Monthly Archives: July 2014

Practicing Garden Design In Your Own Yard

Landscaping can be a fulfilling pastime, especially for those who love to spend time admiring nature’s beauty. There is no set style or design that is best, so using your creativity and ingenuity is a key factor.

Deciding what to plant in a garden can be difficult; there are so many different flowers and plants that are aesthetically pleasing. Gardens can also be filled with fruits and vegetables that grow well in your climate.

The only way to become great at this type of landscaping is to practice it; you may not always plant things that grow well in your area or look pretty once they bloom. However, through the process of trial and error, you can make your yard beautiful and inviting.

The main thing to remember is that this type of art form is subjective; this means that what is beautiful to you may not always be the same to others. It is a way to express views and opinions and showcase talents to others that come to visit.

Gardening can also be a great stress reliever, which can be useful to those that spend their weeks worried about problems at work or transporting family members back and forth. Many find that spending time in nature caring for and tending something is blissful and mentally cleansing.

Those that have problems with stress management can try this hobby to relieve their worries and psychological anguish. Dead plants and aesthetic issues do not have to be stressed over; they can just be taken out or moved.

No set pattern or rules have been set stating the “right” way to design a garden, but there are a few elements that can help yours to look neater and more beautiful. Proportion is vital; smaller plants should not be taken over or covered up by larger ones and it is better if colors are varied instead of concentrated.

There should also be some sense of harmony between your choices; most patches have some kind of focal point or theme, and if you decide on one it can help to give a more balanced look. Changes in height and color should be gradual and not shocking.

An outline foundation is important for any patch of garden, because it helps to set it off from the rest of the yard and make it more defined. It is common to use trees, like conifers, to outline this area.

The beauty of this type of art form is that gardeners can mix all kinds of colors and textures. It is best to design some kind of focal point that the eyes are first drawn to.

It gives the patch harmony and composition and helps to make it look more professional. Once you find this point, you can feed off of it and plant flowers of different colors and textures surrounding it.

Draw ideas from photos that you have seen in magazines or at other venues that showcase colors and textures that you love. It is important to remember that, though seeds have specific hues that they are supposed to produce, this may not always happen.

The process becomes one of testing out different seeds. If you would rather not be surprised, you can purchase blooms from a nursery in the exact shade that you envisioned.

Remember that the items you are working with are living, which means that they will be constantly changing. They may get pushed out of the way because of weeds or other native plants that grow up within.

Make sure that you remove weeds as soon as possible so that they do not harm the flowers that are intended to be in the plot. You should also watch out for pests and other things that may cause danger to your hard work.

Though gardens can be a beautiful art form, there are also many that serve a beneficial function. Many individuals prefer to eat fresh, farmer’s market style vegetables and fruits.

Those worried about pesticides or genetically altered foods can grow their own right in their yard. Some research regarding which types of produce are able to grow in your region may be necessary, but you should be able to find at least some that will thrive.

Try to use the best fertilizer or compost available, and tend the plants often. Practice makes perfect, and the more you garden, the easier it will be to design something beautiful and pleasing!

Tom Selwick has 1 articles online

Tom Selwick has worked the past 22 years in the lawn care industry. He suggests usingweed pro lawn care for a quality lawn.

Contact Info:
Tom Selwick

Top Considerations To Buy Baby Yard Pens

Young babies and toddlers can be provided safe playing areas in the form of yard pens. Learn about the top considerations that should be taken into account while purchasing these baby safety products.

Parenting is a busy chore, but one requires sparing some time to do other household tasks. Baby yard pens are the perfect products that keep babies safe, especially when they learn to crawl or walk. The baby may play or take a nap inside the play pen when none of the parents is around to take care. There are some important points that you must consider while purchasing these safety gears.


It is a good idea to purchase a play pen that can be easily folded and installed at the place you want. You can look for portable play pens that can be folded and even carried in a car to some other place. This allows the parents to keep an eye on the baby playing inside the pen. Moreover, you can carry them while going for a short vacation.


If you wish to buy a portable play pen, you must also consider its weight. Play pens, especially those made of wood or metal, are heavy in weight. A plastic play pen is not that heavy but it may not be appropriate for an active baby who may drag it easily. Consider the age of the baby and your convenience while deciding the play pen weight.

Space Available

You may choose a play pen that occupies small space for the not so active baby. However, an active baby would require more space to play. You must also choose a play pen with larger playing space if there are two babies in the house. You must consider the space available for storing as well as installing the play pen.


A play pen may have a number of add-ons. For example, it may have a gate to allow easy entry of an adult. Some of the play pens can be converted into play house. Others have lights and sounds to entertain the baby. However, these add-ons make the yard pens expensive. If you don’t have a big budget, you may opt for a simple but durable play pen.

Other factors that you may consider are color, clean-up convenience, height and so on. Spend time in your search and opt for the best yard pen that suits you and your baby.

brainrobin has 1 articles online

Some of the yard pens can be converted into cribs for babies to sleep. You must obtain useful information about these convertible play pens to purchase the right product.

Healthy Eating On The Cheap

In these tough financial times, it’s important to learn how much it costs to eat clean healthy food. Healthy food should always be a priority, but if times are tough and you can’t afford your local organic shop then it can be easy to slip into bad eating habits. The truth is, now is the best time to eat well, as you don’t want to be catching a cold or getting sick and having to pay for doctor’s appointments or medication. 

Fruit & Vegetables

Shop at a market if you’re not doing it already. For $10 you can buy a week’s worth of vegetables. Cook your food in larger batches so you don’t waste any food that gets old at the bottom of the fridge.
Buy food that is in season. Food that is not in season ALWAYS costs more. If you don’t know when each fruit or vegie comes in season then shop at a market or your local green grocer as they will only stock the fresh stuff. For this reason you should avoid supermarkets as much as possible.
Frozen vegetables are a good option to keep in your freezer for when you run out of fresh food. They don’t taste as good as fresh, but they are fine when used in cooking.
Vegetables that I have found to be the cheapest and go a long way are cabbage, onion and potato. These are so versatile, and if you vary your herbs and spices you will get a great range of tasty meals.
Fruit is often more expensive than vegetables and generally doesn’t fill you up so much. If you are counting your pennies then I suggest forgoing fruit. Vegetables generally have a higher nutritional value so you won’t be missing out on much.


My number one tip here is to shop at a farmers market. They are EVERYWHERE here in Melbourne â?? from Collingwood to Hurstbridge, you can find a farmers market near you. The markets tend to travel so some market locations are monthly, while others are bi monthly or weekly. Search online for a farmers market near you so you can plan in advance when to go.
Make friends with your local butcher. The meat is better quality than the supermarket and often cheaper too. Buy larger quantities to cook up a big batch of something, which can be portioned and frozen for future meals. You can also bulk up your meals with potatoes, onion, capsicum and other cheap vegetables.
If you have a fishing rod, consider catching a meal or two.
Meat is not a cheap source of protein so if times are tough then you should consider vegetarian sources of protein.

Other Protein

Dried beans and lentils are dirt cheap. For $2 you can buy a decent sized pack that will last a couple of weeks. Remember to soak overnight and rinse before cooking. Go to markets or Indian grocers to find different varieties.
Vegetarian protein can be mixed with meat sources to bulk up the meal while still providing good nutrition.


Oats are a decent breakfast choice if eggs are out for you. You should be able to buy a kilo for $1 at most supermarkets.
Tinned tomatoes can be very cheap. Stock up on them when you see them on special for under $1.

Cooking Ideas

Vegie stir fry

Combine onion, cabbage, capsicum, broccoli, mushrooms and any other vegies in a big pan. Stir fry with some oil, and spices of your choice. This is a good vegie base that can be added to potato, legumes, tuna or other meat. Refrigerates well.

Chili mish mash

Cook onion, minced meat, pre-soaked kidney beans, carrot, capsicum, tinned tomatoes, some water and any other vegies in a pot. Add salt, pepper, garlic, dried chili, ground cumin, coriander, paprika and any other spices you like. Freezes well.


Soak some lentils overnight. Be sure to drain and rinse well before cooking. Put in a pot with a tin of tomatoes, some water, vegetables of your choice (eg cauliflower, capsicum, onion, garlic) and add salt, pepper, coriander, cumin, turmeric and any other spices. Cook until soft. Freezes well.

Anna Papij has 1 articles online

Anna is a personal trainer in Melbourne, Australia. Stop by on Facebook to join in the healthy discussion.

A New Way Of Cooking, Infrared Oven Cooking

Infrared oven cooking refers to cooking food using invisible light energy. When light waves hit the foods the food molecules begin to vibrate and heat up. According to Prevention, the infrared technology used in microwaves does not have cancer threats, because they do not have sufficient power to damage your DNA.

Conduction uses heat directly to foods creating crispy golden brown results. Convection disseminates the heat around the food evenly, and which results to fast cooking. Even when foods are frozen, there is no need for defrosting.

You can place frozen food in the cooking convection oven, and in a short time, your food is browned to perfection. With infrared oven, your energy consumption is cut remarkably. You can enjoy 85% savings on your energy, provided you use the right system, which emits the proper frequencies.

Infrared oven cooking supports the healthy cooking campaign as there is no need for you to add cooking oils, seasonings, or artificial flavors to improve the taste of the cooking food. This oven has varying cooking temperatures, which you can change to estimate cooking time and the heat needed. Compared to standard oven, foods are cooked 50% faster.

Cleaning up the infrared oven is easy and is done quickly. It does not require special cleaning or disassembly. It is similar to how you clean your conventional oven, although the dome in IR oven does not easily give in to rusts and sensitivities to dishwashing solutions. It is ideal for people who are organized, neat and meticulous in cooking.

An infrared oven is compact and lightweight, which makes it just right for right for camping, picnics, outdoor parties, and other outings. However, just because it is lightweight, it does not mean it cannot cook 9 lb whole turkeys.

Infrared oven cooking has many converts who now use only this type of cooking. It has excellent recommendations and testimonials from those who have tried it. They are impressed the precision and taste of the foods cooked, such as fish, poultry meats, and vegetables. If you are a baking enthusiast, you will enjoy the efficiency of cooking with the IR oven.

Infrared is not absorbed nor disseminated by air. Pots and bowls with flat surfaces are ideal with infrared oven. It can heat flat surfaces quickly and efficiently. However, shapes that are three-dimensional can also enjoy perfect heating with infrared ovens.

You can even rotate the cooking pot or bowl to have an even exposure of food to radiation. The oven too can be zoned according to heating rates, which makes the cooking of internal regions with precision. If you worry about the use of infrared, your anxiety is baseless.

Experts believe that ultraviolet radiation and microwave radiation have health hazards, and not infrared oven cooking. But for precaution, you are advised against prolonged viewing of high intensity infrared emitter at 15â?? distance. By using reflectors and shields, you can cook your food faster.

Its maintenance is easy. You only need to clean the reflectors and examine the emitters. To make your infrared cooking oven last longer, clean your oven frequently and replace the component that wear out. If you try the infrared oven, you will find that you will be using it more frequently than your conventional oven.

By Anonymous

Fixing A Broken PVC Pipe In The Garden

Many gardeners have an underground PVC pipe watering system that supplies water to their gardens. Every once in a while a sprinkler head will break off or the PVC pipe can break after a bad winter freeze. Regardless of when the pipe breaks it’s never a good time, but when it breaks you will need to know exactly how to fix it. In this article you will discover information about PVC and how to repair a break if and when the time arises. The most important part of the whole process is to have all the parts needed for repair ahead of time.

PVC or Polyvinyl Chloride comes in several different schedules as well as being rigid and flexible. To make things simple this article will be discussing rigid PVC water pipe that comes in Sch-20, Sch-40, and Sch-80 of which being the most commonly used for outdoor watering pipes. Do not confuse PVC with CPVC because they are used for different purposes and the outside diameters and inside diameters are completely different. The most common pipe that is used for gardening will more than likely come up as Sch-20 or Sch-40 white pipe.

If you experience a break whether in the location of a sprinkler head or along the pipe length itself, make sure the outside water is turned completely off. This will relieve the pressure in the line and allow you to make repairs quickly and effectively. To start off you’ll need to locate the break, and this is normally done right when the break happens. Once you’ve found the problem area, you’ll want to dig the area out and clear debris away from the broken area. If the break is in the length of the line, there is a special repair that will need to be made. If your break is located where the sprinkler head is located, this can be remedied using a fitting or coupler.

Before heading to the hardware store, garden outlet, or any other home improvement center, you will either need to bring a section of the broken pipe, the broken sprinkler head, or simply know what size your PVC pipe is. For gardening the water pipe is normally ½ or ¾ OD. Once you know the size, you can begin looking for the parts that will be needed. For the break in the length of the pipe, you’ll look for a PVC-slip joint. This will allow you to cut the broken section of pipe out and easily slip the new section in for repair.

For the sprinkler head break, you need the sprinkler head fitting that is the correct size. This is normally a TEE fitting and can be easily picked up very inexpensively. Before leaving the parts store, make sure you have something to cut the old pipe like a PVC cutter. You will also need PVC glue and primer. Once you have all these items it’s time to go home and make the repair. Once you begin, you will want to make sure the pipes are cut flush and cleaned properly. For the pipe break, cut the existing pipe in a way that will allow you to place the PVC-slip joint in easily. Dry fit everything before gluing.

Once the parts go together without a problem, using the PVC primer, prime the inner areas of the repair pieces and the outer areas of the items to be repaired. Once you’ve done this you can apply the PVC glue to one end of the broken area and the inner end of the slip. Press together snuggly and begin working on the other end. For the sprinkler head TEE this will work the same way making sure you have enough room to join the pipes together. Once the pipes have been glued and everything has been put back together, wait at least 2 hours before turning the water back on. Now you have made your PVC repair and you’re off to the next project.

Stephen J Jackson is an article content writer that writes articles for website owners, internet marketers, bloggers, and product reviewers. You can learn more about how Stephen can help your business meet their content creation goals at

Home Improvements for your Backyard

Home improvement isn’t simply just about adding to your home’s amenities and furnishings. It also adds significant value to your home’s resale value, which in these days is always an important factor in home owning. But not all home hardware and started on their summer improvement projects.

So, if you’re wondering which project will add more to your home’s resale value, here are some of the most popular ones which will make your home not only beautiful but also more valuable.

Patio – Along with the backyard grill and the apple pie, the patio is an American tradition. Bringing together families and neighbors for almost a century, the patio has been a important part of American culture that persists up to this day.

For the modern American homeowner, the patio is a simple and affordable way to expand your outdoor living space without having to sacrifice privacy or comfort. Brick patios are reasonably cheap to build, starting at around roughly $11 per square foot. Concrete patios will cost you a bit more, running anywhere between $1,000 and $2,000 for a 10×20 foot space. The most valuable of the bunch is building your patio with flagstone, which will cost you about $15 to $18 per square foot.

Gazebo – These often get lumped into other garden ornaments as simple aesthetic accessories, which largely underestimates the real value of a gazebo. What is basically a detached porch acting as a roof for your yard can be an extended garden or a just a comfy shelter for a summer drink.

Running anywhere between $2,000 and $6,000, a gazebo can be a valuable investment to your home. Although their resale return value is a little ambiguous, the gazebo’s true value isn’t in home improvement but really in lifestyle improvement. In fact, improvement professionals suggest that with the ever-fluctuating value of any particular improvement for the home, features like the gazebo should be approached as a labor of love rather than a project to boost your home’s resale value.

In this light, we’ll end with a quote from Stephen Melman, the director of economic services for the National Association of Home Builders. He says, “the best reason for remodeling is to improve the lifestyle of the owners, and that benefit is greatly undervalued.”

By Anonymous