Does this sound familiar? You have been dreaming of being a home owner and have just moved into your house. You look outside at your backyard and suddenly realize there are no trees, there is no lawn and there is nothing but a lot of dirt. It’s not the wonderful backyard you grew up with and you feel pressured to have the same or better than what your parents or grandparents had accomplished. For many this is the first hint that something called work is involved. If it isn’t handled properly, this can lead to some serious long term relationship issues in your household. Here are some valuable tips to make your dirt pile into your personal retreat.
1. Survey your turf – Walk around your lot as a family. Look at how the road looks or the rest of the houses look from different vantage points. This also means that if you can see these things, you also can be seen from those places back into your yard. Note which way the wind usually blows around your house and yard. You will get a sense of what is a sheltered or exposed part of your yard. Note where the sun rises and sets in your yard. This gives you a sense of where you have a lot of sun and where you have a lot of shade. Repeat this procedure several times, even over several weeks if you need to.
2. Visualize your activities
Once you have made these notes (mental or written) you now have a sense of what you can do with your space. Start to think where you intend to have the garden party, where the swing set will be, where you want to put your flower bed, vegetable garden, compost bin, pond, patio and or hot tub. Since you have already a sense of the effect of the elements in your yard you now know where these activities can be located. Take time to experiment and discuss as a family, the possible options of how these objects and activities interact.
3. Do some research and compare notes
Understand the growing conditions in your community. Do you have lots of rain? Are the temperatures variable? How long is the growing season? What is the ground soil really like? See what people are doing in established neighborhoods. Go to the library, the garden center, or on a horticultural tour. Ask owners about their yards, what they think turned out and if they had to do it again what would they change.
4. Create a long term plan
Think of this as a two to three year plan. Generally, people build a house with the idea that they are going to stay there until their nestlings have left. The happy fantasy ends because many times the homeowners get overwhelmed and panic because the yard isn’t all done within a planned long weekend or two week vacation. So many beautiful sunny days of spring and summer rapidly become war zones as artificial deadlines and expectations are not met, the financial stress and of course physical stress of moving materials and digging dirt further frays the nerves of what was once a happy family unit. By creating a long term plan, divided into smaller tasks the gardening and landscaping experience becomes less stressful and much more satisfying.
5. Divide the plan into smaller projects
Smaller projects mean smaller cash outlays and more doable projects. Since you have a long term plan, you already know where things are going to go. Now you can divide the plan into smaller projects. You can say as an example; a) plant the trees, b) put in the grass on the front yard only, c) get the back patio done, and then d) build a fire pit. I suggested planting the trees first because they benefit from a longer growing season and once you have fences up, it’s harder to get a larger tree into your back yard. Grass installation was suggested next since it helps to keeps the weeds away, the dust level around your house down and when children or pets are running in the mud, grass makes a good cleaning barrier. Putting in grass is a rather big project so do it in smaller portions, especially when installing sod by yourself. It is better to purchase smaller quantities since rolled up sod doesn’t store well after 24 hours. When you do things as smaller projects, it gives you the satisfaction that you accomplished what you set out to do and you still have some time and energy to be a family.
6. There are no mistakes
The greatest fear of many homeowners and gardening newcomers is that they might do things wrong. Gardening and landscaping is never about perfection. It is about trying new things, creativity, experimentation, optimism and evolution. You are dealing with Nature. Your task is to make an area your special place. You can learn to work with plants, soil, drainage, watering and fertilizing basics but many things are simply out of your control. You can’t help it if there is a hail storm or early winter frost. Sometimes the stone path you made shifts. You simply use it as a reason to be outside and in your yard. The first season can be the most daunting, but as the years go by, the garden will take on a wonderful lived in quality. Stay focused and remember why you wanted a yard in the first place. Be gentle with yourself and your family and you all will be able to enjoy that yard before you know it.
The front porch is the focal point for Halloween decorating. Don’t you think? Your porch can have just a touch of Halloween – jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin banner. Or your porch can be full-out haunted. Even I would not want to put foot on some of these creepy porches. Would you?
How do you decorate your porch to wow your trick-or-treaters?
I have some fun and easy porch decorating ideas that both big and small kids will enjoy. Try these…
- Ghosts never go out of style. Ghosts are not hard to make. Create ghosts that are “standing” on your porch or driveway by criss crossing two broom sticks or dowels. Then hang an old white sheet or white garbage bag from them. Draw ghost faces with black markers. Also create a few smaller ghosts (without the broom sticks) that are simply hung from the ceiling to sway in the breeze. Ewwwww!
- Use natural elements. Encircle your porch’s columns with broom corn. Tie it snugly with dried willow sticks. Choose kale, gourds, squash and pumpkins that are unusual, bumpy, even ugly! Make spider webs from hemp fibers. Dye bamboo black and use it to create perches for store-bought ravens. Carve pumpkins and light up with tea lights placed inside. More ewwww! Be sure that lit candles are out of the way from excited trick-or-treaters.
- Light your walkway with skull or pumpkin lights. Draw in the goblins with a safely lit-up pathway. Pile up pumpkins and gourds along the way. How about a few gigantic furry spiders to add some scare factor? Play some creepy music, too. That always kicks in the ominous feelings on Halloween night. Bushels of colorful mums add a splash of vibrance, too.
- Create gourd or squash candle holders to create a dimly lit Halloween mood. Create a spooky candleholder by cutting a hole in a gourd or squash that is large enough to accommodate a candle. A battery operated candle is the safest bet. Cutting the gourd or squash (or even a small pumpkin) should be done by an adult. You might need to start by scooping out a little and keep working at it until the hole is large enough for the candle. Always keep children and their costumes away from candles. That’s why a battery-operated candle is a much safer bet. Safety warning: If using a regular candle with a flame, put the candle holder on a metal tray with foil. Keep it away from trick-or-treaters or pets.
It’s pretty easy to decorate for Halloween with things you already have around the house – like old sheets, broom sticks, and harvest from your garden. The most important thing is to have fun and be very safe. I hope you enjoyed these Halloween decorating ideas.
Throwing an amazing Halloween party is easy with a little imagination and the ability to create DIY games, party favors, snacks and decorations. Halloween is a highly anticipated event and there are plenty of things that can be done for the most enjoyable occasion. Here are a few practical Halloween party ideas:
Set the scene – Decorating the home with a haunted house theme is a great way to get ready for the party. Use the decorations to create the right atmosphere for any indoor or outdoor areas that guests are likely to gather. Also, make sure the theme matches the age groups and adjust the scare-factor accordingly. For the child friendly gatherings, try to keep the blood and gore to a minimum, while the theme is easily spooked up for the adult events.
Also, the party games and activities should be planned to match the guests of all ages. This will ensure everyone is kept happy. For events with small kids and babies it is a good idea to avoid the super-scary surprises.
Serve fun foods
Party guests are certain to appreciate fun foods that are cooked at home. This can include creating the creepy, yet tasty snacks. Simply combining mini cheeses with olives and food coloring can create savory treats that are a lot more appealing than standard crackers and cheese. Also, you want to prepare the easy-to-eat small bites for the parties with a lot of small children.
However, it can also benefit to prepare a few healthy snacks. Mountains of candy may look appealing at first, but it is also necessary to prepare something a little more substantial to keep the guests going.
Gather the ghouls for the party by sending out the theme inspired invites. It is best to send invites two or three weeks before the occasion to make sure everyone is aware and you are able to prepare accordingly.
Welcome trick-or-treaters to the event with an outdoor table or station that is filled with a mixture of kids favorite treats. The trick-or-treat station is weather permitting and works best when there are adults about to help with handing out the treats.
Involve your four-legged friends
Pets are part of the family and should be considered in the Halloween plans. For instance, the lively and outgoing dogs can easily be dressed up in a fun costume, while the more timid dogs afraid of loud noises and a lot of strangers can benefit from a quiet, safe place that is away from the activity.
Have you considered different landscaping ideas for front yard and backyard projects? Are you wanting to move forward but have not found pictures for your landscaping ideas for front yard and backyard? The motivation for healthier, peaceful and relaxed living is producing in a expanding awareness of the value of landscaping to a residence. Your strategies for home modernizing therefore, must not be restricted within the walls of your residence, but really should expand to incorporate your lawn, backyards and outdoor dwelling areas.
Landscaping, if correctly organized, effectively carried out and appropriately financed will enhance the comfort, increase the visual appeal and boost the valuation on your house. This website “pictures and ideas for front and back yard landscaping” has been prepared as a service to home owners who need landscaping ideas for front yard and backyard and also intend to make the outside of their residences as beautiful and as comfy as the interiors.
The information found on “pictures and ideas for front and back yard landscaping” will benefit you and your home! We are here to help you get the information and insight on how to implement landscaping ideas for front yard and backyard to make your home your personal paradise.
How are you implementing landscaping ideas for front yard?
When you purchase a new residence or choose to enhance your older one, you’re, obviously, concerned with each and every foot of ground that goes with it, for modern living and modern day gardening could make each and every inch of your home useful and attractive. New strategies of garden soil enhancement, grading, fencing and terracing make even sloping, hilly lots, previously undesirable, now appealing and choice.
Modern day chemistry has introduced new nutrients to your garden soil and has now supplied weapons resistant to the traditional adversaries of the garden: disease and pesky insects. Hardier bulbs and plant seeds make landscapes more productive in addition to incredibly vibrant. Incredible hybrids have extended the list of flowering trees and shrubs, producing specimens for each and every coloring and design plan, every kind of home and garden. All these choices are great for landscaping ideas for front yard and backyard.
New gardening tools and supplies speed the time-consuming backyard and front yard landscaping garden duties. New ideas and methods for living deliver us to the outdoors, and bbq dinners and comfortable lawn furnishings make a small suburban backyard and front yard as luxuriously satisfying as was once possible only with a huge property.
Architecturally, today’s home might be more a part of the great outdoors than was yesterday’s. Huge picture home windows, glass walls, glassed-in sun patios and balconies all combine in making your garden an element of your house. As a result, the scene will become that much more valuable.
A good looking garden, a luxuriant lawn and healthful flourishing trees and shrubs all bring just as much towards the inside of your house as your drapes and window treatments or wallpaper. The time and effort spent with your lawns and landscaping will pay off in each and every way, indoors in addition to outdoors. Landscaping ideas for front yard and backyard that come to fruition will enhance your home and the value as well.
Need help with landscaping ideas for front yard?
Whenever you plan your grounds you’ll be influenced by a lot of the concepts you utilize in decorating your house. Proportion, texture, coloring, line, tranquility, functionality -these are terms that pertain to landscaping in addition to designing. And for those who have large grounds, you’ll reap the benefits of meticulous planning just as considerably as does the owner of one third of acre.
Garden books are full of conventional ideas for excellent back yard and front yard landscaping, but you’ll want to take into account not the most perfect garden alone, however the one strategy that’ll be ideal for your particular household. Evaluate your family, its requirements and routines; then style and design your grounds to best fulfill its prejudices, wishes and requirements.
If you are looking for a way to spruce up your backyard and give new meaning to the term pool party, then you may want to consider hiring a contractor that specializes in above ground pool decks. You don’t have to know what kind of design you want, but it does help make things much easier for the contractor. If you are not quite sure of what to do or where to start, go online and do a search for decks and their accessories. Take a look at pictures of backyards that have pools and patios. You don’t have to mimic any of them, but it is good if you just need some inspiration and ideas to help get your creative juices going so you can design your own.
If you are not very artistic, don’t let that stop you. Just print up pictures of the backyards you find appealing. Let your contractor know what you are thinking and want. Even though you trust your contractor to do his job and use his experience with above ground pool decks to make yours something that will make your backyard the envy of many, there are still some things you should do on your own. Go online and learn about the different types of material that are used. You may be surprised to know that there are many different options for you to choose from. Some of the materials are very cheap initially, but over the test of time you will see that they are the most expensive because of maintenance, repairs, and even the need for replacements.
There are some materials that are made from quality products and as a result, cost more. Keep in mind that higher cost is also because you can save a great deal of money down the line. Think about it, you are not having your patio and backyard redone only to have it taken down in a year. The average homeowner that has above ground pool decks has them for years, even decades. It is best to use materials that are able to withstand the test of time, extreme weather conditions, and still remain structurally sound. The more you are willing to invest in better quality building materials that are manufactured specifically for above ground pool decks, the more money you can save and the more you can increase the value of your property.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to go all out on having a ton of structures just to make your backyard look like a beach. There are also some accessories you can purchase that are made specifically for above ground pool decks. If you want your contractor to use the best materials and keep your overall costs down, don’t be afraid to go with the most basic building plan. You can also add more character and personality to your place on your own with stuff you may already have laying around in your garage or home.
One of the great things about landscaping ideas is the flexibility on offer. It is possible to start out with a very simple design. Afterwards, you can re-do the area, or begin on a different area in a more intricate design as you expand your knowledge.
It’s often easy to get underway, and you can never run out of ideas to attempt. Experienced designers that have been at the practice for years are still experimenting and learning.
Start out with the fundamentals. Think about the areas that you wish to locate flowers, trees, shrubs, retaining walls, a pond and so forth. Slowly work you way up, by keeping you first efforts to easy and simple tasks to execute.
If you can imagine a basic landscaping design, jot down some basic sketches. It needn’t matter if you are unable to illustrate like an artist. All that is necessary is several rough ideas, a few simply triangles, rectangles or circles in the appropriate areas to established the desired lay out. If you looking for a more advanced design plan, opt for some landscaping design software.
Judge what will go best into the sections you’ve sketched out. It could be that you’ve imagined a rectangular shaped garden near to one wall of the house. Start by marking out some initial measurements, than consider the types of plants that would accommodate that space. One lay out idea may call for taller shrubs in back, with shorter flowers in the centre, and floor cover located at front and between. This allows everything to remain visible when being admired.
If you do have a rectangular shaped area, there is no need to limit your landscaping design to just smaller rows or rectangles inside. You might, for example, locate a bird table in the centre. This small circle may well form the hub of spokes that radiate outwards in a sun pattern. These spokes can be shaped by bricks or a low level fence that divides the rectangle area into a succession of different size and shaped triangles.
You can then have various plants located in various triangles – foxgloves in one section, cherry tomatoes in another, chives over here, thyme over there, tansy in front, yarrow at the rear.
Altering the colour arrangements will add a further level of intricacy and enjoyment to an already appealing landscape design. Bright pink foxgloves are known to be a pleasant contrast to yellow tansy. Chives, with their pasty lavender flowers and thin lime stalks will offer extra diversity.
The variety of potentials design options is near limitless. You could fill a kidney-shaped section, or just want to line a small, white picket fence with several pleasing shrubs. While you outline and shape your outdoor living area, let your landscaping ideas run wild.
The end of winter is near; and as we look forward to the coming of spring and summer, many of us would like to spruce up our homes, indoor or outdoor. Adding accents and decorations to our backyard and patio is an enjoyable task as we prepare for the forthcoming fun in the sun. There are several ways to decorate your backyard, your lawn or your garden. Aside from the flowering plants and shrubs, you can add lawn figures, bird baths, outdoor furniture like a bench or swing, or water features like water fountains.
Decorating with water features is dependent on the type, style and size you want. You have a choice of water falls, water walls, ponds or water fountains. In this article, we focus on the water fountain.
Adding a water fountain to your home or garden brings a sense of tranquility and comfort that improves ones mood and increases energy. If used indoor, not only will it enhance the beauty of the room, but it also adds moisture in the air which soothes dry skin during the cold, winter months. Incorporating a water fountain into your garden provides a unique accent which can also be used as a focal point on your outdoor decorating. Fountains also keep water in constant motion, preventing your garden from becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
They come in various styles, shapes, and sizes which allows you to find the perfect match for your garden, patio or your living room. They can be designed to be mounted on a wall or sit on a tabletop, freestanding floor fountains, or installed directly above or in the ground. For added versatility, get an indoor fountain that can also be used outdoors. If you are a handyman, you can make your own outdoor fountain; if not, there are always a lot of choices to choose from.
Fountains are constructed from different forms of synthetic and natural materials. Stone, rocks and slate are heavy, tough, difficult to move, highly durable and can withstand the constant flow of water and exposure to different weather elements and mother nature. Metals like copper or brass age and develop new patina over time. Thinner metals like tin or aluminum can be less pricey but gets dented and damaged easily. Ceramics can be durable, lasts long and come in a variety of colors and price range.
The most economical option is the synthetics, like resin or acrylic. These are lightweight and easy to move around, durable, and also lasts long. Natural materials like stone or metal can be simulated using synthetics and still this does not age. Another option is stainless steel which is very resistant to corrosion, clean-up is easy, and could last for a long time. Asian-themed gardens often used bamboo materials. This can be used indoor or outdoor. Choosing wood fountain made of pine, oak, cedar maple, etc. is another alternative.
A barrel or an old-fashioned wagon wheel fountain are examples of this kind. Using this material would require good waterproofing and a liner. Fiberglass or glass types are also available if you so desire. With all these types available in the market today, choose the one that will fit your needs; and when it is installed, sit back, relax and enjoy the calming effect of the soothing sounds of running water from an outdoor water fountain.
Vertical gardening is one of the most innovative and unique way of decorating your work site and house. It is one of the easiest and confinement ways of gardening in your house, without using enough space. Creating these living walls is fun, especially when you are crafting them for an urban space.
There are many ways of creating living walls; you can either buy readymade vertical gardening kits from the market or can also opt for some easy do-it-yourself projects. Creating your own living wall is a daunting task for many, but little innovation and excellent ideas can help you build a masterpiece.
Here are some easy and user-friendly ideas of creating vertical gardens:
Framing pictures of your own and your family members for decorating the walls of your workplace and house is common, but framing a garden and using it to decorate your wall is something very creative and outstanding. These vertical gardens can act as a masterpiece of your living room or reception, helping you to bring a change in the look of your property.
Another interesting way of creating a living wall in your house is by making use of wooden planks. Hang around six or seven wooden planks in a row with ropes. Cut out holes in the plant, such that pots fit inside those holes easily but make sure that there is a minimum gap between two pots. Grow whatever plants you want in those pots and place them in the planter to give it an all-new look.
Gardening In Crates:
Instead of throwing away the wooden boxes and crates from your house, use them to create something unusual and extraordinary. Make them a part of the garden and enhance the look of your house. place the old and unused crates in a pyramid shape and decorate them with colorful and varied plants creating an innovative structure.
Beatification of Ladders:
If not crates and planters, you can also make use of your old ladder to create a vertical garden. This is one of the easiest and less constructive ways of creating your own living wall. Place the heaviest pots at the bottom and the delicate ones at the top. You can also color the ladders to make it look more beautiful and impressive.
Ornament your house with vertical gardens. No need of extra spaces, because now you can grow plants even on your walls other innovative areas.
This is the year that you’re finally going to jump in and construct a swimming pool in your backyard. Deciding to undertake this project and setting a budget was the hard part, right? Probably not. You’ll have to decide now on what kind of design you want for it. Remember you will be making a long term commitment so choose wisely!
When you find a pool design – and that includes not only the shape of the pool but the colors of the liner and deck material – try to envision it in your backyard. The swimming pool will become the focal point of your yard so you need to think about how it will fit in with your landscaping and whatever type of outdoor living situation you already have. The pool will definitely add to the ambiance of the backyard.
Grab a few tools and start the journey to design your backyard oasis.
Here comes the fun part of your swimming pool project:
- Go to the bookstore and look at home and garden magazines. Flip through architecture, interior design or travel magazines for inspiration for it. Hotel websites are also a great starting point for swimming pool design and landscaping ideas. Browse the internet for pool builders to see if they have any galleries of designs that catch your eye. You don’t have to necessarily look at local pool builders, you can look nationwide and then find a local pool builder to see if he or she can duplicate the design you found.
- Take notice of the pool and deck tiles that surround the structure you’re looking at. Keep in mind that if you find a design that’s in rainbow hues and you are more of a muted tone family, the swimming pool area will take on a whole new look. Ask your potential pool builder if he or she has access to a design program that can swap various colors in and out of computer aided designs so you can get a true feel for what the completed project will look like.
- Pay attention to those you see on television shows or in movies to see if any of the designs catch your imagination.
- Visit real estate open houses in your neighborhood or in upscale neighborhoods to find inspiration from the swimming pools at those houses.
- When visiting potential swimming pool contractors ask them for the various designs of swimming pools they’ve completed.
- Find out from the local code officer what the setbacks are for property lines for the construction of your swimming pool. Once you have that information in hand, measure your backyard and sketch on some graph paper the proposed pool layout.
- Envision the type of accessories you want in your pool. Will you want a shallow end? Tanning ledges? A hot tub? Waterfall? Wading pool? If you have a large enough yard you can consider adding a wave pool or lazy river feature.
You can let your imagination run wild in the planning phase. Just remember you might have to scale your thoughts back once you put your swimming pool construction budget together. Be prepared with your budget when you speak with potential pool contractors. You certainly want to run your ideas by the pool contractor but be prepared to defer to his or her expertise. Keep in mind, the more imaginative the design, the higher the price tag will be.
After you’ve completed the design process, the fun will truly begin when the project is complete and you and your family have hours to spend in the swimming pool of your dreams.
So, you have decided to start a small garden, but where should you start? The first step in any small garden design project is planning the type of garden you want to grow.
Do you want a small garden with lots of color? Will you want flowers that you can cut and bring indoors? If so, then you will want to think about flower garden design. Do you want to combine an interest in cooking with a small vegetable garden design or an herb garden design? Maybe you want to consider a combination garden.
Once you have a starting point on the type of garden you want, before you start your small garden design, you need to consider a few things…
What is your planting zone?
How many hours of sun does your garden area get during the day?
Does the amount of sun change during the day or the seasons?
If your garden is in a small portion of a yard, what else is already growing in that area?
Let’s start with your planting zone. What is a planting zone? In North America, the USDA has created a Hardiness Zone Map that divides North America into 11 different planting zones. A low and high range of temperatures defines each zone. While there are limitations to using a zone map, it will give you some idea of whether a plant will survive in your climate.
Some sources for finding planting zone information are on the back of seed packets, in the plant description, and on the internet. This information will not only help you determine if a plant can survive in your climate range, but how early you can plant a particular plant in your location. While zone maps are not perfect, they can provide a useful start to determining the plants to use in your small garden design.
One of most important factors in determining the types of plants you can use as you develop your small garden design will be the amount of sun you get in the area you want to plant. Whether it is a container garden for your patio, deck, balcony, or rooftop or a small area in your yard where you are going to plant, you need to spend some time evaluating the amount of sun you get in that area. Do you get full sun for 6 to 8 hours a day? Is the area in the sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon or shade in the morning and sun in the afternoon?
The amount of sun you receive in your planting area will determine whether you can plant sun-loving plants, shade plants, or plants that can take part sun/part shade. Armed with the information about your planting zone and the amount of sunlight in your area, the next step will be to start determining the types of plants you want in your small garden design. Now the fun starts…