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Selecting Outdoor Benches
Outdoor benches are an excellent way to enhance a garden, create additional seating in a backyard or add a resting spot for a business. With outdoor benches, you will discover a huge selection of materials such as stone, wood, concrete, brick, etc. Keep in mind that one type of material is not necessarily better than another with a few exceptions. As an example, if you choose something like granite, marble, stone, or concrete, the seats will be hard so if you are looking to provide a comfortable resting area, cushions would be required. In addition, some types of wood do better than others. Teak, redwood, beech, birch, cherry, ash, maple, oak, mahogany, poplar, walnut, pecan, and cedar are excellent choices for outdoors.
Since wood outdoor benches are the most popular, we will address those in particular for this article. First, wood is easy to work with, offers a warm, rich, and inviting appearance, and is very durable. Depending on the design of the outdoor bench, it may or may not be made with a combination of solid wood and veneer. Regardless of the type of wood being used, the quality of construction for the outdoor bench is crucial. First, the outdoor bench needs to be made using the best joint method and second, the outdoor bench must be stable and sturdy.
For the joints, manufacturers use a number of methods. The tongue and groove method is very popular in that it looks nice and neat while providing the needed stability. Another method is known as mortise and tenon, which involves a socket and two pieces of projecting wood. Other options for the joints include a doweled joint where a wood pin fits tightly into a drilled out hole, rabbeted and butted joint that has two pieces of wood placed at angles, glued, and stapled, bolted or corner blocked if rigidity is a concern, and finally, the least expensive method for outdoor bench joints is with stapling. The downside to this is that as people sit down and get up from the outdoor bench, the staples can eventually work free.
The second factor for selecting wooden outdoor benches is the stability and sturdiness. Since people of all sizes will be sitting down, you obviously want a bench that will accommodate various weights. To ensure sturdiness, you would need to make sure the bench meets certain criteria. If the bench has a back, then the outside posts or rungs on either side will need to go all the way through the bench seat to the underside, making the posts and rungs less likely to break. In addition, the legs of the outdoor bench need to be solid and large enough to handle weight.
One way to tell if the bench is not sturdy enough is to sit on it. If you hear a creaking noise, then you should be concerned. While sitting, move your weight back and forth a little to see if the bench feels secure or wobbly. You can also do a push/pull test with your hands, pressing on the bench's legs to see if they feel solid or loose. Most manufacturers will provide specifications on the various types of outdoor benches so you will know exactly the weight limitations, type of wood used, the joint process, and so on. Use this information to your advantage when selecting an outdoor bench so you end up with the type that best suits your needs.
Jennifer Akre is a successful business owner of numerous furniture websites such as http://www.SimplyBenches.com. Her sites provide product and information about garden bench styles and other furniture and decor for your patio or home.
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Iris flowers always bring memories of mom to mind. Let me share with you three reasons why...
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Pine Furniture Care Guide
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Gardening on a Budget
When we moved into our south Anchorage log home I had glorious plans for the 1/3 acre lot. Some previous owner had chopped down every tree counting on the neighboring woodlands for green and shade. The house was near the street with a lumpy hilly and narrow backyard that ended in the neighbor's goat pen. I was young, enthusiastic and confident that my green thumb could transform our piece of Alaska into a glorious landscaped garden. Now, 20 years later the neighborhood has evolved from birch/spruce woods to suburban sprawl and I'm still working on the transformation and enjoying every season.
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How to Decorate your Outdoor Space without Breaking the Bank
Noted English clergyman Sydney Smith (1771-1845) is quoted as saying, "Economy in the estimation of common minds means the absence of all taste and comfort." But finding thrifty ways to decorate your outdoor living space doesn't mean you have to sacrifice either of those things. Here are some ideas to help you:
7 Factors Needed for a Compost Pile
Compost, made from decomposed grass clippings, leaves, twigs, and branches, becomes a dark, crumbly mixture of organic matter.
Fish Health in Hot Summer Heat
Summer is over, but for many of us - the heat remains. Here a couple of things to do to keep your fish healthy and your pond clear going into winter. First, remember to keep your pond well aerated. This is very important to your fish because the pond water actually holds less oxygen at higher pond temperatures. So if it's still hot in your part of the country, keep those waterfalls and fountains running! This will keep your pond water full of oxygen, and reduce stress on your fish.
Starting a Shade Garden...
The shade garden can be exploding with color and texture. No matter how much shade is in your landscape, the right flowers, plants, bushes and bulbs will grow in this area when given a chance. As there are various types of shade, you will need to choose the plants that are 'right' for the type of shade you have: partial, dense, full, or filtered shade. In starting a shade garden, one of the easiest shade gardens will be the filtered shade garden. What you need to do first is look at the trees or bushes that are making this area a filtered shade garden. Pruning off the lower branches on taller bushes and on the tree will allow additional light into your garden. Because you are planning a filtered shade garden, you do want some amount of sunlight in that garden below the tree.
The Advantages of Silk Flowers
The silk flower is growing in popularity among young couples and families for many different reasons. Many event hosts or planners struggle over whether to choose fresh flowers or artificial flowers. Silk flowers are non-allergenic, will never wilt and can be maintained as keepsakes for years. There are many more positive effects in ordering or owning silk flowers.
Delavays Blueberry (Vaccinium delavayi)
Whether we know it or not, most of us are familiar with the genus Vaccinium as it has among its members several current or potential commercial crops, such as blueberry, cranberry, bilberry and huckleberry. Vaccinium delavayi, however, is strictly ornamental and very unlikely to be our next export success.
Guide to Basic Lawn Mower Maintenance
Trying to start your lawn mower after a long winter can be very frustrating. Performing a few routine maintenance tasks before you store your lawn mower for the winter can save you time in the spring, prolong the life of your lawn mower, and save you money over the long run. Even if you have already put your lawn mower into storage for the winter, a few simple maintenance tasks performed before starting your lawn mower in the spring can be very beneficial.
It?s Gardening Season!
It's gardening season again! Are you ready? Whether you are a seasoned gardener, or are looking to start gardening, you will likely need supplies and plants. If you shop smart, and use the tips below, you can get that garden running with very little money. And you can save a lot of money on your grocery bill as well.
How to Attract Butterflies to Your Garden
The flittering of the butterfly through your garden is no accident if you planned your garden carefully. The adult butterfly flitters from flower to flower - sipping nectar from many flowers in your gardens, while other adult butterflies search for areas to lay their larvae. It is good to take note that the butterfly garden is going to differ from other areas of your garden. Your natural instincts will be to kill off pests, larvae and creatures in the garden, but in the butterfly garden your best results are noticed when you use organic gardening: Which means no chemicals at all.
Plant Hardiness Zones
When selecting plants for the landscape, is important to select plants that will grow in your climate. The United States has 10 of growing or climate zones. These zones range from the zone 1 in the extreme northern part of United States, to his own 10, which covers the southernmost part. Zone 1, is for the most hardiest of cold weather plants. Temperatures in zone 1 can reach 50 degrees below 0. Zone 10 on the other hand, is is a more tropical climate. Zone 10 plants only need to worry about cold temperatures of 30 to 40 degrees.
Garden Hot Tubs
Imagine starting your morning with a saunter out the back door to enjoy a cup of coffee in your garden hot tub, or relaxing just before bed with a lazy soak in your backyard hot tub under the stars. More and more homeowners are taking the plunge (pardon the pun!) and installing a hot tub in their backyard or garden. If it all sounds tempting to you, here are a few things to consider when deciding where and whether to put a hot tub in YOUR backyard.
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