While fall may be a time when much of your yard and landscaping turn brown and dormant, we also know that fall is a time that brings out brilliant colors. Let’s discuss some ways to utilize these beautiful fall plants in a landscape design tailored for the autumn season.
Mums The Word
You can’t go to a pumpkin patch or farmer’s market in the fall without tripping over a planter of mums. While they are a beautiful and classic flower that comes in a wide range of colors, there are plenty of other fall plants to choose from that can help add color and beauty to your yard in the fall!
Do Some Planting
Many people aren’t thinking of long term landscaping ideas because of the cold weather that’s just around the corner. Early fall, before the ground freezes, is an excellent time to plant new trees and shrubs. Cooler weather and the rain that often comes during this time of year means these young plants undergo less stress than the hot and dry weather of summer. Plus, many nurseries are actively trying to empty their shelves, so you may be able to find great plants at a dramatic discount.
Bring Out The Decoration
Fall is the beginning of the seasons when many people add decorations to their front steps or door. Pumpkins and mums are a traditional fall decorating trend that can take you through Halloween all the way to Thanksgiving, eliminating the need to swap out your decorations after just a few weeks. To put a modern, and somewhat glamorous, take on it you can go with a more monochromatic look with white and gold decorations instead of the typical fall colors. Gourds of varying sizes and colors or a basket of apples are more along the lines of the traditional decorations, but provide a way to step outside of the expected fall decorations.
Adorn Your Flower Beds
If you have flower beds that have flowers that are no longer blooming you can add pumpkins or gourds to the flower beds to add color without having to go to the trouble of planting new plants or completely changing your landscape plan for that bed. Cornhusks or stalks and hay bales are also a great way to add texture to either flowerbeds or your entryway. Flower garden ideas do not always have to include flowers!
Think Beside The Box
If you have a mailbox at the edge of your yard you can utilize that space to add some fall decorations or fall plants. Your mailbox is likely visible from the street and some mums, pumpkins, or corn stalks can give it a festive look for the season.
If you have a small space rather than an expansive yard to decorate, or you are looking to add some plants and color to a smaller area a planter is a great way to do that. Garden planter ideas include not only the fall flowers to plant, but also what you are going to plant them in. You can utilize more rustic items, such as a galvanized bucket, rusty pail, or a wooden planter.
Rake Those Leaves
It may be tempting to ignore the leaves that have fallen from the trees; autumn is all about falling leaves, right? Leaves that have fallen can trap moisture on not only your lawn, but also on your driveway and sidewalks, making for a potentially slick situation. Leaves that are left on your grass and trapped under snow can cause harm to your lawn by promoting mold growth. When spring arrives and the snow melts, you will be especially thankful to not be dealing with wet and moldy leaves that have been sitting on your lawn for months. If you do want to utilize those fallen leaves you can make a couple passes over them with a lawn mower. Once they are cut into small pieces they can be utilized as organic mulch that your flowers will love!
If you are making some fall landscape plans that fall outside of what you can handle yourself call Second Nature and we will help bring your vision to life, call us today!
Thursday, September 22 is the First Day of Fall! The season’s crisp cool air and beautiful changing leaves give you the perfect reason to go out and enjoy your outdoor living space. To incorporate beautiful fall plants into your landscaping, here are some fall landscaping ideas to help you celebrate the first day of fall.
If you walk outside during autumn, do you see the colors of the season? If not, you may want to plan for some plants that show off the vibrant colors that come with the season. When you want to have your yard explode with fall beauty each season, here are some plants that will do the trick.
Do you have your halls decked and your house decorated for the holidays yet? Most people already know the tried-and-true ideas of outlining your house with outdoor lights or putting up an inflatable Santa in your yard, but we want to think outside of the normal and expected decorations for your Christmas landscape.
A classic Christmas icon is the evergreen tree and there are a myriad of ways that you can incorporate the tree into your decorations. Galvanized tubs are a great way to bring the current rustic trend to your Christmas decorations. You can use them as planters for evergreens of varying sizes and types on your porch or throughout your yard.
While wreaths aren’t a new Christmas landscape concept, we have started to see them used in new and unexpected ways. Try two or three wreaths on the same door or a different shapes, such as a square wreath. You can also hang wreaths in different locations than just the front door, such as the railing on your porch, on the windows, or on the side of your house.
For a rustic and classic Christmas postcard effect, add pinecone to your wreaths and other Christmas landscape décor. Sugar pine cones can measure up to a foot long and can be used to make wreath, add a big statement to garland around your door, or used as filler along with a string of lights to fill up a large glass lantern to adorn your Christmas landscape.
Sometimes the best decorations are right in front of you. Look around your house with an open mind to see what items you can repurpose for your Christmas landscape decorating. An old pair of ice skates that no longer fit or a plaid scarf can be used to decorate your mailbox or hung on your front door in lieu of a wreath.
Oversized ornaments are a great new trend that can help liven up your Christmas landscape. We have seen these ornaments made out of everything from spray painted old tires with upside down pails for the toppers, light globes with tuna cans and eye hooks for the toppers, or children’s kick balls and a cape pan as a topper! Depending on the size these can be used as decorations in the yard, filling a previously empty window planter, or hung across your porch.
In addition to having lights on your house as part of your Christmas landscape, you can also add Christmas lights to your front entryway or to light the pathway of your sidewalk. Mason jars are a current decorating item that can be used at Christmas. Hanging a cluster of mason jars next to your doorway and filling them with Christmas lights is a great alternative to your front porch light. They can also be used to create a lighted pathway. Using bottles, maybe emptied wine bottles that have had the label removed, you could fill the bottles with lights and drape the lights between bottles to light the way.
If you want a professional yet subtle Christmas landscape lighting aesthetic, you can add downlighting and uplighting to your landscape in the Christmas colors of red and green. Some lighting options allow you to add fake falling snowflakes to your landscape, or can create a subtle glittering appearance to your plants and trees.
Today we have some awesome backyard landscaping pictures to share with you! We want to highlight a recent landscape design we completed for Scott and Lisa. They have a beautiful home that was not being showcased due to the overgrown beds in the front of the house. They also were not fully utilizing the beautiful setting they had in their backyard with a wonderful lake just a few steps out their back door. They had a number of landscaping ideas, but were unsure of how to execute them, which led them to Second Nature, one of your premier local landscaping companies in the Lee’s Summit area. Our team of designers worked with them to create a custom landscaping plan with one of the best backyard desks we have seen in a while!
Before, the front of the house had visually been taken over by the out of control bed.
After, the bed will complement, not compete, with the house. We also added a new retaining wall.
Before, the back deck area was overgrown and almost unusable. It was a dark and uninviting area that was mostly used for storage.
After, we implemented some of our best deck design ideas to create an amazing space for Scott and Lisa to relax, enjoy their hot tub, or entertain friends! With their outdoor living area they now have an outdoor kitchen, seating area, and fireplace. With the area around the patio and deck cleared out, they now can enjoy the serenity of the lake while they are relaxing outside.
Before, the back of the house was completely obscured by the overgrowth surrounding the deck.
Now you can see the house, the deck, their amazing outdoor living area, and the expanded deck we built, which were all key components of the backyard landscape design we created for Scott and Lisa.
Before, the beds along the house were overgrown and undefined.
After, now Scott and Lisa have beautiful beds along their home along with a new and defined walkway that gives them easy access to the backyard!
Here are some additional photos of the final result of Scott and Lisa’s deck landscaping project.
If you are ready to make some changes to your home’s landscaping call us at Second Nature, your local landscapers in Lee’s Summit, MO! We would love to discuss all your backyard ideas and help you create deck landscaping or landscape design ideas and plans!
The entryway of your home plays a key part its overall design. Most of the time the entryway is visible from the street, so enhancing your entryway will also enhance and improve your overall curb appeal. An appealing entryway is also a great way to welcome guests into your home. Looking for some easy ways to update your front yard landscape design entryway? Keep reading..
Garden Ideas For Your Entryway
When you’re considering landscaping ideas for your front garden beds make sure you are planning to use plants that are appropriate for the soil type, light conditions, and climate. Even if a plant has the exact design element to complete your landscape plan it will not work if it requires full sun and your entryway is shaded for the majority of the day. If the plants are not in their ideal conditions they will not thrive, which means they won’t look their best! It is also a good idea to consider plants that match your lifestyle. If you have a busy lifestyle and find it hard to devote time to upkeep you may want to look for plants that are low maintenance.
Match The Design Elements
When considering your front yard landscape design you want to make sure that the design elements of the front garden design match that of the design of your home. If you house is modern with clean lines you may not want to fill your garden beds with romantic wildflowers. You also need to ensure that the plants within the beds complement each other and share design aspects.
Accent Your Front Door
Painting your door a unique color that complements the design of your house is a great way to enhance the look of your entryway. Flanking the doorway with flowered plants and planters that coordinate with this color is a great way to update the entry of your home and enhance your front yard landscape design.
Add An Arbor Or Trellis
Adding an arbor or trellis is a landscaping idea that can complement your entryway to invite your guests to your home. An arbor or a trellis is a great way to add a vertical component to your front yard landscape design. A trellis covered with vines can add interest to a boring wall provide the perfect space to display hanging plants.
If you have an area near your entry that isn’t well suited for plants or grass you can easily turn that into a small patio. With the patio you can add landscaping ideas such as a potted plants, a small seating area, or other decorative touches.
If you are looking for further direction on how to cultivate a more inviting and welcoming entryway please contact our design experts at Second Nature!
People often spend considerable time and money completing the landscaping in their yard, but when night falls that beautiful landscaping basically disappears. There are many landscape lighting ideas you can use to highlight different landscaping features, make dark areas of your yard useable at night, and increase security around your home. When you begin making a plan for landscape or garden lighting you need to begin by thinking about the purpose for your different landscape lighting aspects so that you are haphazardly throwing lights into your yard.
Here are some general tips to think of when creating your landscape lighting plan.
With paver lighting you can use outdoor light fixtures to highlight the edges of a stone patio or walkway. Paver lights are flush with the stone, which gives you the benefit of not having to worry about damaging or tripping over traditional solar lights along the edge of a walkway or patio. Paver lights are also available as led landscape lighting options. LED landscape lights are beneficial because they last much longer than traditional halogen lights and are more durable in their ability to withstand shock, vibrations, and all types of inclement weather. They also give you more flexibility in the lighting effects you create; they can be set up with a dimmer.
Soft lighting around the edge of your pond or water feature not only can serve to accent the design aspect, but can also be a safety feature so than guests don’t end up taking an unintended dip in your pond after dark!
Swimming Pool Lighting
If you have a swimming pool then swimming pool lighting can add to the atmosphere in your backyard and is also beneficial in nighttime swimming.
Water Featuring Lighting
If you have a water feature, such as a fountain or spillway using outdoor light fixtures will allow you to highlight your water feature and you can use lighting from within the water or external lighting to create different effects.
Deck Lighting and Patio Lighting
It is a good idea to ensure that your patio lights illuminate the edges of your patio or deck so that it is easy to discern where the edges are located. Using indirect lighting for your seating areas are helpful, this cuts back on harsh direct lights at eye level, nobody wants to be squinting into the light as you are trying to enjoy a relaxing evening on your deck or patio. Another lighting option for your hardscapes such as patios or decks are strands of led lights that can be affixed to the underside of your deck railing or other hardscape items.
As you can see there are a number of things to consider when it comes to landscape lighting. Second Nature is experienced in all aspects of landscape lighting, from design to implementation. Call us today to speak with a design expert about the landscape lighting plan you have in mind.
Everybody has a different idea of what they want in a backyard. As you begin to plan and design your backyard think about what your perfect yard would look like in order for you to truly enjoy spending time in your backyard. It is a good idea to start with the overall design you are striving to achieve and then move to the smaller details that will really make your backyard design stand out.
If entertaining is a big part of how you want to spend time in your backyard some backyard design ideas you may want to incorporate might include an area for al fresco dining, an outdoor kitchen and backyard bar, an outdoor living room, a built in fire pit, or a dedicated area for games such as washers or cornhole. When choosing furniture for your outdoor dining and lounge areas make sure you are keeping comfort in mind. Even the best-looking sets won’t be utilized fully if they are not comfortable!
If you are more focused on how your family, and small children, are going to use your backyard you will be interested in a different set of backyard design ideas. If you have small children some elements you might want to be sure to include would be a dedicated play structure area, an area for sand/dirt play, lots of open space for running or playing ball, and a paved track around the exterior edge of your backyard can be great for riding bikes or other wheeled toys. Children’s play areas can be traditional with a cedar play structure, or you can think outside the box with an old canoe filled with sand or dirt, rather than a traditional sandbox.
While some people desire entertaining or recreation space some people dream about a beautiful and lush backyard filled with ornamental and flowering plants to soothe their senses. For these people, backyard design ideas may include a wide variety of organic and ornamental flowers, meandering pathways they can use for wandering through the garden, and water features. When planning the types of plants you will want to take into consideration the mature height of the plants, you want to make sure to use plants of varying heights so everything is not on the same level. It is also a good idea to use plants of varying colors and that flower and bloom at different times throughout the growing season. Using plants that are native to your local area will make it easier to grow the plants because they are already adapted to the temperatures and rainfall that your area typically receives. A water feature or fountain not only makes a great focal point, but can also add a musical note into your garden.
Gardening is an extremely rewarding endeavor. In many cases homeowners have great ideas about the various elements of a landscape design, but aren’t sure how to implement them. Planning a landscape for optimum use and ease of maintenance is a specialized skill. Hiring a pro to design your landscape can save you time and money in the long run. We’ll go over a few avoidable mistakes in landscape design to help you get the best out of your home landscape.
Professional landscape designers have expertise on tap to make your yard maintenance tasks easier, year after year. They will know how to choose the right plants, soil amendments and materials for your climate and site, and provide a cohesive design with functionality, focal points, and low maintenance. Professional landscape design is a worthwhile investment in your home’s value and curb appeal and will pay for itself over the years by saving you the expense and labor of replanting if things don’t work out.
Garden centers sell a lot of impatiens, geraniums and marigolds, but not necessarily because they are the best choice for the landscape. Often it’s because they are an easy choice for the grower, with quick propagation, reliable shipping and “shelf life” in small flats. Do use these easy-to-flower annuals for the summer splash of color, but look beyond them at native perennials for that touch of the unusual.
If you plan to grow edibles here, you won’t be limited to a plain-Jane apple tree. There are a large number of heirloom apple trees, and new varieties such as Honeycrisp apples and Asian pears are now available. Cherries, pecans, almonds and filberts will also grow well in our area. Concord grapes, berries of many varieties, and strawberries can be integrated into a landscape design with lovely results. The Chicago Hardy fig tree is productive and easy to grow, and bears fruit on new growth, which means that a bitter winter die-back won’t affect yield so thankfully there are many options here in the greater Kansas City area.
Make sure that your fruit trees are self-pollinating, or choose several varieties to pollinate your edible landscape.
A well-designed landscape will give your home beauty and increase your property value. Careful preliminary planning will ensure visual integration of your home and yard as a whole. Before you get out the shovel and trowel this spring, consider calling the landscape design professionals at Second Nature Outdoor Living and Landscaping. We will give you a free quote for landscape design, landscape maintenance, and the mundane yard chores that keep you from having the time to enjoy your yard, such as mowing, trimming, fertilizing and pruning. We know you have limited time, so why spend it mowing the grass?
Our goal is to provide you with long-term enjoyment of your home landscape. We have hundreds of happy customers in the greater Kansas City metro area who will confirm the effectiveness of that claim!
Are you one of the many people out there that is overwhelmed by the concept of taking care of and maintaining your landscape design? Rest assured that you are not alone! The good news is that there are a number of ways to plan a landscape design that is low maintenance to help minimize what you have to handle on a regular basis.
Use What You Have:
One of the first keys for a low maintenance landscaping idea is to take advantage of design elements that are already present in your yard, but modifying them to be simple and easy to care for.
If you have foliage or plant life growing on your existing hardscape structures, like mailboxes, pergolas, or arbors, you should remove it. This foliage requires continual care and trimming to keep them looking neat and can quickly become an eyesore if you are not caring for them properly. Once the plant life is removed you can repaint or stain the hardscape items to give them a new, clean, and more stream-lined look.
Clean Up Your Beds
For a low maintenance landscaping idea you want to make sure that the flowerbeds in your yard are requiring minimal upkeep. Typically flowerbeds require extensive work and continual weeding, especially if they have natural groundcover, like mulch. By replacing mulch with stone or gravel and eliminating plants that spread quickly or require constant trimming you can minimize the amount of time you spend in your yard to keep your flowerbeds from looking unruly. When you install stone or gravel groundcover but sure to use an underlayment of weed barrier to further inhibit weed growth in the flowerbed. Creating a crisp border on the edge of the flowerbed by installing timbers or other hardscape edging materials can help to prevent weed growth and create a definite line between the lawn and the bed.
When choosing plants for the flowerbeds choose non-fussy flowers. Also, choosing perennials means that you aren’t replanting flowers each spring.
Your Path Is Clear
A low maintenance landscaping idea also extends to the walkways in your yard. An overgrown pathway can quickly have your lawn looking messy and unkempt. Replacing stepping stones with either concrete squares or flagstone laid in concrete helps you avoid weeds and unwanted grass growth between steps or on the pathway. By eliminating weeds you eliminate the time needed to battle them!
Match Your Design With Your Home
The final point of our low maintenance landscaping ideas is to make sure the style of your landscaping matches that of your home. If your home is more traditional you can create structure in your yard with symmetrical plantings of low-maintenance plants. A more contemporary or modern styled home can more easily go further minimalistic and use concrete, wood, and metal elements. These create cleaner lines and fewer headaches and upkeep for you!
If the thought of designing your yard with these low maintenance landscaping ideas is still overwhelming for you, contact your Second Nature Outdoor Living and Landscaping for assistance in both design and execution.
The term “landscaping” often brings to mind the different types of plants and flowers in a yard and the design they are planted in. But landscaping can also refer to sidewalks/walkways and other ornamental items in your yard. Today we want to talk about trending landscaping rocks to add to your design. Many people recoil at the thought of rocks in their yard, but they can be a very useful design element that can add to the overall aesthetic of your yard. Natural stone is a very versatile tool in landscape design. Rocks give you another element to add variety and contrast, they can provide durable groundcover, and require minimal maintenance.
Pea gravel is often called by many other names. It may also be referred to as beach couples, Pete gravel, or river pebbles. All these names refer to small landscaping rocks that have been worn smooth over time by wind and water. These come in a wide variety of colors, which make them very versatile in landscaping applications.
Pea gravel is commonly used as ground cover and is light enough that it can be in place of mulch, even right up around plants. When using pea gravel, you want to make sure to use come type of edging or border. Because of the small size of these landscaping rocks, they can easily be washed away by the elements.
Using rocks as ground cover in place of mulch has many advantages. Due to the high durability of these small landscaping rocks, you would not need to replace it every year, like you do with mulch. Rocks can also inhibit weed growth, but it is still a good idea to put down weed barrier under the rocks.
This is another option for landscaping rocks. They are similar to pea gravel, only a bit larger. They also come in a very wide variety of colors and shapes and have similar applications and benefits to pea gravel.
Rainbow rock is another of the landscaping rocks available to you. It is again a bit larger than river rock. Many of the applications stay the same, although you may not want to use this as groundcover in a bed with smaller and more delicate plants. Because of it’s size, it may inhibit growth for those types of plants but it could work well with larger and more durable plants and shrubs. You could also use it to create a dry creek bed or a walking path.
Lava rock is an option for landscaping rocks that is actually mined from volcanic lava domes. This landscaping rock is also very versatile and can be used for many purposes, many which overlap landscaping rocks already discussed. Because it does have a different color and texture, you can use it to create designs within the groundcover of a bed by mixing it with any of the landscaping rocks above that have a contrasting color.
Flagstone is a landscaping rock that you are likely already familiar with. It is widely used in landscaping design. Flagstone are larger flat pieces of stone that can be used for both decorative and function purposes in your landscaping. They are commonly used to create a walkway or as a patio. They can also be used as edging for other landscaping elements.
Boulders are the largest of the landscaping rocks available. They are often used as a focal piece or as an “anchor point” in your landscape design.
You can also use a couple of them grouped together to create a rock garden by adding low growing plants as groundcover and then fill in spaces with smaller rocks to complete the look. Another idea for boulders is to use small bounders to create a border to a pond, or water element, in your yard. Using small boulders can give a very natural look to a man-made water feature.
As you can see, the use of landscaping rocks in your design is almost limitless. Finding a landscaping contractor can help you define your vision and bring that to life in your yard. They may also be able to provide you with new ideas to enhance your own and help you achieve the best looking lawn in the neighborhood!