Monthly Archives: September 2016

Tips and Suggestions For Spring Garden Flower

Spring is the time when nature renews itself. When spring comes around, we can begin spending more time outside and start enjoying the fresh air and new life around us. There’s no better barometer of warmer times ahead than the first flowers. Having a spring garden is one way to welcome the new season right in your yard, and proper planning and planting of spring garden flowers is an essential part of making your warm weather welcome one the whole neighborhood will enjoy!

Common Types of Spring Garden Flowers

The quintessential spring garden flowers are, of course, daffodils. Their beautiful yellow blooms beckon even the most winter weary to come outside and have a look around. Snowdrops and crocuses bloom before and after daffodils, respectively. Tulips, the ones everybody waits for, come around a little later. All these flowers are in the lily family, which is known for being hardy as well as beautiful.

If roses are your passion, there are some types that will bloom rather early. Marigold and old blush china roses are lovely spring flowers and don’t mind popping by before the rest of their family shows up. March marigold, clematis, and a few magnolias are also excellent spring garden flowers an can provide some interesting textures to your pre-summer plots.

Timing Is Key for Spring Garden Flowers

While a wide variety of spring garden flowers are out there, most find that choosing several species that bloom at slightly different times is the best way to go. Obviously, a huge blast of color soon after the snow stops falling is going to make quite an impression, but if you stagger your spring flowers so that one or two different types of blooms appear just as the previous blooms begin to fade away, you’ll have a great looking garden that becomes more beautiful as the summer approaches.

Despite its official start date, spring really comes at different times of year depending on where you live. This means that not all spring garden flowers are going to be appropriate in all climates. One of the most beneficial things you can do to make your spring flower garden as unique and maintenance free as possible is to chat up a few local gardening specialists. These professionals will have excellent advice on the early blooming plants and shrubs that are native to your area and will set your garden apart from those across the country. Using native or near-native species also reduces the amount of work you have to put into keeping your plants thriving, as such species are designed to thrive even without your help!

Spring Vegetable Gardens

Flowers might be the prettiest signs of warm weather approaching, but they are far from the tastiest! Early spring vegetable gardens are hardly as diverse as their summer and fall counterparts, but the addition of fresh produce to the table is always welcome, even if the variety is a bit limited. Many spring vegetable gardens are based on hardy leaf crops like kale and spinach, but some varieties of broccoli, onions, parsnips, cabbage and even garlic are also hardy enough to flourish in early spring’s unique environment. Though the lack of diversity in spring vegetable gardens is sometimes seen as a drawback, an extra harvest of a couple types of fresh vegetables makes a perfect opportunity for sharing the bounty with friends, family, and neighbors!

Of course, if you want vegetables to be ready to eat in early spring, you’ll have to start your seeds indoors. Though indoor vegetable gardening is something you can easily spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on, talking to your local experts will often lead you to a setup that is as effective as it is affordable.

How to Make the Most of Small Spaces with a Garden Terrace

hg2Terrace gardens come in all shapes, forms, and designs, from urban rooftop gardens to secluded suburban patio hideaways. The one thing all these gardens have in common is making the most of limited space with innovative garden and landscaping design. A garden terrace is one of the most beautiful additions you can make to any residence, provided you plan ahead and do it right. Here’s some proven design suggestions to help you get off on the right foot.

Think of your Garden Terrace as an Extension of your Home

One of the most endearing aspects of terrace gardening is the fact that these cozy little gardens come to feel like an extension of your home or apartment as much as they feel like outdoor spaces. Keep that in mind as you design and make sure that your terrace garden is a place where you can sit down, enjoy a book, a cup of coffee, or the morning paper, all while surrounded by the beautiful textures, sights, and smells of your vegetation and landscaping. Depending on how much space you have to work with, that can mean incorporating benches, chairs, and even small tables and sitting areas into your overall design.

Find a Balance between Natural Beauty and Privacy with your Garden Terrace

As you create that extension of your home, you’ll also want to take into account your surroundings and incorporate them into your planning. If you’re working with a rooftop terrace, for example, make sure you don’t block your view with shrubbery, hardscape, or garden structures such as pergolas and shades. If your terrace garden isn’t so removed from the rest of the world, however, you might be striving for the opposite effect. Many terrace garden designs are developed to exclude the outside world. If that’s your case, then think about how you can create barriers that will give you a measure of privacy. Vining plants and trellises, shrubbery, and even manmade walls and barriers can all work together to create the secluded escape you’ve been longing for.

Choose your Garden Terrace Plants Wisely

Once you’ve determined a general layout that takes into consideration an area to relax in, views, and privacy, it’s time to think about the plants you’d like to incorporate into your terrace design. Location will play a significant role as to which plants are most appropriate for your situation (a backyard terrace has far greater possibilities than an apartment terrace, for example), though there are some universals to consider when it comes to choosing appropriate vegetation. Hanging plants, plants that vine, and drooping varieties are excellent ways to soften edges and create flowing, natural spaces. Vining plants are excellent for creating privacy, as already mentioned, though they’re also an effective way to conceal concrete, ledges, and walls. Finally, don’t forget the floor of your garden terrace. There are a number of plants that you can plant in cracks, crevices, and joints between hardscape that will help to give your terrace an aged, less orchestrated feel.

Don’t Forget the Hardscape

Just as important as plants is your choice of hardscape for your terrace garden. The right stone, tile, or concrete paver can be a vital addition to any garden. Your hardscape will add warm tones and distinct lines to an area otherwise dominated by wilder sensibilities.

Talk to the Pros

If you’re interested in installing a garden terrace, or in terrace design, talk to a landscaper or garden designer about developing a terrace that will fit your personality, space, and needs. Doing so will ensure you a private, personal garden space that you can enjoy for years to come.

Tips To Landscape Your Yard with Raised Bed Gardening

Few gardening practices offer you more benefits than choosing a raised garden bed as one of your primary landscaping techniques. From a practical standpoint, you’ll have healthier plants and easier landscaping to maintain. And from an aesthetic point of view, by being creative about the materials you build raised beds out of and where you put them, you’ll add beauty, form, and texture to your overall landscaping vision.

Raised Beds Mean Healthier Plants

Perhaps the biggest payoff of raised bed style gardens is the improved health of your plants. Because a raised garden bed drains better, is filled with better soil, is easier to maintain, and generally attracts fewer weeds and insects, you can be sure your plants will be healthier and more productive. It’s the reason raised beds are so popular when it comes to vegetable gardens. By simply switching to raised bed plots, a gardener can see veggie yields improve by twice as much. The good news is that those stats don’t just go for tomatoes and squash. Raised bed gardening in landscaping means you’ll have twice the flowers come spring and summer, and that other shrubs and landscaping plants will flourish as well.

Raised Beds Make for Easy Maintenance

A raised garden bed also make for easier landscaping maintenance. Because raised beds are more defined and set off from the rest of your landscaping, they have less trouble with weeds and insects. And because they are “raised” off the ground, dealing with the few weeds or bugs that do show up where they don’t belong is a lot easier. In fact, raised bed gardening can be a godsend to those with back trouble, physical disabilities, or those of us whose joints just aren’t as limber as they used to be. A raised garden bed can be built as high off the ground as you like, accommodating backyard gardeners who wouldn’t otherwise be able.

Raised Beds Everywhere!

If you’re like most homeowners, you might have some doubts about what a raised garden bed can offer when it comes to developing an attractive landscape design. After all, a raised bed garden usually means an ugly square veggie plot set off in the back corner of the lot, right? Wrong. Raised bed gardening makes for beautiful landscaping around the base of trees, around porches and decks, as terracing on slopes, and to add form and texture to otherwise featureless landscapes. In fact, a raised garden will look great just about anywhere you can think to put a traditional style garden bed.

Material Is Everything

When it comes to raised bed gardens, using the right material to build them can make or break the design. That square plot in the back corner of the yard looks so drab because it’s usually made out of old scrap lumber, or an equally unimpressive material. Fortunately raised landscaping can be built out of stone, decorative concrete blocks, brick, landscaping timbers (railroad ties), and just about anything else you can imagine. And by using materials consisting of multiple interlocking or stacked units (i.e. cut stone or concrete blocks), it means raised beds can circle around trees, curve along fence lines, and even rise and fall with the landscape. If you’ve got a vision, there’s a landscaper out there who can mold raised garden beds to match.

When it comes to landscape design, raised bed gardening is tough to rival. In order to make the most of these innovating landscaping solutions, talk to a landscaping professional about helping you put together and install your new landscape plan. From choosing building materials to picking and installing your plants, their expertise can help you get your raised bed garden landscaping project up and running.

Know More The Suitable Type of Mulch Should You Use

Mulch is the term used for a variety of organic products which are applied to your garden as decorative ground cover, as a soil improvement, and to conserve water usage. Bark mulch is one of the most popular mulches available, and comes in bark chips of varying shapes and sizes. Besides bark mulch, wood mulch also comes in a number of other varieties that feed the soil as they decompose, improve the looks of your garden, and help retain soil moisture all at the same time.

Which Type of Wood Mulch Is Best for Me?

With a wide range of wood based mulch to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which type to lay down over your garden beds. Here’s a list of the most common types, and why, or why not, you should choose these mulches for your landscaping needs.

Bark Mulch is one of the most popular mulches around, because it looks so great once you put it down. It is also an excellent choice when it comes to water conservation, since it provides a solid barrier against moisture evaporation. The one downside of this mulch is its size. Most bark mulch comes in large chips, which decompose slowly. If you can find bark that’s been shredded, go that route. Shredded bark will not only trap moisture in your flower beds better than large chips, but since it decomposes quicker, it more readily adds nutrients to the soil as well.
Cedar Mulch is the cream of the crop. Because cedar mulch has natural oils in the wood that repel insects, it’s the perfect choice for wood mulch, especially in areas where termites are common. Cedar mulch is going to be a little more costly initially, but it’s well worth the extra expense when you consider its pest repellant properties.
Colored Mulch is another popular mulch alternative. It’s usually composed of wood chips or shredded wood that has been died a reddish color. If you are particular about the appearance of your landscaping, colored mulch is the way to go. It can’t be rivaled when it comes to appearance. Of course, good looks come at a price. If you choose colored mulch for your gardens, make sure your budget can accommodate the extra costs.
Natural Colored Mulch refers to wood based mulch that is not colored for aesthetic appeal. Many homeowners choose to go this route, since naturally colored wood chips are usually cheaper than dyed alternatives. They provide the same benefits when it comes to moisture retention, week reduction, and composting properties, but they don’t carry the extra price tag that goes hand in hand with dyed varieties.
Pine Peelings, or other wood shavings, are basically the cast of material of more intricate milling processes. They are then collected and sold in bulk as wood mulch. This variety of mulch won’t turn as many heads as bark mulch or cedar mulch, but it serves its purpose. If you’re on a tight budget, but still looking for wood mulch for your gardens, look for pine or other wood peelings at a local lumber yard or wood supplier.

Bark Mulch Warning

Whether you choose bark mulch, or another variety, it’s important that you take into consideration the prevalence of wood boring pests in your area before you purchase. Termites, for example, prefer to munch on dead wood, and wood based mulch is a favorite feeding ground. If you live in an area where termites are commonplace, it’s probably a good idea to talk to a pest control contractor or landscaping contractor before making your purchase. It can be the difference between a maintenance free landscape, and one that causes scores of headaches and larger problems down the road. If termites are not a problem in your area, wood mulch is about the best investment you can make when it comes to landscaping. You’ll be getting one of the best looking, and performing, mulches on the market.