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Design Ideas for Your Small Garden

Although it’s easy to think that gardening with a limited space is easier than farming the back 40, nothing could be further from the truth. Employing small garden design ideas when every inch of space counts presents opportunities to learn about specialized gardening techniques and plant preferences. Turning a small space into an outdoor oasis requires careful planning and some care once everything is in place, but the rewards of a small garden are worth every minute of planning and effort that gardening small takes.

Containers

Implementing small garden design ideas doesn’t require a plot of soil because many plants can grow in containers. Raised beds also provide enough growing space for plants, as do hanging baskets and vertical gardens. When the budget or space is limited, wooden pallets used for shipping make good vertical gardens for growing smaller, more shallow-rooted plants, whether edible or decorative.

Climate makes a difference when selecting the type of containers for small gardens if a plot of soil isn’t available. Plastic pots may not be as decorative as ceramic or terra cotta pots, but the plastic holds moisture better, which makes them a better container for water-loving plants in hot or dry regions.

Plants

While plants adapt to most geographies, some do better than others, depending on moisture, humidity and day length. Choosing onions for a garden depends on day length. Some require long days, plentiful in northern climates, while short day onions are planted in the southern states with more even day length year-round. Tomatoes are another example of plants that have geographic preferences. All tomatoes like it warm, but a few varieties are better adapted to the hot summers found in southern states.

Employing companion planting is essential for small garden design ideas. Some plants do better when planted next to other kinds, but mixing some plants together can actually spread diseases or slow their growth. When selecting the plants for a garden, consult a master gardener, the staff at a home center or use Internet resources to learn about plant compatibility.

Besides compatibility, it helps to group plants together that have similar food and water needs, separating those that need frequent watering and feeding from those that prefer drier soils. Many kinds of herbs produce better and have deeper flavors when grown in slightly stressful conditions, like poorer soils and less frequent watering. When some herbs are stressed, the oils in the leaves intensify, giving them more flavor. Leafy greens, on the other hand, like abundant nitrogen and water, so interspersing herbs with greens could be counterproductive in a small garden.

Color, Aroma and Texture

Small gardens need a focal point, which can be a larger plant or other patio or yard object that withstands wind, sunshine and moisture. Color choices for plants are highly individual. Some gardeners like every color under the rainbow, while others like subtle changes in leaf and flower color. Spending time researching when the plant bloom helps place plants so that something is always blooming, providing color and fragrance continually in the garden.

Soil

Mixing in soil amendments to existing soil gives plants a boost when using native dirt. But it’s a good idea to use an inexpensive soil testing kit before amending the garden soil, since too much nitrogen promotes leaf growth at the expense of flowers or fruit. All purpose potting soil is good for container gardening, except for cacti or succulents, that need a sandy mix for fast drainage. Since every inch counts in small areas, placing decorative objects on top of the soil around the plants is another way to bring more color and texture to enhance small garden design ideas.

Watering Systems

It’s the rare garden that doesn’t need supplemental watering from time to time, either from a hose, an irrigation system, or from watering cans. Drip irrigation systems use water efficiently and once the garden is established, the tubing and emitters don’t detract from the small garden design ideas. Some pots have water reservoirs at the base and use the principles of osmosis for irrigating the plants. Decorative watering cans can be part of the overall design of the garden.

Turning a barren area like a patio, balcony or corner of the yard into a fruitful and colorful retreat is within the reach of nearly anyone who likes to plan and plant. People of all ages enjoy the process and the results can be spectacular. These small garden design ideas don’t need to cost a fortune and can unite the whole family in healthy, educational and productive fun.

Great Home Business Ideas For You To Start Your Home Internet Business

While most people want to start a home internet business as a way of earning additional income, taking their traditional businesses to another level or having some employment, very few are courageous enough to venture into online business. Many times they fear due to lack of knowledge and skills to do online business and are skeptical about their success. They tend to think that online business is for internet experts, which is not true. This article brings out some facts and great home business ideas for you to start your own home internet business.

There are many great home business ideas on the internet but it takes time and patience to do some good research for those ideas. Each day the internet opens up new opportunities for us to make money by providing solutions to other people’s problems. Take advantage of that to start your own home internet business.

Most of the great home online business ideas require you to be smart enough to make money online. You have to take action by acquiring knowledge and skills through self-help learning, trainings and support programs. Take action by spending some time to work on your business and at times some money to invest in your business. Before you start your home internet business, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do I have the courage to start a home internet business? To succeed in online business, you have to be self-driven, hardworking, passionate about your business, persistent and able to take action.

2. Do I love reading? Most successful online marketers started their online businesses with scanty knowledge but through reading and learning from others, they became experts and are now earning good income. Like other newbies, you will have a lot of information to read before you become knowledgeable, skilled and conversant with doing online business.

3. Do I have the time? You have to allocate ample time everyday to work on your business. You need to create time. Remember 99% of the time is within your control.

4. Am I able to spend some little money? Although you can start a home internet business on a shoestring budget, you should bear in mind that business is all about investment. What are you investing in your online business for you to earn what you expect to get from it?

What do you need to start a home internet business?

The following are 10 great home business ideas on what is exactly needed for you to start your home internet business.

1. A computer and internet connection. It’s obvious that you cannot do any online business without having a computer and access to the internet.

2. A website. You can only start a home internet business if you have a website. There are mainly 2 ways of having your own website set up:

I. Designing your own website. You can learn the HTML (the web designing language) to design your websites. Look for web designing e-books on the internet and teach yourself. Learning to design your own websites is a great home business idea I strongly recommend to you.

If you find it difficult to learn, like most people do, then hire a web designer to design it for you at a cost.

ii. Setting up a Blog. Setting up a blog is the easiest and cheapest way to start a home internet business. You do not have to know HTML and it can be set up in a very short time. What you need to do is to visit blogger.com or WordPress.org and create a beautiful site. If you still find it hard to set it up by yourself, you can instead have it set up FREE by other online service providers.

3. Domain Name. You need a domain name to do online business. When coming up with a domain name, first educate yourself and become familiar with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) so as to compose a good name for your site. Register your domain name with a reliable service provider at an average annual cost of $ 10.

4. Hosting Company. You need to host your website with a reliable hosting company. Hosting charges depend basically on the hosting period and the package you select. I recommend hosting your website over a long period of time preferably 3 years to save money. It’s not advisable to use FREE WEB HOSTS.

5. A niche. A niche is a specific area of your expertise or professionalism that you intend to sell to your targeted customer group. You need to focus on a specific area of the market to build a successful business. People buy to satisfy their specific needs.

6. A product or service. You must have a product to sell to make money. There are 2 ways of going about this: coming up with your own product to sell or selling products of others. I recommend selling your own product along with affiliate products. Some of the top internet sellers include software, information, private sites and internet services. The success of your business will depend on how good your products are and how great your home business idea is.

7. Marketing. After setting up your website, you now have to market it. Market and market your site! You can only succeed by carrying out marketing campaigns to drive traffic to your website. There are free and paid online marketing methods. Some of the free and most effective methods include forum marketing, blogging, article marketing and social networking.

8. Automation. As already said, online business takes a lot of time but you can save your time by automating some of the tasks. Use auto responders to capture email addresses of visitors to your website who subscribe to your newsletter and to manage order processing, order confirmation, customer follow-ups, welcome messages and thank you messages.

9. Developing your reputation. Reputation determines your success. Portray yourself not only as a professional but also as a person with certain good values. Set ethical standards by which you conduct your business and be honest.

10. Organization. Being organized is a key to building a successful home internet business. Create a daily work schedule, a communication calendar and organize your work e.g. computer folders, email messages, etc…

Using the above great home business ideas, you already know much about what it takes to start and build a successful online business. You do not need to be an internet guru but you only have to take action and start your own home internet business. The rest you will learn gradually.

Bathroom Design Ideas That Combine Functionality With Beauty to Create a Space You Can Enjoy

In most homes the bathroom is the busiest, most frequently used room in the house. Given that you, your family and your guests will visit this room often, you want to make sure you can enjoy, or at least appreciate, the look and feel of the room and how it reflects your personal tastes. If you want to revitalize your bathroom without remodelling the whole room, here are some design ideas that will surely make a difference.

Before you look at changing any of the furnishing or fixtures, perhaps something as simple as new curtains or even just a new shower curtain can give the place a lift. Add some accessories such as soap dishes or toothbrush holders in a lively color or design. Look at some different wall mirrors and choose one that will match the theme or decor that already exists. If you feel these changes are not enough, then you can ‘go bigger’ and expand your options according to your budget.

Since all of these ‘do it yourself’ television programs have emerged, the idea of decorating the bathroom to make a statement, rather than it just being a purely functional room, has really caught on and stimulated the imagination of many. Indeed, it is actually becoming quite trendy to recreate the old world charm of the Victorian era by adopting a traditional theme whether your home is turn of the century or not.

For example, such a theme could include an antique vanity, with the dark, heavy wood and the elaborate and intracate swirling carvings, the porcelain sink, either set into the marble vanity top or sitting atop of it, and the storage cabinet beneath with the pretty brass handles, it can easily become the stunning focal point of the room. Of course, most of us can’t afford an authentic antique, but reproductions are available that manage to replicate the look very well. Sears have bathroom vanities of this style that are impressive and quite affordable.

Along with the vanity, there are other changes you can make to produce the look of days gone by. Lighting contributes to the ambience of the room significantly and the introduction of light fixtures such as a delicate shaped wall sconce or two will easily achieve this. A soft colored wall to wall bathroom rug can add to the warm and cozy feeling that this theme creates and is also very practical if the right material has been used to make it.

And what about the basin taps? So many people go to the trouble of updating and matching all these other aspects of their bathroom and either forget about the taps or worse, they grab some last minute, discount faucets, and it detracts from the whole theme, even becoming a focal point for the wrong reason. The taps are just as important and will add to the look and feel you are after. The old fashioned, curvaceous, brass screw top style tap is a tried and true choice that still manages to incorporate the more advanced technology of temperature and flow control etc.

One other aspect of the room that can make a great difference is the addition or upgading of wall cabinets. Apart from just the common medicine cabinet, wall cabinets are great for organizing all of the clutter that tends to build up in the bathroom, the makeup, razors, hair dryers etc and give them a home, so to speak. These cabinets can be in similar wood designs as the vanity, if you are going for the traditional theme that we’ve been discussing, and the fact that they are using otherwise wasted space makes them a functional and attractive addition to the bathroom.

You see, with just some relatively simple changes you can transform your bathroom without having to make any structural changes. And these ideas are only about one theme! There are versions of all of the above that will match modern or more contemporary decors, maybe a nautical theme is what you are after. Look around online or at your local home improvement store for ideas and to compare prices. You are only limited by your imagination. Have fun!