Frequently Asked Landscaping Questions
At Four Seasons, we understand you have questions about your outdoor living space and how to enhance it and keep it looking great year round! That’s why we’ve taken the time to compile the most frequently asked landscaping questions and make this information available to you. Whether you’re thinking about installing a pond in your backyard or want to update your driveway, talk to the experts at Four Seasons for all your landscaping questions.
Get answers to landscaping questions for any of our specialty services:
Each patio material has its own specific advantage. Like any landscaping feature, it all comes down to the aesthetic of your home and yard and what other features you want installed in and around your patio. However, at Four Seasons, we contend that the best materials for your home patio installation are:
- Do you want versatility in your patio? Then stone is the material for you. It can be cut into any shape and colored any way you want. Plus, repair is a breeze!
- If you want a customized look for your outdoor living space, concrete is the best material for you. Its sturdy nature and maintenance-free surface makes it an ideal material for many homes in the Maryland area.
There are a number of ways you can transform the space under your deck into a usable area. Although adding a patio is one of the most popular ideas, there are other ways you can make this spaces usable, including:
- Storage Space. An under-deck area is perfect for storing extra yard tools and equipment that you can’t fit in a garage or shed. If you have a lawnmower that you frequently use, the area under your deck could be the best place for it.
- Grill and eating area. This is a perfect area for entertaining guests! Your under-deck area is perfect for hosting because you can use it even in the rain.
- Lattice. If your deck is only a few feet off the ground, you should consider installing a lattice wall. It’s a cost-effective way to dress up the beams and support system of your deck.
- Hot tub/relaxation area. Your under-deck area is a great place to put in a hot tub! Pair it with some of our artificial turf to create a truly luxurious space.
A paver lifespan hinges primarily on what material it’s made out of. Four Seasons primarily installs porous concrete pavers. Not only do these have the maximum durability, but they also can be made to look like other stones, maintaining style while maximizing functionality. If well-maintained, our concrete Techo-Bloc pavers can last between 30 – 50 years.
Cracking is the main issue you’ll have to deal with when you install a concrete paver. Some of the ways you can protect your paver is to avoid using powerful ice melting agents. These will clear ice, but they’ll damage your paver significantly. The chemicals will eat through part of the surface, causing increased cracking, and weaken the paver.
Are you thinking about installing an outdoor kitchen on your patio? If so, you’re probably wondering about what type of materials you should use. While there is no real wrong answer, there are benefits and drawbacks to each of the main outdoor kitchen materials.
Stainless Steel – Steel is a professional restaurant-quality kitchen material that is sanitary and very structurally sound. Steel won’t melt or discolor when touched with an extremely hot dish or pan right off the grill—and it’s also far less susceptible to water damage. However, stainless steel gets very hot while in direct sunlight because of its high level of heat conduction.
Concrete – Like steel, concrete outdoor kitchens are less susceptible to rain and moisture. They are also very easy to clean. However, concrete is more porous than steel and other materials, which means it needs to be occasionally sealed and waxed in order to keep moisture out.
Granite – Granite is much less porous of a material than concrete, meaning it requires less maintenance in the long run. While it is very scratch-resistant, some of the lighter shades can stain. Granite countertops do look great with a stone-sided base and are a great match for most patios!
There are few things more enjoyable than a warm Maryland night on your patio. It’s even better when you have beautiful landscape lighting illuminating your yard! Four Seasons offers low-voltage landscape lighting that is both aesthetically pleasing and energy efficient. But what do we mean exactly when we say “low-voltage?” Let us explain!
Traditionally, low-voltage lighting gets its name by lowering the voltage required to power the lights. Standard low-voltage power boxes reduce standard 120 volt power boxes into just 12 volt power boxes. Through this process, you save energy but don’t sacrifice power! By pairing these with low-energy LED lights, your backyard’s lighting will be stunning! Benefits of low-voltage lighting include:
- Easy bulb replacement
- Reduced your utility expenses
- Added safety to your home
- Safe installation
- Aesthetic appeal
- Shockless and safe fixtures for use around children and pets
Styles of Low-Voltage Lighting
We offer three brands of low-voltage lighting—CAST, Kichler, and Focus. These three manufacturers offer beautiful bases and attractive lights. Bases are typically solid bronze, but if you choose to have lights built into walls, we can make bases out of aluminum for a better fit.
We offer uplights, downlights, and backlights. By combining these three types of outdoor lights, you can create a truly beautiful lighting experience. Plus, if anything malfunctions or breaks on your lights, we’ll come out and replace it, free of charge!
The sun doesn’t have to set on your yard ever again. With Four Seasons’ landscape lighting, it never will. Landscape lighting offers an easy way for you to accentuate the outdoor of your yard even at night. But what is the best way to plan your new landscape lights? Four Seasons has the answers!
Your landscape doesn’t need to stop looking beautiful at night. With a few well-placed lights, you can complete a stunning landscape that’s beautiful no matter the time of day. The key to landscape lighting is understanding the balance between “up lighting” and “downlighting.” Uplighting are lights that point up from the ground, while downlights are the opposite—lights that point down from a higher angle.
Landscaping with lights is just as much about the shadows you cast as well as the light. Using uplighting to contrast dark areas of your landscape with light creates a dynamic landscape that will stun your guests. Our landscaping experts can help you create this delicate balance for the most beautiful landscape possible. Areas where we can install fixtures include:
- Pool deck
- And more!
Contact Four Seasons today to learn more about our landscape lighting services.
Retaining walls have many uses in landscaping. They can help turn a hilly landscape into a classy, attractive terrace. They can also help circle off specific areas of your yard to create the perfect gardening space. But what type of material is best for your retaining wall? Let Four Seasons answer!
Just remember, there’s no one “best” material! It just depends what you want for your yard.
Stone Retaining Walls
Stone is one of our most popular materials for retaining walls. They’re durable and offer enough versatility to be used in any shaped retaining wall. But there are many different types of stones available—and when it comes to stone retaining walls, there are a lot of different options! Stone retaining walls can be made of:
- Flagstone (also known as Pennsylvania bluestone)
- Rubble stone
- And more!
Modular Block Retaining Walls
Modular, or segmental, block retaining walls consist of masonry units that are placed without mortar and rely on their mass, as well as interlocking connectors, to prevent sliding and overturning. Compared to other types of retaining walls, modular block retaining walls are:
- Available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and textures
- Durable and won’t crack as easily as poured concrete will
- Versatile—segmental block retaining walls can be easily curved or straight, and can meet unique layout needs.
- Easy to install—laying units without mortar allows for faster construction
At Four Seasons, we offer the following driveway materials:
- Brick – Use brick if you want a wide variety of colors and patterns from which to choose. We can use brick to create almost any pattern or design to suit your needs. Learn more about brick driveways here.
- Travertine – Looking for a softer alternative to brick? Try travertine! Available in many colors, travertine is a great driveway material if you want a unique design. Learn more about travertine driveways here.
- Cobblestone – Want a traditional driveway design? Cobblestone could be for you! Besides being one of the oldest driveway materials available, it’s great for any homeowner who wants a rustic or country feel! Learn more about cobblestone driveways here.
Your outdoor fireplace can be almost any size you want as long as it fits within the physical laws of gravity. Whether you want a small, compact outdoor fireplace or a massive one that exceeds 10 feet, Four Seasons has you covered! When choosing the size of your outdoor fireplace, here are a few questions you should ask yourself:
How big is your patio? Your outdoor fireplace should fit the general size of your patio. If it’s too big, you’ll have to expand your patio size to make it fit, which could be costly!
What type of fireplace do you want? Do you want a long chimney? Do you want your fireplace to burn wood or burn gas? These are essential questions that will influence the size of your outdoor fireplace. Wood burning fireplaces require chimneys and, therefore, will be bigger.
What’s surrounding your patio? Balance is essential to good yard design. Take in your surroundings and decide if a large fireplace will look out-of-place in your yard.
here is no question that outdoor fireplaces and fire pits are a great addition to any patio areas. But what type of material is best for an outdoor fireplace? There are two materials that are best for outdoor fireplace and fire pit installation.
Stone Outdoor Fireplaces and Fire Pits
Stone outdoor fireplace and fire pits are durable and come in various types of stone that will fit aesthetically with any style of home. Four Seasons can install bluestone (also called Pennsylvania Flagstone), limestone, and rubblestone. Each has a different look, but each is a great choice for your patio area!
Brick Outdoor Fireplaces and Fire Pits
If you’re looking for a classic design that will never go out of style, brick outdoor fireplaces and fire pits are a great option! Four Seasons offers several different colors of bricks, including red, white, gray, tan, and brown.
Softscaping is using living plants to complement your yard design. While the hardscaping (retaining walls, patios, etc.) are the stars of your yard, complementary trees, bushes, shrubs, and flowers are essential to having a well-balanced yard.
Four Seasons selects our plants from a variety of growers to ensure the highest quality. We even have our own nursery that you are invited to visit and select from our own outstanding collection of plants. Some of our plants and trees include:
Several hard-to-find varieties of Japanese maple trees
- Unusual evergreens
- Large shade trees
- Crape myrtle
- Cherry laurel
- And more!
When winter comes along, don’t let your landscaping freeze for the season. You can still softscape your property despite the drop in temperature. Check out our list of five plants that can keep some color in your yard and survive the winter!
American Maple – The American Maple is one of the most popular and attractive trees to plant in autumn. When its leaves change, they turn a beautiful red color that will spruce up your yard in a flash!
Pansy – The pansy is known to withstand frost and light snow, and can grow through the year. While a common flower in most gardens, they’re certainly reliable to keep your garden looking fresh and colorful with the wide variety of colors available all winter long.
Holly – This is a winter holiday classic. The bright red berries on the holly bush bloom during the winter, making it perfect for your winter garden. It is an evergreen plant, so you can keep it in your garden all year, but it’s certainly a perfect choice for winter.
Evergreens – Four Seasons carries a wide variety of evergreen trees that are perfect for winter landscaping. Because they can survive low temperatures, they work as a great focal point for your garden during the coldest months.