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3 Steps to Prepare Your Garden and Landscape For Winter

The summer is over, clearly autumn has arrived, and winter can’t be far behind. It is time to prepare the garden and surrounding landscape for the harsh months ahead. Here are 3 simple tips to help you get started.
 
Clean Up: Before the first killing frost do one last weeding in the garden. This will prevent seed heads from dispersing and give you a head start in the spring. Remove any diseased plants or foliage to prevent diseases from spreading or even lying dormant in the ground until next spring. Do not compost diseased materials. Cut back foliage that is done blossoming and unattractive at 2 to 3 inches off the ground. Plants such as lavender, Russian sage and astilbe bring interest to the winter garden if left untrimmed. Phlox, peonies, and monarda (bee balm) should always be cut back because they are highly susceptible to disease. Plants that still look good, annuals, hostas, sedum and others can be cut back after the first killing frost. Unfortunately, raking is a must for a healthy, attractive lawn and garden. 
 
Cover Up: You might be surprised to discover that most perennials do not need to be covered up or protected. However if you are trying to grow plants or shrubs that are not hardy for your agricultural zone, or it’s a first year perennial, or it is expensive or special you might want to take extra precautions. The preferred method for protecting garden perennials is to mulch, but mulching does not mean covering up your plants. The mulch material should be placed around the base of the plant, not covering the center or crown and should not be done until after several hard frosts. The idea is to prevent the ground around the plant from unthawing and refreezing causing the plant to heave or start spring growth prematurely. Materials for mulch can include shredded leaves (run your mower over the leaves several times), processed manure, or shredded bark. It is advantageous to use something that will break down over the winter and add nutrients or amend the soil.

Tender shrubs and roses often require some protection from the harsh winter winds, temperatures and animal damage. Plastic or wire hardware cloth can be used around the shrubs to protect the bark from rodent damage. To protect from winds and temperatures shredded leaves can be put in as well. Hybrid tea roses should be protected before the temperatures drop below 25 degrees F. There are products such as The Garden Dome that offer a simple frame and secured cover for shrub and plant protection. Continue to water evergreens and newly planted shrubs as long as possible.

Collect: Walk around your garden and yard and collect the decorative elements that would take a beating; statuettes, wind chimes, gazing balls, etc. Don’t forget about  ceramic bird baths that are susceptible to freezing and cracking. Take clippings of any annuals that you want to bring indoors. Consider cleaning out your containers and storing before the weather is miserably cold. Be sure to drain and bring in hoses and if you do not have freeze proof faucets those should be drained and shut off as well.
 
A garden prepared for winter is a protected investment. A little time and energy spent now will bring a more pleasant result in the spring.

Properties, Uses, and Advantages of Quartzite

Today, many modern homes use quartzite for building purposes owing to its availability in unique colors and patterns. It is basically a form of metamorphosed sandstone. This stone is available in white, pink, and gray. Bricks and building blocks are also created with quartzite.

Properties of quartzite

Following is a short list of the exclusivity of this stone, which makes it a popular choice for various types of construction works:

1. One of the major properties of this stone is high resistance to wear and tear. This is a very hard stone and is also resistant to weathering. Properties like durability and suitability to every type of construction project is one of the major reasons for its popularity.

2. Quartzite has high abrasion hardness and is also resistant to harsh chemical attacks.

3. The surface of the stone is also very glossy, which is helpful for decoration and landscaping purposes.

4. It is available naturally in various forms, textures, and colors. It has a high aesthetic appeal and thus can be used for decorating the outer walls of the houses.

5. It is suitable for use in all surfaces – hones, polished, sand blasted, or flamed.

While there are so many properties, knowledgeable architects prefer it for being ageless – forever contemporary.

Uses of quartzite

Owing to its ability to split along the foliations, it is generally used for wall claddings and as roofing tiles. The granoblastic form of the stone has a medium-grained texture that allows the material to be used in the construction of floors. Various other types of exterior and interior designer tiles are also created with such stones. The stone is also a perfect choice for the construction of pool decks, entrances, stair treads. It is considered to be the best choice for areas where foot traffic is heavier. This is because; the material is easy to clean and provides a non-skid surface naturally. You can expose the stone to heavy traffic and harsh weather conditions. In the US, quartzite is generally crushed and used as aggregate base for pavement projects. It is interesting to note that during the 17th century, West African nations used the stone as money!

Benefits of the stone

1. It is an extremely hard stone and lacks tiny orifices. Thus, it can be used for shower floors. The texture of the stone will prevent people from slipping even when water spills on them.

2. Dirt generally does not accumulate due to its smooth surface and it can withstand stress. So, it can be used for flooring in areas of heavy traffic.

Are you interested to buy quartzite? San Diego comprises a few great suppliers from where you will be able to buy the material at the best price in the market.

Decorative Stones For Landscape Designs

These days, many home owners like to use decorative stones in their landscape projects. Decorative stones like Walnut nuggets, Western Sunrise, Arctic rainbow, Spanish tile, Walnut pebbles, Silica pebbles and Royal Gorge offer a classic look to your landscape.

There are some landscape supply companies that provide variety of decorative stones for exterior embellishment. These stones do not require more maintenance. You simply need to rinse them with a garden hose, whenever they become dull.

Decorative stones like Beachwood pebbles are man-made silica stones and are brown in color. They are lightweight and very simple to install. They offer an exquisite backdrop to your landscape design. You can order these beautiful stones at any credible landscape supply company.

Royal Gorge is yet another type of beautiful stone that add beauty to your landscape design project. You can get this decorative stone from landscape supply companies. You can easily install them and can enhance the elegance of your garden. You can use these decorative stones in between paving creatively and can create a unique landscape design.

Walnut nuggets are popular type of decorative stones that come from the Merrimac River near St. Louis. These beautiful stones offer an economic solution to your landscape design problems. Unlike grass or paving, they do not require more maintenance work. You can use them in patios, domestic driveways and anywhere in the garden.

You can install the decorative stones directly onto the soil in your garden. However, it is advisable to use a membrane, which can help to minimize the growth of weeds. This in turn can make your landscape project perfect and maintenance-free.

Flagstones and wall stones are significant for your landscape look. You can get variety of flagstones like Ohio blue flagstone, Canadian Buff flagstone and Slate flagstone from a landscape supply company. Using flagstone in your landscape design project can offer a striking appearance to your landscape. In addition, flagstones help to retain a cool surface in your garden, even if it receives direct sunlight.

Wall stones are equally important for your landscape project. You can use wall stone varieties like Armour stone, Canadian limestone and Canadian Wall stone for any of landscape design project that requires stacked stones. You can use them for retaining walls, borders around gardens and pools or for free standing walls.

Rosetta Stone Products are a high quality wall stone perfect for steps and landscapes. You should look for a preferred vendor of Rosetta Stone Walls, Steps or Accent products. They have the design and installation expertise to transform your landscape into a beautiful space that you will love and enjoy for years to come.