Category Archives: Garden Structure

Water Garden Feature – How To Save On The Pennies And Labor

A Water Garden Feature without doubt is the cherry on the cake giving the ultimate finish to enhance the beauty of a garden or patio – but unfortunately some gardeners are put off because of the work involved with the installation and maintenance of having a water feature. Cost can also hamper the decision of adding a water garden in your courtyard etc.

Expense may not be an issue if you decide on doing the work your self. If you have a good manual at your side when you take on the task then that is the first step in the right direction – follow the instructions accordingly and all should be okay. By chance if you are not DIY minded then you need not worry because Water Garden Features come in all different shapes and sizes thus cutting costs to meet your budget – where you can have an expert fit the fixture.

Small water garden features not only will save on the pennies but will save on the labor also when it comes to the cleaning. And with what you save you can buy different garden novelties.
Combining a fish pond with a water garden has to be carefully planned if plants like the lotus and lily are used; you need to have access to these. Your water garden needs to be approx 16 to 18 inches deep. This is good depth for plants to flourish. Young plants are not dependent on deep water.
How you ornate your water garden feature is entirely up to you but we do not want is to over do it, to much can spoil the appearance.

Water Gardens that host too many plants and shrubs can lose the effect of what you want to inject from the whole project and that is beauty. Shelving is best kept to a minimum if the feature is small – plants can be elevated on to rocks. Shelving is a good idea – it keeps the fish happy providing them with cover from the rays of the hot sun.

Nature comes to the fore from your Water Garden Feature with uninvited guests – what you have to remember water will always attract aquatic life and also children so be careful. Frogs toads and newts will enjoy your water garden feature just as much as you, if not more – so be prepared. There will be the upkeep of the pond/waterfall you have installed – the work involved with the maintenance will not be heavy work if you keep on top.

Installing a water garden feature is not a complicated mission unless you make it one by not having the right tools for the job. Be sure to obtain a good book with details on how to erect and to find the best place to locate the feature. Also do some research on what flowers and plants are suitable? How to clean and maintain a water garden are all important issues you need to know about and last but not least find out what you have to do to meet with the fishes needs and requirements if there is to be any marine life in your pond or pool.

Safety Tip – When next at the garden store purchase your self some netting or mesh so that the Water Garden Feature can be covered in your absence. This is a safety measure for when – CHILDREN ARE AROUND AND YOU ARE NOT.

Building An Easy And Cost-effective Greenhouse On Your Back Yard

Thorough planning and preparation is essential before starting your greenhouse project. Putting up a greenhouse need not be time-consuming or expensive. Your greenhouse design will very much depend on your home’s home architecture, space and plants that you want to grow, cost and available location. Make sure that your greenhouse should provide the environment suitable for your chosen type of plants.

Location

Your greenhouse must be built in a site where it will get the full and concentrated sunlight.

Your best option is the southeast side of your house or shade of trees. All day sunlight is best, though also consider the morning sunlight coming from the east side because this is adequate for most plants, as it permits the course food production to start early so then progress is maximized.

The location on the east captures most of the November up to February sunshine.

Deciduous trees like oak and maple can shade the greenhouse effectively from the strong late afternoon sun during the summer but they must not shade or cover your greenhouse during the morning. These trees likewise permit maximum sun exposure during the winter due to the shedding of their foliage during fall.

Your greenhouse must not be located beside trees having leaves all year as it will block the winter sun. You must maximize greenhouse exposure to winter sun especially if your greenhouse will be used year-round.

Another necessity for the location of your greenhouse is good drainage. When needed, construct your greenhouse higher than the ground so as irrigation and rainwater will easily drain away.

Light that is required by certain types of plants that you will grow, water, electricity, heat and protection from strong wind are other factors that should also be considered.

Also, you need to set up a workplace and an area for storage of your supplies in your greenhouse.

Here is a simple and easy to construct greenhouse:

Materials:

5 pieces of 20 foot each of 5/8 inch rebar, cut into 1/3’s – 6 foot in length.

7 pieces of 20 foot schedule 40 PVC drilled with a hole size 3/16 to º inch dead center at 10 feet.

84 feet that is cut into 4 foot lengths of Ω schedule 40 PVC

80 pieces size 2X4 wood (treated).

4 pieces fence posts, 8 foot in length (treated).

Size 40X24 feet UV polyethylene, stabilized

60 pieces 2 Ω inches fence staples

1. Begin by extending a thin rope or string where the two long sides of your greenhouse should be. Then pound the 6 foot rebar in, each with a distance of 4 feet away from each other, in a straight line and allowing 48 inches to protrude from the soil or ground.

2. Nail the 2X6 runner on to the bare stakes. This will provide you with something so as to nail on the polyethylene later. You may use a ì60 2 Ω inch fence staples.

3. Slide in the PVC pieces (20 inch) over the rebar stakes, making certain that no sharp points are exposed, such as rebar, wire ends, rough pipes, etc.

4. Put the PVC pieces (20 foot) on the rebar stakes. You need to have somebody do one side as you also do the other side carefully and slightly at each time. Make sure that you drilled holes parallel to the ground.

5. Slide the wire all through the PVC holes and through the 8 PVC (4foot) pieces along the roof.

6. So as the ribs will not shift horizontally, you need to wire together the 4 foot PVC pipe lengths with either baling or copper wire. Make certain that the wire is wrapped so that the PVC pipe is forced inward.

7. Construct now the two end walls and the doors. Use vertical posts (4X4) 10 foot length and buried 3 or 4 feet for the doorway frame. Make certain that the end walls are not floppy and must stay vertically so that the PVC will not separate. Your door must be very tight so that the wind will not be able to inflate the greenhouse.

8. Drive some nails into the post’s base horizontally of the posts and submerge them to the ground.

9. With somebody’s help, and each person on each side holding the plastic, slide it over the rib cage and then attach the ends by wrapping the plastics end around lath pieces then nail the lath to the end walls and also along the foundation.

10. Be creative and add a few of your personal touches.

All done! Have fun in your greenhouse!

Building A Garden Fence

Building A Garden Fence
Building A Garden Fence

They are privacy and shelter are two important things in the garden. The latter is often a problem in gardens which are exposed to cold prevailing winds. Both these points are important not only for the gardener himself, but also for the plants in his garden

Young growth can be severely damaged by cold winds and frequent buffeting will cause a great deal of root disturbance. Although privacy and shelter can be provided by trees and shrubs, fences also have an important part to play.

The choice of fencing must never be undertaken lightly, for serious consideration must be given to its appearance and construction.

Strength is very important. A fence is only as strong as its supports. Most fences are supplied with strong posts, usually 4-6in (10-15cm) square. Sometimes concrete posts are supplied; these are extremely strong. Strength of timber also depends on the prevention of rot, and unless cedar wood is used (except for posts), all timber should be treated with a suitable preservative. Creosote can be used, although it should be allowed to soak into the timber for several weeks before plants are trained against it. Unless this is done, there is the danger of stem and leaf scorch and its use is not generally recommended where plants are to be grown against or near a fence. A safer treatment consists of the use of copper naphthenate preservatives such as the green, horticultural grades of Cuprinol or Solignum.

Types of fencing

The most popular types are purchased as units or panels. Usually they are from 5-6ft (1.5-1.8m) in length with heights varying from about 3-6ft ( 90cm-1.8m). A solid or close boarded fence is, as its name implies, a design which consists of upright or horizontal strips of wood, some 6in (15cm) wide and 1in (2-2.5cm) thick. The strips are nailed to two or more supporting rails at the rear of the panel. These provide complete privacy and wind protection.

Weather board fencing consists of wedge-shaped strips of wood, (1 in 2cm) in thickness at one edge, tapering to 0.5 in (1cm) at the other. Each strip overlaps the next by about 1 in(2cm). The advantage of this design is that it is virtually peep proof.

Trellis fencing is suited as a support for climbing and trailing plants. It is not a strong design but can be used to good effect for covering unsightly walls or as an additional part of a fence design. It usually consists of laths of wood 1 by 3/4in ( 2.5 by 1.5cm) thick, fastened across each other vertically and horizontally to form 6-8in (15-20cm) squares. The laths are attached to a more substantial framing of 1 or 1in (2.5 or 3cm) square timber.

One of the latest advances in fence production is the sale of kits which are so accurately machined and complete that even an unskilled person can erect panels without any trouble. With these kits have come new ideas in design, and many can be made up into contemporary designs. This is especially useful where bold effects are required in the construction of patios. Many ultra-modern properties are being built and this advance in fence appearance will be welcomed by their owners.

Fencing can also be provided in the form of chain link or mesh netting. The best quality is heavily galvanized to withstand the rigors of the weather.

A more recent innovation is the plastic coating of chain link over the galvanized wire. Standard colors of dark green, black, white, yellow and light green can be obtained.

Enjoy your Garden and Patio for longer with a Gas Patio Heater

With the increased new trend in outdoor living, which has undoubtedly been by TV Gardening DIY programs, we are all spending more money on our garden and patio areas. Creating an inspirational outdoor living space is something we can all do, with a wide range of hard and soft landscaping products, lighting, decorations and garden accessories available widely on the market.

Some of the latest innovations are in garden heating which allows us to spend more of our precious leisure time enjoying our garden or patio area, be it for entertaining family and guests or simply for relaxing. Gas patio Heaters provide instant controllable heat and warmth, thus making your outside room as comfortable and enjoyable as any of your inside rooms. On days when the temperature is not as warm as one would like, the patio heater can be turned on to give off a heat circle of around 6 meters and gas patio heaters come into their own after sun set, when they create atmospheres from party to tranquil.

When choosing a gas patio heater always ensure that it has the necessary safety features such as; a tilt sensor, which will cut off the gas and flame if the patio heater is knocked or blown over whilst in use and also an auto shut off switch will cut off the gas if the flame is blown out.

Patio heaters come in many shapes and sizes, but by far the most popular are the upright standing heater, sometimes available with a circular table around the gas bottle housing, and the table top patio heater. Heat output is measured in Kilowatts and sizes range from 12 kw up to 15kw gas patio heaters, which are usually used for pub, hotel and commercial environments. Finished gas patio heaters usually range from colored powder coated to the more expensive stainless steel models. The main difference in finishes relate to the likely life of the heater. Stainless steel patio heaters look by far the most impressive and will keep their luster for many years. Powder coated patio heaters tend to weather slightly less well and will rust if the powder coating is damaged.

Table top heaters are very popular but are a lot smaller and also have a much smaller heat output but they are a very effective way of providing heat to people immediately around the garden table.

Accessories for Patio heaters include covers ( which are a must is you intend to leave it outside during the winter), wheels ñ which will enable you to easily move the heater around the garden, ballast tanks which give extra stability and most good patio heaters actually come with a gas bottle regulator installed and ready for easy attachment.

Patio heaters run off bottles gas, mainly butane but sometime propane which is widely available in the UK and most other countries. The regulator which is usually supplied with the heater, clips straight onto the bottle and is easy to install. Gas regulators are supplied by all gas bottle suppliers, but ensure that you take you gas bottle along to the dealer as there are varying sizes of bottle head.

Patio heaters require very little maintenance if any at all, and will give extend your time in your garden or on you patio.

Some safety points worth remembering are;

Position in a fairly sheltered area, as this will both reduce the likelihood of damage in strong winds and also increase the amount of ambient heat output.
If the heater is outdoors during the winter, buy a patio heater cover and protect you heater with it.
Always leave the gas bottle in the heater to give it extra weight.
If you patio heater comes supplied with a ballast tank in the base, fill it with sand or if none is available, use water but mix car anti-freeze with it, otherwise the tank may crack when freezing occurs in winter.
Do not let children use the patio heater as a toy or climbing frame.

Enjoy long nights throughout the year with your patio heater ñ your life will take a new turn into outdoor living.

How To Choose a Storage Shed

How To Choose a Storage Shed
How To Choose a Storage Shed

If you own a house, at some point the need for extra storage space soon becomes evident. Arguably the most common solution is to purchase a storage shed. There are hundreds of styles and options available, but taking the time review these 5 key steps will enable you to make a smarter decision.

1. What is the primary function of the shed? In most cases, storage space is the key requirement, so figure out how much space is needed. A small 4í x 8í lean-to style provides sufficient space for small tools, but larger items do require more space. I strongly recommend choosing the largest size that you can afford, which still blends in with your landscape. Remember that most municipalities require building permits for any building over 100 sq. ft.
2. Is the shed going to play a prominent role in your day to day activities? If so, make sure that you choose a style and options that give you good access and provide adequate lighting. Windows and skylights provide plenty of natural light, but it is common to run electricity to the shed. For easy access, make sure that the doors are at least 34î wide, as most lawn mowers will easily pass through.
3. How important is the look of the shed to my property. Remember that anything you erect will either add or impair on your property value. Metal and vinyl are the least expensive options, but these tend to look ordinary. Wood and pre-finished sidings normally add character and value, but are usually more expensive.
4. Consider the grade and accessibility of the location. A level site is the starting point for all shed construction The greater the grade, the more work needs to be done. Typically a grade of 6î or less over the dimension of the shed can be compensated for by using patio stones, especially for smaller units. In areas faced with frost upheaval or poor drainage, it is recommend that at least 6î of topsoil be removed and filled with screening stone (1/2î or smaller gravel is also acceptable).
5. Be considerate to your neighbors! Donít put up something that belongs in a junkyard beside your neighborís manicured backyard. Most municipalities require that storage sheds be 2 ft from the fence or property line, so be sure to check ahead of time to avoid any aggravation. Talk to your neighbors about your intentions ñ 99% of the time they will appreciate your concern and be very supportive of your project.

The internet is an excellent source for information on the hundreds of suppliers and styles available. If ordering online be sure to read the warranty and returns information carefully as often goods of this nature cannot be returned. Just because a company has a fancy website it does not mean it stands behind its product ñ try searching for articles or information on the particular company. Most companies offer either pre-cut or pre-fabricated kits delivered to your residence. If choosing a fully installed product, deal with a local company with a fixed location (avoid the ones that set-up at seasonal locations), and again be prudent with your research. I strongly recommend avoiding companies that require more than a 30% deposit ñ youíll end up waiting longer than you should. A storage shed is an important purchase ñ a little research will go a long way in helping making the right decision.

Equipment You Need for a More Productive Greenhouse

Equipment You Need for a More Productive Greenhouse
Equipment You Need for a More Productive Greenhouse

Ever wondered how higher altitude places can grow crops in their location? Plants need enough heat and sun’s energy to grow. However, for places that are located in the northern portion of the globe, this requirement may be difficult to attain because of the nature of their weather. Thus, farmers in these places use the greenhouse method to be able to still successfully to grow good quality crops.

A greenhouse is an enclosed structure where plants are being cultivated. This building is usually made of glass or plastic to trap the sun’s electromagnetic radiation to warm the plants and soil inside. Having a greenhouse needs proper maintenance for a more productive crop growing. Different supplies are needed by greenhouse farmers to make this happen.

Greenhouse Supplies
There are different materials and equipment needed for a greenhouse planting to be effective. Here are some examples of the supplies you will need in case you are planning to build a greenhouse:

1. Heating and cooling thermostats. Since temperature is crucial to the efficiency of greenhouse structures, a thermostat is needed to be placed inside the building. The best location to mount it is near the middle of the greenhouse and at plant height. Also, it would be best if both the cooling and heating thermostats are protected from direct contact with water and sunlight.

2. Vents. Greenhouse temperature and humidity should be controlled to attain perfect growing conditions. Thus, vents are needed to be able to get in more air for proper ventilation during warm seasons, or seal out air in colder times of the year.

3. Exhaust fans. For plants to grow healthier in your greenhouse, circulation fans are needed. These fans even out the distribution of fresh air and heat inside the greenhouse.

4. Plant watering systems. Of course, aside from heat and fresh air, plants also need water to grow. You can always do the watering on your own by having water hoses long enough to reach all parts of the greenhouse. Moreover, it would be best if you just have an automatic watering system so you don’t have to worry not having to water your plants when you are out. This watering system should be placed on a shelf above the plants then connect the dipper’s to the circulation tubing.

5. Benches and shelving. These pieces of garden furniture are needed to be able to place more plants in lesser space. They are ideal for greenhouse owners doing gardening as a hobby. Also, a good-sized working bench is needed for potting and re-potting of plants.

6. Lighting system. Having a good lighting system helps increase the speed of growth of plants as it provides plenty of light for longer periods of time.

7. Thermometers. To properly maintain the ideal conditions inside the greenhouse, you will need to monitor the different factors affecting your plantsí growth. Different thermometers are needed for you to be able to track changes occurring inside the structure. Examples of these thermometers are the regular thermometer, humidity gauge, soil thermometer and the light intensity meter.

8. Ground cover. Since weeds are known to grow anywhere, it is best to protect your soil from these weeds that carry pests and diseases to plants. To do this, you can have a ground cover as a floor to your greenhouse or cover it with soil, sand, brick and gravel.

9. Cycle timers. To be able to automate the equipment’s you use in your greenhouse, you can also put a cycle timer which can accurately cycle the equipments on and off time. This is ideal for ventilation controls, irrigation, and misting. With this timer, you do not have to worry going in and out of your greenhouse to turn the machines on and off.

10. Greenhouse books and reading materials. Continuous learning is essential for anything we do. Same goes with maintaining greenhouses. You need to be well equipped with all the necessary requirements of having more productive plant cultivation in your greenhouse. These books and magazines will also keep you updated of the latest news and recent technology releases about greenhouses.

These are just some of the main supplies you need to have a well-maintained greenhouse. There are several items available online or at your favorite garden supplies shop. Take a look at them and determine which ones will be useful to your greenhouse.