Fencing For Decor and Function

Originally used for a more practical purpose, fences are now just as decorative as they are useful. Designed to keep as many things out as in, fences serve as a boundary between neighbors and add a decorative flair to any property.

With so many options available in materials alone, a person can design a fence that fits in with the landscape and the overall look of your home.

It is not only great around the perimeter of your property, but for other areas too. Some people find it useful to fence in areas of their garden. This can keep out animals that might otherwise ruin your garden. Not only can they serve the purpose of keeping pests out, they can also, depending on the material used, act as a place for vine growing plants to climb. Green pole beans will flourish growing up more of an open chain link or lattice style fencing material.

For safety reasons, fences can be imperative for families with young children. They create a safe and secure place for children to play, keeping them away from the street or from wandering into other potential harmful areas. If your family owns a swimming pool, it can be vital to have protection surrounding the area, not only for the safety of your family members, but for the safety of others and the role that it will play with your liability insurance.

If you have pets, a secure yard for them to play in is important for their safety as well. Being able to keep them where they belong and avoid them wandering off will help insure they are at a lower risk for injury or from being taken.

No matter what type of fencing you choose it can offer great curb appeal and safety benefits galore.

Home Improvement – Don’t Forget the Landscaping

WHEN you buy a new house or decide to improve your old one, you are, of course, concerned with every foot of ground that goes with it, for modern living and modern gardening can make every inch of your property usable and desirable.

New methods of soil improvement, grading, fencing and terracing make even sloping, hilly lots, hitherto undesirable, now attractive and choice. Modern chemistry has brought new nutrients to the soil and has provided weapons against the traditional enemies of the garden: disease and insects. Hardier bulbs and seeds make gardens more successful as well as wonderfully vivid. Fabulous hybrids have lengthened the list of flowering trees and shrubs, creating specimens for every color and design scheme, every type of house and garden.

New gardening equipment and materials speed the time-consuming garden tasks. New ways of living bring us into the outdoors, and barbecue meals and comfortable lawn furnishings make a small suburban back yard as luxuriously enjoyable as was previously possible only on a large estate.

Architecturally, today’s house is much more a part of the outdoors than was yesterday’s. Large picture windows, glass walls, glassed-in sun-porches and terraces all combine to make the garden a part of the house. Consequently, the view becomes that much more important.

A beautiful garden, a luxuriant turf and healthy blossoming trees all add as much to the interior of your home as your draperies or wallpaper. The effort and time you spend on your lawns and gardens will repay you in every way, indoors as well as out.

When you plan your grounds you will be governed by many of the principles you employ in decorating your home. Proportion, texture, color, line, harmony, function – these are terms that apply to landscaping as well as decorating. And if you have large grounds you will benefit from careful planning just as much as does the owner of a quarter of an acre.

Garden books are filled with formal plans for perfect gardens and grounds, but you will want to consider not the perfect garden in itself, but the one plan that will be perfect for your particular family. Analyze your family, its needs and habits; then design your grounds to best satisfy its prejudices, desires and demands.

The thing to do is hold a family council and talk over what you want to do. Of course, you will be governed by questions of cost and available space. Draw a plan of your property in fairly large scale, about 1/4 inch to the foot.

Now make a list of the things the family wants, such as a barbecue, tool house, drying yard, rock garden, fences, playhouse, badminton court, better lounging facilities.

Unless you are fortunate and have spacious grounds, you probably won’t be able to work everything into your program – but with planning, you can do things gradually. You can plan your garden so that it never looks bare and yet is always roomy enough for the additions you intend to make in the future. And some projects will serve more than one function.

For example, if you need a driveway and have young children, a blacktop that can be used for hopscotch and bicycle riding will serve a double purpose, and easily justify its cost. Or a fence that cuts off an unpleasant view can also act as a windbreak and a handsome background for a lounging area.

A retaining wall can double as a rock garden when planted with hardy dwarf shrubs and other rock-garden species.

Landscaping, if properly planned and properly executed will add to the comfort, improve the appearance and increase the value of your home.

Hardscaping Your Landscape

When most people think of landscaping, they think of plants and gardens. However, landscaping often incorporates hardscapes which is comprised of non-living components. Hardscapes normally include structures made of concrete, brick, stone, or wood, but can also incorporate items like sundials or any other non-living element of your landscape. Adding hardscapes bring variety to your outdoor areas and can bring new functional uses to your area.

Patios and Decks

A challenge in landscaping is providing a transition from the indoors to the outdoors. Patios and decks can provide for a smooth transition when entering or leaving a home and can also provide an extra living space. The difference between a patio and deck is usually what materials the area is comprised of. For instance, if the space is laid with concrete, stones, or tiles, it is more likely a patio whereas an area comprised primarily of wood is a deck. Regardless of its composition, a patio or deck is a great way to add to your outdoor entertainment and can host seating areas, tables, and even grills.

Arbors and Pergolas

A challenge in outdoor spaces is how to provide shade in certain areas. Arbors and Pergolas are great shade solutions while also providing design aesthetics to your landscape. Both are usually made of wood and often used with climbing plants to add to gardens or provide shade over a patio or outdoor living area. The difference, however, is that Pergolas are normally more solid and used to cover outdoor sitting areas as compared to Arbors, which are normally more decorative and used over a walkway or within a garden. However, the terms are used interchangeably by most people because they essentially serve the same purpose.

Stone Walls

To provide a masonry element to your landscape, people often use a stone wall feature. Besides just adding a design appeal or barrier of sorts, stone walls could also serve as retaining walls to prevent erosion in your garden. You can also use stonework to build up grill areas or fire pits in order to add to your outdoor living space.

Fences

A picture isn’t complete without a frame and that is essentially what a fence would do for your property. Fences can be made of wood, metal, or stone, depending on what design aesthetics you prefer. They can also function as a safety measure, to keep pets or children on your property and a barrier for intruders. Regardless of its purpose, fences are a great investment to your property but the sturdier the materials, the more costly it becomes.

Walkways

When designing your outdoor space, it is important to establish walkways to guide people through areas without destroying the grass or gardening elements. Walkways perform many functions like sidewalks for pedestrians, providing a path to your home’s main entrance, or a trail from a patio to a garden. The materials you choose to use depend on the durability you wish your walkway to possess and its function. For instance, a sidewalk is usually made of concrete but a walkway to your main entrance may be made of stone or brick for more design appeal.

Outdoor Lighting

An inanimate component that should be featured in your landscape is outdoor lighting. Take the appearance of your home or landscaping to the next level by illuminating it at night. Outdoor lighting will make you feel safer at night by eliminating dark shadowy areas and also, show off your unique home and landscaping design.

Water Features

Most artificial water features could be classified as hardscapes since they usually incorporate some kind of barrier to retain the water. Water features include man-made waterfalls, fountains, or koi ponds and usually incorporate other hardscaping features like stone walls or walkways. These tend to be complex and hard to install but can add unique design elements to your landscape. Affects like the faint babbling from a water feature can provide a soothing environment that’s perfect for relaxation.