Robin Spangenberg
Northeast Signature Properties, LLC | 508-277-4144 | [email protected]

Posted by Robin Spangenberg on 7/8/2018

When you have a small yard, you may feel like there’s not much you can do with your landscaping scheme. The good news is that there is plenty that you can do to perk up your yard and give it some character. Read on for tips for your small yard. 

A Yard With A View

First, you should create a focal point in your yard. You want a place that your eyes are drawn to each time you enter your yard. This focal point could be a fountain, a pergola, a tree, or even some outdoor artwork.

Create An Intimate Spot

Even though your backyard might be small, having a spot for intimate conversation and entertaining can be a nice touch to your yard. When there is a space that exists for reading, relaxing, eating, or whatever you like to do outside, it becomes more inviting. This is landscaping with a purpose.   

Use Color To Your Advantage

Make bold colors pop in your yard. Attention will be detracted from the size of your yard and the focus will switch to the beautiful blends and colors that are in the space. Placing bright colors strategically will even make your yard appear larger. 

Trick Imagery

By creating a focal point and allowing your yard to form in long, clean lines, the perspective of the outdoor space will change from small to just right. One trick is to use fences to define your yard. If you have a garden, you can use a small fence to define this area. Define the boundaries of your backyard with a fence as well. Repeating rows of flowers or bushes is another way to create those straight, defining lines. 

Use Vertical Features

When space is limited, just as you would in the inside of your house, don’t be afraid to go up! You can plant things that grow on a vine and can be tamed with a trellis or pergola. This creates and elegant effect in your home. 

No Lawn No Problem

If your yard is small enough that you may not even have much grass, don’t fret. Any kind of greenery can help you to enjoy nature. Whether you live in a rural area or a large cityscape, there’s always room for plant life and green natural accents.      

Don’t Forget To Add What You Love

If you have an admiration for sitting by the fire, you certainly should install a fire pit. If you want a fountain, you should install it. No matter what the size of your yard, it’s a place that you love and should serve you and your needs. No yard is too small for enjoyment. The key is that your outdoor space allows you to bask in the glory of your own little piece of natural heaven.    


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Posted by Robin Spangenberg on 2/26/2017

Have you admired dry stacked stone retaining walls and would like to add a similar hardscaping element to your landscape? Dry stacked stone walls are relatively easy to build and provide a natural looking retaining wall to control hillside erosion, define a property boundary, or provide an attractive edging to flowerbeds. However, if improperly designed and constructed, stone walls can be a lot more trouble than they are worth. Prone to collapsing, poorly constructed dry stacked stone is often in need of re-stacking. To avoid problems when building a dry stacked stone wall, it is wise to keep a few points in mind. Selecting Stones Whether you gather stones from your property, harvest stone from a public area or order stone from a masonry contractor, be sure to choose a stone that compliments your home’s building materials. If you have a stone fireplace or stone trim on the structure, choose a matching stone. Sort Out Your Stones Go through your stone pile and make separate piles of the largest stones for cornerstones and building the base. You will need a good supply of long, narrow stones for anchoring the wall, and a healthy supply of smaller stones to fill gaps and crevices. A Solid Base To retain structural integrity, a stacked stone wall needs to sit “in” the ground, not “on” it. Dig a four to six-inch deep trench where you intend to construct the stonework. The trench should be at least six inches wider than the wall, allowing approximately three inches on each side of the base. Line the trench with landscape fabric. The width of the fabric should be two times the width of the trench. Add two to three inches of gravel to the trench. Tamp down the gravel and level with a garden rake. After leveling the gravel, wrap the excess fabric over the top of the gravel, placing the first layer of stone on top of the gravel layer. Wrapping the gravel layer in landscape fabric prevents soil and root intrusion, which can hinder drainage and cause frost heaving. When laying down the first layer of stone, select large, flat stones to create a solid base that is easy to build upon. Fill spaces between the larger stones with smaller stones. Anchoring The Wall In Place Failing to anchor the wall in place is the most common mistake made by do-it-yourself homeowners. To effectively anchor your wall to a hillside or slope, start with the third layer, and in each successive third layer, placing long and narrow stones as anchors. Position the anchor stones with the narrow side flush with the front of the wall, and the long side jutting out perpendicular to the wall, into the hillside or slope. Position anchor stones about six feet apart. Lean Into It A dry stacked stone wall needs to lean. The wall may be required to hold back thousands of pounds of soil, which requires an inch of angle for every 12 inches of vertical height. Fill In Gaps As You Go Failing to fill in the gaps between stones is another common pitfall in stonewall construction. Gaps between stones allow soil to build up and moisture to collect, causing the wall to buckle and collapse, so fill in the spaces between rocks as you go.

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Posted by Robin Spangenberg on 8/2/2015

Not only does it make your landscaping look good but mulch is important to the health of your plants.  Mulch is any type of material that is spread or laid over the surface of the soil as a covering and is most commonly made of compost, bark, wood chips, leaves, seed hulls, grass clippings, nut shells, newspaper, cardboard, or straw. Besides improving the look of your landscape mulching has lots of other benefits here are just a few: -Helps maintain soil moisture. -Helps control weeds. Use a layer of mulch that is 2- to 4-inches to reduce weeds. -An insulating blanket for plants by keeping the soil warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. -Improved soil aeration and drainage over time. -Improve soil fertility. -Plant diseases can be inhibited. -Attractive look for landscaping. -Replenish nutrients for the soil. So go ahead and mulch away!