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Garden Planning

Building a Place to Watch Hummingbirds?

English: Hummingbird aerodynamics of flight

English: Hummingbird aerodynamics of flight (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hummingbirds are so beautiful and amusing. But it is even more fun it you have a great place to watch them.

When my mother- and father-in-law built their dream house to retire to in Central Texas, they also built the best place I’ve ever seen for watching hummingbirds. Their two-story house had a wonderful deck across the back.

They hung hummingbird feeders every few feet along the eves. A glass wall along the breakfast room, dining room, and living room, allowed them to watch the hummingbirds feeding and squabbling, even from from indoors if them wanted to.

Or they could sit outside and watch the tiny birds up close. The humminbirds, as many as a dozen at a time, were so busy guarding their favorite feeders from other hummingbirds, and other birds, that they did not seem to mind humans watching them quietly from just a few feet away.

The house was beautiful and spectacular, but one of the best things about it was that wonderful second-floor deck that my father-in-law added on.

Now is a great time of year to build a great place to watch your own hummingbirds. You can enjoy your new viewing spot all summer and early fall. It might be as simple as an small arbor with a seat in it—or as fancy as a new balcony with french doors leading out onto it.

Here’s a tip for finding just the right materials for your project, from glass doors to new flooring or wood trim to frame the view: Buy it on line. It really isn’t much fun dragging around to showrooms and lumber yards when you could e home filling feeders and watching the birds.

You can do it at your own convenience on evenings or weekends. And the huge selections at online suppliers like BuildDirect save you time, money and patience. They make it easy to find what you want.

Online shopping is easy and safe. You can check out the vendors beforehand. For example, you can read BuildDirect reviews on topics like the trustworthiness of their website. And you can read BuildDirect’s Crunchbase page for a business profile of their company.

Be sure to take the time to plan your new hummingbird-watching haven carefully. You might want to spend a few hours relaxing on the spot with a cool drink while scouting for hummer flight patterns.

So whatever you build, send us a photo and tell us how much you are enjoying it. And have a great summer watching hummingbirds.

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Transforming Backyard Gardens into Outdoor Sanctuaries

As our commutes to work become longer we find ourselves spending more time in the car than we’d like. It becomes more important for us to find a tranquil place to unwind after a long day at our fingertips. Maybe it’s time to consider converting that old backyard into an outdoor fantasy garden. Backyards are no longer just for barbecues anymore. They are a place to express your greatest creativity with the benefits of making you feel that you stepped out of your everyday life into you own personal Utopia.

Best of all you do not have to be artistic to pull it off. Red Carpet Studios has put together a collection of items that will take your mind off of every day stresses, while getting you in touch with nature. Their designs are visually pleasant to the eye and audibly soothing to the ear.

There’s no sound more pleasing to the ear than that of well-balanced, fine-tuned wind chimes. Strategically placed throughout the front and/or back yard they will entertain not only you year round, but all who love the symphony of sound. Even with the windows closed the subtle music they produce will offer a serene indulgence.

The wind chimes from the “Diamond Tunes” collection is available in two distinctive, diamond cut styles, herringbone and crosscut patterns. They are soothing to hear and pleasant to observe as they sparkle in the sunlight. Available in lengths of 31”, 37”, 48”, 62”, and 78”, there is one to suit any location. Collect several together to create a composition of sound.

Looking for a pleasant but more geometric pattern with color in your wind chimes? Consider the “Spiral Tunes” Wind Chimes are available in a variety of styles and colors. Choose from crystal diamonds, hearts, teardrops and multicolored marbles. These wind chimes, with their individual jewels, cascade and spiral for a unique visual affect.

Of course no sanctuary would be complete without the inclusion of nature. One of the most gratifying ways to introduce nature into your garden paradise is to include birds. Birds are fun to watch and offer a welcome alternative to the loud sounds of modern cities. You can spend hours viewing their beauty and their antics. Red Carpet Studios offers several colorful and artistic ways to invite a variety of our fine-feathered friends into your garden sanctuary.

The hand painted Tea Cup feeders from Karen Penner, are functional, colorful, and wonderfully whimsical. The cold cast porcelain tea cups are offered in two styles; stake mounting for low ground cover (can be scattered amongst the flowers, shrubs, or walk way paths), or as a hanging feeder supported from a garden hook or overhead soffit. Either style provides a beautiful splash of color while offering seed to attract a variety of birds. Each is approximately 4” in diameter and designed with saucer and cup. ‘Weep’ holes are provided to allow drainage. These artistic cups and saucers are available in many styles to suit every taste or home decor.

Another member of the aviary family is the magnificent hummingbird. Hummingbirds are remarkable creatures and watching their flight will entertain you for hours. No backyard retreat would be complete without them. “Crystal Dreams” makes having these elusive visitors possible with their colorful and decorative hummingbird feeders. Blown glass balls, adorned with copper and colored marbles, add a decorative splash of color and fantasy. What makes these hummingbird feeders stand apart from other blown glass hummingbird feeders is their ornamentation of copper and colored marble accents. Glass balls are offered in a variety of colors, ranging from blue, green, yellow and red and are approximately 5” in diameter. You have to check out their cherry glass blown feeders.

Now that you have attracted and invited these birds into your safe haven, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to offer them a place to set up home and stay awhile. Select from either the “Birdie In A Hat” or the “Wildlife Birdhouses” collections. The “Birdie in a Hat” Collection is inspired by the odd and varied places birds will nest. These artful and realistic replicas of authentic hats are hand painted and crafted of cold-cast porcelain. Truly functional as bird houses, they are available in a variety of styles that offer ribbons, bows and flower adornments to name a few. Each birdhouse hat is approximately 14” in diameter.

The ‘Wildlife Birdhouse’ Collection offers multi-colored homes that the birds will love. The colors of these birdhouses are rich and vibrant and will add a pleasant look to any area they are placed in. They can be hung or pole mounted.

Have an old tree in the yard and don’t know how to dress it up? The “Faces in the Woods” Collection will make your tree come alive. Bearded and graced with a smile these gems will add fantasy to your yard welcoming all that enter. Another creative look to your oasis is a pair of outreaching hands that are bird feeders and can be added along with the “Faces in the Woods” for a true fantasy look.

Last but never least, the “Wind Spinners” are sculptured metal artwork from Cosmix; combining old world with new age. Inspired by the old world art of metal sculpting, Red Carpet Studios brings to life a design to capture the imagination of the human spirit. Designed to catch the wind like windmills of old, but with a 21st century look, these Wind Spinners will inspire all of us who are taken by their magical spin. Lace these spinning wind mills throughout the yard and watch them catch the rays of sunshine as well as your imagination. They will shine bright and add a magical and dreamlike look to the yard.

Wind Spinners are available in bright shinny copper, polished chrome metal, and a variety of colorful finishes. They will enchant all who gaze upon them. Sizes range in height from 11” to 20”. Each Wind Spinner comes with an “S”- swivel spinner to provide smooth motion under the slightest breeze. Combine one or more of these artistic garden accents to transform any backyard garden into a fantasy getaway play land.

The playful and artistic spirit is alive and well in the products from Red Carpet Studios. Enjoy them in your home, backyards and gardens or give them as gifts to family and friends to enjoy.

The author, Nick Volpe searches for unique artifacts created from the imagination of the human spirit. These Garden Accents from Red Carpet Studios are a testament to that endeavor. The Garden Accents mentioned within this article can be viewed on his collectibles and home décor website at http://www.nfvproducts.com.

Have Fun Buying Hummingbird Gear for a Song

Yeah, I know, hummingbirds don’t really sing—though they do make that loud humming noise when they fly. The point is that you can buy all kinds of things for hummingbird watching, hummingbird gardening, hummingbird art and jewelry, even hummingbird books, for pennies on the dollar. Where? At DealDash.com.

Deal Dash is an online auction site that operates in a different way. It’s fast, fair and fun. All items they auction are new and highly desirable, like big flat-screen TVs, the newest, most deluxe models of IPad, and gift cards for America’s favorite stores.

You can buy items for just pennies on the dollar. You purchase a package of bids (sometimes as cheaply as 15 cents for each bid) and use them to bid on items you want. The auctions are all fairly short (great for quick gratification) and very fair.

After an auction runs for a little while, it is closed to additional bidders. So no one can swoop in at the last minute and spoil your fun. And if you don’t win an auction, you can immediately purchase the same product at regular price if you want to. Or join a new auction and try again.

I’ve seen a top of the line iPad go for $27 and $1000 Amazon gift card go for $78. Think of all the hiking and camping gear, camera equipment, gardening tools and supplies, hummingbird books and feeders and nectar and other hummingbird-related things you can buy with gift cards that you buy for just a few bucks.

So you can have more fun with hummingbirds and have more money for other things, too.

To find out more about how it all works, watch this short video on how to get great savings while having fun at Deal Dash.

Hummingbird Garden Sprinkles Growing Kit

Garden Sprinkles, hummingbird habitat growing kit

Garden Sprinkles, hummingbird habitat growing kit

The Garden Sprinkles Hummingbird Garden (flowers to build habitat) growing kit includes: reusable recycled US steel tin, 17 varieties of seed, magnet, directions. Tin 2″ diam.

Each seed variety is packaged in a beautifully illustrated, reusable, magnetic tin. Sweet nectar-producing wildflowers in many different shapes and sizes.

Lovely shades of pinks, reds and purples that naturally provide nectar to attract hummingbirds to your garden instead of your neighbor’s feeder.

Click Here For More Information

The Value of Birds in Your Yard

by Ernie Allison

Birds have somewhat of a bad reputation when it comes to them taking up residence in your yard. They’ve been known to splatter droppings all over walkways and to destroy vegetable gardens. This can be extremely frustrating if you’re trying to keep the appearance of your yard neat and tidy or if you’re trying to keep your plants in pristine condition. Even so, before you go tearing down nests in a flurry of rage, pause and think about all of the positive things that having birds in your yard can do.

Free Labor

If you’re a gardener, vegetable or not, birds can actually be your best friend because they like to feast on insects and weeds that are harmful to your garden. Herbicides and pesticides are not only expensive, but they are harmful to the environment.

Birds provide free labor and are non-toxic to the environment. The few tomatoes that they chew on are worth the ones that they save from insects. If you’re worried that the birds are going to spend all of the time eating your veggies instead of insects and weeds, then you can try putting up a squirrel proof bird feeder to pull their attention elsewhere.

Healthy Soil

Birds are attracted to trees and shrubs so if you have some in your yard, you’re likely to have birds as well. Trees and shrubs are beneficial to your garden and yard because their strong and deep root systems combat erosion and keep soil healthy and full of nutrients. Even if you don’t care about soil, don’t go cutting down the trees in your yard just to get rid of birds. Trees help protect your house from the elements and provide shade. There’s really no better way to keep your heating and cooling bill in check.

Increase in Property Value

Trees, water sources, and lush garden spaces attract birds to your yard whether you want them there or not. If birds are attracted to the characteristics of your landscape, most likely, other people will be too. An attractive landscape increases property values and creates a more enjoyable ambiance for you and your loved ones to enjoy.

A Relaxing Family Environment

The more enjoyable your landscape, the more likely you want to spend time in it. A well-kept yard is a relaxing place to spend time by yourself or with your family while observing nature and wildlife. Having birds and other creatures in your yard is also a great way to teach kids how to respect the environment and all forms of wildlife.

How to Attract Birds to Your Yard

There are several things you can do to attract birds into your yard if you don’t have them there already:
 Put up a bird feeder and/or house
 Add trees and shrubs to your yard
 Install a water feature. It can either be a bird bath or a fountain. Birds love all forms of water.
 Plant native plants. This will obviously attract native birds
 Be patient. Birds are often wary of new areas so give them some time to get used to the idea of hanging out in your yard.

Author Bio
Ernie Allison loves nature. More specifically, he loves birds and wants to teach others how to appreciate them, too. To help further this mission, he writes for Bird Feeders, the supplier of squirrel proof bird feeders.

Attracting Birds II: Hummingbirds and Other Favorite Birds

Attracting Birds II video

Attracting Birds II

Witness the beauty of hummingbirds, those enchanting flying jewels, with stunning close-up footage.

In Attracting Birdes II, hosts Don and Lillian Stokes show you how to attract these magnificent birds by providing food and planting special gardens. Learn hummingbird identification with spectacular close-ups of a variety of species.

No matter how long you have been feeding birds, this outstanding video is sure to give you lots of new tips enabling you to attract more of your favorite backyard birds.

Also covers Orioles and Woodpeckers and Purple Martins.

Click Here For More Information

Country LIving, Tractors and Farm Equipment

Living in the country can be wonderful. It can be hard work, if you are farming, or it can be pure pleasure if you just enjoy living in the quiet countryside and watching the birds and animals. Perhaps you simply want to raise your own organic food and have some to share with friends or to sell for a little extra income.

If you live in the country, even if you don’t have a farm, you often need equipment that city and suburban dwellers would not need. Maybe you have an oversized lot (or several lots) that have to be mowed. Maybe you go after gardening in a big way. Or maybe you have land to clear of pesky weeds and bushes that would otherwise spoil the view and/or harbor poisonous snakes.

So even if you are not farming or truck-gardening, you may still want to look at small tractors for sale or other farm equipment just for your own purposes. Or you may plant to share with neighbors or friends.

If you keep a horse, for example, you may need to keep moles or other burrowing animals from creating dangerous holes in the paddock or riding trails that could lame your horse. There are many reasons why you may need special equipment for country life.

Whether new to the area or just new to buying farm machinery, you may need help finding good used equipment at a reasonable price. Good news, there are websites that offer listings of used equipment and manufacturer specs and descriptions for new equipment to make it easy to find what you want.

In Australia, for example, the place to go is called tradeboats.au. Well known as a great place to buy and sell boats and yachts, the site has grown to include tractors and other farm machinery as well. It offers ads for used and new equipment and tractors for sale, along with manufacturer specs and photos, so you can find exactly what you need.

And then, if you are in the Western Hemisphere, you can use the time you saved to get back to watching hummingbirds. It’s just a matter of priorities. Isn’t it?

Hummingbird Dinner Bell Garden Decor

Cast iron hummingbird bell

Cast iron hummingbird bell

This lovely bell can be used in the garden, porch, wall, etc.. Brand new, ready to use. This durable cast iron bell gives a resounding call to supper. Buy multiple items to decorate with, and save on shipping. This piece is made of metal(cast iron). Can be used indoors or outside.

30″H x 9″W

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Gardening to Attract Birds

When planning a garden or yard design, deciding what type of tree, bush, flower, or even vegetable plant can and does make a difference in which birds visit, or call your garden home.

Wild birds need cover and food, by choosing the right cover and the right food for their preference you will attract the birds you want to see, and give them the perfect gift.

Fruit for migration is important for migrating birds in the fall. Most bird distributed fruits are red, making them easy for birds to see. This is a welcome sight for migrating birds and definitely should be considered for your garden planning. (more…)

Your Garden Decor Needs Change

Most home gardens do a little adapting and see a metamorphesis of sorts over the years. Can you look through the eyes of your imagination and see different purposes for different areas of the exterior of your home.

Some of those garden areas may be working for the ideas you have developed but perhaps they will evolve into a whole new area that you will like even more. Garden statues may peek out of areas where there were none before.

When you let your needs and your imagination work together what you come up with will amaze you. You will be surprised how adaptable your garden will become.

  • An area that I initially wanted to use as a quiet reading area tucked under a lovely tree hanging with hummingbird feeders, on the side of the house actually became an area for an outdoor fire pit area where we can sit and visit in the evening watching the fire.
  • My current reading area was initially designed to be a wedding platform for my oldest son and his wife who chose to marry under the huge canopy of an elm tree with wind chimes to accompany the wedding march. But it now has a wicker chair, a table for a drink and the phone and best of all a hammock to curl up in and read, then take a Sunday afternoon nap (don’t forget to turn off the phone before you nap). The wedding wind chimes still play melodies in the breezes as I read. (more…)