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How to Choose Between Pots and Landscaping Beds For Your Plants and Flowers

Regardless of what types of flowers you would like to purchase or plant in your garden, you will be restricted by space, drainage, light, weather and supplies. Perhaps you live in a high rise and only have a small balcony; or you live on a farm and have too much space and prefer to landscape a secluded area which will become your main patch; in contrast, you may live in a row house with very little natural light and prefer to concentrate on developing a welcoming patio.

Before you begin to plant, you need to assess what types of supplies you have. Do you have a lot of mismatched pots, what heights, how wide? Do you have a lot of dirt, or good top soil? Do you have eclectic accessories that can compliment your decor? If you visualize what you would like to try to accomplish before you start your project, and adapt your vision as you progress into it, you’ll be more satisfied with the end results than if you purchase all types of different plants without a vision of where they will be planted. If you have sun all day long in your front yard, you don’t want to plant flowers that require shade, such as impatients. On the other hand, if you have shade on your patio, then you may want to go overboard with different pots filled with a vibrant variety of colored impatients.

Most landscapers recommend that you purchase good potting soil. Keep in mind that most are in the business to try to get you to purchase new and novel supplies. However, the cheap stuff works just as well if prepared correctly. If you live around a beach, you may want to collect sea shells to put at the bottom of your pots for drainage. In this instance, you won’t have to fill the entire pot with dirt. Packing popcorn is also a good drainage for plants.

The name of the game is creativity. You can tend to a yard with easy care potted plants that allow you to indulge in your vision without a lot of effort. A simple iron bench can become a focus point once complemented with plants or shrubs. In addition, once your project is finished, you’ll reap the benefits all season without having to put in much effort except watering.

Liven up a small townhouse backyard by displaying a yard bench and clay pots around it with colorful plants such as bougainvillea which is a sun climber. Intersperse a statue amongst the pots. If you have climbing roses or vines against a fence, it will focus the eyes on the plants and the bench instead of a blank wall or fence. Create contrast and visual vibrancy by curving the containers, mix or matching, putting tall plants in the back with smaller pots with cascading flowers in front to create height. Instead of waiting for some shrubs which are slow to grow, stand the pots on others to create a wider row of foliage; set them besides a fountain. The entire effect will create a focal point. Offer a welcoming entrance to a section of your garden with a arbor with potted plants on either side. Gather unmatched planters on a ledge, or table, or even recycle iron bins and containers.

Anything you create will translate into the vision you first thought of and will create a sense of satisfaction as you watch your creation grow, mature and deliver a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors and beauty. Our website can assist you in designing your vision, create your landscaping and help you enjoy many satisfying moments of rest and relaxation. http://www.theyardbench.com.

Create a Garden and Patio Design To Enjoy Year-Round

Retreat to a garden and patio design that’s beautiful year-round, and takes minimum fuss. What makes this possible? Carefree plants with continuous blooms, and a well-planned garden structure.

You don’t need to be a lawn and garden expert or landscape designer to do this. Here are a few tips for creating a super yet simple garden and patio design that will be a knockout!

The first step is to take a birds-eye view of your garden and patio area. Make a rough sketch of your space, and play around with a few designs until you like what you see. As you’re doing this, get some great ideas from existing garden and patio decorations. Pay a visit to other people’s gardens, or public gardens. Look through home landscaping and gardening magazines, find what you like, and develop plans of your own.

Decide what style or theme is right for you… formal, casual, rustic, Southwestern, Japanese… there are enormous possibilities. Then stay with that style and theme so the overall effect does not become confusing. For instance, you wouldn’t want to combine bronze garden sculptures of saints or cherubs with rustic wooden wagon wheels.

Imagine what your patio area will most often be used for. You may plan to entertain lots of outdoor dinner guests. If so, be sure your patio space has plenty of room for the largest number of people right from the beginning. Your patio may be more of a private, reflective retreat for enjoying the sun, reading a book, or gazing up at the stars. Determine the use of shade, open sun, or even covering it with a roof.

Now take your favorite ideas and put them into your rough plans – and soon you’ll have a design that is ready for action.

The next step is to create your garden and patio design to scale – you can use landscaping software for this, or do it by hand. Choose the flowers you intend to plant, noting how many you will need for each month of your growing season, and select the landscaping structures that will give your design its form.

Some say the secret to a beautiful garden and patio design is having a good amount of hard structure. This is what landscape designers refer to as “good bones” – walls, fences, garden bridges, gates, garden arbors, landscape statues, garden fountains … even a strong line of evergreen plants.

Garden structures such as these create forms and lines, giving your garden and patio design definition and dimension. Plus, in the winter when most plants are empty and bare, your garden will preserve its shape and sense of completeness. It’s amazing how just one or two structures can produce this satisfying effect.

Most garden and landscaping structures are built to withstand the elements. Treated pine, cedar and teak garden furniture, trellises, arbors, and decorative fencing are great choices. Stone, copper, and bronze garden statuary will never let you down. Garden fountains bring incredible beauty and atmosphere to any garden and patio design – in fact, entire gardens have been built around them.

Next, choose annual spring flowers and perennial plants that will give you blooms from one season to the next. For instance, select carefree roses that need no pruning or spraying, and bloom continuously from spring through fall. Fill planters with beautiful blooming flowers such as Oriental lilies or verbena for different colors all summer long. Establish flower beds in corners or along walk ways. Always consider your local climate and plant according to the sun and shade needs of your plants.

As you plan your garden and patio design, create paths or walk ways that lead from one area to the next. Rambling garden paths are relaxing and charming… and if laid out thoughtfully, will be a big help to you as the gardener. Paths can be of stone, brick, flagstone, gravel, or mown turf, although grass paths require more upkeep. Garden sculptures or sitting benches thoughtfully placed along the way provide wonderful expression.

If you want garden and patio designs that are pre-drawn, there are ready-made plans available in books and magazines. This is another fine way to get off to a solid start. Use pre-made garden plans from start to finish, or incorporate parts of them right into you own creative plans.

Copyright 2006 Robert Mosse

Proper Placement and Positioning of Solar Patio Lights

Optimizing the placement and output of each outdoor light fixture is the best way to decrease your home’s current energy consumption. The most effective way to completely eliminate outdoor lighting cost is to install solar patio lights throughout your property. You should however, only invest in fixtures that offer various methods of installation and preferably fixtures that contain a swivel for directional illumination. The versatility of such fixtures will enable you to position and direct light exactly where it is needed most. Solar lighting fixtures have come a long way and many manufacturers are implementing technology that can function even on cloudy days. The low output of each fixture provides areas of your landscape with sufficient lighting to promote safe access and to enhance the beauty of your landscape even during the night hours.

Solar fixtures offer easy installation that basically requires simple tools like a screwdriver or simply your hands. Ground fixtures contain a stem that needs to be pushed into the ground and works especially well for creating a row of lights on either side of a walkway or driveway. Ground lights can also be used in flower beds or around shrubbery to create and even more beautiful effect. Hanging lights can be installed hanging from light posts, decking, fencing, and especially the overhangs around your home to create a well illuminated perimeter around your home. Sconce, flush, and recessed fixtures typically do not contain directional illumination but they still offer great illumination when installed on top of solid surfaces like fences, decks railings, and even walls.

When you visit a lighting or home improvement store you will quickly discover that most patio lighting is also quite decorative in design which means you can use each fixture to also enhance the daytime landscape of your home. Post and hanging lamps with a decorative design can bring a little whim or theme to a garden or patio area. Animal or structural fixtures can be used almost anywhere to add decoration and fun to the exterior of your property. Stone or rock light fixtures can be used to line a walkway or to form a perimeter around flower beds. The versatility of decorative solar patio lights offers consumers an endless amount of possibilities when it comes to decorating and enhancing the most beautiful parts of a home’s landscape, during the day or night hours. Most fixtures vary in price because of material and not the technology so be on the look out for high quality materials that will last a long time. Make your initial investment the only cost you will ever have to incur after making the wise decision to go with solar technology.