5 Ways to Make Your Yard More Meaningful
1. A Vegetable and/or Flower Garden
2. A Retreat
3. Make the Retreat more Pleasant and Colorful
4. Animal Friendly
5. Play Area for Kids
1. A VEGETABLE AND/OR FLOWER GARDEN
If you don’t have a garden, there are several reasons to start one. Whether it is a vegetable garden, flower garden, or both, almost everyone can start one. And do not let the size of your yard be a problem. Even if you have no yard at all, you can grow enriching plants using pots and buckets inside your home. For those with a yard, both types of gardens have benefits. Thus, Yardplusmore.com suggests growing both vegetables and flowers. The benefits are unending.
Let us begin discussing vegetables. Why grow vegetables? Consider the advantages.
ECONOMIC CONCERNS - With the price of food going up in grocery stores many people are realizing an economic advantage to growing vegetables. It seems every time we go to the grocery store prices on some items have gone up. So many people are on tight budgets. Saving money is not only beneficial but also a necessity.
When watching an old television show I have often noticed the food prices and compared them to today’s prices. Television shows like the Andy Griffith Show and Dobie Gillis Show are excellent examples. Those shows give us a great measuring tool allowing us to understand what has happened to food prices over the years. It seems these prices always go up. They seldom if ever go down. Thus, had you been vegetable gardening over the years you could have saved a lot of money. In some cases, it is not the price increases that cause problems, but the fact that an item is out of stock. Out-of-stock items are becoming a major problem in some areas of the country. Growing your own stock could be a huge benefit. Additionally, vegetables gathered out of the garden are fresher and should normally be more nutritious than those out of cans or even frozen vegetables offered through the stores. As a final significant point, fresh vegetables just taste better than those out of a can, and the fresher they are the better they taste.
FLOWERS AND PLANTS
FLOWERS AND PLANTS - As for flowers and plants, think about the kinds of plants and flowers you like best as well as those colors you enjoy. With a few clicks on your computer, you can learn how to care for those plants you choose. As for flowers, there are two types to be considered. Annuals must be replaced every year. Perennials are perpetuals. They are recurrent and come back year after year. Other concerns would include how much water your plants need. It is a clever idea to have a rain gauge to measure rain accumulation. There are other instruments you might find valuable. A thermometer and hygrometer measure the outdoor temperature and humidity. A barometer gauges the air pressure. Another interesting device which you might find valuable is the Taylor Precision Products Digital Weather Forecaster with Barometer and Alarm Clock. This great instrument replaces numerous climate-related apparatuses.
You will learn some plants need direct sun while others grow best in the shade of a tree or structure. One of the most important concerns but easiest to resolve is determining the plants that are the best to grow in your climate. There is a tool known as the USDA Hardness Zones. This is a map based on area climates which are easily found online. Be sure and order plants that fit in your zone. It is also beneficial to get plants raised in your general area. They have adapted to your specific environmental factors.
Here are a few illustrations of hardy colorful flowers. If they fall in your USDA hardness Zone, they might be good choices for flowers. The Geranium Rozanne is an excellent pick and has a violet-blue flower. Next is the Coneflower choice which comes either as the ‘Magnus’ with a reddish-pink flower, or ‘White Swan’ with a white flower. Another magnificent choice is the Black-eyed Susan Goldsturm which has a beautiful golden flower. For a hardy option with an interesting shape, consider the Bleeding Heart Luxuriant which is a reddish heart-shaped flower.
Tall plants and trees provide much-appreciated shade during the bright hot days of summer. But these trees also present a large mixture of attractive hues and colors which change during the different seasons of the year. A splendid example is the Crepe Myrtle trees, as they are some of the most beautiful anywhere. Crepe Myrtles in full bloom can have dazzling hues of pink, red, purple, and white.
As you care for these beautiful trees as well as your lawns, plant, or flower beds, you will have challenges arise. To handle such issues, you might require special tools. Gophers and other pests can be chased away by special “chaser” tools. Climate tools such as weather forecasters, and outdoor thermometers are useful in a variety of ways. Additionally, today, mobile energy chargers can be convenient apparatuses to keep cell phones and electrical devices fully charged. As shown below wheelbarrows, utility wagons, and carts can handle some of the heavier loads. All these tools and much more are available from YardPlusMore.Com under our Garden Category.
Many tools and supplies are available to help you manage your yard. Click for info.
Depending on the size and diversity of your garden, you might consider using some helpful tools. Whether you have acres to garden or just the area around an apartment window pots, planters and plantstands can be vital. Most everyone has a few plants growing in some form of pots or planters.
Plantstands are an attractive way to display plants in your home. Yet, there is a more practical use for them. A plant stand gives you the advantage of moving plants vertically as well as horizontally. This movement can be important for finding the right place with the desired amount of light for your plant.
Wood Potting Bench makes a clean-looking workstation. Click for info.
For a gardener who uses pots when planting, a potting bench can be an extremely useful piece of furniture for several reasons.
First, potting benches make tasks simpler to do. Everything from planting seeds to potting plants is easier with a potting bench. Without such a bench the process can become exhausting work. Bending, kneeling, and reaching can soon become arduous, difficult, and tiring. Sitting on a potting bench is much easier than kneeling or sitting on the ground for an extended period. So, why make these activities more tedious than they need to be?
A second reason to use a potting bench is to organize your work area. It is an immense help to have everything you need within your reach instead of being spread across the ground or left in the house and forgotten. Many benches are equipped to better arrange and store your tools and supplies. However, if needed, a small table with a drawer or two, or a close-by self can serve as an extension. Benches are attractive and normally made from wood, metal, or other sturdy materials. But look for extras which might be beneficial to you. For example, some benches are mobile. Some are larger than others. And some are made of more varied materials than others. Be sure and pick the potting bench that serves your needs.
Compost Bins turn table scraps, grass cuttings, and organic waste into fertilizer. Click for info.
Another great gardener’s tool is a compost bin. Compost bins allow you to turn your table scraps, your grass cuttings, and organic waste into fertilizer for your plants. That sounds a bit like fantasy, but it is true! They can turn your dreary garden, flowerbed, or lawn into a lovely, exciting part of your yard. The use of these bins may become even more important as a worldwide shortage of fertilizer seems to be looming. So, if you have always wanted to start composting but haven’t, this might be a wonderful time to start. How do compost bins work? The combination of air and moisture in these bins creates elevated temperatures for a faster and safe creation process. A variety of devices are available in our Compost Bins category for your interest. Spread the compost over your lawn, flowerbed, or garden for beautiful plants and lawns.
Rain Barrels use rainwater to water your yard. Click for info.
Rain Barrels are another item you should consider. If you would like a nice-looking yard here are several reasons why Rain Barrels might be a good fit. If your water bill is more than you like, Rain Barrels are for you. If you live in a section of the country where time-to-time rain is scarce, you need a Rain Barrel. But the most important reason has to do with the water itself. Rainwater is void of chlorine or any other chemicals normally added to tap water. That by itself makes Rain Barrel water better for plants than tap water.
Greenhouses are necessary for a garden enthusiast. Click for info.
Think what it would be like to own a Greenhouse. Pretend the main thing you wish to grow is tomatoes. Your next-door neighbor also enjoys growing tomatoes. He can hardly wait for tomato season to begin. In fact, he counts the days. But you have a greenhouse. Where you live you can start planting and growing anytime you wish. So, you go ahead and sow your seed. The warmth and humidity of the Greenhouse give your plants a big head start. By the time this neighbor begins to plant, your plants are well on their way to providing fruit. In addition, he must worry about disease, pests, and flying insects. However, your chance of such plagues is much less. And your produce is more abundant and looks healthier than the neighbor’s. Finally, when this neighbor’s growing season is over you continue to grow beautiful nourishing plants. Yes, that’s how much a greenhouse and aid your planting needs.
Storage Sheds provide more space and add value to your home. Click for info.
Putting a Storage Shed in your backyard will be an asset for your home. There are so many ways to use a Storage Shed. If you are like most people, the garage is a catchall for everything including tools and gear. Have you ever needed a tool but couldn’t find it? Did you find other lost tools while you searched for a particular missing one? Separate your yard equipment from car and house tools. Then use a shed to move those yard tools away from the garage. Other things that clutter the house could also be moved to the shed. Included might be camping equipment, fishing tackle, hobby supplies, sports gear, pet supplies, old pictures, keepsakes, Christmas lights, and much more. The advantages of a shed are obvious. Yardplusmore has a wide selection of Storage Sheds. Some are large and some are small. Some are wood and others are metal. We would love to serve your needs.
2. A RETREAT
The next suggestion is to create a retreat for you and your visitors. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you had a place to go, an escape from the world, a place to leave your everyday pressures behind? You can have that refuge, that haven. This blog has some excellent suggestions on just how to do just that!The first thing to consider is privacy. To create a refuge, you need your privacy. That is a necessity. Neighbors shouldn't be able to look out their windows and view you and your guests as you visit in your yard. Think of ways to block unwanted views. You could always build a barrier wall. It could be an attractive stone, rock, or wooden barrier. That would be an expensive solution, but a durable one. Another idea is a ‘living wall’ or a vertical wall made of plants. Done properly, a living wall can be quite attractive, and a popular conversation piece. Or, a well-placed storage shed, like the one seen above, might be used to block the view from a neighbor's window. You might just plant shrubs, or trees mature enough and tall enough to block the line of view. Just be sure and plant them in the right placement so they give you your privacy. Well-placed trellises are also great choices. As you can see below, trellises are attractive alternatives. The same trellis model can be placed repetitively in a sequence to form a marvelous wall. Trellis walls can easily continue to whatever length one might desire.
Trellises make great barriers. Click for info.
This should take a little planning. Your entire yard should be planned before you begin. Visualize your yard area. Where do you need a barrier? What kind of barrier?
This should take a little planning. In fact, your entire yard should be planned before you begin. Think about what you wish you had and how you would lay them out in the yard. Other things that should be planned include areas we might call activity areas or centers. Some of these centers might include a fire pit or other fire components, a covered area like a protected patio or gazebo, a dining area with tables and chairs, a bar (wet or dry), a cooking area, and water elements.
Fire pits are wonderful areas to gather family and friends. Click for info.
On the fire pit above notice the attached safety fire screen. Always be cautious when dealing with a dangerous component such as fire. Follow the time-tested rule of “safety first.”
One of the important aspects of a fire pit is the seating options. An outdoor fireplace is a beautiful structure and would make a fine addition to the yard. But the seating is limited. Only a small group can gather around a fireplace. And the cost is much greater than that of a fire pit. In comparison, sizable groups can sit in a circular pattern around a fire pit and feel the heat as it travels in all directions.
So, why have a fire pit? What are some of the other benefits of adding a fire pit? Whether day or night, a fire pit is a perfect place to socialize. With the chairs placed close together in a circle, the pit encourages socialization. Consider a group of your friends sitting around your fire pit at night. The wood has been piled into the fire pit’s confines. As the wood burns, it begins making crackling noises, and flickering red and yellow flames appear. The flame’s smoke swirls toward the sky producing an eerily sweet smoky aroma. The scent might remind you of previous campfires, perhaps when you were a child. Sitting closely, a blanket or two are shared keeping your friends warm and cozy. You notice their faces are glowing from the light of the blaze. Marshmallows are being toasted over the fire and s’mores follow. The evening is filled with laughter, jokes, gossip, and a story or two. One of the guests picks up a guitar and begins to play. Soon the group joins in on a few well-known songs. But unfortunately, all good things must end. Reluctantly the gathering breaks up and goes their separate ways, ending a perfect evening. That is why you should consider a fire pit.
GAZEBOS AND PERGOLAS
The gazebo pictured makes a nice, covered area that can be placed wherever you wish. Click for info.
A restful gazebo or another free-standing shelter can be made into a fantastic summerhouse, perfect for outdoor entertainment. As such it should be a focal point for your outdoor leisure and personal relaxation. Its covered feature makes the yard and gardens accessible no matter the weather. Come rain or sun, a gazebo offers you protection. Yet its openness allows for cool breezes to flow through the structure without any obstacles. Because of the gazebo’s openness, it is preferable to have an appealing view in every direction.
The gazebo pictured is a splendid example, for it offers an attractive, outdoor, covered area that can be embellished by your personal touches. With a little forethought, you can add the features you find appealing to your tastes and wants. This is particularly important in developing an enjoyable haven, one that will beckon you to spend time in your yard. Find an area with ample space allowing room for both your gazebo’s space and the surrounding outdoor area needed to congregate in comfort.
The gazebo displayed has mosquito nets, particularly useful during the summer and evening times. Its unique style makes it movable and can be placed wherever you wish. Having curtains or drapes can be a good addition making for more privacy as well as additional climate control. While making plans remember seating. Comfortable seating is always a plus.
Bring a piece of paradise to your yard; add a fountain. Click for info.
Adding a fountain to your proposed refuge should be appealing for numerous reasons. The most apparent is aesthetics. A fountain adds a touch of beauty and class to your yard. There are so many styles and shapes to choose from. You should be able to find several that complement your style. To that point, Yardplusmore offers a wide variety of choices. The sample free-standing fountain presented above is just one of the many styles we offer. Some are large and some are small. And they come in a plethora of styles. Many are free-standing outdoor fountains, but there are also a variety of tabletop selections. The tabletops are good choices for use in a Gazebo and other confined areas.
Another reason to own a fountain is noise control. One of the discomforts of our day is the unwanted sounds of street traffic. This street noise is a particular nuisance for homes located near a busy street or freeway. Some people live near a commercial carrier hub or railroad tracks.
Most of us love kids. But they are often nosy. Thus, neighborhood kids are often distractions because of their noise. Other diversions include unwanted music, nearby conversations from neighbors, and other unwanted neighborhood sounds. These irritating noises and others can be disruptive to a peaceful yard. However, the trickling sound of running water soothes the soul as it drowns out these undesirable noises.
This leads to the third reason to own a fountain. It can be good for your health. Just being connected to nature is therapeutic. The vision of beautiful flowers and trees, and the visitation of colorful birds all have therapeutic effects. But so are soothing sounds. Water flowing from an outdoor fountain can reduce stress allowing you to rest, relax and escape from a demanding life. People often feel these health benefits as they rejuvenate both their body and soul.
A final reason to own a fountain is water attracts wildlife to your yard. Water is the main ingredient all animals need. Therefore, it is desirable to keep fountain water clean. When we think of wildlife visitors we first think of birds. The wide variety of fowl, their beautiful colors, and charming songs, make for fascinating visitors. It is fun to keep a record of the different birds that come to visit your yard. But fountains also draw other animals. Some common ones are squirrels, butterflies, dragonflies, and in rural areas, deer. For this reason, one might select a multilevel fountain allowing more animals to benefit from your water source.
You might not want all the above centers in your refuge. You might prefer only one or two features. Whatever you decide, do it right. Plan and make your centers provide enjoyable, relaxing, quality time.
3. MAKE THE RETREAT MORE PLEASANT AND COLORFUL
A comfortable table and chair set is an important part of an outdoor refuge. Click for info.
Make the Retreat more Pleasant and Colorful – What does YardPlusMore.Com mean by this introductory statement? We are simply referring to ways to add color; to personalize your refuge for your enjoyment. Above is listed an assortment of Retreat activity areas or centers. Now we consider ways to include your tastes and interests. For instance, individuals pick tables, chairs, and other products to meet their tastes in colors and styles. Those things are certainly important to YardPlusMore.Com as every product we offer has been picked, in part, to meet those needs.
For instance, the beautiful metal dining set with a glass-topped table featured in the picture is an excellent choice for outdoor gatherings. It is especially needed where food or drink is served. The table includes six beautifully designed comfortable and soft cushioned chairs with space to pull up extra seating. Other choices are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. You will find a strong cast aluminum table, beautifully designed bistro table and chair sets, as well as a portable bar. Additionally, YardPlusMore.Com has a wide variety of seating choices of chairs, sofas, and benches. Choices include porch swings and gliders, sofas, garden benches, and more.
A beautiful porch rocking chair is one of the many seating choices available. Click for info.
We pick our tables, chairs, and other products to meet our tastes in colors and styles. Those things are certainly important to YardPlusMore.Com as every product we offer has been picked, in part, for those reasons. One of the remarkable things about flowers is your flower choices of colors, textures, and shapes also reflect your personal tastes. Few things in life are as colorful as a flowerbed full of thriving, beautiful flowers. And one of the important things about flowers is there are many choices. Not only is this true of flowers but the same can be said concerning the many varieties of trees and shrubs. Plan before you plant so you also make your shrub, and tree varieties reflect your tastes and preferences.
Add yard personality and charter by including yard art. Click for info.
Another way to improve color, as well as insert personality and character into your yard is by adding statues, figurines, and garden lighting. Through the YardPlusMore.Com collection, you will find an abundance of yard statues, figurines, and lighting accents. Many people pick gnomes to greet guests as they enter their premises. Some of these cute figurines hold welcome signs and other messages. Additional popular choices are pink flamingos, squirrels, frogs, or little fairies which are placed in strategic spots. Always a popular choice is religious objects like angels, Christian crosses, or Buddhas. As for lighting, a trendy choice is our adorable garden stakes and windmills. There are many options to choose from.
4. ANIMAL FRIENDLY
Animals are another way to add color and energy to the yard. Watch a playful brown squirrel as it runs from tree to tree. Or view a beautiful cardinal or blue jay hopping between the branches of a bush. While you relax in your new refuge wouldn’t it be nice to hear the chirps of birds visiting you and your yard? Sit and listen to the shrill of a Mockingbird in a close-by tree. Whistle back and listen for a response. The mockingbird will try to mimic your sounds. There are so many interesting types of birds which might visit. It might be fun to keep a list of the varieties and become a bird watcher. There are several ways to attract beautiful birds to your yard. To do so, make your yard a haven for birds too. YardPlusMore.Com suggests adding feeders, birdbaths or fountains, and birdhouses. It goes without discussing food attracts animals. Birds will make a regular stop at your home if you keep your feeders full of bird seed.
Birdbaths come in many sizes and styles. Click for info.
As for birdbaths, birds play in birdbaths partly because they need water to drink and rehydrate their bodies. But they also use it as they preen or clean their feathers with their beaks. Though birds need water year-round, water is normally used more in the summer months. These are also the months when many of the natural water sources like streams and ponds dry up. This is especially true in hot areas and/or regions with little rain. In fact, a lack of water will drive birds away. A reliable bird bath in your yard could become a steady stopping ground. To do so here are a couple of tips. Check the water level daily. Make sure there is always usable water on hand. A workable solution is to have your bird bath water recycled using a water pump as depicted in both the fountain and bird bath pictures. It is also important to keep the water clean and absent from waste and dirt.
One of the most interesting connections with birds comes from providing birdhouses. Watch birds fly to and from their chosen house while they build a nest for future events. Finally, after what seems like forever, a hungry baby bird shows its head. Mouth wide open, the baby begs for food. Parent birds will work hard to please their little ones. As shown above, all this feeding is often being done while in your view.
Birdhouses can be artistic additions to any yard. Click for info.
Placing a birdhouse in your yard has numerous positives. First, birds are interesting creatures to watch. Many are adorned in colorful feathers and sing enthusiastically for all to hear. But they also help the environment in several ways. They eat insects such as beetles and mosquitoes. This aids in controlling the infestation of insects. You are also providing needed shelter for these beautiful and interesting creatures. When providing a birdhouse look for one with perches for the birds to roost. It's good to remember they need to roost in dry and safe places. Finally, if you provide food and water nearby the birds are more likely to stay in your birdhouse.
DOG AND CAT HOUSES
Dog and Cat houses protect pets. Click for info.
Don’t forget Dogs and Cats. They gladly give their love and companionship to make you feel better when you are feeling down. Remember, they deserve your love and care. Here are a few simple rules to follow. When your pets are outside, they should be fed at least once daily (puppies should have several meals per day) preferably with a healthy meal, including protein, carbs, fat, and fiber. Always provide water as well as shade and shelter protection. If they spend much time in the yard, they need their own dog or cat house to rest and stay out of unwanted weather conditions. On particularly hot or frigid days they should be allowed to stay in the house. Find things they enjoy for exercise. Playing ball, running, or going for walks are common choices. Treat your pets right and they will add much to your life with wonderful memories of times of happiness.
5. YOURTH ACTIVITY AREAS
Most homeowners either have children or family and friends with children. Thus, it is a clever idea to have an area for kids. Children need a place where they can run and play. Try to designate a spot where they will do so safely. For example, you do not want them playing next to a swimming pool without adult supervision. Plan a location where kids can kick things, throw balls, hide, chase, or play without harm and a place where they will not interfere in adult conversations.
Hopefully, these ideas and thoughts have helped you in your plans for a gratifying yard, a yard you, your family, and friends can better enjoy. There are so many other comments that could be made. Visit back frequently for more discussions on these and other areas of interest. In the meantime, let’s begin building your retreat.