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Landscape Decorating – Another Great Way to Add an Amazing View From Your Kitchen Window

We have already covered how to create a magnificent floral view from your kitchen garden window with a planter box, trellis, and vines. Here is another very attractive and even simpler way of creating a visually enticing view from inside.

We have all seen or even have in our patios a decorative and very functional pergola patio cover. Decorative for the numerous designs we can consider, and functional from the much needed shade they provide. As we will also sometimes see, miniature sized pergolas are often constructed and mounted directly over one or several windows of a home or garage.

With that in mind, why not mount a mini-pergola over your kitchen garden window to display hanging baskets on both sides? With slim top slats spaced enough to provide sunlight, you can still receive filtered light through the top slanted portion of the window. Note, you never want to mount hanging baskets over the top of the window for one reason. Every time you water, the dirty runoff will cascade down over your window, keeping it from every truly being clean.

The design is simple since the weight of the hanging baskets it will bear is minimal, and you will not be placing anything on the top of the pergola itself. Traditional patio pergolas are supported with 4in. X 4in. or larger posts. Our mini-pergola will not require this, and proportional to its smaller size, will use individually smaller wood framing members than our standard patio pergola.

Here are the supplies you will need:

  • 2 plant hanging corbel style brackets: These must be flat surfaced on two sides for mounting on the surface of the house just off both sides of the garden window, and for securing the wood pergola members on top. Be sure to use exterior brackets, or spray interior type brackets you want to use with a weather resistant finish. They should also have two screw holes on each flat surface. Two for mounting the brackets to the surface of the house, and two for mounting the mini pergola on top of the brackets.
  • Mounting hardware for the brackets appropriate for the surface of your house (e.g. concrete anchors for stucco surfaces)
  • Two smaller round or square hanging baskets
  • Wood slats proportional in size to the dimensions of the garden window: Use your own judgment, but slimmer slats than what you see on larger pergolas do work better and appear more pleasing to the eye.
  • Wood screws

Step 1: Measure the width of your garden window. Then, measure the diameter of your round hanging basket, or the square length of your square basket, whichever you decide to use. The goal here is to leave enough clearance for basket sway in the event of stronger than normal wind conditions. Your best bet is to take the measurements of your hanging basket and add about 8 inches of clearance from the rim of the basket to the edge of the garden window to allow for wind swing. Mark a spot directly above the center point of the basket on the house surface where you will mount the brackets. It should be at a height that allows for clearance of the mini pergola above the top frame of the window. Because the mini pergola needs to be level with the top of the window, make sure your points for mounting the brackets assure that. One suggestion is to have someone help you hold a 2in x 4in. or other long straight piece of wood connecting the points on each side. Use a level to make sure everything is indeed level before going ahead with the next step.

Step 2: Installing your pergola. Whichever size wood members you decide to use, you will need to pre drill two of them at the point where they will be secured to the top of the plant hanging brackets. They can extend beyond the width of the two brackets, but make sure they are centered before marking your place for drilling in to the wood. Prior to installing your wood framing for the pergola, it might be a good idea to seal, paint, or stain the wood to protect it from the elements. You can attach your two wood slats to the top of the brackets using the appropriate sized machine screws with washers and nuts.

Step 3: Now, once you have installed the first two wood slats, you will want to secure two to three shorter crossing slats that will hold the entire framework together to the underside of your first two longer slats that run along the top. Position them evenly where you think they should be attached, and mark your spot on the longer wood slats where you will need to drill to attach them together. Once marked, drill your holes, use a pencil to mark where to drill on the crossing slats by holding them underneath the already drilled longer slats, and attach all together with the appropriate sized machine screws. You can now easily attach any remaining longer slats to fill in the gaps between the first two longer slats that were already installed. Just position them in place, mark the spot on the top of the crossing slats where to drill, and once both connecting pieces are drilled, attach them with machine screws and washers and nuts. As an alternative, you can also attach all of the wood members with the appropriate sized wood screws. Your work is done. Find some nice plants and enjoy your new mini pergola!

Landscaping and Gardening Tips For a Tight Budget

Having a beautiful, landscaped garden is everyone’s dream. Unfortunately, such beauty comes at a price. Generally, the more complicated and classy the garden looks like, the more costly it is to build and maintain it. Exotic flowers, expensive materials and landscaping service can all take their toll on the budget.

But there is no need to despair. Here are some ideas so an enthusiast can save money in growing and maintaining a beautiful garden.

Let us begin with topiaries. A useful landscaping and gardening tip is to avoid buying expensive topiary forms. Instead, a cheap tomato cage could be used. The legs of the cages could be tied down using a plastic coated wire or a twist wire. The plant can then be formed with the wire as its framework.

For sturdy custom stakes for climbing vines and hanging plants, used pipes could be employed. An even better stake would be an old or inexpensive expandable curtain rod. The gardener can actually extend it as the climbing vines grow!

Another item that eats up the budget is fertilizer that is sold in a gardening supply store. A good landscaping and gardening tip would be to engage in composting. Compost can be produced by putting dry leaves in a container. Cover the container with clean garden soil and place it upside down so that it comes in contact with the ground. After a few weeks, a brownish, black substance can be collected from the container. This substance, or compost, can be used as plant fertilizer.

Some plants need to be grown in large containers. A good landscaping and gardening tip would be to fill the bottom of the container with aluminum cans before adding garden soil. They make a good substitute as fillers. Also, the container is lighter to move or carry around.

For pathways and border stones, do not use bricks. Instead, it is cheaper to use broken pots or crushed gravel. They also make the garden more natural looking.

Brick pillars, which are often used to decorate the sides of pathways and driveways, add excitement to a garden. Unfortunately, if a mason is employed to construct them, it would cost the gardener hundreds of dollars.

A better way is to take heed of this landscaping and gardening tip: use recycled bricks. On a level area, put four bricks together to form a square. Put another layer of bricks on top of the foundation. Add another layer until it reaches the desired height. Top it off with a wide stepping stone.

These are just a few money saving landscaping and gardening tips. With the tips presented above, it is a pleasant surprise to know that most of the inexpensive but effective ways in gardening and landscaping comes from simple things inside a home.

Successful Backyard Landscape Ideas

Coming up with backyard landscape ideas is not always easy. Did you spend weeks picking out the current color for your house and landscaping your front yard, only to neglect the backyard and hide it with a big fence? A good backyard landscape plan is a key element to having a beautiful home that will feel finished and net you higher dollars when you sell. Curb appeal is a marketing term for how your house looks from the outside, does your house have backyard appeal? If not than you will want to continue reading this article and learn more about backyard landscape ideas.

We spend a lot of time and energy in decorating our houses and making them a home. Do the same for your backyard with landscaping and you will add another room to your house. A well-designed backyard-landscaping project will cause you to want to spend time outside enjoying the landscaping and nature. To start designing your new backyard landscape spend some time thinking about what you want to see in your yard and do with your yard, bushes, and trees during each season of the year. Do you want green trees all year, a lot of flowers and color in the spring, and lush grass in the summer? Or maybe you like more low maintenance plants and shrubs.

Backyard landscapes have evolved from lawn and a sprinkler to new modern designs involving pools, spas, barbeque pits, tables, couches, and dishwashers. The modern idea for a back yard has become an outside room that you can use many months out of the year. Backyards are the screened porches of the twenty-first century but before you start digging the hole for the pool do some research online to view pictures of what other people have done with their backyards. Spend some time thinking about what aspects of their designs you like and what you dislike. Research the appliances you want to use and see if others have recommended the appliance for use in your area. After all what works in a backyard in California probably won’t work out as well in Maine.

Once you have your backyard landscape ideas you can start making a plan on how to achieve your backyard goal. If you are a do-it-yourself kind of person you can find plans and instructions online to complete your backyard-landscaping plan. If you do not have the time or the desire to complete your backyard-landscaping plan yourself, search online for a backyard-landscaping contractor. You will find many people who are ready and willing to take on your project and give your backyard the appeal you never imagined possible.