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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.

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.

Questions to ask when choosing plants.

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Choosing plants that need less support over time create a wonderful look.

 

We have all been there, 20 minutes deep into deciding between two plants – neither of which you have any experience with. Seeing any outdoor or indoor plant flourish in your care is a great accomplishment. The flip side, however, is when you realize your lack of knowledge left it silently screaming for the right caretaker. It’s okay. It happens. Follow these simple guidelines and let’s see if choosing plants can become a little easier and more successful.

 

Some of our selected plants for projects getting ready in the nursery at Snow Creek Landscaping

After choosing plants, they wait for their home at the Snow Creek Landscaping nursery.

 

Location, Location, Location!

The location of any plant is incredibly important for multiple reasons. If it aesthetically looks great positioned next to the open and sunny walkway, but it is a plant that survives only in shady areas – it isn’t going to last or reach it’s full potential. Let’s break it down into three areas of location.

Geographical location:

While indoor plants have the capability to live in the environment you create for them, outdoor plants often are stuck with what mother nature provides them. Tropical plants inside? Yes. Tropical plants at your lake house on the border of Canada? Not so much. We can learn from our mistakes, but some things just aren’t meant to be!

Choosing plants for your home or office must be based on whether or not you can provide the right habitat that they were meant to live in. For us, the winters and climate of Asheville, NC aren’t habitable to many plants that people associate with the south.  Get native, get results.

Property placement:

You found it, the perfect bush that both attracts your eye AND thrives in your area. These days, we relatively can alter the soil and environment that will welcome the success of specific plant species.  If changing your environment isn’t an option, however, you must take into account the needs of the plant.

Learn the environmental needs of a plant and compare them to what your space can offer. Will it be able to breathe or does it need direct sunlight? If your backyard is heavily clay based, will you need to add additional soil and nutrients to allow it to flourish? Is it accessible to your cat who ultimately loves to break potted plants? Hey – it’s a thing!

Ask yourself these questions to help find the perfect environment within your home.

Aesthetics:

This is a big deal for both the look and feel of either your home or place of business. Though, at the end of the day this is ultimately your decision. In your environment, you are the decision maker.

Note: you still can’t change the biological needs of a plant.

Take time researching the thousands upon thousands of examples on the internet. Get a feel for what makes you feel good at the time, but also what will grow into it’s environment. Most importantly, have fun with it!

Choosing plants based on your commitment.

Maintaining happy plants means working with their needs. There is no simple way around that.

Personal Commitment

If you want your office to be tropical oasis, but you have historically never watered your plants – start small. Learn to create systems that will help you remember to take care of your new green friends, then progressively add additional ones as you become comfortable. Set reminders, create visuals, or download an app. Yes, it is a thing.

Don’t put yourself in a situation where you invest in greening up your environment, then see it wither away. Write down a list of your previous strengths and struggles as a plant or yard owner, and start there. It all starts with what you can provide.

Additional support

We have helped many clients in the Asheville area create the perfect landscape to emphasize their surroundings. Hand selected plant species are tailored to work with their specific location. For many, they already know that they cannot provide the maintenance to keep it thriving and looking great. Others can upkeep the occasional needs, but may need a larger upkeep during the year.

 

If you are in the greater Asheville, Western North Carolina area and looking to expand your yard into a personalized oasis, reach out to our team and see how we can assist your needs. We have a staff of highly qualified naturalists, arborists, botanists, and horticulturists on our natural resource management (NRM) team to work with our designers and clients.

 

 

Building a Patio: For You and Your Home.

Summer is the time of barbecues, star gazing and socializing outside with your friends. Building a patio allows home owners to transcend the walls of their home and extend the comforts into an outdoor environment. Many outdoor living areas become the birthplace of memories that last a lifetime. Who doesn’t love a good backyard party?

Building a patio before and after picture with additional space, outdoor kitchen, and finished landscaping.

Building a patio before and after.

All of us can use more fresh air, sunlight, and getting away from the confines of your home or work. For majority of us, we just feel good being outside.

Building a patio means added home value.

Increasing the look and accessibility of your backyard is automatically going to add value to your home. Spending the money now, could potentially benefit the owner if selling the home ever becomes an option.

Introduce the outdoors as an extension of your home.

One of the great aspects of a patio is the ability to be on the same level as the rest of your house and yard. By creating an accessible transition from your outdoor living room to the grassy backyard, you are increasing that connection between nature and your home.

Work with your environment, not against it. 

Creating an outdoor living area does not mean taking away from your yard. A well-planned site will minimize disruption to the natural terrain. Designing an outdoor living room should emphasize nature, while giving you a better place to relax.  A well designed backyard is more likely to increase your property value, than one that doesn’t flow with your house.

The added benefits for your health and social life.

Are you tired of being inside all day? Relaxing in a comfortable outdoor environment is often the best way to end a long day. Want to be the talk of the summer? Creating a comfortable and relaxed outdoor environment can increase your urge to invite your friends over!

Better focus.

In a study by University of Michigan, researchers concluded that being in nature can help give your brain break from the overstimulating aspects of one’s life. While you may not be able to go hiking or backpacking every weekend, you can certainly create your own natural environment at home.

Be the talk of your friends.

Wanting to have a great yard to host your friends is a justified reason to invest in a outdoor living room. Spending quality time with your social circle is something that can make a bad day seem not so bad.

If you are in the Western North Carolina/Aseville area and looking to create your dream backyard, reach out to and let us work with you in making that dream come true.

See some pictures of one of our recent projects we worked on.

Outdoor cooking area.

Work on your cooking skills outside this year.

Outdoor living area on patio in western north carolina.

Easy place to relax outside.

Outdoor living area on patio in western north carolina.

Bar area with comfortable landscaped area.