Planting Trees and Shrubs can be done properly in three simple steps.
Step 1: Soil Preparation
Dig a hole 50% wider and deeper than the root ball. Prepare soil by mixing 1/2 your soil, 1/2 planting mix, Miracle Gro Quick Start root stimulator, and MYKE¬ģ Tree and Shrub Growth Supplement. Mix Thoroughly.
Step 2a : Container Grown Trees and Shrubs
a) Remove plant from container.
b) Plant roots may be restricted by the container’s shape. Loosen the roots all the way around, even on the bottom. Use a knife or shear if required. Gently pull apart.
c) Center plant in hole 1 to 3 inches above grade.
d) Backfill with amended soil 1/2 inch over rootball and pack firmly. Make a saucer of soil around the plant. Water with slow soaking root stimulator fertilizer.
e) Apply a 2 inch mulch layer. Keep mulch 2 inches from plant’s main trunk.
Step 2b Field Grown Trees and Shrubs
a) Roll the root ball and “steer” it into the hole. Center plant in the hole 1 to 3 inches above grade. Cut and remove all cords or twine. Burlap should be loosened and pull away from the trunk and below the soil surface.
b) Backfill with amended soil 1/2 inch over rootball and pack firmly. Make a saucer of soil around the plant. Water with slow soaking.
c) Apply a 2 inch Scott’s mulch layer. Keep mulch 2 inches from the plant’s main trunk.
Step 3: Staking Container Field Grown Trees and Shrubs
Some trees tend to lean. Use wires secured to anchor stakes in firm ground (not the root ball). Where the wires contact the tree, use a hose segment to prevent damage.
Photo¬© “Seedling Planting” by USFS Region 5
Photo By: John Haslam,
You may be wondering ‚Äď why should I grow native plants on my property? Simple answer is ‚Äď because it is beneficial for you, your community, and for our wildlife.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency or US EPA, the advantages of landscaping with native plants include: reduction of pesticide use, improvement of our air and water quality, food and shelter for wildlife, promotion of biodiversity and more! Now who doesn‚Äôt want that?
Note: To learn more about the benefits of ‚Äúgreen landscaping‚ÄĚ, visit the US EPA website.
But what exactly are native plants? Native or local plants are those that grow and evolve naturally in North America, way before Europeans brought in plants from distant countries. They grow in areas with other species that have adapted to geography and weather conditions. The most commonly known communities include tall grass and short grass prairies, beach-maple forests, and freshwater marshes to name a few.
If like the many others, you have decided to switch to gardening with native plants, here‚Äôs an easy-to-follow guide to help you get started.
- Planning. Careful and thorough planning is needed when creating a native plant landscape.
As a landowner with wildlife in mind, it‚Äôs important to first identify and understand their basic needs (food, water, shelter) in order to attract them to your property.
Meeting their requirements requires careful arrangement of plant types and specific plant diversity. You have to identify if the plants you already have are native or not, then decide whether to replace or keep them.
To help you decide what plants to use in your landscaping project, refer to websites of native plant providers. Consult with reputable nurseries specializing in native plants, nature preserves, botanical gardens and with your local parks to get a better idea.
Also, you will need to add water features to your landscape, feeders and nest boxes.
- Site Preparation. Once planning is complete, it‚Äôs now time to buy the plants you‚Äôve decided to use and make sure they will be planted correctly.
Bear in mind that each species of native plant adapts to a specific range of soil types, moisture and light conditions. Therefore, you will need to collect soil samples from different areas in your property and have them tested and analyzed for nutrient content. The results will give you specific recommendations for preparing and or amending your soil appropriately.
If you have plants you want to remove from the landscape, do it without using herbicides. Unwanted turf can be eliminated by covering the area with damp newspaper and piling several inches of composted leaves and mulch on top. If you also have woody plants to cut off, you can do so by cutting them to the ground. In most cases the roots and stump must be removed as well.
- Proper Planting. Improve your chances of success in your native plants landscaping through proper planting techniques.¬† First of all, make sure your planting hole is 2 ‚Äď 3 times as wide as the root ball to ensure your native plant grows out, not down.
Check to see if the root ball of your plant is level with the existing grade. The plant‚Äôs root collar should also be above the soil. Use the original soil to backfill the planting hole. Be sure to water thoroughly at the time of planting.
- Maintenance. Maintaining a functional and attractive native plant landscape requires special care. You have to be careful not to over-manicure and degrade the quality of your landscape as a wildlife habitat.
Some native plants will grow fast and before you know it, you have more of them than your landscape can handle. To maintain the balance of your landscape design, divide these successful plants and share the rest to those who wish to plant them in their property.
As for your trees and shrubs, prune them only during winter and not during nesting season (March – July). Avoid using pesticide; it may harm the wildlife you‚Äôre hoping to attract. Establishing a native plant landscape takes about 3 ‚Äď 5 years so you have to be patient. You efforts will pay off eventually and wildlife will thank you for it.
Author Bio: Morton Karrie has worked in the landscaping industry in various roles. She loves to write topics about child care, organic gardening, patio pavers, pool decks, and landscaping.
A well kept garden takes hard work and dedication. A simple watering every now and then is not going to do the trick. However, your garden does not require a professional to keep it looking dandy. The right tools can work wonders for your lovely flowers and plants, minimizing the manual labor that goes into the task! Soon rather than dreading to take to the garden you will be looking forward to using your green fingers into pruning the landscape. The appropriate tools are just the gardening assistance you need.¬† Here are a few tools no garden must do without.
Rakes are the quintessential tool for any garden. What resembles a regular broom from a distance proves to be much more efficient when put to use in the garden or lawn. These are usually made from carbon steel, although other variations have been introduced to the market. The primary task of the rake is to orderly gather scattered fallen leaves so that the ground looks more tidy and sophisticated. The other thing a rake can do is be used to level soil and prepare the earth for new crop and plants.
Garden blades do not pertain to one particular type of landscaping equipment. Blades are used in quite a few tools that help keep the garden in tip top shape. Blades can be either in the form of hand tools or power tools. Tiller blades fall under this category. These specialized blades loosen up the dirt and aid in helping the water seep right into the roots of the plants. A weeder is another type of tool that uses a blade to eliminate weeds from the garden or other underlying areas in and around the landscape. This tool is designed in such a shape that it reduces stress on the user by doing away with the need for physical endeavor.
This is another staple that is most beneficial to any type of area that is enveloped with grass. These mowers are quick and easy to use; they do not pose to be a hassle when being operated by any mere individual. These equipments make use of high speed blades that finely cut and trim hedges and over grown blades of grass. Your garden will never appear to be out of shape and neglected once you possess one of these.
No longer do home makers need to spend sturdy amounts of cash hiring professional gardeners to ensure your garden remains green and looking fresh. With these few gardening tools you can take pride in maintaining your garden with your own hands and efforts. You do not need to slog or break up an endlessly tiring sweat to keep your hedge trim and proper. These modern equipments are devised to provide maximum work at minimum physical human effort.¬† You do not require the whole tool shed to be draped in knick knacks of all sorts; a couple of universal gardening equipments are good enough to get the job done. A few swipes and some racking and your garden will be looking like Eden itself!
This article is contributed by Jonathan Hendricks, a successful landscape architecture and a serial blogger. He shares gardening, landscape and lawn care tips through his articles. He says he finds fein multimaster blades very useful for doing simple DIY tasks around the house.
Bird watching is a great relaxing day to learn about wildlife, enjoy the outdoors and enjoy that most fun of activities, sitting quietly and occasionally ticking things off a list. I‚Äôd recommend it to anyone. A lot of the time though, to find the rarer and more interesting birds, you have to do a fair bit of travelling, going out to bird hides in distant forests, staying u until the crack of dawn to hear the early morning bird song, and generally going to what feels like are too much effort.
This is why bird feeders are such as excellent invention. Why go out looking or the birds if you can instead tempt them to come to you?
And so we have the quite wonderful concept of the bird feeder, a juicy morsel that will tempt the best in avian wildlife to come and sit where you can watch them from the comfort of your own back garden. But how do you make a bird feeder that‚Äôs going to attract an interesting mix of species?
Well, here are a few tips that can help.
Place it Somewhere You Can See it
You‚Äôve set up this bird feeder so you can watch birds, so there‚Äôs no point hiding it away. Make sure the bird feed is somewhere that is clearly visible from the windows of your house, so that you don‚Äôt even need to go to the trouble of stepping outside to watch the birds.
Build up from the Basics
There‚Äôs no point getting fancy when you‚Äôre first starting out filling your birdfeed. Begin with simple black-oil sunflower seeds, they have a broad appeal and will bring in a wide range of birds to start off with.
Mix it up a Bit
After a while you can broaden the appeal of your bird feeder by adding new kinds of seed into the mix. Hulled sunflower as well as black-oil sunflower, for instance. Even whole peanuts are popular with some birds, although these are best or platform feeders rather than the tube shaped dispensers.
You don‚Äôt need to restrict yourself to seeds either. Fruit, nectar, mealworms and suet are all attractive to various species of bird, and will ensure you get a varied crowd hanging out there.
Change with the Seasons
My favourite pub tends to put light ales and IPAs on during the summer, than more stouts and ports during the winter. At different times of year you expect different clientele, and the same goes for your bird feed.
Some birds migrate, some simply eat different amounts depending on the year, read up on this and alter the mix of your bird feed accordingly.
Give it the Right Ambience
Of course my favourite pub isn‚Äôt my favourite pub just because of the great beer. They also have nice furniture, friendly staff, nice pictures on the walls. It‚Äôs a real cosy place to drink. The same goes for your bird feed. It‚Äôs not just about the seeds, it‚Äôs about what‚Äôs around the seeds. Are there nest boxes where birds can set up shop all year round? Is the bird feed far enough off the ground that the mischievous and homicidal cat from next door can‚Äôt get at it? Are the windows nearby marked in such a way that birds won‚Äôt go colliding face first with the glass? Are they are any large trees or shrubs nearby? These are questions your birds will be interested in the answers to, and if you give them the answers they want they‚Äôll flock to you.
- ¬†License: Creative Commons¬†image source
So, you think you’ve created the perfect garden, huh?¬† After all, you’ve worked hard to make sure that each plant reaches its full potential, and you’ve got a wide assortment of colors.¬† There’s nothing left to do, right?
If you want to truly finish off your garden, you need to add a pergola into the mix.¬† Here’s what you need to know about them:
–¬† They can be freestanding — or not
If you’re looking for something decorative AND functional that you can put smack-dab in the middle of your garden, a pergola is the perfect choice.¬† Unlike other pieces, they don’t have to be connected to the side of your home to remain upright.
Of course, if you want to attach a pergola to your home, you can.¬† Either way, though, you’ll wind up with something you can eat underneath, relax underneath, entertain guests underneath, and of course, show off your garden underneath!
–¬† They work perfectly with plants
The vertical posts on an outdoor pergola are perfect for wrapping vines around.¬† You can wrap vines around the beams on your lattice-styled top, too!¬† You can also hang planters from the top, so that you have a complete garden oasis.¬† And, if your pergola is made out of stained timber, it will add a “woodsy” feel to your entire back yard!
Best of all, though, incorporating plants into your pergola is a great way to show off all of the hard work you’ve been putting into your garden.¬† Plus, having those plants in the mix will help keep you cooler on those hot afternoons!
–¬† They let in more sun than your covered patio
Breathing in fresh air is a great way to give yourself a boost, and so is sitting underneath the warm rays of the sun.¬† Luckily, an outdoor pergola allows you to do both!
Because the roof is shaped like a lattice, you can get some sun, without being completely exposed to the elements.¬† Best of all, pergolas can be built at various angles.¬† That way, you can choose exactly how much sun gets in on those bright afternoons!¬† That’s a big difference from a covered patio — where you either have to choose from being in complete sunshine or complete shade.
–¬† They’re perfect for star-gazing
If you’ve got an outdoor pergola, you’ve got the perfect place to entertain friends and look up at the stars!¬† Sure, you can star-gaze in a plain ol’ open backyard, but a pergola makes the entire experience a whole lot cozier!¬† After all, a good pergola will have a cozy bench, some comfy chairs, or even a classic swing underneath it.¬† That way, you can snuggle up while you look for the Big Dipper.
– ¬†They’re classier than cover-ups
The makers of those roll-up porch covers claim that they’re a great way to extend your living space and entertain guests outdoors.¬† However, they don’t look nearly as classy as a pergola does!¬† A pergola makes it look like you gave considerable thought to your outdoor space — instead of simply buying something that rolls up and down like an afterthought.
–¬† They can be as detailed as you want
Speaking of classy, what gives off more class than columns, arches, and other architectural details?¬† Because they’re made out of timber, pergolas can be carved to match any style you want.¬† So, if you want lots of intricate details, they’re easy to get!
–¬† They can work with other backyard designs
If you’ve got a large space to work with, why not make your pergola the “entryway” to something like a large deck or an outdoor kitchen?¬† That way, you get to make your outdoor space completely unique!
Sam Nathan is a freelance writer. His interests include finance, sports, travel and health.
Nature plays to create a dynamic environment for the children by providing them with stimulating and testing environment. A decade ago, children used to experiment in their neighborhoods as they had a random access to wild lands. But children now-a-days, in the modern society, are constrained to stay at home becoming more sedentary in their adolescence. Due to their inactive adolescence, they are also deprived of a healthy living in their future. Based on several analysis and experiments, it has been found that environment plays a big role in affecting the minds of young children in many ways.
Environment on Children‚Äôs play
Children tend to use their environment as a platform for their playing, in turn challenging their day to day activities and pushing their mind‚Äôs limits. It is what comes naturally to the innocent minds. They absorb the surrounding scenarios and use them in their day to day playing activities. May it be seeking ideas from the Wild West to the detective series; everything can be well crafted, especially, when the kid‚Äôs minds become inventive.
Environment on children‚Äôs motor development:
Children use their eyes to get an idea of what they are up against. As such when a survey was held between a group of kids who played in the forest and those who played the normal outdoor games, a remarkable difference was identified with the first group showing significant development in their physical tests. The following were the facts observed from kids who were let to have fun outside in the forest.
- Children adapt more quickly to rugged and unstructured landscape.
- Kids who had access to the outside grounds were more physically fit as compared to their counterparts.
- Kids who were allowed to roam the forests had more understanding of their physical nature as compared to those who played in the confines of their backyards.
Studies prove that the natural environment is what best suits the kids. Particular forms of play are related to different elements of the landscape. The play activities are divided into three categories.
Functional Play: Also known as the gross motor play, it deals with laying in landscapes which combine vegetation and a variety of topology. These pave the way to activities such as running, tumbling as well as climbing.
Symbol Play: Symbol play increases the creativity of the mind with fantasy plays like playing farmer, pirates etc. There is a difference in the choice of characters between the two genders.
Construction Play: A play with the help of loose parts, it involves building various dens, shelters etc. A good example is the excitement felt in building a den within a forest. More than the finished product, its building in general creates the amusement.
In locales with dominant open patches, dense shrubs, trees and mixed bush vegetation, it leads to the symbol and construction play. Climbing rocks and sliding slopes were some of the common activities. Except flexibility, all other motor activities see a significant improvement with the help of physical activity play.
Ecological perspective proves that it is the ‚Äėprocess‚Äô rather than the ‚Äėproduct‚Äô that dominates the child‚Äôs growth at a tender age.
Today‚Äôs article is submitted by Rachel Mills. She is wonderful writer and mostly writes articles about eco-living and eco-tourism. She feels hedging is a wonderful way to contribute to the nature as well as your home.
Pergolas are a great attraction for the backyard, shadowing the intense sunrays and providing a quaint little setting for the afternoon. Pergolas bring a sense of serenity and calm, making you feel light and easy when resting on a bench under the arbor. Besides this, the element of character that a wooden pergola brings is splendid. These structures add to the look of a plain boring patio or deck by adding a whole new dimension to the space. The materials for commonly used for these architectural design are wood composite and natural timber, depending upon budget constraints and the feel of the home. Here are some tips to pick out the right pergola for your home.
Location and ground rules
When deciding upon installation of a pergola, you need to carefully consider the ground surface. Now although the pergola is primarily located in your backyard, the exact area needs to be carefully deliberated upon. You need to be sure that the pergola is not built upon any electrical wiring or utility equipment. Also, the structure needs to be situated at a bit of a distance from the pool, if you possess one that is. This needs to be done so that water from the pool does not splash onto the wooden surface of the pergola.
Path of the sun
As the prime function of the pergola is to provide shade from the sun on a warm afternoon, you need to be sure that the pergola is situated in an area that falls in the sun‚Äôs path so that it can efficiently block out the rays. It has to be located in a parameter in which the sun is likely to fall on, regardless of the time of day.
Considerations on material
As mentioned earlier, the main materials used as natural timber and wood composite. The reason why wood is used is because it is versatile and can be designed with intricate patterns that highlight the surrounding garden area. Wood is also organic in nature so it will fit in well with the green lawns in your backyard. Besides the obvious wood, aluminum and vinyl can also be used for the internal skeleton framework.
Shape it up
There are a variety of shapes and sizes available to pergolas, depending of course on the space restrictions on the backyard. Usually pergolas are constructed on premises after the completion of obtaining measurements and evaluating the ground. Square of rectangular shaped ones are the most commonly demanded shapes, while round pergolas are also available.
Pergolas add a factor of enjoyment and beauty to your backyard, along with shading you from the harsh sun beating down on you. Pergolas are a great setting for a barbecue with the family or even for when you need some quiet time by yourself just simply reading a book. Some companies offer a free evaluation of your premises and offer you potential designs that can work best for your specific environment. Online brochures are available through websites that can give you a deeper insight into finding the perfect pergola for your sunny afternoon!
James Austin is the author of this informative article. He is a freelance writer and a serial blogger who shares home improvement and health related articles. He recommends Australian Outdoor Living to his readers who are looking for ideas to beautify their lawn or patio.
Roald Dahl had one, Dylan Thomas and Virginia Woolf had one, even rock legend Roger Waters had one. They’re used for creative hideaways, office space, storage or even just a place to escape from the family, they’re the common garden shed and appear in over 11.5 million British backyards.
According to The Guardian, a shed is an ideal place to start a business with shed-based businesses contributing more than ¬£6.1 bn to the UK GSP in 2012. Alex Johnson, author of Shedworking: The Alternative Workplace Revolution, thinks “shedworking enables a clearer line of demarcation between where you live and where you work, which, psychologically, is preferable. Also, it’s easier to prevent those you live with from invading your work space, while your spare bedroom can remain just that. Building a garden office can add value to your property and it’s far cheaper than buying a house with an extra room. Also, working in a shed is much more fun.”
Quality is king
Whether you’re running a business from your shed or simply using it for extra space, entrepreneur and shed-worker Artemis Russell believes that your shed should be “a good quality one, otherwise everything will get damp” and that it should be as big as you can afford, she thinks that with a nice big window, you’ll get more light and sunshine which will create a nicer environment.
The Telegraph’s William Langley believes that “between the British and their sheds lingers an ancient covenant ‚Äď part mystical, part practical, but mostly inexplicable” and spoke to the organiser of National Shed Week, Andrew Wilcox about the backyard boon of the Brits. Wilcox said, “there was a time when there was basically only one type of shed but that’s certainly not the case any more. People are now using them as pubs, cinemas, temples and smoking dens. At the moment it’s trendy to have an eco-shed with solar panels.”
It all sounds very nice, but if you’ve ever looked at getting a shed or even a small storage cabinet, you’ll know just how expensive shed building can be. So how can you get your own shed going if you’re on a tight budget? With today’s economy still sluggish and with most of us with less disposable income than ever, it’s hard to justify spending a month’s wage on a shed.
Determine your budget
This might sound obvious, but set yourself a realistic limit for your shed. Once you have your budget you can start planning the build and determining factors like how big it can be, who will build it and what it will be used for and whether it needs to be weatherproof. If you plan on using your shed for a future-business, then it pays to invest a little more in the building to make it comfortable and accommodating. You will be able to claim the costs against a business if it’s used solely for business.
The simplest way to get a shed in your yard is to buy a DIY shed kit. These are available at hardware stores, gardening outlets and various other outdoor equipment and timber retailers. You can purchase a shed for under ¬£100, delivered, if you only need something small and windowless for storage. But if you’re wanting something a little more substantial you will have to spend upwards of ¬£300. For sheds that a more like a spare room you’ll be looking at well over a ¬£1000 – but it’s a lot cheaper than moving to a bigger house.
If you’re handy with a hammer, consider building your own shed from scratch. This method will allow you to resource all your materials at the best prices and will mean you can have a little more control over the design and look of the shed.
There are countless blogs and instructional videos online that will help you get started and show you step-by-step how to construct your own shed.
You can free shed plans online with only a few clicks.
Recycle and save
If you’re going to build your own shed, you can save even more money on sourcing your materials from places like waste repositories, car boot sales and reclaimed material yards. While you might not get exactly the right size and shape timber and hardware, you will be able to cut it to size or make do with what you can get your hands on.
Second hand doesn’t come instantly to mind when you think of sheds, but actually you can buy disassembled sheds on second hand sites like Gumtree and Preloved for a fraction of the price of a new one. Any ill-fitting or broken parts can easily be replaced especially if it’s of timber construction.
Cutting corners can cost you more
If you’ve managed to whittle away your shed costs to an impressive figure, remember that cutting too many corners can actually end up costing you more money. If you’re going to store valuable family items in the shed, then make sure it’s waterproof and secure. You don’t want to have to replace water-logged or stolen goods. If you want use your shed for work or hobbies, make sure you can get an electrical plug inside it for light and heating and make it secure.
- ¬†License: Royalty Free or iStock¬†source: http://photodune.net/
This article has been written by Jessica Bourne, an employee at Chester based online banking provider Eccount Money. Jessica loves to share her budgeting advice aimed to enable people to better manage their income, stay debt-free and overcome the increasing cost of living.
Rodents, bugs, weeds and lot more are pesky & annoying pests that easily invade in our gardens and cause some serious nuisance in our sacred space. Fortunately there have been some remedies for such pest related problems ‚Äď the best one being seeking services from pest control professionals. These are the commercial service providers offering environment related and reasonable solutions to pest control requirements.
But since the choice set is vast and there are numerous commercial pest control service providers in market, at times it can become complicated to select the most appropriate one for the job. So to hire the best possible service provider, it effectually becomes essential to consider some things. Always choose a service provider that is well accredited plus fully competent to achieve the task. Below mentioned are some of the expert & smart tips to follow while seeking pest control services.
Licensure ‚Äď a key element to check on
First step to any scrutiny process is evaluation. Government authorized Pest control service providers are always endowed with some government permitted licensures. These licenses mandate the company for the work they do and act as a symbol of authenticity. Evaluate and contact companies which have been members of state or national pest management government associations.
Also, another moot point to consider is to check on the company‚Äôs liability and insurance policy. Such policies will help ensure your safety in any case of complication or a mishap later. Just keep in mind that proficient service providers never hesitate to provide their client with guaranteed services since they are confident of the quality of the services they provide.
Actually Eco – friendly or just self claimed ‚ÄėGreen‚Äô
Before finalizing any professional pest control company, it is quite imperative to make inquires about the procedure they will adopt to eliminate rodents & pests from your space. The need for this inquiry ‚Äď pest termination procedure requires some chemicals that may be quite harmful to people as well as to the space over which they are sprayed. Some of these chemicals are very toxic and leave their effect over that particular area for a longer duration of time. However, there are some spraying products available in the market that have been formulated keeping this harmful aspect in mind and thus making it quite safer for clients and the effected surroundings. These are normally referred to as eco friendly cleaning products. The government has provided guidelines to all the professionals to make use of such eco friendly products which pose no harm to environment. So, it is quite necessary to make some general inquiry about the procedures & products being used for pest termination.
Verify the work history
It is always advantageous & sensible to choose commercial service providers having prior experience in the field. The major benefit, such companies are equipped with essential knowledge & thoughtfulness to deal with all sort of possible situations regarding pest infestations. They are able to fight difficult situations with an ease proficiently. Apart from this, even consider reviewing the client testimonials to have a close insight of their client association and service satisfaction.
So pay some small yet expert attention while choosing a professional & you will be rewarded with pest free and safe surrounding area without shedding much of your pocket.
This article is submitted by Chase Cullen. He says unhygienic surrounding is one of the major reasons why your house gets infected by pests and insects. He knows a good Atlanta area pest control company who try to keep the pest away so that people can lead a more healthy life.
There’s nothing like a deck to put the “home” feeling back into your house.¬† After all, you probably feel the most at home when you’re surrounded by friends and family.¬† Having a great outdoor deck gives you the space you need to entertain all of them!
Or, if you’re simply looking for a way to spruce up your backyard, a deck is the perfect choice.¬† After all, it offers a clean, stylish look, but it’s relatively cheap to build.¬† You’ll be hard-pressed to find another makeover project that gives you more bang for your buck!
But is outdoor decking right for you?
Big or small, hilly or flat, elevated or low-lying, outdoor decking can work in just about any yard.¬† And, because it’s so versatile style-wise, it will look great sitting outside of virtually any home.¬† In fact, if you’ve got a smaller home, a deck can be a great way to add some space for entertaining.¬† That way, you won’t have to squeeze everyone inside!¬† (It can actually make your entire home feel bigger!)¬† Even if you have the biggest house on the block, a deck will give you a much easier way to entertain.
Even if you already have some great landscaping or a thriving garden, a new deck can be the perfect accent piece.¬† It’s also one of the most practical things you can add.¬† After all, how many other things can help you take full advantage of the outside of your home?
So, can you build a deck yourself?
If you love do-it-yourself projects and have a little bit of woodworking experience, you should have no problem designing and building your own deck.¬† Just be sure to measure your yard carefully first, and then come up with some detailed plans.¬† Be sure to have a pencil and a lot of paper on hand so that you can brainstorm a bunch of ideas.¬† After all, this isn’t the kind of project you want to do on the fly!
If you’re not quite as handy as you’d like, there are timber decking specialists that can help you create the perfect deck.¬† They’ll be able to tell you whether a hard or soft timber is right for your project, along with what type of treatment you’ll need to get the most out of your timber.¬† They’ll also be able to explain which types of timber are right for your ground posts, frame work, and decking itself — or if you can use one type for all three portions.
Whether you decide to get some help or go it alone, be creative!¬† After all, outdoor decking presents an endless array of opportunities.¬† With the right plan, an outdoor deck can add life to your entire home.¬† All it will take is one barbecue for you to realize just how vibrant your backyard can really be!¬† (And, as an added benefit, it will give your property value a big boost if you ever decide to sell your home!)
If you’ve been looking for a reason to spend more time in the backyard, this is it!
Sam Nathan is a freelance writer. His interests include sports, travel and health.