Create An Authentic Japanese Garden

By: admin | Posted on: Aug/18/2017

Japanese gardens began as a space made for Japan’s ruling elite class. This is where they seek calmness and refuge from their country’s strife and war. Over time, these gardens have transformed into a way of life and become spaces of reflection and meditation.

 

Known for its minimalistic beauty and its sense of unmistakable calm, Japanese gardens continue to gain popularity in many parts of the world. Inspired by centuries of tradition, ceremony-rich culture and breathtaking natural landscape, authentic Japanese gardens may seem very difficult to conceptualize and re-create.

 

If you’re attempting to achieve this type of landscape at your home, it may be helpful to get some inspiration by understanding the design principles of balance and restraint.

 

Elements of a Japanese Garden

 

Depending on the size and space available at your house, you can opt to choose which element you would to like to have in your intended Japanese garden. We’ll cover several of those common elements here.

 

Teahouses

One of the first, most common features of an authentic Japanese garden is a teahouse. Think of an outdoor room where you can enjoy calm, peace and reflection while being surrounded by a naturalistic garden.

 

Water basins

Next, is the common use of water basins. Traditionally, guests wash themselves before entering a teahouse or home. Thus, wash basins are common outside a teahouse. A good wash basin is surrounded by carefully arranged stones. A simple water basin can easily give your Japanese garden a sense of calm.

 

Walkways

Third, are walkways. You can incorporate a walkway by using stepping stones designed in such a way that it inspires a meditative walk. These stones will allow any visitor to slow their path through the garden. The spacing encourages visitors to savor every step of their journey.

 

Miniature mountains

Most Japanese gardens have miniature mountains made up of large stones or boulders. If using a boulder, give it a more natural look by partially burying it with plants are nestled around its base. You can also add some small shrubs near the stone that would match its size and scale.

 

An illusion of water

Finally, but most importantly, is the use of water. Creating an illusion of water in a Japanese garden can bring a soothing effect in any landscape design. You can easily achieve this by digging a shallow depression which will act like a dry steam bed. Next, fill it with dark gravel. Gather fieldstones and place them along the banks. Lastly, fill it in with tufts of sweet flag (Acorus gramineus) and ferns.

 
Japanese gardens commonly contain small trees, verdant moss and a composition of rocks. Popular plant types that you can add in your garden include Japanese maples, flowering cherries and gold ginkgo trees (Ginkgo biloba). These trees can give your Japanese garden a seasonal feel ranging from summer to winter thereby creating a stunning and soothing effect you can enjoy all year round.

 
After you have finished all of your hardscape and plantings, you can carefully accent your Japanese garden with inspired statues and bowls, such as these from our web site at www.Garden-Fountains.com.

 

 

How To Build An Outdoor Aquarium

By: admin | Posted on: Aug/01/2017

Outdoor aquarium Garden-Fountains

Photo credit: Woohome

An outdoor aquarium is one of the best things you can have in the garden or backyard in order to give your home environment a more relaxing appeal. While it is true that you can easily buy a pre-made aquarium at a number of stores, it may be wiser to build your own, and eventually save yourself from spending thousands of dollars.

 

With the right equipment and proper guidelines, you can easily create a beautiful and fully-functioning aquarium at a cost that’s absolutely within your budget. Simply follow the guidelines below on how you can build an outdoor aquarium on your own.

 

Choose the aquarium’s location

 

Put your aquarium at a place where you believe it will add beauty to your current surroundings. Make sure that it is placed away from direct sunlight. Remember to also keep it away from vibrations and drafts to ensure healthy conditions for the fish.

 

Consider the temperature

 

Bear in mind that building an outdoor aquarium will expose the latter to temperature conditions which will vary depending on your location. From the very beginning, you should be able to assess whether an outdoor aquarium will be a year-round endeavor or one that will only be in existence during the warmer months of the year. In other words, you have the responsibility to take the fish inside your house once the temperature drops down! If you live in a warmer climate, you can enjoy it year-round, so long as you ensure that the water is moving to avoid freezing. You can also use a heater which you can install in the aquarium. Otherwise, choose a fish type that can tolerate cooler water.

 

Use the right equipment

 

You can choose either glass or acrylic as the type of tank material for your outdoor aquarium. Determine the aquarium size according to fish quantity and availability of materials and space. Add a filter system to your aquarium in order to give the fish ample aeration. Other equipment you may need include a timer, LED lighting, ultraviolet sterilizer and water pump.

 

Set up and decorate the tank

 

First, check your tank for any possible leaks. Next, add gravel and fill the tank with de-chlorinated water at mid-level. Then, install the filter system and heater which should help in keeping the water the right temperature. Strategically put the thermometer at a location where you can easily read it in order to control the temperature.

 

When everything else is in place, you can now add decorations inside your outdoor aquarium! These can range from rocks, ornaments, colored marbles, shells and even plants. You can also add a nice photo at the rear side of the aquarium to make it look more interesting.

 

Completely fill the aquarium with de-chlorinated water

 

Now that you have successfully decorated your aquarium, you can start filling it to the top. You can also turn on the heater and water filter after you have checked that both are functioning well. Lastly, add your new fish-friends and enjoy!

Outdoor aquarium Garden-Fountains

Photo credit: Woohomes

Planting with Succulents in Containers & Pots

By: admin | Posted on: Jul/18/2017

Planting with Succulents Garden-Fountains.com

Succulent Centerpiece with the Barca Planter

 

When you talk about planting with succulents, many think of the cactus plants typically seen in the southwest. But succulents are dependable plants and are great for small spaces, walkways, hanging plants and even focal points in your yard. Succulents are ideal for container gardens, and there are a wide range of types to choose from!

 

Succulents thrive in most any climate, as long as you provide them with the things they most need: consistent sun exposure, occasional watering, good drainage, and suitable soil and nutrients.

 

Once thought of as a plant of the Southwest, succulents are gaining ground with locations all of the country. As an easy to plant feature, manufacturers are now making planters that are actually specific for succulent planting.  The slow growth of these plants make them very easy to place indoors or outdoors.

 

Jovibarba Succulent Garden-fountains.com Popular Succulent Choices

 

If you are looking for a color succulent, consider the Jovibarba.  They tend to have flowers that are grown in a bell shape.  Jovirbarba also typically have approximately six petals that are pale yellow in color.  Another colorful, interesting succulent is the sempervivus. With many different types of sempervivius, you will often find beautiful star shaped flowers, which are often red of pink in color. To obtain the greatest coloring on sempervivius, place them in direct sunlight, as this helps form their bright colors!

 

Succulents Thrive on Neglect

One of the greatest things about planting with succulents is they are often quite resistant to frost and can grow easily in rocky climates. Other succulents love the sun, but are very drought resistant. That’s one of the things we love the most about them! As long as you’ve got proper nutrition (use a Cactus Soil Mix when planing) they’re tolerant if you forget to water them. Not that any of us have ever done that…!

 

Console Table with Succulents Garden-fountains.com

 

Hi Style with Half the Effort

 

Succulents are best suited to wide, low containers that are not too deep. This helps them maintain proper drainage. Planting containers like the Vela Planter are a perfect example. You can create a beautiful center piece for an outdoor or indoor table. Other specialty pieces like these from Campania International include both a trough garden console table and a trough garden bench. Plant them full of your favorite flowers, herbs or succulents. Another tip for the console table, is to use a liner for your plantings, and then you can remove them as needed. That can then transform that console table into a beverage stand for a party! This style of planting also tends to lend itself well to a very modern aesthetic. For tips on how to Create a Modern Garden or Landscape, check out this article here.

 

Succulents are gaining in popularity all over the country. With their minimal needs they’re sure to find themselves a place in your home or garden! Bring these beautiful flowers into your office to give yourself a break from the stresses of work and enjoy a special piece of nature.
By Jean Widner of the Garden-Fountains.com team.

 

Choosing Campania Patinas: Greystone, Alpine Stone, and Copper Bronze

By: admin | Posted on: Jul/11/2017

Cast stone products are one of the best choices for home and garden. Stone fountains and decor products made by Campania International are truly designed to last a lifetime. These stone items are heavy, but are much more durable, can withstand strong weather conditions, and weather naturally. So let’s say you’ve decided on the perfect fountain, statue, or planter choice by Campania. And now you’re ready to order, but wait! Have you chosen the perfect Finish yet (or Patina as Campania calls it)? Choosing the finish for a piece can be even more difficult than choosing the piece itself, so here we are to the rescue!

 

We’ll review all twelve patinas over the course of the next few posts in our blog. This way we’ll hope make it easier to choose the finish that best suits you and your special outdoor or indoor space.

 

Patina: Alpine Stone

 

Alpine Stone (AS)

Alpine Stone (AS)

Alpine Stone, or (AS) is one of the most popular patinas for Campania International products. This finish has a rich slate patina. It’s inspired by the stone that can be found in the foothills of the Italian Alps. Alpine Stone is a wonderful patina choice for rustic pieces that have a texture where the darker shades of this can hide, giving the piece a highlighted effect.

 

Alpine Stone is also a wonderful choice for statues and animal that has excellent detailing like the Dragon Fly Garden Statue, as you can see in this piece, the wings and the body collection the Alpine Stone coloring very naturally to create a beautiful piece. The Litchfield Egg and Dart Urn shows the Alpine Stone Patina on a smooth surface that leads up to a detailed rim. On a piece with a smoother surface, the Alpine Stone will have a much lighter effect, versus a textured or detailed surface.

 

Patina: Greystone

 

Greystone (GS)

Greytone (GS)

The Greystone patina, (GS) is the next most popular Patina by Campania. Greystone is a wonderful choice for a piece when you desire a natural looking finish. Greystone can be described as a classic grey patina that actually simulates the look of aged stone. We always say, when in doubt, Greystone is probably the perfect choice! You can easily see the difference between Greystone and Alpine Stone when you see the swatches next to one another. But often times, on planters or fountains that have minimal detailing, sometimes it is quite difficult to tell the two apart from one another!

 

The Exeter Planter is a great example of the Greystone Patina.  The smooth, sleek surfaces of this planter are added to by the beautiful look of aged stone with the Greystone Patina. The Moderne Fountain is another great example of the Greystone finish.  This patina will go excellent with most any outdoor decor and will look beautiful on either textured or smooth pieces.

 

Patina: Copper Bronze

 

Copper Bronze (CB)

Copper Bronze (CB)

The last patina we will review for today is the Copper Bronze.  This beautifully unique patina is designed to simulate the look of an aged oxidized copper.  Copper Bronze, also referred to as CB, can range from bright oxidized copper greens to high lighted browns.  The Wood Nymph Garden Statue shows the naturally looking oxidation coloring very well.  The Swimming Fish is another statue that shows how beautiful the CB finish can look on a textured piece. The looked of oxidized copper is often very popular and you might see copper roofs or statues in and around your area. If so, then this finish might be the perfect one for your Campania selection!

 

One important tip – before choosing any finish it’s best to view the options on multiple computer screens.  Computer screens are often calibrated to show colors in a different manner. So seeing the colors on different computer screens can help you to decide on which is the best choice. And as always, trained artisans apply all Campania International patinas by hand.  This means that not one single piece will look identical to another, making your garden accent one of a kind! Next, we will review several more Campania Patinas. However always feel free to contact customer care with any questions you may have before purchasing!

By: Susan Soler of the Garden-Fountains.com Team

How to Perfectly Pair Planters and Pedestals

By: admin | Posted on: Jun/14/2017

Planters and pedestals look elegant together, as though you’ve worked with a personal designer. If you’re investing in a particularly artistic planter or urn, having that item stand out by placing it on a pedestal can make all the difference. But for those who feel they need a bit of assistance in making the right choice, we thought we’d create this tutorial for you.

 

There are five different considerations to keep in mind. Here are some tips for each of them along with some photos to help you see what works and what doesn’t.

 

Style: Traditional or Modern

 

Traditional pairings of urns on top of formal pedestals is what most people think of when you mention planters and pedestals. It conjures images of formal European gardens or “Great Gatsby” style estates. There are plenty of formal styles to choose from, for certain. But as more modern and contemporary planter styles have come into the market, so have come pedestals to go with them.

 

So your first, most important consideration when choosing to add a pedestal to a planter or urn, is is to match those two styles together. Classical designs have details that will complement between the two items. If instead you have a modern urn, look for simple and clean lines in the pedestal as well.

 

Planters and Pedestals

Traditional | Modern

Overall Height: Low or High

 

This is the second most critical decision. You don’t want your plantings up so high that they can’t be appreciated. Likewise you don’t want them so low to the ground that the beauty of the combination is missed. Take a look at the area you’re placing them. Make note of what the ideal height of both items together would be. Keep that in mind while shopping.

 

Remember to also consider what you want planted in them. If it is going to be a taller plant then you don’t need a high pedestal. Conversely, if you are looking to plant some sort of drooping vine or flower, then this looks lovely cascading down the front of a wide urn placed on a taller pedestal.

 

Overall Shape: Balance and Dimension

 

Next, consider the overall balance. If the urn or planter you’ve chosen is large, you’ll need a wide base to match with it and a substantial pedestal size. When you’re shopping at Garden-Fountains.com you can usually see the dimensions of the base of the particular urn or planter. This way you can choose an appropriate pedestal. (But if you’re having any trouble you can always contact our Customer Service team for expert advice!)

 

Planters and Pedestals

Top: Smooth Bottom: Rustic

Texture: Rustic or Smooth

 

Now, if you take a look at a close up image of the various cast stone items, you can see that some are smooth and others are textured. Once you notice this detail, it’s important that you naturally match those items up with each other.

 

Shape: Round or Square

 

Lastly, is the final consideration is the shape of the pedestal and planter base, if it is round or square. This is really like the classic ‘round peg in a square hole’ sort of question. It’s OK to put a round base planter on a square pedestal, as long as they fit. But you definitely don’t wish to have the corners of a square planter or urn hanging over a round pedestal! Just remember it’s OK to mix as long as they fit and the above considerations are in line.

 

Planters and Pedestals

Lg. Leaf Urn w/Pedestal

 

Occasionally you’ll see items that are clearly ‘themed’ and are definitely made to go together. Whenever you have the opportunity to purchase a particular set such as this Large Leaf Urn w/Shell Pedestal,  left, taking advantage of the coordinating pedestal is best.

 

Now you have a guide to help you choose for yourself, and look as though you had professional help! Garden design with planters and pedestals is a great way to bring artistic flare and focus to your garden areas. You can use them around patios, entryways and pathways in the garden. If you want to see some more styles, we’ve got a few of them pre-selected for you by our expert team at Garden-Fountains.com. You can check them out here.

 

Posted by Jean Widner of the Garden-Fountains.com Team.

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