Create a Standout Vegetable Garden This Season

Vegetable Garden PhotoIt’s time to get back outside and tend to the garden! As the weather heats up, the window to plant a diverse array of fruits, vegetables, and gorgeous foliage is here. This season, take a different approach to the neat, traditional rows of veggies that people plant every year and make your vegetable garden stand out! We’ve got a few tips to help get you thinking about how to achieve a great-looking garden this year:

Read up on plant placement

Some plants thrive in the proximity of certain other kinds, while others simply grow as expected. This is due to the amount of watering and nutrients required for each specific plant breed. For example, tomatoes do well when placed next to peppers and carrots, while zucchini works best alongside corn and beans. Flowers are a prime piece of this equation too, providing splashes of color and playing supporting roles for other plants, so consider adding some well-placed blooms to your crop setup.

Depending on what you choose to showcase, do research on how much space your ideas will need. It can be best to step away from traditional rows for this — instead, think about planting in bunches. That way, the uniform nature of a traditional garden will take a backseat to a more casual layout that can be beneficial the health of the plants.

Choose unique fruits and vegetables

Step outside the box with your options. Not only will your garden boast an enviable color scheme, but the variety will provide nutritional benefits when they ripen for picking; the garden’s results will bring a healthy mix of culinary delights to the table. Consider the terrain in your yard, as well as the weather, and go wild with new plants! The variations in color, size, and height of the plants will make your garden the envy of the neighborhood, as well as on a plate when it’s time to enjoy the fruits (or, in this case, veggies) of your labor.

Decorate!

Get colorful! While your diverse array of vegetation is growing, put some vibrant markers in the ground to differentiate the different plants. Flowers can line the outside of the garden, as well as take up spots within it, and accent pieces will complete the look and can be changed with the seasons. Place a bench next to garden beds to relax on and take a look at your work, or install a birdbath so welcome animals can enjoy it as well. As long as the integrity of the garden itself isn’t compromised by the additions, there are many opportunities to get creative here.

Let Blue Tree help

We’ll help you cultivate the garden of your dreams! From the foundation to the dinner table, Blue Tree Landscaping can assist in creating everything you need to plant successful crops this year. Contact our team to get started today!

Does your landscaping company do site visits?

If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you have a yard — or some other outdoor space — in need of landscaping work. You’re unsure who to call because, well, nothing looks worse than bad landscaping work.

The question then arises: Will a landscaping company do a site visit before signing a contract?

The short answer is “yes.” But note that there are a few other steps to take before arranging a site visit with a landscaping company. Keep reading to learn about those steps and what you need to know before signing a contract to make your landscaping beautiful.

Initial Contact

Well, a relationship has to start somewhere, doesn’t it? The first thing to do is call your local landscaping company. From there, you’ll get an idea of their expertise, prices, and general attitude. Everyone has worked with someone they haven’t liked, so best to see if this company will be a good fit from the start. Additionally, the company will be able to get an idea of what kind of work you’re looking for, and will also be able to take notes on your unique situation to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Meet Your Account Manager 

After first contact, your dream landscaping project will be passed on to an account manager. From there, you will discuss the project and reaffirm that your expectations of the project are in line with their notes from the initial conversation. As we all know, things change and it is always better to err on the side of caution. After everything is finalized, you two will arrange for a site visit.

Site Visit

Okay — we’ve made it to the site visit. But that doesn’t mean the project ends there. Similar to the initial contact and meeting your account manager, the site visit will again reaffirm that the company knows what you’re looking for in regards to landscaping work. They’ll take measurements, note specifications, and develop a project proposal for you both to go over.

Scheduling 

Now you’ve met the company, done a site visit, and seen the proposal. Now is the big moment to decide if you want to sign the contract. By this point, having completed an exciting — albeit rigorous — verification process, you should be happy with the plan. A good landscaping company will make sure you feel comfortable, well-informed, and prepared for the project ahead.

Don’t Hesitate to Call0

Whether you’ve got a massive landscaping project, or one that can be finished in a few days, don’t hesitate to give your local landscaping company a call! A good landscaping company will work with you at every step leading up to the project to make sure you’re getting what you need — before you sign off.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Getting rid of old trees in your landscape

For any homeowner planning to install an in-ground swimming pool, there are plenty of tasks on the to-do list. One step that some people fail to think about is removing trees from the area. If you’re considering an in-ground pool, read on for three reasons to have an expert remove excess trees in your landscape — before they cause problems for your pool.

Free Up Space

Even the simplest in-ground pool designs require plenty of space. For example, even if you decide to go with a relatively small 10-by-10-foot pool, an experienced pool builder will still need to design an adequate concrete deck. In addition, many homeowners decide to build a patio to go along with their in-ground swimming pool. These areas enhance the guest experience. Often, creating this space requires clearing old trees, and homeowners need to find the right landscaper to do the job for them.

Prevent Debris

Most pool companies that do not specialize in landscaping don’t consider the impact of surrounding trees on your in-ground swimming pool. However, it’s important to consult a landscaper with expertise in tree removal before choosing a pool company. No one will enjoy swimming in a pool filled with sticks, leaves and other debris from surrounding trees. You, the homeowner, also won’t enjoy the constant work of cleaning this foliage from your in-ground pool. Take care of the trees in your pool landscape before they become a real problem.

Consider Lighting

Don’t forget about lighting when planning your pool design. In addition to in-ground lights within your pool, you may want to install lighting infrastructure above your pool deck. Before installing landscape lighting, make sure no trees are in a location where they may block light from reaching the pool surface. Your landscaper can also help you figure out if there are old trees that may hinder your ability to install outdoor lighting fixtures in the first place.

Contact Blue Tree

You want your family and friends to enjoy the experience of swimming in your in-ground pool. Don’t let those old trees get in the way of your ideal pool design. Contact Blue Tree Landscaping today and see how our experienced, friendly landscapers can help turn your dream of having an in ground-swimming pool into reality. Our tree removal services have pleased many customers in the Philadelphia area. Call today for a free quote.