Upgrade your Pool Design with Flagstone

Did you notice this last summer that your pool deck is looking old and faded? Maybe it was never that wonderful to begin with…many pools have plain cement for decking, which is affordable but not the most beautiful material. If you want to change the look of your pool area to give it a makeover for the next swimming season, consider a flagstone pool deck. Here are some of the benefits of using flagstone to border your pool.

  • Naturally non-slip. Flagstone is great for pool decks in the safety realm. The surface is naturally non-slip, non-skid, making it safe for getting in and out of the pool.
  • Easy to maintain. Flagstone takes very little maintenance to keep it looking beautiful. A quick sweep or hose off is all that is needed to keep it clean and there is no need for any sealant.
  • Longevity. Natural stone has already existed for hundreds of years before it is quarried – you know that it will last a lifetime or more. While it may be more expensive than some other paving options, you get natural stone that will outlast most other products.
  • Beauty. Nothing can outshine natural stone for a pool deck. The look of flagstone is stunning and the stones come in many different colors and shades to choose from for your decking. Plus, every stone is unique, giving you a pool deck that doesn’t look like anyone else’s.

For a classic, beautiful new look for your pool deck, consider the advantages of choosing flagstone. Talk to your local quarry about pricing and options for using flagstone for your pool decking project.

Posted on behalf of:
Alliance Stone
5420 Campground Rd
Cumming, GA 30040
(404) 759-0617

Is Mulch Necessary for Your Plants and Trees?

You see mulch in most landscaping, usually around shrubs, bushes, trees and larger plants. Whether it is bark mulch, pine straw or another option, you will rarely see a professional landscaping design that does not use mulch. There is a reason that mulch is used by landscapers; they know it has many benefits beyond just a nice look. However, is it necessary to mulch around your plants and trees?

The quick answer to this question is no. No, it is not necessary to mulch, but it is a good idea. Mulch offers protection and insulation for the plants and trees you use it around. This helps protect the roots from cold weather and retains moisture in the soil. As mulch breaks down, it can add organic nutrients to the soil that can feed your trees and plants. Plus, it keeps weeds at bay that destroy the look of your landscaping and steal nutrients from your other plants.

All mulch is different, but it is usually best to add mulch in the spring and fall to replenish any that erodes or breaks down into the soil. Fall mulching helps protect roots during the winter and spring mulching helps give your plants the added moisture protection they need before summer.

All in all, mulch is beneficial for most larger plants and trees, making it an excellent addition to your landscaping. To determine what type of mulch is the best option for your landscaping, talk to your local landscape supplier who offers several types of mulch. They can help you decide which is best and how often it should be applied for the best results.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Brothers Earth Works
680 Franklin Rd, SE
Marietta, GA 30067
(770) 590-8220

Basics About Sod Dressing

There are many tactics that can be used to improve the health of your lawn. One option is using sod dressing throughout the summer to change the soil composition and level of your yard. Sod dressing is made from sand and bio-degradable components and used in the top-dressing process to improve the health of your lawn. Here are some of the basics about this process and how it can help improve your lawn’s health.

Reasons to Add Sod Dressing

There are a few lawn issues that sod dressing can treat. If you have the following problems, sod dressing could be beneficial:

  • Unlevel lawn
  • Thick thatch
  • Low nutrients in the soil
  • Low PH levels

Adding sod dressing can help fill in low spots in the lawn, while hastening the thatch breakdown. As the biodegradable ingredients decompose, they can add nutrients to the soil and increase the PH levels. There are different types of sod dressing for various grass types, suited to the nutrient needs of each grass.

Top Dressing Lawns

To add sod dressing, it is usually best to wait until you have completed your first three spring mows, giving the grass the opportunity to establish strong roots. Then the lawn can be cut to about a ½ inch to an inch, or scalped. Use the top dressing to fill in low areas. Once the lawn has leveled over the next few weeks, scalp again and apply sod dressing to the entire lawn for overall thatch reduction and improved soil composition.

If your lawn needs rejuvenation, top dressing can be a possible solution. Visit your local landscape supplier to find the right sod dressing for your type of grass to get the best results.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Brothers Earth Works
680 Franklin Rd, SE
Marietta, GA 30067
(770) 590-8220

5 Factors to Consider for Retaining Walls

Retaining walls can add support, beauty and function to your landscaping, making them a popular hardscaping project. However, this is a project that needs some planning and preparation before you jump in. Before you head to the landscaping supply store for materials, here are some factors to consider for your new retaining wall.

  1. Weight. If your retaining will be used for functional support for a slope or hill, you need to determine the weight and pressure that will be against the wall.
  2. Foundation. All retaining walls need a solid, level foundation for the best results. A leveled area with compacted sub-base or gravel should be used in the foundation, with stable, heavy materials used at the bottom of the wall.
  3. Materials. Retaining walls can be made from wood, concrete or dry-laid stone. Natural stone or pavers are the most popular, offering strength, durability and beauty for the project.
  4. Drainage. Many retaining walls fail due to water pressure caused from inefficient drainage. Gravel fill in the foundation or piping to allow water behind the wall to drain can prevent drainage failure issues down the road for your retaining wall.
  5. Slope of wall. If building a retaining wall for soil or erosion support, sloping the wall back into the hillside can garner better results, referred to as a batter or cant.

Creating a plan for your retaining wall can reduce the chance of premature failure. Decide the dimensions, materials and design before you make your trip to the landscape supplier in your area. This will save you time and ensure you get everything you need for supplies before you begin building your new retaining wall.

Posted on behalf of:
Alliance Stone
5420 Campground Rd
Cumming, GA 30040
(404) 759-0617

Upgrade Your Outdoor Space with a Flagstone Fireplace

What is missing from your outdoor patio? If you love relaxing and entertaining outdoors, you most likely spend most summer and fall nights on your patio. One element that can add beauty, light and warmth to your outdoor space is a fireplace. Make it even more special by designing it from stunning flagstone for a classic, elegant style.

Choosing Your Design

For outdoor fireplaces, you can choose from two basic designs: mantel or fire pit. Both can be created from stylish flagstone, but have different advantages.

  • Mantel fireplace. An outdoor mantel fireplace creates a regal appearance to your patio, making your outdoor space into a second living room under the sky. This is best for adding light and warmth, with limited space to “gather” around the fire.
  • Fire pit. For a more casual style, a fire pit can be a better choice. Seating can be placed around the fire pit, great for a “camping” atmosphere with friends and family on your back patio. You can get closer to the heat and even roast foods over the flames for late night treats.

On top of the type of fireplace design, you want to make sure your new fire feature is safe. Flagstone is a perfect material for the fireplace and surrounding paving to prevent sparks from igniting. You can even create flagstone benches or chairs that will withstand the heat and flames with natural fire resistance.

If fire is what is missing from your outdoor space, consider adding a fantastic flagstone fireplace. It can add beauty and function for evenings outside, with the durability of flagstone to last for decades to come.

Posted on behalf of:
Culbreth Stone
1968 US-41
Pelham, TN 37366
(423) 930-8249

3 Ways to Use Sand in Your Backyard

There are many gravel materials that are used in landscaping projects, including sand. Fine sand is an essential ingredient for creating some hardscapes, protecting water features and xeriscaping. Here are three ways that sand can be used in your backyard in your landscaping endeavors.

  1. Stone paving. If you are using flagstones, field stones or pavers to create a patio or walkway, sand can be an excellent filler for finishing your project. Sand can be used instead of mortar to fill the cracks between pavers for stabilization. Just pour sand over the pavers and sweep into the cracks.
  2. Sand boxes. Kids love to play in sand. If you have little ones at your home, you can create your own sand box where they can dig and play in the flowing mounds. But, keep in mind animals love sand, too. If you have cats in your backyard, they may have other ideas for your sand box. Build a cover to protect the sand from animals when not in use.
  3. Low-water gardens. Want a, low-water garden for your backyard? Use sand or a sand/loam mixture to make a low-water garden for cactus and other drought-resistant plants. These gardens can be beautiful and require little water or maintenance.

There are other uses for sand, such as a mix for concrete or to protect pool liners from weed growth. Sand can even be added to paint to create a non-slip surface. It is a good item to have on hand for many different landscape projects. Sand can be found at your local landscape supply store to complete any of these projects.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Brothers Earth Works
680 Franklin Rd, SE
Marietta, GA 30067
(770) 590-8220

4 Reasons to Use Stone Veneer

If you are planning a natural stone project for your home or outdoor space, consider the benefits of using stone veneer. Thin, natural stone veneers offers many of the same advantages of natural stone, but without many of the disadvantages. Stone veneers are becoming a popular option to get a beautiful, durable surface without the need for complete natural stones. Here are four reasons to use stone veneer in your next project.

  1. Beauty. The reason natural stone is so popular for patios, fireplaces and siding is the uncompromised beauty. Each stone is unique, giving you a customized beauty for any project you undertake.
  2. Lightweight. While natural stone is beautiful, it can be a pain to transport and put into place due to the weight. Stone veneers are lightweight in comparison, saving money on transport costs and making it easier to build your hardscape without the heavy lifting.
  3. Cost-effective. Natural stone adds value and beauty, but it can be very expensive. Stone veneers offer the same look, without the high cost. Stone veneers can save money while still creating the look you desire for your home.
  4. Durable. Even though stone veneers are thinner, they are still durable. Natural stone is scratch resistant and can last for decades, even in veneer form. You get the style and durability you want, only with less cost and strain than complete natural stones.

Using stone veneers can help you stretch your project budget while still getting the uncompromising benefits of natural stone. Visit your local quarry that offers thin stone veneers to learn more about how these beautiful stones can be used for your next stone hardscape project.

Posted on behalf of:
Culbreth Stone
1968 US-41
Pelham, TN 37366
(423) 930-8249

Stylize Your Yard with Low-Maintenance Patio Pavers

If you are considering building a new patio or extending the outdoor living space in your yard, a paver patio is a low-maintenance option. Not only do stone or formed pavers look fabulous, they are easy to maintain. Here are some ideas for your new paver patio and tips on maintenance.

Types of Patio Pavers

There are many paver types to choose from for your new patio. You can create a natural look or a modern, contemporary style, all with the same low-maintenance attributes. Some options you can choose from include:

  • Field stones. Cut field stones can be wonderful for creating a natural stone patio.
  • Flagstones. Flagstones can be irregular in shape and are a gorgeous stone for patios and walkways since they are naturally flat.
  • Concrete pavers. For a uniform, modern look, concrete pavers are an excellent choice, coming in many shapes and colors for intricate designs.

Maintaining Paver Patios

Not only will a paver patio look great and add value to your home, they are easy to maintain. Pavers can last for many years and only require cleaning. Most pavers can be easily cleaned with just a broom and water. Plus, if repairs are needed down the road, you can replace individual pavers instead of replacing the entire patio.

If you are ready to begin building your new paver patio, visit your local quarry or landscape supply store. There are many options to choose from to build your new patio and most quality suppliers can deliver your pavers to your home. Once in place, your patio will provide a wonderful outdoor space that will be easy to care for and look beautiful for many years.

Posted on behalf of:
Alliance Stone
5420 Campground Rd
Cumming, GA 30040
(404) 759-0617

Spring Prep for Flower Beds

Are you excited to see the beautiful blooms in your flowers beds this spring and summer? Get your flower beds ready now with some preparation. Using the right prep can ensure you get long-lasting, colorful flowers with more blooms. Here are some prep tips to get the best flower bed results.

Preparing the Soil

You want to add new soil every year to give your flowers improved nutrients. You want a soil mix that is made for flowers. This is usually labeled as a flower soil mix at your local landscape supply store. A good flower mix has organic materials like compost, mulch and other nutrients. If you have an existing flower bed, you can till in a few inches of new flower mix to enhance your soil. For new flower beds, you can use straight flower mix to fill raised beds.

After you get your flower mix, you may want to add fertilizer. Flowers love phosphorous fertilizer, which is the second number listed on most fertilizer bags. You can add fertilizer to your soil before you plant and every six weeks after you plant your flower bed (this can differ with certain types of flowers).

Before it is time to plant is also a good time to update the edge or walls of your flower beds. Adding new landscape timbers or updating to stone walls can improve the appearance of your beds.

A trip to your landscape supply store can help you get everything you need to prepare your flower beds. Make sure to also get some extra mulch to cleanup your landscaped areas once everything is planted. With a little prep, you can have gorgeous flower beds that you can enjoy all spring and summer.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Brothers Earth Works
680 Franklin Rd, SE
Marietta, GA 30067
(770) 590-8220

When to Use Landscape Stones and Rocks

You have many choices when you are building hardscapes to add to your landscape design. Cement, brick and pavers can be used to create many hard surfaces and structures. However, using natural stone and rock has its advantages over man-made materials when it comes to durability and beauty. When creating your outdoor space, here are some good areas to use landscape stones and rocks.

Retaining Walls

Modular blocks may look uniform for retaining walls, but if you prefer a natural appearance, stone is the best option. Fieldstone, flagstone and ashlar can be cut to create stunning retailing walls. The natural uniqueness of stone can build a wall that looks like no other, giving a beauty that cannot be duplicated.

Paving

If you are building a patio or pool deck, flat natural stones like flagstones or cut fieldstones are excellent for paving. They offer a solid, durable surface for your outdoor living spaces. Natural stone is a wonderful choice for paving garden paths or edging ponds.

Edging

Rocks and stones make a great edging material for your landscaping. Lines and linear direction are important elements in landscape design; small landscape stones can edge your gardens or paths to create the lines you need for a well-blended design in your landscaping.

Fire Pits, Fireplaces and Outdoor Kitchens

Focal and functional features like fire pit and fireplaces are perfect for natural stone. They withstand heat and blend your fire features into a natural setting. Outdoor kitchens are another area where a natural stone floor or stone veneer for cabinetry can be used to enhance the beauty of your outdoor living area.

Natural stone can be more expensive than man-made pavers, but the benefits can be worth the extra investment. Check out the natural stone options for your landscaping project at your local quarry.

Posted on behalf of:
Culbreth Stone
1968 US-41
Pelham, TN 37366
(423) 930-8249