Landscape Design | Lawn Care | Snow Removal

Landscaping Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids Rain Gardens

WHY SHOULD WE HAVE RAIN GARDENS in Grand Rapids, Michigan?

Grand Rapids Rain Gardens

Grand Rapids Rain Gardens

Clean Water the Natural Way

With all the rain that we have had in the last week you’ve probably been wondering where does all the water go and what pollution is carrying with it. Before the days of pavement most of the water was absorbed back into the aquafier where it fell. Today with pavement and pipes the water is transported into our rivers and lakes along with the residue from our cars. Rain Gardens slow the flow of runoff as temporary reservoirs designed to contain, filter, and absorb the water keeping it from the storm sewer.

Beautiful New Habitat

Properly designed rain gardens can be amazingly beautiful features of the landscape. They are also a source of entertainment for the owners and home to many butterflies beneficial insects and songbirds.

Build it Once

Rain gardens are meant to filter the runoff rapidly, meaning the water drains within 24 hours of the storm. For proper filtration you need the right mix of about 50% sand, 20% soil, and 30% compost. No topsoil is needed for sites of heavy clay. Care must be taken during construction to minimize soil compaction in the rain garden by equipment and foot traffic.

Right Plant, Right Place

Different plant species will be needed for the low level, mid level, and top level of the rain garden. Conditions of sun and shade will influence the selection process. And you will want to top it off with 3 inches of mulch to keep the plants moist during dry spells and to help discourage weeds.


Cottage Landscape, Grand Rapids Area MI

The Cottage Landscape

Low maintenance landscape Grand Rapids MI

Low maintenance landscape Grand Rapids MI

Personal tastes in landscaping can be as unique as you are. However most folks agree that well planned exterior hardscapes and plantings will increase property values in the Grand Rapids area, it’s curb appeal and will add benefit to your life experience.

Easy breezy and low maintenance landscaping

The top request from our Grand Rapids area clients is low maintenance. This can be achieved, but please remember there is no such thing as zero maintenance. During establishment (usually the first year after installation) it is important to keep up on weeding and watering. With most perennials there is the need either (pre season or end of season) to cut down the growth of the previous year. With these basic tasks covered you can enjoy the outside as much as the inside of your cottage!

Right plant, right place

Let’s look at the possibilities for a dry, sunny site with poor soil. With less than ideal soil it is a good idea to add leaf compost for a good start.  Adding a temporary soaker hose will make watering a snap. Slow release fertilizer added when planting will give your plants an extra boost. Putting the right plant in the right place is the biggest key to success. Plant selection should be based on how it will perform in specific location. There are plants that need full sun and some need shade, some like wet feet and others need well drained soil. You also need to know what plants deer will browse. It is important to know what your plant needs before the shovel goes in the ground.

Tough sun lovers

With so many different cultivars of these plants, you’re bound to find some that tickle your fancy. Here is a short list of some drought tolerant, full sun perennials:


Allium (ornamental chive)

Baptisia (wild indigo)

Butterfly Bush


Echinacea (coneflower)




Ornamental grasses

Perovskia (Russian Sage)


Vinca (Myrtle)


How to get the most out of your Grand Rapids landscaping this Spring!

What every Grand Rapids homeowner should know about landscaping and gardening?

What Every Gardener and Landscaper Should Know…
It’s all about the soil! Whether you have containers or a plot in the ground, over time the soils become depleted of nutrients. Every spring container soils should be replaced and amend the garden with leaf compost.

Keep the Garden Growing With…
Slow release granular AND liquid feeding.

Everyone Should Avoid…
Over mulching of woody ornamentals is never a good thing. This creates a mulch volcano that keeps the bark moist and eventually rots the bark preventing the nutrient exchange and kills the plant.

For Months and Months of Flowers…
Always save room for perennial favorites Gaillardia ‘Lemons & Oranges’ and Geranium ‘Rozanne’.  I’m a sucker for Hydrangeas; ‘Limelight’ and ‘Tardiva’ provide a stunning supply for the late summer and fall months.

For Containers That WOW…
Always have these three ingredients: the filler to take up space, the spiller to cascade over the sides of the pot, and the thriller to give height to the arrangement.

Winter Pruning Grand Rapids Area MI

Grand Rapids plant and shrub pruning in preparation for spring WHY WINTER PRUNING AT YOUR HOME IN THE GRAND RAPIDS AREA?

  • Dormant pruning of deciduous shrubs allows a close look at the “bones” to see rubbing branches & dead wood for removal.
  • Thinning of the interior improves air circulation & plant health.
  • Improve the form and structure of the plants.
  • Pruning often helps rejuvenate plants.


Plant your bulb for Spring

West Michigan winters are very harsh.  After a long and gray winter in Grand Rapids, it is nice to see some color when the snow and ice melts away from your beds.  Now is the time to plant bulbs for great Spring flowers!  Planting your bulbs now in your west Michigan yard will result in beautiful flowers in Spring.

Grand Rapids, MI – is your lawn dead or dormant?

Save your lawn West Michigan!  Want to LOVE your LAWN again?

Tan and dead looking lawns have become all too common this summer.

According to MSU Turf Studies the best way to restore west Michigan turf is to aerate, overseed, and topdress with soil.

For large areas topdressing is not necessary.

There is hope, but it will take some work!

Need help with your lawn Grand Rapids?  Call Monsma Landscape and Maintenance TODAY (616) 868-5767 to talk to the professionals

Grand Rapids, keep your yard green!

Drought like conditions in Grand Rapids!

All of us have seen the transformation all around us. Lawns and plants have gone from lush green to toast in a very short time.
Yes, we need rain very badly but you can help by bumping up the sprinkling. With the heat lately you may need to actually
double your sprinkling times to keep things looking good.

Remember that a slow deep soaking is more beneficial that a quick blast that will probably flow away from the plant. Some plants like Coreopsis are prone to mildew if they stay wet too long, so don’t water them late in the day. The same goes for turf. Early morning watering is best. You may want to hit it again 12 hours later making sure it can dry before dark. One drawback to watering in the heat is water loss through evaporation. Timing is everything… when you water will effect the amount you water.
Another option would be to keep sprinkling at the same time but double the duration.

Attention…property owners in Grand Rapids, due to this long hot spell without rain, make sure to raise your blade when lawn mowing to avoid your grass from scorching or burning in the hot sun.

Keeping it green,

Permeable Pavers, Grand Rapids, MI

Management of stormwater has become a hot topic and could be the next profit center for your business. Landscapers who install paver patios and walkways already can know  the principles behind attractive hardscapes. They can point
their clients to product lines that absorb rainfall while reducing runoff and promote the earth friendly benefits of these systems.




  1. Stormwater runoff reduction
    Through the use of permeable pavers in driveways and parking areas the amount of stormwater that reaches water treatment systems can be reduced. This will save money for municipalities.
  2. Aquifer recharge
    Porous pavements detain stormwater and allow it to slowly add to the ground water levels and mimic the natural water cycle.
  3. Pollution control
    Paved surfaces used for vehicle traffic accumulate pollutants that flow into streams and lakes with the stormater. Permeable pavers  filter  suspended solids, nutrients, and metals through the crushed stone base and aid in the breakdown of contaminants.
  4. Cost savings
    Experience has shown that even though the initial installation costs more,permeable pavers have maintenance costs that are 30% less than asphalt.
  5. Cooling effects and looking cool
    Permeable pavers that are sown with grass seed have a lower surface temperature than asphalt. Porous pavers look great!  The open areas of these pavers can have soil and grass seed added to give a very unique look.ver 90% of rainfall events are of half an inch less. Much of this rainfall

Over 90% of rainfall events are of half an inch less.  Much of this rainfall can be handled by permeable pavers. By showing your clients the benefits
you can add more green to your bottom line.

Dan Monsma

Source: Paveloc Industries, Inc.

Great lawns in Grand Rapids and West Michigan!

Lush, dense, green turf is want everybody wants.  At MLM that’s our goal too!

With the right balance of soil, nutrients, water and timely mowing a great lawn in Grand Rapids and West Michigan can be yours!

Garlic Mustard in West Michigan…invasive plant!

What started as culinary spice from Europe that is now an invasive weed taking over West Michigan?

Garlic Mustard. When you see it, pull it roots and all and throw it in the trash. Better move fast because it’s going to seed very soon!

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    Check out my interview, The Importance of Proper Landscape Maintenance on Michigan Homes, one of the top sites for Michigan homes for sale, including Macomb, MI real estate. Michigan Homes also services Illinois homes for sale and Pennsylvania homes for sale.

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