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CREATING A COLORFUL GARDEN

CREATING A COLORFUL GARDEN

When you are considering what plants to add to your garden, don't forget about the element of color. How will the colors of each plant complement each other? It's rather important in creating an aesthetically pleasing garden. You wouldn't want to get everything planted only then to realize you placed all of your green-hued plants in one area and all of the bright, colorful flowering plants in a separate area. While that may be fine for some, most people would prefer to mix the color in with all of the green. Color in a garden has the power to communicate how the surrounding environment makes you feel.

Creating a colorful garden not only deals with plants and living things, but it also incorporates what is known as hard landscape, or hard scaping. This refers to all man-made elements that you would add to your garden area. It can include stone walkways, outdoor furniture and even artificial ponds and fountains. You can change the colors of these items to balance out the colors in the rest of your landscape.


1) Color Combinations


Research what colors would look best when planted next to each other. You can check around your neighborhood and see what other people are doing in their gardens. See how their color choices work or not. Or better yet, use your own judgment. Plant a full mixture of several different colors all in one area. As the season's change, so can the colors in your garden. You will never get tired of relaxing and looking at your beautiful design creation in your garden area.

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LANDSCAPE DESIGNS FOR SMALL SPACES

LANDSCAPE DESIGNS FOR SMALL 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 MAKE A BEAUTIFUL GARDEN

HOW TO MAKE A BEAUTIFUL GARDEN

Hands up if you have loving memories of running through the huge yard at Grandma’s place or playing with your friends in the park at the end of the street? For many of us, that was just the way our world looked. We took all that open space for granted. However, as our cities expand both horizontally and vertically, the space that each of us gets to call our own is now much smaller.

These days we are more likely to have a small yard, balcony or even just access to an apartment rooftop where we go to get some ‘fresh’ air sometimes. Although these spaces are small, it doesn’t mean they have to be bland or empty. We just have to take a different approach or ‘think outside the square’.

Think back to the gardens of your childhood and try and identify your favourite features. Was it the colors of the flowers? The old swing? All the odd things found in the shed? Once you have these images in mind, you can incorporate elements of them into your own special garden retreat. They’ll just be on a different scale.Let’s take these examples and develop them further.

Fill your space with color

Find a nursery or plant market in your area and take time to talk to the staff. Describe to them the space you have available. If you include details such as which direction it faces, if it is sheltered or exposed to the wind and elements, and how you plan to utilize it then they can help you select appropriate plants. Look for those that are in pots or planters and are easy to maintain.

Choosing a theme based around colour or varieties can work well. For example geraniums come in almost all the colors of the rainbow. Plant them together in large containers or group lots of smaller pots in clusters. Color does not only have to come from flowers though. Leaves can be amazingly colourful and have unusual textures. If you are in a warm climate, consider a collection of unusual cacti.

The containers you use for planting plus your garden furniture can also have brightly colored paint or be made from all sorts of materials. Consider using wine barrels cut in half or old bird baths as planters. Even drain pipes cut to assorted lengths can be arranged vertically and painted for a more modern look.

Rock-a-bye baby

While you probably won’t have the space to set up a full swing set like the one you fell off as a child, you can buy free standing swinging chairs in all shapes and sizes. Chose one that fits your space and position it so that when you are curled up on it you can gaze on some of your beautiful plants or over a peaceful view.

Re-use and recycle

Go back to Grandpa’s shed if it is still there or rummage through second hand shops to find objects that can find a new home in your garden. Look for things that would make wonderful planters such as watering cans, baskets or old baking trays. As long as it is hollow, durable and can have some drainage added then it is a possibility.

Also look for small tables, chairs or anything that can be used to display your plants. Don’t forget you can hang your plants too or attach them to walls or trellises. Use your vertical space well and you can shield off the outside world to create your own private paradise.

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LANDSCAPE DESIGN WITH NATIVE PLANTS

LANDSCAPE DESIGN WITH NATIVE PLANTS

When planning out a design for your landscape, plant selection is certainly not your first task, but it is one of the most gratifying as the heart of your outdoor vision begins to take shape. In many parts of the southeastern United States your site map may reveal mixed results. If you have some strongly sunny areas, some heavy or dappled shade, and both hot summers and occasional long spells under the freezing mark, you will need a variety of hardy plants, especially if you are planning to minimize irrigation.

You may also decide to emphasize in your landscape plants native to the area, or at least to North America. It’s a growing trend, and if you have any Master Gardeners in the house or the neighborhood, it may almost go without saying. Native plants are well adapted to the local climate and soil conditions, so they require minimal irrigation and maintenance once established. They provide ground cover and other resources to animals that have lost a great deal of habitat, hosting butterfly chrysalises and providing seeds and fruits to birds and other animals. They can also prevent the spread of invasive exotic plants that choke out natives and other plants.

Happily, many plants native to the United States are not only hardy when planted there, but attractive as well. They will help you design a landscape that looks right at home in its surroundings. Here are four natives that will provide a foundation for your design. The Eastern redbud tree (Cercis canadensis) sports an abundance of small pink or lavender flowers in spring, beautiful large heart-shaped leaves, and interesting pods in the fall and winter. They are so well adapted to the surroundings that they spread with ease, so there may be a limited amount of maintenance in digging up baby trees annually. They are effective as an understory tree at the edge of woodland, or as a specimen and shade tree over a patio. You may spend a little time in spring sweeping up fallen flowers, but they’re so beautiful that you may not choose to unless there’s rain on the way. Once they are established, there is no reason to give them water and they’re unlikely to need fertilizer.

Rhododendrons and azalaes belong to the genus Rhododendron. Many varieties are native to the United States, including Rhododendron catawbiense, which is the classic mountain roadside rhododendron in the Appalachian Mountains that can live in other locations as well, as long as it gets some shade. The native azaleas are typically deciduous, but are less particular about soil and water than the evergreen hybrids, typically bloom a bit later, and add gorgeous fall foilage to the lower story of the landscape. Most demand some sun, but the varieties’ needs vary, often making them perfect in well-planned groupings in areas of the landscape with mixed sun and shade.

Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia fulgida is the hardiest perennial variety) are perhaps the prototypical perennial of the American South. They come back after years of neglect, they bear gorgeous yellow flowers in the summer, and they are very happy to bake in the sun with no more or little more water than the rain gives them. And a variety of insects and birds, including the beautiful goldfinch, adore the black-brown seeds in the central cone.

 

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Why Green Roofs are Great

Why Green Roofs are Great

In this day and age, many people live in areas that do not have much greenery in their surroundings. This can be rather depressing and unnatural for human beings to live in. If you have the opportunity, you can always create your own green roof. Even if you live in an area surrounded by nature, having a green roof can still be beneficial to you and the environment.

 

A green roof, also called a living roof, is a roof that is capped with natural plants and grasses. Underneath that is a base for these plants to grow, such as fertile soil. To protect your actual roof, you will place a waterproof material to separate the vegetation and the roof. In a few simple steps, you too can create your own green roof and reap all of the benefits it has to provide.

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