Types of Hedgerows for Landscaping

A hedgerow is a living boundary composed of plants. While homeowners use them for decorative purposes, many place hedges to deter intruders, including pests.

Though hedges are often trimmed as non-artistic topiary shrubs, they may also take their natural shape. The design often depends on the functional aspects as well as the aesthetic considerations.

Here are just some of the elements to consider when deciding to put in a row of hedges:

Security

These living walls provide a certain amount of security from unwanted intrusion by animals and people. But if you want a higher level of security and don’t want to mess with metal or wood fencing, use thorny bushes such as hawthorns, or even prickly plants such as holly. Pests will be averse to pushing through a painful barrier for the most part, and unwanted animals will hesitate if the middle layers are thorny. Lawn crashers will also think twice before scaling over the fence or creating a passageway through thorny bushes. Unless security is a critical factor, a high, thorny hedgerow will keep you safe from most forms of human or animal intrusion.

Windbreaks

Growing a hedgerow is also helpful to form natural barriers from the elements. As windbreaks, these thick shrubs can provide natural protection from wind and driving snow. One point to note here is that hedgerows grown for practical purposes such as security or even as windbreaks aren’t always trimmed to perfect proportions. Depending on the function, you can trim them similar to topiary gardens or leave them to assume their own natural forms. This usually does not have any adverse impact on its functionality, nor does it have any considerable benefit – the motivations are purely aesthetic.

Privacy

Hedges can also provide a level of privacy. Whips – small hedge plants – are often used in preference to larger plants because they grow faster and can be planted closer to each other to give the appearance a thick wall. This saves trimming time and gives you the greatest privacy from prying eyes. Use Hollies as well because many varieties grow to a considerable height. Though boxwoods, yews and privets are the ‘classic’ hedgerow plants, there are several other varieties that can prove equally functional and visually pleasing. Use mountain laurels, azaleas, hawthorns, hollies and many other shrubs to create stunning hedgerows that will stand the test of time and be the envy of your gardening hobby circle.

Though classic hedgerows are still popular and purists will always stay with conventional methods, the art of hedge-growing has expanded into creative circles. Outrageous design ideas that are precisely executed and meticulously maintained \are no longer just the prerogative of resource-rich botanical gardens or wealthy estates; the art form has infiltrated nearly every home with a green thumb living in it. Whether you’re one of the novice enthusiasts or an ardent admirer of the classics of horticulture, your love story with hedgerows will be an endless one.

 

The Basics of Landscaping Around a Pool

A backyard pool can be an exciting new addition to your home – it officially makes your place the “fun house” on the block, and friends and neighbors near and far will be knocking on your door to spend hours lounging poolside. However, if you have unsightly landscaping surrounding your pool’s perimeter, you may find yourself more than a little bit embarrassed when swimmers start calling.

Luckily, if you follow a few simple landscaping tips, the result will be a nice, clean-looking pool area you can be proud of – which means you will be able to keep your “fun house” status for many summers to come.

Trim the Trees

If while planning, your pool landscaping starts with a blank canvas of earth, remember to steer clear of trees. The overhang from the branches blocks sunlight when they mature. In addition, leaves, pollen, flowers, and other annoyances will repeatedly fall into the pool and cause you to spend endless afternoons on your tiptoes with a skimmer.

If you must plant trees, pick species such as forsythia or maple – these will lose leaves at one time in the fall and make for much easier cleanup.

If you already have existing trees in your yard, keep the leaves and limbs trimmed back as much as possible without damaging the tree in the process. This way, you can enjoy the shade of the tree without being bothered by low-hanging limbs during your swim. This also keeps the area safe and clean for children and guests.

Low-Maintenance Plants and Shrubs

While planning your poolside landscape, opt for plants that require as little upkeep as possible. At your local nursery, ask about shrubs that don’t need constant pruning to remain visually appealing. It’s also important to select a plant or shrub that will not grow out of control, so choose foliage with a modest rate of growth.

If your pool area has access to loads of sunlight, choose plants and flowers that respond well to sunlight. This will brighten up your yard. Don’t pick delicate flowers that are unable to stand up to roughhousing in the pool.

Distance from the Pool Area

Although some species of plants, shrubs, and flowers are harder than others, you should still strive to keep your backyard landscaping a safe distance from potentially harmful pool water. Repeat exposure to the chlorinated water could eventually kill off your plants. Many people choose to install a concrete walkway around the perimeter of the entire pool area to protect plants against splashing.

Simple solutions for backyard landscaping around pools will keep your yard vibrant and welcoming for friends and neighbors for years to come. The key to landscaping around a pool is to make the pool itself the focal point – the landscaping should be inviting enough to make people want to jump in!

 

Keep the Grass Greener on Your Side of the Fence

A lush green lawn surrounding your home not only adds aesthetic appeal, but it also provides a nice comfy place to lounge and play hooky on those lazy summer days. Combine this with the fact that a well-manicured lawn can potentially increase the value of your home, and you’ve got yourself a few great reasons to start working harder to grow a lawn that will be the envy of your neighborhood.

While your neighbors toil away on their days off trying to revive their sickly-looking lawns, you can kick back and admire your lush green sea of grass. Not only is it possible, it’s also very easy to keep your lawn looking lush and healthy. All it takes is a few essential steps to get the ball rolling.

Water

Your lawn must get enough water for maximum health and proper growth. Although you may be tempted to give your lawn a light watering every few days, landscaping experts agree that grass thrives best when it receives an inch of water roughly once a week. These infrequent, heavy waterings help soak the soil deeper, which encourages the grass roots to push themselves further into the soil.

The deeper the roots are, the better they will be able to access water below ground – even during harsh dry spells. An extra tip: water your lawn during the early morning hours since there will be less moisture loss due to evaporation.

Fertilize

Grass, like all organisms, must have the proper nutrients to thrive. Spreading a gentle, natural fertilizer across your lawn can help the grass get the nutrients it needs. Generally, the best times to fertilize your lawn are at the beginning of spring, summer, and fall.

Aerate

Over time, the soil in your lawn will become compacted. This will make it difficult for oxygen, water, and nutrients to reach the roots of the grass. Aerating your lawn involves poking holes in the soil or removing small plugs of soil from your lawn.

You can easily accomplish this task with a manual or motorized aerator. These holes make it much easier for oxygen, water, and fertilizer to reach below the surface of your soil to the roots of your grass. The result? A greener, healthier lawn that will make you proud.

Mow

Mowing is a common yard chore many homeowners despise. However, it’s a necessary one, unless you want your lawn to resemble an unruly overgrown field. Although it may be tempting to whack away as much grass as you can to keep from mowing less, refrain from this practice at all costs.

Opt instead to cut your grass a little more often, but keep the grass at least three inches tall. Taller lawns help retain more moisture in the soil than scalped grass, which will help keep precious moisture right near the roots of the grass.

A few simple actions each season can help you protect your lawn year after year. When you properly care for your grass, your reward will be a stunning outdoor carpet that will take the neighbors’ breath away.