Advertisements

outdoors

Quick Tip Friday- Water saving tip – Check your sprinklers

We are in a drought here in California. A phrase I have been hearing my entire life, but I still take it seriously and try not to be wasteful.

I will be posting water saving tips as often as I can through the spring and summer months.

My water saving advice today is related specifically to sprinklers or watering systems and it is very simple.

Watch when your sprinklers or watering systems run to check for needed repairs or adjustments.

A few years back a neighbor told me about a broken sprinkler she happened to see because our sprinklers ran the same time she left for work everyday. We never happened to see it. Since then I try to check things out twice a year and it paid off this year. We ran a check on the watering system in the backyard recently and discovered a leak that could have gone undetected for a very long time.

As you can see in the pictures there was no obvious problem besides the puddle. Timing and location might have kept us from noticing this puddle for quite some time.  There was a crack in a sprinkler head below the surface we w0uldn’t  know about until we watched our system running to check for possible adjustments in spray pattern or timing.

It was a easy fix to replace the sprinkler head (it just screws off/on) and no more water is being wasted watering our pavers instead of the grass.

sprinkler head sprinkler head2

Take a few minutes to check out your watering system regularly , it’s worth it!

 

 

Advertisements
Categories: gardening, helpful tips, home maintenance, home repairs, Lawn care, outdoors, Quick tip friday, Uncategorized, Water saving advice | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Beautiful sky

Sometimes you just want to put up a pretty picture.

Categories: outdoors, random, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Quick Tip for Friday- Keeping it cool for the BBQ

Get creative this Labor Day weekend when putting out the goods for the big BBQ!

Freeze water in balloons to put in the buckets and tubs, it adds fun color and also helps with the melting run off!

ice balloons

I freely admit to discovering this tip on Pinterest and happily provide the link back to the original source by clicking on the image (if I did it right!).

Use Blue Ice when possible to help reduce water run off, especially in the bottoms of coolers and buckets. If you are putting out bottled water freeze a few of them first and put towards the bottom, they will be ready for drinking as your guest get to them.

Keep in mind you don’t have to spend a lot of money on special tubs or buckets to put drinks out for your guests. You can use anything big enough that is also relatively clean. Line a garden bucket with a plastic bag then fill with ice. Or buy and new one and use for the party first if you were about due anyway. Regular plastic storage bins are great too!

Food can be kept safe to eat longer by setting it out on ice, and this can be done all sorts of ways. If you bought a pre made tray of sandwiches, veggies or cold cuts turn the lid over, fill with ice then set the tray on top of that. Automatically a perfect fit.

I often use large Pyrex baking pans filled with ice to put out condiments, or dips it’s great because the items wont tip over as it melts because the pan is shallow.

One last tip: make sure the ice has fully melted and the water isn’t cold anymore before pouring onto the lawn on plants. Cold water can shock the roots.

Happy Grilling! Stay hydrated and please don’t drink and drive!!

Categories: helpful tips, outdoors, Quick tip friday, storage, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Quick tip for Friday; buying plants

Here is some simple but effective advice to really help with success in your landscaping and gardening.
Pay attention to the location of the plants you want from the nursery or garden center and choose accordingly.

When the beautiful, vibrant blooms of a fuchsia start singing to you ‘Take me home’ make note that you (and the plant) are in a bright, but somewhat shaded location. While you may imagine how lovely those colors will look in the full, bright sun outside your kitchen window, you won’t have them for very long if you put it there. It won’t be happy, trust me, I have tried!

red and purple fuchsiapink fuchsia

When you are looking to add some plantings to a shady spot whether it is flowers, fruit or ground cover then make sure you don’t need SPF and sunglasses while picking out what to buy!

Beebutterfly on bougainvillea

Your first step to success can be that easy, choose from conditions similar to where you want it to thrive!

And here is a picture of a dragonfly just because I am so excited that I got this shot. 🙂

dragonfly

Happy planting!

Cass

Categories: gardening, helpful tips, outdoors, Quick tip friday, Uncategorized | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Stepping up for summer fun

This was a personal project in my own backyard. With summer fast upon us and backyard activities soon to increase we could not go on ignoring this issue any longer.

This area of the lawn was distressed partly due to the extra traffic it gets on the path between the deck and the shed so we decided to put in steppers.

this needs some tlc

this needs some tlc

dreary little section of lawn

dreary little section of lawn

After taking measurements and discussing ideas we headed off to get some step stones.

Tip: Know your spacing and have a plan in mind but stay flexible. What we came home with was different in both size and shape than what we had envisioned and there is no doubt it was the right choice.

We laid the stones in the pattern we thought we wanted and gave ourselves some time to make sure it was how we felt they should be. I can’t speak strongly enough about doing this first, it made such a difference in the satisfaction of the end result. Initially we had planned to lay them in a straight, even line and tried the staggered pattern ‘just to see how it looked’. Now I can’t imagine why we ever thought the straight line was a good idea!

Lay out steppers first for spacing and patterns.

Lay out steppers first for spacing and patterns.

Look at layout from a few angles and take a few minutes to make sure you like it.

Look at layout from a few angles and take a few minutes to make sure you like it.

Once we had the pattern and spacing measured out the rest was pure sweat equity!

Nice clean cuts around the stones and using a shovel with a straight edge kept the job neat and tidy.

dig out carefully in full pieces, keeps ground level and grass can be re-used

dig out carefully in full pieces, keeps ground level and grass can be re-used

clean straight cuts will help make a good final look

clean straight cuts will help make a good final look

I came up with the idea of laying a rope in the hole after the first time we had to take a stone back out to level the dirt a bit more. When you remove or replace a stone by tipping it to one side it creates a divet in the ground beneath it. A rope or strap allows you to lift or lower the stone straight up and prevents divets from happening.

lay a rope or strap in the hole before putting in stone

lay a rope or strap in the hole before putting in stone

If you need to move stepper raise it with rope and pull straight out of hole

If you need to move stepper raise it with rope and pull straight out of hole

rope slides out easily once stepper is placed just right.

rope slides out easily once stepper is placed just right.

This project happened to be on existing lawn that needed to allow for natural imperfections in the slope of the ground so you don’t see me using levels in this case. I needed my stones to match the existing grass more than being accurately level so the lawnmower can easily pass over them.

moving right along

moving right along

We were able to take some of the more healthy portions we had removed and use them to patch in to some of the especially damaged spots. This made a big difference in a few weeks.

This was the worst patch of grass, something had to be done.

This was the worst patch of grass, something had to be done.

cut out the sad patch of grass

cut out the sad patch of grass

patched in grass in bad spot

patched in grass in bad spot

nothing left to do but water and wait

nothing left to do but water and wait

Not bad for a day’s work. Now to nurse the patchy spots back to health.

A few weeks later and the difference is amazing! Grass grew in nicely and the stones look great!

2 1/2 weeks later

2 1/2 weeks later

patch spot looks good

patch spot looks good

One Saturday of work that will pay off for years to come.

Hope you are all enjoying your backyards as much as I get to enjoy mine!!

Happy summer fun! Time to schedule some BBQ activities!

Cass

Categories: DIY tips, gardening, helpful tips, Home Improvement, home maintenance, home repairs, Lawn care, outdoors, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

April is National Garden Month!

We all know that Earth Day is in April but did you know the entire Month is dedicated to our lovely gardens?

Celebrate National Garden Month with some of these great ideas from the National Gardening Association!

 

http://www.nationalgardenmonth.org/index.php?page=101ways

IMG_00000098

 

Categories: gardening, helpful tips, Lawn care, nature, outdoors | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Transformation!

Some say they enjoy how teak wood ages naturally to a silver gray color, but to me (and my customer) it just looks old and fading.
It was a joy (and a lot of time sanding by hand) to restore these patio furniture pieces. The stain I used is an environmentally friendly oil penetrating stain that enhances the natural beauty of a piece of wood in a way that takes my breath away every time I get a chance to use it. The ‘color’ I use is ‘natural’ and there is almost no tint to it, hard as that may be to believe. All that gorgeous color is just from the wood maintaining a similar appearance to being wet, every stunning grain and texture is amplified.
I can only say I really wish I had taken better pictures. These don’t do justice to the change that took place.

If you want to know more about the product I used let me know. I may do a separate post about it if people are interested.

Categories: furniture refinishing, home maintenance, home repairs, outdoors, Uncategorized, work I do | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Photo tease

UPDATE: finally posted follow up gallery! http://wp.me/p1YDLs-7v

Here is a teaser photo of a ‘before’ shot that will be part of a gallery I intend to post in the next few days.
Stay tuned to witness the amazing transformation of this outdoor teak patio furniture!

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

Categories: cleaning, furniture refinishing, home maintenance, outdoors, Uncategorized, work I do | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

other times….

I get to build a beautiful fence and gate!
Better quality pictures that also show before and after will be posted soon. Right now I’m still busy building this on the other side of this house.
This horizontal design chosen by the homeowner is just gorgeous and was fun to build.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

Categories: custom work, DIY tips, gardening, home maintenance, home repairs, outdoors, work I do | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

sometimes….

I get to turn an old neglected fish pond into a planter.

filled w/ potting soil

filled w/ potting soil

Now with plants

Now with plants

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

Categories: gardening, outdoors, repurposing, work I do | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: