The patio or deck can be a natural extension of your home if you like to spend time outside. You can make the most of this outdoor living by creating a full outside living area. The degree of complexity is a personal decision, but a well designed outdoor living area will receive plenty of use.
Set Up Location
The first step in an outdoor living area is finding the right location for your seating. You may already have a large covered patio or gazebo. You may find that you’d like to lay a new section of patio or build a deck to accommodate your new outdoor living area. Arrange your location before moving ahead.
Set Up Seating
Once a location has been determined, preferably near the rest of the home, it is time purchase and arrange comfortable seating. Seating can be as simple as a patio table and chairs or it can be a collection of chairs, chaise lounges, benches, swings and cushions. The style of the seating as well as the number of seats is up to you.
Arrange the seating in a circular fashion for large groups, or in small clusters to encourage more intimate conversations. If you will be using an outdoor fireplace, be sure to place seating well away from the center where the fireplace will be located.
Set Up a Focus
If you would like a focus for your outdoor living area, arrange an outdoor fireplace, a table or other large item in the center of your seating to help bring the living area together. A table may limit seats, so you might create a small living area or multiple clusters if using a table. A large fire pit or fireplace can accommodate many seats, but be sure to keep seats well away from any blaze or sparks.
Finally, dress up your outdoor living area with potted plants, lawn decorations and special touches such as urns or wall fountains. Arrange plants and other accessories around the perimeter of the seating arrangement to make the outdoor living area feel cozy and contained.
A butterfly garden is a flower garden specifically planted to attract butterflies. Whether you take on this project alone or with your children, you will watch in wonder as butterflies come flocking to the garden you planted.
Before you start planting, be sure you have all the materials you will need. Your garden will need flowering plants or seeds (see below for specific types of blooms), a clean, empty, plastic milk jug, large flat stones, and gardening tools.
Choose a Location
You will want to locate your butterfly garden in a sunny spot with good soil. Try to find a place that not only gets direct sunlight, but that is visible from your patio or windows so you can watch the butterflies enjoy your garden. Also, make sure your garden is in a location that will not be damaged by other pets or children playing.
Choose Your Flowers
Butterflies are attracted to fragrant flowers that have large petals or blossoms that grow in direct sunlight. Consider flowers such as giant swallowtail, prickly ash, swallowtail ash, violets, pansy, pearl crescent, asters, milkweed, ageratum, bee balm, bougainvillea, calendula, coneflower, dahlia, daylily, geranium, hibiscus, marigold, milkweed, snapdragon, yellow sage, and zinnia. These types of flowers provide easy access to the nectar that butterflies love to eat.
Plant Seeds or Seedlings
Once you have your spot picked out, prepare the soil, making sure it is moist, and plant your seeds or seedlings. If you are planting seeds, be certain to follow the instructions on the seed packet. Remember that butterflies tend to migrate to groups of flowers, so plant your flowers in bunches.
Add Other Elements
Your garden will not just consist of flowers. Provide places for the butterflies to rest and bask in the sunlight and socialize. Place some flat stones near the flowers where the butterflies to land. Also, dig a small hole and place the milk jug inside the shallow hole after you have cut off the top of the jug. You may choose to lay some stones over the edge of the jug to keep it from blowing away and to give the butterflies more sunny spots to perch. Fill the jug with fresh water. This puddle will give the butterflies drinking water and a place to socialize.
Decorate Your Garden
The extra elements in your garden don’t have to just be for the butterflies. You may choose to decorate your garden to make it more pleasing to the humans that visit it. Add a small fountain or garden arbors to enhance the look of your butterfly garden. Once you have finished putting everything together, watch and wait for the butterflies to come!
If your perfect garden comes complete with flittering butterflies, you must attract them using the proper collection of plants. Fortunately, these plants are easy enough to find in nurseries and do not require a great deal of work outside of your normal gardening routines. All butterfly attracting plants have a similar element, however – they all possess a great deal of nectar.
Plant a Butterfly Friendly Garden
When you plant your garden, design it with butterflies in mind. Include flowering plants that have been proven to attract butterflies with their nectar. Some of those plants include lilies, lavender, thistle, blanket flower, and rock cress. Additionally any other flower, even wildflowers, with high amounts of nectar can attract butterflies.
Plant a large variety of bright and colorful plants. Arrange plants in clusters so that you have bold splashes of color in various sections of the garden. Butterflies are attracted to large riotous splashes of color, so don’t be timid when it comes to planting flowering shrubs or even trees.
Give Them Mud
Balance these flowers with a small water garden. Growing irises around a pond beside your butterfly garden can create a variety as well as give butterflies a full habitat right in your backyard. The pond can also help create a mud patch. Butterflies love to frolic in the mud, and you can make yours even more appealing with a few pieces of fermenting fruit.
Experiment over Time
Each season, try new plants with different colors and blooms to see if you can attract more butterflies and their caterpillars. Over the years you’ll soon find the perfect recipe for attracting the butterflies native to your area.
If you’d like nothing better than to gaze out into your garden and see birds frolicking about, you’d do well to actively recruit them. Here’s how to attract birds to your garden.
Plant a Food Supply
If you want birds to stay in your garden without the help of bird feeders, you should plant a variety of shrubs, trees and flowers that actually provide food for birds year-round. Start with a good mix of deciduous and evergreen trees. Deciduous trees produce fruit and nuts while evergreens provide pinecones and berries. Both plant types offer a place for birds to nest and visit.
You’ll want to reduce the amount of space the lawn takes up in your yard. Bare expanses of grass have little or no attraction for birds. Build up your garden with a collection of plants in close quarters. Consider a path and arbor through a variety of blooms and fruit trees. Give the bird something to hide and nest in.
You’ll also want to provide your feathered friends with a source of water. A bird bath makes an attractive addition to a garden or you can install a small pond or fountain for appeal as well as a location for birds to drink and bathe.
While waiting for your garden to grow, or if you’re simply unable to build the kind of garden to attract birds, you can also install a bird feeder in your backyard. Be sure the feeder is well stocked with birdseed on a daily basis and hung far enough away from the house and action that birds feel safe. Then, sit back and enjoy the birds that come by for a quick snack.
One of the first fabrics that man fashioned to wear or use, leather has been a popular material from its beginnings. Leather is a beautiful, longwearing, breathable, natural fabric that has multiple uses, i.e., clothing, shoes, furniture, luggage, and vehicle interiors. This valuable fabric is an investment that will last for years if it is treated with care. Owners want to know how to correctly clean leather products because leather can be quickly ruined if handled incorrectly.
Leather hides can be categorized as belonging to several types, depending on the process to preserve the hides. The piece of leather can be smooth, suede, dyed in a variety of ways, coated, or tanned naturally. The dye used to color the fabric can be of different types that demand different handling. A product that works beautifully on one type of leather can permanently stain a different type. It is important to read any manufacturer’s instructions to understand what type of finish was used to create the item.
There are general rules for how to clean leather, however. These rules apply to how to clean car upholstery, belts, purses, jackets or other clothing, as well as furniture, luggage, and leather shoes. All leather needs an environment that is not too wet, not too dry, not too hot, or not too cold. Any extremes in the atmosphere can cause irreparable harm to the hides.
Let’s start off by identifying two types of leather. There is finished leather and there is unfinished leather. It is very good to know what type of leather you have so that you may treat it properly. Finished leather consists of the finer leather on coats or purses. Luggage and leather furniture is usually finished as well.
On the other hand, you have unfinished leather items as well. Unfinished leather consists of work gloves, garden gloves, boots that you use for work, biker bandannas, horse saddles, any type of saddle, basketballs and footballs.
Let’s start with cleaning finished leather. To clean finished leather, you must get a lightly dampened cloth with a dab of moisturizing bath soap (dove) on the cloth. Rub the leather in a circular motion and make sure that there is not too much water on the cloth. You don’t want to stain the leather more because of an access of water. After wiping the leather until the stain is gone, you can then take another dampened cloth to wipe off any soap residue. Remember, DO NOT us water to wipe the leather clean. After cleaning the leather with the second dampened cloth, you can now wipe it clean with a dry cloth and hang the leather product to air dry. It’s a good idea to apply a leather conditioner to the leather once it is dry.
To clean unfinished leather, you will follow the same steps stated above. However, you must use “Saddle soap” instead of moisturizing soap.
Remember when removing spots from leather, always test any cleaning method on an out-of-the-way spot first.
One tip for removing spots from leather is to dip a cotton swab into rubbing alcohol and rub the spot. This can work for removing ink spots (figure B) as well. If this doesn’t work, you can use non-oily cuticle remover. (Note: That is "cuticle" remover, not nail-polish remover.) Leave it on overnight and wipe it off with a damp cloth.
To remove normal spots from leather, use the following Royal homemade recipe:
1 part lemon juice 1 part cream of tartar
Simply work the paste into the spot with a soft cloth, and if soils remain after working it in, let it sit for a few hours. Come back and apply a little more paste, work it in and wipe clean.
Instructions for more targeted stains
1. Mix 1 cup of water with moisturizing soap.
2. Moisten a cloth with the mixture.
3. Apply cloth with a circular motion on the stained area
4. Wipe clean with another cloth dampened by water only
5. Let air dry
1. Mix 1 cup rubbing alcohol with 1 cup water.
2. Moisten a cloth with the mixture and wipe the affected area.
3. Let air dry.
1. Spray the affected area with hair spray.
2. Then wipe it off with a clean cloth.
3. If a leather garment has been soaked in water, let it air dry
slowly and naturally.
4. Keep it away from heat sources.
5. Once it is dry, restore its softness with a leather conditioner.
6. If leather shoes have been soaked, insert shoe trees to restore their shape and let them air dry.
1. These can be removed by blotting the excess grease with a clean cloth.
2. Second, sprinkle talcum powder or cornstarch on the affected area.
3. Let the item sit for at least 4 hours before wiping off the powder.
Blood and urine spills:
These can be removed by blotting off excess moisture with a clean, damp cloth. Let the item dry slowly away from heat.
Gum that has become stuck to the leather:
1. You can remove it by rubbing a plastic bag full of ice cubes over it to harden the gum. The gum will then be easy to pull off.
2. If there is any residual, heat the area with a hair dryer and rub off the gum with a clean cloth.
1. Make a solution of 3 parts vinegar to 1 part water.
2. Moisten a cloth with the vinegar solution and dab it on the affected area.
We have outlined how to properly take care of your leather possessions in this article. Leather is a delicate item and can last forever if taken care of properly. We understand that some stains might entail more than just a cleaning. Do not hesitate to hire professional leather cleaner to help you. Remember to ask that professional for a guarantee that your leather will come back that way that you would like it. They need to be legit. They need to return your article back with the same color that the item was in the beginning. If they cannot help with these simple items, then you might need to get a second opinion.
Birdbaths can be a beautiful addition to your backyard. They may be primarily decorative, or they can be functional little spa resorts for your feathered friends. However, bath time can be cut short for your backyard birds if their bathtub is filled with algae. An otherwise lovely garden ornament can become a nuisance when this problem persists. Don’t despair! It is possible to be rid of this pesky growth and return your birdbath to its pristine freshwater condition.
Consider the Wildlife
Before you take a chance harming the wildlife in your backyard by pouring a slug of bleach directly into your birdbath, think again! Never use algae-reducing chemicals in your birdbath since this can harm the animals that come in contact with it. While you are cleaning your birdbath, take precautions to protect the animals as well as yourself.
Gather Your Materials
To clean your birdbath, you will need a garden hose attached to a water source, scrub brushes, bleach, latex gloves, and a bucket. Be sure to gather your materials before you begin so you can work more efficiently and quickly return your birdbath to working order.
Start by emptying the dirty water from your birdbath. You can do this by simply tipping your birdbath slightly until the dirty water drains over the side. Next, you’ll want to rinse any loose debris from the bowl of your birdbath by spraying it with your hose. Put a little more effort into your duty by going after that algae with the scrub brush.
Bring Out the Big Guns
Now that the easy algae is gone and the really determined stuff is still hanging on, it’s time to get tough. Make a bleach solution in your bucket by mixing three-fourths a cup of liquid bleach with a gallon of water. Again, be sure you are doing this somewhere where animals will not come in contact with the bleach. Also, protect yourself by wearing gloves, old clothes, and working in a well-ventilated area. Pour a little of the bleach solution into the birdbath and go after the remaining algae. When the water is soiled, repeat until you are satisfied with the state of your birdbath.
Out of Order
Now that the job seems like it is done, don’t endanger the birds by immediately putting the birdbath back into service. After you take the birdbath out of the yard, fill the birdbath with another round of bleach solution and cover it with wood or plastic. Allow the solution to work its magic for about fifteen minutes. Rinse thoroughly until no trace of bleach remains, then fill with fresh water and put your birdbath back to work.
Let’s be honest. Most people are never going to see your mattress much less a stain that is on your mattress. But, as they say "cleanliness is next to godliness" and it’s been proven by scientists most illnesses start in your bedding.
The purpose of this article is to help you clean your mattress using either commercial products or things you probably have in your kitchen. We will teach you the ins and outs of cleaning stains from urine to mold, smoke odors to kool-aid!
There are a few solutions out there that can be of assistance, and a variety of products that can be used as mattress cleaners that will do the trick. Some highly recommended products include Natures Miracle, Bane-Clene which is great for allergies, and a well recommended mattress cleaner used by the hotel industry called ProKlean, which seems to work very well. If you do not have any of these, we will show you how to use around the house items that will help clean as well.
A good quality upholstery shampoo usually does the job, and you can get them just about anywhere. REMEMBER, the quicker you treat the affected surface, the easier it will be to remove the odor and stain. So, if you happen to have upholstery shampoo in your home, try that first.
I can’t think of anything worse than buying a new pillow top mattress, and then finding out that your dog has just urinated on it! You always have the option to call a professional mattress cleaner, but sometimes the situation can be a little embarrassing, not to mention fairly costly. It’s always better just to do our own dirty work when we can. The best way to clean your mattress is to keep it clean> by using a mattress protector. A mattress protector is waterproof, dust mite proof and allergen proof and will provide you a healthy, clean sleeping environment. There are varieties of mattress covers that add softness or are waterproof to protect a mattress, but a full mattress cover is waterproof, is free or allergens and protects against dust mites. The mattress cover provides a clean, sleeping environment. A Mattress Firm Sleep Expert can show you the line of mattress protectors that are carried by the store.
How to clean a mattress:
For stains of an unknown nature:
- Spray a citrus based cleaning product on the soiled area.
- Let it stand for approximately five minutes to penetrate the stain.
- Always use an absorbent cloth to blot the stained area.
- Press down firmly without rubbing for 30 seconds.
- Repeat this blotting process until the area is dry and odor free.
*As an alternative, you can use a mild dish detergent for spot cleaning. Blot the stain with the detergent and wipe it clean with a damp sponge.
How to clean urine stains and odors
Accidents happen and are sometimes really embarrassing. Urine can saturate absorbent materials such as mattresses well beyond the surface area. If the urine has been deeply absorbed by the mattress, it may take a little more time to clean than usual. Remember, if you do not act quickly, the urine can create ideal conditions for bacteria and mold growth and the related unpleasant odors.
Here are the steps to clean urine and odor from your mattress:
- First! Blot up as much of the urine as possible with an absorbent cloth.
- Then spray a product like PAWS – Pet Accident Washup Solution or Bio-OX Citrus Concentrate or any other brand that mentions urine odor removal on its label on the soiled area.
- Follow up with the blotting and drying techniques indicated above.
Another great stain remover is vinegar.
- Saturate the stain with vinegar and blot until no more of the urine can be removed.
- Cover the area with baking soda to neutralize the odor, leaving it on overnight.
- In the morning, vacuum the powder off.
How to remove Cigarette odor
While smoking in bed is a high risk for starting a fire, many people still like to light one up while getting ready to hit the sack. Smoke has a great way of working in the fibers and cloth of the mattress, and they can create an unpleasant odor if not treated correctly.
- Working in sections, use the citrus cleaner technique specified above.
- Repeat the cleaning and blotting process in each section of the mattress until the whole thing is dry and odor free.
Another great option is Baking Soda!
- Sprinkle the whole top of the mattress with baking soda.
- Leave it there overnight to absorb and neutralize the odors.
- In the morning, vacuum the powder off.
How to remove mold and mildew stains and odors
Mold and mildew can be a difficult stain to clean, especially if they have penetrated deep inside the mattress< .
- Use the same citrus cleaner techniques indicated above.
- Since mold and mildew are caused by moisture, it might be beneficial to run a dehumidifier, heater or air conditioner in the room periodically to take the dampness out of the air.
One more way to clean mold and mildew
- Take the mattress outside on a sunny day.
- Sweep off all visible mold and mildew.
- Vacuum the mattress with a heavy duty vacuum cleaner.
- Allow the sun to shine on the mattress for several hours. This will dry and freshen it.
How to remove Kool-Aid stains from mattresses
We don’t know of a kid that doesn’t love Kool-aid! To answer all of your inquiries about how to clean Kool-aid, here it is.
- First off, we need to realize that kook-aid is a liquid, and a mattress will soak up any type of liquids. It is good to note that it is impossible to remove the entire liquid spill from inside the mattress.
- The dyes in Kool-Aid generally leave a permanent stain, but you can try to remove the surface stain.
- You must blot up as much of the liquid as possible with an absorbent white cloth. Use the citrus cleaner techniques shown above.
One more method:
- To remove as much liquid from the mattress as possible, cover it with a thick cloth and weigh the cloth down with a heavy book or brick.
- After the hour is up, spray the stain with vinegar again and blot it with a clean cloth to lift the color.
- Repeat the process until the stain is completely removed or no further reductions of stain color occur.
Daffodils, one of the top ten bulbs to plant for spring, are simple to plant and even easier to grow. Daffodils are planted in the fall, but their cheerful heavy blooms are most often recognized as forerunners of the spring. Here’s how to plant your own daffodils.
Select Daffodil Bulbs
When selecting the actual bulbs to plant, you want to find large heavy bulbs. Light bulbs may have a shriveled plant inside or have been eaten by internal parasites. Small bulbs may be easier to transport, but may not flower in the first year. Gather as many large bulbs as you’d like, be sure you have gardening gloves and a trowel, and you’re ready to plant.
Plant Daffodil Bulbs
You can plant daffodil bulbs anywhere in the full sun, so long as you water them occasionally. Daffodils will naturalize by multiplying underground which means you many have many repeat blooms in subsequent years.
Find soil with a pH of 6-7 in the full sun. Dig a small hole for the bulb. Place the bulb inside the hole and cover loosely with dirt. Apply a slow release bulb fertilizer in the fall, and then water occasionally until blooms appear in the spring.
Thin and Separate
After the bulbs are done blooming, dig up clusters of daffodils and replant each one separately. Daffodils grow well in most climates and with care you should be able to enjoy the blooms year after year.
Newly planted trees require a lot of love, patience, but especially water. A young tree needs the equivalent of one inch of rainwater per week. In the lands of almost constant summer droughts, this is very hard to come by. Rain gauges can help track the natural watering of your trees, and by seeing the shortfall every week, you can help to make up the difference.
Determine the Need
Your first step is to see how much water your tree is already receiving. Young trees can die easily without enough water, so it is imperative to get a good reading. Over watering a tree can be harmful as well, so running the hose for an hour or two isn’t much compensation. Only when you’ve got a good idea of how much rainfall your trees have already benefited from can you begin watering the trees yourself.
Apply Water Naturally
When you water a young tree, you should apply the water in the most natural way possible. This means that dumping a bucket over the roots won’t do. Instead use a soaker hose to distribute water slowly over time. Another way to better gauge how much water your tree is getting is to punch a nail sized hole in a bucket and place that bucket by the tree. Then fill up the bucket and leave it until all of the water has dripped down through the hole. Move the bucket to the other side of the tree and repeat as necessary.
Keep Moisture In
You’re putting a great deal of effort into getting the water into the tree, but you need to help protect that water from evaporation. Putting a layer of mulch around the base of the trees can help keep the soil moist. Also, do your watering early in the morning or in the evening when the sun is not at its peak to ensure none of your watering efforts are wasted.
In dry conditions watering your yard can help keep your grass soft and green, but it can be tricky to water all of your grass at the same time. Watering a yard evenly doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does need a bit of planning.
Install a Sprinkler System
Your first consideration to watering a yard evenly is to install a sprinkler system. A sprinkler system has a series of nozzles distributed throughout the yard that spray a fine mist over the entire surface area. This means your yard gets a nice coverage with a consistent amount of water. Sprinkler systems are rather expensive, however.
Create Your Own Sprinkler System
It is far more economical to create your own sprinkler system using a series of stationary sprinklers and hoses. Sprinklers that have three or more nozzles attached to a short hose are now available. Buying a system of these and distributing them about your yard will help you to get water distributed evenly.
A flat garden hose will allow you to leave your system set up without fear of kinks – at least until it is time to mow. But even then, you can simply pull the sprinkler system to one side, mow, and replace it for another round of watering.
Low Sprinklers and Seepers
Another way to water a yard evenly is to use a hose with perforations or holes along its length. Simply unroll the hose along the yard and turn on the water. Every twenty minutes or so, move the hose rather along the yard to water a new line. If you have a small yard, you may be able to use a seeper hose to distribute water evenly, although these are better for flowerbeds and trees.
Move Your Sprinkler
If all else fails, invest in an oscillating sprinkler, set it in the middle of the yard and turn it on so that the spray reaches the far edges. This will allow the water to distribute evenly over the span of the sprinkler at least. To water the entire yard evenly, simple move the sprinkler to a new section of yard, preferably not overlapping an old section and turn it on again. Water each section for a set amount of time, thirty minutes or so, and your yard will give you the kind of results you’re hoping for.