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    Country lawn maintenance 10 tips to know before you mow

     

    Practical survival skills should be fifty percent of what we study in school! Languishing twelve to sixteen years in the bowels of our education system should not leave American citizens unprepared to cope with perpetually running toilets. A burned out taillight should not knock our world off its axis. This chasm of neglected wisdom is not simply filled with the obvious auto and home maintenance issues. All the little stupidities reflect on our society. Years ago, I was sitting in an I-5 traffic jam with my sister, August. Innocently I remarket, “I hate trying to tune in that radio station while I’m driving.” Without provocation August reached down and yanked the unsuspecting radio button straight out of its place. Metallic skeletal parts were revealed. Grey whales migrating off the coast heard my gasp. Then, get this; she shoved the hapless button back in – all the way! Even if the traffic had been moving, I was in no condition to drive. This blatant assault on my automotive electronics was uncalled for. Worse was learning at age 28, I was the only person in America uninformed as to how radios were set. My thoughts, if you can call them that, seem silly now. I believed pushing the buttons placed the dial in the vicinity of various stations. Only lucky drivers and folks who listened to Christian music had buttons that coincidently landed on the exact preferred position. This knowledge graced me just before digital. Lord, how I hate tuning in digital. All society has an obligation to pick up where floundering education systems go astray. Teach children the little things. Change vacuum belts as a family. Award prizes to offspring who can find the level of power steering fluid and above all else, instill in them the skill to read a ballot. In keeping with a heartfelt desire to better Planet Earth, I’d like to pass along ten things nobody ever told me about lawn mowing, the country way. When I moved to the hinterland I was naive to the tribulations of rural landscaping. My massive country lawn looked innocent enough. Then the escrow closed. The following was learned via trial and error - mostly error. One: Always carry wire cutters when mowing – While the majority of rusty old wire shot through your leg can be extracted with a few good tugs, a surprisingly large proportion entwine around ankle bones in a manner no physician or physicist can explain. With a handy set of wire cutters excess can be trimmed. Overage tends to snag on the gas pedal when diving to the Emergency Room. Two: Recycle – Be sure to have the hospital staff return wires once they rinse your Achilles Tendon away. You can reuse it (the wire or the tendon) for fencing projects. No doubt this convenience was the reasoning behind 130 years of country landowners discarding litter in what otherwise would appear to be a careless manner. Three: Remember the Choke - When the mower keeps coughing and sputtering to a stop, or any other time you want to choke the dam thing, push this lever. It does nothing. To get the sadistic contraption running you’ll need gasoline. Four: Beware Safety Features – Modern mowers posses a handle lever that shuts mowers down every time the operator looks to the left. This quadruples the number of pull starts needed. The American Academia of Carpal Tunnel Physicians sponsors safety levers. Mowers also come with what is called a Plastic Do-Hickie. A Do-Hickie’s only function is to display a sticker reminding people not to shove their hands or feet inside a running lawn mower. Gardeners only do this to remove grass clogs. Ironically Do-Hickies cause 99.96% of grass clogs. Five: Stay Hydrated – In the country, heat stoke is as much a right of spring passage as bat guano in the kitchen pantry. The ecstasy of eighty-degree temps after nine months of winter collides head on with an obsessive desire to get every last flippin’ grass blade perfectly level. Before golf course precision is ever achieved, ‘Type A’ mowers will be face down on the carpet. With ice packs strategically perched on major arterial lines, you’ll wonder, “Could the shag rug be trimmed just a tad more evenly?” Six: Budget – Country folks can purchase their fashionable shit-beat trucks for less than a thousand dollars. This elevates you to the social status of a Ferrari driver in the city. However your lawn mower will cost you three times as much. Tractor mowers are a must out here. The lawns are too massive. Mowing with a push mower during spring would keep property owners circling 24/7. Only idiots and starving authors use push mowers. Seven: Remember General Maintenance - A Clanking serenade resulting from the first start up of the morning is not unusual. What happened is this: Overnight grass built up underneath your mower. Then, flakes have dried to the point where you could use tin snips to cut it into a disk and burn yourself a springtime fresh CD (Green Day?). To remove the offending mass grab an ice pick and go after the dehydrated flakes like Sharon Stone during mating season. Eight: Electric Mowers: Don’t - Even if you could lug 300 yards of cord, it’s a spectacularly bad idea. When several dogs and a milk goat play ‘chase’ under the extension, all hell, and the cord, will break loose. Hopefully this will occur prior to overloading the freaky little round country fuses and setting your ancient electrical box ablaze. In a town like mine where there’s an all-volunteer Fire Department, the carnage could be unspeakable. “Hey, Howard, I see that city gal’s home is ablaze over there. Got any marshmallows?” “Sure Pap. Ya know I told her she should not buy that Rowski house just a few years after she did.” The only saving grace is with all the unsoldered plumbing in this oasis of handyman dropouts, the houses themselves won’t burn below the second floor. Nine: Use the Section Technique – The theory here is you divide your lawn into a section for each member of the household. Everyone contributes. Nobody gets overwhelmed by the workload. For example: assign your teenager to mow section 1 on Tuesdays - then you mow it. You assign your husband to mow section 2 on Wednesdays – then you mow it. Request your every-present brother-in-law mow section 3 on Thursday – and again, you do the work. Everyone takes a turn. Hell, if you have any other males around; people, bulls, aspen trees, give them a section. What do you have to loose? Ten: Do Not Get Discouraged! - Never let grass win! During spring, folks can get discouraged. They wake up to note their freshly mowed lawn grew back while they slept. Fact is, by mowing barefoot you will feel the new grass poke up as you pass. It’s just the country way. * Disclaimer: Computer hard drives vary. In the event you insert a lawn clipping diskette into your CD burner and your hard drive fails to function please do not file suit against the manufacturer or the author. We cannot be held accountable for the quality of your grass. Countersuits will request you promptly cease swimming in the gene pool.

         
    Deck railings 101

     

    : A whole article dedicated to deck railings is hardly glamorous, but there’s more to them than you think. Not only do railings reflect the style of the home, but they are required safety features. Here are some tips for deciding what type of deck railing design best suits your situation. Top Rails - Wood top rails (usually 2x4 or 2x6 lumber), can be installed flat or on edge. - Top rails installed over top of the vertical posts result in a stronger railing. - Top rails installed between posts are not as strong. The posts must withstand the most of any force. - A smooth and continuous top rail over the post tops defines the perimeter of a deck. Posts - Posts can be mounted on the exterior of the rim joist (posts will protrude above the top rail) or inside the rim joist. A rim joist is the 2x8 lumber used on the sides and ends of a deck. - Posts that protrude above the top rail at each section draw the eye toward them. - Detail posts by adding a cap or make every other post larger or wider. Post Caps - Post caps provide a professional look to posts that protrude about the top rail. They are available in many styles, from simple to ornamental. - Lighted post caps provide added safety and decoration at night. Balusters - Balusters (also called pickets or spindles) are the vertical members between the top and bottom rails. - Wide balusters create a more confined space ideal for obscuring a view or for reflecting the heavier structure of the home itself. - Thin balusters create openness and accentuate a view. Alternate narrow and wide balusters to create an interesting visual contrast. - Aluminum, steel or wrought iron balusters are less obtrusive. The inherent strength of the material means they can be thinner and provide a more open view. - Baluster spacing should not exceed 4” from inside edge to inside edge, but check with local building codes to be sure. In addition, most building codes prohibit horizontal balusters because they facilitate climbing. Panels - Glass panels capitalize on views. - Semi-transparent panels provide privacy while allowing for maximum light. - Louvered panels between posts are a very contemporary look. - Side panels with matching siding stucco provide privacy. Color - Stain the top rail or posts a different color than the balusters to draw the eye towards them.

         
    Defining the enduring elegance of teak

     

    It's only natural that homeowners should look for natural materials when choosing furniture for the garden, and durable, beautiful teak is an increasingly popular choice. It's not just teak's good looks that have made it a favorite choice for outdoor furniture and accessories. Teak is one of the most durable woods known to man. The life span of furniture made from other types of wood such as cedar, redwood and pine pales in comparison to the 75 to 100 years that teak has been reported to last. Additionally, these types of wood need to be treated with a preservative if you want them to last a few seasons. With high-quality teak furniture, there's no need to worry about varnishing or sanding the furniture to make it look good and hold up. It only needs to be washed annually to remove sap, pollen and mildew. Those who prefer the look of teak in its original golden brown state rather than the silvery grey that outdoor teak becomes as it ages will need to clean their furniture more rigorously with specialized teak cleaners. Others may consider oiling, varnishing or sealing their teak furniture if they plan to use it indoors. It's important to note that there are differences in quality within the family of teak wood. Here are some tips from Jeremy Smith, president of Wood Classics, a New York-based manufacturer of fine teak furnishings: • Make sure that the furniture you are looking at is genuine teak, not those promoted as "teak-like" or "as good as teak." • Consider the grade of teak and the construction methods used to produce the product. Is your furniture free of sap, pits, and open knots? Are screw holes recessed and pegged to prevent rust and staining? If so, you have a quality product. • Next, consider style, which has expanded significantly from the traditional Adirondack style many people associate with teak. You can now get teak couches and chairs and loveseats that recline. Teak furniture can also be customized with matching pillows.

         
    Desert landscaping

     

    Planning for desert landscaping If you live in a dry and arid climate then your desert landscaping is going to take a little more planning than some other parts of the country. desert landscaping will have to work with a plan that includes only plants and trees that can survive with much less water than some other plants. There is no point in planting something if it can not sustain itself afterwards. So take some time with your desert landscaping plan and make sure that you have done everything suited to the climate. You could spend the money to get better irrigation put in but the money will be great and the time will be all consuming. It is much simpler for your desert landscaping plan to just include plants that will thrive even in the hot sun all day. What makes using desert landscaping friendly plants so great is that not only will these plants do well even in the hot sun they will also be able to thrive in poor quality soil. This is a much needed quality because places that have so much sun tend to have poor soil as well. So in essence you are killing two birds with one stone as they say. Here are some wonderful plants that you can use in your desert landscaping: Longwood Blue bluebeard This is a shrub, it is deciduous and it will grow back each and every spring. It will always come back healthy and happy and this makes it perfect for desert landscaping. It is not a tiny shrub, it will grow to be anywhere between 3 and 4 feet high with a width of about 2 feet. This is a lovely plant to use in your desert landscaping as it is not only beautiful with its pretty blue flower clusters and silver foliage, it is also very fragrant. Autumn Joy This is a wonderful perennial that you can plant for your desert landscaping. With this choice you will have great leaves in pretty whorls. These leaves can be any number of different colors and can be bought to go with any desert landscaping design. This plant is the ultimate for desert landscaping because it can grow in rock gardens with ease. This lovely desert landscaping plant also has a unique and interesting flower unlike any other I have ever seen. These small flowers grow in clusters and they can be a few different colors and shades. The most common are yellow, orange and red and pink. If you plant these in your garden you will have butterflies around all of the time and they make for lovely entertainment on their own.

         
    Do it yourself an attractive rock garden anyone would be proud of

     

    One of the most economical ways to enhance the landscape surrounding your home is to build a rock garden. Rock gardens are most often associated with the British Isles, where the climate is rarely accommodating to delicate plants. Rock gardens bring with them the assumption of having very few plants, and those of a very hardy variety, or no plants at all. The arrangement of the rocks in your garden, when properly complemented by attractive plants with coordinating colors, can add to the beauty of the home and provide a low-maintenance landscape feature that should not interfere with your lawn-mowing practices; rather, it will reduce the amount of space that requires mowing. The first thing to do when starting your rock garden is to carefully look over the proposed site for your garden. You should clear the area of unwanted plants, such as spindly grass varieties and diseased trees and plants. Be sure to dig out the roots as well as the tops, or you may find your rock garden invaded at some later time by an unwanted fern or intrusive perennials. If you plan to do some planting, make sure you test the soil to determine its level of acidity and its general pH. It is a good idea, even after you have placed your rocks and mapped out where you want to put any plants, to wait a full growing season before you attempt to plant in your rock garden. This will ensure that the soil has settled, and it will give you a chance to make sure that you have got rid of any pesky weeds by hoeing them out, root and all, as soon as they make their appearances above the ground. It is also desirable to mix in such soil enhancements as mulch, compost, and other compounds. If you plan to use plants that like soils with alkali, you should mix in crushed oyster shells or limestone. After you have improved the soil, then it is time to place your rocks. It is important for aesthetic purposes not to evenly space your rocks, or to choose rocks of the same size and shape. A little variety in the types of rocks used is as desirable as a little variety of plants chosen to place in a more conventional garden. If you wish to have a great deal of plants, then your rocks should be spaced further apart to give more room for the vegetation. If, however, you plan to use plants only sparingly, arrange them closer together, but make sure that you allow some room for plants to grow. Try to make the design look as natural as possible, as it will be more attractive. When placing the rocks in a garden that is sloped, it is best to start at the low parts of slopes and work up. Try to slope the top of the rock back toward the slope so that water from rain and sprinklers is guided downward. Additionally, try to keep outcroppings from overshadowing rocks and plants below. The goal is to create a feeling of stability. Set each rock so that its widest side serves a base. You can also set a larger rock on top of smaller rocks and then fill in the cracks with soil. If you are placing the rocks on flat ground, work from the inside toward the outer edges of the garden. If you are planning a circular garden, or a rock garden in some other shape that is surrounded by other landscape features, this can be tricky. Therefore, it is a good idea to mark out which rocks you would like on a map so that you can ensure their proper placement in the garden. It may be necessary, on a flat site, to build up small mounds of dirt in different places to give the rock garden an interesting appearance. If you plan to use plants in your garden, you should be careful to plant them after everything else is in place, and after you have a chance to make sure the soil is properly settled. Early spring or early autumn are the best times to do any planting, including planting in rock gardens. Make sure you choose plants that are suited for rugged terrain and adapted to your climate. Then, plant them in the spaces you have designated. The end result should be a beautiful garden that requires little upkeep.

         
    Do it yourself landscape design where to begin

     

    There’s an old saying that states something like - “Getting Started Is Half Finished”. And so many times I find this to be true as I see do it yourself landscapers struggle to find their initial design idea. However, once they establish a framework of necessary design elements, it usually goes pretty smooth from there. It’s not surprising that the most common landscape design question that I get is - “where do I begin?” or “how do I start my design?”. I know it can be difficult. And especially if you don’t have a vision for your design. So where do you begin? How do you start your landscape or garden design? While every design is different and every designer follows a set of rules and principles, I find that most do it yourselfers all have the greatest success from using the same starting point. Begin by laying down any paths, driveways, access routes, or walk areas that might be needed. And also create access to any areas that you may plan on creating. In many designs, this will help to establish a framework that you can simply design around. Of course, this won’t be applicable in all designs as many don’t require any access or travel. So take and use this advice where and if you can. Paths and walkways can accomplish many functions in your landscape or garden. Their main function, of course, is to create a designated space for people to walk on. However, in design and as an aid to design, their function could be to guide your visitors to, through, or away from some other area in the garden. Also, they're a great way to break up a vast expanse of lawn, meadow, or bed area. First, let's look at walkways, paths, and such as necessary elements. Walkways are needed to guide visitors or yourself to and from another area. Observe that almost every home has a walkway leading to the front door, which is, of course, where most folks want to invite guests to come. So walks, whether refined (brick, flagstone, etc.) or primitive (gravel, mulch, etc.), are necessary to "guide" or "lead" visitors to, through, or away from an area. So where are the necessary areas where you need other walkways or access? Maybe from the back door to the alley where you dump the trash. Or from the house to the pool area. Or from the pool area to the kids play area or the outdoor cooking area. You get the picture. In a design sense. Establishing walk, drive, and access areas will in turn help to create borders and boundaries. Once you have your walkways laid out, you can simply design a lot of the landscaping around them. The same goes with driveways and parking areas as well. You can plant beds on either or both sides of a walk or use a walkway as an edge to create borders. Keep it interesting if you can. If you were to, for instance, plan to place a sitting area at the back of the garden. Of course you would need some type of path for you and your guests to get there. However, instead of plotting a straight path, why not create a winding tour through other interesting areas of the garden on the way there? Curves and winding paths do more than just create interest. They can also create an illusion of more space, distance, and travel. This is especially useful in creating small gardens and landscapes. Once you lay down walkways, driveways, and access areas, you'll have a good starting framework for the rest of the design. Now, simply design around them.

         
    Do your own landscaping design

     

    Know what I love about getting the garden all cleaned up, it stays that way for much longer than when you get your home all cleaned up. More and more people are turning to landscaping their gardens, not just planting a tree here and a shrub there but looking at their garden as they would look at the inside of their home. More thought as to the overall look and appeal and how plants can compliment each other. The results are very rewarding. There is so much help too if you are not confident in the planning, your nursery, wonderful landscaping books, TV and radio shows and the Internet are all there waiting to guide you. Be careful with books, make sure the book is for your area and the plants suggested for a design are suitable for your part of the world. It's fun to get a graph pad and do your own design, give it a try and you could surprise yourself. One word of advice, if you purchase plants from the big chain stores and they have been in air - conditioning or inside a building even with the shade cloth inside/outside style of shop, never take the plant home and put it in the garden straight away. Take about three weeks acclimatizing the plant. Keep the plant inside or on an enclosed patio and gradually over the three week period, increase the outside time and decrease the inside time. Doing it this way you have a better chance of the plant surviving and growing into a beautiful specimen for you. You can quite often pick up some bargains in the plant department, doing the acclimatizing can save you money. Gardens like everything else has trends. These trends usually follow the interior decor trends. This is a good thing as the outside and the inside will compliment each other. If your home is cottage style, then a garden along the cottage lines would look great and you would have the flowers to decorate your home to add to the look. A modern minimilistic interior then a minimal no fuss landscaped garden. Landsscaping and gardening can improve your stress levels too. Feeling a bit stressed about something, take yourself out into your garden and potter, tip prune, pull out a few weeds, water a few plants, separate a few clumping plants and pot up for later Give yourself at least a half hour and feel the stress go. Works for me, hope it does for you too. Landscaping and gardening, wonderful!!!! Carmel Baird CTBaird Copyright © 2006 Copyright © 2006 by CTBaird All Rights Reserved You have free distribution rights to this article but you may not alter it in any way. ctbmarketing-australia/landscapingebooks. htm

         
    Easy landscaping and curb appeal for florida homes

     

    The idea that an appealing outside is your best offense for intriguing potential buyers is based on the simple concept that first impressions really count. The great thing about learning some key elements of landscaping is that you can apply them to a home that you are just settling into, as well as one you are about to sell. For those who are selling or buying real estate in Tampa Bay Florida, some extra curb appeal advice will go a long way. Florida is popular for nature-lovers. Instead of trying to keep up with garden hobbyists, present a clean, green impression, rather than a mini-arboretum. The decluttered impression that you want for the inside, should apply to the outside. Imagine a buyer coming to view your Tampa Bay Florida real estate house and all they can think is either, "how will I keep up with all those tropical flower beds?" or "how long will it take me to undo all of this?" Not that you should tear down all your hard work from a spectacular garden; just be sure to have it freshly pruned, trimmed and weeded for buyers, so they don't feel like they have to have a green thumb if they want to buy your home. Select your plants according to how much sun and water they need. Then, focus on buying smaller selections (or larger if your budget allows) of some of Florida's award-winning specimens like the East Indian Holly Fern, which is wonderful for mass ground cover, and the Dwarf Golden Dewdrop for a beautiful border shrub with its yellow-gold leaves. Make up for size with color, with the purple-blooming Princess Flower, or the Yellow Elder, that will grow quickly (up to eight or ten feet tall). The plants you pick should attract the eyes to the house with their complimentary shades. For example, forest green trim on a house is complimented by shrubs with yellow leaves, and homes with neutral features can always use a few splashes of dramatic color in their landscaping. Take a picture of the front of your house with you as you visit nurseries and garden shops. Garden professionals can suggest which colors and varieties will work best for your particular home. They should also be able to tell you what kind of mulch, pebble or lava stones you should use for each. The colors of these can also add a lovely contrast of color. Plant a few annuals near the mailbox and an odd number of shrubs or hedges in front of the house to create depth. Make your house inviting with colors that compliment, but don't complicate. If your house is basic in design, plant a few romantic Magnolias or exotic Calathea to break up the lines. Likewise, a house with a modern exterior can be dressed down for the conservative eye with neatly trimmed Serissa Foetida hedges and simple splashes of annuals. If you want something even more simple, try buying big, decorative pots and filling them with a few shades of hardy flowers. This takes care of catching the eyes of the buyer, yet implies the perfect level of impermanence for the more fickle-natured. You can offer to leave the pots, or take them with you if the buyer doesn't want them. This can be a quick fix for those who are trying to move, sell and maintain a family and full-time job at the same time. There are plenty of ways to get elaborate with landscaping, but if you need to keep things easy, focus on complimentary colors, hearty specimens and as neat of an exterior as possible, so buyers and visitors will see your house as a breath of fresh, tropical air

         
    Energy conservation puts money in your pocket

     

    How can homeowners save money just by sitting on their couch? It’s simple, by conserving heating and cooling energy just before you sit down. There are a number of easy and inexpensive things that can be done as do-it-yourself projects that will save hundreds of dollars per year. The easiest money saving strategy is to weather strip doors and windows with a “V” seal type weather stripping. The opening of the “V” should face towards the outside of the home. This will reduce draft in the house and retard heated or cooled air from escaping the house. And the longer the treated air remains in the house, the less the cost to treat the air. Caulking around window and door frames and caulking around base boards will also retard the loss of treated air from the house. This strategy again will reduce the homeowner’s heating and cooling bill. Both of these techniques can be accomplished as one weekend project. Do yourself a favor and save money, then grab a refreshment and sit down on your couch. To ensure that you save energy and money, there are a number of other things that the homeowner can do. Removing the door and window frames and removing the baseboards will expose small and seriously large gaps in the building fabric. By holding your hand over these gaps or using a smoke pencil, you will likely feel and see the extent of the draft. Filling these gaps with fibrous materials and/or caulking will drastically diminish uncomfortable drafts, reduce homeowner heating and cooling costs and therefore save you serious money. This project will likely take two to three weekends at minimal cost to you. Window glass is also a significant source of heating and cooling loss to the homeowner. You could replace your present windows with high efficiency windows at a great cost, or you could cover your windows with commercially available clear plastic sheeting. This is especially great in the winter; and you will achieve a substantial reduction in heating costs. With the savings in energy costs attributed to these easy to do strategies, you could probably by a new couch.

         
    Exteriors make your great outdoors greater

     

    Keeping wood properly protected is a growing challenge, especially as homeowners have made it a top choice for exterior surfaces--not just siding, but decks, furniture and all the other accessories that are part of the extended outdoors lifestyle. "Homeowners are upgrading their outside living and garden areas with unrelenting zeal," says Kurt Denman, product manager of Benjamin Moore Paints. "Terraces, decks, patios, cabanas, pool houses, gazebos, and outdoor kitchens are additions that Americans spend $40 billion on annually." What's necessary to keep all of this wood in tip-top shape as it faces exposure to the vagaries of Mother Nature? "Performance is the chief characteristic a consumer should look for in an exterior stain," advises Denman. "It should protect from the two major culprits affecting wood-water and UV rays." Responding to this growing focus on the expanded outdoors lifestyle, Benjamin Moore has developed a new, technologically advanced, premium Exterior Stain Collection that protects and beautifies just about every wood surface. The collection offers an extraordinary palette of hues, with a range inspired by organic life and the outdoors world. "The best way to choose a color is to look at existing colors around your home," adds Denman. "Consider the color of your roof, siding, trim, driveway, and surrounding plant life." When it comes to finishes, Denman advises that a clear finish is ideal for new or well-maintained wood. It reveals the beauty of the material without obscuring either its grain or texture. With more opacity, the additional pigments provide additional protection and color selection, but mask the grain of the wood while still highlighting the wood's natural texture. Stains with more opacity are a good choice for older wood that is not in pristine condition or when additional color selection is desirable. For every type of wood no matter its condition-new, worn, plagued by mildew or mold, or tannin-leached types like redwood or cedar--a preparation coating is available. To ensure your exterior wood assets are protected, they should be coated evenly with a clear finish, relatively soon after installation. Remember, proper preparation is the ultimate determinant of how long the beauty of a staining job will last. For the best advice on selecting an exterior stain and preparation appropriate for the type of wood on the exterior of your home or other outdoor project, speak to an experienced professional. One last tip: Be sure to test your color selections on the surface to be painted to see if it's accurate and exactly what you want. Remember that the natural color or grain pattern of the wood itself can greatly influence the final color. New wood finishes by Benjamin Moore can be a great way to highlight your home's exterior.

         
    Feng shui tips for everyone

     

    Feng Shui is a process that affects your internal landscape just as much as it affects your physical environment. In order for your spirit to be nourished by the enhancements you make to your home, you must start the entire process by looking inward, and this is an important Feng Shui tip that most Feng Shui consultants like me would offer to all Feng Shui beginners. This in fact is the essence of spiritual Feng Shui which looks at the Feng Shui at a higher level than the other types of Feng Shui which mostly aim at improving at a niche level; be it your office, home or bedroom. The Spiritual Feng Shui sees the whole concept of Feng Shui at the universal level, the level to which your soul belongs and relates. If you practice spiritual Feng Shui you can never think of improving your life at the expanse of harming your neighbor or your environment. The Feng Shui tips that are offered in the article not only aim to highlight the important points one has to remember before practicing it; it also introduces the Feng Shui beginners to the new horizons that the spiritual Feng Shui can open up for them. Though the spiritual Feng Shui communicates to your environment, your home, your office through the bodily objects, it heals your soul — to know how it works it is important for you to remember the following Feng Shui tips. All these free Feng Shui tips have valuable advice contained in them so try to imbibe them before you start your practice. There is nothing religious about the Spiritual Feng Shui. It talks about purifying your soul, not only the empty or occupied spaces in your house. The purified soul has the radiations that are reflected from you to have strong positive energies; in Feng Shui practice, these positive energies referred to as Chi, which is the universal energy and the guiding principle. As one would never build a new home on a rotting foundation; likewise, it is essential to clear away the debris of negativity before you create your new Feng Shui space. Only then can your spirits soar with true energy and vitality. As you come to recognize the importance of cleansing your old attitude and beginning anew, what ever Feng Shui enhancements that you use for a Feng Shui home design seem to be working for you. Here are some free Feng Shui tips for everyone: Look deep into yourself and don’t be afraid to do so! That is the only way to develop and change in a beneficial way. Be honest with yourself – you deserve truth and awareness. Open your palms, close your eyes and reach your arms up and out, as though you are waiting to be picked up or embraced. (This is necessary for unifying your soul with the universe). Imagine the energy radiating from your heart, your lungs, your palms and that the energy is touching everything in its path. Beam the energy away from you, sending it into the farthest corners of the universe. Repeat this mantra: “I am open to positive change in any form it takes.” Before you start feng shui decorating with various Feng Shui elements, my sincere Feng Shui advice to all the Feng Shui beginners is to strictly follow the spiritual Feng Shui tips. May be as your Feng Shui study goes deeper and deeper you would not mind spending some money for buying e books on Feng Shui, but the absolutely free Feng Shui tips that you just now have are the like the foundation stones for the spiritual Feng Shui practice. Remember that these free Feng Shui tips are going to help you a great deal in your long Feng Shui journey. Once you are positive about accepting changes in your life the Feng Shui is there to help you in what ever you do; remember that Feng Shui is about focusing intentions, rather than just coasting on auto-pilot. Feng Shui is about getting you back into the driver’s seat of your life, it is about accepting responsibility for yourself and your actions not only in this materialist world but also the metaphysical or spiritual world. Nurturing yourself with Feng Shui practice and making use of the philosophy of Feng Shui in the home design will help you regain your own sense of destiny and purpose within the universe. Before you start any Feng Shui practice, whether it is about understanding Feng Shui Bagua or knowing Feng Shui Elements remember that Feng Shui is a spiritual discipline. It is just not about doing furniture placement using Feng Shui interior design but knowing yourself and your universe better so can get the positive energies from the universe and its objects. Feng Shui elements are nothing different from the elements of universe. If you follow this important piece of Feng Shui advice and bring to practice the above mentioned free Feng Shui nothing can stop you from deriving benefits of Feng Shui. The Feng Shui masters have provided you with the technical know-how and valuable Feng Shui tips for evaluating your home and implementing Feng Shui techniques and cures. But it is up to you, and only you, to envision and bring about the specific environment and quality of life that you desire. If you integrate all the above home design tips into your Feng Shui practice you would soon start noticing the positive changes it is having on your life.

         
    Finding the right landscaping company

     

    Hiring a good landscaper will make completing your landscape a much simpler process. If you create goals and properly layout your plans for your landscaping you will be able to get specific pricing. Here are some tips on how to hire a landscaper the right way. 1. What do you really want or need? Some landscapes are beautiful as they are, but the owners sometimes just want to add new appeal to their homes so they opt to have a landscape job done. Be sure that you have already identified what you want in the landscape design. This should be in your preparatory plan before you even speak to a professional contractor. Once you have your plans you can present them to the contractor to see if everything will work and is possible. The blog on paramountlawns is a great place to start for your landscaping ideas. 2. Set a firm budget. Next you should prepare your budget. Will your dream garden be feasible? Is it practical or do you need to make some adjustments or compromises? The best thing is that you know what you want and you are able to identify alternatives if your budget fails to accommodate your vision. With the plans and budget in place things tend to be easier when negotiating with the contractor. The landscaper will ensure that this project will meet your budget and assure that it will look closely to what you are expecting. Be sure to get accurate measurements so that materials do not accidentally go over budget. Some contractors like to give you the best price in the estimate, but find out later that they can't provide all the material at the quote given. Which brings us to the next step, get references! 3. Get references. Know the landscape companies that you are contacting and negotiate with them. Gauge their level of experience and the quality work by asking for photos or tours of their previous projects. You should also ask for references and their professional affiliations. Make sure the company is a legitimate company and that everything is written down. Without written proof of the agreed upon services it is difficult to prove if you are not happy in the end. Summary It all boils down to good planning and documentation. If you have a solid plan and ask the right questions you will end up with an exceptional landscape. In the Sacramento California valley, Paramount Properties is the premiere landscaping company. Visit the website for more information and for services.

         
    Flower bulb catalogs

     

    Because of their relative ease of planting and growing, bulbs of all kinds are a popular flower choice. A wide variety of flower bulbs are available today. Tulips, lilacs, daffodils, crocuses, irises, dahlias, and gladiolus are just a few of the flower bulbs available. Even within one flower family, there are often many variations. For example, there are over one hundred tulips available for fall planting alone. It would be difficult to house all of the different bulbs in one store, and even more overwhelming for a customer to try to decide which one is right for them. Luckily, stores don’t even have to try. Consumers can simply open a flower bulb catalog and see pictures of all of the different varieties available. Many of the catalogs will give all of the pertinent information to consumers—name of flower, colors available, water requirements, sun requirements, geographic area, price, etc. These flower bulb catalogs make it easy for customers to decide at a glance what type of bulb they need. Jackson and Perkins is a well-known flower bulb catalog company. John Scheepers, Inc. offers a catalog of Dutch flower bulbs. Old House Gardens bills itself as “American’s only source devoted to antique flower bulbs.” Finally, Van Dyck’s offers a catalog of flower bulbs and perennials. Many of these companies now offer online flower bulb catalogs in addition to or in place of their print catalog. Most also now take orders online and accept credit cards, so it is possible to complete the entire transaction online.

         
    Flower bulbs nature s greatest gift

     

    Flowers are one of nature’s greatest gifts. Their scent, their colors, their shapes… everything about flowers is beautiful. A colorful, cheerful flower can brighten even the darkest day. Even more enjoyable than looking at flowers, though, is growing them. Flowers can be bought from pots and replanted. They can also be grown from clippings. However, one of the most popular ways of growing flowers is from bulbs and seeds. Growing flowers outdoors from bulbs is simple; in fact, it is so easy that it’s almost foolproof. One of the most important aspects is timing. Bulbs need to be planted about six weeks before the first frost. Bulbs must be planted in an area with good drainage and a lot of sun. Make sure the soil is loose, and then plant the bulbs about six inches in the ground. (Package directions may vary depending on type and location; when directions differ, following your package.) Try to place the bulb in the hole with the pointed end facing up. Cover the hole and water. Voila! You’ve planted your flower bulbs. Flower bulbs and seeds make flower gardens accessible for everyone. They can be grown virtually anywhere. One idea is to plant them in containers. With container gardens, even apartment dwellers can enjoy the beauty of flowers. Container-grown flower bulbs and seeds also allow growers to defy nature. Flower bulbs can be planted indoors in any season and in any climate, as long as the indoor conditions are favorable for growth. Flower bulbs are available in many varieties, such as tulips, daffodils, gladiolus, and crocus.

         
    Flower delivery in new york

     

    As is the case with any large city, you can become overwhelmed with the options for sending flowers. If you need to send a gift, New York flower delivery services are plenty. If you are not familiar with any particular business, it may be wise to ask friends or family (or even the florist) for referrals or recommendations. If your quest for referrals in finding the perfect florist for you needs is null, you can always do an Internet search. You can also utilize the services of national floral deliveries (FTD) or 1800Flowers. These and other national companies will deliver to New York; different companies may or may not charge additional processing or delivery fees. Blossom Flower Shop is a time-tested florist. With over 80 years of experience in the floral industry, they guarantee you will be satisfied with your purchase. This is a family owned company with 4 generations of floral experts at your service. Blossom Flower Shop delivers to all of New York City. They have professional floral designers who give personal attention to every order. Another popular florist is New York Plaza Florist. This company specializes in orchids. They also offer a variety of thousands of roses and other flowers. With professional designers on staff you are certain to get a personal touch with every order you place. This company enjoys New York flower deliveries and gives a special touch for your special occasion.

         
     
         
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