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Hardscaping 101 From Your Denver Landscaping Service


January 17, 2018

Hardscaping has become a big landscaping trend in recent years, especially for areas affected by droughts and have restricted water use. Residents in these areas had to pause and rethink how their landscaping should work without being able to water so much. Instead of letting landscaping dry out and die, leaving an unpleasant looking yard, a lot of people are implementing hardscape into their landscaping. What exactly is hardscape? Keep reading to find out!

All About Hardscape

Hardscaping deals with non plant design elements of landscaping, such as paved walkways, walls, patios, fences, lawn ornaments, and especially rocks. As one of the foundations and anchors of a landscaping plan, hardscaping should be planned and implemented before your start softscaping (which is all of your greenery you want to add). Hardscaping provides continuity from your home’s interior to yard, then from your yard to surrounding landscape.

Hardscaping not only beautify your outdoor landscaping, but also makes it more livable. You can use hardscaping to enhance privacy, creating boundaries, leveling out the yard, providing shelter, and depending on your preference, reduces lawn maintenance. Fences and walls can be used to divide up your yard for different purposes. Vegetable gardens thrive in hard surfaces, but you might still want some grassy area for pets, children, or just for eye appeal.

Does your yard have a steep or awkward hill, making it almost seemingly impossible to use? Depending on how steep the slope is, you can install a retaining wall to correct it. Retaining walls all serve the same purpose, regardless of the style. They hold back sections of soil so you can separate flat areas of your yard, and they also prevent soil erosion.

Hardscaping is also used to provide shelter for you and your friends and family. Gazebos? Those are technically hardscaping, as well as overhangs, which are two examples of hardscaping that will allow you to get out in the great outdoors and use your yard more! They provide shelter from rain, or provide shade during the hot, sunny, summer days.

Do you hate mowing the lawn week after week? Well, if the answer is “yes”, hardscaping is for you! Hardscaping cuts down on mowing the lawn and yard maintenance significantly. Paving walkways and laying down rocks instead of grass will greatly reduce the amount of grass in your lawn to little or nothing at all, providing an incredibly low-maintenance yard.

Finally, even some water features can be considered hardscaping. The types of fountains that feature hardscaping are stone fountains, ceramic fountains, DIY fountains, and clay pot fountains.

Before you go to your local hardware store and purchase a ton of rocks, it’s important to consider the functions of hardscaping and to talk to the professionals. At Water Solutions Company, we’re your go-to landscaping professionals in the Denver area! For twenty-two years and counting, we’ve been providing the best sprinkler and landscaping services. Our main specialities include sprinkler installation, eco-friendly landscaping and design, sprinkler blowouts, and other routine maintenance. Give us a call today!
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Denver Landscaping Company: Tips for Installing Stairs In Your landscaping


January 10, 2018

When you have a slope in your back or front yard, you’ve got to do something with it to make it easier to navigate your landscaping. What can you install? Stairs! Stairs are the perfect accompaniment for slopes anywhere in your yard, and allow you to even add fun other landscaping features like retaining walls and fire pits. You’ll want to consult a professional landscaping company, such as Water Solutions, to help you install stairs in your landscaping because it can be very tricky. However, keep reading below for a general understanding of the stair installation process from your Denver landscaping company!

The Installation Process

When it comes to planning to install steps and stairs in your landscaping, start with a plan. Then, you’ll always start building steps at the bottom of your slope and work up the hill. Additionally, steps can never be built on loose topsoil. They need to be installed on a compacted base material. In the installation process, landscaping experts will excavate the topsoil all the way down to a firm subsoil layer. Then, the shape of your steps will be cut directly into the soil. From there, the process will depend on the type of masonry material you have decided to use.

Masonry Materials

Depending on whether you want to install steps in your backyard hill, or if you want to install front porch steps, the masonry material matters. For front porch steps, garage steps, or any type of step you’ll be walking and relying on every day, interlocking concrete blocks are typically the material of choice. These blocks are efficient and are a very straightforward install. They also come in several colors and textures to match your existing landscaping theme or home color. You can also use these blocks for retaining walls, making it a seamless transition from steps to walls. For backyard hills you want to install steps on, the masonry material used can be brick, natural stone, concrete blocks, or even poured cement.

If you’re looking to use wood rather than masonry materials, remember that while they are generally less time consuming compared to masonry, they also have a much shorter lifespan. Landscape timbers and railroad ties are popular choices, can be inexpensive, and come already cut in the perfect dimensions for steps. There are several factors to consider when choosing materials for outdoor stairs.

Dimensions

For the standard rise of a landscape step, experts typically use six inches with a run of at least fifteen inches. Remember to keep your rises and runs consistent throughout your step construction so you prevent people from tripping and falling. Additionally, think about how wide you want your stairway to be. Typically, at the very minimum three feet is comfortable enough for one person, but if you want to allow enough room for two people to walk side by side, make sure the width is between five to six feet. The wider the stairway the more dramatic of an effect it gives.

Ready to install stairs and steps in your landscaping? Give your Denver landscaping experts a call! Contact Water Solutions Company today for a free project estimates!
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Denver Landscaping Specialists: The Dos and Don’ts of Outdoor Lighting


January 3, 2018

Lighting can really make a room, including outdoor lighting. When it comes to having outdoor lighting and on the exterior of your home, a well-lit area increases security but really enhances your curb appeal. Outdoor lighting makes your home welcoming and friendly to guests and neighbors. Backyard spaces are no exception to outdoor lighting, either. But before you go out and purchase a bunch of lights, be sure to know the do’s and don’ts of outdoor lighting from your Denver landscaping service!

DOS

Choose fixtures that match or complement your home’s color scheme. If you’re wanting a color that goes with most colors, choose black finishes because it’s appropriate for all color schemes. White finishes work well with houses that have white trim and darker bodies. Bronze finishes go best with homes that have an earth tone color scheme or brown accents.

When it comes to your deck and patio, space out the light sources. Adding more smaller fixtures with a low, ambient wattage of light will look better than have just one large, bright bulb.

For your driveway, be sure to use lanterns on posts. If you have a long driveway and your front door light or garage lighting doesn’t extend the driveway path, add post lanterns as an additional way to greet visitors (and make sure no one trips or stumbles in the dark).

Go with LED fixtures and bulbs. LED bulbs use less energy than regular bulbs, last a LOT longer, and come in a variety of color temperatures. Old variations of LED bulbs only gave off a bluish, cool light, but new variations come in warmer temperatures that give off yellow light. You can also choose from clear finishes or frosted. These new color schemes will still help you achieve whatever look you’re going for but also save you energy and money!

Mount your lights slightly above eye level on walls. Generally, 66” is what landscapers recommend when it comes to the front of your house.

Finally, be sure you find a quality line of lighting fixtures so that they come with a warranty and will last for years. The last thing you want to do is spend time to install fixtures only to have them break or rust after one season’s use.

DON’TS

One of the main “Don’t” of outdoor lighting is to avoid using light bulbs that have way too high of a wattage. The best wattage for outdoor lighting is between 40 and 75 watts. Most fixtures will give you a recommended wattage which will be appropriate. Never use more wattage than what you need because it will create glare and harsh lighting that’s not very welcoming for your guests and neighbors.

One of the most common mistakes that homeowners make when purchasing outdoor lighting is choosing lighting fixtures that are too small for the space. Your front door is the only place outside that should have a large and ornate fixture, because it’s the focal point for the home. Outside of the front door, avoid using very large fixtures that will create one large lighting focal point that can come off as too harsh. Use multiple small fixtures that make your outdoor space more ambient and relaxing for you and your guests.

While we recommend using smaller features for your outdoor area, don’t use a small fixture for your back door. Don’t use the same one as your front door, but keep it large so it matches the home’s lighting but avoid making it small. This is also important for safety reasons.

For the best landscaping help in Denver, call Water Solutions Company! Our experts have years of experience with outdoor lighting! Contact us today for a free estimate for all of your landscaping and irrigation system needs!
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Denver Landscaping Service: Solutions For Cars Parking On Your Grass


December 20, 2017

It’s the time of the year where you start having holiday parties left and right, and often you’ll find yourself running out of places to park. This dilemma is usually solved by having people park on your grass. Parking cars on your lawn can lead to ruts, mush, and unsightly lawn conditions. It also can lead to erosion on a vehicle if you’re parking it for a long time. While you may think that’s okay, there are actually several dangers to parking cars on your lawn. However, there are also solutions to combat that problem as well! These methods are designed to help protect your lawn and be eco-friendly for the environment.

Mesh

Grass reinforcement mesh is fairly new to the world of landscaping. These products usually consist of thick plastic mesh that comes in a roll, and you install it directly onto your grass. Mesh protects, reinforces, and stabilizes your grass against the damage caused by cars parking on your lawn, or even for pedestrian walkways.

When it comes to the installation of the mesh, it’s very easy to install. The mesh itself comes in a roll. After you cut your grass short, you’ll unroll the protection mesh and lay it out over the area you want to protect. To secure the mesh, you place metal U-ins or plastic fixing pegs into the mesh and into your existing grass. Your grass will still be able to grow through the mesh and will actually intertwine with the mesh to create a strong, stabilized grassy surface that will be able to stand the weight of a vehicle and prevent the damage that could happen to your lawn. By intertwining with the grass, it creates a natural looking solution, limiting damage and reducing soil erosion for your lawn.

Grids

Protection grids are similar to mesh, as they are also plastic, but they are typically interlocking that you place on top of your grass. Environmentally friendly, grass protecting grids provide stability, protection, and drainage. Grids are perfect for vehicle parking, driving, and even pedestrian walkways. These grids are also super easy to install. The grids come in panels that are sized perfectly making it easy to install. You can trim them to work around curved landscaping areas if need be. Grids also allow for drainage and even grass growth.

Grass mesh and grids are very similar and both offer strong protection of your natural grass. Regardless of which one you choose, they are superb solutions for cars parking on your grass. They both provide a natural look so once your grass grows in, you won’t be able to tell that you have mesh or grid panels down. If you need some visual reference, look up parking on grass solutions so you can see how great these really look on your lawn. Read more about care tips for parking on the lawn.

As the temperature drops, be sure to winterize your landscaping as well! If you have any questions on how to protect your lawn and want solutions for parking cars on your lawn, be sure to give Water Solutions Company a call today! We have years of experience under our belt, and we know how busy the holiday season gets. We can help you with landscaping and even your sprinkler system! Contact us today for an estimate!
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Denver Landscaping Service: 5 Ways to Decorate Your Landscaping For The Holidays


December 13, 2017

Now that our stomachs are full and Thanksgiving has passed, it’s time to bust out the holiday decorations and start celebration one of the most popular holidays! When you think of decorating for the holidays, you probably instantly think of decorating the interior of your home with your tree and stockings. However, it’s important to decorate your landscaping outside, too! People who happen to pass by your house as well as your neighbors will appreciate the festiveness you bring when you decorate. Read on for five ways you can decorate your landscaping from your Denver landscaping service!

String Lights

When you think of the holidays, you’ve got to think about lights - and lots of them! While you’ll find that most people simple string lights from their gutters or hang icicle lights, get creative with your landscaping. Try stringing your lights around your plants and your shrubs. You could also outline the pathway to your home and driveway to really bring out your home’s character.

Use Nature to Decorate

Do you love the old-school, vintage holiday look? Take one of the easiest decorations to work with, garland, and use it all along your landscaping. Use it to drape over doorways, decks, or doorsteps. If you have railings or pillars, be sure to twist that around to give off a charming, welcoming environment. You can also add ribbons, lights, or ornaments to your garland, too!

Fill Up Your Planters

Do you find yourself with empty planters after the winter frost starts setting in? Most people take away their plants and keep the empty planters outside. This leaves a lot of opportunity for you to use them to decorate! You can find plenty of decorations ranging from garland, branches, holly, or other seasonal decor to put into your planters and add extra curb appeal for the holidays.

Bring Santa To Your Yard

You’ll find yard decorations all over the neighborhood during the holidays, from characters on stakes to characters inflated to over 10 feet tall! Whatever your preference, be sure to add them into your landscape for seasonal cheer. You can also use firewood, candles, a sled, or ornaments to bring your yard to life!

Bring The Unexpected To Life

You know the drill: holiday colors are always red and green. Always. You’ll also find silver and gold mixed in with those two primary colors as well. You can bet that your neighbors will most likely be using this color scheme as well, like anyone else naturally would. However, try using an unexpected color scheme. Non-traditional color schemes have been rising in popularity over the years for indoor decorating, but bring those colors outside and onto your landscaping. Try royal hues or bright, sunny colors for a change of pace. No matter what you choose, your neighbors will be sure to notice!

Don’t just stop at these five ideas. You can find so many more crafty outdoor holiday decorating ideas out on the Internet! If you haven’t winterized your landscaping just yet, it might not be too late! Be sure to read up on the importance of that for your landscaping so you can keep a yard that will provide plenty of cheer year round!

Should you have any questions about landscaping, be sure to contact us today! Water Solutions Company has plenty of years of experience working with all types of residential and commercial landscaping.
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