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26 Sep
Posted by Tim, The Yard Guy
The Different Types of Retaining Walls

By Rick Linder

Landscaping can be an art. Taking a page from the Far East's book, we can shape the current landscape to fill the area with an added beauty that does not detract from the natural beauty. If you have a hill or a slope that needs holding back, then a retaining wall is what you need. The concept of a retaining wall has existed for many years spanning many cultures most notably in Asian rice terraces. Some scholars have suggested that it is due to highly technical retaining wall systems that the mysterious Hanging Gardens of Babylon became possible.

Yes, we know you do not have acres upon acres to fill with fanciful hanging shrubbery or fantastic borrows to grow crops. This does not stop your lawn from reaching its full potential beauty. Here we would like to delve briefly into the various types of retaining walls to help shape your paradise on earth. We will cover gravity, cantilever, and piling walls and show the different variations connected to each type of retaining walls.

Gravity Walls

As the name implies, gravity walls rely on gravity and its own mass to stay supported, holding back the raised level of earth. The base of the wall is generally thicker than the crown. With a greater mass at the bottom, the wall is able to remain stable under strenuous pressures. For added stability, some gravity may lean back into the retained earth.

Engineers use concrete blocks and stone to make gravity walls. In general, the base of the wall is embedded in the ground in front of the slope that needs to be contained. The engineers dig out the earth to set the base in the ground and then they fill in the gaps.

Cantilever Walls

The brilliance behind cantilever walls gives credit to our understanding of angles and weight. These walls use the weight of the retained earth to give support to wall. An arm extends under the retained ground providing downward pressure that counteracts the outward force applied from the same ground.

Like gravity walls, landscaping companies create cantilever walls from poured concrete. This allows the dimensions to be specifically tailored to the needed specifications because not every landscaping project is the same.

Piling Walls

Where gravity and cantilever walls depend on their own mass to add to the resistance, piling walls use only the pressure provided by the ground. Sheet piling walls are used in softer ground an in waterfront properties. The sheet piling walls use wood, vinyl, or steel to retain the earthen wall. The wall is generally two-thirds below the surface while one-third protrudes from the surface. Sheet piling walls use the tension of the ground to provide support for the wall.

Sheet piling walls can be used on coastal properties to keep the water at bay. This allows a lawn to be maintained instead of water flooding onto the grounds.


In all of the aforementioned styles of retaining walls, engineers use anchoring in cases where the strain placed on the wall is too much for the wall to hold. Anchors attach to the wall via a cable. The anchor is usually a mechanical device that expands to cling to the dirt. Other types of anchors are cement blocks embedded in the dirt much like the mechanical anchor. Landscapers use boring tools to place the anchors where they can grasp onto the ground or rock.

These are various methods to alter the appearance and form of the native landscape. When choosing the right retaining wall for your project, make sure your choice best fits the environment and projected atmosphere. If you have any further questions, be sure to talk to your local landscaping company and they will be able to get you heading in the right direction.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Rick_Linder/1654685

21 May
Posted by Tim, The Yard Guy
Energy Efficient Landscaping

By John Charles James

Few people realize what energy efficient landscaping can do to cut their heating and cooling cost but a yard that is well thought out can be a real energy saver.

The first advantage of energy efficient landscaping is to cut heating and cooling costs. With just a few well placed trees a family can experience a 25% reduction in their heating and cooling bills. Deciduous (leaf shedding) trees provide shade in the summer and allows sunlight to heat in the winter.

It has also been theorized that the planting of a large number of trees worldwide would lighten the color scheme of the landscape and reflect sunlight which would keep the world a cooler place.

Using trees as a windbreak is also a function of energy efficient landscaping. This is a proven technique to reduce heating costs. Evergreen trees and shrubs are the most common type of windbreak in use. Evergreens are most often planted to the north and northwest for this purpose.

Another way to cut your families expenses is to plant edible landscaping. Not only can this produce shading and windbreak benefits, it can also slash your home grocery bill.

Trees and shrubberies prevent soil erosion while fescue based lawns take very little water to maintain causing a reduction in water usage.

Energy efficient landscaping could be the most important long range investment in cutting back on heating and cooling costs. Planting pest resistant vegetation reduces pesticide use and will beautify the area.

Trees planted in clusters actually cool the surrounding area by as much as 15�. The use of low maintenance plants helps you conserve your energy by not creating as much work for you and reducing water, pesticide and fertilizer use.

Also consider using a reel mower if you have a smaller yard, this will cut down on the waste produced by energy burning models such as gas and electric motors.

So there you have it: Think about how you are going to make yours an energy saving house by planting trees and shrubs in your yard thus creating shade and wind breaks.

Find out more about thermal insulation and energy conservation by subscribing to my energy saving ideas [http://www.getenergysavingideas.com/optin-page.html] exclusive tips. It makes sense to get your house into an energy efficient state before you even think about investing major money in an expensive alternative energy scheme even if you can get a grant to defray some of the costs.

Read this article on what else you can do to save home energy by improving your home's landscaping [http://www.getenergysavingideas.com/saving-energy-by-improving-home-exteriors/]

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/John_Charles_James/608861

21 Mar
Posted by Tim, The Yard Guy
Understanding the Various Uses of Herb Plants

By S. Reynolds

Aromatic plants are part of the botanical world that offers a lot of advantages to the zoological world. Some of the advantages and uses of aromatic plants contain the use of aromatic plants in cooking, in providing different perfumes and in the healing of definite conditions of the body.

Explicitly these plants are defined as plants that begin from a kernel, but do not have the wooded shoot that normally a tree would have. The use of aromatic plants by different cultures is widely documented historically. Additionally, these plants are a significant component to the civilizations of these days as they offer medical benefits, religious importance and are a significant part of the diet, therefore make herb garden.

Culinary Plants

Cookery plants are those aroma herbs that are utilized to increase or add an exceptional taste in the preparation of food. These specific plants usually have a very hearty taste and can be utilized in small quantities to get the desired and tasteful effect.

Instance of these plants specifically are basil, mint, parsley, thyme, rosemary, etc. Frequently these particular cookery aromatic plants are utilized for preparing certain poultry, fish, meats, and pasta food dishes. For instance rosemary is a superb aromatic to utilize to bring out the taste of chicken or basil is a tasty aromatic to increase different pasta dishes that make use of a tomato based sauce.

Special Herbs

One more popular use of aromatic plants is those plants that are utilized for aromatic reasons. Time and again these special plants are prepared in a mix of oil or water so that their smell is released by application or by spraying the mixture.

At times these mixtures are placed into a spray bottle. The suitable packaging of these plants permits for the scent to be spread on to different things around the home. For instance, a lavender spray can be applied to the sheets of a bed to provide a soothing and relaxing smell. This smell will give a calming affect and increase an individuals sleep

Medicinal Plants

Medicinal plants have a lengthy and promising history of being utilized for medicinal reasons. For instance St. Johns Wort has been shown to be effective in the treatment of depression. Also one more aromatic plant that has shown promising outcome in the treatment of depression is licorice.

Additionally, red clover blossom may be advantageous in raising the level of fertility in women. This declaration of raising the fertility level in women is based on the nurturing effect placed on the woman's uterus and the calming affect it places upon the central nervous system.

Sarah Reynolds is the author of "The Lazy Way to Herb Gardening" - For more great information about herb garden designs [http://herbgardenacademy.com/herb-garden-designs/], and profiting from your garden, visit [http://www.herbgardenacademy.com/].

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/S._Reynolds/459337