Posts

Harsh Winters and Garden Fountains

Many people use water features to accentuate their lawn, complement their patio space, and to serve as centerpieces in their gardens. They come in a wide range of impressive designs, and offer many benefits for your home. People who live in colder climates, or experience harsh winters weather are often very apprehensive when it comes to installing water features in their own home. But, there are actually plenty of options for people in cold areas. It is important to know how to which materials to choose and how to prepare them for harsh weather.

Choosing the Right Material

Outdoor fountains are made out of many different materials. Some fountains are made of natural stone, while others are made of concrete or metal. These materials range in durability and strength. The right material with the proper maintenance can last for years, even in rough climates. When choosing your fountain, avoid materials that could chip or break easily. It may be best for some areas to choose fountains made of iron. Many companies also offer maintenance and repair kits, and the way you care for your fountain will make all the difference.

Draining for Winter

Fountains come in a wide array of sizes and styles. Some can circulate a hundreds of gallons of water, while others operate on just a few. If you are installing a water feature in a location that experiences harsh winter conditions, you’ll definitely want to choose something that you can easily drain. Units that move less water are more easily drained, and you’ll need something like that. If you leave water sitting in a fountain through those winter months, it will freeze, and that can cause major, irreparable damage to your garden fountain. You don’t want to turn on your fountain in the spring to find that it is cracked and broken from ice damage.

Protect Them from the Elements

The cold temperatures aren’t the only ways that your water can be damaged by the elements. If you want to protect your fountain from some of the more brutal effects of nature, you’ll probably want to utilize a fountain cover. Covering your fountain will protect the materials and finish during the months when you do not have it operating.

If you live in a harsh climate with heavy precipitation in the winter time, a simple cover might not be enough. If you are still worried about what Mother Nature might do to your outdoor water feature, consider purchasing one that isn’t too hard to move. Sometimes the best way to avoid the elements is to escape them altogether. During those unforgiving months, you may consider placing your fountain in a garage or shed.

 

Don’t let the fear of cold weather stop you from having water features in your own garden. There are still options for those of us who sometimes get snow and ice. Draining during freezing weather, protecting the pieces from the elements, and choosing fountains made of durable materials will allow you to have water features like everyone else!

Preparing your Garden Fountain and Pond for Winter

From the spring through the fall, having a fountain in your garden or a pond on your property adds a beautiful touch to your outdoor setting. Those warm days are always improved by spending relaxing hours next to fresh running water. While it is important to maintain your units and keep your fountains and ponds fresh and clean throughout the year, when the winter months are approaching, there are a few extra details of which you should be aware.

Cleaning

Whether you have a garden fountain or a small pond, one of the most important things you can do to prepare them for winter is cleaning them, and removing all organic debris. The decomposition process is slowed in colder temperatures, and the slowing of this process presents problems. During decomposition, organic materials will give off toxic gases, and slowing the process allows for a buildup of these toxic chemicals. If a layer of ice begins to form, the decomposition process is slowed down even more. This is especially harmful if you have a pond that contains fish or other wildlife.

Garden Fountains

If you are preparing a garden fountain for winter, you will want to drain all of the water, and turn the pump off before the first freeze. Frozen water expands quite a bit, and ice will ruin your pump and the pieces of your fountain. There are also fountain covers that can protect the materials your fountain is made of from Mother Nature. But, in some cases, it is sometimes best to remove your fountain from the elements completely. If you expect to experience harsh winter conditions, it may be best to move you fountain to a garage or shed during those months.

Preparing Your Pond

The options for maintaining your pond are a little different than a fountain. The pump in a pond for instance, can be left on throughout the year, so that it can continue to circulate the water. The pump will help to keep the water from freezing, but sometimes those temperatures just are too low. It is a big help to have a fountain thermometer to monitor these temperatures. There are also options for pond heaters for when the temperatures get too bad. If your pond begins to freeze, you can pour boiling water in the edge of it, allowing trapped gases to be released.

Cold weather is harsh, and it can bring a lot of issues to your water features. With the many methods and techniques that are available for maintaining your fountain or pond, there is no reason why the winter should ruin your pieces. If you keep your water clean, and act early enough, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Gardening Made Easy with a Simple Approach

Gardening is a truly rewarding activity, but it can also be very time consuming. Some people stereotype gardening as an activity that is reserved for retired women who enjoy their golden years taking care of their flowers and herbs. They assume that the rest of us couldn’t possibly find the time adorn our homes with plants and greenery. But, these people are actually mistaken. The trick is to take a simple approach and opt for certain low-maintenance techniques. To build the perfect low-maintenance garden, use planters instead of your yard, grow succulents and other low-maintenance plants, and confine your garden to a small space.

Planters vs. In-ground

One of the most difficult and involved aspects of building a garden is preparing the location. For many people, that includes, tilling, digging, fertilizing, and more. The process of preparing your soil for growth is an entire project on its own. You can skip this process entirely by opting to grow your plants in containers instead of in the ground. This way, you can set up your garden in no time. You can simply organize your planters however you’d like, fill them with fertile soil, and begin the planting process.

Low-Maintenance Plants

When it’s time for the planting process, you must decide which plants you would like to grow in your garden. This is another thing that discourages the novice gardener. Many people believe that growing plants is a high maintenance, time-consuming task. For some, this is true. But, it doesn’t have to be that way for everyone. For the gardener with limited time and resources, succulents are a great family of plants to choose from. Cacti are a type of succulent, but don’t let that lead you to believe that they are not beautiful. There are many different variations of succulents, growing in many colors, shapes, and sizes. They require little water and maintenance, and look wonderful in an outdoor setting.

Limit Your Space

Sometimes, when growing a garden, people often get a bit too excited. They pick a huge location in the yard and plan to grow every little thing that piques their interest. Remember not to overdo it. This seems fun at first, but it can quickly become extremely overwhelming. Be sure to avoid this issue and save yourself plenty of time and frustration. When planning your garden, deliberately limit your available space. You may even want to place your planters on a balcony or patio. This will ensure that you save time setting up and maintaining your new garden.

Gardening isn’t just for the people who have the whole day at their disposal. Some of us don’t have the time or skill, but still would also enjoy having a little plant life around to keep the energy fresh in our homes. There are options for the gardener in this predicament. If you use planters, grow succulents, and limit your growing area, you’ll hardly have to do any work at all!

Build a Classic Garden Setting

Building a garden and cultivating a collection of plant life is one of the most gratifying feelings a person can experience. There are so many choices for what you can do with your garden space that it can be hard to settle on a certain style or theme. The simple, classical theme is one of the most beloved styles when it comes to garden design. The classic garden allows the visual and the atmosphere to speak for itself. To create a beautiful classical scene, opt for shrubs and flowers, a classical tiered fountain, and hand-crafted stone outdoor furniture.

Flowers and Shrubbery

The composition of a classic garden scene is actually fairly simple. The intricacies and details come from how the plants and flowers are arranged. When choosing plants for your classic garden, keep your list fairly short. All you will need is a collection of shrubs and selection of a few of your favorite flowers to add a bit of color to your space. The main design of your garden should be determined by where your shrubs are placed. You can even design them in a way that your garden has deliberate pathways. You can then accent your setup with the colorful flowers and vines.

Classical Tiered Fountain

When it comes to choosing a fountain for your classical garden, there is one main option that overshadows the rest. This option is the classical tiered fountain. A classical garden will seem nearly incomplete without the presence of a grand tiered fountain to finalize the look and feel of your space. Taking nods from ancient Rome and on, these amazing structures evoke an old-world feel while creating a scene that is welcoming and soothing. There are a wide range of sizes and styles to choose from, some complete with sculptures and figurines. There is sure to be a fountain that is perfect for your scene.

Stone Outdoor Furniture

Your garden is a place of peace and serenity. To better enjoy your time there, it is important to choose some outdoor furniture so that you can have a place to sit and absorb the beauty of your space. While they are countless styles and materials used to produce outdoor furniture, one of the best options for a classic garden setup is the use of stone furniture. The right stone benches, stools, and tables are perfect for complementing your scene. There are options made from granite, jade, marble, and more. The designs, ranging from smooth and basic to textured and intricate, are all great accents to a natural scene.

With all of the styles and designs that are always becoming available, sometimes the most desirable option is the simple, classic one. When it comes to designing a garden, the classic look is always a good choice. With the right plants, a beautiful fountain, and some classic stone furniture, you can have a classic scene in your own backyard.

 

Learn to Keep Algae Under Control

A private pond is a beautiful addition to many homes. Ponds accentuate the beauty of the home and enhance the outdoor environment, providing a tranquil spot for people to relax and find a little peace. Ponds are definitely a beautiful thing, but they require maintenance, or else they won’t be so attractive. Neglected and stagnant ponds will begin to see a rapid buildup of algae and a certain smell that is, in no way, a pleasant one. If you have a pond, or are planning to have one built, be sure to take certain precautions. To keep you water clean, provide aeration, remove debris, and add pond chemicals, if necessary.

Aeration

Aerating your water is probably the most important thing you can do to keep your water clean and fresh. The process of aeration involves dissolving oxygen into the water supply, and this process can be achieved in many ways. Many people use pond fountains, or aerators. These devices pull water from the top few feet of the pond and shoot it into the air. As the water splashes back down, it breaks the surface of the water and mixes it with the surrounding oxygen. This process is so important because it allows the process of decomposition to happen much more efficiently. If the algae and organic materials are able to break down faster, they won’t stick around and start to smell.

Skimming Debris

One way you can make it a little easier on your pond is by taking time to manually remove debris from the water. It is common for wind and rain to wash leaves, sticks, and other materials into your water. These materials will begin to decompose in your pond, releasing gases during the process, and can eventually begin to become a real nuisance. With a regular cleaning, your pond will look beautiful, and your water will be fresh.

Pond Chemicals

Regular skimmings will keep the leaves and sticks away, but, there is only so much you can do about algae. Sometimes, you have to bring out something a little stronger. There are several fountain chemicals available to keep these nuisances at bay. Adding a little to your water can provide stunning results. Regular cleaning with chemicals that combat the growth of unwanted materials is a sure way to keep your water clean and free of bacteria and algae. Find which one is right for your body of water.

Your pond is one of the main elements of your landscape. It is a defining feature of your home and its surroundings. It’s important that you keep it looking fresh and presentable. With proper aeration, regular cleanings, and pond chemicals, you can be sure that your pond is as beautiful as it was meant to be.

Create a Cozy Outdoor Scene with the Perfect Fountain

There is nothing quite like spending an evening relaxing outside. The fresh air and the soothing breeze take you to a state of mind that could not be accurately described with words alone. Whether you’re reading one of your favorite books, spending quality time with loved ones, or taking an afternoon siesta, it’s always great to get a breath of fresh air. Do you have a place in your home where you can go to escape after a long work week? Create a cozy little space for relaxation in your own backyard. With the right frame, comfortable outdoor furniture, and a soothing water feature, you’ll be ready to transform your space.

Framing Your Space

One of the main elements that will define your cozy outdoor spot is the way you frame it. The main goal when framing a space like this is to create a sense of privacy without completely cutting you off from the outside world. A great choice for this kind of setting is to build a canopy with flowing outdoor curtains. This will allow you to relax in peace and still get those cool breezes. Another great way to accomplish this goal is to line the space with trellises and make a fence of beautiful vining plants. It is a great looking and natural way of setting the boundaries of your space.

Relaxing Outdoor Furniture

Once you’ve decided how you want to frame your space, your next main step is figuring out how to want to fill it. With the goal of having a cozy, relaxing oasis, be sure to opt for furniture that will provide you with maximum comfort. There are a wide range of outdoor sofas and chairs designed specifically for taking it easy. If you want to take it to the next level, get a few hammocks and create a center for relaxation. Find what’s right for you, then take a load off.

Soothing Outdoor Water Features

Installing a beautiful water feature in or around your newly designed space will be the icing on your relaxation cake. You will be able to complete your environment with the perfect fountain, spillway, or waterfall. The steady flowing sounds of the water will create a soothing soundtrack that mitigates unwanted noise and helps to reduce stress. There are a wide range of outdoor water features, and they come in all shapes and sizes. There is sure to be one to fit your space.

Make the most of your backyard, and take advantage of the beautiful days. Creating a cozy space where you can go to relax and enjoy the outdoors is a priceless investment that you will benefit you in many lasting ways. Reduce your stress and take a breath of fresh air. With the right canopy or fence, some comfortable furniture, and a soothing fountain, you’ll have a brand new space before you know it!

Attracting Birds to Your Backyard

The weather is warm and welcoming, and the animals are as busy as ever. Are you an animal lover? Observing animals go about their daily routine can be truly fascinating. It is, at once, much simpler and more complex than our own lives seem to be. Sometimes, people spend hours at a time just watching birds and other animals. Some even do it in their own backyards. Do you enjoy watching birds? There are a few ways you can send out invitations for friendly feathered visitors.

Plant Life

The type of greenery you have thriving in your landscape plays a large part in which animals are found near your home. Trees are an obvious magnet for bird activity. If you have trees in your yard, you are sure to see a wide range of bird activity, but there are other plants that birds like, as well. Consider planting specific things that birds like to eat. Some of the best choices are berries, sunflowers, and honeysuckle. If you draw them in with a food supply, you can be sure to see a lot of them.

Bird Feeders

Growing a collection of plants is not the only way you can attract hungry birds. Another great thing you can do is install bird feeders in your yard. They are a great way of blurring the line of wild animal and pet. Hang your feeder in a visible spot, and keep it filled with bird seed. You’ll be able to watch birds come and go on a regular basis. It is a situation that works out well for both parties involved.

Birdbaths and Fountains

Finally, after considering locations to house and feed the birds, there is one more thing you can consider: recreation. Animals of all sorts love the presence of flowing water. One of the best things you can do to attract birds to your home is install a small fountain or birdbath for them to splash in. There are a wide range of styles and designs of outdoor fountains available. They will attract you favorite birds while adding a fresh sense of style and class to your outdoor setting.

If you love observing birds, create a space where they will love to spend their time. You can turn your backyard into your own little bird sanctuary. With some trees, the right plant life, food, and water, birds won’t be able to resist your place!

 

Support the Health of Your Pond with Aeration

Having a pond on your property is a wonderful luxury. It provides your landscape with beautiful scenery, and having a body of water of your own is a treat that everyone doesn’t get to enjoy. Such a treat does not come without responsibility. It is important to be sure to make the most of your pond, and keep it in its best condition. Not only are you maintaing a body of water, but you are responsible for the thriving of an ecosystem. If you have fish in your pond, this is especially important. One of the best methods for maintain your pond is through aeration, the process of dissolving oxygen into the water.

Methods of Pond Aeration

Pond Fountain

One of the most popular and attractive ways you can provide your water with aeration is with a stunning pond fountain. Pond fountains come in a wide range of spray patterns and designs, and they always produce a constant show of water design.  You can even accent the design with LED lighting. Available in a plethora of colors, they are a great way of adding an extra flair to your nighttime scene.

Pond Aerator

A pond aerator is a great choice for the pond owner who doesn’t want to put on as much of a show. Pond fountains and aerators both achieve the process by pulling water from the top few feet of the pond and shooting it upward. When the water lands and breaks the surface tension, the oxygen in the air near the surface mixes with the water, achieving the desired goal. The difference of the aerator is that is doesn’t shoot the water up so high to create a visual. The water stays near the surface, moving enough to mix with the air but not to create a scene.

Benefits of Pond Aeration

Health of Fish and Other Animals

If your pond contains wildlife or pet fish, it is important to aerate their environment to keep them healthy. Fish need oxygen to survive, and their only source for it is what has been dissolved into the water. If you keep your water properly aerated, you will be able to support a larger and healthier population of thriving fish.

Aerobic Decomposition

Whenever there is vegetation or other organic material in your pond, it must go through a process of being broken down. With a source for oxygen your pond will be able to achieve this process much more efficiently through aerobic decomposition. Aerobic decomposition utilizes the oxygen to rapidly break down organic material; anaerobic decomposition, on the other hand, takes much longer. This slower process produces undesirable organic compounds and acids that give off foul smells.

Be sure to avoid all of the consequences that come along with a lack of dissolved oxygen in your pond. Create a healthy and thriving ecosystem by giving the environment what it needs: air. Your fish will be healthy and abundant, and your algae will be tame and controllable. Enhance the beauty and health of your pond.

Five Water Features that Will Transform Your Backyard

Every once in a while it’s great to make your surroundings feel new again. Has the time come for you to make some changes to your landscape? The options are endless. Installing a water feature outside of your home is a great way to enhance the look and feel of your space. There are countless ways of using water design to improve your landscape. We’ve compiled a list of popular outdoor options to consider if you are thinking of installing a water feature at your home.

1. Garden Fountains

Do you have a garden at home? One of the best ways you can enhance your garden space is with a beautiful garden fountain. There are many styles to choose from. You may opt for a classic tiered fountain to evoke an elegant feel. Or, maybe a more contemporary and unique design is more your speed.

2. Floor Fountains

There are many fountains that are designed to stand freely on your patio or deck area. These pieces are great for adding a decorative accent to your space with a unique work of art. They come in many designs, from simple urn and jar shapes, to intricate modern art designs.

3. Ponds

A great way to complement the natural setting of your yard is by installing a small pond. Ponds are great for creating a peaceful and relaxing scene. You can even introduce fish and other wildlife into your pond to make the experience even more enjoyable. There are also pond fountains that help to aerate the water while creating a beautiful design.

4. Spillways

If you are looking for a more sleek and modern look, spillways are definitely a choice to consider. These special pieces allow the water to flow as one single smooth sheet, creating a stunning visual effect. They are great for accenting patio spaces, or even connecting to pools or ponds.

5. Waterfalls

There is nothing quite like watching water cascade freely over a rocky over a tower of stones. You can recreate the wonderful setting of a waterfall in your own backyard. There are designs that allow you to have a simple waterfall that flows directly into a basin, or you can also install them with your pool or pond.

Water features are a great way of enhancing the look and feel of your home. With all of the choices available, it can be hard to narrow down the decision. There is a fountain that works for every style of home. Whether it’s for your garden, patio, or lawn, you can transform your home with an outdoor water feature.

Maintaining Your Outdoor Fountain

Outdoor fountains are loved by people all over the world, and they have been for very many years. The love of fountains has even grown to see fountains in people’s own backyards, creating a beautiful  personal environment. If you have a fountain at your home, you are aware of their many benefits. The beautiful visual, the soothing sounds, and the refreshing feeling are just a few. If you are familiar with these benefits, you may soon be aware of a few consequences if you don’t take proper care of your outdoor fountain. There are a few regular tasks you can do to be sure your fountain is clean and fresh.

Cleaning the Pump

Sometimes, people won’t notice the severity of the buildup in their fountain until it is too late. It is easy to forget that your fountain can begin to experience buildup and clogging before you see it. This is why cleaning your pump is so important. All of the water flows through the pump, and that can begin to take a toll on it. There are many times when the buildup begins there, unseen, and it only gets worse from there. Nip your problems in the bud with a regular cleaning of your fountain pump.

In-Depth Cleaning

Every so often, it would be wise to clean the entire fountain in depth. This may be a little time-consuming, but it is very worth it. You definitely don’t want a buildup of algae, hard water, and white scale in your fountain. To clean your fountain, be sure to turn it off and drain all the water with a pump of wet/dry vacuum. After the pond is off and drained, you’ll want to clean all of the separate pieces, including rinsing off any rocks or stones that may be a part of your fountain set up. Be sure to clean all of the fountain parts in depth, using fountain cleaning chemicals if necessary.

Fountain Chemicals

While there are products available to help you in during the cleaning process, there are also preventative chemicals that you can use for your fountain. There are many choices, and it’s important that you choose the right one. Household cleaners normally just won’t do the trick. Many of the fountain cleaners require that you simply add a small amount to your water supply. Once you do that, the chemicals will flow through all of the pieces of your fountain, keeping bacteria, algae, and hard water at bay.

Your outdoor fountain is the highlight of your outdoor environment. You want to make sure that it is in the best condition possible. A little maintenance is all you need. With regular pump cleaning and deep cleaning, along with the right fountain chemicals, your fountain will be in tip top shape!

Designing a Private and Secluded Outdoor Space

With all of the distractions and stresses that come along with working, having a family, and just living everyday life, it’s nice to take some time out for yourself every once in a while. Private alone time is more valuable that people realize, and it’s a thing that many people often take for granted. Don’t allow yourself to be one of those people. Be sure that you take time out to relax and center yourself whenever you need a break. A great place to relax is a secluded outdoor environment. Create an environment like this in your own home with a type of fence or wall, the right outdoor furniture, and a soothing fountain or spillway.

Setting Your Boundaries

To create a place of seclusion and privacy, there must be boundaries. There are several options and styles available for you to keep your scene separate from the outside world. You can choose to have a privacy fence installed if you would like to separate your entire yard. If you are looking to create a small location within the confines of your yard, you can choose to install a few trellises around your space and grow vines on them, making them more like walls. You can even use chain link fence, which is fairly inexpensive, and improve the look with vines.

Outdoor Furniture

A necessary component in your outdoor relaxation space is furniture. After all, how else will you truly be able to relax with nothing on which you can relax? With all of the choices out there, it can be hard to narrow it down. A good place to start is by considering how you’ll be spending your time there. If you’ll be sharing your space with loved ones and close friends, you may opt for outdoor seating and a table to accommodate 2-4 people. If you’re going to be spending time there alone in full relaxation mode, you can even consider installing a hammock in your space.

Fountains and Spillways

One of the best things you can do to create a space that is soothing and secluded is by installing a fountain or other water feature. The right water feature will create a relaxing and steady sound with the flowing of the water. This sound is not only relaxing, but it helps to mitigate unwanted noise surrounding to place of privacy. If you live on a busy street, or in an active neighborhood, this can be a definite life-saver. With all of the many styles of fountains, ponds, and spillways, there is sure to be something to fit perfectly in your scene.

Take some time out  for yourself. Many people miss out on valuable lessons that can only be learned when spending time alone in a calm environment. And, sometimes, you just need to get away. Create a space where you can do just that. With the appropriate boundaries, the right outdoor furniture, and a soothing water feature, you can have the perfect secluded and private outdoor area.

Build a Natural-Looking Outdoor Setting

The weather has finally broken, and many people are beginning to take on those outdoor projects they had been fantasizing about all winter. When it comes to redesigning your outdoor space, there are endless possibilities to choose from, and a wide selection of accessories to help you create your vision. Sometimes these choices can be overwhelming. With all of the different types of fountains and water features, some people find it hard to settle on a single theme. One of the best themes you can choose is a scene that simply accentuates the beauty that exists in nature. With the right waterfall or pond, a collection to beautiful wildflowers and plants, and a couple of stone benches, you’ll be ready to create the perfect natural setting.

Waterfalls or Ponds

When it comes to choosing which type of fountain or water feature to use in your outdoor environment, a waterfall or pond is best for the person looking to evoke a natural feeling. What better way to accentuate the beauty of nature than recreating processes that occur naturally. There are a wide range of waterfall and pond kits to get you started. You can choose from many styles and sizes. If you are looking to make a major installation, contact your local professional. There are plenty of dedicated people out there who are willing to help you create your vision.

Wildflowers and Plants

One of the most enjoyable things about having outdoor space at your disposal is the possibility of growing your own plant life. Many people enjoy growing vegetables and herbs, while some people enjoy the simple gratification of growing a bed of flowers. When deciding on plants for your natural scene, remember to keep it simple, but diverse. Choose a collection of some of your favorite flowers and greenery, and plant them in a seemingly random design. To create that all-natural scene, some people even mix seeds and allow plants to grow where they may. The trick is to not be too precise. Mother Nature will help you along the way.

Stone Benches

To better enjoy the time spent in your newly built home oasis, it would be beneficial to have seating for you and your guests. While there are a wide range of outdoor furniture and seating options, not all would complement a more natural-looking setting. If you are looking for something that will accent your outdoor scene, opt for classic stone furniture. There are a wide range of benches, stools, and tables made from quality stone, such as granite, jade, marble and more.

When it comes to cultivating the perfect scene, don’t let the endless options send you into a fit of frustration. If you enjoy being outdoors for the simple fact that it’s the outdoors, decide to build a scene that accentuates those properties. With the right water feature, greenery, and stone furniture, your natural oasis will be complete in no time!