Category Archives: Landscaping

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.

Home Gardening Tips & More for Beginners

flower gardenGardening has become a pleasant hobby for many people. This is a good way to escape the hustle bustle of everyday life. It is also a means of relaxation for most people, and the best way to transform a vacant lot into something beautiful. However, homeowners think that gardening is expensive. Nevertheless, there are numerous ways to do home gardening without hurting your pocket. Here are some thrifty ways to do your gardening:

  • Find a vacant lot. If you have a large space in either front or backyard, you can turn this into a garden depending on the concept you have.

  • Think of a concept. Before starting your work, try to think of a concept. This will help you achieve the desired results of your home gardening plan.

  • Look for designs. There are numerous designs available in the internet, magazines and gardening books that will help you create that perfect plan.

After you have decided on what approach to take, choose which plants to use. Typically, a flower garden is the most common choice for first time gardeners. This is because there are many varieties to choose from. If you live in a place where there are four seasons, try selecting annual flower-bearing plants. This will allow you to move them in a shelter once winter occurs.

How to Start Your Flower Gardenhome garden

Before planting your flowers, make sure that you have prepared the lot. Use herbicide to get rid of grasses. The latter usually hinders successful thriving of plants as they share the nutrients of the soil where these flowers are planted. Then cover it with black plastic sheeting and let it stay for two weeks prior planting. You can do this during the late winter season when frosts are already minimal.

Always think about the climate of your location. This will help you pick out good flower choices for your garden. Take note that your plants should also be environmentally-friendly and will not house rodents. Some pests could also use it as nesting grounds therefore you should choose your plants carefully.

Think about the colors that you want your flower garden to have. For instance, you can start a row by planting red colored flowers and the second row with plants bearing blue flowers. This would create a good sight as a colorful flower garden can soothe and relax the eyes.

Advantages of Home Gardening

There are many advantages that home gardening brings. Here are some of the advantages that you can get from doing your own home garden:

  • Relaxation. Working homeowners get tired and bored from their usual day at work. With a garden at home however, there is something new to do and look forward to. Those who are staying at home may also find gardening relaxing. It can also be rewarding once the results are seen during your flowers first bloom.

  • A good way to spend leisure time. Instead of partying and intoxicating yourself with alcoholic drinks, gardening can promote a healthy lifestyle. This is because you get to move your body while you work on your garden. This would serve as a good exercise that would keep your body healthier as you would be working in your garden on a daily basis.

  • Money wise. A simple home garden would allow you to spend money wisely. Instead of shopping around for things that you don’t necessarily need, invest in a garden. It’s an inexpensive hobby that also gives you the satisfaction once your flowers start to bloom.

  • Home beautification. A garden is a good way to add beauty to your house especially if you have empty spaces. This will not only make you feel good but also other people who would pass by and stare at your home’s façade.

Survive Summer: Water-Saver Landscape

Water is one of the basic needs of the plant, however with the increasing environmental consciousness, water-wise practices is advisable. You can do magic on your own garden by using Xeriscaping technique.

Sounds unfamiliar to you?

Xeriscaping is an alternative method that you can apply on your landscaping project. Xeriscaping is a technique that involves using native plants to produce low-water landscape. The best choices of plants include yucca, cactus, bougainvillae and penstemon.

Apart from xeriscaping, there is also some survival landscaping inspirations that you might consider when trying to save money watering. The following are some of the ideas for your landscaping project:

Plant on Sidewalks

Sidewalks and pathways is where usual water runoff happens. It is advisable that these parts need to be maximized. Planting foliage strips along these walkways will lessen moisture waste. Thyme or low plants are also good options in this area.

Play with Slopes

It is important that every part of the garden is covered or else weeds will take over. In uneven areas, thyme is a good choice to catch water that might be put to waste. Adding some blooming flowers that don’t require too much water is another option combined with evergreens and shrubs for additional texture.

Drought Tolerant Masterpiece

More often than not, drought tolerant plants do not offer colorful blooms but instead have unique foliage worthy to have in any garden. These plants are mostly partnered with grasses for a complete look. Shade is also an important factor that helps in minimizing water from evaporation.

Mixed Garden Bed

Sometimes a good garden bed is a combination of hardscape features like a big boulder or a rock formation that can be the focal point, group of drought tolerant plants and varieties of flowering in between to fill in the gap. In this set up, it helps maintain the moisture of the soil and additional compost for the soil can make a big difference.

Good Combination of Grasses

There are actually ornamental grasses that display colorful flowers. These kinds of grasses are perfect to plant along run down sloping areas. Also, a rain barrel is advisable to recycle rainfall in times of summer. And as much as possible, consider a gravel pathway instead of concrete so soil can absorb the water, directly adding moisture to the ground.

Take Care of Your Lawn

During summer when water is scarce, it is wise to mow the lawn at least 3 inches high so it won’t completely expose the roots. Don’t take for granted the lawn as your garden landscaping will look bare without these covering lawn grasses.

Along the Garden Walkways

Native plants grow healthy for a long period of time compared to foreign species that is why they have to be present in your garden. Pathways going to your garden don’t have to lay bare; these native plants can totally transform it. Apply enough mulch on the soil to remain moist.

The Proper Method of Water Distribution

If you are landscaping your garden, water distribution among plants is a challenge. As much as possible, you need to find ways to ensure that even in period of drought, the soil is still moist.

  • Drip irrigation – install drip irrigation in your garden, this way your plants will directly be hydrated, lessening potential water waste.
  • Sprinkler Leaks – check if spray heads are not blocked and replace sprinkler heads if there are leaks. This can help conserve your landscape water consumption.

A garden is not a reason for the increase of water consumption. Landscaping can help a lot – you just have to know what foliage to plant. You can still conserve water without compromising the appeal of your landscaping project.

Mini-Garden for your Apartment

If you have a passion in gardening, then you must feel bored and miserable in your tiny apartment. If you think outside of the box of how you can make your hobby into a reality, then indoor gardening might have crossed your mind.

gardeningIndoor gardening is now the solution of most gardeners to practice their love for gardening even with limited space.Gardening doesn’t only provide you fresh crops but also creates a healthy and natural ambiance to your interiors.

Here are some helpful tips before you embark on your task of creating your own indoor garden.

Preparing Your Vegetable Container

You can use wooden planks for this task. You can construct it depending on the length of the area where you wish to place the plants.

You can create three sets if you are planning to grow at least three kinds of vegetables. Then fill it up with soil. Make sure your soil is in good condition. Then carefully place your seedlings on each of the container.

Make sure that they receive enough sunlight and water for survival. Also make sure that your containers have drainage holes so the excess water will not accumulate inside and damage the soil.

Make Use of the Available Space

Don’t be frustrated if you don’t have the large yard you need for your plants. Maximize the space available by making your plants grow upward. Since you are restricting your roots to grow further, then they need more attention and care as well as water and nutrients.

Be Resourceful

There are countless choices of containers you can use for your plants. Baskets, boxes, plastic bags, clay pots and buckets can be a turned to a garden.

One advantage of using container is no grass or weeds will likely invade the soil of your plants. Tomatoes grow best in containers while you can place eggplants, peppers and cucumbers in your patio or terrace.

Herb Garden

You can also cultivate herbs in your small apartment. Aside from its culinary benefits, herbs are excellent natural medicines. They have more minerals, vitamins and beta carotene than vegetables.

Indoor gardening does not consume much of your time. Just placing them in area where they can receive sunlight and provide them their needed water and nutrients, and they will likely survive in your apartment.

Indoor gardening does not only provide home-grown vegetables but also enhances the aesthetic of your interiors. Use your creativity in order to turn your hobby to a real indoor garden.

Winter Ahead: Prepare your Landscape for Fall

landscapingAs the heat gradually reduces and you feel the cold breeze, it is also time for you to prepare your landscaping ideas and tools in order to get the garden ready for the change of season– the coming of winter. There is a long list of things to do in order to prepare your plants for the cold season so you can have blooming flowers as spring approaches.

It is essential that gardeners always monitor their landscape during autumn and there are few tips to follow on how one can maintain their health of their plants.

  1. Rake is an important tool to keep your garden healthy especially during autumn. If you fail to rake dried leaves, then you can attract more insects and pests to your garden. Also it is definitely unpleasant to look at a garden filled with dried leaves.
    Rake them and make sure to put them in a bin. This could be your compost that you can later mix with the soil, in order to give the soil the nutrients it needs.
  2. Aerating your soil would be perfect at this time. This will prepare your soil for the cold temperature and snow storms. Through this, water is absorbed properly by the plants for nutrients. Aeration will prevent compaction of the soil and provide a good drainage system as the winter approaches.
  3. Fall is also the perfect time for the planting. Planting your spring bulb is ideal on this season. It will help establish roots and bear fruits by spring or summer. Also plant your shrubs and small trees.
  4. Remove the dead flowers, leaves or stems. The plants that have bloomed in summer will start to wither and die. By removing this, your garden will look fresh and healthy when fall comes.
  5. Take care of the lawn. It is essential that fertilizer and water is sprinkled on the lawn in order to condition it for the season. This will keep your lawn green and healthy.
  6. Make sure to check your plants for diseases and pests. Make sure to be keen and check every part of your plant if there is yellowing or wilting so you can immediately tend to its needs. If not tended, this could damage your other plants further.
  7. It is essential that your plants get enough nutrients from the soil. To achieve this, the soil should be mixed with compost and mulch. Compost will give the nutrients while the mulch will retain the moisture in the soil. Make sure to give all the nutrients your flowers and plants need for their survival.
  8. Pruning is applicable. Excess branches can be pruned so they have time to grow before winter arrives. Make sure to prune them properly.
  9. Make sure your drainage system is ready for winter. If there are certain parts of the garden that snow accumulates more, then you should fix it. Once the snow melts and your drainage does not work, there would be pooling of water that could drown the nearby plants. So make sure to check all your drainage system if they are working properly.landscape

The tips mentioned above are all essential for the maintenance of the beauty of your landscape and garden when autumn arrives. This is also a preparation for the coming winter.

As a gardener, you should prioritize the health of your plant before anything else. This could help your greenery survive and grow again for spring.

Planting in fall is also ideal just make sure to choose plants that can survive the extreme temperature. You can also cover up your plants in order to protect them and make sure it is properly done. As the season changes, it is important that you prepare your garden for the changing of temperature so you can have blooming and lush plants for next year.

Make a Lasting Impression with Front-Yard Landscaping

landscapingThe appearance of your front yard makes many visitors visualize what they expect when they enter the house. This is the reason homeowners give time to make improvements in their front yard. This serves as the front extension of your house so it should really make a good impression to your guests.

Landscaping ideas for your front yard add that warm invitation and curb appeal to your house. It also increases the value of your house if you plan to sell it. However, the improvements should not be expensive and you can truly stick to the budget if planned carefully.

Although they are simple designs and structures, they make a significant impact to the overall design of the house. It is essential that landscaping ideas should be aesthetical and functional at the same time.Here are some landscaping ideas to improve or update your front yard:

Determine your Focal Point

For your front yard, your door is your focal point and all your improvements should lead to this point. Paint your door a color that complements well with the design of the house.

Make sure to create a pathway that leads up to the door so guests could easily find their way in. To make it more elegant, you can place garden pots along the pathway like a welcoming party for your guests.

Make Use of your Plants

Placing garden pots around your front yard can also make a good impression to your guests. You could also make use of shrubs and vertical plants in order to soften the sharp edges of the house.

You can also cut down excess branches of your plants to make them look clean and well-trimmed. You could also do great shapesor figures from your bushes in order to have interesting objectsin your front yard.

Garden Furniture Bring Elegance

Garden furniture are not only for patios orbackyards, they can also be used for the appeal of your front yard. A set of chairs and tables look inviting for guests and make them feel welcome in your home. Make sure that this part of the garden has shade so you and your guests can come around to have some tea or snacks while catching up and not worry about the heat.

This furniture brings that elegant feel to your garden and adding some cushion on the seats make them comfortable for visitors. So you can have fun while enjoying the beautiful view of your front yard.

Create the Center of Attraction

Creating a beautiful attraction at the middle of your front yard will surely make your property a noticeable one. You can incorporate flowering plants to the garden.

It would be advisable if you make use of perennials for an all-year round supply of blooming flowers and they really landscapinglook good at the center. You could also make use of stones or bricks in order to define the border around the center.

Make a Beautiful Entrance

Arbor does a great job in creating a gorgeous entrance or gate for your front yard. It is usually made from wood and painted according to the design of your house,

Decorate it with Lighting

Aside from the functional purpose of the light, it is also used to improve the aesthetic of the front yard. One can make use of string bulbs that come in different colors where you can place them around trees or gate. Other garden fixtures can also be placed in the pathway. You could also make use of solar lights to help you save energy and money.

When planning on improving your front yard, you should always consider the design of the house. Everything you have in the property should complement with the house. So make sure to plan your landscaping project ahead to achieve a function and aesthetical front yard.

Landscaping Defined

gardeningLandscaping is a general term which is used to describe any activity which is done in order to modify the visible features of an area of land. In most cases, this can be a home or business, or any other type of property such as a park. In other cases, this is done by using a variety of things including living elements such as flowers or other plants, and non-living things such as statues, pools or even structures.

There are many other things that people can use in creating landscape gardens. It will depend on the kind of concept used. However, careful planning should be done before getting started. This will save time in constantly modifying the scenery just because you think it does not coincide with the kind of home design you have.

The vast majority of landscaping is done in an attempt to make an area more aesthetically pleasing. If, for example, you’re starting a project on your backyard, your goal may be to secure your privacy and add a more natural look and feel to the area. It could also be to improve the overall look of your home.

On another note, businesses often use this type of work to make their property look more inviting or appealing to customers. One of the nicest things about landscaping is it can be done by virtually anyone, and there is really no right or wrong way of doing it. As long as you like the results, you’ve done it right!

While many people will hire a professional company to plan and perform their landscaping, others prefer doing all the work on their own. For many people, this type of work is fun and relaxing which is why it is getting more and more popular today.

Unlike many other types of projects which people take on around their home, gardening and landscaping never really ends and you won’t get tired of it. Others seek the help of their family members and friends and find it a good way to bond with each other during weekends or holidays. However, you’ll have to work diligently to maintain your landscape garden and keep them looking great.

Whether that is regular watering, pruning or trimming or something else, there is always something that can be worked on in landscaping. Even adding and removing plants as you find things you’d rather have can be done any time.

One of the great things about planning the design and layout of this type of project is that you can enjoy a wide range of different looks throughout the years. As the seasons change, you’ll be able to watch flowers bloom and plants grow in your landscape garden. Most people love watching and appreciating the beauty of nature and through landscaping, this is made possible.

DIY Guide to Garden and Landscape Lighting

garden lighting

A well-made and maintained garden or landscape is a beautiful sight to see – but not in the dark. The best thing to be done when you have this problem is simple – you just need to install proper lighting. But with gardening or landscaping, installing and putting up lights should be done with creativity and style.

When we install lights in our garden landscape, it should be done appropriately to create a more wonderful scene. Adding lights improve the view of your garden or landscape and add a touch of drama. This will make your garden or landscape even more beautiful to watch at night because of the lights that gives it a more dramatic feeling, and highlighting the features that need to be highlighted.

Light installation in your landscape is an easy task. You do not have to hire people to do this stuff because you alone can handle this. All it needs is for you to have the basic ideas when it comes to the correct way of doing it.

I will be chopping down this task of installing and setting up lights in your garden or landscape so that it will be easier for you to do it. This will also enable you to do this task all by yourself. Yes, you alone will be able to do this lighting job and improve your garden or landscape view at night.

Be sure to practice safety at all times when doing this task. After securing everything and getting ready with the correct tools, you are good to go. Here’s how you should do it:

LED Lights

LED lights are a little more expensive when compared to other types of light bulbs but you can save more using them because it lasts longer compared to the latter. Also, be sure to use low-voltage lights to be able to conserve electricity and not inflate your electric bills.

Light up What Should Be Highlighted

The key in the correct installation of lights to your garden or landscape is simple – when you have focal points, highlight them. Points of focus in a garden or landscape are those that have high impact when seen by people. These are also considered as the “main attraction” in your landscape like ponds, fountains, etc.

walkway lighting

Pathways and Walkways

The purpose of installing lights to your garden is not just for beautification and addition of “drama” alone, it is also for safety purposes. Light up the walkways and pathways to your garden or landscape using lights that are softer compared to the lights in your focal points. Safety and drama rolled into one!

If in Doubt, Call an Electrician

If you have doubts with your work, it’s best to ask assistance from a licensed electrician to have your lighting checked and secured.

Slope-Fistication: Hillside Landscaping

hillside landscaping

Not everyone has or can find a house with a plain, flat land area or lawn. Some home are located in areas with slopes or at hillsides and beautifying or improving that piece of land is quite a problem. Slopes in the yard are also the problems for gardeners because of issues associated with it.

But there is always hope in making your view beautiful. With the help of creative ideas and hard work, there are no slopes too steep for you to create a living art. Hillside modification is the answer to that!

Issues with a Slope-Y

There are issues that gardeners with hilly, sloping land area or yard are trying to deal with. These issues are the main reason why modifying and landscaping hillside areas are quite a difficult job to do. These issues are commonly associated with the health and growth of the plants that are placed or planted in it.

Drainage

Because of the slope, water is being drained out from the soil by the pull of gravity. Water is needed by plants in order to survive, grow and reproduce and without water, plants will not be able to do these. The lack of enough water or ability of the soil to hold and retain moisture is the main reason why gardening and landscaping is difficult in the hillside compared to the flat areas.

Erosion

This is the process wherein soil and rocks are removed from the surface of the Earth, particularly the top soil, and is transported or deposited in other locations. Erosion is caused mainly by wind and water flow.  Hillsides and sloping lands are prone to erosion because of the soil type or lack of plant roots that can hold the soil in place.

Nothing is Impossible

As I have mentioned earlier, there is still hope when it comes to landscaping in the hillside. You must always remember to counter the things that hinder you from making the sloping area in your yard beautiful. Soil erosion and water drainage are the main reason why most people are discouraged in landscaping it.

Here are a few tips on how to solve these problems:

Choose Your Plants

There are plants that can withstand little amount of water but are also good and appealing to the eyes. Shrubs are good plants to plant on hillsides. It can also help with water retention and erosion because its roots can hold both the soil and water.

Build Walls

Walls are also good in retaining the soil by blocking it from going down, thus solving the issue with erosion.

Terracing

Terracing might sound so intensive when it comes to labor but through this, you can solve greater erosion problem and will make your hilly land area easier to walk on.

Never Leave a Hillside Barren

It is best to plant plants in hillsides because a barren land, especially those that have steep slopes, hastens the process of erosion. Covering the hillside with plants is still one of the best ways to prevent soil from being eroded.