Tag Archives: landscape construction

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

Fall Landscaping needs to prepare for winter, and yes spring too!

Dog PictureStanley only has time for a quick drink.  Temperatures have started to tip downwards and the cool air from the Bay will be taking control and lots of work is ahead. While there is still plenty of time before winter hits you need to be preparing your landscape for the winter months. There are several things that need to be done to help ensure the health of your lawn, plants and trees not only for the winter, but for the spring.

Yard Preparation
Lawn Walk Behind Mower1. Mowing: Keep mowing your lawn up to winter gets here and the grass finally stops growing. You do not want your grass to be long going into winter because it might lay-over and possibly cause “grass rot”. Some even mow their grass shorter in the fall and winter months to ensure a healthy lawn and to allow leaves to blow off without much resistance.
2. Trimming: Very important to keep your plants, trees, bushes and hedges trimmed back and free of any dying or decaying branches. Reach in and prune them back to keep them sized and to “air them out”. This will also help in eliminating broken limbs and branches from the snow.
IMG_36643. Cleanup: Take time to rake up the leaves, pick-up the fallen branches, and other debris from your lawn which is key to the health of your lawn. You can use these materials in your organic mulch pile for use on your garden beds in the spring.
4. Feeding: Take time to feed your lawn and plants in the fall of the year. This will have a huge effect on your plants and lawns health in the springtime.
5. Tying: If you have large plants that could be damaged, split or broken by high winds and/or by a heavy snow take time to tie them up a day or so before the storm. Take some string and gently pull the branches up and tie them together…not tight, but snug enough to hold them together and for the string not to slip down the branches. Do not leave the plants tied up all winter, this could also cause damage. Elimination of storm damage will save you a lot of time and money by not having to replace plants every year.

Swan Creek Landscaping, Inc. prides itself in providing fall yard and maintenance cleanups for our Cecil and Harford County clients’. 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 more about how we can change the look of your property with “Fall Clean-ups” that will change the appearance of your home and ensure the health of your landscape year round.
Phone – 410.378.8668
Website: http://www.SwanCreekLandscaping.com

Your beautiful landscape can come alive at night by adding lighting….

Bull Dog PictureStanley says why not have your landscape and outdoor living space come a live at night?  Thus, expanding the usable time you spend enjoying your Maryland summers.  Then consider using landscape lighting features.  But first you need to develop a “lighting plan” prior to buying the fixtures and jumping into the installation process.

Key questions that needs answers include:
• Where do you want your lights
• Do you want them focused on key landscape features
• What type of fixtures do you want
• What type of fixtures do you need
• Do you want up lighting
• Do you want down lighting
• Are you paths properly lit
• What is the extent of you lighting needs
• What type of budget do you have
• Do you want the project completed in stages
• Areas where you can install lighting include:
o Decks, Porches, Play Areas
o Patios, Paths, Pool Decks
o Trees, Buildings, Yards
o Walkways, Driveways, Entrances
o And many more depending on personal needs!

IMG_3595As you might expect each area requires slightly different lights. Porches or deck lights are likely to be tall, sort of like lamp post, in order to give a fuller area of light.  On the other side, lights for paths and driveways will be much shorter and close to the ground.  Lighting for your landscape and trees is another entirely different type of lighting system.

Up-lighting vs. Down-lighting
Up-lighting and Down-lighting are the way to go if you really want your landscaping features to stand out.
• Up-lighting is located on ground facing upward to shine on key               landscape elements
• Down-lighting is usually mounted high up in the trees or on the             sides of buildings that shine down                                                                   When you combine the two, you can turn your yard into the talk of the town.  Not only does this create an attractive landscape, but can change dramatically the security of your home.  Intruders do not focus on homes that are will lit that could contain security cameras.

Swan Creek Landscaping, Inc. can integrate high quality, low-voltage landscape lighting systems smoothly with the rest of your yard’s landscape design, highlighting key elements for our Cecil and Harford County clients’.  From design, thru construction, till the dark of night turns on your lighting system, we provide uniquely designed outdoor lighting.  We can also maintain your entire property year round, including your yard maintenance, mowing, plantings, and landscape.  Pick-up the phone and call us to learn more about how we can unique lighting systems that will add beauty and security to your entire property.

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

21 Tips for Using a Weed Trimmer Safely

Bull Dog PictureStanley says Weed Trimmer safety is a serious issue. There are more than 5,000 serious injuries reported each year and tens of thousands of injuries not reported. Cuts and bruises from flying debris accounted for approximately 55% of the injuries, while another 35% were eye injuries. The pure nature of all rotating equipment is that they can cause instant injuries with no warning.

WeedeatingWeed Trimmer Safety Tips
1. Read the operating manual. Seriously, read it!
2. Ensure the equipment is operable. Are the guards in place, is the fuel cap on tight?
3. Wear heavy duty thick boots with an outdoor tread for sure footing.
4. Use safety glasses/goggles and ear protection.
5. Protect your body with tight-fitting long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
6. Wear good leather work gloves to protect your hands.
7. Use the correct fuel mixture (oil & gas) to ensure correct operation of the equipment.
8. Start the engine with one hand holding and the other starting.
9. Inspect the area where you will be cutting for foreign objects – rocks, wood chips, etc.
10. Turn off the engine and disconnect the spark-plug wire when making equipment repairs.
11. Make sure the engine has cooled off when refueling.
12. Do not trim in areas where people are within 25 to 50 feet.
13. Allow the engine to idle down and rest when cutting weeds or brush.
Weedeating Picture 214. Never use the trimmer to cut anything above waist height. Never reach out or up!
15. Be sure your engine speed is proportional to the weeds you are cutting.
16. Do not allow cuttings to wrap around the head or pile up when in use.
17. Let the unit run on idle for a few minutes to cool down before turning off.
18. Hit the “kill switch” and stop the unit before setting the unit down on the ground.
19. Inspect the trimmer for any damage, wear, or maintenance needs after each usage.
20. Do not work on the equipment while it is still running. Shut it down and put it down.
21. Use good judgment and a lot of common sense. Most injuries can be prevented!

Swan Creek Landscaping, Inc. helps homeowners and businesses in Cecil and Harford Counties with all of their landscaping maintenance needs. 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 so 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: 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

Pest control for your yard and garden will enhance productivity…..

If you are like most people who have gardens you spend a lot of time deciding what to plant, when to plant, how to plant and how to maintain you’re a valuable source of vegetables for our family. One morning you walk out and find that numerous pests have invaded your garden and turned it into a smorgasbord of fine dining for them and their friends.

Below are a few tips that address the most common garden pests from destroying your garden.

1.  Ground Hogs, Squirrels, Rabbits & Moles – As you might expect the best way to keep them away from the garden is to instill a fence. The fence should be high enough so they cannot come over the top and inserted into the ground enough to present them from digging under.  We would recommend a fence that is at least 2 foot tall with about 6” inches placed in the ground.  The placement of short metal posts can be spread apart about 3’ to 4’ feet and the use of Cable Ties makes it easy to assemble and to tear down.

You will find in the Garden Store several different kinds of powders and pellets that suggest the ward-off pests of different varies.  Some work and some just make you feel good about addressing the pest problem.  Everyone has their remedy and one we have used with some positive results is spreading cayenne pepper around the outside perimeter of the garden.  The smell seems to discourage pest from visiting your garden and to encourage them find somewhere else to look for food.  The pepper will not hurt or damage your plants.

2.  Deer pose a different kind of deterrent – Fencing would have to be tall to discourage these pests. There are also powders and pellets at the Garden Center that seem effective.  One of the powders is called “Blood Power” and it does seem to ward-off deer.  Another solution that some use is hanging net bags of pet or other animal hair.  Check with your garden center for more information.

3.  Birds…All of the Birds – There are several things you can do to keep birds away from your garden.  One is to place aluminum pie plates around the garden which hang by string off of metal fence posts. This makes noise with the wind which creates a loud enough sound as to scare them.

Another effective idea is to place a Bird Feeder in your yard that is close enough for them to see and visit and far enough away from the garden that do not want to visit.

4.  Insects…thousands of Insects – It might be surprising, but the most effective way to address insects is to have healthy soil that is cultivated and active.  Good soil will keep your plants strong and healthy which will ward-off insect attacks along with some other infections and molds.

If you continue to have insect problems you might want to mix up a diluted mixture of mild dish washing soap and water to spray around the plants. The mixture will kill most inspects and will prevent other garden pests without effecting or harming your plants.

Swan Creek Landscaping, Inc. prides itself in providing gardening ideas and options for our Cecil and Harford County clients’.  Our Maintenance Group will create a unique outdoor gardening experience that will provide productive vegetables for you and your neighbors.  In addition, our Service Group performs yard maintenance, mowing, plantings, landscaping, patios, pruning and retaining walls.  Pick-up the phone and call us to learn how Swan Creek can change the look of your property with landscaping  solutions that will enhance the appearance and value of your home.

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