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Realize the Beauty of Decorative Outdoor Lighting

Realize the Beauty of Decorative Outdoor Lighting

Some may think of a few well-placed lights around their home in regards to exterior lighting. But others have a drastically different vision in mind. Through the use of unique lighting, specialists can transform your home’s exterior into something absolutely brilliant. Professionals leverage spot lighting, landscaping lights, garden lighting, and more to completely augment your home’s exterior.

The first realization should focus on the two-folded nature of exterior lights. Yes, outdoor lights serve a practical function – they provide means for night vision as well as serve as tools to deter burglars; yet, if you can find a passionate service provider, exterior lighting can truly become art. Using the right combination of available resources, a professional can make the exterior of your home into a masterpiece.

Those who invested a lot of time and resources towards their landscaping may be most pleased with the work of decorative outdoor lighting. Professionals urge that the correct equipment can accentuate the natural beauty of trees, plants, flowers, and brush. The augmentation can be achieved from the front of a home’s exterior as well as the backyard. In addition, professionals install pool cage lighting in pools to supplement the visual allure of water.

As previously stated, lighting serves practical functions, yet their practicality can be enhanced with the proper implementations. A well-lit home is safer and leaves your family enjoying a greater sense of security. Think about illuminating steps and walkways to avert after-dark accidents. In addition, motion detector lights conveniently light when people are present as well as alert those inside of approaching visitors. Lastly, fixtures that light at dusk and go out at dawn offer another layer of protection from potential intruders.

Professionals will urge you to think about key, architectural elements you would especially like focused upon with exterior lights. Illuminate textured fences, water in the pool, obscure foliage, etc. In addition, low-voltage lighting can transform handrails, benches, and other outdoor seating areas.…

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Have You Consider a Potted Herb Garden?

Have You Consider a Potted Herb Garden?

There are many reason to grow your herbs in pots. One really good reason is because you do not have a yard in which to grow any kind of garden. Maybe you only have a patio or a balcony or perhaps you live in an apartment without any outside patio or balcony. That should not be a deterrent, because you can grow herbs in pots.

Consider this… if you grow your herbs in pots you can place them anywhere. You can move them around. If they need lots of sunshine you can place them in an area where they will get all of the sunlight they need. If they do not require as much light you can move them to an area where the sun will not shine on them all day long. If you are unable to place them in sunlight you can use artificial lighting.

They will, of course, need to be watered so if you locate them where they will be easily accessed this will be no problem. You can also move them to where the water is so they can be watered easily.

Once your plants are matured you will be able to have them close by so you can trim them for use in the kitchen either to make tea or season you favorite dishes.

If you do place them outside on the patio or balcony you will even be able to bring them inside during the colder time of the year and enjoy you fresh herbs during the off seasons.

If you grow them inside their beauty will add to the ambiance of the room in which you place them.

So you can see there are many good reasons to grow your herbs in pots. You should not deprive yourself from the joys of growing fresh herbs for any reason. Herb gardening is a relaxing and rewarding hobby which is very good for you health.…

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An English Country Garden

An English Country Garden

Just say ‘ An English Country Garden.’ To most people, the words conjure thoughts of a colorful, scented, peaceful place, but in days of old nothing could have been further from the truth. In fact the English Country Garden was born, half from necessity and the other half by accident.

In feudal England a peasants life was harsh, they were almost slaves and the greater part of what they could grow went to their feudal lord and 10% of all they grew went as a ‘tithe’, for the upkeep of the church and the priesthood. The rest, such as it was, they could keep for themselves.

In 1348 – 1350 The Black Death ravaged England and the surviving peasants demanded higher wages, fewer working hours and even their freedom. As there was a serious shortage of workers the lords of the manor often gave in. Thirty years later a ‘poll’ or head tax was levied resulting in the Peasants Revolt. A slightly better lifestyle followed, and the lords of the manor often gave their serfs a two roomed ‘tied’ cottage with a patch of ground around it.

This small piece of land had to keep the family in as much food as possible, they would have a chicken coop for eggs and the occasional chicken, a goat for milk, and perhaps a pig to slaughter and salt as well as the ‘cess pit’ for waste.

The lady or ‘good wife’ as she was called would plant herbs for medicinal purposes such as chesty coughs, headaches, children’s complaints and of course to cook with. What was left of the ‘garden’ was taken up with vegetables such as onions, peas, beans, as well as greens and small fruit trees. There was no room for flowers. But hollyhocks, delphiniums, red-hot pokers, lupins, love- in- a- mist and many other self seeders all found a place for themselves, no planning or designing, just Mother Nature at her best.

Later, when the peasant farmers realized that adding flowers and herbs to their vegetable plot would help to attract bees to pollinate their crops, the traditional English Country Garden evolved with its deep borders and vibrant mix of scented flowers and herbs, meandering pathways and a rustic bench tucked away in a quiet corner. A bird bath to encourage songbirds, a sundial, even a small water feature would add to the gardens peaceful ambiance, but please, no ruined temples, or Chinese Pagodas, think dry stone walls, chaotic, colorful flowers and thatched roofs for the authentic English country look.

Some plants for the Perfect English Country Garden.

Old fashioned roses, Cornflowers, Hydrangeas, Forget-me-nots, Red Hot Pokers

Hollyhocks, Syringa, Tulips, Pansies, Geraniums

Lupins, Iris, Poppies, Lilacs, Lavender

Climbers

Wisteria, Honeysuckle, Sweet Peas, Clematis, Ivy, Hops

Herbs

Chives, Feverfew, Chamomile, Basil, Artemisia

Lemon Balm, Yarrow, Thyme, Rosemary,Lemon Grass

Dill, Mint, Sage, Garlic, Tarragon…

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Herbs and Their Uses – How to Go About Harvesting Herbs From Your Garden

Herbs and Their Uses – How to Go About Harvesting Herbs From Your Garden

After caring for your herbs from the infancy to adult stages it is now time put these aromatic plants to good use. Most herbs have more than one uses but before they are ready for usage it is imperative that you know the rules for harvesting first. Harvesting herbs from your garden requires a little preparatory effort before they can be used in the home. Time is crucial in harvesting the plant; to ensure that the herb’s intense flavor remains intact.

Fresh herbs are defenseless to the heat and wind during the day, and their essential oils are easily detached by these elements.

On extremely damp days however, very little oils are formed so the most suitable time to crop would be in the morning when the winds are not strong and there is usually no rain. After picking the herbs inspect it carefully and eliminate all damaged leaves. The perfect time to bring in the herb would be after the dew has dried on the leaves. When harvesting it is important that you cut off the right amount of flora, for the plant to grow back well only about one third of the plant should be removed so that there is enough foliage left.

Almost everyone wants to use the herb fresh out of their garden but the next step will be to make sure that the herbs are cleaned properly. To clean get a bowl filled with cold water, place about a tablespoon or two of salt into the water in swirl herbs gently in the water. Salt because of its acidity will kill any hidden bugs. This method works for thinner leaved herbs like thyme and rosemary. The stronger stem plants can be placed directly into the sink. This process should be done repeatedly about two to three times. Remove the herbs from the water place in a towel and pat dry. Store as desired.…

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Raised Beds: The Square Foot Gardening Technique

Raised Beds: The Square Foot Gardening Technique

The popularity of raised bed gardening is growing among home gardeners. Whether your interest is growing flowers, herbs or vegetables, raised beds offer many improvements over traditional gardens. In fact, raised bed gardening is essential in urban areas and globally in areas where arable land is hard to find.

“Raised” simply means the soil in the bed is higher than the surrounding ground. “Bed” means a small working area. Ideally, the bed should be narrow enough that it can be tended without stepping into the bed and compacting the soil within it. Raised beds can be placed on existing ground, paved driveways or patios, decks, or even elevated on legs to create a table (think: wheelchair accessible). A traditional row crop garden can even be replaced with raised beds to improve production.

The beds should be no wider than the easy reach of the gardener. Typically the beds are no more than four feet wide. Beds for young gardeners are often only three, or even two feet wide. Window boxes and deck railing boxes are special forms of raised beds that can be as little as six inches wide.

When placed on the ground, the beds may be framed or unframed. Most urban and suburban gardeners use framed beds, while those in rural or undeveloped areas generally do not frame their raised beds. When the beds are not framed, tillers or power cultivators can be used. However, properly maintained beds, whether framed or not, will not need power cultivation.

Better production is probably the most important reason to garden in these beds. According to the Ohio State University Extension, raised bed gardens yield an average of 1.24 pounds of vegetables per square foot, more than double the 0.6 pound average of the traditional home garden. One of the reasons for the increased production is that in square foot beds, vegetables are planted at higher densities. Plant spacing is minimized. The plants are close enough to shade weeds but are not overcrowded.

Raised beds offer many advantages over traditional row gardening.

Higher yields

Improved soil conditions

Ease of working

Better pest control

Water conservation

In square foot beds, the soil conditions can be more easily regulated. The soil mix can be controlled, but of even greater garden crops can be tended without compacting the soil. Soil compaction can reduce crop yields by as much as fifty percent, the OSU Extension reports. Water use is more efficient as the water can easily be directed to the plant roots where it is needed. Water is not wasted on the aisles between rows as in the traditional garden. Soil pH can be easily maintained and monitored.

Construction of raised beds is straightforward. Almost everyone has an idea about the materials and techniques to use when constructing the beds. But Mel Bartholomew, an engineer and efficiency expert, has raised the bar on raised beds! In 1981, after six years of research and experimentation, Bartholomew published The Square Foot Garden Manual. The techniques he proposed in the book virtually revolutionized raised bed gardening. In 2005, Bartholomew published a completely revised and updated All New Square Foot Gardening.

A thorough review of the new book can be found at . This book is required reading for the urban gardener or for anyone who wants to get more production from their garden space while reducing the amount of work required to maintain their garden.…

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Promote Your Lawn’s Health

Promote Your Lawn’s Health

Chemicals do not have to be used in order to have a beautiful lawn. The truth is, prohibiting the use of chemical on your lawn will make it healthier. Additionally, these chemicals are so toxic that they are likely to contaminate water. The following can be used to stop the use of chemicals on your lawn.

• The weeds are to be removed by hand. This is the best way to control weeds. About 80% of weeds are annuals. You will be able to get rid of them if you remove them before they seed. If there are weeds that are perennials, try to dig out their whole root system to make sure they are not going to grow back.

• Do not remove beneficial weeds such as clovers. Clovers are nitrogen magic types of plant that can help in enhancing the health and beauty of your lawn.

• Test the soil of your lawn with the use of a soil test kit. This will show you the organic content of your soil, its pH balance, including the nutrients to attain the best balance for you soil.

• When your lawn contains bare spots, try to reseed it with a variety of grass. The diseases that infiltrate the lawn are usually selective. Using different grasses will ensure you that the diseases will not entirely wipeout your lawn.

• Aeration will prevent the soil from getting compacted. The heavy thatch will need to be broken through. This permits the reaching of nutrients and organic matter to the root system of your lawn. Earthworms are the best aerators on Earth.

• Grass must always be 2 – 3 inch high. A third of the height of the grass must be cut at one time in order to prevent the grass from going into shock. It is important that the lawnmower’s blade is sharp to avoid damaging the grass. Tall grasses have longer roots, shade the soil and prevent access to weeds.

• Opt for natural fertilizers. They are able to give nutrients to the soil and it also allows longer retain. Organic fertilizers have the ability to decompose thatch grass and grass clippings rapidly. One of the best natural fertilizers available is sheep manure.

• Try to water your lawn only if it needs to be watered any make sure you water it deeply. Your lawn will have shallow roots if you water frequently and lightly. This makes it more prone to disease and insects. One sign that you need to aerate is when water runs off easily.

• Never remove grass clippings. This will mean less raking but also these clippings serves as natural fertilizers if they are not enveloped in chemicals. Make sure that the grass clippings are not clumped so that the decomposition process will advance.

• Never use herbicides or pesticides. These kinds of chemicals are strong enough to kill birds, insects, and earthworms that are valuable to the health of your lawn. Try to discourage pests by practicing natural lawn care.

• Try to have beneficial microorganisms, earthworms, dragonflies, ladybugs, spiders, toads, and frogs. One of the secrets to having a healthy and chemical free lawn are these creatures because they help you maintain your lawn from parasites.…

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Bring Out The Best Of Your Garden And Invest In Some Top Quality Garden Furniture

Bring Out The Best Of Your Garden And Invest In Some Top Quality Garden Furniture

Summer’s finally on its way, a time to get out into the garden, plant those gorgeous summer plants, and make the garden look lovely and tranquil. Summer really does bring out the best in people, and it is a great time to catch up with family and friends in the garden whilst having a BBQ with a few beers and burgers. Of course entertaining family and friends does need a little more than a BBQ, as they will also need somewhere to perch them bottoms, and a place to eat their food from.

A Garden without garden furniture is bland, boring and more importantly, uncomfortable. Who needs grass stains when you can choose comfort and invest in some lovely garden furniture? Garden furniture is available in many different types of wood and styles; there is something to suit all needs and budgets and weather conditions, especially those living in the UK where the weather is so unpredictable.

Some of the most popular garden furniture products on the market today come in teak, cane and hardwood. Teak is probably the most expensive of the three but is renowned for being extremely hard wearing and aesthetically pleasing on the eye. Teak furniture is in fact so hard wearing that it is able to withstand the harsh winter weather that you often get in the UK.

For something a bit more homely looking cane furniture is a very good option. Cane furniture more often than not comes with upholstery and fabrics, which makes it a lot more comfortable and appealing, however it is a good idea to keep cane furniture indoors when the weather is not particularly good.

For something a little more practical and hard wearing, that will be exposed to harsh weather conditions; it would be advisable to invest in some hardwood garden furniture. Hardwood is extremely hard wearing and able to handle the harshest of weather conditions.

For those that also like to potter in the greenhouse, with their seedlings and cuttings, it makes a big difference if you have the space to do so. Some greenhouse’s can be quite small so it is extremely important to make use of every bit of space. Greenhouse staging is a common piece of furniture for a greenhouse to get the best of the space available. Again there are different styles of staging to suit individual requirements, either one shelf or two, different heights and widths, it is also possible to purchase folding staging so that when it is not required it can easily be folded down and put away neat and tidy.…