When Landscaping Your Garden, Don’t Forget the Garden Furniture

Planning and landscaping a garden is fun and adds so much enjoyment and beauty to your home. While we usually think of landscaping as planning the placement of our flowers and plants, choosing our flowers and plants and then getting everything planted, another part of planning your garden should be considering what kind of garden furniture may be included in the landscaping of your garden.

What better way to enjoy your garden than to provide seating in various areas of your garden. Garden benches can be strategically placed to provide seating in the most beautiful areas of your garden. Place a garden bench in a sunny area for enjoying your garden in the Winter, Spring and Autumn. For enjoyment during the Summer, choose a nice shady place. This will maximize the seating for year-round enjoyment of your garden. There are many styles of benches that you can purchase; wave benches, backless benches, market benches, quarter-round benches and arbor benches. Quarter-round benches make perfect seating when placed at the base of a tree. If your garden has very little shade, an arbor bench will provide some shade and seating, as well as a place for vining plants to wind their way upward.

Another way to enjoy your garden is placing swings throughout your garden. A garden swing or Pergola swing would be an excellent addition to your garden. Swings provide comfortable seating and a wonderful place to laze away the time on a beautiful day. A porch swing can also provide seating for enjoying your garden. Porch swings and garden swings have a long history of bringing family and friends together. Don’t forget to include them in your landscaping plans.

Another nice way to enjoy your garden is to provide an area for garden dining with family and friends using wood outdoor tables, chairs and market tables. Outdoor wood tables, chairs and market tables come in a variety of sizes and styles and are excellent for garden dining. Many wood outdoor tables and chairs will also fold for easy storage if you prefer to put them away when not in use. If your garden does not have much shade, most wood outdoor tables come with an option for an umbrella hole. A colorful umbrella will add shade and additional beauty to your garden.

When you purchase your wood garden furniture, you want to get furniture made from wood that is durable, long lasting, weather resistant and rot resistant. Western Red Cedar and Java Plantation Indonesian Teak are two of the most popular woods that meet all the criteria for garden furniture. Not only are both these woods weather resistant, rot resistant, insect resistant, and long lasting, they are almost maintenance free. All of this in a wood that is also beautiful and elegant, making Western Red Cedar and Indonesian Teak outdoor furniture most desirable for the garden.…

Amazing Tips on Herb Garden Designs

Certain questions enter into the mind of a person when thinking about herb garden designs. They usually think about the space and appropriate herbs. Sometimes it will just end up by disregarding what they want to do because of many things that they consider. It will be easy if you, yourself is willing and determined to do so.

In herb garden designs, you must consider the things that you need to produce a good output on it. If you do so, it will be profitable to you and it can be fun, adding happiness to your life.

There are many options where to grow your herbs. Others want it to grow in a box because of limited space. In contrast, others want to have a larger herbal garden because of course of their big space. Because you choose to plant herbs, either of the two would create a useful and beautiful garden. It can be enchanting like as fairy tales and useful as medicine kit.

You must consider many factors in herb garden designs. It can be the available space you have; your own style or the style you want, the herbs you wanted to plant and others that would make your garden unique and beautiful. Your desired style or design should of course aggregate the design of your home. You must also consider that the design you choose may reflect your personality as a human being.

When considering herb garden designs for small gardens with limited space, it is advisable to use tiered planters. Why? Because by using that method, you can gain more space or bigger planting area from your limited space. I can assure that it is the best thing you must do if you only have small space. On the other hand, if you have a big space for your herbal garden, you must go with the square garden common to English style.

Another thing about choosing the location for your herbal garden is that, you must choose a sunny spot area. We all know that vegetables need sunlight for them to grow. Moreover, most of all it must be near your water supply. In addition, you need to consider the variety or types of a certain vegetable. Some of them may grow and grow if you allow them while others may become grass like, low but full to the ground. Some may require more sunlight than others. Therefore, you need to plan about its variety.

In herb garden designs, you must also consider your purpose of having an herbal garden. Do you want plants with medicinal remedies? Or maybe you just want a beautiful and unique place for you to take good care of? If you want to design a beautiful and unique herbal garden considering all the factors that I have mentioned, you must prepare a great plan for you to be successful. Think of an objective for your plan and list the steps you want to do before doing it in hand. Prepare …

Types of Garden Gnomes and Their Advantages

Garden gnomes have been around for over 2 centuries now. They began to appear as garden decorations in European countries in the early 1800’s. They were first introduced in Germany. People would decorate their gardens with these gnomes and they were thought to tend to the garden during the night. Since then these dwarf like statues have gained much popularity. They come in various designs and styles and are perfect for decorating your garden.

These statues are made of different materials and come in a number a number of colors adding life and a little amusement to your garden. Earlier these gnomes were made of materials like terra cotta and clay but recently have started being made of plastic. People believe that these statues take care of their garden and the earth. This is why they have gained so much popularity. These are also far cheaper than other garden statues and decorations. The fact that they are made of plastic makes them very durable. Earlier clay and terra cotta gnomes took much longer to manufacture as the paint and clay required a long time to mold. Plastic statues are far cheaper and much more durable than clay counterparts. They are mass produced in factories and most manufacturers are now shifting to plastic instead of clay and terra cotta.

They main advantage of plastic over clay is that these statues can be molded into to any shape with ease. You would find designs of simple gnomes where as some manufacturers have gone as far as making rappers out of these cute dwarfs. You could buy them in cute gardening positions or just buy the traditional dwarf which is starring back at you. Manufacturers have even started making all sorts of sporting gnomes. You could buy dwarfs with the theme of your favorite football team. You could even buy gnomes wear your favorite baseball players jersey. This has made a number of sports enthusiasts buy these for their gardens. You would even find these gnomes in bars where people would go to watch a football game.

Though there are a number of collectors that buy these products in clay, I personally suggest you buy a plastic one. A clay statue would probably cost anywhere between twenty to a hundred dollars. Most plastic gnomes usually cost anywhere between five to twenty dollars. You would find a number of websites that sell these products online. You would find plenty of designs to choose from. So make sure you go online today and buy one of these for your home.…

The Weekend – Family Time

Hard work is rewarding. There are no two opinions about it. The body and mind, however, need a break to enable them to function at optimum efficiency levels. That is one facet of hard work that most of us fail to realize.

In situations where you are trying to make a niche for yourself for a quantum jump in life later on, you tend to forget that you need to give a rest to your mind and body periodically. Many working couples get so occupied with their work and deadlines that they fail to give themselves time to relax and have fun. Due to no evident reason, you may find that your efficiency at work is deteriorating.

Weekend breaks prove to be very beneficial in overcoming fatigue. These tantamount to small holidays and can be managed very easily if you make a conscious effort. Weekend breaks revitalize your mind, ease tensions, and enthuse when you return to work. Weekend breaks, in fact, are worth the effort you make to take them.

Weekend vacations are expensive, what with cost of travel shooting up and even bread and breakfast joints charging prohibitive rates. A weekend holiday, sometimes, becomes a bit of a problem especially for those who want to save up to build a capital for future.

There are other options too for weekend breaks which are economic and at the same time as beneficial as a vacation. It is just a matter of applying your mind to the find ways to take one.
If you make up your mind on weekend breaks, making it a part of your schedule is a prerequisite. Unless you fix weekend break timing in your schedule, you will keep on procrastinating it due to one reason or the other. Once you have done that you can look at myriad options and as you keep on taking weekend breaks regularly, you will automatically come across new ideas.

The idea behind such inexpensive weekend breaks is simply to spend quality time with you spouse and / or family. Try scheduling one for Saturday and another for the Sunday. You can look at tending the flowers and the garden together. Take a bike ride together or with a friend. You could even try cooking and cleaning up the kitchen together rather than taking turns. Sometimes it is as simple as sharing dessert with neighbors or a visit to the nearby pub.

The purpose behind a weekend break is not necessarily going out of town but spending and enjoying quality time together with the family, forgetting business and office worries for some time. …

Flower Gardens – Sweet Smell of Summer

Ahh, Summer in your own flower garden. Butterflies, the sweet smell of ornamental herbs and blooming plants. There is something about a flower that seems to spark something inside of everyone. It could be that the flower is the ultimate reminder of spring and summer. The scent of freshly bloomed roses, the feel of the downy petal of a lily or the sweet sight of a bright daisy brings with it a feeling of joy.

Growing a beautiful flower is not a difficult task, but it does require planning and perseverance. A flower represents the ground from which it is placed and the gardener must know this before attempting growth.

Flowers are like real estate It is all about location, location, location. They must have environments that are suited to their particular needs. Take for example an African violet. This delicious plant's fuzzy leaves and petals are easily marred by droplets of rain. If winning the local fair's flower award is in mind, then imperfection in leaves and petals is important.

An Azalea is the chameleon of the flower world. Its beautiful puff ball flower has the ability to change color depending on the Ph of the soil. So, do not freak out if your Azalea is blue and your neighbor's Azalea is pink. There are feeding systems that can change the color, but you have to first know what the Ph of your soil is. Roses seem to be the most sought after growing flower but they can often be the trickiest. The key with roses is to know what variety you want. A climbing rose bush is not going to do as well as a standing rose bush without some sort of a support system.

Regardless of the level of green thumb, there is a flower for everyone. Most flower manufacturers and growers put instructions on the package and wrapping. If you feel lost, do not worry the flower gardening team at our site will be glad to help you on your way.

And talk to or owners of gardens you come across when you are on the road. Most owners of great gardens are proud of their creations and will be happy to tell you about them. And as added value nothing boosts property value quite like a well tended yard with flowers. A bonus is the peace of mind that comes with seeing a beautiful flower in bloom right in your front yard.

A flower garden is the ideal way to relax and dream away on sunny afternoons, get outside air and healthy exercise plus as an additional bonus your property is breathing the atmosphere of well being, an added value beyond compare. …

How to Make Your Own Cologne

Basically, every cologne has four essential components:

-Water
-Alcohol
-Fragrance
-Fixing Agent

The water used should only be distilled water. Tap water can contain impurities which can interfere with the aesthetics and aromatic qualities of a cologne. The alcohol provides a solvent for the other ingredients. It also releases fragrance as it evaporates. The fragrance can be any floral oil, essential herbal oil, liquid gums and resins you desire to provide fragrance. The fixing agent could have various gums and resins, however, glycerin is an excellent fixative for colognes, as it is already a liquid and blends easily with other liquids. The fixing agents job is to maintain the fragrances integrity.

Steps to Creating Cologne From Flowers

Using flowers to make cologne is probably the oldest method of cologne making. If you have a favorite flower in your garden and want to make a cologne from it's blossoms, this will work well for you.

First, fill a Mason jar with flower petals, packing them in tightly. Add distilled water to the jar until it is 3/4 full, then add 2 tablespoons of liquid vegetable oil. (Avoid highly scented oils, such as peanut oil, as they will interfere with your fragrance.) Finally, add 1 ounce of unscented rubbing alcohol. Cover the jar with a tight lid and shake contents thoroughly. Set the jar aside remembering to shake it a couple of times a day, or as often as you like, as shaking the jar will agitate the ingredients and speed up the cologne making process.

As the flower pets became fitted with water, the cellular membranes burst. This releases essential oils, as well as some of the coloring pigments. These floral oils escape into the water and cling to the vegetable oil. The alcohol acts as a solvent, dissolving the oils so that they mix with the water.

After a few days, pour the liquid cologne into jars for storage and discard the solids. To keep your cologne pure from some of the settlement, pour your cologne through cheesecloth. Now, add your glycerin. Use 1 ounce of glycerin to a quart of cologne.

Tip for Creating Cologne Faster

If you do not want to wait a couple of days, you can always speed up the process by placing the jar in a sunny window. As the sun worms the jar, you will be able to see the petals' cellular breakdown and release of essential oils. By using this method you can often have a cologne in the same or next day, rather than having to wait a few days. Be sure the jar is kept tightly covered. Remember, agitating it from time to time will speed up the process of dispersing the essential oils.

If you've been reading my blog, you know I like to do things as easy as possible. With all the fantastic essential oils available you can make or mimic many of the name brand colognes. The following recipe is just an example. To change the fragrance, just …

Organic Waste – A Great Source For Composting

Certainly there is a good deal of discussion and concern nowdays about organic products and also about clearing the meaning of the term organic waste. Essentially, it is the byproduct of any material that is biological in origin. Common types of such waste includes all paper products, including newspapers and cardboard; food waste; green waste material which includes yard and garden waste; animal manure and feces; and various biosolids and sludge components.

The process that organic matter goes through to become waste is called composting. The composting process breaks down the microorganisms in the organic material through a combination of exposure to heat, moisture, oxygen and bacteria. Once this organic material has passed through this decomposing process, it can be reused as a very effective soil additive.

In many ways, organic waste is a valuable part of the process of life on this planet. In essence, composting of organic materials is the original, and most effective form of recycling, invented and perfected by Mother Nature herself.

Once organic materials are collected together in a compost pile, the microorganisms rapidly increase in number and essently grow into a community that "colonizes" the composter. Through the natural biological functions of the microorganisms, the organic components are systematically broken down and the result is a nutrient rich compost.

As the bacterial microorganisms grow, they assimilate the starches, sugars and organic acids found in the waste matter. A side effect of their activity is a rise in the temperature in the center-most portion of the compost heap. Occasionally, the temperature of the core of the compost pile will reach more than 140 degrees Fahrenheit and this heat contributes to the escalating decomposition of the material.

When the busy bacteria have consumed all of the sugars and starches and other materials they fear upon, the interior temperature of the compost heap begins to fall. As the temperatures become lower, other kinds of microorganisms, such as fungi, become more dominant in the composting community. At this stage the waste is considered to be stabilizing but there are still biological activities going on which will affect the woody elements of the compost mixture, allowing them to be broken down as well.

In order to continue through the composting process, the compost heap needs to be turned. This is a simple process that brings the material that is on the edges of the heap into the center so that it can be exposed to this process of heating as described above. It is recommended to allow the compost pile to sit undisturbed for approximately two weeks between turnings.

A compost heap can continue to grow by adding additional organic waste at any time. The compost pile simply needs to be turned at regular intervals of about every other week and the decomposition process will continue. In four to six months the composting process will have done its work and the compost can be mixed in with the soil as a very effective fertilizer. …

Using Human Urine As A Liquid Fertilizer

OK, so are you over the shock now??? In the not so distant past, we didn’t have the luxury of having a small room in the house where we could flush away our number ones and twos. But did you ever wonder how we managed before the water closet? Not that I want to get into the history of it, but let’s just say that before the times of our current throw-away society, people thought of multiple uses for just about everything.

Well maybe you didn’t know that human urine is the fastest acting, most excellent source of Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium and some trace elements. Not only that, but we all have a constant, year round supply of it – and it’s free! There’s not a lot of effort involved in creating this wonderful organic liquid fertilizer.

Some men I know are more than happy to oblige a tree, bush or lawn (out of view, of course).

Did you know that many toilets use between 50 and 100 litres of water a day to flush around 1.5 litres of pee? And the high levels of nutrients in our effluent systems leads to the growth of algae, which ultimately causes the death of plants and animals throughout our waterways.

What are the advantages of using urine as an organic liquid fertilizer?

  • If you’re not flushing this valuable liquid down the loo, you are reducing your water consumption – good for the environment and your pocket
  • You’ll be reducing the amount of sewerage runoff
  • There’ll be less nutrients in our waterways
  • Urine as a liquid fertilizer is available in an ideal chemical form for plants to use
  • Gardening costs are less as your liquid fertilizer is free
  • It is readily available all year round and there are no transportation costs
  • Just so that you know, fresh human urine is sterile (unless there is a urinary tract infection – this urine should not be used) and so free from bacteria.

    I recommend that you dilute urine to 10-15 parts water to 1 part urine for application on plants in the growth stage. Dilute to 30-50 parts water to 1 part urine for use on pot plants as they are much more sensitive to fertilizers of any kind.

    Trees, shrubs and lawn should cope well without dilution. Withhold the use of urine liquid fertilizer on all food plants at least two weeks before harvesting. Apply under fruiting plants, not directly on foliage.

    Don’t use urine older than 24hours on your plants as the urea turns into ammonia and will burn your plants. If it’s not fresh, add it to your compost heap. Adding undiluted human urine to your compost heap will help heat it up quickly as it is an excellent activator and will add to the final nutrient value.

    As far as antibiotics, vitamin supplements and other medications go, yes they will end up in your urine, but in such minute quantities that I believe to be negligible – especially when it is …

    Gardening Tips – Soil Additives and Manure For Stronger Plants

    The best plants are grown in gardens where the soil is not ignored, but regularly improved with soil conditioners and manure. Plants are healthier and live longer as a result of additional supplies of compost, manure and fertilizers. Get the soil in good heart before you plant, and your plants will grow faster and establish more quickly.

    There are two basic types of soil additives: those that are bulky and which make a difference to the feel and structure of the soil when they are added to it, and those that are in powder, liquid or granular form and which are more concentrated in terms of the nutrients they contain. The bulky types are usually known as soil conditioners and the concentrated plant foods as fertilizers.

    All soils benefit from the addition of bulky organic matter. Heavy clay soils will be made less sticky because the organic matter holds their clinging particles further apart and so allows water to escape more easily. As a result, drainage is improved and the soil becomes easier Co cultivate.

    On sandy soils, where drainage is rapid and moisture retention is poor, organic matter acts as a binding agent, sticking the particles together and as a sponge helping the soil to hold on to water.

    Chalky soils tend to be thin and poor, and the organic matter here gives them more body and helps them hold on to plant nutrients.

    Even loamy soils need helpings of organic enrichment to keep them 'in good heart'.

    You could ask why it is necessary to enrich soil with manure, compost and fertilizer when, in the wild, plants seem to thrive without it. The answer is a simple one: in nature nobody tidies up. Fallen leaves are allowed to rot down and provide the plants with nourishment, thanks to the activity of soil bacteria. Because of the plenitude of organic matter, these bacteria are present in abundance. In addition, the same plants grow in the same spot indefinitely, usually at a comfortable wide spacing, and nobody complains if they do not flower profusely or crop heavily. The plants are also native to this country and there before accustomed to growing in the conditions available.

    In a garden, where tidying up removes much of the potential soil enrichment, plants from all over the world are grown cheek by jowl, competitiveness ferociously for water and nourishment. 'Man-made' varieties have been bred to flower over a long period and, in the case of vegetables, to produce a heavy crop. They can do this only if we make sure their roots can grow in earth which provides them with sufficient nourishment.

    Farmyard manure

    A term used to cover all kinds of animal manure. Stable manure is the most common and available in town as well as country. This mixture of straw and dung needs to be well rotted before it is dug into the soil. Stack fresh manure for three to six months before digging it in. The reason for this is that …

    Vanda Orchids Give Colorful Rewards

    The Vanda genus is one of the most beautiful groups of orchids. Advertisers are enthralled with their architecturally stunning stems and elegant leaves. The genus is widespread throughout Asia and has been selected as the national flower of Singapore. The popularity of these flowers is showing a steady increase and they are being exported around the world. Whether vanda orchids are being used for advertising, weddings or as a decorative plant at home or in a commercial setting, they have definitely not yet seen the peak in their popularity.

    Sanskrit gives us the name Vanda for the genus; it is simply the word for orchid in that language. The species of this genus are found throughout most of Asia, stretching from India across the continent to outlying Pacific Islands. While yellow is the signature shade of most species, with brown coming in a close second; you can find everything from green to soft blush to the extremely rare Vanda coerulea which displays highly sought after bluish-purple flowers.

    When you have seen these plants you will have virtually always seen the flowering stems tied to some sort of a support system. This is because most members of vanda orchids are monopodial and grow upwards in straight stem without branching out. This makes them well-suited for indoor cultivation and they will grow slowly, adding only a few new leaves for every year of growth. Vanda orchids typically bloom more regularly than a lot of varieties, producing a single stem with multiple flowers every three months or so, with the blossoms lasting for two to four weeks.

    This is not the varietal for a beginning orchid cultivator. They are very high maintenance and require a great deal of care. Their need for humidity is higher than most orchids and in order to thrive, a consistent effort to maintain humidity levels must be exerted. If this is by the use of a humidifier or thrice daily misting or placing the pot of your vanda orchids atop a bed of rocks in a pool of water, some method of constant elevated humidity is necessary to get the reward of the stunning arched drop of a stem of Vanda blossoms.

    These are a heliophilic, or sun loving, plant. They crave sunlight, but not direct sunlight. If it is possible to move your plants at lunch an ideal method is to give the plants a good soaking of sun in the morning and then relocate them to indirect sunlight for the remainder of the day.

    Vanda is one of the epiphytic genus of orchid that in its natural environment grows on trees. It is always best to plant vanda orchids in a mixture that is specifically formulated for them. If your local garden center carries it, it will be pricier than a regular potting soil, but your money will be well spent. The plants will only thrive and give you the flowers you are craving if you give them what their roots need.

    If the beauty of …