Landscaping Blog | Knutsen Landscaping




A Garden of Variety

Gardens are often the focal point of any well-maintained lawn. The vibrant colors and visual interest is intended to attract attention. If you’re looking for new ways to add some variety to your garden this summer, it may be time to explore some unique options. Knutsen Landscaping can turn your ideas into a reality!

  1. Ornamental grass – It is easy to maintain and provides a distinct look to your garden beds. It makes a lovely backdrop to make the flowers pop. The grass should be well-watered, particularly during dry summer months, but it does not need to be cut down before the chill of autumn sets in.
  2. Trees – Never underestimate the beauty of a shady tree or two in your garden beds. The greenery presents a compliment to your flowers and can provide the perfect location for a shady bench to enjoy the warm weather. Our team is experts at tree installation!
  3. Paths – Nothing will get people walking through the garden faster than a safe, well-lit, beautifully laid path. Choose the right color, shape, and width for your space with the Knutsen’s expert team, and you can be talking your very own garden walk each morning as the flowers open.

Regardless of the size of your garden, variety can add visual interest and a unique flair, just in time for your summer get-together. Knutsen Landscaping can help you implement your ideas and design an idea place for you to relax on your property.


Creating a new summer space

Summer is here, and as we all migrate outdoors to enjoy the warm weather, you may be itching to throw an evening party to kick off the sunny days ahead. The experts at Knutsen Landscaping offer several services to help you create the perfect place to entertain.

  1. Add an outdoor kitchen and grill area. This addition will instantly turn your backyard into the neighborhood “party place.” A grill is one thing – but a fully stocked outdoor kitchen, prep area, and propane-powered grill is another! Knutsen Landscaping can help you fulfill your goals for creating the perfect entertainment area for your summer backyard bashes.
  2. Have a fire pit installed. Fire pits are an up-and-coming trend that continues to grow in popularity. Not only are they perfect for future chilly, autumn evenings, but they can provide a cozy gathering place on summer nights as well. Whether you’re roasting marshmallows around the fire or looking for warm ambience to enhance your backyard, Knutsen Landscaping can help your fire pit plans become a reality.
  3. Enlarge the patio. Maybe you don’t have a patio, or maybe you have a small area on to which you’ve crammed a table and chairs. Now is the perfect time to freshen up the space! The experts at Knutsen Landscaping can make your backyard dreams come true by providing you with a spacious and tasteful area large enough for the whole neighborhood.

The experts at Knutsen Landscaping are anxious to give you the backyard additions you’ve been dreaming of! Call today to get started on your dreamy summer space.


A Fresh Take on Hardscapes

Property owners are always seeking ways to enhance value and curb appeal. This summer, has offered some suggestions to help you revamp the atmosphere of your lawn and turn it into your favorite summer hang out spot.

  1. Grass – Grass? Yes, grass! A new trend that has recently gained traction is the incorporation of grass into Grass-jointed paving paths provide visual interest and a natural, informal look to an otherwise one-dimensional walkway. Grass is a lush, fresh option to add a burst of color to your hardscapes. Knutsen Landscaping’s experts can help you design a walkway or path perfect for your site.
  2. Crushed stone – Crushed stone, or pea gravel, is a simple way to create a walkway without undergoing a large construction project. Not only is crushed stone an eco-friendly hardscape option, but it’s relatively inexpensive and simple to construct. Depending on your use, Knutsen Landscaping can help you plan the ideal situation to make use of this versatile material.
  3. Concrete pavers – Pavers come in all shapes and sizes. The methods and technology that are used in producing pavers have greatly expanded this industry.  From residential sidewalks to airport runways, there is a paver to fit most any application.  Of course, the right installation methods and base are crucial to ensure that the pavers last for many years to come.  The right installation methods can far outlast traditional asphalt or poured in place concrete!  Knutsen Landscaping’s team can use the variety of color and texture in the pavers to create a scene that is not only eye-catching, but a classy, cozy way to enhance your property.   And we can properly install your project so that it lasts for many years to come!
  4. Permeable sidewalks – One of the best aspects of permeable sidewalk material is that it allows rain to penetrate the earth through the joints, so it is the perfect material to be used for sidewalks and patios. Permeable sidewalks and patios, made from natural materials or pavers, is one of Knutsen’s freshest take on your next project!
  5. Flagstone – If you’d like your lawn to acquire elegance, all you may need is one simple ingredient. Flagstone is simple but chic, and can be specifically shaped to fulfill your walkway wishes. Flagstone laid by the experts at Knusten Landscaping is unobtrusive and versatile, and can serve as a unique compliment to your yard’s foliage.

Regardless of how you’d like to spruce up your outdoor space, there are a variety of options to choose from when considering adding hardscaping. Contact Knutsen Landscaping today to plan your hardscaped walkway, patio, or retaining wall!


Project Showcase: Strasburg, PA, Firepit and Patio

On their beautiful Strasburg, PA, property, this customer wanted a convenient, flat outdoor area to extend the living space of their lower finished basement. This family wanted to sit around a fire, grill, and roast marshmallows! They also anticipated a usable area for potting plants, an outdoor hobby that this client enjoys. The professional team at Knutsen Landscaping made all these dreams come true! We even installed lighting under the wall caps and a pillar to string lights above the patio to the house.

The existing grade made a nice spot for us to install a custom seating wall extending around the patio area and end at a decorative pillar to break the grade from the upper yard area and deck. Knutsen’s team utilized natural stone veneer for the wall, firewood box, pillar and fire pit, and natural Pennsylvania flagstone provided the accent caps.  The pavers we selected are high-quality Unilock Bristol Valley with Unilock Copthorne border. The Breeo smokeless fire pit insert with Swing Away Gril and post accessory completes the functionality of this beautiful space.




Help your house stand out – no spring cleaning or paint required!

Spring flowers are blooming. Why shouldn’t your house bloom too? Are you ready to give your home that extra, eye-catching “pop” you’ve been dreaming about all winter?

The experts at Knutsen Landscaping can help! There are a few ways that you can make your house stand out – don’t worry, it doesn’t involve a new coat of paint or any spring cleaning! In fact, it all starts in the yard.

  1. Add a pergola! Pergolas are often viewed as an extension of the home itself and they are open and airy – a fresh alternative to a standard gazebo. Add a table and some comfy chairs beneath the dappled spring sunlight overhead, and you will have a relaxing and chic environment to host your warm weather get-togethers!
  2. Freshen up the flowers! It may be time to add some vibrant colors to the gardens. Let Knutsen Landscaping plant lush shrubs, trees, and perennial flowers in your garden beds, and prepare to enjoy all the sights and smells of spring!
  3. Have a retaining wall built! Retaining walls are certainly functional, but they are becoming increasingly elaborate and stylish. These walls can provide privacy for your family while enjoying an evening in the backyard, and add an aesthetic dimension to your lawn.
  4. Have landscaping lighting installed! Landscape lighting can add the perfect ambience to your outdoor entertaining or lounge space. Not only does this lighting provide a soft glow for those evening hours in the yard, but they can help illuminate your home as well.

There are several ways to spruce up your house for spring by focusing on the lawn! Let the experts at Knutsen Landscaping help you decide how to make your yard bloom!

Hardscaping Adds Value to Your Home

At long last, warmer weather has made an appearance, drawing us outdoors and into our long-neglected lawns. It is time to freshen up the yard in preparation for summer, but where to start? Is it possible to increase the value, comfort, and visual appeal of our homes with just a simple addition?

The experts at Knutsen Landscaping say “of course.” Investing in hardscaping is a win-win situation for homeowners for a few reasons.

Whether you’re considering selling your house, or you’re committed to staying put for years, hardscaping can increase the curb appeal of your home. The exterior of your home and your lawn provide potential buyers or visitors with their first impression of the interior. A blend of different colors and textures can catch the eye of even the most distracted passerby.

Hardscaping also makes unusable space usable, in creative and convenient ways. Is there a steep hill in your backyard? Is that sunny patch of grass perfect for a lawn chair, except for the poor drainage every time it rains? Hardscapes can solve those yard woes.

Speaking of poor drainage, if every storm creates a headache for you due to grade changes and erosion, retaining walls are a form of hardscapes that can drastically reduce this. By redirecting the flow of water, retaining walls can rescue a house’s foundation, or eliminate unsightly mud puddles.

Hardscapes also provide privacy, and more importantly, safety for you and your family. The experts at Knutsen Landscaping can help you decide the best location and design for your hardscape, for ultimate functionality and visual appeal.

Whether you’re dreaming of relaxing beneath a new pergola, admiring an ornate retaining wall in your garden, or sweeping off a pristine patio, hardscaping is a positive, rewarding way to increase the beauty and individuality of your home.


Project Showcase: Manheim Township Pool

This beautiful outdoor living space in Manheim Township started out as a long, sloping yard. Knutsen Landscaping’s team built a 4-foot wall for over 75 feet to level up the pool area. Then, pavers and landscaping were added around the pool area and a dramatic fire pit area. Our team also replaced popping tile on the back patio with beautiful travertine, which won’t peel up like tile is prone to do in our northeastern weather conditions.
Future plans feature an outdoor kitchen and bar area with a timber frame structure over top. You can check out the 3D plans below!

A Strong Paver Foundation

As spring approaches and you begin pondering which outdoor projects to move to the top of your to-do list, consider laying a lasting foundation for your eye-catching patio, garden walkway or driveway that will add both beauty and value to your home for years to come.

Knutsen Landscaping has long believed in the performance benefits of permeable open graded stone installations for these projects.

“It has taken the rest of the industry a while to come around. We have been laying patios in this fashion for many years, and the experience we have gained shows in our final product,” says Andy Knutsen, president.

Knutsen Landscaping is currently participating in a study with the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute to demonstrate the durability that open grade paver installations provide. Studies are showing that more commercial developers are choosing to use a permeable base model for all installations. The size and thickness of these permeable bases can vary and is determined by traffic loads, soil strength, subgrade soil drainage, moisture and climate, making them much more adaptable and economical.

Pavers have a rustic beauty that come in a vast array of shapes, patterns, colors and textures and are more visually appealing than concrete slabs. By replacing your cement driveway, old walkway or concrete patio with permeable pavers over an open grade stone foundation, you are not only building something that will last generations, you are also increasing the value of your home while improving the environment that surrounds it.

An open graded stone foundation also promotes the natural water cycle. With open graded stone, drainage disperses evenly throughout the patio or walkway area in a much more natural fashion. Proper filtration can reduce pollution density and foster the overall health of your home’s environment. It will also help to prevent the damage to your property caused by erosion. Especially with the freeze-thaw cycles here in the northeast, your patio will be unaffected by these changes in conditions over time.

Feel free to call or email us about building a patio or walkway or refinishing a driveway using pavers with a permeable base. We will be happy to work alongside you to make any outdoor project one that lasts a lifetime.

Winter Planning

As we gear up for winter weather, many with gardening in their souls assume that there is nothing to do but wait until the buds begin to pop and that first robin announces the end of the long, bleak season. But as author and naturalist Hal Borland said, “No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”

Even though the calendar page has turned, there is plenty that we can do to prepare for the coming of spring. In fact, winter is the perfect time to start planning your spring projects. You will find, especially if you have any ambitious projects in mind, that there are municipal hurdles to jump through before making those modifications. You will probably find better pricing during the colder months, and scheduling your spring projects now will offer a much wider window of choices. In addition, you will likely discover a wider selection of materials before the spring scheduling rush begins. Of course, a key benefit to planning projects now is the time to determine your budget and to marshal your resources, just like a squirrel gathering nuts—just don’t forget where they are!

Usually we have more time for sitting down and planning in the winter, so take advantage of that. Settle down with some hot cocoa and visualize your spring projects! And if you need incentive for this forward-thinking, keep in mind that waiting until later may mean waiting until March or April to schedule the project, and the implementation of it might have to wait until summer or fall.

In the meantime, here are just a few winter maintenance chores that you can tackle now for your trees and shrubs:

  • Apply mulch
  • Prune while plants are dormant
  • Apply wire mesh at the base of young trees to protect against gnawing wildlife
  • Tie branches together and remove limbs likely to break in order to safeguard against ice and snow.

So there’s plenty of gardening to do, even in the bleak midwinter!

Your First Choice for Fire Pits

Although there are many aspects of your outdoor living space that is simply unusable in the winter, there is one thing that may be even more enjoyable during the cold weather – your fire pit! If you don’t yet have one, the first choice you will need to make is whether you want a wood-burning or gas-burning model.

Neither is better than the other; they each have pros and cons. So let’s take a look at six factors, and you can decide which works better for you.

  1. Fuel availability. If you live in rural area with plenty of firewood nearby, wood is obviously an easy option. Or if you are in a suburban home, there may already be a gas line in place. If you already have natural gas or propane appliances, it could be a very practical expense to add an outdoor fire feature as you wouldn’t have to worry about running service from the road or purchasing a tank for propane.
  2. Installation price and time. Wood is certainly less expensive than gas. Also, wood-burning fire pits are less costly to install and can typically be built in 50 – 75 percent of the time needed to install a gas-burning unit.
  3. Fuel storage. A propane-burning fire pit will require a storage tank that would hold from 15 to 100 gallons, depending on how often you use it. Firewood also requires storage space, so you’d need to consider where to stack it without detracting from the appearance of your home. Don’t stack it against the house, however, as firewood may harbor termites.
  4. Convenience. Gas is the hands-down winner here. It’s obviously easier to push a button and have an instant fire. You also would not have to deal with the mess of the firewood and ash cleanup.
  5. Safety. There is always a danger of leaks with gas. But if the fire pit is professionally installed, these are rare. With wood, there are of course dangers inherent in cutting the wood, stacking it properly, and dealing with the fire when you are finished. In either case, understanding the risks and knowing how to handle fire responsibly are very important to your enjoyment of an outdoor fire feature. If you have children around the fire, make sure to teach them fire responsibility as well.
  6. Primary use. If you just want the ambience and heat of a fire, gas is certainly an easy option. But if you want to cook on the fire, you need to go with wood. Knutsen Landscaping offers the Zentro smokeless fire pit from Breeo, with a special design to keep the smoke to a barely noticeable trace. And a special swing-away grilling rack works wonderfully with these fire pits.

With all these considerations, the choice is up to you. And the professionals at Knutsen Landscaping will be happy to assist you no matter which one you choose. Either way, a fire pit is a great way to enjoy the outdoors even in the coldest weather. You can have your own winter wonderland for many years to come!