Radiant Orchid | 2014 Color of the Year

Pantone, the global color authority for design industries introduced Radiant Orchid as the color of the year for 2014. Described as “a captivating harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones”, said to emit great joy, love and health. We could all use a little more of those in the New Year, right?

Radiant Orchid GT Trend Picks

GT Design & Landscapes has curated a list of Radiant Orchid inspired items that are relevant for your outdoor living lifestyle. 1.) Cube Planter: Dot & Bo 2.) Shasha Shag Rug: One Kings Lane 3.) Que Syrah Syrah Collection: Chloe & Olive 4.) Purple Rattan Patio String Lights: Amazon 5.) Zuo Silvermine Outdoor Purple Bay Chairs: Lamps Plus 6.) Caribbean Hammock Chair: Hayneedle 7.) Bellingham Double Lined Gardening Gloves: Amazon

How does one come to decide the color of the year you ask? Yeah, we were curious too.

The color of the year selection requires careful consideration and, to arrive at the selection, Pantone quite literally combs the world looking for color influences. This can include the entertainment industry and films that are in production, traveling art collections, hot new artists, popular travel destinations and other socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from technology, availability of new textures and effects that impact color, and even upcoming sports events that capture worldwide attention.

Check out the board we created on Pinterest specifically for the #coloroftheyear. Send us pins with Radiant Orchid inspired products that are appropriate for outdoor living and follow us.

Expect to see RADIANT ORCHID across beauty, fashion and interior trends in the coming months.

Posted in: Outdoor Living Lifestyle

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Deicer Damage

Salt Damage

The metro area has been hit pretty hard with snow and freezing temperatures. The accumulated snow on the ground doesn’t exactly get you thinking about beautiful green grass. It is how the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind.”

However, your beautiful green lawn may be burning along the perimeter of your driveway and in areas adjacent to the street. It is hard to fight compacted snow and ice in the below zero temperatures. Most homeowners and municipalities resort to salt and/or ice melt solutions.

Salt is used on roadways because it lowers the freezing point of water. We all know that water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, when you add a salt solution that temperature drops.  Salt solutions are only effective up to about 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

A majority of ice melt solutions use salt in combination with two primary minerals calcium chloride or magnesium chloride. These chemicals are more effective in colder temperatures, even as low as negative 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

Calcium Chloride is a mineral derived from limestone and is also created as a by-product via different processing methods. There is evidence that Calcium Chloride may be more harmful to plants/vegetation and concrete than salt.

photo credit: Jeffrey Beall via photopin cc

This sign post is corroding due to repeated applications of the
de-icer, magnesium chloride.
Photo Credit: Jeffrey Beall via photopin cc

Magnesium Chloride (hydrated) can be extracted from brine and seawater. Much of North America’s Magnesium Chloride is extracted from Great Salt Lake brine. There is also evidence that Magnesium Chloride can be harmful to vegetation and degrade concrete surfaces.

Damaged lawns around perimeters of high traffic areas are likely due to deicing products. We suggest that you either re-sod those areas if they are significant in size or reseed. If you decide to do the latter you may want to consider replacing some of the soil as those minerals may be left in the soil and inhibit regrowth.

Tips/Techniques to Prevent Deicer Damage

Consult with landscape specialists about different grasses to reseed damaged areas. Some grasses are less susceptible to salt damage. May we suggest GT Design and Landscapes?

Consider laying decorative brick or stones along the perimeter of your driveway. We suggest this route if you experience seasonal damage from deicers year-after-year.

Research the variety of deicer products on the market. Put a little more thought into your purchase and select a product that is appropriate for your lawn.

Posted in: Grass

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Landscaping with Deciduous Trees

It may be difficult to think about the benefits of including deciduous trees in your landscape with the fall season almost behind us and winter well on its way. Trees, however, are beneficial to your home’s landscape for different reasons throughout the year.

What to Consider?
You have to consider a few very important factors before deciding on a specific tree species to ensure the conditions allow for optimal growth.

Height and Width: When you plant the tree it will of course be a manageable size, but you need to consider                              the mature height and width of the species. Think about overhead utility lines, tree limbs                              extending over the road, property line conflicts, and even the potential root growth                              interfering with underground utilities.

           Geography: The United States and Canada are divided into 11 different hardiness zones based off of                              annual average temperatures. The Twin Cities and surrounding suburbs are located in                              zones four and five. Be sure to inquire about trees and plants that grow well in your                              geographical zone. has a fabulous resource that allows you to pop in your                              zip code and search tree species that grow well in your zone.

After you address the aforementioned considerations for optimal growth you will still have a wide variety of tree species to choose from. You then can take into consideration the benefits of the species and placement.

Shade: Mature deciduous trees offer a great source of shade. Decide if you want to shade a patio area or offer shade to parts of your home for energy savings. Clean Energy Resource Teams suggests planting deciduous trees along the south side of your home creating shade from the sun’s rays throughout most of the day. If you are concerned about heating your home they suggest planting trees along the North/Northwest perimeter to create a natural wind-fence.GT_Emerald Lustre Norway MapleEmerald Lustre Norway Maples are one of the more popular shade trees in zone four and one of our favorite to use in landscape design. This species is known for its beautiful fall colors, large stature at maturity and resilience in different conditions. Photo courtesy of

Visual Interest: Trees are amazing and grow in many different sizes and shapes. Whether you are looking for great fall foliage, uniquely shaped canopies, flower/fruit/berry-producing trees, we are confident that you will find something that meets your fancy.GT_Royal Frost BirchIncorporating a Royal Frost Birch in your landscape design is a bold move if you are looking for visual appeal. The bark changes from cinnamon to white and the waxy leaves provide excellent fall foliage. The white trunk looks great against a well-maintained green lawn. This tree type is a relatively new selection of birch and easy to grow. Photo courtesy of Hickory Grove Nursery.

Wildlife Attraction: Are you a bird watcher? Would you rather not have birds or squirrels nesting in your trees? These are factors you will want to take into consideration as you decide on a species.GT_candymint-crabapple-treeCandymint Flowering Crab is a deciduous dwarf tree. However, what they lack in size they make up for in ornamental features, which is why we love this tree if you are looking to make a big statement in a small space. This species produces fragrant pink flowers, deep purple fruit, flashy rich purple leaves and tends to have wide spread horizontal branching. We find this tree to be a great addition to any bird lovers yard, as it attracts birds and is relatively low maintenance having to be pruned once a year in the late winter. Photo courtesy of Hoosier Home and Garden.

Plan Ahead
Please plan ahead when you are looking to enhance your landscape. If you are a DIYer we suggest you visit and contact the correct agency. They will visit your property and mark the underground utilities. If you are working with a contractor they should call ahead before moving forward with any digging.


Posted in: Landscape

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