Landscaping Near Your Home

The area right next to your house is one of the most difficult spots to plan for your next landscaping project.  This is because you need to make sure it looks great and doesn’t disrupt the view you’ll see out of your windows.  In addition, the colors of the plants should compliment the overall look of your home.

There is a lot to think about when landscaping near your home. However, if this is done properly, you can really help improve the look of your home and entire property. Here are some of the things you need to consider when landscaping near your home.

Root Systems

Being close to the foundation of your home is critical so you really need to choose plants that don’t have strong or large root systems.  Planting a tree, for example, can cause a lot of damage to your home once the roots start to really grow and expand.  The roots from trees may take years to fully develop, but if they are growing toward your house they can add constant pressure to the foundation which can eventually lead to cracks or even a full collapse of the home.

Bushes

There are many bushes that will do quite well and don’t have extremely large root systems. These make them excellent choices.  Bushes also look great in front of houses because they can be trimmed up to be very neat and clean looking.

Depending on the type of bush and the skill of the trimmer you can do anything from perfectly square bushes to bushes that look just like animals. Popular choices of turning your bush into a piece of art are widely available.
 

Flowers

Another very popular option is to plant flowers around the edges of your home.  You can choose flowers which stay low to the ground or you can choose larger ones.  However, a downside to planting flowers is that they can only last for a few months and leave your area bare in the next seasons.  Choosing a flowering bush might be a better idea if you want to make sure you have some sort of decoration all year long.

Artificial Decorations

You can add statues and other artificial decorations near your home as well.  Since these types of things don’t grow, you won’t have to worry about the possible damage it can cause. However, your landscape can look odd if artificial decors are all you have.
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Most people like to add these types of things in between plants to give the whole area a little bit of depth and a more customized look and feel.  Choosing which types of decorations can be a very personal thing so make sure to choose the one that suits your home and personal taste.

The bottom line when it comes to landscaping near your home is to make sure you have something you’ll enjoy looking at every day.  A landscape will not only relieve stress from your life and add beauty to your home, it can also enthrall passersby, making them appreciate and compliment your home. The most important thing to consider is to make sure that creating a landscape won’t cause any damage to your home.

Choosing Different Landscaping Equipment

landscape2Landscaping takes hard work for most people but can be made easier if you have the right types of landscaping equipment.  Choosing the equipment that is best suited for your specific landscaping projects depend on a variety of factors including the type of design you plan to have and the size of the area you are going to work on.

Take a look at the following landscaping equipment for you to use on your project.

Earth Movers

An Earth mover can be anything from a small garden shovel to a large engine powered bulldozer.  Almost everyone who wants to do any type of landscaping or gardening will require something from this category, while others will need more than one.  It is often a good idea to at least have a couple of shovels in different sizes.

Small shovels, often called spades, are excellent for digging small holes to plant seeds in.  Larger shovels are used to plant larger items like trees or to dig out an area to prepare for the project.

Larger items like a rototiller can be used to stir up the dirt before planting. These are typically powered by a gas motor and can really help speed up the process of getting any garden area ready for planting.

Watering

One of the most important parts of any gardening or landscaping is keeping the plants watered properly. This can be done with a small watering can, a hose or a full sprinkling system.  Most people will use a sprinkler on the end of a hose, but there are many different options in this area.

For many projects, it is worth it to get a system which can be put on a timer so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to water the plants.  Whether this is an underground sprinkler system or just a regular sprinkler,having a timer installed will ensure that your plants don’t end up being thirsty.

Waste Disposal

Whether it is grass clippings, leaves or any other type of organic waste from your yard, you’ll need a way to dispose of it.  Most places don’t want you putting these types of things in the regular trash, so you need to have a way to get rid of it in an environmentally-friendly manor.  Many areas will have special yard waste bags which you can use, and for larger areas you can sometimes get large dumpster-style bins to put it in and have it taken away.

A more natural option could be to build a compost area where you can put all your organic waste both from your hard and your home.  This will allow it to naturally decompose into soil so you can use it again in your yard.  While this option takes more work, it does come with many long term benefits which you will certainly appreciate.

Knowing Your Geography When Planning a Landscape Project

Home Frontyard LandscapeLandscaping your property is an important part of keeping everything looking beautiful and even to drive up the value of your land.  Some of the most beautiful homes on television that you’ve likely seen features different landscaping styles and you might have thought about using some of the plants and other items in your next project.  This is an excellent idea and that can help you get great looking results in your landscape that you can enjoy for years.

However, one potential problem is that certain plants will only do well in specific climates. Plants for sale are often labeled with the details about which geographic zones  they will thrive best in.  Following these guidelines can really help ensure all your plants will do well year after year.  Some plants might grow well in your area during the summer but die in the winter because they are not used to a harsh cold weather.  Without proper planning, you can end up losing hundreds of dollar worth of plants in a year.

One nice thing about choosing plants is that you will have a wide variety of option. There are thousands of different species that you can choose from depending on your landscaping needs.  If you like a particular plant which you later learn is not going to do well in your region; you can often find one that looks similar but will thrive in your area.  Don’t hesitate to ask a gardener or landscaping expert in your town for advice on which plants will do well and which won’t.

With a little extra work and research upfront, you can avoid planting anything that won’t be able to survive the particular climate in which you live.  If you are an experienced gardener, however, you may be able to successfully plant some things which are not ideally suited for your region and stillbe able to make these plants grow well.  Just make sure to follow any tips included with the plants or do some online research to see what you can do to make your plants stay alive and healthy.

If you do happen to choose plants which aren’t ideally suited for your region, there are some things you can do to help improve their odds for survival.  First, try to emulate the region they are from.  If, for example, you are planting something that is from a very hot and sunny area, make sure to put it in a spot which gets as much sun as possible.  For plants from very wet regions, give them daily water to help them survive.

IDEAS TO FIND THE BEST LANDSCAPE LOCATIONS

Here are some of the best ways to locate the best landscape locations around your home:

  • Home Area. Take a measurement of the entire vacant area you want to use for the landscape project. This will help determine what plants to use and the kind of materials to buy for constructing a home garden.
  • Work Around A Focal Point. A good garden should have a focal point. You can start working on your garden at this point and around it. This will serve as your guideline on where to plant and where to end the planting.
  • Check Your Driveway Size. Some homeowners want to create a driveway landscape but fail to check the size of their driveway. As a result, they tend to overcrowd it with the wrong plants or get some unnecessary materials built.

Keeping Pests from Your Landscape

Flower Backyard

There are various options to keep these animals away from your plants. The following are helpful tips that you can follow to have a long-lasting landscape garden:

Barriers

Adding fences and other barriers to your yard is an excellent way to keep pests out.  It is effective especially against large animals such as deer or even bears.  If you plan to add a fence, try to think about what types of animals may try to get inside your yard.  Deer, for example, can leap over many fences quite easily so you’ll want something that is higher than six or eight feet.  Raccoons and squirrels can come in from tree branches so avoid planting trees near the fence if this is the option you’re going to take.

If you don’t want to put up a full fence, you can try to stop the animals by putting up thick bushes, trees and other plants to keep the large animals out.  You’ll still have small animals like birds and bugs to that can be dealt with in other ways.

Animal Deterrents

Placing some type of scare crow or other animal deterrents is another great option.  Today, you can purchase automated scare crows that can move to scare away many birds and other animals.  Many are equipped with a speaker set to make noise which makes them even more effective.

Natural Deterrents

You can purchase all natural products that will keep different animals away. For example, if you’re trying to get rid of a deer, you can purchase the urine of predator animal deterrents to sprinkle around your property.  The deer will smell this from afar andwill be afraid to come closer.  There are other natural products like this to help keep away just about any type of pest so start looking for your options.

Don’t worry about the smell as well.  These products give off only a faint smell that most humans can’t even detect.  The animals have a much stronger sense of smell so they will pick it up with no problem at all.  Using these natural methods is a great first step and will often keep away most of the pests that are eating your garden and landscaping plants.

Pesticides & Chemicals

Although many people don’t want to use these unnatural pest control agents, they can be effective. You can use these as a last resort when you can’t find any other way to keep animals away. You can alsouse them in small areas where it won’t get onto the soil or near anything you might consume.  Typically, there are other ways to help protect your yard so only use this option if you’ve tried everything else first and didn’t work.

Inexpensive Landscaping Ideas

Japanese Zen Garden

While everyone wants to have a beautiful yard, it is not always practical to spend thousands of dollars to put in new trees, plant flowers and ornaments, and even add a new lawn.  Fortunately, there are many different things you can do to help improve the look and feel of your property without spending much.  With careful planning and hard work, you can have an excellent looking yard sooner than you might think. The following are some inexpensive ideas you can use:

Short Term Ideas

When you want make some changes to improve the look of your property right away, there is nothing better than spending a day trimming, mowing and pruning.  Taking all the plants in your yard and trimming them to be nice and neat, cutting the grass and sculpting any bushes will give you a ‘clean slate’ to start with.  From there you can start looking for areas which require improvement.

Finding the trouble spots in your yard is not as difficult as you might think.  First, look around for dead or dying plants or grass.  These can be removed or revived depending on what and where it is.  Most people find out that even plants which appear to be dying can be revived with a little tender loving care.  Daily watering and some attention can return an old plant to its former glory.

Longer Term Ideas

Starting a small compost area in an out of the way location in your yard can give you a long-term supply of very healthy soil to use in other areas of the yard.  By simply placing leaves, lawn clippings and any organic trash from your home in the compost pile, it will break down into what can be used as fertilizer for your landscaping.  While it will take about a year before you have any benefit from it, once it gets started it is a simple and effective way to keep your yard looking great.  It can actually save you money since you won’t have to pay to have your leaves and yard clippings disposed of.

Many people can also find a variety of different items to use in their landscaping for free by looking for deals online.  Many people will post ads for an estate sale where you can find small yard statues or even some plants which you can purchase for just a penny.  As long as you take your time and don’t rush it, you can find some amazing deals on items to improve the look of your property.

Using Inexpensive but High Quality Materials

There are a lot of landscaping materials that you can choose from. These don’thave to be very expensive. Inexpensive materials that are high quality can be found in home stores. The online market also offers a wide selection of materials that can be bought at a cheaper price. These materials include ornamental pots, bird houses, small fences and even wind chimes.

Creating your own landscape materials is also possible. Make use of the available materials found in your home to innovate the creation of landscape materials. You can color stones using a selection of paint and a brush. After which, you can place these in a row to amplify the beauty of a bed of flowers.

Have Your Own Organic Garden inside Your House

5855822238_5cf663ea4fYou don’t need a large space or wide backyard to have your own garden – this is good news for people who want to have a garden but could not have one because of limited time, space or other constraint issues. This would be perfect if you live in urban areas where the only place you can have a garden is inside your home.

You might not know it but there are many herbs and food products that you can easilygrow right on your windowsill. You can choose from veggies, fruits, ornamental plants and root crops. Choose one that is appropriate for your windowsill.

Another great thing is, you don’t have to be an expert in gardening, have the right tools or spend hours to make an elegant and blooming windowsill garden. Organic gardening is quite a simple thing to do.

To get you started, choose plants that you can quickly manage. Here are two of the food products that you can easily plant in your garden so you can have supply of organic and fresh ingredients all year round:

Spring Onion

It brings freshness anda wonderful flavor to any food. Choose onions that have white and healthy roots. Cut off the green leaves and leave only a little portion attach to your white bulb.

The next thing you will need is a glass and clean water. Now put the onions in a glass filled with water. Make sure you use a clear glass, so you can watch your onions grow. After a week, you will have your own supply of spring onions.

Garlic

Garlic is very popular for its medicinal properties. Althoughit is highly flavored, it still brings a surprising flavor and aroma to any food. To have your own garlic sprouts, plant a few cloves in the pot and make sure the tip is facing up.

Place it in anarea where it can get enough sunshine it needs and don’t forget to water it everyday. After a week, you will have growing garlic shoots. You can use it in soups or salads or even bring flavor to curries and pizza.

So before you throw away those kitchen scraps, think of how you can make those ingredients grow back again. You don’t have to go to market to buy one. Through this, youcan save money and time.

Why Organic Gardening?

Your small organic garden is your way to live a healthy lifestyle. Onions and garlics are pesticide and chemical-free, so it is pure and refined.

It is certainly impossible to plant all kinds of organic foods in a small space to ensure yourself with endless supply of natural food products. However, you can buy online and there are a lot of online stores that offer them in affordable prices.

Just make sure that your organic plants get enough water and receive enough sunlight. Also use organic fertilizer and soil in order for your pants to grow healthy. Don’t use pesticides or herbicides, this will damage the plants and also harm your health.

Having your own mini organic garden inside your home is a fun experience. Tending on them will definitely relive you of stress. So start organic gardening and your plants will surely be a blooming success.

Landscaping Design for Beautiful Homes in Las Vegas

There are a lot of landscaping ideas that you can use to create a more beautiful home. You can find these from home beautification magazines, online sites and references from neighbors and relatives who are engaged in this hobby. If you are planning to beautify your home through landscaping, it is wise to gather all information and ideas to ensure that you have a lot of design options to choose from, because a landscape design Las Vegas can be quite tricky because of the local climate.

Vegas gets quite hot in the summer time (around 110 degrees) and a bit cold in the winter (a few days below freezing). Here are the average temps.

This can reek havoc on not only your yard, but the pipes which run underneath it. But let’s talk about landscaping in general for a moment.

driveway-gardenLandscaping has been around for many years. It has helped enhance public gardens, business premises and of course, numerous homes.

Here are some helpful landscaping ideas that you can choose from:

Driveway Landscaping

Most homeowners do not find this interesting, not until they see it on TV. However, driveway landscaping can be a great way to add style and creativity to a home. As most driveways are located beside the front yard, it would be great to have this turned into something beautiful to look at. This will help complement the facade of your house while adding value to the entire property.

If we’re talking about Las Vegas, make sure to use plants, such as annuals, which can survive the cold weather but also live through the strain of intense heat. Try not to run irrigation under the driveway, however, because if they freeze during the winter time they might crack…

And you don’t want to break apart your driveway’s concrete just so you can fix a broken sprinkler pipe, do you?

Front Yard Landscaping

The front yard is the first to be noticed upon passing by a house.

A beautifully-landscaped garden will leave a passersby in awe. It can also work as a stress-reliever, seeing a beautiful yard when you get home from a long day’s work. You can start by planning a design that will best suit the kind of house design you have. If you already have a workable design, it’s now time to assess your land area and select the types of plants you want to use. You can also add landscape decors such as benches, wind chimes and statues to enhance your garden.

Some plants which work well in Las Vegas include:

  • Salvia greggii
  • Bird of Paradise
  • lantana
  • cactus
  • red yucca
  • palo verdes
  • Agaves
  • texas rangers
  • acacias
  • mesquites
  • Sotol

… amongst many more. Palm trees are a definite yes.

Backyard Landscape

People who have limited front yard spaces but might have wider backyards resort to creating the bulk of their landscape (and dollars) in this area. You can set up a mini lanai where you can get together with family and friends, or get vines to crawl up trellises that will serve as roofing to an outside dining area. Some homeowners also create waterfalls or bird ponds in their backyards to create a serene feeling.

las-vegas-putting-green-backyardSince water conservation is important in Las Vegas (Vegas been in a drought since I can remember), some homeowners install synthetic grass.

This means no irrigation, no maintenance, and if you’re a golfer, how cool would it be to make it a mini putting green?

Try Xeriscaping

Xeriscaping is basically a landscape which is designed to use less water and support conservation.

Now, that doesn’t mean your entire yard has to be landscape rock and fake grass–there are many plants and trees to choose from. Many times all you need to do is look to what grows naturally in the area to figure out what can grow with very little water on your part.

The added advantage to Xeriscaping in Las Vegas is that your yard, in the long run, well help you to spend less money on your water bill.

The art of landscaping is different from simple gardening. This requires a lot of patience, hard work and time to get the entire landscape into a reality. You will also have to prepare a good plan as the season changes which can affect your plant’s growth and the lifespan of your landscape decors. Budget also plays an important role in getting your landscape project done. Some people want to invest highly in their property without minding the costs for a landscape garden. However, for those who are on a tight budget, there are also different landscaping ideas that do not need a lot of financial resources.

Landscaping is a good hobby that entices the mind to think and be creative. It is a great form of recreation, especially during the weekends. It is also a fun activity that brings family and friends closer together.

Group Gardening and Landscaping

Rose GardenMany people love spending time on their own, working on their landscaping or gardening projects. Others prefer company of family or friends on these types of projects. There are also groups in most areas of the country that get together to work on planning or maintaining a property. They either rotate whose house they will work on each week or they choose someone in the community that needs assistance.

Some groups even help to improve private property. They go out and seek the assistance of the local government on where they can do a group gardening or landscaping activity. Group gardening, planting or landscaping is also an activity administered by schools and other public and private offices.Here are some benefits that you can get from joining gardening clubs:

Socializing Through Gardening Clubs

Some communities have official gardening clubs. Members donate financial help or equipment for gardening activities. This is a great opportunity to meet people that share the same interest. It is also a good way to meet new people and socialize. These groups hold meetings that tackle gardening schedules and the location of the next activity to perform.

If there aren’t any gardening groups in your area, consider starting one yourself.  With today’s access to the internet,forming groups for just about any interest became a lot easier compared to how it was before.  Since gardening and landscaping are very popular hobbies, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding people who are interested in joining.  Just remember, this type of work should be done in a fun and casual way which is enjoyable to everyone involved.

Casual Get-Togethers

If you don’t want to join a formal group, you can always get together with friends or family members to share the work required for these types of projects.  This is especially popular for families that visit a shared cottage or vacation property.  Even if only one of the individuals owns the property, the rest will likely want to help take care of it to ensure it is always looking nice for everyone who wants to use it.

Even if you just get together at someone’s house to help them out for fun, this can be quite an enjoyable experience for everyone involved.  Having friends or family members over is a good way to enjoy a gardening experience during a casual get together. This will give you something to focus your energy on so you’ll be able to relax and have a good time working in the yard. Getting out in the outdoors is pleasant and very good for you that will lead to many good conversations and getting a lot of work done as well.

Learning New Landscape Designs and Plant Types

A garden club is a good way to meet new people who can share great designs. These groups can also help you learn about new plant types suitable for a landscape garden project. You can share and exchange ideas with other members that will help you develop your own garden. Lastly, you can get helpful tips on how to enhance the garden you have.

Gardening with Kids

Watering the PlantsTeaching kids about gardening is one of the best gifts you can share. This is because it can enhance their creativity starting from a simple hobby. Gardening is also a good way to reap fresh produce that are healthier compared to anything you purchase from the supermarket. However, patience is required in gardening with your children.

Here are some of the important things you need to keep in mind when gardening with kids:

Celebrate Small Things

Teaching kids about gardening can be a hard task. However, parents should complement their children even with the simplest accomplished task. It is also a good way to teach them the value of patience as you will have to wait weeks to see the smallest changes and months before you can truly enjoy the fruits of your labor.  This is a good idea to teach children to value small accomplishments.

Depending on how large your garden is, it can take several days to plant all the seeds.  One great way to keep the children interested is to divide the seeds you need to plant according to variety. Celebrate each time your children complete a row of seeds or when they are done planting one particular type of seed.  This will often encourage them to see it through to completion.

Teaching Moments

Asking tons of questions is something kids have in common. When gardening with your kids, don’t miss the opportunity to pass on your knowledge or even learn something new yourself.  When your kids ask a question about what you’re doing, take a little break and explain it to them.  This will get them interested to learn and do the same thing you are doing.

Give Them Their Own Area to Work On

One great way to get kids who might not be interested in joining you in this productive activity is to section off an area and assign it specifically to them.  Tell them that they can plant anything they want and reap it as their own.  Even if they want to experiment with mixing seeds or something out of the ordinary, let them have fun with their small section of the gardening area.

This will not only help trigger your kids’ interest in helping out, but it will also teach them to always be curious and try new things.  Kids are far more likely to try a food which they grew on their own, than one you simply placed in front of them during dinner.  Many parents allow their kids to pick all the produce from the garden and help prepare so they are involved in every part of the process from beginning to end.

However you decide to include kids in growing food for your family, make sure they enjoy it as much as possible. Also, be patient to answer questions and guide them while you are working. This is a great time to bond with your children while teaching them to appreciate working for their food. The goal should be to get them to enjoy the activity, get them outside for some exercise and of course, eat their vegetables.

Gardening Tips to Grow Herbs

Organic Vegetable GardenHerbs come in varying types which is why it is very confusing for gardeners to select which one to include in their garden. You can check upon the supermarket shelf to get an idea of the herbs used in cooking. Here are some recommended herbs that you can start with:

  • Rosemary, sage and winter savory – the strong herbs
  • Dill, tarragon, thyme, sweet basil, mint, sweet marjoram – herbs for accent
  • Parsley, chives and summer savory – the blending herbs

If you are interested in growing your own herbs, note that there is a long list of herbs to choose from. Remember there is another classification for herbs:

  • Perennials –they bloom for every season

i.e. fennel, chives, lovage, mint, thyme, tarragon, winter savory, marjoram

  • Annuals – they bloom for one season only and then die

i.e. basil, coriander, summer savory, dill, anise

  • Biennials – they live for two seasons but only blooms on the second season

i.e. parsley, caraway

Now that you have learned about the different types of herbs, it is time to know some helpful gardening tips that you need as a beginner. Keep these tips in mind and your herb garden will surely be a success:

Garden Size

The size of your garden should depend on the number of herbs you plan to plant. An area of 20 feet by 4 feet is the general measurement. If you want to separate each kind, then you can make plots which measures 12 inch by 18 inch.

You can use colorful and common herbs like purple basil or parsley as borders. Remember to always separate the perennial and annual herbs.

Soil Condition

When choosing the soil, consider the soil fertility and drainage. Herbs do not grow on wet soil but there is a solution. To improve the soil’s drainage, dig the soil up to 15-18 inches and then put crushed stones on the area up to 3 layers. Before you put the soil back, mix it with sand and compost to make it light.

Sowing the Seed

Herbs also come from seeds, but it is preferred that they are placed in a container for them not to overtake the garden. You can use hanging baskets, window boxes or gardening plots as container for them. Like any plant, they need water, sun and your attention.

It is advisable to sow the seeds in winter so they will be ready for spring. Transplant seedlings are put in a drained soil but be careful not to cover them deeply. Seeds that do not transplant like dill, anise and fennel are planted directly to the soil.

Division and Cutting

These are the best ways for herbs to reproduce. When they are slowly growing, cutting is the best solution. Others which spread wildly need division to reproduce.

If you want something new for your garden, then surely herbs are the best choice for you. It may require tedious work at first but when you get used to them, you will eventually realize that herbs are really easy to grow, plus they make your cooking much tastier too!