Easy Ways To Maintain The Exterior Of Your House

Your home is your best asset. And undoubtly, it is certainly your biggest investment. Therefore, it is necessary that you carry out frequent maintenance to avoid costly repairs, while keeping both the investment and the refugees safe and secure. Quarterly inspections are sufficient to prevent major damages, and they will make sure that your house…

Your home is your best asset. And undoubtly, it is certainly your biggest investment. Therefore, it is necessary that you carry out frequent maintenance to avoid costly repairs, while keeping both the investment and the refugees safe and secure. Quarterly inspections are sufficient to prevent major damages, and they will make sure that your house is in a great condition for years to come.

However, even the most careful homeowners focus more on the interior beauty of their homes and often overlook the exteriors. Insurance policies do not offer protection from insect, rodent, bird, and damage, nor will they be able to protect the exterior from the usual wear and tear.

Here are a few things you need to keep in mind to protect the exterior of your house:

Caulking: Caulking is a major help if you do not wish to let water get inside your house. The water dries out over time, and as a result, it slips past the barrier. Therefore, you need to do exterior caulking at least once in three to four years. You also need to make sure that caulking is present in areas like the window trim, where two different materials meet.

Inspecting Infestations: Walk the grounds of your house at least once in a month. Take note if there are trailing insects or insect molds. This is important as insects can erode your building's foundation. Make sure that there are no nesting birds or rodents taking shelter outside your house. They can damage your home and create unsafe situations, like bringing diseases, and disturbing the wiring systems in walls and attics.

Inspecting Gutters: Make sure that there is no clogging in the gutters of your house. Clogged gutters are the main reason behind leaks. You must make it a point to clean the gutters at least three to four times a year. However if there are trees nearby, then it is necessary that you clean the gutters at least once a month.

Inspecting the Air Conditioners: You must do this task at least once a year. Pick up the phone and call over a professional. They typically add Freon, clean the coils, and make sure that the units are in proper working order. This will increase their longevity, and help you save a lot of money in the long run.

Checking the Air Filters: Cleaning the air filters is one of the easiest jobs while maintaining the exterior of your house. Replace them every alternate month. It is advisable that you do it on a monthly basis if you have pets at home. It is a painless and quick job that takes less than 10 minutes. This will ensure that the residents have a healthier life, and it will keep the electricity bills down and reserve the air-conditioning machines.

Paint and Other Options: Painting the exterior walls once in every two or three years will protect them from weathering and deteriorating over time. If you do not want to repaint the exterior walls, then you can go for either Vinyl or wood sliding.

In these easy 6 ways, you can make sure that the exterior of your house looks good and has a few more years added into its life.

Significant Things You Must Be Aware About Artificial Turf

A huge lawn will certainly take time to maintain and water – this will make it hard for you to concentrate on other garden plants. This is the main reason why most homeowners and stadiums these days make use of artificial turf in order to fill in your landscape – this will greatly help in…

A huge lawn will certainly take time to maintain and water – this will make it hard for you to concentrate on other garden plants. This is the main reason why most homeowners and stadiums these days make use of artificial turf in order to fill in your landscape – this will greatly help in preserving water. Also, it will not require polluting lawnmowers for maintenance. In fact, with proper construction materials and ground preparation, the grass will look like a real thing.

Interesting Facts About Artificial Turf

Infill – This is made of crumbled rubber or rounded silica sand which provides great stability for every individual synthetic grass blade. After rolling out the artificial grass on the rock layer, you have to spread infill across the turf as well as rake it into the blade crevices. And since the infill will range between 1/8 and 1/4 inch long, it will easily slide down to the base of the turf. Be reminded that this material is very critical for a realistic turf feel and appearance. Indeed, the grass blade will remain upright with heavy use in order to retain a realistic look from afar or up close.

Turf Characteristics – If you are considering of buying an artificial grass product, you have to search for turf that has an ultraviolet protective coating. Although there are lots of imitation grass installations in shady spots, turf in full sun must be protected from weathering and fading. It is a great idea for you to check out the potential installation area – it must not have any window reflections that will striking it as this can damage the turf. Even though it can feel hot if installed in a certain hot climate, the grass can easily withstands summer.

Drainage and Base Construction – Artificial grass will not be laid out like a rug on bare ground. Typically, lots of artificial lawns will start with excavating down 5 inches. At the base, there is a system of pipe drains which is meant for your property – water must be drained from the area consistently in order to prevent certain bacterial issues. Know that the combination of small and large stones will allow the base layer to remain stable for lots of year, even when the lawn will get heavy foot traffic.

Maintenance – This kind of turf is not maintenance-free but is time-consuming than real turf. You will still need to rake debris and leaves the lawn to keep it looking neat and clean always. As time passes by, the grass blade may compact down with foot traffic. You must know that brushing the turf will bring the grass blade back into position. It can also help if you rearrange the infill to hold the blades up. With proper brushing and raking, your turf will definitely appear realistic and lush.

To learn more about artificial turf, check out this site .

Tree Lopping and Its Multiple Benefits

Owners of residential properties may have good reasons in resorting to tree lopping. These are generally for outdoor decoration, safety and health issues. Although trees can make your home look more attractive, there are instances when you need to trim branches or remove the tree completely. Lopping service providers will remove unhealthy, shattered or dead…

Owners of residential properties may have good reasons in resorting to tree lopping. These are generally for outdoor decoration, safety and health issues. Although trees can make your home look more attractive, there are instances when you need to trim branches or remove the tree completely.

Lopping service providers will remove unhealthy, shattered or dead boughs that have grown in young and old trees. It yields micro-organisms that can infect other healthy parts of these large perennial plants. At the same time, amputation of live limbs facilitates exposure to natural light and free flow of air within the top. Pruning is also meant to enhance the beauty of your topography.

There are two options for tree lopping. One is to trim the branches personally provided you have some knowledge. The other is to hire or hire a professional tree “lopper”. There are upsides and drawbacks for both. It is essential to evaluate each alternative carefully before settling on the approach to take. It really does not matter for as long as the tree is pruned properly. Up to standard pruning techniques also ensures the safety of passers-by, pets, motor vehicles, and physical structures.

Trimming medium-sized and young trees can produce well-built branch structures. A lot of property owners reserve trees primarily for environmental purposes. It is also necessary to cut trees for beautification, landscaping and adding value to your home. The growth of trees is enhanced because unfinished branches are removed. Appropriate pruning is important in making the foundation of trees stronger and the form more attractive.

Trees are not allowed to grow too high. Full grown trees are pruned for restoration and to sustain production. Twigs in the lower portion are cut down to facilitate mechanical harvesting procedures. While trees are expected to provide shade especially during summer, low undergrowth should be pruned for safety reasons. Branches should not obstructive electric wires since this poses a hazard to people. Falling leaves and twigs can also cause damage to the roofing of your house.

Service providers have the skills and experience to engage in this activity. Beside, experts possess the appropriate ladders, rope, pruning shears and other equipment required to accomplish the job. It is risky to climb trees and cut down large trees if you are not knowledgeable of tree-cutting and pruning techniques. Look for the best tree lopping utility in your community. Get the best provider to save money and conserve time.

3 Steps for Choosing a New Fence for Your Property

In the poem “Mending Wall,” Robert Frost concludes that “good wings make good neighbors.” Whatever you're hoping to strengthen your relationship with your next-door neighbors or hopping to protect your property, a fence can be a great addition. Using fencing professionals, such as those that work with a trusted company, you can take these three…

In the poem “Mending Wall,” Robert Frost concludes that “good wings make good neighbors.” Whatever you're hoping to strengthen your relationship with your next-door neighbors or hopping to protect your property, a fence can be a great addition. Using fencing professionals, such as those that work with a trusted company, you can take these three steps to choosing the right new fence for your property.

Consider Reasons for Installation

Before you begin, consider why you want to install a fence. Are you trying to protect your children? Do you want to keep your pet inside your yard? Do you want more privacy? Are you trying to block out noise? Do you want to add it as a decorative element to your property? Once you've determined the reason behind the installation, you can better determine the type of fence you need to fulfill your needs.

Conduct Your Research

Next, you will need to do some research about your area. Think about the climate of your property. Do you live in a cold or humid location? Do you have a HOA in your neighborhood or municipal building codes that you need to adhere to? You should check the covenants of your neighborhood to find our if they have rules regarding the look, height, and material that you can use for your fence. You should also find out if you will need to obtain a building permit to build. It would also be wise to talk to your neighbors to make sure that you know exactly where your property boundaries lie so you do not cause problems with your neighbors down the road.

Choose Fencing Materials

When you've done your research, you may have a pretty good idea of ​​the kind of fence that you need to have on your property. If not, you can start envisioning how you want your property to look. You could consider recreating the American dream with the white-picket fence, but you should know that it requires a lot of maintenance. If you want something low maintenance, look into vinyl fencing. You could also look into aluminum, steel, wrought iron, or bamboo materials. If your yard permits it, consider using a decorative, more expensive material in the front with a cost-effective material in the back where people will not really see it anyway. If you choose a material that you do not think is very attractive, you could plant things that will cover it and create a beautiful landscape on your property.

Amending Your Soil Is Your Best Bet To Grow

Just like we are what we eat, so are our gardens. And that starts with the soil. I have to admit, I really never practiced what I preached in this regard. Guilty of lack of time I guess, my gardens get overlooked a bit, especially through the busy design season. All its shortcomings hidden by…

Just like we are what we eat, so are our gardens. And that starts with the soil. I have to admit, I really never practiced what I preached in this regard. Guilty of lack of time I guess, my gardens get overlooked a bit, especially through the busy design season. All its shortcomings hidden by my low yew hedge.

I mulch the bare spots when I can, I apply fertilizer (Miracle Grow) to the plants I really want to flower (Rhodo and Endless Summer Hydrangeas) and water when a few of my plants look desperate.

But one year around this time, a neighbor was having a tree removed. This created a lot of fresh mulch and even more chopped up leaves. She did not want it in her garden so the tree removal company asked if I did. I said, “Sure!” and they happily filled one section of my garden. Well as I look back on my season that garden has done very well, especially compared to its sunnier counterparts. Can I say for sure that the decaying leaves and mulch were the cause? Not for sure, but I know it did not hurt. So when I think about how many bags of shredded leaves we put to the curse instead of put in the garden every fall, I can not believe it.

So my big tip tip for you … save money on leaf bags and put your leaves in your garden to decompose this fall. Shred them if possible to give the worms a helping hand as they are the ones breaking down the organic matter so that it benefits your plants. One big exception here is only use leaves from healthy trees. If the leaves on your trees have mold or tar spot, please do not add them to your garden. The second exception is do not use leaves from a Black Walnut. The leaves contain juglone, which is toxic to many plants.

Aside from adding shredded leaves to your soil, adding other organic material like compost and manure is also beneficial. I have heard about a product called Nincompoop http://www.nincompoop.ca/ . It apparently goes down like mulch but feeds the garden like compost. I am planning on adding some of this to complement my leaves.

Regardless of what you use, fall is the best time to feed your soil. So stop worrying about deadheading plants and focus on the soil. Trim back plants in spring. Turn your new soil, apply a layer of mulch and you are good to go by May long weekend!

Hydrangeas: When They Don’t Work And What You Can Do About It

I love hydrangeas! I put them all over my garden but when they do not work it can be frustrating. Here are some common problems and what you can do about them. 1) Hydrangeas not blooming: This seems to be the number one problem people have with their hydrangeas, including me! The most common hydrangeas…

I love hydrangeas! I put them all over my garden but when they do not work it can be frustrating. Here are some common problems and what you can do about them.

1) Hydrangeas not blooming: This seems to be the number one problem people have with their hydrangeas, including me! The most common hydrangeas that have blooming issues are in the Macrophilia family or primarily the Endless Summer Hydrangeas. I have researched this in the past and concluded that I needed to fertilize them more but unfortunately this has not helped me. In fact, after even more research, I think it's contributing to the problem. Too much fertilizer means your plants will grow nice and big and leafy but no blooms.

Another reason for no blooms is pruning at the wrong time. These plants really just need deadheading and should not need any hard pruning. Even in early spring, leave the “dead” looking stems alone so that the plant can grow and bloom from the “old” wood. I have been really good at this so I know this is not my problem.

Lastly is winter protection and late frosts. Even with the old wood not touched in the spring, it is exposed to elements and therefore the buds could have frozen preventing it from blooming. That coupled with my over fertilizing could be the problem. Although I am not sure what I am going to do about it as I do not want to go another summer with no blooms. Yes, I am impatient and like most of you I want a low maintenance garden.

I found some information online where others have wrapped their hydrangeas with Saran Wrap for the winter. I am not going to do that! Digging them up and giving them away may be another option for me.

2) My hydrangeas are too big! This is a common problem with Limelight Hydrangea or Hydrangea paniculata. They take a few years to get going but once they do they can crowd out other plants.

I really like them in the 5 foot range and tried to give them as much space as I could in my customers' gardens. If you are finding them too big, fall is NOT the time to cut them back. Please enjoy the blooms, trim them from the back to bring into the house but wait until March to do the heavy pruning needed to keep the size under control. If you feel that is too much work, you can relocate them to another sunny spot with more room and substitute your Limelight Hydrangea with Little Lime Hydrangea. Same great flower just only gets to 3 feet or so.

3) Floppy hydrangeas: This is common with the Annabelle Hydrangea, the white shade loving hydrangea. This tend to happen when the shrub is cut back all the way to the ground during your fall or spring clean up. I know many people say they do this to control the size but it is contributing to the problem. Every time the plant regrows on new stems, they are too weak to support the heavy blooms (seems odd, I know but that's Mother Nature for you). If you have been doing this or if you have a newly planed Annabelle Hydrangea, I have found it best to leave the shrub unpruned for a couple years to let the stems mature and thicken. Once it starts to need a bit of pruning, only prune one third of the shrub, usually from the inside. The goal is that the older stems will continue to act as a support to the new stems.

4) Cutting hydrangeas to bring in the house. I love doing this and so do my girlfriends. They come by every fall to snip some from the back of my plants to take some home. One tip I have is only cut blooms that have been opened on the plant for a while, I find the newly opened blooms wilt.

I have tried 2 methods; Cutting them, removing their leaves and then putting them in a vase with about an inch of water. They will slowly take up the water and then slowly dry up from stem to bloom. Or I have done the tried and true method of tying the stems together and hanging them upside down until they dry. Keep out of direct sunlight for both methods.

I hope you found these tips helpful for managing and enjoying the versatile hydrangea in your garden.

Landscaping Supplies for Outside Projects

If you want to design a landscape in your yard, large or small, you will need landscaping supplies. Outdoor design in your yard helps the area feel more inviting to guests and it improves your home's curb appealing. You'll feel proud of your accommodations with you finish creating a beautiful outdoor living area on your…

If you want to design a landscape in your yard, large or small, you will need landscaping supplies. Outdoor design in your yard helps the area feel more inviting to guests and it improves your home's curb appealing. You'll feel proud of your accommodations with you finish creating a beautiful outdoor living area on your property, too.

Gather basic landscaping supplies to enable you to care for your outdoor areas. Typical tools to purchase include gardening tools, shovels, rakes, a garden hose, a lawn mower, a trimmer, and pruning tools. It's also helpful to buy grass seed, mulch, compost, topsoil, fertilizer, weed killer, flowerpots, and flower and vegetable seeds. If you install decorative stones or mulch around your property, purchase extra bags to enable you to refresh the mulch periodically through the growing season.

For a new flowerbed, you will need a variety of tools and materials. First, you will need to plan the planting area. Plot the area in your yard to determine the exact location and size. You can use a length of rope to indicate the borders of the flowerbed. Once you have decided on the planting area, calculate the dimensions so you know the amount of materials you will need. To prepare the soil for growing, the necessary landscaping supplies include compost and topsoil. If your soil needs improvement to help plants grow more effectively, it may be necessary to add additional soil amendments. The seeds and bedding plants you sow into the soil will depend on whether the space receives sun or shade. After planting, you will need to add weed barrier fabric to prevent weeds from taking over the space. Add decorative mulch onto the soil as a finishing touch and edging materials around the perimeter of the area to serve as a boundary for the planting space. Other supplies you may need include a shovel, garden fork, rake, trowel, wheelbarrow, and garden hose.

If your skills are a little more advanced, you might build a retaining wall in your yard. A retaining wall project requires specific landscaping supplies. Some of the most important tools and materials include round and square shovels, a level, tape measure, string line, hammer, hand tamper, chisel, and broom. You'll also need a plate compactor and a concrete saw to build the new wall. The retaining wall project will involve installing the structure that includes the wall material and fill material and the barrier between the two materials. Once you complete the retaining wall, you can landscape around it with shrubs and flowers to complete the project.

Living additions to your yard are an exciting type of product to purchase. Both perennial and annual flowers have a place in the outdoor landscape, depending on your budget and the style of yard you are trying to create. Do not forget shrubs, bushhes, ornamental trees, hedges, fruit trees, and shade trees for your landscape, as well. If your budget is tight, add plants over a period of time to spread out the expense.

Tree Trimming Cost?

Tree Trimming Estimate Cost? The tree is close to the house, power lines, next to a building, affecting your pool site, location of the tree, accessibility, tree condition, and the time has elapsed since last trimming, and many others. All these factors will make your estimated cost for tree trimming to have different prices. But…

Tree Trimming Estimate Cost?

The tree is close to the house, power lines, next to a building, affecting your pool site, location of the tree, accessibility, tree condition, and the time has elapsed since last trimming, and many others.

All these factors will make your estimated cost for tree trimming to have different prices. But the best way to find out what the actual cost for your tree service according to your tree conditions will be to contact a professional for an estimate price.

The majority of homeowners always hires professionals to handle their tree care needs and they will always ask “How much does tree trimming cost?” at the moment you

Tree trimming estimate costs can vary depending on many things, if you do not get a straight answer right away and the main reason is because the total amount depends on a variety of things mentioned above.

Shorter trees up to 30 Ft can have an estimated price of $ 80 – $ 400, Trees from 30 Ft to 60 can be $ 175 – $ 850 and 60-65 Ft and taller trees can be costing from $ 300 $ 1,500 or even more if the tree becomes complicated and have to perform the work manually, but you will know all the factor when you talk to a professional.

Trim trees close to power lines estimate cost?

The cost of trimming a tree that is located near power lines or any cable can vary because of the danger that represents for any of the crew members that will perform the work using the proper tools and machinery to carefully reach the difficult branches that are touching or between the cables.

Unfortunately, trees that grow near power lines can be really dangerous and can cause power outages. Trees are involved in almost 30 percent of power outages and the cost of trimming trees close to wires are estimated to be more expensive than to perform on trees that are in an open space. Estimated price cost will always depend on how close the tree is to power lines, used by Bucket trucks and especial utility tools.

Let's say if a 50-65 Ft tree trimming was about to take place in a clear area an estimate price would be around $ 950 to $ 1200, but if the case was a tree trimming that involuntary electricity cables or any power line an average cost could be from $ 1200, $ 1500, $ 2000 or even more all according to the situation and the danger that it can represent to the people performing the work. Performing a tree work that involves electric lines can be deadly for the person doing the work and for others in the surroundings.

Tree trimming cost estimates near houses!

Tree branches that grow too close to a home and its roof can be hazardous as falling debris, limbs that can cause structural damages. Tree Trimming close to a house can be difficult and the estimate price cost can vary, because it will need experience, patience, proper equipment and well trained crews that have the knowledge to perform a clean job.

To have a large tree trimmed the approximately average cost should be $ 1000, but if it is close to your home the estimate cost can be around $ 1500 or more it all depends according to the true situation and location.

If there is an open space (driveway) to use a bucket truck the job can be more easy, otherwise this would have to be performed manually using climbers and all the proper equipment. The cost is based on the tree size, location and to get an exact price cost is by requesting an estimate with professionals.

Having a tree trimming done helps your yard to look more attractive and will have your trees in shape, this procedures is used to remove dead, broken or diseased parts that can pose serious hazards to your home and surroundings. The average estimated price cost of tree trimming can be depending on the height and how the branches are spread. To know about the price cost of any tree service you will need to request an estimate from a professional.

Impatiens, Gone For Good?

Do you plant impatiens every year in your garden or containers? A popular low maintenance annual for shady areas of the yard, this year you might want to consider something else. Downy Mildew is currently wiping out plantings of this common shade annual and even causing growers to stop growing them. In my time working…

Do you plant impatiens every year in your garden or containers? A popular low maintenance annual for shady areas of the yard, this year you might want to consider something else. Downy Mildew is currently wiping out plantings of this common shade annual and even causing growers to stop growing them. In my time working at a nursery I have filled many benches with flats and flats of these annuals and spent much time color blocking them on those benches. They have always been a hot seller. But this disease has shown no sign of stopping and it will really show at your local nursery this season as I think most reputable nurseries are not even going to stock them. Sheridan Nurseries has already announced plans to not carry them this year.

Downy Mildew is a pathogen called Plasmopara obducens and only affects Impatiens walleriana and Impatiens balsamina. It does not infect New Guinea impatiens. It produces a white fluffy coating on the underside of the leaves but does not show it for 5-14 days. The plants will continue to deteriorate. There are no resistant varieties and fungicides have proven to be ineffective. And another important factor is that the fungus remains dormant in the soil and can even live there for up to 5 years . So going back to planting impatiens in a few years will cause the fungus to re-emerge.

If you are not sure if your Impatiens had them the last few years, try to remember if the plants were shorter than usual with smaller leaves and fewer flowers and had leaves that yellowed and dropped early, leaving bare stems and the whole plant went “soft “resembling frost damage . If your plants had any or all of these symptoms then your garden has been infected with Downy Mildew . Planting of more Impatiens will result in the same or worse results.

Looks like it is time to try something new! There are lots of choices in your garden centers . Some of the other shade annuals that will brighten up your garden are Begonias (Fibrous, Double and Tuberous), New Guinea Impatiens (often mistakenly called Sun Impatiens), Coleus, Lamium and Nicotiana.

Or even better, reduce the need to plant every year by going with some shade perennials instead . My favorites are Brunnera, Pulmonaria, Coral Bells, Astilbe, Japanese Forest Grass and Japanese Painted Ferns. They provide color, seasonal interest and better yet they come back every year. These even look great in containers for the season and pop them in the ground over the winter before the ground freezes and you can reuse them in a container again or just add them to your garden the next year.

So this might be the end of the Impatiens Era but I think it will be great for people to start thinking outside the green bag and come up with some new ideas for their shady spots!

Little Known Facts About Horticultural Societies And Why They Matter

I have spoken about or mentioned how I ended up becoming a Landscape Designer a number of times in a number of ways; my website, speaking engagements or one on one with my clients. But until a recent chat at my local Pickering Horticultural Society meeting did I realize the importance that the society played…

I have spoken about or mentioned how I ended up becoming a Landscape Designer a number of times in a number of ways; my website, speaking engagements or one on one with my clients. But until a recent chat at my local Pickering Horticultural Society meeting did I realize the importance that the society played in how I ended up doing what I love for a living.

After trying to figure things out in my own new garden and realizing that I loved doing it, I started to attend the Pickering Horticultural Society meetings. I enjoyed their annual plant sale, the speakers and meeting knowledgeable people who helped me along the way. No one more than Christine Male. At the time an executive on the committee and Assistant Manager at Weall & Cullen back in 2002. I approached Christine for a part time job as I was very interested in learning more about the industry and excited to help others with their gardens and with a 7 year old and a 5 year old boy at home I decided to vent out out of the house a little bit now that they were in school. My short stint at Weall & Cullen turned into a longer stay at Sheridan Nurseries. While still wanting to learn more, I ended up taking the Landscape Design Certificate at Ryerson and the rest, as they say, is history …

But enough about me, I really wanted to write and inform you about the great and often unpublicized work by our local and provincial horticultural societies . Whether you have heard about them or not they have been around a long time.

To quote the Ontario Horticultural Website:

Since 1906, the Ontario Horticultural Association (OHA) has led Ontarians in all things horticultural. Our organization is an integral part of this province's cultural fabric. It is a well-rooted tree with many branches (19 Districes); twigs (270 autonomous local societies) and leaves (over 30,000 members)! “

I have to confess I have only been a member off and on because as my boys have grown, their extracurricular activities kept interfering with mine! But I am really hoping to change that.

As a member you have the opportunity to:

• socialize with people who have a common interest

• participate in or just enjoy viewing flower and floral design shows which are judged by professional judges

• receive discounts at select local garden centers

• gain hands-on experience by participating in the maintenance of public flower beds

• listen to and interact with knowledgeable guest speakers at all meetings

I really enjoy the talks from the different speakers monthly and I am always learning something new. For instance a recent speaker was Cathy Kozma on The Importance of Bee-ing . I was aware of some of the issues with bees and the impact that our environment is having on them but I did not realize the scale nor did I realize the financial impact the bee industry has on our Canadian economy. Not just from their honey production but also the propagation business they affect.

As you drive around Durham many of the 'public' gardens or entrances to neighborhood gardens that look good all season are maintained by members of the Horticultural Societies.

From issues with the environment, like the wacky weather, the destruction of bees and other pollinators and horticultural issues like Organic and GMO labeling in the news every day, I think it is important to not only support your local organization but to be a part of it . This will help us learn more about what is going on around us, like I did with last month's talk on bees.

I hope you have learned something new in this article. If you have any questions about an organization near you, their website will have information on speakers and meeting times and they would love to have you drop in for a meeting .

Useful Information on Advantages of Wood Fences

Wood fencing has gained prominence in most parts of the world due to its durability and usefulness. This enclosure guarantees the solitude you want depending on the tallness and style of installation. Some communities prescribe maximum heights so you have to comply with this requirement. The main upside of wood fencing is suitability with almost…

Wood fencing has gained prominence in most parts of the world due to its durability and usefulness. This enclosure guarantees the solitude you want depending on the tallness and style of installation. Some communities prescribe maximum heights so you have to comply with this requirement. The main upside of wood fencing is suitability with almost all forms of house designs. Furthermore, said barrier can adapt easily to multiple weather conditions. It can also be built in level grounds as well as graduated landscapes. You can make use of creativity in terms of design.

Popularity of this fencing style continues to increase. One possible material is hardwood which is said to be the original material for traditional enclosures. You should be aware that hardwood suppliers frequently run out of stocks because of limited timber supplies. The source is inadequate so prices fluctuate most of the time. One downside of wood fencing is vulnerability to pests. The positive side is the material's solidity due to less water absorption. Wooden posts can be identified several meters apart.

Then again, pine is also a natural resource but inventory is more sufficient compared to other varieties. Pine is also treated with certain arsenic chemicals to deal with pest issues effectively. There is a specific category which is ideal for ground contact. The only problem is that pine timber has the propensity to dry out after installation. This leads to possible warping or shrinking. You can also expect a certain amount of yellowing after less than one year.

There are three basic designs for these barriers. One is the ordinary pattern. Another is the segmented panels which can reach out up to 15 millimeters to hide the gaps which usually come out after shrinking occurs. The lap and cap is similar to the lapped version despite the capping runs along the fence top. It serves as protection against the end particles of paling. One of the newest trends today is to install timber fencing with parallel boards. The wood can be made from pine or hardwood. The modern fence style can be left as natural, painted or stained.

Keep in mind that the treatment option involving copper chrome arsenic is said to be harmful. Neverheless, the effects have not been proven so there is no truth that it has been taken for fencing purposes. You can consult with reputable contractors for more useful tips about wood wings.

What You Need To Know About Residential Landscape Design

If you are considering re-doing an existing site or landscaping a new one, it is advisable to consider hiring the services of a landscape architect. A residential landscape design professional will be the right person to help you plan, design and implement your dream design. These professionals are required to have a license since it…

If you are considering re-doing an existing site or landscaping a new one, it is advisable to consider hiring the services of a landscape architect. A residential landscape design professional will be the right person to help you plan, design and implement your dream design. These professionals are required to have a license since it is advised to check their current status before hiring one. Hiring a licensed landscape architect makes sure your project is designed according to the applicable local and state regulations. You can check for tips from the state state's residential landscape website for award winning projects that can inspire you next sustainable garden, stunning landscape or outdoor kitchen and find reputable professionals.

What to expect from your hired professional

Landscape architects utilize their technical and artistic skills to help property owners analyze their current conditions; define their personal goals; and plan, design and arrange detailed construction documents for residential projects. A typical service includes an initial analysis of the site; locating the home & adjacent structures present on the site; selection of plant materials; and design of walkways, driveways, plantings, decks, patios and water features. Other services that can be offered by a landscape architect include irrigation design, grading & drainage rainwater harvesting, lighting, erosion control measures, storm water management, ADA accessibility, garden trellises & shade structures and other home landscape improvements.

What to check when choosing a landscape architect

There is a wide spectrum of services offered by different landscaping professionals. Therefore, it is important to get different people apply for the job and interview potential candidates. Ideally, the potential candidates should demonstrate their previous work. Your search can begin from the ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects) website. Next you can have an interview and be sure to shortlist service providers who communicate well. In addition, they should be receptive to your goals, ideas and project schedule. Furthermore, discuss their project experience, ask for previous projects and find out how they relate to your project. Moreover, determine their fees, check their references and verify their license status.

What benefits you should expect to gain from landscaping

A residential landscape design will help improve the value, appearance, environmental quality and function of your garden and outdoor environment. Hiring a landscape architect is an important investment that can contribute to adding as much as 15% to the value of the property. Unlike regular home remodels, the value grows over time even as you enjoy a professionally designed space. Depending on the scope and scale of the work, an architect can provide a detailed plan that a site contractor will adhere to and install or design the plans for homeowners to install themselves.

Prune Like A Pro With The Help Of These Tips

After a hard, long winter and cool spring, plants can be delayed or just not sure what they are doing yet. By the beginning of June many of these plants will have just finished blooming. Here is how you prune them. Pruning of Spring Flowering Shrubs Early spring flowering shrubs like Flowering Almond, Lilac, Sand…

After a hard, long winter and cool spring, plants can be delayed or just not sure what they are doing yet.

By the beginning of June many of these plants will have just finished blooming. Here is how you prune them.

Pruning of Spring Flowering Shrubs

Early spring flowering shrubs like Flowering Almond, Lilac, Sand Cherry and Forsythia should be pruned immediately after flowering. If you prune them before they bloom you will lose the flowering this season and maybe next depending on how hard you pruned.

If you want to rejuvenate mature spring flowering shrubs, as soon as the last flowers fade, use a pruning saw to cut off one-fourth to one-third of the largest, oldest stems at the ground level. Use pruning shears to shorten all of the stems to two or three feet from the ground. If you wish to greatly limit the shrub's size, you can cut the branches as far back as six inches from the ground. By the end of the growing season, new branches will have formed. These will arch gracefully from the center and will be covered with new flower buds for next year's spring show.

Summer Pruning

The pruning or trimming of summer flowering shrubs should be done by early June. If you miss the short window due to the weather, not to worry. Cut out any dead growth you can with a hand pruner. Otherwise leave the shrub alone to flower, especially Weigela and Spirea. Once the flowers are done, go ahead and cut back a bit and thin out.

Pruning of Summer Flowering Shrubs

Summer flowering shrubs like Spirea, Potentilla, Weigela, and even Roses should be pruned in early spring before growth begin and then again later in season to remove spenty flowers and encourage more blooms.

If Hydrangeas, specifically Endless Summer Hydrangeas are off to a really slow start they can struggle to produce the flowers they once did. Fertilize them with a fertilizer with a high middle number ie 15-30-15 and add some compost around the base of the plants. This should kick them into high gear and the compost will help keep them there. If you try it, please let me know how it works for you.

Pruning of Evergreens

There are 2 types of pruning for evergreens; Selective and Non-selective. Selective is more time consuming but overall will be better for the plant in the long run. It involves using a hand pruner to cut back the evergreen at a specific point. Non-selective is using pruning shears to level the ends of the stem regardless of where the new growth is coming from. This creates a “tight” appearance on the outside but prevents light getting to the inside of the plant. If the outside is damaged there is no green to cut to.

Some years Boxwood and Yews may need a harder pruning than usual to remove the winter dieback and prune for shape prior to spring growth. Ice from winter is really hard on boxwood and yews but in most cases with the right care they can bounce back.

I have used selective pruning to cut back stems that were severely damaged by an ice storm and a fallen tree and the new growth slowly came in.

But in some extreme cases damaged leaves are too deep into the plant. If you trim back to the next green part of the stem, there would be no plant left, therefore, you are better off replacing them.

And lastly when working at creating a hedge it is important to trim hedges narrower at the top to let light get to the bottom of the plant, this is a common mistake that leads to the dying off or lack of green on the lower branches of evergreens .

Trees For Real Yards

By 'real yards' I mean the 30 to 50 foot yards that most of us have. And even if you have a larger one, I think tree size is equally important as I have had to assist several home owners with “too many trees … too close together syndrome” over the years. I often feel…

By 'real yards' I mean the 30 to 50 foot yards that most of us have. And even if you have a larger one, I think tree size is equally important as I have had to assist several home owners with “too many trees … too close together syndrome” over the years.

I often feel un-Canadian when I tell my customers that I do not recommend a Maple tree for their yard or I recommend they move the Maple tree that their builder so kindly planted 5 feet from their front door of their new home.

My reasons are simple. At 40 plus feet tall and wide, these trees over time are just plain too big for our yards . They're aggressive and any shallow root system makes it impossible to grow anything under it, including grass, and the shade they create while initially practical will be so strict that other areas are in the yard will be affected as well.

There are many, many great small tree alternatives; here are some of my favorites:

Ivory Silk Lilac (Syringa reticulata 'Ivory Silk')

Nice showy white flowers in June

15 to 20 feet high and 10 to 15 feet wide

Serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis)

Lacy white flowers in spring, fruit for birds in summer and brilliant fall color

25 feet tall, 20 feet wide

Pyramidal Oak (Quercus robur “Fastigiata”)

Pyramid shape, retaines leaves in winter, great for privacy

50 feet tall, 10 feet wide

Chinese Flowering Dogwood (Cornus kousa)

Showy white flowers with long bloom time and red fall color

15 to 25 feet tall, 25 feet wide

Pagoda Dogwood (Cornus alternifolia)

Clustered white flowers in spring, fruit for birds late summer and nice fall color, good for shade, north or east side of house

20 feet tall, 25 feet wide

Columnar Siberian Crab Apple (Malus baccata “Columnaris”)

Fragrant white flowers in spring and persistent bright red fruit in fall, nice narrow habit

25 feet tall, 8 feet wide

Dawyck Beech (Fagus sylvatica 'Dawyck Purple')

Rich, dark purple foliage and extremely narrow habit

18 feet tall, 6 feet wide

Japanese maple (Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood')

Slow growing beautiful ornamental tree that is burgundy in color, deepens in fall

20 feet tall, 20 feet wide

Ornamental Pear

White spring flower, fall color, columnar shape

15 feet tall, 15 feet wide

Amur maple (Acer ginnala)

A compact, dwarf form of maple tree that's much more appropriate for small spaces than its many imposing relatives

15 feet tall, 15 feet wide

If privacy is what you are after, grouping smaller trees together will create a nice screen but still allows the trees to reach maturity without concern of crowding. By choosing smaller trees, they will complement the yard and gardens better as everything grows in.

Dog Strangling Vine – How To Control This Aggressive Weed In Your Garden

Dog Strangling Vine is a perennial, invasive weed that literally strangles the plants and trees in your yard and garden. Summer is a good time to catch this high maintenance weed in your yard and deal with it before it gets out of hand. It is called Dog Strangling Vine and it may be found…

Dog Strangling Vine is a perennial, invasive weed that literally strangles the plants and trees in your yard and garden. Summer is a good time to catch this high maintenance weed in your yard and deal with it before it gets out of hand. It is called Dog Strangling Vine and it may be found in your garden. Homeowners with ravine properties should be on the lookout for it.

Dog Strangling Vine is a perennial, twining vine that can grow 3 to 6 feet in height with the help of your shrubs and trees. Leaves are oval with a pointed tip, 3 to 5 inches long, and grow on opposite sides of the stem. It has pink to dark purple star-shaped flowers. The plant produces bean-shaped seed pods 2 to 4 inches long that open to release feathery white seeds in late summer. Without the help of other plants it is aggressive enough to twine around itself and create a rope to reach higher plants and trees.

When it first starts to grow it looks pretty innocent and sometimes blends in so nicely that you may not even realize it is a weed.

But it is an extremely invasive species that lives up to its name and literally strangles other plants. It is a flowering plant that is part of the milkweed family and it produces long narrow pods in late summer, opening in the fall.

It is very important to remove this weed before its pods open. Once these pods open they will release hundreds of seeds each. The seeds, if not removed before they open, will reseed in your garden and grow through your plants next summer. Pulling this stubborn plant out is easier the first year of its growth but it is still challenging to get the whole root out.

The most important thing is to cut off the pods before they open, put them in a garbage bag and dispose of them in the garbage NOT compost. The challenge with these types of invasive weeds is that you have no control with what blows in from your neighbors or from ravine property. The best you can do is diligently prevent what lands in your yard from spreading seeds further.

If you have questions or concerns about this weed or any other invasive plant you can visit the Ontario Invasive Plant Council website http://www.ontarioinvasiveplants.ca/ or call their Hotline at 1-800-563-7711