Mid-Year Resolutions: Give Your New Year’s Projects a Second Chance!

Now that we’ve made it halfway through the year, it’s time to take stock of those resolutions you made back in January. Is that list of projects finished, or have you yet to start? Whatever the situation, it’s not too late to take advantage of summer’s long days and warm weather to get some outdoor home improvement projects completed, whether you do it yourself or hire someone else.

Resurface concrete. Over time, weather fluctuations cause concrete to crack, shift, and lift. This makes the surface of your pool deck, driveway, or walkway not only unattractive, but also dangerous, since those lifted corners may cause someone to trip and fall. Instead of tearing up and replacing the whole surface, however, consider having your concrete resurfaced with a decorative concrete overlay. Not only will this take care of stains, cracks, and other surface damage, it saves time and money.

Strategically plant trees. Over the winter months, you may have forgotten how hot and unbearable your deck or patio area can get because of a lack of shade. Take the time this summer to plant trees at strategic points around your outdoor living area. You may have to wait awhile to be able to take advantage of the shade, but in the meantime you can enjoy their beauty and be happy that you’re helping the environment, knowing that one day down the road you will have mature trees to add value to your home.

Replace outdated windows and doors. Replacing old, leaky windows with new, energy-efficient versions is as much an exterior home improvement project as an interior one. The right windows will complement the architecture of your home, which in turn will increase its curb appeal. A new (or freshly painted) exterior door or upgraded garage door will up your home’s appeal as well.

Refinish your porch or deck. Summer is the best time for refinishing outdoor surfaces, so take this month to refresh your deck or porch and any other wooden structures that need a facelift. Painting or sealing needs to be done every few years to protect the wood from moisture and UV rays, as well as maintain the integrity of the structure. For this easy DIY project, start by sanding the wood, then sand again (in the direction of the grain) to get rid of any old paint or sealant. Clean the wood, pound in any nails that are sticking out, and you’re ready to apply the paint or stain of your choice.

At Edward Gosman & Associates, our experience in patio and deck maintenance and landscape design has helped homeowners across Hampton Roads achieve the outdoor space they’ve always dreamed of. If this is your dream too, give us a call at 757-421-2500 to find out how we can make it happen.

How to Achieve More Efficient Lawn Watering

As summer progresses and temperatures continue to inch higher, the water needs of your lawn will continue to increase. This means not only a bigger water bill, but also potential strain on the local water supply as homeowners start watering their lawns more. Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to reduce water waste and help your lawn and plants thrive.

Install a sensor. It doesn’t make much sense to water your lawn while it’s raining, yet some home and business owners that use timers for their watering needs end up doing just that, even during torrential downpours. This waste can be prevented from happening by attaching a rain sensor to your irrigation timer. Rain sensors are able to read the weather conditions and slow down or stop the flow of water from your sprinkler system once the rainfall reaches a certain amount.

Adjust sprinklers and irrigation heads.
There’s nothing more wasteful than watering your driveway and walkways along with your lawn. Usually a quick adjustment to your sprinklers or irrigation heads is all it takes to reduce or stop this overspray.

Don’t overwater.
Did you know that in most areas, a lawn only needs one inch of water a week to sustain itself? Unfortunately, many homeowners water their plants and yards much more than this. If you’re not sure how much water your lawn is using, set a rain gauge in the ground to help keep an eye on amount of water you’re using, and reset timers as needed.

Use different watering methods.
Most irrigation systems that use pop-up sprinkler heads will distribute the same amount of water in 20 minutes that you would get over several hours of steady rainfall. This quick method of watering often results in excess runoff because the ground isn’t able to absorb the water fast enough. A better way is to water deeper but less often, which reduces soil compaction and encourages aeration and better, deeper rooting. This can be done through a long, slow soak or in several short sessions spaced about an hour apart, which permits the water to soak deeper into the ground. Remember to water only as often as necessary, letting the soil dry between each session to further promote root growth and soil aeration.

At Edward Gosman & Associates, we strive to make your landscaping as environmentally sustainable as possible. If you need an irrigation system installed or would like advice on landscaping options that use less water, contact us today at 757-421-2500. With our knowledge and expertise in landscaping and landscape design, we can answer any question you may have.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Lawn This Summer

With families looking forward to fun backyard activities and get-togethers this summer, it’s important to make sure your lawn is able to hold up to the increased foot traffic. To help you get the most out of your lawn this summer, Edward Gosman & Associates, Inc., would like to share some simple tips that will help you grow a thick, healthy lawn that can stand up to anything.

Aerate the lawn.
Just like us, your lawn needs oxygen to grow and flourish. Aerating effectively pokes small, discrete holes in the ground, through which air, water, and nutrients are able to more easily reach the roots. This process also gives roots more room to grow and reproduce, which in turn aids in absorption of water and nutrients, giving you strong, well-established plants that are more resistant to weeds and drought.

Nourish with fertilizer.
Sometimes the soil doesn’t provide all the nutrients it needs to achieve optimal strength and growth. Prepare for the summer growing season and give your lawn a boost this spring by applying some fertilizer. Soak the ground beforehand to maximize absorption, then spread the fertilizer evenly over the grass. If you are overwhelmed by the choices and aren’t sure which combination of nutrients your lawn needs, consult an employee at a local nursery or lawn and garden center for recommendations. You can also take a sample of your soil to your local extension center to get its pH levels tested.

At Edward Gosman & Associates, not only are we experts at landscape design and renovation, we also provide property maintenance services. If you want a thick, luxurious lawn but don’t have to have the time or energy to put into it, give us a call at 757-421-2500 and we’ll take care of it for you.

Landscaping Trends to Spruce Up Your Yard

Around springtime each year, the housing market explodes with a proliferation of new houses being put on the market. Buyers are ready to get out, enjoy the warm weather, and hunt for the perfect house. Landscaping can have a huge effect on the curb appeal of your home, so if you’re hoping to sell this spring, it’s important that your yard be up to snuff. Use these tips from Edward Gosman & Associates to make sure your home stays in the running.

Outdoor Lighting
Outdoor lighting continues to gain popularity as a desirable landscaping feature. One application it’s often used for is safety; solar lights lining the driveway or LEDs lighting up steps can prevent a nasty trip and fall. In addition, the right lighting can be used spotlight certain attractive features of your home, like a stunning window or beautiful landscaping. It also has the benefit of reducing crime in your neighborhood since the added illumination tends to discourage burglars.

Indigenous Plants
While it’s important for your landscape to incorporate an assortment of trees, plants, flowers, and shrubs, the ones that you choose can have a big impact on your time and your wallet. Imported plants that are not native to your region take a lot more time, energy, and money to maintain. Native varieties, however, require a lot less water and very little care and maintenance. As a bonus, they also provide shelter for the small animals, birds, and butterflies in your area.

Outdoor Entertainment Areas
Another sought-after feature that buyers tend to look for is the presence of an outdoor seating area that can be used for gathering and entertaining. From fire pits and outdoor fireplaces to romantic gazebos, people love having an outdoor oasis where they can unwind after a long day at work or gather with family and friends. Even if you don’t have something as fancy as a gazebo, having some kind of deck or patio will add value to your home and attract buyers.

At Gosman & Associates, we have the know-how to design the perfect landscape for your property. Give us a call today at 757-421-2500 to set things in motion, and buyers will be lining up to see your home in no time!

Top Questions We Get Asked as Professionals

When you have been in business for over 30 years, you’ve heard just about every question there is. While many of them are related to specific projects, there are a few more general questions that we at Edward Gosman & Associates would like to share to help you gain insight into what makes our business so successful.

Do you do commercial as well as residential work?
While we love working with homeowners, we also have the expertise and experience necessary to meet the challenges of designing and maintaining landscaping for commercial properties such as apartment complexes, condos, shopping centers, and baseball fields. Our high-quality, professional results are beautiful as well as functional.

How does Edward Gosman stand out from other landscaping companies?
As a second-generation, family-owned and -operated business, we understand the importance of strong relationships. At Edward Gosman & Associates, we want the clients we work with to be more than just a number or a paycheck. Instead we endeavor to build long-lasting relationships, working with homeowners, property owners and property managers alike. Our loyal staff is dedicated to providing our clients with personalized service of the highest quality – guaranteed!

What kind of services do you offer?
In addition to residential and commercial property maintenance, Gosman also offers a variety of other services. These include landscaping, hedge trimming, sod planting, flower planting and maintenance, and gardening services. We also build patios and decks.

With winter wrapping up and spring landscapes beginning to come to life, now is the perfect time to consult a professional on how to make your property the showplace it deserves to be. Contact Edward Gosman & Associates today at 757-421-2500 for an evaluation of your yard and a plan custom-designed just for you.

Landscaping Tips for Homeowners Who Hate Their Yards

If you have recently moved into a new home that you love, but it comes with a yard that leaves a lot to be desired, it’s time to begin designing a new yard. Start by gathering together landscaping ideas and tips, then sit down and work out your plan of attack. If you’re lucky, by this time next spring you could be enjoying the yard of your dreams!

  • Put your plan down on paper. A detailed drawing is a great tool to refer to as you are working on your landscape design. It will help you envision what it will look like in the end, and can easily be referred back to if you need to check on something or make any changes.
  • Ask a professional. It’s a good idea to consult with a professional from a landscaping company before you start implementing your design. Even if you’re not able to hire them to do all of the work on your yard, you can still benefit from their years of experience, and they can get you pointed in the right direction.
  • Don’t choose plants and flowers based on looks alone. It is essential to do your research to determine which plants will thrive in your region. Take note of how much sun and shade they will need; if your yard is shady, plants that do best in full sun should be avoided, and vice versa. Soil composition and the amount of care and attention required should be considered as well.
  • Winter landscapes don’t have to be boring. By thinking ahead with your planning, you can develop a landscape that has beauty and color even in the dead of winter. A well-planned pathway can add interest and contrast by breaking up the dull expanse of your yard, and evergreens and bushes that produce brightly-colored berries will give your yard a little cheerful color.

If you don’t have a green thumb, or simply lack the necessary time or expertise to make a great landscape, give Gosman & Associates a call at (757) 421-2500. As experts in landscape and design for over 30 years, we can give you a yard that you’ll be proud to own.

New Year’s Resolution: Resolve to Enjoy Your Yard More This Winter

A winter yard can be a depressing place, with brown all around and very few signs of life to be seen. But even though you have lost full use of your outdoor space for a time, there are still steps you can take to enjoy your yard and garden throughout the winter months. Resolve to make the most of it by following these tips from Edward Gosman & Associates! Continue reading

Top Commercial Landscape Trends from 2016

The end of the year is a great time to look back at the year and identify what worked, and didn’t.  This is particularly true in the landscape design and maintenance world as homeowners and commercial property owners balance the latest trends with traditional styling that stands the test of time.

At Edward Gosman, we find it particularly helpful to consider commercial landscape design trends, examining them through our lens of 30+ years in the business.  As property managers and HOA leaders know, designs that look great initially can sometimes be costly to maintain. Our goal with any commercial project is to create spaces that work with the buildings, driveways and parking areas to support an overall look and feel, while making maintenance as easy as possible.

A few of the commercial landscape design trends we saw start or continue in 2016 include:

Native plants: using plants and shrubs that are natural to southeast Virginia means less chance for disease, more timely flowering and appropriate water usage.  In addition, when paired well, native plants can create natural hedges, water buffer areas and in some cases, noise control.

Practical paths:  One of the hardest areas to maintain is grass that is walked on so much that paths form.  Unfortunately, too many designers create walkways based on visual desires, rather than the practical approach of “how will people walk the property.”  At Edward Gosman we create good-looking paths and walkways, but don’t sacrifice function over form.

Energy efficient lighting: The best looking lights in the world don’t do a thing for your property if they aren’t turned on to save money. Exterior and landscape lighting can increase energy bills, but when done correctly, it’s a small amount that generates big returns in safety and beauty.  Like walkways, good lighting design considers energy efficiency, sight lines (so people aren’t complaining about lights shining in their windows) and more.

These are a few of the commercial landscape design trends from 2016, that also happen to be important elements of any Edward Gosman design and in our property maintenance division.  If you are ready for a quality, experienced approach to your commercial or residential landscape, give us a call at (757) 421-2500, or contact us online.

 

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How to Create a Relaxing Backyard Oasis

Caught in our busy lives, it can be difficult to find the time or place around our homes to simply relax and recharge. But this “oasis” at home is more attainable than you think, and it could be hiding right in your backyard!

Your yard may seem like nothing special now, but the possibilities are practically limitless.This can sometimes feel overwhelming to homeowners, and that’s where our decades of experience help — you don’t have to imagine all the possibilities or know what you want — we’ll help figure that out.

Edward Gosman & Associates is the trusted choice for landscape improvement projects throughout Hampton Roads. Here are a few of the ways we have helped our clients find more peace and relaxation in their outdoor spaces.

  1. Incorporate water features.  For centuries, cultures around the world have used flowing water for its calming effects. A small pond, a fountain, a swimming pool or hot tub can give your backyard a spa-like feel. backyard pond water feature

  2. Invest in comfortable seating. Outdoor seating doesn’t mean you need to compromise comfort.  There are plenty of options for chairs, benches, and chaise lounges with cushions to match your style, while also being cozy and weatherproof! Add a small café table and you have the perfect spot for a cup of coffee or glass of wine.

  3. Take the inside outdoors. One of the most functional ways to create an outdoor living space is by bringing elements of the kitchen or living room outside.  Custom designed fire pits are growing in popularity for a reason – they allow families and groups of friends to gather and have fun, no matter the season!dscn1817

  4. Light up the night. When the sun goes down, you don’t need to go indoors. There are all kinds of varieties of outdoor lighting options that can be added to your landscape. From string lighting, automated or solar-powered lights, ceiling fixtures, spotlights and so much more, we’re happy to help you decide the best ways to add safety and ambiance to your yard.

Think of your patio or backyard as an extension of your indoor spaces, rather than areas completely separate from the home. If you’re gathering with the family, entertaining guests, or simply enjoying some quiet time to read or rest, there is nothing quite as relaxing as fresh air and the sounds of nature. By keeping the above list in mind, you’l10371369_10152246400741194_6491068410904759942_nl always have a retreat available to you by simply stepping outside!

If you’re ready to begin making your yard your own personal oasis, give our expert team a call for a free landscape design estimate: (757) 421-2500

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What’s Not Working With Your Hardscapes

There are many things that can go wrong with hardscapes around your home. Some of them may be the result of installation mistakes, and others may occur naturally over time. If you step outside and look out at your patio or walkways and it makes you want to turn and go back inside, we understand your pain!

Here are a few of the typical concerns we hear from families around Hampton Roads about what isn’t currently working with their hardscapes:

  • Old styles of concrete sidewalks. Concrete sidewalks crack over time, leaving space for weeds to sprout in those gaps.
  • Ugly patios. While they are an inexpensive, quick solution to bare lawns, plain, cement slab patios leave much to be desired.
  • Failing Walkways. Walkways that shift or ones where the outer border has begun to sink or disappear altogether are unsightly, and create a tripping hazard.
  • Uneven steps or pavers. When pavers or stairs are not installed properly, they can shift over time in an uneven way, leaving the pieces at different heights.
  • Sidewalks and driveways that are all all function and no form. Just because your walkways and driveways serve a purpose doesn’t mean you can’t also incorporate them into your landscape design to increase curb appeal.
  • And the problem we hear most of all: the absence of hardscapes! 

Don’t let your hardscapes keep you from enjoying your outside spaces. There are many ways to transform an old, uninspiring landscape into something you’ll look forward to showing off to guests! When you’re ready to discover how amazing your yard can be, give Edward Gosman & Associates a call at 757-421-2500 or contact us online for a free landscape design estimate.

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