Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Elements Of Design In Home Landscaping

Home landscaping can add beauty and value to your home. The success factor lies in advanced research and planning so that your home landscaping design flows together in a beautiful backdrop that is pleasing to the eye and functional to the inhabitants. Consideration of plants that will work in your particular climate and coordination of your various elements will give you a home landscape that you can be proud of and enjoy for many years. But before you head to your local nursery, you want to take some time to think about what you want your end result to look like.

Pick A Theme

Home landscaping, just like interior decorating, requires that you select an overall theme or design that you can work every landscape element into. Do you love the look of climbing vines and rambling roses in an English garden? Or do you prefer the natural beauty of a mountain meadow? Is the laid-back color of a cottage garden more your style?

There are many books and websites available to give you examples of different styles of home landscaping. There are few activities more enjoyable on a wintry day in February than perusing the pages of home landscaping books! Once you determine the style you are working toward, you have narrowed your choices for plants and other design elements somewhat. With the huge selection out there for home landscaping, a little narrowing can be a helpful process. Begin a sketch of your design on paper, or use a computer software program that will help you design your home landscape like a pro.

Plan Your Design

The next step will be to research the types of plants that not only fit with the theme of your design but will also work well with your climate, soil type, and amount of sun your yard receives. Make a list of the plants that you are interested in and begin placing them within your plan. Other elements, such as paths, decks and patios, and a lawn will be added to your design plan as well. Keep in mind that, while a selection of plants will make your home landscape more interesting, a hodge podge of variety will not flow particularly well. A repetition of shape, color and texture will help link the various areas of your home landscape.

Home landscaping is an important element in the overall beauty of your home. With research and planning, your yard can become an oasis for you and your guests, and provide enjoyment to your family for many years to come.

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Hillside Landscaping Helps Control Soil Erosion

Determine The Amount Of Area To Be Used As Well As How To Use That Area

A good hillside landscaping project would involve having steps running up the hillside as well as a retaining wall. The presence of steep slopes is a challenge to anyone that has hillside landscaping acumen because the novice would often end up wasting time and money on unsuccessful attempts at hillside landscaping. Very often, soil is lost due to erosion and, for this, it may be advisable to install a dry creek bed. In case one has a property having a slope from which excess water flows down and thus erodes the soil as well as a drainage problem then the best solution to getting rid of puddling is by building a dry creek bed.

Many first time owners of property do not have hillside landscaping as one of their top priorities, especially as they may be more taken up with paying off their mortgages. Nevertheless, with a little bit of ingenuity and some helpful guidance, the hillside landscaping problem may be solved and a near perfect vertical landscape would be created that would be able to convey such hillside landscaping ideas perfectly.

Before beginning the hillside landscaping experience, one needs to determine how much area is to be used and what would be the usage of such an area. It could mean having a meandering slope or stairs or even ladders, if the terrain permits, and it is also possible to create a mélange of the three. One should also make a conscious effort to use material that is indigenous to the area as it would make seamless integration of the overall appearance, easily achieved. One should also not use plastics as well as bright colors unless absolutely necessary. In addition, one may also bet on wood, rocks and wood chips to embellish the hillside landscaping.

One also needs to pick and choose the right plants as all plants are not suited for inclines, though it is less true of flowers and small bushes and is of vital importance when planting trees. A good hillside landscaping tree is the conifer which has a robust root structure that enables them to be exposed to a greater degree and can also survive off poor soil and they also provide some much needed color all year round. One can also layer the slopes through alternation of large plants with small bushy ones and it will enable the concealment of the terrace and provide a seamless quality to the hillside landscaping also. Potted plants should also be used to stand out and catch the eye.

What is most important, however, is tackling soil erosion. The bigger plants that have greater roots can hold the soil in place and will also absorb water that may have otherwise washed away valuable nutrients. Large plants also provide shade as well as shelter from winds and are vital to avoiding erosion by wind.

For more about hillside landscaping, go to

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Window Shopping: Front Yard Landscaping

Plants, trees and shrubs, oh my! There are so many options for your front yard landscaping that, at times, it can seem like the options are too many. From layouts, to designs, to whether you want the sidewalk to go down the middle of your front yard or wrap around the side; the choices for your front yard landscaping are literally endless.

Where To Begin?

Well, the best place to begin is to brainstorm an idea—think about how you really want your front yard landscaping to look like. Is this something you want instantly, or are you willing to work on it for a few years? Do you want pre-historic jungle or a more conservative brick walkway lined with flowers? These are the questions you need to ask to start you front yard landscaping project.

Next, after you have a general idea, start laying out what you want to see in your front yard. A lot of what you are going to want to see depends on where you are—but shrubs are a fairly common choice that often looks good, the staple of landscaping if you will. Outside of that, it's a good idea to try and match your landscaping to compliment the front of your house with colors, designs, and various other criteria.

Now, for those of us with negative fashion sense or color coordination, there is a plethora of designer help tips on the internet to help us with our front yard landscaping deficiency. From what plants to use, to the best arrangement, to how to place the plants that match the house—if you want it, they've got it.

The first stop is Better Homes and Gardens, or This is essentially the one stop shop for all your front yard landscaping needs in terms of materials, but also in less tangible materials, such as general guidance do's and don'ts for landscaping and, of course, the ever present helpful tips.

If you want some great ideas of places to start, check out, which has a large database of photos from other's front yard landscaping. This can be a great resource of ideas, materials, tips, and basically anything else you want for your front yard landscaping project. The best way to learn is often to observe those who are already proficient at what they do, and this is no exception. Learn from the best and adapt their ideas to your own.

For more about front yard landscaping, go to

Saturday, April 07, 2007

How Can Concrete Landscaping Enhance Your Back Yard?

Concrete is fast growing in demand because of the many ways it can be manipulated to enhance your home in the form of concrete landscaping. Whether it is in your garden, driveway, patio or courtyard, concrete landscaping has taken a whole new meaning. Let us explore together the many ways you can you too can explore concrete for your benefit.

Popular Uses Of Concrete Landscaping

One of the most popular uses of concrete landscaping is done in the garden where the paths are decorated with concrete slabs in order to create the required décor. Walls around the garden can also be raised with concrete blocks for the simple purpose of keeping animals out of it and/or unwanted guests.

The driveway is yet another popular place in which concrete is frequently used; it is durable and it can be custom made if required to match color you have in mind or design. Small patios can be built out of concrete as well in any part of your home, front or back in the garden area where you can enjoy a quiet moment with your family and friends.

Custom Made Concrete Landscaping

Because of the growing popularity of concrete, there are manufacturers who specialize in making custom concrete landscapes on demand. Therefore, you can order anything you have in mind, for example, if you wish to have brick looking concrete landscaping for a wall around your yard or a wooden looking concrete patio, whatever you have in mind, and more can be now easily created by specialists in the domain.

Helpful Tips

Concrete landscaping designs and ideas can be found locally at landscaping stores or online as well in specialized store in the domain. Visit one today and change your whole house around with a new and modern look yet classy and elegant at the same time.

Concrete is durable and therefore will sustain any types of weather for long periods of time; however, you may want to get warranties for those concrete landscapes which are designed or custom made using other materials to achieve the look required.

Enjoy a new look and approach to creating landscapes in your home as well as backyard; contact a landscaping store today and check available choices on hand as well as the endless list of custom designing your own concrete landscaping. Be creative as well as have fun at the same time.

For more about concrete landscaping, go to

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Creating A Backyard Landscape With Gardens

Not only do landscaping and gardening add to the beauty of your home, they can become a very fulfilling hobby as well. What could be more satisfying than filling your home with vases full of fresh flowers from your own garden landscape, or feeding your family fruits and vegetables that you have grown yourself? There is something tremendously peaceful about spending a morning in your beautifully landscaped garden, tilling the soil and reaping your harvest. Of course, gardens don't appear on their own – they require much work to plant and maintain. But with a few tips and hints for creating a beautiful garden landscape, you will be on your way to growing your own amazing plants.

How Do Gardens Fit Into Landscape Design?

Landscape designs should include zones for various outdoor activities. These can include areas for play, entertaining, and (yes, indeed) gardening. Gardening adds to the beauty of landscaping by providing a variety of plants and flowers that will bring color and texture to your yard. But before you haul out the hoe and shovel, you will need to prepare your garden area for seeds. Soil is the most important starting point for a healthy garden landscape. Your garden soil should contain three key ingredients: nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. Most bagged soil at your garden centers will provide you with the proper balance of these nutrients, but if you are in doubt there are test kits available so you can check your soil content for yourself.

Once your garden has been planted, you will be faced with the dreaded "need to weed" issue. There is actually a simple solution to your weed problem. Pre-emergent herbicides can be safely used in gardens once your seedlings have reached a height of at least three inches. These herbicides can be applied to the garden once current weeds have been removed, and should keep new weeds from cropping up.

Pests are another problem that can appear in your garden landscape, so keep an eye out for any signs of distress on your plants. If you do finds a potential problem, taking a leaf from your infected plant to a local nursery will help you to diagnose and treat any diseases or pest infestations. Taking action at the first sign of a problem will increase your chances of saving the infected plants as well as the rest of your garden.

Gardens can be a beautiful addition to a landscape design. They can also provide many hours of pleasure for a gardening enthusiast. By preparing your landscape properly for garden beds, you can enjoy the additional color and plants that your garden will provide.

For more about gardening and landscaping, go to

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Avoiding The Pitfalls Of Do-It-Yourself Landscaping Projects

Do-it-yourself landscape projects can be a fun and rewarding way to enhance your outdoor living space. There are few things more satisfying than relaxing in an outdoor oasis that you created and built with your very own hands. However, most landscaping projects will require the "do-it-yourselfer" to do some research and investigation before embarking on a trip into the unknown world of gardening and lawn care. To make your journey a little easier, here are some common mistakes that many new do-it-yourself landscapers have run into.

Planning Is Paramount For The Do-It-Yourself Landscaper

Yes, indeed. A landscape design that has not received any forethought or planning will look hodge podge and disjointed. A plan for your do-it-yourself landscape projects will ensure that your outdoor space will have a flow and a uniformity that will be pleasing to the eye. Think about how you will use each area in your yard and design for functionality as well as beauty. While you want to select a variety of plants for your landscape, a pattern of size, color and texture will be easier on the eye than a complete mix of many different images. Don't just consider what your yard will look like in the summer, either. Include some early-blooming plants for spring color and trees and bushes that will offer plenty of splendors in the fall. Even your winters can be attractive with the proper plan.

What To Do With That Lawn

A lawn is usually the centerpiece of a yard, but the landscape do-it-yourselfer will want to consider how much lawn he wants to be responsible for irrigating and maintaining. Mowing a large yard every week can be quite time-consuming, and the amount of water necessary to keep it healthy can be expensive. A wise do-it-yourself landscaper will incorporate a lawn into the overall design that will add beauty while not overwhelming the caretaker.

Keep Those Tools Organized!

Any do-it-yourself landscape project will become a frustrating and time-consuming venture if tools are not easily available. Take a weekend away from your yard to spend some time organizing that garage or garden shed. Your projects are guaranteed to go much more smoothly when the right tools are at hand.

Do-it-yourself landscape projects can become a fun and rewarding hobby for the homeowner. Fortunately, there are multitudes of resources available so that the landscape do-it-yourselfer can see success in his undertakings.

For more about do it yourself landscaping, go to

Monday, March 05, 2007

Garden By Number: Garden Landscaping Made Simple

If you are like me, until very recently, I was unaware that there was even a thing called garden landscaping. I didn't know a garden could be landscaped. To me, a garden has always been a thing to grow fruits and vegetables, but that wasn't that attractive to look at. Apparently, however, I have been mistaken. Garden landscaping is a very real and very active pursuit. Your garden can be a work of art.

How Can A Garden Be A Work Of Art?

It's simple: everything that you look for in a painting or a piece of art you also want to look for in your garden landscaping. For example, how does the color work? You might want to explore some color theories to further broaden your horizons on how colors work. What flowers and plants should you have in your garden to get the colors to work for you?

But also, there are lines to consider—like how do the lines work? Do they run parallel or perpendicular to the house from your garden? Where do you want your garden placed to make the lines do what you want them to do? These are all questions one needs to ask if they want to a truly superb garden landscaping experience.

In addition, one needs to consider form in their decisions on their garden landscaping. Do you want just a square garden, or something a little less traditional? Should it wrap around the house, be on a corner, or just be something completely off the wall? Form encompasses all of these things, and even more. There are a variety of different aspects to any gardening project that be chalked up under the all encompassing label of "form."

Perhaps one of the easiest aspects of gardening landscaping to notice is the texture of the garden. Really, how do you want the texture of the garden to look? Large and leafy, small and plain, flowery, do you want vines? All of these aspects of texture factor into what kind of garden landscape you end up with—and luckily, there's a large database of resources to explore the different kinds of plants and forms and textures and colors you can use you make your garden landscape uniquely your own, and entirely what you want.

Again, the internet or your local bookstore are the best places to find these resources and most likely the best resource for you is going to be, which has a menagerie of every information on just about every subject, and that includes garden landscaping.

For more about garden landscaping, go to