogwood

A one of a kind tree, the Red-Twig Dogwood’s true beauty comes out only after all of its green leaves have fallen away. While its yellow-white flowers bloom in summer to be followed by blue berries in fall, the striking red branches are the true source of this tree’s allure. Unique and dazzling in contrast with the whites and greys of winter, this plant does best in full sun areas that will bring out its brightest reds and is able to survive well in wet areas.
Snowdrop

The first blossoms of late winter, the Snowdrop is a clever plant that will tuck itself away during long winter storms and emerge again when conditions improve. The Snowdrop is a true lover of winter, requiring heavier watering when weather is warm and shady stomping grounds in order to maintain its health. Growing only 6-10 inches tall, they look great in the bare areas you find underneath your higher limbed trees and shrubs. Digging and dividing them every 3-4 years will keep these beautiful white blossoms strong and healthy.
Christmas Rose

The stunning Christmas Rose holds most of its appeal in its undeniably beautiful blossoms. Like the Snowdrop above, this plant loves to soak up the shade. It will bloom in December to early spring on tall stems that sit just above the snow. Its coloring ranges from pale pink to maroon, and it will grow to be 12-15 inches tall. The main concern with the Christmas Rose is to keep it protected from strong winter winds, as its delicate petals cannot survive mishandling.
Bergenia 

Equally as lovely in appearance during spring and winter, the Bergenia grows up to 2 feet high and 20-24 inches wide and will produce large masses of bright, leathery flowers that range in color from pale pink to deep purple. In the fall, its bright green heart-shaped leaves will become bronze, mauve and purple. While the blooms only last a few weeks at a time, their lifespan can be greatly improved with the removal of any dead spikes. These plants are extremely tolerant and easy to grow, though they should be kept from dry areas as much as possible. 
Hawthorn

The common Hawthorn tree is useful both for ornamental purposes and herbal remedies. In fact, its berries have been proven to help treat chronic heart failure, lower blood pressure and harmful cholesterol and strengthen cardiovascular function. The leaves can be cooked like greens and the berries can also be used in jelly and jam. Even the flowers and seeds are a delicious addition to salads and desserts! The Hawthorn blooms flower in spring (early February) and berries (called “Haws”) in the fall, just in time to brighten your lawn with their lipstick-red color. Conveniently, the flowers on this tree are hermaphrodites, so each tree has the ability to pollinate itself. They can grow up to 20-40 feet tall and are often used for hedges. Perhaps the most interesting facts about the Hawthorn are in the lore behind it. Among a number of other interesting claims, this tree is considered sacred in the middle east and is widely believed to have been the source of the Crown of Thorns worn by Jesus Christ during the crucifixion.

While this list may seem pretty comprehensive, there a few other plant options that will keep your home beautiful even in winter. Others include the Winterberry, Witch Hazel and a wide variety of evergreens (for more information on which evergreens we are most fond of, head over to our Facebook and check out The Green Fourteen. We are posting an evergreen a day for fourteen days to help you learn more about what's growing in your garden! https://www.facebook.com/lmwanderandsons). Ultimately, winter does not mean you have to give up on enjoying a lively and aesthetically appealing landscape. Call in to Wander's anytime to learn more about how we can help you keep your lawn and beds looking fresh and beautiful all year long! 

Oct 30, 2014
What To Do Before Winter Hits: Protecting Your Plants and Preparing for Spring
Leaves are falling as the temperatures drop and we are all reminded just how short the seasons leading up to winter can feel. After lounging on patios in the sun and taking day trips to the peninsula, it is easy to forget how rapid and harsh the winter months can be. By fall, it is even easier to pretend that winter is going to skip over our little town this year and leave us and our plants to our pure, unadulterated joy. Unfortunately, there are some dreams that just cannot come true, and you can only live in the illusion of warm weather for so long before your trees and shrubs start to become brittle and take their last breaths. Where do you start in the fight against Old Man Winter? Luckily, we have a few tips to help you win the war.
  1. WEED – Get those weeds out now before they spread and their winding roots grow stronger over the cold winter months, when the last thing on your mind is getting down on your hands and knees to pull those persistent plant killers from your beds.
  2. WATER – Be sure to water thoroughly, as the ground will retain all that water and hold it in after the ground freezes so your soil will stay moist until spring. Tip: When the temperature is a little lower, try to do any watering before nightfall. This will release moisture into the air overnight and help keep the area warmer for your plants so that they do not feel the effects of the encroaching frost so intensely.
  3. MULCH – Laying down a layer of mulch before winter may not be very useful aesthetically, but it can be very helpful in preserving your plants over winter. Not only does it keep the ground from becoming too cold, it also balances the ground temperature so that fluctuating weather does not affect the lives of your plants.
  4. RAKE – Unless you are a fan of spotted brown lawns, DO NOT forget to rake up your leaves before winter hits! They will kill spots of your lawn and you will pay hundreds in the spring for your negligence if you choose to have a professional reseed those areas. Tip: Don’t burn the leaves or throw them away! Those pesky yellows and reds are perfect compost material! The leaves have vital nutrients in them that will help enrich your soil!
  5. CUT – When it comes to perennials during winter, less is more. Remove any dead or diseased plants and cut back the living and healthy ones 4-6 inches after the first frost to help them grow stronger in the spring. This is when the leaves and flowers will start to die a little, which means that there is no more energy to flow from the top to the root. However, trimming them too early can be an issue, as that vital energy still stored in the leaves will be wasted if removed. Unlike the leaves that fall from trees, these leaves and cuttings should not be made into compost as any diseases they may carry could spread and carry them on in the spring.
  6. FERTILIZE – Fertilizing before winter with a Winter Protectant can help prevent diseases like snow mold from taking over your plants and ruining their good looks for growing season.
  7. PLANT – If you are a home gardener, don’t wait for March or April to plant those spring bulbs! Getting them in the ground now will allow for the roots of the plant to take hold so that they are ready to dazzle the world after winter weather breaks.
  8. COVER – Perhaps the most well-known way to keep your plants from dying off in the winter is to cover them. During frosty weather, be sure to do this before dusk with something lightweight like newspaper or cardboard. Remove the cover in the morning so that light and fresh air can get back to your plants and so that they do not overheat during the day. When the winter weather starts to progress into freezing temperatures and seemingly endless yards of snow, keep in mind that each plant will have its own specific needs.
    1. Trees: Wrap trees with crepe-paper from the bottom to the top to prevent damage. Wrapping trees is vital in protecting them from ice damage, as is pruning them properly before winter. Be sure not to shake any ice you may find off of the branches or you run the risk of splitting them and causing severe circulatory issues in your trees.
    2. Tender Plants (Spring-Blooming Trees like Cherry Trees, Citrus Trees, Warm Season Annuals like Petunias and Geraniums, Warm Season Vegetables): Cover any sprouts under a bucket or pot appropriately sized to protect the plant. For larger plants, avoid any type of plastic! Use burlap, fabric, bed sheets, etc. instead. If possible, drape the material over a frame that is placed around your plant. The most important part of covering your plant is to be sure whichever material you use falls to the ground so that the frigid air cannot reach them.
    3. Evergreens: Protect evergreens from the snow and ice with burlap material. As with other types of trees, covering and pruning evergreens is a key factor in keeping them from being severely damaged from the ice and snow, and attempting to shake the ice off an evergreen’s limbs will only serve to damage them more.
With these tips and a regular maintenance contract with a local landscaper and lawn care provider, your shrubs and trees should survive to see another spring! If you have any other helpful tips and tricks for guiding your garden through the winter, go ahead and drop them off on our Facebook page by clicking HERE! We would love to hear from you about how you keep luscious landscaping year-round! 

Jun 25, 2013
Patio Installation
PATIO INSTALLATION
Check out the incredible, new patio we are building! 

Apr 17, 2013
Retaining Wall Installation
RETAINING WALL INSTALLATION
Check out our newest project, where we installed a beautiful boulder retaining wall

Apr 16, 2013
Shade Versus Sun
When searching for the perfect perennial to place in your garden this spring, it is important to understand what kind of conditions it is going to be facing. Some areas of your yard are hidden by the shade, while others are bathing in the sun. This is important information to know because plants, much like people, are unique in their resilience to the world around them. For instance, a person who has consistently bronze skin will fare better in the sunlight than one who has pale skin, just as a black-eyed susan is able to thrive without constant attention from the sun but a cactus cannot survive without those beautiful UV rays. Therefore, your first step in creating your own magical garden is to understand the plants you’ll be adding and the land on which they will be grown.

We at LM Wander & Sons Landscaping, Inc understand how confusing establishing an ethereal outdoor living space can be. Unfortunately, you can’t distinguish whether a plant will thrive without the sun just by looking at its leaves. Hopefully, this article can serve as a handy guide to distinguish those plants for you.

Having over 30 years of experience in landscaping has taught us a lot about which plants can survive the worst weather. One of these plants is the Stella D’Oro, which ingenuously translates to Star of Gold and accurately describes its enchanting yellow petals. The Stella D’Oro is an incredibly hardy flower that still maintains a lovely appearance and fragrance. This flower fares well in both sun and shade, so you don’t have to map out your lawn just yet if you decide to go with this golden beauty. In addition to being hardy, the Stella D’Oro daylily is a deer resistant flower. This can be a very important factor if you live in any area where deer are constantly nibbling at your lawn and shrubs.
 
Another flower that is notable for its hardiness is the Knockout Rose. This plant is low maintenance and it blooms 2-3 times a summer, providing your lawn with color that will last. Not only is this plant able to grow in various soils and conditions, it also boasts being disease resistant so you can throw your bacterial and fungal worries away, sit back, and watch your garden flourish from spring to fall.

Although there are only two plants listed in this article, there are a number of other options for plants that can endure the effects of shade, as well as thrive in the sun. If you’re interested in spoiling your garden with plants that can endure, give us a call and we can help you figure it out! If you have heard of any other types of perennials or shrubs that can withstand the perils of low sunlight conditions, let us know on our Facebook page or send us an Email

Apr 10, 2013
Spring Has Sprung, and So Have We!
Big things are happening this year at LM Wander & Sons Landscaping, Inc! Not only are we in the process of creating and updating our completely new website, we are also becoming an undeniable presence on all your favorite social networking sites. As we work to improve and amplify our online existence, we have only one favor to ask of you, our current and potential customers: join in the conversation! If a project catches your eye or you see a lawn around town that you can't stop thinking about, let us know! We love to hear what types of landscapes are sparking your interest. If you have any suggestions as to how we can expand any extension of our online persona, our minds are open to what you have to say. We are always looking to find new ways to better serve you. Most importantly, if you are interested in having any work done of your own, send us an email or give us a call. We are always happy and willing to help you in any way we can, even if that means referring you to someone else. Here at Wander's we pride ourselves on our ability to connect and communicate with our clients, and we attempt to do so with honesty and integrity. As we enter spring and you start to notice the toll that winter has taken on your lawn, or you begin to really consider that patio you've been meaning to have built for years, remember that at LM Wander & Sons Landscaping, Inc, it is our mission to serve you with an unwavering commitment to excellence and to build a strong relationship with you, both online and offline, while we do it. 

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