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Monthly Archives: May 2017

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Landscaping Around A Pool: Tips And Ideas

The next step after adding a pool to your backyard is to complete the scene with a well designed landscape that adds colour, interest, privacy, safety and convenience, while requiring minimal maintenance.

Modernize Your Pool Landscape

Custom landscape services can help you create a relaxing atmosphere, similar to a resort, around your pool. You don’t want to be distracted by withering plants, or spend a lot of your free time fertilizing, trimming, or cleaning leaves and twigs from your poolscaping. You need to keep it simple. Here are some tips to help you make the right landscaping selections.

  1. Choose Mess-Free Plants for Pool Landscaping

    Plants are great for landscaping around the pool as they add beauty and privacy. However, you should be careful to choose the right plants so they won’t cause any inconvenience. The right trees and shrubs soften the loud lines of pool equipment, make the pool blend more naturally with the landscape, and provide privacy screens—especially if they grow tall. However, you should:

    • Avoid deciduous trees as they shed their leaves in certain seasons, increasing the need for frequent skimming;

    • Avoid trees such as gum trees, sycamores and pecan trees, as they drop needles, sap, and other debris periodically;

    • Avoid weeping willows, oaks and other trees with far-reaching root systems that could compromise your pools foundation and increase repair costs;

    • Avoid fruit trees because they are messy, plus they attract bees, insects, pests and other creatures with their flowers and fruits.

    Broadleaf evergreen bushes like Hetz Japanese holly and other plants with thorns are generally mess free and beautiful for landscaping. However, they should not be planted near walkways or sitting areas to reduce the risk of getting jabbed. Instead, grow them on a side of the yard with minimal activity.

    You can grow a mixture of foliage plants and flowering ones to ensure visual interest year round—even when the flower plants are not blooming. Keep in mind that flowers will attract bees, so you might want to keep these plants to a minimum.

  2. Fence Around the Swimming Pool

    It is essential to fence around your swimming pool, especially if you have children, for safety purposes. The fence can help to mark the border between the swimming pool area and the playing area of the backyard. Some fences also provide privacy.

  3. Pool Deck or Patio

    These are important pool structures that not only add beauty to the landscape, but also improve the safety of the pool area. A scarred concrete patio provides a slip-resistant surface for people to climb onto when leaving the pool. Brick patios are also pretty popular, though they should have a rough surface. Keep in mind that they require more maintenance work because of the moss that grows on them.

  4. Gazebo

    A closed gazebo is a great addition to the landscaping around an outdoor pool as it provides a place for your friends to change into and out of their swimwear. A gazebo can also provide you with shade on very sunny days.

  5. Outdoor Furniture

    Outdoor furniture around the pool offers a great deal of convenience. You may also include a full outdoor kitchen, or some basic kitchen equipment, such as a barbecue. Use updated pool furniture to modernize the poolside, and consider options such as outdoor lounge chairs, sculptures or a poolside mini-bar. You will also need to invest in proper outdoor lighting so you can enjoy the pool area day and night, all season long.

Designing Your Landscape

Here are some things to keep in mind when designing your landscape around a pool.

  • Emphasize your personal taste. It is important that you communicate your ideas and vision to the landscaping contractor before any work begins. The indoor and outdoor design preferences are usually the same. If you like clean, simple lines, or ornate, intricate designs inside, you will probably want the same outdoors.

  • The choice of colours can be inspired by your home’s decor or your personal fashion preferences. Pick a theme and use it to inspire the types of flowers that will be planted, the kind of mulching that will be used in the garden, and the colour and style of all outdoor structures and furniture.

  • Consider the amount of time you can dedicate to tending the landscape, including cleaning the pool. You may choose to hire a professional company to assist with upkeep.

  • Watch your budget. You don’t require a big budget to design the landscape around your pool, but you can spend as much as 15 to 20 percent of the property’s value depending on how much you want to transform the space.

Before installing a gazebo or any other structures, it is important that you create zones around the pool for different activities—dining, lounging, playing, or gardening. Creating these zones beforehand will ensure that every need is accounted for, so that nothing ends up getting squeezed out.

Proper planning, with the help of professional custom landscape services, will also ensure that the walkways and seating areas are easily accessible, without the risk of trampling the plants and flowers.

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5 Landscaping Ideas For Spring

With the cold, snow, and ice out of the way, it is time to reclaim your outdoor space with some spring gardening and residential landscaping as you prepare your home for summer or resale. In fact, reports suggest that landscape design can increase the resale value of your home by as much as 20 percent, provide an ROI of over 50 percent, and make your home sell faster.

Transform Your Yard This Spring

If you are looking to sell your home, experts argue that you should invest about 10 percent of the total value of your home in landscaping. Even if you have no intention of selling your home, you can still add a dose of charm to your yard with these simple spring landscaping ideas.

  1. Planting Shrubs or Trees

    You can plant one tree or shrub or as many as your yard can handle, taking into consideration the correct spacing for a mature tree. Planting a single tree can provide you with a nice shaded area that you can enjoy in the years to come.

    Taking care of several trees is not very involved, as long as you provide basic care, which includes watering, trimming, mulching, leaf and branch removal, and for fruit trees, fertilizing. However, you should make sure to choose shrubs or trees that offers the greatest aesthetic value, in terms of shape, colour, and even texture. A good choice for nearly all climates is the Japanese maple, which can enliven any landscape with its colour and form. Other common options include eastern red cedar, northern red oak, and Colorado blue spruce.

  2. Colourful Mulch

    Since most yards already have a few trees, plants and a lush lawn, you can easily add colour and texture by applying mulch. For instance, mulch in a dark, roasted coffee bean colour can offer a beautiful contrast to a green lawn. For a landscape featuring flat lawns and well trimmed low shrubs, you may consider introducing some pine cones to add texture.

    Other interesting mulch colours for giving life to your bland landscape include cedar, gold, red and even black. It’s easy and cheap to add mulch to your landscape. Simply choose a colour and texture, dump it on your garden, spread it evenly, and leave it. However, mulching should be done away from the house and other structures, as it can hide insects and trap moisture that rots wooden surfaces.

  3. Clear Garden Pathways and Fencing

    A neat yard can make a huge difference for the beauty of your landscape. If you have overgrown shrubs or flowers that seem to be spilling over from the garden beds and onto the walkways, then edging could help to perk up the landscape. You could also do some pruning and cutting just to restore order.

    You could go a step further to mark the boundaries of your garden and walkways in a creative way. You can use large rocks, bottles planted neck down, or some other item that is readily available, provided they go the entire path. Alternatively, you can plant low-maintenance groundcovers, such as vinca, pachysandra, lamb’s ears, or lily of the valley to add colour and texture to the walkways.

  4. Outdoor Lighting

    Installing fancy outdoor lighting can dramatically enhance the appeal of your landscape without breaking the bank. Proper outdoor lighting will allow you extend your outside activities even after the sun sets. Lighting can also increase the security of your home, help to accent the beauty of your garden and lawn, and make your home more marketable and attractive to prospective buyers.

  5. Creating a Focal Point

    Residential landscaping ideas can be inspired by your own passions and desires. You can discuss your design ideas with a skilled and experienced contractor to find ways to bring your vision to life, and create a focal point that is meaningful to you.

    For instance, you can choose to install a statue, fountain, pond, patio, or anything else that will give you pleasure every time you look at your lawn. Water features such as hot tubs and swimming pools can also blend into the natural landscape.

    Decks and patios are the most common landscape installations because they increase the value of your home by about 12 percent. These projects are quite expensive, so it is important that you hire a skilled contractor who will maximize the comfort and beauty of your outdoor space and ensure that everything harmonizes with the landscape.

Final Note

Spring residential landscaping can mean the difference between selling your home sooner and at a greater profit, and waking up to the same bland landscape through spring and summer. There are many different ways to improve your outdoor space, depending on your design needs and budget. Whatever softscapes and hardscapes you choose to invest in, make sure that you work with a skilled landscape professional who can bring your vision to life within your budget.

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