Local landscaping companies talk trends, plants and the importance of research | Home And Garden
In the past year, many people were at home more than ever. For some, it means the start of lawn and landscaping projects that they may have postponed, and for some landscaping companies, it means good business.
In Frederick County’s Hudson Landscaping in New Market, Frederick Landscaping, and Shade Tree Landscaping serve residents for a variety of needs, from drainage issues to planting.
Frederick Landscaping is a family owned and operated company headquartered on McKinstry Mill Road in New Windsor. Founded in 1989 by Scot Morrow, it serves the Frederick County area and provides services such as landscaping and planting, drainage, hardscaping, water features, commercial snow removal, and lawn maintenance.
“Lots of people, the money they don’t need this year or last to go on vacation – everyone stayed at home, so they invest [that] Put money in their back yard or front yard to upgrade their home, ”said Pete Morrow, co-owner of the company.
Regarding recurring issues he sees in the area, Morrow said that with many recent developments, access can be an issue because the lots are smaller. “For us, it’s all about access … getting our machines in and out of the backyard.”
Some solutions to this problem include finding smaller appliances and working with homeowners’ associations to get access from the back of the house.
For a common problem like drainage problems in the yard, Morrow said they could first check that the grade has positive drainage away from the house and that there are no debris or puddles around the foundation.
You would then look at the downspouts to make sure they were removing water from the house in the most cost effective way possible.
Regarding plants and trees that people might want to improve, Morrow recommended visiting tree nurseries that sell native plants and considering the area around the yard. “See if there are a lot of deer in your house … which way your house is facing, then also remember that in winter when you are on a hill it is very windy for some evergreens can be difficult, “he said.
Charlie Carter, owner of Shade Tree Landscaping, agrees that a lot of people want to get projects done now that they are always at home, and he sees more inquiries than ever. His company is located in Frederick and has been in operation since 1991. It offers commercial and residential landscaping installations and renovations in and around the county.
“You get people who don’t normally pay anyone to do their thing, or some people try. They are at home, they want to do it themselves, but physically they can’t do it so it was an opportunity for us to grow, ”he said, noting that the company has added staff and is bringing in more sales.
One problem that Carter faces is that his companies stand behind other companies because they didn’t do a good job. He said he was trying to be as detailed as possible about the work he was going to do, so people would know exactly what they were getting.
When adding new plants, Carter said it was important to make notes of the areas they will go into. “Get it [full] Shade or penumbra? Do you get sun? You want to do a thorough research to make sure the plant you get will survive in that area, ”he said.
For flower bed borders, Carter likes Liriope, a stemless ground cover with grassy leaves. Within the Liriope he likes golden cypresses and ground shrubs like a holly bush. For pizazz, Carter’s favorite is the Japanese laceleaf maple tree.
Make sure the landscaping company you work with is legitimate, licensed, and insured. “References are always nice,” Carter said. “Make sure you get a thorough estimate … the details are important. Ask questions. Do a little research online about what questions to ask. “
Jeff Hudson of Hudson Landscaping, a family business in New Market, offered similar advice.
“I saw a huge surge when the pandemic broke out and a lot of people were laid off … you have some people out here trying to do landscaping,” he said. There is a lot of work to share in the area, but not everyone is licensed, insured, and knowledgeable about what they’re doing.
“[People] have to do their research, ”he said. “They have to make sure that they are a legitimate company, they pay their taxes, they have the certifications to do things.”
Contracts are also important. When a person or company is doing the work for you, it is important that a person is present so that expectations are clearly defined.
Hudson added that a problem in the industry itself is that everyone is trying to be “the cheap guy,” which means prices vary a lot.
As for business, Hudson said it slowed in some ways, but they were busier in other ways.
“Half and half,” he said. “You don’t know everyone’s situation, but I felt like there was an increase because of the incentive, because some people had a little more money to do some things, or fix some things, or some things outside and around the house to do.”
Hudson Landscaping offers mowing and lawn maintenance, planting and pruning, and small tree cutting. It serves Frederick County and the surrounding area.
Earlier this spring, Hudson said the company would work to repair damage from winter in general and from snow removal. “We’re going to fix ruts and grass and the like and then do spring cleaning and mulch and prune, ventilate, sow – and just start putting everything together for spring to avoid damage of any kind.”
And when it comes to plants, Hudson says it’s all about personal preference, and it’s box trees, small bushes or trees that can be used to create hedges or borders in gardens.
“I think they are very low maintenance and very hearty,” he said, adding that it is important that people know what they are doing, especially when it comes to different soil conditions that are required for specific crops.
Follow Hannah Himes on Twitter: @hannah_himes