Monthly Archives: April 2016

Landscaping Ideas for Small Yards

small yardsHaving a small yard doesn’t mean you have to limit your landscape design. With a little creativity, you can utilize both hardscaping and softscaping elements to create a welcoming space.

 

Make Outdoor Rooms

When you’re feeling cramped inside your Philly home, look to your yard as an opportunity for growth. View the outdoors as a series of rooms. Along with places for dining and relaxation, you can add a garden or even a shed office that will more than double the space you have inside by adding functional rooms outside.

Follow the Rules of Perspective

Design your landscape using the rules of perspective– the premise that parallel lines meet toward the center at a single vanishing point– so that certain objects and plants will appear smaller than others. By following these guidelines, your yard will feel more spacious than ever before. Introduce dwarf plants and conifers for pizazz that won’t overwhelm your yard.

Set Up Diagonal Paths

You may already know that winding paths can add visual interest to your outdoor space, but for a small yard, these paths are even more important. For tighter spaces, it is best to use diagonal lines. Your yard will look and feel larger as a result.

Mix It Up

Add some interest to a small, rectangular lot by adding different textures and patterns. Use walls, fences, raised flower beds, and other vertical plantings, in combination with raised decks and potted flowers, to break up the space.

Keep it Simple

Some yards, and lifestyles, benefit from a minimal approach. Rather than cluttering your lawn with more chairs than you’ll likely ever need, consider a space-saving bench that doubles as storage. Just be sure to set space aside so you can add chairs whenever necessary.

Let the Garden Grow

A small yard doesn’t have to forego a garden. Forget about the orderly garden rows, and go for vertical or raised planting beds. Take a cue from the Victorian-era, and mix fruits and vegetables into these planting beds as well. Add in hardscaping elements for a finished look.

Small Yard Savers

When a small yard still feels like it’s missing something special, turn to Blue Tree Landscaping, the one-stop-shop for everything lawn and garden. From design to planning and maintenance, stick with the professionals to get the job done right.

Contact Blue Tree Landscaping today to make even the smallest yard spectacular.

4 Hardscape Additions for Your Yard

4 Hardscape Additions for Your YardHardscaping can add instant appeal to most any yard. Fences, concrete, pavers, rocks, and walls are all useful hardscaping elements. A simple makeover that includes these building blocks can make your yard feel warm and welcoming.

A large yard, which can easily turn into a time-consuming maintenance project, can benefit from hardscaping. Rather than adding too many flower beds and plants, which will likely require daily attention, hardscaping can create a more livable space without regular, hands-on work.

Hardscape Additions for Your Yard

Patios

Whether they are added to an empty space near your home, or are set elsewhere in your yard, patios create spacious areas to play and relax. It’s easy to add potted plants or floral borders to this hardscape design. You can also add an outdoor fireplace, so you and yours can enjoy this space even when the summer heat fades.

Pathways

Flagstone pavers, brick, cement, pebbles, and mulch can create simple pathways throughout your yard. Mimic the natural flow of Mother Nature, shifting and bending paths to add visual interest. Just don’t forget to light the way. Include solar stakes or traditional lighting elements to illuminate these walkways, and highlight any plants along the way.

Playful, Useful Touches

Think outside the concrete and cobblestone, and consider adding hardscaping elements that are more functional. A gazebo can add a gorgeous focal point to your yard. Birdbaths provide a place for feathered friends to flock, while adding a simple, easy water feature. You can also add a wooden bench to the space, so you have ample room to admire the view.

Frame It Up

Too much hardscaping can look cold and unpolished. Be sure to include softscaping elements, like plants, flowers, and trees. Line the concrete or gravel edges of paths and patios with flowerbeds. Add potted plants of varying height to mix hard and soft elements all in one container.

Inviting Hardscape

Before getting started, you need to plan out what you’d like to accomplish. Are you adding patios, fencing, or steps? Whatever you choose, break it down into sections. By dividing the project into more manageable chunks, you’ll be more inclined to enjoy the process, while keeping it within budget.

Also check in with your local building office to see if there are any building codes or ordinances you should follow before breaking ground.

 

Whether your yard needs an entire renovation, or just a few tweaks, Blue Tree Landscaping is the one-stop-shop for everything yard. From planning to design and maintenance, you can get your yard from barren to beautiful without the hassle.

 

7 Outdoor Landscaping Ideas

Blue Tree Landscaping

 

If a cookie cutter landscape doesn’t reflect your wants and needs, it’s time to get creative. These tips can help dazzle any lackluster landscape.

 

Outdoor Landscaping Ideas

Box It Up

Boxwood hedges are easy to care for, and can actually make a perfect accent. Use squared-off or rounded Boxwood hedges as borders along your winding garden paths. It can provide a stunning visual effect your guests will love.

Peaceful Space

Yes, you can put out a few outdoor chairs, or maybe a porch swing, but why stop there? Add edible plants, like cherry tomatoes, parsley, and sage, to your outdoor garden. Not only will it give your yard an attention-grabbing scent, but it will also provide easy snacking when you need to relax and unwind.

Hardscaping

A successful landscape design contains more than flowers, grass, and trees. Mix in hardscaping elements like concrete or stone. The contrast in textures can provide eye-catching appeal. In addition, a curvy path or walkway can make even a small backyard feel big.

Make a Splash

Consider adding a fountain to your yard. Not only will it provide a soothing backdrop, but it will also attract birds and butterflies to your lawn. You can also add in plants, like butterfly bush, bee balm, phlox, or black-eyed susans, which butterflies find particularly enticing. Shades of red, yellow, pink, orange, and purple are irresistible to these helpful insects.

Play it Again, Sam

As much fun as it may be to utilize a wide variety of plants, try to throw a number of the same plant into the mix. By planting flowers in repetition, you can create a stronger visual impact. Use bold contrasting colors to up your lawn’s “wow” factor.

She Sells Seashells

Take mementos from your summer beach visits, and use them to accent your lawn. Place seashell pieces into concrete to create a beachy theme. No shells? Consider crushed gravel. It’s inexpensive, low maintenance, and fills in small garden areas easily—with style.

Think Vertical

It’s easy to get lost in rows of flower beds and plant groupings. Go vertical! Take advantage of an often under-utilized element to add more plants, color, and interest to any space. Tuck in a trellis, or even a low fence, behind your rows. Then, plant flowering vines for a burst of color or even vegetables for a tasty addition.

Love Your Landscape

Get the dazzling landscape you’ve always wanted by using the helpful tips above. Does it still seem like an impossible task? No problem. Give the professionals at Blue Tree Landscaping a call today.

Blue Tree Landscaping is a one-stop-shop for everything lawn. From design to planning to maintenance, you can get the look you want, without the work.

5 Inground Pool Landscaping Ideas

5 Landscaping Ideas for PoolInground swimming pools are hubs of activity, filled with splashing, diving, and pool games. Yet, this area is often neglected in terms of outdoor landscape design. If your inground pool lacks eye appeal, here are a few tips to make it an inviting addition to your backyard.

Landscaping Tips for Inground Pool Areas

Showers, but No Flowers

Too many homeowners make the mistake of packing the pool area with flowers. Although the fragrance and colors may be wonderful, no one likes stepping on a honeybee. Instead, consider non-flowering plants, like ornamental grasses and shrubs. Avoid using mulch too close to the swimming area or it may find its way into the pool on a windy day.

Step by Step

Your lawn may be a showpiece, but you don’t want family and friends bringing clumps of it with them to the pool. Consider adding stepping stones to your lawn to provide easy access to the pool while leaving the dirt behind.

Beyond the Borders

Mowing overgrown areas around the pool will likely get grass in the water. Instead, consider filling in these spaces with river rocks. Smooth and polished, you can find them in colors that match your current landscape.

Privacy Matters

When you don’t want the world to see your family lounging and playing in the pool, consider attractive fencing. Check with local building authorities to see if there are any height requirements. Otherwise, consider using tall evergreens, and even potted plants to help add height and interest, while blocking nosy onlookers.

The Lighter Side

Want to instantly improve your pool area? It’s all about choosing comfortable, strategically positioned seating, and subdued lighting. The right lighting adds a sophisticated touch to any pool. Let your friends and family swim into the night with well-placed lighting fixtures. Provide lounging recliners, as well as tables and chairs, to give everyone options.

Summer Fun

A swimming pool is more than a fun gathering place. It’s also a major investment, and an important part of your outdoor landscape. Get your pool started on the right path by giving Blue Tree Landscaping a call. Blue Tree Landscaping is a one-stop-shop for everything lawn. From design to maintenance, the professionals at Blue Tree Landscaping will help you forge an outdoor landscape that best suits you, with an in-ground pool design that best suits your lawn. If you can visualize it, Blue Tree can make it happen.

6 Tips for Growing Vegetables and Herbs in Your Garden

6 tips for growing vebetablesWhether you’re a well-seasoned gardener, or you’re digging into the dirt for the first time, these tips can help anyone make this their best (and greenest) year yet.

 

Tips for Growing Vegetables and Herbs in Your Garden

Test Your Soil

An important, though often overlooked step, is testing your soil. This step is crucial for developing a successful and productive garden. Knowing the pH of your garden will help you determine what you should plant. Make sure you consider whether the soil is dry and sandy, or wet and full of clay. You will need to consider the location as well, and take the light level and drainage into account.

Easy to Grow

If this is your first garden, try to keep it as simple as possible. Choose easy to grow vegetables and herbs that don’t require too much maintenance, and that can withstand Philly’s seasonal ups and downs. Tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, snap peas, and herbs, like basil and oregano, are fabulous choices for any garden.

Think Outside the Plot

Containers can be a great solution for most any garden. If you’d like to plant strawberries, you can easily plant them in a container. Hanging baskets can also perk up your patio or deck. Did you know some plant varieties prefer the shade? Find vegetables that can handle chilly Philly temperatures. Take a look at what your neighbors are doing. Chances are, if it works for them, it can work for you, too.

Sun or Shade?

Vegetables and herbs have different light requirements. Tomatoes love sun. Green beans, on the other hand, can thrive with just four hours of full sun a day. Herbs, for the most part, need constant summer sun—but there are always exceptions. Read the labels, and do your research.

Jot it Down

Grab your notebook. Keep track of what’s working. You may think you can remember everything—but you likely won’t. Make it easy on yourself, and write down which vegetables and herbs are growing especially well. Include how many you planted and where. Draw it out. This is a great way to track your progress, and assess what’s really working for your garden, so you can plant the winners again next year.

Ask Questions

Folks with a green thumb are all around you. This may be the perfect time to get to know your neighbors. You could even get your gardening questions answered at a local nursery.

 

Productive Gardens Start Here

Feeling lost and overwhelmed? Get started on the right path. Call Blue Tree Landscaping for a one-stop-shop on everything lawn, garden, and pool.

3 Landscaping Maintenance Tips for Your Home

3 Landscaping Maintenance Tips for Your HomeIf you want to keep your home landscape clean and tidy this summer, you’ll need a plan of attack. Spend less time working on your yard, and more time enjoying it with these tips:

 

Landscape Maintenance Tips

The Mulch Volcano

Do you dump a mound of fresh mulch around the trees in your yard? A pile so tall it looks like a mini-volcano? If so, that’s just the beginning of the items you can check off of your to-do list. Instead of wasting time over-fertilizing and over-mulching, you should take stock of what you have—and what you really need. You will save time and money. It’s a win-win.

See the Plants Grow

Figure out how you want the new flower bed to fill in before you buy too many plants (or far too few). The plants you purchase will likely need some help every now and then. Make sure you choose the right location for these plants, taking into consideration the balance of the soil, the amount of sun, how much water they will receive, and what your schedule typically looks like during the time they need more TLC. Some plants, like wave petunias, will need a bit of extra help as they bloom. Other plants, like groundcovers, need more maintenance after they are first planted.

Use It or Lose It

Make a list of yard-related chores that you’ve been meaning to get to, but just haven’t found the time for. Add weeding, checking the lawnmower, and pruning dead tree branches to the list. Tackle them in the order of importance. For instance, you will want to get your lawnmower in good shape for the summer ahead, so put that at the top of the list. Weeds are just now popping up, so plan to do a weekly sweep of the yard so you can get them out now, before they become a larger problem later. Get dead branches out of the yard before any big summer storms roll in—and leave loads of unsightly twigs and branches all over your lawn.

Reduce Your Yard Work

Really think about your yard’s current state, and what you’ll need to do this year to maintain its high quality. When whittling down that list seems like too much work, give the experts at Blue Tree Landscaping a call. From planning to design and maintenance, whether it’s for your yard or pool, Blue Tree Landscaping is a one-stop-shop for everything you’ll need.