With today's restrictions on many aspects of our lives due to the recent covid pandemic, many home owners, apartment, town home, and condo residents are turning to gardening to help ease the stress and feed the body fresh, fruits and veggies.
The latest trend that is underway is the establishment of Edible Gardens. These gardens are made from various construction materials and pre-made gardening bins, tubs, and containers. Something as simple as a cut whiskey barrel, to a stainless steel raised planter that will add not only fresh food to your table but a positive accent to your landscape are available online and at your local garden centers.
Developing small planters with various herbs, lettuce, and other greens will keep your soups tasty and your immune system in tune. Adding dwarf fruit trees and berry bushes to a deep well planter or stainless steel planter will provide you with fresh fruit and elements for your energy smoothies and dried fruit snacks.
By adding a composting bin if space allows, will allow you to complete your edible garden arrangement and provide you with rich home made compost to enhance your yields and save you money on fertilizers.
Do your research, check out the many suppliers online and local garden centers for various types of garden planters that will fit your space and production needs and 'GET GROWING'
Outdoor art is an incredible, inexpensive way to add life, intrigue, and character to a landscape. With the use of various metal art pieces, you can create interesting outdoor living spaces. The more unusual and unique, the more that living space takes on it's own chacter and deminsion. To create visual pleasure and a feeling of being at home. My team of artist and curio specialist work at creating a flow from inside the house or business to the outside environment with art pieces, Vase or pottery, metal crafts and much more. We try to capture a scene, a memory, a feeling that can be expanded and duplicated to an outdoor setting.
To create fantasy, create an attitude, and create a zone where your imagination can develop various moods , is what outdoor art pieces are all about. Wrought iron planters, tin / glass blow fish,artistic ceramics with plenty of color, give life to the landscape project. The more natural the element of the art piece ( wood, stone, metals ) the better the long term effects of that natural product will take on in my opinion ( natural rusting, patina, moss growth )
Invest some time to take a long hard look at your outdoor living space and go
shop the local thrift stores, country stores, antique stores and be sure to stay tuned and check out our 'MicroEnvironments ' line of outdoor accents as I re-vamp the link and add new 'Accents' to the MicroEnvironments line on this website for unique and one of a kind products.
"The majority of food grown for the US market is not produced in a green or sustainable way."
*NSA LLC Juice Plus
We get our fruit and veggies from long distance's away. South America, Central America,Mexico,New Zealand and other countries contribute to our demand for fresh fruit and veggies. Some of these fruits and veggies may have been sprayed with pesticides, or hormones to reduce pest populations and increase production size and harvest time. possible contaminated water to produce these crops also come into question. Our standards for health and safety concerns here in the USA is fairly high and it is our hope that the food we feed our families and ourselves is safe, wholesome and energizing for our bodies. But, all to often we read and hear about tragic stories of food poisoning,pest and herbicide contamination and other issues that leave consumers to start looking and shopping "Local" for their produce and fruits. Now there are systems available that can help consumers protect themselves from possible contaminants and help us consume better quality and fresher produce and fruits in a very short time. With the novel concept of aeroponics and hydroponics, we can produce wholesome fresh food utilizing as little as 5% of the nutrients and water used in conventional gardening. Water savings are realized also. Sustainable growing practice's are utilized,and space age technology is put into action to help todays consumer take better control over the food they and their families consume. Verticle food production is the latest and hottest hobby to come down the pike in the past couple years and it makes a lot of sense to investigate and determine if verticle gardening systems available on the market today can benefit you and your family. Check out my new web site: https://urbanfarmer.towergarden.com to learn more about verticle gardening.
We talk a lot about the types of soils,plants,and trees we work with in landscaping but, one item we very rarely talk about is hand tools. With the help of Western Garden Book " A Practical Guide To Gardening" here is a list of some of our very common garden hand tools, their uses and a couple tips on what to look for when choosing your tools.
Tool: Round-Point Shovel. Uses: To loosen soils, transfer soil to piles or wheel barrow,dig planting holes. Look For: 9" long by 12" wide head for general digging, 6" by 8" head and shorter handle for confined spaces. Round point shovels vary in lift. (The angle formed between the ground and the shovel handle when the shovel head is laid flat on the ground) To make digging easier by minimizing the amount of bending you will have to do,choose a tool with generous lift.
Tool: Spading Fork. Uses: Breaks large clods of soil to smaller clumps. Look For: Four tines that are square or rectangle in cross-section and about 1/2" wide. Substitutes for spades in clay or rocky soils.
Tool: Leaf Rake. Uses: Rake leaves,grass clippings and other light weight materials into piles. Look For: Tines are closely spaced and curve downward at the tip arranged in a curving fan pattern with a stabilizing brace about 8" up from the tip of the tines.
Tool: Square-Nose Shovel. Uses: Scoops up loose dirt,compost, gravel from flat surface. Look For: The best size that picks up the greatest amount of material you can lift repeatedly without tiring. Not meant for general digging.
Tool: Garden or Soil Rake. Uses: Breaks up large pieces of dirt,levels soil, helps work in amendments into the soil into the top few inches. Look For: Thick steel tines,that are straight or curved. Tines may be attached to the handle directly by a tang or socket, or indirectly by a curving bow. The bow type has more spring or resilience. Select a rake with some weight in it's head.
These are just a few common hand gardening tools that are used on a daily basis. Take some time and buy only quality, dependable gardening tools. The extra cash you may spend on quality tools will save you hundreds of dollars in time and frustration in purchasing inferior, and cheap products.
Backyard makeovers continue to be one of the hottest trends in remodeling and home improvement with pergolas ( Folks call them "patio covers" out west ) making the most impact. High gas prices coupled with the decline in home values has proven that for every negative there is an opposite and equal positive. People are staying home and creating their own "Temple of Solitude" within their backyards. This means huge demands for products that help home owners create personal backyard settings. Arbors Direct Inc. has developed a product to address this trend. An affordably priced fiberglass pergola that will not rot,mildew,sag,fade or dent plus add value and beauty to any courtyard,patio,or backyard setting. Protruded fiberglass systems are unique and are very durable plus, pound for pound they are stronger than steel with less over all structural weight. The span you can construct fiberglass pergolas is longer due to the structural strength and weight distribution and, the benefit of having a surface that can be custom painted to suit your color desires and needs make fiberglass pergolas a serious choice when determining what to use when building a reliable patio system.Fiberglass also has flexability that comes into play when we have constant earth movement like we have here in Southern California. There is no "Shaking Effect" like so many other patio cover structures experience when using the Arbors Direct pergola system. Check out all the facts and make the wise and economical decision to go with protruded fiberglass pergolas and patio systems in your next construction project.
Go to www.arborsdirect.com for more information and to do a quick "Arbor Quote" to see what your investment cost could be.
Outdoor accents are what make nice landscapes "Great landscapes". The use of various landscaping accents such as orbs, statues, wrought metal works, bird baths and the like add visual artistry to a landscaping project. Outdoor furniture made of wicker, wood,and man made composites have made a big statement in today's outdoor living room world. Consumers all over the U.S. are extending their living and entertainment areas to cover the outdoor spaces of their business or home settings. Adding furniture to a landscape project adds comfort and peace of mind to the visitor to that space. Adding accents such as doors and glass piece's gives you a different perspective of a landscape setting by changing the view , appearance and/or feel of a space. The use of wrought iron trellis and arbors with ornate designs have been a big seller within my company the past couple years. Custom made iron work that has been powder coated to protect it from the elements and help prevent rusting damage to hardscaping areas is a great addition for long term value and beauty. Consider using various outdoor accents for your next cost effective upgrade your landscaping and outdoor living environment.
Low voltage landscape lighting adds class,safety benefits,and high lights beautiful landscaping features such as trees,vines and hardscaping. During the evening hours, the beauty of a well planned and installed landscaping project is hidden unless the owner of the property takes the time and money to invest into lighting features that will enhance and display the same beauty he or she enjoys during the day light hours. The use of low voltage lighting is the most cost effective way to add value and class to a landscaping project.Years ago, utilizing high voltage lighting fixtures,junction boxes,and conduit pipe was the norm in order to have landscape lighting at one's home or business. Today the use of low voltage transformers that utilize lower wattages and the various types of lighting fixtures made out of aluminum,brass,copper and man made materials have taken the place of the clunky metal fixtures and pipe fitting to run high voltage cable. The next level in low voltage lighting is the transition to LED lighting fixtures. The use of LED lighting is very cost effective as the normal low voltage lighting fixture may use either a 10,20,or 50 watt lamp to provide the lighting needed for a particular setting and a LED lamp fixture utilize 3,5 and 6 watts to provide the same amount of light at a much lower wattage use. The life span of a typical low voltage lamp may vary from 5,000 to possibly 10,000 hrs. based on the amount of time the fixture is on. The same LED lamp will provide at least 55,000 hrs. of light with the same amount of hours of use. The cost of a LED fixture is higher than a normal low voltage lighting fixture but that cost is off set by the long range return on investment the LED fixture and lamp will provide. Be careful what fixtures you purchase when switching to LED. Do your research and learn as much as you can about the LED world before you spend your hard earned cash for the latest trend in the landscaping world.
* A couple great web site for LED fixtures and information is: www.fx.com.
We install Low voltage lighting and are available to give you a consultation to help you design and determine the best low voltage lighting system for your home or business.
* Call me direct at 562-755-9914 or respond back at the "CONTACT ME" page on our web site.
Patio covers and pergolas have always been an added bonus to a well planned landscaping project. The comfort of sitting outside under a patio cover protected from the sun and other elements plus providing that "Extra Room" feel to an other wise dull outdoor experience has captured the country by storm. There are various types of materials that patio covers and pergolas are made from. The traditional wood patio cover has always been the standby for most consumers when it comes to having a low cost way to to protect one from the sun. The challenges with wood are many and lead folks to look for other choices from wood. Termites,moisture damage,re-finishing the wood after so many years are some of the serious challenges that are in store for the wood cover owner. Yes having "Treated Redwood" and other types of treated wood helps avoid a lot of these mentioned challenges but in the end, you still have maintenance issues to look forward to. The next choice consumers look at is either vynal or aluminum. These materials are effective, low cost choice's to wood but, vynal warps, comes in limited colors ( You cannot paint vynal ) and expands and contracts according to weather conditions. Aluminum is a heavy product ( Size limitations due to weight of the products ) , once it dents guess what, the dent will stay there. The best choice for todays consumer in my opinion is fiberglass. Fiberglass will not warp,rot, or mildew. You can paint it and can run long spans of fiberglass without worrying about the cover sagging or having to install a number post to hold the cover up. Do your investigation and make the choice for fiberglass patio covers and pergolas. It may cost you a little more up front but, the long term reliability of the product will surely repay you on your investment.
* For more info on fiberglass patio covers and pergolas go to the web site www.arbors direct.com and learn more.