Best Landscaping Practices

Best Landscaping Practices

In order to make a great landscape, there are certain
tried-and-tested practices that you can follow. Not only do
these practices help you create a beautiful landscape, they
also ensure that you do not waste any money and that you
are not harming the environment in any way.

Here are some of the best landscaping practices that you
can do in your own home garden.

1. Design your landscape in a way where water is retained
well. This doesn’t only go for water that comes from your
sprinklers but also storm runoffs.

By having this kind of set-up, you do not spend a lot on
watering your plants and you also help keep your
community’s water supply at bay.

2. Use fertilizers responsibly. Some people become
trigger-happy when it comes to using fertilizers on their
landscapes.

While putting in too much fertilizer can be detrimental to
the environment, using organic fertilizers or choosing
plants that are well-accustomed to the local environment
will help in curbing the problem.

3. Take it easy on pesticides and weed killers – just like
fertilizers, pesticides and weed killers can do more harm
than good if used irresponsibly.

4. Schedule watering of the plants. Watering the plants
early in the morning help in retaining the water much
longer than doing it at noon for example.

While considering the time for watering the plants may seem
like a small thing, it translates to something big when the
water supply is put into the equation.

3 Tips in Landscaping your Garden

3 Tips in Landscaping your Garden

Garden design Godalming
Source: Flickr


Landscaping is usually a fairly big task, consuming much time and energy.
But before you hire that professional, here are some tips that could save both time and money.

1. Spend some time thinking about exactly how you want the final design to be. You need to take account of the style and function of your landscape. Do you want to include an area for entertaining? A barbeque? Is there to be an area for children to play, a fishpond or a swimming pool? An idea of the plants you want to be there will also help. Focus on the area where you spend most of your time. That’s a good place to start.

2. Think twice before hiring a pro. An independent designer might cost you hundreds of dollars when you may be able to access free plans on the internet or at a nursery. But if you have an awkward block such as very steep ground, a pro might give you the expertise to save costly mistakes.

3. The style of your home must be taken into account. If you have a rural cottage, formal gardens surrounding it will look out of place. Think also about your lifestyle. Do you want to spend hours caring for many beds of annuals or pruning beds of roses? If so, go ahead and plant them, but if you’d rather spend your free time at the beach, then go for an easy-care garden and landscape.

Here are the various landscape styles you can choose for your own garden:

a. Formal. This style uses lots of straight lines and perfect geometrical shapes. Orderly arrangement of plants instead of random positioning is employed. Close arrangement and pruning is seen on many landscaped gardens with this style.

b. Informal. This kind of landscaping workds well with cosy cottages. Beds with curved edges instead of straight lines and random placement of plants suit this landscape style.

c. English Garden. This style emphasizes the harmony between the house’s architecture and the garden.

d. Formal/Informal Garden. This style often comes with a brick walkway that exudes formality. This walkway leads to the rear with a circle of plants. The arrangement of plants resembles the English garden style but it has no formal borders.

e. Oriental. It is often the kind of garden found in small backyards. It uses rocks, evergreens and water. A wide variety of plants create several interesting angles with this style.

f. Woodland. This landscaping suits a house that has a wooded backyard and sloping ground.

Atlanta Landscape Architect

Atlanta Landscape Architect

Mom Sitting by the Pool at Sheraton Hotel at Keauhou Bay 2
Source: Flickr

There are so many landscape architecture and graphic design firms in Atlanta. The landscape architects of these firms create innovative landscape designs. Atlanta landscape architects are specialists in striking balance between natural surroundings and built environment. They offer customized design plants to clients. They also grant landscape design patterns perfectly – no matter whether the design is traditional or contemporary, formal or casual.

Atlanta landscape architects offer dedicated and timely service to clients. Quality service is the first and foremost commitment of these architects. They maintain good relationship with clients, contractors and suppliers.

Some of the special services offered by Atlanta landscape architects are listed below:

The landscape architect firms in Atlanta specialize in distinctive garden designs for various clients. Their garden designs suit the tastes, styles and needs of the clients. In fact garden in home is not a place simply for plants. You can relax yourself in your garden after long hours of working in a stuffy office. You can enjoy a night party or dinner in the garden. You can even cook in the outdoor with the help of garden grill. Atlanta landscape architects help to make your dreams a reality.

The highly trained experts of Atlanta landscape architect firms help you make specialty gardens like shaded, wild life, butterfly, cutting flower, cottage, and garden kitchen and so on. You can also seek their help to maintain a container garden in your patio or front porch that can make your home really appealing.

They also help you select trees, shrubs, perennial and draught tolerant plants. You can get tips from them with respect to garden maintenance. They can also arrange for excellent garden lighting. They can provide environmentally friendly landscape design.

Some other Landscape architect firms in Atlanta provide various specialty services like interior landscaping, green roofing, ponds, outdoor lighting, lawn design, and recreational design and so on. They also provide some special landscape designs that need less maintenance.

Atlanta landscape architects also provide removal services like tree removal, stump and root removal, lot clearing, hazardous removal etc. They provide quality service in this work. They help you by removing these problems without any damage to the nearby buildings.

Most of the landscape architecture firms in Atlanta provide various irrigation systems like sprinkler system and other irrigation services. They help in irrigating plants, lawns and trees in park, recreation or other public places with comparatively less amount of water. Their irrigation plan is environment friendly and so the design earns better reputation among people and Government agencies.

The landscape architect firms in Atlanta offer superior quality service. They provide great attention to detail and design. They have rich knowledge in selecting the materials used for various landscapes. They also provide wide variety of designs for enclosed and screened porches. They also help in selecting right furniture for outdoor landscape.

Since these architects are willing to provide an array of low maintenance landscape designs, you can select anyone that suits your dream and budget easily. There are some award winning landscape architect firms in Atlanta.

You can also select such firms in order to get an innovative design plan to fulfill your dream.

Get the best around the pool landscaping

Get the best around the pool landscaping

The western courtyard
Source: Flickr


It is a great idea to get your pool looking its best by making use of around the pool landscaping.
This kind of pool landscaping can turn your boring old backyard into the backyard of the stars. You can have a Hollywood looking backyard in n o time if you play your cards right.

A good pool landscaping design will make your pool the focal attraction and bring out so much more in your yard. If your yard is large you can consider adding gorgeous brick walkways to your yard around the pool. This kind of pool landscaping can lead to other parts of the yard as well. You can have a larger grouping of brick  on which you can place your patio furniture, a table and chairs can look fabulous.

Breaking up the brick in the pool landscaping will some patches of greenery is a good touch. These bits of green will breathe life into the whole picture and take out the hard stone look. Brick is a good choice of stone because it is a softer looking stone. The red brick color is warm and inviting it will not leave your yard looking cold and unwelcoming. The green plants will only add to the beauty of the brick as a pool landscaping tool.

You can throw in some landscaping stones around the plants and the edges of the patio. Light colored Stones will add so much to the entire pool landscaping design. Choose small and sharp stones and you have just added a whole other layer of texture tot the landscape and this on its own will make your yard look fabulous.

You can also think about putting in some colorful flowers. If you spend a lot of time by the pool at night add some night blooming flowers as well. This way you will be surrounded by some fabulous blooms and scents all day (and night) long. Combined all of these ideas will make your pool landscaping design the best ever seen.

Start looking into the way to go about this kind of pool landscaping today. Some of it you may be able to do on your own while other aspects you may need some professional help with. Your pool landscaping is going to impress all of your friends when you are done so get started today and it will be done in no time.

Tips for Planning Your Landscape

Tips for Planning Your Landscape

Natural Stone Seatwall
Source: Flickr

When you decide to plan your landscape, it does, indeed, require a plan. This means that you should carefully think about what you are doing, and what you would like to do. It also means budgeting and determining how much you can spend for your landscaping. Creating a home landscape for your yard is something that can be very costly if you do not carefully plan your landscape. Additionally, without a plan, you may end up with something you do not want and that costs money.
The first thing you should do when planning your landscape is to look at what you already have. Use a critical eye to determine what you like and what you dislike about the current landscape design. Also take into account how your home looks during different seasons. Think about how many year cycles you are likely to remain, and think about what you like and dislike about each one. List the blessings of your current landscape situation, large and small, and list what you would like to change, or what you wish you had. It is actually a good idea to do this for an entire year, so that you can see what you have at each season. Plus, taking your time will help you develop a better plan.
Another thing to do when planning your landscape is to keep in mind the needs you have for the space. You do not want your landscape ideas to interfere with family activities and the family routine. Would planting a shrub in a particular spot inhibit the walk to the mailbox? Putting a flowerbed in the middle of the lawn may upset family games. Would adding a deck make it more convenient to have family barbeque functions? Are there features, like a sandbox, that you would like to add to the landscape for your grandchildren? The fact of the matter is that when you are planning your landscape, you should take into account what the space will be used for. This is an essential part of the landscaping process, as the best designs combine attractiveness with utility.
Keeping a journal or folder of landscape ideas is another way to help you as you plan your landscape. You can keep your lists of current things you like and dislike, as well as your plan for the use of your landscape space in this folder or journal as well. You can gather ideas you like from looking at pictures in magazines, books, on the Internet, or by driving around the neighborhood and taking pictures. Make sure you include next to any images you have the things that you think you will need to build a particular feature, or notes on things you would do to tweak a design to make it all your own. You can even combine design ideas into something that you like. The point is to, while you are thinking about what you already have and what you will use your landscape for, look for ideas that will help you accomplish your goals.
Other things you should do while planning your landscape design is to check on building codes and make sure of property lines. You should also find out from your utility companies where underground power, telephone, and cable wires are run. You do not want to hit one of these important things while digging around in your yard and building your landscape. Getting all of this stuff figured out before you finalize your landscape plans can help you adjust for possibly having to relocate a feature in your plan or for having to scale down the size of something.
Another tool that can be very helpful as you plan your landscape is the use of landscape design software. Much of this software can be used to figure out which plants may look nice in your yard, and which plants would go with your house. Some programs even allow you to scan in an image of your own house in order to better get an idea of the possibilities. Most programs cost less than $70, and can even be used as references to determine which plants are best suited to survive in your climate.
With careful planning, and the use of a few tips, it is possible for you to plan out your landscape in such a way that you use your available space and your money much more efficiently.

Finding the Right Landscaping Company

Finding the Right Landscaping Company

Aluminum Pool Fence
Source: Flickr

Hiring a good landscaper will make completing your landscape a much simpler process. If you create goals and properly layout your plans for your landscaping you will be able to get specific pricing. Here are some tips on how to hire a landscaper the right way.

1. What do you really want or need?
Some landscapes are beautiful as they are, but the owners sometimes just want to add new appeal to their homes so they opt to have a landscape job done. Be sure that you have already identified what you want in the landscape design. This should be in your preparatory plan before you even speak to a professional contractor. Once you have your plans you can present them to the contractor to see if everything will work and is possible. The blog on paramountlawns.com is a great place to start for your landscaping ideas.

2. Set a firm budget.
Next you should prepare your budget. Will your dream garden be feasible? Is it practical or do you need to make some adjustments or compromises? The best thing is that you know what you want and you are able to identify alternatives if your budget fails to accommodate your vision. With the plans and budget in place things tend to be easier when negotiating with the contractor. The landscaper will ensure that this project will meet your budget and assure that it will look closely to what you are expecting. Be sure to get accurate measurements so that materials do not accidentally go over budget. Some contractors like to give you the best price in the estimate, but find out later that they can’t provide all the material at the quote given. Which brings us to the next step, get references!

3. Get references.
Know the landscape companies that you are contacting and negotiate with them. Gauge their level of experience and the quality work by asking for photos or tours of their previous projects. You should also ask for references and their professional affiliations. Make sure the company is a legitimate company and that everything is written down. Without written proof of the agreed upon services it is difficult to prove if you are not happy in the end.

Summary
It all boils down to good planning and documentation. If you have a solid plan and ask the right questions you will end up with an exceptional landscape. In the Sacramento California valley, Paramount Properties is the premiere landscaping company. Visit the website for more information and for services.

Pictures Of Landscaping – Using Other Peoples Ideas To Design Your Landscape.

Pictures Of Landscaping – Using Other Peoples Ideas To Design Your Landscape.

The mountain top mansion
Source: Flickr


One of the most common searches on my site is for pictures of landscaping.
So I know that a lot of folks rely on photos of other peoples designs to get ideas. But at the same time, while I do have a large picture directory of other peoples projects on my site, the most common questions I receive are still related to specific shapes and design ideas.

It would seem that with as many pictures of landscaping there are to look at online, just about everyone could find a close match to their own property that could be copied. It would seem so…..if every yard was square or rectangular. However, the fact is that most yards aren’t square or rectangular. So even with the endless landscaping ideas and examples out there, it’s still highly unlikely that you’ll find an exact match to the shape of your property.

Don’t tell anyone… but even as a professional, I still use pictures of other peoples landscaping as an educational tool and to get new ideas. However, unlike most people, I don’t search for an exact idea to copy. I look for unique, creative, and new ideas and pieces of the puzzle.

Now here’s a piece of advice and the point to this entire article.

When looking at pictures of landscaping, pay attention to the details, ideas, and principles that are universal to most designs. Look for the things that are common and repeated often by different designers. These are the elements that look good because they are generally based on basic principles of art. These are the things that will probably incorporate well into your own design project regardless of shape.

Other peoples landscaping pictures are a great design tool to help you get your project done. However, instead of hopelessly searching for your exact layout, borrow several ideas from several different designs. You’ll save yourself a lot of frustration and have a much better chance of creating something unique to your own property.

Landscaping Lessons-Proper Placement Of Trees In Landscape Design

Landscaping Lessons-Proper Placement Of Trees In Landscape Design

Step & Wall Lighting
Source: Flickr


Landscaping and landscape design goes beyond just creating beautiful designs.
As a professional designer, it’s not only my job to create designs but also to envision every possibility of the mature landscape in years to come.

And while most elements will remain what they are for years to come, the one thing that most do it yourselfers and some professionals overlook is the space that tiny little sprouts will occupy when they become mature plants and trees.

Trees serve a number of obvious purposes in the landscape. Creating shade, wind blocks, noise reduction, boundaries, and focal points are just a few. Once I have established where I’ll need trees for these purposes in a design, I have several other considerations before I can designate their permanent home.

Planting without considering the space that the mature full grown plants and trees will occupy can become more than just an inconvenience. It can be costly.

Things to consider.

Around Play Areas

A shaded canopy over play areas, sand boxes, etc. may be desired for shade from afternoon sun. However, you need to consider the mess that birds and other critters will drop right into your childs play area if the canopy extends over it.

The solution to this is to place large shade trees a distance from the area in line with the travel of the sun. If you know the trees you plant and how far the mature canopy will extend, you can still plant for shade without exposing your kids to unsanitary conditions.

Around Pools

Keeping a pool clean is hard enough without a mess of leaves and branches. And while most pool areas are sunny locations, it is sometimes desirable to have a space near the pool where one can escape the sun.

Unlike play areas though, you may not want to shade the entire pool landscape from the afternoon sun. Therefore you shouldn’t plant large shade trees in direct line with the travel of the sun. Design as to create a shady area to one side or the other. This is also another spot to eliminate top rooting trees around concrete. Evergreen types are usually your best bet for around pools.

Roots And Concrete Footings And Foundations

While infrequent deep watering as opposed to frequent shallow watering will help deter top rooting trees, some trees are still determined to seek out other sources of water which may be on the surface or moist areas under structures.

The seeking roots of large trees are a powerful force that can break sidewalks, foundations, and even lift walls out of place. This is the biggest and most costly mistake I see. Know your landscaping trees before you plant them next to your home.

Under Power Lines
Know what’s overhead.

Property Lines And Easements
This one can make enemies out of neighbors.

Underground Utilities, Sewers, And Septic Tanks

Besides the roots being able to break pipes and lines, you don’t want to have to move or destroy a mature tree to fix a leak. Locate lines and plant away from them. Some trees can spread out much further underground than they do up top. Know what’s underground.

Perspective

You need to keep in mind the mature size of trees in proportion to the size of your home and other landscaping elements. Large trees can dwarf a small home and small trees can look like shrubs placed around a very large home. Know the mature size of trees and keep them in perspective.

Hiding or framing a home

Consider the view from the street and other areas and consider the purpose of your trees. If you wish to seclude your home, you don’t need much thought for that. However, if you only wish to frame or accent your home, you’ll again need to consider the mature size and placement of your plantings.

Parking Areas

Here’s another opportunity for birds and critters to make a mess of things. If possible, plant in accordance with the travel of the sun. And once again, know the mature canopy of your trees.

Usefulness And Cost Effectiveness

If you’re going to make an investment in landscaping, look for ways to make it work for you. Placed properly, large trees can shade your home and reduce your cooling costs and vise versa. You can intentionally create shade for your shady garden, screen and divide areas, reduce noise, and a world of other applications if you just give it some thought.

The Proper Plants for the Landscape

The Proper Plants for the Landscape

Dry-Creek Stone Riverbed
Source: Flickr


Exploring nature is a rejuvenating experience.
However, exploring the forest may not fit into the daily schedule. Why not bring nature right into your courtyard?

Landscaping Options

Landscaping brings nature closer to home. It includes many elements: the area, design, weather and others. The over all look depends on the owner’s taste. Some want the effect of water (pools, waterfalls, etc.) and some like rocks, stones, etc.

To create a very natural feel, you must use plants. They are most helpful in creating the total effect of the landscape. It should not be just any plant; it should be the most appropriate plant for the area and climate.

Best Choice of Plants for the Landscape

1. Groundcovers
These plants are indispensable to a landscape as they can serve as backdrops for trees, shrubs, etc. There are many types of groundcovers to choose from.

Sun-Loving
Sunny areas are considered problematic. Many plants do not like direct sunlight. Juniper groundcovers and hardy perennials are very helpful in resolving this problem.

Shade
These plants cannot stand the heat of direct sunlight. They should be used in areas that are not exposed to the sun except for short periods of time. Most of the shade-loving plants are low-growing or mid-sized.

“Attractive”
Many flowering plants attract birds, butterflies, bees, etc. It is important to choose plants that grow pollens. Plants like bee balm, holly hock and red columbine attract hummingbirds.

Aroma
The garden can be made aromatic by using foliage plants. The lavender perennial plant’s flowers provide therapeutic scent. At the same time, it serves as a beautiful border.

2. Wet Plants
Some landscapes come with wet areas like artificial ponds or waterfalls. To avoid leaving it bare, plants that thrive in wet soils are used to give beauty and natural effect.

3. Repellent Plants
More than coming up with a good landscape, it is also necessary to maintain it and keep it free from intruders. Some plants are able to repel pests like the deer. Some ornamental grasses and flowers are used for deer control.

4. Grasses
These are also helpful in the garden. There are varying kinds of grasses, the ornamental type and the functional ones.

Functional grasses are those that are used in the background. Lawn grass is an example. It serves as an outdoor carpet.

Ornamental grasses appeal more to aesthetics. They are used for decoration and for landscaping just like flowers. These can be mixed with trees and shrubs or can stand alone.

Plants are beautiful, but the appropriate ones in a certain design must be selected and properly situated. They must thrive and be able to serve their purpose. This is the only key to bringing nature closer to the home.

Landscape Architect Liability Law

Landscape Architect Liability Law

Stone Along Driveway (After)
Source: Flickr

The lability law stresses that a person who wishes to be registered as a landscape architect must complete at least 18 years and should have a moral character. Heshe needs to have passed a specified exam and must have obtained a professional degree in Landscape architecture. Heshe must complete any of the following criteria to get legal registration to practice as a landscape architect:

* Complete at least 3 years of practical experience in an office or under a registered landscape architect.

* Complete specified type of internship which is accepted by the state board of landscape architect examiners.

Now there is an amendment in the law that the applicant who selects the first criteria requires to complete 3 years of practical experience in an office and under the registered landscape architect.

The landscape liability law specifies that certificate of authorization to offer landscape architecture services can be issued to the corporation only when the persons owning 50% of shares in that corporation and more than 50% of interests in the corporation are professional engineers, surveyors and landscape architects.

The landscape architect liability law allows the state board of landscape architects to establish fee to cover the cost for checks and other instruments returned by financial institutions due to insufficiency of funds.

The law eliminates the requirement that the board hold examinations for applicants to practice as a landscape architecture not less than once annually. It also eliminates the requirement to include architect’s place of business on the architect’s certificate of qualification.

The Bambi theory of liability was originated in New Jersey which specifies that the landscape architects were liable to recoup the cost of landscaping lost to the most voracious herbivore, white tailed deer. This theory stresses that the landscape architect have a duty to advice their clients that deer are more likely to consume the expensive planting they specify to be planted on vast areas.

If the landscape architect fails to advice the client about this, the client can then have the right to recover the cost of landscaping lost. However this theory is not accepted by many people especially by the landscape architects and their lawyers. Hence a contract clause is included in this theory of liability.

The new landscape architect liability law specifies that as no plant is deer proof, the landscape architect is not liable to repay the owner the cost of landscaping lost due to deer damage. However the landscape architect would need to provide the list of landscape plants which are rated as resistance to deer damage. This helps the landscape architect prevent himself from any of the legal actions.

The landscape architect liability law suggests some professional liability of a landscape architect. Since a small omission or error can bring a legal action against the landscape architect, heshe needs to follow the professional liability strictly.

In fact the actual responsibility of a landscape architect is to preserve the natural resources and to design and plan for environmentally friendly projects. The landscape architect therefore requires fulfilling his responsibility as per the law.