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Budget Minded Landscaping – Landscape Design

The cost of landscaping depends a lot on the elements you want and the types of materials you plan to use to create them. Looking at some of your neighbor’s beautifully meandering pathways, flowering ground covers, and perfect lawns can make you feel that a classy landscape is out of reach. For most of us that may be true if we had to do the entire project all at once. However, it is possible to have an enviable yard and landscape even if you are on a budget.

Let’s begin by looking at what it takes to really pull your yard together. Truly beautiful landscaping includes a balance hardscape which might include pavers, fountains, gates and softscape; vines, shrubs, trees, ground cover and anything else that grows. It’s usually the hardscape that most people on a budget think they can’t afford.

There are a lot of resources available where you can get inexpensive or free building material if you have a little patience and perseverance. If you search on Craigslist.com under the heading “free” you’ll discover all kinds of treasures people need moved off their property. You can find everything from stone and brick to hoses and lawnmowers. Of course some of these freebees might come with a small price. You may have to dig up the stones or remove the bricks from their backyard. You can also search Craigslist under the heading “materials” where you will most likely have to pay something for the brick or stone, but you might have some help from the seller loading it into your vehicle.

Habitat for Humanity can be found in most major cities and they have outlet stores dedicated to selling donated building materials to raise money for the organization. Much of what they’ve been donated is used, but they also receive a number of donations that are overruns from larger commercial jobs. Prices in these outlet stores are really great and the merchandise turns over so often that you’re bound to find just what you’re looking for if you look often enough.

There are also fantastic deals to be found right in your own neighborhood. Check out garage sales for things like pots, toy wagons and decorative items like weathered wooden benches. These can either be spruced up with a coat or two of paint, or left as is depending on the look you want to achieve. You’ll also be able to find gardening tools and if you ask, your neighbor just might have some left over bricks or supplies from their own landscaping project.

Great prices can be found for the softscape as well, but you have to have your timing right. Look for sales at your local large hardware stores. The best sales, as well as the largest selection of merchandise, are usually at the beginning of the growing season. Also, look on the internet for nurseries. You can find sale items at all times of the year. Request catalogs and very often you will find pages and pages of sale items that can be delivered right to your door. Plant bulbs! They’re cheap! And many come back year after year.

Budget minded landscaping is a labor of love. It requires patience, persistence and ingenuity. But over time and with a little tenacity, one day your neighbors will tell you how much they envy your yard!

Interior and Exterior Landscape Design Ideas

People become very confused while choosing how to decorate the interior and the exteriors. Numerous great ideas for landscaping the yards from your house are available in the internet. There must be a particular sense of tranquility experienced in a place when we try to unite the design theme flowing in between the interior and exterior. You can also design the landscape present around your house by using the following tips:

How about making the best features to stand out? You may think about what is the best of the architectural feature present in your house, and then make it stand out. You can repeat its shape or color, clear the space around it or surround it with plants or flowers that do not distract from your home’s natural art or beauty.

You may also use various colors which suit the presence. The Color often becomes one of the most obvious and important elements of both house and landscape design. If you want the landscaping to add to the visual appeal to your home, then you may also extend the beauty of the home through to your yard. For beige, gray or white homes, mix in purple or even in the soft yellow plants or flowers into the natural landscape design. The use of the bold colors like that of the reds, whites and bright yellows are of great use for the homes that already have colors that stand out. The reflection of the architecture and style is also very important. Use the architecture and style of the house for the inspiration. Colors in the orchard provides nice and attractive appearance to your house. 1 to 2 colors in the orchard can give extra look to your garden. I have observed that many professionals are using more than 2 colors. But in my viewpoint, two colors are enough to make your garden perfect.

The Victorian styles look great with boxwood hedges. You may also end up in making a traditional colonial style home decor will go fantastic with the open lawns. Cottages might go well with lush plantings and curvy paths. Contemporary homes may feature modern and most possibly geometric designs in the landscape. Also, if you want to give a wild look to your garden then use exterior stones. Exterior stones can add a little more wild look to your garden.

In the end of this article, I would like to say that always think for a natural look. This will create an excitement and a luxuries look, which no artificial plants can do that.

Outdoor Lighting – Expert Advice on Good Design and Avoiding Common Mistakes

Outdoor lighting is easy to install and do it yourself, but most of the time it is not the installation that people do wrong, it is the design. Placing lights outside is akin to painting a scenic picture of your home and its surroundings in the best possible light. A picture perfect home and landscape will have both high and low focal points of interest, much like a painting done by an artist. A strong and artistic composition in design and painting will lead the viewer’s eye through a scene. First the viewer will look at the most prominent high focal point in the outdoor lighting scene then the viewer will look around to less important areas depending on the intensity of the focal points and unique or dramatic features that make them standout in the landscape. To achieve a beautiful design for your landscape and home exterior it is necessary to have both high and low intensity illumination.

Outdoor lighting designers generally make the main doorway to the home the high focal point of the front view. The reason being is that the doorway is the welcoming place of your home. It is also the main gateway from the inside of your home to the outside world. Professional designers consider it the main activity area and thus the “center of interest.” Decorative light fixtures increase the aesthetic appeal and financial value of a home. They also heighten the security. The ornate and stylistic features of exterior lights are also appreciated during the day. Whether night or day, they give a home a beautiful refined look. Decorative exterior lights add another level of sophistication to a home and landscape. The key is to balance the lights that are brighter with those that are subtle.

Ornamental outdoor lights are generally designed to be used as the high focal points, and usually at least one is placed on a home. In your landscape, high focal points are made with accent, spot or post lights. Low voltage light fixtures are used to softly light up your landscape; the low focal areas of interest. Varying the illumination techniques and type of fixtures will arouse the interest of your viewers by creating different shadowing and illumination effects.

Usually a bad outdoor lighting design is a result of illuminating the scenic view of your home too much or too little. Too much illumination on the exterior of your home and landscape can make it look like a high security parking lot in which there is an excess of glare at the viewer and is more of a nuisance; not just to guests but also to neighbors. On a side note, a good rule of thumb is to never point light fixtures at your neighbor’s windows.

Insufficient illumination on a home or landscape usually creates an eery feeling. Often time, it is done by leaving the home or the landscape in the dark and seemingly disconnected. An excess of darkness in the landscape or on your home is also a security flaw. Ensuring that all steps, walkways and drives are properly illuminated also minimizes accidents. Meager illumination negatively affects the aesthetic appeal of your landscape and home and the safety of your loved ones.

Installing light fixtures outdoors can be easy. However, knowledge on common techniques and errors goes a long way to getting a professional designer appearance that will not look like you did it yourself.