Saturday, 21 November 2015

5 Ways Boulders Create Great Aesthetics for Your Garden

Boulders create a rugged, natural look to any outdoor space. These huge rocks create the feeling of living close to nature far away from the stress and strain of the modern world. Just as trees and greenery add a feeling peace and freshness, boulders can communicate serenity as well as strength. Boulders seem like part of the environment and can blend organically to the space that surrounds them. They can also pick up a color or a theme that occurs in the surroundings and can seem to extend nature. People use boulders for landscaping in many ways.

First, boulders create a natural setting. Our natural surroundings seem to be simply what we have been given, but working with large rocks can actually allow you to sculpt nature itself and create spaces that seem to have been there to begin with. Adding boulders to the pre-existing rock formations can create a striking effect, and make it appear that the undeveloped area surrounding your home is larger.

Second, boulders can be works of art. Boulders do not have to be regular large rocks, but a number of artists have transformed these giant stones into unique shapes. Some carve round ball-like formations out of boulders while still revealing the natural beauty of the rock itself. This boulder art can pick up on aesthetic patterns that are used in other aspects of your outdoor d├ęcor.

Third, boulders can serve as a kind of frame for outdoor sculptures. The purpose of a picture frame is not to distract us from a painting, but to guide our eyes toward the painting. Similarly with outdoor sculptures. Boulders can act as frames that draw one’s attention in towards the work of art. In addition, boulders complement outdoor art with a natural touch. Fourth, boulders are an important part of a Zen garden. The purpose of a Zen garden is to guide the mind toward contemplation of nature and peaceful meditation. The boulders are juxtaposed well with the smoothness of stone tiles and natural vegetation in a Zen garden.

Fourth, boulders can define different outdoor spaces and serve as transitions or dividers between one type of space and the next. Place boulders alongside a path from a swimming pool to an orchard and create something to see on the way from one area to another. Fifth, place boulders in a child’s garden as safe places to climb and explore. Kids love the outdoors, and boulders can give them a backdrop for their adventures.

Explore the possibilities of using boulders to enhance the beauty of your outdoor space. Consult professionals on how to make rugged and striking boulders a part of your garden or patio. Check out this website for Boulders in Gilroy.

Monday, 27 April 2015

What Are the Uses of Gravel

Gravel is widely used for industrial and personal projects. It is an integral component of concrete and outdoor design alike.

Gravel is found everywhere in the United States from the traditional parking lot to your beautifully designed home garden. It is used to build homes and highways as well as make concrete, mortar and plaster. Gravel is quite literally an integral part of the fabric of any city with functional architecture or landscape design. The material is simply a collection of small rocks and pebbles that are over two millimeters in diameter. Anything smaller is considered to be sand. Gravel can be both decorative and functional. It can be used as mulch in a home garden or as a method of erosion control. Many industries use this material in their day-to-day functions.

For gardens, gravel can either be the main feature or functional mulch. Many people are turning to rock gardens to save water or build a more creative outdoor space. The rocks can come in a range of colors and sizes, so people can create mosaic type areas. Additionally, gravel does not require as much maintenance as grass or mulch. Traditional woodchip mulch decomposes and much be replaced as it decays or discolors. Gravel is much more durable and can be cost effective in the long term.

In design, gravel is often seen in between stones or pavers as a decorative measure. It can create a functional or temporary driveway for those who enjoy hosting or having parties. However, landscapers can also create truly beautiful walkways with a contrasting gravel and stone set up. For example, white gravel is common and inexpensive just like slate slabs. After an afternoon, a homeowner can have an inviting garden path that leads guests through delicate flowerbeds. If anything must be replaced, it is as simple as replacing a patch of gravel with fresh material. There will not be a need to start completely from scratch. Although if the homeowner wants an entire redo of the area, the gravel will be easy to remove and replace.

Industries that are involved with commercial or private construction often use gravel as an ingredient for building materials. Concrete and mortar are commonly used for large buildings that must be able to withstand hard weather conditions. Gravel and sand are key ingredients in the widely used Portland formula. In fact, they may make up to 85% of concrete composition. Environmental protection agencies may need to prevent erosion on beaches or islands in order to protect wildlife or profitable investments. Gravel is an excellent means preventing corrosion because it is cheap and effective. To learn more about gravel in Morgan Hill, please visit this website.

Report from Soil Biology School

One of the things I love about winter is that I get to meet with scientists, professors, and researchers and learn more about the ever-changing...read more

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Tips on How to Apply Mulch

Pick the right mulch for you then spread an even layer around your garden. Replace it every few years and your garden will thrive.

Before you apply mulch, you have pick and purchase the right mulch. To figure out the right variety for your purposes, ask yourself what you need the mulch to do. Do you need to control weeds? Are you covering a pathway? Do you need moisture control? Some mulch specializes in one area or the other. For instance, if you want something that will naturally degrade, you should consider bark, leaves or woodchips. If you want a different aesthetic or longer lasting material, try rock or glass. Depending on how permeable you want your garden floor to be, you might need a layer of sheeting to deter weeds and watering. Choose what is best for you then follow these tips on how to apply mulch.

Begin with preparing the designated area. Remove all weeds either by hand or with a weed-wacker. The mulch will naturally discourage future weeds as it blocks the sunlight. Perform a soil test on your garden if you plan to enrich the topsoil. If you plan to use a landscape fabric or plastic, now is the time to lay it down, cut it and secure it. Be sure to outline the edge of mulch area. Measure this area to figure out how many cubic feet of mulch you need. Account for a fairly thick layer of material.

The average thickness of a garden bed will be about two to four inches of traditional woodchip mulch. This width will encourage water retention while simultaneously prevent weed growth. Use a rake to spread an even layer over the entire space. If you plan on planting something, either leave the space uncovered or plant before spreading the mulch. For those who choose the former, save excess mulch to cover the area after you are done. Avoid crowding the stems of plants or tree trunks. Allow four to six inches of space for breathing room.

Conventional mulch is meant to naturally degrade which makes it environmentally friendly and great for garden soil. However, this does mean regular seasonal maintenance to keep your garden in top shape. For example, you can prune a plant before winter and then cover it to provide insulation. Remove insulation layers come spring and replace the entire area regularly. This can be done every few years or months depending on the climate. You can churn the soil to incorporate the decaying matter into the topsoil and then spread fresh mulch over the old area. This will help keep your garden thriving. To learn more about mulch in San Jose, please visit this website.

Dry Stacked Stone Walls

From the rolling country sides of Ireland to the mountains of Kentucky, the craft of building dry stacked stone walls has a rich history. Hand crafted stone walls dating back hundreds or even thousand...read more

Thursday, 23 April 2015

What Exactly is Sand?

Sand can be composed of many minerals, but quartz is the most common. Many industries and homeowners use sand to accomplish a variety of tasks.

Sand is generally defined as being coarser than silt and finer than gravel. Silt is the sediment found in certain bodies of water and is often smooth to the touch. When dry, it may resemble flour and it is slippery when found wet. Gravel is composed of many small pebbles and rocks. Sand on the other hand lies between these two extremes. It can be coarse or fine depending on preference or location. The material naturally occurs all over the world, though it is closely associated with desserts and beaches.

The exact composition of naturally occurring sands will vary from location to location. Generally, quartz will make up the bulk of sand’s minerals. Quartz is found in most rocks and is extremely weather resistant. This allows it to survive the extreme conditions of dunes, bedrocks and beaches more successfully than other minerals. Beaches and dunes tend to have the highest quartz concentrations while the bedrock will usually have more variety and a high percentage of angular grains. However, particles tend to be anywhere from 0.0625 millimeters to 2.05 millimeters in diameter.

When people think of a pristine beach, they probably see nearly white beaches and aquamarine waters. That particular type of sand has high concentrations of limestone, which gives it that chalky look. Conversely, the white sands of New Mexico have gypsum instead, though they are also famous for a stark white hue. The pink sands found in the tropics have small pieces of coral and shell fragments, which why they give off that soft cherry color. Magnetite sands are dark or almost black, while green beaches derive from a chlorite-glauconitic based composition.

Sand has many uses around the world. Industrialized nations use various types of the material for agriculture and building materials. Certain crops such as peaches, peanuts and watermelons do very well in sandy soils. Dairy farmers also enjoy the optimal drainage benefits of sand-based earth. Additionally, construction firms use large volumes of sand for concrete, mortar and brick. Each of these products has a heavy sand composition. In fact, it is a critical ingredient for these common building materials. Glass is also made almost entirely out of heated grains.

Many homes use sand for landscaping or gardening purposes. Sand gardens can be beautiful and tranquil additions to a backyard. Sand-based soil can do well in some home gardens, though many parents use the relatively soft material to fill sandboxes or designated children’s areas. Homeowners may use the material to clean or polish the house via sandblasting. To learn more about sand in Gilroy, please visit this website.

AT THE WALKER, OSLUND + BLAISSE

The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is getting an overhaul to improve its environmental performance and create new areas for commissioned works of art, thanks to the Walker Art Center and the city’s Park...read more