Is Flagstone Good for a Walkway?

When it comes to walkways, the popular options are concrete, tiles or stone. Concrete has its advantages – it is flat, smooth, durable and, if done properly, neat, clean and well proportioned. It is the last part that many homeowners dislike. Being neat, clean and well proportioned can often end up looking sterile, characterless and manufactured (not a good thing when it comes to adding value to a landscape). Tiled walkways remind many homeowners of their bathrooms and kitchens which is not the look they want for their gardens. That is why so many people look for flagstone walkway ideas to add aesthetic appeal to their gardens. While flagstones are a great option, there are pros and cons that you need to consider before making a decision on your walkway.

Flagstone Walkway Ideas

The Pros

  • Flagstones are durable and with proper maintenance, they should last for centuries – probably longer than the house itself. The only possible cause of damage is a massive, extremely heavy impact that is strong enough to shatter stone. If a stone does break or gets damaged, only the damaged stone needs to be replaced. There is no need to touch the rest of the walkway.
  • Flagstones are not affected by temperature, rain, snow, hail or by anything else nature throws at them. They do not expand or contract with temperature changes and do not crack or chip.
  • There are no maintenance hassles. Sweeping the surface and hosing it down once in a while with plain water is all you need to do to maintain the walkway. In case a spill has resulted in serious staining of the flagstones, a little detergent and water is all that is required to remove it. If any mold develops, a little bleach will remove it.
  • You can be creative with the design. There is no set pattern or style for installing flagstones. The stones can be cut into any shape and installed in any order, sequence or pattern that appeals to the owner. As long as the stones are cut properly, there are no nooks or crannies that have to be filled or worried about.

Also Read: How to Pick the Right Landscape Maintenance Service

The Cons

  • Flagstones are very heavy. Installing them is hard work and pulling a muscle or getting a hand jammed between or under a stone is something you have to watch out for.
  • While they are not affected by temperature, flagstones can become very hot in summer if exposed to direct sunlight for a long time.
  • The soil on which the walkway is to be laid must be solid and firm or the weight of the flagstones could cause them to shift. For example, laying flagstones on sand can be a problem.

From the above, it is clear that flagstones are a good choice for walkways. The utility and appearance of the walkway will depend to a great extent on how it is designed and put in place. Because the walkway is an integral part of the landscape, it is a good idea to have it done by a professional landscaper. All you need to do is search for “best landscaping near me” and tell the expert what you want.

Top Reasons Your Lawn Needs an Irrigation System

A lawn irrigation system may seem like a luxury for the average homeowner – unless he has a really big lawn. The reality, however, is that putting in a landscape irrigation system offers a host of benefits, and the cost, when all the advantages are factored in, is much less than most people think.

The Benefits

  • Money-Saving: An irrigation system is calibrated to use and supply a specific amount of water that will depend on the soil, plant types, climatic conditions, etc. Because of this, there is no wastage of water, and the overall usage is less compared to manual watering. This means that your water bills come down.
  • Adds Value to Your Home: Whether or not you have plans of selling your home, maintaining its value is important. Curb appeal is a factor that has a huge impact on property values, and a lush green lawn has an immediate positive impact. The lower water bills are another useful selling point that adds to the home’s value. A lush green lawn has a cooling effect during the hot weather, and this will help to reduce the air conditioning load, so energy consumption also comes down.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Because the usage of water is so well controlled and water wastage is eliminated, a lawn irrigation system is extremely environmentally friendly. Additionally, a healthy lawn will absorb greenhouse gases and release pure oxygen, making the air around your house healthier. The strong root system of a healthy lawn will bind the soil and reduce erosion.
  • Aesthetically Pleasing: Your home is the center of your life, and how it looks and appeals impacts how comfortable you feel in it. A well-irrigated landscape adds beauty to the overall ambiance of the house and makes it a more peaceful place to live in.
  • Convenience: Even for homeowners who love gardening, watering the lawn can be a tedious, repetitive chore. With landscape irrigation, the water is done automatically, so all you need to do is enjoy the beauty of your surroundings.
  • Automatic Operation: When the family goes on vacation, the house can be locked up, but what happens to the lawn that will need to be watered regularly? An irrigation system can be programmed to run automatically so that when you return home, you are greeted by a green garden, not a dead one.

Also Read: Maintaining a Garden with Landscape Irrigation

There are other benefits too, depending on the type and size of the landscape to be irrigated. A landscaping professional will be able to give you all the information you need.

Buying a lawn irrigation system is not like buying a shirt – pick the one you like, pay for it, and go home. The system needs to be suitable for the area to be irrigated, the types of plants, shrubs, and foliage that need to be watered, and several other factors. Making the wrong choice could mean that some, if not all, of the benefits given here are lost. The best way to get the landscape irrigation system that is right for your home is to consult a professional landscape service that will be able to evaluate your irrigation needs, offer you systems that will work best, give you the inputs you need to make the right decisions, and install it for you.

Discover the Importance of Gardens for your Family

More than 80% of Americans live and work in completely urban surroundings with little or no access to nature. Most, if not all, enjoy the comforts of urban life and would not willingly give it up. However, a great deal of research says that spending our lives surrounded by concrete and electronics takes a mental and physical toll on us. The fact that a vacation out in the country makes such a refreshing change is proof of this. While this kind of change is good, a once-in-a-year escape from the city is not enough. Regular contact with nature is what keeps the mind and body active, fresh, and agile. It improves our overall health and well-being. In this context, the importance of a beautifully landscaped garden is obvious.

How It Happens

A home landscape provides a place to escape from the concrete, noise, activities, traffic, and communications demands that take up so much of your time, energy, and by extension, your life. A garden is an area that encloses nature and life while excluding the forces that detract from it. The sight of plants, trees, and shrubs is restful for the eyes; the scents and aromas that are in the air are relaxing for the mind – this is the principle behind aromatherapy.  You may not believe in aroma and other new-age therapies, but spending time in the garden will refresh you – that is something that no one can deny.

Practical Applications

In case the aesthetic benefits of spending time in a landscaped environment do not appeal, there are practical reasons why a home landscape is so valuable.

An inviting garden is:

  • A safe place for children to play
  • A refreshing break from the daily routine
  • A great place to entertain
  • If urgent work is at hand, the garden is a great place to get the creative juices flowing without any distractions

Whether it is the allure of the beauty of a landscaped garden that attracts you or its practical applications, the fact is that once a landscape has been created and you start spending time outdoors, even if it is just for a few minutes a day, the freshness and energy that are felt will enhance the quality of life of everyone who enters it.

Also Read: Getting Your Garden Ready for Summer

Creating a beautiful and inviting garden is not easy, even for those blessed with green thumbs. Once a landscape has been created, it needs to be cared for to retain its beauty. The stress of trying to create the best possible outdoor area for your home and then the pressure of maintaining it reduces the pleasure and sense of well-being that comes from spending time in it. To be sure of having the best possible landscape and keeping it that way, the only option is to use a professional landscape service. A landscaping expert will be able to incorporate your tastes into the best possible landscape design, and once it is in place, maintain it so that it is always a place to spend time in nature so you can unwind and escape the pressures of daily life.

What Is Landscape Renovation?

Gardens are living organisms, and like all living things, they age. Just as human beings dress and groom themselves to look good, gardens too need to be designed and groomed to look their best. That is what we call landscaping. Landscapes need to maintain their appearance just as people do. At times, people want a makeover just for the freshness and feeling of rejuvenation, inside and out, that it gives them. The same applies to landscapes – even with the best of care, there often comes a time when a new look is needed to rejuvenate the home – a rejuvenation that impacts not just the exterior but the indoors also. That is renovation landscaping.

Renovation Makes a Difference

Just like home renovation, there is no cookie-cutter approach to a landscape renovation. It is a process, and no two projects are alike. A landscape must reflect the personality of the family that inhabits the home. The scope of the renovation can range from bringing the landscape back to what it originally was to updating its look to creating or adding new features, plants, colors, and garden structures.

Landscape renovation gives a home a new look outside and a fresh aura inside. A refreshed landscape:

  • uplifts the spirits of the occupants
  • makes the outside a more enjoyable place to spend time.
  • Brings back entertainment options by making the outside a viable venue.
  • Adds to the curb appeal of the house. Even if the property is not being sold, the increased value that will be seen by everyone is a matter of pride.

The Renovation Process

The renovation process will depend on the existing landscape and the ideas that the homeowner has about the changes and/or upgrades that are wanted. A professional landscape designer will be able to produce a plan that will allow the owner to know what the new garden will look like so he can be confident about the end result. In general, the renovation will include:

  • Fixing grading and drainage issues that have developed over time.
  • Repairing, changing or installing new hardscapes like walkways, patios, fountains, etc.
  • Replacing or rejuvenating plants, trees, and foliage that are showing the effects of age.
  • Design and style modifications to reflect the new tastes of the homeowners.
  • Providing spaces for entertaining and open-air activities.
  • Ensuring that the renovated landscape bends seamlessly into the overall appearance of the home.

Also Read: How to Pick the Right Landscape Maintenance Service

Get the Best Results

Home renovation experts will tell you never to cut corners on the various projects you are doing – a substandard result in one area will reflect on the quality of the renovation as a whole. The same is true of garden renovation. One misstep in the design, choice of plants, ignoring the importance of patio landscaping, and so on can ruin what would have been a beautiful outdoor space. Landscape renovation is a complex job and is best done by an expert landscape service that will be able to create the renovated garden you want and need.

  • What is landscape renovation?
  • How it makes a difference.
  • How to get the best results.

Landscaping Concepts that Endure

Landscaping and garden trends come and go just as those in everything else in life. In the recent past gardens were minimalistic and now the trend appears to be towards a more natural look and feel, using natural materials and focusing on outdoor living areas.

Variety and change in a garden do help to prevent the setting in of staleness. However, changing the landscape frequently just to keep up with trends requires both deep pockets as well as the ability to devote large amounts of time to following, planning and implementing those changes.

If trends do not appeal to you, here are some landscaping concepts that never go out of style: they will enable you to enjoy evergreen charm.

Outdoor living areas

An outdoor living area is a space out in the open; you can find it as a recreation spot for fun and entertainment. It can be a completely standalone in the garden; or it may be an extension of the indoor areas, as in the case of a dining patio onto which the kitchen opens.

Outdoor living spaces enable the family to spend more time out in the fresh air and sun, with all the associated health benefits. The space can be designed to suit your specific needs – with barbeque, furniture, fireplace, or anything else for greater comfort and better functionality.

Sustainable landscaping

Sustainable landscaping is an integral part of environmentally friendly landscaping. Not only will this help you protect the environment, it will save you money and time as well. For example, a smart irrigation system will go beyond the standard rain sensors, which are so common now.

These types of systems can integrate automatically with weather information to apply exactly the amount of water the garden needs, with no manual inputs from you. If you prefer to be more hands-on, you can manage the irrigation system from your phone. Several smart technology options are available for you to consider. Talk to an experienced landscaping company for ideas on what you can do.

Edible garden

An edible garden will never go out of style. It is not just a matter of being able to grow your own fruits, vegetables and herbs, or of saving on green grocery bills. Edible plants can make a very attractive addition to your landscape. They are also a good option to fill up empty spaces and reduce the extent of water-intensive lawn space.

Nature scaping

Nature scaping is the use of designs and materials that blend into the natural environment. It could involve the use of native plants or shrubs, or the use of designs that serve to help blending into the landscape of artificial structures like sheds or pergolas.  It could also use little or no pesticides and fertilizers. The aim is to create a space that is natural looking and welcoming to native birds and pollinators.

who prefer permanence to change, consult a landscaping professional on creating a garden that will give you what you love but will never ever become stale.

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Renovating Your Garden – 7 Landscape Design Secrets for You

Are you one of those people looking for ways to add value to their property and improve the aesthetics at the same time? Are you planning to renovate your garden? Here are for you seven landscape design secrets that are extremely simple and effective to implement.

1. Architecture:

According to landscaping experts, it is important that you keep the architecture of your house in mind when choosing the plants. Especially when the facade of the house is plain, you need to mask it with show-stopper plants like Culver’s root, Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’, Impatiens tinctoria and others.

2. Paving:

An outside seating area comes in very handy for those who entertain guests at dinner or lunch. Recycled pavers are an effective and cheap way of creating an attractive outdoor seating area, without spending too much. The paved area requires just enough space for chairs and tables.

3. Turf lawn:

Laying a turf lawn is comparatively a low-cost affair. Couch grass rolls can be bought at a cheap price from most landscaping yards. Kids and even adults do love a small lawn area, which is definitely a good element to add to your garden. Children will enjoy rolling around there, play outdoor games, or make fun under a sprinkler.

4. Garden hedges:

Hedging your garden area is a great way of making it look bigger while softening the outdoor space. The following plants will amply suit this purpose in most Californian conditions: Manzanitas, Service Berry, Carpenteria californica, Bush anemone, Buckbrush, Island Mountain mahogany, and the like.These hedges can be bought from your local nursery or with the help of a good landscaping expert.

5. Garden plants:

Garden plants for filling up the garden beds should be chosen for great looks and low maintenance costs. The following would be ideal: Santa Barbara Daisy, Mexican feather grass, Echinocactus grusoni, Sunset Strain, Nassella tenuissima, Cape Blanco, Voodoo, Angelina and the like. Also, to enhance the looks of the plants, make sure you place them in such a way that they offer contrasting textures, foliage, flowers and colors. These small details go a long way in embellishing the overall appearance of the garden.

6. Landscape Development

 If you intend to sell your house in the near future, then it’s best to hire a landscaping expert to take over the garden and develop it for you. The expert can add shrubs and annuals that blossom with scented flowers. These touches will help in boosting not only the aesthetic appeal of your garden but also the price of your house.

7. Mulch:

A layer of mulch makes a garden bed look tidier and more appealing. You can obtain from local nurseries a variety of mulch readily available.

And therefore, with a little effort and some creativity, you can easily add plenty of value to your property; you can enhance the aesthetics of your house without much strain on your bank account. What do you wait for? Go ahead renovating your garden!