5 Tips for a Beautiful Yard Space

5 Tips for a Beautiful Yard Space

Most people don’t make the most of their outdoor areas. They just keep it limited to the bare minimum, and that’s all. While we don’t want to tell anyone what to do with their property, it’s possible that this is a mistake! If you put the effort into making your yard area look presentable, then you won’t just have the satisfaction of creating something beautiful — you’ll also have a de facto new room on your property to enjoy, the benefits of which you’ll definitely feel once summer gets into full flow. Below, we take a look at a few tips that’ll lead to a pretty and enjoyable outdoor space at your home. Source: Pexels.com A Range of Colors Is there anything on earth more magical than a beautiful plant? We don’t think so. When it comes to planting flowers on your property, it’s best to pick a selection, so as to have the widest range of colors as possible. You’ll fall in love with your property again and again if, when you look outside, you see a sea of flowers that are all the colors of the rainbow. General Maintenance As with most things in life, a little bit of effort can go a long way. When it comes to your yard, that means making sure that you’re stopping on top of the general maintenance that needs to be conducted throughout the year. This involves adding fertilizer to your lawn to keep it looking in tip-top condition, caring for trees, and removing weeds, to name but three tasks. If you stay on top of the essential lawn maintenance, then it’ll stay in tip-top condition for longer. All too often, it’s not the lack of exquisite beauty that holds a yard back — it’s the building up of small imperfections that does that. Water Features A good way to make your yard more interesting is to add a water feature, which will work to spice up things, especially if you’ve currently only got plants out there. Aside from looking good, it also contributes to the overall peaceful aspect of the yard — there’s nothing quite like running water to put you in a peaceful state of mind. Working With Your Hands Your yard is like the ocean. It’s not just something to be admired from afar; you should enjoy it up close and personal, too. There’s much joy and beauty to be had in creating your own veg garden, and spending a sunny afternoon with your hands in the dirt. They’re easy enough to get started, and can be deeply satisfying. You’ll know exactly what we mean once there’s a vegetable on your plate that came from your own property. Plus, freshly grown vegetables are delicious, more so than the supermarket equivalent! Best Practices Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that your yard, or, rather your region of the world is unique. Take a read up on the best practices for maintaining a yard in your type of environment — a yard in a wet climate needs different care than one in a dry climate, for instance. This contributed post may contain affiliate...
10 Unique Ways to Not Let Your Excess Harvest go to Waste

10 Unique Ways to Not Let Your Excess Harvest go to Waste

It’s getting close to springtime and won’t be long before your garden is thriving. This means that you probably have excess flowers or edibles that you just don’t know what to do with. Don’t let your tomatoes go soft or your pineapples turn brown. One of the greatest aspects of being a gardener is the ability to share the beauty and bounty of the natural world with others. Even if you just have one extra pint of blueberries to bring to your neighbor, sharing will show how much you care. You can also spread the love and beauty of your vibrant flowers with potted arrangements or tables displays. After you’ve spent so much time pulling those weeds, watering your plants, and picking your fruits and veggies, you should celebrate your success. It would be a shame to let all your hard work go to waste, so we’ve come up with some ways to spread the love to those around you. 1. Bring Your Harvest to the Office Whether you work at a school or in an office, bring your extras in and let your coworkers take home what they want. Most people love receiving fresh fruits and vegetables. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, you can donate your surplus to a relative to bring in with them. 2. Visit Your Neighbors Say “Hi!” to your neighbors, and make an excuse to visit, by bringing some produce along. One of the best ways to build comradery with your neighbors is to share. Don’t be surprised if your neighbors return the favor by sharing what they grow with you. You can even start a seed exchange. 3. Sell Your Fruits and Veggies at the Farmer’s Market If you love fresh air, you will love selling at your Saturday market. It’s pretty easy to book a booth and start a following. All you need is a mini chalkboard for prices, grocery bags, a couple of folding chairs, and a table. You can even advertise that you ’ll be there on Facebook gardening groups or with your friends. Prepare to meet a lot of friendly faces and share your talent with your community. 4. Sell Potted Arrangements If you don’t grow many edibles, but you have a green thumb when it comes to succulents or flowers, try to sell your potted arrangements. You can do this at the farmer’s market, but you can also be quite successful by selling online. Setup up an online store, register a botanical domain name, and take clear photos of your plants. You’ll surely get your first sales pretty quickly. 5. Donate Your Harvest to a Good Cause Look into local soup kitchens or Meal on Wheels, and see if they could use some extra fruits, veggies, or herbs. Being able to share your veggies means sharing all the great benefits of homegrown, fresh produce. You can also offer to donate flowers for table displays if you have a knack for arrangements. Flowers can brighten others’ days and add a touch of elegance to a soup kitchen or charity bake sale or dinner. 6. Setup a Roadside Display If you have some extra crates or a potting table, set them up by your mailbox with your fruits and veggies arranged neatly. Create a little sign that explains your produce is free or for donation, and put some bags out, so your neighbors can easily carry their haul away. This will let your neighbors pick what they want or need without the pressure of socializing. 7. Bake, Bake, and Bake Some More Some of us are gifted with the ability to bake, and some of us want to get better at the art of baking. Regardless of your baking ability, there are plenty of people that will gladly eat your zucchini bread or fresh-picked blueberry pie. So, if you have the time and you want to try out some new recipes, why not get started with your extra fruits and veggies. You can also use a variety of veggies in pot pies or baked casseroles. 8. Can Some Fruits and Vegetables for Later Nothing beats a zesty homemade bread-and-butter pickle, but have you tried canned cauliflower, asparagus, pickled peppers, or beets? Canning your harvest lets you extend your hard work into the heat of the summer in the South or wintertime up north when the soil is too frozen to grow anything. Mason jars with bright, tasty veggies also make excellent presents. 9. Freeze Your Extras Many of our favorite fruits and veggies freeze well. You can even make prepared pies to pass out to family members. If you have an appetite for soups and marinara, freeze some diced tomatoes. Peaches also hold up remarkably well when frozen. You can make some great pesto sauces that will last for months in the freezer and still taste fresh. 10. Use Veggies to Create a Seed Collection Saving your seeds can save you money. While it may seem like a lot of work, preserving your seeds can help you stockpile some of your favorite plants. You can potentially save quite a bit of money if you have a large garden that needs to be reseeded every spring. DIY seed packets also make fun and unique gifts for your neighbors and loved ones. Before becoming overwhelmed in by how plentiful your garden has been, starting thinking of how you’re going to spread the love to your community and beyond. You can meet some fantastic people and other great gardeners along the way. Keep up the good work and keep your garden healthy. This contributed post may contain affiliate...
Hop Poles and Trellis Design for Your Garden

Hop Poles and Trellis Design for Your Garden

In lieu of upcoming Spring and Summer vegetation, homeowners are using hop pole and trellis designs for their gardens. These items in the garden manipulate vines and other hanging plants with garden wires, hop poles, and pre-made trellis structures. Landscapers and homeowner enthusiasts often explore different ways to use these designs, which we’ll talk about in this article. Hop poles and trellis designs are a combination of wooden logs, wires (small ropes), and plants. The hop poles are the logs used to hold up the wire and rope. Plants twine around the wire and rope known as a trellis. When the plant develops, the trellis will have a canopy of leaves and blossoms. Utilizing Arbors and Trellis in Gardens Trellis can be purchased in their completed states. Many home improvement and garden retailers will have them. They come in various designs and materials. Most of them rest on the side of the home or stand as a garden oasis for colorful blooms on vines. Sometimes, pre-made trellis get confused as arbors. Although their functions are the same the locale of these structures vary. Arbors can be an entrance to a garden, outdoor patio, or pergola. Types of Hop Pole Designs If you’re thinking of building a hop poles and trellis design, consider looking at a few designs to get inspired. The Pine River Group lists four basic types: Flagpole – The most basic hop pole and trellis design out of the four common types. Three lines extend from the top and tie to stakes on the ground allowing the growth of the hop to travel to the peak of the pole. It’s simple design can cause clumps during growth. Conduct maintenance regularly to prevent it. Teepee – This method is like the flagpole design but much stronger. The frame of the hop poles resembles a teepee. Three lines are tied from the peak of the trellis (like the flagpole design).Clothes Line – This type of trellis design mimics a clothes line with three lines extending from each side. Also, this design is less likely to encounter clumps in the design. House Eve – This trellis design uses hop poles to cover part of the a home such as hop pole attached to a deck or pergola where a plant will eventually grow over the structure’s entire design. Why You should Use Hop Poles Hop poles allow the designer to exercise more freedom with trellis. Store bought trellis restrict designers to the already built structure. However, a hop pole trellis won’t have those restrictions. Even though you can construct a hop pole and trellis at your leisure, it’s important to know what variety your design will be. Landscape professionals identify these designs in three categories: American, British, and Continental European. American – The American designs for hop pole and trellis are large and durable. American designs produce high vegetation, so landscapers suggest you space the hop poles out farther.British – The British model are shorter yet produce more density. The row spacing is smaller as well. Continental European – Expect the European design to be like the British design. It’s not commonly seen in the U.S. but expect it to fall in the same design structures as the British type. Measuring Pole Height and Hop Pole Spacing Commercial landscapers suggest hop poles be 22 to 25 feet. Three to four feet of the hop pole will go into the ground. Commercial landscape will have at least 18 feet above the ground. The height will complement the room needed for plants to fill out on garden wire. Smaller hop poles are not ideal for commercial landscapes. For residential areas, a homeowner may select a smaller pole. The plant’s growth may be dense like the British and Continental European design. As far as spacing goes, American row layouts should be space 13 to 14 feet from each hop pole or hop pole structure. Plants, however, should be spaced at four feet at most. Professional trellis designers urge 12 to 14 feet hop pole spacing for British and European types, and plant spacing should be two to three feet apart. Install an Effective Drainage System A great hop pole and trellis design won’t mean much if you don’t have a drainage system. Flood water could erode the soil where your hop poles are. In addition, the standing water could introduce unwanted minerals, bacteria, and fungi to the plants you want to grow. Therefore, it’s important to install an efficient patio drainage system in your garden. Go with a French Drain system. It’s cost efficient and does wonders if properly installed. Include several catch basins to ensure water won’t ruin your garden. Hire the Professionals Hop poles and trellis designing is a rewarding experience when it’s finished, but the labor that comes with it can be frustrating for you. Locating the materials alone could throw you into a loop. Consult landscape professionals. They’re networked with various companies that are better equipped with handling the material needed. Besides, their experienced with harsh labor needed to finish the job. This contributed post may contain affiliate links. Looking to learn more about our hops operation and Iowa...
5 Ways to Boost Productivity in the Office

5 Ways to Boost Productivity in the Office

We are all looking for ways to improve our business, especially in the office, which is the heart of every organisation. Your employees value this space and it should be designed with style and functionality, facilitating work activities in a pleasant ambience. If you are looking for ways to improve the efficiency in your office, here are a few ideas that might do the trick. 1. Introduce Nature We all love being surrounded by nature and with the latest generation of artificial plants, you can transform your office space without much effort. An artificial solution can give you the look you desire without worrying about who will take care of maintenance. 2. Involve the Staff Hold a meeting to get your employees on board and announcing that you care about their well-being and are looking at ways to brighten up the office. Brainstorming with staff will produce a lot more than solutions, as you are forming a strong bond and giving your people a stake in the company. They work in the environment, so it makes sense to use ideas on how to improve things and they might have some great ideas that you had not considered. 3. Digitalize We are fast moving into a paperless society and you can have every document scanned and stored on the cloud, which will allow an authorised staff member to instantly bring up any document they need. This will save a lot of time and you can finally get rid of those bulky filing cabinets, making the office a lot more spacious. 4. Incentives Rewards help motivate staff and if you have specific production targets, your staff should be rewarded when they are achieved. Recognition is a positive driving force and with team building activities, you can create a very strong team spirit, keeping your staff motivated and ready to go that extra mile. 5. Renovate the Communal Area Contrary to popular belief, making the office a more comfortable place does not have a negative impact on productivity, quite the opposite actually. People respond well when appreciated and a casual approach will bring out the best in everyone. A new coffee machine or perhaps a couple of flat screen TVs and some comfortable seating will work wonders for the well-being of your staff. The ambience is a critical element of a busy office and by consulting your staff, you will quickly discover what they think can be done to improve their working space. The décor should be changed every couple of years, regardless of condition, as people respond well to a change of immediate environment. Revamping the office is a wise investment that pays good dividends, and with motivated staff and a functional design, productivity will receive a boost. This contributed post may contain affiliate...
4 Great Reasons to Install Retractable Awnings

4 Great Reasons to Install Retractable Awnings

When we first purchased our first home we felt that it was big enough for what we needed. However, things change and circumstances change like the growth of our families. This means we need more room, but we may not have the necessary cash to build additional rooms to provide more space. However, there is an answer and it comes in the guise of an awning. Retractable awnings are becoming increasingly popular and are a great way to create new space in and around your home or business. There are a number of reasons why installing one makes sense and we will look at just some of them here. 1. Additional Shade from the Sun Escape the intense heat of the sun with outdoor shade. Doctors are now telling us that getting that suntan may be putting our lives at risk and so we need to take steps to protect ourselves from damaging UV rays. Retractable awnings provide such a respite from direct sun and they can be installed almost anywhere. It allows us to create a shady area that was never there before and to provide a welcoming space where we can relax. 2. Awnings Save Money If your home or business is receiving too much sunlight and thus heat, then it is going to be much harder to keep the area cool in the hot summer months. This means that your air conditioner is going to be working harder than ever and that is going to drive your utility bills higher and higher. Installing awnings above windows and doors reduces the amount of heat entering the building. You will find that these awnings will pay for themselves in no time as your electricity bill gets lower and lower. 3. Creating More Space As with most homes and businesses, space is definitely at a premium. There is less space and so we need to find ways to create new space out of what we already have. Awnings are great for this as they can be installed anywhere and when you pull out the awning, you have this new space to relax or to treat your friends and families to a nice dinner or barbecue. 4. Ease of Use Retractable awnings can be used manually or with an electric motor that allows the awning to come out and go back in at the touch of a button. It is so convenient and easy to do that there really is no good excuse not to install them around your house or business. Look into retractable awnings today and see how much more space they can create around your home or business. This contributed post may contain affiliate...
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