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Why Gardening and Landscaping are Excellent Hobby Choices

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06/06/2020
garden gloves and a pruner

As someone living in an increasingly fast-paced society, you would often find yourself desiring for a break and seeking refuge in leisure activities. Most people turn to hobbies as their coping mechanism for stress and anxiety since hobbies bring back pleasure and relaxation to a busy life. Such recreational activities include escaping to nature, unleashing creativity, and doing something you’re passionate about. 

So what better way to relax than to combine these three all together? More than being professional activities, landscaping and gardening are also leisure activities that you can try. 

By engaging yourself with the plants and flowers conveniently found at your yard, not only can you spark the lost passion you have but also do something fruitful, figuratively and literally! Here are some of the reasons why gardening and landscaping are excellent hobby choices.

Relaxing and de-stressing activities

Gardening and landscaping are excellent ways to unwind and rest after a tiring and busy day. Basking yourself in green spaces is good for both your body and mind because you get to inhale fresh air and receive sunshine. These activities are also therapeutic because they can boost your mood and mental health. 

Getting yourself occupied with gardening and landscaping is also an excellent coping strategy to combat depression and relieve anxiety. Working on your landscape and getting in touch with nature can give you a sense of achievement as well as a break from all of your problems. 

Keeps body healthy

Developing and maintaining your garden and landscape are activities that require physical exertion and effort. When you water plants, lift and transfer containers, pull weeds, rake your yard, or manoeuvre your gardening tools, you are exercising your body and working out your muscles, making you fitter and healthier. 

Working on your garden early in the morning can also provide your body with the immune-boosting vitamin D it needs. There is also a kind of bacteria found in soil that releases the hormone serotonin which can improve your immune system. Additionally, gardening and landscaping are also excellent hobbies especially for old-aged people because these activities can reduce the risk of dementia and frail bones. 

Provides a Healthier Diet

A popular saying goes “You are what you eat.” If that’s the case, then when gardening and landscaping are your hobbies, “You are what you plant because what you plant is what you eat!”

When you cultivate a vegetable or fruit garden, you would be able to incorporate more nutritious and healthy foods into your diet because they are conveniently found in your yard. Moreover, you would also appreciate more what you eat because they are products of your hard work.

Sparks creativity

Gardening and landscaping can ignite the passion and creativity in you that you never knew you have. These leisure activities entail bringing a garden to life and continuously renovating and improving its layout and design. Thus, such activities can be considered as an art because you have to carefully plan and establish your garden aesthetics so that it showcases originality and beauty. 

Increases property value

Doing your own gardening and landscaping can save you a lot of money rather than having a professional landscaper do it. Moreover, if you’re really invested in gardening and landscaping during your leisure time and you’ve accomplished a more beautiful and aesthetically pleasing external atmosphere, your hard work will pay off. Beautifying your landscape can significantly increase your property value should you decide to sell your home or mortgage it. 

Functional outdoor spaces

Aside from crafting beautiful green spaces and landscapes, gardening and landscaping can make your garden layout functional and tailored fit to your needs. Gardening on your own lets you recognise the type of plants and landcapes that your garden needs.

You can incorporate dividers or fences to prevent pets or stray animals from destroying your plants. You can also have a broader lawn in case you often host activities and celebrations or add perennial plants and automatic water sprinklers in case you are often on vacation or out of your house.

Conclusion

You can enjoy these full benefits of gardening and landscaping leisurely if they are really your passion. Moreover, gardening and landscaping is only fun and relaxing if they are done in small scales such as in a small front yard or backyard. This is because your garden plants and hardscapes require regular maintenance and thorough care. 

Worry not if gardening and landscaping aren’t one of your hobby options or if your yard is too big to manage for fun. You could always go back to professional gardening and landscaping services to have that wonderful garden space of your dreams. 

NS Landscaping is your trusted and reliable company when it comes to expert local gardening and tree services in Sydney. With over 30 years of experience in the field, we guarantee you that you can enjoy more benefits when you entrust your garden with us. 

Feel free to call us at 0412 614 133 or send us your enquiries at nstreegarden@gmail.com.

What Are Foundation Plantings?

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If you’re not new to the landscaping terms and phrases, you might know foundation plantings. Otherwise, foundation plantings are the plants found in the foundations of your home. Some of the areas that you can commonly find foundation plants in are beside the main entrance door, under windows and ledges. These types of plants surround the borders of your house. As such, when you go to some homes, they’re the first thing you notice.

It can be a bit tricky to choose the right kind of foundation plantings that will benefit your homes. Do you think a bush can outlast different kinds of seasons? Do you want more space in your front lawn but at the same time have some flower beds integrated into its space? Choosing the right kind of foundation plant can either make or break your home’s welcome. Make sure to choose the right one so that you have a good welcoming landscape.

There are plenty of types of foundation plantings to choose from. Pick the right ones that will suit your environment and taste. You also need to consider the maximum heights these plants will grow into. You don’t want your entrances and windows being covered by these plants at a fast rate. Here are some information to give you some ideas on your journey to building your very first foundation plantings:

Low Growing Shrubs

Low growing shrubs are the shrubs that don’t grow as tall as some hedges and trees around your homes. They typically look like shrubs or bushes that are just above the earth and provide good airflow when spaced properly from foundations. Some of these low growing shrubs can be perfect if you don’t want foundation plantings that may cause overcrowding fast. You can choose from yews to junipers and hollies.

Evergreen Shrubs

If you’re more concerned about shade and sunlight settings in your homes, evergreen shrubs are perfect for you. They are suitable for partial lighting and shade and still grow as beautiful as ever. You don’t always need to worry about your evergreen shrub dying out. These foundation plants can last all year long. 

Choose any from the following: Andromeda, Inkberry, Wax Myrtle and many more.

Ground Covers

If you’re looking up to mix up your foundations at home, ground covers are pretty good in being flexible. They can survive in darker areas and sunnier areas. They add a bit of spice if you already have an otherwise very green theme in your front lawn. They don’t grow very tall to the point where they’re difficult to maintain. As such, here are some ground overs that you can find will suit your style in landscaping: Ivy, Periwinkle and Creeping Juniper.

Perennials

As simply put, perennials are plants that last more than 2 years. These are also plants that can last in all seasons depending on the maintenance and care. If you’re worried about keeping your house surroundings even more beautiful in the winter, invest in good perennials. These are some perennials that you can work within your front lawns and surrounding areas: Catmint, Cornflower and Ferns.

Ornamental Trees

If you’re more into trees, it might be a challenge to integrate it into your home’s foundation. As such, you can choose small ornamental trees to keep your look. These trees don’t grow as tall. You can have them planted in a corner to house-in the edges. Plant them a bit farther enough to make sure that roots don’t destroy the ground near your house. These are some ornamental trees for you: Dogwood, Star Magnolia and Serviceberry.

Conclusion

We are NS Landscapes and we are your local landscaping help around. We provide landscaping services and can give you the most beautifully arranged foundation plantings in your home. Do you want to spice up the surrounding spaces of your homes? Work with us in making your green thumb dreams come to life. Don’t hesitate to contact us.

Call us at 0412 614 133 or send us your enquiries here: nstreegarden@gmail.com

Sustainable Gardening Ideas

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Most people who have space in their backyards love putting up gardens. With a garden, you can plant anything you would like. If you love flowers, you can fill the space up with as many roses and lilies as you want. If you love fruits, you can plant as many different fruits as you want. 

Over the past few years, a trend has been coming up. The trend is sustainable gardening. It basically involves using as little resources as possible to reap a lot of harvests. Most of the time, sustainable gardening involves the use of natural resources only. Some people have no idea how to garden sustainably.

gardening

So here we are going to give you a few tips on sustainable gardening.

1) Using Compost Manure

One of the top sustainable gardening tips is using compost manure to help fertilize the soil. This is because making a compost heap only requires the use of waste products. You can use food waste, kitchen refuse, and tree leaves. Grass cuttings and any other bio-degradable waste can also be used to make compost. Such heaps are rich in nutrients; that is why they are vital in fertilizing the soil. 

After using compost manure in your garden, you will harvest healthy and tasty produce.

2) Say No to Herbicides

Sustainable gardening is all about using organic methods. That is why on the road to sustainable gardening, you have to say no to herbicides. It is no secret that herbicides are essential in dealing with weed. In as much as this is true, there are other natural ways of dealing with this menace.

For instance, to get rid of weeds, you can pull them out using your hands. Not only is this process good for the environment, but it also helps you exercise your muscles. You can also pour boiling water on the weeds. This method is best for weeds coming up on your garden paths. You do not have to worry about burning your plants because the water cools as it runs off the path.

 3) Mulching

Another sustainable gardening technique is mulching. Mulching is basically a method of applying a material to the surface of the soil. The material applied can be anything. In most cases, people use dried grass. Mulching comes with numerous benefits. 

One of these benefits is that it prevents the soil from drying out. Mulching also helps in preventing soil erosion. When the mulch decomposes, it adds nutrients to the soil. Let us not forget the fact that applying mulch helps in suppressing weeds.

4) Using Beneficial Insects

Beneficial insects play a vital role in sustainable gardening. You can easily get rid of numerous pests using these beneficial insects. A good example of a beneficial insect in the garden is a ladybug. It may look amazing on the outside but is also ruthless to pests. It is known for eating aphids. 

Furthermore, with a beetle ladybug, in your garden, caterpillars are taken care of. This is because the beetle ladybug is known to feed on caterpillars.

5) Conserve Water Resources

Sustainable gardeners are keen on matters relating to water conservation. This is because they know how important water is to the growth and development of plants. One way of conserving water is by collecting rainwater through gutters. You can then direct the water into rain barrels for storage. This water is then used in watering the plants in the garden. 

The goal of this is to conserve the water you already have in your pipes. That is why you need to use natural sources whenever possible. In areas where rain is scarce, you can irrigate the plants. 

Direct watering tools also be employed in areas with little rainfall. A good example of a direct watering tool is the watering can.

Conclusion

If you have always been wishing to be a sustainable gardener well, it is not very difficult. You just need to stick to two or three things, and you are good to go. One of the things you need to do is conserve water and take advantage of natural sources like rain. 

Using beneficial insects to take care of pests is also a form of sustainable gardening. Mulching and using compost manure are also sustainable ways of gardening. Furthermore, try as much as possible to avoid using herbicides to take care of weeds. You can just pour boiling water on them or pull them out. 

If you need professional help with this contact NS Landscapes. We are known to give exemplary services to our clients. You can reach us on 0412 614 133.

 

How to Grow a Pet-Friendly Garden

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Are you planning to own a pet soon? Or maybe you already have a cat or a dog or both. Do they enjoy the garden or are they always hiding and shying away from playing in the garden? A friendly garden is one that has plants or other objects that a pet can use as either shelter or for fun. To ensure your pets are not always hurt when they play outside, you should prepare your garden to ensure they are comfortable. Growing and maintaining a garden that will comfortably host your pet is not as costly or hard as you would think it to be. In this article, we will explore ways on how you can grow a pet friendly garden.

family with a dog in the garden

Grow pet friendly plants

While considering the type of plants that you will have in your garden, first ensure they are safe for your pets. There are toxic plants, such as hellebore, which are poisonous if the pets eat them. Also, avoid thorny plants that may harm your plant. Most pets, for instance dogs and cats, love digging. Therefore, to ensure the animals do not dig your garden, plant a pet safe covers such as perennials which grow close to each other, thyme and succulents. To keep the pets off your kitchen garden or herbs, plants a fence round the garden. Most pets will not go through plantings. You can create a paths with stones for the pets to follow.

Create a shade area

Just like a human being, after playing for a while, pets would love a place they can sit and relax in the shade especially during the summer season. In the garden, you can create a shade area for your pet, or plant trees that are tall enough to provide shade for the pet. To keep fleas and flies away from the pet as it is enjoying its down time, you can plant herbs such as tansy near the shady retreat area. You should also keep water bowls near the shade area or under every tap in the garden so that the pets have access to fresh drinking water.

Toilet area

Cleaning a messy garden filled with your pet’s waste is not ideal. Therefore, set aside a toilet area for the pet in the garden. It may be hard to train them at first, but once they learn you are good to go. It is easier to train the pets when they are young compared to older pets. To avoid having yellow patches in your garden caused by the pet’s urine, you can add mineralised salt to their drinking water.

Use pet friendly chemicals

Once you have a pet living in your compound, you should consider to reduce the use of pesticides. There are many incidences of pets eating crawling animals that have been sprayed with pesticides. If you really need to fumigate the garden, isolate the pet first to avoid accidents and put them back in the garden until the chemicals on the weeds are dry.

Put up a fence

A garden with a fence is a safe environment for pets. If you are keeping a dog, ensure the fence is at least 1.8 meters high. This will ensure your dog does not jump over the fence and leave the compound. A garden with a fence will also ensure there are no intruders keeping the pet safe. When putting up a fence, avoid leaving spaces between the fence and the ground, since some pets can dig their way out. Ensure you do not leave big spaces in the fence since most pets can squeeze their way out.

Growing and maintaining a pet friendly environment is an easy task that you can do by yourself. However, it may also require an expertise in landscaping to help you design, recommend pet friendly crops, pathways and the type of fence so as to keep your pet safe. If you need professional landscaping in your garden, contact NS Landscapes to do the work for you. With a vast knowledge and many years of experience, the team will help you to grow a pet friendly environment in your garden.

Call to make a booking on 0412 614 133 or visit the website for more information.

Garden Edging: What is it and Why Your Garden Needs it

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Garden edging is a true gem and the best-kept secret for those who love to bring out the best aesthetic value in their gardens. Simply put, garden edging is a border that helps create visual interest by separating one segment of your garden from the next or the greenery from the driveway. This helps to create well-defined and elegant standout spaces that don’t shift in case of any ground movement.

The best part is that you can choose from contemporary and smooth to classic and bevelled garden edges that will add a chic appearance to your garden. Apart from the ornamental aspect, garden edging provides a practical border that helps to stop weeds from encroaching into your garden. At the same time, the edge will prevent your garden flowers from encroaching into adjacent lawns.

Garden Edging Materials

NS Landscapes can help you to create a clean and crisp line between your flower beds and adjacent areas. If you need to define a flower border or establish a transition from a patio that extends to the surrounding flower garden then NS Landscapes can help you achieve exactly what you want. The best part is that we use gardening materials that will not only emphasise the lines of your garden beds but also lead the eye to the adjacent garden focal point.

Now that you know what garden edging is, what kind of materials can you use to bring out the best in your garden? Well, there are numerous materials used in garden edging. Functionality is one aspect that can help you establish the type of materials suitable for your garden edging.

For instance, if you want to divide your garden or a lawn then you can use a trenched edge. On the other hand, if you want to create a mulch capture then you can use gardening edge material that will rise at least 2 inches above the base of your garden. Here is the best part when it comes to garden edging materials. If the sole purpose is basically aesthetic then you can let your imagination run free.

brick garden edging

The most commonly used materials include:

  • Bricks

You can easily lay bricks to produce varied effects. For instance, when you lay bricks diagonally or vertically you create a classic, Victorian-style edging that is appropriate for cottage or formal style gardens. If you want to create a contemporary look then you can lay bricks in a flat manner placed end-to-end or edge-to-edge.

  • Precast edging

Precast edging that is manufactured from concrete is readily available and easy to install. The reason why precast edging is gaining popularity is that they are cast in various forms and come in different colours.

  • Stones

You can use natural stones for edging your garden beds. Natural stones when properly installed can produce stunning edges in your garden. Also, you can either use them in their natural uncut form or trim and lay them in the same way as precast concrete edges.

  • Timber

If you are looking for inexpensive garden edging material then you might want to consider timber edges. Timber also require minimal maintenance. The only downside of using timber for your garden edges is that they are difficult to properly install in curved edges or in slopes.

  • Plastic or metal

Plastic and metals can be used to produce clean and truly attractive edges. Plastic edges come in the form of rolls or strips and are ideal for edging in a garden that has numerous curves or corners.

Why you need garden edging

Taking care of your garden edges is as important as taking care of your garden beds. Neglecting the edges of your garden may compromise the overall look of your garden. Here are the reasons why you need garden edging.

  • To partition one portion of your garden from the next

There is no better way to partition your garden and flower beds than with garden edging. When partitioning your garden beds choose garden edging materials that will complement your flowers or grass. You can arrange bricks to achieve a classic or contemporary look.

  • Restrict the spread of weeds into your garden beds

Weeds are simply a nuisance and tend to choke your flowers by depriving them of nutrients and water. Moreover, weeds may introduce and spread disease and pests in your garden. Garden edging blocks weeds by creating a barrier.

  • Increase the aesthetic appeal on your garden

If you want to enhance the curb appeal or simply want to make your garden standout then garden edging is a guaranteed way to boost the aesthetic value of your yard. Professionally done garden edging can enhance the value of your property by several thousand dollars.

  • Separate a paved area from the garden beds

Garden edging is the most preferred method of separating a paved area from the garden beds. Bricks, wood, metals, and plastics are ideal to separate a paved region from garden bed because they help to hold soil intact. This will enhance the durability of the pavement while providing a clean cut edge along the paved paths.

NS Landscapes specialises on creating razor-sharp and most elegant garden edgings. Our landscaping services are simply unmatched in the Northern suburbs. We are meticulous to details so as to bring out the best of your property. The greatest thing about garden edging is that you can use readily available material such as wood and natural stones to create a splendid look in your garden.

Call the professionals to get the garden edging you’ve always wanted. NS Landscapes will help you achieve your dream gardening and landscaping needs on a budget. Reach out to us on 0412 614 133 for a free quotation for your garden edging.

Top 7 Tips on Improving the Look of your Garden

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Are you tired of looking at your drab patch of lawn or sad and wilted garden?

When you have a busy lifestyle it can be difficult to find the time to care for your garden, and before long things can get out of control. However, the good news is, improving the look of your garden can actually be very simple. Whilst we always recommend using a professional gardening company to keep your garden in the best possible shape, should you choose to go it alone, find below some useful tips!

That’s why we have compiled these 7 handy tips for sprucing up your shrubbery:

1) Think about textures

Rather than just planting pretty flowers, think about adding some texture to your garden. Leaves and shrubs with interesting patterns can add some visual variety and are often very hearty plants that look good year round.

2) Utilise pots

Garden beds are great, but it can also be really aesthetically pleasing to plant small trees and shrubs in pots. You can choose pots that express your unique garden styling and can dress up any courtyard or backyard space.

3) Fresh lawn

A garden is only as good as its lawn. Keep your grass freshly mowed and neat to accentuate the features of your garden, and to allow space to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

4) Use vines and creepers

If you are going for a green and luscious look, try planting vines or creepers along your fence lines. This will create your own garden wonderland seemingly separated from the outside world.

5) Furnish your space

Put in some outdoor furniture like a table and chairs, a deck chair, or a bench. This will give the effect of an outdoor room, and also gives you somewhere to sit and take in the serenity.

6) Colour is key

Choose flowers that exhibit the kind of colour palette you want your garden to exude. Think about placement and how the colours will work together over different seasons.

7) Keep a routine

Make time to care for and tend your garden every week. This might include cutting the grass, fertilising the lawn, and weeding. If you are simply too busy, enlist the help of the professionals.

This article was written in conjunction with Melbourne removalist Hire A Mover.

4 Reasons to Use Wooden Box Planters

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People mostly use wooden planters to make raised planting areas in their garden for specimen plants, shrubs and small trees. The builders use pressure treated timber to make them and that alone helps with the longevity. The wood can remain in its natural form without the need for painting but some landscapers prefer painting them so that they can perfectly match the garden scheme. Square or rectangular planters are more popular but when selecting one, you have to check whether it has a base because that will affect the sitting. Trellis or tiered backed wooden planters are ideal for climbers and trailing plants. They also provide a screen, particularly when abutted together.

Mostly, designs demand simpler assembly and some wooden planters will interlock perfectly without the need for fixings or screws. That makes them a more popular choice. More recently, raised beds have become a popular choice among people who grow vegetables. Here are some of the top reasons you should opt for wooden garden planters.

wooden planter box

1) Easier watering

When planting different plants, you will definitely need different types of soil. Therefore when using planter boxes, you will have full control of the soil and nutrients you use for growing flowers and vegetables. Keep in mind that soil is likely to dry very fast when using wooden planters than it would happen when using the traditional garden. That means you should water the garden on a regular basis and add important nutrients.

2) Mobility of the planters

Wooden garden planters are mobile. In other words, you can place them in a shaded place, patio, garden, deck or in the open shade. You will have the chance of choosing between the large planters and smaller ones. If your goal is to plant as many shrubs or trees as you can, the heavy-duty wooden boxes will be a great choice.

3) Durable

By choosing a higher quality wooden garden planter in Sydney, you will manage to use it for over three decades. After that, it will start rotting or decaying depending on the age of the wood grains. For example, redwood is a great choice for people who need a garden planter that can last for very many years.

4) Easier to maintain in the right shape

After buying the wooden garden planters or staining them to blend with the home’s exterior décor and the colour of the landscape, some individuals choose to coat their redwood boxes with a clear protective coat so that they can keep them looking new for a long time. You will manage to clean the planters after every five years as a way of clearing the old sealant, grim, and the UV surface burning. Each time you choose power washing, you will have to be careful to avoid cutting into the wood grains.

After the planters dry, you can sand the rough spots to make them smooth to touch. It is always good to coat them with stains or sealants after sanding. Transparent sealants do not hide the wood’s natural beauty, which makes them ideal for people who want to display the natural appearance of wood in their gardens. For your indoor planters, use a wax finish.

Any planter left unprotected throughout the year is likely to develop cracks associated with the expansion and contraction resulting from moisture and temperature changes. Each time you identify round edged cracks, you should take your time to sand it and make a smooth feel. After sanding, you will realise that the wooden garden planter needs to blend with the indoor furniture. Therefore, you will have to clean it and reseal it after it has dried. Dust off the surfaces after the sanding before you have applied the new coat.

By maintaining the wood planter boxes that way, the finish will start accumulating on the surface and it will not penetrate into the wood anymore after five years. The wood will have a great unfading appearance.

Wood planters come in many types of wood and you can buy them to complete your interior and outdoor furniture and fixtures such as the trellises, wood benches and fences. They will also help you prevent overheating of soil. Buy the planters made of rot-resistant timber. Another good idea would be to pain or line them with plastic to delay the rotting or decay processes. Even though the planters can last for over 50 years, nothing will last forever. If you want to plant edible plants, do not choose a planter made of pressure treated wood.

For more information, contact the experts from NS Landscapes for professional advise and landscape work in Sydney. The NS team perform more than just landscaping and specialise in home projects. These include in-ground swimming pool, tree lopping, refurbishment, gardening, hedging, patios, decking, stairways, turfing and much, much more. Contact John on 0412 614 133 for a free quote for all your all landscaping and tree jobs in Sydney.

Tree Lopping Vs Pruning

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The terms ‘lopping’ and ‘pruning’ are often used interchangeably by most people to refer to the act of cutting off bits and parts of trees. However, these two words actually have very different meanings when it comes to tree maintenance. It is, therefore, to understand what each term means if you are planning to hire an arborist or landscaper to take care of the trees on your property.

Usually, a professional arborist will explain the services they intend to offer before beginning the work. Nevertheless, making an assumption that this will happen every time often leads to disappointment. You should ensure that you understand what you are asking to be done before you seek professional assistance.

What is Tree Lopping?

professional tree lopper

Lopping refers to the indiscriminate cutting of tree branches to stubs, or lateral branches that are not large enough to assume the terminal role. The most often cited reason for lopping trees is to reduce its size.

Property owners sometimes feel that a tree has grown too big for their properties, and may and that poses a safety threat in case it falls. However, lopping is actually an ineffective way of maintaining trees and could prove costly in the long run.

Most professional arborists discourage lopping as a tree maintenance practice due to the following reasons:

  • Trees that have been lopped are actually a serious safety hazard. The epicormic shoots which emerge from the stubs of lopped trees are normally loosely attached. They are therefore prone to breaking off and may cause serious injury to people and damage to property.
  • Lopping often removes between 50 to 100 percent of a tree’s foliage. Since leaves are the food factories of trees, removing such a substantial amount of foliage from a tree can deprive it of nutrition thereby causing starvation.
  • Trees that have had their canopies lopped off are also adversely affected by harsh sunshine because they are exposed. With no foliage to protect its bark from the sun, a lopped tree will likely dry up and die eventually.
  • The act of lopping also makes a tree very vulnerable to diseases and pests. A stressed and unhealthy tree lacks sufficient chemical energy to protect itself from diseases, insects and pests.

Due to these adverse effects of lopping on trees, the practice is illegal in Sydney. This means that if you decide to lop the trees on your property and any damage occurs due to branch failure, you can be charged with negligence in a court of law. It is therefore wise to consult with the professional arbours who can advise you on the best solutions with the local council approval.

Why is Pruning is Preferred over Lopping?

pruning tree branch

Whereas lopping involves the removal of massive branches from trees, pruning usually entails selectively removing small healthy branches from trees so that new branches can grow in their place.

The process of pruning also gets rid of old, withered and broken branches, which also need to be removed. These types of branches are probably only denying the tree essential nutrients which it needs to grow big and healthy.

Pruning is highly recommended as a tree maintenance practice due to the following benefits:

  • It allows the tree to grow healthy and strong. Most pruned branches tend to grow new shoots with more foliage which provide the tree with essential nutrients.
  • The practice of pruning removes excess weight from the tree by removing branches which are old or broken and serve no purpose.
  • It helps control diseases since the affected parts of the tree are pruned off to prevent spreading to other parts.
  • It improves the overall appearance of the tree by eliminating weak branches.
  • Pruning also promotes sun exposure and air circulation which ultimately helps the tree to grow healthy.

Standard procedure and safety practices during pruning are stipulated by law. You, therefore, need to enlist the services of a qualified professional arbour since they understand all the legal processes involved in tree maintenance. You could potentially save yourself a lot of trouble just by having expert advice on tree pruning.

One final thing you need to keep in mind is that waste management is also a vital part of tree maintenance. You will likely end up with lots of leaves and dead branches from pruning the trees on your property.

If you are wondering how to maintain the trees around your property, then look no further than NS Landscapes. We are a team of professionals, with years of experience, working and maintaining on various landscape projects.

For more information about our services, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0412 614 133.

Benefits & Reasons for Retaining Walls

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Retaining walls are excellent in retaining soils in hilly or off-kilter terrain. However, these hardscaping features perform several other important functions and there are many worth-while reasons why you should put up a retaining wall. First and foremost, retaining walls are protective structures that prevent rock or soil movement in a slopy area. There are several types of retaining walls such as the cantilever walls, the gravity walls, the anchored walls, etc.

Here are the other reasons for putting up a retaining wall.

1) Minimise Soil Erosion

This is the basic functional purpose of a retaining wall. If your house is on sloping land, or there is a mound/small hill next to it, a retaining wall will help stabilise the area. Once it rains heavily, the erosion in any slopy area can be deadly. Most areas without shrubs or trees need retaining walls since every passing storm or gust of wind can pull up the soil. Erosion is largely responsible for damaging landscaping and buildings during strong winds or storms.

2) Expanded Landscaping

It is usually difficult to attractively landscape hilly or slopping properties with ridges and didges. Thankfully, a retaining wall can expand your yard’s usable space by levelling the land and tracing the ground. On top of that, these structures provide extra space for hardscapes, patios, spas, gardens, and plants. Retaining walls are extremely useful for increasing your home’s usable space, and consequently its functionality and look.

3) Prevent Flooding

During extreme weather, flooding is a real threat whether you have drainage solutions or not. A retaining wall prevents flooding by diverting flowing water away from your house. It thus helps to avert the risk of serious property damage due to flooding. The pressure exacted by water during flooding can easily cause the destruction of structures in your home.

4) Prevent Sinkholes

During heavy rains, standing water seeping through the earth slowly dissolves the stone beneath to create sinkholes. A small hole created by seeping water can grow rapidly and cause irreparable damage. Furthermore, sinkholes are serious safety hazards. Retaining walls prevent sinkholes by ensuring the flow of water. Also, these structures hold your land firmly in place preventing the rapid growth of small sinkholes.

5) Add Visual Interest

Unlike the olden days, the retaining walls of today are anything but drab. There is an array of materials you can use to construct a retaining wall. Different materials come in different shades and finishes. Some of the most common materials for training walls brick, concrete, and stone. Retaining wall can spotlight your landscape’s features when placed properly.

edge wall

Benefits of retaining walls

If you consider the reasons mentioned above, it is easy to derive the benefits of retaining walls. However, it goes deeper than that since there are different kinds of retaining walls. Apart from the obvious benefits that include aesthetics, erosion control, and flood prevention, here are other retaining wall benefits you ought to know:

  • Increasing property value – If you’re looking to sell your home or building, retaining walls can help to increase the value thanks to enhanced aesthetics and functionality.
  • Ease of installation – It is easier to install a retaining wall compared to other soil erosion prevention methods.
  • Save money during construction – A concrete building under construction is at a higher risk of distraction due to soil erosion or flooding. It is because it takes time for the concrete to settle, making the structure firm. During construction, a retaining wall will help avert possible disasters that can lead to huge losses on site.
  • A variety of applications – You can install retaining walls in very many areas including commercial buildings, recreation facilities/ parks, highway roadways/ bridges, private and residential developments, plus industrial areas. Retaining walls are also usable as fences, screen walls, and sound walls.
  • Durability and low maintenance – Once you construct a retaining wall, you don’t have to incur any extra costs to keep it up as it will stand firmly by itself. Also, you don’t need to undertake any maintenance after installing a retaining wall. Most of these walls consist of natural materials that withstand extreme weather conditions.

Retaining walls utilised properly are extremely beneficial especially if the area is hilly or slopy. You can use retaining walls to increase the security and appearance of your property. Remember, it is a relatively low-cost installation that comes with so many other advantages. NS Landscapes are your qualified Sydney Landscapers that are experienced in dealing with all things landscapes. Whether it will be your gardening, retaining wall or your pavement, we provide a tailored service that simply cannot be matched.

Call us today on 0412 614 133 for a free quote for your landscaping today!

Concrete Sleepers or Timber Retaining Walls?

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If you need a retaining wall but not sure what should you select? Should you go for timber or concrete? No one will provide you with an exact answer to this question considering that everyone has different tastes and preferences. Therefore, you will have to consider the two forms of retaining walls and select what matches the needs of your home. To make a better choice, consider the following comparison.

Concrete sleeper retaining walls

The concrete retaining walls are not just bland concrete blocks that do nothing to improve the look of your home. The modern market is offering moulded concrete retaining walls that are stylish, and which will enhance the look of your home. You can furnish the concrete retaining walls if you want. They take textured or smooth appearance and form will create a striking appearance in your garden.

multilevel wall

Timber retaining walls

Timber retaining walls are the most popular possibly due to their appearance. The retaining walls can last for a long time, but only if the user treats them properly. Even though pine retaining walls have stood as the most popular for a long time, you can still go for the hardwood and timber sleepers walls. The retaining walls can be complex or simple. They can feature standing pieces and cap or come as a simple design without ornamentation apart from the natural look of the used timber.

Even though timber might not last for a long time as concrete does, it comes with a natural appearance that will perfectly fit your back or front yard. If professionally treated and installed, timber will last for very many years and will enhance the appearance of your yards. When it comes to longevity, most timber sleepers will last for 15-20 years and you will have to replace them after that.

plywood wall

Choosing between concrete sleepers and timber retaining walls

The first thing to consider when selecting the retaining wall is the visual appeal. And before you choose between wood and timber, you will have to consider the longevity of each. Timber is beautiful, but you should be ready to replace it after 15-20 years. Moreover, some timber sleepers might hold back more soil than others might do.

Concrete retaining walls will outlast any kind of timber retaining walls. The freshly moulded concrete bricks will not need any mortar and a professional builder will install them within a short time. Concrete sleepers retaining walls are considered decorative and are not a good choice for the tall walls, particularly those that hold back a lot of soil. Nevertheless, the sleepers will work great on any wall and offer natural stone appearance. If your goal is to hold back a lot of soil over a higher height, you can install them in steps. Use the steps for plants – they will look better than the tall retaining walls.

At the end of the day, you will be the person to make a decision. Both concrete and timber retaining walls will enhance the appearance of your home; therefore consider the available designs before you select any.

Installation of the retaining walls

Do not try to complete the retaining wall project the DIY way. However, if you would still want to proceed, you can build a wall that is below one meter without the local council’s permission. In some areas, the limit is 600-800 mm. Depending on your location, if the height is beyond the maximum allowed height, you will need the services of a structural engineer for the designing part. Some other applicable regulations include:

  • No water should be directed towards the neighbouring properties
  • A retaining wall should be at least one meter from the sewer or easement or the water main
  • The wall has to be more than 50 meters from the natural water bodies
  • The wall cannot be less than 90 cm from the boundary

The regulations might vary from one local council to the other. Therefore, before you start building a retaining wall, contact them to know what you can do or cannot do. For the construction approval, you will have to lodge the application letter, engage a structural engineer, architect or drafter to draw the plan and hire a building certifier to check the work periodically and ensure that it is built to specifications.

A properly built retaining wall will last for many years. If poorly built, the retaining wall can collapse at any time and cause property damages or severe injuries. Do not try to build a retaining wall the DIY way if it is beyond the allowed height.

Contact the landscaping professionals from NS Landscapes to provide you with the ultimate retaining walls that are tailor-made to suit your home perfectly.