Category Archives: Pergolas and Gazebos

Entertaining Outside In Fall

With the holiday season quickly approaching, the festivities are moving to the comfort of the indoors. For those who wish to entertain outside, this can prove to be a bit of a challenge. Regardless, with preparation and some flexibility, anyone can host a stunning and enjoyable outdoor get-together as the seasons change.

Fire Pits

As the ultimate centerpiece for entertaining outdoors, fire pits provide more than just a lovely aesthetic; they additionally provide warmth and a rustic experience. Certain designs can also house a grate for grilling, and toasting marshmallows is always an option for a fun party dessert!

Space Heaters

One of the joys of outdoor dining at a restaurant or bar is sitting under a heat lamp and feeling its warmth while eating. To emulate that same concept, those restaurant beacons can be used in the home as well! Place a few free-standing units as desired, or consider investing in something more stagnant for entertaining.

Restaurants also use wind blockers for openings to and from the outside. Although not the most attractive option, plastic covers fitted to patios or doors leading to the front yard or backyard allow for a reprieve from wind and other weather conditions. When the warm weather rolls around again, roll them up and store them for next season!

Cozy Backyard Furniture

If the weather permits, break out some comfortable blankets and pillows for guests to use. Store them indoors while not in use, and try not to purchase any light colors or delicate fabrics that won’t stand up to the elements. Thicker, coarser materials such as wool or hemp are viable choices for winter months.

Winter Gazebo or Pergola

A gazebo is commonly thought of in the warmer months for entertaining, but this structure can be formatted to encase guests in an area of warmth! A gazebo roof will support sealing coatings and tarps for protection, and several heat entertainment functions can be added to the framework. Consider putting some of that cozy furniture under a gazebo during a party, too.

For a completely new addition, also consider a pergola. This small sanctuary can be customized to fit the season’s needs, from sturdy materials to protective coatings. Although some pergolas thrive with plant encasings during the summer months, tarps and thick coverings will contribute to the protective aspects just as well.

Contact Blue Tree

Worried about winter wear and tear that might come from these events? Blue Tree Landscaping can help! Our team of experts will seal and protect multiple backyard surfaces for entertaining, from the pool to the patio. Contact us for a quote on our services today!

Install A Gazebo In Time For Summer

Summer is a time for relaxation and rejuvenation, but the weather can be brutal during the warmer months. Anyone looking for a reprieve should consider building a gazebo for their yard, to cut the sunlight and provide a wonderful aesthetic to any space. Check out some positive features a gazebo can provide; there’s still time to get started on the plans for one!

Relief from the Weather

Many gazebos can be installed with solid roofing and ample shade from harsh sunlight. This makes them perfect for hosting daytime gatherings and getting work done outdoors. In some instances, fans or other electrical appliances can be placed into the design, providing even more relief from hotter days. A combination of versatility and durability will keep your gazebo in perfect shape for any weather.

The Perfect Party Location

A gazebo’s attributes can make it the ideal setting for any get-together, especially if you’ve gone the extra mile for some unique features. Consider putting in an electrical outlet or speaker systems to have automatic entertainment options, or generating enough space for a few pieces of furniture. A TV or gaming system is an automatic plus for sports fans, and even appliances such as a refrigerator or stove top will assist in entertainment endeavors.

Easy Installation

Gazebos are one of the most popular choices for major design accessories, and there are hundreds of designs to choose from! Its features, such as being above ground and smaller in scale, make it a prime choice for sprucing up your summer landscape. Do research on which materials and locations will work best for your backyard, to get premium use from what is available.

Make It Your Own

Customizing your new favorite spot is important, and no matter how simple or frivolous your ideas are, what matters is how your gazebo fits into your everyday use. Create a tiny escape with a few cozy chairs, or go bigger and put a table or bar in for prime entertainment options. Vines or plants surrounding the landscape will add a touch of greenery that accentuates any warm weather, and most of them are easy to maintain.

Contact Blue Tree

Let us help you build the gazebo of your dreams! Blue Tree offers hardscaping services that will assist you with the design and installation of even the most elaborate gazebos. Beyond that, our landscaping services and maintenance capabilities will have your yard ready for summer before it even begins. Explore the full range of what we offer on our website, and contact Blue Tree to get started today!

How to Make Your Yard Tastefully Private

Landscape LightingThere are a few different ways that you can make your backyard or front yard more private. Privacy can be accomplished through tasteful, modern measures, through plants, or through new materials for fences and walls. If you’re interested in remodeling your backyard and introducing a much-needed update, the following examples will be a nice addition to any outdoor space.

Why You Should Add a Wall or Fence

If you have young children or pets, you might want to consider a modern wall or fence design for your yard. This will help you to keep a better eye on your loved ones, and keep them out of trouble. It can also help to keep intruders out, such as deer or other wildlife that may be interested in helping themselves to your garden. A wall or fence can help with nosey neighbors, too.

Consider New Materials and Designs

If you want to add a fence or wall to your yard, the design and material options are seemingly endless. Your fence could be made of horizontal wood panels (instead of vertical), or plexiglass and wood, for example. Not up for a fence or wall? If you’re interested in adding a pergola or similar structure to your yard, consider adding an outdoor curtain for additional privacy.

Make Your Yard Private With Plants

If gardening is one of your favorite pastimes, why not prove it? Make your garden grow to new heights — literally. Plant new shrubs and trees, or help your current plants to grow taller. You’ll be able to create a more natural barrier between your yard and the outside world. Another way to achieve new heights: add raised flower beds, so that your garden appears at various levels. Or, add a row of larger-than-life potted plants for a makeshift “fence.”

You could also add a lattice fence, trellis, or similar open structure — with a modern twist. There are many modern designs available now that will look more tasteful while still being useful. These designs will allow your yard to feel more open, while also allowing for another way to show off your plants. You could add roses or other vines to add a more romantic or private element to your yard, too.

Time to Get Started

Once you have some ideas in mind for your landscaping project, contact Blue Tree Landscaping. Blue Tree will help you at every step of the way, from planning, to design, to realizing your vision.

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.

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.

4 Hardscape Additions for Your Yard

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

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

Hardscape Additions for Your Yard

Patios

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

Pathways

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

Playful, Useful Touches

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

Frame It Up

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

Inviting Hardscape

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

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

 

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

 

How to Create More Privacy in your Yard

pool-03

We all love our neighbors, but that doesn’t mean we want our lawn in their full view. If your yard didn’t come with any barriers, there are a number of stylish elements you can choose from.

Here are 5 great ways to give your yard a little more privacy:

1. Fences

Installing a fence between you and your neighbors isn’t the most creative solution, but it is certainly the most traditional. It’s relatively cost effective, and provides the ultimate barrier for any yard. When purchasing a fence, be sure to consider the height carefully. A 6-foot fence often provides ample privacy, but some homeowners opt for greater heights.

2. A Living Barrier

A living barrier uses plants, flowers, vines, or trees to create a visual privacy barrier. These can easily fit any landscape design, provided you choose the right type of plant. If you opt for a living barrier, there’s a number of things to consider beyond a plant’s style. You also need to decide how thick or dense you want the barrier to be. For example, a dense barrier may provide more privacy, but it also reduces lighting. Another element to consider is how the living barrier will grow. A lattice is a great start for vines, but bushes need to either be installed fully-grown, or chosen based on their future height.

3. Overhead Privacy

Sometimes the privacy you want isn’t for the entire yard. Maybe you just want a portion of your lawn closed-off, so you can entertain in peace. For those who want ‘overhead’ privacy, shade, sails, or pergolas can offer excellent privacy options. They’re especially helpful if your property is at a lower level than your neighbors.

4. A Private Area

Setting up a fence or living barrier can be cumbersome, which is why a single private area, like a patio, can be a great option. Creating a single, secluded space, with a lattice or tall plant, can create the single private area you need, without isolating your neighbors.

5. Patio Screens

Another option for creating an isolated area on your lawn is to screen in a patio. By adding privacy screens, you can create a private space without the ongoing maintenance of plants, or the expense of tall fences.  

Need Help?

Figuring out how to best create a private space for your yard can be tough, especially when fitting it into your existing landscape design. If you need help choosing a yard privacy option that suits your current property, contact us at Blue Tree Landscaping. With 30 years of experience, we’re more than ready to give you the guidance you need.

5 Landscaping New Year’s Resolutions

5 Landscaping New Year's ResolutionsIf you’re in the festive New Year mood for penning resolutions, be sure to add landscaping to this year’s wishlist. Landscaping resolutions are a smart idea as they get your creative juices flowing, and if executed shortly after New Year’s Eve, you can have a solid plan in place for springtime.

To help you start your year and yard off right, here are a number of landscaping resolutions to consider.

(Finally) Start Composting
Composting is one of those things that every gardener means to do but often “doesn’t get around to”. It’s a surprisingly easy habit to get into, requires very little startup costs or setup time, and the benefits to your soil and plants are incredible.

Grow Food and Herbs
Home-based gardening has experienced a renaissance in recent years, especially with the proliferation of community food gardens. This year, make it a goal to grow your own veggies and herbs. They can be pretty easy to grow and your palate will thank you!

Hardscape
If last year’s yard and lawn maintenance was hard on the back or budget, then this year consider implementing more hardscape elements. Hardscaping offers a maintenance-free design, a classy look, and more space for entertaining. Hardscapes designed to be a lawn alternative are also a great way to cut down on the seemingly endless hours of summer mowing.

Declutter
As you continue to embellish your landscape design, it can start to look more cluttered over the years than you had originally intended. Since modern landscaping design tends to be more minimal, and since your taste has likely changed over the years, you may want to take a step back and use an editor’s eye to modify your space.       Every so often it’s important to not only declutter, but to make sure your design aesthetic remains consistent too.

Outdoor Living
If you spent a ton of time last year eating, sitting, and entertaining outdoors, then it might be time to install an outdoor living space. Conversely, if you didn’t spend enough time outdoors, then it’s all the more reason to construct an outdoor lounge and sanctuary to ensure you do. Creating an outdoor living space requires an upfront investment in patio creation, hardscape elements, landscape design, and outdoor furniture—but it is well worth the investment.

 

To help make your landscaping New Year’s resolutions one that sticks, contact us here at Blue Tree landscaping. We can work with your vision and your budget to create an outdoor space you’ll love.

Gazebo or Pergola—Which One is Right for Your Landscape Design?

PergolaGazebos have long been a popular element in landscape design—but over the last few years pergolas have entered the limelight. Indeed, in just a few years pergolas have gone from unknown to highly coveted…but is this trending design element right for your yard? Or, should you go with the more classic gazebo?

To figure out which landscape design element is right for you, let’s take a look at what each one is…

 Gazebos

Gazebos can be quickly recognized for their iconic look—a generally round, octagonal, or hexagonal shape, conical roof, and wood/lattice exterior. While they vary greatly in size they often fit four or more people comfortably. As they fit so many people, they are popular for outdoor entertainers. Since they have a roof they provide protection from the elements, especially rain.

 Pergolas

Pergolas also have a ‘look’ that makes them immediately recognizable, with their beam-based roofing slats and thick wooden posts. Pergolas can also come in wrought iron, however thick wooden beams remain the more popular option. Another option, instead of wooden beams on top, is a lattice, which is used for pergolas that (will) have vines growing on them. As these structures have a partially uncovered top and fully uncovered sides they provide little to no protection from the elements, making them purely decorative architecturally.

Which One is Right for You?

Deciding between a gazebo and a pergola depends on what your goals are for your outdoor structure…

  • Price
    If cost is a large motivator, then a pergola will make your budget happier than the more costly gazebo. As they use less material and tend to be less intricate, they can be purchased and/or built for significantly less.
  • Protection from the Elements
    Hands down, if protection from rain and other elements is your primary goal then a gazebo makes sense. A pergola can provide some protection if it has an extremely thick vine on the top, but even then, rain will leak on you eventually.
  • Look
    Gazebos tend to have a more classic architectural look, which goes well with country and other classically styled yards. Yards with modern architecture will appreciate the styling that a pergola brings.

 

If you’re having trouble integrating a gazebo or pergola structure into your overall landscape design, then perhaps you should leave that decision to the professionals! With our keen architectural eye and landscape design experience we can match the right structure with your particular home and yard.