We often get asked, "What is something I can do to make my garden look better?" Here are some of our most common suggestions for homeowners to improve their garden.
Welcome With Flowers
Flowers inform your visitors that they are welcome. An assortment of flowers near the entrance of your home sends the right type of warm message for company. Flowers add color that attracts the eye while softening hard edges. It would be nice to have flowers everywhere, but most people are on a budget.
Flowers Are Not Just For The Ground
Hanging baskets and raised planter boxes will take your garden to the next level, literally. This method creates visual layers which is quite appealing. Hanging baskets can adorn walk ways and patios. Raised planter boxes can liven up a drab patio. Experimenting is easy since you can simply move them to a new location. Remember to layer your baskets and planter boxes. Three types of plants should be in your containers: something that drapes, something that fills, and something tall.
Choose Flowering Plants
This seems like a no-brainer, but a lot of landscapes are severely lacking in flowering plants. Lilies, irises, and hydrangeas are nice choices for some low maintenance color in your garden. Azaleas, gardenias, crepe myrtles, and camellias should keep your yard in bloom for most of the year.
Hide Your Shed
Sheds are functional, but most do not look great. Try lining your shed with some potted plants that get tall. A trellis with a flowering vine can screen a plain looking shed. Try a vertical herb wall. It will add some character and be useful when cooking.
Make It Memorable
Your backyard is yours to enjoy. Make something just for you that you love. If you have a large backyard, use the extra space to create an escape that you and friends clamor too. An outdoor oasis can include water features, statues, ornate outdoor furniture, grownup tree houses, or other hidden surprises.
Dogs can easily make a mess of your landscaping. Dogs can trample, chew, and dig a garden into a mud pit in no time. Our advice, stop fighting your dogs on what they are doing. Work with their natural instincts to make a place that is good for plants, people, and canines.
Dog breeds differ greatly. Figure out what your dog needs and be sure to include it. Keeping your dog happy will lead to an area that is easier to maintain. Doggy landscaping requires some extra work and a lot of patience.
What should be in a dog friendly garden?
Grass Type - Dogs run a lot. Be sure to pick a grass type that can handle the traffic. Athletic fields in the area use Bermuda grass. It requires full sun, but it can take a lot of traffic and repairs damage quickly.
Running Track - Dogs love to run. They are already running in a set path in your yard. Instead of trying to change their doggy behavior, work with it. Make a nice looking path out of flagstones, smooth pebbles, decking, or concrete. This will keep the paths less muddy and their paws cleaner. If your fur baby runs along your fence, give them a solid path. Dogs patrol the edges of their territory. Enhance their path to keep it looking great.
Marking Post - Give your dog a toilet of sorts. Set up a stump, post, or even a faux fire hydrant in a set area in your yard. Reward the pup for taking care of business in that area. This will lead to less dog spots in your grass and an easier area to clean up after.
Sturdy Plants - Pick strong plants that can take an excited dog running through them. Soft leaves are better for dogs since they shouldn't scratch them. Ornamental grasses work well also. Arrange your shrubs to they will grow densely. Dogs tend to not make a path in places that are hard to go through. Layer your landscaping with dense plantings in front of shrubs.
Shade - Dogs play in the sun, but rest in the shade when it is hot. Shade trees and covered areas are prime real estate for doggy naps. Provide an inviting spot under a shady tree to guide your dog.
Soft Mulch - Mulch that feels good to a dog is mulch that will not be dug out by a dog. If your dog has a favorite place to lay down, a nice soft mulch will make it look better. Be sure to pick a mulch that will not get stuck in their fur.
Borders - Small fences, stones, and hardscaped borders keep your dogs from running through areas they shouldn't. Find an aesthetic that works with your landscape style and go with it. If you don't like the look of borders in front of your landscape, use it as a temporary training tool. After a few weeks, remove the fence and see if the your dog's behavior has changed.
Water Feature - Pick a water feature that looks good, sounds nice, and provides clean water to refresh your dog. Choose a water feature that your pet can get out of in case they fall into it. Also pick one that is easy to replace the water.
Safe Landscaping - Obviously, don't use thorny plants. While they prevent your dog from going somewhere, they can also cause injury. A lot of plants are poisonous to dogs. While dogs don't always eat everything in the yard, cautious pet owners can choose to avoid the option all together. Here is a link to a list of plants that are dangerous to pets. https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants
When you are working to perfect your Louisiana landscape, make sure that you consider the many ways that you can incorporate rocks. Any landscaper will tell you that rocks and are incredibly versatile because they serve as groundcover while also adding contrast and texture. As a bonus, they also require almost no maintenance. Knowing more about incorporating them into your landscape opens up a work of functional and decorative possibilities.
Exploring Popular Rock Options
The first step is picking out the rocks that you will use for your Louisiana landscape. Here is a little information about commonly used options and the look and feel that they provide:
Use Rocks Instead of Mulch
A good groundcover can help to protect your plant roots and it offers a finished look. Rocks can be a better choice than mulch because it is a lot more durable and you will not have to pull them all out and replace them every year like you often must do with mulch. Compared to mulch, rocks can also provide a sharper contrast when you choose options that are paler colors. For example, if you want to lay a groundcover under a dense bush or one that is deep in color, a light-colored rock can brighten the area and make your plants stand out. One additional benefit is that when used with a weed barrier, rocks can help in discouraging weed growth, keeping your garden looking clean and reducing the work you have to do to maintain it.
Create Walkways on Your Property
One of the best uses for rocks concerning your Louisiana landscape is to create walkways to better direct traffic on your property. It is common to place walkways in your garden area, from the sidewalk to your front door, from your driveway to a door and in your backyard going from your backdoor to a seating area.
Gravel rock is often the easiest to work with for walkways. A layer of two to four inches of gravel is usually ideal for a walkway, but make sure that the walkway is even and level before putting the gravel down. You should dig down into the soil two to four inches and place the gravel within this to keep it in place and to keep your walkways level with the rest of the ground area. This also makes your walkways appear neater and more defined. You might also consider lining the sides of the walkways with larger rocks or dense plants to help keep the gravel in place and to offer a decorative touch.
Frame Your Flower Beds
It is common to use large stones or wood to frame your flower beds, but rocks can offer a more natural look while serving the same purpose. For this element of your Louisiana landscape, start by planning your flower beds and marking them off with rope or string. Once the areas are planned, plant your flowers first so that it is easy to make adjustments to the size and shape of the beds if necessary.
Once your flowers are in place, dig out a small trench about two inches deep around the perimeter of your flower beds if you are using small rocks. You will place the rocks within the trench so that they stay in place. Ensure that the layer of rocks throughout the trench is even and level for a clean and professional look. If you are using larger rocks, you will not need a trench and you can simply place them around your flower bed perimeter.
Anchor and Accent Your Container Garden
A container garden can be a cool idea for an elegant Louisiana landscape. Start by picking out your containers and outdoor vases and getting your plants properly planted inside of them. Place the lower one to three inches, depending on the overall height, of your containers or vases down into the soil and pack the soil down around them. Then, you just need to fill the space in with the rocks that you chose. Smaller rocks are generally a better option for a container garden since it is easier to spread them around and ensure an even cover for the area.
Build a Simple Driveway
If your driveway is comprised of dirt and soil, gravel is a quick and simple solution for enhancing your Louisiana landscape. Placing this type of driveway can typically be done over the course of a weekend. This prevents issues, such as a muddy driveway on rainy days and the soil getting overly worn down, resulting in unevenness and dips that can make your driveway more difficult to walk and drive on.
Start by framing out the area where you plan to place the gravel for your driveway. Dig at least six to eight inches into the soil and make sure that it is level. Once it is level, ensure proper drainage and place a geotextile fabric down across the entire dug out area to help prevent erosion. Lay the gravel down in layers, with the first layer going directly on top of the fabric that you put down. This helps to make it sturdy so that it does not sink and dip in certain areas. Each layer should be even and approximately two inches deep, and you want three to four layers.
Your Louisiana landscape can be just about anything that you want it to be. What is nice about rocks is that they are very flexible and you can easily make changes as your property evolves. Whether you get help from a professional landscaper or you choose to tackle the work on your own, start with a plan and just make sure that what you choose works with the overall look and size of your property.
Thinking of adding onto the landscape of you home? Designing your own garden gives you a great chance to personalize the outside of your house and really make it feel like your home.
Picking a space for your garden is obviously important. You have an idea of what you want to put where when you start to think about a new landscape. Well there are a few ideas to keep in mind when planning out this space.
Amount of Light
Plants need to correct amount of light to flourish. Most plants purchased at a nursery or hardware store will have a light recommendation tag. They usually say one of the following: full shade, partial shade, partial sun, or full sun. Below are what these terms mean.
Picking the plant for your garden is probably the funnest part of designing a garden. You can let your imagination go as far as you would like. There are a few bits of information to keep in mind when picking your plants.
The garden soil for your new landscaping is what will help your shrubs and trees to grow strong. The best thing to do is have a soil test done. You can either get a soil test kit at the hardware store, nursery or local college. A soil test will tell you what your soil needs to keep your plant healthy. We recommend adding fresh soil to your existing soil for any new landscape project.
GreenSeasons is a professional landscaper. We provide landscape services in the greater Baton Rouge, greater New Orleans, Slidell, Prairieville, Walker, Denham Springs, Gonzales, Baker, Zachary, Hammond and Covington areas. If you would like landscaping work at your home, just click here and we will give you a call.
If you would simply like some advice on landscaping, please contact us and we will be more than happy to help.
The short answer is yes, and here are some reasons why. Landscaping is an extension of your home. Poor planning for your landscaping reflects directly back on both your home and you. Not only can an inadequate landscape design look bad, poor landscape designs can lead to a slew of costly redesigns, structural problems and drainage issues.
The obvious benefit of a professional landscape plan is the great ideas shared with you. Landscape plans reach far beyond the usual shrubs, trees and flowers generally thought of as landscaping. A professional landscape plan may also include an outdoor kitchen, retaining walls, irrigation, a swimming pool, landscape lighting, fruit trees, vegetable gardens, gazebos, ponds, water fountains, decks, patios, awnings, gutters, stone pathways and many other ways to come alive outside. Landscape designers will show you great ways to utilize the space you have outside.
A Landscape Plan Will Save You Money and Time
A professional landscape plan will save you money, really. A professional landscape architect will enhance your landscaping vision while choosing plants that are best suited for the environment in your yard. Light, soil condition, wind exposure, climate zone, insect damage and fungus vulnerability all affect the long term cost of a landscape choice.
Irrigation coverage and water drainage can either make a landscape look great or lead to huge problems. Too little water and your plants can die. Excessive water can cause plants to drown, mold and slime to grow, washouts, insects and even foundation problems.
The construction cost to fix existing landscape problems can be three to four times the cost of new landscape projects. Taking the steps to get it done right the first time is a wise investment.
A Master Landscape Plan Allows You To Take Your Time
Landscaping an area takes a lot of resources. The beauty of a master landscape plan is you can simply install your new landscaping in phases. Breaking down the a plan into phases allows you to gather your finances so it is not such a financial issue all at once. A master landscape plan can be done when you are ready for the next phase of development.
Professional Landscape Plan
GreenSeasons will work with you to provide a professional landscape plan that brings your vision to life. We provide landscape consultation in the greater Baton Rouge, greater New Orleans, Slidell, Prairieville, Walker, Denham Springs, Gonzales, Baker, Zachary, Hammond and Covington areas. If you would like to meet with our landscape designer, just click here and we will give you a call.
If you would simply like some advice on landscaping, please contact us and we will be more than happy to help.