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April 2020

Covid-19 Continued Closure Statement

by Rodney Stoutenger / April 9, 2020

Continued Closure Statement - Updated April 2020

:: This is an update of the previous statement. Please see NativeEdgeLandscape.com/Shelter for the most current Native Edge status ::Good Afternoon,First, we hope that you and your family have been doing well during this tough time.As we know well at this point, the City of Austin and Travis County have been placed under a Shelter in Place Order since Wednesday March 25, 2020. At Native Edge, we have taken this very seriously, and although we had been using extreme precautions before the Order, we have continued these precautions by working from home, limiting crew interactions, having only one crew member in the vehicle at all times, and postponed all of our consults and any customer meetings.This has allowed our employees and their families to stay as safe as possible during this tough time.As of today, Thursday April 9th, 2020, the City of Austin has not announced continuing or extending the Shelter in Place Order past Monday April 13th, 2020. However, at Native Edge, we feel it is necessary to continue to practice social distancing and keeping our employees and their families as safe as possible for as long as we can.Native Edge will continue to practice the directions of the Shelter in Place Order through Thursday April 30th, 2020. Our office staff will continue to work from home, crew interactions will continue to be limited, max crew members per vehicle, etc.During this time, Native Edge will begin to phase back into conducting certain aspects of business we previously put on hold.
Previously, Native Edge postponed all onsite meetings, consultations, presentations and site visits.As of Tuesday April 14th, 2020, Native Edge will resume all meetings with strict stipulations. The stipulations will require all customer face to face consultations and site visits be conducted in such a way that we keep our employees and their families safe, as well as you and yours. We ask that there be no physical contact, such as hand shake greetings, passing of business cards or hard copy documents. We ask that you wear a face mask or shield, or bandana of sorts, as well as gloves when necessary, and our staff will be doing the same.We imagine that our consultations will happen in a fashion of greeting at the entry way per usual, with a safe 6ft distance of course, and our team be allowed to roam the property as needed. We ask that for your safety and ours, you comfortably remain near your door during the duration of the meeting - or wherever else may be practical for safe distancing. This will allow our staff to get the photos and measurements they need in order to create a successful landscape for you!Design Presentations will be allowed at this time. However, we will ask that you follow the CDC’s recommendations of face coverings or masks, as well as gloves through the duration of this meeting. Though this does not lend itself to the standard warm and welcoming presentations we have become accustomed to, we strongly feel it is better to be safe at this time. These stipulations will also include no beverages being offered, and limited hard copy documents being brought to the presentation. We will be prepared to email all small detailed documents prior to the presentation, and only bring with us the physical copy of the design. Though design samples may be brought with us, we ask that there is limited physical contact with each sample.After each presentation, our design team will be sanitizing all materials and samples brought to the presentation to do our part in ensuring the safety of our community.During this time, we will continue to offer our virtual presentations as previously announced.
Our installation and maintenance teams will continue to practice the cleanliness and distancing we have put in place for the last two weeks. If any interaction onsite is absolutely necessary, we ask that we maintain safe social distancing, as well as wear face masks or covers as noted before. We will unfortunately continue to have a few extra vehicles onsite during the duration of April as we will also continue to have a minimum of team members per vehicle for safety and precaution. If you are in the process of scheduling an installation or new maintenance contract with us currently, we encourage you to continue communication via email and all new schedule emails will be sent out upon our return to business as usual.This continued communication will allow us to continue securing dates on our calendar with no additional delays for the year of 2020.As we have previously stated, if you would like to move any meetings, installations or pause your maintenance services for additional time we are happy to plan accordingly as best we can to accommodate everyone in a timely fashion.At this time, Native Edge will not be offering any refunds as we will continue business as normal as soon as we are fully back running. Please advise us of any medical emergencies for you or your family and our owner will reach out directly.Our team will begin making contact the week of April 13th to resume any postponed previously scheduled meetings. We ask for your patience during this time as our team becomes adjusted and makes the shift to create a safe meeting space.We encourage you as a valued customer to reach out to us and let us know if you have any questions or concerns as we will be happy to address them.We all look forward to a safe return to our lives as soon as possible, and hope to have your support in upholding these safe practices until then!Please stay tuned to our newsletter, social media and direct correspondence for updates regarding a firm reopening date! You can also check out our website for additional details at: NativeEdgeLandscape.com/shelterThank you for your dedication and support during this time!

Rodney Stoutenger

Owner

Functional Beauty: The Rain Garden

by Erin Crespo / April 6, 2020

Standing water can create a breeding ground for pests, and a lack of solutions for draining excess water can encourage gullies and erosion. So how do we create a remedy for both?
Enter: The Rain Garden

Living in the Greater Austin area can provide homeowners and landscape professionals with interesting challenges concerning large amounts of both sun and water. On one hand, our lovely city is drenched in heat and light for months on end; then twice a year almost like endcaps, we get waves of rainstorms that give us our much needed water - just all at once. These rhythms make drainage and grading even more pivotal in your landscape. Usually designed with a berm, an inlet and an outlet, the rain garden can take advantage of rain water in your yard and simultaneously prepare ways to disperse any overflow. A wonderful way to serve visual and practical purposes, rain gardens help drain water from places it naturally gathers and provides an unconventional focal point for viewers. On the design side, rain gardens grant additional opportunities within the layout of a space and ways to create even more diversity in the planting plan. For example, our designer Dillon mentions Little Bluestem: native to Texas and beyond, is often under utilized in our area despite it’s attributes. A great feature of Little Bluestem is that it changes color throughout the seasons and has upright stalks that remain visually interesting after many other grasses have begun to die back. Being seasonally versatile, Little Bluestem has drought and flood tolerance, so it can handle a rain garden placement in full or partial sun.
Another drainage solution is the dry creek. For instance, the homeowners at the top were backed up against the greenbelt and as geologists wanted a functional design that mirrored the natural processes of this slope with native plants and rockscape. This design not only gave the homeowners something interesting to look at, but also mitigated issues with runoff and washout. A smaller example is the image above, where the main concern was placing a water route from the storm gutters out of the recreational common areas. So you see, there are plenty of options that can be customized to each space and your needs as the homeowner.

If you have drainage issues, reach out! We would love to turn a problem into a project!

Raise Your Glass to Grass

by Erin Crespo / April 6, 2020

This month I had the pleasure of chatting with one of our designers Dillon Tuttle about his take on using ornamental grasses in a native planting design. I would like to share a summarized version of some of what we discussed.
In design, native ornamental grasses are one of the most versatile plantings in a landscape. They vary in structure making them primed for visual and spatial impact. While ornamental grasses may be comparatively understated next to showier floral displays, they have an effortless quality to them - long elegant blades swishing with every gentle breeze. Ornamental grasses are ideally suited to give you a palpable representation of wind in a landscape, like the Firecracker Fountain Grass shown below. Lush spaces that are designed not only to stand, but to move. Seas of grasses swaying calmly in the wind…it can be transportive. And after a long day at work, or gritting your teeth through daily hassles, fantasy may be exactly what the doctor ordered.

Mexican Feathergrass is a good example of movement with its flowing tresses sweeping back and forth, but its gentler structure can almost melt into the ground during winter. Rigid grasses like our native Little Bluestem, hold their vertical position much longer and it changes color throughout the seasons. Another added benefit of grass is it’s multifunctional nature; it can be grown for the color, the cushion, the texture, and even as a wind break, giving you the added benefit of a soundtrack to the space around you. For this, Dillon recommends another lovely local grass: Big Muhly. A large perennial bunchgrass that spouts up and spills over like a fountain with feathered silvery seed heads waving at the top. Not only is it local to Texas, it’s originally from this area; and "it doesn’t get more native than that". Big Muhly is tall enough for privacy screening and is soft textured unlike other non-native grasses such as Pampas which has serrated blades.The beauty of designing with natives is you don’t have to look far or change much to accommodate stunning diversity in size, shape, and stature. Sedges make great teammates in a bed: they play well with others, can handle shade, and are evergreen - making them a perfect tufted spine throughout the seasons. Creating a meadow-like installation with multiple grasses and perennials weaving between each other can bring a textural diversity to your space and a sense of reverence for the resilience of nature. A community, sharing space and thriving together even in difficult circumstances.

When you're ready to start your next outdoor project, reach out to us about incorporating native ornamental grasses into your landscape!

Additional References: Skip Richter, Texas Gardener Magazine, https://www.texasgardener.com/pastissues/julaug08/Grasses.html; Potter, Anna. The Flower Fix. (White Lion 2019)