Posts Tagged ideas

Fall Planting Thoughts

It’ll be Fall before you know it – which is the best time of year to plant trees.  If you have a nice pathway or driveway that could use some shade, you should consider which type of tree you’d like to plant.

Here are some trees which tend to have roots close to the top soil (meaning – don’t use them to shade your lanes or driveway):

–         Cottonwood

–         Willow

–         Mulberry

–         Beaches

–         Elms

–         Silver or Red Maples

But, if your heart is completely set on one of the above shallow root trees, you can talk to your landscaper about installing a root barrier or some such which should stop your tree from searching under your paved/established areas for water.

Additional things to consider when planting trees are:

  1. Where are they getting water from?  If you aren’t going to consistently water them, the tree may seek out water sources – like the pipes that feed your
    home.  It’s a good idea when making the large investment of a tree that you take a look at ensuring consistent watering.
  2. Can you get a tree which is drought tolerant and will dig deep for water?  It’s a better idea for your top soil if the roots will dig deep for water – but to balance that out you want a tree which won’t go too far and wide looking for water.  I’ve seen a foundation torn out by a gorgeous California Oak.
  3. What are you looking for when it comes to your tree? Do you want fruit, shade, blocking your yard from sight, something else?  Consider this before purchasing and planting your tree.

Here’s to years of shady, beauty and joy brought about by your trees.

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Creative Landscaping

This article on creative landscaping in Thousand Oaks inspired me to look at all the great creative gardening ideas out there. Here are some ideas:

– Repurposed items. Like the article above, you could repurpose your fountain or even an old bird bath as a planter. There are a lot of other items you can use this way, it really just depends on how eclectic youre landscaping is. You could take old plastic or metal buckets and use them as plant pots, or even masonry jars. One of my favorite examples of this were some ratty old hiking boots with a little cactus planted in each that I lusted over at a garage sale a few weeks ago.

– Add air plants to your trees. This won’t work in every landscape – as air plants do well in hot climates like Southern California or other southern states, but they are a really need addition to any garden and they require very little maintenance.

– Create a rock garden. You can do this because you have really tough soil, or just as a decorative addition to your landscape. Here’s an example of some Thousand Oaks landscaping which has a cute rock garden/regular garden combo. The article also talks about the problems encountered on the property, so you can decide if this kind of thing would work in your yard.

– Install a garden mirror. I know, I’m getting a little wild here, but adding a mirror to the right spot of your garden can make your yard seem bigger and looks very metropolitan (think Chicago’s Cloud Gate sculpture).

– Paint a mural or add mosaic tiling. Do you have one of those walls between your neighbor’s and your homes that is super ugly, but your neighbor agree to tear it down or help fund a new wall? Try making your wall pretty by painting a mural or hanging mosaic tile creations on it. This could be a fun project for kids, family, friends or that local artist down the way.

– Add an interesting path or some cool steps. This one is really something you’ll need a professional landscaper for, but adding a cool path like this landscape in Thousand Oaks or some funky steps like these ones – also from a Thousand Oaks landscape, can give your yard a feeling of uniqueness and personality.

– Try water gardening.  Add a waterfall or a stream, or even a pond.  I know, you’ll need a professional for this one too, but waterscapes really add to a yard.  You can also take a look at a unique water spout to start off the water process, and see what kind of recycling system your waterworks can use – so you can use the same water multiple times.

– Add a bench or some statuary.  I’m a fan of gnomes.  My aunt loves fairies.  It’s unlikely I’ll find a fairy gnome to surprise her with, but you’d be surprised what kind of neat statuary you can find to give your landscape some pizzaz.  On a drive through the redwood forest, I found the strangest statue I’ve ever encountered.  It’s the picture next to this paragraph.

That’s all the ideas I have for today!  Here’s hoping your yard will always allow you to express your creativity.

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