Choosing The Right Stone Cladding Material For Your Home

Stone cladding is a very versatile building material that can be used for a wide range of applications. It is tough, durable and weather resistant, which makes it perfect for both indoor and outdoor applications in trying Australian conditions.

However, according to Stone Cladding Perth it can be difficult to choose the right type of stone cladding for your needs. Cladding comes in a huge range of colours, textures and styles, and you might find it pretty hard to choose a style that suits your home.

With this in mind, I’ve put together a short list of the things that you should think about when you’re trying to find the right stone cladding for your home. These include:


There are many different styles of stone cladding with different textures. Some claddings offer a rough, rustic look, while others are smooth and uniform. When you’re choosing the right cladding for your home you need to think about a few things, including:

  • The style of the rest of your house.
  • What sort of texture appeals to you.
  • What sort of look you’re going for.

Thinking about things like this should help you narrow down your choices according to the texture that you want.

Environmentally Friendly Landscaping – Garden Design

Designing an environmentally friendly garden can be a fun and rewarding process. Unfortunately, most landscape design is only concerned with making sure that you get the best-looking garden or yard possible, rather than making sure that your garden is environmentally friendly.

However, there are a lot of things that you can do to transform your backyard, and make your garden more environmentally friendly and sustainable without compromising on style and looks. Some of these are very simple, while others will require more long-term effort. Consider the following:

Reduce your synthetic fertiliser use:

Synthetic fertilisers are extremely bad for the environment, especially when used in excess. Although there are a lot of alternatives out there, many people continue to use nasty, chemical-based fertilisers.

When designing your garden, the first thing that you should do is make sure that you have good soil. Add mulch and organic matter is necessary – things like grass clippings and animal manure are always good for your soil. If you can source it, you can also add some sort of mineral fertiliser. If you have poor soil, then consider planting things that are adapted to this, as they will cope better without synthetic fertilisers.

How to Take Care of Your Pool Cleaner

If you have a pool, you may have one of those amazing automatic pool cleaners to help take care of it, but how do you care for the cleaner? Without it, you’ll find your work load doubled, so it’s a good idea to keep it well-maintained just like any other piece of machinery to ensure it doesn’t break down.

While cleaners may differ in their maintenance needs depending on the type and model, here are some general tips to help you look after your pool cleaner

  • If the cleaner has its own filter bag or basket, make sure it is emptied out frequently.
  • If your cleaner is supposed to climb walls and it doesn’t, or if it falls off, you will need to set the AD valve in the skimmer box to the next highest number so the suction is stronger.
  • If it starts and stops all the time, it may be due to a leak in the hose. Take the hose out of the water and feel all along it, listening for air being sucked through a hole. Check it for blockages too.
  • You can also turn the cleaner off and check the diaphragm for tears or for blockage as this will sometimes cause the device to start and stop.

What Should I Consider When Designing my New Yard?

When it comes to designing a new yard, many people choose to use experienced landscape designers. However, a lot of people also decide to design their yard themselves, either because they can’t afford to use a landscaper, or because they simply like doing things themselves.

Designing your own yard can be a fun and rewarding process. However, it can also be difficult. There are a lot of things to consider when coming up with a master plan for your new yard, including:

How you are going to use your space:

The first, and possibly most important consideration is how you are going to use the space that you have. Are you going to dedicate most of your yard to garden space, or do you want to include a large entertainment area? Thinking about this will help you get an idea of the basic layout of your new yard, and can help simplify the design process with a landscaping expert.

Who is going to use your yard?

Another important consideration is the people who are going to be the main users of your yard. For example, if you have pets or kids, your end design is going to be a lot different than it would be if you didn’t. Make sure that you also consider any people who are likely to visit you or use your yard, such as grandchildren or other relatives. Although in this case they won’t be the main focus of your design, they should be considered. For example, if you have grandkids who visit regularly, you could install a swing set or other play equipment.

5 Tips for Choosing a Turf Farm to Buy Lawn From

Buying a new roll on lawn has never been easier when designing your yard. Some people buy from wholesalers or other gardening shops, while others decide to buy directly from a turf farm. Turf farms are probably the best option if there is one near you, as they can deliver high quality, fresh-cut roll on lawn at an extremely affordable price.

Landscaping Sydney advise that If you are lucky enough to live near a few different turf farms – which you probably will if you live in a big city – you will need to choose the best one to buy your grass from. Choosing a turf farm can be difficult, but it starts with choosing one who has a good reputation and who can deliver a high quality product on time and at an affordable price.

Our top five tips for choosing a turf farm to buy lawn from include:

  1. Compare prices:

The first thing to do is to compare the prices of turf from different farms. Some farms will be aiming for a more upper class market, which means that they might charge more for the same product. Others will deliver poor quality products, but probably won’t charge a whole lot. Decide on your budget, and then shop around a bit to decide who offers the best prices for the types of grass you need.

  1. Pay attention to their reputation:

A turf farm with a lot of experience and a decent reputation should always be your first stop when it comes to buying roll-on grass. A lot of turf farms try and sell off their second-grade products to direct buyers, so make sure that you read past customers reviews to see if they have tried to do this before.

Using Native Plants to Create a Sustainable Garden

When it comes to developing a sustainable garden, many people choose to leave everything in the hands of their favourite landscape architects. However, it can be extremely fun and rewarding to do things yourself, especially if you have a tight budget and a bit of time on your hands.

If your aim is to create a sustainable garden which can be enjoyed by you, your family, and all of the area’s wildlife, then there are a few things that you should think about. One of the best ways to make your garden sustainable – with Australia’s tough conditions – is to use native plants.

Why should you plant natives in your garden?

To begin with, native plants look great, are usually easy to grow, and don’t require a whole lot of attention. Historically, people have chosen not to use natives as garden plants, instead opting for species from places like Europe or the Americas.

Unfortunately, the climate in these places is usually a lot cooler and wetter than in Australia, which means that these plants are not suited to our climate. This means that they need a lot more water to thrive, and often need a lot of synthetic fertilizers and other chemicals. Natives do not, as explained below.

End of Summer

Been pretty much 6 months since my last update and a lot has happened in that time. The reason it’s taken so long for me to write is two fold…1) I was worried that writing about the saga with the city might somehow jeopardize our ability to continue operation. 2) I’ve been lazy. Can’t do anything about the laziness now except change and start writing. As far as the ongoing saga with the city; it’s such a joke that I’m not actually worried about them catching up with us. I now figure I’m simply going to write what the situation is and deal with it from there and they can do what they’re going to do.

We’re now caught in a static situation with the city. At our last meeting they told us that two officials would decide if we could be classified as a “truck farm.” If you google truck farm you’ll notice that it is exactly what we are. Truck farms are allowed in residential areas (R-1), while urban farms are not. Interestingly, though the term truck farm is used in the city ordinance it’s never actually defined. The two officials have to decide if we are a truck farm but they are not required to actually define the term, they can simply say whether we are one or not. Our last meeting was about 4-5 months ago and we submitted a revised letter of intent and were supposed to wait to hear from the city in regards to our classification. Still no word. It’s a good thing we decided to just go ahead and continue with operations instead of waiting for the city to 100% back us because timeliness doesn’t seem to be their strong point. For some perspective, the city just mailed Kat a notice saying they didn’t receive her tax return…from 2011. Took them over 3 years to get that done which is rare seeing as they were asking for money, in general they’ve been more on top of anything that requires people writing a check.

Dark Days of Winter

These last few weeks have been the kind of weeks that really test a young farmer’s mettle. For starters, the weather has been terrible recently. It’s my first winter in Birmingham but by all accounts it’s been unusually cold and snowy. It’s obvious why the cold can be tough to deal with; especially when you’re doing laborious work outside. We hit the point a few weeks ago where a lot of monotonous work had to be done…this isn’t the fun, innovative, and “green” work that is easy to get into. This is just hours of pulling up dormant poison oak in the cold, windy weather. Just me and Kat; nobody to validate our work, or even to see it. Not that there’s much to see, we pulled for hours and sometimes it’s hard to tell we had any effect at all. We didn’t think the snow would be much of a problem for us. It’s cold anyway and we don’t have much in the ground so we figured the snow could only hurt us if it shut the roads down. At least it’s pretty right? Wrong. Our hoop house wasn’t meant to handle the snow and we found it broken today. I guess it must have accumulated on the roof and brought it down. I’m kind of surprised it didn’t happen during the last snow storm but I guess our time finally ran out. Surprisingly only 3 PVC pipes broke (two of which were schedule 80, not 40) but that was enough to bring the structure down. All things considered it’s not that big a deal: our seedlings can still sit in the standing structure, it’s <$500 to fix it, etc. If we had crashed our car or something that would have been financially much worse, but for morale losing the hoop house wasn’t good.

Anyway, I don’t want to sound all down. We have an important meeting next week which will hopefully finally decide whether we can stay and farm this land. If all goes well, we should be set from most every angle next week. Just putting my head down and trying to stay strong until then

Winter is Coming

It’s now mid-November and it’s starting to get legitimately cold. We had our first hard freeze a few nights ago and it’s expected to dip to 33 and 26 the following two nights. Our fall CSA has been going well and we are happy to have expanded to 7 shares for this season. It’s hard to gauge how well of a job we’re doing because there aren’t too many other CSA programs around that we are aware of. Our clients seem to be happy with the quantity and quality they’re receiving so I guess for now that’s all that matters.

Personally I’ve been happy with the quality of product we’ve been delivering. I can’t honestly say that all of our turnip greens tasted like this but we harvested one bunch that we had for ourselves that was absolutely divine. I seriously could have ate that everyday; same with a small head of broccoli we were able to save for ourselves. In general, the quantity was a tougher task for us this year as this was the first year on this land and there were some quirks we are still figuring out. For example, we lost almost all our initial planting of kale due to what I can only assume was a nutrient deficiency in the soil. I wish I had taken a picture; all the kale in the middle of the beds died, and only the 3-4 plants on the ends would survive. No idea why that would be the case. I think we’ll probably play it a bit safer in terms of what we know will grow on this land and I think that will help up our production for next year.

Spring 2015

As usual I’m way behind on updating things. I could never recap everything that’s happened but I’ll try and get some info up so people know what we’re up to if they’re interested. Kat and I visited Hawaii in early March this year where we were fortunate enough to get engaged! Upon returning to Birmingham we were immediately swamped with work. I imagine there’s a time in every small business where it seems like everyone calls at once and that’s how it went for us. We had several private gardens to put in along with a couple of positive public projects.

The two public projects have led us in a more educational direction. The SPROUTS garden (which already looks better than the picture but I haven’t uploaded the pics yet) is part of a summer program at Tarrant Middle School where some of the curriculum involves getting kids out in the garden and educating them about where and how their food is produced.

The other is the Rosedale Youth garden right outside Homewood. We are working with a Christian group that is doing charity work in the area, part of which is providing a safe/constructive place for youth to hang out on some days of the week after school. The facility they use for this includes a very nice stone garden which we’ve recently helped them prepare for summer/fall. For each of these projects we’ve been hired on a “Maintenance/Education Contract” which involves us coming in and teaching the kids for a few hours a month. While this wasn’t our original intention when starting the business we think this is an important idea worth pursuing and we’ll give it a shot for a few months.