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Four Simple Tasks to Greatly Enhance Your Relationship with Nature this Summer

For us as local landscapers, the spring and summer are the busiest seasons of the year. We’re making the most out of these long and sunny days, making sure each project is successful and every client comes home to a healthy and happy landscape.

Interestingly enough, even we need simple reminders to help us stay connected with the natural world around us. You can be surrounded by it every day and still need gentle reminders to appreciate its complex natural beauty.

So for this summer, we want everyone to really embrace nature through these simple, yet super impactful ways to experience nature. Whether you’re new to understanding your authentic relationship with natural world, or a seasoned naturalist, we can all benefit from more intentional connections with the world around us.

Get Creative with a Container GardenContiner Garden Ideas Asheville NC

Study after study reveals that gardening has such a positive impact on our overall physical and mental health. From giving us a sense of responsibility, to allowing us to truly connect to the cycle of life – it creates an opportunity to enhance your relationship with both the natural world and your authentic self.

While the sound of a container garden seems rather restricting, it’s actually very much the opposite and leaves plenty of room for creativity. Growing plants exclusively in containers, instead of the ground, also allows everyone to experience gardening at any scale regardless of one’s access to ground space.

When choosing the perfect plant, make sure to understand the proper temperature and lighting it will require. Whether it needs shade, partial or full sun, the placement of your container is key to your plants success. In any home and garden store nowadays, it’s easy to find the correct potting soil and species of plants that can grow successfully together.

Additionally, think outside the box – or container – and don’t restrict yourself to the more common containers found at the store.  Depending on your decorative styles, you can really incorporate colors, textures and shapes into your space. From old boots and sinks, to wine barrels and common house hold objects – the opportunities are truly endless. Whatever you choose to use, however, make sure it has the proper drainage and space to allow the roots of your plant to be happy and healthy.

Spend 20 Minutes a Week Really Noticing your Relationship with Nature – without Technology

A genuinely hard skill to learn is being in the present in the moment. To focus on the world around you, while letting go of the past or worrying about the future. For some, this can be a skill that requires attention and practice with a daily routine.

One of the best tools to help you be in the moment is to allow nature to assist in calming your mind and body. To focus your senses on the natural world around you – embracing each one and moving on to the next. Take to really think about the relationship each organism around you has with its ecosystem, from the bees pollinating the flowers, to the wind moving each individual leaf.

Want to truly enhance your experience with nature? Try it without your phone or any technology

There are so many wonderful advances that technology has given us – that’s without question. Even though one can find thousands of nature-themed apps that promote the environment and our experiences, it still doesn’t compare to embracing and giving your full attention to the natural world around you. With any technology, we should always ask – does it enhance our relationship with nature, or pull us further apart?

So for 20 minutes, whether in your backyard or local park, be present with nature this summer. It’s the perfect time of year to experience the colors, growth, smells and sounds that make up this beautiful earth – so enjoy it!

Grow Something You Can Eat

It’s truly an experience to grow your own food and we think every person should experience that feeling at least once in their life. As a landscaping company, we are constantly suggesting and moving clients to
incorporating a more edible landscape into their home. Whether it’s a specific area for a vegetable garden, or enhancing their yard with herbs strategically placed throughout more floral arrangements – the end results are always overwhelmingly positive.

For example, our own office located in Arden, North Carolina, has blueberry bushes located throughout the property. It’s easy to take a break outside and simply reach out for a sugary treat – straight from the source. It’s the small things in life.

Growing your own fruit, vegetable or herb can also really help you understand and appreciate the origins of your food. Depending on your dedication, it may even help you make better lifestyle choices about what and how much you consume. What started with a simple herb garden, may turn into a growing vegetable garden with each season. Start simple and learn to grow with your experiences.

On another note, if it doesn’t work – that’s okay. We often try to control everything around us, which has been ingrained into our daily routines since an early age. When it comes to growing any plant, you sometimes have to accept and embrace what nature has to offer. Take time to really
understand the process of it all.

Watch the Sunset

Western North Carolina is home to some of the most amazing views in the country. From the Blue Ridge Parkway, to the many mountain top trails, you can find amazing views while still being minutes from the energy of Downtown Asheville.  In the past decade, many of the buildings in WNC have been opening up their spaces to allow outdoor areas where people can embrace the beautiful mountains that we call home.

One of our top requests we get from clients, is to have a space where they can relax and watch the sun go down. To be able to stay within the comforts of their home, but experience one of nature’s greatest light show. It’s a small but powerful enhancement to their home.

There will always be something special about watching the sunset. Whether with friends, family, or alone with the universe above you – it’s one of the best ways to end your day. Another reason that summer has such meaningful sunset experiences is because by the time the sun does go down, it genuinely aligns closely with your natural sleep schedule.

Whether from a rooftop, mountain top, or your cozy backyard, this easy activity is also one that is
completely unique to just you. From your view, location, and time – it’s all yours. There will never be another just like it, so embrace it.

While these tasks are simple, they can have such a large and positive impact on your physical and mental health. It’s the small things in life that we learn to appreciate and hold close to us as we get older, so make sure to include the natural world around you in those day to day activities.

Our new fleet vehicle with the new brand.Looking for a landscaper in the Asheville area? We’ve been around for 30 years, enriching the lives of our clients with award winning landscape work. From landscape management to installation, we are able to support all of your landscaping needs. Call our office today to set up an appointment with our one of our team.

 

Watching WNC grow for 28 years: A Quick Snow Creek Story

Tim Boone, owner and Founder of Snow Creek Landscape Services with his family and team. As quoted from the Asheville Citizen’s Time article on November 16th, 1997, Tim Boone, “found a niche in the market. And with the economy roaring along for the past several years, he’s done well”. That was just over 20 years ago, when Snow Creek Landscaping was coming up on it’s 9 year anniversary. Many locals can tell you that they have seen our trucks all around town, but many don’t know the rich history and dedication that the company has been involved in throughout the years. Since opening it’s doors in 1989, Snow Creek has worked hard in creating relationships in the community of Western North Carolina, as well as helped develop the face of this beautiful land for so many commercial and residential clients.

The story of Snow Creek is one that starts with the child of an agriculturally rich family, one that farms their food and takes pride in their environment. As a young boy, Tim Boone watched the world around him grow and develop. With each passing season, his curiosity transformed from a more agricultural lifestyle into more of a horticultural passion – one that brings that natural world to each individual. From selling his motorcycle to start his own pepper project at a very young age, to becoming an award winning horticulturist in his early years – the fascination of how things grow and develop had became less of a hobby and interest, and more of a career.Working on a sod job at the the Grove Park in.

For 29 years, Snow Creek has been depicted around Western North Carolina with the
image of the creek that started it all. As Tim grew both personally and professionally, he always felt a deep connection with the native land. His childhood memory of playing by the creek side on his family’s property never left him. That creek became the front and center of Snow Creek Landscaping.

As a creek grows and develops through the years, it carves away at the earth, leaving
behind its path and rich history. Rising waters creates new twists and turns, yet uncovers the beauty that lays deep within the earth. Stones are pushed from one side to the other, building a natural sculpture in the world that constantly changes, but never loses its beauty. Like the creek that influenced Tim’s passion, Snow Creek Landscaping has developed and left its mark in the community that all of its employees call home.

Like a creek, we have developed and strengthened over the years, with a story that is constantly changing and moving forward.

With each passing year, our company creates relationships both with the natural world and the people of WNC.  We help our clients discover the true potential of their properties, through hard work and creativity.

Our new fleet vehicle with the new brand. In 2018, we will be officially unraveling a new brand, one that defines us as a company, and continues to grow with the surrounding Asheville area. The saplings we planted long ago have developed into massive trees with deep roots, while hardscapes have become one with the earth and built memories that last a lifetime. The positive impact on both our relationships and the environment is what we do. We are doing it with a passion and will continue to do so for years to come.

When a company has been in business for as long as we have, it’s inevitable to have its ups and downs. We learn from each experience, which can guide us into the direction we choose to go as humans. As a mission, we want to go beyond just your typical landscaping company and transcend into a lifestyle. An experience that helps build a story. An opportunity to enrich lives, naturally.

Shelly McKinney, of Snow Creek Landscape Services, working on arranging and choosing the right material for a client. Meet Shelly McKinney:

When Shelly and Tim met, they instantly connected over their passion for creating intentional landscape designs. Ones that build a deeper relationship with the natural world. Originating from Florida, Shelly was able to create award-winning gardens for her
community, while understanding and promoting the native landscape of Florida’s warm, tropical climate. While her ecosystem has changed, her passion for creating true and creative landscapes remains the same. To build a design that lasts and sets the stage for years of memories.

With her award-winning landscape designs,
development and project execution, Shelly builds strong relationships with each and every one of her clients. This relationship centered landscape service is what makes her work reflect each client’s desires both in and out of their home. From interior and exterior design, she brings the joys and experience of nature to your home.

10 tips on properly watering your yard this year!

Hose attachement watering new landscapeOwning property with a customized landscape can be a lot of work to maintain by yourself.  Out of all the chores to be done, we can’t stress enough the biggest and most basic one of all – watering.  Check out these 10 watering tips that will help your landscape thrive this year.

1. Newly installed plants need more frequent watering than established ones.

Persistence is vital in those early stages. Follow these general rules to make sure you are supporting the proper root growth of your new plant installations.

1 Gallon plant = 2 to 3 gallons of water
3 Gal. plant = 5 gallons
Tree = 15 Gallons
Generally speaking, your water spigot will put out 5 gallons per minute.
How often should I water my plants?

Water daily during the first week (14 days for sod and seed).
Every 2 to 3 days for another 3 weeks.
Every 3 to 4 days for the rest of the year.

2. Water evenly and thoroughly.

Make sure that you are providing enough water so that the soil isn’t dry an hour or two after you are finished. On the other hand, if it’s super soggy, then you are over saturating the soil, which can be just a bad. While your watering, make sure you are hitting the entire surface, 360 degrees around the plant. This promotes even and stronger root growth.

Just remember – deep and consistent watering sessions promote healthier root systems. In this case, less is not always more!

3. Choose the right tools for your property and schedule.

If you can’t get outside to water when it’s needed, invest in an automatic irrigation system or, at the least, a manual sprinkler set up. If you are able to get out there yourself, find the right attachments that works best for you and your yard. We recommend something like this to help soak the base of the plants, but getting a sprinkler system for larger grassy lawns. Take it easy and make watering enjoyable for you.

4. Let the soil lightly dry out in between each water.

If your plant has water, it doesn’t need to be watered again – let it have time to breathe.  If you continuously over water, you run the risk of drowning the plant, which means it isn’t able to the get oxygen it needs. Creating this cycle will help promote the roots to absorb nutrients, water, and oxygen so that the plant stays healthy.

Outdoor living area on patio in western north carolina.5. Utilize mulch and check it seasonally.

Mulch on the surface helps reduce evaporation and retain in the soil. This alone is great when working on increasing your water efficiency and root development. Did you know it can also also slow down weed growth and reduce diseases? At the same time, mulch is an easy way to make your yard look clean and inviting.

There a lot of ‘wins’ when mulching correctly. That being said, it isn’t a simple solution.  Overloading the mulch near the base of the plant can actually increase your chances of diseases, while not using enough on your yard can decrease those benefits. Be aware of what your doing with mulch and listen to what your plants – and soil – are telling you.

6. Watch your water efficiency.

We really can’t tell when we are going to get a drought – it just happens. At the same time, we don’t need to be wasting water and our resources even when we do have a rainy year. Being efficient with your water saves the environment, as well as your pocket.

A simple way to not waste water is to be aware of where it’s going. If it’s puddling, it’s not being used efficiently. If your sprinkler or irrigation system is spending more time watering your pavement than your yard – adjust it. Be mindful of how much water you are using, while at the same time making sure all your plants are getting exactly what they need.

7. Containers are different than the ground.

Be aware of the soil in your container gardens or potted plants. The soil in them may be on a different cycle then the rest of your yard, so it’s best to treat them separately.

8. Not sure about your soil? Stick your hand in it!

It’s simple – get down and dirty with your soil. The more you understand about how your soil responds to watering, the quicker you’ll know how to serve each plant in your yard. Higher clay content in your soil (ahem…western North Carolina) means it can’t absorb water quickly, however it does retain water longer than sandier soil. The more you know, the more efficient you can be.

Remember, always check one to two inches below the surface when checking soil moisture!

9. Know your plants and where they are.Landscape at the front of the house

Become more educated in the needs of your plants, as well as their current placement on the property. Most likely, you have shady plants in the shade, and plants that need more sunlight in open areas. That being said, you will want to water accordingly to their specific needs. It may not be necessary to water equally throughout your yard, especially in shady areas that don’t see much sunlight.

10. Really watch the rain.

Summers in the Asheville often have quick afternoon showers. At the time, these showers may seem like they’re helping your landscape, but they may not be getting water deep into the soil. Pay attention to how much it rained, not just the fact that it did. If you aren’t sure, go outside and check your soil. Often times you’ll find that the soil is still dry and hour later!

Just remember, the more you know and are involved in your yard, the more it will provide you a beautiful outdoor environment for years to come.

Looking for more information on what to do with your new landscape? Check our beginner’s guide page!

-Team Snow Creek

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.

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.