How to make your Backyard a Wonderland Oasis

Written by Robert Gravestock

Home and garden accessories makerepparttar difference between house and home. Unfortunately, quality accessories can be notoriously expensive and in today's economy, finding beauty at a price one can afford is sometimes difficult but can be done. The difference between an empty backyard and a lush garden oasis comes down torepparttar 145750 details. Visual and aural grace notes can transform any space.

Creating a relaxing atmosphere has as much to do with sound as with visual details. For instance, a simple white hammock suspended between two trees or a solid-wood swing becomes a perfect spot for Sunday afternoon naps and quiet conversations. Accompany that with tea-light candle lanterns, arranged attractively on a treated outdoor cocktail table placed next to a rose bed makes a perfect place for morning coffee. Hang a wood and steel wind chime nearby, hung high inrepparttar 145751 trees, sending pleasant notes overrepparttar 145752 air. Depending onrepparttar 145753 materials used in construction, wind chimes can sound like tinkling bells, or have rich, sonorous chimes. Finally, place a gently flowing fountain just behind is always an elegant finishing touch. Voila. You've incorporated allrepparttar 145754 elements: fire, water, steel and wood, and created your own Feng Shui paradise.

For those fond of outdoor pieces, like garden statues, birdbaths and fountains, be sure to takerepparttar 145755 height ofrepparttar 145756 surrounding plants (if any) into consideration. If you have a lush garden, full of tall grasses and flowering plants, consider foot tall or higher plaster statues of children gathering flowers, angels whispering to one another, or playful rabbits. Small plaster statues inrepparttar 145757 form of either sweet cherubs or amusing gargoyles (believed in ancient times to keep evil spirits away) are very charming when placed in garden beds featuring low growing border plants.

When choosing home and garden accessories to enjoy in your backyard wonderland, don't forget to think ofrepparttar 145758 very birds, bees and butterflies which also call your backyard home. The friendlier a backyard is to flora and neighborhood fauna,repparttar 145759 more inviting it is to people, too. Watching robins inrepparttar 145760 spring, hummingbirds inrepparttar 145761 summer and sparrows inrepparttar 145762 fall is one ofrepparttar 145763 more relaxing aspects of backyard living.

How to Grow Sprouts

Written by Jeremy Pickles

Sprouts not only taste good, but they are also a great source of vitamins, fiber, protein, anti-oxidants, and enzymes. A sprout is produced when a seed starts growing into a vegetable. Sprouts can grow fromrepparttar seeds of vegetables, from grains such as buckwheat, and from beans. While Mung beans are perhapsrepparttar 145704 most common source of sprouts, you can also obtain good results from lentils, soybeans and chickpeas just to name a few.

Sprouts can be grown almost anywhere andrepparttar 145705 best part is you only need a few basic supplies to get started. By following a few simple steps, you can receive a continual supply of nutritious sprouts.

While there are several commercial products available to cultivate sprouts, here are three ofrepparttar 145706 easiest methods to help you get started.

- Growing Sprouts in Flower Pots -

1. Start with a clean clay or plastic flower pot. Make sure there is a hole inrepparttar 145707 bottom ofrepparttar 145708 pot to ensure good drainage. Then place a piece of cheesecloth or muslin inrepparttar 145709 bottom ofrepparttar 145710 pot overrepparttar 145711 hole so thatrepparttar 145712 seeds/beans cannot fall out.

2. Next, soakrepparttar 145713 seeds or beans overnight and then put them inrepparttar 145714 pot. Remove any that are broken or damaged. Coverrepparttar 145715 plant pot with a dish.

3. Once a day, holdrepparttar 145716 pot under running water for a few minutes. This is to soakrepparttar 145717 seeds/beans thoroughly.

4. Oncerepparttar 145718 sprouts begin to show, removerepparttar 145719 dish and coverrepparttar 145720 pot with a piece of clear plastic wrap to let inrepparttar 145721 light. Placerepparttar 145722 sprouting pot near a window that allows daylight but is not in direct sunlight.

- Growingrepparttar 145723 Sprouts in Trays -

1. Soakrepparttar 145724 seeds or beans overnight. Remove any that are broken or damaged before you beginrepparttar 145725 sprouting process.

2. Select a low, flat dish (like a pie plate) or tray. You can purchase growing trays wherever planting supplies are sold.

3. Next, spread out a 2-inch layer of soil and then sprinklerepparttar 145726 soaked seeds or beans on top ofrepparttar 145727 soil.

4. Coverrepparttar 145728 seeds/beans with four layers of damp newspaper.

5. Coverrepparttar 145729 top ofrepparttar 145730 tray with clear plastic wrap.

6. Whenrepparttar 145731 sprouts start to liftrepparttar 145732 plastic cover, (usually about three days) removerepparttar 145733 newspaper.

7. Placerepparttar 145734 tray in a window so thatrepparttar 145735 light can turnrepparttar 145736 sprouts green. You will need a space to placerepparttar 145737 sprouting tray that receives daylight but is not in direct sunlight.

8. Becauserepparttar 145738 thin layer of soil dries out quickly, water twice each day.

9. After about 8-10 days, you will have sprouts tall enough to harvest.

- Growing Sprouts in a Jar -

1. Soakrepparttar 145739 seeds, grains, or beans in lukewarm water overnight in a wide-mouth glass jar. Remove any that are broken or damaged before you beginrepparttar 145740 sprouting process. (Sprouting increasesrepparttar 145741 seed volume. 4-tablespoons will be sufficient for a quart size container.)

2. Inrepparttar 145742 morning, pour offrepparttar 145743 water inrepparttar 145744 jar and rinserepparttar 145745 seeds/beans thoroughly.

3. Place a piece of cheesecloth or muslin overrepparttar 145746 mouth ofrepparttar 145747 jar. Use a rubber band to holdrepparttar 145748 material securely in place. This makes rinsing easier.

4. To keeprepparttar 145749 sprouts constantly damp, repeatrepparttar 145750 rinsing 2-3 times a day. Remember to drain any excess water becauserepparttar 145751 sprouts should not stand in water.

5. Keeprepparttar 145752 jar away fromrepparttar 145753 light forrepparttar 145754 first few days.

6. Whenrepparttar 145755 seeds/beans begin to sprout, (usually aboutrepparttar 145756 forth day) moverepparttar 145757 jar intorepparttar 145758 light to activaterepparttar 145759 chlorophyll and turnrepparttar 145760 sprouts green.

- Harvesting and Storingrepparttar 145761 Sprouts -

Newly germinated grain, seed, and sprouts, increase in food value inrepparttar 145762 very first period of growth. Grains should be harvested and eaten from when they are six days old until they are 4-5 inches tall. To harvest, just take your kitchen scissors and cut what you need.

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