Category : Home Remodeling

Backyard Landscaping Pictures – Make It Into A Reality

Backyard landscaping pictures can give us good pointers to landscaping our own yards. Any art-work teacher will tell you that a good picture should have a point of interest, and the rest of the points simply go to make more beautiful the central idea. Similarly, in backyard landscaping there must be in the gardener’s mind a picture of what he desires the whole to be when he completes his work.

Go take a look at your lawn. If you cover the lawn space with many trees, with little flower beds here and there, the general effect is choppy and fussy. It is a bit like an over-dressed person. A single tree or a small group is not a bad arrangement on the lawn. Do not center the tree or trees. Let them drop a bit into the background. The catalpa is quite lovely by itself. Its leaves are broad, its flowers attractive, the seed pods which cling to the tree until away into the winter, add a bit of picture perfect quality. The bright berries of the ash, the brilliant foliage of the sugar maple, the blossoms of the tulip tree, the bark of the white birch, and the leaves of the copper beech all these are beauty points to consider.

Place makes a difference in the selection of a tree. Suppose the lower portion of the grounds is a bit low and moist, then the spot is ideal for a willow. Here’s a tip, don’t group trees together which look awkward.

Do not plant evergreens close to a house, and in the front yard. This cuts off the sunlight. The chief requisite to any home is sunlight and plenty of it.

As trees are chosen because of certain good points, so shrubs should be. Choose some bushes which bloom early, some which bloom late, and some for the beauty of their fall foliage, some for the color of their bark and others for the fruit.

Certain shrubs are good to use for hedge purposes. A hedge is rather prettier usually than a fence. The Californian privet is excellent for this purpose. It’s better to choose local varieties. Unusual and foreign plants don’t thrive and often don’t do well in their new setting.

It would really be helpful to look at many backyard landscaping pictures to get an idea about what looks good and what does not. For example if you look at formal gardens they will have straight paths, straight rows in stiff beds, everything, as the name tells, perfectly formal. The informal ones don’t follow any rules.

Garden paths may be of gravel, of dirt, or of grass. If your garden areas are limited and need re-spading each season then the grass paths are a great bother in this work. Instead dig out the path for two feet. Then put in six inches of stone or clinker. Over this, pack in the dirt, rounding it slightly toward the center of the path. Don’t have depressions through the central part of paths, since these form convenient places for water to stand. The stone layer makes a natural drainage system.

Close your eyes and imagine your backyard landscaping picture with a house of natural color, the mellow gray of the weathered shingles. Now add to this house a purple Wisteria. Can you see the beauty of it? You need to do the same with your home and lawn. Now, add all the other elements that you wish to put in. Now, hold it firmly in mind and note down the salient points. Get to work making your picture into a reality.

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Use These Tips From Landscapers For Great Looking Yards

If you have a small yard and would like a simple but well-maintained garden then there are some simple ideas suggested by professional landscapers that you can try and which will help you achieve the results you want. A good well-maintained yard needs two things – determination and a little knowledge. Your small yard can have a small lawn surrounded by hedges trimmed neatly. You can have a few flowering rose bushes to add a dash of color on one side. The lawn can be used as sitting area with a few chairs and an umbrella for shade.

If you want more then you can have a miniature version of a waterfall, a small pond in a ready-made tub or a bird bath to attract the birds in your small yard. All these are available in any garden shop. If your yard doesn’t get too much sun then you can try out an herb garden with herbs that love the shade. A trellis to guide the vines and create a green wall or a canopy over your yard can add a touch of drama to your plain yard.

Don’t clutter up your small yard with too many ideas. This will give a cramped feeling to your yard. The trick is to keep it simple. Have a few plants and keep them trim and well maintained. The following few tips from landscapers will make even your simplest of yards look truly spectacular.

Water them well: One good tip for having a lush and green yard is soaking it with water once a week. Take care to ensure no run-off which caused erosion of top layers. Watering and such sokaing will encourage deeper roots that withstand dry spells better.

Remove the dead heads: Remove all dry and wilted flowers. Same with leaves. Removal of dead flower heads encourages the plants to produce more flowers for longer period of time. Perennials such as geraniums and dahlias respond well to this technique.

Remove the tops: Certain plants need to have their tops removed for better bushy growth. This technique also encourage new flowers to keep blooming as newer branches are put forth. Fuchsias are one such species which need to be pinched out.

Remove the weeds: You may have a small yard but a trick to maintaining it like professionals is to keep it free from weeds. This enhances the beauty of your garden even if it is small. Weeds will suck out the nutrients and moisture meant for your lawns and plants. If you are planning to dig up your yard before applying the seeds then you can use the weeds for mulch.

Fertilize sparingly: A minimal amount of fertilizer should be used. But this needs to be done regularly particularly if you water your plants a lot to replace the lost nutrients. Application of liquid fertilizer every two weeks should suffice. Plants in containers benefit with half-strength solution of liquid fertilizer.

Keep the chemicals out: Chemicals are dangerous to humans. They also kill the natural predators of the pest in your garden. So,avoid them if possible. There are many organic alternatives like neem oil which can be used.

These tips for Landscapers will ensure a healthy and great looking yard.

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Walkway Landscaping Ideas – Make Your Pathways Stand Out

As you browse the Internet or the landscaping catalogs you will come up with plenty of walkway landscaping ideas. As guests walk towards your home they get their first impression of your home from the finely laid out paths. It’s essential to lay out the pathways in skid-proof materials that are safe both for the elderly and the kids.

If you live in areas that are prone to fires due to the dry landscape or being close to forests and mountainsides then use fire-resistant bricks or flagstones or stone slabs. Keep the walkways clear of grass. This acts as the fire barrier preventing any fire from spreading. Though wood is popular for floorings, decks and patios better not to use it for garden paths.

Another idea is to color coordinate your front walkways with your color scheme of your home. Today, there are hundreds of options in materials, colors and textures for paving walkways. Choose designs and patterns that merge with your home. Else, you can have edging of the pathways color-coordinated with your homes or you can grow flowerbeds along the pathways that match the color scheme of your home. You could grow shrubs and bushes by the side of your pathways. But this needs to be pruned and cut regularly to prevent them from creeping onto your walking paths. Plant them well away from the paths since they will grow and expand in all directions. You could have continuous hedging or hedges with gaps in between to offer views of your gardens or other landscaping features.

If you have stream or small pond on your property as part of your garden landscaping you can have small wooden bridge or raised path to get a good view of your water feature. You can have other design elements like adding archways and arbors on to your walkways. By planting flowering creepers and vines over these you can have shaded, green corridors that lead you to different areas of your home and garden.

Lighting up your pathways creatively is one of several walkway-landscaping ideas that can add a touch of mystery and glamour to your home. Buried lights, spotlights, lanterns hanging from posts, submersible lights, low-voltage lights, draping string lights over trees, highlighting trees and bushes, fairy lights are some of the ways you can brighten up your home. By using these lights creatively you can add just a bit mystery to your surroundings. Keep the lights low and not too bright. It should be to enough to illuminate the paths but not too bright to take away the beauty of the night.

You could play with the design of your walkway. Instead of a straight path from the main gate to your door add a curving path. Lay out different elements of the garden along this curved path. Visitors as they walk up the path will come upon the each element like a flowerbed or swing or fountains and be impressed by it. This also, gives the impression of a long walkway. This is one of the several interesting walkway landscaping ideas that can make designing your exteriors fun and stimulating.

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Landscaping Retaining Walls Important To Keep The Dirt In

Landscaping retaining walls can be built with many different materials. Stones, bricks, inter-locking blocks or stones, railroad ties are just a few examples of materials that can be used to retain the dirt in. Depending on the materials used you budget and the method of erecting the wall differs but the basic concepts remain the same. The retaining wall will require a strong foundation if it has stand strong and hold all the dirt and water in. Without the strong foundation it will just slip and topple over. If the soil is soft or pliable don’t raise the wall on it. Excavate the dirt for at least 2 feet and put in a granite stone foundation or some other compact materials. The height of your retaining wall depends on how strong the foundation is. If you need high walls then you need strong foundation to for wall to be able to carry huge amounts of dirt without slipping or collapsing.

Basically, there are three types of retaining walls, which can be used to keep the earth in. Gravity walls where the base is thicker and it becomes as it goes up. This requires a lot of materials so it is more practical for constructing short walls only. Cantilever walls are l-shaped with steel footing running along the base and into the soil being retained. As the soil is piled up the footing is driven into the soil. The wall also, needs to be strong. The third type is the sheet piling where steel or wood or stone is pounded into the earth up to two thirds of its height. The rest of the wall pushes back the earth. Again, if the height is too high then the wall has to be held back by ties or some other design structure.

Retaining walls are also important is case you have back yard pond and the soil is loose to keep the water from breaking the banks.

Another option in building retaining walls for landscaping is using retaining wall blocks. These are great alternatives to concrete masonry walls. Concrete walls need stones, mortar, bricks and labor to build them. These pre-cast wall blocks don’t need any mortar. The interlocking mechanism that the blocks have allows the walls to be held in place by due to sheer weight of the blocks. There’s nothing new in interlocking mechanism used in construction walls and buildings. They have been used thousands of years ago by man and those building still stand tall to this day in several corners of the world.

These blocks have caught on in a big way and you will find many different uses for them especially in landscaping retaining walls. They work very well in retaining dirt and to create layered gardening at many different levels. Apart from this they are useful to create boundary walls and making partition walls. They come in a variety of finishes and look great too as no concrete or mortar is used. For many years now these interlocking stones have been used for creating sidewalks and pathways in gardens and roads.

You need heavy interlocking blocks when used in landscaping retaining walls and this will need some heavy labor to put them up. But, the construction cost is much lower when compared to masonry walls. Choose whichever material is best suited for your needs.

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Landscape Software – Design Beautiful Backyard Or Front yard Gardens

Landscape software can be used to create front yard or back yard landscaping. There are many garden designing software tools available for free download where you can create designs and plans after uploading pictures and photos of your home an yards. The advanced features will allow designing water features like pools, backyard ponds, waterfalls and landscaping around your swimming pool.

When using the software consider the following: shade trees are usually a great idea to have around or nearby entertainment and barbecue areas, however you also need to consider any utility lines that may be suspended above the property too. If you plant a tree while it’s young, you may not realize that there will be problems once it is partially or fully-grown. If it becomes large enough, it may intersect with an electric or telephone cable, and this can be quite dangerous. So before planting trees anywhere in your yard, be sure you know what is above them, plus how large they’re supposed to grow once fully matured.

You might want to consider designating some areas of your yard for rainwater runoff too in your planning. If you have an area of your yard which seems to naturally collect and pool rain water for example, you might want to consider putting a pretty flower or tropical garden in that area. This way you’ll be making use of natural rainfall, saving on your public water bill, and preventing a mud hole mess all at the same time.

There are other practical reasons for planning your landscape design ideas too. Some areas of your yard should be designed specifically for kids, playtime, and heavier foot traffic for instance, and you wouldn’t want to plant your prize rose bushes right in the area where your kids and pets play the most, right? Try to keep your busiest traffic and play areas planted with everyday grass or hardy ground covers, so it can stay looking nice no matter how much time it is used for play.

You can design the lighting around your garden with the landscape software, which is quite simple to use once you get the hang of it. The software helps you design a small simple outdoor garden or more complex rockscapes and xeriascapes.

You can create multilevel retaining walls which helps you to create landscaping at different heights which can be used to create seating spaces and flower beds and other interesting landscaping features.
Retaining walls also perform the important task of protecting your valuable topsoil, mulch and straw from getting washed away due to excess water flow. These retaining walls can be used to create a proper drainage system that allows excess water to be drained out while soil is retained in.

The landscape software can used be used to design any beautiful decor for your garden. You can decide what bushes and shrubs to put around your fountains and vines and climbers to grow on the pergola framework, what edging to put along your walkway and so on. Apart from the free software there are the paid versions which are expensive but come with several added features which will make designing your garden fun and simple. If the price is too high you can employ the services of an landscape architect to get a professional designing done.

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Garden Sheds For Garden Tool Storage

Garden sheds are a very useful for garden tool storage. It’s useful for many other purposes particularly if you have a large yard or garden area. These sheds do some in a wide variety of sizes and styles these days too though, so it’s possible to find one, which fits almost any need, design preference, and space limitations too.

Most gardeners start out with some of the most basic tools they’ll need for working in their gardens, but over time there are many others which can be quite handy to have on hand too.

Hedge trimmers – Even if you don’t have a full fledge hedge this is useful tool to have and allow you to make quick work of the basic trimming and shaping which can be fine tuned with a little pruning.

Tree Lopers – Tree lopers are simply giant sized pruners. They have long handles so you’re able to reach branches well above your head, plus they’re much stronger so you can easily cut through the thicker branches of a tree. Useful in later years after your trees have grown.

Weedeaters & Edgers – They allow you to trim everything neatly and orderly, without damaging any of your prize garden flowers.

Potting benches make container gardening easier and a potting shed is an extension of the potting bench idea. It not only gives you space to work, but it also gives you room to store your garden tools and materials safely and neatly. Small sheds might be considered nothing more than a potting bench or storage box for your garden tools. These small garden sheds can be useful though, if you have very little available space around your home, and if you do very little gardening throughout the year. It’s essential to store garden implements after cleaning them or they will rust and become unusable. Also, it becomes difficult to use them when there is dried mud clinging to the implements.

If you have medium sized tools then go for medium sized garden sheds. These tend to be similar to storage sheds, but even these can vary in size drastically. Some might have room for all of your lawn and garden equipment for instance: The larger hoes and rakes, smaller hand tools, extra gardening soil, extra containers and pots, and maybe even your lawnmower or edge trimmer too. Smaller versions of the “medium” sized garden sheds might not be large enough to fit your lawn mower in though, and some aren’t even made to store larger hand gardening tools either. When looking at sheds keep in mind the size of your garden tools and what else you are likely to store in it.

Larger garden sheds are quite elaborate. Not only can they accommodate large hand tools and extra gardening supplies, but often these sheds have plenty of room for you to set up a full fledged potting bench. Some of them also have room for you to set up a small greenhouse area too, so that you’re able to get your seeds started even before the ground thaws each spring.

Your garden tool storage sheds need not look like sore thumb in your garden. The elaborately designed garden sheds come in a wide variety of designs, which are meant to help you fit the shed nicely into your personal landscape and garden areas. Some of these for instance, are made to look like small English Cottages. There are even places where you can buy garden sheds which look like a miniature version of your own home too.

When buying a garden shed, try to take into account the garden tool storage requirements for the present years and supplies you already have, and what types of things you’re likely to buy in the next several years. With that information on hand, you should choose a shed that’s large enough to accommodate both your existing supplies as well as those you’ll be buying later.

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Tropical Backyard Landscaping: How to Plan a Stunning Garden?

Planning for a stunning tropical backyard landscaping garden isn’t a difficult process, just one that requires learning some basic principles of landscape design and adjusting your ideas to include them.

The point of backyard landscaping is to set off the buildings within the landscape to best advantage and create a design that is welcoming, lovely and makes viewers feel good. Think, for a moment, about how you felt the last time you sat quietly in a beautiful garden-peaceful, relaxed, in harmony with your surroundings, perhaps even spiritually inspired.

However, to recreate any particular landscape, you need to do more than just buy a few trees, shrubs and flowers belonging to that type. It requires first developing a workable design and plan for the landscape you want to have which is tropical in our case.

The first landscape design principle you need to consider is unity: great landscaping appears as a unified whole, not merely as individual parts of the space.  You can create unity by keeping the height, texture, colors, and sizes of the plantings you select in harmony with each other and choosing paving and accent materials that blend harmoniously with them.

Tropical plants love the sun, heat and moisture. Provide plenty of that and they will flourish. The trees of the tropics have bigger leaves, grow to huge heights and have colorful flowers. Orchids are tropical plants that love the warmth and moisture. The closer you are to the tropics the easier it is to grow the orchids. So, if you are planning out your tropical backyard landscaping then include plenty of orchids. They don’t well when put directly in soil, their roots absorb moisture from air. Orchids cling to and grow on tree barks and mossy rocks.

The plants that do well in tropical climates include bougainvillea, hibiscus, and fruit trees like mangoes, lichis, bananas, lemons, oranges and limes. Coconut and palms are other tropical plants which do well in coastal areas. Tropical plants grow fast and furious. There will be lot of leaves and flowers that you will clearing all year round.

You can use bougainvillea as a hedge around the perimeter or to visually separate different sections like flower beds and vegetable garden from each other. For pathways, you might choose old bricks for the perimeter and dark colored tree bark shavings for interior paths that lead to a white wood pergola.

Another option is to use red boulders as landscape visuals and paths made of crushed rock. Both these landscapes have a clear and discernible theme, which makes it easy to choose appropriate plants and garden accessories.

To begin with, keep your design simple and balanced. As you become more proficient at landscape design-and as the trees, shrubs, plants and flowers that formed you initial planting become mature-you will see opportunities to improve on and enhance your basic design. Choose two or three colors for your flowerbeds and repeat them throughout your garden using different flowering plants. Keep the colors of your accessories such as boulders, garden furniture and pathways uniform.

Strive for simplicity and symmetrical balance in which matching garden elements are more or less equally spaced. Though unbalanced, asymmetrical designs can be quite striking, unless you’re an expert in design, leave them for later, when you’ve gained more experience.

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