Travertine in your Landscaping: A Maryland Home Travertine Landscaping Project

Writtey by Elisa on Friday, August 8th, 2014 at 8:55 pm. Posted in garden landscaping, Landscape construction, Landscape Maintenance, Landscape Management, organic garden, travertine fire pit construction, Travertine Patios

As many of you know, KW Landscaping loves to work with Travertine and also loves to help their customer’s achieve their dream outdoor living spaces. This is why we want to show you the big picture. From a dream to reality, here is a real Maryland Home Landscaping travertine project that walks us through the process, day by day. Email KW Landscaping with questions regarding your dream outdoor landscape.


Here you will see the landscaping plan that the client approved prior to any work being done on their property.

Landscape design plan









Once the client has approved the design then we can get to work.

Day One: Draw out the design for the Travertine Patio with sitting wall and fire pit.

landscaping project day 1








Day 2: Pour the concrete footing for the sitting wall and fire pit.

pouring concrete for landscape construction









Day Three: Laying the foundation for the Travertine is all about layers to ensure quality. Block work to support the sitting wall and firepit. Filter cloth, stabilizing grid (this is a plastic honeycomb grid for extra stability), recycled concrete to fill the grid and create a firm surface. Then, a thin layer of sand to set the travertine in.

travertine patio and firepit construction








Day Four: The true beauty starts to show. The travertine is laid down and the natural stone veneer will be placed on the fire pit and sitting wall. The inside of the fire pit will be finished with a special fired brick and heat proof mortar to withstand the heat from the fire.

travertine patio and firepit construction











Day Five: Natural stone veneer is being installed over the cinder block then a bullnose travertine cap to finish the fire pit and sitting wall. Compost and Espoma bio tone will be tilled into the beds today giving the plants a cozy place to root. Plants were also delivered this day.

travertine patio construction









Day six: The Compost is in the beds and the planting starts today. This project is almost complete.

patio landscaping day 1









Day Seven: Everything is almost done. Now we plant, mulch, sod and clean up.

travertine patio and fire pit landscaping









Here is a video that takes you through the complete final project:



Organic landscaping effects more than the environment, it can also affect your life!

Writtey by Elisa on Sunday, June 22nd, 2014 at 7:01 pm. Posted in garden landscaping, insects and landscaping, Landscape Maintenance, Landscape Management, organic garden, Theme Landscaping

As many of you know, KW Landscaping only uses natural and organic products when servicing a client’s landscape. For many years, we have strongly endorsed not using chemicals on your property. Recently, we had the pleasure of landscaping a client’s home who happened to also be a doctor. The doctor was very concerned about what products we would be using on his property and we reassured him that we only used organic treatments. Even still, the doctor wanted more information about our organic products and began to tell me why he was so concerned. It turns out that years ago, the doctor had hired an experienced technician to spray a weed growing in his cattle farm in the 1970’s. He noticed how the man who was spraying downward as he traversed the field had ended up engulfed in the fumes from the weed spray. After the spraying, the doctor noted that the field rats, moles and mice that had populated the area were not to be seen again for 25 years. He also said that the man who had performed the weed spraying died two years later of lymphoma. The doctor then told me about another instance when he had witnessed a neighbor using a VERY common brand name weed killer to kill milk weed in his yard. He noticed this neighbor practicing this behavior for about 10 years.  This neighbor later died of metastatic kidney cancer.

According to a 2013 Huffington post article, Roundup, An Herbicide, Could Be Linked To Parkinson’s, Cancer And Other Health Issues. This article reinforces the observations that had lead my client to realize the dangers of using chemicals when landscaping. More information on this study can be found here:

These stories reinforced the conviction that had lead me to choose to be an organic landscaping company. I hope it helps you to use caution when deciding what treatments to use in your lawn and garden. It is imperative that we be aware of the chemicals in our lives and the harmful effects they can have both on our environment and on our lives. Please take this into consideration before using harmful pesticides and weed killers. Even the chemicals sold at your local hardware store can be very dangerous. Please email KW Landscaping if you would like their help in creating a safe solution to your pest or weed issue.

organic weedkiller



Perfecting Your Summer Planters

Writtey by Elisa on Thursday, June 12th, 2014 at 7:53 pm. Posted in garden landscaping, how to arrange planters, Landscape Maintenance, Landscape Management, organic garden, professional planters, Summer Garden, Theme Landscaping

June is the perfect time to fill your planters with beautiful arrangements to brighten your home all summer long. Garden and home stores are overflowing with plants and pots in every shape, color and size imaginable so it can be hard to decide what design you want. Here are a few tips to consider when planning your planters:

1)    Consider all colors and textures – A well balanced arrangement doesn’t rely solely on one or two colors but incorporates accent colors in both the flower and the foliage. You should also consider texture, combining sharp shiny reeds with soft furry leaves can create eye-catching drama and balance. Try combining an arrangement of Pennisetum rubrum (red fountain grass), Ipomea (sweet potato vine), Calibrachoa (million bells), Begonia Dragonwing and Ageratum for a variety of colors, textures and growth habits.

Maryland summer planter










2)    Balance foliage and flowers – the foliage to flower ratio is critical. The positioning of foliage to frame and also create movement will dramatically increase the aesthetic success of your planter.

3)    Shade or sun – Consider where you plan to place your planter. If your planter will have the bright shade of the morning sun, this will open up more options than deep shade spaces. Study the area in which you want to plant, then purchase your plants accordingly.

If you love planting container gardens but don’t know where to start send KW Landscaping an email and they can provide beautiful arrangements for your summer planters.

Maryland home summer planter

No Milkweed, no Monarchs?

Writtey by Elisa on Monday, June 2nd, 2014 at 11:56 pm. Posted in Butterfly garden, insects and landscaping, Landscape Maintenance, Landscape Management, Native Maryland Garden, organic garden, Theme Landscaping

Let’s make Maryland a Monarch friendly stop for our traveling butterfly friends. Did you know that Asclepias, commonly referred to as milkweed plants, are vitally important to the existence of the Monarch Butterfly? Asclepias are the ONLY plant that monarch caterpillars can feed on. No Asclepias, no Monarchs. There have been reportedly less Monarchs than usual last year in the Northeast. The environmental factors including pesticides and habitat loss in the Midwest are hard for us to control here in Maryland but once the monarchs get here, we CAN provide them with larval plant food and then plenty of nectar. Please consider adding this fragrant plant to your garden to not only help sustain the Monarch population but attract these marvelous creatures to your own backyard. There are a number a beautiful colors to choose from including pink, white, purple and orange butterfly weed. Email KW Landscaping for more information on how to add this to your garden in time for the incoming Monarch migration, currently headed our way. click here to see the Monarch’s migration by region. KW Landscaping can order the milkweed plant and have it ready for your garden in 2-3 days. Have you seen a Monarch yet in Maryland this year?

Maryland Milkweed, butterfly garden, monarch butterfly garden, maryland garden

Turtle Time!

Writtey by Elisa on Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 at 9:03 pm. Posted in organic garden

Be on the lookout for these Maryland native box turtles, on the move and looking for mates! If you see one crossing the road you may want to help them cross before they get hit by a car. To do so, please safely pull over and help the traveling turtle by picking them up and placing them across the road, in the same direction they were headed. They are on a mission, so don’t try redirecting them. This kind act also helps your turtle karma, so it’s a real win-win.

Maryland Boxer Turtle

What Happened to my Hydrangeas?

Writtey by Elisa on Tuesday, May 20th, 2014 at 11:19 pm. Posted in Landscape Maintenance, Landscape Management, organic garden

Here is an interesting article by Nancy DuBrule on why some of you Marylanders may be having Hydrangea heartache. Email KW Landscaping if you would like their professional opinion and help recovering your hydrandeas.

Hydrangea after a harsh winter
Hydrangea after a harsh winter


What Happened to my Hydrangeas?? 

I have been talking to customers non-stop about their hydrangea plants. All of the Hydrangea macrophylla varieties basically look like the picture above. Do yours? What happened and what can you do about it?
Hydrangea macrophylla are also called the mophead or old fashioned pink/blue hydrangeas. They are classic summer flowers beloved by all gardeners. Until a few years ago, the most common variety was ‘Nikko Blue’ although there were many other varieties out there. They all shared the same characteristic- the flowers appeared as new shoots off of last years wood. We call that “old wood”. The wood on the old fashioned types was hardy only to zone 6. If it got to 10 degrees below zero or colder, it would freeze and die. This winter, we went below that for an extended period of time. I am not surprised to see that all of the old wood on these hydrangeas now look like “dead sticks”.

On our crews and in our own gardens, we have waited for over a month for these “sticks” to sprout green growth. Now that we are in the middle of May and the weather is finally warming up, we have determined that if there isn’t any new growth emerging on last year’s wood, the “sticks” are dead and need to be cut down.

Coming up from the base of the plants are lots of fresh green shoots. Hooray! The plants are alive! Does this mean they are going to still flower this year? Not necessarily. The older varieties will not bloom off of new wood. You will have a big, lush, green plant but no flowers this year.

Enter Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Endless Summer’, a plant introduced a few years ago. This was a breakthrough in breeding as this plant blooms on old wood AND new wood. Most of of new cultivars are repeat blooming on new wood. This includes the fabulous new ‘Bloomstruck’, an improved ‘Endless Summer’ with bigger, more brilliant blue flowers. Varieties that bloom on new wood and will flower even after a severely cold winter include:

  • ‘Bloomstruck’
  • ‘Everlasting Garnet’
  • ‘Everlasting Ocean’
  • ‘Everlasting Revolution’
  • ‘Pistachio’
  • Endless Summer ‘Blushing Bride’
  • Endless Summer ‘Twist and Shout’

You may want to consider ripping out your old varieties that are so much trouble to care for and replace them with new, modern hybrids. If that is impractical, then you should wrap them every winter to protect them from extremely cold temperatures.

Maryland Hydrangeas Garden
Maryland hydrangeas garden

Now Blooming: The Pinxter Flower (Pink Azalea)

Writtey by Elisa on Friday, May 9th, 2014 at 9:20 pm. Posted in Landscape Maintenance, Landscape Management, organic garden, Theme Landscaping

Think about adding one of these native beauties to your Maryland home residential landscaping project, the Pinxter Flower (Pink Azalea).  During April and May many home gardens in our region are adorned with boldly-hued  cultivated azaleas. Yet few Maryland residents realize that beyond the garden gate a native woodland azalea of delicate beauty and subtle fragrance that is blooming simultaneously. The production of this variety is limited but KW Landscaping can source this native beauty for your Maryland home garden.


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