Prepare the Backyard for Winter

hardscapesIn cold-weather

It seems like in just a matter of days you went from lounging around the pool to huddling around the fire pit and rubbing your hands together to keep warm. Indian Summer has come and gone and you know it’s time – time to pack away all vestiges of Summer and put the garden to bed.

You’ve already made the mental list of your agenda; in fact you probably have it committed to memory, because in any cold-weather state, you know that each of the four seasons involve their own separate and distinct outdoor chore list. Continue reading

Hardscape Design Trends

hardscapesThe most popular trend in Hardscape design today is paver bricks. They are durable and come in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes and are the perfect accessory for all around your home, from driveways and front walks to elaborate patios in your backyard living area – pavers are simply the way to go. Continue reading

What is Landscape Design?

landscape and garden designIf you regularly subscribe to home and gardening publications, or peruse the internet looking at impressive landscape ideas, you might have come across the term “landscape design” and words associated with it to describe people who specialize in that field. These experts are referred to as “landscape architects”, “landscape designers”, or sometimes “landscape consultants”. Wikipedia, the online source most people frequent these days, defines landscape design as “an independent profession and a design and art tradition, practiced by landscape designers, combining nature and culture. In contemporary practice landscape design bridges between landscape architecture and garden design.” Continue reading

Fall Landscape Design Ideas

pool safety
Fall décor is more than pumpkins

You may think the Spring and Summer are the seasons for creating the ultimate design and coordination of color in your garden and backyard living space, but this is not true. The Fall season is a wonderful time to create a picturesque setting of shrubs and trees which every Fall will be cloaked in Mother Nature’s many hues: crimson, gold and burnt orange to name a few. The finest paintbrushes and most-extraordinary pigments could never hope to duplicate those exquisite colors that nature has created for us. Most gardeners, or people in general, look at Fall as a time of harvest and putting the garden to bed. It is a sad ritual for someone who has tended their perennials, rose bushes and annuals with the utmost of care by deadheading and fertilizing regularly and watering sometimes daily throughout the growing season. If you’re lucky, in a cold-weather state such as New Jersey, the TLC you’ve rendered to your prized flowers and bushes might have them still blooming profusely throughout the Fall. If you want a yard that is ablaze in color throughout the Fall season, why not seek the advice of a contractor whose expertise is in landscape design in Monmouth County? He or she will enable you to choose the best combination of trees, bushes, shrubs, vines and groundcover to create the best of Fall’s bounty of beautiful colors and astounding foliage, right in your own backyard.
Continue reading

Backyard Pool Safety Equipment

pool safety
Backyard pools can provide oceans of fun, whether you like to swim and do laps or simply cool off under the sunlight with family and friends. But to paraphrase Spider-Man, “with great luxury comes great responsibility.” With that in mind we come to one of the most important concerns of any pool owner: pool safety. Lets examine some of the most crucial pieces of equipment for keeping your pool area safe.

Pool Fences

If little feet are running around in your backyard, you’d better make sure that they never get near the pool unsupervised. The best way to prevent that from happening is to enclose the pool area with a fence. As one of the most important accompaniments for any type of pool design, fencing can be selected in various styles. The most childproof option is four-way isolation fencing, which will enclose your pool around all four sides within your backyard. Another option is perimeter fencing, which would encase your pool like a shoehorn to the back-door area of your house. If you intend on having adults over for pool parties, you might opt instead for removable fencing, which can easily be set aside whenever the backyard area gets crowded with guests (which is bound to happen when you have a great pool!)


Pool Nets

Of course, fencing is not the only way to keep children, cats and dogs out of the pool; you could always opt for netting whenever the pool is not in use. In as little as five minutes, a net can be placed over just about any backyard pool; all you would have to do is fasten the net hooks to the poolside anchors. Designed to withstand the heaviest of objects, pool nets serve as safety barriers whenever children wander into pool areas unsupervised.

Pool Covers

What about those times of year when swimming and outdoor lounging are the last things on your mind? That, my friend, is what pool covers are for. It’s important to note here that winter pool covers only function as safety covers if they can withstand roughly 500 pounds of pressure per five-ft. radius. When it rains in Greenwich, a mesh cover will provide the cleanest protection by allowing precipitation to slip through the small surface holes. You could also opt for a solid vinyl safety cover, but in order to prevent the buildup of rain puddles, you should only choose one with drain panels.


Pool Alarms

Now that you know how to keep the kids out, you might be wondering how to keep intruders from entering your pool area? Well depending on your pool design and layout, you could foolproof the area with either a gate or door alarm. If your pool is enclosed with a four-sided fence, a gate alarm will attach to the entrance and activate upon signs of an intrusion. For a pool area that’s partially enclosed by the backdoor portion of your house, you could simply opt for a front-door alarm and keep your whole house protected in the process.


Poolside Sensors

Then again, alarms can also be used as another type of childproofing mechanism. If you like that idea, your best bet is either a perimeter alarm or wave sensor. Mounted to your pool fence, a perimeter alarm will sound off whenever an unsupervised child crosses its beam. Attached to the edge of your pool, a wave sensor will activate if any child, dog or cat makes contact with the water. These devices will generally cover an eight-yard radius and emit decibel levels of up to 110.


Anti-Suction Systems

Now that we’ve covered all the devices that will stop little people and non-swimmers from falling into your pool, it’s time to talk about one of the most lethal of all underwater dangers: pool drains. Due to a number of incidents where swimmers got their hair and limbs caught in the suction of those damn things, federal law now requires the installation of safety drains. On pools built before the Dec. 2008 passage of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act, a Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS) will create a suction release whenever body parts or foreign objects make contact with a drain.

With all these things considered, you owe it to yourself to have a pool installed in your backyard. A pool can provide tons of fun for you and your friends and family; it can also add value to your property. But if you do go ahead with the plan, your pool should uphold Greenwich pool safety standards and be accompanied with sensor alarms, fencing and an anti-suction system.

Exterior Design Trends

Exterior Design Trends

Exterior Design Trends

“Rows of houses that are all the same, and no one seems to care.” That was a song back in the 1960s, and was it ever true! American houses sure have changed since then. By the 1970s, that old concept of neighborhoods with houses that all looked alike was tossed out for dramatic statements that showed off homeowners’ individuality. Today, exterior design trends are bolder than ever, with clean lines, movement that flows with natural surroundings, and huge windows that let the sunshine in. For the past few decades, homes have been getting progressively bigger, bolder, and brighter. And, though a recent trend may be taking homes in a smaller direction, indeed, homeowners inBaltimore and throughout the country are still opting for breathing room and living space that enhances their lives and expresses their uniqueness. Continue reading