Innovative Way to Landscape: Use Recycled Materials

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landscapingLandscaping can be a great way to showcase your creative side. In most cases, a sustainable environment needs to be initiated at home and your landscaping project is a good start. Recycling used materials and furniture at home seem to be a good choice. As most homemakers tend to change their home furnishings every now and then, instead of putting these items to waste, why not utilize them in something more productive?

Your garden and outdoor areas have great spaces for your used items as long as you know how to maximize them. You can either recreate or renovate them into something more useful and beautiful for your landscaping project.

Broken and Crushed Concrete

Bits and pieces of used concretes are perfect for your pavements and pathways. If properly maximized, they can be an asset in your landscaping venture. The contrast of colors and sizes can add character and appeal which can be of the same effect when stones or bricks are used. So instead of buying, why not consider them as replacement?

Old Drawers, Boxes and Many Others

Who said that those bulky yet lovely pieces of home furnishings are useless and has to be put on garbage trucks? They can still be used as a practical embellishment on your landscaped garden.

  • Colander – old strainers are great planters for your hanging plants. Their holes can give plant roots a space to breathe and serve as good built-in drainage.
  • Old Drawers – they are good planters which can be attached on your wall. It can create a unique and vintage look on your garden which can make it more appealing.
  • Mirrors – who said mirrors are just for indoor use? They can give an interest to a boring garden landscape. They usually have colored and intricate frames which will surely add impact.
  • Old Fences – you don’t need to throw all old fences, some of them can be built into great arbors and trellis for your crawling plants. They are not only giving different heights, they also provide varying dimensions and style as well.
  • Old Doors – try to imagine a garden with a door, isn’t that fairy tale-like? It is unusual to enter a garden through a door, but in your case you can do it. It can be great arbor with vines twisting and curling on its frame.
  • Old Figurines – a good landscape needs balance, and there has to be a focal point which these old figurines are ideal to be positioned in. You can create a mosaic in the middle of your garden with stones and figurine structured according to your choice of theme.
  • Old Chandeliers – more often than not, colorful beads and glasses of chandeliers are given away to garbage trucks. This time, why don’t you drape them in the center of your benches or outdoor furniture sets? They are surely an eye-catcher.
  • Old chairs – chairs are easy to complement to any themed garden or patio. You can paint them with vibrant colors and place your planters on top of it. This can be placed in several corners of your garden to blend in with the other embellishments used.
  • Glasses – almost every home have bits and pieces of broken glasses. They are not only colorful and sheer but they create a different appeal once struck by the sunrays. They can be constructed as anything you want to be a focal point in your garden or you can collect them together and create a privacy fence or wall.

landscapePerfect Edging for Character

A garden needs edging to have character. Also, this has to be done for weeds not to encroach the garden beds. Most of the time, stones and bricks are used for edging, but homemakers can make a difference this time. You can use your plastic wares and bottles at home. The contrasting beauty of each item will add glamour to your edging project.

Do not undervalue the use of old items at home. You don’t always have to spend money in order to have a distinct garden appeal. You can always look inside your home for some items and materials which can still be of use for your outdoor venture. Maximize the use of every resource that you have and don’t purchase immediately. Who knows? You may just have good replacements inside your home!

Great Tree Design for Your Backyard Landscape

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Trees are often associated with shade and protection but it is not always included in the collection of flowers and gardening aesthetics. In this blog, I will talk about the significance of trees as part of a landscaping venture and how it can make a difference in the overall appeal of your backyard.

Trees give stature, dimension and texture to one’s place if properly arranged and planted. They are truly incredible in making the entire place lovely all year round.

When finally decided to incorporate trees in your garden or backyard landscape, there are some things to consider since trees can’t be easily removed or replanted to another spot as you would usually do to other foliage on your garden. Trees can stay in your garden for decades so it is very essential to choose the best ones which can give you the most benefit over time.

Right Location

First thing that you need to consider when choosing trees is the location on where they thrive best. You have to determine the available spot where you are planning to plant the trees. For sunny areas, large varieties of trees are available. You can choose among:

  • Cottonwood – this variety grows up to 90 feet. Also, it grows fast and has the ability to stay strong despite of long days without water.
  • Maple Tree – this is another variety that grows as big and wide as 50 feet. Though they are mostly seen in the backyard, you still need to check if your space can accommodate such big tree.
  • Pine Trees – one good thing about pine tree is its good lovely foliage that never goes out all year round, it gives great shade and has an amazing height that will surely tower your garden or landscape.
  • White Birch – add this variety on your backyard and you’ll surely love its unique white bark that gradually peels through the years.
  • Oak Tree – this classic tree gives good shade while spreading its wide branches that could reach up to 50 feet. Some varieties grow fast like pin and red oaks while others may take time – it depends on you which one you’ll choose which you feel would add character to your place.

If your place is quite shady then choose varieties that grow in this type of condition. Among those trees are:

  • Balsam Fir – this variety is shade tolerant which typically grows up to 20 meters. This can add texture on your backyard as its young barks turn to rough and scaly when turns old.
  • American Holly – this variety is native of eastern America. It has greenish white flowers which can add beauty to your garden.
  • Southern Magnolia – this tree can grow up to 90 feet if the location fits the variety. It has large, white-scented flowers which makes it a great addition to your garden.
  • Pepperidge Tree – this species is great for wet soils or area prone to flood. Though this may not be common, this distinct specie is ideal for artistic owners who love carving.
  • American Hophornbeam – this brown-bark tree can grow up to 18 meters. It has lovely flowers which are quite interesting. During spring season, new foliage starts to appear.

Enough Space

This is another consideration that you need to mull over. Trees need wide areas to grow well depending on their species but most of them thrive well in spacious backyards. Their roots run deep in the ground and can affect nearby plants so as much as possible, they need to have their own spot in your garden. This will also allow the trees to grow into its full-size which will maximize its beauty and fascinating character.

The Shape

Gardeners tend to have their own choice of favorite trees, apart from its flowers and lush leaves; tree-shape is a big factor. The shape of the tree in your backyard can actually make a huge difference – at afar it can create either a mystique or fierce look which can truly reflect your personality.

  • Cone – this has a common round base becoming narrower while going up. Most conifers have this regular shape like species of blue spruce and magnolia.
  • Round – this is the most common shape like those of round balls. This is ideal for a formal landscape. Species include maple trees and bur oak.
  •  Irregular – this shape have strange and random branches going in all directions. They can create drama into your backyard or garden, some species in this shape are smoke trees and silver maple.
  • Columnar – this shape of tree has uniformed length, usually slim and tall. This is also good to be planted in long straight driveways. Species include cherry and sugar maples.
  • Weeping – these trees vary in size but their leaves seem to be looking down to the ground. This is perfect if you want a good shade in your backyard, varieties will be weeping willows and katsura.
  • Vase – this is mostly used in driveways and streets as they don’t have many branches to block a good view. Its branches usually grow in upward angle with somehow a rectangular-like shape.
  • Horizontal – this variety of tree needs wide space as its branches grow outward in horizontal position. It spreads its branches like birds that are about to fly, varieties include hornbeam and red oak.
  • Fastigiate – they are perfect as windbreaks as they grow in narrow and elongated form. They serve as great hedges or screens to set boundaries. Examples include European Beech.

Trees have distinguishing character that makes them a good influence in whatever backyard setting. Some have great flowers and vibrant fruits which add appeal if you know how to maximize their true value and strength. In addition, they don’t need enough time for maintenance but still continue to grow in good shape the whole year. Their superior presence in your garden or backyard can provide you another opportunity to create better view, you can add some benches or table sets under them. As much as possible, try to have at least one tree in your backyard or garden and sooner or later you will realize their great value.

Winter Plants to Color Your Plain Cool-Season Days

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Winter season is most likely not associated with flowers however real gardeners find ways to use them. During these cold days, it is good to see blooming flowers instead of the plain piles of snow outside. It might need some patience and experience to be able to grow flowers on winter but it’s worth all the effort.

Creating texture and color to your winter is possible through these winter plants. They will not just survive beautifully in the cold days but can showcase their beauty when usual plants are taking their yearly nap. Bring excitement and interest to your home by taking advantage of these winter flowers.

Plants for Your Chilly Landscape

Nature has its way to bring magnificence to your garden despite the freezing temperature. These winter plants know exactly when to flash their bright flowers when everything turns white.

  • Camellias – This plant can thrive during winter as long as the soil is well mulch. Its pink pale flowers can add beauty and height to your garden all throughout the year. It comes in 280 varieties but the most common are Frost Prince, Elain Lee and Snow Flurry.
  • Snowdrops – These bell-shaped nodding-like flowers can be grown in containers ideal for your deck or patios. They may look fragile but in contrast they are strong and tough because the flowers last longer when the weather is colder than usual.
  • Bergenia – This perennial grows well with enough water. It produces large vivid colored flowers usually in shades of white to dark purple. It can withstand slight abuse as long as it is well-watered.
  • Hardenbergia – This is one of the favorite climbing plants during cold days. It looks great when it is twisted in arbors, fences and other shrubby plants. It is a lively wanderer twirling with its purple pea-shaped flowers.
  • Hellebores – This plant is a European import that can survive even if its beds are spotted with snow. Its lovely flowers come in the shades of white to pink and maroon. Hellebores can withstand cold days and don’t require much attention to grow healthy.
  • Fairy Primrose – this plant bear lacy clustered flowers come in white, lavender, pink and magenta shades. They grow well during winter so they are perfect to liven up your space when all other plants can’t. However, be cautious as this is also called poison primrose as it can produce toxic reaction when touched or eaten.

Best Practices to Grow Winter Plants

These varieties of winter foliage are quite sensitive compared to plants that grow well in summer. They give life to your garden when grasses begin to wither and as snow starts to cover the earth.

  • Determine Your Growing Zone – your zone will determine what kinds of plants will survive in your area during winter. It is usually numbered; the lowest number is the coldest zone while the highest represents the hottest zone.
  • Choose the Right Time to Plant – winter plants vary, so determine if the foliage that you are going to plant is either blooming early or late in the winter. This will give you the chance to display their flowers at the right time during winter season.
  • Take Advantage of Raised Beds – instead of growing them directly on flat surface level to your pavements, consider on planting them in raised beds. These beds will somehow lengthen the toughness of their roots from frost damage.

No matter what season of the year it is, gardeners can find ways to add appeal to their home and garden. Winter plants might need extra care that’s why others find it hard to believe that you can possibly maintain a garden during colder days.

Yes, it needs extra effort but who doesn’t want to see vibrant colors amidst the white snow? To top it all, cold-resistant plants are worth all the time, energy and effort. It makes you look forward to another blooming and lively garden in the next winter season.

Best Choices for Houseplants

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Snake plant

Snake plant

Indoor gardening is easy and exciting just like planting outside – the only difference is you are in a controlled and limited space. You will enjoy plants more because you get to see them almost all the time. Indoor gardening doesn’t have to be costly, it depends on how you manage and design them so you won’t end up spending too much.

In growing plants inside your home, there are lots of things to consider for them to grow well. Since you are going to come up with an artificial environment for them, you need to make sure that you give them extra attention.

Best Choices for Houseplants

In making an indoor garden, choosing the right houseplants to grow is crucial.

  • Dracaena – this plant resembles a corn stalk without ears. It has green-yellow-striped leaves that grow upright. You will love its decorative feature that is perfect for home corners.

  • Snake Plant – this can thrive well indoors because it can tolerate neglect very much. So if it happens that you feel unlucky growing houseplants, try this one.

  • Spider Plant – this is a classic plant. Its popularity started decades ago but until now, it never goes out of trend.

  • Boston Fern – though this plant usually thrives outdoors, it can perfectly add beauty to your home as hanging plants. If you keep it moist, you can grow it for a long time.

  • Croton – this shrub looks fantastic with its glossy colorful marked foliage. This is ideal to add vibrance to your place.

What to Consider

Just like any other plants that grow in your garden, though they are well trained to grow indoors, they still have needs that you should give.

  • Humidity – there are species that need a little moist every day. So learn which plants need this and mist them with hand-held spray.

  • Pruning – some indoor plants need to be pruned as often as you can because they grow easily. For them to produce nice little flowers, eliminate dry and damaged leaves.

  • Cleaning – like crotons that easily collect dust and need maintenance to remain its shiny leaves, always check their foliage as they are inside to add appeal on your home.

  • Sunlight – it is normal for plants to look for sunlight so as much as possible, keep them in areas near windows or put them outside for a few hours.

  • Watering – though these indoor plants are usually neglect and water tolerant, they still need it to grow healthy. Just give them enough water to drink that will last for a few days.

  • Nutrients – yes, plants need fertilizers to be healthy but it doesn’t solve everything. These houseplants just need enough of it, don’t put too much or else you’ll end up killing it. Proper water, light and soil are still essential for its overall growth.

  • Keep them away from Pests – though there are no weeds to worry, there are potential pests that will attack your plants. Also, if you have pets in the house, make sure to keep them away because it’s either that your plants will die or your pet will (as some plants are poisonous). So, keep your eyes on them.

Advantages of Growing Houseplants

Spider plant

Spider plant

  • Air Purifier – it removes toxins in the air and releases oxygen.

  • Improving Health – according to studies patients recover fast with plants near them. It also decreases chances of catching a cold, headache and suffering from fatigue.

  • Cooler Environment – plants are releasing moisture in the air which increases humidity.

  • Adds Beauty – these houseplants are the best ornaments inside your home. It gives colors to a bare wall and life to a dull corner.

Growing these houseplants is not hard as long as you know what you’re doing. They offer lots of benefits and need little maintenance. If you are not yet successful in growing them, then maybe after reading this article you will learn something new and apply it to your new venture. This can also be an experiment for you before creating your dream garden outside.