Famous Trees of Australia

Effective Tips To Help You Conserve Water In Your Container Garden

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Conserving water efficiently in your container garden promotes growth of healthy plants and also minimizes the need for regular watering. Observing the right container gardening practices helps in controlling unnecessary water loss and also boosts water retention in the container. Below are effective water conservation tips to help you control water loss and boost water retention in your container garden. Use Double Pots Using double pots for your container garden is an easy and essential way of conserving water for the plants. The double pots regulate the temperatures by providing a double insulation for the soil. As a result, water loss through evaporation is reduced significantly and your plants are more likely to get enough water throughout the day. To create a good double pot for your container garden, you will first need the planter container in which the plants will be planted. After that get a bigger container that is large enough to hold the planter container and leave a few inches all round. Lastly, add a layer of gravel or sand in between the bigger container and the smaller one. The big, outer container and layer of gravel offers the soil great insulation that prevents excessive loss of water through evaporation. Use Non-porous Pots It’s important that you use non-porous pots in your container garden so as to prevent water loss. Porous pots have a high seepage capacity and they are likely to leach out a considerable amount of water from the soil leaving your plants deprived of water. Otherwise, you might be forced to regularly water your plants more than necessary, so that your plants can have enough water.   Pots made from solid stone or glazed ceramic are good non-porous containers you can use. Also, it’s advisable to use pots with a light shade because they retain minimal heat, advises The Micro Gardener. In essence, dark colours retain heat quickly leading to more evaporation of soil moisture. Also, accumulation of high levels of heat can damage the root system of your plants, so you’re safer with non-porous, light-coloured pots. Add a Top Layer Adding a cover layer in your containers prevents loss of water through evaporation. You can cover the top area with inorganic materials or organic materials depending on what you have. However, ensure that the top layer is clean and free of insects because the bugs can attack your plants or introduce disease-causing microbes. Pebbles and plastic are great inorganic top layer materials that you can use, advises The Guardian. For organic material you can use a good mulch cover made of grass, woodchips or leaves. However, remember that woodchips attract termites and you may want to avoid using the chips if your home is prone to termite attacks. You can also buy a mulch compound from an expert plant supplies provider if you don’t have an appropriate mulch compound. Maintaining a container garden becomes much easier if you are able to conserve water in your planters. The tips above can help you conserve water in your container garden effectively. For more information, contact a wholesale nursery, like Din San...

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How to Choose the Right Design and Material for Your Home’s Staircase

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If there is a staircase in your home that isn’t built into a wall so that the balustrade and balusters under the railing are showing, you want to give some thought as to its overall design and material. That staircase may be more noticeable than you realize and it can enhance the look of your home or detract from that space, depending on the design style you choose. Note a few tips for creating a staircase area in your home that is attractive yet functional and safe. Larger staircases If you have a larger staircase because the slope of the stairs is not very steep and the staircase winds or has a landing that is showing, you might want to opt for something less busy than individual balusters under the balustrade. If you were to have individual wrought iron bars or wood slats in a larger staircase or one that twists and winds, this can make the space look very busy. Opt for glass panels instead of individual balusters and a balustrade made of a metal that will reflect light and keep the space from looking dark and overwhelmed by the staircase itself. Mixing styles If you’re not sure the style you want for your staircase or your home is decorated in a very eclectic fashion, consider mixing styles for the staircase. The baluster could be made of thick, dark wood and have glass panels for the balusters, or you might choose stainless steel tubing for the balustrade or railing and then add wood panels or a scrolling wood design for the balusters. By mixing the styles, your staircase will then work well with any style of your home and keep the staircase from seeming dull and drab. Minimalist look If you’re not sure the best look for a staircase, a minimalist look is often best. This will ensure that your design doesn’t clash with the home and doesn’t make the staircase seem too dark or overpowering. Choose a thin design for the baluster; a thin wood rod can work best, or you might opt for a very small steel pipe if you prefer something that seems more modern. You can avoid having any more balusters than what is needed to support the balustrade itself, in the same design. You can also have steel cords that run horizontally to create a long, lean look to your staircase while keeping the design very simple and very...

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Shades Of Glory | 4 Attractive Timber Blind Shades For A Cream Living Room

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If you’ve made the decision to add timber blinds to your living room, then you’ll love the aesthetic elegance they bring to your entertaining space. But choosing the right shade for your cream living room will depend on your personal preferences and current furnishings. This guide equips you with attractive timber blind shade shades for a cream living room. Rosewood Coloured Timber Blinds Rosewood shade is a muted, but richly hued brownish colour with darker tones to infuse an elegant finish in your living room. Rosewood hues typically reflect dark wooden grain patterns that offset impeccably against light cream tones. Rosewood delivers a nostalgic feel and is well suited for accentuating cream walls and floors in living rooms. Rosewood coloured timber blinds are ideal when you’re looking to create a vintage and classic look in your cream toned living room. Cherry Wood Coloured Timber Blinds Cherry wood is a dark brown colour with a reddish tint and a fine, smooth grain. Cherry wood goes perfectly in cream living rooms with furnishings that drift towards rosy tones. Cherry wood stained timber blinds offer an excellent contrast to living rooms with lighter furniture or similar coloured furniture, making it a brilliantly versatile choice if you’re looking to make decorative changes for a few changes to your furnishings. The darker tone gives your living room windows a refined and sophisticated finish. Birch Wood Coloured Timber Blinds Birch wood is traditionally light, but the exact finish can vary in different degrees based on your personal preferences. Birch wood tones are ideal when you’re looking to create a cohesive and homogeneous living room finish because they blend in beautifully with cream coloured walls and floors with their classic lightness. The creaminess of birch wood is best for small living rooms, especially when you’re looking to infuse a sense of spaciousness into the area. Birch wood finished timber blinds work well for both traditional and modern cream living rooms. Ash Wood Coloured Timber Blinds Ash wood is traditionally light with shades ranging from whitish to light brown with a tint of grey. This tone for window blinds is ideal when you have grey-finished furniture against your cream coloured living room walls and floors. An ash wood finish typically has a prominent grain, adding plenty of character to a light cream living room. This lighter timber tone blends in effortlessly with modern and conventional cream coloured living rooms. Depending on your personal taste and existing furnishings, these attractive shades for timber blinds will work beautifully with your cream coloured living...

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Top Tips for Dressing Your Bay Window Space

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Bay windows are a beautiful and unique feature to have in the home, but due to their design, it can be hard to style them. Fortunately, you can dress up any style of bay window with ease once you know how. Whether you have a single curved bow window or classic multi-faceted bay windows, the following tips can help you make the most of your beautiful bay window space.  Add a bench feature Adding a seating area beneath a bay window creates a gorgeous, homely setting and can have so many different uses (even window dressing can have its functional side!). A bay window bench can make a perfect little reading nook or study area, and can double up as a storage bench – perfect for tidying away toys or spare bed linen. Small homes could also make use of this space by adding a desk for a cosy office corner. Should you wish to hide your bench feature from view or simply have the option of altering the day to day look of your bay window space, you could consider hanging a screen curtain straight across the front of your bay window. This can serve as a fuss-free alternative to blinds or shutters and can quickly conceal an untidy bench space from guests! Let there be light The main benefit to having bay windows is that they let in such large amounts of beautiful natural light. Keep this in mind when choosing a window covering for them, since certain blind materials will allow more natural light to filter into the room. Lightweight roller blinds and sheer, pleated blinds for example, let light filter gently through – lending a lovely ambience to your space without affecting your privacy. Another way to make the most of the natural light whilst retaining your privacy is to only cover the bottom of your bay window. Hang fitted sections of linen or light fabric at the bottom half of your bay window panels to achieve a modern yet laidback vibe.   Use colours that enhance space Bay windows are such a prominent focal point of any room and the light afforded by them can make even the smallest room feel spacious. Choosing the wrong colour of window covering, however, will create the opposite effect, so be wary of space-sucking colours. Light pastels and neutral colours of stone, cream and white will help reflect light and create the illusion of a brighter open space. Avoid bold, jarring shades such as deep greens, purples and reds as this will only enclose the space. As your bay window shades or blinds will serve as the outstanding focal point in the room, take a cue from your chosen blind or curtain colours when it comes to decorating the room itself. Try to use complimentary tones throughout your choice of soft furnishings to further enhance the feeling of...

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Pretty in pink – beautiful pink flower arrangements for any home

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Pink is constantly in vogue as a warm and soft colour that can fit in with any other colour. While it has a reputation as delicate and romantic it can also be a sharp and modern pop of colour in modern homes. No matter what style of decor you have, you can choose a great pink flower arrangement to help your home look more colourful and lively.  Romantic homes Roses have a long reputation as romantic choices for floral arrangements. You can choose from a range of shades from the palest blush pink to brighter tones of pink. It can also look spectacular to have a range of shades of pink in one arrangement. Roses have become very affordable over the last few years as growing volumes have increased.  Unfortunately commercial grown roses are often low on scent, so you might like to supplement the visual effect of the roses with some rose scented room spray or essential oils in a diffuser if you are a fan of the scent.  Elegant or classic homes Elegant homes often look great with a classic choice such as bunch of tulips. Tulips tend to look good in any home and look both cheerful and elegant at the same. They are low in scent which can be a great option for people who are scent sensitive. They come in a range of pink tones, as well as a growing number of petal shapes and textures.  Modern homes Modern homes often suit more angular flowers such as lilies or orchids and can support very vibrant and bright pink tones. It can be great to choose a few perfect blooms to display in a tall glass or ceramic vase. These tend to be unscented so they are a great option for people with allergies.  If you have more of a casual modern vibe, gerberas can also be a good option and give a cheerful accent to any room. They are often available for purchase in boxed arrangements – which makes them ideal for households that often don’t have vases such as student and share houses. They come in a range of bright colours including pinks, yellows and reds.  No matter what theme or decor your house is decorated with, pink floral arrangements can always be a great way to introduce some extra colour and vibrancy in the room. If you want some more ideas on pink floral arrangements for your home, why not chat with your florist about...

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Some Stylish Deck Features to Take Your Space From Drab to Fab

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An outdoor deck can sometimes look a bit drab, as it’s often made with simple wood planks or boards; this is unlike a patio, which might be made with an attractive stone flooring that gives it immediate visual appeal. However, you don’t need to settle for a drab deck but can have an absolutely fabulous one, if you consider some features you might add to make the space more welcoming and appealing overall. Discuss these with your builder before work begins, so you know they can be incorporated easily. 1. A privacy wall Have your builder construct a wall along one or both sides of the deck to give you privacy from neighbors. The wall doesn’t need to be very tall to give you some separation, and if it’s built with the same materials as the deck, everything will look cohesive. Dress it up by hanging plants or even outdoor artwork on the wall. 2. Contrasting colors and wood Having a deck built of all one type of wood or painted in one color can make the space a bit dull, so add some pops of color by using a contrasting paint along some center boards or along the outside edge. You can also have a contrasting wood used in certain areas to create a grid design or give the space contrast; for example, add some dark mahogany boards to the edge of a plain oak deck for a type of border and instant appeal. 3. Shape Why settle for a plain square deck when a builder can usually add shape that gives it instant style? Have a deck that curves out or has a wavy edge. If your builder cannot manage curved edges or it’s not your style, try a hexagon or even a square tier against a long rectangular tier. By breaking up the shape and getting away from a plain rectangle, your deck can be given more style and even look larger and deeper overall. 4. Oversized rails  There may be legal requirements for how large or tall your deck railing must be, but taking it up a few feet or meters can give the space a grander feeling. Oversized railings can also work when a privacy wall seems too claustrophobic or busy; the rails keep the space open, but the larger size gives you a bit of privacy around the sides of the deck. You can also add hanging plants or lights to the railing to keep it from looking imposing. For more information about options for decks, check out websites like http://lifestylepatios.com or talk to local decking...

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Kitchen Renovations | 4 Colour Scheme Strategies To Infuse Your Personality Into Your Kitchen

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If you’re planning kitchen renovations, then getting your colour scheme right is just as important as the overall layout, especially when you want your cooking space to reflect your personal taste. This guide equips you with colour scheme strategies to infuse your personality into your kitchen. Choose Colours That Appeal To Your Disposition When undergoing kitchen renovations in your home, keep in mind that you’re creating a space that’s personal for you, so make sure you consider factors that resonate with your personal taste, including the colour scheme. For instance, sunflower yellow may be appealing to many, but it may drive you crazy. Perhaps your taste is more directed towards a subtle lemon yellow or off-white instead of a brighter shade. Consider colours that appeal most to your disposition and introduce them to your kitchen for maximum appeal. Pick An Element To Launch Your Colour Palette If you’re confused about choosing a colour scheme during your kitchen renovations, you may want to choose just one element to launch your colour palette. For instance, your existing black benchtop can set the tone for a light grey kitchen colour palette or your white refrigerator can set off a brilliant ivory colour palette. The idea is to choose an element for creating a cohesive colour scheme around. You can also match your colour scheme to the least flexible kitchen element. For instance, it’s easier to adjust paint to existing tile or benchtop colours than to change these elements to match your paint. Make A Colourful Statement With An Eye Catching Splashback If you’re worried that your kitchen is looking too dull with a single colour scheme, you can make a colourful statement with an eye-catching splashback hue. For instance, you can offset the look of a beige kitchen with a bright red or fiery orange tile or glass splashback to add visual character to the space. Similarly, a lemon yellow colour scheme will look brilliant when accompanied with a leaf green or ash grey splashback. Use Colours That Create The Illusion Of Space Light colours work best because they reflect light, which creates the illusion of space. Dark colours absorb light, so they can make the room feel closed in. This colour scheme strategy is most useful in small kitchens because of its ability to open up the room to make it feel larger. Colours like beige, off-white and yellow are most ideal for small kitchens. Follow these strategies when planning your colour scheme during kitchen renovations....

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Teak Furniture | 3 Steps To Prepare Your Outdoor Patio Furniture For Sealing

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Teak furniture for your outdoor patio is one of the smartest investments because of the durability of teak in all types of weather conditions. But while the wood itself is able to withstand weather conditions, it is not immune from greying and discolouring. Applying teak sealer every once in a while is a good way to restore the original colour of your teak furniture. Good preparation is key to the success of your sealing task. This guide will help you prepare your outdoor patio furniture for sealing. Clean The Furniture Thoroughly To Remove Debris And Dust Buildup You should begin by cleaning your teak furniture thoroughly to remove the dust and debris buildup accumulated over time. Use a hose to wash all the surface-level dirt off the furniture. Take a soft-bristled brush and scrub the wood surface gently using a solution of mild detergent and warm water to remove any scum that has embedded into the wood surface. Keep in mind that you will need to put a little more concentrated effort into stubborn dirt to loosen it from the surface. Once you’re satisfied with your cleaning task, hose down your teak furniture once again. Let Teak Furniture Dry Before proceeding with any further steps, you must ensure that your teak furniture is completely dry for the best sealing results. Always wipe down your teak furniture after washing with water because water stains could form on the wood if they don’t dry properly. This is because water contains iron. These iron particles mix with the tannins in teakwood to form dark stains. Once you wipe down the patio furniture, let it dry in the sun and over night before proceeding with sanding. If the conditions in your area are overcast and moist, then you may need to wait a little longer. Sand To Remove Stains And Create Better Adherence Some stains like red wine and coffee will need to be removed through a light sanding process. Sanding is not only effective for removing stains, but it also creates a better surface for superior teak sealer adherence. Start with medium-grit sandpaper to remove the imperfections on the wood and finish off with fine sandpaper for a smooth and neat appearance. Sanding also brings out the original golden teak colour because you expose a fresh wood layer. Once your sanding task is over, you’re now ready to apply sealer on your teak furniture. Follow these simple preparation steps in your quest to restore the natural golden colour of your outdoor teak furniture before...

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How to Convince a Timid Dog to Use its Doggy Door in 4 Simple Steps

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Most dogs will bound through a doggy door the moment it is installed, but others leave owners puzzled and frustrated by refusing to entertain the idea for a second. In fact, your dog may seem scared to go through the door, especially if they already possess something of a timid streak. However, you should be able to convince them that this new door really is a fantastic addition to their lives by following the tips listed below. 1. Never Force Things Dogs aren’t very good at learning anything when they’re anxious, especially when the lesson has to do with confronting a task that they already find unnerving. For this reason, as well as simply to keep your pooch happy, it’s vital that you never push your dog through the door, push them towards it, or pull them through it, even if you’re gentle. This will make your dog feel more uncomfortable than ever, and is unlikely to make the situation better. 2. Take Baby Steps If your dog is a little timid about this odd new contraption, try to take things slowly. Start by either removing the flap or taping it up to show you dog that there really is a gap for them to get through. You can then go outside and sit in their line of sight. They might just come running straight away, but it’s possible that they could just stick their head through. Again, don’t force things. Reward them, then start again later. 3. Leave the Main Door Open One reason a dog might not want to use a doggy door is that they see it as cheating, even if you’re offering encouragement. You might have seen videos online of dogs standing right in front of an open door and not understanding that they can go outside. This is often because they have been taught not to leave the home without permission. Opening up your main door while the doggy door training is going down could make them more receptive to the idea that going through is going to prove perfectly dandy.   4. Enlist a Canine Volunteer It’s always a little easier to do something that you find frightening if you see someone else do it first, and the same is true for dogs. If your dog is familiar with any others, see if those others use a doggy door, then invite them round to join in the training. It’s likely that they’ll use your doggy door without an issue—especially if you provide a tasty incentive—and this can help teach your own dog that their new door is a treat instead of a punishment. It’s natural for some dogs to be a little wary of changes to their environment, and going through a doggy door can actually be a lot more nerve-wracking than it would seem at first thought. However, using the steps above alongside plenty of treats should get your canine pal used to this new feature in no...

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Don’t Mess With The Pests! Natural Ways To Keep Spiders Out Of Your Shed This Winter

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It is often joked that Australia has plenty of nasty creepy crawlies hiding out in the back garden just waiting to sink their grumpy fangs into you. While fatalities from spider bites have not occurred in over 30 years, a bite from spiders like the Funnel Web can still put you in the hospital. There are a number of natural ways that you can deter spiders from seeking shelter in your shed this winter, and these are just two of them. Peppermint Oil Peppermint oil is often touted online as being one natural way you can keep spiders out of your garage, but have you ever wondered why? The answer is because the tips of a spider’s legs are how the spider tastes its surroundings. When the tips of their legs come into contact with oils such as peppermint or eucalyptus, it tastes a harsh environment and promptly scuttles away. In a spray bottle, combine a half-cup of vinegar, 20 drops of peppermint essential oil, and one and a half cups of water. Give the bottle a shake to mix and then get spray happy out in the shed. Make sure to particularly concentrate on window sills, baseboards, and the frame around the door. Make sure you reapply the spray every week to keep the arachnids at bay. Cinnamon While you may have a love of cinnamon rolls baking in your kitchen, your local spiders are far from being fans. Spiders dislike the smell of cinnamon, so this is another natural alternative that you can use out in your shed. You can either make up a spray using the above-mentioned method and swap out the peppermint oil for a cinnamon one, or you can buy a large container of ground cinnamon and sprinkle it around the shed. The smell alone is all you need to send the spiders packing and looking for a new home. Be reminded, however, that cinnamon can irritate the sensitive skin of dogs, and when too much is inhaled, it can cause them to cough, so make sure you keep your canine buddy out of the shed if you use powdered cinnamon as a spider deterrent. If you have a family member who suffers arachnophobia, there will be no reason for them to avoid heading into the shed for gardening tools once you’ve used one of these natural spider remedies. Additionally, your chances of suffering from a nasty spider bite are gone, and you will once again be able to enter the shed without taking along a broom for...

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