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Category Archives: Gardening

All about Garden Gazebo

These days almost anyone can own a garden gazebo, and assemble a garden gazebo in the backyard, garden gazebo kits offer the beauty of a wooden gazebo, many gazebos are available in a huge variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from Victorian and Amish styles to small to party size in diameter. Garden owners can purchase a garden gazebo kit and build their own gazebo by themselves, the kits can range in price and in quality, but the concept of DIY and the average low price allows almost anyone to experiment and enjoy his own garden gazebo.

Garden gazebo kits differ not only in price but also in the material of which the garden gazebo is made of. These kits range in price depending on type of wood, which is generally either pine or one of a variety of types of cedar, and size. Each wood has its own benefits for your garden gazebo and once you have finished constructing the gazebo, you can choose to paint it, stain it or let it sit out and absorb the elements, allowing it to change to its naturally weathered color which is usually a light shade of grey. After you have decided on which wood to use for construction of your garden gazebo, you should figure what you need in terms of size.

Once you set your mind of actually getting a garden gazebo, you will need think about the material and the weather in your area, these will have a significant effect on your gazebo and what you can expect of it. Most garden gazebos are made of wood, pine or cedar or the most popular ones, but there are many different gazebo kits out there, and it is common to find metal gazebo kits made of vinyl or aluminum.

The huge advantage wood garden gazebos have is that they fit into a garden naturally, adding natural wooden quality that accents and compliments any garden. If you plan on purchasing a wooden garden gazebo, you will probably have to decide between pine or cedar wood. While pine is more affordable, cedar is less prone to rot.

Ornamental Grasses

Blue Oat Grass

Without a doubt, Blue Oat Grass is one of the most popular ornamental grasses for fall landscapes. The large, densely blue colored foliage is attractive year round, but also provides beautiful flowers from June to August. While Blue Oat Grass does well in most mild to moderate climate zones, it is also fairly drought tolerant, only needing water every 1-2 weeks. For these mild to moderate climate zones, Blue Oat Grass can also make a great winter landscape choice as well.

Fountain Grass

Another large ornamental grass, Fountain Grass is another favorite choice of gardeners who prefer ornamental grasses for fall landscapes. Fountain Grass produces beautiful green foliage through the year, but the grass turns a golden yellow in the fall, adding to your fall landscape. This large ornamental grass can reach anywhere from 1 to 3 feet at full maturity. Keep in mind that this is an excellent summer landscape choice as it also offers beautiful white to purple flowers that will last until early winter.

Big Bluestem

A beautiful, tall prairie-like ornamental grass, the Big Bluestem can reach up to 8 feet in height, so be very careful where this ornamental grass is planted. The Big Bluestem truly is one of the perfect ornamental grasses for fall landscapes as the flowers wait until late summer or early fall to bloom and the fall foliage is also a vibrant orange color. Throughout the rest of the year, the foliage remains a bluish-green. While it does not have much presence throughout the winter months, it will begin to regrow in April and become beautiful again by the early summer months.

Copper Weathervanes

The weather vane has been part of human culture dating all the way back to the time of the Romans. The sudden reemergence of the weathervane in popular culture and appearance on the rooftops of homes in recent years means that it seems to be making a comeback. This newfound popularity is occurring despite the fact that we can learn more about the weather from a 30-second newsbyte than we could from staring at a wind vane all day! So what explains this newfound love affair with quality copper weathervanes and other finials?

The true collectible copper weathervanes were typically made in between the end of the Civil War and the beginning of WWII. Although not exactly hand-crafted like the ones prior to the Civil War, this period of weathervane construction saw the widespread use of molds create the various shapes typical to the craft, including: Horses, Roosters, Fish, Deer, and especially Horses. The halves of the molds were often joined with solder or some form of welding and this technique proved very effective because many of the antique copper weathervanes available today are still in good shape and actually work.

Of course, one concern with anything made out of copper, including weathervanes, is the process which creates patina. It generally takes about 5 years for copper weathervanes to develop that green patina they are so famous for. However, many manufactures of contemporary weather vanes made from copper have developed a process that creates the patina through a chemical reaction so that the buyer can have what appears to be a classic vane sitting atop their rooftop–but without the big expense that comes from buying an authentic copper weathervane from generations past.

Truthfully, none of us truly need any kind of weather vane or finial perched atop our homes these days. Even people who make their living in agriculture and who thus depend upon the weather can easily log on to a website or flip on the television to find out the latest satellite images of what is happening in their area. No, there is something else driving the recent rise in popularity of premium contemporary weathervanes and it is a basic yearning for simpler times. While it may not eliminate any of the modern pressures, driving home to a place with a quality copper weathervane perched atop the roof can alleviate the stresses for just a minute and remind us of what truly matters when we step through that front door.

Solar Lights For home Yard

Solar lights take their power from the sun, store it in internal batteries and then shine brightly throughout the dark night. With so many options, you can have solar lights for safety and to beautify your home, all at the same time and all with lower electricity costs while being environmentally friendly. It’s a win win.

If you have steps in the yard you may want to use lights that will illuminate those steps when its dark. This will eliminate feeling around for the steps and reduce accidents. They are pretty accents to your steps too and of course come in a variety of shapes and colours.

Likewise for a pathway. Illuminating it at night takes the guess work out of the equation and allows for a pretty glow besides. Path lights can be low to the ground or can be on sticks to make a pretty accent to the sides of the path itself. They too come in a variety of shapes and colours to be the perfect addition to your landscaping.

Did you know that the flag code suggests that you light your flag at night? Never fear, there is a solar light just for that purpose and now the flag will never look better against the dark sky.

You spend a lot of time and money on your landscaping so why not show it off at night as well? There are many different solar spotlights on the market that will automatically shine on your perfect landscaping or beautiful tree at night. You can also implement landscaping lights into the landscaping itself for accents throughout the year, day or night.

Decks look so festive and summery when they have lights on them. Now you can get solar string lights to give your deck that great light and cozy feel, and they also come in all the popular shapes and colours.

Economical Pond Pump

Does that mean that over time the 550 watt pump will save money? Not necessarily. Pumps are only warrented for one or two or three years, generally. If you live in an area where electricity is cheap and the pumps you are considering are warranted for a year or two, then the added cost of the energy efficient pump, and its replacement, may be greater than the energy costs it will save over the same time period.

If, on the other hand, you live where the cost of electricity is high and you are looking at a pump with a three year warrenty that uses significantly less electricity than the other, then the energy efficient pump may more than pay for its extra up-front cost over the long term.

How to know? A Life Cycle Cost Analysis. Find the cost of electricity in your area, figure how long the pump should last, (generally at least two times the warranty), the number of watts it runs on and do the math. Here’s an example.

Say your pump uses 550 watts/hour and you plan to have it running continuously. It has a warranty of two years, so figure it will last four. 550 watts per hour in one day amounts to 13,200 watts. Divide that by a thousand to get kilowatts; 13.2. Multiply that by 365 days in a year = 4,818. Multiply that by 4 years = 19,272 kilowatts over its lifetime. Multiply that by the cost of electricity in your area, say $.20 = $3,854.

Do the same for the 850 watts/hour pump and the result is $5,957. There is a difference in energy costs of usage over their lifetime between the two pumps of $2,102. The difference in purchase price of the pumps will be in the vicinity of $200.00.

Does this mean the energy efficient pump is the most economical over time? In this scenerio it does, which assumed a twenty cent energy cost, a lifetime of four years and continuous running for all of that four years, yes. If the pump is run half that time, say 12 hours a day or six months of the year the energy differential would drop to $2,901, still a considerable savings. Reduce the life time to two years or run the pump for less often and the difference will be still less. In some areas the cost of electricity is much less so the cost of running the pump will be much less.

Let’s look at the same scenerio as the first example above, but instead of an energy cost of twenty cents per kilowatt, we’ll assume eight cents per kilowatt. We’re looking at a pump that uses 550 watts/hour, running continuously. It has a warranty of two years, so figure it will last four. 550 watts per hour in one day amounts to 13,200 watts. Divided by a thousand to get kilowatts gives us 13.2 per day. We multiply that by 365 days in a year = 4,818, and that by 4 years = 19,272 kilowatts over its lifetime. Now we multiply that by $.08 (eight cents) per kilowatt and we have a total cost over four years of $1,541.76 for the 550 watt pump and plugging in the 850 watt number in place of the 550 we get $2382.00 over four years. A difference of about $840.00. Reduce the life of the pump to two years and you have a difference in running costs over that two years of $427.00.

Info of Landscaping Lighting Techniques

There are many lighting styles available to suit your aesthetic tastes and landscape setting. In downlighting, lighting units are installed on a high position such as a tree or roof to provide illumination over a broad area. If you want to highlight flowers, pathway or steps the lights are positioned close to the ground.

In uplighting, we focus lights upwards creating a theatrical setting. These lights are kept low to the ground or sometimes underground and can be used to light trees, plants, statues or textured wall surfaces.

Moonlighting is similar to downlighting except that the lights used are dim. This simulates the lovely effect of moonlight and if certain objects are in its path cast attractive shadow patterns.

In Grazing, known as side lights, these lights are positioned very close to an interesting surface which has a unique texture. It wonderfully brings out the texture in case of a tree bark, a masonry wall, wood shingles or an attractive door.

In spot lighting, an intense light beam is focused on a small area such as flowers, shrubs or statues. It immediately snatches the focal attention of an observer and creates islands of interest in your landscape.

In silhouetting, lights are concealed behind a tree or a bush and it produces the same wondrous effect as seeing a tree on a ridge silhouetted against the sky at dusk.

In crosslighting two or three lights from different direction are focused on a tree or a statue to reveal a striking three dimensional form.

Common Landscape Design

English cottage gardens are known for their lack of formality. There is no rigidity in their designs, and because they are more or less allowed to “just grow” require less maintenance than some other types of gardens. These are common gardens because they evoke a sense of charm.

They are most common in backyard landscaping, for those who want to enjoy the garden and show an informal sense of elegance while entertaining. In the United States, of course, the lawn remains the most dominant landscape feature, especially in the front.

But an English cottage garden can be very fine due its riot of flowering plants. Most landscape features of this sort include rose bushes, perennials and vines. Sometimes they are even allowed to go across pathways. Because perennials are so used, they grow back every year, without much effort.

Rock gardens are features that are rising in popularity as well. These landscape features can provide a great deal of attractiveness, but make use of fewer plants. Landscapes that include rock gardens need less water and less attention. Additionally, the plants that often go with rock gardens are usually hardier and need a little less care. These are easy to care for, and can save money. Additionally, it is possible to build your own rock garden in the landscape, saving you even more money.

An increasing trend in landscape design is incorporating elements of the Japanese garden. Of course, in Western circles, many of the times this is interpreted to mean showy flowers. These showy flowers grab attention, and many times landscapes will center around these plants.

They can be difficult to take care of, as they are often non-native. They can also be expensive. However, some people are turning their backyard landscapes into gardens that are more in keeping with traditional Japanese garden principles of simplicity including more foliage and design structures. These types of gardens are less expensive and can be equally attractive.

And, of course, the most common landscape feature is the lawn. This is because the lawn allows a platform for family activities. Additionally, overall, it is also fairly easy to care for. It need only be mowed by machines that are relatively easy use, and it can be fertilized and watered fairly inexpensively, if one does so properly and with common sense.

Be Safety Ways for Hedge Trimmer

Dress properly

Always wear protective gear and clothing before starting the unit. Basic protective gear include: safety face shield or goggles, ear protection, no-slip work gloves, steel-toed boots, long pants, and a respirator. Do not wear loose clothing or any other item that might get caught in the mechanism. Tie your hair up so that it’s out of the way.

Sharp and clean cut better

Before turning it on, make sure the blades are sharp and free of obstruction. Dull blades are less efficient and safe and are more likely to rebound.

Check before you flick

Inspect the hedge trimmer for visible signs of moisture or damage before turning it on. Repair or replace parts as needed.

Keep it dry

It should be a no-brainer that you shouldn’t operate electrical tools and machines in rainy or wet weather. Doing so might cause electric shock, electrocuting you and damaging the trimmer. If you’re out working and see storm clouds on the horizon, stop working immediately and head for cover.

Use both hands

Never attempt to operate a hedge trimmer with only one hand, and always make sure to use the proper handles or strap while using it. Obviously, you should keep your hands away from the blades.

Shut it down

Always make sure the trimmer is switched off before doing maintenance, cleaning, clearing an obstruction in the tool, before plugging it in (for the corded models) or even while carrying it. If your hedge trimmer is a battery-operated one, remove the battery before attempting anything on it. Don’t keep your finger or hand on the tool to avoid accidental startup.

Steady as she goes

When using a hedge trimmer, make sure you’re on a firm, level surface. Don’t overreach and wear slip-resistant, steel-toed boots. Never, ever work from a ladder or a stool. For hard to reach areas, always use a scissor lift or an equivalent.

Stay sharp

Under no circumstances should you operate a hedge trimmer while intoxicated. Alcohol isn’t the only thing you can’t consume before working — any substance that might impair your sight, hearing and ability to focus like over-the-counter medication shouldn’t be taken as well.

Polywood Pool Furniture

Similar to any other high-end outdoor furniture polywood pool furniture is combined with mortise and tenon joinery, and stainless steel hardware. It is a marvelous blend of style and modern environmental awareness that is not bound to any time limit. And since recycled plastic is used for polywood pool furniture the sun, summer or winter, snow or salt – in fact nothing has any adverse affect on it. One of it key selling points is polywood does not absorb moisture, there is no fear of its getting rotten, spotted or discolored. Also, it cannot be infested by the molds.

The foremost feature of polywood pool furniture as a whole is its indestructibleness. As mentioned above, it is manufactured from recycled plastic lumber; so, it is environmental friendly. The shades of the color are infused all over the furniture, thus the unpredictable weather does not have any impact on the longevity or strength of the adirondack chair. The polywood pool furniture is made with perpetual UV stabilized colors. It is water resistant and you can choose various designs and colors as per your style.

The polywood pool furniture that includes polywood adirondack chairs is almost maintenance free. Its compressed surface makes it very easy to clean and it does not require any painting as it is molded into the solid material. These adirondack chairs are manufactured mostly with hardware polywood. It makes it heavier than wood, thus, allows it to endure strong winds. Also polywood pool furniture has consistent colors that remain intact forever. As far as cleaning is concerned, you just need to hose it off.

Whatever your mood or style polywood adirondack chairs are available in a number of shapes and sizes, from classic to shellback. These chairs may be used beside the swimming pool or any other location.

Information about Fire Pit Tables

Pit tables comes in many different shapes and styles. Most of the pits are made of metal and comes in all colors, so matching it to your patio furniture is extremely easy. Although metal is the most frequently chosen material, fire pit tables can be made of wood, stone, copper and stainless steel.

If you want a more sophisticated look, some of the tables also comes in granite. This is sure to add a to the look of quality of your patio furniture. They are safe and the table stays cool to the touch, avoiding serious burns.

A fire pit table is great for family functions because older friends and relatives may have a difficult time standing or sitting on the ground. It can provide a warm atmosphere on a cool night. Depending on the style of table that you choose, the prices will vary. A standard metal table starts at around one hundred dollars and can reach thousands of dollars.

You can find fire pit tables in catalogs and home improvement stores across the country. They are also available on line. By doing a simple Google search, you will find millions of links for shops that sell fire pits of all kinds and types. Many people are using the on line option because vendors are in fierce competition and offer incredible discounts.

The pit tables add an air of elegance to any outdoor patio. They are easy to use and easy to clean. You will want to host parties and small get-togethers just to show it off. Although those tables are durable, you need to take into consideration the climate in which it will be kept. If you live in an area that has consistently warm weather, a metal copper or stainless steel fire pit table is perfect for you.