To get rid of grass between patio stones, you’ll have to apply a bit of elbow grease. During the spring and summer, it’s practically impossible and downright frustrating to keep weeds and grass from sprouting-up between patio stones. Because we are in a subtropical climate and there’s plenty of rain during the spring and particularly during the summer, grass grows at an impressive and infuriating rate. Mowing quickly becomes once a week chore and all the while, grass is growing around and between your patio stones.
Because there’ no real room to work, you can dig down and pull it out by the root. An alternative is to pull up the entire hardscape feature, spray the area with a grass killing herbicide, and, then covering the whole area with landscape fabric, only to reset the patio stones. That’s simply too much effort for such a trivial aesthetic annoyance, but, there are other ways you can make your patio a grass-free zone. (more…)
When it comes to fencing, there are a number of choices: wood, wrought iron, wire, chain-link, iron, and vinyl. Within those types of materials, there are many more varieties, and, plenty of differences in function and/or aesthetics. A fence can be used for containing, or, simply for looks. Many homeowners like the look of wrought iron because it’s classic, as well as simple and stylish. Wrought iron can be found around historic parks and public buildings, museums, and residential homes precisely because of its qualities.
This type of fencing offers extraordinary durability, but, it must be properly care for over its lifetime. Unlike other types of fencing, wrought iron is manufactured with heavy welds, so, it’s chosen not only for its beauty, but its strength. What’s more, it comes in a variety of styles and heights, and, is ideal for creating a barrier that you can still see through. Wrought iron can be installed into the ground or even on top of concrete. If installed the right way, wrought iron can also be installed on hilly ground, slopes, or in cut-sections. (more…)
When you first installed your wood deck, you couldn’t believe just how beautiful it looked and are thinking back to how much use it would get in the evenings and weekends. Now, you’re trying to remember the last time you actually stepped onto your deck and can’t remember when you fired-up the grill last. Needless to say, if you’ve not regularly using your wood deck, it’s being neglected by default. Sure, you’d love to restore the deck but are apprehensive about tackling such a big project on your own.
Fortunately, it doesn’t take a lot of specialized skills or tools to refinish a stained wood deck. You’ll only need a few supplies and tools, as well as a helping hand or two to get the job done right and look great. (more…)
Terra cotta pots are one of the single most versatile household items. These are not only ideal for planting flowers, but also, to convert into fountains, make wonderful outdoor aesthetic decorations, and serve many more purposes. What you might not know is just how durable clay pots really are and what they can be used for, other than plants.
In fact, these are so versatile and durable, they date back to antiquity, used for storing food, grain, and many other items. A little known fact about clay pots is they are the reason for the word, “insincere.” While that might sound quite strange, even fantastic, it’s nonetheless true. When a potter made a clay pot that wasn’t up to standards, it could be revealed by holding it up to the sunlight. If there was a defect in the glaze, it would be apparent, and the phrase “insincere” was used to describe it.
Today, terra cotta is still very popular, precisely because of its simplicity and many uses. They can hold plants, water, and be used indoors and outside. One surprising use it to convert a clay pot into a smoker. Before you think it’s too difficult and requires tools, you can make a clay pot smoker in a short amount of time, and, with little effort. You don’t need a big work space or specialized skills, just a terra cotta pot and a few materials. (more…)
One of the great things about living in Sarasota, Florida is the wonderful weather. Even during the winter months, temperatures rarely dip so low as to preclude enjoying the outdoors. With such stunning sunrises and sunsets, along with all kinds of natural beauty, it’s part of Florida living to enjoy all the Sunshine State has to offer. For homeowners with an outdoor deck or a patio, you can make certain improvements to get more function and enjoyment out of the space.
Of course, you can install a fire pit, put-in an outdoor kitchen, and arrange outdoor seating for your family and friends to enjoy. Another thing you can do is to install deck lighting to be able to use the outdoor space for hours after the sun goes down. In addition, you can also opt to install landscaping lighting in your front yard, as well as your back yard, and even on the sides of your home. It’s how to use landscape lighting that presents the biggest obstacle to most homeowners. (more…)
Killing off tough lawn weeds is, well, tough. Weeds are a bane many homeowners suffer from in their landscapes. These problematic plants pop-up from the ground time and again. You pull them out, spray them, and do whatever you can to rid your lawn, garden, and landscape at-large from them, yet, they continue to creep up from the soil, ruining all your hard work. What’s even more frustrating is that it’s an ongoing battle that drains your energy but you still persist because you are committed to having a great outdoor space.
The truth is, there are many effective ways to control weeds–notice the phrasing doesn’t include a “forever” verb or adjective–but some work better than others. That’s because killing off tough lawn weeds is an ongoing fight. You can only control weeds in so many ways, and, if you do it right, you won’t inflict harm on the rest of your lawn. Remember, there’s no perfect solution and some of the remedies you’ve found will not only kill weeds, but the plants you want to protect. (more…)
You took the time and effort, not to mention, incurred the cost, of putting a wonderful and beautiful landscape feature into your backyard. It’s an eye-catching water feature that is home to fish. You do what you can to keep them healthy, which includes keeping the water feature in its best condition and feed them regularly.
One day, you notice something that’s a bit odd, and, it’s also unnerving. You go out to throw in a bit of food and it occurs to you that there are fewer fish in your pond. At first, you think just perhaps, a few expired, but then you can’t find them anywhere. Slowly, it begins to become quite apparent that you’re dealing with a problem.
Something is poaching your pond fish and you have to deal with it. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot that can be done about pond predators, but that’s certainly to not say that you’re helpless. Pond predators not only eat fish, they also do other harm to your water feature. Needless to say, you’ve first got to identify the source of the problems and then take action. The good news is, that you have a few options to exercise to keep your fish safe and to keep your water feature in its best condition. (more…)
DIY landscape lighting not only provides function, but can make your outdoor space substantially more beautiful. If you’ve already pulled-out all the stops to make your yard look top-rate with spectacular hardscaping and softscaping, it’s time to put the last piece of the puzzle into place–landscape lights.
Outdoor light transforms a yard, patio, deck or garden from ordinary to extraordinary. Not only does landscape light make your exterior accessible during the evening, it sets-off key features that dazzle the eye.
And the good news is, the majority of exterior lighting is energy efficient. There is a wide variety of low voltage outdoor lighting fixtures on the market. Not only does that lower the long term cost, it also provides a great deal of fixtures from which to choose. (more…)
Pool remodeling is a major construction project and can be a very costly one. So, it’s important to know some key facts about pool remodeling before jumping in with both feet. Before you can cool off during those hot summer days or laze about along the glimmering water, pool remodeling takes a good deal of commitment. It certainly won’t be done overnight.
The good news is, after a pool remodeling job has been completed, it will make your inground amenity look entirely new again. And the majority of pools have a limited plaster coating shelf life.
But the plaster coating isn’t the only material that can wear to lead to a pool remodeling. There are other elements which can warrant pool remodeling. Pools are endure a lot of stress, which comes in many forms. The weather elements are one thing that can affect a pool, particularly the water quality, as rainwater is harmful to a pool. (more…)
The rain barrel, an ancient and efficient way of temporarily storing water for those not-so-rainy days or dry spells. Used for irrigating plants and lawns, vegetable and flower gardens, even for washing clothes. They’re also used for drinking water when properly distilled. So, these devices are a great way of cutting down costs and conserving water.
Generally, homeowners install rain barrels under a drain spout connected to a gutter system on their houses. When it rains, the gutters channel the rainwater down through the spout and into the barrel. For areas like ours, where rain is a common occurrence, especially in the summer, these simple collection devices are a smart way to harness the power of nature’s wet nourishment.
Like with most things in life and landscaping, there’s some trade-off for free future irrigation and these particular problems come in two forms: stale, dirty water and disease carrying mosquitoes. When a rain barrel is full, the water begins to stagnate, slowly creating a stench; and, any standing water is quite attractive to the local mosquito population. (more…)