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Pool Ready for Winter

Winter means cold temperatures and cold temperatures mean freezing water. If you have standing water in pipes or fixtures of a pool and it freezes it could damage the fixtures so it’s important that all pipes leading in and out of the pool are empty for winter. Even those pipes that are underground can freeze so you want to use a high powered air compressor or shop vac to chase that water away.

If your pool has tiles you need to make sure that the water level of the pool through the winter is lower than the tiles. Tiles can crack and break once water freezes and expands onto them and this means a big mess come summer. Lower the water in the pool to below the tile line. If you have a liner, you won’t need to lower the water too much as the more water left inside means the better the cover will protect the pool all winter. Too much dip in the cover means that water can collect and freeze on top of it and it may cause

Garden Gazebo

These days almost anyone can own a garden gazebo, and assemble a garden gazebo in the backyard, garden gazebo kits offer the beauty of a wooden gazebo, many gazebos are available in a huge variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from Victorian and Amish styles to small to party size in diameter. Garden owners can purchase a garden gazebo kit and build their own gazebo by themselves, the kits can range in price and in quality, but the concept of DIY and the average low price allows almost anyone to experiment and enjoy his own garden gazebo.

Garden gazebo kits differ not only in price but also in the material of which the garden gazebo is made of. These kits range in price depending on type of wood, which is generally either pine or one of a variety of types of cedar, and size. Each wood has its own benefits for your garden gazebo and once you have finished constructing the gazebo, you can choose to paint it, stain it or let it sit out and absorb the elements, allowing it

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

Water Features

Fountains

Garden fountains are one of the easiest water features to add to your yard. Most home improvement stores and garden centers will carry do it yourself kits. Choose from a large variety including stand alone fountains and those that hang on your wall. All you have to do to install it is position the fountain, fill it with water and plug in the fountains pump. If you want to get creative, you could even make your own fountain out of new or old pots, a little bit of plastic tubing and a small water pump.

Ponds

Ponds involve a little more work but are still easy to do in the hands of a competent do it yourselfer. Once again, kits are readily available from your home improvement or garden center. To put in a pond you will have to first dig a hole in a suitable location. Ponds are normally only a few feet deep but it is still a lot of work to dig out all of that soil. Next you will either line the hole with a flexible pond liner or insert a formed hard plastic liner. Then add rocks and a

Choose a Landscape Contractor

Determine the scope of the project, and which services you’ll expect from the contractor – install plant material, build decks and patio, install retaining walls, install irrigation systems and night lighting are some of the services provided by landscape contractors. You may wish to work on some of these projects yourself…is your contractor agreeable to this?

Thoroughly investigate the company – how long has it been in business? – what levels of expertise and education do the employees have? – Ask for recent references and check these out – visit the jobs. Many states require licensing…inquire about this and other types of certification.

Insurance is a big concern….the nature of much of landscaping work requires comprehensive insurance – both liability and worker’s compensation – ask for proof of insurance. Is the company affiliated with local or national trade organizations? – this *may* indicate a high level of professionalism and quality.

What about the little guy, just starting out? If I hadn’t been given a chance over thirty years ago by my first few clients, I wouldn’t be writing this today. I’m amazed that so many understanding people gave a scruffy looking young man in an

Need Weekly Pool Maintenance

One of the big things in pool maintenance is keeping the water level maintained. If you had a big party where a cannonball contest was in full swing or half of the street was in your pool you likely lost quite a bit of water. Conversely, if you had a lot of rain and storms over the weekend you will have too much water. The pool equipment works best if the water level is maintained at all times. Your weekly maintenance people will do that.

They’re also there to skim the leaves and debris that may have fallen into the pool throughout the week, to brush the sides of the pool and to vacuum all the dirt up from the bottom. This keeps the pool looking its best and also clean and comfortable for swimmers.

Weekly maintenance workers will also clean the skimmers, keeping everything operating at its optimum efficiency, check water circulation, check for leaks in drains, filters and strainers, and check the filters for wear. They also maintain the proper chemical balance and shock the pool when needed. They will also test the water each week and alert you to what you need

Landscaping Brick

To transform any backyard into a wonderful entertainment area try adding a brick patio. It’s easy for anyone to build. To construct a patio, all you will need is brick and mortar, patience, and some time. You can decide which way to lay them, perhaps in a row all in the same direction. A basket weave design is also another wonderful idea and will give your project a distinctive creative look. To do this you will need to alternate the brick in a vertical and horizontal way, creating a wonderful design in the pattern.

For many years landscape brick materials have become one of the most commonly used items in gardens. You can utilize them to border your flower garden or to build a small retaining wall around your flowerbed. They are also a big support with water gardens. You can use the brick to encase the area around the water, which will add warmth and increased stability to the water feature.

Crushed brick over time will eventually sink into the ground. To help prevent this from happening line the bottom of the walkway with landscape fabric. You can do the basket weave with this idea

Most Economical Pond Pump

The cost of running a pump is dependent on how may watts it uses as electricity is measured in terms of kilowatt hours, or the quantity of watts, in thousands, used in an hour. The larger the pump the greater the watts it uses, however pumps of the same pumping power can differ considerably in their watt usage. An energy efficient pump that delivers 4200 gallons per hour may run at 550 watts while another that delivers the same volume of water may run at 850 watts.

Does that mean that over time the 550 watt pump will save money? Not necessarily. Pumps are only warrented for one or two or three years, generally. If you live in an area where electricity is cheap and the pumps you are considering are warranted for a year or two, then the added cost of the energy efficient pump, and its replacement, may be greater than the energy costs it will save over the same time period.

If, on the other hand, you live where the cost of electricity is high and you are looking at a pump with a three year warrenty that uses significantly less electricity than

Picking up Roses for Landscape

Landscape roses, as they are also known, can be planted anywhere in your garden. The good thing is that they are easy to find, but the drawback they have is the prolific abundance of various types, which sometimes confuses you. To make things easier, here we have classified the most famous types of landscape roses, which can be used according to your preferences.

Depending on your purposes, there are several main types of ornamental landscape roses. The first one that crops up to mind is the tall tea rose. Gardeners who want to decorate a trellis or an archway plant tea roses. Tea roses have the perfect blooming flowers. The rose arch can really make the atmosphere of your garden romantic.

The second type is the climbing rose. It can be used for wall decoration as well as for any other permanent structure. True climbing roses can be trained to wind around in different ways: for example, to reach the top of a building, or grow alongside the walls.

The Polyantha is also known by its modern name Floribunda rose. Due to its prolific growth and extensive life span, this rose type can be planted

Kids Safe With a Pool

We all know that the experts suggest we fence off the pool area and this is great advice. Making the fence slippery and hard to climb (think thin, straight, shiny pieces instead of anything you can easily climb) is the way to go, but also important is the gate. If the gate to the pool area is left open, kids have easy access. If the gate is easy to get open, same thing applies, so what you want is an automatic gate closer. These are easy to put on and easy to maintain and what they do is close the gate, each and every time it gets opened.

An automatic gate closer is great if you are going through with an armload of toys or chemicals. They’re also great if you need to quickly grab something and forget to close the gate after yourself. They are fool proof as they use gravity and swing to get and keep that gate closed. A closed gate means no entry, even for the most enterprising of young ones.

Keeping enticing pool toys away from the pool area when not in use is also a great preventative. Kids can play

Landscaping Firm

1. Ask for referrals

The best way to find a good landscaping firm is to ask friends, neighbors and family members. One can get more information in an hour talking with his neighbor or others who have had experience in hiring a landscaping firm than a whole day trying to search the Internet for information. Although the Internet is a good way to look for prospective landscaping firms, it would not be able answer many of the most important questions that one might have.

2. Check the services that are offered by the firm

Different landscape firms offer different services. Check if the landscaping firm has all the services that you will be needing to complete your project. It makes no sense to hire a landscaping firm only to find out later that it cannot complete the project because it is does not offer a specific service that is needed.

3. Contact the Firm

Try contacting them by telephone and ask some basic questions. One would also want to set up a personal meeting with the landscapers. An initial assessment of the firm’s customer service should be made by the inquiring party. Small

Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor kitchen can be used not only as the main attraction at your parties, an outdoor kitchen can be used on a daily basis, with the whole family enjoying a meal n the open air, you may find yourself disappointed of restaurants when you start eating “out” a few times a week. Suddenly an evening in a closed space will seem like less fun compared to the outdoor kitchen experience waiting just a few steps from your living room.

The growing popularity of the outdoor kitchen in the last years has created many different products to choose when designing your outdoor kitchen, some people prefer to design a small and practical outdoor kitchen and save some costs, others go for the luxury additions when creating their outdoor kitchen design.

Today you can find outdoor kitchens in region of the world that have relatively short summers, people living in these areas try and enjoy the summer to its fullest, and install a kitchen that is built around the grill, this way they can have a barbecue without running in and out of the house and use a small kitchen in their backyard.

Weather conditions in your

Fountains Through All Ages

The Eastern world is not to be left out in the spectacle of fountains. The Moorish forces that conquered Spain around the 14th century were known to have installed pools and fountains with lively-colored tilework in gardens such as those in Cordoba and Toledo, as well as in Granada. Indians on the other hand built gardens of great splendor with fountains as prominent features. Prime examples are the world-renowned Taj Mahal and the Shalimar Gardens. Chinese palaces, temples and houses also had great gardens with pools and fountains of varying sizes. Beijing’s Imperial City features artificial lakes and other impressive waterworks. Kyoto is also famous for its gardens with carefully crafted pools and waterfalls designed by Zen monks.

Monasteries in middle-age Europe featured large gardens that fountains and wells. designed to enhance meditation in addition to several rows of herbs, fruits, flowers, and vegetables. Palaces and villas in renaissance Italy were very reminiscent of the grandeur of ancient Rome. 15th century palaces were decorated with gardens such as those of Palmieri, La Pietra, and Medici. The villas in Bagnaia, Caprarola, Rome, and Tivoli also featured fountains that were elegantly elaborate. As the baroque period approaches, designs became

Landscape and Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting is most effective when used sparingly and in specific spots. Your garden is the transition space between the outside world and your own home. The right lighting can make your garden into another room of your house as well as providing an attractive outlook from inside. And your garden can look surprisingly different at night-time. Just a few lights in appropriate places will create interesting pools of light and shadow. Directional lighting will highlight features that may go unnoticed during the day, like the bark of a silver birch or a eucalypt, or a tinkling fountain. Even sheets of falling rain and swirling shrouds of mist can become dramatic features of your landscape with the right lighting.

Do check that your directional lighting shines onto the feature you intend it to and not into your neighbour’s bedroom window. And consider that a tree you want to highlight may be home to birds and other wild-life. You can minimize disruption to their habitat by using an automatic time-clock on your lighting.

For driveways, paths and steps, use lights that are directed to your feet to create pools of light to guide you. A light that

Polywood Pool Furniture

Similar to any other high-end outdoor furniture polywood pool furniture is combined with mortise and tenon joinery, and stainless steel hardware. It is a marvelous blend of style and modern environmental awareness that is not bound to any time limit. And since recycled plastic is used for polywood pool furniture the sun, summer or winter, snow or salt – in fact nothing has any adverse affect on it. One of it key selling points is polywood does not absorb moisture, there is no fear of its getting rotten, spotted or discolored. Also, it cannot be infested by the molds.

The foremost feature of polywood pool furniture as a whole is its indestructibleness. As mentioned above, it is manufactured from recycled plastic lumber; so, it is environmental friendly. The shades of the color are infused all over the furniture, thus the unpredictable weather does not have any impact on the longevity or strength of the adirondack chair. The polywood pool furniture is made with perpetual UV stabilized colors. It is water resistant and you can choose various designs and colors as per your style.

The polywood pool furniture that includes polywood adirondack chairs is almost maintenance free.

Iron Gazebo

Most people consider a wedding gazebo when they look for a place to hold the wedding, but if you look well enough you may find a nice variety of iron gazebo to buy and place in your backyard, this iron can be used later as a normal gazebo, you can have your breakfast in and use as a garden feature, keep your gardening tools there, or hold a party and use the gazebo to hold special lights or place tables to serve the food on.

An iron gazebo will stay at your garden for a long time, and if you maintain and take care of it correctly there is no reason it wouldn’t last forever, one nice advantage that the iron has over all others is that it can easily changed and painted with other colors that will keep it looking fresh and new, applying paint to iron is fairly easy and can be done in a very short time, if you will want to change you garden you will probably have to through a garden party or barbeque and have a few of your stronger friends help you move the iron gazebo to a different location

Landscaping With Rocks

When landscaping with rocks, make sure to draw a plan of how you want everything to look when finished, taking into account anything that may already by in the yard and around the house. Rocks should not be simply placed on top of the earth, but rather should be buried about halfway into the ground so as to provide a natural aesthetic. When they are partially concealed in the earth, the rocks will appear to go with whatever environment they are in, instead of being awkwardly strewn all over the place. Rocks should not be placed individually and should be assembled in groups of three to five, depending on size and shape. This will also aid in giving the final look of the overall landscaping an organic feel.

A few cautions before one begins landscaping with rocks, however. For starters, rocks are extremely coarse and should be handled while wearing heavy-duty gloves. They are also dense and therefore heavier than they look, and should only be carried short distances. If the rocks are farther away from their intended destinations, use a wheelbarrow or garden way cart to prevent strain. Always plan to gather more rocks than you

Landscaping With Boulders

Plan a garden area around your boulder

Now that you have your focal point in place, think about adding a garden area to create interest. Make this garden area as big or small as you wish but be sure to put bends and curves into the layout design to continue the theme of ‘non cookie cutter look’! Start by clearing the grass from the area when your garden area will be. Then edge the curving perimeter with smaller rocks (10 to 12 inches in diameter) or black plastic landscape border.

Now you’re ready for flowers for a fresh look

Now it’s time to add perennial flowers and decorative grasses to the area around your boulder. Depending on the size of your garden area, plan to add perennial flowers or decorative grasses every 3 – 4 cubic feet. If you plant them any closer, they will look crowded as the plants mature. If you plant them any further apart, the plants will look very sparse for years to come. You want just enough space between plantings to highlight each one as being unique. For perennial flowers, plant in clumps of 3 for a robust look and

About Summer Pool Openings

Basically the first thing you want to do is drain the water off of your pool cover. Good luck getting it off if you don’t. Once that is done, you’ll want to remove it and let it dry. No one wants to put a pool cover away wet! Hang it over a swingset or some chairs or simply lay it out on the driveway or on the grass, whatever works best for you.

Now you are left with some water in the pool and likely some leaves and other debris too. Get all of that out and refill the pool to its proper depth. This will allow you to use the vacuum later on. Before the water rises too high, get those pipes and fittings back in, you don’t want the water pouring out of those holes!

Reconnect your pump and filter, which should still be clean since you would have put it away clean in the fall, right? Once all is well with the water level, it’s time to wipe down the walls, vacuum up all the left over debris and make the water great to swim in. This usually involves a dose of shock,

Care and Landscaping Real Turf

Watering of Lawn: You should water the lawn just enough so that the evaporation loss is replenished and the grass gets its due share. The rule of 25 gives the value of water loss through evaporation.

When watering the lawn. Take a dish and keep it in the area where watering is being done and allow about 25 mm height of water to get stored in the dish. After watering is complete, place the dish in the same where it was filled up and allow the water to evaporate. Note the time required for water to evaporate. You should water the lawn after this time interval.

The watering should be heavy and infrequent rather than frequent and shallow. When you water the lawn shallow, the root system starts looking for water and the root system does not penetrate deep in the ground. At the same time there should be no water logging in any area. The water logging would destroy the grass in that area.

Over-watering will not kill the grass but water logging will definitely do it. In fact over-watering is good. Infrequent over-watering coupled with generous use of nitrogen rich fertilizers will help