Archive for January, 2016

April Gardening Tips

“Early spring is a wonderful time to enjoy brisk, sunny days outdoors as you clean up your gardens and watch your plants slowly begin to grow.  Nothing is more welcome than the first blossoms on snowdrops, crocus, magnolias, forsythia and other plants that herald the beginning of another growing season. Frost is likely every night in April but some cold hardy plants can shake off the cold weather and keep right on growing.”

Ferns in snow

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General Tips

Weather can be quite random in Portland during April. Hail, then sun, then a warm afternoon followed by a frost at night…hard to predict. Frost is still possible throughout the month and well into May. It is probably still too early to have frost-tender crops out unprotected (basil needs protection). New plantings should always be watered in after planting; don’t assume the rain will do it. Though rainfall is usually frequent, don’t assume everything is thoroughly watered without at least a glance.

Ladybugs and beneficial nematodes become available in April once the temperatures are warm enough. Ladybugs are natural predators of aphids, whiteflies, and other sucking insect pests. Nematodes are useful for certain soil-borne pests such as crane fly larvae and root weevils.

Perennials and Annuals

Many annual flowers are appearing now on our shelves; from cold tolerant pansies and spring flowering bulbs to the first of the summer bloomers. This includes fuchsias, geraniums, alyssum, snapdragons,bacopa, and others. If you haven’t done so already, clean up those overwintered beds and containers and start planning and planting. Note that the most cold-sensitive items such as Portulaca and zinnias might need to wait for the warmer temperatures of May to be planted.

April is perennial planting time, no doubt about it. A vast selection of spring bloomers are looking great and ready to go, and many of the summer bloomers are poking their heads up. Some of the most heat-loving perennials are not available yet; you’ll have to wait a bit for late blooming Hibiscus or Zaschneria. Additionally, you can divide and separate perennials at this point.

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Decorating Your Home With Chandelier

“For many years, chandeliers have already been used as an accessory to put beauty and sophistication in some parts of the home. To illuminate the house in the next level, possessing a chandelier is the perfect option. Before, most chandeliers are only used by royalty or aristocrats and so some get the notion that it’s very costly and it won’t suit their regular houses.”

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Chandelier light improves any room. A conventional place to put in a chandelier fixture is most likely the dining room. Many people will probably have the chandelier equipped with a dimmer switch and positioned in the dining room. This can give a real touch of class to a typically humdrum space. Plus the dimmer switch lets you regulate exactly how vibrant or soft the lighting is. Since these days so much happens in the household’s dining room, you want to have a little flexibility regarding the power of the light.

A chandelier’s lighting also can boost a bedroom. For both the artistic appearance of an elegant furniture piece — yes a light fixture, a good light fixture is like a furniture piece — as well as for functional lighting, the chandelier cannot be outdone. This will depend to the size of your bedroom, of course, as to what size chandelier you select. The size is simply one factor, nevertheless, with regards to choosing which one is right for you. More essential is the appearance. Chandelier light can be carried out in many different ways. Some chandeliers capture the feel and appearance of conventional candle chandeliers through the use of faux candles with little electric bulbs in place of the flame. Others eschew any reference to the past and search much more today’s piece of art. A number of the modern black chandeliers and red chandeliers absolutely go with that style.

Gone are the days of just the rot iron candelabra looking chandeliers. The style of chandeliers has changed as time passes that now you can have fun with lumination, model, and design. A number of the newer style of chandelier is designed on a ways in which the bulbs are on a snake like retractable tube. These new modern chandeliers, essentially allow you to focus the lighting right on one spot, or in multiple several regions. There are numerous types of chandeliers that you can pick from. You can either select from a traditional blown glass chandelier, wrought iron chandelier, bronze, brass or crystal ones. Also, presently there are different styles that you can pick from; bohemian, contemporary modern, historical empire style, and even alabaster. With crystal too, you’ve got ample of choice.

Chandeliers are unique sorts of lighting which you can put in your house. It’s very complex design could add glamor and elegance to the mood of one’s home. However, whilst acquiring the chandeliers, you should make certain you have picked up the perfect design that could match your house with considerations on your budget.

10 Tips to Prepare your Home for Spring Landscaping

Once the first official frost is no longer a threat, don’t you just want to run out into your yard and start spring landscaping?   All winter long the excuse of it being too cold, or everything is covered with snow is no longer an issue. Now that spring is here, gardening, landscaping and increasing your curb appeal is on most people’s minds. Depending on your geographic location and what type of soil and plants are native to your region will steer you in the right direction for your home.  Here are 10 tips to also help you prepare your outdoor home for gorgeous landscaping.

1.)  Know your climate: Before you get too excited in the garden area or nursery of your local home improvement store, know the climate for your home. This includes your geographic location on the Earth, as well as the climate of your yard. Choose plants appropriate for how much sun, and shade different parts of your lawn receive during the day.

2.) Do your research beforehand: Similarly to a do it yourself project, plan out your strategy for your landscaping in advance. Are you going to break it up in phases, or are you going to hire a landscape professional to help you plan? Ask for guidance from your local nursery or neighbors who have beautiful landscaping! They can probably give you as good of advice as a professional.

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Landscaping Strategies for the Modern Home

“Outdoor areas are often the last to receive design attention, but they shouldn’t be: What surrounds your home is just as important as what’s in it. Whether it’s a manicured front lawn, stone paver pathway or intricate garden design, these spaces benefit from the same attention to detail as any bathroom or kitchen. Well-designed landscaping ideas can complement your home’s architecture and modern design, and the right plants, flowers and shrubbery can greatly enhance your curb appeal by adding color, texture and even fragrance to your yard.”


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One of the primary reasons that we maintain our Case Study House series is to experiment with design ideas on our own homes before we propose them on the projects we design for clients. In addition to the structure itself, these ideas extend to the surrounding property, and the Case Study House 2014 was an excellent testing ground for several landscaping ideas. We sought out some informal help via a trade in services from our friends over at Langstraat Wood, and Erik Wood was kind enough to provide some guidance on basic landscape concepts and plants, particularly at the public face and site edges. The landscaping in this project (as with most) will require time to grow, fill-in, and mature. Subsequently, the experiment is ongoing, but between the design phase, the implementation, and taking the final photos, we’ve observed enough potential to share what we’ve learned so far. Let’s start from the top and work our way down.

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9 Unusually Creative DIY Coffee Crafts

A mug of fresh brew isn’t the only way to beat the Monday blues. These fun and inventive uses for coffee (and all its accessories) will help put some pep in your step in unexpected ways. Who knew you could use coffee to decorate, bathe and even accessorize? Check out these 11 unusually creative DIY coffee crafts and brew up some fun.

9 unusually creative diy coffee crafts


1. Coffee Body Scrub

diy coffee scrub

Waking up to a coffee-scented shower might be just as good as a mug of the real deal. All you need are coffee grinds, sugar, vanilla and oil. Added bonus: coffee can help to reduce the appearance of cellulite!

2. Coffee Bean Party Favors

diy coffee bean favors

Give your guests a party favor that will revive them the morning after. Fill little muslin bags with coffee beans and include a tiny wooden spoon for stirring.

3. Coffee-Infused Under Eye Cream

diy coffee eye cream

Getting a full 8 hours of sleep isn’t the only way to get rid of those bags under your eyes. Make an all-natural under eye coffee cream with shea butter and olive oil to revive yourself in the morning.

4. Coffee Nutmeg Candle

diy coffee candle

Addicted to the smell of fresh brew? Here’s a way to enjoy it all day long. Create a cozy, scented candle with coffee grinds, nutmeg and a touch of cinnamon. Light it up to wake up.

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Health Benefits Brought By Gardening

Any leisure activity or leisure activity gives us satisfaction in many simple ways. It is much more enjoyable when you are not only having a good time yourself but also others. Similar to gardening, while presenting others a lovely views, you are also having fun with it. Gardening is one such relaxation activity and both young and old have to do this.”

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Are you enjoying some kind of leisure activity? Well, gardening is one such recreational activity and both young and old need to pursue this. There are some advantages that you can get from gardening. Some of them are:

1. It’s a great activity for everyone. Kids and adults can have pleasure time doing the work.

2. It enhances mental health by reducing pressure

3. It influences the mineral density of the body bone.

4. Additionally, it gives feeling of satisfaction and increase confidence.

5. It enables you to connect to individuals with same enthusiasm.

Studies associate gardening with other physical benefits like going swimming, weight lifting, walking and so forth.They are saying that it involves intense activities such as:

1. Carrying heavy things

2. Dig holes or removing huge rocks

3. lawn mowing

4. carrying soils

5. Getting rid of weeds

These activities are viewed as moderate-intensity exercising. If you undertake gardening daily for 30 mins or possibly once or twice a week for an hour or more, this could be your exercise. Scientific studies indicate that regular gardening helps in cutting the risk of stroke and cardiac arrest up to 30% for those over 60 years old. Through gardening you happen to be relating with the simple miracles of nature. Also, everybody knows that prices of goods continue rising, so gardening has to be your best solution to minimize your expenditures since you can just plant greens and some fruits on your property.

Stress causes irritability, headaches, stomach aches, cardiac arrest and worsen pre-existing problems in the human body. We are all aware that too much sitting and inactive life particularly for elder can bring health risks and annoyance so motivating them to do small spurts of exercise can make a significant difference. Gardening has emerged in recent years as a scientifically proven stress reliever. We could also encourage the youngsters to be with the nature because more and more people right now chooses to stay at home to play with their gadgets. Yet through gardening, they can begin understanding the science of life and the way every thing nourishes should they be taken care of. They will start to understand more and see the application of things taught in school like botany, genetics and nutrition.

Though you may enjoy gardening so much, a number of tasks are not within your capacities therefore you also need to employ people who can get the job done for you like garden clearance.

As you advance with your gardening, there will be that time that a huge amount of garden waste will stack up and you will find it tough to get rid of at home. So it’s suggested to get help of an efficient garden clearance organization. A highly skilled and professional organization will have the proper knowledge and resources to compost your green waste in an eco-friendly manner

Gardening is indeed a extremely helpful activity for everyone. It doesn’t just relieve you from stress and anxiety; you can also get fit by doing it. You’ll be able to additionally help the natural environment and value nature more. Start gardening today!

Identifying A Hazardous Tree

Possessing trees in your own outdoor property undoubtedly provides a substantial amount of advantages. However, we’re often not aware of the hazards that defective trees may cause. Hence, the capability to distinguish damaging trees is essential not to mention taking proper corrective strategies to prevent injuries and property damage.”

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Trees really are one of several million marvels of this world. By simply seeing it helps make you feel revived particularly when they’re just around your home. Yet, though they seem strong, they’re not free to diseases. The diseases in which will not only ruin them but additionally hampers the health of the people.

It cannot be avoided that sometimes we can’t figure out whether our tree is already afflicted with disease or not but through preventive measures we can stop them. You may expect some signs to be able to right away detect the possible difficulties.

1. Odd shape. Does your tree have a weird shape that appears poorly formed? These trees may require removal since they lack structural integrity if it is confimed to have an issue.

2. Multiple trunks – Usually there are some trees which have multiple trunks. Trees that have big trunks with splits and cracks could possibly fail. Inspect tree for any signs of splits and cracks on the area in which the trunks meet.

3. Dead wood – There’s nothing much that can be done with a dead tree rather than having it eliminated quickly. Dead trees and branches are very unstable that could fall anytime. Dead wood is dry, brittle and easily breaks because it cannot bend once the wind blows just like a living tree.

4. Weak branch union – It’s the area where the branches aren’t thoroughly or firmly connected to a tree. When branches with the exact same sizes develop too close with each other, an in-grown bark grows between the branches and inside the union. This bark has no enough structural strength and the branch unions are weaker compared to those that doesn’t have included barks. The abnormal bark growth also can serve as a wedge and cause the branch union to break or split apart.

5. Inspect trunks and branches for peeling bark, hollow cavities or mushroom and fungi growth on the bark. Presence of these may be a sign of decay, particularly if the origin of the growth comes from within the wood when compared to the extremity of the bark only. Your decision whether to preserve the tree is dependent upon your arborists.

6. Hangers – They are damaged branches still attached in the tree. Whether partially or completely split up from the trunk, hangers may fall all of the sudden. So, they should be taken out quickly. Don’t forget to get rid of the stubs left by the broken or dead branches to stop the spread of decay.

7. Cankers – Cankers are often caused by wounding or disease. These are hollow areas on the branch or stem in which the bark should be. A canker that grows over half of a tree’s circumference can cause failure even if your exposed wood areas seem fine.

Types Of Sprinklers And Their Uses

If you would like be proud of your lawn and keep it lush and green throughout the year then watering your lawn is crucial in the drier seasons. You will have quite a few options to do this yet utilizing a sprinkler is probably the simplest. When selecting a sprinkler then you’ve got the option of an over-ground or under-ground/in-ground sprinkler even if you have a little lawn, you’ll want the best sprinkler system for your lawn.”

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Watering your lawn, plants, or garden is important when it does not get enough rain. There are various different ways to water or irrigate these areas and it is important to find the correct way, so that the process is simple and easy to do. Sprinklers are one of the most common methods that people make use of to water their lawns and gardens because it’s affordable and easy to install. There are numerous different kinds of sprinklers on the market, therefore you wish to be sure that you understand how each one of these functions to get the right one for your needs.

Single stream lawn sprinklers are an excellent option for huge or medium-sized yards. The 360-degree arc that they can travel to water your lawn will cover a wide area, in order that there isn’t any place missed. They rotate around to ensure that all of the lawn or garden is covered. If they’re not in use, they simply collapse down, so as to easily mow the lawn, be in the lawn, or do what you may wish with no worry of tripping over the mechanism.

Oscillating sprinklers come in plastic or metal. It ensures that it can withstand diverse climate changes. The sprinkler is a bit heavy mainly because it weighs about 3 kg. Revolving sprinklers utilize one or more arms to throw the water in a circular pattern. This sort of sprinkler has a fairly decent radius yet suffers in the uniformity of the water being delivered to the lawn. Usually the majority of the water is sent to an area 4-9 feet out.

You may also consider a dancing flower sprinkler. This type of sprinkler provides watering your lawn a new and exciting experience. Simply connect it to a pipe and it’ll do its work. The sprinkler is shaped like a flower. It is suitable for small lawns or children plays. You can use it to decorate your lawn. Invite your child’s friends to play with her using this sprinkler. It really is fun.

An impact or impulse sprinkler is a good selection for huge fields or lawns. The sprinkler pivots on a bearing to make sure that no area is left dry. The circular motion covers a huge area and the spring-loaded arm moves it back to enable it to circle time and time again. The long throw radius which it has means that it could reach a very large area for crop watering or lawn watering. They’re resistant against sand and dirt and can last for a quite a while, and that’s why they are quite frequently used to water crops in an agricultural setting.

These sprinklers are normally utilized in residential areas, however they can be utilized commercially in agriculture and more. By determining the right sprinkler for your certain area and needs, you are going to allow your lawn or garden to stand up to the harsh sun of summer with great health. Sprinklers can make watering any area much easier on you and more efficient for your lawn or garden.