Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mediterranean Landscaping

Many homes in warm areas of the country were built with a Spanish Mediterranean design. Many people have begun exploring the Mediterranean style of landscape design, which goes well with any type of warm weather architecture, but especially Mediterranean construction. Mediterranean landscape design is know for, first of all, its lush vegetation. While some of these plants are only found in southern Europe, they will grow in some of our warm weather climates also. A yard designed after Mediterranean style should be full of plants. Another important factor is stone. Ancient cultures of the Mediterranean used stone, like travertine, to create walkways in their gardens.

A homeowner creating this style could make a straight pathway through the yard with travertine pavers, or use the travertine pavers to create a sitting area in the middle of a garden, with plants all around. Travertine was used by ancient civilizations to build timeless structures, and travertine pavers take that same timelessness and put it into a form that is easy to work with today. Finally, statues are a big part of Mediterranean style. The size and type are up to the designer to decide, but the combination of lush vegetation, natural stone, and sculptures or statues will help give the feel of the warm Mediterranean.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

New Uses for Pebbles

Pebbles have come such a long way. It used to be that pebbles were used in places where nothing else could grow, or when a homeowner was too busy to keep a landscape looking nice. Pebbles were dumped in window wells, spread thickly next to the house, or put under playground equipment as a not-so-soft cushion for children. Pebbles, in their natural setting, are beautiful. They line riverbanks, lakes, and seashores, and are evidence of years and years of water running over them, smoothing them.

Seeing the beauty in pebbles, landscapers are now able to incorporate them into a nice-looking yard. They can be placed around a waterfall, or a pond to make it look natural, and certain plants look better when surrounded by pebbles. Pebbles can also be used in rock gardens, and because they come in a variety of sizes and colors, they can fit into nearly every landscape.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Travertine Pavers in a Mud Room

A mud room is an essential part to so many homes these days. For some homes, it is a connection to the outdoors. It is the place where a family can shake of all the dirt and heat from the outdoors, where kids can take off and store things like backpacks and boots. An effective mud room will be located just inside the entrance that family members use most. The floor of a mud room should be made of durable material, such as travertine pavers or tile. Used as tile, travertine can cover the walls, floor, and steps. Travertine pavers can also be mortared in as the floor of a mud room. Travertine is durable and skid resistant. It is a beautiful, natural stone, which will make the area visually pleasing. Once the mud room is covered with easy to clean and maintain materials, it can be filled with storage containers and cabinets. Coat racks, shoe holders, a mirror, and bins for things like hats and gloves will make the mud room complete. By using durable materials like travertine pavers and heavy duty rugs and storage bins, a mud room can add a lot of function to an entryway.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Backyard Gazebo

A backyard gazebo is a perfect place for enjoying the beautiful view of a landscape. Gazebos can be a range of sizes, shapes, and designs, and can be tailored to fit the style of the homeowner and the yard. A gazebo can go anywhere in the yard, but should be placed in a location from which the best view can be seen. It is also helpful to have the gazebo in a location secluded from neighbors, to ensure privacy. A gazebo that is placed away from the house will need a way for people to get out to it, such as a walkway or path. Travertine pavers make excellent and natural materials for the path to the gazebo, and travertine pavers can be placed and mortared to make a beautiful walkway. Travertine pavers can also be spaced farther apart to create a stepping stone look. Being natural stone, travertine pavers are durable, yet beautiful, and can help anchor the gazebo to the rest of the landscape. This ensures that the homeowners will be able to walk on a clean path to the gazebo, and enjoy the view around them.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mining Cap Rock

Cap rock from Florida is quarried from local areas in the most eco-friendly way. The process for mining this natural rock makes it possible for the land, once free from the rock, to be used for things such as farming. Removing the rock from unusable land can actually turn it into great farmland.
Once the rock is mined, it is pressure cleaned and shipped to the customer.

Cap rock, made of limestone, is growing in popularity among contractors and homeowners. It naturally absorbs water and will not rot or be destroyed by insects. Cap rock has natural inclusions that can be a home for tropical foliage and that gives the rock a unique look.

Cap rock works well for the creation of waterfalls, retaining walls, and other structures in a landscape. It is easy to work with and comes in a variety of sizes to fit any project.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Landscaping in Small Spaces

Landscaping doesn’t always have to be for large estates with beautiful yards and gardens. Even for people living in homes or apartment with very little outdoor living space, landscaping can help bring out the best in these small places. Just because there isn’t a big backyard, or a lush flower garden, doesn’t mean the view outside has to be dreary or dull. A small backyard can be brought to life with small flower beds spaced throughout the area, using cheerful glass mulch to help add a colorful flavor to the yard. An apartment in a large city might be lucky enough to come with a roof patio, in which case a small garden or greenhouse can be brought in to add life to the space. Small pebbles or glass mulch can be added around plants or to cover unattractive areas. Even if the extent of one’s outdoor living space is a small patio high above the street below, color and texture will brighten the view. Potted plants, sculptors or art, and colorful glass mulch can be incorporated into these small spaces to make them feel like home.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Many Uses of Pebbles

Pebbles are more than just the smooth rocks lining a river’s shore. They are found in more places than surrounding a lake or scattered by the ocean shore. Pebbles are now used in many different ways for landscaping. Pebbles can be used to create a pathway through a flower garden, or to place around plantings near a house. They now come in various colors, making them even more versatile. Pebbles can line a homemade pond or stream to make it look more natural. They can be used in dry areas, or in xeriscaping, in order to reduce the need for water. Rock gardens can benefit from the varied sizes and colors of pebbles. Today, landscape designers are able to incorporate pebbles into a wide range of ideas, including art pieces or fireplaces. Of course, you can still find beautifully natural pebbles by most bodies of water, but many people are realizing the benefits of this natural stone right in their own backyard.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Glass Mulch for a Variety of Projects

Glass mulch can be used for a number of different projects. Many people think of it as a landscaping material, which it is, because it makes areas of yards beautiful. But glass mulch can be used for so much more.

Crafters love glass mulch because of the variety of colors and sizes it comes in. It can be glued onto candleholders, table centerpieces, vases, or anything needing a bit more color. Kids love to work with the colorful pieces and they can even use glass mulch to make masterpieces because it has been tumbled smooth on the edges.

Glass mulch can be used for creating striking mosaics, or filling a decorative dish on a table, or mulching around potted indoor plants. Wherever a splash of color is needed – either the patio, or in planters, or decorating the kitchen table, glass mulch can be a great addition.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Coral Rocks add interest to the outside of a house

Coral rocks have many uses, and can be incorporated into a variety of landscapes. It is cut in different shapes and sizes, and can be used in big blocks to build walls, fireplaces, or other structures. Coral rocks also come in flagging pieces, which increases their use even more.

There are many houses out there that are covered with dull siding. Siding, while versatile and easy to care for, doesn’t usually enhance the look of a house. But using coral rocks can add character and texture to tiresome siding. Here’s how: cover the lower four feet of the outside of the house with coral rocks flagging pieces. These can be applied by an adventurous homeowner, or designed and installed by professionals. The siding should be removed on the lower part of the house, and the area prepped. Then the pavers can be placed and mortared on the side of the house. The result is a beautiful home, tailored to the homeowner’s style. By selecting the desired color or size of the flagging pieces, it is easy to create a completely unique look. The coral rocks, being natural stone, will be practical and long-lasting.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fix Up the Front of the House

When people think of landscaping their yard, often times they are thinking of the back yard. This is where the patio goes, the flower gardens grow, the vegetable garden is planted. But we all know that when selling a house, curb appeal is important, and that means we need to get working on the front of our homes also. Besides, we all would like to be welcomed home to a beautifully landscaped yard at the front of our house.

The same ideas we use in the secluded back of the house can be applied to the front. Use cap rock to build a wall around a raised flower bed. Use glass mulch to create accent colors in boring areas of the front yard. Rock gardens aren’t just for the backyard, and they make a great focal point of the front also.

Cap rock could be used in the front to create a more interesting entrance, or lay cap rock steps leading up to the front door. A stone walkway leading up to the house can replace a boring concrete sidewalk. The possibilities are endless. Putting a little effort into the front of the house will make it as beautiful and welcoming as the back of the house.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Create a Backyard Paradise with Travertine Pavers

We all want our yard to be a place where we can relax and enjoy our surroundings. Because of this, people invest a lot of time and effort into flowers, plants, and a design that reflects their style. Brick patios and wood decks are commonplace, but to really make a statement, owners are turning to higher quality, more interesting looking materials and plants to create the perfect space. Things that are out of the ordinary will really make a statement about the homeowner.

Travertine pavers are very durable, and yet they look elegant and timeless. They can be installed by a do-it-yourselfer, or by a professional, and being natural stone, they will withstand the test of time. They won’t need to be replaced because they were rained on and they won’t crack because of the weather.
A patio made of travertine pavers in the middle of the yard, surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers can create a feeling of calm and relaxation. Potted plants, a fountain, and maybe a statue, will make any backyard area full and rich, and feel like a tropical paradise.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Rock Walls Prevent Soil Erosion

Many homes are built on hilly land, leaving homeowners to decide what to do with those areas that are too rolling to do anything with. Hills are beautiful and add much character to landscapes, but sometimes they cause erosion problems. If a hill has nothing to anchor the top layer down, the dirt and soil on top will start tumbling downwards. Without anything holding the dirt in place, the homeowner can be left with a constant mess of soil making its way down the hill.

There are, of course, ways to prevent erosion. One way is to add plants to the hillside that will send their roots down deep and anchor the hill. But the soil can still wash away around the plants, and sometimes more drastic measures need to be taken to prevent erosion.

Rock walls are a good way to prevent erosion in tough areas. Cap rock is a good material to use to build a retaining wall. A cap rock wall will hold back the soil and even allow landscapers to create flowerbeds above or below the wall. Cap rock is found in Florida and is known for its natural beauty. By planning a cap rock wall into a hilly area, a homeowner will be able to prevent erosion and add depth and beauty to their landscape

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Travertine Pavers Show a Homeowner’s Style

Travertine pavers are a very versatile building material. Besides being heavy duty and durable, these pavers come in different shades and sizes, and they can be used for a variety of purposes. They can also portray a range of styles and interests. For example, homeowners that use travertine pavers for a patio or fire pit will show that they are classy and like a bit of elegance in their design.

Travertine pavers that are used around a swimming pool show that the homeowner is smart and practical in their landscaping design, because these pavers are naturally skid resistant and stay cool even in the hot sun. On the other hand, travertine pavers can also be used to create a walkway around the house, or a path that leads through flowerbeds, and this might show a feeling of timeless beauty. There are many possibilities, and designers can incorporate travertine pavers into almost any landscape.

Pebbles for Landscaping

They seem like such a common, everyday material, but pebbles are gaining in popularity because of all the benefits they provide, as well as the improvement they make in a landscape’s appearance. Pebbles are used extensively for pathways, to fill areas under plants, in the building of ponds and rivers, and to improve the look of certain areas of a yard. Pebbles now come in such a wide variety of colors and polished finishes that homeowners are sure to find something they like. They are also often used in xeriscaping areas that don’t receive much rainfall, in an effort to add color and beauty to dry yards. Pebbles are also great for rock beds, and to fill in small areas that are hard to do anything with.

Many landscapers are turning to different types of stone to design landscapes, because stone is so versatile, natural, and long-lasting. Pebbles have added benefits because they can be placed easily and can be installed by do-it-yourself homeowners, if desired. A good landscape will incorporate a variety of materials, colors, and plants, and many people are now using pebbles to enhance their landscape.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Glass Mulch for Landscaping

More and more people are using glass mulch as an alternative to more traditional bark or gravel mulches. The use of glass mulch in landscaping is appealing to those who support recycling. People would rather see beer bottles and other discarded glass end up as glass mulch instead of thrown into a dump where they sit for years and years. Instead of being taken to the dump, old glass is ground into nugget-sized pieces and tumbled to remove any sharp edges. Sometimes pigment is added to produce glass mulch into a wide variety of colors.

Another environmental reason people are turning to glass mulch is that it doesn’t absorb water like wood mulch does, therefore more water gets to the plants and less water is needed when watering plants. Glass mulch also doesn’t break down like wood does and therefore you don’t need to continually replace the mulch every few years.

Finally, because glass mulch comes in a variety of colors, people are able to landscape more creatively than they could with brown or red wood mulch or gray gravel. Some people use blue glass mulch in order to form a stream or pond in the middle of their landscaping. Others have used glass mulch to make designs or logos to accent their plants. Glass mulch is a versatile, environmentally friendly alternative to bark and gravel mulch that is gaining popularity among many people.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Preserving the Last Bit of Color

It happens every year as the summer starts to wind down and the last flowers in the yard begin to bloom. It would be a shame to have these flowers bloom and die too quickly because they are the last of the color for the year. There are some things that can be done, however, to prolong the life of these flowers’ bloom. Depending on your climate, it might help to water the plants regularly. As the hot summer months linger on, lack of rain can cause some flowers to wilt and die. Mulching around the flowers will also help retain some water. Weeding flower gardens will keep undesirable plants from choking out the flowers. Using fertilizer for healthy flowers will also help keep those colors going longer.

Another way to help flowers grow well is to create some sort of structured bed around them. This could be a raised bed, using cap rock or wood planks to elevate it, or simply a bed that is separated from the rest of the landscape by cap rock or other retaining wall. By using cap rock, you not only put a physical barrier around the base of the flowers to help protect them, but the cap rock is aesthetically pleasing to most landscapes. Cap rock can be used in a number of landscaping projects and is easy to coordinate with other types of materials.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Privacy in Your Backyard

Everyone likes to have their own quiet space sometimes, and what better place to enjoy it than your own backyard?  While some people may be lucky enough to live in a secluded area far from others, most of us have neighbors somewhat nearby. If your yard is a little too open or your neighbors too close, there are ways to increase the privacy of your own yard.

First, and maybe most obviously, a fence can add privacy. With many types to choose from; wood, iron, rail, chain link, there is a fence for any landscape type. You could even build a privacy wall out of coral rocks.
Secondly, a row of hedges or trees provides much seclusion. They can be planted while seedlings and fast-growing varieties can start providing shelter in a matter of months or years.

Thirdly, landscaping helps with privacy. Flowerbeds, bordered by coral rocks or pavers can put a barrier between you and the neighbors. A coral rock fireplace or a statue can also be a great way to create a quiet space. A patio can have lattice work or trellises around it to block the view from the neighbors or the street. All it takes is a little imagination and planning, and a backyard can be a place of solitude. 

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Patio; the Symbol of an American Backyard

The patio is such a common feature to many homes that many of us take it for granted. We eat on it, we play on it, and we keep our lawn furniture on it. Those that live in warm climates may use their patio every day. Those that have to endure cold winters with snow will often spend their whole summer out on the patio, when the weather permits.

Patios can vary so much in size and design that they really speak volumes about their individual creator. A patio can be made of travertine pavers, bricks, coral rocks, or a variety of other materials. It can be full of furniture, or full of plants, or hardly filled at all.

A new trend is for patios to incorporate a fireplace. Sometimes it will be a moveable fire pit, other times people build the fireplace right into the patio out of coral rocks or cap rock. Tiki torches and lanterns are commonplace on patios, as are solar lights.  

Whatever the style, a patio can really improve a landscape. It is a common part of many yards, and the place where homeowners like to gather and relax.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Landscaping Increases the Value of a Home

These days many people are working to improve their home, especially if they are thinking of selling it in the near future. With home values plummeting and the real estate market at a standstill, most people are willing to do whatever they can to increase the value of their home.

One way to increase the value of a home and its curb appeal for potential buyers is to focus on the landscape. A good landscape includes well-maintained flower beds, lush lawn, and clean patio and walkways. But there is another feature that home buyers seem to always be looking for these days: a pool. While not everyone in America may want a pool in their backyard, it is often the selling point of a property. Pools can add so much beauty to a landscape if they are taken care of, and especially if flowers and plants are incorporated around them. By using natural materials to hardscape around the pool, such as travertine pavers, the area will be improved even more. Travertine pavers are made up of a classic stone that withstands the test of time and is perfect for pool areas. Travertine pavers are skid resistant and stay cool underfoot.

With a pool in place and a little work done around it, a landscape can improve the value of a home.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Rich Landscape

How often don’t we wonder what it would be like to live in the shoes of the rich and famous? While we have to admit that not everything about their lives may be admirable, there are some things we might wish we could have. The fancy cars, the clothes, the houses with their beautiful landscaping - these are things we could live with.

For example, you can expect wealthy homeowners to have a crew of landscapers that take care of their lawn, design their flowerbeds, and weed their gardens. And while many of us won’t ever be living in a multi-million dollar home, we can incorporate some of the wealthy styles of the rich and famous to our homes. Travertine pavers are a very rich-looking material to build patios with, and coral rocks are just as beautiful and can easily be used to build a fireplace or border around a bed.

Many people are now incorporating things like glass mulch to create a touch of color and flair to their yard, and things like sculptures and topiaries can beautify any landscape. With a little bit of planning and the right resources, any landscape can begin to look like it belongs on the cover of a magazine!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Glass Mulch Application

Glass mulch is a great way to beautify a landscape. Many people now use it to mulch planting beds, line walkways, and create a bit of color in their landscape. For some, it is used as a touch of whimsy, for others, glass mulch becomes practical in a rock garden or pathway.

Whatever the type of application for glass mulch, one should be careful about how they place it. First of all, glass mulch should be installed deep enough that there is no weed or grass growth allowed to penetrate through. It might also be helpful to lay a weed barrier down.

Secondly, decide on the colors and designs you want - and don’t overdo it. Glass mulch is beautiful on its own, and a lot of colorful plants in and around it can make it look cluttered. Simple textures with single colors work best with glass mulch. The mulch itself comes in various colors, and you will need to decide if you want to use a single color, or mix a few of them up.

Finally, plan to spend a small amount of time on upkeep of the area. Glass mulch looks the best when it can be blown free of leaves or debris regularly, but when placed properly it will save the homeowner time on maintenance in the long run.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Coral Rocks Bring a Feel of the Ocean

If you’ve ever been to the ocean, particularly the warm areas of the ocean, perhaps you’ve seen the extensive coral formations that occur there. Coral is formed by tiny organisms that build colonies with calcified rock. The result is a rocklike substance that has many different textures and patterns made up of holes and ridges. Associated with the warm ocean climates, coral is one of the most natural beauties in the world.

Coral rocks are mined in Florida and they definitely create a tropical flair when added to any landscape. Just like the coral of the ocean, coral rocks are full of natural holes and textures, and often contain fossils. This stone is used extensively in warm climates for patios, walkways, and for building structures like walls and fireplaces. It is a beautiful stone that many have found is easy to work with and perfect to include in landscapes in warm climates. Because of its natural ocean feel, coral stone is ideal for any landscape that incorporates a tropical flair, or one that is near the ocean.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Geology Plays a Part in Creating a Timeless Stone

Travertine is formed by geological processes, when water dissolves limestone and then deposits it as calcium carbonate. This usually occurs around mineral springs in various places around the world. Travertine can commonly be found in caves, as stalactites or stalagmites.

Because travertine is a naturally occurring stone, it can withstand the test of time. It is extremely durable, does not discolor, is naturally cool to the touch, and is non-skid. These qualities all make travertine pavers a popular building material for many different purposes. Pools, patios, and walkways can all be made from travertine pavers. Travertine tiles can cover walls and floors in a bathroom or kitchen.

Wherever it is used, travertine brings a feeling of calm, natural beauty. There is just something about a substance being created naturally over years and years that is appealing to many designers today. Unlike man-made stones and materials, the different textures and naturally occurring color patterns in travertine pavers are amazing.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Coral Rock Wall

In today’s yards, it is common to see designers experimenting with many different structures and materials to add texture and interest to a landscape. They may add a colorful glass mulch walkway, or maybe a piece of art to a flowerbed. Another way to add interest to a landscape is to use hardscapes. These are structures such as patios or walls that help divide the space up and make it more pleasing to the eye.

A wall make out of coral rocks is a good example of a hardscape. This wall can be made around a patio to separate it from a flowerbed, or it can be the outer edge of a bed that meets up with a path. Coral rocks are perfect for hardscaping because they are easy to work with, and they look great. The different patterns that are found in coral rocks make them a favorite for landscapers. Coral rocks can be found in cut blocks to be used for structures like walls or fireplaces, or as flagging pieces to line pathways or patios, or they can simply be boulders to be displayed in a landscape.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Landscaping on a Budget

The economy is a big thing on people’s minds lately. Many people have begun to really watch how they spend their money and cut back on nonessential purchases. Even though the times might be tough right now, there are ways to save money and still have a great looking landscape.

First of all, it is important to have a plan. Spend a little extra time to find out what kinds of plants and materials can be used in your area and climate. For example, in a tropical climate, it would be smart to go with plants that like warm weather, and materials that complement the flora such as coral rocks. Likewise in the north, it would be more economical to buy native plants that do well in winter as well as summer, and work with materials like travertine pavers that do well in any climate. It will cost a lot less money to do things right in the first place.

Secondly, check prices throughout the year. Plants are going to be less expensive when they are purchased during the regular growing season. Other things, such as coral rocks or travertine pavers, might go on sale during the off season. Watch for the end of the landscaping season in your area and check for sales on materials.

Thirdly, do the work yourself. Sure, it would be nice to have the pebbles delivered to your yard and spread out for you, but if you are able to transport them and do it yourself, you’ll save money

Monday, May 25, 2009

Tropical Landscaping

It sure seems like folks in tropical climates like to landscape. Maybe it’s the beautiful weather of these tropical places, or maybe it’s the pride that homeowners in these areas have for their vast array of foliage, but it almost seems effortless to maintain a landscape in the tropics. It is fun to plant big, tropical plants that burst with beautiful flowers, and lawns can look so green and beautiful in this kind of climate.  

Some features that many tropical landscapes incorporate may be palm trees, lots of greenery, and big, bright flowers. But other things really help give that tropical feel, such as a big coral rocks waterfall, or a cap rock fountain. Fish can be used in ponds, as well as water plants. Hardscaping around these structures is important, and a professional look can be created by using pebbles or travertine pavers to finish off the area. Water features like these add both sound and smell to the sight of the landscape, and give a definite tropic feel.

Potted plants can also add a tropical feel to a backyard or patio. By using native plants that are lush and green, all areas of the yard can be brought to life. A bamboo fence can also add a great deal of aesthetics to the area.

With a little research and planning, it is possible to create a beautiful landscape that celebrates the tropics.
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Monday, May 18, 2009

Coral Rocks Add Texture to Landscape

Coral rocks are made up of ancient rock that is found throughout the world.  This type of building material is oolitic limestone, or “egg stone”, which is known for its texture.  Oolite is a sedimentary rock that consists of many small holes.  This type of rock was formed over time when particles floating in the ocean became coated with calcium carbonate and fell to the ocean floor.  After many years, the area that was once covered with water became land; leaving the coral rock compacted under the soil.

Coral rocks are mined in the southern tip of Florida, using environmentally safe practices.  After the rock is removed, the land is reclaimed and is used for farming.  Once the rocks are mined, they are cut to different sizes for building materials and landscape supplies.

The coral rocks are known for their use in Floridian architecture.  Often called “old Florida” style, many structures can be built with coral rocks including houses, garden walls, patios, and walkways.  The texture in this type of building material makes it very popular among designers.  Each piece is unique, with different pores, colors, and sometimes fossils found in different sections.

Another advantage to using coral rocks is the variety of sizes it comes in.  It can be found in boulders, rocks, and different size flagging and tile.  For any landscape project, coral rock can be the material that adds interest and texture to the construction

Monday, May 11, 2009

Go Green with Glass Mulch

Every year, over 40 billion glass bottles are made and sold.  Most of them get used once and then end up in landfills, taking up valuable space.  Glass can now be broken down, tumbled until the pieces are smooth, and then reused as mulch.  This industry has shown great strides in the recycling of old materials to make new ones, and the idea has really caught on in our country.  Many people today are looking to buy glass mulch for a variety of landscape projects.

Glass mulch comes in many different colors, and can be used to make beautiful walkways, coverings for flowerbeds, and bases for fish ponds or fountains.  It can be mixed into concrete to form garden paths or patio tiles.  Another new way to use glass mulch is to place it in the bottom of a fire pit, and then use natural gas fuel to burn a flame above the glass.  This can be customized to fit the landscape, and can be a great focal point for outdoor living. 

The sky is the limit when it comes to designing with glass mulch.  It can be used also for craft projects such as picture frame borders and to add some color and texture to plastic or glass projects.  Around the house projects include covering the floor of aquariums or terrariums, and filling the base of vases with a combination of mulch colors. 

All it takes is a little imagination to beautify a house and yard with glass mulch.

Monday, May 4, 2009

How to Create a Backyard Pond

There are many backyard projects that homeowners can do on their own.  One of the more challenging do-it-yourself projects is creating a pond with a stream.  Some things are best left for the experts, such as designing and placing cap rock waterfalls, but an ambitious homeowner should be able to create a basic stream and pond by themselves.

The first step to this project is to dig the area for the pond, and the size will vary based on the desired size and shape of the pond.  Once this is done, the plumbing will need to be placed for the filter and pump, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

The next step is to excavate the stream and install the waterfall tank and skimmer, if they are being used.  The pond underlayment and liner can then be positioned.  In order to hide the liner and create a more natural landscape, it is necessary to fill the area around the edges with rock or pebbles.  One good way to do this is to place larger stones first around the edge of the pond and directly on the liner, and then add pebbles to the cracks and around the stones.  This will also hold the liner in place and prevent soil from falling into the pond.  Shallow water plants also work well to fill the area and create a natural look.

The last step is deciding what kinds of water plants and fish will go well in your pond, and then enjoying your finished project.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Landscaping in today’s economy

Homeowners today might be caught in a slight predicament when it comes to tackling new outdoor projects.  Some people have dreams of what they want their property to look like, and all sorts of projects they would like to undertake.  The problem is that many homeowners today are pinched for money and even things like landscape projects are often put on the back burner for a better day.  Many people are wondering what projects they should work on and what can wait until the money is there.

Most would agree that it is important for a house to look well-kept and cared for.  Certainly anything that is in disrepair and an eyesore should be fixed to at least make it look better.  For example, an old cracked or stained walkway can be taken out and replaced by an inexpensive pebble walkway, or even a glass mulch path.  Other things, such as the paint on the house, can be touched up if there isn’t enough money to redo the entire thing.  Flower beds should be kept up and weed-free, and the grass should be maintained at a healthy level.

While it might not be necessary at a time of restricted funds to put in a brand new travertine patio with a cap rock fireplace, those people that take the time to come up with a plan should be able to keep their house looking pleasant, while budgeting and planning for these larger projects in the future.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Landscape Styles

There are many different types of styles that designers can use when planning a landscape.  The type of style that is used may be chosen to match the house or the neighborhood, or just be a reflection of the homeowner’s own style.

Formal and Informal Styles
A formal landscape design may incorporate orderly flowerbeds, straight lines, and well-managed and pruned plants.  A classical garden, travertine patio, caprock fireplace, and hedge for a border may all be features of a formal style landscape.

An informal style, on the other hand, may have more curving edges and random plants.  Often, an informal style will seem cozy to some and cluttered to others, and an abundance of plants and colors may be used.

English Garden
Another style for landscaping a yard is the English garden.  This type of landscape will incorporate features like a picket fence, many perennials and shrubs, and maybe a loose rock or pebble walkway.

Oriental Style
Oriental style will use water, evergreens, and rocks in its design.  Bonsais and miniature, well-pruned plants are often part of oriental style.  Different types of plants in planters, such as bamboo, also create an oriental feel.

Woodland Style
Woodland style is a natural technique that is used in many areas.  It may feature a waterfall or stream, sometimes lined with pebbles or river rock.  Terraced hills, filled with rock beds and natural plants also would fit with a woodland theme.

There are many other styles that can be used today, and sometimes a combination of styles may create a beautiful yard.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Glass Mulch Adds Color to Landscape

Maybe you’ve heard about a great new trend hitting landscaping projects – glass mulch.  Glass mulch is actually recycled pieces of glass (great for those trying to “go green”) that have been tumbled in order to make them smooth.  The glass comes in many different colors and can be a beautiful addition to any yard.

Glass mulch can be used in many different ways, depending on the look the designer is going for.  The versatility of this type of cover material is a big selling point for it.  For example, blue glass mulch can be used to create a dry stream bed, or to place around stepping stones along a path.  Or, this type of mulch can cover the area around drought plants to give some color, or in with a potted plant.

One thing that most people would agree is that when used in the right way, glass mulch can create a bit of whimsy in the landscape of a yard.  Sometimes designers will use glass like this to create pieces of color among the flower beds.  They can be placed in containers and placed at different heights for an attractive design.

Whatever the glass mulch is used for, it has many benefits.  The mulch is environmentally friendly, it won’t decompose and need to be replaced every year, and it doesn’t attract bugs.  With a little bit of enthusiasm and imagination, colored glass mulch can brighten up a yard.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Installing Pebble Tile

Pebbles can give a landscape a finished look.  The laying of loose pebbles around plantings can help keep moisture in the soil underneath, and adding pebbles around pavers for walkways can make the area look clean and finished.  Pebbles are also used in xeriscaping, to nicely fill an area in order to cut down on maintenance and water use.  Another great place in landscaping for pebbles is along waterfalls or running streams. 

Pebbles also come in tile form which allows the pebbles to be installed quickly and easily by almost anyone.  These tiles are great for covering walls, floors, tub surrounds, backsplashes, countertops, fireplace hearths, and even in creating fountains.  The list goes on and on and is as limitless as one’s imagination.  

The pebbles are attached to a mesh backing, so that many pebbles can be laid all at once.  The tiles are easy to place because the pebbles interlock to form a seamless pattern.  Pebble tiles are installed just like other tiles, in that they are placed on thinset mortar and then grouted.  It is recommended that a sealer be used before the grout, in order to prevent discoloration of the pebbles from the grout. 

There are many different types and color of pebbles, each adding character and texture to the project they are used in.  Few substances are used as often and by as many people as pebbles, and there are some really nice homes and landscapes out there that use pebbles and pebble tiles in beautiful ways.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Tips to saving money on landscape costs

Almost everyone likes to save a little money here and there.  Some people do it out of necessity, as we all struggle with finances sometimes.  Others like the feeling of satisfaction they get by knowing they accomplished something for less than others would spend on it.  Whatever the reason, there are many ways that homeowners can cut costs while still maintaining a great looking landscape. 

Preplan
One of the biggest costs for anyone is the last minute, I-need-to-buy-it-now costs.  If you are going to take on a big landscape project or purchase an item, think about it for a while before buying.  Know exactly what you will need to purchase, and then look for ways to save on those purchases.  Don’t buy something you don’t need just because it looks good in the store.

Less maintenance
Try to design a yard that reduces the amount of maintenance you will have to put into it.  Things like pebbles lining a walkway, or glass mulch around plantings will reduce the amount of weeding you will have to do.  Replacing grass in hard to grow areas with a beautiful patio made out of travertine pavers will also reduce the time required to maintain that space.  Less maintenance usually means less cost. 

Do it yourself
Countless tv shows focus on projects that homeowners can take on themselves in order to save money.  While things like building a waterfall with coral rocks are best left to the professionals, a motivated homeowner could think about building a cap rock planter on their own in order to cut costs.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Cap Rock for Landscaping

Many people today have found that cap rock is a great material to use for their landscaping needs because of its beauty, and because of the strength that it has.Cap rock is the geological term for a hard rock that covers a weaker type of rock. It is found near the surface of the earth and is formed over a great length of time. Florida cap rock is made out of limestone, and it can be found covering a thick layer of sand. The cap rock can be effectively harvested without disturbing the land, and after it is quarried the land can often be used as farmland.

Cap rock is sold in many different sizes and shades of color. It is becoming a popular substance for landscapers across the country to use today. More and more homeowners and landscapers are finding cap rock to be a durable, aesthetic material for many uses. Cap rock is perfect for building retaining walls, planters, and waterfalls. Some landscape architects use it in their design to create focal pieces that add texture and beauty to a yard. This is because cap rock has natural inclusions that allow for tropical foliage and bromeliads to grow. This natural habitat makes a great addition to any tropical landscape.

Cap rock is a very resistant rock that hinders erosion and can last for many years. Unlike wooden structures, cap rock walls or planter beds will not rot, nor will they be harmed by termites.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Coral Rocks

Coral rocks, or coral stone, are fossilized limestone. These naturally occurring substances are sedimentary rocks that are made mostly of calcium carbonate. Coral rock is porous and contains many fossils from coral, snails, gastropods, and other marine and plant life.

Found naturally in Florida, coral rocks are often chosen in order to express a tropical elegance and style. Coral rocks can be used outdoors in warm climates for walkways, boulders, steps, pillars and other artistic landscaping projects. An outdoor fireplace covered in coral stone makes a great addition to a patio. Used indoors in both warm and cooler climates, this stone can be found in cut sizes that are perfect for covering walls and floors. Many homeowners use coral rock tiles to cover bathrooms and kitchens.

Coral rocks may not be as commonly used as other natural stones for indoor areas, but they have a sophistication that many individuals are looking for. A great designer will know what stones look good together and can come up with a great fireplace, walkway, or wall that is a great display of different types of rocks. Coral rocks can be placed along with travertine, marble, and many other types of stone to create a more detailed and interesting structure or flooring.

Coral stone is resilient and natural, and is gaining in popularity because of its timeless beauty. A skilled designer can plan a space that is rich with texture and color by using coral rocks.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Travertine Pavers

Travertine pavers have been increasing in popularity in recent years, although the use of this kind of stone has been going on for thousands of years. Historical structures, such as the Colosseum in Rome and a 1000 year old Burghausen castle in Europe are made out of travertine and have withstood the test of time.

In modern times, travertine has been used extensively for pool paving, building structures such as fireplaces and walkways, and tiling bathrooms and kitchens. The natural color and beauty of travertine makes it a timeless material that will continue to impress those that invest in it.

There are benefits to using travertine pavers, besides the great look it provides. Travertine stays cool to the touch, even in heat and sunlight. This makes it a perfect material for paving around an outdoor pool. It also is a non-skid surface, even when wet, which is important for safety around a pool.

Travertine is easy to install, and can usually be done by those with experience in laying regular pavers. Because travertine is a natural stone, it is made to uphold through time, and will not fade or scuff. It is also a great choice in a variety of climates, because it can withstand freezing and thawing without cracking.

Travertine can be cut to different sizes, and is usually offered as tile or pavers. Travertine pavers are thicker than tile, and are a good choice for paving outdoor areas. The extra thickness makes them stronger and allows them to be placed in many areas without mortar.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Landscape Architects

As you look to improve your yard and property, you might want to make it easy on yourself and hire a landscape architect. These licensed professionals can provide homeowners with great expertise when it comes to designing the perfect plan for their space.

After formal schooling and years of experience, a good landscape architect will find work easily at places such as public parks or golf courses, working in the actual design of the area. Many others own nurseries where they sell many different types of plants and spend their days helping customers plan out their yards. Still others work full-time at clients’ homes, designing their yards and coming up with a complete plan for landscaping.

It is possible to plan out your yard on your own, but a landscape architect will have a broad base of knowledge about things like what plants would look good together in a certain bed, or how to use things like brick, pebbles, marble or travertine pavers to create a walkway. These professionals might also suggest you try something you might not have considered, such as adding a cap rock waterfall, or a dry bed of recycled glass mulch. Landscape architects should know what things will work well in your area, and will know other things, such as coral rocks should only be used in very warm climates, or else they will crack.

You may be able to get this information on your own by doing your research, but a landscape architect will simplify the process for you.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Curb Appeal

For those that are looking to sell their home, or even just improve the value of their current home, one thing that can help is curb appeal. Homeowners that take the time to improve their yard and landscape, as well as the outside of their house, often find a nice return on their money. A well-kept yard and house will usually sell better than a run-down property.

Starting with the simple things, it doesn’t take much time or money to make sure the garden is free of weeds and looking healthy. Inspecting and, if necessary, replacing gutters and downspouts will improve the home, as well as installing a new front door. Planning out and installing lighting can make a yard beautiful at night. These things, while rather small, will make a big impression on those looking at the house from the curb.

Other improvements, such as painting the house and trim, will take more time and labor. If the homeowner is willing to take the time, or can hire help to do it, adding or rebuilding a patio made out of a nice stone like travertine pavers, or a fireplace out of coral rocks would add much to a home. A homeowner could also build a walkway leading to the flowerbeds, made out of colored pebbles or other stone.

One more thing that can help would be to take pictures of the yard and then use them to see what needs to be improved. Sometimes taking a step back helps us see things we tend to overlook.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Going Green

Everyone is talking about how important it is to conserve our resources. The following 5 tips will help you manage your yard without putting a strain on the environment.

1. Organic fertilizer: You may like the results that come with fertilized plants and flowers, but synthetic fertilizer can be harmful to both the environment and people. Instead, choose a good organic fertilizer that uses things such as alfalfa meal.

2. Glass mulch: In some areas of your yard, glass mulch can add great texture and color. This glass mulch is made from pieces of recycled glass that have been tumbled until they are smooth. Glass mulch is growing in popularity because of the positive effects it has on the environment, as well as the modern look it portrays.

3. Compost: A compost pile is an easy way to recycle old food and plant matter to make a natural fertilizer. Find a location away from the traffic of your yard to add a compost pile.

4. Rain barrel: Set up rain barrels to collect and store rain water as it falls. Often, they can be placed under a rain spout to catch all that falls off of the roof. Rain water is great for watering outdoor plants.

5. Xeriscape: In some cases “going green” can actually mean giving up the green space. If plants are hard to grow in areas of your yard, rather than use a lot of water and resources to get them to grow, think of replacing them with rocks, pebbles, or glass mulch that are low maintenance.

Do It Yourself Landscape Projects

Many people today are trying to save money because of the current economy. For those that take pride in the way their yard looks, there are ways to go about maintaining a beautiful landscape without spending too much hard-earned money. One way is to do the work yourself. Countless websites and television shows give tips to complete certain projects that increase a house’s curb appeal. Investigate some of these, or check your local library for do it yourself books that will walk you through the process.

Be aware, that some projects will require more time and labor than others. Perhaps you will find it easy to enhance your area with some colored pebbles, or maybe some glass mulch will make a big difference with relatively little work. Other things, such as installing a patio with travertine pavers or making a cap rock planter, will be require you to have a carefully laid-out plan, a good eye for detail, and some knowledge about these types of materials. But after doing the research and finding the answers first, even beginners can take on and accomplish these projects.

Other things, such as designing the area and planning what plants and flowers will work best in certain areas, may be something that a professional could be consulted about, or you could ask at your local garden center. Once the plan is laid out and the work is done, more and more homeowners are now finding they can save money by maintaining their yard on their own.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Xeriscaping

Xeriscaping is a growing trend in our country, especially in areas that don’t get much rain. But the techniques can be used anywhere as a way to conserve water. By using xeriscaping, a homeowner can cut down on the cost they spend on water and on labor to maintain green space.

It is important to plan out your xeriscaped lawn or have a professional do it for you before you begin. You will need to take into account the different needs you have for your property, such as play areas or vegetable gardens.

You can expect a xeriscaped lawn to have some grassy areas that are smaller and better maintained than a whole property full of grass. Choose the best area for your yard to sustain grass and put the turf there.

An irrigation system that is properly installed can conserve water, and be a part of xeriscaping. Drip systems work well and get the water more precisely to the areas you want watered. Run the system in the morning or at night to prevent evaporation of the water.

One of the main components to a xeriscaped project is the use of rocks or pebbles. Areas where things are hard to grow, like under a tree or in a high traffic area, can be completely covered with pebbles. Pebbles now come in a variety of sizes and colors to meet the needs of any landscaper. Pebbles require very little maintenance and will help cut down on water usage. Overall, pebbles are a great addition to a xeriscaped yard.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Coral Castle

The Coral Castle, which now sits in Homestead, Florida, is said to be made from tons and tons of coral rocks. Much controversy surrounds the castle, especially the construction of it, because one man, Edward Leedskalnin, supposedly built it by himself. Rumor has it that much of his work was done at night in order to avoid spectators, and he constructed it while using only primitive tools. When asked how he could accomplish this he wouldn’t tell anyone how he assembled it. 1,200 tons of stones make up the castle, including one 30 ton stone, and two 25 foot tall stones. With precision in his measurements and carvings, Edward was able to create structures with rocks that few others can claim to do, even with modern tools.

While it is called the Coral Castle, most of the stones are not actually coral rocks, but rather oolite limestone, which is a sedimentary rock that contains fossil shells and some coral. These types of “coral rocks” are found in southeastern Florida, sometimes abundantly just under the earth’s surface. The castle is typical of other structures made out of limestone rock with coral, or those made from real coral rocks in that it is extremely strong. The Coral Castle even survived a direct hit by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, even when buildings around it were destroyed. Today the castle is a tourist attraction that brings people in every year to marvel at its workmanship.  

Friday, January 16, 2009

Glass Mulch Becoming Popular in Landscaping

A new trend has made its way into the landscape arena, and Larry’s Cap Rock and Stone is proud to be a part of it. Recycled glass mulch is now a hit for decorating flowerbeds or gardens, and it is being featured by various designers every day.

The glass mulch is made from recycled glass shards that have been tumbled to make the edges smooth. They come in different colors, which have made them very popular among those looking for a little something extra for their landscaping.

With a little bit of planning and preparation, glass mulch can be practical for protecting plants and to cut down on dust, as well as provide a beautiful landscape. The colored mulch would be a great addition to complement simple plants and would add a bit of vibrancy among plain-colored foliage.

Virtually maintenance free, the glass mulch will only need to occasionally be blown clear of leaves and debris to maintain it. It is probably best used in an area without things like pine needles dropping or things that might become stuck among the glass. But overall, many projects this year across the country will be turned into a work of art with glass mulch. This type of decorating can be a welcome change to plain wood mulch that is so commonly used. With so many different possibilities of different color combinations and textures, glass mulch is bound to be seen more throughout the country soon.

Pebbles for Every Landscaping Need

If you are planting foliage in your yard or garden, you will want to cover the ground under your plants and flowers in order to protect the plants, keep moisture in, and provide a finished look. Pebbles are a perfect material for a variety of planting styles. Ranging in color from earth tones to colorful stones, pebbles are a very versatile cover material. With a range of sizes also available, pebbles can meet the needs of different landscapers with diverse planting projects.

Also a great material for rock beds and ponds, pebbles work great in wet areas to provide a textured surface. They are often used to line the bed of a pond and under plants surrounding ponds. These rocks show their colors more vividly when wet, which also makes them appealing for ponds and waterfalls.

Decorative rock beds are a great solution for drab areas of the yard, or ones that are difficult to grow plants in. Using pebbles as the base material is a great solution for areas such as these. Pebbles also are favorable in these areas of the yard because they don’t decay, they won’t blow away in the wind, and they won’t attract insects like typical mulch.

For those with an extra artistic touch, pebbles can be used in outdoor decorative pieces, such as mosaics and stepping stones. The variety of colors of pebbles that are sold can allow for a little bit of expression on the part of a designer or landscaper to create an outdoor masterpiece.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Recycled glass pebbles in stock for your design projects

Largest selection of recycled glass in South Florida. Recycled glass pebbles in stock for your design projects. Recycled architectural glass in a variety of colors and sizes.

Larry’s Cap Rock & Stone is going green. Our recycled glass mulch is available in 4 dazzling colors. Recycled glass is LEED certified. It is also available at the most competitive pricing in the United States. Recycled glass mulch provides a maintenance free modern landscape. Use it as an exposed aggregate or for decorative
ground cover.

The right combination of recycled glass rocks, plants, and careful planning can create a beautiful glass garden for your yard, business property, or even an indoor environment. Our proprietary production process produces recycled glass rocks that are lightly tumbled and safe to handle with bare hands. These recycled glass products also qualify for LEED credits. Larry’s Cap Rock & Stone offers architectural recycled glass at the most competitive prices in the USA.

Recycled architectural glass comes in a large variety of colors, sizes, and textures. We offer the sizes of recycled glass most suitable a variety of landscaping purposes. Recycled glass qualifies for LEED credits. LEED was created to define green building by establishing a common standard of
measurement.

Friday, June 13, 2008

One Stop Resource for Natural Stone



Larry's Cap Rock & Stone is a "one-stop" resource for all your natural stone needs.


We understand the dynamics of designing with stone. Experience and knowledge allow us to simplify the selection and fabrication process by effectively collaborating with architects, designers, builders and installation contractors. The results provide the most discerning client, the look they desire.

Our services include:
Stone / product research
Your specs call for rubble. And you aren’t sure what is or where to get it. Larry’s Cap Rock Inc. can help you distinguish the difference between rubble strips and coral rubble pieces so you accurately quote your job.

Sample submittals
Your client is discerning and requests samples to be included with your design plan. Larry’s Cap Rock & Stone will provide samples of any rock free of charge. We only ask that you pay shipping charges on anything that needs to be expedited.

Priority list, production and delivery schedules
Larry’s Cap Rock & Stone works diligently to provide you with realistic timelines and delivery schedules. Our sales people are committed to answering your questions and needs with honesty and candor about market conditions and weather events.

Factory/quarry liaison
Our business has been built on over 13 years of relationships with quarries throughout the United States and the world. We are committed to providing all clients with the widest variety of stone at the lowest prices.

Stone inspection/quality control
Quality control is a key element to our business. What many contractors don’t realize is that with any natural product, especially any sandstone you will have breakage. We work to minimize the amounts incurred by partnering with trusted quarries as well as by training our excavating staff on what we require. This is one of the areas that truly separate us from the pack.

Coordinating National and International Shipments
We have extensive experience coordinating loads throughout the United States and the Caribbean. The Port of Miami is 30 minutes to our North. As such we are familiar with all seaboard shipping companies and will work to get you the lowest estimate on any load leaving the United States. Those loads in the state of Florida are typically handled by our own trucks and are quoted on a case by case basis. On LTL shipments in the state of Florida, we use FedEx Freight. Call our office for up to the minute quotes as rates change monthly.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Introduction to Beach Pebbles

P E B B L E S www.larryscaprockandstone.com









Mexican Beach - Black









Mexican Beach - Red Polished








Polished Black

PEBBLES ADD COLOR & TEXTURE TO YOUR OUTDOOR SPACE

Pebbles in native colors from the oceans and the
seasides of Mexico and Asia are naturally
smoothed by the movement of water.

Note:
Larry’s Cap Rock and Stone mesh-backed pebble
tiles are available in 12 x 12 inch squares for
flooring and veneers.

FINISHES - Smooth, polished and seaside

APPLICATIONS - Landscaping ground cover,
dry garden beds, southwestern and Japanese
gardens, water features, building veneer,
exposed concrete aggregate, swimming pool
decks and patios

SPECIFICATIONS
Stone Sizes Unit
Mexican Pebbles 0.5-1 or 1-2 inches 40 lb. bag
2-3 or 3-5 inches 40 lb. bag
5-8 inches 40 lb. bag
Mexican Confetti 0.13-0.25 inch 40 lb. bag
Polished Pebbles 0.5-1.5 inches 40 lb. bag
1.5-2.5 inches 40 lb. bag

Friday, May 30, 2008

How to Install Coralina Tiles in 4 Easy Steps


Coralina tile provides a beautiful, long lasting wall that's easy to take care of and is almost impossible to mark or stain. You can install wall tiles literally any place you want to be able to enjoy their beauty, but the obvious locations are in outdoor kitchens (as backsplashes or countertops) and in bathrooms and showers. Although most people think a coralina wall is difficult to install, the reality is it's not beyond the range of a handy DIY'er who is willing to spend some time understanding the process and take his time installing the wall.

Here's what you'll need:
• Coralina tiles
• Cement board or green drywall
• Galvanized cement board screws
• Fiberglass tape
• Level
• Pencil
• Tile adhesive
• Notched trowel
• Tile cutter (rented)
• Tile nippers
• Grout
• Rubber float
• Sponge
• Buckets of clear water
• Utility knife
• Silicon caulk

Preparing the Wall
Coralina tiles can be installed directly on drywall, plaster, or if they are in moist areas, onto "green" drywall or even better cement backer board. Green drywall is specifically designed for use in bathrooms. It's as easy (or as hard) to work with as ordinary drywall, but it's specially formulated to resist moisture. Its best use is in a kitchen or bathroom where the environment will get moist, but not where it will actually be exposed to water.

Cement backer board is actually made from a fiberglass mesh and Portland cement, so moisture won't bother it at all. It is available in 1/2 and 5/8-inch thick sheets (similar to drywall), and is usually sold in 32 or 36-inch wide panels 5 or 8 feet long. Cement board is cut the same way as ordinary drywall - score it with a utility knife and then snap it at the line. It's installed by screwing it to the underlying studs; place the screws about 6 inches apart and use special galvanized screws that won't rust. The seams are finished by taping with special fiberglass seaming tape. Cement board is the best thing to use in a shower installation and even makes sense if you are installing a backsplash close to a sink.

Laying Out Your Tile Pattern
Find the center of your wall and use a carpenter's level to mark intersecting plumb (vertical) and level (horizontal) lines. Dry fit the first row of coralina tiles starting at the center and working your way to the ends of the wall. You want the coralina tiles at both row ends to be approximately the same size, so you may have to adjust your vertical reference line to make them match up.

Installing the Tile
Starting in the center, on one side of your reference line, apply a coat of tile setting adhesive to an area about 3' by 3' square. Take care not to cover your lines. Spread the adhesive with the smooth side of your notched trowel and then go over it with the notched side to create ridges in the adhesive.

Firmly press each coralina tile in place and give it a slight twisting motion to be sure it makes good contact with the adhesive. As you work your way along, place tile spacers on all four sides of each tile, so your grout lines will be consistent. Take your time and work on the wall in three square foot sections.

At the end of a row or around fixtures, you'll probably need to cut some tiles. A rented ceramic tile cutter is the easiest way to make your straight cuts. Using this tool, score the cut line on a full tile and then snap the tile along the scribed line. Smooth the edge with 80 grit sandpaper (the edge of a cut coralina tile is very sharp).

Cutting irregular shaped tiles or around obstructions will require using "tile nippers." These are a heavy duty hand tool that you use to "nip" or bite off little pieces of a tile, one at a time, until you have cut the needed shape.

Grouting
After the coralina tiles have all been installed and the adhesive has set up (probably overnight), it's time to grout the tiles. Depending on the width of your grout lines, you will need to choose either sanded or unsanded grout. If the spaces between the tiles are bigger than 1/8", use sanded grout. (Sanded grout actually contains sand particles that help make the grout joint stronger.)

Remove all your tile spacers and mix the grout following manufacturer's directions (it should end up with a peanut butter-like consistency). If you're grouting in a bathroom or kitchen area, be sure your grout includes a waterproofing agent.
Using a rubber float, apply the grout at a 45-degree angle to the grout lines.
Press firmly; you want to get grout all the way down to the bottom of the seams. Work in your 3' x 3' areas to be sure you get uniform coverage of all the grout lines. Wipe off any excess grout with a wet sponge and clear water.

Friday, May 23, 2008

7 Artsy Ways to Make Your Landscaping Stand Out Using Natural Stones






You say that your landscaping is complete? Then show me your stones! That's right, landscaping stones. The artful application of landscaping stone could enhance the natural elements that you've already employed -- namely, your plants. And the aesthetic and functional use of stone can even raise the value of your property. You tend to your trees and lawn, and you lavish your vegetable plants with attention. Why, your posies even get to rest their pretty little heads on something we dub "flower beds." With all this attention to the animate denizens of the landscape, don't forget their inanimate counterparts, which include soil and stone. Without proper soil, of course, plants will not grow well; no amount of artistry will make up for a flawed canvas. And without the skillful arrangement of stone and other hardscape components, the most artistic of landscapes would lack a frame to set it off tastefully.

For many, a boulder at a driveway entrance, with their name/address painted on it or chiseled into it, will suffice. But the possibilities are limited only by the time you wish to spend. Or by the money you are willing to pay professionals to do it for you. For some hardscape projects, you will need to combine your landscaping stone with mortar -- or perhaps use concrete, brick, or tile, instead of stone. These and other variations must be considered when taking on one of the most popular hardscape projects -- building a patio. Whether composed of concrete, stone, or some other hardscape material, patios are a wonderful way to tie the indoors with the outdoors, thereby uniting house and landscape effectively and creating outdoor living spaces. In regions plagued by drought, or for homeowners who want a low-maintenance landscape, an interesting alternative to lawns is the extended patio, which is simply an enlarged patio that takes up space where lawn grass would otherwise be planted.

The use of stone includes, but is not limited to:

• Patio floors/walls
• Paths, including garden stepping stone walkways
• Columns to support car ports
• Outbuildings made entirely of stone
• Foundations for porches and decks
• Accent pieces for water gardens and, of course, rock gardens
• Stone walls

Friday, May 16, 2008

How to build a dry creek bed river rocks

Do you have a slope on your property down which excess water flows, causing erosion on the slope and/or a landscape drainage problem below? Homeowners often get rid of such pooling by building dry creek beds. Besides the practical aspect of improving landscape drainage, dry creek beds can also be attractive. In fact, some folks with absolutely no landscape drainage problems build dry creek beds just because they like the look of them!

Difficulty: Average

Time Required: 4 hours/10 feet

Here's How:

1. First plan the course that the dry creek bed will take down the slope. Mark the 2 edges of that course with landscaper's paint. A meandering course looks more natural than a straight course. How high up the slope should you start? In some cases, there's little choice. For instance, if a landscape drainage pipe that's already in place is dumping all that excess water onto your property, your decision is clear-cut: begin the dry creek bed by grading the land right under that pipe....

2. But in cases where you have more leeway (especially for dry creek beds that are purely decorative), attempt to disguise the "headwaters" of the dry creek bed by making it bend out from behind a large boulder or some plant material. When the source of a stream is mysterious, viewers have to use their imagination. And what we construct with our hands is rarely as pleasing as what we construct with our minds!

3. We've talked about how high up the slope to start. But what about where to finish down below? Some homeowners redirect excess water toward the street. But it's best to contemplate a worst-case scenario when dealing with public property, because that means dealing with the government -- which can be a real stickler when it comes to issues like redirecting excess water. So check with your local public works department first. If their response is positive, get something in writing that says so....

4. What if you're not allowed to redirect the water to the street? Unless you already have a landscape drainage system in place (allowing you to route the runoff into that system), you have 2 main options. You could channel the water to a location on your land (but make sure it's your land, not a neighbor's!) where it's less troublesome and where, if the soil is sandy enough, it can percolate harmlessly down into the ground. A second option is to build a pond and funnel the water into it.

5. So much for the course of a dry creek bed. What about its depth and width? These dimensions don't have to conform to any rule exactly. Look at dry creek beds in nature: they're obviously not all of the same depth and width. But there's a general rule you can follow: dry creek beds tend to be wider than they are deep, which is good news for you -- less digging! A 2:1 ratio is about right, meaning you could make the dry creek bed 3' wide x 1.5' deep, for example.

6. With the planning done, now it's time for the first real work in the project: the digging. It's easy to build dry creek beds for landscape drainage, provided that the soil you'll be excavating isn't strewn with roots and rocks. Those with difficult soil to excavate can take solace in the fact that excavating the dry creek bed will be the toughest part of the project!

7. Take the soil that you're excavating and mound it up along the sides of your dry creek bed, as you go. This will reduce the amount of digging that you have to do, since you'll be lowering the base and raising the sides in one motion. Tamp down this excavated soil with a tamping tool.

8. After the trench for the dry creek bed has been excavated, lay down landscape fabric along its whole length. You want the fabric to cover the mounds of earth on both sides, as well as the trench. Hold the fabric in place using fabric pins or garden staples. Now for the part of the project that will be visible to viewer's: the rock....

9. For projects intended to improve landscape drainage, all rocks need to be mortared into place to form a solid channel that will carry water away (for ornamental dry creek beds, this is optional -- and probably undesirable). Apply mortar only to short sections of the fabric at a time, since mortar dries quickly. Use at least 2" of mortar. Lay the rocks in the mortar, then repeat the process with the next short section. It's easier to work from the top of the slope, down.

10. You can use rock of various shapes and sizes, but many homeowners prefer to select more round rocks ("river rocks") than flat ones. Round rocks conjure up an image of the water that has been gushing over them, knocking them about and causing them to become round over time.
11. Place small river rocks in the center of the trench; the water will flow over these.

12. Place your larger rocks on the sides of the dry creek bed, where they'll help channel the water and where they'll have the most visual impact. Save any boulders for the biggest bends in your stream's course and to disguise the "headwaters" of the dry creek bed (as discussed in Step 2 above).

Tips:

After you build dry creek beds, you can dress them up a bit. Plants will soften the edges, for instance. If you're more ambitious, you can install a landscape bridge over the dry creek bed and plant tall ornamental grasses to serve as "bookends" at both entrances to the landscape bridge. Adorn the landscape bridge with hanging container gardens to create a knockout focal point for your yard.

What You Need:

• Landscaper's paint

• Landscape fabric

• Fabric pins or garden staples

• River rocks and boulders

• Mortar

• Wheelbarrow for mixing the mortar

• Tamping tool

• Shovel

Friday, May 9, 2008

How to Select The Best Travertine For Your Next Project









Do your research! Ask questions of the experts the salespeople, local paver installers such as Larry’s Cap Rock & Stone, owners of travertine pavers, and other sources. They can help you make an informed purchase. Knowledge is the best means of achieving the results you want.

Consider where you wish to install your travertine pavers; what kind of conditions will it need to be able to withstand? Foot traffic and moisture levels should be the most obvious considerations, as well as any spillage or staining problems that may arise from your young children or pets.

With the location in mind, think about the issue of finish. This should help you to choose the kind of finish that would be the most suitable. Tumbled or brushed travertine pavers may answer the slip-resistance question. But honed or polished may meet your visual requirements. Weigh the pros and cons, always balancing visuals with practicality.

Choose an appropriate sealer. This is an important step regardless of which type of travertine paver you choose. Consult the experts your local retailers of stone products can help with this on which products are best for your particular choice in travertine paver. As always, follow the instructions on any the labels of any products you do buy to make sure you get the results you are after.

When you finally get your travertine, expect there to be slight color variances. Despite the fact that there has already been a selection process for color variation, travertine tile is still a natural product with varying degree of mineral deposits from tile to tile. But you can use this to your advantage. Open all boxes and try a dry run using all of the tiles in your batch. Be creative!
A travertine paver installation links your interior or exterior with a architectural tradition that goes back thousands of years, as well a linking it to an ongoing tradition likely to last for thousands more!

Larry’s Cap Rock & Stone offers travertine tile and pavers. They offer subtle yet rich tones to any interior or exterior, as well as a level of long-lasting durability which makes it a reliable material as well as a decorative one.

Friday, May 2, 2008

We offer a large selection of beach pebbles for your next pond or garden project. Amazing and inspiring Mexican beach pebbles





We offer a large selection of beach pebbles for your next pond or garden project. Amazing and inspiring Mexican beach pebbles, pebble tile, and river pebbles to compliment your home.

Our collection of beach pebbles is one of the largest in the Southeast. Whether you are looking for black Mexican beach pebbles, earth toned pebbles or vibrant color pebbles, Larry's Cap Rock and Stone has a product that is right for your project.

Beach pebbles provide a finished look for your landscape project and offer protection for foliage. Larry’s Cap Rock & Stone offers a wide variety of beach pebbles, gravels, and pebble tile both from domestic and imported sources. Our beach pebbles typically range from ½ inch to 5 inch. However, we are happy to special order sizes not reflected in our catalog. Our signature line transforms any landscape into a visual indulgence.

• Most competitive beach pebble prices in southeast United States

• Most diverse selection of beach pebbles available in Florida

• First Quality: We don’t stock commercial quality.

• Safety: Natural stone is non-skid even when wet

• Environmentally friendly through water use reduction

• Beach pebbles available for immediate shipment

• Family owned & operated with integrity & honesty

Please note that due to variations in PC monitors it is best to make your selection based on actual samples or after conversing with one of our skilled sales professionals about your color specification needs.

All beach pebbles come in a variety of sizes ranging from 1/2 inch to 7 inches. Please specify the sizes you need when ordering.