Tag Archives: Landscape Schwenksville PA

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.

 

7 Outdoor Landscaping Ideas

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If a cookie cutter landscape doesn’t reflect your wants and needs, it’s time to get creative. These tips can help dazzle any lackluster landscape.

 

Outdoor Landscaping Ideas

Box It Up

Boxwood hedges are easy to care for, and can actually make a perfect accent. Use squared-off or rounded Boxwood hedges as borders along your winding garden paths. It can provide a stunning visual effect your guests will love.

Peaceful Space

Yes, you can put out a few outdoor chairs, or maybe a porch swing, but why stop there? Add edible plants, like cherry tomatoes, parsley, and sage, to your outdoor garden. Not only will it give your yard an attention-grabbing scent, but it will also provide easy snacking when you need to relax and unwind.

Hardscaping

A successful landscape design contains more than flowers, grass, and trees. Mix in hardscaping elements like concrete or stone. The contrast in textures can provide eye-catching appeal. In addition, a curvy path or walkway can make even a small backyard feel big.

Make a Splash

Consider adding a fountain to your yard. Not only will it provide a soothing backdrop, but it will also attract birds and butterflies to your lawn. You can also add in plants, like butterfly bush, bee balm, phlox, or black-eyed susans, which butterflies find particularly enticing. Shades of red, yellow, pink, orange, and purple are irresistible to these helpful insects.

Play it Again, Sam

As much fun as it may be to utilize a wide variety of plants, try to throw a number of the same plant into the mix. By planting flowers in repetition, you can create a stronger visual impact. Use bold contrasting colors to up your lawn’s “wow” factor.

She Sells Seashells

Take mementos from your summer beach visits, and use them to accent your lawn. Place seashell pieces into concrete to create a beachy theme. No shells? Consider crushed gravel. It’s inexpensive, low maintenance, and fills in small garden areas easily—with style.

Think Vertical

It’s easy to get lost in rows of flower beds and plant groupings. Go vertical! Take advantage of an often under-utilized element to add more plants, color, and interest to any space. Tuck in a trellis, or even a low fence, behind your rows. Then, plant flowering vines for a burst of color or even vegetables for a tasty addition.

Love Your Landscape

Get the dazzling landscape you’ve always wanted by using the helpful tips above. Does it still seem like an impossible task? No problem. Give the professionals at Blue Tree Landscaping a call today.

Blue Tree Landscaping is a one-stop-shop for everything lawn. From design to planning to maintenance, you can get the look you want, without the work.

5 Inground Pool Landscaping Ideas

5 Landscaping Ideas for PoolInground swimming pools are hubs of activity, filled with splashing, diving, and pool games. Yet, this area is often neglected in terms of outdoor landscape design. If your inground pool lacks eye appeal, here are a few tips to make it an inviting addition to your backyard.

Landscaping Tips for Inground Pool Areas

Showers, but No Flowers

Too many homeowners make the mistake of packing the pool area with flowers. Although the fragrance and colors may be wonderful, no one likes stepping on a honeybee. Instead, consider non-flowering plants, like ornamental grasses and shrubs. Avoid using mulch too close to the swimming area or it may find its way into the pool on a windy day.

Step by Step

Your lawn may be a showpiece, but you don’t want family and friends bringing clumps of it with them to the pool. Consider adding stepping stones to your lawn to provide easy access to the pool while leaving the dirt behind.

Beyond the Borders

Mowing overgrown areas around the pool will likely get grass in the water. Instead, consider filling in these spaces with river rocks. Smooth and polished, you can find them in colors that match your current landscape.

Privacy Matters

When you don’t want the world to see your family lounging and playing in the pool, consider attractive fencing. Check with local building authorities to see if there are any height requirements. Otherwise, consider using tall evergreens, and even potted plants to help add height and interest, while blocking nosy onlookers.

The Lighter Side

Want to instantly improve your pool area? It’s all about choosing comfortable, strategically positioned seating, and subdued lighting. The right lighting adds a sophisticated touch to any pool. Let your friends and family swim into the night with well-placed lighting fixtures. Provide lounging recliners, as well as tables and chairs, to give everyone options.

Summer Fun

A swimming pool is more than a fun gathering place. It’s also a major investment, and an important part of your outdoor landscape. Get your pool started on the right path by giving Blue Tree Landscaping a call. Blue Tree Landscaping is a one-stop-shop for everything lawn. From design to maintenance, the professionals at Blue Tree Landscaping will help you forge an outdoor landscape that best suits you, with an in-ground pool design that best suits your lawn. If you can visualize it, Blue Tree can make it happen.

6 Tips for Growing Vegetables and Herbs in Your Garden

6 tips for growing vebetablesWhether you’re a well-seasoned gardener, or you’re digging into the dirt for the first time, these tips can help anyone make this their best (and greenest) year yet.

 

Tips for Growing Vegetables and Herbs in Your Garden

Test Your Soil

An important, though often overlooked step, is testing your soil. This step is crucial for developing a successful and productive garden. Knowing the pH of your garden will help you determine what you should plant. Make sure you consider whether the soil is dry and sandy, or wet and full of clay. You will need to consider the location as well, and take the light level and drainage into account.

Easy to Grow

If this is your first garden, try to keep it as simple as possible. Choose easy to grow vegetables and herbs that don’t require too much maintenance, and that can withstand Philly’s seasonal ups and downs. Tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, snap peas, and herbs, like basil and oregano, are fabulous choices for any garden.

Think Outside the Plot

Containers can be a great solution for most any garden. If you’d like to plant strawberries, you can easily plant them in a container. Hanging baskets can also perk up your patio or deck. Did you know some plant varieties prefer the shade? Find vegetables that can handle chilly Philly temperatures. Take a look at what your neighbors are doing. Chances are, if it works for them, it can work for you, too.

Sun or Shade?

Vegetables and herbs have different light requirements. Tomatoes love sun. Green beans, on the other hand, can thrive with just four hours of full sun a day. Herbs, for the most part, need constant summer sun—but there are always exceptions. Read the labels, and do your research.

Jot it Down

Grab your notebook. Keep track of what’s working. You may think you can remember everything—but you likely won’t. Make it easy on yourself, and write down which vegetables and herbs are growing especially well. Include how many you planted and where. Draw it out. This is a great way to track your progress, and assess what’s really working for your garden, so you can plant the winners again next year.

Ask Questions

Folks with a green thumb are all around you. This may be the perfect time to get to know your neighbors. You could even get your gardening questions answered at a local nursery.

 

Productive Gardens Start Here

Feeling lost and overwhelmed? Get started on the right path. Call Blue Tree Landscaping for a one-stop-shop on everything lawn, garden, and pool.

3 Landscaping Maintenance Tips for Your Home

3 Landscaping Maintenance Tips for Your HomeIf you want to keep your home landscape clean and tidy this summer, you’ll need a plan of attack. Spend less time working on your yard, and more time enjoying it with these tips:

 

Landscape Maintenance Tips

The Mulch Volcano

Do you dump a mound of fresh mulch around the trees in your yard? A pile so tall it looks like a mini-volcano? If so, that’s just the beginning of the items you can check off of your to-do list. Instead of wasting time over-fertilizing and over-mulching, you should take stock of what you have—and what you really need. You will save time and money. It’s a win-win.

See the Plants Grow

Figure out how you want the new flower bed to fill in before you buy too many plants (or far too few). The plants you purchase will likely need some help every now and then. Make sure you choose the right location for these plants, taking into consideration the balance of the soil, the amount of sun, how much water they will receive, and what your schedule typically looks like during the time they need more TLC. Some plants, like wave petunias, will need a bit of extra help as they bloom. Other plants, like groundcovers, need more maintenance after they are first planted.

Use It or Lose It

Make a list of yard-related chores that you’ve been meaning to get to, but just haven’t found the time for. Add weeding, checking the lawnmower, and pruning dead tree branches to the list. Tackle them in the order of importance. For instance, you will want to get your lawnmower in good shape for the summer ahead, so put that at the top of the list. Weeds are just now popping up, so plan to do a weekly sweep of the yard so you can get them out now, before they become a larger problem later. Get dead branches out of the yard before any big summer storms roll in—and leave loads of unsightly twigs and branches all over your lawn.

Reduce Your Yard Work

Really think about your yard’s current state, and what you’ll need to do this year to maintain its high quality. When whittling down that list seems like too much work, give the experts at Blue Tree Landscaping a call. From planning to design and maintenance, whether it’s for your yard or pool, Blue Tree Landscaping is a one-stop-shop for everything you’ll need.

How To Save Water With Your Landscape Design

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Get the most out of your yard without the water-wasting. Read on to learn how you can save water with an updated landscape design.

 

Tips to Conserve Water with Landscape Design

Native or Regional Plants

Using plants that are already part of the natural landscape typically requires less work and upkeep, since they are accustomed to the soil and climate. Most require no more than the usual rainfall to thrive, and you likely won’t need to haul out the fertilizer or pesticides too often. They have a hardiness that other non-native or non-regional plants tend to lack.

Group by Watering Needs

Some plants are water hogs. Figure out which group of plants have similar watering needs, and place plants that don’t need a lot of water further out in your lawn. Plants that require the most water can take advantage of roof runoff, and should be placed closer to your home. This way, you won’t overwater or underwater any particular area. It will keep every part of your yard looking its best!

Saving Space

Avoid overcrowding your plants, and fight off the impulse to cram as many plants into a single space as possible. While it may take a few seasons to fill in your lawn, if you use fewer plants, you will use less water. The same goes for hedges. Some popular hedge varieties have been genetically engineered to grow taller than ever. If you only want a hedge that’s five feet tall, don’t plant a hedge that can reach fifteen feet.

Finishing Touches and Soil Savers

Mulch is more than just the finishing touch to your landscape. It can also help you conserve water, stall evaporation, and keep plants cool. Mulch fills in the space around your plants, preventing water-stealing weeds from growing. Natural mulches, like compost, bark chips, grass clippings, and pine needles will return nutrients to the soil as they decay. A healthy soil encourages deep roots—and better retains water.

Hardscaping

The hard elements of your landscape design, like concrete, let rainwater run exactly where you don’t want it to go: the street. Keep garden pathways porous so the rainwater stays put. Gravel, pebbles, or bricks, are all great options. To help prevent weed growth, line the area with old newspapers before laying these options down.

Water Conservation

When the rest of your Philly neighborhood is facing ever-increasing water bills, you can enjoy an efficient, environmentally-friendly landscape without the extra work. It’s time to go green.

 

If you want to conserve water, but aren’t sure where to start, turn to the professionals at Blue Tree Landscaping. We are your one-stop-shop when it comes to everything yard. From planning to design and maintenance, we can make your dream of a water-saving landscape a reality. Call today.

5 Best Flowers to Plant This Spring

Flowers for spring plantingFor bold displays of color this spring, there are a number of flowers you should add to your planting list. The varieties we’ve gathered below all grow well in zone seven, the zone for Philadelphia, so your plants can reap the benefits of our unique environment.

The Best Flowers for Spring Planting

Coreopsis ‘Lightning Bug’

This dense flowering plant will keep your garden aglow with blooms from June to September. There are a variety of Coreopsis plants available, but the Lightning Bug is a shorter, denser plant, making it a knockout for mixed beds, borders, and containers. These flowers can be a low-maintenance, butterfly-attracting addition for any home.

Wave Petunias

For a quick pop of color, wave petunias are the answer. These annual plants provide a slew of colors to choose from, so you can switch out the arrangement each year. They can handle a little sun, and will need plenty of water to truly thrive. Leave space between plantings, since these flowers tend to spread.

Phenomenal Lavender

Philadelphia winters can be rough—but this lavender can handle it. Not only can it survive the winter weather, but it can also handle the Philly summer heat. Lavender is considered a “must grow” perennial in Better Homes and Gardens for a reason. It will bloom in late spring and early summer. After that, you can sit back and enjoy their silvery green leaves.

Coral Eyes Phlox Plant

Early spring flowers add a welcome touch of color to any garden. Let cheery shades of pink provide a pleasant covering for the rockier areas of your yard. This phlox plant grows between 4”- 6” tall, making it a great choice for flower bed borders. Although these flowers enjoy full sun, they don’t require more than the average amount of water.

Hemerocallis ‘Big Time Happy’

An unusually cold winter won’t kill off your ‘Big Time Happy’ Hemerocallis. It’s a May blooming flower that will thrive in full sun or partial shade, and will reach somewhere between 16”-18” tall. It has a mild fragrance, but attracts butterflies regardless.

Getting Started

These plants all feature a wide array of colors and scents, and come in annual and perennial varieties. If you find that your green thumb is lacking, why not leave it to the pros? Get your yard in tip-top shape with Blue Tree Landscaping.

A true one-stop-shop for everything yard, the experts at Blue Tree can handle your lawn’s planning, design, and maintenance, from gardens to pools. Call today, and get your garden done right.

6 Gardening Tips for Early Spring

As everything begins to go green in Philly, your garden may need a little tender, loving care to see it through another successful season. Follow these tips to achieve plentiful produce and gorgeous blooms. If you procrastinate, you risk having a less than ideal yard when summer comes around.

Gardening Tips for the Early Spring

pH Test

Check the pH levels of the soil in your flower beds and garden area. Taking the time to boost the soil with lime or elemental sulfur, depending on your pH reading, will ensure a healthier garden later on.

Compost

Your perennial plants, like your roses, delphiniums, and clematis, will be off to a great start when you lay down a two- to three- inch layer of compost around the base of your plants. The key here is to add nutrients– not suffocate any new shoots.

Frost Happens

It may be warmer during the day, but the nighttime chill can bring a plant-killing layer of frost to your garden. Keep an eye on the weather forecast. Protect your plants with cloches, a covering used to guard plants. Severed plastic bottles can also work in a pinch.

When Pests Arrive

Your tender sprouts are a tasty snack for slugs and snails. Set up a barrier of defense with egg shells, coarse sand, or even slug pellets.

Tool Prep

Did you leave a rake out all winter? Is the weed whacker lubricated, and in good working condition? Are those garden gloves in less than great shape? Take stock of your garden tools now, to ensure they will be all set when you need them most.

Fresh Flower Beds

Get your new flower beds prepped for late spring or early summer planting. Take out the sod, pull out any weeds, and finish up any necessary cleaning so they’re ready to go. If you have compost, spread a three- to four- inch layer on top of the worked soil. If not, it’s worth placing some well rotted manure.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

What is the usual condition of your garden? If the answer is mediocre at best, these tips will keep you on track during this new year. Whether it’s your flower beds or garden spreads, there’s a lot to get done. If this list feels too overwhelming, call the professionals at Blue Tree Landscaping.

Blue Tree Landscaping is your one-stop shop when it comes to everything yard and pool. From design to planning and maintenance, every yard can benefit from Blue Tree’s experienced green thumb.

Early Spring Lawn Care Tips

early spring lawn care tipsThe key to achieving a perfect yard is to put together a plan before the summer heat hits. Give your yard a strong foundation with these early spring lawn care tips.

 

Lawn Care for the Early Spring

Check Your Soil’s pH Levels

How acidic or alkaline is your soil? If you haven’t had your soil tested within the last two or three years, then now’s the time. Knowing the pH of your soil will help you determine which  minerals or lime will get your grass growing.

Make Your Green Grass Greener

When you know your soil’s pH level, it’s easy to figure out which grass seed will work best with the soil. Don’t forget to consider your region, as well. Given Philly’s cold winters, you’ll want to choose a hardy grass for your yard. Does your grass get a lot of sun, shade, or a combination of the two? Make sure to water your lawn regularly to make up for any potential damage.

Fertilize Thoughtfully

When the blossoms start blooming, and it begins to feel like spring in Philly, it’s tempting to rush out and douse the yard in a heavy-helping of fertilizer—but wait! This won’t do your lawn any favors. Consider using a slow-release, low-nitrogen fertilizer for your new grass seeding.

Save Mowing for Later

The sun may be shining, but you should wait a bit before taking out the mower. Mowing too early promotes weed growth. Wait until your grass reaches a height of 3-4 inches before you rev up the mower, and if possible, use a mulching mower to make good use of those grass clippings. When they decompose, they will add nutrients to the grass, helping you maintain a lush lawn.

Pests? No Problem

There’s at least one step you can leave out of your lawn care routine in the early spring: pest control. Unpredictable Philly weather should keep the bugs away until the the temperature becomes consistently warm in April and May.

Year-Round Lawn Care

Depending on the season, your grass will need a different kind of care, and early spring is no exception. If this sounds too overwhelming, or time-consuming, give the lawn care pros at Blue Tree Landscaping a call. We are your one-stop shop to a perfect lawn, handling everything from planning to design to maintenance.

Call today to set up an appointment. With Blue Tree Landscaping, your landscaping projects are always in good hands.