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Monthly Archives: May 2016

Gardening
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Budget Friendly Garden Design Ideas

There is no need to empty your bank account in order to update your garden. Spruce up your backyard with a few easy and budget-friendly design ideas.

Budget-Friendly Garden Upgrades

Plant With Perennials

Although perennials may cost you a little more in the beginning, they return year after year, making them the essential budget-friendly flower choice. You can fill your garden with these beauties and not have to worry about spending money on new plants each spring. Beautiful perennials that are hearty enough to survive the Calgary climate include: Peony, Bearded Iris, Sea Lavender, Blue Flax, Daylily, the Iceland Poppy, and a variety of succulent rosettes and ornamental grasses.

To start, decide on one of two different design approaches for perennial flowers: a single-color floral garden or a combination-colour garden. Whatever you choose, the financial and visual benefits of planting perennials pay well – annually.

Dig Out a DIY Fire Pit

A fire pit is something the entire family can get behind. S’mores after dinner. Sing-alongs at dusk. You might be asking yourself, ‘why didn’t we build a fire pit sooner?’ They are easy to make and will provide endless amusement all summer long. For the project, you will only need four supplies: Stone pavers, bricks or cinder blocks; sand or gravel; a shovel; and, a rake.

Find a suitable place in your backyard for your new fire pit, one that is both convenient and safe. Make sure that it’s in an open area away from the house, low tree limbs or anything else flammable. Clear away debris and shovel out an area of grass for your fire pit. Arrange the pavers, bricks or cinder blocks in your desired shape. Once assembled, add sand or gravel to the pit. Rake the area to create a smooth surface. Add dry wood. Then, rush to the store and buy marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate.

Create a Pathway

Pavers are an inexpensive design idea that create amazing visual impact. If you have bare earth you would like to cover or unused ground space in your yard, use broken pavers to build a mosaic pattern or whole pavers to create a grid. Place moss between the pavers for added visual impact. This will lend an ethereal vibe to an otherwise unused space. Using both pavers and plant moss means you need less of each, which is also light on your budget.

Build A Graveled Courtyard

Gravel is an inexpensive way to update your garden. Use it to designate a modest courtyard amongst your bushes and flowers to sip refreshments with friends. A gravel floor is almost maintenance-free and completely adaptable, as well as perfect for both relaxing and entertaining. If you like, change the shape or size of the floor with each season. The design is not etched in stone, making the possibilities for your garden inexpensive and numerous.

An Accent Colour

Choose a colour and use it to amplify your garden’s beauty. Paint the colour extensively throughout the space – on doors, fences, pots and garden furniture. Any quality exterior-grade paint that is oil-based or latex-based, in a bucket or spray can, is fine to use in your garden. When painting metal, choose a variety that is rust-resistant.

If you have limited space, painting a few items in the same color creates intensity and serenity. A few colors that look fabulous in gardens include: lavender, magenta, teal, deep purple, lime green, sunny yellow, and reds.

Become a Salvage

Not a Savage. Bring your purging rituals outdoors and upcycle unused household items to use in your garden. Find new use for that old armoire or china cabinet, especially ones with peeling paint. Plus, their drawers make for excellent storage. Adding antique pieces to your garden will not only update its look, but also shed your home of unnecessary clutter.

If you do not have anything you would like to remove from your home, visit a thrift store or flea market. You will find interesting used pieces for far less than you would new – perfect to brave the weather in your garden.

Old and toughened wood also looks striking in a garden. Leftover lumber is easy to convert into a bench or potting table and will feel right at home in your garden.

Updating your garden does not have to be an expensive task. All you need is a little creativity and time. Have fun with the process – that’s what gardens are there for. If you’re still not sure what updates you would like to make, and feel that you need some assistance, Infinity Gardens can help make any garden designs you’d like to accomplish.

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Landscaping
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Common Landscaping Mistakes To Avoid

Springtime tends to ignite the need to get out the shovel and overhaul your yard. The weather is warming up and your leaf-less trees and shrubs look like they may need love and attention. And they do – but, not so fast.

Avoiding Landscaping Mistakes

There are a few landscaping mistakes that are commonly made, yet very preventable.

Not Starting With A Plan

It is easy to walk through your local garden center and end up with a cart filled with beautiful plants. This season, do not just buy aimlessly hoping to find a home for your new additions. Start with a plan. Decide which landscape aesthetic you are hoping to attain – minimalist, romantic, modern, country, etc. – and work from there.

Lack of planning can lead to numerous maintenance headaches. A poor design, or one with too many sharp angles, can leading to constant mowing nightmares. Hiring a landscape architect is often well worth the investment, as they can transform your desires into an achievable rendering, as well as provide plant suggestions that you can pass along to your landscape company.

Skipping Prep Work

You would not build a home on unprepped foundation, so you shouldn’t start executing your new landscape without laying out the groundwork for your plants.

Improving your soil quality is something that you can start way before the landscapers begin work. Test your soil and find out which nutrients it is craving, then make any needed pH level adjustments. To make your soil more acidic, add aluminum sulphate or sulphur. Add ground lime to make your soil more alkaline.

Start a compost pile or bin. Adding organic waste to your soil is essential, as it will help produce healthy, flourishing plants. Create a mixture of wet and dry materials. Wet materials include: coffee grounds, chopped leaves, eggs, grains, manure, weeds, fruits and vegetables. Dry materials include: hay, nutshells, paper, straw, pine needles and more.

Once your compost smells like rich soil, add it to your foundation.

Monochromatic Colour Schemes

While you may favour fuschia to violet, too much of a good thing is never pretty. Instead, go for four-season landscape colour. When choosing plants and trees in spring, consider varieties that provide intoxicating color in winter, like Japanese maples and various ornamental grasses. And do not forget springtime varieties, such as tulips, and summer-blooming flowers, like roses.

You may also choose to include hearty heirloom vegetables, such as Swiss chard, cabbage and kale. They survive cold climates and are not hard on the eyes, either.

A seasonal variety of plants for your landscape is most handsome – and important for resale curb appeal.

Forgetting to Factor Size

The day that tree on your front lawn grows so tall that it hits a power line will be a memorable one. Make sure it doesn’t come to this by planning ahead. Make sure your landscape plan does not include tall trees under electrical lines. Another common mistake made in landscaping is to plant tall shrubs under a window. They end up hiding the view. The easiest way to avoid this is to do a little research or hire a landscaper to help you determine the best locations for your preferred plantlife.

When Weeds Go Wild

Weeds will eat up your gorgeous landscaping, as well as your maintenance budget. They compete with other plants for nutrients and water. They may also shorten the lifespan of pavers and stone by growing in mortar cracks. Make sure you have removed most, if not all, of the weeds in your soil prior to planting. You don’t want your seedlings to have to fight for survival.

It is easier to destroy weeds before there are other plants in your garden beds. Whether you prefer to dig or spray, remove these pesky plants before you get started. You can apply a pre-emergent pesticide about three weeks before seeds germinate.

Your Land Is A Backyard Buffet

Grazing deer might be a fun sight for kids to catch, but your newly planted shrubs will end up sparse. To avoid various wildlife from feasting on your landscape, decorate with deer- and rabbit-resistant plant varieties. Your landscaper or local agricultural extension agent can provide you with a list of edibles that critters in your area dislike. An electric deer fence is also an option.

Although it is tempting to simply plant all your favourite flowers without much foresight, make the most of your landscape and plan before you plant. If you have any questions, consult local professionals – Infinity Gardens offers custom estimates on personalized designs.

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