Category Archives: Landscaping Tips

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.

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.

Keep Your Lawn Damage-Free This Winter

Winter Fun: Snow FortsKeep Your Lawn Damage-Free This Winter

Cold, harsh winter weather can wreak havoc on many outdoor surfaces. But the vast expanse of a lawn is particularly susceptible to damage if not treated properly. Even if you missed the boat on pre-winter preparations, you can still take steps to maintain the appearance and health of your grass before even more frigid weather rolls around. Here are some ideas for keeping your lawn looking great all year long, no matter what Mother Nature throws your way.

Don’t Stop Normal Lawn Care

As counterproductive as it might sound, keeping up with scheduled maintenance practices can help retain your lawn’s health. Watering and mowing will help keep your lawn in great shape through the cool season, and keeping your grass relatively short will deter burrowing animals, such as mice. The good news? You can mow less often during winter.

Invest in Winter Fertilizer

Although it may sound unconventional, seasonal fertilizer is a great way to save the surface of your yard. If you can, spread fertilizer before the first frost (so the materials don’t mingle with the moisture and cause further issues) or wait until the ground is dry enough to do so. There are several brands available at major outdoor home improvement stores, so talk to an expert to see which product will work best for your lawn.

Plant a Different Grass

If you need some sort of foliage, look into a more resilient seed to plant. Different grass breeds, such as ryegrass and its varieties, can stand up to harsher weather while still providing the desired aesthetic. The texture will withstand frost and snow, keeping the soil underneath relatively healthy for the spring’s more delicate grasses. If no grass is needed, consider an alternative surface such as rocks, tile or even a new patio addition. There is room to be creative here!

Consider Stripping It

One plus to starting over with a brand-new lawn in the spring is saving the effort of preserving it during the winter. If the grass is starting to look brown and withered, getting rid of it entirely is a low-maintenance option for the cold months. When the weather improves in the spring, lay down new sod and enjoy the fresh, beautiful surface!

Contact Blue Tree

Need extra assistance with your cold weather lawn care? Let Blue Tree Landscaping help with that. Our landscapers can provide quotes and advice on the best upkeep of your grass, lawn or yard surface. We look forward to helping you maintain your home’s beautiful outdoor surfaces, so call or email us today for a 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!

How to “Winterize” Your Yard

Winterizing your property requires paying careful attention to your lawn. Most households remove autumn leaves from the lawn to prepare for winter. Unraked leaves can suffocate your lawn if left out through the winter. A layer of leaves can prevent healthy lawn growth the following year. The easy way to take care of your lawn is to remove the leaves with a leaf-blower or a rake. Rakes, however, offer the added benefit of removing thatch – dead grass tissue – from your lawn. Raking your lawn yourself can be a tiring and long process. Try hiring a landscaper if you don’t have time to rake the lawn yourself. Landscapers can help prepare your lawn for winter by testing your soil for pH and adding sulfur or lime as needed. It also helps to over-seed the lawn in the fall, preparing it to grow abundantly come warmer weather.

Winterizing Your Pool

Winterizing your pool can be more work than expected. A pool installation or landscape professional can be a big help. A week before closing, you must balance the pH of the water. Then, remove skimmer baskets, wall fittings, cleaners, solar blankets, and ladders, clean the pool, lower the water level, drain and winterize the plumbing, and cover the pool. These complicated steps often require the help of a professional. The process for in-ground pools also presents a more significant challenge than above ground pools. Swimming pool installation experts and landscapers can help. Often people that install pools know them best – they can recommend the best maintenance and make sure your pool is in good shape to survive the winter.

Additional Landscaping

Get any landscaping you need done before the winter! You also need to winterize gardens, shrubs, and trees if you want them to survive the winter and continue growing large and healthy come springtime. Spreading mulch, preening shrubs and bushes, protecting bulbs, and removing invasive weeds makes for a healthier garden and yard come spring. In wintertime, it’s often harder to get landscaping services. The ground hardens, making it more difficult to install landscape lighting, retaining walls, fences, or gardens.

Keeping Your Yard Healthy In Philadelphia’s Suburbs

Suburbs of Philly like Montgomery County and Chester County have some of the toughest winters. Persistent freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall can hinder the health of your yard and landscape if not properly cared for. Winterizing your lawn, pools, and the rest of your yard can mitigate the effects of a cruel winter. Listening to good advice from professionals like those at Blue Tree Landscaping is the best thing you can do for your yard and home.

Gear Up For Early Snowfall

The weather is cooling down, and with it comes natural events such as sleet, snow, wind, and rain that can all cause collateral damage. To avoid any extra work after winter, it is crucial to take preventative steps to secure every surface in the late months of fall, as well as the early months of winter. Here are some things to keep in mind when prepping:

Check Pipes and Sprinkler Systems

A burst pipe in a home is one thing, but damage to outdoor water systems is not often considered. Sprinklers and pools need extra care this time of year, so tend to them accordingly. Don’t forget to reel in hoses and inspect external water systems, such as sinks or bar setups, before shutting them down for the winter. Doing so earlier on could save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in damage repairs.

Pull Plants

Frost and cold weather can kill delicate plants and flowers almost overnight. Save yourself the grief of gathering brown, dead flowers and plants and remove them sooner than later. Be sure to do subsequent research on what to take away in your garden beforehand; some plants can stand up to the cold and snow, so there’s no need to remove them.

Pick Crops

It might be time to pull in the fall harvest! Pumpkins, squashes, and beans are most likely in their peak harvesting time, as well as various tubers and nightshades in your personal garden. In addition, get ready to plant the winter vegetables and foliage that can withstand the cold. The fruits of your labor will reveal themselves early next year, or even as soon as the New Year!

Seal the Deal

With snowfall comes potential water damage, which means that paint, fences, and any external sealants are at risk of wear from the weather. Cover any surfaces that might be too sensitive for harsh materials, such as plush furniture and outdoor electrical appliances and stock up on temporary fixes like tarps and table covers for larger items. Now is also a great time to update outdoor pieces for next year; drag in anything that needs painting or decorating, and spruce it up for next season!

Contact Blue Tree

We know the snow here at Blue Tree Landscaping, and we can help you prepare for even the worst snowfall. Get in touch with our experts to survey your space and find the best tactics for yard preservation when winter hits. Contact us for a quote today!

Don’t Allow Wind To Inhibit Your Space

Of all the elements that might affect a landscape, the wind is perhaps one of the least thought of. In reality, though, a breezy day can do more than just ruffle the plants and leaves on the property. When outfitting a new space, refurbishing a current one, or taking precautions against the cooling weather, take these wind-conscious factors into consideration!

Consider Debris

This form of damage can come in all shapes and sizes. Mulch, gravel, sand from sandboxes, and loose dirt can be stirred up by wind and cause harm to surrounding surfaces. In addition, trash and outside materials can blow onto the property, making the problem more severe. Above all else, it gives the yard a dirty, tarnished appearance. Consider sealants or more durable materials for outdoor furniture such as coarse fabric for cushions and darker paint colors.

Watch The Accessories

Look after those umbrellas! Lighter outdoor features are in danger of blowing over or detaching from their bases. Awnings, pillows, cushions, and decorations can get scattered around by the wind. If the forecast calls for a blustery day, make sure everything is secure in their spot, or simply store them inside until the weather changes.

Get A Pool Cover

Patios and furniture can be cleaned, but fishing small pieces out of a swimming pool can be a real hassle. Invest in a pool cover that spans the length of the pool, and set it over the water on windy days. This will prevent any unwanted dirt blowing in and clogging the filters, and it will preserve the existing water as well. Take note of the backyard assets around the pool, too, such as potted plants and toys to make sure they don’t blow into the water.

Protect the Garden

Don’t let one day of bad weather undo the months of hard work you’ve put into your garden. Consider placing wire cages around taller plants to offer stability, or cover shorter plants with a light grate to block the wind. Depending on the layout, hedges or creative fencing can also deflect intrusive gusts that could cause harm, and it could add an eye-pleasing aesthetic to the yard on top of everything else.

Contact Blue Tree

Make sure your yard can stand up to the wind! At Blue Tree Landscaping, we pride ourselves on helping to craft sturdy, beautiful outdoor spaces that can stand up to the elements, especially wind. We can survey your home and its available space to determine what features will help it maintain its exterior. Contact us for a quote today!

Get Your Backyard Ready for A Fire Pit

Is your backyard lacking some extra detail? While decorations and major renovations may do the trick, there are other, functional additions that can be considered for a lackluster space, especially with winter approaching. A fire pit is a viable option for not only entertaining but adding a special touch to the décor. Here’s how to prepare for one:

Decide on the Pit Itself

For those that desire removable options, there are temporary fire pits available to place on any fitting surface in the backyard. This allows you to take it inside for the summer months in order to reserve it for next season’s use! But be warned: while this option is more cost-effective, it allows for more damages to be sustained by it.

In-ground fire pits are costlier but can look like an organic feature to the existing space. Go for a matching exterior, such as the tile work or cement it sits on, or aim for a more rustic tone, such as wood or wrought iron.

Clear the Space Around It

The risk of owning a fire pit is low, but bits of debris and ash can fly out of the main chamber and touch the surrounding areas, causing them to sustain damage. There’s always the risk of fire to account for, too! Make sure the trees and plants close by are not too dry, and clear out any dead leaves or delicate goods, such as placemats and tablecloths.

Figure Out What to Burn

Wood isn’t the only thing that can contribute to a stellar fire pit. Contemporary surfaces such as sand or broken glass are trendy and lower-maintenance than traditional wood. Burning scrap planks is always a classic, though; this can be purchased from outdoor supply shops, or even gathered from nature itself.

Do A Grate Job

An open fire pit will provide spectacular detail to any setting, but for safety’s sake, invest in a protective grate for the pit’s opening. Unpredictable weather changes can cause the ash to rise, and if any of those fragments are hot enough, they can damage clothes, plants, and skin, which is especially painful. Choose a semi-permanent one that attaches to the surrounding edges of the pit, or choose a grated cover that can be removed entirely.

Call Blue Tree

We can help install the fire pit of your dreams! Here at Blue Tree Landscaping, our team of experts will be present from start to finish in your project. Call us to get a quote on your next favorite backyard staple today!

Seasonal Decorations To Spruce Up Your Yard

Tips for Halloween from Blue Tree LandscapingNow is the time to start decorating for the cooler months! Fall is here, and getting into the spirit with the appropriate fall ornaments for the home and yard is a guaranteed way to earn compliments and design inspiration from those around. Check out some of our tips for seasonal themes below to enhance your yard.

Pumpkins

While it’s almost time to pick the pumpkins that were planted earlier in the year, that doesn’t mean the opportunity to adorn your space with decorative ones should be passed up. Whether it be wicker ones, plastic, or made from another synthetic material, there are many options for placeholder pumpkins inside and outside the home.

Leaves

The leaves outside are lovely, but they can get messy when unraked! Try fake garlands to provide a pleasing framing for doorways, windows, and fireplaces. Go for a rustic look and place leaf bunches in flowerpots or against the back of kitchen countertops for a pop of detail that house guests will love. If there is a wrought-iron fence or grate anywhere outdoors, lace them around the bars for a sturdy, beautiful addition to the decor.

Hay

Hay bales are not only a cute decoration, but they provide a thematic sitting area for fall-themed events. Place them among the growing pumpkin patch outside, or alternatively under a patio or pergola for fall festivities. Even better, put a flat surface on top of a low hay bale to create a makeshift table and to set drinks and appetizer plates on. Get creative with this one; they’re not commonly thought of for decorating, but there is a ton of room to make them useful.

Plaid

Tablecloths, napkins, shirts, bed sheets…the possibilities are endless! Dress up the garden scarecrow with a weather-ready plaid shirt, or take strips of plaid ribbon to tie around light fixtures for another pastoral look. Visit any fabric store for a large selection of ideas, or make your own by buying fabric and sizing it yourself. Plaid is very stylish right now, so use it for everything — from seat cushions to paper place settings!

Contact Blue Tree

Make sure your autumn aesthetic stays pleasing for seasons to come! Here at Blue Tree Landscaping, we are committed to providing top-quality services to protect your yard from any threatening weather conditions that can disturb the fun. Ensure that weather-resistant patio covers, fences, and patios themselves are gearing up for blustering, windy, and crisp weather. Enjoy yourself this fall and call Blue Tree today for a quote!