By definition, a retaining wall is a structure that is used for supporting the soil mass laterally, so that the soil on different sides of the wall is retained at different levels.
Retaining walls are used to bound two soils between two different terrain elevations in situations used in gardens and landscaping.
Simple Right? Of course, although it is easy to assume that a retaining wall is simply a wall that was built to hold a certain type of soil, NO… things are not as simple as they seem. Unlike normal walls that have lateral support at the top, retaining walls do not. Normal walls are built to bear vertical loads while retaining walls are built to hold horizontal loads.
However, in most gardening situations the vertical pressure is not that horrifying, so the ability of the wall to carry the bear of the load is mostly determined by the ability of the building material to deal with this situation.
Actually, anyone with a strong back can stack up a bunch of heavy blocks and build a pretty looking stone retaining wall. But it takes skill and planning to properly construct an attractive wall that can also handle immense pressures, shrug off the forces of gravity, stand solid for decades and laugh in the face of Mother Nature.
Are you confused yet?
No worries that why there are professional landscaping companies like Landscape Pros in Manassas, VA. A family owned full-service landscape design company with over 30 yrs experience in providing Northern Virginia and the surrounding area with expert landscape design and landscaping services. Designing and building retaining walls is our specialty. The work to build a proper wall is not easy and really a skilled art many times requiring just like a brick layer.
Solid Retaining Walls built to last is the kind of retaining walls our design team at Landscape Pros build and we recommended to leave this hard work to the Pros. Hire A Skilled Retaining Wall“Pro”. Get the Job Done Right and don’t hire just anyone. Give us a call @ 571.535.8622 and our experts are available to discuss all your retaining wall needs, draft the design, and professionally build and install your retaining wall.
Here are a few retaining wall designs you may like. For the DIY doers… here are 5 quick steps to build a simple retaining wall on your own.
5 Step Retaining Wall:
What is the easiest retaining wall to build? It depends.
Retaining walls are relatively inexpensive, they can be difficult to repair and remove. For the average do-it-yourselfer, building a retaining wall is easiest when using masonry blocks that are stacked no taller than three feet, with no mortar binding the block stones or concrete block.
Does the retaining wall need drainage behind it?
Although there are some exceptions, but most retaining walls require gravel backfill, soil compaction, pipe or toe drains, and weep holes. Together, these four features will provide adequate drainage for most designs. Only a few types of walls will not require all of them.
What kind of stone do you put behind a retaining wall?
The “Pros” at Landscape Pros recommend 3/4” Crushed Gravel. Do NOT use pea gravel. Thoroughly compact and level the gravel to create your leveling pad.
How deep should the footing be for a retaining wall?
The general rule of thumb is to bury about one-eighth of the height of the wall. For example, if your wall will be three feet (36 inches) tall, the first course of blocks should start five inches below soil level. The gravel base should start three inches below this.
Dig the Trench
The success of your retaining wall depends on a level base. To create a solid foundation, dig a trench for the first course of your interlocking retaining wall blocks to sit in, and make sure the ground remains even throughout.
Using a tape measure, decide the length and the width of your retaining wall, then mark off the area with the garden stakes and string.
Begin digging into the ground with a shovel.
Depending on the size of your blocks, your trench should be 4 to 6 inches deep (below ground level) and have a width that’s twice the width of one block lying vertically.
Once your trench is complete, compact it with a hand tamper or vibrating plate compactor.
Tip: Stay safe by wearing your goggles and work clothes, along with protective clothing and boots, while you install your retaining wall.
Create a Building Base
Due to soil erosion, your retaining wall should be built on a solid foundation made from a paver base. Similar to gravel, paver base is a form of construction aggregate material that contains crushed rocks such as limestone.
Choose a paver base with landscape rocks between 1/2-inch and 3/4-inch in size.
Fill the trench with a 2 to 3-inch layer of paver base.
Use the rack or template to ensure the stones are evenly distributed.
Tamp the paver base with a tamper to make sure your foundation is evenly compacted.
Lay the First Course of Blocks
Start laying your interlocking retaining blocks on the sturdy building base you just created.
Position your first block and use a standard level to make sure blocks are even. If needed, reposition them using additional paver base and use a rubber mallet to tap block into place.
Continue laying your first course of blocks, making sure to check that every block is level.
After you finish the first course, fill the space between your retaining wall and landscape with gravel.
Tamper the gravel to increase the wall’s stability and durability against soil erosion.
Build the Additional Block Courses
By installing a level first course, you have successfully laid the groundwork for more block courses. Here is how you lay the next levels of interlocking wall blocks.
Before starting the second course, cut an interlocking block in half using a circular saw, as the first and second levels of blocks must be staggered. Always wear protective goggles, gloves, a dust mask, and construction-grade earplugs during this step.
Brush off the first course of blocks with a broom to remove all debris.
Lay the second course of blocks the same way as the first and finish the course with the other half of your cut block. Since the blocks are interlocking, you do not need any adhesive during this process.
If you wish to lay more than two courses, you only need to cut a block in half for the even-numbered courses. If you follow this rule it will ensure your blocks are properly staggered.
After completing each course, do not forget to fill the space between your retaining wall and landscape with gravel, and then properly tamper the gravel down.
After finishing all block courses, brush off the retaining wall blocks to clear away all debris.
The Last step is to lay down a layer of block caps to complete your retaining wall and add the finishing touch to the overall aesthetic wall.
First, Brush off the previous course to clean off any debris.
Using construction adhesive, secure all the block caps and finalize creating the top layer of your retaining wall. The block caps should overhang the retaining blocks by 1 to 1-1/2 inches.
Last, Cover the gravel between your retaining wall and landscape with topsoil or sod, so your garden will grow against your wall, achieving a professional natural look. Complete the look with landscape fabric, if desired.
Tip: If your retaining blocks and block caps are not dry, the adhesive glue will not hold properly.
Having a great outdoor oasis and living space helps almost everyone to feel better, more relaxed and provide a great way to bond with your family and friends. If you want to build your own outdoor oasis in your backyard, you should know that even though this can be a challenging project, you won’t really need a lot of time or money to make it happen.
If you don’t want to build your outdoor oasis on your own Landscaping can be made easy by calling the “Pros” Landscape Pros in Manassas, VA @ 571.535.8622…We have all the landscape design ideas, materials and professional inspiration you’ll ever need for your landscaping needs.
Here are some ideas and information on how our experts at Landscape Pros can create the perfect outdoor oasis when you are ready to start your outdoor project. Look here and read how we can easily transform your backyard into the outdoor oasis of your dreams. DIY doers it isn’t that hard to do and takes a little elbow grease to complete these projects.
There are so many ways you can spruce up your landscape around the home with pavers to transform an average backyard into an outdoor oasis. Whether your looking for a Big project or Small… the hardest part is selecting what you want for your oasis. Need some ideas… how about a new walkway, patio, or fire pit. Landscape Pros are experts in creating outdoor spaces.
There are many different types of paver materials that can be used, and most are available at your nearest Big Box Stores like Home Depot and Lowes.
Building an outdoor oasis can be as easy as adding mulch to a new flower bed, a peaceful garden area, around your homes landscape borders, etc.
Mulch protects your homes landscaping investment and the environment. It provides nutrients for your plants and protects their roots while also preventing weed growth. The best mulch slows topsoil erosion and retains soil moisture. Using this information will help you find the types of mulch that will best meet your needs for your outdoor oasis.
Color-enhanced wood mulch is among the most beautiful and the best mulch used for landscaping. Colorful mulches give your flower beds and landscape a decorative pop and curb appeal.
Use Color-enhanced and double-shredded for consistency.
All dyes used in mulch are normally pet-safe, non-toxic, biodegradable and most are vegetable-based.
Mulch is designed to break down over a year’s time or more.
Brown mulch has a rich, chocolate brown color. This mulch is more even toned than natural wood.
Black mulch creates a striking contrast between your garden beds and lawn.
Red mulch is dyed using iron oxide. It is mainly used with light-colored plants and in rock gardens.
Mulch is great for flower beds, vegetable gardens and general landscape use.
Mulch colors is normally guaranteed to last all season long.
Rubber Mulch – is another type many homeowners are using and is often made from recycled rubber material.
Rubber mulch is more permanent than wood mulch but does not improve the soil structure.
It also acts as a weed barrier and reduces fungal growth.
The rubber is non-porous and does not absorb moisture.
It can be used for garden beds, but it is mostly used for creating pathways and for ground cover.
Rubber mulch is one of the best mulches for playgrounds and walking trails.
Provides soil protection and bounce.
Wood Mulch – Like mini pine bark mulch gives your garden a neat, natural look.
Mini pine bark is a great landscaping option for walk paths, driveways, gardens and around the trunks of trees.
It breaks down more slowly than shredded mulch, and it will not need to be replenished as often.
It has chunkier pieces that are about one inch in size.
This gives your landscaping a unique look and adds curb appeal to your home.
Wood mulch is designed to break down over a year’s time or more.
Once you decide on the best mulch for your landscaping, you need to determine how much mulch is needed.
Do not guesstimate and have to go back to get more… calculate it, with a quick and easy mulch calculator.
Pretty easy and cool! The calculator considers the type of mulch you want to use, the area you plan to mulch and the recommended depth of mulch you need to purchase. These simple ideas can help you create your oasis without breaking the bank.
Another way to “Beautify” your outdoor oasis area is with a variety of landscaping stones.
Decorative stone and landscaping rocks can be used in almost any area of your yard or outdoor oasis as an attractive and functional ground cover. They are extremely durable, and resist losing color or being scattered by wind or washed-away by rain. These landscaping rocks can help keep the soil moist and in place when used as mulch around trees or shrubs. Better yet…Rocks do not attract pests such as termites or ants.
Gorgeous Rock Pathway Ideas
Rocks and gravel can be used for garden pathways and can be a nice alternative to pavement or concrete for a patio or driveway.
Stone rocks comes in a variety of colors and textures and will add an element of character to your landscape area.
How much is needed? Measure the width, length, and depth of the area you need to fill and cover with landscape material. Then use an easy online the calculator to help determine the amount of material needed in cubic yards.
Just like calculating how much mulch you need…There are several factors used to determine the amount of stone needed for an area. In addition to the square footage of the area to cover, you must also consider how deep the coverage will be or desired.
Stone & Rock Coverage
Bagged landscape rocks can be used for smaller landscape jobs, such as a decorative accent at the base of a mailbox or for mulch around a shrub. These bags typically contain about 0.5-cubic feet of stone and can be purchased at the local big box store.
Note: As a rule, a single bag will cover 3-square feet with stone 2-inches deep.
If you have a long walkway, driveway and larger landscaping job you might require purchasing bulk landscape rocks. Large quantities are sold by the pallet or by the cubic yard. Contact Landscape Pros design team to help you do create and install this heavy job or project.
The suggested depth of coverage varies according to the size of the individual stones.
If the stone size is 1/2-inch or less, the suggested depth is 2-inches.
Stones that are 3/4-inch to 1-inch should have a depth of about 3-inches.
Stones that are 1-inch or larger should have a depth of 4-inches.
The coverage area of a cubic yard (27-cubic feet) of decorative stone or landscaping rocks depends on the depth of the area. Consider this information when measuring for and purchasing decorative stone.
Follow this basic guideline for how much area one cubic yard of stone will cover:
160 sq. ft. at 2-inch depth
108 sq. ft at 3-inch depth
80 sq. ft. at 4-inch depth
54 sq. ft. at 6-inch depth
The options are many when deciding what decorative stones, you may want for your outdoor space… If you need more help in deciding what decorative landscaping rocks and stones you need for your outdoor oasis, call Landscape Pros @ 571.535.8622. Your local Big Box Home improvement stores will have many types of stones to choose from.
Bagged Landscape Rocks
Parchment Bulk Landscape Rocks
Other Types of Decorative Stone
Choosing the right decorative stone and rock for your new outdoor oasis can be a challenge as there are so many types available. Options are many but you also can choose from brick chips, crushed gravel, lava rock, river rock and even marble to create pathways, mulch for garden beds, driveways and much more. These popular types of landscaping rocks are widely available. Landscape Pros rock and stone experts can also help you find the perfect stone and rocks for your outdoor space.
The region you live in may determine what types of stone are available and can affect shipping costs if not found in your area.
Brick chips are made from crushed, angular fragments of brick.
Terra cotta color with deep reds and browns
Sizes range from to 3/4-inch to 1-1/4-inches
Used as mulch or as driveway stone
Crushed gravel is usually gray and composed of sharp, irregularly shaped rock fragments. Other colors are available.
Rocks easily interlock and provide good packing
Size ranges from 1/4- to 3/4-inches
Used for roads, driveways, base rock and pathways
Lava rock is porous, light and irregularly shaped.
Available in red or black hues
Generally, lava rock offers good drainage and packs down well
Usually ranges in size from 3/4-inch to 1-1/4-inches
Used in driveways, gardens and along paths and walkways
River rock is round and smooth and is available in shades of gray or brown. Pea gravel is a smaller size of river rock used in decorative concrete and other applications.
Provides good drainage and erosion control
Sizes range from 3/8-inch to 2-1/2-inches
Used in flower and garden beds, and on walkways for erosion control
Marble chips are made from fragments of marble.
Used in fountains and to cover soil in houseplants and container gardens
Stone sizes range from 1/4- to 1/2-inch
Note: Should not be used around plants that require high levels of acid, as it will change the pH of the soil
Retaining Wall Blocks
Retaining walls were originally designed to keep landscape soil from eroding. However, they are becoming increasingly popular for their aesthetic value and ability to create more usable space within your yard.
It is recommended that homeowners seek assistance from design experts like Landscape Pros in Manassas, VA if your outdoor oasis includes a retaining wall. Block walls need to be installed correctly or they can be a hazard if not built correctly. Give Us a call @ 571.535.8622 to design, build and install your new wall for your outdoor oasis. Here is a little information about retaining wall blocks to consider for your project as there are many types of materials to choose from.
Garden Wall Blocks
Individual Retaining Wall Blocks
Stone landscaping edging provides a functional solution for outlining patios, walkways, gardens, and other landscape elements. Nothing can spruce up a tired looking flower bed or garden area like some fresh landscape edging. There is a wide variety of styles and price ranges, from natural stone, to all types of pavers.
Landscape Pros in Manassas, VA recommends using landscape edging as an easy way and affordable way to create an outdoor oasis in almost any area of your yard and easily help to visually define your planting beds, keep grass and mulch in their respective places and showcase so much more.
Landscape edging is an easy DIY project too, that almost anyone can do with minimal materials and skill required. If you don’t want to do it yourself or have the time to do your landscape project, call the “Pros” Landscape Pros @ 571.535.8622.
Types of Edging:
How to Install Edging:
Choose and purchase your desired edging materials: a solid roll of commercial steel edging, plastic, rubber edging, or individual stone pavers.
Note: It is recommended to use Stone Pavers because they are more durable and offer a professional finished look when install correctly. Make sure to determine how many stone pavers needed.
Use a garden hose or string to define your desired shape and mark the area with landscape marking paint.
Kill grass under the marked area with an herbicide.
Dig a trench to appropriate depth and width of the edging. Make sure trench is tamped down and level. For stone edging trench should be 6 inches deep and the width of your edging stones.
Set edging stones side by side in the trench, starting from one end of the trench and working to the trench’s opposite end. Ensure stones fit well together and do not have gaps between the stones.
Lay or place edging deep enough so a lawn mower’s wheels can smoothly go up to or over it and to avoid tripping hazards.
Hammer in edging stakes to secure the steel, rubber, or plastic commercial edging.
Using a level, ensure edging is installed level, even, and flush with surrounding soil.
Fill the trench with native soil up to soil grade on the grass side of the edging. Pack the soil tightly around edging or stones to keep them from shifting.
Add mulch to the flowerbed side of the edging, using the same mulch used in the flowerbed. Either fill the trench with mulch up to soil grade or drag the mulch at an angle from the flowerbed.
Enjoy your new edging.
Enhance your home’s curb appeal by updating your driveway, patio, walkways, landscape paths with stepping stones and pavers or to create a backyard oasis. Stepping stones and pavers help to extend your usable outdoor spaces and make your backyard feel more welcoming for friends and family. They also add beautiful touches of color and texture and can modernize the look of your home.
Decorative stepping stones have a major impact as far as beautifying home gardens and creating outdoor oasis, and if anything, their use today has become all the more wide-spread. Besides them being decorative instruments of utter beauty, stunning steppingstones are not that hard to find, and there is nothing more readily affordable, and yet available than stones that bring out the life and beauty that your home garden or outdoor oasis so rightly deserves.
Take it from the “Pros” at Landscape Pros… their expert designers highly recommend adding stepping stones to your homes landscape and their use as elements of home décor. Additionally, stepping stones have long been known to come in a variety of sizes and shapes, which greatly allows them to be used with other various home amenities.
Give Landscape Pros a call @ 571.535.8622 for more details on stepping stones or ask for a free quote for your next outdoor space renovation. We are experts in creating outdoor living spaces.
Here is some additional information about the types and costs on stepping stones available at most local Big Box stores.
12 in. x 12 in. x 1.5 in. Pewter Square Concrete Step Stone Approx $1.70 ea
12 in. Round Cast Stone Small Floral Stepping Stone Approx $29.00 ea
12 in. x 12 in. x 1.5 in. River Red Square Concrete Step Stone Approx $1.70 ea
Pavestone 24 in. x 24 in. x 1.96 in. Pewter Square Concrete Step Stone (14-Pieces/56 sq. ft./Pallet) Approx $274.00
Capriana Patio on a Pallet 10 ft. x 10 ft. x 2 in. Manzanita Step Stone (72-Piece/ 98 sq. ft./ Pallet) Approx $737
Step Stone Rustic Canyon Natural Sandstone Step Stone Approx $9.00 ea
Sandstone Venetian Gray Natural Sandstone Step Stone Approx $13.00
Oldcastle Epic Stone
Stone Fire Pits
Summer is coming to an end and cool nights of fall are fast approaching. Just in time to gather around a warm campfire with friends and family without leaving the comfort of your own backyard.
If you want a custom stone Fire Pit designed and installed call Landscape Pros in Manassas, VA @ 571.535.8622. Our team of designers can build your new fire pit to enjoy before the snow fly’s in Virginia.
If you are a DIY type use these tips to choose the right fire pit kit for a cozy and intimate gathering place. Most home improvement stores have several styles to choose from.
Fire Pit Styles
Today’s fire pits are much sleeker and more stylish than their name implies. Here are some fire pit ideas for your yard and backyard oasis:
• Fire Bowls. A fire bowl is a large metallic bowl suspended over the ground by a frame. These portable fire pits sit low to the ground. Most Outdoor fire pits can be small enough to fit on most small patios or in your backyards Choose a simple metal design or one with more ornate latticework are very affordable. A concrete bowl style gives an industrial feel to a modern outdoor space.
• Fire Pit Tables. Fire tables sit higher off the ground than fire bowls, and they are generally made from stone or metal. Fire tables may have a surface that can hold drinks or even act as a footrest. Some gas-powered tables have decorative wicker or metal sides. They are great for a more formal patio that is a frequent entertaining space.
• Fire Pit Kit. Install a permanent fire pit in your backyard with a kit from your local Lowes or Home Depot. Each one has everything you need to put it together, including stones and adhesive. Most also have a fire ring, which will safely contain the flame.
Here are a few out-of-the-box style Fire Pits to get your ideas going…if you want a custom built stone Fire Pit call the “Pros” at Landscape Pros @ 571.535.8622.
Pavestone RumbleStone 38.5 in. x 21 in. Square Concrete Fire Pit Kit No. 3 in Cafe. Approx $656.00
RumbleStone 46 in. x 10.5 in. Round Concrete Fire Pit Kit No. 1 in Sierra Blend with Round Steel Insert. Approx $379.00
Nantucket Pavers Ledgestone 47 in. Concrete Fire Pit Ring Kit Brown. Approx $466.00
Necessories Grand 48 in. Fire Pit Kit in Santa Fe with Cooking Grate. Approx $553.00
Oldcastle Hudson Stone 40 in. Round Fire Pit Kit. Approx $394.00
Landscape Pros hopes you have learned a new ideas on how you can design and build your outdoor oasis. Whether you are a DIY type and want to take the next step to begin your landscaping project or not… our experts are ready to do it all for you. Call Landscape Pros today @ 571.535.8622 for all your landscaping needs.
Open air outdoor rooms are easily pared down and more casual versions of what is going on indoors, may explain why many of us are drawn to that more relaxing, uncluttered spaces outside. On the off chance that your bank accounts permit it, a professional landscape design business like Landscape Pros in Manassas, VA can help you plan, design, and create an outdoor living space that looks as good—if not better—than your current living room. Regardless of whether it’s the job of a professional expert or a design-it-yourself project idea, you must first evaluate your yard and think about what you’re doing before you go out to purchase cushion pillows and other patio pouf.
An outdoor living space is an excellent investment for your home for several reasons. Outdoor spaces around the home give you an opportunity to get as much use as possible out of your entire landscaped property. Outdoor Living spaces allow You and your guests to spend time together in your outdoor space, whether you prepare and enjoy evening dinners in an outdoor kitchen or just spend time to unwind under a custom-built pergola. No matter what you envision for your outdoor living space, Landscape Pros is the perfect landscape design company to work with.
When we build an outdoor living space, you will gain an appreciation for the time you spend outdoors. We will help you design the kind of outdoor living space you dream about and improve it with unique features and gorgeous designs. You can count on us to provide more value to your Virginia home with our outdoor living designs and installation services.
On hot humid summer days when you do not want to be directly in Virginia’s blazing sun’s path, our experts can design and install a simple sun sail shade, pergola, or add a pavilion to your deck or patio. Adding a freestanding structure, somewhere in your yard, will make it easy to find some shade.
If you’re looking for a larger decorative addition to your deck or patio, consider a custom pergola. These columned structures will add an exciting element to your porch and can be used to add vertical growing vines or colorful flowers. Trellises are other elaborate structures or arches that are ideal for entrances or other areas of your landscaping that you might want to highlight. These arches can stand alone, and they can be covered in beautiful vines and flowers for summer long enjoyment.
At Landscape Pros, we design and build a wide range of arbors, pergolas, and other outside living structures like “pavilions” one of our favorites we design and build for homeowners in Virginia and the surrounding areas. Our team looks forward to helping you come up with a stylish and ornate way to decorate or shade your yard with a new outdoor living space. Give us a call @ 571-535-8622 today.
No matter what type of outdoor living space or project you might have, Landscape Pros can help you design and install “Big or Small” as we have done them all. Here are a few outdoor living suggestions you might want to consider.
What to Consider?
The incredible thing about an outdoor room or space is that it is a place for relaxation that puts you in arm’s reach of nature: shrubs, bushes, trees, scented blossoms, water highlights and open-air adornments. However, you can’t simply thud a settee and outside table haphazardly in the yard and declare it your new “open air living room”.
Goals: What do you want in your outdoor living room? Maybe a peaceful refuge, a place to entertain, for privacy or to enjoy your garden?
Budget: A well-designed outdoor living space with carefully chosen vintage and repurposed furnishings can look just as good as a room with an unlimited budget.
Location: Is the outdoor room convenient to the house, for quick trips to the kitchen or bathroom?
Size: Does the outdoor room take up the whole yard? Is there space for other activities for other household members, i.e., children’s play equipment, an outdoor grill, dining area, or a small herb garden?
Shape: While a rectangular shape makes sense, look at the lay of the land in your yards landscape. If it is long and narrow, maybe a diagonal furniture placement or square room would mix things up a bit.
Continuity: If your house is contemporary, continue the same or similar materials and architectural features with your outdoor room. Use similar colors and materials as indoors, only more casual. You do not want to have a Victorian Tea Garden setup that will look out of character with your new modern two-story home.
Here are 5 creative outdoor living rooms that have at least one thing in common: they all are spaces in which you want to kick back and enjoy a drink and good company.
Horizontal, low-slung outdoor furniture echoes the lines of this modern Virginia house with a flat patio roof, which offers shelter from the hot sun. Paver tiles make a great area to lounge in comfort. Water features carry out those lines in the concrete fountain, with Equisetum hyemale (commonly known as horsetail) and is a perennial herb that adds a dramatic backdrop. Its thin, vertical lines make horsetail a popular plant in modern landscape design and grows in wet ground or water features.
Simple white outdoor curtains soften this outdoor room under a wood pergola and give the homeowners the option of providing privacy from all sides of the structure. Marbled patio tile, throw pillow furniture, and nice rug helps to de-emphasize the long, rectangular shape of this outdoor space.
Master Bedroom Escapes
Simple elegance highlights this Victorian remodel design features a spacious private patio backyard deck that connects with other rooms on the ground level.
Who ever said D.C. does not have spaces that scream relaxation? A few miles from the uproar in Washington, D.C. is this backyard oasis design that gives its homeowners a chance to relax and enjoy their outdoor space in private. Long resin-wicker sofas provide seating for all guests, and nice touches like iron lanterns, an outdoor fireplace and coordinated pillows tie everything together.
Maryland All-Season Room
Landscape Pros loves this design that converts into an all-season room. Accordion retractable screens provide a great flexible space for entertaining and the open design is a natural gathering outdoor space for the family.
This Bethesda, Maryland home’s elegance is reflected in its simple outdoor garden area. Custom patio pavers, walkway stones, and simple outdoor furniture add to the private bliss this design offers. With just a few materials and your favorite outdoor furniture Landscape Pros designer can help you create a peaceful escape in your backyard.
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It’s your yard — yours to do with as you wish. And while that is great, that does not mean you have to be one of those people who spends every spare moment in their yard, sprucing the landscape up.
But, still, if your landscaping could use a little something to jazz it up. It doesn’t have to be hard and can be really easy. If that is the case, No problem says Clark Nigg the Head Designer at Landscape Pros in Manassas, VA.
Here are five totally doable projects that are easy, and your budget will barely notice, but your neighbors definitely will:
#1 Add Some New (Tough) Edging
Tell your grass who’s boss with some mean edging that can stand up to even the crabbiest of all crabgrasses and not some flimsy edging that will need to be replaced.
Especially, don’t make the mistake that many homeowners make by buying the cheap flexible plastic junk, thinking it will be easier to install. In the end, it will look cheap and amateurish from day one and in a month or two you will be ripping it out.
Worse, cheap stuff won’t last. And before you know it, you will not be able to tell where your garden bed ends, and where your “lawn” begins.
Instead, it is recommended by the “Pros” at Landscape Pros to invest in professional grade steel edging.
Metal edging works hard without calling much attention to itself after installation. Steel edging offers many benefits:
Creates a clean separation between garden beds, grass, paths, and driveways using little space and minimizing visual distraction.
Prevents migration of garden materials such as gravel and mulch.
Particularly effective at keeping grass from creeping into adjacent beds and paths.
Will not rot, crack, chip, or become brittle in cold weather.
Stays put, resisting ground movement most often created from extreme weather conditions such as excessive rains or frost heave.
Won’t sustain damage from garden maintenance tools.
Note: Steel edging is preferred and costs a little more, however rigid fiberglass, and aluminum are other options.
Shown: Classic Everedge Lawn Edging, 5″ tall, Set of 5: 16′ length approx. $149.00
Tips on installing edging:
1 Lay a garden hose in the pattern or along the line where the edging will go. Use spray paint or sprinkle flour or powdered chalk to mark the hose pattern. Mark where the edging will start and stop on the garden hose or ground. Measure between the marks to determine how much edging to use.
2 Make a narrow trench where the edging will go using a lawn edger or sharp spade. Push the edger/spade into the soil about 6 inches, wiggle it back and forth a couple of times and pull it out. Do not leave any part of the edge uncut.
3 Push the edging into the trench. As you go, place stakes in the stake pockets and push them in just far enough to hold the edging upright. Hand form the curves. Overlap the ends and use stakes to connect the pieces.
4 Score the edging lightly along one side with a hacksaw, then make a 1-inch cut from the bottom up to make sharp corners. Hold the two-by-four board down while lifting the other side of the edging to bend the corner.
5 Cut off the end of the edging by scoring then bending it back and forth until it breaks.
6 Pound all the stakes into the ground with a heavy hammer or small sledgehammer until the stakes are flush with the top of the edging and the edging is sticking up about 1 1/2 inches above ground level.
The cost? Mostly your time, edging prices range $2.50 and up a square foot.
For more tips on landscape edging and more easy landscaping projects contact Landscape Pros in Manassas, VA.
#2 Create a Focal Point with a Berm
A berm is a mound of gently sloping earth, often created to help with drainage. You can also build them to create “island beds,” a focal point of textures and colors, plants, rocks, and trees that are so much more interesting than plain green grass on your landscape.
On average, a berm should be about four to five times as long as it is high, gradually trailing out into the remaining landscape. Most berms are no higher than 18-24 inches (46-61 cm.). The berm design can be created with more than one peak for additional interest as well and shaped to perform its purpose.
Plus, berms can serve to provide you some privacy — they help with diffusing street noises. What is not to like about that? Especially if you live in more urban areas.
For most yards however, berms should max out at 2-feet high because of the space needed to properly build one.
They need a ratio of 4-6 feet of width for every foot of height. That is at least 8 feet for a typical 2-foot high berm. So be sure you have the room or decrease the height of your berm.
Popular berm plantings include:
Flowering bushes, such as azaleas
Evergreens, such as blue spruce Perennials such as periwinkle
Tall, swaying prairie grasses
Lots of mulch to keep weeds away
You can save on topsoil costs a whole lot if you buy in bulk — approx. $50 / cubic yard vs. almost $70 for the same amount in bags from a big-box store. Even with a delivery fee, you’ll come out ahead.
The cost? Usually less than $300, depending on how big you make it, how much soil you need to buy to get to your desired height, and what plants you choose for the berm.
Here are a few berm ideas. Contact Landscape Pros @ 571-535-8622 for more suggestions on designing and installation of your berm project. Our experts have lots of ideas for other easy landscaping projects.
#3 Make a Small Flagstone Wall or Walkway
Aim to build a small boarder wall no more than 12 inches tall, and it becomes a super simple DIY project — requiring no mortar at all! Walkways with Flagstone can be easy and creative too and are only limited by your imagination.
How to build an easy flagstone wall:
Dig a trench the width desired to cut through the grass sod and roots using a flat-blade shovel or edger.
Dig and remove dirt 3 to 4 inches deep to remove grass and wide enough to accommodate the flagstones for border.
Fill with pea gravel and/or sand and tamp to make the area level.
Lay out the flagstones to see their shapes and sizes and arrange them to your liking.
Stack the smaller stones first.
Saving the largest, prettiest flagstones for the top layer of the 12-inch wall.
Backfill with desired pea gravel.
Flagstone is usually a form of a sandstone composed of feldspar and quartz and is arenaceous in grain size (0.16 mm – 2 mm in diameter). The material that binds flagstone is usually composed of silica, calcite, or iron oxide.
When choosing the flagstone try to select stone of consistent thickness.
The cost? About $300 for stones and sand (a ton of 2-inch-thick stone is enough for a wall 10 feet long and 12 inches high).
#4 Install a Path with Flagstone or Gravel
There’s something romantic, charming, and simply welcoming about a meandering pathway to your front door or backyard garden — which means it has super-huge impact when it comes to your home’s curb appeal.
You can use flagstone, pea gravel, decomposed or crushed granite, even poured concrete (although that is not easy to DIY).
A few tips for building a pathway:
Allow 3 feet or more in width for clearance.
Create curves rather than straight lines for a pleasing effect.
Remove sod at least 3 to 4 inches deep to keep grass from coming back.
If you live in an area with heavy rains, opt for large, heavy stones.
The cost? Anywhere from a couple of hundred bucks to upwards of $500 depending on the material you use, with decomposed granite being the least expensive, and flagstone (also the easiest of the bunch to install) being the most expensive.
#5 Build a Tree Surround
In addition to being an attractive design element, a tree surround (tree-ring) border encircling a tree is practical in several ways. It protects the tree trunk from contact with lawn mowers, and it corrals mulch from spreading to the lawn. Plus, it adds a decorative element to the landscape. Depending on the height of the border and the material used, a tree ring can provide a pleasant seating area, as well.
Installing a stone masonry “surround” for a tree is an amazingly easy project: It looks great, and it means you’ve got less grass to mow around your trees.
All it takes is digging a circular trench, adding some sand, and installing brick, cement blocks, or stone. Just go for whatever look you like best for the surround.
The trickiest part is getting a perfect circle around the tree. Here’s how:
Tie a rope around the tree, making a loop big enough so that when you pull it taut against the tree, the outer edge of the loop is right where you want the surround to be.
Set your spade inside the loop with the handle plumb — straight up and down. Now, as you move around the tree, the loop of rope keeps the spade the same distance from the base of the tree, creating a nice circle.
How to build the tree surround:
Dig out a circular trench about 8 inches deep and 6 inches wide.
Add a layer of sand or gravel 2-3 inches and tamp it down flat and level.
Place the first row of bricks or stone in the trench and use a level to check and make sure each brick or stone is level. You may made need to wiggle the brick or stone a bit or add/remove a bit of sand underneath the brick/stone if you need to adjust the height to make it level. Set bricks at an angle for a saw-tooth effect or lay them end-to-end.
Lay the base course of block. At least half of the first block should be below the finished grade to prevent shifting.
Backfill and front-fill the trench with gravel and tamp to compress the gravel.
For subsequent courses of block, use blocks that are faced on the front and back, so it is attractive from the inside, as well. Apply a bead of construction adhesive between the layers.
You can add a thin layer of topsoil for planting flowers inside the ring, but no more than a top dressing – so the tree roots can still breathe.
Keep in mind that additional vegetation will compete with the tree for moisture and nutrients, so feed and water accordingly. Mulch is best; a 2 to 3-inch layer helps to retain moisture and block weed growth. Remember to not cover the base of the trunk.
The cost? Moderate cost. Big box stores like Home Depot sell pavestone tree ring kits for around $340 cheap. You can do it for less with cheaper commonly-available pavers and stones.
Landscape Pros in Manassas, VA hopes you like these easy landscaping projects? Give us a call @ 571-535-8622 our expert designers and installation “Pros” can answer your questions and help design, build and install all your landscaping needs. We have ideas for hundreds of easy landscaping projects.
A retaining wall is a specially designed structure that holds soil on one side and is free standing on the other. They help to accommodate changes in grade in a landscape with uneven topography. These walls often allow steeper cuts to a slope to yield more usable space on a cut-and-fill hillside lot. Hard working retaining walls can be key to creating a level sports lawn or driveway too.
Pro Tip: Walls are a long-term investment. You can change planting every ten years, but walls are forever.”— says Clark Nigg, Owner, Landscape Pros in Manassas, VA.
Retaining walls are also used on level ground to raise living spaces above the surrounding ground plain. A well-designed retaining wall can elevate planting areas for improved drainage while at the same time creating a seat-wall. There is no end to the benefits of these heavy barriers, but they can be costly and must be strictly constructed to prevent failure.
What makes retaining walls so challenging is their strength, which is best illustrated by the incredible loads they carry, known as lateral earth pressure. This is created by more than just the weight of soil. Water behind the wall causes buildup of hydrostatic pressure which is the reason for most wall failures. Only through adequately designed drainage structures and waterproofing can the best designed wall survive over time.
Retaining walls are divided into two types divided by their height. Walls under four feet are designed and built by your contractor or per a landscape architect’s drawing. Retaining walls over four feet require much larger footings due to the increased lateral earth pressure. It must be designed by an engineer who will specify the size and extent of footings and the amount of steel reinforcement required according to strict loading calculations. In both cases, it is recommended that you leave the the construction and installation of your retaining walls to the “Pros” like Landscape Pros in Manassas.
Building permits often require these structural calculations due to the damage caused by retaining wall failures. This not only destroys your investment, it can cause significant damage to people and property, which puts the homeowner at serious liability. This is particularly important where slopes are unstable, and the climate suffers periods of heavy rains that can lead to super saturated soils and catastrophic mudslides. In some states like California, communities may require additional earthquake related design criteria. Homeowners, Professional Landscaping companies will know all these requirements and we recommend relying on their advice on these type landscaping projects.
However, Retaining walls can be a do-it-yourself project when constructed of wood. These short timber walls are an affordable solution to erosion and runoff control problems many homeowners have on their properties. Concrete block retaining wall systems are growing in popularity due to their improved aesthetics and single wall construction that requires less surface area to achieve optimum strength. In addition, Dry stone walls are a regional art form and those from colonial times can still be functional today.
The time-tested veneer wall is the landscape architect’s choice for high end landscaping. With its functional concrete masonry unit (CMU) core, there is no end to the options for swanky stone or brick veneer. This choice offers the designer unlimited options for making each retaining wall unique to a homesite and allowing it to lend style to outdoor living spaces.
Always remember that however beautiful these walls may ultimately be, they are a powerful structure that must function as designed. This can only happen when they are composed of the proper materials and constructed by quality contractors like Landscape Pros. Make sure you get these things right and you’ll be able to count on your financial investment maintaining both beauty and integrity for many decades to come.
Retaining Walls – Here are a few ideas to consider for your home.
Did you know there’s an age-old debate over what’s more important form or function for a retaining wall? A Retaining walls function is the utmost priority, but this does not mean that its form must be neglected. There are many ways to make small or large, simple, or complex retaining walls visually pleasing. If designed well and constructed with quality materials, your retaining wall will be a focal point in your yard rather than something you try to hide.
This L-shaped wall offers seating opportunities that are best for human interaction. Designs like this are visually, socially and functionally superior to a single straight retaining wall. This is a more stable design too because lateral earth load is diffused in different directions, which reduces pressure on the wall.
This type retaining wall is a rare example of how sleek contemporary lines can be combined with naturalistic stone to create a most innovative visual dynamic. This step back system uses a single footing to support a series of powerful horizontal retaining walls composed of a structural core veneered in thin flagstone with a honed stone cap. The alternating connectors feature the look of a dry-stone wall which plays nicely against the rigidity of the longer runs. Walls with perpendicular connectors result in a stronger design overall. They are more conducive to attractive planting and offer more spaces for human interaction than a single long wall.
If your landscape is in a rainy state or area, and you have the need for your hardscape retaining wall to hold ground against gradual erosion from heavy prolonged rain here is an easy beautiful wall. The use of irregular lichen encrusted boulders set into the slope, so they don’t look like a barrier provides great opportunities to nestle plants into the nooks and crannies. This design idea by Landscape Pros suggests utilizing large stone settings like shown here and is a traditional way for homeowners who require improved drainage for their specialty plants.
This beautiful two-level retaining wall with a seat wall at the top is a picture-perfect example of top-notch construction. Landscape stone veneer perfectly matched that of the house and each wall is topped with a contrasting stone cap. The fine masonry required in this design requires skilled stone workers and materials that cost a little more, but such a flawless example is only obtained through extreme attention to detail and craftmanship. This stunning retaining wall example required sturdy walls backed by extensive drainage structures and is built to last a century or more.
Here is a beautifully curved, natural flagstone veneered wall is essential to take up the slope for a larger patio space. Grades are carefully manipulated to ensure the top of the retaining wall is perfect seat-wall height to allow the homeowners a place to sit in the offseason and augment their patio furniture use in the warmer months. Seat-walls double the usability of a space and cost a little more than an otherwise functional retaining wall.
On this last design, our expert masonry laymen recommend this type of retaining wall which drops grade to level from a well planted woodland background typical for many homeowners. Sleek features of natural hewn stone on the face of the wall to disguise a structural concrete masonry unit core is necessary for the strength to withstand lateral earth pressures when soil behind is fully saturated by rain. The choice of using multicolored stone of various sizes provides a strong linear element and diversity that gives interest and texture to the wall. The hewn stone cap in a lighter color emphasizes the geometry and provides a darker shadow line across the top and provides a perfect finish to this beautiful wall.
Landscape Pros hopes these hardscape retaining walls ideas are what you may be looking for in your backyard. Our retaining wall experts have over 30 years’ experience and are available to design, build, and install your wall. Give us a call @ 571-535-8622 today to discuss your wall project with our dedicated staff. We are rated #1 in Landscaping design and services in Manassas, VA area and we pride ourselves with our 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.
Scent Gardens – One Thing Even Lovely Gardens May Be Missing
Planting blossoms and bushes in view of their aroma is an excellent method you can do to change your yard. This is what you have to think about if you desire a fragrant scent garden.
Most homeowners plant blossoming flowers, bushes, and shrubs with bright colorful sprouts and variegated leaves to upgrade their view from their patio, porches and to improve their homes curb appeal. Be that as it may, imagine a scenario in which you could add your plantings sweet aromas or fragrances to your landscape?
Enter your fragrant Scent Garden
Similarly in the way that you light a lemon-scented candle flame in the kitchen to veil pet smells, odors, and the last nights fish dinner, an aroma garden is planted with blossoming flower beds and bush brambles that are planted specifically in light of their beautiful scents. Doing this can result in having a stunning landscape, patio, and path walkways that are injected with pleasant aromas throughout the entire summer.
Believe it or not… “You’re really passing up a major opportunity in the event that you don’t pick plants, flowers, bushes and flowering trees for their scent and sweet fragrances that can add an additional dimension to your garden and make it all the more engaging,” says Susan Smith, the green thumb at Eastern Shore Nursery of Virginia.
The effect of aroma is unmistakable and firmly attached to one’s recollection and memories — likewise, a garden without scent will appear to be sterile and in some way or another not seem exactly right, according to Joe Brown, lead creator at Meadows Farm Nursery.
Garden planting can be viewed as a salve—particularly now during these stressful times of the COVID-19 crisis to sooth oneself — so up your green thumb game by including fragrant blossoms, herbs, spices, and bushes with pleasant aromas to your scent garden. Here’s additional information about planting fragrant scent gardens, including which flora to place in and where to put it for the most extreme olfactory effects.
Scent Gardens by Zone
Luckily for the home gardener, any climate can accommodate some sort of a fragrant scent gardens.
There are a few scented plants that are tropical you might consider, but outside of those you can find some additional options that will grow in cooler climates.
But, take note of your local temperatures when selecting the appropriate annuals and perennials for their scents.
Some flowers are considered perennials in warmer climates and annuals in colder zone areas, including freesia and tuberose. In Virginia, some options for tropical plantings include:
Palms. Nothing says “tropical” like a palm. But can they be grown in Virginia. Yes, certain varieties like the Chinese windmill palm (Trachycarpusfortunei, Zones 7–10) is one of the hardiest, and growing it in colder climates gives you the unusual visual of snow on palms trees!
Cordyline. Known for its stunning foliage, the leaves of cordyline range from glossy green to reddish purple to red, white or yellow.
Bananas. Create your own leafy jungle with pots of bananas.
Cannas. Large, dramatic leaves make cannas impressive even when they aren’t flowering. Their blooms add an extra pop of color with red, orange or yellow flowers.
Hibiscus. This stunner boasts 6-inch flowers in shades of red, orange, yellow, coral, pink, purple and white, with glossy, dark green leaves.
Mandevilla. This climber plant boasts graceful, trumpet-shaped flowers. Plant them in a bed with an arbor to climb, or against the walls adjacent to an entrance. The flowers grow in pink, rose, red, and white. They love bright, indirect light or full sun with midday shade.
Caladium. A stunner of the shade world. Their heart-shaped leaves come in striking color combinations of red, pink, rose, white, chartreuse, and green. They light up flower containers and beds.
Crotons. One of the boldest plants around, crotons boast colorful foliage marked with bright yellow, orange, red, and black. These plants aren’t shade lovers — they love lots of light to produce all those colorful leaves.
Bird of Paradise. The flower stalks are a combination of blue petals and orange petal-look leaves that emerge from a beak-like leaf structure. It adds an exotic feel and texture to a bed or planter.
Where to plant your scent garden
Center your fragrance and scent garden in the open-air areas around the home where you invest the most energy and time, say the professionals. For instance, plant a column of rosemary plants at the edge of your driveway to enjoy the delicious scent of its leaves as you walk out to check the mailbox each day. Or plant swaths of creeping thyme or lemon verbena along the walkway to the patio or between stone pavers so their scent and fragrance is released with each you take along the way.
Consider planting fragrant mint or lemongrass in pots close to your front door entryway or in the yard to repel mosquitoes from entering the house. In flower boxes under windows, plant scented flowers and plants so when you open them their aromas floats inside the home
The best-smelling flowers
Roses are top choices when it comes to selecting fragrant flower blossoms—everybody loves and cherishes them, says Clark Nigg, Head Designer at Landscape Pros in Manassas, VA. Other suggestions like scented geraniums, jasmine, stargazer lilies, gardenias, hyacinth, and clematis vine plants are fragrant choices among professional landscapers.
The best-smelling herbs
Lavender is a great blossoming herb in aroma or scent gardens; however you can likewise slant toward the kitchen and plant edible ones for their delicious flavorful scents to smell when cooking (e.g. oregano, basil, and mint).
Other recommendations are sage assortments, for example, cleveland sage; or hummingbird sage, which attracts the bird; or the natural earth smelling white sage is a nice choice.
Additionally, Wooly Blue Curls offer another option besides rosemary, where the sprouts smell like a blueberry muffin and leave your hands smelling like they just left a bread bakery. How’s that for a delicious scent?
Best trees and bushes for scent gardens
Lilacs are mainstream popular choices in a fragrance scent garden. Other exquisite aroma choices in this category include peonies, viburnum, daphne, cherry trees, and apple trees.
Succession planting in a scent garden
The scent and fragrance of peonies is inebriating certainly, however don’t be enticed to plant a yard brimming full of them. Why? Peonies last just a week or so in June in many climates before fading, which implies your garden will be unscented for the rest of the growing season.
Instead, utilize the technique or method of progression planting in your backyard scent garden to guarantee that new aromas will prosper in sequence. For instance, try lilacs in the spring and then have peonies and whiskery bearded iris follow them. Next, plant Roses and lilies to sprout straightaway, in the warmth of the summer, and afterward be proceeded with fragrant holy messenger coneflowers in the early fall. How nice is that?
What’s more and important, is to remember to deadhead your aroma garden plants, as doing so prompts more new blossoms—and more fragrance scents in the garden.
For more information on designing or installing a scent garden, call Landscape Pros in Manassas, VA @ 571.535.8622. We have over 30 years in experience in delivering expert landscape design and landscaping services.
Summertime entertaining, grilling, and dining outdoors is something everyone enjoys. But not everyone has the means to do so. Many outdoor types either have an outdoor kitchen or dream to have one someday. However, many times these same people do not know exactly what they want in an outdoor kitchen and need some ideas before having one built.
Cooking outdoors in style is something everyone can have by simply transforming your backyard or patio into a unique outdoor kitchen oasis to be used for entertaining family, friends, and surrounded by nature. Cooking outside is a wonderful alternative to the daily routine of preparing meals in the home. The openness of the outdoor kitchens brings a refreshing feel to the family dinner table by adding a festive air to the mundane. Nowadays an outdoor kitchen means so much more than having a barbecue and a cooler of soda. Today, most modern outdoor kitchens still have the grill as the central fixture however, most have evolved into an extension of the family home’s living space.
Fact is, many people like to incorporate into their outdoor design the same conveniences they have inside the home, if not more. Custom outdoor kitchens nowadays can have wine chillers, under counter refrigerators, pizza ovens, wet bars, fireplaces, side burners, smokers, warming drawers and even roasting rotating spits.
Below are some awesome outdoor kitchen design ideas and some simple tips that will make your outdoor kitchen patios stylish and inviting. Enjoy!
Did you know that not much space is needed to install an outdoor kitchen, the space just needs to be functional for cooking, entertaining, and relaxing? However, something to consider when planning your new outdoor kitchen is the proximity to the indoor one. The more convenient you make your new kitchen to your indoor one, the less travel you will need for items such as seasonings, utensils, dinnerware, and food items.
Another great feature to consider is to have a covered roof on the outdoor kitchen to extend the length of time you can use this new food preparation and serving area.
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
Function. As always, it’s important to think about what the primary function of this area will be. Are you a chef-in-training? Then focus on the kitchen appliances, materials and layout. Do you plan on throwing dinner parties? Will this be near a pool? Will it just be an area to lounge, eat and relax? Once you figure this out, you can choose your must-haves for each area and which portion of your outdoor kitchen you’ll want to focus on.
Location. Most outdoor kitchens are built near or close to the main house. This allows for the easy access of existing utility lines and makes it easy to transport food and other materials to the outdoor kitchen cooking area. If these issues aren’t of concern for you, be sure to take wind, sun, shade, and access to other amenities (such as a pool or a lawn) into consideration before choosing the perfect place.
Layout. You want to be able to move effortlessly from area to area — particularly when working with a potentially dangerous medium like a grill or pizza oven. Remember to take this into account when planning your outdoor kitchen layout — you don’t want to have to jump from place to place when cooking. This easy setup works perfectly: it’s simple, but everything you need is here.
Cooking space. In terms of utility and durability, the appliances you have in your outdoor kitchen are going to be a very important investment. Selecting Quality is more important than Quantity here. Yes, it is fun to go crazy and have a rotisserie, warming drawer, and a pizza oven — but do you really need them all? Be sure to get what you’ll actually use, that it works well, and is made for the good outdoors.
Lighting. Outdoor kitchen lighting is just as important in your outdoor living space as it is inside the home. Ambiance is great of course, but safety should be the first priority when it comes to lighting around an outdoor kitchen area. Brighten the areas where cooking and other major entertaining activity will happen. All pathways should be well-lit, and lounge/dining areas should have adjustable lighting.
Entertainment and dining area. If you like entertaining and having family & friends over, odds are you’ll be using your outdoor kitchen for a lot more than just the occasional barbecue. The most important thing to remember when you’re planning your custom designed outdoor kitchen layout and deciding your must-haves, is to think about how you will be entertaining your family and friends. Take the time to consider all your options as outdoor kitchen is an investment and will be used for years to come. These outdoor kitchen ideas have pretty much everything: dining table, lounge area in front of the fire, a television and bar.
More Ideas: If you need more great ideas on outdoor kitchens space design, contact Landscape Pros in Manassas, VA. Our expert designers have the answers you need on outdoor kitchens and can design and build yours with everything imaginable. Call today 571-535-86222.
Homeowners going distraught over DIY pergolas – 5 fave’s you can consider.
Landscape Pros in Manassas, VA is a family owned full-service landscape design company with over 30 yrs experience in providing Northern Virginia and surrounding area with professional landscape design and landscaping services. We’re voted #1 and the Best in Landscape Design and Services. Therefore, we always strive to go the extra mile in delivering outstanding customer service and take pride having 100% customer satisfaction.
Look at these simple pergola ideas… homeowners who are DIY achievers GO for it! If you are not, NO worries call the “Pros” Landscape Pros in Manassas, VA, to design and install your custom pergola that will not break the bank. We guarantee our work and pergolas aren’t as dubious as they look.
We’re Pros in Landscaping Design & Services
Pergola thoughts in Virginia are all over Instagram this mid-year and truly, we can’t get enough ourselves! Landscape Pros believe it’s got something to do with the way we all are going through each day, consistently longing for being on vacation, some place warm, some place care free, and some place ultimately under a beautiful pergola with a mixed drink close by. We are experts in “Pergolas” and can make your dreams come true.
Our Apologies, as we got somewhat diverted there for a minute… Pergolas are something you can absolutely have in your backyard oasis and these favorite new looks demonstrate exactly how easy it is weather you DIY or have our skilled team at Landscape Pros do it for you! We make dreams come true everyday for our valued customers and know that a couple of pieces of wood carefully designed and built can completely change your backyard looks with a beautiful new pergola. Our professional builders will help you build that much-needed pergola structure in your backyard to give you shade, cover your hot tub, or simply define an outdoor space into something special for your family and friends.
Our advice is to not be distraught any longer this summer and make the decision to build your backyard oasis. Pergolas come in a wide variety of shapes, styles, and sizes. Here are a few ideas that Landscape Pros can install for you or DIY.
Make an Outside Eating Area – Simple Pergola
Ooooh, look how adorable this orange air carpet and table are. They both work so well with a picture-perfect blue sky! This simple pergola is an incredible backyard point of convergence to concentrate all your entertaining mingling enjoyment, add a picnic table underneath, string up some pixie lights, a chiminea and there you have the ideal outside feasting space.
2. Assemble a Couch Under the Pergola
Generally, pergolas do not have rooftops, yet you can add one without much effort or cost. You can use galvanized metal roofing, plastic panels or copper roofing to create a dazzling impact and cover. Spruce up your pergola further with delicate goods underneath and don’t stress over bringing everything inside during the lightest sprinkle starts.
3. Paint or Stain Your Pergola
Odds are whether you purchase a full-fledged pergola or a DIY pergola, your unit it will normally be incomplete uncovered wood. The choice is yours; you can leave it bare as is, or better yet stain / paint it to suit your style and create a stunning rich look. Here this pergola is painted dark to make it even more a dramatic element in this oasis. We can likewise envision white would look extremely cool and include an exceptionally Mediterranean vibe.
4. Make an Open Air Front Room Under Your Pergola
Love the boho feel of this open air set up; the layers of surface and unbiased shading palette look pretty cool. This idea is an extremely simple way to reproduce yourself, spring up your pergola with colorful paint, and to make your open-air family room. Floor coverings, pads, pillow tosses and delicate lighting are vital to this unique look, so ensure you incorporate bounty.
5. GO for an Unobtrusive Look with Normal Materials
This cost-effective DIY pergola truly mixes into the relaxing area with a rooftop made with regular materials. Simply buy reed screening from DIY big box stores like Home Depot and secure them in the middle of the light emissions pergola structure. Pretty Neat!
Will Landscaped Ponds Ever Rule the World? Of course not.
However, here is some information that is All You Need & Know to Construct the Ideal Landscaped Pond. For starters, you need to acquaint an alluring new measurement with your landscape area. Simply include water. The specialists at Landscape Pros in Manassas, VA can help you with everything required and disclose the materials to make an attractive, flourishing sea-going focal point for your terrace or outdoor living spaces.
There is something about water moving that mitigates your spirit and provides a soothing calm environment. Backyard ponds are fairly easy to design and build. Once complete you can have a small slice of bliss.
Cheerfully, you need not bother with profound pockets or heaps of land to make the most of your own pond. You can design and completely prepare, arrange, a small fish-filled pond for around $500, given that you do your own digging. Simply make a pond area like the one here that requires rubbery liners, amazing siphons, viable channels, and, other backyard ponds materials available to purchase online or at your local big box store e.g., Home Depot. In any case, when you are done, regardless of whether it’s tucked into an edge of the yard or close to a deck or porch, your backyard pond will give an unending wellspring of interest for the family and guests.
Fabricated near the house, this pond makes a reviving, tranquil setting simply out the secondary passage. The stone cascade makes a satisfying sound as it oxygenates the water. Use of small plants mollify the stone edges and give cover for fish spread out.
Anatomy of a Pond
A spotless, clean pond requires a couple of key components to keep water contained, new, and filtered.
Underlayment:Protects the liner from punctures and stretching during installation.
Liner: Prevents water from leaking into the ground.
Pump: Circulates water through the filter and up to the waterfall or fountain.
Filters: Cleans the water coming from the pump.
Water Agitator: Keeps water oxygenated. Waterfalls, Bubblers, Wellsprings, Cascades, and Fountains are for the most part good agitators.
Channel: Cleans the water originating from the siphon.
Siphon: Courses water through the channel and up to the cascade or wellspring.
Covered GFCI outlet: Feeds electrical power to the pond pump. Safety Trips automatically trip to prevent lethal shocks.
What does it cost?
Home Pond kits start around $70 for a straightforward 9-square-foot, 84-gallon pond. However, a run of the mill 176-square-footer pond costs can start at $5,000, while larger pond variant costs can easily surpass over $50,000.
DIY or Hire a Pro?
Ponds that are longer than 6 feet on a side and deeper than 18 inches require significant amounts of digging and use of heavy equipment. This heavy work is best left to the Pros. Smaller ponds are good DIY projects, but let the Pros handle the plumbing and electrical work.
In the Manassas, VA area contact Landscape Pros @ 571-535-8622 for advice and assistance with your pond project. Landscape Pros is a family owned full-service landscape design company with over 30 yrs experience in providing Northern Virginia and surrounding area with professional landscape design and landscaping services. We’re voted #1 and the Best in Landscape Design and Services. We take pride in delivering outstanding customer service and having 100% customer satisfaction.
How long does a pond last?
It all depends on the liner used. The best ones have a 20-year warranty and 30 – 40 year life span.
How much maintenance cost?
The electricity to run a pump for a typical 176-square-foot pond costs about $260 a year. Smaller backyard ponds are much less usually. Pond filters need frequent cleaning and recommended to be cleaned monthly. If you cannot keep up on the maintenance, hire a pond-maintenance company. Yearly maintenance of ponds costs an average of $2,000 for four regular servicing visits during each of the seasons. People pay $450 on the low end and over $5,000 on the high, but the price is heavily subjective and based on the size and complexity of the pond’s environment.
Natural – Intended to mix in like an indispensable piece of the landscape scene, this sort of pond has freestyle edges that do not follow a straight or unsurprising course and joins stones and plants local to the pond location.
Seminatural – Submitting general direction to the current hardscape around a home, this most popular type backyard ponds type has freestyle edges set close to brick blocks, cement, or stone patios and porch. The plants you select can be local or not.
Formal – Characterized by geometric shapes, this style of pond is regularly edged in costly mortared stone or poured concrete. Ideal for a reflecting pool in a formal garden, likewise, makes a fine feature for your fish. Plantings are meager or nonexistent.
Where to Put Backyard Ponds?
Backyard Ponds or Lagoon?
The location of a backyard pond determines its health and your ability to enjoy it.
How much sun?
Ideally, ponds should receive sunlight in the morning and shade in the afternoon. This keeps the water cooler, discouraging green algae blooms.
How far from the house should a pond be?
Ponds that are out of sight tend to get quickly neglected. Additionally, if they are farther than 20 feet from your patio or outdoor living space, you likely will not hear the peaceful cascade of a waterfall or fountain.
Does the yard have Overhanging trees?
A tree’s afternoon shade is welcome, but a pond that is directly under a tree’s branches will quickly clog with unwanted leaves, seeds, or pine needles unless given constant maintenance. If your landscape as a nearby tree that is young, factor in its mature size and spread before settling on the location of your backyard ponds.
What do the building codes say?
Ask your local building department about how far a pond must be set back from the home property line.
Where are my utility lines?
In Virginia Dial 811 before any digging to have your utility lines marked. This is a free service by the utility company, and it is Virginia law to be done to avoid damaging underground utilities. Striking a single utility line can cause personal injury, costly repairs, fines and inconvenient outages.
Liner – Utilize these calculations to determine how much material you will need for the pond. (all measurements in feet)
In simple terms, your pond liner size is always “double your depth added to your dimensions plus a safety overlap”.
Manufactured elastic – The most ideal decision for most ponds, 45-mil-thick EPDM comes in sheets up to 50 by 200 feet. Solid, UV safe, and adaptable to – 40 degrees F. Costs approx. 67 cents per sq. ft.
Plastic – Liners made of polyethylene (PE) and strengthened polypropylene (RPP) are more slender, lighter, and more affordable than EPDM yet stiffer and harder to work with. Costs for 20-mil PE liners, are about 30 cents for each sq. ft., and 36-mil RPP, approx. 45 cents per every sq. ft.
Select the right size pump for your backyard ponds. At minimum, the gallons every hour (GPH) rating should match the volume of your pond. The pump will require extra GPH to properly supply a cascade waterfall or fountain, and enough “head” to push water to the top of the waterfall or fountain. Search for the right pump for the pond with the lowest wattage, which will cost the least to run.
Pond filters help keep water free of debris so that the pump will not clog. Other filter types remove chemicals that can harm fish. To sustain fish in your backyard ponds, you will need both types or a product that has both filters in one package.
Mechanical filters trap debris before it reaches the pump. It’s best to clean filters weekly in spring and fall, every other week in summer, and monthly in winter. A filter in a waterfall or a surface skimmer is easier to reach than one on a pump placed at the bottom of pond. Costs vary on filters and range from $60—$800.
Biological filters are a must for ponds with fish. Bacteria living on a porous filter medium will digest toxic nitrites and ammonia that is harmful to fish. You should wait at least 72 hours or more before putting fish in your new pond. By taking these actions, the water temperature and chemistry can level out. Note: Drastic changes in your backyard ponds can have a serious impact on the health of your fish. Filter costs vary and can range from $140 — $500 depending on what your pond needs.
Your pond will become a stagnant and an algae-filled eyesore if you don’t keep the water moving and properly aerated. Here are three ways to agitate the pond:
Water shooting up from the surface of the pond or flowing from a man-made ornament is visually compelling and nice to listen to in your outdoor spaces. Fountains come in a variety of sizes and shapes and require the right pump to function at full capacity.
To create the tranquil waterfall you want, measure its width in inches at the point water spills out. Multiply by 50 if you want a trickle of water, by 100 for a sheet of water, and by 200 for Niagara Falls type action. The result is how many GPH your pump will need for the falls alone and does not factor in the pond requirements.
Bubbler air pumps are separate devices from a pond pump and produces bubbles that subtly ripple the pond’s surface.
DIY Pond Kits
Most online retailers bundle the backyard ponds essentials. Or you can buy a prepackaged kit from a home center that includes a rigid plastic tub, flexible tubing, and a properly sized pump. These kits are small and manageable enough to install in a weekend, but they don’t include the biological filter you need for fish. Though you could add such a filter, they’re really intended to be low-maintenance water features for people who want the pleasant sound of trickling water near a deck or patio, not a full-fledged ecosystem.
Landscape Pros in Manassas, VA hopes this information helps you in designing and in the installation of your new backyard ponds. If you want the “Pros” to do the heavy work for you… give us a call @ 571-535-8622 for advice and assistance with your pond project.
Landlords have a lot of tasks on a daily basis. The only way to cope with this high demand for time and energy is by effective prioritization. With all the incoming emergency repair requests and late payment issues, it’s not a surprise that little to no attention is paid to landscaping.
Even though it may be hard to prioritize rental property landscaping, focusing more on the property’s exterior is a great idea, advises Alltrade Management. Your tenants value the exterior look of the rental unit as much as the interior design within the walls.
In this article, we’ll go over the main dos and don’ts of rental property landscaping. After finishing this piece, you’ll know where and how to put in the effort for landscaping improvements.
YES: Planting local plant varieties
Plant local flowers, bushes, and trees. The upfront cost of regional plants is lower, and you’ll cut on the expenses related to fertilization and irrigation. Your ecological footprint is going to be much smaller compared to growing exotic greenery.
NO: Creating a niche landscaping design
Don’t forget that your property mainly serves your tenants. It’s not your private home. When picking appropriate landscaping design solutions, consider average tastes and preferences. Eclectic and bold choices in the rental property’s yard could easily increase the vacancy rate.
YES: Choosing perennials
Planting perennials around your rental property is a great option. You are able to find many perennials that will survive hot summers and even drought. Also, having these resilient flowers bloom in the yard boosts the curb appeal and increases tenant satisfaction.
NO: Letting the lawn get overgrown
Do you have time for only one landscaping duty? Regularly mowing the lawn should be your top priority in this case. Compared to many other landscaping practices, mowing the lawn is much easier but offers significant returns. Unkempt lawns decrease perceived property value and damage aesthetic beauty.
YES: Regular weeding
Weeding is a tedious task. But it’s necessary because, without proper weeding, the unwelcome grasses quickly take over the yard. Weeds are not only unsightly. These growths could take away the nutrients that your real plants need while damaging the mortar in brickwork as well.
NO: Disregarding spacing needs
Allow plenty of space between the trees and your rental property’s foundation. As the trees grow, the roots could put the foundation’s integrity into jeopardy. Plant large trees at least 30 feet away from the house. The safe distance for smaller trees is a minimum of 10 feet.
YES: Utilizing balance and proportion
Spread flowers, shrubs, and trees in different sizes evenly across your yard. A noticeable height variety can create an interesting and stimulating landscape. Similarly, you can have plants of various colors that balance and offset each other’s shades.
NO: Wasting water
Install a smart sprinkler system to curb the wasting of water resources in your rental property. You can set the appropriate watering times together with a conservative limit on the water output.
YES: Securing proper drainage
Poor landscaping practices contribute to drainage issues. Don’t add too many retaining walls, big stones, and landscaping timbers. All of these landscaping items can block drainage. Also, conduct regular landscaping maintenance to resolve drainage issues before they have serious consequences.
NO: Forgetting the hardscape
Hardscape elements belong to every successful landscaping project. You can add plenty of color and texture to the yard by using hardscape design solutions. But keep in mind that each element needs to be there for a reason. Random allocation of hardscape items will look substandard and decrease the rental property’s value.
In a nutshell: Rental Property Landscaping Dos and Don’ts
Landscaping is a crucial part of keeping your rental property competitive. As a landlord, you have a lot of daily demands. Landscaping may not be your top priority but try to still find some time every month to maintain the yard.
Here are the top dos and don’ts of rental property landscaping:
Install a smart sprinkler system to stop water wastage.
Don’t use niche landscaping design that has limited appeal.
Have local plant varieties in the yard for sustainable landscaping.
Don’t let the lawn get overgrown and turn unattractive.
Make sure to have plenty of space between your trees and buildings.
Don’t neglect your hardscape.
Use the principles of balance and proportion to create a captivating design.