Archive for July, 2014

Weekly Special – Week of July 28th

 ~Weekly Special ~

July 28th – August 2nd

10% off Chimineas

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Posted on: July 28th, 2014 by admin | Comments Off

Upcoming Seminars ~ Week of July 21

Landscape Lighting Seminar

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Learn more and register here!

Big Green Egg Demo

Friday, July 25, 2014

Learn more and register here!

Posted on: July 21st, 2014 by admin | Comments Off

Creating a Secret Garden, Right in Your Own Backyard

-EpHenry blog

They are said to be magical. Ever since Frances Hodgson Burnett first penned A Secret Garden in 1909, young and old alike have been fascinated with secret gardens. These smaller gardens enchant us by allowing us to create a small fantasy world right in our own backyard.

The good news is creating a secret garden is relatively easy and you don’t have to be an expert gardener or have a big budget to achieve magical results.

Defining Your Secret Garden

By definition, your secret garden should not be entirely visible at first glance. They are typically surrounded on all sides, and the entrance can either be a door or hidden passage. Secret gardens can easily be incorporated into existing landscapes, and this is a case where smaller works better (to better keep your garden a secret).

What Magic Lies Ahead?

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A walkway using pavers or quarry steps can lead visitors to your secret garden. Depending on your personal style, a salvaged door or gate gives it a mythical old- world look, while a curved trellis or arbor covered in ivy or flowers is more romantic in nature.  Or try adding hinges t

o a large wall mirror and using it as a door is an inexpensive way to create an optical illusion.

There are many ways to enclose your secret garden. Depending on your current landscape layout, you may need to add walls or additional enclosures. The enclosure can be made of existing structure or an additional wall or plantings.  “Walls” can be created using HardScaping (such a retaining wall) a fence, trellis or plantings.  The side of your home can be closed off on three sides with a trellis and some climbing ivy or plantings, such as arborvitae or bamboo. Fast growing and evergreen, privacy hedges make excellent enclosures.

A walkway in aged pavers sets the stage for the perfect secret garden entrance.

Beyond the Door

Pavers come in a variety of sizes, textures, and colors and they work wonderfully to define your private backyard garden space. Try mixing paver colors to create a one-of-a-kind look. Since the plants will be surrounded by walls, they should be shade or partial shade loving in order to thrive. Good choices include moss, blue corydalis and ferns, since they need little maintenance and won’t overcome the space too quickly.

Furniture should be minimal, but a walkway within the garden can lead visitors to smaller, private seating areas. Form should follow function, so be aware of how much space you’ll need in order to be comfortable.

secret garden

When accessorizing your secret garden think about how you will use the space. Is it intended to be a quiet reading nook, a Zen meditation space, or a fairy fantasy garden for the grandchildren? Salvaged and up-cycled items are perfect décor items. Unique and eclectic accessories work best, but resist the urge to over decorate, your secret garden should allow your eye to rest and your imagination to soar.

Have fun creating your secret garden and when you are finished, you’ll always have a place to get away from it all, right in your own backyard.

Posted on: July 21st, 2014 by admin | Comments Off

Weekly Special ~ Week of July 21

~Weekly Special~

July 21-26

10% off all poly furniture

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Learn about poly furniture here. 

Posted on: July 21st, 2014 by admin | Comments Off

Weekly Special~Week of July 14

~Weekly Special~

July 14-19

20% off all Rose Bushes

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Posted on: July 14th, 2014 by admin | Comments Off

The Benefits of Pavers vs. Stamped Concrete

The Benefits of Pavers vs. Stamped Concrete

-originally posted by EpHenry

So you’ve decided to create an outdoor living space! After deciding the size of your new patio, you’ll need to select the type of material to use.

The good news is, you’re not limited to the poured concrete patios of yesteryear that stain and crack after just a few short years.  One rough season can destroy it. Although concrete waspopular for many years because of its cost, decorative pavers have bridged the gap between pouring a concrete slab (on the low end) or installing natural stone (on the high end).

While poured concrete can be the cheapest patio option, it really offers very little to beautify an outdoor living space, and return on investment is low. So much so, that there are literally hundreds of sites on how to stain, paint, stamp and cover up a concrete patio.

Stamped Concrete

In recent years, stamped concrete has wiggled in and become an option. At first glance, stamped concrete seems like a decorative low-cost answer. A concrete base is poured to size, and then before it cures, large stamps that resemble natural stone are placed over on top of the concrete and tampered down to stamp patterns into the wet concrete.

What homeowners need to realize is that concrete, stamped or not, inherently cracks. We’ve all seen the different colored concrete repairs and patches on driveways. It happens over time due to weather, water, ground shifting, tree roots and usage. While it’s a nuisance to repair and correct in a driveway, imagine how frustrating, costly, and near impossible it would be to repair a colored and stamped patio.  Even small cracks are unsightly and spoil the illusion.

concrete cracked

Pavers, or paving stones, are installed individually leaving a narrow gap that is filled in with special paving sand. This method puts no stress on the pavers and allows them to shift without cracking in cases of ground movement, such as is caused by freeze-thaw conditions . An additional feature is that they have higher psi (pounds per square inch) strength t

han concrete and asphalt. Should damage to a paver ever occur, replacing them is relatively easy since they can be replaced individually and can be ordered by their color, shape and size.

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The World is not Flat

Since pavers come in a variety of colors, textures, shapes and sizes homeowners can custom design a patio that accommodates an uneven terrain. Look for a single-source paving manufacturer that also produces steps, walls, and outdoor kitchens. These manufacturers specifically design textures and colors that complement their patio pavers.  This will allow you to create not only a patio, but a true outdoor living space; and by doing so, you’ll add valuable livable square footage (and value) to your home.

Other Points to Consider:

  • Reputable paver manufacturers guarantee that their pavers won’t crack or spall; you cannot obtain a similar guarantee for stamped concrete.
  • Stamped concrete requires expansion joints every 10 feet or so, which are very distracting in some patterns.
  • Patterned concrete pavements don’t allow access to underground utilities or the ability to make repairs.

So why spend all of your time and money on poured concrete repairs? At virtually the same price per square foot installed, pavers are clearly a superior choice.

 

 

Posted on: July 8th, 2014 by admin | Comments Off
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