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Landscaping Rocks: How To Use Rocks To Make Your Garden Come Alive

Using landscaping rocks can be a great source to add variety and uniqueness to your garden and make it really come alive. Whether you decide to use artificial landscaping stones and rocks or boulders or simply real rocks, adding landscaping stones can really spice up your garden for years to come. You can create beautiful flower beds, place rocks at the edges of stream streaking across your garden or even create delightful resting places for your family.

The Plan

Every good design starts with a plan and designing your garden is no exception, of course. So grab a pencil and a piece of paper and just start drawing some ideas that pop into your head. Should you run out of ideas, or even if you just like to, you can always check the internet for pictures of gardens that have been decorated with landscaping rocks.

Ultimately you want a design that has been carefully designed, one that doesn’t leave anything up to chance, and above all else, is easy to read. So don’t scribble everything down to a small paper, and then spend ages trying to figure out what it is you were trying to convey. Instead use your initial scribblings as a source to create a clean-looking final plan. It should include your drawing, the kind of rocks you want to use, their colors and so on.

The Execution

After you’ve finished planning, you should start seeking places to buy landscaping rocks from. If you are a person that doesn’t want to get their hands dirty, the internet is full of places that sell all kinds of landscaping rocks ranging from artificial landscaping stones to real landscaping stones or even artificial landscaping boulders.

If you don’t want to spend any money looking for things that are, after all, readily available almost anywhere, just take a walk around your house and see if there are any stones that could be used in your design. The colors don’t even have to match, you can always paint them for the perfect match.

Once you have your stones it’s time to get down to business of decorating your garden, and on to the path of making it come alive. You can really create some incredible looking scenes if you put your mind into it. Remember that landscaping with rocks can be quite hard work, especially if you use real rocks, so prepare to sweat quite a bit — it’s going to take some work to decorate your garden, and make it look good. But in the end, it will definitely be worth it. A good looking garden will bring joy for you and for your family for years to come.

3 Steps to Prepare Your Garden and Landscape For Winter

The summer is over, clearly autumn has arrived, and winter can’t be far behind. It is time to prepare the garden and surrounding landscape for the harsh months ahead. Here are 3 simple tips to help you get started.
 
Clean Up: Before the first killing frost do one last weeding in the garden. This will prevent seed heads from dispersing and give you a head start in the spring. Remove any diseased plants or foliage to prevent diseases from spreading or even lying dormant in the ground until next spring. Do not compost diseased materials. Cut back foliage that is done blossoming and unattractive at 2 to 3 inches off the ground. Plants such as lavender, Russian sage and astilbe bring interest to the winter garden if left untrimmed. Phlox, peonies, and monarda (bee balm) should always be cut back because they are highly susceptible to disease. Plants that still look good, annuals, hostas, sedum and others can be cut back after the first killing frost. Unfortunately, raking is a must for a healthy, attractive lawn and garden. 
 
Cover Up: You might be surprised to discover that most perennials do not need to be covered up or protected. However if you are trying to grow plants or shrubs that are not hardy for your agricultural zone, or it’s a first year perennial, or it is expensive or special you might want to take extra precautions. The preferred method for protecting garden perennials is to mulch, but mulching does not mean covering up your plants. The mulch material should be placed around the base of the plant, not covering the center or crown and should not be done until after several hard frosts. The idea is to prevent the ground around the plant from unthawing and refreezing causing the plant to heave or start spring growth prematurely. Materials for mulch can include shredded leaves (run your mower over the leaves several times), processed manure, or shredded bark. It is advantageous to use something that will break down over the winter and add nutrients or amend the soil.

Tender shrubs and roses often require some protection from the harsh winter winds, temperatures and animal damage. Plastic or wire hardware cloth can be used around the shrubs to protect the bark from rodent damage. To protect from winds and temperatures shredded leaves can be put in as well. Hybrid tea roses should be protected before the temperatures drop below 25 degrees F. There are products such as The Garden Dome that offer a simple frame and secured cover for shrub and plant protection. Continue to water evergreens and newly planted shrubs as long as possible.

Collect: Walk around your garden and yard and collect the decorative elements that would take a beating; statuettes, wind chimes, gazing balls, etc. Don’t forget about  ceramic bird baths that are susceptible to freezing and cracking. Take clippings of any annuals that you want to bring indoors. Consider cleaning out your containers and storing before the weather is miserably cold. Be sure to drain and bring in hoses and if you do not have freeze proof faucets those should be drained and shut off as well.
 
A garden prepared for winter is a protected investment. A little time and energy spent now will bring a more pleasant result in the spring.

How to Decorate With Black Bamboo

A member of the grass family, bamboo is one of the world’s greenest materials, capable of replenishing itself in a single growth cycle. Surprisingly durable, bamboo can be used for a variety of functions and products, as well as for a variety of decorative styles. From a chic, contemporary room with blond flooring, to a fun, tropical-themed room with bamboo-framed beach signs, the sturdy grass is an affordable and renewable material that is as versatile, as strong and as attractive as wood.

When it comes to decorating with this versatile material, black bamboo raises the bar on style. The sable color and natural form has a look of exotic elegance. Evoking scenes of luxury, it adds a layer of sophistication to homes, both indoors and out. No matter what the decorative style of a home, including accents or furnishings crafted from the glossy black canes adds an international flair to the design, as if the furnishings were collected carefully over time through extensive travel.

While black bamboo poles have the look of rare and expensive ebony wood, they are far less costly. Affordable, they can be used without restraint to make the most of their striking appearance. As a bundle displayed in a large vase, they make a strong design statement that adds style, depth and texture to a room’s decor. They can be used to create distinctive frames for black and white photographs. These poles can quickly transform a simple mirror into a handsome accent.

Professional decorators and landscapers value the color black as a design element. Black adds weight, mass, depth and gravitas to both interiors and exteriors. When the color is available in a natural material, it becomes even more useful in design. Indoors, the inky color adds a feeling of weight and durability to a coffee table crafted with bamboo poles and a glass top. Outdoors, using black outdoor bamboo fencing will make a yard or garden appear larger than it is, while adding a note of modern style to the scene.

Natural elements, such as canes, grasses, wood and stone, are valuable design elements as well. They can be used to give rooms the exotic feel of a tropical jungle or to create the serene mood of the seaside at sunset. Both indoor and outdoors spaces are always more effective when the goal is to create an environment that best suits those who inhabit them. Using natural, renewable materials like black bamboo is an affordable way to establish atmosphere with style.