November 21, 2016

Arbors & Trellises - Perfect Garden Accents


When planning your next outdoor project, consider adding an arbor or trellis. These are great features to be used as accents in gardens or other areas of your landscape. Trellises are very versatile structures for several reasons. First, they can be attached to an outdoor structure, or stand alone on their own. Make sure, though, that if it is attached to a structure, there is enough room for a climbing plant to work its way through the trellis. 




You can be very unique with trellises, too! Taking old door frames with no windows and placing them in the ground is one idea, or you could mount them to a garden wall. Ivy and Wisteria are great climbing plants for trellises. Not only do they grow quickly, Wisteria has a very nice aroma.


Both structures are great additions to your garden our other outdoor space. Call us today for a quote on building and installing one or both of these structures!


November 11, 2016

Managing Your Landscape in a Drought

It has been a little over 32 days since the Midlands has seen even a slight chance of rain. Our shrubs are beginning to look poorly and walking on the grass sounds like paper is being crinkled. Though landscapes are looking rough, it still pains us to run our irrigation systems because of cost and water conservation. 


There are a few ways in which you can help conserve water, and keep your trees, shrubs, and grass healthy. We have listed them below...

  1. Adjust/Tune-up Your Irrigation System - Routinely check your system to make sure it is providing adequate coverage, and that all irrigation heads are working properly and efficiently. Many times, irrigation heads need to be adjusted to cover those areas that are not being watered.
  2. Choose Drought-tolerant Plants - Fortunately, there are many, many drought-tolerant plants that can provide much color to your landscape. Plants like Wild Lilac, Blue Rug Juniper, Butterfly Bush, or any plant with thick, waxy leaves are all great options.
  3. Mulch Your Beds - It's a great idea to add mulch to your flowerbeds and around trees.Mulch helps retain moisture, which means less watering for you to do!
  4. Design Your Landscape for Droughts - Speak with a landscape designer about creating ways to design your landscape to conserve water. Swales, rain gardens, and retention ponds are all options.
  5. Water Your Trees First - Trees are what defines your landscape, so focus on them first. Installing gator bags, drip irrigation, and slow, steady water flow are just a few ideas that come to mind when watering your trees.


Dealing with drought-like conditions can not only be frustrating, it can be costly and devastating to your landscape, as well. Call us for more ideas on ways in which we can help you with this problem! 803.957.7335





October 27, 2016

Perfect Plants for Fall

There is something about the crisp, cool air and beautiful color during fall. Living in the South, we are fortunate enough to be able to enjoy the outdoors through most of the fall season, and that means enjoying your outdoor space, garden, patio, etc.! We have listed several of our favorite plants that look great during this wonderful season, and hope you find them as enjoyable as we do! 


Ah, one of the key porch decorations of fall - Mums! These beautiful plants with rusty orange-colored flowers are great options for outdoor home decor. 



Oakleaf Hydrangea

These are mainly found in the Southeast and boast large flowers with leaves that highly favor those of Oak leaves. They are not only popular because of their flowers that look like "pom poms," they are resistant to nearly every disease and insect. Snip one off and place it in a jar for a nice table decoration!  




Pansies are great for low borders for flowerbeds, and come in a variety of colors. They do well in warmer climates, so they are perfect for the Carolinas. Though they may look pretty pitiful in the winter months, they make great strides in the spring!



Golden Rods

There is an old tale that points to Golden Rods as the first sign of the season's first frost, and that tale may just hold a bit more truth to it than you might think. These plants, with their golden yellow flowers, or "rods," can sometimes be mistaken for causing the pesky "hay fever" many people who are allergic to ragweed often get. Nonetheless, these are perfect for fall!




Miscanthus is an ornamental grass that we often use in landscape installations. It looks simply stunning when backlit by the sun. It is commonly used as a ground cover and for slope/erosion control.



Red Maple

These beautiful trees, known for their deep red foliage and sharp angles between the leaf lobes, are favorites in the fall! They are said to be the most common native tree in North America, and are typically used as understory trees. 




October 14, 2016

Lawn Care and Landscape Myths and Facts

We are constantly flooded with articles, television shows, and commercials that tell us one thing about our landscape, but aren't necessarily true. Take a look at several of these myths, and the truth behind them.

Myth: Leaving grass clippings causes thatch buildup.

Fact: Grass clippings are very beneficial to the soil, as they provide vital nutrients to help the grass grow in a healthy way. They also break down way too quickly. By mowing frequently, this put nitrogen back into the lawn. 



Myth: Avoid pesticides. 

Fact: When used in moderation, pesticides can also be very beneficial to plants. They assist in warding off pests that can cause diseases, saving many lives. They also help increase the growth rate by not munching on foliage and root systems. 



Myth: All weeds aren't bad.

Fact: It's best to get rid of weeds right when you notice them. They compete with grass and plant material for water, sun and nutrients, harming and eventually taking over your landscape. They are fast growers, but typically don't have deep root systems. Make sure your landscaper includes weed prevention in his/her maintenance plan, to combat this issue!


Myth: Watering your lawn everyday will keep it much healthier. 

Fact: Infrequent, deep watering is much better than short watering episodes everyday. The type of grass you have, climate, etc. are also factors in how much water your lawn should receive. Check out Clemson Extension to find out how much water your grass needs. 




October 04, 2016

Take Care of Your Trees

Trees are some of the greatest gifts the earth can give us. Not only do they provide our landscapes with beauty, they take in carbon dioxide, filter the air and water, and provide habitats for many creatures. It is important to know how to properly take care of them, though. They can seem mighty fragile after first being planted, and it's crucial you tend to them right away.

After planting a tree, be sure to water it immediately. A slow, steady flow of water at the base of the tree is one of the best ways to ensure that the roots receive plenty of water. Heat and drought can be particularly tough on trees during the first two growing seasons, so plenty of water is needed quite frequently. 


Mulch is another necessity for trees (especially newly planted ones). Not only does it keep weeds out, it also insulates and retains moisture for the roots. Mulch also contains vital nutrients that replenish the soil. You don't need to spread a thick layer around the tree, though, as this can kill the tree by depleting it of oxygen. A good rule-of-thumb is to layer it around the tree, but don't let it touch the trunk; the root flares should be visible.


Proper pruning is also very helpful in keeping trees healthy. Winter is a great time to prune, as new, bountiful shoots will pop up in the spring. Many folks aren't sure how to properly prune, however. There are two types of pruning - "heading" and "thinning." Thinning is the removal of an entire limb. Heading is simply cutting off a piece of the branch near a healthy bud. Either way, you should only cut those that are crossing, spaced too closely to each other, and those that are competing with the tree's leader. Check out Clemson Extension for more information on pruning.





September 27, 2016

Lawn & Landscape Choices for Shady Properties

Having a lot of shade in your landscape can be a good thing and a bad thing. Many plants you may like may not thrive in the shade, while others will not tolerate much sun exposure. If you have a lot of shade in your landscape, don't fret! There are plenty of beautiful plants from which to choose. 


Ferns have been around for millions of years. They are known for their low maintenance, vast array of colors, and love for moist soil. They are perfect in flowerbeds or in nice planters on a beautiful front porch. 



Lily of the Valley

This beautiful perennial has a strong, sweet aroma when it blooms in late spring. Though it can tolerate full sun, it thrives in partial- to full-shade, as well. This time of the year is a perfect time to plant these. When they bloom, they boast beautiful, white flowers and deep green leaves. Use them in a planter, or as an aggressive ground cover.


Japanese Maple

Known for their vibrant, red foliage, Japanese Maples are very popular trees that people add to their landscape. They can certainly turn a dull looking area of your yard into an eye-catching marvel! Though they are slow growing, they are easy to train (hence, the reason why they are often called bonzai trees). These spectacular trees can be used as understory trees, accents, and more. They love shade, but the more sunlight they receive, the more vibrant the red will be. 


Gardenias are very charming in that they not only look beautiful, they also have a very pleasant scent. They are lovers of partial sun in the mornings and partial shade in the afternoons, so don't be afraid to plant these in shady areas. Like Lily of the Valley, this time of the year is a great time to plant Gardenias. Along with their scent, their exquisite white flowers are reason enough to use these in your landscape!



September 21, 2016

Prepping Your Landscape for Fall


It's hard to believe that fall is right around the corner! Summer is slowly fading away, and it's time to prepare your landscape for the fall season.l We have listed a few ways you can ensure your lawn will remain healthy throughout the fall and winter, and be ready for Spring 2017...

Lower Mow Height

Continue to mow, though less frequently, even in the fall months. Lowering your mow height ensure that sunlight can reach the crown of the grass blades, and it keeps your lawn from "browning."


Apply Fertilizer

Fall is a great time to apply fertilizer, as it is the optimal growth period. Get a soil test before applying, so you know the right amount of nutrients your soil needs.


Remove Thatch & Dead Leaves

Raking and removing thatch (dead grass/plant material on top of grass) is a great idea. This allows your lawn to breathe, by removing the dead material that restricts the flow of water and sunlight from reaching the blades and roots.



Overseeding (spreading grass seed over your lawn) helps to ensure your lawn will look great year-round by filling in thin spots that were created by foot traffic and heat stress, along with helping it fight insects and various diseases.  





September 13, 2016

Landscape Pests

Pests are a common problem in landscapes, and one that can be tough to handle if not handled in a timely manner. Leaf spots, dead grass, and damaged yards are just a few of the headaches homeowners have to deal with when they are faced with a pest problem in their landscape. We have listed a few common pests we see in South Carolina,along with some tips to get rid of them!


These pests get their name from the silken bag they weave on evergreens. They are typically left unnoticed because they often appear to be a pine cone.  If left untreated, they can damage a tree by eating the leaves and needles on evergreens. Damage from bagworms typically peaks during the summer months, and can be very hard to treat with insecticides once their population on a tree increases. It's best to catch them when their population is low, by hand picking them from the tree. The use of proper insecticides may dramatically aid in the removal of these pests, as well. 


Army Worms

Like bagworms, army worms are the larvae of an adult moth. They typically feed on warm-season grasses like St. Augustine, Bermuda, and some agricultural crops. It's easy to identify them, as they usually have dull-colored stripes on their backs and look much like a caterpillar. You can also identify them in the early morning hours, when dew beads up on their webs in the grass and their paths are visible. Like bagworms, these can be treated with a proper insecticide such as a pyrethroid.


Mole Crickets

If you see small paths with small piles of dirt surrounding them in your yard, you most likely have a problem with mole crickets. These critters have front legs made for "shoveling" through the dirt to eat roots, inevitably killing parts of your grass during the process. They can be tough to control, and are most effectively controlled when they are caught in their infant stage. A spray or granular pesticide is a good way of ridding your lawn of these critters.





September 01, 2016

Good Lawn Care Practices for a Thriving, Healthy Lawn

1) Get rid of that thatch buildup. Thatch is the dead, gray material on top of the grass. It causes problems by preventing vital nutrients and water from getting to the soil. You can rid your lawn of this by raking or mowing so it breaks up the material.  

2) Choose the right type of grass for your lawn. It's a great idea to do your research before choosing what type of grass you want for your yard. There are many variables when deciding what type of grass to choose. You need to make sure it will thrive in your climate, whether it requires more sun or shade, and how much water/nutrients it requires to thrive. 

3)  Keep mow height higher. Your grass doesn't need to be a foot tall, but keeping it a little long (2.5-3") has many benefits for your landscape. It is able to get more sun, keeps the soil more moist because of its cooling effect, and reduces the chance of weeds germinating - all reducing stress on the turf, especially from the summer heat. 



4) Use landscape lighting to enhance the beauty of your yard year-round. Landscape lighting not only makes your landscape more beautiful and inviting, it also provides added safety. Intruders are much less likely to bother you, and it also illuminates pathways - preventing trips and falls.  

5) Use pre-emergent herbicide 2x/year to prevent weeds. By applying pre-emergent herbicide to your lawn, it prevents the germination of weeds by killing the enzyme in the seed. This comes in granular form and should be applied in the spring and fall. 



August 30, 2016

Common Weeds and How to Prevent Their Growth

It's a very common problem to have weeds in your lawn. Sometimes, though, we don't notice they are weeds, so we leave them be - only to find they have taken over your whole yard. It can feel very overwhelming if this occurs, and may seem like a nightmare trying to rid your turf of them. Fortunately, there are solutions to prevent and stop the spread of these pesky weeds.

We offer pre-emergent herbicide, which is applied before weeds begin to grow.  This comes in a granular form and thwarts the enzyme inside the weed's seed, preventing it from ever growing. A common brand many people choose is called Preen, and can be purchased in most home and garden centers. 

We also apply post-emergent herbicide, which is a bit different from pre-emergent. This comes in a liquid or granular form and is used to kill existing weeds. There are two types of post-emergents: systemic and contact herbicide. Systemic  post-emergents are absorbed into the weed, killing it to its core. Contact herbicide is usually sprayed on smaller weeds, killing the foliage and ultimately killing the whole plant. Make sure to only target weeds, as it can kill other plants if they are exposed to it. 

Listed below are three common weeds we see...







If your commercial property has succumbed to a weed infestation, give us a call to evaluate it! 803-957-7335


August 15, 2016

Assessing Maintenance Needs Early

When you are hiring a landscape contractor, it's imperative to do your research. There are many companies out there that may advertise certain services they provide, but may not be licensed to perform them. A great-looking landscape can easily add 20% to your home's value, and that in itself should be enough reason to ensure you invest in a reputable and experienced company.


Because your lawn's appearance is such an important part of your home, it's best to invest in a good company who  has good reviews. Websites such as Angie's List, Thumbtack, and Google+ are all examples of websites that feature pictures and reviews of local contractors in your area. You may also want to consider how long the company has been in business. If they've been around a while, they should know what they're doing.

One of the first things you should think about is budget. Keep in mind, the more labor intensive the job, the higher the cost will be. Other services that may not be included in basic services (mowing, trimming, weed eating, debris removal, etc.) are weed prevention, fertilization, core aeration, pine straw and color installation (usually installed twice per year). Also remember that in order to apply pesticides, one must have a Commercial Pesticide Applicator's license, which is required by law.


Last, but not least, is the frequency of visits. Ask the contractor when and how often the services are provided. Keep in mind that weather can affect service visits, so good communication with the landscaper is key when these events arise.

From mowing, weed eating, debris removal, pond maintenance, fertilization, weed control/prevention, pine straw and flower installation, and more - we are here to ensure your property looks immaculate, inviting, and most of all, healthy. Call us for a quote on landscape maintenance services at your community or commercial property! 803-957-7335.



August 08, 2016

Proper Care for Your Trees

Sometimes, it can be a challenge to keep your newly planted tree(s) properly cared for. There are many different ways to ensure your trees remain healthy after planting, and many of them are very simple and don't consume much of your time.


B & B Trees

Many of the trees we plant are called "ball and burlap" trees. What does this mean, exactly? These trees are grown from seedlings to a specified size before being dug, placed in a wire basket, and covered with  burlap or similar material. We suggest removing the burlap before planting, as it can strangle the tree and kill it. 


Stake Your Trees

When you first plant a tree, use stakes and wire to keep the tree upright. The wire and stakes need to remain for at least the first growing season, to ensure the root system becomes established. We make sure to do this to all of our trees upon installation. 

Fertilization is Key

Applying fertilizer around the tree/shrub can make a significant impact on its rate of growth and health. Be sure not to over fertilize, though, as it can burn the root system. Purchasing organic types is typically the best route to take when selecting these. 


Water is Essential

Obviously, water is vital to a newly planted tree or shrub. It is recommended that they get around 1.5 inches of water each week. Some ways you can stay on top of watering is by installing drip irrigation, add a watering bag (a.k.a. "Gator Bag"), and turning the garden hose on low and placing it at the base of the tree. 



Pruning is also essential for maintaining good tree/shrub health. Any dead or diseased limbs need to be pruned to keep the disease from spreading, and to allow for fuller growth. Research proper pruning techniques, though, as improper pruning can do more damage than good.  


For more tips on keeping your trees healthy, click here. You can also call our Nursery at 803-996-3161,to find out what trees we currently offer.





August 02, 2016

Permeable Pavers Offer Effective Solutions

Using permeable pavers in your landscape is not only a great option when choosing what material to use for your outdoor patio, as it is offered in many styles and colors, it's also a great way to be environmentally friendly. Permeable pavers are very versatile and are used for many different reasons. They are great options for runoff management, as they control the amount of pollutants from rainwater and significantly cut back on standing water. They are also a great option when trying to prevent erosion.


Though they may be initially more expensive, they will end up saving you money in the long run. They typically require little maintenance, and are much less likely to weather as quickly. Along with being eco-friendly, they also offer many options to choose from when it comes to color and shape. Pavers are an excellent choice for parking spaces, outdoor patios, walkways, etc. because they reflect the sun, causing these spaces to be much cooler than a surface such as asphalt. Though the cost is a little higher than asphalt, many municipalities are turning to pavers for parking lots because of the sustainability they provide.

Do you have a project in mind that could include pavers? Schedule a consultation with one of our designers to view samples of different types of pavers we offer, and to gain insight on how they could be useful at your home! 803.957.7335 




July 26, 2016

Turn That Empty Space Into a Green Oasis

Many cities are full of unused spaces that are neglected, yet can be a great place for relaxation, exercise, and enjoyment. Oftentimes, a space that was once a vibrant place for activity ends up being neglected and run down. There are many things you can do to save areas like this, and turn it into a beautiful, useful environment. 

Health & Wellness

Many folks flock to vibrant, public places to walk, run, play with their dogs, and find other forms of physical activity. These areas promote health and wellness, and increase community involvement. Depending on the size of the space, some communities choose to host events at these spaces to try and promote community involvement and showcase the beautiful space that is available to its residents. It is also proven that being surrounded by green spaces reduces stress within minutes. 


Protecting the Environment

Green spaces also aid in the protection of the environment. Not only do trees provide cool shade from the heat of the summer, they are also habitats for wildlife and help filter pollutants and dust from the air. Many places opt to have a rooftop garden, as well, which can insulate the building, lowering energy costs.

Reducing Noise

Planting buffer trees can significantly reduce the amount of noise from nearby development, giving you a perfect place to relax and enjoy the elements around you. They can also be a welcome change from the drab look of building exteriors, and provide cool shade from the hot sun. 






July 18, 2016

Create a Landscape That Soothes the Senses

One of the many reasons why people decide to add landscaping to their home  is to add functionality. Another reason - and one that goes hand in hand with functionality - is to create a relaxing, soothing environment.  There are several ways you can create this environment, and we have them listed for you below. 

Add Aromatic Plants

Adding aromatic plants to your landscape allows you to breathe in the sweet smell of beautiful flowers, and allows you to enjoy your outdoor space even more. Plants such as Tea Olives, Gardenias, and Knockout Roses are great examples of plants that provide wonderful, aromatic fragrances.


Add Outdoor Seating

Sit down, relax, and enjoy your outdoor space on a nice bench or custom seat wall! We create beautiful seat walls, and add lighting within the wall, for evening illumination. You can typically find benches at an affordable rate at a local home goods store or, you can make one yourself!


Add Plenty of Color

How can one enjoy a garden without the beautiful hues of red, purple, yellow, blue and green surrounding them? Studies suggest that sadness and depression are lowered, when exposed to long periods of vibrant colors. One vibrant plant we like to use in landscapes this time of the year is Red Ruffle Coleus.


There are many ways to make your landscape one that soothes the senses. Give our Nursery a call to get ideas of some beautiful plant material to add to your landscape - 803-996-3161.


July 05, 2016

Company Spotlight: Eric Fannin, Landscape Division Manager

This month, we are featuring our landscape division manager, Eric Fannin. Eric oversees all the daily operations of our landscape/production division.

 How long have you been with Saluda Hill? 16 years

 Family? Married with 3 children. Wife- Mandy Fannin, kids- Tyler (10), Sophie (7), and Ayden Boatwright (16).

 Why did you decide to get into landscaping? Initially, it was a transition from another job, but fell in love with working outdoors and the gratification of how landscaping adds beauty to a home, entrance, and commercial properties. 

 What is the largest project you have worked on at Saluda Hill? Formerly named 'Old Mill Apartments' in Lexington.

 What is your favorite aspect of this company? The people I get to work with everyday and working for Wendell Furtick. His support and open door policy is one of the key reasons that I am still working for Saluda Hill.




June 27, 2016

Keeping Your Turf Healthy in the Summer Heat

It can be a very laborious and aggravating thing to try and maintain a healthy lawn in the summer months. The heat causes a lot of stress to the turf, and can turn that beautiful, lush green lawn into one that is brown and cracks upon walking on it. There are certain steps you can take, though, to combat this and maintain a healthy lawn throughout the summer.

  • Don't cut too short. When cutting the grass too close, it limits the grass' energy production, causing it to wither and die. Research what mow height you should use when mowing, though, as different types of turf require different mow heights.
  • Limit water intake. Saturated lawns tend to develop disease and fungus when not properly maintained. A good rule-of-thumb: typically, lawns only need 1 inch of water per week. Make sure you run the irrigation in the early morning, giving it time to soak into the soil.
  • Use a mulch mower. Don't neglect those trimmings after you mow! They add rich nutrients back into the turf. Using a mulch mower is easiest, as it ejects the trimmings back into your lawn during the mowing process.
  • Only fertilize in the fall and spring. Rapid growth occurs when fertilizing in the summer months. This growth can place a lot of stress on turf, causing a negative result instead of the positive one you intended.
  • No mowing in droughts.  One of the best things you can do for your lawn in a drought is to not mow it. It causes even more stress on the turf. Try mowing the day after you irrigate - not right after - to prevent clumping.  




June 17, 2016

Add Functionality With Hardscapes

While many people add hardscapes for aesthetic purposes,  a large part of its purpose is to add functionality to your landscape. Hardscaping refers to the landscaping around your home that does not include garden areas. Some examples of hardscapes include: paver patios, walkways, water features, retaining walls, outdoor kitchens, and stone.


There are many ways hardscapes add functionality to your landscape. Do you dread having to battle the heat during the summer when mowing? Adding hardscapes reduces the turf area of your landscape, limiting the amount of time you have to spend maintaining it. Spend less time worrying about the maintenance of your landscape, and more time enjoying it.

Imagine building a nice gazebo in your backyard. It's not only a beautiful feature that makes outdoor fun more enjoyable, it also provides shelter from the outdoor elements. Gazebos can be enclosed, as well. Try screening it in and adding seating inside. It can be a relaxing space on a rainy day. 

Another way adding hardscapes makes your landscape more functional is to build a retaining wall(s). Steep slopes in your backyard may require building a retaining wall to make it more level and ensure there is enough drainage. 

Smaller yards will most likely be more encompassed with hardscaping than larger ones, but there is no "right" ratio of hardscapes and softscapes. Whether it be a small water feature, or a large paver patio with an outdoor kitchen, hardscapes can add both beauty and functionality to your landscape.

Some other options for outdoor features include: 

  • Columns
  • Outdoor lighting
  • Fire pits
  • Large fountains
  • Arbors and Trellises
  • Seat walls





June 06, 2016

Ways to Reduce Your Water Bill While Irrigating

We often get calls from homeowners who see a large spike in their water bills. In many cases, this is due to a leak in the irrigation system, but other times it can be because of the way you are watering your lawn. We have listed a few tips that may be able to help you out. 


  1. Water in the morning. By running your irrigation system in the early morning, it allows the ground to get soaked, without being evaporating by the mid-afternoon heat. Refrain from watering in the evening, as the grass remains wet and fungus can develop.
  2. Look for leaks. Spots that are soft with standing water and areas that have water flowing up around irrigation heads are signals that you may have a leak in your system. Give us a call to check it out and repair, if necessary.
  3. Adjust sprinkler heads. By adjusting your sprinkler heads, you can prevent water from being wasted on pavement and other areas that are not in need of irrigation.
  4. Add mulch to bare spots. Try adding mulch to bare areas in your yard. Mulch helps retain moisture, limiting the frequency of irrigation.
  5. Convert to more efficient devices. Using rotary nozzles on your lawn and drip emitting irrigation in your flower beds can make a huge impact on the amount of water that is being used during irrigation.  



June 02, 2016

Meet Our Newest Team Member


We are very pleased to announce the addition of our newest team member, Lynnea Urban! Lynnea recently joined our Design Group as a landscape architect and horticulturist. She is a recent graduate of Michigan State University, where she earned a B.S. in Horticulture. When asked why she decided to get into landscape design, she responded, "I enjoy being outdoors and I enjoy working with plants. I have also always loved to design, so landscape design allows me to design with the plant material and work outdoors." 

She will be creating landscape plans and designs for various builder packages we offer, making project site visits, and communicating with our other designers. Her skills are very much needed in our Design Group, as we have had a large influx of design projects for homeowners and local and national builders over the past couple of years. We look forward to her being a part of our family and helping us grow as a company each day!






May 27, 2016

Company Spotlight: Phil Soltes, Design Group Manager


How long have you been with Saluda Hill? 11 years

Family? A wonderful wife, Melanie, and an incredible 3-year-old son, Cooper

Why did you decide to get into landscaping/landscape architecture? Landscaping has always been a passion of mine. From an early age, I enjoyed working in the yard, being outside, and appreciating the elements nature has to offer.

What is your favorite part of this job? What I enjoy most about my job is being able to design and create natural paradises for others to enjoy. I love design/build - it allows for your creativity to become a reality. It also allows you to be a part of the entire process, from concept to completion.

What is the largest project you have worked on as a landscape architect? I am fortunate to work on many large projects, but one of my favorite projects was a high-end residential project that was one of my most challenging. The backyard to this residence was an intense slope on which I created terraces with retaining walls. On each terrace was an enjoyable feature such as golf putting green and tee box. Other terraces had elements including patio space, outdoor kitchen, fire place and fire pit.  At the end of the project, this non-usable, hopeless backyard was transformed into a functional and enjoyable paradise. 


What is your favorite aspect of this company? Saluda Hill is such a great company. There are many aspects that separate it from others. It allows you to be part of something special that focuses on providing the best product and accepting nothing less than excellence. The one thing that sticks out about this company is the people. Every employee is enjoyable to be around and displays care and pride in what we do. 






May 23, 2016

Adding Value to your Commercial Property

Perhaps it's been a while since you revisited the idea of sprucing up the outer appearance of your commercial building. You may have the landscape maintained, but is it fresh and vibrant like it used to be? Revamping your landscape can be much more work than starting from scratch. You want your tenants to be happy with the curb appeal of the office, but you don't want to spend a fortune making it look great.

One question you may want to ask yourself when taking on a project such as this is, "What will tenants and clients see when they drive into the facility?" Do you want them to see dead, disfigured shrubs and weeds infiltrating the old flowerbeds, or do you want them to see a vibrant facade - full of color and life? 

When planning a revamping of your commercial landscape, focus on the large focal areas that catch people's attention when they first drive up. You want these areas to be colorful and  inviting. Keep in mind that people will be looking at the landscape from the parking lot, outside of windows, and walking the sidewalk. You also want to ensure your landscape will be functional. Adding nice stone pathways in outdoor gardens and including benches for visitors to sit on are both great ideas for creating functionality. 

Last but not least - and, one of the most important things to consider - is the long-term maintenance. Make sure the plants you choose will thrive in the right environment. If not, you're most likely looking at a waste of time, money, and dead plant material. Make sure they adapt well to their environment and  will thrive with proper care and maintenance.

Give us a call for a free design, install, and maintenance consultation today! 803.957.7335 | Listed below, you will find two commercial projects we have completed over the past few years - First Reliance Bank in Lexington, SC and St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Columbia, SC.






May 10, 2016

Landscape Design - What You Need to Know

So, you have a landscape design in mind, but don't know where to turn next. The first step is to set up an appointment with our landscape architects, where they will meet you at your home and discuss ideas with you. Our landscape architects have the knowledge to suggest what plants will thrive in your landscape, so you can rest assured the plants we suggest will not only look good but will thrive for many years.


Once we begin the design process, we will be with you every step of the way, answering any questions you may have and suggesting things that we think will benefit your landscape. Some things we consider when designing are:

  • Functionality
  • Detail
  • Style/Theme
  • Plant growth time
  • Sustainability

A large part of a landscape architect's job is making the landscape more functional. Whether this means adding an outdoor kitchen or patio to enjoy with friends and family, or a seat wall that surrounds a fire pit for you to enjoy on cool nights - our designers have the skills and knowledge to ensure you get the most out of your landscape!

So, if you are planning to invest in an outdoor space for your home or office, give us a call to discuss ideas and execute a plan!




April 19, 2016

Fixing Drainage Issues in Your Yard

We have received a large influx of phone calls over the past several months in regards to drainage issues at homes. Due in large part to the flood in October, these issues can become very problematic to your home's landscape and even it's foundation. There are ways we can fix these issues, and I've listed some of the those options below...

Install a French Drain

French drains are typically installed at the base of homes to redirect water from the foundation. A French drain is a small trench that is filled with gravel or other aggregate material and a clay or plastic pipe (or two) to increase the volume of water that is to be drained. 


Build a Rain Garden

Find a low spot in your yard and create a berm, then create swales to channel the water to the garden for it so be absorbed into the soil. This is a good and relatively inexpensive option when it comes to fixing drainage issues, and it adds more color to your yard!


Create a Dry Well

By digging around a 4-5' hole in the soil and adding some small gravel, this can be a good and fast way to prevent standing water in your yard. But, make sure you do a percolation test before creating the dry well. If the soil has too much clay, the water will not be absorbed as quickly, and you may end up having to dig even deeper, to get past the clay level.


We hope these few options help you if you are struggling with drainage issues at your home or office. Our knowledgeable team of technicians are very familiar with installing each of these options, and would be happy to meet with you to discuss your issues and provide you with a quote. Give us a call to schedule an appointment today! 803-957-7335



April 08, 2016

Grounds Maintenance Services Are Essential 

When you drive up to your office each day, what does the landscape look like? Are the shrubs pruned nicely, grass manicured, beautiful flowers blooming, and no weeds in the turf and flowerbed? Or, are there overgrown shrubs, dead grass, no flowers, and flowerbeds infested with weeds?

Think about this, then think about your customers. Would they be more likely to use your services if your landscape looked appealing, or poor? You want your office/place of business to be inviting to your customers and guests. More often than not, people will have a much more favorable opinion of your business if their first impression is positive.


Our commercial grounds maintenance services are ideal for businesses who want their customers to have a great first impression. Our services include meticulous pruning, proper edging, mowing, fertilization, pre- and post-emergent applications to thwart weed growth, fertilization, debris removal, pine straw/mulch and flower installation twice a year, and pesticide applications - just to name a few. 

Our services span within a 50 mile radius of downtown Columbia, SC, and our crews work diligently to ensure your property is well-maintained. From commercial properties, to property management companies and HOAs, we have a vast array of clients that we serve. For over 25 years, we have been the Midlands' leader in grounds maintenance services. Let us show you how we can transform your landscape into one that is inviting - with fresh, healthy vegetation!





March 31, 2016

2016 Landscaping Trends

Now that Spring has arrived, we are spending more time outdoors, enjoying our outdoor space. According to a study by Houzz, 75% of people wanted to include outdoor furniture (kitchen, fire pit, seat wall, etc.) to their landscape.These features not only beautify your landscape, they make it more functional and add safety, as well (like outdoor lighting).

Listed below are some of the current trends we are seeing in landscape design. From lighting to adding more native plant material, homeowners are serious about investing in their landscapes this year. Perhaps you can gain some ideas for your own outdoor space!

LED Lighting


Adding More Green


Water Features


Paver/Patios/Outdoor Kitchens






March 16, 2016

Spring Has Sprung! 

What a great time of the year for South Carolinians! Though not official until Sunday, we are definitely seeing the beginning of Spring. Beautiful flowers are blooming, and grass is returning to its beautiful, green color.

This is a big time for us, as we are getting many phone calls from interested Home & Garden Show visitors to get quotes on making their landscapes look nicer. From paver/patios to total landscape makeovers, we're set to tackle any landscaping job you have. There are plenty of options that our designers can present you with, and our knowledge and experience go a long way in planning and prepping for your outdoor project. 


So, whether you have a small or large-scale landscape project, you can trust that we will be able to handle the job. Give us a call to schedule a consultation today, and follow us on our social media outlets to gain ideas for your next project! 






March 07, 2016

Join Us For the 50th Annual Home & Garden Show

It's hard to believe it's that time of year again for the Building Industry Association of Central SC's Home & Garden Show! The event, which will be celebrating its 50th anniversary, is always a welcome sign of Spring. There will be many vendors at this year's show, including home improvement companies, builders/re-modelers, landscaping companies, and pool builders, just to name a few. 

It's always a special time for us, as it gives us the opportunity to showcase a little bit of everything we do. You will also be able to enter for several chances to win some awesome prizes from some of the show's vendors! We will be located in the Goodman Building at the SC State Fairgrounds, in booths GG1 and G104/G105. Come see how we can turn your dream of an outdoor space into a reality!

 The Show runs from Friday, March 11 through Sunday, March 13.






March 02, 2016

The Importance of Hiring a Local Design Company

Did you know that many people choose landscape design companies from out of town, while there are great and valuable resources within their own town? It's true - and, if you think about it, it's not the best idea. There is much planning that is involved in creating your dream landscape, and much of that time is spent meeting with the landscape designer on-site to discuss which plants will not only look appealing, but will also thrive in your landscape.


You may have a vision of the type of landscape you want, but that doesn't necessarily mean it could work. Each landscape is unique, and trained & qualified landscape architects can guide you and educate you on grading, irrigation, and plant selection. 

We have two qualified, creative, and knowledgeable landscape architects, who are part of our own Design-Build Division, who are more than willing to assist you with your design-build needs. Give Phil or Richard a call to schedule a free consultation today! 803-957-7335 |




February 23, 2016

Great Shrubs for Added Privacy

You may be a homeowner who has a pool or other outdoor space that you would like to keep private and cozy; or, you could be a business owner or homeowner who would like to separate your landscape from your neighbor's, who - let's face it - looks pretty bad. Whatever the case may be - if your landscape needs added privacy, we have a few great solutions for you to think about.

Emerald Green Arborvitae 

This thick, evergreen shrub is perfect for privacy, as it can grow up to 15' tall, is very adaptable in different types of soil, and can be a great looking border for your backyard fence, or used as a foundation plant.



Nellie Stevens Holly

If you're looking for a privacy shrub that stays green year-round and allows you the capability to control how they grow and are shaped, then Nellie Stevens Hollies are a great option to use as a privacy screen. This shrub also grows rapidly and has dark green, dense foliage.



Japanese Yew

Many people opt to get this shrub when it is mature, as they can take a while to grow and fill out. However, when mature, they can reach up to 30' in height. These can be great foundation plantings or shrubs lining a fence. Their dense foliage make this a great privacy screen!



Wax Myrtle

Wax Myrtles are evergreens with beautiful, glossy foliage. Along with being very adaptable and fast-growing, their dense foliage also make them great privacy shrubs/screen plants. It's not uncommon for them to grow 5' a year, and their aromatic flowers in the spring make this a very desirable shrub to include in your landscape!




February 16, 2016

Nursery Expands With New Greenhouse

We have just finished installing the new greenhouse at our Nursery, to house the vast array of different plant material that arrives each week. This new addition will be very beneficial to our Nursery, as it will protect the plants from pests and predators, provide a safe environment from the harsh elements, and will allow us to control the lighting and temperature within the greenhouse. 



One of the plants we received this morning is called 'Hawaiian Ti,' and is often referred to as the "Good Luck Plant." It's beautiful reddish-purple leaves make it stand out among other plants. It can be used as both an indoor and outdoor plant.






February 15, 2016

Core Aeration May Be Solution to Winning Back Your Turf

It isn't uncommon for turf growth to be severely restricted due to soil compaction. High volumes of traffic (pets, construction, vehicles, etc.) is not good for your turf, and can lead to serious issues that may damage your yard beyond repair. Some of the problems associated with soil compaction include heavy water runoff, poor drainage, turf loss, and overgrowth of weeds.


There are several solutions to this problem, and one of them is called core aeration. In this process, soil cores are removed, leaving small holes in the yard. Not to fret, though! There are many benefits to aeration. Along with increasing oxygen levels within the soil, it also reduces water runoff and aids in drainage. 

Don't worry about the holes staying in your yard for long, either. When core aerating, many times the roots are cut, which vigorously aids in new ones sprouting up in the holes. This process can be done on an "as needed basis," however, it is strongly recommended to make it a routine.

For more information, check out our FAQ section, or give us a call at 803-957-7335!




February 12, 2016

Grounds Maintenance Manager Attends SCLTA Seminar

Jim Thomley, our Grounds Maintenance Division Manager, attended the SC Landscape & Turfgrass Association's Annual Conference at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center this week. He gained a wealth of information that he will be able to teach his division to apply in the field. Along with advanced pesticide training, he also attended classes that included: A Winning Sports Turf Program, instructed by USC's Clark Cox, Using Herbicides to Manage Buffer Zones Around Water, and Us vs. Them: Imported Fire Ant Biology





February 09, 2016

Planning Your Next Big Project

It can be both exciting and frustrating when it comes to planning for your outdoor project. Even if you are hiring a Contractor, like us, to install the space, it can still be a headache trying to decide on certain features of the space and figuring out how to pay for it. Fortunately, you don't have to worry about those headaches if you choose our services.

Not only do we offer financing, we also have a large Nursery and huge in-house outdoor space that has combined elements of many of the services we provide. From plant and shrubs, outdoor lighting, outdoor kitchens, paver/patios, and even carpentry work, you will have many features presented to you to make it easier to choose which elements you want to incorporate into your landscape.





February 03, 2016

Vintner's Wood a Welcome Addition to Lexington

We are excited to be providing the landscaping at Vintner's Wood, a new Mungo Homes community located in Lexington. We have just completed building white arbors with swings and installing tall Palms around the community's pool, as well as completing an outdoor kitchen and fire pit at the featured amenity. These additions will be excellent for members in the community to enjoy when the weather begins to warm up! We are thankful to Mungo Homes for giving us the opportunity to provide these services. You can tour their model home, located at 222 Montrose Dr. in Lexington - right off Barr Road.







February 1, 2016 

It's hard to believe that we are in the second month of the year! That means it's time to start thinking about getting your yard ready for Spring. One thing to think about this month is applying pre-emergent to your turf. Pre-emergent is an herbicide that we typically apply to turf in October and February to help prevent weed growth. The herbicide kills the enzyme in the weed seed, causing it to thwart its growth. 

Major structural pruning is another thing to think about this month. Structural pruning is beneficial to trees and shrubs, as they reduce the length of the stems that compete with the leader. The goal is to make sure all the branches and stems are prevented from growing larger than 1/2" diameter of the trunk.

And, if you're big on this month's Valentine's Day holiday, one thing to keep in mind is to cut Roses back to 12" this month. This not only shapes the plant but keeps it fresh, as well, allowing for better growth. 

Call us to schedule a free design/install and/or grounds maintenance quote today! 803-957-7335










January 27, 2016

Last week, we announced on social media that we would be revealing our 25th Anniversary logo. Well, here it is! We are very excited about celebrating this milestone throughout the year, and we hope you can celebrate with us.

Over the past 25 years, Saluda Hill has been a leader in the landscaping industry throughout the Carolinas - creating beautiful and functional landscapes for both homeowners and business owners. Through our creative designs, detailed landscape installations, and meticulous grounds maintenance services, we have grown to be the largest landscaping company in the Midlands. 

We look forward to partnering with you this year and many more years to come, to provide the best landscaping and landscape design services. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and several other different social media outlets to stay up-to-date on the latest company news. 



January 07, 2016

Outdoor Lighting and Its Benefits

For many people, outdoor lighting is something they add to their home because of its beauty; however, there are several other benefits to adding these to your landscape. Some key benefits are safety, security, aesthetics, and value.


1) Security
Adding outdoor lighting to your home is a great way to ensure your home is safe and secure. It lets people know that the home is occupied and tends to deter intruders from coming onto your property. Some suggestions would be to place outdoor lighting in locations that shine on your home's front and back exterior.

2) Safety
Pathways and steps are just a couple of areas where adding outdoor lighting would be beneficial. It lights up these areas to prevent tripping, falling, slipping, etc.

​3) Aesthetics
Outdoor lighting, coupled with beautiful landscaping, can help make your landscape look more inviting and adds curb appeal to your home at night. Most likely, you don't want to spend a lot of money on landscaping when it is only visible during the day. Adding this feature can showcase the beautiful things your landscape has to offer.

4) Value
When it comes to selling your home, outdoor lighting and additional landscaping can add tremendous value! According to landscape economist John Harris, adding landscape lighting can "add up to 28% to overall home value." And, a Clemson University study, Even taking your landscaping from “good” to “excellent,” in terms of design, condition, and placement, can add 6% to 7% to a home’s value."

So, give us a call to schedule an appointment with our Design Group to discuss ideas and pricing!


January 05, 2016

Nursery Suppliers Manager attends SCNLA Seminar

Our Landscape Suppliers Nursery Manager, Brandon Diffee, and Company President, Wendell Furtick, headed to Myrtle Beach on Friday to attend the 2016 SCHI (SC Horticulture Industry) Trade Show & Seminars at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. Some of the topics covered were, Exploring the Role of Plants in Coastal Stormwater Management, Plants for Special Places, and Ideas on Design. There were many vendors from across the region who showcased some of the plant material they offer, and our team met some great folks.



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