Category: Hardscape

Water in the Landscape

Water is what makes life on Earth possible. In our landscapes, water not only keeps our plants green and growing, but it also provides us with sound and motion in the form of landscape water features.

Make a Splash This Year

Whether they’re used as focal points or simple accents, water features are a great way to add interest, beauty and tranquility to your landscape. Ornamental pools can embellish your garden with a wide variety of fish, foliage and flowers, while the sounds of moving water from a fountain or waterfall can help create a more relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.

Your water feature can be simple or complex, depending on your needs and interests. From a simple reflecting pool to multi-tiered waterfalls, the choices are vast. Homeowners are sometimes concerned about the maintenance required for a water feature, and they’re surprised to find out how easy water features are to manage, especially compared to the ambience they provide.

If you’re interested in integrating a water feature into your landscape, our designers are ready to help make your ideas a reality.

Watering Wisely With Automatic Irrigation

If you don’t have an automatic irrigation system on your property, now is a great time to have one installed. Water conservation is more important than ever, and these systems can save a lot when compared to traditional hoses and sprinklers.

Automatic irrigation systems are able to calculate how much, when and where watering is needed, so you can be sure that your lawn, trees and shrubs will always get the right amounts of water at the right times. Plus, extra features like rain shut-off devices, moisture sensors and automatic controllers help to avoid watering waste.

If your property could benefit from automatic irrigation, or if you are concerned that your existing irrigation system isn’t operating efficiently, please contact us today.

 

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

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

backyard pool and hardscaped area

Top 5 Things to Ask Your Landscaping Company

Great landscaping companies do far more than just routine maintenance. While there are countless projects you can hire a landscaping company for, there’s not an unlimited number of companies capable of doing a great job.

How well you research and qualify these companies can mean the difference between a great looking landscape and one that can actually end up costing you MORE money. Picking the wrong landscaping partner may just mean a bad trim job, but in the worst case, you can be stuck with expensive legal bills should an accident occur.

Fortunately, you can screen out the bad apples with a bit of effort. We’ve taken some time to put together a simple, straightforward list of questions you should ask.

  1. Are you licensed and insured?

Continue reading

well landscaped stone home exterior front

Up Your Curb Appeal with Professional Landscaping Services

It’s no secret that curb appeal landscaping can increase the value of your home and the likelihood that it will sell successfully. However, moving is already a stressful time for any homeowner and you may not have the time to sort through curb appeal ideas, let alone implement any of them.

Fortunately, hiring an experienced landscaping company can be an easy and affordable way to quickly increase your curb appeal and your home’s value. These are the services we recommend to homeowners looking to put their house on the market.

Get Your Lawn to Make Some Green

A healthy lawn is one of the most attractive features a home buyer wants to see – and the first that they see. A healthy lawn signals to the buyer that the house has been well maintained during your ownership.

Proper aeration and overseeding can assist in ensuring a lush, green lawn that buyers will adore.

Color a Buyer’s Perspective

Green isn’t the only color that can add value to your home. Curb appeal landscaping that includes colorful flowers, shrubs and trees will add some wow-factor to your yard. Buyers will perceive your home to be more welcoming if there are lively, colorful plants surrounding it.

To make your gardens and flower boxes stand out, request that your landscaper use darkly colored mulch. A darker shade of mulch will add to the perception that the soil is healthy, while also adding a great visual contrast to all of those colorful plants.

Providing a Clean Slate

Hardscaping is an important factor in curb appeal. Begin with a thorough pressure washing of your decks, patios and walkways. Once clean, inspect your hardscaping for any cracks or deterioration. Repair, replace and repaint as necessary. Having your hardscaping looking new and pristine will drive value into your home.

Light It Up

While most buyers will only see your curb appeal landscaping during daylight hours, installing outdoor lighting is a smart, inexpensive way to highlight your home. Landscape lighting helps reassure buyers that your home is located in a safe, desirable neighborhood.

Does your curb appeal need an upgrade? Contact Hively Landscapes about any of these services. Our experts can help you enhance your curb appeal so that your home is ready to sell.

Rock Salt Alternatives: You Won’t Believe What is Destroying Your Walkway

snow shovel in snowWe’ve been blessed (or cursed, depending on your point of view) with snow-filled winters in Pennsylvania in recent years. While fun for some, those winters wreak havoc on our roads and landscapes. If you have concrete or natural stone walkways at your home, you may even have noticed their condition deteriorating.

Here is a key question: How do you fight off the hazardous ice that forms on the steps and sidewalks around your home? If your answer is with rock salt or other deicers containing ammonium nitrate or ammonium sulfate, then you’re contributing to their deterioration!

Fortunately, there are alternatives that can save your sidewalks, steps, and landscape. If you want to be properly motivated first, check out the ways in which rock salt is detrimental to your property: Continue reading