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Create Your Own Oriental Garden and Use EZ-FLO To Fertilize

Have you ever wanted to escape the desert climate and enter the serenity of the Orient?

With landscaping, you can do just that, anytime you want, simply by visiting your own backyard. Create a peaceful oriental garden by combining a few landscaping techniques with specific items, that provide an oriental experience.

Features of an Oriental Garden

An oriental garden is comprised of several features. It combines water, stones and traditional statues to create a tranquil atmosphere. Additionally, trees and plants are used to combine a shading effect with fragrance, thereby creating a peaceful solitude.

Types of Water Found and EZ-FLO to Fertilize Within an Oriental Garden

Water is an essential aspect of every oriental garden, without some type of water feature, you won’t be able to capture the true Orient experience. The type of water feature chosen, can vary.

You can include…

  • fountains
  • ponds
  • waterfalls

Elaborate oriental gardens, combine several water features. An advantage of choosing a pond is that you can include some koi fish. If you can’t locate koi, goldfish can also suffice.

You can help keep the area green all year by using the EZ-FLO automatic fertilizer system to your landscape.

The EZ-FLO is really simple to use and there are tons of tutorials on how to use it. Basically it keeps your garden and landscape fertilized automatically so that you don’t have to do it by hand. This is especially helpful when you live in a hot climate like Las Vegas, NV where you don’t want to get out in the heat to fertilize.

Bridges, Statues and Other Elements

Bridges can be found in every oriental garden, regardless of the size or detail of the garden. They can be built from a variety of materials, including bamboo, standard wood, or even stone. They are typically built to cross over a pond, however in small gardens, they will often be built above a dry section of the garden.

Statues of varying sizes will often be placed throughout the garden. They are placed as a testament of an oriental influence. Statues provide a combination of peace and strength and often represent specific purpose, such as protection and good fortune.

Stone placement can be used as an outline of a select area within the garden. They are often placed near the water features that have been chosen. When selecting stones, you’ll need to choose stones with differing sizes, allowing you to place them in a natural setting. Altering sizes can also help to draw attention to certain areas within your oriental garden.

Trees, Bamboo and Plants

Trees are found throughout an oriental garden. They provide shade, while also helping to create a coolness that aides in creating a tranquil atmosphere. Planting a combination of magnolia trees with flowering cherry trees will create a soft shading effect. In traditional oriental gardens, there’s several delicate flowering trees, however many flowering trees common within a traditional garden will struggle in the heat of the desert climate.

Since bamboo is a traditional part of oriental gardens, you’ll want to include it in your backyard. You don’t need to plant a lot of bamboo, in fact doing so could cause the bamboo to overpower the rest of the garden. Instead, choose a small area that will allow bamboo to grow. When selecting bamboo, be sure to choose one that isn’t a runner, or your entire backyard could, overtime be covered with bamboo.

The plants chosen for your oriental garden should be a variety of colors. White is popular within oriental gardens, though plants with white flowers often struggle against the desert sun. By planting flowering plants near the shade of trees, you can protect them from both heat and sun. Another options, is to throw in a few Asian Money Plants. They have a height of approximately 2 to 3 feet and seem to do fine in several climates, including the desert climate. The Asian Money Plant develops a delicate white coin shaped bud. The bud resembles a half dollar in size and the color is near transparent.

Include Some Gentle Pathways

Pathways provide access to all sections within an oriental garden. However, unlike pathways found in most standard American gardens made from pavers, oriental gardens will use small pebbles or sand as the surface of the pathways.

An oriental pathway will wind through the garden and have several cross points that lead to select sections of the garden. If sand is chosen over pebbles, maintenance will be needed to keep sand level. Pebbles is actually preferred within desert climates, as pebbles will be less likely to be blown away during high winds.

Providing light to an Oriental Garden

Light within an oriental garden creates harmony, while also providing light along the pathways. To stay with tradition, you’ll want to hang rice lanterns. If you prefer not to use rice lanterns, there are several carved stone light fixtures that can be used instead. Stone lights are a bit pricier than rice lanterns, however they add a dramatic effect to any garden.

The Importance of Planning Your Oriental Garden

Prior to beginning your oriental garden, you’ll want to draw out plans on paper. This type of garden has several details, therefore drawing plans out will allow you to make changes without having to destroy part of the garden. It’s always better to change a few things by simply erasing something, than it is to haul stones, statues and bridges.

Be Smart: Find Out How You Can Design Your Landscaping Project In Fayetteville Cleverly

Winter is almost over and you know what that means – spring time is just around the corner! Spring is the season of the year which signifies a lot of things like new beginnings, hope and a fresh new start towards something better. Indeed, it entails a whole lot more than the changes in the weather. As the weather gets warmer, though, people are up on their feet and are excited in activities during spring. Just like the rest of the cities in the US, Fayetteville, Arkansas, has its own way of celebrating spring. There are loads of fun, games, and outdoor activities that spark enjoyment among its residents such as watching the Razorback baseball game, St. Patrick’s Day on the Hill Festival and go shopping at Fayetteville’s fabulous boutiques.

 

Furthermore, spring is also one of the busiest seasons in terms of gardening and landscaping because it is the period when gardeners and landscapers are taking the time to clean up the yard, move potted seeds or plants, maintain the garden or landscape, and a bunch of other gardening tasks and chores. On the other hand, there are some people who make use of the entire cold winter season to plot for their upcoming landscaping project just in time for spring. Now, are you also interested or looking forward to building your very own landscape in your yard? Or are you one of those who has started planning for a landscaping project but doesn’t have any inspirations yet? Well, if you are, you still got a lot of time to plan for it and look for ideal inspirations. Let’s discuss the most common landscaping styles to get you inspired.

 

Landscape Design Styles – The Most Common Inspirations

Landscaping has been part of our lives since time immemorial. According to studies, landscaping was first introduced in the 20th century and was recognized as a separate area of study which uses evidence and approaches from other disciplines including archaeology, architecture, ecology, aerial photography, local history and historical geography. Given this, every nation or country has its own principles and approach in terms of landscaping and even style. Of course, every landscaping should be properly planned and thought of and all of the ideas including the style goes into a well-designed plan. Here are the most common landscape design styles for you to get your piece of encouragement from.

 

The French Garden

french garden

France is not only well-known for its out-of-this-world and majestic structure, the Eiffel Tower, and its sumptuous French cuisine. It has also drawn attention through the years for its uniquely exquisite arts such as painting, sculptures and of course, landscaping design styles.

The French garden style was inspired by the Italian Renaissance garden. You may already have seen this type of classic landscaping in movies and there are two words to describe this style: symmetry and geometry. It’s more like a painting which aims for aesthetic qualities and is mostly seen as a whole masterpiece.  The overall impact of this landscaping style is one of harmony, one of the powers of man over nature, where every tree and every bush is given a chosen location and shape.

This style also requires constant care and maintenance. Meaning, you have to put more effort, time, and money on it. So, if you’re looking for a low-maintenance design, scratch this out of your list.

 

The English Garden

english-garden-landscape-design

Oh, how we love the English people, especially the Queen! Almost all of us are fascinated by the English culture, their tradition, and we can’t help but love their accent which sounds really class. Would you like a cup of tea? That’s one of the most common phrases you can hear from the English people. In addition, when we say English, we often think about castles, princes, princesses and Her Majesty, the Queen.

Moreover, the English garden landscaping style was also inspired by painters, and its approach has the impression of being romantic. In the English garden landscaping style, nature is perceived as a comforting getaway and you’ll most likely to see rolling lawns, groves of trees and in some cases, temples, or ruins and bridges are brought together to give off a sensation of natural and idyllic beauty.

This type pf landscaping style isn’t as maintenance-demanding as the French garden, but it also requires regular care. In as much as it looks astounding, if you’re on a tight budget and limited by your space, you might not use this as inspiration.

 

The Japanese Garden

creative-Japanese-style-garden

Japanese people are known for their incredible talents in creating anime, video games, developing technologies, and manga series (online Japanese comics). Not to mention, Japan is the well-celebrated as “The Land of The Rising Sun” and popular for its Mount Fiji. Japan has a unique culture and tradition which is why it is no question as to why they have their own landscaping style.

The Japanese landscaping style is not similar to the English or the French garden, it is somewhat in the middle. It gives off an impression of order, while nature and spirituality are the dominating forces in this style. It is more accurate to say that it is a “Zen” garden.

The features of this style involve nature’s elements such as water, earth, and with consideration of air. The garden is typically surrounded to put a physical frontier between the inner world represented by the garden and the outside world.

 

The Alpine (Rock Garden)

rock-gardens

The Alpine garden or also known as the Rock garden is a lot simpler than the previous landscaping styles we’ve mentioned. This one is the most down to earth type and we mean it, literally. Expert gardeners describe this style as a resemblance of a windswept mountain peak complete with rugged, lichen-coated rocks and boulders, flowering alpine plants, and twisted evergreens stunted by harsh growing conditions. In short, it gives the impression of recreating a natural scene.

Nordic landscapes serve as the inspiration for most Rock or Alpine gardens. This landscaping style is typically made up of rocks, low-lying bushes and flowers, and various types of ground covers. Having said this, this one is an ideal for those who are seeking low-maintenance landscaping inspirations and for those who are living in colder areas or in northern latitudes.

 

The Contemporary Garden (Modern Garden)

modern-garden-design

It is usual for us to hear about contemporary music, art, and dance. We have learned and heard about it at school, the internet and even in TV programs. Now, the Contemporary or Modern garden as a common factor with the ones we’ve mentioned formerly, they all draw its influences from almost everything. It evolves through time and as years go by, it adapts to the trend. It is unlike the other landscaping styles since it is more design-oriented rather than romantic or spiritual. The natural look or appearance only comes second in consideration and unlike the classic landscaping styles.

The focal point of the contemporary garden is mostly on materials and ornaments, made or stone, bricks, wood and even metal. Other ornaments are also used to add accent or decoration to this landscaping style as well, such as trees, bushes, and flowers.

 

All of these landscaping styles and techniques we’ve mentioned above are just inspirations for you. You can browse catalogs, landscaping brochures, search the internet or you can even check the portfolios of Fayetteville landscaping design companies for other landscaping influences. Collect them all and try to combine the ideas and ask professional assistance to make it a reality.

 

Clever Landscaping Design Strategies To Apply On Your Project

Moving forward, once you’ve already had your ideas for your landscaping project or you’ve made up your mind on which inspiration to use, it’s time to sketch all the elements into your landscaping design. Remember, everything should be in your design, not a single feature should be left unplanned. To ensure the success of your landscaping design and project, it’s paramount that you understand the basic principles of design and take the time to contemplate on it.

Now, a huge part of your triumph in terms of your landscaping project relies on the design, so you have to be smart and clever. It doesn’t have to be expensive – you just have to be wise. To create a smart landscaping design, here are ingenious strategies to apply or consider for your plan.

 

Prepare Equipment Access For Future Use

In every landscaping project, equipment and gardening tools are needed, hence, you have to plan out an action for equipment access. Having a shed where you can keep or store all your gardening or landscaping materials like lawn mowers, stump grinders, leaf blowers, and many others, is actually a significant idea. Sooner or later, while doing your landscaping project, you’ll be making repairs or changes and it is better to make your tools accessible without the need to tear out some of your precious plantings along the process.

Include in your sketch where you exactly want to place your toolshed and it’s better if it’s somewhere near your working area. Imagine dragging out your tools halfway across the yard, rummaging through your lawn and making loud noises, it’s bad, isn’t it? So, you better prepare yourself and your tools for the project.

 

Consider To Start With Focal Points

Whether you have a small or wide area for landscaping, a focal point is always a good choice.  A focal point in a garden draws the eye to something and when you have a small space, it can make your area seem larger or bigger than it seems. By the time you decide on having one, you have to choose what focal point you should use and its placement, hence, it’s important that you include it in your landscaping. You can’t just put it anywhere you want without thinking about the entire plan. Focal points can be objects like garden fountains, water features, plants, and yard art.

When you choose your focal point, it’s important that you look for something that would stand out from the rest and it has to be different from the rest of the landscape in terms of form, color, and texture. Although, it shouldn’t lose connection from all other features n your landscape and it’s highly imperative for you to contemplate on its scale. For smaller landscaping areas, an ornate garden bench or a small statue would be ideal.

 

Play With Curves and Add Movement To Your Landscape

To make your landscaping project not too tacky or boring, incorporate curves into it. Curves can add interest to your landscape as long as you don’t overdo it. Edging around flower gardens, the house foundation, and sometimes sidewalks and driveways are only a few of the many things you could do to add curves to your landscaping. So, instead of installing straight lines, you can add appeal to your landscape through edging in creative curves.

An S-curve or serpentine curve can certainly improve the edge of your garden beds. A long and subtle curve can also extend the route through a yard, and trick the eye into thinking space is larger than it is. It can also create an illusion of movement on your landscape. With the addition of ornamental grasses to sway in the breeze and other flowering plants that could magnet wildlife such as bird and butterflies, indeed your landscape will reflect life and nature.

 

Plant It Right

This should be your gardening or landscaping mantra: “plant right, right spot”. Meaning, the right plant should be planted in the right spot in order for your landscape or garden to be successful. Technically, you can’t plant anything you want as well. You should consider which plants thrive in Fayetteville and which ones don’t. There is a wide range of plants you can choose from, like flowers, shrubs, annuals, perennials and trees that grow well in Fayetteville soil and certainly, you can make your choice. Now, once you’ve chosen your plants, you have to understand its growth rate, determine its mature size and its watering or sunlight exposure requirements.

You can group your plants according to their requirements and their mature size. Make sure that the other does not overshadow the other or compete with nutrients. When you plant, you should allow air circulation to take place to avoid disease or fungal problems to occur and you could do that through proper spacing. When spacing your plants, consider its growth and mature size as well so that you don’t have to prune from time to time and waste time on maintenance and replacing your plants.

 

Mix Colors And Accessorize

Color plays and important role in adding appeal to your landscape all year round. Incorporating color to your landscape is an excellent choice and you can do that by mixing plant varieties and putting an accent to your home. There are a lot of annuals, perennials, flowering plants and shrubs you can choose from which can add a pop of color to your property. Landscaping experts suggest that choosing a diverse range of plants that bloom at different times so ornamental leaves will be visible all season long.

A splash of quick color, whether from flowers or foliage, captures attention and directs the eye. For example, you can consider fall or summer colors in your landscape to create contrast and interest. You can even use potted plants or your container garden with your landscape to add warmth and coziness to the outdoor setting. You can also accessorize your exterior by adding decks or seating areas.

 

Light ‘Em Up

Don’t underestimate the majestic appeal of your landscape which also deserves to be seen after the sun sets. To do so, you should illuminate pathways, focal points or water features in your landscape. Installing lights on sidewalks or pathway steps are safety measures as well as an added feature to showcase points of interest in the landscape.

On the other hand, before you install landscape lighting, include its purpose in your plan and make a sketch of your yard. Include in the sketch existing lights, buildings, benches, trees, and shrubs, as well as the vegetation and decorations in the garden. This will allow landscape contractors to adjust the lighting and determine where it will be placed perfectly. For safety purposes, leave this task to the experts and it must follow the municipal guidelines to avoid any violation.

 

Be Practical

Do you have and existing feature in your landscaping? Like a huge tree, worn-out decks, or overgrown shrubbery? Well then, don’t think about spending time and money to remove them from your yard. Instead, you can work with what you currently have and take nothing for granted. Remember your budget and you have to stick to it – be practical not to spend on things which are not necessary. For example, you might be thinking of adding decorative walls in your landscape, which can be expensive. Instead, you can divide the garden with a trellis or an arch next to a low hedge or wires with climbing plants scrambling over them. It is cheaper yet it can enhance your landscape’s appeal.

Furthermore, you can also practice practicality in choosing your plants as well as your materials. Local nurseries and suppliers can help you out in picking out the best plants to use, and there is time when they offer it for free. So, you can now acquire excellent plant choice without digging a hole in your pocket, hence, you shouldn’t hesitate to pay them a visit whenever you have time.

 

A smart landscaping design is not impossible and you know should know it by now. Contemplating on the strategies we’ve mentioned above will absolutely help you and put you on the right track. Regardless of your chosen landscaping style inspiration, you’ll definitely be successful. Interested in starting your landscaping project soon? Well, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be. Just don’t forget to have fun and it’ll all be worth it in the end.

 

How To Positively Accomplish A Water-wise Landscaping Project In Houston

Over the years, the water consumption all over the world has dramatically increased, the residential water usage in particular, and Houston is not an exemption. Being the most populous city in the state of Texas and the fourth in the entire United States, certainly, there’s no wonder why the demand for water is sky high. On the other hand, the biggest portion of the water supply doesn’t go to households, though – almost sixty percent of the state’s water reserve goes to agriculture. Although the demand for water soars, the supply for water is limited specifically in this city. In fact, there are water restrictions in order to avoid water shortages.

 

Furthermore, with Houston’s continued population growth, it’s paramount to ensure that water is enough not only for residential users but also for commercial, industrial and agricultural purposes. As a concerned citizen, you too can do your part in helping to conserve water especially if you’re planning to start a landscaping project.

 

Outdoor water usage establishes a huge portion of your residential consumption, hence, it’s only right to build a water-wise landscape. Incorporating good watering habits with efficient gardening techniques can certainly promote a healthy garden while supporting water conservation. Now, one of the most effective water-wise landscaping technique is Xeriscape, which is perfect for arid areas such as Houston.

xeriscaping in houston

Xeriscape Defined

Xeriscaping refers to the conservation of water through innovative landscaping. The term was invented in the 1970s in Denver Colorado, and this practice is also called water-wise or water-smart landscaping. This technique was originally developed for drought-afflicted areas. It’s all about planning and maintaining your landscape, watering efficiently and at the same time, protects the environment.

 

What Are The Benefits Of Xeriscape?

 

Water Conservation – with a water-efficient landscaping technique, you will not only reduce the water bill but you’ll also feel good that you are conserving this costly and valuable resource.

Reduced Maintenance – Your landscaping will require less maintenance and will need fewer chemicals, composting applications, and weed controls.

Functionality – Xeriscaping highly supports functionality while providing tremendous color, variety, and beauty, even in winter.

Increases Property Value – It is a value-added improvement that helps to maintain your property’s plantings and in turn adds to its curb appeal.

Offers Welcoming Natural Habitat – Native plants used for xeriscaping creates a naturally inviting habitat for birds, butterflies, and other indigenous animals which are beneficial for your garden.

 

Having said these benefits, Xeriscaping is indeed one of the best ways to solve water supply concerns in Houston. Since water for gardening has already become a luxury, all the more reason it is to resolve in this water-wise landscaping technique. In as much as traditional methods such as putting out rain buckets work in aiding water supply, xeriscaping is another effective and efficient alternative as a solution. To ensure that this will be successful, it’s highly important that you observe its seven principles.

xeriscape principles

Principles Of Water-wise Landscape

1. Appropriate Plant Selection – choose plants that not only thrive in Houston soil but also drought-tolerant such as natives. Consider the plant’s mature size, color, texture and its main function in the design.

2. Planning And Design – This task involves identifying your property needs, budget, maintenance, and water demand. Divide the area to reflect site locations where plants are grouped, where you have areas of sun and shade, and drainage systems.

3. Soil Preparation – In Houston, it’s important to analyze your soil first in order to evaluate soil and determine amendments to improve for water holding capability and plant growth.

4. Efficient Irrigation – In your design, you should include your plant’s grouping according to their watering needs and design an efficient irrigation system to match the plants. It may vary depending on size, area, and type of plants.

5. Practical Turf Areas – Grass requires more watering than any other plants, hence, it’s important that you reduce your lawn area and where it should be placed to match your irrigation system.

6. Use Of Mulches – Spreading of mulch in your landscape could help reduce evaporation, weed growth and regulates the soil temperature in your garden. For Houston soil, application of at least four inches mulch is advised.

7. Maintenance – Xeriscaping significantly lowers maintenance to half. Water less frequently by mowing the lawn to the proper height and fertilizing at an ideal time.

Now that we’ve covered the seven principles of xeriscaping, the success of its development now rests in your hands. Your water-wise landscaping in Houston, Texas should only not observe the principles but also incorporate all of them to guarantee best results. It’s not enough to only apply one principle, but all of them in one project. By doing so, you’re one step closer to achieving your desired landscaping project without compromising aesthetics as well as functionality.

 

The question here is, HOW? The steps you have to take in order to achieve your desired results may not be simple, but it’s going to be quite challenging considering various factors such as the climate, soil type, wind direction, etc. However, you can take one step at a time and divide your project into phases so that it’ll not be difficult for you to track your progress. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither is your landscaping project. You’ll need a lot of patience, and these handful tips and tricks.

 

xeriscape tips and tricks

 

Xeriscaping Guide: Tips and Tricks For Water-wise Landscaping

• Plan It Out – Thoroughly!

Planning and design play a very crucial role in constructing a water-wise landscaping. Along with planning comes the design which includes the setting of the entire area, the irrigation system, the plant groupings, the trees, features you want to add, and everything else. You have to start with a plan and the rest will follow which is why you have to do it thoroughly and wisely.

You have to determine the following:
1. Choose plants that will thrive in these locations – trees, shrubs, perennials.
2. Sunny or shady areas.
3. Consider the natural attributes (or problem areas) of your property.
4. Group plants according to their watering needs and decide on the best irrigation system.
5. Map your lawn area and decide how much space you need.
6. Include the paths and patios you desire.
7. Sketch features you envision to achieve.

Your plan and design will have to undergo checking by the local planning and development division to ensure that it follows landscape regulations implemented by the municipal code.

 

• Choosing Native Plants

Once you’ve finalized your design, the next step you have to ponder on is choosing the right plants for your landscape. Yes, you want to add pops of color and texture to your landscape and certainly, you don’t want to constantly pluck them out when they’re dead or water them continuously to avoid withering – that’s terrible and not to mention, costs a lot of money.

Drought is one of the most common problems faced by every gardener or landscaper in Houston, hence, it’s critical to choose drought-tolerant plants that thrive in this city’s soil. The best choice would be natives since they’re adapted to the climate and can handle extremes in weather patterns. Plus, it only requires minimal water usage.

In choosing natives you can consider these:
Wildlife Magnet – Eastern Purple Coneflower, Autumn Sage, Texas Lantana
Water-wise and Fire-wise – Black-eyed Susan
Bold Foliage – Texas Olive Blossoms, Indian Blanket (Firewheel)
Bright Berries – Pride of Houston Yaupon, Southern Wax Myrtle, Beautyberry
Shape and Texture – Cat Tail Liatris

 

• Watering Must-Dos

Alright, since we’re dealing with water-wise landscaping here, it’s paramount and highly crucial to determine what irrigation works, how often the watering should be done, strategies to avoid evaporation or runoff, and how to efficiently conserve water along the process. Before deciding on what irrigation system use, though, you have to consider your plants. Be mindful that most drought-resistant plants have deeper roots which allow them to withstand extreme weather patterns, therefore, your goal should be to apply enough water to wet the entire root zone and to encourage deep rooting.

Also, you must avoid overwatering because it penetrates deeper than roots actually grow, and that would mean water is wasted. Allowing water to go to waste just beats the purpose of your entire landscaping plan. So here’s a checklist for you.

Hydrozoning
– The right plant should go in the right place, meaning, you should organize your landscape. Group plants according to their water, soil, and exposure needs. By doing this, you can water your plants efficiently and distribute more water to thirsty plants and less to plants who need it not as much. As much as possible, dedicate most of your landscape space to low-water consuming plants.

Watering Schedule
– Your watering schedule should be adjusted to the weather and seasons. For example, if it’s cool weather, water less and if the weather is hot, water more frequently. Also, it’s important that you examine your soil in order to ensure that it is not too wet or too dry between the watering schedules and water deeply.

Avoid Runoff
– If you apply water than faster than the soil can absorb, then you’re allowing runoff to occur and that’s a terrible way to waste water. As much as possible, direct water to plant roots by building basins or furrows of soil around plants.

Drip Irrigation Vs. Sprinkler System

– Before choosing which irrigation system to use, you have to consider the area you want to cover in terms of watering and your plants as well. Both drip irrigation and sprinkler system are efficient, however, you only have to choose one.

 

Sprinklers use high water pressure and volume to dispense water over a large area while drip irrigation delivers water at low pressure and volume (in gallons per hour) to specific areas, often just to individual plants. Therefore, drip is a better choice for focused, localized irrigation.

Remember, it’s important to maintain your irrigation system to ensure that it operates efficiently and don’t forget to run to check for signs of leaks, malfunctions, or poor performance.

 

• Excellent Mulch

Mulch is one of the most important factors required by a water-wise landscaping to succeed. It greatly helps maintain soil moisture, reduce weed growth, and aids in water conservation. It also protects soil from erosion while allowing air and water through. There are two types of mulches: organic and inorganic.

Organic mulches are derived from plant materials such as aged manure, shredded bark, raked leaves, pine needles, and thin layers of lawn clippings as long as its pesticide or chemical-free. Inorganic mulches examples are s gravel, granite, or stone. For a better soil composition, the former is highly preferable.

When To Apply Mulch
– Mulch should be applied at least once a year, it can be done or in early spring before weeds sprout or you can also add a second layer as a top dressing in late fall before the dormant season.

 

• It’s A Green, Green Grass

One of the principles of a xeriscaping is the practical turf areas. Now, in as much as you plan on how much area to cover, it’s equally important as well to pick the most appropriate turf for your landscape. There are warm season grass types and the cool season grass types. Since the climate in Houston is arid and there are high chances of drought, your grass choice is a crucial decision to make.

Pick The Most Appropriate Turf
In picking the most appropriate turf for your landscape, you have to consider its drought tolerance and ability to survive with little or no water for extended periods. Here are some of the grasses you can consider:

– Zoysia Grass
– Bermuda grass
– St. Augustine grass
– Buffalo grass
– Bahia grass
– Fescues

 

• Permeable Surfaces

For water-conserving landscapes, paths and patios are an excellent addition. It may be paved with gravel, decomposed granite, spaced flagstones, or porous concrete – nevertheless, these permeable surfaces add beauty and structure to the garden. Most especially, it requires no irrigation themselves.

Furthermore, paths and patios allow rainwater and irrigation to pass through them and into the soil. This results in runoff prevention and avoids storm drains to clog which can cause pollution to nearby lakes, or streams.

Despite the gravel or stone, you can still green up surfaces covered with stone or cobbles by planting mat-¬forming groundcovers between the pavers. You can browse catalogs, online sites and ask local suppliers for the different types of materials to use as well as the best design to go along with your water-wise concept.

Paths And Patios Ideas
1. Pocket Patio
A 7-foot circle of bricks set into a base of compacted sand is easy to move and adapt for different purposes.

2. Woodsy Path
Spaced concrete “stones” curve through a garden in Gig.

 

Where To Get Help

To make sure that everything will be possible, never hesitate to ask assistance from local experts who can share the experience with you. They can share insights, ideas and of course, professional advice with high regards to your xeriscaping or water-wise landscaping.

Local Water District

– Recommended plant lists, watering guidelines, and water¬ saving tips are the information they can provide you. It’ll certainly help you a lot if you have this relevant information at hand.

Landscape Contractors and Architects

– These highly-trained and skilled individuals are trained licensed in designing outdoor environments, from plantings to the overall structure of the landscape. Aside from that, they are trained in methods of earth moving, construction, irrigation, and planting which could help you build and finish your landscape project.

Irrigation Consultants

– Irrigation consultants can help design and install efficient irrigation systems for your project. They are licensed contractors who are associated with irrigation supply stores which can provide you relevant information regarding water systems.

Local Suppliers

– Local suppliers of gravel, local nurseries, and any other landscaping materials can offer useful information choosing plants and irrigation equipment, stones or gravel that work best for your landscape type, and low-cost materials with high quality.

 

In Conclusion

Achieving a landscape that’s both water conserving and beautiful is now possible with the right techniques and strategies. Water is a precious resource and it’s important that we all could do our part in taking its conservation seriously. Water-¬wise gardens take a bit more planning than ordinary landscapes, however, in the long run, you will see significant savings in labor costs, water bills, maintenance, and of course, water usage. There might be no shortcuts, but you’ll accomplish it with guaranteed results in the end as long as you stay on the right track. Just have a lot of patience – you’ll need it, lots of it and don’t forget to give your landscape a bit of tender, loving, care.

Five Valuable Tips For Remarkable Landscape Project Designs in Reno

Each and every one of us has our own version of a dream house with an ideal landscape. When you were a kid, you hoped to have a castle just like Disney’s princes and princesses but as you grew older your perception and choice has changed. When you dream of your house, you dream big, right? Along with it is a vast landscape outside with green, healthy and dense evergreens and flowers.

I totally understand you, because I, myself have a very vivid imagination of how my dream house would look like. Specifically, if you live in Reno, also known as “The Biggest Little City in the World”. Explicit illustrations take place inside my mind every time I think about this dream house of mine. Splash of colors, shapes, and patterns are being visualized within my brain when I am alone and imagining.

Creating a design for your dream house, especially a successful landscaping project, can be quite difficult especially if there are a lot of things that preoccupy your mind. You want this, you want that and you want something else. However, the key to a successful landscape design is that you have already finalized what you wanted and how it would appear once it’s done.

There are five basic elements that should be considered in your design such as color, form, texture, scale, and balance. Aside from that, modern techniques, schemes, artistry, and other important factors may also influence your design. No matter what your influences are, your landscaping design would surely be unique and one of a kind. To make that happen, here are five valuable tips for remarkable landscape designs in Reno.

 

1. Make Your Own Design

landscape designWhether you are good at drawing or not, you should make your own design and start by making a sketch. Your dream house doesn’t really need an architect to be beautiful enough on the paper, the most important thing that counts is the idea or your vision. Take all the time that you need, jot down the detailed information of how you want it to look like and of course, what elements should go into it.

You can also use online apps, websites or software to create a unique design. Nowadays, there is online software that offers 3D viewing features color application and landscape and deck planning tools which are so much helpful for your design project. If otherwise you are not a do-it-yourselfer and prefer a traditional method, you can still opt to hire a professional architect to do the job for you. They can help you with everything you need and suggest relevant ideas make your design even better.

In order to accomplish this task successfully, there are factors that needs to be considered, specifically property rules in Reno that may affect you landscaping design in terms of functionality, such as:

  • Divisions Of Land– Your landscape design and project should adhere to this subdivision ordinance and zoning that governs new and existing development in Reno.
  • Approval From the Local Planning Division – Building a wall or fence to complete you project shall undergo approval first from the local authorities.
  • Tree Protection Codes – Before planning to cut down trees in your yard to fit your design, make sure that you are aware of the municipal tree protection regulations.
  • Landscaping And Screening Codes – These are requirements and standards you have to establish in your landscape project.

 

2. Look Forward To The Future

landscaping poolIf you have any plans for building a family in the future or if you have plans of taking care of your elder parents someday, you need to consider their accommodations and include it in your design. Make your design flexible and think about the amenities that you want for your family in the future like having a vegetable or flower garden for your elders and a pool for your kids.

Also, as time goes by, the trend in designs for gardens, pools, and other amenities will continue to change, therefore, it’s still best to stick to the classic. Classic designs or elements never grow old and if you invest on modern trends which will eventually be obsolete someday, it’ll be costly on your part to keep up with it.

 

3. Contemplate Function

landscaping functionIn developing a design, style is a major factor. However, you should also consider function and combine it with style. Decide on what each space would function for your family. One of the first things that you have to do in starting a landscaping project is to decide how much area you’d like to use and what are the main reasons you’re doing it – may it be for relaxation, curb appeal, and may more.

Hence, the design should correspond to the function that you have chosen for you and your family. Yes, aesthetics is also important but avoid too many hard and sharp edges or elements in your design that could pose a threat to your family member’s welfare, always aim for a landscape that’s user-friendly.

 

4. Highlight Features

landscaping gazeboOnce you have set what you want your landscaping project to look like, you need to highlight the features wherein the most important aspects are present in your design. The rule here is first thing’s first: prioritize importance over luxury and think of what you need the most. Not everything that looks good in catalogs or on TV is also good additions to your landscaping.

Evidently, there are a lot of features that are worth adding to your landscaping project such as water features, benches, walls, gazebos, etc. You just have to figure out which ones are important and would fit the function of your landscaping project.

In connection with water features, please be reminded of the municipal regulations regarding prohibited uses of water and planting of lawns as well as the installation of new lawns and the use of seed or hydroseed  in a certain period of time.

5. Reflect On Light

landscaping-lightingLight plays a great role in every design especially in your dream home as well as your landscaping plan which has a great influence in our lives. It is indeed wonderful to look at if natural light enters your home because it gives it a radiant glow and a vibrant or happy feeling.

However, when the night comes, you’ll need additional light features to illuminate your space especially your yard. Certainly, there will be family gatherings, dinner with friends, or any other occasions that are perfectly held in the front or backyard after the sun sets. Hence, it’s relevant to install landscape lighting.

You can also install lightings on the features that you want to highlight, walkways, home exterior and even on trees. It’ll set the perfect mood for the evening, especially that the holiday season is fast approaching.

Remember, use of search or animated lights is highly prohibited in Reno and following the city’s lighting design guidelines is a must. This covers the illumination regulations of sidewalks, passageways, parking areas, rear and side yard area such as maximum mounting height, recommended lamp color/types, etc.

 

Contemplating on the above tips can help you design your landscaping project in Reno in the best possible way. Your dream house is special, so as its landscape, hence, you just have to make it a reality when the time is right. Many would say that starting a landscaping project is expensive, but, it doesn’t always have to be that way. There are ways on how to do it with minimal spending, yet, with guaranteed results. You just have to start with a well-designed and efficient plan to achieve your desired landscape.

Furthermore, choosing the perfect landscape contractor for the job is paramount. This is an essential part of your project which needs to be given attention. Hiring the right person or company in Reno will ensure that the results are of the highest quality without digging a hole in your pocket. So, make your dream a reality and be proud once you have achieved it!

Landscaping Project Alert: 5 Alarming Contractor Scams To Avoid

Can you feel the chill in the air? Autumn is finally here! It’s the time of year again when we can have the most nostalgic and relaxing time. Most of the homeowners are already preparing for this home renovation season and one of the tasks being done in this project in landscaping. Yes, that’s right.

Autumn is not only a season for staying at home, unwinding vacations, and family gatherings, but it is also a time for homes to get a little makeover. For some, it is one of the best ways to embrace and welcome the said season. This is why long before fall comes, most of them have already started planning for it which includes the budget. How about you? Have your started your plan? If not yet, better start now so that soon enough you’ll be ready for your landscaping project.

Indeed, landscaping projects are exciting yet it is also terrifying at the same time, why? It is because of contractor scams that are common nowadays. When we hear or see the word “scam”, our mind tells us that it is something illegal. Given this, it is important that you should be aware of it so that you can avoid such things from happening. You don’t want to waste your investment on something that is not within the law, right? So, be careful in hiring your contractors and take the time to choose wisely. To shed some light on this issue, here are five alarming landscaping contractor scams you should avoid.

 

1. Cash before Work

Stack Of CashNormally, contractors would ask for a reasonable down payment, which is about one-third of the total cost in order for them to start the project. However, if a contractor asks to be paid in full even before the landscaping project starts, then you should already be alarmed.  To protect yourself, never pay more than ten percent of the job total. Also, hire landscape contractors who are highly recommended by friends or family to ensure credentials. Take time to visit local offices in your area so that they can endorse trusted and credible landscape experts.

 

2. Model Design

landscaping design scaleYou should be aware of those contractors who offer to fix up your home, especially the landscaping project you’re planning to be used as model design to other potential clients. Avoiding these contractors will help you keep more money in your wallet, because whenever you agree to their terms, they’ll use up your money without even getting the job done. Remember, reputable contractors don’t do such terms just to showcase their work.

 

3. I Don’t Need to Pull a Permit

building-permit1For every construction project including landscaping, there should always be a building permit for legal purposes. This way, officials would be given the right to visit the site periodically to confirm that the work meets safety codes. So if your contractor says that he doesn’t need to pull a permit because authorities won’t notice, then better think twice. To protect yourself, always demand that the contractor gets a building permit. Having said this, unlicensed contractors will be weeded out and it will give you added protection.

 

4. Fly-By-Night

cautionIn your project, you’ll be needing materials. In connection to this, if your contractor says that he’s got extra materials that he offers cheap, don’t grab it. One of the most important rules in landscaping is prioritizing quality over quantity, meaning, DON’T cheap out. Not all cheap are good, that’s why don’t bite the bait. Or else, they will just pull out on your driveway using an unmarked truck with out-of-state plates and unload leftover product and quotes a great price to resurface your driveway on the spot. To protect yourself, never hire a contractor on the spot and take your time in choosing the right one.

 

5. One-Time Special

dealsHave you heard about landscape contractors offering a one-time special deal? Probably, if you have heard something like it, then turn the offer down. There is a great possibility that it is just a scam because it is very rare. Reliable landscape contractors don’t offer one time special, what they offer is a well-made quote. To protect yourself, if a contractor offers you this deal, you should ask for a concrete evidence and don’t get pressured of hiring him because of that. You can still look for bids and references to make your investment worth it.

 

Indeed, scams can turn your landscaping project dream into a terrible nightmare. In connection to this, you can prevent it to happen by following tips from experts such as: checking the contractor’s license, note the license number so that you can easily track them down and their activities through the years and ensure a contract agreement . You can always do your part by following necessary ways to prevent scams and cooperating with the authorities if you find something suspicious. Don’t let these cheats get in you and your dream landscaping project’s way. It always pays to be alert and aware, so make sure to be one!

Achieve Your Property Goals: 6 Precious Landscaping Tricks That Add Value To Your Home

The holiday season is just around the corner and when you take a look at your yard, does it look like it’s ready for the excitement that the season brings? Or is it time to make a change? No matter what reason you may have in mind, putting some time, energy and money into your landscape can pay off big-time. A well thought out and well-designed landscaping is really best for relaxation and enjoyment especially during the holidays.

Think about the events or gatherings that you can organize and hold in your yard with family and friends, endless conversations and certainly, a whole lot of fun! Furthermore, a stylish, well-executed and low maintenance landscaping plan add up to 28 per cent to the overall value of your home, according to expert landscape contractor.

It’s a great idea if you want to add curb appeal to your property so that you can sell it. Most people who are thinking about moving to a new house or city takes landscaping as an investment because it draws people’s attention when buying a house. On the brighter side, Nevada, specifically the city of Reno, has ranked second most popular destination in the Western United States for folks moving to a new area. Given this, adding value to your property before putting it in on the market is an advantage. It’ll be a home seller magnet before you know it.  The question is, what tricks really do work in adding value to your home? No worries, here are landscaping feats that re worth it.

 

1. Add Mulch

landscaping-mulchOne of landscaping’s or gardening’s secret is mulch. Adding it to your landscaping project can make your garden beds look more presentable and appealing. Plus, it will help your lawn appear low-maintenance and keeps the weeds out. Mulch also releases essential nutrients to the soil which is beneficial for your plants to flourish. There are several types of mulch, however, utility mulch like pine bark or forest fines is a better option because it looks neater and it’s more of the functional type. If you’re going to sell the house, then utility mulch is preferable, otherwise, gardener-preferred mulch would do just fine.

Bark, chipped wood, and peat moss mulches (organic mulches) are frequently used as mulch because they present an attractive addition to a landscape. Using organic mulches in Reno soil should be applied and maintained at an approximate thickness of three to four inches thick. Less than three inches will limit its weed control and temperature moderation benefits. It is imperative that the thickness of the mulch is checked regularly. You can check local suppliers for the best mulch to use or check whether utility (inorganic) mulch is available. It’s not bad to use inorganic mulch such as landscape fabric, in fact, it’s the usual choice for desert plants and you can store it for the next season. The application is not as thick as the organic mulch though.

2. Outline Lawn Edges

lawn-edgesAesthetics is one of the most recognized benefits of landscaping and a popular selling point too. Now, outlining lawn edges is one of the simpler tasks you can do to make your landscaping look reserved. By defining lawn edges, you can create clean, crisp lines between beds and other areas in your yard. Yes, you may spend a lot of time cropping and mow your lawn, yet without paying attention to the edges it’ll just be sloppy. For a defined border, you can use bricks, stones or other materials. Outlining edges isn’t only for decoration, it’s also more functional and aesthetic. It’ll give your lawn that clean and organized look in which home buyers would love.

3. Install Lighting

landscaping-lightingDo you have existing plants or trees in your garden? Then, you don’t have to cut them out or replace them. Instead, you make use of them when you add outdoor illumination, like hanging lanterns, or light bulbs, or even Christmas lights on them. Installing lighting in your landscaping could extend the use of your investment because of the ambiance it offers for activities after sunset. Moreover, most landscaping lighting nowadays is the low voltage and LED which are safer to work with and less expensive. Lighting ideas such as under lit benches, wall lightings, water feature lighting, and a well-lighted walkway are just a few of the many you could consider. This feature is incredible especially that the holiday season is just around the corner. Potential home buyers, along with their family or friends within the area can celebrate the holidays, the “Reno” way. It’ll be their first time to spend it in “The Biggest Little City” so better make sure that they are welcomed brightly – literally.

4. Garden Plants

tulipsNothing feels emptier than having a blank slate for a garden or lawn. Yep, that’s just sad and it will not leave a positive impression to your family, friends and even those who are going to check your house (if you’re going to sell it). If your lawn is dull, the best solution you should take to address this pitfall is start gardening. It’ll be an improvement that most buyers certainly look for.

To do this, you have determine your area’s region (specifically in your district), climate, type of soil and of course, the best plants to grow in your garden. Now, Reno has a mid-latitude steppe/ semi-arid cool climate based on Köppen-Geiger classification. Also, soils are extremely variable and can provide challenges for you or your chosen gardener, hence, it’s important to conduct a soil test first in order to determine the composition of your soil and it’s pH level. It will also help determine the amendments or supplements that your soil requires. Once you’ve done these, then you’ll be able to choose appropriate plants for your landscape. You may have to talk to your local garden center about your garden’s particular environment and ask for expert advice. Gardening can also be of great help to your health without you knowing it.

5. Layer With Turf

turf Your lawn would look a whole lot better if you’re going to layer it with turf. It is certainly a garden element that families will be looking for when assessing a property to purchase. Aside from that, if you have kids, they’d definitely love playing on it or even you could have some fun in outdoor games. You don’t have to worry about the cost because the turf is not that expensive. Artificial turf offers a clean and uniform look and even maintains the aesthetics of natural grass and it’s not that hard or costly to maintain since it doesn’t need watering or lawn mowing. You can install a sprinkler above it to make it look more appealing.

6. Add Color

flower-gardenColor simply adds a look good and feel good mood – you just have to choose the right ones for your landscaping project. Adding plants of your favorite color can spark interest and create excitement to people around and of course, to potential home buyers. Incorporating color to your landscaping creates a gorgeous space. Now, keep the colors simple but to make it more appealing, choose a highlight. You have to choose a color scheme that will amplify the look of your entire property. Analogous, Complementary, Monochromatic and Triadic are the four basic types of color schemes you could choose from and along with these, you must also consider a place for white and gray in the garden. Incorporating all these tricks in your landscaping project will absolutely turn out to be a guaranteed success.

Doing these renovations for your home doesn’t have to be expensive or in any way dig deep in your pocket. One more thing, to ensure that you’ll get the best value for your money, don’t forget to hire the perfect and experienced landscape contractor for your project. Yes, DIY can help you save money but there are tasks that require a professional touch. Whether you’re just going to do the landscaping renovations for enjoyment or for home selling purposes, it” certainly adds value and great ambiance to your home!

Six Relevant Benefits Of Gardening That May Change Your Perspective

“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.” – Alfred Austin

Have you ever wondered why you suddenly feel great after a gardening session? Or has it ever crossed your mind why your grandparents can’t seem to stop gardening once they’ve started and seem to be overjoyed? It’s indeed undeniable that spending time in the garden gives us that unexplainable feeling of happiness and relief. Not to mention, the combination of colors of the flowers and plants are just incredibly beautiful to the eyes. Certainly, a time spent with nature is a time worth remembering.

Furthermore, you don’t have to go out and find expensive restaurants just to spend quality time with friends or family over a meal. If you have a garden, you can simply grow fresh and organic produce which is the best ingredient any dish ever cooked. Plus, the ambiance is relaxing and draws positive vibes.

Moreover, gardening provides more than adding beauty to your yard. Your labor of love in gardening have six relevant benefits that may surprise you.

 

1. Relieves Stresslandscaping step

According to studies conducted by Wageningen University and Research Center, gardening plays a crucial role in reducing stress levels. Cortisol, the stress hormone, greatly influences mood, causing irritability, headaches, stomach aches, and heart attacks while worsening pre-existing conditions. Hence, once Cortisol level is reduced, stress levels lessen as well. Not only that, it can also reduce pain, improve attention and boost self-esteem. Imagine doing it every day and the advantages that you can get out of it.

 

2. Promotes Brain Health

brainhealthOne of the most threatening brain diseases is dementia. This disease mostly affects older adults and targets their memory. Good thing is, researchers found daily gardening to represent the single biggest risk reduction for dementia, reducing incidence by 36%. They further explain that activities involved in gardening including strength, endurance, dexterity, learning, problem solving, and sensory awareness promotes brain health. The more our brain gets into action, the better its health is.

 

3. Immunity Booster

garden-soilYour garden’s dirt isn’t so bad after all – in fact, it can even help you in ways you can never imagine. The dirt you’ve been working on contains Mycobacterium vaccae, a friendly garden bacteria (also an antidepressant) which relieves symptoms of immune system illnesses such as psoriasis, allergies, and asthma. This bacteria boosts the production of serotonin which is responsible for maintaining mood balance and helps reduce the risk of depression.

 

4. Improves Mental Health

gardening and mental healthResearch reveals that spending time with nature helps prevent mental disorder, such as depression, and promotes mental health. The growing field of “horticultural therapy” has shown proven results for patients with depression and other mental illnesses. Experts on this field also explain that a combination of physical activity, awareness of natural surroundings, cognitive stimulation and the satisfaction of the work is the main key to nourishing all the senses and improve overall brain function.

 

5. Stimulates Heart Health

heart-healthDid you know that gardening is a good exercise? Yes, it is, in fact, a form of moderate-intensity exercise and at least 2 hours of doing it every week can reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack according to a Stockholm study. Plus, your exposure to the sun activates Vitamin D which also reduces risks of heart attack as research revealed. It also shows significant benefits in helping lower cholesterol and blood pressure which are two of the most common causes of heart diseases.

 

6. Adds Property Value

gardening and property valueNow, gardening isn’t only beneficial for your health but as well as real estate. Gardening and landscaping is actually a form of investment. A well-designed and beautifully organized yard or garden can add “curb appeal” to your house and in turn increase the overall value of your home. Most people who plan to sell their homes consider landscaping and gardening as one of the most important renovations to do since it can help sell a property faster.
So, the next time people ask you, why you love spending time gardening, you know very well what to answer. More likely, there’s no reason or person to stop you from doing so. Think about it, every time you do your gardening tasks, you’re receiving Mother Nature’s benefits in ways you didn’t expect. Plus, the holiday season is coming, better get those produce ready for harvest and invite friends and family over for dinner. It’ll be certainly a night to remember!

Basic Gardening Guide: 5 Easy Tips For Beginners

Back when you were a kid, did you have gardening lessons or classes at school? Or did you spend a lot of time in the backyard garden with grandma? Well, back the days, gardening as we thought, is only about digging, planting and watering. The fact is, it’s way more than that because there are a lot of factors that needs to be considered in gardening, but it’s not that complicated. Most people would say that gardening is only meant for those with “green thumb” or people who were gifted with the ability to grow plants well. Let me tell you this, that statement is not entirely true. Even you, a beginner could be good at it.

Furthermore, as a beginner, I understand that you have that excitement deep within you before you start worrying about what would happen or what could possibly go wrong, you better start learning the basics. Gradually, you’ll get a hang of it and you could move on to the advanced steps or level of gardening. Here are five easy tips for beginners like you to think about.

 

1. Determine Your Region And Soil

garden soilDo you know your region? If yes, then that’s good, otherwise, you seriously have to know it. Determining the region you live in and the soil type in your area are the major rules of gardening. It’s paramount that before you start digging and planting, you already have information about it. The type of plants that you can grow is influenced by the region you live in and the type of soil in your backyard will promote the growth of the plants. Aside from that, you have to be familiar with the climate in your region in order for you to gain knowledge of which plants are guaranteed to flourish with the least maintenance on your part.

If uncertain, feel free to visit the local plant centers in your area and ask for additional guidance as well as expert advice.

 

2. Start With Low Maintenance Plants

Purple Prince Butterfly BushIn as much as you want to grow roses and tulips in your garden, it’s better to start with low maintenance plants. Why? It is because these plants are easier to grow and they don’t easily die or whither. As a beginner, it’s essential for you to start with low maintenance plants in order to harness your skills as a beginner and it’ll help you save money. Find low maintenance plants that grow well in your area and consider tip #1 before you make a choice.

Examples of these plants are Quartz Rose Verbena, Dwarf Globe Blue Spruce, Blue Lyme Grass, and Purple Prince Butterfly Bush.

 

3. Take Watering Seriously

watering in gardenAfter you have chosen your plants, it’s important that you take watering seriously. If you don’t do it right, it will be the end of your garden even for plants that are easy to grow. For gardening beginners, this task should be done consistently and at the correct time. Also, if you’re going to water your plants in the morning, it’s best to do it before the sun comes up too bright in order for them to absorb the water in an adequate manner. Proper watering conserves resources and time. To be sure, you have to learn the proper way of watering your plants by reading horticulture articles, surfing the internet, and asking local plant centers.

 

4. Soil Nourishment

soil nourishmentNow, water isn’t the only nutrient that your plants need in order to thrive. It also needs a nutrient-rich soil which can be achieved through proper fertilizing. Fertilizers can either be natural or store-bought, and organic compost is way better and cheaper. Stick to household manure for compost and organically grown plants and create a bin to pile them up. You have to remember one thing about fertilizing your soil: don’t overdo or underdo it. The amount of fertilizer also depends on the type pf plans and soil type.

 

5. Patience Is A Virtue

gardening beginnerAmong the tips that we’ve mentioned, this is probably the most important thing that a beginner should possess is PATIENCE. Yes, a ton of patience is really needed. Gardening is a slow process and it can take a toll on your patience. You will encounter a lot of challenges along the way but no not overwater and fuss too much if plants do not grow as expected in a short frame of time. Be patient and it’ll be all worth it in the end.

 

See? Learning how to garden properly isn’t that hard. You just ought to start it in the right way and ultimately, you’ll be gardening like a pro. Start small, take it slow, and take one step at a time, certainly, the results will be as interesting as you hoped it would be. Imagine yourself surrounded by beautiful and colorful flowers, the green grass sitting under your feet and the autumn breeze that kisses your cheek – such a fantastic experience. Indeed, home is where the heart is, and if you have a garden, you’d have more reasons to stay and relax.

Landscaping On A Budget: 5 Relevant Money-Saving Tips To Ponder

One day you were walking along your lawn and suddenly you felt that it’s a little empty and dull. All of a sudden a thought hit you and you wanted to start a landscaping project. The first question that you’d probably think of is, can I afford it? Basically, most people ask the same way because landscaping projects can get expensive and if you’re on a tight budget, then it can be a problem. Landscaping is more than just planting, watering and lawn beautifications. Of course, there are a lot of considerations before you can even start, such as the size of your lawn, soil type, climate, plants that grow well in the area, and a whole lot more.

 

Furthermore, you have to carefully plan ahead and set a realistic budget since you’re going to need a lot of materials, then there’s the cost that you have to think about, labor, and other tools or equipment. If this would be your first time doing it, you’re going to start from scratch and it’ll even cost more. On the other hand, some people go for DIY landscaping to avoid spending much, which is not a bad idea. Also, it’s a relief to know that there are other ways on how you save money and stick on your budget.

 

1. Consider Grass Alternative

lamiumIn as much as you’d love to have a luscious green lawn for your landscape, it’s quite expensive to install and maintain especially if the climate in your area isn’t supportive of it. Fertilizers and weed treatments are two of the costs that you have to pay in maintaining your lawn. So, to save money, you can look for grass alternatives like thyme, bishop’s weed, and Lamium. These alternatives can survive through tough times and spread easily which makes it an ideal substitute for grass.

You can also give the artificial grass a try. Have it installed only in areas that are hard to maintain.

 

2. Choose Perennials

coneflowerIn looking for plants to use for your garden, choose perennials. It can survive from year to year, hence, you won’t have to consistently replace them every year and ultimately save money. Although annuals are beautiful and colorful, they don’t give as much financial satisfaction because every year it ends up being worn-out, thus you’ll have to spend extra bucks to redo your landscape. Perennials like allium, coneflower, and sage are just a few of the choices you can consider.

 

3. Buy Mulch In Bulk

mulch in bulkOne of the landscaping’s secret weapons is mulch. It’s a great way to prettier and healthier plantings. Now, before you take the trip to the store, make sure to calculate or estimate how much you really need for your lawn. Buying in excess amount or less than what you needed is going to be a waste of money, not to mention extra trips to the store. Aside from that, buying in bulk can save you money rather than doing it in retail.

 

4. Offseason Purchase

off season plants purchase Just like sales and discounts on clothes and shoes, it goes the same for landscaping materials. So, it would be better if you purchase plants and lumber (in case you need it) during off season because if the demand is low but the supply is high, certainly the price will drop. Plus, if you’re going to shop during offseason, kindly check the roots if it’s still strong and isn’t mushy. Also, don’t forget to check local botanical gardens, sometimes they offer seeds and plants for free.

 

5. Make Your Own Compost

compost binCompost is an essential part of landscaping because it provides many benefits to your soil and the plants you’re planting. Composting is also a cheap and easy alternative to expensive mulch and soil products. In making your own compost, you have to layer organic compost in a bin (which doesn’t have to be expensive). Mix garden clippings, dry leaves, kitchen vegetable scraps, shredded paper and a dash of soil to create a concoction that turns into humus. Thus, you can kick start your garden with nutrient-rich soil.

 

Money-saving tips are significantly helpful in every way when doing landscaping. One more thing, another secret to consider is to do as much DIY landscaping as possible. Doing stuff like mowing, seeding, fertilizing, planting flowers, hardscaping, etc. are just few of the things you can certainly do. It’s inevitable that there are some tasks that you won’t be able to do or might be quite challenging for you to finish. In cases like these, it’s best to ask help from professional landscape contractors for advice to achieve successful results and avoid mistakes.

Simple Guide For Beginners: 6 Quick Tips For DIY Landscaping Plan

Can you feel the chill in the air and see the changing of leaves? It only means one thing my friend, autumn is here! It’s the perfect time of year when we can all relax from the busy schedules of our lives. Feeling the autumn wind touch your skin and seeing the leaves fall from the trees is just nostalgic. It’s pretty much how everybody feels right now and it’s probably one of the main reasons why people love autumn. Sitting on your porch, having a little me time while drinking a cup of coffee and simply being happy being at home is definitely the best feeling in the world. I bet, you couldn’t agree more with me.

 

On the other hand, some people spend their autumn by planning a landscaping project to add a feel and look good ambiance. Sounds like a pretty good idea too. Some people love the thought of doing this task by themselves to give their landscaping a personalized look and wanted to put extra effort into it. Are you doing any landscaping project anytime soon? Is this going to be your first time planning for such exciting task and wanted to do it yourself? No worries, if you’re a beginner, you can certainly learn the stuff about landscaping one step at a time. To guide you in this task, here are six quick tips to help outline your landscaping project.

 

1. Start Learning The Basics

landscaping basics

As a beginner, the most important thing that you have to learn is the basics of landscaping. You have to familiarize yourself with the terminologies associated with landscaping as well as the different tools and equipment used. Once you’re done with that, the next step you have to do is study and learn the basic skills required in landscaping. Also, you have to study the type of soil you have in your yard or lawn, the climate, and determine the types of plants to use with consideration to the soil type and climate. You can’t do this all at once, so, you have to take it slow and make sure that you have a good grasp of each topic before you proceed.

 

2. Understand The Elements Of Landscape Design

landscaping-line

Sketching a landscape design is a crucial part of planning. Hence, understanding its elements or principles is paramount. Incorporating all the basic elements of landscape design will ensure a significantly appealing aesthetic. Landscape design has five basic elements, namely: color, form, texture, line, and scale. Yes, you may think that you can simply draft a design without these elements, but you’re wrong. Each one of them plays a crucial role not only in the appearance of your landscape but also with its functionality and purpose.

 

3. Don’t Underestimate Hardscape

hardscape

You may wonder, what is hardscape? Landscaping has two elements: soft scape and hardscape. Hardscape refers to the heavier or hard elements of landscape design such as stones, rocks, pathways, patios, etc., while soft scape is the opposite. It refers to the elements of a landscape that comprise live, horticultural elements such as plants, shrubs, trees, flowers, etc. To fully achieve a successful landscape, incorporate hardscapes to add structure and balance. Consider the exterior and interior of your home when deciding for the hardscape in order to come up with a complementing design. Plus, you might want to consider patios and decks to help blend the indoors and outdoors.

 

4. Study Water Features

landscaping water feature

Every landscape looks better if it has water features in it. So, if you desire to put up one in your landscaping plan, then you better study about it. Water features such as ponds and water fountains can add tranquility to the ambiance of your landscape. Installing a water feature can be quite a challenge, but you can do it by yourself by understanding how it works and how to do it properly. However, in any case, that you feel you’re not suitable to do the task, then don’t.

 

5. Observe Balance and Harmony

landscaping balance and harmony

Alright, for starters, it’s important that your landscape has a balance of everything within it. Meaning, you can’t just place a plant or a tree randomly or anywhere you want to put it. Planting a variety of evergreens, colorful flowers, and foliage plants promote balance and flow within the landscape. To achieve harmony, you can arrange flowers or plants in flower beds, pair them according to colors (you can choose between warm or cool colors). The contrast between colors can create interesting ambiance and complementing colors can create happiness and light moods.

 

6. Be Willing To Start Small

landscaping step

Last, but definitely not the least, you have to start small. Remember, even Rome was not built in a day, and certainly is your landscape. It’s relevant to take one step at a time and divide your project into different phases to make it easier to accomplish and modify or adjust if necessary. You can work on the first phase, then off to the next one and so on. Work on it gradually – it will help you keep track of your progress and avoid any mistakes along the way. Small steps or actions if done properly can create a big impact in your landscaping.

 

Starting a landscaping project may be challenging at first, especially for beginners since you have to do it from scratch. However, it shouldn’t be the reason for you to quit or dismiss the idea of doing the landscaping by yourself, all the more motivation you should have to finish it. Of course, you can ask your friends, neighbors or family to help you out – being sociable can be handy at times. In cases you feel that you’re not on the right track, consult a pro to guide you. Most of the times you’ll need their expert advice as well as experience to keep you on the right track. So, start with your DIY landscaping plan now!