Best Flowers To Grow On The East Coast

Do you love seeing birds and butterflies in your garden? Want to help wildlife and the natural environment? Wondering how to grow beautiful plants that cost less time and money to maintain? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should consider adding native flowers to your yard! 

What Is A Native Plant?

When a plant is “native” to New Jersey or the United States that means its species evolved and adapted to our local ecosystem and environment. Native species evolved over millions of years to the specific weather conditions of our area.

Many common garden plants are “aliens” imported from Asia and Europe. These foreign plants may look pretty but they are often useless and sometimes require more watering and fertilizer than native species. Sometimes these foreign plants spread into the wild and outcompete native plants. Unfortunately, this can harm wildlife and upset the ecological balance; these plants are called “invasive species.”  

Luckily, you can reduce the spread of invasive species by talking to one of our experts at Giovine Landscaping. They will help you design your backyard landscape while incorporating native New Jersey species. By growing native species, you increase the lifespan of your plants, while helping other plants grow naturally around them. Here are the best flowers to grow in New Jersey! 

Amazing Plants For Your Garden

  • Butterfly Weed: This plant gets its name from the fact that butterflies love it! This flower is useful for pollinating your garden, aiding in fertilizing surrounding greenery. It is best to plant it in late spring, with loads of sunlight, while the soil is warm. It prospers in sandy dry-soil and can survive drought-like conditions! This flower is bright and colorful and very low maintenance, meaning it can be a wonderful addition for your garden! 
  • Wood Anemone: Wild wood anemones bloom in woodlands on the edge of New Jersey forests from April to June. The species survives best in gardens that are partly, if not fully shaded. They also thrive in damp, rich, mucky soil. The wood anemone is a delicate plant with a stalked white or pink flower.
  • Great Blue Lobelia: The deep blue flowers of this plant grow on an upright spike. This native plant blooms in late summer to early fall. The great blue lobelia thrives in moist soil and can live in full sun or partial shade. The plant can grow 1 to 4 feet tall, and you should plant each one about 1 foot apart. The plant attracts pollinators such as butterflies and hummingbirds! 
  • Northern Red Oak: The northern red oak is a native east coast tree that can grow up to 80 feet tall! It thrives in full sun and in partial shade environments. It thrives in normal or moist soils, in early to mid fall. This species is unusually tolerant of polluted environments, making it a hardy tree that can be a welcome addition to any yard. It also attracts birds and mammals such as squirrels and deer.
  • Black-Eyed Susan: This flower blooms bright yellow, with a black center “eye”. It can grow 1 to 2 feet tall and blooms best from June to October. They thrive in an environment with tons of sun and well-draining soil. This flower also attracts multiple insects and pollinators due to its sweet nectar.
  • Northern Bayberry: This is a tough shrub that thrives in all types of soil. However, it prefers partial shade in your garden. It can grow 5 to 8 feet tall and grows very rapidly. Due to its toughness the northern bayberry is greatly beneficial to winter birds and butterflies. It blooms from March to June and can benefit your yard!  
  • Purple Coneflower: This vibrant purple flower blooms for two months in mid to late summer. It prefers partial to full sun exposure and is the perfect resource for wildlife. Its pale purple or pink flowers attract a variety of animals ranging from insects to Goldfinches and Hummingbirds! Growing up to three feet tall, this beautiful flower is easy to maintain and is beneficial for your garden.  

Update Your Garden Today! 

For all of your landscaping and plant needs, please contact Giovine Landscaping. Our professional team can help build and maintain the yard or garden of your dreams! Whether you want to remove ticks, fertilize plants or control unruly weeds, Giovine Landscaping is here to help! Don’t hesitate to contact us at (973) 325-1758 for some help in designing your perfect backyard! 

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2023 New Year’s Resolutions For An Exceptional Backyard

New Year's resolutions

The year is coming to an end, and now is the time to consider new home improvements! With a fresh start, comes a fresh and exceptional yard. There are many attainable goals that homeowners can set to upgrade their lawn and refine their landscape aesthetic. To achieve this, we will highlight several methods that can spark your creativity and get you working on your outdoor space. Check out these landscaping New Year’s resolutions for an exceptional backyard! 

Composting Is Important 

If you do not already have a compost bin, now is the time for it! If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to recycle more, composting is for you! Compost allows you to reduce waste and incorporate nutrient rich scraps into your soil. It is a simple process that ultimately improves the moisture and health of your lawn while reducing the need for pesticides and fertilizers. There are many benefits to composting, so consider adding it to your New Year’s resolutions

Brighten Things Up

For the new year, consider adding light fixtures to your backyard. It will lighten up your space and brighten your mood during these dark winter months. Light fixtures allow you and your guests to enjoy the beauty of your space at all times of the day. There are several options for implementing lights into your backyard. Whether they’re lined up on your patio or in your pool— the possibilities are endless! For this landscaping New Year’s resolution, let your inspiration guide you to create a magical backyard. 

Water-Efficient Landscaping 

This practice uses technology and techniques that reduce water usage to conserve and vitalize your backyard habitat. The design incorporates a combination of any of the following elements: sheet mulching to reduce lawn size, water-saving irrigation and opting for artificial grass. By utilizing these methods, you will come closer to completing your New Year’s resolutions. These are sustainable options that will cause your backyard to thrive throughout the new year. 

Weed Pulling 

Extracting weeds is certainly one of the most tedious tasks for any person! Although it can be a dreadful activity, pulling weeds will significantly improve your backyard. To make the task easier it is important that you use the correct technique and proper tools. This will prevent future weed growth after removing them. When considering the health of your beautiful space, this New Year’s resolution can spruce up your yard for years to come! Don’t hesitate to get started now on weed pulling activities! 

All in all, landscaping should be about making your backyard dreams come true! It’s a fun activity that entails hard work and constant attention, but the payoff is immeasurable. It is key to remember that landscaping professionals are always at your disposal. If you need assistance with creating your dream backyard, Giovine Landscaping is here to help! Don’t hesitate to contact Giovine Landscaping at (973) 325-1758 or visit our website today!

Making Your Lawn Beautiful…All Year Long!

A beautifully maintained lawn can not only add to your home’s curb appeal, but it can also add to your family’s quality of life outdoors. Outdoor activities like sports, cook-outs or simply relaxing outside on a beautifully maintained lawn can add so much joy to your life! By making your outdoor area beautiful, it can add appreciation and love for your home. With each passing season there are many challenges to keeping your grass healthy, but taking some simple steps throughout the year can help keep your lawn beautiful all year long! Giovine Landscaping will use their professional skills to help you and your family make the most out of your outdoor space. 

Winter 

Although there’s not much to maintain during the colder months, there are steps to achieve your healthy lawn goals! By preventing your grass from becoming dry and drab, it will keep your lawn beautiful for the spring months.

Make sure you cut your grass as short as possible before the snowy season begins. Also make an effort to remove any abundance of dead leaves before winter hits. Aerating is also crucial for healthy lawn maintenance before the first frost occurs. Aerating is when holes are created in your grass to relieve compaction and allow oxygen in. It also allows for roots to receive nutrients and water, so they don’t die and stay green!

Spring 

In the spring, it is important to mow on a regular schedule to keep your yard healthy. Make sure your lawn is receiving regular water, whether through a sprinkler system or manual water care. Applying a slow-release fertilizer will allow your yard to “spring” back from the cold winter months! Check out our website for an opportunity to see what we offer our clients. We will always listen to what your goals are and help you achieve them in a timely and cost-effective manner. 

Summer 

During the hottest months of the year, watering your grass is crucial. Doing so during the coolest times of the day will be most beneficial to your lawn. Either early in the morning, before sunrise, or later in the evening will work best to avoid evaporation. It is crucial to regularly apply fertilizer and keep up with mowing and maintaining your beautiful lawn! 

Fall 

Fall is the best time for fertilization and seeding. The cooler months will help develop a stronger root system. Pulling all the weeds and making sure leaves are removed promptly will allow the sunlight to reach your soil, keeping any greenery healthy.

Whenever you need help maintaining a beautiful lawn, we are here to help! At Giovine Landscaping we have experts ready to help answer any and all of your lawn care questions. Please feel free to contact us at 973.325.1758. We have been in business for more than 30 years, helping our clients and are more than happy to help YOU! 

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Winter Landscaping Guide For A Beautiful Home

Wintertime is synonymous with icy landscapes, snow-covered scenes, and beautiful imagery. This provides the perfect backdrop for your property and allows you the opportunity to ornament it with trees, shrubs, and hardscapes. When decorating your lawn with various plants or objects, there are important landscaping tips to keep in mind. Continue reading this winter landscaping guide so you can keep your garden picture perfect throughout the colder months.

Don’t Stop Watering

Many people think that just because the temperature is dropping that grass and shrubs no longer require regular watering— that is not the case! Not watering your plants, lawn, and hedges can result in several issues, including making them susceptible to disease. Every winter, come back to this landscaping guide and don’t forget to hydrate your greenery.

Cut Your Grass Short

The optimal grass length for the winter season is within the range of 2 to 2.5 inches. When outside of this range, your grass is at risk of contracting diseases such as snow mold. When keeping your lawn perfect, it is important to follow this landscaping guide and maintain your grass length during the colder months. Furry creatures such as mice like to hide and dig nests in the grass during these months. Although they are cute, they can provide damage to your lawn. 

Pick Out Winter-Blooming Flowers

Uncommon to popular belief, flowers will actually be in their prime during these months and are a perfect addition to your garden. There are a variety of options: violets, pansies, snowdrops, honey wort, and winter jasmine. The guide goes on (in fact, you can find an extensive one here to aid you in your selection). These flowers will be sure to brighten up any drabby lawn!  Each flower comes with their own set of care needs and blooming periods so make sure to read up before making any big purchases.

Incorporate Light Outside 

Your homescape can easily be elevated with outdoor lighting, which is especially nice given how early it gets dark during this season. Wall lights are great for your home’s exterior and spotlights are perfect to accentuate paving, decking, and steps. There is a slew of equipment to pick from, and the possibilities are endless. 

The cold season should not be a time for slowing down on backyard development— if anything, it should spark some more creativity! This winter landscaping guide should be just enough of a kickstart to get you working on your winter homescape. If at any point you seek assistance with any of your landscaping troubles, contact Giovine Landscaping! They are here to support you through any landscaping issue you have! Their professional team can also assist you in decorating your lawn for the perfect winter set-up! Call now at: 973-325-1758.

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What Animals Live In My Backyard (And What to Do About Them)?

            Your backyard and garden host a thriving ecosystem of creatures, this can be a small problem or can be larger than life. When we first come into the possession of a beautiful yard, it becomes easy to forget that it is not just our home. Due to them not always being visible, we can forget that wildlife exists in our backyard and surrounds our home. These animals can prove to be pests or be helpful to your garden. Being knowledgeable about what roams your shared space will allow you to stay safe and keep your garden healthy! Keep on reading if you’d like to answer the question, “What lives in my backyard?”

Foxes

            Foxes are sly animals commonly found in residential neighborhoods. They are often sighted near homes as they are attracted to sources such as garbage, pet food and other sustenance. These creatures can pose an issue if you own any pets. Typically, they will not engage with large, full-sized pets but can with smaller ones. In that case, loud noises tend to scare them off easily. Otherwise, they pose no threat to your backyard ecosystem.

Racoons

            Racoons are like foxes in their nocturnal hunt for food but have sticky fingers. These animals should usually be avoided due to the potential of carrying rabies or transmitting diseases through urine and fecal matter. They also will dig up any garbage or food that is left in your backyard. It’s best to avoid leaving food outside to stop this problem. Also, consider investing in humane repellents to make them flee without harming them.

Opossum

            Compared to their bad reputation, this marsupial is actually a lovely visitor! Though they may steal food that you leave out in your backyard, there is no risk of them digging up your garbage or garden. In fact, they are known for naturally promoting garden health as they consume insects and small rodents. They have also been known to eat snakes, which keeps your backyard safe.

Deer

            Deer are elegant creatures that you are guaranteed to spot when living near a wooded area. It is important to remember that they are wild animals and will not behave the same way your dog or cat would. They can be physically aggressive at times and often carry ticks. To keep them out of your garden, it is good to recognize the factors that are attracting them to your residence. For example, there are several trees, shrubs, and flowers that draw them into backyards. Additionally, water sources and the presence of lawn fungi will certainly make them gallop over to your place.

            To conclude, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the diverse set of critters that enter your natural abode. By answering the question, “What animals live in my backyard?” you will not only keep yourself secure but will preserve your backyard’s beauty. When it comes down to lawn care and landscaping services, it is best to contact a trained professional. With that being said, Giovine Landscaping is always happy to help. Feel free to reach us at 973-325-1758.

How To Choose A Landscaper

choose a landscaper

Spring is all about showing off your beautiful front lawn to passersby. Reaching that point requires an expert landscaper to whip your yard into shape; you don’t want to trust just anyone to do the work. You need a landscaper who is experienced and has an eye for detail, without being too pushy. If you’re stumped in your decision to choose a landscaper, here are a couple things to keep in mind.

Know What You Want

There are lots of landscapers who will try to sell all sorts of services you might not need. Even worse, some might try to upcharge you for way more than any service warrants. That’s why you should do your research before even reaching out to any prospective contractor. Only contact someone once you know what you want to do with your lawn and have a general idea of what everything should cost. Don’t let them sell you services you do not want or need!

Hire Someone Experienced

When you choose a landscaper to work on your property, you obviously want to select someone who has lots of experience under their belt. That goes without saying. What you’ll want to pay extra attention to is the landscaper’s input. We already told you to not let them oversell you for unnecessary services, but you should still honor their input. Oftentimes, they’ll know what kind of plants to add, where to plant bushes, etc. They are the experts, after all!

Seek Recommendations

You’re far from the only homeowner in your area who needs work on their front yard. Ask around the neighborhood! Polling nearby residents about who they let handle their lawn is probably the best way to know who to choose for your own property. Ask each person what went into their decision to choose a landscaper. You can also try looking up different businesses online and read their reviews. A decision like this can seem burdensome, but it’s actually never been easier!

Don’t Choose A Landscaper Willy-Nilly

More and more people are spending money on landscapers, so do not act hastily when making your decision. You’re entrusting a team with the integrity of your front lawn, and you won’t want to flush it all away. If you want to choose a team of experienced landscapers to beautify your lawn with care, call Giovine Landscaping today to get started!

How To Maintain A Healthy Lawn This Spring

healthy lawn

A blooming, colorful front yard is something that everyone aspires to have in the warmer months, but maintaining a beautiful property is a lot more work than you may think. There are ever-changing variables that can overwhelm and discourage landscaping/gardening newcomers. If you need some advice on how to keep a healthy lawn during the spring and summer, we’ve got you covered!

Fertilize

The importance of regularly fertilizing your lawn cannot be overstated. Fertilizer provides your soil and grass with the nutrients required for proper growth. All of the lawns made of tall, forest green grass you see are products of proper and consistent fertilization. How often you should fertilize will depend on which product you use, but generally speaking, you should wait at least four to six weeks between fertilizing periods. Additionally, avoid stepping on your lawn for one to three days after fertilizing. Proper fertilization is the key to a healthy lawn not just during the spring, but year-round!

Get Mowing

You don’t want your grass to overgrow! Regular lawn mowing is another imperative practice to follow this spring. Cutting your grass after letting it grow for too long can send your lawn into shock, which can stunt future growth and make it become weaker overall. A weaker lawn can house insects and diseases, which are the last things you want. Mowing your lawn every one to two weeks should do the trick. Thankfully, depending on your mower, mowing the lawn should only take you under an hour! Wait a couple of days after fertilizing to mow. Mowing can seem like a rather arduous task, but we promise it’s not as bad as it seems. It can be a fun way to pass the time all while improving your home’s curb appeal!

Call An Expert

Like we said, upkeeping a healthy lawn can be stressful and tiresome. Having a team of trained professionals do the work for you is the best way to optimize your lawn. Not to mention, having several people do the work instead of you alone will make upkeeping your lawn more time-efficient and will yield better results. If you need help in any step of the spring landscaping process, give the team at Giovine Landscaping a call to do everything for you the right way. People don’t call us the best team of landscaping professionals for nothing!

3 Spring Landscaping Tips

spring landscaping

We discussed winter landscaping tips two blog posts ago, but now spring is almost here, so it’s time to share another round of tips for the new season! Landscaping and gardening are tasks that require regular work based on the season, which is why we try to make it all easier for you as the weather changes. With that said, keep reading for some spring landscaping tips!

De-Mulch Your Garden

In November, we advised to put mulch down to stave off weeds, provide insulation for your plants, and just generally enrich your soil. With the temperatures and duration of sunlight increasing, you can begin to remove the mulch as you see fit. So long as the freezing temperatures are done for the time being, and there is no ice or frost beneath the mulch, then it is most likely safe to remove it. Your perennials should be just about ready to bloom and impress passersby once again!

Consider Hiring An Exterminator

Warmer weather will make people want to spend more time in their yards, but the same can be said for invasive species that would love nothing more than to eat your plants, crops, and grass. We’re talking raccoons, rats, and all sorts of insects. Hiring an exterminator is the most surefire bet to protect your lawn this spring, as they are certified experts who provide permanent solutions to these invasive animals. If you do not wish to hire an exterminator, there are alternative measures you can take. Call and ask us about steps you can take yourself!

Be Mindful of Pets

Spring is not just a wonderful season for people, but for your pets, too! It is up to us to make spring as enjoyable for our pets as possible, which is why it’s important to realize that there are certain landscaping practices that can be harmful towards our favorite critters. Fertilizers, insecticides, and other enhancements could damage your dog’s and/or outdoor cat’s paws while playing in the yard or letting them roam around. If you look on the labels for your garden-enhancing materials, there should be information about how long to keep pets off your lawn. These spring landscaping tips extend to the entire ecosystem!


Hopefully after reading this series of spring landscaping tips, you are now more equipped to tackle taking care of your lawn this season. Should you run into any issues, please do not hesitate to reach out to Giovine for all your lawn care solutions!

The Best Plants for Winter Landscaping

Turning Yards into Beautiful Winter Scenes

Once the weather turns cold and snowy, your home’s landscape can still look good and thrive through the season. Whether you live in an area with long, cold seasons or you just want to spruce up your outdoor space for the chillier months, there are plenty of winter plants that can beautify your home. Find the best plants for winter landscaping!

Conifer trees and evergreen shrubs can be particularly hardy during the colder months and add interest to your home. The best plants for winter landscaping should have certain characteristics, such as their height. Tall trees and shrubs are a good bet because they can be seen during an average snowfall for your area. It is also important that your picks will attract wildlife like birds to bring spirit to an otherwise bleak season.

Characteristics of the Best Plants 

The best plants for your winter landscape depend on the weather in your area and personal preferences. It’s best to choose a species that is hardy and can survive the winter, and be visually appealing to you. Here are a few characteristics to consider when deciding which varieties to plant at home:

  • Berries that attract birds
  • Height and width
  • Attractive bark
  • Evergreen foliage
  • Sturdy branches to withstand snow

Conifer species are always an excellent choice, but there are plenty of lesser-known plants for winter landscaping that can upgrade your outdoor space.

Winter Plant Picks

One of the best plants for winter landscaping is the Christmas Evergreen Holly (Ilex opaca) which is popular during the winter months because of its fast-growing foliage, glossy leaves, and bright berries that attract many birds. It also adds decorative value to your home during the Holidays. Two varieties like the China Holly (Ilex meserveae) and the Compact Inkberry Holly (Ilex glabra ‘Compacta’) are hardy enough for snowy regions. The China Holly is rounded and can reach a height of eight feet tall and wide. This variety is a great pick for regions with dry winters. Compact Inkberry Holly has dark green foliage and its berries are black rather than red, and can reach a height of four to eight feet.


The beautiful and unique Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea ‘Allemans’) is another extremely hardy plant. The Red Osier yields white blooms that are followed by white fruit. This plant is an especially unique pick because of its bark, which ranges in color from red to burgundy. Red Osier Dogwoods typically reach heights of six to ten feet with a similar spread. A patch of fiery Red Osier Dogwood against a backdrop of fresh snow makes for an unforgettable winter scene.

Plume Grass (Erianthus ravennae) is also one of the best plants for winter landscaping. This tall perennial grass can create contrasting visual interest among other plants. The Plume Grass has a thin shaft and fluffy foliage that add elegance to a winter landscape. This plant grows quickly up to 11 feet tall and 4 feet wide,and is very hardy in cold and warmer climates.

The Bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica) is a shrub with spreading growth that reaches 4 to 6 feet tall and equally wide (though they are slow to reach maturity). The Bayberry is glossy and aromatic with small gray berris. These unusual berries are widely used to scent candles and are a popular choice for holiday scents. The berries are also a big attraction for birds, but resistant to deer. The Bayberry is also a drought-tolerant shrub which makes it a popular choice.

The Compact American Cranberry Bush Viburnum (Viburnum trilobum ‘Compactum’) is one of the best plants for winter landscaping. It yields large red berries that are a favorite for birds in winter landscapes. A rounded shrub, this species bears white flowers in May and June that are followed by red fruit. It also produces lovely foliage ranging from red to purple in the fall. Its color adds beauty to a snowy landscape. American Cranberry Bush Viburnum is hardy and reaches heights of 4 to 5 feet with a slightly smaller spread. 

The Birch Tree loses its leaves in winter, but is still a popular choice for landscaping in cold weather due to its beautiful and unique white bark. Birch trees are fast growers that typically add between 1 and 2 feet of height each year. Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera) is known for its pale white bark that peels back to reveal darker sections underneath. It typically grows up to 2 feet each year and can reach 60 feet tall at maturity. 

Winter Landscapes 

Giovine Landscaping can help with choosing plants and once you have made your choices, your picks will require some care. Giovine Landscaping can help with this too. Applying mulch, pruning, and applying anti-tran spirants are some of the ways to care for your winter plants and maintain their health. Whichever plants you choose for your home, their beauty and vibrancy will make your landscape look magnificent through the otherwise gray months of winter.

4 Winter Landscaping Tips To Protect Your Lawn

winter landscaping tips

In last month’s blog, we discussed winter gardening tips that you should follow. As important as winter gardening is, it’s equally important to read up on some winter landscaping tips to make your lawn look healthy and complete this season. If you’re ready to maximize your lawn over the coming months, keep reading for some helpful information!

Fertilize, Fertilize, Fertilize!

When the temperature drops, your grass dries up and loses all the necessary nutrients to stay healthy and green. Thankfully, fertilizing your lawn provides your grass with everything it needs to prosper during the colder months. Fertilizing your lawn is the best way to simultaneously prolong your grass’s lifespan, protect it when it freezes over, and boost your curb appeal – there’s no reason not to enrich your lawn!

Don’t Stop Watering

We’ll probably sound like a broken record in due time, but we cannot stress enough that watering everything on your lawn is still necessary, even in the winter. Grass doesn’t require as much water during the winter months, but it still needs something. Watering just a few times per month, maybe once per week, is adequate. Neglecting your lawn is the last thing you want to do!

Stave Off Road Salt

We understand that salt is necessary to deice the roads and your walkways, but it can harm your lawn and other greenery, especially if you live in a high-traffic area. Accumulated road salt can stunt the growth of your grass by preventing absorption of vital nutrients. Cars and people walking to your front door can kick salt up onto your lawn, so you should always keep an eye out for it. 

Keep Raking

We all think raking is a fall-exclusive practice, but it’s actually beneficial to do in the winter, as well. Even though all the leaves are gone, there is still plant debris that can be left over, and it can yield detrimental results for your lawn. If this debris isn’t collected, it can mix with fallen snow and serve as a breeding ground for mold and fungus. Those are not things that you want growing on your lawn, and they definitely hurt your curb appeal, so we suggest you keep on raking.

Maintaining your lawn in the winter can prove quite challenging, so we hope that this series of winter landscaping tips was helpful. If you still don’t know where to start, or have further questions, feel free to get in touch with the experts at Giovine Landscaping today! We’re more than happy to help winterize your front lawn!