Organic meat, do you prefer store bought organic or stuff you’ve hunted yourself? You know like moose, elk, deer…
My husband is a hunter, he has hunted forever… his entire family hunts, it is in his blood! My in-laws were always concerned how I was feeling about eating wild meat… I never had a problem with it. The idea of eating meat that is completely organic is very appealing to me. I tried to not eat a lot of meat before for the simple fact of I am not sure where that meat come from and if it had ever seen the light of day when it was a living animal.
When I was pregnant I gratefully ate that organic wild meat. My mother-in-law also raises chickens for eggs… these are probably the best fed chickens around! Like they probably eat better than I used to! The shells on these eggs are much stronger and tougher to break, and obviously they are as organic as the wild meat we eat as well. Growing up we always had a garden and now that I have my own family, we are gardening as well, therefore we eat organic vegetables for part of the year too.
Why am I telling you all this? Well my question is simply: What is in the food we eat? and how if at all does it affect us?
We all know that some cows and chickens do get hormones injected, some do not see the light of day in their short time here. Now, I am in no way an expert on this subject, I am however a mother and like many of you out there am concerned with what I feed my family. I read up on issues that concern me and only have access to what everyone else has access to. But why is it that organic is getting to be more popular?
We had a big garden in our backyard growing up, for salad we would go and pick the lettuce and it would be on the table 5 minutes later. Playing in the yard we would stop by the row of peas and snack on them or on the raspberry bush. My parents new what we were eating and that is was ‘safe’ to eat.
My one goal in today’s post is to just get you thinking about what you are eating. I know organics from the grocery store can be expensive, but growing a garden even if its in pots on a 8 by 10 patio in the middle of a city, is not that expensive.
Do you think I am out to lunch, or do you agree? We would love to hear your comments!
Designing a patio – or a garden, is much like designing a living room or a park. It’s all about space, and how you use it. To start with, you have empty space with nothing in it. Then you add plants, statues and other decorative items to fill that space and make it feel like a homey, comfortable space.. but wait! You don’t want to actually fill it with stuff. Then it would look cluttered, which is not what you want. What you want is a balance between empty space and decorative items. The real issue, then, is how do you achieve that balance?
Use Clustering to make the most of your outdoor space
The first mistake most people make when decorating a patio, backyard or garden is to take their planters, fountains, statues, etc. and spread them out evenly to try to cover as much space as possible. This is especially tempting for those on a tight budget, since they may not be able to afford as many accessories and accents as they would like. Spreading things out evenly, though, creates a boring space which doesn’t give the eye anything in particular to focus on. It is much more pleasing to group your plants and decor items into clusters, so that several items can be seen at once, in a friendly grouping, with empty space between providing variety. This way, your visitors’ eyes can move easily and comfortably from one cluster to another – each cluster is distinct in character and the empty space between emphasizes their unique natures.
Try to think of each plant, statue, plaque or other accent as having its own personality, and place them together in groups that allow them to relate to each other in pleasing and complementary ways; place two low flowering plants on either side of a larger fern, or place a small statue between a palm and a vine – the possibilities are endless and are only limited by your creativity and imagination!
Take your visitors on a journey
Think about what a visitor will see as they enter and move through your patio, garden or backyard. What will catch their eye first? Once they’ve enjoyed looking at that, what will they look at next? Where will their attention be drawn, and where will that carry their feet? Professional designers set up their spaces much like a story; the intent is to guide their visitors’ attentions – and their bodies – through the space so that everything is seen and everything is enjoyed in an interesting and pleasing order.
Try to create special accent zones to show off your most treasured items by placing them right in the visitor’s path, or by placing them at eye level, or by surrounding them with unique accessories that set the entire cluster apart from the others. If you take a little time to consider what people will see and where they will go as they make their way through your garden space, you’ll find that creating a relaxing and pleasant garden or backyard is just a matter of common sense!
Don’t neglect the vertical space
It’s easy to think about your outdoor areas in terms of their ground or floor space – the area where you can place a plant stand, set a statue or fountain, or leave a path for friends to walk – but you must also remember the space above the ground! In some ways, vertical space is even more important than ground space!
Walls or fences can be beautified with the simple addition of a garden plaque, a wall fountain or a planter on a shelf. If you want a more functional wall item, try a garden thermometer. Training a vine or some ivy up a trellis is a great way to use some vertical space and create a sense of intimacy and privacy as well.
Then, of course, there are the hanging items.. hanging plants are a great way of lifting the eye up to a new vantage point and adding a vertical element to your green space. Windchimes are a special prize, because they are not only a delight to the eye, but a treasure for the ears as well. Suncatchers also add a unique beauty with their ability to catch the sunlight and turn it into yet another decorative accent. When placing hanging decor, think ‘outside of the box’… hanging items can be part of the clusters you create with your plants and statuary or they can hang by themselves, defining turning points along the garden path or providing embellishment to the open space between clusters.
There are so many ways to use vertical decor I can only mention a few of them here: Hang them from eaves and overhangs to adorn borders, suspend them from awnings and overhead beams for a more enclosed and intimate effect, and if you have a tree or two in your garden how about hanging a plant from a branch or placing a planter in the crook of a bough? Now you’re using clustering and vertical space at the same time by using a plant to hold a plant!
Winged visitors – your mobile decorations!
Birds are beautiful to look at and lovely to listen to, but most important to your garden or patio design, they move around on their own! Attract birds to your outdoor space and you’ll have a constant variety of design as they flit from branch to branch or light and preen on a fountain or statue. Birds are nature’s own decor and attracting them to your garden or backyard is easy.. just give them something to eat, a place to bathe and somewhere to build a nest! Birdbaths and bird feeders are excellent as statue items and ensure a steady supply of feathered friends as well. Bird houses are especially nice because they can be used for vertical space decoration as well as providing a comfortable place for sparrows and starlings to nest or just to hang out for awhile! What’s a garden or patio without the beauty and song of birds?
Dare to dream
These three tips are just the beginning of the process. They’re intended to get you started thinking like a professional designer and considering the unlimited possibilities that your unused outdoor spaces present. Don’t let your space lie dormant.. bring it to life with your own creativity, your own flair and with affordable garden decor and accessories from Springtime Gardens!!
Brian Dalton owns and maintains the Springtime Gardens website, and spends countless happy hours decorating and maintaining his own patios and container gardens.
Springtime Gardens [http://www.springtimegardens.com/] – Affordable Garden and Patio Decor
Rock garden fountains not only give a visual flair, but also the gentle sound of trickling water. When coming up with your stone backyard fountain, keep these tips in mind to get an appealing outcome. Nearly all stone backyard water fountains give a point of interest and aesthetic style to any living space or back garden. Rock is a naturally shaped mineral that comes in a number of shapes and unique models. Weather conditions and exactly how the stone is recovered also result in the individual design. These water fountains give you the harmony of water with the body and foundation of rock or stone.
Most rock garden water fountains use a carved out interior for the pump filters water up and down the water fountain. These types of water fountains are normally made out of one piece of rock or a number of pieces of rocks put together. Some of these large one-piece rocks are hand-carved and chipped purposely to create a traditional style. Some individuals want to use polished granite or smooth stones for their rock garden water fountain. The polished rock catches water as it trickles and flows down to the base. A cut-out rock bowl or rock surface creates a pool for the water at the foundation.
When preparing to design or style a stone garden fountain you have to decide on a theme. If you’re unsure visit your back garden and look around, begin to use your imagination or creativity by getting an idea of your backyard. Here are a handful of samples of theme gardens frequently encircled with an old-fashioned rose garden, hollyhocks and daisies. One more concept is Japanese Zen garden water fountain. Just for this sort of fountain, you’ll need simplified rock patterns. Water could be a constant flow over the base, providing a thin coating of water that brings together a Zen-like charm. Plants like Japanese maples, Hostas or orchids may encompass a Japanese-inspired rock garden fountain.
Once you have identified the types of materials and concept of your rock garden fountain, you must determine the positioning of the fountain. If the fountain is positioned on the outdoor patio side table it will encourage a relaxation atmosphere. Now, for the corner water fountains, you are able to provide it with a spectacular physical appearance with the help of light to highlight the fountain as well as your veranda. If you would like a classy look for your stone garden fountain you may use marble or mosaic floor tile. The place is essential, you need to figure out which area of your yard your fountain will look its best.
Rock garden fountains are a great way to give your yard the earthy ambiance. Several of these forms of water fountains are used in areas where light needs to be utilized, including the yard. Lighting could be purposefully put near the fountain to shine light on the rock so it stands out in the daytime and through the night. You can add other accessories with your yard including garden statues, seats and birdhouses. They can be displayed round the water fountain, offering an outdoor point of interest.
Garden Fountains harmonize water and so are designed to fulfill both your practical and visual purposes. Depending on your taste or available space, Fountains are a popular design choice for gardens of all sizes.
Shade sails are tensioned fabric structures, commonly named “Shade Sails” for their sail-like shapes and shade providing function. The tensioned fabric that can be twisted, overlapped and angled into a virtually limitless array of soaring forms, plus they are somewhat translucent and provide approximately 80% shade while blocking 90% of harmful UV rays. One small shade sail may provide a subtle architectural accent over a household entry or window. A series of large and overlapping sails may expand over an open area in a commercial structure.
It is the best protection against the dangerous UV rays from the sun. Ultraviolet radiation and the Solar UVR levels are usually not related to temperature, and there could be high UVR levels even on cool days. Therefore they are a great protection for all times. Available in a variety of colors and are made of a high-density, UV-resistant polyethylene knit fabric. Tensioning is achieved with stainless-steel cable sewn into the perimeter of each sail and attached to existing structures or free-standing supports. when installed, the shade sails are taut and can resist virtually any wind condition.
Shade Sails effectively protect an area from the sun without making it feel closed in, backyards, decks, barbecues and patios, or any other place where you want to relax from the sun and heat. Their simple, clean forms are compatible with a variety of architectural approaches. This fresh solution makes a striking attention-grabbing statement wherever it is used.
In addition to the artistic design, custom shade sails can be customized to meet all your sun shade protection needs.
For best results make sure to use a professional shade sail installer, I recommend SoCal Shade Sails, they provide sun protection products for years and can really create great designs. If you want to install it on your own, check out some of the ready made shade sails, ready to deliver and easy to install.
Kids love being outdoors – that is a fact. So while they are outside enjoying the fresh air why not help them learn about their environment with an awesome gift from the backyard safari range. The range made by Summit has everything your young entomologist will need to collect, study and identify the insects in your backyard. Make sure they look the part with a backyard safari cargo vest which is the most essential piece of field gear for your backyard safari kid. Features include six D-rings and two shoulder epaulets for clipping on essential gear such as the backyard safari field tools (telescoping magnet, angling mirror, field tongs, excavating pick and brush, and a high-audible field safety whistle – all on quick release carabiners). The cargo vest features a large zipper pocket for storing another field essential – your trusty binoculars and a clear-view chest pocket for storing field guides.
An excellent tool to help the young field scientist gain confidence with identifying the insects or specimens they catch is the handheld ‘Talking Bug ID’. The talking bug ID helps you to identify over 70 different bugs. The extra-large magnifying glass makes it easy to view insects. There is an interactive bug identification system: it will ask “Yes” and “No” questions to help determine which bug has been found. A useful feature is a warning alert for when a bug is potentially dangerous. The Bug ID has a built in bug trivia game mode called “What bug is it?” With this cool discovery science toy your child can be an explorer, adventurer and a scientist!
Once your child has found a bug they want to study in more detail there is great range of nets and bug vacuums for capture and then different habitats, pods or net enclosures for containing them safely for study. Please encourage your backyard safari kid to treat the insects they study and capture with respect and look after them for a short while before releasing them back into the wild!
Don’t forget to choose a good book on insects to act as an identification tool – The Insect Book: A Basic Guide to the Collection and Care of Common Insects for Young Children by Connie Zakowski recommended for 9 to 12 year olds or Simon & Schuster Children’s Guide to Insects and Spiders by Jinny Johnson recommended for 4 to 8 year olds.
Don’t forget your Backyard Safari camp lantern for attracting the moths on those night-time adventure safaris!
Give the gift of education and the thrill of discovery with a Backyard Safari product, an awesome discovery science toy available from the Discovery Science Toys [http://www.discoverysciencetoys.info] Store.