Posts Tagged raised beds

Fun Waterscaping Ideas

Waterscapes aid your landscape in many different ways.  Water features block ambient noise, add beauty, and (in some cases) allows an environment for new, low maintenance pets.

Here are some fun and interesting ways to incorporate waterscaping into your yard:

Create a space for small creatures

If you have plants of varied heights and types, it’s likely you will attract birds, butterflies, bumble bees, and other varied creatures that are fun to watch.  You can add to that attraction with a nice water feature.  There are a couple of approaches to this:

Traditional bird bath.  Just a plain-Jane birdbath.  Simple and effective.

Artsy fountain.  The idea is to provide these creatures with a place where they can access water.  Interesting fountains surrounded by small, damp stones can give various animals many places to rest, bathe, and drink.  The idea is to provide a perch in water deep enough for a small bird to bathe, and shallow enough that they won’t worry about losing their footing and drowning.

Small fountains for small spaces

If all you have is a terrace, deck or balcony, you can add a small fountain to your space in order to block out the ambient noise.

Small fountains can also be a gorgeous focal point for an entryway, for a back patio, or for that uneven portion of lot that you don’t know what to do with.

You can add a small fountain by installing a terracotta pot which appears to overflow into surrounding rocks, and with the watering then recirculating back into the fountain.  Another idea is to install a small sculpture or art piece with the same principle.  Or to install a waterline which runs up an adjacent wall and lets the water out through a spigot or piece of tile work on the wall.

Install a water feature disguised as a raised bed

That just sound weird, right?  But you can hide a pretty little water feature in among your raised beds.  Add some lily pads, maybe a turtle or a couple of fish, and you have a raised pond that accents your existing raised-bed look.

Plan for a shallow streamBackyard waterfal

What is better than the sound of a babbling brook?  Maybe the sound of a breeze rustling the leaves above your head as you lay back in your hammock and enjoy the harmonious sounds of nature.

If you prefer a little bit of drama, you can get a small stream installed which ends in a little waterfall.  This can be especially beautiful on a multi-level yard.

Allow water plants to run wild

If you have an existing water feature that you’d like to spice up, or if you want the sound of running water, but want to keep the motif green, try adding plant life.  There are some really gorgeous water plants that can add texture and dimension to your landscape.

Here’s to a visually and aurally beautiful yard!

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Pet Friendly Landscaing – Little Changes that Make a Big Deal

It can be hard to keep the pet you want and have the perfect landscape.  CatsUnique Pet and dogs can ruin grass, flower and vegetable beds, and even trees.  Horses, goats, and chickens need their own specialized spaces which conform with city ordinances. Peacocks and other exotic pets have their own quirks and needs.

However, here are a few ideas which can help make the difference between fighting against your pet’s natural habits and having a peaceful outdoor space you both can enjoy.

Understand your pet’s needs. Different types of pets have different needs.  For example, a small mutt may just need a little running space and a patch on which to do his or her business.  However, a beagle or puggle needs lots of running space, and a puppy may need to chew on things – like your trees, and any dog may need a spot in which to dig or hide their favorite toys.

A cat usually needs plenty of roaming space and, if they are to be confined to the yard and house alone, very high fences.

Horses, goats, chickens, and other animals that may be considered farm animals have specific ordinances which cover their minimal needs.  The large animals like horses, goats, donkeys, etc also need a way to exit their pens and stalls to be walked or ridden on outside paths and roads.

The more you understand your pet’s needs, the more you can create a good place for them, while still keeping the yard space you want.

Set up fenced spaces as needed. Delineate where pens should be located, or if fences need to be put up to block your pet off from other parts of your yard.  Once you have that sorted out, work out if your need the fences high or deep (usually for cats and chickens, your fences need to be high, and for dogs you need your fences deep).

Try hardscaping some shared areas.  You can always hardscape areas that both you and your pet use.  This way they will have a tougher time damaging it, and you can still enjoy it.   If this means your landscaper will have to sacrifice your flowers or veggies, you can see if you can get a hanging garden installed.

Additionally, if you want to get really creative, you can incorporate your garden and a water feature.  I recently saw an amazing water feature which utilized a piano that had been deemed unusable.  The landscaper planted up the inside of the piano, while water came out of the area where the keys used to be.

The water will generally deter your pet from getting too curious.

Add levels to your yard. By installing raised beds, you can usually help deter your dog from getting into your garden and digging up your plants.   They can work like a fence for smaller dog, or just a less attractive and easy access area than the areas your dog normal frequents.

Install plants your pet doesn’t like. There are plants your pet won’t want to eat or don’t like to be around.  You can plant these around areas you don’t want them in.   For example, dogs often don’t like are: calendula and rue.  Both cats and dogs don’t like plectranthus caninus, or coleus canina.

These are just some ideas.  There are more ideas for pet friendly landscaping can be found here.  Do you have any strategies you use in your yard?

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