4 Landscaping Ideas to Boost Curb Appeal

If you’re looking to make your house look better without undergoing a complete renovation, you can use a lot of simple tricks to freshen things up and make your house look better.  Not only will this create an overall better first impression of your house, a few minor landscaping maneuvers can even add to the value of your property. In this article we’ll go over four landscaping ideas to boost curb appeal.

Power Wash Your Driveway And Sidewalks

Because of the very nature of their use, your driveway and sidewalks will eventually accumulate dirt and stains.  You may not even find it noticeable as it occurs, but if you give these surfaces a power wash, you’ll notice the huge difference it makes.  You could rent machinery to get this done, but you could also simply invest in some outdoor cleaners and use your garden hose and a push broom to freshen things up.  

Manicure Your Lawn

Most people mow their lawns regularly and a freshly mown lawn makes the entire property look neater and tidier.  But if your lawn isn’t as green as it could get, even a fresh trim may not provide the results you hoped for. You may want to look into fertilizing brown spots or areas that aren’t growing properly.  It may create the need to mow the lawn even more often, but you’ll end up with a uniform green that’s pleasing to the eye.

Spruce Up Your Front Door

If your front door is looking tired it can have a knock-on effect over your whole house.  Consider adding a fresh coat of paint to your door to change the entire appearance of your property.  Using a colour on your door that contrasts with the rest of your house can add a visual appeal that’s hard to achieve in any other way.

Trim Your Trees

Overgrown trees and shrubs can make your property look messy.  Excess foliage can also hide aspects of your house that would normally be attractive to the eye.  Making sure your pathways and front door are easily accessible not only makes walking around easier, it’ll also make the entire house look better.

6 Benefits of Using Stonework in Landscaping

Stonework has been used in landscaping since time immemorial.  It was probably one of the first landscaping materials ever used by humans even if they didn’t realize that they were actually landscaping at the time.  Because the benefits are numerous, stonework is still one of the most popular landscaping materials available in the modern era.  In this article we’ll go over six benefits of using stonework in landscaping.


Stonework is available in all sorts of colours, textures and styles.  It can be shaped to meet your needs or you can simply keep looking until you find something natural that works for your situation.   Stonework can be used in a wide variety of situations and is really only limited by your imagination.

Good Looks

Stonework has a natural rugged good look that isn’t found in a lot of manmade materials.  If you’re looking for curb appeal, stonework can be the focal point that works as a centrepiece while complementing its surroundings.  Give your property an added gleam by incorporating stonework into the scheme.

Low Maintenance

Stonework is easy to clean and maintain.  You won’t be constantly patching up cracks or worrying about the harsh effects of a sunny summer.  Because it’s naturally weather resistant you won’t run into many of the problems you find with other landscaping materials.


Because stonework is so longlasting you won’t have to replace or repair it for years to come.  In the end, even if the initial costs seem somewhat high, you’ll end up playing much less in the long run. 


Stonework is much more stable than other solid landscaping materials such as concrete or asphalt.  Both concrete and asphalt are prone to expanding and contracting in extreme weather which will ultimately lead to cracking.  Although stonework isn’t completely unsusceptible to such movement, it is much more stable than the materials that need time to set.


You’re not going to find a much more durable material than stone.  Stonework can withstand all types of weather conditions and all types of uses.  Whether you live in an area of extreme weather changes or park heavy weights on top of your stonework you can be assured it’ll last for a long time.

What Irrigation System Works Best for Your Landscaping

Plants, grasses and shrubs are important parts of any landscaped area.  But you can’t take them for granted. You’ll need to make sure they have access to enough water to keep growing healthily and happily.  Irrigation systems are designed to keep you plants watered while saving you time, water and physical effort. To figure out what irrigation system works best for your landscaping, this article will describe four types of irrigation techniques.

Rotary Sprinklers

Asd their name suggests, rotary sprinklers work in a circular fashion by spraying water as they spin around.  If you have a decent amount of water pressure, rotary sprinklers can water quite large areas and work well for large lawns or swathes of turf. Some types of rotary sprinklers are easily moved around to different areas, whereas others are stationary.  Movable systems may require more maintenance than stationary systems.

Spray Irrigation

Spray irrigation systems are also good for covering large areas that need to be watered.  Spray irrigation systems are typically composed of sprinkler heads attached to a moveable framework that is attached to the main water source.  Spray irrigation systems can depend on the sprinkler heads for a certain amount of water coverage, but the fact that they move while still being attached to the water source gives this type of system its extended range.

Flood Systems

Flood systems typically dribble or bubble the water onto the ground surface rather than being sprayed or sprinkled.  This allows better saturation of the ground and decreases the evaporation associated with sprayers and sprinklers. Flood systems don’t work that well in hilly or graded areas, so having a flat surface is a prerequisite to this type of watering system.

Micro Irrigation

Micro irrigation systems are typically the most efficient way to water an area.  They are normally composed of a tube that carries the water to drippers placed along its length.  They are used to directly water plant roots at a consistent rate. Micro irrigation systems can also be attached to timers so you don’t need to continually turn the system on and off.

Top New Year’s Resolutions for Your Landscaping

The end of the year is nigh and that means people are finishing off their holiday shopping lists,  creating their Top 10 Of The Year lists and coming up with ideas for their New Year’s resolutions. And while most of these lists concentrate on the human aspects of the end of year, since we’re continually wrapped up in landscaping issues, we’ve come up with our own list: The top New Year’s resolutions for your landscaping.  Read this list over and figure out which of these tips might work for you.

Create A To Do List

The new year is a perfect time to create a landscaping to do list for the upcoming year.  You probably don’t have a lot growing right now and it’ll be too cold to get out there and work. So you might as well use your free time to come up with a list of the projects you’d really like to get done this year.  Once you have that list it’ll be a lot easier to create a schedule to ensure that everything is done at the appropriate time.

Spend More Time Enjoying Your Yard

Yards take a lot of work and a lot of time.  So much so, that many people never make the time to sit back and enjoy the fruits of their labour.  And sure, for many people, working on their yards is a form of enjoyment.  But give yourself a break this year and make sure you put down your tools for awhile and simply reflect upon all the work you’ve done.  You deserve it!

Try Composting

Everyone creates food waste.  Most everyone creates yard waste as well.  Rather than considering this material as waste, repurpose it into something useful by starting a compost pile.  You’ll need to learn a few basics beforehand, but once you start turning your waste into useful garden supplements it’ll become as automatic as throwing out the trash.

Conserve Water

Adequate fresh water is purported to become one of the biggest issues humankind will face in the coming years.  Doing your part to conserve this precious resource is where this crusade must begin. There are many ways to go about doing this, so you’ll have to consider your priorities.  You might think about swapping your lawn for something with lower water needs. Or it could be as simple as placing a rain barrel under your downspouts and using it on your plants.  Even smallest of efforts will make a difference.

4 Simple Holiday Landscaping Tips

One of the grand traditions of the holiday season is festive decorating.  This is the time of year that people put in extra effort into creating an environment that speaks to the holidays and creates a cheerful atmosphere.  And although you can limit your decorating to the inside of your house, putting in some work to do some holiday landscaping can spread the cheer to the surrounding neighbourhood.  But it doesn’t have to hard work either. Adding a few touches to your house and yard can have a great effect. This article will go over four simple holiday landscaping tips.

Hang Some Wreaths

Wreaths are typically circles made of evergreen boughs.  They are traditionally used to signify growth, eternity and the continuity of everlasting life.  You can make your own wreaths or purchase them, but the fact is that they’re really easy to display.  Simply hang them on your door, mailbox, or in your windows. They’ll instantly add to the holiday spirit of your property.

Put Up Some Garland

Garland is similar to wreaths, but it can also come in a cord shape rather than the circles that wreaths are known for.  Garland was traditionally made of flowers or leaves, but there are a lot of artificial materials used to make them these days.  The fact is that garland is very versatile and easily hung. Consider wrapping it around your stair rails, lining your windows with it or festooning your front door with it.  

Utilize Plant Pots

Use plant pots as stands for small evergreens, tree boughs or willow branches.  You can line them up the sides of your stairs and sidewalk or place them around your yard to create a bit more holiday ambience.  You can benefit from the fact that they’re not permanent which means you won’t have seasonal trees and ornaments surrounding your house throughout the year.

Decorate Your Window Boxes

If you already have window boxes, consider adding some evergreen boughs, holly plants or other holiday related plant materials to add to the flavour of all your other decorating.  Window boxes are also a good place to add strings of lights without having to pull out a ladder.

Grass Seed vs Sod : What You Should Know

sod seedWhether you already have an existing lawn or you’re starting from scratch, there might be a need for you to reseed or lay some sod.  Maybe your lawn is full of weeds that are starting to outcompete the grass.  Or it’s possible that you have dead patches that have been worn down to bare dirt.  Or maybe you don’t have a lawn at all, but you envision a great swath of green grass where there currently sits a chunk of black soil.  When you’re ready to tackle whatever lawn situation you’re in, this article will compare grass seed vs sod:  what you should know.


Using grass seed is definitely a cheaper way to get some grass growing.  It’s going to take more continuous effort and a longer stretch of time to take root than simply laying down some sod, but it will be cheaper on the pocketbook.


Laying down sod takes quite a bit of physical labour.  A slab of sod can weigh up to 30 pounds if the moisture content is high.  Sodding an entire lawn will definitely require some muscle work.  On the other hand, planting grass seed takes a lot less physical work.  Depending on the type of seed you’re using, a single pound might be all you need for growing a 1000 square foot patch of lawn.


You’ll likely have less choice of grass varieties when using sod.  Most sod farmers specialize in one or a few types of grasses and you’ll be limited to those.  If you’re using seed you’ll probably have access to many more varieties of grasses.  As such, you’ll be able to choose a variety that works best for the conditions you’re working with.


When you lay down sod, you’ll end up with an instant lawn.  You might not be able to tread upon it until it takes root, but it will definitely look like a lawn immediately after installation.  With grass seed you’ll be waiting some time before your patch of dirt looks anything remotely like a lawn.  If you’re hoping for instant results, sod will be your best choice.


How to Choose a Water Feature For Your Landscaping

water featureMany people choose to include a water feature as part of their landscaping to bring a bit more nature into their life, add a visual element to their backyard and create an aural component to their property.  For whatever reason you decide to install a water feature as part of your landscape, you’ll need to choose one that works best for the space you have. This article will go over four points to consider when contemplating how to choose a water feature for your landscaping.


Your space limitation will play a large role in the type of water feature you choose.  Just because you have a small space doesn’t mean that you can’t have a water feature. There are plenty of small table fountains that work perfectly well on balconies or in small backyards.  Keep in mind the space you have to work with when choosing your water feature.


What do you want your feature for?  Are you looking to drown out traffic noise by your bedroom window?  Are you looking for something to look at while sitting in your backyard?  Or do you want to have a place to keep your fish during the summer? Water features can fit many different scenarios.  The scenario you have in your mind will play a role in the type of water feature you get.


Knowing the lay of your land will play a part in the kind of water feature that will work well for you.  If your landscape is completely flat, installing a bubbling brook may take a lot more landscaping work than if your property already has a bit of a rise.  Already having a natural depression in your ground surface may be conducive to installing a pond, whereas a vertical wall may make you more inclined to install a waterfall.  Work with your property’s natural topography to come up with an easier decision.


If you have small children in your family or neighbourhood, it may influence the type of water feature that will work best.  Deep ponds may not be the smartest idea when there are small children around. You may find that a small fountain or pondless waterfall is a safer alternative while being just as pleasing.


Three Ways To Transform Your Lawn For Halloween

lawn halloweenAn easy way to transform your lawn for Halloween is to use lighting to create a spooky effect.  Effective use of lights can make even a barren yard look haunted. In this article we’ll go over three ways to transform your lawn for Halloween.

Seasonal Colour

Using coloured lights can change the entire feel of your front yard.  Black lights can be used on your porch to give everything an ethereal glow while making certain colours stand out.  Darker coloured blue lights work well to create an eerie ambience that’s fitting for the season. Filmmakers and special effects professionals often use dark blue lights in darker indoor shots or to mimic the moonlight when shooting outdoors.  You can either use your porchfront light fitting or you can arrange some floodlights along the stairwell and sidewalk leading up to your door to add a seasonal hue to your yard.


For a truly spooky feel, get a fog machine running.  Used in combination with a variety of lights, a fog machine can highlight other decorations or create an haunted atmosphere all on its own.  Lights that work well with fog machines can range from strobe or other flashing lights to track lighting laid on the ground and reflect against the fog.  A fog machine will embellish whatever lighting system you’re using to great effect. Adding colours to the fog can evoke visions of blood, jack o’ lanterns or green slime.  The possibilities are endless.


Fire not only gives a sense of danger, the flaming colours of orange, yellow and red fit in perfectly with the Halloween season.  That said, you don’t need to use actual fire. You can create the illusion of fire with some trick lighting and a few other materials.  Some compressed air and a few sheets of coloured sheer fabric lit up with a lighting apparatus can create dancing flames on your front lawn with no fire hazard whatsoever.  If you want to use the real thing, lining the sidewalk leading to your front door with torches will definitely add to the Halloween feel. Or add tea light candles to the inside of carved pumpkins to create traditional jack ‘o lanterns.


Fall Landscape Checklist

Fall is the last chance to get any serious landscaping done before the snow falls.  Taking care of this list of chores before winter hits will keep your yard clean and give it the advantage it needs to have a strong spring in the following year.  Read over this fall landscape checklist to organize your own autumn landscaping duties.

Mow The Lawn

As long as your lawn is still growing you should still be mowing it.  Failure to do so will allow it to get too long and stunt its growth now and next spring.  If long grass gets covered by snow it’ll also be more susceptible to molds and funguses. Make sure to get a mowing done before it’s too late.

Reseed The Lawn

If parts of your lawn have been damaged over the summer – it might have been overzealous young sportsters or similarly overzealous older barbecuers – you’ll want to reseed it in the fall.  This will ensure it comes in strong in the spring and starts your next season off with a good base.

Make Mulch

You can use your lawn clippings, fallen leaves or dead annuals to make a healthy mulch for your flower beds and tree bases.  Use your lawn mower to break down the pieces somewhat before spreading it around. This extra organic matter will help your soil weather the winter and be ready to come back to life quickly in the spring.

Turn The Mulch

Turning any mulch that you already have on your flower beds or around the bases of trees will ensure that molds, plant diseases or insects don’t get a chance to take hold.  Make sure mulch is less than three inches thick or you might end up drying out the ground.

Repair Concrete

If you have cracks in your sidewalks or driveways, now is the time to fill them.  Allowing them to sit over winter will result in larger cracks. Moisture will seep in, freeze, expand and break down the concrete even more.  Fill in the cracks and cover with sealant before it gets too cold.

3 Tips For Planting Sod In The Fall

laying sodLaying sod in the fall is an effective way of allowing it to take root with reduced temptation for children, pets or yourself to walk over it and ruin the installation.  Also, by laying down the sod before the real cold weather arrives you’ll ensure that the root systems will experience some warmth and have an ample chance of growth before slowing down during the winter.  In this article we’ll go over three tips for planting sod in the fall.

Prepare The Area

You’ll want to go over the area you’re planning to sod and clear it of any debris, large rocks and other foreign materials.  It’s best to do this before the sod arrives so you can get down to the business of laying it rather than having to walk around and clean up the area first.  If you have tree stumps or large boulders to contend with, it may take some time for their removal, so give yourself enough leeway to make this happen before you plan on laying the sod.

Level The Soil

You’ll want to ensure the area you’re planting the sod on is as level as possible.  If you have depressions in the land or slopes leading towards any buildings you may end up with runoff problems.  You don’t want water to be pooling in areas or draining into your basement. Depending on the size of the area you’re sodding you may be able to do the grading with hand tools.  If you’re working with a larger space, you might need to employ larger machinery.

Prepare The Soil

If you needed to add any soil to get rid of unwanted depressions in the landscape you may need to add more once it’s settled.  If you do add extra filler, give it a dose of water to help it settle properly before planting the sod. You’ll also want to make sure the pH of the soil is at a proper level to allow the rooting systems to grow.  Soil that’s too acidic or too basic will need to be treated to bring the pH closer to neutral. Although there are kits that allow you to measure and remediate this yourself, if the pH levels are extremely unbalanced you might want to look into hiring a professional to help.