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Where To Get Great Ideas For Landscaping

It is kind of wearing when I open my window every day staring at my same old garden. It looks somehow neglected although I always keep it tidy and pretty. The same plants, same terrain, and same arbors, all look old on my garden. This itchy feeling is suddenly creeping on my palms, bringing an urge to make something new.

Then images of landscape start to pop out in my mind, the images of my neighbors’ garden when I visited their house, the images of real estate advertisements where they put beautiful garden around the advertised houses, the images of my own fancy garden. Confusion slowly occupies my mind. To top that, I do not have any clue on what or where to begin with.

Fortunately, I do not have any hyperventilating issue. So I go to my pantry, prepare myself a hot cup of black coffee which sometimes helps a lot. While zipping my hot coffee, my eyes go to that same old garden outside my window, thinking where to get great ideas for landscaping. The stack of magazines on the book shelf looks appealing. I grab some, browse each page to seek beautiful garden pictures or residence advertisements, and not forgetting to put a sticky note on the page containing the landscape design I prefer for my garden.

After finishing with that, I open the noted pages to review each design once again. They are inspiring yet not really fitting the requirements I seek for my garden. Hence I approach my laptop to search more alluring ideas. Obviously there are hundreds designs of flawless gardens which need thorough evaluation before determining to save some for my own reference. Those designs indeed evoke more ideas for landscaping my sought garden.

The dimension of the most preferred design thereinafter should accommodate the terrain of my garden. Each garden has its own character that requires adjustment in every angle. It occurs to me that I probably need to seek advice from professionals on this, considering my lack of knowledge on landscape design. The consequence of this concern however is the escalating budget, especially their huge fees. Not yet to mention their choice of materials, plants, decorations, and deadline which on some cases I heard are long overdue. Such constraints should be excluded from my tight schedule and, of course, budget as well. Will the grand expectation and limited budget collide at perfect combination?

Create a Garden and Patio Design To Enjoy Year-Round

Retreat to a garden and patio design that’s beautiful year-round, and takes minimum fuss. What makes this possible? Carefree plants with continuous blooms, and a well-planned garden structure.

You don’t need to be a lawn and garden expert or landscape designer to do this. Here are a few tips for creating a super yet simple garden and patio design that will be a knockout!

The first step is to take a birds-eye view of your garden and patio area. Make a rough sketch of your space, and play around with a few designs until you like what you see. As you’re doing this, get some great ideas from existing garden and patio decorations. Pay a visit to other people’s gardens, or public gardens. Look through home landscaping and gardening magazines, find what you like, and develop plans of your own.

Decide what style or theme is right for you… formal, casual, rustic, Southwestern, Japanese… there are enormous possibilities. Then stay with that style and theme so the overall effect does not become confusing. For instance, you wouldn’t want to combine bronze garden sculptures of saints or cherubs with rustic wooden wagon wheels.

Imagine what your patio area will most often be used for. You may plan to entertain lots of outdoor dinner guests. If so, be sure your patio space has plenty of room for the largest number of people right from the beginning. Your patio may be more of a private, reflective retreat for enjoying the sun, reading a book, or gazing up at the stars. Determine the use of shade, open sun, or even covering it with a roof.

Now take your favorite ideas and put them into your rough plans – and soon you’ll have a design that is ready for action.

The next step is to create your garden and patio design to scale – you can use landscaping software for this, or do it by hand. Choose the flowers you intend to plant, noting how many you will need for each month of your growing season, and select the landscaping structures that will give your design its form.

Some say the secret to a beautiful garden and patio design is having a good amount of hard structure. This is what landscape designers refer to as “good bones” – walls, fences, garden bridges, gates, garden arbors, landscape statues, garden fountains … even a strong line of evergreen plants.

Garden structures such as these create forms and lines, giving your garden and patio design definition and dimension. Plus, in the winter when most plants are empty and bare, your garden will preserve its shape and sense of completeness. It’s amazing how just one or two structures can produce this satisfying effect.

Most garden and landscaping structures are built to withstand the elements. Treated pine, cedar and teak garden furniture, trellises, arbors, and decorative fencing are great choices. Stone, copper, and bronze garden statuary will never let you down. Garden fountains bring incredible beauty and atmosphere to any garden and patio design – in fact, entire gardens have been built around them.

Next, choose annual spring flowers and perennial plants that will give you blooms from one season to the next. For instance, select carefree roses that need no pruning or spraying, and bloom continuously from spring through fall. Fill planters with beautiful blooming flowers such as Oriental lilies or verbena for different colors all summer long. Establish flower beds in corners or along walk ways. Always consider your local climate and plant according to the sun and shade needs of your plants.

As you plan your garden and patio design, create paths or walk ways that lead from one area to the next. Rambling garden paths are relaxing and charming… and if laid out thoughtfully, will be a big help to you as the gardener. Paths can be of stone, brick, flagstone, gravel, or mown turf, although grass paths require more upkeep. Garden sculptures or sitting benches thoughtfully placed along the way provide wonderful expression.

If you want garden and patio designs that are pre-drawn, there are ready-made plans available in books and magazines. This is another fine way to get off to a solid start. Use pre-made garden plans from start to finish, or incorporate parts of them right into you own creative plans.

Copyright 2006 Robert Mosse

Landscaping Companies Offer More Than Landscape Design

People usually contact a landscaping company for the first time when they want their entire yard or garden done over and they know they aren’t qualified or experienced enough to choose the right kinds of plants, shrubs and grasses. If you choose plants that aren’t hardy enough, shrubs that can’t withstand local temperatures, or trees that are difficult to care for, you can waste hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your lawn with nothing to show for it. That’s why hiring a landscape design specialist is always a good idea. They will carefully select trees, shrubs, grasses and flowers that are ideally suited to your locale, the type of soil you have, and the level of care required from you as the homeowner.

All landscaping companies are happy to work closely with you to design your yard, install the plants and even install the hardscaping for patios and pathways, but many disappear once the initial installation is completed. The care and feeding of your yard or garden is up to you from that point on. It can be overwhelming, so be sure you’re working with a landscaper who can offer additional services to keep everything healthy and beautiful all year round. Ask about the following services when choosing your landscaper:

Spring Cleaning

Your garden and yard will be waiting to burst forth with new blooms and soft grasses to tickle your feet, but a long, hard winter and dry conditions can delay new growth by several weeks. Your lawn service should offer a spring cleaning service to loosen the soil and get your yard and flower beds ready for new growth. This may include aerating the soil, adding fertilizers, dethatching grassy areas and more. Your grass will come in greener and be lusher as a result.

Lawn Mowing And Maintenance

Having a lovely lawn is nice, but if you have to spend all your free time on mowing and maintenance, you won’t be able to enjoy its beauty. A lawn service can take care of everything, including aerating the soil, mulching, trimming and, of course, lawn mowing. Just imagine not having to worry about taking care of your lawn every weekend! And the best part is that your yard will be cleaner and greener than it’s ever been.

Trees And Shrubs

It can be tempting to simply lop off branches that are overhanging your house, but you’ll end up with an ugly tree that may not heal properly. Over-pruning or incorrect trimming are two problems you won’t have if you let a lawn service take care of your trees and shrubs. They will carefully prune larger plants and trees in order to optimize their health and stability. While trimming your trees, they can also check for disease or other potential problems and stop small problems before they grow into large ones.

Hardscaping

Hardscaping is the installation of outdoor patios, retaining walls and paths using flagstones, bricks, timber or decorative stone. Not all landscaping companies also handle hardscape projects, so be sure to ask. Ideally, you should hire a landscape design firm that can install your patio and other features so that the design is a cohesive whole where the hardscaping and landscaping complement each other beautifully.

When you’re ready to overhaul your yard or garden, be sure to choose a landscaping company that also offers complete lawn service for results you’ll enjoy all year round.