Polywood Tables

The use of polywood has been going on in outdoor construction since 1990. In recent years, the compound of recycled plastics had made its way into the furniture industry. Polywood tables are a wonderful example of being planet friendly and still useful, practical, and beautiful.

Polywood tables can be found in many fun, vibrant colors. Like its predecessor, the flimsy plastic furniture, the new polywood stands up well to the elements. It has progressed because it also stands up to the sun. The polywood is designed so that ultraviolet rays do not cause fading – this means no more painting of the furniture each spring (unfortunately it doesn’t end the entire honey-do list).

Another unique feature of the new plastic furniture is that it is designed to look like wood. The polywood tables have been molded to resemble natural wood in look and in texture. Unlike real wood, these tables will not fall prey to water, insects, or other pests. Polywood tables give consumers the strength of wood without carrying all the hassles that come from the natural product.

The price of polywood tables is extremely reasonable when you take into account all of the factors. It costs similar to solid wood furniture, but doesn’t come with the upkeep. If you compare the length of time the furniture will last the amount it will cost up front, the new polywood furniture is quite a bargain.

Saving Water for Landscaping

To water our landscaping, we use either some type of automated sprinkler system or a sprinkler that is dragged from spot to spot. Right from the big corporations right down to the homeowner with just a speck of a lawn, most people use or want to use some type of automated watering system. You have probably seen water from automated sprinkler systems running off the grass and running down the street. I don’t know about you, but here in the arid West, when I see this, it makes me quite angry. This even can be seen in droughts where a typical homeowner may have to water his plants with saved waste water from inside his home. This is not exactly an efficient use of water. All around the country there are problems with having clean water. It just doesn’t make sense to waste water.

Yet most landscaping owners use an inefficient and wasteful watering system. Here are a few tips to make watering your landscaping more efficient and less wasteful.

Watering systems for your landscaping vary. Find one that is most efficient for your needs. A good rule of thumb is that the larger the water drop delivered and the closer to the ground the better it is. Using a system that delivers a fine spray up into the air will lose much of the water to evaporation and to wind.

Surprisingly, hand held hose watering was found to be the most water-efficient way to provide moisture to your landscaping. It uses 33% less water than the average household uses to water their plants.

Studies found that of the automated watering systems, in ground sprinkler systems used 35% more and those with automatic timers use 47% more water than places that did not use such automated systems. These timesaving devices aren’t saving you money or water.

Adding rain sensors, or better yet, soil sensors to your automated watering system saves water. You don’t end up with the sprinkler system coming on in the middle of a rainstorm or right after one when the ground is already soaked.

Automated drip irrigation systems were found to be more efficient in the study using only 16% more than used by non-automated watering households. Add the above sensors and you will have an even better system.

Perhaps the best tip is to not over water. This goes to more than not watering after a rainstorm. It includes watering to your landscaping plants’ specific moisture requirements. Consider including less water intensive plantings in your landscaping. It means watering, as your soil requires. Adjust your watering schedule from that needed in the high temperatures of summer to the less watering needed in fall as temperatures go down.

Landscaping For Bungalow

You just purchased a bungalow, and as such you would like to have it landscaped. You have decided that you would like to landscape it yourself. However, your yard is small, so you are not sure how to go about doing bungalow landscaping. Thus, what you need is bungalow landscaping ideas.

The first thing you need to consider is the dimension of your yard. Wherever you have the most room is where you should start with your bungalow landscaping. If you have more room at the front of your house, consider using flowers.

You might prefer flowery bushes to actual flowers, but the reality is that since your bungalow is small you do not want the bushes to get too big, and thus become a problem to maintain. Thus, it is best to keep it simple with flowers.

You can either use potted plants in your bungalow landscaping, or you can plant the flowers in the ground. Whichever you choose, be sure that you do not overdo it. For example, if you have a front walkway, plant flowers on either side of the walkway as borders. If you choose to have flowers in pots, place a pot on either side of your front doorway.

When it comes to backyard bungalow landscaping, consider having a small garden. The garden could be any kind of garden that you would like. If you have a particularly small backyard, do not be dismayed, because a garden can be any size!

Use annuals: alyssum, browalia, calendulas, cornflower (Centaurea), larkspur, nasturtiums, nicotiana, petunias, sweet peas. For containers and hanging baskets: miniature morning glory, nasturtiums, Petunia integrifolia.

Other perennials: asters, balloon flower (Platycodon), bellflowers (Campanula), bleeding heart, bee balm, chrysanthemums, coreopsis, daffodils, daylilies, delphiniums, iris, lady’s mantle, lamb’s ears, lavender, lupine, phlox, primroses, salvia.

When the time comes to mow the grass, be sure that you use a small lawnmower. This is because larger lawnmowers are harder to maneuver around smaller yards. If you have an especially small yard, consider getting a hand mower, which is a lawnmower that does not require gas, and instead requires you to push it along to cut the grass. They are not expensive and provide good exercise.

For more information on bungalow landscaping, go to your local garden center and ask for advice. Or, you can search the internet, since there are a variety of websites that have to do with that topic. With the proper research, you re sure to find the right bungalow landscaping ideas!

Creating Outdoor Rooms

  • Determine where the garden room will be located and the size of the room.
  • Choose a floor surface such as dirt, grass, decking, stone, gravel or brick.
  • Create garden room walls with fences, hedges or flower beds. If I want to completely separate the room use a tall formal hedge or privacy fence. To keep the rooms open and more connected I might choose to use flower beds, containers or just a different type of floor surface.
  • I stand in the space and look up. I can then decide what type of ceiling I want to incorporate into the space. The sky usually acts as the ceiling, but I could choose to use a pergola, covered porch, a canopy of trees, a garden arbor or an umbrella.
  • Once the work is complete, I can accessorize the casual living patio furniture with container gardens, outdoor lighting, plants, fountains, fire pits and weather-resistant fabrics.

I have my plan in hand and head to my local garden center where I purchase the needed supplies to make that plan a reality.

The work is complete now and I am enjoying my new outdoor room with casual living patio furniture, containers filled with vibrant colored flowers, a garden arbor covered with wisteria, birds and butterflies fluttering around and a beautiful fountain that makes me remember a stream near my home when I was a child.

Compose Landscapes

  • Every landscape should have a focal point. This is the center of interest, the part of the picture your eye is drawn to. It can be a distant mountain, the facade of a building, or a clump of trees. Without a focal point, your landscape will likely fall flat.
  • Make sure the subject is big enough. If you use a wide-angle lens, a distant focal point such as a mountain may be too small or the sea may seem to trail off into nothing but water. Your eye seeks a center of interest. If there is none, it will simply wander off to infinity because there is nothing in the picture to hold your attention. A small main subject can express the vastness and grandeur of a scene, but if this isn’t your aim, move closer to the main subject and reframe the shot. If the main subject is still too far away or you can’t get closer, use a longer lens.
  • Let the subject guide your approach. If the main subject area contains people, experiment with placing them nearer or farther from the camera to achieve different-sized images. Some images can be more effective if they look large and overpowering. Small figures emphasize the vastness of a woodland area.
  • Pay attention to subject placement. Impressive or dynamic subjects (for example, the plant in picture on left) can often be centrally placed. Medium-sized landscape images are usually more effective when placed off-center (such as leaves and tree trunks in picture above).
  • Consider framing your subject. Dramatic central subjects generally don’t require framing, but other landscape subjects are usually improved by framing. Without some framing, the main subject at a distance appears lost in the enlarged print or projection. The foremost framing device is foliage. An arch, doorway, or natural rock formation can also serve as a useful frame to lead the viewer’s eye.
  • Keep the frame in focus. In landscape photography, it’s important that both the frame and the subject be sharp. Visually, an out-of-focus frame is usually disturbing and draws attention away from the main subject. If depth of field is insufficient, shift the focus point or stop the lens down.
  • Create the illusion of depth. Giving the feeling of three-dimensional space enhances landscapes. Placing different subjects or framing elements at different planes helps the picture hold the viewer.

Desert Gardening and Landscaping

The desert shrubs are known for vivid coloring, easy planting and caring requirements, and green environment in the garden premises. There are shrubs that grow in desert regions that are not the typical desert plants. The viburnum shrub is great inclusion in the desert garden landscape area. Offering extended foliage, versatility, and convenient growth habits; these are often treasured plants in the garden. They are widely recognized for magnificent aromatic flowers and bright color fruits that are highly favorable for attracting wildlife to your home garden. With over 150 species to choose, you have plethora of them including the Japanese Snowball Viburnum, Old Fashioned Snowball, and the evergreen shrub Pragense (Prague Viburnum).

One of the most beautiful desert plants is the Succulent species is the Delosperma or Iceplant with its glimmering flowers. These plants grow about 6 to 8 inches tall and are spreaders. Other succulent plants include sedum. There are creeping sedum used as ground covers and upright garden sedum plants. Creeping sedums are mostly evergreen plants while the taller growing garden sedums act more as perennials.

The Yucca species and cultivars in North America are in the growth range of USDA Hardiness Zone of 4-10. These species are highly appreciated for distinct appearance, extending colorful plant life, and vertically stalked flowers, boasting over extreme weather conditions. Yucca plants can survive drought and high temperature conditions to retain long years of survival. Yucca Color Guard is a newer yucca cultivar that is smaller in size and perfect for small yards.

Characterized with sword-shaped leaves and sharp tips, the leaves of Yucca species are very interesting and vary from one to another in terms of margin colors. There are curly margins of the leaf filaments. The color of the margins in Variegata is white, Bright edge and Goden edge is yellow and so on. The golden sword has leaves with beautiful yellow centers. The flowers of the Yucca species are recognized by bell shaped appearance having lighter shades of creamy white to light yellow.

Starting with the inexpensive methods is a great idea for a trial period. Succulent plants are great for cultivating in small pots. The winters are very crucial for your garden desert plant species with stressful consequences. During this period, the plants require waterproof covering to prevent contact with direct snowfall. With simple care measures you can prevent adversities and protect your existing desert garden plants.

Deck Lighting

  • Post Lights – With Optional Light Sensor Controls. Any number of deck post designs can be used to increase outdoor ambience and day-to-night use. Think of flood lights… lantern designs set in as deck post or wall mounted… quartz flood… LED deck lights. Dawn-to-dusk adaptation becomes a cinch with the use of high tech hi-lo sensor units… saving energy when you need to, or providing motion detection when people enter the deck area. Deck lamps can be post-mounted, screwed into the deck directly, or wall mounted too adapt to any outdoor lighting need.
  • Step Lights. Deck stair lights are critical for night time safety. Homeowners should consider a pattern, with two fixtures on the opposite ends of wide stairs over 6 to 8 feet, or a single center-positioned deck step light for narrower deck stairs.
  • LED Deck Lighting. Recessed lighting got a design boost with the advent of solar powered LED systems. A simple kit for 1 or multiple lighting points, LED designs exploit the “free energy” from the sun… charging up in under 4 hours… generating up to 12 hours of subtle low-wattage lighting… and the Big Winner is that you’re entirely free of troublesome wires and the associated additional wiring costs. Several solar panels “collect” energy during the day. You can program the LED to come on automatically, or use a remote control for when-needed lighting control.
  • Low Voltage Lighting. Is your deck shaded and limited in terms of capturing sunlight? If so then the alternative to solarlighting is hard-wired low voltage deck lighting. You’ll get 100% guaranteed light-on-demand with the flick of a wall switch. Around 10 watts of power running through halogen bulbs gives you complete control over your deck lighting needs. Design materials include the range of copper, wood, bronze and mixed materials. Some individual low voltage lights can be screwed directly into the deck, be grounded and placed along garden pathways.
  • Solar Deck Lighting. Residential deck and stairs or even large landscape lighting needs are well met by the new breed of 2 to 4 watt solar ighting designs. Typically fabricated in long life anodized metal, solar deck post lights weight less than 2 pounds… each can be located exactly where you need it… self-contained with discrete solar panels combining with LED intensive lights… plus, the huge advantage of “no messy wires and connections” to be made. Charging time of 4 hours equals sufficient stored energy to run for up to 12 hours.
  • Recessed Lighting – Subtle Designing With Light. When lighting decks, while custom in design and installation, creates the most subtle yet safe way to locate lights so that you and your friends can comfortably see… yet not be blinded. Recessed lighting systems safely trail connective wires below the deck, and eye line. Once wired in to a nearby switch box, recessed fixtures carry a protective cap so that the accidental step from kids, dogs or guests causes no harm. Alternative to wires? Look into the range of solar lights, especially recessed kits… easy to install, weather resistant.

Discover Desert Landscaping Plants

Even if you have a state of the art irrigation system to supply water around the clock, there will be times of drought and water rationing. Not to mention the initial cost and maintenance costs. It is much simpler for your desert landscape to simply use plants that will thrive even in the hot sun all day. So take some time with your landscaping plan to ensure that you have everything appropriate to the climate.

Another benefit to using desert landscaping friendly plants is, that not only will these plants do well even in the hot sun; they will also be able to flourish in the low quality soil common to these climate zones. You will not need to add fertilizers and soil conditioners, which further will cut down on your maintenance time and expense.

To start you off, here are two plants that are useful in desert landscaping:

Longwood Blue Bluebeard

This is a deciduous shrub; it will grow back every spring. It will always return to its healthy and contented state each year, which makes it ideal for desert landscaping. Longwood Blue Bluebeard is a medium-sized shrub, growing to anywhere between 3 and 4 feet high with a width of around 2 feet. This is a handsome plant for use in desert landscaping’ not only is it attractive, with its striking blue flower clusters and silver foliage, it is also quite fragrant.

Autumn Joy

Autumn Joy is a perennial that you can employ well in desert landscaping. With this plant you will get abundant leaves in ornate whorls. These leaves can be many different colors, so Autumn Joy can be bought to go with your landscaping design. This plant is ideal for desert landscaping since it grows easily in rock gardens. This lovely desert plant also has unique attention-grabbing flowers distinct from any I have ever seen. The small flowers grow in clusters and can be different colors and shades, but most commonly are yellow, orange and red and pink. Also, be aware that if you plant these in your garden you will have butterflies around as they are attracted to the flowers, so be prepared to have your visitors ignore your lovely landscape and ooh and ahh over the butterflies!

Many Uses Of Landscape Edging

  • Around trees – Using landscape edging around your trees can help keep the grass, ground covers, or other vines and plants from invading the space designated just for your trees. These plants can sometimes steal the water your trees need, before that water is able to soak deeply enough into the ground to be beneficial to the trees. So putting landscape edging around your trees is an excellent way to make the yard look much more professionally finished, but it also helps your trees to grow strong and healthy. Try putting your landscape edging several feet away from the trunks of the trees, then fill the interior area with a nice looking mulch or bark to give it a finishing touch. This bark and mulch will also help protect your trees from drying out too quickly in the summer, or being damaged by cold in the winter.
  • Around your yard – Using landscape edging around the border of a simple grass yard helps it looks more valuable and attractive, without adding the additional maintenance and water needs that comes with putting in plants, flowers, bushes or trees. An added bonus of putting landscape edging around your grass yard, is that the grass will not be able to invade your walkways as easily, and keeping the edges trimmed is also much easier when you have edging in place too.
  • Around flower beds – Landscape edging is an excellent way to section off various areas of your yard and garden for specific plants or flowers. If you like having showy annual flowers along your walkway for instance, putting some decorative landscape edging on the outside of those is a quick and easy way to dress things up a bit.

Make Landscape Look Good

Know your soil type. Some plants thrive in soil with more acidity, and others prefer a little more alkali. Additionally, sandy soil and clay soil, as well as the presence of a loamy soil, can make a difference in what types of plants will thrive in a landscape. You should have your soil evaluated in order to determine what types of vegetation should be planted on your property. When you purchase plants that will succeed in the soil conditions present in your yard, then you make a wiser money decision, and you end up with a more attractive landscape. If there are plants that you would like to use in your soil, but the soil is not quite ideal, it is possible to improve the soil to proper conditions. You need only add mulch or peat, or to add crushed limestone or clamshells, depending upon what you hope to accomplish. As long as there is not a great difference in what you have and what you hope to achieve, it is possible to make soil adjustments to be more accommodating.

Understand how much space each of the plants need. There are some plants that require more room for their root systems than others. If you choose one plant that tends to grow everywhere, and you do not have adequate space, you will find that your other plants may be crowded out or that they may choke and die. Also, make sure you understand the spacing requirements for between plants. Many shrubs and small trees need to be planted at least three to four feet apart to have enough room to grow.

Use native plants in your landscape design. One of the most effective things you can do to ensure a good-looking yard is to make use of native plants. Find out what plants grow best in your area, and what plants are indigenous to the region. This way you will already be ahead, in that you know that the plants you choose are adapted to the climate. You will not have to struggle against natural inclinations to keep your landscape looking beautiful. If you due use non-native plants, assure yourself that they come from a place that shares a climate similar to the one in which you live.

Plan your landscape around different blooming times. Different plants bloom at various times throughout the year. If all of the plants in your landscape are at their most attractive all at the same time, then your yard will look beautiful for a few weeks each year, but quite possible ugly the rest of the year. One way to help avoid this is to choose attractive bushes and shrubs that look good green, but also have some sort flower. However, it is a good idea to stagger plants among each other. Plant tulips and crocus among later-blooming plants so that in early spring the bulbs bloom, and then when those flowers’ time is up, the next plants will be in bloom. In this way the cycle of your landscape is in keeping with the seasons, and looks attractive all year round.

Use wood chips around shrubs, bushes and trees. Wood chips can help the ground around shrubs, bushes, and trees look more attractive. Not only do the chips cover the ground (often looking better than dirt), but they also help keep in moisture, repel weeds, and provide natural food as they break down. Likewise, attractive groundcover like chicks and hens placed around trees and shrubs can make the area more interesting and pleasing to the eye.