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Monthly Archives: October 2018

Creative Landscaping With Plants

Green plants not only serve as a color element just as any other color, but can also be used as a neutral transitional color that ties other elements and colors together. Or in other words, as a filler or where one area of the garden transitions to the next. Natural transition is very important in garden design.

I was reminded the other day as I spoke with a client of how so many people actually overlook green as actually being a color design element in garden and landscape design.

As we talked about her project I pointed out that we now had four colors in her plan and that we needed to repeat them throughout the design to create some balance. Remember, balance and repetition are principles of landscaping. She questionably stated that we only had three colors in her design.

At first I was puzzled but soon understood what she meant. Green isn’t really a color. It’s just the medium that holds the real colored parts in place.

Now if we looked at green as just being a neutral medium, I might be able to go along with this. However, as a designer, I see it in a much different way. There are many shades of green that hold many different textures that can create such wonderful contrasts that can de designed with.

Some of the most vibrant and lush gardens I’ve ever seen have simply displayed this one color in many variations. Light greens, dark greens, yellow greens, etc. And I haven’t even touched on texture here. Even the same shade of green in different textures creates a wonderful contrast for designing purposes.

Try and picture the lushness and beauty of a dark jungle. Their beauty and contrast are generally created by the variations of shade and texture and not bright colors. Shady gardens that resemble a deep forest or jungle are absolutely beautiful in their own right.

Landscape Drains

The first thing that you want to remember when it comes to landscape drains is that you should have them put in as soon as possible, hopefully as you are installing whatever items you decide on. The biggest mistake that many homeowners make is that they wait until after they get the landscaping in to even start thinking of the drainage system that will be needed. By doing this, you may notice that after a long rain your yard has become completely saturated with water. You must remember that lawns can sometimes act like a sponge. This basically means that after your yard absorbs a certain amount of water, it will not be able to handle anymore until the “sponge” is dried out.

Having the right drain in place before you have to deal with this situation is obviously the best way to prevent it. Landscape drains will act as a way of diverting the water away from your yard, and channeling it elsewhere. The way that this is done is by strategically placing drains that will lower the water down and away from your landscape.

When you are installing any landscaping drains you will want to make sure that they remain hidden, to not detract from the image your yard is portraying. The best way of doing this is by taking all of the available options into consideration, and then figuring out which one will work best with your specific landscaping layout.

If you are looking for an excellent solution you might want to consider French drains. These landscape drains add a nice touch of quality to the outlying borders of your property. Another type of drains that are quite popular are ones that reside below the surface. These sub surface drains are installed so that after the job is complete, you will never be able to see them again. This is a wonderful option if you want to install a drainage system, and then never have to think about it again.

Landscape drains offer many positives to any home owner. In addition to the methods that they use to rid your yard of excess water, these drains will also help to cut back on the amount of moss that will grow due to moist conditions. And don’t forget that by having a good drainage system you will cut back on the chances of your basement being flooded during heavy storms.

About Outdoor Fireplace Landscaping

The flexibility of masonry materials adds considerably to the fun of working with them; you can be imaginative and creative when tackling outdoor fireplace landscaping. A concrete slab does not have to be a hot prairie playground; the surface is not limited to “smooth” or “rough”; the color is not limited to cement gray. Brick and masonry units, thanks to new developments, are no longer prosaic, uninspiring building materials.

The truth about an amateur project is that the results can be every bit as good as a job done by a professional. Both in appearance and structurally, the job you do can rate A-l on the building inspector’s card. There will be a difference in time due to the fact that the pro can work faster, but the amateur need not worry about .speed–the end result is more important than the time needed to accomplish it. The mixture for concrete, actually an artificial stone, consists of a blend of fine and coarse aggregates, each piece of which is completely surrounded and held to its mates by hardened Portland cement paste. A chemical reaction, which occurs ideally due to favorable temperatures and the presence of moisture while curing, causes the paste to harden. The water to cement ratio is probably the most important factor as far as the strength of mix is concerned. Too much water will result in a thin, diluted cement-paste that will be weak and porous when it hardens. It will not bond the aggregates nor will it be watertight. The correct water-cement paste, and this is important, produces a mix with maximum strength which is necessary for outdoor fireplace landscaping. The amateur will often use more water than necessary because it makes a more fluid mix that flows easily into the forms. Such a project may look O.K. to begin with (although there will probably be finishing problems due to excess moisture), but it will eventually be discovered to lack strength and durability.

Home Garden Decor

Decorate with pumpkins. I love to decorate with pumpkins because they offer so much flexibility and are fairly inexpensive. Small pumpkins can line stair steps or be placed along porch railings. Larger pumpkins can be carved or hollowed out and have candles placed in them. A large pumpkin can be placed in a corner of a porch or deck by itself to perk up a bare corner. You could also make a collection of gourds and pumpkins. Combine several different sized pumpkins or gourds on a hay bale. Try to keep things at varying heights to make it more visually interesting.

To continue with the fall theme use fall color leaves to make tabletop displays, garlands, or wreaths. Place fall colored foliage along porch railings and on end tables. I like to make my own wreaths using elements from nature like pine cones or twigs and branches. Grapevine wreaths are a perfect accessory for the fall. Baskets full of colored leaves or even burlap sacks filled with leaves and tied with a matching bow can be a wonderful corner accessory.

Other ways to inexpensively accessorize your outdoor decor include fall seasonal flags, door mats, or table top decor. Visit the dollar store for baskets that you can fill with pine cones, apples, or small pumpkins. For a fragrant touch, add a cinnamon broom or a pumpkin spice candle to an enclosed porch or patio.