Sunday, September 28, 2008
Of course we would all like to save on our energy costs but how can we do this? Many of us already have solar garden lights but are there any other ideas like maybe using wind power? There are several innovative backyard landscaping ideas to look into when relandscaping your yard.
Making Use of or Protection from the Sun's Rays
You may live in the southern most part of the country where summer days are long, hot and very dry. On the other hand, you may live in the north where the winters are long, very cold and brutal and the days are short. The type of backyard landscape you have surrounding your home can make a huge difference. You may need large shade trees to protect your home's walls from the sun's rays or you may want the sun to warm your home for as much of the day as possible.
Usually, the best way to keep the sun out is to design shade landscaping. Plant deciduous, dense, and broad trees to the south or west of the house, where their foliage can provide shade against the rays of the hot summer sun. Keeping the sun out can reduce temperatures to up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
These deciduous trees lose their foliage over the winter and will give you access more of the sun's heat in the winter when your home's walls and foundations need the heat.
Create A Wind Break
Wind chill can also cause your home to be cooler. A cold winter wind blowing through your home can quickly drop the inside temperature by as much as 10%. Ask your local nursery expert about using trees as wind breaks and which trees would be the best as well as fast growing. Some of the more sturdy walls or fences can also be excellent wind breaks.
Keeping Your Home Cool or Warm
One of the primary culprits in the wasting of energy is the heat or cool that escapes through the home's roof, windows and doors. It is imperative to find a way to keep heat or cool air inside the home.The best way to achieve this is by planting shrubbery around the home's foundations. This creates a dead air barrier, keeping the heat and cool inside the home where it matters. Experts have suggested widening the distance between the shrubbery and the house's walls in order to increase this area for dead air. A properly maintained and landscaped home cannot only be attractive but practical. You will saving hundreds of dollars each year by making energy efficient backyard landscaping a priority.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Original Outdoor Landscaping Ideas
Landscaping the surrounding area of your home is not a lot different than other types of landscaping. People like their home to look as good as possible so the entire neighborhood will be envious. The great thing about backyard landscaping is it is not hard, and almost anyone can do it without out professional help. It will take some energy and spare time but doing it yourself can be enjoyable and rewarding.
Using a home computer to pre-plan backyard landscaping ideas with landscape design software is one way to help the do-it-yourself type. With this software inter-changing different layouts can be easily done until finding the best one to suit the individual needs.
If you prefer not to use landscaping software try searching online. The internet is a good resource to search for outdoor landscaping ideas. Using the internet can give you some insight and perspective on other completed projects to use on your own project.
Utilizing the online resources to find out what plants do well in your area and how large they will grow are practical things to discover before beginning a landscape makeover. The internet can help in locating the best place to purchase materials at the most economical price.
What is your Landscape Budget?
Being patient and purchasing smaller trees and shrubs and allowing them to mature over the years can be a huge money saving idea. Try to Cut back on expensive water features, rock and tile. "Less is more" is a great saying and can be a great way to not overspend on unnecessary items.
Always have the utility company survey the area to be renovated. Relocating or repairing utility lines can be expensive and dangerous.
You should also check with the city regarding zoning and setback restrictions. Most cities will give you a set of guidelines to follow. Some cities also have restrictions on tree elevations and fencing so be careful and comply with all the requirements. Do you homework and find out all you can before you start your project and avoid any wasted time and unnecessary costs
Step out of the box, so to speak, and research unusual and unique backyard landscaping ideas. Take advantage of the online resources available. You may discover new and innovative patio materials and plants. This will increase the value and look of your most valuable asset - your home. To get more landscaping ideas visit Landscape Designs For The Southwest
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Desert Landscaping Plants Are Easy to Grow
The folks in the Southwest part of our country get to enjoy the beauty and ease of gardening with desert landscaping plants. They need little water, are hardy and also easy to transplant. They come in many interesting types, some with beautiful blossoms and others with unique shapes.
The various varieties of the cacti, with their sharp thorns, have been used in many different backyard landscaping ideas. Cacti can be used as a fence to ward off predatory animals and other uninvited guests. They can also be used to protect a vegetable from animals that enjoy stealing your prized tomatoes. The short and stout "Barrel Cactus" would be very uninviting.
While creating a look using desert landscaping plants, you might find that you have some areas of the property or perhaps a side of the home with lots of shade. Obviously, this would require you to use landscape shade plants, those that will handle the hot and dry climate but also do well growing in shade. Again, the possibilities are tremendous, giving you great coverage and beautiful blooms during the year.
Listed below are just a few of the hundreds of varieties of desert landscape plants as well as a few landscape shade plants. The hot and dry climates produce many beautiful and hearty plants to choose from.
Agave Americana: The interesting form and the plant's high tolerance to heat, drought, cold, sun, and even poor soils makes this an ideal all-around plant. The Agave Americana will grow anywhere from one to six feet tall, developing into unique styles of leafs and beautiful colors.
Opuntia phaecantha variety discata, This is a very hardy plant that can survive in cold weather and will produce a beautiful deep yellow flower in the spring and summer months. It does tend to crawl along the ground and root as it goes. It has very sharp long spines that can be dangerous if planted around children.
Golden Barrel: This desert plant has beautiful gold flowers with gold colored foliage. At maturity, the plant will reach about four feet high and three feet in diameter.
Landscape Shade Plants for the Desert
Another great shade plant is the astilbes, also known as the feather flower, due to the shape of its blooms which are puffy, feather like spires that come in white, ivory, pink, red and purple. For an easy care plant with lots of color, great texture and toughness astilbes would be a great addition to your garden.
The hosta plant is another great shade plant. The large variety available range from some with variegated leaves, solid green, gold or bluish green. They are perennials, returning each year larger than the last.
Liriope Spicata: Another excellent shade plant, this one appears like grass, which is why it is more often referred to as border grass. The flowers are spiked in shape and while in bloom the color changes from white to purple then in the fall, a dark berry grows.
Foxglove: Known more commonly as day lilies, these plants grow extremely well in shade and sun, producing long stems that grow exotic looking flowers of varying colors depending on the species but keep in mind, Foxglove is poisonous so you want to keep it out of reach of pets and smaller children.
Get more information of landscape plants and landscaping ideas please visit Desert Landscape Gardens
Monday, September 22, 2008
Are you thinking of building a water pond for koi fish? A beautiful fish pond with a couple of wooden benches to sit on a lazy summer afternoon is something you can add to your backyard if you know how. Keeping these gorgeous koi in your garden can be great fun and it is not as complicated as it seems and is one of those backyard landscaping ideas you might consider. If you take proper care for them, koi have a long life span sometimes getting up to a metre long. Follow these simple rules to build your garden pond for fish properly so your koi fish will live long and happy life.
Depth is important
Depth of your pond is crucial. You pond should be at least 4 feet deep, however it is much better to give your fish six or even 8 feet deep pond. This will ensure that your koi are safe from raccoons, cats and other animals who can empty your pond. Deeper fish pond also helps to prevent pond from overheating in the middle of summer. With this landscaping ideas, you need to make sure you have enough room to make it safe for the Koi and to make the pond look right too.
Koi really love a lot of room to swim
Small ponds are no good for koi. Remember, with time koi can grow quite large and they will need some space. Also there are so many color variations of koi, that as time goes you will probably want to get other varieties. So it is better to create a big backyard pond from the start than rebuild it later. About ten thousand gallons is considered decent space for a koi pond , bigger would be even better.
Heat the water in colder months
Unlike tropical fish, koi are resistant cold; however you should never let your pond freeze all the way. Installing a proper pond heater will always keep an opening in the ice. Also keep in mind, that koi fish only grow when the water is warm, so with a heater your fish will grow faster
Give your fish shade
When selecting where to place your pond, make sure it is out of direct sun. Also keeping water plants like water lilies in your pond makes sense - not only they add beauty to the overall landscape, but they also provide shade for the fish. However, you should avoid building your koi pond in an area with many trees. Cleaning a fish pond of fallen leaves is a nightmare so you will need to take this into consideration for the backyard landscaping.
Keep the birds away
There are many birds of prey that would love to steal your koi. Don't give them the opportunity; plan your pond location so it is possible to cover it with a net.
Keep insecticides away from your pond
When landscaping your pond keep in mind that you should not use any insecticides or herbicides so they can get into the water. Even a small amount of common garden poison can kill your beautiful fish.
Pumps, filtration systems and other fish pond accessories
Several accessories are necessary for a healthy koi fish pond. Ideally you should get a water pump, filtration system, pond water aerator and an ultraviolet sterilizer. If the water in your pond is still, your koi might get sick and eventually die. Koi pond filters are expensive, so to save you can make your own homemade filters.
Plan a strolling garden with beautiful paths taking you past tiny waterfalls and small ponds filled with koi fish. There are so many stonework Japanese art pieces to arrange along the paths to complete the look and feel of an authentic Japanese garden.
Japanese Garden Bridge
With a Japanese garden bridge, you would actually walk over the water features or simply stand or sit on the bridge to soak up the gorgeous view. After all, a Japanese garden design also features tons of greenery in the form of plants, flowers, shrubs, and trees, bamboo fences, waterfalls, statues, lanterns, lily pads, pebble walkways, and so on. In fact, for the larger gardens, some will also feature a teahouse, which is authentic.
You should be able to find an authentic looking Japanese garden bridge at your local garden shop. They will either be made out of wood or stone. They add a nice touch to your Japanese garden and offer a fun way to cross over a small stream or pond.
Now, there are also dry Japanese gardens in which case sand is raked into a swirl design that represents water. In the center of the sand is a rock or boulder, which is symbolic of an island. Even in this garden design, a Japanese garden bridge could be used to create the same appearance of having a bridge going over water.
Japanese Garden Supplies
Once you have carfeully planned and drawn out the design of your garden you will need a shopping list of all the components you would like to include in your garden. You can look online and order items or find them locally at a garden supply shop.
Once you have added the bridge, you can look at other Japanese garden supplies to complete the overall look. Again, lanterns, statues, bamboo fences, deer chasers, waterfalls, pebbles, and stepping stones are all common, along with lots of beautiful flowers and plants. If you shop around online or even at your local home and garden center, chances are you will find a wonderful selection without spending a fortune. To get more information on backyard landscaping ideas visit Outdoor Landscaping Ideas.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Balmy spring temperatures may entice people to say so long to the crackling fireplace inside the home. However, now you can simply move that fire from inside to your outdoor space, by adding outdoor gas fire pits to your yard area. Some of the best backyard landscaping ideas include a great looking firepit. A firepit can be used for cooking, adding warmth or simply enjoying the coziness of a campfire right in your own backyard. And with the many types of pits that are available today, you can rest assured that you will be able to find the perfect design for your outdoor space that will provide every possible function that you might need. But before you run out and purchase a firepit for your yard, there are a few factors that you will want to consider.
Just like that hearth that graces your family room, outdoor fireplaces will have safety concerns as well. However, if you follow a few basic guidelines, you will be able to enjoy your outdoor fire without worrying about possible risks that might be lurking. First, it is important to consider the location of your pit. These units are not appropriate for use on decks or outside apartment buildings. You should always make sure that you have enough distance between your house and firepit to make burning fires completely safe. The retailer that you purchase your pit from should be able to advise you as to the recommended requirements here. It is also important to check with your local municipality in regards to building codes that might apply to your firepit.
What is your reason for a propane firepit in your backyard landcaping? Are you looking for a way to keep warm so that you can enjoy the great outdoors well into the fall season? Are you interested in doing some cooking over an open fire? Perhaps ambiance in your outdoor space is your primary interest in adding a firepit. It is important to determine what function this pit will fill so that you know what type of fire pit will work the best for you. Take into consideration how many others will be occupying this space. A larger pit may be a better option if you're looking at an atmosphere for socializing outside. On the other hand, intimate, romantic setting might just call for a pit large enough for a small fire that will work for marshmallow roasting.
A firepit can be a great addition to an outdoor space, particularly when evening temperatures begin to drop. With landcaping ideas like this, you can continue to enjoy the brisk, fresh outdoors, while keeping warm and cozy.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Many of the landscaping software programs that are on the market for the regular consumer are not really very good. Some of them are just plain awful and to buy them is to throw your money down the drain. They will have terrible cartoonish drawings that are not clear and that will not do you any good at all. On the other hand there are some of the more expensive commercial grade landscaping software programs that will blow you away with their capabilities.
What you need to remember when you are using a landscaping software program is that it is not going to do anything for you, it is only a tool for you to use to make your ideas a reality. So if you are wanting to buy some landscaping software so that you can have your yard designed for you then do not even bother. If on the other hand you have some great ideas and you want to get them laid out so that you can see if they are really as good as they seem then a good landscaping software program might be for you after all.
Before you commit to buying any landscaping software try to get a demo. This will let you try out the program to see if it can even help you in what you want to achieve. You should try to choose a landscaping software program that has good graphics. The better the graphics are on your landscaping software the easier it will be fore you to visualize the end result of all your hard work. Remember that this is the goal of any landscaping software program. If the landscaping software is crap then you might be better off using the drawing programs that are already on your computer.
By getting a demo you will also be able to directly compare the different programs in terms of price. Lets face it, if there are two landscaping software programs and they look the same and they both have the tools that you need but one is cheaper, which one are you going to chose? The cheaper one of course. So check out the prices.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
You could spend the money to get better irrigation put in but it would be expensive and time consuming. It would be much simpler for your desert landscaping ideas to just include plants that will thrive even in the hot sun all day.
What makes using desert landscaping friendly plants so great is that not only will these plants do well even in the hot sun they will also be able to thrive in poor quality soil. This is a much needed quality because places that have so much sun tend to have poor soil as well. So in essence you are killing two birds with one stone as they say.
Here are some wonderful plants that you can use with any backyard landscaping ideas in the desert:
Longwood Blue bluebeard
This is a shrub, it is deciduous and it will grow back each and every spring. It will always come back healthy and happy and this makes it perfect for desert landscaping. It is not a tiny shrub, it will grow to be anywhere between 3 and 4 feet high with a width of about 2 feet. This is a lovely plant to use in your desert landscaping as it is not only beautiful with its pretty blue flower clusters and silver foliage, it is also very fragrant.
This is a wonderful perennial that you can plant for your desert landscaping. With this choice you will have great leaves in pretty whorls. These leaves can be any number of different colors and can be bought to go with any desert landscaping design. This plant is the ultimate for desert landscaping because it can grow in rock gardens with ease. This lovely desert landscaping plant also has a unique and interesting flower unlike any other I have ever seen. These small flowers grow in clusters and they can be a few different colors and shades. The most common are yellow, orange and red and pink. If you plant these in your garden you will have butterflies around all of the time and they make for lovely entertainment on their own.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Of all the landscaping ideas, turning your backyard or front yard into a Japanese garden is one of the most exciting. Bamboo landscaping is really quite appealing. Moreover, bamboo has long been an accepted material used in gardening and landscaping but currently with so many people focusing on green, bamboo landscaping has blossomed.The explanation is that bamboo is more like a grass than a tree. Therefore, when bamboo is cut, it grows back quickly opposed to forests being cut down and destroyed.
While bamboo can be used in any garden, it is most frequent incorporated in the making of a Japanese garden. For this style of garden, there are very particular elements and materials used. Furthermore, there are different types that can be created. With the dry garden, sand is used, raked carefully into patterns that reflect the rippling of waves. In the center of the “pond”, a rock is placed, which represents an island.
Moreover, the most incredible styles for building making a Japanese garden are plant life and water. This type of garden would commonly have a small water fountain, which would include a waterfall, pond, or stream. As a part of the body of water you could think about adding a small bridge, a deer chaser, post light, and various styles of plants such as water lilies.
Then, Japanese garden fences are also a common dynamic, which are created from bamboo. These fences are utilized to create a sense of privacy. The whole concept of the Japanese garden is balance of peace and tranquility. This is the one place where after a hectic work day, you will be able to sit or walk, finding rest for the body, mind and spirit.
In Japan and even some of the larger Japanese gardens in the US, a teahouse will be erected. Now, in making Japanese landscaping, the teahouse doesn’t have to be big and elaborate, merely a small area where you can relax and take in the beautiful surroundings of the garden. In fact, several home improvement stores and gardening stores actually have kits for the do-it-yourselfer. If you have a big enough space, this backyard landscaping ideas might work.
Consequently while there are many types of gardens, it is hard to surpass the charm found with a well planned Japanese garden. Incorporating bamboo landscaping, Japanese garden fences, lots of trees, plants, and flowers, as well as the other elements mentioned, the look would be complete. With the garden being finished, you are sure to be the envy of every other person in your neighborhood and for good reason.
So, to gain a better understanding as to the making of a Japanese garden, you will find several excellent resources that can be used for reference.
Also, the internet is an abundance of information. While scanning, you can look at the many different, taking the different elements you like the most and designing a garden based on personal preference, yard size, yard configuration, and budget. Backyard landscaping is taken to a whole new level with a Japanese garden!
Monday, September 15, 2008
There are even products on the market that will help you to find the best home landscaping ideas out there. You can choose to use home landscaping software for one. These programs can be a great help to you as you are trying to figure out what will suit your home and yard the best. With these types of programs you will get to see a few different layouts and options are always good when trying to narrow down your choices.
If home landscaping software programs are not for you, then you can try doing a search online for some wonderful home landscaping ideas. The internet is full of great sites that you can use to get everything done the right way. It is important to do plenty of research before you start your own home landscaping so that you keep the number of mistakes made down to a minimum. If you do make a boo-boo, don’t worry about it, any thing can be fixed.
Before you start your backyard landscaping you will need to also look into any gas lines and electrical lines that may be running through your yard. This is very important if you are planning to be doing a lot of digging. You cannot afford to hit any of these things, not only can it cost you a bundle to fix, it can also be very dangerous. Hitting an electrical line with a metal shovel could put an end to all of your work, your life too.
You will also need to find out about zoning restrictions that could affect your home landscaping. In some places you cannot have trees too high and even some fences are not allowed. Find out these kinds of things before you start your home landscaping work and you could save a lot of time and money. Think things through first for all backyard landscaping ideas you might have before you actually start the projects.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Whether you want a plain vegetable garden or an elaborage Japanese garden, there are a few places that you can get some fantastic backyard landscaping ideas and probably the best place is the internet. You will find hundreds of sites on the internet that will all have a great landscaping idea or two for you to take and make your own. It is important that you put a lot of though and consideration into the landscaping of your yard in the front and in the back so finding the perfect landscaping idea is essential to your success.
You should start by taking a walk around your property in order to get a good sense of what can be done. See how the drainage is and check out the slopes and levels of your property. This way you will be able to tell which landscaping idea is right for you right off the bat. The more you notice the easier things will be. It would be terrible to choose a landscaping idea and then start work only to find that it cannot be completed halfway through due to some aspect of your property.
Before you choose any landscaping ideas, take a little extra time to learn the basics of landscaping. This is imperative if you have never done any work like this before. If you are new to the whole world of backard landscaping, then you might want to take out a book or two from the library. This way you do not have to pay for them and you will still get all that they have to offer. There is a lot of be gained from reading some good landscaping books, you might even find a landscaping idea in them.
If you know that you want to change both your front yard landscaping and your back yard landscaping, then you need to use landscaping ideas that will incorporate both of these. Your front and back yards should flow together, this will give you the best possible design so look at a landscaping idea that will give you this kind of harmony and you will have a better yard for it.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
If you have less grass in your backyard landscaping then you will cut out a lot of maintenance time right there. Mowing the lawn can take up a lot of time and energy so keeping the grass to a minimum is a great way to save on work. Talk to a landscaping expert at your local home improvement or garden store about alternative backyard landscaping ideas that you can use to keep your yard look good with a little lawn area.
Some people choose to use clover instead of grass. Using a clover lawn in your front yard is one of those great landscaping ideas that will save you money and time. You will not have to mow it very often at all and a clover lawn is even good for front yard landscaping in area that is prone to droughts. They do well virtually everywhere. And best of all for those who want to get out there and enjoy their front yard landscaping, bugs hate clover.
Watering the yard can be a big hassle as well. That is why many people incorporate automatic irrigation systems into their front and backyard landscaping designs these days. This can save you tons of time and money. This is one of the easiest ways for you to keep your yard looking healthy and well watered during the hotter months of the year. No more hooking up the sprinkler or having to drag out the hose.
You can get a professional to install one of these systems for your front yard and backyard landscaping design quickly and easily or you can get a kit and do it yourself. I would recommend getting in a professional however, unless you have experience with this kind of thing. If you were to cause a leak then you could face some flooding and rotting and neither of these is going to be pleasant to fix.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
By layering your garden landscaping beds you will be able to add a whole other level of beauty to your landscaping design. Your yard is the first thing that people will see when they come to your house and giving a grand tour that includes a fabulous garden is always fun and exciting. You will be the talk of the neighborhood, and for all the right reasons this time, when you have some great landscaping ideas.
Layering your garden landscaping design is easy to do. You need to know the flowers that you are going to plant first however. The choices that you make as far as the flowers and other plants will affect just how your garden landscaping is laid out. For example you do not want to have the taller plants in front of the shorter ones. This is obvious but you should still make a rough sketch of where you want things laud out for your garden landscaping before you begin. This will help you to keep thins as simple as possible. Your garden landscaping will go a lot faster this way and you will run into fewer problems as you go.
When layering you should have about three layers. Your back row should face north, if it can, and the back row should have the tallest plants and as the rows descend so should the heights of the plants and flowers. The trick of this kind of garden landscaping is that oftentimes the plants we buy are baby plants. So you will need to talk to those working at your local gardening store about how large the plants will grow to be. This is key to successful garden and backyard landscaping. If the front or middle row of your garden landscaping design is going to grow much higher than the last row, then you will have to do some rearranging.
The layering affect of your garden landscaping design will add depth and make your garden much more interesting to look at. This is what will make your garden landscaping a success.
Monday, September 8, 2008
A great backyard landscaping idea is to use evergreens. The use of these fabulous trees will do so much for any yard. They will add a stately nature to the feel of your home while keeping it welcoming and warm. Many people like to use deciduous trees in the yard and this is always a good idea but it is the evergreens that will give the yard the structure and the stability that it needs for a good backyard landscaping idea and design.
You need to look for backyard landscaping ideas like the one above that will benefit you all year round. Deciduous trees will not be gorgeous in all seasons, most perhaps, but not all. Evergreens on the other hand are always fantastic and they look as beautiful in the winter as they do in the summer and this is why they make for such a great backyard landscaping idea. The key to any great landscaping design is to find a backyard landscaping idea like this that will keep your yard interesting no matter what time of the year it is.
Another good backyard landscaping idea is to use hardscape. This is the use of things like rocks, fences and walls. These can make your yard look very interesting during all of the seasons. You can have climbing plants on it in the summer and spring and pretty trees around it that will look great in the winter. When looking for a good landscaping idea you need to look for other options besides just plants. There is much more to landscaping than just plants and trees.
Walls and fences can frame your property beautifully and using them is such a great backyard landscaping idea because they will just accent all of your other wonderful backyard landscaping ideas. They will frame your yard as a picture frame frames a gorgeous painting. Look at these kinds of backyard landscaping ideas as well in your search for the one.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
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