Category Archives: Home Improvement

Better Homes and Gardens

If there’s one magazine that caters to the needs and requirements of every family, it has to be Better Homes and Gardens magazine. As the name suggests, the topics relate to the overall growth of not just the four walls comprising home, but also the aesthetic appeal of your abode. With newer and fresher ideas to perk up your home and garden, Better Homes and Gardens magazine sure knows how to fire up the imagination of family-oriented people, like you.

The importance of a nicely decked up home and garden can never be undermined. After all, your home is the first creator of opinions about the people living in it. For the outsiders, your home and garden reflect your personality. And it is your duty to make your home and garden a desirable place for the visitors as well as those living in it.

And here’s where the useful tips from Better Homes and Gardens magazine come in handy. The topics are as diverse as possible. There’s hardly any aspect relating to home improvement and gardening that is not covered by this magazine. The topics range from ideas for decorating to cooking to gardening to building to rebuilding and remodeling to education to travel to healthy living to healthy recipes and money management. The how-to tips are both interesting and vital for any beautiful home. You may have the best of resources but if you don’t know how to make the best use of these resources, then having these resources is meaningless.

Primarily targeted at husband and wives who have family as their top-most priority, Better Homes and Gardens magazine is both informational and inspirational. You get to learn so many things about home improvement, gardening and healthy living in a single issue that you’d love to keep all the yearly issues with you as a ready reference.

Subscription to Better Homes and Gardens magazine is a simple process. But if you go the normal way, it could get heavy on your pocket. However, buying online subscription can be explored in order to avail heavy discounts. A cool 80% saving on the annual subscription of this exclusive magazine is in the offing if you go the Internet route. Considering the value-for-money proposition, such a tempting offer is too hard to resist, especially if you own a home with a garden.

Home Improvement Television

The everyday home improvement television program has really evolved. Especially in the last five years, home improvement and do-it-yourself (DIY) decorating shows have taken off and are increasingly popular with viewers. Today, show range from in-depth analysis of full house flips to simple decorating how-to’s that focus on a single project.

Traditionally, television centered on home repair was similar to courses on TV. They picked a project – like caulking a window – and showed you, step-by-step, how to do it. As informative and useful as this is, it can get boring for some viewers and is better suited to the home video or DVD format.

As the how-to style of house development episodes moved to home libraries and the DIY section of your hardware store, the reality TV type of home renovation started appearing on television. Soon, such TV programming was fun and entertaining, and people were actually watching.

So many people were watching that whole networks sprouted up around the concept of home and garden improvement. People liked watching real people take on real house development projects. They got to see the mistakes, pitfalls and the joy of a project well completed.

Now, unlike your traditional home renovation program, the new style of shows don’t always focus on the how-to details of each project. Instead, they offer a broader look at an overall concept or major project. Though not great for specific information, these shows are a fantastic resource for new ideas and decorating tips.

Types of Home Renovation Programs on the Tube

An example of a classic and traditional how-to home development show is “This Old House.” Since 1979, Bob Vila has been teaching viewers at home how to take on everything from replacing a leaky faucet to laying a foundation. Though the show has a new host now and a slew of spin-off series, it continues to focus on quality craftsmanship and the basics of a job well done.

In the new style of home remodeling shows are programs like Flip This House, where featured participants are real, live people who are trying, on their own, to purchase, renovate and sell a house for profit. Unlike programs with a how-to angle, these focus on the emotional stress involved with major home repairs as well as overall project management on a large scale.

Finally, there are the big programs like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. In a program like this, the producers bring in trucks of labor, experts, materials, and furniture to completely overhaul a home in just a few days.

The Secret of Beautiful Grounds and Gardens

Architecturally, today’s residence is a great deal more an element of the great outdoors than was the case in the past. Large picture windows, glass walls, glassed-in sun porches and terraces all blend to help make your garden an important part of the home. As a consequence, that view becomes that much more important. A magnificent garden, a luxuriant turf and healthy blossoming trees all add just as much to the inside of your home as your drapes or wallpaper. The time and effort you spend on your lawns and gardens will repay you in each and every way, indoors as well as out. Any time you plan your grounds you will find yourself influenced by many of the guidelines you make use of in decorating your home. Proportion, texture, color, line, harmony, function. These are terms that pertain to landscaping as well as decorating. And if you have extensive grounds you will profit from careful planning just as much as will the one who owns only a third of an acre.

Gardening books are packed with conventional blueprints for perfect gardens and grounds, but you should take time to consider not just the perfect garden itself, but the one particular plan that will be perfect for your particular family. Research your family, its needs and habits; then fashion your grounds to best satisfy its prejudices, dreams and expectations. Obviously, you may be influenced by considerations of cost and available space. Draw a plan of your property in fairly large scale, about inch to the foot. Now make an inventory of the things that the family wants, say, for example a barbecue, tool house, drying yard, rock garden, fences, playhouse, badminton court, better lounging facilities.

If you aren’t fortunate enough and have spacious grounds, you most probably won’t be able to work everything into your scheme; but with Planning it is possible to do things gradually. You are able to plan in advance so that your garden never looks bare and yet is always spacious enough for the additions you are going to make in the coming years. Some projects provide more than one function. For instance, if you want a driveway and you have young children, a blacktop that you can use for hopscotch and bicycle riding offers a double purpose, and easily justifies its cost. Or a fence that reduces a less than perfect view might also act as a windbreak as well as a handsome background for a lounging area. A retaining wall can be used as a rock garden when planted with hardy dwarf shrubs along with other rock-garden species.

Typically, most grounds are divided in three ways:
(1) The public area, the area that can be observed from the street.
(2) The service area, which consists of garage and parking facilities, delivery facilities, clothes-drying equipment, outside storage space and garbage disposal.
(3) The private area, ideally located at the rear of the house. Here is your outdoor area, available for games and lounging; a terrace or outdoor dining area; the children’s playground in addition to a garden with flowers, fruits, vegetables, walks and, perhaps, pool.

In each division there will be some things to aim for and some to avoid. Within your front, or public area, to provide an example, arrange for a minimum of care. Choose flowers and shrubs that will help you present an appealing look for the passer-by at any time without having undue maintenance on your part, in order that when you can’t find a way to give so much time as you would like to your grounds, the front of your property is still presentable.

In your service area, prepare for off-street parking for deliveries that may be made without intrusion inside the privacy of your lawn or terrace.

For your personal private area, make use of the largest part of your plot; take full advantage of established trees as well as the shade afforded by your house and garage for lounging spots. Have seating in pleasant corners and screen off the children’s play areas from the other parts of the garden.

Without a doubt, landscaping design is definitely a never-ending adventure, an activity which is as gratifying as it’s beautifying, for the creation and proper care of flowers and trees, vines and shrubs, lawns and fences, brings luxury into the home, happiness to the family, and pleasure to everyone who observes the beauty of a “well-dressed” house.

For the most eye-catching and rewarding usage of your grounds, I suggest you include in your plans almost all of the factors outlined in this article. Such essentials like a really good lawn, thriving shady trees and paths and walks are in most cases taken for granted, however often they are the most difficult to achieve, and may even absorb a significant part of your early effort and resources. At the same time, these types of project such as an outdoor living room, having its cooking and entertaining facilities, was probably overlooked in past times simply because it seemed too difficult to accomplish. However such “thought to be difficult” features will add tremendously towards your enjoyment and may even, depending on what type you choose, be achieved with relatively little effort and cost!

The use of trees.

Perhaps if any one feature could be singled out as basic to successful landscaping, it’s the existence of fine trees. The regrettable tendency of developers to cut down trees in a wholesale manner, and also the growing use of treeless fields for brand new building, has focused attention on the homeowner who must start out with nothing when it comes to trees. Architects agree that a single shade tree, even of medium height, can certainly make very great difference in the comfort and liveability of a residence. It truly is amazing to find out exactly what a tree can do for a house. A tree in leaf, for instance, can aid in reducing noises from the street. A tree tall enough to throw shade covering the rooftop can materially reduce heat in summer. Trees can help reduce the quantity of dust around a house and will shield you from winds.

But there are additionally the many esthetic considerations. Properly located, they are able to greatly alter the lines of your home. They are able to give a small house dignity; appear to decrease the ungainly height of any tall house; soften the lines of a new house and provide you with welcome contrasts in color and texture. Plan right from the start to plant new trees, which will coordinate with the colors of your house and best suit its architectural style. When you are planning for new trees bear in mind the annual cycle of the tree; how long it holds its leaves, what its colors are during blossoming, whether it is in fruit or full berry, as well as in fall, when its leaves change color.

Arrange to contrast flowering deciduous trees with evergreens; slimmer trees that owe a great deal of their virtue to the color and line of their trunks and branches; the white clump birch, for example, with trees that happen to be chiefly beautiful in mass, for instance the weeping willow or the new purple fringe. (The latter is a tree that looks similar to a cloud of smoke when in bloom.)

Should you be considering views for large grounds (and this is a useful rule even for smaller spaces) have within your design a foreground, a middle ground and also a background. A background is most naturally composed of large trees. Here you may choose to use a number of the varieties of rough and irregular growth which might not look too well close up. These trees will provide a delicate texture to what would alternatively be an unbroken and monotonous background surface.

In the foreground use flowering shrubs. Then, towards the middle ground, take advantage of the many medium-sized trees and large shrubs which can be singled out for colorful foliage or blossoming.

These suggestions apply primarily to new planting. Should you have just bought your premises and therefore are considering removing a tree that blocks a view, or is otherwise undesirable, I ask you to wait no less than a year. Tolerate the tree, observe it in its various colors throughout the season’s and carefully consider its advantages along with its disadvantages, bear in mind a tree once destroyed is not easy or quick to replace.

Apart from the ornamental features of trees, two of the most important ways in which they can improve your property are by screening and giving shade. Perhaps you are overlooking a chance to use one of the shade trees on your grounds for a pleasant gathering spot. Put down some paving, place a few deck chairs there, and come summer everyone will gravitate to this spot. Use the shade of your trees for the children’s area, and if you don’t have a tree on the south, southeast or southwest side of your house, plant one or two there. If you are using trees to screen off an unpleasant view, use evergreens, which will undoubtedly do the trick the entire year round.

In deciding what trees you would like to acquire, or preserve, consider their ability to thrive in your particular climate and soil conditions. Also, check out their rate of growth. If you have a brand new house you’ll be wanting quick-growing trees and shrubs that bloom within two or three years after transplanting. Sometimes however, much like foundation planting, a slower rate of growth is helpful. This could mean the tree isn’t going to be bothered by crowding. Also take into account the shape, color of blossoms and foliage, height and spread. Also it is advisable to steer clear of trees that spoil a lawn or terrace with seed droppings or insects. Don’t consider only the old favorites but also any of the best new Oriental and European importations, and the many colorful new hybrids as well. And do not discount the value of fruit and nut trees as ornamental trees, for many are lovely, particularly in the spring.

Have a Good Lawn

A really good lawn is a basic need for attractive and enjoyable grounds. At the time you plant a tree you choose to do so realizing that you are planting for many years, even for generations. Few realize, however, that lawns need to be planted in the same spirit. The lawns of numerous celebrated estates were planted over 100 years ago, and this type of turf, luxuriously verdant, is invariably an inspiration. Today’s lawn builder is fortunate. The battle against weeds and poor soils can certainly be won, on account of the development of the latest chemicals. And modern spreaders, mowers along with other tools will help you establish a park like lawn.

But ending up with a first-class lawn is sometimes a considerably more problematic matter than scattering seed or plucking weeds. You will want to have your soil analyzed, and after that, quite possibly, change its make-up. Perhaps you will need to drain or grade. Prior to selecting your seed formula, consider the use to which your lawn will be put. Would you like a general-purpose area or will it be a showplace within your garden where you will strive for a putting-green lawn? Apart from problem lots in suburban areas, where the living quarters outside is small and may have to be paved, the lawn is definitely the broad canvas on which you paint the picture with flowers, shrubs, trees and walks. Keep it larger than any other area, certainly two or three times the width of the respective borders and beds.

Flowers

You’ll be wanting flowers for cutting and flowers for contributing gaiety and charm within your grounds. The objective of the successful gardener is to have a succession of flowers from early spring to late fall. You can easily plan right from the start to have perennials which bloom at different seasons, (for example, iris, which has the peak of its bloom just as the peony season begins). Know accurately when the perennials bloom and then plan to fill in the gaps left by their passing with prolific and quick-growing annuals. You can arrange to have a potting bed, perhaps in your vegetable garden or perhaps in a sheltered spot behind your tool house or garage, where you could grow extra annuals in addition to those perennials that do not mind being transplanted. Then when the tulip season passes, for instance, you are able to fill in with another tall bulb, a summer-flowering one, like for example, the canna lily.

Your plan really should be made on paper, with the shape of the bed or border sketched in, along with the position of the plants indicated. Perhaps the most widespread and feasible design for the average 60 x 100-foot lot, and even the half-acre lot, is the border running the length of the rear wall of the backyard. This is usually a mixed border of summer-flowering bulbs, perennials and annuals, backed by shrubs. Other designs can be planned for the center of the lawn, for the foundation planting, for the pathways to the house and for the sides of the house. Semi-formal or formal gardens could have borders or beds created alongside of and divided by walks.

In planning your border, provide for tall screening plants that can form a background for the shorter plants. The screening plants may need staking but they should be sturdy. If you have a wide border, over 6 feet, you will need a narrow path in front of the screening plants for cultivating and tending. The center border plants are of medium height, and can be chosen for vivid color. If you are planning a wide border, relatively tall plants such as iris go here. In the foreground is your edging, composed of such neat and plainly visible flowers as: clipped green perennials, or low-growing petunia, ageratum, pansies, dwarf marigolds or sweet alyssum.

Foundation Planting

The special planting carried out close to the house is called foundation planting and is very important since it improves and enhances the proportions of your house as well as relating the house to the grounds. Evergreens are frequently used for foundation planting, not necessarily just because they can thrive within the shade of the dwelling, but because of their year-round beauty.

If you haven’t used evergreens elsewhere, though, it’s actually a mistake to suddenly make use of them at the foundation. The contrast will be too sharp; the evergreens are inclined to look forbidding. There remains lots of flowering shrubs, dwarf fruit trees, roses and cushion chrysanthemums, which may lend color to your foundation design in spring, summer and fall. Japanese redleaf barberry, floribunda roses, flowering quince and forsythia are among the bushes and plants that you can use.

Though it may be tempting to try one of each of the nursery’s evergreen specimens as part of your foundation planting, this ought to of course, be avoided. Having said that, contrast tall and low-growing types: use stiff-needled pines with feathery juniper with broadleafed laurel and rhododendron.

As part of your preliminary planning, draw to scale the relationship between your house elevation and the foundation shrubs and trees as they will look at mature height. Perhaps a few of those you have selected are going to be too tall for your specific house, obscuring your windows and making the house gloomy inside. In that case, you wouldn’t want them.

Generally speaking, since your entrance is the most important feature of your property facade, you start your planning with it in your mind, using shrubs that direct the eye toward the entrance. The planting in front of the house is usually bowl-shaped in its overall outline. This gives the appearance of a broad base to the house. Every now and then, let the wall show to the foundation. Locate the tallest shrubbery at the corners of your house.

Outdoor Living Room

These days, when building costs make large houses prohibitive, one technique to extend your house is to use your outdoor area to full advantage. And quite a few contemporary houses make many a room look larger by visually extending it directly into the lawn or garden. Tricks which include glass walls, employing the same wall material inside as for a continuing wall on the terrace, and using the same material for the ceiling inside as on the extended terrace eaves help to do this. Your living room or dining room and even your bedroom or your children’s bedrooms can flow right outdoors on to “floating” decks of wood, bricked terraces or sodded, lattice-roofed loggias.

However you do it, by making use of vine, fences, shrubbery, shade trees and flowers you are able to your terrace a wonderful place for entertaining, sun-bathing and relaxing. Having a barbecue another dimension is added, for with your personal fireplace or barbecue any terrace, lawn or garden spot will offer the blithe enchantments of dining under sun and stars.

In planning your terrace, consider installing an electric powered outlet for lighting, portable radio, electric spit for your barbecue, etc. Use vines for a lattice roof (grape vines, for example, leaf out late when shade is wanted and drop their leaves early at the outset of cool weather, giving delicious fruit as bonus). Choose a rapid-growing vine like grape, hyacinth or the gourd vine.

Relate your terrace to the remainder of your grounds with flowers and vines grown in pots, baskets and tubs. In the event the wall of the house next to your terrace seems bare or the profile of your cement or asphalt paving seems too sharp in contrast against the grass, soften the line with pots of plants. Have dwarf trees upon your terrace and blossoming shrubs in the terrace-retaining walls. Create interest with changes of level; build flower beds around trees, steps and walls.

For a terrace where everybody in the household assembles, have play space for youngsters, a sand box which, is capable of being filled with plants later on, or a little square pool for sailing small boats (this can create a sense of luxury even after the children are adults).

You need not depend upon trees alone for shade. Create a self-bracing terrace roof in an egg-crate design, utilizing the side of your house and wood, masonry or metal pillars. Corrugated plastic and reinforced glass are frequently used nowadays since they will be watertight, yet let the sunlight through.

Becoming more popular these days – particularly in hot climates – is the “parasol” roof, extending out of the walls of the property some 4 feet and even further to give pleasant shade to the vicinity. Since glare reflected on bare grounds is a source of heat, a carpet of shaded grass under the parasol roof helps to keep the property cool.

Often an outdoor living space gets twice the utilization when it is made more accessible. A window in a family room can be transformed into a French door, that makes it more natural to step right out on the terrace as opposed to walking around the property in order to reach it. A flagstone, or any other path, leading to a terrace away from the house will raise the usefulness of the terrace. Some sort of hard flooring is of prime importance, whether it be brick, crushed rock, cement, wood block, or flagstone, because it makes it easier to maneuver the furnishings around and eliminates worries over tramped-on turf. In reality, it is a wise decision to create a terrace in a spot where you are experiencing difficulty with the lawn.

Outdoor living space is a winner, too, when it is sheltered-away from street noises and traffic, from the neighbors, and from the wind. By making use of fences and walls, an unused corner of the house or the garage, can turn into a sun-trap that will extend the season for outdoor living in both spring and fall. A louvered board fence, a basket-weave fence, or the traditional brick wall, all are pleasant backgrounds for planting and good screens against wind as well as other disturbing elements.

Play Area

A play area designed to keep your young children in their own back yard, where you can keep a cautious intermittent eye on them, need not be an unattractive one. Incorporate a paved area if you can, for bicycle riding, skating, hopscotch, etc. The sandbox could be a sunken one, flush with the lawn, or it might be a raised box, an extension of a wall or fence which could be planted later. Such imaginative ideas as hollowing out and painting an old stump to be employed for a puppet theatre; obtaining an unseaworthy row-boat that could be gaily decorated for playing Robinson Crusoe; or installing a ladder for climbing the side of the tool shed or a garden wall, in order that climbing in other places may be out-of-bounds, are ideas that will keep the “gang” at your house.

Drying Yard and Service Area

Propose to have your drying yard and service area out of sight yet close enough to the house so that you will not be inconvenienced. Screen these areas with shrubbery or fences. The service area ought to include propagating beds, cold frames, a tool shed or storage locker and your compost pit if you have one. Hotbeds and cold frames need to be located in a spot where they will be shielded from north and northwest winds. Take care not to place your cold frame in a damp place except if you have first drained it thoroughly with drain tile.

A vegetable garden can certainly be a source of great enjoyment. It ought to be out of sight in a corner, or screened with shrubbery, on account of the seasons when there is nothing growing in it. But it can be a decorative addition to the garden, especially if there are grass walks and attractive flowers around walks so that they occupy a minimum of room and yet provide a sufficiently strong surface for the traffic they will likely bear, calls for careful thinking. The well-designed house and grounds include the garage near to the house and close to the street. The garage situated at the back of the property is a hangover from horse-and-buggy days when the stable needed to be remote from the house. Today when most of home owners have cars, space should be saved by using a garage path which also functions as the house path, or feeds into a short house walk. But although the driveway could be a short one, plan for off-street parking- have your driveway no less than 20 feet from the street.

Most home driveways fail under heavy service trucks and traffic because the soil beneath the driveway is wet. Adequate drainage for wet spots, therefore, is a necessity. Good driveway materials are stable, and should not get washed away by storms or shoveled up with snow. If, however, the driveway really needs to be long and does form an essential feature of your landscaping, a reliable material may need to be passed up in favor of one like gravel or crushed rock, which is able to blend better with the surroundings.

Well-designed walks with neat edgings, steps which appear to belong where they are placed, and intriguing little paths that lead you deeper into the garden, are capable of doing much to further improve your grounds. You can scarcely lay too much focus on your choice of material. Concrete paths and steps, for instance, while often exactly the required thing, can form too sharp a contrast with the surrounding turf and planting. Informal walks of wood butts (perhaps slices of telephone poles), flagstones, or tanbark may very well be a lot more suitable. Colonial houses are traditionally set off by brick; modern houses favor wood; small houses appear to make a call for flags.

Garden Pools and Fountains

Water, in virtually any form, enriches a garden and delights the senses. Modern houses are bringing garden pools directly into the patios and terraces. Ideal is water in movement, a splashing fountain or a narrow little brook running across the grounds and between flowers over clear stones. But even a spigot with a wooden bucket below it or a tub to fill with water and used for plunging cut flowers is able to bring a verdant, cool feeling into the garden. Using the sound of running water and the evaporative qualities of a fountain or pool to provide relief from the heat is a trick we have learned from the gardens of Japan, Spain and various other hot climates.

A pool in the garden highlights the positive attributes of your setting, and it should always be positioned so that its surface will be seen from a great number of points, or at a minimum from the most frequented spot in the garden. The contour and materials of the coping surrounding the pool have much to do with its appropriateness in the setting. Flagstone, brick and tile are all good depending upon the degree of formality of the pool. Sometimes the most effective option would be no visible coping. Fountains can be created with just a small source of flowing water, and the same water may be used again and again so long as you install a small motor and pump for an electric pumping system.

Exterior Home Improvements

 

We all spend most of our time inside our homes, but when it comes to home buyers, your home’s exterior can make all the difference. Remodeling Magazine sets out an annual report listing the home decor that result in the biggest payback concerning resale home values. Exterior remodeling projects dominate their top 10 list of projects on their Cost vs Value survey year after year. Let’s take a look at 5 exterior home improvements that a home seller should consider before putting the house up for sale, Home Improvement and Garden Tips.

Siding

Siding is listed as the best value in home improvements for a home seller nationally. Upscale fiber cement siding, midrange vinyl siding, and upscale foam siding all significantly improve home values. Replacing or originally installing siding can literally transform the outside appearance of a home. Since the exterior creates the first impression for all prospective home buyers, it makes sense to assess your homes façade and consider new siding.

Wooden Deck

The concept of an outdoor living space continues to gain popularity, however many modern families spend more time on their wooden deck than their patio or backyard. Decks are easier to maintain and offer the convenience of being attached to the home for easy access to the kitchen and bathrooms.

Vinyl and Wooden Window Replacement

Security and energy efficiency are both major concerns for home buyers. Old, damaged, and poorly fitting windows trigger warning signals which home sellers are wise to avoid. You can also reduce the cost of installations by applying various tax incentives which are often available through state and federal programs. New windows also have a dramatic effect on both the interior and exterior appearance of a home.

Roof

Replacing the roof may not be as exciting a project as a wooden deck or a new room addition, but it can definitely make the difference when a house goes up on the market. An old roof often depresses the value of homes because it’s a feature that can’t be ignored for long, so home buyers will figure the cost of a new roof into their overall costs. Energy efficient roofs and solar panels are very popular in some regions of the country, and a home seller is smart to list a new roof and all its benefits in their listings.

Landscaping

An attractive front and backyard will be an asset, but you don’t have to go overboard. Fancy gardens and expensive or exotic trees and shrubs aren’t necessarily a major selling point. Xeriscaping, landscaping which reduces water consumption and overall upkeep, is gaining popularity in some areas, especially regions where draught and water shortages are common.

Home Improvement And Decorating Tips

When it comes to maintaining your home or keeping it looking good, there are little projects that you can do to the inside and outside of it to help. And you don’t have to spend a lot of money, either. Keep the six tips below in mind to help ensure that your projects for home improvement get completed the right way with minimal frustration and cost.

  1. Have hot water lines insulated. Hot water lines can be insulated by preformed foam tubes that can easily be slipped onto the pipes since the foam is slit along its length. The insulation is normally sold for 30 to 40 cents per foot and will save approximately $50 annually on the electricity bill.
  2. Buy from local suppliers. When you’re choosing your building supplies, explore domestic woods along with other local materials. This will not only help your local economy, but it will help to save rainforests and will lessen the amount of transportation required to get the product from its source to your home. This drastically lowers carbon dioxide emissions.
  3. Plan your garden for long-term growth. Though you may adore the look of a garden that hasn’t got an inch of mulch or earth showing, it is important to keep future growth in mind. Your shrubs and flowering plants will be significantly larger at maturity and they will change shape. This will take up more room and will alter the way the garden gets sun or shade. So don’t block out your plants by forgetting that they’ll fill in.
  4. Hang photos at eye level. There is no rule of thumb as to how high a picture should be hung. So, hang it at eye level so that you can look directly at it when standing up comfortably. This will help you to appreciate the pictures without having to look up or down at it, and will stop you from having to re-hang the pieces when you feel that they seem wrong from your height.
  5. Make use of the back of switch plates to recall your paint color. When you need extra paint for touch-ups or if you simply want to add a fresh coat down the road, you’ll need to bear in mind precisely what paint color you used. By putting a dab of the paint color and writing its brand and color code on the back of the switch plates within the room, you’ll always know where you have the necessary information stored, saving time and effort needed to hunt it down.
  6. Order ample paint for touch-ups in a few years. Obtain enough paint that you can save some of it in case of marks or scratches over the length of the use of that color on the walls. Keep in mind that in five-years or so, you won’t recall the name of the paint color – eggshell, beige, or buff – the brand, or whether it was semi-gloss or flat.

Gardening Tips

Gardens come in different varieties like the plants you find in them. There are several gardening tips that can be used for all type of gardens.

1.Mulching protects your garden topsoil from being blown away. It also provides nutrients as it decomposes and improves the appearance of your gardens. Mulching has other benefits and is one of the most recommended gardening tips by gardeners and farmers alike.

2.Healthy plants are more disease resistant. Plants are like people, a person with a strong immune system can combat diseases. A healthy plant does the same.

3. Pests can be eradicated by cleaning the plant with a watery solution of soap. Just make sure to rinse after. This gardening tip is best heeded for fruit bearing trees or edible plants.

4. Using compost fertilizers are a great way to have healthy plants. It is also a great way to save money on expensive fertilizers. Non -organic fertilizers also tend to leave chemical residues that can accumulate in garden soils and harm not only the plants but the gardeners as well. They cause toxins to go to the water supplies. Another gardening tip recommended not just by farmers and gardeners but also by environmentalists.

5. There are several plants that are only suitable for a specified climate, a certain kind of soil or can only grow with certain plants. You have to know what plant grow in the conditions you have in your area this is for you to avoid unnecessary purchases. This is a money saving gardening tip.

6.Landscaping is a good investment which can double the value of your home. This is one gardening tip that can earn you money.

7. Growing grass on bare ground is an easy way to make your home look better and appreciate in value. This is one gardening tip that promotes earning money while growing grass legally.

8. Aside from looking great in your home, trees also provide some sort of protection from direct sunlight exposure and strong winds.

9. Vines on the walls, fences and overhead structures also would offer some protection and would also look great.

10.Flowers are beautiful, but they are also expensive. Get one that is resistant to many elements. Flowers from your local community already have developed resistance to conditions present in your area.

11.For most gardens plants, their roots go only as deep as 6 inches. Putting fertilizer deeper than that would be a waste of money. Put them shallower as they seep down when the plants are being watered.

12.Earthworms are important to plants. They till and aerate the soil for the roots to breathe. Non-organic fertilizers can kill them. This gardening tip dates back to the old days of gardening.

13. Having several kinds of insects that are beneficial to your garden would be good. These insects can be encouraged to stay by having diverse plants in your garden.

14. Spot spraying weeds with household vinegar, instead of using commercial weed-killers, can eradicate them. This is another environment friendly gardening tip.

15. Avoid putting too much mulch on tree trunks; this would encourage unwanted pests to reside on them.

16. Use plant varieties that are common to your area or have been taken from an area with similar conditions.

17. Be sure to know the plants that are poisonous. If you are intent on growing them, make sure to have the necessary cure available in your household. Take note of this gardening tip, it can save your life.

18. The best time to water plants is during mornings.

19. Before planting a new plant in your garden, you must consider its height and size when it matures. This garden tip can help you save money in the future.

20. Newly transplanted plants may require special attention during its first week. This is to reduce the stress and shock it got during transplantation.

And last but not the least of the gardening tips…

21.Plants are living entities. If you want them to grow in your garden you have to treat them as such. They need to be taken care of. They are like your pets, you look out for them. In return you get that feeling of contentment watching them thrive.

Gardening Tips

 

Gardening is a popular activity, relaxing and enjoyable for all who love the outdoors and the green environment. It is important to be conversant with some basic processes that govern the plant kingdom.

A person taking up gardening must be knowledgeable about the fundamentals of how sunlight, shade, soil and water may favourably or negatively affect the plants. More importantly, he should be aware of selection of plants in relation to the garden landscape which he is planning to adorn.

“Flower Gardening Tips”

Knowing essential gardening tips will help you to not only create a beautiful garden but have healthy plants that thrive under your care. Indeed, it is a joy to see that the time and effort you put in are well deserved and have resulted in an impressive garden and beautiful landscaping.

The following gardening tips will help your garden look beautiful while allowing you to have a stress-free and enjoyable gardening experience.

Some Essential Outdoor Gardening Tips

Soil Content

The first important aspect of gardening is to know what soil you will be planting in. For clayey soil, you will need peat moss or organic compost to lighten it up. With sandy and loam too, peat moss will give the soil more density. It allows for more nutrients to grow with, thereby giving plants greater stability.

Soil Drainage

Soil drainage will give you an idea of how wet or dry the garden landscape is. This will help you select plants as per the growing environment as well as inform you of how often the plants need to be watered. Using lukewarm water rather than cold water is better for the roots. Additionally ensure that the pots have a drainage hole for excess water to seep out so as not to flood the plant.

Plant Exposure

While gardening, it is necessary to consider the degree of exposure of nature’s elements such as the wind, sun, rain, snow etc. and how they will affect the growth of the plants. Knowing the weather conditions will give you an idea of where to plant hardier plants and how to protect the more delicate ones.

Sunlight

Sunlight is critical for the healthy growth of a plant. Not only does it play an important role in photosynthesis, it tells you how often and how much water different plants will need. Plants that flourish in the shade obviously require less water; care must be taken to protect them from direct and harsh sunlight by placing them near a window or sheltering them with a screen. If you know your soil has poor drainage, select plants that grow well in a moist environment. If your garden landscape has very little shade or protection, look for plants that are hardy or build a fence to protect your plants.

Apart from light and water, plants need to be fed. Depending on what kind of plants you have, the food served will also be different – water soluble, spikes or granular. With all the nutrients, proper sunlight and water, growth of plants is inevitable which leads us to the issue of repotting. Repotting becomes essential when plants begin to blossom healthily and start outgrowing their containers.

Easy Gardening Tips for Growing a Simple

While not everyone is lucky enough to be born with the proverbial green thumb, that doesn’t mean there aren’t simple ways to having a garden that’s not only easy to take care of, but pleasing to the eye as well. Gardening that involves plants and flowers that are simple to maintain, but yet still add interest and appeal really isn’t as hard you may think. The trick is to plan ahead and decide what type and kinds of plants and flowers that you can maintain.

One of the quickest and easy gardening tips is to simply buy plants that are already growing in hanging baskets. Most of these are arranged beautifully and will brighten up just about any type of space. Hanging baskets can be placed on plant stands either inside or outdoors, or hung from hooks on porches or ceilings. Making good use of the available gardening space will be extremely beneficial in the planning of your garden.

Potted plants are yet another easy gardening idea and can be purchased already fully grown, or you can use pots and a variety of different plants to make your own unique creation. Numerous stores carry a wide variety of sizes and differently shaped pots. All you’ll need is the potting soil and the flowers or plants you’re interested in growing. More than likely the most maintenance your potted plants will ever need is watering and the occasional pruning. Potted plants are the ideal easy gardening solution for those of us without a lot of outdoor space typically needed for a full garden and can be placed in the yard, near walkways, or just about anywhere around the home. Potted plants are easy to care for since you can move them to various locations as the need for sunlight and water arise.

Of course if you’re really anxious to get out there and get your hands dirty, easy gardening tips can apply to the outdoor garden as well. First, be sure the soil is actually ready for planting. Any local nursery, home improvement, or gardening center should have additives that greatly improve soil conditions. Once the soil is prepared, find some flowers that are low-maintenance, such as pansies, impatiens, or petunias, which are colorful, but fast growers that are easy to take care of.

Great ideas for easy gardening are literally everywhere you look. Most of the home improvement or do-it-yourself stores offer free classes on gardens that are full of useful hints. It’s also helpful to know what types of plants will fare best in your particular region or climate before planting. All gardening stores carry a wide variety of books and educational material for all types of gardening. The local library is also a good source for educational help with gardening.

Home Improvement Repair

Home improvement repair projects generally involve remodeling jobs. These remodeling jobs include both interior and exterior of a house and sometimes may include improving and repairing only  the interior or the exterior part. proper planning is essential before starting the process of repairing and improving the home . The first and foremost thing is to determine what kind of improvements you want to see in your home, which parts need serious repairs, what would be the estimated cost and so on.

For good home improvement and repair ideas, browsing books, reading related matters, and watching related television shows is always a smart thing to do. Many such television programs are aired almost every day, which demonstrate miraculous transformation of homes and gardens. Even though most of these transformations are brought about by the professionals there are many ‘do it yourself’ tips and skills too, which these shows can teach you.

The home decoration books available in the market and the online home improvement articles can also help you with loads of innovative and unique ideas to remodel your house. The internet is a rich storehouse of articles on a wide range of topics right from remodeling kitchens and bathrooms, to floor planning and insulation, then space saving, wallpaper, sanitation and so on. However, any home improvement repair involves a certain amount of expenditure and thus planning out a cost budget and then taking one step at a time would be the wisest thing to follow.

Sometimes home improvement and repair can also involve landscaping, constructing pools, beautifying yards and even fencing. You can use some tips from friends and relatives who have already done some redecoration in their homes. Besides, for professional work you can also ask them to refer a reliable remodeler to you. All these tips and ideas will only help you plan better and minimize the chances of going wrong with your home improvement.

Role of Gardening in Home Improvement

Say, you are spending a boring weekend and you are tired of the way your home looks, what would you like to do for a home improvement that results in a fresh change without any expense? If that is the case and you really want a charismatic but low-cost home improvement, you should start paying attention to some gardening tips that can be accomplished even in a few hour and a few dollars.

Gardening is a very interesting activity and also very pivotal in successful home improvements. Some of the gardening tips might be too complicated for you to proceed with your home improvement but there are a few gardening tips that can really result in a positive change, such as growing seasonal flowers which would take some time but constant care and affection would bring positive results.

Calamondin Orange is one fine example that can be used for your home improvement. Its not common everywhere and it would really surprise your visitors because its an attractive fruitful plant with multicolored flora, which looks pleasant to eyes. Plus, the orange is edible and can also be used for cooking purposes. This beautiful flower needs full sun light and at least 50° temperature to grow up to three feet tall. And it’s a kind of extremely useful and easy home improvement by gardening.

Moreover, this lovely flower grows best in spring and doesn’t need a lot of care. At least not more than what you can give it on weekends. You can keep this beautifully grown flower in your walkways, living room or anywhere where it suits and adding some more flowers, which are not common in every house would be an exciting gardening experience for your home improvement. Besides this, there are a lot of other things that you can do with gardening for an effective and low cost budget.