Drawing A Map Of Your Existing Site

With the rough sketch of your property drawn and accurate figures gathered (see pages 38-39), you are well on the way to redesigning your yard's landscape. Now, go back inside and turn the rough sketch of your yard into a detailed, drawn-to-scale map. The sooner you do this, the fewer trips you'll have to make back out to recheck any measurements. This base plan will give you a good picture of your yard as a whole. A drawing board and T square will make the job easier, but they aren't...

Building Arbors

If you're looking for a leafy way to put a special part of your yard in the shade, why not construct an arbor and drape it with a gracious canopy of vining plants To give you an idea of the variety of shapes an arbor can take, we built two. Our teahouse version at right goes together like a miniature barn, complete with roof trusses the much simpler structure shown on the opposite page consists of just two posts topped off with a 2-foot-wide slatted sunshade. Add a bench or two to the teahouse,...

Shapes and materials

Swimming pools today come in just about any shape, from free-form to kidney, oval, L, and coffin. Rectangular is the most economical. Your site selection and choice of pool material may help decide your pool shape. Fiberglass pools perhaps the least expensive are limited to preformed shapes. So are vinyl-lined pools. Gunite or concrete pools can be built in any shape and generally are more durable. Knowing how you'll use the pool will help determine its shape, too. Lap pools should be long and...

Building Retaining Walls

Level Slope With Landscape Timbers

1 Lay out the wall intb slakes and siring. 1 then dig a sballou trench, cutting its back side at a slight angle to the slope. For drainage, lay about art inch of gravel in the trench. Our tcall will turn a corner, but the same techniques apply to straight if alls. 2 Lay your longest stones on the bottom the fewer the joints in the first layer, the less frost will heave it. As you lay stones, level them as best you can by tapping with the handle end of a sledge. To prevent possible injury, use...

Getting started

Level Plywood Board

A sturdy deck begins with a sound plan and high-quality lumber. After you've sketched out the platform you'd like to build, consult the span table on page 185 to determine the dimensions and amounts of lumber and other components you will need, adding 10 percent for waste. Then refer to the descriptions of deck materials on pages 184-185 to decide what kind of wood to use for your deck. As you select lumber at the yard or as it comes off the truck, examine each piece and reject any that are...

Building Sheds

How Build Your Own Fibreglass Shed

Constructing a shed is much like building a very small house. You sink support posts into concrete footings, build a platform floor, put up wall studs and rafters, then close it all in with siding and roofing. Once the concrete has cured, the carpentry can be accomplished in a weekend or two, depending on your level of skill and the complexity of the structure you've chosen to tackle. For tools you'll need a hammer, portable circular saw, hand- or jigsaw, drill driver, combination square, and...

Consider costs

You probably have been gauging costs instinctively during the planning stages. Now it is time to work up specific figures. Real-estate agents consider it reasonable to spend 10 to 15 percent of the cost of the house and lot on landscaping, not including such large improvements as pools and patio roofs. If you keep your landscaping costs in this range, most of the expense is likely to boost the value of your property. Some of the work, too, will immediately or eventually reduce the costs of...

Selecting materials

Pages 184-185 present your materials options. No law says you must use the same grade or species of wood throughout a project. For economy, we used pressure-treated lumber for all the structural members of our raised deck. For appearance' sake, we used redwood for the decking, skirting, railings, and stairs. Finish your raised deck by laying polyethylene underneath and topping it with gravel. Add wood or plastic edging to hold the rock in place. First, test-assemble your deck seepage 17.3 JL...

Moving earth

All but very major regrading can be accomplished with a pick, shovel, rake, wheelbarrow, and other simple hand tools. To make the job easier, consider renting equipment such as a power tiller to break up the soil or a front-end-loading garden tractor to push it around. If you decide to do the job the old-fashioned way and give your body a modern-day workout , plan short sessions of digging and hauling. Spread them out over several weekends, if need be. Dig when soil is slightly moist, neither...

Creating Water Gardens

Plant your water garden after the weather warms in spring. You can plant in bottom mud, but containers allow flexibility in depth and position and make cleaning easier. Use a mix of garden loam and aquatic plant fertilizer. Do not use swamp muck, compost, peat moss, or dry manure. First, add submerged oxygenating plants water milfoil, waterweed, underwater grasses. Fill several 5-inch pots or shallow containers with soil, topping off the uppermost inch with sand. Root several oxygenators per...

Controlling Insects

Ey to controlling the people-stinging pests and plant-eating bugs that can waste a landscape if their numbers grow too large is to accept that insects are a part of nature. If you appreciate and protect the good ones while working to outwit the undesirable ones, you'll preserve both peace of mind and an ecological balance. Many insects are great garden friends. Ladybugs and lacewings gobble up aphids and mealybugs. Ground, or carabid, beetles hide under stones and eat caterpillars and slugs....

Exposing aggregate

Exposed Aggregate Concrete

To achieve the rustic, skidproof texture of an exposed-aggregate walk, use one of two methods. You can either pour concrete with the aggregate mixed in it, then, after the concrete begins to set, scrub some of it away. This is the method we used at right. Or, you can seed aggregate on top of a just-poured slab, screed the stone into the concrete, and then scrub. Masonry dealers offer a variety of aggregates that vary by region. We used pea gravel uniform in size, but you might prefer the look...

Choosing Plants To Provide Filtered Shade

Type Deciduous Height 25-90 feet Zones 2-10 Soil Moist Comments Birches are widely planted, often in clumps, for their interesting gray, white, black, or reddish brown bark that splits and hangs like wrapping paper. The weeping birch is valued for its shape. All have early catkin blooms that herald spring and leaves that turn yellow in autumn. All are short-lived and subject to many pests. River birch needs more moisture but resists problems better. 'Heritage' is an improved cultivar. Type...

Building forms

String And Stakes

Patio slabs typically measure 4 inches thick, so construct forms with smooth, straight 2x4s, setting their tops about an inch above lawn level. Wet concrete exerts tremendous pressure, so brace forms well. If you're in doubt about whether your forms are rigid enough, drive a few extra stakes and install added braces. For proper drainage, slope your patio 1 4 inch per foot away from the house. If you want to edge your patio with wood, construct permanent forms with redwood, cedar, or...

Y

Ou've designed your landscape you've built and planted it. Now it's time to take care of your creation. Fortunately, with careful planning, you can shape a landscape that matches your ability and desire to maintain it. For the most part, you can schedule and pace the work to fit your life-style. And, if nothing else, this outdoor work gives you a great excuse for skipping other work that isn't nearly as pleasant Enjoy indoor gardening and rest. Read nursery catalogs. Order seeds and plants....

Ramp basics

Disability Concrete Ramp Footing

Safety and ease of use are the prime considerations for any ramp. Appearance, though, plays a part, too, especially for a ramp visible from the street. Regardless of the design you come up with, certain norms apply. Slope a wheelchair ramp at a rise of no more than 1 foot per 12 feet of run. This standard can make for some incredibly long ramps a total rise of 2 feet, for example, requires a total length of at least 24 feet. But a gentle grade is essential for a ramp to be useful to the people...

Wood Planks

Description Docklike strips of decking you can lay on a sand or gravel base or atop an existing masonry walk. Effect Warm, rustic, and an especially good choice if you want to extend an on-grade or raised deck out into your yard. Cost Less than brick, stone, or tile more than concrete or loose fill. Comments Use pressure-treated lumber or naturally rot-resistant redwood, cedar, or cypress. Keep out of contact with vegetation. Leave drainage spaces between boards. Construct as for on-grade deck...

Patio Plantings

Patios offer ideal conditions for plants. Typically, these areas are protected from winter winds and summer sun, and nearby structures often reflect springtime warmth and sunshine. Still, you'll want to choose what you grow near your patio carefully, because nowhere are plants more the focus of attention. Select only tidy, long-blooming plants that grow to size quickly, then stay in scale without constant pruning. Relegate plants that have a short season of interest, a season of excess...

The nittygritty

Lawns and planting beds around patios should be an inch or more below the level of the paving to allow for digging and stirring in soil amendments without having soil wash onto the paving. Planting beds above the patio level need to be held back with some sort of retaining wall. Good drainage in either case is vital. Set plantings far enough from patios so that their growth won't encroach on the paved space. To avoid cracked concrete later on, select trees with small root systems. Spiff up your...