Tag Archives: landscaping ideas

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 If something is outdated or rusty, be sure to make changes immediately, so the weather doesn’t wreak havoc on expensive equipment.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!

Landscaping for Modern vs. Traditionally Styled Homes

Decorate Your PatioYou want a landscaping design that compliments the style of your home and makes it a more inviting place for your family and guests — but you don’t want your design to be so “busy” or minimal that it’s distracting. The following are some ideas to consider when choosing a design for your yard, no matter what your home’s style is.

Landscaping for a Modern Home

With a modern home design — think informal with mixed materials, floor-to-ceiling windows, and an eye-catching shape — you can get away with more unique flowers, shrubs, and trees for your yard. You’ll also be able to use certain hardscaping materials, such as concrete or certain rock tiles that might not look as appealing when paired with a more traditional home.

Depending on your home’s materials and color scheme (inside and outside), you might choose a more minimal landscaping design, or else one that’s as quirky and vibrant as your home is. Nonetheless, when it comes to landscaping designs for modern homes, less is usually more. Don’t overload the yard with exotic or unique plants, or too many focal points. Have the backyard, for example, be focused around an outdoor living space.

Landscaping for a Traditional Home

A more traditional home — think of a formal design that may be more symmetrical and rectangular, made of brick or stone, with a gable roof or a front porch — will call for a more uniform design that is neither minimalist nor maximalist, but somewhere in between. You’ll want to stick with hardscaping materials (for walkways and patios) that are similar to the house’s materials (if only in color), and plants that are more common to your home’s region.

For your backyard, a traditional home usually calls for a more “traditional” pool shape, such as Grecian or Roman, but you could also do an oval or kidney shape. You could also add a waterfall or decorative rocks and plants to frame the pool. However, like with a modern home, you’ll want to make your outdoor living space your main focal point.

It’s Time to Take the Next Step

Choosing the right landscaping design for your yard doesn’t have to be difficult. Whether you have some landscaping ideas in mind already, or are looking for someone to help you brainstorm, contact Blue Tree Landscaping to get started on your landscaping project today. Blue Tree will help you with all of your landscaping, hardscaping, and lawn care needs. They’ll help you to realize your vision for your yard, and maintain it all year round, too.

How to Use Contrasting Colors in your Landscape

Blue Tree Landscaping TipsHow to Use Contrasting Colors in Your Landscape

When brainstorming landscaping ideas for your yard, it’s important that your yard is both functional and aesthetically appealing. You want your yard to be functional in that you can enjoy activities like grilling and swimming, but you also want your yard to be enjoyable and inviting. Thus, if you really want to make your yard’s landscaping “pop,” consider using elements of color theory in your landscaping.

What Are Contrasting Colors?

Contrasting colors, or complimentary colors, are the colors that are opposite of each other on the color wheel. Each pair includes one primary color and one secondary color. The three main pairs are as follows: green and red, violet and yellow, and orange and blue. The various colors, and their effects on people, have been studied extensively. Blue and green are considered “cool,” relaxing colors, whereas red and yellow are “warm,” passionate colors. Violet, however, can be a “cool” color or a “warm” color, depending on how it’s used.

How to Use Contrasting Colors in Landscaping

Contrasting colors, when paired together, offer a natural focal point for your yard. If you want to use contrasting colors as a focal point, consider pairing violet and yellow flowers together, perhaps near an outdoor living space, front walkway, or garden. Color theory experts consider contrasting color combinations to be most effective if used in unequal proportions. Therefore, don’t feel like you have to split your yard equally between violet flowers and yellow flowers. Try, for example, an abundance of violet flowers with some yellow flowers mixed in. You can use this method for non-contrasting colors as well, too.

While pairing red and green plants together might bring back memories of Christmas decorations, it won’t come off as a seasonal design unless you’re using seasonal plants like pine trees and poinsettias. Think of red roses, tulips, or carnations paired with a green lawn or green foliage — they will draw attention to your yard in a more subtle way than a combination of blue and orange or violet and yellow.

Further, consider using contrasting colors when decorating your yard. If you want to add an outdoor living area during your landscaping project, try using contrasting furniture or accessories with your plants. For example, you could place a violet chair (or a violet pillow on a neutral-colored chair) next to yellow tulips.

It’s Time to Get Started

If you’re ready to get started on your landscaping project, contact Blue Tree Landscaping. They’ll handle all of your landscaping needs, in addition to hardscaping, lawn care, and routine maintenance.

Everything You Should Know About Planting in the Fall

Everything You Should Know About Planting in the Fall

Early fall is a great time to add new plants to your yard or garden. You’ll want to plan out what you’re going to plant long before your area will experience an intense frost so that your plants have time to root. The fall offers a great climate for your plants to grow, in addition to a more pleasant environment for you to work in. The following are all of the items you should plant this season.

Plant Vegetables in Your Garden

There are many vegetables that should be planted during cooler weather, such as different types of lettuce, salad greens like kale or spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, radishes, and cauliflower. Most of these vegetables should be planted as early in the fall as possible, or even in the late summer. So, make sure to check the seed packet before starting. Types of garlic and onion, for example, can be planted in the fall to be harvested in the spring or summer. This is also a great time to plant many types of herbs, like basil.

Plant Flowers for Spring

Now is the best time to plant flowers that will bloom in the spring. Unlike planting in the spring, when the ground is still cold from the winter, planting in the fall allows the flowers to root while the ground is still warm. Perennial flowers, like tulips, black-eyed Susans, pansies, peonies, and daffodils, are all great choices to plant now. This is also a good time to plant roses. Come springtime, you will have a beautiful array of flowers in your yard.

Plant Trees and Shrubs

It is also beneficial for trees and shrubs to take root while the ground is still warm. Trees and shrubs with fall colors — such as deep reds, oranges, and yellows — would be a great addition to your yard. Try planting a Japanese maple tree in your front yard to spruce up your landscaping. This is also a good time to plant larger trees, such as various types of maple or pine trees.

Make Your Yard Stand Out

Landscaping is a key component to making your yard stand out. Combined with hardscaping, landscaping your yard helps you to make the most of your outdoor space. Contact Blue Tree Landscaping to transform your yard into the manicured lawn you’ve been dreaming of. Whether you have an idea in mind or need help brainstorming, Blue Tree will help you every step of the way.

Why You Need Different Kinds of Soil While Landscaping

6 tips for growing vebetablesAutumn in America can mean many things to Americans. Football season is back. Apple picking is now the go-to weekend activity. And there is still time to plant crops like beets and broccoli. However, there’s more to seasonal gardening than just knowing what types of produce should be harvested at this time of year. The type of soil you plant your crops in matters almost as much as the crops themselves.

Below, we’ll discuss the properties of each kind of soil, and what conditions they’re best utilized in.

Sandy Soil 

Sandy soil behaves quite similarly to the beachy landscapes its name is derived from: it’s dry and gritty to the touch, and, because it is comprised of large particles, it doesn’t retain much water. Moreover, like the sand found on beaches, sandy soil gets heated up rapidly compared to the surrounding environment. While this means sandy soil is far from ideal for summer gardening, this light soil is great for springtime planting.

Silty Soil 

Silty soils is far smoother than sandy soil, and is much less coarse to the touch. This means that, unlike sandy soil, it will hold a far greater quantity of water. When moistened, silty soil will take on an almost soapy texture due to the water it retains. Of course, this water capacity comes at the expense of soil nutrients, and the soil should not be stepped on, as that will affect its aeration. Silty soil is ideal for agricultural uses at all types of the year, given ideal conditions are present.

Clay 

Out of the soils on this list, clay has the smallest sized particles. This means that clay can hold greater volumes of water than the other soils on this list, which makes clay among the densest and heaviest of soil types. Moreover, since it drains more slowly than all other soil types, clay retains nutrients for long stretches of time, which are ideal for plant growth. Clay soil is best used during the fall and spring, as summer weather can make clay very dry and heavy.

Peaty Soil 

Peaty soil, like moss or lichen, is soft to the touch, and is very rich in nutrients and organic material. In fact, much of the peaty soil around today formed during the last 9,000 years, as plants submerged as melting glaciers slowly decomposed. Once drained of excess water, peaty soil is a great growing medium in most climates. However, peaty soil should be avoided during the summer months, as it is highly combustible. Additionally, peaty soil typically contains a high pH, which, while detrimental for some plants to grow, can help regulate diseases in the soil thanks to its acidic composition.

Loam 

The type of soil that gardens and gardeners love is loamy soil. It contains an ideal balance of silt, sand, clay, and humus. Because of its high organic matter content, loam contains a high pH and a high amount of calcium. Loam does a great job of retaining water and plant nutrients, but isn’t difficult to drain, as air moves freely between soil particles down to the roots.

Although loamy soil is the ideal material to work with, don’t despair if you don’t have it in your garden. That’s because soil will always favor one particle’s size over the two others. Then again, there are many ways to condition your soil, and, depending on the unique composition of your land, loam can still yield verdant grassy lawns, delicious vegetables, or bountiful harvests.

If you’d like professional help deciding which soils to use, contact Blue Tree Landscaping for advice. Blue Tree will also assist with picking the right plants for your yard so that you can create a healthy and aesthetically pleasing space.

Find Your Ideal Front Walkway

hardscaping-09How to Find and Create Your Ideal Front Walkway

We all use some sort of pathway to enter our homes, whether that involves an existing walkway or cutting through the yard to get inside. Hardscaping your yard, in addition to landscaping, will not only increase your home’s curb appeal, but also make your home a more inviting place for you and your guests.

Functional Hardscaping is Key

The term hardscaping refers to the “hard,” non-living materials used to create and define your outdoor space. This includes walkways, patios, and decks. Hardscaping helps you to appreciate and enjoy your outdoor space, in addition to making that space easier to navigate. This is crucial for a walkway. The walkway should be both visually appealing and functional. Your walkway should follow the natural pathway you or your guests might use to enter your home. The walkway might connect the sidewalk or street to your front door, or it might connect your driveway to the front door. It all depends on your needs.

Consider Your Space

Once you have an idea in mind of where your walkway should be, you should next consider the space you have to work with. A walkway should compliment your home, your outdoor space, and your landscaping. Factors to consider include the size and shape of your lawn and home, the materials and style of the home, any existing trees or plants that you want to keep, and any places where you might want to add large plants. When deciding the shape, width, and placement of your walkway, always keep the above factors in mind.

Design and Materials

Your pathway should be wide enough for one or two people to walk on it comfortably. Walkways that meet this requirement generally range from 3 to 5 feet wide, depending on the size of your home. A larger home, or a home with two front doors, will call for a larger walkway. As for the shape of your walkway, it could be either straight or curved. However, you don’t want the walkway to involve too many curves — more than one or two curves might tempt you and your guests to stray from the walkway, making it functionally useless. As for the material for your walkway, consider the style of your home. Stone and brick are both popular and versatile walkway materials, but a brick walkway would not necessarily compliment a “modern” home.

The Next Step

Blue Tree Landscaping will help you to actualize the transformation of your outdoor space. Contact Blue Tree for all of your hardscaping, landscaping, and lawn care needs. Whether you have specific ideas in mind or need help brainstorming, designing, and creating your space, Blue Tree is here to help during every step.

Home Landscaping Ideas Kids Will Love

sumlandkidsloveWhen it comes to landscaping, we often focus on things like curb appeal, and forget to consider one important element: the kids. If there are children in your home, you’ll need to keep them in mind when designing your home landscape. With these great tips, you won’t need to sacrifice style for inclusivity:

Home Landscaping Ideas Kids Love

Chalkboard Fun

Chalk isn’t just for sidewalks. Add an element of eye-catching art with a chalkboard addition to your fencing. You are no longer locked into basic black either. From red to blue, there’s an array of chalkboard paint colors available to complement any landscape style. Simply paint a piece of backer board, and add it to your fence. Then, let the chalk drawing fun begin.

Swings

Kids need a place to relax. Swings can provide both a restful spot, and a fun addition to your yard. Purchase a hammock swing, a hanging bowl chair, or even an old-fashioned tire swing. As your kids get older, what may have started out as a children’s plaything will quickly turn into a favorite spot to read, or spend time with friends.

A Day at the Beach

When you can’t make it to the beach, you can still get that sun-kissed feeling at home. Consider integrating a spacious sandbox in your landscape design. Top it with an awning so the kids can build, and play while staying protected from the sun’s rays. Just remember to cover it with a tarp when it’s not in use.

Tree house Fun

A tree house is what you make of it. Whether it’s in an actual tree, or works as a playhouse on the ground, kids can’t resist the appeal of a secret space that’s all their own. Use hardscaping materials that are already found in your backyard landscape to tie it into your overall design.

Musical Fence

Turn that barren spot of fencing into a toddler’s dream come true. Add colorful xylophones. Dig out your battered cake pans or bowls, and add in the pots you no longer need. Then leave wooden spoons or other metal utensils so the kids can drum away on these hanging objects. It’s music to the ears of any creative noisemaker.

Landscaping for the Kids

Don’t forget your children’s needs when working on your landscaping projects. Consult the experts so you can get your yard in tip-top shape for the season, and beyond.

Blue Tree Landscaping is the one-stop shop for everything lawn. From design to maintenance and planning, including pool installation and repair, you can trust in Blue Tree.