Category Archives: Summer Entertainment

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!

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!

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!

Add Some Entertainment Elements To Your Yard

It’s party time! The weather is perfect for entertaining, both indoors and outdoors. Here are a few entertainment essentials that are worth the investment:

Pool Toys

These are cheap, fun staples for any backyard. Grab a few inner tubes at your local dollar store, or upgrade to giant inflatable animals to hold more than one person. There are several options for practicality and entertainment with pool toys; if your child is learning to swim this summer, pool noodles and arm inflatables will help them learn to stay afloat. Better yet, floating basketball hoops and coolers will cater to older members of the festivities. Visit a pool supply store or shop around online to stock up.

Outdoor Television

Relax with the setting sun and watch your post-work movie outside! Televisions often offer protective coverings for weather-resistant enjoyment. They can be free-standing, mounted to a wall, or wired to an overhang or gazebo post for ultimate convenience. Add in surround sound and create a full system for an authentic theater experience.

For a makeshift experience, try this: get a projector and a white sheet. Hang the sheet on a retaining wall or fence, pop a movie into the projector, and set up chairs to face it. If a pool is present, float on inner tubes for a new take on ‘theater seats.’ Include snacks and popcorn for instant outdoor entertainment for everyone to enjoy!

Volleyball Net

One fun way to get a sweat going and enjoy the spirit of competition is incorporating sports into outdoor activities. If the yard has reasonable space for a makeshift court, invest in a net with easy setup and take down. It can be used for volleyball and badminton, among other sports, and it provides fun for sports lovers of all ages. If it has the adjustment capabilities, stretch it across a pool and play water ball!

Contact Blue Tree

Make sure the rest of your yard is up to snuff with Blue Tree Landscaping! We specialize in optimizing home space for every homeowner’s needs, from tiny back lots to expansive backyard spaces with room to play. Get advice on the best adornments for summer fun, in addition to year-round services that will keep your backyard in pristine shape for any entertainment. Contact our team to get a quote today!

Upgrade Your Pool for Summer Entertaining

The summer solstice, which marks both the first day of summer and the longest day of the year, is coming up on June 21st. Around this time, schools are out, people are taking vacations, and many folks are hoping to enjoy a nice dip in the pool! If your pool’s amenities are outdated or need fixing up, there are a few ways to do this in time for more festivities.

Clean the Grout

If the pool’s surrounding surface has tiles, the dirt buildup in the cracks can be unsightly. Scraping it out works, but this can be a huge hassle. A power washer will get rid of dirt and buildup, without having to replace any cement or artificial stone that surrounds your pool area. The power washer can be used for the rest of your surfaces as well, such as wood patios, resilient fences, and walls that need cleaning.

Inspect the Pool

Most pools have plaster or Pebble Tec surfaces coating the interior. With winter weather and the wear-and-tear of extended use over the years, these surfaces might be starting to show deterioration. You many want to refinish any surfaces that are chipped or stained before they are put to use. Often, a harsher surface begins to peek out from under the smooth plaster, and fixing this is a safety and liability issue that you should try to take care of early.

Perform Some Touch-Ups

After a harsh winter, the landscaping around your pool might need replenishing. Plant fresh flowers and vegetation to give a lively vibe to any space, and paint over any faded decorations or surfaces that could use a new coat. Check out couch and chair cushions as well: sunlight can cause fading of colors and patterns, and it might be time to replace anything that looks lighter or loses its texture.

Decorate

One of the easiest and most attainable means for improvement, decorating your pool area is a personal and fun process. It can be as simple as changing out plants or color schemes, or can encompass projects that are larger in scale. Consider swapping out decorative tile work, large furniture, and lounge pieces to stay current with styles and give your whole backyard the makeover it deserves.

Contact Blue Tree

Let the experts join you in your renovations! Blue Tree Landscaping is proud to offer hardscaping and decorative services for backyards of any size. Call today for a quote or advice on getting started. Summer won’t last forever, but with a few tweaks, any backyard can be revamped for months and years to come.