Garden Design and Landscaping Your Home

Garden design could be defined as a process of planning, designing and creating the layout for one’s garden. Anybody could design their own garden and in fact many people do, although not many of them would possess professional skills and knowledge in this area. Professional garden designers combine their experience, their learned knowledge and their sense of creativity and employ them to deliver their vision of what a perfect garden should look like. In many cases, particularly when designing large gardens, full of complex elements and unusual features, experience of horticulture, floriculture or even architecture is required.

Landscaping is a process of adapting the natural environment accordingly to the designer’s vision. This involves combining the natural conditions of the terrain with those created artificially. In other words, it includes changing the terrain layout as much as adding structures and objects to it. Landscaping also involves various transformations and further processes of conservation of the altered surroundings, whether they are public parks, golf courses or private gardens.

Important factors

Both garden design and landscaping are tightly related to the humans’ need of changing and adapting their environment. Currently these two areas of knowledge and expertise are almost completely handled by professionals, who specialize in designing not only the gardens or public green spaces (growing plants, arranging surfaces, cutting hedges, etc.), but also in designing additional elements like lamps or garden furniture.

Keys factors contributing to a well-designed and landscaped environment include:

• Determining the desired property profile of a garden (whether it will be used for relaxation, growing plants / trees or if it will serve as a playground for kids) or a wider environment (whether the landscaped terrain will be a park, a nature reserve or sports ground);
• Delimiting the area with fences or shrubs
• Deciding on a desired surface – whether it is to be grass, soil, sand, gravel, concrete, etc.; whether it will have footpaths, alleys, and so on;
• Selecting and arranging the plants within the chosen boundaries;
• Using additional elements like garden furniture and appropriate sources of light for the newly created environment.

The evolving styles

Both landscaping and garden design have changed dramatically in the recent decades. For example, in the past 20 years the garden design business has seen a shift of focus from plastic garden furniture, used initially as additions in the gardens, to exclusive and highly esthetic metal, wooden or rattan sets of garden furniture that presently constitute the center of nearly every garden. Landscaping has also changed greatly, evolving from a domain of rich amateurs to a rapidly expanding field of business, where only the best trained and educated specialists can find a niche for themselves.

At present the styles of garden design and landscaping vary depending on the geographic and cultural context. While Asian arts of landscaping and garden design are usually inspired by traditional methods of arranging spaces (like Feng Shui), European and American approaches usually focus on the formal aspects such as functionality, planning permissions and space usability.

Create Gorgeous Gardens: 5 Useful Free Garden Design Software Features

Today, in the increasingly competitive free garden design software market, some of the skills of professional landscape designers are already built into the software itself. For example, in the past we have to depend on the professionals to select suitable plants that will thrive in your local climate. Today, the USDA Hardiness Zone Map is encoded into most paid and free landscape design software, so selecting suitable plants for your climate has become a much easier job.

Over the years of using both free and paid garden design software for garden design projects for my clients, I noticed that there are 8 “must have” features in the software that can help to save lots of time and avoid garden design mistakes:

1) Large searchable plant library with Hardiness Zone Maps

I cannot stress the importance of correct plant selection enough. Fortunately, access to Hardiness Zone Maps is just a few clicks away with the correct software. Experienced gardeners will tell you that it is pointless to plant something that will not survive in your climate.

Therefore, to avoid the disappointment of seeing dying plants, it is important to know your hardiness zone before deciding what plants you want in your garden.

2) Ability to design gardens in 3D, and produce 2D drawings

From experience, many people, me included, have problems visualizing how the garden will look like by just looking at a 2D drawing. Unfortunately, many professional landscape designers still like to communicate the garden design concept to their clients. For example, by looking at a “bird eye view” plan, there is very hard to imagine how a bird bath looks like beside a raised flower bed. Some clients absolutely love it; however some clients want the bird bath removed after it was installed. Such costly design errors can avoided if the client was shown a 3D photo of the future garden.

Anyway, 2D drawings are still important. It contains much important information, such as the size of the garden, and the location of every garden element. Therefore it is crucial for paid and free garden design software to have both 2D and 3D design capabilities.

3) Ability to import your front yard or backyard photos

This type of free garden design software is probably the easiest to use, and it is definitely the most practical for gardeners who has only a small garden to work on.

This type of software allows you to import your front yard photo and add garden features around them. So, it is particularly useful for creating “before and after” comparisons. Some software even can create different lighting effects so that you can see how your future garden looks like in the morning as well as in the evening.

However if you have a large garden, this type of program is probably not for you. The reason is, if your garden is a large one, in this type of program it is not possible to design in every single detail.

4) Plant growth simulation

With the Hardiness Zone Maps installed into the software, some landscape design software nowadays can also predict how your plants will look like in the next 3 months or 5 years. This is particularly important so that adjustments can be made for space constraints which are not apparent at the first look.

Besides, it is also a great experience to see how your garden will become more and more gorgeous year after year, without the need of time travel!

5) Ease of use

The ease of using your paid or free landscape design programs is one of the most underrated features. Many beginning garden enthusiasts pay too much attention to whether their software has a certain type of plant in their plant library.

Obviously having a large plant library is very important, but I always belief that gardeners should never let the software difficulties limit our imagination. If the software is way too hard to use for you, just change to another one, since there are dozens of them out there.

These are the top 5 features that I will recommend to all garden enthusiasts to keep an eye on whenever they want to install any paid or free garden design software. Once you make a wise decision and install the correct software, you are already one big step nearer to creating the garden of your dreams.

Buy a Pleasant Design Bar Furniture to Beautify Your Home

You may be wondering, what are the best reasons to add bar furniture to the home? Well, it could be a relaxing place where you can forget all your worries and kick away your stress of your day and relax with family and friends while enjoying a drink. Having a bar in your house will make entertaining guests much easier than before. Your parties and casual events will become more exciting as people flock to your bar table and comfortable bar stools to enjoy a cold one.

The bar furniture is becoming a rapidly growing trend in the furniture industry nowadays. Thus, while installing a bar in the house, it is important that you choose the appropriate furniture for the bar. A regular bar consists of a table and shelves. While some of the bars available in the market online come with bar stools, others require you to pick the ones that you like.

One can conclude the beauty of wooden bar furniture along with stylish and beautiful glassware and spirits will provide a glamour and luxurious look to the home. It speaks about the personality of the person. The bar furniture not only adds a class to the decor but it also adds utility. So have a look at guidelines for buying bar furniture online to have an alluring place.

  1. Bar Cabinets: Bar cabinets are made from wood, metal or aluminium and are available online in various shapes, styles and designs. They consist of proper and spacious racks to keep glasses and bottles. So choose the design that complements your style and home decor and that fulfil all your requirements. If your house has a contemporary look, go for stylishly designed bar cabinets. If your house has a traditional outlay, choose designs that have a minimalist pattern on it. It is also very important to analyse the space that is available in the house before setting up a bar. So buy cabinets in accordance with the other bar furniture.
  2. Bar table: Bar tables are an essential furniture piece of a bar. They are usually similar to dining tables but are smaller and raised. Bar tables are the perfect place to enjoy drink or meal in style and comfort. So choose a bar table that is high enough and allows to sit comfortably and adjust your legs. It comes in various shape like round, rectangular or square and is made of wooden or metal frame with glass top. An average bar table height would be around 40 – 42 inches high.
  3. The Bar Stand: These kind of furniture for the bar are tall pieces that usually act as a serving station for drinks and meals. On one side they will have space for a bartender with storage for bottles, glassware and other essentials to the bar. Some large and more dedicated sets have a sink and space for a mini fridge. If you are looking for a bar to be a quick station for eating and drinking purely, a single bar stands with a couple of stools will be enough.
  4. Bar Stools or Chairs: Buying a bar chair is an important task in setting a bar in the house. Bar chairs or stools are available in a variety of materials, colours and finishes. The one you choose should be dependent on your personal taste and the decor of your room. While you are selecting a stool, make sure that it is 10 to 12 inches lower than the height of the bar. This will ensure that there is enough room for you and your guests to sit comfortably. You can also go for stools that have adjustable height. Backless bar stools are a great option if you compact space in the house. Make sure that do a thorough analysis of all the various types of bar stools available online. This will help you make a more informed decision regarding your home bar furniture.

Your Local Home and Garden Store Can Make You More Creative

Looking for a creative outlet? There’s a reason so many people are interested in do-it-yourself, or DIY, projects. In this era of smartphones and quick fixes, you may be surprised by how fulfilling it can be to make something with your own two hands. If you don’t know where to start, a home and garden store can provide you not only with materials, but also good advice.

If you haven’t been to a home and garden store in a while, just wait until you see the possibilities! Most offer not only the typical nuts and bolts, but also a full selection of painting supplies, outdoor furniture, seasonal plants, and even kitchen wares. In every section, you’ll find a product you would never expect. Chalkboard paint? Solar-powered garden lights? Stop by a store to get your imagination flowing.

Home and garden stores are also a great place to take the kids. You can often get lower prices on basic art supplies, and kids see endless possibilities in basic materials like wood and wire. It can be fun to think outside the box-for instance, metal hardware can make beautiful jewelry.

These shops abound with possibility. For any one problem-whether it’s unsightly cords, a broken table, or a boring room-you’ll find ten different solutions. You’ll find the employees are knowledgeable about DIY projects and eager to help figure out the best solution for you.

If you’re interested in home improvement, note that the kitchen and the master bath tend to add the most value during a home sale. Even if you don’t plan to sell your house soon, you can add some joy to your life by fixing up these heavily used spaces.

Home improvement doesn’t have to break the bank. Update the kitchen with a fresh tile pattern behind the counter, metallic paint on the old fridge, or refinished cabinets.

A bathroom can become a relaxing getaway with just a few beautifying tips. You can repaint the old vinyl floors, add mirrors, or try a more modern style of light fixture.

Don’t neglect your outside space, either. Just a few hanging pots and fresh deck chairs can turn an unused deck into a favorite family hangout.

If you’re not sure about your creative abilities, don’t worry-you can experiment! Start thinking like an interior designer. Could you add a subtle flourish? A bold accent color? Flipping through catalogs or looking at pictures online can also lead to inspiration. Take those pictures to the home and garden store, where employees will be happy to show you how to make your dream a reality.

For whatever project you have in mind, it’s always fine to pay a professional, but first talk to the employees at your local home and garden store. They will let you know if a project will be too difficult or well worth the creative effort. If you do give that DIY project a try, you’ll soon discover the creative satisfaction of making your life more functional and beautiful.