Tag Archives: home

How to Make Your Foundation Look Like Part of Your Yard

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My go to when it comes to covering up your foundation is a solid veneer. It may be a bit more expensive than the other options, but it looks great. You can’t beat the look of a classy and cozy home.

17 Brilliant Backyard Lighting Ideas

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My whole family really loves these glow rocks. It’s nice because in the day they act as great yard decoration, but at night they add light to keep things nice and visible. You can find them for a pretty good price if you look hard enough.

Hang some lights from strings around your whole yard and deck. I love this look. It reminds me of my childhood, long summers, and fun block parties in my hometown. You can get hanging pendant lights from anywhere, really, so find some and get decorating!

Tiki torches are a great way to light things up in the yard. You’ll obviously want to be careful if you use real fire, though, instead of electric lights. But I think they’re worth the trouble because they look so cool and fun.

If you don’t want long tiki torches sticking out of the ground, then try wall-mounted torches. The good thing about these is that you can get mosquito repelling fuel so that your yard is lit and bugs don’t come biting you and your guests. It’s a win-win for everyone!

Take your string lights and wrap them around the trees in your yard. You’ll probably have to play around with the spacing and size of the lights, but this is such an enchanted look. I can’t get enough of it!

Use some Mason jars or similar products to making hanging pendant lights for your yard. The jars add a nice rustic touch that makes your backyard feel even homier and comfortable.

Stick some lights into your flowerbeds to accentuate the edges and border of your yard. You can choose from a ton of different lighting types, just make them big enough to illuminate the path as well as the edges of your yard.

Hanging lanterns around the yard is a fun way to get some lighting. They also act as decorations. The lanterns can be hung form trees, the ceiling, pergolas, or wherever else you feel like they could go.

Small pathway lights are really nice if you have a windy pathway that can be hard for your guests to navigate at night. They’re also just nice to have because they give a crisp outline to your yard while also lighting up the evening.

Take small jars or containers and hang them from your tree branches with rope. This creates a rustic feel that you’ll love. I like to sit underneath this with my kids to just enjoy the long summer nights together.

Make these fantastic sun jars that you can place all around your patio and yard. The jars are so fun and unique, and the lights can be placed on tables, stands, or anywhere else you need them. It’s like a pocket of light you can carry with you.

Make your own chandelier or hang one up in your patio area to really light things up. You can use wire baskets to make the chandelier or find other material that would work well.

Wrap some lights around the trellises in your yard and patio. The soft glow from this lights combined with the shape of the trellises will make you feel like you stepped right into a fairytale! They’re so cozy looking!

If you have an umbrella or parasol on your patio, then try this. Wrap some lights up on the inside of the umbrella for extra-close lighting for your late night parties. It provides all the light you’ll need without it being right in your face.

Put some water in the birdbath and then fill it with floating candles. This is an incredibly intimate type of lighting, but it looks so nice. It’s more for show and not for actual light, since you won’t get much. But it definitely adds to the ambiance.

If you’re having a large gathering in your yard and expect it to go late, then do this lighted tables! They serve as both light for your guests as well as tables for them to put their plates, cups, and other items.

Tin cans can be converted into some pretty fun lighting for your backyard. And the best part is that you can make some of these tin can lights with your kids so they feel a part of the decorating process. Just punch holes into the cans and then place a small candle inside them.

8 Natural Solutions for Repelling and Killing Ants

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Many essential oils can kill or deter ants from your home. One of those is peppermint oil. This is one of my favorite solutions because I love how it smells, AND it gets rid of ants. Just put a few drops on a cotton ball and wipe down common ant entry points (windows, holes, doors, etc.). This breaks up the scent the ants leave behind to get to the food.

Another great essential oil is teatree oil. Just like peppermint oil, you can place the teatree oil on a cotton swab and rub it on the places where ants are most likely entering your home from. However, teatree oil is also great as a general household cleaner, so you could just add it to your homemade cleaning solution and help deter ants that way.

If you want to get serious about dealing with ants, then you’ll want clove essential oil. Unlike the other two oils, this one will actually kill ants upon contact. So only use it if that’s what you’re going for.

For another approach, get some food-grade diatomaceous earth. It’s a substance that does no harm to humans but is lethal for ants and other bugs. Simply sprinkle the diatomaceous earth on the ants and where they walk, and it will eventually kill them.

Vinegar is another way to deal with ants. Since it’s so strong, it wipes away the pheromone trail that ants leave for each other, effectively cutting them off from one another. Add ¼ cup of white or apple cider vinegar to ¼ cup  of water in a spray bottle. Shake and spray the mixture on the ants and their entry points to get rid of them.

Lemon juice is another fantastic option to repel ants. Add equal parts purified water and lemon juice to a spray bottle and go to town. You can also add some of the aforementioned essential oils to make it even more potent. But it’s up to you.

A really simple yet effective solution for ants is just soap and water. Mix liquid soap with water in a spray bottle and then spray the ants and their entryways. The soap will breakdown their exoskeleton, killing the ants and solving your problem. So easy!

Pepper is also a great natural way to repel ants. You have two options. You can put pure pepper around high-traffic areas for the ants, and that should deter them. You could also mix pepper with some water and spray the ants. It won’t kill them, but they won’t like it, so it will deter them.

9 Genius Backyard Shade Ideas

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I love the idea of having a backyard shade that can be pulled out and retracted. This lets you avoid the worst of the heat in the afternoon, but you can pull it back and put it away when the sun’s gone down and the stars are out. It makes your backyard much more enjoyable.

The cool thing about a sail shade is how it looks. You can choose from a lot of different colors and styles, so choose one that best matches your backyard décor. Sails are nice because they’re cheaper than full canopies or awnings, and they still block a significant amount of the sun.

For those of you with a green thumb, grow a vertical garden and use that to block out the sun! You can’t put the plants as your ceiling (unless you’re really skilled), but they work great as the walls for shade in the backyard. Plus, you have space for plants, which is always a plus.

If you’re looking for some greenery to have all around, then plant some wisteria. It grows really fast and it will stretch out to eventually cover your whole ceiling and provide great shade for your backyard. Wisteria will turn even the most urban home into a natural getaway that everyone can enjoy.

Build or have a pergola built in your backyard. This is one of the more classic and common ways to bring shade to the backyard. There’s nothing wrong with this idea, especially if you want some shade and a really classy structure to go with it.

An umbrella or parasol is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to bring shade to your backyard in a jiffy. You can even get tables and deck chairs that come with holders so the umbrella can slide right into it and cover where you’re sitting. This is also a great solution because it’s retractable.

Install a fabric canopy over your deck or backyard area for a simple yet classy way to add some shade. I like the fabric canopy because they’re really high quality, and they reduce the sun’s heat quite a bit.

Lattice patterns are a fun and unique way to add some shade and personality to your backyard. I like to combine the lattice with some plants and other natural elements to make the backyard for more secluded and private.

Go for a really unique look with this dome! It provides the shade you want, and it’s a great conversation piece. It’s privacy is so nice; I bet your kids and your whole family will love spending time underneath the shade down.

8 Incredibly Helpful Tips to Grow Fruit Trees in Containers

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Before you go out and buy all your supplies, you need to plan on what type of tree you want to plant. Do your shopping between late January and early March, as this is the best time to get the healthiest trees. You can try your hand at apple trees or any other dwarf plant such as peaches or nectarines. Fig trees work too. When you choose to buy, make sure it’s from a reputable source. You don’t want to get a sick and unhealthy tree.

The container is going to be incredibly important because it determines how well your tree’s root system grows. You want one that is at least 18 inches in diameter. 20 inches or more is usually best, though. The material can be anything you want: terracotta, plastic, wood, or whatever. Just make sure it’s sturdy, has good drainage, and is big enough.

Because your tree won’t be getting nutrients from the actual ground, you need to make sure you’re using high quality soil. Don’t use gardening soil because it’s too heavy and can cause drainage problems. You’ll also want to find nutrient mixes and fertilizers that your tree may need in order to grow best. Talk to your local nursery or wherever you bought the tree.

Before planting, cut and trim any roots that look damaged or that are too long. If you don’t, they can cause damage down the road that will be a lot harder to fix once the tree is in the pot. The beginning is a much easier time to nip these problems in the bud.

When your tree is planted and in the pot, don’t forget to prune it. This is really important because your tree will need as much energy as possible to bear the best fruit. Fruit usually grows at the tips and tops of trees, so keep that in mind.

Be weather aware when it comes to potted plants. Because you can move the pot, this should help you keep the plant alive. During good weather, put it where it will grow best (usually in full sun). When it’s cold and in the winter, you’ll want to move the plant indoors or to the garage or shed.

Watering is one of the most important things you can do to help a potted tree survive. Usually, you’ll want to water twice a week. If it’s really hot, you may need to water daily. Don’t just rely on the rain because the pot doesn’t have enough surface area to provide the plant all the water it needs.

In order to keep the tree healthy, you’ll want to have a stake, trellis, or some other support system. If not, the tree will easily slant to the side or grow in an odd direction. Do this when the tree is first planted because fixing it down the right will be a NIGHTMARE!

10 of the Most Gorgeous Backyard Waterfall DIY Projects

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This waterfall is a combination of a small stream and a waterfall, actually. This is nice because you can get both features in one build. It also imitates the downhill aspect of a waterfall and stream, which I really like. It makes the water feature seem more natural and in the right spot.

If you don’t have much space to work with but still want a waterfall, try an isolated pond. There won’t be much room to sit around the waterfall, but it still looks good and gets that nice relaxing sound we all love. This works well on the side of the house or in a small yard.

My favorite part about this is the log that comes over the top. It makes it feel like a really naturally-occurring waterfall. Not all water features have to seem like they’d really be found in nature, but this one does a great job of that. It proves you can make your own waterfall and still have it look natural.

I look at this waterfall and I just think “Zen.” It seems so calm and relaxing to me. I can almost smell the cool air and feel the water lightly splash against my feet. If you need a place to relax and unwind, this is definitely the waterfall to build.

This high-tiered waterfall is very elegant and classy. It takes a bit more know-how to build, but don’t let that intimidate you! The rocky border around the edges of the waterfall really helps complete the whole experience and look.

This lily pond waterfall feature reminds me of the sprawling backyard of an English cottage. It just seems so cute and quaint. This would be my choice if I was going for a water feature I could spend time with my friends around.

Just because you have a small backyard or garden doesn’t mean you can’t have a waterfall. This one is really small, but it still gets the job done. The waterfall may be tiny, but the grass and greenery around it make the who feature perfect.

A central and elevated waterfall is great for a large yard or garden. It can be seen from the entire space, and the water creates a unifying element to the lawn. Not only that, but the sound of the rushing water will be great background noise for fantastic dinner conversation, I’m sure!

Here’s a waterfall idea that’s a bit more modern and fun! It’s a bamboo structure where the water falls out of the top. It’s not a natural-looking waterfall, but I still love it. The bamboo really makes it look nice.

Dryer and browner climates can try this waterfall that builds on a rock foundation. There’s not much greenery required to spruce up the area, so you don’t have to worry about maintenance and upkeep. But the water feature is still astounding.

7 Surprising Ways to Use Coffee Grounds in Your Garden

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I love composting, but sometimes it can be hard to balance all the nutrients that need to go in there. However, coffee grounds are great for the compost pile because they can give it that extra boost of nitrogen needed to best take care of your plants.

Coffee grounds are also great supplements to soil because it enhances some of the features to make it even better. For example, coffee grounds in the soil can improve drainage and water retention as well as aerate the soil to make it more hospitable towards plants.

Acid-lover plants (like azaleas) will also love having coffee grounds mixed into their soil. The coffee grounds will lower the soil’s pH level, and your acid-lover plants will love YOU for that!

Some pests, such as slugs, snails, and ants, can be repelled using coffee grounds. The caffeine in them repel and even kill some of those critters, which is great news for you! Sprinkle the coffee grounds around your plants or just on the border of your garden to help protect them.

Mulch is another great reason to add coffee grounds to your garden. The density of the coffee grounds help insulate the ground, which keeps the roots of your plants warm and toasty. Their favorite!

If you have a worm bin, then throw those leftover coffee grounds into it! Worms love it, and they’ll be extra productive for your use in the garden.

Make coffee ground “tea” by soaking some coffee grounds in a bucket of water for a while. Once the water turns an amber color, drain the leftover grounds out and put the liquid in a spray bottle. Spray that onto your plants, and it’ll provide them with extra nutrients to help grow!

11 Cleverly Creative Rain Chain Ideas

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Take your old spoons and bend them around to get this fantastic rain chain! You can work in some forks, if you want, but I think the spoons create a really great chain. You can get it so the water splashes off them playfully!

There are about a dozen or so ways to make a rain chain out of terracotta pots. You can use pretty much any size you want, and the pots work well. Make sure to drill holes through the bottom to drain properly. You can also use whatever color you want.

Copper rings are a simple yet effective product to make a rain chain with. The link together incredibly easily, and the water will flow right down them. Make the chain as long or as short as you need.

For a more decorative approach, try this. Wrap some rocks in wire and then make a urban jungle type rain chain. The metal wire and the natural rocks go together really well, especially when rain is running down them.

This ceramic rain chain is so creative and unique. You can take your own approach to it, but it’s a great idea. I love the shape and the different colors that come into play with this decoration idea.

Funnels are, well, perfect for a rain chain. Because they funnel the water down. You’ll just need a chain or wire to attach them all, but that’s not too hard to find.

For a more rustic and natural approach, use pinecones. I would suggest artificial pinecones because they’ll stay together longer, but it’s up to you. The pinecones make the chain look great and don’t attract too much attention.

Lanterns can be converted to make a really artsy and cute rain chain. Space them evenly so the water can run down them and that’s about it. I like to use just one type of lantern, but you can do what works best for you.

Plants are a really creative and clever way to make a rain chain. You’ll need to make sure to position them correctly so the water doesn’t flood the plant out, but it does work. Artificial plants are also a great way to accomplish this design.

Rustic décor is just one of the many materials you can use to make a rain chain. You can really just find whatever you want and string them together to make a rain chain. It’s always nice if there’s a theme (like rustic), but that’s ultimately your decision.

A simple chain can’t be underestimated. It works, it’s easy to make, and it doesn’t take much time or money. You can’t beat that. And it definitely gets the job done!

5 Fantastic Ways to Use Rock Mulch in Your Yard

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Putting a smaller and darker rock mulch ring inside of a larger amount of rock mulch looks really good. I know it may seem strange, but it’s actually really nice. Choose colors that contrast but that complement one another. That way you’ll get a really clean-looking line between the two.

Coordinate the color of your rock mulch with the plants in your yard/garden and the color of your home. You don’t want brown rock mulch with a navy house; it would just seem strange. If you can get your home, plants, and mulch all coordinating and complementing one another, then you’re on the right path.

Remember, when it comes to rock mulch, there’s not just a one-size-fits-all approach. In fact, you should try to mix the rock sizes that you use. It will add another layer of texture and depth to your yard and garden, which makes it more interesting. Play around with a few different sized rocks and see what you like most.

Make a border for your plants and rock mulch. Some people just kind of let the mulch peter out as it reaches the grass, but I don’t think that’s a good idea. By making a border, you create crisp lines to divide up your yard and make things seem a lot neater and more organized.

Just because you’re using rock mulch doesn’t mean all the other types of mulch are off limits. You can actually often combine rock mulch with other types of mulch to get a really diversified. For example, bark and rock mulch usually always complement each other!

10 Homemade and Effective Garden Remedies

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Liquid dish soap is probably one of the most common ingredients I’ve seen for homemade garden remedies. Here’s the best recipe I’ve found so far. Mix 1 tablespoon of the soap into one gallon of water. Spray the plants with this mixture, including their undersides. This mixture helps repel insects and pests.

Add some nutrients to your garden by mixing in egg shells or banana peels. Whichever you do, make sure to cut them up so that they can be absorbed more easily into the ground. The egg shells help with calcium and the banana peels help with potassium.

To get your pepper plants to hold their fruit for longer, try this remedy. Dissolve 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt into a spray bottle of warm water. Shake well and apply conservatively to your pepper plants once they start to form flowers. Do this as long as the plant is fruiting.

Kill ants with a simple remedy that isn’t harmful to your family. Mix ¼ cup of sugar with ¼ cup of borax. Make sure to mix well. Sprinkle the concoction around the anthill. The ants will bring it back to their home thinking it’s sugar, and the borax will kill them.

Garlic is a great ingredient to use in any homemade insect repellent. The smell is so strong and potent that many bugs can’t stand it (although I love it). Blend up two whole bulbs of garlic and mix it into a quart of water. Let the mixture soak overnight then strain it into a quart jar, mix in 1 teaspoon of dish soap, and enough water to fill the jar. You can also add ½ cup vegetable oil too. When ready to use, mix 1 cup of the mixture with a quart of water and spray liberally on your plants to repel bugs.

A quick remedy that can be made for your garden is with baking soda. All you need to do is mix 3 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 gallon of water and a teaspoon of liquid dish soap. Spray this on plants suffering from powdery mildew or other fungal infections.

Another way to deal with fungal infections is to use milk. Mix 1 quart of milk with 1 quart of water. Spray the mixture onto the plant. Do this once a week for three weeks, and the fungus should go away.

Snails and slugs are the bane of every gardener’s existence. They are so annoying and destroy everything. Fill a shallow saucer with stale beer and place it in the garden. That’s all you need to do. The slugs and snails will be attracted to the beer, but they’ll drown in it.

Vinegar is a great way to kill unwanted weeds in your yard and garden. Spray undiluted white vinegar onto the weeds at least daily, making sure not to get it on any of the plants you want alive. Repeat this until the weed dies.

Are deer, rabbits, and other critters eating up your garden? Try this homemade remedy. Mix together 3 teaspoons of cayenne pepper, 2 tablespoons of chili powder, 1 tablespoon of Tabasco sauce, and 2 quarts of warm water. That’s a spicy sauce! Spray it around the border of your garden and those pests will avoid your garden like the plague!