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Tips For DIY [Do-It-Yourself] Landscaping for Your Home

Tips For DIY [Do-It-Yourself] Landscaping for Your Home

Beautifying ones home is always the major concern of home owners mostly for women and housewives. One way of making the house look amazing is through creating landscapes. Contracting somebody to do the landscape is a great option but, it can be too much expensive and impractical.

Landscaping is typically costly when done by professional landscapers. Although, it is true that the work done by the experts really worth the money spent however, economic crisis are continually growing vastly today, forcing us to spend very wisely only for the major necessities only. If you are really eager in making your home attractive and pleasing, simple DIY landscaping methods below can be of help to you.

Creativity. Use your imagination and creativity. Be experimental! Plan the landscape style you have perceived… may it be in the shape of tables and chairs or perhaps, it must be fully endowed with several seats and garden furniture, etc.

Area to be landscaped. This must be considered. Before buying any landscaping materials such as flowers, furniture, and other ornaments, make sure it will fit the location where the landscaping would take place. Choose only those that are simple. Do not over decorate, choose only 2-3 colors and blend them to complement it with your garden and the style of your home in general.

Materials to use. Use broadsheet in making all the flower beds. Use hose or any bendable materials to make any shape of the desired flower beds. Using the water hose, damp the tabloid and the entire area to be landscaped.

Clearing and applying soil. Remove unwanted plants and trees in your prospect area to be landscaped. Eliminate the of placing flowers and cultivate its surroundings which would be needed in the procedure. Buy enough soil and sawdust to cover the area. Do not leave even a small space unattended. The distribution of the soil and saw dust must be consistent to avoid unintentional high and low level land rise-up, unless it’s on your style.

Maintaining. Think of the needed plants and kinds of flowers which will grow in the yard. Use gay colored ornaments. Water your plants using programmed water sprinklers so that are watering the plants will not be a major concern anymore. Hide the pots used in some flowers via the saw dust and soil. Spread the particles evenly. Monitor the grass growth in the area by clipping the grass in the lawn as the need arises to maintain your landscape. Do not just let the unwanted grass ruin the landscape being made. And see for yourself the result of the landscape being made.

Landscaping is not really a tough task to do. In fact it is an enjoyable and now an income generating work to do. It only requires a green thumb and a lot of patience in growing the trees, shrubs and flowers as well as painting the nearby part of the house in relation to the desired landscape outcome. Although it requires the owner some money to purchase different landscape items and tools, the result of the labor is fruitful enough. All the hard work done in making the landscape will be returned a hundred folds once the owner will see the outcome and once he will start to earn through the landscape he has made.…

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Avoiding Common Landscaping Misconceptions

Avoiding Common Landscaping Misconceptions

There are many common misconceptions about landscape design, which often compromises the health of the plants and the garden. To avoid this from happening, you can always read on landscaping tips, so that you will not be misled by myths and misconceptions.

If you want to take utmost care of your garden, below are some common landscaping myths and a short explanation for each.

Conserve water by watering the lawn during the evening

This is one myth that is a costly and expensive landscaping mistake. This belief originated from the idea that cooler soil at night can absorb more water than that when the sun is still up. The truth is, watering your garden after the sun goes down will only make the moisture end up staying on the surface thus, making it the perfect environment for disease and fungus to germinate. This will only cause you to replace your lawn if ever the problem becomes uncontrollable. Depending on the weather condition and climate, your lawn can survive by keeping it damp in the middle of the day. If you really want to save on water costs, watering your lawn at night is not the solution instead, get your showers, dishwashers and toilets replaced.

Keeping my grass short will make landscaping easier

Instead of making landscaping easier by mowing your grass short, it will only compromise your lawn’s health since you are cutting off the grass’ ability of producing sugar through photosynthesis. Besides, keeping it short will expose its sensitive roots to excessive sunlight. This will provide more nutrients and sunlight to weeds thus, encouraging its growth. When this happens, the grass will use its sugar reserves in order to keep up with the growth of the weeds. By cutting it too short after allowing it to grow long will shock the system of your lawn thus, removing the essential nutrients from your garden. When this happens, plans are unable to grow more shoots thus, leaving more areas bare and full of brown patches. This leads garden owners to think that they need to water their lawns more, which can only aggravate the situation.

I can do landscaping jobs without the help of professionals

Majority of homeowners nowadays sincerely believe that they can manage landscaping their lawn without the help of a professional contractor. However, this can cause a lot of problems during the process and in the future, especially if they do not possess the needed skills for plumbing and installation of waterworks. While mowing and planting is indeed easy, the end results that professional contractors can provide are simply incomparable.

If you want a high quality landscape design for your lawn, better stock up with contact numbers for professional contractors, so that you will have many options to choose from. Do the necessary research so that you know you are getting the most out of your money. You can always search the World Wide Web for the information that you need, or you can always ask for referrals from friends so that you know you will get the best landscaping job for your lawn.…

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Landscaping Ideas for Wildlife Friendly Gardens

Landscaping Ideas for Wildlife Friendly Gardens

Creating wildlife friendly gardens can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. They are generally easier to maintain than traditional gardens because the planting will be suitably adapted to the local climate and soil conditions. Wildlife friendly gardens don’t have to fully replicate a natural one but can be designed and shaped to look modern and contemporary. Wildlife friendly gardens should aim to create food sources, potential shelter and protection for fauna.

To begin you should locate where you would like to build the garden. Investigate the permeability of the soil by digging a few holes and filling with water. If they take a few hours to drain the soil may need some additives like gypsum to break up the clay.

Next research the local plant species that were once located in your area and the type of vegetation communities that existed. Check with your Local Government Authority, National Parks information centres, local native plant nurseries and search online. Creating a wildlife attracting vegetation community, plant species should be selected from the canopy, understorey and ground-cover layers.

Trees will provide shade and habitat for larger animals and birds and provide protected landing and nesting areas for birds flying through your area. Shrubs and ground-covers in the understorey will provide protection to small birds and animals and lizards from the larger birds and animals. These should be planted in dense clumps or swathes as they will provide greater protection this way.

A mix of plants will also help to provide seed at differing times of the year to create food sources all year round. This doesn’t mean that planting design need to completely replicate the existing planting community structure. The garden can be designed to have singular plants massed together providing greater visual impact but maximise different species used to increase food sources.

Additional landscaping ideas for wildlife gardens should provide groupings of rocks and large branches to create habitat for small animals and lizards. Use natural mulches for example leaf litter or forest mulch to provide a more naturalistic setting. Water is another necessity and can be provided through a pond feature or a simple bird bath. A mix of both will provide safe drinking spots for both birds and ground dwellers.

Remember these landscaping ideas won’t attract wildlife over night and it will take a some years for plants to fully develop and then the wildlife to find it. If you are adding some of these ideas to an existing developed native garden then you may experience results sooner.…

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Ornamental Grass – A Headache?

Ornamental Grass – A Headache?

For those garden lovers who have little time at hand, grass could be the ultimate bliss in a time twisted world that could keep greenery close to their lifestyle. That may be one of the reasons why ornamental gardening with grass has won a popular stance in the recent past with many households neighboring different types of grass rather than trying to house different kinds of plants.

No offence to tall giants that provides shade and endless relaxation, but grass is easier to maintain once it is being brought up to the full fledge form. However, it is without no doubt involves a lot of hassle in the initial stages to cultivate grass, especially if seeds are used in the process.

To take the easy way out, simply browse through the different types of grasses that is available to be used as ornaments. After discussing with your landscaper about the implications and the picture you’d like to paint in your garden, you could simply allow the expert to worry about how the grass grows, what kind of treatment is needed in the process and what extra care is needed during the infant stages.

This way, you will start appreciating the emerging greenery around your house without having to worry about the hassle and dazzle that is involved in the process. In short, leave the headache up to your landscaper and in a few weeks’ time, you will have a fully nurtured piece of green wonder in your garden.

Ornamental grass gardening is done using a several varieties of grass. The best time of the year to start seeding or division is the spring; however, depending on the area in which you live, the best timings may change. If you decide on settling for division, you will need to have a lot of patience until the job is completed. If not, it is best to leave the job up to a professional. Remember that if you are meaning to have the grass as ornamental, you must never allow it to grow in size. Therefore, proper trimming and division done on spot is a must.

Some people take the easy way out of walking in to a garden center and buying ornamental grass. The ugly truth is that they can be so overwhelmingly expensive that by the time you cover up a big enough proportion of you garden using those, you will near bankruptcy. Not worth the trouble for wanting some grass in your lawn, is it? So be mindful when you wear the ‘carefree shopper’ hat! Spending exuberant amounts on ornamental grass is a big ‘no-no’ to avoid.

If you are keen on doing the division of your own, get yourself a four inch pot or so. Then grab the tools that you need for division and go on dividing the grass as they grow. Before you place them in the garden, check with your landscaper that the soil is in perfect condition. A professional will always have good tips and tricks to add to your practice.…

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Improving Your Curb Appeal With Solar

Improving Your Curb Appeal With Solar

I am sure that you have all heard about the tax credits for new home buyers by now. The extended dead line for having a contract signed is April 30th, 2010 with the closings to be held by June. It is recommended that for those who are considering selling their property put it on the market now to take advantage.

With so many homes on the market yours will need to stand out and attract as many buyers as possible to get the best price. You want to make sure people notice your home and that you get this done with as little expense as possible. For starters make sure that the landscaping is trimmed and that the lawn is cut. This costs little but will make a big difference when someone looks at your home. Next make sure you attract as many buyers as possible. Take some solar spotlights and shine them directly on the for sale sign. People who pass by at night buy property too, and you need to make sure they are attracted to your house. You can also put some string lights around deck perimeters, patios and around windows that that don’t have electric handy such as an attic window. This will help night buyers get an idea of the size of the home, and more effectively notice decks and patios often overlooked during the day.

When you put some solar lights on the edge of the pathways, this adds a touch of class day and night. By putting in these guides it will avoid people inadvertently stepping on delicate plants.

A nice touch to the outdoor landscaping display is a simple solar water fountain. The peaceful sound of water moving sets the mood of a peaceful place; something most people want in their prospective new home.

Now you are probably thinking that tall this can be done by tying into grid power and you are right. Solar however has several advantages: The buyer isn’t adding the dollar figure in their head when they see this, as they have no electric bill, they are not tripping over extension cords (not the prettiest things in the world are they?), when the power is out solar lights are still on, and just think of the value that you are giving when you can honestly say that you used a green environmentally friendly source of power. Remember every little bit helps.…

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Landscape Lighting – How it Can Change Your Landscape

Landscape Lighting – How it Can Change Your Landscape

When you decide to work on the landscaping around your home, make sure to thing about things other than your lawn.  Functional things such as decks, porches, verandas, and pool areas provide looks and use.  Visual items such as fountains, statues, trees, gardens, and flowerbeds provide a nice appearance.  You can directly work on those areas, but choosing to add some nighttime improvements with landscape lighting will give you a new dimension to your landscape.  Below are a few ways you can use landscape lights to accent your landscape.

1. Use spotlights to highlight the front side of the house.

2. Use path lights to illuminate walkways and paths.

3. Light up high traffic areas with general landscape lighting.

4. Improve the ambiance with specialized lighting.

The first thing you want to do is to use spotlights to highlight the front side of the house.  Spotlights focus light on a small area, which help accentuate their subject.  In the case of your house, it would help to put focus on your house.

The second way is to light up paths with path lights.  Path lights spread light indirectly on the ground, and can help light up pathways with softer light.

The third thing you want to do is to use general lighting sources to illuminate high traffic areas.  Places such as your patio, porch, or deck are good areas for this lighting.  There are several choices for general lighting, such as floodlights, post lights, or wall sconces.

The last way is to improve the ambiance with specialized lighting.  You can create changes in the mood of an area with soft, indirect, and diffused lighting.  Rope lights, for example, can help to create a soft highlight of an area.

The Landscape around a house, whether simplistic or involved, can benefit from some nighttime accents from landscape lighting.  There are so many choices to choose from that you will be sure to find something that works for your taste and needs.…

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I Want a Picture Perfect Landscape

I Want a Picture Perfect Landscape

You just moved in to your new home or have an exciting home and you want to add some beauty and value to your home by improving the landscape. Turn your ordinary property into your landscaping dream that others will admire and you will be able to enjoy for years to come. You want your front yard to welcome you home and your backyard to be your favorite get away.

Decide what will be your budget for your landscape project, decide if you are going to do it yourself or do you hire a landscape designer. If you choose to hire a landscape company then you should have several landscape companies give you estimates for the project. The designer should listen to your goals and visions, then add his expertise and experience after he has done an analysis of your property. The great thing about landscaping is that you can do your landscape plan in stages that are spread over several seasons. But landscaping takes time, resources and a lot patience to get that picture perfect landscape.

A landscape designer will always try to preserve all of the best natural resources that are already part of the present landscape. They can suggest plants, flowers, shrubs and trees that are native to your area, so you are not planting items that will not survive and wasting money. There are so many landscaping ideas to consider, but remember of all these options they should blend with your home and your lifestyle. Other options to consider are trellises, trellis, arbors, pergolas, water features, retaining walls, patio, decks, fences and outdoor lighting.

If you want perfect lawn, then you have to understand when is the best time to irrigate so you need to establish a watering schedule that is best for you type of grass, plants and of course weather conditions. Also you may have parts of the yard that retains water so you might have your landscaper discuss with you about having a French drain installed. You definitely do not want to deal with bugs that can make your favorite get away their home because of the standing water puddles.

If your budget allows, hire a professional landscape designer that can design, install and manages all aspects of a landscaping project from conception to completion of your picture perfect landscape.…

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Plan a Xeriscape Yard For Water Efficiency

Plan a Xeriscape Yard For Water Efficiency

If you live in an area where water is scarce and summers are dry, a xeriscape garden planted with drought tolerant native plants is the way to go. Xeriscape landscaping does not mean just gravel and rock with a few cacti. Drought tolerant plants can be just as colorful and interesting as plants that thrive in moist conditions. Many will attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Most are easy to maintain and quite hardy.

Choose a sunny spot for your xeriscape garden. Good drainage is essential for drought tolerant plants. Some dry regions will have a layer of caliche below the soil. If this impervious and hard layer of sedimented calcium carbonate lies beneath your topsoil, you may need to break it up so water can drain properly. If you are unsure about the drainage, build a raised bed, fill it with soil and compost, and add some crushed granite. This will slowly decompose and add essential minerals to the soil.

Once your chosen plants are in the ground, mulch the area with shredded bark or pine needles. This will act conserve the moisture in the soil in hot weather and help keep roots cool. Mulch will also soak up available water so it acts like a water reservoir. As the mulch slowly decomposes over time, it will contribute to the soil’s texture and add nutrients.

To encourage your new plants to get established, water them thoroughly when you plant them. Then during the first week water them lightly every day. Each week water them less often, and after 6 weeks they will need watering only every second week unless it rains. Look for drooping leaves that indicate your plants need watering. It is always best to water deeply and less often.

Many drought tolerant plants are commonly available in nurseries and garden centers. You can also find seeds and plants by searching on the internet. A few of the best common xeriscape plants are as follows:

Salvia lyciodes: Also known as canyon sage, this perennial grows into a small bush. It has cobalt-blue blossoms in both spring and fall, and silvery green evergreen leaves. Many salvia species are available, with various bloom colors, and all are loved by butterflies.

Echinacea purpurea: The purple coneflower has purple daisy-like blooms with an orange conical center. It grows up to 2 feet tall, blooming from spring through summer.

Lychnis coronaria: Commonly called rose campion, this perennial with vivid magenta blooms can grow to 2 feet. It has fuzzy gray green foliage that deer will not eat.

Armeria maritima: The sea pink is a small perennial with pink ball-like blooms. It has short evergreen foliage, and is very hardy.

Achillea species: Achillea or yarrow is a common wildflower with deeply divided silvery-green scented foliage. Many cultivars have been developed, and blossoms range from white to yellow, orange, pink and deep red.

Ceanothus: An attractive shrub that has small clusters of blue flowers that butterflies love. Species of this can be ground hugging or bushy, and some can be trained as a small tree.…

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The Pros and Cons of Using Vinyl or Wood Fencing

The Pros and Cons of Using Vinyl or Wood Fencing

When you have a fence built for your home, the different options and types of fence can be a huge task in itself. Currently, the best choices in the fencing industry are wood and vinyl fences. You may have heard the proverb – “good fences will earn you better neighbors.” When you select which kind of fence to install, you will have to consider many factors such as price, quality, durability, etc. Before making the call to an installation expert you should think about the benefits and disadvantages first.

Vinyl fencing is a wonderful choice for a modern person who desires a new-age look over the natural wood finish. Vinyl fences are graffiti resistant and more versatile than wood fencing. Temperature changes or humidity will not affect them adversely. Vinyl fences are free from rust, termite and corrosion. Scratches and cracks rarely appear. They usually have warranties for many years and it doesn’t require constant upkeep. Vinyl has less weight and cleaning them tends to be an effortless job. Depending on your home and landscape, vinyl fencing is available in a wide range of colors in order to choose appropriate color combination as you visualize the overall layout. If you are content with these features, vinyl fences may be ideal for you.

There are a few disadvantages for vinyl fencing. Its price is the biggest deal killer. They are very costly and initial investment for vinyl fencing is expensive compared with wooden fences. They may be recycled after extended usage, however they are not eco-friendly. If you favor ecological fences for your home, wooden fences may be the appropriate choice for you.

Wooden fencing encompasses many of the benefits of vinyl fencing. Wood fences are inexpensive and the initial cost is much less. They are quite eco-friendly; therefore they will be a good selection for those who love ecological products. They will provide a natural appearance to your home and you can easily decorate your fence with flower pots and bird homes. Painting the fence creatively and giving it an extraordinary touch may add to the appeal. They are easy to repair and you can personalize your fence in numerous designs, colors and styles.

There are just a couple disadvantages regarding wooden fences. They require annual upkeep and repairs to keep it in top condition. Temperature changes and moisture may affect some types of wood while certain heavy woods are hard to work with. Also, insect issues, termites along with fungus could cause long-term issues in your fence. Wood fences are less stable and sturdy compared with vinyl. The possibility of wood rot is also very high.

So, both have their advantages and disadvantages. If you’re looking for something long-term then vinyl may be the way to go. If costs are an issue, then wood may be the best choice for you. Either way, there are many fine choices with either type of fence.…

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Landscaping For the Environment

Landscaping For the Environment

Landscaping is an activity that changes the environment. It does not matter how big or small the lawn is, landscaping can make it much more appealing for the homeowner and guests alike.

Because of the impact that changing the landscape can have on the surrounding area, careful planning should go into each project. Things that were not an issue prior to changing the landscape, such as water runoff, could crop up and create some nasty issues that must be dealt with.

Not all of the issues raised by landscaping are immediately obvious. There are some things that can be done to help minimize the impact on the environment and end up with an earth-friendly landscape.

1. Use drought resistant plants

No matter the amount of rainfall in the season that plants are put in, with each new season, there is the threat of drought. Planning ahead and using plants that are tolerant of these conditions means less watering that will need to be done.

In times when water is plentiful, these plants will flourish. In the dry weather, they may become somewhat dormant. Choosing plants that do not demand large amounts of water will make maintaining the landscape an easier job no matter how much moisture the season brings.

2. Use organic fertilizers

Man made fertilizers can have a negative effect on the soil. This is especially true when used by homeowners since most homeowners tend to over apply them. These fertilizers block the amount of nutrients that plants can absorb from the soil.

Over-applying the fertilizers means that the ground may not hold all that is put down. This is when the chemicals are available to leach into the water tables. This is the underground water that flows all over. Wells can become contaminated, causing unsafe drinking water and health issues for anyone consuming it.

Man made fertilizers are also made of chemicals that are not necessarily healthy for humans. Exposure to these chemicals (most commonly bare skin) can cause health issues.

Organic fertilizers contain decomposed natural materials. There is no chemical basis for them. The only exposure issue is that the person applying the compost may get dirty, or not like the smell. The compost is full of ingredients that occur in and support nature. Ground water contamination is no longer a concern, neither is the drinking water from any wells in the area.

3. Use trees to support the landscape

Trees serve several purposes. Not only do they provide shady areas around your lawn, but they can also protect the house from the elements helping to reduce energy costs. Trees have extensive root systems which helps to hold the soil in place.

4. Divert rain water

During seasons when rain is scarce it becomes more obvious to everyone that conserving water is important. When designing your landscape, why not build in a way to divert rain water so that it can be used to support the plants or other parts of the landscape?

Finding ways to use rainwater can be as simple as installing the roll away sprinklers that attach to the bottom of the downspouts on the house. If the landscape includes a pool, the water can be diverted to help refill the water in the pool. Use a rain barrel to catch excess water from the roof and use it to water the plants when the weather is dry.

Thinking about your landscaping and the environment does not have to mean major changes to plans. There are many subtle differences that can have a major impact. The landscape designs of one small yard can help nature improve on the ability to support itself and the area around it.…