Thursday, June 25, 2015

Creative Control: Unique Fences that Combine Form and Function

Texas inspired fence in Houston's Old 6th Ward
Whether you are trying to contain a pet, give your backyard paradise a little bit of privacy or keep the neighborhood dog from digging up your daisies, good fences make good neighbors.
Here are a few creative fence ideas that combine form and function:
Recycled Fun -- From skis to surfboards, windows to wine bottles,almost anything can be recycled or upcycled to create a beautiful boundary to your property. Choose a material that reflects your passions!
Living Walls -- If it's meant to contain your plants, why not make your fence part of the garden by building a fence that doubles as a living wall? It's easy -- all you have to do is fill your fence with your favorite herbs or succulents.

Fence with a Pet Portal -- What better way to keep man's best friend busy in the backyard than with a window to the outside world? Check out this fence with a view.
Work of Art -- Why not turn your fence into an extension of your interior design? From quirky to elegant, these fences truly are an expression of the homeowners.
Heightened Hedges -- Get creative with your hedge design by shaping your trees into quirky geometric or animal shapes. Almost any tree or bush can be used as a hedge, but these varieties withstand trimming the best.
Houston Design Inspiration -- From white picket to whimsical, take a stroll Houston’s historic neighborhoods like the Heights and the Old Sixth Ward on the edge of downtown.  

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Container Gardens: How to Create a Rooftop or Patio Garden

Create a Garden Paradise
Urban living doesn't mean you can't create a gardener's paradise. Spectacular gardens can grow in unexpected places. Here are a few tips on how to create a rooftop or patio garden.
Check Zoning Rules -- Before you start, consult your local zoning bylaws, municipal building requirements and your HOA (if you have one). Adding a rooftop or patio garden may require reinforcing the structure and possibly a permit.
Plan Your Space -- Decide how you intend to use the space. Are you trying to enhance the view from the inside or do you want an outdoor space for relaxing or entertaining? Once you map out the main design elements, you can plan your container garden around them.
Consider Weight -- Keep containers lightweight by using soilless potting mixes, planter inserts or lightweight containers, especially if you plan on growing plants that require a lot of water.
Choose Sturdy Plants -- Pick plants that can handle the elements. Compact shrubs and hardy perennials that are ideal for container gardening include boxwood, cedar, euonymus, ferns, grasses, lavender, yews, dwarf conifers and succulents.
Think Safe and Secure -- Consider adding walls or a lattice structure to provide a safety barrier and protect plants from wind damage. It's also a good idea to secure planters to keep them from toppling over.
Raise Planters -- Protect your rooftop or patio from rot and water damage by placing planters on bases or feet to prevent water from pooling underneath. Raising planters also allows for air circulation to the roots, encouraging stronger root development.
Water Regularly -- Remember that container gardens are more susceptible to drying out so use moisture-retaining gel grains or mulch to lessen evaporation, or consider installing a drip irrigation system.