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garden ponds

Many homeowners, when considering the installation of a Garden Pond are fraught with unnecessary concerns, mostly attributable to maintenance issues. Indeed, some informed knowledge is required to ensure a living ecosystem remains vibrant, however an advanced degree is hardly a prerequisite. Given the free flowing exchange of information via the Internet, a few hours invested in self enlightenment can provide nearly any answer imaginable in a timely fashion.

From personal experience the best source of information is your local Garden Pond Dealer/Supplier. It would make perfect sense to seek advice from a professional who not only is knowledgeable of the subject, but also educated in processes, materials and available products. Many times the same person who sold/installed your Garden Pond is the savior of any pond dilemmas. A glowing customer testimonial is worth a million dollars in advertising to a business, and most will more than accommodate any inquiries.

garden ponds

For the purpose of Winter maintenance in Garden Ponds, the initial work begins in Fall. Frequently during Fall months, clean and remove any debris – falling leaves, dying plants, dead bugs, etc. Fall is the perfect time to apply pond netting given the volume of falling vegetation. A matter of particular care should be organic matter on the pond bottom. It is required to do so more than once, and is easily forgotten in value of importance. Check the outside of a raised pond for leaks, and make any necessary repairs before it gets too cold. Fall is a good time to perform a partial water change,ensure fresh new water is the same temperature as the existing pond water, add it slowly over time so as not to disturb the delicate water balance. Also examine any wildlife in the pond for disease or illness and if deemed appropriate, remove them.

winterizing garden pond

As Winter approaches and the water temperature reaches 40 degrees, quit feeding any fish. Remove the Pond Pump and store it as per manufacturers recommendations. Clean pump filters, remove filter media and perform any other suggested pump maintenance. Install Pond aerators or de-icing systems to prevent water freezing causing the loss of pond life or damage to the pond itself. Also, unusual warm spells in weather can enable bacterial activity which can deplete oxygen. These devices usually have adjustable thermostats, cycle on and off, and are quite energy efficient. Placement of these are critical, and they should be very close to the surface. Don’t allow snow to accumulate on a frozen pond surface, gently brush it away if possible, this allows sunlight to access the pond and will help with algae. Keep a watchful eye on fish if there are left in the pond over Winter. Fish tend to gather at the bottom of a body of water in the cold weather, and if you notice them close to the surface and the pond is iced over, move quickly. Make certain there is a fair sized whole in the ice (12 inches should do) and check to ensure the aerator is working properly. Most likely, an iced over pond allows methane gas to accumulate and can easily kill aquatic life if left unchecked.

In warm climates Winter Garden Pond maintenance is much the same as Spring maintenance. Regardless of location Garden Ponds can be a source of tremendous enjoyment and peaceful reflection. The best advice for maintenance is to view them as living entities, rather than a landscape attraction.


Reliable and Trustworthy Contractors in Your Area

One sure thing about owning your own home is that there are going to be needed repairs along the way. Whether you’re having a small job done, like painting, or a large job, like remodeling a kitchen, you still want the most reputable home improvement contractor available. Contractors are a dime a dozen but finding just the right one can take a lot of time and effort.

There’s a site that lists contractors, some in your area, who have been pre-screened and found to be legitimate, honest and price-competitive. Contractors who think they belong in this group can apply to the site who will then check their reputation.

There’s one downfall to the whole pre-screened contractor business: they mostly list contractors that are located in major cities. If you live close to one of these towns, you’re good to go, but if not, this may not be the service for you.

gutter cleaning

The network includes service professionals in over 500 categories, like cleaning services (janitorial, window cleaning,pressure washing, gutter cleaning), remodeling (house, bathroom, etc), roofing, decking, plumbing work, yard work and cement work. To begin the search for the appropriate company the customer first submits a short description of the service needed by answering a few brief questions. And, after they’ve located the perfect company to serve you, you are under no obligation. Get an estimate or do nothing else – it’s up to you.

This site guarantees the match, too. Notify them if you end up hiring the recommended company, then if there’s any problems they will work with you to straighten them out. And, they’re even willing to provide up to $500 of additional labor to make you happy. Make sure you read and understand the full Service Guarantee at their site. Go to the site and read many customer reviews to see how others liked the services.

The criteria required to become a recommended contractor includes proper licensing, any prior legal problems concerning the business, judgements against the business and any bonding information. Although they invest quite a lot in checking the credentials of the contractors, there’s no fee to use the services.

The site also features a Homeowner’s Library containing articles, pictures and diagrams of topics related to homes and repairs. Learn more about various home repair projects, get remodeling tips, even maintenance tips and hints.

Take the headache and disappointment out of having home remodeling jobs done by a contractor. Save yourself the hassle of making phone calls, trying to check backgrounds, and attempting to find out more about the contractors. Let someone else do all the legwork for you.

Driving past, you catch a glimpse of a man clad in a dazzling ice-skating outfit hoisting another man into the air. Your gaze shifts, and you witness a group of middle-aged men suiting up in leather biker wear. These scenes would be awkward and confusing in any other setting, but they are rather tame compared to other images witnessed while passing by the Garden Drive-In on Route 11 in Hunlock Creek, Pennsylvania.

The drive-in has always been as large a part of American pastime as, it seems, baseball or mini-golf. Popularized and romantacized in early ’70s films such as American Graffiti and Grease, attending the drive-in with a group of friends became the most down-to-earth American way to see a film. Surprisingly, over 30 years later, the drive-in is still a trendy hangout for all ages.

One day after the opening, Northwest senior Todd Belles attended the Garden Drive- In with his friends, “It was good,” said Belles. “It was cold, but good. The movie was really funny. We snuck some friends in the trunk of the car, but keep that on the down low,” confessed the senior with a laugh. “Seriously, don’t put that in your article.”

Belles, along with his friends, participated in the age-old tradition of hiding friends in extra car space to lower the cost of an already cheap admission fee. Although this has been looked down upon and may result in rejection from the drive-in, most students agree that it is worth the risk once in a while.

“I never do it, and I don’t agree with it, but it adds some excitement to the trip,” said Michael Buerger, senior. “It’s like, you might get caught, and you might not. And if you don’t, it costs less. If you do, you just have someone else drive while you hide. It’s fun.”

As aforementioned, the goal of sneaking in friends is mainly to make going to the drive-in a cheaper fair, but the ticket price is hardly worth arguing. At an already cheap admission price of $6 per person to view two movies, which trumps the normal prices of most theaters by $1.50 (not including matinees) for just one film, the Garden Drive-In offers an inexpensive way for a joyful outing. Needless to say, this economical offering is the main attraction for most of the crowd drawn to the drive-in.

Obviously though, there are negative aspects to a seemingly perfect pastime. As Belles mentioned earlier, the elements do play a large part in the enjoyment of an evening at the Garden. Northwest senior Ryan Pearson recalled his experience at the drive-in.

“The fog ruined the entire evening. The one time, they had to pause the movie for a while until the fog cleared, but it never did. Also, it has rained and gotten very chilly,” said Pearson. “It’s fun nce in a while, but you either have to sit on the ground or in a car, which can get rather uncomfortable.”

Included in a poor elements is the ethics of the drive-in. A noticeable marketing ploy made by Garden is to play a children’s film on one screen, while showing an adult-oriented R-rated film on the opposite screen. This is done in order to attract separate demographics rather than just one crowd. “Think if a young child was watching an animated kid’s movie and happened to turn around to see a heated,graphic sex scene, or gruesome image from a horror movie on the other screen,” said Town Hill local Annie Groff. “I can’t say if it is a big problem, but it’s more than likely it has happened and caused some difficulty among parents and children. It just seems wrong to me to expose kids to that while they are enjoying a more innocent time.”

Despite these many dilemmas, though, the Garden Drive- In still manages to draw a decent crowd of all ages. As long as there are films to show and people to go see them, the drive-in will remain a beloved pastime of American history.

When you decide you want a water garden, or fountain, as part of your landscape, next you have to choose which type you want. Do you want only water plants, or one filled with goldfish? You will want to see how much sunlight it will receive from your chosen location in case you want to also have water lilies. Lilies need four to six hours of sunlight daily, shade is fine for goldfish. Moderate climates need about two feet of water depth in a goldfish pond, colder climates need water a little deeper.

When choosing placement for your pond, remember that you want an area of landscape that has good drainage and is free from rain run off. You may need to do some landscaping before starting your project.

Flexible liners and pre-built pools are the main choices for building a water garden. Both are cheaper and easier to install than one made of concrete. Pre-fabricated pools come in various shapes and sizes, depending on your personal preference. If you want just a small round pond, a kiddie pool from Wal-mart will do the job. If installing a flexible liner, be sure to get one especially made for water gardens.

Once you have your location and type of pond chosen, it is time to start to work building your water garden. To be sure that you have enough space, you can make a template of your desired pond and place it on top of the ground for use as an outline and guide for digging.

If you are in doubt about the size of your pond, remember bigger is better. Larger water gardens are easier to maintain and it cannot be too large if you are planning on stocking it with several large goldfish.

Next, you will need to excavate the area where your water garden will be placed. Dig the width and depth needed to occupy your pond. You will also need to make a little ledge around the borders of the pond to place your pump and, if desired, a waterfall. You will need to go ahead and place any pumps or filters and be sure to level them up.

Put your liner in place and smooth it out and around the ledge on your water garden. Decide on what type of border you want around your garden, stones or medium sized rocks work well. You can simply place these around your pond and layer them to make a nice wall. Cement or concrete can be used to keep the stones in place, but it is not required.

Dechlorinate your pond with chemicals used for outdoor water gardens, you can purchase these at most garden centers. You will also want to go ahead and add any aquatic plants or lilies as soon as the pond is in place. Give the water in the pond time to get established before adding fish. Waiting a week or so before adding goldfish is your best choice. Add one or two fish at a time so that any adjustments to water balance is done slowly.

Once you have constructed your own backyard water garden, sit back and enjoy your beautiful addition to your home’s landscape.

Edges and paths add to the beauty of the garden. Edges give a clean appearance to the garden and paths provide a way to maneuver around the garden without stepping on the grass or the flowers. Depending on what the edges and paths are made, the garden can be transformed into a thing of beauty. Careful consideration needs to be put in before you decide what your path should look like.

Consider your theme

The edge and path should complement the style you have chosen for your garden. A Japanese themed garden tends to feature stone for the path as well edges that give a natural feel. For a formal style keep the edges properly trimmed and evenly done.


Every homeowner desires to have the best garden but is careful not to spend too much when you are not able to maintain the same. You can still have the garden of you dream without going financially overboard. Keeping it simple and elegant is the trick to a beautiful garden. Insisting on marble paths and expensive trees in your garden does not necessarily mean beauty.

Consider professional help

This point cannot be emphasized enough. Having the perfect edge and path in your garden requires experience and for that, you have to seek help from your landscaper. You will have to pay for those services but what is a little money compare to quality work to your garden where you will probably entertain guests.


At the end of it all, you would want something that not only looks good but will last long. There are different types of edges ranging from live edges to concrete to just rocks. The same applies to paths which can be stones, gravel or even wood shavings. You can choose which lasts long and has low maintenance.

Three Activities that Are Sure to Cure Boredom and Bring Your Child to the Garden

Kids out of school for the summer and bored? Learn how to make a sock garden, build a barometer in less than 5 minutes, and dry flowers in the microwave!

Sock Garden– sounds funny, and it’s fun and simple! 1) Have your child walk in some tall grass with a sock OVER their shoe. 2) Remove the sock, being careful not to disturb any spores or seeds it will now have on it, then put the sock in a small foil pan with a small amount of water in the bottom of it, just enough to wet the sock. 3) Place the pan in a spot where it will have direct sunlight, preferably indoors, and make sure to keep the sock moist. Within a few days you will see some sprouts, and if you let it grow awhile you will have your own sock garden with many different kinds of plants.

Microwave Flower Pressing– fun for kids of all ages, faster and easier than pressing using a book, and great for those into scrapbooking! 1) In your microwave, lay a few paper towels on a flat plate or on the turntable, if you are drying a bigger flower with more moisture, more paper towels may be needed. 2) On top of your layer of paper towels, lay a sheet of blotting paper, then add the flowers, making sure they aren’t touching each other 3) Add another sheet of blotting paper, then a few more paper towels. 4) Top with a microwaveable dish to keep the paper flat. 5) Microwave times will vary, the process takes usually 2-4 minutes, but check every 30 seconds to prevent burnt flowers and to reposition flowers if needed. Remember that if you are drying several batches of flowers that the microwave setting may need to be changed to low, as microwaves get hotter with use. 6) Let the flowers cool, then they can be laminated, or stored in an envelope or box for use.

Barometer Fun– easy to make- can your child forecast the weather? 1) Gather a glass jar, a balloon, thick rubber band, tape, scissors, a straw, and a small piece of paper cut into the shape of a triangle. 2) Cut the end off of the balloon so that when it is stretched over the mouth of the jar, it forms a FLAT tight seal, then secure with the rubber band. 3) Attach the straw to the middle of the covering of the jar with a peice of tape. 4) Cut a slit crosswise into the other end of the straw, and place your paper triangle. The triangle doesn’t have to be cut perfectly, it is just used as a direction arrow. When the air pressure is LOW the cover relaxes and the arrow will point down, which means rain, When the air pressure is HIGH the cover is tight, pulling the arrow up, meaning drier weather.

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