Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 15
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

Henderson Sotheby's International Realty

N.T. Callaway Princeton Office

Stockton Real Estate, LLC

Weichert, Realtors

Advertise in Town Topics

Iris Interiors

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Weather Forecast

It’s New to Us by Jean Stratton

SPRING SPOTLIGHT: “Early spring is a great time to create beauty in the landscape. With the harsh weather of the past 18 months (hot summer, drought, and extreme cold weather), there is a need for a lot of replanting and replacements — trees, shrubs, bushes, etc.” John J. Colombero, president of Sunset Creations Landscape Design & Construction, looks forward to the start of a new season.

Innovative Landscape Design and Construction Are Specialties of Sunset Creations, Inc.

After the wintry blast of the past months, people can’t wait to get outside. Sunny days, balmy breezes, and warm temperatures are beckoning.

For some happy gardeners, there is no pleasure like digging in the dirt. Other homeowners enjoy savoring the beauty of their landscape and plantings, but are happy to leave the design, installation, and maintenance to professionals.

Sunset Creations Inc. Landscape Design & Construction in Skillman has a long history of providing clients in Mercer and Somerset counties with landscapes and hardscapes that stand the test of time. “We’re a design/build company,” explains owner and president John J. Colombero, who opened the firm in 1981, and who has a degree in ornamental horticulture and landscape design.

“We do everything — gardens, full landscapes, hardscapes, including terraces, walls, and poolscapes, landscape lighting, and water gardens.”

Great Improvement

Outside living has become more and more popular, he adds, and homeowners are focusing on the enhancement of their property by creating an inviting outdoor space for families and friends. People are doing a lot of home entertainment.

“One of the biggest changes in the business is the increase of outdoor living,” reports Mr. Colombero. “It’s everything — from smaller patios and gardens to outdoor kitchens, countertops, and outdoor fireplaces. It’s one of the great improvements you can make on your property. Outdoor living is a huge plus for a house.

“Another thing,” he adds, “people are making an effort to have their property look beautiful year round. They like to have the landscape incorporate spring, summer, and fall blossoming. Homeowners want their property to be attractive 52 weeks a year.”

Mr. Colombero enjoys the creativity of the designs he renders — whether for plantings or hardscapes. “When people call me, I’ll take a look at the property and see what is needed. If the customer wants plantings, we determine where they will do well. Sun, shade, and exposure are all factors. What kind of plant material will work well in a particular setting? Deer and rabbits are a problem. Rabbits eat perennials, and deer like a lot of things, but there are a number of deer-repellent plants. It is very important to educate the clients about the plantings and what is required.

Full Service

“Most people say they want plants with low maintenance. We are a full service company and provide installation, pruning, fertilizing, lawn care, and winterizing. Also, we use a lot of organic ‘green’ fertilizers and pesticides. Clients are very interested in environmentally-friendly products.”

Hardscapes are a specialty of Sunset Creations, and whether the clients wants a new patio, fire pit, kitchen area with infra-red grill, warming tray, sink, and refrigerator all surrounded by a granite countertop, a multi-level patio with a sitting wall and pillars, or a poolscape or pond, Sunset Creations can design, build, and install an outstanding new look for your property.

“We do a lot of decorative stonework,” says Mr. Colombero, “and we take a lot of pride in this. Blue stone is very popular now, and also brick. Blue stone is available in different colors now, adding a different flavor and texture with greens and earth tones. We have the resources to find these colors.”

Flagstone is another popular choice, as is the newest line, shaped concrete, which offers numerous patterns and colors.

Many Choices

Landscape lighting is a very appealing addition to outdoor living, and there are many choices. It is a plus not only because of its attractive eye appeal but also for safety.

25 employees work for Sunset Creations, with specialties in all the areas, including masons, stone workers, plant experts, etc. Mr. Colombero is on site at every project. “We do jobs of all sizes,” he adds, “and we work within a client’s budget. They can take from two days to two years. It’s a real variety.”

Residential work is Sunset Creation’s specialty, but they also do commercial projects, including work for condominium associations, banks, and commercial projects. The company continues to provide landscaping for Palmer Square, and has also donated the installation of five baseball fields at the Montgomery Baseball Complex, including drains and drainage systems, installation of infield mix, as well as grading, fine grading, seeding, and sodding of the fields.

“I really like to see how a project transforms from nothing to the final product,” says Mr. Colombero. “It is very rewarding. I am also always involved in continuing education. There is always something to learn. I have come to learn to expect the unexpected!”

Sunset Creations can be reached at (908) 281-9672. Website:

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