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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!

Tips for Adding Lighting to Your Landscape

Adding light to your landscaping will not only add security, but the right lighting will also make your d├ęcor stand out during those moonlit nights.

Here’s some tips for setting up lighting for your landscape or garden.

Before purchasing your lighting, you need to decide how much light you want to add to your property. Taking a walk around your property at night will help you decide where the most lighting is needed for both safety and ambience. The moon and any streetlights will be your guide in helping where more lighting is needed.

Places such as stairways and walkways need more lighting than moonlight or a small porch light. This is not only a safety issue but also where security could be an issue. Lights do not have to be as bright as spotlights, but adequate lighting could also detour a possible criminal from trespassing.

Those who are looking to break into a dwelling will look for the darkest way to enter. By having lighting in these areas, you are adding security for you and your family.

Once you have budgeted how much you would like to spend, be sure to shop around. Buying the best product at the best price will help save money on your landscaping project purchases. The money that is saved can be used on other projects that you would like to complete.

Once the lighting is purchased it is then time for the installation process. As a safety measure, be sure not to place lighting where someone will trip over the fixture or any type of wiring. The best of intentions when installing outside lighting can cause an accident if they are too close to a walkway. Many wires can be hidden under a layer of rocks, under the soil, or behind other objects.

In regards to the placement of the fixtures, the fixtures do not have to show unless you purchased special lights that are meant to be seen. Some landscapers may suggest to do just the opposite and have the lights hidden so that the landscaping is seen, not the lights. This makes the landscaping more attractive, both during the day and at night. Fixtures can be hidden in the bushes or on the side of larger objects. When the lights are turned on, they will then cast a nice hue on a tree or decoration and are not too bright. Having lights that are overpowering will distract from the landscaping instead of adding to it.

Planning and budgeting are key elements in creating a beautiful landscape. Be advised that anything electrical will add some cost to your electric bill each month. This extra cost in the electric bill is something that may or may not be of importance, as it depends upon how often the feature will be used and if there is a solar option or not.

For questions on outdoor lighting, contact local landscapers or nurseries; they have experience in lighting options and their insights could save you a buck or two. Some landscapers even provide a consulting services where for a small onetime fee they will come to your residence and tell you exactly what you need to buy, how to install it on your own, and give you an idea of how your lights should be placed on your landscape for the best visual appeal.

Poolside Landscape Design

A pool round the corner of the garden can really make a lot of difference in enhancing the beauty and look of the landscape. However, the correct positioning and the factors crucial to the design of a poolside landscape, have to be kept in mind while opting for a decorative pool.

The space chosen as the area to build and design a pool is very important and thus, should be chosen carefully keeping in mind the right proportions and the overall area of the house. This spacing and designing again may vary depending on the look and styles such as formal, radical, classical or simple. The materials chosen to use as the border of the pool should be water friendly. The plants and herbs chosen to decorate a poolside landscape are usually the sort that do not grow tall or spread themselves too much. Leaves falling from these branches may make the water dirty and make the cleaning process more difficult. In case of big plants and trees, it is advisable to place them at a considerable distance from the pool water, to keep the water unaffected from leaves or droppings of the birds. Also, the roots of some plants may affect the foundation of the pool border and destroy it.

A poolside landscape can be adorned with plants with glossy leaves, and fixtures of bright colors complementing the blue color of the water to extend a glamorous look to the landscape. Too many flower plants are not recommended to decorate the poolside landscape, as they can attract birds and insects making it dirty and troublesome to clean.

Apart from plants, statues, fountains, wooden benches, swings also provide an exotic look to the landscape. Nevertheless, proper positioning and suitability with space and landscape can be considered to maintain the beauty of it. Various books, online courses, and professional outdoor designers can be found, to help carry out the job.