Plants, Patios, Pathways, Ponds, Pebbles and Other Landscaping Topics

Tips To Help You Landscape Your Small Yard And Get The Most From Your Small Space

Landscaping a small yard can be challenging, especially if you have numerous ideas and you don’t know how to use them best on a small yard without creating a mess. Well, it’s possible to combine different designs and ideas on a small yard. Below are some ideas on how to landscape a small yard that can help you get the most out of your yard and create a beautiful view. Plant in Layers Planting flowers and plants in a layered manner on your small yard will help in creating the illusion of a bigger space. Layers help because they create depth and it’s advisable that you plant your flowers and shrubs based on their height to enhance the depth. So the tallest plants and flowers should be at the back and the shortest flowers and plants should be at the front. For instance, if the rear side of your garden is near the fence, then the tallest shrubs, such as ornamental trees, should be near the fence. Otherwise, if your flower bed is in the middle of your yard, then plant the tallest plants at the centre and the shortest ones at the edges or along the border of your flower garden. Design the Function of Every Section To get the most out of your small yard, it’s advisable to segment the yard and design a function for every segment. So first identify the functions that are a top priority for you and then find a place for each function. For example, you can sub-divide your garden into deck space, centre piece and patio space. After identifying the function, find resources that will fit into that space without occupying much space. For instance, for the patio, you can have a small fire pit built at the middle of your patio and then buy retractable seats that can be removed whenever they’re not in use. Remember that creating distinct functions for each section will also create a sense of cohesion in your outdoors. Use Vertical Gardens Vertical gardens are ideal for small yards because they save space and at the same time allow you to have a detailed flower garden.  Also a vertical garden will create an illusion of greater height and make your small yard look bigger than it is. You can plant flowers, vegetables and ornamental shrubs on your vertical garden among other numerous landscaping plant choices. One way […]

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Five Tips to Prepare Your Home’s Building Site for Excavation

If you have bought a piece of land and plan to build a home on it, you need to contact an excavator to help you level the plot and prepare it for building. However, before the excavator arrives, you may need to do a few things to prepare. Here’s what you need to do: 1. Obtain permission to clear trees. If the excavation crew is going to be removing trees and brush, you need to obtain the appropriate permission from your local council or county, parish or land district government. In some cases, especially if you are in an area prone to bushfires, you may be allowed to remove trees without special permission. 2. Identify uses for cleared trees and brush. Once you have the right permission to remove trees, you should make a plan to deal with the trees once they have been removed. If you have enough room on your land, you can have the excavating crew bury the cut trees and brush before they leave. However, make sure not to bury these items in areas where you plan to put driveways, walkways or home foundations, as the ground can sink as the materials decompose. Alternatively, you can hire a skip for the rubbish, pay the excavation crew to haul it away or save the trees for firewood. 3. Contact utility companies about underground pipes and cables. So that the excavator doesn’t hit any pipes or cables, you need to ensure that the operator knows where they are. Contact the utility companies in your area, and ask them to come mark the underground pipes on your property. In some cases, the excavation company may be willing to handle this task for you. 4. Choose a spot for your home. You need to identify which spot you want your home to be in. You may need the land leveled to promote drainage. However, you can avoid paying for that extra step by choosing the highest point on your property for your home. 5. Plan to deal with the dirt. If you are having a basement dug out by the excavator, there is going to be a lot of dirt. Make a plan to deal with it. You can use it to level areas around the property, or you can pay to have it hauled away. For more tips on what you need to do to prepare your property for excavation, […]

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How to Get the Best from Newly Laid Turf

Some homeowners may be disappointed when the expensive turf that they bought does not grow into a lush lawn. Such homeowners may not know that they made some mistakes that affected how well the turf could be established. This article discusses some helpful tips that will ensure that your new turf grows into a beautiful lawn. Get the Topsoil Early Some homeowners ask for the new turf to be delivered at the same time as the topsoil that will be used. This mistake can cause your turf to fail to grow well. This is because you may be in a rush to lay all the topsoil quickly so that you can proceed to lay the turf before its starts drying. Consequently, you can end up not levelling the topsoil well. The spots where less topsoil was poured will be unable to support the growth of the turf. It is better to receive the topsoil a few days before the turf arrives. That interval will allow you to lay the topsoil without any rush. That lack of haste will enable you to pay attention to all the steps needed to lay topsoil well. Avoid Gaps Have you ever noticed some dry patches on newly laid turf? Those dry patches may have been due to the gaps that the homeowner left between the rolls of turf that he or she placed on the topsoil. Gaps allow direct sunlight to reach the tender roots that have not yet penetrated the soil. Such exposed roots may dry and the turf will also dry. You should therefore ensure that you lay the layers of turf close to each other so that no gaps remain to allow the elements to kill the young roots. Select the Starting Point Carefully Where you start laying it, the new turf may affect the quality of the lawn. For instance, your rectangular-shaped yard may not look attractive if you start laying the turf from the middle. This is because it may be hard for you to maintain symmetry as you lay the different rolls of turf on that lawn. It may be better for you to start from one straight end so that it is easy for you to align the subsequent turf with the shape of the yard. Similarly, start from the centre in case your yard is round. Follow the suggestions above and your turf will look like […]

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Choosing The Right Anchoring System For Your Newly Poured Concrete Retaining Wall

When it comes to installing a poured concrete retaining wall, choosing the correct anchoring system is one of the most important choices you can make. While concrete is an enormous strong and durable material, the weight of so much piled earth pressing on the wall can be immense, and a suitable anchoring system can make the difference between decades of safety and strength and a collapsing disaster zone. Take care to note the advantages and disadvantages of each anchoring method before work begins to make sure you get the best results possible. Gravity anchored wall This is the simplest anchoring system, and simply relies on the weight and mass of the concrete itself to keep the wall and the soil it holds in place.The outward facing side of the wall is generally sloped to aid in this, with taller walls requiring a sharper angle. The simplicity of this system means that gravity anchored walls can be much quicker and easier to install than walls with more complicated anchors. Unfortunately, they tend to have a very limited maximum height without posing a toppling risk, and the sloped construction means that a relatively large amount of concrete is used, potentially adding to costs and taking up more ground space. Cantilever anchored walls These walls resemble those with gravity anchoring, but have an integrated concrete ‘lip’ that extends several feet behind the wall, underneath the piled soil. This added reinforcement gives cantilevered walls extra strength and a taller maximum height, while keeping the anchoring system well out of view. They are particularly useful for retaining rich, heavy soils and clays, as the added weight of the soil places more pressure on the cantilever to keep the wall in place. However, cantilevered walls use even more concrete than gravity anchored walls, and must be poured on-site by professional retaining wall installers. Piling anchored walls These walls are very simple. straight structures that use a surprisingly small amount of concrete. To add strength, these walls are generally much longer than walls with other anchoring systems, and are entrenched deeply into the ground to provide a firm foundation. When combined with the enormous strength of poured concrete these anchoring systems can be very effective, and their slimline construction means that a minimum of floor space is wasted. However, they tend to have a limited maximum height. You should also check that the soils on both sides […]

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Tips For Cleaning Bronze Garden Monuments

A professionally landscaped garden can really add kerb appeal to your home, as well as providing interest and enjoyment for you and for your guests.  No landscaped outside space is complete without the inclusion of a centrepiece in the form of a monument or sculpture, and a subject rendered in bronze can look stunning, especially when augmented with sympathetic, complementary planting. However, the effects of weathering and environmental factors can leave your beautiful bronze looking dingy, dirty and less than impressive.  Although it is possible to clean your bronze with harsh chemical cleaning products, this can adversely affect the plants and flowers that surround the piece.  Luckily, there are plenty of very effective alternatives that you’ll find in your kitchen.  Read on to find out how to spruce up your bronze. What you’ll need clean water dishwasher rinse liquid soap flakes garden hosepipe soft cloths soft, plastic scrubbing brush clear car wax (available from auto supplies stores) How to do it First of all, blend some soap flakes with water and dishwasher rinse liquid to form a smooth paste.   Take a clean, soft cloth and dampen it with a little water.  Dip the cloth in the cleaning paste and apply it to your bronze monument.   Now take a soft, plastic scrubbing brush and work your way all over the monument, paying particular attention to crevices, nooks and crannies.  Leave the cleaning paste on the bronze for a few minutes to give it chance to get to work on stubborn grime and dried-on bird droppings.   Next, take your garden hose and give the statue a thorough rinse to get rid of any soap residue and muck.  It’s not advisable to use a pressure washer on your monument, as the water jet will be too powerful and you could end up damaging your bronze.   Dry the bronze thoroughly with a soft cloth.  It’s important not to allow it to air-dry, as you could be left with water spotting that will spoil the final look.   Now take a soft cloth and apply a thin coating of clear car wax to the bronze.  Allow the wax to dry completely; this usually takes about 20 minutes, depending on the product.   Use a clean, soft cloth to buff-up the wax to a shine.  Your bronze monument should now look as good as new! In conclusion Regular cleaning, as per the […]

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When a Homeowner Might Need a Professional Land Survey Done

Land surveyors are often hired by local cities who are considering installing new roads or expanding current roads and highways, but they can also be hired by homeowners and private property owners as well. If you own a home or just vacant property, you might not ever think of calling a land surveyor and may not realize the work they do. Note a few times when you might need the services of this professional and how they can assist with various concerns you might have about your property. Drainage issues A land surveyor often marks off boundaries for a piece of property, but they can also assist if you have drainage issues on the property. They can note the topography of the land, meaning how it slopes and dips or is otherwise shaped. This assessment can be used to note the best way to keep the property drained or protect it from soil erosion. With the help of a land surveyor, you can note if the property needs to be graded in a certain way to encourage water runoff or determine the best spot for a retaining wall. Improving the property If you’re thinking of adding to your home or erecting a larger garage, putting in a new sprinkler system, or even planting a large garden or small farm, a land surveyor can be of assistance. They can note if the property needs grading in order to properly support a new addition to your home and keep it from collecting moisture around the foundation and note how that addition will affect drainage. They can also tell you the best location for planting based on the property’s overall topography and how drainage issues might affect your crops or the need for a new sprinkler or irrigation system. For flood insurance Your homeowner’s insurance may be requiring you to add flood insurance to the policy if the home is located in a flood zone or along a flood plane. A land surveyor can note if the home is actually above or below that plane; if the land is above the flood base elevation, you may not be legally obligated to purchase flood insurance. If the home is below the flood elevation, you may do well to purchase flood insurance even if it’s not required by your mortgage lender. This can ensure you are protected from that added risk of flood but aren’t […]

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Reasons to Consider Brick Pavers for Your Yard

If you would like to keep people from walking on the grass on your property, you should consider installing pavers to create a perimeter. Typically, homeowners tend to gravitate toward concrete slabs as their preferred choice of pavers. However, although this material is durable, it can be quite bland. If you would like to add some visual interest to your yard, then you should consider brick pavers. A misconception some people have is that brick avers will only be available in red. The truth is brick pavers comes in a wide assortment of colours, so you can rest assured you will find a pallet that not only complements your home but also appeals to your individual preferences. In addition to this, brick pavers can be purchased in different sizes and shapes. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider brick pavers for your yard. Brick pavers are long-lasting One of the biggest advantages of opting for brick pavers is that they have a long lifespan. Since these pavers are being used to demarcate areas of heavy usage, you need to opt for a material that will be able to withstand all the foot traffic it is exposed to. Brick has a high load bearing capacity so it will not chip and break prematurely due to the pressure it is exposed to. Brick pavers will not dislodge Another reason to consider brick pavers is that they are a good option when installing pavers directly into the earth. With other types of pavers, you would have to lay a concrete foundation that will hold the pavers in place. This is because as the earth moves, the pavers may begin to dislodge from the ground over time. Brick pavers are self-adjusting. This means, they are capable of accommodating the normal movement of the soil underneath them without them moving out of place. Brick pavers afford you fast installation Since the brick pavers do not require a foundation to be laid before they are installed, they have a shorter installation time when compared to other materials. This functions toward cutting your labour costs, hence making the installation of pavers more reasonably priced. In addition to this, brick pavers do not need a time to cure like some other paving materials. As such, they can be used as soon as the installation of the pavers is complete. This makes brick pavers a time […]

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