About Glass Staircase And Interior Enhancements

Glass enhancements are truly a great way to liven up your home or office. In fact, they are designed to effectively reflect and brighten light, which offers a sense of more space and room. Whether used as banisters, spokes, or even sectionals that separate rooms, there are so many options available for new and existing clients.

If you would like to revamp or revitalize any room, it is best to consult with an expert designer today. With years of extensive industry experience, they have the tools and expertise to liven up any outdoor or indoor area. This includes sparkling glass designs, along with sectionals that eliminate the need for actual room divisions. In fact, these glass separations and extensions provide the perfect cost-effective alternative to building new rooms and sections.

There are also customized options for new and existing home or business owners. You simply need to discuss your options with a certified and dedicated interior design specialist. They can easily create personalized glass pieces to effectively match any decor or design. In fact, they are also able to customize any piece or set to match outdoor steps, staircases, and railings as well.

Clients can also request glass divisions, which help add more depth and spacing in rooms. In fact, these are the best alternatives to actual dividers and others common Sheetrock items. There are also cubed glass dividers, along with flat sheets and even textured units that effectively match any traditional or modern design. All it takes is a simple consultation with local experts to get the look and feel you want for your property.

These units can even be stained to reflect any specific design or style. In fact, glass pieces are the best units to work with for many craftsmen and artists. However, you will need to discuss your plans with a certified and dedicated specialist. Only they have the tools of the trade to meet your needs within time and budget.

Tulips Bloom in the Spring

Tip 1. Buy reputable tulip bulbs from your garden centre and make sure full instructions are written on the back. That sounds obvious, but as a regular at garden centres, I’ve noticed a few cheap brands skimp on some important details such as what time of year to plant them, what shade/sun is required, and how deep to plant the bulbs.

Tulips should be planted with the pointy end upwards, and around 20-25cm underground. One of the most common errors when planting tulip bulbs is to plant them too shallow. Depending on the kind of tulip you buy, each tulip could yield between 1-4 flower heads, and most need to be planted around 20-25cm apart. I have seen people plant them closer together, however this will cause you problems in future years, when you dig them up to space them out a bit (as the plant is perennial and grows back and ‘spawns’ new blooms each year – in English and European climates, especially).

Tip 2. Deciding where to plant your tulips can be part of a grand experiment. This year, I planted some in a border near daffodils, some in hanging baskets where I had a spare bit of space, one or two in a ground planter and approximately 40 in row sets under wood-chip bark. Each lot of tulips have come up, successfully revealing the gorgeous bloom for which they were intended! (You can see by now I’m a bit tulip-crazy!)

The best looking tulips, health-wise, are the ones I planted in full sun in a hanging basket. The leaves are pest-free, and the potting mix seems to have nurtured them into full bloom. The only negatives are tulips near the sides might not reach a good height as the top is touching the hanging basket chain. Planting many and close together in a small hanging basket does work, yet considering they top out at about 30 cm tall, take that into account when deciding where to plant them. By the way, these tulips are sharing the basket space with pansy flowers, which seem to be amiable companions for them. My other lot are in a ground planter with a cyclamen, and whilst they seem happy, the cyclamen is not. I’m not sure they like sharing space with other bulbs (the cyclamen, that is).

One thing to remember wherever you plant your tulips, the green leaves come up around February time, the flowers mid-late April, and the blooms are all done by June at the latest. For the rest of the year the bed will look a bit bare. I suggest you plant something compatible with them on the surface, so if you are not too sure about this (I wasn’t) experiment with hanging baskets to see what works. Around the neighbours’ houses I’ve seen tulips planted under low-lying ground cover plants, the grassy borders of tree trunks, or pansy flower beds. I can see why no-one puts them under a large bush – they need light and height. If surrounded by too many bulbs they won’t come up so great either, it seems from my observations. However, the exception to that rule seems to be they will share a spot with the humble daffodil – as long as there’s room – otherwise the “daff” wins the spot, every time. by inference, you’ll need to prepare any bed you plant tulips in by digging the soil over deeply (to 35-40cm) and pulling out bulbs that are already in there by hand. These include bluebells, daffodil and snowdrop bulbs which could all potentially inhabit a garden bed. This is particularly relevant if you’ve inherited a new garden to play around with. If you haven’t seen the spring flower show, be prepared to dig!

Tip 3. The pests that can attack your tulips include the four-legged kind! The bulbs, which resemble onions in their smell, are attractive to burrowers when tulips are newly planted. There’s not much food around in October/November time, as autumn becomes winter, and believe me, if you’ve spent hours planting a tulip bed, as I did, you won’t appreciate a badger coming around and having a little meal. The solution here is to plant the bulbs at the correct depth in the ground (25-30cm), cover with soil, firmly press down and immediately water. One of the main reasons I put mine under wood-chip this year was to deter cats using the bare bed as litter tray (and possibly digging them up), and foxes deciding the bare garden was a good area for them to pass through, have a little sleep, or bury some bones they are fond of.

Once the tulips begin to show signs of budding, there is the need to watch out for squirrels. They love to eat the head of the tulips! After all that effort you could lose them all – so aside from using an air rifle and being an incredible shot – if you live near squirrels you can forget about growing tulips. Have a little think about this – how many tulips do you see growing in public parks where squirrels roam loose? Exactly! (Or maybe public gardeners are a great shot?)

Another pest which can put little holes all through the leaves is the common garden slug. Slug pellets will keep them at bay, but not totally eliminate them. If you are not too worried about a few nibbles, the tulip flowers will come up just fine, but the leaves look a little mottled. I’ll say straight off I use organic pellets so the birds can eat the dead slugs, which seems a pleasing result for all concerned.

In a second and third year of growth (which you will get if you plant little ground covers, pansies or compatible plants with shallow roots above your tulips) the leaves are much more robust. After the first year you will have a super-strong showing. Add fresh manure or garden compost around Autumn and re-cover the bed with wood-chip or the plants I’ve suggested. I’ve noticed slugs can also be slowed down by wood-chip (which is why I tried this as we are infested with the critters where I live), and of course, the usual slug traps will work too. When you notice more blooms, or crowded beds, you need to dig up the plants just after they bloom, and replant them (deeply) to give them the extra room needed for your next season (usually do this every four years or so).

Grow Shiitake Logs In A Home Garden

Identifying the log

This is another important step that comprises the process of growing shiitake. For Shiitake Logs you have to identify the best and get them from hardwood trees that are freshly cut. While the specifications of logs can change, you can cut them into suitable sizes to achieve your target. There are different trees from which you can cut sections of logs for Shiitake Spawns but make sure that you consult a professional with adequate experience to know the things in entirety. Buying mushroom logs for sale is another idea on which you can rely to enhance the production. It is the quality of the log that can boost the growth of mushroom. Once you have finished the process of getting the Shiitake Mushroom Logs you will be able to grow mushrooms on them for a long time. Logs need to be left for some time to allow the fungicides to die before you move on to the next step.

Buying and stuffing the spawn

Next is the step to get shiitake mushroom spawn whether in the form of sawdust, plugs or thimbles. There are a lot of online portals selling spawns needed for shiitake mushrooms offering different strains and varied characteristics. For each log, you will need a certain number of spawns. After this, you will need to drill holes in the logs and the entire thing is to be done around the circumference of the log. You have to plug spawn in the holes. After filling the holes with spawns you have to cover them with good quality wax which is food grade such as beeswax to avoid contamination.

Keeping the logs

You have to stack the logs against something or lay them on the ground, preferably on a bed of straw. Ideally, the place in which the logs are placed must be shady. However, air circulation must be proper and if there is scanty rainfall in the area, you can keep the logs moist. As a matter of fact, this is the trickiest part of growing shiitake mushroom on the logs. You might have to go through a few steps of trial and error before getting it right.

Growth of mushroom

Finally, the shiitake mushrooms will grow on the logs within a period of six to twelve months. If you are lucky enough the production can continue until springtime. You can expect the growth for about three to four years until the cellulose of the log is consumed fully and prepare for commercial selling if you want.

Choosing Outdoor Bird Bath

Birds are attracted to moving water. Although bird baths with pumps and with fountains are great ways to attract birds with moving water, these things are generally not necessary if you change the water of simple often enough. Small, battery operated pumps can do the job and are inexpensive. If you would prefer not to have to change the batteries, more elaborate electric and even solar options can also be purchased.

Many bird baths are constructed of plastic. They are lightweight, durable, are able to weather the cold season, are not too expensive and can be purchased in a wide variety of styles and designs. With the variety of plastic models available, you are sure to find one that will fit well in your garden or yard. Metal ones are also a great choice, but should be brought indoors in colder winter months when debris and even the birds feet can freeze to the surface of the bird bath.

Basins should be no more that about two inches deep and slope gradually from the outer edges to the center. Bird baths of this depth will prevent the birds from possibly drowning.

Another advantage of bird baths of this depth is that they encourage birds to bathe and splash, rather than just for drinking. For basins deeper than two inches, stones or seashells can be placed inside to make it more shallow. The texture of these natural objects will also encourage birds to grab on to them with their feet.

Be sure to place your bath near trees and branches in the birds become frightened and need a quick escape route. However, do not leave them so close to trees, leaves and bird feeders that debris is constantly falling into the water. It should be located in an area that receives some shade during the day in order to discourage algae growth and so that the water does not get too hot. The bird bath placement should also discourage predators, such as cats and raccoons, from capturing the birds.

Little History Of Wind Chimes

Even prehistoric man knew how to use wind chimes as a source of pleasure. They would hang objects from a branch and watch them sway. Perhaps those swaying objects were seashells or stones clashing together, thus making some of the first wind chimes.

In South East Asia archeological sites, evidence of wind chimes were found and dated to be from around 3000 B.C. The earliest wind chimes which were thought to ward off spirits, were made from bone, bamboo, wood, shells or stones. They were also used by farmers to scare off birds and animals from the fields. By 2000 B.C. the Egyptians were casting wind chimes in bronze.

The wind chime became more modernized by the Chinese in 1100 B.C. when they started casting bells by highly skilled metal workers. Those that were crafted by the Chinese were a clapper-less bell called yong-zhong which were used in religious ceremonies. The modern wind bell called the feng-ling was developed after that and they hung from temples, eaves of shrines, and pagodas. They were hung in all these place, even in caves, as it was thought that they repelled evil demons and ghosts and would attract good spirits. This would later be adopted by the secular world and they became popular adornments in the home to ward off spiteful supernatural influences.

Home use of wind chimes spread to Japan from China and by the 1800’s, they arrived in the western world when Europe and America saw the distinct influence of Asian art, design and philosophy. The feeling and mood of a living space’s energy can be changed by the materials and tones of a particular chime. This is known as feng-shui. Enemies of Celtic tribes were tricked into thinking woods were haunted because of the chimes were hung there. Evil spirits were warded off in pagodas and temples. Wind chimes have even been used to help warn of oncoming storms because they could detect the slightest change in wind speeds.

They have even been used on ships and in farmer’s fields to determine the direction of the wind. Farmers also use them to scare away birds and other pests from their fields. They are so effective at frightening birds, that some people who have them hanging near their bird feeders find that few birds care to dine on the delicious seeds with the wind chimes clanging in the breezes.

Straight Poop on Manure

While all manure types are soil builders, not all of them are alike. Some, like rabbit waste, can be used immediately. Others have to age and decompose before adding to the garden. Human waste is usually processed at sewage treatment plants.

Food growers can enjoy numerous benefits when applying organic matter properly to land. The list includes the following:

  • Soil carbon increase
  • Atmospheric carbon levels decrease
  • Reduction of soil runoffs and erosion
  • Diminished nitrate leaching
  • Improved soil structure and water infiltration
  • Bigger yields

Nitrogen compounds are the key to successful crops. Their levels, nutrient content, and rate of availability vary widely. Cow waste is quite different from horse, poultry, or rabbit excrements. A quick glance makes that obvious, but there is more. What the animals eat and drink, how much they digest, their general health, and the amount of urine concentrated in the manure are just a few influential factors.

Using organic matter in the garden is not a new concept. It has been used for centuries to improve plant health and boost yields. The way it is handled has changed over time. Scientific experiments revealed a lot about fertilizer values and what affects nitrogen content levels. Nitrogen is present in various forms, most of which slowly changes to ammonium and nitrates. Be careful, as ammonium can dissipate in air, and rain can wash away nitrates.

Secrets to Keeping Manure Rich

  • Stockpile the dung while it is still moist
  • Minimize handling
  • Work it immediately into the soil after spreading

Most manure types should be well-seasoned before usage. Plants will burn if the matter is green or uncured and too hot. Cow, pig, hog, sheep, goat, and horse excrements should rest for at least a full year before usage. Rabbit droppings can be used at once.

Maintain a Healthy Garden

The temperature of vegetable garden seeds is very important to their growth. Some cool season crops like spinach won’t geminate if the soil is too warm. In fact, it needs to be below 75 degrees. I am planting carrots which don’t mind zero temperature up to 95 degrees. But they will be happy when it gets cooler. Just cover the seeds with soil. You don’t have to plant them deep. Just about a quarter of inch deep would be fine. Add a little bit of water and it is done.

Good garden equipment can increase the gemination of the seeds. If you want to plant the spinach soon, you can put the shade fabric over the bed to cool the soil down to the right temperature so that the seeds will geminate. To further cool the soil, you can water the bed generously. A soil thermometer helps you know when the soil reaches the ideal temperature for germination. If you don’t have a permanent structure, you can use some steel wires for hoops. All you need to do is to insert them into the bed no matter what kind of shade fabric or frost protection fabric later on the season. So you don’t have to build the permanent structure. Your fall garden may need some frost protection later on the season.

The fun part is to decide what fall crops to plant and when to plant them. The first step is to figure out your first frost date. Contact your local gardener for the frost date in your area and then work backwards. Take the first date and subtract the varieties date to maturity. Then substrate about two weeks because plants grow more slowly in short autumn days. Then subtract the days to germination. So don’t wait too late because your fall seeds have to geminate.


  • Prepare garden plot. One of the most important decisions that gardeners will make is where to locate their garden. And once you have that site selected, there is something you need to take into consideration. Whether the location is lever, the amount of sunlight the location can get a day and the soil structure of the location have to be considered. If you are not familiar with the soil type, the other thing you probably need to do is to submit the sample for analysis.
  • Prevent weeds with weed barrier. A weed barrier is a fabric material that lies over the ground. It is one of the best gardening tools that prevent the weeds from growing up through. There are different materials to use in different situations. For example, if you are growing strawberries, you can use the fabric material that allows water down through but is strong enough to prevent weeds from growing up from the soil. The nice thing about this weed barrier is that it can greatly reduce the needs for pulling weeds.
  • Dealing with houseplant pest. Hanging garden decor is becoming trendy recently. However, you should pay attention to the pest issue of your indoor plants. One of the best ways to identify whether your plants are having a pest issue is to take a look at them and look for a substance called honey dew. Honey dew is actually a waste product from the insect’s feeding. Honey dew generally collects in the lower part of the plants. Take a look at the lower part and see if you can find a sugary sticky substance on the surface of the leaves. Basically there are tree types of insects can produce honey dew. Those are scale insects, white flies and Aphids. There are several ways to control them. The best way to control these insects is by using a soapy water solution. So in the wintertime, you want to make sure you check the plants regularly for insect problems. If you do detect something, you take action quickly.

Cobblestones to Create Practical Walkways

Walkways are ideal for larger gardens to help visitors find their way to the house or swimming pool. The cobblestone walkway doesn’t have to be straight; and the curvy look gives the garden a feeling of strolling along and not striding. Depending on the design, a path can be a practical connection between two points or more of an experience. Narrow spaces are popular places to add practical walkways. Placing different shapes of paving bricks into the walkway can give your garden a more contemporary artwork appearance.

A natural-looking cobblestone walkway is an excellent match to raise flower beds that are covered with conifers. Though some cobblestone walkways may look random and rustic, it follows a definite plan. These cobblestones can be set next to smaller stones to give them a simple, but effective path. Cobblestones have class and style and can be used as a walkway surface or as an edging material.

Cobblestones are roughly cut rectangular stone blocks and are typically granite. As edging, they can be used as a curb to keep soil and mulch from spilling into a path or as a decorative accent along the edge of a path or garden bed if they are installed at the same level as the surrounding ground. They can be laid on one side of the walkway, and then, starting at that side, the path’s rows of bricks can be laid. After laying the last row of bricks, place the cobblestone edging on the walkway’s other side.

Cobblestone walkways have many benefits however the most obvious has to be that it provides a primary sturdy surface that will allow you to access all parts of your garden. Using some of the excavated soil to fill spaces between the cobblestones and the undisturbed soil on each side of the walkway, will help keep walkway together. Cobblestones can be beautifully complemented when laid in different colours, sizes and shapes.

If you have a front garden, then it’s necessary to place practical walkways from the entrance gate to the front door. You need to plan exactly where you place the walkway before you get started. This process will also allow you to determine how much garden materials you will require.

Capturing Nostalgia In Garden

We find ourselves asking things like, “What kind of apple tree did grandpa have with those amazing apples that I’ve never found elsewhere?” and “I wish I had a kitchen garden like we had growing up!” Some of us even go as far as to smuggle a couple of chickens and a tiny chicken coop into our city backyards for a taste of fresh home grown eggs and the sound of happy clucking hens like we might have had as kids. So how can you capture some of this goodness from the past for your garden of today?

The first thing you want to do is find out exactly what types of plants your family grew. For example, apple varieties that are available today have changed a lot from what they were 30 years ago, but you can still find those old tried and true varieties of apples and much more if you know where to look. Look for a nursery that carries old traditional trees for sale. Some common, older apple varieties widely grown include Jonagold, Red Delicious, and Spartan. This applies to all fruit trees and shrubs too. Be sure that if you’ve moved away from home, Grandpa’s variety will perform where you now live. If not, there are plenty of alternatives.

There have always been garden trends and things people planted that were common to specific areas. For example, large rhododendrons might be in the memories of those who grew up in the Seattle area in the past few generations. In the Midwest, it’s very common to see large, old fashioned white blooming spireas and purple lilacs in the garden. In the south, crape myrtles were (and still are) everywhere. If you have fond memories of these growing up, look into bringing them into your own garden. And thankfully, with the progression of plant breeding and cultivar development in recent history, many of what we couldn’t grow in certain areas, we can now grow. For example, the rhodies of the west can now be grown in most parts of the cold in Minnesota when they couldn’t before, thanks to the development of cold hardy rhodies and azaleas like the Bloom-A-Thon series.

Your nostalgic scene will be unique to you. If you’re looking to recapture your mother’s kitchen or tea garden, try an herb selection for your own kitchen or tea garden. An old fashioned rose much like the tiny Fairy Rose will certainly remind you of the roses you might remember.

In short, learn about old varieties of plants if you’re looking to capture that nostalgia that you have from when you were young in your own garden. Many of the old-fashioned and heirloom varieties of plants are still excellent choices for today’s gardens. There’s a wealth of wonderful information on gardens of the past out there, and bringing them into the current is a wonderful way to bring back memories and keep traditions alive.

About Backyard Habitat

One of the programs, the Backyard Habitat Certification, honours and celebrates those who have created a diverse backyard habitat with different types of landscaping, water sources, gardens and trees that provide food or habitat for bees, butterflies, bats, birds, and frogs and humans. Dave and Lillian had the honor of being awarded this certification for their Grand Forks home. “When we purchased that double corner lot, it had been a rental for a long time. When we looked into the history of the property we learned that many years ago it belonged to a back yard mechanic and before that it had been the site of a repair yard for the railway that used to exist there at the turn of the century. Because of this, the earth was compact, rocky, heavy clay and what little greenery that survived there was mostly weeds.” Dave explains.
After putting in so much time and passion into that property it was difficult to leave it when it was reaching maturity and the peak of its beauty. However it was important for them to follow their dream and move to Creston. ” Did you know”, Dave asks, “that landscaping can add 15% or more to the value of your home? We only had a few people look at the place because of the ambiance our gardens brought to the home, and the certification was also a selling feature.”

“Using what we learned from the last place – we started from scratch, but with a better plan this time. Because this property did not have toxins in the soil, we were able to use the earth and sod removed from landscaping projects to layer into our 3-bin compost system. Our focus was to build good soil before we did anything else.” Lillian explains. “We’ve been here 7 years now and the place has become our own little park. It has been a great reward to receive 4 different certifications for our efforts.”

Landscaping surrounds their home, including 11 shrubs, 11 trees, hundreds of perennial bulbs, a few vines, dozens of berries, perennial flowers and herbs. 9 raised beds compliment their growing space along with 4 water features. Because loose seed is messy, the Brummets opted for putting 2 suet blocks in the largest evergreen tree for the birds and squirrels to enjoy.

“The group at CDSCL here in Creston make great bird and bat homes out of wood, we plan on getting a few this year and perhaps a butterfly house too.” Dave tells us.
The home has become a stunning park – quiet, peaceful with a feeling of privacy, which entices the couple and their 2 dogs to spend more time outside. They are often dog sitting for others and the fur-children love playing and sniffing around all the greenery and then seeking out shade for a rest or meeting up on the flower-pot covered deck for a deserved break.

Having created habitat at both properties the Brummets have come to see gardening as more than a healthy hobby because it makes a real difference in the world. “We noticed increasing numbers and diversity of birds, butterflies and insects. Frogs and dragonflies abruptly appear, bringing delight into our day, and we always have something in the freezer and pantry from the garden harvests. We saw energy costs lower simply due to increased shade and less dust. It is important to note that the plants we’ve put in so far will help mitigate global warming – currently absorbing more than 1875 kg of pollution and releasing enough oxygen for 25 people every single year. Just wait until they are mature! The property is noticeably cooler – during the peak summer months, pedestrians often pause to enjoy the shade and watch the butterflies”, Lillian shares with a smile.
Dave explains further, “We know that creating bio-diverse yards not only increases property value and so reduces energy costs and dust – but it also reduces noise and gives us a little more privacy. Becoming certified with any organization is a great way to help out, they use the funds raised in these programs to help run a wide variety of services. At the time of registering the property, it is a great opportunity to add a tax-deductible donation. The signs are durable, and they can be installed easily on a fence panel under cover if you desire. They enable visitors, and anyone passing by, to notice the sign, think about what it means, and that might just inspire them to do something similar to their green spaces. The signs make for excellent conversation starters for anyone visiting the property. They help our image, re: our business. And finally – they also make the property seem special, unique, which is important when it comes to selling.”