Uncategorized Archives - Knutsen Landscaping

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Outdoor Seating

An essential element of your landscaping is certainly outdoor seating. After all, isn’t one of the reasons for all that work and investment hosting a dinner party, family gathering, or just good friends? Of course, there is a lot to consider when choosing a design for your outdoor entertaining: your goals, plans, and – of course – budget.

You may wish to center your outdoor entertainment area on one of these themes:

  • Outdoor fireplaces – There are many options, from rustic, portable, permanent, to materials like copper, brick, stone, and more.
  • Fire pits – In recent years, fire pits have become one of the more popular outdoor entertaining options. Although not quite as unlimited in scope as fireplace options, there are still plenty of different choices to suit your needs and budget.
  • Grill areas – With outdoor grill areas, the choices are almost endless. Of course, you’ll want to think about how many guests you may be grilling for and how much seating you want in close proximity to the grill itself.
  • Outdoor kitchens – If a grill or fire pit is too limiting for your plans, why not do an entire outdoor kitchen? Grills, smokers, pizza ovens, and cooktops can all be incorporated into your outdoor kitchen. And of course, here is where the seating really comes in to play. Everyone always hangs out in the kitchen indoors, so the same patterns will carry outside. Embrace it!
  • Pool landscape design – A pool will often be a central point in outdoor landscaping, and you can incorporate seating as much or as little as desired. More seating in the pool area will of course encourage your guests to spend more time in that area.
  • Water features – Fountains, ponds, and other water features add character and interest to any landscaping. And you must consider whether you want seating around them or whether they should more separated from your seating areas.
  • Pavilion and pergola – A more dedicated seating design element is a pavilion or pergola. They provide shade, protection from the elements, and distinct space definition for outdoor entertaining. These will often be central to your seating design.

Certainly, combinations of these and other design ideas will determine your outdoor seating needs. Knutsen Landscaping is here to help! We’ll meet with you on-site to determine your goals, initial plans, and budget for this project.

New Video Released!

Knutsen Landscaping is pleased to announce the release of a new video that describes and details our work and services. Hear an interview with our founder and president, Andy Knutsen, and see beautiful footage of some of our latest work: beautiful pool decks, stunning firepits and fireplaces, and outdoor living spaces that dreams are made of!

Christmas Trees: Environmental Benefit or Burden?

Have you ever heard someone lament, “Real Christmas trees are such a waste of natural resources! Look at how many trees we cut down each year, just for decoration!”  Is there any truth to this kind of claim?  Are Christmas trees an environmental benefit or burden? (more…)

Recommended Indigenous Trees Feature: Serviceberry

The next in our series of trees we recommend for use in local landscaping is the famous Serviceberry!  The experts at Knutsen Landscaping have compiled a list of trees indigenous to our region in Pennsylvania.

Serviceberry Amelanchier

  • George Washington’s favorite tree—he planted many of them around Mount Vernon
  • Usually the first to bloom every year—flowers are generally white or pale pink
  • Serviceberry trees produce berries that are safe for humans to eat, but often feed birds and mammals. The berries start out red and turn to a purple-black color; and will grow from early summer until August. These berries taste very similar to blueberries and can be eaten raw or put into pies and pastries.
  • The tree earned it’s name from the use of its flowers in religious services.
  • Has small, oval shaped leaves edged with small teeth—dark green in the summer and turning to red, orange, and yellow in the fall.
  • Grow to between 15-20 feet.
Recommended Indigenous Trees Feature: Eastern Redbud

The second in our series of trees we recommend for use in local landscaping is the beautiful Eastern Redbud!  The experts at Knutsen Landscaping have compiled a list of trees indigenous to our region in Pennsylvania.

Eastern Redbud Cercis canadensis

  • Appalachian redbud is a cultivar of eastern—have a darker pink color to flowers
  • In the summer, heart-shaped leaves stay green and won’t turn yellow until fall
  • Cultivar species do not produce seed pods—only wild species
  • Known as the ‘Harbinger of Spring’ as it’s bright colored blooms signal the start of the season.
  • 22 types of redbud species throughout the world
  • Some cultivars have different colored flowers (white, pinks, purples), while others have variated foliage colors (white variegated, green, yellow, orange, red, purple). The covey cultivar has weeping branches.
  • Cultivars include: Appalachian, Forest Pansy, Ruby Falls, Hearts of Gold.
Non-Invasive Plants

When choosing non-native species for planting, care must be taken not only that they will thrive in your climate, but also that they will cause no harm to people, pets, and native flora. Two good choices:

The bloodgood Japanese maple (Acer palmatum, var. atropurpureum) is a very common addition to landscaping. It will slowly reach 15-20 feet tall and 15 feet wide. The burgundy foliage, which turns a brilliant scarlet in the fall, is one of its biggest appeals. This slender, airy tree is well suited as a small lawn tree and for entry and patio distinction.

These trees prefer filtered to full sun and is best with regular water – weekly, or more often in extreme heat. In all, the bloodgood is one of the heartiest of all Japanese maples with good sun tolerance.

Dogwood trees are another great non-native option, and the Kousa or Korean dogwood (Cornuskousa) is a good choice.  Its elegant beauty and toughness make it an excellent landscape selection for urban areas as well as home landscapes. Easily the most distinctive feature is the explosion of white blooms in the spring (May-June).  The “petals” are not actually petals at all, but rather modified leaves called bracts surrounding the small, greenish-yellow flowers.

At maturity, these trees will reach 15-25 feet tall and around 25 feet wide. They prefer acidic, loamy, well-drained soil and average moisture, although they are somewhat drought-resistant. Full sun and partial shade are best, meaning four hours of direct sunlight each day.

You don’t need to limit yourself to native foliage, but check with Knutsen for further information and more options.

Solving the Paver Puzzle: Permeable, Pervious, and Impervious

One hot topic at local townships and municipalities lately may surprise you.  Water runoff, or excess stormwater and meltwater that flows on land, is a newly raised concern.  (more…)

Trees Are In Season

Thinking of a adding a tree to your landscape?  Don’t wait to enjoy it!  Properly dug trees don’t take three years to achieve their beauty.  Knutsen Landscaping will bring you a properly raised young tree and get it off to a great start in its new home. (more…)

Knutsen Landscaping Featured in Lawn and Landscape Magazine

Andy Knutsen, owner of Knutsen Landscaping, was recently interviewed for Lawn and Landscape magazine’s September 2016 feature about landscape lighting.  Andy is quoted several times, most notably with, “Landscapers have a good opportunity to artistically design a lighting job whereas an electrician isn’t really in it for the artistic flairs. You want to get lights to enhance what you have back there, but not light up the sky.”

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Save $250 on Your Ten-Light Landscape Illumination Package

Our solid bronze, LED fixtures are perfect to showcase the front of your home, a feature tree, and your front path.  Book your installation before December 31, 2016, and you’ll save $250 on any package of ten lights or more.  Our CAST® Classic or Craftsman Series lights include walkway and directional light options.  Call Andy at 717-872-2500 today!

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