Posts Tagged Home and Garden

How can gardening reduce diabetes symptoms?

Linking gardening to diabetes may be little surprising for you, but it is true that spending some time on outdoor gardening can work wonders on diabetic patients. Much to the surprise of many people, there is dramatic reduction in the symptoms of type 2 diabetes with increased gardening hours. The fact is, gardening gives good exercise for the patients which is very much important to normalize the high blood sugar levels. It is one of the best options for people who cannot take rigorous exercises as fitness regime in their daily routine. Gardening doesn’t look like a traditional workout but it does promise some health benefits in general, particularly for the diabetic patients. Let us see in what way gardening can be beneficial to the diabetic patients –

A good physical activity
A good exercise regime and healthy diet with targeted calorie count has high importance in preventing and caring for diabetes. People often get nervous when they think of hitting the gym because the first thing that comes to their mind is treadmills and exercise machines. While working in gym is important for some people with specific reasons, there is a slow transition in the exercise trends where people are looking out for more natural stress free methods. People have realized that there is no need to forcefully exercise in gym for hours to reduce the calories. Instead they can practice working in a garden and simultaneously shed those extra calories in a stress free way. Gardening is one such enjoyable activity that has consistent multiple benefits. Working in garden such as soil tilling, weed extraction, watering and other plant maintenance activities, definitely provide some good physical exercise to keep blood sugar levels in check.

Vitamin D
There is no real evidence to say that vitamin D deficiency is directly related to the risk of type 2 diabetes but some studies have shown that there is a vague connection between these two things. Regardless of the above fact, people can certainly enjoy numerous health benefits by doing some outdoor gardening. When we do gardening outside, naturally our body gets exposed to the sunlight that has rich vitamin D content, which is most vital for bone and muscle maintenance and functioning of other body systems.

Reducing Stress Levels
Many gardeners have realized that a couple of hours in gardening drops Cortisol, a hormone that decides the level of stress in our body. There is nothing more relaxing for the mind than watching our plants grow and mature. One could feel extremely soothing when they involve in gardening activities and dirt their hands in soil. It takes little effort to have our own garden, but the results that we get in the form of flowers, fruits & vegetables is amazing to experience. It reduces trauma in diabetic patients and releases tension that is caused by going through medical procedures and diabetic drugs.

Enjoy garden grown vegetables and fruits
By following organic gardening principles, one can enjoy fresh and quality fruits and vegetables harvesting from their own garden. Gardening gives the opportunity to have our own methods in gardening, so that we can avoid using harmful chemicals as fertilizers and pesticides. Diabetic patients have to be extra cautious about what they eat because they need to take less starchy foods to control calorie in take. It is easy to grow fruits and vegetables in a home garden that are known to be beneficial for diabetic patients such as tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, berries etc.

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How to Construct a Fire Pit in Your Garden?

Do you want to construct a fire pit in your garden? Here are the steps that you can go through for building a simple fire pit without the help of the builder. Fire pits are especially important for winter to make you and your garden warm. Fire pits can be constructed in various shapes and sizes. Read this article for steps to construct your own fire pit in your garden.

fairy housesSteps to construct a fire pit
Choose the location in your garden: To start construction, the first thing you have to do is the selection of the place or location. The best place would ultimately be the garden for the construction. Again in garden you should choose the location for construction the fire pit. It, depends on your choice, some people love poolside or some would like to have this in patio or deck etc. So, based on your interest and choice select the location in your garden.

Gather the tools and materials required for constructing: Once, you are done with the location, collect the required tools and materials for building the fire pit. Tools include stones, cement, trowel, motor etc.

Select the stone options for your fire pit: When you are gathering the tools and materials for your fire pit, the first choice you have to make is choosing the type of stone for your fire pit. The stones that you choose for your fire pit should match the look of the garden. For example, for rock garden use natural stones available in the nature. Some of the stone choices are graveling, raise brick, simple brick etc. You can select the gravel to use inside the fire pit, so that the ground of your garden does not damage with the fire.

Start the Construction: Before, you start construction make sure that all the necessary materials are present. At first, dig the hole with the width, depth, size and the style you want for your fire pit. Start with the foundation using the rock and cement. Make the pit solid with concrete, clay etc. Make this dry for some time and then, fill the edges. For not making the ground of the pit damaged, fill the inside with the layer of the river rock or gravel.

Sit around the fire pit and have a great time: Place chairs around your fire pit and lit the fire and enjoy its warmness. Do not let the fire come out of the pit. For this, you should take the necessary precautions. As it is located in the garden make sure that the plants and grass are wet so that even if the fire comes out it will not spread. Fire pit makes your garden more beautiful. Garden is the best place to enjoy both the nature and the warmness that comes out from the fire pit.

This is how you can construct and enjoy the essence of the fire pit.
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Landscaping Ideas to Hide Your Chain Link Fence

Your landscape area may include use of fencing for privacy, security or aesthetic appearance. Chain link fencing is most commonly used in landscape areas by many home owners. This chain link fence can even be made more elegant by painting. You can use different colors like black, dark green, or brown to make it less noticeable. The color of the paint should blend into the background.

Some people use fence slats which are made of aluminum, wood or plastic. These slats are inserted into the fence vertically, horizontally or diagonally. Different colors of slats can be used to create patterns and designs in the fence. You can cover the chain link fence with annual vines like black-eyed Susan and Cypress. Hiding the fence with perennial vines give a permanent cover. Trumpet creeper, English ivy and Passion flowers can be used to cover the chain link fence.

To create a colorful and aromatic solution for hiding the chain link fence, you can plant flowering bushes such as lilacs, hydrangeas and roses. The colorful petals of the rose flowers along the fence attract the passersby from the fence. However, these bushes take more time than vines to grow large enough for hiding the fence. They also need much maintenance unlike vines.

The other option to hide a chain link fence is to use rolled wood fencing. Different materials like bamboo, cane, stick, reed, fern, dwarf pine and twig can be used for rolled wood fencing. Such fences are made up of pieces of wood. A galvanized wire is used to hold these pieces. They are attached to the chain link fence with the help of a wire. Rolled wood fencing gives a natural feel to the fence and also provides enough privacy. Any of these landscaping ideas can be chosen to hide the chain link fences of your garden or yard.

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Add Rock Stairs to Your Garden

miniature plantsDifferent landscaping features bring beauty to your garden. The landscape area or a garden can get attractive look with unique and creative landscape features. Adding stairs to the garden area can be a good decorative additive. Among many different materials, rocks are the natural ones which integrate the garden stairs into the surrounding garden elements.

The rocks used for garden stairs are not factory cut. You have to choose rocks which are flat and their width should be similar to that of the adjacent path leading to them. Bring the stones to the work site. Decide the size of the rock you wish to add to the stairs. If you wish to use multiple stones rather than a single boulder for each step, then determine the rocks that have to be used for stairs.

Once you decide the size and type of rocks, you should dig the flat area in the place where you wish to keep the first step. The rock used for the base of the staircase should be the largest. A thin layer of gravel can be laid to help with drainage and also to hold the stone in place. Check if there is any dirt and pile it off to one side. The level of the ground on which the base rock is placed, should be checked initially. If it is found to be leaned, then it should be scraped as flat as possible within required dimensions.

The next flat area for the next rock stair should be dug out of the slope. This should be in such a way that the next rock fits behind the base rock. It should also overlap the base rock by at least one inch to cover the back of the step below it. Make sure that you add more gravel or dig out more earth till the rocks fit properly. Add any number of rocks in this way to complete the rock garden staircase. The rock stairs can be decorated by placing small plants for aesthetic appearance. Read the rest of this entry »


Things to be Considered Before Building a Backyard Garden Pond

Everyone wishes to have a beautiful home. Any kind of older homes can be renovated by various processes. Home improvement not only includes addition or improvement of your main home building, but it also includes the enhancement of your garden or backyard. Different ways of landscaping in the garden and near your conservatories makes your home look much attractive. Adding a garden pond in your backyard is one of the ways of landscaping that many people prefer today. It provides a place for relaxation and enjoyment. However, there are certain things you need to consider before building a backyard garden pond. Here are some of them.

Considering the location of the pond in your backyard is very much important. You need to select the location in such a way that it is close to your main house or any other garden building like a conservatory. Also, consider the slope of the land and location of the pond to prevent water run-off. If you arrange a pond in low-lying areas, there is a chance that lawn fertilizers and other chemicals may wash into the pond harming the fish and plants.

Pond Size
You need to decide the size of the pond based on your purpose. If you wish to have fish and other aquatic plants in the pond, in order to maintain biological balance, you need to have a larger pond. Otherwise you can opt for a smaller one. You ought to consider the pond depth to check that the pond is most frozen in the winter seasons.

Determine the costs associated with building and maintenance of the pond. As the set-up of the pond includes digging the pond, using different types of liners and filters, proper plumbing and so on, you need to be aware of the costs of these processes.

Miniature gardenPlanning
A proper planning on the design of the pond reduces your maintenance costs. This is because if you do not build it according to a proper plan, you need to make certain changes to it again that involves much higher costs.

Pond Style and Design
You need to select the style of your pond that matches with your property. You can add waterfalls and rocks near the pond to make its style natural. You can arrange the ponds in various designs, in different shapes.

These are the major factors to be considered before building a garden pond. However, you should also check the electrical equipment, water and drainage, testing and maintenance of the pond in advance.

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Materials to Install for Kitchen Floor

It is important to choose a right kitchen floor material when remodeling your kitchen. Now-a-days, there are many options to choose. Few home owners want traditional floor designs, but some home owners want modern designs. There are few materials to choose, such as:

  •  Concrete kitchen flooring: Now-a-days, concrete is used for kitchen flooring for decorative purpose. This concrete floor do not heat up and it keeps your kitchen cool, so this the main advantage of this floor. It is easy to maintain. Concrete can be got to look like tile, hardwood, slate or marble floors.
  • Ceramic kitchen floor: This material is strong, solid and attractive. It is easy to maintain the ceramic tile kitchen floors. You can get a beautiful kitchen floor by this ceramic tiles. The cost of this changes with different places. You will get an ethnic look for your kitchen.
  • Laminate kitchen floor: They are very popular material for floor. You can get your floor to look like whatever type you want, by this synthetic floors. A laminate kitchen floor is made up of several layers of material with a tough plastic layer on top. An existing floor can be laminated on top of the floor. If this floor is installed properly then it is durable.
  • Rubber kitchen floor: This is best option for your kitchen. It will last long and easy to clean. You can get rubber floor in different colors according to your choice. It is comfortable for your feet.
  • Slate kitchen flooring: This type of material is made with no porous rock material. There are number of colors available for your good looking floor. The most popular colors are black, gray, rust, greens and maroons etc. It is slip and stain resistant.

There are different materials such as travertine kitchen floor, vinyl flooring, hardwood, bamboo kitchen floors etc.

These are different materials which are used for kitchen floor. So, you can choose among them according to your convenience.

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Instructions to Make Your Kitchen More Efficient

A kitchen can be made more efficient and safe by small and inexpensive changes. You may have small kitchen then by using some tips you can make it more efficient in your home. Kitchen is the major part of the home, so it should be more efficient and stylish.

  • You should have cabinets in your kitchen. You can store useless dishes or appliances in those cabinets. Then you will get more space in your kitchen.
  • You can look for smaller scale appliances. There are different sizes of refrigerators, dishwashers and stoves. So, you can choose small size items then it will make your kitchen more spacious.
  • You can look for alternative storage space. You can store your kitchen cookware and dishes which are used rarely at basement or space under the stairway.
  • You can add tumbled marble flooring, it looks more beautiful.
  • You can use light colors like white, they enhance your kitchen’s beauty, and no need to restrict to light colors, you can use bold colors also like blue, green, red, these colors also change the style of kitchen.
  • You can hang your posts and pans from the ceiling, and keep them near to the hand, these can save the space in your kitchen.
  • You can use less fabric for curtains to increase the sun light from windows in your home.
  • Always keeping your kitchen surfaces clean is important. Clean and uncluttered kitchen looks like a bigger one and also beautiful.

You can use these tips, they may help you in getting more efficient and stylish kitchen at your home.

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Things to Consider While Adding a Room

Room addition to existing structure could be an exciting project for whole family. This new home improvement project will give a new and big living room to them. So, to complete this dream first step will be development of room addition plan. This plan helps to ensure that building project will be done smoothly.

Room addition demands for huge investment but it results in a bonus room which adds wonderful new living space to the home. Development of new addition includes both interior and exterior consideration. A room addition project includes the floor layout, the physical exterior shape and size of the addition plan.

First of all, individual need to draw or sketch room addition design. Besides overall sketches of the room addition, drawing also needs cross-sectional views which show the framing type and physical sizes of floor joists, roof rafters, and wall framing construction. Later, the following verification has to be done:

  • Verification of foundation pouring
  • Rough framing completion
  • Verification of Rough Electric
  • Rough Plumbing completion
  • Insulation check

With effective room addition plans, solid bill of materials and an accurate timetable a better room addition plan can be completed. A homeowner can begin the room addition project with a high likelihood of a smooth and successful vision.

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Types Of Garden Fountains Based On material

Miniature GardeningGarden Fountains add beauty to garden. They are cheap, easy to maintain, and can strangely change the image of the garden or lawn.

Garden fountains can be made of various types of materials. They are:

  • Stone: Stone is strong and can resist extreme temperatures, rain, and snow. The stones that are utilized to build fountain are granite, slate, and even marble. Generally marble deteriorates under pollution and acid rain.
  • Resin: Resin can be built in several shapes, producing wonderful effects. Care should be taken to buy best quality, as painted resins will not last long in rugged weather.
  • miniature houses Fiberglass: Fiberglass fountains are very popular for indoor and also for outdoor purposes. It is best suitable for compact, modern fountains for your patio or garden.
  • Concrete: Concrete fountains are suitable for any kind of garden background. They are available in small and also large sizes.
  • Metal: Metals like bronze and copper are used for building small garden fountains. Their use is limited as metal corrodes quickly due to moisture and pollution.

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Types Of Outdoor Landscape Lighting

There are different types of outdoor lighting with many varieties and many different fixtures (fittings). The three common types of outdoor landscape lighting are:

  • Rustic Outdoor Lighting
    This is special lighting designed to have a very rustic (simple and homely) look to landscape. For log home or a rustic (natural) theme based home, rustic outdoor lighting is very suitable for outside. Most of this lighting comes with a lustered copper coating or achieved with a wrought iron look to provide lighting with rustic appeal.
  • Walkway Lighting
    Walkway lighting also known as pathway lighting is designed to light sidewalks or walkways around home in order to have god visibility. Walkway lighting is employed to light up a specific area that is right around the light fixture. Care should be taken in installing them to keep them 6-10 feet apart to get a good look.
  • Area Lights
    Area lights also known as spot lights or flood lights are designed to light up somewhat large areas and usually they are used to highlight particular parts of landscape along with home security. They are generally considered as obstacles to burglars.

In some cases it may be reasonable to use several different kinds of lighting fixtures for outdoor landscaping. Lighting fixtures not only make yard to look wonderful, but also provide safety and security measures.

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