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.

Image courtesy: https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2015/09/14/22/13/lights-940249_960_720.jpg


Bulbs

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.

Trees

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.

Image courtesy: https://pixabay.com/en/tree-emerald-ash-borer-limbing-1059416/


           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.


Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Creative Outdoor Room Ideas



The wonderful season of spending more time outdoors is finally here! The pleasant weather makes it fun to chill out on the porch, in the backyard, or on the deck. While you’re ready to just lie down in the grass, you can plan transforming your yard into a haven with just a few design and creative tips.


Use rugs

Use outdoor/indoor rugs for defining and anchoring your space. Another idea is to make use of gravel and pavers, if they easily fit the layout of the area.

Beat the heat

Get respite from the indoor heat by creating an outdoor kitchen. Choices abound beyond merely throwing some hot dogs and burgers on the grill. You can customize your outdoor kitchen with a roll-down gate for securing the appliances from natural elements, or installing a grill which is covered, a small fridge to keep the drinks cold and a cabinetry or counter for serving and storage.

Raise the roof

You can make use of arching trellises over the dining table. Suspend a chandelier from them to offer soft lighting. Strategically planted shade trees will grow for creating a canopy on the outdoor space with dappled sunlight glancing through. Pergolas can give your space some structure and define the area, but can also offer some privacy if you have neighbors.

Use drapes

Enliven your porch with drapes to make sure the sunlight filters in while blocking harmful rays. Fit drapes around a frame to offer a cabana-style. It is best to choose lightweight fabrics for a fresher look.

Furnish well

You can install weatherproof cushions and furniture to create a cozy and comfortable seating facility, just as you have in your family room or living room. You can fit a ceiling fan on your porch and a heater too for stretching its use beyond a few months’ span of warmest months.

Install sliding panels 

You can install sliding panels to divide the available space for different uses within your rooftop deck or yard. Apart from this, you can exploit it for privacy too.

Grow floral enclosure

Grow living walls of plants for creating privacy; you can also hide a wall or a fence with flora. Use container plantings on a low wall or ledge, particularly if you’re planning to use bamboo. Alternatively, grow a sturdy shrub such as boxwood to put up an elevated hedge.

Create a reading nook

Use a built in bench, beanbags, chaise lounges, or cushions and poufs to create a reading nook. Make it more comfy with a rocking chair, or erect a “treeless tree house” for a private haven.

Use Water

If you do not have enough space to create a pool, you can make a small water feature, such as a small pond. Another great idea is to create a fountain out of a large urn. Move it anywhere you want. It adds peacefulness of running water in your backyard.

Maybe you are not sure how to make the most of your yard? Get in touch with a reputed professional landscaping expert for help!

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Using Reclaimed Wood in your Yard

You may have seen people making furniture with reclaimed wood. However, did you know that you could use it for your outdoor needs too? It will ensure your yard a beautiful and classic feel. In case you are landscaping on your own, just be careful about the source of such wood you desire to acquire.

Reclaimed wood may come from old buildings, which once held hazardous materials. Also, take heed of rusted nails and screws in the wood.

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Here are a few inspirational ideas of landscaping with reclaimed wood:

Outdoor shelves

Simple and plain, make use of the wood for creating outdoor shelves with a weathered look to keep anything from plants to gardening tools, and the like.

Space dividers

If you wish to create designated spaces within the yard, you can mount planks of reclaimed wood to create an interesting wall.

Artistic fence

If you are planning to build a fence, consider using reclaimed wood. You can supplement it with materials such as ceiling tiles to give it an artistic touch. What you create would be a fence that is unique and appealing.

Vertical Garden

Vertical gardens have become extremely popular these days; you can make one for yourself easily with recycled wooden pallets! Make use of a good quality backing and plant herbs or small plants, and you’re all set for a wonderful visual treat! These recycled planters have the added advantage of keeping your garden clean and healthy, free from pests.

Artwork

Hire an artist or call your artist friend for a favor. Ask them to use reclaimed wood to create an amazing outdoor art for you. Your yard will be nothing less than an old-world fantasy with the magic of paintings.

Outdoor station

If you are one of those people who love to entertain, you can make use of reclaimed wood to create a bar out there in your yard. Outdoor bars are an amazing alternative to mounting a full-fledged outdoor kitchen. They are also perfect spaces for serving snacks and drinks. Another possibility with wood is an exciting outdoor gardening station.

Garden Gates

You can make your family and guests feel like they are entering an old country garden if you install an artistically designed garden gate made of reclaimed wood.

Patio Frames

Rather than making use of new wood for creating a ceiling or frame for your patio, you can consider the use of reclaimed wood. You may plant some flowering vines to add more color and charm to the patio frames made that way.

Retaining garden beds and walls

You can make those raised backyard or garden walls appear less installed and more natural by using the knotted look of reclaimed wood.

As suggested above, you can achieve so much with reclaimed wood. What you need is some imagination and a little creativity. If you’re not sure about what you can do with your old furniture and wood, make it a point to speak to a landscaping expert before disposing it of. They can help make your outdoors look prettier, finding use for things you want to discard.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Creating a Zen Garden in your Backyard

If you are planning to upgrade creatively your back yard, you can employ an exciting Japanese landscaping technique long known as the Zen Garden. It provides a cozy spot for yoga practice, meditation, unwinding, or just a beautiful alternative to a typical lawn.
In the early days, Zen gardens were completely dry, composed only of sand and rocks. However, new designs have accommodated bridges, water, and even lights. You can create one that encompasses all your outdoor space, or just a small area of the backyard.

Image courtesy: https://pixabay.com/



The following are eight popular additions you can consider:

1. Bridge
Bridges made of wood or stone, placed above gravel paths or ponds, or even connecting small islands make a great add-on. According to the Japanese, bridges are a symbol of transition from one space to another.

2. Island
You can create an island using a single rock or a landform patterned with soil and rocks. In case you do not have enough space to create an actual island, you can represent one with big stones coming out of your pond.

3. Plants or flowers
Colorful, blooming flowers are not normally seen in Zen gardens. However, you may sometimes see lotus, lilies, and iris close to the shrubs or water, made into bonsai trees. Stones and moss growing on logs can help add greenery to the design.

4. Sand
White sand is used widely in this type of landscaping. You can either rake it or keep it unraked. When you rake the sand into curves, you create ripples very similar to what you will find in water bodies. It’s apt to keep the sand within low walls or fences. There are many other creative ways to keep the sand within boundaries.

5. Stones
Another prominent feature of Zen gardens would be stones that often symbolize islands, mountains, shrubs or animals. However, you should have an uneven number of stones to make them look natural. In addition, you can bury partially big rocks in the ground so that they appear to sprout from the earth.

6. Trees
Flowering plum, bamboo, cherry, dogwood, Japanese maple or old pine trees do extremely well in Zen style landscaping. After planting, the trees require just watering and rare fertilizing.

7. Pond
There is nothing more calming and relaxing than flowing or still water. In case you already have a pond in your garden, go for your Zen garden around the structure. Otherwise, create a pond and grow lotus blossoms for providing the right setting for meditation. You can also intersperse the pond with rocks, sand, and moss.

8. Waterfall
Water bodies emanate ever optimistic and positive energy. A waterfall can flow into a pond or cascade on rocks. Zen waterfalls are normally partly bordered by big rocks. You may also create a waterfall by using rocks in a plain sand garden.


You can do so much with your Zen garden with just a little bit of imagination. You can install statues, stone lamps, or lights that brighten your garden at night. You would do well to seek help from a landscaping expert for best results and aesthetic appeal.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Planting Shade Producing Trees in your Garden

Planting shade trees does not just add to the aesthetic value of your outdoor space, it is also the need of the hour, given the ecological issues around the world. However, it is vital to make an informed decision, when you’re planning to plant a shade tree in your yard.

While some trees start out small and begin to fill in every year, others become a lot less desirable as they grow. There are also trees that contain thorns or shed off messy seedlings. It is necessary, therefore, to be sure about the types you’d prefer. Given below are ten popular options.

1. Red oak
 

Red oaks tend to grow quickly and drop acorns (seedlings) that attract critters such as squirrels. They offer a leafy and thick canopy that helps you stay cool during the summer months.

2. Tulip trees

Tulip trees grow up to 25 feet. They blossom with beautiful tulip flowers that sprout from the unique leaves of the tree, making the tree stand out anywhere.

3. Sorrels

Sorrels can grow up to 75 feet tall and are absolutely stunning the whole year. The color of their leaves begin with a deep green and then slowly turn to a beautiful red.

4. Weeping willows

The famous weeping willows are best for houses close to water. However, there are also hybrids that are suitable for dry regions.  You need no hesitation therefore to grow this beauty in a yard that can’t afford a lot of water to plants.

5. Northern catalpa

These trees can produce big, leafy canopy with ornate, large flowers snuggled between their charming leaves.

6. Hybrid poplars

These poplars tend to grow quickly, up to eight feet every year, to a maximum height between forty to fifty feet. Hybrid poplars start dropping cotton-like seeds. These trees may not be a good choice for you, if you are looking for less messy ones.

7. Honey locust

These trees are extremely hardy and tend to adapt well to different climate conditions and soils. The leaves turn yellow and are shed quickly in fall. They can grow thirty to fifty feet tall, offering great shade.

8. Red maples

Red maple trees grow approximately three to five feet per year until they reach forty feet. The leaves turn into brilliant red shades during fall.  They provide satisfying shade, and help create privacy too.

9. Willow oaks

Willow oaks have pointed leaves and they offer little shade with their fifty-foot height. They are apt for areas that do not require a lot of shade. The leaves tend to turn yellow and then drop during fall.

10. Paper birch


These trees have gorgeous white barks that offer a stunning backdrop. During spring, they boast charming green leaves; slowly as the weather starts to get colder, they display shades of yellow, red and orange.

You can plant so many beautiful trees in your backyard that offer rich shade. Furthermore, they add to the aesthetic appeal of your yard. However, you would do well to seek the advice of a landscaping expert for planting the right trees at the right spots at the right time.