Unique has “Award Winning” Year with Urban Ag Council (UAG)

Unique is one of the longer standing members of the Georgia Urban Ag Council (UAG,) formerly known as MALTA. Once again for 2014 they had numerous award-winning landscape entries for their projects in the Atlanta and Georgia market. During the annual UAG awards banquet in February they took home:

  • 3 Grand awards, the top award presented by UAG
  • 2 Distinction awards
  • 1 Merit award

In addition, Unique was the winner of the environmental ‘Green Star’ landscape award, as well as the recipient of one of the prestigious “Judge’s Choice” awards.

Unique’s owner and landscape designer, Todd Guilmette, said it was one of the better years in Unique’s UAG history for award-winning projects. Unique feels their “unique” concepts in design have afforded them this honor.

One of their projects, pictured here, was the transformation of an unusable space below the homeowner’s deck. The yard sloped off and the deck steps  made the space pretty much ‘off limits.’ Unique says they receive an increasing number of calls for these situations. At this property, they modified the deck/stairs, extended level ground space and built a patio and fire pit as well as added a small water feature and extensive landscaping.

Please visit the gallery on our website for additional photos.

Christmas trees can go to good use after the holidays?

Here are some tips for re-purposing a de-decorated tree:

Re-decorate the tree with treats for wild birds. Leave the tree in its stand or stand it in a large planter with rocks or sand to steady it. Put it on a deck, porch or patio and decorate it with orange halves, pine cones slathered with peanut butter, suet cakes and small bird feeders.

The tree can also gives shelter to small birds on those cold winter evenings. Once the tree has dried up and turned copper, it makes great kindling for your outdoor fire pit.

Remember, it’s not recommended to use your cut up Christmas tree in the house fireplace, as the pine pitch can become a problem in the chimney long-term.

Compost Your Leaves This Fall

Starting now and through January, the site of landscape companies using motorized leaf blowers or family and friends hand powering a leaf rake will be a common site all across Atlanta and North Georgia.  Leaf drop on properties depends on the varieties of trees within the community.
Before bagging or burning leaves, please keep in mind that allowing leaves to fall and decompose in natural areas or placing and spreading them there is beneficial to the trees for water retention along with nutrient replenishment. Leaves can also be used to cover bare soil in your vegetable garden during the winter to protect the cold-hardy vegetables (carrots, kale, leeks, etc.) When it’s time for spring gardening, just turn the leaves in but add a slow-release nitrogen before planting as the leaves will deplete soil nitrogen.
Burning is a bad option because the smoke contains dangerous compounds and it can irritate anyone’s lungs, especially children or elderly and anyone with respiratory or cardiovascular disease.
But before all the beautiful color falls to the ground, get out and enjoy it. There are many parks around Atlanta that exhibit beautiful fall color.

Unique Goes Green

P8190122 Approximately one year ago, Unique Environmental contracted Greenco, a food/yard waste recycling company, to manage our maintenance and landscape debris. Everything ‘natural’ from grass clippings, shrub pruning and limbs had previously been sent to landfills to decompose, using landfill space. Now, we store it on our property until ‘chipping’ day. Unique’s first ‘chipping of the pile’ generated 122 tons of reusable compost and Unique expects close to 200 tons this fall preventing almost 400 tons of waste from being dumped in local landfills. After the debris is chipped and ground into fine particles, it’s sent to south GA where it is composted and sold. Of course, Unique then purchases this product (we buy our own waste!!) and uses it in landscape and seasonal color beds. Our first delivery will be this fall when we will complete the circle of recycling. 

Unique has definitely chosen this process for its long-range affect on the environment over its budgetary savings. Basically, we have redirected almost all the annual expense of disposing of the waste to recycling it.  Then we repurchase the composed organic material. Unique views the process as being good stewards and it’s just part of our contribution to the environment and community. We have to start somewhere for the future.