Farmhouse Style Interior Design

Vintage Indian trunks cladded with iron straps and brass medallions, farmhouse chic interiors update your style simply by using old wooden hope chests made into functional coffee tables that have the added value of storage. Some are intricately detailed with elephants and horses carrying stories of the Spice Route and others are painted with rustic turquoise patina reminiscent of Jodhpur the Blue City. Distressed paint feels natural on the vintage rustic cabinets made from recycled old doors, vintage woods that are so beautifully aged and naturally varnished. Dining tables made from antique doors complete with latches and iron studs are accented perfectly with wrought iron chairs.

Vintage rustic old arches turn your kitchen mantel into a statement, the green foliage in brass planters draws attention to the hand carved detail and the natural washed patinas. Colorful textured tribal table runners will give your tables an elegant, vintage bohemian worldly panache that works well with a multitude of colors. Pick up an old planter and fill with gorgeous cottage garden plants or herbs.Vintage bowls and rustic brass urns used as a centerpiece overflowing with seasonal pumpkins, pines and flowering twigs bring in the old fashioned cottage charm. Add farmhouse-inspired decorations, made at home wreaths and floral arrangements that give a lovely personal touch. A rustic old chakra bookcase adds instant allure, offering a place to store books and your travel collections. Long wooden blanket chests in distressed blues and greens used at the end of the bed or as window console table placed in the nook, you can enjoy the sun while reading your favorite book.

Bring in the farmhouse theme into the nursery by hanging an old jharokha window filled with baby pictures. The windows get a cottage-chic boost with handloom fabric throws weaved by artisans in natural cotton fibers and vibrant colors. Install old rustic boxes filled with colorful, seasonal blooms at the window sill. Sheer sari curtains are great for kitchen windows, breakfast nooks or other spaces where natural light adds charming style and some privacy without stopping the sunshine.

Give your bedroom an instant farmhouse update by replacing your headboard with rustic 18C Indian doors. Old wooden spice mortar from Indian villages converted into umbrella stands, unusual columns and pillars add to the eclectic character. Hand carved Tree of Dreams wall panels are statement art pieces, that are creative as well as full of positive energy. Neutral-hued woods carved kamasutra panels in white washed whimsical farmhouse style add to the romance of the bedroom. The rustic, cottage-style look of old door lotus carved cabinets and vintage sideboard consoles add a rustic touch to your home. High-end Suzani embroidered pillow shams can be a luxe splurge when updating a bedroom. Use handloom cotton throws to create a country-chic makeover or curl up into a soft pashmina blanket. Farmhouse style decor is a statement of your lifestyle, laid back luxe and casual country chic.

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How to Choose the Best Garden Design

The garden is one of the most beautiful and peaceful parts of a home. It brings us closer to nature, gives us a glimpse and feel of greenery with the comfort of our lawn. You can spend a perfect afternoon in your garden reading a book or unwind after a tiring day enjoying the beauty of green, all these will bring you such solace which you cannot find even if sitting in a fancy decorated room. But in order to get peace and happiness in the garden, its look and design should be pleasing. If you are not happy about the look of your garden then you will hardly find any peace there over all the grumping. The design of garden plays an important role in your outlook towards it. So choose the design carefully.

Before choosing the design for your garden you need to understand the shape and condition of your yard. If the shape of your garden is small then you should not opt ​​for a large number of tall trees. It will hog up extra space, leaving you only a much smaller portion. Medium plant pots with will well-trimmed grass and patio furniture will be a suitable option for small gardens. However, for big gardens, you can choose any design you want. Availability of space is a benefit.

The design of the garden also depends on the fertility of the soil you are reaping and the climate. Every season demands different plant. For example, if you wish to plant a tree which grows in autumn then all your effort will go to waste. Also the climate of the region you live in plays an important role. It is better to do some research before putting your hands in the soil. Make sure the plants receive the appropriate amount of sunlight to grow plus shade exposure as well.

Also, choose your design and theme according to the people living in your home. If your house is one of the kids then choose a theme which they find cute and attractive, like giving it look of a playground. This way they will be spending some time outdoors, doing some outdoor activity rather than just sitting in front of the television. If you are a bachelor then choose any design you find appealing.

Another tip, make your garden your look attractive so that you will be compelled to spend some time there. A garden is a great place for morning exercise. Not only you will get enough space for movement there, but you will also in inhale fresh morning air, which is good for your health, plus walking on the grass blades barren feet is really good for brain and body. It is suggested by doctors also.

You give your garden a fancy look by adding garden lights. You can use solar garden lights or LED outdoor lighting. It will not only make your garden look beautiful but will also be perfect for outdoor theme parties.

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The Expandable Garden Hose: Veteran Gardener Secret Weapon

So you've been trying to find a decent garden hose for a while now. You see others sprinkling their lawn or washing the car with a cool multi-setting spray gun on the end. And it seems like everyone makes it look so easy. But for some reason, success keeps eluding you. Every time you get close to finding the perfect one something happens and you end up back where you started – lugging that heavy old piece of muddy rubber.

Not this time.

Because this time you're going to be armed with the same tips, tricks and secrets that the gardening veterans keep to themselves.

Gardeners need to look beyond the appearance of the growing media surface to assess the need for water. Feel the weight of the pot and push your finger in below the surface of the media, both will give you a better idea of ​​the existing water content and whether the plant needs additional water.

So give these tips a try and see if they don't work for you too …

Tip 1: Never let kids or animals drink from a garden hose.

WARNING – THE GARDEN HOSE IS NOT INTENDED FOR DRINKING WATER! Do NOT drink from it! It is a tool that is used and stored outdoors and it should not be exposed to conditions that may be harmful to humans such as: Mold & bacteria, Lawn and Garden chemicals, Animal waste, Insects, Stagnant water & other harmful substances.

Tip 2: Avoid watering at noon when it's hot and sunny. That's the worst time you could have chosen. This is like pouring Scotch on weeds to kill them. What a disheartening waste! Watering when it's hot means that most of the water will evaporate before it ever reaches the roots. The best time to water is very early in the morning when it's cool.

Tip 3: Be sure to use an expanding garden hose that's made from double latex and grows to suit your needs. Rather than haul a heavy rubber hose over your flower beds, nowadays you get soft and lightweight expanding hoses that lengthen to reach the furthest parts of the garden when you turn the water on, then shrink again when you turn the tap off.

In sum: Getting the most out of your garden hose is actually fairly simple when you apply the above three tips.

So get to it – you and your garden are going to be glad you did!

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Enjoy Mild June Days While Planting & Pruning in the Garden

Longer daylight hours and typically cool June weather means this month is the ideal time to plant, prune and make changes in the yard.

Plant Perennials for Summer Flowers: Pick up several of these easy-care perennials are at your local nursery and plant them in June: Spanish lavender, Echinacea, salvia, yarrow and California native iris. All love summer heat and full sun and once planted, they'll continue to bloom through most of fall.

Annuals Add Summer Color Too: Some flowers only bloom in summer and then they're gone for the year. For great splashes of summer color, add these plants to your garden: wax begonias, zinnias, nasturtiums, petunias, marigolds and snapdragons. Because they are temporary, all require little or no maintenance.

Add Succulents To Your Landscape: Succulents provide an interesting contrast to typical garden plants and shrubs. True to their desert origin, they require little watering. Easy-to-care-for succulents include jade plants, blue senecio and agave and aloe varieties. Don't forget colorful and interestingly shaped cactus.

Start A Container Garden: For those without a lot of space for an in-ground flower garden, container gardens provide a beautiful alternative. Start with a well-draining large pot and the right soil. The larger the pot, the less chance your plants will dry out. Place a coffee filter under the drain hole so only water, not soil, runs out. Use an organic potting soil mix especially designed for containers. Just about any flower will work well in a container. Choose flowers based on how much sunlight the container location will receive.

Revamp Your Landscape: While the weather is still mild, now is the time to remove poor performing plants or shrubs. Consider reducing or removing your lawn. Replace your current landscape with native, drought-tolerant plants and ornamental rocks. There are plenty of do-it-your-self plans and design ideas available online.

Check Your Irrigation System: Since you will be watering more in the coming months, check your irrigation system for any line breaks. A drip irrigation system makes the best use of water since water is applied slowly allowing it to reach deep into even the most densely packed soil. A drip system is also more efficient than an overhead spray system because there is no evaporation or runoff.

Protect Fruit From Birds: If birds feast on the fruit in your trees, place bird netting on the top of trees or add brightly colored streamers in the branches to keep the birds away.

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Understanding Garden Terms

Do you find yourself confused by terms like: hybrid, genetically modified, heirloom, open-pollinated, heritage and microsystem? In this article we will go over some basics that will help clear up some of the confusion.

First, let's look at the difference between a microsystem and an ecosystem. To gardeners an ecosystem would be used to describe the region's average high and low temperatures, sea level, rainfall and moisture and the zone. A microsystem could be your entire property or sections of the property. For instance, if you have one corner that tends to remain moist, and another that gets mostly shade, while a different area has full sun … those are all examples of different microsystems. Each microsystem will have plants and wildlife that will thrive in those particular conditions.

Hybrid seeds are created when two unique parents are mechanically or purposely cross-pollinated. Introducing foreign genetic material on a molecular scale produces genetically modified (GM) crops.

Open-pollinated means the plants produced naturally with nature doing all the work.
Heritage has come to mean open-pollinated seeds known to have been grown for at least one, and often several, generations.

Heirloom refers to seeds varieties that go back much farther than just a few generations.
Did you know that in some cases, it is illegal to save GM seeds? A registered trademark indicates genetic manipulation and that is the legal property of the labs that designed it.
Bio-piracy and bio-prospecting, involves patent rights over the development of certain gene combinations. They have even found a way to incorporate terminator genes (aka suicide seeds) – this means that while the plant may produce quality food with seeds, those seeds will not germinate. Hybrid plant produce, too, will not produce true to form. Instead, it will begin to revert to one or another of its parents and its seeds will be different and quite possibly weakened every year thereafter. While open-pollinated seed will always produce true to form as long as proper seed-saving procedures are followed.

Large commercial agriculture uses monoculture methods (fields of one crop), often with little to no pollinator and windbreak or water runoff planning. There are no-till (not turning the earth with machinery), organic (grown without chemicals) and biodynamic (considering the relationship, cycles and needs of all forms of life) methods.

Permaculture involves the scientific evaluation of the land, mapping, working with nature, using what is available on site or nearby, eliminating waste through reuse).
Succession planting involves the gardener having transplants or seeds ready to plant as soon as one crop is harvested.

Interplanting (planting closely together), bio-intensive (using the soil surface more efficiently) and companion (working with plants that benefit each other while avoiding those that are direct competition with one-another) are other terms you are likely to come across.

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Shorter Days in November Mean Less Time in the Garden in Southern California

Fewer daylight hours in November means less time to garden. Pick one or two outdoor projects to focus on this month.

Add Last Minute Fall Color: There is no reason why your flower garden can't look beautiful in fall and winter. Buy flowering plants from the nursery and plant now. Fall annuals include pansies, violas, primrose and calendula. Perennials that bloom in fall should be considered also. They include nemesia, Russian sage, chrysanthemums, aster and oriental lily.

Cut Back On Watering: Unless we get a late blast of Santa Ana winds, water plants and trees less frequently. Newly planted varieties, however, should be routinely watered until established. Dormant trees do not need watering.

Last Time To Water Outdoor Cacti And Succulents: Water outdoor succulents before they go dormant in winter. If the plants are indoors, they'll need to be watered year round when the soil becomes dry. Give the plants a good soak once a week and let the water drain.

Plant Trees: Fall's cool nights, mild days and occasional rain are ideal conditions for tree planting. Planting now gives young trees time to establish a healthy root system before growing season in spring. Select a location for your tree before shopping. Do you want an evergreen or deciduous? Is the location near walkways? Roots can lift up sidewalks. Will the tree need to be in the shade or get plenty of sun? Amend the soil if necessary, dig a hole that's at least twice the size of the root ball and plant. Trees grow slowly the first few years so be patient.

Prevent Peach Leaf Curl: A common fungal organism in peach and nectarine orchards results in peach leaf curl. If your tree leaves become deformed, now is the time to get rid of the bug by spraying the tree with an organic lime sulfur. Wait until most of the leaves have fallen before spraying.

Mulch Plants: Add a layer of mulch around the garden. When rain comes, mulch will stop rain-producing mud from splashing onto plants and prevent runoff.

Winterize Lawns: Mow lawns very short, sow grass seed, scatter a light covering of soil amendment and water to produce a green winter lawn. Rake falling leaves from lawns as leaves could impede lawn growth. If a lawn is looking "tired," sow in seeds to cover brown spots and to introduce new growth. After seeding, scatter a light covering of soil amendment and water thoroughly. To avoid the "dead" look of winter Bermuda lawns, overseed the lawn with annual rye to cover up brown.

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5 Awesome Gardening Tips for Inspiration

Gardening for some is a hobby, for others it's a passion. Either ways, gardening demands patience, carefulness and a positive attitude. But knowing some tips and tricks always comes in handy. If you are a beginner looking for some guidelines or if you're an expert who is trying to figure out where have you been going wrong, this article is for you. We have gathered some expert gardening tips that will help you take your gardening experience to a whole new level.

Prepare the Soil well

Plants grow in soil, the soil is what nourishes and nurtures them and provides support to the roots to grow. Therefore, it is very important that you carefully prepare the soil before planting anything in it. Take into account the demands of your plant and the soil type that it tends to do well in. if your soil is not up to the standard, treat it. Divide the soil among different kind of plants that you are planning to grow according to their requirements. The best kind of compost to feed your soil is leaves. Leaves make for the best fertilizer and are totally natural. Also, they are abundant in any garden, so use them to your advantage.

Plan ahead

It is important to plan ahead of your plants. Take note of their growth period and the maximum size that they can achieve once mature. This is because a plant, planted without planning can lead to size constraints and no one wants to go through the hassle of relocating their plants. Moreover, plan the location of your plants in your garden according to their life cycles. If you are growing vines, plan what you want them to climb; this will increase the symmetry and will add to the beauty of your garden.

Tool cleaning is important

Sharp and clean tools make gardening easier and faster as compared to blunt and dirty ones. Always keep your tools in shape so that they may come in handy in case of a garden emergency. Allocate some time from your gardening time to clean and sharpen your tools regularly.

Regularly check for pest infestations

Pest infestations are always easier to avoid if a gardener is able to identify harmful pests before they have reproduced tremendously in his garden. Therefore, it is important that you schedule regular inspections of your garden. If you notice any signs like wilting plants or eaten leaves, take them into account immediately. Look out for pests that may be causing them and do your research on finding and controlling them.

Keep evolving

You just cannot keep growing the same thing over and over again forever, as a gardener. It will not only bore you out of your socks but will make any extraordinary garden seem dull after a little while. Find new varieties that may interest you. When a plant dies, look out for a replacement that you have never planted before. Try new techniques of planting like grafting. Experiment with your garden. This …

Tips for Preparing Your Garden for Winter

Some people believe that when the weather starts getting colder and the leaves start to fall, it is time to put away the gardening tools and wait until next spring to work on their garden again. Wrong.

Winter is an important time to maintain your garden's health and assure yourself a good crop for next year. You may think that might take too long to prepare your garden, but the truth is that it takes less than one day to prepare your garden for the upcoming winter. When the nighttime temperatures drop to less than forty-five degrees Fahrenheit for more than four days in a row, or frost is forecast for your area (usually around late October or November) you know its time to begin preparing your garden. You should begin by evaluating your garden design, check which plants grew well in the past season, and which plants did not do well.

Fall is a good time to decide which plants will remain in you garden next year, and which ones should go. It is also a good time to decide which new plants you want to grow. To make your garden more colorful and healthy, be sure only to plant the more hardy plants during the fall so that they can withstand the winter.

Some plants that will do fine being planted in fall are: rudbeckia, Aster Novi-belgii, Anemone Japonica, panicle hyandea, endive, escarole, and Brussels sprouts. You can find all of these and more in gardening magazines or your local nursery. After you have finished this you should begin cleaning up your garden. Begin by pulling out weeds that may have cropped up, and raking fallen leaves. Weeds and rotten leaves can carry insects and diseases that might be harmful to your garden. You should also rid your garden of spent annual plants, and harvest your vegetables and other plants that cannot withstand the winter weather.

After fall has come and gone, the leaves will be off your trees and you can see the rotten branches. Trimming off the unwanted branches from your trees isn't necessary to your gardens health, but may help later on by not dropping branches on your plants and not blocking too much of the sun. If you have younger trees you should consider wrapping them and supporting them with stakes to help them survive the winter wind and cold.

Putting mulch over your garden for the winter can be a helpful way to protect plants from sudden temperature changes and heavy snow. For mulch you can use about five inches of shredded bark, pine needles, or a variety of other materials. You have to be careful not to mulch too early, because some insects may still be alive and able to take shelter in it for the winter.

Once you are finished with your gardening tools you should clean them and make sure they are in a safe place where they won't rust and you know where they'll be for next year. Before …

The Importance of Garden Edging

Gardens add beauty to any home. It does not matter if a garden is large or just a pocket garden around the corner, it still provides an aesthetic advantage. A garden adds color to surroundings and brings in fresh air to your home as well. However, if you have a medium to large sized garden and you have varieties of bushes and flowering plants on it, then it is important to add something that will make your yard more functional as well as attractive. This is where garden edging comes into the picture.

Garden edging is simply a border that frames your plant beds. The initial use of garden bed edging is to separate your plants from the grass lawn. By doing this, your garden will have a well defined look that is definitely more attractive. Adding a border also eliminates the need of frequent grass plucking from the plant beds. It also keeps mulch in its place and provides a mowing path that makes mowing easier; no more accidental clipping of your flowering plants. The edging will guide your mower and prevent it from cutting your plants by mistake.

Garden borders and edging can make garden maintenance easier. Most homeowners do not like the idea of ​​tending their gardens regularly and doing things such as weeding and mulching. Another common but dreaded gardening task is keeping the grass in shape.

Garden edgings, as a matter of fact, reduce the need of frequent weeding. They also keep mulch in the plant bed, thus eliminating the need of mulching repeatedly. If you have garden edgings in your yard, you will have a more defined pathway so your visitors would not have to guess where to walk.

One of the most common struggles homeowners encounter when tending a garden is the grass that keeps growing out of place. This can be very frustrating, especially to those who have no much time to care for their lawns in regular intervals. When grasses, and sometimes even plants, go out of way, this result in unattractive lawn. However, with the properly placed edgings, this problem will surely be eliminated.

Since landscape edgings aid in defining and separating particular garden areas, you will be able to take care of your garden with ease. Edgings mark the areas where the plants and grasses are not supposed to meet; Therefore you will be able to determine if they are going astray.

There are different designs of edgings for gardens. Most designs or layouts match the edges of traditional lawn mowers. This makes it easier for you to control your mower while trimming around the edges.

Although some disagree that edgings are vital to the plants 'health, most people swear that border installation plays a great role in their plants' life. This is because borders keep out weeds, which can bring in diseases. Therefore, by properly placing garden borders, you won't need to spray herbicide much often.

Apart from the benefits, it is obvious that garden edging also brings …

Simple Tips For Low Cost Home Improvements

Have you been thinking about remodeling your home? Keep in mind that you can often achieve your goal without a giant expense. Small improvements introduced in almost every room, including the exterior of the house can make all the difference.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

Keep it clean and keep it simple!

A clean and neat house is appealing and eye-catching. You can start improving the appearance of your house simply by cleaning out the debris. Try making your garden look like an ideal place with some weeding and cleaning out the flower beds. Paint the front door to give your home a more welcoming feeling.

De-cluttering is also a part of cleaning, so get rid of things you don't need to make room for new ones. The first glance is usually enough for a selective buyer to quickly estimate a house.

Does the exterior of your home need repainting? Is there a walkway that you can highlight by introducing some flowers? Remember to keep it simple. Focus on making things neat and tidy.

Two hot spots of every home:

The two most closely inspected rooms of a house are the kitchen and the master bathroom. If you are looking to focus on two hot spots, these are the interior rooms where the most value can be added during a sale, so make them look their best to increase your return on investment.

Is your kitchen may be in need of an upgrade? A well updated kitchen will dramatically increase the value of your home, so focus on spicing up this room to grab buyer attention. Renovating your kitchen using modern décor is going to instantly improve the value of your home. Many times a buyer will compromise on other rooms and will buy a home just because its kitchen is well-maintained and inviting.

The same holds true for bathrooms, especially the master bathroom. You will charm open house-goers with modern upgrades like dual vanities and soaking tubs in your master bath. Replace the faucets and clean up the bathroom counter. We would again emphasize on simplicity because for easy maintenance.

What to Invest in?

So, you're done de-cluttering, cleaning and upgrading. What's next? Well, if you are willing to make a good upgrade investment, it is recommended to divide your renovation plan into four parts to bring impressive improvements to your home. Here are the four areas you may want to seriously consider upgrading:

Lighting: If you are not satisfied with the lighting system in your house, replace it.

This would entail buying lighting fixtures and other equipment for each room to make it look consistent and attractive.

Plumbing: Many old homes have rusty pipes and some leakage in the plumbing that needs attention. Your home will not sell fast and at a price you have in mind if you haven't already upgraded the plumbing system.

Flooring: Most people nowadays look for hardwood floors or alternatives that are easy to manage and provide health benefits …