Personal Air Cooler

A personal air cooler with evaporative cooling technology can cool room temperatures significantly. They can also save you significantly on your electricity bill over usage of a regular refrigeration air conditioning unit. We all know how steep our air conditioning bills can be, especially in hot summer months. These swamp coolers go above and beyond cooling your air. They can also create cleaner healthier environments with features such as air cleaners built right into the cooler unit.

It’s best to use these devices in areas where there is a low level of humidity as they create humidity. They also use existing hot weather to be converted to cooler temperatures. The cooler blows that cooled air into your room. When searching for an evaporative personal cooler, you will find a multitude of options. There are several considerations to consider when making your choice including the features you want as well as the design of the unit and the amount of floor space it’s meant to cool.

Personal air coolers use either direct or indirect evaporative cooling methods. While some evaporative coolers can cool entire buildings or outdoor areas, a personal cooler generally cools a smaller area such as a single room and contains louvers to allow you to direct the flow of air where you wish. One of the benefits of these is that they are generally lightweight and fairly portable. The smaller units don’t have significant reservoirs but can provide several hours of cooling for you. You can invest in larger systems to cool an entire building that have higher end components and more power. This, still reduces your electricity bill and results in cleaner air.

These units are fairly quiet, take up much less energy than a regular air conditioning unit, create cleaner air and are better for the environment. Many hydro companies are now giving rebates to customers who use more energy efficient appliances so it’s also worth checking with your local hydro company to find out if a rebate system is in place. This can significantly reduce the cost you’ll pay to use this better cooling resource.

Interior Landscaping Plants

Obviously, a landscape designer must consider environmental factors when incorporating interior landscaping plants into the design. Some of the important considerations include sufficient light (artificial or natural), supply of water, drainage, and proper air circulation, among others.

Indeed, people expect that interior landscaping plants should be kept attractive and healthy at all times but one must remember that plants are not naturally grown inside houses or buildings so plants that do thrive in these areas have special needs that must be met in order for them to survive.

Fortunately, there have been many developments in interior landscaping that have improved the living conditions of interior landscaping plants. In addition, there has been a wide selection of plants that have evolved from their desert of tropical origins to become suitable interior landscaping plants.

Because light is a critical aspect in choosing plants for an indoor environment, the typical categories of interior landscaping plants are low light, light, medium light, high light, and very high light, which all refers to the plant’s light requirements in order to thrive indoors.

Below are some examples of common interior landscaping plants for your home or office.

Low light plants include the Parlor Palm and the shrub-like Neanthe Bella Palm, which you can grow in large pots and would need constant watering. Low light plants are ideal for indoor areas where there is minimal or no natural light and where a fluorescent light is the primary light source.

An excellent medium light plant is the durable and attractive Laurel Fig and the unique Madagascar Dragon Tree, which is great as an accent in your design. These interior landscaping plants will survive despite poor gardening habits such as forgetting to water the plants.

Examples of high light plants, which have a light requirement of a minimum of 500 foot candles, include the Elephant Foot Tree, Clustered Fishtail Palm, Miniature Date Palm and the European Fan Palm. Very high light plants such as the Queen Palm and the Lady Palm require a minimum lighting of 1000 foot candles.

While most interior landscaping plants can withstand the special conditions of an interior environment, proper caring for them is still essential because they are still vulnerable to insect and pest problems. You should also take care in giving the plant just the right amount of fertilizer because too much will kill the plant. You can easily manage the size of the plant using the appropriate container size. If you purchased the interior landscaping plants from a greenhouse, you can expect it to undergo an acclimation period. It may loose some leaves but will eventually adapt to its new environment.

Contemporary Landscaping

History: Contemporary landscaping began to emerge in northern Europe during the first half of the 20th century, and combined elements of English landscape gardening with influences from modern architecture. New materials such as wood, concrete, metal and glass, and other non-traditional materials found their way into the creation of this new vitality. Contemporary landscaping utilized variations in scale, time, space and texture to create abstract patterns. Newer designs also created innovations in light and space, often told in color, creating new focal points and visual patterns.

There is actually no one kind of contemporary landscaping, since modern houses love to emulate older styles, especially the English Garden look. If this look appeals to you, consider that for one of your contemporary landscaping ideas.

What many people like the most about the English Garden look as a contemporary landscaping idea are the flowers. This look is thus very popular with people that have large yards. This is because people that have large yards are able to accommodate one of the trademark facets of an English Garden, and those are rose bushes

Rose bushes are classically beautiful, and as such they can really add to your contemporary landscaping ideas. For example, if you are the kind of person who loves colorful flowers, purchase several kinds of roses. While roses traditionally come in bushes, they can also come in vines. However, you should make sure they are carefully fed and pruned if you do decide to implement rose bushes into your contemporary landscaping ideas.

Some people prefer to have an herb garden as part of their contemporary landscaping idea. Herb gardens appeal to people because herbs can be used for cooking, as well as for decorative reasons. However, when planning your herb garden be sure that you know what herbs can be planted together, because some herbs end up taking over other herbs.

Another thing that people like to do when it comes to contemporary landscaping is various fauna in patterns. Perhaps you have seen things like this before, and they really are impressive. While you can try to get the fauna to do this yourself, it is not the best idea to do so, because if you hire a professional to do that, you are saving yourself time and possible annoyances!

Contemporary landscaping mixes the elements of man made structures, such as buildings with natural trees and flowers. Such landscaping is common among city people or people that like shrubs, trees and flowers but do not necessarily have the time to take care of them.

If you would like more landscaping ideas, go to your local garden center. There you will find a variety of different plants that you might want to include in your yard. You can also search the internet for more landscaping advice. With the proper research, you are sure to find the right contemporary landscaping ideas!

Use a Grub Hoe

Using an Azada is simple. Place your dominant hand on the top of the hoe and the other hand 1/3 to 1/2 of the way down, with both thumbs facing down towards the head. Lift the hoe to hip height and let the weight of the tool, gravity, and a little acceleration from your arms plunge the hoe into the ground in a chopping motion like a pick or mattock. Then use your body weight and arms to pull up on the slice of dirt you just cut. Two or three small chops can remove as much or more earth as a typical spade or shovel with 1/3 of the effort.

I can remember spending over an hour trying to cultivate a small garden plot with a shovel and a fork. My sore back and blistered hands led me to seek other solutions. The following year, I used an Azada and I was able to accomplish the same workload in about 20 minutes and back and hands felt great. In fact, because the Grub Hoe uses so many more muscle groups than a shovel or fork, I felt like I had just received a full body workout. The natural and ergonomic motions of the Grub Hoe made it an absolute joy to use.

A final important aspect of making the Azada work well for you is maintenance. Make sure that the blade is sharp! A sharp blade allows the tool to do its work properly. You wouldn’t want to work in your garden with your legs tied together would you? Using a dull tool is similar! After using your Azada, make sure to wipe off both the head and the handle and seal it with a rust-proofer at least once every season to prevent rust and wear.

Teak Table

The truth is: Not only are teak tables practical for your outdoor space, they also accent the larger pieces and tie everything together. A seating area without a teak table can sometimes look haphazard or not quite complete without the addition of these accent pieces. By investing just a little more, you can create a look that is truly elegant and perfect for entertaining.

Maybe you already have a few pieces of teak furniture and you know first hand how beautiful and durable furniture made from this wood can be, or maybe you are just browsing for that perfect table. In either case, there are several reasons why you should give more than just a passing thought to purchasing a teak table.

Teak is a hard strong durable yellowish-brown wood which is both resistant to the elements and requires little maintenance. This material is unique in that it can withstand the elements year after year with virtually no maintenance. With teak, there is no sanding, no sealing, no staining, and no finishing. The wood of the teak tree is also naturally resistant to insects, warping and splintering, which makes it an ideal wood for creating furniture. That means that even after decades of use, your teak table will remain beautiful and smooth with little help from you.

And there is so much to choose from. Teak tables come in a wide variety of styles which include teak dining tables, teak patio tables, teak coffee tables and much, much more. Just think of how easy outdoor entertaining could be with the addition of a couple of these pieces.

If you already have teak furniture in your garden or outdoor space, you can easily find a teak table created specifically to serve as accent pieces to your existing teak furniture. Do you have a Normandy teak bench? Did you know that you can purchase an end table which will exactly match your bench, right down to the intricate hand carved design? You can also choose from Chippendale, Nantucket and Adirondack designs, just to name a few.

Although teak furniture can be slightly more expensive than furniture made with other materials, the price is well worth it. The quality, durability and beauty that are the trademarks of teak make these pieces far superior to the competition.

Acacia Floral Beauty

Early shelters for the European settlers in Australia were made out of wattle branches from the black wattle or Acacia mearnsii and mud. Allowing protection from the elements in our harsh sometimes unforgiving climate. Later they would discover that this particular wattle also produces high amounts of tannin in its bark, which is widely used for the tanning of leather. An industry in high demand at this stage in history.

The Acacia varies greatly in size from species to species, they range from ground covers, shrubs to small & large trees. Almost all distinguishable by their golden yellow globular flowers except for a few, two of those are the Acacia purpureopetalain North Queensland Australia has mauve pink flowers and another from South Australia Acacia gilbertii which flowers white. This fascinating plant only has soft feather like leaves when it is young, as they mature they form phyllodes, losing their leaves all together. The foliage is generally either a blue-green or a silver-grey.

Although there has been an on going botanist debate concerning the reclassification of some species into five separate genera due to structural differences, ( a lot of species in Africa for example have thorns etc. ) it is still on going.

Acacia trees have a few fascinating defense systems in place, one of these is to produce gum from its bark when animals graze against them for protection. The scent of the gum travels through the air, causing other acacias in the vicinity to start excreting gum a very handy early warning system.

Another strange Acacia phenomenon is located in Coast a Rica these swollen thorn Acacia offer the Acacia ants a home, protein & carbohydrates in their hollow thorns and in return the ants defend the plant against herbivores. The plant controls the ant population by how much sugar it excrete’s for them to feast on.

Indigenous Australian’s had many uses for the wattle, most of the plant is used to make a variety of things including, sticks for digging, clap sticks, spear throwers, ax handles, shields, boomerangs, firewood, glue from the bark, dyes, spiritual ceremonial headdresses, seeds were ground with water to make a paste eaten fresh or cooked to make a damper like food.

Medicinal uses: teas could be brewed from specific parts of the roots, leaves & bark to treat cold, flu, sore throats, fever, headaches, stomach pains toothaches.

The gum excreted from the bark was also used, put in water with a high nectar flower such as the bottle brush to make a natural cordial like drink. The acacia kempeana is also the native home of the witchetty grub a great source of protein for the indigenous people.

Commercially today the Acacia family has many uses. It is used for erosion control revegetation programs and landscaping. Used in gums, soft drinks, candies, foods, paints, inks cosmetics & hair dyes just to name a few. The wood is used for firewood and furniture, the flowers for perfume and the bark produces tannin.

This awesome plant can not only thrive in arid climates and bush fire prone zones, it also naturally absorbs nitrogen and bacteria from the soil allowing a natural cleansing. An amazingly tough and resilient plant. Definitely appropriate for Australia’s floral emblem.

Grow Mushrooms

  • Determine the type of mushroom that you want to grow: Three types of mushrooms that can be grown easily at home are shitake, oyster and white button. The method used for growing all these mushrooms is similar. However, source material differs. White button mushrooms grow best in composted manure, oysters grow best in straw while shitakes grow best in sawdust. Which type of mushroom you choose to grow depends completely on your preferences of taste and health.
  • Buy mushroom spawn or spores: These are the “seeds” for growing mushrooms. Mushroom spawn serves as the root structure of fungus. Basically it includes sawdust permeated with mushroom mycelia. Several online retailers sell it or you can purchase it from your preferred offline gardening supply store too. On the other hand, spores also do the same but require a bit of practice and expertise in comparison to spawn. In short, if you aren’t a seasoned mushroom grower you should always avoid the spores and opt for spawn instead.
  • Spread mycelia into the growing medium by heating it: Before you start growing your favorite nutritious mushrooms, you’ll need to spread the mycelia equally and thoroughly in growing medium. Heat can help you out in this matter. For doing this place your preferred growing medium into a pan and mix mycelia into it from your hands. After mixing it place the pan on a heating pad that has temperature set to 21° C (or 70° F), which is the finest temperature for encouraging growth of mushrooms. After this you can leave the whole setup in a dark environment for 3 weeks.
  • Fuel the growth by providing proper environment: After 3 weeks you’ll have to place your setup in an environment that’s dark and cool. Your basement may work fine in many cases, but in winters a cabinet in unheated room will also be able to do the same job. Cover your growing medium with potting soil and spray of water. For preventing moisture loss you can place a wet towel over the pan if necessary. The key thing worth remembering here is that your medium should remain moist and cool as mushrooms grow. Keep checking them periodically and spray water if necessary.
  • Harvest them when they’re grown: Finally, by the end of a 3 weeks long period your mushrooms will be ready for harvesting. At first you’ll see small mushrooms appearing… keep encouraging their growth by keeping environment dark, moist, and cool. Harvest them once their caps get separated from the stems. You can easily pluck them from your fingers. Rinse them with water and they’re ready to be cooked!

Water Garden Ideas

If a pool is well constructed, if care is taken with the planting, and if the right planting compost material and aquatics (water plants) are chosen, water is easier to manage than grass. But with no other feature in the garden is the margin between success and failure so delicately poised. Great care is needed to hold the balance between clear water and a well-managed pool on the one hand, and smell, slime, green water and rank aquatics on the other.

The position of a water garden is very important, for water-lilies and most aquatics love the sun. The warmer the water, the more luxuriant the growth and the greater the number of blooms will be. The best position for a pool, therefore, is in the open, as far as possible.

The shelter of trees or a hedge to the north or north-east of the water garden can break the force of driving winds and will considerably extend the flowering season, but be sure to build the pool some distance from the trees or hedge, so that dead leaves do not fall into the pool and foul the water. Alternatively, if your water garden is close to trees or a hedge, you can spread wire-netting over the surface of the pool during the few weeks of the autumnal leaf fall.

A very deep pool can be a disadvantage since depth controls the temperature of the water, but the water must not be too shallow or it will freeze up in winter. Fifteen to 18 inches of water above the crowns of plants is shallow enough to induce free-flowering and yet sufficiently deep to safeguard the roots in winter. Rock garden pools are often only 1 foot or even less in depth, and should be protected during very bad weather, but such precautions are impracticable for larger pools.

Water gardens are either formal or informal, and should fit in with their surroundings. The formal water garden is usually the dominant feature of a garden – in a central position or perhaps the key point of an area to which all paths-lead. It is regular in shape (a circle, square, oblong or some geometric form) and its outline is defined with a raised kerb or flat, paved surround. Fountains can be placed in the water garden, but as a general rule running water is not desirable, especially if the water supply comes from a natural spring or similar low-lying source, because it will constantly lower the temperature and also destroy the calm on which water-lilies thrive.

Formal pools look better in conventional surrounds and do not blend with natural features such as wild or rock gardens or alpine meadows. Keep the vegetation in them low, using water-lilies and submerged and floating aquatics rather than marginals and bog plants.

An informal pool should not disclose its origin. The concrete or other material of which it is made can be hidden by keeping the outer edges below the level of the surrounding ground, and by the skilful use of marginal plants – bog and marginal aquatics being used to bridge the gap between the water and dry land. The informal pool blends with any natural setting, and is not, therefore, the best type of pool for a formal rose garden or similar tailored feature.

Plastic Greenhouse Panels

While many repairs can be undertaken fairly cheaply or easily, repairing your greenhouse can be a whole new matter entirely. Whether they’ve been damaged by a tree branch, strong wind or even a stray football, it can be difficult and expensive to do. However, it is important to keep on top of greenhouse maintenance to ensure that the plants you keep inside are properly cared for.

At this stage the majority of keen gardeners will think about replacing their old glass panel with yet more glass. However, more and more people are turning to alternatives as a way to keep costs down and prolong the life of their greenhouse panels. Glass, often thought to be a strong and reliable material, is actually very susceptible to cracking and it encourages the growth of moss when wet – neither of which is preferable for greenhouses.

The alternative that many are turning to is plastic – either in the form of acrylic or polycarbonate. These materials are incredibly suited to being used for outdoor applications and in, many ways, offer a better solution than glass. For one, they are impact-resistant to a greater extent than glass, making them less susceptible to breakage at any time. For instance, polycarbonate is used to make CDs which are incredibly tough – and it has even be used for bullet-proofing in some instances. Despite this, it is heavier than glass; in fact it’s much, much lighter which makes it better for the supporting structure and easier to install.

Outdoor Chaise Lounge Chair

Long the pleasure of resort vacations, chaise lounge chairs are now popping up on patios and pool sides allowing people to relax in luxury without leaving home. Crafted from teak wood, the best wood for outdoor furniture, they will defy the trials of Mother Nature and allow you to relax worry free from season to season. Simply let them weather to a delightful silver gray or maintain the natural golden brown hue by treating them with a teak protector annually. Either way, you’ll have an, oh so, comfortable seat to settle into and kick up your feet for awhile.

And if you want to turn the comfort level up a few notches add a plush cushion. At two and a half to three and a half inches thick and available in over 40 colors and patterns of Sunbrella fabric, you’ll be able to match your motif whether you like Caribbean blue or watermelon pink. And the best part is these cushions will last almost as long as your furniture. They won’t soak up rain or an errant spray from the hose and the sun won’t rob them of their bright hues. You can leave them out all season with their teak counterparts.

So if you want to indulge in comfort with your next patio furniture purchase, an outdoor chaise lounge chair is the perfect choice. It’s time to get rid of that rusty, fold up, plastic lounge chair with the back that won’t stay up anymore and invest in something with timeless beauty and style. Whether you want some posh poolside relaxing or a lazy spot to enjoy your morning coffee just outside your door an outdoor chaise lounge chair is right for you. Lay them flat and catch a sun kissed nap or put the back up to read while you sip a cold drink. No matter how you position them; up, down or in between, you, your family and your friends will be able to soak up the rays of endless summer comfort.

It is just that easy to get away from it all. Everyone needs a retreat, a place to go and unwind. Close your eyes and imagine yours. Create it close by. Make it an easy destination to reach. Open your door to the paradise that is your backyard escape. Lush green foliage and vibrant blooms bring color and interest to the teak landscape. Two chairs a bench and a coffee table create an intimate conversation area while three outdoor chaise lounges wait to refresh swimmers alongside the pool. A teak bar and chairs beckon to guests with cold refreshments. You have set the stage for magical memories to be made and an extraordinary summer to be had while you sink into your outdoor chaise lounge chair and relax in luxury.