Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Quick Small Yard Landscaping Idea

A small yard space have limits but it does not have to be boring. There are ways to turn it into a perfect outdoor place. Here is a plan to transform a little space into place you will definitely love.

The first thing you need is a patio seating area. It does not have to be so large, so your small space can be modified to give your little family a little space for a great outdoor moment. A four by five foot area should give you a space for a couple of patio furniture seats, a garden bench, and a little table.

Once you have determined an area, make an outline and then start digging about a couple of inches deep. Then flatten and compact the soil. There are several materials that can be used to create the surface but, the quick solution is using pea gravel. Buy the type and color of gravel you like most. Now, before you fill in the gravel, lay a fabric lining to separate the gravel from the soil and place some solid edging. This will keep the gravel in its place and prevent the soil from mixing into the gravel.

Plants are basically the first thing to add when landscaping. Grab some green and colorful potted plants to make a highlight around the outdoor furniture seats. Choose taller plants for the back and corners of the seating area, then place some dwarf plants at the front creating a nature effect.

Now for the remaining space, transform it into a lavish green garden. In order to grow blooming plants, we have to prepare our garden space. First, we have to clean the area and loosen the soil in it. Mix in some organic compost to make a rich soil for plants. You can choose the type of plants suitable for your area. But here is a nice suggestion to make a good site from your patio seats. Place tall growing plants and shrubs at the back and keep the dwarfs at the front.

Place a grass area separating the garden from the patio seating place. A graceful curving sheet of lawn grass will definitely make a statement in your small yard space.

There a lot of small yard landscaping ideas but this is the simplest and quickest so go ahead and transform your small yard in just a day.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Simple Plan for a Small Backyard Pond

A pond is another water feature for a backyard area. Creating one may seem so difficult but is not so hard actually. With the basic materials and tools readily available locally, anyone can make a pond in a short period. Now here’s a simple plan to make a small backyard pond.

The Location
Determining the location for a pond is the first and an important stage. Ideally, a pond should be in a partial shade and a partial sunlight as it will make a healthy pond environment. Avoid putting your pond under a tree as it would require additional maintenance as leaves and debris would fill it regularly and contaminate the water. Don’t worry, there are other ways for pond shade, more on that later.

A pond could be built in any spot but, it should visible from the garden or patio furniture setup to meet the purpose of creating an interesting feature for your backyard area or patio. It should also be accessible for obvious reasons but most especially to see those lovely creatures.

The Layout
Although you can borrow ideas from many sources, the pond layout is better be based on your own backyard location, size, and landscape. You start from drawing on paper or board but you can also make the layout directly on the site which is more preferable. Using a flexible outliner such as rope, extension cord, or a garden hose, start shaping the outline of your pond. What’s great with this technique is that you can create the shape and adjust the size in real time.

Once satisfied with the layout, mark the outline using a spray paint or just start digging the edges.

The Digging
It’s time to start digging the pond using just a shovel. Hire a backhoe if it is a big pond project. Ideally, the pond should be at least two feet (2 ft.) deep. Dig in steps or in a variety of levels for adding plants later. If you are going to use a skimmer and a filter, dig a place for them following their specific installation instructions. Keep the excavated soil on the side, it can be used for landscaping your area later.

Shaping the Pond
Proper pond liner installation is important to keep the water in your pond. First, you need to double check the excavated pond area to make sure there are no sharp objects that could instantly or gradually puncture the liner. Then, place and shape an underlying material following the shape and the contour of the pond excavation. Then place the pond liner the same way you place the underlying material.  Do not trim the underlayment until you fill your pond. The pressure of the water will make adjustments yet and the excess liner will also be used for perimeter banks of the pond.

Add stones around the pond perimeter area for liner protection and as pond embellishments. Add a variety of stones and sizes to make it look more natural. Then you can finally fill your pond with water. Makes a sense of accomplishment and adds excitement for its completion.

Extra Elements
If you want surely keep a healthy pond, you need to add a filter and a skimmer. Just follow the specific instructions on how install and use them.

After your pond is shaped and filled, it’s time to add the finishing touches. You can now trim the excess liner and the underlying material leaving extra inches. Cover the excess liner with rocks and start landscaping the outer side of the pond. Your pond is not suitable for live creatures this time due to the cloudiness of the water. Let it sit for few days, then check if it is capable of harboring fish and plants.

The Shading
Wait we’re not done yet. Remember we talked about the partial shading? Determine if your pond can get a partial shade from the patio shade structures and patio umbrella installations. If not, you need to add artificial shades or by planting shrubs nearby.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Making an Outdoor Room with Indoor Feel

We love the outdoors for several reasons but, there are times when some of us want the comfort of an indoor room associated to it. Spring and summer days bring the goodness of sun, the breeze, and the beauty of outdoor landscape which we fond of. And when the cold weather arrives, we seek the comfort of indoors.Yet, we tend to yearn and still want some of the advantages of the outdoors.

Well, if we want, there are ways in which we can still enjoy the good things of outdoors while having the comfort of indoors. There are clever ways to bring what we need of an indoor room and what we desire from an outdoor place altogether. Thus, we will be creating an outdoor room with an indoor feel.

The Roof or Cover
Outdoor room or patio cover is an important asset for this project. No matter what materials used and how it is made, we need a sturdy roof or cover to protect the entire area. Extending the roof of your house using the same material is a great choice but using other materials still pretty good. If extending your house is not your type, then you can create a separate outdoor room. Other than building a standard roofing, you can also get a good use of building a pergola or a trellis.

If you don’t have time, budget, or just disfavor building a permanent structure, then, there are other options. An awning is a great alternative to extending your home as it can be easily installed and way cheaper than a permanent roof. For a separate room alternative, you can always depend on a large cantilever umbrella also known as offset umbrellas.

Of all the clever ideas for roofing, there are just two that stand out. One is a retractable roofing and the other is a clear roofing. The advantage of these is that you enjoy the sun whenever available.

Furniture and Cushions
There is a wide variety of outdoor furniture with an appearance of indoor furniture such as sofa sets and wicker sets. However, the very key for making an indoor feel is through cushions. Of course, we need cushions that are made for outdoors but with the comfort like those for indoors. Also, we need to choose heavy duty slip covers and washable outdoor cushions.

Outdoor Heaters and Fireplaces
Without the sun’s heat, the chilling temperature is a major drawback of outdoors. But the solutions has always been available since the discovery of fire. For a modern living, you can now enjoy outdoors with the aid from outdoor patio heaters and fireplaces.

Any room accessories can be safely added to an indoor-like outdoor room setup. For the most part, you can add rugs, vases, planters, and other decorative objects.

Monday, May 4, 2015

How to Protect Your Patio Umbrella

Patio umbrellas are a great option for having a sunshade to protect you, your patio furniture, your family and friends. They are versatile, quick to set up, and very mobile that you can enjoy in any outdoor spot under the protective shade. In order to make them last longer in good condition to function,they too need protection as much as they provide. Here are some quick tips that will help you.

Close It
It is recommended to close down and put protective cover on a patio umbrella when not in use for a longer period. Closing down gives your umbrella frame some rest and lessens the stress. It is also a good and necessary step to avoid the hazard of catching strong winds that will break or throw your umbrella away. What comes up must come down and if it is a patio umbrella, you’ll be in trouble as it will do some damage to properties or hurt people. Think of safety first before high wind strikes. Close your umbrella and tie it securely.

An umbrella cover is a must-have for every outdoor umbrella for it to last longer than expected. There more outdoor elements that contributes to degradation such as rain, dust, and insects. Moisture that stays longer, dust, and dirt are perfect combination that invites mold and leaves stain. Insects may also make home to your umbrella that may also leave stain or worst make holes to the fabric. A good umbrella cover can get your outdoor umbrella covered and protected against all of these.

Choose an umbrella cover that is;

  • waterproof to keep your umbrella dry at all times
  • but have vents to prevent mildew and wind lofting
  • a perfect fit, not loose and not too tight to properly secure the umbrella
  • and possibly stylish to complement a good patio design

These are just simple steps but necessary to protect outdoor umbrellas as they also protect us. Others things you can do is proper cleaning, maintenance, and following the proper use to keep your umbrella in good condition.