Love your Landscape

Want to add some curb appeal to your home? A pop of color in your yard? There are endless possibilities, and Landscape Love can help. Nan and Steele Arundel are the creative force behind the full-service landscaping business, which they run from their home.

They have been working for about five years to help spice up the yards of many Minneapolis residents. Both born and raised in the area, the Arundels describe Southwest as “the bread and butter” of their business. They can do gardens, patios, stonework and more, and have offered some of their expert advice to help you accent your own home in just one day.


Add an accent bed

You can place an accent bed pretty much anywhere in your yard, but they tend to work best in a corner. This is a great way to add color interest, height, and bring the space to focus and life, says Nan.

1. Mark out your accent bed. 4–5 feet from the crux of the corner will provide a good amount of planting space. After you mark this point, make a gentle curve to create a pie-shape area for the accent bed.

2. Remove the sod. Remove it by using a square edge shovel to expose the soil underneath.

3. Install edging. This defines your new planting bed and prevents unwanted plants from entering it. Black vinyl edging is affordable, but there are other options if you are looking for a different look. These materials are available at Klier’s Nursery on 58th and Nicollet.  

4. Design. Nan and Steele suggest height from back to front. A trellis at the back of your accent bed with plants such as climbing clematis of honeysuckle can fill in the background of the bed. In front, plant some perennials to complement your trellis choice. (Landscape Love a big fan of Lady’s Mantle!)

5. Finish and protect. Finalize your accent bed with a coat of mulch. This will not only give the bed a refined look, but will also prevent weed-growth and help your plants retain moisture.

Create instant curb appeal with an ornamental tree bed

Like the accent bed, a tree bed can be placed anywhere you like in your yard, and will add some life and color. The steps are similar, but the effect is entirely unique.

1. Pick a tree. What time of the year do you want your tree to be in full bloom? Crabapples and lilacs bloom in early summer, while hydrangea trees bloom later. Weeping pea shrubs are summer-long trees — it’s up to you!

2. Decide on the size of the tree bed.

3. Remove the sod. Same deal as the accent bed: use a square edge shovel.

4. Install edging. Nan and Steele suggest snapped stone as it provides a rugged contrast to the delicate tree blossoms.

5. Plant and mulch. Dig a hole wide enough for your tree of choice, and top the job off with some mulch.

Accessorize your space

The simplest and quickest way to jazz up your yard is by accessorizing, says Nan.

— Put your old stuff to new use: Have an old bicycle in the basement? Buy a basket for the front and fill it with flowers. You can fill old pots with annuals and place them right in an existing garden bed to add some color, or place them on an unused chair to give your yard a bit of height.

— Trellises: Nan and Steele emphasize height. The landscape may start from the ground, but the sky is the limit — literally. Trellises are an excellent place to start. You can make your own by taking old sticks from your yard, and sticking them in the ground or in a flowerpot. Bend the sticks so they connect at the top, and bind with twine. Intertwine the loose edges, and you have yourself a trellis. Not only do they add instant height to your lawn, but they can also be accessorized themselves with vine plants such as honeysuckle and climbing clematis.

— Window boxes: Hang the window boxes under your windows, and plant climbing vines in the back and bushy flowers in the front. As the plants grow and fill out, train your vines to climb up and around your windows to give your house the look of a gardener’s cottage.

Helpful Hints

Both Nan and Steele have been in the landscaping business for a while, and have learned some helpful bits and pieces along the way. Here are some quick and easy hints to make your landscaping life just a little bit easier.

— Off to your cabin for the weekend? Fill an old wine bottle with water, flip it over, and stick it into one of your pots for a quick and effective weekend watering system.

— Before laying down your mulch, lay down newspaper 10 pages thick in your garden, and wet with a hose. This is a biodegradable product that will prevent weeds from intruding your garden.

— Have ants? Sprinkle black pepper and they’ll leave you alone. Rabbits? They are not a fan of garlic cloves.

— Get rid of unwanted weeds growing in between pavers or on pathways by pouring boiling water on them.

— Keep your garden tools sharp and clean by sticking them into a bucket full of sand and unused motor oil. This also prevents rusting.


Get some help

“Landscaping is not very straightforward,” Steele said. “You can get as crazy as you want!”

Landscaping can be quite an investment, but Landscape Love is a small business that won’t turn down smaller projects.

“Just $1,500-$2,000 can completely transform a landscape,” Nan said. So, pick your project, and then pick your plants. Nan’s favorites are succulents and sedums, while Steele’s is Russian Sage. You can contact Landscape Love at 327-1313 or lanscapelovemail@gmail.com. For more information, check out landscapelovegardens.com.