Tag Archives: landscaping ideas

Show Off Amazing Landscaping with Proper Lighting

You’ve worked hard on your outdoor space, and now it’s time to show it off! Light fixtures are crucial to tying any landscaping together, for both functional and aesthetic purposes. Here are some of our tips for creating a safe, attractive space with lights in all areas.

Safety First

First and foremost, proper lighting should be a safety feature for outdoor spaces. For security reasons, choose base lighting that is motion-activated, especially for front yards or backyards with open space. If there are any aspects of the yard that require manpower, such as a grill or sound system, ensure that there is a light fixture nearby to operate those smoothly.

Most importantly, pools and hot tubs demand lighting to keep swimmers safe, especially small children. If possible, install light inside the pool itself, if the pool is in the ground. For outdoor pools, clip-on underwater lights are available at most hardware stores and are easy to install.

Light the Path

If your yard has a walkway, consider placing outdoor pathway lighting alongside the area. Individual lights placed as ‘spotlights’ will do the trick, but there are opportunities to personalize this touch. Above-ground lanterns are a pretty detail that goes one step further than traditional LED floodlights, and if the yard calls for it, tiki torches are fun and festive for landscapes that have a tropical touch.

Emphasize Details

Beyond walkways, landscaping that deserves recognition falls into several categories, including plants and decorations. Use the same lanterns and ground lights to illuminate gardens and larger clusters of plants. Fountains and statues will benefit from a couple of spotlights as well, especially while entertaining.

Accessorize

Now that the basics are taken care of, add personal touches for added effect. Tabletop lanterns and candles to highlight seating areas are easy to operate and store in the colder months and are cost-efficient to maintain. If an overhang has a sturdy foundation, hanging light fixtures are both trendy and functional, and string lights through trees and latticework on outdoor features are always in style.

While shopping for lighting, home improvement stores offer excellent selections for all types of lighting, from permanent fixtures to temporary accessories. They also provide batteries and replacement bulbs for said lighting and offer seasonal accouterments to match the seasons. Don’t rule out major retailers in other industries; sometimes, a supermarket or other lifestyle shopping outlet could have the perfect piece for accenting your landscaping!

Contact Blue Tree

Let us help you choose lighting that works. At Blue Tree, we’re involved in the landscaping process from start to finish, including installing those personal touches throughout the entire space. Contact us for questions and quotes today!

 

Transform Your Backyard Into A Coveted Sports Venue

Few things are more enjoyable than getting friends and family together to engage in friendly competition, especially in your own backyard. No matter the size or shape, any backyard can be transformed to house sports equipment, setups, and courts to satisfy even the most gung-ho sports fanatics. Here are some ideas to create the next go-to sports center for everyone to enjoy!

Invest in a Sport Court

Multi-sport courts are both trendy and low-maintenance. Outdoor sports tiles are easy to clean and arrange, and several companies boast notable safety approval reports. Plus, they can house several sport accessory forms, such as basketball hoops, tennis nets, and more. Choose a generic surface or customize your own!

Plenty of Open Space

This is the classic, fail-safe route for optimal backyard fun. A simple expanse of well-maintained lawn can play host to dozens of outdoor sporting activities. Set up a volleyball net, croquet wickets, soccer goals, and so much more! The versatility of a spacious backyard will please all age groups, and make your yard a versatile spot for games of all types.

Water Sports and Accessories

Pools can be excellent venues for outdoor sports. Sporting good stores and pool supply shops offer poolside basketball hoops and nets that stretch over the entire body of water, creating a makeshift court in minutes. For those with lakefront property, try a floating trampoline or water skis to amp up the activities even further! Even water polo balls and beach balls serve as tools in a variety of outdoor sports and are sold almost everywhere.

Professional Entertainment

If the backyard is too small for traditional sports, make it a premium viewing spot! Invest in a television that will take center stage in your outdoor space, to watch the big game for every season. A prime sound system will enhance the space, immersing guests in a court side experience, and comfortable outdoor couches and chairs will beat plastic stadium seats any day.

No space at all? No problem! Tabletop tennis, pool tables, and darts are popular toys that can go both indoors and outdoors, and are durable and require little maintenance. Choose an air hockey table to create an arcade-like atmosphere or a rod hockey game for a nostalgic feel. Combine any of these with a sporty backyard to create the ultimate entertainment area.

Blue Tree Landscaping

Game on! Here at Blue Tree, we recognize the importance of a functional, fun backyard and want to help yours be the best it can be. Our team of experts will help design and implement the best surfaces and accessories for the space allowed. Call or email us to get started today!

Create a Standout Vegetable Garden This Season

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

Read up on plant placement

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

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

Choose unique fruits and vegetables

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

Decorate!

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

Let Blue Tree help

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

Three Benefits of Having a Retaining Wall (Besides the Look)

If you think installing a retaining wall in your yard will only make your landscaping look great, think again! While a retaining wall can indeed provide a great aesthetic to your lawn, there is also a number of other material benefits to having that tasteful wall in your yard.

Keep reading to learn about some of the other benefits that come with adding a retaining wall to your landscaping.

Protection, Protection, Protection

First things first: let’s discuss just what a retaining is and does. A retaining wall is primarily a protective structure that is often used around soil in landscaping. No matter how great and fancy a retaining wall can look and be, its use is first and foremost for protection. Protection from what exactly? Well, a few things. Say there is a huge rainstorm that causes flooding in your yard, or a steep slope that constantly allows rainwater or spilled soil to spoil other items around your lawn. You don’t want to wake up after a storm to find those flowers you worked so hard on buried in mud. A retaining wall will keep everything in one place, and will also reduce runoff from flood water. It will also keep your soil safe from erosion, so your landscaping can stay looking great with as little maintenance possible.

The Other Aesthetic of Retaining Walls

We mentioned that a well-designed retaining wall can be decorative, but that doesn’t always refer only to the wall itself. If you’re like many homeowners, the look of a well-maintained yard doesn’t necessarily mean your yard itself is perfect. In other words, you might have mechanical equipment or pipes, a tree stump, or other areas that may be difficult to remediate and are best left unseen from the public eye. A retaining wall can provide you with some much-needed cover for problem areas like these, without having to pay for expensive remediations. So, if you have any unsightly elements in your yard, now you know how to conceal them in a way that keeps your yard looking great.

Adds to Home Value

Isn’t this the best section on the list? Along with a nice look, space-saving aesthetic, and superior protection for your yard, a retaining wall can also seriously improve the value of your home. This is especially true for well-maintained retaining walls. Don’t take that as a challenge — retaining walls are made from natural materials that are sturdy and are meant to hold up during the harshest weather conditions. That means less time and money on repairs, and less stress!

Don’t Hesitate to Call

Whether you’re looking for a retaining wall that promises supreme yard protection during harsh storms, a way to hide some unpleasant lawn blemishes, or just something to wow friends and family, don’t hesitate to call your local landscaping company about establishing a retaining wall on your property. Your yard and home will thank you!

How to Prepare Your Yard Before Moving Out

Landscape Edging OptionsWell, it’s finally happening. You’ve got everything packed, the house is clean, the kids are in the car. But wait — what about the yard? No one mentioned what to do about the yard, but you don’t want miss out on this crucial aspect of your home’s upkeep before leaving it for good.

This article details a few quick and necessary ways to make sure your yard looks great before leaving. You’ll be thankful for the lack of headaches and complaints.

Lawn Appeal 

Some neighborhoods or homeowners associations have ordinances that tell residents that their lawns must be kept tidy or to certain specifications. Even if there isn’t, most people love a well-maintained and lush green lawn. But beware — the fact that what you can see on the surface looks nice doesn’t necessarily mean everything is healthy under those blades of grass. So, before leaving, make sure to check for weeds, uprooting damage from trees or other plants, signs of pests, and any other changes that have taken place in the lawn since you moved in.

Sculpting Your Landscape

Like a gorgeous yard, many people also love a nice view of landscaping to complement their home. If left uncared for, however, the beauty of your landscaping can quickly turn ugly. That’s why it’s important to examine your landscaping before saying goodbye to your home and yard for good. Make sure none of the elements of your landscaping, such as rocks or asphalt chips, are sprinkled around the yard. Check for a rake, a pair of shears or other lawn items, which can easily be forgotten in the hustle-and-bustle of moving. Trim any overgrown bushes and trees, and remove any obvious weeds. And hey, why not take the opportunity to plant a few flowers? Make the last memory of your beloved former home a beautiful one.

Keep Your Pool Cool 

Whether above ground or in-ground, everyone loves a nice dip in the pool on a hot summer day. This includes the new owners of the home, too! Like your lawn and landscape, a pool left unmaintained can significantly reduce its value in terms of price and enjoyability. Common problems for a pool can be soil and/or concrete erosion, algae growth, plumbing leaks, and other foundational problems. Any of these can be a real headache. Give a good look at your pool, whether above ground or in-ground, before leaving.

Don’t Hesitate to Call

While some problems can be quickly spot-checked before you leave, others may require more involved work. If there’s a problem with your lawn, landscape, pool, or all three, don’t hesitate to call your local landscaping company. You’ll leave your home in excellent shape, and the next owners will thank you.

Gear Up For Early Snowfall

The weather is cooling down, and with it comes natural events such as sleet, snow, wind, and rain that can all cause collateral damage. To avoid any extra work after winter, it is crucial to take preventative steps to secure every surface in the late months of fall, as well as the early months of winter. Here are some things to keep in mind when prepping:

Check Pipes and Sprinkler Systems

A burst pipe in a home is one thing, but damage to outdoor water systems is not often considered. Sprinklers and pools need extra care this time of year, so tend to them accordingly. Don’t forget to reel in hoses and inspect external water systems, such as sinks or bar setups, before shutting them down for the winter. Doing so earlier on could save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in damage repairs.

Pull Plants

Frost and cold weather can kill delicate plants and flowers almost overnight. Save yourself the grief of gathering brown, dead flowers and plants and remove them sooner than later. Be sure to do subsequent research on what to take away in your garden beforehand; some plants can stand up to the cold and snow, so there’s no need to remove them.

Pick Crops

It might be time to pull in the fall harvest! Pumpkins, squashes, and beans are most likely in their peak harvesting time, as well as various tubers and nightshades in your personal garden. In addition, get ready to plant the winter vegetables and foliage that can withstand the cold. The fruits of your labor will reveal themselves early next year, or even as soon as the New Year!

Seal the Deal

With snowfall comes potential water damage, which means that paint, fences, and any external sealants are at risk of wear from the weather. Cover any surfaces that might be too sensitive for harsh materials, such as plush furniture and outdoor electrical appliances and stock up on temporary fixes like tarps and table covers for larger items. Now is also a great time to update outdoor pieces for next year; drag in anything that needs painting or decorating, and spruce it up for next season!

Contact Blue Tree

We know the snow here at Blue Tree Landscaping, and we can help you prepare for even the worst snowfall. Get in touch with our experts to survey your space and find the best tactics for yard preservation when winter hits. Contact us for a quote today!

How to Keep Your Yard Alive Until Winter

We’re in the thick of summer when the air is hottest and driest. Around this time, lawns and foliage can start to look withered and brown, but that doesn’t have to be the case. There are several measures you can take to preserve the integrity and beauty of your yard. Check out these tips on keeping the back and front yards looking fresh until the holidays, and finishing out the warmer months with a clean, polished space.

Sprinklers

Make sure the sprinkler system isn’t suffering along with the grass and plants. Check the equipment and water levels for the home to ensure that everything is in perfect working order, and make replacements as needed. If something is outdated or rusty, be sure to make changes immediately, so the weather doesn’t wreak havoc on expensive equipment.

Tend to All Surfaces 

The ground may be covered with leaves and snow in the months ahead, but that does not have to damage a patio or poolside surface. Seal the surface with protective shellacs or sealants, or strip existing coverage and replace it with new materials. It may be best to hold off on replacing any hardscaping materials until after the unpredictable, cooler weather subsides; spring might be best for projects that require a longer commitment for completion.

Sod or Plants 

If the greenery is beyond help, seek other solutions. Unrolling a new lawn over stripped ground provides a new foundation for an aesthetic yard. Keep in mind, though, that sod is a costlier option that should be considered early in the season.

Flowers or potted plants are other options that prove to be cost-efficient, especially if they’re artificial. When the weather turns frigid, the plants can be brought inside and stored for the next season’s enjoyment. Choose to replicate local flowers, or get creative and pick tropical options for a splash of color!

Adjust Décor 

It’s possible to enjoy the outdoors in the colder months if your space is equipped for it! Snag weather-resistant cushions that will stand up to harsher weather and bring any delicate adornments inside to protect them. A fire pit can be a comfortable entertainment choice for larger groups that want to enjoy the crisp late-year weather, and sturdy light fixtures will illuminate the space in all types of weather.

Contact Blue Tree

Let us help you polish your space! Our team of experts is happy to give you a quote on repair services, landscaping changes, and more. We are committed to helping you get the most out of your yard year-round, so contact us to get started!

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!

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!

What to Plant in Your Garden This Spring


What to Plant in Your Garden This Spring

Gardening can be fickle this time of year, when the weather is still unpredictable. While most summer foods can be planted in months to come, there are still a few early spring favorites that will bloom with the season and provide green thumbs a chance to tend to their gardens early. The best part: these picks grow quickly, allowing for optimal use and care. Check out some of the best plants and produce to add to your garden for late spring!

Spinach, Lettuce, and Kale

These three leafy favorites have a quick turn-around in their respective growing seasons. Spinach is tough, and planting it close together can yield a bountiful supply of leaves for salads. Lettuce needs a bit more room to reach its proper size, especially when you are curating whole heads, but it can be picked and utilized at several stages of growing. Kale is the unsung hero of quantity in the garden; the smaller leaves can macerate in as little as three to four weeks, with big leaves taking less than two months.

Other Vegetables

Beets are a choice veggie to plant this time of the year due to their versatility. Turnips, onions, and asparagus are also savory options for planting, and the mild quality of soil at this time leaves several other food choices open to consider adding to your space. Frosts usually taper out around this time of year, and knowing what will flourish after the initial cold is helpful when planting vegetables.

Flowers

Often, flowers planted in close proximity to edible plants can assist the growing process and give your garden a pleasing appearance. Daffodils and tulips are classic choices and are easy to come by. Annuals have minimal upkeep and will bloom every year, and cornflowers, poppies, and sweet peas are beautiful plants that will give your yard dependable beauty time after time.

Herbs

Not all herbs are suited for spring planting, but several will outlast the weather and thrive in summer-time. Chives, mint, thyme, and tarragon are all perennials that will yield results well into the year. Rosemary and sage are also popular options that do well when the soil is heating up in warmer months. Conducting research on the best soil types for herbs is an important step to successfully growing them, so do your reading before planting!

Contact Blue Tree

Increase your garden’s potential with Blue Tree! Our services can help upgrade the landscaping in and around your garden, install proper soil, and equip your yard with stylish fencing and accessories that are sure to please. Let us help you build the garden of your dreams, and contact us with questions and inquiries today!