When improving the exterior of your home, gardens, and landscaping are an excellent way to add color, personality, character, and uniqueness to a home. But for many people, a garden is about more than just the aesthetics, it’s also a hobby that they are passionate about and take pride in cultivating. The “perfect” garden isn’t typically one that is thrown together without thought or planning, rather there is a real design behind it. That design needs to take into consideration a number of factors in order for it to thrive and be as lovely as you have envisioned.
To help ensure that your new garden is a success, here are five tips you can use during the design process.
Give the Garden Space
When you first plant your flowers and shrubs, it’s hard to imagine just how big they will get, but this is essential to factor in your design. You always want to allow enough room for growth over the coming years, so that means keeping your garden or the plantings back from patio edges, fences, walkways, and more. If you don’t give everything enough space to truly thrive, the garden will end up looking crowded and growth can be stunted.
This goes hand-in-hand with the abovementioned tip. Be careful not to over-plant and over-fill your brand-new space. Sure, the garden is going to look a little sparse for that first year or two, but with patience and proper garden maintenance, it will flourish and fill in.
Understand Your Soil and Light Conditions
When it comes to choosing what to plant, picking items you think look “pretty” just won’t cut it. You need to be well aware of your soil and light conditions.
Choose a Mix of Perennials and Annuals
Another tip is to mix up what you’re planting and pick a variety of perennials and annuals. Perennials will come back each year, typically getting bigger and fuller each year that passes.
Annuals are a great way to add that bright pop of color to your garden each year. You can change up the flowers you pick, the height, the fullness, the placement, and even the color scheme.
As for choosing flower colors for your annuals, KG Landscape suggests using the color wheel for inspiration and using color schemes. Some of the most common color schemes are white on white, warm colors, bright colors, cool colors, and pastels. Monochromatic color schemes can also be quite striking.
Prepare the Soil
Now before you go ahead and pop all your plants and flowers in the ground, you also want to prepare the soil. A proper air supply is essential so they may require fresh soil, compost, and even mulch.
All of these tips will help you to design the ultimate garden for your home.
5 Amazing Benefits of Hiring a Lawn Service
Everyone wants to have a lawn that is the envy of the neighborhood. The problem is that many people simply don’t have the time or the ability to keep their grass looking great all year long. With schedules getting busier every year, not everyone wants to spend their weekends mowing and fertilizing their lawns.
Having a great lawn takes more than just sticking to a regular mowing schedule. Every lawn is different and needs special attention to keep it looking its best. Proper watering, aerating, and feeding are essential to keeping your lawn healthy. Most people don’t have the knowledge or experience to know how to handle lawn problems when they come up.
Hiring a lawn service like lawn.com.au mowing may seem unnecessary, but the benefits can be worth the money and the convenience. Let’s take a look at some of the amazing benefits of hiring a lawn service.
Most homeowners are genuinely lost when it comes to keeping their lawn healthy and looking great. Factors like how often their lawn needs watering and proper fertilization are a mystery to most people. If you don’t have the proper knowledge or experience, you could do more damage than good by attempting to do it yourself.
When you hire a lawn service, you will have the advantage of working with professionals. Lawn care experts know what needs to be done to avoid damage.
Cutting the lawn is a manual labor chore that can be too much for a lot of homeowners. Many people end up with aches, pains or even injuries from cutting and maintaining the lawn.
Seniors are especially at risk for heat exhaustion or falling when left to manage their lawn. Anyone that struggles with mobility or health issues can benefit from bringing in a lawn service to take care of the labor.
You may wonder how dishing out cash to bring in a lawn service can save you money, but it’s true. When you add up the costs of mowing equipment, lawn fertilizers, seed, edgers, and your time every week, it becomes clear that you can save money by bringing in a lawn service. These professionals show up with all of their own equipment, chemicals and staff to take care of your lawn at no extra expense.
Even with the most careful maintenance, it’s inevitable for your lawn to have problem spots. The amount of time that needs to be invested in these areas can leave your grass looking less than perfect.
You can have the most unique and stylish home on the block, but without a well-maintained lawn, your property will struggle with curb appeal. A neat and lush lawn equals an attractive home. Impress your neighbors and bring up the value of your home with a great yard all year long.
Hiring a lawn service has more benefits than just relieving you of grass cutting duties on your precious weekends. If you want the best looking lawn in the neighborhood, give your property a neat and attractive appearance and consider a lawn service for your home today.
Adding A Rustic Finish To Your Outdoor Furniture
The rustic look has become extremely popular for interior and exterior home styles. Whether your entire look is completed using a historical flair or you have one or two central pieces that you want to show off, you can now apply a safe weather resistant finish to your outdoor furniture.
The techniques that are used by many DIY decorators involve stripping and distressing the wood using oxalic acid wood bleach, but sometimes they don’t hold up to the elements. This has limited many people to keep their rustic pieces indoors only. But, not anymore.
Now, with the introduction of a protective additive, you can finish your benches, tables and other garden accents with ease. You won’t have to worry about damage from rain, UV rays or wind when you protect your rustic finished items properly.
Let’s take a look at this great new feature in creative paints and get you started.
When you have worked so hard on a piece to create that perfect rustic worn look, the last thing that you want to do is have it ruined by the weather. If you love to use natural mediums like milk paint to decorate and style your pieces, you can now protect them all in one step. The outdoor additive is added directly to your mixed paint and not put on after. It is not meant to be used as a top coat to an already painted item.
Simply mix your paint with the additive solution and apply like you would normally. The additive has a borax base that helps protect your wood items from the elements and prevents your paint from prematurely aging and ruining the rustic effect. There is no lacquer needed when you use your milk paint with an additive included.
When you are looking to complete an antique piece with a period appropriate finish, you can’t go wrong by choosing a non-toxic product like milk paint. That being said, milk paint is not known to be durable when exposed to the elements. By adding this adapted borax compound you can now protect your wood and your finish from outdoor deterioration.
Although the outdoor additive has a borax compound complex, it still remains one of the most environmentally friendly finish options.
The outdoor additive acts as a powerful stain blocker. When you are using soft or sappy woods like cedar or pine, the outdoor additive will help to block tannins from bleeding through your rustic finish.
The borax based additive works as an excellent antibacterial agent and mold inhibitor. With unprotected items you may soon start to see spore buildup in areas that have absorbed too much moisture from being outdoors.
The outdoor additive will turn your pieces into flame retardant items. Although, being constructed of older wood in many cases, any item that is treated with milk paint with an outdoor additive will be resistant to heat and flame.
When you put your wood furniture outdoors the paint can quickly start to fade or peel from sun exposure. With the outdoor additive used with milk paint, you will get superior UV protection, keeping all of your outdoor projects looking great for many years.
A Complete Guide to Garden Design
Spring graces us every year with blue skies, long days, green trees and flowers blooming everywhere. With these positive changes, many of us feel drawn to nature and awaits warm nights that will be perfect for a bonfire or a grill in the wild. It’s also the perfect time to bring your dreamy garden to life as well. Are you going to add up the trees to the design or are you more of a flowers type of person? Will you focus on many species or you’d rather have the harmony and uniformity? Read our guide to see what can you do to make the design outstanding and enchanting. You don’t have to be a professional to make the dream come true. Are you ready?
A well-kept base
When you see the painting, you don’t only look at the focus area but at the background as well. The same rule applies to your garden. The most magnificent flowers and trees, the gorgeous design will look poorly if the loan won’t be kept in its best shape. A lawn that’s well taken care of is the garden’s exceptional decoration. A green, carpet-like base is the perfect base for any vegetation. But why the lawn doesn’t always look so perfect?
It all depends on how you take care of it. When seeding the lawn in the spring, you should make sure that you do it evenly at every part of the garden. If you have a large parcel, instead of spreading seeds manually, invest better in a spreader that will do it for you. With this device, you will also spread a fertilizer that will help your young grass to root and grow. It’s not necessary, but it sure will make your life easier. If you need help or can’t justify buying a professional spreader, contact those regularly recommended landscape gardeners from Edinburgh.
In the beginning, you have to water your lawn even twice a week. Later, when the grass start rooting, you can cool down the watering to 2 times a week. The best time for this is in the morning. Avoid using water in the warmest time of the day, as it damages the grass. Evening watering is not the best idea because of long-lasting moisture — this can lead to fungal diseases.
Keep the harmony
Full of colours, shapes and scents but easy to maintain. It does sound like a dream! If you’re new to the gardening, you should know that maintaining the grass is easier and faster than taking care of the flowers. Maybe you’re able to focus on your garden and spend the time necessary to keep it at order at all times, you can get loads of flowers and little trees. If you can’t do that, make the flower space smaller.
When planning a garden, leave places where you can plant flowers. Pay attention to whether these are shaded or sunlit areas — it depends on what species of plants you can plant there, to bloom nicely. Separate the flowers from the lawn with a special ribbon, barriers or rocks.
Find the right area for your flowers
It’s no secret that some flowers like to be in the sun all the time, while some fancy shadowy corners. Before you plant them, teach yourself on the preferred placement in the garden. Most of the flowers like the sunny areas, so if it’s your first time in your own garden, choose those that are easy to plant. If you have a lot of shadows caused by the high-rise fence or old trees, go for azalea that is evergreen or David’s harp, that grows fast and doesn’t really need any additional time. Choose the flower placement wisely to get the most blooming effect possible. If you follow the direction, the flora will pay you back with an enchanting look.
Tips on Using a Strimmer Effectively
Not only are these great for border edges, but they are also perfect for cutting unruly grass and weeds in those difficult to reach areas of your garden, thus making them a must-have for many garden enthusiasts.
On the face of it, a strimmer is very different from a lawnmower despite the similarities of the 2 garden pieces. A strimmer has a rapidly rotating head, with a hard trimming line in the end; this makes quick work of weeds and long grasses without too much effort.
However, with any piece of equipment, if used inappropriately, you can create more work and risk damaging your new strimmer without getting much use out of it.
Here are some top tips on how to use your garden strimmer effectively.
- Protect yourself; as with any piece of garden equipment, you must ensure you take safety seriously when operating it. Though that piece of nylon line may not look like much, though put it too close to the skin or feet and you may end up needing a trip to your emergency department! Ensure you wear eye and head protection to eliminate injury from flying debris. Make sure you are wearing a sturdy pair of shoes, gloves, and regardless of the weather, always wear full-length trousers. Avoid loose-fitting clothes and to protect your ears from the inevitable noise, wear a pair of ear defenders or earplugs.
- Watch out for the cable; if you are using a mains powered strimmer, one key risk is that you may trip over the wire. Similarly, ensure you keep the cutting end away from any wires too; you really don’t want to have to replace a damaged cable!
- Flying debris; though we touched on this earlier, the context is different. Even if your garden is worthy of winning the Best Kept Garden Award from the RHS, there is always the potential that when using a strimmer, you may hit something seemingly benign, like a stone, and inadvertently turn it into a projectile. This is bad news if there are other unprotected people in the vicinity and can be very bad for your windows! To avoid this, check all areas you will be strimming for such objects and remove them from a safe distance. This will also avoid damage to the strimmer.
- Take a break; if you have a large area to strim, you will need to schedule in breaks- not just to give yourself a rest but also to prevent your strimmer from becoming overheated, which can cause damage in the long run. Keep your posture straight and if your body begins to ache, stop and leave it for another time; if you are exhausted, you risk dropping your strimmer, damaging it and yourself.
To prolong your strimmer lifespan, keep it in a cool, dry shed or garage; if you are worried about anything, get it checked by a gardening tools expert.
How to Start Your Own Landscaping Business
According to the Wall Street Journal, over 100,000 new small businesses are opened every year. Many workers are growing tired of toiling day after day to make someone else’s dreams come true. With independent contractors and freelancers taking over the world of commerce, it might be time to think about starting your own private enterprise.
Landscaping businesses can be as lucrative as they are rewarding. With busy schedules, there is a growing demand for companies to come in and take care of people’s property. Give your creative green thumb an outlet to thrive while creating and maintaining some beautiful landscapes.
From a simple mowing business to a more complex landscape design, the choice is yours. Take advantage of the tools of your trade including creative landscape design software to help you make your clients’ dreams come true.
As with any new venture, it’s always best to start with a plan. Opening your own business can be a challenge, so having a picture of what you want to accomplish and how you will do it is the best place to start.
Make A Business Plan
If you have no experience running your own business, you will need to start by doing your homework. To bring in interest for financing, you will need to create a comprehensive business plan to present to lenders. There are many online tools that can help you with a business plan template to get you prepared.
It’s a good idea to consult with an accountant to get advice about setting up your bookkeeping system and taxes before you get started.
Set Your Pricing
The best place to start when deciding what your fees will be is to investigate your direct competition. You may be able to cut some corners when you are just starting out, as your overhead will be slightly lower than the more established companies. Consider your time invested, cost of materials, labor, equipment, and tools, and your overhead costs before calculating your best price.
Every state will have different licensing requirements. In a landscaping business, you may need to obtain special certification to use chemicals and fertilizers. You should also check your local bylaws regarding waste management and local irrigation.
You will be required to sit for the Landscape Architect Registration Exam before you will be issued an official business license. The exam will cover the basics of land management, maintenance, and safety. You can write the exam for a one-time cost of $150.
Consult your accountant about setting up an EIN (Employer Identification Number) that will connect you to the IRS. Visit the IRS website and fill out the standard SS-4 forms to receive your State Tax I.D. number.
Start by advertising locally and pick up a few of your first clients by offering services to your neighbors and family. Take advantage of the incredible reach that social media can offer by establishing a company website and a dedicated page on Facebook or an Instagram account.
Create a portfolio of your past work as you gain more experience. Being able to display examples of your work directly to your clients can show them that you have a great experience as well as talent.
With a small landscaping business you may start out as an independent contractor, but with luck, you may soon have to hire extra staff to keep up with the demand. To protect your business, you should always have a rigid interviewing and hiring process. Check references and past experience before making any hasty decisions. You should expect to provide training for all of your new employees.
6 Budget-Friendly Landscaping Ideas for Homeowners
Landscaping in a particular area gives you more than a pleasant sight as it also relieves stress. A simple house with a beautiful landscape looks elegant. You don’t need a professional gardener or a massive budget to achieve a beautiful landscape. You can make your beautiful backyard without spending too much.
All you need are the following tips:
1. Determine the space and topography of the area for landscaping
The space and topography for landscaping should be considered first. It’ll give you a hint of how many and what type of plants to select, arrange and grow in your backyard. It will also serve as a basis for your layout. When you have a small yard, you can include flowering plants or potted plants in your layout to optimize the space.
If you have a wide yard, you can plant large fruit-bearing trees. If you have trees and you need to decorate it, use scaffolding. Check this link for cheap scaffolding.
2. Make a simple layout or landscaping plan
Aside from visualizing how your yard would look beforehand, making a layout will save you a lot of time, effort and money at the end of the day. Planning and putting everything you have in mind on a piece of paper can create a good outcome.
It helps you determine the available plants in your area and the kind of plants that best grow in your target site. Moreover, you’ll know what tools to buy instead of buying every tool.
3. Recycle used containers
Bottles whether plastic or glass could save you from pot needs. Today, a lot of home-gardeners create a sophisticated arrangement of containers blending well with the plants. For instance, big plastic bottles can be carefully cut into an artistic feature and could serve as pots for small plants or those with shallow roots. Aside from keeping you a lot from spending, you are helping the environment, too.
5. Choose low maintenance shrubs and perennials
Since landscaping is intended for a long-term plant arrangement, shrubs or perennials are ideal for it. Some plants look good for just a few months and eventually wither and die. Some plants need to be watered most of the time and require the right amount of fertilizers to grow well. To save energy, time and even money, choose plants that can live for more than a year while growing beautifully as they age. When you have perennials, you can save so much from buying plants again and again.
If you’re a homeowner, you can create a beautiful sight right in the backyard without following all the conventional and expensive landscaping models. Your creativity, determination, and action are the best capital for a low-cost yet elegant landscape. Remember that the key to successful landscaping is utilizing most of the available resources with careful planning with the right implementation. As long as you’re happy and satisfied with the outcome, nobody can question the quality of your landscape.
Why Tree Lopping Should Be Avoided
Trees are an essential component to any outdoor area, as they provide essential shading and screening, not to mention a healthy dose of greenery that gives the garden texture and depth. Most Australian homeowners are familiar with the term “tree lopping” and while you might think that lopping is something to be carried out at certain times of a tree’s life, research suggests that this practice is actually harmful to the tree.
Definition of the Term “Lopping”
For many people, tree lopping can mean any of the following:
- Tree Pruning
- Branch Trimming
- Tree Shaping
According to the Tree Protection Act of 2005, it is illegal to lop a tree, and their definition of lopping is to make cuts at the fork of a tree between the branch unions, while the correct practice, pruning, is to cut branches after the union, which allows the tree to develop in a healthy way. Lopping a tree is likely to cause severe xylem dysfunction and decay in the major branches of the tree and this will result in the tree forming a layer of new wood around a decaying core, which can be very dangerous.
Mature Trees and Lopping
If a mature tree actually survives the lopping process, it will require very careful management as the tree develops, with extra weight being added by the new growth, while the dysfunctional inner core is not able to hold this extra weight. Rather than cutting off a main branch, the branches that run off the main bough can be trimmed back to a point just after the branch union and this achieves the objective, yet does not harm the core sections of the tree.
Eco-Friendly Tree Care
If you think your garden trees need some attention, source an eco-friendly arborist and one that understands that tree lopping is not advisable under any circumstances. If the tree is in a bad condition, perhaps removal is the best solution and with stump grinding, all remnants will be removed and you can use that patch of ground for something else. While there might be many companies offering tree lopping in Perth, look for one that complies with the Tree Protection Act and therefore does not practice tree lopping – which is also known as tree topping.
Tree Pruning & Shaping
A qualified arborist will employ pruning techniques to reshape a tree or remove dead branches, which is not harmful, in fact, correct pruning promotes healthy growth. An arborist would know how a tree can be cut back without causing damage and always has the tree’s best interests at heart. Shaping can be carried out in such a way that the removed branches will not hinder healthy growth and rather than simply taking away branches to achieve the desire shape and size, the arborist will only remove what he can without harming the tree.
There are cases when tree removal is not the best solution and if the tree is old, then lopping is a manageable way to help the tree finish its lifecycle. The lopping would be a precursor to removal, which might be scheduled a few years from now, yet the instances when tree lopping is suitable are rare indeed.
Large trees can weigh anything up to 50 tonnes and lopping such a tree could very easily put people and property at serious risk. There would be no outer signs of a problem, as the core timber is decaying slowly, and with so much weight to support, some species simply crack under the strain, sending a bough of a few tonnes crashing to the ground.
Once you have managed to locate a qualified arborist, it is advisable to let him schedule any tree work that needs to be done. He would know the best time of the year to prune back and would ensure a balance of natural beauty and good health.
3 Essential Steps to Keep Your Lawn in Great Condition
Creating and maintaining a beautiful garden takes hard work and dedication, but the results are certainly worth it. Great gardens come in all shapes and sizes, and contain a number of elements, but at their heart is always one thing of especial importance: the lawn. Your garden lawn should always be the centerpiece of your garden, so if it looks damaged or out of shape, the garden as a whole won’t be seen at its best. Don’t worry, we’ve come up with this handy three-point guide that will help you get a lawn you’ll be proud of all year round.
We all know that lawns need watering, especially during the hot, dry months of summer, but just how much should you water them and exactly how should you water your lawn? The first thing to note is that the soil type will determine just how much watering it needs, with sandy clay soils needing less watering per session than heavy clay soils, but as it holds less water it will need watering more frequently. Generally speaking, your lawn will need at least an inch of water per week during cooler months and an inch and a half per week at the height of summer. It’s also best to water your lawn in the early morning hours, particularly during the summer when hot temperatures can cause water evaporation before it sinks into the clay beneath the grass.
Aerating your lawn is a simple process, but when done correctly the results can be spectacular. Put simply, aeration is the act of punching holes in your lawn, and this is especially important if your lawn sees heavy usage. Over time, a lawn’s soil becomes increasingly compact, making it difficult for water to drain away and for it to receive the air and nutrients it needs to thrive. By making holes of approximately three inches in depth, the soil has room to move and breathe, and this leads to a much healthier and vibrant lawn. Aeration can be done by hand or via a special aerating machine, and it should be done at least once a year to soil that’s relatively dry.
Use Organic Fertilizers
It’s important to fertilize your lawn if you want it to stay looking great throughout the seasons, but some fertilizers contain harsh chemicals which can be harmful to you and your family, wildlife, and plants. That’s why we recommend the use of natural, organic fertilizers, and as an added bonus a recent study into the effectiveness of lawn fertilizers by the prestigious Texas A&M University found that organic materials worked better than synthetic ones.
When your lawn looks good, you’ll enjoy spending time there even more, and it will also be a great place to meet and greet house guests. Lawn care and maintenance can be as simple as watering it correctly, using organic fertilizer and aerating it on an annual basis.
A Guide to End of Summer Garden Maintenance
The British summer can be unpredictable at the best of times and this year we seem to be enjoying an ongoing heatwave of epic proportions and as the summer draws to an end, it is time to think about some pre-winter gardening. It is natural for all plants and fauna to sleep during the colder months and there are some important jobs to get out of the way before autumn sets in, which will help your flowers, trees and shrubs better deal with the onset of winter.
- Heavy Dose of Watering – In the heat of the summer, your lawn and border plants will require a healthy regular dose of water, especially the lawn and this helps to prepare for the winter. This should begin when the temperature starts to climb and should be ongoing, right up until the sun loses its power and the light evenings recede. If your water sprinkler system and hose have seen better days, it might be time for a replacement and with online garden suppliers, you can order from the comfort of your own home.
- End of Summer Pruning – When all of the flowering varieties have finished blooming, you should prune back a little and not too radical, especially for younger plants and shrubs. Remove all dead branches and the pruning will add some shape to the bushes and shrubs and help them to prepare for the winter shutdown. Trees should also be pruned at this time and if you are not confident working at heights, it might be an idea to call in your local landscape gardener, who is fully equipped to safely prune and trim even large trees.
- Halt Fertilization – It is never a good idea to fertilize past the end of August, as this will stimulate new growth at a time when the plants should be doing the opposite. While fertilization is important in the spring and summer, it should be ceased before the cold weather sets in.
- Spike the Lawn – This can be done effectively with a garden fork, if you don’t have a separate tool and this will ensure that the grass receives the right amount of nourishment. This is especially important if your lawn has bad drainage and don’t forget a liberal watering once the spiking has been completed.
- Cut the Lawn Higher than Normal – As the warm weather recedes, you should raise the lawnmower cutters a notch or two, as the extra grass length will aid the lawn to deal with the impending frost.
If you are lacking in gardening tools, there are online suppliers of all things horticultural and they typically have end of summer sales, so purchasing tools and other essentials at this time is a god idea. The harsh UK climate does mean your plants, trees and shrubs are well equipped to deal with the winter and by including all of the above as the summer draws to an end, you are helping your garden to prepare for the cold season.