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Category Archives: Gardening

Friendly Patio Furniture

Plastic furniture is recycled from like products, for example, plastic bottles, shampoo bottles, detergent bottles, containers, etc. Possibly, they could also be recycled from old plastic furniture that is broken or unusable.

When looking for durable and easily maintained outdoor patio furniture, plastic, polymer and resin are very low maintenance. These products are easily cleaned with soap and water and endure long hot summers in some regions of the country. Also, these products are not designed to be painted, just cleaned regularly. Patio furniture made from plastics are waterproof and will not rust or rot. Therefore, these products can be used in your gardens and patios any time of the year.

Plastic, polymer and resin furniture products are very sturdy and should not crack or discolor when left outdoors. Another unique property about plastic, polymer and resin composite furniture, is that it can be molded or manufactured to look as a faux product. For example, these products can be made to look and appear as wood. They can look like Adirondack chairs, cane, rattan, wicker, or whatever the choice may be. These items are pliable and useful in the production of outdoor furniture.

The cost of plastic, polymer and resin furniture varies in price. Some of the plastics that do not include the polymer or resin components are not as sturdy or as structurally sound as their counterparts that include them.

There are some plastic products on the market for as little as $20.00. Likewise, there are some five-piece patio dining sets for as much as, $2,000.00 or more. The price depends on the composition of the materials used in producing the patio furniture.

When researching outdoor furniture, a recycled product will always be a positive for the environment and the wallet. Recycled materials consume far less energy to produce than starting the manufacturing process from a raw material. The recycled products are becoming more and more fashionable and acceptable in our society.

Barbed Wire

Origin

The barbed wire originated in the united states back in 1867. Over the years, a lot of changes have been made to the wire. This fencing was used to limit steers. There are many areas that the barbed wire can be used to do and it sure is a worthy invention. The best thing about this kind of wire is that it could be used cost effectively to enclose large chunks of land.

The expected gains

There are various areas that barbed wire can really help. People in the agricultural sector can use the wire for different purposes. The coils or wires are very beneficial.

Today, the wired perimeters are a standard fencing innovation that is used to encase the daily cattle in most parts of the world. The wire has to be well adjusted under a lot of pressure between fence posts that are overwhelming and well supported so as to hold the required tallness while joined to the steel or wooden fence posts. They have additional secures set in the very middle.

If you want barbed wire for use in horticulture, then you have two assortments that you can choose from. There is the gentle and delicate kind of wire or the high tractable. The wire that is highly pliable is usually created from the slender but high quality steel. Quality is what allows the fence to last a long time. The best quality barbed wire that can endure light and all sorts of elements is one of the most accessible type of fencing that you can choose from. When installing the wire, it is important to create spaces that will serve as entry ways.

Humans

Barbed wire is enough when you want to discourage any cattle from trying to pass through, but humans can just climb over and get to where they want to be. Humans can even stretch gaps so as to get through.

Creating A Beautiful Yard

A local nursery provided a large assortment of beautiful plants, including the blue spruce in various sizes. The spruce is a beautiful evergreen tree that can grow to significant sizes with soft needles and a deep blue-green color. The homeowner had often admired the spruce, so with the assurances of the nursery owner about the suitability of the spruce for the local climate, they had three planted in a group within feet of the backyard fence.

The first year was rather dry, but two of the trees flourished. The smallest tree seemed to suffer and was watered more often. The second year was even dryer and July and August were hotter than usual. The smallest tree died in spite of being lovingly cared for.

That winter, the mid-sized tree began to look stressed and by mid-April, it was obvious the tree was not going to make it. The needles were a sickly shade of brown/green, and the lower branches began to drop off. By September, it was dead. The largest tree survived one more year.

There was one major problem that primarily affected these trees and caused their early demise: Too much water.

The spruce trees were planted in the side yard fairly near the fence line shared with a neighbor. During hot dry weather, both homeowners watered regularly with irrigation systems that produced a higher volume of water than was good for the trees. The blue spruce is indigenous to temperate Colorado where the rainfall is moderate and the soil generally rocky. Even a heavy rain produces runoff, not standing pools of water. This was the most damaging event where the water was not draining properly but standing, sometimes in ankle-deep puddles, down the entire fence line. Then, it would eventually rain compounding the problem.

Plant trees and shrubs that do not require large amounts of water in areas where drainage is excellent and ensure that the irrigation system in the area is not producing an overabundance of water during any application. If the trees are already in the ground where water is accumulating, a French drain should alleviate the problem. Also, sprinkler heads may be capped if there appears to be too many. Hiring a landscape specialist to add decorative rock and soil to build up the area around the fence line will facilitate drainage.

Awesome Landscaping Ideas

An excellent starting point for your backyard landscaping ideas & designs should include the use of evergreens. Lots of folks like to use deciduous trees in their yards and that is okay. However, there are some basic facts you should know before you begin.

Deciduous trees will definitely add vibrate colors to your landscape in the spring and summer. They will also add beautiful foliage to your lawn in early fall. Then their leaves will fall off as the tree prepares to sleep through the long winter months.This will leave your once flourishing tree looking bare and boring. The very definition of deciduous means to shed or fall off during certain parts of the life cycle.

Evergreens on the other hand will continuously look great. They will be as beautiful and pretty in the winter time as they are in the summer. When you realize some of the benefits they offer, you will like them even more. Some people really believe a home owner would be foolish not to include them in their landscaping plans and designs. I happen to be one of them.

Let’s take a quick look at a few of the many benefits of adding evergreens to your backyard landscape design. I think when you get done reading them you will come away with the same thoughts as me. Evergreens are something homeowner’s would be foolish not to plant when doing their landscape.

If you are looking for a privacy screen, then planting an evergreen is perfect for you. Living walls make for good neighbors and beautiful lawns. If you live where winters can be harsh, evergreens make for awesome windbreaks. Plant them strategically around your yard and you just blocked out old man winter.

Want to add some character to your landscape, or go for that stately look, you can achieve this by simply planting some evergreens in your yard. Some homeowners like to plant evergreens uniformly as to create a look of elegance. Whatever you decide you cannot go wrong with evergreens.

Other excellent backyard landscaping ideas for you to consider will be the use of hardscaping. For anyone not familiar with the term, it simply means adding non-living materials to your landscape. Examples would be rocks, fences, ponds, fountains, patios, decks, etc.

Concertina Wire

Due to how it is created, concertina wire is used for purposes of security and the isolation of residences, gardens, military sites and all other areas that may be in need of the highest level of security.

Types

Concertina wire comes in five types. They are:

Single coil razor wire: this is usually razor wire coils that are strip processed and also steel plates that are galvanized. This type of wire is extended in a way that it offers a temporary obstacle. With this one, you do not need any kind of clips to hold it in place since it isn’t meant for permanent purposes.

Large coils crossed concertina wire: this is made of spirals where razor wire is clipped together so as to create fencing that offers much better security than the single coil types.

The y post supported wire fences: this is wire that is mounted at the top of fence posts with the shape Y. These are best used for purposes by creating obstacle barriers.

Electrified wires: they are also referred to as electrified fence. These are usually used together with electricity so as to make sure that the security is greatly enhanced. There is no outlook difference. Usually, there is a copper wire at the core of the blade. The wire is able to stop intruders and it can give alarms when one tries to break or cut the razor wire. This reduces the incidence of theft. This kind of fence is most suitable for airports, construction suites and plants and other such areas.

Razor wire barriers: this is a type of wire that has got all the features needed for use in the military. It is very easy and quick to install it when it is needed for a mobile barrier. When there is war, speed and time becomes very important. For this kind of barrier, three men are enough. They can actually set up the wire and then retrieve it when they have served their purpose. This gives great savings in human resource.

Wicker Furniture

The wicker furniture weaving process has certainly evolved over the last two hundred years. Today the wicker furniture process is markedly different, and the modern-day contemporary wicker furniture is as well. The contemporary furniture of today has much sleeker lines and the weaving is tighter and less ornate.

The labor-intensive process of weaving by hand has been replaced with machinery that can weave different patterns and designs. Then, attach the woven material to bamboo, rattan or other hardwoods, metal or aluminum frames for the finished product.

The very elaborate high back woven chairs of the Victorian Era have been replaced with simple woven designs. The products that are produced today are easier to clean and maintain and weather well due to the synthetic materials that are used.

This type of furniture is available in many different colors, sizes and shapes. It is available in as a single piece, sets of two, three, four or more pieces to mix and match for the perfect outdoor seating arrangements. It has also become very popular for outdoor patios, backyard pools, and for intimate garden areas. It is very popular in seating conversation sets or outdoor dining sets. Wicker furniture can be used in gardens or patios any time of the year.

Rather than using hardwoods for frames, more modern manufacturing companies use aluminum frames and weave around them. This makes the furniture more maintenance free and longer lasting than their hardwood counterparts in the outdoors.

Furniture is certainly not the only product used in the wicker weave process. It has long been used for lightweight baskets for hot air balloons, baby carriages, motorcycle side-cars, serving trays, mats and decorations. According to widepedia.com, the largest wicker woven basket in the world is located in Nowy Tomysl, Norway in a garden.

There are many uses of wicker. It is used in making beds, head boards, hampers, dressers, night stands, chests of drawers, tables, chairs, baby cradles and so on. But, it seems, the largest demand is for outdoor wicker furniture. Not only do the materials and weaving materials differ, but so do the costs in purchasing these products.

The best advice for buying wicker furniture is to shop, shop, shop and compare for warranties, the types of materials used and the manufacturing process. Good quality is always better.

Wooden Garden Shed

Many people prefer wooden constructed garden sheds rather than vinyl, resin, plastic, and various metal type sheds. It may be more expensive up-front, but lumber seems to have a longer life and therefore is less expensive. Wood is also easier to repair. The other types of sheds would need to be discarded and a new one purchased.

Plan before you start building. There are important considerations which need attention. Decide if you would like to build it or hire a contractor. Do you wish to assemble a shed kit or build it from scratch?

There is a wide variety of wooden type garden sheds which may be ordered from local sources or from online. Note any additional items which may be needed. These items may be concrete blocks, tools and other hardware accessories.

Manufactured sheds can be erected in a few hours or over a weekend. The do it yourself shed may also take the same amount of time or longer. There are variables for both situations.

If you’re anything like me I did window shopping, comparative price shopping, and talked to my friends and neighbors who had garden sheds for their opinions and experiences. Then I made my decision. In case you are curious, we decided to build a wooden shed as it could be designed and customized to meet our requirements.

Before you setup this is a list to review:

  1. Location
  2. Size
  3. Utility outlets (if electric and plumbing are to be installed)
  4. Local residential building codes, licenses, and permits
  5. Zoning requirements
  6. Location of underground cables
  7. Neighborhood restrictions
  8. Building inspections

The location of the shed needs to be in a clearing within short access to the garden areas and pathways for loading and unloading heavy gardening supplies. The size of this structure is determined by the tools and garden equipment which will be stored.

It is also critical to check overhead, underground, and around the placement of the proposed site. Are there any trees, shrubbery, or overhead wiring which may interfere with the structure? Before digging locate any underground cables, plumbing, or electrical wires.

Backyard Landscaping

The Main Reasons That I Hear

There are 3 main reasons that I hear all the time. You just moved into a house and you want to upgrade. Maybe you just got married and you and your spouse plan on starting a family one day. Or maybe you are planning on selling your home and you know this is a solid investment to make. At this point in my life the last one is my favorite. You simply want to enjoy what you already have. These are absolutely all good reasons so let’s get started.

It all starts with a plan

Before you start digging anything up you need a solid plan. This should include the entire property you want to incorporate. If not your end result could look like a mishmash of designer magazine. You must know your desired outcome before you start. Sometimes you will run into road blocks that you did not foresee no matter how well you planned everything out. This will happen from time to time. Just remember this though, your earlier preparation will pay huge dividends if this should happen.

Take advantage of the type of land you have

A good plan will put importance of taking advantage of the land you have and its features. What I mean is this. Lets take the sun for example. Are there certain parts of your yard that get the sun in morning and shade in afternoon. Or maybe you are in an area that gets the sun in one part and shade in the other all day. And what about your soil type. Is it fast draining or does it drain on the slower side. How about your climate. Do you have cold winters or do they average in the 60″s. This is something that you should consider.

What Is Your Vision

Objects appear smaller in the rear view mirror than they actually are. Do you remember that. Well the same applies here only in reverse. Some types of hardscaping are actually larger than what you vision in your mind. Be cautious and extremely careful before you decide on something that could be very costly to fix if wrong.

Know The Maintenance Involved

And of course there is the maintenance of it all. Some of our favorite additions that we want involve a lot more work than others. Things such as ponds, waterfalls, and pools require more maintenance than rocks, stones and fences. How much time do you want to spend on all of this. After all I am sure you want to take some time and enjoy it.

All about Rocks and Landscaping

Some people will plant native grasses behind their boulder for added beauty, but they are also great left alone as part of the landscape.

Smaller rocks are obviously going to be easier to move around, and some will cluster a few together to make a pretty design. Annuals planted around the rocks provide colour and can be changed out each year depending on your landscape theme each summer.

Large ledge type rocks make lovely borders to flower beds and can be arranged any way you’d like to optimize the beauty of the area.

And then we come to tiny stones. Beach stones and even much smaller stones that make lovely pathways or borders to your flower beds. They keep everything in place and make a great weed free barrier between the lawn and the flower beds themselves. You can even use several kinds of stones together for a unique look or us the same throughout your design. Best of all the small stones are easy to move and use again and again, all you need is a shovel and a wheelbarrow and you’re good to go.

Paving stones are also great additions to the yard. Make a little stepping stone pathway to a sitting area or into the yard itself. The stones come in all shapes, colours and sizes and again, because they are natural you can choose to use all of one colour and shape or mix and match colours, shapes and sizes to come up with a truly unique design.

Stones, rocks and boulders won’t discolour or shift on you and you can decorate around them however you wish. They make great additions to any yard because of their worry free and maintenance free existence and they bring a natural beauty to any design.

We Like Small Trees

The Paperback Maple is an interesting tree as the cinnamon coloured bark peels off during the year. It adds dimension and texture as well as a talking point for your yard and this tree does great in all types of soil although it does like well drained soil, thanks all the same. It’s mature height is anywhere from 20-35′ but it is still considered a small tree and since its so undemanding, what are you waiting for? This tree is great for folks living in zones 4-8 across the country.

Ah, the Japanese Maple. What can we say about this beautiful tree? It’s graceful, it’s colourful and it’s a wonderful addition to any yard. It even comes in different varieties like weeping and upright so it can go almost anywhere. It is a great small shade tree and at it’s most mature it won’t grow more than 30 feet tall and wide, and the pretty leaves! Such pretty leaves. The Japanese Maple does best in zones 5-8.

If you are looking for a tree that has something to offer year round then you’ve found it in the Washington Hawthorne. In late spring you will get lovely white flowers. In the summer you get the texture and colour of dark green leaves and once fall hits, you can expect red and orange leaves to grace its branches. It’s not done then though, as deep into winter you will still see clusters of red berries against the graying sky. The one downfall is that yes, it has thorns, but that’s a small price to pay for all that interest. This tree does best in zones 4-8.