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Eco-Friendly Wedding Centerpiece Ideas

Many people are trying to live greener lives these days. This effort also extends into planning weddings. Brides are now looking for eco-friendly wedding centerpieces that will be attractive, while not harming the environment. You may be worried that this will be weird or clunky designs, but you will be surprised to find what inventive ideas will highlight your wedding tables just beautifully and are still green.

Reuse certain containers you may already have around the house in creating your wedding centerpiece to give it an eco-friendly design. Grab your vases, jars, small buckets and even baskets to use for your centerpiece designs. They do not have to match they just have to hold your plants or other decorations to dress up your tables.

                                                         

Now, depending on the flowers or plants you are using, you can fill the containers with water, sand, pebbles, shells, birdseed or wood chips. Fresh cut organically grown flowers can be placed in water and the containers placed in the centers of the tables. You can use sari or organic ribbons to decorate the containers. Sari ribbon is made from recycled silk.

Succulents also make wonderful centerpieces for eco-friendly designs. These do not take as much water as cut flowers, if that is one of your concerns. Various air plants will work, if you choose to use bark chips to fill your containers. These plants absorb water from the air.

                                                          

For a beach wedding, just jars of shells with no flowers or plants at all will decorate the tables, while keeping with the beach theme and be eco-friendly. In fact, if you gather the shells from the beach, they can be placed back on the beach after the wedding.                                                

Various twigs that have fallen from your trees can lend a nice touch to your centerpieces. These can be secured in the containers with either sand or pebbles, as these are dead already and need no moisture. Another idea for this is using sunflower seeds or other types of birdseed in the containers. This one is a great eco-friendly idea because you just feed the birds the seeds once the wedding is over. There is no waste, because the twigs also can be added to your compost pile.

                                                                   

The above ideas are just some of the eco-friendly ways to make centerpieces using plant items. If you want to also use some candles, make sure they are made from soy wax or beeswax. These waxes are clean burning and do not pollute the air like paraffin candles do.

Around the containers on the table, you could lay some more fallen twigs or evergreen branches. This would continue the eco-friendly design, as you did not cut the branches or twigs from the trees or shrubs.

Now, if you are not into making your own centerpieces, there are florists today that specialize in eco-friendly arrangements. They use local flowers and plants that are organically grown. Check out what idea appeals to you today. You can have lovely wedding, while practicing your green lifestyle.

 

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The Pros and Cons of Container Gardening

Container gardening can be a joyful experience for city dwellers or people living in flats, apartments or renting a space in which they do not wish to invest loads of money on the garden.

When selecting the type of plants you want to grow, you need to consider the space which is going to be utilized for this purpose, what size containers will be needed, and whether the space is sunny and bright or cool and shady.  All these things play a huge part in determining what type of container garden you are going to create.

 

Terracotta Pots 

Pros: They are very traditional and come in loads of standard sizes. The root zone can breathe and they are readily available at most stores.

Cons: The cheaper pots can be very brittle. They also stain quite easily on the outside.

                                                                      

Wood containers

Pros: These containers are light in weight. They can be made to your specifications and painted.

Cons: Wood rots so these containers in general only really last for about two years before needing replacement.  The ones that have been lined are normally quite expensive.

                                                               

Metal Containers

 
Pros: These containers come in standard shapes and sizes.  They are quite light in weight and therefore easy to move around.  You can become quite innovative in your choice of container. Empty metal garbage cans have been used for container gardening.

Cons: Unfortunately metal can rust, especially the cheaper metals.  They can also become extremely hot in sunny spaces.

                                                                

Glazed pots

Pros: There is such a large variety of these available and they come in just about any shape, size or color you are looking for and are affordable to most people.

Cons: Should you not purchase all your pots at the same time you may find difficulty in matching the color at a later stage.  These containers can also be very heavy. Very cold weather can cause the glazing to crack.  They also tend to be an easy target for thieves.

                                                                               

 

Fiberglass containers

Pros: These containers come in various shapes and colors.  The material is very durable and the color is stay-fast.  They can also be made to look like other materials. i.e. wood, clay.

Cons: They scratch easily (cats and dogs) and can be quite expensive.

                                                                     

Plastic Containers

Pros: They are cheap, last forever, and you can get them anywhere.

Cons: There is not much you can do to disguise the fact that they are plastic and look like plastic.

                                                                     

The pros of container gardening are that space is simply not an issue.  There is a plant for every occasion and a container to match.  Another pro to container gardening is that you can move your containers around and you can have a new look without it costing you a fortune.

The cons are that, depending on where your space is, it could place a limitation on your gardening  ideas.

Let your imagination run free. Container gardening is fun and low maintenance.

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A Guide to the Different Types of Garden and Their Origin

 

Many countries have developed their distinctive garden styles. Wondering which possibility to choose? There are 11 types of gardens. Here is everything about their characteristics and origin.

Chinese Gardens

The Chinese garden style has been evolving for more than 3000 years. Poets, scholars and members of the royal family enjoyed landscaping and used it as an opportunity to impress. The Chinese landscape is inspired by the harmony between man and nature. The garden can have a pond, rock decorations, assorted flower beds, trees and pavilions that are connected to each other via alleys. The Chinese garden is enclosed within high walls.

 

 

Dutch Gardens

The Dutch garden features some of the most practical space utilization. Geometrical patterns and symmetry are very common for Dutch gardens. The flower beds and alleys are usually enclosed with walls or hedges. Dutch gardens were very popular in England in the past. They were the opposite of the cottage garden that has asymmetrical arrangements.

 

 

 

 

 
English Gardens
 
English park or landscape became popular in the 18th century. It replaced the 
French style that was used throughout Europe in the 17th century. The English park features a lake and lawns that are set against a forest. The English garden can also include temples, statues and classic ruin decorations.

 

 

 

French Gardens

There are several French garden styles. Jardin a la francaise is probably the most popular variety. This garden style was prominent in 17th century Europe. It was characterized by order and the Versailles garden are the perfect example of this landscaping style. The style was heavily influences by the Italian Renaissance. The French landscape garden is another style that is much more romantic and less orderly.

 

 

 

Greek Gardens

Greek gardens were popular in Ancient Greece but little is known about their characteristics today. During the Classic Greek period, gardens were minimalist and mainly characterized by the use of pots to hold plants. In the fourth century, private gardens became popular in Athens.

 

 

 

 

Italian Renaissance Gardens

This garden style emerged in the 15th century. The classical ideas of symmetry, order and beauty inspired landscaping efforts. Fountains, statues, symmetrical flower beds and grottoes were all typical for Italian Renaissance gardens. Their purpose was to impress the viewer and to allow for full exploration of nature’s harmony.

 

 

 

 

Japanese Rock and Tea Gardens

Two styles originated in Japan – the rock and the tea garden. Japanese rock gardens are also called “landscape”. In the 11th century, Japanese zen gardens were copied in China. These are characterized by rock arrangements, moss and the use of racked gravel or sand. Roji or tea garden is the second variety. Roji gardens are characterized by simplicity and humbleness. There are inner and outer gardens that have a pond, stepping stones, wicket gates and lanterns.

 

 

 

Korean Gardens

Korean gardens appeared 2000 years ago and they are characterized by simplicity. These gardens are very informal and they have no aim of introducing human order to the natural world. Asymmetry is common for Korean gardens. Korean gardens usually have shaped trees, ponds, streams, rock arrangements, waterfalls and fruit trees.

 

 

 

 

 

Charbagh

The Persian garden is called charbagh and the Taj Mahal landscaping is probably the most popular example. Persian gardens are quadrilateral. Water is used to divide the garden space into walkways. There are trees planted to attract birds, which is one of the most prominent characteristics of charbagh gardens.

 

 

 

Andalusian Patio

The Spanish Andalusian patio is actually influenced by Arabic and Persian landscaping. Gardens are rich and full of aromatic flowers, ponds, fountains and decorative figures. The Andalusian patio has been around for centuries but the style became prominent in the 15th century. Frescoes and marble walls that are used for the creation of decorative shapes are very popular in this type of landscape.

 

 

 

 

Colonial Revival Gardens

The American colonial revival gardens date back to the Colonial period and they are characterized by order and simplicity. Alleys are straight and the same applies to the flower beds. Low walls or hedges enclose the garden space. The purpose of the garden and its location was determining for its appearance during the Colonial period. Often, such gardens were used for the planting of fruits and vegetables.

 

 

 

Gardens differ on the basis of decorative elements and purpose. There are many possibilities to choose among and today, the 11 garden styles are still popular and widely used.

 

 

 

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Unique Ideas That One can Do with Water Beads

Water beads are polymers and are well known for their ability to keep floral arrangements hydrated, and for making eye-catching centerpieces. They were originally meant to add color, texture and shine to the water in a jar holding a floral arrangement. The impulse to explore, express creativity, and bring out the little scientist has led many to realize that water beads can also double as a stimulating play and learn tool for kids of all ages. Even adults find it hard not to join in the fun. Here are a few unique ideas for using water beads. 

Exploring Water Beads Under Light

For this bit of experiment, you can use a light box if you have one or make one yourself. The glass from a picture frame placed over a lamp will work just fine. Place the water beads on the light box and observe the glow. A cookie cutter or other shaping object can be used to form patterns/pictures in the beads. This can be done to create contrast by filling the cutters with different color beads. Remove the cutters once they are full and you will have a beautiful collage like result on the light box. This provides great fun for both the kids and the adults.

Make Little Crystal Balls

If you soak water beads long enough, they will lose their color. They become crystal clear and will trap images inside them. The way they reflect light and trap images make them appear like miniature crystal balls. The clear balls will become lost in water and can only be detected by touch. This makes them great for sensory play.

Sensory Play

There are varying ways of using water beads for sensory play. They can be placed in a container with water and the kids can try to separate them by color. As mentioned before, clear water beads will disappear once they hit the water. This means that the kids will only be able to locate them through the sense of touch and they usually enjoy this challenge. Adding water balls to shaving cream also makes for great sensory play.

Paint with Water Beads

Place water beads with different color tempera paint in separate cups. Set up a little paint area such as placing a sheet of paper in the bottom of a box. Allow the child to use the water beads in whatever manner he or she chooses to add color to the paper. They may decide to dump the entire contents of a cup on the paper and form a pattern as they fall or they may decide to drop a few beads from different cups alternately. Whatever they opt to do, it will make a colorful art piece.

 

Water beads are fun to play with and they’ll allow you to experience a surprising sense of relaxation. There are many ways you and your kids can play with these colorful beads. Each game they play will help develop their learning skills.

 

Resources

http://www.thechocolatemuffintree.com/2012/05/32-ways-to-play-with-water-beads.html

http://www.teachpreschool.org/2012/05/the-wonderful-world-of-water-beads/

http://www.learnplayimagine.com/2012/09/childs-play-101-wonder-of-water-beads.html

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DIY Centerpiece Must-Haves

When it comes to DIY centerpieces, you have the world at your fingertips. You can use a variety of supplies, colors, images, and let your creative juices flow. In order to successfully engage in such a project though, you do need to have the right basic supplies on hand. When you have a vision in mind, the last thing you want is to have to change it due to no access to those items you really need to make it materialize.

A great pair of scissors that you use only for the centerpieces is a good idea. They should be sharp so that you can use them to cut through a variety of types of materials. You also need to have pliers so that you can pinch off ends without leaving a ragged edge to them. Vases of different shapes and heights allow you to have a great base for your DIY centerpieces. In addition to vases, you can use old mason jars or unique looking bottles.

Different colored rocks, stones, pebbles, and sand can all be great supplies to have on hand. They can help you to create a centerpiece with a certain theme or color scheme for any occasion. These items can be placed at the bottom of the vase you plan to use for the arrangement. Different colors of ribbon should also be in your tool kit. You can use the scissors to curl them for a nice design or you can make a lovely bow.

A hot glue gun can be one of those magic items that work very well for creating centerpieces. In just a few minutes, the glue will be hot and it will be dispersed in the right amount. You control that amount based on the pressure you put on the rigger. This can speed up the project and it can also help it to look very professional. Plus, you aren’t going to have to worry about the decorations falling off while the centerpiece is on display.

It isn’t hard to take a centerpiece from day time use to a romantic dinner tone either. You can add some flameless candles that look very real. They never get hot and they aren’t a risk as the flame isn’t real. They don’t leave wax all over the table either. They can be used again and again so they are a great investment.

To help you keep all of these great supplies at hand, get a cart with wheels and put the items in there. Then you will always be able to reach for the supplies you need at any time. It will also allow you to keep a better inventory of what you have when you need to replenish supplies.

 

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