Posts Tagged landscape

Geting Landscape Design Ideas

With Spring in full swing, it’s a good time to think about how you want to spend time out doors, in your own backyard.  Here are some ideas on how to do so:

– Take a look at yards and gardens around your neighborhood for inspiration.  This can both show you how a yard design will look with a particular home, and it will help you understand what grows well in your area.

– Visit public gardens.  You can get so much inspiration by visiting gardens and enjoying the various designs they have to offer.English Garden

– Take a look at books or magazines.  There are many design books and magazines that will help you understand what could look great in your yard.

– Search online.  There are many landscaping and gardening websites that can provide slideshows, before and after pictures, and other ways for you to get ideas.

– Talk to a landscaper.  When you have an idea of the type of yard you want, get in touch with your local landscaper and get their take on the matter.  A pro will have more knowledge and experience with regard to what goes where.

It’s always fun to design your yard to be completely perfect for your needs.   So, here’s to a great summer enjoyed in the perfect backyard!


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Decorating with Edibles

One fun way to change up your landscape is to decorate with edible plants.  You can do this to add a pop of tasty color, or to create a more textured sensory experience.  Here are several edibles that you can utilize in your yard:

Instead of low-growing bushes:

Plant rosemary, lavender or sage.

Instead of border flowers or greens:

Plant rhubarb, lettuce, cabbages, oregano, basil, chives, sweet marjoram, parsley, Japanese eggplant, hot peppers, strawberries, spinach, broccoli, kale, or swiss chard.  In many cases, you can get a variety that has bright flowers or colors.  Some of these plants are for warm weather – while other are cool weather plants, so you can have a bright and green border year round!

Instead of a flowering vine:Grapes

Plant kiwi, goji berry, passion fruit or grapes.

Instead of a semi-evergreen shrub:

Plant blueberries

Instead of grass or other ground cover:

Plant cranberries, lingonberries, strawberries, mint, fava beans, spinach, broccoli raab, ornamental peppers, chamomile, dill and oregano.

Instead of an evergreen tree:

Plant a fruit tree like a lemon, lime, orange or peach tree.

Instead of a statement plant:

Plant artichokes, peas, tomatoes, brussel sprouts, and raspberries.

Those are just some alternative landscaping ideas.  So, here’s to a year of enjoyable yards!


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Making a Statement with Your Lot

Southern California is filled with oddly sized lots.  You can find them out by Redondo Beach, in Agoura Hills, in Sunland, and all over LA.  The key to managing your odd lot is making a statement with it.  This goes for any kind of lot, any shape size or situation.

Here is what to consider when solving the landscaping for your different-sized lot:

– What is the total lot square footage (without your house)?  This is important to consider when you are considering any usable lot space.

– What portion of your lot is usable?  You should consider literally any portion of your lot which is not to steep to utilize in one way or another.

– What do you want to use the lot for? This will give you an understanding of how to best utilize that weird strip of grass on the side of your house.  It could be a vegetable garden, a dog run, a picnic area, a play spot for the kids, your native plant section, etc.

– How much energy do you want to spend on your yard?  This includes both time and money.  If you want to spend very little energy, your best idea is to either go native, or get a hardscape placed in there.  If you like gardening or want to employ a gardener to help keep your yard a paradise of flowers, trees, etc – you will clearly want a more complicated set up.

– Consult with a landscaper on the best way to utilize the entire space.  It’s unacceptable in my mind to let any part of a lot go to seed, or become a dumping ground for unused items.  Every part of your lot should have a purpose.

Here’s to those glorious lots of SoCal – no matter the size!

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Quirky Holiday Yard Decorations

This is the time of year when we doll up our yards for the Holidays.  Here are some fun landscaping ideas for this time of year:

– Plant a “permanent” Christmas tree.  This is the best time of year for planting trees.  So, if you want to plant a tree, and decorate for the holidays, you can do both at once.

– Plant winter-flowering plants.  Some great plants for this time of year are Camellia and Daphne, which grow beautifully over wintertime.

– Install a winter scene which can be converted.  One idea is to install a lamp post, much like the famous “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe”.  Then, during warmer seasons, install a bench beneath the lamp and you have a cozy spot in which you can enjoy the cozy night.

– Accent your favorite spots.  Add lights throughout your yard to accent your favorite parts of your yard.  Also, install string lighting on your trees for that festive feel.

– Add little accents.  Putting metallic, blue, and red bows on your trees is a sweet accent to your yard.  Also, you can put tall candles in empty wine bottles and place them along your front steps for festive, non-traditional lighting.  Finally, instead of placing some heavy decorations on your lawn, try installing an archway over your walk way.

– Use non-traditional lighting, by stringing along lamps on a rope.  This is a fun option compared to string lighting.

– Create a simple focal point.  You can wrap ribbon on your mailbox and install PVC candy canes or lollipops behind it.  Or you could create a backyard reading/conversation space around your fire-pit.

– Turn your back patio into a cozy greenhouse.  If you have an enclosed back patio, place plants you would normally put indoors for the winter in the patio, creating a green paradise.  Make sure to keep the area warm and well-lit as needed.

Here’s to an enjoyable holiday season!

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Autumn-time To Dos

Happy first day of fall!  The temperatures certainly doesn’t seem to know it’s autumn yet, but there are still things you can do to prepare for fall weather.

– Remove anything dead from your yard.  This can be a big task if you have a large yard, but removing dead leaves, dead plants, and dead limbs from your yard you are helping your plants and you are helping fire fighters with their task in fire prevention.

– Keep your plants watered and healthy.  Watering your plants consistently, as well as mulching them will help keep your plants happy during this hot time and can keep your soil healthy.

– As soon as it gets cool, make sure to plant any trees or bushes, as well as transplant anything you need to move.

– Get your lawn furniture ready for storage, or get them stored if you are done with them.

– Change out any bulbs for your outdoor lighting for those early nights.  If you don’t have outdoor lighting, get some installed.  It’s helpful for early autumn nights, and for days like Halloween when others will likely use your walkways and steps.

– If you enjoy being outdoors, try getting a permanent covering installed over your patio area.  Another idea is to get any outdoor space you have enclosed in glass so you can beat the heat in summer and stay warm in winter.

– Last, but not least, plan your yard out and see if there are any changes or plants which will make your life enjoyable.



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Summertime To Dos

Even though it’s only May, weather is showing us that summertime is coming to town.  Here a little list of things to get done in your yard before summer is officially here:

1. Break out the patio furniture.  If you haven’t taken out of your patio furniture yet, but if not, it’s time to dust off your chairs and tables, and set them out.

2. Speaking of patios… a great way to revamp your backyard is to revamp your patio.  You can go easy and get it cleaned, painted, and sealed – or do more and get cultured stone or stamped concrete installed.

3. Get your sprinklers ready.  Check that your sprinklers are providing full coverage of your lawn and plants.  If anything is broken, or you don’t have an automatic system, consider getting them fixed or installed before summer starts in earnest.

4. Find shady spots.  If you have trees or a gazebo, make sure you have a hammock or bench positioned beneath the shade for your weekend or evening enjoyment.

5. Think about gathering spaces.  It’s always wonderful to have family and friends over – and in the summertime they don’t want to be cooped up inside.  Decide what spaces in your yard are good for getting large groups together and figure out how you’d like to host them.  Do you want a permanent structure – like a firepit with benches or a gazebo?  Do you want a temporary awning that you can roll in and out as heat and sun bathing preferences change?

6. Get your plants in the ground.  If you haven’t gotten new plants in the ground, get them in as soon as possible, unless you plan to keep them in pots until fall.  Summer is not a great time to plant tender seedlings, it’s better to get them planted when the weather is still comparatively mild.

7. Consider what could accent your yard.  Bright pots of flowers, a bougainvillea covered fence, raised beds, a water feature, etc, could all make your yard unique.

Here’s to long, lazy summer days!

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Revamping Your Landscape

My parents are doing a landscaping project where they are keeping parts of their original landscape, but are tearing apart parts in order to accommodate space for a veggy garden, a cactus garden, and maybe a fruit tree or two.

Here’s the plan:

– Tear out two existing fruit trees.  One is a lime tree which has cross-pollinated with an orange tree.  This caused the orange and lime trees to have gross, half-lime/half-oranges.

– Move the existing, inactive and unusable compost pile into a contained space where they can put the correct mix and easily turn it.

– Install wood planters in the area where the orange tree used to be.  Right now there is a tiered network of planters, so this will be another, higher planter.

– Plant a new orange tree where the old lime tree used to be, along with a small cactus garden next to it.  (She already has cactuses in the area).

– Additionally have a block wall in the back which they want to make more exciting by adding bougainvillea.

It’s a great idea to revamp your landscape by keeping the features you like, removing what you don’t like, and adding in additional features you do like.

Here’s to an enjoyable and useable yard.

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