Showing posts with label fun in the garden. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fun in the garden. Show all posts

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Landscaping Solution for Areas Where the Grass Won't Grow

Our Front Yard Fix - My DIY Stepping Stone Solution
When You Want to Keep Your Trees but Can't Keep the Lawn

If you don't have to, don't cut down the trees.

Let me start by saying that I'm not a gardening expert. 

However, I did manage to pull off this DIY. Review the photos featured here to get a good look at the results.

Over 20 years ago we moved into our home in a new tree-less development. Other than the one tree the city provided, the yard was simply grass and a builder's walkway.

Landscaping was a must for us so we got busy planting trees and had a lovely interlocking walkway put in around the home.

My husband picked a tree he liked, a Birch Tree, and I picked a tree I liked, a Blue Spruce. We had both planted in the front yard with the birch tree surrounded by a small island featuring easy to care for Juniper. 

We put Boxwoods along the walkway, cedar trees on each side of the garage doors and a Bristol
A Close Up of Part of the
Front Yard
Ruby Weigela by the porch. On the other side of the driveway we had an English Oak Tree planted, which today, is magnificent.

For the back yard we planted about 50 cedar trees around the fence. You can see pictures of the backyard here with some gardening tips here.

In those early years, the trees were essentially our height or lower so keeping the lawn green and healthy was never an issue, until the trees became very large and as you can well imagine the little bit of exposed lawn in the front yard turned into a disaster.

One Day, I Decided that Was IT! No More

LOL I'm not exaggerating. One day about ten years ago I arrived home from work and solicited the help of my sons to do some Diy landscaping. Off we went to the local Home Depot to purchase the stepping stones you see in the photos. 

I chose bigger irregular stepping stones for most of the what was left of the lawn area, and smaller ones to go in front of the island. 

Not wanting the dirt to show between the stepping stones and not wanting to wait for planted ground cover to grow, I choose small red gardening rocks to fill in the cracks.

The only thing I forgot to do was to line the area with a protection barrier fabric to prevent the weeds from growing through the stones. But that's ok, I just dig out the weeds between the stones from time to time. It's good exercise, in fact I just did it again the other day.

A Closer Look - DIY Stepping Stone Fix
Also, to finish the look I put red cedar wood chips around the bushes and along the walkway. 

Was This a Hard DIY?

No. Since the lawn was mostly gone, there wasn't much digging to do to get the yard ready to receive the stepping stones. We poured the small red colored rock between the stones. Oh, and my sons did the heavy lifting.

Had I Ever Done This Type of Work Before?

No. I was totally inexperienced. The only advantage I may have had was that in my real estate years I had seen a great deal of property, and thus had a lot of visual assistance stored in the back of my mind.

What Tips Would You Give?

The most important aspect, at least for me, was to look carefully at the yard to roughly determine the
A Section of the Backyard Along the Fence where
the Grass doesn't Grow - These stepping stones are NOT
positioned close together on purpose!
size of the stepping stones needed and then do a bit of math to establish how many stones to buy.

It's easier to be as exact as you can than to continuously go back to the store to get additional stepping stones. However, I didn't get it right the first time either; I ended up at the store twice.

Also, install enough stepping stones. In other words, don't try to save money by spacing them too far apart so you won't need as many.

The closer together they are, the better the finished product will look. Plus, having them closer together means fewer red colored rocks.

What Did this Project Cost You?

Ok.... Remember this was done around 2008. My estimated price for the work I personally did was about $1000(ish) Canadian. Of course that doesn't include the trees or the professionally installed walkways. That money includes the stepping stones, cedar red chips, and red colored rocks. No labour costs, as of course, it was a DIY.

Don't be afraid to try this, it's a lot easier than it looks. I am not an expert and managed, so I'm sure you could as well. The photos really don't do this DIY justice :)

This is a recent photo (2018) - Stepping Stones still Holding Up Nicely, 10 Years Later






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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Unique and Beautiful Watering Options for your Gardens

There are two reasons for this REVIEW TODAY! 

1. According to the Calendar of Days,  it is "Water a Plant Day" 

2.  Summer seems to be off to a fine start and I know my garden is in need of a daily drink!

Gardens are a place to rest and relax, to get your hands just a little dirty and to find something beautiful to enjoy!  Some of us have large gardens and others may have a small garden, but one thing is certain, everybody enjoys to see flowers blooming!  The garden doesn't have to do too much to make a weary soul smile. The hardiest of flowers can be enjoyed by everyone.  There is no need to be intimidated by thoughts of exotic plants (unless you want to be).  A pot full of marigolds is a beautiful sight.

Since the time of Adam and Eve, we have nurtured gardens and tried to bring some of them under our control.  With trying to control their growth, we also need to control their watering and feeding.  You can't have one without the other.


water a plant day, watering cans, garden Review

Water a plant day brings up some interesting points about watering options for our gardens.  Let's for right now focus on watering cans and manual ways to keep our plants from dying of thirst!  I will leave drip irrigation methods to gardeners who really need that kind of extended watering options.  (Leave me a comment and I'll gladly discuss this with you!)

Water can be heavy, so when you are deciding on a watering can for your needs remember that you will need to carry it!  To that end, I will suggest that a watering can should hold around 2 gallons of water.  Any more than this and the weight becomes difficult to handle.  With my arthritis, I would not want to carry more than this personally.  It's also a good size when it comes to adding fertilizers to enhance the blooming of your flowers.

Now I'm going to show you one that gets a 5 Star rating and tell you why it's a good choice.

This watering can holds 2 Gallons so it's the perfect size. It has a fairly large opening to fill it and also to add any fertilizers. It is made of a light weight resin material that can be left out in the great outdoors without any problems.  It has a nozzle that makes the water fall like a shower on your plants.  The only down side to this watering can is that the nozzle is NOT removable.  This watering can is practical, but not very pretty.  If you are looking for function, this watering can will do the trick quite nicely and it's very affordable.



Now if you are looking for a watering can that does the job, but looks pretty too, there are many more options.  You can find watering cans that your children or grandchildren would love to use.  Any gardener that loves their hobby, loves to share that hobby with their loved ones too!  These watering cans would make playing and working in the garden a really fun time! Check out these lovely options in watering cans and see if one doesn't make you smile too! Little hands would enjoy the animals that could help them, help you! This is just a little sample of the many watering cans that you can get. I just happen to love the colors and the shapes of these ones. The child in me has never really grown up!

Now here are a few practical things to remember when using a watering can to give your plants a drink.  Plants don't like to be watered with ice cold water, especially on really hot days.  It is a shock to their tender roots.  Fill your watering can and let it stand outdoors for an hour or so before subjecting your plants/planters to their daily drink.  Water your plants early in the morning rather than at high noon.  The plants will be able to drink more and be able to cope with the midday sun easier when they are well hydrated.  If you are using the watering cans to water your planters, you might also look at a schedule for fertilizing these planters.  Check out the labels and directions for your favorite types of fertilizers and use them accordingly.

water a plant day, Review This, Gardening help

A closing bit of advice, when you are watering your plants, talk to them too!  Plants do respond by growing much better when they are coddled!  Ask any gardener and they will agree that Watering, Talking, Primping and Pruning will do wonders for anything you are trying to grow!





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