When it’s time to select a contractor, most consumers turn to the Internet to gather information about various contractors, the quality and specialty work that each contractor provides and also public opinion of the contractor. It is a pretty safe bet that the contractor’s website is going to list several testimonials and glowing stories of the perfect project and respect for the homeowners budget. But you are not likely to find any honest critiques of areas that the contractor could improve upon or areas that were to complete failure. No business owner is going to display that on his or her website. So savvy homeowners are turning to the Houzz website to get an honest view of what it is like to work with many of the contractors in the valley. This is because Houzz is an independent website which is working for the consumer to gather honest opinions and factual accounts of contractor performance. And that is the reason that the Best of Houzz 2018 award means so much to Chris Griffin and the entire UNIQUE team. [Read more…]
There are very few plants that can survive the Phoenix climate and offer a great variety of color while still being very low maintenance. But the Coneflower is one favorite perennial which is a favorite for winter and spring color. Not only is this large clumping plant very hardy but it is also virtually maintenance-free during its growing season, making it almost the perfect splash of color for any landscape.
Where to Plant
The Coneflower is a nice border plant to visually create separation between various outdoor living spaces with heights ranging from about one foot to five feet tall depending on the variety. It is also a nice choice for screening and can be planted among other plants which bloom in the summer to provide year-round color and foliage for an area. Coneflowers will tolerate full sun to partial shade in the winter and spring and will also grow well in the native soil of the valley.
The Coneflower is a very durable plant and is not susceptible to disease or pests but they are a favorite of butterflies and hummingbirds. Planting the coneflowers outside a window or near a seating area is a good way to attract hummingbirds and butterflies for hours of entertainment. In addition, bees are attracted to the bright, colorful blooms which make these the perfect plants to place near citrus trees to ensure good pollination for fruit tree blossoms. Coneflowers are also a popular selection for dried flower arrangements as the stems are very durable and the blooms provide a variety of colors in the petals and the large center cone which resembles a pompom.
If you are interested in attracting butterflies and hummingbirds into your landscape, be sure to ask your UNIQUE designer to include a few Coneflowers in your design. Not only are these a great for splashes of color in the winter and spring but they will also help to ensure that your citrus trees are well pollinated and produce a large crop of fruit each season.
Outdoor living is a one of the biggest attractions to the Phoenix area. Homeowners who are new to the valley quickly learn that outdoor living areas provide useful living space that functions like bonus rooms in your home. This added square footage can be used for dining, entertaining or simply a peaceful place to relax and enjoy a few minutes of solitude as well as some fresh air. But the very thing that provides privacy for your outdoor living space also provides added heat. Block and stucco walls create a feeling of seclusion even when you are in a large community with neighbors just a dozen feet away. But the drawback is that these walls reflect heat as the sun beats down on them. So finding creative ways to manage that reflected heat will allow you to enjoy your outdoor oasis, even on the hottest days of the year. [Read more…]