Tag: decoration

Memorial and Meditation Garden Landscapes


Walkway and Patio Edge Designs with Modern Low-maintenance Plants


Modern low-maintenance plants surrounding walkway and patio edges in memorial and meditation garden designs convey intimacy. Choosing suitable garden plants is crucial.


Memorial and meditation garden landscapes are welcoming and restful spaces. Regardless of size, components of these landscape designs are a central meditative or memorial feature, an open space like a patio, benches, and walkways for entering and exiting the garden. If the area is large, there may be margins of walls, fences or hedges as well as meandering pathways. Nevertheless, the setting should be one of intimacy. Low-maintenance landscape plants contribute tremendously to achieving this desired effect.


In order to focus on the main meditative or memorial feature, plantings are best restricted to patio and walkway edges. Plant selection is usually the last designed garden landscape component. Planting a successful garden landscape requires knowing three factors:

  • Site conditions
  • Characteristics and functions of desired plants, and
  • Coordination of plant colors and appearances


This example shows a church model that memorializes early 19th century church founders as the focal point of a landscape garden. The plant hardiness zone 7 garden is set facing south on disturbed soil that is primarily acidic red Virginia clay. The specified soil amendment is mushroom compost.


Planned benches are teak. Installed irrigation is underground. Poured concrete makes up the patio and walkway. Timers trigger safety lighting on poles and within the model.


Low-maintenance Plant Colors and Characteristics

Coordinated colors and plant textures present a unified and tidy appearance and pleasing public image. The idea here is to bring warmth and welcoming to the garden without detracting from the model. Colors, carried out through both flowers and foliage, are white, pink, deep blue and intense yellow.


Plants in this scheme either are small-leaved evergreens or possess some kind of late winter interest. They remain small and require little or no pruning. They are also resistant to common pests, diseases, drought and, for the most part, are deer resistant. They can all triumph over a variety of soil types.


Sun and Shade Site Essentials

  • South facing walk edges: East, west and southern year-long sun exposure on shrubs planted here. Plants here must be capable of withstanding year-long sun exposure on a daily basis. Evergreens are not appropriate due to possible winter wind and drought damage.
  • South facing patio edges: East, west and southern winter sun exposure; some east and full southern summer sun exposure. Plants here must be capable of withstanding winter sun exposure. Evergreens are not appropriate here also due to possible winter wind and drought damage.
  • North and east facing patio edges behind memorial: Limited winter shade from surrounding deciduous trees and memorial; heavy summer shade from surrounding deciduous trees and memorial. Plants here must be capable of surviving in part to heavy shade. This is an excellent location for some small-leaved evergreen shrubs.
  • North and west facing patio edges with benches: Limited winter shade from surrounding deciduous trees; filtered summer shade from surrounding deciduous trees. Plants here must be capable of surviving in part to dappled shade. Evergreens are also not appropriate here due to possible winter wind and drought damage.


Specific Low-Maintenance Plant Selections for this Landscape Garden Design

  • Low-Maintenance Plants for DIY Landscape Gardens: Bordering Walks and Patios in Memorial and Meditation Garden Designs


If you need help maintaining your garden or clearing trees, be sure to visit Portland TT to know more about their professional services.

How to beautify the floor of your kitchen?


The kitchen floor is subjected to constant assaults. The choice of the coating should not be dictated only by aesthetic considerations but primarily by criteria of resistance and easy maintenance. For cleaning do not turn the drudgery and the kitchen stays beautiful longer, it is imperative to choose flooring adapted.

Wood is sensitive to water. But its use is possible in the kitchen, provided you choose species resistant to moisture. This is true of most exotic woods that are naturally rotting. The European species can also find their place in wet if they were treated by cross-linking, that is to say, dried and then heated at high temperatures.

Which variant to choose? A glued with polyurethane is recommended because it only allows the floor to withstand variations in humidity. More than in any other part, the installation must be performed in workmanlike and careful sealing. Sealing between each blade but also on the periphery, with such joints boat decks in black polyurethane. To finish, the oil is preferred varnish which tends to close the surface. In everyday life, the floor is washed with soap specific maintenance. Here is some other materials you can choose for the flooring of your kitchen.

Vinyl Floors : They are also inexpensive and available in all colors. Attention, it is imperative to choose a quality model, more resistant to wear and shock that the first prize and a model that has received a non-slip treatment to avoid slipping.

Concrete: Very durable, Concrete is the material of industrial environments, contemporary lofts. The concrete used to create a seamless large area, except for expansion joints. Treated with water repellents, he converses easily with non-aggressive detergents. Over time, he slips in and wins personality. Drawback, the implementation of a concrete floor is cumbersome since it is always done by a professional.

Lino: Natural product made of linseed oil, natural resins, wood flour, pigments and mineral fillers on a burlap backing, it is cheap and cleans easily with a damp mop dipped in product maintenance non-abrasive.

Terracotta: Made of natural clay, terracotta environments created glowing, warm, and authentic. Particularly porous, it requires protective treatment and regular maintenance of hot water and soap. For added protection, it can even be oiled or waxed.

The stoneware: The stoneware today tends to supplant natural stone because of its many advantages. Made of clay and silica, nonporous material can be placed anywhere. The stoneware fears neither stains nor water, nor the shock and talks just hot water.

In need of ideas or guidance on your next kitchen design changes? Be sure to check out Brenda Lee Design’s services.

Container Gardening – Edible Roses


As if the rose isn’t perfect enough with its exquisite beauty and seductive perfume, this winsome favorite also produces edible fruit, called hips. Throughout history, rose hips have been used in herbal medicines and in many a family recipe for jelly, jam, soup, syrup and tea.

Hips, also called haws, appear in early fall underneath the spent flower blossom and contain the rose’s seeds. They are typically red, maroon or orange and, just like roses, come in various shapes and sizes, from plump and round to long and skinny. Since roses are members of the apple family, their fruit is often called a “rose apple” and in some species, the hips can be as big as crabapples. Once hips are allowed to form, this stops flower production and signals the plant that it’s time to rest and go dormant.

Extremely high in Vitamin C, hips have as much as 20 times more of this important vitamin than oranges. No wonder ancient cultures used rose hips to treat a myriad of ailments including stress, colds, urinary tract infections and digestive problems. Walk into any health food store today and you’ll find that rose hips are still a key ingredient in many herbal preparations. Sources of Vitamin C have long been staples in both the medicine chest and the diet. In World War II Victory Gardens, rose hips were grown so they could be converted into a Vitamin C-rich syrup to replace the oranges that could no longer be imported into Britain during war time.

If you’d like to experiment with using hips in cooking, be sure they are from a rose that has not been treated with pesticide. Look for disease resistant rose varieties so spraying is not necessary. You can also employ organic controls to manage any pests or diseases. Stop deadheading your roses in August/September (depending on your climate) to promote the development of plump hips.

Many roses produce interesting looking hips. For starters, check out Rosa rugosa ‘Hansa’ which sports double medium-red blooms and then lovely large red hips. R. moyesii ‘Geranium’ has brilliant geranium red single flowers with large, deep orange-red hips. R. ‘Felicia’ is a modern shrub rose in a pink blend and produces large, round hips that slowly turn from green to red. Hips start out hard and green, but the first frost usually turns them bright red or orange and helps to sweeten them. Leave them on the bush until they reach this stage and then collect them. To prepare the hips for cooking, cut off both ends, cut in half lengthwise, remove the tiny hairs and seeds in the center and rinse. Don’t use any aluminum pans or utensils because they will destroy the Vitamin C. Dry the washed hips on a cookie sheet in a low (250 degrees) oven and then store in a cool, dry spot or in the fridge in glass jars.

There are many recipes for rose hip jelly, probably the most common edible use for this fruit. Try this one for something a little different.

Even if you decide not to cook with rose hips, they are still beautiful in the winter garden, adding a dash of color to the stark landscape. And they are also a great source of food for birds and other wildlife. So, no matter how you enjoy the hips, they are really just one more reason to grow this most lovely of all plants – the rose.

If you need tree planting or yard maintenance services for your house garden or yard, be sure to check out Portland TT.

Picking your perfect Roman Blinds

When it comes to pure convenience and simplicity, there isn’t a better addition to your home than a set of Roman Blinds. If you’re redecorating a room from top to bottom, or simply just fancy a subtle change, Roman Blinds are an ideal solution.

You could say that they provide a perfect hybrid between curtains and normal wooden blinds. Whilst the Roman Blinds give the homeowner the aesthetically pleasing features that curtains do, they also provide the operational ease that blinds do.

It may come as a surprise, but for such a useful product, they are actually startlingly cheap in comparison to the competitors. As the blinds are in essence, simply flat panels of material, the cost is very low. In turn this means that even the top of the range products tend to be within the budget of the majority of homeowners.

The two main varieties from which to choose are categorised by the shape or fold they take when raised. The popular choices tend to be the horizontal draw and the teardrop style. The former is the style most people associated with blinds, and it simply folds neatly into itself. Teardrop blinds tend not to lie flat when raised, but in a more curved, teardrop-style shape (hence the name).

Which blind you choose is totally up to you, and different blinds suit different windows. The general assumption is that windows in rooms such as bathrooms and kitchens may well go hand-in-hand with the horizontal blinds to represent the simplicity of the room. On the other hand, rooms with picturesque views may reap the benefits of their settings when fitted with teardrop blinds. Teardrop blinds can combine with scenery to create a picture-perfect view on the right day, so it totally depends on what you want to get out of your blinds.

Another important factor to consider is how well the blinds will match the existing furnishings in the room, especially if you aren’t carrying out a full makeover. No matter how complex your current decoration is, a simple solution is always around the corner. Whilst a custom-made product will cost more than the average set of Roman Blinds, the price would still be extremely competitive when compared to alternative solutions.

Whatever you need – be it a simple blind that stops the neighbors watching you slave over a hot stove, or a quirky teardrop blind that makes a statement and adds a dash of character to your existing view, the solution can be found at Brenda Lee Designs to consult and get the best set of Roman Blinds for your home.


The Three Main Ingredients to Making Candles


candle-flame-close-up-backgroundWhen making great candles one should consider not only how they will “smell”, but how they will burn (as the burn will affect the scent throw). Think about what you look for when choosing a candle and give that same quality, or better, when making your own. Each person has their own ideas of what they want to achieve, but here are some fundamentals to help get you started in the right direction:


Choose a Wax


There are numerous waxes available for candle making. Each differs in their performance with fragrances, appearance, how they receive dyes, etc. Look at the characteristics of the waxes you’re considering and make an informed decision. Your retailer should be able to recommend a wax for the types of candles you are looking to make.




Fragrance oils can be purchased from candle supply companies, fragrance companies and even hobby stores (I do not recommend the hobby store route, however – they are usually pretty weak). There are probably 1000’s of fragrances available and each company will offer their own variation of a specific one. Here’s the biggest piece of advice I can give you: Order samples (or a small 4oz bottle) first before buying a larger quantity – make sure you like it.


Also, when making candles, fragrance is measured by weight, not volume. Also, the amount you use needs to be compatible with your wax for proper mixture. Not all waxes hold the same amount of fragrance. When too much is used you could find some of it sinking to the bottom of the jar!




Choosing a wick is as important as anything else when making candles. A wick not strong enough for your jar will leave wax behind causing the waste that can be so very irritating. A wick that’s too strong will burn your candle too quickly. Like everything else, finding a proper balance is a good thing.


Choose a container before purchasing your wicks. Measure the diameter of your container and ask a candle supplier which wick is the proper one to use. They should be able to tell you. If not, trial and error usually does the trick. Just like wax, there are numerous types of wicks that have their own characteristics. I suggest purchasing a sample package of several and decide which one fits your needs.


To make the most of your candle making effort, do some research before investing in your supplies. Check what ingredients great companies like The Big Damn Company use for their candles. This will help minimize mistakes, which translates into money spent.