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Landscape & Gardening Index

landscaping with water feature

Do you like quiet, tranquil, outdoor areas where you can relax, nap or ponder the universe and its unanswered questions? Do you enjoy watching birds and other wildlife go through their daily routines? Or are you adventurous, always keeping busy, and enjoy an outdoor cookout and an area for badminton or crocket?

Your gardening and landscape represent you and your families lifestyle, probably more than any other area of your home. Landscape and gardening designs are only constrained by your imagination and budget.

Unlike many other home improvement or renovation projects, landscape and gardening projects can be implemented in phases over a number of years. As well, as family lifestyles change, children grow up our needs and desires change as well.  Areas that once housed swing sets and sandboxes can be converted to ponds and gardens.

Many homeowners fear complex gardening because of the amount of work that could be involved and if you place a lot of plants within your landscape theme, they will require continuous tender loving care to keep them looking sharp. If your theme are trees, shrubs and rocks a lot less work will be required.

The following pages will guide you to additional information on each aspect of landscaping and gardening.

5 Tips To Get Growing

Some of us have a green thumb and can get any plant to grow. There are others who have no luck at all. Sometimes the problem can be to much care and loving. Follow these five tips and your plants will love you as much as you love them!

Accessible Garden Construction

Accessible gardens come in a variety of designs and there is no one design that suits everyone or every situation. Accessible gardens are very dependent on the size of the area that one has available to work with.

Adirondack Chairs & Tables - 9 Free Plans

Free plans to build Adirondack chairs and tables.

Aerating Lawns

Every year homeowners spend hundreds of dollars maintaining their lawns and yet, for some reason, the process of aerating the lawn is generally not considered or completely forgotten.

Animal Repellents

Deer

Mole & Vole

Nothing is much worse than watching animals and rodents destroy the hundreds of hours you spent gardening and creating your landscape. By properly locating animal repellent around your property and home you can save your property from damage.

Arbors-Prebuilt

Build Your Own Arbor - 17 Free Plans

While some home handymen would prefer to build a landscape or garden arbor or trellis from a set of plans or freehand. Others may wish to purchase a completed arbor or trellis from a retailer that they can trust.

Bat Houses - 14 Free Plans

Bats are a benefit to gardens and outdoor life. They devor thousands of mosquitoes every hour. Learn how to attract many species of bats and construct bat houses and bat boxes with these free plans.

Beehives - 15 Free Plans

If you grow flowers and/or vegetables in your garden, they need pollination in order to procreate. Much of the pollination of plants is done by bees as they move from plant to plant carrying pollen from one to another. Having your own beehive will give you honey as well as ensure pollination of your flowers and vegetables.

Benches - Deck - 4 Free Plans

Garden - 34 Free Plans

Tree - Wraparound - 5 Free Plans

With Planters - 7 Free Plans

Benches provide a resting place where you can contemplate the world, read a novel, watch mother nature at work and if placed in a shady spot provide the perfect spot to doze off.

Bird Accessories For Your Landscaping

Bring life and color to your landscaping by drawing in local birds to your back and front yards. Your family will have hours of enjoyment watching them and they provide a tranquil setting for relaxation and pondering world events.

Bird Feeders - 9 Free Plans

Attracting birds can be made into a family project with these easy to build bird feeders.

Birdhouses - 38 Free Plans

A birdhouse is a pleasant addition to any garden or landscape. Building a birdhouse is a project that can easily involve the entire family. Designs are available from the simple to extremely complex.

Brick Barbeque - 11 Free Plans

A brick barbeque will enhance any outdoor patio or family gathering area. Some basic construction knowledge is necessary - building a concrete pad and laying bricks.

Bonsai Basics

I for one, am enthralled by bonsai trees. They require an enormous amount of care, on a daily basis, but I find them to be one of the most beautiful plants one can have.

How To Build A Bridge & Footbridge - 12 Free Plans

A bridge as part of your garden or landscaping can add dimension. A bridge can take you and your guests over a water feature or can act as an ornament.

Bulb Gardening

Planting Bulbs

Each set of articles is a four part series, providing information on all aspects of bulb planting and care.

Bulk Material Calculator

As part of a landscaping project there may come a time when you need to buy materials such as sand, loam, soil, mulch or gravel in bulk.

Container Gardening

Soil For Container Gardening

Indoor Composting

Even if you live in a high-rise condominium or have a very small backyard you can enjoy beautiful plants and flowers by using containers and window boxes as your personal landscaping.

Compost Bins - 13 Free Plans

The environmentally friendly way to garden.  Make your own compost bin. These plans for compost bins are free.

Cordless Garden Tools

There are numerous varieties of cordless tools used for garden chores. These range from hedge trimmers to lawn mowers. These use batteries to run the engine thus saving fuel costs. With advance of technology, some of these tools use solar energy to run the engine.

Crabgrass Control

Once Crabgrass gets a foothold in your lawn it can be difficult to fend off (even with the best pre-emergent control products!) However it can be done! Here is what we recommend!

Decks

The perfect location for a barbeque, and other patio furniture. Information includes load calculations, floor joist spans, support column design and sizing, deck flooring patterns, planning and construction.

Design

Landscape Design Software

A well landscaped property adds value while providing an outdoor living space for recreation and relaxation.

Drip Irrigation - 1

Drip Irrigation - 2

Drip irrigation may become the only method of watering plants in the very near future. The climate is changing, drought is apparent in places that have over the past experienced heavy rainfall.

Drought - 10 Things You Can Do

Reducing The Effects Of Drought

There is no doubt that the climate is changing almost everywhere in the world and the why doesn't make a lot of difference to the impact on home gardens and landscape.

Electrical -

Landscape Wiring

Landscape Receptacles

Landscape Lighting

Greenhouse Power

Installing Receptacle on Outside of Home

If you have a need to provide power in your landscaping project for lighting and motors such as pond pumps, there are some things that you should consider.

Environmentally Conscious Landscaping

Green Gardening

When we say; "think green" we are not talking about the color of the pressure treated lumber that you will use for the deck in your landscaping project nor are we talking about making sure that your grass and plants grow well!

Ergonomic Gardening

For many individuals, gardening is the most joyful activity of summer. But if you love to garden and you also suffer from back pain, you know that you can cause yourself a lot of grief unless you follow some basic ergonomic principles.

Fabric (Geotextile)

Choosing the correct landscape fabric or geotextile for weed control can be a very time consuming and frustrating exercise, as anyone who has gone through the process will gladly confirm.

Fence Basics

Bamboo Fencing

Installing Wood Fence Posts

How To Build Fences - 14 Free Plans

As with any D.I.Y. project, proper planning is the key to a successful project. Fences can be made out of pre-formed vinyl or plastic sections, pre-built wood sections, and wrought iron.

Fertilizer & Fertilizing Index

Everything you need to know about fertilizers - fertilizing your garden, trees and landscaping!

French Drains

One hopes that when a house is constructed on a property that those responsible for the landscaping have considered how the property will drain. However, in many instances this is not the case. It then becomes the property owners challenge to correct the drainage defects. One excellent alternative is the use of French drains.

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Gates - 15 Free Plans

Detailed instructions on making and hanging gates and installing gate posts

Instructions and drawings to build a gate for a fence or as a decorative feature in your backyard.

Gazebos - 12 Free Plans

A gazebo will enhance any landscaping. It provides shade and a meeting place. Gazebos are available in kit form or you can design your own or modify another set of plans.

Greenhouses

Supplying Power

11 Free Plans

Kits

Buying Tips

The most common type of greenhouse is a square or rectangular, self contained, free standing building with a peaked or curved roof.

Horizontal Boring - Trenching Under Driveways & Sidewalks

During the installation of sprinkler systems or outdoor lighting it is not uncommon to meet up with obstacles that prevent the installer from continuing on.

Lawn & Garden Tools

Many homeowners aspire to have an evergreen well-maintained lawn as well as a beautiful garden. Achieving this feat is now possible with a choice set of tools to fix bits and pieces of the lawn or garden.

Lawn Mowers -

2-Stroke Gasoline Lawn Mowers

4-Stroke Gasoline Lawn Mowers

Battery Lawn Mowers

Buyers Guide Lawn Mowers

Buyers Guide Reel Lawn Mowers

Electric Lawn Mowers

Extending Battery Life

Hover Lawn Mowers

Noise Pollution

Push/Hand Lawn Mowers

What you should look for when buying a lawn mower for your backyard and the pros and cons of different types of mowers. Lawn mowers are available in an ever expanding selection, but there are a few things that will determine what mower you should buy.

Leaf Blowers - Buyers Guide

Leaf blowers or power blowers can be battery powered, electric or gas-powered machines that help you deal with fall's seemingly endless onslaught of leaves and other yard debris.

Low Voltage Lighting - Wiring

Residential low voltage outdoor landscape lighting has grown by leaps and bounds over the last decade. The variety of light fixtures and lighting accessories has grown exponentially.

Mosquitoes & West Nile Virus

You, Your Family & West Nile Virus

Landscaping, Gardening & West Nile Virus

There are 3000 different kinds of mosquitoes and a worldwide population of 100 trillion! Most are in tropical climates, but there are mosquitoes in arctic and desert regions.

Organic Gardening

How would you like to have fresh, organic vegetables always available to you without costing a cent? The vegetables you buy from supermarkets may look bright and fresh but did you also know they are constantly sprayed with strong chemicals?

Outdoor Living

We landscape our homes to provide an area where we can enjoy the outdoors. Whether it is for quiet contemplation, enjoying time with the family or having guests, the furnishings we use outdoors can be important to our comfort as those used indoors.

Pavers

Designs, Patterns & Layouts

Installing Pavers

Leveling Sunk, Or Heaved Pavers

Paver lights

Interlocking paving stones have become a very popular addition to many landscaping projects. Made by molding concrete in forms, the pavers come in a variety of textures, colors, shapes, and sizes providing the ability to match and compliment brick and stone veneers used elsewhere on adjacent buildings.

Patio - Concrete

Properly constructed a concrete patio will last for decades with little care and maintenance. Serious problems with concrete patios only occur when they are not constructed properly in the first instance.

Patio Heaters

Bernzomatic Patio Heater Repair

Patio heaters used to be a luxury item that you would only see at a restaurant in Nappa Valley, today they are becoming commonplace to many patios, screened in porches and decks.

Pavilions - 12 Free Plans

A pavilion will enhance any landscaping. It provides shade and a meeting place. Pavilions are available in kit form or you can design your own or modify another set of plans.

Paving Materials

All homes have a paving material somewhere on the property. Paving materials are used for patios, driveways, walkways, garden paths and as decks around pools. Today we have a number of choices in paving materials, choosing what is best for your situation is generally based on appearance and budget.

Picnic Tables - 19 Free Plans

A picnic table will enhance most backyard areas. It gives the kids a place to play outdoors and allows the family to picnic without facing hours of traffic jams.

Planning a Landscaping Project

Planning Saves Money

How to plan a landscaping project including items that should be considered before you start.

Planter Boxes - 18 Free Plans

Planters - Wheelbarrow - 5 Free Plans

Planters - Window Box - 9 Free Plans

Planters With Benches - 7 Free Plans

Planter boxes are an excellent addition to any landscape or gardening project. They can be used to delineate space, highlight windows and provide an area for planting in even the most smallest environment.

Playhouse - 10 Free Plans

These project plans are not for the novice as they require someone with substantial wood working experience, and stationary power tools. Playhouse kits are also available which will save time and possibly a lot of frustration.

Potting Bench/Table - Free Plans

Whether you are a novice or master gardener a potting bench or table makes it much easier to plant and transplant flowers and vegetables plants.

Pressure Treated Lumber

If you are building a deck, retaining wall or a swing set for the kids it is highly likely that your material of choice is pressure treated lumber.

Pruning - Overview

Tree Pruning

Pruning Trees

Guidelines For Tree Pruning

Pruning is a vital part of plant and tree care. This task can be confusing so we developed the following guide to help you prune properly.

Quick Tips

Quick tips - questions and answers.

Railway Ties In Landscaping

Using wood railway ties that have been impregnated with creosote in your landscaping project may give you the appearance that you are looking for, but it is important to understand the problems that you may encounter.

Retaining Wall Drainage

Installing or constructing a retaining wall that is taller than a couple of feet requires some thought and planning to ensure that it remains in its installed position and does not move.

Rocks In Landscaping

Rock formations can provide very interesting visual effects as part of a home landscaping project.  A rock formation will give you areas for planting that will highlight properly chosen plants.

Roses - Care & Planting

Roses come in a vast variety of colors, fragrances, heights, bushes and climbers. Having a beautiful rose plant, be it bush or vine, is not difficult if you take the time to choose the correct location on your property and follow some simple planting rules.

Sheds - 13 Free Plans

Sheds provide garden storage and remove clutter. Having a place to store your outdoor tools will extend their life and make them easier to access when needed.

Shrubs

Woody plants with a mature height of less than 20 feet are usually classified as shrubs.

Snow Blower Buyer’s Guide

There are three primary styles of snow blowers, single-stage, two-stage, and electric. Each has its own features which provide advantages and disadvantages depending on your geographic location and circumstances.

Sprinkler System Installation

Installing an underground sprinkler system for your lawn, garden, shrubs and trees is not a difficult project, although it does require a strong back in order to dig the trenches that will contain the underground pipes.

Strawberries

Strawberries are easy to grow in the home garden. The plants form foot-wide mounds of lush dark green foliage that can serve as an attractive ground cover.

Swimming Pool - Opening

With the days getting longer and warmer many homeowners will be looking ahead to the opening of their swimming pool. While some homeowners take on the project from start to finish over a weekend others may wish to do what they can a few weeks in advance, in order to save time and effort when opening time presents itself.

Themes In Landscaping

Roman/Greek

Why do some homes have such exquisite landscaping while others are continually going through stages of trial and error?

Tillers & Cultivators - Electric

Is there any sound in suburbia more annoying than a gasoline-powered garden tiller on a Sunday when you have guests over for a back yard barbecue? We cannot eliminate gasoline lawn and garden tillers but there are quiet electric tillers.

Tools

Having the right tools make's landscaping and gardening easier on you and your plants, trees and shrubs! The right tool also provides a level of safety. We are pleased to present some of the finest gardening and landscaping tools in the industry.

Tree Planting

Every year more than one million trees are planted on public and private properties throughout North America, these are not the trees are not planted as a part of a reforestation project

Tomatoes

Heirloom

Care

Grooming

Organic

All tomatoes are either Bushes (determinate) or Vines (indeterminate). Determinate tomatoes stop growing on their own, and produce all of their fruit at once.

Water Features

Why Is Your Pond Green?

How To Remove Algae In Your Fountain

A water feature placed strategically in a landscape provides a dynamic element to what is usually a static design. Water elements provide tranquility and a sense of calm. The sound and visual effects provided by flowing water are known for their soothing and stress relieving qualities.

Wall Anchoring To A Concrete Pad

If you are building a shed, garage or other wooden structure on a concrete pad it is important that you properly anchor the structure to the pad to avoid having it blown apart or away by high winds.

Weeding Tools

After the hard work of preparing the garden, planting and watching the plants sprout and begin maturing; it is not a wonder to have weeds also flourishing next to these plants.

Winterize Lawn Equipment

As winter approaches, it reminds us that it is time to winterize not only your home and car, but also your gasoline-powered equipment such as lawn mowers and garden tillers.

Wishing Wells - Free Plans

Add charm to any yard landscaping project by including one of these easy to build wishing wells.  The plans are free.