Yearly Archives: 2014

Simplistic and Clean Maintenance Free Landscaping

In today’s busy world, landscaping can often be neglected. However, having a busy schedule, doesn’t mean that your landscaping has to suffer. By creating a low maintenance landscaped backyard, you enjoy your yard without having to spend hours on upkeep.

Using hearty plants, landscape rocks and stone slabs, you can have an easy to care for garden. Using stone and masonry within your garden has a near limitless possibility of design features. You can keep it simple or add elaborate elements, such as stone benches, unique column formations or flagstone slab walkways.

Planning Your Garden

Prior to creating a new landscaped backyard, determine where you want to place everything. This is an ideal time to determine the placement of your walkway, and the extent of your walkway. Do you want a simple walking path, or would a walking path that ties into a patio area be preferred?

Once you have determined the location of your walkway and/or patio slab, you’ll ba able to determine where you will want to have your plants placed.

If you plan to add additional elements, draw their placement into your plans as well. Taking the time to draw out landscaping plans prior to doing any work, can spare you hours of frustration.

Placing Flagstone

Arrange flagstone into your preferred design, using squared flagstone pieces for center placement and curved or angled pieces along the edges.

For a simple walkway, you can place them side by side or leave gaps between. However, if you want to install a patio, you’ll to need to place flagstone slabs side by side, so that they a butted up to one another.

If you already lave grass planted, you’ll need to cut the grass back so that the slab will fit into it, securely. If you are placing slabs on dirt or sand, simply level the sand and place slabs. Slabs placed directly on dirt should be surrounded by landscaping rock, for added structure and decor.

Plant Selection and Placement

When selecting plants that can thrive in a desert climate, look for hearty variety that can handle high temperatures. You also want to choose plants that doesn’t require a consistent level of wetness. Yucca plants, agave varieties and succulents, all are known to thrive with minimal care within a desert climate.

When placing plants, you’ll want to place them so that your backyard remains open. Flagstone style landscaping provides a Minimalist style. Therefore care should be taken to ensure that you don’t create a clutter look by over planting.

For the best results, plant a a single large Yucca in one corner, an Agave in another and then plant a small succulent area, to the side of the garden. Another option, is to place a few small succulent varieties in pots.

Tie Your Landscaped Backyard Together with Stone Elements

Adding stone elements to your backyard provides a variety of choices. You can create large, usable pieces or smaller features for decorative purposes. A nice natural looking formation that can easily be designed, is using 5 or so rock cylinders or columns of altering sizes. To use columns, place all five into a cluster with the taller ones towards the back and smaller ones up front.

Stone benches can also be placed in a desired backyard location. There’s primarily two styles, though each style has several variations.

You can choose between a bench made from two separate boulders that hold the ends of slab for a seat, or you might want to have a full boulder carved into a stand alone bench. The latter gives almost a bedrock look, however both version provide a natural style to any garden.

Installing Landscaping Rock as Ground Cover

When installing loose rock gravel or riverbed rock as ground cover, you’ll want a border to hold the rock in place. Using curved pavers will allow you to make an outline of the garden area that you plan on placing rock into. The advantage of curved pavers is that you’ll be able to make any shape that you want.

To get started, create your outline by placing the pavers together, Once outline is in place, begin shoveling rocks into your garden location. Following every two to three shovelfuls of rock, use the shovel to smooth out rocks.

When surrounding plants and flagstone, be sure that you don’t pile rocks above the stone, or to high up against live plants. You’ll also want to ensure that rocks are placed smoothly and evenly around any garden elements that you have added.

Caring for Yucca in a Planned Garden

The advantage of planting hearty plants, such as the Yucca, is that care requirements are minimal. They fare well under high desert temperatures and are content with minimal watering.

The variety of the Yucca will provide flowering yuccas, palm tree styles, fanned out palm styled leaves and a few with a shortened height. The shortened varieties are typically bushy, providing a unique plant.

To provide proper care, fertilize yearly and water sparingly.

Create Your Own Herb Garden from Scratch

If you love cooking herbs why not create your own herb garden instead of buying them at the grocery. An herb garden doesn’t need a large and wide space in your backyard – they easily grow even on containers. You don’t have to be an experienced gardener to successfully grow these herbs. If you know the basics of gardening then you are good to go.

Choose the Spot

Before starting your herb garden venture, it is essential to decide where to plant those herbs. Whether it is still cold outside or sunny, you have several options on where to place them.

  • Containers – this is the most ideal option for those who want a large space but don’t have enough area outdoor. These containers vary in size, color, material and design – a great way to show your creative side. During cold days, you can start planting in containers then you may choose to replant them outside when the time is right.
  • Windowsill – kitchen windowsill is the best spot for these herbs, for easy harvest when needed for a recipe. For starters, this can be a good experiment before starting a bigger herb garden in your backyard.
  • Garden Beds – when you think you are ready to finally start your own herb garden outside, then this can be the best choice. If you have enough space in your backyard, turn a barren space into an herb garden instead of the usual flower garden.

Easy Herbs to Grow

Regardless of your gardening know-how, it is still wise to plant easy growing and useful herbs. This way, you don’t have to keep your eyes on them but instead, you just have to wait for them to grow.

  • Basil – the most favorite of almost all herb gardeners, easy and fast to grow. Plant some seeds, water them appropriately, give them enough sunlight, wait for 4-6 weeks and you are ready to harvest your effort.
  • Bay Leaves – this herb grows all year round so you can have enough stock of them the whole year. This herb needs enough space so make sure not to overcrowd them.
  • Dill – this is the best choice during winter season at it can resist freezing weather which other regular plants can’t withstand. They usually grow fast, approximately 4-6 weeks for the first harvest.
  • Rosemary – its cutting just need some moisture to promote its roots to come out, then you are ready to plant them on containers.
  • Sage – if you love sauces, then sage is a must-have in your herb garden. Usually, it takes 6-8 weeks to grow but it is worth your patience. This herb needs enough moisture as it easily dries out and don’t keep them in direct sun.
  • Lemon Grass – this plant needs full sun to grow well; most of the times place it outdoor for direct heat of the sun.
  • Lavender – this plant is popular because of its relaxing scent which is used for soaps and oil. This takes 8-10 weeks to grow but worth all your effort.

Herb gardening is one of the trends today that you might consider in your own home. It doesn’t require an elaborate space to start – all it needs is a container. Growing some herbs in your kitchen or backyard is not even time consuming nor expensive unlike your usual garden.

Furthermore, they can be placed anywhere as some herbs are perfect for shady areas in the house so you can never go wrong with them. If you are planning to renovate your deck or patio, you can decorate these plants in there to welcome your guests with their lovely scents. You can also add more spice to your dishes serves to guests by using these herbs in your cooking.

You don’t need to be an expert gardener to start your own herb garden. You can even ask your kids to help you out in planting the seeds or to water them every day. There are no restrictions in trying to start this kind of garden, so get your garden gloves ready and start planting!