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32 Landscaping and Gardening Jargon Terms

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Taking an interest in landscaping and would like to know more about your new hobby? Or maybe you want to work with a landscape architect and don’t understand the different sophisticated terms they throw at you.

Perhaps you would like to show off to your friends by throwing in a word or two about your new garden! Here is the ultimate guide to getting you started with your new jargon.

gardening equipment

Annual plants: The term refers to flowering plants that go through their entire life cycle in a single season. These have to be replanted annually, hence the name.
Acidity in soil: When you say the soil is acidic, it means that the pH value is less than 7.0.
Alkalinity: Used where the soil has a pH value of 8.0 and above. Among the vegetables that flourish here include celery and cabbage. This type of soil tends to be waterlogged; to lower the pH, add sulphur.
Arboriculture: Refers to the cultivation of trees and shrubs.
Arborist: Also referred to as a tree surgeon, an arborist manages, studies, and cultivates shrubs, vines, trees, among other woody plants.
Abreuvoir: This is a watering trough used as an ornament in gardens, although it was initially designed to provide a watering place for both humans and animals.
Bonsai: Originating from Japan, this is the art of growing miniaturised shrubs and trees.
Belvedere: This is a gazebo-like structure or an open gallery within a garden that emphasises a remarkable viewpoint.
Biennial: These are plants that take two years (hence the term ‘bi’) to complete their life cycle.
Corm: An organ used to store food underground in plants such as gladioli.
Cultural control: Refers to the modification of a plant’s growing environment, e.g. through cultivating resistant plants, to reduce the prevalence of pests.
Deciduous: Plants that shed at given stages in their life.
Dead-head: Removal of spent flowers which promotes more flowers to blossom.
Epiphyte: These are plants that grow harmlessly on other plants while getting both moisture and nutrients from the air around them.
Espalier: They are ornamental plants whose branches are trained to grow flat against a wall.
Fescue: Refers to a variety of grasses characterised by broad flat leaves.
Floricane: Refers to fruit-bearing plants that grow for a year before they can yield flowers or bear fruits.
Groundcover: Anything used to cover the soil ranging from gravel, woodchips, low growing plants, mulch, etc.
Grasscycling: It is the act of leaving grass clippings on the lawn after mowing, which helps return nutrients to the soil.
Humus: Decayed organic matter.
Heeling in: This refers to storing a plant temporarily with moist soil for replanting.
Inflorescence: A cluster of flowers growing on a stem.
Inorganic fertiliser: Refers to fertiliser that is chemically processed.
Lath: A wooden structure that’s evenly spaced, whose purpose is to provide either light or shade to plants.
Liming: addition of lime to the soil with the intent of reducing its acidity.
Maiden tree: Refers to a tree that’s in its first year.
Microclimate: This is the specific climate of a given area or garden. Factors such as air, water, and light are considered.
Naturalise: It is the introduction of non-native plants to a foreign environment.
Native plant: Refers to an indigenous plant to a given region.
Organic lawn care: Care for the lawn without the application of chemicals.
Parasitic plant: Plants that depend on others for their nutrition.
pH level: This is a scale running from 1 to 14 used to determine the acidity or alkalinity of the soil.

To learn more about landscaping and gardening, feel free to contact us at NS Landscapes. We have the solutions to all your gardening problems. Our seasoned designers will inform you with our unique designs, bringing life to your garden. All of our gardening works are tailored towards your budget and needs. Feel free to give us a call on 0412 614 133 and let’s discuss about your landscaping needs.

6 Reasons Why Landscape Lighting is Crucial

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In the 21st century, life doesn’t have to stop just because the sun has gone down. Especially in the spring, you may want to spend more time outside, to compensate for the long hours spent indoors during the winter.

With proper outdoor lighting, the fun can go on and on, think of it; kids playing outside, barbecuing at dusk, having an outdoor walk in your garden, the list is inexhaustible. Landscape lighting is like adding icing to your cake, and here are six reasons to illuminate your landscape.

garden lighting

1) Beauty comes alive at night

Accentuate landscape décor by having your focal points stand out.

During the day, it is easy to miss the various details and texture put in both your house and landscape. At night, however, you can play around with the lighting and accent various architectural features.

Take in this beauty; even your visitors will appreciate the effort you put in more at night than during the day.

2) Outdoor living

Lighting up your lawn helps optimise your outdoor living space for more comfort and enjoyment.

What a better way than entertaining your guests outside. You can have various DIY backyard games, enjoy some drinks, soft music while enjoying some fresh air in a safe environment. Besides, you can alter the illumination to set both the mood and ambience of your outdoor space.

3) Lighting drives out darkness

Dark corners and shadows help conceal movement around your property. Having proper lighting helps deters burglars from breaking into your home.

A prowler strolling through your neighbourhood will be less likely to move in a well-lit compound. It is written in ‘How to’ books 101. It is common sense; they are more likely to be caught sneaking in when you have lit up your landscape.

You’ll be more at peace when both you and your visitors feel safer.

4) Enhance the value of your property

Did you know that lighting of your landscape increases its kerb appeal, consequently the value of your property?

According to recent research, 49% of potential buyers rated outdoor lighting as a desirable quality they’d be looking for. The stunning impression created by landscape lighting provides an excellent return on your investment.

Through the proper placing of outdoor lighting, you can showcase great features, leaving your neighbours and passers-by gawking at your prized possession.

5) Safety

Although you may have crammed and memorised your pathways, you may miss thorny vegetation and get some scratches. Why grope around, missing some of the highlights in your garden?
Most of the injuries around your home are avoidable. With proper lighting, your guests don’t have to stumble upon steps or low hanging vegetation. They say prevention is better than cure, with good lighting, you won’t have to deal with regrets later.

Besides, lighting helps define your pathways, making a walk more enjoyable.

6) Increased functionality

Proper lighting makes other parts of your home accessible, helping you take advantage of your outdoor space. Life doesn’t have to stop after the sun goes down; unwind from the stress from work, enjoy a cool breeze, you deserve it.

Consider outdoor lighting with a dimming feature to increase functionality. For example, you can dim the lights for a romantic evening, and have them sufficiently bright when the kids are playing.

Fully utilise your patio or the deck if you have one at dusk.

A home’s beauty is only as good as its lighting. This is why it is pivotal for you to contact professionals to illuminate your home.

At NS Landscapes, we understand that your home is one of your most prized possessions. As seasoned players in the field, our experienced lighting professionals will help you see what landscape lighting can do for your outdoor space. We will customise your light to your specific landscape layout to create a stunningly glamorous look.

Contact us today on 0412 614 133, and we’ll make you the envy in your neighbourhood with our unique and exquisite designs for outdoor lighting.

How to Find a Great Landscaper

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Acknowledging the fact that you need a landscaper is a bigger milestone in achieving a beautiful yard. However, this is only the beginning. With the innumerable number of landscapers, there is more to consider.

Just like in any other form of hiring, finding an ideal landscaper is always daunting. You need to cross the arms, pen down the goals, envision the picture of the dream yard and come up with strategies that will bring your dreams into reality.

Here is a cheat list of the tips that will efficiently take you through how to find a good landscaper.

great landscaper

1) Have a picture of what you want

The first step to a high-end landscape is to understand what you want. Define the goals from various angles and perspectives. The most amazing skyscrapers you see when you walk or drive in town were once someone’s imagination. The beautiful, uniquely designed and cozy landscapes you see along the streets were once pictures in their various owners or contractor’s minds.

2) Research on the available options

You will not know the scope of your options when you don’t research. Based on references, past projects and words from past clients, come up with a list of all local contractors that are deemed fit for the work. Keep focus primarily on what you want.

3) Communicate with the contractor

Using the curated list of options, take your time and meet one company after the other. A representative can do since in most cases, the contractors are in the field. Be leery on poor communication. It is a red flag to untrustworthiness and substandard service delivery. Otherwise, when conversing, keep focus and ask only relevant questions to avoid veering off. Otherwise, apart from communication, take note of the contractor’s patience, willingness to work, level of understanding and creativity options.

4) Evaluate the company’s level of professionalism

At this level, cross your arms and evaluate the companies based on the questions that you asked during the visit. During the visitation, chances are that you met several companies or contractors. Some blooming while some are well-established. At this point, you have a wealth of options depend on the size, service area, specialties and price.

  • How long has the company been in the market?
  • Does the company belong to any professional organisation?
  • Are there any testimonials, pictures of past projects or referees?
  • Is there any guarantee options?
  • Does the company have any branch around the vicinity?

5) Engage relevant third party

Third parties here relates to the referees and past clients. The five questions should help you curate a maximum of four contractors to work consider for the next steps. You can eliminate or turn down the rest through official communication.

Using the list of the available third parties, don’t fear to talk to them. You can go the extra mile, visit them, and see with your eyes each of the company’s finished work. This step helps to solidify the level of competence, professionalism and trustworthiness.

In reality, you are not the only person making the booking. Chances are that the company you want to engage has a list of clients to deliver their services to. Ask about how regular the company’s services were and whether the beneficiaries can pride the value for their money.

6) Make the final decision

This is the last and most crucial step. It is the process to be blamed when things go south. However, that is not what you are after. To avoid the future blame game, you can include your spouse and any concerned party in the decision-making. This is the appropriate time to consider the cost of service delivery. Otherwise, the final decision should be based on all the above steps.

It is only the best contractor that will bring your landscaping dream into reality. The options thin down to individual visions and preferences. At NS Landscapes, we offer a wealth of landscaping services involving patios, retaining walls, steps and walkways, planting beds and more. Contact your friendly Sydney landscapers today on 0412 614 133 and let’s discuss about a landscaping solution for your lovely home.

Things to Consider Before Installing a Backyard Swimming Pool

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A swimming pool in any household is a primary component of its exterior beauty. It is the home’s “hot spot” where you can conveniently have memorable family fun-times and night dips. It is the place to keep memories, do exercise and achieve tranquillity at home without spending any dime.

However, in most cases, the home ground is so confined. This makes pool placement a thoughtful process that requires high-end planning. Though backyard is the most preferred scene for home pool placement, there are a lot more to think about.

swimming pool

1) Size

A backyard is an extension of the indoor living space. It is prone to high traffic. It is where the kids play. It is where the rest of the family members bask for their fair share of natural vitamin D. It is where the visitor’s kids will step their feet first without you knowing. The question is, how secure is your backyard? And, is the space large enough for pool fencing that meets the requirements by the local council?

2) Cost

Several factors define the net cost of the pool installation. It is very true that you are not after a simple and substandard DIY pool. You must engage with an experienced installer for a home pool that stands out. Having the pool as close as possible to the house will compel you to adopt classy designs with materials that compliment the house’s exterior, paths and walkways. Geometric designs work well with this, however, you must be ready to drain the pockets. Otherwise, the closer the pool is to the house, the more convenient and easier it is to watch out.

With a large-spaced backyard, there is a lot of flexibility when designing the pool. You can easily adopt the freeform designs and cut the cash corners. You can even have the extra changing room. Also, a large pool comes with a wide deck. This makes the pool the focal point of the exterior home environment. It will be an oasis of its own that can accommodate many people during a get-together party or any other joint swimming. However, large spaces are often found far away from home. By setting the pool a bit further, it can become its own destination zone out of the reach of your family members.

3) Landscape

The slope matters a lot when designing the backyard pool. It determines the drainage of the pool and the time taken for the deck to dry off. You don’t want the natural water to enter the pool since it can flood and mud the pool. Where the backyard is a slope, you will incur additional expenditure to build the retaining walls and terraces.
Naturalistic landscape works well where there is a need to build a bold, and simple pool that blends with four seasons of texture and interests. You can use it where the house is a small modern home, bungalow, and cottage.

Formal landscapes bring all the aspects of nature in the pool design. It is easy to plan. It works well with pools nearing estates and large formal homes.
The classical landscape is best in displaying the Roman elements and Greek culture in the pool design. It offers excellent performance in a rectangular pool then the naturalistic landscapes.

4) Lighting

No one hates natural light from the sun. It is what will warm you up and heat the pool waters naturally. Generally, swimming in the absence of the sun isn’t worth it. The question is, what is your backyard’s orientation to the sunlight? Are there trees that will block the sun rays from reaching your pool? Or, are there any artificial stumbling blocks? If yes, then you should consider locating the pool elsewhere.

As a homeowner, you have all reasons to install a pool in your backyard. With adequate space, ideal landscape, and the dime to cover up installation and maintenance costs, you don’t need to wait anymore. Talk to us at NS Landscapes for any query regarding landscaping, garden makeovers and more. Call us for reliable pool design and repair services at your doorstep and enjoy the best and most competitive prices ever in and around North Shore.

11 Hot Tips to Make your Small Yard Look Big

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Not every home is lucky to have a backyard that is big enough for their comfort. Small backyards are mostly accompanied by lower mortgages or rent plans. However, you do not have to worry about your small backyard looking tiny and squished. With a few landscaping work, you can make your yard look bigger and spacious. Below are tips from professional landscapers that will help to make your small yard look big.

spacious backyard

1) Get plants with big leaves for the entrance

With your small space, plant texture is an important aspect during the planning. Get plants that have large leaves, mostly tropical plants and place them at the entrance or at an area of focus that you prefer. Big leafed plants create a bigger visual interest compared to small-leafed plants. In addition, big leaves have shadows that overlap creating an illusion of depth.

2) Get fine-textured plants

Plants with small leaves have a place in your small yard too. These plants should be placed near the edges of the yard because they are visually less demanding. They create an illusion of distance and blend into the background of the yard by reflecting a lot of light.

3) Create levels

Creating levels in your small yard will increase depth that will make the yard look bigger. Levels can be created by simply elevating or creating sunken areas in the yard. You can also use a container garden to make an illusion of levels in the yard.

4) Use bright colour in the entry

Bright colours such as orange, red and yellow create a warmth that calls for attention. Having these colours on your entrance will create a focal point on the entrance making the rest of the space to fall back. You can get these colours by planting flowers that produce such bright colours.

5) Divide the yard

Dividing a yard that is already small may sound out of mind. However, creating different spaces in the yard creates more rooms hence bring forth an element of surprise. Use fountains, small walls, plants or alternate surfaces to divide the yard.

6) Use garden containers

Since small yard does have enough space to plant all the flowers or plants you would want to see growing in your backyard, use garden containers. You can plant as many plants and flowers as you would want in the containers and place them strategically in the yard. This will create an illusion of a garden as the eye looks around to enjoy the aesthetic space.

7) Use mirrors

Mirrors, as we all know can magically make a small space appear bigger. This old trick can also be used in your small yard to visually increase its size. Place the mirrors strategically in the garden to make the eye and the mind feel like space is open than it actually is.

8) Use plants to make fences

Instead of using the traditional fences to mark a border and to create privacy, use plants that grow naturally to make the yard feel less boxed in. Plants will also create beautiful foliage when you look around the yard.

9) Blend in the house with the yard

You can plant shrubs and flowers near the house so that the yard looks like it starts at the back of the house rather than walking a few steps away into the yard. Blending the yard with the house will create an illusion of continuation making the yard feel bigger.

10)Use natural light

Natural light will help to make your yard look open and airy throughout the day. Ensure you do not crowd the areas where sunlight hits your yard to avoid making it look darker and smaller.

11) Create winding pathways

Winding pathways will keep the yard looking more interesting and give more space to showcase your beautiful yard. As you wind around in the yard, you will trick your mind into thinking there is more yard area than there actually is.

There are many professional landscape ideas to make the yard feel bigger and more beautiful. If you are wondering where to start with your small yard, contact us, NS Landscapes. We are the Sydney landscaper to go to with over 30 years of experience. We can help you transform your small yard into a spacious beautiful space. Our team specialises in all types of landscaping work such as turfing, tree lopping, gardening maintenance, landscape renovation and more.

Call 0412 614 133 for a free quote and property inspection. We’ll assist you with planning out your new yard.