Month: February 2021


Pergola, Ramada Or Gazebo – What’s the Difference?

Pergola, Ramada Or Gazebo – What’s the Difference?

If you are in the process of designing your yard and landscaping, you are probably looking at outdoor structures. These options can provide shade, entertaining space and general ambiance to your property. However, if you have begun to look at your options, it’s likely that you are a bit confused. Should you chose a pergola, ramada or gazebo? What’s the difference between these choices and which will best meet your needs? There are some distinctions that you can recognize in order to help you make a more informed decision.


Traditionally, a ramada was a structure erected to provide shade, usually roofed over with brush or branches. An open walkway or porch was also known as a ramada. In modern construction, however, a ramada is a structure used to provide shade, with a fully covered roof. It usually matches they style and material of the home.

A ramada is ideal for an outdoor space that is designed to be an extension of the living environment. Because of the sturdy structure, it is easy to include details such as a fireplace or barbecue area. Some homeowners include an outdoor wet bar in their ramada and make it a full featured entertaining area. Brick and stone details are common in the design as well.


Throughout history, a classic pergola was designated as an outdoor structure with an open roof. It was usually supported by columns or similar architectural details. Pergolas are designed to accommodate creeping or vine like vegetation. Modern pergolas remain at much the same specifications. An open roof, often made with a wood trellis, is placed atop columns or posts.

Pergolas are ideal for homeowners who appreciate an open, airy feel and wish to incorporate vegetation in their entertaining area. Planting pots look lovely next to each column. Vine plants can grow up the sturdy poles and begin to make a home in the open trellis work of the roof structure. If you do intend to utilize your pergola in this classic setup, be sure that your contractor uses materials that are designed for the strain of plant growth. A pergola that won’t be used for planting can be made with less durable materials and still last. However, for supporting plant growth, go with the best quality possible.


The gazebo is probably the most recognized outdoor structure that is used in landscaping designs. Gazebos are usually built in more circular geometric shapes. In years past, the name of gazebo was given to an open building that took advantage of a view, or a summerhouse. For this reason, gazebos are often found on hills, wooded clearings, or next to a beach view. Today, any outdoor structure with at least five sides is designated as a gazebo. Most often, a hexagonal shape is used. The roof is most often fully covered and vaulted.

When selecting a gazebo, it’s still a good idea to take advantage of a lovely view. A gazebo sits well in a more traditional landscaping, with a lot of trees, gardens and vegetation. Gazebos compliment Victorian architecture, as well as other classic details. A gazebo is ideal next to water features, such as a pond, or a flower or vegetable garden. Also, if your property fronts woodland, a gazebo may be ideal to take advantage of that view.…


Swimming Pools – Never Ending Pools

Swimming Pools – Never Ending Pools

Does your property sit on a hill where you can look out to the horizon, or maybe your view goes straight out to sea. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your back garden could flow right into the view? A popular new design in pools will bring the ocean to you. Infinity pools are mostly seen on more exclusive properties, but if your budget will allow it you can build a beautiful vanishing pool in your own back yard.

The Infinity pool usually has one or more disappearing edges. This gives the illusion that the pool has no borders, that the pool merges with the horizon or flows out to sea. It will give your property a most spectacular view. The pool system is designed to operate only when there are swimmers present. Basically, the way an Infinity pool works is the water will spill over the edge of the pool into a collection tank that is install underneath the pool and runs the length of the pool. It will then be circulated through a traditional filtration system and returned to the main pool. The Infinity pool does not use a skimmer, the water is sent to the pump through the drain system.

There are some costs associated with an infinity pool that do not occur with most traditional swimming pools. You will have to install the collection tank, more extensive waterproofing will be required, it will have to be fitted with a larger than normal pump and filter, and will need an auto fill sensor on the collection tank. A filling device is needed to compensate for water that is splashed out by bathers or by rain. A sufficient water level must be maintained for the pumps to operate properly. There will also be additional cost due to water loss from evaporation and splash out. Additional heating of replacement water will also add to operation costs.

Infinity pools add a breathtaking view to your property, but due to the way that the pool is designed to operate it is not very practical in Australia. Australians are under very strict water conservation restrictions, and are encouraged to reduce water waste in all aspects of their daily lives. These pool do not have the over hang pavers that are intended to restrict splash out when bathers are present. Evaporation in the Infinity pools is much more difficult on control so topping off has to be done more often. Rainwater collection tanks will provide the water necessary to maintain adequate water levels for proper operation and eliminate the need for mains water.

Other styles of designer pools are becoming more popular all of the time. One alternative to the Infinity pool is a mirror pool. These pools are a bit more expensive and there are fewer builders installing them.

The internet is an invaluable resource of information on the operation of Infinity pools and other available designer pools. As always consult with an approved pool builder for advice on choosing any non-traditional pools. Contact your local water authority for restrictions and requirements for Infinity pools.…


The History of Landscaping

The History of Landscaping

The first instances of landscaping include the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, way back in 600 B.C. Considered one of the 7 wonders of the world, these gardens were created by King Nebuchadnezzar for his sickly wife, who missed the plants and flowers of her homeland in Persia.

Mayans lined walkways leading to their temples with intricate plants and flowers, the Romans created courtyard gardens within the boundaries of their properties for the enjoyment of their family and friends, and royalty would plant profuse amounts of flowers and trees as a symbol of their wealth. In the 17th century in Jamaica, slave plantation owners would line the walkways to their mansions with Royal Palms. Throughout history, landscaping was used as a sign of not only beauty, but also wealth, power and respect.

Hardscaping is the use of the terrain itself, or rocks and stones brought in from other places. Nowadays it’s mostly just rocks and stone walls for aesthetics, but hardscaping was also used for practical purposes. The most obvious example of this is the Great Wall of China. Qin Shi Huang unified all the states of China in 221 B.C. and to block invasions from the Xiongnu people in the north, ordered that the wall be built to help protect his new borders from enemies. Of course in this case hardscaping was completely utilitarian.

Another example of hardscaping is the mystical Stonehenge of England. The mystery of these rocks is that though they are in England now, they actually came from Whales, which means that the builders somehow transported these rocks over 200 miles. This has led to many theories of everything from aliens to astronomical miracles. Most likely these creators were just very dedicated (or well-paid) individuals committed to finishing the product.

Nowadays, from the San Joaquin Valley of California to New York’s Hudson Valley, landscaping and hardscaping are now used for personal homes and commercial businesses as a way to improve the quality of peoples’ physical surroundings and to give a sense of nature in an increasingly material world.…


Landscaping Tips – 4 Great Ideas for a Beautiful Yard

Landscaping Tips – 4 Great Ideas for a Beautiful Yard

Did you know that how your yard looks can have a great impact on your home? A plain and unmaintained lot could really make your house seem much less than its actual value, but a well-decorated yard says otherwise. This is why landscaping is very popular nowadays because it can instantly transform your lot and give you a more positive impression.

So if you want to make your place visually appealing, go ahead and use the following landscaping ideas to help you build a beautiful yard with ease:

Following a Theme

First and foremost, decide on a theme that goes well with the overall appearance of your home. You have several options to choose from, such as oriental, classical or even casual designs. Whichever you pick, be sure to apply the design consistently so that your entire lot will look and work as one.

Keeping a Healthy Lawn

One of the best highlights of a landscape is the lawn. Since it serves as your yard’s flooring, it must be kept green and healthy at all times in order to complement the other elements in your landscaping. You can also add shrubs and flowerbeds to make the area more lively and attractive.

Creating Pathways and Play Areas

If you have kids at home, you could consider including a fun play area for them so they can better appreciate your yard landscaping. But make sure to choose play sets that match the design you’re using-wooden sets go well with oriental themes, stone sets look great with classical motifs, while plastic playgrounds does the trick for casual designs. You could also include a pathway for your kids to ride bikes in, as well as to keep people from stepping on the lawn.

Installing Water Features

Another great way to achieve a beautiful yard is to make use of water features such as birdbaths, ponds, fountains and falls. Not only do these additions make your landscaping incredibly interesting, but they also create a soothing ambiance because of the flowing water sounds. A yard with a water feature can serve as your sanctuary as well-you can simply lay back and relax there after a hard day’s work and forget all your worries away.…