In Search of the Best Gardening Tools

toolsDifferent kinds of gardens require different kinds of garden tools. Hardware stores mostly cater for a wide range of tools, but there are shops that specialize in the more expensive kind of garden tool that shouts quality. Wherever you decide to shop, here are a few pointers to advise you.

Do you have small garden or a large one? A small garden will not require the same large equipment that would be of use in an extensive one. A ride-on mower is unnecessary if you only have a small strip of lawn. Another point to consider is who does most of the gardening? Some tools are too heavy for use by women.

When you buy secateurs make sure the blade always stays sharp to avoid damaging the plant. Look for models that have blades that can be sharpened or replaced, models with tension control and with sizes that best fit your hands. Secateurs usually cost around $50 – $130.

Hedge trimmers or shears are handy – but only if you have a hedge, or plan on growing one.  Some hedge trimmers have curved blades to stop branches from sliding out when cut.

Forks are used for turning and aerating compost and breaking up lumps of soil. The cheaper ones are often not strong enough for heavy soil, so go for sturdiness instead of price. Forks usually cost around $30 – $100.

A shovel has a scoop blade and is best used to move around dirt and garden soil. A spade has a flat blade great for cutting edges, digging and dividing plants. The edge of a spade should be kept sharpened for clean and efficient cutting will cause the least amount of damage to plants. These are a basic garden necessity and usually cost from $30 – $50.

A pruning saw is used for pruning trees and larger shrubs, while secateurs are for plants like roses. Pruning saws have a narrow curved blade that fits between stems or branches and easily and cuts them as you pull the saw backwards. They are approximately $27- $55.

A chipping hoe is a handy tool for getting rid of small weeds. The Dutch or push-hoe is slightly more user-friendly as the action required to use it does not jar the neck and shoulder quite so much.

A rake is also a basic requirement for the garden. The strong rake with the flat head and sharp metal prongs is used for smoothing a garden bed and getting out the last of the bumps and weeds. The plastic rake is used to gather leaves and grass clippings only.

Gardening tools don’t have to be expensive. Flea markets and garage sales can be excellent places to pick up great tool bargain.

Planning For Desert Landscaping

desertIf you live in a dry and arid climate then your desert landscaping is going to take a little more planning than some other parts of the country. desert landscaping will have to work with a plan that includes only plants and trees that can survive with much less water than some other plants. There is no point in planting something if it can not sustain itself afterwards. So take some time with your desert landscaping plan and make sure that you have done everything suited to the climate.

You could spend the money to get better irrigation put in but the money will be great and the time will be all consuming. It is much simpler for your desert landscaping plan to just include plants that will thrive even in the hot sun all day.

What makes using desert landscaping friendly plants so great is that not only will these plants do well even in the hot sun they will also be able to thrive in poor quality soil. This is a much needed quality because places that have so much sun tend to have poor soil as well. So in essence you are killing two birds with one stone as they say.

Here are some wonderful plants that you can use in your desert landscaping:

Longwood Blue bluebeard

This is a shrub, it is deciduous and it will grow back each and every spring. It will always come back healthy and happy and this makes it perfect for desert landscaping. It is not a tiny shrub, it will grow to be anywhere between 3 and 4 feet high with a width of about 2 feet. This is a lovely plant to use in your desert landscaping as it is not only beautiful with its pretty blue flower clusters and silver foliage, it is also very fragrant.

Autumn Joy

This is a wonderful perennial that you can plant for your desert landscaping. With this choice you will have great leaves in pretty whorls. These leaves can be any number of different colors and can be bought to go with any desert landscaping design. This plant is the ultimate for desert landscaping because it can grow in rock gardens with ease. This lovely desert landscaping plant also has a unique and interesting flower unlike any other I have ever seen. These small flowers grow in clusters and they can be a few different colors and shades. The most common are yellow, orange and red and pink. If you plant these in your garden you will have butterflies around all of the time and they make for lovely entertainment on their own.

Concrete Landscaping Can Add So Much To Your Yard

concreteTo hear the word concrete you may not think that it would be something to want in your yard but in fact, concrete landscaping has come along way in the last 10 years or so. Now concrete landscaping is all the rage and it is very pretty too.

You can use concrete landscaping for many different parts of your yard. Most people use concrete landscaping ideas and designs for the walkways and paths that wind through their gardens. This is more for those with larger yards but even if your yard is small it could do with some concrete landscaping. You could put down a lively patio that you and your friends could it at to have drinks or tea. There is nothing more fun than a little party out on the patio on a nice day.

Stone walls are another form of concrete landscaping that has really caught on like wildfire. Walls are what will frame the whole home. They are the gorgeous and steely frame to the glorious painting that is your front and back yard. There are many other reasons to have concrete landscaping such as walls as well. These walls are perfect for keeping your pet in the yard. If you have a dog that is prone to run away then look into this kind of concrete landscaping. These walls are also very good for keeping intruders out. The harder your home is to get into the less likely burglars will be to bother trying. So look into this type of concrete landscaping today and talk to a professional about it.

You can also use concrete landscaping to keep your soil in place. If there is a part of your yard that is prone to slipping then you can build a retention wall expressly for this purpose. The best thing about concrete landscaping is that while it can be functional you can make it look as if it is just there for looks. There is so much that you can do with concrete landscaping because concrete is so easy to work with. You can use concrete landscaping bricks or you can use whole solid slabs. You can even get custom made concrete landscaping stones that are in unique and creative shapes and patters. Take some time and see what all is out there in terms of concrete landscaping, you might just be surprised.