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Outdoor Fireplaces and Fire Pits – Loudoun & Fairfax, VA

backyard patio and fire pit fireplace loudoun va

Fall is a time abundant with warm and cozy associations.  Do you see yourself bundled up in a sweater with a warm mug of something delicious, enjoying the cool and crisp air?  Chances are this image includes an outdoor fire.  Whether you imagine an outdoor fireplace or a fire pit, there are several factors to consider in the planning and, as in most things landscape, location is first on the list.

Place your fireplace or fire pit

How trafficked is the area in which you are planning to place your fireplace/pit?  Should it be on a deck or patio adjacent to your home?  An outdoor fireplace or fire pit will extend your home’s living space, making it an area you can enjoy almost year-round, and increase your home’s property value.

Thinking about how you like to entertain will help you pick the best placement for either a permanent structure or a portable one.  For example, if you have a pool you might want to consider placing the fireplace or fire pit nearby; your friends and family will gravitate towards it after a dip.  On the other hand, if you have smaller yard, you might want to put it closer to your house and let the surrounding landscape be a strong supporting player.  Whatever you decide, size and scale is always important.  Sunrise Landscape and Design has lots of ideas and we are happy to help you pick the best location for what you want.

Decide how you will use your fireplace / fire pit

It’s also important to really think about how you will use your fireplace / fire pit.  An outdoor fireplace or fire pit will immediately become the focal point of your landscape.  The warm glow of a fire is always inviting.  Don’t forget to think about furniture placement around it, if you intend to create an area for lounging.  If you are considering an outdoor fireplace that can be used for cooking, remember to leave enough space for a dining table and chairs. Space requirements could affect the placement of the structure.  This might seem obvious, but you would be surprised to know how many people find themselves so excited by the idea of construction that they forget to  think about the additional space that will be needed for the outdoor seating area.

Design your fireplace or fire pit

The design process is often the fun part.  If you’re considering a fireplace, you can opt for a “built in” style, attaching it to the side of the home or another adjacent wall in the outdoor space.  Stand-alone options are also available.  Materials can range from brick, to different kinds of stones or marble.  A fireplace is often a permanent structure with a firebox and a chimney.  It can be the traditional rectangle, or it can be a square, round, or oval.  The essential element is a fireproof firebox that is large enough to fit the wood in comfortably.

The exterior can be entirely designed up to your specifications, in harmony with the rest of your home, but the style of your outdoor space should harmonize with the rest of your landscape.  For example, brick gives a timeless appeal and character, and there are brick veneers that are easy to work with.  Stone and rocks, such as river rock and flagstone, can offer a stunning and organic look.  Bear in mind, if your home is a brick colonial, you might not want to consider stucco. Though it’s a much more inexpensive material, stucco is a better complement to a Southwestern style home.  Consistency in style is important from an aesthetic perspective as well as a practical one.  The more harmonious all parts of your landscaping are, the more cohesive the look. A cohesive look translates into increased property value.

Contact our experts at Sunrise

Sunrise Landscape and Design has built many different fireplace/fire pit structures with a wide variety of materials. We will work with you to design the perfect fireplace/fire pit to fit in seamlessly with your landscape and provide the perfect space for entertaining and enjoying the cool fall evenings. Our experts have all of this in hand, so relax, you don’t have to put on your Fire Marshall hat when considering a fireplace or fire pit for your fall and winter enjoyment.  We can do it for you.  Contact Sunrise Landscape and Design to get started!

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Small Yard Design Tips – Leesburg and Ashburn, VA

Small yard design tips Ashburn and Leesburg, VA

Create an outdoor oasis in a small space with our small yard design tips.

Tiny homes and spaces are becoming more popular in a time when people are trading large for small in order to have more money for travel and other life experiences. While Sunrise provides lawn maintenance and design services for yards of all sizes, we recognize that many people in our area are living in retirement communities and communities where large yards are not the focus, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create an outdoor oasis even in a small space.

We asked our amazing landscape designer, Alex, to share a few tips with our followers on ways to maximize a small yard and we have shared them below.

  1. Consider how you want to use your space.

    Do you entertain? Do you want a quiet place to read? Do you enjoy gardening? Are you looking for more privacy? All of these questions can be used to help hone in on what your ideal outdoor space should look like, and how it should function. Once you have a clear vision for HOW you want to use your space, the next step is planning.

  2. Make sure you do your homework.

    Small yards tend to have more utility lines running through them, so ALWAYS make sure you have lines marked before starting work and consider challenges such as drainage; watch for downspouts, and your neighbors’ downspouts, so that you can accommodate for how that may impact your small yard design plans.

  3. Plants are your friend.

    Sometimes a fence is not an option, or not in the budget, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some privacy. Evergreens such as Emerald Green or Degroot Arborvitaes give great, quick privacy screening without a huge permanent footprint. Consider mixing in an evergreen hedge using Laurels or Boxwoods and for a splash of color, sprinkle a flowering tree (such as the Crape Myrtle) into your small yard design plan.

  4. Consider hiring a professional.

    While designing an outdoor space can be enjoyable for some, it can often lead to feeling generally overwhelmed with the number of options that are out there, and the challenge of overload when looking at Pinterest or other design sites. A professional landscape designer can work with you to bring your vision to life by providing helpful drawings for HOA approval, while making suggestions that will maximize your space and budget. Landscaping services don’t have to break the bank and working with a professional can often save you money in the long run with helpful recommendations.

Ready to start creating an oasis in your small Ashburn or Leesburg yard? Contact us for a personalized quote and small yard design from our team of experts.

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Healthy Lawn Maintenance- Loudoun County, VA

Healthy lawn Loudoun County, VA

Soon the weather in Loudoun County, VA will be ideal to establish healthy grass! The second week of August through the third week of October brings cooler night temperatures and more moisture, perfect for growing cool season turf and grass. Whether you’re looking to improve your lawn health or completely renovate with new turf, there are a few things to remember when creating healthy grass.

1) Test your soil.

Test your soil for pH and nitrogen and phosphorus content. Once you know your soil composition, you’ll be able to determine which fertilizers, and in what amounts, your lawn needs.

2) Choose a blend of quality seed.

Most lawns in Loudoun County, and Northern Virginia in general, use cool season grasses, specifically a mix of Kentucky bluegrass, ryegrass, and tall fescue. Here at Sunrise, we recommend a blend of 3 turf type tall fescues with 5-10% bluegrass.

3) Help the seed contact soil.

When overseeding, one of the most critical factors in the success of germination is seed to soil contact. In practice, this means mixing the seed into the soil in some way. Aeration, slitseeding, spiking, or topdressing are all good ways to get the seed to soil contact that is so critical to creating a healthy lawn.

4) Water.

After the seed has been spread into the soil, the next element to a healthy lawn is moisture. Providing adequate water to the seed is crucial to its success. Seed should be watered daily once spread and for the first few weeks after the seed emerges. After this point, keep the soil moist to continue to help it grow.

5) Fertilize.

Nutrition (fertilization) is the final element in maintaining a healthy lawn. Fertilization provides proper nutrition for your turf so it can grow for years to come.

6) Plan Ahead.

If you want to have success in establishing a lawn from seed, you should ideally finish before the end of October. The last week in October is usually too cold for germination to be as effective as earlier planting.

Want a professional hand in bringing your lawn back to life with healthy grass installation and lawn maintenance? Contact Sunrise today for a personalized quote!

Learn more about our lawn aeration and overseeding services, as well as our lawn maintenance packages.

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Summer Garden Care – Ashburn, VA

summer garden planter ashburn virginia

Gardening isn’t just a spring activity, several tasks can still be done in your garden to keep you busy all summer long. Check out our summer garden care tips to keep your Ashburn garden happy and healthy this summer.

Watering

Although we’ve had plenty of rain in Ashburn this season, it’s always a good idea to keep a look out for water stressed plants.  They’ll be the ones with turned down, curled, and limp leaves.  A lawn is dry when you walk across it and the grass blades don’t pop right back up and you can see your footprints.

It’s best to water trees, shrubs, and small plants at ground level whenever possible.  Soaker hoses are great for slowly watering your plants.  It’s better to water heavily once a week than a little every day.  This exposes roots to some dryness which makes the plants tougher and able to withstand the extremes throughout the year.  If you have an irrigation system, now is the time to turn it on and run it on a regular schedule.  Insect populations explode in the summer, especially after rain, so be sure to eliminate standing water in your yard.  This could mean turning over empty plant pots and saucers, but could also involve better drainage around your home.

Pruning and Fertilizing

Rain affects your summer garden care routine even further by causing the growth of shrubs and trees. Most, but not all, shrubs can benefit from summer pruning to reduce the amount of leaves the plant maintains and to help them air out from the center which discourages fungal problems.  Pruning benefits trees by making the leaf canopy thinner and more open to reduce the risk of storm winds pulling down the tree.  Pruning can involve removal of dead flowers which usually results in another round of flowers.  You can fertilize your annuals, herbs, and vegetables just about every time you water to keep them healthy and fed all summer long.

Sunrise Landscape and Design offers summer garden care services in Ashburn and across Northern Virginia, including garden maintenance and visits and tree and shrub care.

Contact us to schedule your summer garden care and maintenance. After all the work, don’t forget to sit back and enjoy your landscape on one of our cooler summer nights!

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Backyard Design – Northern VA

Backyard design outdoor living space Northern Virginia

Summer is coming fast to Northern Virginia and living part of your life outdoors is easy and expected. But have you thought about the fact that outdoor living can be just as welcoming in the fall? If you have visions of you and your family and friends gathered around the fire pit roasting marshmallows in October, now is the time to plan your backyard design and make it happen. Creating beautiful, yet functional outdoor living spaces is an outdoor living trend that can add value to your home and endless options to your evenings through all seasons.

Sunrise Landscape and Design has over 30 years of experience in landscape design, build, and maintenance in Northern Virginia. We work with you through the whole process – from inception to implementation. Before you start, here are some things to consider to make your backyard design a reality!

Purpose

Your yard should be a go-to destination spring, summer, and fall, so start by considering how you really use your yard. If you love to entertain, a fire pit may be a better choice than a fireplace because more people can sit around it. If entertaining on a much smaller scale is your go-to, a fireplace provides that cozy feel that encourages hours of lingering. Making space for an outdoor kitchen can be as simple as building in a small grill, or go all out and install countertops, a fully functional sink, a wet bar, and even a pizza oven.

Size

The size of the outdoor structure should be in direct proportion to the size of your yard. Your outdoor patio or deck can be a big investment, so you want to make sure you have the right size parameters in mind before you begin planning your backyard design.

Design

Your hardscape and landscape choices should match the design of your home. Look at your space objectively, what would you do to make your space better when the seasons change? Keeping the style of your home in mind will make it possible to better select materials that will work for the environment and blend seamlessly with your home.

Plants

While you should always let yourself be inspired by a vacation spot you love and by pictures you’ve seen in magazines, it’s important to choose things that work. You don’t want to fight with your plants all fall, attempting to make things grow that will just not; nothing will disillusion you faster to outdoor living. Choosing plants that will thrive and materials that will resist the Northern Virginia elements is key to maximizing your investment.

Lighting

Outdoor lighting not only highlights architectural and landscape features, it can also extend your living space long after the sun has set, providing additional hours of outdoor enjoyment. Read more about landscape lighting options and benefits on out Landscape Lighting page.

The prospect of crisp fall air has never seemed so appealing, right?  Give us a call. Let’s sit down together, talk year-round outdoor living, and help you make your dreams for s’mores by the fireplace a reality. Contact us today to start planning your Northern Virginia backyard design project.