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March 2018

5 Designs for a Perfect Summer Backyard in Walpole MA

The arrival of summer means getting outside to enjoy the warm weather. If your Walpole, MA, backyard is lacking appeal, let Towne Tree and Landscaping, Inc. give it new life. Updating your landscape design can extend your living space and create a yard that you won’t want to leave. Transform your landscape into the perfect summer escape with one of these backyard design ideas.

Relaxing Retreat

If you just want a quiet place to escape to, a backyard Zen garden is the perfect solution. A pond creates a beautiful focal point for a traditional Japanese garden. Whether you opt for a modern patio pond or a natural stone pond, the soothing sounds of moving water will provide a tranquil atmosphere. A fountain will allow you to enjoy the peaceful sounds of a water feature without the maintenance of a pond.

Related: Five Important Design Trends that are Shaping Landscaping in Scituate MA

Instead of a traditional lawn and flower beds, opt for a rock garden with sweeping curves and sand or river rock in place of grass. A Zen garden favors soothing shades of green over brightly colored flowers. Plants such as bamboo, dwarf pine and Japanese cedar will bring life to your Zen garden without detracting from the tranquil feel.

Backyard Spa

Create the feeling of an outdoor spa right in your backyard. A soothing hot tub is a must-have feature for a backyard that makes you feel pampered. Surround the hot tub with a gorgeous multi-level wood deck and comfortable seating to recreate a relaxing outdoor retreat.

An outdoor bar will give guests a place to sit and relax with a chilled drink.  A fireplace to add warmth after a soak on a cool night will round out the perfect backyard spa design.

The Gathering Place

A fire pit with built-in seating creates a cozy atmosphere and invites friends and family to gather and stay awhile. It also means chilly nights won’t end a great outdoor gathering. A fire pit offers design flexibility and is adaptable to any size or style of landscape. A gas-fuelled fire pit will complement a modern landscape, while a natural stone, wood-burning fire pit will fit a less formal yard.

Related: How to Take Care of Your Backyard Outdoor Fireplace in Milton, MA

No party is complete without good food! An outdoor kitchen will make your backyard even more enticing and allow you to cook entire meals without leaving your guests. Think beyond a BBQ and incorporate a grill, side burners and fridge to ensure you have everything you need on hand.

High-Tech Lounge

To truly expand your living space into your yard, bring technology outdoors. A fully equipped outdoor living room is so much more appealing than a dark man-cave. Outfit your space with a good music system and surround sound. For a unique experience, create a theatre under the stars with an outdoor flat screen TV, or a projector and a backyard movie screen. Keep drinks chilled and close at hand with a convenient patio cooler.

English Garden

If you prefer high-tea over high-tech, an English Garden is the perfect backyard design. Classic brick masonry will provide the backbone for a traditional English Garden. Raised planters and a formal patio will give form and function to your landscape. Soften the hardscaping with an abundance of bright blooms, such as roses, peonies and Iris. Boxwood hedges can add privacy or create borders for walkways or flower beds. For an even more formal look, a well-planned knot garden will add structure and balance to any landscape.

Related: Add Character to Your Walpole Landscape with a Brick Walkway

Image courtesy of Unilock.

Add Functionality to Your Outdoor Living Space with a Stone Seating Wall in Milton MA

Constructing stylish, well-placed seat walls is a simple and cost effective way to showcase high quality materials like natural stone, and create an open gathering spot. A seating wall can be tweaked in design to offer far more than just casual seating space. These highly functional structures can contribute more than you’d imagine – to the flow, convenience and aesthetic of your Milton, MA, outdoor areas. Read on to discover how to optimize the use of seat walls in your hardscape:

The multi-purpose nature of seat walls

A seat wall is so much more than a rustic take on outdoor furniture. These low walls are often positioned along the edges of an outdoor room, thereby separating it from the next. This enables the individual atmosphere of each outdoor room to be appreciated in isolation. Seat walls can also be hollowed out to function as additional storage space – a feature that is particularly valuable for patios that lack plenty of space. These convenient spaces can be used to stow away delicate items that may be damaged by harsh weather. Seat walls can also serve as convenient spots to place drinks, snacks and decorative items like planters.

Related: Five Important Design Trends that are Shaping Landscaping in Scituate MA

A taste of luxury

We all want to fill our outdoor spaces with luxurious materials like real granite and ornate glass tiles. However, this can break the bank and create a disorderly mess of materials, all competing for their place as the focal point of the hardscape. Therefore, it’s important to utilize showy materials in small, powerful doses. This will ensure that their beauty and superiority comes across clearly.

Have your seat walls veneered using authentic natural stone and allow them to stand out boldly against your patio floor and surrounding softscape. Stone veneer is relatively thin and easy to install, cutting material and installation costs.

Durable and reliable

Seat walls constructed from concrete wall units, or large units of natural stone, are guaranteed to withstand natural wear and tear. Should you decide to adorn your seat walls with comfortable cushions, you should have a safe space in which to store them when the weather takes a turn for the worst. Your capstones should be slightly angled to prevent the accumulation of rain water on their surfaces. Stagnant puddles can discolor capstones, depending on their composition and level of water resistance.

Eye-catching focal points

Despite the stunning impact that can be made by a stone seat wall, these low structures can also be constructed from brick or concrete units. Select materials that enhance your existing hardscape and serve to amplify its aesthetic theme. Seat walls often enclose outdoor rooms, and therefore have a role in defining the look and feel of the room. Incorporating a fire pit, or other fun feature, into the arrangement can also serve to make your seat walls more inviting.

Related: Add Character to Your Walpole Landscape with a Brick Walkway

Incorporating sleek lighting into the structure of your seat walls can also contribute towards a more functional and attractive design. Low voltage LED lights can be fitted underneath the overhang of the capstones. Consider chic strip lighting, or single lights placed at moderate intervals. This type of lighting will not only ensure your safety while navigating the hardscape, but will also illuminate the texture of the wall and highlight its presence as a distinct focal point.

Image courtesy of Unilock.

Five Important Design Trends that are Shaping Landscaping in Scituate MA

To bring indoor comfort and outdoor beauty together, homeowners and contractors are showing increased attention to landscape design. From small outdoor areas to functional landscapes, there are thousands of design opportunities to turn an ordinary outdoor living space into a peaceful haven. This year’s trends focus on craftsmanship, stunning lighting, and natural materials. Here are some ideas to inspire your next project in Scituate, MA:

Alfresco Dining

The number of people who show their dedication to creating the perfect landscape design by hiring maintenance services increases every year. Everyone enjoys an open space that connects various outdoor areas and creates a natural and inviting flow. With alfresco living, every meal is a special experience because of the casual but festive atmosphere of outdoor cooking, dining and lounging.

Outdoor kitchens, pizza ovens, grills and fire pits are a necessity for creating an outdoor area suitable for this purpose. These features make entertaining more enjoyable for the homeowners and add more surface area to the floor plan of your home, as they convert outdoor space into functional outdoor rooms.

All Natural Materials

More and more homeowners are embracing the natural look with their hardscaping materials. Natural stone patios and walkways, as well as vertical features such as outdoor fireplaces, fire pits and wall systems, are ever popular. Popular natural stone used in hardscaping includes bluestone, limestone, sandstone, flagstone, and granite. More and more homeowners are also opting for locally sourced materials and aiming for a more authentic, sustainable backyard.

There is also an emphasis being placed on craftsmanship because of its power to transform the backyard. Wood and stone are ideal materials for handcrafted details and spectacular designs.

Transforming Small Spaces

Small backyards can easily be transformed into attractive and functional outdoor spaces. With small yards, less is more. Incorporating features that offer multiple functions is a creative way to make better use of the space while adding bold visual elements. Small yards are also perfect for stimulating the senses. By dressing the landscape with strongly-scented, therapeutic flowers, pops of color can be added while creating a rich ambience.

Related: Landscape Contractors Use These Techniques for Making Small Spaces Appear Larger

Pergolas and Gazebos

Pergolas and gazebos not only offer shade and shelter, they are also stunning additions to the aesthetics of an outdoor space. These structures create a sense of intimacy and can serve as the centerpiece of an outdoor area. If decorated with vines and climbing plants, pergolas can help to introduce color, fragrance, and texture – perfect for a backyard getaway.

Related: Creating Privacy in Your Massachusetts Backyard

Wonderful Water Features

Regardless of whether you include a mini waterfall, a small pond, or a cool fountain, water features add a fresh touch to the outdoor space. The soothing sound of water can contribute to peaceful afternoons outdoors while the movement introduced by water features can contribute to a beautiful landscape. Water features can be further enhanced with the addition of lighting to highlight the feature and reflect off it’s rippling surface. Using lighting in conjunction with water features also provides safety benefits and reduces the risk of guests accidentally stepping into your pond.

Image courtesy of Unilock.

Outdoor Lighting Ideas for Improving Safety in Your Hanover Backyard

Outdoor lighting not only extends the hours that you can enjoy your Hanover, MA, backyard, it can also help to make your landscape safer. Well-planned landscape lighting will transform your yard from a dark, foreboding space to a warm and inviting area. Consider these outdoor lighting ideas to create a beautiful atmosphere and a safer landscape for you and your guests.

Lighting for Safety

Aside from aesthetics, there are three main areas of concern when designing a comprehensive outdoor lighting plan. You want to make your yard easy to navigate for your family and friends. You also want to deter would-be criminals or vandals from entering the yard. And you want to eliminate areas where potential dangers could be concealed.

A professionally designed outdoor lighting system will highlight the best features of your landscape while addressing issues that an untrained eye may not be aware of. A landscape design company, such as Towne Tree & Landscaping, Inc., can identify problem areas and potential hazards, such as low-hanging branches or a change in grade. They’re also knowledgeable about which type of lights work best for a particular location and how to properly position lights to avoid dark shadows.

Control Systems

Automatic lighting control systems can help make your outdoor lighting system more convenient and effective. A control system can turn lights off or on at intervals or specified times, and can also change lighting levels. An automatic system will save energy by ensuring lights are only on when necessary. Timers, light sensing photocells, and motion detectors all offer added security when properly installed in combination with well-placed lighting fixtures. A control system can also help to ensure that lighting for safety remains on all night, while lighting for aesthetics is turned off when not needed.

Related: Winter Landscaping Ideas for your Front Yard in Duxbury

Lighting High Traffic Areas

Good outdoor lighting will ensure that everyone can move safely around your yard. Well-lit walkways and transition areas are key to making your yard easier to navigate. Post lights are effective at entrances to walkways or driveways to highlight access points. The goal is for guests to easily locate gates and entryways while deterring intruders from entering a well-lit area.

Path lighting will help guide visitors and direct the flow of traffic while making potential tripping hazards visible. Path lights should shine downward, creating a soft glow that illuminates the ground without any upward glare. Step lights are a stylish and unobtrusive way to improve safety on stairways. Small, flush mount lights are installed on the front of risers or under tread lips to highlight steps at foot level.

Highlighting Hazards

Features that are considered fun during the day can present significant dangers at night. A pool, for example, is an extremely popular feature in any yard, but without proper lighting, a pool is off limits after dark. For maximum safety, a poolscape should feature a combination of underwater and above ground lighting. Beautiful LED underwater lighting systems have replaced bright underwater spotlights, creating the perfect atmosphere for safe nighttime swimming. Well-lit entry points such as stairs, ladders, and pool edges will increase safety for those in and out of the water.

Cooking without proper lighting can also pose many dangers. An outdoor kitchen should feature good overall lighting, as well as task lighting on counters, cooking surfaces, and sinks. Adding dimmers to your kitchen lighting will allow for maximum brightness while cooking, that can be toned down when the meal is done.

Related: Functional Outdoor Lighting Plans: The Do’s and Don’ts

Image courtesy of Unilock.