A rock garden, also known as an alpine garden or a rockery is a small plot of land that is decorated with stones, boulders and rocks, arranged in a way that allows for small plants to be planted among the rocks. Rock gardens are easy and fun to set up and they can provide an attractive, low-maintenance alternative to costly lawn that needs the gardener’s almost permanent attention. If you are in the process of creating a rock garden, here are a few tips that you can use:
- Before you do any digging and planting, obtain a specialized underground cable locator service to make sure that your landscaping does not cause damage to cables or pipes that may be buried in your yard.
- Pay attention to soil drainage and layering – clean the area where you want to set up the rockery from weeds and debris, then add a layer of rubble to hold up the stones and to improve drainage, followed by a layer of permeable landscape fabric to keep the rubble in place, then by some fertile soil or compost.
- Water the rockery and place the larger rocks and stones into wet soil to allow them to settle.
- Choose your plants carefully – alpine plants, succulents, small evergreens are great for rockeries and some flowering plants also thrive well in their rocky beds. If you choose your plants right, you can have at least one species that is in full bloom each month from spring to fall.
Winter can be harsh on all parts of your property, on the building that you live in as much as on the grass of your lawn that you watered and trimmed with so much loving care during the previous year.
However, when the cold weather is over, your lawn can come back to life quickly, especially if you take the time to prepare it for the upcoming period of growth – here is what you need to do:
- Cleaning – the first step of preparing your lawn is the removal of dry leaves, twigs, branches and other debris that have fallen on the ground. You can use a rake, but if you want to be not only thorough, but quick as well, use an air blower.
- Use fertilizer and herbicide – choose a fertilizer that starts nourishing your grass before the first leaves emerge and apply a herbicide as well to prevent the growth of crabgrass. Repeat both procedures 6-8 weeks after the first treatment.
- Start mowing early – mowing at least once a week from the beginning of spring until the grass is strong and thick is important because frequent mowing can strengthen the roots and make the lawn more resistant later, in summer.
Remember, that should you decide to do any digging and planting, to call underground wire location experts to make sure you do not displace or damage buried cables and plumbing.
In the hot summer days, the last thing you want is to start the oven; the heat will be too difficult to bear, not to mention the smell of the food, which will stay in the air long after you have finished cooking.
A clever alternative is to build an outdoor kitchen.
The advantages are multiple, but at the same time you must know that such a project requires a fairly large investment. If it worth the cost or not, this is up to you to decide, after you weigh the pros and the cons in your case.
Many of us want, but few manage to create an optimal space in the yard, for preparing and serving meals. Beyond the practical advantage, such as space can also be a piece of resistance in the exterior design.
A first step in building and arranging an outdoor kitchen would be to analyze the resources and the situations in which this space will be used. The number of people to host, the frequency and diversity of cooking, or its interior are only a few details that outline how the future outdoor kitchen will look. Of course, a conversation with a specialist can save you the time for finding an optimal solution for your available space and resources and it will help you estimate the costs as well.
Remember to schedule utility location services prior to starting any landscaping work on your property. They will inspect your property for buried electrical wires and cables. With that information, you can make sure NOT to dig in those areas. This will ensure utility services are uninterrupted, and your safety is secure.
As a trend this year, we are experiencing an expansion of the creative area and more attention to the context in which various landscape interventions are made. It is a big step forward, because gardens now seem to take into account rules of composition, aesthetic principles and elementary principles of functional organization of the space.
In addition to this, perhaps less evident, we notice an increasing interest in exotic elements, borrowed from Asian or Mediterranean gardens. However, they present the risk of becoming obsolete, as the rustic style. Japanese gates, garden stone lamps, mini-ponds with Asian wood floorboards and fountains, Mediterranean amphorae and mosaics are all much appreciated these days. But without being placed and valued properly, they will look like forced insertions, being associated with poor taste and kitsch.
Another noticeable tendency is the courage to approach modern, minimalist interventions. Minimalist style is often viewed with skepticism, but it becomes increasingly popular due to its elegance and simplicity. It is based on robust plants, with silhouettes and / or decorative foliage, geometric volumetry and monochrome finishes, or at most bi-chrome, without drawings or arabesques.
Finally, another trend that more and more people talk about consists in roof gardens, and we will surely speak more about it in the future.
Regardless of your landscaping and gardening preferences, Colorado utility locate specialists will review your property to locate buried cables/wires prior to your project. This will prevent damages to electrical and irrigation services during the landscaping project.
After purchasing some fruit-trees, you must, of course, plant them. Proper planting depends very much on the subsequent evolution of the tree, so it is good to keep in mind some aspects and avoid planting randomly.
Ideally, pits will be dug a few months before planting, as this favors a sterilization of the place. For example, for autumn planting, specialists recommend that the pits be dug in August, and for the spring plantings, pits will be dug in warm days during the winter. The size of the pits is best to be as large as possible, to provide ample growing space for roots and crown. Recommended tree pit size is 5 feet by 10 feet. Contact Colorado call before you dig services before doing any digging to ensure the safety of your home and maintain good working order of buried cables and water pipes.
Digging the pits also aerates the soil, which will turn to be helpful for the development of the roots, especially in the case of hardened soils.
Tree planting is the work by which the trees obtained in the nursery are moved to their definitive place. Planting must be done in two moments of the year:
- in September-October, when the soil is soft enough
- early in the spring
Preparing the trees for planting begins with the removal of the injured parts of their roots, as well as the renewal or smoothing of the wounds that exist on the roots thicker than 3-4 mm. These operations must be performed in order to maintain a healthy root system and make the planting successful.
To ensure that the space around the house will survive intact to the cold season, it is important to take some precautionary measures in advance.
Protect alleys, fences and other exterior structures
Exterior structures, whether they are made of wood, stone or composite, need your attention during the cold season. If you have wooden deck floors, cobblestone pavements or fences from different materials, autumn is the ideal time to provide them protection against the upcoming low temperatures and moisture.
At the same time, you can now also check for any problem areas; sick trees and roots, and tilted fences etc.; they will degrade even more during the winter, if you do not take action.
Here is what should do:
- Paint the wooden surfaces. The exterior floor and other wooden structures require annual care to prevent rot and degradation
- Evaluate the condition of stone and composite elements and take the necessary protective measures
- Pay attention to outdoor furniture! Store it indoors, in winter, or cover it with a waterproof film
Protect the lawn
You must not neglect your lawn, during the winter. Cut the grass periodically and apply fertilizer until the end of the fall season, before the first frost.
If you run into maintenance problems, make sure you find underground cable locator professionals to check out your lawn for cables or wires before any digging repairs take place. This will ensure the safety of everyone doing the work, and minimize the opportunity for more severe problems to crop up over time.
A yard is not complete without a beautiful lawn, with green grass carefully trimmed. Here are some maintenance tips, recommended by specialists.
- Weed control
With perseverance and using a good technique, the war against the weeds can be won. Many of the weeds can be removed using mechanical means. However, if you are not successful in the end, you will have to consider some herbicides.
- Mowing the lawn
Regular grass trimming is important because it will make it thicker. Regarding the trimming technique, it is better to cut the grass more often than at long intervals. When using the lawn mower, change its direction several times, so that the grass is not pressed in the same direction each time.
Cutting grass removes nutrients that need to be replaced, in order to have a beautiful and healthy lawn. Therefore, you must fertilize it every 4-5 weeks, starting with the beginning of spring.
If you want a green lawn that enhances the entire aspect of your yard, then water it properly. The frequency of this process depends on temperature and humidity. When the grass needs water, it will get a gray-blue tint and will begin to twist or wither.
Please make sure that before you do landscaping repair or maintenance that involves digging, you schedule underground wire location services by calling Colorado 811.
Create wonderful garden paths from tiles scraps
If you recently moved in or renovated your home, you may still have some broken tiles that just lay around with no purpose. Here is an idea: break the remaining tiles into small pieces, mix them and use them to pave the alleys in the garden. You will get stunning results that will only bring you praise from your guests.
Garden paths made of useless pieces of construction materials
Responsible people focus more and more on recycling, so here is another interesting idea: take bricks, natural stones and even hollow bottles or pieces of glass. Bury them partially into the fresh concrete, make sure that each piece is visible enough but not very preeminent, because you need a smooth and easy to walk surface after all.
A mosaic made of gravel arranged with care
If you are an extremely patient person who like the things made with care and who even wants to get involved in all kinds of DIY projects that demand attention and focus on details, perhaps the mosaic-alleys, made from gravel, will catch you attention. All you need is an extra-dose of patience, but the result is worth the effort.
Please be reminded that before starting any project involving digging, you contact trained utility location services to identify buried pipes and cables.
The selection of trees for gardens and public landscaping should be made responsibly. The climatic particularities in Colorado make some trees better to be planted than others. Besides resistance to local weather conditions, other tree planting considerations must include the growth rate, the form of the trees and their size at maturity, as well as pest resistance and maintenance issues.
As such, some of the best trees to plant in Colorado are evergreens. However, the larger ones, such as blue spruce and the various pine and fir types are not suitable to be used as street trees; on the other hand, smaller evergreens like Piñon (Pinus edulis), Hawthorn species (Crataegus spp.) or Bristlecone pine (Pinus aristata) are.
Small ornamental trees are also successfully used for landscaping. Canada red cherry and Mayday tree with their white flowers, Canyon maple (which is a Rocky Mountain native), Ginkgo biloba, American linden and Sycamore trees are only a few examples.
The trees recommended for Colorado front range communities include many species of large shade trees, such as English oak, Hackberry, Bur oak, Swamp white oak, Honeylocust and American elm.
On the other hand, there are also a few species that are not recommended to be planted in Colorado, for various reasons: their susceptibility to diseases, their tendency to spread and out-compete native species etc. We are talking about Silver maple, Russian-olive or White-Barked Birches, among others.
Before planting any trees in your yard, call professional Colorado utility locate technicians to ensure buried cables are undisturbed and functional throughout your landscaping project.
All plants need water to survive, it is just that some of them are able to resist longer without water.
The Agave plant stores the water in its thick leaves and develops very deep roots that collect the necessary water. Landscape planners often use the agave plant because of its interesting foliage and also because it does not require special maintenance.
Bougainvillea spectabilis is a champion among low-water plants, being able to resist in extreme conditions. This colorful flower plant is very easy to grow and maintain.
Lantana or chameleon plant
Lantana or chameleon plant is a perennial plant with parti-colored green-yellow leaves and a reddish stripe at the edges. It loves warmth and dryness and can grow in any kind of soil. Its flowers attract butterflies, bees and birds.
Leander is a tropical plant. It produces flowers of different colors – yellow, pink, white and purple. It is known as a plant that adapts easily to drought and grows well in seaside areas, preferring sunny places.
Lavender is a light perennial plant that grows easily and is tolerant to heat. You can plant it either directly in the earth or in decorative containers, but make sure that the pot is well drained because this plant does not bear excess water.
Cactus and succulent plants
Besides the reduced need for water, cacti do not require any special care. Many varieties can be easily grown in the garden.
Please note that it is always important that in Colorado call before you dig with any landscaping project to keep underground plumbing and cables in tact and functional.