The Learning Center

Education for before, during, and after your landscape project!

Making the decision to hire a landscape contractor is not an easy one. You want your dream landscape to come to life first on paper, then through the installation process, and finally become a space your family and friends can enjoy for many years to come.  There is a lot of ‘industry’ language that can leave homeowners feeling confused or simply overwhelmed throughout the entire process from choosing materials to caring for their landscape after installation. The goal of our learning center is to help you feel educated in the decisions you are making, inspired by the beautiful products and designs you can select from, and confident in how to care for your landscape (if you chose to do it yourself) after our crew leaves your home.

The Before Phase

The most overwhelming phase of your project is the decision making process. It can be so difficult to decide how to select a landscape contractor, which products to choose, which plants will thrive in your area, what type of design you would like, what features you want to include, and more! The resources below will hopefully ease this enormous decision making process. Our designers and landscape architect are happy to address any additional questions you may have!

Learn More about Who We Are:

Get Inspired:

TruNorth’s Look Book for Design Inspiration and Product Choices

Frequently Asked Questions

Selecting the contractor that is right for your job can be incredibly challenging. Some companies specialize in hardscape jobs, other in shoreline restoration, and some in small jobs. If the company is not a right fit for your job, they usually let you know this right off the bat. Check out our blogs on what to look for in a landscape contractor and download the free form to help you make your selection!

There is an overwhelming amount of hardscape choices on the market. Deciding simply between natural and manufactured stone can even be a big decision. Our biggest piece of advice is to really consider how you will use the space and what is most important to you. Check out these few blogs written by our experts to help make some decisions too!

How to Select the Right Material for Your Hardscape Project: Part 1-Material Appearance

How to Select the Right Material for Your Hardscape Project: Part 2-Use, Durability, Budget

Everything YOU Need to Know about Flagstone

Which is the right choice for my patio? Real or “Fake” Stone?

Planning Your Outdoor Space-Stone Paver Patio vs Stamped Concrete

Visualizing what your project will look like is an extremely important step; you want to be sure that the ideas in your mind have translated to your designer. Our design teams is trained and prepared to help bring your project to life in a variety of ways. Our team uses the best design program in the industry called Dynascape. We offer black and white drawings, color drawings, 3D drawings, and 3D animated drawings. Want to learn more? These articles detail more of the options you can select from.

Design Options

Our Design Process

There are SO many options as far as what you would like in your outdoor space. From pizza ovens to fireplaces, the list seems to be never ending. We recommend starting with a list of how you want the space to be used and a clear budget. Rate your top wants and discuss with our team what can be possible! Check out our resources below for help making decisions between what elements to include in your space.

Planning Your Patio Part 1: How to choose the perfect size patio

Planning Your Patio Part 2: All about Fire Pits

Planning Your Patio Part 3: Wood Burning vs Natural Gas Fire Features

A Guide to Landscape Lighting 

Landscape Feature: Softscapes

Landscape Feature: Retention Walls,Boulder Walls

Outdoor Kitchen Gadgets

Patio Design-Small Spaces

Patio Design-Large Spaces

Outdoor Kitchens

Fireplaces vs. Firepits

Just like hardscape materials, the choices for plantings on your property is seemingly endless. Our designers are here to help guide you through this process of selecting plants that will thrive in your landscape, but having an idea of what you like or dislike can be helpful too! Check out our articles that below to help determine which plants are your favorite!

Evergreens

Native Plants

Hydrangea

Ornamental Grasses

Annuals and Perennials

Trees

Pollinator Garden

Perennials

Plants to Brave the Northern Michigan Winter

Call Us Today to Schedule an Estimate

The During Phase

All of the decisions have been made, your project has been scheduled, and now the installation begins. This is both an exciting and often messy part of the landscape design-build process. For a few days or weeks, your property is going to look like a bit of a mess. Our teams will leave the property safe for you and your family after they leave for the day during the process. We do our absolute best to make as little impact to your existing landscape as possible, and any disruption that is made, will be repaired before we complete the project. Feel free to contact your designer or lead foreman anytime throughout the process with questions! Our team will do a complete walk-through of your finished project with you before we leave as well.

Learn More about the Construction Process:

Check out our Design and Construction Page to learn more about our construction process!
Irrigation and Green Industry Magazine’s safety article featuring TruNorth!

The After Phase

Your project is complete! Now all that is left for you to do is to enjoy your beautiful outdoor space. Many clients choose to have us maintain their property–we offer a full service maintenance program including lawn care, horticulture services, fertilization services, annual installation, clean-ups, and more. If you would like to care for your project yourself, check out our downloadable care guides and helpful links to help your investment look great for years to come!

Frequently Asked Questions

With new technology, expert installation, and great products, most patios need little care after installation. It is important to know if your patio should be sealed and how often. Your landscape designer will recommend this to you if it is needed. Learn more about patio sealing below:

Should I seal my patio?

We are happy to offer what we call Landscape Enhancement Projects to our existing clients. These projects are smaller and are completed much more quickly than a big design-installation. Learn more about landscape enhancement projects below:

What is a landscape enhancement?

Landscape Enhancement Case Studies

Seasonal clean-ups are essential to having a well maintained landscape. Depending on your type of plants and landscape, different plants should be cut back or cleaned up at different times. Check out our guides below to learn how to complete seasonal cleanups.

Spring-Clean Up

Fall Clean Up

Proper pruning techniques are really important to keep plants thriving. Both over and under pruning your plants can have consequences. There are so many varieties of plants and several techniques in pruning. For a general overview, check out some articles below!

To cut or not cut back? When should I cut?

Pruning 101: The Basics Part 1

Pruning 101: The Basics Part 2

Pruning- The Stylist vs the Barber

Peony Care

Downloadable Care Guides

General Landscape Care Guide w/ Common Plant Instructions
Paver Maintenance Tips and Guidelines
Paver and Hardscape Fact Sheet
Additional Hard Surface Maintenance Tips
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Care Guidelines
Landscape Lighting Information Sheet
Lawn and Turf Care Guidelines
Perennials, Annuals, and Ground Cover Care Guidelines
Tree and Shrub Care Guidelines
Landscape Watering Guidelines
Wildflower and Prairie Guidelines
Annual Flower Planting Tips

Enhance Your Yard’s Natural Beauty

We would love to discuss your next project! Call Us at 231-922-0087 or fill out the form below to schedule an estimate.

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