Archive for September, 2009

Do I Need A Garden Rain Gauge?

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Rain gauges are a great way to accent your yard or garden.  They make great gardening gifts and are an excellent way to monitor the amount of water your lawn or garden is receiving.  Today’s rain gauges are simple to use with pre-calibrated scales on their sides.  Garden rain gauges are visually appealing, fun and colorful.  Rain gauges are a perfect way to get children and students interested in the weather, or to take the first step toward building your own home weather station.  They come in a wide variety of practical and decorative styles.

A rain gauge is also known as a pluviometer or udometer.   Rain water collects in the easy-to-read clear vial, which is marked in both metric and standard units of measure for convenience.  They are usually about 50 cm tall and are placed on the ground just high enough to avoid splashes.  A weather rain gauge should be placed in an open area away from trees, buildings, and other structures to avoid false readings.  It is a simple weather instrument used for measuring precipitation.  Whether for recreational home use, or for more serious weather investigators, there’s a rain gauge for everyone.

Digital rain gauges work in a similar manner to standard rain gauges, although they have the ability to read precipitation levels, translate that information into digital data, and transmit that data to a wireless receiver.
The obvious advantage to a digital rain gauge is that you don’t have to go outside to get a reading, the rain level can be viewed on the receiver inside your house.  Digital rain gauges have many other features, including time, temperature, humidity, and more.  A digital rain gauge is a very useful instrument for the meteorologists and the hydrologists.  Various models of digital rain gauges are available in the market and are becoming more affordable with price ranges from $40 to $60.

Inexpensive plastic rain gauges work very well for homeowners and gardeners.  The simplicity of the rain gauge design assures trouble-free operation, yet provides accurate rainfall measurements.  These colorful lawn and garden ornaments are made of a ceramic and plastic mixture to make a sturdy but dedicated design.  Garden rain gauges will provide service for generations to come.  But, why limit yourself to boring tubes when you can accent your yard with a colorful toad or frog rain gauge?  Be careful, sometimes the frog actually gets IN the rain gauge. 😉

Frog In Garden Rain Gauge

Frog In Garden Rain Gauge

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Who Wants Garden Shoes As Gardening Gifts?

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

Garden shoes are incredibly comfortable, like walking on a cloud.  What could be easier than slipping on a pair of clogs on the way out to the garden?  Although gardening shoes aren’t often thought of, they are a practical and money saving essential for backyard gardeners.  Garden clogs are an inexpensive way to avoid ruining your everyday shoes or boots with the grime of the garden.

Garden shoes are essential for every day gardening, lawn and yard work.  They are especially designed for work where water may be present and dirt is loose.   Gardening shoes are invaluable during the early spring as the mud just rinses right off.  Garden clogs offer the durability of work boots with the ease of slippers.  After wearing them for hours, my feet don’t get hot and clammy, which is a common problem with waterproof shoes.

Garden shoes are both fun and practical and make great gardening gifts and stocking stuffers.  They are stylish enough to wear anywhere and are available in everything from green to giraffe to zebra or even ladybug (if you prefer).  Choose wisely and they are sure to earn a place alongside your shovel as your most used garden gear. 😉

Ladybug Garden Shoes

Ladybug Garden Shoes

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How Can Outdoor Fountains Be Practical Gardening Gifts?

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Are you looking for something different or unique to make your outdoor garden decor stand out in your neighborhood?  Outdoor garden fountains really command attention and can serve as the focal piece of your garden.  Outdoor fountains bring elegance, sophistication and prosperity to any landscape and are quite the conversation starter as well.  Outdoor water fountains are relaxing & fun — something the entire family will enjoy.

Outdoor fountains are a must for every garden.  Whatever visions they conjure, outdoor garden fountains are synonymous with tranquil beauty and luxury.  They are a great way to attract birds, animals and other critters to your yard.  Outdoor water fountains are available in a variety of styles.  They are designed from reliable, weather-resistant materials that may stand up to the elements, like cast resin or brushed copper.  Outdoor fountains are also available in stone, metal, or glass.

Two very popular types of outdoor fountains are tabletop fountains and wall fountains.  Wall fountains are decorative and functional, adding the sound of flowing water with the graceful look of garden statuary.  They are artistic fountains that look stunning in any environment and can work well in small courtyard gardens.  Wall fountains typically come in metal that has been created in thin sheets and bent to make designs and shapes that are stylish.

Outdoor water fountains will enrich your garden with soothing, mesmerizing water sounds that range from gushing waterfalls to babbling brooks.  They will bring you joy for many years and will add peace and serenity to your garden, patio, deck or landscaped area.  Outdoor garden fountains reduce stress and we can all use less of that, right? 😉

Outdoor Garden Fountain

Outdoor Garden Fountain

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Are Sundials Any Good In The Rain?

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Sundials are ancient artifacts, architectural wonders, that offer great meaning and classic beauty to those who treasure them.  A sundial is a beautiful way to add a touch of history to your garden.  It is the most popular and ancient device of science that is still in existence.  Over time, more elaborately engineered and accurate time-telling devices were conceived, such as equatorial sundials.  They make very popular gifts, especially for weddings and anniversaries, as the concepts of “time” and “everlasting love” are so closely related.

These gardening gifts are traditionally found in gardens but can add an interesting detail to interior and exterior environments.  A sundial is a fantastic thing to have in your garden, making incredibly beautiful focal points just like any urn or garden sculpture.  They can be personalized with inscriptions and date lines to make the perfect birthday gift for the person who has everything.  A sundial is not nearly as accurate at telling the time as a clock or watch, but it can give a good estimate of the current time. They come in many sizes, types and finishes.

Brass sundials are more eye-catching and are more likely to be a focal piece in your outdoor decor.  Gnomons (shadow-casters) are usually made of brass, bronze or stainless steel.  You may want to purchase a brass pedestal or perhaps make a more personalized sun dial pedestal from stones or rocks from around your place.  The sundials most commonly found in churchyards are those of the common horizontal class, normally made of brass or bronze, although, sadly, many of these have been stolen in recent years or have been badly damaged.

Today, as history/art/science projects, backyard decor, or special gifts sundials are the perfect choice.  They make a statement in any garden, castle or cottage, and are excellent gardening gifts for that special occasion.  Sundials are historical jewels for your garden, providing a natural, time-honored way of which to gauge time.  Rain or shine, these gardening gifts are cool. 😉

Gardening Gifts Sundial

Gardening Gifts Sundial

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Two Trees, Hammocks And Nature – Excellent Gardening Gifts

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Hammocks are usually hung between two trees, however with the use of a hammock stand, hammocks can be placed just about anywhere.  They are an excellent way to unwind in your backyard or garden while enjoying  a leisurely afternoon nap or relaxing with a good book.  These gardening gifts allow you to get away from your troubles and stress after a long day at work and enjoy the beautiful world around you.  Hammocks are versatile because of their comfort, light weight, low cost and design.  Outdoor hammocks are ideal for camping trips and are available in a variety of colors, sizes, and patterns.

Cotton rope hammocks are considered more comfortable than polyester rope hammocks, but cotton will not last as long as polyester, is subject to mildew and will deteriorate if left in direct sunlight.  An indoor cotton hammock would make a great gardening gift.  Cotton is the best fiber for weaving and is worldwide appreciated for its high qualities as material for hammocks, hammock swings and hammock chairs.  Cotton hammock colors also tend to be softer and more soothing.

Nylon garden hammocks are comfortable and long lasting.  These gardening gifts are very durable, and don’t need to be cleaned as often as cotton hammocks.  Nylon rope is built to last, yet it is very soft and silky to the touch.  Nylon also has a good resistance to fading in sunlight.  Nylon hammocks are stronger than cotton, yet are soft, elastic, and lustrous.  Comparing a nylon hammock with a cotton hammock is similar to comparing a bed with a firm mattress to a bed with a soft, flexible mattress.

Fabric hammocks are light weight which makes them much simpler to move and set up than the rope hammock.  These gardening gifts are perfect for the yard, deck, or even by the poolside.  Fabric hammocks are totally different with string hammocks in style as it eliminates the web-like weave designs.  These patio hammocks are great because they are low maintenance.

Mayan hammocks are made from thin strings that are woven by hand.  They can be made from either cotton or polyester and are light weight and strong.  These hammocks are typically brightly colored and do not have spreader bars.  Mayan hammocks are famous worldwide, are shipped around the world, and make very popular gifts.  These gardening gifts are unarguably the finest, most comfortable hammocks made.  Mayan hammocks aren’t the only popular imported hammock; gorgeous hand-made hammocks from Brazil, Nicaragua, and many other South American countries are also extremely popular.

Just remember that in general, the smaller the spaces between the ropes, the more comfortable the hammock will be.  There is minimal air flow through a solid hammock hence they are most comfortable when used on cooler evenings or climates.  Hammocks are an inexpensive way to dress up your porch or landscaping while at the same time providing a comfortable, relaxing piece of outdoor furniture to take a break.  They make excellent gardening gifts.  In the last century hammocks were mainly reserved for the wealthy.  I say let’s roll back the clock and enjoy our prosperity. 😉

Gardening Gift Hammock

Gardening Gift Hammock

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Why Should I Buy Garden Gnomes As Gardening Gifts?

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

Garden gnomes are a cute addition to the garden and are also a good-luck charm.  Germany is considered as the home of the gnomes.  As far as can be told, the first wandering Garden Gnomes (“der Gartenz werg”) were made in somewhere near Graeferoda, Thuringia, Germany in the early 1800’s.  These colorful gardening ornaments, which some find cute and others find repulsive, have been a presence in gardens around the world ever since.
They make great gardening gifts.  These small, earth-dwelling creatures have the same general look, usually with a long, white beard, a red hat and simple clothes.  Garden gnomes have an uncanny ability to stand perfectly still, thus giving them the appearance of not being real.

Every year, millions of people around the world purchase these lawn ornaments for a variety of reasons.  One is even featured as the main character on Travelocity’s latest commercials.  By the way, I don’t think they like being called “lawn ornaments”.  Since gnomes are thought to be purveyors of goodwill, hope, and good luck, let’s not make them mad.  These gardening gifts are a source of decoration and amusement for many.  They range in size from 8 inches to 3 feet tall and add a cheerful, lighthearted touch to any setting, indoors or out.  Let’s face it, these gnomes are simply fun to have around.

Garden gnomes are also the source of practical jokes and mischief, as they’re routinely stolen from gardens in order to “liberate” them.  Garden Gnomes are masters of nature and love to travel.  They are often photographed at tourist locations.  The photos are then sent back to their original owners showing what a wonderful time they are now having as newly “liberated” gnomes.  Police say that garden gnomes are among the most stolen items and several arrests have been made concerning their “abductions”.

If you’re looking to add a touch of whimsy to your gardening gifts, this is certainly the way to go.  Garden gnomes are a world-wide phenomenon, and many stories and legends are told about their origin and behavior. Garden gnomes are mysterious creatures, filled with mischief, and they are known to create havoc in the garden and to sometimes disappear into thin air.  They can even disguise themselves so as to go about their business undetected.  Gnomes are supposed to be a sign of good luck, but of course, if you have any bad luck they probably won’t even stick around.  Garden gnomes are very hard working, loyal, and shy, but they do have a fun side to their personalities and love to play pranks on the humans and each other, so watch out! 😉

Swingin' Garden Gnomes

Swingin' Garden Gnomes

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Ergonomic Gardening Tools As Gifts, Are They Good?

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Gardening tools are an integral part of gardeners’ lives and make perfect gardening gifts for anyone with a green thumb.  They are designed to help the leisure and full-time gardener in the quest of owning a landscaped or simply, a well-maintained “fairy-tale” garden.   A variety of adaptive gardening tools are available including long-handled tools, tools with adaptive handles, light weight and comfort grip tools.  The best part is that the most common gardening tools are available for a reasonable price and therefore, make excellent gardening gifts.

One such gardening gift would be a set of ergonomic gardening tools.  Repetitive movements can wreak havoc on any part of the body, with hands, arms, shoulders, necks and backs the most common areas of injury. Today, ergonomic gardening tools appeal to people of all ages who have either suffered or want to prevent repetitive strain injuries.  Ergonomic gardening tools are available for gripping anything from cooking utensils to adaptive steering wheels, as well as gardening tools.  These gardening gifts are second to none in making gardening a pleasurable experience once more.  Ergonomic gardening tools have been available for decades but it’s only in the last five years that they’ve become trendy.

Quality gardening tools are exactly what any dedicated gardener needs.  Whether their grounds are large or small, gardeners need the right tools and equipment to speed up routine tasks and help successful gardening. Gardening tools will last a long time and you will soon find out that after years of use, old garden tools will eventually fit your hand like a glove, as working with them will soon become a pleasure.  Good gardening tools will assist you in taking care of your plants as well as cultivating good growing conditions, thus having a
positive effect on your plant’s health.  Quality tools make great gardening gifts.  Invest in a good set and be careful not to strain your body parts, cause your worth it.  😉

Gardening Gift Tools

Gardening Gift Tools

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Gardening Gifts And Roosters?

Friday, September 4th, 2009

As weathervanes, of course.  These gardening gifts are used to display the wind direction and are usually made out of metals like bronze, cast iron, or copper.  Weathervanes are always a big hit for those who have a naked roof on their home, garage, shed or barn.  Placed on top cupolas, roof tops, or over the fireplace mantel, these gardening gifts are giving homes and businesses a unique look that creates curb appeal with pizazz.  Smaller weathervanes are perfect for gazebos and sheds.  Rooftop weathervanes are generally made from steel, aluminum or copper.  Steel weathervanes are very strong and many are crafted with powder coat finishes for protection from the elements.  These gardening gifts can easily be found at home and garden retailers.

Garden weathervanes add an extra personal touch as gardening gifts.  You may also display them indoors over fireplace mantels, on window sills, mounted on the wall or on a display base on the floor.  It is not uncommon to find weathervanes in places of business, allowing such a property to reflect an element of personal expression.  When displayed with the appropriate accoutrement and placed correctly, these gardening gifts come alive, becoming kinetic sculptures flowing smoothly in the breeze.

Choose from a variety of styles and mounting options to enrich and personalize any location.  Complete weathervane components include the ornament, directionals, a rod, spacer balls, and mounting hardware.  Many weathervanes give you mounting options—you can install your weathervane just about anywhere you would like.  Roof mounts adjust to a roof’s specific pitch.  Garden mounts allow for several inches to be implanted firmly into the ground.  Post mounts are useful for mounting weathervanes on vertical surfaces.  Deck mounting hardware secures the weathervane to horizontal surfaces.

Winds are gardening gifts, too.   Wind helps crops pollinate and knowing which way it blows can help determine where and even when to plant. Winds from the south are generally warmer and can bring in more moisture.  Winds from the north are colder and can suggest a cold front is moving into the area.  Weathervanes not only tell you where the wind is coming from, but also indicate how strong the wind is blowing.  The best place for them is up high if you wish to get a good wind reading.  The weathervanes that are lower to the ground do not always give the best wind direction readings because of swirling winds, but they will really add that special fun touch to the outdoor garden decor.  So please think wisely before adding one to the garden.  Look around and make sure that you have a clear wind path to the weathervane. If not, it will be used as part of the outdoor garden decor.

When choosing weathervanes as gardening gifts, keep in mind the pastimes, hobbies and interests of the recipient.  There is a wide choice of letter styles and adornments, with designs dating back to early colonial settlements.  Rooftop weathervanes come in multiple styles including horses, tractors, nautical designs, different birds, and trains, just to name a few.  Hundreds of standard designs are available, and custom designed weathervanes may also be made to special order.

Weathervanes are precisely balanced so that they will turn into even a light breeze, so you may know the direction of the wind.   Weathervanes are a traditional way of decorating the roofline of a building; they also have the practical purpose of indicating wind direction.  Today, weathervanes are a piece of moving architectural decor that has a purpose.  Homeowners agree that weathervanes are too beautiful to be kept only on high rooftops.  They make perfect gardening gifts for everyone on your list.  In fact, did you know that Thomas Jefferson afixed the weathervane at Monticello to a pointer in the ceiling beneath it, so he could see the direction of the wind from inside his home.  I wonder if it had a rooster on top?  😉

Gardening Gift Rooster

Gardening Gift Rooster

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