Exterior Design

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Arrange a wonderful playground for your kid and watch him play happily in some of the most creative ideas you can implement in your own garden!

Playground in Your Garden: Vegetable Playground set

Sometimes it’s great to extend the play area of your kid to the garden. Not only that they will enjoy some nice playing time outdoors in fresh air, but they can also get more popular in the neighborhood by having some friends over. More than that, you can even organize parties for him/her there and lots of fun activities around! Read on to find out some ideas for building a playground in your garden.

First of all, you can try installing some chalkboard walls in the garden. They are great for your kids to draw and this saves you some space in the house, given that lots of children love to draw on walls. Get them some colored chalk pieces and let them have fun!

Another idea for a playground in your garden is to install a zip line. Even if you don’t have a huge backyard or garden, a short zip line will be more than enough for your kids. Make sure that it’s safe though and as they grow, change the rope accordingly in order to prevent any kind of accidents.

You can also try and install a backyard tent. Bring a sense and adventure in the comfort of your own home and offer your kids the chance to spend the night outdoors, telling stories or playing games with their friends. Bake some cookies for them too and you will melt any kid’s heart! Plus you’ll have the chance to become the favorite parent around!

Don’t forget how much you loved swings in your childhood and offer your kid the pleasure of having his own! There are several types of swings, from tire swings to comfy ones. Alternatively, you can install egg-shaped armchairs outside and hang them from a tree or a special metal structure.

Another suggestion for a playground in your garden is to create a sandbox. You can just dig around 30 cm in the soil and place a wooden frame around. Fill it with sand, a sun umbrella and a beach ball and make your kid feel just as if he were at the seaside. For an extra effect, you can try and add a small inflatable pool and let him play in water as long as he likes. It’s a nice time off for your kid and he will be really happy!

A classic option is to build a tree house. The best part of this is that it’s a place for playing that will last for years in a row, so you don’t need to replace it or repair it too often. Just make sure you use quality materials and that you let your kid decorate it. In the end, it will be only his private space, so there’s no need in imposing him a certain decor. More than that, you have to stash up on cushions, pillows and blankets, because for sure he will want to invite his friends there, not to mention the amount of toys he will transfer from the house there.

See also: Unusual Kids Beds for Your Kids Room

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For those who don't have enough space to design they own big sized garden, a mini garden for an apartment is a brilliant idea!

How to Make a Mini Garden: Landscaping Skills

For those of you who don’t have large spaces to design a full-size garden, you have two options: you can take advantage of your rooftop and have a rooftop garden, or you can have a miniature one in your own apartment. Don’t panic if you don’t know how to make a mini garden in your home, just read on and take notes!

First of all, you have to know that miniature gardens are generally decorated with lots of objects. It doesn’t have to be necessarily trees or small benches, but rather any small objects you have around and don’t know whether to throw them away or to keep them. You can use small fishes, artificial flowers, small houses or benches (that’s great if you have something like that lying around!) or anything you want.

The next step is to take a flower pot. Here you have various options. You can choose a large pot to be filled with dirt or sand and then use several small pots to diversify the view, or you can simply stay with several small pots around, to be placed wherever you have some space. Now it’s a great idea to recycle the broken flower pots you have. Simply fill them with dirt or sand or rocks and place them inside the bigger pot. Then decorate them with leaves, flowers or some of the smaller objects we were talking before. The effect will be wonderful! Otherwise, for a truly special outcome, you can try using a spiraled fence inside the bigger pot to separate different areas and to divide the space nicely. Or you can simply layer the pot by using small stairs. Basically, you have to let your imagination free, and if you can recycle something that you already have around, that’s even better!

You may ask what can you plant in such a miniature garden. The point is that when you think of how to make a mini garden, you should think ahead and buy special plants for this. As much as you’d want to grow tomatoes or complicated flowers in it, it’s obviously impossible, since you don’t have the necessary space. What you can do, however, is to buy small plants or plants that grow reaaaally hard. There are on the market plants that grow, for instance, 15 centimeters in a year, or some that don’t go over 2 centimeters in their entire life. Alternatively, you can look for moss or climbing plants that will enrich your apartment with some greenery without taking up too much space.

A great part of making a miniature garden is that you can use your landscaping skills. You can design a home with a garden in front of it, or an entire park with small benches and fake trees, or a jungle, or basically anything you can think of. However, if you use real plants, remember to water them according to their needs and don’t neglect them. After all, you don’t want to have a dried up mini garden!

See also: Clever Gardening Tips to Make Your Life Easier

 

If you don't have enough space for a proper garden, you might want to try a rooftop one. Read more for tips and tricks on this!

How to start a rooftop garden: Wonderful View

A rooftop garden is great when you don’t have the necessary space to grow a full one. It’s also easier to take care of it and it allows you to prioritize the space you have in and around the house and at the same time enjoy a wonderful garden, an oasis of peace in a crowded city, for instance. Read on for more tips on how to start a rooftop garden!

  1. Make a plan. Don’t just go around and plant things there. Choose how do you want to build it, with raised beds or containers, and calculate how many do you want to buy, where do you want to install them and what kind of plants you want to grow. In this way it will be much easier to organize yourself and to know exactly what to buy and in what order.
  2. Ask the building engineer. It’s safer to consult with a building engineer before putting any of your plans into practice. It’s dangerous to have a rooftop garden if the structure of the building cannot support the entire weight of the garden. You can even make an estimation regarding the final weight if you include the soil, the plants, the containers or beds and the other things you want to keep around: benches, tables and so on.
  3. Make a way of access. Another important point if you’re thinking about how to start a rooftop garden is to make sure that you have a way of access. Just think that you’ll have to transport there big and heavy things, not only yourself, and plan ahead how are you going to lift them.
  4. Ensure plenty of water. Being so exposed to sunlight all day long, plants in raised beds or containers in a rooftop garden can dry out more quickly, so you will have to make sure that they have a water source that is quickly accessible. Maybe you can’t be home all day long to water them whenever they need, so make sure that you have one close or that you imagine a system for it.
  5. Create a storage space. It’s very unpleasant to carry up and down gardening tools all day long, so when you think of how to start a rooftop garden, plan some space for storing up tools, fertilizers and any other things you need. Make sure that they are protected from winds, rain or dust for a better quality.
  6. Use quality materials. Just like with any other project, you will need to buy quality materials in soils, tools and basically anything, that is, if you want to have an exceptional result. More than that, if you invest properly in the beginning, you won’t need to replace things around very often, so it’s more profitable to buy quality things right from the start. However, be careful with the tools and maintain them properly, keep them away from rain or winds and even use special storage bags or cases.

See also: Clever Gardening Tips to Make Your Life Easier

 

Sometimes as a gardener it's pretty hard to take care of everything. Read on for some clever gardening tips that will make your life a whole lot easier.

Clever Gardening Tips: Colorful Flowers

Every gardener needs some help from time to time and there are some clever gardening tips that can really make your life easier and save you time, effort or money. If you already know some of them that’s great, but we bet you don’t know all the tips below.

  1. Pot-in-Pot. Instead of digging up and changing the seasonal plants accordingly, it would be much easier and cleaner to plant them in a pot and change the pot seasonally. In this way you save yourself the dirty work, time and also the effort of changing them. Keeping several pots for different herbs or vegetables makes it much more easier to handle them and switch them when the time is right.
  2. Use foam peanuts. Instead of filling the whole pot with soil, you might want to place a layer of foam peanuts at the bottom and then place the soil and the plants. The foam peanuts help in a better drainage so the water doesn’t remain in the pot more than it’s needed. Also, it makes the pots a whole lot easier to handle and to move. Although this is perhaps one of the most clever gardening tips, it’s advisable to also add a layer of landscape fabric over the foam peanuts so that the soil doesn’t sink and fill in the spaces between the peanuts.
  3. Boost your garden with calcium. Just like you, your garden needs calcium to grow healthy. Using eggshells in the garden is one of the most useful clever gardening tips, but putting them in the blender first is even greater! If you grind them they will be more easily absorbed by the soil and therefore it will be richer and more nutritive for your plants.
  4. Keep your pets away. There are no clever gardening tips more useful than this one. If you have pets, especially cats or dogs, it would be really a shame to let them wander in your garden, where you have put such effort into growing lovely plants. A convenient solution for both sides would be to place plastic forks among the plants. They will make the cat uncomfortable in case it ever gets in there and it will make it leave without hurting her and without damaging your plants either.
  5. Container gardens. If you’re too busy to manage a real-size garden or simply you don’t have the required space, one of the clever gardening tips that might help you is to have container gardens. It’s easy to fill a container with the right type of soil (don’t forget about the packing peanuts) and to plant whatever plants you like there. Actually, it can prove easier to maintain such a garden than a real life one, mainly because of the space and time required.
  6. Use diapers. No, not on yourself, but in potted plants. In the summer, for instance, when the plants needs more humidity for a much longer period of time, diapers are great for retaining water inside the pot and nourishing the plant all day long.

See also: Top 10 Herbs to Have in Your Garden

Maybe you need some inspiration for your (future) pool, or maybe you want to see how far can a beautiful pool go. In any case, you might want to have a look at the most amazing pools in the world!

Stunning Pools Around the World: Laucala Resort

A pool is great whenever you need to cool down from the scorching sun here in the UAE, but it’s also a great way to relax and to have fun. Who doesn’t love a swim or a pool party late at night? But some people really took this to a whole other level and imagined the most stunning pools around the world. Check out which are these and you perhaps you’ll find some inspiration for your own pool!

  1. Marina Bay Sands Hotel. Located in Singapore, this hotel has overcome every expectation you might have when it comes to a pool. Water running over the edge and a great view over the city, what can you ask more?
  2. Arena Badeschiff Pool. This little Berlin wonder is the epitome of relaxation and modernity. Placed in a very urban setting, this thing instead of taking away of its magic, it makes it even more interesting!
  3. Hotel Fasano Pool. One of the most stunning pools around the world can be found in Rio de Janeiro, at Hotel Fasano. With an amazing landscape around and glass walls, this pool is a place worth visiting at least once in your life.
  4. Hard Rock. This Las Vegas wonder is an exotic pool in the middle of an urban metropolis. It has cool water and even palm trees, for a splash of extra fun.
  5. Hanging Gardens. In Ubud, Indonesia, you will find an awesome pool, hidden between old trees and a fresh air, great for a relaxing vacation.
  6. San Alfonso del Mar. Chile comes with a great surprise in San Alfonso del Mar. Right next to the ocean you have a wonderful pool with blue waters, bathed in sunlight all day long and with a wonderful view to the ocean.
  7. St Regis Lhasa Resort. If you happen to travel to Tibet, don’t miss the gold energy pool in this resort. It’s said to have a positive effect on your energy and health, plus it’s golden, which makes it even more interesting.
  8. Laucala Island Resort. A fantastic pool is waiting for you in Fiji, in the Laucala Island Resort. Talking about stunning pools around the world, this is a great combination of water, rocks and palm trees, a true pampering of the senses.
  9. Amangiri Resort. This resort found in Utah resembles a lot the Grand Canion, so it offers you an incredible experience making you think that you can bathe in a pool surrounded by this awesome landmark.
  10. Huvafen Fushi. An extraordinary resort found in Maldives, it features one of the most stunning pools around the world, right next to the ocean, with romantic lights near it and a great surrounding for a romantic dinner with your loved one. At night, the landscape is truly impressive and a bath will be an experience you will never forget from your trip to Maldives.

See also: Must See UAE Landmarks

Sometimes when cooking you will realize that fresh spices and herbs are the best, and if you want to grow them yourself, you will need to do this in your own garden. Check out the list of plants you totally need to have in your garden and kitchen!

Coriander leaves and seeds

If you’re passionate about gardening, you should think about growing herbs in our own garden. Generally, herbs used in cooking are best grown in your own garden, since you can use them while they’re fresh and thus preserve their taste and their nutritious value. Read on to find out what herbs to have in your garden and using in your food!

  1. Basil. It has a warm spicy flavor that’s great for soups, sauces, omelets, salads, fish, poultry and meat. It’s a great spice and largely used in oriental cuisine, especially if you’re a fan of Arabic dishes.
  2. Chives. With a slight onion flavor, chives are perfect for salads, egg and cheese dishes, mashed potatoes, sauces or even sandwiches. They’re preferred by more and more people all around the world and they have other great uses that you can think of.
  3. Coriander. Coriander is a great herb to use for steaks and any other meat dish. You can either dust dry coriander seeds over the steaks or you can chop frozen roots in soups or in combination with avocado, for instance.
  4. Dill. Although it has a somewhat bitter taste, it’s still great for any dish like soup, fish dishes, salads, meat, omelets, poultry and the like. You can use the leaves, either dried or fresh, for a great savor of the food.
  5. Fennel. The leaves are quite sweet in taste, thing that makes them best for sauces in fish dishes, soups, salads or pork. If you decide to use the seeds, these have a sharper taste, and if you use the bulb, you will enjoy a totally special taste.
  6. Mint. Often overlooked by chefs and cooking amateurs altogether, mint is quite a good spice for dishes such as lamb, sauces or jelly. You can also use it for tea or in combination with other tea herbs. It brings a fresh and, surprisingly enough, minty flavor.
  7. Parsley. Surprisingly enough, parsley is widely used in a variety of dishes such as salads, soups, casseroles, stews or omelets. It has a fresh flavor and it fully complements the taste of meat, fish and onion dishes.
  8. Sage. This is definitely one of the herbs to have in your garden, because it has a great flavor. It’s mostly used for poultry stuffing, lamb, pork, sausage, cheese dishes and omelets. Dry the leaves and grind them or use them as such.
  9. Tarragon. It has an anise flavor and therefore it’s great for soups, salads, stews or soft cheeses. You can also use it with lamb, serve it in melted butter along fish or steak dishes or vegetables. This is mainly used for tartar sauce and chutneys and can be greatly matched with vinegar if you leave the leaves in it for a couple of weeks.
  10. Thyme. Yet another one of the herbs to have in your garden, thyme is used as chopped leaves for beef, lamb, veal or pork before putting them to roast. Alternatively, it can be sprinkled over eggs, vegetables, fish and poultry, or added to soups, stews, rice or stuffings.

See also: Best International Recipes and Their Origins

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A swimming pool is not a rare thing in UAE, but what if you went for something original and unusual? Check out these unusual ideas for your pool!

Pool with edges

Having a swimming pool is not such a great thing nowadays. But using unusual ideas for your swimming pool it is. If you want to change the aspect or build the pool in a certain way, but don’t know exactly how, you’ve come to the right place! Read on to find out more unusual ideas for your swimming pool!

Pools with edge.

Just because you have an outdoor swimming pool that doesn’t mean you cannot have a pool with edge. Make it look like a bath tub or make several concentric edges to it for a truly amazing effect. Extra tip: you can have several edge walls in different colors or different patterns. For instance, the main wall surrounding the pool can be blue, the next one white and the last one with a colorful pattern. You can even make the water fall over the first walls for a waterfall effect.

Terrace pools.

Combine the look of a lounge or terrace to that of a relaxing pool. It’s quite unusual to chain together the home, a lounge area and a pool, but the effect is beautiful and practical at the same time. More than that, it gives you the freedom to play around with the colors and designs. For instance, you can have a great pattern on the outer walls of the house and use the same patterns for the pool and its surroundings. Not to mention that you eliminate the need for special chairs for the pool and separate ones for the terrace, since now you only need one set.

Lap pools.

Although people believe this type of pools is suited only for athletes, it is a great solution to save some space and enjoy your own swimming pool for a couple of laps. Extra tip: you can use a canal to connect your lap pool in front of the house to the regular one and so you get two pools to relax in.

Kidney shaped pools.

They are great first of all because they look natural, although this is one of the unusual ideas for pools that is quickly dismissed by people. The perfection of square or round pools does not match the beauty of natural shapes and the blending with the nature. Moreover, if you want to recreate the look of a beach, you can go for smooth slopes on the edge of the pool instead of building artificial steps. For a more natural look, include rocks or grass on the side of the pool and you’ll have the greatest pool ever!

Integrated lighting.

A special and one of the most unusual ideas for pools is to have integrated lighting. It works perfectly in creating a special atmosphere for your pool and it also saves you the problem of thinking about the system of lighting to be set around the pool. You can complement this with a dim lighting system around for a permanent romantic atmosphere or you can simply choose an adjustable one.

 

See also: Interesting Pool Decorations

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If you want to spice up a little bit your garden, have a look on this list of interesting exotic plants that will definitely convince you to plant them!

Bird of Paradise in the garden

Regardless of the style you have chosen for your garden, an original idea is to add a touch of exoticness. For this, you might want to think of some exotic plants for your garden. However, first of all you should take into account the climate in your area, so that you don’t buy the plants and that they don’t die.

Bananas. If you want to have your own banana tree, that’s not impossible. It’s one of the most interesting exotic plants for your garden and if you take good care of it, you may even eat bananas from your own garden sooner than you might expect.

Bamboos. Bamboo, the favorite food of koalas in Asia, is a very flexible wood and a great choice for exotic plants in your garden. It’s interesting to take care of it, not to mention that it looks so exotic! You can even use remaining branches or small parts of it for decoration or for creating wonderful rugs or bowls around the garden, be it indoors or outdoors.

Elephant Ears. With big leaves (this is where its name comes from), the elephant ears plant is great as a background plant, edging or ground covers and even along ponds or walkways. Its simplicity is greatly complemented by the variety of colors it comes in, and this makes it even more adaptable to your own garden.

Hibiscus. Greatly preferred for tea around Christmas time or for different types of cosmetics (although you have to know something about this in order to make your own creams or teas), hibiscus has to be on your list of exotic plants for your garden. Its red color makes it an adorable plant and it will certainly gain your appreciation. It is recommendable to grow it in a container so that it will be easier to take care of it.

Ornamental grass. The lawn requires great care and can be quite pretentions depending on the temperature, solar light, humidity and so on. Ornamental grass on the other hand is highly adaptable and it can be there all year long. More than that, it has great colors and it will be one of the exotic plants for your garden that will lighten up the entire place for you!

Bird of Paradise. This plant gets its name from the fact that it looks like a small and colorful bird right from the Paradise. It is very appreciated for its beauty and it has an evergreen foliage. It is one of the most preferred exotic plants for your garden, although it certainly needs some good care. We can’t stress enough how important it is to make sure that the conditions you grow the plants in are the appropriate ones, since it would be a shame to buy plants only to let them die, which would be a waste of time for you also.

See also: Top 10 Herbs to Have in Your Garden

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The English gardens are renowned for their beauty, no wonder many people wish to have a garden decorated in that style. However, careful with the climate and the plants! Read on for more tips on having your own English garden!

English Pond

Whoever’s a fan of Jane Austen and also loves gardening must have though at least once in his life to create his own English garden. Indeed, this gardening culture has been developing in England for centuries, and maybe this is one of the reasons for which many people dream of creating an English garden in their own courtyards. If you think about this too, here are some tips and tricks you should know before getting to work on your dream.

Well cared-for lawn. The lawn may not seem the most important part of an English garden, but for sure it gives a special look and a great background for flowers, bushes and other decorations. That’s why it needs to be well cared-for, wetted as much as it needs to be in order to maintain its lovely and lively green color. No garden with yellowish lawn will look good, no matter how beautiful the flowers in it are.

Special flowers. Since we’re talking about flowers, you should know that there are certain types that you need to include when creating an English garden. Among the perennial flowers there are Aquilegia, Asters, Chrysanthemum, daisies or lavender, and for the annuals you can choose Impatiens, begonias, petunias or Dianthus. However, when planting them you should take into account the climate in your area and if they can resist or not to those climatic conditions.

Shrubs and trees. These two are also important parts of an English garden, so you cannot skip them. They need to be rich and they can surround the entire garden. For sure you won’t say no to a bit of shade to hide from the hot sun in the summer, right? Some of the species you can choose are Boxwood, Hydrangea or Dogwood, but you can also get creative and have you own version of an English garden. Also, you can play around with the species that grow in your area, so don’t be afraid to use your imagination.

Pebble pathways. A must-have when creating an English garden, pebble pathways are not only beautiful, but also practical. It saves you the effort of making a cement pathway (totally tasteless), and it’s also very useful in protecting your lawn from getting stepped on and yourself from stepping in the mud, for instance. Depending on how do you want your final result to look like, you can choose smaller or bigger pebbles.

Ponds, bridges, caves. To finish off the romantic look of an English garden, you need to add one of these elements. It’s not hard to create an artificial pond in your garden, and neither a bridge does not require too great an investment. However, for a grotto or a small cave, you will need to make small hills of sand or cave them right into the earth. Even if these might prove to be the most challenging parts in creating an English garden, they are totally worth it!

As much as you’d love this style of gardening, please be aware that you will need to have the proper climatic conditions to plant and care for different plants, so take this into account also. More than that, if at any point you believe you need help, don’t hesitate to call for a specialized designer!

See also: Exotic Plants to Have in Your Garden

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A rooftop swimming pool is definitely a good idea when you're lacking space, but not only. Swimming above the city can be actually quite an amazing experience, and if you have the luxury of doing this whenever you want, even better!

Clean pool water

A measure of style and class, especially in the UAE, is the rooftop swimming pool. Not only that it’s extremely creative and a good way of relaxing, but also they save you some space in the yard. For instance, you can learn how to decorate your garden and place it there, instead of occupying the space with the pool which you can also install on the roof. However, there are some things you need to know about having a rooftop swimming pool.

Change the water more often. If you compare it to an indoor pool, you will certainly need to have the water changed more often, since it will get dirty more quickly and nobody wants to bathe in dirty water. Being so high, more dust and leaves can be brought by the wind and left in the water, so you need to make sure the water is clean at all times.

Make a covering system. In case of rain or sandstorm, for instance, it’s better to have a system that will quickly cover up the pool and not let any particles of dust or rainwater to dirty it. This is not only convenient if you think about the water, but also for your health. Don’t forget to disinfect the pool every once in a while! Moreover, the covering system, if it covers the entire area, will also protect your decks. The wood in general is quite resistant, but if it’s exposed constantly to sunshine, rain or other factors, it can be quickly deteriorated.

Decorate with plants. Whether you choose to also have a garden here or simply you want to decorate the space using plants, it’s a good idea to opt for flowers or small bushes. They will maintain a fresh air and they will look extremely nice near the blue water. If you feel creative, you can add flowers like lilies in the water itself. That’s something a rooftop swimming pool totally deserves!

Build a small terrace nearby. If with normal pools you have shadow from the neighboring houses or trees, for a rooftop swimming pool you will need to make sure that you have a corner where you can escape the sun. Build a wooden terrace for instance, or place some umbrellas near the pool. Alternatively, if you have enough space, you can plant some palm trees.

Decorate your pool. Even if it’s a rooftop swimming pool, that doesn’t mean you can’t decorate it as you usually do. Don’t be afraid to try new pool decoration stickers, balloons, candles or garlands or other ideas to decorate your pool. The final result will be indeed impressive and you will enjoy a great relaxation moment on your roof, your little oasis of peace.

 

See also: Unusual Ideas for Pools

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