One of the greatest things about landscaping timbers, is that when used properly, they can turn even the ugliest of yards into a work of art. Working with landscape timbers can prove to be more than a little challenging for the average Do-It-Yourselfer. But, not to worry as long as you take your time, have the right information and tools, you will soon find yourself the king of landscaping.
There is only one thing that will affect your choice of landscaping timber more than anything else. This is how you plan to use it. For example, lumber that is going underground is typically pressure treated. Others, such as redwood, cedar, and cypress are used for their beauty. Let's look at each of the most common types of landscape timber.
Many people choose redwood timbers for their natural rustic good looks. This wood is great for framing gardens, making outdoor furniture, decking rails, and many other projects.
Over the course of time redwood fades to welcoming brown/gray color. If you prefer the red color, there are sealants that can help.
One of the best things about cypress, is that this wood is naturally resistant to rot. Those who live in the Southeast choose it over redwood due to availability and price. But this changes the further west you go and cypress
Like cypress, cedar is naturally rot-resistant and loved for being light in weight yet exceptional durability. Experts say you should only use common grade cedar for above ground purposes.
However, you can use heartwood cedar for posts and many near ground applications. It will fade to colors ranging from tan to light gray. If you apply sealant, it will turn dark gray. It can also be stained to any color you want.
Pressure treated landscaping timbers can be used both above and in the ground. The wood is soaked in a chemical preservative under pressure. The pressure is used to drive the preservative deeper into the center of the wood.
In most cases, the lumber is easy to spot as it has a greenish color to it and may feel damp to the touch. Never use pressure treated lumber or old railroad ties around your food gardens as they can leach toxic chemicals into the ground. Learn more about pressure treated lumber here
There is a wide variety of composite landscaping timber products on the market. Most look like wood, can be cut like wood, even act like wood, with one big difference, they last longer.
Some are made from wood fibers mixed with resins or plastics and then formed to shape. They come in a variety of colors, can be painted, and are very resistant to rot, decay, insects, and require no sealants.
These timbers are virtually maintenance free. The only thing you should ever need to do is wash it off with the hose from time to time.
You can't miss new pressure treated lumber, it tends to have a strange smell, is green in color, and more often than not is still wet on the inside. Everyone tells you not to use pressure treated lumber by your fruit or vegetable gardens. But, do you know why? Is this still true? Let's take a look.
In the early days the chemicals used to pressure treat lumber contained chromated copper arsenate or CCA. CCA is a mixture of copper, chromium, and arsenic, and is known to be toxic if ingested. Over the course of time, CCA was found to be leaching out of the timbers and into the ground where it found its way into the fruits and vegetable growing there.
Under new rules from the EPA, the amount of CCA and uses for lumber that has been preserved by it have been restricted. However, the chemical bath and pressurization methods have not changed in decades. The lumber is placed in a tank and a vacuum is applied to the tank. As the chemical is introduced into the tank, the negative pressure sucks it into the wood.
Once the cycle is complete, the lumber is removed to be air or kiln dried and the remaining solution recycled for the next tankful. If you plan to work with pressure treated lumber you should wear leather work gloves and use saw blades that are designed to be used in this type of lumber. Using the wrong kind of blade, can overload your electric saw motor causing it to burn out.
So now that you have a little bit of an idea what each type of landscaping timber has to offer, let's take a look at what you should be looking for when you go shopping.
Keep in mind that the you need to match beauty with function, form, and durability. No one landscapes their yard with the idea that they are going to be replacing their hard work every couple of years.
Face it, the last thing you want to do, is to have no choice but to rip out your hard work just because the materials you chose did not stand up to the conditions they were exposed to.
But at the same time, if you are planning a vegetable garden ora fruit plant bedd, the last thing you want to do is introduce the chemicals found in CCA (Chromium, copper, arsenic) into the ground around your gardens.
The pressure treated lumber being sold today has a significantly lower level of CCA in it, but there is still the risk of it leaching into the ground in your gardens still exists. Keep the use of pressure treated lumber restricted to other areas of your yard such as lining driveways or building raised flower beds.
Worth noting, is that even pressure treated lumber will rot over the course of time, yet it will outlast most other forms of landscaping timbers.
While you might not realize it, the shape of the timbers plays a role in how successful your project is. While those perfectly round timbers might be appealing, they can be very hard to work with if you are building any type of wall.
A much better choice is to choose timbers that have two flat sides and two rounded sides. These are much easier to stack when crating walls, surrounds, flower garden surrounds, and anywhere you plan to install a landscaping timber wall.
Landscapers and homeowners alike have been using railroad ties for more decades than most can remember. These timbers seem to last practically forever, but then they were soaked in creosote before they were used or sold.
Creosote is a preservative that has been used in railroad ties and phone poles to help preserve them for years. But, like the CCA used in pressure treating, creosote can leach out into the soil and into anything you plant there.
They are great to use for building retaining walls, walkways, foundations, and more, but never use them around your vegetable garden.
In recent years, we have seen the rise of reliable plastic landscaping timbers. They come in an incredibly diverse range of shapes, sizes, and colors. They do not leach toxins into the ground, do not rot, and will last for many years.
They are easy to work with, and are perfect for use around vegetable gardens, sandboxes, and anywhere your kids are likely to play. However, they are not as strong as natural wood timbers and are prone to swelling in size and warping in the sun.
If you prefer not to use landscaping timbers, there are other alternatives for you to consider. Both bricks and pavers are fairly inexpensive and unlike wood are not subject to the effects of time. They will not rot or become infested with damaging insects.
Some professionals have gone to using metal borders around ground level gardens as it is reasonably durable and can be painted.
One of the greatest things about today's concrete pavers, is that they come in an incredibly diverse range of sizes, shapes, and colors. Assembly is easy as you simply stack them to match the shape of the area you wish to enclose or the path you want to build.
They require virtually no maintenance unless you want to rinse them off from time to time. Depending on the style you choose, concrete pavers can be a relatively inexpensive option.
Bricks make another good alternative to landscaping timbers. They can be a little more expensive that cement pavers. But, like pavers, they last forever and come in a range of styles, shapes, and colors. This makes them perfect for use in a number of applications.
You can simply stack them to create the walls or if you are sure you aren’t going to move them, cemented together to form a stronger structure. If you are building a long wall, be prepared as this is going to take a while and be sure you have a good pair of heavy duty leather gloves to protect your hands.
The only real problem you are likely to have with concrete pavers and bricks, is that weeds and grasses tend to grow in the cracks, giving you yet another cleanup chore to add to your list. However, they are among the easiest types of border, edging, and walls to build.
Long before you spend the first dime on landscaping timbers, you need to take a good look at your property and what areas you plan to landscape. This will make a big difference in the materials you choose.
One of the best things about doing your own landscaping, is that you can use a range of the different types of landscaping timbers and materials to create the yard of your dreams.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as I have enjoyed writing it. If you have enjoyed learning about landscaping timber, please let me know. If you have any information you would like to see here, please contact me here
Thank you for reading this guide to landscaping timbers, I hope you found it useful.
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.
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Rocks, stones and pebbles are an easy, low maintenance way to add some texture to your garden
IT'S NOT ONLY DESERT LANDSCAPES that should have rocks in them. If your looking for an easy way to make a garden stand out or just a low maintenance ground covering then rocks, pebbles and stones are a great way to go. Here are some ideas on how to use them to their best.
With the temperatures rising almost as fast as the water bill, using small rocks like these is a great way to xeriscape your gardens. The rocks let the water find its way down to the soil, keeping the plant roots wet. At the same time, they keep the sun's UV rays out so that the water does not evaporate.
Using rocks to create a border between your house and the lawn serves more than one purpose. The rocks help splatter rainwater away from the wall. They also help to keep the grass far away from the walls which should make mowing the lawn easier. Moreover, they create a beautiful space you can use to plant shrubs and flower.
There a several ways you can put a border around your flower gardens and along the footpaths. Building short walls from rocks that have been stacked together to create a sturdy wall is not only very practical, but is also very pleasant to look at.
This image is evocative of a small lake or section of swamp made from gravel. The combination of larger rocks and short shrubs help to complete the illusion and of course the heron doesn't hurt. You could use a variety of animals and plants to create your own miniature world.
This rock firepit and seats looks like it would be just at home in Fred Flintstone's backyard as it does here. Who wouldn't love to sit out here with a long stick, some marshmallows (or a slab of dinosaur) with the family? What a great way to make use of that "one" corner in your backyard.
This homeowner used rocks to create a barrier between the fence and his paver pathway. But more importantly, he used larger rocks to build the retaining wall that allowed him to have a level lawn that is easy to mow.
When you have a sloping backyard, the best way to deal with it is to use huge flat rocks like these to build walls to hold the soil back. These flat rocks make a solid wall when they are stacked in this manner without the need for cement or mortar.
This homeowner made use of a wide variety of rocks to create lines in his garden with a stunning visual effect. It looks like he also created a small rock sided pond with a rock slab bridge over it. (What a cool way to make a slight slope in your backyard look fantastic)
This homeowner took a simple approach to adding decorations to his gardens. In fact, using large boulders is a good way to break up large sections of garden space like those in this yard. Be sure to scatter them around like this and add a few in the larger open areas.
Placing rocks strategically along the slope of the garden with plants scattered among them gives this garden an almost "art deco" look. The other benefit to using rocks like this, is they help hold the soil in place when it rains.
With such a slope, the rock walls help keep the soil intact and give the homeowner plenty of room for flower gardens. The small pink and white rock area in front could be a driveway or nothing more than a barrier between the yard and street.
If you are lucky enough to live near a forest, a river, the mountains, or just about anywhere you can find rocks of this size, you can literally harvest your own border. You can do it all at once or slowly over time by picking up rocks from different areas for added variety.
One way in which water can intrude into your basement is from the water pouring out of the downspout and down into the ground on the outside of the basement wall. These stacked slabs turn the downspout into a beautiful waterfall that directs the water away from the house and into a gravel reception bed.
There are certain parts of some yards where grass simply won't grow, such as around trees. While it might grow while this tree is small creating a rock garden like this one offers a beautiful alternative and gives you somewhere to plant a few of your favorite shrubs.
Chances are good, the last time you saw a rock bench like this was in Barney Rubble's house. Rock is the perfect medium for outdoor furniture that will last virtually forever and only look better with age. (I love the way the owner added throw pillows for a little extra comfort.
Take a look at the amazing stairway this homeowner built from large slabs of rock. He even gave them a solid rock wall to keep the soil underneath from eroding. Remember rocks can become slippery when wet so choose your rocks carefully.
This homeowner created a low maintenance garden border between the sidewalk and the lawn. Using rocks like this along with mulch helps to keep weeds from growing and significantly reduces the amount of water needed to keep the plants alive.
You can use small rocks like these to create stepping stones throughout your lawn or your gardens. You can cement them in place or leave them loose so you can move them if you need to. The fun part is creating your own unique pathways running all over the yard.
Take a good look at how this homeowner used rocks running through the center of his garden to break up the mulch and give his garden a very unique look. The red shrubs add a stunning touch of color to a very neutral color palette.
While the pavers and plastic border piece are an excellent way to create this lovely garden, this homeowner went one step further. Adding the border of white rocks along with the pink pavers creates a remarkable image.
This homeowner made use of a wide range of "grey" colored rocks to create his dream entryway. If you look in the background, you can see the grey theme is carried on to the garden walls. The white stones in the garden offer a nice offset to the mulched garden
Create a more harmonious and beautiful outdoor living space with some of these landscaping ideas for pools...
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RELAXING while having fun and not is in the environment. And no where is this more important than the families summer hub - the swimming pool. Here are 15 ideas to help make your family time more fun (and also picturesque)
When you want somewhere tropical to relax at the end of the day, why not create your own tropical paradise. Here you see a picturesque pool surround made from tiles and plenty of shade provided by palm trees and a range of other tropical plants.
Mother nature has always been the best at creating relaxing places for us all to relax in. With this in mind, why not take a hint from her works and create your very own relaxing oasis. The trees and shrubs offer shade for those long hot summer days and help to block those chilly breezes. A natural stone patio only adds to the beauty.
No one ever said the area around your pool has to be loaded with complex details. Start with a simple bench you can build in your shop in less than a day, add a few comfortable throw pillows you can make or buy and you have just created a cool and relaxing paradise.
There is something very special about the sound of water cascading over a waterfall into the pool below. Here you can see a waterfall created using natural rocks and a pump that pulls the water out of the pool and over the falls. A few carefully selected shrubs, trees, and flowers can add to the feeling of having your very own woodland oasis.
What more could you possibly need to create your own exotic jungle themed swimming hole? Depending on where you live, palm trees are the perfect poolside companion. They don’t constantly drop needles or leaves in your pool, the remain in leaf year-round, require zero maintenance, and can provide quite a bit of shade.
Who says you can't create a relaxing setting in your back yard that everyone can enjoy. Building a wood deck around your pool not only adds a ton of natural beauty to your pool and backyard, it is very practical as wood does not get as hot underfoot like a cement or rock surround. It is less expensive and very easy to take care of.
Your pool and backyard should be a relaxing place where you can get away from it all. Using rocks and plenty of local foliage you can create your own spot of nature, even in the busiest of cities. This looks amazing!
Or in this particular case, an edge, as this infinity style pool complete with plenty of overhanging foliage could quickly fool you into thinking you might go over the edge. Not only do the overhanging plants add plenty of beauty, they create shaded areas in the pool throughout the day. To infinity and beyond!
The unique shape of this pool along with the walk-in/walk-out hot tub is only one part of what makes this pool so special. The waterfall sits high enough that it creates a cool a refreshing shower. So simple to build, yet this design has so much to offer!
Why on earth would you settle for one waterfall when you can have several. Along the elevated wall of this pool are several waterfalls to be enjoyed. The elevated area creates the perfect place for relaxing in the sun.
We have all heard about the mirage of an oasis in the desert. This pool could easily fool anyone into thinking it's not real. That is until they hit the cool clear water in the pool. The trees, shrubs, and rocks do more than create landscaping, they provide small areas of shade throughout the day.
When the weather is hot no one wants to be stuck inside for dinner. Adding a large paved area on one side of the pool lets you create a place with room for a table and chairs or even an outdoor kitchen. Great for entertaining!
Rock has long been a popular choice for landscaping around the yard. Why not use it to create a more natural look for the area surrounding the pool. This pool design also makes use of plenty of shrubbery and flowers to add to the illusion
There is nothing quite like having a pool that is deep enough to have a diving board. But notice the diving board seems to be carefully hidden in the shrubbery which helps to provide plenty of privacy. And of course, the perfect place to launch a sneak attack on unwary swimmers!
Not only did the builder of this pool use bricks to create a hot tub on the side of the pool, but they used tons of natural rock to create a multi-tiered waterfall for bathers to swim under. As you can see, you can never have too many plants around the pool.
Create an attractive and functional above the ground pool design...
DOES YOUR ABOVE GROUND POOL dominate your back yard? The right backyard landscaping will help soften it's harsh exterior, and make it look like it belongs in your yard. To help, here are 14 of the best landscaping ideas for above ground pools we could find. Enjoy.
Here the owner has created the illusion of being in the tropics by using short tropical shrubs and palm trees to surround his pool. Not only do they add a touch of the tropics, but these plants are incredibly easy to take care of. In time, the palms may grow tall enough to provide a little shade as well.
No one wants grass and dirt in the pool. If you look closely, you can see that whoever owns this pool built it on a cement pad that extends beyond the diameter of the pool. Putting it next to a shade tree gives you somewhere to relax out of the sun and cool off on a hot summer day.
This owner made it so you never have worry about getting in or out of the pool. The deck sits at the perfect height just above the lip of the pool. This makes it easy to get in and out, but also helps to keep the pool water from getting sloshed on the wood deck and soaking it. (Perfect for a quick dip while firing up the grill)
If you look closely, you can see that the majority of this "above ground" pool is actually below ground level. The owner has had a deck built down one side that makes the perfect place to lay out in the sun and then slide into the pool. The outer wall of the pool is protected by a row of hedges that may in time grow to provide privacy and a windbreak.
This looks more like a pool at the local club. The wide all-wood deck offers plenty of room for several chaise lounges so you can invite all of your friends. More importantly, the wood side cover and protect the sides of the pool from the elements and of course hordes of small children bent on knocking the pool wall over.
Here the owner uses rocks for the final entry and exit area of the pool, this will help keep the chlorinated water away from his lawn and plants. Note the pool cover on a roll designed to keep the heat in and the debris out. The wood deck in the background offers plenty of room for sunbathing.
This pool has a beautiful wood fence that goes all the way around it, allowing the owner to secure the pool from the local kids. Note the gazebo in the background that provides everyone a place to get out of the sun for a while. Also, the trellis under the walk-around deck helps keep kids and animals out.
Inside the pool are several thousand gallons of super-chlorinated water, the last thing you want on your lovely green lawn. Here the homeowner has created the perfect barrier using larger rocks that let the water filter into the ground without bleaching his lawn.
Most areas now have laws in place requiring you to secure your pool inside a locked fence. Rather than building a fence out in the yard around the pool, this fence is built right into the pool and features a small platform for mom and dad to sit on while the kids play, it also has a locking gate at the foot of the stairs.
A swimming pool needs two things to be successful, plenty of water and a level piece of ground. In this case, the homeowner decided to keep it simple with a poured concreted pad and a set of wood steps leading up to the pool. It's not fancy, but then who needs fancy when you have a nice big pool to play in?
As easy as it might have been to simply install this pool, the homeowner took it to the limit. Not only did creating a deck that blends into the surrounding trees add more room for everyone to spend time in the sun, it also helped to blend his pool into his yard rather than tearing up the yard to fit his pool into it.
It seems as though this homeowner couldn't quite make up his mind what he wanted. In the end, he settled for a unique combination of concrete pavers and grass to create his own outdoor chess board. All you need now are some pretty big chess pieces and someone to play against.
With its wood siding sunk below ground level and the gravel surround, you might think this pool is trying to blend into its surroundings. Adding a few plants to go with it helps with the illusion. Note how the owner built a pump housing that matches the pool siding for the finishing touch.
When you think of having a swimming pool in your backyard, do you also think of it as being your oasis from the world? This homeowner decided to bring a touch of the desert to his backyard complete with palm trees and a small wood chip "beach" around his pool. The nice thing about palm trees is that they don't drop leaves in the pool water, but when they grow up, they provide plenty of shade.