Tag Archives: sidewalks

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.

End of Summer Maintenance for Your Yard

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Yard Maintenance for the End of the Summer

When summer is at a close, it can be tempting to sit on the patio and enjoy the last bit of the season. But don’t stop now. There’s still yard work to tackle in order to ensure the very best start to the season the next year.

 Path Maintenance

All those walkways and footpaths have received a lot of use this year. Keep them going the next year, and avoid a winter spill, with a bit of maintenance now. Look over any bricks, pavers, and stones for cracks or slips. Adjust the paths as necessary, replacing any broken pieces.

 Lawn Care

It’s not over yet. Keep mowing and maintaining your grass to help it stay healthy. For the last mowing or two of the year, be sure to drop the mower blade. This way, more sunlight can get through, ensuring a healthier lawn. While you’re at it, this is a great time to aerate your yard. Aeration allows water, oxygen, and fertilizer easier access to your lawn’s roots.

 Problem Areas

Is the grass patchy in one area? Does your lawn need fertilizer? Assess the condition of your yard now and deal with it accordingly. Determine your grass type to decide on the optimal time to fertilize it. Plant grass seed to fix any sketchy areas so it has time to take root before snow hits.

 Playtime is Over

As the weather starts to cool down, put away any unused children’s toys. Store them indoors, or outdoors in specially made bins built to withstand the elements. Grab the rakes, shovels, and any other landscaping tools lying around the yard. Instead of just shoving them in the garage until next year, clean them up, polish them off, and make sure you get the dirt off of them to avoid wintertime erosion. Get rid of anything that won’t survive another season, and add it to your list of things needed for next year so you won’t forget (and take advantage of season’s end sales while you’re at it).

 Rake It Up

Piles of leaves in the yard may be fun to jump in, but they don’t do anything for your landscape. To avoid suffocating your grass, and any plants or flowers in the area, be sure to quickly rake up and remove any falling leaves before they become a wet, soggy problem.

 Avoid procrastinating over your late summer yard maintenance. With just a bit of work, you can ensure a beautiful, lush lawn for the next season. Send in the professionals for a spotless yard without the work. Call Blue Tree Landscaping, the one-stop-shop for everything lawn care (and pools), to get your yard in great shape tomorrow.

Landscaping Ideas to Beautify Your Front Yard

IMG_4531Landscaping Ideas to Beautify Your Front Yard

Front yards are far too often overlooked when it comes to landscaping. After all, a lot of free time is spent in the backyard on the deck, in the in ground pool, or on the patio. But the front yard sets the tone for the way your home is viewed, and a properly landscaped front yard adds instant curb appeal.

Front Yard Landscaping Ideas

Add Wow to Your Walkway

Jazz up the simple sidewalk that leads to your front door with strategic plantings. If your walkway is yet to be poured, consider adding a curve to it for a more interesting visual effect. Think beyond cement. Bricks, pavers, and stone make great (and unexpected) walkway materials.

Put in a Patio

Your backyard doesn’t have to hog all the fun. A front yard patio can be a wonderful way to get to know your neighbors as they walk by or to enjoy the serenity of your neighborhood. Line it with a short hedge to provide a little definition without entirely blocking your view.

Beautiful Barrier

A front yard doesn’t need to be an endless expanse of grass from one end to the other. Beautify it with perpendicular plantings. Bonus: if your driveway is less than appealing, you can align your plantings to keep it from feeling like the focal point. Bump up the space with a raised island. Take a note from your walkway and add in a curved flowerbed for needed flair.

Highs and Lows

Many homeowners forget that they can add pops of color that go above and beyond flowerbeds. Add a trellis and a vine, such as Clematis, for that something extra. No trellis? Try to train a vine to climb along your fence or add a container or two. Look to elevated planters and hanging flower baskets for a quick and inexpensive fix.

A Fork in the Road
In this case, it’s a path. Add a fork to your front yard walkway, and let one path head to the front door. The other path can meander around to the backyard, to the children’s play area, or to the hidden garden. Wherever it leads, the simple addition of a fork provides choices — and a touch of mystery. 0

Lovely Landscaping — Even in the Front Yard0

You can also choose to leave it to the professionals to get your front yard in shape and matching with the rest of your yard. From design to planning to maintenance, Blue Tree Landscaping is the one-stop-shop for everything landscape-related. Contact Blue Tree Landscaping today to learn more. 0

5 Hardscape Materials You Should Know

5 hardscape materials you should knowHardscaping is more than lining a flower bed in pavers, or pouring out a driveway with concrete. Homeowners have more choices than ever before, and for those who prefer to mow less, hardscaping can help cut down frequent lawn maintenance time.

The following materials are commonly used in hardscaping projects. They can be used for patios, driveways, fences, built-in seating, pathways, and even outdoor rooms. Wherever they are used, they are sure to draw rave reviews.

Common Hardscape Materials

Brick

Formal or informal, new or recycled, brick is hugely popular for outdoor projects, and has been for centuries. But, that doesn’t mean the style has stayed the same. Landscape designers are working with brick in new and interesting ways, creating patterns in paths, walls, and other structures.

Gravel

Pinterest pinners are in love with winding pathways. Get the right look with the proper gravel. Gravel is simple to use, and inexpensive. It’s easy to make your path fit your vision, but it’s also easy to kick gravel into the surrounding grass and flowerbeds. Keep a rake handy to catch any stray pieces of rock.

Concrete

Concrete has moved far beyond basic, ho-hum slabs. Today’s concrete has character. It can be stained, stamped, and textured for use in driveways, paths, or patio projects. These new styles not only look great, but they cut down on concrete’s slip-factor. Get creative with embedded elements, like sea glass or pebbles. Concrete is anything, but boring.

Stone

This hardscape material is popular for a reason. Stone is durable, and available in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. Think beyond patios and courtyards. Stone can be used to naturally accent, and enhance your garden design. It helps prevent erosion, and can also add some texture.

Wood

Fences and decking benefit from the warm look of wood. Turn fences horizontally for visual interest, or go with a classic picket fence to match your home. Choose from different colors, and grains to fit your style. Wood may be used for an assortment of landscaping touches, like seating, plant or flower bed borders, and other structures (like a trellis, pergola, or gazebo). Wood will need maintenance to keep it in shape.

A Touch of Class

Now that you know what the major hardscape materials are, isn’t it time you add them to your landscape design? Update your yard with ease by giving Blue Tree Landscaping a call. Blue Tree is a one-stop-shop for everything lawn, garden, and pool. From design, to planning and maintenance, Blue Tree professionals can get your yard in shape.

How to Create a Successful Hardscape for Your Yard

How to create a successful hardscape for your yardHardscaping can provide the powerful visual appeal your yard is missing. But, before beginning a project, decide where you’ll be putting any hardscaping elements. Unlike plants or flowers, your hardscape won’t be easy to relocate if you change your mind. Take these tips to heart so you can avoid any costly mistakes!

How to Create Stunning Hardscape Design

The Big Picture

When thinking about your yard, consider it as a whole. Having a plan in place will help you not only tackle different pieces of your landscape in an affordable manner, but it will also keep you from adding a patio where you should really be putting a fire pit.

More Material

Brick? Stone? Whatever material you are working with, always purchase more than you think you’ll need. Not only will you come out ahead if your numbers need adjusting, but you may just come up with new, clever ways to use the leftovers in your hardscape design.

Water Matters

Hardscaping elements, like walls and patios, can affect how, and where your water flows. For some areas, this can become a serious problem, fast. Work water runoff into your plan, so you can capture some of that water before it reaches the drainage pipes.

Defining Style

While it is fairly easy to save every landscape design ever pinned on Pinterest, the pros know that it’s better to stick with one particular style. Make a short list of a few words that describe the ideal style for your yard, and stick with them. If you prefer sleek and modern, then resist the urge to throw in jarring elements that don’t line up. Pick two or three hardscape materials, choosing textures that complement each other, and work them in.

Prep Work

The most tedious part of any project is typically the work no one will ever see. Before installing a fence or following through with your patio design, it’s important to check for any building specifications. It’s the one part of the project that too many people skip, only to find that an improperly compacted area may result in their patio cracking after just a few years.

Showstopping Hardscape

Hardscaping is both a complicated, and rewarding part of redesigning a home landscape. Get it done right from the start with Blue Tree Landscaping.

From planning to design to maintenance (and pools), Blue Tree is a one-stop-shop for landscape design. Call today, and finally finish the hardscape project of your dreams.

 

4 Hardscape Additions for Your Yard

4 Hardscape Additions for Your YardHardscaping can add instant appeal to most any yard. Fences, concrete, pavers, rocks, and walls are all useful hardscaping elements. A simple makeover that includes these building blocks can make your yard feel warm and welcoming.

A large yard, which can easily turn into a time-consuming maintenance project, can benefit from hardscaping. Rather than adding too many flower beds and plants, which will likely require daily attention, hardscaping can create a more livable space without regular, hands-on work.

Hardscape Additions for Your Yard

Patios

Whether they are added to an empty space near your home, or are set elsewhere in your yard, patios create spacious areas to play and relax. It’s easy to add potted plants or floral borders to this hardscape design. You can also add an outdoor fireplace, so you and yours can enjoy this space even when the summer heat fades.

Pathways

Flagstone pavers, brick, cement, pebbles, and mulch can create simple pathways throughout your yard. Mimic the natural flow of Mother Nature, shifting and bending paths to add visual interest. Just don’t forget to light the way. Include solar stakes or traditional lighting elements to illuminate these walkways, and highlight any plants along the way.

Playful, Useful Touches

Think outside the concrete and cobblestone, and consider adding hardscaping elements that are more functional. A gazebo can add a gorgeous focal point to your yard. Birdbaths provide a place for feathered friends to flock, while adding a simple, easy water feature. You can also add a wooden bench to the space, so you have ample room to admire the view.

Frame It Up

Too much hardscaping can look cold and unpolished. Be sure to include softscaping elements, like plants, flowers, and trees. Line the concrete or gravel edges of paths and patios with flowerbeds. Add potted plants of varying height to mix hard and soft elements all in one container.

Inviting Hardscape

Before getting started, you need to plan out what you’d like to accomplish. Are you adding patios, fencing, or steps? Whatever you choose, break it down into sections. By dividing the project into more manageable chunks, you’ll be more inclined to enjoy the process, while keeping it within budget.

Also check in with your local building office to see if there are any building codes or ordinances you should follow before breaking ground.

 

Whether your yard needs an entire renovation, or just a few tweaks, Blue Tree Landscaping is the one-stop-shop for everything yard. From planning to design and maintenance, you can get your yard from barren to beautiful without the hassle.

 

Incorporating Walkways Into Your Backyard

walkwaysBackyard walkways are a savvy way to make people walk the line in your gardens. When done well, they incorporate beauty and function into your yard, and as a bonus require little to no on-going upkeep. They’re like the perennials of backyard design.

Of course, constructing backyard walkways can be easier said than done…just ask any DIYer who tried to stamp their own concrete. For a walkway that looks professional—and can increase the value of your landscaping and home—follow the tips below.

1. Location, Location, Location

A walkway to nowhere is rather pointless, so be sure that you choose a location that adds to the functionality of your backyard and garden. Ideally, you will want to connect two elements together, like a patio and pool, or create a loop.

 2. Size

Bigger is better is not the mantra of backyard walkway design. You definitely need to take into account the size and shape of your yard—and the walkway itself. The width of a walkway especially should be proportionate to the yard itself, as there’s nothing worse than a walkway that usurps the beauty and functionality of your landscaping design.

 3. Complexity

While many people ‘dig’ the beauty of complex and ornate walkways, you need to consider the time and money involved.

 4. Materials

Your materials are an important factor. They will reflect the price, appearance, and durability of the walkway. Common options include concrete, brick, natural stones, flagstone, river rock, and gravel. Natural stones like granite, limestone, slate, and sandstone are also becoming increasingly popular, and may add more value to your landscaped property.

 5. A Reflection of your Home

Choose the design of your walkway to highlight the features of your home. If you have granite highlights on your deck, don’t choose a marble walkway tile. If you have modern architecture, don’t opt for a traditional-looking walkway, like those made from river rock.

 6. Lighting

If you plan to entertain in your backyard, consider lighting to complement the walkway.

7. Garden Around your Walkway

Plan your foliage around the walkway to match the wear and tear of the landscape, and the water flow created by it.

 

A well-done walkway can complement your garden and your home, while a poorly-installed one will detract from it all. If you need help designing your walkway concept—give us a call here at Blue Tree. Our affordable services will assist you from design to installation, and beyond.