Backyard Landscaping Trends – What’s Hot on the Market in 2015

Backyard Landscaping Trends What is Hot on the Market in 2015

I’ve been always very curious of finding new landscaping and gardening ideas, things I could personally consider implementing on my own backyard and share with everybody else. In my exploration online and offline, I have found quite a few trends that are equally amazing and inspiring and that’s why today I want to tell you more about them.

Ditching the Lawn

2015 backyard trendsMany people these days are finally coming to terms with the fact that having a front lawn is just too much work. You need not only buy a lot of fertilizers and water it frequently, but at the same time no one guarantees that in the end it’s going to grow to be the green and beautiful lawn you were expecting.

However, people have been recently moving away from this and are replacing their lawns with an incredible mix of pathways, rocks, grasses and so forth. This is bold move in my opinion and it definitely makes a lot of sense.

The Birds and the Butterflies

With all the push of bringing the indoors out or the outdoors in, you’re certainly going to deal with critters along the way. What most people try to do is fend them off, but my advice is that you consider welcoming them.

Whether you’re someone who wants to stick to native plants which will obviously attract birds and butterflies or someone who wants to build a chicken coop so you can easily gather fresh eggs, it’s recommended that you try to embrace our fellow creatures. If you think about it, this is what coexisting with nature is all about.

Artful Gardening

There’s no doubt about it: landscaping is a very deep art form that’s based on focal points, color, textures, composition and a lot more similar components. Despite that, there are still many people who have decorated their property in a tasteless and tacky way. It really makes me think if people really love those massive rusty flowers, those shiny pinwheels or those pastel colored banners.

Luckily, I was refreshed to see that there are also people who know how to landscape their property. With a single sculptural piece placed in the right spot, they can easily elevate their garden or front yard for instance. So whether you go for stainless steel circles, a massive iron orb or trellis powder coated in Chinese orange, it’ll certainly make your property look a lot better.

Veggies Anywhere

Integrating vegetables into your landscape is easier than you can imagine. In fact, wherever you have some dirt and sun, you can easily plant some vegetables in order to greatly enhance your landscape.

Wabi-Sabi

More backyard design ideas for 2015When I was wandering among the funky houses in Venice, CA, I really loved the way homeowners (many of them were designers and artists) managed to create gardens that had so much soul in them. In fact, some of them only had to hang a cracked mirror by a tree or paint an old Charles Eames chair in cobalt blue to make their garden come alive.

When I saw them, I was reminded of the Wabi Sabi (a Japanese concept) which is all about finding beauty in imperfection. And when you think about it for a second, flawed and time worn pieces do create a sense of welcoming warmth and humor that’s hard to resist and I’m definitely tempted to consider using this concept for decorating my new home!

Installing a Brick Driveway in 15 Steps

Brick Driveway Installation

When it comes to brick driveways, they have the power to easily improve the look of the properties where they’re installed. Not only are they easily maintained, but they also blend in very well with the landscape. One of the main reasons of using bricks is because they can be installed without the help of professionals, so let’s take a closer look below at how you can easily install them on your own.

You can watch this entire process on a video or keep reading below it.

Step One

The first step you should take involves laying out the driveway in your desired shape. Using marking spray paint and wooden stakes for this step. When laying out the shape, you may want to use a string line that’s going to be tied between stakes, since it’ll keep you on grade. Also, make sure that when completed, the driveway can be easily drained.

Step Two

The area of the driveway needs to be excavated to a depth of minimum twelve to fourteen inches and next you’ll have to compact the raw sub-grade. There’s going to be a lot of material that needs to be disposed of because of the excavation, so make sure to hire an excavator to dispose of it properly. By hiring a professional excavator contractor, he’ll provide you with the personnel, haul truck, location for hauling off the waste and all other equipment required to get the job done properly.

Step Three

At this point you’ll need to get the stone base which is to be used as support for the drain and brick (pea gravel or stone screenings will do just fine).

Step Four

The stones should be dumped in manageable piles on the sub grade. Use a garden rake, a wheelbarrow and shovels to spread the rock properly.

Step Five

Install the stone in three lifts using a plate vibrator.

Step Six

The last lift of stone should be held to a grade which allows for 2” of sand and the 3” brick paver.

Step Seven

To prevent weeds from coming up between the pavers, you’ll need to use landscape cloth for covering the stone.

Step Eight

In order to bed the paver block in, you should consider placing 2” of sand over the cloth. Abiding by the manufacturer’s instructions, you should then proceed with setting a plastic brick edge retainer.

Brick pavers installation step by step

Step Ten

To keep even spacing, you should use brick spacers and being at the middle of your driveway’s end and then work out towards the edges. By doing so, you’ll ensure that the bricks on each edge or side are going to be of the same size and provide a uniform look.

Step Eleven

Use a 3′ length of two by four inch wood for laying across the bricks every 2-3 feet. To ensure the bricks will be evenly settled into the bed of sand, you should tap the wood using a rubber mallet.

Step Twelve

You should consider starting at the 2nd row by making sure you center the brick over the joint of the two bricks in the center. By doing so, you’ll get a beautiful herringbone pattern.

Step Thirteen

Follow the previous three steps until you complete the driveway.

Step Fourteen

Fill the joints between the brick by using masonry sand. You should spread it over the bricks and carefully sweep it into the joints.

Step Fifteen

Lastly, to settle the sand into the joints, you should spray water (using a hose). By doing so, you’ll also be able to clean off the bricks.

Fundamentals of Building a Brick Retaining Wall on your Backyard

Retaining walls are generally used in order to ensure that in the case of a drastic change in elevation, the soil can be held back. In most cases, these walls are used to terrace yards that initially had a steep slope. However, these walls can also be used for controlling erosion and creating usable outdoor space.

Building your garden retaining wall

In case you don’t like to read you can watch this short video that explains everything:

If you’re currently looking for someone to build you a landscape retaining wall for your property, then you need to learn more about what makes a great retaining wall design. So with no further ado, below we’ll take a closer look at the most important things you should be on the lookout for to ensure the retaining walls you’re going to have built are going to look amazing and be very durable.

Base

It’s very important that the retaining wall is built on a good base that has to be set below ground level. The rule of thumb is that the taller you want the wall to be, the further below ground level it needs to be set. A suitable base will always be made of at least a 6” layer of compacted gravel, sand and also of compacted soil.

Backfill

Next, a good brick wall needs to incorporate a properly compacted backfill. If you have no idea what this is, well, the backfill is basically the dirt behind the wall. For drainage purposes, the granular backfill needs to have a minimum of twelve inches and needs to be properly installed behind the wall.

For backfilling the rest of the space behind the wall, you can use compacted native soil as well. On the other hand, if you plan on considering landscaping behind the wall, a minimum layer of six inches of native soil needs to be placed over the gravel fill.

Height

A retaining wall’s height will directly affect the load it can bear and the possible extra reinforcement required to make it durable enough. In general, residential walls are built between three to four feet high. This will provide them with enough strength without having to use extra reinforcements such as cantilevers or anchors.

Therefore, if your property needs a higher wall, then you can use a series of three to four foot walls for creating a terraced effect or go ahead and hire an engineer who can design the right wall for your needs.

short retaining wall in garden

Drainage

Efficient drainage is vital when building a retaining wall, since these walls are impervious. If drainage isn’t properly addressed, then it will cause cracking and bulging in the wall. To prevent this from happening, you should backfill a minimum of 1′ of space behind the wall using gravel. Next, you should install a perforated pipe inside the wall. Make sure you also ask the contractor (if using one) if weep holes should be made to allow for proper water drainage.

A few ideas for designing a great retaining wall:

Install wall caps to achieve a finished look.

If you plan on accessing the area above the wall, don’t forget about steps.

Include built-in bench seating and landscape lighting.

You may also want to integrate an outdoor fireplace into your wall design.

Consider incorporating a water feature or fountain into the wall.