Landscaping Your Garden

Does your garden look a mess? Is it all bits and pieces with no cohesive plan? I f your answers are yes or even if you’re just bored with your existing layout, then landscaping is the answer. You may be frightened of embarking on such a large undertaking, but there’s nothing to be afraid of, you just need to plan each area carefully then follow your plan through.

Start by looking for ideas in landscaping books where you’re sure to find something that you like or something which you can adapt to the practicalities of real life. Often, these books show the gardens of stately homes and very few of us actually have a garden that big, but check out the planting or the hedging or the statues and you will soon get some ideas. More practically, look at books on do it yourself landscaping. These books will show step by step ways to build raised beds, to lay paving or decking and lots of other features which you may fancy in your garden.

If you want some sort of water feature, then you probably should start with that. Choose a place for it; somewhere with dappled shade may be best if you plan to have fish in your water feature. Make sure that it isn’t too big or it will dominate the whole garden but in any event, it will be the main point of focus, so create this first.

There are many ways of building a water feature; you can buy pre-formed ponds with built in waterfalls, you can buy a reservoir with a spout, which creates an interesting shape of the water and you can cover the reservoir with attractive rocks or pebbles; or you can use a liner. Alternatively you can use the type of water feature which you attach to a wall with a trough beneath it to catch the water.

Apart from the latter, whichever you choose, you will have to dig a hole and or stream so it will be as well to know whether any main drains cross your garden! Whether you’re using a liner or pre-cast pool, you will need attractive rocks or pebbles to surround it and if you plan to have plants surrounding your pool, then the rocks will need to be cemented in place to contain the earth or before long, your rock beds will be empty of soil and it will all be in your pond.

Whether or not you plan to keep fish, you will need a selection of plants to keep the water clear. It’s best to go to a specialist water plant supplier as requirements vary depending on the position of the pond. However, water lilies are a good start and look pretty. You may also need to introduce some wildlife, which will also help to keep the water crystal clear.

Now you have your focal point, start to build the rest of the hard landscaping, such as paths, decking, steps, raised beds, etc. While you are doing this, you may want to bury trunking containing electrical cable for lighting (and for the pond pump) as well as hose for a watering system.

Finally, you get to the interesting bit, which is choosing and placing your plants. Don’t forget to consider the amount of sun or shade and water each plant needs. Try to choose whatever is suitable for where you live; if your garden has a lot of wind from the sea, you will need quite different plants from an inland location. If you live in semi-desert, don’t try to grow hydrangeas and the like or you will be watering them all day long. You also need to consider which type of soil you have as some plants don’t like acid and some don’t like alkaline. If you use pots, you can, of course, change the structure to suit whatever plants you have chosen, indeed you can do this in flower beds but you will need to carry on adding what you need to change the pH of the soil or it will revert to type.

As well as nutritional requirements, check what height and width your plants will reach. The planting may look sparse to begin with but as plants grow and spread the gaps will be filled but if they start off too close together, they’ll end up squashed and the parts not getting light will die. Don’t forget to put the tall plants at the back of a bed and graduate the rest towards the front.

When you’re happy with the position of your plants, lay out your watering system, with drippers for each plant; one for small to average plants and two or three or more in a ring for larger and thirstier plants.

Soon enough, it will start to look like a professionally landscaped garden and if you can’t do all of it in one year, divide it up and do what you can then start again the next year.

Happy landscaping!

10 Green Landscaping Ideas

The idea of “going green” has become one of the world most followed trends in the past couple of years and people are looking for more and more ways to live “green” and as environmentally friendly as possible. This is done by recycling and conserving water, but living “green” can go beyond this – even your garden can be designed to be eco-friendly.

1. Reel Lawn Mowers: these lawn mowers are muscle-powered, which means there is no engine. This is definitely an eco-friendly alternative to gas-powered rotary mowers and a great way to conserve energy. They do the job, while saving energy and keeping the air clean. They make cutting long grass hard, but they are safe, quiet, save money by being low maintenance and do not pollute.

2. Healthy Soil: Keeping your soil healthy with fertilizer rich in organic matter reduces maintenance and will ultimately save large amounts of water. Some soil can keep water for longer. Healthy soil means increased life for your plants.

3. Recycle what you already have: By using rocks, bricks, wood and other discarded materials from your garden, you will not have to buy more to give your garden character and this will prevent the need for elements that breaks down nature in the manufacturing process. Pollution is reduced and fewer trees are cut for decoration.

4. Use regionally native plants: by using mostly native plants, you make maintenance easier and more cost-effective, because they will grow easier. They are adapted to the environment and will attract beneficial insects and wildlife. It will provide a better habitat for surrounding plants and animals.

5. Do not use harmful chemicals: chemicals like pesticides disturb the balance in the environment and can kill some plants and animals while polluting the ground and water. There are many natural alternatives, like certain fertilizers that repel insects.

6. Time watering correctly: water your garden at night or early in the morning. This will save large amounts of water, because watering at the hottest part of the day will cause water to evaporate and your plants can dry out.

7. Plant trees in strategic places: you can easily save energy by planting larger trees on the north side of your house. This will help keep the house cool in summer and warm in winter, when shedding trees will let sunlight through. Plants evergreens where winds are known to blow and this will further save energy in winter by reducing heating measures you will have to take.

8. Making your garden edible: if you plant your own vegetables and certain plants and spices usable in food, you will help the environment by reducing the toll farming takes. Make sure you correctly place plants that grow well together.

9. Lights that save: if you have garden lighting, equip them with motion detectors and solar-powered capabilities to save energy. Take it a step further and make your whole house solar powered.

10. Mulching: place mulching around plants and trees to keep moisture locked in for longer. If you use environmentally friendly materials, like coconut fibre mats, bark or shredded “green” paper, it will decompose and not pollute the environment.

You can, by re-designing your landscape, make the earth cleaner and be more sensitive towards the environment.

Amazing backyard landscaping ideas

If you have a house that you’ve really spent a lot of money for building and want it to look at its best, for you only deserve the best things in life, then I bet you want to know some backyard landscaping ideas that will make your dream a reality. Here are some of the best front yard landscaping ideas that you can use to make your home look gorgeous:

A tropical backyard would really sound very nice and if you want to consider getting one, you should know that it mainly consists of many shapely elements and of nice bright colors. The tropics are very abundant in sun and this make them to be very diverse when it comes to the flora and fauna. Because of this, you will need to choose some flowers that are very colored and have different shapes.

Venous stems, big leaves, thick roots and so on are just a few of the elements that you will be able to incorporate in the design of your backyard. Yes, I bet that you know the fact that the rain is very abundant in the tropics, so you will have to make sure that you will get plenty of water to keep them moisturized properly. But even though you will have a very nice and colored backyard, you can expect uninvited guests, like different types of bugs and insects.

Opting for a bamboo backyard is a very good choice as they will never die and will be evergreen all year long. You will also never have to worry about them losing their colors, their leaves or anything close to that. Having a bamboo, you will definitely attract people’s attention and one thing you should know is that they can grow up to a few feet high, so make sure to plant them in an adequate space. When you will see that they just got too big, cutting them and making chopsticks out of them is just a funny and also good idea!

A bonsai backyard is a rare thing indeed and you will have to take very special care of them. Bonsais are originally from Japan, and they are grown in small pots. You will need to have a special care for them, as they are a little more sensitive than other plants and trees out there.

Because of their size, you will definitely feel like a giant when you will walk into your backyard between them. These trees can also produce fruits, thus taking a spring flower landscape picture and also a hillside landscaping picture after everything will be done, will be just a great idea!