Landscape Design Archive

Five Benefits of Mulching

Many homeowners recognize the benefits of mulching as a part of their landscape design. Wisely so, as it offers practical benefits as well endless creative options. Central Services provides mulching services and products and here are five reasons we think mulching is a great idea for any yard.

Why We Say Mulch!

1. Conserve soil moisture

There are several kinds of mulch, but no matter what kind you use it will help slow moisture evaporation so more water remains in the soil and is available to thirsty plant roots. Not only is it beneficial for your plant life, but you’ll also benefit too by having to spend less time watering, especially if you have a large yard and lots of plants or flowers.

2. Protect against temperature changes

Mulch acts as an insulator, helping to regulate soil temperature to keep plant roots cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Mulching is especially important for new plantings done in the fall that are still tender as temperatures begin to plummet.

3. Improve fertility and health of the soil

Wood mulch and mulches made from other organic materials improve the soil as they break down. Microbes and insects in the soil naturally consume the mulch over time, adding the by-products back to the soil in the form of organic matter. Central Services offers a wide variety of mulches and can discuss with you which one can best meet your objectives.

4. Reduce weed growth

How much mulch you use and the area you use it, such as shady or lots of sunlight, will factor into how helpful it is in diminishing weed growth, but it will help. A 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch naturally helps prevents weeds from sprouting and taking over the landscape by blocking their growth and access to sunlight. It can take anywhere from 4-to 6-inch layers however to completely prevent weeds from growing. In shady spots, a 2- to 3-inch layer should suffice, but in areas with consistent sun exposure it may require a little more.

5. Enhance the visual appeal

If you have a creative streak, then this is the most fun addition to the benefits of mulching. Mulch instantly gives your landscape a beautiful, finished appearance. With a variety of color schemes to choose from, the landscape design possibilities are limitless. Use two different colors next to each other in an inventive arrangement and turn your yard into an artistic masterpiece.

Contact Us

Mulching your garden beds is a smart way to reduce labor and energy consumption while enhancing the beauty of your beds and property. Whether revamping the look of your yard or working on it from scratch, Central Services provides the Milwaukee area with high-quality landscaping products and services. Contact us today to learn about our mulching services or to set up a consultation.

4 Reasons to Add Decorative Stone to Your Landscaping

Landscapes can be more than just trees, shrubs, and flowers. Decorative stone can be a modern and elegant addition to your current landscape for any homeowner. While adding a beautiful look to your property, decorative stone can also provide some very practical benefits, making it a great option for any property. Here are four reasons to incorporate it into your landscaping.

It Helps Reduce Weeds

Weeds are a common problem in all yards, some more than others. Although there are many weed-killing products available, there may be reasons why a homeowner prefers not to use herbicides. You may be concerned about other plant life accidentally being exposed to it. Maybe you have young children you know will need to be kept an extra close eye on to make sure they don’t play or walk through it. Decorative stone is a great option for helping reduce weeds because it blocks sunlight that supports weed growth.

It Helps Insulate Roots

For the plant life around decorative stones, it helps protect roots by insulating them from the heat in the summer and cold in the winter. This is especially beneficial during brief cold or hot snaps in weather that isn’t conducive to plant life. Cool soil-loving plants can die if their roots get too warm, just as plants that prefer mild climates will suffer if their roots get too cold.

It Is Durable

In addition to the benefits decorative stone provides with landscape upkeep and healthy plant life, it also is highly durable and will last a long time. You won’t have to worry about needing to replace it in just a few years. The durability and low maintenance of decorative stone mean it can tolerate any weather the elements may bring, making it a solid investment for any yard.

It Is Aesthetic

Last but not least, in addition to the practical benefits, decorative stone can give any yard an extra aesthetic appeal. Not only does decorative stone come in a wide range of colors and textures — from large red granite to multi-colored pea gravel and everything in between, but different shapes and sizes also offer many different options to give you just the right look to add to your yard.

Turn to The Landscaping Experts

With great practical and aesthetic benefits, decorative stone makes a great addition to any residential property. For superior decorative stone installation services, turn to the landscaping artists at Central Services Company. Be sure to visit Central Services website for more information and connect with a professional today.

Landscaping Your Front Yard

The presentation of your front yard is everything. It’s the first thing visitors, neighbors, and passerby see, and it makes an impression. Here are a few simple but impactful landscaping ideas that can transform your front yard design and make it beautiful.

Driveway Details

Your driveway probably takes up a great portion of your front yard. Many homeowners forget that you can decorate and customize the driveway area! Obviously, your driveway should be both durable and functional, but it should also be visually appealing.

To add to your driveway’s “curb appeal,” you can:

  • Illuminate it. Use LED lights to give your driveway a beautiful, nighttime appeal.
  • Use a variety of materials. Using different materials, such as decorative flagstone, can accent your concrete.
  • Add a gate. Whether large or small, a nice gate can add sophistication to your driveway.
  • Remove barriers. This will make your yard look and feel bigger.
  • Add edging. Pavers can complement your driveway and contain planting areas.
  • Add fountains. This option adds great beauty and sophistication, and it pulls your yard together.

Expand Your Porch

A large porch is extremely visually appealing and functional. You may have a small porch now, but expanding it will add new value to your home and yard. Central Services can help with any questions you may have about expanding your porch or upgrading the design of your front yard.


Shine a light on what you’d most like to highlight in your beautiful front yard. Strategically placed lights can really make all the difference. Remember to pick lights that match your home’s style. For example, modern light fixtures are not the best choice for a traditional style home. The color of the light fixtures you choose will also make a difference.

Add Trees

Accent trees are a great addition to any front yard. Accent trees can also change the look and feel of your front yard drastically, which makes them great for landscaping makeovers.

When choosing trees, remember:

  • If you are partial to evergreens, you may want to consider a blue spruce or a Douglas fir.
  • If you want your yard to be a mix of beautiful colors in the fall, add a sugar maple or Japanese red maple.

The Little Things

If you’re looking to update your front yard’s presentation without breaking the bank, there are plenty of small accents you can sprinkle in. Consider adding fencing around any flower beds. You may also want to add rocks to flower beds or line your front walkway. Even the little things can make a big difference! A small tweak to your front yard can add appeal for years to come.

While many focus on the backyard, the front yard is the first impression your house gives, so give it the attention it deserves. Central Services recognizes the importance of making your yard unique and beautiful, and can help with any questions or concerns you have.

For more ideas on increasing your front yard’s appeal, check out this article on adding a vintage touch to your garden.

When Is the Best Time to Plant Trees in Milwaukee?

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a big oak tree in the yard to provide shade in the summer? If you’ve been thinking about planting a tree to spruce up the garden or yard, you’ve come to the right place!

But when is the best time to plant trees? Plant the wrong tree or at the wrong time and your tree may not take root. Read on to find out more about planting trees in Milwaukee.

graphic of tree showing three different seasons

Best Time to Plant Trees in Milwaukee

Generally, we recommend to people to plant trees in the spring or fall. But to understand which season is better, you must understand what type of tree you want to grow.

Deciduous Trees

Deciduous trees are characterized by the fact that they lose their leaves in the fall. What this means is that they require less water to grow in the fall. This makes fall the best time to plant them because there will be more water for the roots to develop.

You can plant a deciduous tree in the spring or summer, but keep in mind that it might not grow as fast or as strong because all the other trees in the area will be competing for water to grow their leaves.

Common types of deciduous trees in Milwaukee:

  • Sugar maple
  • Norway maple
  • Silver maple
  • Shagbark hickory
  • Dogwood
  • Hawthorn
  • Birch
  • Box elder
  • Tree of Heaven
  • Alder
  • Eastern redbud

Evergreen Trees

Evergreen trees hold onto their leaves all winter but they brown due to less water. Once the ground becomes frozen, the roots cannot absorb water as well. For this reason, you want to avoid growing them when the grounds are still frozen.

The best time to grow an evergreen tree is during the beginning of fall. This will give the tree sufficient time to grow roots before the winter arrives and continue growing during the spring. If you plant one right before winter, make sure you wrap it up to keep it warm and prevent frost from growing on it.

Common types of Evergreen trees in Milwaukee:

  • Fir trees
  • Junipers
  • Spruces
  • Pines
  • Taxus, yew
  • Arborvitae

Get Planting

When figuring out when is the best time to plant trees in Milwaukee, the most important thing to remember is that trees grow best in the spring and the fall. The second thing to remember is that roots cannot grow when there is frost and that any trees you plant will grow best in cool soil. Fall is when the soil is not too hot or too cold.

In Milwaukee, the last frost usually ends in late April to Mid May, and then it begins again in late October. If you plan on growing a tree in the fall, make sure you do it at least a month before frost beings. If you plan on growing one in the spring, make sure you plant it at least a few weeks after the last frost.

Now you know when to plant, but do you know what types you want? For expert landscape design advice, give us a call or visit our website for more information. And remember: It’s not to late—fall is a great time to spruce up your property with some new trees!

6 Tips for an Enchanting Milwaukee Summer Garden

What does your backyard look like? Is it the type of place that makes you want to go outside to enjoy a summer evening? Is it not yet, but you want to make it that type of place?

You’re not alone. Americans spend around $36 billion a year on garden and lawn care. Why? Well, they might not have time to vacation at the beach or in the mountains, but many do have time to enjoy their backyard gardens.

a pretty summer garden scene with purple flowers and wooden chairs

Want to join them? Here are a few tips to make your summer garden a delightful place to spend an afternoon.

1. Choose Vibrant Colors

The best way to add lots of color to your summer garden is to plant vibrant flowers. Pick hardy varieties that will bloom all summer long. Our tips:

  • Choose them in every color of the rainbow to add lots of variety to your garden.
  • Don’t forget the plants that don’t bloom.
  • Pick a few with leaves in different colors and textures for longer lasting effects.

2. Fertilize and Water

Don’t forget to fertilize and water.

Of course, we all know that plants need water to flourish. But the right fertilizer is often overlooked and is also important. Give your plants the right nutrients and they will become lush centerpieces in no time.

3. Slow Down the Weeds

To keep your garden looking kept up, you have to keep the weeds down. To give yourself a hand with this, slow them down.

Do this by laying a thick (2-3 inch) layer of compost or straw around your plants. This has a double effect: It holds in moisture and nutrients for your plants while not giving weeds room to breathe.

4. Add an Outdoor Kitchen

An outdoor kitchen is a more intensive home improvement project, but it is a fantastic idea if you want to spend lots of time in your garden.

It makes entertaining easier. Plus, with the right accents, it can make your space so much more inviting and homey. Just be sure to set up a comfortable area for eating.

5. Add Some Lanterns

For added effect, add some mood lighting. Lanterns or strings of fairy lights are a fantastic way to add ambiance. Choose warm yellow light to cast a romantic glow around your garden.

You can hang them from the trees if you have them. This is the most enchanting effect. But if there are no trees, you can hang them from the eaves or an arbor or lattice. If you don’t have any of these structures, you can put up a few poles and hang a string of lights.

6. Light up a Water Feature

Another fantastic way to use light to enhance your garden is by lighting up a water feature. You can submerge lights under a stream or pond, or put them behind a waterfall.

If you have a fountain, you can add some uplighting to enhance the water streams. Consider installing a light that changes colors for added effect.

Create Your Summer Garden

It may take some work to get your backyard from where it is now to where you want it to be. Luckily, even if you don’t have the time or energy to do it yourself, you can still get the effect you want with the help of a professional landscaper!

If you want the garden but not the work, contact us for help with everything. We do landscape design, installation, and maintenance, so you can have an enchanting summer garden just by picking up the phone!

9 Ways to Add a Vintage Touch to Your Garden in 2018

Are you a lover of vintage gardens?

If you’re a Waukesha or Milwaukee resident, you may want a trendy new look for your garden for spring. Or, you could have wondered just how easy it is to do a vintage decor theme for your garden. Well, it could be easier than you think.

The informal nature of this type of garden means that planting is more relaxed and borders are mixed. And, you probably already have the furniture and other items you need to get started.

So, with just a few small touches, you could be on the way to giving your garden a quaint and relaxing new look.

pretty vintage garden with gazebo

Keep reading for nine ways that you can get started on creating a vintage garden today.

1. Repurpose a Cart or Wheelbarrow

Both wheelbarrows and goat carts are perfect planters for your garden. An exterior that is distressed or worn gives the vintage look. So, find a nice old one and use it as a centerpiece in your new garden.

2. Create a Vintage Piano Garden

An antique piano is another object that adds a vintage look to your garden. All you have to do is plant wildflowers in the piano’s body for an effortless, unique design.

3. Repurpose a Door as a Planter

Another great way to reuse old items is to use a recycled door as a place to hang potted flowers and plants. The spaces where the door’s glass would be are a perfect frame for the plant pots.

4. Create a Vintage Seating Area

Ever wanted a relaxing corner of your garden where you can sit and enjoy the sunshine? Why not create a vintage nook that doubles as a charming hideaway? Try these two tips:

  • Use a wooden bench or worn love seat as a focal point.
  • Put it somewhere surrounded by herbs or flowers, or a place with a good view of the garden.

5. Decorate with Books

Another great idea is to make your little garden nook useful and charming with gardening books or novels. Adding metal flower pots as bookends adds a functional vintage touch as well.

6. Vintage China as a Plant Border

For a whimsical look, use vintage china plates as a garden border. Or, you can try decorative stones in a variety of colors and textures.

7. Mix up the Furniture

Nothing says “vintage” quite like cane furniture. Our tips:

  • Add some cane chairs and mix them with shabby chic metal ones for an artistic touch.
  • The more mismatched the furniture, the better.

8. An Old Bike

A vintage bicycle can be a good vintage decor piece. It’s versatile enough to be used in a number of ways. For instance:

  • Baskets and handlebars can be used to hold pots or planters.
  • Decorate the pots with chalk signs or handwritten quotes on wooden boards.
  • For maximum sturdiness, secure the bike to a tree with a chain. You can also plant a vining plant close by so that it grows along the chain.

9. Decorated Plant Pots

A great vintage garden idea is to beautify your plant pots with decorative fabric. Try using a variety of fabrics, and fix them to the pot using twine.

Starting Your Vintage Garden

Hopefully you now have some good ideas to get started on your garden. Whether you want to beautify your property for your own enjoyment or because you’re getting ready to sell, it’s good to know how much creativity and a good landscape design can improve the value and curb appeal of your property.

Check out our site for more ideas on beautifying both your garden and your home, or contact us for more information.