Plan now for Spring Landscape Installations in Atlanta.

Fall is the perfect time to get your planning done for the late winter and early spring landscape installations in the Atlanta area and across the Southeast.  The appropriate amount of time is available to do a thorough, comprehensive Master Plan for the project.  A well thought out plan is the first step to a successful landscape project.  Allowing the proper amount of time for designing, meetings, and budget analysis is important in creating the perfect plan for a specific site and client.  Each site and client is unique and we treat our customers with services tailored just for their needs and requests.

Hardscapes and landscapes can be installed in later winter and early spring avoiding the coldest part of the year.  This also allows you to enjoy/benefit from your new landscape all of the warmer months.  It is also beneficial for the new plant materials in allowing them time to acclimate to their new conditions prior to the hot summer.  This is also a great time of the year to evaluate existing plants and the transplanting of them as deemed appropriate.

Pollock & Associates, Inc. is ready to meet and work with you on whatever type project you have.   We prepare detailed, accurate, in budget, low maintenance, and long lasting quality designs for large and small, commercial and residential projects.  Give us a call at 770-569-5900 to set up a meeting and see how we can assist you in creating the new landscape you desire.

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Daylilies—a Gardener’s Friend

The simple daylily is a wonderful plant to add to almost any landscape. There are hundreds of varieties and colors available. their flowers add excitement to any garden.

These perennials are extremely hardy in the Atlanta area; they will take heat, drought, or cold. They require little or no maintenance. Most daylilies like sun and will tolerate a little shade. Too much shade, however, and they will eventually die out. I like to use them on slopes as well, to stabilize the soil. They have a vigorous root system and grow fast. Some like the Stella D’oro, are repeat flowering.

Others will flower only one time, but what a display you can achieve.

Daylilies vary in height dramatically, from the Stellas at 12″-16″ to the traditional orange “ditchlily” at about 36″-42″.

The color range is staggering. There are so many different hybrids now, it is awesome. Many different catalogs are available for you to pick the plants/colors you like. I have hundreds of daylilies in my garden, and the display is stunning. As they mature, I regularly dig them up, separate them, replant some, and pot and sell some. This keeps them from getting too thick and allows others to enjoy these wonderful plants.

Easy to plant in almost any soil, (not too fond of real wet areas), daylilies are a low maintenance perennial that will add seasonal color to your landscape at a very inexpensive cost.

If you need more information on these great plants or would like to know what plants I have in stock for sale, call me:     Jim Pollock   at Pollock & Associates, Inc.  770-569-5900.



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Time to Plant!—Atlanta.

In my opinion, the last half of March is the best time to plant in the Atlanta/North Georgia area. We are generally past the time for any hard freezes and still early in the spring to allow for root growth to help the new plants get acclimated before the summer heat. At this time, all of the various types of plants should be planted, including the smaller perennials, etc.

Usually at this time you will also find the best selection of plants to choose from. The wholesale/retail outlets will have their largest selection of materials at this time of the year. The growers are completing their digging season and are shipping the fresh stock to the sellers.

Boulders with moss and lichens on them add a nice touch to a landscape with various textures and colors.

Spring fever has arrived! However, before you go out and buy a bunch of plants and start sticking them in the ground all over your property, get a Master Landscape Plan form us at Pollock & Associates, Inc.  This plan will give you the guidance you need to be able to plant to heart’s content and all the while be completing a well thought out, custom designed plan for your property. In the end you will be able to look back at your work and smile. Call us for your FREE consultation, and let’s get planting Atlanta!

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Caution Atlanta: Do Not Plant Perennials Yet!

Even though we have had a very mild winter, do not get impatient, wait just a little longer Atlanta to plant your perennials and smaller plants. We have historically had severe cold snaps in late February and March. Remember “the blizzard”? That was in March! So—when should you plant your perennials and smaller plants? I recommend late March into early April to help insure survival. You won’t miss any flowers and you don’t have to worry about the new plant’s rootball freezing and then the plant dying. Blackeyed Susans, Iris, Daylilies, Shasta Daisy, Coneflower, Fern, are but a few of the plants we are talking about. After these plants have been planted through an entire summer, they can withstand a cold winter here in North Georgia. However, if newly planted, they can suffer extreme damage to the roothairs in the rootball if they experience severe cold temperatures just after planting. This frequently results in the plant(s) dying.

Please be patient and consider waiting another month to plant. You will have much better success. If you need a quality landscape contractor to plant these for you, call Ben Elliot at Oak Hill Landscape at 770-598-6965, or go to their website at

If you need a FREE DESIGN CONSULTATION call us at Pollock & Associates, Inc. at 770-569-5900.


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Warm Winter = Pre-Emergent Need for Atlanta Lawns

The really warm winter we are experiencing is causing a real need for the application of a pre-emergent on your lawn. A pre-emergent is a chemical that once applied to the lawn forms a barrier at the top of the soil that prevents the germination of weed seeds; thus preventing those obnoxious weeds in Atlanta lawns and shrub beds. The warm weather is promoting an earlier than normal germination of these seeds. This necessitates an immediate need for the application of the pre-emergent. Apply now Atlanta!

Winter weeds, such as Poa annua, will not be prevented or eliminated by this round of pre-emergent, as they have already germinated. These winter weeds should be sprayed with a post-emergent selectively to remove them, especially in warm season lawns like Bermuda & Zoysia. To prevent Poa annua in the future, apply a pre-emergent in the fall to prevent this and other winter weeds.

If you have a new Fescue lawn, be careful. I would not recommend using a pre-emergent until next year. The new tender Fescue plants can be harmed by a pre-emergent.

The prevention of crabgrass starts now. A pre-emergent is your best chance at prevention of this resilient summer weed.

A pre-emergent is fairly easy to apply. You can apply it yourself with a little effort, proper knowledge and equipment; or you can call an expert in this field. If you would like to have a quality lawn management company apply this for you, we recommend: Top Turf. You can contact them at or you may email Bob Jones at We know this company will provide you quality service at competitve prices.

If you would like  to discuss your landscape needs in more detail, call us for a FREE CONSULTATION at:——————————— 770-569-5900.

Posted in Landscape Maintenance | 1 Comment

Maintenance 101: Two Ways to Maintain Crape Myrtles

Crape Myrtles are abundant in Atlanta landscapes and across the Southeast. They are a very traditional  plant/small tree for  southern gardens. They have a lot of positive attributes starting with the most obvious; flowering most of the summer,  a very interesting bark that exfoliates, nice fall color, and an upright habit that allows it to be used in many different applications. They come in many different colors from white to red to purple. This time of year is when the age-old debate begins—-”to prune or not to prune” the Crape Myrtles. There are 2 basic ways to manage your Crapes. Many people prune off all of the previous year’s growth and force the plant to produce new shoots in Spring to flower on. Others prefer to leave the tree alone and not to prune the tops at all, just pruning the suckers/shoots of the trunk and from the root area. Both ways are acceptable.

How do you decide which way to manage your Crape? The answer is most likely to be found in the placement of the specific tree(s) in question. For example:  If your tree is in a residential setting, you may want to prune it every year to keep the tree from getting to large for the space/yard. Crapes can get 30′ tall and 20′ wide if left alone. This may be too large for some areas in your yard. If it is in front of the house it could block the view of the house and this may be undesireable. Pruning it every year keeps these problems at bay. On the other hand, if you have a large area you may want to leave it alone. They grow into beautiful, full, vase-shaped trees. Also by not pruning you avoid the “knuckling” effect. This occurs when the tree is pruned at the same place on the limb every year. Roundish “knuckles” develop as the tree attempts to heal from the cut and these can be unsightly. An unpruned, or natural growing Crape Myrtle, is a beautiful tree. You see these frequently in Charleston, SC,  Savannah, GA, and other southern cities. Around Atlanta, it seems popular for the maintenance companies to prune the Crapes. This does produce a very manicured look and even a sculpturistic appearance when pruned properly.

So, in summary, prune your Crapes or not, either way is correct. Decide the look you wish to obtain and let that be what dictates how you manage your Crapes. Happy Landscaping!

If you would like a FREE CONSULTATION, call us at 770-569-5900.

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Boulders in Atlanta Landscapes

Rocks are great!!! Boulders can add a lot to Atlanta landscapes if properly used. Boulders with moss and lichens on them, and with interesting shapes, should be the rocks selected for naturalizing a landscape. They can also be used as a focal point or accent pieces. Boulders from the North Georgia/Tennessee/North Carolina mountains are most frequently used around Atlanta and available at many landscape supply companies. Adding a few rocks can bring a nice element to a landscape that might need a little spice.

There are a few things to know, however, prior to adding boulders to a landscape. Most rocks are harvested from the surface and when installed should go back into the ground the way they were naturally. This is easier said than done. The Landscape Architect or contractor must “read” the specific boulder to be placed and install it as close to how it was found naturally as possible. This will create the proper look. Too frequently they are turned sideways, upside down, or just plopped down by an untrained installer. This is what I call “looks like it fell out of an airplane and where it hit you left it”. Obviously, this is not the way to obtain the desired appearance. I have learned over the last 30 years, that it takes some natural talent to able to place boulders correctly. And—-not everyone has this ability!

Different sizes of boulders should also be used when creating a rock outcropping. Small, medium, and large rocks should be used in this situation to create a more natural appearance.

Another nice touch is to place the boulders in such a manner to allow the lawn to come right up to the base of the stone. Backfill the back side of the stone with soil and then place the plant materials behind the rock. This will insure visibility of the rocks. Too often, plants are installed in front of the rocks and soon grow to hide the view of them.

If you would like a naturalized landscape, Pollock & Associates, Inc. specializes in natural landscape design. We have installed “tons” of boulders in landscapes and waterfalls throughout the Atlanta and North Georgia area. Call today for a FREE consultation——770-569-5900.


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Great Plants for Fall Interest in Atlanta Gardens

There are numerous plants to consider for Atlanta and North Georgia that will bring seasonal interest to your garden. There are plants with flowers, with colorful leaves, interesting limb structure and fragrance.

To begin with—-it’s hard to beat the Camellia ‘Sansanqua’, or fall blooming Camellia. The wide variety of beautiful flowers available on these shrubs is wonderful. From dark reds to light pinks, from solid white to lavenders,  many different colors are available.

The flower size is approximately 3″-4″ and a little looser than the Camellia ‘Japonica’ which flowers in late winter/early spring. The ‘Sansanquas’ typically flower, in the Atlanta area, in late October thru December, depending on how early the real cold freezes arrive. It’s especially nice to have flowers out of the garden for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Not many other plants flower at this time. The Camellia is also a nice medium to large growing evergreen shrub with medium texture. It looks good all year. They are easy to take care of, requiring a little pruning and a little fertilizer. Most varieties will take partial shade to full sun preferring a little protection from the late afternoon sun. They are excellent when used at the corner of a house or for an evergreen screen. Some varieties to consider:—’Pink Snow’—grows fast, larger variety, profusely covered with light pink flowers;  ‘Yule-Tide’—-a slower grower, smaller size, more compact, with reddish flowers and orange centers;  and ‘Snow’—a pure white flower on a dark green large growing plant.

There are literally hundreds of varieties to choose from. I’m sure there is one for you. You can’t go wrong with Camellias. They smell good too!

Another plant to consider is the Witch-hazel ‘Diane’. This variety of Witch-hazel is spectacular. It is without a doubt one of the best plants for fall color.

A 6′-8′ tall by 6′-8′ wide plant, has big leaves–6″-8″ long. This plant turns orange-red-purple all at the same time. This is a seldom seen plant, but is available and should be used more often. It is very low maintenance also.

I hope these (2) plants help you select a  shrub for Fall interest for your garden. If you need further assistance, we are here to help you. Call us for your FREE CONSULTATION at:   770-569-5900.

Happy Gardening!




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Budgets are Important when Designing Atlanta Landscapes

$$ Dollars $$———This is a subject that a lot of Atlanta Landscape  Architects are hesitant to discuss. I think it is critical to discuss this topic in detail when gathering my design criteria during the initial visit with a potential/existing client. Understanding the financial aspects of the project are just as important as how creative the design will be.

The design work must represent a solution that can be implemented within the client’s budget. If this is not accomplished, (in my opinion), the Architect did not perform very professionally. Here’s my example:

A client has $50K to $60K to spend on improvements and that is understood by all parties. The architect and client(s) go back and forth developing a plan that all are very happy about. Now it’s time to bid the work to contractors. (3) bids are received. All of the bids come in form $80k to $100K! NOW WHAT? What is the client going to do with this plan that he can’t build because it is so expensive. He can’t afford it. The plan came in at 50% to 100% over budget! Now everybody involed is going to be unhappy. The client doesn’t want to pay for the plans. The Architect wants to be paid for his time and says, “you approved the plans as we were going along”. WRONG! How can the Architect expect the client to know how much things are going to cost while it is being designed? The Architect is supposed to direct the project and the client to insure the budget is taken into consideration.   Solution:   The Architect must design within the budget and must understand construction costs!

Pollock & Associates, Inc. prides itself in designing within budgets. We understand this business piece of our industry and work diligently to keep on target. Our clients are involved throughout the development of the plans and are aware of the associated construction costs. If you are in need of plans for improvements and do not know how much your ideas will cost, we can assist you with this also. Call today for a FREE CONSULTATION and we will meet and discuss your Landscape Architecture needs. 770-569-5900.

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Maintenance Consulting Services at Pollock & Associates, Inc.

Landscape maintenance is extremely important and often overlooked or taken for granted. Typically, we go out and prune the shrubs or cut the grass the same way over and over. After a few years this results in what I call a “tired landscape”. Proper maintenance techniques will prevent this from happening and with the appropriate direction/knowledge we can prevent the “tired” look on your property. Our thought is that a landscape needs to be “Managed” not “Maintained”. If you are pro-active to handle situations in the landscape before they become problems, you can avoid costly repairs or replacements.

Pollock & Associates, Inc. offers a Consulting Service to assist residential and commercial owners in managing their landscapes. We inspect each property and prepare a report outlining in detail each area of the site is to be dealt with. This could be transplanting daylilies from underneath a shrub  to another location in the sun, to hard pruning a holly that has gotten too large, to removing lawn that is now in too much shade from trees that have grown. By handling these items as they occur as opposed to waiting until there is an obvious problem, you can avoid costly repairs.

We visit each site on a scheduled basis, (once every 3 months, every 4 months, or twice a year), as dictated by the needs of each site. We inform the owner of our recommendations with a written report and assist in acquiring the proper contractors to perform the necessary adjustments.

The Atlanta/North Georgia landscapes evolve rapidly and it is very important to keep up with the changes occurring to keep your landscape healthy and beautiful for years to come. Call us today for your FREE initial consultation at: Pollock & Associates, Inc.  770-569-5900

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