Create Your Private Retreat Using Garden Furniture

Enjoying the beauty of nature is one of life’s simple pleasures, especially when you are fortunate enough to have a garden around your home. You can reflect in comfort by using garden furniture; there are many design styles available in different materials such as natural wood, bamboo, rattan or cane, aluminum, plastic, cast iron and wicker.

It is a proven fact that a green environment can provide you with many therapeutic health benefits; trees, plants and flowers offer a soothing balm to the spirit mind and body. You can choose garden furniture as an extension of the decorating theme used inside your home or create a totally different atmosphere for outdoor living.

The first garden furniture used by the Egyptians was functional and gardens were extremely popular, playing a significant role in their lives. To them as much as it is to us in modern times, the garden symbolized the order of life on earth. Contrary to belief that garden houses are a modern idea, the ancients were enjoying this alternative way of outdoor living centuries before us.

The people of England in the eighteenth century also fell under the magical spell of creating enclosed parks and the distinctive garden furniture design, such as the “Windsor” chair that has become so much a part of our lives. Indeed, the distinction between indoors and outdoors became blurred by the creation of garden rooms which emulated the design of an English sitting room.

It was this movement of indoor furniture onto the lawns of English homes that we see depicted as garden furniture in many paintings of this period with an assortment of mahogany tea tables, long benches, and Windsor chairs as the backdrop of society in formal poses.

Today in addition to the simple bench and table, you will find a vast array of items that make fresh air entertaining as convenient and enjoyable as when you entertain inside your home from settees, ottomans, hammocks, to tables with umbrellas, deck chair, shares and swings.

When you complete your daily activities, give yourself the opportunity to “stop and smell the roses” by taking pleasure in nature at your leisure. Imagine yourself relaxing on a well manicured lawn in a comfortable deck chair with floral pattern cushions that add color and charm to your environment or picture yourself entertaining friends outside on a balmy afternoon or evening around a beautifully designed set of wooden table and chairs.

It is our connection with nature that has made crafting beautiful enclosed private spaces and the selection of garden furniture as much of what makes a house a home as your indoor furnishings. Whether large or small, it can be your refuge from world.

If your garden is large enough to have colorful, flowering plants, a cast iron garden furniture setting adds the presence of strength and fluid grace to complement this softness. When you are in need of stress relief, what could be better than relaxing amidst the fragrance of flowers; this is the original aromatherapy.

Today’s garden furniture can be a lovely addition to your home whether you choose the airy, delicate design of wicker, comfortably strong teak wood or the curvaceous lines of bamboo, cane or rattan, you will be able to relax even when you are shopping; there are designs to fit every budget.

Simplify Your Garden Maintenance With These Eight Tips

Does your beautiful garden turn into an alien landscape by the middle of summer?  Why not use some expert tricks to keep maintenance to a minimum?  Yes, you have to invest a couple of weekends in the beginning but the pay off is a place to relax, entertain your friends and add to your home’s well kept appearance with a minimum of effort.

  • Develop a garden plan – Your plan can be as simple or complex as you want to make it.  It’s purpose is to give a sense of direction to your gardening efforts.  Your plan will help you realize that even if some things have to be put off until next year, they will come eventually.  This step alone reduces the stress of creating an outdoor living space.  What do you want this space to be like?  Is it for outdoor entertaining or simply a place to relax after a busy day?  Your master plan will help your make quality “easy care” purchasing decisions when it’s time to shop.
  • When choosing your garden’s hard surfaces, consider future maintenance.  Are you starting with a deck or a cement patio?  By developing the seating area first, you can begin to use the area even before the rest of the garden is finished.  If the deck or patio is already installed, does it need to be refinished? Sealing it will prolong it’s life and keep it cleaner. Remember, a little care now can add years to its life.  If you are starting with bare ground, you might prefer a greener option.  A patch of lawn looks nice but remember that it will need ongoing care.  If your site is very shady, another option is to install patio blocks with a low growing moss between them.  It’s an attractive option that doesn’t need constant mowing.
  • Define your planting areas.  Do you need to add trees?  If so, the sooner the better because each year will increase their usefulness.  Don’t forget to consider the density of the shade they will produce, their mature height and if they are very messy.  Some flowering specimens are beautiful but do better in the corner of your landscape where you don’t have to deal with dropping blossoms or seed pods in your seating area.
  • Now consider the planting beds themselves.  If the ground is very compacted, it is worth it to rent a tiller or have someone do it for you.  Have your soil tested for ph and adjust if necessary.  This is a good time to have organic matter and compost worked in as well.  The better your soil is, the more successful your future gardening efforts will be.  Once the beds are ready, plant permanent greenery that will become the backdrop for your seasonal additions.  This is one of the secrets to having gardens that don’t require starting from scratch each year.  Once a permanent bush is planted, you can easily add color with flowering plants in front of it.
  • Plan to water – Not all of us can afford an automatic watering system but you can simplify your watering task.  Even if you can’t afford timers this year, you might be able to set up a pvc sprinkler system that can be manually operated.  Doing so will give you better water coverage and simplify the task.  Timers can be added when your budget allows.  If that is outside your budget and you have to rely on a hose and sprinkler system, consider adding separate hoses for each area that you have to water.  A simple shutoff splitter will direct the water where it’s needed without having to reposition the hose each time.  You are more likely to stay up with needed watering if all you have to do is turn a valve.
  • Put landscape fabric under your mulch.  Some people use strips of plastic but unless you poke holes in it, the rain can’t penetrate.  Other people use newspapers, whatever you choose, putting mulch on top of a weed barrier keeps weeds from taking over your garden.  If any do sprout, you will find that they have shallow root systems and pull out easily.  Along with this, add permanent edging.  It not only defines the edges of your flower beds, but also helps to keep grass from creeping into them.
  • Pick tables and chairs that are weatherproof and easy to clean.  If you are in an area that gets a lot of rain, add a garden chest where chair cushions can be kept clean until you need them.
  • Choose a garden statue over a fountain.  Both add charm and help to give your garden an established look but fountains need to be cleaned weekly.  If you want something that makes soothing sounds, try larger windchimes that ring in a lower note.

Choosing Teak Garden Furniture

According to some people, the garden is as important as the main house. In fact, just like the main house, many important events take place in the garden. This is probably true since many people are spending for their gardens exuberantly. Well, this is not surprising though because the garden provides a certain degree of freedom and lightheartedness that no other part in the house can. Therefore any amount spent for the garden and its furnishings is immaterial compared to the warmth and comfort that it provides in return.

One of the most common garden decorations and furnishings is furniture. Various family activities are done in the garden. Barbecues, dinners, soirees, and important occasions such as weddings and birthday parties are happily carried out in gardens. Thus, providing the garden with furniture pieces that are elegant and comfortable at the same time is just but the right thing to do.

There can be many options for garden furniture. However, one of the most popular choices today is teak garden furniture. Teak furniture is probably one of the most durable and complacent furniture around. Moreover, teak furniture is aesthetically beautiful and pleasing to the eyes. In addition, owning teak furniture give you a certain degree of pride knowing that every teak furniture piece is lovingly joined by laborious hands unmindful of the time spent on every furniture piece. With this, it is certainly not surprising why warm hearted families prefer using teak furniture in their gardens.

However, in as much as you would immediately want teak garden furniture in your garden at once; there are some important tips that you need to consider in choosing the best teak garden furniture.

Look for the best quality. Certainly no one wants to buy furniture that would just probably last a year or two. Whether you like it or not, furniture purchases take a considerable chip off your savings, such that it has to be carefully decided. In finding the best quality, never compromise it for price. Remember that quality comes with a price. Therefore, if you want to have the best quality, you should be prepared to spend for it.

Look for the style that compliments your space. There are many different styles and designs of teak furniture in the market. You should choose the design and style that compliments your garden. In order to be in the safe side though, you could choose contemporary or classic designs to make sure that it would match with the other furniture pieces and decorations of your garden.

Find the most functional furniture. Garden furniture may not only perform one function; like a sofa might be used as a bed or a lounging bed, or a coffee table might be used as a private dining table as well. As such, it is important to choose teak garden furniture that can be flexibly used for other purposes as well. In this manner, you won’t have to buy extra furniture pieces for other purposes.

Landscaping – A Fire Resistant Home and Garden

Certain parts of the country are especially prone to fires. Dry wild grasses and trees that come right up to your home will create a fire hazard. There are things you should do to protect your home.

Clear Vegetation

Thirty feet is the minimum required distance of clear vegetation. However, it can be necessary to clear up to 400 feet of an area near the home. You should consider the following factors: wind, slope, neighborhood density, and architectural styles. In other words, will a fire spread quickly or slowly? And, if it does, will your home catch fire easily or not.

Remove Dead Plants

Remove any dead plants in or around your home. If a tree is mostly healthy, but has some dead branches, cut the dead branches off.

Keep Plants Watered

During the heat of the summer keep all the plants watered well.

Plant Placement

Don’t place plants right next to the home. Instead, create islands that are 30 feet or more away from the home.

Maintenance

Keep shrubs and trees to minimal growth. Larger trees and shrubs growing out of control are more of a hazard then well controlled smaller plants.

Siding

Avoid materials that burn. Stucco or aluminum siding is better than wood.

Fences

Use metal, stone, or vinyl. Stay away from wood fencing.

Decks

Build with stone, concrete, masonry, or tile. Avoid using wood.

Fire hose

If possible, set up a pump to work with your fire hose. Make sure the fire hose can reach all around your home. If you have a pool or hot tub, set up your pump and fire hose to use this water.

Hydrant

Keep it clear for fire personnel. With city permission, learn how to hook your fire hose up to the hydrant.

Five Choices of Materials For a Cheap Or Luxury Bathroom Accessories Sets

Different people have different preferences when it comes to bathroom accessories set. You may have noticed that others base it solely on the price. Some settle for cheap sets while there are people who won’t be satisfied unless every single bathroom accessory comes from a designer set. There’s nothing wrong with going for luxury bathroom accessories as long as you have enough money for it.

And also, there is nothing wrong with going for the cheaper ones. With the current economy still recovering, people are becoming more and more conscious of what they buy and how they spend. But you need not to focus on costs alone. You should also think of what you want and what you believe is best for your bathroom. After all, it should give you the greatest comfort you deserve and that will just happen if you approve of everything in your bathroom.

There are numerous designs of bathroom accessories set available to choose from. Some people pick styles and themes that are contemporary to suit the modern times. Others buy some kind of historic, medieval and age-old designs. You may opt to have a nature theme or rustic or beach. It’s all up to you.

While choosing according to the design is fine, there are those who instead of going for a particular theme just purchase their sets of bathroom accessories according to the materials they are made from. The following are five of the most popular choices of materials today:

Wood

If you want to go traditional and a bit sophisticated, you can choose bath accessories made of wood. Wooden accessories will especially look great if you have a simple bathroom theme like white or shades of white for everything. This is good for the rustic or nature theme as well.

Ceramics

One of the reasons why people prefer ceramic bathroom accessories is their durability. They are commonly cheap too, which makes them a practical buy. Just keep in mind to purchase those with nice and elegant designs. This is because ceramics don’t have that kind of stylish effect compared to wood and glass wherein the latter two can stand out all by their own even without intricate designs.

Glass

Just like what was mentioned earlier, glass accessories naturally give off an ornamental look and feel to any room they are in. That’s part of the reason why glass is a famous choice even for bath add-ons. The only thing you have to worry about is how you carefully handle these items. Make sure you use tempered glass because that’s more durable. They are not a good choice though if you are shopping for kids bathroom accessories.

Metal

This is the strongest material among the five. Metal bath accessories can be made of copper or brass and are able to last for a long time. They also match well with your stainless steel bathroom cabinets, if you are using those. Mostly, homeowners get them for their proven durability.

Crystal

Just a bit more sophisticated than glass, the crystal bath add-ons will surely make your bathroom shine and sparkle. They are known to provide a very relaxing feeling and that they are considered as one of the most, if not the most, decorative among the bunch.