Category Archives: Hardscaping

Three Benefits of Having a Retaining Wall (Besides the Look)

If you think installing a retaining wall in your yard will only make your landscaping look great, think again! While a retaining wall can indeed provide a great aesthetic to your lawn, there is also a number of other material benefits to having that tasteful wall in your yard.

Keep reading to learn about some of the other benefits that come with adding a retaining wall to your landscaping.

Protection, Protection, Protection

First things first: let’s discuss just what a retaining is and does. A retaining wall is primarily a protective structure that is often used around soil in landscaping. No matter how great and fancy a retaining wall can look and be, its use is first and foremost for protection. Protection from what exactly? Well, a few things. Say there is a huge rainstorm that causes flooding in your yard, or a steep slope that constantly allows rainwater or spilled soil to spoil other items around your lawn. You don’t want to wake up after a storm to find those flowers you worked so hard on buried in mud. A retaining wall will keep everything in one place, and will also reduce runoff from flood water. It will also keep your soil safe from erosion, so your landscaping can stay looking great with as little maintenance possible.

The Other Aesthetic of Retaining Walls

We mentioned that a well-designed retaining wall can be decorative, but that doesn’t always refer only to the wall itself. If you’re like many homeowners, the look of a well-maintained yard doesn’t necessarily mean your yard itself is perfect. In other words, you might have mechanical equipment or pipes, a tree stump, or other areas that may be difficult to remediate and are best left unseen from the public eye. A retaining wall can provide you with some much-needed cover for problem areas like these, without having to pay for expensive remediations. So, if you have any unsightly elements in your yard, now you know how to conceal them in a way that keeps your yard looking great.

Adds to Home Value

Isn’t this the best section on the list? Along with a nice look, space-saving aesthetic, and superior protection for your yard, a retaining wall can also seriously improve the value of your home. This is especially true for well-maintained retaining walls. Don’t take that as a challenge — retaining walls are made from natural materials that are sturdy and are meant to hold up during the harshest weather conditions. That means less time and money on repairs, and less stress!

Don’t Hesitate to Call

Whether you’re looking for a retaining wall that promises supreme yard protection during harsh storms, a way to hide some unpleasant lawn blemishes, or just something to wow friends and family, don’t hesitate to call your local landscaping company about establishing a retaining wall on your property. Your yard and home will thank you!

How to Prepare Your Yard Before Moving Out

Landscape Edging OptionsWell, it’s finally happening. You’ve got everything packed, the house is clean, the kids are in the car. But wait — what about the yard? No one mentioned what to do about the yard, but you don’t want miss out on this crucial aspect of your home’s upkeep before leaving it for good.

This article details a few quick and necessary ways to make sure your yard looks great before leaving. You’ll be thankful for the lack of headaches and complaints.

Lawn Appeal 

Some neighborhoods or homeowners associations have ordinances that tell residents that their lawns must be kept tidy or to certain specifications. Even if there isn’t, most people love a well-maintained and lush green lawn. But beware — the fact that what you can see on the surface looks nice doesn’t necessarily mean everything is healthy under those blades of grass. So, before leaving, make sure to check for weeds, uprooting damage from trees or other plants, signs of pests, and any other changes that have taken place in the lawn since you moved in.

Sculpting Your Landscape

Like a gorgeous yard, many people also love a nice view of landscaping to complement their home. If left uncared for, however, the beauty of your landscaping can quickly turn ugly. That’s why it’s important to examine your landscaping before saying goodbye to your home and yard for good. Make sure none of the elements of your landscaping, such as rocks or asphalt chips, are sprinkled around the yard. Check for a rake, a pair of shears or other lawn items, which can easily be forgotten in the hustle-and-bustle of moving. Trim any overgrown bushes and trees, and remove any obvious weeds. And hey, why not take the opportunity to plant a few flowers? Make the last memory of your beloved former home a beautiful one.

Keep Your Pool Cool 

Whether above ground or in-ground, everyone loves a nice dip in the pool on a hot summer day. This includes the new owners of the home, too! Like your lawn and landscape, a pool left unmaintained can significantly reduce its value in terms of price and enjoyability. Common problems for a pool can be soil and/or concrete erosion, algae growth, plumbing leaks, and other foundational problems. Any of these can be a real headache. Give a good look at your pool, whether above ground or in-ground, before leaving.

Don’t Hesitate to Call

While some problems can be quickly spot-checked before you leave, others may require more involved work. If there’s a problem with your lawn, landscape, pool, or all three, don’t hesitate to call your local landscaping company. You’ll leave your home in excellent shape, and the next owners will thank you.

Different Types of Patio Materials

Installing a new patio is an exciting prospect. You have so much opportunity to customize the space and create an outdoor haven that complements your home. There’s no shortage of selection when it comes to a customized outdoor surface. In fact, you’ll find such a diverse range of building materials that the hardest part may be choosing the right one. Here are five terrific patio material options. Install one for a smooth, simple surface, or use two or more for a unique look.

Brick

A rustic brick patio will stand up to any weather and withstand heavy furniture placed on it. Brick is easy to install, and the textured surface is durable and long-lasting. Keep in mind that brick heats up in the sunshine and warmer weather, and the grout needs upkeep to maintain its appearance. To make things easy, you can power-wash the area when it gets dirty.

Wood

Wood is a classic choice for patios. You can choose from a variety of types, styles and even stains to achieve the style you desire. In terms of decorations and matches, the material is incredibly versatile. Be sure to choose a strong wood to support heavier furniture pieces, fire pits or several people when you are entertaining.

Tile

Perhaps the easiest material to install, tile is an attractive choice for any type of backyard. The range of sizes and styles of tiles lets you mix and match to showcase different varieties, such as stripes or patterns, with room for accents and special touches embedded between the edges. Consult a style expert for a full array of options.

Stone

Pebbles, cobblestones and sandstone all qualify as stone patio materials, and they’re beautiful in many forms. Stone patios can mold to any backyard shape, including irregular shapes, and the neutral look is easy to match with furniture and their cushions and covers. Consider stone surfaces to complement frequent style changes or earth-toned accessories.

Concrete

Albeit not the most attractive option, concrete is the optimal choice for a strong, long-lasting patio. However, concrete doesn’t have to look uniform and dull. You can texture the sections to make an interesting surface underfoot or even draw lines that create the appearance of unconventionally shaped tiles. Prints are also possible while concrete is being laid, so you can press details such as handprints or letters into the patio for a lifetime of memories.

Contact Blue Tree

Blue Tree Landscaping would love to help install your new patio. Let our team of experts advise you on the best materials for your outdoor space, whether it’s in the front yard or backyard or both. We can also show you how to protect them from the elements for all seasons. Contact us for a quote today.

Turn Your Business Walkway Into A Masterpiece

Often the first impression of any business is the exterior of a building. Every detail matters, from a neatly trimmed lawn to an attractive paint color. One element that shouldn’t be overlooked is the appearance of the walkway. With a few simple steps, the outside of the company can look both professional and inviting to clients and visitors alike.

Plant Flowers

Flowers are an easy choice for lining any walkway. Swap out the varieties every few months to stay on trend and seasonal. If you plant flowers, it is important to have gardeners on hand for upkeep — because nothing looks worse than wilted, drooping flowers outside of a building. With tender loving care and a green thumb, flowers can add a pop of color and a pleasant scent to welcome visitors.

Add Other Plants

Bushes, shrubbery, potted plants and even small trees are all appealing at the entrance to a business. It’s important to choose a theme if you select several kinds of plants. Though diversity is a plus, too many contrasting elements can be off-putting. In addition, some plants will hinder the growing success of others around it if they’re too close together.

Consider Different Pathway Surfaces

Not all surfaces have to be cement or asphalt. Consider implementing an alternative surface of brick, wood or even cobblestone to add inviting charm to a business’s exterior. This customization is more permanent, but the extra touch is a conscientious effort on your part that visitors and employees will appreciate.

Install a Fountain

Little is more soothing than the sound of running water, especially in an outdoor fountain. If space allows for it, match the materials with the ground and install a gorgeous water feature by the front door. It will serve as a decoration and, if it’s large enough, space for sitting outdoors in nice weather. Smaller fountains framing a door or located near ground-floor windows will achieve a similar effect.

Put Up Seasonal Decorations

Recognizing holidays is a sure way to make a positive statement in your business’s headquarters. Putting up all-inclusive decorations is fun and festive, plus it lends holiday cheer to clients and visitors. Check your business’s rules to see what is allowed, and then dress up the walkway with colorful decorations.

Contact Blue Tree

Let our business help your business! At Blue Tree Landscaping, we specialize in ensuring that properties make the most of their allocated space, from the ground up. From materials to design, we do it all. Contact our team for a quote on how to optimize your business’s exterior, including your walkway.

Why Customer Service is Important in Landscaping

Whether you’re ordering your morning coffee or calling the pharmacy to ask a question, good customer service probably puts a smile on your face. And when it comes to the landscaping industry, stellar customer service is particularly important. After all, the team you hire will be tackling some pretty large and important tasks, whether that’s installing your patio or devising an outdoor lighting plan that keeps your family safe and comfortable. Here are five tenets of customer service to look for in a potential landscaping company.

Knowledge

You probably have already have a vision for how you’d like your ideal outdoor space designed. However, the landscaping company you choose is ultimately the authority regarding the processes for executing additions and upgrades. When it comes to mechanics, materials, safety and other key issues, you need a landscaping company that has the answers and delivers services based on their expertise.

Transparency

When you’re seeking a landscaper, keep in mind that honesty is a non-negotiable policy. You want to know what is possible for your space, and the right landscaping company will be forthright in their opinions and honest in providing a quote up front — no fibs and no empty promises. This applies to their performance as well. Choose a company that stands behind time estimates, cleanup processes, design components and other details, and you won’t be sorry.

Availability

Maybe something looks amiss with a project, or perhaps you’re worried about the timeline. You need to say something — but no one wants to play endless phone tag or send frantic emails into a black hole. Choose a landscaping company you are confident will be available for questions and problems, both large and small.

Professionalism

You want your landscaping team to be friendly, easy to work with and respectful. The right people for the job will conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times. Ideally, you will see signs of this on a website, blog or social media presence. It’s also best to pick a pro who is savvy about scheduling and billing so you don’t have the team show up unexpectedly or receive hand-scrawled bills taped to your door.

Trustworthiness

Perhaps the most important aspect of any consumer relationship is the trust built while doing business. Look for a landscaping company that possesses credentials and can provide references upon request. Ask how long they’ve been in business, see whether the company resides at a permanent address and inquire about their insurance. The right landscaping team will be happy to answer your questions.

Contact Blue Tree

You can trust Blue Tree Landscaping for all of your outdoor landscaping needs. We have decades of experience and enjoy delivering the best customer service possible. Browse our website to check out our services, and feel free to contact us with questions or to get a quote. We look forward to working with you.

Getting rid of old trees in your landscape

For any homeowner planning to install an in-ground swimming pool, there are plenty of tasks on the to-do list. One step that some people fail to think about is removing trees from the area. If you’re considering an in-ground pool, read on for three reasons to have an expert remove excess trees in your landscape — before they cause problems for your pool.

Free Up Space

Even the simplest in-ground pool designs require plenty of space. For example, even if you decide to go with a relatively small 10-by-10-foot pool, an experienced pool builder will still need to design an adequate concrete deck. In addition, many homeowners decide to build a patio to go along with their in-ground swimming pool. These areas enhance the guest experience. Often, creating this space requires clearing old trees, and homeowners need to find the right landscaper to do the job for them.

Prevent Debris

Most pool companies that do not specialize in landscaping don’t consider the impact of surrounding trees on your in-ground swimming pool. However, it’s important to consult a landscaper with expertise in tree removal before choosing a pool company. No one will enjoy swimming in a pool filled with sticks, leaves and other debris from surrounding trees. You, the homeowner, also won’t enjoy the constant work of cleaning this foliage from your in-ground pool. Take care of the trees in your pool landscape before they become a real problem.

Consider Lighting

Don’t forget about lighting when planning your pool design. In addition to in-ground lights within your pool, you may want to install lighting infrastructure above your pool deck. Before installing landscape lighting, make sure no trees are in a location where they may block light from reaching the pool surface. Your landscaper can also help you figure out if there are old trees that may hinder your ability to install outdoor lighting fixtures in the first place.

Contact Blue Tree

You want your family and friends to enjoy the experience of swimming in your in-ground pool. Don’t let those old trees get in the way of your ideal pool design. Contact Blue Tree Landscaping today and see how our experienced, friendly landscapers can help turn your dream of having an in ground-swimming pool into reality. Our tree removal services have pleased many customers in the Philadelphia area. Call today for a free quote.

Optimize Your Patio For Music Experiences

There are many factors that go into a successful entertaining experience, and choosing the right music is one of them. However, if the yard cannot handle it, it takes away from the enjoyment. Optimizing your music experience is as simple as understanding your space and personal preferences. Here are some ways to optimize your patio for all-inclusive listening experience in any setting!

Clear Out Space

Be sure to make room for any sound system. Vines and other wall decorations may need to be removed to make room for wire installations. Rearrange furniture as well, in case the music system is an external one, and place it far enough away so that the noise is not a detriment to the surroundings.

Set the Foundation

If overhead speakers need to be installed, it is imperative that the base is solid and will support the system. Check the bases of wooden posts, gazebo posts, and any overhang foundations to ensure the structure’s integrity for heavy equipment to be installed. Metal hinges and support beams can be added to the foundation for extra security; check with a specialist to see what the best options are for your home.

Look At Product Options

There is a litany of choices for types of music systems and their accessories. Look at the patio and decide what kind of sound systems it can accommodate. Run wires through the framework to achieve a clean, smooth look, and pair speakers with televisions to have a more tech-forward look. Another way to control the flow is a mobile speaker system that can be moved from place to place, in accordance with the company or capacity of the space.

One other popular look is the “rock speaker” look, with carefully placed synthetic rocks with speakers embedded in them. There is a lot of room for creativity here! Explore what will add or detract from the aesthetic of your space, and install accordingly.

Get In Control (Or Go Wireless)

Ultimately, the comfort of you and your guests matters most when listening to music. Remote-controlled systems are an easy way to relax and control the music from the comfort of a couch or other sitting area. If the system is hooked up to a television, this action is made even simpler due to the joining of the two remotes for further optimization. ​

Blue Tree Landscaping

Here at Blue Tree Landscaping, we want to ensure a quality audio experience in every corner of your space. Our team of experts has decades of experience outfitting yards with their preferred setups for an optimal listening experience. Get in touch today!

Protect Your Yard For Fall

Although on the milder side, fall weather can lead to the damage of outdoor surfaces just like any other season. Most of the time, the summer runoff leaves areas hot, dry and faded. To adequately protect your more fragile backyard surfaces, follow these steps before the snow and sleet roll in this winter.

Clean the Surfaces

Remove any leaves, dirt, and debris that accumulated over the summer. If the surface has cracks or grout, take a power washer to them to erase any unsightly remains before the season begins. This will also clear the way for any treatments you want to perform on the yard, and regardless, having a clean yard throughout the winter is a great advantage.

Cleaning off your surfaces additionally means taking care of what resides on them. Put away children’s toys and smaller decorative pieces that may sustain damage throughout the season. Outdoor furniture should be covered or removed entirely, and plants with delicate pots would best be maintained under the cover of an overhang or well-covered table for the duration of the season.

Treat Vulnerable Spots

Keeping outdoor surfaces as fresh looking as possible is crucial for their long-term success. Weather protective coating and sealants for any surface, including even outdoor furniture, will come in handy, especially when rain and snow hit the yard.

For lawns and turf, clearing any dry and yellowed sod will not only treat the whole area, but it will prevent the rest of the vicinity from drying out and suffering from damage. Plants that line a walkway or patio might need pruning or grooming to preserve their health.

Protect Everything

If an area is too big to treat, invest in sturdy tarps to drape over the appropriate walkways. They can be rolled up and stored during the off-season, and the protection they provide will save on repairs and touch-ups for next year’s warmer months. Those tarps can also extend to furniture too big to move, such as a pool table or in-ground fire pit, and any plants that need a bit more protection, such as a garden.

Call Blue Tree

Need advice on the best way to protect your yard against the elements? Blue Tree Landscaping can help! Our team of professionals has experience working with outdoor surfaces and yards of all types and can assist in keeping yours in pristine condition year round. Contact us for a quote today!

How to Keep Your Yard Alive Until Winter

We’re in the thick of summer when the air is hottest and driest. Around this time, lawns and foliage can start to look withered and brown, but that doesn’t have to be the case. There are several measures you can take to preserve the integrity and beauty of your yard. Check out these tips on keeping the back and front yards looking fresh until the holidays, and finishing out the warmer months with a clean, polished space.

Sprinklers

Make sure the sprinkler system isn’t suffering along with the grass and plants. Check the equipment and water levels for the home to ensure that everything is in perfect working order, and make replacements as needed. If something is outdated or rusty, be sure to make changes immediately, so the weather doesn’t wreak havoc on expensive equipment.

Tend to All Surfaces 

The ground may be covered with leaves and snow in the months ahead, but that does not have to damage a patio or poolside surface. Seal the surface with protective shellacs or sealants, or strip existing coverage and replace it with new materials. It may be best to hold off on replacing any hardscaping materials until after the unpredictable, cooler weather subsides; spring might be best for projects that require a longer commitment for completion.

Sod or Plants 

If the greenery is beyond help, seek other solutions. Unrolling a new lawn over stripped ground provides a new foundation for an aesthetic yard. Keep in mind, though, that sod is a costlier option that should be considered early in the season.

Flowers or potted plants are other options that prove to be cost-efficient, especially if they’re artificial. When the weather turns frigid, the plants can be brought inside and stored for the next season’s enjoyment. Choose to replicate local flowers, or get creative and pick tropical options for a splash of color!

Adjust Décor 

It’s possible to enjoy the outdoors in the colder months if your space is equipped for it! Snag weather-resistant cushions that will stand up to harsher weather and bring any delicate adornments inside to protect them. A fire pit can be a comfortable entertainment choice for larger groups that want to enjoy the crisp late-year weather, and sturdy light fixtures will illuminate the space in all types of weather.

Contact Blue Tree

Let us help you polish your space! Our team of experts is happy to give you a quote on repair services, landscaping changes, and more. We are committed to helping you get the most out of your yard year-round, so contact us to get started!

Repair Summer Damages To Your Yard

As we transition into the warmest times of the summer, the sun is beating down upon all outside surfaces. It can be difficult to maintain the condition of outdoor furniture, plants, and even hardscape details when the weather is so unforgiving. Don’t let your outdoor investments go to seed; here are some tips on upkeep for your yard’s accouterments that will help to preserve them year round!

Replace Furniture

This does not necessarily mean replacing the whole setup. If cushions or delicate furniture is left out in the sun for extended periods of time, it can sustain unsightly tears and faded colors. Visit a local seamstress to tend to tears, or consider cushion covers that will not only disguise damages but allow the freedom of redesigning current pieces to fit the season.

Tend To Foliage

The sight of dry, wilted plans can be a sad one! Do some research on the best options for the changing season, and whether to add to already existing ones or remove some completely. Regardless of replacing flowers or planting winter vegetables, any small change will have gardens and landscapes looking fresh.

Check the Pool

Summer is by no means consistent in terms of weather, and a pool can see the brunt of Mother Nature’s actions. Skimming the pool’s surface to remove dirt and debris is only the start of it. If the tiles or ceramic coating are chipped and cracking, drain the pool to perform necessary repairs. Be sure to notice the surface surrounding the pool as well; any cement or tile work that looks faded and cracked should be tended to immediately, for safety reasons.

Clean Up

Sometimes, all a space needs is a good cleaning. Pull any weeds or animal excrement that may be settling in the corners of the yard. For a deeper clean, invest in a power washer to get the dirt off the sides of the house and any patio or hard surface that needs a good scrub. Look at fences too, and see if vines or dirt can be removed for a cleaner look. Now is not the best time to replace sod or large lawn surfaces, but it is possible to keep current ones looking polished until next year’s replacement.

Contact Blue Tree

Let us help you clean up your space! At Blue Tree Landscaping, we pride ourselves on providing quality maintenance and upgrade services for homes of all shapes and sizes. Contact us today to get a quote on how to get your yard in the best shape it’s ever been in!