The good news is that summer is on its way, which means more time spent outside in the garden. After a winter stuck indoors sheltering from the elements, sometimes what we find outside comes as a shock. Gardens, dormant in cold weather, suddenly spring into life without us noticing and it is often a case of playing 'catch up'.
Avoid the garden galloping away by putting in place a few carefully laid plans. First of all, take a look at the garden tools, are they ready to use, or do they require any essential maintenance? Essential power tools, such as lawnmowers, need regular servicing to keep them in tip top working condition. For a lawnmower to keep cutting grass cleanly and efficiently an annual maintenance check is strongly advised. A basic tune-up, which includes checking spark plugs, air filter and oil change will put the lawnmower in excellent shape for dealing with a season of long, lush grass. Lawnmower tune up kits are a great way for the do-it-yourselfer to tackle this essential job; they include all the stuff needed to get the mower ready for action. Take a look over at Pat's Small Engine Blog for some great solutions to this annual task. Remember, taking time to perform basic maintenance jobs like this prolongs the life of the lawnmower, makes the job of grass cutting easier and the garden will appear smarter?
At the start of the growing season it's a good idea to check the state of the soil. Some gardeners like to add nutrients in the fall so there is time for them to be absorbed into the soil, while others prefer to add it closer to planting up; both methods work fine. If a vegetable garden is planned, specific types of fertilizer will be necessary depending on the crop and the existing state of the soil. Those who keep a well-managed compost heap should have plenty of well-rotted organic matter available to enrich the soil at this time of year. Give generously to the soil and it will give back in terms of a bumper harvest.
Sitting out in a garden full of summer color is one of life's great pleasures, so be sure to plant up plenty of flowers. Bedding plants are a great summer staple and will give any garden an instant lift; a trip to the local garden center will provide all that's needed for an injection of color. Consider classic summer favorites such as Geraniums, Petunias, Lobelia, Cornflowers, Begonias, Salvias, and Gazanias for a vibrant summer display. Gardeners who prefer to keep labor to a minimum plant hardy perennial blooms which return each year; consider Marigolds, Gaura, Rudbeckia, Verbena, Crocosmia, Echinacea and Lavender for a cottage garden inspired summer show that lasts and lasts.
There's a whole season of great gardening to get stuck into, so make sure it's a good one and be fully prepared. A well-tended garden is a joy to behold and a few hours hard work invested in the spring and early summer will pay dividends later on.
As international concerns over climate change grow, the number of eco-friendly homes is increasing. Eco-friendly homes have now become more than just a trend. In the future, eco-friendly homes are likely to be essential, as more and more people strive to protect the environment. More environmentally friendly methods are being incorporated into the design of homes, with designers using sustainable materials. Many homeowners are also taking steps to transform their home into an eco-friendly environment.
Eco-friendly homes are becoming more popular, as more homeowners begin to understand the importance of them. These types of homes not only help the environment but also enable you to save money. Many homeowners are now making changes to their home, such as using low-energy light bulbs, in order to lower their bills and make their home more energy efficient.
Eco-friendly homes are not only better for the environment but also provide a healthier living environment for the homeowner. The materials used to construct an eco-friendly home are recycled and are less likely to emit any harmful gases or chemicals. An eco-friendly home is also less likely to experience problems that a regular home often experiences, such as damp or mold. This is due to an eco-friendly home containing more green materials and making better use of sunlight and water.
Eco-friendly homes also have better air circulation and with features such as carbon monoxide alarms being installed to warn of boiler problems, these types of homes offer a much safer living environment.
An eco-friendly home enables you to cut down on spending due to it being far more energy efficient. In addition to low-energy light bulbs, other energy-saving methods are being introduced. Solar panels are becoming a popular choice for homeowners, as they enable you to lower your energy bills. An eco-friendly home will also require less money to be spent on maintaining it thanks to the durable materials used in its construction.
In America, communities are working hard to create more eco-friendly homes. Many areas in America now offer new eco-friendly homes to buy. In Denver, Colorado, the former airport site of Stapleton was transformed into public parks and now includes a residential area with Energy Star certified homes, some of which have been fitted with solar panels. New homes in Grand County are also designed to help you save money on your energy bills. In Salem, Oregon, the Pringle Creek community is one of the greenest in the country, with restored historic buildings and geothermal heating in over 60 homes.
The increase in popularity of eco-friendly homes highlights their importance for the future. More and more homeowners are now choosing to focus on how eco-friendly a home is rather than just its overall appearance. An eco-friendly home has much more to offer and with more people taking an interest in green living, ever increasing numbers of sustainable buildings are likely to be created in the future.