Adding privacy to your backyard with landscaping and hardscaping

Need to add a little seclusion to your yard? Nowadays with houses being so close to one another it’s hard not to see your neighbors trash cans sitting outside. The best way to have a little privacy is to add some landscaping. Not only will this give you the privacy you’re looking for, but will also spruce up your yard. Here are just a few ways to make your outdoor living space more private.

  1. Privacy evergreens are a great start. They can provide year round privacy and are typically not municipal ordinances limiting their height. If you need to fill tight spaces quickly, growing columnar evergreens such as Arborvitaes, Spruces, or Hemlocks can be a great solution for blocking sight lines and separating adjoining yards.
  2. Pergolas are great for privacy! There are so many different things you can do with your pergolas to make them your own. They have ones with lattice and a privacy wall, or you can opt for just the privacy wall. You can add your own curtains and customize or have climbing vines drape down. Pergolas are a great asset to your outdoor living area and can make for beautiful decorations aside from privacy.
  3. An oldie but goodie that is most commonly used in neighborhoods everywhere are privacy fences. Adding landscaping in front of your fences such as different flowers and small shrubs can complement any kind of fencing you choose, not to mention it can also break up fencing sight lines.

No matter what kind of privacy you decide to have in your outdoor oasis, making it your own is the best part. The possibilities are absolutely endless and at Knutsen Landscaping we are here to help you every step of the way!

Early Spring Flowers in Bloom!

Spring is finally here! With everything going on regarding the ‘stay at home’ restrictions, you may find that you have more time to stop and smell the ‘roses’.  Well, not roses in particular, but there are plenty of plant species in bloom right now. Are you seeing beautiful bright flowers and shrubs but have no idea what they are? Let’s take a look at just some of the most popular trees and shrubs you may be seeing in and around Lancaster PA in early Spring.

Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia X soulangeana) -Budding saucer-shaped white and pink blooms on branches.

Merrill Magnolia (Magnolia x loebneri ‘Merrill’) -Vigorous-growing deciduous large shrub or small tree with dense branching habit. Large star-like flowers have a beautiful light fragrance. Very useful in shrub borders.

Photo by Plant Places

Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata) – Sometimes called the star magnolia, is a slow-growing shrub or small tree native to Japan.

Magnolia ‘Butterflies’ This official spring greeter is a small deciduous tree. It’s rare but you might see its beautiful yellow flowers.

Photo by The Tree Center

Serviceberry (Amelanchier) – Native to Eastern North America. Beautiful small white flower, one of the first to bloom.  George Washington enjoyed this tree and planted them at his Mt. Vernon home.  Edible fruit in late summer.

Photo by Lauren’s Garden Center

Redbud (Cercis canadensis) – The Eastern redbud is native to Eastern North America. There are a few good cultivars as well.  One newer cultivar that has performed well is the ‘Appalachian Red’.  If you see one with purple leaves is it most likely a ‘Forest Pansy’.

American Dogwood (Cornus florida) – Native to Eastern North America. Typical flowers are white, flowers before the leaves come out.  There are a few nice cultivars with pink and red flowers.

Forsythia (Forsythia) A genus of flowering plants in the olive family Oleaceae. There are about 11 species.

Photo from Home Depot

Cleveland Select flowering Pear trees (Pyrus calleryana ‘Cleveland Select’) Showy clusters of gleaming white blooms in early spring. Dark green summer foliage turns a brilliant purplish red-orange in fall.

Photo by Baygardens

Ornamental Cherry Trees- here are a few of the most popular

Yoshino (Prunus × yedoensis). White-pink blossoms. When in bloom Washington D.C is the place to be to see these beauties!

Photo to Nature Hills

Weeping Japanese Cherry (Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula Plena Rosea) Easy to grow by beginning gardeners to its natural height and width. Weeping Cherry becomes a truly magnificent focal point in the landscape.

Photo by Amazon

Kwanzan Cherry (Prunus serrulata ‘Kwanzan’) Is a flowering cherry cultivar. In spring they produce red buds, opening to deep-pink double flowers.

Photo by Garden Goods Direct


There are of course more to list than what we had room for here.  All of the Ornamental Fruit Trees are in bloom right now, along with actual Fruit producing trees you would typically see if you drive by an orchard.  Such as Pear, Peach, Apple, Cherry and Plum Trees.  Enjoy the Spring weather, and the Spring blooms!

COVID-19 Operation Policy

We would like to update you on our response to the COVID-19 crisis and how this impacts our daily operations.

As members of PLNA, they have worked on our behalf to clarify some of the questions regarding the Pennsylvania shut down of all “non-essential” businesses in the state.  The state has listed specific categories of the landscaping industry and has, at least for the moment, clarified that we are an essential business permitted to continue as long as the listed guidelines are put in place.  Please read the information and guidelines here.

In addition to the guidelines provided by the state, our number one priority is the SAFETY of our customers, our employees and their families.  We are taking extra steps to maintain a healthy work environment for everyone involved:

  • Our employees will stay home if they are sick to any degree.
  • Office procedures will be measured and assessed to maintain healthy distancing and a clean work environment.
  • Customers will not be visiting our business location/ office for any reason.
  • We will not be meeting inside the homes of our customers to go over estimates, designs or to sign contracts.
  • Social distancing will be a number one priority when we are working at a client’s home.
  • Emails and phone calls will be used as much as possible for finalizing designs, communicating with customers and sending updated contracts.

At Knutsen Landscaping Inc., we feel fortunate that we are part of the green industry, and in such providing essential services to our community for new plantings and outdoor enhancements that provide many benefits to the environment around us. We feel strongly that if there is a sector of the economy that can safely work and is approved by the state to maintain their daily business operations, we should keep pressing forward to help combat some of the larger economic issues that could develop from this crisis.  With that being said, we will be getting permission from ALL of our customers before scheduling work.  We want our customers to feel safe and comfortable with scheduled work and be able to give them the opportunity at any point to delay contracted work, estimates or anything else that would cause hesitation at this trying time.  If we are doing a job for you, please be patient as we are working with an ever changing situation.  Some of our vendors have closed and are, at the moment, assessing the situation.  In addition to our vendors, some of the manufacturing plants and nursery supply chains are being affected by this.  They have to adhere to their state’s policies on what they think is the best approach to combat the COVID-19 virus.

Lastly, and most importantly, please do your part to follow the guidelines for social distancing and washing hands frequently.  If we all do our part we will get through this faster.  Let’s work together as a community to help mitigate the fast and furious spread of this new virus.  Be generous and help those in need.  Pray that this is quick to subside, that families and communities are minimally impacted and that we can get back to normal as soon as possible.  Maybe through these trying times, we can gain better perspective, grow stronger as a community and, in a larger part, as a country.  As testing becomes more available to the public, we will see increased cases of COVID-19.  This is not necessarily bad news if we understand the long term goal.  Let’s be measured and knowledgeable in our responses and not just read the headlines.  Do your part to understand this virus as much as possible so you can understand how best to react.

Thank you for trusting Knutsen for your outdoor enhancements projects!  Whether it’s now or after all this passes, we look forward to helping you in any way we can with your outdoor needs!  We will continue to update our status as the state may make changes to their policy.

Thank you,

Andy Knutsen
Knutsen Landscaping, Inc.

3 Reasons to Consider Landscape Lighting for Your Home

Your home is your safe place. It’s where you raise your family, entertain or just relax. You can make your home look and feel however you’d like to. Consider outdoor landscape lighting for your next home décor project! Here are just 3 reasons to light up your home:

Light up your outdoor living space:

The inside of your house does not have to be your only living area.  Whether you already have an existing outdoor patio area, or if you are considering a patio project, there are many options to choose from to make your outdoor living area come alive at night!

Light up your home:

Your home is a beautiful representation of your tastes and styles.  You have made decoration, landscaping and/ or architectural choices outside that make your home unique to you.  So make it come alive at night!  You can light up your trees, the stone on your home and the design features, pathways and so much more!

Light up for safety:

Outdoor lighting is a big factor in keeping your loved ones safe. Unfortunately, burglary is the most common threat to our homes. Many people put large amounts of money into home security systems, but did you know that outdoor lighting is one of the best ways to deter burglars from invading your home? Light up your driveway, your paths, your landscaping and your home to ensure that your home is safe and visible at night.
So if you are ready to take the next step in the lighting for your home or outdoor living area, contact Knutsen for all your outdoor lighting needs!  If you don’t have an outdoor living area and are considering doing a project, contact Knutsen for a design consultation!

Two Time Award-Winning for Knutsen

As we wrap up 2019, we were honored to recieve the 2019 best video and best logo awards through Pillar. Thank you for being a part in our story as our company grows and continues to establish itself in this community. Moving forward to 2020, our hope is to reach new clients and assist our current clients anyway we can!

Our team at Knutsen Lanscaping would be honored to come and talk with you about your outdoor living needs. Please contact us for further information about a project specific to you. We love to design and create projects that enhance your at-home experience. Click here to watch a video about our beautiful and functional creations.

Three Reasons to get a 3D Design


With a 3D rendering of a backyard remodel or hardscape construction, you can see the finished product before a shovel ever hits the dirt. 3D design programs come loaded with countless color options and a vast library of plants, shrubs, flowers, and trees so that you can see exactly what you’ll get from the beginning! With a 3D design, you can adjust the settings in order to see what your design will look like in any season. Knutsen Landscaping’s team often shares great designs alongside great projects in our galleries and portfolios, proving that a solid design at the beginning can guarantee a final product you’ll absolutely love!


Not only do 3D designs look great and help you better picture the final outcome of your project, they give our team a stronger plan to work from. Design programs double as basic CAD programs, ensuring that the project will progress much easier with accurate measurements, and ultimately save you on labor costs. When we have a 3D rendering of what you love, we know exactly how to bring it to life, and the project can be completed much more efficiently.


Since 3D designs can help homeowners get an accurate idea of what a project will look like, it opens the door to exploring new ideas. For example:

  • Landscape lighting can be changed out, with night shots to show what the illumination will be like.
  • Patios can get straight lines or curved.
  • What will a fire pit look like?
  • Will the landscaping provide enough screening?
  • What will the trees look like in five years?

When a design can be provided that goes beyond verbal description or typical 2d overhead views, the project can start to come to life even before the first shovel goes into the ground!

The Fire and The Fall

Knutsen Landscaping is embracing this chilly, fall weather fully! Join the dozens of families in Lancaster County already utilizing their uniquely designed fireplaces for this beautiful autumn weather.

Our sophisticated designs include many styles, shapes, and sizes just right for your home’s backyard! These fireplaces and fire pits are perfect for gathering family and friends. Whether you are telling campfire stories, roasting s’mores, or just cozying up by the fire to keep warm, this addition to your home’s exterior will add value. Knutsen Landscaping’s team will intentionally discuss safety precautions for your family, stylistic design and colors, while balancing functionality and use.

In a turn on the old saying, where there’s fire there’s smoke. Thankfully, there are ways to minimize that problem, by creating a smokeless or near-smokeless experience. One excellent product that Knutsen uses is the Zentro Fire Pit Insert by Breeo. The Zentro is designed to fit into most standard fire pit structures; it’s available in 24-, 28-, and 32-inch sizes, both circular and square. Steel and stainless steel options are available in all sizes. (In addition to the inserts, they also offer standalone firepit models.)

Contact us for a free consultation and pricing today.

Trees for Fall and Winter Planting

It may be warm this week, but there are only 84 days left until Christmas! Fall is a great time to plant trees, as winter is the season for crucial root growth.  While many trees are dormant above ground during the cold season, beneath the surface, their foundation is growing rapidly.

Thinking of a adding a tree to your landscape? Don’t wait to enjoy it!  Properly dug trees don’t take three years to achieve their beauty.  Knutsen Landscaping will bring you a properly raised young tree and get it off to a great start in its new home.

Here are some exciting new tree varieties we are pleased to recommend!

Cedrus atlantica ‘Horstmann’ is a unique, semi-dwarf blue evergreen (pictured left) reaching a height of 15 feet and usually not more than 10 feet wide.

Picea abies ‘Cupressina’ is a fast-growing, narrow column-like Norway spruce. It can be reasonably tall, up to 45 feet. It can function well for privacy and as a wind screen.

A variety of Colorado spruce with intensely blue-colored needles with a silver overlay, the Picea pungens ‘Blue Diamond’ has a soft texture.

The red maple Acer rubrum ‘Franksred Jr.’, as known as Redpointe, is an all-around improvement of the Red Sunset. (pictured at right)

Acer truncatum x plat. ‘Urban Sunset’ is one of the best looking maples we’ve grown! At 40 to 50 feet, it thrives in full sun or a shadier area with well-drained soil.

One of the prettiest purple-leafed crabapples, Malus ‘Royal Raindrops’ has excellent leaf retention, and its color performance is unmatched.

The summer foliage of the Nyssa sylvatica ‘Green Gable’ Black Gum is a lustrous deep green, turning to classic bright red fall color. Its superior form and appearance make it a great addition to any landscape.

Double pink flowers smother the branches of Prunus ‘First Blush, a very narrow cherry in early spring. It has a refined appearance due to its upright growth.

Quercus bicolor ‘American Dream’ is a great-looking swamp white oak, with dense, vigorous leaves. (pictured at left)

The experts at Knutsen Landscaping are anxious to give you the leafy green backyard additions you’ve been dreaming of! Call today to get started on your landscape and tree planting project!

Late Season Outdoor Living Construction

Typically, when people think of the best time to start a patio or outdoor living project, they assume the spring or summer months are the best and most obvious choice. After all, contractors are back in full swing, the weather outside is much more inviting, and the warm weather means the ground isn’t frozen solid.

Contrary to this popular opinion, there are some good reasons to plan and install a patio in the fall and winter months. The weather can be cold, but the advantages of constructing a patio in the frigid months far outweigh the disadvantages. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of a fall/ winter worksite can have for every homeowner:


At the first sign of spring, we all look for an excuse to get outside and put an end to our winter-induced cabin fever. What better time to break in a brand new patio area? Add a fire pit into the works and stay warm even on the crisp cool nights. Wintertime construction opens the door for early spring use of the hardscaping. It also keeps things moving in terms of finishing the landscaping around the patio. When the hardscaping can be done in the winter, and the landscaping in the spring, the backyard can be looking sharp and fresh by the time cookout season hits in summer!


Everyone loves a deal. If there’s a way to invest in the property value of your home, and spend less, that’s a win for everyone. Every spring, the cost of hardscaping materials typically go up anywhere from 5-10%. However, when the planning for a project begins in the fall and the construction starts before the end of the year, the price of materials hasn’t gone up yet. These savings can be lost with even just a few months of delay.


While the hard ground may seem like something that would prevent hardscaping from happening during the winter, it actually makes the job quite a bit easier. Grass and plants grow dormant in the winter to survive the cold weather, making them less prone to being damaged by equipment and foot traffic. Likewise, as the ground hardens, divets and ruts become less frequent, also minimizing the amount of touchup needed at the end of the project (leading to lower labor costs too). This becomes even more important if a patio or hardscape project is going in around a lot of existing landscaping.


Because the busy season for most landscaping companies come during the spring, summer, and fall, a new project can sometimes be at the mercy of the jobs in the queue before it. If one job goes longer than expected, all the jobs afterward get pushed back. But as winter hits and things slow down, the job list shortens. Scheduling becomes easier because contractors and subcontractors are more available, and timelines are quicker than normal.

Don’t forget to maintain your hardscape

Hardscapes can make beautiful and aesthetic additions to your lawn but it’s important to remember that – like garden beds – your hardscapes need to be maintained.

Luckily, hardscape maintaince is not expensive or time-consuming when done regularly. With a few simple habits, you can ensure that your hardscapes regularly look fresh and pristine.

  1. Keep your hardscapes clean. Stone, brick, and pavers may appear to be entirely durable but these strong materials are susceptible to the elements. Use a broom or hose to clean off hardscapes and walkways regularly. You may need to pressure wash, when dealing with particularly stubborn stains.
  2. Check for damage. Cracked stones or pavers can usually be replaced easily, and the earlier damage is noticed, the simpler the repair. Sealant can help your pavers shine and more importantly, help protect them from the elements that cause stains.  Paver manufacturers, such as Unilock, have paver varieties available that are sealed during production.  Unilock calls this “Easyclean stain resistance”.  Check them out here and here.
  3. Prioritize drainage. Water can cause substantial damage to your hardscapes, so ensuring proper drainage is of paramount importance. When considering the construction of a hardscape, it’s important to remember proper drainage to direct water away from your hardscapes, or elevation, to ensure that water does not pool. If you find water is pooling on your hardscapes, consult Knutsen Landscaping to determine a solution.

Knutsen Landscaping has the expertise to guide you in the right direction from day one on your paver, brick or natural stone hardscapes.  If you already have a patio and are looking for some advice on how to properly care for it, contact us today!   Don’t neglect these important components of your yard!