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.