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The Landscape of Dali

Posted on January 7, 2018 in Uncategorized

The LandscapeThe Catalan region of the Costa Brava in north-eastern Spain is usually associated with beaches full of tourists and package holiday trips. However, turn the clock back 100 years and the region was somewhat different. Untouched by tourism until the mid 1960’s, the Costa Brava was mainly a fishing region, with small fishing villages and towns pocketed along the Costa Brava coastline.

This was the landscape into which the surrealist artist Salavador Dali was born in 1904, and the spectacular scenery and lighting of the region inspired many of his finest paintings. Dali was born in the town of Figueres which is approximately 35km north of Girona (Gerona) Airport, and around 150km north of Barcelona. Apart from his artwork, Dali has left 2 legacies to his admirer’s – his home in Port Lligat near Cadaques, and the museum which he designed in his hometown of Figureres, both of which are open to the public.

Dali’s House, Port Lligat
Cadaques is a small fishing village around an hour and a half drive north-east of Girona. Cadaques is where Dali spent many of his later years, and the spectacular coastline provided the inspiration for many of his best known paintings. Cadaques itself is a former fishing port, but is now an exclusive tourist resort, popular with the French and Spanish. Dali’s house is located in the small village of Port Lligat, slightly to the north of Cadaques. Dali’s house is open to the public, but check opening hours before visiting.

The house itself was formerly a number of small fishermen’s houses which Dali purchased and converted into a single palatial home where he lived with his wife Gala, and painted many of his most famous paintings. There are many strange exhibits inside the house such as a stuffed polar bear which greets visitors, and a tiny cage in Dali’s bedroom which once contained a cricket. Dali loved the sound of the cricket singing. Don’t expect to find many of Dali’s paintings at the house, although there is a large unfinished work in one of the rooms.

The Dali Museum, Figueres
The Dali museum in Figueres was designed by the artist himself, and although it contains the world’s most comprehensive collection of his original paintings, it is the internal design and architecture which is possibly even more striking. Dali was a big fan of the visual arts, and many of the works in the museum are visual experiences which were intricately designed by Dali. In the busy summer months there may be queues at the museum, so it is worth booking tickets in advance.

Getting to Girona
Girona Airport is served by Ryanair, so if you want to visit the region please check their website for flight information.

Wrought Iron Patio Furniture – Elegance That Lasts a Lifetime

Posted on December 31, 2017 in Uncategorized

Wrought Iron Patio Furniture A patio is an extension of your home. It is a great outdoor space that enables families and friends to spend a relaxing time together. It is also an incredible place to be alone while basking in the beauty of nature. It is of utmost importance, therefore, that your patio should have furniture where people can relax, sit and enjoy themselves.

When it comes to the different kinds of patio furniture, there is nothing more elegant or more versatile than wrought iron patio furniture. Wrought iron has always been used as a popular material for outdoor furniture. Whether it be classic Victorian or contemporary modern designs, you can be assured that you will find an iron furniture set that will look great in your patio.

Wrought iron patio furniture is made of durable material components and its attractive grain-like appearance and decorative qualities makes it a perfect addition to your outdoor living area. Here are the different kinds of benefits you can derive from outdoor iron furniture

Timeless Elegance

Iron patio furniture never goes out of style. Whether you opt for antique elegance or modern simplicity, furniture made of wrought iron is always considered classy. Having these kinds of outdoor furniture speaks volumes about your personal decorative style. It shows that you are fashionable and have exquisite taste in furniture. Plastic chairs and tables can be easy and laid-back, but they undoubtedly look cheap. That is definitely not the case with iron furniture. Sets of outdoor iron furniture give your guests the impression that you care about quality and you go the extra mile to provide only the best.

Wrought iron furniture has sophisticated and intricate detailing. They are usually crafted artistically which makes wicker and plastic outdoor furniture look indistinguishable and outdated in comparison. With the timeless appeal iron furniture offers, your patio will surely be a visual delight for many years to come.

Durability

Iron is probably the most durable material when it comes to outdoor furniture. It has the ability to hold a variety of weights and sizes making it an excellent material for tables and chairs.

Wrought iron patio furniture can withstand all sorts of weather elements. The luster of plastic and wicker furniture tends to fade after being subjected to harsh weather conditions. But that doesn’t happen to wrought iron since it has a low carbon content which allows the furniture to remain strong and beautiful even after undergoing adverse weather conditions. Furthermore, iron is so durable that you need not replace your outdoor furniture as often as you would if you had furniture made from a less durable material.

Versatility in Design Options

Roman and European designs are the roots of iron patio furniture. But nowadays, you can easily find a wide array of designs ranging from elaborate Victorian to simplistic Western contemporary styles. The plethora of designs iron furniture provides makes this kind of furniture the perfect addition to your outdoor ensemble. You can find a wide variety of patio tables, chairs and lounges which you can easily mix and match to suit your specific needs.

Iron patio furniture are not only durable and elegant, they can prove to be quite comfortable, too, with the help of cushions and backing materials. So imagine your patio with comfortable modern chaise lounges coupled with iron barrel chairs and a wrought iron bistro table. The final look of your patio would simply be amazing without having to sacrifice on comfort and functionality.

Cost and Affordability

Although wrought iron patio furniture can be a bit more expensive than plastic and wicker, it costs considerably less than furniture made of aluminum or teak. This makes it a very affordable furniture option for homeowners who desire timeless elegance. You can get an iron outdoor furniture set for as low as $450. While the same set made of aluminum is about $950 and a teak furniture set can be priced well over $1,300.

Wrought iron patio furniture can give you timeless elegance, durability and versatility that no other kinds of furniture can provide. With this kind of furniture proudly showcased in your outdoor living area, you are assured to enjoy its aesthetic value, comfort and functionality for decades to come.

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Patio furniture – A Way to Make Your Home Complete

Posted on December 30, 2017 in Uncategorized

Patio furniturePatio furniture has evolved through the ages in a way that these units are no longer bulky and space filling ones. Style and elegance are the keywords among designers of patio furniture these days. Any type of furniture that is used in a garden, lawn or even at a poolside is entitled to be called patio furniture. In such circumstances patio furniture consists of a table and a set of chairs to start. Additional units include a coffee table, chaise lounge and a love seat.

Patio furniture can be available in any size or shape you desire. In a large spacious area, large deck patio furniture is needed and if you get it customized you get better results. In smaller areas it is possible to choose small patio furniture to broadcast a cozy and intimate setting. Patio furniture can also include dining tables and benches when you feel the need to entertain outside the home area. In such cases it makes sense to buy all your patio furniture in bulk and not buy them piece by piece. The logic is buying in bulk ensures well matched and blended patio furniture, but buying in small increments might not give a natural look to your patio.

Patio furniture that is chosen sensibly adds to the relaxing atmosphere of your patio and can actually be the focus of a calming effect on your senses. This is because there is nothing like a well maintained patio to give you the perfect atmosphere to unwind after a long day at the office.

Patio furniture is available in a variety of materials including teak, bamboo, wicker, wrought iron, plastic and redwood. Each material has its own followers, but teak patio furniture is by far the most popular among consumers today. When shopping for patio furniture the prime consideration has to be the quality of the material. This is because the patio furniture is installed outdoors and is hence exposed to moisture, sunlight and sometimes rain as well.

Weather resistant materials are the best option when going for patio furniture. If your patio is an enclosed space as in covered by a roof then you need not bother with the elements and can go for the most elegant and stylish designs available irrespective of the material. Patio furniture needs to be carefully placed and cleaned because this is the first feature of your home that is noticed by guests. A well maintained patio is a sight to behold indeed.

Another great addition to your patio furniture is accessories. From seat cushions to umbrellas, you can choose the best material that can add a personal touch to your patio furniture. Umbrellas are a great addition to patio furniture especially if it is placed outdoors as in a lawn of a garden. Here under the umbrella your guests can enjoy themselves without feeling the heat or elemental fury on hot summer days. Patio furniture is an essential part of a home and choosing the right pieces can indeed be pleasing to the eye.

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Low Maintenance Organic Landscaping Using Blueberry Plants

Posted on December 29, 2017 in Uncategorized

 Organic LandscapingIntroduction
You have always wanted a great looking landscape to brighten the yard. But who has time to spend every free minute caring for the yard? With some planning and a little know how it is easy to cut down on the drudgery of yard work. Having an easy care landscape means you must develop a realistic plan. Trees and shrubs give substance to a landscape and flowers provide excitement and surprise. You can enjoy the fruits of near effortless edibles including blueberries and strawberries. Blueberries are a low maintenance plant. They have few pest and are native to North America. They require a soil pH of 4.6 to 5.1.

Take a look at your landscape
Knowing the physical characteristics of your site, the soil, climate, topography, and exposure is a vital part creating and maintaining a low maintenance landscape. Choose well adapted plants to design a functional, attractive layout for your yard.

Some factors like climate you have no control over and it affects your whole yard. Other factors you have some control over, Like the amount of shade which can differ widely in different parts of the yard. Growing plants can be a breeze if you have deep, fertile soil rich in organic matter. But even if you don’t (very few of us do) you can still have a productive low maintenance yard. You can decide to improve your soil by adding organic matter or using raised beds and adjusting the soil pH if needed. You can also look for plants that are adapted to your soils existing conditions. Raised beds can provide ideal growing conditions for a variety of vegetables, bushes, and flowers. Where the soil has poor drainage raised beds can solve that problem.

Test your soil. Your local extension service can provide a test for a sample you supply. Test results will tell you the soils fertility, pH, and organic matter content. Getting your soil in shape before planting will go a long way toward promoting healthy, trouble-free plants in the future.

Reduce maintenance on tough to mow slopes by replacing turf with a mixture of low care flowers and shrubs such as low growing easy maintenance blueberry bushes and using a mowing strip. For example, North Country blueberry plants grows 18 to 24 inches tall or North blue blueberry plants that grows to a height of 20-30 inches could be good selections.

Lawns
Reduce mowing chores by replacing some of the lawn with shrubs, trees or ground cover. Eliminate grass growing under or along fences and walls and low branching trees. The kind of grass you grow has a lot to do with how much maintenance it requires. There are grasses that do not grow tall and thus require minimal mowing.

For example, No mow grass ultra low maintenance grass. Eliminate hours of lawn mowing and lawn maintenance each month with Pearl’s Premium grass. Pearl’s Premium grows slowly above ground. Below ground, it can put down 12″ roots, tapping into naturally occurring moisture and nutrients. This type of grass will reduce watering requirements and a lot of mowing. Mow only when it needs it not on a regular weekly or bi-weekly schedule.

End edging forever- For the busy person trees, shrubs and flower beds can quickly turn into a night mare. The shaggy edges that form between planting and the lawn area can give any area an unkempt look and be a real pain to trim. Mowing strips are the solution. A mowing strip is a flat band of brick or flat rock that sits flush with the soil surface and you just mow over the area eliminating the need for the hand or string trimmers to cut the grass at the edge of the of the bed. You just let one wheel ride on the strip and the other on the lawn.

Ground cover
Utilizing ground cover can help to change a bare or dull part of your yard into a beautiful, low maintenance show area. Low growing ground cover plants can serve you well in some areas. For example in our yard we had a rock area that we could not mow and looked ugly. We let low growing ground cover plants grow over this area to transform it into a beautiful area that required essentially no care. You might consider RUBY CARPET a ground cover blueberry plant. The height of the ruby Carpet plants grow to be 4 to 6 inches at maturity and spread outward to create the Red Carpet. Ruby Carpet is selected for form, color and resistance to dryer soil conditions than most blueberry plants.

Blueberries make a beautiful delicious Landscape
When planting blueberries as part of your landscape you should consider combining them with other plants that thrive in acid soil such as azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias. The following are some example of plants you can consider.

Legacy blueberry plants grows 4 to 5 feet tall and can create 4 seasons of interest in your landscape. Spring brings white flowers that develop into shiny green fruit which turn bright blue in the summer. Smooth, glossy-green leaves look attractive all spring & summer in the fall they produce beautiful orange-red leaves.
Sunshine blue is a short plant that is very suitable for growing in a landscape or in containers.
Ornablue grows about 3 feet tall and is considered to be the best ornamental of its size and stature.
North Country grows 18 to 24 inches tall and is an outstanding blueberry plant for landscapes and container growing.
North blue, grows to a height of 20-30 inches. It is good for landscapes and container growing. It’s large glossy, dark green leaves turn dark red in the fall making it of good ornamental value.
Patriot grows 3 to 5 feet tall and is also an excellent container and landscape variety. It is also a very good producer of fruit.
For tall hedges you want to use for privacy use the faster growing, upright varieties such as Jersey, or Ozark Blue. To make solid hedges or screens, place plants 2½ to 3′ apart.
Rabbiteyes grow tall so they can make excellent plants for areas you want to screen off for privacy. Tifblue is considered among best rabbiteyes.
Blueberry plants grow slowly, and grow about a half-foot a year on mature branches. The plants are multi-stemmed with new shoots often developing from the base.

Eatable landscaping
Recently edible landscaping has received more attention. Part of the reason is because of the well documented health benefits and another is because of the economics of growing your own fruit and vegetables. Raised beds can provide an excellent controllable space to grow blueberry bushes and vegetables. Anyone who has eaten really fresh produce knows a food-producing garden is worth the effort. It is surprising that it hasn’t caught on earlier. It’s such a brilliant way of taking advantage of the little bit of land that many of us have but usually use strictly for ornamentals. Blueberries make a beautiful delicious Landscape. Blueberry plants can serve as ornamentals while also being grown as a food source.

Border plantings and along Walkways
You can plant shrubs along the borders of your property that can serve several purposes. Serve for privacy, eliminate grass growing under or along fences and the related mowing problems, serve as perimeter border to define your property boundaries while at the same time beautifying you landscape. If you use eatable bushes such as blueberry bushes you are can grow blueberries for your health and enjoyment. Ornablue blueberry plant can serve this purpose well and is considered to be the best ornamental varieties of its size and stature.

Border plantings along walkways or surrounding a planting bed can work well, choose Sunshineblue, Ornablue or Northcountry. These can be planted along with dwarf rhododendrons or compact azaleas. All three of these blueberry bushes will grow well in Kentucky. Ornablue is considered to be the best ornamental variety of its size and stature. Northcountry will grow well all the way up to growing zone 3. The Sunshine blue blueberries we planted on our properties in Kentucky and Tennessee have turned out to be pretty much evergreen bushes the year around. Rhododendrons and azaleas can be planted along with blueberry plants to blend into borders or serve as a prickly hedge.

Choosing Blueberry Plants to grow
Purchase your plants state-inspected reliable nursery. Bare root plants are usually sold by most nurseries unless you pick the plants up at the nursery. you obtain plants to be planted in the spring or fall. What is important is to plant them when they’re dormant, either well before or well after they start new growth of leaves, blossoms and berries.

Usually two-year-old potted or bare-root plants are sold by nurseries and are your best purchase. Older plants may give you a harvest sooner, but they are generally not cost-effective because of their added expense and can be harder to establish. Younger plants need to be grown under nursery conditions before they can be planted in the field.

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Having a Custom House Built on Beautiful Land Is a Great Way to Begin a Legacy

Posted on December 29, 2017 in Uncategorized

home Beautiful Land Having a beautiful home can have a lot to do with the craftsmanship. If you would like a new home that has the craftsmanship of homes built hundreds of years ago, then you will want to have a custom house built by a respected building company. With the years, new tools have been developed that should make houses stand the test of time. Make sure that you find a company that has craftsmen who believe in homes that can be passed down to future generations.

If the home that you live in now is one that your kids would never want to move into when you are gone, then you might want to consider building a custom house. Not every child ends up moving into their parent’s home, but it is nice when it can happen. Keeping homes in the family is a nice thing. Somehow doing so preserves a part of your family that could otherwise somehow cease to exist.

A custom house means you can have that giant kitchen island with the built in grill and sink. You can have the breakfast nook with the windows overlooking the beautiful landscape that you have always dreamed of having behind your home.

Some things to consider before choosing a custom house building company include the following: experience, attitude, and results. Each of these plays an integral part in the type of builder that you would want to build your home.

Experience is important for fairly self-explanatory reasons. It is important that a builder build has built a few homes before they begin on yours. Everyone on the team should really have at least two or three years of full-time home-building experience.

Attitude is also important as you consider building companies. Some builders might not be willing to accept that they made a mistake. It is not wise for the home-owners to hang around constantly nagging the builders about little problems. If the homeowner does see an issue that needs to be addressed however, the main contractor should be willing to accept the possibility that he or she or one of the other workers made a mistake and they all should be willing to fix it.

Results are essential when it comes to building a custom house. Without going to actual homes built by the crew, it might be difficult to see results. If the crew has not always been in the general area or if they often build elsewhere, you may have to get the names of clients and ask if you could see a picture of their home. While talking to them, you might ask if they would recommend the crew. Individuals who have hired a crew in the past should be able to tell you something about the group’s experience, attitude, and their results so that you will have a beautiful home to pass on.

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Choosing a Patio Furniture Set

Posted on December 28, 2017 in Uncategorized

Choosing a Patio Furniture SetA Patio furniture set can greatly enhance your outdoor relaxation. By choosing your patio furniture wisely you will not only create a great outdoor ambience but will also extend your inside décor to the patio or backyard beyond. Summer months are there just for enjoying nature. It is a about gathering the family around for fun and backyard BBQ’s and a beautiful Patio Furniture Set will help create the stage for great parties or family time.

Choosing a patio furniture set should not be a hard decision. Do a little research and examine your inside lifestyle to get an idea of what you want your patio furniture to say about you and your outdoor space. Here a few pointers to help you create the ideal setting with your Outdoor Patio Furniture Set.

If you are purchasing patio furniture remember that quality is always more important than the cost of the furniture, if you look at it as a long term investment. See if you can find some quality sets that you can put together yourself to save a little money. Since outdoor entertaining is one of our favorite pastimes try to purchase the best quality you can afford for durability.

There is no patio furniture set that is without maintenance. Some outdoor furniture will require re-staining, steam-cleaning or covering during harsh weather periods. Be sure to know what maintenance your patio set will need as this will add to the cost of the patio furniture over the long run.

Before you begin to shop for your patio pieces make sure you know how much space is available on your deck or patio and how many people it will comfortably fit. Having large, oversized pieces in a small space will not make it conducive or comfortable for entertaining.

Your choices will include wrought iron, aluminum, wicker, wood and plastic. What you choose will depend on your space and budget. The style of your home will also be a factor to consider. If you live in a country setting you may wish to use wicker with country themed cushions. Or, if your home is in the Spanish style perhaps a wrought iron collection would be more suited for your backyard or patio.

Some say that wood patio furniture is your most expensive option and in most cases it is true. But, it depends on the type of wood you choose. Cedar will last for ever but lesser woods will need constant sealing and painting. It is best to research the manufacturer of the wood pieces you are interested in to see how much maintenance they will need. Wood, of course, will look best in the outdoors because it is natural for that setting. Another plus, it does not absorb heat or cold.

Wrought Iron Patio Furniture is the next on the tough to destruct and more expensive list. Wrought iron comes in several colors to easily match your décor. An additional benefit is that you can mix and match the cushions for seasonal changes. Wrought iron patio furniture is not without it’s maintenance. If cracks or pits occur you must seal or paint them or the furniture will rust. This can be easily done in the early fall and spring seasons. Wrought iron also comes in a plethora of designs often using garden, floral, and mythical motifs. A plus for this type of patio furniture is that if you live in a windy area, these pieces are not easily blown around.

Wicker Patio Furniture, which is cozy and ~county-ish~ is lovely, bright and can lend an air of romance to your patio or deck. Rattan is a vine that grows in South-East Asia and then is tightly woven. It has a very distinctive appearance but is light weight and easy to move around, (a plus in secluded areas but be careful in windy spots). Be careful not to set in direct sun which will cause fading especially if brightly colored.

Aluminum patio furniture is by far is the biggest seller of outdoor furniture. Its appeal is that it looks like metal or wrought iron but is quite bit less expensive. It comes in a vast array of colors that do not rust and are easy to maintain. They will absorb heat and fade if placed in direct sunlight. Be careful about placing them in overly windy areas as they are lightweight and may take flight.

Plastic patio furniture is the choice if you are budget conscious or you don’t mind replacing the patio furniture every now and then. Plastic has evolved into ~look-alikes~ of wood, wicker and wrought iron but it does have its downfalls. Plastic is not suited for windy areas as it is lightweight and will definitely fly around in a wind storm and it has no lasting value.

When purchasing your Patio Furniture Set try to buy all of the pieces at once or at least as many as are in your budget. Over the years manufacturers discontinue some models to make room for new ones, making your pieces hard to find.

With a little planning and this guide you should be able to pick out the perfect patio furniture for your backyard and be ready to throw a fantastic Barb-B-Que for your family and friends in a beautiful setting.

Copyright © Mary Hanna, All Rights Reserved.

This article may be distributed freely on your website and in your ezines, as long as this entire article, copyright notice, links and the resource box are unchanged.

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