Lessons in landscaping

This month, we’re sharing advice from Robert Lamb, the landscape and maintenance manager for Olive Branch Landscape Management.  The company has served Faulkner, Pulaski, Saline and Pope Counties since 2019 under the current ownership.

1. What expertise do landscape designers have to offer homeowners?

Landscape designers offer homeowners a wealth of expertise in creating outdoor spaces that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. They possess a deep understanding of horticulture, plant selection and soil composition, allowing them to design landscapes that thrive in our environment. Additionally, landscape designers have the creative vision and technical skills to craft customized plans that align with homeowners’ preferences, budgets and lifestyles, ultimately transforming an outdoor space into an inviting retreat tailored to their needs.

2. Other than adding landscaping around new homes, what projects are landscaping specialists frequently asked to help accomplish?

We are often called upon to install hardscapes, irrigation, drainage and various unique outdoor construction projects.

3. What are some common mistakes made when people try to handle landscaping projects without professional guidance?

Some common mistakes include inadequate planning, which can lead to improper plant selection or placement, resulting in maintenance issues or poor growth. Additionally, DIY-ers often underestimate the complexity of tasks such as grading, drainage and the proper installation of many elements, leading to early failure, costly repairs and unsatisfactory results.

4. Can you recommend some ornamental trees that grow well in Central Arkansas?  

Central Arkansas offers a diverse climate suitable for a variety of ornamental trees, including crepe myrtle, dogwood, Japanese maple, redbud, and southern and sweetbay magnolia trees. However, the eastern redbud is one of our favorites for its beautiful blooms, cold hardiness, and low maintenance.

5. Can you recommend perennial flowers that grow well in our climate? 

Some perennial flowers that thrive in Central Arkansas are cornflowers, black-eyed Susans, daylilies, coreopsis and salvia, all of which work great when used in conjunction with other landscape elements.

6. Planting is fun, but keeping plants watered mid-summer becomes a burden. Suggestions? 

Have a watering schedule. Water deeply and less frequently rather than shallowly and frequently. Consider installing a drip irrigation system. Group your plants by water needs; this will allow for more efficient watering. Adding a thin layer of mulch around your plants will also help retain soil moisture, suppress weed growth, and moderate soil temperature.

7. Any other tips for readers?

While many landscapes can be considered low maintenance, all landscapes require some degree of maintenance, and neglecting this important aspect can be very costly in the future. We offer a comprehensive maintenance package to take that burden from you so you can spend your free time enjoying your outdoor oasis.