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!

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.

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.

Metal Gazebo Roof

You may want a double roof gazebo. A double roof will offer extra ventilation for your gazebo. It is really more of an aesthetic addition. From inside of the gazebo, it gives it more of a cathedral ceiling type of a look. When viewing the gazebo from the outside, the double roof offers a break in the roofline.

You may opt for what is called a regular, square, hip roof. It is called this because all four sides are pitched inward and all sides are equal. The peak of the roof is located exactly in the center of the building and this results in all four roof sides as having an equal slope.

You may want to construct a metal gazebo roof. The advantage of a metal roof is durability and they are lightweight. You can make metal to imitate the appearance of just about any other type of roofing. A metal roof gazebo will have a life expectancy of over thirty years. The downside is the cost. Metal roof gazebo will cost from $100-$600 per 100 square feet and the installation will cost more than a shingle roof as well.

A metal gazebo roof may be made of painted aluminum or steel. These are two of the most popular choices. Aluminum and steel are strong and they can be formed to look like a tile or slate roof. These can be very expensive.

The speed of installation is another factor to consider when you are thinking of a metal roof gazebo. You can often find a metal roof gazebo kit that will have everything you need in order to set up and enjoy your new gazebo in the shortest amount of time.

A metal roof gazebo will give you years of worry free use. You won’t find holes, cracks or loose shingles when you choose a metal roof gazebo. The ease of maintenance and years of wear and tear can definitely tip the balance in favor of the more expensive metal roof gazebo, as it will be much easier to care for and last much longer.

Choose Patio Installer For Your Needs

  • Products – Ask what materials are offered for a patio. A pro will provide concrete, brick, stone, and pavers. If you choose pavers, make sure your contractor purchases them from a reputable manufacturer, as inferior pavers will fade and often are not as durable.
  • Warranties & Guarantees – Ask if the contractor guarantee their work, and if there are warranties on the products (usually pavers) discuss the specifics until you understand them and have both the guarantee and warranty spelled out in writing.
  • Websites with Portfolios – Top pros have websites that help educate the public about hardscaping issues such as the pros and cons of various materials used for patios. The consummate professionals will as have portfolios for you to peruse to see their work and what different elements look like so that you can make an educated decision regarding your patio.
  • Professional Organizations & Continued Education – Look for a contractor who belongs to professional organizations such as New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association (NJLCA) that promote professionalism, safety, environmental protection, and education.
  • Local Knowledge – Many communities have specific codes and restrictions for patio additions-choose a contractor experienced in navigating these restrictions and regulations to create the sort of patio that fulfills your needs and wants.

When choosing a professional to lay your patio, you should take a practical approach before making your decision. Ask straightforward questions and look for some basic support. Here are some helpful hints on what you should ask before your dream garden project begins:

  • Get some different quotes for your project, checking that they include all the products and services you will need. Make sure there are no hidden extras such as soil removal. TIP: Ask how long the project will last.
  • Check how long the company has been laying paving products.
  • Ask for some recent references of completed patio installation and read their online reviews. A reputable contractor will be enthusiastic about showing off recent work. Expect to see photographs and details of recent, similar work that you can visit for a reference. This is usually part of any professional presentation.
  • Ask questions such as if the cost of a dumpster and jointing sand is included?
  • Check if the contractor has the appropriate liability insurance.
  • Ask for a final written quotation from your chosen contractor.
  • A reputable patio installer will not cut corners but work to the highest standard to build a patio that is beautiful and will remain that way for years to come. A true professional will have no problem guaranteeing their work.

Organic Lawn Care

Mow your Lawn Higher

There are many of us who think that the lower we mow the lawn at one go, the less we will have to mow over a period of time. But what happens is exactly the opposite thing. As we mow lower, there is increasing chance that the grass will be covered by weeds, thus making it increasingly difficult for the green blades to reach the sunlight and prepare food. What is triggered is an increased rate of growth so that the blades can get over the weeds and prepare the food. This also leads the plants to use up more of its resources than it should and hence be weakened. On the other hand mowing higher allows the blades to stay higher and carry on photosynthesis. So growth of the blades is normal and plant stays healthier.

Don’t be too Frequent with Your Watering

All of us know that water is crucial to life and even more so for plants. But you must know how much you should water so that the grass on the lawn is at its best of health. Watering too frequently can actually not be so good for the lawn. What it leads to is that the grass gets water too easily and hence its roots don’t go deep enough. Instead the weeds make stronger roots and grow healthy. Infrequent watering would mean that the grass roots go deep into the soil and make the plant healthier.

So when is it right for you to water?

The best time would be to water when the heads of the blades curl a little inwards. That is the ideal time before the grass starts turning brown. However, even if you are a bit late, things can still be rescued. All that is needed is extra care. Yu might have to water twice. Place a cup at the centre of the lawn and sprinkle water. When the cup is half-an-inch full leave the soil to soak in the water for about thirty minutes. Next spray water till the water level inside the cup reaches 1 inch.

Spring Care For Koi Pond

If you pulled your pumps in the fall, you will want to clean out the skimmer and either clean or replace the filter pads and leaf basket before reinstalling the pumps. I personally leave my pumps running throughout the winter, and pull the pumps in the spring and clean them. It is best to start the pumps in the morning on a day that you are home all day to monitor the water level to be sure there are no leaks. The last thing you want is to burn a pump up because it ran dry.

Usually spring time brings a lot of rain and many ponds get a lot of runoff that clouds or muddies the water. This can result in a sludge build up that can cause problems with hair algae all summer. In this case you may want to consider installing a pressure filter. These filters do a great job of mechanically cleaning the water and have a back wash feature for self cleaning.

Don’t get discouraged by hair algae in the spring, this is a normal cycle. If you have a good bed of gravel in the bottom the algae will go away as the plants grow and the water temperature warms up. Don’t run out and get a UV clarifier to get rid of hair algae because it will have no affect. UV clarifiers only kill free floating algae that gives the water a pea soup look. I would not recommend algaecides either. Plants like water hyacinths, marsh betony, and watercress make very good water filters and grow quickly. Make sure you wait until the last frost to plant the water hyacinths.

Rough Terrain Landscaping

Preparation

The first thing that you need to do in your hillside landscaping adventure is prepare the area. Remove and clear any growth or debris to make sure that you have the room and space for your landscaping design and ideas.

The Problem of Erosion

To help reduce the erosion of your hillside, you want to cover your ground using heavy mulch and plant shrubs. Mulch can insulate your plants during the cold weather and it can help keep them from sprouting too quickly when the warm air comes in.

Keeping a good moisture level is also a priority in making your landscaping area flourish. This is especially a problem with a hillside garden, because the ground has a hard time retaining water on the steep slope.

Making a Beautiful Entrance

Color is the key to making your hillside into a masterpiece. Make sure that your hill is visually appealing and noticeable even from a distance. This will give the people passing by your area a beautiful area to look at and dream about.

A Touch of Creativity

An easy way to get your friends and family members attention is to bring a touch of your personality and interests to your landscaping design. Try to bring a touch of fun to your landscaping area by adding your personality and items that you love.

Retaining Walls

If your landscaping area is mostly hillside, then you may want to consider building a retaining wall. This will add a stylish area for you to use different kinds of materials. You need to make sure that you get the right materials and ask for help if you need it to install the retaining wall. With some effort and time, you can make a retaining wall to give your hillside added style and attractiveness.