Tag Archives: patios skippack pa

Repair Summer Damages To Your Yard

As we transition into the warmest times of the summer, the sun is beating down upon all outside surfaces. It can be difficult to maintain the condition of outdoor furniture, plants, and even hardscape details when the weather is so unforgiving. Don’t let your outdoor investments go to seed; here are some tips on upkeep for your yard’s accouterments that will help to preserve them year round!

Replace Furniture

This does not necessarily mean replacing the whole setup. If cushions or delicate furniture is left out in the sun for extended periods of time, it can sustain unsightly tears and faded colors. Visit a local seamstress to tend to tears, or consider cushion covers that will not only disguise damages but allow the freedom of redesigning current pieces to fit the season.

Tend To Foliage

The sight of dry, wilted plans can be a sad one! Do some research on the best options for the changing season, and whether to add to already existing ones or remove some completely. Regardless of replacing flowers or planting winter vegetables, any small change will have gardens and landscapes looking fresh.

Check the Pool

Summer is by no means consistent in terms of weather, and a pool can see the brunt of Mother Nature’s actions. Skimming the pool’s surface to remove dirt and debris is only the start of it. If the tiles or ceramic coating are chipped and cracking, drain the pool to perform necessary repairs. Be sure to notice the surface surrounding the pool as well; any cement or tile work that looks faded and cracked should be tended to immediately, for safety reasons.

Clean Up

Sometimes, all a space needs is a good cleaning. Pull any weeds or animal excrement that may be settling in the corners of the yard. For a deeper clean, invest in a power washer to get the dirt off the sides of the house and any patio or hard surface that needs a good scrub. Look at fences too, and see if vines or dirt can be removed for a cleaner look. Now is not the best time to replace sod or large lawn surfaces, but it is possible to keep current ones looking polished until next year’s replacement.

Contact Blue Tree

Let us help you clean up your space! At Blue Tree Landscaping, we pride ourselves on providing quality maintenance and upgrade services for homes of all shapes and sizes. Contact us today to get a quote on how to get your yard in the best shape it’s ever been in!

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!

Why You Should Develop a Plan for Snow and Ice Removal

Winter in Skippack PAWhy You Should Develop a Plan for Snow and Ice Removal

The winter months can be hard on everyone. Winter weather truly becomes an issue, however, when it negatively impacts your day or work schedule. One way you can help to prevent this is by preparing a plan in advance for snow and ice removal. This will help to make any foreseen (or unexpected) winter storms more tolerable.

Snow and Ice Removal for Your Home

In order to prepare for winter storms and ice, make sure that you have a substantial amount of salt and at least one shovel available at all times. If your shovel breaks or you run out of salt, make sure to replace these items immediately. Whenever there is a storm, there might not be any shovels or salt available when you need them the most, and you may not be able to borrow any, either. Further, if you own a car but park on the street, it’s a good idea to own a shovel in the event of an unexpected snowstorm that leaves your car buried beneath snow.

If you’re looking to ease the burden of snow removal, consider asking your neighbors for help. You could make a plan to help each other out in the event of a storm, or maybe one of your neighbors has a snow blower you could borrow. It never hurts to ask!

Snow and Ice Removal for Commercial Properties

Having a snow and ice removal plan in place is crucial for commercial properties. Commercial property owners are responsible for those that are on their land; if they neglect shoveling and salting their walkways, they could have a lawsuit on their hands. That’s why it’s necessary to come up with a plan for snow removal in advance, so that they can keep their property safe and presentable.

Whether they have a small property or a large property, snow removal can be laborious and often causes back pain and other issues. If an owner isn’t prepared to react in a timely manner to remove snow and ice from their property, then it might be time to consider a snow removal service.

Snow Removal Services

Make sure to contact a reliable snow removal service in advance, not at the last minute, so that they’re available to meet your needs. If you’re in need of some extra help this winter, contact Blue Tree Landscaping to handle your snow and ice removal for your commercial space. Blue Tree will help you to get through the winter months with ease.

Unique Patio Design Ideas

045Unique Patio Design Ideas

If you are considering installing a new patio, you might be surprised to learn that you can have more than a basic rectangular concrete slab. From a variety of textures and shapes to design accents, read on for timely tips to perk up any lackluster patio.

Think Beyond the Concrete

If you are in need of a new patio, it’s time for an update. Follow the latest trends by installing a patio that is curved or crafted with different hardscape materials. Brick, wood chips, flagstone, and even gravel are all integrated into appealing designs.

Sweet Little Nook

Your patio should be more than just a place you sometimes use to entertain. It can become a valuable and much-loved part of your outdoor space — if you give it the attention it deserves. Use your best landscaping know-how to create a garden oasis. Add in potted plants, a water feature, and comfortable seating.

Match Your Style

If your home is elegant and grand, you should have a patio to match. If you have a theme in your landscape, that theme should carry over into your patio. Add in the hardscape elements you are using elsewhere in your yard to complement the space. Use the same types of plants that you’ve used in flower beds around the patio. Get creative with it: install hanging baskets or potted plants.

Bring the Inside Out

Part of any successful landscape design includes sunny and shady spots. Consider adding in an umbrella or pergola. Add accessories that look great with a bit of weathering and fabrics that resist color fading due to the sun. Treat your patio like any other room in your home. Make it personal with whimsical touches like fun candle holders that can withstand the elements and even mirrors for walls that are exterior yet protected. Add an outdoor clock or wall art — anything goes as long as it’s weather-friendly and fits the style of the rest of your yard.

Light it Up

Lighting is an essential, yet overlooked, part of your unique patio design plan. The right lighting can help boost your landscape’s appeal while extending the use of your patio. Brighten it up. Day or night, you can enjoy your patio for longer when you use proper lighting.

Patio with Pizzazz

For a seamless patio design, leave it to the professionals. Call Blue Tree Landscaping, the one-stop-shop for everything landscaping (including pools), for a patio that reflects your style, your budget, and your life.

5 Tips for Planning Your Patio Design

hardscaping-09A shabby, neglected patio doesn’t exude a welcoming atmosphere, but a sleek, modern patio can become a beloved part of any home, while raising the home’s value in the process.

Whatever you can imagine, chances are there’s a patio to match that dream. Today’s styles have gone far beyond a boring slab of concrete, and include all manner of size, color, and shape. Before getting started, here are a few tips you should keep in mind to ensure a beautiful, finished product.

5 Tips for Patio Perfection

Layout

What do you want out of your patio? Do you want it near the kitchen for easy entertaining, or closer to an opposing side of your property for a restful retreat? How close are the neighbors? What sort of patio lighting do you prefer? Consider the size of your yard, as well as any problem areas. Are there any air conditioning units you’d like to camouflage? Do you want a water feature, or a fire pit? Browse through images of other patios to get a better idea of what suits you.

Size Matters

If your space will be used for entertaining, consider the number of people you’d like to comfortably move around this space. Many designers recommend making the patio as wide, and as long as your home, or mimicking the size of a favorite room inside.

Must Love Plants

Do you have a natural green thumb, or do you prefer plants that can stay alive with little help from you? Consider container groupings to provide a punch of color. Be sure to complete the hardscape before you put any plants in place.

Rules and Regulations

What does local law mandate as the maximum height for a fence? Do you need a permit? Check with your local city office to find out the rules for your area. Otherwise, your patio project could result in costly fines, and the removal of everything you’ve built.

Planning

Don’t feel like everything has to get done immediately. Create a long-range plan. You can tackle different items on your list as time, and budget allows. This will also help you prioritize your projects, so you don’t take on more than you can handle.

 

There are so many factors to consider when designing your patio, but these tips will help you create an outdoor space that fits the way you live. To get your Philly patio in tip-top shape without the hassle, contact the landscaping professionals at Blue Tree Landscaping.

From planning to design and construction, Blue Tree Landscaping is a one-stop shop for all your landscaping needs. Call today, and make your patio the envy of the neighborhood.

5 Landscaping New Year’s Resolutions

5 Landscaping New Year's ResolutionsIf you’re in the festive New Year mood for penning resolutions, be sure to add landscaping to this year’s wishlist. Landscaping resolutions are a smart idea as they get your creative juices flowing, and if executed shortly after New Year’s Eve, you can have a solid plan in place for springtime.

To help you start your year and yard off right, here are a number of landscaping resolutions to consider.

(Finally) Start Composting
Composting is one of those things that every gardener means to do but often “doesn’t get around to”. It’s a surprisingly easy habit to get into, requires very little startup costs or setup time, and the benefits to your soil and plants are incredible.

Grow Food and Herbs
Home-based gardening has experienced a renaissance in recent years, especially with the proliferation of community food gardens. This year, make it a goal to grow your own veggies and herbs. They can be pretty easy to grow and your palate will thank you!

Hardscape
If last year’s yard and lawn maintenance was hard on the back or budget, then this year consider implementing more hardscape elements. Hardscaping offers a maintenance-free design, a classy look, and more space for entertaining. Hardscapes designed to be a lawn alternative are also a great way to cut down on the seemingly endless hours of summer mowing.

Declutter
As you continue to embellish your landscape design, it can start to look more cluttered over the years than you had originally intended. Since modern landscaping design tends to be more minimal, and since your taste has likely changed over the years, you may want to take a step back and use an editor’s eye to modify your space.       Every so often it’s important to not only declutter, but to make sure your design aesthetic remains consistent too.

Outdoor Living
If you spent a ton of time last year eating, sitting, and entertaining outdoors, then it might be time to install an outdoor living space. Conversely, if you didn’t spend enough time outdoors, then it’s all the more reason to construct an outdoor lounge and sanctuary to ensure you do. Creating an outdoor living space requires an upfront investment in patio creation, hardscape elements, landscape design, and outdoor furniture—but it is well worth the investment.

 

To help make your landscaping New Year’s resolutions one that sticks, contact us here at Blue Tree landscaping. We can work with your vision and your budget to create an outdoor space you’ll love.

Smaller Yard? Here’s How to Make the Most of Your Space.

Small yardsWho says the best yards have to be big? Sure, it’s easy to dazzle a crowd with a grand and spacious patio, but when you can wow your guests with a charming, one-of-a-kind yard, your creativity seriously shows. Here are some big tips on how to utilize the small space you have:

Get cozy with a firepit

Although it has been an unseasonably warm winter for Pennsylvania, you might consider installing a personal fire pit in the middle of your yard. This is the perfect accessory for all seasons. Imagine the first barbecue of spring, roasting marshmallows in the summer, or just warming up in the coziest way possible during the fall and winter time. Line the seclusive space with some lush foliage, and you’ve got yourself a particularly memorable haven.

Elevate your home with a patio

A thoughtful addition to a small space is an elevated patio. Nothing looks more enticing than some steps that invite people to new heights—even if these heights are just a foot off the ground. The best part is that the patio can be built to accommodate the rest of the yard. It can act as your personal outdoor dining area, while the rest of the yard can be whatever you want it to be: a play space for your kids, dogs, or impressed guests, perhaps.

Illuminate your sanctuary with landscape lighting

You might think lighting isn’t necessary for small yards (let’s be honest, the lights from the house can probably illuminate the whole yard at night), but you can create something truly magical when you highlight the right features. Set the mood with some hidden landscape lights within a bed of shrubs, or with the addition of a romantic lamppost. You can also enhance a part of the yard you’re proud of with lighting on the outer edge of, say, a garden, or a fire pit, or a patio.

 

As they say: big things come in small packages. You don’t have to sacrifice quality simply because of the size of your yard. Dream of big things for your small space with the help of the professionals at Blue Tree.

What Type of Gazebo or Pergola Design is Right for YOU?

Gazebos and PergolasA gazebo or pergola can be a beautiful addition to your landscape and patio design. However, these beautifying structures are more than just visual statements. They also provide essential patio shade on sunny Philly days. So, when choosing between a gazebo or pergola, how do you choose which one is right for you and your patio, yard, and landscape design?

Choosing a Shade Structure

Each shade structure has its own landscape design, visual effect, and function, so let’s begin by taking a look at the qualities of each one:

Pergolas

Pergolas are freestanding structures that consist of 4+ supporting pillars/posts, and decorative (somewhat shade-forming) cross beams, in either a line or lattice pattern. While they can be used for walkways, they are most commonly used in residential design as an element for outdoor patios. The most common pergola designs use wooden beams and posts, though metal is also an option.

Benefits:

  • They provide a decorative and classy look.
  • They provide some shade, without blocking all sunlight.
  • They offer a vertical growth place for vines (which can provide additional shade when grown over the top of the pergola).
  • They are more cost effective than gazebos, as they require fewer materials and are easier to erect.
  • They can be constructed quickly and easily.
  • They help build your patio’s aesthetic.

Drawbacks:

  • They don’t provide complete shade, so they aren’t a full respite from the sun.
  • They don’t offer rain protection.

Gazebos

Gazebos are more effective at providing shade than pergolas, thanks to their eight sides and full roof. Their design can be inspired by a number of styles, though English and French are the most common. In recent years, gazebos have been overshadowed by the pergola design, as a consequence of the DIY trend.

Benefits

  • They offer greater protection from the elements, especially rain and sun.
  • They offer enough coverage for electrical outlets and lighting.

Drawbacks

  • Quality gazebos are more expensive, and are difficult to construct without additional help.
  • They don’t work as well as pergolas for patio spaces.

Which One is Right for YOU?

The two biggest differences between gazebos and pergolas are protection and appearance. Pergolas tend to offer a more modern look, while gazebos lend to a more classic appearance. Their shape also differs, with gazebos having a round, octagonal shape, and pergolas using a square or rectangular design.

So, ask yourself a couple of questions: Does your landscape design have a modern or classic look? What level of element protection are you looking for?

For a professional opinion on what best suits your yard, and for professional design help, contact us here at Blue Tree Landscaping today.

Outdoor Audio: A Design Concept

Outdoor audioWe’ve all been to BBQs where someone brings out a pair of portable speakers and hopes the batteries will last at least as long as the party does. But…there are better options.

Outdoor Audio: A Design Concept

Playing ambient or other music outdoors needn’t be a messy affair, and it doesn’t need to disrupt the landscape design visuals of your backyard. By using aesthetically-pleasing outdoor sound equipment, you can have better sound, remove the need to setup a sound system outdoors each time you entertain, and enhance your overall backyard design.

Design

While looks aren’t everything, the design of your speakers is extremely important. Finishes and shapes that don’t blend in with your overall landscape design will stick out like a sore green thumb. Choose shapes that match your landscaping. So, if you use rocks in your landscaping architecture, consider using speakers that resemble rocks in shape, color, or size. If you have a lighter backyard, then go with a brushed nickel or sand color, and if you have darker tones and stained woods then opt for a copper color.

Function

The main point of designing an outdoor audio concept is to have beautiful sound for your backyard. So choose high-quality speakers that have an output that matches the rest of your sound system. An outdoor, cleverly-designed subwoofer can help make your sound much richer.

Placement

Your placement should ideally support both design and function. Subwoofers should generally be somewhat hidden in a spot that isn’t entirely conspicuous, like near shrubs or ferns. Speakers need to be placed so that they are pointing in the right direction (like towards your patio or swimming pool), but also spaced evenly apart so that you don’t create sound pockets or ‘battling’ sounds. Ideally, you want your speakers to surround your common areas, creating an outdoor surround-sound experience.

 Execution

Creating a sound concept and design is easier said than done. And that’s where our professionals here at Blue Tree Landscaping come in. Our full-service offering can sculpt the entirety of your yard, from inground swimming pools to hardscaping, all the way to a sound concept and garden lights. Our expert eye for design can help you incorporate an audio concept that is both unique to your yard and suited to your overall aesthetic.

Here at Blue Tree we’ve partnered with one of the most beautiful—visually and audibly—outdoor sound companies, Coastal Source. Click here to view some of the stunning outdoor audio system options available.

Beautiful sound components combined with our designer eye and expert installation professionals (and affordable pricing) means your eyes and ears (and wallet!) will be happy.

Revitalize Your Patio Space for Summer Fun

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

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

 1. Cleaning

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

Vinegar

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

Pressure Washer

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

Stone Cleaner

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

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

 2. Resealing

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

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

Here are our professional resealing tips:

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

 After Revitalization

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

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