Brighten Your Outdoor Decor in Winter – A Unique Element of Color to Beat the Winter Blahs

It’s no wonder that many folks suffer from the post holiday “blahs.” As the holidays come to a close and we start to take down all those festive decorations and lights, things can seem a little drab, leading us to search for ways to recapture the life in our surroundings. The first thing to do to reignite our senses is to simply open up all the blinds and curtains to let as much light into our homes as possible. Sunlight alone can have an uplifting effect on mood.

But then we look out the windows and find that much of the sensual experience of our landscape is missing this time of year. Winter has visibly set in across our outdoor environment. Empty branches remain in all but our evergreen trees, our lawn has faded to a pale straw color and most other color has faded from our landscape. Now, I am a nature lover, and I know that we are supposed to enjoy the graceful look of the leafless tree branches and that every season has its beauty, but I just miss the color!  Of course there are some flowers that can survive the cold winter temperatures; like pansies, which seem to smile back at you even through a blanket of snow, or ornamental kale for some color and texture in your beds.  But let’s face it; unless you live in a tropical climate, the color options for your winter landscape are fairly limited.

Thankfully, there is another option to brighten your landscape that you may not have encountered at the nursery or the home improvement store. I recently discovered some wonderfully creative artisans that design and create (by hand) glass wind chimes in an amazing array of colors and designs that add a whole new element to patio and garden d├ęcor. Glass wind chimes, you ask? Ah yes, but more than wind chimes, these are like art glass for your patio or garden. We have hung one right outside our living room window for a pop of color when we look outside across the now-barren tree line.

Now, you may have wind chimes hanging in your yard or on your patio now, some of them even with a little color, but these chimes are pure color in this luminous tumbled and frosted glass that is designed to be hung outdoors. When I say luminous, I mean they truly light up when the sunlight hits them! They are like having a wind chime and a sun catcher all wrapped in one! There are even floral designs that look like beautiful blossoms. I think they just may tide me over until those spring blossoms return to our landscape.

If you are wondering how you will brighten up your environment once the holiday decorations come down, this is one idea that may delight your senses.  And when those warm spring breezes return, they will continue to bring sound, color and light to life in your surroundings – and a break from the ordinary, which is my favorite part.

landscaping and Decorating With Cement Sculptures

Sculptures have been used to decorate gardens and homes since this art form first developed. The earliest sculptures were made from chiseled rock and clay. As the art form developed new mediums were used like marble, granite and bronze. The labor intensive process of creating sculptures has traditionally made them very expensive and unattainable for most homeowners. However, today we have access to less expensive mediums and molding technologies that make owning sculptures more affordable, especially cement sculpture.

Cement sculptures are an affordable option for garden decorations and landscaping. Small cement sculptures can even be used in your home. The affordability of this type of sculpture is due to the low cost of cement and the re-usable molding technologies used to create these sculptures.

To create a cement sculpture an artist needs to first create the prototype of the sculpture in clay. This sculpture is then used to create a negative mold for the cement sculpture. This mold is treated with resins so that it will not stick to the cement. After the negative mold has been created it is allowed to cure and harden. Once the mold is ready to use it is assembled and filled with cement. The mold may be rotated to help work out air bubbles. The mold is then stored in a stationary position to allow the cement time to dry. Once the cement has hardened the mold is removed and the sculpture is allowed additional time to dry out. After the cement sculpture has dried completely the rough edges may be filed down and imperfections are removed. At this point the piece is either ready to go to the showroom or it is sent to the painting department to be finished.

Landscaping Tips For Installing a Fountain

Fountains are usually attached to the backyard and other places where out door activities take place. This is to improve the landscape, build a relaxing environment, and to quiet the noise that is generated during those activities. Birds and other fauna are usually like the fountains much more than us! So, it would create the perfect environment.

Installing a fountain does not need you to be very experienced. Even a beginner is good to start as long as he has sufficient knowledge about the basics of the landscaping tips when it comes to a fountain installation.

One of the first landscaping tips is that one kind of fountain that is very easy to install and does not need to be maintained much is the garden fountain. An assortment of features exists for a garden fountain. There are stores which concentrate on improvement of homes that have the bits and pieces that it takes to build that dream fountain you are looking for. Hence, being a novice does not stop you from installing a fountain.

Some of the basic landscaping tips for installing a fountain are:

First determine where the fountain is to be placed. Next that matters is the size of the fountain. This depends on the environment. Obviously an outlet for electricity is needed near the fountain.

Smooth the place where the fountain is to be placed. Sand is commonly used for this purpose. Heavy fountains would definitely need good quality concrete to support it. Place all the hardware in the correct position in the vessel and fill water to the appropriate level. Pump is connected to the electrical outlet of power. Switch the electricity on and the pump will start to work. Take care that there is no leak in the connection of pipes or in the fountain. Power lines can be hidden for an attractive look. This can be done by making a channel for it.

Great ranges of shapes and styles of fountain are available. Any one looking for an ideal fountain would be satisfied because of the range of fountains that are available. There are fountains for formal purposes, some that are just decorative and some that are simplistic and truly enjoyable.

Fountain requires very little maintenance. But as expected it needs cleaning by removing the entire thing. Insert bleach into the water to stabilize the flora and the other wildlife that live in water. These are some of the basic landscaping tips for installing a fountain.