Posts Tagged Winter landscaping

Revamp Your Yard

As it gets a bit chillier, you may feel inclined to stay indoors.  However, even though the days aren’t made for basking in the sun, you can update your yard so you have areas you can enjoy – even in the wintertime!

– Upgrade your tool shed.  You may have a little shack in the back of your lot where you keep your tools, or where you store stuff.  Instead of just a dirty old room which is separate to your home, try making it a little hide-away.  Clean out all those storage “essentials”, or just devote a small portion of the room to them.  Clean out any trash or dirt.  Warm it up with insulation.  Add some heat, a light, and a comfy chair and you have a little hide away in your yard.

Another idea is to convert your tool shed to a “green house” with grow lights instead of glass.  This is where you could grow exotic orchids or other plants which may be too delicate for the outdoors – or where you can have a year round tomato plant.

– Install a firepit.  No matter what time of year, a firepit is a great place to gather your friends or family, to stay warm with a cup of hot cocoa and read a good book, or just to enjoy your yard.  You can even install a little covered seating area so you can enjoy the firepit while it’s raining.

– Put up a covered area.  You can cover your patio, install a gazebo, or even put up an awning beneath your favorite tree.  The advantage to installing such a cover in a manmade area is that you can also install a heating unit.

– Get a Jacuzzi.  It doesn’t matter how chilly it is outside, when you’re in a Jacuzzi you can laugh in the face of the chill air.  Also, a Jacuzzi can be installed beneath a tree or in a little hide-away to make it a romantic meeting placeJacuzzi tub for you and your significant other.

– Hate the cold as much as I do?  Enclose your patio and enjoy your yard from its warm indoor/outdoor confines.  I love enclosed patios because no matter what time of year you can always get them cooler or warmer than the outdoors, while still feeling like you’re outdoors.

So, here’s to laughing in the face of chilly winter weather!

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Planting bulbs

Flowers like tulips and daffodils are wonderful.  They signify things like “Spring has come!” and are generally gorgeous and enjoyable.  However, they do not grow easily in Southern California.  Here are some tips for growing bulbs here:

1. Make sure to chill your bulbs either before you plant – if you are planting out doors, or after your plant – if you are planting in pots.  The chilling period should be noted on the package.

2.  If you are chilling your bulbs while they are planted, keep the area consistently moist – but not wet.

3. Plant the bulb at least 2 inches below the soil level.

4. Make sure to plant with a soil mix, or – if you are planting outdoors use loose soil which drains well.

5. When buying bulbs, look at them.  Ensure the bulbs have no soft spots, look clean and free of mold, and also look for larger sized bulbs.

Here’s to a gorgeous spring!

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Helping the birds out

It’s the time of year when our little feathered friends need your help most.  It’s getting chillier and birdies are migrating straight toward us. Now that you’re probably considering trimming your trees and generally cleaning up your yard for winter, what can you do to help out feathered friends in the wintertime?

Here’s a few ideas:

– Put your lawn and plants to bed by mulching them.  This creates a nice little area for worms and helpful bugs to continue to live, and these bugs not only enhance your soil, but will help feed your little feathered friends.

– Set up a bird feeder.  This includes keeping up your hummingbird feeder.  Hummingbirds migrate instinctively and will return to the last place they fed.  Hopefully this place is your yard.   Additionally, keeping the rest of the migrating birds fed will help them in their journey and create a joyful and colorful yard.

– Install a pond, bird bath or waterfall with little pebbles an inch or less under the water-level for birds to perch on.  Birds love to bathe and drink cool, clean water.  Keeping your pond, bird bath or waterfall up will help your friends in their migration, as well, it will aid them as they wait for spring rains.  Obviously, if you live in an area where you expect freezing temperatures, consult with your landscaper about when and how to create a bird friendly bathing spot that won’t damage your pipes.

– Put up a bird house. If you don’t have cats, you can install a bird house close to the ground, in a bush, or another likely spot.  You can get some really neat and distinctive bird houses – bird houses made of gourds, with scraps of recycled materials, etc.

– Plant a tree or some bushes.  Right now is a great time to plant, as new plants will concentrate on establishing their root systems instead of on new blossoms and leaves.  Additionally, it’ll give your feathered friends new places to perch and rest up for continued migration, or just to batten down the hatches for wintertime.

Here’s hoping you have a busy, productive yard this winter!

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