Archive for July, 2009

Outdoor Lighting Design Secrets

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Classic lighting design is about identifying and blending four core lighting groups: ambient, accent, decorative and task lighting. And when it comes to the outdoor lighting very much the same principles to create successful interior lighting apply; but before we examine these further, there are a few key differences to take note of.

First there is a small matter of size. Interior spaces are constrained by walls and ceilings and are really rather diminutive compared to even a small garden. Outside there is no height restriction and at night especially there is no clear boundary either.

This brings both opportunities and challenges for outdoor lighting design. Most indoor lighting is reflected from ceilings and walls and contributes to the overall ambient light. Outside however, lights appear to us as zones of brightness that, rather than spilling onto surrounding areas instead create a contrast, making then seem even darker.

This absence of ambient light from reflections renders many interior lighting techniques unusable outdoors. However, it also makes a number of interesting effects possible by utilising the high contrast between light and dark; it is not uncommon to find night time gardens that have been designed to appear completely different to their day time counterpart through the simple expedient of highlighting some features and disguising others.

Tips On How To Cut And Propagate Mums

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Tips for Planting Glads

Dig planting hole in your annual border for a group of gladiolus corms… make hole 4 inches deep in heavy, clay soils. and 6 inches deep in light, sandy soils.

Place gladiolus corms in hole after first making a “cushion” of granulated soil at the bottom. Space the corms from 4 to 6 inches apart.

Fill in soil over corms. If soil is hard to work, treat it first with a conditioner. For longer blooming, make plantings every two weeks until midsummer.

Building Mum Stock

Chrysanthemums are now pushing up quickly, offering good opportunity for increasing your stock. Cuttings rooted this month and early June will grow into sturdy low plants that require no support whatever. These plants are excellent for bedding, for window boxes and for any other purpose where a low, bushy plant is needed. Chrysanthemums are very easy to transplant; they become established very soon after the shift.

Taking cuttings is a simple process. With a very sharp knife, cut off the top 3 or 4 inches of the plant. Place the cutting in a pail of water or cover it with moist newspaper.

It’s Time To Get Your Roof Repaired

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Roof is the most important aspect of your home. It is a safety covering for us. It keeps us and our home safe from the changing climatic conditions. So maintain your roofs well as getting a roof repaired or replacing it can be a troublesome job.

Since most of us don’t go up on the roof very often, we don’t notice the little problems until they’ve grown into giant costly headaches. Here are some guidelines that can help you recognize the first signs of trouble and stop them in their tracks!

Regular inspections are very essential for your home roofing system. They should be specially checked during the spring and monsoons as this is the time when your roof can be damaged. Use a ladder to make your way over the roof and closely inspect the whole area for any kind of defects. Direct sun heat can also cause problems for the roof, so also check the sunny side of the house.

The first place to check is along the ridges of the roof, the points where the shingles are folded over. Any cracks you see can easily turn into leaks if not caught in time.

How to Choose and Use Mosquito Control Repellents Wisely

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Did you know that mosquitoes can sense the presence of humans even from far away? They’re attracted to the heat, humidity and the carbon dioxide that are given off. Most mosquito repellents work by hiding the chemical cues that attract mosquitoes. A good repellent will offer protection for a long period of time after just one application. That’s important because many diseases like West Nile virus are transmitted by mosquitoes.

It’s important to remember that mosquito repellents do not protect everyone equally. Many factors are involved including the type of mosquito and the age, sex, and level of activity of the person involved. Remember too that mosquito repellent only works on the surface to which it’s applied directly.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends two products, DEET and picaridin. According to the CDC, each of these products works well and offers long lasting protection. DEET was developed in the 1940’s for the U.S. Army and first offered to the public in 1957.

Save Electricity For A Better Future

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Lighting requires careful planning. Every room of the home should be well lit. The lighting effect should be such that it creates a comforting effect for everyone. Also, there should be adequate amount of lighting in the home i.e. it should not be too bright nor too dull so that no one has to strain their eyes. This is specially important for the old people at home.

Lighting plan has an effect on everything. It illuminates our homes as well as adds style to the place. Lights greatly affects the mood and the environment of a room. Lighting fixtures are also used to highlight special features of a room that make it look even more beautiful. So if you are planning a new lighting design for your home, you should choose light fixtures that illuminates the space well so that no one has to strain their eyes.

Many of today’s lighting trends include energy efficiency and conservation. People are seeking decorative ways to direct light exactly where it is needed and still conserve energy.

Beauty Of Light Works Changes The Houses Face

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

With great home lighting, you can make a plain space look great and a great space look fantastic. Light affects how we perceive spaces and the items within them. A good lighting plan should create a cozy, inviting space and add sparkle to treasured art work and furnishings.

Besides the electric lighting fixtures, natural light should also flow uninterrupted into the rooms. You can achieve this by removing secondary glazing on the window, replacing heavy curtains with light drapes. Also, placing a mirror near the window makes it look larger and brighter.

Now, for achieving the desired effect in a room with electric lights, it is first important to understand 4 basic types of home lighting fixtures.

Ambient lighting fixtures are used for basic lighting purpose in the home. They are mostly ceiling mounted fixtures (florescent rings and tubes). Florescent lights are great in lighting up large areas, but halogen lights gives a better effect and can be adjusted using a dimmer.

Must Have Accessories for Your Next Gardening Project

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

If you enjoy gardening, you are not alone. Each year, millions of Americans grow a garden. If you are interested in becoming one of those individuals, you may need to purchase some supplies. These gardening accessories may not only make gardening easier, but they may also help to produce better results.

When it comes to gardening accessories, there are a number of different items that are included. To start a garden and maintain it, it is likely that you will need gardening supplies. To grow plants or food, you will need to have seeds. To help your seeds flourish, you may want to have plant food and other feeding supplies. The gardening tools and supplies that you need will all depend on what type of garden you are interested in developing. Despite the difference in supplies, there are many common accessories that you may wish to have.

The first step in starting a garden is to pick a space. Since your plants, flowers, or food will need sunlight, you will want to select an area that receives an adequate amount of it. This area can either be large or small, depending on the size of your garden. You may also want to make sure that this area is not in the way of your other activities. Developing your garden in a fairly secluded area will help to reduce the risk of destruction.

Hypertufa – How It’s Made

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Hypertufa is something like an artificial stone which was invented as a substitute for the natural volcanic rock called Tufa. It’s a tufa resembling material used to make a wide variety of garden art objects. In this article we will see how easy it is to make hypertufa at home.

Hypertufa is made from various ingredients and was developed to replicate the real Tufa rock. It’s a mixture of Portland cement, peat moss, sand, perlite, vermiculite, and water. There are a number of recipes you can mix up. The most basic recipe is sand (or perlite) mixed together with cement and peat moss.

It’s quite amazing what you can do with hypertufa. It’s great for plant containers, pots, planters, troughs, stepping stones, pedestals, columns, leaves, garden spheres, fake rocks and boulders, sculptures, totems, and so on. A great way to spruce up your garden.

Making hypertufa is not much different than a child making mud pies. It’s equally fun. You need a mixture and a mold. For molds you can use all kinds of items you can find around the house. Tupperware, pans, pots, various containters, cardboard boxes, wastebaskets, even halloween masks can come in handy.

Solar Garden Lights: Modern Cordless Garden Devices

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Solar garden lights are unique garden lamps, powered by natural solar energy. Solar garden lights do not require wiring, and thus there is no threat of anyone in your garden (i.e., pets, children, or, yourself) getting an electric shock. The lights help you save on the cost of electric, and are very easy to install.

Sunshine is the source of all of the natural energy on earth. Solar garden lights utilize the energy of the sun, free of charge, to emit light. The lights are made of special cells, generating electricity when exposed to the sun. Solar cells, a regular rechargeable battery and an LED special light emitting diode is all that is needed for these lights to shine, when an electric current goes through it.

Solar garden lights have been known to produce a modest amount of light for a short period of time. However, constantly improving technologies allow the lights to shine brighter and longer nowadays.

Main advantages of solar garden lights are:

1. Solar garden lights can be easily assembled, installed and relocated if such need arises. All that is needed for the lights to work is the sunshine in the daytime.

Insulating Water Pipes

Monday, July 27th, 2009

If you live in an area that gets freezing weather, then your water pipes are at a risk of freezing in winters. This is one of the serious plumbing issue that you might face at home.

Taking some simple precautions before the wintry weather hits can save homeowners the expense as well as the time of repairing burst pipes. And of course, it also saves you from the mess and stress that frozen pipes cause. The best way to prevent frozen pipes is to winterize your plumbing system.

The very first thing to be kept in mind is that the water pipes and tanks should be properly insulated. Especially make sure to cover the exposed pipes. You can use a thick cloth for this purpose. Insulation prevents heat loss from the pipes and thus prevent freezing.

Make sure to cover all the basement doors, windows, and other crawl space openings properly so as to keep the cold air away from the pipes and let the heat stay inside

Sometimes, a steady small trickle of water is all it takes to prevent frozen pipes. The continuous movement of water can keep them from freezing. Let the water drip continuously throughout the night preferably from a faucet connected to a wall outside.