Landscaping Blog | Knutsen Landscaping

Blog

Scroll

Blog

We’ve Got You ‘Covered’

At Knutsen Landscaping, we are always exploring new ways to enrich your experience working with us to achieve the property of your dreams. That’s why we are so excited to continue bringing you premier service by partnering with StruXure, as their exclusive dealer in the Lancaster, Lebanon, Harrisburg, and York area.

StruXure is one of the fastest growing privately owned companies in the country. They offer a truly unique product – a pivoting, louvered-roof pergola – that can be conveniently controlled with a remote or smart phone app, and has the ability to close, slide, or pivot as you wish. Their pergolas are sure to enhance any space, both residential and commercial. StruXure also employs state-of-the-art technology such as wind, rain, and snow sensors, voice command, and home automation integration capabilities.  This is the only waterproof pergola on the market that, when closed, fully evacuates the water down through the posts or into your existing gutter system.

“Our pergolas let the light in, provide shade when you need it, and protection from the rain,” said owner Andy Knutsen. Their first installation in the Lancaster area included a fan and LED lights. That one was secured using two posts and roof mounts.  They can be tailored to fit specific designs and customized based on the desires of your outdoor living spaces.  “You can also get them free-standing,” Andy said. “It’s a pretty versatile unit.”

“The world’s smartest pergola” (as they’re called) comes in 6 colors and is suitable anywhere, from large commercial areas to small outdoor patios. It provides you with options depending on the day, whether you’re looking to catch some rays, stay in the shade or dry during a rain storm. These StruXure pergolas are the perfect addition to any backyard oasis, and are sure to make sitting outside enjoying the sunshine one of your new favorite past times.

“Together, we can help people live better, by bringing the indoors out through beautiful design and exceptional quality,” said Scott Selzer, founder and CEO of StruXture.

At Knutsen, we are always expanding the scope of our business, in order to bring you, your family, or your business the newest and most innovative services as possible. Along with StruXure, we guarantee comprehensive planning, proper installation, and better design. As always, our top priority is your satisfaction, and your confidence in a job well done.

If you’re interested in learning more about StruXure or any of the other excellent brands and services that we offer, call Knutsen Landscaping today.

Make a Lasting Impression On Buyers with These Four Curb Appeal Ideas

Even though 92% of real estate agents who participated in Homelight’s Q3 2020 survey said they’re experiencing a strong seller’s market, getting the house sold may not be the easiest thing in the world to do. Pennsylvania isn’t necessarily known for its mild winters and people aren’t too keen on braving the cold temperatures. 

Regardless of what Mother Nature decides to do this year, one of the easiest ways to draw a buyer’s attention, it’s by luring them in with amazing curb appeal. We have a few ideas that’ll leave a lasting impression and get more folks interested in buying your home – even in the winter!

1. Seasonal decor is always an eye grabber

You may have gone all out and decorated your yard with Christmas lawn decorations, oodles of lights, and other holiday regalia, but when the holidays are over and the decor is put away… The yard may look a little dreary. 

You can keep the neighbors, passers-by, and more importantly buyers interested in your house by adding seasonal decor. You could add cement benches or figurines. If you love birds, hang lovely bird feeders in the trees in the front yard. If you have a garden, you could add colorful wind-spinners to add movement and color. 

2. Elegant lighting looks great with or without snow

Lighting is an important part of curb appeal, especially now that it gets darker a lot earlier. You may already have a few porch lights and bright flood lights over the garage, but they don’t command the right attention. If anything, they do the complete opposite because the fixtures are less than appeal and the light they give off is just too… Glaring.

You can replace existing fixtures with something with a little more style. If you love that rustic look, go for lantern style fixtures with flickering bulbs. If you like a more modern look, you can choose fixtures with sleek lines and pair them with a warm white bulb. 

Oh, and let’s not forget the walkway! Walkway lights help draw the eye to the front door, but they’re also helpful for visitors to make it safely to your door after the sun goes down.

3. Set the scene with a festive, wintery porch 

We mentioned to add some pizzazz to your yard with seasonal decorations, you can do the same thing with your front porch. Instead of having a Christmas tree with decorations by the front door, just have a few potted evergreens in a corner with burlap ribbon tied around the pot. You could go to the thrift store and find antique items that give off that wintery vibe – like old sleds, wagons, milk cans, and even a wooden rocking chair (or two) and a cozy plaid cushion or pillow on the seat.

4. Don’t neglect the general maintenance

Decorating is the fun part, there’s no denying that. However, all of the hard work you may have put into designing the perfect yard, it’ll be a waste if general yard maintenance isn’t done. As boring and tedious as it may be, you have to keep the yard nice and tidy. 

This means pruning overgrown bushes and shrubs, raking up any leaves, picking up fallen limbs, and even pulling out dead flowers. Oh! And when it snows, don’t forget to keep the driveway, walkways and sidewalk in front of the yard free of snow. If there are buyers coming to see your home after snowfall, be sure to throw down a little salt to prevent these areas from icing over; and be sure to have a welcome mat at the front door so they can keep the salt outside!

Selling your house can be tricky during the winter, but rest assured that when your house has impeccable curb appeal, you’re sure to get a lot of action! Who knows, your house may be sold within days of being put on the market – all thanks to a well maintained yard and thoughtful design.

We want ‘smore’ fire pits!

Who doesn’t love a good s’more? We can all agree they are one of the best parts of camping, BUT who says you can’t have the best part of camping right in your own backyard with a Breeo smokeless fire pit? No more moving chairs because the smoke is blowing at you and burning your eyes.

You’re probably wondering how it’s possible to have a smokeless fire pit.No fire pit can be 100 percent smoke free but the unique design of a smoke-less fire is a double-wall design. Small holes in the bottom of the inner chamber coax hot air between the walls. This hot air rises between the walls, heating more as it does, until another series of holes at the top carry it back into the fire. This hotter air creates a secondary combustion, burning the smoke created from the fire until it’s almost undetectable.

Breeo has so many options for you to choose from.

Breeo Zentro smokeless fire pit almost eliminates smoke, allowing your gatherings to be filled with more fun times than smoke.  Also, the Zentro will work with new or existing fire rings, and fits inside diameters between 30”-41”.

Another great feature the Zentro has are tons of accessories for cooking all your favorite meals, from bacon and egg griddles to cast iron kettles for soups on cool fall evenings. These all attach and fit perfectly to your new smokeless fire pit. Breeo is a local company right in Kinzers PA! Don’t waste another night shifting away from the smoke of a traditional fire pit. Call Knutsen Landscaping today to get your new Zentro smokeless fire pit installed.

Bee-utiful Landscapes

What’s the buzz on bees? Now more than ever, people are looking for flowers that actually attract bees! Why is that? We need the bees! The bee species has declined rapidly in the last few years, and this decline is potentially putting food production in danger. We, as home gardeners, can play a significant role in reversing the decline of bees and helping them to make a comeback. Here is just a short list of flowers and shrubs that bees love!

  • Aster
  • Bee Balm
  • Black eyed Susan
  • Cosmos
  • Liatris
  • Pansies
  •  Peonies
  • Snap Dragon
  • Sunflowers
  • Zinnias
  • Boomerang
  • Blues Festival
  • Gatsby Pink
  • Temple of Bloom
  • Viburnums

You probably already have some of these flowers in your garden already! Not only will the bees love you but having a bee friendly garden also attracts other fun things like hummingbirds and butterflies! In order to get your little friends, there even quicker, make sure to group plants and flowers together. Bees love the variety and especially love the bright vibrant colors.

Take care of your plants. This includes watering, weeding, pruning and fertilizing to ensure the most amounts of nectar and pollen for the bees.

Try to limit pesticides or eliminate them all together but if you absolutely need pesticides, neem oil, vinegar, and Epsom salts are natural alternatives that can be used without hurting the bees.

Whether we realize it or not, keeping the bee population going is something we can do that does not take much effort on our part. “Bee” smart about what you plant this year!

Adding privacy to your backyard with landscaping and hardscaping

Need to add a little seclusion to your yard? Nowadays with houses being so close to one another it’s hard not to see your neighbors trash cans sitting outside. The best way to have a little privacy is to add some landscaping. Not only will this give you the privacy you’re looking for, but will also spruce up your yard. Here are just a few ways to make your outdoor living space more private.

  1. Privacy evergreens are a great start. They can provide year round privacy and are typically not municipal ordinances limiting their height. If you need to fill tight spaces quickly, growing columnar evergreens such as Arborvitaes, Spruces, or Hemlocks can be a great solution for blocking sight lines and separating adjoining yards.
  2. Pergolas are great for privacy! There are so many different things you can do with your pergolas to make them your own. They have ones with lattice and a privacy wall, or you can opt for just the privacy wall. You can add your own curtains and customize or have climbing vines drape down. Pergolas are a great asset to your outdoor living area and can make for beautiful decorations aside from privacy.
  3. An oldie but goodie that is most commonly used in neighborhoods everywhere are privacy fences. Adding landscaping in front of your fences such as different flowers and small shrubs can complement any kind of fencing you choose, not to mention it can also break up fencing sight lines.

No matter what kind of privacy you decide to have in your outdoor oasis, making it your own is the best part. The possibilities are absolutely endless and at Knutsen Landscaping we are here to help you every step of the way!

Early Spring Flowers in Bloom!

Spring is finally here! With everything going on regarding the ‘stay at home’ restrictions, you may find that you have more time to stop and smell the ‘roses’.  Well, not roses in particular, but there are plenty of plant species in bloom right now. Are you seeing beautiful bright flowers and shrubs but have no idea what they are? Let’s take a look at just some of the most popular trees and shrubs you may be seeing in and around Lancaster PA in early Spring.

Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia X soulangeana) -Budding saucer-shaped white and pink blooms on branches.

Merrill Magnolia (Magnolia x loebneri ‘Merrill’) -Vigorous-growing deciduous large shrub or small tree with dense branching habit. Large star-like flowers have a beautiful light fragrance. Very useful in shrub borders.

Photo by Plant Places

Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata) – Sometimes called the star magnolia, is a slow-growing shrub or small tree native to Japan.

Magnolia ‘Butterflies’ This official spring greeter is a small deciduous tree. It’s rare but you might see its beautiful yellow flowers.

Photo by The Tree Center

Serviceberry (Amelanchier) – Native to Eastern North America. Beautiful small white flower, one of the first to bloom.  George Washington enjoyed this tree and planted them at his Mt. Vernon home.  Edible fruit in late summer.

Photo by Lauren’s Garden Center

Redbud (Cercis canadensis) – The Eastern redbud is native to Eastern North America. There are a few good cultivars as well.  One newer cultivar that has performed well is the ‘Appalachian Red’.  If you see one with purple leaves is it most likely a ‘Forest Pansy’.

American Dogwood (Cornus florida) – Native to Eastern North America. Typical flowers are white, flowers before the leaves come out.  There are a few nice cultivars with pink and red flowers.

Forsythia (Forsythia) A genus of flowering plants in the olive family Oleaceae. There are about 11 species.

Photo from Home Depot

Cleveland Select flowering Pear trees (Pyrus calleryana ‘Cleveland Select’) Showy clusters of gleaming white blooms in early spring. Dark green summer foliage turns a brilliant purplish red-orange in fall.

Photo by Baygardens

Ornamental Cherry Trees- here are a few of the most popular

Yoshino (Prunus × yedoensis). White-pink blossoms. When in bloom Washington D.C is the place to be to see these beauties!

Photo to Nature Hills

Weeping Japanese Cherry (Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula Plena Rosea) Easy to grow by beginning gardeners to its natural height and width. Weeping Cherry becomes a truly magnificent focal point in the landscape.

Photo by Amazon

Kwanzan Cherry (Prunus serrulata ‘Kwanzan’) Is a flowering cherry cultivar. In spring they produce red buds, opening to deep-pink double flowers.

Photo by Garden Goods Direct

 

There are of course more to list than what we had room for here.  All of the Ornamental Fruit Trees are in bloom right now, along with actual Fruit producing trees you would typically see if you drive by an orchard.  Such as Pear, Peach, Apple, Cherry and Plum Trees.  Enjoy the Spring weather, and the Spring blooms!

COVID-19 Operation Policy

We would like to update you on our response to the COVID-19 crisis and how this impacts our daily operations.

As members of PLNA, they have worked on our behalf to clarify some of the questions regarding the Pennsylvania shut down of all “non-essential” businesses in the state.  The state has listed specific categories of the landscaping industry and has, at least for the moment, clarified that we are an essential business permitted to continue as long as the listed guidelines are put in place.  Please read the information and guidelines here.

In addition to the guidelines provided by the state, our number one priority is the SAFETY of our customers, our employees and their families.  We are taking extra steps to maintain a healthy work environment for everyone involved:

  • Our employees will stay home if they are sick to any degree.
  • Office procedures will be measured and assessed to maintain healthy distancing and a clean work environment.
  • Customers will not be visiting our business location/ office for any reason.
  • We will not be meeting inside the homes of our customers to go over estimates, designs or to sign contracts.
  • Social distancing will be a number one priority when we are working at a client’s home.
  • Emails and phone calls will be used as much as possible for finalizing designs, communicating with customers and sending updated contracts.

At Knutsen Landscaping Inc., we feel fortunate that we are part of the green industry, and in such providing essential services to our community for new plantings and outdoor enhancements that provide many benefits to the environment around us. We feel strongly that if there is a sector of the economy that can safely work and is approved by the state to maintain their daily business operations, we should keep pressing forward to help combat some of the larger economic issues that could develop from this crisis.  With that being said, we will be getting permission from ALL of our customers before scheduling work.  We want our customers to feel safe and comfortable with scheduled work and be able to give them the opportunity at any point to delay contracted work, estimates or anything else that would cause hesitation at this trying time.  If we are doing a job for you, please be patient as we are working with an ever changing situation.  Some of our vendors have closed and are, at the moment, assessing the situation.  In addition to our vendors, some of the manufacturing plants and nursery supply chains are being affected by this.  They have to adhere to their state’s policies on what they think is the best approach to combat the COVID-19 virus.

Lastly, and most importantly, please do your part to follow the guidelines for social distancing and washing hands frequently.  If we all do our part we will get through this faster.  Let’s work together as a community to help mitigate the fast and furious spread of this new virus.  Be generous and help those in need.  Pray that this is quick to subside, that families and communities are minimally impacted and that we can get back to normal as soon as possible.  Maybe through these trying times, we can gain better perspective, grow stronger as a community and, in a larger part, as a country.  As testing becomes more available to the public, we will see increased cases of COVID-19.  This is not necessarily bad news if we understand the long term goal.  Let’s be measured and knowledgeable in our responses and not just read the headlines.  Do your part to understand this virus as much as possible so you can understand how best to react.

Thank you for trusting Knutsen for your outdoor enhancements projects!  Whether it’s now or after all this passes, we look forward to helping you in any way we can with your outdoor needs!  We will continue to update our status as the state may make changes to their policy.

Thank you,

Andy Knutsen
President
Knutsen Landscaping, Inc.

3 Reasons to Consider Landscape Lighting for Your Home

Your home is your safe place. It’s where you raise your family, entertain or just relax. You can make your home look and feel however you’d like to. Consider outdoor landscape lighting for your next home décor project! Here are just 3 reasons to light up your home:

Light up your outdoor living space:

The inside of your house does not have to be your only living area.  Whether you already have an existing outdoor patio area, or if you are considering a patio project, there are many options to choose from to make your outdoor living area come alive at night!

Light up your home:

Your home is a beautiful representation of your tastes and styles.  You have made decoration, landscaping and/ or architectural choices outside that make your home unique to you.  So make it come alive at night!  You can light up your trees, the stone on your home and the design features, pathways and so much more!

Light up for safety:

Outdoor lighting is a big factor in keeping your loved ones safe. Unfortunately, burglary is the most common threat to our homes. Many people put large amounts of money into home security systems, but did you know that outdoor lighting is one of the best ways to deter burglars from invading your home? Light up your driveway, your paths, your landscaping and your home to ensure that your home is safe and visible at night.
So if you are ready to take the next step in the lighting for your home or outdoor living area, contact Knutsen for all your outdoor lighting needs!  If you don’t have an outdoor living area and are considering doing a project, contact Knutsen for a design consultation!

Two Time Award-Winning for Knutsen

As we wrap up 2019, we were honored to recieve the 2019 best video and best logo awards through Pillar. Thank you for being a part in our story as our company grows and continues to establish itself in this community. Moving forward to 2020, our hope is to reach new clients and assist our current clients anyway we can!

Our team at Knutsen Lanscaping would be honored to come and talk with you about your outdoor living needs. Please contact us for further information about a project specific to you. We love to design and create projects that enhance your at-home experience. Click here to watch a video about our beautiful and functional creations.

Three Reasons to get a 3D Design

SEE THE PROJECT BEFORE IT BEGINS

With a 3D rendering of a backyard remodel or hardscape construction, you can see the finished product before a shovel ever hits the dirt. 3D design programs come loaded with countless color options and a vast library of plants, shrubs, flowers, and trees so that you can see exactly what you’ll get from the beginning! With a 3D design, you can adjust the settings in order to see what your design will look like in any season. Knutsen Landscaping’s team often shares great designs alongside great projects in our galleries and portfolios, proving that a solid design at the beginning can guarantee a final product you’ll absolutely love!

DOWN TO THE FINEST DETAIL

Not only do 3D designs look great and help you better picture the final outcome of your project, they give our team a stronger plan to work from. Design programs double as basic CAD programs, ensuring that the project will progress much easier with accurate measurements, and ultimately save you on labor costs. When we have a 3D rendering of what you love, we know exactly how to bring it to life, and the project can be completed much more efficiently.

OPENS THE DOOR TO NEW IDEAS

Since 3D designs can help homeowners get an accurate idea of what a project will look like, it opens the door to exploring new ideas. For example:

  • Landscape lighting can be changed out, with night shots to show what the illumination will be like.
  • Patios can get straight lines or curved.
  • What will a fire pit look like?
  • Will the landscaping provide enough screening?
  • What will the trees look like in five years?

When a design can be provided that goes beyond verbal description or typical 2d overhead views, the project can start to come to life even before the first shovel goes into the ground!