Our team is growing!

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Category: Uncategorized

Our team is growing!

Welcome to Knutsen Landscaping, Paul Squierdo!

At Knutsen Landscaping, hiring knowledgeable, passionate professionals who love what they do and take pride in a job well done is always a high priority as we continue to grow our team. We get excited when the opportunity arises to bring new experts on board, who support our company goals of designing and creating innovative outdoor living spaces uniquely crafted for our clients.

It is with great pleasure that Knutsen Landscaping announces its newest addition to our team, Paul Squierdo. Paul is a Lancaster County native who joined the Knutsen team March 2021 and will serve as Sales and Design Manager.

In joining the Knutsen team, Paul brings nearly 20 years of landscape industry experience, which encompasses a background in landscape architecture, design/build construction, sales, and management.   Paul has a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture which he obtained from Pennsylvania State University.  As a part of his collegiate studies, Paul had the opportunity to spend a semester abroad in Rome, Italy – an experience that he still draws design inspiration from as a foundation to his continued growth in his design/build career.

Paul’s passion for his profession takes root from several influences throughout his life.  Recalling experiences such as visiting his family cabin in Northern Pennsylvania, his journey and adventures in becoming an Eagle Scout, and travels throughout Europe and the United States (including Alaska) have each played a role in Paul’s ability to create unique outdoor living spaces that celebrate the natural and undiscovered connections of people and place. In addition, Paul’s education of art and design in combination with his hands-on experience gained during the summers of high school and college working in landscape construction, has provided Paul with a craft in carefully guiding each client through the design/build process and turning a client’s vision into an outdoor living environment of their dreams.

Paul and his wife are both Lancaster County natives, and are still rooted in the area as they raise their family of three children.  Outside of work, Paul enjoys spending time with his family, whether traveling, watching sporting or school events, hiking or fishing and volunteers behind the scenes for both school and church committees.

We are grateful to have Paul as a part team and we look forward to watching him in action as he supports both the vision and sustainable growth of Knutsen Landscaping and all of our valued clients, both existing and new.

 

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.

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!

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!

Don’t forget to maintain your hardscape

Hardscapes can make beautiful and aesthetic additions to your lawn but it’s important to remember that – like garden beds – your hardscapes need to be maintained.

Luckily, hardscape maintaince is not expensive or time-consuming when done regularly. With a few simple habits, you can ensure that your hardscapes regularly look fresh and pristine.

  1. Keep your hardscapes clean. Stone, brick, and pavers may appear to be entirely durable but these strong materials are susceptible to the elements. Use a broom or hose to clean off hardscapes and walkways regularly. You may need to pressure wash, when dealing with particularly stubborn stains.
  2. Check for damage. Cracked stones or pavers can usually be replaced easily, and the earlier damage is noticed, the simpler the repair. Sealant can help your pavers shine and more importantly, help protect them from the elements that cause stains.  Paver manufacturers, such as Unilock, have paver varieties available that are sealed during production.  Unilock calls this “Easyclean stain resistance”.  Check them out here and here.
  3. Prioritize drainage. Water can cause substantial damage to your hardscapes, so ensuring proper drainage is of paramount importance. When considering the construction of a hardscape, it’s important to remember proper drainage to direct water away from your hardscapes, or elevation, to ensure that water does not pool. If you find water is pooling on your hardscapes, consult Knutsen Landscaping to determine a solution.

Knutsen Landscaping has the expertise to guide you in the right direction from day one on your paver, brick or natural stone hardscapes.  If you already have a patio and are looking for some advice on how to properly care for it, contact us today!   Don’t neglect these important components of your yard!

Source: https://www.thegazette.com/subject/life/home-and-garden/what-kind-of-maintenance-does-my-hardscape-require-20190504

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!

Future Proofing Your Landscaping

For many people, working in the yard is an enjoyable and relaxing way to make the most of your property and lovely weather. But there comes a point – especially as we grow older – where lawn maintenance becomes too much. You won’t always be able or willing to spend an entire Saturday weeding your property, for example! Here are five tips for reducing or eliminating some of the basic lawn work:

Set your mower blade to the right height.

Many people cut their grass too short, which weakens it and allows more weeds to grow. It also means you’re mowing more than you have to. Each type of grass has an ideal mowing height, so call Knutsen Landscaping to inquire about your specific grass. Generally, it ranges from 1 ½ to 2 ½ inches.

Mulch trees

Trimming around trees it not only time consuming, but you can also easily nick the bark, which can fatally damage young trees. You can avoid trimming around your trees by applying a 2- to 4-inch deep ring of mulch around trees and shrubs. (If your soil doesn’t drain well, you probably want it no more than 2 inches deep.) Be careful to keep the mulch about 3 inches away from the trunk itself to prevent disease, root suffocation and other problems.

Fertilize just in the fall

Skip spring fertilizing and do it only in the fall. It will provide nutrients for fall root growth and a shot of energy the following spring. Knutsen Landscaping can recommend the best fertilizer for your type of grass and soil conditions. Apply the fertilizer about three weeks before the last mowing of the season. This provides energy and nutrients for the grass roots as they multiply in the cooler fall weather while also giving them a head start the following spring.

Build paths that you can mow over

Stone or paver paths that follow the topography of your yard can let you mow without additional trimming. Paths conforming to your landscape require less upkeep than the more formal paths that include steps, walls and curbs. The key is to set the stones or pavers no higher than an inch above ground level. Then you can mow right over them and skip the extra trimming. Not only are these easy to maintain, they are can also be very affordable paths.

Install mowing borders

Keep grass from growing along flower beds, walls, fences and other obstacles where your mower can’t easily reach by installing a mowing border. This will allow you to run your mowers over them to cut your grass without the need for separate trimming. If you set the border an inch above the ground and make it 4 inches deep, you will prevent grass from creeping over and through it.

 

These are just a few tips that can relieve the amount of work required to maintain your yard. Contact Knutsen Landscaping for more ways to cut down on the work and free yourself up for a simpler maintenance routine of your property!

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!