Welcome to our blog. Here you’ll find how-to’s, new product information, and tips on entertaining, landscaping and more – everything you need to get the most out of your hardscape all year long.

HARDSCAPE HERO: Eric Beaune, Beaune Brothers Landscaping

A properly designed outdoor living space can completely change the personality and atmosphere of a home. First time HARDSCAPE HERO winner, Eric Beaune of Beaune Brothers Landscaping, recently helped his client transform the backyard of an Airbnb property into a beautiful and functional space. Thanks to Beaune’s design expertise, the new outdoor living space not… Read more »

Photo: Pixabay

Flavorfall: Grow Your Own Teas and Herbs

With fall approaching, consider adding some dimension to your garden this summer by incorporating a tea shrub. Tea shrubs are fairly easy to maintain, and one plant (camellia sinensis) can be used to make green, oolong and black teas.   Typically, tea shrubs are hardy Zone 8 plants. Zone 8 includes the Midwest and Southern… Read more »

Peek-a-Boo!: The Best DIY Halloween Décor

If the thought of preparing for Halloween gives you the chills, we’ve got just the thing to exorcise your decoration demons. From ghastly ghosts to zombie hordes, these easy DIYs will haunt your house in no time. Cheesecloth Ghosts This project is a perfect cost-effective way to decorate a large space without spending a lot… Read more »

HARDSCAPE HERO: Joel Cross, JC Design, Construction & Landscape

Having a community to rely on can make completing any project easier. July’s HARDSCAPE HERO winner, Joel Cross of J.C. Design, turned to his network for help on his first winning project, and it paid off. The project began when a high school friend contacted him, after seeing some of his other work online. “They… Read more »

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap: How to Keep Your Soil Healthy

Healthy soil is the foundation of a lush yard, a thriving garden and a lively ecosystem. It can reduce pests, improve plant disease resistance, reduce weeds and conserve water. However, healthy soil can’t be bought. It has to be built. You may be tempted just to add purchased topsoil to existing landscaping or gardens, but… Read more »

Photo: Image by tookapic from Pixabay

Summer Sweets: Cold Homemade Desserts

As sweet summer serenades you with rolling thunder and the hum of cicadas, make sure to spend some time on your patio soaking it all in and relaxing. There’s no better way to do that than with a delicious and cold treat to enjoy. Here are a few recipes for easy frozen treats to make… Read more »

HARDSCAPE HERO: Patrick McGrath Virginia Beach Patios

It’s rare to be met with a “job well done” before starting a project. But that’s exactly what happened for Virginia Beach Patios’ Patrick McGrath on his most recent winning project– his third career HARDSCAPE HERO victory.   “We’ve been putting a lot of effort into our social media presence since about 2018, and it’s… Read more »

Source: Pixabay

Rum Ready: Refreshing Rum Cocktails

Rum isn’t just for pirates anymore! The flavorful spirit has experienced a revival in recent years, with craft bartenders bringing it back into fashion. Rum cocktails are perfect for sultry summer nights on the patio and these refreshing recipes are just what you need to start mixing at home. Scorpion Bowl Bring tiki tastiness to… Read more »

HARDSCAPE HERO; Eric Ellington, Glen Allen Grounds

Faced with the challenge of changing grades and embedded anchor points, Eric Ellington of Glen Allen Grounds used his expert design skills to create a beautiful outdoor living space. This project is the 2019 HARDSCAPE HERO of the YEAR’s first HARDSCAPE HERO win of 2020.   “We started the project after a business partner introduced… Read more »

Photo: Google Open

Flavorful Fourth: Delicious Seafood Recipes for Independence Day

Your Independence Day barbecue may look a little different this year, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t still cook up some delicious food for your family to enjoy. We’ve got great recipes for hamburgers and hotdogs on our blog – but, this year, try shaking things up with some tantalizing grilled seafood recipes. Seafood… Read more »

Photo: Pexels

Headspace: How to Create Your Own Outdoor Yoga Studio

Practicing physical distancing doesn’t mean giving up everything you love. While you probably aren’t able to attend a yoga class, you can still take time for yourself at home. It’s easy to transform part of your outdoor kitchen or living room into a tranquil personal yoga studio. Pick a Place Start by choosing a flat… Read more »

HARDSCAPE HERO: Scott Prunty of Solid Structures

April’s HARDSCAPE HERO winner, Scott Prunty of Solid Structures, shows that perseverance is the name of the game when it comes to completing complex projects. This is his second winning project and one that took almost a year and a half to complete due to zoning regulations.   “The project was interesting for a few… Read more »

Hands On: How to Make DIY Bird Feeders

As we embrace the challenges of physical distancing in a COVID-19 world, having a beautiful backyard to spend time in has become even more important. Attracting wildlife to your outdoor living space can help bolster your mood, improve your local ecosystem and bring an energizing and exciting element to your backyard. Who doesn’t love waking… Read more »

Brighten Up: Functional & Beautiful Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting will transform your entire patio space. It can add depth to your yard and accentuate certain features, and it’s essential for safety around stairs or pools. We rounded up some of the best new lighting options for 2020 and talked to some of our HARDSCAPE HEROES to help you make an educated decision… Read more »

HARDSCAPE HERO: Kenny Oriole, Oriole Landscaping LLC

It’s true that you can’t judge a book by its cover, and in many cases, you can’t judge an outdoor living space by its surface. March’s HARDSCAPE HERO winner, Kenny Oriole of Oriole Landscaping, LLC, installed a beautiful outdoor living space after completely reshaping the homeowner’s backyard to accommodate the installation. “The space was essentially… Read more »

Plan Ahead: Your Spring Landscaping To-Do List

Take your spring cleaning one step further and follow these tips to spruce up your outdoor living space to be sure you’re summer-ready. Start with a Clean Sweep Give your managed gardens, walkways and children’s play areas a solid once-over with a rake and some trimmers. Clearing out dead plants, sticks and rubbish opens up… Read more »

Stop the Sneeze: Gardening Tips for Allergy Sufferers

These gardening tips and plants will not only beautify your landscape; they’ll keep your allergies to a minimum, letting you spend more time outside and less time sniffling and sneezing. Tips for Gardening with Allergies Use oyster shells, gravel or plants as ground cover, instead of mulch. Mulch can retain moisture, encouraging mold growth. Cut… Read more »

HARDSCAPE HERO: Ellis Wiltshire; Rock Creek Innovations

Three-time HARDSCAPE HERO winner Ellis Wiltshire of Rock Creek Innovations is no stranger to challenging projects. He is a master at enhancing landscapes, turning them into functional outdoor living spaces. With his most recent winning project, located near Lake Anna, Virginia, Wiltshire took a nearly unusable yard and transformed it into a relaxing and functional… Read more »

Photo: PeakPX

Hot Iron: Easy Cast-Iron Recipes for the Grill

Add the flavor and style of cast iron to your next grill session. Cast-iron pans and skillets take longer to heat up, but they are better at retaining thermal energy and thus cook foods more evenly once they’re at temperature. These recipes bring the skillet to the grill, letting you layer deep and rich flavors… Read more »