Tag Archives: Landscaping

Going Green, Growing Green, Saving Green

Homeowners are finding that doing their own landscaping not only saves them money, but gives them a sense of pride when strolling through their lawns of lush grass. Many are feeling the pinch of our tough economic times and are exchanging vacations for gardening of all sorts. Some are planting large and small gardens alike that support their vegetable needs. Some are even growing and selling vegetables grown in their garden, which helps some make ends meet. Many people are making attempts to grow their grass, flowers and vegetables organically.

Photo By: Julie Gibbons

A lot of people are finding out that using organic methods to grow plants is saving the earth from chemicals that break down nutrients in soil. Beyond saving the earth, growing and eating organic vegetables reduces the risks associated with chemicals used in plant production. While there are health benefits when using organic methods, there are also substantial savings for those choosing to compost scraps for fertilizer and mixing soap for pesticide mixtures.

Many find that compost scraps are adding earthworms to speed up the composting time, some use their worms for personal fishing bait, and others sell them to the public for bait. Compost is a natural fertilizer that has been proven to not only be healthy for plants, it also aids in repairing damaged soil by adding micronutrients and much-needed bacteria back into stripped soil.

Those that are growing gardens also tend to try their luck at growing other plants such as flowers and other types of ornamentals. Having beautiful flowers blooming in raised flower beds surrounding other landscaping plants has a beautiful impact on the overall appearance of a home. One thing many people don’t know when they invest in landscaping such as planting trees, growing grass, and installing watering systems, is that it dramatically increases the value of the home and land. In fact, landscaping added to a property adds more value than installing a pool.

Designing Your Backyard Landscape

Patio lights can help you finish the look and style of your backyard. They are just the finishing touches however in the entire design of the landscape and ”lightscape” of your backyard.  When designing your backyard landscape, you will want to focus first on the natural parts of your backyard. Is there a rock outcropping? A close grove of trees might also have to be planned around as well. Perhaps there might be an area where the grass is not growing so well? Each of these things needs to be planned for when designing a backyard landscape.

Planning Around The Natural Variations of Backyard Landscape

So what can you do if you have trees growing fairly close to each other? One thing to do is to make a nice garden out of the ground. With the trees growing there, they will soak up a lot of water. This may or may not allow you to grow a thick, lush lawn under the trees. So your better option is to remove any sod under the trees and plant some bushes and some flowers. Cover the rest of the area with mulch and you’ve now turned an area of patchy grass and bare soil into something beautiful. The same type of thinking can go into other areas of your landscape. Just be open to new ideas on how to improve the looks of your backyard and you will have an easier time in the design phase.

Don’t Forget To Light Up Your Backyard Landscape

After installation of all the trees, rocks, bushes and the pouring of concrete and building of decks, you will want to show your masterpiece off during the day and at night. So installing the proper lighting around your property is a great way to do this. Part of this lighting design, is the ubiquitous patio lights. Make sure you include them in any “lightscape” design that you concoct.

How To Build A Rock Garden’s Wall

If you’ve bought a new home or are re-landscaping your garden, the options available can be a little overwhelming. rock gardenThere really are limitless possibilities, and each can add something different to your garden, and hence to your home.

One of my favourite things to add to your yard is the rock garden. Although it doesn’t add anything to functional to your garden, its addition of flowers and other plants, as well as the decorative rocks can hugely improve the ambiance outside your home, especially during the summer time.

The hardest part in constructing the rock garden is building a rock garden wall. This isn’t an absolute necessity; however it can separate an average construction from a really professional looking one. The first thing that needs to be chosen is the stones that will be used. It’s important to only use heavy natural rocks rather than anything artificial. This is because, rather than a traditional bricks and mortar wall, the only thing holding this wall together is its own weight. That’s why it’s especially important to ensure the rocks are heavy and won’t blow away in the wind.

When constructing the wall, to start with you’ll need to dig something that looks like a trench. This will actually form the foundation of the wall and only really needs to be about 6 inches deep. After this, lay the heaviest, flattest rocks into the foundation, and build the wall upwards. As the wall is built upwards, use the less heavy rocks toward the top.
You should ensure that, just like a brick and mortar wall, each stone is placed on the gap between the two stones below it; this is to ensure the wall is as strong as possible. With this in mind, when the wall has been completed, ensure you test its sturdiness for safety.

It’s really simple to add something special to your garden, so when you get the opportunity, I urge you to build a rock garden to improve your garden dramatically. After you’ve finished perfecting your garden, ensure you keep it well cared for by ensuring you remove any weeds as soon as you see them, using a petrol strimmer, and keeping the plants well nourished.

Outdoor Decorating Tips

We all love the new fresh appearances in our homes, but have you thought recently about outdoors? We are often so busy with interior decorating or remodeling, you forget to do the same to the exterior well. Spice up the exterior of your home with these simple tips for decorating outdoors:

1. Painting the outside of the house, will make a huge difference in the initial impact of the appearance of your house for people who walk by.

2. Porch or Patio: The comfort for your family can be radically improved by putting out new furniture on your porch or patio. Another option would be to buy new patio furniture cushions and covers for the furniture you already have on your porch or patio. Another quick way to improve the appearance of your patio can be as simple as leaving some flowering plants in pots, adding gnomes or statues or putting a small fountain in a space.

patio furniture3. Gateway: You can make your home look more cozy and more inviting simply by adding a bridge outside of your home. This can be made even more attractive by putting a little bedding edge on each side, the addition of solar  garden lights to brighten the night, or placing other forms of borders, which will lead the way and appear special. If you do not already have a gateway and want to create one, I think the most beautiful are those made of stone. For a decorative touch, have a curve or a bridge of wood just before arriving at your front door.

4. Yard Ornaments: These need not be complicated. You can simply use a birdhouse, an outdoor lantern mounted on a tree or a set of attractive flowers in a wheelbarrow. Your garden and the house will be i more distinguishable from other houses in the street, plus it gives you the chance to show off your tastes and make a good impression.

5. Of course, the most popular method of decorating the outside of a home is with the addition of certain types of plants – flowers, shrubs or trees. Annuals are ideal to add splashes of color in a hurry, because you can usually buy these in times of blossom. If you want the color to last year round and increase the range of choice, you should invest in perennials. This allows you to replace the color of annual plants as they start to die.