Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Look at Metal Gazebos

If you’re looking for the strength, stability, sturdiness, and longevity of a metal gazebo, you have plenty of options to fit your needs. They come as 4-sided structures, all the way to 12-sided structures, as well as irregular structures like rectangles, ovals, and multi-sectioned shapes. They often boast many flourishes, such as swirling, plant-like shapes. Despite their not being made of wood, they have a very graceful feel to them capable of complimenting any outdoor setting.

Most metal gazebos come in aluminum, or steel and wrought iron. Aluminum is the less expensive and more lightweight material. It will do just fine under most circumstances.  But if you’re looking for a much more permanent structure, steel or wrought iron is your best bet. These metals are much heavier than aluminum and therefore stand up better to hard winds. 

Another consideration for some consumers is that steel and iron are not likely to be damaged by vandalism. So while steel and iron are more expensive than aluminum, you might save money in the long run, because they will last.

Most metal gazebos don’t have a contiguous roof to keep off rain or snow. You can either leave your metal gazebo that way and appreciate it for its aesthetic value, or you can add a fitted canopy. These are often made out of a heavy canvass or polymers.  This open design means metal gazebos are great for displaying plants that hang in pots from the roof or climb like vines up the sides. Adding plants to a metal gazebo will bring more shade and beauty to the area.

The best part about any metal gazebo is its ability to withstand everything that a wood gazebo is prone to. Rot, termites, fading, warping, twisting, chipping, checking, discoloring – these elements are nothing to a metal gazebo.

Friday, July 5, 2013

7 Natural Stone Pebble Projects For Every Home

Natural stone pebbles are becoming extremely popular in homes because of their wide range of colors and uses. Here are a few ideas for use in your own home.

Japanese Gardens

Japanese Gardens and known for their peacefulness and tranquillity. This style of garden uses specific plants as well as rocks and water to create this effect. Often these gardens are small in scale and are incorporated into an overall garden design rather than being the whole garden.

Decorative Pots

Placing some pebbles around the top of a potted plant can make indoor plants more attractive. Consider what part of the potted plant you want to make the focus. You can use a decorative ceramic pot as well. Decide whether you want matching or contrasting colors in the pot and the pebbles you choose. The pebbles and chosen pot should help focus your eye on the plant you have chosen.


Pebbles are also very effective used in the bottom of vases. Glass vases in particular look superb with some colored natural stone in the bottom. The pebble base also helps hold the arranged flowers in place. Decorative vases make great table decorations for dinner parties.

Paths and Drives

Paths and drives become very low maintenance when covered with a topping of small natural stone pebbles. The pebble size you choose needs to take into account how the path or drive will be used. Heavy car traffic or foot traffic areas need smaller stones as they are more comfortable underfoot and better for cars to drive over. Gravel drives and paths should have retaining edging to hold the stones in place. Drives and paths need to be topped up with extra stone occasionally. They are very durable and much nicer looking than a plain old concrete driveway.

Water Features

It seems now that everyone wants a garden water feature. They can be very small or quite large and bold but always add an element of tranquillity to any garden. When planning a water feature you can incorporate natural stone in a variety of ways. Larger stones around the edge of the feature can add character. Pebbles can also be used to cover the base of the water feature and to cover up any cords or pumps that are used to power it. Before choosing your stone remember to wet a sample as this is how it will look in your water feature.


The same rule applies with ponds to wet your sample and check the colour of the stone. Natural stone is normally dusty when collected and when the dust comes off the real color is revealed. Ponds look great with built-up edging. You can use a variety of materials including feature rocks, wood, metal and many others. You can also mix and match various sized stones for a more natural look.

Pebbles as Mulch

Mulching is something more gardeners are doing in the garden. Basically it involves adding a layer of material over the top of your soil to aid with water retention. This means less watering which saves time and also water supplies. Not everyone has an endless supply of water or the enthusiasm to maintain lawns and pebbles are a great alternative, particularly in naturally dry areas.

Weeding in garden beds is greatly reduced. It is quite easy to pull the few weeds that attempt to grow among the pebbles. As the plants mature and fill up the planting spaces there is less room for weeds to find a place to grow.

To stop the grass from coming up through the pebble mulch paths we have found that a heavy layer of newspaper and then a layer of plastic or weed mat on top works very well. The newspapers and the plastic help to retain moisture, another important reason for mulching. On top of this plastic the pebbles that were recently in the planting holes are spread in a thick layer. Larger flat rocks are used as edging.