Home and Garden – A Magical Place

Do you have a special tree in your backyard? One that is big enough to sit under? Perhaps big enough to sit under with several of your friends? We have a Chinese elm on our property that we have taken care of over the years. This particular type of tree is notorious for limbs breaking off over the winter and, for city dwellers, is considered a nuisance tree because of the falling branches, seeds and invasive roots. But for those of us that live in the country, the peculiarities of this particular species are easily overlooked. Especially now that we have cleaned up the branches and all the surrounding area and made it into a favorite party spot – not only our favorite but the favorite of our friends and family as well! Depending on where you live, it might be an oak, maple, sycamore or a hundred other varieties. There is nothing quite like a tree to add privacy, value and comfort to your home garden or patio.

After treating our sacred Chinese Elm with the dignity it deserves (the clean-up), each year we string rope lights throughout its canopy. We like to think that the particular way in which we string them up is reminiscent of the Greek ferries that make their way throughout the Greek Isles, that trip being one of our favorites! Our guests are mesmerized by the effect as well. The lighting is just right. Not too bright but just bright enough that everyone can see each other and easily navigate around the site. There is a string of lights over the buffet table, another extending over the bar and strategically placed lights over the tables. Add a campfire to this scene and it’s just about perfect. Plenty of light and warmth plus just enough smoke to keep the mosquitoes away. In this setting, no one is in a hurry to run off because it’s “too dark” or there are “too many bugs.”

Because we live in the country, you might be thinking that the campfire is easy for us to do but that you can’t do that because you live in town or in the suburbs. Not so! A self-contained fire ring or fire pit, either of the wood variety or powered by gas, will allow you to achieve the same effect. One of these units will allow you to safely and easily integrate fire into your backyard patio or garden experience. We have had people of all ages sit around our campfire. It’s amazing how the conversation changes. Old, childhood memories of past camping experiences come flooding back, people wax philosophical about life in general and children are always fascinated by a fire. Sitting by a fire and staring into it just has a way of making us all more reflective and relaxed. It’s kind of like looking back into the origins of the universe… See what I mean?!

Now, to really put the finishing touches on your magical garden or patio experience, add the sound of falling water. Bringing the symphony of water into your space rounds out the experience of being surrounded by Nature. A fountain allows you the sensation of a river or waterfall without leaving your backyard. Sitting next to a fire with the sound of water gently falling in the background soothes the soul and transports one to that feeling of inter-connectedness that we can miss as we work to meet our busy schedules and take care of all the demands of our modern society. A fountain can be a simple, table top affair or it can be a centerpiece of your garden. Combining all of these elements into your backyard garden under your favorite tree(s) makes for a truly “magical” experience!

Using LEDs for Your Home and Garden

LED lights can be used for a wide variety of applications around your home and your garden. The save energy and space, so here are a few ways to incorporate these handy little lights in your home, garage, kitchen and yard:

Driveway Lights

Is your driveway always dark when you come home at night? When you drive up, having decent lighting is crucial to your safety. Use LED lighting products to line your driveway. They are especially handy when you have little space and few electrical outlets available in the area. You even have the option to use solar powered, motion detection or battery powered lighting for this application.

Security Lighting

Not just your driveway and garage, but just about anywhere around your home that is accessible to outsiders, are great areas to consider adding lighting for security purposes. Adding more lighting around your home is proven to deter crime. Think about it, if you are a burglar, you want to choose the easiest place to rob. If your home is well lit, even when you aren’t home, the chances of someone seeing a trespasser around your home is much higher if it is well lit. Criminals want to target homes that are dark and won’t draw attention to themselves when they are lurking around the place.

Pathways

Every pathway around your home, especially the ones that are well traveled like the path from your garage to your front door, can be dangerous to navigate in the dark. You can easily install LED path lighting that only requires the power of the sun to be lit. Solar powered lighting is especially advantageous when the area is not commonly used, but you still want to add some lighting.

Gardens

Your garden can benefit from lighting in its pathways as well. Not just for navigation purposes, but also for aesthetic reasons. You can show off your beautiful flowers or that massive watermelon you have growing. Solar powered lights are especially effective for this area, since they should get a good amount of sun during the day and last quite a while during the night.

Garages

Your garage can be a dangerous place. Make it safer by lighting it up. Even if you don’t have many electrical outlets in your garage, you can still use LED lights that are battery powered. Use them for all the little crevices where you are storing your items to light up and see what you are looking at.

Closets

Your closets are the #1 place to consider using LED lighting in your home. Closets in most homes rarely come equipped with any lighting. Your hall closet, bathroom closet or room closet can be dark with no lighting and that may make it difficult to find what you need. Use battery powered LED lights to light up those closets.

Tips to Get a Great Look For the Home and Garden With Charm

Whenever anyone is looking for a way to bring some peace and tranquility into their lives and surroundings, garden d├ęcor is probably a good place to start. Wind chimes are an ideal way to bring some sound into a peaceful place and the tinkling of these superb pieces of equipment is evocative of cool summer days spent in the peace of the surrounding nature.

But not all decorations and additions to the homestead have to be outside. Indeed, there are many table top fountains that bring a surreal charm to any environment. It used to be that these wonderful pieces of equipment were only for those who had money to burn. Initially, they were very expensive which put them out of the reach of most people. However, with the advent of modern materials and resources, they are now attainable by most people.

Table top fountains, which look like a pile of pebbles on top of each other, hide a wonderful spring like attachment which pumps water out over the stones to give a natural look and sound to the whole thing. Powered by mains electricity, this little gadget looks great in any home.

These kinds of table top water fountains come in many shapes and styles. Even bonsai trees are incorporated in some and water wheels are another favorite feature. The hand of Buddha is another one that many people like because of the connotations of the gesture. African family groups, a flying eagle or perhaps a bamboo style fountain will suit the more ethnic tastes of many but whatever style it is, there is usually one that will suit the individual.

Outside, many people love the thought of helping birds and animals throughout the year. Bird feeders come in many different styles from the rustic to the romantic. These great little feeders will ensure that the birds keep coming back for more and will also encourage them to build nests nearby.

Still outside, solar fountains are also another great way to ensure that birds and small animals will have fresh running water at their disposal all through the year. Because of the small solar panel, the cost of running this kind of equipment is kept to an absolute minimum and it is also ‘green’ energy which is another plus point.

Finally, it is human nature to decorate our homes and patios with wonderful objects that remind us of nature and anything to do with tranquility. Many people these days are finding that when they want to retreat from the rat race, all they have to do is to go into their outside space to find what they need.

Keeping the surroundings simple, with some water features and feeders, is probably the best way to ensure that peace prevails in the green surroundings. Specialist shops have taken not of this and are providing a huge choice of rustic furniture and decorations to enhance the surroundings which has ultimately brought prices down to within reach of the man in the street. This is a great opportunity to get back to nature and peacefulness.

Home and Garden Improvements! Top Tips to a Fabulous Home and Garden

Having the best furniture and the most elegant curtains, classic china and silver ware, most comfortable beds and luxurious bathrooms. This sounds like the perfect home, inside. What does the outside look like? The outside of your house is just as important as the inside. It isn’t just the first thing people see but it’s also a place that you make as homely as the inside is.

The simplest thing you can do is have a nice garden (which you have to maintain too) and a few plants here and there. That again is the simplest, most extravagant which we all would love is a pool and a BBQ area and swings and a fountain and a jacuzzi and a bar and a trampoline even! But that way extravagant and no need to mention expensive. So what are some simpler things we could all get done? Here’s the list.

To keep your lawn nice and green, you can aerate it, you know you need to do this if you have instant pools in the garden every time it rains. Aerating the grass will compress the soil so water can reach the roots. Also feed your grass, it doesn’t take care of itself. If you cut back on fertilizer late in the summer you’ll prevent perennials from wasting energy on leaf production. Applying high-phosphate mix to the lawn in autumn will encourage the roots to turf green early in spring.

Keeping the grass at it’s best is the best thing you can do to keep the outside looking nice and clean, after that the designing is up to you. You can hire a contractor to do simple things outside your home like some landscaping around the plants, or have a nice little patio mad at the back of the house, some roofing and you have a little picnic area. All you need is the BBQ grill and some furniture.

Also make sure furniture you buy is meant for the outside as weather may ruin indoor meant furniture. Keep all the furniture clean and waxed with cleaners again meant for outside furniture. If you’re getting one of those inflatable pools then have the area checked for safety. It would be horrible if you put the pool up then it comes down while you’re in it!