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30 General Topics Lists

Landscaping-Gardening Topics

Click on the column headlines below to read the entire unedited columns and view the related illustrations. Most of my columns that you read in your newspaper or magazine have been edited due to space constraints.

Homeowner Benefits? - These are the potential benefits that a typical homeowner will realize by following the tips or by installing the home-related products that are discussed in this column.


412 - Control pests naturally with herbs and flowers
Update Bulletin Description
- Chart of 30 herbs and flowers that will repel 25 specific insects and pests and growing guide showing flower colors, flower shapes, plant types (annual, bienniel, perennial), hardiness zones, height, spacing, preferred soil conditions, soil pH, bloom times and propagation methods (cuttings, seeds, division).
Homeowner Benefits: Eliminate need for chemicals, organic and natural gardening


438 - Select the proper trees for comfort and efficiency
Update Bulletin Description
- A selector guide of 100 types (deciduous and evergreen) of trees, mature heights and shapes, growth rates (slow, moderate or fast), hardiness zones and recommended landscape layouts with illustrations for the various climates - hot/humid climate, hot/arid climate, cool climate and temperate climate; schedule for tree care, planting and caring tips for trees.
Homeowner Benefits: Save energy, provide windbreak, cool air and enjoy the shade


441 - New fiber optics and low-voltage kits make outdoor lighting safe, easy
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 13 low-voltage/fiber optic lighting and brick kit manufacturers showing styles of lights, fixture materials (metal, cast metal, plastic), features, prices, many illustrations of the lights and tips for designing accent lighting for your home and landscaping.
Homeowner Benefits: Easy to install - no electrician, save electricity, better security


464 - Install a new, efficient hydromassage spa kit on your deck or patio
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of the nine best spas, tub material (cast acrylic, vinyl), seating capacities, description of jet types (massaging or invigorating) and specialty seats, type of cabinets, comfort features, illustrations of models, warranties and a monthly energy usage cost chart.
Homeowner Benefits: Comfortable hydromassage, great for entertaining


500 - Attract butterflies to your backyard with special plants
Update Bulletin Description
- Selection guide of 80 host and nectar, flowers, shrubs and trees to attract butterflies, colors, bloom times, heights, zones, easy do-it-yourself plans with diagrams and dimensions for a butterfly hibernation box, several butterfly flower garden plans and a hardiness zone map.
Homeowner Benefits: Gives nature a helping hand, lures butterflies for simple enjoyment, relaxing hobby


514 - New solar-powered lights are decorative, easy to install and bright
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of nine manufacturers (30 models) of new high-tech solar-powered accent, motion-sensing security, landscaping lights, emergency street address locators, mailboxes and lanterns showing styles available, max. on-times per night, bulb types used, prices and illustrations of many styles.
Homeowner Benefits:Simple to install, uses no electricity, stylish designs


540 - Good bugs, birds, bats control bad bugs
Update Bulletin Description
- List of mail-order suppliers of beneficial insects and organic products, suggestions on attracting and keeping good bugs in your yard, beneficial insect and natural control chart showing beneficial organism and pests it attacks, amounts required and when to release, chart showing products to control over 50 different pests, natural pest control tips, do-it-yourself bird and bat house plans (illustrations with dimensions), suggested dimensions for various birdhouses and nest boxes.
Homeowner Benefits: Fewer annoying bugs, less insect damage to landscaping, does not poison environment


544 - No-maintenance wood-alternative deck materials and kits are beautiful
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 18 wood-alternative and recycled material decking/railing kit manufacturers showing plank sizes and designs, standard colors, warranty periods, attachment methods to deck framing, special features, prices and diagrams of several of the various designs.
Homeowner Benefits: No-maintenance, long lasting attractive appearance, lower overall lifetime costs


586 - Use certain houseplants and special planters to purify air naturally
Update Bulletin Description
- List of purifier planters, 20 most effective house plants for specific pollutants and a growing guide, tips for healthy houseplants, general information on hydroponics, description of different hydroponic systems and kits, list of manufacturers and suppliers of hydroponic kits and supplies, do-it-yourself instructions for building a simple hydroponic unit.
Homeowner Benefits: Improve air quality naturally, add moisture to air


607 - Growing flavorful herbs in your backyard garden
Update Bulletin Description
- Selection guide and growing instructions for 18 herbs to use in baking breads, herbal butters and cheese spreads, flower colors, plant types (annual, biennial, perennial), hardiness zones, plant heights, spacing, soil recommendations, flower shapes, bloom times, spacing, propagation techniques, harvesting/drying/storage methods, herb garden design and recipes.
Homeowner Benefits: Relaxing hobby, fresh herbs for tasty snacks


701 - Dwarf shrubs are attractive and efficient landscaping
Update Bulletin Description
- Description of 100 different types of deciduous, flowering, broadleef evergreen and needle evergreen dwarf shrubs, hardiness zones, height at maturity, growth rate, texture, habits and hardiness zone map of the U.S.
Homeowner Benefits:Save energy, add beauty and value to landscape


715 - Unique concrete pavers make building a solar patio simple
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 13 manufacturers of unique paving products, do-it-yourself molds, low-voltage lights built in bricks, paver layout guides, patio edging systems, list (by state) of 55 local interlocking concrete paver manufacturers, illustrations of several patterns and patio building instructions showing several diagrams.
Homeowner Benefits: Adds solar buffer in winter months, adds outdoor space for relaxation and entertaining guests


732 - Build an efficient deck or a DIY screened gazebo kit
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 11 screening/frame and gazebo kit manufacturers listing sizes, materials (wood or vinyl), features, illustrations, detailed instructions with diagrams, dimensions and required materials list for building a solar deck and a solar positioning chart for 58 cities.
Homeowner Benefits: More comfortable deck, help cool house, low air-conditioning costs


765 - Flowering climbing vines can block summer heat and glare
Update Bulletin Description
- Selector guide of 60 varieties of climbing vines (annual and perennial, flowering and non-flowering), climbing methods, common and botanical names, vine lengths, growth habits and characteristics, bloom times and colors, exposure, hardiness zones and a hardiness zone map of the U.S., illustrations and descriptions of the types and growth patterns of vines, and 10 mail-order vine seed suppliers.
Homeowner Benefits: Save energy, shade and cool walls, relaxing hobby


775 - Warm your deck/patio efficiently for comfortable year-round use
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 14 gas, propane, alcohol-gel, and wood outdoor deck/patio heaters, type (radiant infrared umbrella heater, portable log set, outdoor fireplace, portable fireplace, tank-top heater, earthenware woodburning fireplace, portable infrared heater) heat outputs, features, prices, cost to operate heater chart ($ per hour), recommended placement and area of warmth of umbrella-type radiant heaters, illustrations and features of selected models.
Homeowner Benefits: More months use of patio or deck, more comfortable on deck in spring and fall, fewer insect pests


793 - Use attractive ground cover to help cool house
Update Bulletin Description
- list of 55 ground cover plants, types (perennial, deciduous, evergreen), hardiness zones and U.S. map, height, spacing, preferred soil, propagation methods (division, cuttings, seeds), chart to estimate number of plants required for specific are in square feet and a mulch selector guide.
Homeowner Benefits: Cool area around home naturally, add beauty to landscape, eliminates upkeep and mowing of lawn


809 - Attractive vinyl and fiberglass fencing, gate openers for homes
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 12 vinyl fence manufacturers showing styles (full privacy, semi privacy, privacy with lattice, picket, concave picket, closed rail picket, post and rail, crossbuck, basket weave), illustrations of some styles, colors, warranties, features, suggested installation and building fence guide; gate opener manufacturers showing types (swing, slide), travel speed, cycles per hours, maximum gate weight/length, features.
Homeowner Benefits: Improve security, privacy and appearance of yard, create energy-saving windbreak


841 - New hand and complete sprinkler systems are good for lawn/gardens
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 11 hand hose-end, underground sprinkler/timer system manufacturers listing types and accessories available, selector guide showing types and features of underground sprinkler systems and hose-end sprinklers, illustrations, and watering tips.
Homeowner Benefits:Conserve water and energy, save time


845 - Rechargeable battery and robot lawn mowers are quiet, powerful
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 10 rechargeable cordless and gasoline walk-behind and robot mower manufacturers listing speeds, OHV or L-head engine, prices, horsepower, cutting width, weight, cutting height, lawn grass selector guide showing 10 different types and mulching mowing tips.
Homeowner Benefits: Lower pollution, quieter, time-saving.


851 - Control mosquitoes with zappers, repellers and birds
Update Bulletin Description
- Suppliers and manufacturers of mosquito control products (hand-held repellers, bluebird, purple martin and bat houses, eletronic insect traps), simple mosquito control tips and do-it-yourself plans with illustrations and dimensions for making bat, bluebird and purple martin houses.
Homeowner Benefits: Control mosquitoes, natural insect control methods without poisons


859 - Grow fragrant shrubs for a pleasant scent
Update Bulletin Description
- Selection guide of 35 fragrant flowering deciduous and evergreen shrubs with brief descriptions, color, exposure, bloom times, height, width, climate zones, guide and illustrations on pruning shrubs, basic shrub shape descriptions and illustrations.
Homeowner Benefits: Relaxing hobby, awaken your olfactory senses with pleasant aromas


889 - Retractable patio/deck awnings block sun, rain and are easy to install
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of nine manufacturers of various retractable awning designs (lateral arm, track, freestanding, screened sides) listing maximum widths, projection distance from wall, features, prices, typical installation instructions, and an awning fabric (12 fabrics) selector guide.
Homeowner Benefits:Reduce summer heat through windows, use patio or deck in rain


971 - Grow an herbal tea garden in your backyard
Update Bulletin Description
- Selection guide and growing instructions for 15 herbs to brew teas, plant types (annual, biennial, perennial), flower color, flower shape, plant size, spacing, bloom times, recommended soil conditions, harvesting/drying methods, zones and hardiness map, instructions and illustrations on designing an Elizabethan Knot Garden and other garden designs.
Homeowner Benefits: Relaxing hobby, herbs for caffeine-free, natural and tasty teas


978 - Recycle greywater to water lawn, cut water/sewage bills
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of nine greywater and heat-recovery water system manufacturers, sizing and payback information, system diagrams, guidelines for choosing a system, chart showing quality of various greywater sources, schematic diagram of an automatic system, and water conservation tips.
Homeowner Benefits: Lower water/sewage bills, improve landscaping, conserve our water resources


980 - Do-it-yourself retaining walls are easy to build
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of eight do-it-yourself segmental retaining wall system manufacturers including dimensions, weights, exposed face areas, features and typical installation instructions with diagrams, various illustrations and descriptions.
Homeowner Benefits:Adds beauty to the landscape, can help save energy


999 - Do-it-yourself drip watering kits are easy to install, save water
Update Bulletin Description
- Buyer's guide of 12 drip watering system manufacturers describing each system, kits and accessories (drippers, foggers, micro-sprinklers) available, typical landscaping drip watering layout, planning tips for a drip watering system, and a chart showing different types of plants and soils, watering amount/frequency and suggested system.
Homeowner Benefits:Best watering method for healthy plants, most efficient use of water, save time

Plant/Landscaping Selector Guide - This DIY Homeowner Guide section lists hundreds of plants listing the type, flower color, blooming season, light requirements, propagation, width, height, hardiness zone, fertility and soil type requirements. There will eventually be over 1,000 plants listed.