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

Overlooked Costs to Be Aware Of When Landscaping

If you are looking to enhance the curb appeal of your residence, one of the best ways to do so would be through landscaping. Not only will professional landscaping improve the appearance of your lawn but it also will contribute to increasing the value of your home in the event you decide to put it in the real estate market. However, when embarking on a landscaping project, there are a number of costs that some homeowners may overlook. As such, they find that their budget has been considerably inflated once the project is underway. The following are some of the overlooked costs to be aware of when landscaping. The cost of excavation Typically, landscaping project will require some excavation to be done. Excavation can be relatively affordable if your residence is on flat land. However, if your home is built on a slope, then you may find that the costs will increase. Before embarking on your landscaping project, it would be prudent to have the contractors pay a site visit. This will enable them to give you a realistic excavation quote in relation to the slope of the land. The cost of decking Granted, some landscaping projects may not require a deck to be constructed, especially if the land is flat. However, if your yard is on a slope, then decking would be an ideal structure that will act as a transitory area between your home and your yard. Moreover, decking is also a great way to create a functional, exterior living space that you can use to enjoy the outdoors when entertaining guests at your home. Instead of simply opting to have a deck installed, you should first crunch the numbers with your contractor. A deck may not have been in your initial budget but finding affordable materials and deciding on the right size can make it fit within your initial budget. The cost of pavers Another often-overlooked aspect of landscaping is the installation of pavers. Once your yard has been professionally landscaped, the last thing you would want is people trampling all over it. To prevent this, it would be a good idea to invest in pavers for your yard. These can create paths in your yard that will enable people to navigate through your landscaped property without compromising the new plants and greenery. Pavers can be highly expensive or remarkably cheap depending on the materials that you […]

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3 Garden and Lawn Care Tips Which Will Help Your Sell Your Property

If you are thinking of selling your home, you are probably considering ways in which you can increase its value. One easy way to boost the value of your home and increase its appeal to buyers is to spend some time improving the garden area. Below are three landscaping tips which will help to make your garden and your property look great. Lawn Care Over time, the turf on your lawn can become thin and worn. The sight of bald patches where there should be lush green grass will turn off any potential buyers. You can repair these patchy areas by scattering some grass seed over them and watering the area lightly. Rye seed is a good choice of seed for restoring patchy grass as it doesn’t require much care and will quickly thicken up your lawn. You shouldn’t scatter seeds before heavy rain, as the seeds will be washed away.  You can then turn your attention to the edge of the lawn. Use an edger or electric trimmer to tidy up the border of your lawn. Creating a razor sharp line around the edge of your lawn will make your garden look neat and tidy. Leaves and Foliage Leaves and foliage can help to add a variety of textures and colours to your garden, creating a bright and alluring space. Flowers such as snapdragons and marigolds can add a splash of instant colour to your garden. However, you should be careful not to include too many different types of plants and flowers in your garden. If there are a large number of different plants, a potential buyer may worry about the amount of time they may have to dedicate to looking after the garden. By carefully curating which plants to grow, you can create the impression that the garden is easy to manage and maintain.  Pruning While you may regularly prune the trees and plants in your garden in order to encourage the growth of fruit or flowers, you should keep in mind that freshly pruned plants and trees can look unhealthy, which may put off a potential buyer when they come to view your property. Plants which are left unpruned will look their best and will remain healthy until the following season. If you would like further information about how best to landscape your garden to increase the value of your home, contact a professional landscaping company today.

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Tips On Preparing Your Garden For Winter

When the summer ends and autumn is in full swing, it’s time to think about putting your garden in order for the winter months to come.  There’s a lot to do, and if you’re struggling to fit garden jobs in around work and family commitments, you might want to consider hiring a local gardening service contractor to help out. In the meantime, here are some jobs that you can do yourself to prepare your garden for winter. Greenhouse If you have a greenhouse, you may be planning on using it to store tender plants over the winter.  To maximise the shorter, less sunny days and ensure that overwintering plants get plenty of light, remove any greenhouse shading.   To do this, just make up a solution of hot water and washing-up liquid and give the glass a good scrub.  Rinse the soap away, dry the glass, and you’re good to go.  Once you’ve removed the shading, check the glass for damage and replace any broken or cracked panes.  Make sure that all gutters are clear and not blocked with fallen leaves.  This ensures that water won’t leak into the greenhouse and also discourages pests from hibernating in the debris. Finally, give the interior of the greenhouse a good sweep out and wash down the windows and floors with a mild disinfectant.  This will get rid of any pests and diseases that could affect your young plants in the spring. Ponds Prepare garden ponds by removing any dead plants and raking fallen leaves from the surface.  You’ll want to try to keep debris out of your pond over the winter as it can make the water turn foul, potentially harming fish and frogs.  Fallen leaves can also block your pump and filter.  When you’ve tidied up your pond, spread a fine net over it to catch any more debris, securing the netting firmly with bricks or metal pins. Lawns Lawns can take a real pounding over the summer time from pets and kids.  Once your lawn has had its final mowing of the year, remove any thatch and moss with a rake, and then go over the lawn, making deep holes with a garden fork to break up compacted soil and improve aeration. Brush a light dressing of sand across the prepared lawn, and then give it a feed with a product that’s designed to provide nutritional support to the grass […]

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Why The Garden Is The Perfect Place To Install Your Soakwells

Every home needs a soakwell, and if yours has none, well, it’s never too late to carry out an installation. One of the main decisions every homeowner needs to make before installing a soakwell is where to put it. If you are racking your brain wondering the same, worry no more. In this article, find out why the garden is the perfect location. There’s no heavy traffic there Soakwells cannot or should not be installed in areas where there is heavy traffic. The reason is that heavy traffic above a soakwell can apply excessive pressure on the soakwell below causing it damage and the need for a new soakwell, plus a complete re-installation process. If you install your soakwell in the garden, you will never have to worry about this because no vehicles will be driven there. The garden provides all the space needed Soakwells can in some cases take quite a bit of space, especially if your home doesn’t have much to spare. And considering that the space above the soakwells should not be disturbed much, the garden pretty much stands out as the perfect candidate. It’s basically a free space and it’s rarely used for anything else other than the vegetation on it. It’s the most likely flooding location The perfect spot to place a soakwell is where storm water is likely to collect in your home. For the most part, water collects on flat, low areas. Again, that describes a garden quite well. When it rains, your garden is the one place most likely to flood. So installing a soakwell there actually helps you kill two birds with one stone; to collect as much storm water as possible and to avoid flooding on your garden. It’s where the soakwell is needed most The purpose of a soakwell is to store excess stormwater which can then seep into the ground later on. With that said, the garden is the one place you want to have a soakwell. And that’s because the ground there will always have a close source of water to keep your garden lush and green. It’s the safest place to install one Water is not the best thing to have just anywhere on your property. And that’s exactly what a soakwell holds. Over time, water rises up the ground to the surface and into any structures built on it. If you install your soakwell near […]

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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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