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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!

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!

Accent Your Yard with Different Plants

Decorating a yard is one of the most personal, fun aspects of putting together a beautiful space. With a warm season in the works, accessorizing might mean more than just a few well-placed tchotchkes. Give your yard what it needs by placing plants and natural accouterments in your outdoor space! There are several options for placing greenery in a yard, all of which can be customized into a unique layout for any aesthetic. Here are a few options worth visiting a greenhouse for:

Trees

This is one to plan for early. It can be rewarding to buy saplings early and let them flourish over years of time, but growth will happen very gradually. Make sure the ground has ample room for widening root systems, and know what the cycles of weather will bring for individual breeds. Choose from fir trees and smaller accent trees to fruit trees that will bring a personal harvest every year. Patience is key for tree growth, so enjoy watching the progress!

Shrubs

If there is a large amount of sidewalk space or a fence that needs sprucing up, choosing bushes or shrubs to line that space will provide more than just decoration. Small children or dogs will have some buffers from a more unforgiving surface, and outside critters will have a more difficult time infiltrating the property. Pruning can be a fun aspect to shrubbery, especially with the potential of forming different shapes into free-standing structures.

Flowers

Always a popular choice, accenting the yard with seasonal flowers will brighten any space. Flowers will pollinate, helping any garden plants to grow to full potential, and the whole yard will benefit from the natural care. If space allows, flower beds in windows or underneath them is a classic setup that with proper care and maintenance will result in beautiful bouquets along the outside walls of your home.

Grass

A well-groomed lawn has a subtle contribution to the overall picture. Whether one chooses natural grass, sod, or artificial turf surface, a lawn will help determine the health and potential of plants placed in it. A sufficient irrigation system and a little upkeep will keep your grass, and thus your plants, healthy.

Blue Tree

For more landscaping and installation ideas, contact Blue Tree! Our team of experts will advise and assist in this year’s round of planting, from choosing special breeds to crafting blueprints to making your space both lovely and functional. We have been serving creative homeowners since 1983, and cannot wait to work with you to build the yard of your dreams!

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.

Avoid A Dry Yard With Proper Lawn Care

Warmer months are ahead of us! That means it’s time to start preparing your lawns and greenery for heightened temperatures and dry weather. This is best done with a few careful steps taken to ensure that every inch of topography is cared for the proper way. Check out our tips for maintaining a lush, beautiful lawn for the remainder of spring.

The Right Time

It seems obvious enough, but knowing when to water your lawn is an important factor in consistent upkeep. Grass does require a fair amount of water, but not every day. Turning on your sprinkler system for thirty minutes twice a week, instead of a few minutes every day, will benefit the soil and allow for the grass to fully absorb the resources you give it.

The time of day matters as well. It’s best to turn your sprinklers on or water a garden in the early morning, before the heat of the day moves in and evaporates water faster. If that is not possible, try the early evening when any harsh weather conditions may have died down enough for the sprinklers to operate smoothly.

Pay Attention to the Weather

Sometimes the weather can be unpredictable, especially in the months of April and May. If it rains, turn off any automated service your lawn care equipment has and let nature do the work for you. Adjusting to what the day brings will ensure not only that your lawn stays fresh and vibrant, but also that any garden and even potted plants that add to the aesthetic receive proper care as well.

Have the Right Tools

The basis of a beautiful yard literally starts from the ground up. Determine what your grass needs from the soil type and layout of your yard to install an irrigation system that hits every bit of surface area. Drainage is also pivotal in order to achieve the right amount of moisture in the grass and soil, and if your space has lawn ornaments or larger furniture pieces, moving those to get to the area underneath is also important. As much as a beautiful lawn adds to the vision of a lovely home, risking any water damage to the house or backyard accouterments can be avoided with proper precautions. Use what your space has to your advantage!

Contact Blue Tree

It’s not too late to install state-of-the-art equipment in time for summer! Blue Tree will outfit your home with the right landscaping tools and services for any time of year. Our team of professionals can provide information and a quote based on your needs, so contact us with any questions on how to help you get started!

Landscaping Do’s and Don’ts for Small Backyards

Divide Your PlantsSome backyards do not have the luxury of abundant room to personalize, especially in areas that are closer to major cities. This can force homeowners to get creative with their backyards, which can lead to many different positive outcomes. Take a look at some do’s and don’ts to take into consideration before beginning the remodeling process.

Do: Take Company into Account

If your backyard plays host to parties and get-togethers on a frequent basis, a simple aesthetic might be the key to an appealing setting. Tables, chairs, and sufficient walkways are crucial to any successful hosting of an event. Stick to landscaping and decorations that won’t detract from your guest’s experience.

Don’t: Over-Decorate 

Choosing giant features for a tiny space can overwhelm the eye and take up valuable real estate. Often, one or two simple pieces can act as accoutrements to the main components (e.g. a few wall ornaments will match an in-ground pool that takes up most your yard’s foot room). Fountains, statues, and accessories that hold little function can cause clutter. Be conscientious of what you’re working with; less is enough in situations like these.

Do: Choose Functionality

Maximizing surface area can be a key component to expanding any backyard size. Adding a retaining wall can provide multitier opportunities for the gardener in the family, and lighting up the whole space will create an entertainment hub for hosts of every kind. When every inch is cared for, it can greatly increase the enjoyment capacity for everyone.

Don’t: Ignore Your Climate

Whether it’s hot and dry or damp outside, landscaping can suffer if the proper materials are not chosen for a backyard space. This is especially true when children are present; a patio that gets too hot in the summer or lawn components that dominate the space are not conducive to their play or enjoyment.

Do: Contact Blue Tree

It’s time to get started! Blue Tree Landscaping has all the keys to a new and beautiful space that you can be proud of. We offer commercial landscaping services such as lawn care services, pool installation, and beyond for those looking to revitalize any limited backyard. Call us today to explore your options and turn your small backyard into your favorite room in the house!

Yard Renovations for Kids Who Love to Play Outside

Inground Swimming Pool Skippack PAYard Renovations for Kids Who Love to Play Outside

For adults, outdoor renovations usually mean landscaping work, installing patios, and adding outdoor dining and grilling areas, among others. But if you have children, and you’re looking to renovate your yard, consider adding some kid-friendly changes. These renovation ideas will make your child want to spend more time outdoors — instead of playing video games or watching TV — which means that they’ll get more Vitamin D, exercise, and use out of your outdoor space.

Have a Designated Play Area

When brainstorming a design for your landscape, be sure to dedicate a specific section of your yard to your child. This doesn’t mean that they can’t play elsewhere in the yard, only that their swing set, toys, sandbox, and playhouse will be in the same area. Make sure that the area is covered in grass, padding, or soft ground if your child is particularly active. If you have younger children, this is a crucial move — it helps you to keep a better eye on them, and make sure they’re safe while outside.

This is also your chance to be creative and cater to your children’s imagination. Maybe you’ll want to include certain trees, shrubs, and flowers to make their area feel like a jungle paradise or a hidden forest. You could also add a hopscotch or four square area, child-sized furniture, a basketball hoop, a volleyball area, or an outdoor chalkboard — it all depends on what your child likes!

Other Child-Approved Ideas

Adding a pool to your yard is always a kid-approved move. If you already have a pool, or want to add one to your yard, consider adding a water slide or waterfall for your child. Another popular option: add an outdoor movie area. This is a great option for kids and adults alike, and will help you to bond more with your child outdoors. You could set up this area in a way that blends with an outdoor lounge or dining area. Further, you could also add a fire pit so that you can make s’mores with your child on nice summer nights — maybe during an outdoor movie.

It’s Time to Plan Your Renovation

If you’re ready to alter the look of your outdoor space — and make it more appealing to your child — be sure to contact your landscaper to discuss your ideas. Contact Blue Tree Landscaping for all of your landscaping, hardscaping, and lawn care needs — they’ll help make your outdoor vision come true.

The Importance of Great Snow Removal Services for Your Commercial Space

snow05Why You Need a Snow Removal Service for a Commercial Space

During the winter months, it’s important to have a great snow removal service for your commercial space. Prompt snow removal from your commercial space shows that you care about the reputation of your business or property, in addition to those who may live at, work at, or enjoy your commercial space. It shows that you’re professional, too.

No matter the purpose of your commercial space, it’s always important to maintain that first great impression of your business. Timely and proper snow removal will never go unnoticed — it’s important in maintaining day-to-day life. Further, it’s your responsibility. That’s why it’s crucial to choose a snow removal service that understands your values and needs.

Prevent Unsafe Conditions

Neglectful snow removal can ruin your business’s reputation, or worse, increase your risk for avoidable lawsuits. For example, if you have an apartment complex, and you are unable to remove snow and ice in a timely manner from your property, you will anger residents, impair their ability to perform jobs or duties if their car is snowed in, or risk a resident injuring themselves on black ice. Those who use your commercial space should have access to safe, clear walkways and roadways so that life can carry on as usual. The winter months shouldn’t be harder than they have to be.

How to Choose a Snow Removal Service

When deciding on a snow removal service, pay attention to reviews, the company’s values, and how they treat and train their employees, among other factors. You want a service that matches your dedication to quality and timely service. If a snow removal service has a reputation for lateness, poor work, or inability to perform, don’t give them any more attention. A season of poor snow removal could cause lasting damages to your business’s reputation.0

An All-in-One Service

Snow and ice removal can be time-consuming, tedious, and exhausting. That’s why it’s crucial to hire a snow removal service in advance, so that your property never falls behind. During the winter months, Blue Tree Landscaping offers fast and efficient snow removal services so that your business or property will continue to function in the way it’s meant to.

Blue Tree can help you to realize the transformation you desire for your outdoor space, whether commercial or residential. Contact Blue Tree for all of your landscaping, hardscaping, and lawn care needs. They’ll help you create your ideal outdoor space — and maintain it, too.

How to Protect Your Plants from Frost Damage

 Image result for plants with frost

How to Protect Your Plants from Frost Damage

As the weather gets colder, you may wonder how you can protect your plants from frost. Some plants are able to survive better in colder weather than others. Still, there are many ways that you can protect your plants against the harsher weather so that they regrow in the warmer months.

Which Plants Are Affected?

Plants that are more equipped to survive freezing conditions include perennials, which are plants that live for more than two years. The plants that are most likely to be affected by frost include tropical plants, warm-season plants and vegetables, plants that bloom in the spring, houseplants, and citrus trees. Tropical plants, of course, cannot typically survive the freezing winter months. If you still have any houseplants outside or on your porch, be sure to bring them inside. In addition to that, dig up any delicate plants that are unlikely to survive the frost, pot them, and bring them indoors.

Cover Your Plants

A cover can help protect your plants from damage at below-freezing temperatures. Before nighttime, cover any vulnerable plants (and the surrounding soil) with a blanket, sheet, or tarp. Make sure to use a “breathable” fabric so that the cover does not trap moisture, and make sure to secure the cover with rocks or bricks. Remove the cover in the morning so that the plants can get sunlight and warmth. You may need to add stakes underneath to hold the cover up during bouts of rain or snow so that the plant doesn’t become damaged.

You can also buy or create individual plant covers. To do this, you’ll put stakes around the plant and then cover the plant in burlap. To further insulate the plant, you can add hay to the inside of the cover. As with a larger cover, be sure to remove individual covers in the morning so that your plant continues to get sunlight.

Protect the Roots

While the plant might appear visibly dead, the root is likely still alive. Protect the roots of your plants by adding mulch or hay. You can also add warm water to your plants at night to help protect them against colder temperatures.0

Contact Blue Tree

Ensuring that your plants survive the winter can involve a lot of work. In order to prevent time-consuming care, it might be best to landscape your yard in a way that incorporates fewer vulnerable plants. If you need advice on which plants to choose for your yard, or on how to maintain your yard during the winter months, contact Blue Tree Landscaping. Blue Tree can help with all of your landscaping, hardscaping, and lawn care needs.

Everything You Need to Know About Swales

Image result for swale pictures

Everything You Need to Know About Swales

If you live in an area that receives a lot of rain or heavy storms, it is a good idea to add a swale to your yard. Read further to learn about what swales are and how they can help make your yard self-sufficient — and even prevent flooding.

What Are Swales?

A swale can be naturally occurring or man-made. It is a low, trench-like stretch of land in your yard that helps excess water to be absorbed by the soil, as opposed to pooling on or flooding out of your yard. Your soil’s ability to hold a lot of water at once makes this an effective method for water management. A swale will allow the soil to slowly absorb and redistribute the excess water to where it is needed most.

Typically, swales are constructed to manage water runoff from heavy rain. During a storm, a swale can help control excessive amounts of water in order to prevent flooding. Swales are an easier, cheaper, and more efficient way to catch excess rainwater in your yard, in comparison to other man-made alternatives.

In addition to flooding prevention, swales are often designed to irrigate specific areas of your yard, such as a garden. The excess water in the soil will also attract microorganisms that will help fertilize your yard. Both of these benefits will help to make your yard self-sufficient and maintain its ideal state. But in order to get the most out of your swale, you will need to keep the area as cool and wet as possible. This can be achieved by ensuring that there are shady plants nearby and covering the area with mulch.

Where to Build a Swale

Before building a swale, you’ll need to decide the best location for it. Keep in mind that swales should not be constructed too close to a building. In addition, swales can be different sizes depending on your needs and the amount of rainfall. You’ll want to take note of the terrain, how much rainwater you typically get, where excess water tends to enter and leave your yard, and whether or not you want to use the excess water to irrigate certain areas of your yard, among other factors.

The Next Step

Contact Blue Tree Landscaping to further discuss swale location, construction, and management, in addition to all of your other lawn care needs. From landscaping to hardscaping to installing in ground pools, Blue Tree takes care of it all. They’ll design, construct, and maintain your ideal outdoor space — all year round.