Big Landscape for Small Gardens

  1. Dining furniture – one of the best ways to spend your summer evening is to have dinner in the garden with your family or friends. You just have to choose the appropriate dining furniture. Do not buy large items that take a lot of space. You need furniture that can make the atmosphere more comfortable and intimate. Dinners in the garden have to become a special event for everyone.
  2. Fire pit – a feature like this always creates such a cozy atmosphere. Fire pits bring more warmth and light to the garden. You can choose just the right one for you, because they are sold in many and different shapes and sizes. Adding one fire pit is a great way to start designing your garden.
  3. Bamboo shelter – that is a very original and creative idea for small gardens. A rustic bamboo and metal frame shelter brings a little exotic feeling to the garden too, which is always nice. Also, a shelter guarantees enough shade in the hot summer days and protection when harsh winds occur. Modern and practical, isn’t it?
  4. Gravel – crushed brick or gravel is a wise paving option that can certainly improve the outlook of your garden. It is easy to maintain and much cheaper than bricks or flagstones. However, you should spread a layer of landscape fabric underneath the gravel. That way you will save your garden from any weeds.
  5. Walkway – another element that can refresh the garden. It is better to have a curved walkway because it gives guests the feeling of walking through a larger landscape. You only need to be sure that the walkway is wide enough for two people to walk side by side. Otherwise it may be a little uncomfortable.
  6. Pond – why not make a pond in your backyard? You do not need a lot of space to do that. In fact, the process is not very complicated either. What do you have to do? Well, just dig out the chosen area, add a pond liner and a pump, and you are ready to go. The biggest advantage of the pond is that it brings wildlife in your garden. Some tiny birds and colourful butterflies will surely make the atmosphere more pleasant and enjoying.

You just have to decide which one of these six ideas would best suit your garden. After you make the choice, use all your inspiration and creativity to make some wonderful improvements. Do not forget very important factor: not everyone can be a landscape expert, and they really do not need to. If you have any trouble setting up the new garden design, call a landscape gardening company to take care of it for you.

Reduce Regular Lawn Care Chores

  • Lessen the size of your lawn. Your turf requires sufficient supply of fertilizer and water to maintain their good condition and appearance. You also need to mow and weed your grass regularly, which will demand a lot of your time and effort. You can reduce the time you spend doing these gardening chores and your expenses in buying fertilizers and water bills by reducing the size of your yard. You can lessen the size of your lawn by replacing parts of the corner yards with grass with a border of low-maintenance shrubs and perennials. You can also reduce your lawn care chores by positioning plants closer together and mulching the areas in between to smother and keep out weeds.
  • Create an outdoor room or entertainment area.¬†Aside from having a patio or gazebo built on or near your lawn, you can also place pieces of furniture on your outdoor space. Invest in water-resistant chairs and tables and have a fire pit constructed as well. These fixtures will help reduce the size of your lawn and related gardening tasks and you get additional space for family gatherings and entertaining guests.
  • Cultivate native plants. Grow native plants that are accustomed to the local soil conditions and climate since they are likely to survive without an abundance of fertilizer and water. You can easily find and buy native plants you can cultivate from local nurseries. Aside from native species, plant perennial shrubs and flowers as well so that you will have permanent flower beds without replanting each season.
  • Lastly, xeriscape your lawn.¬†Xeriscaping means cultivating slow-growing and drought-tolerant plants to so that you can conserve water and establish a waste-efficient landscape. This is also another effective method of reducing the amount of grass and sensitive plants that you have to take care of. By xeriscaping your yard, you can lower your water consumption and reduce the time you spend on plant care.

Landscaping Borders

Trees are a natural boundary, but the downside is that they take time to mature. Unless you can afford to buy mature trees that are several years old and are tall with many leaves (or evergreens), you are going to have to wait some time before your ideal privacy limit is reached. If you only need one tree, then buying an older tree isn’t going to be to expensive, but if you are using trees for your property outer perimeter landscaping borders, then things start to get very expensive.

One alternative that you could use is to set up a wooden fence just behind younger trees so that for a while it’s this fence that creates the landscaping border around the property. This will allow you privacy from neighbors, block out busy roads, provide security for your children who won’t be able to wander out of the garden so easily and yet is temporary and can be removed once the trees grow to the required height.

If you do create an outer perimeter landscape border whether using higher trees, or fences you need first to check if there are any local laws that control how high these can be. Often there is a maximum height for any given area and you must keep your fences under this. There could be a separate law that pertains to each tree, but if not, you will need to make sure that you cut your trees across the top just before they reach the legal maximum height – this will stop them growing upwards, but allow them to bush outwards instead.

Creating landscape borders within your garden are wonderful for providing separate places for kids to play football, or to hide garden toys from the rest of the house, create a secluded retreat where you can escape to when things get overly stressful, or just to separate a kitchen garden from the rest of the lawn. Landscape borders of this kind are can be low concrete blocks (some of these are very decorative and come in a variety of colors and designs) that edge your lawn, or higher trellises that allow you to also grow climbing flowers, shrubs or even vine fruits. The trellises in particular make for pretty garden features that don’t look as if they are landscape borders. Another idea would be to create a path in your garden that divides the kitchen garden from the rest of the yard. Edge the lawn and keep the earth in the kitchen garden in place, and this can be a perfectly functional and yet attractive yard.

Whatever landscape borders you choose, make sure they fit into the kind of design that you want, and that they match with the garden lifestyle that you have. Don’t create a fancy garden with lots of fragile borders if you have small children, but on the other hand, if you do have small children, a border is a perfect way of restricting them to certain parts of the yard so that you protect the shrubs, flowers, and/vegetables that you’re growing there.

Using Limestone Paving

This naturally occurring stone offer a wide selection of colors. Their colors range from light beiges to dark greens. These colors are known to be more casual and are most suitable for the interior of your house especially places such as kitchens, laundry’s bathrooms and dining rooms.

This is an added advantage because these neutral shades of color will compliment all of your furniture and interior surroundings.

Whether you are installing limestone pavers at a commercial property or a private residence, there is no doubt that your curb appeal will improve when you use natural occurring stones as opposed to concrete. Limestone landscaping is a far better investment than concrete equivalents. Using limestone will add greater value to your home vs. concrete every time.

Limestone pavers are more sustainable and environmentally friendly than concrete options. Of course in order to shape, package and transport limestone, there are usually manufacturing costs, as well as shipping and aspects to consider, but in general these will pale in significance to the pollution, energy and carbon footprint of manufactured concrete products.

Natural occurring stone is one of the most sustainable building materials on earth, as resources of stone on the planet are vast, plentiful and date back millions of years. As a natural occurring product, limestone is recyclable and can be used as reclaimed paving.

A very important benefit of natural occurring stones such as limestone is that they generally have a non-slip surface. Limestone pavers are a great choice for patios and around swimming pools. Limestone pavers are also a durable frost resistance paving, meaning they are not susceptible to frost damage in the same way as manufactured concrete products.

Limestone is ideally suited for a variety of vehicle traffic and pedestrian applications. Provided installation instructions are followed and the correct substrate is put down to support the intended load, limestone pavers can be installed around paths, patios, driveways and pool sides in a variety of commercial and residential contexts.

How to Start Backyard Landscaping

The Main Reasons That I Hear

There are 3 main reasons that I hear all the time. You just moved into a house and you want to upgrade. Maybe you just got married and you and your spouse plan on starting a family one day. Or maybe you are planning on selling your home and you know this is a solid investment to make. At this point in my life the last one is my favorite. You simply want to enjoy what you already have. These are absolutely all good reasons so let’s get started.

It all starts with a plan

Before you start digging anything up you need a solid plan. This should include the entire property you want to incorporate. If not your end result could look like a mishmash of designer magazine. You must know your desired outcome before you start. Sometimes you will run into road blocks that you did not foresee no matter how well you planned everything out. This will happen from time to time. Just remember this though, your earlier preparation will pay huge dividends if this should happen.

Take advantage of the type of land you have

A good plan will put importance of taking advantage of the land you have and its features. What I mean is this. Lets take the sun for example. Are there certain parts of your yard that get the sun in morning and shade in afternoon. Or maybe you are in an area that gets the sun in one part and shade in the other all day. And what about your soil type. Is it fast draining or does it drain on the slower side. How about your climate. Do you have cold winters or do they average in the 60″s. This is something that you should consider.

What Is Your Vision

Objects appear smaller in the rear view mirror than they actually are. Do you remember that. Well the same applies here only in reverse. Some types of hardscaping are actually larger than what you vision in your mind. Be cautious and extremely careful before you decide on something that could be very costly to fix if wrong.

Know The Maintenance Involved

And of course there is the maintenance of it all. Some of our favorite additions that we want involve a lot more work than others. Things such as ponds, waterfalls, and pools require more maintenance than rocks, stones and fences. How much time do you want to spend on all of this. After all I am sure you want to take some time and enjoy it.

Avoiding Mechanical Garden Work in the Rain

  • Whatever modern safety devices are built into electrical machinery, by and large electrically-driven agricultural machinery, used in the rain, is a potentially dangerous situation. It’s really worth avoiding.
  • Mowers and tractors also need to be considered carefully. The ground can become very slippery, very quickly, when it rains. Slipping over on wet grass while using power tools or a mower, can be very dangerous even if you have cut-out switches in place etc. Even heavier duty tractors and mowers can be a challenge at times when the ground is wet, particularly if it is uneven and there are inclines to negotiate. As an aside, mowing wet grass is usually considered a bad idea as it just sticks to everything and clogs up the mower.
  • Another related weather risk to watch out for is high wind whether with or without rain. Perching at the top of a ladder trying to prune high branches with a chainsaw is an accident waiting to happen.
  • If it’s raining heavily, people are often inclined to put on some form of waterproof clothing. That adds bulk to your frame and possible loose and baggier materials that will be ideal for getting caught in moving parts.

The moral of the tale is to park your machinery up until the rain and winds have passed.

Of course, there are plenty of gardening jobs you can get on with in poor weather. Things like light hand pruning, weeding, minor construction or renovation jobs on fencing – they’re all possible. Likewise for patching up the externals of garden sheds etc.

Remember though that digging is likely to be hard work in the rain, as the soil can rapidly become waterlogged and sticky as well as a lot heavier due to the water content. Planting out might or might not be OK. Some plants will relish a mildly damper soil as their roots become established but if the ground is really waterlogged after or during a torrent, those same plants might object.

Create Kid-Friendly Landscaping

Updating Your Driveway

Think about all the slips and falls that have occurred on your driveway, and it may not even be just with the kids! The surface can get wet, icy, and just plain slippery. It’s also not exactly a soft surface to land on. This is exactly why bonded resin driveways are making such an impact in residential settings now. It used to be that you would only see resin bound surfacing in a few select areas such as a modern playground or indoor pool area. Now the process is being used all over the place.

Resin bound surfacing gives the look of real pavement, concrete, stone and loose gravel but is in fact a resin surface. It provides a non-slip surface, which is ideal for kids and adults alike. It’s also much softer to the touch so if a fall were to happen, it won’t create the same sort of painful results.

There are other benefits in going the route of bonded resin driveways such as the fact they are low maintenance and don’t need any resurfacing, they have a long life-span (usually 15 years), you won’t need to worry about weeds popping through the surface, they are pet-friendly, easy to clean, they have UV protection, and are environmentally friendly.

No Fuss Grass

Another area of concern for parents can be with the lawn. If your child suffers from outdoor/environmental allergies then the lawn can be a source of discomfort rather than fun. That and the fact you as the homeowner are responsible for all the upkeep, weeding, watering, and trimming.

Artificial grass used to be sparse and unattractive looking, but that is no longer the case! Companies are changing the way homeowners see artificial grass by offering a wide variety of types, colours, and density. Who knew that having the perfect lush, green, weed-free lawn could be so easy? This artificial grass is kid-friendly, pet-friendly, feels real, looks real, has a long life-span, and doesn’t require cutting and watering.

Basic Lawn Care And Maintenance

Mowing basics

Mowing is the periodic cutting of turf grass to a specified height. Mowing stresses the grass and if not done properly, it can lead to tattered and brown on top which can reduce the appeal and risk the health of your turf. To reduce such stress, you need to adapt to the following practices:

  • Schedule your activity early in the morning, or in the evening. Avoid mowing during the heat of the day – this does not only rid you of toiling when the sun is too high and very hot, mowing during these times can cause the plant to go into shock
  • Do not mow when the grass is still wet. This will help avoid transfer of diseases from plant to plant and can make mowing a lot easier.
  • Cut off no more than the top third of the grass plant to encourage stronger roots.

Basics of lawn watering

Your plants and grass need to be watered properly to flourish. While rainfall provides most of the water needed for plants, in some drier areas, watering is a weekly obligation. You can avoid overwatering plants by:

  • Determine how much water your sprinklers apply. This will help you determine how long you need to water your lawn. Also, you need to make sure you are getting uniform water coverage across your lawn.
  • The best time to water your lawn is early in the morning or early evening.
  • Let the lawn completely dry out between watering intervals.

Fertilization basics

A properly fertilized law will produce a healthy, lush green grasses perfect for different activities. One of the most important ingredients for lawns is Nitrogen and different grasses require different amounts for peak growth. There are three main macronutrients are nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.

  • Nitrogen – promotes rapid growth and leaf development.
  • Phosphorous – deals with the early stages of root growth and hastens plant maturity.
  • Potassium – helps plants and grass improve resistance to drought and disease.

Essential Irrigation Tips

Early Irrigation is Essential

Morning hours offer the ideal time to irrigate lawns. This is because the air is cooler during these hours and there is not much wind, which can cause uneven watering. Landscaping experts recommend anytime between 4 a.m. to 10 a.m. Watering during these hours also provides time for the soil to be soaked adequately and dry out before the morning sun comes out.

The Lawn Should be Evenly Wetted

In this case, it is wise to work with a professional irrigation expert to install and test the sprinkler system. They can ensure that it disperses water evenly. A homeowner can do this on their own this by placing containers around the lawn and turning on the system. After a session of sprinkling, he or she should compare the amount of water in the containers and adjust accordingly if necessary. Even sprinkling helps to save water.

Watering Slowly Helps in Efficient Absorption

The irrigation of grass should be planned in advance. Depending on the size of the lawn, this is a task that may take hours, and it is not wise to quicken the watering process. Irrigation should be done slowly to allow adequate time for absorption, as watering too quickly will cause a run-off. The best way to irrigate a yard is to divide it into sections and sprinkle a section at a time. This method allows water in each area of the yard to settle into the soil.

Regular Sprinkling is Important

During the hot months, it is wise to wet the yard at least once every three days. This provides the roots enough water and healthy conditions for optimal growth, leading to a more stable and nourished lawn. Frequent or daily sprinkling is not advisable as it may inhibit the growth of roots.

Ideas Outdoor Awnings

Bilgola House

Bring back the 60’s and 70’s inside your home by opting to create a striped design for your outdoor blinds. The early eras are coming back this year when it comes to home decorating and design and this is the best opportunity for a home decorator to go with these returning trends. Create a tropical feel for your home by creating a beach feel outdoors.

Flip-Flop

Have your outdoor awnings become movable and foldable so they can be easily kept away if you do not feel like you need them for the day. You can try building your awnings like a flip-flop at the same contrast or as you try to complement your home’s current style and theme.

Rustic Exterior – flower pots venue

Rustic exterior is a very nice trend for many. To give a good highlight on the said awnings, you can try to put some good plants and flower pots to create a greener and fresher look for your home. Nature-inspired design will be back in style this 2016 so you’ll definitely extend the beauty of nature inside and outside your abode.

Woven Blinds

Bring out the eccentric in you and have your outdoor awnings woven. It is an ideal design of your home’s theme and a little classy and nostalgic, perfect if you’re little inclined into weaving. A woven awning fits perfectly as a good decoration especially for the exterior of farms and/or barns.

Printed and Customizable Blinds

Printed and customizable awning can really look good especially if you are into providing your home a good feel of the moment. Sometimes, though, it is not water-resistant or waterproof, but it can be personalized – by means of its designs and use. You can still use printed designs for blinds but have them sealed with varnish to make it last.

Natural

Outdoor blinds do not need to be really expensive. Instead, you can use natural materials like preserved or dried leaves to create a good outdoor awning. Moreover, it also provides a good green and refreshing feel to your place.