Guide To Styling Your Yard With Patio Furniture

Guide To Styling Your Yard With Patio Furniture

Are you tired of walking in the yard and yawning out of boredom? Do you feel that it costs too much money to create a more beautiful yard with patio furniture? If so, don’t wring your hands in frustration because this guide will help you decorate your yard in amazing ways. Many home decorators and even some professional interior designers visit inexpensive places such as flea markets, garage sales and discount chain stores to purchase inexpensive patio furniture and for those talented in woodworking and carpentry, they build their own patio furniture.

Use Poinsettias To Complement Red And White Patio Furniture

If you have red painted wicker outdoor patio furniture with white garden collectibles and tables, complement the wicker furniture by planting poinsettias in the yard. Other good flowers that you can plant with the poinsettias are conifers, pinecones and Spanish moss. Poinsettias have a beautiful red and green color and are great for late fall or earl;y winter months. Two to three large poinsettias are adequate enough since you don’t want to overpower the garden’s other neat features.

Consider Current Trends But Maintain Your Own Style

It looks like blue and green are popular colors for patio furniture but if you prefer pastel colors since it’s springtime and pastels are your favorite colors overall, you can combine a teal green with a light pink or light yellow. You can have a blue painted oak chair with a yellow and white patterned oak table. Neutral tones are also in style now for patio furniture and if you’re decorating a classic Victorian style garden, neutral toned collectibles that have a dainty appearance would look nice with a white patio sofa.

I Want The Rustic Look For My Patio. How Do I Pull It Off?

Start by installing tough stones in the patio to create a stone floor since stones complement rustic patio furniture. You can also install log columns on top of the newly built stone floor for a rich rustic look. As for choosing the best patio furniture for a rustic themed patio, Andironack chairs are ideal because they’re wooden and you can complement the chairs with wooden tables. Rugs or mats with floral designs make for good rustic patio design and add bold colored potted flowers for a slight modern touch.

Use Wrought Iron Furniture

Wrought iron furniture has a graceful and sturdy appearance and it is nice to have if you want the patio to have an Old World European look to it. Incorporate wrought iron chairs, tables and plant shelves and for extra flair, glue rhinestones and pearls on the wrought iron patio furniture. Another idea is to add some bold colored cushions to the furniture and remember that this furniture tends to rust so it’s important to wash it and apply wax to restore the beauty.

Add Patio Kitchen

Why not add an outdoor kitchen to your patio and entertain guests with good food and conversation? Install a nice stainless steel grill in the yard and then install other patio appliances such as a cupboard for storing dried and canned foods, wine refrigerator, a sink, and some bar stools along with an island where people can sit and eat together.

Don’t Forget About Privacy Protection

When designing your patio you should choose the kind of fence or gate that is tall enough to hide your items and then you would make sure that you use locks that are secure enough for the gate you install for the patio. Wooden or metal gates especially look nice with patios and if you prefer doors, most home improvement stores have patio doors you can buy.

Huge Tree Stump As Homemade Patio Table

If you cut down a tree recently and there is a huge stump in the middle of the yard, make it a patio table. Sand the tree stump then apply stain to the tree stump before painting it any color you want. When the tree stump is finished place a colorful tablecloth over the tree stump and then add a glass vase filled with flowers. You can also add some small chairs or bean bags around the stump and make it a kids’ table.

Stencil Designs Also Look Nice On Patio Floor

If you have a concrete or brick patio, add some pizzazz by stenciling words, phrases or designs throughout the patio floor. Here is how you would stencil patio concrete. Start by scrubbing the patio floor to eliminate particles and dirt then block off the sections where you’ll stencil the patio floor with tape and plastic sheets so the rest of the patio floor isn’t affected. Once you do this put the concrete primer on the surface and then heat the surface with a heat gun for effective stenciling. Add your stencils to the surface and then paint inside the stencil shapes. Let dry for a few hours.

Save Money On Patio Furniture By Purchasing Used or Refurbished Items

Sometimes the best patio furniture to buy comes from flea markets and thrift stores because the furniture at these stores have existed for decades and older furniture is usually of higher quality than new furniture since older furniture tends to be built with stronger materials. Don’t be afraid to negotiate for a fair price if you think the seller’s starting price is not appropriate. Also consider your budget when buying patio furniture at flea markets or thrift stores.

Conclusion

Patio furniture is great for the yard and you can choose from large or small pieces depending on the size of your yard. There are interior design apps you can download to your phone that assist you in getting ideas for a newly designed patio. There are also home decorating magazines that you can look through for inspiration. Periodically clean and apply wax to the patio furniture to keep it looking nice and you can repaint it if you want new colors for a different theme. Finally, be uninhibited with your patio design.

Building Patio Furniture with Landscape Design in Mind

Building Patio Furniture with Landscape Design in Mind

Working outdoors keeps you invigorated and lively. I love the feeling of being in harmony with the elements of nature. The planning of the landscape, planting and seeing your idea grow and bear fruit literally is something that has to be experienced first-hand to get the true feel.

One sunny morning, I was looking forward to spending my day off at my garden designing the patio furniture, when all of a sudden I found I couldn’t come up with a single good idea. The inspiration exhaustion spooked me beyond anything, so I took a ride with my motorcycle, wearing my wonderful motorcycle boots to see my friend, a designer, to get help with some fresh ideas and advice on how to go on with the project.

There are several homeowners who spend quite a lot of time and money on landscape designing to end up enjoying the view only from their windows. With properly placed patio furniture, you can enjoy the efforts you put in for your landscaping and relax in the evening in leisure.

Patio furniture is made of different materials like metal, wood, wicker, bamboo, concrete, wrought iron, plastic or aluminum and available in Italian, French, contemporary, modern, custom and painted versions.

Here are some key pointers that will help you out in your landscape designing and patio furniture placement

  • The patio should blend with your home and become part of it. Installing outdoor furniture makes it easy for you to relax in your yard and enjoy your garden with your family and friends. To achieve this, you need to choose furniture that blends with your home and also fits in the garden backdrop.
  • Furniture size is an important consideration as too large furniture can spoil the whole effect. Avoid overcrowding your small yard with large dining pieces. Consider dining and bar only when you have sufficient space, and if you entertain regularly. Hammocks and lounge chairs, if you have a pool should however be accommodated.
  • Comfortable placement is the most important part you should not forget. However beautiful and elegant the furniture is, if it is not comfortable to use, you’ll not be able to sit back and enjoy what you’ve painstakingly selected. Use additions like cushions, swiveling chairs and gliding chaise lounge to make it more comfy and relaxing for you.
  • Style of the furniture should be in line with that of your yard and house. This will make it well suited for your yard and house. For older and colonial style homes, wrought iron furniture is a good choice. Modern homes however incorporate various styles and blends, making it necessary for choosing unique structures or aesthetically blending pieces.
  • Color schema of the house and your landscape should be carried on to the furniture too. Depending on the earthy tones or bright colors you have for your house, you should pick appropriate patio furniture. If you like only wooden furniture, but have a brightly colored backdrop, you can add color splashes by using bright colored cushions or pillows on the wooden chairs.

The colors you opt for should blend with the existing landscape design and the color of your home. This will make the whole effect more appealing and pleasant to enjoy.

Decorating Your Garden With Plants

Decorating Your Garden With Plants

Your backyard garden is only grass and dirt without beautiful and colorful plants and there are numerous methods of decorating your yard with plants and other kinds of garden décor. You don’t have to run out and buy expensive plants or garden accessories because you can actually decorate the yard with inexpensive items.

For example, it doesn’t cost a lot of money to purchase packs of flower seeds and once you plant packets of them, you’ll have a wide harvest of bold colored flowers for the yard. If you purchase seeds in winter or other season, when it’s not recommended to plant them outside, you can grow them indoors using LED grow lights. We highly recommend LED grow lights from http://plantozoid.com to get the best model in the market for the lowest price.

Consider Planting Trees

If your backyard is large enough, you can plant one or two trees not only for decorative purposes but also as a way of providing shade from the sun as well as being a source of edible crops such as lemons or oranges. Some good trees to plant are sycamore trees, red maple trees, weeping willows, conifers, red bud trees and trees that give out citrus fruits to add color to your yard.

Grow Colorful And Edible Plants

You can have your yard look beautiful and serve a purpose for the household by growing colorful and edible plants. You can grow artichokes and use the artichokes in salads, pasta dishes, soups and casseroles. Grow eggplants and use them in soups or you can fry eggplant slices and serve them with a spicy marinara sauce. Tomatoes look attractive and they add a Mediterranean flair to the backyard. You can preserve the tomatoes or create jars of homemade sauce.

Get Trendy With Your Landscaping

Sometimes it’s a good idea to incorporate some modern landscaping ideas into your backyard when decorating with plants. One of those ideas is to bring a more eco-friendly approach to the design and you can do this by growing plants with seeds you used already, using compost as fertilizer for plants, and using recycled items for decorating the yard. Another good trend is the focus on plants that are native to the region you live in.

Fragrant Plants Are Great For The Yard

Another thing you can do is grow some fragrant plants since they add a sweet smell to your yard. Thyme is one great fragrant plant and catnip would also make your yard smell nice, which will attract any cats you have so keep this in mind when planting catnip. Other fragrant plants you can grow include lavender, sage, tansy and ground ivy.

Good Flowers To Plant During Warmer Months

If it’s almost springtime, give your backyard a makeover with a few colorful flowers that are compatible with the season. These flowers include phlox, roses, orchids, tulips, sunflowers, water lilies, daisies, daffodils, and snowdrops. Mix and match some of these and you’ll have a crop of beautiful flowers to enjoy at your next backyard party. In conclusion, decorating the yard with plants add pizzazz to the home and it saves you money on buying flowers from the home improvement stores. Finally, when you have plants in the yard you contribute to healthier eating if you grow fruits and vegetables.

Decorating Your Fishing Pond

Decorating Your Fishing Pond

My backyard was looking stale and after tossing out a few ideas during conversations with myself, I realized that I could utilize my husband’s resources since he is a fisherman.

He is going out fishing everyday and with the fishing equipment that he got, there is absolutely no way that our fish pond will remain empty. I talked with him about installing a fish pond and he loved the idea. We then went to work on our pond and some of the fish we used for the pond included fantail, koi and orandas. Here is how you can create a beautiful fish pond for your yard.

Building The Fish Pond

There are several ways to build your new beautiful fish pond. Before you decorate the fish pond you’ll have to build it and here are the steps. You would start by figuring out the size of your pond and then and start digging in that area. Make sure that you leave adequate room around the pond area for some plants and other decorative items. After you do this you want to lay a sand bed down so that when you put the liner in the hole, it makes for a smooth surface. Then add liner that is at least more than nine inches. Then add water to the pond and finally you can start the decoration process.

Decorating The Fish Pond

One of the most inexpensive ways to decorate the backyard fish pond is to add some large and medium sized stones around the pond and if you want to add some pizzazz to the stones, spray paint them in neutral tones that complement the green grass and some of your other plants that are in the yard. If your pond is in an area that can get solar power quickly, solar lights would work and colorful light bulbs also look neat with a fish pond.

Another idea is to use flowers such as sunflowers, violets, tulips, impatiens or water lilies as décor for the pond. For our yard we used bamboo plants since they created a forest-like atmosphere for the fish pond. You may also decide to plant herbs all around the pond since they are good for using in meals and the herbs add flair.

If there are young children who play in the yard a lot you should install a gate around the pond to prevent hazards near or in it. We have teenagers so we felt it would not be necessary to install barriers. Ponds can be a good teaching tool for children and teens because you can talk to them about our environment and the importance of cultivating it.

Conclusion

My husband and I enjoy our fish pond and he has a sense of pride in knowing that he used his resources from employment to bring a variety of types of fish to the pond. We even gave some of the fish names and the teens take turns in keeping the yard and fish pond well maintained when we have to leave town. I find the pond to be a stress reliever and I sometimes redesign it every few months, which is always fun.

The Best Insects for Gardens

The Best Insects for Gardens

Don’t write off all insects as pests! Although the word “insect” may seem like a bad word when used around gardens, that is not always the case. Yes, ants and junebugs can deal a lot of damage to a garden, but there are a lot of insects that you NEED in order to have a functioning garden. Some of these will come naturally, but you can attract a few others to take your garden to the next level. I’m leaving out the obvious ones like bees… Everyone knows how helpful they are!

Worms

This is the obvious one. Worms turn the soil, each plant waste, and in turn THEIR waste acts as a plant fertilizer. When I first started gardening and didn’t have a lot of money, I would take an old shoebox and fill it with soil, and get as many worms as I could to put in the box. I would put old vegetables on top of the soil, and let the worms eat whatever they wanted. They turned the rotten vegetation into nutritious soil. I would use this soil as a starter to plant seedlings in. Worms also turn the soil, acting like tiny little tillers and allowing oxygen to flow freely. They have a lot of benefits, and are essential to the garden ecosystem.

Spiders

Spiders are the second-greatest addition to a healthy garden. They will eat the flies that will try to eat your vegetables, and drive off aphids and other pests from your garden. They will probably live right on top of most of your plants, but don’t worry about them! They’re doing a good thing to your garden. They deserve all the thanks they can get. You can also get rid of pests with a small insect trap from insectmurderer.com Just make sure you place it where it won’t trap the spiders!

Praying Mantis

These bugs can look frightening, but they are the spiders for the garden; they can trap really big pests. Spiders can trap flies and small bugs, but wasps and hornets that are out looking for sweet fruits will fly right through the webs. Mantises can trap large pests that spiders can’t touch… Some Praying Mantis will even trap mice! But if you have a real mouse problem, you need to head over to InsectMurderer to pick up a mousetrap. Mantises can’t handle ALL your pest problems! I used to have a real problem with hornets, but Praying Mantises really got rid of all those pests. So, if you see them in your garden, don’t panic and don’t try to get rid of them. Their massive, clawed legs may seem scary, but just think how much scarier those claws are to the wasps trying to steal your berries!

Not all bugs will hurt your garden. Do some research before you start trying to kill all the bugs. If you kill the wrong ones you will upset the ecosystem of your garden!

Fun Backyard Adventures for Your Family

When I was a kid, I spent most of my time outdoors. Video game consoles had just come out, and they were too expensive for the average family to own. So, most days you could find me in our backyard with my brothers and sisters playing games. Sadly, not many families do this anymore. I want to change that! Here are some great activities and adventures for families to do together.

Have a Picnic

Sun, food, and family… What could be better? You can have a fun picnic in your backyard with just a blanket and some food. Or you could go to the local park and have it out there! A picnic is a great way to get exercise, eat outdoors, and spend time with family. After you’re done eating, get the frisbees out and play a few games of catch! You’re here to have fun. Just get out there and hang out with loved ones.

Build Something Together

I got to know my dad really well through doing projects with him. Take your kids outside and build a treehouse or a bike ramp or something… You will learn a lot about your kids by the way they handle projects. You do have to be careful with this, though. You don’t want to make this seem like “your project.” You want it to be something that your kids will truly enjoy. Do you kids like astronomy? Build a platform to keep your telescope from LikeHubble on! Are your kids a little sportier? Get some blueprints online and make a bike or skateboard ramp for them. There are all kinds of ways you can have fun as a family by building; just find a project everyone will love and go for it!

Go Camping

Yes, you can do this in your backyard too! If your kids love camping but you don’t have the time to take them, you can make up for it by having a backyard camp-out. You can grab a firepit and make s’mores, sleep in a tent, and watch the stars at night. It will take a little bit more planning… But you can also go camping for real! Just make sure you bring all the supplies you need. Food, water purifiers, matches, a telescope for bird watching… It’s better to pack too much! You don’t want to go hungry on this trip. Camping is another great way to bond with your kids, and stay involved in their lives as they grow. None of you will forget it.

The point is to spend time with your kids, doing things they enjoy. If you make an effort to find out what they like and do it, they will love you forever. That shows that you’re not selfish, and that you really care about them. At the end of the day, I will never regret the time that I spent with my kids while they were growing up. Take it from me: they will leave one day, and you want to take advantage of all the time you get.

Dangerous Garden Plants

I normally grow only plants that heal, taste good, or smell good, but sometimes I deal with plants that are much more dangerous. Sometimes I grow them myself for a bit of a thrill, and sometimes they just show up uninvited into my garden. There are several categories of dangerous plants: poisonous plants, invasive plants, and carnivorous plants. I’ve dealt with all of these at some point, but some of them I like better than others. This is my experience with dangerous garden plants!

Poisonous Plants

Most of the time, you don’t want to grow poisonous plants on purpose. Pest plants like poison ivy or poison oak should be weeded out as soon as you see them. The problem with those two is that they are both invasive AND not safe to handle. People have various levels of tolerance to the toxicity of these poison plants; some people can touch them with not reaction, and others will break out in a huge rash if they come near them. The sap of these plants is an oil, so it is impossible to simple “rinse” the poison off. You need to wash the ENTIRE infected area several times with powerful soap to break down the oil. Just one wash will almost never fix the whole problem. Remove these plants from your garden with gloves and a knife to root them out; you can find the gear that you need at http://asklancelot.com/.

Invasive Plants

These are simpler to deal with, but they are really pesky. Weeds such as clover fall into this category; they take the nutrients that the plants need and overgrow the entire garden plot. There are types of weeds that are so tough that you need a hoe and a sharp pocket knife to get rid of them. My advice for invasive species is to avoid pesticides. Make sure you plant your crops in neat rows, and make the rows. ANYTHING that is growing outside those rows need to go. Check every day if possible, and once every 2 days if you can’t. Pluck anything as soon as it sprouts, that way you won’t need to spend all day weeding.

Carnivorous Plants

These are some of my favorites. They are not dangerous to humans, although some of their enzymes can be a bit corrosive. I’ve planted Venus Flytraps and Pitcher Plants before, and they are so much fun to grow. They are also very complex! Since Venus Flytraps are used to boggy ground with no nutrients (that’s why they eat flies!) the way you grow them is a bit unorthodox. You have to use peat moss, plant the seeds, and leave them in the freezer for 2 weeks. This simulates the winter season. Then take them out and put them in slight sun until they sprout. They can then grow just like any other plant! They don’t NEED bugs to survive; you can use fertilizer as well. They may be difficult to grow, but they are some of my favorites.

Life Lessons I’ve Learned from Gardening

Life Lessons I’ve Learned from Gardening

I’m lucky that I’ve chosen a hobby that can teach me a lot. A lot of people would be amazed at just how many life lessons you can learn from gardening. I have a few I’d like to share with you today, but before we start, I just want you to know that you don’t need to be a gardener to appreciate these. Anyone can, if they’re a nurse or a firefighter or a salesperson. Here are some words of wisdom that I’ve collected from my gardening years.

Troubles in Life are Ongoing

This sounds like a negative, but I promise there is a positive as well. When I’m gardening, the weeds keep coming back. I will never be able to get rid of all of weeds and have them never return. I have to keep weeding my garden every week or so if I want it to be healthy and thriving. Our lives are much the same way! You’ll never reach a point in your life where you never need to stop maintaining and improving yourself. You will always need to keep busy learning, removing negativity, and fighting problems. I’ve learned that once you view life’s troubles as something that will keep on going, you will get less frustrated with individual problems. Now that’s just my take, and others may disagree, but I believe that viewing life as work is really helpful.

Instant Gratification is a Lie

Gardening is patience. There is no such thing as a gardener that is impatient AND a good gardener. You have to plant and water, and you won’t see any results for months at a time. Progress is very slow, but it is worth it in the end. There is nothing more satisfying to me than serving a dinner filled with things I’ve grown myself. Nothing worth having comes without work. It’s like cleaning your house; it will get dirty again, but you have to keep working at it to reap the benefits. A good quality cordless vacuum can help a lot too! But if someone promises “immediate results,” be careful: they’re probably trying to sell you something.

Personal Touches Really Work

I have to get my hands dirty when I garden. I’m not able to let machines or computers do all the work for me. My garden would not thrive the way it does if I didn’t help it along. The lesson here is that doing your own work, making sure that something you’re doing is PERSONALLY done by you, really sets you apart from the competition. Since I get my hands dirty, I have a personal stake in how my garden looks and feels. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. All too often we want to delegate tasks, which may be a good thing sometimes. But often, the best way to do something well is to personally attend to it. This is true of gardening and life; and people who take this lesson to heart will go far!

Laughable Myths About Gardening Finally Debunked!

Laughable Myths About Gardening Finally Debunked!

Perhaps gardening is among the few hobbies riddled with too much superstition and folklore. For someone who has been in gardening industry for quite some time, I’ve probably heard hundreds of wide-ranging myths on plants and gardens. Some have half truths in them but the rest are downright laughable.

Here let’s debunk some of the silliest myths about gardening that you might hear.

  1. Never water the plants at mid-day.

Anyone who has been gardening must have surely heard about this myth. No one actually knows when and where did this belief originated. Often disguised as a well-meaning advice, some people believe that watering at noon can cause your plants to die. According to those who believe in this myth, the water droplets tend to magnify the sun’s rays onto the leaves thus causing it to wither. Well, if there’s any truth in this myth, many gardens should have dried out because of occasional mid-day downpours. Had this been true, this could be a great excuse for someone who doesn’t want to work under the sweltering sun, isn’t it?

  1. Potatoes should be planted on Good Friday.

Good Friday varies from year to year. It can fall anywhere between the last week of March to last week of April. So, if you follow this myth, you’ll likely be planting potatoes on odd months of the year. When to plant potatoes should depend on the unique microclimate of your garden. You should also check the local climate of your place. To avoid planting during the wrong season, it is best to check cropping recommendations in your area.

  1. Stones should be laid in the pot for better drainage.

A lot of garden enthusiasts actually follow this tip. Adding gravel or stones into the bottom of pots is a common practice supposedly to improve drainage. To ensure adequate drainage, you should use containers with sufficient drainage holes in the base and high-quality potting soil. Better yet, you can place the pebbles or pot feet underneath the containers so water can freely drain out.

  1. Women on their monthly period should never work in the garden.

An ancient warning says that women should not touch a fruit tree, water plants or walk around the garden while they are menstruating. Doing so will cause the plants to wither and fruits to spoil. This one’s definitely a laughable tale! Perhaps, the only plausible reason why a woman on her monthly period should not be allowed to walk around the garden (or elsewhere) is if she’s having a heavy, messy discharge that it’s pouring down. Of course a good softcup for menstruation like the one you’ll read in this link https://topladiessecret.com/instead-softcup-review can be a quick fix.

Better yet, a woman can wear any of the menstrual tampons reviewed at Top Ladies Secret while working in the garden. That monthly ‘visitor’ shouldn’t hamper your day at the garden.

  1. Organic pesticides are better because they’re harmless.

The organic origin of organic pesticides doesn’t make them harmless. These pesticides are still pesticides except that they are derived from natural sources. Organic pesticides, just like chemical pesticides, won’t discriminate beneficial from harmful pests. For instance, if you spray an organic insect killer, it will likely decimate both the unwanted pests like caterpillars and aphids, and the beneficial ones like lacewings and ladybugs. If you want your garden to be really free from any trace of harmful substances, do measures to attract beneficial bugs instead of spraying pesticides.

Fun Activities for Gardeners to Do

As much as I love gardening, there are times when I just need to take some time to do something else. The secret to loving anything for years at a time is to take a break from it occasionally. Every once in a while, you need to try something different as a hobby so that you can keep your love for your favorite hobby. I’ve been a gardener for years, and I’ve been able to keep doing it all these years because every month I try a new activity. I want to share some of my favorite “side hobbies” that I’ve tried over the years!

Picking Up an Instrument

Gardeners are patient people. No one is able to deny that. We have to plant the seeds in the spring, care for theme every day so that the weeds don’t overgrow them, and fertilize them regularly. That takes a lot of patience and the ability to stick with what you’re doing. Learning an instrument is very similar! Your ability to play well won’t come in a day, just like your garden won’t bloom in a single day. There are online tutorials for every instrument you could want to play, from the piano to the tuba. If you pick the tuba, I tip my hat to you! Your patience from garden will make it much easier for you to pick up instruments, even if you think you have no natural talent. I’ll let you in on a secret: natural talent is a myth! No one starts out good at something; the best musicians are the ones that practice the most.

Try an Extreme Sport!

Gardening can be tame most of the time… Why not spice it up with some extreme sports on the weekend? Just make sure you get some safety gear from RiskyHead.com… You don’t want to risk your gardening career by getting an injury!

I personally recommend motorbike or dirt bike riding for the beginner. It’s easy to take a class and get started in one day. You can get all kinds of equipment for a motorbike as well… They even make Bluetooth headsets designed for motorcycles! Click here to check them out. You just might find that extreme sports make you want to be back in your garden again, and that’s fine! They can help you appreciate just how much you love your garden.

Drama

This one may seem odd, but hear me out! Going to different community plays and productions is a hobby. You will be exposed to all sorts of new art and theater. And since you’re a gardener, you probably like calmer activities. This is a perfect place for you! It’s calm, it’s relaxed, and it’s perfect for someone after a long day of gardening. After I started going to local theater events, I didn’t stop going. You can usually find me at the community playhouse on saturday nights, watching the latest production from the players! You should try it for yourself.

Fun Things To Add To Your Backyard

Your backyard should be a place where you and your family have a great time. Back in the day, playing outside was the best entertainment you could get. There weren’t any gaming systems, and there weren’t as many TV channels to waste time on. But did you know there are so many fun things that you can build yourself that add a lot of fun to your backyard? Here are a few of my favorites that I’ve built in my own backyard or helped friends with.

Bike Ramps

Riding bikes is a great and healthy way to catch some thrills. But bike ramps take that fun to the next level. Bike ramps are easy to make with plywood and some 2×4 posts. And they provide hours of fun for your kids and you! Just make sure you wear helmets and safety gear while you’re riding… You could end up really hurt if you’re not careful!

Backyard Shooting Range

If you have a little bit more property, you can make your own airsoft shooting range! Having your airsoft guns on a range teaches your kids to be safe with firearms of ANY kind, even play firearms like airsoft guns. It’s a safe way for your kids to practice their aim and safety. All you need is some wood to build a target, and foam to go inside the target. To mark aim, use some black paper or plastic that the pellets can penetrate, and then work on being the best aim! If you’re looking for some good airsoft guns, I would check out this site: http://gunwildfire.com/best-airsoft-gun-reviews/.

Treehouse Fort

If you have a good tree for a treehouse, it would be a real shame not to use it! Treehouses should be a part of everyone’s childhood. The great thing about a treehouse is that it is a blank slate for imagination. If your child wants to be a little princess, it can be her castle. If your child wants to play war, it can be their paintball gun armory. If they love space, it can be their moon base. A treehouse has something for everyone.

Tire Swing

A tire swing is a classic backyard staple, and that is largely because it is so easy to make. All you need is some rope and an old tire, and you’re good to go! There’s just something so relaxing about swinging in a tree, gently rocking back and forth in the shade during the summer and fall. You just need to make sure that it’s safe; check the limbs that you will be using for the swing, and make sure that they can stand up to the pressure of being swung upon. Also, don’t go cheap with the tire. People will be swinging on it, so make sure it is at least clean.

Hopefully this gives you a few ideas for your own perfect backyard! Try to have some old-fashioned fun this fall, outside with your family.

Medicinal Plants You Can Grow Yourself

Modern medicine is a blessing, and I am so glad that nurses and doctors all over the world take care of patients. But did you know there are a variety of plants and herbs you can grow yourself that can save you a few trips to the doctor? It’s actually pretty easy to grow a variety of plants that can keep you healthy and on top of your game. Here are a few plants that stay in my garden all during the growing season each year.

Garlic

The ancients believe that garlic was health, not just for the body but for the spirit as well. According to legend, garlic had the ability keep away werewolves and vampires and protect mortals from the supernatural realm. Although I can’t guarantee anything supernatural, I can tell you that garlic will help protect your immune system from the evil invaders of bacteria! Garlic boosts the immune system to protect you from colds and flu. It also acts as a purifier, and can help with acne and skin blemishes. While you’re at it, you can grab a great-quality stethoscope so you can listen to your heart: Garlic can prevent heart disease! Applied topically, garlic can increase skin elasticity, keep your skin looking beautiful, and even prevent some types of hair loss. Garlic is my favorite thing to keep in my garden to save me a few doctor visits.

Ginger

Ginger root is a miracle worker in the area of upset stomachs. A bit of ginger taken daily can calm your stomach when you’re feeling sick, and even reduce some of the pain that comes with bad arthritis. If you suffer from arthritic pain, look no further than a dose of ginger once or twice daily. It’s more natural than most medicines, and just as effective without the addictive qualities.

Sage

Sage is an easy herb to cultivate, and it works wonders for sore throats. As the fall season progresses, sore throats become more and more of a problem. But you won’t have anything to worry about, because watering down some sage and spraying it in the back of your throat will really help you feel better in a hurry.

Basil

Basil works wonders as a temporary relief for high blood pressure. Basil goes well with a variety of foods, and can therefore be taken many times a day as part of your regular diet. If you have high blood pressure, I would recommend you pick up a Pulse Oximeter so you can keep careful track of how your body is reacting to the basil.

Rosemary

Rosemary helps both increase your mental focus and fight bacteria from food. Rosemary also smells wonderful and soothing, and can help you relax just from the scent. However, when mixed in food Rosemary’s full force can be felt; you will notice you are able to more easily accomplish tasks and fight off infections.

You may not need these plants in your personal garden, but please have at least a few! Your health will thank you.

Making Pool Landscaping Simple: What Many Landscape Artists Would Never Tell You

Making Pool Landscaping Simple: What Many Landscape Artists Would Never Tell You

I’ve worked on many challenging and unique garden and patio landscaping projects in the past but these projects aren’t as challenging as pool landscaping.

Adding lush greenery and colorful flowers around your swimming pool can really boost the beauty of the pool. Depending on your preference and space limitations, plants can either be packaged in planters or carefully landscaped around the pool. Greeneries not only help your swimming pool look complete but also give some softness to the overall feels.

If you are planning to DIY your pool landscaping, there are several things you need to put in mind to insure that your landscaping won’t cause you headache later on.

Litter potential. There are practical considerations like choosing the right plants that wouldn’t litter flower petals or leaves into the swimming pool. If you choose the wrong plants, you might find yourself constantly cleaning the pool or risk the chance of damaging your pool equipment.

For instance, gas pool heaters that you can read about here cost anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars and you surely don’t want that to be damaged.

Just take a look at how much pool heaters now cost at https://poolhomeschool.com/.

Climate. Next thing to consider is the viability of the vegetation in the area or region where your pool is located. Choose plants that are endemic to your climate. For instance, if your pool is built in the northern zones, you can plant tropical variety of trees and flowers. There are also certain floral species that only thrive in more temperate environments of the south. Make sure the plants you pick for landscaping fit the environment.

Purpose. Use plant species that would be useful in your pool. If you need shade for your pool, you can plant trees that don’t shed too much leaves. There are also shrubs and flowers that are known to repel mosquitoes and other insects. You can also choose vines or wisteria if you consider putting up a pergola or cabana.

Privacy. Landscaping can give you privacy from your nosy neighbors. It should also block unwanted views from your pool. Evergreens are great choices since they are fast-growing. Shrubs that grow in height could also be used to serve this purpose.

Upkeep. Another consideration is maintenance of the plant. Does it require daily watering? How regular you have to trim it? Do you have to plant it again after winter? Does it require fertilizers or special care? All these should be considered when choosing which plants get into your swimming pool landscaping. Banna, citrus, palms and olive trees are some plants that require the least maintenance and upkeep.

Beauty. Probably, the topmost reason why people add pool landscaping is for added beauty. Flowers and shrubs as well as flowering, deciduous and fruit trees can all enhance your pool. Choose plants of different colors. I prefer using flowers with bright, bold colors and shrubs with deep green leaves alternating with light-colored ones. To complete the look, add some planters and decorative landscape accents.

Landscaping around your pool should really make it pop. But be careful when choosing trees and plants or you’ll end up regretting it!

Keep Your Lawn Lush and Green this Summer

Keep Your Lawn Lush and Green this Summer

With the outdoors season now in our midst, it’s time for you to enjoy the beauty of your lawn. A lawn is always a source of happiness and pride, an oasis for relaxation and a place for the family to recreate, especially if it is properly cared for and stays lush and green. One of the most crucial parts of a beautiful lawn is the grass. Unfortunately, it is also the most difficult to manage as it requires careful attention.

For those who are not gifted with a green thumb, no need to worry as we’ve assembled a list of some important things to keep your grass always looking prim:

  1. Cutting

The grass can become unwieldy very quickly especially during the outdoors season. Regular cutting helps to keep the grass short at the same time thickens it. Little and frequent cutting is better than a one-time deal. It is recommended that you change patterns and directions each time you mow, so that the grass blades grow in an even direction. Normally, the grass should be shortened by no more than one inch. However, during the hot summer months, you can keep the grass a little bit longer as it will help it through the period of drought.

  1. Fertilizing

While cutting can keep the grass in check, it can also sap its nutrients. So, it is important to replace the lost nutrients to achieve desired lush and healthy growth. You should fertilize the grass every four or five weeks at the start of the spring season. Fertilizer mixes, which contain nutrients such as phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen, are readily available at your local garden store. Read the label to know how much and when best to use the fertilizer.

  1. Watering

To keep the garden lush and green through the summer, you need to water it frequently. There are no hard rules as to how often and how much volume you need to water the lawn. But it all depends on the temperature and humidity. There are automatic sprinkler systems, which works much like the steaming irons found on this site and instantly waters your lawn. If you have planted new lawn, you need to water it more frequently so that the seeds can grow faster and a good solid root system is formed.

  1. Weed control

With consistency and using the proper technique, you can win the battle against unwanted weeds in your garden. The best weed control is through mechanical means as it can remove lots of weeds. For smaller weeds, you can use a manual scarifier which disturbs and prevents the growth of weeds. For dandelions and daisies, they should be uprooted with a root weeder to prevent them from re-growing. In case the weeds have crept throughout the entire lawn, the best way is restructure the lawn and re-plant a new grass.

  1. Scarifying and aerification

An essential component in the healthy growth of grass is adequate aeration. Lack of air can result in stunted growth; this is often the case especially if the soil is compact or is not sandy. You can stamp holes into the lawn using a digging fork and fill these holes with coarse sand. Not only does it allow water in the surface to flow freely, it also provides access for oxygen. In order to remove dead roots and other debris, it may be best to scarify the soil. To do this, remove the lawn thatch so that there is more free space for the lower portion of the grass as well as for the stems to grow unobstructed.

Keeping your lawn in perfect shape throughout the year is not actually that difficult. With constant care, you can make it look lush and green every time!

Keeping fit with gardening

Keeping fit with gardening

Although fitness is much talked about in recent times, most people fail to take up the right initiative to get fit. Frequenting the gym is not something that is liked by all. I’ve seen many of my friends cook up some excuse or the other for not going to the gym. I’m often asked about how I keep myself fit. To say the truth, I myself am not that enamored by the idea of going to the gym regularly.

But I work out with my grappling dummy daily, which more than makes up for the gym workouts and then I have my landscaping work which also needs quite a lot of physical activity. In fact, gardening is one of the ways in which you can keep fit and healthy without any other exercises. It burns much more calories than you can imagine.

Gardening for fitness

There has been a boom in the sales of herbs, vegetables and seeds as consumers are more and more conscious about the food quality. They have started realizing the significance of the mental, physical and spiritual advantages of being connected with nature. Gardening is a way to be connected with the land and help us gain fitness, health, wellbeing and happiness in a more earthy way.

The concrete jungle we live in does not augur well for this change but the increasing interest in landscaping and growing vegetable gardens at home that I see recently is certainly a promising change. Gardening helps in many ways to get you on the path of wellness. From improving nutrition and brain health to better fitness, gardening offers several benefits.

Benefits of gardening

While there are numerous benefits in gardening, one important benefit in terms of fitness is that gardening keeps you active. For your body to function properly, it needs to be in a state of perpetual motion. Gardening helps you achieve this. In fact, studies reveal that those involved in gardening have lower BMI, when compared to the non-gardeners.  And you are less prone to be obese or overweight when you do gardening regularly. Since the activity is done outdoors, you can work out more and get significant benefits out of it than when you do some activity indoors.

High intensity exercises

Gardening is actually classified as a vigorous activity as it can give the benefit of a high intensity exercise for both children and adults. This is true especially in case you are involved in soil work. Some of the activities like weeding, carrying heavy mulch bags or mowing the lawn are physically demanding workouts. Digging holes, stirring compost and raking leaves can burn up to 400 calories in an hour. Digging holes and raking are considered as vigorous exercises and adding wood chips for soil amendments is another high intensity activity.

Doing such activities required only a shovel, pitchfork and wheelbarrow. When you do the right amount of mechanics including twisting, reaching and bending, you can get a good workout effect. In addition to these regular gardening workouts, I also do some high resistance martial training to keep me fit.

Natural Wooden Garden Enclosures

Natural Wooden Garden Enclosures

Just like farmers build fences and put up patches of wire between them to keep critters and varmints from just wandering onto their fields and eating their crops, gardeners need to put some sort of barrier between the things they pour their heart and soul into growing and the things which want to eat those things. There are a number of ways to do this. Personally, I prefer using wooden enclosures to keep garden plots safe and block them off from rabbits, squirrels and whatnot. I also prefer to make these myself rather than paying for them.

You might wonder how it is that I do this. Well, I can tell you that I don’t use simple hand saws or anything so crude. While those will do the job of chopping bits of wood, they don’t give you the precision or the fineness of work that you can get from a more advanced machine. I use wood lathes to cut all my wood. They make the job easy by giving me a flat plane to work with and allowing me to roll, turn and rotate the piece of wood while I’m working on it, without forcing me to stop and realign anything before cutting.

That single, long, continuous cutting operation is what makes the lathe the tool of choice for me. It lets me cut curves and other more intricate designs into wood than I would ever be able to manage if I was using a handsaw or other type of saw instead. In fact, if you’ve never seen one for yourself, just head over to http://woodlathereport.com/ to get a good look at several typical wood lathes for your own eyes. They’re a lot like the table saws you might remember from back in shop class, but they provide just a bit more function.

Anyhow, crafting walls and enclosures for gardens like this takes just minutes, and I don’t need to go through the process of sanding, finishing or otherwise treating the wood because I’m just going to stick it into a patch of dirt anyhow. Well, I guess that’s not exactly true. Applying a decent sealant to the wooden wall pieces will keep them from taking on water and going to rot. That’s kind of a problem with wooden walls, but it’s also easy to work around and the solution doesn’t cost a whole lot either. Certainly less than new walls.

The height of the enclosure itself depends on what you’re trying to keep out. Rabbits won’t really try to climb high walls, but squirrels will usually look for a way around, maybe climbing up something else to get a higher vantage point and then jumping down from there. A good rule of thumb is to keep your walls a solid foot higher than the garden they are used to surround. That’s high enough to keep most animals out but also not so high that you can’t work in your garden and stay comfortable at the same time. I might be a perfectionist, when it comes to garden design, as I tend to complicate things. Check out this video showing how to make enclosures easier way:

Lighting in Garden Design

Lighting in Garden Design

Everyone should have a personal garden of their own if you ask me. There’s something that’s just very cathartic about planting, all the stabbing at the earth with a shovel or trowel, cutting away weeds, all of it. However, there’s more to building a garden than just clearing a patch of land and digging some holes in the dirt. For one, you must have efficient lighting so you can see things when the sun isn’t around to brighten up said garden. Now I know, some people will call this extraneous. There’s nothing like having a nice sit out in your private space in the middle of the night though, you know?

I do rather enjoy that. It’s nice and quiet, the sky is full of stars, and the temperature is cooler since the sun has gone down. It’s pretty nice I think. But walking around in the dark is kind of dangerous too. Having enough light is important and so, I’m always looking for interesting ways to incorporate lighting into the gardens I design. I look to make it blend in and be seamless if I can, so it doesn’t stand out and become an eyesore. Rather than putting lampposts around, I would install some of those solar panel lights on the stakes which stab into the ground. This is just one example though.

I also like to use arches, both for creating paths as well as giving creeping plants something to grip while they grow, ever upward. Strings of lights can also be run through these arches, sort of how you would attach a string of lights to a Christmas tree or the outside of your home, if you happen to celebrate that holiday. I’ve found it’s possible to do this and create an effect which isn’t at all gaudy and actually makes a garden look unique, in a fashion. Now I know other people do this too, so it’s not unique at all, but it does stand out from other gardens and lawns nearby.

Another approach I sometimes use is to place LED bar lighting along the sides of a path, rather than construct arches over it. These too usually push down into the dirt with a little force and can be found in solar varieties as well as those requiring some electrical connection to work. Unlike light which shines down from above, this ground-up lighting scheme illuminates an area without casting shadows and actually makes a greater deal of light, at least I think, since it doesn’t create those patches of darkness.

The way I’m talking about lighting here, it would be pretty easy to mistake my real passion, which is creating unique and beautiful outdoor spaces for people to enjoy. I love making gardens and rather enjoy gardening myself, in the plot I’ve made at my home. With this said, let me close by giving a little advice. Gardens aren’t necessarily patches of flowers and nothing else. You could grow your own carrots, tomatoes, beans, peas and other vegetables at home, ensuring quality produce without all the harsh chemicals or genetic modification.

Wild Plants Add Beauty to Your Garden

Wild Plants Add Beauty to Your Garden

Majority of plants you can find in gardens are ‘domesticated’ plants – as I fondly call them. These garden plants have been cultured and ‘tamed’ through the years for the purpose of growing in our gardens and landscapes. They are the ones you’d find in your local garden supply store or nurseries. They look great and awesome, especially when carefully tended and designed.

But if you are tired of the all-too-usual garden plants and want to give your garden or landscape a refresh, why not try wild plants?

Wildflowers and native plants add character and variation to your garden. Most any landscape or garden is enhanced by planting these rare, wild floras. Aside from their unique ornamental qualities, wildflowers are easy to maintain and are tough. Once they have been planted on the right site, they require very little care and even creating a sustainable micro-environment within your garden. If you have a chance you can try riding your off-road truck and check a nearby wildlife reserve to see the beauty of these wild plants in nature. Of course, it’s best if your truck has an LED light bar, like the ones found on this site.

A friend of mine, a garden designer as well, once took me to the middle of a local forest reserve to show me some wild plants that can actually be grown for garden use. It was already dusk when we arrived at the site, good thing his 4×4 off-road truck is equipped with powerful 40-inch LED light bar. I was amazed by the unique shrubberies, greens and wildflowers that grew in this pristine natural garden. I almost got tempted to collect mature wild plants but I know it’s unethical and illegal, especially for threatened or rare species. We had to contend with collecting wildflower seeds and grow them.

Growing wildflowers from harvested seeds require careful attention. It takes a long time to germinate from seed and to mature. Some of these wild plant species often require pre-treatment before they are able to survive in a different environmental conditions. Good thing, there are nurseries and specialty shops that now offer wildflower seeds that are easy to grow. If you are an amateur in gardening, you can opt for mature wild plant species – however, expect them to be pricey.

When planning to transplant wild plant species to your garden, you have to remember that not all wild plants can be grown in your garden. There are a number of things that you have to consider – the soil, water and light conditions of the landscape, as well as the season. Some wild floras are adapted to certain soil or lighting conditions. And if they are not suited with the conditions of your garden, you’d only end up frustrated.

Lastly, before you even consider planting wild plants, it is best to read about the characteristics of the wildflower. For starters, you can go with wildflowers that are suited to different ecological niche – the likes of desert marigold and marsh marigold, are perfect species. They can add color and life to your garden landscape!

Great Gardening Tools

Great Gardening Tools

 

If you really think about it, gardening is a lot like farming. You have to pick out a nice patch of earth to begin with, then decide what it is you want to grow based on the climate and weather conditions where you are. There’s a lot of digging, tilling, planting, mulching, watering and more, so there are a lot of different tools you may find yourself using, even in a small garden. I’ve worked with gardens of all sizes, so I’ve seen what makes great gardening tools as well as which contraptions you could probably just forget about and avoid.

Speaking of great gardening tools, I feel there are three specific items that no gardener should be without, regardless of the size of the garden in question. Back in the day, there used to be something called The Claw which was a bunch of curved spikes attached to a handle. You would stab it into the earth, twist, and get aerated, loose soil without breaking a sweat (or your back). A quick search for “claw garden tool” will get you dozens of results featuring similar items. I don’t know if the original Claw has been bought out or just gone out of business, but these devices all work the same, and they do work.

Great Gardening ToolsIf you’ve never heard of the Ho-Mi before, that’s a cool tool of Korean origin which is a lot like a handheld scythe. The wide, fat blade is ideal for chopping through stems and turning up dirt, making it an effective tool for removing weeds, right down to the roots. While the claw mentioned above is perfect for quick jobs that require no fine work the Ho-Mi is better suited to the fine work than turning up an entire garden bed. A tool like this may not be easy to find, but it’s not very expensive either since it’s just a blade on a handle.

Not everything about your garden focuses on the earth beneath it. In some cases, you’ll need to clear a canopy from above the space you want to use so sunlight can regularly get to it and the things planted there can grow. If you hate climbing ladders or have a fear of heights, you’re in luck – there’s no need to leave the ground with a pole saw to extend your reach. Take a quick look at Pole Saw Report and you’ll see for yourself that these lengthy saws are perfect for chopping off branches without putting the user in any kind of danger.

This last item is especially useful if you’re just getting into gardening, or you’re trying planting in a new location and you’re not sure what types of plants will do well given the soil, rainfall and other factors, like temperature. The EasyBloom plant sensor can be stuck in any garden bed and it will collect all kinds of data about its surroundings, including all of the points mentioned above. You can then visit the EasyBloom website with the gathered data and get excellent recommendations for what to plant, given your specific circumstances. This will quickly become the best friend of many novice gardeners.

10 Fruit Trees and Vegetables You Can Grow in Your Garden

I’ve done countless home garden designs for different people. One of the most common questions I’ve been asked is whether they can grow vegetables and fruit-bearing trees in their backyard garden.

I’m surprised that many people don’t realize that they can actually grow fruit trees right in their homes. Imagine picking fresh apples, pears and papaya from your garden, and turning them into a healthy smoothie using your smoothie maker (click this link for more info on smoothie makers). Such a delightful and healthy breakfast treat will certainly make your mornings something to look forward to.

Many think that growing fruit trees and vegetable would require special soil, fertilizer or chemicals to grow. While this may be true on some plant varieties, there are actually vegetables and fruits that you can easily grow at your home garden:

  1. Radishes

Radish is a vegetable that can be grown at any time of the year. To grow radish, simply sow the seeds and water them regularly. Your gorgeous radish will be ready for harvest within month’s time.

  1. Apple Tree

Contrary to what you might think, you can actually grow apple right in your backyard. However, you may have to wait at least two years before the tree start producing fruits.

  1. Green onions

If you want a fast-growing vegetable, green onions are the best picks. Unlike normal onions that usually take 6 months to grow, green onions can be harvested after three to four weeks.

  1. Cucumber

Cucumbers have an amazing taste, and are refreshing and cool. Aside from that, many do not know that the cucumber seeds are actually easy to grow. Cucumbers make perfect salads or side dish.

  1. Zucchini

The home garden offers a perfect place to grow zucchini. This vegetable grows fast and can be harvested within 70 days. There are over a thousand of recipes where you can use zucchini.

  1. Turnips

Turnips are not delicate plants. They can be grown in your home garden. Usually, turnips can be harvested within 60 days of sowing. Turnip leaves can also be used as ingredients in different stew, salad, and soup recipes.

  1. Peas

Peas are easy to grow on home gardens. After sowing, the peas can germinate within ten days. Pods are ready for harvest in just 60 days.

  1. Peach Tree

If you want a fruit tree that will bear in just a short time, then you can plant a peach tree. Peaches can grow quickly, often reaching 15 feet within a year. It will also be able to bear fruit after one year.

  1. Coconut Tree

Coconut can grow rapidly. It is best in areas that have warm and hot climate. In most Asian countries, coconut trees can be seen lined up near homes.

  1. Pear Tree

Pear trees are fast growing. They can grow a considerable height within a short period and are also able to produce fruit within a year.

Common Fish Species for Your Water Garden

In one of my posts, I’ve written about how I made a pond in my garden. I’ve talked about the different considerations when making a backyard water garden. Things like: How large the pond will be? What kind of plants to use for decoration? What water features to install? What pond supplies will be needed? And other basic questions that comes with planning a fish pond.

Common Fish Species for Your Water GardenBut aside from these basic considerations, another very important aspect of your fish pond is the type of fish you’ll put in it. Perhaps, if you’re planning to make a large fish pond that would allow fishing, you will likely need fish species such as carp, bass or bluegill.

You can try fishing in your own backyard pond using a spinning rod and spinning reel (check out SpinningReelPro.com if you want to know more about different spinning reels). Meanwhile, if you just want a small fish pond, you can choose a decorative koi or goldfish.

Remember that your Goldfish or Koi will the most important part of your fish pond. It is best to know a little about these fish species. Here we take a look at some of the common fish species for your backyard pond:

  1. Decorative Koi – These koi species are the most popular for people who want a small fish pond in their gardens or inside their homes. They are known for having very interesting color varieties and random patterns. Koi add tranquility and relaxation to a water garden. Their smooth movements create soothing sounds. Aside from beautifying your pond, kois also prevent it from getting stagnant.
  2. Decorative Butterfly Koi – This fish species are almost identical with decorative koi, except that they have longer fins that come in varying sizes. They move very graciously in water and are a fun to watch.
  3. Premium Koi – If you want your pond to have only select colors, Premium Koi is the best fish pond species to get. Premium Kois are a top grade koi fish. You can choose which colors of Koi to purchase.
  4. Comet Goldfish – The vibrant reddish-orange color of this fish species is the reason why Comet Goldfish is named as such. This type of goldfish is fun to watch and very personable. They also blend well with other fish species.
  5. Fantail Sarassa Goldfish – Compared with comet goldfish, Fantail Sarassa Goldfish has robust, short bodies. Its tails are fan-shaped, thus the name. This fish species have brilliant red color with white patches. They swim slowly and gracefully in the waters.

These are just five of the most common fish species for your home water garden. There are many other fish species for you to choose from. Feel free to personalize your fish pond!

Planning to Repaint Your Outdoor Furniture? Read This

Planning to Repaint Your Outdoor Furniture? Read This

Give your outdoor furniture a refreshing new look with a repainting project.

When doing a painting project, there are a number of things to consider. Add temperamental weather and all the other elements and your list is multiplied.

Here we’ll try to answer common questions about how to paint outdoor furniture.

  1. What supplies do you need to prepare the furniture?

Basically, the supplies will depend on the material and state of the furniture (e.g. painted wood, old plastic, new wood, painted metal). If repainting an old wood or metal surface, you will need steel wool, sandpaper, scraper, wire brush, or a stripper. You may also need a cloth for cleaning up the dust residue after sanding. It would help simplify your repainting project if you use an air compressor. This site has some nice reviews on different air compressors.

 

  1. What is best type of paint for outdoor furniture?

All paint products are labeled accordingly so you can see if they would adhere to the surface of the furniture. Check the label of the specific paint product to ensure proper adhesion to the surface. If you have plastic patio furniture, you can use paint products specifically designed for hard-to-bond surfaces. Usually, general purpose paints would do well with most surfaces with plastic as exception.

For rattan or wicker, spray paints are usually the best way to go as they easily get into the crevices. Aerosol paints are good for Muskoka chairs.

  1. What is the best way to prevent rusting?

Most paint products designed for metals add rust protection into the paint. Double check of the paint label says “rust inhibiting” or “rust proofing”.

Apart from rusting, another consideration is exposure to UV rays. Some paint formulations now include protection from UV light. These paint products protect the furniture finish allowing it to resist harsh weather conditions.

  1. What is the best finish for outdoor furniture?

Paint companies will usually offer a variety of finishes. Some of the options include gloss, metallic, satin, hammered, metallic, and more. As long as you apply the paint properly, you will achieve the finish you desire. You can also mix and match different furniture pieces to create a totally unique patio set.

  1. How many coatings should you apply?

Usually, paint companies recommend two coats. Check the instructions for better results. An important thing to consider when painting: the thinner the coat, the better. Thinner coats allow paint to dry faster and result in a harder finish.

  1. How to choose the right brush?

The type of brush you’ll use will depend on the paint product. Refer to the paint can as it will specify what type of brush is best to use. Take note that latex paints and oil-based paints will generally require different bristles.

Last tip; make sure to protect other surfaces especially if you’re working in your patio. Use drop cloths and masking tape to cover surrounding area.

Gardening with Kids: Age-Appropriate Activities

Gardening with Kids: Age-Appropriate Activities

Working in the garden with your kids is a great joy, and I’m sure all of the parents out there will agree with me. Teaching your children the ropes of gardening since they are young will nurture the love for nature and perhaps even for physical labor. The best thing, however, is that gardening can be educational for a child.

However, you shouldn’t rush to instill your beloved offspring with your passion as being too active may have a completely opposite effect. We, adults, tend to forget that children feel differently, so the things we consider fun and light may be very different for them. In this regard, gardening should be treated as any other hobby. Just think about it, you don’t send your 5 year old child to a violin lesson several hours long, right? Moderation is one of the most important things you will need to keep in mind if you want to teach your children enjoy gardening. Otherwise, they will come to resent it, as they would music or any other lesson they see as too hard.

The tools you will use together are another important issue. For example, everyone understands that a high-quality violin will sound better than a mediocre one, and it’s the same for gardening tools. However, it’s not only the matter of quality when it comes to “children friendly” gardening.

To follow with our previous musical example, just click here to see what violins for kids look like. They are different, right? In essence, these instruments are the same, but their size, weight, and even color play a very important part in keeping the child interested. The first two factors are obvious as kids are smaller and simply won’t be able to play a heavy adult instrument. However, the design matters as well, especially for younger children. I advise you to look for colorful kiddy gardening kits with all kinds of cool prints. Your little ones should see these things as toys, instead of work tools.

It’s not only the “equipment” children use that must be age-appropriate. The things you will do together also have to be tailored to the child’s needs. Here are some suggestions of fun gardening activities for children of different ages:

  • 1-3 years.
    Children so young definitely won’t be able to do any “work”, but they will enjoy exploring soil and plants. You can treat a walk through your garden as an educational expedition, teaching your kid about different surfaces, colors, plants, etc.
  • 3-5 years.
    This is the age of true explorers. At this time, you can expand the scope of your “expedition” to cover names of specific plants, insects, etc. It’s also a good time to teach the child the basics of watering and planting flowers.
  • 5-7 years.
    This is a good age for planting and picking various plants. Let your kids see how the flowers/berries/veggies they planted grow and explain the processes behind the changes they can see.
  • 7-9 years.
    This is the perfect age for building fortresses in hedges and growing special secret gardens inspired by fairy tales.
  • 9-12 years.
    At this age, children get interested in farming as they like to grow things on their own. Be a guide and an advisor and allow your kids to experiment with different plants.