5 Simple Steps to a Beautiful Backyard

From flowers to edging and beyond, we’re helping home owners landscape the season!

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With spring already upon us and summer just around the corner, now is the time home owners must begin examining the overall health of their backyards. Distinctive steps should be taken to optimize growing potential and ensure prosperity for all the plant life surrounding one’s home. Taking action before the summer heatwaves hit is essential to your garden’s longevity. It also allows for additional time to be allotted toward assessing desired improvements and repairs. With this in mind, we offer the following five steps to get your backyard in shape and ready to enjoy all summer long.

1.       Prune shrubs and other flowering plants to guarantee beneficial growth. Locate a bud on the branch or stem that faces the direction you want the new growth to take place. Clip above the bud at a 45-degree angle so the cut’s lowest point is furthest away from the bud. Be sure not to leave more than a quarter inch of stem above the bud. This will help your outdoor plant-life to look more lush and healthy in appearance as it grows in.

2.       Removing dead or dying vegetation will bring out your backyard’s natural beauty. No matter how beautiful a backyard is, visitors always notice brown and dying plants. An empty space in the garden looks better than a sad plant on its last limb. Cut dead or dying vegetation at the root, rip it out of the ground, and rake out the planting bed. It is recommended that sections of plants in close vicinity to each other be raked out by hand. This helps prevent any accidental removal of prized plants.

3.       Adding some color to your garden will impress neighbors and guests alike. Inexpensive annuals and perennials can add a visual splash and a strong inviting feel to one’s home. Several varieties of pansies, trillium, lilac, iris, tulips, and azalea do well for spring and summer plantings. Start by digging a hole as deep as the root ball of the flower, then place the plant into the hole. Using one’s hands, fill in the empty space with any excess soil, adding just enough to cover the roots. For best results, provide the newly planted flowers with a generous amount of water.

4.       Edging the beds will tie everything together. Using a spade, lightly cut a curve along the sides of the garden. Deepen the cut 4-6 inches with the spade and remove the loosened grass. Ideally the cut should be straight down at a 90-degree angle. Add the mulch and distribute evenly across the bed. 2-4 inches of mulch coverage is the standard for a well-drained site.

5.       Hardscaping walkways is the final, but often most difficult and overlooked step to a beautiful backyard. Dig out a path, 8-12 inches deep and put down 4 inches of crushed stone. Cut a roll of barrier fabric and lay it across the crushed stone, staking it into the crushed stone if necessary. Spread 1-2 inches of stone dust (this is different from crushed stone) and tamp the area down. Hardscape material, blue-stone or brick can then be placed. If some of the stones or bricks stick out unevenly, use a rubber mallet to pound them deeper into the stone dust until they are balanced throughout.

By following these tips, you will be well on your way to creating your own miniature backyard oasis which can be enjoyed by friends and family all summer long!

This article was submitted by Takumi Design, offering full service, highly customizable landscape environments for your home. To be inspired by our recent projects please visit takumidesign.net. We can be reached at (914) 529-6026 and sales@takumiservices.com." 

Takumi Design: It's only natural

We are thrilled to be featured in North Salem News this month. Please scroll down to read the full article below.

Takumi Design: It’s only natural

Landscape design firm helps clients reconnect with nature

Contributing Editor: Bob Dumas

Takumi Design is not your father’s landscape design firm.

The Somers-based company utilizes cutting-edge techniques and designs to create unique high-end backyards, swimming pools as well as a myriad of other residential motifs that push past the ordinary and help homeowners reconnect with nature.

The key is the company’s pioneering of biophilic design, a technique that integrates natural elements, materials, and forms into the architecture—both exterior and interior.

“We bring the outside to the inside and vice versa,” said Charles Gardner, the company’s founder and CEO. “We incorporate the natural elements around you. We bring some of the natural environment into the project, like the sound of water. The tranquility of adding a small water feature to an indoor setting creates a subconscious connection to the outdoors, reducing stress and anxiety. Fire is another element we frequently use. Our firm builds indoor and outdoor fireplaces with a more organic feel to them. These fireplaces truly connect with people on a visual and physical level by rejuvenating and stimulating their senses.”

A Cornell University and Genesis 3 Pool Construction graduate, Gardner has more than 30 years of experience in land planning, high-end residential and commercial design, planting and pool construction. His notable projects include South Street Seaport, Copley Square in Boston, Quaker Valley Farms, the Columbel Estate, the Hascoe Estate, and the Bijur Residence. He is licensed and insured as a landscape architect in both New York and Massachusetts.

About 10 years ago, Gardner became a practitioner of Feng Shui and studied the manner in which our environment affects the energy forces that move around and within us. That led to the incorporation of biophilic design into his projects—blurring the lines between the manufactured and the natural environment.

Charles says biophilic design has even started to be utilized in schools and work places to improve productivity.

 “Studies have shown it can improve productivity by more than 20 percent,” he said. “It has been documented many times over, and the increase in success which comes along with that is what we strive to provide our clients. Even if it’s just a small patio, we try to design and build it so our client feels a strong visual affect and connection to the natural environment.”

The name of the company itself was chosen because it implies the organic approach Gardner and his team use in their projects: Takumi is the Japanese word for “artisan.”

And whatever the customer’s needs are, Takumi Design can provide it. The company delivers all the manpower and expertise that’s needed.

“We used to sub out things like pools, but we would have to wait for the contractor and often end up doing half the work anyway. I thought to myself, I might as well be doing it and not have to worry about the next component,” Gardner said. “Now we are a one-stop shop; we combined and streamlined everything. I take on the responsibility and if there is a question or a problem the homeowner just has to make one phone call to me and not 25 different people. We do the irrigation, the lighting, the stonework, and whatever else the project calls for...”

Gardner has been joined in the firm by his son, Corey Gardner, who serves as director of sales and marketing.

“I worked for the firm doing construction initially. After moving to Manhattan to pursue a degree in Advertising, I found a job in sales,” Corey Gardner said. “I acquired knowledge on how to pitch and now call on prospective clients as well as other architectural firms.”

“He understands where we are going as a company and what we want to accomplish,” his father adds.

There is a long list of services that Takumi provides its clients: landscape architecture; land planning; waterscaping; master pool design; outdoor kitchen and bar; green walls and roofs; solar orientation; wetlands restoration; audio and lighting; irrigation systems; and stone masonry – just to name a few.

“We specifically encourage the building of projects that create less waste and use locally sourced materials,” said Gardner, who served 15 years on the North Salem Planning Board. “We can create a more natural lawn using wildflowers and zero footprint development—straying away from the traditional manicured lawn. We try to incorporate as much native plant life and stone as we can.”

Gardner said when his residential projects are completed they often have a transformative effect on the homeowner.

“I’ve had clients tell me, ‘you changed my life,’” he said. “One client explained, ‘I used to sit around with the TV on all the time but I don’t need that anymore. I look forward to waking up each morning just so I can read the paper in my cozy outdoor environment.’ Sometimes the changes are subtler and clients don’t even realize it. However, I guarantee their mindset becomes more positive from their new environment than they shall ever know.”

Right now, new Takumi customers can receive $100 off their project; call before June 1. And those who make successful referrals will receive a $100 Visa gift card upon completion of the project.

To learn more about Takumi Design and what they can do to improve your lifestyle... 


Call 914-319-1253,

Email sales@takumiservices.com 

Or visit their website at www.takumidesign.net.