I always dreamed of having a Japanese garden where I could reflect, contemplate and have some serenity. I asked a landscape designer if I could have a Japanese garden in my small patio. She then showed me how to create a great Japanese garden in small space such as in a patio, balcony, rooftop or even indoors.
Creating your small Japanese garden
The Japanese view their home and garden to be one. They want to bring nature as close as they can to their homes. Most of us spend at least five months of the year inside our homes. It would be great to enjoy nature from inside our homes.
This is one of the practical benefits of having a Japanese garden in a small space very close to our home such as in a patio.
What you will need:
Here is what you need to do to create a Japanese garden in your patio.
#1. Enclosed Your Small Space
#2. Include the Element of Water
#3. Add in Stone Elements
#4. Add in Your Plants
Since most of your plants will be in pots or containers, soil mites may breed on them. They are very small creatures and you can easily miss seeing them. Nothing to worry though because they are not dangerous and will not cause any harm to your plants
With all the basic elements of water, stones and plants in place, you can now design the landscape of your patio Japanese garden based on your taste. It is important to note that a Japanese garden must at all times re-create nature.
Japanese gardens have become popular these days because they can be created in small spaces.
Some landscape designers would even argue that a small space is where you can create the best Japanese gardens. This is so because gardens in Japan’s residential districts are often smaller in comparison to that in the US.
Did you like the Japanese garden ideas I presented? Do you also have a Japanese garden in a small space? Share with us some of your ideas in the comments section.
About the Author:
Founder & Main Editor of AGreenHand
Being unable to continue driving is one of the biggest issues for people with low vision, as it represents independence and convenience to many. For those living in rural and suburban areas, public transportation is scarce and driving is an everyday necessity.
You might have driven previously but your vision has worsened (with conditions such as hereditary or age-related macular degeneration) or you are a person with long-standing low vision who’s finding it difficult to continue driving regularly. Either way, don’t be intimidated. Driving is a skill that’s available to vision-impaired people; also, it’s somewhat easier to maintain now with new technology and support from institutions that help enable independent living with vision loss.
Here are some important tips to take into account to ensure safety on the road and keep your license.
1. Understand which specific driving skill your lack of vision affects
Normally, you will consult with your vision specialist first and go for regular check-ups to ensure you are carrying your driver’s license responsibly. You know the details of your condition well. However, driving is a complex task – it requires not just visual alertness but cognitive and physical demands as well.
That’s why it is very important to understand how your condition relates to this skill specifically. That way, you’ll be properly prepared once you’re on the road and there will be no confusing surprises. The most common issues that come up as symptoms of various vision conditions are lack of contrast sensitivity and glare sensitivity. We’ll explain these symptoms in more detail here, for the drivers whose vision has worsened so these occurrences are new to them.
2. Avoid low-contrast driving environments
Contrast sensitivity is the ability to detect the difference between light and dark areas – hence, objects are more visible when contrast is increased.
For example, black-on-white and vice-versa are the easiest to notice for people with low vision because it is the strongest contrast. A low-contrast driving environment makes it very difficult to see and discern the objects around you, so it’s best avoided.
Night time, foggy days, and snow are typically problematic driving environments for people with low vision because they offer very little contrast. Drive only on bright days.
3. Protect yourself from glare adequately
Glare sensitivity is a problem when driving during both day and night, as sunlight or bright light shining from traffic refracts and causes confusing, disabling glare. When the light from another car shines in your eyes during the night time, don’t panic, just look slightly to the right of the road. You’ll be able to use your peripheral vision to drive ahead just fine, as it is much less sensitive to glare. During the daytime, always use absorptive sunglasses recommended by your specialist – keep them in your glove apartment so that there’s no chance you forget them.
Another thing that is going to protect you from dangerous glare at all times is a windshield with a protective coating, as experts from Epping Auto Service suggest to all drivers, especially vision-impaired ones. The coating protects the glass from tiny cracks you won’t see and increases visibility. Additionally, make sure your glasses, windshield and car windows are all cleaned and smudge-free. Smudges usually refract light at unexpected angles and cause more glare.
4. Get help from technology
With lower vision, it’s much more difficult to concentrate on the complicated visual environment experienced when driving. Looking out for road signs takes more time and concentration, so it’s best to decrease the need for paying attention to directional signage. You can do this by using a GPS device with spoken directions. Adaptive cruise control and lane alert warnings are also available automobile technology that will be of huge help.
Speaking of technology, this blog has already covered the topic of breakthrough electronic glasses from eSight – you might want to have a look at those.
5. Consider using Bioptics
Bioptic lens systems are prescribed by ophthalmologists and optometrists to aid individuals with low vision when driving, and they are responsible for enabling thousands of vision-impaired people to drive. However, regulations on bioptic driving are different in various countries and states, so inquire about the restrictions first.
Lastly, if your vision has worsened, don’t hesitate to get training again, even though you have driven previously. This is not regular driving school, but training with specialists for driving with low vision. It will help you get over the obstacles properly and feel confident behind the wheel. Ask your eye care expert or a rehabilitation facility for occupational therapists who can help you with low vision driver’s education. Use your judgment wisely, follow these tips, stay calm and enjoy the road!
While living every day with severe hearing and vision loss, or learning how to cope with your new loss and be self-sufficient in your own home, adapting your living environment to accommodate your daily needs becomes paramount.
Among other rooms in the house that have varying hazard levels, the bathroom stands out as one of the most dangerous home environments for those with vision loss.
The bathroom regularly has slippery floors, handles, walls and other surfaces that a deafblind person might have a difficult time noticing. Moreover, standard bathroom amenities need to be replaced with adequate pieces that will help the deafblind individual stay safe and use the bathroom easily on a daily basis.
Here are the five essential bathroom adaptations for deafblind people.
Clean and Simple
The easiest and most affordable adaptation is regularly making sure your bathroom is clean and clutter-free in order to avoid the risk of slips and falls. One of your worst enemies is clutter, and it can accumulate quite fast if you’re not careful.
The first thing you need to do is to declutter your living environment, including the bathroom, and leave plenty of room for easy and safe maneuvering. Be sure to memorize where your bathroom necessities are and always put them back in their place after use. Remember, organization is key.
Start with the Flooring
When looking to introduce adaptations to your bathroom, you should turn your attention to the floors first. The floor can be the most dangerous part of your bathroom, so you want to make sure you introduce non-slip flooring, as well as non-slip mats in the shower and bath.
Another great way to increase the overall safety of your bathroom is to put non-slip fabrics on the edges of your bathroom amenities as well in order to be able to grab every surface without the fear of it being wet or slippery. Make sure you cover the vanity, and the bathtub.
Choose the right Amenities
Speaking of amenities, they need to be able to accommodate your specific needs. This means that you should choose sturdy and durable white baths that contrast the surrounding design, making them easier to locate and use. Likewise, you want to outline the vanity in a distinctive color in order to avoid slips and falls.
If you have storage space or electric appliances, such as the washing machine, in your bathroom, make sure you highlight all of the important areas in hues you can easily discern. You can even put markers on handles and buttons in order to be able to use your appliances with ease.
Colors and Contrasts
In order to transform your bathroom into a safe, warm, and friendly environment, you will need to use colors and contrasts to your advantage. It’s important to divide your bathroom into sections and give every detail its own distinctive color, or even group several different things under one hue.
This will allow you to use the power of contrasts to your advantage, and navigate your bathroom safely. In order to make contrasts work, you want to make sure the bathroom is adequately illuminated at all times.
Install Safety Features
Finally, if your loss is recent and you're still coping and learning to get around on your own, you may feel safer installing safety fixtures. Be sure to install handrails in the bath, the shower, and around the toilet and the sink. You also want to mount a durable seat in your bathtub in order to minimize the risk of injury.
Depending on the severity of your condition, you might also want to cover the rails and other safety fixtures with easily distinguishable color markers as well in order to avoid missing them by accident.
Living with vision and hearing loss doesn’t have to be an arduous task; in fact, by following these essential tips, you will have no problem transforming your bathroom into a safe, and serene oasis you can enjoy for decades to come.
Catherine is a passionate home design consultant from Melbourne. She loves making homes beautiful and buildings sustainable, but she also like sharing her advice and knowledge with people.
That is why she is also a regular contributor to the Smoothdecorator blog. Besides all this, she loves reading and enjoys a superhero movie from time to time.
Home security is an important issue. It doesn’t mean that you necessarily need it, but it's one of those things you like to have just in case. People think that by buying a quality door with strong locks they will stop intrusions, but the truth is that burglars are smarter than that. Those with disabilities are especially targeted because the burglars see them as weak and unprotected.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) registers 285 million visually impaired people on the global level. There have been many technological solutions to help them with their daily activities and keep them mobile. This so-called assistive technology has been present since the 1960s and was focused on helping with personal care and mobility.
Assistive technology depends on the information collected from the person’s surroundings. Then that data is transmitted to the visually-impaired person through the audio or tactile format and both. This technology has improved over the years with the development of the sensor system, like for the Smart Cane.
When it comes to home security, the visually-impaired require a little bit more finesse, but the basics stay the same as for everyone. If you live with the visually-impaired person or are one, here are some security measures to take into consideration.
Always Lock your Doors
You must always lock your doors, no matter if you’re at home. Burglars always look for the most convenient way to enter someone’s home. In order to make sure that the doors are locked use locks that you can register by touch.
For example, if the lock is vertical that means that the doors are locked. Adding some heavy protection like deadbolts to the front door will also help, and if you leave in the house you should install them on the back entrance too.
Before you open the door, you should always know who you're letting into your home. Camera and microphones connected to the doorbell are very common today in the apartment buildings.
You can connect the feed to your smartphone or tablet and answer the door from any room in the house. Even though you may have problems with visually identifying the person, you will be able to recognize them by their voice.
Use Bright Tape for Home Alarm Systems
Home alarm systems can be tricky. They require a certain reaction time from the moment you entered your home and until you reached them. In order to be effective in the shortest period of time and shut down the alarm, you should make a signalization for yourself.
The bright tape is an ideal tool to leave directions for yourself in order to press the right buttons. If you frame the control panel with the bright tape you will locate it more quickly and enter the appropriate passcode in time.
Fire and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Burglars are not the only danger that may come your way. Even though we feel the safest in our homes, that safety bubble is not perfect. Accidents happen and the most common ones are created by fire.
It’s hard to predict these accidents and that’s why installing fire and carbon monoxide alarms are the best safety measure you can have. Make sure that you check their functionality regularly since they operate on batteries which need to be changed.
Emergency Panic Buttons
An emergency panic button is designed to give you a quick respond of your home security system if you feel threatened. The button is located next to your bed and the moment you press it the sound alarm will turn on.
Sirens will alert your neighbors and security personnel, sometimes even the police, depending on your alarm system.
Clear your Path
If you need to escape from your home, in case of fire or to run away from the intruder, you have to clear the path beforehand. Remove rugs and carpets from your home which can trip you on your way out or make you slip and fall.
Keep the furniture out of the way and don’t leave clutter by the door. All stairs should have handrails to keep you from falling down and injuring yourself. Cords and wires should be nailed to the wall and out of the pathway. Keeping your home clean and tidy will prevent tripping and injuries.
Motion Sensor Lights
Usually, people use motion sensor lights for the entryways, yards, around the house perimeter and any other critical spot outside the home. Visually impaired people can also use them inside their home.
It’s a useful intruder detection system and you can have it installed only for those purposes. Indoor and outdoor LED lights are inexpensive and effective solution varying in color and brightness.
Wander alarm is a specifically designed device for detection of movement. It’s intended for windows and doorways, but can also be used for pieces of furniture like bed and chairs. It has a wireless motion sensing system with the range of 4.5 meters.
It can release a chime or send a signal to the receiver up to 30 meters away. The system uses two 9V batteries which should be changed regularly for it to be operational.
Secure the Windows
If your windows are old, you will have to replace them in order to secure them better. Even though alarm system will cover all entrances including the windows, you should make sure that all windows are locked. I
f you live on the lower levels, and can’t install the burglar bars, keep your windows closed. If you need additional security, install the sensor lights just above the windows. That way you’ll be alerted if anyone is trying to enter your home.
Use Light Timers
Light timers are a nice trick to create the illusion that you are at home. You can control them over your smartphone or just set the timers when you want lights to turn on. This will certainly make it easier for you if you come home when it’s dark so you wouldn’t trip and fall.
All this may seem complicated for someone who is visually impaired, but it can quickly become a routine for you. The most important thing in a person’s home is the safety and with this advice you will secure your environment.
As the end of the year approaches, I want to get this Site growing more and have started this with a Blog Calendar!
Feel free to write a post, share a related post, a photo, recommend someone, or anything related to one of the themes.
Come join me on Twitter Tuesdays or for a Facebook Live event.
Please feel free to submit any more suggestions.
Happy New Year everyone!
Are you disappointed with yourself because of multiple failures that you have experienced? If yes then you are not alone.
Failure is part of learning and can help you become a better person. However, your overall attitude towards life will determine the quality of life that you will live.
There are some small changes that you can make to really help improve the overall quality of your life.
In this article, we are going to educate you on 7 ways to improve the quality of your life.
1. Eat breakfast.
Most people especially those who want to lose weight usually think that skipping breakfast will achieve that goal quickly, but that is usually not the case. There are many benefits of eating breakfast.
Eating breakfast will give you the energy and endurance that you need to engage in daily activities. It also help improves your concentration and performance at work or school. In addition, studies have shown that people who eat breakfast have lower risk of suffering from health complications and are generally happier than those who skip breakfast.
2. Set goals.
Setting goals not only provide direction but it also helps make better decisions. Also setting goals enables you to have total control over your future and act as a motivation tool.
For instance, if your fitness goals are; to lose weight and attain a lean, sexy body, those goals will guide you and will help you remain focused.
3. Do what makes you happy.
There is nothing more fulfilling in life than being happy. That is why it is very important to do things that makes you happy.
Studies have shown that people are more productive when they do things that makes them happy. Studies have also shown that people who choose to do things that makes them happy are healthier compared to those who choose to pursue things that they don’t really like.
If you are passionate about certain sports, then don’t shy away from pursuing it because it will improve your quality of life.
4. Exercise daily.
Doing exercises help improve your fitness level as well as your overall body health. Performing daily exercises will makes you feel better about yourself. It also helps you learn about your abilities, a factor that can help you appreciate yourself better.
If you want to improve the quality of your life then you must be able to do things that you love and that can only happen if you have an excellent fitness level.
When you smile, neurotransmitter known as endorphins are released. They're usually triggered by the movements of your face muscles which are interpreted by the brain which in turn releases this important chemical.
Endorphin is a crucial chemical responsible for making you happy as well as helps lower your stress level and enables you to live a happier and more fulfilling life. Studies have also shown that laughing helps to stretch your body muscles and extends the lung as well as stimulate homeostasis. A good laugh helps release negative emotions and can helps to draw people closer together.
6. Learn something new.
Learning something new helps you become a better person. Knowledge is power. By learning something new in your life, you will not only be able to handle different challenges that life throws at you, but you will also be able to make informed decisions. Step out of your comfort zone and start learning something new that you know nothing about. There are many things to learn that can improve the quality of your life and of those around you. Identify things that you find interesting and take the initiative to learn it.
7. Plan your day.
By planning your day properly, you'll know what you need to prioritize and what's not important. As a result, you will be able to channel your time and energy on things that matter the most.
Planning your day enables you to stay focused and organized, a factor that will make you happy too.