Landscape Design for All Four Seasons

Buying Property In A Hurricane Zone? 4 Things To Do Before The Wind Blows

If you’ve purchased a home in an area prone to hurricanes, the coming of storm season can be a stressful time. But one valuable way to reduce that stress is to prepare your property ahead of time. This will help you face hurricane season with confidence and a plan. If you’re in this position, here are 4 key things to do to prep your property for an onslaught.  Care for Trees. One of the biggest threats to your home and physical property during a hurricane is from the trees surrounding it. Start with smaller trees and shrubs, trimming off old, damaged, broken, or dying limbs. For larger trees, work with a professional landscaping service to determine if your trees are all healthy and solid. Have any seriously damaged or dead trees removed by professionals as soon as possible. If you have concerns about neighboring trees, you may want to offer to split with neighbors the cost of repairing or removing any potentially dangerous ones.  Storm-Proof Your Home. There are a few easy ways to make your home stronger in the face of storms. Hurricane straps or clips, for example, can help fasten the house’s roof to its frame. Storm shutters or other window covers can make preparation much easier when it comes time. Test the quality of outbuildings and hardscaping — such as sheds, garages, car ports, and porches — to ensure that they are well-built and solidly attached to either the home or a foundation. Caulk around doors and windows to prevent rain damage.  Assess Your Coverage. Talk to your insurance agent about whether your homeowner’s insurance is sufficient to cover your current belongings. In addition, determine what types of storm damage are covered (such as wind and flooding) and which are not. Most homeowner’s policies don’t cover flooding, so consider purchasing additional insurance for this common storm result. While you’re thinking about coverage, take an inventory of your home and belongings — including some pictures — to use if anything is damaged.  Stock Up. The best time to plan for waiting out a hurricane is before it hits the news. So, spend some time as a family coming up with a plan for weathering a storm or evacuating. Stock up on nonperishable supplies, chargers, batteries, water, and a small generator. If your region is prone to flooding, consider buying a sump pump for low-lying areas. By having these items […]

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4 Tips For Creating A Plant Nursery In Your Backyard

Do you want to start a plant nursery in your large backyard to make profits from it? In order to run a profitable nursery, you must make sure it is created in the most professional way possible. You need to make sure your backyard is pleasant to look at if your customers will be walking around the nursery to choose plants. Take a look at this article for tips that can help you create the most ideal plant nursery for running a small business. 1. Get Beautiful Hardscapes Installed Keep in mind that your customers will need paths to walk on for the interior and exterior of the nursery. It is wise to get hardscapes installed that are appealing. For instance, you can opt for hardscapes that are constructed with bricks, natural stones, or a mixture of materials. Make sure the hardscapes are designed with character that will make customers want to keep visiting your nursery to enjoy the scenery. 2. Purchase the Right Size Greenhouse If you intend on starting out with a small plant nursery, it does not necessarily mean that you should invest in a small greenhouse. You must think about the space you might need in the greenhouse in the event that your business quickly grows. Determine how many plants you intend to sell per day, and purchase a greenhouse that can accommodate all of them. Plan enough space to properly separate different plants, as some might need to be in the sun while others will need shade. 3. Make Sure an Irrigation System is Installed Don’t plan to run your nursery by manually watering the plants all of the time. You can never predict when you might fall ill or simply don’t feel like watering the plants. It is in your best interest to get an irrigation system installed in your nursery. You can then count on the plants receiving a sufficient amount of water at all times. You don’t want to lose profits due to the plants dying from the wrong type of care being provided. 4. Hire a Landscaper to Assist with the Project If you have no landscaping or organizational skills, allow a professional landscaper to help with the creation of your plant nursery. A landscaper will help you choose plants that are right for your region, as well as suggest supplies for growing the plants. Your home plant nursery will look […]

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A Dash And A Sprinkle — 3 Easy Steps To Adding An Herb Garden In Your Backyard

Are you thinking about installing an herb garden in your backyard? For cooks and food connoisseurs alike, being able to step outside and pick fresh herbs for dinner is a dream come true. So, how can you add this fun detail to your landscape? Here is a handy three-step guide. Keep It Close. When choosing a location for your herb garden, try to place it close to the house — primarily, close to the kitchen — for easy access. The less work you have to go to in order to maintain and harvest your herbs, the more likely you are to get the maximum value from your garden. For the best placement options, simply walk out your back door and survey all the possible locations within about 20 paces. If you live in an area with rainy spring or fall weather, consider making the path to the garden covered or sheltered from the elements as well.  Make It Comfortable for You. How you set up an herb garden largely depends on your physical comfort and the plants’ growing needs. If your budget is tight, you could place a simple wood or stone border around a section of good soil and start a few herbs there. Or, you could build an herb-growing station tall enough to comfortably work in while standing. A raised herb garden is a good idea, too, if you have pets or outdoor critters that are likely to munch on plants or make themselves at home in a garden. Whatever style you choose, be certain that all areas of the garden can be easily reached for weeding and care, and that you add good quality soil for your young plants.  Choose Your Own Herbs. Assess how much of each herb you already use in your pantry. This will give you an idea of which herbs to plant in your garden and how many of each to start. If you want a more attractive garden, consider unusual variations of herbs, such as variegated sage, thyme, or mint. For lower maintenance, start with perennial herbs like sage, fennel, or mint. If you’re unsure how to incorporate an herb garden into your yard design, or you have unusual outdoor circumstances, consult with a professional landscaper like L & L Excavation & Landscaping to get started. But, whether you do it alone or with help, the ability to harvest fresh herbs while dinner […]

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Three Reasons Hydroseeding Makes It Easier To Grow Or Repair Your Lawn

Whether you are putting in a new lawn or repairing worn patches on an existing one, you might give hydroseeding a try. Originally designed for large volume commercial use, the seed mixture is catching on in the residential market. Below is a brief description of hydroseeding and three reasons why you might consider it for your reseeding needs. What is Hydroseeding? Hydroseeding is the application of lawn seed using a spray delivery system The seeds are mixed with fertilizer and a mulch usually made of wood chips or cellulose fibers. Most brands color the mixture green, which helps you see where you’ve applied the solution. On large jobs, such as seeding a golf course or to restoring a burned out area, the mulch is usually stored in large tankers and delivered using high pressure hoses. For residential use, the mixture is stored in portable containers that have the delivery system attached.  All you need to do is provide the water source. Three Reasons to Consider Hydroseeding Easy Application The lawn area must still be prepared by aerating the soil, usually with a rototiller, and then smoothing out the area until it is flat and even. Then it’s a matter of hooking up the sprayer and covering the space. If you are reseeding parts of an existing lawn that has worn spots, the affected areas should be similarly prepared before spraying. That bright green dye lets you know if you’ve “missed a spot.” Lawns Grow in Faster Hydro-seeded lawns tend to grow faster and more evenly than dry-seeded ones. In some cases the seeds germinate within three to five days. Birds don’t seem to like the mulch mixture so you won’t have them eating the seeds. Your lawn will come in more evenly. Make sure the mulch gets plenty of water, especially during the first couple of weeks. Manufacturers recommend watering at least two or three times a day during that period and then once a or twice a day for the next two weeks. Don’t over-water; puddles slow down the germination process. Great for Intricate Landscaping Layouts Hydroseeding makes it easier to create a lawn in areas with intricate layouts. For example, you may have an abundance of flowers in your yard, either in one big patch or in several smaller ones. You want your lawn to cover the empty spaces. Hydroseeding makes it easier to direct the seed where […]

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Want Autumn To Shine In Your Backyard? 3 Plants To Think About Growing

Just about everyone has a favorite season, or at the very least, they prefer one over the others. If you are in love with autumn and everything that encompasses this season, you may want to showcase it by transforming your property’s landscape into a beautiful sight all throughout fall. It requires careful planning and execution to create such a landscape as so many plants have unique needs and qualities. Hitting every level is ideal with short flowers, medium-sized bushes, and tall trees. Brandywine As an autumn lover, you probably love all of the reds, oranges, and yellows that come out at this time. Unfortunately, you may be disappointed if you are not getting these colors in your own backyard. To get started with shrubs that will give you that deep red you love, you should grow Brandywine. The bush does not require much maintenance, as it naturally deters deer, which is helpful for areas prone to them. At up to six feet in height, you can expect some nice coverage in your yard from this plant alone. Helenium If you want to complement the Brandywine perfectly, you must look at the Helenium. This particular plant will showcase beautiful flowers that have a wide range of colors which are the main autumn ones. It’s randomness in terms of color will give you an extra something to look forward to every fall. It will reach adulthood a little shorter than the Brandywine, so you do not have to worry about drowning the plant. The other great thing about this plant is that it is resistant to numerous problems, making it easy to grow. Having a reliable plant that you know will bloom during fall can provide you with some relief. Sugar Maple Trees are certainly a long-term obligation, but you can get results right away by looking for grown trees. These may come in a variety of heights and will cost more the taller they are, but the benefit is that you get to enjoy their lovely colors almost immediately and avoid a tough process of growing from seed. The Sugar maple is an excellent choice for fall colors once again due to its variety of colors it puts on display. Its transition from yellow to orange to red will beautify your yard with its leaves all season long. Growing these three plants together will yield great results for enjoying the season […]

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3 Great Materials For Hardscaping

When landscaping, it can be difficult to create a unique and beautiful yard. One way to add a great deal of contrast and color to a yard is by utilizing what is called hardscape. Hardscaping refers to landscaping with hard materials. This article is going to outline three different materials to use when hardscaping, but will also delve into how to use these specific materials. Hardscaping can be used to create retaining walls, walkways, stairs, that can break up lawn, or can be used to xeriscape.  Stone  One of the best things about stone is there are so many different varieties of stone available. No matter what color of stone you want to work with, you will be able to find the perfect color. When laying flat stone for a walkway or patio you will need to be sure that they lay nearly perfectly flat. This is best accomplished by using sand, and shifting the stone back and forth gently until the stone will no longer shift when weight is applied to the top. Other type of stone and rock can be used to create anything from simple walkways, to decorative mounds. If you want to build a retaining wall from stone, you will need to be sure you do not need an engineer.  Wood The variety of wood make it a fantastic hardscape surface to work with. Just as with stone there are many different types of wood that work great for hardscaping. The possibilities are many when working with wood, and creating a beautiful patio, terrace, or spa oasis are all very real possibilities. Picking the right wood may be one of the most important parts of hardscaping with wood, but redwood, cedar, and cypress are great lumber to use when landscaping. One very important aspect of wood is that it needs to be coated so that it is insect and weather resistant.  Brick One material that often gets overlooked when hardscaping is brick. There are many different varieties of brick, and each will offer different colors and textures. The fact that different textures are available makes utilizing brick very nice. If you are building in a wet climate a rough texture might be the way to go so it will not be slick when wet. Much like when using stone, using brick requires things to be level, and often straight. Utilize sand to keep your surface flat, […]

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Plants That Help Deter Pests

It’s finally warm again and all you want to do is go outside and enjoy the fresh air! Then, you take a step outside and you’re reminded of all the pests that come with the beautiful weather. There are things you can do to keep these pests away naturally. There are a wide variety of plants that deter many pests. Here are just a few of them. Marigolds These vibrant little flowers pack a powerful scent that mosquitoes loathe. They are great in flowerbeds or in containers. If you have roses, consider planting marigolds around your roses as they also repel aphids, which can destroy your beautiful roses. Some gardeners swear that planting marigolds in your garden will help keep rabbits out of your veggies. Alliums This round flower with dozens of little purple flowers does more than just look beautiful. It also deters many pests, especially those you find in a vegetable garden such as carrot flies, slugs, and aphids. Be mindful when you plant them because alliums can grow up to six feet tall. Lavender This herb with beautiful lavender flowers smells like heaven to people, but many different pests don’t agree. You can plant them in containers around your house as well as containers in your house to repel mosquitoes and flies. Just make sure if you keep them in your house to keep them near a sunny window as well as give them plenty of sufficient airflow. You can also use clippings of dried lavender in your drawers to repel moths. Catnip This plant, known to make cats happy and a little crazy, has an extreme scent. Many insects, such as mosquitoes, don’t like the strong smell of catnip. Plant them near your porches and outdoor sitting areas to help repel unwanted bugs. Basil Yet another plant that deters mosquitoes and flies is basil. This herb is also great for cooking, as well as making your salad even more delicious. Fresh basil can also be used to make a great insect repellent. Petunias This showy flower is a favorite for hanging baskets and containers. They have beautiful blooms that come in a wide variety of color. Many people don’t realize that they also deter insects such as aphids, beetles, and tomato hornworms. They are easy to grow and don’t require much maintenance. Pinch off old blooms often to encourage new blooms. So don’t avoid going outside […]

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3 Tips For Creating The Perfect Backyard Landscape That Your Dog Can Enjoy Too

Most people focus on the making their front yard look spectacular for curb appeal reasons. However, what about the backyard? Some will focus on designing it for themselves, while others will put someone else’s needs in front of their own, such as a four-legged furry friend. However, there’s really no reason that you can’t think about yourself and your dog. Here are a few tips that will help you keep your own interests in mind while also designing a dog-friendly landscape: 1. Put Yourself in Your Dog’s Shoes…or Paws. In order to create a backyard that your dog is going to truly enjoy, you need to know what tendencies that you dog typically has. What does your dog like to do? Does he enjoy digging? If so, then you are probably going to want to avoid intricate gardens and planting your favorite exotic flower. Otherwise, you will just get frustrated when he decides to dig them up. Does he like roll around and soak up the sun? If so, you may want to consider creating a shaded lounging area for him on the deck or close the fence for him. This area should be comfortable, padded and protected from the sun by a tarp or umbrella. 2. Install a Water Feature. Since your dog is going to be spending a lot of time outdoors during the summertime, you are going to want to make sure he has a place to cool off and has access to fresh water. While you could put a small kiddie pool in the backyard for him to play you, you could consider adding a visually-appealing water feature in the backyard so that you could kill two birds with one stone. Your dog will be able to enjoy a good splash whenever he likes, but you will also be able to experience a serene landscape. 3. Lay Down a Gravel or Mulch Pathway. Because dogs can wreak havoc on an all-grass backyard, you may want to consider breaking it up with some pathways. Plus, dogs love to patrol and prowl around, so they’ll love that you thought about adding pathways for them. Keep in mind that these pathways should be made out of shredded wood chips, hardwood mulch, flat rocks or smooth pea pebbles, as all of these materials tend to be relatively easy on your pup’s paws. You want to make sure that you don’t […]

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5 Tips For Creating A Backyard Oasis

When you imagine a beautiful resort in a tropical destination, you probably think about lush foliage, exotic flowers, and greenery as far as the eye can see. There is a reason that most people think the tropics are paradise, and with a little bit of effort and planning you can bring the beauty of a tropical island to your own backyard. Use the following landscaping tips to create an oasis in your yard that you can enjoy all year long: Plant in Layers One of the keys to a lush, jungle-like look is creating layers of plants of different sizes. For example, plant several low ground covering plants in the same area as taller shrubs, and then add a few tropical trees; this will create a wall of greenery in different shades and textures for visual appeal. Choose Your Plants Wisely The climate you live in will play a large role in what types of plants will work best in your tropical backyard. If you live in an area that gets cold in the winter, its not a good idea to waste your money on buying tropical plants that need year round warmth and humidity in order to thrive. Luckily, there are many plants that look similar to plants found in the tropics that can survive in more temperate environments. Consider planting elephant ears, philodendrons, hostas for a tropical look. Utilize Vines Flowering vines add a great pop of color and can look great growing around a column or on a backyard fence. Vines typically do well with a lot of sun, so try to plant your vines in areas where they will get as much direct sunlight as possible. Consider planting bougainvilleas, passion flower, or golden trumpet– these vines are plentiful in the tropics, but they are typically hardy enough to survive in moderate climates.  Add Beautiful Flowering Plants Tropical flowers are very visually appealing and come in a variety of different colors. Some great choices for backyard landscaping include flowering maple, canna, angel’s trumpet, and bromeliad. If you live in a mild climate you may opt to place the plants in the ground, but in areas with harsher weather it is better to plant them in containers to help control the temperature of the soil. Include a Water Feature Whether it’s a beautiful white sand beach or a bubbling jungle stream, water is a major part of a […]

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How To Grow A Rental Home Garden That You Can Take To Your New Home

Growing a garden can be a rewarding way to have fresh flowers, herbs, and even vegetables, but it may not seem like an option if you live in a rental home. Even if you only intend on living in the home for a year or two, you can still create your own garden with a few creative adjustments. For a garden that will grow well in a rental and transplant easily into your next home, consider some of the following tips. Grow Herbs in Windowsills If you are just beginning to get interested in gardening, it is a good idea to start with herbs since they are easy to grow and require little maintenance. Lemongrass, parsley, mint, and basil are all good choices for beginners. An easy way to grow herbs while living in a rental—especially in a place with limited square footage or lacking outdoor space is through planting herbs in windowsills. This will help take advantage of the space you have in the rental and allow you to grow any herb you like without issues. Create Raised Garden Beds If you are lucky enough to have a large yard to work with, you can even try gardening with raised garden beds. While some garden beds are permanent landscape features, these raised ones are typically very easy to move if you have access to a truck. Choosing a size that is manageable and will not weigh too much can help you move it to any home in the future. Pick Versatile Plants Since you cannot predict where you will be living after the current rental, it is a smart idea to choose plants that can do well in different climates. With versatile plants, you can bring it to your next home without worries. Plant in Containers The easiest way to keep plants portable is with gardening containers. Not only will the containers make it easy to move the plants to any future rental, but you can get creative in the kinds of containers you choose for a truly unique style in the rental. Choose Slow-Growth Trees For renters who have access to a backyard, trees may even be an option. If your landlord is comfortable with you treating the property as you like while renting, you can try slow-growing trees such as a Balsam fir, Rocky Mountain juniper, or a Mugo pine. Due to their slow growth cycle, you […]

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