Archive for the ‘Landscape & Hardscape Lighting’ Category

The Advantages of Buying from a Landscape Center


 by Jason Sensenig (Sales Associate, Landscape Center Manager)

When it comes to picking out product for your hardscape project, you of course want to shop around to see what all product is “out there.” A wise person will do his research before making a larger investment like that.

Today, most people do research online. This can be very helpful! I also do a lot of research online before I make a purchase…especially a purchase of any size. When a consumer searches “pavers” or “wall block” online, there are several large stores that come to the top of the search engine. I will not mention the names of these stores, but they are a great place to go if you are looking for lumber, building materials, plumbing supplies, etc. But when it comes to hardscape products, there are some disadvantages to going to that type of store. Below are 5 advantages of buying hardscape products at a landscape center, such as Tussey Mountain Mulch Landscape Center, over, well… stores that sell landscape products that aren’t landscape centers!

  1. Product availability: We keep a large inventory of pavers, retaining wall, edging, steppers, and much more! All these products come in different colors and styles. Those other stores may not have the options, or quantity.
  2. Customer service: At Tussey Mountain Mulch Landscape Center, you are more than just “another customer.” We love seeing repeat customers, learning to know you, and simply being a friend to you.
  3. Knowledge / education: Our staff is educated in the landscape industry. Our employees attend events / seminars that are geared specifically to the landscape industry. We are not only educated in the product we carry, but can also educate you in the installation process. We even offer FREE Hardscape Seminars for you! (you can see a schedule of seminars on our website:
  4. Consistency: If only I got $10 for every customer that comes through our doors, carrying a paver or wall block from “one of those stores”, looking to match it, I would be rich! While every hardscape company has the potential to discontinue product that doesn’t move, the chances of that happening are a lot less if you buy from a quality company like EP Henry or Techo-Bloc. Most of the products that we sell have been on the market for years. Oh…and if you are looking to match something that you got elsewhere, we probably will not be able to match it exactly, but we might have something close… somewhat.
  5. Quality: Not much to say about this point. Simply said, there is no comparison between the quality of product.

So before you make the decision to make that hardscape purchase, think twice. Cheaper isn’t always better. Give us the opportunity to help you make wise a decision. A decision that you won’t regret in a few years.



Posted on: July 17th, 2015 by admin | Comments Off

Springtime has come in some spaces… Check out our Mall Display!


Springtime has arrived at our display in the Logan Valley Mall! So if you are brainstorming for your summer projects, you will want to stop by this display for ideas to boost your creativity. With the sound of water and the bright blooming silk flowers, Spring couldn’t have come sooner!

This comfortable space here in the mall will allow you all the time you need to browse our product brochures while lounging on some furniture… and dreaming. Learn what can be done and what products are available!

We also wish to give credit to Martin’s Services for helping us to spruce up this display by cleaning it. We highly recommend Martin’s Services if you are looking for someone to do home or commercial cleaning… To learn more about these quality services and to view job photos CLICK HERE>>>

If there is anyway we can assist you with your spring/summer projects, please call us at 814.696.1920 or visit our website.


Posted on: March 10th, 2015 by admin | Comments Off

Landscape Lighting


Do you ever have friends over for an evening party on beautiful, warm, summer evenings? Did you ever have to crowd inside a hot house when the sun started sinking in the west to finish your party because the darkness overtook you? Imagine sitting around and having a good time with you friends out on your patio or deck. The western sky begins to turn from blue, to orange, and as the sun keeps setting, it turns into a beautiful red glow. As you sit there watching the sunset, the warm glow of your landscape lighting comes to life. Let the party begin! Now your party is no longer cut short because the dark has overtaken you. Instead of crowding in a hot house, you can continue to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors in a whole new way.

With the busy lifestyle that we seem to have these days, the evenings are the only times that we get to sit out and enjoy our landscaping. Why not get more out of the money you spent on landscaping by installing some landscape lighting around the house and patio area? Not only will it give you more time to enjoy your vacation at home, but it will give your house a whole new “look” as the soft lights light up the side of your house, trees, bushes, and cast a soft, warm glow on your patio and walkways.

Landscape lighting may sound like a lot of work and maintenance to keep all those fixtures working out in the harsh elements, but with the new LED lighting, it cuts back on those problems immensely. LED lighting is simple to install, so you as a homeowner can easily do it yourself instead of paying the extra money to have a contractor come in and install if for you.

LED lighting also saves you money from year to year. The LED lights last about 10 times longer than the standard halogen bulbs. No longer do you have to be out there changing bulbs every year. At the same time, LED lights save you money on your electric bill.  In comparison to standard halogen bulbs, LED lights use approximately 80-90% less electricity. Talk about savings!

Stop in at Tussey Mtn Mulch Landcape Center to see what all landscape lighting is available for you. We would love to show your around. We have different lines of landscape lighting to meet your tastes and your budget. You can also go on our web site,, to check out our different products. Or, to check out our Cast Lighting, you can go to

We here at Tussey Mtn Mulch Landscape Center are dedicated to helping you get the most enjoyment out of you landscaping projects. As always, our mission statement is, “Quality Products and Prompt Courteous Service”. We look forward to seeing you this year.

Posted on: April 28th, 2014 by admin | Comments Off

The Building Blocks of a Good Landscape Lighting Design

By: CAST Lighting

depth with landscape lighting
Moonlighting, a highly effective way to create depth in a scene.
For this effect use CAST Tree Lights (CCTL1C), mounted 25′ to 30′ above ground.

Part 1: Depth

Creating a Dynamic Scene with Visual Interest Near and Far

Lighting design, whether it be for a stage or a landscape, is the process of directing the visual experience. The designer controls the viewers gaze, setting focal points, transition areas and visual destinations.

The principle of “Depth” refers to the distance the viewer’s gaze travels as he or she views the scene. In the photo on the left, moonlighting creates a subtle yet fascinating foreground focal area that acts as a starting point for the viewers experience. The gaze naturally travels down the driveway finally ending at the visual destination of the house. The overall experience is far richer than if the moonlighting were not present.

In addition, as the viewer walks or drives down the driveway, he or she experiences entering the scene, becoming a participant – heightening the emotional impact.

A lighting design with “Depth” can turn a viewer into a participant – the difference between good lighting and great lighting.

different lighting perspectives
Strategically placed bullets (CBL1CB) uplight architectural features to highlight a dramatic perspective.

Part 2: Perspective

Creating Visual Interest from all Possible Perspectives

The landscape of an homeowners property is a three dimensional canvas for the lighting designer. The viewer experiences this from outside the property, at its boundary and in many locations within. With this in mind, the designer needs to consider all points-of-view (perspectives) and create a continuous rich and effective experience.

Cinematographers are acutely aware of perspective. When they map out a scene, they meticulously light all foreground and background elements ensuring that from each camera’s perspective, the effect supports the desired visual impact. With the homeowners as our actors, we light the landscape with the knowledge that they will move from place to place.

One of our most difficult transitions is when our actors enter the house. When they pause to look out the living room window will they see their beautifully illuminated landscape? Or will it be in darkness? Will the lighting be unobtrusive? Or will they be blinded by a poorly aimed spot light? The lighting designer needs to assess the inside lighting as it affects the viewers outdoor gazing. Ideally, inside lights will be on dimmers and indoor lamps will not cause reflections on windows or in any other way obstruct outdoor viewing.

focal points with landscape lighting
Specimen trees are ideal focal points and can be uplighted by bullets (CBL1CB).

Part 3: Focal Points

Establishing Visual Destinations in the Gazing Experience

Try to slowly and smoothly sweep your gaze across the far side of the room. You’ll notice it’s nearly impossible to do. Instead, your eyes move from one point to another, stopping briefly each time. The brain forces this stop and go action because it can not process a moving image. As lighting designers, we use this knowledge to create an overall design consisting of visual destinations (focal points) and the illuminated spaces between them.

We need focal points in the landscape to act as stepping stones for the eyes. A good design will take the viewer through the landscape, directing the visual experience to take in the statuary, the specimen trees, the water features or whatever combination of elements elicit the desired experience. Just as with real stepping stones, focal points should not be too far apart and there should not be complete darkness between them.

A careful selection of focal points and the appropriate lighting of them allows us to guide the viewers experience and meet the goals of the lighting design.

painting with outdoor lighting
Uplighting with a single bullet (CBL1CB) reveals the foreground in this dramatic and welcoming Fall scene.

Part 4: Quality and Direction

Painting with Light

Just as a painter carefully selects brush type, size and shape, the lighting designer selects fixtures that paint light broadly or narrowly, with soft or hard edges, with elliptical or round beams. The painter also applies brush strokes in well defined directions; in the same way, the lighting designer directs light from upward or downward, from behind, or in front, or from the side. All these decisions are inspired by the artistic sense of the lighting designer and used to achieve the goals of the design.

In lighting, ‘Quality’ is a subjective term that refers to a combination of factors, such as beam spread and shape, level of diffusion and the overall appearance of lights relative to each other. This term should not be confused with ‘quality’ as it is used to refer to ‘value’. Lighting ‘Quality’ is what primarily sets the mood. Typical ‘Quality’ terms might be, ‘dramatic’, ‘natural’, ‘inviting’, ‘romantic’, ‘subdued’ and so on. If a homeowner asks for ‘Romantic’ lighting, it is the quality of lighting she is specifying. The designer learns with experience how to achieve various ‘Qualities’ using the right tools and techniques.

Direction simply refers to the direction that fixtures project their light. ‘Direction’ is combined with ‘Quality’ because it is the most important factor that defines ‘Quality’ of landscape lighting. Here are the various lighting directions and some qualities they can elicit:

  • Down lighting: natural, subdued, romantic, mellow
  • Up lighting: dramatic, uplifting, grand, spooky
  • Side lighting: textural, defining, dramatic
  • Back lighting: ethereal, understated, defining, mysterious
  • Front lighting: revealing, dramatic, flattening

Some other tools and techniques that affect ‘Quality” are:

  • Using narrower beams to uplight a structure is more dramatic than using a wall wash.
  • Using a diffusion lens with an MR-16 fixture softens the edges of the light beam making it less dramatic and more subdued and natural.
  • Using tree lights to spread a low level of light across unlit areas, creates a moonlit effect, making the scene more natural, romantic and welcoming.

By skillfully controlling ‘Quality and Direction’, the landscape lighting designer paints one masterpiece after another, building a reputation as an artist of light.

landscape lighting symmetry
Equidistant well lights (CWLWFLLEAD) highlight the symmetry of the front retaining wall.

Part 5: Symmetry and Balance

Highlighting the Structures and Forms that have Intrinsic Beauty

Symmetry is defined as an exact correspondence of form on opposite sides of a dividing line, a plane or an axis. Symmetry abounds in the natural world; animals have symmetrical limbs, eyes and ears; plants have symmetrical branches and leaves; while the inorganic world gives us symmetrical snowflakes and other crystals. Humans find symmetry beautiful and landscape designers use symmetry to evoke a positive emotional response.

Lighting designers look for any symmetry that may be present in the landscape or in the structures. If they find symmetry, they illuminate it so that it becomes recognizable to the nighttime viewer.

In the landscape, typical symmetrical components may be bushes that flank either end of a wall, stones that border the edges of a walkway, or posts that frame an entrance to the property. On the structure, we find symmetrical columns, windows or other architectural features.

The designer needs to carefully select fixtures that cast equal illumination on the symmetrical features. If one side is lit more brightly than the other, a disquieting feeling could result. Also, the designer should favor spotlighting rather than flooding (washing) symmetrical features – this will increase the dramatic effect.

There is also room for a creative lighting treatment of symmetrical elements. If, for example, there are sets of symmetrically placed windows on the face of a building, simple spotlighting may be uninteresting. Instead, the designer can place fixtures so they project through plant material and cast shadows on the building. The symmetry will still be recognized, but the shadows will add visual interest.

Symmetry is recognized and enjoyed by the viewer. The designer uses this knowledge to create designs that viewers instinctively enjoy.

landscape lighting cohesion
Cohesion is achieved in this design by lighting the structure, the foreground trees and bordering fence, then tying it all together with moonlighting.

Part 6. Cohesion

Connecting Focal Points to Create a Unified Design

Homeowners cherish the land they live on and the houses they live in. These private properties and homes are not mere collections of trees, bushes, stones and wood; they are miniature worlds acting as stages for the myriad plays that comprise each of our home life experiences. For this reason, when tasked to illuminate a property, we first look at the land and the house as one cohesive whole. Then we design the lighting so the nighttime experience presents an impression of wholeness rather than a scattering of unrelated elements. By lighting in this way, we set the stage for a richer experience as the viewer enters into the homeowner’s world.

Cohesion in landscape lighting speaks to this concept of wholeness. It refers to the connection between the various visual elements. It is not that we want to shed light everywhere; there is great beauty and mystery in the interplay between dark and light. Instead we want to selectively illuminate pathways between the visual destinations, and illuminate areas in the scene that contribute towards a good overall composition. We do this in a way that the experience is one of continuous enjoyment as the viewer sweeps his or her gaze from one visual destination to another.

To create a cohesive design, we keep in mind the desired overall look and feel, the focal points, and the safety and security needs. We then look at how we can tie together visual destinations to achieve cohesion between the separate elements. Here are some of the techniques we use to tie elements together.

  • Moonlighting. This is, by far, the best technique to illuminate wide expanses of lawn or driveways. Tree lights are used for this purpose and mounted 20 to 30 feet above the ground. Ideally, they project through branches for a dappled effect.
  • Lighting the Periphery. If you have a situation where moonlighting is not possible, then consider lighting elements that are in the background of the scene. These may be bushes, fences or trees. You will need to light them at a low enough level so they do not distract from more important focal points.
  • Area/Path Lights. If there are garden beds or other landscape features that can serve as cohesive elements, these can be illuminated by MR-16 area lights, bullets or one of the path lights.

It can be a challenge in a large property to provide cohesion between all focal points. In such a case, you might consider dropping the light level of these elements so the difference in luminance between them and the surrounding area is less.

Sometimes, due to budget restrictions, it is just not possible to connect the various elements with light and you are presented with focal points separated by “black holes”. In a case like this, you may want to propose a phased approach to the homeowner; fully lighting one area of the property with good cohesion and then lighting the other areas as funds become available.

A landscape lighting design without cohesion can interfere with the nighttime enjoyment of the scene. With cohesion, the experience is smooth, pleasing and reflects the richness of the homeowners world.

Posted on: March 24th, 2014 by admin | Comments Off

Calling all Garden Enthusiasts – Daylight Savings Time is Here!

by: EP Henry

The time has finally come. We turned our clocks back at 2:00 AM Sunday, March 9, signaling daylight savings time, which is also a harbinger of the spring season (and the warm weather that comes with it). While it may irk some folks to lose an hour of sleep, others rejoice in the extra daylight we gain and the chance to resume their favorite outdoor activities, like cleaning up and redesigning their landscapes.

There are tons of ways to rework your existing gardens and yards, and the trends are running towards creating an outdoor living space that is as unique and comfortable as your living room. Check out some of the landscaping trends we think will be prevalent for 2014:


While some homeowners clean out flowerbeds and prune trees and shrubs, some plan to repurpose high-maintenance/low return lawn and garden areas into private outdoor entertainment spaces. Homeowners with large and small properties alike have taken to adding decorative pavers that define and beautify gardens. Adding walkways or apatio increases home value and function by expanding family living space.

While utilitarian in nature, new colors, patterns and finishes in pavers are being used to create scaled -down “at home” getaways all over America. Creative dwellers are transforming drab and unused yards into romantic getaways and private VIP party spots.

Please Be Seated

Remember those ugly, uncomfortable webbed lawn chairs? Those days are over. Furniture designs for outdoor entertaining rival indoor lines, and allow consumers to decorate their space and continue to maintain consistency with their home’s style and quality. Nowadays, patios sport teak, intricate cast aluminum, and all weather wicker sofas, loveseats and chairs.  Finishing touches using accent pillows in lush fabrics cozy up a cold corner and add personality and panache.

outdoor entertainment

Al Fresco Dining

A meal outdoors on a beautiful evening with good food and friends is one of life’s best simple pleasures. There’s something about it that encourages us to kick back and unwind.

While grills still reign supreme in outdoor cooking plans, seasoned cooks are now bringing it all outside. Landscapes are fit with modular kitchen kits that can be custom ordered to fit your particular lifestyle needs. Indoor appliances such as sinks, refrigerators and bars are now being duplicated outdoors. For those who entertain frequently, wine coolers, warming drawers and pizza ovens are now making the scene.

Gather Round the Fire

Not only to keep you warm in the fall and winter months when you venture outdoors, a cozy fire pit or outdoor fireplace provides a rustic gathering spot amidst your gardens. Kits are fully customizable in size and shape and homeowners can choose stone veneers such as ledgestone, river rock and brick.

Gazebo drapes, (patio curtains) offer privacy and shade and help to insulate the space around your fire on breezy evenings. These can be hung using hooks, rods or even Velcro for easy on/off installation.

Mood Lighting

To get the most out of your new outdoor entertainment space and enjoy your landscape into the night hours, outdoor lighting is both mood enhancing as well as functional. This finishing touch can really wow your party goers. Hurricane lamps or tiki lights along a path offer safety and draw guests into the space.  Adding string lights overhead invoke a Mediterranean courtyard while “washing” a wall in light or up-lighting trees adds interest and drama.  Try adding unexpected standing lamp fixtures to really bring the cozy feeling of the inside out.

So, don’t forget to spring forward in the wee hours of Sunday morning and get your extra hour of sun. However you choose to take advantage of the extra time, you’ll be sure to feel energized and invigorated after the extreme winter we’ve had this year.

Stop in and visit us here at Tussey Mountain Mulch Landscape Center for more ideas!!

Posted on: March 14th, 2014 by admin | Comments Off

“This Summer Consider Your Vacationing Options”

By: Kyle B. Brown

 According to the American Automobile Association, the average North American family vacation costs $244 per day.  This price only includes meals and lodging for just two people.  Add a few children, travel costs, tickets to various attractions, and your ten day vacation can top $10,000 or more!  Not to mention the stress associated with packing, lengthy drives, and long waits at the airport.  As soon as you start to relax, you find that it is time to return back to the daily grind of everyday life.  In today’s economy, spending this type of money on a ten day trip have some people scratching their head and considering if it’s really worth it.  Such a sum of money and short amount of time has folks reconsidering how to get more “bang for their buck.”  This thinking has brought about the term, “staycation.”

                Staycation is a relatively new term that has grown in popularity over the past few years as America has faced some trying economic times.  The staycation is the more economical alternative to the expensive, stressful family trip.  Staycations are spent in the comfort of one’s own home, and this time can be spent visiting local attractions, spending time with family, or spending time in your own personal piece of paradise.  Let’s go further in depth about creating your own backyard oasis.

The ten day trip, as referenced earlier in this article, is usually spent in the middle of the summer, in crowded lines, and seems to end in a feeling of astonishment, wondering where the time has gone.  Why not spend this sum of money on a destination that will be enjoyed during those gorgeous spring days, long summer nights, and brisk fall evenings.  This can be achieved by building your own outdoor living space.  Outdoor living spaces come in all shapes and sizes, and something can be done to meet everyone’s budget.  These backyard retreats can include various building materials and landscape accessories that can create many diverse moods and settings that generate one’s own personal idea of a backyard sanctuary.  Some examples of these structures include paver patios, walls, water features, and outdoor lighting to allow the space to be used not only during the daylight hours, but create an ambiance in the dark.  These features can create amazing spaces alone, or can be combined and produce an outdoor room that is truly breathtaking.

Paver patios are designed to be both aesthetically pleasing and functional to one’s own aspiration.  The patio creates the floor of the outdoor room.  Today’s paving materials come in numerous styles, textures, and colors to suit anyone’s desires.  They are also available in both manufactured and natural materials to achieve different appearances.  An appropriately designed patio can allow it to be used as a suitable place for outdoor furniture for relaxation, a great place to have an outdoor dining area, and with a fireplace added to it, can create a warm, glowing destination at night.   Fireplaces come in many different shapes and sizes, from simple to exquisite, and are a fantastic addition to any outdoor living space.

Walls in the outdoor room can be created using various structures and materials.  The purpose of a wall inside the house is to create a boundary, the same goes for the outdoor room.  Formal walls include manufactured modular block and fences.  Like pavers, modular block comes in numerous colors, textures, and sizes to satisfy anyone’s wishes.  These blocks will accomplish a clean look that creates formality in the landscape.  They can be used to construct retaining walls, free-standing sitting walls, and a newer, more innovative outdoor feature, the outdoor kitchen.  The outdoor kitchen creates your own five-star restaurant with all the necessities and features one desires.  Outdoor kitchens can include grills, sinks, refrigerators, countertops, and much much more.  An alternative to the formal wall and manufactured materials is the use of natural stone.  Natural stone can be used to construct walls, steps, and accent other features in the landscape.  This can create a sense of nature in any backyard.  Other structures that can create separation in the landscape are pergolas, gazebos, and pavilions.  All create the sense of boundary, but provide a warm, inviting space into the outdoor area.

Another growing trend in the landscape is water features.  Water features can include fountains, ponds, and waterfalls. All, each unique in their own way, can create tranquility in the landscape with the sound of moving water and are a favorite among children.  Fountains and waterfalls are great for those individuals who are looking for that sense of calmness after a long day at the office, but don’t want a lot of maintenance to deal with.  Ponds, however, can add a whole other facet to the outdoor living space.  Ponds create an ecosystem in one’s own backyard which can become an oasis for local wildlife, fish, and aquatic plants. Located close to an outdoor living space, all of these can have a peaceful effect on those who enjoy the area.  Add some dense, colorful accent plantings around the area and it can turn a simple outdoor living space into one’s own escape into nature.

A great way to improve the appeal of your outdoor oasis is to install landscape lighting.  Landscape lighting can be used as an accent or can be a functional part of the design.  Landscape lighting creates the title “nighttime paradise”, to your already beautiful daytime outdoor escape.  Lighting, like most other materials, comes in many unique styles and functions.  Path lights can be used to lead the way to an area of your landscape, while spot lighting and down lights can create another aspect to the design and produce an exceptional look to your nocturnal getaway.

When you’re considering your family’s vacation this year, consider the alternative, an outdoor living space that can be used for not only your “staycation,” but for the countless seasons to come.  Come to Tussey Mountain Mulch Landscape Center to see our creative displays and vast array of different products; and you can also visit with our professional, educated staff.  Here we can help you create an outdoor paradise specifically tailored to you and your family’s desires.  You can reach us on the phone at 814-696-1920, or visit our website at to learn more.

Posted on: May 29th, 2012 by admin | Comments Off
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