Did you know there are 10.4 million privately owned pools in the USA alone?
Are you one of the lucky ones that has one?
Many who have their own backyard swimming pool install it, use it a few times over the summer, and then forget about it. But with a little bit of imagination, you can turn your backyard pool area into a tropical-looking paradise for you to enjoy all year round.
Keep reading for five swimming pool landscaping tips that’ll turn your pool area into a lush oasis.
1. Pick Your Swimming Pool Landscaping Theme
Get your creative juices flowing and design your own tropical poolside haven!
You don’t have to be an artist. Just get a blank sheet of paper and a pencil, draw the perimeter of your garden, and the outline of your pool, then start outlining a rough idea of what you want it to look like. If you’re stuck, you can get loads of inspiration from websites like Pinterest.
When designing, remember to keep things as natural as possible. Stone borders and wooden decking are great accents that can also serve a functional purpose.
Try to keep most of the plants located near the pool in pots. Other bedded plants need to be planted further away to reduce mini mudslides! Also, don’t overdo it and over-clutter your space. Less is always more when it comes to accenting a space!
2. Pretty and Practical
The reason you installed a pool was to have a private retreat to relax in, so design with upkeep in mind. You don’t want to be spending all your free time trimming, pruning, and fertilizing your pool area, especially if some areas are hard to reach.
Keep it simple and select your plants wisely. For example, it you select smaller plants that won’t grow extensively, it will cut back on your pruning needs. Also, try to choose plants that are indigenous to your area and can adapt to your climate.
Remember that over the years certain trees and plants with invasive roots can cause damage to your pools structure and its plumbing system. Do your research before you plant, and you’ll save in additional work and expenses in the long run.
3. Less Cleaning, More Swimming!
Another important factor to keep in mind when choosing which plants to install near your pool is how often it sheds. Remember, deciduous plants shed their leaves annually while evergreen plants keep their leaves year round.
Some fruit and flower bearing trees and shrubs are absolute beauties but can make a huge mess. Leaves, fruits, flowers, nuts, and needles falling into your pool on a regular basis can lead to a lot of extra work for you or your pool cleaner.
4. The Secret Garden
Privacy is extremely important. Your pool should be a private and secluded place, without nosy neighbors looking in. Having a privacy screen of some sort isn’t just practical, it can be a cool design statement or pretty garden feature.
Options vary from wooden fences, bamboo screens, evergreen hedges, trellises and even curtains!
5. The Finishing Touches
Swimming pool landscaping isn’t just about plants and pathways. Lighting is important too. If you want your pool to be a lush oasis both day and night, lighting is key to creating an illuminated escape.
String lights hung in trees or around the pool can add the perfect ambiance to romantic evenings.
Tiki torches add an island vibe to your garden and are great for pool parties!
Looking for an energy saving alternative? Solar lights are a great investment. Make sure they get direct sunlight during the day so they shine brightly throughout the night.
Other finishing touches include getting the right poolside furniture. Always match your theme! For example, white plastic sunbeds would ruin a rustic or tropical design. Instead, you would want to go for wooden sun loungers or even hammocks!
Design Your Swimming Pool Landscaping Right!
If you follow these useful tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your paradise-like oasis all year round. However, swimming pool landscaping isn’t like designing a general garden. It takes both time and forethought to get it right.
If it all seems a bit too much to take on, don’t fret! Blue Landscaping and Contracting Group is here to help! With our skills and experience, we can take your dream project from the drawing board to completion!
Check out our services page for more information.
If you’ve ever driven down a street at night and noticed a beautiful home lit up, then you’ve experienced the magic that is landscape lighting.
This style of outdoor lighting gives your home an extra edge. Plus, it creates a sense of luxury that you can’t achieve in any other way.
However, it could be that you’re not entirely convinced that it’s right for you. After all, there are a lot of different lighting trends to keep up with. Should you really bother?
Keep reading to learn how this kind of outdoor lighting can liven up your home.
Safer Walkways and Stairs
Landscape lighting is one of the best ways to make your home safer.
When it’s dark outside, you risk stumbling down your walkway stairs. With the right lights, you’ll never have to worry about tripping. It’s a beneficial addition to any kind of home.
Increases Home Value
Not only does outdoor lighting make your home safer, but also increases the selling value of your home. It brings cohesion to the house’s exterior and makes the house look more expensive.
These factors make your home more appealing to potential buyers, which, in turn, can raise its value.
If you’re looking to sell sometime in the future, take advantage of the benefits that outdoor lighting can give you.
Gives Extra Curb Appeal
Extra outdoor lighting also gives your home more appeal in a general sense.
Even if you’re not looking to sell, you want a home that stands out and looks beautiful. Outdoor lighting does just that.
This way, you’re giving your home its own personal spotlight. It lets you show off all of the hard work you’ve put into your house. All that beauty doesn’t get missed even in the darkest of nights.
Complements Your Garden
Outdoor lighting goes incredibly well with beloved gardens. It’s another way to show strangers and family alike that your garden is special and means something to you.
The nice thing is that the different kinds of outdoor lighting can be easily hidden amongst your plants. Plus, it can be done in a way that will not harm them at all.
This way of hiding the lamps lets you have the benefits of landscape lighting without breaking up your home’s outdoor aesthetic.
Landscape Lighting Makes Any House Look Special
Outdoor lighting that has been set up in an artistic way is like the finishing icing on a beautiful cake. It enhances the beauty of your home while adding a sense of luxury. You can even mix and match different types of lighting to create special effects.
If you’re to add a special touch to your home, landscape lighting is the way to go.
Looking to get started? Contact us for more information!
Getting ready to sell your home?
Looking for ways to improve the value of your property?
If you’re getting ready to put your home on the market, it’s important that you do everything you can to raise its value first.
Hiring out professional landscaping services can be one of the best ways to improve the value of your home quickly and help your home sell faster. In fact, research shows that landscaping can boost a home’s value by up to 12%.
Interested in learning more? Keep reading below to learn about the 4 ways landscaping services add value to your home
Boosts Curb Appeal
Whether you want to accept it or not, first impressions matter. A home that looks great on the outside will stand out to buyers and convince more of them to inquire about your home. As a result, boosting your home’s curb appeal can give you more options and help you find a buyer more quickly.
A home with great curb appeal will also sell for a higher amount. By making the right changes to your home, landscaping professionals can help give your property an inviting appearance which will enable potential buyers to better picture themselves living in your home.
By simply adding more plants, trees, and flower beds as well as walkways, paths, and appropriate outdoor lighting, your home value will increase more than you may think.
Brings the Design Together
It’s important that the style of your home and your landscaping comes together in a cohesive way. If your garden, lawn, trees, or other yard features leave an unusual or jarring impression on viewers it may lower the home’s value.
It’s important that your home’s architecture blends well with your yard and garden areas. For example, to match the aesthetic of a Victorian-style home you would be much better off matching it with a cottage or country-style landscape rather than a Japanese garden.
It’s important that the tone of your home is consistent and the buyer knows exactly what to think of it. A buyer needs to able to get a good feel for a place. By making sure your landscape looks great and meshes well with your house, your property will seem all the more enticing.
Adds Color and Texture
Landscaping services are also important because they can add a lot of color and texture to your home and yard. Through landscaping, you can add a greater variety of plants and colors to your property, helping it to stand out from other homes on the market.
Ornamental grasses and native plants can have a large effect on a property’s worth. The addition of trees can also go a long way in increasing the value of your home.
The combination of all these elements together creates an excellent amount of variety that can make your home incredibly appealing to potential buyers.
The right landscaping can increase the sophistication of your home by leaps and bounds.
While you may have a very simple, comfortable home that you’re putting on the real estate market, the right landscaping can make your home appear to be a luxurious choice. Home buyers will be willing to pay more for the property and they may believe that they’re getting a steal!
Intricate plant designs, adjoining flower beds with curved bed lines, and intricate plant designs can all help to create a sense of elegance. These additions to your home can help more than you may believe with a buyer who is in the market for a sophisticated home.
Raise Your Home Value with Landscaping Services
There is no denying the importance of landscaping if you’re looking to improve your home’s value before selling. By hiring landscaping services, you’ll be making an investment that will be worthwhile.
Need landscaping done in Florida? Contact us today to see what Blue Landscape Contracting Group can do for you.
Grass doesn’t have to refer to a lawn. Ornamental grasses, those tall, graceful plants that ripple in a summer breeze, add texture and color to your gardens.
These grass plants grow under a range of conditions. Check each grass before planting, but many like sunny positions in moist soil.
Read on to discover 12 grasses that can improve your landscaping.
This soft grass plant forms mounds. It works well with bold plants like lavender or hydrangea.
Mix and match fountaingrass with tall, upright grass plants like switchgrass for interesting textures.
Allergic to bee stings? Choose grasses that don’t bloom since they won’t attract bees.
Maidengrass is a great option. Plant it around hardscaping areas to soften the effect. It’s great for adding interest to swimming pool edges.
3. Golden Sedge
Mix frothy, soft grasses with tidy hedges like boxwood. The combination of tight grasses and clipped hedges works well in knot gardens.
4. Blue Fescue
Not all grass plants give huge bouquets of grass. Smaller varieties, like blue fescue, make excellent border plants. Plant them close together in a line to edge a flower bed.
5. Purple Millet
Want something a little more structural? Purple Millet combines burgundy foliage with fuzzy purple spikes.
They’re great for attracting birds and they’re also very tough annual plants.
6. Feather Reedgrass
Do you have a vegetable garden? Add grasses that form clumps to add interest to your vegetables.
Feather reedgrass looks majestic against leafy plants like eggplants or kale.
Do you have a pond or stream in your garden? Cordgrass could be a good choice.
Native to North America, it loves moist and wet soils. It’s great for growing alongside water.
Want to cover a boring view? Tallgrass plants like bluestem make an ideal screen.
Just remember you need to cut grasses back in spring. You’ll lose your screen for a couple of months.
But they’ll look great in the fall with their seed heads and fall colors.
The fluffy plumes of switchgrass make this a great plant for sunny or partly shaded areas.
Plant the Dallas Blues variety for amazing fall shades of red and gold.
It’s native to North America so it’s also a good for wildlife.
10. Blue Oat Grass
This plant is perfect for smaller gardens. It grows in mounds, making it a good candidate for containers. Blue oat grass won’t take over the garden.
11. Japanese Forestgrass
Does your garden have shady corners that you want to brighten up? The bright foliage of Japanese Forestgrass might be a good choice.
It likes partial shade and its low height makes it the perfect option for edges and borders.
12. Ravenna Grass
Want a plant that grows fast and acts as a natural screen? The tall plumes of Ravenna grass might be the best option for you.
It can top 10 feet and looks beautiful in the fall.
These Grass Plants Can Boost the Beauty of Your Garden.
Check the growing conditions in your garden before you start adding new plants. You’ll enjoy them for longer if you plant them in a spot they’ll love.
Looking for help planting and maintaining these beautiful additions to your garden? Contact us to learn how Blue Landscaping and Blue Outdoor Solutions can help.
When trying to draw customers into a retail setting, we don’t often think of using our landscape as marketing. However, your outdoor environment can have a direct impact on luring potential customers and clients through your doors.
Sometimes it’s a subtle touch, while others may be a true outdoor experience. So long as you create an attractive environment, good landscaping (and hardscaping) can bring new customers to your brick and mortar location. Find out how below!
Create a Usable Environment
Often, we associate landscaping with aesthetic flowers, lush greenery, and other beautifying elements. Yet it’s so much more than that! In an age where convenience has made shopping online the go-to over purchasing in-store, you need to give people a reason to get out of the house and into your business.
Landscaping can be designed as an outdoor environment where a crowd can gather, socialize, participate in events, or enjoy a meal. By creating an attractive landscape with benches, tables, or a fountain where people can sit and enjoy the view, you make your storefront a place to go and gather.
“So what?” you may ask. “Just because they gather in front of my store doesn’t mean they’ll come inside.”
This is where a little bit of creative marketing goes a long way. From subtle invitations (such as opening your store doors) to using your outdoor environment for special events and promoting sales, you can really up your daily profit by engaging the crowd your landscape draws in.
Don’t Let Your Landscape Hide Your Business
One of the biggest mistakes retail fronts make is installing a landscape design and then letting it grow out of proportion, hiding their business from those driving by. If it’s been awhile since you’ve invested in your landscape, take a step outside and view your business from the street or parking lot.
Is your sign visible?
Do your trees overtake your storefront?
Can people see who you are and that you exist as they’re passing by?
If you find your landscape is working against you, contact a company like Blue Landscaping to help you modify your current installation or create a new one that draws attention to your business—not away from it. When selecting trees, aim for those with skinny trunks that aren’t prone to outgrowing their designated area. Your landscape should compliment your location, not overtake it!
Exotic plants are surprisingly effective when drawing in foot traffic. Especially in Florida where tourists and snowbirds are seeking that “tropical experience.” Make your storefront an attractive place to be, and curiosity will draw people in.
Also, don’t be afraid to get into the holiday spirit. Decorate for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other festive holidays, and plan sales and events along with it. You’d be surprised how effective it can be!
Blue Landscaping and Blue Outdoor Solutions is a landscaping and hardscaping company located in Southwest Florida. Their service areas include Marco Island, Naples, Bonita Springs, and Estero. To learn more about their services, call 239-566-BLUE.
We aren’t the only ones who love coffee. As it turns out, your plants and trees can also benefit from this miraculous bean! If you’re looking to find a use for that can of coffee grounds that has been lying untouched inside your kitchen, fear not! In this blog we’ll teach you how to fertilize your plants with coffee grounds.
Coffee grounds offer a rich and natural source of fatty acids and nutrients that, when mixed into your soil, help your plants thrive! They can also help deter pests that are detrimental to your vegetation’s health, including squirrels and rabbits.
However, it’s important to note that this isn’t a blanket solution for all greenery. Coffee grounds are most beneficial to certain types of plants and shrubs, and depending on what you’re applying the grounds to will determine how they are best used.
Know Which Plants Like Coffee Grounds
Some of the plants that can benefit from coffee grounds are:
While this list can be heavily expanded, you want to make sure that you’re also educated in plants that do not like coffee grounds. Mixing this natural soil enricher with the wrong plants can inhibit seed germination and even keep your plant from growing. These plants include white clover, inch plants, asparagus ferns, geraniums, Chinese mustard, and alfalfa. Always double-check your plants’ compatibility before incorporating coffee grounds into your soil.
How to Use Coffee Grounds in Landscaping and Gardening
You can use coffee grounds either as a form of mulch or compost! If you intend to use your coffee grounds as a form of mulch, make sure that you measure the ratio properly. Too much coffee grounds can block the aeration of your soil and its water absorption. To prevent this, make sure you use no more than a half inch of coffee grounds topped with another form of organic mulch. Wood chips are an excellent choice.
Compost is another popular option and is an excellent source of nutrients for your plants and shrubs. Combine coffee grounds with grass clippings and raked leaves. The ratio of coffee grounds should be anywhere between 10 to 20 percent for the best results.
Coffee Grounds and Fruit Trees
You can also apply coffee grounds to the base of your fruit tree during its growing season. You just want to make sure you avoid direct contact with the bark. If wet coffee grounds come in contact with the trunk, it can make it more vulnerable to various pests.
Instead, spread about a half-inch layer of old grounds around the base of the tree and mix them into the soil using a sturdy garden rank. The grounds will gradually decompose, releasing beneficial compounds while attracting earthworms and other creatures that will pull the grounds under the soil, promoting aeration and drainage. The odor will also help detract root maggots.
Hire a Professional Team to Help Your Landscape Thrive!
Looking for help gaining and maintaining a healthy, lush, green landscape? Perhaps you’re looking to bring some life to your home or business with a bit of hardscaping? Blue Landscaping and Blue Outdoor Solutions are here to help! Located in Southwest Florida, we currently service Marco Island, Naples, Bonita Springs, and Estero. Simply give us a call at 239-566-BLUE to learn more!
Palm trees are iconic in Florida. Various species grow in abundance across the state, accentuating Florida’s reputation as a tropical paradise. However, there are several challenges these trees can face. Below, Blue Landscaping and Contracting Group delves into some of the most common problems palm trees face in Florida, and how to resolve them so your palm trees can thrive.
The Most Common Palm Tree Problems
There are several common problems landscapers encounter with palm trees, all of which can vary in severity depending on the tree’s health, environmental difficulties, and the level of progression of its problem.
This disease is fatal to palms, and can spread from tree to tree if it isn’t eliminated quickly. Spread by insects known as leafhoppers, symptoms include premature dropping of the tree’s nuts, blackening of the inflorescence, and the palm’s fronds yellowing and dying from the bottom, up. Thankfully, you can slow the progression of this disease and prevent its spread through antibiotics, if the disease is detected early.
Palm fronds are essential to the tree’s overall health. If you remove them before they are fully brown, you can be stealing precious nutrition and energy from the tree itself. You want to be frugal in removing fronds and avoid pruning more than 15 percent of them. Exceeding that limit can cause the tree to go into shock.
Over-Watering or Mixed Irrigation Zones
Florida is already wet and humid. If you plant your palms in an irrigation area that is above or below its water requirements, you are more than likely going to set the tree up for failure. Pay attention to each species’ unique needs and place and water them appropriately.
Like its namesake, sooty mold appears as an ash-colored or black mold that grows on the palm’s fronds. This mold isn’t detrimental to the tree’s health, but it does look bad. You can eliminate it by eliminating insects that leave behind waste with the excess sugar byproducts this mold thrives upon.
Leafhoppers, whitefly, caterpillars, borers, scales, mites, and aphids are all detrimental to your palm’s health. The trouble is you may not notice them until the infestation is well underway thanks to the height of a palm’s fronds. There are sprays available that can help treat these infestations, particularly for the smaller species such as ornamental palms. However, the taller species will require a systemic insecticide in order to tackle this issue due to its sheer height.
As much as we love Florida’s warm, moist climate, it is the perfect condition for fungus to grow. You can spot a fungus problem through symptoms such as rotting trunks, slow growth, and uncharacteristic wilting. The danger of fungal infections is that they spread extremely quickly. The only way to protect the surrounding trees is by removing the infected one. Also, to prevent fungal infections you should always use sterilized tools when pruning the fronds.
Leave Your Palms in Good Hands: Contact Us for Landscaping Services!
Located in Southwest Florida, Blue Landscaping and Contracting Group and Blue Outdoor Solutions is dedicated to assisting with the installation and maintenance of both residential and commercial landscapes. Let us help you install and care for the palms that make Florida so beautiful. To inquire about our services, simply pick up the phone and call us at 239-566-2583.
Installing a new landscape is an exciting outdoor renovation for your home! However, planting it and maintaining it are two different things. It’s extremely important after receiving a new landscape design to care for it both in the short-term and the long. In this month’s blog, Blue Landscaping and Contracting Group covers the 3 stages of landscaping care after a new design is installed.
Stage One: Acclimating Your New Landscape
Ever moved to a new place and felt an overwhelming sense of shock as you try to settle in to your new environment? New trees and plants aren’t so different from us in that respect. After a new landscape is installed, the new grass, flowers, shrubs, and trees will all need an extra bit of TLC in order to help them adapt to their new surroundings.
The acclimation process extends beyond the first few days or even weeks of installation. It could take months for your new landscape to settle in. The main thing to focus on during this crucial period is your water management. Don’t starve or drown your newly planted landscape!
Instead, monitor it carefully to make sure that they’re thriving. Consider it part of your after-work ritual to walk through your new landscape, checking each plant to make sure it’s properly watered and adjusting accordingly. This can be a relaxing way to unwind and gives you a chance to enjoy your new installation as well.
Stage Two: Establishment of Your Landscape
The establishment period can vary between the first year of installation to the first three years. It’s the stage that requires the highest maintenance effort. The more time you invest, the higher your odds of success. Each tree or plant will require its own time frame based on its maturity and what it is.
However, the basic rule of thumb is the younger and more herbaceous the plant is, the quicker it will become established. Trees often take the longest time to reach establishment, but what does establishment mean exactly? Simply put, it’s the point where a plant recovers its roots and returns to its normal pace of growth.
Make sure you weed often, as these invasive plants will infiltrate the new roots, killing the plants you worked so hard to nurture.
Stage Three: Landscape Stewardship
Stewardship defines the long-term effort of maintaining your landscape. It includes general landscaping maintenance such as cutting the grass, pruning plants, and fertilizing when needed.
It also includes a keen eye that spots any problems that may arise before they escalate. This includes weeding, dealing with any infestations, etc.
Leaving It to the Experts
If you don’t have the knowledge or time to maintain your own landscape, that’s okay! Simply pass the task along to the professionals. You will save time while guaranteeing a thriving landscape for years to come!
Blue Landscaping and Contracting Group and Blue Outdoor Solutions handle installations and maintenance for various homes and businesses in Southwest Florida. To inquire about our services, call 239-566-2583.
Ahhh, home sweet home! There is nothing quite like the feeling of getting the keys to a new property after weeks of paperwork and negotiations. However, the work doesn’t end with the transaction! Often new homeowners have an entire checklist of things to do once the purchase is made. From repairs to renovations, these checklists often focus on the interior and exterior of the home itself. But what about your lawn? Below are a few “musts” for lawn care, especially after you’ve bought a new home!
Start by Testing Your Soil
Soil will tell you a lot about the health and unique needs for your lawn. Bad or infertile soil can lead to big problems in maintaining a quality landscape. Start by testing your soil to see how thick the topsoil is and whether it’s of good quality.
You want your soil to be rich with organic matter and nutrients. Your grass and plants feed off of it, after all! Ideally, your soil should be moist, but well-drained. Your soil shouldn’t be compact, either. If it is, consider aerating it. This will allow water, nutrients, and air to penetrate your soil and reach your grass’ roots so it can thrive.
Create a Landscaping Maintenance Plan
After you know the state of your lawn and the quality of soil supporting it, you’ll want to make sure you put a routine in place to take care of it. Good lawns don’t happen on their own! Start with addressing your landscape’s needs.
If your seeding was poorly done, or completed at the wrong time of the year, you may need to redo it. You want to aim for a rainy season, when it’s warm and moist, for the best results. Also, you’ll want to make sure the application is done after you’ve laid down the right blend of soil and fertilizer.
For new lawns or ones that are in desperate need of some TLC, expect results to take time. You’ll need to follow-up frequently on how your landscape is growing, and touch up any areas that may be patchy or growing poorly.
We highly recommend hiring a landscaping business to help you with the big jobs, as well as to maintain the pristine and aesthetic look of your yard! This can often save you both time and money, especially if you’re dealing with a new or neglected landscape.
For Southwest Florida residents, feel free to call on Blue Landscaping and Outdoor Solutions for any of your landscaping design and maintenance needs! Our number is 239-566-BLUE!
Blue Landscaping and Contracting Group and Blue Outdoor Solutions each have their own specialty. The former is landscaping, and the latter is hardscaping. But what does that mean exactly? The average customer doesn’t have a background in what we do. Because of this, the terminology can seem very foreign. Let us make clear the distinctions between these two skill sets.
Landscaping vs. Hardscaping
Most people are familiar with the term “landscaping.” It’s most commonly used to describe the outdoor design of our home or commercial property. However, it is actually more specific than that. Landscaping refers to services related to the vegetation and other living materials used to design your outdoor property. This can include (but isn’t limited to):
- Turf grass
- Sod grass
- Organic ground covering materials
- And more…
Hardscaping is essentially the opposite. It refers to the masonry or concrete additions to your landscape. It can use natural materials made out of things that were once living, but have now been formed into inanimate materials, such as wood planks.
Hardscaping includes your driveway, walkways, retaining walls, decks, drainage, and much more. Consider it the art of construction and masonry that is incorporated into your landscape.
Finding Synergy Between the Two
You’ll often find that landscaping and hardscaping go hand-in-hand. They’re used together to bring synergy, life, and ambiance to an outdoor area, while also giving it functionality. It takes a trained and artistic eye to find the right design, which is what Blue does on a daily basis.
Hardscaping and landscaping have a balance, and the approach to finding that balance is different with every design. Professionals like ourselves take in the natural layout, bringing out its most aesthetic features while aligning it with the proper aesthetics and functional elements.
Keep in mind that there is more to consider than just what looks good, too. Because we work with living elements as well as constructed ones, it is crucial that the living selection is suited to thrive within the environment it’s planted in. The climate, amount of natural sunlight, and soil are all deciding factors into what is planted and how.
If you or your Southwest Florida business is in need of landscaping or hardscaping services, give Blue at call at 239-566-BLUE. We’re here to serve you!