Category Archives: Help With Hardscaping

The Best Hardscaping Options For Your Patio

There are several ways to take care of your feet, and choosing a suitable surface in your home is one helpful way of doing so. However, outdoor spaces should also be taken into account for viable surfaces underfoot. Consider installing an aesthetically pleasing, cozy surface that will allow your patio to be comfortable and stylish!

Choosing a Surface

There are so many possibilities of customization for your backyard. Choose from the standard surfaces that include brick, tile, cement, paving stone, or a creative combination of these. Keep in mind that a patio needs upkeep like the rest of the yard; it is also wise to choose a patio based on your ability to maintain it. Consider weather and company when picking a surface, because durability is a top priority for a quality patio!

Cater To Everyone

Take the dimensions of your space into account, to pick a surface that won’t overwhelm the future patio’s potential.

If the house is full of kids, pets, and toys, having a slippery tile deck might not be the best option. Instead, consider a more malleable surface that will provide grip underfoot, such as wood with a durable finish or coarse tile. If a pool is nearby, go with a surface that won’t get slippery when wet, and be wary of any heat-retaining materials for those that like to go barefoot in warmer weather. Brick is a viable choice, and its durability in harsher weather will stand the test of time as well.

On the other hand, a paved patio walkway and tile are perfect for less active inhabitants, or those that simply want to enjoy lounging in their outdoor space. Look into a more decorative surface that will complement a walkway or poolside, such as more delicate wood or hard material.

Consider Other Design Components

One of the perks of installing a premium patio surface is how it can be matched with surrounding details. Match a specialized patio paver with details that feature similar colors to the ground surface, like seat cushions or accessories. Choose plants that complement intricate tile work, or contrast it with lawn ornaments or furniture that make a statement. This is a fun means of self-expression, so enjoy this part of customizing your patio’s supporting roles!

Contact Blue Tree

Choose your next patio surface from certified, dependable options. Blue Tree Landscaping can outfit any hardscaping surface with a variety of options, and will provide dependable installation surfaces as well. Get a quote for your next home improvement project by contacting Blue Tree today!

Landscaping for Modern vs. Traditionally Styled Homes

Decorate Your PatioYou want a landscaping design that compliments the style of your home and makes it a more inviting place for your family and guests — but you don’t want your design to be so “busy” or minimal that it’s distracting. The following are some ideas to consider when choosing a design for your yard, no matter what your home’s style is.

Landscaping for a Modern Home

With a modern home design — think informal with mixed materials, floor-to-ceiling windows, and an eye-catching shape — you can get away with more unique flowers, shrubs, and trees for your yard. You’ll also be able to use certain hardscaping materials, such as concrete or certain rock tiles that might not look as appealing when paired with a more traditional home.

Depending on your home’s materials and color scheme (inside and outside), you might choose a more minimal landscaping design, or else one that’s as quirky and vibrant as your home is. Nonetheless, when it comes to landscaping designs for modern homes, less is usually more. Don’t overload the yard with exotic or unique plants, or too many focal points. Have the backyard, for example, be focused around an outdoor living space.

Landscaping for a Traditional Home

A more traditional home — think of a formal design that may be more symmetrical and rectangular, made of brick or stone, with a gable roof or a front porch — will call for a more uniform design that is neither minimalist nor maximalist, but somewhere in between. You’ll want to stick with hardscaping materials (for walkways and patios) that are similar to the house’s materials (if only in color), and plants that are more common to your home’s region.

For your backyard, a traditional home usually calls for a more “traditional” pool shape, such as Grecian or Roman, but you could also do an oval or kidney shape. You could also add a waterfall or decorative rocks and plants to frame the pool. However, like with a modern home, you’ll want to make your outdoor living space your main focal point.

It’s Time to Take the Next Step

Choosing the right landscaping design for your yard doesn’t have to be difficult. Whether you have some landscaping ideas in mind already, or are looking for someone to help you brainstorm, contact Blue Tree Landscaping to get started on your landscaping project today. Blue Tree will help you with all of your landscaping, hardscaping, and lawn care needs. They’ll help you to realize your vision for your yard, and maintain it all year round, too.

Install a Pergola This Winter

pergolaWhy You Should Install a Pergola This Winter

If you’re looking for a quick way to upgrade your outdoor space, consider installing a pergola in your yard. A pergola offers a great way to elevate your yard all year round, for practical and aesthetic reasons.

What is a Pergola?

A pergola is a type of open outdoor structure, usually constructed of metal or wood, that shelters a section of your yard. This type of structure is often used to cover a walkway or an outdoor living space, and it can be attached to your home or stand on its own. It is often used to create a more private outdoor space, offer shade on sunny days, support vines and other plants, and as an aesthetically pleasing focal point for your yard.

There are many different styles of pergolas, but they all utilize an open design with columns and a “roof” of beams. Depending on the style of your home and landscaping, you may want to choose a modern, sleek pergola or a pergola with an arch or Italian-style columns.

An Extension of Your Home

There are many ways that you can use a pergola in your yard, but they are often used as a private, shaded outdoor entertaining space. You may use it to shade an outdoor dining area, kitchen, sports bar, or a relaxing living space. Your pergola might be designed to be light and airy, or covered in dense vines and roses to create a romantic escape. No matter the design, it can transform your outdoor space by complementing your landscaping, pool, and home.

Pergolas in Winter

The winter season may seem like an unusual time of year for installing a pergola in your backyard. However, installing a pergola in the winter will allow you to entertain outdoors as soon as the weather gets warmer. Still, that doesn’t mean your pergola will be unusable until spring. Thanks to outdoor heaters, fireplaces, and fire pits, you’ll be sure to get some use out of your outdoor living space all year round.

During the winter, a pergola can transform your outdoor space into a type of winter retreat. It’s also a great way to embrace outdoor seasonal decorating. Decorate your space with outdoor rugs and furniture in festive colors, lanterns, strings of lights, wreaths, and potted plants.

How to Install a Pergola

If you’re interested in installing a pergola in your backyard, contact Blue Tree Landscaping to make your outdoor vision a reality. Blue Tree can help with all of your hardscaping, landscaping, and lawn care needs.

What Are the Different Uses for Retaining Walls?

What Are the Different Uses for Retaining Walls?

 A retaining wall is a structure designed to contain soil in a specific place. It is a type of hardscaping — that is, it’s a “hard,” non-living material — and is essentially a wall made of stone or brick, for example. It is often used for practical purposes, like preventing soil erosion or as a way to compliment and define the landscaping of your yard. If your yard is sloped or uneven, a retaining wall can make your yard more polished and enjoyable. The following are some of the best ways to utilize a retaining wall in your yard.

A Tool For Landscaping Sloped Yards

Retaining walls are a necessary part of landscaping a sloped or uneven yard. They help to keep any landscaped areas in place and can protect the soil in a garden from washing away during a storm. Further, a retaining wall can help prevent soil and water from leaving your property and damaging other properties or areas. Without a retaining wall, a landscaped, sloped yard is more vulnerable to harsh weather and harder to maintain.

Create Visual Appeal

A retaining wall can be an appealing design element when landscaping your yard. It can be used to distinguish between, and separate, different elevations. This might be for the purpose of separating a garden from the rest of a yard or drawing attention to an elevated outdoor patio space. You can match the material of your retaining wall to the other hardscaping elements of your yard, such as a patio or walkway, for a more cohesive look.

Prevent Soil Erosion

One of the ways you can prevent soil erosion in your yard is by building a retaining wall around any vulnerable soil. If your yard is sloped, a retaining wall can prevent the soil from being displaced by excessive wind or water.

The Right Retaining Wall for You

There are many different types of and purposes for retaining walls. It’s not as simple as building a wall. Many factors such as width, height, and ground pressure need to be considered, in addition to the purpose of the retaining wall in order to determine what type of wall to build. Luckily, Blue Tree Landscaping makes this task look easy. Whether you need one to keep a sloped yard in place or to improve your yard’s look, Blue Tree can help you determine what type of retaining wall you need and how it can compliment your yard’s landscaping. Contact Blue Tree Landscaping for all of your hardscaping, landscaping, and lawn care needs. We will help you to create your ideal outdoor space — and maintain it, too.

Find Your Ideal Front Walkway

hardscaping-09How to Find and Create Your Ideal Front Walkway

We all use some sort of pathway to enter our homes, whether that involves an existing walkway or cutting through the yard to get inside. Hardscaping your yard, in addition to landscaping, will not only increase your home’s curb appeal, but also make your home a more inviting place for you and your guests.

Functional Hardscaping is Key

The term hardscaping refers to the “hard,” non-living materials used to create and define your outdoor space. This includes walkways, patios, and decks. Hardscaping helps you to appreciate and enjoy your outdoor space, in addition to making that space easier to navigate. This is crucial for a walkway. The walkway should be both visually appealing and functional. Your walkway should follow the natural pathway you or your guests might use to enter your home. The walkway might connect the sidewalk or street to your front door, or it might connect your driveway to the front door. It all depends on your needs.

Consider Your Space

Once you have an idea in mind of where your walkway should be, you should next consider the space you have to work with. A walkway should compliment your home, your outdoor space, and your landscaping. Factors to consider include the size and shape of your lawn and home, the materials and style of the home, any existing trees or plants that you want to keep, and any places where you might want to add large plants. When deciding the shape, width, and placement of your walkway, always keep the above factors in mind.

Design and Materials

Your pathway should be wide enough for one or two people to walk on it comfortably. Walkways that meet this requirement generally range from 3 to 5 feet wide, depending on the size of your home. A larger home, or a home with two front doors, will call for a larger walkway. As for the shape of your walkway, it could be either straight or curved. However, you don’t want the walkway to involve too many curves — more than one or two curves might tempt you and your guests to stray from the walkway, making it functionally useless. As for the material for your walkway, consider the style of your home. Stone and brick are both popular and versatile walkway materials, but a brick walkway would not necessarily compliment a “modern” home.

The Next Step

Blue Tree Landscaping will help you to actualize the transformation of your outdoor space. Contact Blue Tree for all of your hardscaping, landscaping, and lawn care needs. Whether you have specific ideas in mind or need help brainstorming, designing, and creating your space, Blue Tree is here to help during every step.

Unique Patio Design Ideas

045Unique Patio Design Ideas

If you are considering installing a new patio, you might be surprised to learn that you can have more than a basic rectangular concrete slab. From a variety of textures and shapes to design accents, read on for timely tips to perk up any lackluster patio.

Think Beyond the Concrete

If you are in need of a new patio, it’s time for an update. Follow the latest trends by installing a patio that is curved or crafted with different hardscape materials. Brick, wood chips, flagstone, and even gravel are all integrated into appealing designs.

Sweet Little Nook

Your patio should be more than just a place you sometimes use to entertain. It can become a valuable and much-loved part of your outdoor space — if you give it the attention it deserves. Use your best landscaping know-how to create a garden oasis. Add in potted plants, a water feature, and comfortable seating.

Match Your Style

If your home is elegant and grand, you should have a patio to match. If you have a theme in your landscape, that theme should carry over into your patio. Add in the hardscape elements you are using elsewhere in your yard to complement the space. Use the same types of plants that you’ve used in flower beds around the patio. Get creative with it: install hanging baskets or potted plants.

Bring the Inside Out

Part of any successful landscape design includes sunny and shady spots. Consider adding in an umbrella or pergola. Add accessories that look great with a bit of weathering and fabrics that resist color fading due to the sun. Treat your patio like any other room in your home. Make it personal with whimsical touches like fun candle holders that can withstand the elements and even mirrors for walls that are exterior yet protected. Add an outdoor clock or wall art — anything goes as long as it’s weather-friendly and fits the style of the rest of your yard.

Light it Up

Lighting is an essential, yet overlooked, part of your unique patio design plan. The right lighting can help boost your landscape’s appeal while extending the use of your patio. Brighten it up. Day or night, you can enjoy your patio for longer when you use proper lighting.

Patio with Pizzazz

For a seamless patio design, leave it to the professionals. Call Blue Tree Landscaping, the one-stop-shop for everything landscaping (including pools), for a patio that reflects your style, your budget, and your life.

5 Hardscape Materials You Should Know

5 hardscape materials you should knowHardscaping is more than lining a flower bed in pavers, or pouring out a driveway with concrete. Homeowners have more choices than ever before, and for those who prefer to mow less, hardscaping can help cut down frequent lawn maintenance time.

The following materials are commonly used in hardscaping projects. They can be used for patios, driveways, fences, built-in seating, pathways, and even outdoor rooms. Wherever they are used, they are sure to draw rave reviews.

Common Hardscape Materials

Brick

Formal or informal, new or recycled, brick is hugely popular for outdoor projects, and has been for centuries. But, that doesn’t mean the style has stayed the same. Landscape designers are working with brick in new and interesting ways, creating patterns in paths, walls, and other structures.

Gravel

Pinterest pinners are in love with winding pathways. Get the right look with the proper gravel. Gravel is simple to use, and inexpensive. It’s easy to make your path fit your vision, but it’s also easy to kick gravel into the surrounding grass and flowerbeds. Keep a rake handy to catch any stray pieces of rock.

Concrete

Concrete has moved far beyond basic, ho-hum slabs. Today’s concrete has character. It can be stained, stamped, and textured for use in driveways, paths, or patio projects. These new styles not only look great, but they cut down on concrete’s slip-factor. Get creative with embedded elements, like sea glass or pebbles. Concrete is anything, but boring.

Stone

This hardscape material is popular for a reason. Stone is durable, and available in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. Think beyond patios and courtyards. Stone can be used to naturally accent, and enhance your garden design. It helps prevent erosion, and can also add some texture.

Wood

Fences and decking benefit from the warm look of wood. Turn fences horizontally for visual interest, or go with a classic picket fence to match your home. Choose from different colors, and grains to fit your style. Wood may be used for an assortment of landscaping touches, like seating, plant or flower bed borders, and other structures (like a trellis, pergola, or gazebo). Wood will need maintenance to keep it in shape.

A Touch of Class

Now that you know what the major hardscape materials are, isn’t it time you add them to your landscape design? Update your yard with ease by giving Blue Tree Landscaping a call. Blue Tree is a one-stop-shop for everything lawn, garden, and pool. From design, to planning and maintenance, Blue Tree professionals can get your yard in shape.

How to Create a Successful Hardscape for Your Yard

How to create a successful hardscape for your yardHardscaping can provide the powerful visual appeal your yard is missing. But, before beginning a project, decide where you’ll be putting any hardscaping elements. Unlike plants or flowers, your hardscape won’t be easy to relocate if you change your mind. Take these tips to heart so you can avoid any costly mistakes!

How to Create Stunning Hardscape Design

The Big Picture

When thinking about your yard, consider it as a whole. Having a plan in place will help you not only tackle different pieces of your landscape in an affordable manner, but it will also keep you from adding a patio where you should really be putting a fire pit.

More Material

Brick? Stone? Whatever material you are working with, always purchase more than you think you’ll need. Not only will you come out ahead if your numbers need adjusting, but you may just come up with new, clever ways to use the leftovers in your hardscape design.

Water Matters

Hardscaping elements, like walls and patios, can affect how, and where your water flows. For some areas, this can become a serious problem, fast. Work water runoff into your plan, so you can capture some of that water before it reaches the drainage pipes.

Defining Style

While it is fairly easy to save every landscape design ever pinned on Pinterest, the pros know that it’s better to stick with one particular style. Make a short list of a few words that describe the ideal style for your yard, and stick with them. If you prefer sleek and modern, then resist the urge to throw in jarring elements that don’t line up. Pick two or three hardscape materials, choosing textures that complement each other, and work them in.

Prep Work

The most tedious part of any project is typically the work no one will ever see. Before installing a fence or following through with your patio design, it’s important to check for any building specifications. It’s the one part of the project that too many people skip, only to find that an improperly compacted area may result in their patio cracking after just a few years.

Showstopping Hardscape

Hardscaping is both a complicated, and rewarding part of redesigning a home landscape. Get it done right from the start with Blue Tree Landscaping.

From planning to design to maintenance (and pools), Blue Tree is a one-stop-shop for landscape design. Call today, and finally finish the hardscape project of your dreams.

 

How Outdoor Landscaping Can Add Value to Your Home

How Outdoor Landscaping Can Add Value to Your HomeExperts agree that landscaping not only adds instant curb appeal to your home, but also increases the value of your property by a whopping 20%. If your home’s outdoor landscape is typically more of an afterthought, consider making a change. Whipping your yard into shape now can help you achieve maximum benefits later.

How Outdoor Landscaping Adds Value

The Outdoor Advantage

By adding outdoor rooms, you can merge the functionality of the indoors with the natural beauty of the outdoors, significantly doubling your living space in the process. Use like materials to help capture that home feeling. Hardscaping elements can help establish an easy flow, and increase the value of your home to future buyers.

Shady Spaces

If you aren’t planning to sell your home in the near future, planting a shade tree now will help you reap the benefits in more ways than one later on. Not only can a perfectly placed tree add that special something to your yard, but it can also reduce your cooling costs by 40%.

Native Plants

Which plants and flowers are indigenous to the Philly area? Consider these plant types first. The general rule is that plants that are particular to the area will require less maintenance, and be better able to resist the weather conditions and local pests of the Philly region. Furthermore, these plants will add value to your home without draining your budget or requiring constant care.

Shed a Little Light

Lighting will not only provide future home buyers with a feeling of security and safety, but when lights are placed just right, it will also create a welcoming ambience. Highlight the key features of your yard and garden with well-placed lighting structures. Install light fixtures that shine right to your front door. Potential buyers won’t be able to resist.

Good Fences, Great Neighbors

Sturdy, well-maintained fences can increase your property value. Skip the chain link fence and do something a little different. Opt for a fence that’s different from the rest of the homes on your block, while still being tasteful. It will make even a small yard seem more spacious, while providing some needed privacy.

Form and Function

Backyard construction projects are a great way to begin adding value to your home. If these projects seem too overwhelming, turn to the experienced professionals at Blue Tree Landscaping.

 

Blue Tree Landscaping is your one-stop-shop for everything lawn, from planning to design to maintenance. Call Blue Tree Landscaping and add value to your home today!

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.