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The addition of an elegant gazebo design can be the perfect addition to your landscape. Whether you choose to have professional gazebo builders construct your gazebo or built it yourself from scratch or from one of the great gazebo kits, you can add a feature that is almost like having an extra room outdoors to enjoy.

A gazebo can be added in nearly any landscape. Gazebo designs can be created for construction in a shallow pond at the end of a short dock, atop a rise in the landscape, or simply in a nice spot of open grassy lawn. The benefits of a well designed gazebo include a shady area in which to sit and enjoy your garden, shelter to enjoy watching gentle showers, and a great place to use as the center of a lawn and garden party.

Gazebo design can be created for you by an architect or structural engineer but that can be costly. Designs for gazebos can be found online at little or no cost, and your local home improvement or lawn and garden center may well have gazebo designs which are complimentary. Magazines are another resource for locating gazebo design ideas

Planning Your Gazebo Project.

Even if you employ professional gazebo builders to construct your project, you'll want to have a general idea of what you desire. The size, shape, materials, and other design feature should be considered as well as how you wish to use the finished gazebo. Will you want electric power outlets provided in the design? How many steps would you desire for a raised gazebo? Will the gazebo be placed near or in water? All these questions must be thought out and the gazebo builder can then help you determine the best gazebo design for your unique wants and needs. Unless you are an experienced, professional builder, you would certainly want to employ gazebo builders to construct an in-water gazebo project because of the special skills and equipment required.

The easiest way to get a backyard gazebo design that is reasonably easy for any handy person to construct is to purchase one of the many gazebo kits. You'll find kits for gazebos in a variety of sizes and with various features such as built-in seating. The gazebo kits contain all the materials needed and very clear instructions to help you successfully build a backyard gazebo.

Gazebo kits are designed to be put together by people with little or no construction experience. These kits provide the most affordable option for acquiring a structurally sound gazebo design which will become a functional enhancement to your property. It is a good idea to have a friend or two available to help so you can complete your gazebo in one day or over the weekend.

Kits gazebos are frequently made of vinyl and metal and may or may not include pre-treated lumber as part of the structure. Some very long-lasting, super-durable vinyl products which look exactly like wood but are made from recycled plastics have become popular for gazebo designs. These vinyl products are manufactured in several colors with white being the most common and popular so there is no need to ever paint the gazebo to maintain its attractiveness.

Gazebo kits contain pre-cut materials so there is no measuring and cutting needed, making it difficult to make an error in building your gazebo design. With the large variety of kits available, you may wish to visit a large home improvement center which has a variety of the gazebo kits constructed and on display in order to really see what the finished product will look like in the size and shape you feel you desire.

What Size Gazebo Fits Your Needs

Take some time to look at the various sizes, shapes, materials, and options as well as comparing prices so you can get exactly what you desire at the best possible price. Once you've seen some of the gazebo kits on display, you may find the best prices on the design you desire from online vendors but be sure to compare the prices with shipping included since a large gazebo design can require costly shipping. Once all factors are taken into account, however, you may find the best deal online or at your local home center. You may also find that you local home center offers online specials not advertised in-store, so take time to look at their website before making a final purchase.

An attractive [gazebo] design can be just what you need to really enjoy your garden and landscape. Creating your own garden structure from a kit design can be a satisfying experience and you may even decide the project is fun and help your friends add gazebo designs constructed from gazebo kits in their own landscapes.

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Filed under Deck Design by landscapeliving.
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Creating wildlife friendly fall and winter gardens provides a place for your local wildlife to survive the cold of winter. These gardens also offer a haven for those species that pass through your area while migrating during fall. If you enjoy watching nature's creatures visit your garden during spring and summer, you'll love watching winter visitors as well.

Few species of wildlife actually live deep in forested areas. The great majority of wild creatures in urban areas prefer the areas where the more densely wooded countryside meets our lawns and gardens. By providing fall and winter gardens where these creatures, both animals and birds, can feed and protect themselves from predators, you'll invite some colorful and interesting fall and winter visitors.

Layer The Habitat Of Your Garden

One way to provide habitat for the widest number of species is to plant your fall and winter garden so that it provides a layered habitat. Planting dense groundcover, low shrubs, and taller evergreen or deciduous trees, you can offer food and shelter to a vast number of species. It also helps to provide plantings in different densities. Some plants can be clumped together; others can be more spaced out, and you can also leave some open areas.

Another key to inviting fall and winter wildlife to visit your garden is to provide a source of water during freezing conditions. It is very difficult for many of nature's citizens to locate drinking water during hard freezes, especially if you live in the northern climates where small ponds and streams freeze solid. A birdbath placed in a sunny area which has the ice cover removed daily and more water added can be a blessing for avian species. Lower water features such as small ponds can be maintained with free-flowing water or you can simply provide water in attractive pots or dishes daily for the outdoor creatures to visit. They will come to count on your garden as a watering hole, so be consistent with providing the crucial drinking water they so badly need.

To the extent that it is practical, you'll enjoy the best fall and winter garden results by using plants native to your area. These should be, if not all of your garden, at least a large portion of your plant selections because they are certain to thrive. You can, of course, select some favorites that have value as wildlife habitat even though they may not be native.

Planting Hardy Plants Works Well

Avoid planting delicate plants which will require protection during the coldest nights. You'll also want to select plants which provide nuts, berries, seeds, or food sources for the wildlife visitors. Barley is a great example of a way to provide for visiting birds. Winterberry holds berries far into the deepest part of winter and provides a good food source.

Bird feeders can be an appealing and very helpful addition to your garden. Birds of many species will gather in your garden, both those species that overwinter locally and migrating visitors. Suet blocks are welcomed as well. Bird houses can offer a great spot for birds to get away from cold winds and rain. Be sure to position the bird houses so that the opening faces away from the cold north winds. Position both the bird feeders and bird houses so that they can easily be seen from a windows so you can watch the activity from inside your warm, cozy home.

Some fall and winter garden plant choices for groundcover which do well even in the extreme northern reaches of the contiguous United States include bunchberry, cotoneaster, heather, ferns, and wintergreen. Good winter shrubs and vines to create your mid-height garden habitat include blueberries, chokeberry, red flowering currant, red, mountain, or evergreen huckleberry, rhododendron, snowberry, viburnums, winterberry, holly, and small evergreens. Trees which can provide canopy for wildlife include cedar, pine, fir, crabapple, cottonwood, maple, oak, spruce, willow, and ash. You'll find many others that fit your needs easily as well.

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Filed under Back yard Landscaping by landscapeliving.
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If you love wild bird, then create a bird lovers backyard showcase where you can relax and enjoy your garden as well as your feathered friends. By choosing the right plants for your backyard, you'll encourage birds to visit, eat, bathe, build nests, and raise their young right in your landscape. Your backyard doesn't have to be large to attract birds nor do you need to go to a great deal of expense to create a true bird lovers showcase.

The plants you select for your backyard bird haven depends, at least in part, on the species of birds you wish to attract. You must also consider the amount of sunlight or shade, the amount of maintenance you are willing to perform, your personal preferences for colors and textures, and the amount of moisture available. No matter the conditions, there are plants which are just right for every set of conditions imaginable which birds will really appreciate.

Habitat,Water And Food

There are really three keys to include when you create a bird lovers backyard showcase. These are: habitat, water, and food. Every species of wild bird seeks these three key factors and, once they learn you provide them consistently, they will return again and again to your backyard.

In urban settings, one attribute to incorporate when creating a bird lovers backyard showcase is areas of cover or habitat where birds will be safe from predators. Trees and large specimen plants as well as lush shrubs offer wild birds places to perch safely and securely without fear of being seen by hawks, cats, and other predators. Leafy trees and birdhouses offer secure nesting places so the parents can safely leave their babies while seeking food.

Another feature you should include in your backyard bird lovers showcase is a source of water for your feathered visitors. A low maintenance way to provide water for drinking and bathing is to incorporate a shallow, gently moving fountain into the landscape. Because fountains provide moving water, algae build-up is discouraged and mosquitoes are less likely to breed in the water. If you do not have or do not wish to invest in a moving-water fountain, a simple and inexpensive bird bath will do the trick but you'll need to empty and clean the bowl at least twice weekly to prevent red or green algae growth as well as mosquito larvae.

Food sources are another important part of your backyard bird lovers showcase. If you wish to attract hummingbirds, you can supply pesticide-free white, yellow, pink, red, or purple flowers and flowering vines which produce the nectar required by these exotic, iridescent little beauties. Great choices for hummingbirds include hummingbird vine, cypress vine, honeysuckle, and hibiscus, or you can provide the hummers with artificial nectar by purchasing hummingbird feeders featuring yellow or red colors which must be filled with syrup made from three parts water and one part dissolved sugar. There is no need to color the hummingbird syrup with red food coloring or to purchase expensive "nectar mix".

Attracting A Variety Of Bird Species

Insectivore birds, such as mocking birds and robins, can be provided for by offering lush grass and mulched areas which are never sprayed for insects. These species dig for worms and eat pesky insects. You can often see them capturing a fat, juicy insect or worm and carrying it back to their nest to feed their youngsters.

Wild birds which eat primarily seeds and other foods, including sparrows, finches, cardinals, doves, and other welcomed species, can be provided for by placing bird feeders in the landscape for all-year bird watching. They also appreciate incorporation of seed-bearing plants in the backyard showcase. Bright yellow mammoth sunflowers add tall highlights and the seed are loved by many species of larger wild birds. Extra sunflower seed can be saved for supplementing the birds' winter food. Some areas even have flocks of wild parrots which may be attracted to sunflowers.

By incorporating the three keys, habitat, water and food, when you create a bird lovers backyard showcase, you can select plants based on the colors and textures you desire. You'll probably want to place key elements so the [birds]can be easily viewed from a window from indoors. You'll also want to be sure to include a nice shady place where you can sit outdoors and watch the birds enjoy the efforts of your gardening.

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Filed under Garden Design by landscapeliving.
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