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Home Improvement – Don’t Forget the Landscaping

WHEN you buy a new house or decide to improve your old one, you are, of course, concerned with every foot of ground that goes with it, for modern living and modern gardening can make every inch of your property usable and desirable.

New methods of soil improvement, grading, fencing and terracing make even sloping, hilly lots, hitherto undesirable, now attractive and choice. Modern chemistry has brought new nutrients to the soil and has provided weapons against the traditional enemies of the garden: disease and insects. Hardier bulbs and seeds make gardens more successful as well as wonderfully vivid. Fabulous hybrids have lengthened the list of flowering trees and shrubs, creating specimens for every color and design scheme, every type of house and garden.

New gardening equipment and materials speed the time-consuming garden tasks. New ways of living bring us into the outdoors, and barbecue meals and comfortable lawn furnishings make a small suburban back yard as luxuriously enjoyable as was previously possible only on a large estate.

Architecturally, today’s house is much more a part of the outdoors than was yesterday’s. Large picture windows, glass walls, glassed-in sun-porches and terraces all combine to make the garden a part of the house. Consequently, the view becomes that much more important.

A beautiful garden, a luxuriant turf and healthy blossoming trees all add as much to the interior of your home as your draperies or wallpaper. The effort and time you spend on your lawns and gardens will repay you in every way, indoors as well as out.

When you plan your grounds you will be governed by many of the principles you employ in decorating your home. Proportion, texture, color, line, harmony, function – these are terms that apply to landscaping as well as decorating. And if you have large grounds you will benefit from careful planning just as much as does the owner of a quarter of an acre.

Garden books are filled with formal plans for perfect gardens and grounds, but you will want to consider not the perfect garden in itself, but the one plan that will be perfect for your particular family. Analyze your family, its needs and habits; then design your grounds to best satisfy its prejudices, desires and demands.

The thing to do is hold a family council and talk over what you want to do. Of course, you will be governed by questions of cost and available space. Draw a plan of your property in fairly large scale, about 1/4 inch to the foot.

Now make a list of the things the family wants, such as a barbecue, tool house, drying yard, rock garden, fences, playhouse, badminton court, better lounging facilities.

Unless you are fortunate and have spacious grounds, you probably won’t be able to work everything into your program – but with planning, you can do things gradually. You can plan your garden so that it never looks bare and yet is always roomy enough for the additions you intend to make in the future. And some projects will serve more than one function.

For example, if you need a driveway and have young children, a blacktop that can be used for hopscotch and bicycle riding will serve a double purpose, and easily justify its cost. Or a fence that cuts off an unpleasant view can also act as a windbreak and a handsome background for a lounging area.

A retaining wall can double as a rock garden when planted with hardy dwarf shrubs and other rock-garden species.

Landscaping, if properly planned and properly executed will add to the comfort, improve the appearance and increase the value of your home.

The Advantages Of Having A Landscaped Exterior

When it comes to decorating their homes, a lot of people choose to go all out on the interior spaces such as the living room, bedroom, and kitchen. They spend a lot of time and money purchasing expensive pieces of furniture and equipment to furnish the interior that they often neglect what’s on the exterior.

What’s on the outside of the home however is just as important as what’s on the inside. After all, the exterior of the house is the first thing that people notice.

This is where landscaping comes in. There are only so many ways you can design the exterior and landscaping is one of them. One advantage of having a well-manicured lawn is that it can make the house appear grander than it really is, especially if you can incorporate a fountain or statue into your landscape.

Regardless of the size of your home, there are so many advantages to hiring a contractor to landscape your exterior. Aside from the aesthetic value it brings, a landscaped exterior can also increase the value of your house.

Plus, landscaping is a great way to maximize the space you already have. With a landscaped backyard, you can create useful spaces outside your home that you and your family can enjoy. It can literally expand your house without the necessity of having to erect walls.

Of course, the choice of what to make of the space created is entirely up to you. You can choose to convert the landscaped lawn into a lounge area by adding chairs, tables, and lamps. Just make sure that the chairs are sturdy enough to withstand the changes in temperature. On the other hand, there are a lot of beautiful lamps available that can brighten the area and serve as a decorative piece for when you host barbecue parties and the like.

When it comes to landscaping, you can also choose to surround your home with plants. Having a lot of plants can help keep the heat down so you can save on electricity.

Not to mention, a garden can be good for your health. Plants can lessen the carbon dioxide in the air so you can breathe fresher air.

Finding The Best Outdoor Landscaping Accessories

For me, the finishing touches are what ultimately make your yard a very personal place.

After all the mulch has been put down, the patio laid out, the pool deck poured and the fence painted that is the time for accessorizing your landscape architecture..

Landscaping accessories are what you use to dress up your yard and to give it that warm and cozy feeling.

I personally am a sucker for night lighting. There is nothing, in my opinion that does more to dress up landscaping and give it that rich, warm ambience than proper outdoor lighting.

From hot tubs to fountains and arbours, the range of outdoor accessories and landscaping ideas is truly amazing!

I’m sure you know what I mean, there are small backyard landscaping ideas that look like a rummage sale, and there are yards that look like a rock stars. Mine used to be the former. When we were younger we collected all kinds of things, patio tables, umbrellas, tables and swings.

After the kids and the pets had their way with those things they looked pretty beat up. I don’t recall having three pieces from the same set let alone anything fancy.

We had a swing that had stuffed seats and at the end the only stuffing was what the squirrels had put there.

I’ve looked at replacing all that stuff over the years but it’s fairly expensive and it’s difficult to get home. Even with my van, by the time I get the seats all rearranged, it’s time for soccer or piano or some other activity!

I’ve looked into the products from the big-box stores, and while there is a lot of variety, it’s still very expensive and they really don’t carry those special things.

I’ve told you that I do jobs for people who I am not related to as well as friends and family, and during the course of my career have tried to develop garden plans using accessories in various ways. What if I told you about the place I go to get landscaping accessories that has the best quality, online convenience, a large selection and free shipping too?

I’m not just talking about free shipping in the U.S. but to Canada as well!

This place is called Way-fair and it is truly one of a kind. I really do all of my major buying right here, in one place from the comfort of my own home.

Let me show you some of the things I’ve purchased from Way-fair.

Hot Tubs

Someday I’m going to get this one for myself. It looks fantastic, doesn’t take up the whole deck, is super easy to install, it’s called a 110 volt plug-and-play which means there is really no installation, and even has a waterfall which is so great. The one I purchased uses a highly efficient energy management system which will save you money.

Imagine how great this would look- what great beginning for backyard ideas!

Conversation Sets

The latest trend in outdoor entertaining is what’s called a “Conversation Set”. This is different from the typical patio table and chairs in that it’s set up for relaxing comfortably while enjoying the outdoors. There is no patio table per-se but most come with a small coffee table.

Arbors and Trellises

So many people want these as a divider between different areas of their yard. An arbor is like a magical entrance to another world and can be dressed up with flowers or vines to make it blend right in. It gives your yard that old-world feeling, and adds a nice visual and physical break to an otherwise flat yard. Arbors and trellises can be used to separate yard and garden, yard and driveway, pool and patio and so many other cool ideas.

Planters

What needs to be said about planters is that they are an absolute necessity! They keep your plants off your yard or patio and can be used in so many different ways to dress up an otherwise bland area. Plants look a hundred times better is the right planter and tend to get a lot more attention this way. They are a great landscaping idea for the front of your house.

Planters can go around pools, on windows, on tables in the yard, or along a fence. The list is endless. But planters are probably the single most important and inexpensive way to dress up your yard. You have to check these out they will make your yard sing!

Fountains

There is nothing I love more outside than water features, and apart from a pool, a fountain is my must have item.

They look great, sound great, are totally mesmerizing and look like landscape art. I can sit and stare at a fountain for hours. They are truly relaxing and add that warm & cozy element to any backyard.

There are so many styles, but check out the pump in a barrel, the swan fountain and the tabletop wall fountains.

Ornaments and Accents

These are the little personal touches that every woman loves to put around a yard. They are like decorations on a Christmas tree and have no function at all. They make your backyard landscape look like landscape pictures. Ornaments and accents are there for interest and give your yard a bit of flair. A word of caution here, don’t overdo it! Sundials, statues, sculptures, gazing balls, pedestals and signs – these are all ornaments and you can seriously spend hours on this site just looking at ornaments!

Outdoor Curtains

I mentioned these in an article about shade in the backyard. Outdoor curtains are for shade. They can be opened and closed as you like, but they make outdoor areas so much more livable because you don’t have to broil you and your guests.

The sun is harsh and these curtains will provide some respite from it and let cool breezes pass through unlike walls or doors.

They have all different kinds from bamboo to wood to textile, with all the possible mounting hardware you can imagine.

You can change any outdoor spot into a special shaded area instantly without costing you a fortune.

Do yourself a favor and check this place out. I recommend it to all of my clients and friends. I have just talked about a few things here to give you an idea of what’s there, but they have literally thousands and thousands of neat products all neatly organized.

And like I said before, for great quality, online convenience, a large selection and free shipping Way-fair can’t be beat!