ARE YOU FED UP WITH YARDS OF garden hose strewn all over the yard, plastic hose reels that hold up just long enough for the warranty to run out? To get a truly lasting hose, you probably think you have to buy one of those heavyweight multi-core hoses that are guaranteed not to kink, wear out, burst, or do magic tricks.
What if I told you there was a solution to this dilemma? What if I told you there was a choice between the red hose and the blue hose?
The RED hose weighs a lot, but it won't kink or burst and is hard to move around.
The BLUE hose is super-lightweight, still won't kink or burst, and can be rolled up into a small package you can carry with one hand.
If you are like most of us, then you probably gave serious consideration to the BLUE hose but, ended up going with the RED one. Why? Because the blue hose sounds too good to be true.
But, if you take a minute to look at the BLUE hose, you will find that what we are talking about, is the very latest in expandable hose technology. Far from those “As Seen on TV” products of a decade or two ago, modern expandable hoses have a lot to offer as long as you know what to look for when buying one.
You might think that the expandable hose is a modern invention. After all, it takes special materials and polymers to make an expandable hose, doesn't it? Today the answer to this would be yes, but no so far back in the annals of history. Some several thousands of years in history, the Greeks are known to have been the first ones to create an expandable hose.
Their hoses were made from animal intestines as part of the Greek War Machine. The Greek sailors would spray “Greek Fire” onto their enemies from these hoses, setting the sailors and their ships on fire. But, today using animal intestines like this might get you in a lot of trouble. So instead, we rely on modern technology to develop an expandable hose for us. Let's take a look at the construction of expandable hoses along with what you should be looking for when you are ready to buy your first expandable garden hose.
Today's expandable hose consists of an outer shell made from either a synthetic or cloth weave material. Inside is a latex hose made from a material that can expand up to 5 times its original size without bursting. The inner hose expands as it fills with water until it presses up against the outer casing.
Rubber hoses do not have the ability to shrink or expand, they are designed to be tough enough not to break or crack if they freeze or split and rupture when they get too hot. If you buy an inexpensive rubber hose, you end up one that collapses and kinks at the drop of a hat. Expandable hoses are designed not to kink or twist.
There are many different brands of expandable garden hose on the market, and each of them claims to use the best materials to create the finest expandable hose on the market. How much of that is true, we are going to look at. Because the materials used are the most important part of any expandable garden hose, let's start by taking a look at the different materials, their advantages, and disadvantages.
Today's expandable garden hose has an outer shell made from a woven polyester fabric. The term Deniers is used to measure the strength of the material being used. The measurement is based on the thickness of a single strand of silk. This measurement is used to describe most forms of natural and polyester fabric.
Obviously, the higher the denier count the less prone the material will be likely to rip, snag, tear, and damage caused the sun's UV rays. Most expandable hoses have an outer shell made from 500 Denier polyester. If you see a hose made from a material with less than a 500 Denier count, you may want to keep shopping. The benefit to using a cloth-like material is that it will expand and contract easily, allowing you to roll the hose into a small flat package.
There are two different types of inner core used in today's expandable garden hose, latex and TPC (thermoplastic copolyester). Each of which has their own advantages.
This type of inner core is crafted from natural latex and can be made in a single, double, or triple layer construction. The more cores the longer the hose is likely to last longer than most other types of hose. The layers are thin enough to remain completely flexible even when cold.
One thing to keep in mind, if the package or the listing doesn't say made from natural latex, you should assume
Thermoplastic copolyester is a man-made highly elastic and flexible material that is not only used to make hoses, it has many other uses. Manufacturers say it offers excellent heat resistance and high durability ratings.
One of the most common differences between the different expandable garden hoses is the number of layers the inner core is made from. You are likely to hear that a triple layer core is stronger and better than a double layer core. But, under independent testing, both appeared to be equally strong.
Layered latex is created by dipping an existing latex tube in molten latex and then letting it cool. The number of times it is dipped the higher the number of layers. Each layer is intended to add strength to the original pipe, but at the same time, each layer added reduces the amount of flexibility the finished product has.
Some manufacturers use a special type of polymer for the outer layer instead of more latex. Among the most common combinations is a latex core with thick outer PVC layers.
The good news is that all of the options make an excellent choice for your next expandable garden hose.
There are many great benefits to replacing your old rubber or PVC hoses with the latest in expandable garden hoses.
That's about it as far as cons go. Once these hoses were more of a joke than they were a useful product. Thanks to major advances in technology and materials, today's expandable garden hoses are well-worth investing in and will certainly take the strain off your back moving them around.
With all of this in mind, I took a look at many of the different expandable garden hoses out there before I chose the ones I am currently using. Here are my five picks for the best Expandable Garden Hoses available today.
This expandable garden hose features a double inner layer TPC core, brass fittings, and expands to 100 feet. This is three times its original length. The hose is extremely lightweight, making it easier for you to carry it around the yard. The included spray nozzle offers eight different spray patterns and comes with 2 spare rubber washers.
|Expands and contracts rapidly||Spray nozzle inexpensively made|
|Weighs only 4 lbs.||Some people have trouble getting it to expand|
|Expands to 100 feet|
This expandable garden hose starts out at 17 feet and expands to 50 feet when filled with water. Weighs an incredible 1.85 lbs. The inner core is made of latex and PVC and all fittings are made of brass. The hose is covered in a high-quality polyester cloth wrap for added strength. Comes with an 8-pattern spray nozzle, and a rust-free shutoff valve.
|Very lightweight at only 1.85 lbs.||Tends to kink|
|Strong polyester cloth outer protective layer.||Some issues with splitting|
|Comes with spray nozzle and shutoff valve||May not stay extended all the way|
The FlexiHose expandable garden hose is long enough to be convenient without being ridiculously long. It comes with 3/4″ solid brass fittings and a double latex inner core designed to handle water pressures up to 12 BARS. Collapsed size is only 17 feet, but it expands to 50 feet when filled. Comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee. Comes with an 8-pattern spray nozzle.
|Double latex inner layer for strength and durability||The inner liner has been found to leak after the first few months of use for some|
|Solid brass 3/4-inch fittings||Spray nozzle is of inferior quality|
|Lifetime free replacement warranty||Problems reaching full extension|
This expandable garden hose goes from 16 to 50 feet under pressure and will quickly return to its original size when you are done with it. The inner core is made from latex and is covered with a 5000D high-quality fabric outer shell. Fittings are solid brass for maximum durability. This expandable hose also comes with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer.
|Latex inner core||Inner core prone to leaks|
|5000D outer layer||Nozzle under par|
|Lifetime warranty||Issues with it reaching full length|
This FitLife expandable garden hose is available in four different sizes, 25, 50, 75, 100foott lengths. It features the strongest triple latex inner core, solid brass fittings. The 3/4-inch inner diameter provides you with plenty of kink free water. Comes with an 8-position spray nozzle. Burst-tested to 145 PSI/10 Bar and endurance tested for 1100 to 1200 uses to ensure quality.
|Triple latex inner core||Tends to cause pressure loss|
|Solid brass fittings||Does not reach full extension|
|Pressure tested to 145 PSI/ 10 Bar||Tends to shrink during use|
Can't think of a single reason why you would want one, after all the good things expandable garden hoses have to offer. But, here is one you might find fits in with your needs and tastes.
Water Right 400 Series Polyurethane Slim & Light Drinking Water Safe Garden Hose
This non-expandable garden hose is made from FDA and NSF certified polyurethane resin. This means you can use it to water your garden or to supply you with drinking water. It contains no BPA, lead, Phthalates, or any other form of toxic chemical. All brass fittings and remains flexible in sub-freezing temperatures. This hose can also handle hot water to 140°F.
|NSF and FDA certified|
|Lightweight polyurethane resin|
|Contains no toxic materials|
Or in this case, maybe not a kink at all. Expandable garden hoses are more than worth the cost but, be prepared as few of them perform quite as well as advertised. Yet they are still better than lugging a heavy-duty rubber hose all over your yard. I hope this information helps you find the right hose for your garden needs. Have information you would like to see here, drop me a line here and I might add it. Don't forget to tell your friends if you like what you see.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WANTING to learn how to grow mushrooms at home? Do you feel like you are simply in the dark about it? Unlike most fruits and vegetables, you eat, mushrooms are more commonly grown indoors in the dark. However, depending on the variety, you can grow them outdoors as well.
Learning how to grow mushrooms at home can be challenging, mostly due to the incredible range of varieties you have to choose from. Each of which has their own growing requirements, some of which you might find overly difficult to replicate in your home. However, before you can grow mushrooms at home, you need to decide which ones you are going to grow.
The first step in learning how to grow mushrooms at home is deciding which variety or varieties you are going to grow. Among the most common varieties to grow at home are:
Also known as a pizza mushroom, this is the most commonly grown mushrooms in North America. It also flies under the name Crimini and Portabello according to the USDA whose figures show it to account for 90% of all mushroom production.
Oyster mushrooms are among the least expensive varieties found in most supermarkets. The lowly oyster mushroom is revered for its sweet flavor and ability to add subtle flavors to many dishes. These delays fungi come in a range of colors.
Unlike many “shrooms” the stems of these are just as flavorful as the rest of the mushroom. While most you find in the stores are smaller, cultivated oyster mushrooms can reach 18-inches in diameter with caps that are thick and meaty.
The Shiitake mushroom is the third most widely used variety in the world, especially in Asian foods. They can be eaten raw, dried, and cooking. They are very rich in many vitamins and minerals. Bear in mind the high level of nutrients is significantly reduced the more you cook these mushrooms.
The substrate is the medium in which you place the spores so that they will grow into your favorite fungi.
If part of your learning how to grow mushrooms includes one of those ready to go mushroom growing kit, it should come with everything you need to get started, including the spores or spawn and the substrate. But if you are starting from scratch and creating your own substrate, here are a couple of types for you to consider using. No matter whether you plan to use cardboard or straw for your substrate, it must first be pasteurized.
Inoculating the substrate is a fancy way of saying “adding the spawn to the substrate,” which is a little like saying you are going to plant seeds in your garden. As you might imagine, there is more than one way to inoculate the substrate based on which one you are using. Always be sure you thoroughly wash your hands before you start to kill off any germs on your hands that could kill the spores.
Follow the instructions included in your kit. Most start with sterilizing the included syringe and then using it to inject the mushroom spawn directly into the bag through a tiny hole or into several locations on the substrate.
Using a large food-grade plastic bag, stack layers of the wet cardboard with a small amount of spawn on each new layer before covering it with the next. Do not overfill and then tie off the bags.
Using isopropyl alcohol (minimum 70%) wipe down a table and cover it with straw. Break up your spawn and sprinkle it over the straw. Mix it all together and then place in food-grade plastic bags. It is okay to fill the bags, just don't overfill them to the point where the contents are compressed. Tie off the top of the bags.
After you have tied off the tops of the bags, use a sharp tool to poke holes in the bags every 2 to 3 inches. Be sure to poke a few in the bottom to let the contents drain. This is important as the mushrooms need plenty of ventilation to grow properly.
One of the most important things about growing mushrooms is having the right place to grow them. There are a couple of things you need to take into consideration as you search for the proper spot to raise your shrooms.
After you have completed inoculating your mushroom spawn, it must be given time to colonize your substrate with mycelium. Most strains of mushrooms require a temperature of between 60 and 75F (16 to 24C).
Even the slightest deviation from this could adversely affect your yield or lead to a variety of different types of contamination.
Images courtesy of Mississippi Mushrooms
Light is an important factor when it comes to growing mushrooms. While most people are under the impression that mushrooms are like vampires and prefer to do their thing in the dark, in most cases this simply isn't true. The mycelium will grow in virtually any level of light, with the exception of direct sunlight.
It can take anywhere between two and five weeks for the mycelium to spread throughout your substrate. The mycelium will form large areas of white feathery roots. The only thing you need to do during this is a check to make sure the substrate is not dry. If it feels dry, simply use a water spray bottle to mist it through the holes you made in the bag. Do not overwater, add more drainage holes as needed.
Time to turn all of your hard work growing mycelium to work. You need to wait until your efforts have produced a nice thick mat.
Once you reach this stage, the mycelium will need a change in the environment in which to fruit (produce your crop of mushrooms).
Your mushrooms will not grow without light. You should keep the level of light at approximately the same level as you would use to read a book. Use a timer set to simulate normal daylight hours.
Along with a timer, you should use indirect daylight bulbs, grow lights, or LED lighting.
Open the top of the bag and make sure the area you are growing your shrooms in has a steady changeover in fresh air. Use a fan to keep the air moving.
Drop the temp to around 55 to 61F (13-16C) for optimum reproductive conditions.
Increase humidity using a humidifier or hanging sheets of plastic around the bag. You need 90 to 95% humidity for optimum results.
You can both under over water mushrooms at this stage of the game. The best way to avoid doing is to simply spray water on the inside of the bag. DO NOT soak the substrate or any mushrooms that are beginning to pop up.
If your mushrooms start turning brown in color or you see new mushrooms sprouting out of old brown ones, you're not keeping the substrate moist enough.
On the other side, if you touch the caps of your mushrooms, and they are sticky or slimy to the touch, you have been getting a bit carried away with the water.
Your mushrooms will start out as tiny little “pins” when they first come up out of the substrate. Not to worry, they will grow into fully edible sizes within just a few days.
To pick them, press down on the substrate with one hand and with the other twist the mushroom stalks off at the base.
You can eat them immediately, store them in the fridge for a few days, or dry them for future use.
Continue harvesting and enjoying the fruits of your labor through two “fruitings” over the course of three to four months.
Keep the substrate nice and moist, and you can keep picking until you no longer have any to pick.
I hope this has encouraged you to try farming your own mushrooms. You can use a corner of your basement or your shed. The spot you choose just needs to be able to properly climate controlled and have the right level of light.
If you are looking for more information on how to grow mushrooms then take a look at this guide
If you like learning how to grow mushrooms and what we have presented here, wait until you see your first mushrooms popping up! Also, let us know if you like it!
TIRED OF BACKACHES from working in the garden?
Bad back killing your chances of having the garden you have always dreamed of?
or maybe you just don't want to bend over to enjoy your garden anymore…
Either way, you are not alone. Thousands of gardeners of all ages (including me) suffer these same issues. One of the best solutions is the raised garden bed, which depending on the design can raise the bed up by approximately 20 to 24 inches.
This is a far more comfortable height for those with back problems to work at and is also the right height to sit in a chair, wheelchair, or power scooter as well.
Although there are a number of raised garden bed kits on the market, they tend to be a bit costly and may not be available in large enough sizes for the serious gardener. I found that not only does this design provide plenty of space, almost 12'x2.5′, but it is very sturdy and can be made using scrap lumber you probably have laying around.
|Top & Base Rails||4||3560||80||50||Pine|
|Front & Back Panels||12||3400||140||25||Pine|
While I chose to use some older pine lumber I had laying around, you can buy all new pine lumber if you prefer. If you plan to use any type of treated lumber, be sure to use lumber that is certified as being safe for use around food plants.
The only place you can start building this raised garden bed is by building the framework first. Be sure you have plenty of space to work in as this bed measures approximately 12 feet long by 2 1/2 feet wide and you need room to lay out the pieces as you build them.
(20) Rails 780x80x50mm
(4) Top & Base Rails 3560mm
(4) Side Rails 700x80x50mm
(Box) 125mm countersink screws
There are two ways you can go about putting the frame together, depending on whether you have help or not.
Once you have the entire frame put together, it's time to add the panels that will turn your framework into a complete box.
(12) 3400x140x25mm Front & Back Panels
(12) 650x140x25mm Side Panels
(1 box) 50mm zinc coated countersink screws
The last step in building this raised garden bed is adding the black plastic liner or base. This will be where you place the soil and grow your plants. There are two options here, the first is a shallow raised bed, which is preferred, the second is a full-depth bed that I don't advise for a couple of reasons. First, the amount of soil you would need to fill this bed all the way from the bottom to the top would be approximately 75 cubic feet, which is a lot of soil to move. Secondly, the cost of this much soil would be prohibitive.
However, if you only allow for a depth of six inches, your garden bed would only need approximately 15 cubic feet of soil, costing you far less and making it much easier to move your garden should you need to.
(2) 3350x40x12mm pine beading
(2) 620x40x12mm pine beading
(1) roll black plastic, approx. 10m
(1) box 50mm zinc coated countersink screws
(1) Staple gun with staples
(1) Decide how deep you want it to be and staple the plastic along each side of the raised garden bed. (I recommend doubling or tripling the edges for more support.
(2) Staple the ends in place next.
(3) Attach the long beads along the front and back using the 50mm screws.
(4) Attach the short beads along the sides using the 50mm screws.
I love my ‘Back Saving' raised garden bed, I can finally enjoy gardening without my back killing me. As long as you are a bit “handy” with tools, you can build this entire project over the course of a weekend. Push yourself a bit and you could get it done in a day. I hope this gives you a good idea of how easy it is to build a raised garden bed that will take the strain out of gardening. I had a blast building mine, I hope you enjoy building yours too.
HAVE YOU TRIED TO MIX a large batch or mortar using a shovel, regular garden hoe or even a trowel? Pretty tough, isn't it? A good mortar hoe will make the job much easier and significantly reduce the strain on your body.
Although they are quite a niche product, mortar hoes will help with cement, and concrete. You can also mix through fertilizer through soil to create that perfect potting mix.
Just like any other tool in the garden shed, having the right mortar hoe can make all the difference in the world. And I especially recommend them for people with bad backs as mortar hoes eliminate most of the bending over in the mixing process.
The mortar hoe is not much different from a garden hoe in that it has no moving parts and if you buy the right one, will provide you with many years of service. These parts are the handle, the hoe blade, and the way in which the head is mounted to the handle.
Much like the standard garden hoe, the head or blade of the mortar hoe is the most important piece of the puzzle. A blade made from the wrong materials or that is improperly designed will not take away from your workload. Instead, it may actually add to the workload and make mixing a spreading mortar that much harder.
Mortar hoe handles come in a wide range of lengths from 24 inches long to 66 inches long and more. When choosing a mortar hoe, be sure the handle you choose is long enough for the job you have in mind and that it feels good in your hands and is not likely to cause a problem if you have to use your hoe for a long time.
Handles are made from aluminum, fiberglass, and aluminum, each of which has their advantages and disadvantages. For example, wood may flex a little but can stand up to a lot of flex before breaking. Fiberglass is very lightweight, but it is more flexible and may shatter under a heavy load. Aluminum is lightweight and flexible but may bend when being used for heavy work.
Handles also come in straight and “D” handle designs, both of which work well. Your decision should be based on which of these designs work best for you and the job you have in mind.
Bear in mind that mortar hoes can be used for a wide range of projects beyond simply mixing and smoothing out mortar. You can use this type of hoe to mix concrete, mix things like sphagnum peat moss into your soil, mixing sand into your soil, or even mixing small rocks and gravel together and spreading them out.
One of the biggest issues with mortar hoes is the possibility of the head pulling away from the handle, which makes it really hard to mix or spread the mortar (trust me there is nothing worse than having to retrieve the head of your hoe from the middle of a freshly mixed batch of whatever you're mixing). Look for hoes with heads that are riveted or bolted in place.
Heads also come in various widths and heights based on the type of work they are designed to do, all the way up to those with heads over 12 inches wide for smoothing out large areas of work. In fact, you might find that you need several different mortar hoes to get everything you need to get the job at hand done right.
While most mortar hoes come with steel heads, not all heads are created the same. Some are much thicker than others. Beware of heads made from thin gauge steel as they are likely to bend and break, whereas those made from thicker steel will hold up to heavy work more effectively and are less likely to rust or fall apart.
With all of this in mind, let's take a look at 5 of the top mortar hoes for you to consider in your search for the right one for the job you have in mind.
Not only does this mortar hoe come with an extra-thick 12-gauge head, it also features a triple-wall fiberglass handle for added durability. The fiberglass handle is reinforced with 14-gauge steel, it also features an extended length ferrule beam supports to help keep the head firmly fixed in place. The two large holes make using this hoe to mix mortar or cement far easier than if you were to use a shovel or standard garden hoe.
|24-gauge steel head||A single rivet holds the head in place|
|14-gauge steel extended length ferrules||Steel-reinforced fiberglass handle heavy|
|Rubber grip at top of handle|
This mortar hoe features a 66-inch long natural hardwood handle that has just enough flexibility to take some of the strain out of mixing. The head is formed from a single piece of forged carbon steel for added durability. Two large holes in the blade make mixing mortar, cement, and concrete easier. The steel ferrule is riveted to head to keep it solidly in place. This is a contractor grade tool that definitely lives up to its reputation.
|Carbon-steel head||Single rivet in ferrule may fail under load|
|Hardwood handle||Sharp corners leave mix in wheelbarrow|
|Perforated blade for easy mixing||Heavy|
This tough as nails mortar hoe features a 1-piece forged steel head for superior strength and maximum durability. The 54-inch long North American ash hardwood handle has just the right amount of flex to be comfortable while you work. Like all good mortar hoes, the dual perforated holes are perfectly placed to make mixing your mortar or cement easier. The handle and head are pinned together to ensure the head stays in place.
|1-piece forged head||Handle may be short for taller people|
|Solid ash handle||Wood handle may split if left out in rain|
|Handle and head pinned together|
They say good things often come in small packages, and this mortar hoe is a good example of this old saying. The 21-inch hardwood handle is perfect for working in smaller areas where precision is needed. Like full-size hoes, this one features dual holes for ease of mixing. The long tang and steel ferrule are designed to help keep the head firmly fixed in place. It is perfect for mixing mortar or cement in wheelbarrow thanks to the shorter handle.
|Strong steel blade||Not for big jobs|
|Hardwood handle||Head is not riveted or bolted to the handle|
|Long tang and steel ferrule|
For those who need a little more control, this D-handle mortar hoe might be just what you need. The 18-inch hardwood handle with a sturdy D-shaped handle lets you take more control when mixing and finishing. The head is forged from a single piece of carbon steel and is held in the steel ferrule with rivets for added strength and durability. The black powder finish will help protect the metal from corrosion.
|18-inch hardwood handle with D grip||Rivets may come loose|
|Holes for easy mixing||Paint may not protect from corrosion|
|D-grip offers better control|
When all you need is to mix up a bucket of mortar this tool and a strong 1/2-inch chuck drill will whip up a 5-gallon bucket of mortar in a hurry. The corkscrew lifts the dry mortar up from the bottom of the bucket to the top for a smoother and faster blend. The foam-covered handle features oiled bearings for smoother operation.
|Power mixing = less hard work||You must have a 1/2″ chuck electric drill|
|Mix four gallons of dry pack in 30 seconds||Can be hard to handle at first|
|Oil-impregnated bronze bearings in handle||Can only mix four gallons at a time|
For my money (since that's all I have to spend), the Bully Tools 92360 is the clear winner. While it is a little on the heavy side, but I didn't mind the extra weight since I didn't have to worry about it breaking or bending. I also love the heavy-duty steel blade that doesn't give when I am mixing a wheelbarrow full of fresh cement. This mortar hoe meets all the needs I listed up above. It has a strong blade, a strong handle, and is made to last. I have one of these in my shed along with the Bucket Mortar Mixer for the small jobs.
I hope that the information above has taught you something about what to look for when you go out shopping for the best mortar hoe. Find one that meets everything above and feels good in your hands and you have a winner.
Create a beautiful and neat appearance under the shady areas of your tree...
WHAT DO YOU DO around your beautiful trees in your yard? We were surprised when we saw how many options there are available for shaded spots around trees. Here are the best 16 landscaping ideas around trees we could find. Enjoy.
The area under and around many trees can be hard to get grass to grow. So, why not create a garden filled with plants like coleus that love the shade? This bountiful garden adds a real touch of beauty to what might otherwise have been a barren eyesore.
Here the homeowner has chosen to create a huge patio out of natural stone. But rather than cutting down the trees to make room for the patio, he chose to build the patio around the trees, providing plenty of shade for family dinners in the great outdoors.
The rocks and gravel create the illusion of a path that leads off into the distance and the mulch nicely covers the areas where the grass won't grow to create a place of quiet contemplation. The bench is the perfect finishing touch as well as a place in the shade to sit and meditate.
Here it looks as though the homeowner has covered the shaded mound in his yard with fresh wood chips. Not only is this a great way to keep the soil from being washed away in the rain, it also keeps weeds from gaining a foothold. He even used wood chips as the basis for his patio under the trees.
This homeowner decided to make the most of these trees by creating a tiny patch of garden in the middle of his yard. He added a path that cuts between the trees and leads right towards the doors to his garden shed. The small plants he has chosen will not overshadow the path but will add lots of color.
You don't need to have a big garden to have beautiful flowers in your shady place to sit. This person has made use of several different types of planter to create a spot in the shade for quiet contemplation. The bird houses are sure to attract plenty of tuneful visitors.
As you can see this yard slopes towards the road. Not the best place for a garden, but the homeowner has overcome the slope by building a brick wall and backfilling it to create a nice level garden for flowers and plants under his tree.
By creating a round garden space under the tree, this person has created the perfect place for plants that flourish in the shade. Note how the pavers match well with the natural rock wall surrounding the area.
What a unique way to create a raised garden bed around the tree. By weaving wood strips in and out around posts, this homeowner has created the illusion of his tree growing out of a basket. While he has chosen grass for the raised bed, you could just as easily have planted flowers or even a few strawberries.
Using multiple layers and plenty of colorful flowers and plants, the person who designed this has created the image of his tree growing on top of a small hill. The taller plants go at the back, while the shorter ones sit up front on what appears to be level ground, despite the illusion of a small mound.
Looks like having a table and chairs is not always enough for the crowds this homeowner is expecting. The walls around this patio appear to have benches built into them all the way around, providing extra seating for several more guests. (I bet he hosts lots of big cookouts)
When you have a lot of shade trees in the yard, putting your flowers in planters you can move around makes sense. This way you can move them into the sunlight when they need it and create barriers with them under the trees when the time comes for them to take a break from the sun.
This majestic arrangement would not be so spectacular if it wasn't for the moss hanging down from the tree in the background. The riotous colors of the various flowers and plants only add to the picture and help to hide the tree trunk so that it appears to float out of the flower bed.
There is a lot to be said for symmetry when you have a large yard filled with rows of trees. This person took what could have been nothing more than rows of boring trees and turned them into something spectacular by adding circular gardens under each one filled with the same flowers all the way along the rows.
Not all pavers are boring and flat. These rough-hewn looking pavers form the perfect circular raised garden bed around the tree. The rustic look works well for this older styled home and adds plenty of room for flowers and small shrubs. Pavers are very easy to work with and relatively inexpensive.
The Greeks have their own word for relaxing, " χαλαρωτικό or in English chalarotikó", which is exactly what this cozy spot in the shade was meant for. Look closely at the Greek inspired bench and planter, now think about how relaxing this spot in the shade might be on a sunny summer day. You can buy cement recreations like this at many DIY superstores.
Create wonders in your large background.
MORE SPACE GENERALLY MEANS MORE work. More mowing and more maintenance. But here is the beauty of having more space. More space to do what you want. If your thinking of ideas, then these 15 landscaping ideas for large backyard and garden areas is a great place to start.
When you have a large backyard to work with, why not make the most of it. Use large flagstones to create sweeping walkways, maybe even add in a decorative fountain or bird bath. Here the pergola style porch covering can help block out the sun or rain so you can still enjoy an outdoor cookout.
If you have kids, dogs, or both, they need plenty of room to play. This yard has the perfect blend of beautiful lawn to play on surrounded by a wonderful variety of shrubs and plants in complementary gardens.
This blend of angular and curved geometric shapes creates a unique outdoor patio with plenty of room to host a party. You could use the small fountain/pond for goldfish or koi and place an outdoor kitchen under the canopy for even more outdoor entertaining versatility.
That is unless it sits at the end of a spectacular paving stone pathway in your backyard. Note how this homeowner created plenty of shade by surrounding his bench by tall trees and shrub. (Be a great place to relax with a good book and a glass of iced sweet tea!)
Image courtesy of ErikHansen.Info
Love the way this homeowner used gravel in his gardens to help cut down on the amount of weeding he has to do. Not only does gravel reduce the workload, it also makes an amazing contrast to the bright green lawn and cuts down on water usage.
Adding an archway trellis to separate sections of your backyard presents you with a golden opportunity to add climbing plants like sweet smelling honeysuckle to your yard. During the spring and all summer long, you will be treated to beautiful flowers that have an amazing smell and will attract lots of honeybees.
This homeowner decided to add on to his deck and install a complete outdoor relaxation zone to his home. The brick patio allows for a lovely firepit that can take the chill out of a summer or autumn night, but note the gas grille sitting on the deck ready to cook gourmet meals.
This homeowner chose to go with a statelier backyard such as you might expect to see in the courtyard of a European estate or castle. The use of short hedges with the large corner maker topiary style balls adds to the impression, but also adds to the amount of work needed to keep them all in shape.
Image courtesy of Home Design and Decorating
What could possibly look better than having a family of elephants (or any other animal you happen to love) parading across your backyard? Maybe knowing a talented topiary artist who can create and maintain them for you. Living art has been popular for centuries and continues to look amazing even in today's high-tech world.
This homeowner has created the perfect outdoor patio for family dinner times. The patio has plenty of room to build in an outdoor kitchen and overhanging trees that can provide just the right amount of shade on sunny summer evenings.
If not, it should be, look at the way each section of grass weaves its way through the carefully shaped gardens filled with colorful flowers. The narrow pathways only add to the illusion, anyone for a quick round of 18 mini-golf holes?
Someone was having way too much fun when they put this a-maze-ing backyard festooned with brick pathways that will never wash out and plenty of neatly trimmed hedges. The statues along the edges give the yard a “Greco-Roman” look. (One can only wonder what style the house was built in)
This design is all about angles and creating separate seating areas for different times of the day or maybe different purposes. Not the way the homeowner has incorporated different forms of seating in each area and made use of angles throughout the design.
This backyard seems to be filled with slopes and water (perhaps this is a creek that runs through it). Note the way there is a platform across the water that creates the perfect spot for sunbathing. The stair style decking helps make navigating the slope easier and adds much more usable space to the yard.
Take a good look at how this homeowner is using multiple levels to give his family plenty of room to play. The huge deck is perfect for mom and dad to relax on while the kids play in the lower section, while the mid-level patio provides a place for the family to share meals.
Make a classic charming ranch style homes landscaping...
ADDING LANDSCAPING TO A HOME can really finish it off and add color and depth. Here are 17 landscaping ideas for ranch style homes that will help if your not sure where to start.
If you are looking to create the classic "ranch home" look, nothing is better than having plenty of shade trees surrounding your home. Adding in the hedges not only helps keep the winds down and add a classic touch to your home.
Adding flower gardens are a great way to get started beautifying your front yard. They don't have to be huge or heavily planted. This homeowner added a few nice curves to the front of his home and then covered it with mulch to keep the weeds out.
The homeowner used plants of various heights to create the gardens going around his home. Not only does this look amazing on its own, but using layers like this give the garden an illusion of depth.
This homeowner started with a red gravel driveway instead of cement or tar then created gardens that were curved to match the path going to the front door. The bright yellow plants add a nice touch of color to the gardens and draw the attention of passersby.
Note the way this homeowner uses large rocks to create a border between his yard and the sidewalk as if to say to the public, "stay back". The tiny patch of grass among the mulch looks a little like a golfing green. Anyone for golf?"
Image courtesy of Fresh Home Design Ideas
A traditional ranch home has at least one flower garden in the front yard. This homeowner has used the space between the sidewalk and his house to create a garden filled with beautiful flowers and a tree that will provide tons of shade in the future.
Like apple pie and baseball, white picket fences are about as American as you can get. While this might not be exactly what most people have in mind, it adds a cute touch the front yard of this house. Note the use of topiaries in the gardens.
Adding an island garden is a great way to break up a sea of grass like this one. You can add a single garden like this or several and then fill each with different plants to liven up what might otherwise be a boring lawn.
This homeowner must love color judging by the garden filled with a riot of colorful flowers that greets visitors as they come up the sidewalk. You can put in gardens just about anywhere in your yard to add a touch of color and give it great curb appeal.
This homeowner created a place to sit and enjoy the beauty he has created in his front yard. The flowering tree adds an intense burst of color each spring that lasts all summer long as the leaves replace the flowers.
When your front (or for that matter back) yard has big trees, chances are good it has big bare spots under them. Just because grass won't grow there, doesn't mean shrubs and flowers can't be planted there along with plenty of mulch to hold the water in.
Flowers are great but they tend to have a short lifespan and can be challenging to care for. This house has a wide range of different colored shrubs to add color to his front yard. You could add a few colorful flowers to the gardens for a touch of color in the spring.
If your family likes to spend lots of time in the great outdoors, why not build a nice patio in your backyard. This is the perfect place for barbecues, morning coffee, afternoon tea, or a nice glass of wine of an evening.
Image courtesy of HDGermany Photos Garden Landscaping Ideas
Nothing beats the smell of fresh flowers when you are sitting on your front porch. This home has a narrow garden that runs the length of the porch. Note the use of a plastic or tin border to keep the grass out of the garden.
Just because you live in a desert climate, doesn't mean you can't have a garden. This homeowner has planted a range of different types of cacti and succulents that can stand the hot sun and require very little water to remain healthy.
When you have a large yard that has more than one level, you can do like this homeowner and create different areas for everyone. The lower level is perfect for a play area, the center is ideal for a summer meal, and the deck offers a wide range of opportunities for relaxing after a hard day's work.
Image courtesy of HQWalls.Org
Sometimes the simpler your landscaping idea is the better it looks. The small garden incorporates room for the trees and separates the lawn from the porch. Small pavers were used to create a walkway from the driveway to the front steps.
A patio landscaping should look great and functional at the same time.
LOOKING FOR AN EXCUSE TO plant some beautiful plants? Or maybe create a little privacy for when your out relaxing on your patio? Either way here are 15 landscaping ideas around patio and paved areas to help achieve what you want.
1. Start with a patio created using flagstones, add in a fire pit for cooler evenings and roasting marshmallows and then let your imagination run wild. This person chose to surround their patio with gardens filled with roses, flowers, and shrubs. What a great way to enjoy your morning cup of coffee watching the birds nesting in the trees.
One of the best ways to put a patio to good use is to turn at least one part of it into an outdoor dining room. Here we see a nice outdoor dining table and an after-meal table for entertaining. There is room for four to sit comfortably at both locations. (I love the use of curves and gardens to create a warm and welcoming environment)
While you might love spending time in the sun and the pool, there is going to come a time when you need a little shade. This lovely gazebo adds just the right amount of shade without taking it all away. The use of bricks to build the patio and pathways adds a nice touch.
Using slabs of natural rock for the foundation of this deck is only the beginning. What really makes it special is the use of boulders and large rocks in the gardens along with a wide variety of plants. Adding planters full of flowers and shrubs adds a nice finishing touch.
While the built-in firepit appears to be the central focal point of this paving stone patio, it is overshadowed by the spectacular arrangement of flowers and shrubs planted around it. His homeowner used varying height plants arranged around it to create an image of space and privacy at the same time.
This amazing patio is the perfect combination of bricks, wicker furniture, and hanging plants. The brick patio is not only gorgeous to look at, it is very functional in all types of weather. But what really sets it off are the beautiful hanging and potted plants strategically placed all over it.
This is a true but simple fact, everyone loves curves, whether we are talking bodies, cars, or decks. The use of natural rocks to create curved walls for the gardens is a lovely touch to the flagstone patio surface. The low rock walls by the steps make the perfect place to set out potted flowers.
This homeowner has found a great way to make use of the corner space in his yard. He built a small patio that is just big enough for an outdoor table and chairs. Love the way it is tucked into the corner with a small garden and fountain to enjoy when sitting at the table. There is nothing wrong with making use of every available inch in your backyard.
Okay so maybe not, but this patio made from slabs of slate is a great start to creating your perfect patio. The natural rock wall and tall shrubs and trees add plenty of natural beauty as well as help to block summer breezes. Finally, the garden filled with rose bushes keep the patio separate from the side of the house.
This homeowner used bricks to create a lovely patio and surrounding walls. But the addition of lots of flowers, shrubs, and traditional bistro style furniture are what sets this patio apart from the rest. Note the way the homeowner added potted plants to the steps that lead down to the patio.
The use of two different colors of brick turns what might have been an ordinary patio into a stunning work of art. The use of blue bricks to form a line that echoes the shape of the patio and the overall shield shape of the patio create a delightful complement to the all-wood decking.
When you look at upright rocks that are buried in the ground surrounding a patio, do you get a hint of Stonehenge? This homeowner made great use of a blend of horizontal and vertical rocks in the gardens to create this unusual and almost ancient look.
There is nothing quite like having a sloped area of your garden that can be used to create a quiet little hideaway complete with firepit, table, and chairs. The natural rock wall behind is a good way to keep the soil behind it from eroding away. Surrounding the area with flowers just adds to the natural beauty of the area.
No matter where you live, there is nothing quite like the natural beauty of wicker outdoor furniture. The nice thing about wicker is that as long as you take a little time to clean it and wipe it down with linseed oil, it will last practically forever. The hedges make a great way to enclose the patio without blocking your view.
The materials you choose for your patio is just as important as the shape you decide on. Swoops and curves along with matching rock walls make this porch unique and truly beautiful. Note how the homeowner has created multiple layers and has carried the curved design throughout the entire deck. The low walls offer plenty of space for potted plants.
Maximize the outdoor living area of your landscape...
MAKING A DECK LOOK BEAUTIFUL can really make a house. Not only for those looking from the yard but also some quick landscaping can give some privacy or create a bit more of a barrier. However you want to finish off your deck then here are some great landscaping ideas around decks to help get you started.
Even though this house has plenty of yard space to work with, they have chosen to add a simple deck with a shade-roof structure on top. The shade this roof provides plenty of shade during those hot summer months, yet allows just enough light in that you could stretch out and read a book or perhaps a nice chat with your neighbors.
Many cafes and bistros have outdoor eating areas with tables that have umbrellas to block the sun and even light rain. Having two tables out here instead of one allows for a bigger family to enjoy the fresh air and a good meal. You could even create an adults table and a kids table so that everyone can have fun.
There is nothing quite like the beauty of well-preserved natural wood. This entire deck, complete with built-in benches looks like it is made from pine that has been sealed and varnished for added beauty. There is plenty of room for a table and chairs as well as a gas grill for outdoor cooking pleasure.
Just because the homeowner built his deck high enough to be used a diving platform for the pool below, doesn't mean someone should try it. The elevated deck looks great and adds an extra level of space underneath that can be used for many different things, including storage. The multi-level staircase makes great use of minimum space.
Once you have your deck built and in place, why not spruce it up with plants? Here you see the homeowner has added a garden filled with shrubs and small trees along the deck and numerous potted plants on the deck itself for added beauty.
There was a time when most homes had a front porch or deck. This was where you met your guests and enjoyed their company over a cup of coffee or glass of iced tea. As you can see in the picture, it is also the perfect place for hanging and potted plants.
This is one of the simplest types of deck, designed to create usable space outside of the French doors that probably lead to the living or dining room. There is plenty of room for a bench, table and chairs, and even a small gas grill.
This elevated deck covers an area of the backyard that is otherwise mostly unusable and turns it into a large family-sized place for picnics, barbecues, and all-around fun. Note the sunbursts built into the railings, they add a very nice finished touch and provide plenty of safety for smaller children.
No one ever said a deck has to be attached to the house. This detached deck offers a small area that is the perfect place for a couple to enjoy lunch or perhaps a chilled glass of their favorite wine on a sunny summer day. (I love the way they planted gardens filled with roses surrounding the deck)
While this particular deck doesn't appear to be anything too out of the ordinary, the rustic handrails add a nice touch. But look at the tiered gardens surrounding it made from pavers. What a great way to work with a yard that slopes away from the house.
This homeowner took a different approach to dealing with a sloping backyard. The deck itself was built in multiple layers and includes a screened in gazebo so that the family can eat a tasty meal cooked on the grill without being attacked by flies and mosquitoes.
Not only did this homeowner run his deck the length of his home, but he chose to use the perfect blend of wood and decorative steel railings. These railings are not only beautiful, but they add plenty of long-lasting safety for those who have small children or elderly family members living with them.
The addition of privacy fencing to one end of this deck looks as if it was strategically placed to provide the homeowner with a small amount of privacy from the home next door. It also provides a convenient spot to mount the hangers needed for hanging plants.
This deck was built to stand the test of time. The use of massive pressure treated legs and planks in its construction has created an extremely strong structure that can handle just about anything, including several inches of snow in the winter.
This deck starts out with a wood platform but appears to have the very latest in vinyl fencing for railing. Not only does using this type of fencing speed up the construction process, but vinyl does not rust or rot, meaning should last virtually forever and never need to be painted.
Thanks for reading and i hope you got some ideas from this guide on landscaping ideas around deck. Any comments or queries, use the comment form
Make the most of your small backyard...
ALTHOUGH SMALL YARDS ARE small. They also can pack a big punch. These 21 ideas will help homeowners with any size yard make the most out of a small space.
Don't let a lack of storage space in your yard hold you back. Make sure you use all the vertical space you can & add some design elements. This one looks fantastic!
This open seating arrangement maximizes the backyard space by being hard up in the corner. Not only does it look inviting, but it also provides the homeowners an outdoor place to relax and admire the garden.
Here is a working outdoor space for the avid outdoor entertainers and foodies. A great example of having an idea, and making it work in a small space. (I wonder if there are any herbs in that garden)
There is nothing quite like making the most of a quiet corner of your yard. The pavers create a pretty pattern, while the rock wall and flower gardens create an inviting space to relax with a nice cup of coffee or tea. (Or in this case a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice)
This homeowner obviously loves having a really big pond in his yard. Notice how he solved his problem of where to put the firepit and chairs. This pond is big enough for a number of koi which make a beautiful addition to any pond.
Who said concrete can't be used to create beauty. From the concrete vases filled with glorious flowers to the raised concrete pathways. Note the two seats tucked away in a shady corner at the back and out of the way.
Bricks make the perfect material for building an inviting place in the backyard. The round pattern fits in perfectly with the overall look of this patio while the wood furniture and fire pit create a warm and relaxing place to spend your evenings.
You might be amazed at how much using larger paving rocks can take a small space and make it look so much bigger. Here we see them being used to create a unique patio and a lovely backdrop for the pond. Imagine sitting out here for your morning cup of coffee!
The loveseat and chairs tucked in the shade trees offer a quiet place to relax with a few friends. Note the chimenea sitting on the deck, perfect for those chilly evenings when no one really wants to be inside.
Instead of keeping everything on the level, this homeowner has created a raised platform at the end of his yard to relax on and added a trellis above for shade. Hopefully, they are going to train some form of climbing plant like honeysuckle to grow over the trellis for even more shade and beauty.
In the past few years, gazebos have gained in popularity. This one is beautifully done with wood framework and legs set inside of brick piers. The corrugated fiberglass roof keeps the sun and rain at bay so that the homeowner can enjoy his backyard even if it rains.
Image courtesy of PlanetAdeco
This homeowner chose to create a quiet private spot in a corner of his yard using trellises. Not only do they add privacy, but they can be used for a variety of climbing plants. You could use decorative plants or those that bear fruit to make the area even more useful.
Even if all you have to work with is a brick patio in your back yard, there is no reason you can't still have plenty of plants. This homeowner uses an incredible variety of planters, note that many of them appear to be on wheels so that they can be moved when needed. The birdhouse on a stand adds a nice touch too!
In the past few years, gazebos have gained in popularity. This one is beautifully done with wood framework and legs set inside of brick piers. The corrugated fiberglass roof keeps the sun and rain at bay so that the homeowner can enjoy his backyard even if it rains.
This homeowner has made the most of this corner, instead of covering everything over with pavers, he chose to leave one corner open for shrubs or trees and surround it with a flowering hedge. Lovely place to relax with an ice-cold glass of lemonade.
This homeowner seems to like a little bit of everything. He uses trellis climbing plants, topiary, rock, and brick to create an unusual, slightly chaotic, but wonderfully inviting spot in his yard for a cup of tea in the morning.
Just because you only have a small yard to work with doesn't mean you can't make the most of it. This homeowner created a beautiful blend of lawn with an incredible array of plants, flowers, and shrubs. A true example of making the most of what you have.
Rather than looking at the brick patio, take a good look at the wide variety of flowering plants this homeowner has planted. Not only are they going to be beautiful all summer long, but they provide plenty of food for the local honeybee population.
This homeowner has made the most of this corner, instead of covering everything over with pavers, he chose to leave one corner open for shrubs or trees and surround it with a flowering hedge. Lovely place to relax with an ice-cold glass of lemonade.
This homeowner seems to be enamored with angles as every facet of his backyard design contains perfect rectangles. Worth noting is the fact he is using most of his garden space to grow food rather than flowers. Also, note the creeping vines that are starting to cover the fence for added privacy.
Thanks for reading our guide on smart landscaping ideas for small backyard. If you have any comments or queries, please use the contact form.