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How to Grow Boxwood Shrubs

Boxwood is an evergreen plant that grows in small, dense hedges. It doesn’t flower noticeably, but its rich green color makes it good for foliage cover. They work well for borders or near entryways. However, it’s a slow-growing plant, so don’t expect it to be impressive overnight.

A Few Boxwood Facts


As with all plants, be sure you’re placing your boxwood shrubs well. Boxwood typically does best in partial or full sun, so don’t plant it on the shady side of a house. Boxwood shrubs prefer well-drained soil, although it’s not very picky about pH. In very hot climates, try to plant your shrubs so they’ll receive some shade during the heat of the day, and do your best to water them semi-regularly so they don’t wilt. Try to remember your climate will impact the health of your boxwood.

Boxwood is generally hardy, but it has a few pests to watch out for. The most notable is the boxwood leaf miner, which causes the leaves to turn yellow. You can spray the leaves with insecticide to kill the plant, or try for an organic option such as neem oil.

You may also notice phytophthora root rot, a fungal infection. The fungus kills the roots, so the plant has a harder time taking in moisture and nutrients, and eventually begins to die back. To prevent this, make sure you’re not overwatering your boxwood shrubs, and ensure the soil is draining well.

Winter bronzing is a phenomenon where a boxwood’s leaves turn orange in the cold. This isn’t fatal to the plant, but many gardeners find it unpleasant to have. Winter bronzing is often caused by wind exposure.

To avoid winter bronzing, try to plant your boxwood shrubs such that they’re sheltered from freezing winter winds. If your ground isn’t frozen, give your shrubs a deep watering, especially if you live in a region with dry winters. You may also consider using a slow-release fertilizer in spring and fall. If your boxwoods are still bronzing, try spraying the leaves with an anti-desiccant, to keep their moisture in.

Though it takes dedication to reach its full potential, boxwood is a beautiful foliage plant that’s a staple of many gardens. If you plan to install boxwood shrubs around your home, get in touch with us and we’ll walk you through the process. Contact us at DK Landscaping for more gardening tips and advice.

Narrow Walkway Flower Bed Ideas

Flower bed ideas can be quite easy to implement. Most gardens have walkways that are about two feet wide. Narrower walkways may help you to use a small space more efficiently.

However, they pose a unique design challenge to gardeners, landscapers and homeowners: how can you create and position flower beds so that they don’t visually overpower the walkways? Try these flower bed ideas to add variety and beauty to your space.

Mixed flower bed in front of a picket fence.

Perennial and Evergreen Flower Bed Ideas

Narrow walkways limit access to your flower beds, and make maneuvering through the space more difficult. Annual plants are flower bed ideas that can create headaches due to yearly replanting. By choosing perennials suitable to your climate, you’ll ensure that your plants come back each year and minimize the amount of work you (or your landscapers) must do.

You may also put evergreen plants on your list of flower bed ideas. These come back each year, and the plants won’t lose their leaves or fade in ways that require additional maintenance.

Keep Flower Beds Controlled

If your flower beds grow weedy or otherwise out of control, they can cut into your walkway. Normally that may be unsightly, but not a disaster. But if your garden’s walkways are narrow, this can make the pathway difficult to navigate, or even find. This is particularly problematic with gravel or dirt walkways, where the edges are already, often, poorly defined.

When going through your flower bed ideas, make sure that the line between the flower bed and the path is clearly marked. You may want a small fence, stone wall or other raised marker. Make sure your flowers are semi-regularly pruned back from the edges of the path, and that any weeds are removed. You may want to choose plants that grow more slowly, and that put off fewer vines or shoots for you to have to deal with.

Use Trellises

Trellises and fences are perfect flower bed ideas for climbing plants, that allow you more room to play. Be sure to choose climbing plants that don’t grow to too tall of a height, to minimize maintenance. Many vines are invasive, as well, so be sure that your final choice is native to your area.

Create a Unique Environment

Finally, once your flower beds are complete, your garden may feel crowded. Take advantage of this by creating a unique atmosphere. Delicate lighting along the edges of your path, or hanging from trees, can create a mysterious atmosphere like an enchanted forest. A little fence around the whole space, along with a gate, is one of those flower bed ideas that can make your garden feel like something out of a fairy tale.


When you want to implement your flower bed ideas, it’s time to call an expert. Contact us for a consultation about your yard and its specific needs, including repair, maintenance, irritation, and xeriscaping for saving water.

How a Landscaping Company Can Drought-Proof Your Yard

How a Landscaping Company Can Drought-Proof Your Yard DK Landscaping Santa RosaLandscaping companies are ready to help you be more water wise with a xeriscaping landscape. Xeriscaping is the horticulturist term used to describe the practice of developing a landscape design that works to reduce or eliminate irrigation and watering. The best designed xeriscaped landscapes require little to no additional watering- all the water they need comes from the natural environment. Expert landscaping designers know how to implement these water smart plants into a beautiful landscape for any home or business. The secret to a landscaping company having a great design is the plants they use. With water supplied dwindling and the threat of a water crisis looming large, more and more homeowners and businesses alike are turning to xeriscaping as an option to help conserve water.

Xeriscaping has long been used and loved in much of the dry regions of the United States, and even more regions are beginning to open up and discover the benefits of water wise gardening. There are four main benefits that come from having a landscaping company help you design a xeriscape plan for your yard.

Benefits of Using a Landscaping Company

Financial Benefits
Xeriscaping has become popular with many due it the many amazing financial benefits. Water costs money and along with the water also comes other tasks such as fertilizing and weeding. Over the course of a year, a great deal of money is spent on these tasks. When you have a xeriscape design, however, all this cost is drastically cut and your landscaping company can end up saving you money!

Environmental Benefits
Xeriscaping comes down to you and the landscaping company choosing plants that are appropriate for your climate. Many plants that naturally grow in an area are drought tolerant and suited for the natural climate and seasonal changes of an area, which is why native plants are often used in these xeriscape designs when a landscaping company designs them. Xeriscaping usually requires switching out grass and many other common shrubs and plants and using water friendly plants and substituting hardscape designs in place of lawns. This helps save water and also helps preserve natural plants that belong in the area; you can ask your landscaping company to use native plants as much as possible.

Outdoor Activity
Supporters of xeriscaping often say that it is a lot of fun. It might require a little more work at the start but once your xeriscape yard is in place you can kick back and enjoy it, instead of spending hours every week mowing, raking weeding, watering, and fertilizing. It also help keep you active by making it easier to get outside and have fun- no lawn to cut before a game of tag football and no flower beds to worry about when the dogs run outside to play. Xeriscaping landscape designs help stimulate outdoor activity and involvement.

Plenty of Beautiful Plants
Many people who are considering having a landscaping company put in a xeriscape design are worried that their yard will look drab and boring. While the most commonly seen example of a xeriscape-friendly plant is indeed the cactus, they are far from the only plants that a landscaping company can use. Any drought-resistant plants and native plants can work well. Common plant choice include agave, liriope, juniper, thyme, rosemary, sage, dill, black walnuts, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes, and many more.

Discover the many benefits of xeriscape design today and talk to your landscaping company today to see what they can offer you as you work to design a water wise and plant friendly landscape for your home or business!

DIY vs. Hiring a Professional Landscaper


Every homeowner wants to have a beautiful, pristine and well-manicured landscape. Oftentimes, homeowners decide to design and maintain it themselves to save money. But the reality is, keeping your lawn well-maintained and healthy is a time-consuming job – fighting weeds, heat, debris and pests and trying to keep everything green and lovely. If you spend a lot of time at work, you may not want to commit your off days to yard work. So before deciding whether to continue do it yourself or hiring a professional  landscape maintenance company, here are a few more things to consider may sway your decision:

Professional grade work – While DIY can be fun, unless you have some experience with these types of projects, this can end up consuming more of your time and can potentially end up to be disastrous. If you’re going for curb appeal or a professionally manicured lawn, a professional lawn maintenance company is the answer. With the right equipment and experience, professionals can get the job done quickly, efficiently, and beautifully while you focus on other things.

Knowledge –A skilled landscaper has knowledge that your average person doesn’t have concerning grasses, trees, shrubs, and plants. They know when to prune, what grows best where, and how to care for difficult plants. Having someone who knows the ins and outs of botany can be the difference in a mediocre backyard and one that all your neighbors are talking about.

Economical – Hiring a professional can sometimes be more economical. For a certain weekly fee, homeowners receive the benefit of professional knowledge and execution. Also, homeowners will not have the expense of purchasing the various tools and equipment necessary for lawn and garden maintenance, tools and equipment that include lawnmowers, weeders, edgers, fertilizer, grass seed, leaf blowers, and shovels.

Convenience – Lawn care will take you away from other activities like work, family time, entertaining friends and relaxation. Although you will pay for professional landscape maintenance, the convenience may justify the cost.

We at DK Landscaping also offer a spring-cleaning service that will help prepare your lawn and garden for the spring and summer months. It’s a time to prune the old and plant the new. We know exactly what needs to be taken care of this time of year and are ready to tackle even the most difficult home landscaping job.

Handing the reigns over to someone who landscapes for a living gives you freedom to enjoy your spring and summer without worrying about your projects going undone. Call Kathy or David Lee at DK Landscaping (707) 280-3632.





April Showers Bring May Flowers…And Weeds!

Remember that old saying “April showers bring May Flowers”?  This gives us hope that after the rains, spring will burst with Tulips, Azaleas, Cherry Blossoms, Dogwood Trees, Flowering Crabapple Trees and the like. But there is something else that catches our attention during spring. Along with that new life filled with color and aroma comes the “other” perennials, the dreaded and sometimes belligerent weeds!

Weeds are often a misunderstood plant. The purpose of weeds are so diverse and their varieties are seemingly pretty…and endless, but one thing is for sure– weeds are plants growing where we don’t want them to grow.  They can remain dormant for months, and even years, until the moisture of the rain and the warm weather create the ideal condition them (dandelions, chickweed and a whole host of other undesirable weeds).

Unfortunately, if we do find ourselves knee deep in these undesirable vegetation, the best method to extract them is by mechanical means. This means we must physically pull or dig out the deeply rooted weed by hand.  An assortment of hand tools are available, such as slicing hoes, winged weeders, hand cultivators and hand rakes that can help this task to be a little less back-breaking.

A better plan is to try and prevent as many of those weeds popping up all over in the first place. In our war against weeds, we have two defensive treatments: pre-emergent herbicide and mulch. Pre-emergent herbicides inhibits or halts the growth of the weeds.  Mulch not only makes our beds look uniform and attractive, but it benefits plants by keeping the soil cool and moist and depriving weeds of light. Organic mulches, in particular, can actually host crickets and carabid beetles, which seek out and devour thousands of weed seeds.

Weed management can be a pretty daunting and tedious task if you’re not careful. But in the end, it is definitely worth it– resulting in healthy and nutrient-fed flowers and produce. If you need help, give DK Landscaping a call to assist you with either one-time maintenance or to set-up a maintenance schedule to give you extra reinforcement (707) 280-2632(707) 280-2632.



Pitfalls of Unlicensed Contractors

Let’s face it! Economic times are still tough and everyone is looking for a bargain. But the one area a homeowner should avoid taking shortcuts with is hiring an unlicensed contractor. There are plenty of them out there and most often, they come in at lower bids. And what seems like a “great deal” could end up winding you a lot more than you bargained for in the end.

Take for example a recent case of an older Santa Rosa couple who wanted to save themselves $1,500 on a job by hiring an unlicensed contractor (this technically made the homeowner the contractor and liable for any and all mistakes and injury). During the job, one of the workers fell off a ladder and was seriously injured. He in turn sued the couple for over a $100,000 and was successful!

An unlicensed contractor lacks the necessary permits and the liability and workers compensation insurance that’s required. Failing to check for a license or overlooking the lack of one, can backfire if the contractor simply disappears without doing the work or if the work is shoddy. Not only can homeowners be subject to a rude awakening, but the homeowner’s insurance policy might not pay the claim if it was connected to an unlicensed activity.

DK Landscaping provides you key things to look for when hiring a prospective contractor to ensure they meet certain qualifications and make your landscaping experience a positive and professional one:

  • Contact your Contractors State License Board (CSLB) or go visit A contractor’s license offers the homeowner some degree of protection during and after the project. An active license indicates that someone in the company attended classes for their trade, passed a state exam and can legally work in the State of California. Here you can look up the status, bankruptcy, years in business, fines and disciplinary actions. You can also make sure the contractor is not currently involved in any disputes.
  • Get Proof of Insurance: Call the contractors insurance company and confirm insurance is current and will cover your type of project. Liability insurance covers property and bodily injury losses caused by the contractor. Surety bonds pay damages to the homeowner if the contractor fails in his or her duties. Finally, workers’ compensation covers employees who are injured on the job and ensures that those injury claims don’t come back to you, which they could if your contractor doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance.
  • Check References: Get a list of references and call to find out about the quality of the work. Did the contractor stick to the original budget numbers and timeliness? Were they happy with the contractors work?  Did the homeowner have any issues with problems after the project was over?

If your unlicensed contractor goes missing in action or phone calls aren’t returned after the job completion, be prepared to pay for someone else to do the repairs. If disputes arise with your licensed contractor, the CLSB has a dispute resolution process including mediation. You can make a claim against the contractor and get the work completed or obtain a judgment for the contractor’s surety payment.

Most importantly, know who you are letting into your home. Once they are able to satisfy the legal requirements to perform your work, make sure they perform the work to YOUR satisfaction.

DK Landscaping is a fully licensed and bonded landscape contractor. For more information on our services please call us at (707) 280-3632 or contact us by email,