Category Archives: Sidewalks

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

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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

Summer Watering Practices – Plants, Flowers, and Bushes

You have invested in a new Landscape that you helped design and the last thing you need is to have your plants wilt and die.  We trust that your landscaper has taken into account your soil type, the hours your plants are in the sun-light, shading issues from the house and other plants, and has provided a selection of seasonal plants that will give you year round pleasure.

Swan Creek takes great pride in providing our client’s with eye pleasing year round landscapes along with a watering program to keep them healthy that is custom designed to your particular landscape.

Summer Watering Practices – Keeping your plants safely watered is just a little bit tricky when considering all of the events you have to take into consideration around the state of Maryland.

The Weather Issue? – Key to watering your plants is to check daily the weather forecast, the related rain fall predictions, daytime and nighttime temperatures and to make sure that the forecast happened as predicted.  Watering the night before a heavy rain might cause an over watering condition which can be as bad as under watering.  Temperatures also play a key role in your watering program.  If the temperatures are in the 70’s watering once a week might be fine.  If the temperatures are in the 80’s watering twice a week might be best.  And, if the temperatures are in the 90’s you might want to be watering every other day.  If there is any questions about the need to water it is always best to check the ground around the plants neck and foliage area for moisture content.  If dry – water! If wet – wait a while!  Another tip: pay attention to the long-range forecast and make note of upcoming weather conditions on your calendar or I-Phone.

The How Much Issue? – Most gardening experts, and Swan Creek Landscaping, suggest that for plants to be healthy and growing they need to have the soil moist down about 1/2”. As with other watering issues check around the plants with your fingers…do they need water?

The When Issue? – The best time to water your plants and your yard is in the early to mid-morning hours.  This allows the plants to “quench their thirst” during the peak temperatures of the day and also allows the plants to breath which will discourage humid soil round the plants that could cause mold and mildew issues from too much watering.

The Application Issue? – Do not open up the spray nozzle and beat your plants to death with too much pressure and way too much water.  Be kind and gentle with the watering by softly and evenly spreading the water around the base of the plant. Try to avoid watering down the leaves of the plants which could cause the plants to take on a disease or mold.  Having a long-handled sprinkler nozzle that you can reach into and around the base of the plant is best.  The use of a watering system, trickle system or soaker hoses really can be the best investment you make for keeping your landscape, plants, flowers and lawn in beautiful shape.

Swan Creek Landscaping, Inc. helps homeowners and businesses in Cecil and Harford Counties with all of their Landscape needs, including watering tips to keep you landscape looking great.  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

Privacy landscaping can make you and your neighbors happy!!!

Some time you just want to be by yourself or you just don’t want to hear your next door neighbor on their cell phone.  You just want to relax with some quite time with no interference or you really want to sit out in the warm sun without the neighbor’s basketball bouncing through the patio and over-top of the grill.  The answer just might be a phone call way and just around the corner.

Garden PictureLandscaping Your Yard for Privacy

Designing a landscaping that creates a soft, quite, natural, privacy barrier can change the whole dynamics and enjoyment of your outdoor living space.  There are many ways to address privacy barriers other than building an eight foot tall fence.

Softscapes – One of the best ways to landscape for privacy is the addition of trees, shrubs, plants, and flowers designed in such a way that the line-of-sight is deterred and the normal day to day sounds of our neighbors and local traffic are muffled.  Layering the plants allows for the larger plants to be designed on the outside of your yard creating a taller barrier and providing a place to nestle in the lower bushier plants to the inside for more subtle noises.

cole patio firepitHardscapes – Designing decks and patios for privacy is another way to soften the neighborhood noises and allow for more privacy.  The addition of Pergola and Trellises will not be able to hide the entire yard, but it will allow for private areas for your and your guest.

Decorative Walls – One of the best ways to add privacy is to use Decorative Walls.  They can be used around the slops of the yard to create new living spaces or gardens.  You can also add an attractive addition to your patio or pool area that could include decorative fencing on the top edge for maximum privacy.

Water Features – This is a unique way to design a new outdoor living space that is peaceful and relaxing, but it will also mask the noises of the neighborhood.  The addition of a fountain or waterfall will also muffle the sounds from the air conditioner, street traffic and conversations from your neighbors.  There is just something about the sound of a water feature that is relaxing and soothing to the ear.

Swan Creek Landscaping, Inc. prides itself in providing privacy landscape options for our Cecil and Harford County clients’.  Our Design Group will create a unique outdoor living space that will meet your privacy needs, while providing a unique outdoor living space.  In addition, our Service Group performs yard maintenance, mowing, plantings, landscaping, patios, pruning and gardening on a contract basis.  Pick-up the phone and call us to learn how Swan Creek can change the look of your property with privacy solutions that will enhance the appearance of your home and value.

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

Tips on Watering your Maryland lawn green during the “dog days” of summer….

Maryland is blessed with a great climate that allows our residents to be outdoors three quarters of the year.  But, keeping your landscape and specifically your lawn green during the hot days of August can be a challenge.  But Swan Creek has some ideas, suggestions and tips.

Dog PictureThe very best solution is to have an irrigation system which can be the greatest way to keep a Maryland lawn nourished and cooled off. Your yard needs water on a regular bases and the best way to get it is with some type of Sprinkling System (in-ground or above ground). It is the best defense against the “dog days” of summer that can bring brown spots and can even kill parts of your yard.  It also allows the yard to soak up needed water and nutrients while allowing the excess water to be evaporate by the sun.

Watering Tips:
• Best time to water you lawn is between 4:00 A.M. and 9:00 A.M. in the morning
• Do not water in the hottest part of the day…the water will evaporate before being absorbed
• Do not saturate your lawn with water…this can cause a breeding ground for mold and disease
• Avoid watering by hand…it is inconsistent and will not spread evenly around the yard
• Most lawns require about 1” to 2” inches of water per week depending on soil and grass type
• Avoid watering by hand with a hose and spray nozzle because of the inconsistency in spraying
• Use of an inexpensive sprinkler supplied by a water hose and placed around the yard can also be most effective. Make sure you take note of time in each area so as not to over water
• Keep your mowing height at 3” or greater. Tall grass can best absorb the water, while helping to eliminate stress on the plants
• Buy a good mulching bade for your mower and stop bagging you clippings. The blade will cut the grass into finer pieces and allow it to drop back into the lawn for added food and nutrients
• Keep your fertilizer in the bag during the hot months unless you have a sprinkler system. You can quickly burn out the yard if applied at the wrong time. Consult your nursery
• Planting shade Tree Picturetrees around your property might also give your lawn some relieve from the heat and can even offer shaded areas for your outdoor living spaces

Remember, with all lawn care Mother Nature is always in charge. But, seed companies are constantly coming out with new grasses and some recent introductions to the market are slow growing grasses, grasses that need a minimum amount of water, and grasses you do not even need to be mowed.

Swan Creek Landscaping, Inc. provides lawn, grass and watering tips to our Cecil and Harford County clients’.  Our Maintenance Group will inspect your yard to determine your watering needs and then make recommendations for proper care of your entire yard and landscape.  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 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

Unique Patios come in all sizes and shapes to meet your needs….

The item that Landscaping Contractors are most called to design, build, and maintain are Patios. Why patios? Well for several reasons:
1. They are usually the first upgrade made to a new home
2. They can be created in all sizes and shapes to change your existing home appearance
3. They can be the first and most important start to an expandable outdoor living space
4. They can change the appearance of your yard design quickly
5. They are extremely customizable utilizing the homeowners needs, wants and desires

How do you customize the design of your patio into a unique space that enhances the appearance of your home, yard and outdoor living space?IMG_0186

The first step would be to contact your Landscaping Contractor to guide you through the process. Swan Creek Landscaping is the leading expert for designing patios that are unique and have the long-lasting appearance you want.

What is the right way to plan a custom designed patio?
There is no real right or wrong way to design a patio. Everything goes and yes, there is a chance you can make a mistake. The good news is that the right landscape contractor will notice a problem, point it out and offer solutions and related alternatives. Your current landscape may present some restrictions that will need to be considered before you develop a creative design. Ask these questions:Cole patio firepit pavers techobloc
1. What is the topography of the yard? Do you have hills and slopes? This being the case, the size of your patio may be somewhat restricted. The cost associated with leveling the yard and smoothing things out can be expensive and time consuming, requiring equipment and labor hours.
2. Check to see if there are any restriction, ordinances, or homeowners’ association regulations that must be considered before you start. Sometimes the size of the patio, its features (fire pits, pizza ovens, etc.), electrical regulations, and plumbing codes may need city, county or homeowners’ association approvals before proceeding. Or, you can call on Swan Creek Landscaping who will take care of the bureaucracy for you.
3. What features do you want to incorporate into your patio? Make sure you have your wish list of needs and wants. Talk with the family members, neighbors, and friends about the features they have and what they would suggest.

IMG_0219Designing your Stunning Outdoor Patio
The centerpiece of your backyard will be your Patio. The design options are endless. But if you want something really outside of the box, you need to call Swan Creek Landscaping. Some of the most popular features include:
• Tiers Spaces that can be used for multi-use levels
• Attractive outdoor lighting and fencing accents
• Updating of the landscape with mulch, new plantings and flower pots
• Fire Pits and Wall Seating that are naturally unified into the patio
• Outdoor Kitchens that include Pizza Ovens, Beverage Coolers, and Barbeque Centers

Swan Creek Landscaping, Inc. prides itself in providing unique Patios 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 spaces that we can also maintain year round, including your yard, plantings, and landscape. Pick-up the phone and call us to learn more.
Phone: 410.378.8668
Website: http://www.SwanCreekLandscaping.com

Garden Tools – What do I need?

They say you can tell the age of the gardener by the size and number of their tools.  How many tools do you really need to be able to work safely around your house tending to your landscape?  Well, that depends on how deeply involved you want to be in maintaining your landscape and gardens. Is pulling a few weeds and planting a few bulbs in the spring as much as you want to do outdoors or do you enjoy the outdoors and satisfaction you receive by getting fully involved in the maintenance of your landscape?

Having long been a person who thoroughly enjoys yard and garden maintenance, I can recommend some of the tools for the passive gardener or the investment in tools required for the weekend warrior.

Tools & MoreThe passive gardener will need:
• Garden Gloves, Knee Pads, Wide Brim Hat, and Safety Glasses
• Small Hand Cultivator & Rake, Yard Rake, Leaf Rake, and Spade
• Hand Pruner, Small Bucket, Collapsible Water Hose, and Spray Nozzle

The weekend warrior who really enjoys the challenge of maintaining a landscape or garden will need:
More Tools• Garden Gloves, Knee Pads, Wide Brim Hat, Work Boots, and Safety Glasses
• Spade, Flat Nosed Shovel, Leaf Rake, Garden Rake, Hoe, Pitch Fork, and Wheel Barrel
• 5 Gallon Bucket, Garden Hose, Hose Reel, Spray Nozzle, and Large Mulching Bucket
• Walk Behind Lawn Mower and/or Lawn Tractor (depending on size of the yard)
• Trash Container, Weed Eater, Hand Trim Saw, and Large & Small Pruner

When using all types of tools, the key word is SAFETY!  Use the right tool for the job.  Don’t force the tool or us them as pry bars.  Clean your tools up after use. Have a safe place to store the tools. And we always recommend the use of SAFETY GLASSES.

Swan Creek Landscaping, Inc. helps home owners and businesses in Cecil and Harford Counties with all of their landscaping needs, helpful hints and questions.  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 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 appreciate.

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