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Yard Design
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12 Ways To Make Your Yard More Inviting For Guests

Entertaining doesn’t have to be reserved for the living room. The next time you have people over, encourage them to sit outside and enjoy the yard. How do you get our guests to want to hang out in the backyard? It’s not as hard as you may think. Here are 12 ways to make your yard more inviting for guests:

Ways To Make Your Yard More Inviting For Guests

  1. Keep Bugs Away
  2. Because we spend most of our daily hours at work, we usually only utilize our yards in the evening and that’s when the bugs come out in full force. To keep bugs away try citronella candles and have plants around that repel insects like basil, mint and chrysanthemums. There are also light fixtures that you can buy that zap bugs on contact. However, they can be noisy and distracting when you’re trying to entertain.

  3. Furnish with Relaxation in Mind
  4. A great way to get people to want to enjoy your yard is to cultivate an atmosphere that looks relaxing. Comfortable seating like padded garden furniture and patio sets that look inviting create the perfect match of style and comfort. Do not put indoor furniture outside. It will get ruined. Make sure you get furniture that is specifically made for the outdoors.

  5. Light the Way
  6. During the day you’ll have the sun to provide natural illumination but at night you’ll need candles, torches and outdoor lights. You don’t have to light up your yard like it’s a Major League Baseball diamond but you should provide enough lighting so that people can see each other while they hang out. LED and solar powered lights are a nice green option if you’re looking to conserve energy in your yard.

  7. Avoid Clutter
  8. A yard with too much stuff in it, will not be inviting to guests. Avoid cluttering your yard with too much furniture and fixtures. An easy way to stay away from clutter is to pick a theme for your yard and stick to it. You won’t want to add items and furniture that don’t fit with your theme.

  9. Add Water
  10. If you have a pool then you’re already one step ahead of the game. If you don’t have a pool and there’s no option to get one, try a small water feature like a fountain. Not only do water features add a touch of style to your yard, the bubbling sounds can be very calming and contribute to the relaxing atmosphere you’re trying to cultivate.

  11. Let Your Yard Bloom
  12. Flowers and greenery make any yard more inviting for guests because they look beautiful and stimulate the senses. Keeping your yard in full bloom (which may not be possible in the winter, making it all the more desirable when it’s warm out) creates swaths of colour and adds a nice fragrant touch.

  13. Keep the Grass Trimmed
  14. Unkempt grass will make everyone stay away from your yard. Besides keeping your grass trimmed and cared for, ensure that there’s enough green space available for kids (and adults) to run around on. With a grassy area in your yard, you can have games for everyone to enjoy like lawn bowling and beanbag toss.

  15. Throw Some Shade
  16. Your yard will get very warm, perhaps unpleasantly so on a hot day. Keep an area of your backyard shaded to give your guests somewhere to escape the sun. You can have a canopy or tent put up in your yard, or if you have large trees, use them as a refuge by hanging a hammock where people can get out of the sun.

  17. Fire It Up
  18. If you’re looking to extend the outdoor season well into the winter, invite your guests over to sit by your outdoor fireplace or firepit. The warm glow of the fire, coupled with the hot cocoa you’ll make in your outdoor kitchen (see #12) will make your guests feel cozy.

  19. Deck the Yard
  20. Deck the yard with…a deck. If you don’t have one already, having a deck put in gives you an extra incentive to have people over. Decks are easy to clean and maintain and you don’t have to stick to the traditional wood option. Stone patios are equally as inviting as wooden decks. If you have a fireplace or firepit installed, you might as well house it on a gorgeous deck or patio.

  21. Project the Entertainment
  22. Movie projectors are easy to make these days. All you need is an app for your smartphone, a light coloured sheet and a wall. Invite your guests over for outdoor movie nights and serve popcorn that you’ve popped directly on your fireplace or firepit.

  23. Keep It Cooking
  24. Another option to make your yard the place to be, is to add an outdoor kitchen. Many people already have barbeques and other cooking appliances outside, why not have an entire kitchen so you don’t have to run back into the house every time you need to make dinner for your guests?

These 12 ways to make your backyard more inviting for guests are so appealing that you may have trouble getting your guests to ever leave!

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Yard Design
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All You Need To Know About Retaining Walls

Retaining walls are much more than a decorative feature of your yard, they serve a very practical purpose: to prevent soil from moving downhill by the force of gravity. Nevertheless, you can certainly turn them into a decorative aspect of your home. A retainer can be practical, as well as aesthetically pleasing—you just need to appreciate all the functions it serves and consider how you can enhance it. Here are a few reasons why you might need a retainer, and what you can do to maintain and improve it.

All About Retaining Walls

Your Home is Close to a Fault line

If your home is located close to a soil fault line, you are at risk of being adversely affected by soil erosion. In the event of an earthquake, the soil will move away from the fault line and and create instability over the ground where your home is. A retainer can stabilize the soil’s movements in your yard. You might not think that an earthquake is likely, but it is always better to be safe than to be sorry.

Minimizes Soil Erosion

If erosion is already a problem for you, then a retaining wall can certainly minimize the damage. A retaining wall holds keeps the soil at bay and reduces the level of descent. The flatter the surface the less damage soil erosion can do.

Improves Water Runoff

When it rains heavily, water spills onto the streets and from there to nearby rivers. Wall retainers can help slow the flow of rainwater. Retaining walls are particularly useful in areas that are prone to flooding.

Critical for Houses Located on Slopes

If your home is located on a downhill slope, a retaining wall might be necessary. A sliding hill is the last thing you need for your home, as it can threaten its very foundation. A retaining wall is a good buffer against soil that is moving downwards.

Provides Arable Land

Retaining walls have been used for farmers by centuries. They provide good soil for them to plant crops and provide a level area to operate on. While you won’t be engaging in any large-scale agricultural production, a retaining wall can create the conditions for a garden.

Building and Maintaining Your Retaining Walls

Your retaining wall requires some degree of maintenance to keep it functioning; it also requires a bit of thought if you want it to be a well designed addition to your home. Rather than having it straight, try experimenting with curves. The materials can also be designed for better appearance. How much you want to put into aesthetics depends on your personal taste and budget. If you are planning to build a wall for the first time, the first thing you should do is check the city office for the appropriate building codes-especially if you are planning to build a tall retaining wall. Here are a few other things to keep in mind:

  • Proper Terracing

    Retainer walls can be terraced for design and extra strength. The task is best performed in increments so that adjustments can be easily made if necessary.

  • Work with Standard Blocks

    It is much easier to work with a set of standard manufactured blocks when building a retaining wall. It also provides the wall with a more unified look.

  • Prepare a Solid Foundation

    The wall will be no good without a solid foundation. Dig the base a few inches below grade and fill it with gravel (or appropriate filler).

  • Plan for Drainage

    A retaining wall should have drainage at the base as it will be collecting a lot of water, in addition to stopping the soil. A fabric-covered drainage pipe is ideal since it prevents clogging.

  • Materials to Use

    The most common materials for building blocks tend to be timber, concrete and stone. These materials have varying levels of durability, with timber being the least durable. Stone is the most expensive, but is the most durable material and has the best design. If you are willing to spend a little extra, the stone retainer is well worth it in terms of both practicality and style.

Conclusion

Retainer walls can be both protective and stylish with some forethought and investment. If you live on a hill or in an area prone to flooding, it makes sense to build a retaining wall. If you are building one for the first time, or you are looking to refurbish your current retaining wall, then it might be a good idea to consult with a professional who can give you advice on appropriate materials, methods, and cost appropriate to your budget. Get in touch with us today and see how we can help you make a better choice for your garden and outdoor needs.

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Yard Design
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6 Ways To Bring Luxury To Your Yard

Summer is typically the season for spending a lot of time outdoors. Many people may start to think about making trips abroad or a getaway location, but with a little effort and imagination, you can create a small oasis right in your backyard. A beautiful outdoor space can be a great place to relax with your family, as well as the perfect setting for hosting friends and neighbours for a pleasant afternoon tea time or a lively BBQ party. Here are a few ways you can make your yard a little more luxurious:

Luxury Yard

  1. Music
  2. A little bit of background music can go a long way in enhancing the atmosphere in your backyard. Try soft and soothing music if you’re looking to set a relaxing vibe for you and your guests, or find a quicker beat for a bigger party or special occasion. You can try bringing your regular speakers outside and hooking them up with an extension cord, but there are some fun, outdoor-appropriate options, like wireless speakers that are intentionally shaped like rocks. Consider taking that organic spirit to the next level by playing background noise like running water or birds.

  3. Lighting
  4. Lighting is not only for illuminating your yard at night. If you use it effectively, it brings a certain glow to your yard. Candlelight is one option, but a safer alternative is a lamp that is dimmable or wall mounted lights. If you have a pool, a great idea would be to have floating lights. It doesn’t have to expensive; you can have battery operated lights inside inflated balloons and float them.

  5. Furniture
  6. Furniture is always a must if you are thinking about luxury. These days you have a number of options from wrought iron furniture to weatherproof sectional couches. Whatever your taste, furniture can always bring comfort and luxury to your yard.

  7. Water
  8. Water features are an elegant and tasteful addition to any backyard. The appearance and sound of running water creates a meditative and relaxing atmosphere. A small fountain can have the desired effect, or if you are a little more ambitious, consider installing a full aquarium or fish pond.

  9. Television
  10. If you like watching TV, having a television in your backyard can be a fun touch. And when there’s a big game on, having your friends over to relax in the yard without missing the game is a great party favour. There are a number of water resistant TVs on the market; you can purchase them online or in stores.

  11. Privacy
  12. You can ensure some privacy for your backyard by using fences or garden walls. Plants and hedges are also good ideas, and they will probably blend in better with your backyard depending on if it already has a lawn. Curtains are also a great choice. You can hang them around your yard or even use flowers to do the job.

All these decorative details can really boost your garden, and take it from a standard outdoor space to being a lovely, decadent and relaxing haven. And don’t forget to put your green thumb to work — a wide variety of flowers, shrubs and herbs are crucial to creating a great backyard.

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Landscaping, Planning, Yard Design
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Why is it Important to get a yard design before landscaping?

landscaping

Some people are worried about paying extra money to get a landscape design. Would you buy a house without a drawing?

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