How To Pick The Best Patio Set For Your Budget

Shopping for outdoor furniture is an enjoyable experience until the pieces you adore are out of your price range. Luckily, there are several alternatives to breaking the bank, especially on patio sets. Here are our tips for scoring the best patio furniture on a budget!

Look Into Off-Brand Sets

There are thousands of patio furniture brands on the market, some of which look similar to high-end collections. It may take extra time, but visualize your dream look and search for a similar, more budget-friendly replacement. Furniture from retailers such as Lowe’s and Macy’s can emulate designer brands and are often a more durable option, and superstores like Walmart achieve this as well, with a wide inventory to choose from. 

Mix and Match

Investing in incomplete collections provides the opportunity for you to tap into your creative side. Taking pieces from different sets and pairing them can cut costs significantly and achieve a unique aesthetic for your patio. Pair chairs from one set with a table from another, or invest in different-colored pieces with contrasting fabrics and accents to create an eclectic look. 

Buy at the Right Time

Smart shoppers buy essentials in the off-season, to prepare for the months and years to come. Winter coats go on sale in the summer, just as certain furniture will experience price drops when there is less opportunity to use them. Search for next year’s furniture in early fall, when the weather begins to change and the patio area is used less frequently. 

Size Accordingly

Downsizing doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. Plan ahead and measure your patio before shopping, to make sure you’re investing in a set that fits both your space and your budget. Then, look at smaller versions of the set you’re eyeing, or simply prioritize a few of its pieces. 

Compare Prices Online

Sometimes buying furniture in-store is not the most cost-efficient option. Comparing prices before buying is a smart strategy for ensuring that you get the furniture you want, or something similar. Major e-commerce sites such as Amazon will have the same patio sets as home improvement stores but at a reduced price. Other “overstock” retailers can carry discounted products as well, and don’t forget to check the sale sections of your favorite websites!

Contact Blue Tree

Need help readying your patio for its new look? Blue Tree Landscaping offers both hardscaping and landscaping services to set your space up for success. Contact us to get started today!

Get Your Children Involved in Your Vegetable Garden

Growing a Vegetable Garden

Spending quality time with family is enjoyable at any age, especially when children are young and curious! One project that guarantees hard work, valuable lessons, and plenty of dirt is a backyard garden. Here are some tips for getting the kids involved in growing a vegetable garden.

Let Them Pick The Plants

Make the shopping trip for seeds a group activity. Let the little ones choose a few of the seed packets for planting, or let them choose the whole garden. If there’s a food they enjoy eating already, such as pizza, offer suggestions for toppings that can go on it, such as mushrooms or basil. This will expand their horizons and allow for creativity before the planting process begins.

Install The Garden Together

It’s almost guaranteed that getting down on hands and knees in the dirt is something that kids enjoy! Let them help ready the soil for planting, and place the seeds in the ground to watch them grow. This is an excellent bonding activity, and a great way to spend a few afternoons together when the weather allows for it. Plus, it serves as a great workout!

As an additional activity, create homemade plant markers to label plants with. Blank markers are available online, or go one step further and take to Pinterest for unique ideas. This will showcase your children’s efforts while the fruits and vegetables are sprouting, and help to curb the impatience of waiting for the fruits and vegetables to grow.

Give Them Tools

A full-sized shovel may be too much for a small child to handle. Consider investing in a set of child-sized tools, such as rakes and shovels, for your next outdoor session. Oftentimes, they will work as well as adult-sized tools, and the pride in using their own materials will be that much more fun for your child!

Assign Chores

Give everyone their own role in tending to the fruits and vegetables. Delegating activities such as watering, weeding, and checking for bugs are all important daily tasks that will keep the garden’s foliage healthy throughout the seasons. In addition, this serves as a lesson in responsibility, especially when parents get involved and tackle some of the more difficult tasks right alongside them.

Call Blue Tree

We can help you get your yard ready for the garden of your dreams! From clearing the landscape to designing the area and installing the beds, our garden landscape services will help you with every step of the process. Contact us today to get started!

Five DIY Projects to Make Your Pool Area More Inviting

Shopping for pool decorations can be a fun activity. However, there’s something special about crafting your own thoughtful, handmade projects for an added personal touch. Check out some DIY projects that will make your pool area inviting for parties, activities, and more!

Curtains

For backyards with an overhang or shade system by the pool, curtains are an easy and creative way to add delicate touches to the framework. Choose light, airy fabrics for the aesthetic, or opt for heavy-duty, thermal curtains that are both practical and fashionable. Consider your level of functionality before investing in outdoor curtains.

Volleyball Net

PVC pipe is the main component of these projects. Obtain longer pieces that will extend the length of the pool, as well as shorter sections for the sides and base. Thread netting through the top to create a makeshift net, and encourage the summer pool games to begin! Feel free to use extra material to create a basketball hoop as well or any other sporting equipment that requires a basket or hoop.

Plants and Flowers

Plants are the classic DIY project for any outdoor space! Place larger pots by the pool and plant vibrant flowers or fronds to add a splash of color to the blue water. Lining the patio with a thoughtful selection of petals is another simple activity for beautifying the area. For an added touch, lace strings of lights through leaves and tree branches to decorate for parties or nights spent outside.

Towel Rack

Got a spare section of wall? Convert it into a convenient towel hanging area. Get some decorative hooks and install them in a row as a place to dry out wet towels or prepare dry ones for use. Visit a crafts store to grab wall letters to place above the hooks as well. If no wall space is available, consider getting a free-standing rack or flat piece of wood to customize.

Pool Noodle Projects

Foam pool noodles are a surprisingly versatile material for DIY crafts. Cut sections and attach them with water-resistant glue to create drink holders, or place battery-operated candles into inch-long sections to float on the water so they cast an ambiant glow on the pool’s surface. For a kid-friendly craft, string several noodles together to create makeshift rafts that will encourage even more water play. The options are endless!

Contact Blue Tree

We can help get your pool area ready for all of your homemade touches. Our hardscaping services will ensure that your patio, and the pool itself, are all ready to be enhanced by your DIY projects. Contact us to get started today!

How to Get Your Yard Ready for the First Spring Barbecue

Backyard barbecues are a classic warm-weather activity. With the introduction of spring, it’s time to prepare for this year’s schedule of get-togethers. Here’s a checklist of actions to take to make sure your yard is cookout ready!

Clear the Area

Starting with a clutter-free area is an important step in getting your yard ready. Clear away chipped-off roofing materials, paint, and other debris to maintain a clean appearance, and take care of any damaged furniture with canvas treatments and repairs. For the ground, taking a power washer to the surface and its cracks will remove hard-to-reach dirt and leftover remains of winter storms.

Harsh winter weather can also take a toll on plants and foliage. Strip away excess dead materials by weeding or ripping up old sod. Raking leaves and branches before treating the grass will aid the process, and depending on the type and amount of sod, it may need to be ripped up completely. Ultimately this will prevent any unwanted winter scraps from blowing into the grill, as well as provide the preferred aesthetic for cookouts and get-togethers.

Replant As Needed

Take a couple of days to beautify the space surrounding the grill. Replace and replant flowers and outdoor decorations, and don’t forget the grass; tending to a lawn may be a hefty task, but the payoff of a gorgeous, healthy lawn is worth the effort. This is also an excellent opportunity to upgrade your landscaping layout if desired.

Prepare the Grill

Grills that sat through the winter should be cleaned and treated for any damage sustained. Check the grease trap, the hose, the grate, and all other surfaces that were exposed to winter weather. A new propane tank might be necessary as well, but before the cooking starts, fire up the grill for a test run. This will guarantee that the systems are in working order for the meals to come.

Don’t forget to prep for the barbecue itself as well! Use a grill cleaner to ensure the lid and external surfaces are free of rust and oil and clean the surrounding prep area’s surfaces with an all-purpose cleaner. Even investing in high-quality utensils, such as tongs and skewers, will complement the hardware and allow the grill to perform throughout many cookout seasons.

Contact Blue Tree

The first barbecue of spring is approaching! We want to help you prepare your yard for barbecues, parties, and beyond. Contact us for hardscaping needs for your grill or patio today.

Five Benefits of a Vegetable Garden

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Flowers, shrubs and trees are always lovely additions to any outdoor space, but a vegetable garden brings a plethora of benefits that extend beyond a gorgeous landscape. The opportunities that come with cultivating a vegetable garden have an even further reach than the land it grows on. Here are five reasons to consider starting your own fresh vegetable garden.

1) Enjoy Healthy, Homegrown Produce

Vegetables are rich in vitamins and nutrients, making them staples in any nutritious diet. Pick and choose among dozens of varietals to create a diverse array of produce for your table. Plus, when you grow your own fruits and vegetables, you can rest assured the crops are free of pesticides and other unwanted additives that commercial fruits and vegetables can contain. A garden is also a cost-efficient venture that will save you lots on your grocery bills throughout the growing months (think of those $5 packets of herbs you use once and then throw away!).

2) Gardening Is a Great Form of Exercise

Tending to a garden can be a great workout. Every aspect of working on a garden, from planting seeds to weeding, requires lots of movement and various forms of physical labor, like loading and pushing a wheelbarrow. Be sure to hydrate and wear adequate UV protection, such as sunblock and protective clothing, when working outdoors.

3) It Encourages Community Bonding

The social benefits of a garden are plentiful as well. Gardens can range from small backyard plots to huge community projects, and each one plays a role in serving the people that care for them. Tending to a vegetable garden can foster relationships with family and neighbors, as well as bring groups of people closer together to work towards a common goal. In addition, vegetable gardens produce food year after year, providing resources that everyone can enjoy.

4) Gardens Create Beautiful Landscapes

A vegetable garden can produce a bounty beyond just tomatoes and zucchinis. Get creative with your outdoor space! Placing flowers and other decorative plantings near the garden can add another design element while helping the soil produce healthy fruits and vegetables. Add some Insta-worthy plant labels to distinguish your sprouts, and arrange a small seating area so you can admire the fruits of your labor.

5) You’ll Cultivate New Skills

Gardens provide practical learning opportunities that go beyond planting and weeding. Grow herbs and spices to push your cooking skills to the next level, and choose other vegetables that will challenge your palate. The act of gardening can also teach the family, especially children, the importance of eating a well-balanced diet by bringing new foods and dishes to the table, straight from the backyard garden.

Blue Tree Can Help with All of Your Gardening Needs

At Blue Tree Landscaping, we enjoy helping others grow the vegetable garden of their dreams! Our landscape design services will help prepare, create and curate the garden of your dreams. Contact us today to get started!

Get Your Yard Ready – It’s Spring!

Yellow and red tulips

Spring is here! That means that it’s time to revamp your yard from its protective winter state to the lively green landscape it was before the cold hit. Here are some of our tips to making sure your yard is ready.

Treat Your Lawn

Grassy lawns require the most attention in the winter recovery process. Between fertilizing, aerating the soil, checking the pH, and reseeding, the process can be a lengthy one. In order to ensure your specific landscaping is receiving the correct care, consult an expert on the proper products and tools for your lawn, or for a recommendation if the sod needs replanting.

Pruning and Weeding

Winter weather can leave behind dead leaves, fallen branches, and various damage from heavy snowfall. Clearing away the leftover cold weather debris will give you a clean slate for new flowers and designs. Consider starting a compost pile to create a sustainable place for the remains, if one is not already present in your home; this will benefit the health of the yard, and the environment as a whole.

Plant New Flowers and Vines

Some flowers can last all year long, even through harsh winter weather. Prune the areas that need it, and if necessary, replant those flowers if damaged. For those that pulled their perennials before snowfall, plant some tulips, daisies, or your favorite springtime varietals around your landscape. This is an excellent opportunity to get creative, so don’t be afraid to choose vivid colors or bold petals for your garden or walkway.

Another option to establish in your yard is vines. Choose flowering vines for a burst of color, or leafy ones for an earthy appeal. Plant these early in the season, so they can grow up the side of your home or an aesthetic grate placed for support.

Bring Out The Furniture

If any of your outdoor furniture pieces or decorations were moved inside, it’s time to bring them out of hiding! If cushions or curtains are machine-washable, clean the material and apply a protective spray, to shield them from any remaining weather spurts going into summer. Furniture left outdoors during winter may have sustained some damage, so use an outdoor furniture cleaning spray to polish surfaces that need it.

Call Blue Tree

Let us help you get your yard spring ready! At Blue Tree Landscaping, we can assist with landscaping and lawn care needs for every type of home. Call or send us a message to get a head start today!

How to Treat Your Lawn After Snow Melts

The weather will be warming up soon, and this means that the green, lush landscape will be returning soon! Taking preventive measures to keep your lawn intact before winter is a smart move, but treating it after the snow melts is another step to take into consideration. Check out our tips for restoring your lawn to its healthy state post-snowfall!

Wait For Thawing

Do not start lawn care immediately after you see the first signs of snow melting. Taking an aggressive approach to removing damaged sections of your landscape could result in patches of lawn being torn away or flowers being uprooted, due to the root systems not having enough time to recover. Wait for every area of your lawn to thaw completely before starting the process.

It is important to wait on watering your lawn as well. Despite its powdery, sticky texture, the melted-down snow will linger in the roots, and over watering could damage the surface. Hold off until the lawn is close to being dry.

Weed, Remove, and Repair

There’s a good chance that natural debris accumulated during snowfall. Take a rake to the grass and the bases of plants and bushes, to clear away leaves and remnants of fallen branches. If necessary, pull patches of weeds that were missed before the first snowfall, to make room for any potential replanting.

Salt, animals, and other external forces can also do a number on your lawn, and holes can reveal themselves after the snow is cleared away. To patch them, mix new soil with compost or sand to fill up the holes, allowing for roots to catch on fresh ground and regenerate the lawn. Double-check what type of soil your lawn has to purchase the correct filling materials.

Check for Snow Mold

Snow mold occurs when a thick blanket of snow falls on susceptible grasses before it has the chance to freeze. It is characterized by gray or pink spots that linger after the snow has melted. Sweep the affected areas with a coarser broom or rake to loosen the affected areas, and if necessary, replace damaged spots with new sod.

Fertilize

Lastly, be sure to fortify your lawn for the spring and summer months by fertilizing after the snow has thawed. There are special brands of fertilizer that will aid the pH and chemical levels after a snowfall, so consult a specialist to determine what is right for your landscape. Your grass will thank you!

Contact Blue Tree

Need extra help bringing your lawn back to a healthy state? At Blue Tree Landscaping, we offer a variety of turf care services, from aeration to fertilizing and much more. Contact our team of experts to get a quote today!

Create An Inviting Pool Deck For Every Season

Time by the pool is not limited to July barbecues and lazy day lounging. With the right accessories and upkeep, your pool deck can boast year-round benefits! Here are some of our seasonal tips for maintaining an inviting pool deck all year long.

Turn Up The Heat

It’s easy to yearn for the summer heat, but there are ways to replicate the sun’s rays until it returns. Looking to entertain outdoors? Keep a basket with blankets close by for both warmth and comfort, and place heat lamps close to the seating areas to make them cozy throughout the colder months.

Speaking of heat, don’t be afraid to fire up the grill! If the weather permits, continue with the cookouts well past early fall. Be sure to check the propane tank or use dry charcoal, and to clear away any snow and debris before use. Taking a few extra precautions will pay off when you’ve created a delicious meal for friends and family to enjoy.

Swap Out Accessories

A light, breezy deck chair may not last through a harsh winter, just as a winter pool cover is not necessary for summer activities. Delegate space indoors to store outdoor items that will suffer outside their appropriate seasons. This will keep your furniture looking new and intact for years to come!

In addition, be sure to take advantage of a sturdy, walk able pool cover by setting up an attractive entertaining space. This can serve as an extension to the deck itself! Placing furniture on the surface is not advised, but a sound system or table with party essentials, such as snacks and drinks, will enhance the deck and the event in question.

Tend to Other Landscaping Needs

Staying up-to-date with the deck’s foliage guarantees a gorgeous space. Plant new perennials in the spring, and gear up for the cold by managing delicate areas with trimming and treating in time for winter. For added convenience, place ceramic pots around the deck and simply swap out their contents with seasonal flowers. The options are plentiful!

Decorate For The Seasons

Placing thoughtful decorations around the pool deck will create a festive vibe for every holiday. Spread a patterned tablecloth over an outdoor table, or cover the deck furniture with fabric shams that celebrate the season. For a simple, classic look, white light strings are a versatile staple long after the holidays are over, and create a beautiful ambiance for time spent outdoors.

Contact Blue Tree

Looking to expand your pool deck’s usage? Let our team of experts advise you on the season’s current demands for your pool deck. At Blue Tree Landscaping, we pride ourselves on our outdoor expertise for any terrain. Contact us today!

Landscaping Challenges Commercial Property Owners and Managers Face

Property owners and their managers are the keys to running a successful unit. However, there are several daily factors that need to be watched in order for the operations to run smoothly.  Here are some common issues that those in charge can face, and some solutions for when they pop up!

Drainage Problems

Due to the topography that commercial buildings are often set in, the sprinkler lines and water filtration systems are often not equipped to handle an influx of weather. Drains can clog and cause water to back up into the lots and dirt, flooding them and causing problems to the interior of the buildings. Sprinklers are also above ground, making them susceptible to damage from animals, cars, and other commercial vehicles. Running checks to make sure the sprinkler units are intact, as well as the drains and pipes running through the buildings, will guarantee that no individual unit is overlooked.

General Maintenance

With so much focus on a building’s overall health, it can be easy to let landscape upkeep fall by the wayside. Flowers and other accessory details to building fronts are a key component to maintaining an attractive appearance! Trees and plants will shed their leaves and clog drains, and having gardeners and landscapers visit during the transition months will help with this. Clearing the leaves and trimming trees and shrubs are just the start of the potential work, so consult an expert for the full scope of work.

Construction

Commercial buildings see tenants moving in and out constantly. As a result, contractors and other construction workers can cause damage to the landscaping, despite their best efforts to avoid it. Since there are limited entry points to some units, walking through the decor is an ever-present risk. Talk to the project manager ahead of time and come up with a solution or alternative, and see if some of the surrounding flowers and planters can be protected.

For any and all property issues, property owners and managers should encourage their tenants to speak up and alert them to any issues. This will ensure that all parties are satisfied and that the relationship remains solid on all sides. Plus, guests may spot a problem when it’s present and not know who to report it to, so staying vigilant is imperative.

Let Blue Tree Help

For assistance in maintaining and repairing commercial landscapes, contact us at Blue Tree Landscaping! We have over 30 years of experience working from start to finish on landscaping projects, both commercial and residential. Call or send an email to get started today!

Create The Perfect Snowman For Your Yard This Winter

Building a snowman is classic. It’s easy, fun, and allows for everyone involved to express their creativity with the season’s favorite activity. This year, craft a snowman that will complete your outdoor space!

Set The Foundation

Work to roll solid snowballs to allow the snowman to stay together. Don’t be afraid to add a touch of water to the snow if the powder is too fine to pack together; turning the hose on to a light mist will make the snow more malleable for shaping. When the balls are ready, flatten the top and bottom to create a stable foundation for them to sit on. Take care not to make the top one too large, and lift with your legs to get the layers on top. Snowballs can get heavy, and knocking them out of alignment can erase all the hard work spent rolling them into shape.

Smooth It Out

Nailing the classic snowman ratio is no easy feat, and sometimes the balls can come out lopsided or lumpy on one side. Taking a spray bottle filled with water to the uneven sections and smoothing them down with your hands is effective. Don’t forget to wear gloves while doing this task. If that proves to be too chilly, take a rag and smooth the snow down with that.

Bring It To Life

The tried-and-true snowman face has coal for eyes, but there are many options for crafting a snow face. Try using fruit or cookies to create a unique appearance. For other details, use real buttons for a cute and functional look that can be put to use for years to come. Above all, don’t forget the classic carrot nose, or use another vegetable of your choice for a unique touch!

Match The Snowman To The Decor

Cold-weather accouterments are the best part of accenting your frozen figure, and if your home is boasting a beautiful set of decorations, include your snowman in the fun! Wreaths, holly, or color-complimenting gloves and a scarf will match the color scheme of your exterior decorating. Place your favorite sports team’s apparel on, such as a baseball hat or a football jersey, to showcase your team spirit. Spring holidays approaching? Put a heart-shaped box of chocolates in its hands for Valentine’s Day, or let him sport a green ensemble for St. Patrick’s Day. The possibilities are endless.

Let Blue Tree Help

All this snow got you thinking of warmer days and landscaping ideas? Contact our dedicated team to get started on a plan today!