WHAT IS HARDSCAPE?

Many people focus mostly on the interiors of their homes; they forget the first impression of a home starts from the outdoors. Hardscape is every other part of your home’s design that is not a plant. It includes the walkways, the walls, ornaments, patios, outdoor fireplaces, water elements, and fences. Thus, hardscaping involves designing these features to make your yard look gorgeous. Ideally, you should finish first with your hardscaping plans before you introduce flowers and gardens.

Here Are A Few Hardscaping Ideas You Can Use To Decorate Your Yard:

Stone Decorated Walkway

You can spruce up the boring path to your house and around your garden with a stone decorated walkway. You can use natural stones, bricks, or a mix of both in different beautiful colors or the more traditional monotone colors.

Outdoor Backyard Dining

If you have a large family that is always playing hosts to family or thanksgiving dinners, then an outdoor backyard dining is an excellent choice for hardscaping. Given that there is more space outdoors, you can have a dining area that serves a larger number of people while enjoying a refreshing scenery.

Create a Natural Waterfall

The reason a lot of people like the beach and the pool is because the sound of water has a calming effect on their minds. You can create a natural waterfall in your outdoor space to recreate that natural calm you feel at the beach.

Decorative Outdoor Staircases and Walls

If you have a deck above your home, you can make the walk up a memorable one every time someone uses it by creatively decorating your stairs. You can also turn boring walls into beautiful backgrounds for pictures for the gram. For the walls, you can use decorative stones, tiles, or even colorful, artsy graffiti.

Unique Outdoor Fireplace

You can have a unique fireplace outdoors to cater to your needs of a family or friendly gathering on cold evenings. This place will replicate the warmth and coziness of indoor space. You can learn how to build a firepit here.

These Hardscaping designs, just like gardening, can transform the outdoor look of your home and increase your curb appeal. You can find even more tips for Hardscaping in the Pacific Northwest here, or contact us at Levy’s Lawn & Landscape to help you to create stunning Hardscaping designs that will increase your home value.

 

The Top Five Landscaping Trends In 2020


If you haven’t had the time or the creativity to spruce up your yard since the beginning of the year, but you very much would like to, now is the time. With the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re most likely home, social distancing, and self-isolating.

So, take advantage of the free time, and create the perfect landscape for your yard. If the challenge is where to start, don’t you worry. We’ve compiled the top five landscaping trends in 2020 that will help ease the burden of decisions on style, colors, and functionality. 

2020 Top Trends For Landscaping

1.     Ornate, Geometric Designs Are Still Very Much In Vogue

Some ornate designs can make your home look like a palace from one of those Disney fairytale animations. You can play with designs such as waves, lattices, and basket weaves. For walkways and walls, tiles and natural colored stones are an excellent choice. Ornate decors are easy to maintain and beautiful to behold, and this makes it a great choice.

2.     Contemporary and Transitional Designs Are In High Demand

More people are demanding contemporary designs that are sleek, simple, and season-defying. These designs are mostly made up of modern sculptures, native plants, heat lamps, and waterworks that would remain beautiful and functional across all weather seasons. 

3.     Automated Irrigation System Make Things Easier

Let’s face it; traditional irrigation is stressful, messy, time-consuming, and wasteful. In 2020, automated irrigation systems can supply sufficient water to your yard more efficiently, and what’s more, there are several DIY irrigation systems you can try.

4.    Gardens Are Back In Style

In 2020, more homeowners are adding gardens to their landscape. If you do like naturally grown fruit and veggies, you can make your garden one that caters to your food and fruit needs.

5.     2020 Is Blue

Across the board, paint companies declared various shades of blue as top colors for the year. The blue color provides tranquility that is needed for relaxation, so do not be afraid to throw in a little more blue in your yard.  

It’s not too late to join the 2020 landscaping trends train. Go ahead and include any of these trends in your landscaping design or check out these budget landscaping ideas. You can also contact us at Levy’s Lawn & Landscape for more trendy designs for 2020. 

collage with geometric italian gardens, Tuscany, Europe

 

Manuel Singleton

Engineer

Frances Goodwin

Product Management

bucket spilling various vegetable peelings on soil from the garden

Gardening is harder than most people make it out to be, so it’s okay if this is your second or third or fourth try! The truth is that about 60% of the soil used for gardening is not ideal for planting, but don’t fuss about it. Composting, which involves decomposing organic material to add to your soil to make it healthier, might be the answer to your soil problem.

Composting improves fertility, water retention, and texture of your garden soil. Besides the improvement of soil quality, composting also ensures that your soil never runs out of nutrients. It replenishes soil nutrients better than any fertilizer.

Here Are A Few Composting Tips to Help Your Garden Grow:

  • Get a Compost Bin-

    Having a heap of decomposing veggies, leaves, or paper on display isn’t a site anyone loves to see, and this is why a compost bin is ideal. A compost bin also helps with the smell that comes with decomposing items; you can get a rotating or stationary bin.

  • Learn To Balance Compost Materials

    Knowing the right things to put in your compost bin is vital. Things like dog or cat poo or diapers should not be in your bin. Your compost pile needs a balance of carbon materials like dead leaves, sawdust, and nitrogen materials like veggies and green grasses to be balanced. Think of it as a diet plan, but for your plants. Here are some ideal materials.

  •  Choose a Method of Composting

    There are three types of composting. There’s aerobic composting, which involves systematic airing and rotation of the compost materials, making them decay faster. Then, there’s anaerobic composting, which requires little work as all you have to do is sit and wait till the compost is ready. Finally, there’s the Vermicomposting, which involves the use of worms to breakdown the compost materials in a short period. You can choose any of these methods in preparing your compost, and ultimately improving your soil health.

No doubt composting is a suitable way to improve your garden soil, and with these tips, you can do it right. For more composting tips suitable for your garden, you can contact us at Levy’s Lawn & Landscape today!

THE DREAM…

The dream of every gardener is to have a beautiful yard–one that they enjoy relaxing in, as well as draws the admiration of passersby and visitors. But, achieving this takes more than hard work, dedication, and time. To get a beautiful garden, some people spend a fortune on supplies; however, you do not need so much money to make your garden equally impressive.

Transforming Your Yard with Household Items

You can have a beautiful yard without spending a fortune by repurposing household items. With a little creativity and reusable items, your yard can look exquisite, costing you minimal spending in cash. Below are some creative ways you can repurpose household items in your yard:

1.     Transform Unwanted Containers into Beautiful Planters

You can have a variety of beautiful planters all made from tins, pots, and baskets you no longer use. You can paint the containers in different creative patterns to make them unique and unlikely to be found in any other garden. Here are some tips on how to create a container garden.

2.     Turn Your Waste into Fertilizer

Fertilizers provide the necessary nutrients for plants to thrive but can be expensive. You can turn your kitchen waste into organic compost for your garden, thereby saving money on the cost of purchasing commercially made fertilizers.

3.     Create Walkways and Borders with Old Bricks

Old bricks are sold cheaply; sometimes, you get them for free after a renovation or from friends. You can use these old blocks in creating a walkway to and around your garden. The bricks can also serve as borders between plants and sections of your garden.

4.    Create Plant Nurseries Using Recycled Items

You’ll need containers to serve as nurseries for delicate plant seedlings. You can use recycled bottles, juice, or milk cartons to plant delicate seedlings until they are strong enough to be planted in the garden.  

5.     Turn Old Bathtubs into Garden Pool

If you have an old bathtub, don’t dispose of it just yet. You can convert it into a beautiful pool in your garden, which can be an impressive addition. You should try it.

We all have items in our home we no longer use. You can create a new purpose for these items in your yard. If you need more unconventional ideas to make your yard look outstanding, you can reach out to us at Levy’s Lawn & Landscape today!

Old worn boots with flowers planted in them on a wooden deck

Gardening tools inside garden shed

Contrary to what the name suggests, a garden shovel is not the only type of shovel for gardening. You need different types of shovels for various gardening tasks, from digging deep holes and trenches to removing plants and transplanting seedlings.  Choosing the right shovel for each task will not only make gardening a lot easier but will also help avoid injuries.

There are various types of shovels but, regardless of the type, all shovels have three main parts: the grip, the handle, and the blade. The blade, which is the wide part at the bottom, can be of different shapes and sizes. Outlined below are the types of shovels to choose for different gardening tasks.

1.     Garden Shovel

This shovel is the all-purpose shovel that every gardener should have handy. It is heart-shaped with a slightly pointed tip and is useful for a wide range of gardening tasks, including digging, lifting and transplanting. However, it is limited in the workload it can handle.

2.    Digging Shovel

A digging shovel is the specific type of shovel for cutting through the soil. It usually has a curved, scoop blade and a pointed tip. The two main types of digging shovel to have are the round point shovel and the garden trowel. The former is suitable for digging large holes in tough soil, and the latter for digging in soft soil and transplanting seedlings.

3.    Scoop Shovel

This type of shovel has a broad blade and rounded or squared tip, which makes it perfect for scooping and moving materials, such as manure, mulch, dead leaves, soil, and even snow. However, because the tip is not pointed at all, it is not suitable for digging.

4.    Trenching Shovel

This shovel has a long blade with squared sides, and a slightly sharp pointed tip, that enables you to dig narrow holes with minimal disturbance to the surrounding soil. Thus, they are suitable for digging and clearing compost or irrigation trenches, just as the name suggests. They can also be used to remove weeds with deep roots.

Understanding these different types of shovels and their uses will help you choose the right shovel for your gardening tasks. If you need help with any of your gardening tasks, you can reach out to us at Levy’s Lawns and Landscaping today!

dried eggplant, pepper and bell pepper. dried to cook in winter

Here’s a great idea to consider for what to do with all the fresh edible bounty you’ll harvest from your Pacific Northwest garden when you’re making your general gardening plans, especially during spring. Sometimes, even after consuming them, selling at a farmers market, and giving some away to friends and family, you still have more than enough left.

Well, you don’t have to force yourself to eat more fresh fruits and salads, or try to invent new ways to include vegetables in your sandwiches. There are numerous ways to preserve them for later use, including freezing, canning, drying, and pickling them. In this article, we will be sharing the steps for preserving your garden’s bounty through drying.

How to Preserve Your Fruits and Vegetables through Drying

A lot of fruits and vegetables can be dried for long term storage and later consumption. Dried fruits and vegetables are just as tasty and nutritious as fresh ones, so you don’t have to worry about a loss of taste or nutrients. They also have the advantage of being lightweight, and they take very little space compared to canned and frozen food.

Dried produce also lasts very long, so you can be sure to have them long after they are out of season. After drying, your fruits and vegetables can be stored in plastic bags or jars, and then kept in a cool, dry space for weeks.

There are different methods of drying, including using a dehydrator, oven drying, sun drying, or room drying. The method you use depends on you and the type of garden produce.

4 Steps for Drying Your Fruits and Vegetables

Outlined below are the four general steps to effectively preserve your garden’s bounty through drying, so you can enjoy them later.

Step #1: Preparation

You have to prepare the fruit or vegetable by thoroughly cleaning to remove debris or dirt, as well as moisture. After washing, simply drain and blot dry with a lint-free towel. After excess moisture is removed, cut away unwanted parts such as pods in beans, rinds in winter squash, and stems in vegetables. Finally, cut vegetables like tomatoes or peppers into slices.

Step #2: Blanching

Just like if you were freezing the produce, you need to blanch your vegetables, by briefly immersing them in boiling water. This blanching step destroys enzymes that would otherwise survive the dehydration process and cause the food to decline in quality over time. However, your fruits should not be blanched because that will change their taste. After blanching your vegetables, cool with ice water, drain, then allow to dry.

Step #3: Drying

This is the most important procedure. We recommend drying with your oven. However, ensure that you set the oven to the lowest temperature setting (usually 170 degrees Fahrenheit). Place the fruits or vegetables in a single layer on a baking sheet, then insert in the oven and keep the door slightly open. Drying with your oven can be done within 2-24 hours depending on the produce.

Step #4: Storage

After you are done drying, the next step is to pack the fruits or vegetables away and put them in airtight containers. You can also use zip-top plastic bags or glass mason jars if you like. You must ensure that you use containers that are about the same size as the produce. to keep their flavors for as long as possible.

With these steps, you can dry and preserve your fruits and vegetables, so your bounty does not go to waste. Remember to always monitor your produce during the drying process, as they could become too dry if you let them stay in the oven for too long.

If you need help preparing your garden to yield a bountiful harvest, you can contact us at Levy’s Lawn and Landscaping today!

Garden maintenance in spring doing the mulching of the flowerbeds to keep down weeds and retain moisture in the soil

It is every homeowner’s wish to have a beautiful and well-designed yard in their homes. While it takes a lot of time and effort to achieve such a yard, it is also considerably expensive. For people who do not have the fortune to spend on landscaping to beautify their homes, this can pose a problem.

Top 5 Low Maintenance Landscaping Ideas

Although landscaping can be expensive, the good news is that if you have the time and energy to pour into maintenance, you just may be able to pull off the perfect garden without spending so much. There are many low maintenance landscaping ideas out there that you can try, that will not only give your home the perfect appeal but also require little from you. The following are five low maintenance landscaping ideas you can try.

1.     Plant Perennials

Although annuals make for great landscaping, their cost of maintenance is a little on the high side. A great alternative is to use perennials instead. By making use of perennials, you are invariably cutting out the costs of annual cultivation, pesticides & herbicides and a host of others supplements they do not require. Some low maintenance perennials you can use for your landscaping include Coneflower, Perennial Geranium, and Catmint.

2.    Make Use of Mulch

Filling your flower bed with mulch is another way to reduce the cost of your landscaping. This is because mulch does not come with the regular maintenance associated with soil, like weeding, for instance. You can even decide to use rubber mulch to further reduce the cost of maintenance, as the former does not require yearly replacement. Using rubber mulch is also a great way to use recyclable products.

3.    Grow Evergreens

Evergreens, unlike most landscaping staples, look great all year round, meaning that they will not require as much maintenance as the seasons change. They are known to maintain their leaves regardless of the time of the year while other plants lose their foliage. However, evergreens cost more than regular plants, but because they do not require as much attention, they make for great low maintenance landscaping.

4.    Consider an Artificial Lawn

Lawn mowing, fertilizing and regular watering are a must if you have a lawn. These are factors which can significantly raise the cost of maintaining natural lawns. Artificial lawns, on the other hand, do not require any of these costly measures, and they are known for providing almost the same aesthetics. In fact, a lot of people are unable to tell the difference between a natural and an artificial lawn.

5.    Place Plants in Pots

Using potted plants in your landscape is also a great way to keep the cost of maintenance at bay. Potted plants are versatile, do not require so much care and can be moved from one place to another easily. Also, potted plants make it easy for you to add a variety of colors to your garden, by simply changing/designing the flower pots to suit the season.

These are some of the low maintenance landscaping ideas you can use for your home. With a little creativity on your part, you can create an awe-inducing landscape, your neighbors will be envious of! If you need help with any of these ideas and more you can Contact Levys Lawn & Landscape today!

Wooden cart on green grass with blooming flowers in different colors

As the season changes from the hot and long days of summer to the cooler and shorter days of fall, you may find yourself wondering what to do with your planter garden. Planters are one of the best ways to garden small spaces like a deck or patio. However, they can also be used in large gardens, where they make for great features.

Top 3 Fall Planter Ideas for Your Garden

Planter gardens are usually put together during spring because that is the season where they bloom beautifully, grow lush, and even overflow their planters. Also, during this time is when planters can be styled using various plants and flowers. The following are some planter ideas that make for a beautiful garden that will bloom all through fall, and possibly, into winter.

1.      Green Hues

This fall planter idea incorporates soft textures and bright tones, which light up whatever colored planter you have. It consists of four different flowers which bring unique qualities to any garden. The first flower is the Restio multiflorus, which is a wispy grass-like plant that grows about 3-4ft tall and produces brown seed heads during winter.

Then, the second flower is the Liberta peregrinans, known for having warm tones of narrow leaves, reaching about 2ft tall. The Coleonema pulchellum and Euphorbia amydaloides robbiae are the other flowers that complete this fall planter idea. The former is a foot tall plant that has rounded green leaves, while the latter consists of green and gold foliage that glows in the autumn light.

2.     Lime with a Twist of Chocolate

In this planter, you combine the willowy burgundy Agonis, with the lime-colored Grevillea and Heuchera. For that perfect fall garden look, they should be planted in egg-shaped pots and placed behind a wooden background to create a rustic vignette. The Agonis flower produces burgundy foliage, while the Heuchera introduces ruffled plum-toned leaves which grow in a mound of about a feet and a half tall. Lastly, the Grevillea which is a slow spreader matures into a shade of lime over time, although it initially starts out as coppery saw-toothed leaves.

3.     Tinge of Bronze

Foliages of bronze and chartreuse mingle in this single fall garden planter idea. You can use the Pieris Forest Flame, which is a red flower that fades to pink and later dark green upon maturity. The other flower can be the Dryopteris erythrosora, which blends a variety of colors such as copper, gold, and pink. At their peak, these flowers can tower to a height of about 16 inches, depending on the size of the planter used. Another flower to include in this beautiful fall planter is the Little John Azalea, which is largely made up of bronze leaves that can reach a height of 6ft and above.

Towards the end of summer and the beginning of fall, flowers start to wither and look a bit tired, leaving homeowners at a loss for what to do with them. However, with these great fall planter ideas, which you can incorporate into your garden, deck, or patio, your landscape is guaranteed to look beautiful all through the fall season. For more fall planter ideas or to help you set it up, you can Contact Us at Levy’s Lawn & Landscape today!

Neighborhood beautification, hiding underground powerline and telecommunication boxes with giant ornamental grasses in the neighborhood

Many of the landscaping ideas you see around town typically involve trees, flowers, and shrubs of all shapes, colors, and sizes. However, while these are a great addition to gardens, there are other plants that you can use for landscaping. For instance, grasses can add a unique element to gardens, which trees and shrubs cannot provide. If this is something you will like to try, here are some great ways you can landscape with grasses.

1.     Soft Landscape

Planting grasses along the edges of hard waterways, pathways, and decks can make them appear softer. However, to achieve this look, you have to choose a grass that can adequately hold its form. This landscaping idea is great for larger areas, and they provide a mounding effect that arc over the edge of hard landscaping.

2.    Colorful Chaos

Another way to landscape with grasses is by planting different groups of colorful grasses together. Not many plants can top the beautiful display that comes with colorful grasses like the Japanese blood grass, purple fountain grass, and Indigenous Melinis nerviglumis. For best results, grasses should be positioned in a way that allows the sunshine through the leaves.

3.    Emboldened Sculptures

Grasses can also be used in other ways apart from the regular landscaping ideas you are used to. They can be used to accentuate garden sculptures in very interesting ways. One of such ways is to pair long grasses with bold garden sculptures like the stalking eagle. Fine-leafed grasses like the Aristida junciformis can be used to soften and frame garden sculptures.

There are many ways to landscape with grasses, and these are only a few of them. Try them out today or experiment using resources at your disposal, and you will be pleasantly surprised at the results! You can Contact Levys Lawn & Landscape today to get any of these ideas and more professionally done for you.

Luxury backyard fire pit

In the past, most backyards were decorated using different deck designs. These days, however, we have moved on from wooden decks to interesting ideas such as flower beds, outdoor kitchens, ponds, and fire pits. Fire pits are becoming a popular landscaping choice due to the soothing ambiance they offer, as well as the warmth a fire pit provides during the cold months. If you would like to build a fire pit in your backyard in the Pacific Northwest, here is a step-by-step guide that can help.

  • Step #1

The first step to building a fire pit in your backyards is to pick a spot in it and dig a hole. Depending on how wide you want the pit to be, the hole can be anywhere between 1.5 – 3” deep and 5 – 10” wide. When digging, ensure that the bottom is as flat as possible.

  • Step #2

Next, line the freshly dug hole using firebricks. The firebricks should be enough to make a complete circle of your desired fire pit. The circle formed should be lined by standing the firebricks on end and placing them next to each other.

  • Step #3

Using concrete, clay, cob or fire-resistant materials, solidify the ring. You can do this by using any of these materials to join the bricks together, into a solid ring. Whatever material you use for this should be allowed to dry before proceeding.

  • Step #4

Fill up space outside the circle with debris, so that the ground is leveled with the edge of the brick. Next, fill the center of the pit with river rocks, and your fire pit is ready for use. If you like, you can add a decorative edge to it for more beautification.

If you’ve thought about having a fire pit in your backyard but never seen it through, now you can! With these few easy tips, you can beautify your backyard with a fire pit, and enjoy some warmth sitting out. If you need help building your fire pit or landscaping your backyard, you can Contact Us at Levy’s Lawns & Landscape today!