Category Archives: landscape design

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 Avoid Basement Water Damage

The Perfect Garden SolutionFortunately for you, there are ways to prevent this from becoming a reality by taking the right precautions. Keep reading to learn a few quick and easy ways to avoid water damage in your basement — and the huge bill you might otherwise face as a result.

Start From Above 

While it might seem obvious, gravity is a key factor in water’s ability to damage a home. So, to protect the basement below, look to the roof above. One common factor leading to water damage in a basement is clogged gutters and downspouts. A gutter or downspout, which can become clogged by leaves, shingles, or other debris, can cause water to overflow and fall to the ground below. That water doesn’t just disappear — it floods the soil. This can not only end up flooding your basement, but it can also hurt the foundation of your entire home as well.

It’s also worth noting that to avoid these issues, it is important to replace any missing shingles and to keep your downspouts pointed 5-10″ away from the house. This will keep water at a safer distance from your home and reduce the risk of problems.

Keep It Flawless 

Another major factor that can contribute to water damage in your basement the state of the home’s foundation. Cracks in the foundation represent additional risks, whether they’re major or small, hairline divisions. Scarily enough, you might not easily notice cracks in the event that they do form. Rainwater — especially during floods — has the potential to seep through these cracks, resulting in damage to the foundation of your home. Even worse, years-long neglect of these cracks can make major repairs to your home necessary, translating into a major home repair bill.

The Ultimate Basement Guard 

Do you live in a storm-heavy area with lots of rain? If so, installing a sump pump can be a great way to avoid potential damage from water-drenched soil. This device collects hazardous rainwater from the soil and natural waterways, keeping it out of your home. This collected water is then transferred to storm drains or dry-water wells, which will prevent re-entry into your home. Often a sump pump is connected to your home’s electrical system. Because of this, if you do live in a storm-heavy area, it’s advisable to connect your sump pump to a backup generator. You certainly want the sump pump to work, even if the power is out.

While some of these issues can be self-assessed, it’s important to know when you need to call in a landscaping or plumbing expert. As indicated above, waiting too long can allow additional problems to occur, leading to increased costs when the problem is ultimately addressed. Don’t hesitate to call your local service expert today — you don’t want to end up wet and with a major repair bill to boot.

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.

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.

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!

Best Fall Plants to Plant For Next Season

When the seasons change for cooler weather, the temperature dips and children go back to school. It’s a beautiful time, and nature reflects that by placing changing leaves and fall flowers out on display for the world. There are several varieties of foliage you can plant on your property to enhance the autumnal experience. Check out some popular options for this year’s harvest below!

Snapdragons

These colorful buds are strong and will stand up to most weather conditions. Planting them in the declining seasons is a viable option, and they can be installed in cooler springtime weather as well. You can water them as normal, and be sure they have some access to sunlight. Their muted colors will also match a cooler winter decor should you choose to bring them inside to liven up your home.

Pansies

Pansies may look delicate, but their short clusters are a striking addition to yards in harsher climates. There is a multitude of colors and combinations to choose from as well. You can plant these alongside a cobblestone path or in window boxes for a bright splash against the drab of winter.

Sweet Peas

Sweet peas are a classic choice. Their light fragrance and soft colors make them flexible for both indoor and outdoor aesthetics. However, sweet peas do require a bit more upkeep due to their rarity and ease of growing. Be sure that sweet peas are a true essential for fall flowers in your own garden, as they are a commitment!

Winter Vegetables

Now is also the perfect time to begin planting small crops for the winter. Leafy greens will thrive this time of year and certain squashes and vegetables will be ready to pick soon. You may want to consider consulting a gardening guide to ensure that your choices are acted on in the appropriate time frame.

Wedding Flowers

As the summer wedding season winds down, there are a few transitional options for the perfect fall ceremony. Several lilies and chrysanthemums are coming into bloom, and carnations are always in fashion for any occasion. Tulips and daisies are conventional, dependable options that are available almost everywhere. Ultimately, it comes down to what the bride and groom prefer, but know that there are many plants out there to take into account.

Contact Blue Tree

Let us help you design the space of your dreams! At Blue Tree Landscaping, we take pride in helping homeowners craft the ideal outdoor landscape, from hardscaping and pool services to design and more. Email or call us to get 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!

How To Turn Your Yard Into An Island Getaway

It’s vacation time! While that might mean jetting off to a tropical excursion for some, others might not have the same plans for such an exotic getaway. Luckily, there are fun (and easy) ways to turn your yard into the ultimate staycation spot!

Tiki Torches

These festive decorations are easy to come by. Outdoor furniture outlets, home goods stores, and even home improvement places will all have the woven straw decorations that turn any yard into the perfect luau! Stick them into the ground around a pool deck or the path leading into the house, and set them ablaze after the sun goes down to keep the party going well into the night.

Lanterns

There are many options for hanging light fixtures that add another pleasing touch to any decor. Paper lanterns in a litany of colors are fun for parties, and permanent lanterns with cool, soft lighting are growing in popularity. Grab some mini tabletop lanterns for your next entertainment event, or take it a step further and get free-standing light structures that can be placed anywhere outside. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

Tropical Plants

Since the summer months are short-lived, not everyone has the time to plant extravagant flowers that won’t last the year. Consider potted plants which can be relocated to different areas or even synthetic flowers that can be stored until next year’s heat wave. For beautiful, tropical choices, we recommend flowers with substantial roots and leaves, such as the Bird of Paradise flower.

Fabrics

Consider colorful pillows, seat covers, or tablecloths to spice up the decor. While it can get pricey to purchase seasonal, trendy furniture items and their accessories, covering existing decorations is a cost-efficient way to change it up. Aim for simplicity! In the summer, white and cream-colored cushions are stylish, and pops of color can be added in a variety of ways.

Music

No vacation is complete without the perfect playlist! Hook up speakers to an overhang or gazebo post to set the mood, no matter the occasion. As for the tunes, use services such as Spotify or Pandora to compile a list of soothing music that will boost the vacation feel for anyone listening.

Contact Blue Tree

Let us help you revitalize your space for the summer! Our team of experts at Blue Tree Landscaping is dedicated to providing quality landscaping, pool, and even decorative services to help any backyard thrive. Contact us to get a quote, and don’t wait any longer to treat yourself to some summer festivities!

How to Replace an In Ground Pool

For some folks, a pool is not the ideal backyard staple. The upkeep can be a hassle, and too costly at that, and removing it can open the doors to several other backyard options. Explore other options for a backyard that can easily cover a filled in, in-ground pool!

Pool Demolition

The most common route of replacing a pool is filling it in with other materials. Start by draining the water or, if possible, relocating it to a different source to recycle it. Then find additional materials to fill it with. Dirt, rubble, and cement are the normal means of filling in a pool. Make sure any systems associated with it, such as pumps and solar panels, are disassembled or off completely.

There are several methods of filling a pool, and consulting a technician on the proper techniques for doing so can have several benefits. Professional advice can determine the pool’s capacity to be filled, as well as any additional services that need to be performed. As always, obtain permission or services from city officials before performing any steps in the process.

Sport Court

The foundation for a multi-sport court is prime after filling in a pool; the surface area is wide enough so that it will be safe and sturdy. Enjoy tennis, basketball, badminton, and more on synthetic tile or other court materials. This is a wonderful, year-round entertainment option for kids and parents alike!

A Patio

If the foundation is laid with care, then it can take the weight of a wood or cement nation with trimmings to match. Make sure that the backyard surface is flat enough to establish a solid surface for tables, chairs, pool tables, or entertainment sets that will enhance the new space. Whether it be an extension of an existing nation or a new one, check the surface for any give before proceeding.

Grass

For those looking for a more simple terrain, grass or artificial sod is an aesthetic option that leaves room for flexibility in future projects. Keep in mind the time of installation though; weather can affect the success of setting soil, and pets can tear up the installments to the point of replacing it sooner than needed. A new lawn has so many perks, and it will help the yard stay cool in the hot summer months.

Contact Blue Tree

Start a new foundation with Blue Tree! Our expert services can revitalize your backyard to create a space that looks completely different from any previous ones. Contact us for a quote or advice on the best path to take to get the backyard you need, and want!

Make Your Yard Look Bigger with These Design Hacks

It’s heating up out there! Rising temperatures means more folks will be spending time outside and enjoying their yards, both back and front. However, last year’s decorations or overgrown details might have those spaces feeling a little cramped. Clear the way for a beautiful summer with a few design hacks to make your yard look bigger:

Perform necessary maintenance

This is the first step to achieving more space. Weeding, power-washing, and sweeping away winter’s debris will brighten up the yard and provide it with the TLC it needs to thrive. Inspect any outdoor furniture or cooking apparatuses as well, to see if professional cleaning or painting needs to be done.

Scale down decorations

Are there large plants or ornaments cluttering the yard? It might be time to replace them with smaller features. Investing in more petite decorations, such as mirrors and delicate tapestries, will give a more minimalist look to the space and open up the yard. Avoid large hanging pieces, such as light fixtures that dominate an overhang or vertical plants, as they can take over the airspace and make it difficult to get around.

Build up, not out

This will not only create floor space, but it will frame the higher corners of the yard and create the illusion of more room. Try getting one tall plant instead of three shorter ones, for instance, or light fixtures with taller stands. Select furniture, such as bar seating or patio pieces, can be replaced with more compact options to add elbow room to the yard as well.

Use hardscaping methods

If the situation requires it, there are methods to expansion that can require actual construction or renovation. If a fence exists, knocking it down to rebuild it outwards is one option. Current retaining walls or odd corners can be smoothed out as well — if one has the means to take the existing space and create more, it leaves more room to customize the yard and make it look even bigger! Remember to obtain permission from neighbors and city officials before making any major changes that might affect the layout or the property or ones around it.

Contact Blue Tree

Let’s expand together! Blue Tree Landscaping has a team of experts that will advise and assist in renovating your backyard to create more of the space you desire. Whether it’s pushing a fence out a few feet or hanging a new feature, let us guide you on the best route to doing so. Contact us for a quote today!