Choosing the Right Garden FurnitureWritten by Johann Erickson
Chinese oak is a very dense, and fine-grained hardwood, with a heart that is a lighter shade of brown, lending those sections a pinkish tone that is reminiscent of Western Red Cedar. Tannic acid is a natural substance in Chinese Oak, which acts as a deterrent to fungus and insects, in same manner as resinous oil does for teak, and tannin in cedar, as well. It looks very much like a quality teak wood, and is considered to be slightly harder than Red Oak. Oak is a traditional choice for outdoor furniture, and is generally considered a good value.
Cedar is a material that many people prefer for both its rustic and “down home” appeal. A softwood, cedar has same tannic oils as Chinese oak, which prevents attack by mildew when wood is consistently wet, deep down. A very durable wood, it’s estimated to have 80% of strength of oak, but is a much lighter material, important when it comes to moving chairs or seats for mowing lawn. Natural Red Cedar is extremely popular, so much so, that it is often reproduced out of other materials, so check and make sure your furniture is real red cedar, and not a look alike. Northern White Cedar is also popular, and provides a lighter, brighter look to your patio sets and swings or loungers. If you acquire plain wood garden furniture and want to finish it, try a single coat of a semi-transparent stain that has sun-screening properties. Otherwise, it can be left to age to a natural silver-gray.
Tranquility In Your Own Back YardWritten by Scott Kirchoff
A garden fountain can add beauty and serenity to you yard or garden. It’s long been known that running water can aid in relaxation. The addition of a water fountain can not only add a stunning center piece to you landscape design but also improve your overall experience of relaxation.
However, choosing a fountain can be a difficult task. With fountains ranging from low-end molded plastic to expensive carved stone it can be hard to find correct fit for your home and budget. You want a fountain that will be center piece for your landscaping for year to come.
Many low-end fountains will not stand test of time. Molded plastic will crack and not clean up very well when dirty. Although they can be purchased economically, in long-run you will not have long-lasting center piece you are looking for.
High-end carved stone fountains can be stunning but expensive. Many will not fit into your budget and some will need extensive maintenance.
Make sure you select a fountain correct for your environment. Carved stone fountains can be very heavy. If you live in an environment with drastic weather changes you may have to store your fountain in winter months. Heavy carved fountains may be hard to move and store. Generally once your fountain is installed you will not be able to move it easily or at all. This leads to problem of fountain cracking or spalling do to changes in temperature.