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General Article

Best Garden Design Tools

Best Garden Design Tools

For a garden design tool that pays attention to all the details that we are prone to overlook so that you can have the best resources to design a garden with best results, the internet is a good place to start searching. From soil reaction to fertility to humidity and climatic concerns, many of these online tools cover all these areas in the design stage. Traditional garden design tools are unable to get specific data for certain eminent concerns and often know about, and deal with at a later stage when the need arise.

Many online Garden Planners lets you arrange plants, trees, buildings and objects using an easy to use ‘drag and drop’ interface. It also supports upload of your garden photos, analyses your soil type and suggests suitable plants that can grow well on such soils. The tools also allows for speedy re-creation of paving, paths and fences and produce a high quality color print-out of your design to see how your end product would look like before implementing it in real life.

Another importance of an online garden design tool is that it provides one with the best results using the latest design methods available. This is because most of these tools are developed by collaborating with many industry experts, something that would cost a fortune to implement in real life. It also serves a lot of time and cost and virtually reduces speculations often associated with designing by providing accurate data about even future effects that different design methods will cause. This is done by simulating a real life garden using natural components of your garden in a few minutes without even breaking a sweat or leaving the comfort of your home.

However elaborate your garden plans are – a roof top garden, a window sill garden, a patio-side container garden, a whole virgin yard or a remodelling and existing one, a modern garden design tool takes it and makes it seem like a child’s play. Unlike rigorous old methods, edge closer to creating your ideal garden with just a click of the mouse.…

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Kitchen Remodel

Why Choose a Fitted Kitchen

If you haven’t heard the term fitted kitchen before then you really should find out all you can about this design method if you plan on doing any remodeling or upgrading of the most important area of your home. Kitchens are no longer just for cooking, they have now become a center of conversation and socializing as more and more people choose to explore culinary recipes for their guests. The preparation of the meals has now become an important part of the overall dining experience when friends come over for dinner.
A fitted kitchen works well for this type of entertaining because it can really become a showcase which can be formulated in any way you desire. For example, you can install and island and that can be your work space, your cook top, a butcher block, or a place for your friends to sit and chat while drinking wine and watching you cook. The fitted kitchen idea allows you to create what ever setting and style you want.
Up until the 1950’s most kitchens were an eclectic grouping of functional appliances and storage units. The fridge would be one make and color, the stove another, and the dishwasher (well, lets just say it had two hands instead of an auto setting). This started to change as consumers began to move out to the suburbs and houses were being designed, built, and furnished as a finished unit. The consumer wanted to move into a completed home and using the design concept of fitting the kitchen helped with supplying that need.
When a kitchen is fitted all the items “fit together” this means the cabinets and appliances all match. In fact, the current rage is to install panels on the front of appliances which allows for the matching of the cabinet faces.
This method also makes very efficient use of space as you no longer have a corner that is only used for collecting dust. You can now have a lazy Susan or several other options that utilize that space and allow you much more storage than you ever had before. If you are looking for a kitchen that will be used for entertaining or you want a kitchen that is a reflection of you and your tastes then a kitchen that is fitted is the choice you want to explore.…

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General Article

Garden Design – Planning – Aesthetics Are Important!

Garden Design – Planning – Aesthetics Are Important!

This article considers some of the elements crucial for an effective aesthetic design of your landscape.

Color

Cooler colors such as blue, purple, deep red and pastels recede thereby making your yard seem larger. On the other hand, hot colors such as bright pink, orange, yellow and white jump at you and make distances seem shorter. A trick you can use to make your yard seem larger is to plant the hot colors at the entry and cool ones at the far end of the yard. You can also do the opposite to make large spaces seem smaller. Plant hot, bright colors on the far side of the yard where they will jump out at you. One thing you should try to do is use colors from the same palate. So use bright orange and yellow flowers at the back of the yard and softer pastels near the entryway.

Pink Flamingos?

As mentioned before, manmade objects carry a great deal of weight in gardens because our eyes immediately pick them out of the all the hustle and bustle. For example ever notice how a pot or a stone wall will leap out at you in the middle of a teeming garden? So when it comes to decoration with manmade objects, less is plenty. Gargoyles, fountains and birdbaths are fine but try to space them out with shrubs or kinks in the path so they don’t dominate the entire scene. While deciding what goes where, try placing them down and then leave your yard for awhile. Come back later to see if they jump out at you, if they do then you have way too many items.

Hardscape

Your fences, decks, patio, walkways, trellises, walls and any other hardscapes of your yard design are just as important as the plants. Remember that you will have to see these elements essentially naked in the off season when all the foliage has dropped off the plants so soften them with some perennials that can serve to camouflage the hard edges. A deck may look fine in the summer surrounded by blooming flowers and shrubbery but completely hard edged and lonely during the winter months with no foliage to soften it.

Another consideration regarding your hardscape is of course cost. The individual physical components such as bricks, benches, fences, lumber and statues can be quite a bit more costly than plants. However, the value they provide in transforming a ho hum garden into a wow one always makes them worth the investment. Still not convinced? Your choice of low quality, cheap materials now will come back to haunt you later when you realize maintenance and labor will cost you far more in the long run than any meager savings you may have gotten in the beginning.

Rhythm

A more subtle design consideration is rhythm. This refers to using gradual transitions to create a smooth pacing in your yard. For example, placing 20 foot tall palm trees next to a small flower bed, which is next to a small birdbath is disjointed and just plain sloppy. Choose combinations of elements that work together in size, texture and color. A great example is the combination of the bright hues of sword-leaved irises, vertical ornamental grasses and decorative columns. The striking colors and vertical theme serve to work together to create a rhythmic flow.…

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General Article

Garden Design Courses

Garden Design Courses

Everyone is fond of nature. Gardening is one of the beautiful arts through which one can make the residence or office premises nature friendly. Right from our childhood, we would have enjoyed watching flowers and walking in lawns. Garden design courses help us in designing what we stared at in our childhood. A garden design course is nothing but as its name suggests a course dedicated exclusively for teaching the techniques, methods and styles of gardening.

There are many, professional, educational, institutions that offer these courses to students residing worldwide. The course is available at affordable cost. The most amusing part about the course is most tutors offer the course on a distance mode. This makes the students learn about garden designing just by sitting at their homes. In order to learn this course, a person needs a computer with an internet.

The garden design training institutes assign experience tutors who are professional garden designers themselves to each and every student. These courses issue a certificate titled, “Diploma in garden design”, to students who successfully complete their course. The normal course duration in any school is nine months. However, it lies upon the interest and grasping capability of the student to either complete the course early or late.

One thing that would delight a student about this course is the course does not have an examination. It is enough for a student to interact with the tutor and complete the assignments properly. This will make a student eligible for the course completion certificate.

These courses teach a practical approach to gardening and help people start their own garden design business. A person thus becomes employable on completion of the course. These courses cover the complete aspects involved in designing a garden. They teach a person everything right from the scratch. A person does not require any prior experience or educational qualification to enroll in this course.

Most of the schools offer a complete set of course materials to the student on payment of their fees. However, there is no predefined order according to which a student has to study. Student can choose any module they want and start studying from that. The only requirement is the student has to complete all modules to become eligible for a certificate. Right from choosing the area to picking up the right mix of plants and water, these courses offer exhaustive training in all the modules related to gardening.

Many of the schools offer to train for landscape design too. Landscape design is nothing but a broader form of garden design since landscapes are in general constructed at public places rather than at residences. The course package usually comes with software that will help the student to perform drawings.

With a nominal fee, and convenient course structure, garden design training certainly offer a promising career to all students who learn it. If you want to become an expert in gardening, join in a garden design course, today!…

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Home Renovation

4 Ways to Tackle Home Maintenance When You’re Renting

If you’ve ever rented a house, an apartment, or a tiny little tin-can, you would have some experience in this. Landlords and landladies all over the world engage in their curious enterprise of letting people reside in their property, not out of duty for the greater good, but because there’s good money to be made. So home maintenance becomes a means to an end as far as they are concerned.
• There is no reason to feel unduly outraged if, upon finding some damages in your household that you are not responsible for, the owner does not take immediate steps. Since property as an investment necessarily demands constant maintenance, he or she knows very well that leaving the house in a state of disrepair will eventually do more harm than good. Procrastination is usually attributable to three reasons: miscommunication, budget, and market rates.
• The majority of proprietor-tenant communications is conducted through third parties, such as agencies or middlemen. As conveyors of market signals, most of them consider their job done the moment you signed the contract. Failure to maintain your rented property is usually perceived as your failings rather than an inevitability, and for good reasons at that. While most of us would never deliberately sabotage our own dwellings, there are numerous instances – a failure to report water damage immediately, leaving a dripping tap be, and cranking up central heating beyond their designed capacity rather than insulate the house properly – where tenants have inadvertently aggravated the situation. Always report everything, and keep detailed logs of your correspondence so that you are in a position to lodge viable complaints later.
• The second reason why home maintenance is always left to the last possible reason has to do with the owner’s budget. The property ladder is a very convoluted construction: there are often cases where a downturn has hit the owner so hard he or she is left with negative equity even as the tenant is happily afloat. The need to save up for a down payment and pay fixed-rate mortgage means that sometimes landlords simply do not have the liquidity to send in a team of handymen. They aren’t necessarily poor, but until you’ve paid the rent there is simply not a lot in the kitty for them to buy the new refrigerator or washing machine.
• And the last and most subtle reason rental home maintenance go untended is the market rate for rental properties in the market at large. In a boom, property owners are more likely to focus on short-term speculative gains rather than the dribble of money (as they see it) coming from you. Put bluntly, it doesn’t make too much of a difference to them whether you live there or not.
So if you are struggling to mend a broken flat in the face of an unmovable owner, ditch it all at the earliest possible moment. The relationship between a tenant and a property owner should be a mutually beneficial one, and it is your job to convince them that it is to their interest that their biggest asset will not be destroyed in your hands, inadvertently or otherwise.…

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General Article

Japanese Garden Design – A Nice Backyard Landscaping Choice

Japanese Garden Design – A Nice Backyard Landscaping Choice

Have you ever looked out your backdoor and thought to yourself, how can I spice up my backyard? Everyone dreams about turning this area into an enjoyable and relaxing getaway for family and friends, a place where you can barbecue and spend time together. And thoughts about extending the patio fills our head, as you think about how this would give you more entertaining space, extra seating or room for a bigger grill and bar setup.

But if you are the type who would rather keep your backyard to yourself. Because you want a yard that is quaint instead of the ultimate entertaining spot. A yard where you can strategically place some shrubs, a shade tree or plant some of your favorite flowers. Well this is all fine, but where do you begin? Do you just throw in some flowers and shrubs with a stone walkway. Throw that big shade tree in the middle of the yard. No! Landscaping your backyard must be done with careful thought and preparation. One way to go is to use a theme that is geared towards your hobbies, interests or a picture of the perfect area to rest and relax.

Well, the best theme to use for the perfect backyard spot is one that provides peace and relaxation. So create your own sanctuary by using a good Japanese garden design. All the element of a Japanese garden come together in such a way that allows you to getaway from the rest of the world. From the use of plants and stones all the way to the tranquil sounds of a running stream and pond.

Just imagine using a Japanese garden design that creates a wonderful scrolling garden with paths that intertwine, leading you on a journey that thrills the senses. Or design a Japanese garden around the rock garden principles. And as you ponder on how great this would look, you still have an important decision to make. Which one of the five essential Japanese Garden types are going to be right one for you!…

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General Article

Period Landscaping For Your Home’s Heritage

Period Landscaping For Your Home’s Heritage

Nothing is more aesthetically pleasing than to see a home from another era surrounded by lawns and gardens of the time. Many times when a property owner feels that something about the outside of the home just isn’t right, it turns out to be the landscape design. No matter how beautiful, it just doesn’t quite fit with the architectural lines and details of the house.

To buy an older house, make any necessary repairs and restorations and then attempt to research and duplicate the period gardens and landscape designs of the time is an enormous that most of us do not have the time for today.

The fact remains that if you bought a Victorian style house or any other from a time gone by, and find it pleasing, you would also find the the landscape designs of the same era pleasing.

Rather than give up on the idea, try piecing together your new landscape like a puzzle, working piece by piece until ultimately the entire landscape is one beautifully cohesive statement from another time.

Where to begin

Just knowing a few facts about the feelings and beliefs of an era will help you to design your landscape with some proximity to your home’s time period. There are many books on the market filled with the history of gardens and landscape design. One trip to the library can help you make some of your larger landscaping decisions, such as the shape of your lawn and your foundation plantings.

The next step will be to start making decisions about what kind of plantings you will eventually begin to bring into your plan. When you begin to catch the fever, you can even get your hands on hard-to-find period plants that many nurseries are now specializing in, like heirloom seeds or seeds of change.…