What is it about the draw of the campfire?  I can sit for hours just watching the flames dance and dart while feeling the stress of the day drain away.  Seems that although that has been the case for folks for tens of thousands of years, the good ole fire pit is really making a comeback in the landscaping around the Asheville and Hendersonville areas.  And who can blame us... our pleasant afternoons and evenings make a small fire enjoyable througout the summer. Not to mention how nice it is to knock the chill off of the spring and fall evenings.  Are you thinking about adding a fire pit to your stone patio or outdoor landscaping?  Consider these tips:

Make sure the fire pit will be at least 10 feet from any flammable structure like your home or wooden deck.

Make sure that your fire pit is not near any overhangs like low hanging limbs or a covered deck.

Make sure your fire pit is at least 6 inches deep.

Make sure your fire pit is at least 24" wide and long to keep embers contained.

Or better yet, make it easy on yourself and let TPS Landscaping design and build a fire pit for you!

 

Now that the weather has turned from spring to summer-like, more of us are spending time outdoors relaxing, reading and grilling.  We are often asked about the benefits of a natural stone patio vs a paver patio, and vice versa.  This month, we'll go over the reasons why natural stone can be the better choice for your patio.  

Stone Patios have Natural Beauty

Every piece of natural stone is unique. As such, using natural stone for your patio is guarantees you a unique look a feel to your outdoor space.  Choosing colors and textures that are complimentary with those in your home or landscaping ties in the beauty so that your patio becomes a natural transition between your indoor living space and your exterior landscaping.  Natural stone can add an element of elegance to your landscaping.

Natural stone means minimal maintenance and repair

The natural rock and stone that we will use in your patio is already millions of years old.  So it's a pretty good bet that the next few hundred years aren't going to change it very much.  Likewise, you don't have to worry about signs of aging or fading over time.  As long as your natural stone patio is installed correctly, using the proper amount of base and packing, you don't have to worry about shifiting or the surface becoming uneven with frost/freezing.

The feel of natural stone

It's hard to resist taking your shoes off and feeling the diference of natural stone.  Although pavers have their place, there is just something about the texture and feel of natural stone that the pavers just can't match.

 

First, trees and shrubs are pretty hardy.  Usually if less than 50% of the plant is damaged, it will have a good chance to recover; albeit it may not look as pretty for a while.  Here are a few tips for dealing with ice damaged trees and shrubs:

ice tree

DO remove any limbs/branches that are broken.  Clean cuts are much better for the plant than jagged ones.
DO make any of these cuts now while the plant is dormant.
DO add mulch around the base of the plant to help keep it moist.

Don't use tar or paint as a "band-aid" for branches or limbs that you cut.
Don't wait until it warms up to make the cuts, as the plant will be stressed when it is trying to put on leaves.

February is time to Prepare for Spring

Hopefully our snow season is over and with the groundhog predicting an early spring, we'll be getting some warm days to get outside.  Now is a great time to start preparing for spring.  Here is a checklist of some of the best chores to perform:

  • Leaves and winter debris should be picked up and disposed of
  • Finish dormant pruning of trees, such  as Crepe Myrtles
  • Apply pre-emergent herbicide to the lawn to help prevent crab grass and broadleaf weeds
  • Access winter damage to plants and prune or replace as necessary
  • Check your seasonal equipment now before the repair shops get overwhelmed
  • Sharpen the blade on lawn mower and other pruning equipment
It's time to schedule your core aeration and over seeding again. Core aeration opens up your soil to allow air, water and nutrients to make it to the roots. It reduces compaction and allows for good soil-to-seed contact after over seeding. Aeration and over seeding leads to a thick and healthy stand of turf for the Fall. Call or email Tom for a free estimate. *Now scheduling for late August /early Sept.