Using Stone Planters In Your Garden

A garden is often a place of escape. I know that when i work in my garden, no one bothers me. It’s because they don’t want to be forced to help, but it still means that my garden is peaceful. A gardener can create works of art with living plants, statuary, water features, pathways, and planters. One of the most natural way to incorporate planters into your garden is to use stone planters. The texture, color, and weight can be great tools for crafting certain looks and creating focal points.

Country Gardens

The typical English Country Garden often looks like a maze of wildflowers to the uninitiated. Little do they know, however, that these plantings are carefully thought out when considering height, texture, colors, flowering patterns, and water and light requirements.


One of the most beautiful additions to this type of garden is the stone planter. Savvy shoppers haunt junk stores and farm sales looking for ancient stone troughs, because they make such beautiful planters in a rural garden. The good news is, now you can buy “ancient” troughs that are brand new. Manufacturers are responding to demand by producing rough-cut stone and concrete planters made to look like troughs.


By using a stone planter in this type of garden, you can often add a surprise to a particular planting area. Flowers that have low moisture needs are grouped together, but in a planter with a high moisture planting in it will add an unexpected punch of color and texture to that area. You can water that particular pot more often without affecting the rest of the plants.

Large stone planters are very heavy, and will probably have to be put into place with heavy machinery. That’s ok, though, because it gives you an opportunity to put a significant planting in that spot. A tree in a pot is quite striking, and the right specie of tree will thrive. This can create a great accent to your garden, and certainly give great opportunities for under plantings.

Formal Gardens

14614270779_a2d960c1aa_bThat’s not all, though. Stylized planters can be found in just about every architectural pattern, from sleek, shiny, polished obsidian to rough concrete with pomegranates cast around the lip. If you lean more toward formal structure, then stone can be exactly the addition to your trimmed shrubs and flowering espalier. Imagine your forsythias, rather than just sprouting from the ground, carefully placed in stone planters lining the base of the fence. Matching planters, with the solid look of stone, will give an even more organized look to the formal garden, anchoring the carefully tied branches and adding even more visual appeal.

Polished Stone

For modern gardens, polished stone may be just the touch you need to finish the look. Polished granite or marble planters are elegant, and almost elevated to the look of statuary. Modern designs often incorporate “gazing balls” in the landscape, and polished stone planters can serve dual duty.

Give stone planters a try in your garden. You’ll enjoy the variety and functions.


Garden Pots And What They Can Do For Your Garden

Garden pots often grace our back patios, our front porches, and even our windows with beautiful offerings of foliage and colorful blooms. We purchase flower pots like we shop for furniture – looking for style, color, and fit. It wasn’t until recently, however, that I discovered the value of placing pots around in my garden. Here are some ways that garden pots can add a special touch to the garden.



Maybe it’s just me, but I love the huge garden pots. You know the kind – they are literally big enough for trees. They are big enough to hold two or three people. Most of the tie, these are used in urban or industrial settings, and certainly for commercial use. They are quite handy in areas where there is mostly pavement, such as mall courtyards. The sight of a tree in a huge pot can create a Lilliputian atmosphere. It can also be used quite effectively in your garden.

This type of garden pot is not portable. Not only do the pots themselves usually have to be placed by machinery, the earth ad plants in the pots are too heavy to move. So, why use them in your garden?

You use them because they are another level to your planting. Think of different styles of gardens, and how they would benefit from such striking pots and plantings. Your Old English flower bed is beautiful and fragrant, with many different blooms, textures, and scents. Now, imagine a large planter toward one corner of the flower bed, brimming with King Papyrus. It adds a focal point and a surprise feature that captures the imagination.

This use of pots can draw visitors to more obscure areas of your garden, or add plants to sections of your garden which normally won’t grow anything.


Forced Perspective

Do you have an almost unbearably large garden? You work hard in all corners of the space, but most of it is lost to viewers. Create a forced perspective by adding carefully selected garden pots. They can be used almost as forms of sculpture, without cluttering up the spaces. A series of large pots in that back corner of the garden, complete with plants with wide, shiny leaves, can make the back corner appear closer than it really is.


With the reverse tactic, you can make small gardens look larger with your choice of flower pots. Place the larger pots, with plants that have larger leaves and fewer branches, near the seating area of your garden. Place smaller pots at the perimeter. These pots can have plants with small leaves and branching patterns. The effect is that the smaller plats lose detail, and appear to be further away. This makes the garden look bigger than it actually is. By scaling your plantings and garden pots in this way, you create forced perspective.

Garden pots can create depth and add sculptural beauty to your garden. Think about incorporating attractive pots to your garden.

Building The Perfect Outdoor Shelter


The perfect outdoor shelter is one that serves its purpose without being a blight on the landscape. This means that you must design it with care, so that it will withstand weather, wear and tear, and gravity that may cause doors to sag and windows to stick. It also means you must use quality materials, like Somerset Siding.

Site Preparation


Preparing the site for your construction is crucial to its stability. First of all, check all codes. There are usually easements required, leaving a certain distance between the structure and the border of your property.

Make sure the site is perfectly level. If you have access to surveyor services, take advantage of their expertise. You may have to hire a dirt mover if your build is going to be very large.

Your footings should e placed so that they won’t budge or break. In some cases, you may get to pour a concrete slab for the floor of your outdoor shelter. Otherwise, make sure that the supports are placed to support the flooring.



Start off with a high quality design. If you want to buy a plan, there are many available at your local home improvement store. In some areas, you have to get your plans approved before you begin construction. Purchasing a pre-approved plan will allow you to skip this step, but you will still need the appropriate permits.

When you select the plan, you’ll first make your selection based on the style of the building. Besides appearance, you will want a structure that provides you with enough headroom for your purposes. If it is simply for storage, you won’t need as much clearance as you would in a workshop. In addition, an outdoor shelter that will be used for a workshop needs windows. This can increase the cost and structural complication, but you’ll be glad for the light and visibility provided. You’ll also benefit from being able to ventilate the space.

Quality Materials

Your outdoor shelter needs to be made out of quality materials. This is not the area in which you need to scrimp. The frame, while built of construction grade timber, should still be sturdy enough to support itself. The cladding and interior walls will stabilize it, but you need to make sure that the frame will not bow or buckle once the cladding is attached. Sturdy, straight timber is crucial at This point.

Many people will choose inexpensive particle board for cladding. The problem with this is that particle board is not weather resistant. It will come apart in bad weather, leaving you without the shelter you wanted. Somerset Cladding is designed specifically to protect your structure. When installed properly, it sheds water and helps to keep pests out. It is also a good looking finish to your building, available in several different styles and colors.

The cladding you select should be sturdy enough to withstand wind and severe weather without breaking loose or warping. That is why Somerset Cladding is a good choice.


Using Planters To Accent Your Home

Bringing the outdoors in can make your home more cozy and welcoming. Quite often, people find that they feel more relaxed with a few leafy plants around to soften the straight lines of man-made buildings and furnishings. Even the planters used can make a big difference inside your home. In fact, large planters often serve as major accents in your home, even when used for non- plant purposes. Here are some ways to use planters of all types and sizes in the house.

Space Definition

Take a page from the business-world decorator’s handbook, and use planters to define spaces. For example, many homes don’t have an entryway, or foyer. You just walk right into the front room from the outside. You can create the feeling of an entryway, though, with a carefully chosen planter and plant. A large planter with a tall fern or ficus tree can create a cozy atmosphere as you walk in the door. The planter doesn’t have to stand between the door and the room. It can stand in the corner, overhanging the entry area. One of the difficult aspects of a separate entry is the sense of exposure. A large planter can integrate the spaces, making you feel less exposed when you walk in.

Large rooms and lofts offer great opportunities for the use of planters as screens. Creating a visual barrier with plants is more appealing than an actual screen or wall partition. Sure, you can peek through, so if you require absolute privacy, the plants probably won’t work. However, you can use them to soften dividing walls.

Non-Plant Use

Do you have a “brown thumb”? Maybe you can’t keep a plant alive, but that doesn’t have to keep you from using that beautiful planter you saw at the antique store. A lovely small planter can serve as a vase on your mantel or bookshelf. If you have found a really large garden planter UK you really love, turn it into a table! Cut a round bit of particle board to fit down into the planter about 4 inches down into the opening. Cover the board with something pretty, such as swaths of fabric, sea shells, or even different colors and textures of preserved moss and lichen. Lay a beveled circle of heavy tempered glass over the top, and you have a striking end table, coffee table, or bistro table for the breakfast nook.


Another great non-plant use for planters is a water feature. You can add a water feature to your home with carefully layered pots that appear to spill water into each other, through the use of a re-circulation pump. The sound of gently flowing water is relaxing, and the idea of a fountain in the home is appealing and attractive. It can also add visual interest.

Planters can add color, texture, and style to your home. Whether you use them to hold live plants, silk plants, or books, they are an affordable and attractive addition to your decor.

The History Of Lawn Maintenance

The history of lawn maintenance is almost as long as the history of man. That’s because man has tried, for most of our existence, to cultivate nature, rather than just using it up. While the first horticulture was practiced on plants that provided food, it didn’t take long to expand to the nuirture of plants simply for the beauty of them.

Ancient Horticulture



It is estimated that the first horticulturists lived in prehistoric times. These peoples lived in rainforests, and apparently cultivated the trees, shrubs, and vines that would provide the most useful produce. These plants provided fibers for weaving and food for survival. The native people would cut out species of plants that were detrimental to their lives and the plants that supported them, and cultivate the desirable species. Thus, the first horticulture was created for survival.



With the Dawn of Civilization, people began to cultivate plants for aesthetic reasons. There are paintings in Egyptian tombs dating back to 1500 BC that show beautiful gardens and landscaping. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were once one of the 7 Wonders of the World. These gardens contained beautiful ornamental trees, ponds, and flowering bushes. The ancient Egyptians were known for developing rose bushes, irises, daises, the date palm, fir trees, and poppies.

The ancient Assyrians developed the first game preserves, incorporating beautiful landscaping along with wildlife. This may be the first record of cultivated grasses, as the Assyrians would provide grazing land for different species of deer.

The Middle Ages


During the Middle Ages, the emphasis turned to the cultivation of medicinal herbs, kitchen gardens, and vinyards. Once again, private plots of grass were cultivated for the sake of grazing of livestock and wildlife. The landowners would plant hedges around the fields to keep the livestock in place.

It was during this time that those in charge of cultivating lawns and fields learned the value of aeration of the soil. The traffic from herds of livestock and wildlife did more damage than the actual grazing, and the first “lawn care specialists” were born. They developed horse-drawn aerator cylinders to loosen the soil. This would help the soil hold onto rain water and encourage the spread of roots from the various grasses. In addition, there was a court in the center of most gardens that had a plot of grass.

Around the same time, Persians were building gardens with a foursquare pattern with 4 waterways dividing it. These gardens were circled by walls, and the center would either have a pavilion for gatherings, or a pool. These gardens featured Islamic mosaics and


Real Lawns

It wasn’t until the end of the 1200s that lawns were valued for their own existence. In Europe, people would plant stretches of lawn framed by fruit trees and rose trellises.
Since the 1200s, lawns have been valued by property owners, and lawn maintenance has had a significant role in horticulture. Proper lawncare has added oxygen to the air, and purified the water for hundreds of years.

Household Ornaments: How Many Is Too Many?

Personalizing your home is one of the greatest pleasures of home ownership. Even if you rent, you’ll have the pleasure of decorating your own space with your own belongings. Where should you start, and just how far should you go in your décor? Here are a few pointers on how much you should put in a room.


First of all, do you want to decorate for the seasons? Most people will decorate for Christmas, at least, while others dive whole-heartedly into every season and holiday. In January, you can go the whole “winter is cold, let’s do snow themes” décor, while February is, of course, Valentine’s day. Just be sure that when you switch to your Valentine décor, you remove the winter items. One of the biggest no-no’s of decorating is to pile items in front of others, thinking the old décor will just be unnoticed.
March and April bring Spring and Easter with them, as does May. Flower arrangements can contain spring flowers, with ornaments and chach-kis of bunnies flirting at the bases of arrangements.
How do you handle the seasons? With proper storage. Get a rubber bin to hold seasonal items, and make sure you pack away carefully so that your decorations don’t get broken and silk flowers don’t get mashed. Then, at the end of the season, the empty bin is ready to receive your items, and you move on to the next season.


How much is too much? First of all, assess whether or not you have off-season décor on display. Sure, you may love that pic of the kids with Santa sitting on your solid oak furniture, but it’s July, for crying out loud! Replace it with another picture, and the Santa portrait will be special all over again this Christmas.
The rule of odds is another good way to control the clutter. In art and decorating, odd numbers seem to be more pleasing. The human brain looks for symmetry when even numbers are present – if you have two vases on one side, you have to have two more vases on the other. So, go with odd numbers to control the clutter. And, it’s ok to have just one item on a particular shelf. Don’t think you have to fill up empty space around an item. You can leave up to 12 inches on either side of an item, which increases the impact it has in its space. This also gives you the chance to circulate your décor items.

Basic Décor

If you are not much into seasons, but want your house to look nice on a regular basis, follow the rule of odds mentioned above, and circulate your belongings. Do you have, for instance, a collection of antique cameras? You don’t have to place all of them out in a huge display. Feature just one on the shelf, and exchange it for another now ant then.
With these basic decorating guidelines, you can have a charming décor without making your house look cluttered or, just as undesirable, bare and uninhabited.