Category Archives: Retaining Walls

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!

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.

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.

 

The 6 Benefits of Retaining Walls—and Fun Uses for Them!

6 benefits of retinaing wallsRetaining walls don’t often get the credit due to them. Not only do they provide for an aesthetically pleasing hardscape design, but they’re also highly functional! Here are 6 benefits of installing retaining walls in your yard.

1. They Control Erosion

Retaining walls control both weakened grass (often due to foot traffic) and water runoff. When these two elements get out of control—especially in yards with a lack of trees—they cause erosion that can disrupt your landscaping design… and be a royal pain to fix. The terracing effect of retaining walls prevents this erosion.

2. They Control Flooding Direction

If your home is near a body of water or experiences the heavy, wet snowfalls that often occur in the Philadelphia region, a retaining wall can help. By controlling where the water pools, rises, and drains to, retaining walls help prevent your home from flooding.

3. They Direct Traffic

Simply by being there, retaining walls will direct foot traffic around them. This means they’re the perfect protectors for gardens and weakened grassy areas. If you’re looking to spruce up your backyard, consider creating a multi-level garden with retaining walls. Each level can house different types of plants, creating an aesthetically pleasing design that also protects vulnerable plants from being stepped on.

4. They’re Easy to Install

Okay—this one might be a little deceiving. They’re relatively easy to install…but they’re still heavy. After all, they’re made of stone. But this highly beneficial hardscape design element can be installed quickly and relatively easily.

5. They Don’t Require Much Maintenance

A high-quality stone will last for decades…or longer. So they don’t require the maintenance that other landscape design elements do. Over the years a stone may crack and need replacing, but comparatively this is quite low maintenance for a yard feature.

 

Ready for a retaining wall? Great. To get your creative juices flowing, here are a few places you can install them:

  • Around stairs and steps
  • Around a patio area (or two separate patio areas)
  • Around a pool to provide a natural hardscaped fence
  • Around walkways to direct traffic
  • Around a garden
  • Around the base of a house to prevent flooding

For more ideas on how to incorporate a retaining wall into your landscape design, contact us here at Blue Tree—we’ll help you pick the perfect design for your yard.