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Build another kind of fire in the backyard: a blazing swath of fall leaves.

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October is well underway and parts of the country are seeing the colorful goodness of the season. Indeed, fall leaves are a tourist draw for many of the northeastern states. You can have your own bright show every year if you choose the right species of tree. Here are 4 for the northeastern corridor as suggested by the Arbor Day Association.

Building Blocks for Grownups: A DIY guide to building your own fire pit

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If you spent time as a kid creating structures with Legos, you may have the skills to build a permanent fire pit in your backyard. We’ve laid it all out for the home hardscaper. Getting something done on your own brings a unique and cherished sense of accomplishment. Don’t shy away from a fire pit project because it seems daunting. We have kits with detailed instructions that any do-it-yourself enthusiast can follow.

Making and maintaining an outdoor kitchen is easier than you think

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Looking to bring your patio to the next level but you wonder what’s involved? Don’t worry. We got you covered. Outdoor cafe culture started in Europe and eventually took over even the smallest American towns. Now homeowners are picking up on the trend. Additions like outdoor rooms, patios, kitchens and sports bars are topping homeowners’ wish lists. Who doesn’t love to dine al fresco with family and friends, in the warm sun or under a starry summer night? Fire pits and heaters extend the time spent outside all the way through the winter months, too.

Slopes and steps: Landscaping your hill

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In the breathtaking catalog spreads on home and garden sites, page after page display perfectly level yards with expertly installed plantings. If you’re lucky enough to have a magazine-ready, flat area as our outdoor space, you have a great start. But if you are facing the seemingly Sisyphean task of beautifying a hill, it can feel like there aren’t many options. Fear not. The climb to a magnificent landscape isn’t as steep as you may think.

You in stone: Personalize your patio design

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A new patio is a fantastic home improvement. It will likely increase the value of your property. A new Hardscape is an entirely new living space and most importantly, contributes to your overall enjoyment of being outside. Installing a Hardscape is like adding another room to your house. We don’t call them “outdoor rooms” for nothing!

Patio planning: Hear from an expert

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Planning an outdoor space begins with an idea. A fun picnic on a friend’s Hardscape or a relaxing time at a poolside bar on vacation inspires us to recreate those feelings in our own backyards. So you want an outdoor space. What’s the next step in the planning process?

Gardening and other patio prep for the fall

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To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow - Audrey Hepburn There is a certain wonder when it comes to creating something. A little effort often provides a magical result: a seed into a bloom; an empty room into a haven; a spark into a fire. The fall isn’t only about hunkering down for the winter. It’s a boom-time for creative endeavors. A little preparation will go a long way in creating an inspiring environment for the autumn months. Here’s a checklist of outdoor tasks to help foster more fun outdoors.

Communicating with your contractor

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In 1894, Labor Day became a US federal holiday. It was created to celebrate the craftsmen of the early labor movement and their contribution to this nation. Now, Labor Day marks the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year for the kids. Let’s honor the roots of the holiday by looking at ways to make the contractor-client relationship on your next Hardscape or home-improvement project a productive one.

Raise your backyard’s game with Olympic influences

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The 2016 Rio Olympics are in full swing. We love to watch the Games’ thrilling events and see the amazing achievements of our US team. But being stone experts, the Olympic Games also reminds us of something else we love - Greek architecture! The ancient culture’s mark can be seen not only in our government buildings but also in our home and Hardscape designs.

Warm Welcomes: Incredible Walkways and Driveways

No matter what holidays you celebrate in December, chances are you will have visitors at one point during the season and as the old saying goes, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Your driveway and front walkway are some of the first landscaping impressions you can make on your visitors, and they set the stage for their expectations of your home’s interior.

Creating a little “Peace on Earth”, Right in your own Backyard

There are a lot of wishes for “Peace on Earth” at this time of year and, while the general intent is for mankind as a whole, there’s another saying that comes to mind: “Charity begins at home”. By creating a tranquil environment in which to host family and friends, you can add a little “peace” to the world that will, hopefully, extend past your backyard as people come and go. What’s great about starting at home is that you can do it on just about any budget. From adding a tranquil accessory to your backyard like a fire pit or fireplace, to building an entire outdoor oasis including a walkway that leads to a patio and garden surrounded by walls, or even adding a pool, the options and combinations are almost endless and can be done all at once, or in pieces as your budget allows.

Keep your Landscape Sustainably Green – All Year-Long with Evergreens

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As the fall season winds down and we edge closer to the leafless, drab landscape of winter, many homeowners look for sustainable and simple ways to add a little color to their yard and garden. Evergreen shrubs, trees and plants offer year-round color that is easy to maintain and, if planted in the correct region, 100% sustainable. We’ve got 4 options for the Mid-Atlantic region that will enhance any landscape and offer a welcome of green even as the rest of your yard lays dormant.

5 Tips for the Best Front Yard Landscape

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You’ve heard the phrase “You only have one chance to make a first impression, right?” Well, this applies to your home, as well. When someone arrives at your domicile for the first (or tenth) time, the first thing they see is your front yard landscape. This first impression is largely made up of the condition of your driveway to the walkway and steps leading to your front door, as well as the plants in your garden and any garden wall or borders you have containing them. The level of care put into these details can create a very good, or very bad, impression for your guests, or anyone who drives by your home for that matter, so invest some time and effort into making your front landscape something that says “welcome” with the following tips:

Tips for a Low-Maintenance Landscape

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Who doesn’t love a beautifully landscaped backyard? Color and design come together to celebrate the seasons, while offering water management with tree plantings and strategically-placed walls or walkways? There really is something to be said about a landscape that wows at any time of year. The downfall? It often takes significant time and money to keep the lush beauty of your yard and garden in shape year-round. Depending on your schedule and budget, this can be a detractor to invest in your yard to create that idyllic space. However, there are low-maintenance landscape options that will allow you to have your cake and eat it, too.

Tips for Easy Sustainable Landscaping

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Your yard and garden are your pride and joy, the setting for everything from parties to relaxing days outdoors. You’ve designed your landscape to fit your unique style and color pallet to accent your home and create the outdoor living space you’re proud to share with your friends and neighbors. Anyone who has even a slightly-green thumb knows the time and dedication it takes to create and maintain a beautiful yard, but there may be a simpler way to keep your garden vibrant that saves you time and money. Interested?