5 Reasons Why Path Lights are a Great Garden Feature

Archive for December, 2014

5 Reasons Why Path Lights are a Great Garden Feature

When home owners have landscape or other outdoor lighting installed, many of them forget about lighting up one of the most important areas of their yards – the walkways running around their gardens and to front or back doors. Here are just a few reasons why home path lights will make an excellent addition to virtually any landscaping project.

1. Provide Ambiance in a Yard

Installing path lights outside a home is one of the easiest ways to provide just the right amount of ambiance and warmth, while also creating a more inviting atmosphere. In many cases, lights installed along a garden path will also light up a substantial portion of the rest of the yard, making it look absolutely stunning during the evenings.

2. Light Up the Pathway

Walking around any yard during evening hours can be tricky at the best of times – it can be even worse if there is not enough light. Having a set of lights installed along the sides of a garden pathway or a walkway will make it a lot easier for home owners and other visitors to see exactly where a particular pathway is.

3. Increase a Home’s Curb Appeal

Should a home owner ever decide to sell his or her property, one of the most important aspects is lighting. Potential buyers will look at whether or not there is sufficient lighting outdoors for safety reasons and for aesthetic reasons. In many cases, homes that do not offer a sufficient level of operational outdoor lighting fixtures will not sell nearly as quickly as those that do.

4. Provide Light to Host Outdoor Get-Togethers

Home owners who host a lot of outdoor get-togethers – whether it be formal gatherings or informal gatherings around the fire pit – should definitely consider installing some form of path lights. This will allow visitors to enter and exit the property safely without having to worry about trying to navigate around any obstacles along the way.

5. Enhance Security around a Home

One of a burglar’s main enemies is any form of light, which means that the more light there is around a home at night, the less chance there is that it will fall prey to being burglarized. If a burglar knows that there is any chance of being even remotely visible on a particular property, chances are that he or she will decide to move elsewhere where there is less light. Home owners who are concerned about having their electricity bills increase after installing path lights should consider using LED lights rather than incandescent lights. Not only will these lights be more environmentally friendly, they will also last longer.

5 New Year’s Home Landscaping Resolutions you May Have Forgotten About in 2014

Although many people make New Year’s resolutions regarding their health or careers, not many of them consider adding a few home improvement-related goals to their lists. However, here are a few areas of your property that can benefit substantially when they are considered for home landscaping projects.

1. Outdoor Living Areas

Does your outdoor area consist of nothing more than a bench or two scattered around an old picnic table? If this is the case, now is the time to consider building a deck or a covered patio, where you can enjoy spending time outdoors with friends and family at any time. Other options include the installation of a swimming pool, a few ponds or water features where fish, frogs and other wildlife can make themselves at home, or even a built-in BBQ area – or all of the above if your yard space and budget will allow for it!

2. New Grass for the Yard

As a home owner, there is a chance that you have been embarrassed about the state of your lawn on more than one occasion. This can easily be remedied by planting grass seed or laying patches of instant lawn in areas where the lawn is bare. You could also remedy this by transitioning over to artificial grass. Although artificial grass costs more than quick fixes, you will save a lot of time down the road in regard to maintenance – and your lawn will look fantastic all year round.

3. Outdoor Lighting

These days, there are numerous outdoor lighting options that can add to a home’s curbside appeal. Outdoor lighting fixtures have not only been designed to provide as much natural-looking light as possible to your entertainment areas and yard, they have also been designed to withstand very harsh weather conditions. This enables them to provide you with great lighting and ambiance for many years.

4. Decorative Rock and Boulders

Decorative rock and boulders have the ability to add an instant visual improvement to virtually any landscaping project. They are available in an extensive range of sizes and color options and are also an affordable way to provide terracing in your garden. An added advantage of using these is that if you decide to re-design your garden at any time, the rock or boulders can usually be relocated quite easily.

5. Pavers and Stone Work

Pavers and stone work can be used to beautify your yard or to create a finishing touch for an entertainment center or built-in BBQ area. Both pavers and stone have a multitude of uses; for example, they can be used to create new walkways throughout your yard and they can be used as flooring for an outdoor entertainment area. Most pavers and stone are not slippery when wet, so they are an ideal choice for any form of outdoor surfacing. Landscaping projects like the ones mentioned above can be quite affordable in most cases – especially if you are willing to put in a few hours of labor yourself. However, it is always important to ensure that you know your physical capabilities and request the assistance of a professional landscaper if necessary.

5 Architectural Boulders That Can Be Used to Freshen up Your Home’s Curb Appeal

As a result of numerous new and innovative landscaping product additions, it is no surprise that landscaping projects have become a popular property remodeling option. Architectural boulders can be used in many landscaping projects – here are a few of the most attractive options to consider.

1. Cherokee Sunset

The combination of dark gray, gold, and brown coloring that is seen on these architectural boulders make them an ideal choice for outdoor rockery projects and water feature areas. They also have great potential to fill the empty spaces between plants in your yard. If required, these boulders can sometimes be crushed into smaller stones so that they can be used on walkways or elsewhere outdoors.

2. Feather Rock

This particular type of rock is able to be chipped and sculpted fairly easily, making it an ideal option for garden ponds and water features. Owing to the fact that it is derived from volcanic rock deposits, Feather Rock is a great solution for home owners who would like to have an outdoor fire pit installed. If Feather Rock is being used to create fish ponds, it is important to note that it needs to be sculpted carefully to ensure that all of the sharp edges are smoothed so that no fish will be injured.

3. Jesse Red

Given its name because of its beautiful deep, dark red color, this rock is in fact the host rock from areas where gold mining activities took place years ago. In many cases, Jesse Red boulders may also contain small traces of blue, green, and turquoise coloring. Additionally, it is a highly durable option for outdoor water features and garden landscaping.

4. Desert Gold

Desert Gold boulders can be very versatile. Home owners can have Desert Gold boulders cut into flagstone-sized pieces to be used throughout the yard for walkways and other high traffic areas. The full-sized boulders are also excellent for creating landscaping features such as rockeries, terracing steps, or even slate tiles that can be used almost anywhere outdoors. These stones are usually dark gray in color with large sections of them having a gold-colored appearance.

5. Pink Coral

Home owners who would like to use lighter colored architectural boulders in a landscaping project can opt for this variety. Pink Coral rocks have a light pinkish hue and have a variety of uses. They can be used to create terraced landscaping projects, water features, and virtually any other outdoor project where an attractive and natural stone product may be required. When performing landscaping projects that involve the use of architectural boulders, it’s important to remember that these rocks can be quite heavy, depending on the size of them. Once a top quality landscaping project has been completed though, the home owner can rest assured knowing that his or her home has a level of curb appeal will be vastly improved.

4 Palm Trees that are Perfect for Arizona Weather

When most people think of palm trees, they tend to think of them as being found only on beachfront property. However, palm trees are not just for tropical beaches – they can be planted in many different climates as well. Here are four species of palm tree that will look great on any property:

1. Canary Island Date Palm

This palm tree is native to the Canary Islands, but is now grown in a number of other locations. It usually will grow to be between 40 and 50 feet tall when fully mature, and also has leaves that are between 8 and 15 feet long. These leaves cascade downward from the top of the tree to create a somewhat rounded canopy. In the spring, this palm produces orange flowers that are situated on a three-foot long stalk. These flowers will eventually produce a fruit suitable for eating, although it is somewhat bitter.

2. California Fan Palm (Washingtonia Filifera)

Also known as Washingtonia filifera, the California Fan Palm can grow as tall as 66 feet, and is rather long and narrow. It contains waxy, fan-shaped leaves that can be anywhere from 5 to 6 feet long. It also contains fronds that are between 11 and 13 feet long. These fronds, which are actually divided leaves, remain at the crown of the tree until they die, at which time they drop down to create a “skirt” near the top of the tree. This gives the tree remarkable beauty, and is largely responsible for it being one of the most popular palm trees for desert homeowners.

3. Mexican Fan Palm (Washingtonia Robusta)

Mexican fan palms are one of the tallest palm tree species, occasionally reaching heights of nearly 100 feet. They tend to have long thin trunks that are smooth at the top, and are covered with scaly bark towards the bottom. These trees have bushy, puff-like crowns, with leaves attached to very long stems. They produce an orange or pink flower, which will eventually produce a bluish-black stone fruit. They are also a very cold-resistant tree, being able to withstand temperatures below freezing.

4. Hybrid Fan Palm (Washingtonia Filibusta)

The hybrid fan palm or Washingtonia filibusta is a cross between the Washingtonia filifera and Washingtonia robusta. This tree is somewhat smaller than a Washingtonia robusta, and contains a slightly heavier trunk than that of the filifera. The Washingtonia filibusta has deep green leaves that protrude upward and outward. It is one of the most cold-hardy palm trees available, being able to tolerate temperatures as low as 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. These four varieties of palm tree show just how versatile these trees can be. All of these palms are attractive, hardy, and easy to care for. As such, they work well in any landscape, and they can work well for you!

How to Lay Pavers the Correct Way

In many cases, smaller paving jobs can be undertaken as DIY projects. However, regardless of the size of the job, it is crucial to ensure that pavers are laid correctly from the beginning to ensure that they do not crack, break, or lay unevenly after a while. Here are a few points to take into consideration to ensure that pavers are laid correctly.

Plan Ahead

Planning ahead will enable you to accurately gauge the correct amount of materials (i.e. concrete mix and pavers) that need to be purchased. When selecting pavers, it is crucial to ensure that the correct thickness is determined and then purchased. For example, if the pavers are to be used on pedestrian walkways only, they should be approximately two inches thick; if they are going to be used on a driveway surface, they need to be at least four inches thick to prevent cracking and breakage. Required tools for paver projects may include a trowel, spade, rubber mallet, a line level, string line, and of course, safety goggles.

Preparing the Site

The area where the job will be done should be marked off and leveled to ensure that the pavers are not unevenly distributed – it is recommended that this is done with a rolling device. If you are installing pavers close to or right next to a building, the ground level should be sloped in such a way that rain water drains away from the walls of the structure. If there are any soft spots in the ground where the pavers are being installed, they need to be filled in with gravel or small stones to make sure that they do not sink unevenly. It may also be a good idea to build a timber frame around where the pavers will be installed, as this will act as a leveling device, ensuring that the pavers are laid evenly.

Laying the Pavers

Start laying the pavers from one of the corner sections – make sure that a gap of approximately one-tenth of an inch is left between each paver. Once a section of approximately three to four feet has been laid, the pavers will need to be gently leveled into place with the rubber mallet. If any pavers need to be cut to fit anywhere, it is recommended that the cutting be done with an angle grinder that has been fitted with a masonry cutting disc. Once all of the pavers have been laid, it is necessary to create a mixture of four parts of dry sand to one part of dry cement. This must be swept into the cracks between the stones and watered to help the structure of the pavers retain its shape. Once the pavers have been laid, a decorative edge can be created from timber or additional pavers, creating a structure that will not shift over time. This will help the project last as long as possible after you are finished!

7 Irrigation Supply Brands to Choose From

When it comes to finding quality irrigation products for your lawn or lot, you want to make sure you can identify trustworthy brands. Here are seven of the most popular brands in this industry, with information to help you decide if they are the right choice for you.

1: Rain Bird

Rain Bird is a manufacturer of irrigation supplies with offices in California and Arizona. Having operated since 1933, the company has a very strong reputation for quality and innovative design that goes back for decades. As a result, Rain Bird is a brand that is internationally recognized.

2: Irritrol

Irritrol has been making sprinkler parts and irrigation aids since 1967 and has earned a reputation for manufacturing high quality parts. They generally don’t sell to big box stores, focusing more on a more personal touch. Irritrol products can be found in homes, businesses, government buildings, and much more.

3: Hunter

Hunter Industries specializes in a wide range of different sprinkler systems, including automatic sprinkler options and manual systems. In addition to many useful supplies, Hunter tries to cater to both homeowners and professionals by providing important information about the installation process of their systems.

4: Gilmour Products

For those who need a wide range of different irrigation products to help fit the needs of a custom project or unusual lawn, Gilmour Products is a good option to choose. Their large selection of varying sprinkler heads and nozzles allow customers to create a customized system that can fit any irrigation need, be it large or small.

5: Bowsmith

Bowsmith provides a range of products including microsprinklers, non-stop drip emitters, and many other product options that can help with very large-scale irrigation needs. Bowsmith is the creator of the BigFoot product line designed to help people who need to irrigate large properties or entire fields.

6: Spears Manufacturing

Spears manufacturing provides a large variety of PVC piping that comes in different sizes and shapes. This piping works very well when used in both small and large irrigation jobs. Spears also provides nozzles, spray heads, and other supplies that work hand-in-hand with their high-quality piping.

7: Wilkins

Also known as Zurn-Wilkins or Zurn, this line of irrigation supplies focuses specifically on piping, connections, and sprinkler heads with some other specialty products mixed in. Many of these products are high-quality stainless steel, which makes them slightly more expensive than PVC alternatives but also means that they tend to last longer than alternatives. Of course, there is no rule saying that you can only use one product line when it comes to your irrigation products. The best way to shop for the supplies you need is to consider what you need for your individual project.