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Deck Lighting Can Add Enjoyment and Safety

Landscape lighting for your deck is essential for safety and enjoyment of the space that you have created on your site. Decks are designed to be places for cookouts, parties and entertainment but without good lighting it can be a dangerous and/or an uninviting place to be at night.

Many times decks have elevation changes that involve stairs, seating, planter boxes and railing, among other features so choosing lighting for these areas are crucial. Solar lighting is a great idea because it is simple to install, very inexpensive to operate and from a design stand point they offer enough light to illuminate the features on the deck without over lighting it. Plus, solar lights eliminate the use of cumbersome wiring.

Deck lighting can come in various forms and shapes. There is recessed lighting that fits flush into the deck itself and can actually be stepped without damage to the light. Another option for deck lighting can be to have lamps on the deck. They can be quite decorative and come in many beautiful shapes in sizes. Solar deck lamps can be incorporated into the design of the deck from the beginning to add architectural elements while providing light.

Also, solar light post caps are available and also serve to provide some added detail to the deck design while illuminating the posts. (Keep in mind that solar lights do not produce as much light as traditional lighting but with proper planning you can achieve great results.) There are also recessed step lights that fit flush into the riser decking and help to illuminate the steps and provide increased safety for the user as well as wall fixtures like sconces that add architectural flavor to your deck.

A new option for deck lighting is the landscape lighting globe. They come in various sizes and can either be hard wired to deck lamp posts or powered off of an internal battery. The manufacturer also offers battery operated globes which can be used on table tops, hung from overhead structures or even placed on seating around the perimeter of the deck. The globes also add to the party atmosphere that usually accompanies deck activities which makes them a great choice.

Whatever application you choose to go with, deck lighting will enhance the experiences that you have envisioned for your family and friends.

Landscaping Borders – Creating Privacy and Boundaries

If you have a garden that’s overlooked by other properties, or you want to create boundaries to section off different uses in your yard, then landscaping borders are just what you need. The great thing is that landscaping borders come in different shapes and sizes so you can still have the theme that you want for the overall landscaping design of the garden, while at the same time putting up a restrictive border.

Trees are a natural boundary, but the downside is that they take time to mature. Unless you can afford to buy mature trees that are several years old and are tall with many leaves (or evergreens), you are going to have to wait some time before your ideal privacy limit is reached. If you only need one tree, then buying an older tree isn’t going to be to expensive, but if you are using trees for your property outer perimeter landscaping borders, then things start to get very expensive.

One alternative that you could use is to set up a wooden fence just behind younger trees so that for a while it’s this fence that creates the landscaping border around the property. This will allow you privacy from neighbors, block out busy roads, provide security for your children who won’t be able to wander out of the garden so easily and yet is temporary and can be removed once the trees grow to the required height.

If you do create an outer perimeter landscape border whether using higher trees, or fences you need first to check if there are any local laws that control how high these can be. Often there is a maximum height for any given area and you must keep your fences under this. There could be a separate law that pertains to each tree, but if not, you will need to make sure that you cut your trees across the top just before they reach the legal maximum height – this will stop them growing upwards, but allow them to bush outwards instead.

Creating landscape borders within your garden are wonderful for providing separate places for kids to play football, or to hide garden toys from the rest of the house, create a secluded retreat where you can escape to when things get overly stressful, or just to separate a kitchen garden from the rest of the lawn. Landscape borders of this kind are can be low concrete blocks (some of these are very decorative and come in a variety of colors and designs) that edge your lawn, or higher trellises that allow you to also grow climbing flowers, shrubs or even vine fruits. The trellises in particular make for pretty garden features that don’t look as if they are landscape borders. Another idea would be to create a path in your garden that divides the kitchen garden from the rest of the yard. Edge the lawn and keep the earth in the kitchen garden in place, and this can be a perfectly functional and yet attractive yard.

Whatever landscape borders you choose, make sure they fit into the kind of design that you want, and that they match with the garden lifestyle that you have. Don’t create a fancy garden with lots of fragile borders if you have small children, but on the other hand, if you do have small children, a border is a perfect way of restricting them to certain parts of the yard so that you protect the shrubs, flowers, and/vegetables that you’re growing there.

Autumn Garden Decorating In California To Capture This Season’s Rich Beauty

As the air cools and develops that special crispness we associate with fall, you may want to renew the focus of your home and landscape to take advantage of the new colors sprouting in garden centers.

Your decorating options for fall are only limited by your imagination:

o Try planting shrubs and trees for beautiful fall foliage that will last for years to come

o Urns and other containers overflowing with flowers or grasses can add a rustic and naturalistic look to any area. Many nurseries are custom growing these so you can just take them home and enjoy them with no fuss

o Who can resist a stunning display of Chrysanthemums in at the nursery and not envision the blazing gold, orange, bronze, white, burgundy and reds that will enliven any walkway or front door?

o Corn stalks can be arranged in a variety of ways to add vertical texture and yet rustle softly with each breeze

o Pumpkins are cliche, but still beautiful and fulfill each of our desire for nostalgic fun times

o Get your kids involved! They have great ideas and are building great memories of doing projects with you.

With many areas of California having less seasonality to deal with than colder areas of the country with their more distinct seasonal changes, it is still easy to get bored with a look than has remained static for many months. Adding a batch of robust color here and there just feels good, takes very little time and certainly doesn’t cost a lot.

Watching a tree grow and mature over the years is fun, especially when taking pictures of the family in front of the tree and watching the changes of the tree and children growing together; perhaps one of the best intangible reasons to get your hands a little dirty and enjoy the earth.