Category Archives: Garden Ideas

Tips to Create a Backyard X-Scape

Transforming your backyard into a tropical escape from reality doesn’t have to be a monumental and intimidating project. A few simple tips can save you time, energy and headaches.

First of all, calculate the space you have to work with. This will keep you from buying too much outdoor furniture or too many accents.

Secondly, select a focal point or area. This can be a central location for serving drinks and food, like a tiki bar, a place to sit and talk or eat, like a patio set or a place to play like a pool, hot tub or outdoor swing. The focal point is where you will spending the most time and should be considered highly functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. We recommend eco-friendly outdoor furniture options like a bamboo tiki bar to provide a setting for entertaining or a thatch umbrella kit with furniture for relaxing under. These items don’t have to take up too much space, require little upkeep, are eco-friendly and provide an interesting visual scene.

Next comes the decorating. Remember that with accessories, usually less is more. You want to keep your outdoor escape simple and inviting. Bamboo rugs are an affordable accent and bamboo fencing is extraordinarily versatile, durable and visually appealing. A bamboo fence can be used indoors and out and can therefore extend the look of your home to the backyard. Use a bamboo or reed fence outdoors to cover an old fence, create a privacy screen or add shade to a patio. Thatch can also be used to create shade and provide insulation to an outdoor room.

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Hide Anything in Your Backyard

Do you ever look out into your backyard and wish that that unsightly eyesore ruining your perfect landscape would magically disappear? Artificial rocks are a perfect to solution to any visual conundrum. With both natural looking and aesthetically appealing they are also durable, sturdy and ready for anything. As they come in a variety of shapes and colors, the ideal fit is not difficult to find. Here are some ideas for how to take your backyard or walkway from an eyesore to eye candy.

Hide Outdoor Plumbing
Use a rock to hide ugly centrifugal pumps, irrigation valves or septic lids or cleanouts. These outdoor necessities definitely have their purpose in our lives and we probably would miss them if they were gone; however, we don’t necessarily have them in sight for them to do their job. Not only do they take away from the visual purity of our landscapes, but they can also be dangerous if located in a busy walking area or if small children play near them. A low to the ground rock is an easy solution. Not only does it eliminate the eye sore, but it can also completely change the focal point of your landscape. Now, instead of wishing the traces of indoor plumbing would disappear, you can easily forget about them.

Address Plaques
Do people visiting your home ever complain that they can’t read the faded address number spray painted on the curb or can’t find the numbers hung next to the garage? Make things easier for everyone by installing an address plaque rock. The unique flat surface lends itself nicely to the addition of numbers or characters while the size, shape and color of the rock still look and feel like the real thing. Add a solar powered lighting source next to the rock and never hear a guest complain about driving aimlessly up and down the street looking for your house again.

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Featured in Outdoor Rooms Magazine

Although temperatures may be warming and it may feel like summer’s upon us, the official day of summer isn’t until June 21st, which gives you just enough time to give your backyard that new look.  Outdoor Rooms is a Better Homes and Gardens special interest publication and their theme for this months magazine is “Take a Vacation in Your Own Backyard.” Throughout this issue, they are giving readers a “Passport to Style” through different types of backyards and since Backyard X-Scapes is all about helping you to “Create Your Great Escape,” they featured many of our products.

Jane Austin McKeon (Outdoor Rooms Editor) describes the essence of summer entertaining and backyard enjoyment perfectly.
My favorite time of year to entertain is summer.  A barefoot and blue jeans sort of girl, I would much rather wave the neighbors over for a spur-of-the-moment glass of wine on the front porch or serve a picnic-style supper for my family on the deck than put a lot of planning and primping into a fancy dining room affair. Backyards cater to impromptu entertaining.

Tropical flare and that “Polynesian Pop” never goes out of style.  Outdoor rooms showed that with some colorful elements, playful arrangements and various lively foliage, you can create a vibrant island getaway right in your backyard.  Some of the products used included Tiki Signs, Bamboo Signs, an African Thatch umbrella kit, a stainless steel BBQ island, tiki statues, and a pool table for easy entertaining.

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The Many Ways You Can Use Bamboo Fencing

The trend of eco-friendly living has spawned the positive trend of using Bamboo and a building material.  Incredibly versatile, bamboo is being used commercially to produce everything from roofing and bridges to towels, bedsheets and cutting boards.  What makes bamboo “green” is it’s ability to grow incredibly fast, unlike  traditional woods.

We wanted to focus on one specific product that can be versatile to use in an infinite amount of ways.  Here are 5 different ways in which Bamboo fencing can be used.

In Place of Traditional Fencing

Rather than going through the hassle and costly efforts of replacing an old fence, bamboo fencing is a cost effective way to give your old chain link fence or brick wall a brand new look.  The rolled bamboo fencing is connected by a sturdy galvanized wire, so bending it and customizing it to match various landscape terrains is easy.  Installation takes a fraction of the time that installing a new fence would, and bamboo offers a unique look which is different from the traditional planked wood fencing.

Accenting Your Patio

Your front or backyard patio serves as a place for you to escape from the rest of the world and relax on those beautiful Sunday mornings or after a hectic day at work.  Rather than the typical white picket fencing, try adding a bit of tropical flare by using bamboo as fencing for your front porch, or even as a roof for your patio.  Typical awnings and wood floorings are not only expensive but can be costly and time consuming to replace or maintain as well.

Adding Feng Shui to Your Home or Garden

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“Hard to Kill Plants” for Your Home and Garden

In our recent articles “How to Create Your Own Backyard Tropical Paradise” and “Decorating a Small Space” we discussed how plants add life, color and deep textures to a space or landscape. Just like in any design or landscaping project, planting and gardening also presents many challenges and elements to consider. The myth is that plants need only water and sunlight to survive, which depending on the light is very untrue. Many plants are more sensitive to their habitats than others. Nutrients, amount of sunlight, types of water, climate and pests are all factors that affect the health of your garden. Another aspect is that many new home owners or residents in studios or apartments may not have a “green thumb” or know the basics on how to care for plants.

All of these factors often leave people thinking that they are unlucky with plants or do not have the time and patience to tend to them, when it could just be inadequate sunlight or improper climate for the particular plant they are raising. There are many plants for the home and garden that are classified as “hard to kill”, “low maintenance” or “easy plants”. These plants are often of the toughest species that are durable and can endure varying climate changes, sporadic watering, and even lack of sunlight. The following plants can help bloom life into your home and garden and still survive on days where you may be occupied with other tasks.

Baby’s Breath
Often dried for potpourri or used to accent bouquets of flowers, these small white flowers can handle sunny conditions and dry to even sandy soil. When planted with other greenery or in bunches, the white clusters of flowers add quite the delicate accent.



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Decorating in a Day – 5 Steps to Brightening Your Backyard

Some of the greatest things about summer include longer sunny days and spending time enjoying life with those we love. Summer getaways are grand but arranging the time and budget can be another job in itself. What if you could have your own stay-cation this summer, where you could create a little bit of paradise right in your own backyard? The common obstacles that come up when it comes to re-decorating or sprucing up a space are time and money.

Just like the cooking shows that show you how to make meals with five ingredients or less, or in fewer than 30 minutes, we wanted to apply that same formula to decorating your backyard. There are five simple things that you can do, in less than a day, to brighten up your backyard and turn it into a place where you can escape from the rest of the world.


1) Cozying Up Your Patio
Being that your patio is the first thing you set foot upon when you walk into your backyard, it’s also the best place to start decorating. Your patio plays a big part in landscaping as it sets and starts the atmosphere for the rest of your yard. It is also a central gathering place where you and your family spend time. Accessorizing your patio with decorative art pieces such as tiki statues or a tiki bar, instantly transform the look of a space into a fun island theme. Accessories such as hanging art, wind chimes and vibrant colored throw pillows can also help paint some life into a dreary patio setting. Got some old patio furniture? Rather than spending a lot of money on new furniture, try restoring the pieces you have with some paint and accents. An old concrete table can be restored into a beautiful mosaic table with some old tile pieces.

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How to Create Your Own Backyard Tropical Paradise


Often time’s people get intimidated about landscaping or tackling a project, but creating a tropically themed backyard can actually be fun and easy.

Backyard furniture can add life and style to any backyard. One of the first ways to get started is by first evaluating the size of the space being enhanced and then an area of focus. This area of focus could be a patio, a relaxing area of the yard, a rock garden or even the center of the yard. Once this area has been designated, the rest of the design process can easily flow from one point to the next, rather than randomly placing items. The key to a successful landscape is having a fluid visual movement within the space. Using Patio furniture is a great way of adding style to a garden. Some perfect items that can instantly add dynamic to a backyard and create that visual focus includes a FountainTiki Bar, Tiki statue, Palapa or Thatch Umbrella or even a garden bench.


Another key element in creating a tropical backyard is adding exotic vegetation such as palm trees and tropical flowers. The lush environment and vibrant colors will emanate a warm and inviting feel.

Once you have the greenery and focus point, accessorizing is all you need to do next. Items such as bamboo poles, borders and rugs are the perfect accents to fill garden areas or line your patio floor. If you have an industrial or wooden fence that needs replacing or work, an economical way to instantly give your fence a face-lift and brighten your yard is by using bamboo fencing.


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Choosing the Right Outdoor Furnishings

11When it comes to a house, it’s often forgotten that “home” extends beyond just the walls, windows and doors. Our front and backyards are an extension and reflect the style and care of the home we live in. Whenever planning a new landscape or outdoor design project, one of the most important aspects in outdoor decor is furnishing. Depending on the size of your outdoor space, there are various types of outdoor furniture and possibilities to best suit your needs. Just like when you first start a landscaping project, with choosing outdoor furnishings you must start with main focal areas. Main focal areas could be entertainment spaces, structures, or even a visually stimulating accent to your space. Here are some great, economical and eco-friendly ideas for furnishing your outdoor space.

Tiki Bars- Barstools


Tiki bars add a tropical and fun flavor to any backyard. They provide a central location perfect for conversations, serving drinks and entertaining. Tiki bars create a visual dynamic by providing a point of interest for eyes to be drawn to, without taking up too much space. Another great feature is while you are grilling food on the barbecue, the Tiki bar can help conserve BBQ counter space by providing an area to serve drinks and snacks from. Various Tiki bars come with drawer space, rear shelving, and you can even place hooks to hang cups or tropical decor from. Some great accessories include Tiki signs, colorful tropical figures, wind chimes or even lights. Pair your Tiki bar with some Bamboo barstools and you have a complete space for entertaining guests.

Thatch or Umbrella Kits


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