Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

Saving your Landscaping with Structural Elements

The way your plot of land is designed, as well as the soil type in your area, your landscape design may need a few upgrades. Landscaping can be expensive. If your outdoor space is designed for entertaining, adding security to the design with a few structural elements may help.

Sloping Land

Sloping land can be a big problem. In period of heavy rain, it may compromise your home’s foundation – especially if the slope is not properly accounted for in the landscape’s design. An ideal way to protect the foundation is to have a retaining walls Manassas VA installed.

Retaining walls are often known for being eyesores. Modern designs allow them to act as additional seating and additional planting space. Should you sell the home, buyers can see that you made the structural necessity functional.

Water Retaining Mulching Materials

In addition to utilizing a retaining wall, a mulching material that retains water is also ideal. This will help keep plants and other vegetation well hydrated while preventing the soil from getting too wet. When the mulch holds in moisture and the plants stay hydrated, it also reduces the amount of water you’ll have to use when the plants are in their peak growing season.

Concrete or Stone Pad

Concrete can be poured in a way that slopes slightly away from the home. Doing so prevents water from building up near the foundation of the home, causing structural issues to the home. Concrete can also be stained and treated to give it a specific design. Sealing the concrete protects it as well as the expensive finish you may have chosen for it. You can go a step further and have a 3-D design applied to the concrete where it would look like it blends right in with the grass or stone around it.

Closing Thoughts

Your outdoor space can still look elegant with the right structural elements in place. The exterior design will help these elements appear as if they are intended for beauty and not to keep the yard in place. The choice of materials that you use are a big factor in the cost of the project—this is an ideal opportunity for using reclaimed materials.

5 Tips to Make Your Garden Look Better

There are many reasons as to why we start gardening, but one of the chief objectives or stipulations for every gardener is that it has to look good. This applies to herb gardens, flower gardens and even vegetable gardens as well. So, to make sure that your hard work in the soil is reflected as well as it possibly can, here are five tips that should prove to be useful.

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Select Better Seeds and Plants

The healthier the seeds or the saplings are, the better they will look on maturing and similarly, if you end up buying a diseased or pest-infested plant, not only will it look ragged, the disease and pests will probably spread to the other healthy plants in your garden as well. Look for obvious signs such as harmful insects, leaves with holes, raggedy foliage, etc.

Learn to Tell the Good Bugs from the Bad Ones

Not every insect in your garden is an enemy of your plants, but there are definitely some (leafhoppers, aphids, thrips) that can absolutely wreak havoc in your garden. Butterflies are one of the best insects to have in a garden for not only the natural beauty they bring with them, but also because of the fact that they are pollinators and some species even prey on harmful pests. Grow plants to attract butterflies and other beneficial bugs such as the green lacewing and the ladybug. You may need to watch for caterpillars with some species though, but that’s what the other predator bugs are there for.

Trim with Haste

A good-looking garden is a well-trimmed one, so keep your plants trimmed to make them look their best. Get rid of the damaged branches as soon as you can, because if they get infected and the disease spreads to other sections of the plant, you will likely lose the whole plant. Don’t wait till spring, just do it in late winter.

Put in a Birdbath

A birdbath in a flower garden is just essential. It brings beautiful birds from all over to your garden and when they all sit, fly, chirp and bathe in your little garden full of flowers and butterflies, it’s hard to imagine a better natural sight outside of a forest. Additionally, the droppings will fertilize the soil and most birds are natural pest controllers.

Space the Plants Out Strategically

Spacing the plants out is one of the basic ways to make sure that each of the plants in your garden gets the attention it deserves, and the entire garden ends up looking better. Also, tightly packed plants end up growing poorly because they have to fight for the same nutrients, water and sunlight constantly. The humidity from closely packed plants could also cause mildew to start growing on them. None of these are good for the plants or the aesthetics of your garden, so provide ample space in between your plants.

You can always add decorative fencing, fancy pots, garden hangers and other accessories to make your garden look even better of course, but these five tips will help you get the foundation of healthy and good-looking plants you need to work with.

Front Yard Gardens

Landscaping has a big impact on your home’s appeal. Whether your home has sleek, modern features or quaint, cottage charm, a front yard garden will add beauty and boost curb appeal. Planting a garden is a great way to add depth, color, texture, and lovely scents to your landscape.

Garden beds not only provide visual appeal, but they also soften hard edges on your home and hardscape surfaces like walkways and driveways. Trees and shrubs will add depth, height and scale, while lush green foliage will add texture and softness. Planting colorful garden beds in your front yard will create visual interest and add instant curb appeal to your home. By using plants and flowers that bloom at different times of the year, you can create a rainbow of color in your front yard year-round. If you plant aromatic plants and flowers, you can add lovely smells and invite beautiful birds and butterflies to your garden areas.

In addition to garden areas filled with beautiful blooms, you can create a unique front yard landscape design with specialty gardens that are beneficial to the environment. Depending on the size and layout of your front yard, there are a variety of specialty gardens that can enhance your home’s beauty and character.

* Butterfly Gardens – Butterfly gardens are not only beautiful to look at, but they’re also beneficial for the environment. By growing plants that caterpillars and adult butterflies like to feed on, you can create a natural, eco-friendly outdoor environment for your home. What could be better than colorful butterflies fluttering around your front yard?

* Zen Gardens – If you have a contemporary house, a zen garden will enhance modern architectural features. A simple zen garden will promote tranquility and enhance a relaxed atmosphere. To enhance appeal, consider adding soothing water sounds with an outdoor fountain, waterfall or koi pond.

* Native Gardens – Native gardens use plants that are native to your area and adapt easily to local climate and soil conditions. They promote eco-frienly environments because they reduce air pollution, require less water, and don’t need fertilizers or pesticides. They also provide natural food sources for native birds, butterflies, and wildlife.

* Herb Gardens – If you love to cook, consider planting a beautiful herb garden. Most herbs are easy to grow with proper landscape conditions and adequate care. An herb garden will provide a variety of cooking essentials for your favorite recipes, as well as lovely aromatic scents for your front yard. For garden ideas, check leads for contractors in your local area.

Shopping For Grass Seed

Grass SeedUnless you are a professional and experienced gardener then it can be easy to assume that all grass is the same. Most of us look at a lawn growing and all we see is what the lawn looks like and how nice it is. However what we don’t consider is the type of seeds used to grow this and even the work that has gone into this. One of the most important things we need to consider when planting a lawn is the seeds that we buy. You need to look at buying different native grass seeds to make sure that what you buy matches the conditions you are going to be planting them. Websites like this grass seed website here can help.

When planting a lawn you need to think about the conditions in which you are planting them in. Of course the ground matters but also the weather that they are going to be grown in. The good news is that there are different seeds suited to all conditions, so whatever you are looking for there will be something to suit. You just need to make sure that if you need hot weather seeds or you are planting somewhere cooler that you buy the seeds best suited to this. That gives you the best chance of your lawn looking amazing and your grass growing the best that it can.

There is plenty of information on this online, so researching your options and finding out something that matches your needs should not be too much hassle or hard work. A quick search on Google or a read up on a grass seed website can really help with this, you just need to spend time reading up so that you make an informed decision when purchasing your grass seeds.

The Sun Has Arrived – It’s Time to Sort out Your Garden

GardenIt’s been a difficult winter, while we haven’t had freezing temperatures or snow we have had to contend with plenty of wind and rain. The gardens of England are looking dishevelled and many have taken a battering, resulting in damaged fences, sheds and problems with the old decking. The good news is we’re finally seeing signs of better things to come, which means it’s the perfect time to sort out the garden for the better months ahead.

Garden Jobs to Complete by the End of March
Now is the time to call in the gardeners and the landscapers if you have the budget. If not, or if you love nothing more than getting your green fingers dirty, here are some the jobs that need tending too before the month of April arrives.

  • Sorting out the borders – remove any weeds and pile on plenty of manure to feed the soil and enrich it for your plants and shrubs.
  • Put in the supports you need for the plants that are about to spring back into life.
  • Buy your vegetable seeds and get them planted out.
  • Prune the roses and tie the climbing roses back.
  • If you intend on planting bare rooted trees now is your last chance to do so.
  • Prune the fruit trees, cut back willows and other trees and bushes you may have that need tidying up.
  • Fill up the borders that are looking bare.
  • Feed the plants and the lawn and replace any dead patches.

Landscaping Preparation
If you’re treating your garden to a redesign or simply repairing the damage caused throughout the winter storms you’ll need to prepare now and start working. Before you begin have a good clear out of the garden and any bits of wood or materials that are lying around. Think about how you could reuse any damaged wood elsewhere, you could make some bird houses, a bird table or perhaps a bee house or insect hotel – waste not want not!

Sharpen up your tools including your mower blades if you didn’t get round to doing it before the winter set in. Looking after your tools will make work easier and ensure you get a long life out of all of your tools.

Decking, Fences and Sheds
The sooner you take care of the larger jobs the sooner you’ll be able to start enjoying your garden once more. Order quality wood for your projects, such as the timber from Davies Timber. If you don’t know what you’re doing when it comes to sorting out the fences or the decking it’s better to spend a little more on the project and get someone to do the job for you. It’s not essential though; there are plenty of tutorials available and guidance books that will walk you through the steps.

Springtime is a busy time for the gardeners of this world but the hard work will pay off. It doesn’t take long for the effort you put in to show.