Even those of us who truly enjoy gardening have to admit that having a perfect garden requires time. Late summer and fall is the right time to wind things up and do the final preparations for the cold season.
This is the time when we all get a break from constant mowing, watering, and weeding. However, nobody would like to find their garden a mess when the spring comes so there are a couple of things you can do and ensure this does not happen.
Aerate and fertilize the ground
Aeration is something that your lawn will enjoy as it has been walked on for months. It can be as simpleas poking random holes in the ground and that is sufficient if you are not experiencing any major issues with your lawn. The most convenient tool for doing this is the garden fork. Prior to aeration, rake your lawn to make sure you remove leaves and thatch. Once the poking is done use the fertilizer of your choice and spread some sand.
Remove withered plants
Go through your garden and remove any dead plants, most of these are annuals but if you see that one of your perennials is dead with no chance of springing back up, you can dig it out as well. Add this organic material to your compost bin.
Pruning and weeding
What you need to do now is take care of the remaining plants. First of all, take out anything you do not want in your garden. Not digging weed up will either result in it spreading or it will end up not surviving the cold and you will have to deal with it in spring.
Once you get rid of the weed, move onto perennials as they can also threaten to take over your garden by spreading. You sure like them but you like them at the spot you have selected for them. Collect the weeds and the pruning clippings and off to the compost pile with them.
Replant and protect bulbs, rhizones, corms and tubers
If you have noticed over their blooming season that some of your perennials are struggling for water and sunlight, replant them to an appropriate location. Also, if you have noticed that certain patches are overcrowded, you can make a selection by removing or replanting some of them.
Target those perennials sensitive to cold and leave them in your cellar to keep them safe during winter. Please be gentle when handling the plants which are still alive.
Pamper your tools
Your gardening tools will be out of work for some time. Once you are done using them, make sure you wash and dry them carefully. Once that is done you can remove any traces of rust and sharpen those that need to be sharp.
Just before you put them away for winter, make sure you oil them up with machine oil to protect the metal. Every Australian garden tools supplier advises that basic gardening tools can be long lasting if you take good care of them. Do not get rid of any piece of your equipment just because it is not sharp or it is a bit crooked until you try fixing it first.
Fertilize your garden
Once you have decided who is staying and who is leaving, fertilize the soil. After fertilizing the raised beds, cover them up to make sure the rain does not wash out the fertilizer.
Also, seek professional advice on which cover crop is best used in your region and plant it. These are usually legumes and they can help add nitrogen to the soil so they are your natural fertilizer.
Protect and cover
Protect the young perennials by adding a coat of mulch to help keep the ground around them warmer. If you use solid-fuel heaters you can even use ash to keep the certain plants warm.
Cover up your pond or any other body of water you have in your garden unless you have an actual river in your backyard. The cover will protect the water from debris piling up. Birdbaths are best emptied and covered up as if you are from an area with fierce winters, you can expect for any water left in it to freeze and break the bath.
One last piece of advice is to try and find evergreens which can fit your garden, particularly the ones that bloom. You do not want your garden to be a gloomy prospect so make sure there is some color in it all year round.
We all need to get some sleep and rest. Sleep helps us in so many ways, keeping our mind and body working at top performance. It is critical to our health and wellbeing.
Best of all it keeps people from being cranky and unhealthy. If you're the type of person that has a tough time getting to sleep, this information might help.
Here are the do's and don'ts of getting a good night of sleep.
Create a Relaxing Sleeping Environment
If you want to get to sleep, then you must relax. So, having a relaxing sleeping environment is key to sleeping well.
You create a relaxing sleeping space by turning off the lights and eliminating all noise. Turn off your cellphones, tablets, computers, TVs and the radio.
Relaxing Bedding and Sheets
Bedding is very important to get a good night’s sleep. The right type of bedding will make you feel comfortable. Soft sheets bed sheets will help you to unwind and relax.
You can buy cotton sheets for the summer time to keep cool during those warm nights. Flannel sheets are best for the winter if you tend to be cold.
The right form of pillows, covers, and sheets are also essential for sleep.
Establish a Sleep Routine
You should establish a sleep routine to make it easier to fall asleep. A sleep routine will help you to rest better because your body will get used to the schedule.
Every day your body will recognize that it is time to shut down and rest. Consistency is the key to making this work.
Figure Out What’s Keeping You Awake at Night
If you can not fall asleep easily, it may help to figure out why. Write down what is running through your mind and then address it in the morning or next day, during daylight hours.
You may find that you have a different perspective this way, and perhaps some clarity or a new way of thinking about the issue. Once you find out the problem, try and resolve it. If you are worrying about something, then figure out how to stop. The point is to deal with anything that is keeping you up at night.
Stress not only puts a damper on your ability to fall asleep, but it also can affect the quality of sleep that you get when you eventually doze off.
Don't Eat Before Bed
Do not eat before you go to bed for at least 2-3 hours. If you do, eat a light meal or snack.
Eating, especially before bed, has been known to keep people awake because your body is at work digesting.
Avoid Caffeine, Medication, and Alcohol
You probably already know that caffeine and drugs will keep your body and mind active. If you take these substances before sleeping, then you will probably stay up all night long. Unless medication is specifically for the sleeping hours, avoid taking it before bed.
Using Sleep Aids
While some over the counter or prescription sleep aids are beneficial, you should first try natural remedies. There are teas and elixirs to drink before bed that can relax you, essential oils, sound devices, and breathing techniques that may assist with helping your body to shut down.
Hot Water and Sleep
Hot water works wonders for relaxing the body and inducing a sleepy mindset. People that take a hot shower or a relaxing bath may find that they more easily go to sleep.
Are you napping during the day? If you are doing this because of a lack of sleep at night, you may be feeding right into the problem. Napping could worsen the problem if you are doing it at the wrong time, but done properly; it can offer the benefits of relaxation and improved mood and performance during the day.
However, if you can take a quick nap during the day, you may not be affecting your nighttime sleep.
Exercise During the Day
People that exercise in the day and regularly have had better results sleep at night. You should exercise to help you sleep better as well as to reduce anxiety and stress that may be keeping you awake at night.
Even moderate activity on a regular basis will help with sleep disorders, and it has been found to beneficial to addressing a variety of sleep deprivation issues.
Whether it’s partial or complete deafblindness, when they’re home people with hearing and sight difficulties need to feel comfortable, safe and completely in charge of their surroundings.
Acquired deafblindness can be frustrating and scary. It forces people to rethink their habits, their needs, and their environment.
To help deafblind people gain their independence, we’ve hand-selected 7 ways to adapt your house in order to accommodate them.
1. Lighting Changes
Whether they live in a studio, apartment or house, one of the first and most important changes for a deafblind person’s environment should be lighting.
Changing the placement of light fixtures can also help better illuminate dark spaces:
• Choose the brightest light bulbs. These will come in handy in darker spaces where accidents tend to happen such as the bathroom or on the stairway. Invest in fluorescent bulbs – they emit a more powerful light and they last longer.
• Be generous with the light fixtures. Illuminate the house entirely, including the hallways, closets, and outside.
2. Interior Design Adjustments
The home of a deafblind person should be a safe haven. Here are some tips to help you create exactly that.
Electrical items can be tricky to get used to. But it’s not impossible for deafblind people to use them.
Here’s how you can make it go smoother for them.
4. Bathroom Adaptations
This type of adjustment is essential for safety.
Here’s how to adapt a bathroom for deafblind people:
5. Hallway Adaptations
Hallways shouldn’t be overlooked when you are working on adapting a home for a deafblind person.
Here’s what you should know about corridor adaptations:
6. Outdoor Adaptations
To make it easier to deafblind people to go out or access the garden, here’s what you should keep in mind about outdoor adaptations:
7. Security Adaptations
There are special alerting systems designed for people with hearing and sight difficulties that keep them informed about what is happing: phone ringing, smoke alarm going off or someone at the door.
About the Author:
John Stuart works on behalf of raisedfloor.co.ukin outreach and content creation. He creates engaging content that help businesses connect with their audience and stand out from the crowd
There are millions of people in the world who live with some degree of sight loss either from birth, or caused by an injury or old age. All of those people want both their indoor and outdoor spaces to be completely safe and secure so that they can be independent in them.
When it comes to outdoor spaces, visually impaired individuals need a space that’s free of clutter, well-lit and well-marked. Designing such a space doesn’t have to be difficult and expensive. It only needs some careful planning and a few useful tips that will allow their inhabitants to live and move more comfortably outside. Here’s how you can do it for your outdoor space.
Use Color as a Guide
Many legally blind people can see up to a certain point, and they can see bright colors and changes in lighting. These can help them as guides through their outdoor space.
The use of bright contrasting colors is especially helpful to partially-sighted people to differentiate between different areas and spaces. For instance, garden paths can be made out of red or orange pavers to provide a good contrast with green lawns.
You can also opt for outdoor furniture in different colors and textures to prevent bumping into it. If you have a green thumb, make sure all of your gardening tools are painted in bright colors that will make locating and identifying them much easier
Good organization and tidiness is the key safety element for people with complete blindness or visual impairments. If everything is nicely organized it’s easier to remember where everything is located.
You must always know where all your sharp gardening tools are, and you can even consider creating a database of your garden inventory. If you love to take care of your plants, you can create neat little labels for them in Braille or use vivid colors to make signs.
This way, each individual plant will get exactly the right care. Also, always know exactly where your fire extinguishers and telephones are when you’re outside.
In order to eliminate as many hazards as possible, make sure that your front yard and your garden are well maintained to avoid any inconvenience. Your outdoor paths should be wide and perfectly flat. As soon as you notice some bumps or broken pavers or bricks, have them removed and replaced. Additionally, try to keep your greenery well maintained, and avoid letting your plants overgrow and cause obstructions in the path or on the stairs. It’s way easier to move around without all these obstacles blocking your way.
Another thing you should consider is removing all cables and watering hoses from pathways. They can be hard to spot if you leave them on the ground, and you can easily trip or slip on them.
Lastly, you can secure the slippery surfaces with non-slip rubber matting and be sure that no matter the weather, the outdoor living space will be hazard-free.
Get Smart with Lighting
Visually impaired people greatly benefit from good lighting, so make sure to incorporate it in your outdoor spaces. If nothing else, at least illuminate your pathway and the entrance.
Also, pay extra attention to your stairs. Make sure to install LED lighted handrails and lights on each step. The best solution for your stairs are linear lights that are easy to install and offer great illumination.
Also, use better lighting near your outdoor furniture to make it easier to spot and avoid it.
The Importance of Handrails
Every set of stairs in your outdoor space should have sturdy handrails. You can even use linear lights and gently illuminate the handrail so you can spot it more easily.
Another great way to ensure outdoor safety is to put up rope handrails along your garden paths or use them to make barriers. Ropes look amazing in any garden, plus they can give you an additional sense of security.
If you implement these safety tips into your outdoor space, you or your visually impaired family members can enjoy it without any worries.
About the Author
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.
For most people home décor is not something they plan to change whenever a new style becomes trendy. But when decorating their home, the up-and-coming fashion will certainly be something they follow and respect. The catch though is that when you decorate after a while, you really don’t have to change everything to make your home trendy and fashionable, but just a few things here and there to refresh the look.
Therefore, check out these timeless décors which will keep your home always in style and admired.
1. Art is forever
Sure, many homes buy artworks just for decoration or because they are trendy at that moment, but if you want to save your budget from overspending on future décor, the simplest thing you can do is to make your art personal.
If you personalize the art in your home you will gain more than saved money - you will add emotional and personal value to those pieces and thus make it timeless. What you can do is upgrade it a little or refresh it, for example by changing frames on paintings or changing their places.
2. Natural materials
This year’s trends in interior design are all about organic environment, meaning that natural materials have become a highly desired commodity. Truth be told, they were always in, since the furniture, flooring and fixtures made of natural materials are considered to be of the highest quality. Marble, wood, leather, ceramic or terrazzo are all natural and will keep your house interior in good and long-lasting shape.
Their price may be a bit higher, but the quality is unprecedented and will also give a special charm to your home. The most interesting fact about these materials is that their worn out state or a few marks on the surface only add to their exclusivity
3. Built-in shelves
When you plan for storage space, think about built-in shelves. They are incorporated in the overall design and can easily adjust to any change. That’s why they’re the perfect and lasting solution for storing your books or other belongings, without having to buy new shelves.
The other plus is that they make your home look bigger and spacious, since they are out of the way, but also classy and cozy. For that extra added value, play with the symmetry or use a different color for their background.
4. Great lighting never goes out of fashion
One of the most important parts of any décor is lighting, and the best thing about it is that it never falls out of trend. Natural daylight is irreplaceable and the more you can invite into your home the better. Tall windows and a mirror positioned to reflect the light can do the trick.
Today, there are many great solutions on vertical blinds online and in stores which can dim sunlight and still let it brighten up the room. But if you don’t have too much sunlight, use lighter warm colors on walls and furniture which will brighten up the space.
5. Good old soaking tub
The one thing that seems to never go out of style is a bathtub. They have class, luxury and commodity that will last you a lifetime.
Freestanding tubs are a bonus, since they always breathe elegance into a bathroom. What attests to their popularity is the fact that they even make them for small bathrooms and with shower heads, all because people don’t want to stop soaking and enjoying the relaxation they provide. And if you choose those made of quality materials and by a renowned manufacturer, you’ll enjoy these benefits for a long time
When it comes to interior design, it’s all about that year’s trends and fashion. But even that big of an industry can’t deny the charm and magic of some vintage and everlasting pieces.
The best thing about that is that you don’t have to compromise the first time you decorate your apartment, or think about pieces of your home becoming obsolete. With just a few little adjustments they will not only fit right in with the new design, but also give it that extra spice to make it unique, original and only yours.
Home safety is usually a concern for most people, but it can be more worrisome for those with hearing loss – especially for those who just recently lost it. So how do people with hearing loss protect themselves and their belongings? They can get an alarm system and have a few modifications added.
So, here’s my list of home alarm systems for people with hearing loss and how they can feel safe at home.
Invest in a Monitoring Service
There are a variety of home monitoring services with different types of packages to choose from. Some are self-installed while others are installed by a professional. They’re available for homes, rentals, and businesses.
Some of these services offer notifications by cell phone, which is great as you can have your cell phone by your bed with notifications set to flash (or vibrate) to alert you when the alarm goes off
Visual Alert Systems
Getting a visual alert system for all your home needs is an excellent idea. A visual alert system is a system that alerts you by setting up listening receivers that flash a lamp or strobe light plugged into them. They also come with a bedshaker to place under a pillow or between the mattress to shake you awake for a noise alert.
There are alerts for the alarm clock, doorbell, smoke detector, baby crying, and any other noise you want to be notified for. A noise receiver can be set up next to your alarm system to “listen” to the alarm going off.
Install Louder Alarms
If you don’t have a visual alert system or hear “fine” during the day with your hearing aid or cochlear implant, you do need to consider night time when you take your devices off. You can find alarm systems, smoke detectors, phones, and doorbells with extra loud ringers.
Be sure to find one that works in your hearing frequency. If you have a high pitch hearing loss you’ll need to find an alarm with a lower bass frequency to be able to hear it.
Install Motion Detector Lights
Installing motion detector lights in your front and back yard is a great deterrent from break-ins. They’re also great for added safety for walking to and from the car at night time.
Some alarm systems come with motion detectors as well and can alert you to movement in the house. Even though these are not attached to lights per say, you’ll know if someone’s in your place.
I personally have a motion detector light in my front hall entryway. It’s pretty dark in there during the daytime as well. It’s a motion detector for the light socket. It comes on whenever someone comes in or needs to go out. An added bonus is that since I don’t hear the door open and close, I can spot the light come on and go check who’s here.
Get the Neighbors to Help
These days many people are so busy that they don’t even know who their neighbors are. Go and make friends with a few of them, offer to help them out if they need anything (mowing, errands, and such).
In return, they can help keep an eye on your place by letting you know of strange visitors or noises. They can also be a contact person for the alarm service to contact too.
Get a Pet
A cheap (and cuddly) alternative is to get a dog or a cat. Allow the pet to share your bed. In the event of strange noises, a break-in, or anything, you’ll feel your pet barking, moving around, or even bolting off the bed. Then you’ll know something is wrong and go investigate.