Keeping Christmas Calm

Christmas CalmEven for the most spirited of us, Christmas can be a very stressful time of year. Between shopping, decorating, traveling and seeing family, there’s enough commotion to get anyone frazzled.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. The holidays were meant to be a happy time. Good food, celebration and great company are all around – waiting to be enjoyed. With a few simple steps, you can turn this frantic holiday season into a relaxing affair.

Keep a Realistic Budget

One of the most stressful parts of the holidays is money. There’s never enough to do everything. You want decorations that are as good as the neighbors, enough food to feed your neighborhood, and presents that impress.

If you are realistic with your expectations for this Christmas, it will make things a lot easier. Set a budget that you can afford. Once you’ve decided how much you can spend, figure out what you want to spend it on. Take things off the list that you want, but don’t really need; keep the items you consider “necessities.” Just remember to stay within your budget.

Remember to play nice with your finances too.  Merchants are actively trying to prevent chargeback fraud. Do your part. If you suffer from buyer’s remorse or find you’ve exceeded your budget, return the item. Don’t commit chargeback fraud. It may see to simplify things – especially during this hectic time of year. But the process is more than dishonest; it’s lengthy and frustrating.

Keep Christmas Small

While Christmas is a time to spend with loved-ones, that doesn’t mean you have to spend it with all of your loved-ones. Spending time with a few of your closest friends and family can make for a much more enjoyable experience than spending it with your entire extended family.

More people will always mean more stress. A lot of people require a lot of food, a lot of entertainment and a lot of clean-up. There’s also more chance for fighting or other unpleasant altercations.

Wrap As You Buy

One common (and terribly stressful) holiday practice is to wrap every gift in one night. It seems like a great idea while you’re putting it off, but once you face all the presents you’ve bought, it seems insurmountable.

Wrapping as you buy, however, is easy. A few presents a time over a longer period is a much easier prospect. You progress will also be more noticeable, which is great for your motivation.

Don’t Chase Perfection

Some things will go wrong. That’s okay. Everything can’t turn out the way you plan, but that’s the beauty of life.

Learn to enjoy things as they are, rather than worry about how they should be. You’ll be a lot happier.

Enjoy the Season

Do the little things that make this time of year enjoyable. Listen to Christmas music, watch Christmas movies, drive around to see the lights and drink eggnog. Whatever it takes to make this season fun, do it.

It’s much easier to look past the difficult parts of Christmas when you are enjoying yourself. There’s so much that makes this time of year special, you just need to find out what makes it special for you.

Relax

Christmas can definitely be stressful, but it can also be relaxing, if you let. I don’t remember hearing anyone say, “Tis the season to be stressed out.” It’s up to you to do what you need to keep yourself happy this time of year.

Hopefully, these simple steps will help you to thoroughly enjoy this Christmas season!

 

6 Geek Gifts: How to Make the Most of Christmas 2013

geek christmasIn the spirit of the season, I’m going to be entirely honest and let you in on a little secret. I spend a lot of time playing video games across several consoles and systems. Everyone has someone like that in their life as games become even more and more widespread, so the following are the top six geeky gift ideas for this year.

1. A new console. Consoles are to gaming what calculators are to accountants. Everyone has their tools of the trade, and a console-gamer’s best friend is indeed a console. As it happens this year is a big one in terms of new consoles. Both the Xbox One (scheduled to come out December 31st) and the Playstation 4 (out as of November 14th) would make great gifts for the gamer in your life. How do you know which one is right for you to purchase though? To someone who doesn’t play the games themselves it can seem like kind-of a big decision. Don’t worry; there’s good advice out there. First try and find out if your gamer already has several consoles (they probably do). If they do, then maybe they only like one of the two brands. If they only have the previous two Playstations, for instance, and don’t have the Xbox 360 (the previous generation of Xbox consoles) then they’re probably more into Sony.

2. New games. If an entirely new game console is out of your price range, new games are always appreciated. Some of the biggest this season include: Assassin’s Creed IV, Call of Duty Ghosts, Diablo III, and Kingdom Hearts III. Another game that made a big splash this year is Grand Theft Auto V. Any of these titles could help complete or round out a gamer’s collection.

3. Star Wars Frames. Anyone who loves Star Wars is sure to love this one. Basically this book contains all of George Lucas’ favorite clips of the movies frame by frame all in one convenient location. It used to be much pricier and too heavy to lift unless you happen to love free weights as much as you loved Star Wars, but now the paperback version is available for $100 and much less strain on your back.

4. The Big Bang Theory. No, not the scientific phenomenon. The show itself has been on the air for some time now, and everyone knows the pop culture icon that is Sheldon. So why not buy that special geeky someone in your life season six of the show almost everyone can enjoy?

5. A new board game. Not all geeks love only computers and consoles. Plenty of people enjoy board games too, and Trajan is a game both geeky and enjoyable. This is a strategy game with beautifully illustrated original artwork, and although released over the pond in 2012, it’s just started to pick up momentum here in the states this past year. The game may not be for everyone though; it’s complexity is its best selling point.

6. Instant streaming to your TV from any mobile device. The Google Chromecast has sold out quickly in plenty of releases, and it’s been the go-to gadget for 2013. All you have to do to enjoy this product is plug it into the back of an HDTV, and you’ll soon be able to enjoy effortless streaming from your phone, tablet, or laptop. Once you plug into your wireless network, Netflix, Youtube, or pretty much any online source of video is at your disposal on the big screen.

So bear in mind these geeky gift ideas as you go shopping this season. Having a list (to check twice– or as many times as you need) can help take some of the stress off your shoulders. With gifts guaranteed to please like these, you’ll be done shopping in no time.

Guest author Ron Halverson is a self-proclaimed geek.  He is a huge gamer and often shares his advice with just about anyone who will listen!  Most of his thoughts are shared on his website that’s dedicated to PS3 problems.  Not only does he help geeks find new toys, he helps them fix their old ones – like the PS3 yellow light of death.

The Secret to Jaw-Dropping Holiday Floral Arrangements

christmas flowersDecorations this time of year form the centerpiece of your home. Whether its garlands, wreaths, poinsettias, or mistletoe, greenery offers your home the festive warmth of the season.  However, coming up with new ideas from year to year is difficult!

A Clearwater florist from http://floristclearwater.net shared some inspiring ideas to get you in the holiday mood.  These are all arrangements she has proudly displayed in her Clearwater florist shop – and they all seem to fly out the door as soon as she gets them completed!  Try using some of the following arrangements as part of your decor this year.

  • If you’re looking for something simple yet classy, try pulling out your small truffle dish and filling it with lilies. The simple elegance of white lilies in a clear, glass container will add refinery and beauty to any holiday table.
  • If you’re looking for a little more color, however, maybe roses are more in line with what you’re thinking. This arrangement requires three silver vases, one larger and two smaller. Once you have them arranged, the larger vase is filled with a bouquet of pastel orange roses and sprigs of pine needles, and the two smaller ones are filled with mini-roses of the same color.
  • Of course, red roses are festive for this time of year too. A small, silver urn filled with mini red roses can provide warmth to a table. Just make sure to get a bouquet with plenty of greenery so you can emphasize your red and green.
  • Single stem roses can also provide a beautiful decoration and add some holiday cheer to a windowsill.  A small, white vase filled with five single stem roses and a sprig of baby’s breath keeps the decoration light. That vase can then be placed in a small, square serving dish filled with mini pine cones. A sheer, white ribbon tied around the vase will complete this quaint arrangement.
  • In order to keep your decoration simple and more casual, red wildflowers can be the centerpiece of your table. For a more whimsical table decoration, use a rounded, shiny mauve vase and space the red wildflowers around sprigs of red berries.
  • Around this time of year, of course, there is no more festive plant than the poinsettia. They can be arranged into a tree shape in a silver bowl on your table, and it’s sure to get conversation going. Add a few silver ornaments around its base, and your poinsettia Christmas tree will be complete.

No matter what choice you make for this year’s decorations, it’s important to accentuate the warmth and cheer the season has to offer. What better way than to provide a centerpiece or floral arrangement that puts you in the holiday spirit every time you see it?

Six Great Gift Ideas for Men

christmas manIf you’re wondering what to get that certain man in your life for Christmas – whether it’s your husband, boyfriend, adult son, or just a close acquaintance – but are at a total loss for what might interest him, don’t panic.

Check out these great gift ideas for men. Somewhere in this list is a gift which ought to satisfy just about any personality.

#1. A Tablet

Tablets are everywhere these days – useable for everything from browsing the internet to reading a book or watching streaming movies and TV.

The tablet you choose will depend primarily on the purpose for which it will be most often used. Some are more geared toward the all-around general use while others have a more targeted purpose such as e-readers.

#2. Outdoor Game Set

It’s fairly common for men to appreciate sports and other outdoor games. What better way to support this love of games (and also encourage him to get up off the couch) than to give him a game he can set up and play right in the backyard?

If you’re not sure which game would most interest him, try picking something with broad appeal – cornhole, washers, ladder golf, bocce ball, or lawn darts are crowd pleasers.  Cornhole, washers and ladder golf tend to be more competitive since they usually accompany sports tailgating parties.  Bocce ball and lawn darts are a bit more family-friendly.

#3. External Hard Drive

If the guy you’re shopping for is more of the tech-savvy type, a fan of collecting music and movies or even if he just has a lot of photos to backup, it’s hard to go wrong with an external hard drive.

With the advancement of technology, the cost of digital storage space has dropped quite substantially over the last few years – you can now find three terabyte (or three million megabyte) hard drives for barely $100. Just about everyone who uses a computer has sensitive data which they want to protect, so an external hard drive would be a good gift with all-around appeal.

#4. Comfy Headphones

While the man for whom you’re shopping may not be an avowed audiophile, everyone can still appreciate a quality pair of headphones.

There are many different kinds of headphones, each with their own strengths and weaknesses including response, comfort, equalization and balance. Trying to figure out which would be best for him might be a little tricky, but unless he is already a seasoned hi-fi aficionado with a particularly discerning taste, a balanced and comfortably-padded pair of cans by Sennheiser or Audio Technica is a safe bet.

#5. Shaving Set

This may come as a surprise to some, but most men actually like to take care of their skin – particularly when it comes to shaving. Thus, a nice shaving kit is another great gift idea.

There are quite a few specialty retailers who deal in luxuriously elaborate shaving kits featuring classy single-blade razors, creams and shaving brushes, but there are plenty of less ornate and more cost-effective options as well. You can choose to pamper him or be practical, whichever is most in-line with his personality.

#6. A Watch

Although watches may seem a bit anachronistic in the age of the smartphone, many men still appreciate the aesthetics of a handsome wristwatch.

Consider picking out a tasteful watch – one which he may not wear every day, but one that he can wear for special occasions when paired with something casual.

If you find yourself stuck this holiday season and unable to come up a good gift idea for that troublesome guy on your list, just choose from the above options – any of these gift ideas are sure to please.

Six Tips for Safe Online Christmas Shopping

online shoppingThere is little wonder why online shopping has grown so popular over the last decade – online stores offer a much wider range of products than that which a traditional brick and mortar operation could possibly provide, generally at significantly lower prices. Not only this, but there is also the added convenience of these products being delivered to your home, or if they are gifts, having them sent directly to the recipient.

Despite these advantages, many people remain hesitant about online shopping. The very real threat of internet scams deters many potential online shoppers.

In order to help protect yourself against identity theft and other forms of online fraud, always follow these safety tips:

Only Shop on a Secure Server

Never enter any personal or financial information on an unsecure server. You can quickly tell whether or not you are on a secure server by having a look at a site’s address – when on a secure server, the address of a site will begin with an https, as opposed to http.

The address bar will also oftentimes feature a padlock preceding the address of the site – if this lock appears closed, this means that you are on a secure server. In addition, always using the most up-to-date version of your browser will lend some added measure of security.

Be Wary of Retailers you’ve Never Heard Of

Big online retailers such as Amazon are your safest bet – they have been tested and proven many times for reliability.

Smaller sellers, on the other hand, are something of a gamble. If you do decide to shop with a smaller store, it would be a good idea to check out the site’s contact info and return policy, and also see if they have any customer complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau.

Avoid Using Your Debit Card

When you shop online with a credit card, you are protected by the Fair Credit Billing Act. If your card information is stolen and used, this law ensures that you can only be held responsible for $50 at most.

However, when you shop with a debit card, you do not enjoy the protection of this law, which means any money stolen from your account could be totally lost.

Keep a Copy of the Receipt

When you make an online purchase, most businesses will email you a copy of the receipt. For your added protection, it would be a good idea to print out a physical copy of this in case anything should go wrong with your order.  Getting a credit card refund is difficult enough – don’t make the process more stressful by disregarding the importance of essential paperwork.

You should print any relevant information that is sent along with the receipt as well including the return policy, contact info, product info and warranty details.

“If it’s Too Good to Be True…”

…then, as the maxim goes, it probably is. If the price of an item for which you are shopping seems extraordinarily low, you would be right to be suspicious.

Many retailers will try and pull a Bait & Switch scheme on unwitting shoppers by posting product descriptions which do not match the items they ship out.

Phone Your Order

If you are still apprehensive about entering your personal information online, you can always place your online orders the old-fashioned way and call the retailer. Most reputable sellers won’t have a problem with accepting orders over the phone.

By following these few safety tips, you can make sure your online Christmas shopping goes as smoothly and safely as possible.

 

For the Best Gifts, Make it Personal

personalized giftsIf you’re having trouble finding the right gift for a love one, the solution may be easier than you think. An affordable option that shows the recipient you really care is a personalized gift. You can transform an ordinary object into a meaningful present with a few carefully crafted words or the perfect image.

Say Something Special

The right words can have a powerful impact. A single sentence can inspire your loved ones and warm their hearts. Once you find the right phrase, it’s simply a matter of choosing where you want to put it.

A mouse pad is great for anyone who spends a lot of time at the office. Imagine how much better you can make someone’s day when they look down from their computer screen to see the loving words that you chose.

A travel mug is a great option for friend or family member that’s constantly moving. Whether they’re hiking, driving or flying, they’ll remember your kindness each time they take a sip of their favorite blend of coffee.

College students would be thrilled with a flash drive that contains some words of encouragement from you. It’s useful because they need to be able to take information from one computer to the next, and your words can help them when college lift gets hard to handle.

The options are limited only to your imagination. You can put your words on pens, t-shirts, backpacks and more. Try to think of something the recipient is likely to use on a regular basis, as it will give them more opportunities to enjoy the words that you chose for them.

Show Them What Matters

Let’s be honest, not everyone can find the perfect words to express what they’re feeling. In those cases, a picture may be exactly what you need. You might have a photograph that captures a memory the two of you have shared. When you put this on the right commodity, you can turn something ordinary into a priceless gift.

A greeting card is a great option in this case. It gets the point across clearly, without any distraction. There’s only the memory and the happiness it brings with it.

A picture will work just as well on a mouse pad as a clever phrase. Remember to select this gift for someone who spends a lot of time on the computer. You want to make sure they have ample time to enjoy the image you’ve picked out.

Another unique and fun gift idea is to make a puzzle out of a photograph. This gift works particularly well for children. Kids already love putting together puzzles, but when the end results shows them a memory that they hold dear, you’ve give them something truly special.

Make it Count

Remember, the words or image you choose is the most important part of your gift. While mugs, mouse pads, puzzles, and greeting cards are all fine presents on their own, it’s the meaningful words or the heart-warming pictures that truly make the gift worth giving.

Everyone wants to know that they mean something to someone, and this is the perfect way to show your loved ones just how much they mean to you. A personalized gift shows the recipient that they have a special place in your heart.

To make things simple, Suzanne McDonald decided to get the same gift for all her coworkers this Christmas.  However, she wanted to customize them a bit for each person.  She decided to get personalized stationary for everyone from Red Tag Print Sale, a printing website.  While poking around Red Tag Print Sale, Ann found a few other gift ideas she is excited to try out for upcoming birthdays.

 

Enjoyment: The Only Vital Element of a Flawless Holiday Party

christmas partyHoliday parties should be about enjoying time with friends and family – not about hosting the perfect event.  Instead of trying to impress your guests with a flawless production, why not turn your attention to ensuring your happiness.  Take time to reflect on what the holidays are really about.

Here are some tips that will help make your Christmas party an event to remember – not a stressful chore you dread.

1. Simplify Your Menu

If you’re planning to provide a dinner for your party, don’t try to get overly-fancy. Keeping your menu down to just the essentials, or padding out the sides with ready-made, store-bought dishes will give you more time to focus on each individual dish to make sure everything comes out right.

This is even simpler if you’re just planning to go with small snacks and finger foods: less work, less cleanup and saves more time.

2. Consider Hiring Someone to Help with Cleanup

Of course, one of the biggest pains associated with hosting a get-together is the cleaning. Many people like to make sure that the house is spotless before inviting company over.

Hiring a professional cleaning service to do some tidying beforehand will save you a great deal of time and work. By doing this, you can let someone else see to the cleaning while you focus on other last-minute touches.

You can also hire a cleaning service to come in after the party, thus allowing yourself some time to simply relax and unwind after the evening’s festivities.

3. Move the Furniture

Most living rooms are not set up in a manner that is most conducive of good party conversations.

If it won’t take too much time, consider rearranging the furniture in a more circular manner. Set some snacks on a table in the center – this will allow your guests to sit across from one another and talk freely and more comfortably while they share the food.

4. An Activity to Keep Guests Occupied During Preparation

If you are preparing a meal, it is likely that some of your guests will be arriving during your cooking and prep time. To keep these guests from getting antsy (and to keep them out of your way), consider providing an activity – like an outdoor game.

Even in the snow, cornhole is a great option. This easy-to-play and surprisingly addictive game is good for players of any age.  That can’t be said for all entertainment options.  Scrabble, for example, would only appeal to a select few.

You can even order a cornhole game online. You won’t even have to add “go to store and buy cornhole game,” to your to-do list!

5. Simplify the Drink Options

Rather than trying to serve as a bartender as well as cook and host, try just providing a nice-sized bowl of punch for your guests.

Setting out the punch bowl along with a few different options such as limes, orange peels, berries, etc. will allow your guests to unleash their creativity and get fun with it.

6. Subtly Signal When the Party is Winding Down

No one wants to just announce, “Party’s over, everybody go home!” However, there are ways you can give your guests a subtle and non-offensive clue that the evening is drawing to a close.

Lowering the music just a bit, blowing out a few candles and turning on one of the lights will let your guests know to start making their exit.

Don’t allow your holiday party to become your headache – take these simple tips and make your party a great time for your guests as well as yourself.

5 Ways to Make Your Holiday Season Merry

 Make Your Holiday Season Merry

In 2012, 64 percent of American adults stated they planned to decorate for Christmas that year, according to a national telephone survey by Rasmussen Reports. Whether you plan to decorate your entire house inside and out, or just put up the Christmas tree and listen to Christmas classics, be sure you spend quality time with those you love. Put these items on your to-do list.

Christmas Morning

One of the most difficult tasks on Christmas morning is reading the nametags. Little ones are anxious to open their gifts. The last thing they want to do is wait while you hand out all the gifts. If you give each person his or her own wrapping paper design, handing out gifts is quicker and easier.

Wrap all of the gifts from Santa in one kind of paper. This makes it easy to remember which gifts go under the tree on Christmas Eve. Use a different paper than you use for any other gifts. Older children may catch on if the wrap is the same as other gifts under the tree.

Give each child a bag to put his or her gift-wrap in while opening the gifts. This makes for easy clean-up.

Build a Gingerbread House

Decorate a gingerbread house together. Use the completed house as a centerpiece on your dining room table. You can even make your own gingerbread house using a template.

If you have several children, there are large gingerbread men cookies you can decorate together. If you have a child who loves trains, consider a gingerbread train.

Christmas Cards

All the hustle and bustle that goes along with the Christmas season does make staying in touch difficult, but don’t underestimate the power of a heartfelt note this time of year. Cards are a great way to communicate with those you love, and unique Christmas cards displaying pictures of your family give the recipients a more personalized touch this holiday season. Start thinking about what you’d like to see on the cover of your family holiday cards. Plan photos now to avoid holiday panic.

Become a Secret Santa

Children all over the world write wish lists to Santa and drop them in a mailbox praying for their wishes to come true. Very often, though, nothing shows up for them on Christmas morning. You can be someone’s Christmas angel by visiting your post office to adopt a letter to Santa.

Bring your ID with you. Once you complete the proper paperwork, you choose up to 10 letters to fulfill and take a copy of those wish lists.

  1. Purchase each gift.
  2. Wrap them.
  3. Get them ready to mail.
  4. Bring them back to the same post office with the letters taped to the proper boxes.
  5. Pay for shipping.
  6. The USPS addresses them and mails them to the anxiously awaiting recipients.
  7. Feel good knowing you made someone’s Christmas wish come true.

To protect the children, the USPS blacks out the child’s identifying information.

Advent Calendars

An Advent calendar is an enjoyable holiday tradition. Some calendars have a candy surprise inside, while others have tiny ornaments to hang on the tree. Why not add a bit of your own fun to your Advent calendar tradition this year? As you open each door, sing a different Christmas carol.

How To Choose The Perfect Christmas Tree

Perfect Christmas TreeWhen you get far enough away from the equator, winter means getting a break from lawn care for a few short months. For the millions of families who choose to bring a real evergreen tree into their home for the holidays, though, it doesn’t mean a total break from dealing with plants. Christmas trees are central to many holiday celebrations, so it’s important to pick one that’s just right — but the search can cause a headache that makes you look fondly back on trimming weeds all summer.

If you want to avoid grimacing at the smell of pine by the end of December, you should know what you’re looking for before you ever step foot out of the house to find that perfect tree.

Know Your Evergreens

Not all pine trees are created equal — and not all Christmas trees are pines. The trees most commonly brought home for the holidays include both pines and firs of varying characteristics. This means that the perfect tree for your family definitely exists, and narrowing your search down to just one or two types of trees will make it that much easier to find.

The most popular Christmas trees tend to have the classic conic shape, a rich fragrance, and dark greenish needles. Geographic location has some impact on the types of trees that will be available, though shipping trees in from farms in appropriate climates allows for a good variety. You’ll likely find at least some of these types of trees during the holiday season:

- Douglas Fir
- Fraser Fir
- Scotch Pine
- Noble Fir

Any of these, along with some of the other, less popular species, can make a great-looking Christmas tree. They each have their own unique look, so your personal preferences will help decide your top choices. Also keep practical considerations in mind, such as how much space you have and what sorts of decorations you’ll be putting on the tree. For example, the Fraser Fir tends to be narrower, while the Noble Fir has sturdy branches that can support heavier ornaments. Once you have an idea of what kind of tree you’re looking for, call ahead to make sure there’s a good selection available to choose from.

Picking the Tree

Your prep work isn’t quite done yet — first you need to measure your available tree space. Write down the ceiling height where the tree will be, and remember to take off enough inches for your tree topper and the stand for holding the tree. The bottom few inches of the tree will be cut off before it’s set up, so factor that in as well. Measure how wide the tree can be, and take note of where it will be located. If it’s against a wall or in a corner, you’ll be able to consider trees with a less-than-perfect side that can be hidden out of sight.

Measurements and mental picture in hand, it’s time to actually find your tree. You’ll want to consider the overall health of the tree, its shape, smell, and how picturesque you think it will look in your home, all lit up and decorated. If you have kids, letting them help pick the tree will make it that much more fun and memorable.

Choosing the perfect Christmas tree should be fun, not frustrating. Remember that once it’s home and decorated it becomes much more than an evergreen tree — it becomes a symbol of the holiday for your family. Once the holiday’s over, it’s only a matter of time before you’re back outside dealing with the lawn care, so savor while you can the one tree that isn’t part of your landscaping.

Using Evergreen Shrubs for Privacy – creating screening in your garden

Evergreen FenceOur garden should be a sanctuary from the world. Somewhere we can go to enjoy the outdoors and use the peace and quiet to reflect while we bask in the beauty of our own spot of nature. So often however in today’s modern world real life often intrudes in the form of nosy neighbours, noisy roads or unsightly buildings or views beyond.

 

An easy solution to prevent any unwanted sights and sounds encroaching on your privacy is the strategic planting of evergreen shrubs and trees. Also known as screening trees, this is because their dense leaves serve as noise buffers and you can choose a variety that will grow tall enough to block out any offending views.

 

Evergreen trees and shrubs are not just useful, they are also beautiful and require little or no maintenance and are present all year round, so they are ideal for gardens of all types and sizes. The many available variations means you can choose the perfect shrub to fit with your garden, and create the level of screening you require.

 

Hedges

Evergreen hedges are useful in creating borders and blocking the sight of fences. Laurels are very popular as they are relatively fast growing and easy to maintain. Others such as the Taxus Bacatta grow very slowly but have very dense leaves and grow berries in winter. The Western Red Cedar is fast growing and just the thing for artistic gardeners as it can be trimmed to create different shapes and give your garden that something special!

 

Trees

Trees are perfect for blocking out sound and taller trees can be grown to block views of neighbouring buildings or roads, thereby improving the aesthetic feel of your garden. Trees like bamboo are very popular because they can be grown easily from young plants, and they grow tall rather than wide, so are ideal for narrow gardens. They are also ideal for oriental style gardens. There are many varieties of large evergreen trees growing capable of growing many metres tall, and they can usually be bought as mature trees up to 4 metres in height, to provide instant screening.

 

Climbing plants

Climbers such as ivy or jasmine look beautiful, smell wonderful, and best of all cover unsightly hedges or walls!

 

If you’re considering planting trees or hedges to help add privacy to your garden the choice is vast, so narrow it down to the ones right for your garden by thinking about how tall/wide you need it to be, how thick and what colour you want the leaves to be, do you want it to flower or berry? Would you mind some maintenance or does it need to be maintenance free? Does it need to fit in with a certain theme in your garden? Do you want it to smell nice? It is wise to seek expert advice from a professional gardener or tree surgeon who can best advise on the plants and/or trees that would work best for your garden. A visit to your local nursery is also useful as you can see and smell the evergreens available to help you make an informed decision.

 

This is an article by High Elms Tree Surgery who offer tree and garden maintenance.