Tag Archives: 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!

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.

 

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.

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 an Inspiring View from Your Kitchen Window

How to Create an Inspiring View from Your Kitchen WindowIf you’re an always-in-the-kitchen chef, a fan of garden design, or anyone who appreciates a picturesque view of a beautiful yard—this post is for you.

Creating an inspirational view from your kitchen window (or any window in your home that you’ll spend a significant amount of time looking out!) is all about planning. Planning—and visual lines.

How to Create a Stunning View

Creating a great view of your garden design, with a specific window in mind, involves keeping a number of elements in mind…

1. Don’t Block Your View

While the ‘don’t block your view’ advice may seem more than obvious, when it comes to your garden design it requires planning ahead. Be cautious not to plant any tall-growing plants or trees in front of the window—or in front of any garden elements that you’d like to keep in your view.

2. Sight Lines

When you’re planning a view from a specific window you need to keep your sight lines in mind. So, stand by the window and look out at your current garden design. What are the major elements that your eyes focus on? Where are your eyes naturally drawn? These will guide your natural sight lines from your window—and you’ll want to build your garden design around these accordingly.

3. Color

Part of a beautiful view of your yard, lawn, and garden design is color. Use color where possible, but keep in mind whether you’d like heaps of color or patches of color that highlight the natural green hues.

4. Frame Your Window

Part of your view will be your window frame—so pick something that matches your view outdoors. Highlight your garden design with a window frame, curtain, or other accent. For example, if you have an English-style garden look for classic English-style valances. For a country-style garden, frame your window with country-inspired curtains or shutters.

5. Think: Hardscape

A hardscape design is often thought of as a landscaping element that frames specific areas with the purpose of adding function. Hardscaping, however, can be extremely beautiful, and can provide your view with great hardscape sight lines.

6. Bring it Outdoors

A great view from the kitchen is nice…after all, what else are you going to focus on while chopping carrots? But, instead of staring out a window at your beautiful yard—wishing you were out there—consider adding an outdoor living space that includes an outdoor kitchen (or outdoor food-prep area).

 

Need Help?

Designing a beautiful yard—and an inspiring view—sounds simple enough…but landscaping is never simple. Instead of going it alone, consider getting some guidance from the pros here at Blue Tree landscaping. Not only can we help you plan your view, but we can improve your yard’s overall functionality…and of course, beauty.

Revitalize Your Patio Space for Summer Fun

Revitalize Your PatioWith summer comes endless BBQs, birthdays, garden parties, and other excuses to entertain outside. With all of this outdoor merriment, however, comes elbow grease to spruce up your outdoor spaces…which have likely faded and degraded over the tough fall, winter, and spring months.

One (relatively) easy way to revitalize patios is to clean and reseal your patios’ stones and pavers. Bringing your patio stones and pavers back to life is a two-step process:

 1. Cleaning

You’d be amazed at the dirt, grime, and minerals that build up on patio stones over time. There are a few ways to clean your stones, each of which should be chosen based on how much build up your stones have…

Vinegar

Using a solution of equal parts vinegar and water will help eat away at the mineral and other build up, as vinegar is a mildly acidic cleaning product. While it will only help with small amounts of mineral and other build up, it won’t harm your stones.

Pressure Washer

For a chemical free approach to cleaning try using a pressure washer. If you don’t have one handy you can borrow one from a neighbor or friend, or rent one from a hardware store. For particularly grimy stones you may need multiple passes with the washer.

Stone Cleaner

For grime and build up that can’t be removed with pressure washer or vinegar you can purchase a stone cleaner from a hardware store. This should only be used when necessary, as it can eat away at the stone. Another option is muriatic acid, which works well to remove mineral buildup, but is also extremely harsh on your stones and pavers.

After cleaning, you may need to replace cracked or crumbling bricks or stones, and you may want to put new jointing sand in if it has worn away significantly over time.

 2. Resealing

Once your stones, bricks, and pavers are clean you’ll already see a visual revitalization. To bring that ‘new again’ look a step further—and to protect them from wear and tear—reseal them. A sealer will give them a glossy look, and will help water bead off.

You will want to wait a day after washing before applying a sealer, to ensure that the stones are fully dry. You can choose from a matte, semi-gloss, and high-gloss sealer at your local hardware store based on the desired look.

Here are our professional resealing tips:

  • The sealer can be rolled or sprayed on—but we recommend spraying, as it doesn’t pick up the jointing sand and trap it under the sealer.
  • If you’re using a solvent-based sealer you may need an industrial sprayer as it can eat through the cheaper plastic varieties.
  • Ensure the bricks are 100% free of all moisture, or the sealer may turn whitish in color.
  • Ensure that you allow at least a few hours before foot traffic resumes on the stones (and ideally 24 hours for any heavier traffic).
  • Follow the sealant instructions carefully—especially if you’ve never resealed patios before.

 After Revitalization

After you’ve brought your patio back to life…and are probably planning your next outdoor event, take a moment to consider other work that could improve the space. Could your patio use an expansion? Could you use an added eating area for larger crowds? Would stone walkways or hardscaping add something to the design?

If you answered yes—or ‘maybe’—to any of those questions, give us a call here at Blue Tree. We can offer you advice based on your yard, your entertaining lifestyle, and other factors key to your outdoor space.