Monthly Archives: October 2021

Landscaping with Rocks

Limestone Boulders | Indiana Limestone Co. A Polycor Inc Company

There are literally 101 ways of landscaping with rocks, and probably hundreds more. When many people think about landscaping they focus only on flowers, ground covers, shrubs and trees. The elements missing in this type of landscape design are stones and rocks, which provide varying heights and contours that keep the backyard landscape interesting and unique. Successfully integrating rocks into your landscape turns them into a focal point – each rock being placed to create a specific look and feel.

Additionally if you’re using natural rock, it looks like it’s part of your yard’s natural environment even if you purchased the stone elsewhere. Of course the greatest advantage of using rocks in your garden is they require no watering, trimming, or fuss.

Having rocks in your landscape changes the overall feel of your yard. Think of a Zen rock garden as one example. It’s both beautiful and relaxing, and has a practical application for individuals who enjoy moving meditations. Other ideas include using stone in combination with water features for a deep-forest atmosphere, or lava rock for a tropical paradise. The potential combinations are only limited by the space available, the budget and your imagination.

Choosing Rocks for your Landscape

Landscaping with rocks means taking a little time to educate yourself on the different types of rocks available to you. There’s a huge difference in cost and materials comparing a water feature with stone to decorative ground cover. Not all rock is the same in terms of durability.

Additionally you also have fake rock from which to choose. Fake rock is lighter and comes in custom sizes and colors. These stones offer the advantage of having hollow areas that are perfect for storing tools or hiding unappealing eyesores (like exposed piping).

Accent Landscape Boulders

Accent boulders help you build levels into your landscape without bringing in extra soil. They also give the whole landscape design a unique character that impacts the view with a little drama and interesting angles.

One of the keys to using accent boulders effectively is making them appear as if they literally grew out of that spot. Putting the bottom of the stone down about 4″-6″ achieves that effect, particularly in combination with decorative grasses nearby.

images boulder retaining walls - Bing Images | Landscaping with boulders,  Rock wall gardens, Rock wall landscape

Planning and Placement of your Landscape Rocks

Use graph paper and try a couple of different plans for the landscape. Landscaping with rocks, and particularly boulders, is heavy work. You want to get the placement right on the first try. When drawing your rock design I would suggest grouping your rocks in sets of three, four, or five, in various sizes and shapes. This type of plan creates a natural appeal rather than something that seems formal and contrived.

Types of Landscape Rocks

Gallery | WLM

Small to medium sized rocks have a lot of flexibility in your landscape design. Use small stones in place of mulch in combination with landscape fabric for weed control, for example. Small stones help with drainage around pools and patios, and make a textural filler around trees too.

Place medium sized stones so as to create garden pathways. Or, use them as a natural support for a top heavy plant. Medium sized stones also create rustic borders and low-lying walls with a little engineering.

Three very popular natural stones for landscaping with rocks are flagstone, schist and river rock. The flat nature of flagstone and its unique shape makes it ideal for creating patios and pathways. Smaller pieces can be attached to garden boxes or fountains for a cobbled look.

Schist comes in a wide variety of colors, which is one reason why people like using it in landscape design. Schist has long, thin rock layers that work well in small garden streams. Blueschist provides striking appeal for wallscapes. Greenschist stands out when polished to a marble finish, and Chert has stripes of black for a dramatic backdrop in ponds.

Drainage/Dry Creek Beds » French Drain Installation | Backyard Drainage | Dry  River Beds | Landscapes by Terra

As the name implies, river rock comes from rivers and has soft, round edges. This makes it a good option for landscape designs requiring draining. Of course river rock also suits water features beautifully. Scatter a few river rocks around areas that attract butterflies to give them a soft surface for landing.

Whether you want a splash of texture and natural colors for ground covering or a full-out rock garden, landscaping with rocks is a great choice. Rocks endure the elements and truly offer one-of-a-kind uniqueness in sizes and shapes, some of which are sure to fit your plans.

Use artificial rocks to cover unattractive areas or as clever hiding holes for tools, then bring natural rocks of all sizes into the landscape to tie your theme together perfectly.

DekoRRa Rock Medium Rock Enclosure - Faux Rock - 109

Is Sprinkler Winterizing Necessary?

Winterize your Sprinkler System - [Exclusive] Guide -

Recently we received a question asking if it really is necessary to winterize sprinklers, “Do I need to worry about winterizing my sprinkler system?” Great question.

Most people want to protect their sprinkler system. They know there is a significant investment and they want to protect it. By blowing out the sprinkler system with compressed air, they gain a sense of confidence that they have protected the investment. They want to ensure that the sprinklers will work properly for years to come.

The full answer

The main thought here seems to be—if it’s underground how can it freeze? The simple answer goes something like this. During periods of freezing weather, the frost level sinks deeper and deeper into the soil. How deep the frost goes depends on how cold it is and for how long. After temperatures rise above freezing, the soil gradually thaws out.

Ok, so how deep is your sprinkler sytem buried? Most sprinkler system lateral lines are at a depth of 8-12 inches; valves are around 12 inches; and the double check anti-siphon device at between 12 inches and 24 inches.

Now let’s look at the variables

  • You really don’t know what’s under the ground and you don’t know how deep it is!
  • Sometimes it gets really cold and it lasts a long time. When this happens the frost line goes deeper.
  • Micro climates matter.
    • If there is a very windy spot the cold goes deeper in that area.
    • Maybe there is a concrete retaining wall with sprinkler pipes just on the other side. The cold comes from the top and from the side, so it penetrates a lot more.
  • Even soil conditions, mulch or the lack thereof, vegetation, and other things influence how deep the frost penetrates.
Winterizing Your Irrigation System - TLC Incorporated

What may break in a freeze and what happens then?

  • Pipes can crack if they freeze when filled with water.
  • Similarly the pipe fittings can crack.
  • Valves can also be affected. These are the most expensive parts.

For some parts, especially those made of metal, the affects of alternately freezing and thawing are cumulative. You may get by for years and then something breaks.

No Frozen Pipe Bibs Here-What to do to prevent a disaster! - Water  Extraction Experts

The Full Package

Winterizing your sprinklers is just one part of ongoing care for your sprinkler system. Possibly an even more helpful service is the Spring Start Up. That service activates the sprinkler system by closing drain valves, turning the water on, and then cleaning and adjusting the sprinklers as needed. If the sprinklers are not cleaned and adjusted regularly, sprinkler system performance will deteriorate. This is also an opportune time to do any needed repairs just before the watering season begins.

Symptoms Of A Dying Tree

SIGNS OF A DYING OR DEAD TREE

You should be aware of the signs of a dying or dead tree to prevent unwanted damage to your property. When trees begin to die they become a hazard. Dead branches can fall on cars, homes, garages, sheds, fences, pools, power lines, pets, and people. There are warning signs you should look for to help determine the health of your tree.

  • Leaves are brown when they should not be during growth season.
  • Red or Brown needles on your Evergreen is a sign that the tree is dying.
  • Branches that have lost its bark is a sign of a dead branch.
  • Fungus on the branches is a telltale sign that the branch is dead.
  • The bark is dry, loose, and falling off.
  • There are holes in the bark that indicate insect infestation.
  • The trunk has fungus.
  • The trunk and roots are slimy indicate a dead tree.
  • Missing bark at the trunk.
  • Carpenter ants at the base and around the tree.
  • If you peel away the bark and the tree is dry then you have a dying tree.
10 Signs of a Dying Tree You Shouldn't Ignore

WHAT TIME OF YEAR SHOULD TREES BE PRUNED?

Winter is a great time to cut most trees. As a general rule, trees and woody shrubs that don’t bloom are usually fully dormant in late winter – and should be pruned in the “dead” of winter. Blooming trees and shrubs should be pruned after they bloom.

Occasionally, pruning species such as maple and birch should be done in mid-summer for minimal sap loss. Prune trees for the importance of both health and safety. Trees that already dead should come down before they become a source of injury or property damage – any time of year!

How to Prune Trees Without Killing Them (step-by-step with pictures) -  BestLife52