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Tag: Landscape Ideas

The Benefits of Adding a Shade Structure to Your Outdoor Living Space

During the hot summer, your backyard can become scorching hot, causing you and your family to avoid the beautiful spaces you have already created. Whether you have a deck or patio area that could use some shade or are looking for new ways to enjoy your outdoor spaces, adding a shade structure is a great way to cool down and relax in the summer sun.

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Different Shade Structures Available to You

Here are options of different shade structures you can add to your property:

Pergolas: freestanding structures, typically made from wood, provide partial overhead coverage

Pavilion: freestanding structure, fully-covered roof

Shade sails: outdoor covers made from pieces of fabric that offer shade (and look similar to the sails of a boat), ideally installed over decks or patios

Benefits of Adding a Shade Structure

Adding an outdoor structure, like a pergola or pavilion, can turn your backyard into a lovely shady oasis to enjoy on the warmest days.

pergola over patio | adding a shade structure to your outdoor living space | Burkholder Landscape

Enjoy the Outdoors in Comfort

Pennsylvania summer heat can be serious. The sun beating down can make what is supposed to be a relaxing day feel as hot as a desert. Shade structures are an easy way to create a more relaxed environment and help protect you from the sun’s harsh rays when spending time outdoors. Shade structures can offer protection from UV rays without taking away from natural views or blocking the sun completely.

Pavilion with Lighting is one of the benefits of adding a shade structure | Burkholder Landscape

Additional Outdoor Living Space

A shade structure can provide additional living space, seating, cooking space, and lighting. For example, you can convert an open area in your backyard into an entertainment space by adding a pavilion with a table and chairs to create a seating area. What was formerly an unused space is now an area that is inviting to guests and gives you more room to host parties.

If you have an outdoor kitchen, adding a structure like a pergola can make that kitchen more usable during the summer since you are more protected from the sun. The same goes for an outdoor dining area. Adding a shade structure allows you and your family to use that dining space more often during warmer weather.

Outdoor shade structures that offer full roofs can even have lighting, fans, and other electrical features that will make your outdoor space more functional and attractive.

Observe How the Sun Moves Relative To Your Outdoor Space

By noticing how the sun moves throughout your backyard space, you will be able to identify what areas require shelter during the hottest parts of the day. Remember, surfaces such as concrete and stone reflect more light and get much hotter than grassy areas. The sun is usually the hottest in the middle of the day, between 10 am and 3 pm, so you want the most protection during that time frame. Existing trees and your home may already provide shade to your patio or pool areas during the times when you would be outside the most.

Think About How You Will Use Your Shade Structure

Burkholder Landscape Paver Patio

Start thinking about how you will use your new pavilion or pergola. Will your new shade structure reside by a pool? Or include lighting and ceiling fans? Or be the focal point that encompasses an outdoor living room and fireplace? Whatever your desires may be, thinking about the use of the structure helps determine the size, style, and type of structure you will need.

Get Inspired For the Design

Once you have figured out the basic concepts of your needed structure, the next step is to get inspired. Take a look through our portfolio to find inspiration. Our portfolio will help you see all the different styles and capabilities your dream structure can provide. Finally, develop an idea book of anything and everything that sparks your interest. This will come in handy later when you move on to the next phase.

Call Burkholder Brothers for Outdoor Shade Structures

When you are ready to start your project for adding a shade structure, reach out to a professional landscape contractor. Burkholder Brothers’ design team will help you narrow down your idea book to get you on the right path for your perfect shade structure. Then, our skilled landscape designers will work with you to incorporate your proposed design into your existing landscape, patio, pool area, or deck. 

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How Do Walkways Impact Curb Appeal?

One of the aspects of a landscape that can affect curb appeal and that is overlooked by homeowners is a walkway. Walkways impact curb appeal because they are often the first thing people see. They can also act as boundaries, leading to special features or entertaining areas in a landscape. Many different factors go into whether a walkway helps with a house’s curb appeal, from the location and layout of the walkway to its shape and design. Of course, aesthetics matter, too, so materials and lighting can also affect how people see your home. Look at this Burkholder Landscape walkway upgrade project. We used natural stone and Techo-bloc products to create a level area for an inviting bluestone walkway, allowing space for colorful plantings and landscape lighting.

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  • House walkway before upgrade | Walkways Impact Curb Appeal | Burkholder Landscape

    Before Walkway Upgrade

  • Side of house walkway | Walkways Impact Curb Appeal | Burkholder Landscape

    Before Walkway Upgrade

  • After Walkway Upgrade

  • After Walkway Upgrade

Location

Your walkway’s location and connections are important. A walkway should connect the entrances of your home, like the front or side door, with the areas guests are likely to park when visiting. For example, if guests park in your driveway, the walkway should connect the driveway to the front door to create an easy path. Inviting, welcoming entrances and clear pathways for people to use makes a house more appealing. Consider connecting the walkway to the sidewalk, if your street has one.

Shape

A straight or curved shape is one of the choices homeowners must make when building a walkway. Each shape has advantages regarding aesthetics and more practical effects. For example, straight walkways are traditional, simple to maintain, and work best in small front yards where homeowners may lack space to build extensive, winding walkways.

On the other hand, curved walkways are more visually pleasing and eye-catching and work well for homes with large front yards. In addition, with curved walkways, you can create large planting beds in front of your house, adding more curb appeal.

Slopes & Steps

While walkways impact curb appeal, a walkway can also impact how safe your property is and how people can safely enter and exit your home. Many homeowners here in Pennsylvania live on sloped landscapes. Add steps to your walkway when you have a slope in your yard. Also, you may wish to avoid single steps when possible, as single steps can create tripping hazards.

Front stone walk with manicured plant beds and columned entrance | Burkholder Landscape
Front Walkway full-color Irregular Flagstones | Walkway | Burkholder Landscape

Materials

The material you choose for your walkway is integral to curb appeal. In addition, your walkway will be exposed to the elements, so you have some questions to consider when deciding what type of material will work best for your home.

  • What material most complements your home’s aesthetics and style?
  • Is your landscape sloped or flat?
  • What kind of weather does your area get?

Knowing the answers to these questions can help you can choose the materials that will most positively impact your curb appeal. With Burkholder, your landscape designer can help you decide on the best materials for your individual project.

Some possible materials you might choose are:

Natural Stone Pavers

Natural stone can add a rustic or luxurious look, depending on the type and finish. In addition, natural stone has anti-slip characteristics, ideal for creating a safe, organic-looking walkway.

Techo-Bloc Pavers

We often use Techo-Bloc in our projects. These pavers are high-quality, durable, and attractive. They also offer a high degree of customization and are easy to maintain.

Brick Pavers

Brick is a popular choice for walkways and edging and is available in many colors and sizes. If cared for properly, brick materials can withstand heavy foot traffic without showing signs of wear after years of service.

Lighting

Lighting is an essential element of walkway design that improves safety and can enhance how walkways impact curb appeal. Lighting can create a safe and welcoming space. In addition, if you want to highlight features of or near the walkway, lighting is an excellent way to do so. You could install lighting to make colorful plantings or trees visible at night or add lighting under stairs to highlight their presence. Outdoor lighting adds to curb appeal because the lights make your property and outdoor space look better and safer.

Contact Burkholder to Begin Designing Your Custom Walkway

Now that you see how walkways impact curb appeal, the next step is to create the ideal walkway for your home. Whatever effect you want from your walkway, Burkholder’s designers will help you achieve the look you want. For over 25 years, Burkholder Brothers has been helping Main Line homeowners create their ideal landscapes. Contact us today to get started on yours!

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How to Properly Water New Plants

Every living thing in your landscape needs water to thrive. Therefore, proper watering is vital, whether you are hand-watering planters or using a sprinkler system to achieve a lush green lawn. We will help you understand how to properly water new plants. If you lack the time necessary for such care, we can also help you by installing a customized sprinkler system.

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Tips for Watering New Plants Properly

New plants may have different requirements than those that are established already. The Burkholder team has some tips for adequately watering new plants.

Check All Plants Weekly

Check newly planted trees and shrubs every few days for the first two weeks. Annuals and perennials should be checked more often. After those two weeks, check every 7 to 10 days. Dig around the root zone with your fingers to a depth of 2-3″ for small plants and 6-8″ for larger ones and trees; water generously if the soil feels dry.

Provide Slow, Deep Watering

Another tip to help you properly water new plants is deeper watering. Getting water deeper into the soil is better for your plants’ roots than a shallow, ground surface watering. Place the hose at the base of the plant at a heavy trickle. If you are unsure how long to water new plants, aim for 30-60 seconds for small plants – longer for larger plants while moving the hose to a few locations around the plant.

Sprinkler irrigation system watering flower bed | Properly Water New Plants | Burkholder Brothers Landscape

Avoid watering when the soil feels moist. The earth must be allowed to dry out between watering. If a plant is maintained in constantly moist soil, the plant’s health will deteriorate over time. A plant weakened by overwatering may die of oxygen deprivation or become susceptible to pests and disease. Lawn irrigation systems can help you provide a slow, deep watering close to your plants’ roots.

Adjust Watering as Plants Mature

As your landscape grows more mature, your watering practices may need to be adjusted.

  • You should water daily for the first 2 weeks after planting unless you get rainy weather, but after a month or so, decrease the frequency that you water plants to around 2-3 times a week.
  • In the following months, water less often. As mentioned above, whenever you water your plants, focus on providing water deeper into the ground. Just as for newly planted specimens, established plants and trees need to develop deep roots over time. These deep systems can help the trees survive periods of drought in the summer.

Even though you are less frequently watering, a deep watering provides enough water for the roots without causing issues from overwatering, such as stunted growth or yellowing leaves.

Hose watering plants | Properly Water New Plants | Burkholder Brothers Landscape

Water Early in the Morning

Generally, the ideal time to properly water new plants as well as more mature plants, is early morning. Morning watering maximizes your plants’ chance to absorb all of the water you provide. During the other times of the day, the weather is noticeably hotter. Watering during these times can result in water evaporating. Watering in the morning is especially important when the temperatures are scorching during the summer. The chances of water evaporating then are higher than in other seasons.

You can set a sprinkler irrigation system to activate during any time of the day. So if you want to have consistent watering in the morning, schedule your irrigation system timers accordingly.

Monitor Water Requirements Frequently

Monitoring water requirements frequently is more important than actually watering frequently. Monitor your plants’ water requirements for at least the first two to three years. Plantings close to buildings where heat may reflect, and plants under roof eaves require closer monitoring. During the hot summer months and early fall, disregard natural rainfall. Often, rain received during these periods produces mostly runoff and contributes little to increasing ground moisture.

The Value of Mulch in Helping Your Landscape Thrive

Using mulch, in general, is a good idea because the mulch aids in retaining water. In addition to that factor, mulching around trees and shrubs enables them to more efficiently take in water. Grass around trees and shrubs competes with them for water. Since a healthy grassy area has a dense root system, the trees and shrubs are prevented from developing roots for water intake in the top layers of soil. Having mulch in place of grass allows the trees and shrubs to take in water more easily, so they grow more quickly and with more vigor.

Maintain a 2-2 ½ mulch layer to help conserve ground moisture, prevent weeds, and retain moisture. Remember, excess amounts of mulch will result in poor air circulation and reduce plant vigor. The Burkholder team installs 3” at the time of planting. Install only 1-2” each year thereafter.

Why Use a Sprinkler System for Proper Watering of Plants?

Stress-free, hands-off irrigation of your lawn is possible with an automatic sprinkler system. Today’s sprinkler irrigation systems have zones so that you can program the proper water levels for each aspect of your landscape. So your plant beds can have long, deep watering cycles at the desired frequency, and your grass can get the right amount of water.

Grass watering requirements can vary according to rainfall, whereas much of rainfall is unable to be used by trees and shrubs due to runoff, as previously mentioned. Your irrigation system can be programmed to allow for rainfall’s impact on water levels. You can also be sure that your plants and trees remain healthy when you go on vacation if you have a sprinkler system.

Call Burkholder for Fine Main Line Landscaping and Sprinkler System Services

The team at Burkholder wants you to enjoy one of the best landscapes in your neighborhood, which requires someone to properly water new plants, established plants, and your grass. For more information and helpful ideas, contact us today for a landscaping design consultation.

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Fall Lawn Care Tips for 2021

The hot weather of summer has given way to the cooler temperatures of fall. And with fall comes time to keep your lawn maintained and prepared for winter. Homeowners have options for maintaining their lawns, and professional lawn care can elevate a lawn’s appearance and health to another level. Here are a few fall lawn care tips to help prepare your property for winter.

4 Fall Lawn Care Tips

Burkholder’s team members are landscape experts at lawn care and offer 4 recommendations for keeping your lawn in shape throughout the cold season and for enjoying your outdoor space.

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1. Schedule Winterization

A major fall lawn care tip is to schedule winterization for your property, especially if you have a sprinkler or irrigation system. Winterization is important to keep your lawn, irrigation system, and other areas of your property healthy and functional by the time snow start falling. For irrigation systems, you want to schedule winterization in mid to late fall, before December. On an important note, you should get your irrigation system winterized before you experience several days of freezing temperatures (below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.) When temperatures are below freezing, the water in your irrigation lines can freeze, expand, and damage your sprinkler system.

Get your lawn winterized during the same timeframe: around late November to early December. Winter lawn fertilizer strengthens the roots and helps the grass survive cold weather. A winter lawn treatment keeps your turf strong and green through the fall and ready to perk up again once spring arrives. How your lawn should be winterized can depend on what grass type you have, so reach out to a landscape professional to determine the best winterization plan for your property.

Backyard of house | fall lawn care tips | Burkholder Brothers

2. Have Trees and Shrubs Mulched

Mulch keeps plants insulated, keeping soil cooler during summer and warmer during winter. In addition to protecting plants from extreme temperatures, mulch helps soil retain water and prevents weed growth. If you have trees on your property, you can even use fallen leaves as mulch. A landscape professional can ensure that your plants have proper mulching to protect them during the upcoming cold weather.

3. Trim Shrubs

Getting your shrubs trimmed in the fall will help prepare them for winter. All of the dead, damaged, or otherwise unwanted branches should be cut during fall so that the shrubs can maintain their shape in springtime. For certain species, trimming shrubs during the fall can even prevent the spread of diseases since the shrubs will have more energy to use on healing rather than growing new stems or branches.

Firepit in landscape at night | fall lawn care tips | Burkholder Brothers

4. Make Your Lawn a Gathering Place

No list of fall lawn care tips would be complete without mentioning how to make your landscape hospitable for family and friends to gather during the cool months as well as all year long.

Have a Custom Firepit or Fireplace Added

A firepit makes a great addition to a backyard if you want to enjoy cool autumn nights outside with friends and family. Firepits are often the centers of attention and make great spots to gather and enjoy others’ company. The heat from the fire makes outdoor gathering in winter temperatures feasible, and seating such as chairs or benches can help accommodate large groups. You can even incorporate other features such as tables for fireside dinners or a speaker system for more entertainment options. Firepits can use propane, natural gas, or be wood burning.

Install Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting is popular as a safety measure, but lighting also creates the opportunity to enjoy your outdoor space even when the days get shorter. Different types of lighting create different atmospheres as well. An outdoor lighting designer can help you decide what types would meet your needs.

Contact Burkholder Brothers for Fall Lawn Care Tips & Services

Do you want to ensure your lawn is as healthy and beautiful as ever this fall? If so, contact Burkholder. Burkholder Brothers Landscape has been designing and maintaining beautiful landscapes for Main Line residents for decades. We have a team of highly experienced and qualified landscape professionals to keep your lawn vibrant, healthy, and valuable. In addition, our account managers will work with you to turn your dream landscape into a reality. For more fall lawn care tips or information on our services, request a free consultation today.

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February Landscaping Tips From Burkholder Brothers

As the chilly winter leaves us and spring draws closer, this time of year is excellent for getting your landscape ready for the new season. Some homeowners may wait until the arrival of spring to start thinking about their lawn and landscape, but we suggest starting earlier. Thinking about lawn care and any big plans you have for your landscape now will benefit you, as you will be able to enjoy your new designs or features earlier and longer throughout the year. Here are a few February landscaping tips to help you get started.

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Our 3 February Landscaping Tips

Our February landscaping tips are meant to help you prepare your landscape for the warmer weather, milder winds, and rainy days of spring.

1. Prepare Your Lawn for Spring

The first of our February landscaping tips is to practice preventive maintenance. For example, snow and frost can cause the grass to become stiff, brittle, and susceptible to tearing if your lawn gets a lot of foot traffic while covered in snow or frost. Try to avoid walking on your lawn and use sidewalks or nearby walkways. Torn grass can cause discoloration and produces an unhealthy look.

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2. Schedule Spring Maintenance with Your Landscaping Company

Soon, your lawn and plants will be in full bloom, which means that spring maintenance is needed to keep them healthy and beautiful. Use the tail-end of winter to talk with your landscaping company and discuss a schedule for spring maintenance and lawn care. Mowing, trimming, and pruning are a few of the maintenance services Burkholder offers. In spring, cleaning up the lawn or flower beds, pre-emergent weed control, fertilization, and cutting back any perennials or grasses left standing over winter are some of the essential maintenance tasks to keep your lawn healthy. Reach out to your landscaping company to discuss how to keep your landscape lush and healthy during spring.

Front yard of house with trees | February landscaping tips | Burkholder Brothers
Retaining soft planting boulder wall | February landscaping tips | Burkholder Brothers

3. Think about New Additions or Designs for Your Landscape

Another one of our February landscaping tips is to start thinking about new features or changes you would like to make to your landscape. The cold weather is an excellent time to begin planning so that those new features or structures you want can be added during the spring and enjoyed during the summer and fall. You can think about new plants to make your landscape more lively and vibrant, and opt to plant trees for extra shade. Some structures or hardscape features that you and your family could add include patios, fire pits, spas, or pavilions, all of which add practical benefits and value to your outdoor living space.

Contact Burkholder Brothers for Landscaping Services

If you want more February landscaping tips or are interested in landscaping services, contact Burkholder Brothers. Burkholder Brothers has been maintaining, designing and building beautiful, refined landscapes throughout the Main Line area for decades. We have a team of highly experienced and qualified landscape professionals who can keep your landscape lush, healthy, and valuable. Our account managers will work with you to realize your dream landscape, whether you are building a backyard patio or designing an elegant garden. For more information on how we can enhance your landscape, contact us today.

2021 Landscape Design Trends You May Want to Try

Each new year, many homeowners plan to implement changes in their landscapes to improve their properties after the long winter. As this New Year gets underway, Burkholder offers 2021 landscape design trends to inspire you. Native plants are great options for people who want to bring new, low-maintenance plant life into their lawns. Incorporating indoor technology and accouterments will make outdoor living spaces more usable year-round. Smart, interconnected technology helps keep your property pristine and beautiful while reducing maintenance and saving you time and money. Here are a few landscape design trends to try out in 2021.

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Native Plants

One of the significant trends we have noticed over the years is more homeowners opting for native plants in their landscapes and this trend appears to continue as with 2021 landscape design trends. Native plants offer several benefits for you and your landscape.

  • Because native plants have adapted to their respective natural environments, your landscape can maintain its beauty through the entire year, through heavy rain, snow and hot summers.
  • Native plants are also more likely to resist locally occurring pests and diseases.

Consider adding native plants to your gardens and landscape to make your property more beautiful with less maintenance.

Bringing the Indoors To the Outdoors

Another growing trend among homeowners is the use of their backyard to unwind and relax, bringing the comforts of the indoors to the natural beauty of the outdoors. Turn your backyard into a private getaway with some outdoor furniture. You can also turn your outdoor space into an entertainment area, with a pergola or pavilion to protect you from the elements and enable you to add other items such as sound systems or televisions.

Another method of bringing the indoors outside that has been quickly rising in popularity is an outdoor kitchen. Some of the outdoor kitchen and dining features homeowners want include:

  • Grills
  • Dining tables
  • Pizza ovens
  • Firepits

These outdoor features also add value to your home, so you and your family are getting both personal and practical value by expanding your outdoor living space.


Smart Technology

As technology grows more interconnected and makes our daily routines more convenient, one of the 2021 landscape design trends you may want to try is adding smart technology to your landscape. An example would be an intelligent irrigation system that automates irrigating your lawn and plants. The automation makes keeping your property watered convenient, while the smart technology prevents overwatering.

Some of the smart technology used in irrigation system includes the following:

  • Rain sensors
  • Local weather information linking
  • Wi-Fi sprinkler control applications for mobile devices

Another example is using smart technology in your outdoor lighting. For entertaining friends and family, you can use color-changing lights to help set the ideal atmosphere and mood for parties or family get-togethers. A smart lighting system also makes your property safer and deters trespassers by activating when the sun goes down. Both of these intelligent technologies make your properties safer, more valuable, and more usable.

Contact Burkholder Brothers for 2021 Landscape Design Trends For Your Home

Are you interested in more 2021 landscape design trends for your home? Contact Burkholder Brothers for a consultation. Our team has decades of experience designing and maintaining beautiful, refined landscapes for Main Line residents. We are up to date with the latest knowledge of landscape materials, trends, and styles. The passionate and experienced hardscape and landscape contractors at Burkholder will work with you to create your dream backyard. For more information on our services, contact us today.

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The Benefits of Outdoor Lighting

When days begin to get shorter and the nights become a little longer, homeowners start thinking about adding landscape lighting around their homes. Homeowners also need to think about what their biggest needs are and the potential benefits of outdoor lighting, such as safety illumination of all the beautiful plants and landscape features throughout your property.

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What Type Of Landscape Design Features Will Keep Your Home Cooler?

With summer heat in full swing, homeowners seek out ways to stay cool. While the indoor solutions are obvious (fans, air conditioners), a few landscape design features can help keep your home and landscape cooler. Shade structures keep you cool outdoors, while trees and shrubs can also help you stay cool indoors. Here are a few landscape design features that help keep you and your home cooler during the summer heatwave.

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4 Front Yard Landscaping Ideas to Keep Your Yard Beautiful

Front yard landscaping is an excellent way to enhance the beauty and value of your home. An appealing front yard adds curb appeal and makes the home more inviting. A welcoming front yard is your opportunity to make an impression on all of those who see your home. Thankfully, you have plenty of ways to enhance your front yard landscaping. To help inspire you, below are a few ideas to transform your front yard.

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