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Landscape Lighting – 3 Reasons to Go Solar

Now that the weather has improved, you are finally able pay attention to the condition of the outside of your home. You find that your property would benefit from more light. There are several ways to go about solving your lighting problem and you should weigh the options. If you have special trees or plantings that you would like to highlight then spotlights will do the job. You can get spotlights that are bright white, ones that rotate through a color spectrum, and others that freeze on one color.

You have walkways to your front and back doors that you want to light. Small pathway or rock lights will solve this problem. Perhaps you are decorating for a party and want to brighten up your garden. You can use string lights, hanging lanterns, garden stakes and statuary.

Solar landscape lighting has become popular over the past five years. Solar lighting, decorative and functional, has several benefits over its electric counterpart:

1. Convenient – Solar lights do not need to be placed near an electrical source. So, if you need pathway lights that travel 200 feet down your driveway, you can put solar lights as far away from the house as you choose without worrying about extra wiring. Some are sold individually and others are sold in multiples, connected by a cable. This type of lighting needs to be pushed into the ground and positioned to your liking.

2. Low Maintenance – Batteries are rechargeable. You will not worry about the batteries dying in a solar light because they are constantly being recharged by the sun’s energy. This is not to say that the batteries last forever, you are likely to get two years out of a pair of rechargeable batteries. Solar lights turn on and off automatically. Many, however, have an on/off switch so when you are not home for an extended time, it is best to save the batteries and switch to the off position.

3. Attractive – There are many decorative options. Solar butterfly string lights will draw attention to the boxwoods next to your patio, while solar mission lanterns will give the needed light around your dining table on the deck. Solar wall lights will make your deck stairs safer by being well-marked. Solar floating lights decorate your pool while constantly changing color, and solar garden stakes mark your plantings and make the garden more beautiful.

While electric lights may have more powerful voltage options, they are also labor-intensive to install and add to your monthly electric bill. Solar lights are inexpensive, easy to install and cost nothing to operate.

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!

Boca Raton Brick Paver Walkways – Colors and Patterns Galore!

Where Does Your Garden Path Lead

Walkways and pathways in Boca Raton feature both in the front and back yards of many homes in the area. Walkways obviously have a purpose and will lead the walker to someplace; whether for a pleasant meander through the back garden via the patio and swimming pool, or from the driveway to the front door. Brick paver walkways may be built to provide follow through and consistency of design to compliment the home and other outdoor fixed or brick structures, or quite simply because the homeowner feels like installing a garden path during their landscaping exercise. A good landscaping company will not lead you up the garden path, but they certainly can guide you in the right direction.

The Three Basic Patterns

The same aspects of quality and elegance cannot be achieved by using asphalt or concrete and there is virtually no limit on the variation of patterns, colors, and laying techniques which may be used to create decorative and functional brick paver walkways. In the Boca Raton area, there are three basic patterns of brick laying for paths, driveways, patios, pool surrounds, etcetera, and from these basic three patterns it is possible to create small works of art. The cleverest, simplest and oldest designs are also often the most elegant. After-all the Romans were laying brick paver pathways the length and breadth of Europe, the Middle East and the British Isles, over 2,000 years ago.

Design and Pattern Alternatives Can Be Dizzying

Although the best brick paver designs are the classic designs there are still books with hundreds of pages filled with designs, you will find historic pattern styles such as those used during the colonial period in the USA; these include running bond, stacked, herringbone, basket weave, whirling, Spanish, diamond, and more. Your landscaper can obviously be of great help when it comes to making choices regarding design and color; don’t for a moment believe that brick pavers only arrive on your doorstep in a “brick” color. Colors and styles range from brick red, to grey, rose and purples and in antique, colonial, European and more styles.

Patterns are not only achieved by the placement of the bricks, they are also achieved by the use of alternative color and style of brick paver. They are chosen not only because they look good, and are functional they are also used to “lead” the visitor or home owner to a focal point in a garden. In the front yard the focal point could be as simple as the front door, in the back yard this could be something more, such as rose garden, swimming pool, patio, place of sanctuary or peace, water feature or even a piece of sculpture.

Various Boca Raton brick paver designs suit varying degrees of traffic, for example a herringbone pattern is ideal for vehicular traffic as loads are more evenly distributed. As far as other than vehicular purposes, virtually any other pattern may be used. The only thing to bear in mind is that the more elaborate the pattern; cuts and labor are more intensive so it will obviously be more expensive, but it will also be much more exclusive. Are you ready to let a professional landscaping company, lead you up the garden path?