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Cottage Garden Charm

Cottage Garden Charm

In every fairytale story, there is always a scene set in a lush, romantic garden draped in greenery with little flickers of lightening bugs and the fresh smell of flowers that have bloomed. While I can’t tell you how to get that perfectly candlelit ambience from the lightening bugs, I can tell you how to design the perfect cottage-esque, charming garden with a few tips and tricks that can help you to achieve this.


The charming garden is simple and quaint, with strategically placed elements and cascading plants intertwined throughout the garden. Typically, you will find a path constructed of rocks, bricks or stones, meanders throughout the garden. This is just a small element but a cozy path can give the garden a finished look embedded in the greenery that is the garden.


Twisted throughout the plants should be a mix of a subtle and classic flower variety. These typically include peonies, pansies, iris, cosmos, and include the occasional foxglove and snapdragon accents. Try to keep the flower selection to muted colors or light pastels. Any loud colors or wild flowers will veer away from the atmosphere you are aiming to design. Remember to embrace larger rocks you come across when constructing your garden space. These little aspects of nature frame the surrounding plants and flowers.

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Guide to Outdoor Recycled Style

Guide to Outdoor Recycled Style

Most people tend to invest their money decorating and designing the interiors of their homes to their liking but what about the outdoors of your home? It can be difficult to justify spending money on the outdoor design of your home but the more people are discovering the art of recycling odds and ends around the house to create a new look for their outdoor spaces. The first thing people think of when their mind goes to recycling old things for new uses, is a cheap or outdated feel. Recycled style does not have to be that way. There are plenty of tips and tricks to make any design feel clean and sleek or comfortable and quaint without the ‘recycled’ look.


The D.I.Y. phenomenon has been sweeping households all across the world. Instead of investing their dollars, people are investing their time to create truly original crafts and decorative pieces for their own homes. This same idea can be applied to your outdoor style.


One person’s junk is another person’s treasure and in this case, it could be your new patio table. Taking old tires, painting them a fun color and stacking them on top of one another for the legs of the table with a circular slate of glass placed on top creates a contemporary look and a focal point build around on your patio. If you are looking for more of a neutral furniture look, you can add depth to the design with simply an old rug. Take an old rug that you planned to replace inside the house, use masking tape and spray paint to update it with the color palette that matches your outdoor design. What was once an old rug you planned to toss out, now adds warmth to your patio space.

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LANDSCAPE DESIGNS FOR PERFECT SPACES

LANDSCAPE DESIGNS FOR PERFECT SPACES

Beautiful outdoor sanctuaries aren’t just for the privileged suburban lifestyle of wide-open spaces and acres of land. With the desire to live closer to cities, the square-footage cost increases. More and more people are looking to make the most of the space they have and this is why small-space oriented design concepts are so sought after.

The rule of thumb is to utilize all of the space you have without over-crowding. Any small space can be morphed into the perfect grilling area, entertaining space, or tranquil nook. With limited space available, outdoor lighting is best mounted on existing wall space or draped string lights overhead create a romantic ambience to your outdoor space. If you have a larger area to work with, a fire pit is great addition to enhance any outdoor space.

The most difficult task of creating the perfect outdoor space is trying to incorporate furniture, whether it is seating or a small table, without crowding the area and making it impossible to be comfortable. Try using a round table instead of a square table. This will allow that tiny bit extra room for a chair or two and to be seated comfortably without the sharp edges of a square table to maneuver around. You would be astounded by the contribution a small hanging table can make to your outdoor setting. Typically these are not permanent and can be taken down and stored when it is not in use. If you have a balcony, there are also tables that clip on to the railing. This creates a wonderful surface to utilize when entertaining guests to hold drinks or food spreads. The hanging table even makes a great outdoor desk for your laptop or books.

When it comes to outdoor seating for your space, the obvious selection doesn’t always need to be chairs. Small one to two person benches are a nice touch. Enclosed benches double as a great outdoor storage space and seating when entertaining guests. The benches can be upholstered or even a wooden or metal bench that pillows can be added to for comfort.

In small spaces, a little bit goes a long way. Try to avoid adding grounded flower pots, small statues and decorations that take up available walking-space. Instead, a small potted plant on the table, hanging plants or even mounted baskets on the exterior wall to hold fresh flowers will go a long way into morphing your small space into an ideal patio. Add a small rug with a pop of color to really pull the design together. Little colorful accents here and there, such as painted pots or a colorful small table, really helps to bring the indoors outdoors.

Whatever you decide you want your small outdoor space, keep it simple. Varying weather conditions and upkeep can be more strenuous if your outdoor space starts to become too cluttered. Never underestimate the outdoor space you have. No yard? No problem. Any space, large or small can be turned into the perfect space with the right design.

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HOW TO MANAGE A LAWN AS PART OF THE LANDSCAPE

HOW TO MANAGE A LAWN AS PART OF THE LANDSCAPE

Turf grass is so common in residential landscape design that the word “lawn”, which technically refers only to land covered in short grass, is used synonymously with the American “yard” or British “garden” to refer to all of the land adjoining a house. In landscape design, a grass-filled lawn is very often part of the plan. There’s a significant movement to minimize lawns, however, replacing them through xeriscaping or other techniques with cultivated beds, garden plots, natural areas, hardscaping, or even meadows that provide more natural habitat and require less maintenance than the typical lawn.

Reservations about lawns typically revolve around the water and chemical needs of a typical turf grass planting, as well as the maintenance required in terms of mowing, aerating, and over-seeding. Given how many grasses survive difficult conditions (drought or winter, depending on variety and location) by going dormant and turning brown, why not save time, effort, resources and money by going with another plan for landscape design?

Nevertheless, the urge for lawns is strong, particularly in the United States. Perhaps the best strategy is to reserve some space for turf and handle the rest of the landscape in other ways, and then select a turf grass that is appropriate for your climate and has as few needs as possible. After all, most would agree the dream lawn requires no fertilizer, little to no irrigation, and needs infrequent mowing to stay reasonably short.

In quite a few parts of this country, you may have access to something very close to this dream. It’s called buffalo grass, and it is the only turf grass native to the United States. The name comes from the animal whose herds were once supported by this hardy prairie grass. It is extremely drought resistant, it spreads primarily by underground shoots but doesn’t tend to invade garden beds, it doesn’t grow very tall, and fertilizer harms rather than helps it. Once established, it grows densely enough to help choke out weed growth. The general recommendation is to mow it to about 3-4 inches about once a month and otherwise to leave it alone. The only way in which it departs significantly from the dream is that it does turn brown in winter – a fairly attractive brown, as it happens. If you have enough other areas in your garden that are green or colorful in the colder parts of the year, the payoff should be worth this drawback.

If you live in California with summer drought and winter rain, there is a particular named cultivar of buffalo grass that was created to thrive in that environment. “UC Verde” buffalo grass has the added advantage of being sold in female-only plugs that rely on underground shoots to spread the grass. Having female-only grasses gives this cultivar an extremely low pollen count, which is important to the allergy sufferer. Other cultivars that are adaptable to large portions of the middle of the country are planted from seed that has been through a non-toxic priming process as buffalo grass is slow and reluctant to germinate from seed.

If you live in a part of the country that can support it (look for hardiness maps on any number of state extension service websites), it’s worth serious consideration for the part of your landscape that you’d like to see covered in grass.

 

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Front Yard Design Pointers

Front Yard Design Pointers

Create an inviting front yard environment by incorporating simple techniques and ideas to pay attention to. Different types of plant, bushes and trees can transform your landscape from a drab, ordinary and uninteresting lawn to a colorful and magnetic atmosphere for year-round pleasure and appeal. Take into account the following pointers before you make any drastic changes to your yard. You will be glad to have a foundation to build off of when you take on the task of sprucing up your front yard.


1) Determine Structure


To design an appealing front yard, you don't have to go overboard and toss in every type of plant out there. You can simplify things for yourself and in your yard by sticking to only a few amounts of plants, bushes and trees. Put a set limit on the number of kinds of flowering plants you will have. Depending on the size of your yard, you may only want two or three different kinds. If you have more room to work with, you can incorporate a larger variety, say 10 different kinds. When it comes to bushes and shrubs, you should stick to approximately three different varieties. Same with trees. Put a cap on the number of different types you want to one or two. By utilizing this method, your yard won't look to scrambled and disorganized. It will be simple, yet pleasant to look at.

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