Creating a Secluded Hot Tub with a Bubbling Wall and Landscaping


Posted by Ethan | Posted in In the Garden | Posted on 02-01-2015

Having a hot tub can provide an immense amount of enjoyment.

You’ll be able to relax in the bubbling water under the stars, solo, with friends or with that special someone. However, a hot tub can provide additional enjoyment when seclusion is provided by great landscaping and a bubbling wall.

To hide your hot tub behind foliage and your own bubbling wall, you’ll just need to allow your creativity to flow. Use the suggestions provided here for creating an envelope of lush greenery. Follow the provided steps to build a bubbling wall, that can be placed according to your preference. The steps provided will create a single wall, however you can always build more than one.

Measure and Cut all Bubble Wall Acrylic Pieces

  • 2 Acrylic pieces measured at 4’ X 2’1/2” – Front and back panel
  • 1 Acrylic piece measured at 3” X 2’ – bottom of panel
  • 1 Acrylic piece measured at 4” X 2’1” – Top of panel
  • 2 Acrylic pieces measured at 4’1/2” X 4” – Side panels

Prior to cutting acrylic pieces, be sure to remove paper backing. Cut all pieces with a circular saw equipped with a triple tooth carbide blade. While cutting, be sure to make consistent slow cuts. You’ll also need to consistently apply water to the saw blade to prevent the acrylic from melting.

Drill an Opening for Air Tubing

Using a 1/2” acrylic drill bit, drill a hole into one side panel 1” up from the 4” width base. The hole should be centered at the 2” mark across the 4” width. While drilling, be sure to consistently wet the acrylic and drill bit, to prevent melting caused by the drill bit heating up. Avoid applying extra pressure while drilling.

Once the hole has been made, use a 1/2” countersink to smooth out the edges of the drilled hole, this will prevent fractures caused by stress.

Applying Silicone to Acrylic Edges, LED Lighting and Air Tubing

Applying silicone caulking, is a relatively easy process provided that you follow a few caulking guidelines. Silicone caulking will connect all of the panels of a bubble wall and ensure that it doesn’t leak. Start by caulking the two sides of the bottom panel and attaching the side panels to the caulked area. The sides will extend 1/2” beyond the bottom panel on both ends.

When connecting the sides, the side that has an air tube hole will be connected so that the hole is at the bottom of the bubble wall. A bead of caulk should be ran on the inside and outside of the panel joints. Allow the caulk to fully dry before adding the front and back panels.

With the side panels connected to the bottom panel, you’re ready to insert the air tubing. A bead of silicone should be ran along the length of the bottom panel. Insert standard aquarium air tubing through the drilled hole and press the tubing into the silicone caulking. Close off the far end of the tubing with silicone, so that air is unable to pass through the end.

Use a needle to pierce holes into the tubing. This will allow air bubbles to rise within your bubble wall. Keep in mind, the amount of rising bubbles will be based on the number of holes made, too little or too many could affect the flow of your bubbles. Once you have finished piercing your holes, caulk the air tubing hole on the inside and outside to prevent leaks.

To attach the front and back panels, run a bead of caulk along the edges and press the panel into position. You’ll want to do one panel at a time, allowing caulk to fully dry between each panel. Be sure to caulk the inside and outside with silicone.

While the back panel is drying, you can add the LED lights. To add lights, add a bead of caulk around the back panel edges and press an LED light rope into the silicone caulking. For added effect, you can use a multi-colored LED light rope, providing a rainbow of colors.

Once all silicone has dried, you can stand your bubble wall up and add water. At this point, you’ll also want to connect an air pump to the air tubing. With the bubble wall filled with water, you’ll need to apply a final bead of silicone across the top of the panels and add the top panel.

Bubble Wall Variations

After creating your first bubble wall, you can set it along any side of your hot tub in any type of stand chosen. However, if you would prefer to create an entire wall, you can build a wooden frame that can house several bubble walls. If you choose this route, you may want to use single colored LED light ropes of varying colors. A variation of colored LED light ropes will allow you to have a different color for each bubble wall.

Adding a Little landscaping

To add landscaping, choose an area along your hot tub that doesn’t have a bubble wall. You can plant a variety of aloe vera plants, agave cacti and then throw in some wildflowers and succulents for added ground cover. This combination will create soft vegetation. An advantage to plant aloe, is that aloe will thrive throughout the winter.

Houston Landscaping Considerations


Posted by Ethan | Posted in Landscaping | Posted on 15-02-2013

Houston-GardenBeing a Houston gardener, I’ve dealt many years with the particularities of landscaping in the Houston, Texas area – and I’ve seen the best and the worst of it.

What people fail to understand sometimes is that successful landscaping is much more than the sum of its parts. Knowing the plant species that thrive in Houston, for example, does not guarantee that they will grow to their full potential in just any Houston garden, and there are numerous factors that may play into this shortfall.

Although the following does not claim to be a comprehensive list, it certainly outlines some of the major particularities of the wider Houston area that affect our choices in creating and maintaining a handsome landscape.

Houston Climate

Those of you, who have been residing in Houston long enough, know it well by now. Newcomers soon find out, inevitably: humidity is our permanent companion here. And this is a major factor that all landscaping plans should take into account.

Landscaping in the Rain

Climate in Houston can be divided into two main seasons: cold and humid, or hot and humid. Wet. Rainy. Sticky.

The warm southerly winds blowing in from the Gulf of Mexico, heavily saturated with moisture, are responsible for this sub-tropical tinge of our climate. On the other hand, cold, dry air masses descending from the North will bring in the low temperatures that characterize our winters – with, perhaps, some occasional days of frost.

When the two wind masses collide, rain pours down, often for days on end. Combined with the flat Houston landscape, water tends to pool, either on the surface or below the ground. This is why proper drainage is a crucial element in Houston gardens; otherwise, a whole lot of problems may occur, such as:

  • root rot
  • fungi
  • mold
  • deterioration of hardscaping elements
  • soil erosion

Landscaping in the Dry

Then again, we can’t always be sure that it will actually rain. Extended periods of drought are also a trait of our unique climate. In order to amend for this whim of Mother Nature, a combined drainage and irrigation system, with aptly installed basins and pipelines, will channel excess water from where it may be harmful, store it, and direct it to where (and when) it is most needed.

Bay Area Gardening in Texas

While coastal areas benefit from a milder climate, with mostly warm winters and cool summers, at the same time they’re at the mercy of salty sea winds that can be very damaging to non-native plants. Lawns and tender-leafed plants are the ones running the highest risk.

During wet seasons, rain will adequately rinse out the salt layer overlaying plant surfaces. When drought settles in, though, and rain cannot naturally perform this essential task, it is absolutely necessary that you carefully wash this salt layer off from time to time. Or, better yet, you could plan your landscape in such a way that those sensitive species are protected from exposure to sea winds.

In addition, soil in Houston coastal areas is usually sandy – which means that adequate care should be given to provide the proper mixture of ingredients (e.g. humus, well-aged manure, pine bark, etc) that will improve the nutritious content of your garden soil.

Houston City Codes for Landscaping

Besides having a good grasp of the basics of landscaping (and much more, if you really want your garden to turn its full potential), you must also be aware that Houston City has set a detailed legal framework for what is allowed for gardening and landscaping projects. Did you know, for example, that removal of trees and shrubbery is governed by strict development regulations?

Plus, you will have to deal with all the usual permits from utility companies when digging, building, and performing other works that may interfere with the permanent structure of the ground and its subsurface are involved.

These are essential steps to take, if you want to avoid ulterior problems and additional expenses that may rise way beyond your initial budget.

Landscaping Materials

Whether for hardscaping (building permanent structures such as pavements, swimming pools, pergolas, patios, drainage, retaining walls, etc) or for softscaping (creation of flower beds, planting), you will need the appropriate materials with which to execute your project.

Finding the most cost/effective solution or the best quality for your exact circumstances is a time- and effort-consuming process, and nothing guarantees that what you pay for is what you’ll ultimately get – unless you are a dedicated amateur and a deep connoisseur at the same time.

Additionally, certain items (from plants to construction materials) cannot be found even in the best retail stores and are only available to professional landscaping firms and contractors – simply because they are not distributed through regular commercial channels.

Bottomline for Houston Landscaping

As I mentioned before, successful landscaping is a complex affair, with its constituent parts working together as a well-regulated whole. If one part goes wrong, it is more than probable that it will start a chain reaction affecting the entirety of your garden.

Finding an experienced, licensed, responsible Houston landscaping company or contractor is the safest way to go. You may be utterly surprised to find out that your initial plans had not taken into account several critical elements… or that you don’t have to pay as much as you imagined in the first place!

Photo Credit: Galaga Gal via Flickr

Want To Achieve An Eco-Friendly Garden In Victorville? Try 6 These Sure-Fire Techniques


Posted by Ethan | Posted in Garden Type | Posted on 05-12-2016

As the widespread news about global warming and climate change continue to alarm countries, political leaders, communities, organizations and its people, the higher the society yearns for a more self-sustaining environment.  The news, advertisements, slogans and even social media have greatly aided in raising awareness to people all over the world about going green and help to preserve the beauty of Mother Nature. This awareness has given birth to various eco-friendly ideas recycled paper bags, organic health and beauty products, revamped home renovation materials, and a whole lot more. Apart from that, people also highly recognize the relevance of an eco-friendly garden or landscaping in partaking a role in sparing The Garden Of Eden from further havoc.

For some, it may be quite confusing on how to make you garden greener or eco-friendly when it’s already green since you’re growi

Avoid Common Landscape Contractor Fraud: 6 Relevant Tips To Follow


Posted by Ethan | Posted in Landscaping | Posted on 19-10-2016

As the holiday season starts to approach, most of us want to give our backyard or front yard a little makeover. Of course, there will be tons of events, special occasions, and gatherings during this time of the year and it’s definitely a great choice to give your home a little makeover. However, before deciding to finalize your plan and start the project, it is important that you should get yourself educated about the process and as well as the latest news in the landscaping industry. Give yourself time to gather information about the latest trends, ideas, etc. Don’t just fall right into it just because you think so, you have to plan thoroughly. In connection to this, recent news has revealed various contractor frauds that prey on homeowners, taking advantage of their needs.

landscape contractor



Contractors play a crucial role in the entire process of landscape design and construction. They are the ones who guide you from start to finish, which is why hiring the most reliable and right one for the job is not as easy as it may seem. Moreover, all homeowners who are planning to build a new garden or remodel existing ones soon should take extra precautions in order to avoid contractor frauds – this includes you. You shouldn’t allow yourself be a victim of such disgraceful activity and stay alerted. Not all licensed contractors are trustworthy and reliable, remember that. Here are six important tips that you should consider in order to prevent contractor fraud.


  1. Know Who You Are Doing Business With



In choosing a contractor for this project, ask for referrals and before you hire one, make sure to ask for at least three quotes. To ensure that your contractor can be trusted, ask for and check references. Aside from that, you should conduct a background check and contact the local Better Business Bureau to see their certificates, permits, ratings and if there are any complaints. It’s important to ask for their portfolios or past experiences as well.

  1. Utilize Multiple Resources


Finding the right contractor for the job is not easy. Given this, you have to use multiple resources in order to locate licensed landscape contractors. In your local area, you ask for advice and licensing verification to narrow down your search. Take advantage of the internet to help you find all the documents or stuff that you need.

  1. Beware Of Cold Calls


If some contractor calls you over the phone, sends you an e-mail or just appears in front of your door offering you a great deal, DON’T fall for it. It is one of the old scams that are being used by some contractors in order to gain money. They would normally say that they have some materials left and they would offer it to you in a deal you can’t refuse. You should be a smart consumer and think about your investment first.

  1. Don’t Bite The Bait


This is where most victims fall for, and the bait? It’s the price. Remember, the ones offering the lowest price may not be the best and in some cases, cheaper bids mean low-quality work and materials. Certainly, you wouldn’t want that to happen which is why you have to hear out and pay attention to the bids made by various contractors so that you can compare the prices considering the time (“man hours of labor”) and materials (cost). Double check if the bids include all the preparation and finish work that’s noted on your plan.

  1. Verify Insurance


Before hiring a contractor, always ask for proof of insurance. You should make sure that the insurance offers Worker’s Compensation and Errors and Omissions coverage. You should know that contractors carry liability insurance to protect homeowners like you in any case of property damage. If your landscape contractor doesn’t have adequate insurance, you should immediately contact your insurance company in order to verify if you can add an amendment to your insurance policy for additional insurance coverage.

  1. Read and Understand The Contract


It all goes down to your contract. So, before you sign, make sure that you have completely read and understood the terms stated in the contract. At the same time, ensure that you keep and file your receipts as well as copies of all paperwork including canceled cheques. It is important that you learn about cancellation rights so that in any event that you want to cancel the agreement, you still have legal authority to do so. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so, don’t hesitate to ask professional advice or assistance.


Contemplating all these tips could help you avoid any unforeseen and expensive contractor fraud that may happen. It’s always better to keep everything under control and be aware of what’s happening on your project. Keep yourself reminded of the things that you should do in order to protect yourself from fraud that may rise to the occasion. Besides, holidays are just around the corner, you don’t want your investment just go to waste right? So, carefully plan for your project, hire the most reliable contractor and set a realistic budget. Once your checklist is complete, then you should be good. Enjoy your new landscape design soon and set the mood for the season!



Some Things About Sage Seeds and Herbs


Posted by Ethan | Posted in Plants | Posted on 24-07-2015


9550229254_81afdc792d_kSage (Salvia officinalis) is a small evergreen shrub, which belongs to the Lamiaceae family. Although it can be seen everywhere in the world, sage is native to the Mediterranean region. It has been used for centuries in medicine and in cookery.


There are many varieties of sage with different sizes, shapes and colors of leaves.

The most known sage grows to about 23 inch high and extends about 19 inch wide.

The leaves are elongated and slightly pointed at the tip. They reach sizes of 2 inch long and 0.6 inch wide. They have a gray-green color and are rough on the top side. The bottom side is nearly white. There are also varieties of sage with other colors for the leaves: purple, cream, reddish or yellowish.

The flowers appear in spring and are generally very similar to lavender flowers. They grow all around a high rod.

History Sage Herb Seeds

Salvia officinalis was described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. Sage is grown for centuries and known for its flavor but also for its medicinal properties. The name officinalis refers to the medical use of the plant. Officina was the name of a room in monasteries where they stored drugs and herbal medicines.

Sage was used for centuries by people to protect them from evil and snake bites, but also to increase fertility in women.

Theophrastus wrote about two different species of sage, a wild bush that he called “sphakos” and another similar species, cultivated, which he called “elelisphakos”. The plant was later called “saved” by the Romans. It was used for its diuretic properties, as a local anesthetic to the skin, astringent etc.

In the Middle Ages and during the Carolingian Empire, sage was intensely cultivated in the gardens of monasteries. Walafrid Strabo described it in his poems as having a bland flavor and said that it was useful in preparing foods.


Gardeners grow sage for two purposes: as an ornamental plant or to use it with other herbs in the preparation of various dishes.

Planting herb seeds directly in the soil or seedbeds can be done in early spring. The seedlings should be planted in the garden in late spring, 1 inch deep and about 15 inches distance between plants.

Sage needs a well-drained ground. Excess water can cause yellowing of the leaves. Also during the summer, take care that the soil is permanently wet. Sage should be planted in sunny locations.


Sage has a slightly sweet and peppery flavor. In Western Europe it is used to flavor roasts, served with some cheese, garnish different vegetables and for preparing sauces. Sage is also extensively used in Italian and Middle East cuisine.

It has been recommended as a medicinal plant since ancient times. Recent studies have shown that sage can be used in the preparation of antibiotics. It also has antifungal, tonic, astringent properties, and is a good hypoglycemic.

Sage is grown in some parts of Europe for extracting essential oil.

The Broke Gardener’s Cash Savvy Tips on Landscaping


Posted by Ethan | Posted in Landscaping | Posted on 18-02-2014

There is an adage that goes, “A man’s home is his castle.” Like many proud homeowners, you might be constantly looking for ways to improve your home’s appearance. One great way to highlight your home’s beauty is by maintaining a beautiful and creative garden.

For many homeowners, the garden is usually the focal point of their homes. True enough, having a little piece of Mother Nature in one’s own yard certainly adds up to a home’s aesthetic value. What does it take to have a garden worthy of being featured in one of those daytime television shows?

Unfortunately, in order to have that garden that would make a lot of people go green with envy, you need a lot of the “greens” as well, right? If you stick to the traditional mindset, you can hold that as true. Thankfully, this doesn’t have to be so.

Be Realistic

Pay no attention to what the naysayers might say, “budget gardening” is truly possible. However, it is essential that you come up with a fixed amount when it comes to budgeting things. For example, you need to determine just how much you are willing to shell out on plants, shrubs and other gardening supplies.

Work with Improving Your Soil Quality

One effective way to improve your landscape while on a budget is by upgrading your soil’s quality. Buying imported and expensive plants will just be a waste of money if your soil is of poor quality. Invest in good quality soil first, and you will indeed see the glowing results.

You are the Hired Hand

Hiring a professional gardener can cost one an arm and a leg. With this in mind, you should understand that you have to be willing to roll up your sleeves and do a lot of the grunt work yourself. You might exert a lot of time and energy into this, but the fruits of your labor will surely be sweeter.

Know Where to Shop

In this economy, you have to be willing to sniff out a good deal. If shopping bores you to tears, think of it as an opportunity to scour out the buys. Remember that the best purchases are not limited to just your local plant store.

There are many plant and flower shows out there and many gardening enthusiasts out there who would be more than happy to share a few tips on landscaping. Not only will you be scoring a great deal, you will have made a new friend as well.

Go DIY with Mulch

Every good gardener knows that mulch is an essential ingredient to every garden. Buying a bag or two at your local gardening store can be costly, so it is best that you make your own garden mulch by recycling garden waste such as dead leaves, coffee grounds and grass clippings.  Not only is it cost effective, you will find that it does wonders for the environment as well.

Take a Crash Course on Garden Maintenance

One sure-fire way to go budget gardening is to make do with what you already have in your garden. Take some time to survey your garden, and take note of what plants need pruning. Read up on how to properly maintain each flower and plant you already have.

Be Creative and Think Outside of the Box

Just because you are on a budget does not mean that you have to stick to what is ordinary and boring. Why not leave out the odd lawn gnome and opt for some beautiful colored stones or seashells instead?

Decorate your own pots and jars, or shop for some in old thrift stores. Remember that you want your garden to be a reflection of your personality, so you surely would want to be anything but boring.

Keep in Mind that All Good Things Take Time

One of the best things about gardening is its therapeutic benefit. When you plant a seedling, you know that it needs time and a lot of your efforts for it to grow. When landscaping on a budget, you know that you cannot expect results overnight.

Owning a garden is a great way to distress. You can indeed reap the benefits when people come over and admire your garden’s beauty. And you did all that without breaking the bank! Imagine that!

But just in case you need a helping hand to better improve your garden, you can always ask assistance from experts who are great at what they do and won’t rip you off. Take for example Amarillo Landscaping which can surely help you have the best landscape there is in your town.

Borders Up: Designing your Landscape with Garden Fence


Posted by Ethan | Posted in Landscaping | Posted on 18-01-2014

Garden fence is both aesthetic and functional for your landscape. It does not only border your property but also make your garden natural and attractive.

Also another function of the fence is protecting your vegetables, flowers, shrubs or trees. They can also be used as support for vines, legumes and other plants that need a vertical support.

These fences come in different materials. The prices range depending on what they are made of and design.

So before you place your garden fence in your landscape, make sure to consider your location and your garden so you can determine if everything fits the whole picture. Here are some of the garden fence ideas and the some valuable tips when installing your garden fence.

Bamboo Fence

This is the new addition to the materials used for garden fence. Bamboo is an economical choice for many gardeners and it is even an eco-friendly option rather the next ones that will be mentioned. With little attention from other people, it can grow easy and strong and provides you with enough shade against the intense heat.

This plant is very sturdy which makes it a very good choice for your garden fence. It will definitely look good on your garden especially if you are aiming for tropical landscape.


Vinyl is less decorative in appearance but you can make different designs out of this material. It also reduces maintenance. This material is very sturdy than any garden fence materials. Although it is quite expensive, it is rather a good investment since it can last for years.


This is the most common choice because of the aesthetic effect it brings to the garden. For any centuries, it was used in many homes for different functions. Wood can be incorporated in different ways making it a very versatile option for your garden fence.

The material can easily be available, can easily install and you can paint it with colors that complement your overall property. Also the maintenance cost is reduced and like vinyl, it can last for a long period of time.

Stacked Stones

This one is a unique material for your garden fence. This is a durable and supportive material for your border. Also they have aesthetic value to your landscape. However, this material might be time consuming and expensive to build for some homeowners.

Aluminum or iron

Aluminum fence is coated with chemicals which makes it resistant to harsh weather. This material has been one of the demanding ones for garden fence but sometimes it does not fit the budget of some gardeners.

So before you incorporate your garden fence to your landscape, make sure the material complement the overall design of the house. This is very essential factor to consider.

Everything from your garden to your landscape and to the exterior of the house, your garden fence should fit your overall design. Make sure it blends in and make your house and landscape stand out.

Make sure to choose the material that suits your landscape very well. The materials above are good and popular choice by homeowners so make sure to be smart in choosing your materials. Also make sure the material can resist harsh weather which your fence is constantly exposed to.

Another factor to consider is budget. Wood and bamboo are the inexpensive choices but make sure to set your budget so you can save money while giving your garden a beauty boost.

Garden fence brings style to your landscape and security to your property. This could prevent any animals such as deer and rabbit that will eat your vegetable and fruits or damage your garden. Also a garden fence reflects your personality.

Garden fence keeps you away from the eyes of your neighbors and gives you a private or quiet time with your lawn. So you won’t be bothered by anyone when your fences are up. It also keeps the burglar away making you feel safe and comfortable inside your property.

Garden fence are definitely important element to your landscaping project so make sure to properly plan the placement of your fence around your property. Incorporating it in your garden can be a success if you consider the factors above.

Landscaping Ideas: Important Points to Consider


Posted by Ethan | Posted in Landscaping | Posted on 21-12-2013

Landscaping ideas for your home will always be good if they are realized according to your preferences. Most of the time, you may be imagining a paradise around your home. When you want to get such ideas done, the result may sometimes be undesirable.

Getting the right landscaping service will surely solve your problem. It is not because landscapers will always have better ideas. But with professional help, you can get the best out of what you have for your home.

To achieve this, there a few important points to consider. Your professional landscaper will help you match your needs and with this, you will enjoy a beautiful reality.

Architectural Design

Do you live in a Mediterranean style home? Lush garden and ornamental plants provide better ambiance. Try to match them with palm trees in the middle of your lawn – you will see the beauty that matches this classic home.

If your home is a Modern style home, you can enhance your surroundings by having your garden trimmed and shaped. Add to it some exotic plants for better accent. Artworks can also get along can also complement this kind of setting.

Climate and Weather Condition

Not all species of plants and trees survive under different weather conditions. It is better to be aware of the usual occurrence of rain and hurricane. In countries with four seasons, it is better to note which part of the year you should choose to place some species of ornaments.

In the tropics, things are lighter since your surroundings can always be green for the whole year round. But you need to consider if some imported ornaments suit the climate.

In hot places, an Oasis style garden will be more appropriate. Put a series of Cactus plants with palm trees around your home and this will surely be satisfying. If you live along coastal areas, some small coconut trees will complete your beach style ambiance.

Lot Size

Your garden should also be appropriate with the size of the yard. If your lot is too wide, a single mistake can make your garden look like a farm or a forest. You can maximize the beauty of your lot if you incorporate some amenities like children’s playground or picnic ground to make your big yard look like a park.

If your own yard is a little small, you can put some good flowers and vases. Asian style garden will be more appropriate. When it’s all set up, put some tables and chairs and have your coffee sessions there.


Your lifestyle is what affects your surroundings the most. Are you the type of person who likes to go for a walk along green garden while meditating? Are you the type of person who likes pets or farm animals?

When you answer all these, you will probably know what type of landscaping service you will need for your home. Imagine your children running and playing all day. Of course, a forest-like garden will become dangerous for them. What about your dogs? You may not imagine your dogs digging your favorite lawn. What is worse is if you have some goats there chewing your favorite ornaments.

In this case, identifying your lifestyle will help you find out the most appropriate environment for you. Your professional landscapers should also know what you do at home to fit what is best for you. You should also help your landscapers to help you.

In a nutshell, landscaping ideas are not only the fruit of our own imaginations. Good landscaping ideas are always based on these important points to consider.

Gardening Mistakes You Should Avoid


Posted by Ethan | Posted in In the Garden | Posted on 21-11-2013


In gardening, there are some habits that you need to be break. This article will discuss the different gardening activities that starters should avoid. Gardening is fun and exciting if you do what’s right for your plants. It is fulfilling to see them growing healthy every single day.

If you’re a beginner, it’s highly advised that as much as possible you follow by the book. Don’t make an experiment if you are not sure because that will just mess up your efforts. Asking assistance from an expert is always an effective trick before beginning your first garden venture.

Keep Away From Usual Mistakes

Gardening experts have their fair share of wrong habits. They tend to give less attention to simple details which results to complicated gardening scenarios in the future.

  • Keep control and don’t be overexcited – before starting a project, planning is needed. This can be crucial because your plan will either make or break the entire gardening venture. So don’t be overwhelmed by the tasks, choose the right plants and decide what design is perfect in your home.

  • Little knowledge of your location – before starting to plant on raised beds, do you know what plants are perfect in your area? Planting the wrong plants will void your time and effort. Also, determine if it is the right season to plant them, plants growing healthy in Texas might possible not to live in Arizona. Proper zoning is essential.

  • Stick to the list – everyone has this feeling of excitement to grow lovely flowers they have seen on movies, magazines or televisions without thinking if it will thrive best in their area. Plants that require specific environment to live will most likely disappoint you in the end. So when purchasing plants in the nursery, stick on the list and never go overboard.

  • No soil preparations – thinking that plants will just grow in any soil is wrong. Without a good soil a plant may either live poorly or die. Good soil means proper combination of clay, sand and organic materials. If you disregard this step, you might end up upset with the growth of your plants.

  • Avoid overcrowding – yes, just like people, overcrowded areas tend to intimidate one from the other. With plants, they will be competing against each other over their needs and soon you will realize their irregular growth. Overcrowding can stress plants out, making them susceptible to get diseases.

  • Overwatering – plants need water but not too much or else they will die. Starters might think that giving them more than what they need is good, it is actually not true. As long as you make sure that the soil is moist, your plants are safe.

  • Beware of invasive plants – if you are planning to grow horseradish or English Ivy, be careful because they are invasive – they tend to pop up all over the place. These types of plants are grown well in containers – easy management and limited space.

If you want your garden to thrive think of simple details that might possibly harm them. These kinds of lapses are avoidable and can easily get fixed.

  • Seek proper drainage – this will avoid your issue with overwatering.
  • Dig and weed – this can solve your issue with invasive plants. Weed consistently to keep away those seeds or adapt solarizing – dampen the soil and cover it with black tarp, keep it that way for a few months and the heat from the sun will heat up the soil and kill those weeds.

  • Keep the soil tested – each region may have various soil components, so before starting up the project have it checked. Also, keep equal amounts of compost in your beds to keep the plants growing healthy.

Simple mistakes in gardening are controllable and easy to deal with. Gardeners with beautiful growing plants do not disregard little things that might create harm to their plants. So to avoid future disappointments, start your garden right and give attention to all details.

What You Need to Know About the Texas Climate and Landscaping in Amarillo


Posted by Ethan | Posted in Landscaping | Posted on 29-09-2013

Building a garden is like building a house.

Designing, creating and nurturing a garden, particularly in the unforgiving climate of the Texas Panhandle, requires thorough assessment, realistic planning and careful judgment. All environmental aspects must be incorporated into the design of your new gardening project.

If you think about it for a moment…

  • soil
  • sunlight
  • temperature
  • wind

… are vital factors.

There is planning, research and looking around aplenty to be done prior to executing any physical plans and tossing the first spadeful of soil. One of the most important aspects of all is knowing the characteristics of the environment, especially in Amarillo, because not all plants will flourish in the area.

Landscape Planning

There are multiple considerations prior to planting anything in your garden or coming up with a landscape design. You may use either graphing paper or an online program to scale the garden and plot all the features you want on the property. Sooner or later, however, you must scope out the actual dimensions of your garden.

Most landscapers use some form of measurement, a simple measuring tape will work. Take the time to determine the perimeter and measurements to interesting sections where you can place some highlight or point of interest.

While surveying with a fresh eye, it is also important to take note of the areas that have the greatest sun exposure and the most shade throughout the day.

Then you know how much space you have to work with for perennials and plants that love to bask in the sun while setting aside an area for ornamentals like orchids that cannot stand over-exposure to sunlight.

It is important to visualize what you want on the garden. One could, of course, gather images of gardens, flowers and trees (like those near the end of this article) for inspiration. Decide what features of your garden you’d like to highlight or be subtle about.

Naturally, you must have a goal in mind and work within any budget limitations you might have.

After finishing the initial sketch, continue with proper planning by roughing out a schedule. Recognize in your plan which activities should be done first. Gardening is supposed to be edifying and relaxing. So it won’t do to rush this way and that trying to do everything at once.

One could set off the major beds and paths with stakes and surveyor’s string then proceed with planting those that will take more time to mature or flower. If purchases and the planting process itself are not organized, it may take more time and prove to be an arduous task.

But if you have time aplenty and are willing to make changes as you go along, by all means indulge your creativity and you’ll be happier for it.

Like designing your own house, consider the different elements of your garden before proceeding. It is advisable to start with a good foundation or ground-level components before you start moving up. This is like putting in a good, sturdy basement because it should last and support everything else. First to be considered is the floor or lawn area, and the current grass present.

Pavement and soil component should be noted. Next, the walls, fences, and hedges should be planned for. The furniture, shading, umbrellas and lights which will beautify and set off the garden should be noted and planned for as well.

Texas Climate and Landscaping in Amarillo

Amarillo is known as the Yellow Rose of Texas and Rotor City of the USA. More relevant to the plans of a budding landscaper is the reality that, according to the Koppen Climate Classification, the city has a steep or semi-arid climate, which can make landscaping a challenge at times. This means that the region receives precipitation which is below what is called potential evapotranspiration thresholds. Simply put, the climate straddles humid and dessert climates.

Amarillo has marked temperature variation as evidenced by the National Weather Service stating that the average temperature ranges from 78.3°F during summer down to 37 °F in winter months.

In winter, cold air flows in from the north and west of the city towards the warmer areas further south. Average annual precipitation or rainfall is 20.4 inches. Rainfall mostly occurs during late spring and summer.

Since Amarillo is a dry environment, it is more prudent to choose a dry climate garden and conform to a more natural layout. Using dry streambed or stone pathways is therefore advisable. The weather puts a premium on plants which can survive or thrive under the heat of the sun.

However, this does not limit your planting options to dessert varieties. You have to choose plants that can survive humidity and heat and, at the same time, are hardy enough to survive the cold season.


Amarillo is nearly dead center in the Panhandle. The surface is mainly flat and has minimal soil drainage. The area also lacks developed drainage. Rainfall is as likely to evaporate as to be absorbed by the soil or drain toward the small “Playa” lakes.


The Perfect Plants

The climate that fluctuates between warm summers and generally mild winters is more conducive for growing grass, lilacs, azaleas, perennials and edible items such as vegetables and fruits.

For novice gardeners, one of the best options is Dracaena (pronounced dra-si-na), which ranges from fleshy shrubs to full-blown small trees with fairly broad leaves.

They come in a range of colors, from yellow, yellow green to deepest green. Occasionally, this group of plants even boasts leaves of three different colors in each leaf. The “corn plant” (Dracaena fragrans) is pictured above. This group of plants is able to withstand a wide variety of ambient climates. Dracaena does very well in the shade or indoors since it thrives in even low sunlight.


Succulents (above) are delightful choices for both indoor and outdoor planting. Since succulents are used to desert environments, they thrive with minimal watering and attention. In fact, succulents survive mishandling and heavy-handed gardening.

Much like the cacti, these plants absorb groundwater from their roots, transport it to their leaves, and store it within their leaves. This makes for an efficient water conservation adaptation.


Bridal wreath spirea blooms with white spring flowers. It can withstand ordinary winter temperatures down to minus 5 degrees Fahrenheit and can tolerate mildly hot temperatures.

It is rich in nectar, hence it attracts butterflies. It is an elegant plant that gives a garden a more feminine and graceful form. Spirea is a deciduous shrub which can grow very fast, as fast as 4-6 inches a month.

In Summary

Every aspect of a new garden project bears careful examination. The goal is not just to create a visually stimulating environment, but also to ensure that the chosen plants will do well in the climate, soil characteristics, humidity, and water conditions prevalent in Amarillo.

There are many eye-pleasing choices for a personalized garden, certainly not limited to cacti. Local gardeners have a great variety that can be used to make your garden more elegant and pleasing to the eye.

Tips for Starters in Growing Perennials


Posted by Ethan | Posted in Garden Type | Posted on 02-09-2013

If you are planning to create your own garden, it is advisable to start with a perennial garden. This type of garden is easy to maintain and not as complicated as the others. Usually, you just need to give it a few hours a week to check on the plants progress. Perennial plants do not need too much attention compared to annuals that need to be replanted every spring season.

Perennials are available in wide selections so you can find the right plant that will grow well in your area and meet your standards. Going to your local nursery and talking to perennial growers can help you in your garden venture. Perennials like any other plants have substantial needs that have to be provided in order to grow healthy.

Choose Native Plants

For starters, it is advisable to start taking care native perennials. This type of plant usually grows in abundance in your location. It means that the soil composition and weather suits the plant needs. Also in choosing the right native plant for your garden, you must answer these questions: Is your garden steep or flat? Does your garden receive direct sunlight or is it partly shaded? and how’s the weather in your area?

Give Them a Drink

Perennial plants do not need to be watered regularly. If the plants go well with the kind of soil you have in your garden, then adding extra mulch is enough and you may not need to water them at all as long as you keep the soil moist. Also, when giving them a drink, always make sure that the water goes directly to the soil to keep away the foliage.

Enough Space and Division

It is important that plants have enough space for their roots to absorb all their needed nutrients. Also, think about what might be the possible outcome of your garden after a few years – it will become a jungle of crowded blooming perennials. That is not the goal; the purpose is to fill gaps in the garden with beautiful healthy flowers.

Perennials tend to grow fast and sturdy, making it possible for them to compete against each other. To maintain the balance in your garden, divide them every few years.

Check Their Grooming

These perennial plants also need proper attention once in a while. To ensure that they don’t get sick and are always at full bloom, deadheading is necessary. Eliminate spent flowers to induce re-blooming. Remove dead stems and marked foliage to keep them looking their best and to avoid possible plant diseases.

Mulching is a Must

Mulching is an effective way to cover bare soil and to avoid patches in your garden. But aside from that, there are more reasons why mulching is a must.

  • Keeps moisture – this helps perennials stay healthy even without being watered for days.
  • No weeds allowed – this is the reason why weeds keep away. And if they do germinate above the mulch, you can easily pull them out.
  • Keeps the soil temperature balance – with mulch, during summer soil are cooler while on winter – it is preventing the roots from total damage.
  • It is organic – nothing beats a healthy organic soil.

Weed Control and Edging

Nobody loves weeds in the garden. As much as possible, these weeds must be removed completely. Weeds tend to grow fast easily, the remedy is to keep your eyes on them, do not allow them to take over.

Edging on the other hand can stop these weeds from migrating inside your beds. This is a stylish way to add texture and sharpness in your garden. Also, this separates your lawn from your beds.

No time for gardening? Perennial garden is the answer – quite easy to maintain and not as laborious as other kinds of garden.