Do you love to entertain? How about spending those entertaining hours outdoors? If so, you may like to take a look at some of the images below of one of our newly installed landscapes for the 2014 season. The customer in question had a gorgeous area for entertaining but they couldn’t put their finger onto exactly what it was that they wanted done. For that they turned to our Landscape Designer. From the looks of it it seems like she nailed it! I know the customer couldn’t be more please.

So if you are wanting to bring those parties outside but are unable to envision the completed idea give us a call and we would be glad to help make your decisions a lot easier!

Before & After 2 Before & After 4 Backyard Retreat

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At Kiefer Landscaping we know how people love to see how a company can transform a landscape before hiring one. From the initial meeting, our designer is there with you every step of the way. Taking all of your concerns, likes and dislikes into consideration she will deliver a landscape that is sure to please the eyes for years to come! Not only does a professionally designed and installed landscape add “curb appeal” to your home, it also adds more to the property value than most people think! Why would you spend countless hours, resources and money on building a new home and not finish it with a thoughtfully conceived landscape?

This homeowner in question knew the value one of our landscapes could add. Our designer started meeting with them early on in the season to begin brainstorming and sketching out ideas. The finished product included a brick paver walkway, over-sized brick paver edging, natural stone drystacks, as well as various shrubs, perennials and trees.

Before and After Landscaping Residential Landscaping Before and AfterBefore and After Landscapes Landscaping Before and After

 

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JOIN US FOR A FUN AND EXCITING DAY @ KIEFER LANDSCAPING!!!

We will be offering the CRAZIEST DEALS we have ever offered! Stop by and browse the LARGEST selection of plants in the AREA! If you can’t find it on our lot…chances are its not out there!

As Winter was still casting its spell upon all of us in Central Illinois a customer contacted us and requested that we help transform their dreams into reality. As we made it to the property we could tell there were several things that needed to be done. The property was an old one and the new homeowners started by gutting the house, as well as, the entire yard.  We first started on the entry way into the updated home. As you can see in the first set of pictures, our crews had to remove the old landscape, landscape timbers, rock etc… After the clean up portion was completed our crew started laying the foundation of the new entry way by constructing a retaining wall. The retaining wall was necessary in order to bring the grade of the entry way up and have it stay level. After the wall was constructed we installed a custom designed brick paver walkway that adds character and dimension to the entrance. Once completion on the walkway was underway we installed a new landscape complete with decorative landscape rock and various perennials.

Before & After Residential Landscapes

After completion of the entry way landscape our crews focused their efforts on the backyard. The turf was that of any typical lake side yard, filled with various weeds and very little grass to boot. After the existing turf grass was removed the homeowner requested on installing a natural stone walkway down to their newly constructed boat dock. In the pictures below you can get a really good understanding of before and after. The second picture was taken shortly after the stepping stones were installed but before the soil was regraded. In the “after” of the second image one can clearly see how the stepping stones are inset into the ground giving a seamless look. Only after two weeks of seeding the property, you can begin to see the lush green hue of the grass blades peeking up from the soil.

Before & After Landscape Stepping Stone Walkway

During & After Landscape Stepping Stone Walkway

In the midst of laying the foundation for the Natural Stone Walkway, we had a crew begin on a steep hillside that had been overgrown with years of brush, debris, weeds, saplings etc… Our crews started by clearing away all of the overgrowth, simply so we could see actual ground. Once the overgrowth was cleared out, the homeowners met with us to discuss which trees they were wanting to keep and how far to bring some of the tree’s canopies. After said work had been completed our talented designer came up with a unique hillside design that would not take away from the homes natural setting but rather add to it. Various perennials were planted along this hillside including hostas & salvia…just to name a few. We also wanted to give back some of the charm of the “woodland” setting and installed 3 beautiful Canadian Hemlocks, as well as, various boulders scattered throughout. In the pictures below you will see how we were able to transform this once disheveled hillside into a mainstay at this particular property.

Before & After Landscape Lake Hillside Before & After Lakeside Hill Landscape Before & After Lakeside Hill Landscaped

One of the final portions of this complete transformation was the replacement of a failing driveway retaining wall. As you can clearly see in the picture below, the previous wall was constructed out of decorative landscape block and NOT retaining wall block. After several years of heavy traffic the decorative wall could no longer hold under the pressure and eventually succumbed to it. Our crews began by removing the old wall block by block, and removing a tree that had sprouted and began causing issues as well. After the demolition was completed a proper retaining wall was constructed with the appropriate base, backfilling & drainage. The new wall was constructed to be able to take the beating that the decorative wall could no longer handle.

Before & After Driveway Retaining Wall

Not everything completed on this job is pictured here. We also installed a Premium WeatherMatic irrigation system, of which only 3% of contractors nationwide are accredited. Within the new landscape we also installed  fabulous L.E.D. landscape path lights, as well as, up lighting to make the tree canopies stand out in the darkness of the night.

All in all the homeowners were extremely happy with the work that had been completed as were we to be able to work with such great customers! We know that this transformation is going to be loved, shared & enjoyed for years to come. We at Kiefer Landscaping cannot wait to see this landscape mature and add beauty and style to the area.

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The history of this rock goes back to the Huronian period of the Proterozoic Era, an estimated one billion years ago. During this time, extensive sediments were deposited in or adjacent to seas, lakes, and other bodies of water. Much of this material, derived by erosion by older rocks, was in the fine sand particles and rounded pebbles of grey and white quartz. The bright red and brown jasper pebbles were deposited over small parts of an east-west band about fifty miles long lying north and north west of what is now Bruce Mines, Ontario. Sand, free of pebbles, formed sandstone under the weight of later sediments, the individual grains becoming cemented by silicone and iron bearing waters. Mixed sand and pebbles became conglomerates or sandstone conglomerates by the same process.

Under the heat and pressure of later volcanic activity, sandstones and conglomerates were transformed into quartzite and quartzite conglomerates. Weathering and erosion uncovered some of the rocks, and loose fragments were gathered and moved in great masses by the ice sheets.

The stone was named by English settlers, about 1840, because it looked like their boiled suet pudding with cherries and currants.

Landscaping; Before & After

On October 12, 2011, in Before & After, Services, by Admin
Below are some before & after pictures of a project we  recently completed. The homeowners new landscape is complete with Red Crushed Granite, Oversized Paver Edging, Drystack Walls, Omega Steppers, Granite Boulders, & various perennials.

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Read Your “Weeds”

On August 16, 2011, in Lawn Issues, Lawn Weeds, Services, by Admin

Question:  My lawn was weed free after the last application of herbicides, but then became weed infested again?

Answer: It is not that the application didn’t work. Weeds actually tell you a lot about the condition of your lawn and are an indication of what you need to do to grow healthy grass. Weeds thrive in soil that is compacted, poorly fertilized, and not pH balanced. They are also found in lawns that are improperly watered, seeded, and mowed. As you can see it takes more than just fertilizer to make your lawn weed free. Eliminate the conditions that promote weeds by doing the following:

  • Aerate your lawn in either the spring or fall. Aerating removes soil plugs from the lawn and allows air, water and nutrients to reach the root system. This increases the activity of soil microorganisms that decompose thatch. Often times, aerating is done to help relieve soil compaction. Soil compaction reduces the amount of air in the soil and is a physical barrier to root growth.
  • Dethatch your lawn if needed. Thatch is a layer of grass stems and roots on the surface of the soil. When it becomes 1/2″ or more, the grass roots will grow within the thatch instead of in the soil. If thatch build up is not controlled, grass is susceptible to insects, disease, and weather stress.
  • Use proper mowing techniques. Improper mowing techniques cause many lawn problems. If you mow lower than 1 1/2 inches you can kill the root system. A low mowing height also allows sunlight to reach weed seeds that are trying to germinate. A majority of lawns should be kept at 3 – 3 1/2 inches. This will help create a deeper, more drought-resistant root system. Also, keep your mower blades sharp! By doing so, you will prevent the development and spread of fungal diseases. Mow in different directions. Mowing in the same direction can cause compaction, which weeds love! Try not to cut wet grass. Wet grass causes uneven cuts, the clippings to clog the mower, and clumps can block sunlight. With proper mowing techniques, you will see a huge improvement in the health and appearance of your lawn.
  • Maintain the pH of your soil. An ideal pH level is between 6.5 and 7. If it is lower than 6.5 your soil is too acidic and above 7 your soil is too alkaline.
  • Properly fertilize your lawn. For those who want their lawn looking the best they should fertilize a minimum of 4-5 times a year. Fertilized lawns are greener, denser, and healthier than unfertilized lawns. It also helps make lawns resistant to drought, insects, and diseases. We now offer an organic fertilizer program as well as our granular program.
  • Water your lawn. A typical lawn needs 1″ – 1 1/2″ of water per week from either rainfall or irrigation. Be sure to water deep but infrequent. The soil should be soaked to a depth of 6″.
If you have any questions please contact Tara at 217-347-7500!

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Cleaning Is the First Step:

Efflorescence

Before you can protect any hardscape, you need to remove ground-in dirt and efflorescence with a quality cleaner. Cleaning allows the protective sealers to penetrate the surfaces so they will last longer and protect better. Efflorescence is a naturally occurring byproduct of concrete manufacturing. It is a white chalky salt that can appear on the hardscape surface. The industry recommends waiting at least 60 days after installation to allow for the efflorescence process to occur before sealing. Grease, rust, food and other organic stains should be cleaned with stain removes prior to sealing.

 

Protect with a Quality Sealer:

There are numerous advantages to sealers:

  • Keeps most stains on the surface and makes for easy clean-up
  • Creates a barrier that reduces penetration and offers protection from gas, oil, grease, food and other stains
  • Limits weed growth and insect infestation
  • Stops moisture absorption
  • Penetrates and do not get slippery when wet
  • Facilitates regular cleaning and maintenance
  • Enhances appearance (properly sealed pavers look better)
  • Resists the attacks of weather, salt and freeze / thaw cycles
  • Protects from UV rays, water and other natural elements to keep color as fresh as the day they were installed

Protect Older Hardscapes:

Existing installations can be rejuvenated and guarded against further staining by the use of quality protective sealer. A number of protectors are designed to enhance color, even on new or worn pavers.

Before and After of a Brick Paver Patio

Contact Us today or call (217) 347.7500 for a FREE ESTIMATE to bring life back into those faded Brick Paver Projects!!

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Hosta House!

On July 28, 2011, in Garden Facility, Services, by Admin

Stop by our Retail Garden Center and check out our Hosta House!!! As you will hear in the video clip, the Hosta House has been a project of ours for the past 3 – 5 years and continues to grow every year! If you have any questions or would like to see if your favorite Hosta is on hand please contact us or give us a call at 217-347-7500.

 

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Completed in the 2011 season, this landscape design and install put some of the finishing touches on this new home construction. The residents, whom previously resided in the South West, requested a landscape that reminded them of home and delivered the same satisfaction. With our sales staff working hand in hand with the designer and home owners we came up with the idea of creating a dry creek / stream bed, which the home owners fell in love with. Through a couple of consultations and revisions, the design that was finally settled on was one with very low maintenance plants such as; Ornamental Grasses, Variegated Boxwoods, and Coral Bells, just to name a few. We also went with a landscape rock called Black Trap to add a nice contrast against the backdrop of the house. With this landscape design and install we were able to bring a little of the South West to Central Illinois.

Landscape Berm

Front Landscape

Weathered Fieldstone Drystack

Dry Creek / Stream Bed

Dry Stream Bed Close-Up

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