Monthly Archives: May 2017

Lawn and Garden Decor

Having a home sweet home is a dream for everyone. Once that becomes a reality how to decorate it becomes a concern. With all the different options available in the market the issue becomes graver. Apartment system is more prominent today in cities, but single house with a beautiful lawn and garden is always welcome. Selecting the plants, planting, watering, pruning and fertilizing them, at times it becomes a nightmare to look after these. It is not just plants that can be used to decorate the landscape there are various other options to choose from depending on the space available. Fountains and small artificial ponds are a good option.

Lawn and garden decor adds on to the beauty of the house. For some it is a favorite pass time and hobby to take care of the garden, but for others it is a headache. To help them there are people and agencies to make your lawn and garden a wonderful place according to your taste and preference. There are many options available in the market like statues, fountain, pond and lawn ornaments, etc and even a theme could be set that can be changed from time to time.

Concrete garden ornaments are a great option available for garden decoration. They include pots, bird baths, sculptures, urns and stepping stones, etc. This can even be handmade and it would be a great fun to make things with your own hands to decorate your lawn. It is lot more, cheaper than purchasing. Moulds of different size, shape and design made of latex, aluminum or plastic are available in the market that can be made use of. To make the concrete mix for the garden ornaments, cement, light gravel, sand and water needs to be mixed in a ratio required to make a particular ornament. Once the mix is ready, it should be poured into the mould. Make sure no air bubbles are formed. Keep it for setting for at least 24 hours and maximum three days to properly dry. When it is dry you can color it or add other accessories to beautify it.

Concrete garden ornaments are mostly statues. Religious statues are commonly used to decorate both indoor as well as outdoor. Statues of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Angels, etc are the all time favorites. Animal statues like camel, deer, bird, dog, fish, lion tiger dolphin, duck, squirrel, frog, alligator, elephant, etc. statues of Buddha, Pagodas, Dragon, Gargoyles, etc are also common found. Bird baths of concrete apart from providing birds with refreshing water are also used for garden decoration purpose is available in various designs.

Breakthrough in the Never Ending Battle around Home and Garden

Since I am not only an avid gardener, but also much concerned about the environment, I’m always looking for safe methods to grow plants including pest control in home and garden.

Think about pest control and how it works: We spray chemicals on plants or pests and the bugs die or stop reproducing because the chemicals are toxic to them. Unfortunately, many of these products are also toxic to humans and animals. Reading warning labels on pest control products makes you wonder why anybody would want to risk using them. Exposure to the fumes of these products can result in headaches, feelings of nausea and other discomfort Pesticide use can also results in chronic illness such as allergies, in miscarriages, sterility, cancer and even death.

We not only spray and fumigate in home and garden, we also apply bug killing toxins on our pets and expose them and ourselves non stop to a variety of chemicals to kill fleas, ticks and more.

Over the years, I have had some success with such Earth friendly things as vinegar, diatomaceous earth, garlic, cayenne pepper and Saver Soap in my never ending battle with bugs that invade home and garden. My quest also led me to pure essential oils which repel or kill bugs, yet are actually healthful to people and their pets.

Experimentation lead to the discovery that if the oils are used undiluted, they repel the pests, but if the oils are mixed with water, they often become “insecticides”. In other words, if you like to repel insects from entering your home, you can do that by putting a few drops of the appropriate oil on your fingers or some other applicator and then brush or spray the oil along the line of demarcation such as a windowsill, a door jamb, or other point of entry.

To kill or disable pests, mix a few drops of a specific oil with water in a spray bottle, shake frequently and aim at the pests. For example, to discourage aphids and ants from roses and other plants, generously spray infested plants with the mix. While the pests will leave or fall off, there is no harm done to the plant itself. (Best not to do that in mid day when temperatures go above 100 degrees F.)

You can keep ticks, chiggers and fleas off yourself and your pets when in the outdoors by using the appropriate oils. Either spray on exposed areas or rub on cuffs around neck, wrists and ankles. Avoid using oils near the eyes. Should you get oils in the eyes, dilute with vegetable oil – NOT with water. If an oil should be too strong for the user, experiencing a slight discomfort, apply a little vegetable oil to dilute. For your pets, you can put recommended oils around the neck, legs and along the back, but keep oils from around the eyes and other tender areas.

If an oil should be too strong for the user, apply a little vegetable oil on the area to dilute.

The following oils have been used successfully in the elimination of pests from home and garden:

ANTS: Peppermint, Spearmint

APHIDS: Cedarwood, Hyssop, Peppermint, Spearmint

BEETLES: Peppermint, Thyme

CATERPILLARS: Spearmint, Peppermint

CHIGGERS: Lavender, Lemongrass, Sage, Thyme

CUTWORM: Thyme, Sage

FLEAS: Peppermint, Lemongrass, Spearmint, Lavender

FLIES: Lavender, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage

GNATS: Patchouli, Spearmint

LICE: Cedarwood, Peppermint, Spearmint

MOSQUITOES: Lavender, Lemongrass

MOTHS: Cedarwood, Hyssop, Lavender, Peppermint, Spearmint

PLANT LICE : Peppermint, Spearmint

SLUGS: Cedarwood, Hyssop, Pine

SNAILS: Cedarwood: Pine, Patchouli

SPIDERS: Peppermint, Spearmint

TICKS: Lavender, Lemongrass, Sage, Thyme

WEEVILS: Cedarwood, Patchouli, Sandalwood

I like to add these cautions about essential oils: Not all essential oils on the market are safe. Many are diluted with harmful chemicals. Many essential oils are ineffective due to the way they are processed. Please make sure that you use safe, pure, properly distilled oils.

Home And Garden Party

If you’re a home and garden party consultant, helping your hostesses come up with ideas for their parties can be a win-win situation for both of you. For the hostess, having a printed list with ideas, themes and even recipes can take a big part of the stress off her shoulders, and make her more motivated and enthusiastic about the party. For you, the consultant, having a happy hostess means happier and more relaxed guests, and everyone having a wonderful time at the party. This also can translate into more sales for you.

Although a garden party may make you think of elegant women in large hats, sipping tea out of tiny porcelain cups, in reality it doesn’t require a home in the country with a large lawn, beautiful grounds and lots of outdoor furniture. Successful garden parties can happen on small patios in the city, in the backyard of the suburbs or even in a living room or dining room. In fact, some of the most successful garden parties don’t even happen in the hostess’s home – we’ve had successful garden parties at the local park, at a family member or neighbor’s home, and once, even on a mother-daughter camp-out!

Garden parties can range from the elegant to the casual: from large affairs to cozy, intimate gatherings. The most important thing when planning a garden party is to decide on the theme, and then use it to create the atmosphere you want.

Of course you’ll have to take into consideration the time of year, the time of day the party is being held, the number of guests expected and the location. But here are some fun themes that have resulted in successful parties with better-than-average sales and party bookings. Feel free to adapt them so that they work for you!

Tea Party: Get elegant with cloth tablecloths and napkins, fancy napkin rings and place settings. The centerpieces could be glass bowls, decanters or bottles filled with flowers, fruit or candles. Serve tea, finger sandwiches and elegant little desserts on stacked trays.
Use flowers or potted plants if the party is on the patio, or set it up in the garden itself, if the time of year is right. Place your displays inside the house or around the outdoor area, and use the same tablecloths and elegant theme as the party. Light classical music, guitar music or new age would blend in beautifully.

Afternoon Delight: Set up a whimsical party with beach umbrellas or patio tables and umbrellas, a free-standing hammock, and drag out the kids’ plastic pool to fill with sand and use it to hold your outdoor display items. Serve icy margaritas or delicious mimosas with a little Jimmy Buffet in the background, and make sure your games are fun and that guests feel relaxed and at ease. Crackers, cheese and fruit make simple refreshments.

Bridal Shower: Although this idea is a little unusual, it’s actually a good marketing campaign and has been a surprising success. In your next marketing campaign – aimed at brides and maids (or matrons) of honor, mention that you hold garden party bridal showers. The guests get together, laugh, talk, eat and play games, just like at a regular bridal shower, but the bride can register for the gifts that she’d like for her new home, and guests can choose from her list, as well as picking up a little something for themselves. Themes can vary, but some nice touches include: stringing fairy lights and hurricane lanterns around the garden or patio (especially if the party is being held at night), using ribbons, lace and the bride’s wedding colors. Refreshments can be anything from a light buffet using fresh fruits and vegetables of the season (for spring and summer) to soups and a selection of elegant appetizers in the fall and winter months.

Bloom Where you’re Planted: This party is all about celebrating life and enjoying who you are. Table decorations can be tiny terra cotta pots with tea lights in them. You can use flower seed packets as place cards (write the guests’ names on the packets). Set up baskets or pots of flowers and plants around the tables. Use a wheelbarrow or garden cart for displays or refreshments, and if you have a trellis or standing metal archway, it makes a lovely setting for your display. Keep the games light and upbeat and the general theme about gratitude and how wonderful it is that we are all unique and different as flowers in a garden. Refreshments should be kept light – ice tea, lemon-aide or fruit smoothies and finger sandwiches with cookies or a variety of desserts works well.

Shopping For Your Home and Garden

Shopping for your home and garden decorating needs can be time consuming and frustrating. Going from store to store, seeing many of the same products and trying to remember their prices can be downright discouraging. Even if you look through the sales ads before you leave doesn’t guarantee you will find what you are looking for. You see just the right statue or bird house, but when you get to the store, they have sold out of it or didn’t get that particular item at that location. You have now wasted your time and are ready to forget about buying anything at all.

Online shopping, on the other hand, is much easier and satisfying. The old saying “time is money” really applies in this situation. You have saved the time you would spend looking through the papers and driving all over town. You have saved more money by not using up your gas. In today’s economy, this is a big deal.

Purchasing from an online store has many advantages. You don’t have to leave your home. You don’t have to deal with inclement weather. Your purchases are safe and secure. You don’t have to carry it to your car. Most stores accept many different types of payment for your convenience. The choice of stores is fantastic and not limited to your local grocery or gardening stores. The amount of products to choose from is amazing. You can look for something as simple as a wind chime, garden sign or stake to more elaborate items like statues and fountains. Whatever you are looking for, you will find it online.

Most online stores will charge for shipping, but the amount is usually small. Plus, it is delivered right to your door. You probably would have spent more in gas driving around from store to store. Waiting for an item to go on sale? Trying to get to that store before the item is sold out can be difficult. Some online stores will let you register your email with them. You can let them know what item you are looking for and they can let you know when you can get a great deal. Almost every online store runs some type of sale or special all the time.

Garden decorations are generally available only during the spring and summer at your local stores. They are always available online. You can shop anytime, day or night, 7 days a week. Your purchase will be confirmed by email almost immediately, unlike online auctions, where you have to wait to see if your bid won.

Save yourself time and money. Look for your garden decorations online and bring your home and garden up to date quickly and easily. Your friends will want to know where you found such fantastic items. Refer them to your favorite site. The online store will be happy to serve them just as efficiently as they did your purchase. Have fun shopping online. Soon it will be the only way to find exactly what you are looking for.