Create a Seaside Garden with Outdoor Décor

By: admin | Posted on: Nov/29/2016

Whether you live by the ocean or just want to feel like you do, anyone can turn his or her garden or patio area into his or her own personal resort. All it takes is choosing a few select plants, ground cover and accents to make your outdoor décor seem like it’s by the sea.


Outdoor Décor Stepping StonesChoose Plants Carefully


If you live by the sea, then choosing plants that will do well in this environment is important. The sea air, salt, wind and soil conditions require hardy plants that can thrive despite those challenges. Even if you don’t live in a costal area but want to get the look, here is a list of ideal plant choices.


Ground Covers


Keep it simple. Using surfaces such as Quickcrete can keep pathways level and won’t allow excessive sand or dirt into the windy air. You can also use geometric shaped pavers set into small rock as a patio surface. Or instead of rock, plant moss in between the pavers. If you’re transitioning from the sandy beach into another part of the yard, you can use stepping-stones. A fun option is these flip-flops shown right. They’re not only beachy, but they’ll help keep sand off your shoes as well.


Outdoor Décor wood style planterNature Inspired Décor and Accents


Use shells around pathways and plants or native rocks that inspire a native feeling. Selecting nautical objects as accents, such as glass bottles, netting or other items can add color and character. Create height and color variances with a variety of planters. Some examples of both of those are these Chantal Planters in Maui Blue or this wood look Adirondack Planter left are great choices.


Lastly, nothing says ‘beach’ like a set of classic Adirondack chairs. Or choose a colorful wood and canvas beach chair such as this Pangean Glider.


Creating a themed garden with outdoor décor is a fun way to decorate your yard or patio area. Whether you’re a nautical buff or just dream of warm days by the surf, creating a seaside garden is easy and fun. Aloha!

Posted by Jean Widner of the team.

Simple Indoor Holiday Decorating Ideas

By: admin | Posted on: Nov/23/2016

When we decorate for the Holidays, most of us enjoy the process because it becomes part of our traditions. Pulling down the storage boxes from the garage. Pulling out garlands and wreaths of course all those pesky lights becomes the most enjoyable of chores. Indoor Holiday decorating often involves the whole family, which is part of why this becomes so meaningful for us.


Indoor Holiday Decorating - StoneCleaning out older decorations you find you don’t use anymore can be part of the process as well. One of the best tips we’ve found is to take neutral, everyday items and then add Holiday colors to them. It’s easier than switching out every décor item you have. Also, investing in one or two really good quality items can be more meaningful than purchasing a whole bunch of smaller things at once.


Indoor Decorating with Stone


Items make of durable materials such as cast stone will last longer than those made of plastic or other synthetics. Why not invest a little bit more money into something that can literally last for generations? Items such as the Dove of Peace Stone Plaque are a good example. Or this Garden Stone Plaque: Believe, shown here.


Add Seasonal Flair to Existing Décor


Indoor Holiday Decorating - Wall ArtIt’s smart to choose items throughout your home and garden and then repurpose them into your favorite Holiday color scheme. Wrap a colored ribbon around the glass hurricanes of these cast stone Classic Pillar Candleholders. And then they are dressed for the Holidays!


Another idea is to buy decor you use throughout the year that will fit with your Holiday colors when the season comes. One example is this outdoor wall art titled “Crimson Passage”. This art is UV protected and waterproof so it can liven up any outdoor wall area, year-round. But bring it into your entryway for the Holiday’s and it becomes another piece that adds seasonal beauty.


The Holidays aren’t about the ‘stuff’ we put up in our homes and yards for decoration. This process becomes part of our annual traditions that most of us enjoy. So taking the time to evaluate purchases throughout the year reduces clutter and makes the process simple. Which means its fun and easier to enjoy for all. Happy Holidays!

Posted by Jean Widner of the team.

The Sounds of Fountains

By: admin | Posted on: Nov/09/2016

One of the most common questions people have when choosing a fountain, is the amount of sound it will make. Unfortunately there is not an easy answer. A fountain’s sound is determined by the path the water takes as well as other variables. Here are a few tips to help you make the best decision for your individual needs.
Generally, the sounds a fountain makes come from three different sources. The first source is the distance the water falls. The second is what the water falls onto. And the third source is how many levels the water falls through. If there is only a small stream of water that flows a short distance, or if the water is simply running down the sides of an urn, the noise level will be small. If you have a tall tiered fountain, where water cascades from tier to tier and falls into a basin, the sound produced will have a significant volume.

Here a few other factors to consider:

1. The Water speed: The majority of fountains come with variable speed pumps. This means that by increasing the speed of the water flow will increase the volume, and vice versa.
2. Sound Reflection: The placement of your fountain can affect the sound. If you place it in a corner of a backyard it will reflect more sound into your setting, than a fountain standing in the middle of an areaBasin
3. Water Level: If your basin has low water levels, then the water falling into it must fall further, creating a greater sound. If your basin has a high water level, the water has a shorter distance to fall making it quieter.

General Guide to Fountain Water Sound

Fountain soundRemember the amount of sound a fountain makes also relates back to the amount a given fountain will likely splash. This means that placing the fountain in an area where people closely sit or walk by it should be factored. You don’t want an area to become slippery or dangerous to walk in.
Also think about entertaining areas. If you’re conversing, say at an outdoor dining area, you don’t want people’s ability to chat be overwhelmed by the fountain noise.
The amount of fountain sound that’s right for you is your own personal choice. Consider that what may be loud to you may be more on the quiet side to someone else.  What if you choose a fountain and find that it is too loud? Then add real or silk foliage into the basin to help quiet the falling water, and add a stunning appearance to the fountain. If your fountain is a bit too quiet, move it to corner where the sound will be amplified. This can be an ideal way to help drown out undesirable sounds, such as traffic from a nearby street. There are minor adjustments like the pump speed and water level that can affect the sound as well.
This should give you a better understanding of the sound level of various fountains, and how to judge the fountain sound desired for your space!
Posted by Jean Widner.

Improve Your Home’s Curb Appeal in a Weekend

By: admin | Posted on: Nov/03/2016

There are many ways to beautify the outside façade of your home. If you have a free weekend that you can devote to your landscape, it’s easy and inexpensive to make a few adjustments that will have a huge impact! A few simple fixes will give you an aesthetically pleasing and updated curb appeal for your home.

Updated Entryway


The key to a good façade is to have an attractive front entrance. This can be done on even the smallest of budgets. Molding is a great option to outline a doorway. A white molding for a dark wooden door will allow it to standout and immediately draws in the eye. Another easy fix is to paint an old door, if it has become faded or is chipped or scratch. Also look at your door-knocker, mailbox and house numerals. Pick themes that match your style, and accessorize thoughtfully.

Window Accents


Another project is the addition of trim or shutters to windows. This will add a finished look to your home, and shutters create a warm and welcoming look for your house. Shutters also serve the practical need of controlling light flow. Shutters come in a variety of materials from traditional treated wood to new materials like polyurethane. Be sure to choose a durable, low maintenance design.

Flower Power


A great project that adds a lot of curb appeal is to create flower beds. Line the yard with a small edging materials such as used bricks or stones. This same method can be done along driveways around mailboxes, or in corners of the yard. The idea is to accentuate your home, not to hide it, so choose plants that add color without tall growth. Mixing the plants in size and texture will also help to create an attractive design.

gd_487p_6__00863-1406653762-1280-1280Gutter Talk


A slightly more expensive task that makes a huge difference is changing and replacing the gutters and downspouts. Often these become rusted or chipped over time, creating an eyesore in the overall appearance of your home. These old systems can be replaced with a newer vinyl snap fit system. This is relatively inexpensive and requires no extra tools to install the system. If cost is not an issue, you could also opt for a copper system, which will create an elegant look and add value. Also consider switching a conventional downspout with a decorative RainChain, which makes a lovely sound when it rains.


Just Add Water


Lastly, don’t forget to consider decorative items, like installing a water feature. A small water feature can look beautiful in a flower bed located against the side of your house. It creates a great focal point, and the sound of the water creates a peaceful atmosphere and your guests will feel welcomed. Adding decorative statuary to your flower beds or porch is another great idea. Whether is be an animal, a decorative plaque or stone, a mythical accent or a religious figure, these items will all add a strong focal point that will bring personality to your landscape.


These weekend projects are great ideas for adding character and elegance to your home. Improve your curb appeal with these easy and inexpensive projects! Posted by Jean Widner.

Garden Fountain FAQ’s

By: admin | Posted on: Oct/25/2016

You’re looking to purchase a garden fountain for your patio or home – but you’ve got questions. Lots of them. After all, this can be a sizable investment and all the options can be overwhelming. Here are the questions we get asked the most.

What type of electrical plug in do I need?


An indoor or outdoor fountain only needs to have a standard household GFCI outlet. If you’re using an extension cord outside be sure you verify it is designated as safe for outdoor use.

How long is the average pump electrical cord?


The length of most pump cords is about 6 feet. For larger fountains with a basin the pump cord will be long enough to sufficiently clear the width of the basin plus some extra. Please see the product descriptions for specifics on each fountain.

Is there special plumbing required?


No – all of the fountains are self-contained and the water recirculates inside the fountain body itself. For almost all residential garden or indoor fountains, simply refill the fountain with a hose or bucket.

How can I know how much sound it makes?


If you want a fountain that makes a lot of ambient water noise, remember this also creates a lot of splash activity, in general. The more times water interacts with the design features, splashing from basin to basin, for example, the more sound it will make. Instead, if you are looking for a fountain to be indoors then chose instead a style where the water clings more tightly to the surface of an urn or finial, draining into a basin so it will make a softer sound, but also reduce splashing.


How do I clean my garden fountain?


Keep the water inside your fountain basin free from yard debris. More importantly, always be sure you keep the pump cleanly circulating. This will help lengthen the life of your pump. Also, prevent algae build-up in the water by using a natural water treatment such as this one here, which is safe for wildlife and animals. Several times a year, take a soft sponge to clean the basin of the fountain and change out the water.


Adding a garden fountain is a beautiful, easy design feature to add to your home, garden or patio. Knowing these basics can help you choose a fountain that makes your patio the envy of your neighborhood!  Posted by Jean Widner.

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