Escaping to the Garden

Long days of utter drudgery slow you down, they make you feel like you are carrying that COPD elephant one handed. You long for moments of peace and joy and rest. That is why you have taken all the pains to create a garden. When you consider what your life looks like daily, you cannot imagine why other people haven’t grasped hold of the value of escaping to the garden.

Opening the front door, you take note of the dingy color of your tile. You understand that it has seen better days. So, you look up tile & grout cleaning, sealing, grout coloring- and click here. The sheer intensity of the work that would ensue, on your knees, desperately scrubbing away at years of caked in “ick” makes you shudder. But, from your seat at the computer screen you can see your personal retreat. It beckons.

Escaping to the Garden

You smile, knowing that you can hire someone else to do the dirty work. Thank goodness for companies willing to come and clean your home so that you can go out back to the garden. You head to your bedroom to get out of your dreaded work clothes. Even though they feel fine all day, as soon as you step through the front door, they become something restrictive, suffocating you.

Once you have resorted to infinitely more comfortable attire, you can prepare for your garden escape. Here are some tips for getting ready to escape into your garden:

  • Book- Get a good book or magazine. Pull out those novels you shelved long ago because life was just too busy to consider allotting time for page flipping. Yes, grab those books and prepare yourself to escape to another world, another time, and rest in the ever open arms of a well-structured sentences and beautifully articulated imagery.
  • Drink- Whether you prefer a fragrant rose toned glass of wine or a steaming warmth-inducing cup of gourmet coffee, will make no difference. However, ensuring that you step into the garden with some form of hydration will aid in the sensory escape and elevation you are seeking in this repose. These drinks claim to promote relaxation.
  • Repellant- Chances are you get off work like the rest of us, in the evening, and if you live in a southern state where you will have the pleasure of enjoying your garden nearly year round, you will also be in need of bug spray. There is nothing more frustrating than sitting down with your selected reading and preferred beverage only to discover you must return inside to attain some protection from the blood suckers flying around. Instead, put it on before you step foot outside. Find natural repellants here.
  • Lighting- When we consider escaping into the garden we intend to spend a decent amount of time out there. This means that you should go out prepared to provide extended lighting for your reading pleasure. Consider an oil lamp rather than candles, the ambiance it will create is quite desirable. But, your lighting preferences are just that, yours. Maybe you would prefer citronella candles, or electric lighting. Whatever, just make sure you have some so you can stay outside as long as you desire.

Using your garden as an escape from work, both the kind that you get paid for and the kind you have to do at home, is highly advisable. Get someone else to clean your tile so you can retreat to your personal oasis. Learn more about garden retreats.

How to Make Your Garden Bee Free

You may be planning your very own garden party and you want to pull it off. The weather is nice and you already have all the right tools. Everything seems perfect and nothing could go wrong, right? It may be perfect until the bees start appearing. One or two bees are fine because they can go away after some time but what if you have so many bees that your guests are starting to freak out?

Aside from your guests, you cannot help but feel crestfallen because the party that you have planned can become a disaster because of the bees. Perhaps you just love staying outdoors because of the weather but every time you go out of your house, you see bees. You may even feel apprehensive about going out because there are too many bees outside.

How to Make Your Garden Bee Free

What Can Attract Bees

You have to know what exactly can attract bees to go to you.  Bees are pollinators which mean that they want to carry out their duty and pollinate flowers. If your garden is full of flowers or if you smell like flowers, you can expect that bees will become attracted to you. They also become attracted to strong and sweet smelling food so if your picnic basket will be full of sweets, you can already expect that bees will start approaching. In order to avoid this, you can always avoid packing food that will attract bees in the first place.

Keeping Bees Away

There are different ways by which you can naturally keep bees out of the garden. Instead of using pesticides that may not only harm bees but also your plants, you can do these methods and keep the bees out especially during special events:

  1. Peppermint

You may be surprised by this because you think that peppermint is a bit sweet but bees do not like them. It is best if you can have some peppermint plants growing on your garden because bees will then stay out but if you do not have any, placing a few drops of peppermint essential oil will also help a lot.

  1. Cinnamon

This is another thing that a lot of humans love but bees may not like it that much. You can just leave a few sprigs of cinnamon in various parts of your garden. You can also use the dried version provided that you are going to reapply it every day for a week. The effect will be lasting but once you see some bees trying to get into your garden again, this will be useful.

  1. Crushed Garlic

Searching for a natural food product that can be used as a repellent? Garlic can be very useful especially if you would mix it in with water and leave it soaking for a few days. The garlic water can be sprayed in areas where you know the bees love to enter. They will be repelled by the smell of garlic.

There are still different natural ways that will help you get rid of bees. You may also try using baby powder if you are using an organic version because this can help get rid of bees immediately. Feel free to share the natural remedies that you use as well.

How You Can Achieve A Lawn You Can Be Proud Of

Do you honestly think that you need to slave over your lawn just to make your lawn look great? There will be some weeks wherein you have to spend more hours than usual but most of the time, you will not have enough time in order to pay attention to your lawn. It still does not matter because you would like to improve it and make it look amazing.

There are some things that can happen when your lawn looks great. Not only will you increase the value of your home, there is also a big possibility that you will improve the overall value of your whole village or neighbourhood.

Your lawn will not magically turn beautiful overnight. This is the same with all the other causes all over the world, if you would check Foundation for Defense of Democracies, you will realize that they are always working hard in order to achieve their goals. You would also have to work or at least, you can hire someone who will take good care of your lawn for you. Here are just a few of the things that should be done to your lawn so that it can look amazing:

How You Can Achieve A Lawn You Can Be Proud Of

  • Watering

There will be days when you can water your lawn sparingly and it would still look amazing but during the summertime, you need to water your grass and the rest of your plants for the whole summer. You will know if the grass needs to be watered when the grass starts to change its colour. Sometimes, the grass would turn blue – gray. When this happens, water it at the soonest possible time. If you think it’s going to be hard to water your plants, remember that there are a lot of other machines that you can install on your lawn that will make watering very easy.

  • Fertilizing

When it comes to making sure that your plants will grow well, you need to make sure that you will fertilize it properly. The best way to fertilize is before spring. Finding the right fertilizer can be a bit complicated especially if you do not know what you are searching for. Look for reviews first and you know that things will be amazing.

  • Weed Control

One of the reasons why plants die is because of the weeds. Weeds can be removed in different ways depending on how mature they are. The more mature weeds are, the harder they will be to remove. There are some weeds that need to be removed with the right machines while there are also some that would only require the use of products. There will be times when weeds would overpower the grass and this would only make your lawn look like one big mess.

There are still different things that you can do so that you can improve your lawn from decorating and designing your lawn and placing the right plants. When you plan how your lawn would look like, you will most likely become excited in improving your lawn further.

Lawsuits against Landscapers

If you’re in the landscaping industry, please note that you are not exempt from the potential of being sued. People will be expecting you to live up to your promises when it comes to the look and care of their yards. If you cannot, or do not, there will be serious repercussions.

In fact, if you make enough people unhappy they could retain Martin Chitwood and file a class action lawsuit against you. Since Mr. Chitwood has been able to recover billions of dollars for his clients, this is not a situation you want to find yourself in. If you’re smart you’ll take some advice from him, “In my experience ensuring that large tasks are conceptualized at an early stage almost always improves product quality.” Provide a quality product and you’ll never have to meet him.

Lawsuits against Landscapers

Minding that advice will save you a lot of money and heartache. But, not everyone is as hardworking or as informed as you are. These are some of the lawsuits against landscapers that we were able to dredge up:

Empire Landscaping & Irrigation- In 2015 a lawsuit was filed against the owner, John M. Capone, accusing him of violating the Ohio laws established in the Consumer Sales Practices Act and the Home Solicitation Act. The nine consumers filing complaints are claiming $60,000 in losses. The charges against him include: shoddy work, failing to register business names, failure to obtain permits, failure to deliver services or give customers notice of their right to cancel his door-to-door sales, and attempting to get new customers before paying off older consumer judgments. Read more.

Crewcut Lawn Care- The Better Business Bureau (BBB- learn more) gives this company an F grade as of January 2015. They have had 7 complaints against them and apparently resolved two. People complain that they are not seeing the work completed though they have paid Crewcut thousands of dollars upfront. One woman paid for a year’s worth of lawn maintenance. She says she only got some occasional mowing in the spring. Another irritated customer paid for a retaining wall but it was never completed. The suits were minor and are supposedly being worked out, though Crewcut’s representatives have a tendency not to show up in court.

Steve Ericson & Joe Floyd- Both are Georgia based men claiming (allegedly) to be contractors. They have been accused of acquiring money up front, starting a job, and then disappearing. Supplies are left on site and the projects are deserted. Thirteen people have filed complaints and suits against the gentlemen (who are separate from one another). Floyd has claims against him for more than $30,000 and Ericson’s claims exceed $50,000. A criminal investigation may have been filed back in 2006.

Billy Durden Vs Newton County- Taking a slightly different angle, this 2014 lawsuit involves a landscaper, Billy Durden, filing suit against the county for unlawfully terminating his contract. His lawyer contacted the county in an effort to determine if settling outside of court would be feasible. Durden is seeking upwards of $1 million dollars. He says that the county is guilty of defamation, emotional distress, humiliation, and creating a loss of earning capacity for him. Essentially, he claims the board approved his contract but never signed the paperwork and then they reneged on the agreement thereby terminating his employ.

As a landscaper, you don’t want to end up on this list. Make sure you follow these suggestions to avoid future lawsuits.

Landscaping Ideas to Make Your House Look like a Celebrity’s

We can’t all be rich and famous, but a lot of us wish we could at least look like we were. When we gaze at the massive facades of celebrity homes and long after their fountain lined walkways in their seemingly endless gardens, we are sorely disappointed by our own bare yards. While it’s always best to be content with what you have, there’s nothing wrong with being a really good steward while it’s in your possession.

We’re certain that Martin Chitwood, a very successful securities litigator, has an immaculately manicured yard. When you’re winning cases that provide $490 million dollars to the clients, landscaping expense is probably menial. However, most of us aren’t living that high on the hog. That’s why we have devised this list of landscaping ideas that will give your home the look of a million bucks but not the expense.

Landscaping Ideas to Make Your House Look like a Celebrity’s

7 Ways to Make Your Home Look like a Million Bucks

We’d be lying if we haven’t sat googled eyed with a celebrity magazine in hand. The serene porticos and classic ambiance of their homes makes us all guilty of covetousness. But, we don’t all have the ability to hire professional landscapers and invest in complete overhauls of our yards. That’s why these 7 ideas will really make you smile:

  1. Gradual Elevation- Texture and dimension are two key facets of making your home look more valuable than it is. Add elevated steps to the front of your home and then line them with an abundance of plants and flowers. Learn how to build garden steps here.
  2. Paths- Think about the celebrity gardens you have drooled over. Most of them had pathways. If you are creative and patient, you can get pavers, bricks, and blocks for free from craigslist and other people’s remodeling jobs. Winding paths in your soon to be gorgeous garden don’t have to cost you your firstborn.
  3. Archway- If you’re looking for elegance this is one sure fire way to accomplish it. Use it to separate different flower beds in your yard. And since you will have already installed the winding pathways, this will provide an enchanting escape from the daily grind. Check out these garden archways.
  4. Flowers- Yes, it seems completely obvious, but flowers are the big eye catcher of most celebrity homes. You can plant giant ones along the elevated steps to your front door or line the backyard walkway with them. The more colors and flowers you have the more breathtaking your yard will become.
  5. Geometry- Herein lies a common problem with “ordinary” people designing their own yard layouts. We don’t always think outside of our casual design boxes. Go with something a little more austere, think triangles and polygons for your flower beds. Not everything has to have a curve.
  6. Mix it Up- While flowers are a no-brainer, you’ve got to mix up the foliage. Try adding sword shaped and round greenery because flowers don’t bloom all year and unless you’ve added in some really cool green plants the garden will get drab.
  7. Honeysuckle- You don’t just want your garden to look fabulous, but you also want it to smell fabulous. Honeysuckle is a marvelous plant for your consideration. You can put it near your archway or add trellises along your paths to allow the honeysuckle freedom to provide aromatic décor.

You can get more ideas here.

Planting a Relaxation Garden

Our world is far too wound up. There are too many things to do every day. We run from one event to another never really having the time to enjoy any of them. Parent’s over plan their children’s lives and we wonder why kids’ stress levels are increasing exponentially. Maybe it’s time to plant a relaxation garden.

Vast amounts of people equate relaxation with finding the best memory foam mattress. While good sleep is certainly a contributor to feelings of well-being and relaxation, there are other methods that can provide that peace while awake. A relaxation garden is a prime example.

Planting a Relaxation Garden

Perhaps you are familiar with the concept, but if you are not, we would like to make some suggestions as you seek to design your very own calming space. The following plants should definitely be included in the garden and we will explain why:

Borage- It tastes a bit like cucumbers and is often grown in vegetable gardens as a mean of attracting pollinators. You can eat the flowers and leaves, if you like the taste of cucumbers, that is.

Catnip- The flowering tops are utilized in medicine making practices. It has been used for sleep issues and migraines among other things. And, your cats will love you.

Chamomile- There are several varieties, each with a daisy-like flower. These flowers contain flavonoids, volatile oils and various other therapeutic substances.

Hibiscus- In Iran, hibiscus is turned into “sour tea” but it tastes delicious. Hibiscus has a number of health benefits including those in the cardiovascular realm. Read more about hibiscus and its uses.

Lemon Verbena- This herb’s flowers and leaves are used in herbal teas for the purpose of aiding in a large number of digestive disorders.

Lavender- Lavender’s gorgeous purple flowers will brighten your gardens pathways. And, since every ounce of the plant is infused with its highly beneficial oils the aroma therapy you enjoy will be well worth the thought behind planting a relaxation garden. Learn all about the value of lavender by clicking this.

Mullein- Known by many names: flannel leaf, bunny’s ear, hag taper, and candlewick plant, Verbascum thapsus, is versatile and used in medicinal teas. Although this might not be a very familiar herb for you, you can learn all about it here.

Oregano- Loaded with antioxidants and nutrients, oregano bridges the gap between cooking and medicine. It’s actually more flavorful when it’s dried than when it is fresh. So make sure to take clippings from your relaxation garden and allow them to dry for your food enhancing purposes, or other herbal medicine endeavors.

Sage- With a long list of health benefits attributed to it, sage is certainly a good choice for your garden. In fact, it has one of the longest histories of use when it comes to both the culinary and medicinal realm. Sage tea has been credited with some significant medicinal powers that are probably worthy of further investigation by clicking here.

If you will follow these planting suggestions for your relaxation garden, then before you hit the sack on your super comfortable memory foam mattress, you will be able to step out into the garden, gather some herbs and make a tea that’s worthy of deep breaths and quiet calm. Indeed, these herbs were specifically chosen to enable you to make medicinal teas for your health and well-being. The garden’s layout is up to you.

Make Your Garden a Paradise

Planting flowers and taking pictures are great ways to enjoy your garden. But, what if you really wanted it to be that place of repose for you? Is there a way to enhance the tranquility of that vibrant space? If so, what can you do to make your garden a paradise?

Make Your Garden a Paradise

We’d like to make some suggestions for your garden enjoyment:

Deck Design: Decks can be focal points of relaxation. Especially if you keep the design motif in mind. You can create multi-layered decks. Or perhaps you already have a deck that needs a makeover. Maybe you could invest in a conservatory roof replacement to update the pergola or gazebo. You can add vines and seasonal flowers to accentuate the peacefulness of your deck.

Add Shade: While you may enjoy the sunny side of your garden, there will be times of the year when you wish you had a little shade to offset the extreme warmth. You can take your leisure in the cool of your newly refurbished gazebo, or add a large umbrella.

Good Furniture: The options for outdoor furniture are both endless and quite breathtaking. They are specifically designed to weather the climates in which you live. And, if you pick quality furniture you will be enjoying them and your garden for years to come. Besides, having a great place to sit and read while enjoying your garden’s peacefulness is definitely paradise in the making. Furniture options can be found by clicking this.

Hot Tub/Spa: If you’re really looking for paradise in your own backyard, consider adding a spa or hot tub. This could be the central spot in your gazebo, or it could be wide open under the sunny skies and evening stars. Make sure you consider the weight of the tub full of water before you place it on your deck. Just add additional supports and a foundation to ensure you enjoy that piece of paradise for a long time.

Lighting: Yes, you are outside and during the day the garden will be lit naturally, but many people enjoy the stillness of a garden in the evening and night hours. There’s something quite soothing in the chirping of crickets and call of tree frogs. However, you might also wish to read in the moonlight and that might very well require additional lighting. So, plan accordingly. Read this for some great lighting ideas.

Extras: Your garden is your place of freedom, once you’ve done all the work to design it thusly. However, you might want to add fountains, fireplaces, ponds, or fire pits to increase that sense of luxury. Make a deliberate effort to plan your garden accordingly. That way you will leave enough space to add these extras at your leisure and monetary capabilities. Learn more about garden extra options here.

Add Paths: While sitting on the deck is certainly enjoyable, you might want to consider adding paths throughout your garden so that you can enjoy your plant life up close. You will have better opportunities to interact with the wildlife you find there as well. These paths can be made with gravel (as an inexpensive option), pavers, or bricks.

Your garden is your own piece of paradise. When you begin the landscaping work make sure your layouts incorporate the things discussed here to accentuate the pleasure you find in relaxing there.

So You Want to Hire a Landscaper

Sometimes you want to be able to enjoy a beautiful garden, but you don’t necessarily have the time to tend to the one of your dreams.  In that case, hiring a landscaper may be a wonderful option.  Not only can a professional landscaper redesign your entire space, creating the garden of your dreams, but they can also be hired to perform regularly scheduled maintenance on the property.  Then, you can spend less time working on your garden and more time enjoying the beautiful space.

Finding the right landscaper for your job can be complex.  If you are interested in hiring a landscaper to take care of your gardening needs, make sure to look over these tips first.

So You Want to Hire a Landscaper

Define the Job

The first thing you need to do is determine what sort of work you would like done and using this information to create a scope of work.  There is a big difference between looking for some maintenance and care to be given to the trees and plants that currently exist on your property, in comparison to pulling everything out and starting from scratch.  Additionally, you will want to proceed differently depending on whether you know what you would like the space to include or if you are looking for a professional to redesign the space.

In cases where you know exactly what tasks you want to see completed, you can begin collecting bids fairly quickly.  If you are interested in having a professional redesign, you will need to look for landscaping companies that offer design services.  While working with a designer, you will be able to provide basic information regarding how you envision the space while they work out the details of what would be required to make that vision a reality.

Collect Bids

Once your project is well defined, you can begin collecting bids.  In order to make sure you receive competitive bids, it is wise to solicit bids from multiple landscaping contractors or companies.  If you list your job opening online, make sure any return calls are legitimate by completing a reverse phone number lookup by performing the steps outline through

In order to make sure your bids are all related to the exact same tasks, take the time to provide each company with the exact same requirements.  Additionally, all participating companies should be willing to come to your property as part of the process.  Most companies will offer a bid free of charge.

Once you have collected your bids, do not automatically select the contractor offering the lowest price.  Instead, review the bid materials, and feel free to ask follow-up questions if you need more information.  If you collected three bids, and they are all very similar, you can be fairly certain that is the acceptable rate for the work in question.  If a bid seems particularly high or low, feel free to ask more questions as to why there is a difference if it is not clear on the accompanying bid materials.

Do Your Research

Even if you think you have found the right person for the job, make sure a complete a bit of additional research.  This includes making sure the contractor, or company, is properly licensed, bonded, and insured, based on local legal standards. Additionally, consider getting a background check performed, especially if they will be left at your property alone.

Your Garden in Pictures

Every garden has a story to tell and now you can write the lines in the photos you take. Since gardens are by nature, variable, each day of photography can tell a completely different story. One day the roses might be blooming beautifully and then the next they have been decimated by an unexpected storm. Or, lilies might be lusciously bordering an exotic fountain until wildlife decide they need a drink. Sometimes you will have to create the vision based on the day you’re working.

When designing your garden it is important to keep photographic elements in mind. Especially if you intend to later journal your garden’s story through images. Flowers, greenery, ponds, fountains and feeders all have stories to tell and utilizing your camera to their advantage is a worthy endeavor. It is one that will hold value for years to come. You can read more about that here.

Your Garden in Pictures

But What Camera to Use?

If you are new to garden photography you might be wondering about your options. In fact, you have probably begun to investigate the best entry level DSLR camera for beginners.  Before you make that leap, you should probably understand a little about DSLR cameras. DSLR stands for digital single-lens reflex, otherwise known as a digital SLR. The reflex design is what makes this different from traditional digital cameras.

Even the most basic DSLR camera is capable of providing superbly vibrant, life like photos. The color and detail will transport you to the moment and the garden beauty you were trying to preserve. If you go back to the link about best entry level cameras you’ll find a plethora of good advice. Once you’ve chosen the right camera, you need to learn how to take great garden pictures.

Taking Great Garden Pictures

Amateur garden photography is on the rise, almost to the point of developing a cult following. But how do you take great garden pictures with your new DSLR camera? A full explanation can be found by reading more here. Otherwise you can enjoy this brief summary. Basically you have to know the answers to these questions to capture the best photo:

  1. What light works best? The best light changes with the seasons.
  2. How do I plan the perfect shoot? Always utilize your weather channel.
  3. What colors are most complimentary to one another? Colors that compliment are just as important as those that contrast but the most valuable color overall when working on garden photography is green.
  4. What time of day is best for good images? Once again, the seasons play a big part in this answer.
  5. How do I compose my shoot? There are a number of rules that are best defined in the article we linked to above.
  6. Which lenses should I use? When shooting close ups it’s suggested that you use a macro lens, preferably of the 105mm sort.
  7. Are there specific settings I need to know about? If you don’t have the option to change lenses sees if there’s a macro setting for your camera and uses that.

Now that you have learned a lot about cameras, you have to design (get some free plans by clicking this), or locate, a garden that will best provide for your photographic desires. That’s the fun part, enjoy the flowers and sunshine with your new camera. Then, share all your gorgeous garden pictures with your friends. And, maybe magazines, if you’re lucky!

Your garden, your sanctuary

It is scientifically proven that gardening and horticulture has a therapeutic effect on people with disabilities and ailments. Gardens are peaceful and restores and rejuvenates anyone that spends time in them. Planting and pruning brings a feeling of calm to the gardener for more info click here. In 1895 the Missouri Botanical garden was first opened. Charles Darwin published “on the origin of species” after spending some time in this garden of research. Nothing is more fulfilling and calming than spending time in a beautifully, maintained garden. A great example of this is Central Park, a very large, very beautiful garden in theory. There are mostly hardworking, corporate people that spend lunch times in the park. Landscaping goes hand in hand with some of the most beautiful gardens in the world. Everyone loves visiting the most well known and frequently visited gardens in the world. These gardens don’t just stay as well maintained. A lot of hard work goes into it. Without great landscaping skill it would be almost impossible to make an imprint on these magnificent green sanctuaries.

Your garden, your sanctuary

One of the worst things would be not being able to enjoy the visual stimulation a garden has to offer because of visual impairment. Enjoying freshly cut grass and blossoming, lush flowers you would have to see clearly. There are various websites that offer information on scientific research. Dove Press publishes various medical journals that have been written by incredibly intelligent people. There are studies being conducted that might end up being a revolutionary cure for blindness by using stem cells from the patient’s own tissue. There would be nothing better than to see and experience a colorful garden for the first time. Imagine not being able to see for years or ever and then suddenly being overwhelmed by burst of color and everything that we take for granted every day. Read more.

There are many ways to enjoy your garden for example having your morning coffee while watching the sun rise. Buy a bird watching book and look out for some of the species, you might find scarce species that aren’t easily spotted in your own backyard. Indulge in yoga or meditation in your garden, hearing the natural soothing sounds that your garden has to offer will calm you down and get you in the right state of mind. Rather than having your family breakfast at the table switch things up by enjoying a picnic, early in the morning outside.

In conclusion your garden is your sanctuary and should be maintained and utilized accordingly. Enjoy the smell of freshly cut grass, notice the little critters that inhabit your garden and see how flowers bloom at certain times of the year. Make the most of your own little piece of nature and instead of just letting everything become overgrown treat yourself to the services of garden specialists that will leave you with a satisfactory result and a beautiful garden. Landscaping is an art leading to an artwork that needs to be enjoyed.