Posted by: Highland landscaping | October 11, 2018

October 2018


October 2018                                       EDITION 116

817-488-2718  Phone |


     The advent of Fall, 2018, provides yet more proof of the wonder that surrounds us each and every day.  The array and intensity of color in our landscape has been augmented by the recent rain.  As our bloomers begin to store energy for their winter slumber, we can assist by providing the needed nourishment that helps ensure a robust growing season in 2019.  Check our “Task List” on page four for our recommendations for the month of October.


 Beginning with our February, 2018 issue, we have presented a view into the world of small business, the construction industry (of which the Green Industry is a component), and a glimpse into facets of our business that are generally not realized by the general public.  This month we discuss the various components of a commercial landscape design.

     Our first contact with a business may be with the owner or manager.  That person may have a vision for the property.  The architecture of the structure(s) and the culture of the business are usually starting points.  Is the style established, or is the overall design open to interpretation?  The landscaping should enhance the culture of the business, or be representative. As an example, the design work for an established fast food restaurant would look very different than that of a large new corporate campus.  In both cases, however, the design should assist in creating  the character and style of that commercial property.  It should not be a distraction, but should  capture attention as part of the overall picture.  Landscaping creates the natural frame of the portrait of that business.

The landscape can assist in marketing the business by virtue of its branding. The business may also become a landmark;  “Turn right by the business with all the agaves”.  An example in Southlake are the stone terraced beds of colorful blooms at the entrance to Pieter Andries’ Jewelers and Rolex.

The building and hardscapes on the property must by considered. Sidewalks or paths, and their function are important.  A walkway to the entrance for clients should be clearly visible.  There may be a hardscape area with seating for employees or clients that requires shade or highlighting. There may exist spaces where naturally occurring plants or streams should be highlighted.  Is blending or transitioning from one area to another needed? The elements of design involve numerous components to effectively create a defining frame for the overall portrait. Size, shape, and lines of living plants that flourish in the climate and soil conditions are major considerations.

A vision of how “aging” will affect the visual of the building is important.  As the building ages, will the living plant material age appropriately to continue to enhance the building and campus overall?

The needs of the owner or manager are also incorporated into the design. Is there a need to contain expenses for the landscape and maintenance?  An energy efficient plan that lowers operating expenses might include:  Native and Water Wise living plants;  Living plants that will thrive in the particular settings or landforms of that property;  Incorporating strategically placed deciduous trees to lower heating and cooling costs;  or, other measures that lower maintenance costs.

Once landscaping is designed, a business manager does not want to be distracted from business operations by issues in the landscape or maintenance. It is a disservice to that business leader if such distractions exist.

In addition to creating a unique, personalized environment for the business structure, it is also crucial to factor in the culture of the community and the location within that community.  What makes sense in one city or town may be completely out of character in a neighboring community.

Highland Landscaping LLC was honored to be interviewed in the August 15-September 11, 2018 issue of the “Community Impact  Newspaper”.  The article lends insight into some of our work in Southlake and surrounding communities.

“Never give in


 to convictions of

 honor and good sense.”

          – Winston Churchill


Plant trivia

What is the source of frankincense? (look for the answer at the end of our blog)


Featured project






Highland Landscaping finished an awesome commercial renovation project in Colleyville this month. As you can see in the ‘before’ picture, the landscape was overgrown and out of date.  Highland removed all of the existing landscape and excavated, tilled, and bed prepped to put in the new plants. The previous irrigation  was also removed and converted into drip irrigation.  Rich compost and shell mulch was used to prepare the beds and give it a fresh and unique look.  The native and adapted plants were strategically placed around the perimeter to outline and enhance the river rock feature, while remaining low maintenance and very colorful.

Brooke Sugden Photography : 817-948-6428

 Seasonal color this month…

Alyssum, Aster, Firebush, Marigold, Mexican Mint Marigold, Early & Mid-season Mums, Petunias, Snapdragons


October Landscape Tasks:

  • Plan landscape projects
  • Plant cool season garden
  • Plan and schedule winter color change
  • Hand-water plants and trees as needed
  • Mulch landscape beds to 3”
  • Feed lawn
  • Plant trees, shrubs, and groundcovers
  • Plant and fertilize fall perennials
  • Select bulb plants for early spring color
  • Run through and reprogram irrigation   system for cooler weather

Trivia Answer

The resin (sap) of the boswellia tree.

Featured plant—GRAPE HYACINTHS

Grape Hyacinth (Muscari Armeniacum), a member of the Asparagus family, is a perennial bulb plant.  Just as tulips and daffodils usher in the advent of Spring each year, so do grape hyacinths. The flowers resemble a tight bunch of bells or grapes.  Standing 6-Picture58” in height, the flowers are cobalt blue with a thin white rim on each “bell”.

The genus “muscari” comes from the Greek word “moschos”, meaning “musk”, and referring to the strong scent reminiscent of grape juice.  Native to the Mediterranean region, Asia Minor, and Caucasus, the genus includes about 30 species.  The species Armeniacum is native to Armenia and is the most widely planted.  Other species are named with regard to the region of their native habitat.

Winter hardy in USDA zones 4-9, grape hyacinth bulbs should be planted in the fall  after the first frost and before a freeze.  When planted in good, well-draining soil in a full sun to partial shade location, the bulbs will multiply readily.  Each bulb produces two or more flower stems.  Prior to blooming, new leaves form through which the flower stems emerge.  The leaves reach up to six inches in length and vary by species from 1/8-1/4” in width.

A stunning addition to nearly limitless settings, grape hyacinths add beauty as a low front or border plant, around shrubs, under deciduous trees, in perennial gardens, in rock gardens, etc.  They are often found paired with other “early risers”;  such as, tulips, crocus, daffodils, and hyacinths.

The most famous mass planting of grape hyacinths is the “Blue River” at the Picture6Keukenhof Gardens in Holland (pictured at right).  The brilliance of the cobalt blue creates a stunning contrast to tulips and other early perennials in varying colors as the “river” winds through the gardens.

As early as 1560, grape hyacinth bulbs were finding their way to Europe from Turkey.  In 1589 Carolus Closius, the most influential horticulturist of the 16th century,  was the first to use “muscari” in naming some species.  Carl Linnaeus altered the names to include “hyacinthus muscari”.  In 1754 Phillip Miller, using the more modern rules of naming groups of plants, established the genus “muscari”.  Miller (1691-1771), an English botanist of Scottish descent,  was the master gardener at the Chelsea Physic Garden from 1722 until shortly before his death.  As he corresponded with botanists from all over the world he was able to obtain specimens.  Miller is credited with introducing numerous plants to England.



Picture13          Picture14        Picture15  Picture16

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