Landscape Design | Lawn Care | Snow Removal


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.

Growing mushrooms in Grand Rapids, MI


Mushrooms are delicious vegetables which go well in omelets, in salads, or with a juicy steak. The truth is they taste even better when freshly picked.
Have you ever thought about growing your own mushrooms? Not the old fashioned way that means wandering aimlessly through the woods hoping to stumble upon a hidden cluster of stems. The best part is that everything can be done within the comfort of your home, even in the middle of winter.
Mushroom growing is a simple, fun activity that the kids will love. You can relax because it’s not half as messy as finger-paint. Just think of the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment they will have at mealtime. Misting the kit regularly is the main task in addition to the harvesting. Self- contained mail order kits will begin to produce in as little as 10 days. The websites mentioned below provide more details to help you decide if you want to grow mushrooms.
There are really only four things that come in the kit.

  • Mushroom spore / Liquid culture: the building blocks of all mushrooms, like the DNA.
  • Growing Media: a soil like blend of material in which the growing happens.
  • Growing Chamber: this can be a box or a plastic tub that holds everything.
  • Spray Bottle: misting the growing area regularly is needed for growth.

The websites and  are very informative and were consulted for this article.
Bon Appetite!

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.

Fall leaf clean-up

Yes, it’s that time again!  MLM is offering curbside leaf pile pickup in the Grand Rapids, MI area.

Grand Rapids Lawn Maintenace – Fall Lawn aeration


 WHAT: A machine with hollow shafts of metal runs over the turf removing core plugs of soil and grass.

These plugs remain on the lawn and break down over the next several weeks.


WHY: Allows fertilizer, air and water to get close to the turf roots.

Fall is the best time for root growth.

Improved root & turf strength gives you a thicker, greener lawn.

Reduces soil compaction for better water absorption.

Break down the thatch layer that stifles your lawn.


WHEN: Prior to your next fertilizer application.


HOW: Call MLM today for a quote!

Mention this blog and receive 10% a fall fertilizer application. New clients only.

Monsma Landscape & Maintenance is a landscape management company located in the Grand Rapids area.  Our services include landscape design and landscape management services within the Grand Rapids area.

Community Giving in Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids school receives a tree for playground from Grand Rapids Landscape Company

Monsma Landscape & Maintenance in Grand Rapids donates a River Birch tree to provide much needed shade on the playground at CA Frost ESA

2nd Graders at CA FROST ESA are very grateful

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,

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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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