Categories
Landscape Yard

How To Keep Your Garden Pond Clean

Many of us know how pleasant it is to sit by the clear pond on a summer evening and enjoy the chant of birds. After all, the ideal surface of water gives a charge of the most positive emotions and soothes the mind. But, such garden ponds, even without fish and other pond water organisms, have to be cleaned of pollution, as otherwise, it will turn into a swamp with a lot of mosquitoes and murky water, which smell not that pleasant.

Dealing with poor waterproofing

Dealing with poor waterproofing
Dealing with poor waterproofing

Sometimes pond pollution may be caused by a violation of the waterproofing system. Subsidence of the soil or wrong preparation of the concrete slurry can cause cracks in the fundament. The concreted bottom or walls can crack, and soil begins to fall through the cracks.

To eliminate this problem, you need to drain the pond, clean the cracks and cover them with sealant in two layers. For large damages, it is necessary to clean them and cover them first with mastic, and then with a second layer of sealant. But such repairs are not a guarantee that the concrete foundation will not crack again. The most reliable way to eliminate leaks is to harden the walls and bottom with a layer of plastic.

Pond algae control

Pond algae control
Pond algae control

The algae, which are floating on the surface of your pond are one of the main problems, which has to be treated thoroughly. The water surface begins to turn green because of the growth of small algae. There are many types of aquarium algae, and all of them worsen the color of water, but do not harm its inhabitants. Removing algae from the pond should be carried out regularly – chemically, biologically, or mechanically.

If are wondering how to remove algae from the pond without harming fish, it’s better for you to use a mechanical method. To do that, remove the algae by using rakes, winding, and pulling them ashore.

The biological method also won’t harm your pond inhabitants. This method involves planting along the shores of the basin, which helps to create shadows and other adverse conditions for the growth of algae. The chemical method is more radical and involves the use of special substances and ponds chemicals – algaecides or dyes.

Usage of filters

Oase Filtomatic Pond Filters
Oase Filtomatic Pond Filters

Cleaning ponds and basins applying special filters is the most convenient and effective way. It is enough to put a cleaning filter on a pump and remove it from dirt. There are filters created for ordinary mud, large debris and silt, and biofilters with an ultraviolet lamp that prevent the reproduction of harmful bacteria and fish diseases.

The process of cleaning water with filters covers suction and filtration of green pond water through skimmers, with the removal of silt located on the bottom and surface of the pond.

Cleaning with the help of pond vacuum cleaners

Cleaning with the help of pond vacuum cleaners
Cleaning with the help of pond vacuum cleaners

How to clean a pond by applying fewer efforts? It is possible if you use a special pond vacuum cleaner, which collects garbage, both from the surface of the basin and from the bottom. Pond cleaners suction liquid, filtrate it through a special filter and withdraw already purified water through the hose located on the other side.

Removing the sludge from your basin can be carried out with the help of a bottom vacuum cleaner, which resembles the usual, but without a lack of an internal cleaning filter. The bottom vacuum cleaner sucks water inside into the bag and is automatically switched off when filled. Then you need to release the silt from the bag.

How to prevent the accumulation of silt and mud?

How to prevent accumulation of silt and mud?
How to prevent accumulation of silt and mud?

If you regularly remove silt and algae from basins applying the methods described above, this will serve as a guarantee of purity of the water surface and the health of inhabitants. But if the pond is heavily soiled, you should drain the water completely. Don’t forget to relocate your fish and other inhabitants before that. Then remove dirt from the bottom, algae, and mud applying flow strength of water, and then fill it with clean water.

Sometimes silt may rise from the bottom, and the water in the pond darkens or becomes green, due to the activity of fish or water pressure. To prevent this, you can add special chemical compounds, which will make the silt plunge on the bottom.

Feed inhabitants properly

Pond fish feeding
Feed inhabitants properly

You may be surprised, but your pond purity level depends on the organisms and animals, which live there. If you have fish, you should buy them only high-quality feed. This will help you prevent the growth of algae and reduce the amount of salt on the bottom. Every time you feed the fish, you have to get assured they eat all the food. If not, the leftover food will accumulate on the bottom promoting algae growth and creating silt.

How to not overfeed your fish? If you observe the leftovers floating on the surface that will be the sign for you to reduce the amount of feed you are giving away.

Pond winter times care

Pond winter times care
Pond winter times care

The question of wintering the inhabitants is solved, if your pond is large, fish won’t be threatened. But, if you are an owner of a small pond, fish should be moved to a home aquarium.  Winter times care involves removing mud, preventing freezing of the entire water surface.

To prevent the accumulation of harmful underwater gas and access to oxygen in ice, it is sufficient to make one large hole in the ice and make sure that it does not freeze or lower the special heater. Small pond owners should drain the water for winter.

When winter times are over, it is necessary to check the wiring and pump. Remove the mesh from the surface, if you used one, get rid of mud and clean the pond.

You can also put the barley straw in the pond. It releases useful chemicals that help to prevent the growth of algae. Don’t forget to remove leaves and debris every day. Getting rid of twigs and grasses regularly will ensure the water purity of your pond.

Categories
Tips Yard

14 Cool Ways to Create a Functional Outdoor Area

It’s no good boasting a garden if it’s not going to be used. Then you may as well live in an apartment. Your outdoor area has to work for you so that you can make the most of it.

Some people use their gardens as a place of tranquillity and beauty, while others would love a space that keeps the kids busy, and yet others would like a place they can do stuff in, or to help the environment.

These 14 ideas are not for every personality type, but will come in handy when you’re looking to make your yard a functional place, whether it’s for better entertaining, relaxation time, or simply to enhance your life. Or to help the world:

1. Extend the indoors

This patio has become an extension of the indoors dining area.
This patio has become an extension of the indoors dining area.

If you’re battling for more indoor space, or would simply like to extend the indoors, a patio installed right off a room, with or without enclosure, maybe what you need. With all the different types of patio designs, a patio creates a natural flow from one area to another, which makes it perfect to integrate the indoors and outdoors.

A patio can become an extension of the kitchen, lounge, dining room, or bedroom. Or use it for a jacuzzi, or simply a place to soak up some sun and light.

2. Build a smokehouse

Build a smokehouse
Build a smokehouse

Fancy yourself a sausage or ham smoker chef? Why not build your own smokehouse? It does not need to cost a lot either. Making your own is less expensive than buying one, and it may also hold more meat. A smokehouse takes a very small amount of space. If you’re a meat lover, you’re going to want this!

3. Plant a veggie garden

Plant a veggie garden
Plant a veggie garden

Since eating is what keeps you and your family alive, you can’t make a more functional outdoor area than growing your own food.

No matter the size of your outdoor space, you can plant veggies and herbs, either in containers or in soil. They can be planted vertically in small spaces, hanging on balconies, or neatly arranged in soil.

4. Collect water

Collect water
Collect water

Depending on your budget and space, and how far you’d like to take it, you can either collect water to use in the garden by routing rainwater from gutters into a barrel, or it can be collected and stored in water tanks, for use around the house. This water can be used for cooking, cleaning, dishes, washing, and so on.

5. Make a treehouse

Make a treehouse
Make a treehouse

As long as the kids are kept busy and happy, the parents can also be content and joyful, right? Giving them a treehouse will keep them busy for hours, in the best possible way. Include an entire play area with swings and a jungle gym, and you are likely to stay joyful for longer!

6. Double-up furniture

This outdoors counter also serves as a storage unit.
This outdoors counter also serves as a storage unit.

Space is often a problem in outdoor living areas, so it’s wise to use furniture and accessories that have the ability to fulfill multiple roles. For example, benches could have storage space underneath; tables may double up as containers.

7. Create an outdoor gym

Create a outdoor gym
Create a outdoor gym

Let out the child in you with an outdoor gym, right in your backyard. What could be more fun than working out outside? The photo below shows athletes Gavin Peacock and Sean Chilton in an outdoor gym area which includes SPY Optics, Rogue equipment, kettlebells, TRX, Pendlay, battle ropes, Olympic rings, Olympic platform and plates, Fight monkey MMA & Boxing gear, and DJI Phantom.

8. Add lighting

Add lighting yard
Add lighting yard

Use your outdoor area day and night, by adding good lighting in all the right spots. Not only does lighting help keep you safe so you can see where you’re walking, but it also allows for reading outside in the evening.

9. Grow some privacy

How To Choose The Right Paint Color For Your Home’s Boundary Fence
How To Choose The Right Paint Color For Your Home’s Boundary Fence

You don’t need to build a wall to add some privacy to an area; instead, you can grow a fence in the form of plants – either in strategically placed containers of a variety of shapes and sizes or with neatened bushes. Alternatively, use a shade sail or divider to easily create a private area.

10. Install a shade sail

Install a shade sail
Install a shade sail

Some gardens are all sun. Which is all very good and well, except if you plan to take a seat outside. Then you’re in for cooking. If you want to make a very sunny area a place where you can sit without the discomfort of being too hot or getting burned, you will need to make a way to have shade. A shade sail is affordable and provides shade in a very classy way.

11. Start a beehive

Start a bee hive
Start a bee hive

Do the world a favor, as well as your body, by building a beehouse and collecting the honey from it.

To do it yourself, all you need is:

  • A waterproof container like a plastic bottle
  • Scissors
  • Warm fabric from an old jersey
  • 15cm hollow tubes to fill the container – try paper straws or bamboo canes
  • Air-drying clay or stiff mud (it must not be too wet)
  • String or wire

To make it, follow these instructions.

12. Include a workspace

Include a work space
Include a work space

It may be an eyesore, but adding a tucked-away outdoor workspace is a great functional idea. Use the workspace for an outdoors carving/drilling/cutting place, and hide it behind a makeshift fence, made from anything that looks attractive, but blocks the sight.

13. Add a moveable “room”

Install a wendy’s house to instantly add on an additional room outdoors that can be used as a shed, kids play area, storage facility, or a comfortable private space.

14. Garage and gazebos

Garage and gazebox
Garage and gazebox

You don’t need to get permission for this garage that can also be used as a gazebo when it’s not holding a vehicle – the Gazebo is made from transparent materials and can easily be uplifted to be placed somewhere else.

It only needs a small amount of space, and completely covers the car, giving it protection from the elements, as well as thieving hands.

Categories
Yard

How To Keep Your Pond Beautifully Maintained Year Round

Seasonal Serenity – How To Keep Your Pond Beautifully Maintained Year Round

A beautiful, well-maintained pond in your garden is a wonderful focal point in any landscape design and can be a great talking point when having guests over It gives you something to plan the rest of the garden around, it provides a peaceful place to relax and can be a fantastic project for you to work on.

However, maintaining a pond and keeping it healthy does take some work and you need to be committed to the upkeep. It doesn’t need to be a fulltime job, but you will need to carry out various maintenance tasks throughout the year to keep it in tip-top shape. Having the right equipment and game plan will make keeping your pond clean and healthy easy.

The key is to perform maintenance regularly, as this will be more beneficial than one big clean each year. It’s important to look after your pond carefully, give it some TLC and let the fish and plant life that surround it grow to be healthy.

Stay on top of your pond care throughout the year by following a few simple tips and changing your routine with the seasons.


Stay on Top of Basic Year Round Pond Maintenance

Rock Gardeners Know The Importance
Rock Gardeners Know The Importance

Maintenance of pond pumps and filters should be carried out regularly. As soon as you notice any reduced flow, clean all of your pond pumps and pond filters. Remember to switch the system off first and turn off the UV light as without running water it will overheat and damage the light.

On the bottom of the pond remove sludge and buildup. You can choose to use treatments or a pond vacuum for this. To help prevent and reduce the formation of sludge in the first place use a skimmer product or a net to remove leaves and other debris from the top of the water.

Water will leave your pond naturally through evaporation, leaving behind a lot of pollutants. While your filtration system takes care of a lot of these, it’s still necessary to do partial water changes, about 25% once a month, to keep things fresh. Periodically test the water to be sure everything is in the balance, every few months should be fine.

When cleaning your filters, be sure to clean all of the elements in buckets that are free from herbicides and pesticides using pond water. When replacing the filter materials do it gradually over a few weeks, so the beneficial bacteria are not discarded all at once.

Chlorine can wreak havoc in your pond. Don’t ever use chlorinated water to clean filters – even the amount of chlorine in tap water can kill the beneficial bacteria in the filter. When you are topping off the pond or doing water changes, a dechlorinator should always be used.

An UltraViolet Clarifier (UVC) lamp should be replaced yearly even if it hasn’t burned out. They only have a lifespan of one year and will become ineffective if not changed.

By The Seasons:

Pond Maintenance in Spring

Pond Maintenance in Spring
Pond Maintenance in Spring

Spring is the season of preparation for the upcoming year. This is the busy time of year for pond owners, so be ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work. The tasks you perform at this time of year will set the foundations for your pond’s health for the rest of the year and will make the rest of the year’s maintenance go smoothly.

As the water starts to warm it’s time to clean out the leaf litter and other debris that may have accumulated both on the surface and at the bottom of your pond. Now is the time to change out the UVC lamp and remove O rings and lubricate them or replace them if needed.

Plants can be trimmed back and should be separated out if they are overgrown. Fertilize them for maximum growth and better summer blooms.

If you have fish in your pond, evaluate their health. Some may have grown too large and need to be moved or rehomed. If they have bred, your pond could be overpopulated with too many fish and not enough space. It’s easier to move fish when the water is still cool, find friends or maybe even shops that are willing to rehome your fish.

Pond Maintenance in Summer

Pond Maintenance in Summer
Pond Maintenance in Summer

During the summer months, the water will naturally be warmer, and your fish will be growing and more active so they will need a higher protein diet. Consider adding an air pump to keep oxygen levels from dropping and ensure your fish stay healthy.

With or without fish, algae growth can be rapid at this warmer time of year, so be sure to monitor and add products to control it as needed.

Summer is the season to sit back and enjoy your pond, and there should be very little to do outside of maintaining pumps and filters. As soon as you notice water flow is decreasing, give them a thorough clean.

Pond Maintenance in Autumn

Pond Maintenance in Autumn
Pond Maintenance in Autumn

In Autumn, leaves that fall into the water and dead flower stalks need to be cleaned away, and any summer sludge build up should be taken from the bottom. Give your pond pump and filter a thorough end-of-summer clean to keep ensure it continues performing well.

At this time of year, it’s good to be aware that plants will begin to go dormant and your fish will eat less as their metabolism slows. This is perfectly normal and nothing to be worried about.

Pond Maintenance in Winter

Pond Maintenance in Winter
Pond Maintenance in Winter

Winter is the best time to install a new pond, as it will be settled by the time spring comes.

It will be colder, and the fish will not need to eat much. Be sure to remove uneaten food and also remove any dead plants or rotting leaf litter. Freezes are not particularly common in Australia. However, if there is any bitterly cold weather on the horizon, be sure to clear your water lines and do the same for any water features such as fountains or waterfalls.


Sit Back and Enjoy your Pond

Sit Back and Enjoy your Pond
Sit Back and Enjoy your Pond

Having a water feature in your garden gives your property a unique aesthetic. After all, not every homeowner has a stunning water feature in their landscape design, and when you’ve cared for it yourself, it’s something you can be proud of. It’s something that you need to work at, but there is a certain sense of achievement and pride that comes with watching it change and adapt through the seasons.

It might seem like there’s a lot of work involved, but once you learn the fundamentals of caring for your pond, it will get easier. Stay on top of your basic pond maintenance tasks throughout the year, such as cleaning filters, checking your pumps and removing any sludge buildup from your pond floor. Be sure to do partial water changes and keep your pond chlorine free.

As you roll through the year and the season’s change, follow the seasonal tips we discussed above and your pond will stay healthy and beautiful. Be proud of what you’ve created; this is your little ecosystem for you to nurture. And when all the hard work is done, you can sit back, relax and enjoy your pond all year round, no matter what the season.

Categories
Yard

The Principal Advantages of Steel Sheds

It’s clear that more and more people are trying to install garden sheds in their backyard or replace the old, and usually too small, ones with more modern solutions.

Having a space where you can leave your tools, garden furniture, and every other thing you don’t want in your house, but don’t want to get rid of is quite useful and allows you to have a much cleaner home and garden. What’s more, it can be used as a garage for your car and bikes or a workshop where you can hone your craftsmanship skills without disturbing anyone living with or near you.

The Principal Advantages of Steel Sheds
The Principal Advantages of Steel Sheds

Initial considerations

Once you’ve established that you need a shed, your next step should be choosing the right one. This decision depends on many factors, such as the size you can fit in your garden and your budget. When you make up your mind about how big it should be and where you’ll build it, you have to decide if you’re going to use wood or steel as the material.

Although many people can only imagine having a wooden shed, there are so many advantages that steel provides that it would be unwise to discard them so easily. Let’s take a look at some of the most prominent features that you might be missing.

Price

Probably the most notable advantage of steel sheds is the fact that they don’t cost as much as their wooden counterparts. That means you can build a bigger shed, provided you have enough space, or simply spend that money on some additional feature you’d like to add. There’s a good reason why so many people are now introducing these units to their gardens, especially since steel sheds come in all shapes and sizes.

Weight

Steel sheds are delivered in lightweight packages, which means you’ll be saving on the shipping costs and you’ll find manipulating them much less stressful. This is particularly important if your garden is relatively small or cramped. Another advantage of having a lighter shed is that you can move it more easily.

The Principal Advantages of Steel Sheds
The Principal Advantages of Steel Sheds

Easy to assemble

It doesn’t take an experienced builder to put up a steel shed, but you do need the right tools and clear instructions. Some packages even come with all the equipment you need for assembling the shed, which means you don’t have to invest in some tools that you won’t need ever again.

They last longer

Despite their weight, steel sheds are surprisingly solid and don’t get damaged so easily. This is another reason why their popularity has been constantly increasing over the years. You can expect your steel shed to last for many years to come, which means your investment will pay off. Most manufacturers offer a ten- to twenty-year warranty because they are quite confident about the quality of the material, usually galvanized steel, they use in the production process.

Maintenance is almost unnecessary

Steel sheds require little or almost no maintenance whatsoever because the material provides excellent protection from the elements and rust, but you still might need to repaint it every five years or so. This is just to make sure that your shed will last longer and in the meantime, all you would need to do is occasionally hose it down.

The Principal Advantages of Steel Sheds
The Principal Advantages of Steel Sheds

Multifunctional spaces

The trend of making various spaces multifunctional and custom-made is also present here. Since no two people have exactly the same needs, it’s only logical that everyone is looking for some very specific solutions and steel garden sheds fit the bill. For example, the people behind Acura can integrate this flexibility into their designs, allowing for clear spans of up to 40m.

No need for a foundation

In most cases, steel sheds don’t need foundations, which means you won’t have to spend more money on builders and have people dig up your garden. Smaller ones are simple to assemble because they just need a flat patch of ground, but some larger units may still need foundations. If you’re not sure about whether your unit needs foundations, you should contact the manufacturer, who’ll be able to give you the answer.

Don’t worry about fire

Unlike wooden sheds, steel ones are fire retardant and can only melt, but that only happens when they are exposed to extremely high temperatures. This means that you’re highly unlikely to lose any precious item you may keep in the shed because of fire. Wooden sheds, on the other hand, can actually catch fire quite easily, while plastic ones simply melt and deform even under lower temperatures.

Ventilation

Most modern steel sheds feature either active or passive built-in ventilation systems, consisting of fans or openings in the roof or on the wall. It is important for the shed to be properly ventilated because that’s how you prevent the buildup of condensation, which might affect the stuff you keep in the shed.

Naturally, if you can afford it, you should purchase a unit with fans, since it’s more efficient, but even if you don’t want to spend that much money, the good, old openings will do the trick. The important thing is that there is a ventilation system.

Security

It’s relatively easy to have reinforced hinges installed to provide extra protection against thieves, which is definitely the case with wooden and plastic sheds. You can actually choose the strength of metal structures depending on how secure you want your shed to be in terms of security. Needless to say, the thicker the metal, the better protection you have.

No-fuss renovation

If you want to give your shed a makeover, a steel shed will allow it without any problems. You can paint it using special paints and you’ll notice that the coatings are much more resilient than wood. Also, while a wooden shed needs to be painted every year, a steel one can easily go five years without the application of a new coat.

As you can see, there are quite a few advantages of having steel shed over a wooden or plastic one, even though it might not be everyone’s first choice. Still, with its price, ease of maintenance and protection, it’s quite clear that this type of shed provides better value for money.

Categories
Yard

How To Make An Eco-Friendly Backyard

Spring is just around the corner and that makes this the perfect time to start planning the new look for your backyard. While you’re at it, why not do it in an eco-friendly way and help keep our planet clean and healthy. Go through these tips to ensure you are taking the right steps to give your outdoor area a stunning new look in a sustainable and nature-friendly way.


Chemical-free garden

How To Make An Eco-Friendly BackyardHow To Make An Eco-Friendly Backyard
How To Make An Eco-Friendly Backyard

First, let’s talk about chemicals. Even though there are many public campaigns that are raising awareness of the danger of using lawn chemicals and educating about the effect chemicals have on nearby water bodies, nature, and animals, many individuals simply choose to ignore it.

Well, it is time to listen and stop using harmful products that are threatening the environment and affecting our future. Let your first step be getting rid of all non-organic plant-care products from your shed and start being eco-conscious!


Organic alternative

How To Make An Eco-Friendly Backyard
How To Make An Eco-Friendly Backyard

Using chemicals like synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides in your garden will help kill fungal or animal pests but it will also harm the earth more than it will help your plants. That is why it is extremely important to turn to alternatives when it comes to fertilizing and keeping pests away from your garden. There is a large variety of organic fertilizers available in most stores nowadays and you can even make your own products using organic and natural ingredients from your home that can keep your garden pest-free.

For example, you can use organic alternatives as pesticides such as garlic and onion solution that most pests detest and it won’t harm your pets. Simply mix minced garlic clove and one medium-size onion with a quart of water and add a teaspoon of pepper. Spray the mixture on the affected areas and voila! A 100%, natural pest control product for your garden.

Also, using finished compost as a fertilizer is a great way to nourish your garden since it is a free soil amendment and it won’t harm your plants in any way. Adding rich and healthy compost to the soil will improve the quality and overall texture of it and your plants will grow stronger and healthier. In pre-prepared high-quality soil, you can plant all those early blooming plants, shrubs, and bushes to make your garden your own piece of heaven in springtime!


DIY compost bin

how to make compost
how to make compost

Speaking of compost, making a compost bin can be a great way to collect organic materials you can use to fertilize the soil in your garden. It is very helpful as long as you make sure you are composting the right materials. There are two types of organic materials you need to know about before filing your compost bin.

The first type refers to organic greens that are described as wet materials high in nitrogen and include leaves, fresh grass clippings, plant trimmings, house plants, vegetable and fruit, coffee grounds and filters as well as tea bags and leaves.

The second type is browns – dry materials high in carbon including dry leaves, straws, hay, wood remains (natural wood woodchips and sawdust), dry grass, paper (newspaper, paper towels, paper tubes, recyclable paper, etc.). When composting materials try to maintain a balance of greens and browns by weight to make a rich fertilizer for your garden.


Eco-friendly mulch

How To Make An Eco-Friendly Backyard
How To Make An Eco-Friendly Backyard

Using organic mulch will not only add up to the natural appearance and make your garden look attractive but it will also help improve the soil’s fertility since it decomposes.

Besides adding aesthetic value, mulch covers the soil and retains moisture (saves water in your garden), suppresses weeds, and keeps the soil cool while giving your garden bed an exotic, park-like look. Bark, shredded or chipped types are best used around trees, shrubs, and garden beds, and they last longer.

A great option for an eco-friendly garden bed is eucalyptus mulch. Its pleasing scent is a natural deterrent that makes it perfect for sending away fleas and pests from your backyard and it will not harm the soil. It retains its color and looks even better with age because it goes from golden yellow to reddish tones. This type of mulch settles into the soil that makes it an organic fertilizer, which is just another plus.


Rainwater harvesting

Collecting, storing and using rainwater is an economical, easy and sustainable way to take care of your garden and your lawn. This technique, called rainwater harvesting, is growing in popularity (even though it is a well-known ancient technique used in third century BCE in agriculture) because it is reducing the consumption of potable water.

It is a method of collecting the run-off (water from rain or snowmelt) from a surface in order to store it for later use. You will have a beautiful blooming garden and fresh green grass, and at the same time you won’t be spending too much on your water bill. Watering the soil using this method will ensure you are not polluting the environment with chemicals such as fluoride and chlorine and it is simple to install and use.


Outdoor surface

AR Blue Clean AR383SS
AR Blue Clean AR383SS

When preparing your backyard for the new season it is very important to think about cleaning the facade of your house as well as driveways, pavements, patios, decks, pergolas, and even gazebos. That way you will get a whole new look of your outdoor area without breaking a bank and you will ensure it looks attractive and clean in seasons ahead.

Pressure cleaning is a great option to wash all the outdoor surfaces and make sure you are being eco-friendly i.e. not damaging nature or contaminating groundwater. You can read the pressure washer buying guide here.


Furniture makeover

Eco DIY Furniture makeover
Eco DIY Furniture makeover

After the cleaning part is done, it is time for an outdoor furniture makeover. If your old pieces are worn-out, weathered, and ready to be replaced, investing in eco-friendly furniture is a great and sustainable way to add up to your garden’s perfect new look. There are three types of materials used for making eco-friendly outdoor furniture: woods (hard-wearing, durable), recycled plastics, and stainless steel (with a higher percentage of recycled content).

  • Western red, northern white cedar, and teak not only look stunning even unprocessed but they are FSC-certified as well. That means they come from sustainably managed forests, which makes the furniture eco-friendly as well. When choosing wooden furniture for your patio, keep in mind that wood changes over the years, it might rot, splinter or crack and it will need a fresh new layer of paint every once in a while. So investing in hard-wearing wood outdoor furniture is not the best option if you are not willing to put an effort into its maintenance.
  • On the other hand, both stainless steel and recycled plastic or high-density polyethylene (HDPE) furniture is low maintenance, durable, water-resistant (actually, weather-resistant), and looks pretty neat. Choosing this type of furniture for your backyard will for sure save you the trouble of moving it in the bad weather conditions, repairing and repainting it. You can simply add new cushions and pillows every season to give it a makeover and your backyard a whole new fresh look.

The season of outdoor relaxing is coming and by following these steps you will prepare your backyard right on time to enjoy the early spring sunbeams surrounded by wonderful greenery and blooming plants. Not to mention that you will be peaceful knowing you took all the necessary steps to ensure your garden is 100% eco-friendly!

Categories
Landscape Yard

Bar Shed: Unadulterated Entertainment in Your Very Own Backyard

We all need that one special place we can claim as ours, a special retreat where we get away from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives and chores. A man cave is one such place, a typical male sanctuary, specially equipped so guys can do whatever they please, undisturbed by outside life and without upsetting any female sensibilities in the house.

Now, we are witnessing a new trend: man caves are being transformed into bar sheds. There are many options and designs on how to make and style them and here’s a little overview of their history and main characteristics.

The history and purpose

The story began in the UK’s Community Gardens where people with a flair for gardening got a chance to grow fresh fruits and veggies. They built backyard sheds to store gardening tools and possibly have a refreshing drink or two after gardening.

Slowly, this led to neighboring gardeners getting together to exchange experience and bar sheds were born. When smoking was banned from all interior spaces in 2007, the bar shed trend started to spread outside the gardening circle and the UK itself, becoming a sort of a global phenomenon.

The purpose of a bar shed is especially crucial for married men. It’s their way to create a space where they can feel free like they were in their bachelor days, where they can come and go as they please. There, they don’t have to watch their manners and behavior and no one asks for explanations.

For them, this is a way of establishing their masculine identity and expressing their true nature. Anybody who has some specific hobby, interest, or passion will want a space to indulge in it undisturbed, and a bar shed seems perfect for it.

The design and equipment

Bar Shed: Unadulterated Entertainment in Your Very Own Backyard
Bar Shed: Unadulterated Entertainment in Your Very Own Backyard

The general trend is to incorporate elements that display masculine aesthetics. Wood and brick are commonly preferred choices and offer endless possibilities when it comes to combining them with other materials, such as metal or glass. As for the standard equipment, guys usually go for accessories such as refrigerators, wine coolers, kegerators, vending machines, and beer taps. There’s a strong accent on sports memorabilia, musical gear, pool, and poker tables.

There are also fun and creative design interpretations of guys’ favorite movies or comics, so bar sheds are styled so they recreate scenes from them, such as the command bridge of Enterprise from Star Trek or the Batcave.

Another must-have element is a bar area with a classic bar and stools, glassware, and a place of storage. The type of glasses depends on what kind of drinks you plan to serve and as for storage. There are two options. One is a classic shelf, but a much more convenient and stylish way is to make an over-bar glass rack.

Building choices

Bar Shed: Unadulterated Entertainment in Your Very Own Backyard
Bar Shed: Unadulterated Entertainment in Your Very Own Backyard

The whole point of a bar shed is to detach yourself from the family house and neighbors as well since privacy and peace of mind are a priority here. So, the best location seems to be the far end of your backyard. If you already have a garden or tool shed, you can easily make it your own DIY project and transform it into your man cave haven.

If you’re starting from scratch, with some experience and necessary tools, this too can be your next great project. If not, consider buying pre-made sheds that come in all shapes and sizes and then give them a personal touch on the inside.

Entertainment

Bar Shed: Unadulterated Entertainment in Your Very Own Backyard
Bar Shed: Unadulterated Entertainment in Your Very Own Backyard

There’s no doubt that a great bar shed cannot exist without good music and passionate cheering for the favorite sports team. Therefore, the essential entertainment equipment of any decent bar shed is a high-quality media center. Nowadays, in the modern age of technology, network media streamer seems like the best solution. All you basically need is a stereo system and a large LCD TV mounted on the wall and you can kick back with a remote in your hand and enjoy the music or a match.

It could be a real logistical challenge to install all the gear, so your best option is to hire genuine experts, as these Brisbane-based TV installation pros, to make sure everything is done safely and to the highest standards.

No rules

Bar Shed: Unadulterated Entertainment in Your Very Own Backyard
Bar Shed: Unadulterated Entertainment in Your Very Own Backyard

Your bar shed is your unique opportunity to decorate it any way you find fit because essentially, there are no rules. It’s a blank canvas where you can display your love of sports, art, inspirational messages and quotes, fine cars, and music. Add some warmth and charm by hanging Christmas lights inside and a neon sign “Open” on the outside, so your friends know it’s time to rock.

This is your territory so you make the rules about what goes and whatnot. Put up a rules board and make it a source of fun and jokes: no politics, no farting, no chicks but yes to dirty jokes and laughter!

And finally, get a padlock on the door or one of those high-tech smart locks that only you can open using your smartphone. Whatever you choose, keep the rest of the family out because otherwise, your bar shed will become everyone’s shed.

After all, this is your special and private place so anything that keeps your spirit up and inspires you deserves a chance. At the end of a hard day, treat yourself to a place of freedom, fun, solitude or good times with your best mates.

Bar sheds are the last bastions of masculinity and one place where men can truly be just guys enjoying chats, drinks, football games, or indulge in their hobbies. There are endless possibilities when it comes to their bar shed design. It can be a full-on man cave or a multi-purpose shed that serves both as a backyard party bar and a barbecue venue. While wives usually have the monopoly over the whole house design, they commonly don’t have a say about what ends up mounted on the wall of their men’s personal spaces.