Q & A With Local Landscaping Expert

This summer, we’re spending a lot more time at home. So what better time to do a bit of landscaping? Brent Weller of Weller Brothers — local landscaping expert and one of our trusted partners — offered us some insight for homeowners looking to spruce up their yards.  

NORTH HOUSE: WHAT ARE EASY LANDSCAPING PROJECTS HOMEOWNERS CAN TACKLE THEMSELVES?

Brent Weller: Softscapes (plants) are an easy way to enhance your curb appeal. With some guidance from a local nursery, a few new plants or trees can really add new color and dimension to your exterior.

Photo provided by Weller Brothers.

NH: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BEST PLANTS FOR THE MN CLIMATE?

BW: The Rochester area is in planting zone 4b, any plants need to be a zone 4 plant or lower because of our harsh winters (You can typically find this info on the tag placed in the plant’s dirt). Most local nurseries only carry these types of plants.

It’s also important to look for plants that are deer and rabbit resistant. A lot of our neighborhoods back up to wooded areas that are home to deer and rabbits, and they love to snack on plant material, especially during the winter months. Make sure to protect your plants during the winter and use natural repellents when needed.

NH: WHAT ARE SOME COMMON ISSUES HOMEOWNERS ARE FACING WITH THEIR LANDSCAPING RIGHT NOW?

BW: Age. Just like a 10-15 year old kitchen, landscapes need updating. Plants are living, breathing organisms that have a lifespan. That lifespan could be shortened without proper maintenance. Additionally, hardscapes get outdated and manufacturers of hardscape material keep coming out with new and updated products, including our local manufacturer, Rochester Concrete Products.

NH: WHAT SHOULD HOMEOWNERS BE WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?

Maintenance. Maintenance is key to having a healthy landscape. If you do not stay on top of maintaining your landscape beds or lawn, it’s easy for it to get away from you. If you see weeds popping up, take care of them right away or they will spread, and it can become overwhelming to maintain a few weeks down the road.

NH: SHOULD PEOPLE BE WATERING OUR LAWNS?

BW: Yes, we are approaching the hot dry summer months and it is key to water your lawn to keep it lush and green. Keep in mind the best time to water is early morning or late evenings to avoid evaporation.

NH: WHEN SHOULD YOU HIRE A PROFESSIONAL?

BW: It really depends on the homeowner. Some people are weekend warriors and love to tackle projects of all sizes, which is great. I just recommend that they do their research and are using best practices.

NH: WHAT SHOULD HOMEOWNERS LOOK FOR WHEN SEARCHING FOR THE RIGHT LANDSCAPER? 

BW: Professionalism and good history. There will always be new companies that can do it cheaper than a well-established company. But it can be more expensive to hire an amateur than a professional, as you may end up hiring the professional company to fix what you got a “good deal on.”  Weller Brothers will be celebrating 20 years in business next year, it is a milestone we are very proud of and are excited to celebrate.

Photo provided by Weller Brothers

NH: WHAT SERVICES DOES WELLER BROTHERS OFFER? 

BW: Currently, in the Rochester area, we offer design and build options. This includes hardscape (patios, retaining walls, etc.) and softscape (plants, trees, sod) installation for our customers. We plan to add maintenance services such as weekly mowing and lawn fertilization to our customers in 2021.

NH: WHAT TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING IN LANDSCAPING?

Our summer in Minnesota is short, by adding a fire feature such as a fire pit or fireplace we can extend the use of our outdoor space. Also, outdoor kitchens and bars have been very popular as it is enjoyable to entertain guests outside without having to go in and out of your home kitchen.

NH: DECKS OR PATIOS?

BW: Patios. If elevations allow, I would always go with a paver patio. There is less maintenance and a correctly installed patio will last longer than any deck, including maintenance free decks.

NH: WHEN DID YOU FIRST TEAM UP WITH NORTH HOUSE?

BW: Weller Brothers first teamed up with North House in the summer of 2019, when they saw what we had to offer and how we could team up to make the landscape process on their new construction seamless.

NH: DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PROJECT FROM YOUR PARTNERSHIP WITH NORTH HOUSE?

BW: Weller Brothers specializes in high-end residential landscapes. The scope of work North House is doing allows us to get creative and really bring a backyard to life. Currently, we are working together on a high-end custom residential build, which will include an outdoor pool with plenty of entertaining space and an outdoor kitchen/bar area.

NH: WHAT HAS MADE YOUR PARTNERSHIP WITH NORTH HOUSE A STRONG ONE?

BW: Communication. Communication is key to any relationship and the team at North House has been responsive, clear and upfront which makes the building process easier for us as well as the customer.

You can learn more about Weller Brothers by visiting their website.

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