Improve Your Yard With Hardscaping

The beautification of numerous various commercial and residential properties is a huge part of most any landscaping project. However, oftentimes home and business owners are searching for just a bit more than what simple or even major landscape changes can provide. This is often precisely where hardscapes enter into the picture, because not only can they add a large amount of beauty to a home or office, but they could add greatly to the worth of a property.

What is hardscape? And just how can it improve your yard?



Traditionally, hardscaping refers to the act of landscaping an urban area-streets, sidewalks, the driveways and parking lots outside large business buildings and housing developments. But hardscaping is increasingly making its way to the suburbs and more particularly to the back and front yards of homes. The stone work involved with lawn hardscaping lends an air of prestige, elegance and exclusivity to a residence, especially as a complement to the pool or outdoor patio area. Nevertheless, it is hard to hardscape a house, and once you commit to the project, there’s no going back (well, there is, nevertheless it will be quite expensive).

Fountains and pools can enhance the general ambience of the property, making a more calming and serene atmosphere, helping to drown out noise pollution and appeal to local fauna. Appealing stone walkways may be used, not just for their performance, but to mask problem areas where grasses as well as other plants are slow to take hold. Fences and rock walls can offer wind barriers and enhance privacy.

Hardscape Improves Maintenance and Aesthetics

One advantage of having hardscape design in your house is to boost its property value if you happen to opt to sell it later on. Besides this, since hardscape features are not living things, they do not require the same degree of care and attention that a normal lawn or garden would. This makes this kind of subcategory of landscaping an excellent solution for owners who don’t have time or energy to devote to their lawn, especially if they live in dry or arid regions.

Beyond correcting water damage problems and reducing yard maintenance, hardscapes create architectural support for the layout and design of your yard. When planning your outdoor space for entertaining and family relaxation, provide careful consideration to the hardscape. Consider the activities you currently enjoy- along with the features which will add to those activities. Bear in mind, the non-living elements of your landscape usually do not all have to have practical applications. Although a pergola or arbor often includes a purpose, sculpture and other art help set the mood.


10 Bad-Smelling Flowers and Their Use in Landscaping

When you think that all flowers smell good, then think again. they are lots of plants around us that really smell bad but still have good use in our landscape. Check out this list.

Your first impression may be that it borders on oxymoron to speak of bad-smelling flowers. Isn’t the blossom symbolic of fine fragrance? Rose blossoms certainly are, for which we have such proverbial expressions as:

  • “Stop to smell the roses.”crown
  • “He came up smelling like roses.”

Be that as it may, pointing out that a plant has bad-smelling flowers is not exactly a man-bites-dog story. The phenomenon occurs a bit more often than you might think. This is true even if we exclude those strong-scented blooms, such as Easter lilies, over which people are divided, some listing them among the fragrant flowers, others finding the odor offensive.

Nor is the focus of the information below on bad-smelling flowers that you can find on just about any web search on the subject, many of which dwell in the warmer regions of the globe. Instead, the main focus is on bad-smelling flowers that gardeners in the North are more likely to encounter. The examples listed below may not stink as badly as the notoriously foul-scented “corpse plant” (Amorphophallus titanum) of Sumatra or its somewhat smaller relative, Amorphophallus konjac (the snake lily), but the average reader of this site is much more likely to have dealings with them in everyday life.

Read more:


How Landscaping Stones Can Fill The Gap In Your Landscape Garden

Making use of landscaping stones for decoration is just not exactly a new concept, however it has proved itself time and time again to be a fantastic approach to enhance the look of gardens and yards of homes and palaces all around the world. There are several methods for you to work with a landscape stone, one can choose from a wide selection of sizes, colors and shapes and are usually obtainable in different price categories.



Normally, landscaping stones utilize as stepping stones showing different paths in the garden. The landscaping stepping stones can be done to fit together just like a puzzle to build a walkway around or through planted areas. Surfaces could be either smooth or rough dependant upon your intention of the path’s purpose. For walking on, rough surface stones will help prevent slipping in wet weather and extremely helpful in special occasion. As an example to get through the area for wedding without slogging through the dirt and cause your footwear muddy. At the same time, landscaping stones may act as soil retention during wet climates.

The landscaping stones can be used to divide various kinds of plants, borders for walkway and trees. You can even make use of landscaping stones to outline the planting areas as well as the flower beds, either next to your property or in isolated parts of the garden yard. A number of stones are originally intended utilize as retaining wall, and may used in a couple of layers to set out an area of the yard, isolating it from grass or a driveway. Through the use of appropriately size stones, the bed can appear as completely separate from the rest of the landscaping.

To create isolated flower beds from the rest of the yard you can even make use of landscape stones. You may create beds by utilizing old stones from a wall or new stones available in almost any garden store. If you use two layers, you may divide a part of the yard whilst it isolated from the grass or the driveway. You need to find landscape stones which will meet your needs.

10 Small Flower Garden Ideas To Build A Serene Backyard Retreat

Flower garden  is probably the most beautiful of all garden types. It is cheaper and easy to maintain. And you don’t need a big space for this. Find out on this article and start planting your first flower garden.

Stress can take toll on the body as well as the mind and numerous studies have been conducted to confirm this fact.In a busy city life, caught midst the hustle and bustle of daily chores, you need a relaxation corner, close to your heart, where you can go to rest, unwind and connect with yourself, your friends, your loved ones. What could be a better place than your backyard for such a private element? Having a small garden in your backyard will give you the perfect retreat, but the real question is who has the time in the world to try out different alternatives and find the best small garden design idea to implement? This is where this article fits in. It provides a curated list of 10 small flower garden ideas to assist you embellish your own backyard.




Nothing stimulates our mood as colors do, so much so that there is a specialized branch of study, color psychology, to understand the effect of colors on our well being. Talking of colors, the first thing you can do is to choose having a colorful backyard, enliven with small flowers of different hues and tones. In one corner of your backyard, you can mull to have perfectly structured rows, or even circles, of bright color flowers, use the yellow ones for emotional strength, pink ones for tranquility, blue ones for serenity and intellectual sublimity, white ones for purity and clarity of thought. When creating a colorful small flower corner, you should keep in mind to balance colors against each other in terms of tone, spread, and petal correspondence and composition.


Another way to make your garden colorful is by adding various types of petunias in a multitude of  forms. A good choice would be to use colorful petunias in your garden to create rows of the flowers and use those to form a border in your garden.You can think of other ways to use it as well, like planting them in planter boxes. Take note that even the petunia plants in the above image have been planted in flower pots, which are placed side by side. You need to limit your choice to three colors, as shown in the image. If you choose to use petunias for your flower garden, you should consider the color balance, opting for two or more colors will increase the complexity of your garden and enrich the senses. In the long term the goal is to build a cozy retreat in your backyard.

Read more:

Landscaping Driveways

Landscape is not only for our backyard. We can also add a landscape in our driveway. Check this article I found for ideas that will help you in designing your driveway.

Landscaping driveways can entail installing both hardscape and softscape features. Hardscape options consist mainly of walls, fences, and the like, while your softscape options include the following:

Flower borders
Ground covers
Ornamental trees



The possibilities for landscaping driveways are greatly enhanced if you plan on including walls. Walls (for instance, stone walls) can either parallel the driveway along its whole length, or meet it perpendicularly, at the entrance.

The latter scenario, in particular, opens up a number of possibilities. For example, some people attach driveway gates to the wall, while others span the opening in the wall with an arch.

Meanwhile, variations on the softscape side of landscaping driveways are practically endless. Again, the decision often comes down to whether your intention is to create a grand driveway entrance or have plants running the length of the driveway (of course, some people choose both). Accenting the entrance can certainly be cheaper (because there is usually a smaller area to cover), which is important if your budget is small and your driveway large.


Read more:

Great Tips on Herb Garden Design

Herb gardening is fun and simple to develop. They put colors and add beautification in your homes. It usually adds in having a very good landscape and includes tranquility to your place or even your garden. There are several approaches to design your own herb garden, whether it is situated in your house or outdoors.

Listed here are the top five items that you need to remember when designing your herb garden to make certain that it looks exquisite:

Image result for herb garden design

(C) homgar

1. Your local garden centers can tell you what you should learn about the different herbs along with their needs. You must think about your local climate, the soil type you have, watering requirements, and just what you would like out of your garden. The style of herb garden is generally geometric in shape, subdivided into symmetrical spaces.

2. The purpose and functionality of the design is crucial so that the designer can let his creative juices flow through the design process. The designer is quite creative but that is insufficient to create a superb garden. The designer must consider how the garden is going to be used beforehand and plan accordingly. This implies knowledge in gardening can be quite vital for a very successful garden design.

3. For basic garden themes, you ought to identify the correct use of plants, colors, as well as aromas of the herbs. Normally, some herb plants are picked depending on the themes chosen by modern herb planters. As an example, it is possible to group herbs that share a specific color, while placing aromatic herbs in a different area or you can fill a section of your garden with Italian herbs such as parsley, rosemary, basil and oregano. These are just some ideas to get you started.

4. If you like to style your garden in a formal way, you can utilize geometric designs like squares or circles. In a formal garden design, the herbs’ colors are properly selected; are arranged by height; and possesses a great symmetrical design. Samples of formal design gardens are Knot gardens and Spiral herbs.

5. There’s also the so-called Container Herb Garden Design. This garden consists of various plants placed or planted in containers. Container gardening is considered as a good choice for gardening in small areas. This design enables more mobility, as you can group them effectively and move them as needed.

Enable your creativity stand out; enjoy yourself making your garden an enchanting place!

8 reasons to visit Singapore Botanic Gardens

Botanical gardens have ebbed and flowed in popularity throughout the centuries. These facilities today play a tremendous role in the conservation of plant species by raising awareness and cultivating seeds for distribution.


Ask any Singaporean and he or she is sure to have a cherished memory of the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Its sprawling grounds in the heart of the city are ideal for an invigorating jog or a lazy picnic with family, friends and pets while its dazzling array of over 60,000 plants makes it a nature lovers’ paradise.

This year, Singapore’s oldest garden adds another accolade to its illustrious history by becoming the country’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here are eight reasons to include the Botanic Gardens on your itinerary.

1. Have an audience with some VIPs

Photo by Derrick See

Very Important Plants, that is.

At the National Orchid Garden, you will get to rub shoulders with VIPs such as the Vanda William Catherine and the Paravanda Nelson Mandela. It is a longstanding tradition for Singapore to name orchids after visiting dignitaries and celebrities who have contributed significantly to society.

This unique hall of fame includes one-of-a-kind orchids named after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Catherine, as well as special guests such as Nelson Mandela and celebrities like Jackie Chan and Shah Rukh Khan. With over 200 VIP orchids on display, let’s see how many names you can recognise.

2. Take a selfie with Singapore’s most famous tree

Did you know, the majestic Tembusu tree that’s featured on Singapore’s $5 note is an actual tree that’s alive and well at the Botanic Gardens? This heritage tree, which is believed to be older than the 157-year-old Gardens, has provided shelter and a nostalgic photoshoot backdrop for generations of young lovers, curious tree climbers as well as park-goers seeking shelter from the sun.

Today, there is a fence around the tree to reduce the impact of excessive soil compaction due to human traffic and its iconic low-hanging branch is propped up with a dynamic support system. However, fret not as you can still get close enough to take a nice snapshot with the tree that every Singaporean knows about.

3. See the birthplace of SEA’s rubber boom

It would not be an exaggeration to say that Southeast Asia would be a very different region without the Singapore Botanic Gardens. In 1877, rubber seedlings were brought to Singapore from London’s Kew Gardens, where they were cultivated in the gardens.

In the 1880s and 90s, sustainable rubber tapping techniques were developed there, giving birth to the rubber boom across the Malay Peninsula. By 1917, the gardens had supplied over 7 million rubber seeds to the region, bringing economic prosperity to Southeast Asia. This supply of rubber also gave rise to unprecedented developments in various modern industries that required rubber as the raw material for their various innovations, including automobiles, aviation and textiles.

4. Enjoy a bit of England in the tropics

With its gently sprawling grounds, meandering paths and natural distribution of plants, the Singapore Botanic Gardens is the only major garden in Southeast Asia that is landscaped in the English style. Founded in 1859, the gardens were designed by Lawrence Niven, whose work reflects the influence of the English pleasure garden style of parks and gardens in England.

This layout has survived the ages mostly intact, and the park is also dotted with many historical buildings including Burkill Hall, Ridley Hall, EJH Corner House and Holttum Hall. For some extra credit, keep an eye out for Burkill Hall, which is believed to be the only surviving example of an Anglo-Malay plantation-style house in Southeast Asia.


Read more:

Landscaping Garden Design With Succulents

If you live in a dry, hot climate, or if you live in a very sunny, but moderate climate, finding the top five plants to use in desert landscaping might be one of your best options. You might not be able to grow temperamental hybrid tea roses where you live, but there are many succulents, cacti and ornamental grasses that will allow you to create a stunning environment no matter how restrictive the growing conditions may be.


Watering restrictions and high maintenance costs are driving the trend towards low-water, low-maintenance gardens. In fact, many people are either doing away with lawns and flowerbeds or keeping these water guzzlers to a minimum. Succulents are a great choice for drought-resistant gardens because they can withstand infrequent watering and extended dry spells. There’s also no shortage of design possibilities since these plants come in all sorts of interesting forms, colors, and textures.


Sample Succulent Garden Plan

Succulents can be incorporated into any sunny garden as long as it is kept on the dry side, but designing the landscape around a desert theme brings out the best in these plants and provides a long lasting, plant-it-and-forget-it garden. Consider this sample succulent garden plan, which you can easily adapt to fit your available space.

succluent plan

Before Installing Your Succulent Landscape

Before you begin creating your garden, there are a few things to consider.


Most succulents will do well in the same soil that other garden plants grow in as long as it drains well. Soil depth depends a lot on the size of the succulents you intend to plant, but a depth of 12 to 18 inches should be sufficient since these plants tend to have shallow root systems.

If your soil is compacted or full of clay, it is imperative to add plenty of organic material such as compost. If you aren’t sure how well your soil drains, you can check by digging a one-foot deep hole and filling it with water. If the water drains in thirty minutes or less, your soil is porous enough for growing succulents. If it’s not, you will need to add organic material and check for drainage using the same method in another spot.


Read more:

10 Most Poisonous Plants Threatening Children

Information about toxic plants differs in degree according to location, proliferation and the potential danger to humans, animals or wildlife in the environment. It is therefore important to study local conditions and relate to the plants that are proven to be hazardous in your area. Protect your family, your pets and yourself.


The number of poisonous plants commonly found growing wild along the road or even in people’s yards is breathtaking. Who should find this fact concerning? Well, if you have children, access to these plants puts them at risk. Young children are constantly tempted to put objects in their mouths; colorful berries are particularly tempting. Even older kids, driven by curiosity (and perhaps inspired by something they saw on TV or the web) or urged on in a dare, have been known to ingest plants that turn out to be toxic.

My purpose in this article is not to offer a comprehensive list. If we were to count all of the plants that are at least mildly toxic (meaning that they may give you a tummy ache if you eat too much of them), there would be so many that it would be impractical to list them all. Instead, my purpose here is twofold:

  1. To list some of the most poisonous plants that North Americans are likely to encounter (that is, those toxic enough to be lethal or to cause serious health problems if ingested in sufficient amounts).
  2. To draw special attention to those that pose the greatest danger to children, because their colorful berries are easily accessible and serve as a magnet for young mouths. By contrast, while daffodil plants (to cite one example) are, in fact, poisonous, it is the underground bulb that is toxic (and young children are unlikely to dig it up and eat it).

My pictures will help you identify these plants. Once you know what they look like, you will have the information you need to make an informed decision about them.

You may wish to remove such plants if they are already growing in your yard (especially the weedy ones). If, on the other hand, you do not yet own one of the poisonous landscape plants identified here, reading this article may dissuade you from buying one at the garden center this year (there are so many other great plants to choose from that are safe to grow around kids).

Pokeweed: Poisonous Purple Berries Tempting to Children

I will begin with the poisonous plant in my first picture, pokeweed (Phytolacca americana). Because this plant was featured in Tony Joe White’s popular 1968 song, “Polk Salad Annie,” many people have become aware that pokeweed, or simply “poke” (variant, “polk”) has traditionally been eaten in parts of the southern United States. Despite the song title, the more proper way to spell the dish in question is “poke sallet.” That is because it is not a salad but rather greens harvested from a young pokeweed plant and cooked, as you would spinach.


See more:

Compost Tools for Added Help

Getting your hands on the appropriate compost tools in order to manage your own organic material can reduce the waste that we send out to the landfills and give your landscaping and gardens the benefit of organic compost. Listed below are some tools that you’ll need to start your own compost.

1. Compost needs to be turned and transferred from point A to point B. You may use manure fork for these particular tasks. Contrary to a hay fork, a manure fork has 4 to 5 tines arranged just like a shovel blade. They are narrow in contrast to a garden fork and are intended to get a good forkful of material which is a mix of hay and manure. Thus they do a superb job on a mix of partially composted and fully composted organic matter. Search for one in which the tines are close enough together so that the material will not quickly fall through yet wide enough to allow good penetration without blocking.


2. A rake is great for leveling the soil after it has been turned. It also cleans the ground surface from any tough clods of earth or larger stones that can block the planting. Be sure you obtain a bow rake. The bow rake has short tines on one side mounted on a metal frame-the so-called “bow”. The flat side of the bow rake can be used in smoothing the soil before plants are sown.

3. To get those last crumbling bits of matter at the bottom of the pile and for spreading the finished compost around a stand of plants, a fantastic shovel is hard to beat. You will not want a digging spade here nor the normal narrow bladed garden shovel, but instead a wide bladed, fairly light but sturdy tool. Quickly you can develop the peculiar flick of the wrist that allows you to deposit a shovel full of compost between a few plants without disturbing either.

4. To enjoy a well prepared and separated compost, a garden sieve is absolutely appropriate. Many are made to fit the garden cart so the material could be sifted and separated, ready to move to the plot for use. A two inch mesh permits good sizing with easy fall through. When using the sieve it is easy to get the very best results with throwing unrotten material and living perennial roots to the gathering bin, partially rotted material to the working bin, and undesirable matter like bottle tops or plastic into a garbage bucket. Black gold goes into the cart.

These are simply some compost tools that will aid to achieve an effective compost pile. Enrich the earth and start composting today! Buy what you need to get going and also read more articles and tips on composting.