leveling a sloped yard

Leveling a Sloped Yard

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While every property is different, and every client has a unique taste, we see many similar tasks on most of our jobs. More often than not, a new project we take on requires the same initial steps. The best way for clients to get the most out of their property, is by leveling a sloped yard. Slopes and hills on a property make the space unusable. By creating a level lawn, or creating spaces with a sloped yard, the area to work on or enjoy is maximized.

Depending on the site size and difficulty, the cost and time required will vary. Many clients want to know how much does it cost to level a sloped yard? It is a tricky question to answer. Prices vary from anywhere starting at a couple hundred dollars for minor jobs to the upper thousands for larger scale projects. However, working with a landscape architect can help. Initial consultations and plans will determine the cost and time involved to achieve your desired end result.

Creative Ideas for Yard Leveling

There are ways to be creative too, when working with a slope. Adding in retaining walls, stairs or stone steps throughout the area can make the slope work to your advantage. Often times, clients will choose to work with the natural landscape, and create tiers to the property. Such as creating an upper level to the lawn, and perhaps a lower patio area on the bottom. We have designed stone stairways leading up a slope, or carved into the side of a mountain property to create a pool boulder wall. Working with a talented firm can provide you with new ideas and concepts to get the most out of the yard.

How Leveling a Planting Bed is Used in Design

Often times we find leveling a sloped yard creates a great medium for planting beds. By adding retaining walls with stone, you are able to create barriers and rooms within the property. Adding planting material creates a beautiful backdrop, while adding screening and privacy throughout the area. It is another way to use the slope to your advantage, and carve out spaces.

As part of a lawn leveling service, the design aspect is just as crucial. It is important to keep in mind what you would like to achieve with the space. Working with a designer will help make sure you are maximizing the benefits of your existing property. Whether the overall goal is to completely flatten the yard for backyard play, or to work with the slope to create tiers or sections of the property, consulting with a professional is advantageous.

If you are interested in leveling a sloped yard or would like to know more about yard grading services, feel free to contact us now. The fall is the best time of year to start planning ahead. This will help to prepare your yard for spring time enjoyment. Get ahead of the curve with permits and plans now. We will work with you to make sure you are getting maximum potential out of your property.

landscaping for privacy

Landscaping for Privacy and Noise Reduction

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A main concern for many homeowners when it comes to their property, is seclusion. Whether your home is close by a neighbor, or your house is situated on a busy road, landscaping for privacy is often the main priority. We meet with many clients every year that are looking for ways to use landscaping to block road noise, or landscaping ideas to block out neighbors.

When it comes to creating an outdoor space, there are a lot of factors that go into the overall design. Looking at the property as a whole, and the purpose of the project, determines what it will entail. With swimming pools, patios, and outdoor dining areas, most homeowners want these outdoor rooms to feel enclosed. Rather than being on display from the street, or from a bordering property, landscaping is used to create walls. We always tell our clients that landscaping is what ties together all the hardscape and outdoor living space into one. It is the final touch of color and texture to blend the home from it’s indoor to it’s outdoor space.

Best Plants for Noise Reduction and Landscaping for Privacy

  • Arborvitae
  • Willow Trees
  • Cypress
  • Hollies
  • Boxwood
  • Juniper
  • Flowering Trees – dogwood, magnolia, plum, cherry

There are eco-friendly benefits to using landscaping for privacy as well. Rather than choosing to add a large expensive or high fence to your property, trees bring in a natural and beneficial border. Many homeowners find high fences to be an eyesore. It will require permits from the town and change the view of your property. With landscape screen walls, you are able to add a natural and beautiful border to your property that will only enhance it’s curb appeal. It is a softer approach to adding walls to your backyard. Many of these trees used in screening will add a green color to your property, often lasting year round even through the winter months. From foliage to snow fall, to flowering spring and summertime, a greenery wall is a perfect backdrop to a backyard space.

Large plant materials and trees will work to block road noise and act as a buffer to surrounding sounds. It also provides an enclosed and comforting border to the backyard. With proper care and maintenance, landscaping will only continue to grow and thrive over time, growing with the property and providing more and more privacy and noise reduction over time.

It is important to work with landscape professionals when choosing the best landscaping for privacy and noise reduction. If you are unsure which plants are best for your climate or location, they will be able to assist you in choosing what will work best. This is an investment and you should have a professional to help make sure your money is being best spent. Planting large trees on your property requires proper irrigation, as well as choosing the right specimens for sun or shade location. If you are interested in adding landscaping for privacy to your property, or are interested in learning more about options with landscaping to block road noise, feel free to contact us today. We look forward to helping you create a peaceful and private space.

spring home maintenance

Spring Home Maintenance

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Spring has sprung! Now that we are in the end of the month of April, it is easy to see signs of spring all around us. The soil is warming up, buds have bloomed, daylight is lasting longer and allergy season has arrived! Spring always brings about the time for projects and plans. Homeowners are looking to clean and reorganize, to tackle projects that were left dormant all winter. It’s that time of year for spring home maintenance projects. For both inside and outside of your home.

This is the time of year to clean your gardens. Be sure to get rid of all the debris from winter. The damage from the cold weather and storms can wreck havoc on your property. Take the time to remove all dead branches, leaves and material from your yard. It is time to start fertilizing your lawn, in order to allow grass to come back green, without patches. Cleaning the planting beds, adding mulch will help with new flower growth. Being sure there is adequate irrigation to the soil. Especially in the coming weeks where the sun becomes stronger. Water is vital at this time of year.

Spring home maintenance requires due diligence. It takes time and patience to properly care for gardens. The time and effort that is put in and spent on the property will show in the weeks to come.

Spring Home Maintenance Projects: To Do List for Your Property

  • Planting beds for the season
  • Cultivation and weeding of planting beds.
  • Specific fertilizers are put down for different plants.
  • Selective pruning of plant material.
  • Redefine edges of planting beds.
  • Cleaning up lawns of leaves, sticks debris from the winter months.
  • Planting spring flowers once temperatures remain consistent..
  • Installing mulch in planting beds.

There are many different types of spring home maintenance projects. This is the time of year we see homeowners power-washing both their homes and cleaning their cars. Properties come back to life, color is brought back into the landscape. We see families spending more time outside, walking around the neighborhood and playing in their yards. It is a busy time in our industry, where all our clients want to improve their properties and get the most out of this season. Cleaning the property and gardens is the best place to start. Whether you do this with your own green thumb, or hire professionals, spring is the time to clean and enhance your surroundings.

Now is also a great time to let us know about any additions you would like to make to your gardens. A garden is never complete – there are always ways to enhance and beautify your grounds. Let us know if you have any interest in adding perennials or ornamentals, or any additional spring home improvement projects for this season. Once the gardens and planting beds are cleaned, you will see the areas that can be added to for filling in space. Spring is a good time to be planting and planning in your gardens and throughout your entire property. Contact us today, we are ready to help.

holiday landscaping

Holiday Landscaping and Winter Property Projects

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While winter is a time of year where things all around you seem to slow down, there are ways you can take advantage of this downtime. There is maintenance that can be done to your yard now in order to help you fully appreciate your landscape and allow it to reach its full potential come springtime. Holiday landscaping is added as an addition to your property, to enhance the landscape during these cooler months. While the options are more limited this time of year, there is still ways to dress up your yard and get it ready for spring during this downtime.

Winter is the season that reveals to you the true form of the landscape of your yard. Now that all the leaves are down you are able to see the real structure of your surroundings, as well as the hidden debris/trouble of dead trees, downed branches, garbage and wreckage normally hidden in the growing season. Winter also reveals the actual form of the plants on your property, allowing your landscape professionals to add holiday landscaping and correct any crossing or overlapping branches that are visible and to create a plan to take effect by spring.

Winter Landscaping To Do List

This month is also the ideal time to start planning or correcting your existing evergreen screening.  This is the optimal time to prune back your evergreens as well as any shrubs that do not bloom in the spring, correct their form and make plans to plant any additional new ones. We are able to view obstructions that are only visible during these winter months. There is no better time for select winter pruning and yard cleaning than now.

By planning and scheduling this work now, you will be making changes to your landscape now and planning for a full cleanup, you will be able to enjoy the yard once spring arrives.  Specimens will be in bloom, color will start showing up across your yard and you will be able to take in the early warm weather with a lush, rich and healthy landscape.

Winter can potentially be a damaging time for your property. With extreme low temperatures and the amount of snow currently on the ground, we are seeing an abundance of pressure and stress to the shrubs and trees of our properties. With more snow predicted in the forecast for next week, it is imperative to relieve the buildup of snow to ensure that your specimens won’t break.

General cleaning of gardens and grounds, to make way for holiday landscaping, selective winter pruning of, shrubs, evergreens and ornamentals as species dictate and tolerate.  Snow and ice damage monitoring to relieve weight and stress of snow and ice covered plantings. The winter season allows us to offer you our reduced winter season rates and the ability to schedule the work before the craze of the spring time season.

Holiday Landscaping Ideas

Bringing in a seasonal motif onto the property is a way to bring interest and enhance curb appeal. Outdoor holiday decorating to your home is challenging this time of year. Using color and various materials is as a way to cheer up the dreary winter landscape. Whether you are looking to replace planters, add wreaths, add holiday lighting to trees and your home, or clean out garden beds, there are ways to still improve your home in the winter months.

In winter displays, for planters or container gardens, we typically use various evergreens, red and white twig dogwoods, a nice medley of pine-cones, as a way cheer up an otherwise depressing looking landscape. In addition to holiday landscape lighting, this provides a more welcoming off season outdoor entertaining space. With the addition outdoor heaters and holiday landscaping, you can transform your outdoor space to be usable in the winter.

If you are interested in creating a new outdoor living space, or are interested in some of our holiday landscaping, winter seasonal services, please feel free to contact us today. We are here year round and ready to help bring your property to its full potential.


Fall Planters and Fall Landscaping Projects

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While mother nature puts on quite a show in autumn, there are plenty of fall landscaping projects to enhance your home. This time of year we are enjoying the colors changing in the foliage. As summer is winding down, and temperatures begin to cool off, we know Fall is in the air. Back to school routines, busy schedules and changes to the landscapes are all around us. As the air temperatures change, the sunlight retreats earlier, and the soil temperatures drop, we see changes all around us. As for our landscapes, out with the summer blooms and in with the fall materials. Planting beds and container gardens are refreshed with fall planter material, changing the bright summer colors to new autumn color scheme.

Fall Planters to Enhance Your Property 

Looking for ways to bring the best fall flowers to your property? Urns, planters, and fountains are fun and easy additions to add to your yard to match your home and garden. With a wide variety of styles and vendors available, the best fall planters are easy to find to fit your preference and budget. Seasonal planters enhance the natural landscape all year long.

For this season, the fall flowers for pots and the fall plants for pots that are most popular to use would be mums, kale and cabbages to fall pansies, perennials and ornamental grasses. These materials thrive in the cooler fall temperatures and become perfect additions to enhance your natural fall landscapes. Combined with fall displays using pumpkins, gourds, hay and other seasonal ornaments, apple baskets, crates and Indian corn, they are a festive and impressive way to dress up your front lawn this season.

Fall Landscaping Projects, Ideas & Tips to Stay Ahead

As landscape professionals, we always give the same advice this time of year. Often, people will wait too long and miss out on this window of opportunity to have their bulbs planted. Don’t be the ones kicking yourself in the spring, but rather, the envy of your friends and neighbors.

Remember as a fall motto, fall is for planting. Bulbs must be planted in the fall season, before the ground begins to freeze. Daffodils, crocus, hyacinths, and tulips will all bloom in the springtime; giving you that early color display we always long for once winter passes. Every year, once winter passes we all look forward to seeing those first bursts of color in your yard. Everything comes back to life in the springtime when the new bulbs appear. While it may seem early right now to be thinking about next spring, now is the important time to plan ahead. To make sure your home is bursting with colors and springing into action after a long winter, start planting now.

We are always creating and cultivating fun and innovative fall landscaping ideas and fall planter ideas with our clients. Adding colors and textures, and enhancing your curb appeal is our specialty. If you are interested in enhancing your property, fall landscaping projects or looking for some seasonal maintenance services, call us today for a free consultation. We look forward to bringing your entire property to life.

outdoor fireplace designs

Outdoor Fireplace Designs for Fall Season

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As we enter early fall, homeowners are changing the time they spend outdoors. Instead of summer days at the pool, it is cooler evening spent by a fire. This is the season of outdoor fireplace designs. It is the perfect transition piece for an outdoor living space. It provides warmth as the evening continue to get cooler. It gives a focal point in the backyard. And it works as the centerpiece that gathers friends and family together.

And outdoor patio fireplace provides a great seating area. It creates a living room to be enjoyed in the outdoors. With larger built in fireplaces, the option to mount an outdoor TV on top is a popular one. Bringing football season outside, in front of the fire, is the ultimate outdoor entertainment space.

Outdoor Fireplace Designs: Factors to Consider in Planning

When it comes to choosing the outdoor fireplace designs best for you, there are few important factors to consider.

  • Budget: Monetarily, consider your budget. If the budget allows for a custom built fireplace, this is a great place to start. When working with a smaller budget, fire pits are another route to take.
  • Material : Depending on the style you wish to achieve, there are many material to choose from. From brick, to stone, to marble, outdoor fireplace designs are able to be customized to best suit your style preference.
  • Fire Source: Determine what would work best for your design, whether a gas line is needed, or it will be a wood burning fireplace.
  • Design: Matching the aesthetic of your home is what most designers will recommend. Adding a large fireplace on the property should be positioned so that is fits naturally into its surrounding landscape and patio. Rather than appear obtrusive or out of place.
  • DIY: Some homeowners are more inclined to create their own fire pit, using stones, rock, and collecting wood to make their own cool fire pits or fire ring ideas.

Fall Season – From Fire Pits to Fall To Do Lists for Your Yard

Fall is the perfect season for enjoying time outside, in the last few weeks of cool refreshing temperatures. Throughout the New Jersey area, the trend of outdoor living is becoming more and more prominent. Outdoor fireplace designs and fire pits, barbeques and bar areas are ideal to be enjoyed during this season. With the addition of outdoor televisions, football season can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own yard. While the season changing is always a beautiful time to admire, there is also a lot of work to be done to prepare for the cold weather to come.

Fall is a great time to clean up your yard and map out your plans. Now is a good time to start cleaning out and cutting back old perennials, cutting back plant material to help beautify your gardens and planning ahead for the spring season. A common mistake homeowners make is waiting for the beautiful weather to make changes to their gardens.  Use your fall and winter months wisely. Spend this time of year planning and using the downtime to plan ahead. Mapping out your yard now will allow you to enjoy your yard to its fullest in the warmer months to come.

If you are interested in a new fall project, outdoor fireplace designs, or are looking to begin 2019 construction, feel free to contact us for a free consultation. We look forward to bringing your backyard space to life.