Category Archives: Pavers

Tips to make Walkways a Key Part of Your Landscape

You may think the walkways and driveways are there to provide an important function by directing the flow of people who visit your home. Well, that’s right, but with a little thought you can add a lot of style, dimension, and beauty to your landscape. So how do you maximize the style of “walkways” around your Maryland home? First, you need to contact the experts at Swan Creek Landscaping who can help you make the right decision with a design to your liking!

Choosing the Right Materials
image_4The choices you make in materials that are pleasing to your eye will influence the overall style/design of your landscape. You will not want to confuse your landscape appearance by placing cobblestone paths into a modern designed yard. If you have settled on a yard theme, choosing the right materials is a little bit easier than starting from scratch. This is where your landscape contractor can be of great help, both with design and materials. Swan Creek Landscaping offers a variety of materials for walkways and drives, including:
• Concrete, Flagstone, Blue-stone
• Brick, Slate, Limestone, Sandstone
• And many others!

Choosing the Best Style for your yard is another ingredient!
Cole patio firepit pavers techoblocJust as important as the materials you like is the style you choose. Swan Creek Landscaping is a Techo-Bloc certified installer, so if you are looking for the utmost quality products with styles to match…you have come to the right place. The style you choose is directly related to the style/design of your landscape and that is  coupled to your yard. From here, you can head in many directions:
• The Rustic Look – If you choose a Rustic style and design for your backyard, Techo-Bloc has many pavers that will work. Two of the most popular are Flagstone and Antika which utilizes an uneven, rough-textured stones with a classic appearance.
• The Modern Look – For those with a modern yard design, you may want to consider using Industria or Exflo Techo-Bloc products. These material will give you a very uniform approach that creates a sleek and contemporary look.  [Note: Techo-Bloc products come in many styles, colors, and textures with a life-time guarantee.]

IMG_2972Swan Creek Landscaping, Inc. prides itself on providing unique walkways and driveways for our Cecil and Harford County clients. From design, to construction, until the dark of night turns on the lighting system, we provide uniquely designed outdoor living spaces that we can also maintain year round, including your yard maintenance, mowing, plantings, landscape and patios. Pick up the phone and call us to learn more about how we can change the look of your property by installing unique walkways and driveways.
Phone: 410.378.8668
Website: http://www.SwanCreekLandscaping.com

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Water Features can change the look, sounds and value of your property….

Dog PictureFor many people the soft sounds of moving water creates a soothing and relaxing environment that can create a great reading area, thinking pit, and an atmosphere for just relaxing.  There are many ways to incorporate water features into your landscape including:
•      Running Creek Beds with water returns
•      Small Ponds for vegetation or fishes
•      Fountains with cascading or spouting features

Creek Beds running through your yard area with a destination collection area that includes a pumping station for water return back to the start of the creek bed can create an extremely nice water feature.  This type of water feature can require some in-depth excavation work to your property and probably would require a lot of bedding materials including gravel, rocks, and boulders.  As you can tell from the material needs this would be a more expensive type project.

Small, fish, and vegetation ponds can be an affordable addition to your landscape while changing its appearance and beauty.  Most of this type of water feature is somewhat less expensive and requires minimal excavation with the use of a predetermined plastic liner that you placed into a hole location.  You then add rocks, stones, fishes and/or vegetation and in a very short period of time you have a soothing landscape addition.

TOSHIBA - Water Feature 1 (2)Fountain additions can be among the easiest and least expensive water addition you can add to your landscape.  Most fountains are self-contained, self-pumping units that take up less space and can be placed anywhere you like.  Fountains come in several types: spouting and cascading units that can be used in a pond or can be pond-less.
•      Spouting fountains often are placed in ponds and shoot water into the air that falls back into the pond creating splashing sounds.
•      Cascading fountains, usually are self-contained, having a soothing trickling effect that is created by having multiple levels for the water to flow too.

Swan Creek Landscaping, Inc. provides both small and large water features to our Cecil and Harford County clients’.  Our Maintenance Group will create a unique outdoor “water feature” experience that will produce a restful, soothing environment that will change your life style.  In addition, our Service Group performs yard maintenance, mowing, plantings, landscaping, patios, pruning and retaining walls on a contract basis.  It will only take a minute to pick-up the phone and call us to learn how Swan Creek can change the look and sound of your property with water features solutions that will enhance the appearance of your home along with the value.

Phone – 410.378.8668
Website: http://www.SwanCreekLandscaping.com

Striping – Do you want to have a professional striping look?

Often times we are asked how do the golf courses and major league baseball teams create that unique clean striping effect that catches the eye.  Well it is not as tough as you might think and you can do it if you use the right techniques on your Maryland cool grass types.

Striping Works Like This: The striping you see in sports venues and on golf courses is merely light reflecting off the blades of grass.  The blades of grass that appear to be dark indicates they are bent over towards you and the stripes that are lighter in appearance are blades of grass bent leaning away from you.  The normal course of mowing your grass back and forth naturally creates this effect.  But, to enhance the striping effect and make it more noticeable you will need to buy a “striping kit” (Lawn & Garden Center or online) or you can also use a roller.

Choose A Pattern: The best way to get started is to sit down and draw out several patterns that you like and fit your lawn and landscape.  Most common designs are: Checkerboard, Back & Forth, Diamonds or you can create your own.

Mowing is Key: You will want to start the process by mowing parallel to a straight line, such as a driveway or sidewalk.  You will want to take your time to walk in a straight line by looking out in front of the mower 8’ to 10’ feet if using either a hand mower or lawn tractor.  Try not to look right down at the ground at the front of the mower…this will cause you to waver and not have crisp, clean lines.  At the end of the row stop you blade or lift the mower deck up and turn around and go in the opposite direction.  To create a checker board effect you just mow the yard a second time in the opposite direction.  When complete mow all around the outer perimeter of the yard and you’re done.

Want a Bolder Look? – Professionals use rollers to really create a pronounced look by bending the blades of grass over more.  You can either buy a roller, borrow a roller from your neighbor, or rent one from your rental center.  Just make sure you are rolling in the same direction you mowed and you will have a striped look that will wow the neighbors.

Key Tips: To enhance your pattern look raise the height of your mowing deck to make the grass blades longer which will allow them to bed over more.  Cutting the grass shorter does not allow the grass blades to lay over as much.  Make sure you’re feed your lawn regularly to make your yard thicker and lusher, while giving you a deep green color.  Make sure your mower blades are sharp.  Dull blades will tear the grass, which will not allow the grass to lay over and create the look you’re looking for.

Swan Creek Landscaping, Inc. has provided our Cecil and Harford County clients’ with recommendations on all types of their lawn care and mowing needs over the past 10 years.  In addition to our Lawn and Property Maintenance Services Swan Creek also performs Landscape and Hardscape services that include: Gardens, General Landscaping and Hardscapes that include retaining walls, walkways, driveways, pool decks, patios and outdoor living spaces…both large and small.  Please call us to learn how Swan Creek can change the look of your property with Landscaping Programs that will enhance the appearance of your home along with the value.

Phone – 410.378.8668
Website: http://www.SwanCreekLandscaping.com

Why and when to dethatch and aerate your lawn…..

Often times we hear of trends, ideas and concepts that seem to catch on and everyone jumps on band wagon with the very best intent. This is also true when you talk to “green-thumbs” about Dethatching and Aerating your lawn. Some say leave it to Mother Nature and others say let’s take charge of the yard and enhance her efforts.

AeratorFirst things first, what is Dethatching and Soil Compaction:
•     Thatch is a dense, intertwined mat of living and dead grass materials that accumulate on your yards ground surface.  This is caused when the grass is growing faster than the clippings and debris                                                                                   can decompose
•     Soil compaction is normally in the first 3” or 4” inches which is caused by the settling of the soil from people walking on it and from mowing.  In Maryland it is also caused by the freezing and thawing of the soil during the winter and spring months

Why is it important to dethatch and aerate?
•      The accumulated thatch in some yards serves to restrict the oxygen levels in the soil.  All plants require oxygen and you grass is no exception.  Thatch makes it tough for the oxygen to enter the stems and root system
•      If your yard has compacted soil you are inviting pests to breed in your lawn, which will cause major maintenance issues going forward
•      When you dethatch and aerate your lawn you disturb and shake-up the soil, thus stimulating root growth because the oxygen, nutrients and water can now reach root area of the grasses.  This will cause the lawn to become more dense causing water runoff to be hindered

How do you Dethatch?
•      In the late spring or early fall you want to mow your grass to a low height
•      Select a power dethatcher (from most rental stores) or a hand thatching rake with large cutting blades and go about lifting up the dead under mat to the top of the grass surface
•      Thatch the yard using an even pattern to ensure coverage. If you have a sprinkler system mark the heads and lines so you don’t destroy them when thatching
•      Gather the clipping and add to your compost pile or dispose of them if needed
•      Water the lawn and you are done!

How do you Aerate?
Aeration Equipment•      For Maryland grasses early fall is the best time when the soil is moist and the ground soft
•      Select a power aeration machine – most rental stores have one
•      Aerate the yard using a specific back and forth pattern to ensure an even aeration. If you have a sprinkler system mark the heads and lines so you don’t destroy them during aeration

Dethatching and Aeration of the soils is a labor intensive job that can sometimes be a little difficult.  Swan Creek Landscaping, Inc. provides these services to our Cecil and Harford County clients’. Our Maintenance Group will inspect your yard to determine the need and then schedule a time when the soil is just right to dethatch and/or aerate.  In addition, our Maintenance Service Group performs yard maintenance of all types including: mowing, plantings, pruning, landscaping, and spring/fall clean-ups on a contract basis.  Please pick-up the phone and call us to learn how Swan Creek can change the look of your property with yard maintenance that will enhance the appearance of your home along with the value.

Phone – 410.378.8668
Website: http://www.SwanCreekLandscaping.com

4 – Lawn mowing safety tips and a lot of common sense….

A lawn mower is a dangerous piece of equipment that can hurt you and others, while doing physical harm to your property. At first glance, it would appear that mowing the grass is a simple job: just pull the cord, walk behind the mower, and voila, the job is done. That could be true if you have taken good care of your equipment, know how it operates, and apply a lot of common sense. Below find 4 steps for mower safety that can help eliminate many of the mowing obstacles and dangers you face each time you mow.

Tractor Mowing1. Maintain your mower and keep it in good working condition
• When working on the mower, disconnect the spark plug wire
• Check the oil level and add some it needed but do not over fill
• Make sure your blades are sharp and tight
• Check to make sure that all covers, shields, and guards are in                   place and working
• Fill the mow with gas, making sure not to spill any
• Set the mower to the right cutting level for the work at hand                   before you start the engine

2. Always use safety equipment and protective eye to wear to                     eliminate injuries
• Wear tight-fitting clothing that protects your legs and arms
• Use ear plugs, work gloves, and eye protection at all times
• Wear closed-toe work shoes with good traction bottoms

Mowing Grass3. Clean up the yard and eliminate any debris, toys, and obstacles
• Do not mow around people–ask them to leave the area or stop              mowing
• Turn off the mower or blade rotation when crossing gravel or                  stone areas
• Walk around the yard to pick up sticks, rocks, toys, and other                  debris
• Know what is lurking in the grass when mowing in a high grassy             area
• In high grass, take your time, raise the height adjustment, and do          not clog the mow thus choke it down
• Mow cautiously around trees and shrubs that have low-handing           branches
• When mowing on rough ground, set the height adjustment to                 the highest level

Bull Dog Picture4. Dig into the common sense area of your brain and use it!
• Keep your hands and feet away from the blade area and the hot           motor casing and exhaust
• Do not let undersized, under trained, children operate your                       mower
• When cleaning up, do not spray water on a hot engine
• Do not make mowing height adjustments while the engine is                   running
• Do not refuel the mower while the engine is running
• Do not mow areas that are wet or slippery
• Do not leave the mower unattended

Swan Creek Landscaping, Inc. helps homeowners and businesses in Cecil and Harford Counties with helpful tips and suggestions for all your landscaping, maintenance, and mowing needs.  From landscape design, to construction, to maintaining your property year round, we will provide you with a landscaping and hardscaping  experience that will exceed your expectations.  When considering your landscape, hardscape, or lawn-maintenance needs, please give us a call for a free consultation on how we can turn your visions and our experience into an outdoor living experience you and your family will enjoy and appreciate.

Phone: 410-378.8668
Website: http://www.SwanCreekLandscaping.com

Change and improve the appearance of your landscape and property by installing a Paver Driveway

How in the world does a Paver Driveway improve the appearance of my landscape is probably the first thought that comes into your mind.  Well to begin with, your driveway is probably the first thing everyone sees when they come to your home.  So changing the look and functionality of the driveway can not only change the appearance of your landscape, it will change the look and beauty of your home.

image_4Swan Creek Landscaping has designed, built and maintained unique driveways using Techo-Bloc pavers for the past 9 years.  We are a Certified Techo-Bloc Installer/Contractor for this industry leading provider of Pavers, Slabs, Permeable Pavers, Walls, & Outdoor Living Spaces including: Patios, Walkways, Retaining Walls, Steps, Driveways, Outdoor Kitchens, and Pool Decks.

What are the design considerations for a Paver Driveway?
The very first consideration is what materials and colors are pleasing to your eye.  We would surely recommend you consider using the outstanding designs and craftsmanship offered by Techo-Bloc who will present multiple patterns, colors, and styles of pavers for your selection.  Please do not be deceived; picking the right color and design is the toughest part of the project and will take some time.

Choosing the right materials and the related benefits:                        

  • Brick Paver Driveways – These materials (there are several to choose from) and the related design will focus on a classic, rustic, elegant look to your home’s exterior.
  • Permeable Pavers – Features include many attractive patterns and styles, but with an added feature of being “self-draining” which helps to prevent erosion and the opportunity for a flooded driveway.
  • Flagstone Pavers – Focuses on the classic, random patterned Maryland quarry stone look from the era of so many small stone quarries of the past. The classy look will bring out the beauty of any home.

IMG_4156Techo-Bloc has many pavers to choose from and we can send you a catalog upon your request.

You have picked the materials and colors and now it is time for the real design choices which begs the following questions: What size of driveway do you want?  Do you want a turnaround area?  Do you want you walkways to match the driveway?  Do you want a wraparound driveway?  Do you want a defined edging outlining the driveway?  Do you want to landscape and/or add plants to parts of the driveway?  Do you want the driveway to be lighted? Do you want a marque entrance added?

With many of the decisions made and your questions answered it is now time for your landscaper to start your driveway redesign, which should include the design patterns, materials, colors, construction plans, project timing and, of course, the cost of the project.

Swan Creek Landscaping, Inc. helps homeowners and businesses in Cecil and Harford Counties with all of their landscaping needs including new Paver Driveways to beautify your home and landscape. From design, to construction, to maintaining your property year round, we will provide you with a landscaping experience that will exceed your expectations.  When considering your landscape, hardscape (patios, walkways, driveways, pool decks and outdoor living spaces) or lawn maintenance needs, please give us a call for a free consultation on how we can turn your visions and our experience into an outdoor living experience you and your family will enjoy and appreciate.

Phone – 410.378.8668                                                                                             Website: http://www.SwanCreekLandscaping.com

You don’t have to have a large lawn to enjoy the Maryland outdoors….

People who live in cities and towns often have small lawns and outdoor living spaces.   Across the country, in the past few years, lawns have been getting smaller and smaller.  The main reason is the time, energy, equipment and supplies it takes to maintain large lawns and landscapes.

Taking care of small lawns can be easier and more fun than you think.  The following are just a couple of ideas to care for your lawn, in a timely manner, while enhancing your time outdoors.

Tool Needs: Depending on the size and type of lawn you have you may only need a smaller number tools for maintenance.
Mower Picture1. Mower – A small electric mower or hand push mower that has height adjustment capabilities may be just what the doctor ordered. The new battery powered electric mowers are easy to use, take little space to store and require a minimum amount of power to charge.
2. Hand Tools – If you have any flowers or a few vegetables plants you might want to have a light weight shovel, garden rake, leaf rake, 5 gallon bucket and a broom. A hand cultivator and shovel might also fit your needs for the flower beds.
Weedeating3. Trimmer – Consider a small battery powered electric string trimmer to do you edging and trimming around the house, flower beds and sidewalks.
4. Small Spreader – You might also want to invest in small spreader to spread fertilizer and lawn food in the spring and fall. The Scotts Snap Spreader System might be just right, check it out at you Lawn & Garden Store.
Porch Potted Plants5. Landscaping – Consider adding or changing your landscape by designing a space that adds some plants, shrubs and hedges for privacy, incorporates intimate flower and garden beds, and allows for a nice outdoor living space with a patio, hot-tub or fire pit.

Anything is possible so use your imagination and you will create a landscape that will be the envy of the street, which is beautiful, useful, and inexpensive.

Swan Creek Landscaping, Inc. creates and installs small landscape solutions with large results to our Cecil and Harford County clients’. In addition to our lawn and property Maintenance Services Swan Creek also performs Landscape and Hardscape services that include: Gardens, General Landscaping and Hardscapes that include retaining walls, walkways, driveways, pool decks, patios and outdoor living spaces…both large and small.  Please call us to learn how Swan Creek can change the look of your property with Landscaping Programs that will enhance the appearance of your home along with the value.
Phone – 410.378.8668
Website: http://www.SwanCreekLandscaping.com