Monji Landscape Companies

9401 Shellabarger Road

Bakersfield, CA, 93312

Lic. #525512

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With summer stepping on our heels, and with the intensity of Bakersfield summers, it’s only fit we talk about the best shade-giving trees for this area.  Monji Landscape Companies has come up with a list of the Top 6 shade-giving tree varieties that flourish in this town. All the trees about to be mentioned not only over great protection from the sun during the summer, but they also look great in any landscape environment during the whole year.

Kicking things off in the #6 position is the Palo Verde tree. The Palo Verde is native to deserts, washes & valleys of southern California so it is tolerant to extreme heat and drought conditions. The tree needs full sun with plenty of reflected heat from the ground. It is extremely drought tolerant and requires infrequent but deep irrigation, once o...

On hot sunny days, it is essential to have shade in your garden to provide you with a comfortable place to relax, play, or entertain. Other benefits of outdoor shade include: improving your home’s cooling efficiency and improving the soil’s moisture retention by reducing evaporation. Here are some ways to incorporate shade into a sunny back yard.

Trees

Trees with large and dense canopies can provide ample shade during the summer. If less shade is desired during the winter, plant a deciduous tree. They will lose their leaves during the winter, allowing more sunlight to stream through. Place trees southwest of the areas you need shade to block the afternoon sun from your backyard garden.

Patio Covers

Patio covers come in many varieties. Some include: solid (an extension of the house), lattice, o...

The importance of walkways in a garden is often over looked. However, walkways provide connection between different parts of the garden and without them, the garden can feel disjointed and unorganized.  Here are some tips to follow when designing a garden pathway:

  1. Decide what style or atmosphere you would like to create. Straight pathways with right angles represent a formal style. Certain materials can also depict a formal atmosphere, such as stamped concrete. A “natural” or informal garden would include pathways that are curved and made from materials such as pea gravel or stepping stones.

  2. The width of your walkway will be determined based on the frequency of use and the type of use. For example, a meandering pathway through a garden meant for one person should only be 2-4’ wide,...

There is nothing better than having your own private swimming pool to enjoy on a hot summer day.  With all the different options and designs out there, it may be difficult to decide on what kind of pool you want. Factors such as budget, pool use, and personal taste can influence your pool design choice.

Budget

Budget is always a major factor in any pool design. Although your budget may impose limitations, you should start by planning your dream pool.  After a master plan has been created, work with your contractor to bring the project into your budget.  This may be accomplished by building the project in phases and postponing parts of the project until the budget becomes available.

Pool Use

Pool uses such as play, diving, or lap swimming will influence your pool design. If children will b...

Drought tolerant plants for California gardens

Kangaroo Paw – Anigozanthos

When it comes to drought tolerant plants, Kangaroo Paw is a standout option. Kangaroo paw is a herbaceous perennial plant with thick grass-like foliage and a unique flowering character.  Flowers are fuzzy and range from red, pink, green, yellow and orange. They bloom from mid-spring to early summer and provide excellent color to any garden when planted in groupings. These drought tolerant plants have become a staple in most southwest style gardens.

Rosemary – Rosmarinus officinalis

Native to Mediterranean regions, these drought tolerant plants can tolerate dry soil, heat, and cold temperatures down to 15° F.  Rosemary is an evergreen shrub that can grow upright or creep along the ground (Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Prostrat...

With the right plants, materials, and design you can create a beautiful Mediterranean garden in your own back yard.  Here are a few key elements of any good Mediterranean garden:

Use warm, bright colors. Cream-colored stone, white walls, and terra cotta pots are all great examples of Mediterranean colors.

Keep the design simple and functional. All gardens should create a sense of calm, not chaos.

Keep it water friendly. Most Mediterranean regions have warm climates, and the native plants grow well on low amounts of supplemental water.

Incorporate something to cool down the garden, such as shade plants and trees or a water feature. Oak trees and olive trees are distinctive Mediterranean plants that can provide year round shade. Tiered and terra cotta water fountains are also iconic to Mediterra...

Having a small space to create a garden doesn’t mean you can’t have the garden you want. Here are some small space gardening ideas to help you create the garden you’ve always wanted!

When you don’t have the square footage, grow vertically! Add trellises or stacked flower pots to your garden.  These garden ideas will maximize the amount of foliage, flowers, and/or edibles you can grow in a small space.  Star Jasmine is a hearty evergreen vine that can easily grow on trellises to provide a backdrop of green, along with wonderfully scented white flowers in the spring and summer. Other plants for vertical garden ideas include: climbing Iceberg roses, tomatoes, grapes, beans, and wisteria.

Create a beautiful outdoor room.  Installing a pergola can define a space and make it feel larger than it re...

Synthetic turf is an excellent alternative to real lawn, and it is becoming more and more popular in California. There has been a huge advancement in the quality of materials used to produce synthetic turf, and it now looks more realistic than ever.   There are several reasons that installing synthetic turf is beneficial, including:

Synthetic turf reduces your water usage.   Lawns need a little over a half gallon of water ever 1 square foot per week to stay green.  If you have a 10’ x10’ lawn, that equates to 62 gallons of water every week.  In times of drought, reducing your water usage is extremely important, and installing synthetic turf can help you do that.

Synthetic turf is almost maintenance free! You may have to power sweep your turf once a year to keep up its app...

Creating a master plan for your garden is a great first step in organizing your ideas and developing a beautiful space.

  • Step 1- Develop goals for each part of the garden. A plan is usually divided into four parts: the Approach and Arrival Sequence, the Hub or house, the Perimeter, and Passages to Destinations.  Make a list of what you wish to improve in each section.

  • Step 2 – Make a survey of the area and develop a base plan. A survey is a plan of your property showing all existing trees and structures. You can find a plat and architectural drawing from a surveyor file at the county courthouse.  From this, you can enlarge the survey and draw in everything related to your garden. Keep everything to the same scale.

  • Step 3 – Analyze the site. Consider and write down things such...

Decomposed granite is a landscaping material made from granite aggregates 1/4” or smaller.  It can be used for walkways, patio areas, planter mulching, etc. Driveway paving is another area where you might use decomposed granite. This material can come in tan or gray colors and can provide a natural, rustic look to any garden.  If you are looking for an alternative to a concrete slab or asphalt, decomposed granite is an economical and aesthetically pleasing option.

There are three types of decomposed granite surfaces: loose, stabilized, and resin coated.  Each has different qualities and benefits.

Loose

Loose decomposed granite is simply granite aggregates without any additives.  It is the least expensive option and provides excellent drainage.  Loose DG can be compacted to create a more...

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