Tag Archives: backyard fun

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!

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!

Preparing Your Pool For Fall Weather

The seasons are beginning to change, and with nature’s preparation for winter comes leaves and debris that need to be taken care of before it’s too cold and the weather is unpredictable. Any yard with a pool requires extra attention and care for fall, whether that pool is in use or not. Check out these measures to keep in mind for the coming season!

Take toys out

This might seem like an easy one, but once the pool’s temperature gets too low to use, you should clear the pool of any children’s toys or floating accessories so that they don’t sustain any damage. Floating chairs and drink holders should also be removed and stored away. Clean them with dish soap and water before bringing them inside, and be sure to deflate them for optimal storage. That way, they will be fresh and ready to enjoy for next summer’s festivities!

Use a pool cover

For further protection (and a potentially smoother cleanup) consider investing in a plastic cover or tarp for your pool. The full-coverage benefit will shield the water from debris caused by wind and storms and will additionally shield any underwater surfaces as well. This can also provide adequate protection in the summer months during heat spells and summer storms.

Check chemical levels

Everyone’s pool sits at a slightly different chlorine level, so be vigilant about checking yours. All other factors, including the pH and any saltwater materials, should be checked before the weather affects these levels too much. Temperature, sunlight, and animals infiltrating the water’s surfaces all have an effect on the water, but with a bit of surveillance, the pool will remain healthy beyond the fall months.

Pool surfaces

Before snow and leaves coat the ground, ensure that the pool’s foundation and coatings are intact. If any grout or surface tiles are chipping or cracked, replace or repair them in a timely manner before it gets too difficult to do so. Any protective seals put on furniture should be inspected as well, or simply moved out of the way. Stocking up on materials to fix or polish damages done by the weather is not a bad idea either.

When it comes to pool surfaces, trust the experts to take care of any problem that’s too big to handle. At Blue Tree Landscaping, we are committed to helping protect your yard in case of unpredictable weather. Our in-ground pool knowledge will help to ensure its lifespan year-round, so call us for any questions or a free quote today!

Repair Summer Damages To Your Yard

As we transition into the warmest times of the summer, the sun is beating down upon all outside surfaces. It can be difficult to maintain the condition of outdoor furniture, plants, and even hardscape details when the weather is so unforgiving. Don’t let your outdoor investments go to seed; here are some tips on upkeep for your yard’s accouterments that will help to preserve them year round!

Replace Furniture

This does not necessarily mean replacing the whole setup. If cushions or delicate furniture is left out in the sun for extended periods of time, it can sustain unsightly tears and faded colors. Visit a local seamstress to tend to tears, or consider cushion covers that will not only disguise damages but allow the freedom of redesigning current pieces to fit the season.

Tend To Foliage

The sight of dry, wilted plans can be a sad one! Do some research on the best options for the changing season, and whether to add to already existing ones or remove some completely. Regardless of replacing flowers or planting winter vegetables, any small change will have gardens and landscapes looking fresh.

Check the Pool

Summer is by no means consistent in terms of weather, and a pool can see the brunt of Mother Nature’s actions. Skimming the pool’s surface to remove dirt and debris is only the start of it. If the tiles or ceramic coating are chipped and cracking, drain the pool to perform necessary repairs. Be sure to notice the surface surrounding the pool as well; any cement or tile work that looks faded and cracked should be tended to immediately, for safety reasons.

Clean Up

Sometimes, all a space needs is a good cleaning. Pull any weeds or animal excrement that may be settling in the corners of the yard. For a deeper clean, invest in a power washer to get the dirt off the sides of the house and any patio or hard surface that needs a good scrub. Look at fences too, and see if vines or dirt can be removed for a cleaner look. Now is not the best time to replace sod or large lawn surfaces, but it is possible to keep current ones looking polished until next year’s replacement.

Contact Blue Tree

Let us help you clean up your space! At Blue Tree Landscaping, we pride ourselves on providing quality maintenance and upgrade services for homes of all shapes and sizes. Contact us today to get a quote on how to get your yard in the best shape it’s ever been in!

How To Turn Your Yard Into An Island Getaway

It’s vacation time! While that might mean jetting off to a tropical excursion for some, others might not have the same plans for such an exotic getaway. Luckily, there are fun (and easy) ways to turn your yard into the ultimate staycation spot!

Tiki Torches

These festive decorations are easy to come by. Outdoor furniture outlets, home goods stores, and even home improvement places will all have the woven straw decorations that turn any yard into the perfect luau! Stick them into the ground around a pool deck or the path leading into the house, and set them ablaze after the sun goes down to keep the party going well into the night.

Lanterns

There are many options for hanging light fixtures that add another pleasing touch to any decor. Paper lanterns in a litany of colors are fun for parties, and permanent lanterns with cool, soft lighting are growing in popularity. Grab some mini tabletop lanterns for your next entertainment event, or take it a step further and get free-standing light structures that can be placed anywhere outside. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

Tropical Plants

Since the summer months are short-lived, not everyone has the time to plant extravagant flowers that won’t last the year. Consider potted plants which can be relocated to different areas or even synthetic flowers that can be stored until next year’s heat wave. For beautiful, tropical choices, we recommend flowers with substantial roots and leaves, such as the Bird of Paradise flower.

Fabrics

Consider colorful pillows, seat covers, or tablecloths to spice up the decor. While it can get pricey to purchase seasonal, trendy furniture items and their accessories, covering existing decorations is a cost-efficient way to change it up. Aim for simplicity! In the summer, white and cream-colored cushions are stylish, and pops of color can be added in a variety of ways.

Music

No vacation is complete without the perfect playlist! Hook up speakers to an overhang or gazebo post to set the mood, no matter the occasion. As for the tunes, use services such as Spotify or Pandora to compile a list of soothing music that will boost the vacation feel for anyone listening.

Contact Blue Tree

Let us help you revitalize your space for the summer! Our team of experts at Blue Tree Landscaping is dedicated to providing quality landscaping, pool, and even decorative services to help any backyard thrive. Contact us to get a quote, and don’t wait any longer to treat yourself to some summer festivities!

How to Replace an In Ground Pool

For some folks, a pool is not the ideal backyard staple. The upkeep can be a hassle, and too costly at that, and removing it can open the doors to several other backyard options. Explore other options for a backyard that can easily cover a filled in, in-ground pool!

Pool Demolition

The most common route of replacing a pool is filling it in with other materials. Start by draining the water or, if possible, relocating it to a different source to recycle it. Then find additional materials to fill it with. Dirt, rubble, and cement are the normal means of filling in a pool. Make sure any systems associated with it, such as pumps and solar panels, are disassembled or off completely.

There are several methods of filling a pool, and consulting a technician on the proper techniques for doing so can have several benefits. Professional advice can determine the pool’s capacity to be filled, as well as any additional services that need to be performed. As always, obtain permission or services from city officials before performing any steps in the process.

Sport Court

The foundation for a multi-sport court is prime after filling in a pool; the surface area is wide enough so that it will be safe and sturdy. Enjoy tennis, basketball, badminton, and more on synthetic tile or other court materials. This is a wonderful, year-round entertainment option for kids and parents alike!

A Patio

If the foundation is laid with care, then it can take the weight of a wood or cement nation with trimmings to match. Make sure that the backyard surface is flat enough to establish a solid surface for tables, chairs, pool tables, or entertainment sets that will enhance the new space. Whether it be an extension of an existing nation or a new one, check the surface for any give before proceeding.

Grass

For those looking for a more simple terrain, grass or artificial sod is an aesthetic option that leaves room for flexibility in future projects. Keep in mind the time of installation though; weather can affect the success of setting soil, and pets can tear up the installments to the point of replacing it sooner than needed. A new lawn has so many perks, and it will help the yard stay cool in the hot summer months.

Contact Blue Tree

Start a new foundation with Blue Tree! Our expert services can revitalize your backyard to create a space that looks completely different from any previous ones. Contact us for a quote or advice on the best path to take to get the backyard you need, and want!

Add Some Entertainment Elements To Your Yard

It’s party time! The weather is perfect for entertaining, both indoors and outdoors. Here are a few entertainment essentials that are worth the investment:

Pool Toys

These are cheap, fun staples for any backyard. Grab a few inner tubes at your local dollar store, or upgrade to giant inflatable animals to hold more than one person. There are several options for practicality and entertainment with pool toys; if your child is learning to swim this summer, pool noodles and arm inflatables will help them learn to stay afloat. Better yet, floating basketball hoops and coolers will cater to older members of the festivities. Visit a pool supply store or shop around online to stock up.

Outdoor Television

Relax with the setting sun and watch your post-work movie outside! Televisions often offer protective coverings for weather-resistant enjoyment. They can be free-standing, mounted to a wall, or wired to an overhang or gazebo post for ultimate convenience. Add in surround sound and create a full system for an authentic theater experience.

For a makeshift experience, try this: get a projector and a white sheet. Hang the sheet on a retaining wall or fence, pop a movie into the projector, and set up chairs to face it. If a pool is present, float on inner tubes for a new take on ‘theater seats.’ Include snacks and popcorn for instant outdoor entertainment for everyone to enjoy!

Volleyball Net

One fun way to get a sweat going and enjoy the spirit of competition is incorporating sports into outdoor activities. If the yard has reasonable space for a makeshift court, invest in a net with easy setup and take down. It can be used for volleyball and badminton, among other sports, and it provides fun for sports lovers of all ages. If it has the adjustment capabilities, stretch it across a pool and play water ball!

Contact Blue Tree

Make sure the rest of your yard is up to snuff with Blue Tree Landscaping! We specialize in optimizing home space for every homeowner’s needs, from tiny back lots to expansive backyard spaces with room to play. Get advice on the best adornments for summer fun, in addition to year-round services that will keep your backyard in pristine shape for any entertainment. Contact our team to get a quote today!

Make Your Yard Look Bigger with These Design Hacks

It’s heating up out there! Rising temperatures means more folks will be spending time outside and enjoying their yards, both back and front. However, last year’s decorations or overgrown details might have those spaces feeling a little cramped. Clear the way for a beautiful summer with a few design hacks to make your yard look bigger:

Perform necessary maintenance

This is the first step to achieving more space. Weeding, power-washing, and sweeping away winter’s debris will brighten up the yard and provide it with the TLC it needs to thrive. Inspect any outdoor furniture or cooking apparatuses as well, to see if professional cleaning or painting needs to be done.

Scale down decorations

Are there large plants or ornaments cluttering the yard? It might be time to replace them with smaller features. Investing in more petite decorations, such as mirrors and delicate tapestries, will give a more minimalist look to the space and open up the yard. Avoid large hanging pieces, such as light fixtures that dominate an overhang or vertical plants, as they can take over the airspace and make it difficult to get around.

Build up, not out

This will not only create floor space, but it will frame the higher corners of the yard and create the illusion of more room. Try getting one tall plant instead of three shorter ones, for instance, or light fixtures with taller stands. Select furniture, such as bar seating or patio pieces, can be replaced with more compact options to add elbow room to the yard as well.

Use hardscaping methods

If the situation requires it, there are methods to expansion that can require actual construction or renovation. If a fence exists, knocking it down to rebuild it outwards is one option. Current retaining walls or odd corners can be smoothed out as well — if one has the means to take the existing space and create more, it leaves more room to customize the yard and make it look even bigger! Remember to obtain permission from neighbors and city officials before making any major changes that might affect the layout or the property or ones around it.

Contact Blue Tree

Let’s expand together! Blue Tree Landscaping has a team of experts that will advise and assist in renovating your backyard to create more of the space you desire. Whether it’s pushing a fence out a few feet or hanging a new feature, let us guide you on the best route to doing so. Contact us for a quote today!

What Are The Best Ways To Shade A Yard?

As the weather warms up, those that love to spend time outside are likely looking for a reprieve from the heat. There are several ways to redo a yard to bring shade and breeze to the landscape, so any homeowner can enjoy the sunlight without the scorching weather! Check out the best ways to give shade to a sunny yard, and find out which option will enhance your yard this summer.

Overhangs

If the sun beats down on a patio, installing a permanent overhang can have a variety of benefits. It will cool the hard surface covering the patio, from wood to tile and cement, and it will block the patio from the unpredictabilities of weather events. Rain, hail, wind, and dust will not infiltrate a porch or patio as easily with a properly-installed overhang.

A permanent overhang also blocks the sun almost to completion, which will preserve coloring of not only the floor, but also of any patio furniture that is susceptible to fading. Delicate cushions and their fabrics will be protected by an overhang, and so will the guests sitting on them!

Umbrellas

As one of the most cost-efficient ways to cut the temperature, umbrellas provide an aesthetic adornment to tables and poolside chairs. Their versatility in both design and location make them one of the most popular backyard accessories in the summertime! Be sure to invest in a heavy base and high-quality material; it will stand up to unpredictable weather longer and save even more money in the long run. Use umbrellas into the fall season as well, to heighten the utility of an already versatile backyard accessory.

Gazebos

This is an oasis of shade made especially for hot weather. Customize a gazebo with plants, unique tile formations, and even fans on the underside of the roof to provide a refreshing breeze on sweltering days. For those that like to entertain or have a secluded area to relax in, a gazebo is a prime option for a backyard of any caliber or size. Read up on some of the best methods for gazebo installation to ensure that your yard has the proper space and terrain to house your new favorite addition.

Contact Blue Tree

Have it made in the shade with Blue Tree Landscaping! Our combined team of professionals has decades of experience to offer, from hardscaping to exterior design and more. Contact us today for a quote on creating optimal shading for your yard!

Upgrade Your Pool for Summer Entertaining

The summer solstice, which marks both the first day of summer and the longest day of the year, is coming up on June 21st. Around this time, schools are out, people are taking vacations, and many folks are hoping to enjoy a nice dip in the pool! If your pool’s amenities are outdated or need fixing up, there are a few ways to do this in time for more festivities.

Clean the Grout

If the pool’s surrounding surface has tiles, the dirt buildup in the cracks can be unsightly. Scraping it out works, but this can be a huge hassle. A power washer will get rid of dirt and buildup, without having to replace any cement or artificial stone that surrounds your pool area. The power washer can be used for the rest of your surfaces as well, such as wood patios, resilient fences, and walls that need cleaning.

Inspect the Pool

Most pools have plaster or Pebble Tec surfaces coating the interior. With winter weather and the wear-and-tear of extended use over the years, these surfaces might be starting to show deterioration. You many want to refinish any surfaces that are chipped or stained before they are put to use. Often, a harsher surface begins to peek out from under the smooth plaster, and fixing this is a safety and liability issue that you should try to take care of early.

Perform Some Touch-Ups

After a harsh winter, the landscaping around your pool might need replenishing. Plant fresh flowers and vegetation to give a lively vibe to any space, and paint over any faded decorations or surfaces that could use a new coat. Check out couch and chair cushions as well: sunlight can cause fading of colors and patterns, and it might be time to replace anything that looks lighter or loses its texture.

Decorate

One of the easiest and most attainable means for improvement, decorating your pool area is a personal and fun process. It can be as simple as changing out plants or color schemes, or can encompass projects that are larger in scale. Consider swapping out decorative tile work, large furniture, and lounge pieces to stay current with styles and give your whole backyard the makeover it deserves.

Contact Blue Tree

Let the experts join you in your renovations! Blue Tree Landscaping is proud to offer hardscaping and decorative services for backyards of any size. Call today for a quote or advice on getting started. Summer won’t last forever, but with a few tweaks, any backyard can be revamped for months and years to come.