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Cactus in Colorado?

Posted on 29 June 2011 | No responses

Cactus in Colorado? Sure. They grow here and in fair abundance. Prickly pear, or Opuntia, for example, are found throughout biking and hiking trails. They add a warm southwestern feel to any landscape. Cactus are so sought after, there is even a “Colorado Cactus and Succulent Society.” Members are interested in managing the survival of the species and the growing enthusiasm.

Cacti in Colorado generally grow in exposed, dry areas such as pinyon-juniper communities, sagebrush, mesa slopes, sagebrush, rocky hills and desert scrub areas. Cactus’s popularity could be growing as the climate continues to warm and the terrain in Colorado is very favorable to this low maintenance perennial. Cactus come in a number of shapes from flat to cylindrical to circular; they are minute and gigantic; their flowers are commonly very large and attractive; their fruits are edible (some delicious, some not so); and they have evolved a number of structures and processes that make them perfectly at home in what we humans call “a hostile environment. ” They have a tough, waxy outer layer that reduces moisture loss; they produce chlorophyll not in leaves but in the outer cells of the stems; they convert absorbed water into a mucilaginous liquid that can be stored in large quantities in tissues capable of expanding; and many Cactus root easily into new plants from the broken pads or stems of older plants.

Animals use cacti as a source of food. Birds, bats, mice, deer and javelinas are most commonly found enjoying the fruits of cacti throughout Colorado’s national parks and prairie lands.  Catuses are also food for people.  Some people eat cactus fruit or grind seeds into meal for pancakes. Some boil the pads and make a paste used like a jelly when cooled. Red food dye is also made  from  a cactus.

There are approximately 25 types of cacti in Colorado. Two of these species are rare plants. Sclerocactus mesa-verdae is only known to occur in the vicinity of Mesa Verde National Park in the southwest corner of the state. Sclorocactus glaucus is endemic to the western slope of Colorado. Opuntia is the largest and most widely distributed cacti genus in Colorado. Ten Opuntia can be found in Colorado, with Opuntia polyacantha being the most common. The color of the flowers, size of the joints, and number and size of the spines show considerable variability and often depend on the amount of rainfall received during the growing season.

One of the most ornamental Opuntias in Colorado is the tree cactus, Opuntia imbricata. It grows in a shrub-like form up to 6 feet in height, has trunks with a woody skeleton, and has beautiful rose-pink flowers. You can find the tree cactus in the southeastern part of the state by places such as Pueblo and Trinidad.

All cacti produce flowers. They can usually be seen on the areoles. Flowers can be white or a bright color such as yellow, orange, red and lavender. Most cacti only bloom for a few days and many open only at night.

All cacti reproduce. Their flowers have both male and female parts. The male part yields pollen. The female part contains an egg. Birds, bats, and insects are attracted to the colors or the scent of the flowers. While feeding, these creatures transfer pollen from one part to other parts of the plant. This process is pollination.  This causes  a fruit to develop.  Cactus fruit produced fleshy berries that contain seeds.  These seeds are scattered by birds, wind and rain. A cactus plant producec millions of seeds yet only one or two seeds will live to become a new cactus.

Why not explore your area to see just how many types of cacti you can find and identify in Colorado.  Note their colors and tecture and perhaps plan to add a few into your landscape. Be aware not to remove cacti from their natural habitat, they are available at a near by garden center.

Written by, Janine Buchal June 2011

Sedum Creeps In

Posted on 29 June 2011 | No responses

Sedum Creeper, also known as crassulaceae, refers to a very large group of flowering plants more commonly referred to as stonecrops. Often found meandering throughout rock gardens, there are about 400 species of the low growing succulent leaf, or fleshy leaved group, from creeping plants to shrubs. Sedum is a perennial that grows back from the root every season.  Also, as a  ground cover,  sedum should be sufficiently dense to inhibit competition from weeds.  

Sedum has foliage that ranges in color from smoky blue to burgundy and small, star-shaped clusters of flowers. Sedum thrives in alkaline soils in full sun and the plants are hardy to most areas of the country. The seed heads of taller varieties hang on the plant through the winter and provide much-needed food for birds. The flowers of taller varieties can be used in dried flower bouquets. Sedum spreads as the seeds are dopped so keep this in mind when planning your landscape.

The leavy areas of sedum are often seen in red, golden and shades of green providing texture and color to gardens. Sedum or stonecrops are not susceptible to diseases and have very few pest problem. Even deer are prone to leaving most sedums unscathed. On the other hand, they are known for attracting butterflies and bees. Folklore suggests hanging living sedum wreaths on walls wards off lightning strikes. Sedum also has been recommended for medicinal uses as an energy booster.

Consider the following factors before selecting a ground cover for your specific landscape situation:

  • To maintain design balance, select lower-growing ground covers for smaller areas and taller ones for larger areas or steep slopes.
  • Consider the amount of sun versus shade and the exposure to winter sun and winds in selecting a ground cover.
  • Most ground covers will not tolerate excessive foot traffic. If foot traffic is anticipated, install a walkway through the area before planting the ground cover.  Sedum is great between rocks and spreads throughout nooks and crannies nicely as well as keeps most weeds at bay.

Other ground cover works well alongside sedum such as red chick and hens succulents, creeping  thyme, rug juniper and phlox varieties.  These do well in the slopes of zone 4 states, such as Colorado.  Many plant varieties serve gardeners well as ground cover. Each offers unique characteristics that are ideal for specific situations. Carpet you gardens with Purple Wintercreeper, add spires of color with Liriope or enjoy the trailing beauty of Bellflower, for example.  Ask your local garden center or landscape designer for suggestions and further information. 

Written by: Janine Buchal, June 2011

Poppies are Popping

Posted on 9 June 2011 | No responses

The desire to add poppies in a flower bed or garden has significantly increased in recent years. Why? Garden trends toward simplifying maintenance and yet achieving exotic plants with enticing colors has increased in the gardener’s palate.  Also, poppies are groomed for high altitudes and although they look delicate, they are hardy and thus do well in Colorado. They bloom early in Spring so flash of color after a dreary winter is welcomed. Plus, they germinate well and as a perennial come back year after year bigger and brighter than the previous year.

There are three kinds of perennial poppies: Iceland poppies, oriental poppies and alpine poppies. The Iceland poppy thrives in Zones 2 to 8 and reaches heights of 1 to 2 feet. Oriental poppies grow to 2 to 4 feet and thrive in Zones 4 to 9. The alpine poppy reaches heights of a mere 5 to 10 inches and is hardy in Zones 5 to 8. All require well-drained soil and full sun.

Poppies are no fuss but require a well drained area.  Careful placement of oriental poppy is essential. Its foliage dies back during the hot weeks of mid-summer, leaving a gap in the garden. A well-chosen companion plant such as baby’s breath, ground cover or whirling butterflies can help camouflage the open space. 

Related plants include Iceland poppy, a perennial that generally lives for 2 to 3 years. The popular oriental poppy, prefers higher elevations and cool temperatures. Opium poppy, another short-lived plant, will re-seed freely once established in a Garden.

All poppies can reproduce from seeds, which develop as blooms fade. Seeds mature as the large green pod turns brown or gray as it dries. Once mature, a set of chemicals unique to each type of plant provides nutrients and triggers the seed’s germination in spring. Poppy seeds contain abscisic acid (ABA) which controls dormancy until conditions are right for germination. The winds of autumn or snows of winter force the pods to drop their seeds and falling leaves and snows cover the seeds to provide darkness and water that the seeds will need for germination. Come spring, the seed responds to the warmth and wetness of the soil and germinates. This continues the family line as well.

Perennial poppies reproduce by root division in addition to seeds. With this method of reproduction, they are able to compensate for too much -or too little rain, late freezes and other challenges or disasters of nature that might stop the progress of germination. The perennial poppy grows in clumps, starting new plants  within  underground roots each year before dormancy sets.

As the temperature cool down in September, new foliage emerges from the crown and persists through the winter. Oriental poppies may be left undisturbed indefinitely. The clumps will become large, but they generally are not invasive. Try added a small section of colorful poppies to your landscape and see Spring truly pop right before your eyes.

Written by,  Janine Buchal 6/2011

Peonies Springing Up

Posted on 9 June 2011 | No responses

Peonies are a great choice for a fresh cut flower and add a nice pop of color to any landscape or garden. They bloom in May or early June, smell freshly fragrant, and are also easy to manage. The only caveat is planting them in the Fall for Spring blooms. They are a little like garlic that way. They also need space and do not like to be crowded or have to share moisture especially in the dry climate of Colorado. Once a spacious spot is picked, they will endure for years.

There are many varietals and now, more than ever, blight colors as well. According to CSU, there are about 30 species of peonies, all native to the Northern hemisphere.  China has cultivated them for over 1500 years and oriental peonies are some most distict in color and hardiest available.  Most commonly found are herbaceous peonies which grow two to three feet tall and spread three to four feet. Tree peonies grow to a height of four to five feet. “Rock garden” peonies only grow 12-18″ tall. Sometimes they will need a prop like a small fence to hold them upright. otherwise, peonies make lovely additions for vase boutiques.

Buy divisions with three to five eyes (buds). After planting, peonies may take three years to bloom, but they will mature faster than divisions with only one or two eyes. Peonies do not like heavy, clay soil, but don’t mind our altitude or dry climate-they are quite drought tolerant after establishment. Peonies prefer fertile, loam soil with good drainage. Maintain the soil with compost, well rotted manure, mulched leaves or bark to improve drainage and organic matter. Take time to improve the soil, as the peonies will be in the same spot for years. They won’t need dividing unless you are planning on moving them to a new location or sharing them with a favorite neighbor.

Peonies do best with six hours of full sun and afternoon shade. The shade helps protect the flowers from fading too quickly. To plant, dig a hole 12″ to 18″ deep and 12″ wide. Mound a cone of soil in the center of the hole and drape the roots over the cone. Make sure the tips of the eyes (swollen pink or reddish buds) are only one to two inches below the surface.

The most common reason for peonies failing to bloom is being planted too deeply. Firm the soil around the roots, eliminate air pockets and water thoroughly. Water the new peonies deeply every two weeks and water in the winter if there is little moisture from snowfall. Use a loose mulch like pine boughs to protect new shoots from late frosts next spring.

Peonies do not actually need ants to open their blooms! The ants typeating the sweet sap from the blossoms, or if there are aphids on the plants, the ants are eating the honeydew from the aphids.

Written by: Janine Buchal, 6/2011

Rain Water Harvesting

Posted on 4 May 2011 | 1 response

Books have been written on the subject of Rain Water Harvesting…especially focusing on parts of Africa, like Jordan.  With severity in climates increasing here in the US, more attention is focused on some very pertinent concepts.  Water harvesting is the simple accumulation and directing of rainfall for reuse in a yard, garden, landscape or for livestock drinking water. Rainwater harvesting is the process of intercepting storm-water runoff and putting it to beneficial use.

Recent studies claim over 97% of precipitation never makes it to Colorado streams as plant life sucks it up or it evaporates.  Rainwater harvesting is a great way to augment precious household water supplies, while at the same time actually helping to conserve water by reducing demand on municipal supplies.

In most areas of Colorado, the most common way to use rainwater is to direct roof gutter downspouts to landscape areas you wish to water. Recent legislation allows limited collection and use of precipitation from residential property rooftops in cases where the landowner uses or is entitled to only certain types of well permits to use well water for their domestic non-potable water supply.

Most experts agree several principles need to be followed for successful water harvesting.

1. Begin with long and thoughtful observation of your surroundings
Use all your senses to see where the water flows and how. What is working, what is not? Build on what works.

2. Start at the top (highpoint) of your watershed and work your way down
Water travels downhill, so collect water at your high points for more immediate infiltration and easy gravity-fed distribution. Start at the top where there is less volume and velocity of water.

3. Start small and simple
Work at a scale so you can build and repair everything. Many smaller strategies are far more effective than one big one when you are trying to infiltrate water into the soil whether it is primarily for one property or many.

4. Slow, spread, and infiltrate the flow of water
Rather than having water erosion run off the land’s surface, encourage it to stick around  and infiltrate into the soil. Slow it, spread it, and get it to sink in.

5. Always plan an overflow route, and manage that overflow as a valuable resource
Always have an overflow route for the water in times of extra heavy rains, and where possible, use the overflow as a resource.

6. Maximize living and organic ground cover
Create a living sponge so the harvested water is utilized effectively to create more resources, while the soil’s ability to infiltrate and hold water steadily improves over time.

7. Maximize beneficial relationships and efficiency 

Get your water harvesting strategies to do more than hold water. Berms can double as high-and-dry raised paths. Plantings can be placed to cool buildings in summer. Vegetation can be selected to provide food. Mulch can be used to assist in even water distribution as well as lessening the amount needed to maintain the soil or plants.

8. Continually reassess your system

Observe how your work affects the site, beginning again with the first principle. Make any needed changes, using the principles to guide you.

Rain in urban and industrialized areas may contain various impurities absorbed from the atmosphere, including arsenic and mercury. In Colorado, rain is infrequent, but rainwater quality is generally good. However, the infrequency of rainfall results in accumulation of bird droppings, dust and other impurities on rooftops between rain events. These impurities may occur in high concentrations in rooftop runoff when it does rain. The best strategy is to filter and screen out contaminants before they enter the storage container. Dirty containers may become a health hazard or a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other pests.

Due to concerns surrounding microbial contamination of harvested rainwater, it is not recommended as a source of drinking water for humans. However, properly designed, constructed, and maintained systems that include disinfection steps have been successfully used for private domestic water supplies.

Check with the Colorado Division of Water Resources and your local building, zoning, and environmental departments before you develop a rainwater harvesting system to determine what plumbing requirements, local restrictions, neighborhood covenants, or other regulations or guidelines might apply to your project.

Written By Janine Buchal

Rustic Pergolas

Posted on 27 April 2011 | 1 response

If you are not a Type A personality, a rustic Pergola could be just the project for you to engage in this summer. Besides it is cost effective, fun and adds dimension to you yard. They can be a perfect location to hang planters, grow vine plants like tomatoes or wine grapes, read or stage a photo shoot.

Much like a good recipe, you will only need about five items:

  1. A saw
  2. Screws
  3. Drill
  4. Drill bit
  5. Branches

 Begin by, sketching out the design you are intending. Make sure you have enough materials before you start.

 Start by collecting a large amount of fairly straight, attractive branches in various lengths and diameters. You will need at least four long, thick sticks measuring the height of your pergola, and two long, thick sticks that are the width of your pergola. Collect a dozen more of various lengths, for good measure. You may feel like you are making a plan to get off Gilligan’s island, but it is not actually that dire.

Trim off any small growths, leaves, and sticks from each of the branches using your saw.

Lay out one side of the pergola on the ground, with two long branches parallel to each other, and one stick running across the top of them for your roof. The branches should overlap a few inches. Join the sticks together with long screws. Pre-drill your holes to avoid splitting your branches.

Assemble the other side of the pergola opposite the first one, and then stand them both up together.  This is a good time to ask a neighbor, spouse or friend to lend a hand. Join the two sides together with a shorter stick in each of the corners as a crossbar. Join the two sides with at least three more branches to ensure stability. Some rustic pergola experts use twine for a very island look.

Attach other natural fibers, metal stars, wreaths and birdhouses, if you like. Keep the look natural and not too cluttered. Hang a few flowering plants along the roof of the pergola. For added shade, you can attach pre-cut plexi-glass or other light material to the roof as well.  A glider might be a nice addition to tuck inside your hand-made, Colorado rustic, pergola. It will be a nice oasis to read in, listen to music and enjoy the great outdoors. Many rustic pergolas have only a bench or seating area in them as their focal point. The simpler, the better.

If you have a Type A personality, I apologize. You may want all the lines straight, the wood to be level, and not warped or rustic at all. In this case, pergola kits are available where the same basic assembly principles apply. Your materials would be more standard 2 x 4 boards.  These commercially made style pergolas tend to encompass an entire patio area as well. They often attach right to the house rather than serve as a small seating area in the yard.  Maybe Bob Villa would visit to make sure your pergola will measure exactly to your specifications. 

Either pergola option is a matter of taste. Both have their own style and add to your outdoor living space. The idea is to build it yourself and then enjoy it all summer long.

 Written by: Janine Buchal

How to hire a landscape contractor:

Posted on 23 April 2011 | No responses

There are many things to factor in when deciding who should do your landscaping project.  Such things would consider the scope of work, the creativity involved, and the price point that you would like to stick with to get the work done.  Denver, Colorado, just like any big city, is full of landscaping companies that offer what may appear to be the same service.  However, this isn’t exactly the case.  The term landscaping is very broad, and can be applied to things as simple as pruning hedges to full blown design / build landscape projects.  When considering a company to do your landscaping project, it is usually an excellent idea to do some research.  In this day and age, the web gives us the reach to browse the majority of landscaping companies out there, and this is an excellent place to start your search for the right company.

If you are looking for repair shop software please take a look at RepairStorm.

When looking for a landscape contractor, consider the following:

  1. The scope of work – if you are looking for something simple, such as minor existing landscape modifications, then you probably don’t need a company that is capable of delivering you a masterpiece.  If your project is simple, using a smaller company may be the wiser choice, as you will most likely pay a more reasonable price for the simple work you are looking for.  If you are looking for landscaping work that is more complex, it may make sense to find landscaping companies and landscape designers that are skilled at doing just that.  There is a great deal of craftsmanship that goes into a beautiful landscape, and not all of the companies that you run across will be capable of doing that.
  2. Interview a minimum of 3 companies based on the searches that you have run.  Picking 3 companies can give you the opportunity to narrow your search.  For simple and small projects, price is usually a larger determining factor, but you should always consider who you feel you will work best with and will deliver the results that you are looking for.
  3. Search for reviews on the companies you are considering. In this day and age, reviews are really the only thing on the internet that consumers can use to describe their experiences with companies that they have used for a landscaping project, or really any project for that matter.  Reviews are a good indication of how the company is going to handle your project, and if they have reviews on the internet, that is where you can tell what their reputation is like within the community.  Obviously, bad reviews are an indication that the company isn’t pleasing it’s customers.  Good reviews, obviously are an indication that the company does quite well, and no reviews is neither good or bad, however many good companies seek out good reviews to the customers that they try to please.
  4. Check References –  While referrals are a good indication of the company’s reputation, it is always wise to ask for a few referrals that you can personally verify to ensure that you will be receiving excellent customer service on your own project.  If the company does good work, then it will be easy to provide you with people that they have worked for in the past that were quite pleased.  If a company does not have any good referrals to provide you with, move onto another company.
  5. Receive Written Agreements – Any work that you ever have done on your home, not just landscaping, should come with a written agreement.  Written agreements detail everything that is contractually going to happen between you and your landscaper.  This is a safeguard for both parties because it is something to base your understanding off of.  The more detail a written agreement contains, the better the chances are of getting exactly what you want.  The more vague a written agreement is, the better your chances of having mis-understandings.  Any reputable, good contractor, of any type of service should always provide a written agreement.  Review any written agreements that you receive and be sure that you understand them completely.  If you do not, always ask your contractor to verify the details in the written agreement, and require that any additional details are written into the agreement.

Following these basic steps will ensure that you receive a rewarding experience when having landscape work done on your property instead of a nightmare of confusion and dissatisfaction.  While these may seem like extremely simple steps, they are well worth the process to ensure that you remain how you should be – happy.

Timing is Everything when Trimming Trees

Posted on 10 April 2011 | No responses

By Danni Duggan for Landscape Network

There is something about trimming trees.  It is one of those chores that we know we need to schedule, but we find lots of other activities to fill the days and months.  It is also a perfect chore to assign to the experts.  Depending on the size of the trees to be cut or the location of the branches that need thinning or removal, it can be a dangerous chore indeed.

An important consideration when scheduling tree maintenance or removal is the time of year, and whether or not the tree may be home to nesting birds who may be incubating eggs or raising young.  Animal rehabilitation centers all over the country receive frantic telephone calls each spring when routine tree maintenance to protect your home suddenly displaces a family of birds.  Much of this is avoidable if you schedule tree trimming in the fall or winter months.  While it may be difficult to trim trees in the deep winter in Denver, early and late winter are both good options.

Prevention is the first order of business.  If you wait until the fall or winter for any tree trimming services, you are least likely to interfere with bird or squirrel nests.  If the trees in your yard present an immediate danger, then pay special attention to the tree to determine if you see birds flying in and out of the tree with twigs or food that would indicate that they may be building a nest or tending young.  Listen for the tell-tale sign of babies.

If you suspect that there may be baby birds in a nest, consult a tree removal expert to determine if your project can wait until the fall.  Interviewing the company you plan to hire is a strong component of prevention.  Ask them what measures they take to determine that the tree can be trimmed without displacing wildlife.  Will they scout the tree first?  Do they know what to do if they find a nest?  Are they familiar with nest relocation procedures, or do they have contact information for state-licensed rehabilitators?

So what if you have done your homework, believe it is safe to trim your tree, but still discover a nest after the fact?  First, realize that it is a myth that touching a baby bird will cause its parents to reject it.  Also realize that you can move the entire nest to another location within the tree, and there is a possibility that the parents will continue to sit the nest and tend their young in the new location.  If you have removed a tree entirely, you can attempt to move the nest to the next closest tree.  If there are no more nearby trees available, you can try putting the nest in a shallow box with the lid removed and attaching it to the side of your house.  Be watchful and make sure that mom and dad are still coming around and feeding their babies.  Give it several hours to a full day before you panic, but do have the number of a state-licensed rehabilitator handy.  Also give the nest space.  You cannot hover around the nest and then wonder why mom and dad are not coming back to it.

Realize that you do have options if your tree trimming accidentally interferes with wildlife, but scheduling services in the fall and winter is your best bet for achieving your tree trimming objectives without impacting an avian or mammalian family.

Tropical Plants in your Denver Landscaping

Posted on 9 April 2011 | No responses

Tropical Plants can beautify your Denver home with a look of vacation and a tropical feel.  Many Denver area Nurseries and Garden Centers carry a nice selection of tropical plantings that will survive in your yard as annuals.  Whether or not you decide to save them every year is up to you, based on whether or not you wish to care for them over the winter.  While some palms and ferns need specific exposure requirements, there are many to choose from that will thrive in full sun, partial shade, or full shade.  Tropical plants will make for excellent lighting features as well.  A Simple spotlight that illuminates a palm next to a walkway or entrance will greatly enhance the entire feeling of the yard and make a statement that is different from most of the general Denver area landscapes.

tropical plants in denver landscaping

Tropical Plantings can also make for excellent ways of decorating an annual arrangement and can tower from the center of a nice perennial garden as the prime focus point.  Tropical plants need to be connected to your irrigation system, and depending on the exposure, may require more water than what a standard drip zone provides.  Some full sun tropical plants will need the same watering requirements as the annuals in your yard, which usually need daily watering.  It is usually a good idea to keep an eye on your tropical plant’s water consumption just to be sure that they are thriving and living up to their one – season potential.

Do you have a tropical plants in your landscape?  Denver Landscape Network would like to hear about your design ideas with tropical plantings.

Light the Way

Posted on 7 April 2011 | No responses

Landscape Lighting

Illuminate your landscape with solar or low-voltage lighting and you will expand the use of your entire home. Add safety, efficiency and beauty to your home or landscape with simple lights that can be set on a timer or solar activated. Solar lights add aesthetic beauty to your home while being environmentally friendly at the same time. Lower operating costs and flexible installation are just a few of the unique benefits of using solar landscape lighting.

There are in-ground light accents that work nice for illuminating a garden or low surface areas. Not to mention, you can go with the lamppost, hanging lantern or spot light styles. There are a plethora of styles, sizes and design options all designed to illuminate the way to your sidewalk, driveway or garden.

Installation of landscape lighting is one of the easiest DIY (Do It Yourself) projects. Literally, if I can do it, so can you. I am not mechanically inclined in the least, but I was able to install landscape lighting within a mere few steps after answering a few important questions that led me in the following DIY direction:

  1. Plan where you want the lights. Draw up current landscape including: garage, driveway, entryway, sidewalks, trees, scrubs, current walk path, etc.
  2. Next, check out yard and walkways with a flashlight at night. This is extremely fun and useful. Note light angles and spotlight vs. flood lighting. Remember trees and pathways to give purpose and direction to the lighting.
  3. Decide on low-voltage or solar. Solar require no electricity as they run of the solar power of the sun. Low-voltage landscape lights are brighter but require power. If you are not comfortable working with electricity, call a landscape maintenance person for installation.
  4. Use a lighting kit including cables and all controls needed for installation. I found great kits at Lowes or Home Depot, for example.
  5. Remember safety. Call 811 to determine and locate where cable, electric and gas are located in your yard BEFORE you dig.
  6. Calcualte voltage of total lights being installed. It should equal 70 – 100% of the power pack rating. Locate the GFCI outlet on the outside of your house.
  7. Mount power pack outside the garage and preferably on the side of the home.
  8. Assemble the lights and lay along the path or area you intend to install.
  9. Dig a 3-inch trench for the cable and a small slit for each fixture to fit.
  10. Each fixture will be connected to the cable by a connector. Connect the light cable to the brass part with copper wire then the wire guide to the bottom connector cap. Tighten the neuro connector until the cable is completely seeded. Follow instructions that come with your kit.
  11. Push each fixture part way into the ground and work the cable along the trench.
  12. Connect the cable to the power pack. Again, follow the manufactures instructions.
  13. Plug power pack in the outdoor GFCI protected outlet. Set the power pack to “ON”. Check connections to each light fixture and note that each light illuminates. Finish pushing each fixture into the ground and close up the trench for the cable. You want to make sure no one will trip on the cable or that no one can mow over the cable line. Aesthetically, it is much more pleasing to hide all the landscape lighting’s cables.
  14. Set the controls on the power pack to go “on and off” automatically to the desired time. You may have to adjust the timing and pitch of the light’s focus. Make sure they are not bothering your neighbors.
  15. Then, enjoy the dramatic, warm, and intimate look you created for your outdoor space or landscaping.

There are many options available to illuminate the way to a beautiful and safe pathway around your landscape. Why not enjoy the landscape you created as much during the night as you can during the day by installing landscape lighting?

Written by: Janine Buchal, April 2011

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