I see beautiful landscape designs all around me. And the grass is truly greener on the other side! My neighbor has a pool with a beautiful patio surround completely landscaped with shrubs, bushes, and trees. My other neighbor has an outside patio surrounded by shrubs with beautiful trees towering overhead and a nice, canvas awning-covered patio for eating and entertaining. My house has a couple of trees in a flat, grassy yard. My problem is that I can see a good landscape design, I just don’t know how to create a nice-looking landscape design for myself.
So, I have begun looking through landscape books, taking notes about what I like about other people’s yards, and have started sketching some ideas. I know one thing I would like to have in my landscape design is a water feature and some rocks and river stones. I saw some pictures where someone created a “stream” of rocks and built a beautiful wooden bridge over this stream. Even though no water was flowing, the rocks created the look of a dry streambed and the bridge added to the realism of this dry water feature.
Another thing I like is flowering trees. So I am planning on adding some decorative flowering cherry trees like a couple of dogwoods, and perhaps a flowering crab apple or two. These trees come in different colors including white, pinks, and reds which will add a lot of visual interest to my new landscape. I know it will take a few years for all these trees to reach maturity but I have to start sometime. The sooner the better so they have a chance to grow!
Today, people are more environmentally conscious than ever. They make sure that what they eat, drive, and even build is all sustainable and friendly to the environment. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the biggest green trends happening in the home improvement industry.
More and more homeowners are making the switch to environmentally safe flooring. Some popular forms of green flooring are bamboo, cork, sustainable hardwood, and recycled linoleum. Not only are these flooring options eco-friendly, but they are also stylish and affordable. Some things to keep in mind when purchasing sustainable hardwood: make sure it is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and that it is harvested from a local source in order to reduce energy expenditure.
There are plenty of subscription based home improvement magazines and there are even more free “junk mail” home improvement magazines. But before you just assume that magazines are pointless junk mail, consider that you might be able to get ideas from a home improvement magazine without paying the incredibly high price.
However, that is not to say that you should never buy materials from a home improvement magazine. In many cases, these magazines have high quality goods that you can buy if you have no idea what you are doing. They provide installation guides which you are not going to get if you just try to build a desk from raw materials. Just remember that you are going to pay more.
If you are looking to save some serious cash then read the magazines just to find out what the latest and most popular styles are. This way you do not have to pay an interior designer to tell you how to decorate or perform home improvement on a room. In addition because you are buying raw materials from scratch rather than pre-finished, you are most likely going to get a higher quality product especially if you buy higher quality wood. Buying higher quality wood and making all the cuts yourself can save you a significant amount of money.
Most of us want our water features to look ‘natural’, but ponds often need to go against walls, or next to (or indeed on) patios: hardly ‘natural’ settings. But a garden stream can look really natural. Even though it is merely a stretch of water going from one place to another, this is exactly the sort of phenomenon that is found in the wild.
In all cases, of course, a man-made stream will contain water that is circulated by a pump. Pumps obviously vary hugely in their performance, and it is crucial that you choose one that will provide the desired effect. For example, a small pump in a very wide or deep stream would produce an imperceptible and completely ineffective flow.
The stream should be made dead level, so that it remains full once the pump is switched off. And, when the pump is off, your ‘stream’ will become a shallow, elongated pond. One of the trickiest decisions when creating a stream is how to make it suddenly ‘appear’ in the garden, and then ‘disappear’ further along. A gurgling stream usually ends up emanating from large pipes or from beneath a stone slab; it will almost certainly disappear in the same way. Most of the gullies the water will travel along are made from concrete, stone or brick, and are either straight or gently curving. Flexible liner can be used, but use gravel, sand, stones, bricks or boulders to give the water a rippling texture and help conceal the shiny PVC or plastic.
If you’ve been considering an update to your landscaping design, then you may have been reading up a little on the history of Australian gardens. The prevailing style that is in use these days is what is known as the Australian Garden Style, the Natural Garden Style or, simply, the bush style. Most landscape gardeners can tell you about this style, but you can educate yourself about it by reading on below.
What Is The Natural Garden Style?
The Natural Garden Style is familiar to most Australians as many homes try to incorporate at least small components of style within their landscaping. It is, essentially, a style that emphasises native plants. It is rooted in a pride in Australian heritage and revolves around regionally appropriate designs. Above all, the Natural Garden Style is about protecting the planet and not infringing on the natural order of things.