Home and Garden Improvements! Top Tips to a Fabulous Home and Garden

Having the best furniture and the most elegant curtains, classic china and silver ware, most comfortable beds and luxurious bathrooms. This sounds like the perfect home, inside. What does the outside look like? The outside of your house is just as important as the inside. It isn’t just the first thing people see but it’s also a place that you make as homely as the inside is.

The simplest thing you can do is have a nice garden (which you have to maintain too) and a few plants here and there. That again is the simplest, most extravagant which we all would love is a pool and a BBQ area and swings and a fountain and a jacuzzi and a bar and a trampoline even! But that way extravagant and no need to mention expensive. So what are some simpler things we could all get done? Here’s the list.

To keep your lawn nice and green, you can aerate it, you know you need to do this if you have instant pools in the garden every time it rains. Aerating the grass will compress the soil so water can reach the roots. Also feed your grass, it doesn’t take care of itself. If you cut back on fertilizer late in the summer you’ll prevent perennials from wasting energy on leaf production. Applying high-phosphate mix to the lawn in autumn will encourage the roots to turf green early in spring.

Keeping the grass at it’s best is the best thing you can do to keep the outside looking nice and clean, after that the designing is up to you. You can hire a contractor to do simple things outside your home like some landscaping around the plants, or have a nice little patio mad at the back of the house, some roofing and you have a little picnic area. All you need is the BBQ grill and some furniture.

Also make sure furniture you buy is meant for the outside as weather may ruin indoor meant furniture. Keep all the furniture clean and waxed with cleaners again meant for outside furniture. If you’re getting one of those inflatable pools then have the area checked for safety. It would be horrible if you put the pool up then it comes down while you’re in it!

If you would like more information on home and garden improvements please go to http://richardweals.co.uk or call free phone on 0844 844 9360 for your free advice

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Home and Garden – A Magical Place

Do you have a special tree in your backyard? One that is big enough to sit under? Perhaps big enough to sit under with several of your friends? We have a Chinese elm on our property that we have taken care of over the years. This particular type of tree is notorious for limbs breaking off over the winter and, for city dwellers, is considered a nuisance tree because of the falling branches, seeds and invasive roots. But for those of us that live in the country, the peculiarities of this particular species are easily overlooked. Especially now that we have cleaned up the branches and all the surrounding area and made it into a favorite party spot – not only our favorite but the favorite of our friends and family as well! Depending on where you live, it might be an oak, maple, sycamore or a hundred other varieties. There is nothing quite like a tree to add privacy, value and comfort to your home garden or patio.

After treating our sacred Chinese Elm with the dignity it deserves (the clean-up), each year we string rope lights throughout its canopy. We like to think that the particular way in which we string them up is reminiscent of the Greek ferries that make their way throughout the Greek Isles, that trip being one of our favorites! Our guests are mesmerized by the effect as well. The lighting is just right. Not too bright but just bright enough that everyone can see each other and easily navigate around the site. There is a string of lights over the buffet table, another extending over the bar and strategically placed lights over the tables. Add a campfire to this scene and it’s just about perfect. Plenty of light and warmth plus just enough smoke to keep the mosquitoes away. In this setting, no one is in a hurry to run off because it’s “too dark” or there are “too many bugs.”

Because we live in the country, you might be thinking that the campfire is easy for us to do but that you can’t do that because you live in town or in the suburbs. Not so! A self-contained fire ring or fire pit, either of the wood variety or powered by gas, will allow you to achieve the same effect. One of these units will allow you to safely and easily integrate fire into your backyard patio or garden experience. We have had people of all ages sit around our campfire. It’s amazing how the conversation changes. Old, childhood memories of past camping experiences come flooding back, people wax philosophical about life in general and children are always fascinated by a fire. Sitting by a fire and staring into it just has a way of making us all more reflective and relaxed. It’s kind of like looking back into the origins of the universe… See what I mean?!

Now, to really put the finishing touches on your magical garden or patio experience, add the sound of falling water. Bringing the symphony of water into your space rounds out the experience of being surrounded by Nature. A fountain allows you the sensation of a river or waterfall without leaving your backyard. Sitting next to a fire with the sound of water gently falling in the background soothes the soul and transports one to that feeling of inter-connectedness that we can miss as we work to meet our busy schedules and take care of all the demands of our modern society. A fountain can be a simple, table top affair or it can be a centerpiece of your garden. Combining all of these elements into your backyard garden under your favorite tree(s) makes for a truly “magical” experience!

Casey Ryan is the publisher of http://www.homeandgardensplus.com a website for quality products to enhance both your home and garden. Having grown up in the building business, Casey has built his own custom home using natural materials and strives to make his home environment a place that reflects his love of the natural world.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Casey_Ryan/123040

 

How to Incorporate Sandstone Into Your Home and Garden

Sandstone is a type of sedimentary rock which is composed of small grains of rock, sand and other minerals. Sandstone can be cut, sculpted and polished to create a number of products which are sure to add a touch of class and style to any living space. This article takes a look at several of the most popular sandstone products currently available on the market.

Columns

Sandstone columns can be placed on either side of the porch to provide a grand entrance to your home. They can also be used inside of the home to help to break up a large open space. Not only do columns look good, but they can also serve a structural purpose, as they can be used to support ceilings and roofs. Columns can be tailor made to your exact specifications. They come in a variety of styles, from plain and simple, to ornamental and decorative.

Water Features

Sandstone water features will improve the aesthetics of your home. A three tiered water fountain can be placed in the center of a large circular driveway, or in a garden, to create a glamorous centerpiece. Fountains also look particularly good placed at the end of an enclosed or walled swimming pool. If you have limited space in your garden, you can try incorporating a wall-hanging water fountain. Sandstone bird baths look great, and they will also attract more wildlife into your garden.

Planters

Planters are pots that can be used to hold trees, flowers and bushes. A popular way to incorporate sandstone into your home is to place two identical planters, each containing a pruned bay tree, either side of your entrance porch. They can come in all shapes and sizes, and they can even be custom made to your specifications. Urns are similar to planters, but they can placed onto a freestanding column to create a barrier or focal point.

Letterboxes

A sandstone letterbox will add a beautiful look to your front garden, and it will keep your mail safe and dry. Letterboxes come in a variety of styles, shapes and sizes.

Benches

Sandstone benches will make a stunning addition to any garden. Sandstone benches are timeless, and they are built to withstand almost all weather conditions. Wooden benches can easily deteriorate over time, while sandstone benches will continue to look as good as new for many years to come. Sandstone benches can be customized with ornamental etchings and decorations if required.

Tables

Sandstone tables can be built to match the sandstone benches, or they can be used with garden chairs. They will provide a beautiful area to sit and eat with friends and family. They look particularly good placed in paved barbeque areas.

When you are purchasing sandstone products, always check the quality of the stone. High quality sandstone will not only look much better, but it will also last for much longer. Always check you are purchasing from a reputable and trusted company before placing an order.

These are some sandstone outdoor furniture and other products that can help you give an exquisite look to your house. Check out this site to get more information.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Carmine_Reginald/1461593

 

Fountains – Home and Garden Decor to Enhance Any Space

Fountains are no doubt one of the best additions to any garden. The sound of rushing water perfectly complements the green foliage, and the intricate stone designs make it a great focal point. But garden fountains are more than a lawn ornament–they also represent a source of sustenance for your plants. Whether you have a small patio or a sprawling backyard, a well-placed fountain can certainly liven up your outdoor space.

HISTORY OF FOUNTAINS

As with most ornamental pieces, fountains started out strictly functional. They were first used in the Middle East, where the weather was hot and the water provided relief from the heat. Most of them were simple, surrounded by trees and built in royal courtyards. The Romans also experimented with outdoor water features, building their gardens adjacent to public baths. They were mostly used for bathing rituals, which were a vital part of their culture.
Ornamental garden fountains first appeared in ancient Mesopotamia, but it was only in the late medieval period that they were used in domestic settings. Garden fountains were used in Spain before the 15th century and in Italy some years later. It took yet another century for home fountains to reach American shores, and by the early 20th century fountains were a common fixture not only in home gardens but also in offices, hotel lobbies and shopping malls.

FOUNTAIN DESIGNS

Fountains come in several styles, but only a few are suitable for the typical home garden. Some of the most common are wall, pond, and tabletop.
Wall fountains have a basin-like base and a relatively low spray. They are so called because they are attached to a water source coming from the wall. As such, they don’t take up a lot of space and are perfect for small home gardens.
If you have a larger space, you may want to consider a pond fountain. These can be literally as big as a pond, but there are smaller versions available for garden and even indoor use. Pond fountains are usually wired and programmed with lighting and spray patterns.
Some gardens are simply too small to accommodate water features. If this is your case, you can go for a smaller tabletop fountain. As their name suggests, tabletop fountains are placed on top of tables, usually as centerpieces. They are usually electrically powered and fairly simple to set up.

MATERIALS

Concrete and ceramic are considered the best materials for garden fountains. You can choose from all sorts of shapes, from simple rectangular blocks to intricate stone sculptures. Many are given a sandstone or soapstone finish, which gives them a more interesting texture. Marble is also very attractive, but it’s a lot more expensive and is not practical for medium to large fountains.
Wood, copper and porcelain make great tabletop fountains. Needless to say, they won’t hold up well in full size, but a well-made (and well-placed) miniature would have just the same effect. To add interest, try adding interesting lights or bonsai features.
If it’s just the look you’re after, try fiberglass. Fiberglass fountains have become more popular in recent years because of their weather resistance and flexibility in design. They can be made to look like wood, stone, marble and glass–while maintaining constant structural integrity. So if you’ve always wanted a wood fixture but don’t want the maintenance fuss, fiberglass fountains are the perfect solution.

BUYING TIPS

One of your top considerations should be water and power consumption. There have been questions on whether ornamental fountains should be restricted, as they are an unnecessary waste of water supply. Even those that are labeled environmentally friendly will still use up water and electricity. Choosing a simple watering system will not only minimize this, but also cut down on your operating costs. Besides, it’s often the sculpture and workmanship–not the water–that grabs people’s attention.
Also consider installation and maintenance costs. Installation shouldn’t be a problem with most store-bought fountains, but keeping them running is another story. Be sure to clean your fountain routinely, and pat attention to the pump intake area to keep it free of debris.
You can buy fountains ready for installation at most garden supply stores. In most cases, all you’ll need is an extension cord and enough space for the fountain and water source. But if you want something that truly suits your personality, consider having it custom-made. Look for a contractor that specializes in outdoor and water features, and have at least a rough design in mind during your consultation.

Samuel Francis is an avid furniture collector who specifically enjoys outdoor furniture and home exterior decor. For more of his articles on garden furniture, please visit http://www.outdoorgardenfurniture.net, supplier of high quality Outdoor Furniture, including Garden Fountains.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Samuel_Francis/104764

 

Planters Accent Your Home and Garden

The right planter in the right setting brings style, function and beauty to any indoor room or outdoor location. Planters can be used as a unique focal point or a graceful accent in any garden, patio, porch or room. The secret is finding the perfect planter – one that reflects the owner’s personality and surroundings while maintaining lasting durability.

Planters come in a large variety of shapes, sizes, designs, materials and price points, which makes some planters a better choice than others. In today’s market, the unlimited assortment can also create unlimited indecision. Knowing a few useful tips can simplify the decision-making process and help consumers purchase plantersthat will bring years of pleasure.

Considerations Before Purchasing A Planter

o Location (shade, sun, extreme weather)

o Maneuverability

o Size, Shape, Style, Color, Finish, Texture

o Drainage Hole and/or Self-Watering Options

o Durability & Longevity

o Artistic/Decorative Impact

o Reflect Personality of Owner/Home/Surroundings

o Materials (Learn the advantages and disadvantages of planter materials such as clay, terracotta, concrete, metal, wood, resin, fiberglass, etc.)                                                                                                                

o Storage Concerns

A great way to get started is to purchase a matching set of various sized planters ranging from three, five or seven in total. Five containers used in a corner of a patio will help define your entertainment space. This grouped planter display can provide privacy and help tie in your overall outdoor living area. Don’t be afraid of using bright and vivid containers such as oranges, iridescent blues and reds. These colors can help liven up outdoor spaces.

Combining plants is a fun part of container gardening. Try mixing and matching different plants such as annuals, tropicals, perennials, trees, shrubs, vines and vegetables. Before planting, arrange the new plants in or around your container while they are still in their small pots to see how they fit best. A good rule of thumb is to plant the tallest upright foliage plant in the center. Next, plant the shorter and more compact flowering plant to the side of the center, near the edge of the planter. Leave enough space between these plants to allow for growth. Finally, place plants with trailing or semi-trailing growth habits around the planters’ outer edges leaving enough space for adequate spreading and trailing.

A word of caution: Also remove new plants from their nursery pots with care. Never remove them by pulling on their tender stems. Gently loosen or untangle the bottom inch of each plant’s roots before carefully spreading them out in your planter. This helps give young plants a better start. Additional potting mix can be added to ensure the soil covers the roots of each plant. When your planting is finished, the soil should be at least an inch below the rim of the container.

Gardening with planters is a great way for beginning and experienced gardeners to dig into the botanical world. And best of all, you can take your planter garden with you when you move.

Tonya Kerniva is an experienced research and free lance writing professional. She writes actively about Planters and Cedar Planters.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Tonya_Kerniva/300299