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Patio Design and Patio Furniture - The Use of Focal Points
A focal point is an important design element; it is a place where the eye naturally comes to rest. In a well-designed patio there is always a planned focal point, such as a large dining set, perhaps with a well-selected umbrella. But a patio's focal point could also be another interesting object or landscape feature.
Examples of landscape features that can be a patio's focal point are an interesting pathway leading from the patio to an area beyond, a flower garden, a mature tree, or a dramatic view of the back lawn.
However, an outdoor dining table with chairs is often a natural focal point because of its size. If you intend to have a large outdoor dining set, there are several things to keep in mind.
Be conscious of the style of the table and chairs and try to keep styles the same. If you have a very rustic patio, then a contemporary table and chairs may not go well together. It is usually a good idea to maintain the same decor style.
Select the colors of the furniture and cushions with care. Visualize the furniture in the location where they will be used. The colors should be similar or complimentary to the surrounding area.
An umbrella is a good addition if it is appropriate. An umbrella in an area already covered may look odd. However, umbrellas usually work well in screened-in areas that are still exposed to direct sunlight. If you buy an umbrella separately from the table and chairs, make very sure the colors and patterns go well with each other as well as the surroundings.
A pair of chaise lounges with an umbrella could also be an interesting focal point. The umbrella would have its own stand. Of course, the cushions on the chaise lounges and the umbrella material would have to either match or be complimentary with each other.
A statue, fountain, or other ornament can be used as a focal point. However several things should be kept in mind. If using a statue, the statue and its size must be in keeping with its surroundings, the style of the house, and the decor of the patio. A large statue of the god Jupiter would probably not look well on a patio with, for example, western decor. But a statue of Venus in a traditional English garden setting would be a pleasing addition. A graceful statue would bring an air of serenity.
Size is important as you would not want to overpower the surrounding garden features with a statue that is too large. One of the most agreeable placements for a nicely sized statue within a garden setting is placement by a wall, such as a red brick wall, especially where there are plants, including climbing plants. Never place a statue in isolation, but in an area where it can become part of its surroundings.
These are but a few examples of possible focal points in a patio or garden setting. There are many other possibilities. The important thing is to include the focal point naturally within the patio or garden environment so that it blends in and be in harmony with its surroundings.
Aleister Holmes is a contributing writer to Better Patio Furniture website at http://www.better-patio-furniture.com/.
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.
The Hosta ? A Shade Loving Perennial
My first introductions to Hostas were four small green and white clumps edging a small section of my mother- in- laws driveway.
June Gardening Tips
These are just a few gardening tips for you to consider here in late June. Many people seem to think that just because all the plants have been put into their places for the summer and your perennials are blooming, or past bloom, there is no more work to be done. The garden is full of multi-colored flowers, so there must be little or nothing to do. Right? No, there is always work that may be done.
Adirondack Chairs - How to Care for and Clean Them
Different from any other chair, the Adirondack chair was first created in the late 1800s by Thomas Lee as a means of making something exceptionally comfortable, affordable, and a chair that could be used in the house or backyard. What makes this chair so unique is the overall design. For instance, the Adirondack chair has a deep seat, curved back that wraps around the body, and wide armrests to hold a favorite drink or book. Although you might spend a little more money for this type chair, keep in mind it will last for years so it is well worth the investment. However, to make it last and last, you need to know the proper method of caring for your Adirondack chair.
Greenhouse Buying Guide - Choosing The Right Greenhouse
When choosing a new greenhouse for your garden there are several things to bear in mind if you are going to get the most from your choice. A wrong decision can prove costly in the long run so be sure you know exactly what you need before you buy. Here are some of the most important things to consider:
Lawn Disease And What To Do About It
Every lawn, whether new or established, is susceptible to a variety of lawn diseases. Most lawn disease starts with a fungus. Fungi are an oddity because they don't set seeds; instead, they propagate by distributing spores in their surrounding area. Some of the spores are picked up by wind or animals and distributed in new locations.
What Is One Flower Benefit That You Know Of?
The biggest flower benefit of all is the fact that flowers make you happy.
An Outdoor Swing is A Great Way to Relax
There is simply no better vantage point from which to view the beauty of nature, the occasional passerby and the antics of wildlife than an outdoor swing. Outdoor swings do more than provide a beautiful addition to your outdoor décor; they provide a relaxation spot, gathering place and a comfortable outdoor perch that will be greatly appreciated by everyone in the family.
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.
A Few Simple Facts About Purple Martins
Purple Martins are the largest member of the swallow family. However, in flight their wings are more triangular than other swallows.
Suet Facts and Tips
If you are like many people, backyard birding is a hobby for you whether you actively encourage visits from birds or not. One way to attract birds is to put out suet -- beef fat -- and watch the crowds stop by and devour the treat. Suet is an inexpensive food source and should become part of your bird feeding program if you desire to attract a steady flow of birds.
Ecological Landscape Design and Organic Lawn Care
There is a growing recognition, that the expanding suburban landscape is having a negative environmental impact. Suburban development often includes vast energy dependant monocultures (perfect, grass lawns). They consume a significant amount of natural resources, (water to keep them green and gasoline to keep them trimmed), and they reduce the amount of habitat available for native wildlife. Over use of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides can leach into water supplies and be harmful to children and pets. Trends toward ecological landscaping and organic lawn care are lessening the detrimental effects of these designs. Many landscape designers are recommending native plant species, and even golf course managers are moving toward organic methods.
A Quick Overview of Outdoor Hot Tubs
There is nothing quite as relaxing as a leisurely evening soak in the hot tub after a long, hard day's work. Sore muscles can finally relax as the water jets massage aches and pains away. It is no wonder that hot tubs are so popular. However, how do you decide which of the many outdoor hot tubs is right for you?
Are you looking for a truly versatile vegetable to grow and serve? Try beetroot! It has the most amazing colour and texture. Varieties range in colour from gold to deep red/purple and are delicious raw, boiled, baked, pickled and juiced. Even the leaves are edible! The root is packed with Vitamin C and the leaves are a great source of Vitamin A and potassium.
Gardening Tips for Early - Mid July
Now we are fast approaching the hottest time of the year, there are still some things that can be done in the garden. Below are a few gardening tips for those that love the summer warmth. For you who aren't particularly appreciative of the hot hot, then do your gardening chores early in the morning.
Choosing the Proper Pond Pump
Whether you have a preformed or a liner pond, a pond pump is a paramount component of any water feature. Stagnant bodies of water attract mosquito infestations, which are a nuisance, and also undesirable, due to the recent outbreaks of the West Nile virus. Therefore, it is paramount that you utilize a pond pump that circulates your body of water.
Can Your Sundial Really Tell The Time?
"I am a sundial, and I make a botch Of what is done far better by a watch"
Storm Warnings For Ponds
California has earthquakes; we in the south and east coast have hurricanes. One thing we all share is power outages. Ours are usually caused by storms. Most power outages last only a few hours and only happen a few times a year. A hurricane is always a threat that hopefully will never happen or have only a minimal consequence. Flooding may be more common then a power interruption and both can happen at the same time.
Oregano: Joy of the Mountain
Known as "joy of the mountain," Origanum vulgare is commonly called culinary oregano or Turkish oregano. Oregano is a close relative of marjoram and is also known as pot marjoram. Similar in taste to marjoram, oregano's taste is more pungent and has overtones of mint. Greek oregano, subspecies hirtum of O. vulgare, is recommended as the best type of oregano for cooking. Oregano is a half-hardy perennial that can be grown outdoors as an annual or indoors as a perennial. Blooming in early summer, Greek oregano has pink, white, or purple flowers, dark green opposite leaves that are highly aromatic, and slim, squarish, woody, branched stems. Greek oregano has a branching taproot and grows in a clump. Used the world over in Italian, Mexican, and Spanish dishes, Greek oregano is one of the three essential ingredients in Italian cooking along with basil and marjoram.
Growing Great Asparagus
I went out to feed the birds this morning - the temperature was comfortably above freezing, and a downy woodpecker was telegraphing his territorial rights on the nearest utility pole. I realized it was time to feed the asparagus.
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