How To Power Wash Your Shed

When you have found one of the many sheds for sale, the next step is to keep it preserved. The most important thing to consider in the upkeep of your garden storage shed are: Time, Cost and Methods. All of it comes down to repairs and approaches to schedule them correctly along with how much you want to pay for them. Here we’re going to discuss strategies to keep your shed in good working order as well as how to do it on a budget.

One thing that will quickly ruin you shed is dirt and grime accumulation. Dirt will most probably occur regardless of whether you prefer it or not, but the important thing is to stay in front of it. Make sure to differentiate dirt from black mildew. Black mold will take place even when it is hot and dry. The good news is that dirt and mold can be quickly cleaned off using an electric power washer. Although the paint is peeling, go on and power wash that shed just before repainting a shed. If there is green mildew it means there is moisture trapped somewhere. Before you electric power wash consider and discover the source of the trouble. Check and make sure all mold, dirt and debris are removed before you prime and paint. The most beneficial cleaner to make use of for power washing is bleach mixed with drinking water. Make sure you check your concentrations and protect your skin and eyes before starting.

Probe the wooden exterior and interior of your shed to test for strength. If the wood looks gentle or soft, you could be subject to wood rot. Checking for wooden rot is very important to accomplish any time after a tough rain or simply a rainy season. Should you uncover wood rot: under no circumstances fear! Repair is easy as well as not very expensive to resolve. You should remove all rotten wood areas as well as test the surrounding wood to ensure the rot hasn’t spread. Swap the region with new sound wooden and prime and paint. It is actually always much better to repair wood rot mainly because wood rot is usually localized and would not require a whole replacement of siding.

The overall cleanliness within your garden shed is important to its longevity. Use insecticides on the inside and exterior of your garden barn to help keep out carpenter ants and bees which can damage the wood and add to wood rot. Aside from chemicals to keep wood destroying insects out, a little bit of elbow grease and a keen eye are all you need to keep you new shed or pole barn looking good for years to come. If you do start to notice some determination, hopefully you can follow our simply steps to rectify the situation and keep on enjoying your new garden shed.…

Finding Your Niche

What is a niche market anyhow? A niche market is a specialized market that has a limited and clearly defined range of products sold to a specific group of people. So when you are starting your own website or online business you want to have a specific niche to base your website around but you can’t seem to come up with anything? Well not to worry! I will show you a couple methods I have used and recommend for people just like you.

I must tell you when deciding what you are going to sell or what your website will be about, make sure it is something that you are passionate about. This is very important to the success of your website and to keep you motivated! Its much easier and fun spending time working on something that you can really wrap your arms around and get into versus going through the motions. While there are a number of different ways to make money online such as selling your own products, affiliate marketing and so on. I always suggest trying to come up with at least a couple products of your own but you can decide that later.

Here are a couple of easy methods to help you figure out what you’re niche market could be and how to narrow it down. Go to Google Keyword Search or AdWords. Now think about something or a topic that interests you, lets say for example “Gardening” type it in the space that says word or phrase.

Now also check the small box under that says “only show ideas closely related to my search terms” and do a search on it. This will give you a list of related topics or phrases generated for that one keyword. This search will then break down the related phrases and tell you how many times each one was searched per year and per month.

It will also tell you the level of competition for that word or phrase. Let’s say one of the phrases was “tips to a healthier garden” and the competition was listed as high. This means you are going to be competing potentially against several other websites on that particular phrase. Now let’s say another phrase was “how to grow a healthier garden” and the competition is listed as low or medium. This is narrowing down your niche and gives you a better chance at targeting a certain group of people and potentially lowering the competition.

Another thing I would suggest is go and do a couple searches on Google and a couple other search engines like Bing and Yahoo. Use the same method as far as using a keyword or phrase and search for websites that would be similar to what niche you are interested in. Take notice to the title of their website and the description. This is another useful method to see what some of the competition may be in that particular niche. One thing is for sure these days, …

Interior Design Ideas – Conservatory Living

Can you imagine the joy of spending late autumn afternoons warmly lounging in the midst of your garden, of growing and harvesting your very own tropical fruits and of twilight summer suppers that are guaranteed rainproof? No, this is not a description of life on a faraway tropical island, but a glimpse of the bliss to be had when you own a conservatory.

Yet another inspired Victorian concept that we are revisiting and appreciating anew, despite the disparity of lifestyles between then and now. A conservatory gives life a new dimension. It allows us to enjoy a garden year-round and stretches the living areas of our homes. All age groups can benefit: it provides an ideal space for a toddler to play in (the semi-outdoor finishes should stand up well), for an elderly person to relax in out of season, and for people of any age to enjoy atmospheric dinner parties.

Should you be on the brink of deciding to construct a conservatory, be sure to pin down your ideas well in advance;

How much do you want to spend? A finished conservatory may cost more than you imagine and such extras as heating, lighting, wall and floor finishes, furnishings and plants can add considerably to an initial estimate.

How will the finished conservatory look from outside? Do you wish its style to reflect the architecture of your home?

Which direction do you wish your conservatory to face? A southerly orientated conservatory will be full of sunshine, but unless a good ventilation system is installed and shade provided (by blinds or by painting the glass), it is likely to overheat in summer. A north-facing glass house will receive little sunshine and so will require an efficient heating system for cooler days.

To what purpose will you put your conservatory? Is it to be a place for indoor gardening, relaxing, dining, cooking or playing?

Do you wish your conservatory to become an integral part of an interior living area and/or to open up to and become one with your garden or terrace? The larger your opening on to either or both of these areas, the more linked they will appear. Double, sliding or folding-back doors will help to achieve the connection you desire.

Because the conservatory represents a link between the house and its exterior, the most appropriate furnishings will be those that reflect this connection. Well-designed garden furniture, softened with table cloths, cushions and upholstered seats, will help to blur the line between inside and out, as will rattan, wicker or cane furniture.

A floor of flagstones, scrubbed wood planking or terracotta tiles will underscore the connection. Accessories can provide a similar link – garden statuary, urns, plants and terracotta pots are all particularly suitable.

The best window treatments are ones that do not detract from the view or interior planting. Tailored blinds or curtains of muslin or calico in a simple style are ideal.

When it comes to selecting a color scheme for your conservatory, the choice is yours …

Killer Foods and Plants For Hamsters

Hamster cages should be a safe and healthy haven for their occupants and this means a daily supply of seeds, grain, fresh fruit and vegetables. But did you know some seeds, fruits and vegetables are poisonous to them? There are also many houseplants that could seriously poison them. This article reviews some advice from experts on which of the commoner foods and houseplants can hurt your hamster. This can be a handy reference for keeping their diet safe and knowing which houseplants to keep out of their reach in the home and garden.

Common Foods Felt To Harm Hamsters

The UK’s sadly now defunct Hamster Society produced an amazing online list of plants which they stated were poisonous to hamsters. The list includes some surprising everyday fruit and vegetable items, as does advice from the USA’s well known animal care charity, the ASPCA. Did you know that alfalfa, almond pits, apple seeds, avocado, cherry pits, chives, eggplant, elderberries, garlic, grapes, horse chestnuts, mushrooms, onions, peach pits, potatoes raisins, rhubarb and tomatoes are all harmful for them? (1, 2). NEVER try to improvise with human foods or plants from the home or garden. The safest way is to have your vet to provide a diet sheet of safe foods. Establishing a good diet is vital, as is knowing which common houseplants may poison pets.

Common Poisonous Houseplants And Items In Bouquets/Arrangements

Again, the Hamster Society included houseplants as well as garden plants in their warning list , The ASPCA also add to the knowledge with a few known to cause problems in other animals but not researched specifically in hamsters. This list of evils includes flowers and plants you also might find in a bouquet or floral arrangement. It includes amaryllis, cacti, some roses, chrysanthemum, clematis, cornflower, cyclamen, daffodils, some lilies, some ivy, ferns, holly, irises, mistletoe, poincianas, poppies, peonies, rubber plants and tulips.  And that certainly isn’t all of the harmful plants by any means. The safest thing to do is probably to ban all plants, flower arrangements and pollen from coming anywhere your hamster’s living areas.

Common Garden Poisonous Plants For Hamsters

If you were considering giving your hamster an enclosed run in the garden, you must research garden plants in your local areas to see which ones are harmful. Many surprisingly common ones are toxic, for example, the common buttercup contains an acid which harms rabbits – so who knows what it could do to a tiny hamster’s precious body. Other culprits as well as those already mentioned include include azaleas, autumn crocuses, cherry laurel, common privet plants, evergreens, foxgloves, honeysuckle, hyacinths, hydrangeas, some laurels, marigolds, nightshade plants varieties, philodendrons, some oaks, rhododendrons, sweet pea plants and wisteria yew trees (1). Also of course be aware of chemical products used to treat the garden with as these can also be highly toxic.

Finding out more about what common food stuffs are toxic to hamsters could save your little furry friend’s life. Tomatoes, for example, seem like the perfect …

Brick Wall Ideas For Landscaping

If you are looping for some great brick wall ideas for landscaping, why not visit your local home improvement store? They usually offer a full range of books on all major home improvement topics. These books will have lots of full color photos and designs that will brave you endless ideas for using brick walls when landscaping. Of course, doing an online search is also an option. Just by doing a quick Google search you will be able to find lots of free images, layouts and design ideas. These can also be very useful to get ideas from and will help you in the planning stage of your landscaping project.

When doing the actual landscaping work you will find that working with brick is very different from working with plants or even rocks. Your reasons for using brick will usually have very little to do with your garden, flower beds or turf lawn. If you are not sure of what your options are exactly, you may want to ask an expert ├▒ason for advice. Brick walls can present challenges you may not be aware of. Some walls can only be built to a certain height before they become unstable. Others will need to be built with a solid footing in order to ensure their stability.

One popular and attractive way to use brick walls is by making a wall that has lattice patterns in it. You can make plants grow around the openings and they provide a way to peek into the yard, sparking people's curiosity. If you like you can also make openings for your pets or even larger ones for people to walk trough. Another option is to include shelves for plants, pots and other decorative objects. You can also make curved walls, use different colors of brick, the options are endless. …

A Fun Place to Visit Is Spokane’s Manito

Residents say, “If you like gardens, flowers and plants, don’t miss Manito Park and Botanical Gardens” and they will also tell you, Manito Park has a feel and spirit all of its own. The name “Manito” in fact means “Spirit of Nature” in the Algonquian Indian language, so it is not surprising this lovely recreational park and gardens make for a great place to visit in Washington’s charming city of Spokane.

With five immaculate gardens, a conservatory, sparkling duck pond and much more Manito Park is Spokane’s garden showplace. Besides Duncan Garden, planted in a European Renaissance style, the grounds include a perfumed scented Lilac Garden, the flower that makes Spokane the “Lilac City”; a perennial garden; a classic Japanese style garden; Rose Hill, an old-fashioned rose garden with bushes representing more than 150 varieties and an All American Rose Selections test garden.

The three-acre symmetrically formal Duncan Garden is considered by many the centerpiece of the park. Duncan Garden houses a large granite fountain that was added in 1913 and a gazebo built and dedicated in 2004 to honor the park’s centennial (1904-2004) year. Both the fountain and gazebo in Duncan Garden are situated beside walking paths offering cultivated calm and charm.

Gaiser Conservatory is filled to overflowing with beautiful tropical plants and flowering displays, as well as cacti and seasonal flowers throughout the year. Some of the park’s visitors enjoy sitting quietly and feeding the ducks. The Duck Pond is located at the Northern end of the park and is home to ducks, swans and Geese. Another popular park activity is bird watching.

Spokane enjoys a claim of being a city that loves its parks and its residents visit them often to be part of the close to nature lifestyle the parks grant. Manito is one of the few botanical gardens in the nation offering such varied flower displays. It is among the Inland Northwest most visited parks, not just for its lovely gardens, but also for its walking and biking paths. The park is soothing, tranquil and infinitely distinct.

Originally named, “Montrose Park,” Manito Park was officially deeded to the city of Spokane in the spring of 1904. The gift’s unveiling came with a number of specific conditions, the most important being that the park “must be forever used for the sole purpose as a public park.”

Much of the park that is not planted as garden is left wild, with trails for bicycling and hiking. In any season, the recreational area presents breathing space from the hectic world beyond. During the winter, the grassy hills of Manito are popular destinations for sledding.

Attracting more than 150,000 visitors each year, Manito Park and Botanical Gardens covers some 90-acres of meticulously manicured lawns, picturesque gardens, topiary shrubs, greenhouse conservatory and walking paths and those who come more often than not discover their lives enriched by the park’s beauty and natural attractions.

Manito Park is open year round and there is no admission fee to either the gardens or …

Star Gardening: A Guide to Gardening by Starlight

Gardening by the signs of the zodiac

The first farmers were probably the first practical astrologers. Their crops appeared to respond to the signs in the heavens and this became a convenient method of ensuring good harvests and provided a functional approach to husbandry.

Modern agriculture echoes many of these ancient principles.
Certain seasonsought changing conditions which seemed to either help or hinder the growth of crops. Each season presented different alignments in the constellations and these patterns would evolve into horticultural astrology as it is often practiced today. The following is a brief outline of the zodiacal roots of gardening by the stars and signs of the zodiac.

Pruning

It was believed that in order to insure against infestations when pruning vine crops, trees and woody growths the following formula applied. The Moon must be full in the constellations of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, or Sagittarius. When pruning is done during this period the plants will not suffer from parasites nor disease.

Grafting

Ancient gardeners were believers in never grafting plants or trees when the moon was waning or not visible. Decreasing moonlight or the total absence of moonlight was considered crucible in the successful propagation and grafting of all types of vegetation.

Harvesting

Crops and other plants that were to be preserved for future use were always cut while the light of the moon was decreasing. This was believed to aid in the length of time that produce could be stored without spoiling. This was especially true of timber which was to be used in construction. If wood is cut at the end of the winter and during the decline in moonlight it will be hard and durable.

Plant Regeneration

When cutting or gleaning crops and plants that produce more than one yield the moon should be waxing and in its first quarter. Also, the moon must be high in the sky at this time and in conjunction with the planets Venus or Jupiter. When this equation is followed yields will increase and new growth will be rapid.

Sowing

Sow or plant your garden when the moon is in Taurus, Virgo or Scorpio and is near Saturn. This is the time of maximum benefit for seeds and transplants which, if planed now, will grow with strength and vitality. Also, when the moon is in Libra or Capricorn it is a good time to weed your garden and trim trees and shrubs.

When to Avoid Planting

Never plant any type of vegetation when Saturn is in one of the fixed signs of the zodiac. This will cause poor crops and limited harvests. In ancient times this stellar alignment was associated with famine and death.

The Stellar Gardener

Planting and husbandry by astrological signs should be examined by any gardener as an insightful way to round out on knowledge of horticulture. The ancients studied the natural order of things. It worked for them and it will still work for us if we care to heed these echoes from the past. …