May 3rd, 2011
If you own a piece of land in a rural area, it could be earning you a considerable second income that could compete with your normal earnings. In a world where we are truly starting to care for our environment, the value of what you have is increasing. Some people are using eco-friendly technologies, such as eco-friendly canopies and bird netting to grow more crops, while others are earning income from the sun. Here is a look at some eco-friendly income earning options for small rural property owners.
If you live in a rural property, whether you are farming or not, there are some different considerations you will have compared with those living in the city. Many rural properties are more likely to be self-sustaining, and we do see a higher percentage of homes that are off the grid. Even if not on a huge commercial level, getting the most out of your land, with such features as canopies to protect what you grow, even solar farming, could mean you are earning considerable amounts of money from the land you have. If you are not earning, at least you will not be spending. In this article, we look at the ways you can rely less on utilities and make the most out of your property, and possibly earn something while you are at it.
March 23rd, 2011
When designing our pool safety is of the greatest importance. There are also even many ways we can make our swimming pool cleaner with the right surfaces around our pool. Slipping and falling is always a concern around a swimming pool, particularly with boisterous children and animated behaviour. Slips and falls are a major concern for all of us. Here are some safe and attractive pool surrounding ideas that you can install or make a part of your design…
* Etching. This solution can be created on range of surfaces either manually with cutting tools or by specials chemical solutions. Use to increase traction by creating channels in most hard mineral surfaces through to wooden decking. You create traction markings and also disperse water by creating smaller channels for water to run away from trouble areas.
January 17th, 2011
Gardens are wonderful places to spend a summers day and yet surprisingly many features in a garden are not as green as they could be. Implement these 8 elements when designing your home patio or garden.
- Wildlife. You might be surprised, as habitat loss increases, private gardens are increasingly becoming an important site for wildlife. Encourage wildlife into your garden.There there are a huge number of ways you can do this. From building a pond to eliminating your use of nasty chemicals in the garden will all help wildlife to survive and thrive. Avoid over feeding wildlife so they retain their natural ability to find food sources.
- Compost. Placing mulch onto your soil in the form of grass clippings, chopped bark and or will all help to reduce water loss from your soil and also help to reduce the number of weeds which grow in your garden. The real eco-friendly gardeners will leave an area of their garden empty so that wild plants that are blown in on the wind have a place to grow. Make a compost heap from unwanted scraps and foliage. Use this to fertilise your garden.
January 12th, 2011
The backyard is one of the most important parts of the Aussie home. As we increasingly seek out an indoor-outdoor lifestyle, backyards have truly become extensions of our homes. Wooden decks or outdoor tiles create great spaces for relaxing and entertaining that complement lawns and flower gardens for the complete living environment. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy your garden. Here a few ideas to help you make the most of — and get the most from — your backyard.
Do you see gardening as a chore? It shouldn’t be. See it for what it is: an opportunity to spend time outdoors, working with nature. Don’t put yourself under too much pressure to create the greatest garden of all time. Just enjoy the therapeutic quality of spending time with your own thoughts and in contact with the earth. Enjoy gardening for the process itself and see the results that you reap as a bonus. You will be surprised what you can achieve.
December 29th, 2010
There is nothing like having your own swimming pool. I can stay in the water for hours. I love the beach, and water parks are fun, but there is nothing quite like the privacy and intimacy of a private swimming pool. The second thing that comes to anyone’s mind when they think about having their own swimming pool, unless you want to opt out and and have a pool cleaner take care of this for you, is the work involved. I have a rain water swimming pool in a rural and tropical area, which potentially means a great deal of algae, and so if anyone knows how to avoid hours of work, then it is me. Read these handy tips for maintaining your swimming pool and it will be a breeze…
1. Get a pool cover.
Your pool will probably not used for at least half of the year even if you live in a more tropical environment. Covering your pool for half of the year will save your hours of time and money when you do go to use it. A cover has drastic effects on your pool maintenance. Firstly it will stop debris and a huge source of algae. Secondly it will limit the sunlight the stagnant water is exposed to and reducing the growth of algae. Thirdly and just as importantly it will reduce the amount of evaporation – and if you live like I do, not on the water mains and only off the land, then you will really understand the importance of water conservation. I made my pool out of a used truck tarpaulin which I got for practically nothing at a local dump. Cut to size with the addition of fasteners it was ready to go.
November 15th, 2010
No rose garden is truly perfect without including climbing roses into the mix of rose species. Climbing roses, also recognized as pillars, ramblers, trailing roses, and everblooming roses depending on how they grow are not considered true vines. They don’t grow their own support structures to hold onto surfaces. But they are the ideal decoration to grace any arch, wall or any other structure in and around any garden.
Because climbing roses do not have the capabilities to hold onto structures like vines do, they need help from us. Grower can loosely tie the plant to a structure or wind it through the structure. Some types of structures you can grow climbing roses on are trellis , arbors, fences, sheds, columns, walls or virtually any other big, solid structures. Climbing roses that are educated to grow laterally instead of vertically often produce more blossoms. Vertically trained climbing roses will produce little spines along their main stem or canes which will develop blooms. Besides the direction they grow, growing climbing roses is not unlike growing other types of rose plants. Climbing roses need about 6 to 7 hours of direct unfiltered sunshine a day. Even climbing roses that are said to do good in the part shade still need about four to five hours of direct sunshine a day.
November 15th, 2010
Vines and windows just naturally go together; each helps the other to brighten a room and give it a garden air. And most windows are so light and bright, you’re not limited to the trustworthy foliage vines. You can have flowers. And you have a wide, wide variety of vines to choose from. Even a shaded window is the best place to display some sun-loving plant you’ve grown to full flower in other, more suitable quarters.
A single hanging container displayed at eye level – a luxuriant tuberous begonia or fuchsia spilling cascades of glowing flowers; the silver-patterned, plum purple Cissus discolor; or the brilliancy of an ivy geranium – will stop visitors in their tracks. Or use a matching pair of wall brackets, one at each side, to soften the straight lines and sharp corners of the window frame, with a flowering or foliage variety that drifts down or climbs up the casing. Or set a fast-growing specimen like velvety Cissus in an urn on the floor at one side of the window, and let it scramble up cords strung inside the frame.
November 15th, 2010
Restful and easy-to-live-with as they are, vines are not at their best trained haphazardly on a wall – any available wall – the way paintings are often hung to fill an empty space.
The lines of vines are so prominent that using them in a by-guess-and-by-golly manner can cause confusion and even offense. Except for spectacular specimens that become focal points wherever they’re placed, vines are usually most effective used in combination with other plants or items like pictures, mirrors, pieces of furniture.
But used with care, vines can create breathtaking effects against walls, fireplaces, railings of stairs, and other vertical areas. To harmonize and connect a background – the wall – with a table or chair standing before it, hang or train a vine just above the furniture. Stand back and squint at the composition to see if it is balanced. Check the relative proportions of space, to furniture, to plant. Decide whether the shapes are harmonious, whether colors and textures have interesting contrast. Then, congratulate yourself on achieving one of the difficult but most artistic types of interior design.
November 15th, 2010
Vines are available in an endless variety of size, texture, color, and form, and they can be trained to any shape, line, or curve. Name the decorative purpose your planting should serve, the effect you want to achieve, and take your choice of suitable vines or hanging plants. For dangling down from the edge of an indoor garden or climbing a piece of gnarled driftwood at the back, there are dainties like the creeping fig or the more luxuriant scindapsus. For a big, bold, masculine effect on the wall of a man’s study or a tropical patio, there are a great number of astonishing philodendrons and monsteras. For airy, lacy shadow effects, there are annuals like the canary-bird vine, succulents like the ceropegias.
For filling the bare space between a tall plant and its planter and relating each to the other, use any number of attractive trailers. For shading or screening a porch or patio, choose heavy-textured vines like the Dutchman’s pipe, lighter types like akebia. For evergreen vines of winter beauty, you can have small-leaved euonymous or handsome ivies; for brilliant fall color, parthenocissus or grapevines. There are dwarf vines and giants; vines with waxy foliage, or subdued and velvety; vines with colorful flowers or berries, or both; those that grow rampant or modest and restrained. There are magnificent climbing roses and clematis; exotic passion flowers and bougainvilleas – and all kinds of trailing plants for hanging baskets and wall brackets.
November 15th, 2010
Walls and fences of all dimensions are erected for any of many reasons – to define property boundaries, to create a center of privacy, to connect two areas or levels, even to break up small areas and make gardens seem larger. Fences can be used in place of trees and shrubs as background for a flower border, with spectacular vines as accent or subdued varieties for subordinate effect. And, of course, there’s nothing like a good-looking fence or wall to obscure unattractive outbuildings, or necessary atrocities like the compost heap.
For fences and walls, again, vines are selected according to available sunlight, moisture, and other cultural considerations – and then according to decorative purpose. If the fence is in itself decorative, the vine should enhance, not smother it. Avoid rampant-growing types and choose, instead, restrained vines with delicacy and charm, and those that can be pruned and trained to shape. For ugly or tottering fences, select a fast, thick covering vine.