Sunday, December 18, 2011

Merry Christmas from Our Heritage Family

From the staff at Heritage Landscape Services and our family, we wish you all of God's blessings, the joys of a Merry Christmas, and wonderful New Year. Thank you for your continued business!

Pictured in the above photo:
Front row (left to right): Weston Harman, Mallory Harman, Levi McLeod and Ryan Harman
Middle row: Robert McLeod holding Mason McLeod, Debbie McLeod holding Parker Harman
Back row: Carey Harman, Kleck Harman, Ashley McLeod, Anna McLeod and Holly McLeod

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Newest Grandchild for Robert and Debbie

On Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011, Carey and Kleck welcomed their fourth child into our world, Parker Bryce Harman. He was a healthy 11 lbs 7 oz. Carey had a great delivery and they're all home now, adjusting to life as a family of six. Parker will have plenty of playmates with his with big brothers Weston and Ryan and big sister Mallory. Once all the Harman and McLeod kids have their driver licenses we can have a new Heritage crew taking care of our customers!

Here is proud daddy Kleck holding the sixth grandchild for Robert and Debbie. Congratulations to everyone!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

In Our Yard: October's Beautyberry, Rose Hips, and Sasanqua

This afternoon the boys and I toured Robert and Debbie's yard to see what October looks like in their neck of the woods. Come along to see for yourself. Thanks to Debbie for the photos and plant information! 

Fall leaves pop against this weathered fence post. 

The Camellias Sasanqua creates stunning blooms in the fall. 

Commonly used in herbal tea, Rose Hips provide a nice reddish-orange color. 

American Beautyberry is native to South Carolina and adds a vibrant purple to landscapes this time of year. 

The chickens are always a favorite stop when we're outside at Debbie's. These girls lay great eggs and pair perfectly with the mums during their fashion shoot. 

We're thankful for the past couple of rainy days lately but are looking forward to more fall (sunny) weather. Park Seed Company has some helpful information about yard tasks for October and other fall months. Read here to learn more. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

In Our Yard: September

Although Robert and Debbie's well-established fig tree produced an amazing crop of figs this August, our new trees are still bearing fruit at the end of September. Which explains why it seemed suitable to discuss figs in this September yard post. 

The fig tree makes a lovely addition to your yard. They prefer to be planted near a building that offers some protection. Once established, the tree can grow to be quite large (as seen in this picture below of the fig tree at Robert and Debbie's).
These figs are ripe when they turn a brownish-purple color and are somewhat soft to touch. They should detach from the tree easily if they are ripe. You won't see many fresh figs in large grocery stores because they're a very fragile fruit.

Ah...but if you have the chance to try a fresh fig, certainly do! Their sweet taste pairs well with cheese. Or just bite in and enjoy it plain. Figs were one of the first plants to be cultivated by humans. To learn more about the common fig varieties, visit:

As always, check out Amy Bledsoe's September's Horticultural Tasks to see what important things you should be taking care in your own yard.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Family Update

Everyone knows Heritage is a family business. Robert, Ashley and Kleck work together as a team and we spend a lot of time together as an extended family. This usually means suppers at Debbie and Robert's or swimming at Carey and Kleck's. But it also means that we try to take a family vacation together once a year. In the past we've stayed at condos at Myrtle Beach but this summer, we all stayed under the same roof at a house on Sullivan's Island. We had a great time. Robert and Ashley traded off time during the week so business could run as usual but the whole clan was there for the weekend. And when we're all gathered together, we try to take family pictures.

Here's one of the attempts with the grandchildren. Pretty typical. It takes a lot of these (everyone looking in different directions, Ryan sneezing, Mason hiding)....
To get a fantastic one like this one!
We also managed to capture the whole family, thanks to Debbie's creative camera placement on the porch swing!
We hope you've had some relaxing times this summer with your friends and family. As always, thank you for allowing Heritage to serve you!

Monday, August 15, 2011

In Our Yard: August

Last month we had a look at the grape vines growing at Robert and Debbie's. Today we're visiting Ashley and Anna's yard, where we've purposefully planted flowering vegetables in areas that would traditionally be used for more ornamental vegetation. The parking area is bordered by beds that contain basil, chives, eggplant and our three favorites: onion, sweet potato vine and okra.

This onion looks like a pitchfork sticking out of the ground. We'll harvest the onion itself this fall once the top lays down and signals the growing is over.
Both the sweet potato and okra plants have stunning blooms, nice foliage and provide an interesting addition to a plant bed.
The sweet potato vine is extremely hardy and bug resistant. It provides a thick ground cover and the blooms are gorgeous. We'll dig up the potatoes this fall.
Okra is one of my favorite summer vegetables. Our boys like it, too, whether it's simply steamed, in succotash or fried. The yellow bloom announces an okra pod is on its way. Yum!
Maybe you'll want to consider planting your vegetables and fruits alongside your annuals and perennials next year. If you would like to read more about edible landscaping, check out this article from Better Homes and Gardens.

Need some tips for working in your yard this August? Amy Bledsoe has you covered. Read her information sheet here.

Monday, July 25, 2011

In Our Yard: July

July can be a busy time in gardens and yards as the summer heat settles in. Whether you are harvesting vegetables, picking flowers, or just admiring plants around town, there's a lot to see (and do). We've decided to bring a more personal focus to our Heritage blog by featuring things growing in our own yards (Robert and Debbie's and Ashley and Anna's). For July, we'll visit the Niagara grapevines at Robert and Debbie's.

The Niagara grape is a cousin of the popular Concord grape---a tasty table grape that is seedless. Usually the Niagara grapes are a light green color and are most famous for being used to make white grape juice. You can read more about Niagara grapes here.

The variety growing in Robert and Debbie's backyard has more of a purple color like a Concord grape. Regardless of its appearance, it is a delicious grape and worth considering adding it to your own backyard.

Mason and Levi enjoyed harvesting (mostly eating) the grapes last weekend. Picked grapes last a couple of days in the fridge; however, because they are more fragile than varieties you find in the grocery store you won't find many for purchase. Plant some yourself or find a friend who has their own vineyard.
Grapevines are an attractive addition to your home garden--and one that is edible!
Amy Bledsoe, who works with the City of Columbia, shares her tips for July yards on the Jungle Taming web site. Read about proper fertilization, mowing techniques and more at

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Officially Introducing Our Newest Manager: Kevin James

Since December 2010, Kevin James has been on the Heritage team as the manager of our lawn maintenance crews. He's done a fantastic job so far.

Kevin grew up in Walhalla, S.C., a small town just north of Clemson. He graduated from Clemson University in 1997 with a major in Turfgrass Management with minor in Agronomy.

Kevin comes to us with excellent experience and knowledge of the landscaping industry. Prior to working at Heritage, Kevin worked on various golf courses from 1997 to 2007.  His most current position was with Triangle Tree and Shrub Care in Raleigh, N.C., where he worked for 2+ years.

When asked what he enjoys most about working for Heritage, Kevin said,"The people. Everyone from top to bottom has been nothing short of incredible to me in my short time here. Everyone has made me feel welcome and comfortable from day 1. It is just great to be able to work in such a family atmosphere."

When Kevin is not working, he enjoys cooking/grilling out, running, swimming, woodworking and watching/playing sports. Kevin's wife Julie is also a Clemson graduate (they met there). She is an ER nurse at Lexington Medical Center. They have one son, Trevor, who is 3 years old.    

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

HLS Celebrates 25 Years

2011 marks the 25th year that Heritage Landscape Services has been in business. We officially celebrated our silver anniversary with our customers today. The entire McLeod family was present for this special event. You can read a brief history of our company on our web site.

Before everyone arrived, we snapped a family picture. From left to right: Kleck and Carey Harman with Weston and Ryan in the front; Robert McLeod holding Kleck and Carey's daughter Mallory; Debbie McLeod, Holly McLeod (Robert and Debbie's oldest daughter), Anna McLeod holding Levi, and Ashley McLeod holding Mason. We're proud to serve our customers as a family business and look forward to many more years.

We also took a group photo of the men who run Heritage every day. Left to right: Kleck Harman, Ashley McLeod, Robert McLeod, Tommy Haile, Ian Randolph, Kevin James and Darrel Adair.
Mallory and Levi sporting their Heritage t-shirts.
We held the event at 300 Senate in downtown Columbia. What a lovely venue--and excellent catering!
Quite a crowd gathered to celebrate. Thank you to our customers who trust us with your landscaping needs. We truly appreciate your business.
Robert offered a few remarks to the group.
And we had a give-away drawing that included a weed-eater and leaf blower.
Everyone who attended received a bag of fresh McLeod Farms peaches.

And a bottle of Peachy BBQ sauce.
And 12 ears of sweet corn, a cantaloupe and a watermelon. What a summer feast!
With that, we hope everyone has a happy and safe 4th of July as our great country celebrates 235 years of freedom.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Much Mulch in May

Although the majority of the properties we maintain have pinestraw as the primary groundcover, we do have several sites that use mulch. Usually a fresh layer needs to be applied at least once a year.

Here's a big load being dumped for one of our properties. We've been very pleased with our subcontractor's performance this spring spreading mulch. Once the mulch is delivered to the site, it is loaded into a mulching truck that sprays the mulch onto the ground (for most areas--some still require hand application).

If you research pinestraw and mulch comparisons online, you will learn that there are benefits to both types of groundcover. To learn more about pinestraw, visit here. Clemson Cooperative Extension provides an excellent overview of all types of mulch, including what type to use where and how much to use. Read more here.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

More than leaky pipes--fixing big breaks!

These pictures are extreme cases due to construction site work, but repairing irrigation is always part of landscape maintenance. Know that you can count on Heritage to respond quickly to fix any leaks and prevent excess damage. With the economy like it is, it's even more important to keep those water bills as low as possible!

Speaking of water, Robert said the weather station monitors we installed on some properties seem to really be saving money for our customers. Read more about these "smart" irrigation clocks here. Please give us a call if you are interested in having a similar system for your property.

Friday, May 13, 2011

In Your Yard: May

Mother's Day means flowers for a lot of folks, whether that is an arrangement for the table or a new plant for the yard. We hope you had a special Mother's Day this year and celebrated the mamas, moms, and mothers in your life. And if you received a plant recently, know that the ground should be warm enough to plant all warm season annuals. For more tips for your home landscape, read on!

Notice the flecks of blue in the Zoysia grass above? It's fertilizer and if you haven't already, you should apply the correct fertilizer to your yard now. Water conservatively but remember that all grass requires water to grow! To keep fungus at a minimum and get the most bang for your buck water-wise, water early in the day.   Keep the blade on your lawnmower sharp and raise the deck height as the temperature rises. Remember to cut no more than a third of the the height of grass to reduce the grass's stress and to discourage weeds from growing.

Another piece of your yard that needs fertilizing are your perennials. Use a slow-release fertilizer and continue to monitor for insects.

By mid-May you should be wrapping up your planting of warm-season annuals. According to Amy Bledsoe, "This will give young, tender roots a better chance to get established before sweltering, summer heat sets in by the end of May. Remember, don’t over water or water too frequently as this will promote shallow root growth. The goal is to water enough to keep the annuals alive, but to stress them just a little to encourage deep root growth to help them survive the hot, dry summers we experience in Columbia."

Established shrubs should have a large enough root system to survive the upcoming dry, hot weather and should need very little (if any) supplemental watering. Newly planted shrubs, however, will need irrigation for the first two years. As always, monitor shrubs for insects and diseases.
Two places to keep mowers and string trimmers away from are the roots and trunks of trees. Maintain a six foot diameter layer of mulch around trees to keep grass and weeds from growing too close. Only a 3-4 inch layer is needed (definitely not a "volcano"). Like new shrubs, newly planted trees will need to be watered throughout warm weather.

Want to learn more about the recommended May yard tasks? Read here.

And if you're looking for two semi-experienced yard professionals, these guys (Ashley and Anna's sons) will be ready for weekend and summer jobs in a few years--Mason just turned 1 and Levi turns 3 in June.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

In Your Yard: April

Spring has definitely arrived in the Midlands. Maybe the thick coat of pollen hasn't been so refreshing but the pinks of dogwoods and azaleas, new green growth on trees and bushes, and the rainbow of colors offered by nature lift your spirit after winter.

As promised a while back, we're going to share tips for maintaining your personal landscape once a month on the Heritage blog. This month's tips are gathered from Southern Living magazine and Jungle Taming, a landscape debris removal and beautification company in Columbia.
Plant veggies and herbs after all dangers of frost have passed. Perhaps consider the Square Foot Garden (SFG) as a way to create a small salad garden to enjoy this summer. Wingard's Nursery in Lexington has planted a demonstration SFG. Check it out!

Turf: If you need to repair bare patches or replant large area in your grass, wait until the average daytime temperature is above 60 degrees. Be sure to thoroughly water newly seeded or sodded turf. After the grass has greened up, wait until at least two or three weeks to fertilize according to soil test recommendations (you can request a test through Clemson's extension service for $15 by visiting here).

Annuals: To help transplants become established before the famous South Carolina heat and humidity arrive, keep them well watered and mulched. Apply liquid fertilizers every two weeks to get new plants off to a good start. If you use slow-release fertilizers at planting time, they should not be needed again until mid summer.

Plant vines now, such as Carolina jessamine.

Care for your roses: Properly prune roses to encourage air circulation, growth and sunlight penetration. Learn more about pruning roses here. Fertilize once-blooming roses in early spring before growth begins. Repeat-blooming roses should be fertilized only if necessary. Inspect your roses for pests.

To learn more about the tips shared here, visit:
Enjoy your home yards and gardens before the sticky humidity that South Carolina is so known for arrives!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A day's work on the dove field in McBee

This past Saturday Ashley, Robert and Levi made a trip to McBee to disc the dove field in preparation for planting corn. Levi helped drive the tractor with Da (Robert) for the majority of the plowing. The older two McLeod men are looking forward to the dove hunt in September--the younger is probably looking forward to another tractor ride! Go ahead and pencil in the annual Heritage Dove Hunt in your calendars for early September.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Enjoy those pansies!

Thanks to the warmer weather, the pansies have perked back up and are putting on a good show of color. We're working hard to make sure we keep the aphids and other pests at bay. It's amazing how much this small flowers grow during a season. Refresh your memory about their starting points here.

Enjoy your pansies for a while longer. Heritage begins our spring flower installation around April 1.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lawn Calendar

Periodically our customers ask us for information about their personal lawns, such as when to fertilize or how to encourage grass to grow in a shady area. We're working on an addition to this blog that will share lawncare tips for questions such as these each month.

Until then, check out Clemson Cooperative Extension Service's informative web site:

Friday, January 14, 2011

Heritage tackles 2011's first winter storm

The Midlands had their first taste of snow for 2011 this past week when snow and ice fell early Monday morning. Heritage crews were out late Sunday night to deliver ice melt and equipment to properties that requested snow removal .

Monday and Tuesday we used skid steers and front-end loaders, as well as shovels and other manpower to remove snow from business parks, hospitals, and shopping centers. It was a team effort!

The snow mounds will probably be around for a while thanks to the cold nights we've been having.

Even with ice melt applied regularly, the thick layer of ice is stubborn. You may see our guys armed with shovels chipping away at it on your sidewalks (taking care to protect the concrete surfaces).

Please remember to stay in touch with us so we can be best prepared to meet your winter weather needs. It's always our pleasure to serve you.