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Fancy Birdhouses for the Bird Lover and the Birds

The fancy birdhouses available in the marketplace today lend themselves as functional works of art for the indoor or more frequently outdoor living space. The vast selection available allows the bird lover to choose the perfect design(s) and proper accessories to compliment indoor decor and outdoor landscape and architecture. The visual features of these fancy birdhouses should match personal taste and the design should be functional for the specific type of bird(s) that the bird lover wishes to attract.

Fancy birdhouses come in all shapes, sizes, materials, themes and designs. A growing number of these pieces are characteristic of the Victorian architecture found in the U.S. in the mid to late 19th Century. A large number of these birdhouses are miniature imitations of specific historic buildings. Other common styles of fancy birdhouses include representations of cottages, churches, barns, log cabins and lighthouses. Decorative, holiday birdhouses help stir the Christmas spirit with dreamlike snowbound settings just waiting for long lost relatives to walk in the door. Many of these holiday birdhouses are for indoor use only.

These fancy birdhouses range in height from less than 12 inches to greater than 27 inches. While the sizes of the openings and actual cavities are important to the potential avian guests, the overall size is often a function of the budget, existing landscape and taste of the bird lover. Consider that a birdhouse of greater than 24 inches will become the dominant feature in most back yards today. These birdhouses also vary significantly in price. The smaller pieces run less than $50 to greater than $250 for the most elegant birdhouses. They are a great alternative for gifts to and from any proud bird lover.

Types of material used to design birdhouses vary and the proper choice will provide an oasis for avian wildlife competing for shelter. Commercial development and the removal of damaged or diseased trees and shrubbery drive this demand from our feathered friends. Maintenance and durability of the material is also a key factor in your selection. Your choices can include:

  • Wood structure including finish work and shingles
  • Ceramic
  • PVC
  • Copper Roofs
  • Stained glass

A large variety of styles are offered to accommodate human tastes but most importantly, the entrance hole size of the birdhouse is the prominent consideration as its specifications will need to adhere to the species of bird you desire to attract. Most commercially made bird houses have entrances holes that range in size from 1-1/8 inch to 2-1/2 inches. Seemingly minor differences in the size of the opening, even 1/8th of an inch will have bearing on the type of bird you will attract.

Other practical considerations when selecting a fancy birdhouse include: ventilation, drainage and cleaning access. Suitable ventilation holes near the top of the birdhouse help maintain fresh air, a dry house and prevent the nestlings from overheating in the summer. Drainage is also an important aspect since in a downpour most likely rain will get inside. Birdhouses should be equipped with ¼ inch drainage holes in the bottom. Nestlings can potentially drown in standing water if adequate drainage is not provided. Also look for a birdhouse that allows easy access to examine nestlings and clean out old nests after your birds have fled for the season.

In reality, wild birds are perfectly happy to take up residence in the hollow of a fallen tree if given the choice. The beautiful detail, elegance and character of today’s fancy birdhouses do much more to satisfy the aesthetic taste of the bird lover or the new home owner. The good news is that these truly functional works of art can satisfy both the bird lover and the birds! You must be aware of the practical considerations for attracting your favorite wild bird before you choose a piece to complement your outdoor living space or indoor decor.

Home Landscaping – Planning for Success

Every successful home landscaping venture begins with a well thought out plan. A successful plan will anticipate problems before they occur, organize all your goals and activities, and help you create a beautiful finished product. If you are able to incorporate certain concepts of landscaping design that the professionals use, you can be the envy of the whole neighborhood. By making use of the professional home landscaping tactics and strategies, you can achieve a professional look while spending within a workable budget.

Evaluate Your Lawn – Home Landscaping Step 1

The first thing you have to do is evaluate or look over your lawn. You need to look at the amount of space with which you have to work, the growing conditions and any special problems that your lawn may have. You should consider how you want the final landscape to look, too. By evaluating your lawn you should be able to get a good idea of the basic information you need to start designing the landscaping plan and choosing plants.

Professional Home Landscaping Concepts

The first concept in home gardening and landscaping design is functionality. The whole idea of landscaping is to make your home look more appealing from any view. As the old saying goes, ” You only make one first impression.” When people drive by or even come to your home, your landscaping is the first thing they see. You want it to be inviting and pleasant. You also want it to be functional so your guests can easily get from the driveway or street to your front door.

The second concept is design. This concept actually has several different principles associated with it. Basically design means that your landscaping will look balanced and interesting. Such principles as unity, balance, interest and symmetry are part of the design concept. By using these basic design principles you will be able to create a home landscaping design that works throughout the year, looks great, and compliments your home.

An effective home landscaping plan should be drawn up, with detailed sketches and written descriptions of your objectives, as well as written instructions describing the methods you will use to achieve your goals. A good landscaping plan needs to be as specific as possible. You will need to spell out everything, especially the types of plants, tree, and shrubs you will use, and whre you are going to place them. You will also want to include other decorative items in your home landscaping such as rcoks, stones, fencces, trellises and even streams and ponds in large yards. A complete home landscaping plan will be a blueprint which will allow you to achieve a beautiful looking yard as efficiently as possible.

Brighten Your Outdoor Decor in Winter – A Unique Element of Color to Beat the Winter Blahs

It’s no wonder that many folks suffer from the post holiday “blahs.” As the holidays come to a close and we start to take down all those festive decorations and lights, things can seem a little drab, leading us to search for ways to recapture the life in our surroundings. The first thing to do to reignite our senses is to simply open up all the blinds and curtains to let as much light into our homes as possible. Sunlight alone can have an uplifting effect on mood.

But then we look out the windows and find that much of the sensual experience of our landscape is missing this time of year. Winter has visibly set in across our outdoor environment. Empty branches remain in all but our evergreen trees, our lawn has faded to a pale straw color and most other color has faded from our landscape. Now, I am a nature lover, and I know that we are supposed to enjoy the graceful look of the leafless tree branches and that every season has its beauty, but I just miss the color!  Of course there are some flowers that can survive the cold winter temperatures; like pansies, which seem to smile back at you even through a blanket of snow, or ornamental kale for some color and texture in your beds.  But let’s face it; unless you live in a tropical climate, the color options for your winter landscape are fairly limited.

Thankfully, there is another option to brighten your landscape that you may not have encountered at the nursery or the home improvement store. I recently discovered some wonderfully creative artisans that design and create (by hand) glass wind chimes in an amazing array of colors and designs that add a whole new element to patio and garden décor. Glass wind chimes, you ask? Ah yes, but more than wind chimes, these are like art glass for your patio or garden. We have hung one right outside our living room window for a pop of color when we look outside across the now-barren tree line.

Now, you may have wind chimes hanging in your yard or on your patio now, some of them even with a little color, but these chimes are pure color in this luminous tumbled and frosted glass that is designed to be hung outdoors. When I say luminous, I mean they truly light up when the sunlight hits them! They are like having a wind chime and a sun catcher all wrapped in one! There are even floral designs that look like beautiful blossoms. I think they just may tide me over until those spring blossoms return to our landscape.

If you are wondering how you will brighten up your environment once the holiday decorations come down, this is one idea that may delight your senses.  And when those warm spring breezes return, they will continue to bring sound, color and light to life in your surroundings – and a break from the ordinary, which is my favorite part.