Posts Tagged Fall landscaping

Decorating for Halloween

It’s about that time of year again when little feet will patter up your walk or driveway and request that you give them candy.  Perhaps you always decorate for Halloween, or maybe you like to celebrate the cornucopia of fall’s abundance.  Either way, there are a lot of fun ideas for decorating your yard for Halloween.  Here are some:Trick or treat

– Buy biodegradable decorations like pumpkins and cornstalks.  That way, when you’re done creating your fun scene, you can chop them up and add texture to your compost.

– Use existing structures, trees, and bushes so that your decorations have little impact on your landscape.

– Secure your decorations with strong string, wire, or some other durable substance.  With fall winds, it’s always a good idea to make sure your decorations aren’t going to come down and get blown around.

– Utilize more than jut pumpkins.  You don’t have to stick with the normal jack-o-lantern format.  Make it your own by carving fun faces in hardshell gourds or squash.

– Cover your handrails in spooky vines like grapevines or bittersweet vines.

– Use different sizes and shapes of gourds, squash, and pumpkins hidden in different parts of your yard to add texture and eye candy.pumpkins harvest

– If you have a blow-up display or are putting in fake gravestones, you will probably have to sacrifice some of your lawn to make sure it is secured properly.  So, if you’re going to stake something, be sure to get it staked deeply and have soil and grass seed ready for the holes and brown patches you will make.

– Plant up your borders with fall-colored flowers.  You an try marigolds, flowering cabbages, mums and cyclamen.  The cabbages particularly are a temporary addition that can add a little bit of spookiness and a lot of texture to your yard.

– Try using electric candles instead of real candles if you have a lot to light up.  While the flickering glow of a real candle has its own charm, don’t line your walkway with real candles – even if they’re in pumpkins.

– Create an spooky outdoor arrangement with raked up maple leaves, trimmed sticks and dead flowers.   You can compost it afterwards.

Above all, be safe.  Make sure your lighting is all set up so that children don’t stumble in the dark toward your door.  While it may give them thrills to walk toward a gloomy home, be sure to still provide them with enough light to find their way to your door without mishap.

Here’s to a fun and safe Halloween!

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Great Fall Garden Ideas

It’s almost Fall, which usually means dry, hot winds, and brown lawns.  It’s a time when we all want more color in our yards.  Here are some ideas to accomplish just that:

    • Fill your yard with plants that bloom all Summer and Fall. There are a number of great, late blooming plants available for your yard – like African Lily, Agastache, Anemone, Asters, Balloon Flower, Beach Rose, Blanket Flower (Gaillardia), Coneflower (Echinacea), Coreopsis, Daylillies, Dead Nettle (Lamium), Dianthus EverLast, False Sunflowers (Heliopsis), Gaura, Geraniums, Globe Thistle, Hibiscus, Lavender, Leucanthemum, Moss Rose, Mums, Phlomis, Phlox, Pinks (Dianthus), Salvia, Sagebrush, Speedwell (Veronica), Sundrops, Thyme, and Yarrow.  When each plant blooms depends upon the variety, but there are a ton of great flowers that thrive in the heat of Summer and Fall.
    • Plant trees and shrubs that change color in the Fall.  Trees like maples, oaks, and dogwoods can change colors, even in a Southern California landscape.  Shrubs can also give you that bright Fall color – notably American Fall treeCranberry Bush, Burning Bush, Sumac, and Oakleaf Hydrangea.
    • Include roses in your garden landscape.  Roses generally bloom more than once – depending on the type.  Some great bloomers are: Hybrid Tea, Shrub Roses, Bush Roses, Everblooming Climbers, Miniature Roses, Floribunda, and more.  Again, you have to consider the exact type of rose before knowing whether or not it will bloom more than once.
    • Add structural landmarks.  Adding structure to your yard with benches, a pagoda, terraces, and more can give you a place to observe the changes in your yard from – and a place to look out to when the plants officially die down during the winter.  Another structural landmark you can add is a water feature like a river, pond, waterfall, or spout.  These can make your Fall yard feel a little damper and cooler during the warm Santa Ana winds.

It’s still warm this time of year, so be sure to go outside and enjoy it – even though summer vacation is about over.  Here’s to a warm, vibrant Fall.

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Things to Look Forward to in Fall

Fall doesn’t officially start until September 22nd, but there’s lots to look forward to.  Here are some things that gardeners and landscapers look forward to during fall:

– Autumn is the best time to plant trees.  So, if you wanted to add more shade to your yard, or produce some fruit – fall is the best time to get this done!

– Fall is also the best time to transplant.  If you have some bushes, trees, or other plants in pots and you either want to put them in the ground or move them from one container to another, this time of year is the best time to do this.

Additionally, if you were planning on doing a landscaping project which requires some favorite trees or bushes be moved, Autumn is a great time to get the project done and set so your plants have a chance to get established in their new locations before the next hot season.

– Fall is a great time to get any grass problems sorted out by overseeding or installing sod.

– It’s also the time of year when your trees can be pruned into a more pleasingZ shape.  It is also a good time to get dead limbs and so on out of the way and make your landscape safer.

– Autumn is also a good time of year to clean your yard of dead plants.  It is a good time of year to turn your attention to fire prevention.

Here’s to a great, creative Autumn!

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