DIY Rustic Stone Entry Path

img 1798 721x1023 DIY Rustic Stone Entry Path

I was the guest recently of a family who’s mountain getaway was adorned with this cute rustic entry pathway!

The winding path leads from the similar crushed stone driveway, but highlights the lodge’s natural surroundings by using rock remnants from the nearby mountains set deeply into the crushed rock bed.

How To Create This Look:

Rock pathways are easily created walkways that can be “One Weekend” DIY projects, and they look great in front of everything from weekend homes to your garden shed! To create this look choose two separate colored stone types, one a crushed stone, and the other a larger stepping stone or garden path stone type.

  1. Choose your location, and plot out the curvature you will build with either a turf grass paint, or a garden hose.
  2. Sketch out and measure your pathway.
  3. Level the area out with fill-dirt, top soil or sand, building the area up above the surrounding grass, or leaving level, simply ensuring that there are no low spots.
  4. Roll landscaping fabric across your path to inhibit plant growth, pinning it down around the edges with either lawn staples, or your larger stones. I tend to spread this fabric a little loosely in case I need to work some of the large stones into the ground a little to keep them level, and solid in the ground for foot traffic.
  5. Set your larger stones first on top of the fabric so you can arrange them in various sizes and shapes  across the pathway.
  6. Set the boundaries of your pathway with either large stone pieces or a firm edging material, to keep smaller stones from wandering into your lawn.
  7. Surround your large stones with the crushed rock in progressive sections. Make sure your large stones seem level as you pack the small rocks around them.
  8. Walk across the pathway when you are finished to compress the materials, and adjust as needed.

What To Do With “Pop-Ups”:

In the picture above there are two large stones in the foreground that have worked their way to the surface to become tripping hazards. A quick way to re-set these pieces  is to grab a shovel and scoop the crushed  from around them. Place the stones back where they came from.  If the ground had shifted, or like the stones in the picture, irregular shapes prevent the stones from laying flat, cut the landscape fabric underneath the area with your shovel, and dig out a little of the soil underneath to set the stones lower in your path. Once the stones are set in the soil and below the level line of the pathway move the crushed stone back.

img 1799 225x300 DIY Rustic Stone Entry Path

Where To Find Your Stone:

Check for specialty stone stores in your area, they often have showrooms and yards full of varieties of stone that will work with everything from outdoor pathways to polished kitchen counters.  Visiting the yards will give you an idea of the actual color of the stone for compairison, and the staff there will be happy to help you calculate the amount of stone you will need for your project if you bring your sketches and measurements in with you.  Make sure to ask a lot of questions, the staff should be able to provide you with tips, ideas, and photos of similar projects to help you make your choice.

Six Great Water Garden Plants You Can Find Anywhere

Cultivating water gardens can seem more difficult than it is.  The perfect plants to start your water garden may be no further away than a trip to your local big box store.  Before you put too much thought into purchasing rare plants for your pond,  take a look at these garden center classics that will thrive in your pond, and make you look like a water gardening genius when you combine them!

Common Garden Center Plants That Love Water Gardens:

canna lily 199x300 Six Great Water Garden Plants You Can Find Anywhere moneywort 192x300 Six Great Water Garden Plants You Can Find Anywhere hibiscus 225x300 Six Great Water Garden Plants You Can Find Anywhere

Canna Lily                          Creeping Jenny                               Hibiscus


elephant ear 225x300 Six Great Water Garden Plants You Can Find Anywhere iris 240x300 Six Great Water Garden Plants You Can Find Anywhere zebra grass1 199x300 Six Great Water Garden Plants You Can Find Anywhere

Elephant Ears                             Iris                                     Zebra Grass

All of these plants are perennial when cared for properly, and while the Elephant Ears must be moved indoors in cold winter climates along with the rhizome root system of the Canna lily to preserve them for the next year, they are all easily cared for.  Plant these plants in containers that you place in your garden to ensure that the root systems of the hardier plants (like the Iris and Zebra Grass) don’t latch onto the pebble bottom of your pond.


Photos courtesy of : rjones0856thatredhead4wwarbyg kirbyTie Guy II,

How To: Set A Pre-Formed Pond In Your Yard In 10 Easy Steps

img 1841 1024x768 How To: Set A Pre Formed Pond In Your Yard In 10 Easy Steps

The beauty of pre-formed pond liners is their sturdy construction, and pre-determined shape. Setting a pond in your yard requires few tools, and only a few hours to complete.

 

What You Need:

  1. Measuring tape
  2. 2 or more 50-60 lb. bags of contractor grade sand. (For a 20 gallon pond 2-3 bags will be sufficient)
  3. A shovel
  4. A pre-formed pond liner
  5. One 50lb. bag of pond pebbles

How To Set Your Pond:

  1. Choose where you want your pond to go and set the pond upside down to trace out the size hole you need to dig.
  2. Measure the depth of the pond.
  3. Dig out an area slightly larger than your pond, leaving at least a one inch gap around the entire pond between the pond walls and the soil. Dig the depth of the pond’s setting two inches deeper than the depth of the pond. [Read more...]

Pictures of My New Urban Water Garden

img 18841 819x1024 Pictures of My New Urban Water Garden

I live in a big city, but I’d like to think that my yard is my own personal oasis no matter how much noisy traffic passes by!

[Read more...]

The Best Grass Seed to Use for Quick Cover in Bare and Hilly Areas

img 1855 1024x768 The Best Grass Seed to Use for Quick Cover in Bare and Hilly Areas

When starting to seed a bare area the best grass seed to use for quick germination and erosion control is Rye grass, or a Rye grass blend.  Rye grass is used by the pros in commercial landscaping, and around homes to “start” a lawn, and it works particularly well on hills and areas that may experience run-off.  Rye has a quick germination rate, and will spread and anchor itself with a dense root system that grows rapidly even in acidic soil and soil with minimal organic material in it. When seeding new lawns Rye Grass is the perfect seed to use either in blends, or as a precursor to overseeding with another variety of grass. The root systems not only holds the soil in place for slower growing grasses to get a good start in germination, but they also store and bring to the surface any Nitrogen in the soil, which helps deliver nutrients to the smaller and newly developing root systems of the younger grass.

Why it’s A Match for Your Bare Patch:

  • It grows rapidly.
  • The root system prevents erosion, and anchors other developing grass seed.
  • It becomes a Nitrogen delivery system in the lawn.
  • It is low growing.
  • It suppresses weed growth as it spreads.
  • It is virtually pest and disease proof, and thrives even in areas of Nematode and bacterial damage.
  • It remains green in the winter.

How to Use Rye Grass:

When working with a preexisting lawn, simple overseeding in the lawn will suffice, and fill in areas prone to erosion.

In new lawns, use a seed mix with a high percentage of Rye grass in it.  All bagged grass seed lists the seed varieties and percentages on the side of the bag, and the higher the percentage of Rye grasses in a blend, the faster your new lawn will develop. Rake lightly the soil areas you are seeding and broadcast the seed across the lawn.  Once the Rye grass takes hold of the area you can overseed with another grass mix variety, or simply stick with annual and perennial rye seeds and have a solid rye grass lawn.

Ortho “Total Kill”, and Spectracide “Wasp and Hornet” Spray Reviews

img 1910 225x300 Ortho “Total Kill”, and Spectracide “Wasp and Hornet” Spray Reviews

Wasps and Hornets can serve a purpose in the garden, but when their nests appear in doorways, play areas, and vehicle crevices, a fast acting chemical spray to eliminate the nesting insects is a must-have! Big box stores offer a wide selection of pesticide products designed to eliminate the nesting habits of Wasps and Hornets, killing the insects on the nest, and repelling any other insects from nesting in the area once the product has dried. Over the course of the summer I purchased several bottles of each of the following products at varying times and locations, and here are my findings with these popular brands.

Ortho Total Kill brand of Wasp and Hornet Spray is a foaming formula that shoots 20 feet, and claims to kill on contact.  After using this product myself on both Wasps and Hornets, this product not only failed to kill the insects, but it failed to repel them from their nesting site. Both Wasps and Hornets climbed out of their nests through the foam, and continued to hover around the nest making further contact with the nest potentially hazardous to me.  One empty can later, there was no impact at all on the nesting site, and three hours later all the insects were sitting right back where they started. My business used several cans over the course of many months, purchased at different times

[Read more...]