Enjoyable Outdoor Living

With winter on its way out, now is a great time to tune up your outdoor spaces for back yard gatherings as well as peaceful relaxation. Enjoyable outdoor living spaces are made up of several elements that work together to provide functional comfort. Here are some potential elements to consider and as you think about establishing or expanding your outdoor spaces.

Deck/Patio Area

The first step to vibrant outdoor living is having the space to accommodate your family and guests. In addition to sitting areas, you may also need space for dining and cooking. Thinking through all the possible uses for your patio or deck can help you begin to imagine how it could be improved or possibly expanded.

Landscape Lighting

Professional landscape lighting offers both visual and practical benefits. Landscape lighting creates stunning night time effects that transform your home and landscape with unique ambiance. Properly placed lighting also ensures safety by keeping doorways, living areas, and walkways illuminated at all hours.

Landscape Lighting

Water Features

The gentle sound of running water can add peaceful ambiance to any outdoor space. A wide range of water features exist that can suit your property and your preference. Pondless waterfalls, wall fountains and natural rock pools of varying shapes and sizes can be used to as either accents or centerpieces to your outdoor living area.

stone waterfall closeup

Outdoor Kitchens

If you love cooking already, you will love it even more outside. Outdoor kitchens range from modest grilling areas to expansive cooking spaces with a full array of counter tops and appliances. Let the experts at Hively come up with an outdoor kitchen that fits your space and your budget.

Outdoor Fire Elements

Outdoor fireplaces and smaller fire pits are the perfect features for socializing after the sun goes down. From extensive wood-burning hearths to compact gas-fueled fire bowls, fire elements offer inviting light and warmth that are sure to draw a crowd.

hardscaped patio, stone wall, and fire pit seating area

With warm weather on the way, let Hively upgrade and expand your outdoor living spaces this season!

Important Coronavirus Information

 

Valued Customers:

There has been much in the news about the coronavirus (COVID-19). Though the current
CDC risk assessment is that “for most people, the immediate risk of being exposed to the
virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to be low,” we take the health and safety of our
team members and clients seriously.

BELOW ARE SOME OF THE ACTIONS WE ARE IMPLEMENTING:

  • Continuous monitoring of Federal, State, and Local advisories and
    precautionary measures, regularly updating our staff and responding
    appropriately.
  • Allowing flexibility in our paid time off policies to ensure that any team member who misses work due to illness or to care for sick a family member does not suffer loss of income or other benefits.
  • Actively encouraging sick team member to stay home and notify their supervisors if they have had close contact with someone who has contracted COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 is a recordable illness. OSHA record-keeping requirements 29 CFR Part 1904 mandate that covered employers record certain work-related injuries and illnesses on their OSHA 300 log. While 29 CFR 1904.5(b)(2)(viii) exempts recording of the common cold and flu, COVID-19 is a recordable illness when a worker is infected on the job.
  • Regular disinfecting of shared Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Some of our work requires the use of PPE. Ensuring that this equipment is properly disinfected.
  • Increased frequency of cleaning and sanitation of common meeting areas at our office and shop facilities.
  • Increased cleaning and sanitation of truck and equipment operator stations.

As we monitor this evolving situation, we will continue to make decisions with the health and well-being of our team members and clients as our priority.

Timely Trimming

Trees and shrubs are a property’s most prominent features. Unfortunately, they sometimes need to be removed simply because they’ve been allowed to outgrow their designated space. Regular pruning eliminates the need for premature removal and allows you to enjoy trees and shrubs for many years to come.

One of the best times to prune trees and shrubs is the winter. When trees and shrubs aren’t actively growing, they respond well to pruning. When plants are dormant, their energy can be entirely focused toward healing wounds from pruning. The absence of leaves allows for a clutter-free work area where limbs and branches can be removed selectively. This makes for a quicker, more efficient job.

Proper pruning adds to shrub and tree longevity by addressing damage from severe weather. Decaying and diseased wood can be strategically removed so that sickness is unable to spread. Smart pruning helps control a plant’s size by removing branches that overlap and rub against each other. Excessive growth blocking driveways, walkways and windows can also be cut back.

Gorgeous, prominent trees and shrubs are your landscape’s biggest assets. Winter is an ideal time for professional pruning that will make your trees and shrubs look great in the coming spring and healthy for many years to come.

closeup of a mulch bed with a tree, roses, and other shrubs

What’s Wrecking Your Landscape?

Could it be your landscape contractor?  After all, this is not an easy job or you would do it yourself, right?  Besides the shear physical labor involved (pun fully intended), it takes a huge amount of knowledge to properly maintain a mature landscape.

Literally Thousands of Plants

There are thousands of ornamental perennials, shrubs and trees, each with multiple cultivars and varieties that have specific environmental needs and are susceptible to unique pests and pathogens.   Each of these unique plants needs to be cared for in unique ways to promote healthy, vibrant and lasting growth. Continue reading

a large mulch bed at the corner of a home. a couple smaller stones, trees and various shrubs are scattered throughout.

Just Mulch It (but do it correctly!)

Mulch is Easy

Just as sure as daffodils and cherry blossoms, fresh mulch popping up on landscapes throughout your neighborhood are a certain sign that Spring is here!  Mulch is a simple and cost effective way to give any landscape a fresh appearance and it really is beneficial, too.  Check out this link for more info on these benefits https://www.hivelylandscapes.com/2015/05/choosing-the-right-mulch/Continue reading

Avoid Frost Heave Damage

When Old Man Winter comes around, he brings plenty of challenges for your landscape along with him.  Frost heave is an often overlooked but important one to be aware of because it is so easy to avoid.

flagstone walkway leading around a house WHAT IS FROST HEAVE? 

When temperatures are cold enough to cause the ground to freeze, any water trapped in the soil freezes into “ice lenses” that push surrounding soil up as they expand.  In south central PA and northern MD, the average winter frost depth is 18” but can be as deep as 28”.  This means that depending on the extent of cold weather, any poorly drained soil in this 28” depth has the potential to freeze and cause heaving. Continue reading

hardscaped patio with firepit and retaining wall

Think Spring! Deck vs. Patio Installation

Winter weather is definitely here, and it’s got the folks at Hively daydreaming about spring! One of the best things about spring is enjoying time outside on your patio or deck. But what if you don’t have a patio or deck? Now may be the time to start considering it!

The difference between a deck and a patio is fairly obvious: one is raised above ground level, and the other is flush to the ground. However, the questions raised become what are the differences between their installation, and which one is best for your home and landscape? Today, we want to put together a list of installation differences between decks and patios, as well as possible benefits and drawbacks of each. Continue reading

tractor plowing snow on a walkway

Commercial Snow Removal Budgeting: Avoid Getting Buried This Winter!

As winter looms closer, snow removal becomes a more immediate concern – specifically, snow removal for your commercial property! Commercial snow removal can be a big expense, especially if it’s a long, cold winter.

However, safety is a top priority for you as a business owner; here are some great ways to maximize your snow removal budget and keep your property clear and safe all winter long. Continue reading

Spotted Lanternfly Pest Alert

Pest Alert: Spotted Lanternfly

Pennsylvania and parts of Maryland are under a pest alert for the spotted lanternfly (lycorma delicatula).  Native to China, Bangledesh, Vietnam and introduced to Japan and Korea where is has become a major pest of grapes.  The invasive spotted lanternfly has the potential to greatly impact the grape, hops and logging industries in PA and beyond.  Several counties in eastern PA, including Berks, Delaware and Lancaster counties, are under quarantine.  The spotted lanternfly is moving steadily westward across the southern tier of the state.

If you live outside the current quarantine area in PA and find a spotted lanterfly in any life stage, report it!

click here to report a sighting digitallyContinue reading

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Everyone at Hively would like to wish you a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday and while our staff will be home with family, there are plenty of things you can do to prepare your landscape for a safe winter and successful spring.

Prepare for Hibernation

Even if you continue to enjoy your outdoor living spaces and fire features as the weather gets colder, now is a great time to begin covering your outdoor furniture, or if you have the space, move it into a covered storage area. Continue reading