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- 5 “Green” Gift Ideas
- 5 Activities to Do with Dad This Father’s Day
- 5 Gift Ideas for Motherâ€™s Day
- 5 Reasons to Go Green With Bamboo
- 5 Things To Do On Memorial Day
- A New Year and a New Space
- Art Around Adams Showcases Local Artists and Businesses
- Artificial Rocks: A Realistic and Beautiful Solution
- Backyard X-Scapes and Harmonium Partner To Serve Our Children
Welcome to our first DIY of the year! There are plenty of garden accessories that you can buy, but why not create your own? Gardening is a hands-on activity so create some neat items to accentuate your garden! Ladybugs are known to be a gardener’s best friend. Why not create a sanctuary for them to relax in your gardens? Today we will look at an extremely easy DIY: the bamboo ladybug feeder.
A Gardener’s Best Friend
Aphids are a common garden pest that are difficult to control even with pesticide. Stop spraying your gardens with chemicals and lower the aphid population with a natural and green solution! Ladybugs are known to devour dozens of aphids per day. Ladybugs seek out aphids in hard to reach places. Ladybugs also prey on other pests such asÂ mealybugs, scale, leaf hoppers and mites. They alsoÂ pollinateÂ your plants since ladybugs are always moving around flower to flower.
A Green Solution
With more ladybugs in your gardens, there is less of a need for pesticides. Get rid of pests the natural way! Bamboo is a wonderful sustainable material as well. It is a durable and strong material that will last long time. Attract and keep theseÂ environmentallyÂ friendly insects with the bamboo ladybug feeder. The raisins in the feeder will provide food for the ladybugs when aphid populations are low. This will also keep the ladybugs in your garden.
Bamboo Ladybug Feeder How-To
The ladybug bamboo feeding station is an extremely easy DIY. All you need is a piece of bamboo poleÂ andÂ some string.Â Use aÂ bamboo poleÂ that is at least 1 inch in diameter. Ideally a 2 inch diameter bamboo pole is best.
- Bamboo Pole
- Garden string
- Raisin or other foods to attract ladybugs
Redoing your backyard can seem like an intimidating, endless and costly project. But it doesnâ€™t have to be. With a few helpful tips, creating a tropical themed backyard can actually be fun and easy.
Get started simply by evaluating the size and shape of the space you have to work with and chose an area of focus. This space could be the patio, the garden, a specific area designated for relaxing or entertaining or even just the center of the yard. Once defined, make this section your vision of a Backyard X-Scape: add a table and chairs for outdoor dining, place a tiki bar for convenient adult entertainment, build or inflate a pool for your guests and children to play in or erect a palapa for relaxing in the sun. Within the focal area, decide how much and what type of furniture you will need: how many chairs and tables, what types and styles and how tall are all important questions when choosing backyard furniture.
Once the focal point is established, you can fill out the rest of the space. Remember, when decorating, less is more. Fill in barren areas not with more furniture, but with exotic vegetation like palm trees and tropical flowers. Island culture is rife with bright colors; the more variety the better. The lush environment and vibrant colors will create a warm and inviting feel.
Next, decide how you wish to light your backyard. First, consider potential hazards and light them immediately along with walkways and other high traffic areas. Then, light the main focal point â€“ where you, your family and guests will be spending most of your time. Once the main points are sufficiently illuminated, you can choose interesting features like shrubbery or artwork to spotlight. Use tropical lighting ideas like tiki torches, lanterns and fire pits. Additionally, white or bright Christmas lights can contribute to a festive and colorful atmosphere.
Touting the benefits of bamboo is all in a dayâ€™s work here at Backyard X-Scapes. Although we were certainly not the first to exploit the benefits of bamboo with our eco-friendly, lightweight, durable and cost-effective bamboo products, the rate at which bamboo is achieving popularity is a-ok by us. As we have discussed before, bamboo is now considered one of the most versatile materials on the planet and now is even being tested for use in car construction.
An avid electric car builder, Greg â€śGadgetâ€ť Abbott, was one of the first to envisage replacing heavy fiberglass with bamboo in electric car frames. He rationalized that since bamboo has a strength-to-width ratio somewhere between carbon fiber and fiberglass and can compensate for the up to 200 pound battery used by electric cars, it would be far superior than traditional steel or fiberglass for car frame construction.
We know that bamboo is considered a â€śgreen materialâ€ť because of its rapid growth rate, natural growing practices and clean harvesting methods. Bamboo is just as strong as its â€śdirtyâ€ť counterparts and much more readily available and cost effective in the long run. With twice the strength of fiberglass and six times the strength of steel, bamboo seems the next logical step in â€śgreenâ€ť car construction.
With a lighter car frame, electric batteries may be expected to travel farther than usual 100 miles per charge. More efficient electric cars will be more appealing to car buyers as well as more economically realistic. Increased efficiency and viability will hopefully make bamboo-centric electric cars the next trend in the Green Revolution.
Over the past several months, we have kept you up to date on all things bamboo. From computer packaging made from recycled paper and bamboo to bamboo computer and iPhone shells or cases. Bamboo is gaining popularity in all sectors of the economy for its green growing practices, strength, beauty and versatility. The latest and greatest â€śgreenâ€ť computer accessory is the bamboo laptop case for the MacBook Pro.
The Silva MacBook Pro case is built to fit the 13â€ť or 15â€ť MacBooks and is made entirely of eco-friendly caramel-colored bamboo. The solid bamboo case weighs about 2 pounds after it is cut, assembled and sanded by hand. A leather handle is also entirely handcrafted, providing a comfortable and secure grip. The bamboo fiber is accentuated with tung oil and finished in polyurethane to harden the case and make it shine. The briefcase style carrier is lined with wool to protect the computer from scratches and provide additional resistance to impact, even if the case itself doesnâ€™t make it through a hard fall.
So if youâ€™re looking to further â€śgreenâ€ť your way of life or just your office, consider investing $180 in a solid bamboo MacBook case. The company is looking to expand into other cases for Apply products soon; keep your eyes peeled for more eco-friendly tech updates.
Transforming your backyard into a tropical escape from reality doesnâ€™t have to be a monumental and intimidating project. A few simple tips can save you time, energy and headaches.
First of all, calculate the space you have to work with. This will keep you from buying too much outdoor furniture or too many accents.
Secondly, select a focal point or area. This can be a central location for serving drinks and food, like a tiki bar, a place to sit and talk or eat, like a patio set or a place to play like a pool, hot tub or outdoor swing. The focal point is where you will spending the most time and should be considered highly functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. We recommend eco-friendly outdoor furniture options like a bamboo tiki bar to provide a setting for entertaining or a thatch umbrella kit with furniture for relaxing under. These items donâ€™t have to take up too much space, require little upkeep, are eco-friendly and provide an interesting visual scene.
Next comes the decorating. Remember that with accessories, usually less is more. You want to keep your outdoor escape simple and inviting. Bamboo rugs are an affordable accent and bamboo fencing is extraordinarily versatile, durable and visually appealing. A bamboo fence can be used indoors and out and can therefore extend the look of your home to the backyard. Use a bamboo or reed fence outdoors to cover an old fence, create a privacy screen or add shade to a patio. Thatch can also be used to create shade and provide insulation to an outdoor room.
In our ever evolving, technologically-dependant society, we see more and more electrical hardware including everything from DVD players and DVRs to the iPhone and MP3 Players. With all this technological advancement though, there are a number of consequences. Hardware can take anywhere from 420-1000 years to biodegrade in a landfill or other waste facility. So with the rise in technology, comes the rise inÂ hardware waste and thus the opportunity for the centuries old bamboo grass to become relevant in the cutting edge world of technology.
Companies large and small, local and international are creating environmentally sound hardware utilizing the strength, durability, flexibility and versatility of bamboo stalks. The bamboo keyboard and mouse boasts a smooth, comforting look and feel as well as a personalized look to any office of computer desk. Manufacturers claim the laser engraved keys absorbs sweat and oil as you type, offering further comfort and a unique texture. Whatâ€™s more, the bamboo keyboard is completely biodegradable so when it does wear out (after about two year), you donâ€™t have to find a recycling center or worry about it rotting in the ground for hundreds of years.
The keyboard employs the typical 106 key design, including simple shortcuts to email, the internet, mute and calculator. The set retails anywhere between $30 and $80 not including shipping. Simply plug the keyboard and mouse into your computer using their USB cable and transform your workspace in to an environmentally-friendly zone not to mention the envy of the office.
“Rebuilding Together San diego” is an organization we’ve been working recently in promoting the idea of “neighbors helping neighbors.”Â We find it incredibly important to give back to the communities, especially ones in which we are so much a part of.Â Rebuilding Together San Diego approached us with a wonderful idea and mission, that we were honored to be able to be a part of:
” In partnership with volunteers, donors and organizations, Rebuilding Together San Diego revitalizes homes and neighborhoods for low-income homeowners and communities in need, especially the elderly, disabled and families, helping them to live in warmth, safety and independence.”
In joining with Rebuilding Together San Diego, we were able to liven backyards with a fresh new look for spring.Â Here are some of projects.
This bounteous garden look was created using black bamboo fencing, spare wooden crates/boxes or drawers, a palm tree, extra plants and pumpkins.Â What’s useful is that the boxes are not only decorative but are also functional as creative planters.
Replacing an older fence or wall can be costly so for a charming and charismatic look, our natural 4ft fence is paired with our mahogany 4 ft fence which works with the gate and borders the tall trees.
To give a walk way to a home more character, our rock bench was paired with matching path stones.
For more about the projects and how to get involved visit
It’s nearly impossible to not hear about going green, the 3 Rs (reduce reuse recycle) and the infinite ways in which you can help the planet.Â For your next home decorating or landscaping project, we wanted to give you 5 reasons why we are buzzing about Bamboo and what makes it so great!
1) Bamboo is STRONG
Different species of bamboo are stronger than oak, harder than cedar and have the tensional strength comparable to steel.Â By purchasing bamboo, you’re getting a quality building material at a fraction of the cost, and is also incredibly versatile.
2) Bamboo is GREEN
Being that bamboo is not a woody tree but in fact a weed like grass, it grows at an incredibly fast rate.Â Unlike traditional trees that can take years or decades to grow, Bamboo can be grown and harvested at a much quicker rate.Â It’s a renewable resource that serves as an alternative material that can be used for an infinite number of possibilities for goods.
3)Bamboo is VERSATILE
From sheets to cutting boards, fencing, tiki bars, furniture and so much more, Bamboo is being used world wide in various types of production.Â You can even customize your own building project with rolls of fencing or individual poles.
4)Bamboo is AFFORDABLE
Let’s face it, economic times have not been at their greatest in the past few years and investing in upgrading your home or landscape can be a hefty investment.Â Bamboo offers an affordable way to instantly give your home and garden that tropical or zen revival.Â Replacing a wall or fencing around your yard can also be quite expensive but at times necessary if you’re looking to sell your home or are required by home associations;Â Bamboo fencing can offer a cost effective and easy solution.
One of the most frequent questions we get asked on a daily basis is “can I use your tropical decor for indoors?”Â Although our popular bamboo products, pottery and thatch items are built to be able to handle the outdoor environment, their function is just as versatile indoors.Â Here are some tips on how to create that tropical flare to any room.
Color and Texture
In our past articles we’ve mentioned that one of the first things before decorating anything or anywhere, you want to establish a color scheme.Â Since your aim is a tropical look, you will want natural tones that exist in items such as bamboo, thatch or bamboo rugs and contrast them with bright and bold island colors such as red, yellow, pinks and blues.Â Keep in mind that this does not mean to use every bright color palette available, it’s best to select a couple and work in variations of each.Â Flowers, pottery, and fountains have a magical way of adding color without being overbearing.Â Items such as bamboo poles and slats can add texture by acting as moldings along your ceilings and floor.Â You can even turn your entire room into one big Tiki hut, by lining a runner roll of thatch along the wall ceilings.
Remember that since you are using neutral tones in your bamboo and thatch, that you want to use a contrasting paint color for your walls.Â Dark chocolate browns, blues and greens work wonderfully against neutral tones.
Accents and Details
What makes Labor Day such a great holiday is that it is one of the rare holidays where you know exactly which day of the week it will fall on, a Monday, which is quite the added bonus to what is usually a two day weekend. This September 7th, with some creative thinking you can add some spice to your typical bbq, or make your beach or park outing into a memorable event.
Rather than your just winging a backyard BBQ with friends or family that may â€śstop byâ€ť, plan out a themed event such as â€śTiki Totem Partyâ€ť or â€śTropical Labor Day Getaway.â€ť The idea of throwing an organized party may seem like a lot of work, but a little pre-thought can actually help in many ways. By officially inviting guests and planning an event, guests are more likely to commit to the time and event, which also provides you with a good idea of how many people to provide food and drinks for. Your theme could also be a potluck which would relieve a lot of the preparation work from you, and also allow for a variety of tasty items from all your guests. Having guests show up in themed wear such as Hawaiian shirts or Sarongs will add life to the event and will help in bringing everyone together in the festivities.
Decorating does not necessarily require a big budget or weeks of setting up. Decorative items such as Tiki statues, bamboo fencing, or thatch, instantly add a dash of tropical flavor to any setting, without requiring much installation and once the event is over, the same dĂ©cor can still be used for your home and garden. Table cloths, napkins and disposable cups and plates are inexpensive ways to add color to your table setting and compliment your theme.
For entertainment, you can play island music in the background, have a Tiki Bar set up serving drinks, or even add in some games.