Visit us at the Richmond Home Show, March 4-6

March 1, 2011

Stop by the Richmond Home Show, March 4-6 at the Richmond Raceway Complex.  Our booth will be in the first building by the door to enter the rest of the show.  You can’t miss us!  Check this link for more information on the Richmond Home and Garden Show

 Here are a few pictures from the show we did this Winter.  A travertine patio with seat walls, a stone outdoor kitchen, landscaping, a fountain and a bench and table made by one of our designers!  Our designers and installers are truly talented.  Can’t wait for this show!

A stone bench and table that Chris McClaning made from some extra material at the shop.  


 A stone outdoor kitchen with pizza oven/grill combo, a soap stone counter top and natural stone bar top.   


Beautiful Pool with Bluestone Patios and Stone Fireplace Project

January 21, 2011

In November we finished a great pool project in Fredericksburg, VA.  Our great landscape designer, Ian Miller, brought this tough backyard from sloping hills of green grass to spectacular pool views!  We added a pool and hot tub, bluestone patios, a stone fireplace, steps and a retaining wall to keep everything in place on this sloping lot.  The results are spectacular!  Take a look at some of the before and after pictures below.

This is the backyard before transformation, sloping hills with nothing but grass.

When we were finished it was a beautiful two tiered pool with bluestone patios and fireplace.

We added this great stone fireplace and seating area.

A cloes up of the pool and bluestone surround. 

We added a flight of stairs, complete with lighting, so that the homeowners could get down to the pool from the upper decks. 

We added a big retaining wall to level the backyard for the pool and fireplace.  It was a great project, with great homeowners.  Let us know if we can help you transform your backyard!

Join us at the Virginia Home and Garden Show this Weekend!

January 11, 2011

We have a landscape/hardscape display booth at the Virginia Home and Garden Show this weekend.  The show is January 14-16 at the Meadow Event Park (near Kings Dominion).  You can’t miss us, we are the first booth to the left when you walk in the door.  Come out to see us and start planning for SUMMER! 

For all the details check the Virginia Home and Garden Show website.

Landscaping Trends from 2010

October 29, 2010

I was on the internet today checking out what is happening in the world of landscaping, when I came across a great article about the landscaping trends from 2010.  OK so I am a few months late, but I know these trends hold true for us and we will continue to plant this way into 2011.  Eco-friendly landscaping and sustainable living are here to stay, so I thought this article gave some good advice on how to plant your yard.  Since fall is the time for planting (we may be at our last few weeks) I thought I would post this article from Landscape Management magazine with their 10 landscaping trends for 2010. 


Tips for Building your Outdoor Kitchen

January 27, 2010

If you are anything like me now that the snowy winter has come, you are counting the days until summer.  So why not start planning your perfect outdoor space…the warm summer days will be here before you know it! 

Anticipating warm summer weather, I thought I would start this year off with a blog to give some advice on how to

Paver outdoor kitchen

Outdoor kitchen with paver base and blue stone counter

build that perfect outdoor kitchen.  Below are a few helpful tips I share with clients when we start planning outdoor kitchens: 

Start with a Design – I always say this, but that’s because it is true.  The best way to start any project is with a good

design.  Either by yourself or with your landscape designer, start by listing all the elements that you want in an outdoor kitchen – the grill, refrigerator, sink, counter space, seating area, roof structure, the floor, and most important…the view.  Then lay it out like you would your indoor kitchen, make sure everything works together in your space.  It is best to design your entire backyard to keep everything cohesive, even if you only plan to install groups of items at a time.

Material Selection – You can create your outdoor kitchen out of many different materials, just remember that the materials you choose must resist the outdoor elements.  For the kitchen base we typically use brick and mortar,

Outdoor grill with stone face

Outdoor Grill with stone base and blue stone counter

stone, slate, paver or stucco.  Then we select the counter tops – popular choices are natural stone or granite, blue stone, paver or concrete.  Then it is time to pick your appliances, typically stainless steel works best outside.    

Plan for your Utilities – Remember when you are planning the layout and positioning of your kitchen, to plan for where your utilities will need to be run.  Do you have natural gas, electrical power and water in that location?  Always remember to have Miss Utility mark your yard before you start any landscape project. 

Provide Adequate Lighting – Ensure you have proper lighting so that when you are cooking you can see what you

 are cooking.  Not such a big problem in the summer months, but if overlooked it can be tough to grill in the dark winter months.  You can also

outdoor kitchen with lighting

Outdoor Kitchen with outdoor lighting

use light to create moods for evening cocktail parties with friends or hot dogs and hamburgers with the neighborhood kids.

Entertaining Space – Remember when you are designing your kitchen you want to create a space not just to cook, but to entertain.  So think about adequate seating, music systems, and possibly an outdoor television.  

Whatever you do, make sure it fits your needs and personality.  Remember if you need some help give us a call at Carville Landscape Co.  For more pictures and information on outdoor kitchens, visit our website at

Quick and easy ways to create a new look for your pool.

June 11, 2009
Blue Stone Mortered on top of Existing Concrete

Blue Stone with Mortar on top of Existing Concrete

One of the new trends in pool decking this year is to take an old, cracked concrete pool deck and make it look new again by overlaying new decking materials.  We are currently working on our fifth pool deck conversion of the summer, and counting.  Many homeowners are opting to replace existing pool decks with more natural products – brick pavers, blue stone, architectural slabs and travertine – that blend in with their overall landscaping and add a little bit of color to their pool deck. 

The conversion process is fairly easy and you DON’T have to rip up the existing concrete deck.  We actually lay the new materials directly over the existing concrete.  Depending upon which type material you choose to use, we can either dry lay the

travertine pool deck overlay

New pool deck with travertine

material with sand or use mortar to hold the product in place.  Any type pool – liner, fiberglass or concrete pools – are candidates for this conversion.  In many cases we can still use the existing pool coping.  Plus it is a quick process; it only takes a week to 10 days to overlay a deck (depending on size).

So if you are looking for a way spruce up your pool this summer, try overlaying the existing pool deck to create a whole new look for you backyard.  Take a look at some of the pools and patios we have completed for a little inspiration!

Tips for Selecting a Landscape Contractor

June 1, 2009

When you are starting a landscape project, large or small, you are thinking of one thing, how great it will be when it is done.  All the new, exciting elements you will have at your home – a new patio, gourmet outdoor kitchen, pool for relaxing or beautiful plantings.  You are not always thinking about the most important element of your project – hiring the right landscape contractor.  

Here are some tips for items to think about when you choose the right landscape professionals to work at your home. 

Experience – When selecting a contractor, verify the landscape contractors experience before hiring them.  If you are hiring someone to design your landscape, make sure they have a degree in landscape design and the experience your project requires.  When comparing contractors, determine how long the company has been in business, check references, ask to see photos of completed work and even ask for a site visit to an actual project similar to yours.  Make sure you hire someone with the experience required for your project; you don’t want to be a learning project for your contractor.

Communication – One of the most important factors in selecting the right landscape contractor is communication.  Make sure that your contractor communicates well with you and provides the service you expect.  Look for professionals that return your phone calls promptly, keep appointments (and are on time) and most importantly make sure you both have the same understanding of your project.  In some cases you may be working with this person for a few months, make sure you can be a good team.  

Price – For many homeowners the lowest price is the key element, but it should not always be the deciding factor when choosing a contractor.  Make sure that you get quotes in writing and if you make changes have the contractor re-quote the project.  Once you do decide to work with a contractor, sign a contract with that company and specifically state the scope of the project, timeframe for completion and payment details.  Contracts can only help protect you.  Remember, the lowest price doesn’t always mean the best quality or service; I hate to say you get what you pay for, but sometimes…

Licensed and Insured – Always make sure that any contractor that works at your home is licensed in your state and carries the proper insurances.  Without proper insurances, if someone is hurt on the job or a piece of machinery bumps your house, your homeowners insurance would have to cover the damages.  You can check for proper contractor licensing at your states licensing office (in Virginia that is

Remember choosing the right landscape contractor can mean the difference between an exciting, hassle-free experience and a difficult, bitter disappointment. With a little homework you can have a safe and happy working relationship with your landscape contractor.  Happy landscaping!

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