Archive for July, 2017

Concrete Design Ideas

It is time to get away from plain and boring concretes. If you want to add textures or a pattern, certain techniques can be applied during the curing process No more gray walkways and driveways.

Concrete is one of the most widely used building materials worldwide because of its strength and durability. For professional landscapers, it offers the added benefit of being one of the most versatile materials available for enhancing outdoor spaces because it offers unlimited design flexibility in terms of shape, color and texture. Concrete is also very cost-effective when compared with other paving materials. Here is an overview of the advantages, as well as the limitations, of using concrete to enhance your outdoor space.

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Why Choose Concrete for Your Project:

  • Durability – Concrete is more durable and longer lasting than many other building materials and endures extreme weather conditions and heavy foot traffic. It also resists the abrasion of heavy outdoor patio furniture.
  • Versatility – Concrete can be used for many applications both in and around the home. It’s often thought of as primarily a paving material for patios, sidewalks and driveways. However you can also use concrete to make countertops, sinks, fireplaces, outdoor waterscapes and even furniture.
  • Design flexibility – Concrete offers unlimited design flexibility. It can be cast in nearly any form or shape and has the ability to be stamped, stained, dyed or colored.
  • Easy maintenance – Concrete is a solid surface that is easy to keep clean and free from debris and weed growth. Regular washing and resealing every few years will keep it looking good for decades.

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Fall Decorating Ideas

I’m so excited to decorate our house this coming fall. It is the ideal time for bringing the colors of the harvest season into your home, and onto your porch. Below are some simple decorating ideas to celebrate the colorful autumn season.

The coming of fall needs to make some changes in your home decorations, by using these simple fall decorating ideas that you can Do-it-yourself to add warmth and excitement to the house. Using this collection of the best Fall decorating ideas will make your home look awesome, especially if you have a party the guests will love these ideas.

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Pumpkin Decorating Ideas

  • The first thing that reminds us of the fall is the pumpkin, So using it in the decor for fall will be perfect, especially if you use White pumpkin will be attractive and eye catching and put it on shelves or above the fireplace.
  • Think about decorating outside the pumpkin by using white lace doily over the stem.

Candle Lamps

Using old candle lamps hanged on wall Is a smart step to add a classic touch to your home decor.

Fall Table Settings

Fall party needs to have a cozy fall table settings to make your guests feel the spirit of fall, Setting the table for fall fits Thanksgiving and Halloween party.

After choosing colorful and consistent tableware, Then you can start to think about place cards, you can use DIY ideas to make your guests surprised with your planning, for Example, you can use napkins tied with herbs and ribbon and golden label for the guest name. Or you can use fruit curved with the guest’s name.


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The Wonders of Health Benefits That Gardening Offers

Any leisure activity or pastime gives us enjoyment in many simple ways. It’s a lot more enjoyable when you are not just having a good time yourself but also others. Similar to gardening, while providing others a lovely scenery, you are also having fun with it. Learn more of the benefits associated with gardening.

1. It’ll make way for exercising for both older adults and children

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2. It boosts mental health by reduction of emotional stress

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

4. Gardening also absolutely has a bearing on self-esteem and sleep.

5. Can build friendship with people with same passion.

Some might simply take gardening as being a basic activity but studies have actually compared some gardening intense tasks with other sports such as going swimming, walking and weight lifting. The following are sample activities.

1. Transporting heavy things

2. digging holes

3. Mowing the lawn

4. Transferring soils

5. Removing weed growth

From the above described functions, all of these demand muscle strength. By working out your arms and leg, it is possible to prevent coronary illnesses. Also, if you do this routinely, for instance 2-3 hours each week, you’ll be able to prevent serious illnesses like obesity, osteoporosis and high blood. Besides those physical benefits, it can significantly help the family in lowering expenses for food since you can just plant vegetables in your yard and if there are extra, you can sell it to your neighbors.

Stress and anxiety brings about frustration, headaches, stomach aches, heart attacks and aggravate pre-existing problems in the body. Everybody knows that excessively sitting and non-active life specifically for elder would bring health risk and irritability therefore motivating them to do little spurts of hobby can easily make a significant difference. Gardening has emerged in recent years as a clinically proven stress reliever. We can also let the children to be with the nature as an increasing number of people today opts to stay home playing with their gadgets. Yet through gardening, they can start understanding the science of life and how everything nourishes should they be taken care of. They’re going to start to comprehend more and see the application of things taught at school like botany, genetics and nutrition.

Although you may enjoy gardening a lot, a number of tasks are not in your capabilities therefore you also need to employ people who can get the job done for you like garden clearance.

You could employ landscape gardeners who definitely are experts in this area. They won’t only clear your garden but in addition offer you useful suggestion on what is best for the soil and the trees to cultivate. Therefore, we see that gardening is definitely a delightful hobby, which apart from giving you joy, it also keeps you away from health hazards. Research has shown that you could also save a lot should you do gardening. You can even do your part for nature and environment through gardening. Above all like laughing, gardening is also one of the best medicines that work wonders in human lives.


7 Warning Signs Of A Hazardous Tree

Growing trees in your very own backyard garden unquestionably gives a great deal of advantages. However, we’re also often unaware of the dangers that poor trees might cause. So, the capacity to distinguish unhealthy trees is vital not to mention taking proper corrective ways to reduce injuries and property damage.

Determining if the tree has an issue or has a disease is hard. It make take some specialist to fully diagnose the infection of your tree. However, you might also see whether your tree seem to be having the signs of deterioration.

1. Strange shape. Does your tree have a weird shape that appears poorly formed? These trees might require removal simply because they lack structural integrity if it’s confirmed to have an issue.


2. Multiple trunks. If a tree has multiple trunk or leaders, it is likely to be weaker than a healthy tree. The shape of a trunk or where the union of stem connects indicates whether a tree is potentially dangerous. If there are excess or more than two leaders, then you must cable all of them.

3. Dead wood. There is nothing much you can do with a dead tree other than having it eliminated quickly. Dead trees and branches are very unstable and can fall anytime. Dead wood is dry, brittle and easily breaks as it cannot bend once the wind blows like a living tree.

4. Weak branch unions. Be sure to check where the branches meet the trunk of the tree, referred to as unions, to be especially sure there is no damage there. Check how good the branches seems to be attached to the tree, as weak unions have no integrity and the branches may come falling down. Take a look at all of the branches and leaves, simply because the crown of the tree in perfect shape, does not always mean the remainder of the tree is.

5. Inspect trunks and branches for peeling bark, hollow cavities or mushroom and fungi growth on the bark. Visibility of these is often a sign of decay, especially if the origin of the growth is from within the wood as opposed to the extremity of the bark only. The decision whether or not to preserve the tree is determined by your arborists.

6. Hanging Branches. They are branches that cracked or broke, or “healed” badly and are holding by a line. There’s a simple possibility it can be still alive or dead already. Arborists call these broken branches as hangers. In most instances, they must be detached but if you are in doubt, you can consult a professional arborist.

7. Cankers. They’re areas of roughened or cracked bark, particularly around wounds and branch stubs that’s generally due to fungus that penetrates the tree. Should your tree has canker fungi, try to take it out of the tree to avoid infection and spread as early as possible.


Choosing the Right Neighborhood for Your New Home

Buyers spend quite a lot of time in checking online for their perfect home within their price range. Few people devote some time on learning the community of their prospective homes. When acquiring a home irrespective of whether for resale or perhaps your permanent address, make certain to check for the area. In this article, we’ll talk about how to decide on the perfect area for your new home.

Crime and safety: Crime and safety locally are important. To find out the crime statistics of that community, do some searching online thru search engines such as MSN, Yahoo, Google, etc. You will find the relevant information for the area or community.

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Location: Even if the residence is not that pleasing but if its near to major institutions like hospital, academic institutions and etc then it’s a good buy! An excellent location will always be a good thing no matter what the real estate market does later on. Make sure that the means of transportation is available.

You need to approximation the time of travel from the house to the workplace. Check out also for route navigation, public transit alternatives, taxi fares, transit stop distance along with other personal requirements. The real estate agent must offer alternate options in regards to these factors to help you still economize.

Schools: Check for academic institutions locally. This should help you send your children effortlessly and do not waste time. Even though you may not have kids to educate or do not plan for children, academic institutions in the neighborhood are a good feature. This is because it will add considerably to the worth of your house. In a nationwide survey executed by Redfin in 2013 reveals that People in america pay $50 more per square feet to homes that have top ranked schools in town than regular ranked school.

Property Taxes: Property taxes are based on the worth of the property, which includes land and improvements, and are determined by the local government. You need to consider these costs since, dependant upon the area, they can be extremely high.

Take a look at current value of the homes in that area and average worth in the past five to ten years.

Carefully consider any enhancement the past five to ten years or any development plans in the future.These improvements will likely lead to hike in taxes and the price of the house may change accordingly.

It usually is difficult to get a house that meets all of the buyer’s targets while keeping within the budget. Great deals can often be found if the buyer would like to make a compromise on exact place, size or other aspects. If you’re not assured in your decision or your home prospects, it is possible seek the assistance of a realtor to give you various options.

4 Types of Backyard Patios

A well set up patio has the potential to enhance the functionality of the exterior space while increasing the market value of the home. Patios give a great spot to enjoy nature, eat meals from the grill, or perhaps chill out with the family. These come in different types and designs to make it much easier to complement the outside of the house. Here are four common patio choices:

Dry-Laid Patio

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You do not need specific tools, extra power, or a fat bank account when you want to undertake a dry-laid patio. If you possibly can control a shovel, wield a hammer, make use of a lever, and lift stones and also if you’re willing to take some time working with your hands outdoors, perhaps you can do it right all on your own. It is just simply setting stones on a layer of sand and gravel. However, you simply need to take some account on the positioning of the stones in order that there’s a proper drainage on the place.

Mortar Patio

Mortar patio is basically the same as dry-laid style but instead of sand and gravel, it utilizes mortar. If you live at an area where it frequently rains or the weather conditions varies from mild winters to hot summers, the sand tends to wash down after which it gets sloping. This mortar is perfect to seal the stones and fill out the gaps in the stones. It truly is a lot more permanent when compared with dry-laid patio.

Slap Patio

Slab patios are constructed with an acceptable foundation which enables it to support substantial load which implies it is stronger when compared to two stated earlier. While this type is fantastic, they’re also very pricey. You need to work with a professional company to have this task completed particularly if you don’t have expertise in construction works. Professionals can make sure that the patio is set up based on your preference plus they can ensure that the quality of the work. The concrete is continuously leveled and smoothed till it is totally set and dry.

Raised Patios

A raised patio is commonly applied if you wish the patio floor to be at the exact level as the house floor that it is accessed. Normally the whole seating area, furniture or other components are elevated, improving the sights of the surrounding property. This style also has a retaining wall built. The retaining wall can be constructed direct to the concrete base. Guide lines are to ensure every course is level and the lines are straight.

With such a range of patio designs, patterns, and components obtainable, the final verdict to make on the favored choice could be very confusing. Preferably, you want to consider a collection of images published in the top home improvement magazines or internet sites to have a full appreciation of the very most attractive alternatives in the market.


How To Style A Garden Window

You can enhance your window’s view with plants. You will feel refreshed if you look at the green garden and nice fragrance from the beautiful flowers all around your house. And it’s also a unique way of having a garden in your home.


When my hubby and I bought our house last year, we were thrilled that it came with a garden window, also known as a greenhouse window. This protruding glass structure with a sloping roof adds light to our interior, and it’s the perfect place to tuck plants and other decorative items. Many homes built in the ’80s feature these windows–do you have visions of them filled with figurines and stained glass ornaments?! Let’s bring these wonders of the past into the present, shall we? After all, many new homes feature them as well. Today I’m on the hunt for modern garden window displays. Get ready for some new strategies for combining retro design with contemporary style!

It’s All About the Plants

The first thing I learned when researching modern garden window style: there aren’t a lot of people making modern decor choices for these windows and posting them online! But I was determined to find some interesting ideas, so I remained persistent in my hunt for fabulous images. By far the most popular item to place in a garden window is plants!

One way to get a modern look: create a purposeful arrangement of plants. In other words, don’t clutter the window with random greenery. Put some thought into an arrangement that is bountiful yet anything but crowded.


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A Beginner’s Guide To Saving Seeds From Your Favorite Vegetables

Many gardeners like to save seeds they have collected from their own gardens.  It’s easy to save seeds especially to those fruits and vegetables that we eat. After eating them we can save those seeds, dry them up and plant them for the next season.

If left to them their own devices, fleshy fruits naturally fall to the earth, where some of their seeds sprout when spring arrives again. Saving seeds from these plants mimics nature’s way—and it’s not at all difficult to do. But remember that only seeds from open-pollinated, not hybrid, plants will produce the same crop next year. (The packet that the original seeds arrived in will tell you whether the variety is open-pollinated or hybrid.) And, except for tomatoes, the plants shouldn’t be cross-pollinated by insects (which would happen if several varieties grew in the same area).

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Peppers are the easiest. The seeds are mature after the peppers have changed color, indicating final ripeness. Cut the peppers open, scrape out the seeds onto a plate—reserving the flesh for eating—and let the seeds dry in a nonhumid, shaded place, testing them occasionally until they break rather than bend. What could be simpler?

(Note: Dry all wet seeds on a glass or ceramic plate. Spread the seeds evenly over the surface of the plate and stir twice daily to ensure even drying and to keep them from clumping together. Don’t dry seeds on paper plates or paper towels—they’ll stick like glue. A food dehydrator set at 85 degrees works well, but don’t dry them in a warm oven or any place the temperature exceeds 95 degrees.)

Melons And Squash

Muskmelons, watermelons, and winter squash? Super easy. Cut muskmelons open, scoop the seeds into a strainer, rinse, and set out to dry. Watermelons are almost as easy. Put the seeds in a strainer and add a dash of dishwashing liquid to remove any sugar left on the seeds. Rinse and dry.


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5 Invasive Trees You Should Never, Ever Plant

While trees help a lot in preserving our environment, there are also some trees that disrupt native ecosystems. Check out those trees that we should avoid planting and why we should avoid them.

It’s hard to ignore the glamour and glitz exotic plants can bring to the garden—who can resist a different shade of flowers, or a new, unusual fruit? Some exotics, however, are best avoided if they have a tendency to outcompete native varieties. Invasive species can wreak havoc in native plant communities once they escape the garden’s confines—and the five trees listed below surely will.


Mimosa tree

Despite belonging to an increasingly meddlesome genus, the mimosa tree (Albizia julibrissin ) is a difficult specimen for gardeners to pass over. Brushy pink flowers adorn the tree in summer, morphing into flattened bean-like pods in the fall. Mounded against double-compound, dark green leaves, the tree’s blowsy blossoms attract all manner of pollinators from bees to beetles to butterflies. Adaptable to full sun and part shade, the tree is also drought tolerant and vigorously re-sprouts when cut or disturbed (read: it’s a nightmare to get rid of). Hardy in USDA zones 6-9 mimosa is now spreading across the eastern US, striking out into abandoned fields, popping up along roadsides and even invading the fringes of forests.

Princess tree

Another beautiful bruiser, the princess tree (Paulownia tomentosa) has gotten a serious leg up on its US invasion by human admirers. First introduced in the early 1800s, princess tree is so called for its large, tubular purple blossoms which appear in spring. In USDA zones 6-9 the tree’s canopy is a cloud of fragrant flowers in April, attractive to early spring pollinators. Unfortunately, this species spreads easily through self-seeding and has begun to colonize natural areas, outcompeting other forest trees. A single well-nourished garden specimen can act as the seed source for new wild populations, creating millions of seeds that are easily broadcast by both wind and water.

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Quick, Easy Techniques for Preserving the Harvest

In this article you will find basic methods for preservation of your harvest. With these techniques you can enjoy the harvest from your garden for an extended period of time.


Most gardeners find growing a great tomato or a beautiful bed of zinnias is easier than keeping houseplants alive. ONE of the best parts of summer is having an abundance of fresh food from the garden. But that very abundance becomes stressful toward the end of the season when my before- or after-work strolls reveal perfectly ripe and delicious vegetables about to go to waste.

Some weeks I just can’t find the time to can tomatoes, make a batch of salsa or chili, or make jelly, jam or pickles. Maybe I should plant a smaller garden, you say? Well … I can’t. I could probably skip the eggplant and tomatillos and Swiss chard altogether, but they’re like old friends. I’m always glad to see them and I’d miss their distinctive form and leaves and flowers and fruit. I could surely get by without so many tomato and pepper plants, but they are so robust and so generous and so happy in my garden that come spring I just can’t reduce the number I plant.

If you, too, find yourself with more vegetables than time, here are a few of the super-quick, after-work solutions that I use to save some of summer’s bounty for cold winter days.


To preserve peppers for winter stir-fries, salads and sandwiches, all you need is a little extra space in the back of your freezer or refrigerator. I preserve both sweet and hot peppers, and the methods described below work well for either type.

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