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Landscaping Articles

Ways In Which To Go About Choosing The Right Landscaping Company
by: Allison Thompson

Everyone knows that by landscaping your garden will make it much more attractive and pleasing to the eye. A properly planned and implemented landscaped garden will provide benefits to you over the years to come and choosing the right company to carry out the landscaping of your garden is the biggest factor you have to consider if you wish to redevelop or redesign your garden in the future.

There are a few simple points that must be considered when looking to employ a firm to landscape your garden and these are provided below.

Firstly it is well worth you making a plan of your own ideas of what your want your garden to look like. Place these ideas on a sheet of paper and decide on what items you want to include in the landscaping i.e., patio or decking areas, pools or ponds, vines, trees, shrubs etc., and the colours that you would like to use. Then start looking at what landscaping companies are local to you. But not everyone will have an idea of how they want their gardens to look so the help of a professional landscaping company is a must for such people.

Next you need to look at these companies and see what services they can provide you can accomplish by searching online or by using an online/offline landscaping company directories. It may even be wise to speak to family and friends to see if they have any details of any good landscaping companies in the area.

Once you have gathered all this information you need to contact the company direct and if you have your own ideas of what you require for your garden then ask them if it is possible to draw up plans for you to see. Also arrange to meet with the contractor prior to setting up a contract; you don't want to be working with someone who is not taking notice of your opinions or ideas that you have to offer.

Always make sure that the company you are using has the right credentials and has the correct authorizations from the local authorities in your area to carry out these kinds of works. Ensuring that they hold all valid licenses, certificates and that their company identification number is correct.

Find out how long the company has been existence for. A company which has been in existence for a long time will have the knowledge and experience required for doing these works and will obviously be able to interpret your requirements better.

If at all possible ask if you are able to visit locations where they have previously carried out landscaping work and go and inspect it for yourself. If at all possible speak to the owner of the property where the works were carried out for their views on the company and how well they carried out the work from them. If they kept to the budgets and time scales offered to that client. Plus ask them about the company's employees appearance and attitudes whilst carrying out the works also.

Always ask the company to provide you with assurance that provide the required maintenance to the landscaping they have done to keep it looking as good as the first day. You should easily be able to get information on the maintenance that these companies offer as well as speaking to the clients they are already working for.

Always ask them to provide you with a legally valid agreement for the work that they will be carrying out you do not want to end up paying more than was originally agreed upon and this should be signed by all parties concerned. The agreement should contain details of all plants being used, the proposed design as well as all materials that are required to complete the works, along with terms of payment, how long the work will take; maintenance terms, guarantees and the total cost of the project from start to finish.

Hopefully the above points will help you in finding the best possible landscaping company to carry out such a major project at your home and provide with a beautiful and attractive garden upon completion.

Source: Article City

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Landscaping...How Does Your Garden grow
by: Lisa French

The landscaping of the exterior areas around your house should be as personal in taste as your interior decoration.

A driveway and garden are usually the first impressions a visitor has of your home. They should always be as trim and well cared for as your house itself.

Naturally, landscaping, like most things, depends on individual taste. Some people prefer a wild, natural look in gardens and outdoor areas. Others prefer the clipped hedges, planned walks, planting and ordered flower borders of the stylized English garden.

Before planning your landscape, check the zoning regulations of your community, if you live in the city. This must be the first step, as many zoning laws determine the limitations on the height of trees, shrubs and other foilage, and their placement. Interior and corner lots often differ in these respects.

The cost of landscaping varies with each house, as does the planning. The location of the house on the property, the size, shape and elaborateness of areas planned for trees, shrubs, lawn and flowers are of course the controlling factors. The larger, more intricate garden naturally cost more than a smaller area.

Here are some good basic pointers to remember when planning your landscaping.

Privacy - Shrubs, bushes, a cluster of trees can serve as screens from adjoining properties, walks, roads and create a park like effect at the same time. Clever landscaping of a patio, terrace or swimming pool adds to their usability and attractiveness, also provides perfect privacy.

Integration - A driveway should be fully blended with the foilage to create an attractive first impression of your property. The proportion of trees, grass, shrubs, bushes and flowers should be carefully balanced with concrete, graveled, asphalt or flagstone driveways to dispense with a paved, sidewalk effect.

Shade - A single, large tree may be a joy to look at, but make sure it does not obscure the house or shade it too much. Plant a tree or cluster of trees at the edge of the lawn, so that you get the most benefit from the shade on hot days. Make sure the trees do not overhang swimming pools or sun patios, and obscure the sun. Also bear in mind that trees near a pool mean falling leaves and debris to clean out of the water constantly.

Levels - A garden on flat land can be planted with little regard to change in grade (level). Some land is not totally flat, so do not overlook grading problems in your plans. However, a garden that has more than one level is more interesting and much more effective designs can be achieved. But, naturally, the cost are higher.

Drainage - If you are designing your own garden before calling in a landscaper, remember to settle the drainage problems first, or discuss it with the expert. You don't want puddles, ruined turf or plants, so settle the drainage system in the beginning.

Basic Planting - Once your design is complete, you have two courses you can follow in the planting plan. If your budget allows you to do the whole planting job at once, the sequence should be as follows: plant trees and shrubs first, then sod or seed your lawn. Should it be neccessary to carry your landscaping over a period of years, plant lawn first, add trees, shrubs and flowers later when you can afford it.

Plans - Your garden requires landscape plans, just as the interior of your home. If you have definite ideas about what you want, and the effect you wish to achieve, draw up some rough plans on graph paper. Then you can discuss the project fully with the landscaper. If you are an amateur gardener and wish to do your landscaping yourself, you will not need a set of plans to determine each area of your property.

Source: Article City

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Landscape Design - Well Balanced Home Landscaping
by: Steve Boulden

Balance is a principle of all art forms, design, and even landscape design. It implies a sense of equality. And while there may be just a little more to it, this is how I explain it to make it easier for first timers and do it yourselfers to understand.

A garden, landscape, or any form of equal proportions would naturally feel and look balanced. However, most gardens and landscapes are not exact or symmetrical in shape and form. They're asymmetrical and abstract in form and are often without any natural balance of their own. So landscaping often relies on other elements to create balance and harmony through unity.

Many times, a lack of balance is directly related to a lack of repetition. Repeating alike elements such as plants or rocks throughout the landscape will help unify different areas to each other. As little as one repeated matching plant group, color, piece of decor, or hardscape can accomplish this.

A lack of balance is also created by placing too many or all non matching elements throughout a landscape design. This can sometimes seem cluttered and unkept when it grows in. In the beginning of your design, plan for less, place just a few matching plant groups throughout the garden, and keep decor matching and to a minimum. You can add more later.

So many of the questions that I receive about landscape design deal with the shape of a design . Shape is unique to each design and will ultimately follow all necessary paths and your visions. However, any shape or form can be filled with elements and still be either dull, void, loud, cluttered, and unbalanced. Balance isn't necessarily dependant on shape. It can be but generally it's not. So don't get too hung up on trying to even things out entirely by shape.

Landscape design is an art form and so it deals with "all" the same principles that other art forms use. Repetition, unity, and balance are all principles of art that go hand in hand with each other.

Architects use repetition in design by making doors, windows, fixtures, trims, etc. the same sizes, shapes, and styles. Imagine how your home would feel if every door, door frame, window, and fixture were of different sizes, shapes, colors, and types. It would be uncomfortable and chaotic.

And so it's the same with landscape design.

In order to create balance, appeal, and even comfort in a landscape that is lacking, we need to create some form of consistent repetition. As little as one matching element placed on opposites can create a sense of unity and consistency.

It's easiest and most often created in the softscape (plants, ornaments, lawn, decor, etc.). However, it should be considered in the hardscape (walks, driveways, necessities, fences, walls, raised beds, boundaries, etc.) of your drawn design plan.

Source: Article City

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Driveway Landscaping
by: Janeth Duque

Landscaping driveways does not necessarily mean the driveway itself, although the design of your driveway can impact the look and feel of your landscape. Rather, many people neglect to landscape their driveways to look attractive. This includes adding landscaping elements to the sides of the driveway, as well as at the bottom and the top of the driveway. There are many softscape and hardscape elements that can be added to make the area surrounding the driveway more attractive.

Your driveway landscape is the entrance to your property. If you ignore it, the driveway can look more like an ugly scar than a part of your landscape. If properly incorporated, however, it is possible to create a nice looking element in your landscape, tying it in to the rest of your design and looking as though it truly belongs. It is very worth your while to make an attempt at landscaping around your driveway. You need not spend a great deal of money to landscape your driveway, but if you carefully choose features and elements that are attractive and creative, you can have a fairly low-cost driveway landscape that is inviting to visitors as well as to those who live inside the house.

Before landscaping the driveway, however, there are a few things to take into account. First of all, you need to make sure that what you are doing will not be so much wasted work. Take into account your neighborhood. If there are a great deal of children, a flower bed at the entrance, near the street, may not be a wise decision. It may be trampled careless children, or the flowers may be picked. While these actions do not usually the products malice, they can result in a ragged and disheveled looking driveway entrance. In such a neighborhood one might consider accenting the entrance with an attractive fence, rock wall, or even a small rock garden. Also determine the footpaths traveled by those who live in the house. Make sure that any elements you add to the sides or ends of the driveway are not interfering in established walkways.

Some of the common hardscape options are walls and fences. These are projects that can add distinction and accent to your driveway area. A rock wall can be especially interesting if you use different colored rocks. It is also possible to plant grasses and small, hardy flowers in the cracks between the stones used to construct the wall. This can be decorative and it can add a more interesting aspect to your rock wall. Short, attractive fences, and even some of higher height, can also accent the driveway and give it a little more color and character. Small hanging baskets or lanterns can be used with either a fence or a wall to add more beauty.

There are plenty of softscape options for dressing up the area around the driveway. The first thing you need to decide (and this goes for hardscape accents as well) is whether you plan to use the landscape elements to run the length of the driveway or to simply accent the entrance to the driveway. If you are working with a very small budget, simply accenting either side of the driveway, near the bottom, is a good idea. It will cost much less, but add a great deal to the look of your over all landscape. Some of the softscape ideas that work well either to follow the driveway up or simply to add character to the entrance, include beds of colorful annuals, groundcover along the drive to create a natural and interesting border with the lawn, ornamental trees, and shrubs. The shrubs can even be cut to be topiary and have interesting designs.

A curved driveway is interesting of itself, and can be made even more so if a focal point is added to nestle in the curve. This focal point should be something of beauty. It can be as simple as a stately oak, or a specially designed flowerbed or rock garden. Or, instead of being something simple, the focal point can be something else entirely. Landscape bridges, wishing wells, garden arbors, and water gardens all make excellent focal points that can be exceptionally attractive.

Source: Article City

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Natural Landscaping
By: RE Writer

Looking for a great way to improve the look of your yard and become a little more eco-friendly in the process? There is a new and popular movement in landscaping that is known as Natural Landscaping. Natural landscaping is the art of arranging a yard using local and naturally occurring plants and foliage. One of the best results of this kind of landscaping is the reduced impact that it has on the environment. Introducing foreign species of plant can sometimes have a disastrous effect on local ecosystems. Some plants have a rather "territorial nature," that is; any area where they being to grow they take over completely to the detriment of other plants.

Natural landscaping attempts to move away from the traditional "manicured lawns and immaculately kept gardens." They are really unnatural for this area. Manicured lawns and gardens actually mimic the yards that were traditionally kept in England and Europe. These areas are fantastic for the proliferation of short grasses but that is not so in North America. Our continent leans towards the natural proliferation of wildflowers and longer grasses. Natural landscaping utilizes these native plants to create yards and gardens that are in accord with what grows in the area naturally. This practice is extremely good for the local habitat as a whole as alien species are not being introduced into it and by utilizing naturally occurring plants we are practicing good stewardship and taking better care of our environment.

Another nice aspect of natural landscaping is the reduced amount of care that it requires. As with most indigenous species of plant, they maintain themselves quite well. Gardening and maintenance is relegated to strategic weeding rather than full scale garden and lawn care. Natural landscaping creates an ambience that is quite different from a traditional yard and is reminiscent of a beautiful field. This is a fantastic way to improve the curb appeal of any home.

About the author:
Kelli Bennett is a real estate agent specializing in Breckenridge real estate. www.kellisells.com is your leading site for all your Summit County and Breckenridge real estate needs. Contact Kelli today for more info.

Source: Free-Articles-Zone

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Deciding on Your Landscaping Contractor
By Jim Nanners

Whether your project involves building elaborate yard scenes or simply applying some mulch, hiring a professional landscaping company for your yard is not a bad idea.

Landscaping is often a task that homeowners feel they can handle on their own. They hate the idea of paying others to do something that they are perfectly capable of doing themselves. They spend their weekends working in the yard, pulling weeds, trimming bushes only to find that their precious free time is totally consumed by their yard! This is where the decision to hire a landscaping company to help with your yard becomes inevitable. Homeowners often find its well worth the money to hire professionals to care for their yard, so that they can spend their free time on more enjoyable things.

There are many types of landscaping companies to consider when trying to find the one that fits best for you. Some landscaping companies offer elaborate work and specialize in landscape design. Others simply specialize in yard care, such as mulching, mowing, and trimming. Before calling a landscape pro make sure you decide what you want to accomplish by hiring help, and what your budget is.Once you have determined your needs you can call around and get pricing. Because each yard is different, you will probably be required to meet with a landscaper to discuss your yard and get an accurate estimate.

Hiring a landscaping contractor is not always an easy task. There are several factors that make this industry an intimidating one.

First, there are many landscaping companies out there. Look under "Landscaping" in the phone book and you will see what we mean.there are hundreds of landscaping pros listed in each area. Also, there are often 'underground' contractors that are out dropping business cards and trying to get customers. How do you choose from the hundreds that are available and promoting the same thing?

Also, the barriers to calling oneself a professional landscaping company are small. People don't necessarily need a lot of fancy equipment or tools to start a landscaping business. Therefore, individuals that have done some yard work on a few houses can try to trick you into believing they are a highly skilled and experienced landscape pro. If you have a truck, a shovel, and a business card you could fool a lot of people! Hiring some of these less experienced workers may not be bad if you simply want mulch moved or your grass cut. However, for anything beyond that type of work, we recommended hiring a company that knows what they are doing.

So, what do you do when looking for a landscaping contractor? We recommend:

. Ask your friends and neighbors to see if they have had good or bad experiences with local landscaping companies. Simply knowing that another person has had a good experience with a landscaping company prior to calling them lessons your chance of hiring a problem.

. If you have the time, call a few landscaping companies to look at your yard. This will help you determine fair market price for your job. This does not mean you should always go with the lowest price, you should go with the company you feel most comfortable with and who you feel will do the best job.

. Make sure the company has insurance. As mentioned above, there are many fly-by-night people who say they are landscaping contractors that may not be insured. If you skip this part you could be held liable for an uninsured workers' injury while working on your yard, or be left holding the bill if they ruin something around your home.

. Always get an estimate with a statement of work to be performed in writing. Keep this filed away. Make sure the estimate clearly states what work is to be performed.

. Ask for suggestions from the landscaping contractor as to how to best improve your yard. You may find companies that will do a job cheaper, but the quick landscaping they do does not last. Remember that soil type, water drainage, and ease of upkeep are all factors that a pro will need to take into consideration. Making sure your landscaping is to your liking, as well as done properly, will cost you less in the long run then nickel-and-diming a job several times.

. Guarantees, quality of materials used, and upkeep packages are all factors to weigh when looking at the total estimates left by different landscaping contractors.

. Some landscaping contractors require an upfront payment. Agree to a payment schedule (which is a written document that clearly states how much and when payments are due). Make sure your payment schedule is discussed and documented on your contract prior to work beginning. Here is some more information on payment schedules.

. Check in on the landscaping contractor's progress regularly.try to catch potential problems or misunderstandings before it is too late.

Good luck with your home landscaping needs!

More information can be found at http://www.super7contractors.com/RaleighDurhamLandscaping.html

About the author:
Jim works for The Super 7- a company dedicated to helping homeowners search for, and hire, good home service contractors. More information on this effort can be found at Raleigh-Durham Landscaping.

Source: Free-Articles-Zone

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Landscape Designers and Why To Use One
By Susan Schlenger

A Landscape Designer with an education in Landscape Architecture has the skills to work with all facets of the landscape. Not only can they create beautiful designs, but also keep you from making costly mistakes. Areas of expertise can range from horticulture and planting design to the more intricate areas of paving materials, grading, drainage, and lighting design. A good landscape designer will look at the entire property and create a design where all elements are not only attractive, but also one which functions well, creating a cohesiveness to the entire project.

A professional Landscape Designer has knowledge and expertise in the areas of grading and drainage. An assessment should be made of drainage issues, as water must be guided away from the house and kept from pooling on the property. There are many ways to accomplish this. Some of the common solutions are the creation of swales or the utilization of drains with connecting pipes, leading water to a lower area. Grading is normally looked at in conjunction with drainage considerations. One trained in Landscape Architecture can utilize various techniques to re-form the terrain of the land, if appropriate. The land can simply be re-graded, altering the existing slopes, or retaining walls can be designed into the landscape. Often a combination of both is used, depending on the goals of the Client.

A Landscape Designer can also be skilled in landscape lighting design, which should not only be beautiful, but also functional. Lighting is needed along paths for nighttime use and safety in the landscape. Up lighting or down lighting of trees and accent lighting on special features can create a very enchanting vista. It should, however, be used in moderation to create a subtle atmosphere.

Expertise in using paving materials in the landscape is another reason to use a Landscape Designer. For example, the positioning and design of a front walkway should create space for a large planting bed along the house foundation, where plants can be layered and trees can be planted at the corners. Walkways should have flowing curves or interesting geometric shapes. The Landscape Designer has knowledge of the various paving materials available, and can guide the Client accordingly. The natural beauty of stone cannot be disputed. However, even concrete with added color and/or interesting geometric scoring could look very nice. Pavers, brick, and loose stone are some of the other materials that can be used. One must understand, however, that the beauty of the design in its entirety is just as important as the many details that make up a good design.

Planting design is an area where Landscape Designers are well trained, as horticulture is an important element in the landscape. Plants should be used in mass with focal points introduced at strategic points. Balance must always be created. Varying textures should be used so that the prominence of special plants stands out against each other. For example, a hedge of Boxwood, with its small dark green leaves, would serve as an excellent background for Daylilies with their elongated, lighter green leaves and large colorful flowers. At the same time, the design must flow and be unified. Landscape Architecture includes the knowledge of plant requirements, whether they are sun and shade conditions, growth patterns or plant features. Along with the creation of a wonderful design, professional landscape plans can include color in the garden throughout the year, including spectacular fall color and winter interest.

A Landscape Designer can transform your property into a beautiful landscape with interesting features, balance, scale, color and functionality. The cost for professional services of someone educated in Landscape Architecture is worth the end product and can make all the difference in the world in creating the type of landscape one has dreamed about.

About the author:
Susan Schlenger is a professional Landscape Designer with a degree in Landscape Architecture. She has been practicing for 10 years. Her company Susan Schlenger Landscape Design is based in Virginia. You can read more about professional landscape ideas at Landscape Design Advice.

Source: Free-Articles-Zone

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Landscaping, An American Pass Time
By: James Calvin

Landscaping has been a favorite American pass time for hundreds of years. Recently through the added exposure of popular TV shows, the interest in sprucing up one's landscaping has become greater than ever. Today, many shows are introducing everyone to new and fun ways to enjoy landscaping. There are even dedicated television channels, such as the Home and Garden channel, that explore all things beautiful to improve one's living space and take it from just functional to luxurious through improved landscaping.

Landscaping is a pass time no longer limited to just seniors or those that enjoy a relaxing activity. Today, all across our great country, families are finding landscaping to be a great activity that everyone from Grandma and Grandpa down to the youngest children can enjoy together. Landscaping is a family activity that everyone can get on board with.

Landscaping, although relaxing, can also be a good source for exercise. With an ever increasing spot light on weight loss, adding landscaping to your routine can increase calorie burn.

Landscaping's appeal has so many facets. Those looking to improve the look of home they want to sell as well as those looking to improve the look of their current home and neighborhood are finding landscaping to be a viable option. It is simply amazing to see what a difference a little landscaping can do to add curb appeal to a home or neighborhood. Many communities are improving their aesthetic appeal with professional landscaping.

To be an expert in landscaping, one must understand that it is not as easy as it seems. You need to do appropriate research, design and implementation in order for any landscaper to appreciate the outcome. This of it the way an artist looks at an empty canvas. The beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Take that into landscaping and you'll see results that you never thought you could achieve.

About the Author:
James Calvin is bringing awareness to the web topics such as landscaping through his website http://www.landscaping-ideas.org For more details on landscaping be sure to visit his website. You may freely distribute or publish his article as long as this bio and an active hyperlink are accompanied with it.

Source: Isnare

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Tips For Choosing A Landscaping Firm
By: Thomas Paul

It is known to everyone that landscaping will make the yard very attractive, at the same time attractiveness is not the sole benefit that we can enjoy from a properly planed and implemented landscaping. It is rightly said that we have to put our effort to gain some benefits. This is applicable in the case of landscaping also. But it is not possible for every one who is interested in landscaping to spend enough time for landscaping because of various reasons. Here's where comes the importance of firms that are engaged in providing landscaping services.

The following are the simple but the most important points that you have to consider while choosing a landscaping firm.

Make an outline of your own idea

If you have your own idea with regard to landscaping, first convert that idea into a sheet of paper. After that decide on the things that you want in the landscape like patios, pools, vines, trees, colors etc. Then start looking for a landscaping company. But it is not necessary that everyone must have the idea about their own landscapes, in such cases the help of a professional company is needed from the very beginning.

Analyzing the options

It is very important to locate the company first for making use of the services provided by it. This can be accomplished through searching online or by using an online or offline landscape company directory. You can even ask your friends and relatives for collecting the contact details.

Contacting the concerned officials

The next step is to meet the officials of various companies's, and if you are a person having your own idea communicate your idea with them or you can ask them for various plans.

Also ask about the applicator (the person who is going to work with you) that will be associated with your loan and if possible meet him. This is because for better results there should be a good understanding between you and the applicator. If the applicator doesn't suits you it's advisable to move to another company.

Ensure the firm is authorized to do the work

This is a major point that cannot be ignored. You have to make sure that the company you are contacting is properly authorized by the authorities to do such kind of work. For this purpose you have to ensure that the company is having valid license, certifications etc. Always check for the firm's federal identification number.

Verify the existence of the company

It's always better to enquire about the time the company has been in existence. This is because of the fact that a company that has been in existence over a period of time will have the knowledge and experience in doing the work, so that they can implement your work in a better way than your expectation.

Analyze the past and present projects of the company

It's always better to make an analysis of the past projects of the company directly by visiting. This gives you a good idea about the work of the company and what the company is really capable of. If possible try to speak to the owner of the landscape, so that you can have an idea of the service of the company. In addition to completed projects, visiting of on going projects will provide some idea about quality of work, job presence, crew's appearance etc

Get assurances regarding maintenance

Landscapes require year round maintenance in order to keep them attractive at all times. So while choosing a landscaping firm it is very important to ensure that they will provide the required timely maintenance. You can give information about the maintenance offered from the firm itself as well as from people who are currently using their services.

Insist on a legally valid agreement

Once you have selected the landscaping firm, you have to ask for a legally binding agreement that contains each and every aspects of the contract. The contract has to be signed by concerned parties. The agreement should contain details regarding plants, proposed design and materials to be used, terms of payment, duration of work, maintenance, guarantees, total cost involved, starting and finishing of work.

The above mentioned tips will definitely help you in finding the best suited landscaping firm for making your yard attractive and beautiful. Happy Landscaping.

About the Author:
http://dreamlandscaping.com deals with advanced and latest tips in relation to landscaping. The site also provides design tips, landscaping information and landscaping resources. The site also includes a glossary that deals with various terms related to landscaping.

Source: Isnare

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Landscaping With Rocks Will Spotlight Your Yard
By: Holly Dodd

Taking a drive around town will reveal yards that look the same. Sure some may have beautifully manicured lawns and others may not but the overall look is the same, green grass, trees and flowers. If you're longing to make your yard stand out from the acres of sameness adding some decorative rocks and stones will do the trick.

The addition of landscaping rocks will give your yard a style and character that most homeowners would love to have but don't know where to start. The first step to adding some personality to your landscaping is to remove some of the grass. If you aren't using your front lawn there's no point in maintaining it and this will make your landscape unique.

Use a shovel or if you have access to one, use a tiller to break up the ground. Pull the rocks out of your way -these are not the kind of rocks we'll be using for this landscaping project :)

While you're digging, decide whether or not you have the proper drainage for your plants and flowers, if not, now would be a good time to add the appropriate irrigation system.

One addition that you can add to your front yard landscaping is to add a walkway. Having your guests use the driveway or worse, the grass, to get to your door is not the effect you're after so think about adding a walkway. This addition will keep guests from tracking in dirt and other debris in to your home too.

One popular effect for a stone walkway is to stagger rocks all along the walk to your door. Make certain that when you do the final install your rocks are secure and they don't move when they are walked on. To keep the rocks in place remove four to five inches of soil beneath each rock that you lay. Add a thin layer of gravel beneath the stone. This will keep your rocks and stones in place to ensure safety and stability.

When planning the walkway try to add interest by adding curves to your design. This will give your work a more distinctive yet informal look. Add smaller trees and shrubs top provide structure for your new walkway. And add some color with some easy to care for perennials. Perennials work well with a rock landscape because they are easy to care for yet they add beauty and color to the project.

Once the main plantings are in, you can start to add some smaller greens and flowers. You can add some greens in between the rocks in your walkway to fill in the gaps. Some people suggest that instead of using mulch to maintain the manicured look use river rock between the flowers. Both would work well it's just a matter of taste and budget.

Now for the finishing touch -add some climbing vines that will wrap up and around your railing and front porch. Hanging plants can be hung from the roof of you porch or you can create a trellis for the vines and the planters. This will give it the finished look of a Tuscan garden. Decorative rocks are the final touch for this easy to do project and you'll have a front yard that neighbors will envy for years.

About the Author:
Holly Dodd publishes a variety of websites. For more information on landscaping yards, visit one of her landscaping sites, www.landscaping-garden-stones.info or www.blog.buckstopper.com

Source: Isnare

Landscape Drainage - How To Prevent Drainage Problems On Your Property
by: Susan Schlenger

A landscape design should include plans for landscape drainage. But how do you go about addressing this seemingly complicated part of a design?

Not only does water end up on your property from rain, but also from runoff from the roof of your house. The roof water runs into the gutters which are connected to the leader drains which are the vertical pipes on the outside of your house.

Occasionally, a house is designed so that the water rolls right off the roof onto the foundation stone. Perforated pipe is laid beneath this stone and pitched to lead the water away from the house.

Basically, the idea is to lead the water away from you house and also keep the water from collecting, or pooling, in an area.

So how do you go about doing this properly?

There are a few different ways landscape drainage can be handled.

1. Pitch all water away from the house at a minimum of 2%, or 1/4 inch per foot.

2. In areas where more intricate grading is necessary, create swales. A swale is basically a drainage ditch in the lawn which pitches away. It can be created in a subtle way so that it is not noticeable. It can be narrow or wide.

3. Lead water to a lawn drain. This is a drain box, set a little lower than the lawn. The water enters the drain box. Attached to the box is a solid pipe. The pipe travels for a distance underground and finally surfaces at a desirable area. The pipe should also be pitched properly.

4. Water can go directly into a perforated pipe. An example of where this might be used is in a planting bed. The pipe then connects to a solid pipe and is led away.

There are other ways to deal with drainage issues, such as drainage pits. In addition, hardscape runoff can be reduced or eliminated by designing in a way that is good for the environment. Rain gardens are an excellent way to help with drainage. All of the above methods can lead to a rain garden, which is located at a lower elevation and contains wet site tolerant plants. A rain garden can be quite attractive.

Source: www.articlecity.com

Spring Color In The Landscape
by: Susan Schlenger

Most people enjoy color in the landscape, but especially in the Spring after the Winter season.

In the early Spring, one can enjoy blooming bulbs, which should be planted the previous Fall. Some bulbs to plant might be Daffodils, Tulips, Grape Hyacinth and Hyacinth. There are others, but these are some of the more spectacular ones. I like to plant ALOT of one kind together to create an eye-catching splash of color.

Daffodils come in various colors, but mainly yellows, oranges and whites. They can also be single, double, or even ruffled. Daffodils can naturalize, which means they multiply as years go by. They are also deer resistant.

Tulips also come in many colors, more so than Daffodils. You can choose shades of pink, purple, white, and yellow. These are the most common colors. The flowers themselves can be on the small side or very large, and they can also be ruffled. Deer love tulips, so be careful where you plant them if you have a deer problem.

I love Grape Hyacinths. They are very small and come in purple and white. Due to their size, an abundance of them should be planted together in groups to make a statement and have them stand out.

Hyacinths are a larger from of the Grape Hyacinth and also come in various colors. They are shorter and wider, rather than the tall and slender forms of the Daffodils and Tulips.

Early flowering trees are always a welcoming sight in the spring. Some of these are Cherry trees, Dogwoods, Crabapples, Magnolias, and Flowering Plum. Certain varieties of trees are hardier than others. For example, Dogwoods have been plagued with Anthracnose. Crosses have been developed between the problematic native Flowering Dogwood and the Kousa Dogwood to create hybrids that are resistant to Anthracnose. One of the successful ones is the Stellar Pink Dogwood. As its name implies, the flowers are a beautiful pink.

There are a multitude of flowering shrubs to choose from that will provide color in the spring. Some that you might consider are Rhododendron, Azaleas, and Viburnum. Most of theses varieties do well located in an area that gets both sun and shade. Rhododendron are large leaved shrubs and graceful. Most are on the larger size, but not all. A smaller Rhododendron variety is "Janet Blair" and has very pretty clear pink flowers. Rhodendron flowers can also be other shades of pink, purples, reds and white. The deer do like to eat this plant. However, the native Rhododendron is somewhat deer resistant. Azaleas come in many colors. You can find them in white, pinks, purples, and reds. The Exbury Azalea, which is larger and deciduous, comes in much brighter colors. So if you like bright yellows and oranges, you might try one of these. Viburnum flowers are mostly white. The majority of these plants get large and they are mostly deer resistant. They look nice in a relatively shady location and also work well in natural or wooded areas. Japanese Andromeda and Mountain Laurel are also lovely, early flowering shrubs. There are many varieties of these so you may select for particular colors and also shrub size. As you drive or walk around in the spring, you might see masses of Mountain Laurel blooming in the woods or at the edges.

Spring blooming perennials can be found in numerous sizes, shapes and flower colors. Bleeding Heart 'Exima' or 'Luxuriant' will bloom on and off for a good part of the season. Pink is the most common although they are also available in white. They like the shade. Peonies are a lovely old-fashioned perennial with their large beautiful flowers. They resemble a medium sized shrub (although they are a perennial) so can be used where you need some substance. Veronica with its spike-like blooms is very colorful. This is a lower perennial that prefers a sunny condition. Another great perennial is Catmint 'Walker's Low'. I have this in my garden. Mine is now two years old. It is about three feet wide and about 18' - 24" high. It blooms for an extremely long time with purple elongated flowers. Here is a tip for this plant. When flowers are finishing, cut the plant and flowers back by about 12". It will re-bloom again and be just as pretty.

Try to plant in large groups to maximize the impact of the color. One Daffodil looks lonely, but 100 make a striking picture. The same holds true for shrubs and perennials; you should plant them in groups. I like to use a minimum of five of a particular plant all in the same color. Trees can be used alone, but even with this type of plant you can add a few of one kind. A group of three Dogwood in bloom provides a mass of color.

Think in color schemes for plants that bloom at the same time. One palette might be various shades of pink, while another could be pinks, purples and whites. Want more of a cottage garden look? Add some pale yellows to create a soft kaleidoscope of color.

Select plants that bloom in different Spring months, from March through May. Then you are onto Summer color!

Source: www.articlecity.com

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