Monday, December 30, 2013

Winter Garden Prep

It is hard to figure out what to do in the fall and winter garden so we found an expert to give us some tips from the ground up!

Friday, December 27, 2013

"Stamp" Concrete with Impression Patterns by NewLook

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An Impression Pattern is a durable, long-lasting polyurethane pattern. It's not a stamp. It's not a stencil. It's an Impression—the new method for imprinting texture and design into fresh concrete and overlays.

Impression Patterns are easier to use than their stamp and stencil counterparts and they're very versatile. They cost less and are much more forgiving.

They are available in many popular field and border stock patterns, including ashlar, brick, cobble stone, and random stone. You can even customize your Impression to achieve any intricate design you want.


Prepare the Impression once the concrete is poured properly and finished with a steel trowel or bull float. Thoroughly coat both sides of the Impression with liquid release. Spray a liberal amount of release onto the concrete, as well. This prevents the Impression from sticking and helps it leave a well-defined pattern.

Placing the Impression

Place the Impression wherever you want. Don't worry about laying it down perfectly. The process is very forgiving. The marks and lines left from the Impression will disappear when the Impression is troweled. Adjust and move the Impression as needed until you are satisfied with its position.

Troweling & Finishing

One of the unique benefits of using Impressions is found in the finishing process. Begin by gently tapping and troweling over the Impression. This helps push the Impression into the top layer of fresh concrete so that the top part of the Impression becomes flush with the concrete surface. Use standard troweling techniques to achieve the desired finish.

Once the Impression is set, you can add texture using a textured roller. Be sure to coat the roller with release agent. Using powder release can also help prevent puckering and sticking.

Remove the Impression

Once the concrete is dry, remove the impression by lifting up from one end.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Dry Creek Bed Landscape

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Do You Need a Backyard Firepit?

Depending on how the weather turns, you may find that you enjoy sitting in the backyard at specific times of the year. It is not uncommon to consider different ways to improve your back patio or deck - maybe you've considered a gazebo or garden, or even a firepit to keep yourself warm on cooler evenings. Do you need a firepit to enhance your backyard entertaining, however? It can be a solid investment or a folly, but if you consider the pros and cons you will find you've made the right decision for home improvement.
Here are a few points to consider if you have thought about installing a fire shoppe in your backyard:
1) How often do you sit out in the backyard? Do you think the addition of a firepit will inspire you to spend more time outside? The good thing about firepits is that you can use them year round - for cozy conversations during the fall and winter and marshmallow toasting and hot dog roasting in the summer. If spending time outside is a favorite activity, you may want to improve the experience with a comfortable firepit setting.
2) What is your budget? Firepits come in a variety of styles and sizes. Some are merely portable iron bowls you can find in a home improvement shop, while others are brick structures that require professional construction and installation. Some will burn wood, others work with gas. The type of firepit you want may not correspond with the money you are able to invest, so make sure you go over your finances before you make a firm decision.
3) Are there any obstacles to installing a fire shoppe? Having a place where you will have an open flame may affect your home insurance. Also, if you live in a condo or other planned community there may be restrictions to what you can have installed in your yard area. Check with your insurance company and HOA or board to see if any regulations prevent you from setting up something.
If nothing stands in the way of your plan to enhance your backyard relaxation, you next want to research what kind of pit you want. Do you have an existing deck or patio? You may be able to build onto it and install a gas line for it. If not, you may wish to landscape the backyard altogether with the firepit as the focus. A local contractor or backyard leisure store can offer you many ideas.
Enjoy your nights before the fire, no matter the time of year. A backyard fire shoppe will keep you warm.

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Monday, December 9, 2013

How To Prepare Your Lawn And Landscape For The Winter

With the fall moving quickly past and winter approaching, now is the perfect time year to prepare your property for the upcoming cold weather. Not only will your property be protected from harsh winter weather but come spring time, you will have less lawn and landscape work to take on. Preps now save you from major fixes in the spring! Most of the things that need to be done to prepare your lawn and landscape for winter are easy and inexpensive but if put off until spring, will cause your now healthy landscape to be not so healthy looking. Listed below are some tips that you as a homeowner can follow to help get your property ready for the winter.
  • Rake up fallen leaves- You may be tempted to skip this chore but it is very important that fallen leaves are raked up and removed from your lawn. Leaving them on your lawn over the winter months may cause your lawn to "suffocate" over the winter.

  • Remove decaying or dying branches- Pruning dead branches off of the bushes and other landscaping around your property is important. This will help to keep trees and shrubs healthy and strong enough to hold up to the ice and snow that falls over the winter.

  • Clean up garden areas- Make it easier on yourself and clean up debris out of your flower beds and garden areas now; this will make it stress-free to do your plantings in the spring.

  • Mulch- After the first hard freeze, it is advised to apply mulch around your plants in your garden areas as this will help to protect the plants over the cold winter months.

  • Create a compost pile- Now is the perfect time to make a compost pile. It will not only serve as an area to get rid of organic debris that you are cleaning up from your yard, but when mixed with the soil in the spring, will help next year's plantings thrive.

  • Remove dead plants- After the first freeze happens, inspect your garden areas and remove any plants that have not made it. This will prevent diseased plants from spreading throughout your garden.

  • Mow your lawn- Mow your lawn one final time but make sure not to cut it too short. Leaving it 1.5-2 inches will ensure that it will be able to survive the winter.
If you find that you do not have the time or just don't have the energy or desire to prepare your lawn and landscape for winter, contact a professional lawn and landscape team. Their experts will be able to make sure that your property is prepared and ready to go for the winter without you having to leave your warm and cozy home!

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Friday, December 6, 2013

5 Types of Landscape Stone - Which is Right For Your Next Project?

Landscape stone is a type of ornamental accessory that is used to enhance the overall look and feel of decorative lawn designs. These stones can be used to enhance natural elements around any home and business. Throughout this article, you will be introduced to various styles and methods of application when it comes to these types of stones. If you are searching for methods of employing a unique look and feel to the decoration of your home, using the various types of landscape stones may prove to be exceptionally beneficial!
Types of Landscape Stones
The good thing about this type of stone is that there are many different types available. Seeing that each home has a unique architectural design, and appearance, it is important to have a good selection when it comes to stones that can be used in the landscaping of the home. The following details some examples of stones that you can purchase for ornamental design:
1. Retaining Walls - There are many different types of stones that can be used when it comes to creating retaining walls in the lawn. You may elect to assemble a retaining wall around a small pond, or even a garden. You can choose from stones like Chilton, Lannon, Fond du Lac, Waukesha, Kodiak, and Bay De Noc.
2. Flagstone - Flagstone is a very popular choice when it comes to stones that are used for steps, or simple ornamental design.
3. Boulders - Many times, homeowners elect to implement the use of boulders in the decorative design of their landscaping. Great products in the way of boulders include that of Birchwood, Wisconsin, Granite, and even Honeycomb Western stone.
4. Marble - Many individuals elect to use marble when decorating their landscape. Marble can be used to create signs, around or in garden ponds, and even marble fountains can be purchased in order to bring out the natural appeal of a pond or garden area.
5. Natural Stone - Natural stone is often a choice for small landscaping structures. This is often considered the most economically sound stone when it comes to shopping and improving the home on a budget.
Stone Ideas for Landscaping
There are many ideas that you can choose to implement when it comes to landscape stones. Many homeowners elect to construct small fences created from these stones around the yard. There are many who will create a Zen type garden for the home and use these rocks to bring out the natural appeal and beauty of these products. There are also other ideas that you can implement, such as:
o Gardens
o Sidewalks
o Outdoor Living Areas
o Recreational Areas
o Trails
o Outdoor Cooking Areas
o Ponds
o And, More!
If you want to bring about a change in your landscape design, choosing stone to bring about a change may be the right choice for you. There are many different choices when it comes to colors, textures, and shapes. There are many types of stones available so that you can accurately match it to any type of architecture!

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Sand Vs Gravel - Basic Information For a Valuable Landscaping Project

Landscaping is an important component in home exterior improvement. Enhancing your outdoors is exquisitely valuable because it primarily affects the curb appeal of your property. Curb appeal plays an important role in the decision of potential home buyers in seriously considering the purchase of your house. In the course of landscaping, it is of utmost relevance to carefully choose between sand and gravel in terms of usage in the entirety of your project.
To start with, it is important to note that sand and gravel have certain common features and specifications when it comes to maintenance. This is because both materials seem to belong in the same group as to the manner of keeping or managing your landscape with such materials. For instance, you do not need a large quantity of water in order to maintain the beauty of your landscape with these types of decorations or foundation. Unlike its grass counterparts that you definitely need a reliable and sufficient water supply and system in order to keep your greenery in good condition and shape. Furthermore, landscapes using grass or other types of foliage are totally time consuming because of it requires you to give much of your effort and allocate your time for trimming and watering your lawn or front yard.
In terms of using sand or gravel, you will find that there is a slight difference in the usage of these materials. It actually shows in the effect or overall outcome and result of the landscaping project. Most home owners prefer using these materials for houses which are located in drier or tropical countries or states. This makes this option an environment-friendly alternative because you are basically lessening your usage of the water supply for your home improvement.
Using sand or gravel usually works hand in hand, since you can make use of one material as a supporting feature for the other. It is good to note that most landscapers prefer to use sand and gravel in lawns or projects that require assets such as desert gardens. Indulging into this particular landscape obviously caters for the integration of sand, rock and gravel into creating a remarkable desert rock garden. This option is becoming a popular preference for home owners who want to have a unique home exterior with exquisite style and features. Furthermore, it is a cost efficient alternative in comparison with other landscape ideas and materials such as using grasses and greenery.
Using sand creates an illusion of expansiveness and continuity in your front lawn and it is further enhanced in aesthetic value through incorporating gravel and rocks. This is because creating a pathway gives the spaciousness impact in your front lawn. You may add other features such as plants and flowers to give color and variation in your decorations and style.
Choosing between sand and gravel is quite a tricky and challenging task to use in your landscaping project. Both have the same features and the quality of their result depends on your preference and creativity to maximize your resources. Hence, it is best to develop a clear vision and plan on which to follow in the course of your home exterior upgrade.

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