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Earth Day 2017 – Asheville, North Carolina

EarthDayAsheville2017Everyone here at Snow Creek Landscaping has gravitated into this field because of one thing; the environment. Many of us just feel more at peace working outside. With others, it’s the deeper relationship between man and nature that makes us really look at how our community responds to the environment both physically and aesthetically.

Earth Day came to be a movement in the 1970’s, and continues to be on the forefront of pushing the environmental focus in today’s society. During the time of its origin, the United States – and many parts of the world – had very little concern with what happened as a result of industrial byproduct or an overall concern of the natural world.

Inspired by the current events happening around him, Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator, pushed to create a “national teach-in” about the environment. Together, with 20 million people, April 22nd in 1970 became a day where people realized the vast common interest in protecting, preserving and holding the environment to a higher American standard.
Rain Garden
Earth Day means something different to each person. Some families have more of an environmental focus in their core family values and activities, where others may have less. That’s okay! The point of the Earth Day is to allow everyone in our community to learn and experience the appreciation for the natural world around us.

Like everything in life, we want to learn and grow to be the best for ourselves, community and future generations to come.

Don’t have plans for this Earth Day?

Check out some of the activities happening around Asheville with links to their event pages!

Salvage station – Earth Day Kid’s Festival – Presented by RiverLink and Prestige Subaru – 9 AM – 2 PM with FREE admission. Inviting “Families and people of all ages to come out and enjoy environmental education, arts and crafts, performances and more! ” Event website – http://riverlink.org/earth-day-kids-festival/

Earth Day Celebration – Sweeten Creek Brewing – 11 AM – 9 PM. “Enjoy a day of earth-friendly fun, delicious beer, and good food out on our Creekside Lawn. Live music from the Circus Mutts from 2:30 – 4:30pm., plus fun Earth Day activities for the entire family!”

Family Yoga & Mandala Making – Special Earth Day Celebration 1 PM – 4:30 PM at Violet Owl Wellness. 10$ per person. “This is a family-friendly event where yoga meets creativity! We’ll be incorporating an all levels, fun yoga class and an surprise Earth Day mandala!”

BearFest – WNC Nature Center – Year of the Bear WNC Nature Center from 10 AM – 4 PM. “Celebrate Earth Day and “the Year of our Bear” at the WNC Nature Center with a family festival to honor one of WNC’s most beloved species, the American black bear.”

Earth Week with City of AshevilleAll Weekend.  Greenway ribbon cutting, sustainability tour, and more! – “With multiple events at different locations over three days, Asheville Earth Week organizers hopes this celebration reinforces a mantra that our community embraces: ‘We are all connected.'” Check out their website – http://coablog.ashevillenc.gov/2017/03/asheville-celebrates-earth-day-2/ for more information on what’s going on and where!

Earth Day Film & Panel Discussion – Seed the Untold Story – Organic Growers School at Lenoir-Ryhne University Asheville – 5:30 PM – 9 PM. Cost: by donation at the door. “Join us for this wonderful film, discussion and seed exchange. In partnership with Asheville Greenworks, Bountiful Cities, Green Opportunities, and Sow True Seed, Seed: The Untold Story tells a beautiful tale of seed diversity and its sad demise.”

PlantingPlants

Want activities to do at home?

Here are are some a list of activities that are family focused, educational, and fun (Well, we think so!). Remember, not everything has to be a super planned out activity to be memorable. Enjoy the moment and the reasoning of celebrating Earth Day.

Start your garden or plant a native plant.

It’s okay, not everyone has their garden planned out before the days getting sunnier and warmer. Don’t worry! Whether big plans or small, the act of growing a garden or plant can have both short and long term benefits to everyone – regardless of age.

If you don’t have the space or time for a garden – try a container plant. Check our list of list of native plants and see what could be planted in a container around your house. Take some time this Saturday to just get your hands dirty!

Reduce your footprint.

Walk or bike to a destination. Even taking public transportation can help reduce your carbon footprint. Try and think about how much electricity you are using, or better yet, try and go a day without using it!

Recycled Art Projects.

Feeling crafty? Whether some DIY home improvement jobs or arts and crafts time with the kids, take some time to think about what using recycled objects does for the environment. If you weren’t using them for a project – where would they end up? How long does it take for each item to break down? If you don’t have anything laying around, hit up the multiple thrift stores that the Asheville area has to offer. Bonus points for walking there! :)

Get Outside.

It seems simple, right? Getting in touch with nature doesn’t need to be some extraordinary adventure through the wilderness (though, that sounds fun!). Western North Carolina is very lucky to have such wonderful outdoor activities within miles of downtown Asheville. Pack a lunch and head up the Blue Ridge Parkway for some fresh air or take the family floating down the French Broad. Note* You may find out Sales guy Jimmy relaxing out there on the river!

Whatever you plan on doing this Earth Day (and every day for that matter!), take the time to think about your own relationship with nature.

-Team Snow Creek.

Native Plants: The elegance of Western North Carolina

Utilizing more native species and natural look in home landscape designAs taken from our article in Fine Homes & Design magazine for Western North Carolina Spring edition.

For over 27 years, we have been working with our clients on developing landscapes that embrace their personal needs, as well as what is best for the property and surrounding environment. The area of
Western North Carolina offers it’s own geographical uniqueness, one of elegance and beauty. It’s those ecological characteristics of this area which led to the growth of our company, and is the backbone of who we are today.

For us, natural landscaping can also be looked at as a spectrum. Think of one end of the spectrum as a land that will grow and develop into what resembles an untouched landscape. Overtime, it will cycle through stages that can only be replicated by letting nature take its course. Utillizing native species and design to help contol drainage issues.

The opposite side of that would be one that completely manipulates the land to show no signs of native species or geographical characteristics specific to that region.

When choosing to incorporate native plant communities into their landscape, one must have an understanding of how those species work together with the geographical features of the land. The slopes of a mountain side would have different plant characteristics than that of a flatter valley location. All are equally important to the ecosystem, as well as you as a homeowner.

Natural landscaping is way to incorporate native plants and geological features in a way that mimics the ecological characteristics of pre-settlers. It’s utilizing the plants that have thrived in this region and applying that to a functional landscape design that is environmentally conscious, low maintenance, and aesthetically pleasing.

Environmentally Conscious

Utilizing native plants on your property has multiple benefits. From an environmental perspective, they fit perfectly into the ecosystem of that area. They have been evolving with those particular insects, animals, and other geographical features for thousands of years.

Utilizng flowers that can thrive in Western North Carolina. Native plants allow for the success of pollinators, birds and other animals in the area who have adapted to thrive off those regional plants. Birds, for example, utilize certain shrubs and trees of native plants to stay safe from predators, while at the same time use certain plants as a nutritional supplier with either the plant berries or the insects that prefer the native plant as well. Hummingbirds are provided a significantly more amount of nectar from native plants of the region in comparison to non-native or hybrids to the area.

The roots of many plants from this region are deep and can absorb extra rain water. As a property owner, this is vital to help run off from working against your home foundation or surrounding properties. For the rivers and streams, those plants help provide a filter which can then supply clean water for our community.

Finding the optimal balance between functional areas, such as turf and places of high use, and spaces for untouched native plant growth can reduce your carbon footprint. Letting nature take it’s course means less work and resources.

Low MaintenanceLow Maintenance and beautiful

Think of it this way, if a native plant is thriving and filling up the space provided, then there is less room for weeds and other plants to grow. Understanding the land and what plants can be successful there will allow for easy maintenance down the road.

For example, in shady areas that need plants that grow in low light, certain native shade plants will thrive and need less attention. Species such as the Northern Maidenhair Ferns are beautiful plants that can grow up to 2 feet with long lacy fronds, which creates less space for additional growth and therefore needs less maintenance over time.

Using a more natural landscape with native plants will require less time, money and energy in maintaining the flow of the land.

Aesthetically Pleasing

In creating an individualized landscape, it is important that it is aesthetically appealing to the people who living there. We are an advocate of utilizing your natural surrounding, so functionality and aesthetics are incredibly important. If you don’t want to spend time in your landscape, or enjoy it, than it can’t benefit you to the fullest.

Many people often think that native plants aren’t going to provide them the aesthetics they are looking for or they will be full of weeds. Nothing could be further than the truth! In fact, by using plants that thrive in this area, you can plan out a landscape that provides color and beauty all year long.

When you are taking on the journey of utilizing a more natural landscape, you are finding the perfect harmony between functionality and the natural world around you.

 

 

Landscaping, Personal, and Professional Growth

For the past year, Snow Creek Landscaping has been working with Path to Synergy’s Michael Diettrich-Chastain. As a company, we have been utilizing his coaching expertise to help better our personal and professional growth as a company.

Even after 27 years, we are constantly looking to improve in areas that can help our client experience, as well as team development. Whether it be learning new ways to communicate in a group setting, one on one, or learning how to respond to our own feelings and emotions – we can always improve.

Like our landscapes, we are always developing, strengthening, and responding to our own environment.

For the majority of us in this industry, being outdoors also holds a certain therapeutic quality to it. Whether it’s the relaxing bubbling of a stream against the sound of wind whistling through the trees, or the feeling we get when we work with our natural surrounding. Nature can be grounding on a deeper level.

Some could say – and we do – that nature is the ultimate stress reducer. :)

We often work with clients who just need a place to relax. To escape the every day hustle through the natural environment. That’s our purpose as a company – our mission. We want to enrich our clients lives through creating an outdoor living space that promotes health and wellness.

As a landscaping company in Asheville, North Carolina, we are incredibly fortunate to have a thriving economy and amazing community to work with. We are always meeting new clients that have either grown up here or one day found themselves buying a home in these beautiful blue ridge mountains. With each client, we focus our attention to working with the natural landscape and native plant species, while incorporating what each client is looking for in a design.

Learn more about Path to Synergy and how Michael can work with you on achieving those personal and professional goals through stress reduction and skill building.

If you decide you need a relaxing outdoor environment to do that, you know how to reach us!

-Team Snow Creek

New Year, New You: Landscape Edition

DSC_3545We originally wrote this article for Fine Homes and Design magazine, which you can find around the Asheville and Western North Carolina area.

With the days becoming subtly longer and the energy of the holiday season fading down, we now have time to focus on the newest addition to our daily routine – 2017.  For many home owners, the colder air offers a feeling of relief. Less time doing outdoor projects means more time spent on the indoor ones that were set aside during the warmer weather.  The winter months are the ideal time to spend reflecting and planning for a landscape that brings you joy – long before the planting, maintaining and hard work begins.

In our personal lives, many of us also view the end of the year is a time for self reflection and planning for the year to come. We see the fresh calendar as another opportunity to reach new and exciting goals. Here at Snow Creek Landscaping, we always encourage our clients, friends and family to include your own personal development with the planning of your landscape. We firmly believe that the outside of a home can greatly affect one’s happiness.

Have you ever felt unattached when you pull up to your house? Too often people unconsciously feel agitated or disconnected because their landscape doesn’t fit what they internally envision their home to be like. Whether it was designed for previous owners, unkept because of a busy work schedule, or it just doesn’t match the person you have become throughout the years – all of those can affect your personal life.

Steps to a job in the Asheville area.
What Makes You Truly Happy?

As we focus our attention in the outside of the house, it is extremely important to understand what makes you happy. So many people focus solely on creating a personalized space on the inside of their walls. For us, the outside of one’s house is just as important as the inside. Then, if the outside of our home is truly an extension of who we are as a
person, surely it should include things that give us joy.

To start off, we suggest writing down characteristics of what your ideal yard is. What is it that makes you stop and stare in appreciation at other homes? Is it a clean cut and simplistic design that just makes you feel comfortable, or are you drawn to a more organic and natural looking yard? For some, functionality and maintenance plays a big role, while others may be initially drawn to certain smells, colors and textures of specific plant species.

Creating a list doesn’t mean that everything on there has to be completed, so think of it more as a brainstorming session. Some yards wouldn’t be complete without statues, stepping stones and waterfalls – extras that are tailored specifically for the owner. Get creative and follow your instinct. A container garden on the rooftop of a building in downtown Asheville

Imagine your ideal outdoor environment and put it into a list. Again, write down what makes you happy. You know what brings you joy better than anyone.

Once your characteristic list is complete, compare it to what you already have. If your perfect yard is well trimmed with not a weed in sight, but your current situation is the opposite, that could potentially be a source of frustration for you.  For those who are in the process of building – knowing what will make you feel satisfied is a crucial part of the planning process.

Priority Work

While the overall goal of owning a home is to create a place that makes you happy, there are unfortunately going to be certain ’unflattering’ aspects. If with each storm you are worried about a seemingly dead tree falling over or water flooding into the driveway and neighborhood, those should be a priority for the new year. Take time to make a list of all the things that need to be fixed around your yard before taking on new projects.

Examples of priority items on your property:

Unhealthy or dead trees
Incorrect drainage of water
Obstacles in the way or unsafe pathways
Dim lighting making it hard to see
Anything that could promote structural
damage

As a company, we value our clients. We want the natural environment around you to be thriving and healthy, while at the same time creating a safe place for you to live. Our arborists, production and maintenance crews are trained to make sure both plants and clients are happy. When you make your plans for the next year, we ask that you please take the time to look at your property and identify the landscape jobs that need to get done to ensure your safety and well-being. We also offer environmental assessments in our packages. Are your trees on your property safe to be around?

Making a Plan

Obtaining the perfect yard, most of the time, can’t be achieved overnight. Nature needs time to grow and settle into it’s place. Like our personal goals, preparing and planning can lead to those successes. Consider the following when tackling projects in the new year.

What is your budget for the next couple of years? Investing in landscape projects often is multi year project that increases property value and overall happiness. Start with priority items, then move towards the preferred projects. If contacting us for our tree service to remove a dead tree is an urgent need, budget that as soon as possible. After those are done, figure out what is left for those extra projects that you been wanting to have around the home.

How is your landscape going to be maintained? Creating your backyard oasis is just the first step.Watering and general upkeep is key to having a flourishing yard. If currently you cannot maintain your yard, then let’s work out a plan with our maintenance and gardening crew before new projects are installed. Remember, if you know that a clean and healthy yard is what makes you happy – let’s work on getting that for you!

What is your timeline? Sometimes giving yourself a deadline to get things accomplished by is a great way to take that first step. Using an upcoming family reunion or graduation party as a deadline is a great way to start the design and installation process. We often have clients come to us with a specific date they would like the job to be completed by. This helps us make suggestions and create the best timeline for completion.

A landscape that brings you joy and happiness each time you come home is something that we want all of our clients to experience. As a local landscaping company in Western North Carolina, we strive to promote beautiful and healthy habitats that are both native and environmentally friendly. Give us a call and let’s see how we can help you grow in 2017.

 

Commercial Landscaping: From Outside In.

While most people try not to judge a book by it’s cover, the majority of us gravitate towards relying on our gut feelings. With that, includes how a business looks on the outside. As a company, you may have the best biscuits in town, but if it looks like a scene from the x-files – people may drive right on by. Commercial landscaping and presentation, we believe, is a way that a company can take itself to the next level.

Snow Creek crew member mowing the grass at a commercial property.There are many benefits to having professional landscaping at your business. We feel the following areas are reasons enough to invest:

  • Your impression on the world
  • Community and Property Investment
  • Working with the environment

First impressions

We aren’t saying everyone needs an elaborate waterfall, stone walkways, and native flowers (though, it would be cool!). What we are saying is that each business has an opportunity to instantly impress their potential customers. Rarely can a business get away with looking like a dump but offering 5 star service.

Landscape to your brand

When investing in a landscape to enhance your business, be consistent with your brand. Not everything has to be taken to an elaborate level, but instead it should focus on the environment you want to create. First impressions can emphasize the feel of your brand, from a clean and open space with accent plants, to a more rustic and organic landscape.

Keep it looking good

The upkeep of your landscape is what keeps people continuously feeling the effects of its beauty. Not many people enjoy having dead or messy plants around, so make your plan of action to include maintenance.

Sometimes it’s best to let others be in control of your landscape and invest your time elsewhere. After all, that is the point of owning a business. If lawn care isn’t your cup of tea (or brew – since this is Asheville), let someone else take care of it.

Thinking of the property and community

Commercial landscaping can help  you financially, as well as help your presence within the community. Recognize where you are located and what that means with surrounding property value and local trends. DSC00511

Property Investment

Owning property as a business owner can bring a lot of joy and financial gains. With proper landscaping, you can increase the property value and create happy neighbors. Preventing tree damage or developing rain gardens are also ways to help decrease potential property damage – and save money.

Community Relations

For some business owners, such as hotel or housing developers, the landscape can keep customers happy and feel settled. For businesses within the community, take time to recognize your role. Enhancing the look of your business has a dramatic effect on the local community members, other businesses, and even the local economy.

Work with the environment

With environmentally friendly designs, your business can look good and benefit the environment. Utilizing native plants with intentional designs can help promote water retention, soil erosion, as well as supporting your local plant species. Specific plant placement can also save you on electricity bills through reducing or conserving your heat buildup.

Take it insideContainer gardens used in commercial landscaping, like the ones snow creek planted at the Asheville Outlet Mall, can help promote a relaxed environment.

Did you know that an increase of plants inside can be directly related to happiness and productivity with workers? Imagine what that does to your customers. Simple container gardens placed around can help with that transition from the outside in.

Need help with commercial landscaping?

Are you a business owner in the surrounding Asheville area looking to invest in landscaping for your company? Let’s see how we can help achieve your branding through the natural environment. We offer a full range of services from design, installation, maintenance and are committed to helping you reach your visual goals. Our goal is to create headache free service for local businesses that support all their commercial landscaping needs.