Landscaping As An Art

So here you are, the humble landscaper. Business is good, but you feel like you need an edge. Something that will make your services stand out from the rest. This article will hopefully teach you how to get that edge. What most people do not realize is that, landscaping, in it's purest form, is art.…

So here you are, the humble landscaper. Business is good, but you feel like you need an edge. Something that will make your services stand out from the rest. This article will hopefully teach you how to get that edge.

What most people do not realize is that, landscaping, in it's purest form, is art. Artists have colors, shades, and shapes to choose from to create their designs. So do landscapers. So, the key to heating up your landscaping business is to realize that you are not just doing grunt work: you are an artist.

So how can you use an artists' mentality to improve your work? It's simple: you must use the same principals that artists use in their work. There are actually official “principles of design” that great art is said to contain. These are contrast, harmony, dominance, and unity. By using these principals together, you can create great art.

Let's first look at contrast. Contrast is the way that an artist uses opposites in his designs. By placing opposites in the same piece of art, the eye is attracted to their differences. So how can we do this in landscaping? We must place opposite colors, sizes, and shades in the same arrangement to create the contrasting effect. This can be done in a variety of ways. One option is to take advantage of contrasts between large plants and small plants. Larger plants can be placed as centerpieces, with smaller plants surrounding them. This creates an attractive contrast. Shades of colors create contrast as well. If you use a dark shade of a color next to a light shade of another color, contrast is once again present. Contrast is what creates the eye-catching effect in great works of art. And you definitely want eyes checking out your landscaping!

Now, let's take a look at harmony. Harmony is the exact opposite of contrast, as it is the effect that comes from combining similar shapes and colors. Both contrast and harmony are necessary in art. Harmony is an important counter to contrast because, if there is not enough of one shape or color, and there is a lot of another color, then there will not be enough of the first color for the eye to make out a contrast. Thus, you must create identifiable sections of your landscape, so that each type of plant is represented enough to create contrast. In other words, you must place comfortable areas of harmony near to each other to create a shift between the sections that is noticeable to the eye.

Third, let's explore dominance. Dominance is the way that an artist lets one element of his design stand out amongst the other, so creating interest in his piece of art. You can do this by centering one contrasting section of landscape amongst harmonious sections. This will create dominance, which is an even more powerful form of contrast. Dominant sections of a design are usually the centerpieces, or the part that the artist is trying to attract the most attention to. Imagine this scenario: you are setting up a piece of landscape in the Bahamas. You set up various tropical flowers around the most gorgeous, most stunning, most humongous Bird of Paradise ever seen. That will be the dominant piece of your landscape, and it will serve as an attractive header to your work of art.

Finally, we will look at unity. Unity is more or less the “metaphysical” part of your art. Unity is the way that you, as an artist, make sure that the tone of your art fits your purpose. Are you setting up a zen garden, or are you planting a huge eye-grabber for a storefront? Your choice of colors, shades, and lines must work together to create the effect that your piece of art needs. Cool colors, like blues and greens, matched with rounded lines and dark shades create a very tranquil atmosphere, while warm colors like reds and yellows matched with light shades and jagged lines creates a very energetic setup. Try different combinations to create the unity that you are looking for.

I hope that this is enough proof to you that landscaping can be a real art. You can really change up your market by approaching your work this way. It can even make your job funner and more engaging for you, which will make your entire outlook on life better as a whole. So, Give some of these ideas a try and see if they do not work for you.

Are You in Love With Desert Landscapes?

If you are, you are probably wondering if it is actually possible to recreate the same charm in your outdoor landscape, utilizing your available outside spaces. The answer is yes, you love the look of the desert landscape and, with the right option of plants and materials, your desert landscape is only days or weeks…

If you are, you are probably wondering if it is actually possible to recreate the same charm in your outdoor landscape, utilizing your available outside spaces.

The answer is yes, you love the look of the desert landscape and, with the right option of plants and materials, your desert landscape is only days or weeks away from ending up being a physical reality. Here are some amazing concepts that you can attempt to implement in your outdoor landscaping project.

1. If you have a large front yard and space is not a trouble for you, you might wish to try out using tall palm trees and drought-resistant shrubs or bushes. The palm trees can be put parallel to each other, to develop a natural fence, while the shrubs or bushes can be used to produce contours around your front yard or backyard area.

2. Nothing defines a desert landscape much better than rock formations. A rock yard is absolutely a great project, particularly if you have a natural eye for arranging aged rocks.

Rock gardens for desert landscapes tend to look even more visually pleasing if you introduce two to three different cacti types into the mix. Depending on the cacti types that you use, they may also have very colorful flowers that will further enhance your rock garden. You do not have to overdo it however – flowers are still essential, so keep your cacti clusters small, but popular. Too many cacti will overpower the rock garden and make it appear as if you are making a cacti garden instead of a rock garden.

3. Some landscape artists make use of a minimalistic method when making a desert landscape. Minimalism can be achieved if you focus on a central walkway or staircase leading up to your home. Thick greenery can be grown at the sides of the pathway or staircase. Thick vegetation in a desert landscape is really soothing to the senses, certainly.

Combine smooth gravel and stones with aged rock, and you have the ideal mix of color and texture. Aged rocks provide a lot of texture and color, while the stones give it balance and proportion.

Picking a dominant color, like yellow, can improve the appeal of a desert landscape. It is equally vital that you have some secondary colors to break up the uniformity of the main color.

Cacti come in numerous shapes and sizes and, generally, people like them due to the fact that they include a lot of different textures. Try it in your landscaping project and see what we mean. If a particular texture cacti does not seem to fit in a specific area, try moving it into another section of the rock garden and it may fit perfectly.

Before you begin selecting plants for your new desert landscape, we wish to remind everyone that not all plants are Drought-resistant, so if you stay in a hot location of the country, it might be very beneficial if you ask your neighborhood provider for low -maintenance plants. This way, you will not need to invest more on keeping your plants alive throughout the year.

Lawn Fertilizer Challenges

Sweeping changes are taking place across this country as to who can apply fertilizer and what types of fertilizers can be applied. Various city and state Governments are passing regulations, rules and laws to control the use of phosphorus fertilizers for lawn use. Pollution of the lakes and streams from turf area runoff has been…

Sweeping changes are taking place across this country as to who can apply fertilizer and what types of fertilizers can be applied.

Various city and state Governments are passing regulations, rules and laws to control the use of phosphorus fertilizers for lawn use. Pollution of the lakes and streams from turf area runoff has been a concern for many years.

In waterways, phosphorus behaves as a fertilizer, accelerating plant and algae growth. When plants and algae die, bacteria consume oxygen that is dissolved in the water. When this happens, less oxygen is available for fish and aquatic life that need oxygen to survive. Excess phosphorus in drinking water is difficult to remove, and also can require an increase in treatment chemicals which adds cost.

Many Universities have been for years, calling for lawn fertilizers such as 18-0-10 or 25-3-11 or equivalent to be used on lawns. I started to recommend these ratios back in the late 1960's when the common law fertilizer on the market was 12-10-5 and it was not a slow release type fertilizer commonly used today.

I was in Northern Indiana with the Purdue University Extension Service back in the 60's and early 1970's. Homeowners had lawns that were not growing properly. After reviewing many lawn soil tests, I found that most of these lawns had very high phosphorus concentrations almost double or triple that of the highest level on the test chart.

The only time that lawns need phosphorus is in the establishment of new lawns. Phosphorus should be placed near the grass seeds during new planting to assure rapid establishment and deep root growth. Most fertilizer companies have a “Starter Fertilizer” (18-24-6) for starting new lawns. When starting a new lawn, it may be OK to use a starter fertilizer. Check with your local city or county codes to make sure that they allow starter fertilizers use.

Plants also use phosphorus in the reproducing portion of the plant, but when growing lawn grasses, we are not interested in producing seeds, allowing the seed to form means less growth and development of the grass itself.

The phosphorus content is quite immobile in the soil and does not move down into the soil through leaching without the soil is very sandy. Phosphorus will remain very near the surface of the soil where it was applied during fertilizer applications.

In conclusion, only apply lawn fertilizers with little or no phosphorus. If you are having a law treatment company applying your application, check with them to make sure they are following the new rules.

Design Your Land With These Landscaping Tips

Is your home looking a little dull? If so, then your house might benefit from landscaping. You can do quite a bit for a home with just a bit of landscaping and make it a winner. For some landscaping tips that you can use, continue reading this article. To update your landscaping, try to re-edge…

Is your home looking a little dull? If so, then your house might benefit from landscaping. You can do quite a bit for a home with just a bit of landscaping and make it a winner. For some landscaping tips that you can use, continue reading this article.

To update your landscaping, try to re-edge your flowers with soft curves. Curved borders create much more interest than the straight borders of the past. Cutting fresh edges is an inexpensive project that can make a big impact on how your lawn and flower bed looks.

When landscaping, it is best to use plants which are native to the area. When you landscape your garden, try using trees flowers and shrubs that you would find locally. This is because plants that are native will thrive as they are used to the environment of your home, they'll also require less upkeep as well.

When you landscape, make sure you know the differences between annuals and perennials, you also want to know what kind of shrubs, plant, or flowers work best in different areas. You need to be conscious of the seasons while landscaping as well. Putting in the time to gather this kind of knowledge can make your landscaping efforts much more effective.

It is pretty tough to landscape your entire yard at once. Divide your landscaping plans into different sentences, taking into account the different seasons and levels of difficulty. It will also be easier to implement any design changes that becomes necessary.

Before embarking on a DIY landscape project, it may be wise to consult with a professional to get their thoughts on your plans. Their knowledge can save you a lot of time and money when all is said and done. Professional landscapers and architects both charge about $ 75 / hour, which can easily pay for itself if you put their advice to use.

Consider how your landscape will look all year long when you are planning it. This means that you're going to need various plants that bloom during different seasons. You can also get pine trees so that your yard is green in the winter. Your year-round thinking will be well facilitated by researching the different plants.

Using evergreens and foliage plants as part of your landscaping offers a sense of continuity. Since most plants are only in bloom during certain seasons, your yard may seem dull or dead in the off-season if you do not use foliage plants. Foliage plants and evergreens can help fill in this gap, keeping your yard looking fresh and green year-round.

If you're running short on cash when landscaping, you do not have to keep complete the whole project. Break your process into steps according to seasons and the right timing for each part of the project. This makes financing the project much more doable. Make a list of each step in the plan, then divide it by order of importance so you complete the most important parts first.

One creative way to make your landscaping project stand out, is to use a variety of complimentary textures when choosing the plants. Highly textured plants sprinkled through the garden will add points of interest. Dispers them evenly for maximum effect.

Be sure to take climate into consideration as you choose plants for your yard. You may have your heart set on a particular plant, but if the conditions are not right, that plant will never grow. You should also consider sunlight, wind strength, and rain amounts prior to choosing your plants.

Now you have some information to go on, and the look of your yard does not have to suffer any longer! You can have a vibrant looking home that seems as if it were something out of a movie. Just be sure that you use the advice you got here to make your property stand out from the crowd.

Garden Patio Design – How to Design a Patio

A patio is just one element of a garden design, but it is one of the most expensive parts of any garden build. Because the patio fulfills several different functions it needs to be given careful consideration. Here are a few points on how to design a patio. Location of the patio Most patios are…

A patio is just one element of a garden design, but it is one of the most expensive parts of any garden build. Because the patio fulfills several different functions it needs to be given careful consideration. Here are a few points on how to design a patio.

Location of the patio

Most patios are sited immediately adjacent to the rear exit from the house because it is convenient – this may not be the best location for your patio. The back of the house may be shaded all day and therefore not ideal if you wish to like to sit in the sun. Consider a small terrace to the rear of the house with another seating area somewhere else in the garden which gets more sun. When designing a garden it's a good idea to include more than one patio .. One patio can be sited so that it catches the last of the evening sun to provide a warm spot for an evening drink or meal. This makes the garden much more interesting and ensures that you are using more of the garden.

Intended use of the patio

Decide how you want to use the patio. Is the patio mainly for alfresco dining or sunbathing or relaxing with a book or all three? The intended use will dictate the size and location of the patio. A patio mainly for dining is best placed where there is some shade so that diners can keep cool on warmer days and seek the sun when the weather is cooler. A patio intended mainly for sunbathing needs to be in a spot where it's sunny all day. If you want young children to safely use the patio, it needs to be somewhere you can see them from the house.

Capacity of the patio

The patio needs to be large enough to accommodate the correct size of table with room for chairs to be folded out and for people to move around easily when others are located. A guide is to allow 1m width for the table, 500mm width on either side of the table for each chair when not pushed under the table, 300mm between chairs down the side of the table, and 700mm width to pull each chair out and sit down comfortably.

Including built-in seating

Patio designs incorporating built-in seating with pergolas and outdoor fireplaces look very chic and transform the patio into an outdoor room. It is also a great way to make use of all available space in a very small garden. This solution is convenient if you do not want to shuffle around with garden furniture. However, the position of the seating is fixed and restricts how you can use the patio. The space is less flexible as seating can not be varied to turn a dining area into a lounging area.

Creating privacy

If the patio is overlooked the patio design will need to include screening. Walls, hedges, pergolas, and wings can be included in the patio design to provide a sense of enclosure and privacy. When building a wall around a patio it is a great idea to include a window through to other garden areas so that the patio does not end up feeling to claustrophobic. Windows in dividing walls create an interesting glimpse of the rest of the garden without compromising privacy.

The choice of screening will depend on available budget. Walls are expensive to build, wooden screens with posts and trellis panels are much cheaper. Planting a hedge is usually the cheapest option, but may take a while to grow in otherwise you can afford large plants or an instant hedge.

Decide on the budget

Installing a patio is expensive but it is worth spending as much as you can afford as the patio is such an important part of the garden. The garden should be viewed as an outdoor room and if you are prepared to spend a little extra on getting it right it will be useable for most of the year. Allow around £ 120 per square met as an all-cost to get a contractor to lay your patio.

Choosing the surface material

The most common surface for a patio are paving slabs. There are many different types of paving slab with a wide range of price tags.

Steer clear of concrete slabs – they are often more expensive than natural stone, will fade over time and always end up looking fake. Indian Sandstone has dominated the paving slab market for years as it is cheap, natural, widely available and looks good. Cheaper Indian Sandstone is not always the bargain it appears as it is thinner, or poor quality and more porous causing leaching of the minerals in the mortar onto the top surface of the stone. There are some inexpensive granite slabs currently available that make a wonderful surface only slightly more expensive than Indian Sandstone. The more expensive options are Travertine, York stone, Basalt, and Marble.

Polished concrete makes a wonderful contemporary surface for the patio. Resin bound gravel is not only great for driveways, but makes an excellent contribution to the patio paving when combined with other materials for textural contrast.

Get the best quality stone you can afford then the patio will last longer and stay looking good for many years.

A patio should never be designed in isolation without considering the rest of the garden. A well designed garden where all the elements are in scale with each other and the house will connect the house and garden. A balanced design that includes a patio or multiple patios will give the garden coherence and ensure that it is a pleasant, comfortable space in which to spend time.

Excellent Yard Landscaping Concepts for Newbies

At the core of landscaping is the concept that you can obtain more satisfaction from your house's exterior areas if you have the ability to design functions to them, and modify them based upon both these functions and your very own aesthetic taste. If you are apprehensive about landscaping your very own backyard because you…

At the core of landscaping is the concept that you can obtain more satisfaction from your house's exterior areas if you have the ability to design functions to them, and modify them based upon both these functions and your very own aesthetic taste.

If you are apprehensive about landscaping your very own backyard because you have not done something like this before, then understand that even the most experienced expert has actually had to go back to square one. The most crucial thing when you are landscaping is that you are enjoying doing it, which will allow you to be able to honestly reveal your creative side.

Do not stress about making mistakes while landscaping – these provided mistakes are regular and can happen often, and they are actually fantastic finding out experiences. If you prepare to make your backyard really stunning, here are some ideas so you can start your enjoyable journey to DIY landscaping:

1. One of the most significant problems that beginners encounter is the worry that there is simply too much work when you're landscaping your backyard and it overwhelms them. We're not going to hide the reality that there is work included, but you bought to likewise realize early on that even with very little work there is currently a lot you can achieve. It is essential that you focus on your main landscaping objectives, and forget about what others will state about your lawn. Your yard can become a personal sanctuary, or a place where the kids can create valued memories. It depends on you, but these things will never ever emerge if you hesitate to get your hands filthy because it is impossible to do landscaping without it. You have to “Off with the gloves, and start mulching”!

2. Water is a timeless motif in any culture in the world and, with a bit of work, you can setup your really own fountain in the yard. Nowadays, you can purchase a lighter, outdoor fountain made from fiberglass, and install it yourself! Outdoor fountains are not that pricey, either. For instance, a vintage-looking, three-tiered water fountain with a waterfall impact would only cost you $ 200 or less, depending upon the merchant. You can set up numerous water fountains in your yard and not bother with the water they're making use of because, as you could understand already, water fountains merely cycle water repetitively through an unique pipe system.

3. In the 19th century, big cities in Europe actually took pride in flaunting their arboretums to residents and foreign visitors. There is something about blooming yards that mesmerizes the soul. If robust gardens have recorded your creativity also, know that your garden can likewise help attract a range of wild birds in your region. Do a bit of research, and you can quickly obtain plants that bring in lovely migratory birds and vicinity leaflets that can add that priceless element to your backyard. Do not stress – appealing wild birds is really quite simple, especially if you supplement your garden with bird feeders and a clean source of water.

Proper Tree Nutrition

Trees need nutrients – chemical elements and compounds – for their internal metabolism and growth. Without the right amount of nutrients, a tree will have difficulty maturing. It will also become weaker and more susceptible to disease. Symptoms of poor nutrition include dieback, deformed leaves, bark disorders and withered blossoms, as well as slow or…

Trees need nutrients – chemical elements and compounds – for their internal metabolism and growth. Without the right amount of nutrients, a tree will have difficulty maturing. It will also become weaker and more susceptible to disease. Symptoms of poor nutrition include dieback, deformed leaves, bark disorders and withered blossoms, as well as slow or no growth.

Trees get some of their nutrients from the air, including oxygen, hydrogen and carbon. These are called non-mineral nutrients. Through the process of photosynthesis, trees use energy from the sun to convert carbon dioxide (carbon + oxygen) and water (hydrogen + oxygen) into starches and sugars – the tree's food.

Mineral nutrients, which come from the soil, make up the rest of a tree's food. There are two types of mineral nutrients, macronutrients and micronutrients.

Macronutrients refer to nutrients that are needed in large quantities. There are two types of macronutrients, primary and secondary.

Primary macronutrients include nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

There are many factors that determine the amount of nitrogen in the soil, including temperature, moisture and soil conditions. When nitrogen is lacking, the photosynthesis process speeds up and turns leaves yellow. A nitrogen deficiency can also result in stunted growth, small leaves and leaf drop.

Phosphorus converts light energy to chemical energy. Phosphorus deficiencies typically occur in regions with extensive rainfall. Indicators of a phosphorus deficiency include slow growth and leaves that turn dark green or blue / green. Inadequate phosphorus also leads to necrosis – cells that die prematurely.

Trees need potassium for various internal processes. Insufficient potassium can make trees more susceptible to disease and damage during hot or cold weather. Potassium deficiency often occurs in soil that is sandy.

Soils can have an insufficient amount of macronutrients because they are used in such high volume by plants.

Calcium, magnesium and sulfur are the secondary macronutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are the primary ones). Other types of nutrients include iron, chlorine, manganese, nickel, zinc, boron, copper and molybdenum.

The leaves of trees that do not have enough iron will turn yellow. A tree that has a manganese deficiency will have yellow leaves with green bands near the veins. When a big tree has inadequate zinc, various types of stunted growth can occur. The tree's leaves will also turn yellow.

Each of these elements play an important role in the growth and health of the tree. If any of these nutrients are missing, the tree can end up dying. Especially if moving trees is to be done, it is important for the transplanted tree to be given proper nutrients.

At the same time, there are also many variables involved in tree nutrition. For example, different species of trees can have their own unique nutrient requirements. Too much of a certain type of nutrient in one tree can cause toxicity, while the same amount in another can be deficiency.

There are also times when a tree may look like it has a nutrient deficiency, but the problem is actually being caused by something else, such as too much or too little watering, soils that do not drain well, pests or diseases.

There are various ways to test for nutrient deficiencies, including soil and leaf analysis. If you have a tree with yellow leaves or other signs of a nutrition deficiency, consult a big trees specialist. Professional tree suppliers can give you good advice on how to properly care for your trees.

A Look at How Decorative Water Features Work

We see them in parks, yards, shopping malls and gardens. There's something captivating about dancing, spilling and cascading water. But how do these water features work? What makes them tick? No matter how grandiose the installation, the basic design of a fountain is fairly simple. It involves just three parts – the pump, a basin…

We see them in parks, yards, shopping malls and gardens. There's something captivating about dancing, spilling and cascading water. But how do these water features work? What makes them tick?

No matter how grandiose the installation, the basic design of a fountain is fairly simple. It involves just three parts – the pump, a basin and a length of tubing or pipe. That's about it. The outdoor fountains of Trafalgar Square may be a lot more powerful, but the function is nearly the same as that of household tabletop fountains.

This is not a DIY guide to building a fountain. Rather, an understanding of the basic components of standard water features, and their interaction, can help fountain owners and those who just want to admire the sculpture. For instance, if you find your fountain does not work correctly and you need to replace something, it's important to know how the fountain works. Also, knowing the basic makeup of a fountain will give you a greater appreciation of what's gone into construction some of the wonderful fountains you see.

So here's how these pieces work in unison:

First, there are the fountain pumps. The pump is going to be powered, either via an electrical outlet or by solar cell. Although it gets charged, the pump pushes the water vertically to the fountainhead (where the water is evacuated). Many fountain pumps have volume control settings so that people who want to build a fountain can customize the output.

Next, there's the basin. The pump needs to have direct access to at least a minimum amount of water-depending on the size of the pump and overall fountain-and the basin is what holds that water. The pump is usually submerged in this reservoir. The basin can take the form of a pool, pond or tub.

Finally, we have the tubing. The tubing is what channels the water from the pump to the fountainhead. Anyone interested in constructing a water feature or fountain of their own should make sure the diameter of the tubing (or pipe) matches the diameter of the output for their pump. Not doing so will result in a pump that is overstressed trying to push through an opening that is too small, or a slow trickle resulting from a pump that does not move an adequate amount of water through a large hose.

As far as the basic interworking – the pump takes water from the basin and vertically propels it through the tubing. Very frequently, fountains are made to recycle water by having the ejected fluid fall or drain directly back into the basin.

This circular nature is easy to see when you look at many famous fountains around the world. The basic design is fairly simple, which allows for architects and designers to use a lot of creativity when it comes to building the fountainhead, basin and the encompassing structure.

Since the pieces involved are not overly complex, it also means that fountains and water features have become popular decorative pieces in backyards and gardens. Many people find that fountains round out their outdoor space nicely, but the cyclic, contained nature of the design has also made indoor water fountains a popular addition and gift idea.

Why Should You Care? They’re Only Trees

Trees are not really that important, right? After all, trees are absurdly common in most areas of the earth, and cover a fair portion of the entire world. However, the consumption rate of trees is increasing every day, and at an exponential rate. With a higher world population comes a greater need for housing, heating,…

Trees are not really that important, right? After all, trees are absurdly common in most areas of the earth, and cover a fair portion of the entire world. However, the consumption rate of trees is increasing every day, and at an exponential rate. With a higher world population comes a greater need for housing, heating, and other tree-consuming products or activities. Trees are an essential part of daily living, whether it be for food and shelter, warmth, or even just to keep ourselves breathing, we should care about trees if we care at all about our future.

A large portion of the world's food supply comes from fruit-bearing trees, including apples, oranges, peaches, pears, and many more. If the supply of these trees were finished, the result would then be a loss in food supply. I'm sure you've seen plenty of commercials that show children starving in places such as Africa or Syria. This may not be a direct result of the food supply of the world as a whole, but rather the availability of food to individuals in these countries. If the food supply of the earth were cut down due to a loss in food production of trees, the results would certainly be horrendous. Fruit-bearing trees are vital to our world's food supply, and for this reason they should be taken care of, and re-planted whenever possible.

Food is necessary for survival, but what good food does if you're living in the blistering cold with nowhere to take shelter? If you're in a building at the moment, there's a very good chance wood was used in the process of making that building. Wood has been used in almost every aspect of building and construction, and is likely the first resource that comes to mind when an individual considers building their own home. Chairs, tables, benches, dressers, and thousands upon thousands of different types of furniture use wood in their design, which means that thousands of trees are needed to support such a large quantity of wood products. If companies did not re-plant the trees that they cut down, they would always run out of resources, which means that all products and services involving wood would come crashing to an end.

Homes did not always have electric and gas heating. Instead, home heating systems consist of a basic fireplace to keep warm during cold times of the year. There are, however, many homes that still use a fireplace for the heating of their home, or even just for decorative purposes. But the fireplace would not be much without something to use as fuel. Wood has always been the primary source of fuel for the fireplace. When's the last time you were asked to go put something other than wood in the fireplace to keep it burning? Without trees, there would not be many safe alternatives for fueling the fire.

Aside from all of what has already been discussed, let's ask ourselves a simple question: Am I glad that I can breathe? If your answer is “no”, then I suggest reconsidering. Of course we're glad we can breathe, but why would I ask a question like that when this topic is about trees? Because trees are the source of the oxygen that we breathe. If there were not any trees, flowers, or plants of any kind on this earth, we would not be here either, because we would not be able to survive. There is an immunity amount of trees in the world providing oxygen for us to breathe and allowing us to keep living. There's no telling what would happen if the tree population were cut into half the size it is today.

So whether it be because they provide us with food, shelter, warmth, or oxygen, trees should definitely be important to us. Trees play a very important role in every one of our lives. The least that we could do, is care. And if not for the trees themselves, care because you care about your future.

Turning Your Lawn Into The Envy Of The Neighborhood

Does your home look boring? If so, you may be able to brighten it up with some good landscaping. A little bit of landscaping can really change the way your garden looks. For some landscaping tricks that you could use, continue reading this guide. A great landscaping tip that anyone and everyone should implement is…

Does your home look boring? If so, you may be able to brighten it up with some good landscaping. A little bit of landscaping can really change the way your garden looks. For some landscaping tricks that you could use, continue reading this guide.

A great landscaping tip that anyone and everyone should implement is to sketch out what they would like their landscaping to look like before starting out on any work. Making a detailed sketch will give you something to refer to while you work and it will also give you an idea of ​​what your project will look like upon completion.

When planning a landscaping project for your house, you might want to consider talking to a professional first. While you most likely will not need to bring in a designer to oversee the entire project, getting some professional advice may just save you from making expensive mistakes in the future.

When planning a landscaping project for your house, consider breaking your entitlement project down into much smaller jobs. This is important if you are not able to afford the entire project at one time. Doing so will let you tackle your project bit by bit, and do not have your yard look like a mess in the meanime.

The best way to screw up a landscaping project is to not have a plan. Without a plan before hand, your landscaping project will look like a hodgepodge of mismatched plants and items. Use a simple piece of graph paper and draw out your new plan prior to buying anything for the yard.

Choose your location carefully when you are planning your landscaping project. Plants need certain conditions to thrive, so make sure you put them in the correct place in your garden. Factors you need to consider are the availability of light and water, as well as exposure to shade, weather and wind.

Compile materials over time. Landscaping can be expensive. Most people just do not have the money to buy the materials they need all at once. Instead of giving up on landscaping, purchase your materials gradually. Buy materials only when you can afford them, and keep an eye out for good deals.

Focus on plant, and garden organization, that takes care and treatment similarities into account. Many plants share common fertilizer, and maintenance needs. If you group plants together according to their health requirements, including sun exposure, you will minimize your maintenance time through consolidation of effort. Your feet will thank you at the end of the day.

In order to create a successful landscape design, it is necessary to assess the different zones of sunlight in your yard. By understanding which areas receive full, partial or no sun during the day, you will be able to select the plants most likely to thrive in your specific outdoor space.

You home does not have to look drab and uninteresting. Use a few tips you have learned here. Your home will look more vibrant and will look very stylish, like a work of art. Just make sure to apply all that you have read here, and you can instill new energy into your yard.

Masonry Outdoor Fireplaces: Proper Burning Leads to Longevity

Proper burning after the construction of your masonry fireplace is essential to the longevity of your outdoor fireplace. Some may assume that you can crank up a fire in a newly built fireplace the day after construction. Doing so may permanently damage the smoke chamber and clay liner. There is nothing worse than spending your…

Proper burning after the construction of your masonry fireplace is essential to the longevity of your outdoor fireplace. Some may assume that you can crank up a fire in a newly built fireplace the day after construction. Doing so may permanently damage the smoke chamber and clay liner. There is nothing worse than spending your hard earned money on a beautiful masonry outdoor fireplace to have it crack the first time you fire it up. Masonry generally takes 28 days to cure properly. It is best to wait the 28 days to ensure that all the masonry is cured properly. Is there still risk? Absolutely! Here are some tips to follow when burning a fire in a masonry outdoor fireplace.

1. When you burn in your fireplace for the first time it is best to start a low fire and let it burn for about 4 to 6 hours or longer if possible. Not a scorching fire but a modest two log fire. Why so long? The reason you want to burn a modest long burning fire is to slowly dry out all the water that is trapped in the masonry and concrete. Concrete by nature keeps a certain amount of water so by burning a slow long fire allows the fireplace to dry out properly, curing the fireplace.

2. Gradually build up your fire on a masonry built fireplace. You want to gradually build up your fire, especially if you burn in your outdoor fireplace in the winter, if you start a blazing fire right away and the fireplace is cold you get what's called 'Thermal Shock' this may crack the flue liner and possibly the structure of the fireplace. It's best to warm up the fireplace slowly. Once you build the fire up slowly and warm up the fireplace you are OK to burn a larger fire.

3. Never use accelerators to start your fire in a masonry outdoor fireplace. Masonry is naturally porous so if you put gas on it or lighter fluid, the masonry will soak up the accelerator and could ignore the masonry. Accelerants burn too hot and could cause serious damage to the masonry structure and possibly you.

4. The most important thing to remember in caring for your masonry outdoor fireplace is to never extinguish the fire with water, unless absolutely necessary. Masonry retains heat and will get quite hot when you burn a fire for long periods. If you spray a stream of cold water from your garden hose onto the hot masonry fireplace it will crack. It's best to have a metal bucket and shovel handy and let the fire burn down, then shovel out the coals into the bucket.

After 18 years of building and using outdoor fireplaces I have found that these are essential tips to ensure your outdoor fireplace's longevity and ensure that you can enjoy extended years next to the warmth of your fireplace as you entertain in your backyard paradise.

Rattan Garden Furniture Tops The Competition

Shopping for outdoor furniture can be a confusing task. However when it comes to your outdoor space rattan garden furniture shines above the competition and for good reason. This versatile material has been becoming more and more popular around the world, read on and find out why. Many homeowners favor their rattan garden furniture over…

Shopping for outdoor furniture can be a confusing task. However when it comes to your outdoor space rattan garden furniture shines above the competition and for good reason. This versatile material has been becoming more and more popular around the world, read on and find out why.

Many homeowners favor their rattan garden furniture over all other types of outdoor furniture for two reasons. And those are that it is extremely tough but at the same time extremely lightweight. All outdoor furniture should be tough but usually bulk and heavyness come along with that toughness making most outdoor furniture a pain to move or store. Even worse it puts the homeowner at risk for injury as well. Not to mention the damage that can be done to your garden and even the furniture you are lifting itself in your struggle to do so. Rattan garden furniture on the other hand is so light it can be moved with almost no effort whatever and no risk of injury. Stronger and lighter than almost all other materials used in outdoor furniture make a winning combo when it comes to convenience.

The fact that there are just so many many options when it comes to rattan garden furniture is another reason they are favored world-wide. Rattan chairs, tables, and sofas are available in all different sizes and are often available in different sets for easy one stop shopping. Another popular option is rattan effect furniture. This synthetic rattan is more durable but still keeps the look of real wood. Rattan furniture is also available in many different shades and colors as well. It is typically brown but can range to gray, black, or even white. Black rattan garden furniture is especially good looking. Such a wide range of options makes it easy to fall in love with this great material.

Another reason why rattan furniture is so popular is the fact that it works great in almost every situation. Because it is neutral colored it blends extremely well with any style garden, patio, or outdoor space. Many homeowners further this effect by purchasing cushion covers or cushions that match their space making their rattan garden furniture look even more cohesive. That's also a simple and inexpensive way to give your furniture a face lift and keep it looking brand new. Currently this material is also extremely popular for outdoor kitchens. Because it is stylish but just as tough as indoor furniture it works perfectly in this room that is typically found indoors.

With so many options available, and being so light and durable rattan garden furniture really is perfect for the outdoors. And if that space is your garden, patio, or outdoor kitchen it's sure to provide seating that is not only great looking but extremely comfortable as well.

Making A Lean To Shed – Facts You Must Know

Making a lean-to shed is easier than building a separate garden or backyard shed. A lean-to shed is perfect for those who do not have a large garden or backyard but still require extra storage space. This kind of shed fits perfectly to your needs without taking much space, time and money. This is because…

Making a lean-to shed is easier than building a separate garden or backyard shed. A lean-to shed is perfect for those who do not have a large garden or backyard but still require extra storage space. This kind of shed fits perfectly to your needs without taking much space, time and money. This is because you just have to attach three side walls to an already built foundation. You do not have to be a professional to build this shed. Even an amateur can achieve great results by following some simple instructions and blueprints. Here are some easy steps to help you out.

First you need to build shed floor and for that you have to level the ground surface and place in several concrete blocks under the skids. Then you have to build the frame flooring that can be 2×4 inches or 2×6 inches. Cut the wood pieces carefully and attach them using three screws. Pre-drill the holes so that the rim joists do not split.

The next step is to attach floor boards from plywood with the joists and then secure it using screws. You need to make sure that plywood pieces are flush with frame edges before you insert the 2 inches screws. Install the nails inside joists every 8 inches.

Now you have to build the back wall for the shed and secure it with the floor joists. Making a lean-to shed is simple and easy if you follow the right techniques. Drive pilot holes through the top and bottom plates before you install 3 inches studs and screws. Work on an even surface to achieve perfect results.

Now building the side walls is easy if you follow the same step carefully. Drive pilot holes to the wooden plates before installing screws and put in the studs every 16 inch OC make sure that both the sides walls are of equal length and shape as it will give a sturdy and sophisticated look.

Leave sufficient space for a door on the front face of the shed. Secure some cripple studies, double-header and trimmer studies as this will make the frame sturdier. Once you are done with building the frames you should secure them carefully together. Place in front and back faces first and then install side walls to lock the frames together.

If you plan to attach the lean-to shed to one of the walls of your house then you should attach the exterior of three walls only. Then use 2 by 4 inches lumber to build wood-rafters and secure them into place with the help of 3 inch screws.

Use grooved or tongued plywood sheets for the roof and carefully mark the lines before cutting. Use a circular saw to cut the plywood sheets. Then align the sheets and install them into place from both the ends by driving in 1 inch inch nails through the wooden studs.

Continue attaching sheets to the rafters and then install the roofing felt to the roof starting from down below and taking to the topmost level. Place in the tar paper as this will prevent rainfall water from entering inside the shed. Attach the door and shelves to the shed and you are good to go.

A Sunroom For Outdoor Living – Much More Than You Thought

Quite a few homeowners like having a sunroom that can be used for breakfast or as a relaxing area. Going through your copy of the newspaper, along with morning coffee, becomes a genuine pleasure each morning. The sunroom can be designed to have electrical fittings, enabling homeowners to have a quiet time, view the outdoor…

Quite a few homeowners like having a sunroom that can be used for breakfast or as a relaxing area. Going through your copy of the newspaper, along with morning coffee, becomes a genuine pleasure each morning. The sunroom can be designed to have electrical fittings, enabling homeowners to have a quiet time, view the outdoor or watch TV. Here are a few ideas to help you get the most out of your sunroom:

Spa Enclosure

Lots of homeowners have indeed given shape to their dream of having a first class gym within their home. Sunrooms specifically designed to contain tanning beds, whirlpools and hot tubs add to the luxury of any home. Some homeowners even have included a small swimming pool there. Special in-built features, like custom lighting and slate flooring, can prompt the members of your family to use this space most frequently.

Exercise Room

You may really be keen to shed a few pounds, but do not like visiting crowded gyms at fixed hours. Now, you can create a gym and enjoy exercising within the privacy of your home, at any time you like. A sunroom creates an ideal environment at home for having your own personal gym, without disturbing your usual living space. You'll enjoy exercising at temperatures that make you feel comfortable. It saves you the bother and time of traveling to a gym. You can choose any appropriate time of the day or even night and spend more time with the kids at home.

Plant Room

In case you love to have plants at home, you probably know how difficult it can be to take care of them, especially if you have frequent and sudden changes in the climatic conditions. Having a year-round or three-season sunroom certainly saves you the bother of moving, covering or throwing away the rotten plants. Such a room enables you to enjoy the company of your loved plants by bringing in the outdoors of your home.

Guest Room

An ever-increasing number of homeowners look for an easy, attractive way that would allow them to offer a comfortable room to their overnight guests without disturbing the normal household. If you do not have a sunroom, a member of either your family or your guests would need to be accommodated in the living room. You can easily transform your sunroom to a comfortable room for your guest simply by having a daybed.

Screen Room

Since it is now possible to incorporate any special features in your sunroom; you may as well use it as an appealing screen room. A screen room allows you to enjoy a cool and pest free outdoor experience without really having a temperature control at all times. A carefully planned screen room can certainly be upgraded to a complete sunroom as and when you feel like doing so. It means that you need not make a huge investment without actually being sure of how you intend using that room at the initial stage.

Game Room

It will be a great idea to utilize your sunroom as a unique place for accommodating a bar, a pool table or arcade games, or any such hobbies. Since you can keep this room disconnected from the other parts of your home, it can work as an excellent room for your overnight guests or for the unruly crowd of your football enthusiasts kids' friends.

The industry reports confirm that including a sunroom in any house, anywhere in the country, gives a return of sixty to seventy percent on your investment. It means one dollar will cost you just thirty to forty cents. Furthermore, careful planning, along with an appropriate design and the use of energy-efficient supplies, can increase your return to even 80 or 90%. That's some really good news!

Valuable Tips for Creating Beautiful Garden Landscapes

When you bring a new plant from a nursery to plant in your garden you become a designer who designs the garden landscape that you have. If you want to be a great designer, you need to be aware of certain aspects so that you can have the best landscape. You may have noticed that…

When you bring a new plant from a nursery to plant in your garden you become a designer who designs the garden landscape that you have. If you want to be a great designer, you need to be aware of certain aspects so that you can have the best landscape.

You may have noticed that some gardens have an organized look while others, having the finest plant collection, look haphazard. The basic reason for this is because the owner or the landscape designer has not planned the future of the garden properly. The following tips will help you to have among the best garden landscapes that can be had.

The following good tips will help you to have a garden which will stand out from other gardens and will also keep you from the headache of knowing what to do.

Plan the garden properly

The landscape of the garden must be planned in such a manner that it looks beautiful now while also having the future in mind. You will find it is best to plant your precious collection of plants in such a manner that there is sufficient space when in future you require a mower, or the stump grinder, to enter for building projects for your porch or the patio ..

If this planning is not done now, then in future you may have to throw away your precious plants in order to have space for preventing movement of such equipment.

Have a focal point

The focal point of your garden must be such that it attracts people and engages their attention when roaming in your garden. It should be different than others but not out-of-place. You can have an antique garden bench as the focal point but do not use an object which is not related to the garden. A water body or an oak tree can be a great focal point which will give the garden a new dimension.

Curves must be checked

It is good to have curved pathways or flower beds in a garden, but you must not overdo them. It must be kept simple so that the geometric design that you have incorporated in the landscaping stands out. If you use those shapes too often it will become common and no one will notice them.

Have movement in the garden

A garden landscape that does not have a movement is like a painting. Paintings are good on the walls but in a garden, you must have a move so that you can bring life and create interest in your garden.

You may be wondering how to have a move. It is quite easy to have such movement in your garden by adding swaying ornamental grass or flowers which attract birds and butterflies and this will help to have the desired movement in your garden.

Highlight your house

The landscaping design that you have in your garden must match with the house that you have. If you have a house that does not have much architectural designs, then you can benefit by having the edges softened by the garden that you have.

You must keep in mind while matching your garden with the house is that you must not overdo it. It must not be such that your house is completely hidden by the garden trees that you have. The best garden landscaping is that which will help to highlight the smallest of architectural features that your house has.

Think completely differently

When you are designing the landscaping of your garden you must think completely different from the one that you now have. For example, if you have overgrown shrubbery do not think that you have to keep it like that. By removing it you may be astonished to find a sunny sport which can be ideal for a rose bed. So, do not plan your landscaping according to the present situation but think differently and you will find new possibilities to have an even better landscape.

Choose plants according to locations

When you select a plant base for a particular spot in your garden, consider the growth rate and the final size it will be. If you do not base your plant selection on these considerations, then the money you spend will not lead to overall beautification but, in the end, you will have to spend more money for adjustments.

If you think that having a cheap plant which grows fast you are gaining much you are thinking wrongly. The money you will spend later for pruning and other maintenance will eat up your initial savings. So, have a purposeful selection of garden trees and place them properly.

Let the garden show the way

The design of the garden should lead visitors to your house. You do not want visitors losing their way so the garden must show the way to the house. The curved pathway or the big pots that you place need to say, “Hi, this is the way that you need to go.”

Limited number of species

If you have a garden do not feel pressured to have every plant species that is available. Select those species which will help you to have a garden which is easier to maintain and gives it a uniform look. Select the species according to seasons so that you can have flowers in your garden all through the year and also add to the biodiversity that you have in your garden.

Space plants properly

This is of utmost importance because it determines how your beloved garden will survive. Having proper spacing of plants ensures having the right air flow required for the survival of the plants and avoids having fungal insectection. You may feel that there are vacant places in the garden. Yes, there will be and you can easily fill those spaces by the proper use, and positioning, of annuals.

Control pests in your garden

Most of all, be sure that your garden is enjoyable and free of pests. Bugs are bad enough in the summer months already. When you add plants, things quickly get worse. Having plants close to your house can be the first step to having pests trail into your home. To prevent pesky bugs from taking over your home, a pest management expert suggests that you spray for bugs, keep the grass short, and grow plants that repel bugs such as basil, lavender, mint, or rosemary. These tips will safely keep your garden pest free and enjoyable all summer long.

So, follow these tips and have a garden landscape which everyone will admire and envy.