If you want to add a bit more function and style to your backyard, increasing the size of your living and entertaining space, you call install a beautiful brick patio. You might believe this to be a colossal job, one that requires the skilled hand of an experienced tradesman, like a mason, but it’s actually not that difficult. However, it is time consuming and will take a lot of effort to get the job done right so you don’t have to call-in a professional to rescue a botched attempt.
You only need a few common hand tools and the stamina and determination to do it right. This doesn’t mean it will be a cinch, but it will not be so complicated that you can’t handle it on your own. Of course, it’s always nice to have at least one set of helping hands and even better if that person is good with DIY projects. (more…)
Shrubs range in size from small to medium and are a woody plant. These differ from trees because of their multiple stems and short height. Shrubs make a great addition to any landscape because they can respond very well to renewal pruning. Depending on their growing conditions, plants can become shrubs or trees and most shrubs do not exceed 20 feet in height. Some shrubs only grow to between 4 feet to 6 feet and can be clipped as topiary, making them grow more densely. Shrubs grouped together in a shrubby habitat are typically species that are either deciduous or evergreen.
Of the many species, shrubs can thrive in certain climate environments, ranging from shady and cool to completely exposed to the full strength of the sun in warm climates. Here in Sarasota, there’s certainly no shortage of sunlight and summers are quite warm and balmy. Hydrangeas, for instance, like morning sun, but don’t do as well when exposed to a lot of sunlight through the day. These prefer shady conditions during the afternoon hours when the sun is at its hottest. Red Japanese barberry shrub is another species that likes sun in the morning, but grows best under shade during the long sunny hours of spring and summer. (more…)
Now that we’re well into the fall months and winter is officially right around the corner, you’ll probably see more and more brown spots on your lawn. When homeowners see such sights, particularly this time during the year, they often attribute it to the season–after all the grass is dormant and there’s less rain, with much cooler temperatures.
To a good degree, that sentiment is true, but weather and climate alone are not the only causes of browning grass patches. There can be a few different reasons you’re seeing what appear to be deadening patches throughout your yard and it doesn’t necessarily have to do with seasonal change.
If you grew-up having the chore of raking leaves in the lawn, especially during the fall months, you probably attribute that mundane task with parental discipline and their want to keep the yard looking good. However, you might not know that raking leaves is far more than an aesthetic choice, it’s one that’s often necessary for the health the grass systems incorporated into your yard. Sure, it might keep the yard tidy, but it also keeps it healthy. (more…)
If you have a waterfall to make your landscape truly elegant, you’ve no doubt seen something that’s not so savvy floating in the water and creeping up the stone or brick walls. That unsightly growth is algae and you certainly don’t want your beautiful water feature to play host to something so ugly and unhealthy.
It’s often an unpleasant reality, you have a wonderful waterfall put in your yard, and enjoy the sound of the streaming water, along with the relaxing and memorizing sight of it cascading into a pool. The awe reaches a new level after the sun goes down, when you can watch the water dance under the colorful lights.
Algae isn’t supposed to be part of the picture and the longer you wait to do something about it, the more it will overtake your waterfall, covering everything eventually. Left unchecked, it will also leave colored stains, which are quite difficult to remove. The quicker you act, the less of a task it will be to rid your waterfall of the growth, so, time is of the essence. (more…)
There’s always a constant battle raging between you and those stubborn, unsightly weeds. It started in earnest again this year, like it has every other, in the spring when the sunshine becomes plentiful and the plants and grass come out of dormancy.
Now, you’re out in your yard more than you’d like to be, pulling weeds. Bending over, breaking your back when you could be actually enjoying your outdoor space. It’s all a waste of time and you’re giving serious consideration to pulling up all that’s organically green and replacing every square inch of grass with hardscaping.
Alas, you have furry family members who would most surely object to the taking away of their space to romp and do their business. What’s more, you don’t want to go through the time and expense of doing so but one thing is for sure, you’re tired of fighting the battle because it’s become a costly one. Don’t fret, because you can ditch the chemicals and whip-up a weed killer right in your kitchen. (more…)
Few can deny the beauty and function of a rock garden. What’s this about function, you might be asking? Well, rock gardens are the perfect answer to what ails you the most when it comes to your lawn and landscape. Practically every home has that one area that’s really difficult to maintain. It might be a corner, a slope, or another challenging reality that you absolutely dread having to take care of from time to time. When you put in a rock garden, you won’t have the same headache to deal with, and, you’ll get the added benefit of having a great feature.
What’s more, a rock garden is a kind of one-and-it’s-done, or, set-it-and-forget-it hardscape feature. In other words, once you put in a rock garden, you really don’t have to do much to maintain it. Rocks don’t grow, but, they do help to encourage growth. So, you’ll have to weed around it now and again, unless you put down landscape fabric.
In addition to being easy to create and maintain, there’s the benefit of having a feature that will last for many, many years. This is one of the secrets of professionals, they know that hardscaping brings a lot to an outdoor living and entertainment space, not only providing aesthetics, but also function, and longevity. (more…)
You have a retaining wall in your yard and it’s showing undeniable signs of deterioration or is beginning to seriously slant as tree roots upend it and you begin to think about demolishing it. Perhaps another solution is to fix it or have the tree removed to save the decorative structure. Then, you start thinking about the expense, time, and effort it will most definitely require.
It’s becoming more and more clear the only feasible solution is to take it down and save yourself the headache and wallet hit of repairing it or having it replaced. Now, the only problem is how you go about breaking it down without leaving a huge mess to clean-up. You want a realistic plan of action that will get rid of the retaining wall and not leave an eyesore after it’s gone.
Well, there is a way to take it down, but it will require more than a little bit of elbow grease to get it done right. Depending on what it is constructed of, and how it’s laid out, the project will be labor intensive, which is why you might consider hiring a landscape architect and having it done by a professional. (more…)
Decks are a wonderful amenity to have at a home. They provide dedicated space, functionality, and aesthetic qualities which make them a great choice to have, but they must be maintained. Decks are actually one of the highest wishlist items on the lists of homebuyers’ precisely because they are so enjoyable. These spaces offer a place for outdoor living and entertaining, from casual family dinners, to cook outs with friends and neighbors.
Over time, the majority of wood decks begin to show their age. Planks begin to warp, paint peels, and uneven areas are not uncommon, not to mention stairs that start to bow from years worth of use. The weather elements definitely take their toll, even here in sunny Sarasota. The salty air is yet another damaging component, along with inclement weather. While this environment is ideal for year-round outdoor recreation opportunities, it does take its toll.
Spring will be here before you know it, just about eight weeks away. That gives you ample time to address any problems to revive your deck so that you can take full advantage of all it has to offer in just a few weeks. Because the weather is so mild, you’ll have the benefit of working in very pleasant conditions in brisk, invigorating weather. (more…)
Owning a home with an inground swimming pool is one great amenity. It’s not only perfect for escaping the warm summers here in Sarasota, but also to entertain family and friends most of the year. Strategically placed lighting can make an outdoor space come alive during the evening hours, adding substantially to the ambiance and the aesthetics.
Maintaining the area around an inground pool can prove difficult. Keeping small stretches of grass neatly cut and hedges and bushes from encroaching is a constant challenge; and, mix in the ever present weeding, and it loses some of its glamour. Tired of the toll of maintenance, you decide it’s high time to uproot the grass, and put in hardscaping. That little change will make a big impact on your quality of life and that’s a very welcome change.
What you don’t want to wind up doing to yourself is replacing your current set of problems with a slew of new problems. That would be nothing more than an exercise in futility and a one-way ticket to a constant reminder of landscaper’s remorse. (more…)
We love our furry, four-legged, family members and do everything to ensure they are well taken care of, complete with a good diet, exercise, play toys; and, of course, plenty of room to romp outside. For most families, a two income household is a reality and that presents somewhat of a challenge for Fido and friends.
You want them to be able to heed nature’s call when it’s necessary and don’t want them suffering from heat exhaustion. Here in Sarasota, summers are quite warm and that means keeping pets inside when it’s possible. However, as you and your spouse are working during the day, you probably don’t have time to go home and let the dog(s) out.
That’s okay, because you can make your backyard into a dog-friendly landscape that has all the comforts of home, along with some fun features. This will allow you to leave Spot roam during the day and provide them with a whole host of amenities that will be just right for resting, chowing down, and frolicking about freely.