If you’re undergoing a reno for your front steps or backyard patio and have been confused over whether to use concrete versus natural stone, you’re not alone.
Ask Mike Holmes: Is Stamped Concrete Durable?
Mike Holmes replied, “Stamped concrete is basically pouring concrete and stamping it with a pattern to give it texture, so that it looks stone, brick, slate—usually a type of stone. People do it on decks or patios because it’s cheaper than the real thing. But stamped concrete has to be sealed every year. So it requires maintenance. And if it isn’t sealed the warranty is useless. But when it’s sealed it’s slippery, so it’s not the best solution for steps.
Plus, in North America many homeowners use salt on their steps and patio. But salt eats away at concrete, so the texture on the stamped concrete will start to wear away. A better option is interlocking stone with polymeric sand in between all the joints. Always hire a pro to do it. It’s more d...
Bees are vital to a healthy environment and healthy economy. They're also simply beautiful and fascinating little insects. But what makes them so special?
We need bees. We may take them and other pollinators like butterflies and hoverflies for granted - but they are vital for stable, healthy food supplies. They are key to the varied, colourful and nutritious diets we need and have come to expect.
Bees are perfectly adapted to pollinate, helping plants grow, breed and produce food. They do so by transferring pollen between flowering plants and so keep the cycle of life turning.
The vast majority of plants we need for food rely on pollination, especially by bees: from almonds and vanilla and apples to squashes. Bees also pollinate around 80% of wildflowers in Europe, so our countryside would be far less interesting and beautiful without them.
But bees are in trouble. There is growing public and political concern at bee decline across the world...
20 Outdoor Spaces Showcasing Natural Landscaping Stone | Home Design Lover
Natural stones can be found anywhere. These are the stones you see in the mountains, park, outside your home, basically all stones that are not man-made. Each natural stone is unique due to its geological composition.
The appearance and feel of these natural stones are raw and so different with the usual concrete blocks and pavers that we see nowadays. These stones are often used for building and decorative enhancements. Over the years we have found many useful things to do with such nature’s gift.
Using natural stones for landscaping is a great way to bring nature to your home. It can make a harmonious connection with nature giving you a relaxing and inviting atmosphere. Natural stones have charm that can make any space attractive and soothing.
So if you are looking for ways to incorporate natural stones to your next landscape project, scroll down through our 20 Natural Landscaping Stone list for some stunning idea...
Gardeners in snowy regions have plenty of reasons to get cold feet about winter: Plants are at rest and their bright colors dissipate, leaving a palette of white and gray. And with nothing to plant, they might think there are few winter landscaping tips -- or to dos. In fact, careful planning in spring, summer, and fall -- plus a few easy accents during winter -- can lead to a beautiful landscape that shines against the stark relief of the restful season. "If you want to be sure you have some winter interest in your garden, you are really looking at just a few things," says Barbara Pierson, nursery manager at White Flower Farm in Litchfield, Connecticut.
Here are Pierson's six winter landscaping tips to make you love your yard in every season.
1. Focus on bark. Sure, deciduous trees lose their leaves in wintertime, leaving their branches and trunks in focus. But that can be a good thing, Pierson says, "if you have any interesting ornamental trees that have really visually distinctive bar...
ardscape refers to any solid landscaping surface or structure, from paving and decking to retaining walls and fences. These permanent, human-made elements form the bones of a landscape and are the first thing to be installed in a landscaping project.
"As you think about the design, construction and maintenance of your landscape, consider how sustainable each component is and how it could be modified to be more sustainable," advises A.M. VanDerZanden of the Oregon State University Extension Service.
When choosing materials for your hardscapes, ask these questions:
How well does it incorporate the principles of "reduce, reuse and recycle"? Risa Edelstein, president of the Ecological Landscaping Association, loves the look of antique cobblestones, but was shocked to learn that the ones in her Boston-area stone yard were being transported from India, which wasn't doing much for her carbon footprint. "Ask where the material comes from," says Edelstein, who has since sniffed out sources for har...
Hardscaping is an attractive feature and offers many appealing options, from a rustic stacked wall to a fully developed outdoor living room and kitchen. Once you've decided to create an outdoor space, you must plan carefully to meet your hardscaping goals.
"Research really pays off, especially when you consider that a fixed object in the landscape is not going to move easily — and you don't want to put in a lot of effort and then have your materials or design fail within a couple of years," says Samuel Salsbury, a member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers and partner with Sabrena Schweyer, APLD, in Salsbury-Schweyer, an Akron, Ohio-based landscape design group.
By following these simple tips and avoiding some common mistakes, you can create hardscaping you'll love for years to come.
Consider the Landscaping
As much as you can, consider the entire area available to you for hardscaping before you design an element, even if you're just tackling one space for now.
Would you believe me if I told you that your choice of paving material could be the single most important decision in building your garden? Think about it: You may occasionally touch a plant, hold open a gate, or relax on a piece of garden furniture, but your feet are almost always in contact with your garden’s surface. Like plants, paving materials can add color, texture, and pattern to your garden. Unlike plants, which grow, bloom, and often go dormant as the seasons change, paved surfaces contribute in equal measure throughout the year.
The most widely available paving materials fall into two broad categories: quarried stone and composite material. Quarried stone, such as granite and slate, is dug and then shaped by splitting, cutting, or crushing. Composite materials like brick and precast concrete pavers are processed and molded when soft, then fired or allowed to dry.
The great range of paving materials makes shopping and designing fun, but the number of choices can also be a bit o...
Once the first official frost is no longer a threat, don’t you just want to run out into your yard and start spring landscaping? All winter long the excuse of it being too cold, or everything is covered with snow is no longer an issue. Now that spring is here, gardening, landscaping and increasing your curb appeal is on most people’s minds. Depending on your geographic location and what type of soil and plants are native to your region will steer you in the right direction for your home. Here are 10 tips to also help you prepare your outdoor home for gorgeous landscaping.
1.) Know your climate: Before you get too excited in the garden area or nursery of your local home improvement store, know the climate for your home. This includes your geographic location on the Earth, as well as the climate of your yard. Choose plants appropriate for how much sun, and shade different parts of your lawn receive during the day.
2.) Do your research beforehand: Similarly to a do it yourself...
Visit one of our Unilock Outdoor Idea Centers to see products laid in large scale, natural settings. This can help you appreciate how the color swatches you see in our catalog look in real life applications. Or take a stroll through your local neighborhood and take note of the colors that you’re drawn too. You may even find inspiration in the exterior brick of your home, other elements of your landscape or a door color.
Consider the specific application
Are you paving a pool deck? Or adding an extension to your existing patio? Perhaps you’re connecting your driveway to your backyard retreat with a walkway. Each application might be best suited for a different color. For a pool deck, we recommend light colors that are cooler on the feet, while a driveway might be better suited for a darker shade. If you’re adding onto an existing patio you might decide to complement the color rather than try to match it exactly.
It is much more natural to leave plants standing into winter — Mother Nature does. Seed heads can be attractive in winter and provide food for birds. Most ornamental grasses are superb in the winter garden.
Many perennials are partially or totally evergreen. These can all be left to provide good winter effect: bergenia, arabis, aubretia, heuchera, thyme. The foliage of yucca and red hot poker are best tied up to protect the crown of the plant.
Cutting back perennials in the fall
What do we cut down and why? The reason for our action is always important.
All perennials, even those with winter foliage, can be cut down in the fall. This certainly presents a neater garden, and allows for the use of protective mulch in areas where snow cover is not dependable.
Plants that harbour fungus spores should certainly have the foliage removed. Remove succulent foliage, such as iris or day lily leaves that rot in winter.
Some plants can benefit by being cut down to almost ground level in the fall of the...