Create Lasting Color In Your Garden

Create Lasting Color In Your Garden

Designing a beautiful flower garden is a lot like conducting a symphony. You mix and match plants just like the notes of a great concerto. There are moments of drama and impact followed by ones of subtle beauty and texture. Strong notes contrast with soft ones. Individual notes seem stark by themselves, but when they come together, they create beauty much greater than any of the parts.

“It really doesn’t take a maestro to create lasting color in your garden,” says Bayer Advanced™ garden expert Lance Walheim, who wrote the best-selling book “Roses for Dummies.” “But there are some tips to make sure your garden looks great throughout the growing season”:

1. Establish a color theme and stick to it. This will bring order to what often seems like a chaotic mix of bright colors. Try different flowers in shades of one color or blend complementary colors such as red and violet. For an even stronger impact, mix contrasting colors like yellow and blue or yellow and red. Take clues from the color of your home or hardscape.

2. Use all kinds of plants. Nurseries and garden centers are full of flowering annuals and perennials, but don’t overlook flowering shrubs and small trees. Landscape roses in particular can form the blooming backbone of your garden. And don’t forget bulbs like tulips and daffodils. Expand the possibilities.

3. Work the seasons. It’s easy to plan a spring garden. The bigger challenge is to have great color throughout the growing season. Look for summer- and fall-blooming plants, but don’t overlook trees and shrubs with great fall foliage color or brightly colored fruit.

4. Use a touch of white. White flowers make everything else look better, so add a few if you need an extra punch.

5. Throw in some bold foliage. Strong foliage plants, like purple fountain grass, variegated English ivy or dusty miller, contribute texture and make your garden even more striking.

6. Let your garden evolve. Great gardens don’t happen overnight. If a particular plant isn’t working, take it out and try something new.

After you’ve done all the work planting and landscaping your new color-themed garden, make sure it stays healthy throughout the growing season. Bayer Advanced™ All-in-One Rose & Flower Care contains an insecticide, fertilizer and fungicide that protect and feed your plants for up to six weeks. And there is no spraying; just mix and pour from a watering can around the base of the plant. It’s a great insurance policy for your living work of art.

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Create A Japanese Garden Theme

Create A Japanese Garden Theme

I never dreamed that I would have a job that I loved as much as I love my job as a wedding planner. Many days I cannot believe that I am getting paid to something that I love so much. I enjoy my job so much for two main reasons. First, I enjoy it because I genuinely love helping people. Second, I love being a wedding planner because I love weddings and I love seeing people enter into lifelong covenant relationships. I enjoy helping to plan great themes and all the details to make a wedding day extra special. I have been suggesting a Japanese garden theme to some clients lately.

I have been fascinated with all things Japanese and remotely Japanese looking for the last several years, and so I think that is why I try to incorporate a Japanese garden theme into weddings as often as possible lately. Most of my clients are a little surprised by the idea, but a few have actually decided to go with a Japanese garden theme for their wedding and reception.

The great thing about a Japanese garden theme is that it is colorful and beautiful while allowing for great flexibility and uniqueness. I cannot stand seeing people choose a theme for their wedding and reception that has been done so many times before. So I love aiding people in coming up with unique themes that fit them perfectly. With a Japanese garden theme, there really is room to tailor the theme to many different styles, seasons, and degrees of formality for weddings and receptions. I can help a couple plan a Japanese garden themed brunch or a black tie evening affair.

So if you are looking for a great theme for your wedding or for a party of any kind, then think about choosing a Japanese garden theme. Do a little research and get some ideas of what is available in your area. See what kinds of foods, invitations and flowers you like that might go with a Japanese garden theme. Talk to a wedding planner or to any friends with a sense of style and planning to gather even more ideas. You might be surprised at what a perfect theme a Japanese garden is for many occasions. Especially if you are someone that likes to learn about and honor the traditions and customs of other cultures, a Japanese garden theme is something you should investigate carefully.

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Adding Beauty To Your Garden With An Arbor

Adding Beauty To Your Garden With An Arbor

Garden arbors are set up as shaded places in home gardens or public parks where one can relax and rest. These open frameworks are typically made of latticework or rustic work, functioning also as a trellis for climbing or creeping plants. Arbors can also be constructed for decks or patios. Today’s garden arbors were not the first attempt to enhance the beauty of gardens. In the 400s B.C. and A.D. 400’s, elaborate courtyards were a hallmark of many Roman homes. Landscape architecture was also given a premium in Japanese gardens (A.D. 500’s) and Persian gardens (A.D.200’s-600’s). Beauty was also a priority for civic plazas and hillside estates for Italians in the 1400’s-1500’s. City gardens and majestic palaces were the highlight of France during the 1600’s and 1700’s, while country estates with a natural look were the main theme followed by English designers in the 1800’s.

1. Landscape Architecture

For a good number of these early country estates and gardens, designers were known as landscape gardeners. An American – Frederick Law Olmsted – was the first to use ‘landscape architect’. He indicated this title when he approved design plans for Manhattan’s Central Park in New York City with Calvert Vaux as his partner in the 1850’s. Landsape architecture is not limited to major projects. Some homeowners tap the services of professionals to add beauty to their gardens. However, others now feel confident in do-it-yourself projects as a cost-effective alternative to make their gardens beautiful.

2. Use Quality Materials

Creating a small garden arbor is an easy task, with costs becoming significantly less if the homeowner is patient enough to shop around and compare prices, particularly for pressure-treated lumber. Other items that may vary slightly across discount stores in price terms are deck screws, scrap lumber, crushed stone or gravel, washers, bolts and nuts. The same principles apply to building larger arbors, although some ideas and items would tend to increase in scale. As an example, using two posts for a small arbor may mean using four posts for a large one, as a bigger arbor would need greater support for strength and stability, and also to enhance alignment.

3. Designing a Garden Arbor: Some Do-It-Yourself Fundamentals

– To stabilize the arbor, the homeowner should have the main posts of the structure sunk into concrete poured into holes below the garden’s ground level.

– The carpenter’s level is used to determine if the posts stand at equal heights. The tool is also used to establish plumbness, or if the posts are vertically ‘level.’

– Wooden crosspieces in varying measurements can be attached perpendicular to the posts for further support.

– Since some rejects still make their way to lumber stores, one should be patient enough to sort through many boards until a good quality board is found.

– Buyers should remember that conventional measurements are not exact: a 4 by 4 may actually measure 3.5 by 3.5, while 2 by 4 may measure 1.5 by 3.5.

– The same consideration for post height must also be given, as part of the arbor posts will be underground. Galvanized post anchors is one option homeowners have if they intends to make use of the post’s full height – or have all posts above ground level – for their garden.

4. Tools For Do-It-Yourself Projects

These will actually cost a lot more if one does not have the necessary tools at home for building garden arbors.

– Circular saw or handsaw
– Stepladder
– Wheelbarrow
– Hammer
– Wrench
– Spade bit
– Garden hose
– Carpenter’s level
– Shovel
– Drill
– File
– Wood chisel

5. Building Tips

– Arbor boards can already be pre-drilled and pre-cut as a time-saving step.

– The wooden crosspieces can be designed at the ends. Patterns can be drawn using a pencil and later cut using a jigsaw.

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About basic bonsai styles

About basic bonsai styles

Bonsai, as a Japanese art form, is more regulated than it’s Chinese counterpart, the penjing. Bonsai attempts to achieve the ideal tree, while penjing attempts to reproduce nature. This is why perfect styling exists in bonsai if you obey the ‘rules’, while penjing leave you free to your creation. As a result these are the basic styles :

Broom (Hokidachi or Hoki-zukuri)

A very harmonious style, this form has branches that develop at a certain height, forming an upside broom. This styling is mainly achieved through a technique called the “V” cut. The trunk is chopped where you want the branch to start to develop and then a deep V cut is performed on the remaining trunk. This will induce buds to break near the cut. Zelkova serrata are notorious for this styling but maple and other deciduous species can easily be styled that way.

Formal Upright (Chokkan)

A tree styled the “chokkan” way has a straight trunk tapering graciously from bottom to top. The first and biggest branch is often situated at 1/3 of the desired height of the tree and is on the right or the left. The following branch is situated on the opposite side, while the third is in the back creating the perception depth. As we look at the branch structure from bottom to top, the branches are getting thinner, creating a pyramidal shape.

Informal Upright (Moyogi)

This style is very similar to the previously mentionned style as the same rules of design apply, however, the trunk is not straight but rather forms a sinuous shape while remaining tapered. This style is commonly used with conifers.

Slanting (Shakan)

Once again, this style is the same as the formal upright except that the trunk is leaning on one side. Branches are grown uniformly on the trunk like the formal/informal upright styles but the apex is tilted to the opposite side of the trunk giving a visual balanced effect.

Cascade (Kengai)

This styling requires an inclined trunk that is preferably at a 45 degree angle. The major portion of the foliage is below the pot line and sometimes goes beyond the pot itself. It often represents a tree growing on the side of cliff. A deep pot is used for this style.

Semi-cascade (Han-Kengai)

Similar to the Kengai style, this style also has an inclinated trunk. However, the foliage remains at the height of the pot line. In nature, we can see this style near a waterway, the foliage having grown on the side and leaning towards the water. While the cascade style uses a deeper pot, this style uses a medium depth pot.

Windswept (Fukinagashi)

A “windswept” tree represents a tree that has been growing in a certain shape due to natural elements . Often caused by strong wind, the trunk is always inclinated in a certain direction and all branches have grown on the same side.

Literati (Bunjin)

This styling is often represented in Japanese paintings. It is a tree with a tall and sinuous trunk. The foliage only grows near the summit of the tree. This styling is somewhat an exception to the rigorous rules of bonsai because it does not have specific rules. It represents what the bunjin movement is in Japan: the search for liberty.

Group/Forest (Yose-ue)

This styling often represents a forest or a small cluster of trees. It is supposed to be styled in a way that will clearly represent the growing habits of trees in a group. Many techinques can be used to achieve this styling and many perception techniques are used to create the illusion of a forest, or as Naka would say, “having the quality of the invisible beauty of nature”. To respect the Japanese art form, an odd number of trees is prefered for this styling.

Raft (Ikadabuki)

The same rules of the group planting apply to this style. However, all of the trunks emerge from one common trunk. This technique is often achieved with a branch placed verticaly in the soil. The roots form this branch and the upper part of the vertical branch develop secondary branches that will eventually become the trunks.

Multi-trunk Style (Sokan – Sankan)

This multi-trunk style has different possibilities. The first, which is called “Sokan”, consists of two trunks emerging from the same visible roots (nebari). The styling of the upper part of the tree must respect the same rules as the formal / informal upright styles previously described. Another variance consists of the same but with three trunks emerging from the visible roots. This is called “Sankan”. You can also have more than three trunks but to respect Japanese bonsai, it is prefered to have an odd number of trunks.

Roots Over Rock (Ishitsuki)

This styling has the specific charactreristics of having many visible roots growing over a rock and finding their way to the pot/soil.

Patrick from
http://www.mishobonsai.com

The Next Level in Closet Organization – Shelving

The Next Level in Closet Organization – Shelving

Most closets come equipped with a hanging bar and little else but to organize a closet and keep it that way some shelving is a must have. There are many items that you own that should not be hung up and stuffing them in a dresser drawer isn’t the answer either. By installing shelving inside your closet you are opening up new possibilities to keep it orderly.

You don’t have to stick with the traditional bar in the middle of the closet that is supposed to be one-size fits all. Plan the layout that makes the most sense to you. Maybe you would like to hang your pants at eye level and have all of your tops on shelving underneath or vice versa. Another use for shelves if for your shoes, install a shelf off the floor near the bottom and you can increase the floor space in your closet for more shoes or other storage bins. If you like the idea of having drawers in your closet but don’t have the means to install them a shelf with some basket or bins for sorting will work too.

Shelves are versatile; if you decide to reorganize you can put the shelves to another use. If they use to hold sweaters and it is now the middle of summer you can repurpose them for your summer hats, sandals, or shorts. If you choose, you can install the adjustable shelving that allows you to move the hanging brackets up or down a metal runner with holes.

Shelves come in different materials, you can choose from plastic shelving, metal (solid or wire), or wood. All are fine and as long as they are strong enough and smooth (to prevent any damage to clothing) you can go with the most eye-pleasing or cost effective shelving that can be found at the hardware store.

Closet Organization on a Budget

Closet Organization on a Budget

Do you drool over the closet organization systems that are available longing for a closet that looks like the ones in the advertisements? You know that your mornings would be less stressful and harried if you could just find what you needed when you need it in your unorganized closet. But you don’t have to invest your savings to achieve the benefits of a closet organization system. There are tips and tricks you can utilize to get the same effect without the high cost.

The key to low-cost closet organization is creativity and using the resources available to you. Hang hooks on the back of your closet door or any other vertical surface for a plethora of uses from purses, belts, hats, bathrobes, or any other item you can hang.

Plastic storage drawers are inexpensive and available at most hardware stores are useful for the bottom of your closet, again to group and store small things or ones that you don’t typically hang up such as your pajamas. Shelving is a must, where you don’t hang a hook put up a shelf. After your shelving is up, invest or repurpose some baskets or other small receptacles to store items in. If you don’t, the shelves are destined to become messy and cluttered. This is a few of the low to no cost items you can use to organize your closet.

If you have a bigger budget, find a picture of a closet organization system that catches your eye and see if you can recreate it on your own with lower cost supplies found in your hardware store. Plastic shelving, extra hanging rods, and hooks are all that you need to create an organized closet. Invest in enough hangers too; make sure you have enough for all of your clothes to make picking out an outfit easy.

Give Your Closet a Makeover

Give Your Closet a Makeover

If you get a headache each time you have to find something in your closet, it is time to give it a long overdue makeover. Before you begin to take everything out and start to reorganize, decide what you want your closet to look like and what type of storage systems will work best for your things. Some considerations are what is working in the space now and what isn’t and why isn’t it working. Maybe you don’t have enough room for your dresses because the double hanging bars aren’t spaced out enough or you don’t have room to hang everything in which case a double hanging bar is what you need.

The first step is to start with a list of things that should be in your closet and make an inventory of what storage systems you already have. After step one, make a sketch of what you want your closet to look like when you are done, bring it to the hardware store and find what you will need to supplement what you already have. Some tips for every closet:

* Install a double hanging bar but leave room for long hanging items such as dresses or full length coats.
* Shoe storage, this can take the form of a hanging rack, a shoe tree, or lined-up neatly on the floor.
* Shelves for sweaters that can’t be hung up or small items such as purses or belts.
* Utilize small baskets and boxes for hats or jewelry.
* Install hooks to hang ties or bathrobes on.

A closet that is organized with enough room for the future growth of your wardrobe is a closet that will stay organized. Invest in quality storage solutions that you can add to as your wardrobe or closet grows.

How a Closet Carousel can Help you get it Organized

How a Closet Carousel can Help you get it Organized

Do you have storage issues with your closet? Do you want a way to have everything you need in a place that is easy to access? A closet carousel is very convenient and it gives you more closet space then you could imagine. Most of them operate with a button that you push to turn the items on the carousel around. Some of them are round in shape and others are oval. You will find closet carousels in a variety of sizes to fit the dimensions of your closet. Some closet carousels can get you storage for hundreds of outfits, using only ten or twelve square feet of space.

A rotating closet carousel helps you get your closet organized by offering you a place to hang your clothing. Each outfit hangs on an individual hanger. As you press the button, your clothing slowly rotates around for you. Stop on any article of clothing you like. If you don’t like what is before you to wear that particular day, just let it keep going by.

To get the most out of a closet carousel, select one that comes with a clothing rod as well as storage shelves and containers. You should also select one that has adjustable shelving. This is a great way to ensure it will continue to work for you over time. Most closet carousels are made out of plastic and aluminum. They are very durable and can hold your heaviest objects. Some customer closet carousels are made of wood. These models are the most expensive because of the cost of the materials.

You have the option of having a closet carousel installed by a professional, but many models on the market are quite simple to install on your own. This is a great way to get your closet organized at a much lower cost. It helps if you have someone who can assist you. Look for a closet carousel that comes with complete instructions as well as customer support in case you experience any difficulties.

Some of them come with ceiling mounts and others offer a floor mount. Both work well so it is your own personal preference. Some people prefer the floor mount because they can have the closet carousel at a lower level. You can choose a closet carousel that plugs into a wall outlet or you can choose one that operates on a battery. On average, you should be able to install any closet carousel system within a four hour period.

Treat yourself to the luxury a closet carousel offers you in addition to organization. This is a great way to pamper yourself. Since we all live very busy lives, why not indulge yourself in a luxury you can use each morning as you prepare for your day? Who needs the stress of searching for an outfit? You can access your wardrobe quickly. This is also a great way to help your clothing last longer. Cramming them into a closet that isn’t customized to fit your needs can result in clothing getting wrinkled, snagged, and torn.

A closet carousel may be the perfect solution to your cluttered closet. You can purchase one online or from a home improvement store. They are simple to use, easy to install, and very inexpensive. Don’t let the opportunity to have a customized, organized closet pass you by!

Use a closet carousel by itself or partner it with other closet organization products. These products include hanging rods, drawers, baskets, cubbies, shoe organizers, and shelves. Some people have even decided to place two closet carousels in to their closet. One for their casual clothing and one for career clothing.

You can turn that open closet space that you haven’t’ accessed into great storage space with the right accessories and a few hours of work. The internet is a great place to find closet carousels that are available as well as to compare the quality and the pricing.

Custom Closet Organizers

Custom Closet Organizers

Do you dread going to your closet? Is it full of clothing, shoes, and accessories? Do you have to dodge falling objects, and then search endlessly for something you know is in there? If this describes the closets in your home, that you should look into custom closet organizers. They come in many styles and are made from various materials including plastic and wood. This is a great way to divide your closet into sections, making a space for each item. You will love being able to open up your closet and see everything neatly arranged and very simple to find.

The first order of business is to take everything out of your closet! I know this can seem overwhelming at first but it is necessary. Go through each item and place it in a pile depending on how you want things to be organized. Some people choose to organize their closet by colors of the clothing; others do it by the style of the clothing with piles for blouses, skirts, sweaters, etc. Pick a system that is going to work well for you. Once you have all of your piles in place you can start allocating closet space to meet those needs.

Custom closet organization doesn’t have to be difficult. You can be creative or you can use the internet or magazines to help you make a decision. Adding a second clothing hanging rack to your closet is a very simple solution if you have too many clothes to hang up. You can also use various types of hangers that put several pairs of pants onto one, reducing the amount of storage space they take up.

You can choose from various dividers, shelves, and baskets to customize your closet storage space. Many closets have a deep shelf on top but it is hard to keep piling more stuff on it. Putting in shelves or dividers will help you use more of that available storage space at the top of your closet. These products are quite inexpensive so organizing your closet won’t be too harsh on your budget.

Shoes are a common issue when it comes to closet organization. Install a shoe rack or even a wooden shoe storage box that attaches to the inside door of your closet. These are great ways to get your shoes together without taking up a great deal of space. It will also ensure you are able to find the shoes you want quickly on any given day.

Once you have installed the items you are going to use to keep your closet organized you are ready to start putting items in. This will be the really exciting part of the entire project. As you see your closet transform into an organized location for your clothing, shoes, and accessories, it will look more approachable and less like a jungle that swallows up your things. This memory compared to your old closet organization will help you stay motivated to put things back into their place.

Custom closet organization may seem overwhelming at first, but if you break it down into small tasks it will be easier. The time it takes you to complete the transformation will be a very worthwhile investment. You will save time each day as you go to your closet and find everything in its place. Who knows, you might even create enough extra space that you have an excuse to go on a shopping spree!

Closet Organizer Kits

Closet Organizer Kits

Do you want to get your closet in shape? Are you tired of not being able to find anything in there? If you are stumped on how to do it, consider purchasing a closet organizer kit. These kits come with everything you need to get the project underway and completed effortlessly. You can do it yourself with some very basic tools that most of us have at home including a drill, screws, nails, a hammer, and a good level. Once you have your closet organizer kit in place you will wonder how you ever survived before you had it!

While you can purchase closet organizers separately, using a kit is going to save you money. You will also get all the necessary brackets and installation items you need to get the job done correctly. A closet organizer kit is a great way to have items that accent each other and give your closet space an appealing look in addition to taking advantage of all that open space you aren’t using right now.

To make the closet organizer kit installation process easier, look for one that is partially put together with minimum assembly required. Look for adjustable organizer kits. Most require you to have wall studs to brace the screws and nails. If you don’t have studs then you can still use a closet organizer kit by installing wall anchors. Make sure you use the right type of closet organizer kit for your type of closet. Some are specific for a particular size of closet or for a walk in closet area.

Installing a closet organization kit is possible for anyone who can use basic power tools and follow step by step instructions. Some of the closet organizer kits are harder to install than others so make sure you get one that you will be able to install. If the option you won’t isn’t something you feel comfortable installing then get someone who more knowledge to do the job for you or to assist you.

It is easier to install a closet organizer kit if you have an assistance that can hold the organizer items in place while you are installing them. They can help you make everything level as well as run and get any tools that you may have forgotten to bring inside for the project. If you are using heavy wood materials, it is going to be much simpler with and extra pair of hands.

If you get in a bind during the installation of your closet organization kit, call the customer service number on the instruction manual. They can answer any questions you may have. They might also have an internet site to help you as well. You can search the internet answers for specific installation questions as well as tips for making the installation of our closet organizer kit as easy as possible.

Closet organizer kits can be purchased online, at any home improvement store, and at most retail stores. The amount of space a closet organizer kit will give you will amaze you. Most people are thrilled with the results they get. They find opening their closet to be an inviting adventure instead of a dreaded chore. Take a look at the various closet organizer kits available at your home improvement store, the internet, or ask for a free catalog from a retailer.