Posts made in July, 2016

Get Your Yard Ready for a Summer Bonfire with Three Landscaping Tips

Lighting a bonfire in your backyard can be a fantastic way to enjoy the pleasant summer weather and spend time in the evening with friends or family. If you’re interested in how to go about lighting a bonfire in a safe and fun way, you need to make sure that your yard is up to the task. Instead of starting a fire right away, it’s a good idea to look into what you can do to make your yard safer.

With the following tips taken into consideration with your landscaping, you can make sure that there isn’t a major fire hazard so that the bonfire can be a fun experience.

Have an Empty Spot for the Bonfire

One of the best things that you can do to prevent a fire from getting out of control while having a bonfire is pick out a good spot for it. A lot of people make the mistake of having a bonfire in an area that has a lot of plants nearby, which leads to there being a higher chance of something catching on fire. Picking an empty spot, preferably on gravel or another flat surface without vegetation, can help make sure that your bonfire will not grow out of control by accident.

Clear Out Highly Flammable Items

Along with picking a good location that’s away from most items, you also need to clear out the space entirely. While you may want to have chairs nearby so that you can relax and even roast marshmallows, that is not a good idea if safety is your main concern. Instead, make sure to clear away flammable items so that the fire can grow large without as high of a risk of spreading.

Make Sure Safety Is Taken Seriously

Since you’ll likely have a number of people over while enjoying your summer bonfire, you need to make sure everyone is on the same page about safety. The fire can quickly grow out of control if everybody doesn’t know about how to control a fire and know what needs to be done if any sparks start moving away from the bonfire. For extra safety, you can even keep a fire extinguisher somewhere nearby on the off chance that the fire spreads by accident.

Planning a bonfire in the backyard is always a risk, and this makes it important that you get the yard ready ahead of time with the right landscaping and know what to do in case a fire breaks out of the main bonfire area.

For more ideas about how to create a spot for bonfires, visit sites like

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Flower Options For Xeriscape Gardens

A xeriscaped garden doesn’t have to depend upon cactus plants, yuccas, or other succulents to provide a touch of color. There are many flowering plants that can grow well in low water conditions. The key is to pick plants that grow well in your natural climate with little outside irrigation. The following list can help you select a few options.  

Seasonal color

For color in spring, few options beat the flowering bulbs, which include daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths. Although bulbs do need water, they only need it for their short growth period, which fortunately coincides with moist spring weather. If you prefer annuals that don’t have high water needs, then consider orange-red California poppies, bright yellow creeping zinnias, or greenish-white dusty miller. These will flower or grow through summer needing only minimal amounts of water to thrive.

Pretty perennials

Many perennials can do well in a xeriscape bed. Always look first to plants that are native in your area. Your county extension office or a local nursery can help you. Columbine grows well in many climates and rarely needs extra water. The interesting flowers are available in nearly every color imaginable. Coneflowers, or echinacea, provide large bright purple blooms that thrive in dry soil. For a sunnier option, opt for bright yellow black-eyed Susan flowers. If dainty is your thing, delicate white shasta daisies are a good option. For a plant that makes a statement, consider red hot pokers. The tall flower spikes are each tipped with a cluster of flowers that are red at the tip, fading to yellow at the base, so that it truly resembles its name.

Adding height

Flower shrubs and sub-shrubs are another way to add color. Lavender can thrive almost anywhere as long as the soil is dry. This evergreen sends up purple flower spikes in early summer, with a second show sometimes occurring in late summer. Daylilies are another good option. Most varieties are yellow, although there are some red varieties, too. They bloom almost all summer. Watering can lead to increased flower production, but it’s not necessary. Another option with deep purple flower spikes is sage. This grows especially well in desert climates.

If you want even more height, perhaps as a hedge, consider serviceberries. These flowering trees feature white blooms in spring and edible berries in late summer.

Contact a landscaper in your area that focuses on xeriscaping. They can help you pick out the best blooms for your low water needs.  

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July 2016
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