Save Water This Summer

We are all aware of the country’s dire need for clean water. The summer months are especially tough for dry southern areas, including southern California and the entire southwest. A few simple changes can affect your overall water use immensely. This summer, make the most of your water consumption with the following tips on water conservation.

  • Turn off the faucet – Whether you’re brushing your teeth, shaving or cooking, simply turning the water off when you’re not directly using it can save untold gallons.

  • Reuse where you can – Catch the water your shower wastes while you’re waiting for the temperature to warm up. This water can be reused to water houseplants or for pets.
  • Go natural – Collect rain. Water collection units are a great way to catch and store 40-80 gallons of water at a time. Additionally, these units can serve as decorative accents and are easily camouflaged so they will not ruin your outdoor aesthetic.

  • Work with nature, not against it – Water the lawn early in the morning. By getting up a few minutes earlier, you cash in on the help provided by natural dew that accumulates on grass and other plants and can save up to 25 gallons of water a day.
  • Wait – Only wash full loads of laundry or dishes. By just waiting for enough dirty items to accumulate you can save 15 to 50 gallons of water per load.

  • Get in and get out – Shortening showers by only one minute saves up to 5 gallons a day.
  • Sweep - Use a broom to clean off sidewalks and driveways. Hosing them down just wastes water that can be used for the lawn or washing the car. It also adds more sewage to storm drains which ultimately flow into the ocean. Sweeping helps save water and prevents water pollution.
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Hide Anything in Your Backyard

Do you ever look out into your backyard and wish that that unsightly eyesore ruining your perfect landscape would magically disappear? Artificial rocks are a perfect to solution to any visual conundrum. With both natural looking and aesthetically appealing they are also durable, sturdy and ready for anything. As they come in a variety of shapes and colors, the ideal fit is not difficult to find. Here are some ideas for how to take your backyard or walkway from an eyesore to eye candy.

Hide Outdoor Plumbing
Use a rock to hide ugly centrifugal pumps, irrigation valves or septic lids or cleanouts. These outdoor necessities definitely have their purpose in our lives and we probably would miss them if they were gone; however, we don’t necessarily have them in sight for them to do their job. Not only do they take away from the visual purity of our landscapes, but they can also be dangerous if located in a busy walking area or if small children play near them. A low to the ground rock is an easy solution. Not only does it eliminate the eye sore, but it can also completely change the focal point of your landscape. Now, instead of wishing the traces of indoor plumbing would disappear, you can easily forget about them.

Address Plaques
Do people visiting your home ever complain that they can’t read the faded address number spray painted on the curb or can’t find the numbers hung next to the garage? Make things easier for everyone by installing an address plaque rock. The unique flat surface lends itself nicely to the addition of numbers or characters while the size, shape and color of the rock still look and feel like the real thing. Add a solar powered lighting source next to the rock and never hear a guest complain about driving aimlessly up and down the street looking for your house again.

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Keeping Warm With Tropical Decor

Shown in picture (30in x 57in  Palm Thatch Runner Rolls Layed)

Tropical decor generally paints imagery of summer days and warmer temperatures, but what many don’t know is that items such as thatch and bamboo structures can actually help to keep your home or an area warmer during the cooler months.

Thatch in its many varying forms and though light weight, can actually withstand heavy winds, which help in deflecting those winds from hitting your home directly.  In addition to this, the layers of panels have natural insulation properties which can assist in keeping cold out and heat in.  Just like in the summer, thatch can also help to keep you cool by providing shade from the sun’s rays.

In addition to thatch, another strong, versatile and eco friendly building material you can use is Bamboo.  You can provide additional insulation by lining outside walls with Bamboo Fencing, while still providing your landscape with a tropical look.

Bamboo Rugs, can help keep your feet warm during the winter months and cool during the summer ones.  Place them on indoor tile or marble or even the outside concrete.  What makes them so functional is how low maintenance they are and how much value they provide for what you’re paying.

Winter doesn’t mean that you can’t keep the island flair alive.  The great thing about our products is that they are functional and aesthetically fitting all year round.

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“Hard to Kill Plants” for Your Home and Garden

In our recent articles “How to Create Your Own Backyard Tropical Paradise” and “Decorating a Small Space” we discussed how plants add life, color and deep textures to a space or landscape. Just like in any design or landscaping project, planting and gardening also presents many challenges and elements to consider. The myth is that plants need only water and sunlight to survive, which depending on the light is very untrue. Many plants are more sensitive to their habitats than others. Nutrients, amount of sunlight, types of water, climate and pests are all factors that affect the health of your garden. Another aspect is that many new home owners or residents in studios or apartments may not have a “green thumb” or know the basics on how to care for plants.

All of these factors often leave people thinking that they are unlucky with plants or do not have the time and patience to tend to them, when it could just be inadequate sunlight or improper climate for the particular plant they are raising. There are many plants for the home and garden that are classified as “hard to kill”, “low maintenance” or “easy plants”. These plants are often of the toughest species that are durable and can endure varying climate changes, sporadic watering, and even lack of sunlight. The following plants can help bloom life into your home and garden and still survive on days where you may be occupied with other tasks.

Baby’s Breath
babys-breath-web
Often dried for potpourri or used to accent bouquets of flowers, these small white flowers can handle sunny conditions and dry to even sandy soil. When planted with other greenery or in bunches, the white clusters of flowers add quite the delicate accent.

Aloe

aloe_vera

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