How To Create An Oasis of Serenity With a Backyard Garden Hot Tub

Written by Garry John

Imagine starting your morning with a saunter outrepparttar back door to enjoy a cup of coffee in your garden hot tub, or relaxing just before bed with a lazy soak in your backyard hot tub underrepparttar 142896 stars. More and more homeowners are takingrepparttar 142897 plunge (pardonrepparttar 142898 pun!) and installing a hot tub in their backyard or garden. If it all sounds tempting to you, here are a few things to consider when deciding where and whether to put a hot tub in YOUR backyard.

Do you haverepparttar 142899 space?

A hot tub may look small, but evenrepparttar 142900 smallest hot tubs weigh hundreds of pounds – thousands when filled with water. You’ll need to figure in space forrepparttar 142901 plumbing and controls as well – and if your county requires security fencing around your tub, you’ll need to take that into consideration as well when you’re planning for your garden hot tub.

Where will you put it?

No, really, it’s notrepparttar 142902 same question as above. Because of their weight andrepparttar 142903 need for plumbing and electricity, you’ll need to planrepparttar 142904 location of your hot tub carefully. A hot tub onrepparttar 142905 patio or deck may sound wonderful – but it will need reinforcement to carry that much weight safely. Besides structural considerations, there are practical ones that are a lot more fun to consider. Do you want it close torepparttar 142906 house – perhaps just outside your bedroom sliders so that you can slip in and out of it easily? Choose a spot for your backyard hot tub that gives you privacy, beauty and convenience.

Do you want a seasonal or year-round hot tub?

You might think that soaking in a hot tub in your garden in winter is a chilling experience, but there’s something especially cozy about watchingrepparttar 142907 snowflakes fall fromrepparttar 142908 relaxing warmth of a garden hot tub. If you’d like to use your hot tub year round, discuss weather proofing withrepparttar 142909 construction company, and while you’re at it, consider a gazebo roof or similar protection for rainy days as well.

Bird Feeder Basics

Written by Louise Desmarteau

Bird Feeders The fastest way to a bird's heart is definitely through their stomach. Put up a backyard bird feeder and birds will certainly come to feed in your yard. Where you live determines what you'll see because of differences in birds' range and habitat preferences. As words spread about your feeder,repparttar kinds of birds andrepparttar 142847 size of crowd will increase. Even if you live in repparttar 142848 city where it seems pigeons and house sparrows arerepparttar 142849 only birds on earth, you'll get surprise visitors that find your food or stop in on migration.

Bird Feeder Basics When you shop for bird feeders, you'll find your choices are almost limitless. You may wonder how to decide what to buy. Here are some hints.

Ease of use - The most important factor in choosing a feeder is how easy it is to use - for bothrepparttar 142850 owner andrepparttar 142851 birds. You want a feeder that's easy to fill and that holds a reasonable amount of seed. If you are just getting started, look for a feeder that displays seed in full view because birds are attracted byrepparttar 142852 sight of food and byrepparttar 142853 sight of other birds eating. An open tray is great for starters.

Make sure your bird feeder has plenty of room for birds to eat without protrusions or decorations getting inrepparttar 142854 way. Birds also like a feeder with a raised ledge or perch that they can grasp while eating.

Size - When birds come to a bird feeder, they want food, and they wait it fast. Choose a main tray feeder that's big enough for at least a dozen birds to eat at once. Supplement that with hopper- and tube-type bird feeders. Domed feeders are great for small birds like chickadees. Feeders inside wire cages give small birds a place to eat and peace without competition from starlings or other larger birds. Once you have one or two large bird feeder you can add as many smaller feeders as you like.

Quality - Make sure your bird feeder is well made. A sturdy, simple, but beautiful feeder costs more than you'd think. Expect to pay $30 - $75 for a feeder that will last for years.

Tray (Platform) Feeders A must have for any backyard is a simple wooden tray feeder. It's big, it's easy to fill, and it accommodates several birds. The other feeders pick uprepparttar 142855 overflow and they can be stocked with treats. Cardinals, finches, jays, grosbeaks, bluebirds, blackbirds, nuthatches, chickadees, titmice, and buntings all prefer an open tray feeder. The only birds reluctant to us a tray feeder mounted on a post are ground-feeding birds. A very low tray on stumped legs will accommodate these birds, which include native sparrows, quail, towhees, and doves. You can put any kind of seed in a tray except for small Niger, lettuce, and grass seeds, which are prone to blow away or get wasted. Platform feeders are also good places to put out doughnuts, bread crumbs and fruit.

Platform feeders with a roof are often called fly-through feeders. One problem with tray feeders is that plenty of seed gets kicked torepparttar 142856 ground. Adding raised edges to a platform feeder transforms it into tray feeder.

Tray feeders can be hung. A popular hanging model,repparttar 142857 Droll Yankees X-l Seed saver is protected by a dome to keep seed dry and prevent squirrels from raiding. This feeder works especially well as a mealworm feeder.

Hopper Feeders Hopper-style bird feeders with plastic or glass enclosures that dole out seed as they're needed, are an efficient choice because seed is used as needed and large amounts aren't exposed to wet or snowy weather, or kicked out by scratching birds. Many birds, including chickadees, nuthatches, titmice, cardinals, jays, and woodpeckers, eat eagerly at a hopper feeder. Make surerepparttar 142858 tray of a hopper-style bird feeder has enough room for more than two or three birds to gather and eat, and check to see ifrepparttar 142859 feeder will be easy to clean if seed spoils in bad weather. Be especially careful if you mount your hopper feeder permanently in repparttar 142860 garden. Ifrepparttar 142861 hopper or frame blocksrepparttar 142862 tray,repparttar 142863 feeder may be very hard to clean.

Hopper feeders are not always rectangular. They can be many-sided or tubular, resembling a gazebo, lantern, or silo, and may be called by those names. A popular round hopper design isrepparttar 142864 Sky Cafe by Arundale, a hanging feeder made entirely of clear polycarbonate. The hopper and feeding platform are protected by a large, steeply sloped hood designed to detour squirrels. The idea of a large dome above a feeder to protect it from squirrels is incorporated in a number of feeder designs, including Droll Yankees' Big Top.

One ofrepparttar 142865 most significant innovations in hopper feeders has beenrepparttar 142866 "squirrel-proof" models created by Heritage Farms, such as The Absolute II. Birds must sit on a rail to reachrepparttar 142867 seed tray. The rail has a counterweight that can be adjusted so that a squirrel's weight or that of a jay or blackbird will causerepparttar 142868 shield to lower in front ofrepparttar 142869 tray.

Wire-Mesh Feeders Perfect for holding shelled peanuts wire-mesh feeders are fun to watch. Blue jays, woodpeckers, and chickadees can cling torepparttar 142870 mesh and pick seeds out one at a time. Squirrels can pick seeds too, but one seed at a time can be painfully slow. Wire-mesh feeders work equally well dispensing black oil sunflower seeds and most other larger seeds. Small, round millet grains pour throughrepparttar 142871 openings and are not a good choice for these feeders.

Most commercial wire-mesh feeders are tubular, but some are shaped like hoppers and may be attached to a platform where birds can perch to feed, rather than having to cling torepparttar 142872 mesh.

Mesh bags, often called thistle socks, are also available for dispensing Niger seed. Refillable socks made of fabric and disposable ones made of plastic are available. Squirrels or rain can quickly ruin thistle socks, so hang them in a protected place.

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