Choosing Material for Your Home and Garden Furniture

The easiest way to define home and garden furniture is to say it is furniture that you can use indoors or outdoors. This type of furniture may be used in areas where people have chosen to enclose a patio within glass or screen, place indoor-outdoor carpeting on the floor, add a fireplace, ceiling fans, and an air conditioner. This area may be right next to the house or it may be a separate structure. Home and garden furniture, or casual furniture, is the type of furniture to use for this area. You may also choose to add houseplants to this area, but you would choose the larger ones for an enclosed patio.

Wicker Home and Garden Furniture

Wicker and wood are the most common materials for home and garden furniture. Although you can be used metal or plastic garden furniture, they are not appropriate for this area of your home. You would furniture that is not too formal but not too totally casual, either, and it needs to coordinate with the d├ęcor of the room you created. When you enclose the patio or porch, you show visitors this is another room in your home, and as such, you want the room to portray the look of casual warmth and comfort. The room should give the impression it is a place to relax and enjoy yourself. Wicker home and garden furniture have simple designs that give them a classic appearance that also gives them the feel of romantic comfort. Care of wicker home and garden furniture should be easier since it is made for the outdoors, but make sure you cask the retailer about maintenance instructions and requirements.

In addition to being casual and comfortable, wicker furniture is also durable, thus making it a good investment for your home’s future. It comes in many different styles, designs and colors from which you can choose your dining sets, or sofas, loveseats, and chairs. The conversation area of the room is not complete without wicker tables, and you can also add a porch swing or some comfortable and quiet seating for lovers or friends.

Wooden Home and Garden Furniture

If you aren’t fond of wicker, you can also choose home and garden furniture in many varieties of wooden pieces or sets. If you prefer furniture that is easy to move, teak wooden furniture may be your best choice. Teakwood has a reputation for being both lightweight and strong with a natural finish of a golden color. Like the wicker variety, wooden home and garden furniture is constructed to be strong and long-lasting. You have the choice of the same pieces you do with wicker including dining room sets and conversation sets that include loveseats or sofas. The wooden line also gives you the option of purchasing a porch swing. Make sure you check with the retailer for maintenance and care instructions for your wooden home and garden furniture. Wooden home and garden furniture also makes a sound investment in your home for the future.

A Pet Owner’s Guide to Home and Garden Ideas

Plenty of homeowners are often at a loss as to how to decorate their homes and gardens when they have pets around. There are just so many things that can go wrong when you have animals in the area and these are things that you have to factor in when thinking of your home and garden design. To keep a pet safe to roam inside your home and your garden, you need to think about them when conceptualizing your home and garden design. It will be good also to do some research on ways to keep your place pet friendly, and maintain a balance between what is safe and what is beautiful.

Most pet owners try to come up with various home and garden ideas to keep their places safe for the pets. While you can find so many from different sources, you still need to be careful especially with those that are yet to be tested. There are people who think that animals can tell what plants are harmful and will therefore not eat them but this is a myth. You will be better off making sure that all plants you place in the vicinity of your pets are safe for them. Some pets would chew on the plants because they are not aware of the potential danger that doing this will lead to.

Fish ponds are also included in home and garden ideas for pet owners. The common pets that we have are cats and dogs but there are some of us who also have fish and animals who live in ponds that we may have in the garden. You have to incorporate the safety of our watery friends when thinking of home and garden ideas. This also includes thinking what types of plants are best to place inside a fish pond.

Take Japanese gardens, for example, where normally there would be a Koi pond. Koi can be very expensive and sometimes there are animals and plants that do not agree with them. Your home and garden ideas should consider this. Think about what plants and animals are compatible with each other.

Using Fences and Safety in Water

Pet-friendly home and garden ideas often incorporate the construction of fences. These are usually created to keep them away from the water areas. It is a precaution to keep them from drowning or any accidents occurring. The fences are also great for keeping your little children out of dangerous water areas.

There are plenty of home and garden ideas which you can find to care for your pets. Remember that safety always comes before aesthetics and this should be your main concern when creating home and garden ideas.

Cane Or Rattan Furniture For Your Home and Garden

Rattan or wicker furniture is made from cane which is a raw material that comes from the stems of large rattans, which are climbing palms found native to tropical regions of Africa, Asia and Australasia. Because cane is a raw material it is tough and durable which makes it an ideal material for indoor and outdoor furniture. The material is also very versatile which means manufacturers can now modify designs to keep it right up today with today’s designs and styles. More and more people are realising the benefits of having cane furniture in their homes and gardens.

The reason cane furniture is ideal for gardens and conservatories is because unlike wood it will not rot or become damaged. It is an ideal material for any environment at any time of the year. If like most people you keep plants in your conservatory then you will find the air will be moist. This would be detrimental on any wood furniture which makes cane or rattan furniture most people’s first choice when it comes to furnishings. Cane will not rot or rust, it is water resistant which means it will last in great condition for years to come.

The beauty of cane furniture is that it offers a timeless look that will last you a very long time. It looks beautiful in conservatories but also not out of place in the living room or any other room of the house. Some of the styles and designs are very contemporary which makes it fit into today’s modern living. Cane is also ideal for outdoor living and can be found in gardens all around the world.

So how do they make it? Well, once the palm is harvested it is then boiled which removes the sap from the bark. This removal of the sap allows the material to have the flexibility properties which makes it easy to mould into various shapes. Once this process is completed the material is then split into thin strips. These strips are then intertwined to make the furniture. Generally the frames of the furniture are made from much larger canes. This whole process is very time consuming and costly which is why quality cane furniture isn’t cheap. However, you are buying furniture that is very easy to clean, will last for years and years, will need very little attention to keep it preserved, with that in mind the cost isn’t that expensive.

Another important aspect which shouldn’t be forgotten is that cane furniture is completely environmentally friendly due to it being made completely naturally without the use any chemicals or wood treatment. This is another hit with consumers as we are all living in a world where environmental products are in the foremost of everyone’s minds.

Pest Control Breakthrough in the Never Ending Battle around Home and Garden

Since I am not only an avid gardener, but also much concerned about the environment, I’m always looking for safe methods to grow plants including pest control in home and garden.

Think about pest control and how it works: We spray chemicals on plants or pests and the bugs die or stop reproducing because the chemicals are toxic to them. Unfortunately, many of these products are also toxic to humans and animals. Reading warning labels on pest control products makes you wonder why anybody would want to risk using them. Exposure to the fumes of these products can result in headaches, feelings of nausea and other discomfort Pesticide use can also results in chronic illness such as allergies, in miscarriages, sterility, cancer and even death.

We not only spray and fumigate in home and garden, we also apply bug killing toxins on our pets and expose them and ourselves non stop to a variety of chemicals to kill fleas, ticks and more.

Over the years, I have had some success with such Earth friendly things as vinegar, diatomaceous earth, garlic, cayenne pepper and Saver Soap in my never ending battle with bugs that invade home and garden. My quest also led me to pure essential oils which repel or kill bugs, yet are actually healthful to people and their pets.

Experimentation lead to the discovery that if the oils are used undiluted, they repel the pests, but if the oils are mixed with water, they often become “insecticides”. In other words, if you like to repel insects from entering your home, you can do that by putting a few drops of the appropriate oil on your fingers or some other applicator and then brush or spray the oil along the line of demarcation such as a windowsill, a door jamb, or other point of entry.

To kill or disable pests, mix a few drops of a specific oil with water in a spray bottle, shake frequently and aim at the pests. For example, to discourage aphids and ants from roses and other plants, generously spray infested plants with the mix. While the pests will leave or fall off, there is no harm done to the plant itself. (Best not to do that in mid day when temperatures go above 100 degrees F.)

You can keep ticks, chiggers and fleas off yourself and your pets when in the outdoors by using the appropriate oils. Either spray on exposed areas or rub on cuffs around neck, wrists and ankles. Avoid using oils near the eyes. Should you get oils in the eyes, dilute with vegetable oil – NOT with water. If an oil should be too strong for the user, experiencing a slight discomfort, apply a little vegetable oil to dilute. For your pets, you can put recommended oils around the neck, legs and along the back, but keep oils from around the eyes and other tender areas.

If an oil should be too strong for the user, apply a little vegetable oil on the area to dilute.

The following oils have been used successfully in the elimination of pests from home and garden:

ANTS: Peppermint, Spearmint

APHIDS: Cedarwood, Hyssop, Peppermint, Spearmint

BEETLES: Peppermint, Thyme

CATERPILLARS: Spearmint, Peppermint

CHIGGERS: Lavender, Lemongrass, Sage, Thyme

CUTWORM: Thyme, Sage

FLEAS: Peppermint, Lemongrass, Spearmint, Lavender

FLIES: Lavender, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage

GNATS: Patchouli, Spearmint

LICE: Cedarwood, Peppermint, Spearmint

MOSQUITOES: Lavender, Lemongrass

MOTHS: Cedarwood, Hyssop, Lavender, Peppermint, Spearmint

PLANT LICE : Peppermint, Spearmint

SLUGS: Cedarwood, Hyssop, Pine

SNAILS: Cedarwood: Pine, Patchouli

SPIDERS: Peppermint, Spearmint

TICKS: Lavender, Lemongrass, Sage, Thyme

WEEVILS: Cedarwood, Patchouli, Sandalwood

I like to add these cautions about essential oils: Not all essential oils on the market are safe. Many are diluted with harmful chemicals. Many essential oils are ineffective due to the way they are processed. Please make sure that you use safe, pure, properly distilled oils.

Copyright (c) 2007 Elisabeth Mcgill