Front door entryway with holiday decorations by Shorb Landscaping.

Welcome the Season with Festive Front Entryway Decor for the Holidays!

The holiday season is upon us, and what better way to spread joy and warmth than by transforming your front entryway into a festive wonderland? Whether you’re a seasoned decorator or a newcomer to holiday embellishments, Shorb’s expert designers will help you create a welcoming and spirited entrance that sets the tone for a season of celebration.

  1. Start with a Clean Slate: Before diving into the holiday decorations, take a moment to clean and tidy up your front entryway. Sweep away any fallen leaves, clear clutter, and give your front door a fresh coat of paint if needed. A clean and well-maintained entry sets the stage for a stunning holiday display.
  2. Choose a Theme: Selecting a theme can help streamline your decorating process and create a cohesive look. Classic themes like “Winter Wonderland,” “Rustic Charm,” or “Traditional Red and Green” are popular choices. Once you’ve chosen a theme, you can tailor your decorations accordingly.
  3. Festive Door Wreath: A door wreath is a timeless and inviting way to greet guests. Consider using traditional evergreen branches, pinecones, and festive ribbons. For a personalized touch, add ornaments, berries, or even small twinkling lights. Hang the wreath at eye level for maximum impact.
  4. Garlands and Swags: Dress up your entryway with garlands and swags along the railing or porch banisters. Adorn them with lights, bows, and ornaments to create a magical atmosphere. If you have pillars or columns, wrap them with garlands for an elegant touch.
  5. Twinkling Lights: Nothing says “holiday magic” like the warm glow of twinkling lights. String them along the roofline, wrap them around porch railings, or drape them through shrubbery. LED lights are energy-efficient and come in a variety of colors and styles, allowing you to customize your display.
  6. Seasonal Planters: Replace your usual potted plants with festive arrangements for the holiday season. Fill planters with evergreen branches, holly, and pinecones. Add pops of color with red or gold accents, and consider placing small ornaments or fairy lights for an extra touch of whimsy.
  7. Create a Cozy Nook: If space allows, consider adding a cozy seating area to your front entryway. Arrange outdoor furniture with festive cushions and blankets. This creates a welcoming spot for guests to linger and enjoy the holiday ambiance.
  8. Personalized Signage: Incorporate personalized signs or chalkboards with cheerful holiday messages. This adds a warm and inviting touch, and you can customize the message to reflect your family’s unique holiday traditions.

With these tips, you’re well on your way to creating a front entryway that radiates holiday cheer. Whether you prefer a traditional look or want to try something more contemporary, let your creativity shine. Remember, the key is to infuse your unique style into the decorations, creating a warm and festive atmosphere for all who pass through your front door.

Let Shorb do it for you!

Too busy to do it yourself, or just need some extra help? The team at Shorb can design, install, and remove your holiday display when the holidays are over. This service is a convenient and hassle-free way to get into the holiday spirit!

Click here fill out our order form, and we’ll take care of the rest!

What Should You Do With All Those Fall Leaves?

Fall is a beautiful time of year in the D.C. area.  The temperatures drop and the air feels cool and crisp.  Soon we can expect beautiful fall foliage.  But along with the vibrant hues of orange, red, and yellow, comes an inevitable day when the leaves begin to fall from the trees and into our yards.  So what do you do with all those leaves?  While a very common way to manage is to bag and have them hauled away, did you know that fallen foliage contain anywhere from 50 to 80 percent of the nutrients that plants need from the soil?  They can actually be a great natural resource.  Consider these eco-friendly ways to utilize your excess this fall.

Shred Using a Mower

The easiest way to manage leaves is to simply shred them and create a layer in the grass.  This method works best on a light layer of leaves using a mulching mower.  The benefit to shredding them is the valuable nutrients they impart into your grass.

Add Leaves Your Garden Beds

Leaves can serve two purposes in your garden beds.  Tilling into heavy soil helps with aeration and drainage.  And working into light soil improves its ability to retain nutrients and water.  They can also be placed on top of the soil and used as a layer of mulch.


Composting is another option.  The benefit of composting is that it adds a natural source of nutrients to your flowerbeds and potted plants. Additionally, you can add grass clippings, pine needles, and spent plants to the compost pile.

At Shorb Landscaping, our team of landscapers and designers can help you maintain your flowerbeds and yard throughout the fall season.  Call us at 301-897-3503.

Flower Bulbs

Fall is the Best Time to Plant Bulbs for Spring Blooms

Even though the weather is beginning to cool down, this does not mean it is time to give up on gardening.  In fact, fall is actually the best time to plant bulbs for spring blooming.   For beautiful spring flowers make sure to plant bulbs prior to the first freeze.

Tips on How to Plant Bulbs

Some bulbs will bloom one season, while others will continue to bloom year after year.  Either way, they are a beautiful site and well worth it.  Here are some tips on how to plant them:

  • Plant in an area with well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight.
  • Incorporate compost into the soil.
  • The depth of each hole should be three times the width of the bulb.
  • There is always a chance that some may not grow, so make sure to plant plenty.
  • For a natural look, plant and space them randomly.
  • Use a low nitrogen fertilizer and water well after planting.
  • Apply a layer of mulch to deter weeds and retain moisture.

Types of Bulbs to Plant

The types of bulbs that are available to plant are numerous so it is best to choose ones that work well in your climate.  In the DC area, for flowers that bloom towards the end of winter, plant Grape Hyacinth and Winter Aconite. For early spring blooms include Crocus and Daffodils into your garden beds.  Tulips will also bloom in early spring and continue on to the end of the season.  Bearded Iris and Siberian Iris will both bloom from early spring on into the summer.

While some may believe that fall is a time to wind down the gardening, it is actually the best time to start preparing for next spring. At Shorb Landscaping, our team of landscapers and designers can help ready your lawn and gardens for every season.  Call us at 301-897-3503.


Garden Design – Creating a Main Focus in a Garden

A focal point is what your eye sees first.  It catches your attention.  This could be the largest, brightest object in your yard, or it could even be something subtle.   Just remember, less is often more.  Don’t overcrowd an area with plants or objects you want to feature.  Choose one thing and make everything else the “supporting cast”.  The options for a focal point are endless.  However, remember that the purpose is the control the view and create a sense of order in your yard.  Garden design allows you to create specific focuses in your garden.

Object Focal Points

These can include structures, objects, or even pathways.  An architectural element such as a pergola, arch, or gateway can serve as a focal point.   A statue, garden art or a water feature also make effective focal points.  Just choose objects that are harmonious with the style and size of the garden.  Walkways can serve not only as a path of direction; they can draw attention to a focal point such as a resting spot or bench that marks the end of the path.

Plant Focal Points

To create a focal point using plants, add one dramatic plant or group of plants to the focal point area.  It is best to choose plants that look good throughout the season, or all year if possible.  Perennials and annuals grouped together can make a nice seasonal focal point, but a large, flowering tree in the center of a flower bed can provide visual interest all through the year.  In fact, a tall plant naturally draws the eye because of its size compared to the surrounding plants.

Keep in mind when creating a focal point that it should follow the natural lines in your yard.  At Shorb Landscaping, our professional landscapers and designers can help you with focal points or with any other garden design needs.  You can call us at 301-897-3503.


Perennials – Some Fun Facts!

Did you know that many of the plants in your yard are considered perennials? A perennial includes plants, flowers, shrubs, and trees that live for two years or longer. As you can imagine, perennials come in many shapes and sizes. Here are some fun facts about these plants.


General Facts About Perennials:

  • These flowers don’t always bloom the first year that they are planted, but with proper care, they will bloom the next year and each year after that for the duration of their lifespan.
  • Since they live a long time, they do not need to produce many seeds to survive. In fact, once they are planted and well established, they will need minimal upkeep with watering and fertilizing.
  • They often have a rest period at some point in their life cycle where the plant will remain dormant.
  • These plants include a wide variety of flowers, fruits, herbs, and vegetables.

Gardening Facts:

  • To increase the number of perennials in your garden, take cuttings from existing ones and plant them in the ground.
  • Perennials bloom time is about 3-4 weeks, so fill beds with a variety of plants for continuous blooming throughout the season.
  • When they stop blooming, dig them up during the spring, divide them, and then replant them.
  • Remove dead flowers from the plants to increase blooming.
  • Herbaceous perennials die back during cold weather seasons but will return in the spring from the same roots whereas evergreen ones keep their leaves throughout the year.
  • Perennial flowers that are from a cooler region, such as asters, irises, wallflowers, and peonies, do best when they experience a cold winter.

There are many types of perennials to choose from when designing your home’s landscape. At Shorb Landscaping, our team of landscapers and designers can help you make the best choices of plants for your yard. Call us at 301-897-3503.

Kids playing on healthy lawn in summer

Top Five Summer Lawn Care Tips for the Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia Region

Tips to keep your lawn healthy and beautiful throughout the summer

Summer is a time when we typically try to take a vacation, unwind a bit from the hectic day to day, and enjoy the work that has gone into our lawns and gardens. The Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia region (also known as “the DMV”), known for its humid subtropical Summer climate, presents its own set of challenges for lawn care. To help you keep your lawn healthy and beautiful throughout the summer, we have compiled the top five lawn care tips specifically tailored to the DMV region.

1. Proper Watering

Rain GuageWatering your lawn correctly is crucial during the summer months. In the DMV region, it’s best to water deeply and frequently to encourage deep root growth. Water your lawn early in the morning to allow ample time for the grass to dry before evening, preventing the growth of fungal diseases. Aim for about an inch of water per week, including rainfall. Consider using a rain gauge or a moisture sensor to monitor the water levels and avoid over or under watering.

2. Mowing Techniques

When it comes to mowing, it’s essential to follow the right techniques. Set your mower blades to a height of around 3 to 4 inches, as taller grass shades the soil, preventing weed growth and reducing evaporation. Avoid cutting more than one-third of the grass blade’s height at a time, as this can stress the grass and inhibit its ability to withstand summer heat and drought. Additionally, keep your mower blades sharp to ensure clean cuts that promote healthier growth.

3. Weed Control

Weeds can be very aggressive in the DMV region and can quickly take over your lawn if left unattended. To control weeds effectively, consider applying pre-emergent herbicides early in the season to prevent their germination. For stubborn weeds, spot treat them with post-emergent herbicides, making sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Regularly inspect your lawn for any signs of weed growth and address them promptly to prevent them from spreading.

Homeowners should be aware that certain chemical treatments and herbicides may not be allowed in some areas, due to environmental policy. Your Shorb consultant will know the proper techniques and solutions allowed in your specific location.

4. Fertilization

Proper fertilization is crucial for the overall health and vitality of your lawn. In the DMV region, it’s recommended to apply a slow-release, balanced fertilizer during late spring or early summer. This will provide the necessary nutrients to support growth and withstand the stresses of summer. Avoid over-fertilizing, as it can lead to excessive growth and make the grass more susceptible to disease.

Certain chemicals and fertilizers may be banned in some areas, due to water run-off and environmental policy. Your Shorb consultant will know the proper fertilization solutions allowed in your specific location.

5. Managing Pests and Diseases

The warm and humid climate of the DMV region can create favorable conditions for pests and diseases to thrive. Regularly inspect your lawn for signs of insect damage, such as brown patches or chewed grass blades. Use appropriate insecticides or natural remedies to control pests like grubs, chinch bugs, and armyworms. Additionally, keep an eye out for common lawn diseases such as brown patch and dollar spot, and apply fungicides as needed, following the instructions on the product label.


Maintaining a healthy and vibrant lawn in the DMV region during the summer requires a proactive approach and adherence to these essential care tips. By following proper watering practices, mowing techniques, weed control measures, fertilization routines, and pest and disease management strategies, you can ensure that your lawn remains beautiful and resilient throughout the summer months. Remember, a well-cared-for lawn not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your property but also provides a refreshing space for outdoor activities during the warm summer season.

Contact your Shorb representative to help you develop a comprehensive action plan for maintaining a beautiful and healthy lawn this summer and all year long!

The Key to Creating a Layered Landscape for your Property

Have you ever been in a backyard that is full of lush, beautiful plants and shrubs?  While it may have taken the homeowners a very long time to build this backyard paradise, it is also possible to achieve this look right away.  The key is to fill your space both vertically and horizontally creating a layered landscape.  This layering effect creates an immediate sense of a mature, lush landscape.

To create a layered landscape, choose plants that will grow together in a stacked group.  When you look at your planting area as both a vertical and horizontal space, you can easily start to fill in the spaces.  Follow these same principles throughout your yard, whether it’s for your garden, a border, or a foundation area.

When building a stacked look, consider how much light your bottom layer will have.  If your top layer provides shade, choose plants such as hosta, vinca, and ferns for the ground level.  If your bottom layer receives plenty of sun, choose a ground cover that likes sun.

The middle layer can be filled with perennial plants that grow up to two feet high or small shrubs. Japanese Barberry or Rockspray Cotoneaster are good choices for this layer.  Another option for the middle layer is ornamental trees such as redbuds and dogwoods.

Finally, add height to the look with a layer of tall trees. Trees that work well with this look and provide adequate shade include red maple, sycamore, and oaks.

This layering effect will add an instant impact to your yard, providing a look of a mature landscape in a fraction of the time.  At Shorb Landscaping, our professional landscapers and designers will work with you to achieve the look you desire.  You can call us at 301-897-3503 to get more information about your landscaping needs or take a look at our project gallery to get some ideas of what we can do for you.

Proper Mulch Application

Too Much Mulch?

Do you have too much mulch in beds or around trees? When properly applied, mulch can be beneficial to your landscape to retain moisture and reduce weed growth. However, a build-up of excessive mulch or an over-application can cause problems for plants. The experts at Shorb can help ensure that the mulch in your landscape is properly applied, and in some cases, reduced or removed.

Why might I need to remove mulch in my garden?

While mulch is very beneficial for the plants to thrive in our gardens, too much will have a detrimental effect on the plants.

Excessive mulch can suffocate the plant roots which inhibits their ability to “breath”.

Mulch holds in moisture which is good for tree roots, but not for the trunk. Never let mulch build up against the trunk of a tree.

Do I have too much mulch?

Some types of mulch, like shredded hardwood, does not break down.

Unless old mulch us removed, repeated applications may have accumulated over the years.

Sometimes mulch is simply over applied.

What happens if I do nothing?

Too much mulch will stress the tree which may cause secondary issues, such as insect and disease infestations. Just like people, if we don’t have a balanced diet, enough sleep, etc., which makes us more susceptible to getting sick. These are correlations, not causation. Be aware, but not alarmed.

How is excess mulch removed?

Hand shovels to gently scrape the excess away, while being careful not to damage the roots.

A high pressure air spade can blow away the excess mulch without damaging the roots.This is the preferred method for beds planted with shrubs and bushes.

How do I prevent this from happening in the future?

Apply at the proper thickness: If using shredded hardwood mulch, first application should be 2”. After that, a very light re-mulching ( ½ to 1”) is all that is needed to make it look fresh.

Remove old mulch: If using shredded hardwood mulch exclusively, remove some of the old mulch before applying new mulch.

Use Shredded Leaf Mulch: It breaks down within 6 months. It also acts like the natural forest litter that plants have evolved to thrive in. You may notice an increase in bird activity, as they are going for the earthworms.

Contact Shorb for more Information

Still have questions, or need an expert to inspect your landscape? Contact Shorb today to schedule a consultation!

Installing an outdoor kitchen in winter

4 Reasons to Start Your Hardscaping Project in the Winter

It may be chilly outside but that doesn’t mean you can’t start the process of upgrading your outdoor living spaces. Winter is an ideal time to plan and install hardscape projects. Hardscaping projects such as stone patios, fire pits, sidewalks, driveways, walls, and stairs can be designed to create amazing outdoor spaces for family fun and entertaining, and these projects can all be worked on throughout the winter. Completing projects like these during the winter gives you the benefit of maximizing the amount of time you can spend enjoying your beautiful yard when the weather gets warmer. Ideally, hardscape projects are wrapped up towards the end of the winter, just in time for spring planting.

There are several advantages of tackling these types of projects during the winter months.

1. Cost Savings & Availability

Winter is typically a slower time of year for landscapers. Less demand means supplies and labor are more available and less expensive. That can translate to greater savings on your end—or the ability to afford higher-quality materials or undertake a larger scale project.

2. Less Damage to Your Yard

With the ground typically being more firm during the winter, hardscaping is less impactful to your property. Your lawn and soil are likely to sustain less damage from equipment, foot traffic, and excavations associated with a hardscaping project.

3. Less Disruption

Typical yard activity is less in the winter and greater in the spring and summer, so it makes sense to do the projects when the yard is not being used as much.

4. Often Ideal Weather

Winters in the DC area have gotten more mild, with several sunny stretches prime for doing outdoor work—without the oppressive summer heat and humidity. Crisper temperatures can also directly benefit certain hardscaping applications—making for a slower, more even drying and curing process for mortar and cement.

Contact Shorb Landscaping

Shorb’s design and installation team can transform your outdoor space with a hardscape that maximizes your property’s aesthetic appeal, practical utility, and overall value while adding a whole new expression of your style and personality to your home.

Contact Shorb today to schedule a consultation!

Outdoor hanging fire pit

Fireplaces and Fire Pits: Extend the Season Outdoors