Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Checklist for your Home for the month of May!

This is a great time for getting those outdoor spaces set for entertainment. From getting your outdoor cooking kits out to getting your house painted, here are a few things for your to-do list to help you savor the season:

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1. Stain or paint the exterior of your house. Long days and milder weather conditions make May the right time to schedule painting. In case your house has wood-shingled exterior, make sure you replace any broken shingles and apply a fresh coat if needed.

2. Check the outer lighting. Ensure that the outdoor lights are working properly, including landscape lighting, porch lights, and security lights. Change bulbs and schedule repairs as required.

3. Get ready to grill. Start out by deep cleaning your grill before the season starts. This will ensure that there are no flare-ups. Clean the interior and grates using a grill brush and wash the outside using soapy, warm water. Clean it and organize the grill tools (spatula, tongs, and skewers) and pick up propane or charcoal if required.

4. Inspect bath and kitchen fixtures. If you keep a close eye on these spaces, you can help prevent expensive water repairs and damage later on. Caulk or regrout around tile and counters as required. In case you come across leaks, get them repaired.

5. Inspect safety devices. Test carbon monoxide and smoke detectors; replace batteries as needed. Inspect the expiry date on the fire extinguisher and get it replaced too, if required.

6. Get touch up paint for the walls. First, use a vacuum to dust and clean the walls. Make sure you pay particular attention to baseboards and corners. For a deep clean, wipe your walls with soapy, warm water after you have completed dusting. Wash using clean water. Do some touch ups with paint if required on the walls.

7.  Revive the bedrooms. Flip over the mattresses on all beds. Dust lamps, nightstands, headboard, décor and blinds. Swap warm, winter duvets for lighter bedding for the hotter months to come.

8.  Add a soothing porch. Your porch can become a place to hang out and relax by adding a porch swing, glider or rocking chairs. If there is too much sun then using white curtains would help provide shade.

9.  Prepare your picnic supplies. Get ready for unplanned picnics by going through the dining supplies you have assigned for the outdoors and keeping a basket of essentials packed and within reach. There is no need to make the kit extensive but make sure it has the basics - a cutting board, cheese knife, bottle opener, some outdoor dishes, and a blanket should be enough for any picnic.

Keep your yard and house in good order, and you will be ready to make the most of the summers ahead. You can also use the services of a professional landscaping expert to add to the beauty of your yard!

Monday, 23 April 2018

To-Dos: Spring Home Checklist

March 20 is marked as the first official day of spring. So even if the plants are leafless or if there is snow, you can stay reassured that nice weather is just around the corner. Bring in the new season with spring cleaning, flowers and some dirt in your fingernails!

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With the changing weather, start putting away woolen hats and mittens and make some room for those spring boots. Make sure you replace or clean the doormat, pack the hangers or hooks, and put your umbrella holder out. A clean tray of boot lined with stones will help drain water from wet footwear.

Remove winter layers

Are duvets making you uncomfortably warm? Swap the thick bedding for coverlets and quilts that are lighter in weight. Also change deep-pile rugs for natural-fiber or flat-weave versions.

Clean up the patio furniture

Winters can leave the outdoor furniture grimy, so make sure you give it a proper scrubbing before you start to use it for the season. Launder all the washable cushion covers and replace the torn and worn-out pieces.

Sharpen your garden and lawn tools

Sharp tools help to get the job done. Take your clippers and lawn mowers in for tune-up and get them sharpened before you start work inside your garden.

Dust baseboards and high corners

Using a duster or vacuum attachment of your choice, get rid of cobwebs and dust from those low and high spots that are often missed at the time of routine cleaning.

Garden planning

It’s now time to get your garden ready for spring! Make a plan and list down ideas of plantings, and any designs you have for variations of the hardscape, such as putting up a fence or creating a brand-new path. Pick seedlings from the local nursery. Check out botanical gardens where you can find native plants. You can also hire a landscaping expert for best results.

Spring blooms

Spring flowers including daffodils are inexpensive and plentiful this month, so make sure you get good bargains. And in case you have flowers growing in your garden, why don’t you cut some and enjoy their beauty indoors?

Planting trees

Fall and spring are the best times for planting trees as cooler temperatures and wet weather make it very easy for root systems to establish. Make sure you contact a good nursery to understand which species can work best in your climate and also get detailed instructions for planting.

Inspect the exterior of your house for winter damage. After the passing of winter storms, inspect the outside area carefully. This is the right time to repair any damage caused by ice. Ice dams tend to form when the home’s edges are colder than the higher regions. One of the best ways of preventing them is by upgrading ventilation and insulation within the attic.

Once you check out all the points given in this check-list you can sit back and enjoy a pleasant spring-time outdoors. 

Friday, 23 March 2018

Turning your Yard into an English Garden

If the English gardens with their fragrant lushness and dainty heirloom china inspire you then certainly if you could create that feel in your garden, it would be amazing, wouldn’t it! Symmetrical gravel walkways, open lawn space, manicured short hedges, and planting ofvegetables and herbs for cooking will make your garden come alive.

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Here are a few tips that can help you bring the English countryside to your garden or backyard.

1. Shape

Shape is an important factor in an English-style garden. While a conventional style is a square, rolling paths and curved shapes are more in style these days. You may also surround your garden with neatly trimmed low rise shrubs and put a curved or circular gravel path through it. And do add a birdbath at the center to offer a focal point.

2. Flowers

Perennials such as hydrangea, hibiscus, bee balm, and phlox, and annuals such as pansies and marigolds are known to be classic. However, do not forget to add roses! Roses are extremely important in an English-inspired garden. You can plant different varieties along an archway or trellis, or create borders or rows with the blooms.

3. Herbs and Vegetables

Both vegetables and herbs add usefulness and variety. You can build a section particularly for herbs, and then a section for veggies, or mix them among your flowers.

4. Shrubs

Shrubs at different heights can be used to shape different areas of your garden, or shape a lawn space to play croquet. You can even use flowering plants or those with evergreen varieties. Have fun while being creative!

5. Furnishing

You must also consider how you would like to furnish your garden: a chaise lounge to read, bench along fragrant flowers, a gazebo, or even a small fountain. Although there are several design elements that are deemed ‘classic’, you are restricted only by your imagination!

6. Grass

Decide on the amount of mowing you are comfortable with, and that will decide the amount of grass you grow in your English garden.

Make sure you don’t allow pests to germinate and run wild on your grass. Also, don’t allow weeds to run wild. Either use a professional service or pull them out on your own so they don’t take water and food away from good vegetation.

These design features will not just give a great look to your yard, but will also transform it into an English Country one. You need just a little patience, and the confidence that if you put in the required effort, you will soon have the most stunning yard.  However, make sure you have a proper design in mind. If not, it is best to hire a professional landscaping expert.

Friday, 23 February 2018

How to Organize a Backyard Wedding?

Hosting a wedding in a backyard is not just a brilliant way of saving money over a venue, but can also help create sentimental and beautiful memories. However, backyard weddings do require extra planning, particularly if you do the planning on your own.

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There will be hundreds of plans to make but it is important for you to answer some questions first. Will the venue have enough space for your guests? Will you host both the reception and the ceremony, and do you have enough room to assign area for both? Are there enough bathrooms for everyone? What kind of dinner do you wish to hold?

Create a Theme

When it comes to choosing a backyard theme, do not go for a modern one. Best is to choose rustic, garden, or bohemian themes. However, since it is your big day, make sure you choose a décor that you love.

Hire Professionals to Prep your Yard

To make sure the backyard stands out on the big day, make sure you hire a landscaping expert at least eight weeks in advance, to turn the space into an amazing backdrop. The professionals will know exactly which plants and landscape design to use to give you the wedding of your dreams.


There is always a chance for an unpredictable weather change including, destructive breezes and scorchers. So to make sure the wedding goes on smoothly, hiring a tent is a good option. Do not consider it an eyesore – tents provide a great opportunity to use lighting and decorations.

Floors are the Best

Most of your women guests will be in heels. So, spare them and your grass, by renting a wood floor for dancing, and perhaps also a pathway down the aisle.

Rent Equipment

One of the best decisions you will make is to go through a rental company to hire tables. Proper arrangements are worth the peace of mind. Hiring rental companies will ensure that they set up and take down so you can relax on your big day.

Temperature Control

Mother Nature cannot be controlled, but it is easy to get an idea of how the weather will be like. Make sure you rent coolers or heaters as may be required, to keep guests in comfort with the passing of the day.


Our homes are not equipped to accommodate the electrical needs of an event such as a wedding. There will be extra lighting, caterers, grills, music, and a lot more that will all tax your grid, and you will not want to be the reason for a blackout in the neighborhood. It would be a good idea to rent a power back up.

Space for Kids

If you plan to invite kids to the wedding, you can create an area just for them. Backyards can include some games, tables, and maybe even a pillow and blanket pile for naps.

Having a wedding in your backyard is a great idea. It will make a stunning venue for a wedding, so embrace the natural beauty that it holds. Try not to cover up the flaws. Let its naturalness create a fairy tale backdrop. 

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Making your Yard Bewitching with String Lights

Shining string lights can always create an inescapable charm even in the most ordinary spaces. They make the heart skip a beat by adding wonders to any festive ambience, especially that of your garden landscape!

Despite the pressure from the neighborhood, you alone can dictate the visual direction of your holiday display. You have all the creative freedom to decorate your garden whatever way you like. Here are a few tips on how to hang string lights for any festivity.

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Before you begin, make sure there is a plan in place. Analyze the locations where you can put the lights on. They will most likely be along the gutters or eaves and even the windows. Utilize this plan to evaluate the number and length of strands you will require.

While there are no standard lengths in strands, there are bulb size standards. Look for C9 or C7 size bulbs to string together 6 to 8 inches apart. When there is a longer distance between bulbs, it allows more light to cover a wider area, creating more warmth.


You can make use of net lights or you can wrap regular lights around the branches and trunks. To analyze the length of strings required, divide the trunk’s height by the specified spacing between every light strip; approximately three inches would be appropriate. Multiply the number you get by the circumference of the trunk. You must also perform the same calculation for any big branches you wish to wrap.

Variety of looks

The classic look

For a classic look, make sure that the lights are white and concentrated towards three spaces: in windows, along eaves or gutters, and on larger bushes and trees. String the lights together symmetrically. Moreover, if you wish to win the admiration of the whole neighborhood, put the lights sideways on the ridgeline of the roof.

Delightful look

If you wish to decorate the whole house, you need to go in for a combination of the right lights. A multicolored strand across the gutter and string icicle lights under it would be a great idea. It would be best to hang the C9 bulbs along the gutters and rooflines, and C7s for the window perimeters. It is important to have some symmetry even when you are going all out to achieve the delightful look.

Minimalistic look

Purchase real pine wreath and place it symmetrically on the main door. Then put an E17 warm-white bulb a few feet away from the door and focus it at the pine wreath. This look is best for those who like to acknowledge the seasonal joy, humility and gratefulness for everything without going all out.

Outdoor string lighting can be a very easy project, but it does require some planning. You need the right product, the correct design and the right tools to ensure that everything looks beautiful. It would be best if you can hire a professional landscaper to add festive cheer to the exterior of your house.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Landscaping Concepts that Endure

Landscaping and garden trends come and go just as those in everything else in life. In the recent past gardens were minimalistic and now the trend appears to be towards a more natural look and feel, using natural materials and focusing on outdoor living areas.

Variety and change in a garden do help to prevent the setting in of staleness. However, changing the landscape frequently just to keep up with trends requires both deep pockets as well as the ability to devote large amounts of time to following, planning and implementing those changes.

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If trends do not appeal to you, here are some landscaping concepts that never go out of style: they will enable you to enjoy evergreen charm.

Outdoor living areas

An outdoor living area is a space out in the open; you can find it as a recreation spot for fun and entertainment. It can be a completely standalone in the garden; or it may be an extension of the indoor areas, as in the case of a dining patio onto which the kitchen opens.

Outdoor living spaces enable the family to spend more time out in the fresh air and sun, with all the associated health benefits. The space can be designed to suit your specific needs – with barbeque, furniture, fireplace, or anything else for greater comfort and better functionality.

Sustainable landscaping

Sustainable landscaping is an integral part of environmentally friendly landscaping. Not only will this help you protect the environment, it will save you money and time as well. For example, a smart irrigation system will go beyond the standard rain sensors, which are so common now.

These types of systems can integrate automatically with weather information to apply exactly the amount of water the garden needs, with no manual inputs from you. If you prefer to be more hands-on, you can manage the irrigation system from your phone. Several smart technology options are available for you to consider. Talk to an experienced landscaping company for ideas on what you can do.

Edible garden

An edible garden will never go out of style. It is not just a matter of being able to grow your own fruits, vegetables and herbs, or of saving on green grocery bills. Edible plants can make a very attractive addition to your landscape. They are also a good option to fill up empty spaces and reduce the extent of water-intensive lawn space.

Nature scaping 

Nature scaping is the use of designs and materials that blend into the natural environment. It could involve the use of native plants or shrubs, or the use of designs that serve to help blending into the landscape of artificial structures like sheds or pergolas.  It could also use little or no pesticides and fertilizers. The aim is to create a space that is natural looking and welcoming to native birds and pollinators.

who prefer permanence to change, consult a landscaping professional on creating a garden that will give you what you love but will never ever become stale.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

7 Reasons why you should hire an Arborist this Winter

With the setting in of the winter season, the last thing you may be thinking about is your yard. However, to speak the truth, winter is the best time to tend trees. Before you decide to ignore the backyard project during wintertime, consider the following reasons why it IS the right time to hire an arborist to trim your trees.

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           1.  Safety

Trees that grow fast often have weak wood; they are prone to decay with limbs that break too easily in ice and wind. It is important to get these trees in the right shape to avoid unnecessary accidents or property damage.

2. Convenience

Just as we get extremely busy with outdoor projects in spring and summer, so do arborists. However, if you schedule trimming during winter, you are sure to find an arborist, as they are not so very busy then.

3. Price

If you had to pay a lot last spring for maintenance of your trees, it was so because the job was not season sensitive. Winter is not spring or summer: most tree services have slow business during the winter season, and may give you an attractive discount.

4. Tree health

As maintained by arborists (= specialists in the cultivation of trees), the colder the weather, the better it is for trees. Bacteria, fungi, and bugs are not active during the cold weather. Trim your trees and support their health by getting rid of dying or dead branches, injured by insects, mites, birds, animals, storms, disease or even uncaring people.

5. Better visibility

Cold temperatures and no leaf cover make the right time for tree maintenance: arborists can observe closely the structure and the health condition of trees, figure out problems more easily and carry out solutions.

6. Between growing seasons

Trees and plants are dormant during the winter season: it means you can notice fresh injuries or wounds for a short while before it’s spring, when new growth starts hiding wounds. You can thus take the necessary remedial steps.

7. Better access

Frozen ground helps an arborist to have better access to difficult areas, which need the use of equipment.

A big exception when it comes to pruning during winter is spring-flowering trees. You should prune them as soon as they drop the blooms in late spring; this is because they bloom on wood formed the previous year.

When looking for an arborist, make sure you check their credentials. Preferably, they should have a membership of the American Society of Consulting Arborists, the Tree Care Industry Association, or your local or state arborists’ association.

Avoid hiring people who do door-to-door canvassing, unless they can prove their qualifications. Reputed and experienced arborists are always busy and they do not go door to door asking for work.

You can also search for a reliable landscaping expert over the internet. Plenty of forums are there to give you genuine advice. You can also ask your family and friends for suggestions.