Water gardens and/or koi ponds are a great way to transform your backyard into a home oasis. Nobody needs to be sold on the relaxing power of trickling water. In fact, a water garden engages all the senses: the relaxing sound of water, the pleasant smell of plant life, the gentle touch of pond surrounds, the stunning sight of swimming fish and a rippled pond surface (and the taste of a vacation spot at your very own home).
Koi Ponds and Other Fish Ponds
Fish are attractive to look at and bring movement into a water garden. As they eat they help control other organisms such as mosquito larvae and plant pests. Fish will also help fertilize the aquatic plants with their excreta and provide carbon dioxide through their respiration to aid photosynthesis. On the other hand, koi fish also eat pond plant life. This limits the available plant life you can grow in your pond. It also means you’ll need to build a larger pond—at least 1,000 gallons and three feet deep. Most water gardens should be at least this big, anyway. The most common mistake homeowners make
You may think that once you have a sprinkler system installed, your lawn maintenance will become an afterthought of automation. It’s true that you’ll no longer need to drag a hose around your property. It’s also true that you’ll be able to deliver lawn irrigation in consistent and reliable amounts. These qualities are true of nearly all sprinkler systems. They are also qualities that almost any homeowner can get behind, and frequently make this Detroit home improvement a worthwhile investment. What you will need to consider, however, is when you want to water your lawn and what your priorities as a homeowner are. Otherwise, you may end up misusing your Detroit sprinkler system.
Lawn Preference and Use of Sprinkler Systems in Detroit, MI
Some people will advise you, for example, that the best time to water your lawn is in the evening or early morning. This is true in that you’ll be increasing the mileage you get from your sprinkler system by avoiding the midday sun that can quickly vaporize the water. If your primary concern is water conservation, or slightly lower utility bills, this is the way to
Cottage gardens are one of the most popular styles of home gardens for good reason. A traditional cottage-style garden is meant to be a functional garden able to provide families with a supplemental food source. The modern cottage-style garden could be seen as a gardening style dominated by plants and minimal garden decor or a pure vegetable/herb garden that has incorporated some elements of more stylized home gardens. Designed around a cottage, house, or even an outbuilding, this type of garden is focused less on both formal garden structures and naturalism than the home and household itself. Often, the best gardens mix these elements to create a garden that beautifies your landscaping, while serving a functional purpose for your home.
Cottage Garden Design Ideas
Like most gardens, the first step in cottage garden design is to determine the layout of your garden. While highly visible elements of decor are usually reserved for other gardening styles, garden paths are a key element to the cottage-style garden. Garden paths used to be planned in straight lines to accommodate a more functional garden, but modern cottage gardens have incorporated a more meandering
There are two very good reasons why more and more people are becoming interested in recycling their existing lawnmower:
- Environmental concerns
- Cost saving.
The motivations behind the two might be quite dissimilar, so let’s have a look at some of the issues.
You don’t need to be an avid environmentalist or even an engineer to look at the typical lawnmower, be it large or small, to say that it is likely to contain a lot of metal components.
Even some of those electric mowers that appear to be largely made of plastic, will usually have inside them a fairly substantial electric motor made of large amounts of metal of one sort or another.
So, when your motor is reaching the end of the road, rather than just taking it to the local general tip, it might be an idea to dismantle it and put the metal into a recycling unit.
Cost saving – i.e. don’t give up too soon
It’s sometimes surprising to see people planning to ‘turf out’ old mowers for the strangest of reasons.
Good examples include when parts of the blade housing have rusted away or when cables have become frayed and wheels corroded etc. It’s not unusual to see people taking mowers to the
What is it about gardens that makes them so admirable? Greenery, serenity, and Freedom from the concrete jungles. There are several things that are important for the gardens when it comes to making the best systems for automatic irrigation. For instance, there has to be the spotlight of relevance on efficiency. The landscape gardening and irrigation in several regions have seen a sudden boost in the past few years, and it is for this reason that the use of the machinery has increased as well. Here, we will have a brief rundown of certain aspects that are seldom talked about in this industry.
Garden Irrigation Systems: the Essentials
There are certain essentials that need to be covered when it comes to irrigation systems. The first and most important feature is obviously the area that they cover. Use of sprinklers can minimise the wastage of water in the area and still cover more area of the lawn. Another thing which is important is that one should not overdo it when it comes to the complexities involved in the system. The simpler the system, the easier it will be for you to manage it in the long run. Therefore, you should have a specific
Nowadays, people are becoming increasingly environment conscious and make every effort to substitute the products they use with eco friendly ones. Solar lights are one such environment friendly option. They utilize sunlight for functioning. Many people install solar garden lights to light up different areas.
Choosing a garden solar light may require certain considerations.
Type of fixtures
This is the first step in designing and installing solar lighting systems. It involves selection of the fixture according to the requirement. Fixtures can be of the following types:
Flood light fixtures
- They can be used in wall washing and directional uplifting.
- They are suitable for both small and large areas.
- They are suitable for lighting parking lots and roadways.
- They are used for smaller areas like residential neighborhoods or downtown areas.
- They can be customized as per the requirement.
Ceiling and wall fixtures
- They can be utilized for lighting pavilions, bus shelters and restrooms.
Solar lighting system may use one or multiple fixtures at the same time. The number of fixtures used depends on the kind of requirement.
Once the fixture has been decided, the next step involves choosing the appropriate garden light. Nowadays, there are innovative solar lights available. These lights, apart from being innovative are more efficient. The latest technology
The benefits of health nature-based activities are well-known; many programmes encourage cancer patients to tend gardens to improve psychological health. But nature isn’t always accessible, particularly for cancer patients who are frail or disadvantaged. (And it can take a lifetime of gardening experience to find joy in a garden in December.)
In the latest article in ecancermedicalscience, a team of researchers led by Dr Ceri Phelps of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Swansea, Wales decided to test a simpler, smaller approach — accessible, cheap, and not prone to whims of weather.
To find out whether the benefits of nature could be captured on a small scale, Dr Phelps and colleagues prepared a feasibility study of a simple ecotherapy-based intervention in women affected by breast cancer.
Seven women from an existing breast cancer support group cultivated and customised their own indoor “garden bowls” for three months. They started with a bowl, compost and three starter plants, which they took home and tended daily. The women reported on their feelings and findings in diary entries, collected within the research paper.
“I think it doesn’t matter whether you’ve just been diagnosed or whether it’s been ten years down the road — it
Once a small, specialty niche where only hard-core gardeners would go, bog gardens have become increasingly popular in recent years because of the variety of beautiful and exotic plants they can add to your garden, and because, once built, they are easy to maintain.
Basic Bog Garden Design
A bog is a spongy, waterlogged area, where the soil is slightly acidic, thanks to the peat and sphagnum moss growing there. It provides a home for distinctive, water-loving shrubs and herbs that are specially adapted to handling the acidic quality of the soil. Bogs form naturally in glacial lake beds over hundreds of years. Most folks don’t live near these areas, so a bog garden is a way of replicating this unique environment through the use of excavation and irrigation in your own backyard. Backyard bog gardens are often installed alongside of ponds—a great idea, to be sure—but these gardens are very different in the number and kinds of nutrients they provide.
Four Steps to Building a Bog Garden in Your Backyard
1. The area must first be dug and excavated, so that the right soil and drainage conditions can be created. You want to dig two or three feet deep, so that there
Terrace 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.
It’s strange to think that once upon a time there was no “indoor living”? Yet, whether it’s hiking, camping, or just sitting outside, there has always been a draw toward the great outdoors. This fascination with outdoor living has grown to the point that many homeowners spend just as much time and money remodeling the exterior of their house as the interior. However, things have changed in the last decade. Gone are the days of charcoal grills and plastic lawn furniture. Now, if you really want to add some value to your home, you’ll want to start investing in an actual outdoor living area.
What’s an Outdoor Living Area?
It’s not just a patio and table anymore. Not just some plants on a deck. Today, the exterior of a home is literally turned inside out in order to create the feel of an indoor area. But how can you make the outside feel more cozy and inviting? Well, it all begins with the initial design. It may be a good idea to hire an exterior designer who can coordinate the space to fit your needs. They’ll first want to know how you intend to use the space: entertaining, cooking outside, or
Landscaping is a great way to add some curb appeal to your home, thereby increasing its overall value. When sprucing up your yard, there are some essentials to keep in mind. You should always install a patio, put in some native plants, and an irrigation system is never a bad idea. But it never hurts to give your exterior a dramatic makeover, and sometimes a flowerbed or garden just isn’t enough. If you have a green thumb and like to spend time in your yard, then a new water feature may be just the thing to add some life to your landscape. Here are 5 basic steps that will prepare you to make the right decision.
Step #1: Sound Selection
First off, what is your intention? Do you want a tranquil pond that will soothe away your worries? A zen-like garden pond or a bubbling brook? Or do you want something a bit more theatrical, such as a splashing waterfall or flowing fountain? Answering these questions will help you determine the size and power of your water feature. Creating a raging river in your backyard will take up more space and increase the cost, but it may also mask the bark
One of the home improvement projects a homeowner rarely has to be sold on is improving their backyard. Most homeowners realize that with the right landscaping and patio their backyard can be an additional living space. In fact, during summer evenings and spring and fall afternoons, your backyard may very well be preferable to spending your leisure time cooped up inside your home. One of the most common mistakes homeowners make when looking into improving their backyard is to convince themselves certain installations are out of their price range without even getting quotes. Small and moderately designed garden ponds and waterfalls, for example, are rarely as expensive as many homeowners imagine.
Garden Pond Liners
The biggest decision you’ll most likely need to make is what material your pond liner will be. More permanent garden pond liners include concrete and fiberglass. More flexible pond liners are generally made from a variety of different plastic products. Permanent garden ponds aren’t strictly permanent, but if they’re well-built, a fiberglass liner should last 50 years or more, while concrete may last even longer in the absence of extreme freeze/thaw cycles. Concrete has the slight disadvantage of possibly leaking toxins that can affect the quality of
Any gardener will tell you that the best gardens usually involve the placing of “garden bones.” Garden bones are more permanent structures that you build the rest of your garden around. This can be something as organic as evergreen trees or as stylized as metal garden art. Of course, garden art can function as more than just the framing structure for your garden. It can provide you with a place to sit or lounge as you enjoy your garden or simply enhance the stroll through your backyard.
Custom Garden Art
You may have a very specific idea of what you want. Garden styles are various and prescriptive, and by the time you add your own touch to the appearance of your garden, you may have trouble finding what you’re looking for. It may not occur to you, but contractors are out there who specialize in customized decorative pieces for your home. You can tell them the material you want and the design you want and they can make it for you. Depending on what you want, you may have to pay a premium price, but if you’re working within a budget, the contractor may have suggestions to produce something similar within
As great as a garden that completely imitates nature might seem, few gardens look their best without some type of garden edging. Garden edging can be made from several different kinds of materials and can be as simple as gathering rocks from your neighborhood or as complicated as hiring a skilled mason to build a small brick wall around your garden. Whatever direction your garden is taking, chances are once you’ve laid out the basic design and begun choosing which flowers and other plant life will fill your garden, it’ll be time to install garden edging.
Choosing Your Garden Edging
Garden edging is, in essence, the frame you’ll create for your garden, and you should take similar considerations to an artist choosing a frame for his or her new painting. In other words, your garden edging is nearly as important to your garden as what you do within it. Hardware supply stores may have miniature fences and artificial rocks, but few of these alternatives can match the look of natural stone or brick. Decorative concrete will mix the beauty of stone with concrete’s unequaled durability, but this kind of concrete is also likely to cost as much as exotic stone edging.
Gardens are fluid in their design and annual appearance. You can continually rotate and change what you want to plant in them, but most gardens also have a few permanent or semi-permanent structures that help define them. These structures can be almost anything. They can be as elaborate as a garden gazebo or as simple as garden edging or walkways. Some gardeners even use evergreen trees to define the shape and scope of their home gardens. Among the more popular of these structures, garden benches and sculptures add a permanent sense of beauty to your outdoor space and place superb accents among your plants and flowers.
Garden Bench Styles
Stone Benches: Stone benches are great for ornamental benches and should last for as long as you own your home. They may not be the most comfortable benches available, but if you don’t plan on spending long amounts of time sitting on your garden bench, they’re great. The type of stone used for the bench will determine how much they cost.
Metal and Wrought Iron Benches: Wrought iron benches are probably the best choice for homeowners who want to enjoy both the look and comfort of a garden bench. They can be rather
While it may not seem like there’s any technical expertise that goes into landscaping, you’d be amazed at what these professionals can do for your home. From a comprehensive plan for your flowers, shrubs, and trees to stunning stone and brick features including landscaping walls, walkways, and steps; from an automated sprinkler system, pond, waterfall, or pool to a professional outdoor lighting plan that will illuminate your home’s best nighttime features, a landscape contractor is the person to call to change your home and your home life. But to get the best and most cost-effective results, you need to know a little bit about landscape design and your options for choosing a contractor.
Landscape Contractors, Landscape Architects, and Design/Build Firms
Landscape contractors can fit into a few different molds. A landscape architect, for example, is an individual that designs your landscape and has extensive knowledge of plant life, land surveying, lawn drainage, and a great eye for landscape design and aesthetics in general. Many professional landscaping companies have at least one landscape architect on staff, in addition to an army of landscape workers. These all-inclusive landscaping companies are also known as design/build firms. Meanwhile, you can also find more low-key landscapers
While most landscaping tips are concerned with tending plants during the growing season, winter landscaping is every bit as important if you want to have a great-looking lawn and healthy, vibrant plants. With the arrival of fall and cold weather, it is essential to complete a few projects to keep your landscaping protected during the dormant months. Prepare shrubs, trees and grass now, and they will return healthy in the spring and leave you with a neat, well-tended winter landscape.
Winter Landscapes: Preparing Your Lawn
Although grass appears to stop growing in the fall, the roots are actually growing deeper to prepare for winter. Now is the best time to fertilize and reseed your lawn. Feeding the lawn early in autumn will give the roots a boost before winter arrives. A second feeding in late October will keep it winterized and strong in the freezing weather.
If your lawn has some bare patches, early autumn is a perfect time to install sod or reseed. Adding sod gives you an instantly perfect lawn that will be a pleasure when the warm weather returns. To firmly establish new sod, keep it moist for the first week after it is laid. After the first
No matter what kind of house you live in, a green, healthy lawn is always the perfect compliment. When it comes to curb appeal, your grass, plants, trees, and shrubs are more than half the battle. Pulling the hose out every time you need to water is a hassle that many homeowners would rather do without, especially after a long work day; lawn irrigation systems are just the thing to keep your front yard flora blooming and green without putting an unnecessary dent in your free time!
Lawn Irrigation Systems: Sprays, Rotors, and Drips
The most common type of lawn irrigation system is, of course, the sprinkler. Depending on the slope of your lawn, the type of plants in your yard, and your local climate, a series of sprinklers may truly be the only lawn irrigation equipment you need. Often set on a timer (to provide the correct amount of water at the best time of day), sprinkler systems are a convenient and effective way to water, but you must be sure to get the right kind of sprinkler heads.
Spray Sprinkler Systems A “spray” sprinkler is good for lawns that are relatively flat. They are stationary (though, some “pop up” out
Q: Our new house has a great yard but no trees for shade. We’re planning a formal outdoor party and would like to know whether we can have a mature tree planted there.
A: Wouldn’t it be nice to have instant shade trees? Anything’s possible for a price. You’ve probably seen swanky new developments sprout big trees seemingly overnight. These are specimens that have been grown for years in large wooden boxes. Many are decades old, enormous and expensive.
If you think planting such a tree is a do-it-yourself project, think again. First you would have to buy the specimen from a retail nursery at top price. The bigger challenge is handling such a whopper because they can be incredibly heavy to move. Even the smallest specimen in a 24-inch square box requires special equipment for transport. Getting it into the backyard is another big job if you have no rear-yard vehicular access and sideyards are narrow. Removing the box from the root ball and getting the tree in the hole is equally challenging. Due to the high cost of specimen trees you can’t afford to make a mistake.
Specimen trees are priced according to the size of their containers starting
Garden décor is often the reverse of what you would consider for interior home décor. While house plants are part of your home décor, plants in your garden are the major attraction while furniture and other more permanent structures make up the décor. Garden décor isn’t nearly as easy as it sounds. You need to find pieces to put in your garden that won’t overwhelm it with size, but won’t have the tacky feel of small items seemingly strewn about your garden. Each garden requires its own personalized décor, but remember a good rule of thumb is not to take anything too far in one direction. You’ll probably want some permanent structures in your garden, but don’t litter your garden with several items that don’t go well with one another or your garden.
Garden Furniture and Sculptures
This is the main component of garden décor for most home gardens. Of course, garden furniture or sculptures can also be almost anything: garden benches, garden chairs, birdbaths, statues. There’s no reason you can’t have a small set of furniture with a small table. After all, you may want seating that accommodates a small contingent of guests with whom you can converse and enjoy
In most suburban and urban areas, a privacy fence is crucial to allowing you and your family a space of your own. Privacy fences work both ways. They screen out unpleasant external sights and sounds around you, while also allowing you the privacy to make your yard yours. And who really wants to live under a microscope?
Hardscape Fences—Vinyl, Stone, and Wood Privacy Fences
The most common privacy fence is a hardscape model. These are wood, stone, or vinyl privacy fences that can be erected quickly. These privacy fences are sturdy and easily maintained. They are also relatively easy to design around, and you can place whatever landscaping you choose in front of the fence to improve the beauty and curb appeal of your home. Naturally, the amount of landscaping you plan to use affects the type of fence you will buy. Some fences are purchased for functionality, others for both form and function. Heavy landscaping, for instance, can free you to buy a less expensive fence, assuming your landscaping will do aesthetically and functionally what the less expensive fence should be doing. But the benefit of a reliable hardscape fence is that it will protect your privacy in all seasons,