Landscaping Blog | Knutsen Landscaping

Hardscape Impact


Hardscape Impact

Whether you are preparing your home for the market or seeking to increase your personal enjoyment, hardscaping is one of the best ways to add value. “Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features,” by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) confirms that investing in hardscaping is in a homeowner’s best interest. Missy Henriksen, NALP vice president of public affairs, states, “Homeowners working with a landscape professional to embark on renovations whether that means enhancing their turf and growing a lush lawn, overhauling their entire landscape, or incorporating new features like patios or exterior fireplaces can rest assured that they are making a smart, worthwhile investment.”

There are four basic benefits that hardscaping brings to your home:

Safety and Privacy

Seat walls provide privacy and protection against the elements, and landscape lighting along paver walkways and patios, or under retaining wall caps, offers night time ambiance and functionality.

Preventing Erosion

Retaining wall systems are essential in preventing the damage to your property as well as the major headaches caused by erosion. In some cases, these can escalate to damaging your home. For instance, a yard that slopes steeply toward your home’s foundation is an easy way for water damage to become an issue. A well-designed and installed retaining wall system can create a positive flow away from the foundation, while also creating usable steps or space for flower beds and seating.

Making Unusable Space Usable

Depending where your home is situated, you may have sloping hills that are difficult to maintain and that offer no usable space. These areas are prime candidates for retaining walls, seat walls, flower beds, or foundations that could accommodate a pergola or other structure. Why not optimize the usefulness of every area of your property?

Curb Appeal

Most real estate agents will agree that your home’s first impression is paramount when preparing it for sale. Retaining walls and paver stone edging around gardens are simple updates that dramatically add value and curb appeal. For even greater impact, consider more ambitious projects like a front paver stone entrance with a patio and a seat wall or two.

For most homeowners, there is immediate and lasting value to be gained from adding hardscaping to your outdoor living space. Contact the design professionals at Knutsen Landscaping to determine the best options for your property, and see the impact for yourself!

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!

Overwhelming Options

Have you ever looked in virtual horror at the endless choices in your grocer’s cereal aisle? Or how about your pharmacy’s selection of cold medication? Healthy or sweet cereal? Oats or almonds? Fast-acting relief or long lasting? Decongestant or antihistamine? The vast array of possibilities in either case is enough to make one’s head spin!

These days, facing the almost endless options for landscaping materials and plants is very much like making those decisions at the grocery or pharmacy. Shrubs or flowers? Annuals or perennials? Deck or patio? Wood or stone? Fortunately, Knutsen Landscaping is here to save you from this dilemma! By speaking with our design team, you can determine what you want in your outdoor design and where to begin. What is the overall feeling you wish to achieve? What is the property like now? And how much do you want to change it? Are you looking to add a patio, deck, or other architecture? Or do you just want to redo the plants and softscaping?

These and many other questions are ones that you will have to consider, and the Knutsen team can guide you through them all. One of the biggest benefits of working with our design team is that we can together create a sense of consistency in your outdoor design, rather than the chaos that the inexperienced landscape “newbie” often ends up with. Your outdoor living space should have a unified, harmonious feel that fits well with your home, the contours of the property, the neighboring homes, and–most of all–you. We’ll start with an initial meeting, held at your home. There we’ll get an idea of the inspiration of your initial thoughts and discuss budget and material options. We will even start sketching out a rough draft of the project! Next, our landscape designer will set to work creating a specific design for your project. And we strive to keep the process open and interactive with photos and links to similar projects so you can see what we’re planning. Finally, once the proposal is approved and signed, we’ll order the materials and begin the installation.

Don’t go crazy trying to take in all these options and make sense of them! Contact Knutsen Landscaping for professional help in determining the best choices for your outdoor living space.

Fall Flowers and Colors

For many people, spring and summer are the banner months for landscaping. After all, who can deny the bright, beautiful explosion of colors available in the warmer seasons? Of course, the calendar turns, however, and fall is inevitable. But don’t despair! The array of autumn colors goes well beyond brown.

Stellar Pink

Add color to your property by planting the right tree.  Fall is a great time to plant trees, and there are many ways to “decorate” your property naturally through tree plantings!  There are many tree varieties with beautiful fall foilage to choose from, such as the Pacific Sunset Maple or a Stellar Pink Dogwood.

For flower bed options, here are some of our favorite fall beauties:
  • Chrysanthemums are perhaps the go-to flowers for fall, and with good reason. Shades of red, yellow, orange, peach, and white provide a good beginning for your autumn palette. And don’t forget the pink–and especially purple–contrasts to round out your mums. Most of us are familiar with the seasonal varieties sold at florists and garden centers in the fall, but if you find plants labeled as “garden mums,” they can last for years.
  • Versatile and heavy blooming pansies are available in just about every color in the rainbow, so can provide any splash of color you need for your autumn palette. What’s more, if planted in the fall and covered carefully in the winter, pansies have a chance to come back in the spring.
  • Celosia is a natural for fall because of the traditional fall colors available: bright yellow, warm orange, scarlet red, and deep burgundy purple. Additionally, the plumes of their blooms add vertical texture to other fall flowers.
  • Fall-blooming varieties of dianthus, especially in the darker purple hues, will offer beautiful mum-like blooms to your fall garden. And be sure to plant them where you can enjoy their great scent!
  • Pacific Sunset

    Sweet alyssum also gives you a great scent, while also a carpet of color to enhance your autumn landscape. It can also be used in container gardens to cascade over the edge.

  • The bold, dramatic Black-eyed Susan offers golden daisy-like flowers to brighten any landscape or container garden. And if left to form seeds, the Black-eyed Susan will attract finches and other birds as well.
  • Please don’t overlook the ornamental pepper to add a pop of texture to your fall landscape. The colorful fruits of these plants come in festive shades of red, yellow, orange, and purple. And they’re available in different shapes and sizes, from the round Black Pearl to the elongated Chilly Chili.

As fall settles in, you have a wide array of colors and plants with which to paint your autumn landscape. So grab a pumpkin spiced latte and contact Knutsen Landscaping today to further explore the possibilities.

Smokeless Firepits in Time for Fall

Outdoor living spaces—patios, decks, and more—offer many different elements to enhance your outdoor experience. After all, the whole purpose of landscaping and hardscaping is to increase the enjoyment of your home and property! One of the most popular features is a fire pit. Everyone seems to love gathering around the fire pit, just like they may have done with campfires in the past.

However, one thing can quickly put a damper on everyone’s good time—smoke! In a turn on the old saying, where there’s fire there’s smoke. Thankfully, there are ways to minimize that problem. One excellent product that Knutsen uses is the Zentro Fire Pit Insert by Breeo. The Zentro is designed to fit into most standard fire pit structures; it’s available in 24-, 28-, and 32-inch sizes, both circular and square. Steel and stainless steel options are available in all sizes. (In addition to the inserts, they also offer standalone firepit models.)

You may be thinking, “Smokeless fire? How is that possible?” Good question! And honestly, no fire can be 100 percent smoke-free; but there is a way to greatly minimize that smoke to the point where it’s barely noticeable. The key to creating 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.

You’ll no longer have to worry about who will be sitting in the trail of drifting smoke coming off your fire pit, moving chairs around and disrupting your good time. What’s more, the secondary combustion makes for a hotter, more even flame giving you have a better cooking source for grilling. Things like steaks, chops, and burgers never tasted better! And there’s a griddle accessory available for eggs, bacon, and pancakes, as well as a chicken rotisserie and swing-away grill. There’s even a kettle winch and cast iron kettles for soups and stews!

The great news is that all of this will fit right into your new or existing fire pit design; the Zentro is made specifically for that purpose. Furthermore, Breeo is a local company, formed and functioning in Kinzers, PA.

So when it’s time to consider creating or upgrading a fire pit for your outdoor living space, Knutsen Landscaping is your source. And with Zentro Fire Pit Inserts, we won’t blow smoke in your face!

Landscape Lighting

You’ve invested considerable time and resources to making your home and outdoor living space look just the way you want it. But what happens when the sun goes down? You certainly don’t want to lose all that beauty and curb appeal! Proper lighting will not only carry your design beyond the daylight hours, but it will allow you to create a new and exciting nighttime landscape.

Be sure to take the right approach in designing the lighting for your landscape. It may seem, for instance, that a trade electrician is the best place to start. But this decision may not afford you all the expertise you need for your outdoor lighting project! Trade electricians can certainly get the job done, but landscape lighting is not usually their wheelhouse. For the best results, a landscape designer is a much better choice.

In particular, there are three advantages to choosing a professional landscape designer for your outdoor lighting design:

  1. Although a trade electrician can certainly install your lighting, a designer brings a trained, professional, artistic eye to your design. Coming to a landscape designing like the professionals at Knusten is like asking a fine artist to paint your mural—rather than a house painter. You’ll get a much more aesthetically pleasing result. You and the designer can determine just what effect you want to achieve with your lighting, whether it’s a romantic, dramatic, mysterious, or other type of atmosphere you wish to create.
  2. Lighting designers like the team at Knutsen is knowledgeable about the growth of trees, shrubs, and other softscaping elements on your property. Such expertise can ensure that the design you create will evolve with the desired effect as years go by and your foliage changes. You don’t want to be disappointed when your landscape grows over the years! A landscaper will take these natural changes into account in the design.
  3. Landscape lighting typically relies on stepped-down power from your house, reducing 120-volt household current to a safer 12 volts. Because of this you do not need to trench the wire at 18” deep like you would with 120 volt. The wire just sits below your mulch or decorative stone in your beds. Running all the wire through the beds and out of beds is a landscaper’s specialty. They will have a much better understanding of how the system functions in and through your beautifully landscaped beds and how to restore to perfection after the job is complete!

It is definitely in your best interest as a homeowner to select a trained landscape professional to bring the right light design to your landscaping. Contact Knutsen Landscaping to speak with a lighting designer, and discuss the possibilities for showcasing your front yard and lighting up your entire outdoor living space.

Pools: Where to Begin for the Best Result

One of the most dramatic – and let’s face it, most expensive – elements of outdoor entertainment design is an inground pool. Some homeowners would start the process by calling several pool companies and getting estimates for installation on their property. Then after the whole process is finished and the workers from the pool company have cleaned up and left, the homeowner might decide the pool needs some landscaping.

At Knutsen Landscaping, we would like to suggest the opposite approach. Call the landscaper before you contact the pool service. There are definite advantages to meeting with a landscape designer at the very beginning.

First and foremost, a landscape designer will create an integrated overall design for your outdoor living space. We will consider the entire property and its relation to your home and neighborhood, as well as your own individual tastes and personality. Although a pool company will offer a range of selections, they are often rather standard. There’s nothing wrong with that per se, but landscape design is just not what they do.

A second major concern for designing your pool landscape is what kind of trees you want and where they will be placed in relation to the pool. You want natural shade and beauty, but you will also want to avoid dirt, pests, and fallen leaves. Considering all these options as early in the process as possible will help to give you the desired result.

A third consideration is the hardscaping that your pool area might feature. Walkways, fencing, decks or patios, and structures like a pergola or gazebo, work much better as integral parts of the design, rather than an afterthought. If these options are considered and discussed from the beginning, you’ll end up with a more harmonized overall look. Furthermore, you and your landscape designer can place the pool in the best location for all of these to work together.

An inground pool is probably the biggest investment homeowners will make in the landscape of their property. Again, a pool company can give you some options and install a perfectly serviceable pool. But if you start with a landscape designer, you can come up with a design that perfectly fits what you want on your property, and you’ll end up with an outdoor living space that is unique and unlike any other property in your area. And remember, a well-designed landscape – including a pool – can add as much as 15 percent to the value of your property.

So if you are ready to make the commitment to an inground pool on your property, make Knutsen Landscaping your first call. We will meet with you to determine your goals and options. Together we can make your unique outdoor living space one that you will enjoy for years to come.

You Bag It. Yard Jockey Hauls It.

Your lawn and garden are a reflection of you. Your care and effort make the grass greener, the flowers brighter, and the trees healthier. But when it comes to all debris you generate from mowing, pruning, weeding, and trimming, you may not have an effective way to recycle the yard waste back into the earth for a sustainable cycle of renewal. Yard Jockey’s bags are your solution for outdoor projects, large or small. Purchase a reusable bag today!


Our durable, reusable yard debris bags hold a full cubic yard of waste like grass clippings, branches, bush trimmings, mulch, edgings, and leaves!  They offer a convenient way to keep your yard looking nice during and after weeding, pruning, or mowing.  Avoid those messy piles that take up space in your driveway or block use of your lawn. Purchase a reusable bag today to recycle the yard waste back into the earth for a sustainable cycle.  Simply call for a pick-up when your bag is full!

  1. Buy a Yard Jockey bag for $20.
  2. When your bag is full, go online to and click the “haul it away” tab at the top to pay and schedule your pick up — just $30 a bag!
  3. Your Yard Jockey bag will be returned so you can move on to another lawn project.

Order a bag online* or call us at 717-786-9000.


Yard debris includes brush/trimmings, tree limbs, grass clippings, stumps, leaves, soil, sod and rocks/stones.



Upgrading your Outdoor Living Space

Spring is the season for renewal. Trees are budding, grass is shedding its winter brown, and birds are returning to their warm weather homes. So it is perfectly fitting that homeowners see spring as the time to begin landscaping projects. What better time to rejuvenate your outdoor living space?

The National Association of REALTORS® recently published a nationwide study examining the reasons home owners complete outdoor remodeling projects, the value of those projects, and the increased happiness on their completion. Ten different projects – the top ten according to the REALTOR® rank of projects’ appeal to buyers – were evaluated, and the results offer a range of appealing and profitable upgrades.

Of course, upgrading your outdoor living space does not benefit you only when it’s time to sell. The REALTORS® poll also tracked consumers’ viewpoints after completing projects. After installing a new deck, 77 percent said that they had a greater desire to stay home, 51 percent felt an increased sense of enjoyment, and 77 percent had a sense of accomplishment on completion. Even higher results came from a new patio: 82 percent expressed a greater desire to be home, 74 percent report more enjoyment, and 85 percent felt a major sense of accomplishment. The highest happiness rating came through adding a new pool: 95 percent claimed a greater desire to be home since installing one, 80 percent have an increased sense of enjoyment while at home, and 90 percent felt a major sense of accomplishment after completing the project.

So whether you are looking to sell your home or simply get more enjoyment from your property, investing in your landscaping and hardscaping can pay big dividends. Contact Knutsen Landscaping to discuss your goals and options. Together we can put together a plan to make the most of your outdoor living space.