Fountains of Refreshment

Fountains of Refreshment

When hot, sticky days hit, try to use all your senses to keep cool. Sight and sound have amazing psychological effects, even when the thermometer soars.
One of the most cooling and relaxing sounds I know is that of a trickling spring. It relaxes my mind and helps my body unwind. In the city, it can drown out the sounds of the daily hustle and bustle of life, calming and refreshing the spirit. I also love the glinting, reflective surface of water. You can have the soothing coolness of water without a huge space so why not recreate this in your outdoor living area?
Some small water features have still water and aquatic plants but with the fight to remove stagnant water where mosquitoes can breed, many people now prefer items with moving water.
The most popular “moving water” items are tabletop fountains, statuary fountains and spitting creatures. All rely on a pump to circulate water through the feature. The water is pumped up through plastic tubing and released into the fountain, returning to the bottom where it is pumped up the tubing again. Most pumps run on an electrical connection but some smaller tabletop fountains have batteries. There are also solar units available that require no electrical hook-up.
Simple or elaborate, all fountain features have the following elements:
a “bottom” where the pump where will be located and the water returns. This can be a large pot, an urn, a trough and so on.
a “top” from which the water will emerge. This can be a small pot, a fanciful creature such as a frog, a conch shell, etc.
a “middle” – the water course which will receive the water from the top and return it to the bottom. This can be pots, pebbles, shells, marbles, or even empty space, creating a freefall.
a pump. Give crucial attention to two features of the pump: maximum gallons per hour (gph) and maximum lift.
The gph can vary from 35 gph for a small battery-operated tabletop unit to over 600 gph for large garden fountains. Choose one appropriate to the size of your water feature – more is not necessarily better. A low gph will give you a gurgling effect in the same fountain that a higher gph pump would provide a steady stream – or even splash. It’s strictly a personal preference within the range recommended for the fountain size.
The maximum lift figure tells you how high you can expect your “little pump that could” to push the water. A small pump that has a lift of “up to 2 feet”, for example would not be appropriate for your 3-foot wall mounted lion’s head.
You will also want to consider the length of the electrical cord if applicable, and whether the unit has an on/off switch, if that’s important to you. Remember, though, that water left sitting will stagnate.
If you are making your own fountain, the pump is the most important part. Pump kits are available that include pump and tubing but tubing is quite inexpensive (about 60¢ per foot) and can be purchased at most garden centers.
You can make a fountain from something as simple as terracotta pots and pebbles. For instructions, visit www.paradiseporch.com/fountain.php
So soothe your senses with the calming sounds of moving water and keep cool in your outdoor space!

Who Knew Home Landscaping For Energy Conservation Had This Effect?

Who Knew Home Landscaping For Energy Conservation Had This Effect?

MANRESA-PINTURA-CARRERS-HISTORIA-CARRER-ARCS DE SANTA LLUCIA-BARRI ANTIC-PAISATGES-CATALUNYA-QUADRES-ARTISTA-PINTOR-ERNEST DESCALS-
Source: Flickr

If you have been thinking about how you would like to cut your home energy costs, you might want to take a second look at your home landscaping. This is an area you may not have even thought of. Did you know energy-efficient home landscaping can reduce your household’s energy consumption for heating and cooling by as much as 25 percent. !That’s staggering, isn’t it? Proper placement of trees, shrubs, vines, grasses, and hedges lets you modify the microclimate around your home to maximize shade during the summer and reduce wind chill during the winter. Energy-efficient home landscaping is one of the best investments you can make, because aside from its potential to increase the resale value of your property, it can generate enough savings to return your initial investment in less than eight years. It is not surprising then that more homeowners than ever are implementing energy-conserving home landscaping ideas on their property. So where can we begin with this exciting new landscaping adventure? I hope the following information will be of help to you.

Develop a Home Landscaping Plan for Energy Efficiency
There are countless home landscaping strategies for energy conservation, but not all of them may be appropriate for your property and climate zone. Before you plant those evergreens in your backyard, make an assessment of the comfort and energy shortcomings of your current home landscaping. Things like the property’s microclimate, house location, and the presence of surrounding structures will influence your energy-efficient home landscaping plan. Microclimate is the climate immediately surrounding your home, and along with the regional climate, it helps determine which plants and trees will thrive and provide the best energy-saving benefit to your home landscaping. Your home’s location affects your dwelling’s exposure to the sun, wind, and water, consequently shaping your home landscaping needs. Nearby buildings, walls, trees, and bodies of water can produce significant climatic effects that would impact your home landscaping strategies. A thorough analysis of your property’s features enables you to devise an energy-efficient home landscaping scheme that addresses your needs and goals.

Landscape to Maximize Shade
Properly planned home landscaping can reduce your air-conditioning costs in the summer by providing shade from the hot morning and afternoon sun. Deciduous trees (trees that shed their leaves in winter) provide shade in the summer when its leaves are in full bloom and warm the home in winter by letting low-angle winter sun filter through its bare branches. Home landscaping that maximizes shade can reduce temperature inside the home by as much as 8 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Would you think of shading your air-conditioner through home landscaping because that increases the unit’s efficiency. In addition, shading the ground and pavement with trees, shrubs, and groundcover plants reduces surrounding air temperatures. Other heat-reducing home landscaping ideas include building a trellis for climbing vines to shade a patio and planting a row of shrubs to shade a driveway.

Landscaspe for Wind Protection
Home landscaping to divert the flow of cold winds helps cut down your home heating costs in the winter. Trees, shrubs, bushes, walls, and fences make effective windbreaks for winter-protected home landscaping. You can achieve adequate wind protection through home landscaping by planting evergreen trees and shrubs along the north and northwest areas of your property. Windbreaks can decrease wind speed for a distance as much as 30 times its height, although maximum wind protection occurs at a distance of two to five times the mature height of windbreaks. For optimal wind protection, make sure that the foliage density on the windward side of your property is 60 percent. A well-designed home landscaping provides energy savings year-round. Enjoy the warmth of the winter sun by not planting evergreens too close to the south side of your home. Shrubs, bushes and vines planted close to your house create dead air spaces that insulate your home in both winter and summer.

I hope this article has been of help to you in creating landscaping for energy conservation. Reducing my household energy consumption by a possible 25% has motivated me to start looking around my yard.

Great Lakes Student Loans

 Great Lakes Student Loans

Blue Morning
Source: Flickr

Great Lakes Student Loans
Great Lakes Student Loans are unquestionably where you need to begin looking for that loan, particularly in today’s fast paced world. College used to be looked at as a privilege that some would earn for their hard work in school and dedication to education; today it is simply a high priced burden for some. There is no question that you can obtain so much more if you attend college and earn your degree, but how does one approach managing that in today’s society? It seems masses are still seeking to figure out how to put gas n their cars!
A college degree is going to decidedly land you a much more valued career. On That Point are many a young people today who merely do not possess the specific money saved for college, or the funds to pay for their schooling at this time. Often times, you will hear of students that settle against the idea of yet attending college, particularly a high priced university. Too often, the idea of garnering a worthy degree simply out-weighs taking a quick job that doesn’t pay well, just to have your rent addressed, pay the bills or put a meal on the kitchen table. Nowadays many a aspiring students are taking that road instead of earning a degree, and do we fault them in truth? A college education is undoubtedly a priceless gem.
On That Point are about a million resources for obtaining a student loan these days, especially on the internet! One will promise a low rate, others will guarantee no payments for a year and numerous will operate around your means of paying. But do several of them offer up a way of performing this, and still be capable to attend school, work, and eat? Not many.
On That Point is, all the same, a loan provider that does all this and more! Student Loans from Great Lakes are offered to anyone who regards to receive more numerous information on loans for education. The Great Lakes student loans should be your first stop for inquiries about selections to balance school, work and a uncomplicated payment for success.
Great Lakes has been measured as one of the finest in helping individuals with new or existing loans. They are always ready to offer information about student loans and updated information regarding rates, news and available choices. They provide a wonderful service for people requiring more in depth information. Merely, bottom line here is that obtaining assistance for your loan is affordable and convenient.
Great Lakes too will provide aid to help new or returning students affordably plan a budget or payment choice that works for them. They offer many valuable services to the consumer too. This financial aid service will be ready to help anyone debating a student loan and too prides themselves in being resourceful to do so. If on that point is a student that carries multiple loans, no matter who holds it, they will discuss the options of consolidating their multiple loans, making life a lot more painless for the student or borrower.
Typically, the loan is consolidated to lower amounts that demand to be paid to the lender every month, but it could also higher the amount of interest that you, the borrower are paying back. Great Lakes Student Loans have been named in the local news, many a written articles, educational material, financial reports, ezines and many other online and offline resources. So hopefully this article shed some light on this fantastic service.

Backyard landscaping is about many different things

Backyard landscaping is about many different things

Desert View Grand Canyon 2017 Parking Assessment - aP1070457
Source: Flickr

Your backyard landscaping is going to have to be about many different things but the most important one of these if your well being. Most people get into backyard landscaping because they want to change the look and feel of their home, they want to make it a wonderful place where their family can feel safe and comfortable at all times. Backyard landscaping is a great way to add some more peace to your life whether you are alone or you have a large family and tons of kids. You will be able to create a sanctuary with your backyard landscaping that you have never had before in your life.

Backyard landscaping does not have to be drastic or hard. You can do your own backyard landscaping or you can hire a contractor to do it all for you. The choice is yours but doing it yourself can be a lot of work, especially if you do not have any experience in this type of thing. There are all kinds of things that you will need to learn about before you start doing your own backyard landscaping. You will have to take a crash course in landscaping and this course will be jammed packed with all kinds of info that you never even knew was out there. You may be able to save some money on the work if you do your won backyard landscaping but if you screw things up too badly you may end up paying even more to get everything fixed.

If you want to get some backyard landscaping done you should only do it yourself if it is going to be a simple and straightforward job. If you need irrigation things dealt with and planes and elevations leave it to the professionals that do it for a living. These things may be over your head entirely. You need to watch out how you go about your backyard landscaping or you could end up with quite a mess on your hands.

There are a couple of great places for you to learn some more about backyard landscaping such as the local public library and the internet. You can get many backyard landscaping books out of the library and these will help you to make the best decisions as to your landscaping needs. You can also get many do it yourself tips online.

The key to landscaping design

The key to landscaping design

Woah
Source: Flickr


If you want to incorporate only the best landscaping design then you need to start thinking along the lines of unity.
This is key to your landscaping design success and it will need to be applied to your entire yard, all around your home. Your entire properly will need to have a similar feel and look, if you have this your home will have a balanced look of symmetry and this will add all kinds of beauty to your home.

You can create a wonderful sense of unity to your landscaping design in a few different ways. The most common way of bringing harmony to your landscaping design is with similar types of plants and trees. This is easy to do and it will look fantastic. There is another way to get unity to be a basic part of your landscaping design and this is with heights. By having even different plants and trees of the same or similar height you will be bringing the whole design of your yard together like you never knew you could. It will look wonderful and it will be so easy!

Your landscaping design should make use of much more than just plants and trees. Flowers look great but they generally only bloom for part of the year so you need to find some other landscaping design elements that will look perfect all year round. To do this you will want to look at landscaping stones and rocks, or even wood chips just to name a couple of things. You can even use granite and marble in your landscaping design. You can have nice little stepping stones, some statues or displays in your landscaping design or you can just have pretty rocks.

A theme can go a long way towards making your landscaping design gorgeous. If you love butterflies or hummingbirds then choose plants and flowers that will attract them to your yard and garden. This is a glorious way to showcase your design and you will always have something pretty to look at. You can talk to those at your local plant store about which type of plants and flowers will work best for this where you live.

In the end your landscaping design needs to be balanced and whole looking. You can do anything you want with your landscaping design, you can design it yourself or you can use a landscaping design that you have seen in real or in a book. No matter what you decide to do, as long as there is unity your landscaping design will look perfect.

{The notion that landscaping involves only the incorporation of trees and shrubs into the setting of your front yard or backyard is wrong; landscaping also has to do with the construction of walls and fences that frame and further beautify the house

{The notion that landscaping involves only the incorporation of trees and shrubs into the setting of your front yard or backyard is wrong; landscaping also has to do with the construction of walls and fences that frame and further beautify the house


{Landscaping can be done by landscaping professionals who are well versed in the art of landscaping; however, you can also landscape your home single handedly if you have an extensive degree of knowledge about landscaping and are confident of being able to apply what you know.|Whether you want to layer your garden, re-do your frontyard or have a make over done for your backyard, landscaping is the perfect answer.
}

{Bear in mind that home landscaping is no different from backyard landscaping, garden landscaping or frontyard landscaping; they all achieve the same thing and that is the beautification of a home through its environs.|Having a home that is the envy of all and sundry is the ultimate goal of any home owner This is why landscaping is becoming so popular because it guarantees a home worthy of pride on the home owner’s part and provokes jealousy on the part of the neigbours.|You must know that the decision to landscape your home is not one that is taken spontaneously…..there is a need for you to find out about things such as zoning restrictions which may demand that you don’t use walls and fences, or that you don’t plant tress of a particular height. }

{In this information era of ours, it is very easy to find a landscape company that will garner your trust and earn your money.|You need to know that sometimes, it is unimportant how long a company specializing in landscaping has been working because a few, inspite of their prolonged existence are totally unreliable; go for a landscaping company whose record speaks for itself.}

{If you reside in an area where there is no humidity and a lot of sun and you are interested in what type of plants will best suite your landscaping needs, you ought to consider plants or scrubs that thrive well in the sun and do not require much water to survive.|Landscaping basically is an art that has to do with the beautification of a person’s home and focuses on either the frontyard or the backyard of the home; it is a plan that make use of plants, flowers, shrubs, fences and even walls to enhance the aura of a person’s home.|People landscape their homes for a multitude of reasons that may include the need to prop up a part of the backyards that is falling apart or simply the desire to add value to the home’s worth; whatever reason you have for landscaping your home, you can be sure that there are various landscaping ideas that will cater for your needs. }

Landscaping Stones That You Can Use

Landscaping Stones That You Can Use

Landscaping does not only involve planting flowers, shrubs and tress. To make it look pleasing, you also need to use natural stones. These are better known as landscaping stones.

Landscape stones comes in different shapes and colors. For instance, sandstones can be found in blends of blue, buff, black, brown or pink which are often used for wall making.

For those who will be making a fish pond or a fountain, they will need to use the slate type which is available in black, green and red. Stone marble is another alternative because these stones are finely grained. You can find these in pink white and yellow and have a high absorption of water. These can also be used for paving and wailing.

Limestone is very similar to stone marble because it can also absorb water. It is used primary also for making walls.

You can also use granite since these are fine to medium course and are very strong that are found in colors pink and red.

Apart from the big stones, you will also need some small ones and there are 5 types.

The first is called the river bed pebble. These are usually round and each one measures 2 and 75mm. in diameter. These are often used as decorative borders, ground cover, dry garden beds, swimming pool decks and patios.

Next is the stone circles. The nice thing about them is that they are low maintenance and used for large patio areas, winding paths and creative edgings for those who will be installing a fishing pond.

There are also stone cobbles which are hand chiseled. They are environment friendly, non slip, does not require any maintenance and are recyclable. These are available in big and small sizes and can be used on a pavement, outhouse and on pool sides. They are very decorative and can be mixed with other types of stones.

Stone steps is another option. From the name itself, you can already tell that these are usually used to make a flight of stairs. There are four types around namely the normal, mortared, pitched and capped stone steps.

Next is the stepping stone that is used on walkway areas and is very easy to install. All you have to do is plan the path and then put in each one. To keep them in place, you should put some builder’s sand, wait awhile for everything to settle then add another layer of sand and mulch as a finishing touch.

As you can see, there are different types of stones that are used for landscaping. You can choose what will work best based on their color so it matches with the rest of the house as well as their characteristics. You can even use a few stones which you find near your house. But since this isn’t always enough, you will really need to order them.

In case you did not know, stones can also be used to prevent weeds from growing. This is done by placing them around flowers.

When you are looking for landscaping rocks, the most important thing to remember is to get those that have similar shape, size and texture. This will give your garden a natural look which people will appreciate when they are invited as guests to your home.

Facts About Great Lakes Student Loans

 Facts About Great Lakes Student Loans

Facts About Great Lakes Student Loans
We live in a very competitive and fast paced world and as such a college or university degree would put us at an advantage towards the job opportunities available. But many people, thinking that college is very expensive and that they have no money for it, simply just give up the dream of attending and finishing college. Most would actually content themselves with a job that puts food on the table and pays for the house rent. Though a life like that might sound okay, people can’t help but wonder if there’s something more? There could be something more, but the better paying jobs available require for people to have a university or college degree which they don’t have.
But just because college is expensive, one shouldn’t give the idea up.
There are many student loan providers out there who are willing to lend a helping hand in making dreams a possibility. One of these student loan providers is Great Lakes Student Loans. The Great Lakes Higher Education and Affiliates focus on working with lenders as well as the schools to provide people with information about how to apply for a student loan. Great Lakes Student Loans, together with the lenders and the borrowers themselves provide a system wherein both borrowers as well as lenders can effectively do their business.
Great Lakes Student Loans actually have a website up which is constantly updated with more information about student loans to help answer questions that people might have regarding it. The website provides information about all of the student loans that students can receive as well as comparisons of the loan’s differences and similarities. Included in the website is a complete list of the requirements that a student might need to have or fulfill in order to qualify for a certain kind of loan. The Great Lakes Student Loans website is a great platform for anyone who needs more information about all the loan that are available to them.
In other words, Great Lakes Student Loans makes learning about student loans very easy. Other than the information they give, they also provide other services such as counseling to aid students who are on their way to achieving their college education. They also have services such as managing the accounts of students who have loans. They are able to do this through processing the student’s loan payments on their behalf. They also educate students as to how they properly organize their repayment schedules to avoid missing one and thus bringing more debt.
You can also discuss with them the several loan consolidation programs that you can enroll in. Loan consolidation is essentially referred to as a great way to resolve all your issues with having to pay multiple payments every month. It can also help reduce your interest rate because you would only have to make a single payment every month. Great Lakes Student Loans have more information on consolidation as well as on other student loan options on their website.

concrete landscaping can add so much to your yard

concrete landscaping can add so much to your yard

Western Open Space aka Newlands Walk - 2017-11-19
Source: Flickr


To hear the word concrete you may not think that it would be something to want in your yard but in fact, concrete landscaping has come along way in the last 10 years or so.
Now concrete landscaping is all the rage and it is very pretty too.

You can use concrete landscaping for many different parts of your yard. Most people use concrete landscaping ideas and designs for the walkways and paths that wind through their gardens. This is more for those with larger yards but even if your yard is small it could do with some concrete landscaping. You could put down a lively patio that you and your friends could it at to have drinks or tea. There is nothing more fun than a little party out on the patio on a nice day.

Stone walls are another form of concrete landscaping that has really caught on like wildfire. Walls are what will frame the whole home. They are the gorgeous and steely frame to the glorious painting that is your front and back yard. There are many other reasons to have concrete landscaping such as walls as well. These walls are perfect for keeping your pet in the yard. If you have a dog that is prone to run away then look into this kind of concrete landscaping. These walls are also very good for keeping intruders out. The harder your home is to get into the less likely burglars will be to bother trying. So look into this type of concrete landscaping today and talk to a professional about it.

You can also use concrete landscaping to keep your soil in place. If there is a part of your yard that is prone to slipping then you can build a retention wall expressly for this purpose. The best thing about concrete landscaping is that while it can be functional you can make it look as if it is just there for looks. There is so much that you can do with concrete landscaping because concrete is so easy to work with. You can use concrete landscaping bricks or you can use whole solid slabs. You can even get custom made concrete landscaping stones that are in unique and creative shapes and patters. Take some time and see what all is out there in terms of concrete landscaping, you might just be surprised.

A wonderful backyard landscaping idea

A wonderful backyard landscaping idea

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Source: Flickr

A good backyard landscaping idea is one that everyone can make use of. There are many different backyard landscaping ideas and most of them are pretty good but to find the one that is right for you and that is just what your yard needs may take some reading. This article will help you to find the perfect backyard landscaping idea for your home.

A good backyard landscaping idea is to use evergreens. The use of these fabulous trees will do o much for any yard. They will add a stately nature to the feel of your home while keeping it welcoming and warm. Many people like to use deciduous trees in the yard and this is always a good idea but it is the evergreens that will give the yard the structure and the stability that it needs for a good backyard landscaping idea and design.

You need to look for a backyard landscaping idea like the one above that will benefit you all year round. Deciduous trees will not be gorgeous in all seasons, most perhaps, but not all. Evergreens on the other hand are always fantastic and they look as beautiful in the winter as they do in the summer and this is why they make for such a great backyard landscaping idea. The key to any great landscaping design is to find a backyard landscaping idea like this that will keep your yard interesting no matter what time of the year it is.

Another good backyard landscaping idea is to use hardscape. This is the use of things like rocks, fences and walls. These can make your yard look very interesting during all of the seasons. You can have climbing plants on it in the summer and spring and pretty trees around it that will look great in the winter. When looking for a good backyard landscaping idea you need to look for other options besides just plants. There is much more to landscaping than just plants and trees.

Walls and fences can frame your property beautifully and using them is such a great backyard landscaping idea because they will just accent all of your other wonderful backyard landscaping ideas. They will frame your yard as a picture frame frames a gorgeous painting. Look at this kind of backyard landscaping idea as well in your search for the one.