Monday, November 26, 2007
If you've ever visited a major video sharing site looking for specific information on gardening, landscaping, or home improvement, you're already aware that most of the videos are useless for your purpose.
Because of this, I decided to create a list of the best do it yourself landscaping and garden design videos I could find. The site is in the same format of the major video sites except it is focused on your specific needs and searches.
LandscapingVideos.com is brand new but growing daily. View how to landscaping - garden design Ideas videos without having to wade through endless movies just to find one with some good information.
I do hope you find the new resource useful.
Monday, July 16, 2007
So what about the stuff that comes after the landscaping project is finished? To address part of that we're expanding the site to include a lawn care information resource.
As we build it we will include information on common turfgrass types, mowing tips, fertilizing, pests, diseases, sprinklers, etc.
The directory eill also include information on planting with seed and how to install a sod lawn.
Feel free to take a look at the new directory and check back as it will be growing daily. See it at: Yard, Grass, and Lawn Care.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
In all honesty, most front yard projects we consult on could improve curb appeal simply by cleaning up and mowing the yard. However, some do require a serious landscaping makeover.
While most clients and visitors can never get on our list for a consultation, we haven't just left everyone out in the cold. We have created several free picture resources for you to get ideas from.
For pictures that deals specifically with front yards and curb appeal, see the gallery at Landscaping For Curb Appeal.
For thousands more pictures that cover many design styles including front yards, see the galleries at Landscaping Ideas Pictures and Landscaping Pictures.
Another good front yard ideas source that's not my own is an ebook from Kevin Wood. 197 Ways To Create Curb Appeal. For those of you who have never heard of him, Kevins business is in helping people sell their homes so he has a lot of simple and quick and simple ideas for landscaping the front of your home.
You can get your copy along with some free landscaping software by Clicking Here.
One more design on our site worth looking into is Curb Appeal Landscaping. It's a cool design where we use our hardscape materials to create all season interest.
All season interest is something that most folks overlook. And of course this can also be created by adding some evergreen and semi-evergreen plants. But you're sure to get some neat ideas from this one design. Go and check it out.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
It's been a while. I know. However, I, like most landscaping professionals, am so busy this time of year that there is hardly time for anything else.
I have managed to squezze a little time out to get our popular newsletter out which has a great cul de sac landscaping idea as the main landscape design lesson. Lots of other great stuff as well.
I also got up to speed by creating a few of my own free landscaping ideas pages at squidoo.com. It's pretty cool as anyone, including yourself, can create pages on anything you like.
Not much time but I'll try to post more soon.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Home Landscaping Ideas
As a part of my individual regular landscaping study, I regularly make the time to visit landscaping and gardens designed by do it yourselfers and homeowners. There are always a lot of individual touches for each yard that differ in degree of design, budget, and creativity. However, the main deciding factor that I've seen between fantastic landscaping ideas and not so great is the amount of planning that goes into each yard or landscape.
It's clear that planning everything and getting a vision may be hard and confusing for beginner do it yourselfers. However, no matter how long it takes, you should never leave out this part out. It is essential to the final constant growth, effectiveness, functionality, and appearance of your garden design. Take the time to plan. Remember the following hints. They could be helpful for getting your vision on paper and finally to your yard.
In the first part of the design process you might find it helpful to think in the abstract rather than specifics. A lot of professional landscapers design in this way. As opposed to getting hung up on specific flowers and plants that you would like to grow in your landscaping plans, think in terms of size, colors, texture, shape, and function of the plants and flowers needed in different areas. Specific plant types can be picked and researched after the plan is finished.
A common design block is not being able to look past what's already there. Even though it's great to include existing elements and views that are pleasing, your landscaping ideas should not be restricted by a lot more than resourcefulness, location, and budget. It's very valuable to see beyond what you already have and start with a fresh design in mind.
Try outlining or copying your dream landscape into your space as though you have a blank flat dirt lot to start on. Look at landscaping pictures and use the whole design in your yard if you want to. Change it, adapt it, or use another. The point is to plan without restriction and then change it and work with what you've got.
Try not to fill your head with each aspect of the landscaping plan. Focus on accessibility, purpose, shape, etc. Rather than thinking of exact materials for patios, fences, decks, pathways, walls, and other hardscapes, focus on the shape, size, function, convenience, access, and necessity.
A final hint is to keep it simplistic by keeping elements to only a few and then repeating them. You could also try making a focus in each main area. This could simply be a lamp post, entry door or gate, or even a bed of roses. Keep focal points to no more than one as too many will compete for focus and confuse the view.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Landscaping Contractors - Designers - Hiring a skillful and reputable landscaping contractor needs to be addressed in the same way as any other type of construction project. Acquiring several different quotes for your design and project is a good idea. Hiring a landscaping designer and contractor based completely on the lowest bid price isn't generally the smartest way to go. In all areas of construction, credibility and reputation matters and really should be given the same regard and weight as the quoted price.
Finding a design build company with a perfect reputation may not be as simple as you may think. Nevertheless, a contractor that finishes landscape and garden design projects on time, has good service following the sale, quality, and original design ideas should really be considered as a prospect.
Any extremely low bid should be looked at with some reservation. But even still, reputation should still come into question. If the landscape designer in question has a radiant reputation and design, you might just have the right designer. But usually, with any quote that's way below the others, there's a chance of some cutting of corners if the landscape project does not go as planned. Just be aware of that.
Always ask for references from every one of the landscape designers you prospect. In my own company I display a list of past designs, pictures of past landscaping designs, and the opportunity of a
personal tour of my finished landscape design projects.
Once you've narrowed down your prospects, you'll be set to make an informed decision that's based on far more than only price. Your decision is going to be based on your gut feeling, the most appealing landscape design, the company's reputation, and of course, price.
Realistic and reasonable estimates usually will be in the same or similar price range. I believe we should spend slightly more for ingenuity and credibility but I do not think anyone has to get burned.
The most popular landscape companies in my area aren't those that regularly bid the lowest. Typically, they're the ones that have long-established themselves because of high quality, impressive landscaping design plans, and reputation. And yes, they regularly do cost more. But, of course, the price is relative when you factor in follow up and service after the sale into the cost. Credibility and reputation really does pay for itself.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Landscaping Ideas And Planning Do It Yourself
As Springtime approaches, the landscaping and outdoor projects that were put to sleep for the Winter start to return to our thoughts. And for first time do it yourselfers, the almost frustrating task of putting a landscaping plan on paper begins.
In a few cases, a creative garden design can be as easy as drawing a few circles and placing a few groups plants to the idea. However, it's usually not that easy. For most first timers, creating practical and delightful landscaping ideas can be quite difficult.
Creating functional good looking landscape designs requires a focus on purpose, vision, applying a few basic principles of art, and a little bit of knowledge about plants. The first of these focuses is the purposes and functions of specific areas. Knowing every function your garden will perform can actually make the design process much easier.
Focus on function of the overall design will help to determine different areas of your landscaping which are simpler to achieve and envision. Whether your purpose is only to cover an area with rocks or mulch, the end result should be clear in your head.
Different areas require different purposes. Front yards typically have a different purpose than a backyard would. Designing and making good front yard landscaping ideas will often focus on getting access to the front of the house. Walkways and driveways generally take up most of the space in the front yard. After these major areas are designated, it can make the rest of the design process much easier.
The backyard, on the other hand, is where most folks will spend most of their time. So backyard landscaping ideas normally will be focused on entertaining, privacy, and areas for children to play in. While creating a backyard design will generally be more detailed, deciding the purpose of the major design areas will help lay out the major groundwork for the entire design.
Having a clear focus of what you want your finished landscape to do needs to be on your mind from the time you start creating a landscaping plan to the time you're finished with the project.
It is not always easy for a do it yourselfer to realize the many functions that landscapes perform. There are several galleries on our site containing landscaping pictures to aid you in coming up with ideas. Looking at other peoples designs will not just help you create ideas but will also show function and objective which can be applied in your own landscaping projects.
Saturday, January 06, 2007
As the popularity of desert southwest style homes increase so does the style of landscaping that fits the homes. And while the design style is expected to have somewhat of a dry desert landscaping atmosphere, it can be so much more colorful and alive than most people imagine.
There are a few different aspects of thought that go into designing a desert landscape. While Southwest is generally the style of design, planned xeriscaping (zee-ri-scaping)is more of the method, principles, planning, and maintenance of a water wise landscape.
When most folks first start to look into this style of design, they generally have a dull vision of cactus, rocks, and a fake dry riverbed in their yard. But as you can see in our design at Desert Southwest Landscaping Ideas, the design can be very colorful and beautiful. Plant selection is almost endless with the types of native and adaptive plants available in most areas.
Native plants right from your own backyard can give you a list of plants that you know will grow well in your area. And in most cases they look great and tie the landscape to the surrounding area. See the native plants database for a list of ideas, pictures, and examples of plants native to your area.
Since this design style is becoming popular, I've added several related resources to the site. Along with the few mentioned above, there is also the Southwest Landscaping Ideas And Pictures Gallery which is a collection of designs from assorted professional designers.
There are also several of my own Southwest desert ideas at the Xeriscaping Ideas Gallery. There are also more explainations and guidelines behind the creation of each design.
Take a look at the design example I mentioned earlier at Desert Landscaping Ideas. It's a great example of the simplicity and beauty of Southwest Landscape Design.
For a list of several of my articles on design and designing see Landscaping And Garden Design Articles.