Maryland Landscaping Water Features: Cleaning Water Fountains

Maryland water features, like water fountains, need to be cleaned to enhance the appearance of any fountain and keep fountain waters sparkling. Water fountains come in many different materials, which require different cleaning solutions. Here are some tips:

  • Ceramic fountains may be cleaned with warm soapy water and a cloth or sponge, and a thorough rinse. Slime or mineral deposits may require a light scrubbing with a non-abrasive pad.
  • Resin and fiberglass fountains require careful cleaning, because they scratch easily. Use a soft cloth and warm soapy water or with special fiberglass cleaning products.
  • Copper fountains have a protective powder coast or clear finish coat to retard tarnish/greening; others are natural copper. Clean copper fountains with Pledge or another good quality furniture cleaner and a soft cloth. Apply a light coat of car wax/turtle wax and buff every few months to maintain the gleam. Never use a strong commercial copper cleaner on natural or powder copper fountains. Copper cleaners actually damage copper finishes by removing the coating and natural patina.
  • Stainless steel fountains should be cleaned with a wet or dry cloth and stainless steel cleaner. Never use abrasive cleaners or pads that scratch the shiny surface. Avoid bleaches and chemicals that discolor or damage the finish.
  • Always follow explicit manufacturer’s recommendations on how to clean a fountain.

Installing a water feature, like a fountain, can add so much to a Maryland landscape. Adding a water feature to your Maryland yard, large or small, is easier than you think. For more information on Maryland water features, please contact East Coast Landscape Design. The East Coast Landscape Design team utilizes 3 decades of experience along with safety- tested protocols to create natural water features in various types of Maryland landscapes.

Walkway Design Materials for Your Maryland Home

The walkway design for your Maryland home will depend upon which materials you want to use for your walkway.

Here are some options for the walkway design for your Maryland home:

  • Brick is a popular choice in Maryland because it goes well with just about any home architecture. Brick is easily accessible, and it presents a clean looking finish. Bricks are maintenance free, and their uniform allow for precise walkway design for your Maryland home.
  • Stone is a great option for the walkway design at your Maryland home. Stone is durable and versatile. Depending on the stone you choose, your walkway design could be very precise or look more natural when you choose uncut stones. Stone also can make the walkway design for your Maryland home pretty affordable.
  • Concrete is another option for the walkway design for your Maryland home. Poured concrete is available in a variety of colors as it can be dyed, textured or tumbled to lend the appearance of natural stone. The size and shape of poured concrete is only limited by the walkway design for your Maryland home.

For more information on walkway design for your Maryland home, please contact East Coast Landscape Design. The East Coast Landscape Design team has over a quarter century of experience in the design and installation of practical and beautiful walkways and pathways. Our design philosophy incorporates walkways seamlessly into the natural landscape of your Maryland home. We work with you to select the best materials to meet your needs, and offer an assortment of low-maintenance, recycled and natural stone materials.

Trends in Maryland Outdoor Dream Kitchens

Replacing your deck or patio? Now may be the time create your Maryland outdoor dream kitchen. In a good number of upscale Maryland homes, a simple grill just doesn’t cut it anymore. For some Marylanders, outdoor kitchens have moved from “nice to have” to “must have” status.

Here are the latest trends in Maryland outdoor dream kitchens:

  • Huge or “Man-Size” Grill – 4 or more burners with side burners
  • Pizza Oven – gas, electric, or wood burning
  • Refrigerator Pub – a fridge with a beer tap and other dispensers
  • Fireplace – for year round backyard family time and entertaining
  • Dining Space – a lux or cozy space to enjoy family and friends
  • Sink — a deep sink is much appreciated when you are cleaning grill equipment
  • Counter space – for easy food prep, with added barstools, and you have an eating space
  • Cabinet space – deep enough for storage, close to food prep and cooking
  • Roasting Spit – cooking for large groups is easier and tastier with a spit
  • Premium Finishes – for patio floors, counters, fireplace hearths, tables and benches
  • Wine Bar – adapted to the temperature changes with a Maryland outdoor kitchen
  • Built-in Wok – keeps your indoor kitchen cool, and adds variety to outdoor cooking
  • Herb Garden – wash and chop fresh herbs within seconds of picking them
  • Smoker – built-in or portable

For more information on Maryland outdoor kitchens, please contact East Coast Landscape Design. East Coast Landscape Design specializes in custom design and precision construction of extraordinary Maryland outdoor kitchens, fireplaces, and fire pits, with beautiful patios and stonework. We pride ourselves in attention to detail in the quality and precision craftsmanship we provide, adding not only beauty but immeasurable value to your home.


Maryland Homes Need Erosion Control

Did you know that 90% of the rain that falls in Maryland finds its way into the Bay? That means that the rainwater from your yard can carry fertilizers and toxic chemicals into the Bay. Just like the rain, soil from Maryland yards with poor erosion control makes its way into local streams and creates a toxic sludge that kills off local fish and wildlife.

Here are the signs in Maryland of poor erosion control:

  • Bare spots on your lawn or property
  • Exposed tree roots
  • Small rills (a narrow and shallow incision into topsoil layers) or gullies on slopes
  • Soil splashes on your windows and outside walls
  • Sediment that collects in low areas or on pavement
  • Sediment running down a driveway

Trees, shrubs and ground cover should be planted as a buffer around your yard and in bare areas to soak up nutrients, to reduce run-off, and reduce soil erosion. Other techniques, including drainage pipes and erosion blankets will help Maryland homes with erosion control.

For more information on Maryland yards that need erosion control, please contact East Coast Landscape Design. Our Senior Geotechnical Engineer specializes in drainage and erosion control engineering in Maryland. From appropriate worksite conditions to properly manicured and groomed final grade, East Coast Landscape Design installs confidence with every job. Please contact East Coast Landscape Design today for your Maryland erosion control evaluation.

Potomac Maryland Outdoor Fireplaces

Outdoor fireplaces make wonderful additions to patios in Potomac, MD. For most of the year, outdoor fireplaces allow Potomac, MD families to enjoy a “staycation” right outside their back door. Outdoor fireplaces not only add warmth to patios, they also lend a sense of that area being an outdoor great room.  Outdoor fireplaces inspire socializing among friends, and foster those sweet and deep conversations that keep families close in Potomac, MD.

With new top-tier new construction in Potomac MD, beautiful outdoor living spaces are automatically included, along with home theaters, gyms, and playrooms. On some patios, outdoor fireplaces share a chimney with indoor fireplaces.  So homeowners without these features out back are going to have to add them.

The good news is that outdoor fireplaces do add to the resale value for older homes in Potomac, MD. More and more, backyard appeal is as important as curb appeal in selling a home. Standards have been pushed higher than ever these days; a dining table with an umbrella on the patio and a few chairs on the lawn no longer make the grade – especially in Potomac, MD.

For more information about outdoor fireplaces in Potomac, MD, please contact East Coast Landscape Design. At East Coast Landscape Design, we build outdoor fireplace solutions for any landscape. Rest assured that the experts at East Coast Landscape Design will create a custom-made outdoor fireplace that is perfect for your Potomac, MD home.

Outdoor Lighting Adds Security to Your Montgomery County, MD Home

It’s true — a barking dog and an electronic security system may stop someone once they get into your home. But what can you do to stop the bad guys even before they hit your doors and windows? Get outdoor lighting for your Montgomery County, MD home.

Of course, you’ll still want to have outdoor lighting by the doors of your Montgomery County, MD home. Most burglaries occur by entering through a door. No burglar wants a light shining down on him as he breaks in.

Outdoor lighting can be integrated as a part of your landscaping in the front yard of your home, and will add beauty and elegance, and security to your Montgomery County, MD home. When the attention is drawn to your home with gorgeous outdoor lighting, burglars realize that they can’t approach your home without the possibility of someone seeing them, and just move on.

However, if you have a big back and side yards, you will also want to add motion detector lights to your outdoor lighting. These can be set to go off only when something really is in your yard, and not just when a neighbor walks their dog by your house.  Some motion lights can be set to go off with alarms.

For more information on gorgeous outdoor lighting for your Montgomery, MD home that will help keep your family secure, please contact East Coast Landscape Design. East Coast Landscape Design will provide everything to complete your outdoor lighting project, from engineering design to wire and fixtures. We only use the highest quality lighting manufacturers that use brass, copper, stainless steel and aircraft-quality aluminum designed to last a lifetime. Let one of our East Coast Landscape Design specialists show you how a well-designed outdoor lighting system can add to the beauty and safety of your home.

Steps to Take When Hiring Patio Contractors in Maryland

As you consider your new patio, it’s important that you hire someone from a group of qualified patio contractors doing business in Maryland.  Here are steps you can take to make sure you are hiring the best patio contractor for the job.

  1. Check the patio contractors’ license. A legitimate local patio contractor will be licensed to work in Maryland.
  2. Check the patio contractors’ proof of insurance to protect yourself against liability for any damage that occurs as a result of the work.
  3. Seek recommendations for patio contractors from Maryland friends, neighbors, and co-workers.
  4. Look for patio contractors that have been in business locally for a long time.
  5. Read online reviews.
  6. Get names and contact info for your patio contractor’s previous clients, and call them. Ask about any problems and how the patio contractor handled things.
  7. Get consistent bids based on the same scope of work from the patio contractors, and get them in writing, with details.
  8. Go with your gut. If after all of these steps, something tells you that this isn’t the patio contractor for your Maryland home, don’t move forward. The most important criteria when hiring a contractor is choosing someone you trust.

Please be careful when hiring patio contractors for your Maryland home. You need a trustworthy patio contractor that is licensed to work in Maryland, and has been in business for years. The experts at East Coast Landscape Design have satisfied Maryland customers for over 30 years. Please contact East Coast Landscape Design today.

Irrigation Systems: Important to Landscape Health in Gaithersburg, MD

Irrigation systems can be very important in keeping landscapes healthy in Gaithersburg, MD. If you are tired of a lifeless looking landscape, or the hassle of watering your Gaithersburg, MD lawn yourself, a good automatic irrigation system is the solution.

Consider these benefits:

  • Maintaining a beautifully healthy landscape all season long, with your irrigation system delivering the right amount of water according to the specific needs of your landscape. Plus, irrigation systems can be adjusted to accommodate seasonal changes in Gaithersburg, MD.
  • Conserving water – irrigation systems that are properly installed and maintained will use less water than watering by hand.
  • Save time – automatic irrigation systems will do all the watering for you, no work required on your part.
  • Save Money – since irrigation systems conserve water and keep your plants healthy, your Gaithersburg, MD water bills will be lower, and you won’t have to replace your plants due to over/under watering.

For more information on irrigation systems in Gaithersburg, MD, please contact East Coast Landscape Design. For over 30 years, East Coast Landscape Design has been Gaithersburg, MD’s leading licensed landscape design company. Located in Montgomery County, Maryland since 1979, the company has designed and installed irrigation systems and other landscape projects. Please contact East Coast Landscape Design today for a consultation on irrigation systems in Gaithersburg, MD.

Don’t Forget the Driveway Design for Your Maryland Home

Driveway design is often an afterthought for homeowners in Maryland when building a new home or designing a landscape. However, the driveway occupies an important place in overall home and property design in Maryland. When planning your driveway, there are several things to consider.

Budget: In driveway design, it’s important to keep in mind initial costs and ongoing maintenance costs. For instance, gravel is the least expensive to begin with, but costs a lot to continually upkeep. While pavers are more expensive in the beginning, they end up costing very little to maintain for Maryland homes.

Curb Appeal: Driveway design can make a big impression on the look of your Maryland house. Certain materials complement certain architectural styles more than others.  A home that may look great with a driveway designed with pavers, but may look out of place with a gravel driveway.

Climate: Driveway design must take the Maryland climate into consideration. Some driveway materials may not be appropriate for the Maryland climate. Snow, humidity, rainfall and temperature changes are all factors that ought to influence your final decision.

Maintenance: Driveway design must take maintenance requirements into account. How often will the driveway need minor and major work, and is this something the Maryland homeowner can handle or are experts needed to maintain the driveway?

Durability: How long do you expect the driveway to last at your Maryland home? What kind of traffic will your driveway be getting?  Driveway durability not only depends on materials, you also need to take into consideration what kind of vehicles will use the driveway. You also need to understand what kind of maintenance is required to maximize lifespan of your driveway at your Maryland home.

Got questions about driveway design for your Maryland home? Please contact East Coast Landscape Design. We’ve been the driveway design experts in Maryland for 30 years, and we are happy discuss your driveway design options with you.

Arbor Day – Add a Tree (or Two or Three) to Your Landscaping in Bethesda, MD

Whether your plant a tree on Arbor Day – or select another beautiful day – you won’t regret adding a gorgeous tree (or two or three) to your landscaping in Landscaping in Bethesda, MD.

Trees Add Beauty and More
Besides adding to the beauty to your landscaping in Bethesda, MD, a tree also adds value to your home, filters pollutants, and adds clean oxygen.  Trees regulate the air temperature around them, through the evaporation of the water in leaves, and provide homes for song birds and other woodland creatures.

Shade trees can offer a comfortable and cool place to sit or play, and can part of a passive solar heating  and cooling plan. Deciduous trees help shade the yard and house during the hot summer months, and let the warm sunlight through when they lose their beautiful leaves in the fall and winter.  And who can beat the calming sound of the wind rustling through the trees?

Trees Help Mental and Physical Health
Speaking of a calming influence of trees, a recent study found that children who view nature from their window feel more patient and less frustrated about tasks. These children also have more enthusiasm for their school work, and feel more satisfaction with life.  A different study from the International Society of Arboriculture revealed that hospital patients recover faster when their room has a tree view.  Surgery patients who can see nature from their hospital rooms recover 10% faster and need less pain medicine than those patients who view brick walls.

Want to explore adding a tree (or two or three) to your landscaping in Bethesda, MD?  Please contact East Coast Landscape Design. Whether you want to create a sophisticated backyard landscape, a peaceful outdoor room, an English rose garden, or you want to update your existing landscaping in Bethesda, MD, the trained professional landscapers of the East Coast Landscape Design team and owner, Mark Simpson, are here to make your dreams a reality.