Fountains – Home and Garden Decor to Enhance Any Space

Fountains are no doubt one of the best additions to any garden. The sound of rushing water perfectly complements the green foliage, and the intricate stone designs make it a great focal point. But garden fountains are more than a lawn ornament–they also represent a source of sustenance for your plants. Whether you have a small patio or a sprawling backyard, a well-placed fountain can certainly liven up your outdoor space.

HISTORY OF FOUNTAINS

As with most ornamental pieces, fountains started out strictly functional. They were first used in the Middle East, where the weather was hot and the water provided relief from the heat. Most of them were simple, surrounded by trees and built in royal courtyards. The Romans also experimented with outdoor water features, building their gardens adjacent to public baths. They were mostly used for bathing rituals, which were a vital part of their culture.
Ornamental garden fountains first appeared in ancient Mesopotamia, but it was only in the late medieval period that they were used in domestic settings. Garden fountains were used in Spain before the 15th century and in Italy some years later. It took yet another century for home fountains to reach American shores, and by the early 20th century fountains were a common fixture not only in home gardens but also in offices, hotel lobbies and shopping malls.

FOUNTAIN DESIGNS

Fountains come in several styles, but only a few are suitable for the typical home garden. Some of the most common are wall, pond, and tabletop.
Wall fountains have a basin-like base and a relatively low spray. They are so called because they are attached to a water source coming from the wall. As such, they don’t take up a lot of space and are perfect for small home gardens.
If you have a larger space, you may want to consider a pond fountain. These can be literally as big as a pond, but there are smaller versions available for garden and even indoor use. Pond fountains are usually wired and programmed with lighting and spray patterns.
Some gardens are simply too small to accommodate water features. If this is your case, you can go for a smaller tabletop fountain. As their name suggests, tabletop fountains are placed on top of tables, usually as centerpieces. They are usually electrically powered and fairly simple to set up.

MATERIALS

Concrete and ceramic are considered the best materials for garden fountains. You can choose from all sorts of shapes, from simple rectangular blocks to intricate stone sculptures. Many are given a sandstone or soapstone finish, which gives them a more interesting texture. Marble is also very attractive, but it’s a lot more expensive and is not practical for medium to large fountains.
Wood, copper and porcelain make great tabletop fountains. Needless to say, they won’t hold up well in full size, but a well-made (and well-placed) miniature would have just the same effect. To add interest, try adding interesting lights or bonsai features.
If it’s just the look you’re after, try fiberglass. Fiberglass fountains have become more popular in recent years because of their weather resistance and flexibility in design. They can be made to look like wood, stone, marble and glass–while maintaining constant structural integrity. So if you’ve always wanted a wood fixture but don’t want the maintenance fuss, fiberglass fountains are the perfect solution.

BUYING TIPS

One of your top considerations should be water and power consumption. There have been questions on whether ornamental fountains should be restricted, as they are an unnecessary waste of water supply. Even those that are labeled environmentally friendly will still use up water and electricity. Choosing a simple watering system will not only minimize this, but also cut down on your operating costs. Besides, it’s often the sculpture and workmanship–not the water–that grabs people’s attention.

Also consider installation and maintenance costs. Installation shouldn’t be a problem with most store-bought fountains, but keeping them running is another story. Be sure to clean your fountain routinely, and pat attention to the pump intake area to keep it free of debris.
You can buy fountains ready for installation at most garden supply stores. In most cases, all you’ll need is an extension cord and enough space for the fountain and water source. But if you want something that truly suits your personality, consider having it custom-made. Look for a contractor that specializes in outdoor and water features, and have at least a rough design in mind during your consultation.

Landscape Designs – Home And Garden Ideas

Landscape designs can be planned out in a variety of different ways, and there is no right or wrong way to design your own. It’s all about your visions of that perfect view. You don’t have to be a professional landscape designer to get the perfect look. Go ahead take a chance and be as creative as you wish with your design, incorporating many ideas into the final product.

With a little planning and a lot of creativity your visions of a beautiful landscape can be achieved.

The one thing that you want to remember is to make sure that you lay out the design of your landscape before breaking ground. To save yourself more unwanted work it would be best to draw the design out on paper first. Doing this will save yourself time and heartache by ripping out and rearranging your landscaping ideas. Don’t worry if you aren’t an artist, a rough sketch will do the trick.

When you are planning your new front or backyard the main thing that you want to do is make sure that all of the plants, shrubs, or trees you are planning on using compliment each other. You wouldn’t want your newly constructed landscape to look like a big collection of mismatched creations. You also wouldn’t want to decrease the value of your property when you are finished. The idea is to add value to your home, and make it more inviting to your visitors.

An important factor to great landscape designs is finding something that catches everyone’s attention, which will become the focal point in your design. You may want something that is extraordinary or maybe something simple, but ultimately eye catching. Choose something that gives your garden or landscape a warm and inviting feel for all those who grace it. A couple good examples are an arbor or large planter.

An important part of your landscape is accessibility and functionality. Keep in mind your intent for the space while you are designing that new look. If you’re someone who utilizes that particular space often for family gatherings, then you will want to keep the space open and comfortable for your guests. If the space you are creating is used for a peaceful getaway, then your design should include less space with more soothing features such as plants and flowers.

Another great way to bring peacefulness and attention to your space is to add water gardens or ponds. If you are wishing to install one of these magnificent eye catchers, you should shop around and find the best idea and products that fit your situation. There are many resources written on this subject, and also plenty of places and professionals to help you chose the best product for your design. Keep in mind that there may be more maintenance with this, depending on how you proceed with it.

There are some other excellent places to find even more great ideas. Browsing in a magazine, books, or on the internet are terrific places to start. You can also look at other landscaped designs to help you come up with that perfect layout you are searching for. You may want to take pictures of different designs throughout your community and incorporate your favorite looks into one magnificent design. Talk to your neighbors if they have something in their yard that you envy.

If you are planning on designing and constructing the landscape yourself remember to leave yourself time for creativity. You will undoubtedly think of things to add when you are partially through the project. By taking the extra time you will make your home into a place that you can enjoy, and show with extra pride knowing that you created it yourself. The last thing you want to think when you are finished is that you wish you could’ve added something else.

Rattan Cube Furniture For a Stylish Home and Garden Space

When it comes to decorating your home, there are many reasons to go the distance especially since there are great advantages to improving your living space to a level of quality that best suits the entire structure. Most important are the elements that you add or detract such as furniture pieces and other furnishings that would improve the look of each area.

Rattan cube furniture for style is most sensible to add for the outdoor space especially the garden. It is a very good choice in furnishing for several reasons:

Rattan is of Great Durability and Natural Appeal

When you look at a piece of rattan cube furniture, you can easily spot its peculiarity that sets it apart from all the rest of modern pieces there is today. It is built to last and withstand the elements, making it perfect for outdoor use. Rattan cube garden furniture also looks very natural which means it complements the outside space well. Compared to teak, metal or other types of garden furniture, rattan exhibits various stylish advantages that you cannot find anywhere else. It is very sturdy and yet considerably affordable, which only makes it more appealing to buyers who are looking for style that does not cost too much money.

Shopping for Rattan Pieces

It is never exactly easy to choose furniture especially if your intent is to give your home a much needed spruce. The trick is to know what you want and what will fit best for your home space. For instance, you should consider getting wicker cube furniture for your patio if you often hold tea gatherings with your friends and family. This particular piece is very stylish but it blends well with the natural backdrop.

Cost and Savings

Just because you want to redo your home does not necessarily mean that you have to spend an enormous amount of money to make it happen. The first step when buying furniture is to scout prices and options. Once you have seen just what is out there, you can start purchasing in accordance to the price ceiling you have set for the purchase.

In order to save money, you will have to look for haggle friendly marketplaces or at least sellers who offer such merchandise at a reduced price. There are online websites that cater to people who have limited budget but are interested in acquiring great rattan pieces.

As have already been mentioned, it is not easy to find quality furnishings these days especially since there are so many phony products out there. What needs to be done is research coupled with a great deal of patience when choosing furniture and other types of home accessories that you might need.

Garden Lighting – Now Easy to Install and Makes Your Home and Garden Safer

Garden lighting has increased in popularity in parallel with the development, availability and increasing illumination quality of solar-powered garden lighting and today they are a worthwhile investment for the conservatory owner.

In the early days of solar lighting, many people were put off them because many poor quality items were made, but today’s units are generally both efficient and reliable and will repay an investment in them with the power savings made over their lifetime use.

Alternative energy sources are not just about saving money, they are better for the environment and in a garden present fewer technical problems when it comes to installation compared with wired-in units.

You can use garden lighting to illuminate specific trees, shrubs or bedding and move the solar-powered units around depending on the season, choosing the best garden features to illuminate. You can also use them to down-light pathways and steps, making your garden safer to walk in at night.

Lighting can also make your home safer by discouraging thieves from using the garden as an entry point to your home.

The only drawback with solar-powered lights is that in shady areas of the garden they may not get enough sun light to charge them, so you need to place them in spots where they will get adequate light for the charging process.

You also need to find out how long your lights can stay on during the evening and into the night. So before you invest in them, check the manufacturers descriptions carefully and ask anyone you know who already has solar-powered lighting, what their experience has been.

Most solar-powered garden lights will switch on automatically at dusk, but if you want light through the night it is sensible to mix these with the type that are triggered by motion sensors. Neighborhood cats, squirrels and other small garden visitors may switch motion sensor lights on, but so will un-wanted intruders.

Most models of lights now use Light Emitting Diodes (LED’s). These are long lasting and energy efficient; provide adequate bright light for most users will let them enjoy parts of their garden from inside their conservatories at night.