Category: Uncategorized

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.


  • Continuous monitoring of Federal, State, and Local advisories and
    precautionary measures, regularly updating our staff and responding
  • 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.

two kids laying in leaves with a dog

Prepare Your Landscape For Winter with Fall Lawn Care

Cooler weather will be here before we know it!  And while it’s tempting to assume that the change of seasons means you can take fall lawn care off your to-do list, this isn’t the case. Continuing upkeep and maintenance on your landscape is essential during the cooler months, especially if you want to have a healthy, lush lawn by the time spring rolls around.  Here are some simple steps to winterize your landscape.


Soil Testing

Soil testing your yard is one of the easiest ways to determine the overall health of your landscape. Measuring the pH and nutrient levels of your property allows us to prescribe the best fall and spring lawn care plan for your soil’s specific needs.


Mowing and Maintenance

Cool weather grasses will continue to grow in Central PA in the fall. It’s important to continue to cut your lawn until the first frost of the season. You may even want to cut the grass slightly shorter than usual. This makes it easier to aerate and fertilize.


Aeration and Fertilization

This is the best time to aerate and fertilize your lawn. Fertilizing the grass now will ensure it has the nutrients it needs to thrive in the spring, while aeration will allow the roots easier access to those nutrients. The aeration and fertilization one-two punch is one of the best ways to prepare your lawn for the winter ahead and the spring to follow.


Removing Dead and Dying Plants

Pruning and removing dead trees does more than improve your landscape’s appearance. It also prevents possible property damage from falling limbs and branches. As an added bonus, removing smaller dead plants from gardens and composting the remains is a natural way to give your garden beds a boost for the spring.


Remove Leaves and Debris

Ailing limbs and branches aren’t the only dead things that need to go when prepping your lawn for winter. Removing leaves, which prevents bald spots on your lawn and reduces cleanup after a snowfall, is essential for a healthy lawn in the spring.


As temps cool in mid to late Fall covering temperature-sensitive plants with mulch will help insulate your garden from the dropping temperatures of the season. It will also help reduce weeds come springtime.



It may seem strange to worry about killing weeds in the fall, but using a well timed pre-emergent herbicide now will leave grass with more room to grow and minimize early germinating weeds in mulch and planting beds


Ready to prep your lawn for winter? The experts at Hively offer fall lawn care services so you can have a beautiful landscape by spring. Contact us today.

fenced in and landscaped backyard. includes flowers, flower pots, stone steps, paver patio, and outdoor furniture

Container Gardening Tips

Container gardening isn’t just for the urban landscape, or those of us with attention deficit issues.  Containers and planters are a great way to add POP to your landscape and create visual focal points that might be hard to achieve with traditional landscape techniques.  Planters can also be used to rotate seasonal flowers and decorations, even in the cold winter months.

Don’t be fooled, however, while container gardening can be easier than traditional landscaping, it does not guarantee success. Follow our tips for the best results.

Choosing the Right Planters

When it comes to selecting containers, the sheer volume of available styles and sizes can be overwhelming. However, there are some basic qualities you should look for in every container or planter you choose.

Look for containers that allow ample drainage and are made from non-porous materials. This will help you with keeping your plants watered, but not flooded.

The best containers will be flat-sided or wider at the top. If you are planning on planting annuals, you will want a container that is at least 8 inches deep. Grasses and shrubs will need more room, between 16 and 24 inches deep. If you are looking to add a variety of plants within one container, be sure that it is at least 12 inches wide.

Prepping Your Container

Before filling your planters with soil, be sure to add some stones to the bottom, particularly over the drainage holes. This will help maintain moisture.

We recommend bagged potting soil for flowering annuals. This will help prevent disease, while keeping your planter lightweight. Be sure to select a potting soil that contains a slow-release fertilizer to help your plants to stay healthy longer.

Choosing Your Plants

When selecting plant material, be sure to choose plants that are still fairly small. Smaller plants are easier to install and larger, more mature plants may be root bound in the original container, which will cause them to lose moisture more quickly.  Properly planted and fertilized material will quickly fill in and make your container(s) look great!

Use bold colors, or variations of the same color, to design eye-catching displays. Do not be afraid to mix textures. The best arrangements use a variety of heights within the same planter. For example, choose tall plants like sedge grasses for the center or back of the planter, add medium height plants like begonias to the middle, and hanging or trailing plants such ipomoea around the outer edges of the planter. This will add visual interest to your container garden.

If you plan on adding a variety of plants to one container, choose plants that will grow harmoniously together, meaning that they match as far as watering and sunlight needs.

Maintaining Your Container Garden

If you plan on switching out plants based on season, consider using smaller pots within larger containers. This will make removing and replacing plants easier- when the season changes simply lift out the old and drop in the new!

Be sure to water your potted plants often and to place them where they will receive appropriate sunlight.

For flowering plants, be sure to trim off any dead blossoms to make room for new flowers.

Need Inspiration?

If you are looking for a professional design for your porch, patio or landscape with a container garden, talk to Hively. Our specialists will select the right plants, planters and accessories for your home, and we can maintain your plants, ensuring that they stay beautiful all season long.