Fireplaces and Fire Pits Fireplaces and fire pits have been evolving since the origin of controlled fire. You can now get as simple or fancy as time and budget allow. Kits are available to purchase from many big box stores for installed, standing, or mobile fire pits. Large fireplaces and fire pits are also available in kits from landscape suppliers for professional installation. Both fire pits and fireplaces provide a visual focal point that adds warmth and lighting to the yard. An outdoor living room is high on most people’s wish list, and a fire feature is often top-of-mind, when
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When shall I prune my roses? If you have modern shrub roses or tea roses, prune them while still dormant. In this stage, you can see buds, but the buds have not yet opened. Remove canes that are broken, obviously dead, or which are poorly spaced. Cut back to roughly 18-24 inch varied lengths. The timing can range from February to early April in mid-Michigan. A good, easy-to-remember guide is to prune when your forsythia first begins blooming. Prune to open the shrub to light and air, and cut at a 45-degree angle a quarter inch above an outward facing
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Manufactured Block and Stone Retaining and Accent Walls Modular concrete block and stone are fairly sophisticated systems designed for strength, and fast, easy assembly. They can be made in any size and shape, and there is a large variety of style, color, and texture available. Rosetta Hardscapes is a manufacturing company based here in Michigan, which creates concrete retaining wall systems, made from wetcast concrete. They pour the wet concrete into casts made from real stone. This system looks like natural stone, without the quarried stone drawbacks.  Manufactured stones are designed to easily fit together in a natural looking pattern.
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Wearing all the Hats As the weather slides back and forth between yes, there will be spring; no, winter is still with us; and hey, let’s have summer now- I think about all the hats we wear here, literally and figuratively. On the literal side, the installers have both ball caps and knit winter caps for protection from sun, wind, rain and snow, as well as heat and cold.  Alexa wears her garden hat when out laying out plants in landscapes and working with the crews. Carol or I will wear a sunbonnet with fresh flowers, when we attend Hat
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Boulder Retaining Walls Boulders provide a beautiful natural look with the functionality necessary for an effective retaining wall. Supporting structures in the garden can be fabricated from many materials, such as cinder blocks, brick, wood, or manufactured retaining blocks. The advantage of using boulders is that they are both decorative and incredibly strong. Boulders do not suffer from weathering or erosion, when temperatures change. Properly installed boulder walls are budget-friendly and are very long lasting. Boulders can used to terrace a yard into different levels, provide erosion control, or create raised beds. They can also define the slopes at a
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Green Roofs A green roof, or living roof is a roof is partially or completely covered with a growing medium and vegetation, planted over a waterproof membrane. Green roofs can be large scale on public or commercial buildings, or can be utilized on residential houses, sheds, or porches. At The Plant Professionals, we have a green roof on our Grow Pot Exchange, added in 2014. Roof gardens were initially developed by the ancient civilizations of the Tigris and Euphrates river valleys. The most famous is the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Today, planting on roofs and walls is one of the
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Natural Stone Pavers and Stone Mulch Natural materials, such as stone and gravel, give the garden a soothing feel as they harmonize with the natural setting. Using natural stone enhances and adds color, texture, and dimension in the landscape. Natural stone is extremely durable and will last indefinitely, so it is important that the right materials are selected and properly installed. It is very important to use quality, contractor-grade weed fabric under any stone mulch, to help eliminate weeds. Woven weed fabric will let water and nutrients flow through, but block the light and keep weed seeds from germinating. Flagstone
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