Best of Making a Koi Pond – Do’s and Don’ts

Building your own Koi pond is basically not the same as any regular ponds you might have before. It has its own set of requirements and limitations that you need to keep in mind, if you want to provide an efficient habitat for your pet Koi fishes. To help you better understand, it is important to identify first what are the things you need to do and what are those that must be avoided at all times.

The most important thing you have to remind yourself is that a Koi pond is not as simple as building a hole in the ground and tossing the fishes right in where you can expect them to thrive and grow. In order to build a Koi pond that is properly working and sustain the growth of your fish, there are a number of factors to look into. These factors must be considered upon the initial stages of planning for the building of your pond. This will help save you time and money, and most importantly your pet fishes’ lives.

First and foremost, hire a professional to build on the basics of your Koi pond, specially for those with limited knowledge on landscaping and fish keeping. Some people opt otherwise because they believe it will enable them to save more money. If you fail to build a workable pond at the beginning, you will most definitely have to rebuild or reconstruct it. If you are still unsatisfied with the results, then you will most likely go back to the start, which will cost you tons of money. Working with a professional to build your pond will ensure that all essentials are covered and that you will no longer have to crank up major expenses with all the fixing that you had to do.

Meanwhile, working with a professional will ensure that they will look into your personal preferences with the Koi pond and be satisfied with the results. Just make sure to avoid opting for those professional pond constructors that offer cheap quotes as they might not offer the best quality jobs.

Most importantly, a Koi pond is more often permanent once you have built them. Therefore, choosing the best location for your pond is very important since you cannot easily transfer it from one location to another, whenever you wish. Careful planning is most important and this is something that you need to talk to with a professional since only you can make this decision, while they provide the professional insight that will help you in making that decision.

The best tip that you must keep in mind is to properly take care of your Koi pond once it has been built. The maintenance of the pond might require a significant amount of work and because Koi fishes have special needs apart from other types of pets, then you need to pay them extra attention.

The Fire Up Some Heat into Your Patio with a Natural Gas Patio Heater

A natural gas patio heater can be a nice addition to your patio this coming winter. It can fire up some heat into your dearest patio spaces so you can keep using them even when the weather turns for the cold. Experiencing a chilling outdoor sojourn way back last winter can make anyone decide and be firm upon installing such hot piece of outdoor accessory into their patio, porch or deck this season. This way the chill from the winter environment couldn’t interfere with the precious time spent in the outdoor spaces.

A lot of things can be done in the patio if not for the cold temperature that hangs in the air. Summer isn’t the only time one can utilize their outdoor spaces to the fullest. Even during winter, homeowners can still spend some tranquil time in the patio and enter into a meditative pose. They can chill out in solitude in the patio and listen to the carols playing in their iPods. They can also share enjoyable moments with their spouses and partners and talk about anything under the winter sun. Homeowners can even throw fiery holiday feasts in their backyard and not once will their friends and guests be clamoring of the biting chill in the outdoors if they have a natural gas patio heater around.

The natural gas patio heater is such a perfect accessory homeowners can use especially if they plan to stay for a prolonged period of time in their patio spaces. People at home wouldn’t worry about running out of fuel supply as this heater is hooked up to a natural gas pipeline unit. Homeowners can party and linger in the outer confines of their homes from morning till evening and will not be bothered with its running costs. This outdoor accessory does not only have an endless supply of fuel but it is cost-effective to use, too. Moreover, it is a dependable piece of heating equipment which is also safe to use.

The Best Fragrant Perennial Bulbs for the Home Gardener

Perennial bulbs are a joy for the home gardener. Generally planted during the fall, in the springtime they will burst forth with a colorful display. Often these are the first flowers we see each year after the long winter months. Perennial bulbs that are also highly fragrant can make this show even more spectacular, especially as they are cut and brought inside and their sweet aroma fills your entire house.

There are several perennial bulb species that are highly fragrant and are excellent varieties to grow if you are interested in both color and fragrance. Here is a list of four very fragrant perennial bulbs you can grow in your garden:

Hyacinths. These perennial bulbs have an amazing fragrance when they bloom in the spring, and their blooms are also long lasting so you can enjoy their fragrance for a long time. There are over thirty different hyacinth species that belong to the genus Hyacinths, and you will find there are a wide variety of colors to choose from. Most plants are about a foot tall in height.
Freesia. These are a favorite of many perennial bulb growers because of their strong, sweet citrus scent and delicate golden or white flower blooms. You will find that just a single flower will scent an entire room in your house, and these are an easy perennial bulb to both plant and propagate.
Paperwhite Narcissus. During the winter months, many perennial bulb enthusiasts will force these bulbs indoor. They have an extremely strong fragrance, and are generally white in color. The Paperwhite Narcissus bulb is more tender than many perennial bulbs, so they may need to be treated as an annual if you live in an area with very cold winters.
Bearded Iris. The blooms on the bearded iris plant are interesting enough and pretty enough to grow even if they did not have the amazing fragrance that they have. Bearded irises are grown from rhizomes, and they make an excellent and beautiful addition to any flower garden.

Most of these perennial bulbs are fall planted, so if you are interested in having a fragrant garden next spring, do consider planting one or more of these flowers this coming fall.

Nice Modern Day Bed Room Furniture

A divan bed consists of two separate parts; the base and the mattress. The divan base consists of a sturdy wooden frame which looks like a deep hollow box. This base can contain springs or have a hard flat top and is covered with fabric which is usually either cotton or damask and matches the mattress cover. The space inside this box base is what makes a divan bed so very useful. As the base is basically just a large wooden frame, it has been specially adapted so that it can contain up to four drawers or compartments along the sides. The end of the bed can also contain either a drawer or slide compartment. Sometimes the top of the base can be lifted up in order for the inside to be used for storage.

People seeking solid wood should know that they won’t find it very easily in mainstream stores. The exception to this is pine bed, which have remained relatively cheap due to their relative softness as when compared to hardwoods like oak and maple. Some people prefer pine not just because it costs less- it also tends to be lighter in color and more warm looking than most of the other wooden beds on the market, real wood or not.

Sealy beds are best known for their mattresses, which are designed with help from the American Orthopedic Advisory Board. A joint research program uses pressure mapping to gain an insight into the differing needs of people of all ages and sizes as they attempt to gain a good night’s sleep. The Posturepedic mattress range is the result of this research. It features a unique zonal support system that is firmer in some places than others, meaning the back receives the maximum level of support but other parts of the body rest on a softer surface. This should help to ensure you wake up feeling refreshed, avoiding any of the aches and pains associated with sleeping in an awkward position. There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a Sealy Mirrorform mattress such as the size, the cost and the amount of support it gives your body. Sealy have a large variety of mattresses available in their Mirrorform collection so you should find one to tick all the boxes. It’s vital to choose a mattress which will reduce pressure on your spine, joints and lower back.

Another type of bed mattress is air mattress. An air mattress is great because it’s a great space saver. First of all, you don’t need an extra bedroom to accommodate your guests. The air mattress can be placed anywhere in your house because you can simply inflate it when needed. These mattresses come with pumps which inflate the bed very quickly. Another benefit of buying an air mattress is that you can take it with you on your trips. If you’re going camping, you can use these mattresses in your tent because they are so portable. These mattresses are much more comfortable than traditional camping beds which are very tight and don’t provide much body support.

Choosing the best bed means a complete choice including the type of bed or the material used like pine bed or sealy beds and also the mattress is equally important like the memory foam mattress.

New Koi 101 – Taking Koi Images

One of the most essential things to do in keeping track in your craft as a koi breeder is by taking koi images. Koi images are fundamental tools in taking care of your koi, this is done to supervise their growth and progress. Most often, breeders and professionals take images of their koi not only to keep track but most especially when they intend to sell or market it through the internet.

One of the major difficulties in taking images is that koi fish do not stay still in the pond. They constantly move around the pond which makes it difficult to capture. It is also difficult to take angles of the fish especially if there is an element of light since the water in the pond deflects light.

If you are new into koi photography, here are some tips that may help you in achieving your picture perfect koi.

· Koi images are normally shot with the fish in the pond. The complexity there is that the photographer has to look for an excellent angle or to wait for the fish to rise on the surface. Some photographers suggest by getting the fish out from the pond and place it inside a bowl to minimize its movement, thus, you can take better images of it.

· To capture the picture perfect moments, set your camera in high speed. This is done to get the images you want without the blur.

· Take images of your koi using a background that would contrast its colors. For example, black background for white/red fish or white background for black/gray fish. By doing this, you will further enhance the vibrant colors and the beauty of your koi.

· The more the merrier as they say. When taking images, take as much as you can. Grab the opportunity by taking pictures at different angles because for sure, not all the pictures that you are going to have are good.

· Point of comparison. Try using a tool that you can compare with the fish. For example, using a ruler, this way; you can determine the development of your fish on how much it has grown.

Taking koi images is not as easy as it looks. You just have be patient all the time since your subject is quite difficult to handle. Make sure that you give your koi fish an extra tender and loving care so that you won’t stress them out.

Amazing Shrubs – a Part of Landscape Privacy

Shrubs are used in four broad ways: for boundaries, for partitions and backgrounds, for specimens and for foundation plantings. We have discussed these uses of shrubs and the characteristics demanded by each use. Even at the risk of repetition, further discussion with the particular plans in mind may be helpful.

Boundaries

Boundary plantings are used to give privacy and to screen from view any unsightly objects beyond. Also, they tie the whole garden together to give unity, and they act as a background and frame for the garden displays.

Boundary plants need to be dense enough and high enough to shut off the view, with some variety in height to make the skyline interesting. Sometimes it is a good idea to leave gaps in the planting, to show desirable views beyond the boundaries.

As mass effect is desired, plant shrubs in groups of one variety rather than single plants of many sorts. Choose the shrubs for their rapid growth, spreading habit and mid-green foliage rather than for distinctive features. Wherever bloom occurs it should be in large enough masses to be effective at the distance from which it will be seen. Bloom, of course, is always attractive but in large gardens it is not as important in boundary plantings as in parts of the garden where it will be seen in more detail.

On small city lots we cannot hope to attain complete privacy or to screen the view of all surrounding buildings. On some lots the boundary planting takes the form of a hedge, or a fence on which climbers are grown. On others it is made up of groups of shrubs that not only back up the bright displays of the garden but to a great extent form the displays themselves.

Partitions and Backgrounds

Plantings separating small lots are more like partitions than boundaries.

The purpose of partitions, or background, plantings is to separate one garden area from another. Here, bloom and other distinctive features are important as the shrubs are close at hand and consequently are seen in detail.

Keep in mind that partitions and backgrounds are seen in elevation, and in your plans arrange them so that they will be most pleasing at maturity. There will be points where you need boldness and increased height in the skyline. Here you should use “dominant” plants – small trees or large shrubs that have coarse foliage and a dense appearance ó whose height and texture makes them stand out above their fellows. These break the partition into sections or pictures. Usually the center of interest in each of these small pictures consists of low-growing plants, such as those that spread horizontally or have some other particularly attractive feature. These we call “interest” plants. They are backed up and flanked by “fillers,” average sorts of plants whose function is to enhance and connect the other two.

In all good shrub grouping in informal gardens, harmony is the rule, contrast the exception. There should be harmony of form, and of color and texture of foliage, with strong contrast of form and texture used only at strategic points. Foliage color should blend gradually with the bright, warm greens near at hand and dark greens, blue-greens and gray-greens farther away. This gives the impression of added distance.

Texture, too, may be used to create illusions of distance or to emphasize certain points. Large foliage and coarse twigs like the bamboo palm plant are seen more clearly than fine foliage and twigs and, consequently, seem to be closer. For this reason large shrubs of coarse texture make large spaces seem smaller. Similarly, a coarse shrub at the front of a border of fine-textured shrubs stands out very distinctly, and fine shrubs backed by coarser ones appear flat.

Specimens

Shrubs used as specimens, or accent points, in the garden lend emphasis to particular features of the design.

Inspirational Keeping Home Landscaping Costs Low

Landscaping your home can be costly. Sometimes even the best laid plans can look great, but can be really a pain. You don’t want to bite off more than you can chew, and landscaping can be a tricky undertaking.

Some good advice would be to plan before open your wallet. Make sure of what you need, and don’t think you have to have everything right this minute. We tend to waste when it comes to spending, but with some forethought, we can save a few dimes.

When figuring out your landscape, drawing it out on a sketch pad is a good idea. This gives you an idea of your goal, and keeps the idea alive, and gives you a reference to look back on when making crucial decisions.

Don’t try to buy everything at once. Buy what you need for the week ahead, and wait on the rest until you’re ready for it. That way you won’t go broke, and you won’t have all that stuff sitting around waiting to be used. Plus you can avoid the interest fees involved if you use a credit card.

Always know that cheaper is not necessarily better. And sometimes the quality is not that much different, but the cheaper the better, as far as cost, not quality. Never sacrifice quality. It’s always good to have a conversation with the people who work at whatever store where you plan to do your supply shopping. Many of the people are very knowledgeable about landscaping, and can give you some helpful tips that can save you money.

When you buy your plants, be sure to check them for pests and diseases. A lot of stores don’t give their plants the kind of care they deserve, and you can wind up wasting money on plants that were already headed down a bad path. Plus, if these plants have pests and diseases, it can spread to the rest of your plants and end up costing you plenty.

You can save some money by buying lumber in the winter time. The cost is usually down. By making purchases late in the season you can rack up some savings. This is true with mulch, soil, shrubs, and perennials.
Always have an eye out for these kinds of deals at local nurseries.

Don’t limit yourself to local stores. There are plenty of catalogues and online sites that can give you quality information, and can lead you to quality merchandise. Lots of people use these services and find good help with whatever problems arise in their situations.

One of the last places people think of when it comes to saving money is their neighbors. It’s amazing the information you can get just by asking. Sometimes, if you team up, you and your neighbors can help each other out by working together, especially if you share tools and equipment that you need for making your yard beautiful. There are many ways to save money if you just take the time to think about it.

Awesome the Benefits of Fall Gardening

Fall gardening is not exactly a popular choice among gardeners thanks to the fear of early winter frost. But the truth is that fall gardening is capable of producing a good crop of vegetables and will let you have crops long after the summer-spring crops have been harvested. It has also been observed that the fall vegetables taste milder and sweeter than the summer vegetables. You get to eat the same vegetables but a tastier version.

You need consider only two things when deciding what to grow. First how much space you have and secondly what you would like to eat. Summer crops like sweet potatoes, pepper, okra and tomatoes are good choices as they will produce till the frost hits. For the southern states this could mean till much later in the year. Some summer plants like cucumber, snap beans and summer squash stop producing as the summer ends. If these are planted during the mid-summers you can hope to harvest them till the first frost. Fragile and weak vegetables may grow even when there is light frost, but the tougher lot can flourish till the temperature reaches 20 degrees. Don’t panic if the tops of your tuber plants happen to freeze, you can still salvage the edibles with the use of plenty of mulch.

When choosing your fall crop, be sure to choose vegetables with really short seasons, so that you can have grown plants ready for harvest before the frost strikes. You need to look for seed packets marked “early season” or you could go for seeds which lay claim to early maturity. It would be wise to buy the seeds for your fall gardening in the spring or latest early summer. Most stocks dry up by late summer. All you need to do is store them in a dry cool place, and they will be ready when you need them for your fall gardening.

Consult the farmer’s Almanac to find out when the first frost is expected. The dates they give are rarely off the mark. You can use this information in order to calculate exactly when you need to plant for fall gardening. Of course you need to know precisely how long your plants are going to take to mature too.

You first need to clear your garden of nay leftovers from the previous crops and also get rid of weeds. You don’t want any infections or diseases for your fall crop. You could use a few inches of mulch or compost to revitalize your soil. It may not be necessary though if you have used a lot of fertilizer for your spring-summer crops. Wet your top layer of soil after tilling it and let it set for a day or so. Soon you can start planting.

Moat gardeners avoid fall gardening as they don’t want to fuss with frost. If you choose to plant tough and sturdy vegetables you van hope to harvest them till after a few frosts and also get better tasting produce in the bargain. Fall gardening lets you enjoy the vegetable garden a little longer.

Beautiful Garden Furniture and Tables

You can increase the functional space in your garden with the addition of tables. The type of material you select for your outdoor decorating is basically a personal choice. If you like the look and feel of wood furniture in your garden, you have numerous styles and wood types to select from. Teak, cedar, bamboo, and eucalyptus are just some of your options. There are coffee, end, and dining tables designed for outdoor use made of the previously mention wood types. You can find matching chairs and accessories to complete your outdoor grouping.

If you desire a material other than wood for your outdoor table and various other pieces of furniture, you have options such as metal, cast aluminum, and wrought iron to select from. You can find matching chairs and cushions to go with them. Before you select your outdoor tables, you should carefully consider their durability in regard to the area where you plan to use them.

If you have an abundance of outdoor space, you can select a large dining table for your garden area. This would be a perfect place for entertaining friends or enjoying an evening meal with your family. Wooden ones come in a variety of sizes and styles. There are teak extension tables that allow you to increase their size when entertaining. If one large table doesn’t quite fit your style or will blend in with your garden area, you might want to purchase several smaller ones and place them throughout your garden.

Wicker is a popular choice of material for garden furniture. You can use wicker tables as side benches for wicker accent chairs or as a coffee table for a wicker sofa. A few wicker ones in the garden can serve as a pedestals to place decorative flower containers on. A work bench would be a convenient addition to your garden area. You should select a table that is a comfortable height for you. You should also choose one that provides the maximum amount of work space and possibly storage space.

If you long for an outdoor space for a table but your outdoor space is limited, you might want to invest in a small drop down table. These tables attach to a deck or balcony rail. When raised, they create table space. When folded flat against the railing, they leave your small space unobstructed. These can be a fantastic addition to any cramped lawn with a limited area, as they allow you to maximize the area you have while being extremely efficient.

You can learn about hardwood garden furniture, and get more articles and resources about garden furniture at Garden Furnitures Sets

Inspirational All About Koi Gardens

Planning and caring for your Koi Garden is one of the best parts of having koi. Some people use the opportunity of combining several hobbies; their love of koi and their love of gardening. With creative planning, and little forethought, why not plan a little bench seat in a shady spot where you can relax and enjoy watching your koi or read a good book. You can turn your koi garden into a rock garden, or even a flower garden where you can harvest bright, beautiful flowers for your kitchen table or your living room during the growing season. There are many possibilities.

The koi themselves of course should be the centerpiece of your koi garden, so remember to make it a place where you can spend a little time at the side of the pond, interacting with your wonderful koi. Koi make great pets and they will swim over and enjoy a treat from your hands when they get to know you. You will learn to appreciate each of them as individuals, recognizing them by their unique and distinctive colors and markings, as well as by their personality.

When planning your garden you will want to think about the size of the pond. If you are starting out with baby koi, keep in mind they can grow quite large over the years, so plan a pond that will accommodate fish up to three feet in size. Build the pond in a location that allows for indirect sunlight, so the sun doesn’t blaze down on it, but far enough away from trees and shrubs to avoid a large amount of debris falling into the pond. Debris that settles at the bottom of the pond will need cleaning from time to time and may clog pond filters. At times of year when leaves or blossoms are falling and blowing on the wind, you might like to check your pond daily and ensure that the surface is clear and the fish can move freely in the pond.

A pond of three feet in depth is considered a starting point, though you may want to start the pond deeper if you live in area where the water is likely to freeze in the winter time. Then progress to a depth of six feet. Position a drain at the deepest part (lowest point) in the pond. Have fun designing the shape and style of your pond, but keep in mind that the fish won’t do well around sharp corners or areas that might be difficult to navigate. Your koi will appreciate shady spots in their pond garden to rest in.

When you landscape around your pond, a primary consideration is the need to use chemicals on the garden. Fertilizers, weed and pest killers should all be kept away from the pond in general so that they won’t blow in and poison the koi. There are many options, including low maintenance plants (daisies and chrysanthemums, for example) that don’t require heavy fertilization, and the use of stake or liquid fertilizers that can’t blow into the pond. There are a large number of grasses and reeds that will thrive around your pond as well. Floating plants such as water lilies and water hyacinth are good additions and will also create shade for the fish. You can also use bog plants such as blue flag iris and lizard’s tail. Then you can add some submerged plants such as hornwart and anacharis. It’s also a good idea to introduce some algae eating snails to your pond to maintain a balance. Check with a good pond supplier to find the best kind of snails for your koi garden.