Month: March 2020


Rubber Mulch for Sustainable Landscapes

Rubber Mulch for Sustainable Landscapes

As environmental awareness increases, more and more programs are being developed to help decrease man’s carbon footprint. Landscapes and gardens have been included in the list as well. One great way of maintaining more sustainable yard or property landscapes is by using rubber mulch. Here are some ways rubber mulch does its part in upholding a future for the coming generations.

Long-lasting Recycled Material

The more rubber mulch we use, the less landfill we have. Rubber mulch comes from old and scrapped tires. It decomposes very slowly and does not fade in color. It lasts longer than other organic mulch products and doesn’t need to be replaced often. This is where the savings come in, since most mulch requires a lot of tending and replacement.

Ground Water Advocate

Rubber mulch is made of permeable material and does not hold water. Rain water, for example, would simply seep downwards. With the proper collection systems installed underneath, the rain will reach ground water instead of just storm drains. This will recharge the ground water, which tends to be neglected due to the existing waterway systems and cement foundations that we have in place.

Weatherproof Crumbs

Since water doesn’t stay on the surface, fields made of rubber mulch do not get muddy. They also do not gather dust. The pieces are heavy enough not get carried by the wind as well. Storm waters don’t stay on the surface either, making it an effective deterrent against floods and river overflows.

Shock Absorbent Matter

The leading reason why rubber mulch is used in athletic fields, playgrounds and horse arenas is its ability to absorb falls. Runners bounce more and feel less stress on each footfall. Parents relax more and worry less about scraped knees or broken bones. Horses run faster as their hooves feel less strain.

Temperature Regulator

Rubber is a good insulator. As mulch, it helps the soil moderate heat. This is especially true of darker colored mulch that absorbs more heat. Be careful in areas notorious for forest fires, though, as this material can accelerate the fire as well as wood chips and hay can.

The use of rubber mulch is one more way of doing your part in saving the environment. Its use can also make the landscape more attractive with the variety of colors that it comes in. Just make sure the vibrant color doesn’t overpower the rest of your lawn, garden or overall landscape.…


Landscape Edging Ideas – Professional Landscaping Software

Landscape Edging Ideas – Professional Landscaping Software

Landscaping Ideas and Software for Your Garden

The garden of the house reflects homeowner’s personality thus a refreshing garden with stunning design landscape will make them the most unique, admired and talked-about in their neighborhood. Likewise, landscaping your own beautiful garden could be the most rewarding and enjoyable thing you’ll ever do.

Flower gardens, eye catching landscapes and outdoor areas that please the senses and offer a wonderful escape from the daily pressures of life can be enhanced. How? To enhance your garden, landscape designs should follow certain principles and rules to meet your desire. Landscape design must include walls, sitting areas, focal points, ornaments, paths and right plants themselves. Innovation in keeping the garden stylish and how to use the whole landscape are the keys. Today landscapes have changed into extraordinary feats and all in new level.

Whether you desire to create either as small or large scale landscape design you must take the time to plan ahead since this is the starting point to obtain a successfully landscaped yard you’ve always wanted. It should incorporate artistic elements with principles of designs such as uniqueness, balance, transition, proportion, rhythm, repetition and simplicity. Proper planning, analysis and exploiting landscape ideas such as landscape edging ideas and landscaping ideas for slopes lead into functional, harmonious and aesthetically pleasant outdoor living area.

Landscape planning deals with conceptual, scientific and design approaches that emphasize ecological understanding and multi-disciplinary approach to analysis, planning and design. Landscaping ideas should be embraced in landscaping plan as this is a combination of art and science synchronizes aesthetically for better outcomes.

However, Landscaping may encounter problems particularly in houses above street levels such as slopes. Hence landscaping ideas for slope should be employ to get a solution. These ideas suggest using simple cost-effective solutions like ground covers, terracing regarding and retaining walls. Dealing with backyard landscapes, landscape edging ideas plays a vital role. Its purpose is to make a well define line between bed and lawns, and keeps the turf grass, from invading the buds, plus it keeps soil and mulch from spilling over into the lawn.

With so many different types of decorative edging available and looking for the right landscape edging materials is not simple; therefore it would be great if you will use the landscaping software that gives you perfect visual images for your garden. Professional landscaping software is user friendly featuring the architectural graphic symbols. These architectural symbols may include trees and shrubs, outdoor furniture, people, playground sets, vehicles, swimming pools and variety of shapes, materials and colors and many other landscaping decorations. In fact a lot of home owners and garden users use these. It can save your time, money as well as unnecessary work in the long run.

Landscaping ideas either for the slopes or backyards of the garden possess different components of arts and principles. A landscaping architect could help you to implement these best landscaping ideas efficiently to accomplish a great finishing look to your garden effectively.…


Add a Wood Pergola to Your Landscape!

Add a Wood Pergola to Your Landscape!

1. Locate. Set The Posts. Once you’ve found the perfect location for your new pergola, you will need to locate and place four posts. You can pick up a post-hole digger at a reasonable price at your local hardware store, or you can make the job easier with an auger. You will want to dig your holes 12″ wide and about 2′ deep. Add some loose rock or gravel to the bottom of each hole for proper drainage. Place your 4×4 posts into each hole, making sure they are completely level all around. Pick up several bags of QuikreteA�, mix with water, and set the posts according to the instructions.

2. Attach Joist Beams. Use 2×10 lumber for your joist beams and cut them to Cut joist beams from 2×10 boards and bridge them across the set posts. You can get creative with the ends of the joist beams by using a jigsaw to cut a decorative pattern in the beam ends. Use your imagination. Clamp the beams in place while you drill out the holes in the joist beams and posts. Finally, attach the beams to the posts with 3″ lag bolts.

3. Cut And Attach The Stringers. Use 2×6 boards to span the posts and overhang the joist beams. Again, you can get creative here by using a jigsaw for a decorative cut and look. Stringers should be evenly spaced with 3″ deck screws (galvanized).

A pergola provides an attractive sanctuary to your home’s landscape. Building a pergola is a nice, weekend DIY project for many homeowners, but be sure to call a professional contractor if the job’s a bit too much for your skillset.…


Landscaping Your Pool

Landscaping Your Pool

You’ve done it! You’ve built a pool in your backyard! Whether it’s of the above-ground variety of the in-ground variety, seeing a pool in the backyard is a dream come true for many homeowners. But as big an accomplishment as it is to have the pool in place, the real work is just beginning for you and your family.

Pool landscaping is almost as important a project as installing the pool itself. You want the area surrounding the pool to be as attractive and inviting as that crystal clear blue water. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to enhance the pool and the land around it, no matter how big or small your new pool may be.

If you have a small above-ground pool, landscaping a pool can be as simple as planting plants and putting in some mulch or stone chips around the base. This will provide an attractive sight as your guests walk from the house towards the pool. Mix up the colors of your plants and stone to give the area a rich, kaleidoscope-type look. In addition, building a stone step walkway between the house and the pool will lend an air of elegance and palatial formality.

An in-ground pool certainly provides more landscaping opportunities and choices, many of which will be challengingly complex. You can of course add all sorts of plants and trees around the pool and give yourself some extra shade while in the water. Give your backyard a tropical look with some long ferns or palm frond-type plants, and maybe even a palm tree or two!

Another option, too, is to surround the pool with a walkway made of brick, paving stones or cobblestones. Such a walkway, when juxtaposed against a bright green yard, will make for an eye-catching sight.

Pool landscaping, for an in-ground pool, can get as glamorous and as extravagant as you want. We’re talking waterfalls here! That’s right; you can have a cascading waterfall pouring right into your in-ground pool. Add a rotunda-like entrance and feel like royalty every single time you head out of the house and towards the pool!

There are countless ways to begin landscaping a pool. It’s a good idea to narrow down the possibilities and receive expert guidance from a landscaping professional. By hiring an experienced landscaper, landscaping your pool can be a much more cost-effective and efficient process than trying to do it all yourself. Professional landscapers have years of accumulated knowledge about plant root systems, which plants grow best in sun or shade, and which types of materials give you the most beauty and durability for your dollar. So when you have a plan for landscaping your pool, contact a reliable pool landscaping professional in your area and start enjoying your outdoor spaces.

Remember, with the right professional landscaping team, landscaping a pool can be almost as much fun as choosing to build the pool in the first place. With the spring and warmer temperatures finally here, there is no better time than right now to being planning your pool landscaping projects for this summer. Get going today-and enjoy the process as much as the final result!…


How to Hire a Sustainable Landscaper

How to Hire a Sustainable Landscaper

Whether you are looking to increase the value of your home or simply create an enhanced outdoor living space for your enjoyment, a sustainable landscape can be a great investment. Sustainable landscaping refers to low-impact and low-maintenance landscaping apt for a particular area and climate. For example, a backyard that utilizes sustainable landscaping may have native, drought-resistant plants which require little watering.

When it comes to hiring a sustainable landscape designer, not all are created equal and companies that assert they are environmentally-friendly and sustainable may not live up to such claims. Here are six tips to help ensure you hire a truly sustainable landscaper:

1. Do your homework! Research as much as possible on prospective designers. Browse through their websites, read their mission statements or frequently asked questions and find out who their preferred vendors are (or who they regularly work or contract with). Furthermore, ask for references of prior clients and inquire if you can see previous work of theirs. Due diligence is essential if you expect to hire a truly sustainable landscaper.

2. Find out what types of products they regularly use and would recommend – everything from eco-friendly landscaping tools to natural herbicides. A truly sustainable landscaper will have no hesitation telling you exactly what they use and why.

3. Have prospective designers detail how they would complete your landscape project from start to finish in a sustainable manner. This will give you a good idea if the landscaper is knowledgeable and skilled in sustainable landscape design and installation.

4. Ask about watering practices and sprinkler installation. Any good, reputable sustainable landscaper will offer a handful of solutions designed to limit water use in their landscape design.

5. Inquire about professional accreditation or membership from sustainable organizations. For example, they might be a member of the Coalition of Organic Landscapers (also known as COOL), which is an organization of professional landscapers committed to organic and sustainable garden design and care.

6. Ask about eco-friendly and organic practices they routinely utilize. For instance, do they offer plants and shrubs that have not been treated with fertilizer or other chemicals? Or do they practice effective erosion and sediment control on every landscape job?…


3 Uses for Leaf Blowers

3 Uses for Leaf Blowers


Of course, the most obvious use for leaf blowers is to corral fallen leaves into a pile. Whether the homeowner cleans them up every few days or waits until they are almost finished to put them in a pile is a matter of personal preference. It also depends on how many and what kind of trees are on the property. When leaves are ankle deep or higher, it is time to break out the leaf blower and put them into a section of the yard or a pile. Some municipalities will go through neighborhoods with a machine that sucks them up from curbside. Others leave it up to the homeowner on how to dispose of them. While autumn is the most prolific time of year for leaves to land in the yard, it is not the only time. Some types of trees, like river birches for example, lose their leaves year-round and cause a constant need to blow them away.

Grass Clippings

Weekly lawn maintenance requires mowing, trimming, edging and blowing. As professional landscaping companies have known for years, the yard looks better when all of the grass clippings, hedge trimmings and errant pine cones do not litter the front walk and driveway. Using a leaf blower to clean up the walkways and fence lines gives property a neat, clean and professional appearance. It also keeps the lawn healthy and prevents the debris from blocking sunlight on the grass.

Air Ball

All work and no play makes the outdoors more boring. For a little bit of extra fun when the yard work is done, grab a few neighbors, pull out the leaf blowers and play a game of air ball. Wad up a sheet of newspaper or even use an errant paper cup as a ball. Establish teams, boundaries and goals. Feel free to improvise, using lawn chairs, empty flower pots and bushes as goal posts. Use the leaf blowers to corral the ball between the goal posts, scoring a point for each goal. This is especially fun for landscaping crews, where everyone has a blower and all have skill.…


Backyard Landscaping Designs

Backyard Landscaping Designs

Mainly designed for entertainment purposes and for extended living areas, backyard landscaping designs can be as detailed as needed to gain the look desired. Taking time to draw out a design is important. This design should include plans for existing trees and shrubberies, retaining walls, fences and backyard structures. Backyard landscaping designs need to be well thought out and planned. Use and function of the layout should be the first designing step. Privacy issues with neighbors, pet issues, and stray animals need to be addressed when planning the landscape design. Play areas and entertainment areas need to be well planned for.

An ugly fence or chain linked fence can be covered up by a tree line or shrubbery line that will bank against it properly. Use this period of designing to think about planting for noise and privacy reasons. Most landscaping designs flow freely with no set structuring other than being pleasing to the eyes of the beholder. Existing patio areas and pools should be carefully designed around to keep entertainment value high. Crowding plants around in haphazard ways is not an option when it comes to seating arrangements. Boxy seating areas are not as pleasing to the eye as those that curve and curl around a seating area on two sides or more. Every corner should be taken into consideration by the height of plants needed for privacy. Proper walking paths can be scattered with pea gravel or set with occasional stepping stones winding through the landscaping design. Pavers are also ideal path material and can be used, as to avoid having to edge the landscaped area with edging material.

Often, a plant or shrub can be safely moved to be incorporated into the design. Large trees may take more planning. Talking with a local nursery about moving larger planted trees, like fruit trees, is recommended. Planning the move for existing plants should be done when they are in their dormant state to avoid any potential re-rooting problems. The design stage should also include a nearby water source for landscape watering, or a water irrigation design should be added. It is recommended that all waterlines, underground cable lines, electric line, phone lines and gas lines be well marked beforehand. Calling the local utility and power company is a good idea before ever digging up a yard.

Once the backyard landscaping designs are drawn and finished, plants, trees, water structures and pavers or stepping stones need to be bought. Plants, trees and shrubbery should be chosen for their beauty as well as their hardiness. Make sure the plants that are bought for the landscaping project are properly zoned for the area. A local nursery or landscaping magazine will have this information. Native plants should be used, not only for the existing wildlife species, but because invasive species tend to become aggressive and quickly take over the design, often killing off native species.

Water fountains and backyard water ponds lend artistic and architectural value to backyard landscaping designs. Plants that are known water species or tolerate wet soil conditions should be easy to find and establish in and around these water features. If fish are added to the water pond, a good investment would be a pond mesh covering to keep birds from fishing in the pond. Additional features to add around ponds and fountains are beautiful riverbed rocks and small landscaping boulders. Lights that light these features up at night can add even more interest to the landscape. Solar light kits are the most popular and most cost-effective to use.…


Sustainable Landscaping

Sustainable Landscaping

It would seem like an obvious first step for the sustainability movement, wouldn’t all landscaping companies want to show their green thumb and apply practices that protect the plants and lawns they work so hard to manicure and create? While you might think so it is actually an industry that is riddled with opportunities to apply green technology and sustainable practices, yet with fewer companies than expected jumping on board.

Perhaps it is the history of landscaping which is anchored by a strong need for gas powered engines to run everything from leaf blowers to lawn mowers. Perhaps it is the need to quickly and effectively work through a high quantity of jobs to maintain a consistent profit margin and stay in business. Or perhaps it is simply old habits keeping the adoption of newer practices from obtaining mainstream use… It is a new topic for many groundskeepers, landscapers and small business owners and many might be hesitant to adopt new practices and buy sometimes expensive equipment, not sure if it will work with the same efficiency expected.

Even simple and inexpensive practices such as planting native plants over imported or utilizing proper tree location to shade and allow heat to a house during the summer and winter months, though common knowledge to most, is not even always applied. One of the keys is simply the economics of the landscaping business, it is one in which high volume and low profit margins, thus quantity will win over quality more often than not. Now this is not to say that landscaping companies do not do good work or do not care about quality, they certainly do to still be in business. What it means is that with small profit margins per job they are forced to make cost saving decisions in order to profit on the job and give the client what they desire, which is a green lawn that the neighbors will be jealous of.

One of the largest areas for growth in the green and sustainable landscaping business will be pairing up with home energy auditors and providing an all-in-one service that incorporates the total home energy picture as whole and not just as many separate parts. As the energy auditor notices that one side of the house is heating up far more during certain winter months than the other side due to the trajectory of the sun in the sky, a landscaping specialist can be recommending tree types and planting locations that will maximize the amount of energy that nature already provides the homeowner.

This can go as far as to think of the house and yard as one and not as two separate entities as is commonly thought among appraisers. If the energy systems of the house are optimized to work best with the landscape of the yard around it we move one step closer to sustainability as we find a better balance with nature.

This is just one way in which sustainability and advances in green technology could be applied along the best basic of levels to obtain a meaningful and lasting impact on our world, one household at a time.…


Why You Need Concrete Landscaping And Stone Walls

Why You Need Concrete Landscaping And Stone Walls

When you hear the phrase concrete you might not believe that it would be something you desire in your garden but as a matter of fact, concrete landscaping has come along way in the last decade or so. Today concrete landscaping is all the rage and it is really pretty as well.

Stone walls are a favourable type of concrete landscaping that’s actually caught on like wildfire. The walls are what will border your whole garden. They can be built to a very high standard and steel railings could be used on top to add more beauty. There are several additional reasons why you should have concrete landscaping such as walls as well. These walls are ideal for preventing your pet from leaving your garden. If your dog is prone to head for the hills then check out these sort of landscaping. These walls are in addition to really good for keeping out intruders. The more difficult your house is to enter the less likely burglars will beA� bothering you. So check up on these type of landscaping and speak to a professional person about them.

Also you will be able to use concrete to hold your soil in place. If there is a region of your backyard that your are inclined to slipping on then you’ll be able to build a retention wall explicitly for this purpose. The greatest thing about concrete is that whilst it may be functional you are able to make it appear as though it is there just for looks. There is indeed very much that you’ll be able to do with concrete because it is easy to work with. You may use concrete landscaping bricks or you can employ concrete slabs or custom made concrete stones.…