Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ideas For Using Stone Veneer In And Around Your Home

If you thought stone veneer was just for front facing a home to add curb appeal then you only know half the story. Real thin stone veneer is a beautiful product that is excellent for retaining walls, fireplaces, interior wall coverings, as well as for facades and exterior wall coverings.
But why limit yourself there? This stone is so easy to install and maintain that you could probably find many other uses for it. How about adding stone veneer at the end of a counter top or around a kitchen island? What about installing stone veneer in the bathroom on the walls? Not only can natural stone enhance the feel of any décor, but it adds value to your home as well.
Four Applications, Many Styles to Choose From
Use Stone Veneer for the interior panels in your home: Either one wall or throughout a whole room. Stone veneer can be an elegant and regal alternative to wallpaper or paint. You won't have to redo it in a few years either because it is outdated or out of style. Stone veneer adds a timeless beauty to your home that is always updated.
In addition, stone veneer is durable and easy to clean. It adds a sense of old world with a modern touch to nearly any room. Kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms, studies, libraries, and family rooms are just a few ideas which stone veneer could be used for.
You could use Stone Veneer to build a retaining wall in your backyard!
Liven up the garden, add some charm to an existing retaining wall, or elevate a garden or flower bed. Thin stone veneer can be applied to any existing or new retaining wall to make it look like a gorgeous rock wall instead of a plain old flower bed. With the proper applications and installation, your stone veneer wall will last many years and prove to endure even the most severe weather conditions - yet still manage to look beautiful for years to come.
Stone veneer can be used for fireplaces. A stone veneer façade on an indoor or outdoor fireplace can make it look like you've spent a fortune! Outdoor patios in need of a touch of class can be transformed simply with the addition of a stone fireplace.
Re-facing or building new indoor fireplaces can be a simple and easy project with the addition of stone veneer. Unlike fake manufactured stone, real stone veneer stands up to the intense heat of the fireplace.
Consider using stone veneer for siding on the exterior of your home. Add a level of sophistication and charm to the exterior of your home. Stone veneer can be applied either on the lower half of a wall or as the whole front or exterior of a home. This will add that touch of elegance, class and distinction that is emulated from the upscale homes of the rich and famous. Give your home the same elegant curb appeal with durable, fade resistant, chip resistant, weather resistant, and warm looking stone veneer.
What To Expect
You can expect to find hundreds of styles, patterns, and colors of stone veneer. You can choose from existing colors and patterns that are available or custom order your veneer to suit your unique taste. Stone veneer installs much more quickly than the fabricated stone since it is lighter in weight. It is also more durable since it is resistant to weather, sun damage, and even chipping.
Upgrade your curb appeal, backyard elegance, or old world style interior with modern and fabulous thin stone veneer. You will save money and have a long lasting product that will be sure to add a touch of class to any home indoors or out. In summary, you can apply stone veneer to indoor or outdoor fireplaces, walls, and facades. You can expect the beauty of natural thin stone veneer to ad charm and class to your home, no matter where you decide to put it within your home.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1404243

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Time To Start Prepping The Garden, Organic Style!

Jobe’s Organic Granular Fertilizer for Vegetables & Tomatoes gives gardeners a fuss-free environmentally friendly option for healthy and beautiful plants.

 The first fast-acting organic fertilizer for results you can really see. Jobe’s Organic Granular Fertilizers with Biozome™ is a new and unique family of 100% organic fertilizer formulas. The secret is in Biozome™. An extremely aggressive microorganism that quickly breaks down even complex materials and minerals into basic nutrients and trace elements that plants can readily absorb. With Jobe’s Organics you will see results faster. For best results, use Jobe’s Organic Granular Fertilizer at time of planting or early in season.

  • Fast-acting 100% organic formulas 
  •  Increases microorganism activity for a healthier, living soil 
  •  Faster results you can really see.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

How To Start An Herb Container Garden-DIY

How To Start An Herb Container Garden
A tasty addition to just about any meal, herbs are extremely easy to grow at home. In fact, if you have no backyard, be excited because herbs are ideally suited to container gardening. Since you can keep your container in the kitchen, you'll find it easy to use them more often, and they'll be a beautiful addition to your décor. Because some herbs, such as mint, will take over a regular garden, the container garden provides an added benefit by keeping runaway plants under control. There are just a few easy steps to follow to have a lovely and useful garden of your own.
First off, you'll need to choose a container. The only limits here are your imagination and food safety. Your only limitation when it comes to choosing pots for herbs is that you need to use containers that are food safe. Make sure you're not using pottery glazed with lead based chemicals. Plastic or glass pots as well as unfinished terra cotta will be safe. Almost all herbs will thrive in small pots or you can put several together in a window box, an old wheelbarrow, or anything that can hold the soil.
Choosing your herbs is really a question of taste. You may love the taste of rosemary and hate the taste of oregano. Perhaps to you parsley is just plate decoration while marjoram is divine. Choose which herbs you'd like to use and then plan accordingly. Pay particular attention to which herbs like more sun or less water and be sure to put like plants together when you craft your herb container garden.
Many of the herbs you will want to grow can be purchased as plants right from the start. Some herbs, however, will mature quickly and easily from seeds, so plan on putting together a mix of plants and seeds as you start on your container herb garden. Grassy green herbs like chives, mint, and parsley really perform best from seed because they're very difficult to transplant and they grow very quickly. The bushy, woody herbs like oregano and rosemary are much better to start as plants. You can also get a number of the softer herbs like basil and mint as plants. The wonderful thing about those is that you'll be able to enjoy them in your cooking almost immediately.
If you keep your container herb garden indoors, you may be able to keep the garden going year-round, but even indoors you may need to replace a few plants. Still, fresh herbs in a stew in the dead of winter are a surprising and wonderful delight, and experimenting with which herbs you can keep indefinitely is well worth the effort.
Once you're underway, you'll find your container herb garden a rewarding and creative use of time. Beautiful and useful, the garden can change your kitchen into the envy of your friends and they joy of your family.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6036482

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Moving Water Features

All small features with moving water have the same basic equipment; a submersible pump and a reservoir to hold the water. The reservoir can be bought for the purpose or made from anything that holds water, from an inexpensive central heating header tank to a hole lined with flexible pond liner. The reservoir needs only to be deep enough to completely cover the pump with water, but larger reservoirs are much easier to maintain because they require topping up less frequently, especially in summer.
The easiest way to create a small water feature with moving water is to sink a reservoir into the ground so that it is about 2 inches below the surrounding soil. Then create a catchments area for the feature but sloping the soil around the hole towards the reservoir, so that when it is lined with heavy duty polythene or a flexible pond liner, water will drain back into the reservoir. Position the pump in the reservoir and cover with heavy duty steel mesh and smaller mesh to prevent smaller pebbles from falling through. Arrange cobbles and pebbles on the mesh to hide the reservoir and the catchment's area to create a pebble fountain.
You can change the display by adding a millstone or another focal point, or by adding different types of fountain jet on the outlet pipe of the pump to create all manner of display fountains. Mark out the diameter of the reservoir and dig a hole slightly wider and deeper than its dimensions. Place a shallow layer of sand at the bottom. Ensure the reservoir rim is slightly below the level of the surrounding soil. You need to backfill the gap between the reservoir and the sides of the hole with soil. Firm in. Create a catchment's area by sloping the surrounding soil slightly towards the rim of the reservoir.
Place two bricks at the bottom to act as a plinth for the pump. Then position the pump. Ensure the pipe used for the fountain spout will be 3 inches higher than the sides of the reservoir. Line the catchment area with a plastic sheet and either cut it so the plastic drapes into the reservoir, or cut a hole in the center for the fountain pipe. Then fill it with water. Position the plastic sheet over the reservoir, with the fountain pipe protruding through the hole and fit the fountain spout. This is exactly the steps needed for you to make a pebble fountain.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5123451

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Introducing RumbleStone Building Blocks

With Pavestone's new RumbleStone building blocks, you can easily create grill enclosures, mailboxes, benches, fire pits and just about any outdoor structure you can imagine. RumbleStone combines a rough, rustic look with the unmatched durability of Pavestone manufactured stone.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Flagstone Patio: Different Design Options

When you observed in high-end landscaping designs, you will notice that there are natural stone installations. Most of the natural stone installations found in walkways and patios are flagstones of different colors, varieties and colors. To create a beautiful and natural look, professional landscape designers use different types, sizes and colors of flagstone to create the design they want.
What is a flagstone?
It is a sedimentary rock that is split into different layers. It is one form of sandstone comprising of quartz and feldspar which has arenaceous grain size of between 0.16 millimeters to 2 millimeters in diameter. It usually comes in different colors like blue, red and buff.
Apart from its landscaping purposes, it is also used in constructing different outdoor installations. Majority of outdoor landscaping designers prefer to use flagstone because they have the choice to use either flagstones with uniform shades and sizes or with varying colors and sizes.
One big advantage of using flagstone is the range of thickness, shapes, colors and forms that you can choose for your varied masonry jobs. It is attractive, rustic, versatile, durable and practical. Because of its versatility, you can use it both inside and outside your office and your home. You can use it to create whatever designs you can think of because the designs, patterns and shapes you can create are endless.
Majority of homeowners prefer installing flagstone on their patio, walkways and planters instead of cement pavers or bricks because they are natural and unique. Moreover, they like flagstones because they are very practical, thus you can either cut it into two or arrange it in layers to achieve the look you want. It is easy to set and to install using sand, cement or stone dust. It existed and used by different cultures for centuries to cover the entire house structure, buildings or as headstones in cemeteries. At present, real estate developers and contractors used it as sides of buildings and homes. Countless houses and buildings used flagstones in the structure themselves or in the outdoor landscape to make it more appealing and beautiful. Some architects even used flagstone to make the fireplace, living room, dining room, kitchen and bedroom beautiful. Because of its multi-functionality, it becomes a building material to be valued and appreciated.
If you plan to use flagstone in your homes, you have several options to choose from namely:
  • New Mexico flagstone - It is one type of flagstone with unique and nice texture. It is easy to cut and has low maintenance. Because of its different variety, you can create whatever designs and projects you can think of, whether you want to use thick or thin flagstone.

  • Arizona flagstone - It is one type of flagstone which is red in color. If you are looking for a natural stone to match the color of your bricks at home, then Arizona flagstone is the perfect for the job. It has natural shine, thus it can bring glow and shimmer to its surrounding.

  • Pennsylvania Blue Flagstone - It is a natural flagstone that is blue in color. You cannot just use it to any interior design, but you have to match it to the right décor and interior design. It comes in a flat square shape and can easily be used due to its smooth texture. It looks best to homes with traditional and contemporary designs.
Choose flagstones which suit best to the theme and style of your house or outdoor project.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6764653

Friday, February 10, 2012

Build A Garden Path The Easy Way Using Pea Gravel And Stepping Stones

Would you like to build a path in your garden, but don't want to rent a compactor or fuss too much with levels? Are you looking for a walkway that's attractive and durable? Why not try a pea gravel walkway with stepping stones? It's quick, relatively easy to install, and looks great. Another advantage of this type of path is that it's quick and easy to change as well. If you want to change the way the stones are laid out or install new stones to change the look completely, it can be done in an afternoon.

The first thing you will need to do is lay out the shape of your path--garden hose works great for this. Tip: gently curved lines are usually more visually appealing than angular or straight lines. Once you have decided the shape and length of your path, use the sod cutter to cut along the edges of your path to define the outer lines.

If there is sod to remove from your path area, use the sod cutter to cut a checkerboard pattern inside the borders of the path, dividing the sod into approximately 1' squares (for easy removal). Next, remove the sod and soil to a depth of about 4". Now that you have your path excavated, its time for the pea gravel--this can be purchased at your local landscape firm or at a crushed rock supplier. Pea gravel is a product made up of small rounded stones, which is easy to spread and easy on the body, if you fall.

Before you install the gravel, it is a good idea to put down a weed barrier of some sort--old newspaper works great for this--just put it over the whole path area in a layer two or three sheets thick. Next, evenly distribute the pea gravel over the entire area of your path and rake it out smooth, filling the path back up to ground level. With your gravel now in place, its time to start placing your stepping stones. There are many choices for stones. You can choose from a variety of man-made products or use natural flagstone. Place the stones the length of your path so that they are a comfortable stepping distance apart, and then start setting them into the gravel.

Pea gravel is easy to dig, so you can simply use your hands to scoop out a hole for each stone--then push down on the stone with both hands and wiggle it downward into the gravel until it is stable. Remember to wear work gloves and steel toed shoes, when handling these heavy stones--lift with your legs, not your back.

That's pretty much it. You now have an attractive, durable, weed resistant path, which you can enjoy for many years to come.

Materials, tools and equipment needed: stepping stones, wheelbarrow, pea gravel, sod cutter, shovel, rake, steel-toed shoes, work gloves.

Work safe: Always wear work gloves and/or safety glasses when you should. When handling heavy materials, lift with your legs, not your back, and remember to wear steel-toed shoes.
For more great gardening tips and tutorials visit the Shades of Green website: http://www.shadesofgreengardencentre.ca
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jeff_Galbraith

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4006572

Monday, February 6, 2012

Choosing the Best Wall Fountain

The music of water streaming from a wall fountain gives a calming feeling as soon as you get out into your home or garden. Your visitors will feel more at home with the cozy atmosphere it makes plus the themes of the wall fountains will truly become a conversation item. With so many designs from which to choose you can find the one that will match your taste and merge perfectly to your motif. These are so affordable that they're so easy on your wallet.

Setting up a wall fountain in your home is not only a visual magnet but likewise a form of therapy. To have the effect that they are nearest to nature, most people use wall fountain in their homes. For that tired eyes and body, different designs are available. Similarly, using wall-mounted fountain in your home is a great means to highlight your garden, or bring your room a fresh, relaxing ambiance.

There are a wide selection of wall-mounted fountains to select from, depending on wherever you would choose to put your fountain. There are indoor fountains and exterior wall fountains. A thin sheet of glass that has water falling from inside is the slate indoor wall-mounted fountain, among the most widely used indoor fountains. Slate fountains are typically shown in entrance lobbies of hotels or places of work. A lot of consumers like wall fountain to save space. It can be considered as outdoor wall fountains. Most frequently used examples of this type are outdoor garden wall-mounted fountains, commonly furnished using ceramics or even clay, to withstand rain. This type is a great emphasis to a landscaped garden or lawn.

There are several online shopping websites which contain excellent selections at reasonable prices. Customized exterior garden wall-mounted fountain provides the customer the liberty to get his preferred size, material and design. It captures the splendor of rain forests, waterfalls, streams, and even sunsets. They also have wonderful deals on modified fountain for customers who would decide to include the name of their company or hotel in the fountain. If you would like innovative finishes in your interior, you can consider a wide range of painted wall-mounted fountains. Consumers could choose from a wide range of materials for wall fountains such as copper, stainless steel, glass as well as mirror, while stone, black/onyx and copper.

A crucial suggestion when acquiring home wall fountain is that it must complement the concept of your house. For example, a bamboo fountain can go well with an Oriental-themed house or for example, if you want to set up the fountain in an outdoor area having a rustic Italian theme, then you'll likely want the fountain to reinforce that theme. Of course, you might want to use it as a centerpiece, whereby you might want to have a bold design, or perhaps a larger size of wall-mounted fountain to draw the eye of guests, customers, clients or maybe your friends and relatives. This helps to ensure that you are able to select the best possible wall fountain for your needs, whether you're installing it in a home or office
Garden Fountain harmonizes water and so is designed to fulfill both your practical and visual purposes. Depending on your taste or available space, Wall Fountain is a popular design choice for gardens of all sizes.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6730580

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Do it Yourself - Build a Sandbox

A sandbox can offer the novelty of some of the seaside in your backyard and will provide hours of fun for kids. After children have outgrown it, there is the option of covering it with topsoil and use it as a garden box, or turning it into a dirt box that older children will also love.

Necessary tools and materials:

Wall blocks and Masonry glue (sold with blocks)
Landscape fabric /weed blocking fabric
Earth staples
Carpenter's level
Tarp or old bedspread


Step one:
Choose the placement for the sandbox. If you have a huge backyard, pick a shady area under a tree. If you have a small yard choose a spot that has the least amount of sun during the time you know youngsters will be playing the sandbox.

Step two:
Pick the blocks you will use to make the sandbox.

Step three:
Using the measuring tape, measure out the area of the sandbox. Mark what will be the corners using rocks and sticks or more professionally with lay out the shape of the sandbox with some stakes and twine to be used as markers along the edges as a template to dig.

Step four:
Using the shovel start digging the centre of the sandbox and work your way out to the marked edges. Dig to a depth of 5 or so inches.

Step five:
With the same measurements you have taken for the area of the sandbox, cut the landscaping fabric and put it at the bottom of the hole. This will keep insects, weeds and creatures from getting in the sandbox. Secure the fabric to the floor with the earth staples (which can be purchased wherever landscape fabric is sold)

Step six:
Determine how much sand you need. Do this by Using the (depth x width x length in feet). Divide this number by 27 and you'll know how many cubic yards are required. You can always confirm with your sand provider. The sand you will need is known as "Play Sand" or "Sandbox Sand." It is sterilized and sifted, and hence has no big particles that children might swallow or choke on. It also won't get stuck to to children and their clothes.

Step seven:
Set the wall blocks around the border of the sandbox, fixing them to each other with the masonry glue.

Step eight:
Continue to lay the blocks on top of each other to make the walls of the sandbox the height you want it to be, remember that you may require extra sand if you make a higher wall for the sandbox

Step nine
Double check measurements for the sand, order and fill the box. It is now ready to be use.

Tips and Warnings:
1) Place the sandbox in a spot that you can easily see from the house and from all angles of the yard to ensure the safety of children

2) If you are putting the sandbox near to a tree, avoid the tree roots as best you can.

3) Cover the sandbox with an old sheet or tarpaulin when not in use to keep small animals from with it as a litter box and to stop sand from washing away during rain.

4) Chose wall blocks that will fit the style of your yard. Blocks come in a variety of shapes colors and textures. Curved blocks can be used to make sandboxes that are round or kidney shaped, while square blocks make square and rectangular boxes. Choose blocks with smooth surfaces to keep scrapes and scratches from climbing or falling on them.

Please visit these links for more information on: How to Build a Sandbox and Build a Sandbox.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Bonnie_Paerker

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4376568