How To Enjoy Your Garden During Winter Time

Enjoy your home’s garden even in the cold winter months. Here are some easy and super affordable ideas on how on how to turn winter gardens into a reality.

Photo: AJF Design

When the cold winds come knocking, most of us take a step back from our outdoors and start to spend our leisure time on the inside instead. It’s easy to see why – the temperatures start dropping quickly and spending time outside comfortably gets increasingly more difficult – and even though it can leave you wishing for summer back, you don’t have to worry any longer – there are ways to fight the cold back. Out of the dozens of options out there, today we’ll be taking a look at only the very best steps you can take in order to enjoy our outdoors all year round! They’re simple to put into practice, inexpensive and mightily effective so without further ado, let’s begin.

Heat It Up

The most obvious and popular counter-measure – heat. By getting yourself a good looking and potent fire pit or a versatile patio heater, you’ll instantly be on the right track to beat the cold. While a simple patio heater is great and allows you to enjoy your outdoors more easily, a fire pit is another experience altogether. It combines the usefulness of a heat source with the comfortable look of real flames and packages it all up in a gorgeous looking decorative piece that’ll bring everyone together in a warm, cozy and happy atmosphere. Choosing the best fire pit is fairly easy and comes down to one major differentiating trait – is it a propane unit or a wood burning one? Depending on your personal preference and available space, the best choice will differ but you can rest assured that both of them will do the job extremely well. Heat sources like these are the pillar of any winter-proof garden or patio as it will be around them that every other piece such as chairs, sofas, tables and the likes, will stand in order to benefit from the blanket of warmth that is created.

Get Some Cover

Photo: Artemesia Landscape Architecture

Getting some sort of cover from the direct wind is a great upgrade to your garden and cold open-air and even some rain is essential in order to properly use your outdoors during autumn and winter. There are two ways to go about this – either go big or go small. Going small means setting up some windbreakers – either acrylic, glass or simply fabric – which generally is an inexpensive but effective way to protect yourself from the elements. Going big means setting up some large, permanent structures instead such as a pergola or a gazebo which effectively create a season-proof area, allowing you to comfortably use those spaces all year-round be it hot or cold. While windbreakers typically only cover you from the sides (even though you can pair them with a few sturdy wind-resistant umbrellas to get some top coverage), these larger structures give you protection from all sides which is much appreciated not only during the cold seasons to fight off wind and rain but also during the hot ones to get some cool shade. They’re also incredibly good looking, super impactful decorative pieces and last a lifetime but that’s just the cherry on top.

Get Nice and Comfy

Photo: Meridian Estate Greenhouses

With the other steps covering the structural basis, now you only need to take care of the details. When you’re sitting around the fire pit, joyously relaxing, having a nice conversation and sipping on some hot cocoa, there’s only one thing missing – a blanket. If you’re still feeling a little chilly despite all, a blanket will be the finishing touch of heat and comfort, making you impervious to the cold as well as feeling fantastic. There are other little steps that you can apply to create a warmer, more comfortable aura such as placing a couple of rugs outdoors, a set of comfy pillows and even a couple of warm lights as well, all of which work together to create a real sense of hearth and true comfort that not even the harsh elements can disturb.

Bonus tip

Drinking a hot beverage is a classic and surprisingly effective way to warm up. Keep a hot pot of coffee, tea or cocoa nearby and sip away while you relax! Enjoying your outdoors during the colder months is a bit trickier but just as fun, if not more, than during the hot ones. The comfy ambiance, warm flames and cozy conversations are quite unique and make for excellent, long lasting memories so don’t hesitate and let the cold win again this year – roll up your sleeves and fight back by following the 3 simple steps shown above!

7 Ways to Upgrade Your Garden with Bamboo

Give your backyard garden a little exotic flair by using bamboo in your landscaping. Keep reading to find out how to design your garden with bamboo and what works best. We promise you, it’s super easy!

Photo: Landscape Images Ltd

With the different varieties of bamboo, it won’t be difficult to find the one that’s perfect for your garden. Moreover, it is versatile enough to be used for a range of purposes. So if you are planning to upgrade your garden with bamboo, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a list that provides a range of options to make sure that you won’t run out of ideas when upgrading your space. Check out our clever tips to use bamboo in your garden:

Use Bamboo to Keep Your Garden Secluded

Let’s face it, as much as you want to show off your beautiful home, you wouldn’t want strangers and even wildlife to find easy access to your place. Good thing, you can ensure your privacy by using bamboo as a privacy fence. But while there is an option to grow bamboo around your area to keep it secluded, a more convenient choice would be to find a ready-made bamboo fence that would just be perfect for your requirements.

Create a Wall Accent Out of Bamboo

This would be a clever idea if you want to add life to one corner of your garden and completely get rid of the coldness of your walls. Want a better idea? Add wooden decor in your corner to complement the green bamboo that is designed to grow against your wall.

Photo: Zulufish

Add Bamboo Edging

While a ready-made bamboo fence can keep your garden free from intruders, you may want to add some warmth to the place where you’ll most likely seek relaxation. If you’re still clueless on how to do that without affecting your privacy, the answer would be as easy as lining the edge of the fence with real bamboo plants. This way you can keep some parts of the fence hidden while adding a comforting feel to your space at the same time.

Create a Place to Relax with Bamboo Furniture

What would be better than to have a nice garden design and lounge around whenever you want? Outdoor furniture is a must to upgrade your garden this summer and while metal furniture is a popular choice, you cannot deny the fact that in the long run, it will no longer look the same — or worst, you’ll spend a large sum for its repair. A better choice would be to use bamboo furniture instead as it can withstand changes in weather and even costs 20% cheaper than wooden furnishings.

Photo: DDB Design Development and Building

Revive Your Deck’s Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo is a great way to update your flooring and give your home a whole new look. Bamboo flooring may reflect wear and tear as time goes by. If you’re worried that you don’t have enough budget to replace your flooring along with the upgrade, no worries. You can actually restore bamboo flooring back to its old shape through a range of methods, including the use of damp cloth, sanding down the bamboo, and using varnish and liquid wax for added protection and a layer of shine.

Stick to Pruning to Maintain a Nice Bamboo Landscape

Even without a green thumb, you can maintain a nice bamboo landscape by keeping it pruned regularly. You’ll be amazed to see how a bamboo landscape can add height to walls and of course, bring natural beauty to your space.

Photo: Kikuchi+Kankel Design Group

Line Your Walkway with Bamboo

With proper positioning, your bamboo plant would make the perfect pathway towards a corner of your garden that you want enhanced. It will also work perfectly as a pathway to your home. Just keep in mind to arrange the bamboo plants in such a way that it will be placed in one line on both sides. Keep it trimmed and even add garden lights along the path for added design.

Ready to upgrade your garden? Keep in mind the tips mentioned above to ensure that you’ll get plausible results, just the way you want.

Did you love what you read? Let us know by commenting below!

Author Bio:

George Katsoudas is a Digital Marketing Professional. He works as the Managing Director of Low Cost SEO, a digital marketing firm in Sydney and a Digital Media Manager for House of Bamboo, offering Australia the most varied collection of classic and new natural materials.

Company Bio:

House of Bamboo is Australia’s trusted source of eco-friendly and high quality natural materials that can be integrated into contemporary setting. Our range encompasses high quality bamboo fencing, timber screens, privacy screens, decorative screens, ceiling panels, rattan cane webbing, fence panels, and pool certification.

3 Reasons Hardscapes Are Trending in Today’s Landscaping Design

Hardscapes are a low maintenance way of achieving a beautiful landscaping design without the up-keep! Keep reading to find out why we are in love with hardscapes!

Photo: Thompson Custom Homes

If you are looking to undergo a total renovation to your landscaping design this year, have you considered just what a hardscape could do to totally change the look of your lawn and garden? Just browse the Internet and you will see that hardscapes are trending in 2018. There are some lovely examples of Architectural Landscape Design with the inclusion of hardscapes you can get ideas from.

No, you don’t need to live in Minnesota to employ ideas from that site, but if you do, that may be one company you could consult with if you live in or around Minneapolis and are looking for someone to take your project from design to completion. Nevertheless, here are three reasons hardscapes are trending this year.

1. Little-to-No Maintenance

Many homeowners find that they simply don’t have the time to keep up with lawn care as it should be. While working long hours and having many family responsibilities, it’s hard to find time more than once a month to get out there long enough to mow the lawn. Forget about planting and caring for decorative flowers, shrubs, and other plants because there wouldn’t be time for that. Therefore, the most common reasons why so many homeowners are leaning towards hardscapes is the minimal care they require.

Photo: K&D Landscape Management

2. Outdoor Living Space at Its Finest

Hardscapes can be used for anything from a peaceful place to rest after a long day at work to the backdrop for an outdoor kitchen. Whether covered or open to the blue sky above you, you will begin to discover multiple ways in which a hardscape area of the lawn can serve as extra space outside the home. These are especially useful if you often entertain outdoors in the summer. Enjoy friends and the fresh outdoors without adding mess and clutter to your home.

Photo: Van Puette Lanscape

3. Well Suited for Small Lawns

Even homes in suburbia are often situated on small postage stamp-sized lots. When this is the case, hardscapes come in handy. With a natural stone floor, a fire pit for warmth and beauty, and a chair or two to rest in, you can appreciate nature even more when you know you need to do nothing more than hose it off a few times to keep it fresh and clean. Why buy a lawn mower when your backyard is hardscaped? Don’t forget, you can add potted plants for a bit of color if you so desire.

Along with those leading reasons why hardscapes are trending, you will find homeowners saying that it is also easier to keep their homes clean because dirt and mud aren’t getting traipsed into the house after a heavy rain. On the flip side, hardscapes can help to keep dust down during dry months when there has been little rain. With a few potted plants, you can enjoy the same natural beauty as you would in a traditional softscaped garden and some of those plants can even be used for vegetables and herbs.

Hardscapes are a major trend in landscaping that is growing by the day. Now you know why

How Important is Your Lawn’s Look When Trying to Sell Your House

Are you trying to sell your home? Sprucing up your lawn for a quick sale is not that hard as you may think. Keep reading for our easy tips!

Photo: Solara Custom Doors and Lighting

So you’re trying to sell your home. Two words: deep breath. This can be a stressful undertaking but there are things you can do to sell your home easily. First and foremost, you obviously need to make sure your house is in shape to sell it. Unless you know it’s going to be a knock-down, it’s well worth your while to do some home improvement projects, particularly to your bathrooms and kitchens (which can raise the resale value). However, what many might not consider to their detriment is the curb appeal (or lack thereof) of their home. If you’ve watched HGTV, you likely know that this is the overall aesthetics of your home as potential buyers pull up to the curb. How is the paint looking? How are the shutters holding up? Are there any trees that need to come down? There are many factors that make up curb appeal, and one of those is your lawn. How important is the look of your lawn when trying to sell your home? We explore that below.

How Important is a Great Lawn?

In sum, it’s pretty darn important. The lawn is likely the first thing potential buyers will notice when pulling up to the curb—hence the relevance. However, there are exceptions. If you live in California, for instance, those looking to buy a house are less likely to be as consumed by this, as brown or at least less-than-perfectly-green lawns have become the norm due to their near-permanent drought situation. In other areas of the U.S., you want your lawn to be as green and well-manicured as possible.

Photo: Via Houzz

If you don’t have time to tend to it yourself during the sale process, outsource this to someone who will. We often talk about our love of lands like Ireland and Iceland for their lush and green countryside, so the last thing we want when trying to sell our homes is for prospects to see dead and dry landscaping. If you do live in an area that’s prone to droughts, you might think about replacing the grass with turf or even drought-resistant plans like succulents and rocks. A lot of people in California are going with the latter option, and you wouldn’t believe how polished this can look when done right. And the huge extra bonus is that there would be no more mowing the lawn!

Other Lawn Essentials

There is a lot more to making your lawn presentable than having green grass. You need to make sure your hedges are trimmed, particularly the ones that adorn walkways up to the home. You only get that once chance for the first impression. Trim your rose bushes and trees, rake the leaves, pull weeds from your well-designed garden, and simply make everything look well-tended to. You might even consider taking a photo and/or having an outside eye come over to look. Either of these tactics would ensure that you’re not missing something due to the fact that you’re walking by these things every day.

Photo: Bosenberg and Company Landscape Architects

Don’t Forget the Bells and Whistles

We all know real estate agents have their tricks. They take photos of the home in just the right light and at just the right angle. They stage the home or sometimes even have professional stagers come and do it for them. They’ll have scented candles going or even bake cookies so that the smell is inviting. So if your real estate agent is taking these great pains to make your home look as appealing as possible, you should, too.

Just as you would with a fresh coat of paint inside and tweaking bathrooms and kitchens, you’ll want to add things like pops of color to the outside of your home. Consider putting in bushes that flower and/or potted plants. Hang them from trellises and have them greet your prospects on the front porch. If you anticipate having some visits at night, highlight the best parts of your lawn and landscaping with spotlights. Any of these added touches will surely make a huge impression on potential buyers, even if it’s on a subliminal level.

So just how important is the look of your lawn when trying to sell your home? We’ll say it again—very much so! But don’t let the thought overwhelm you. You don’t have to do a complete overhaul, but you should consider some of the aforementioned tactics in cleaning up your lawn and landscaping. Once you do that, your home will surely fly off the market.

Landscaping Tips for the Ultimate in Curb Appeal

Increase your home’s curb appeal and value with some of these easy and budget friendly ideas!

Photo: Gray Malin

You don’t need to list your home for sale to want it to look as appealing on the outside as it does on the inside but, unfortunately, too many homeowners wait until they are ready to sell to focus much on curb appeal. Wouldn’t you like to drive up to a stunning front lawn and garden when you come home after a long, hard day at work? It might not take much to get your landscaping up to par, and with a little extra effort, you can have the most stunning home on the block. Check out these landscaping tips for the ultimate in curb appeal.

Take Control of Those Hard to Manage Weeds

Have you ever wondered why the ‘hardscape trend’ has taken hold of yards all over the nation? Although they are lovely additions to landscape designs, they also serve a few functional purposes. Hardscapes, where there is no grass growing, can mean that you have less to mow every week during the spring and summer months.

Photo: Via Pinterest

Also, hardscapes can stop those ugly weeds from marring a perfectly lush lawn. They can also be used as a kids’ play area so that your little people have a mud-free area to romp in without fear of traipsing in mud after its rained or you’ve watered your lawn. Choose an interlocking paver ground covering and you have it all! No more weeds, no more mud, no more mowing, and a beautifully seamless addition to your lawn.

Decorative Lighting for Form and Function

Many homeowners choose the lighting on their property for safety and security. They want to be reassured that no one will take a nasty fall during the nighttime hours, but they also want to see if anyone who shouldn’t be there isn’t out there. Why not take advantage of the amazingly decorative outdoor lighting which has come into vogue in recent years? Use ambient lighting to showcase some of your prized plants, add solar lights to line walkways while lighting up that birdbath with rotating colors at night.

Photo: Studio McGee

Tip: Lighting up your landscaping and home will make a huge difference to your home’s overall curb appeal. Not only will it make your home look twice it’s size come night time, it will also make your home a lot more safer!

You don’t need to use those hideous spotlights either! Some homes have taken to antique light posts which resemble gas lanterns of days gone by to add a bit of character to their grounds. Others have stayed contemporary but have set all their spotlights on a motion sensor. In other words, play around a bit with your lighting so that it doesn’t look like some kind of government facility, even if you need that lighting for security. There are ways to make even the strongest of spotlights less offensive to the neighbors.

If you want to totally remake the look of your landscape, you can always hire a landscaping design house to draw up the diagram. Simply tell them which elements you’d like to eliminate, which elements you want to include, and then have a rough idea of where you envision major changes. With the latest in 3D CAD software, you can even get a visual representation of what the finished product will be. Make a few modifications here and there, and before you know it, you certainly will enjoy driving up to your home any hour of the day.