Day: August 20, 2019

About Botanical Gardens

A botanical garden is a place in which plants are grown and displayed primarily for scientific and educational purposes. It consists chiefly of a collection of living plants, grown out-of-doors or under glass in greenhouses and conservatories. It usually includes, in addition, a collection of dried plants, or herbarium, and such facilities as lecture rooms, laboratories, libraries, museums, and experimental or research plantings. The plants in a botanical garden may be arranged according to one or more subdivisions of botanical science. The arrangements may be systematic (by plant classification), ecological (by relation to environment), or geographic (by region of origin). The larger gardens often include special groupings, such as rock gardens, water gardens, wildflower gardens, and collections of horticultural groups produced by plant breeding, such as roses, tulips, or rhododendrons. A plantation restricted to exhibits of woody plants is called an arboretum. Most botanical gardens will incorporate water features. view here

History of Botanical Gardens

One of the earliest botanical gardens for the study of plants was established in ancient Athens about 340 B.C. by Aristotle and run by his pupil Theophrastus. The oldest public one in the world are those established at Pisa, Italy, in 1543; at Padua, Italy, in 1545; at Paris in 1635; and at Berlin in 1679. In the 16th and 17th centuries, herbalists cultivated medicinal herbs in private gardens. In 1673, the Society of Apothecaries planted the Chelsea Physic Garden in London to provide materials for research and medicine. The American botanist John Bartram near Philadelphia established the first experimental botanical garden in the U.S. in 1728.

Where Botanical Gardens Are Found

Almost every major city has a botanical garden. The Royal Botanic Gardens, better known as Kew Gardens, near London, founded in 1759, is the largest in the world. Experiments and research done there have led to the transplanting of commercially productive crops, such as rubber, from their native habitats to other parts of the world. More than 300 botanical gardens are in the U.S. Among the most important are the Missouri Botanic Gardens in Saint Louis (1859); the New York Botanical Garden in Bronx Park (1895) and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, both in New York City. The Arnold Arboretum, established in 1872, is located at Harvard University.

Benefits of Visiting a Botanical Garden

By visiting botanical gardens or arboretums, city dwellers can discover a part of the natural world to which they ordinarily have no access, escape from the pressure of dense urban population, and perhaps even develop new interests and hobbies having to do with the natural environment. In these special parks, plants from all over the world are scientifically cultivated, studied, and artistically displayed for the pleasure and enlightenment of the public. Arboretums specialize in raising trees and shrubs (woody plants) in their natural surroundings. They may exist independently or as part of a larger botanical garden.

Unlike ordinary parks, botanical gardens and arboretums are laid out with more than just the beauty of the landscape in mind. They will offer sculpture and cast stone water features Although trees and shrubs may be interspersed throughout the area to enhance the pleasant surroundings, plants are usually grouped according to their scientific relationships. Often there are small, special gardens, such as rose gardens, rock gardens, wildflower gardens, or Japanese landscape gardens contained within the larger botanical gardens. Many have sections devoted to plants of particular geographic origins, such as a tropical plant section, or an aquatic plant section. Usually, plants are labeled according to common name, scientific name, and region of origin.

A botanical garden may contain a few hundred or as many as 20,000 different species and varieties of plants, depending upon the amount of land, money, and professional help available. In size, botanical gardens range from about 2 1/2 acres (1 hectare) to over 220 acres (90 hectares). There may be a greenhouse, or more than one greenhouse, in a botanical garden. The greenhouse is used both for displaying plants and, where winters are cold, for growing plants that would not otherwise survive the seasonal change. In temperate climates, certain tropical plants must be grown in greenhouses-for example, tropical orchids and ferns, pineapples, Spanish moss, cacti, African violets, and begonias. Seedling plants that are to be set outdoors as soon as the weather is warm enough for them may be started in greenhouses or in hotbeds, which are beds of earth that are heated and covered with glass.

Many kinds of plants need certain climatic conditions at certain seasons, and a botanical garden may need special storage areas for them. Some young plants, for instance, may need a winter growing period but cannot survive freezing temperatures. They must be stored in cold frames, which are unheated, boxlike structures covered with glass. Houses built of lathing may be needed to store some plants temporarily in semi shade and to grow certain plants that cannot stand the hot summer sun.

Introduction To Water Damage Restoration

 

Wonder what exactly water damage restoration is? As you know, when your home suffers from water damage, you’ve got a big mess – and a big job – on your hands. The process of repairing your home to its pre-loss condition after a flood, overflow, or other water damage event is known as water damage restoration. During the water damage restoration process, several key procedures take place: loss assessment, categorizing water based on the water source’s contamination levels, drying and decontaminating the structure and its contents, monitoring the process, and completion.Why Floods Are Dangerous has some nice tips on this.

Before any restoration job is undertaken, it is first evaluated so that an appropriate response is taken. For example, if you were considering buying and restoring a classic car, you’d want to know exactly what you are dealing with and where to begin. When it comes to water damage, not only must the technicians fully understand the task ahead of them, insurance companies are often involved. Not only must a water damage restoration technician understand what is damaged and what needs to be done, the damage must be thoroughly inspected and documented and accurate estimates made. The source of the damage must also be identified so that necessary repairs can be made.

As part of the assessment, water is categorized based on the contamination levels (Category 1, 2, or 3) of its water source. For example, water damage from a clean source such as an overflowing sink is easier to deal with than a water source containing raw sewage. The categories are as follows:

oCategory 1 – Water from clean sources such as sinks, pipes, and toilet bowls (without urine or feces)

oCategory 2 – Water with some contaminants such as water from a washing machine, dishwasher, or toilet with urine (but no feces)

oCategory 3 – Water that is extremely unsanitary, capable of causing severe illness or death if the water was ingested. Examples of Category 3 water include sewage, water from a toilet bowl containing feces, floodwaters from rivers, and standing water with microbial growth.

Keep in mind that the source water may have originally been fairly clean and sanitary, but it can quickly come into contact with unsanitary contaminants and become Category 2 or 3 water.

Water damage usually affects not just the immediate area but also the home’s contents. Water damage restoration technicians must also deal with furniture, drapes, carpets, electronics, books, and other contents affected by the water. Some of these contents will be moved before the water gets to them in an attempt to prevent damage, others will need to be dried, cleaned, and decontaminated, and others still will be damaged to the point where they must be discarded.

Finally, the drying, cleaning, and decontaminating process begins. During this time, equipment such as blowers, scrubbers, subfloor drying equipment, and dehumidifiers are put into place and left for several days with the drying process monitored to ensure that the all equipment is placed appropriately and working as it should. Humidity levels, temperatures, and moisture content of affected areas are monitored with additional drying continuing as needed. In addition to drying, cleaning, decontaminating, mold inhibitors may be used to prevent mold from growing. Deodorizers may also be required. Even if the water damage was from a Category 1 water source, contaminants in carpets and the underlying carpet pad can quickly lead to a foul odor.

Depending on the extent of the damage, additional repairs may be required. For example, if the drywalls and carpet were damaged to the point where they need to be replaced, those repairs will take place once the underlying areas are dry. Finally, once the home is dried out and restored to its pre-loss condition, the water damage restoration job is complete.

Good Reasons To Buy A New Home

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If you’re like most first-time home buyers, everyone has advice to give you; some encouraging you to buy a home, and some not. You’re starting to wonder if this is a good time, if the economy is going to crash more, if you can afford to buy this house. Well, we have some advice for you, too: Relax. Having doubts is normal. The more you know about why you should buy a home, the less scary the whole thing will feel.

Here are some very good reasons why you should buy a home now:

It’s an Investment in Your Future – You can paint the walls any color you want, you can listen to your stereo in the middle of the night, you can get that new fountain in your yard that you always wanted…it’s your house. Owning your own home gives you and your family both stability and security. It’s an investment in your future, and it will be good for all of you.

It’s a Buyer’s Market – The downturn in the economy and the bursting of the real estate bubble might actually be working in your favor right now. Housing prices are at a low, and you can afford a lot more house for your money than you used to be able to. Either take advantage of this and get an upgrade, or keep your payments low. Whatever you decide, it’s a great time to buy a house. more on this

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Real Estate Appreciates – Real estate moves in cycles, it is true, but over time, real estate has consistently appreciated. Buying a new home can be an investment, and it is a hedge against inflation.

Mortgage Interest Deductions – Home ownership is a great tax shelter and tax rates favor homeowners. As long as your mortgage balance is less than the price of your home, mortgage interest is completely deductible on your tax return.

Capital Gain Exclusion -As long as you have lived in your home for two of the past five years, you can exclude up to $250,000 for an individual or $500,000 for a married couple of profit from capital gains. You don’t have to buy a replacement home. You can do this every 24 months, which means you could sell a house every two years and put the monies in your pocket – with some limitations – tax free. Wow. That’s a great benefit.

Preferential Tax Treatment -If you receive more profit than the allowable exclusion when you sell your home, that profit will be considered a capital asset as long as you owned your home for more than a year. Capital assets receive preferential tax treatment…which means you won’t pay nearly the taxes on the profit that you normally would.

Equity -Each month, part of your mortgage payment is applied to the principal balance of your loan, which reduces your debt. This is building up equity in your home, and equity can be borrowed against. Do you have a credit card balance? The interest on credit card balances is often as high as 22%, and you can’t deduct the interest you pay on them. Not so with equity loans. Equity loan interest is often much less and it is deductible. You can borrow against a home’s equity, pay off your credit cards, and then deduct the interest off your taxes.

Buying your first home can be a scary thing, but knowing the benefits can calm those jitters you might be feeling. You can make your dream home a reality today, and there are great reasons for doing so, both financial and personal.

Bathroom Remodeling Ideas

Bathroom remodeling is one of the best ways of preparing a home for sale. After kitchen remodels, bathroom remodels are next in raising the sales value of your home.

Bathroom remodeling ideas need not be reserved for a house that is to be sold, however. You can enjoy a bathroom remodel now, and know that it will be an advantage when the time comes to sell the home.

The home’s bathrooms are the rooms of heavy use. As such, they get a lot of wear and time. They also are seen many times each day. Bathroom remodels can keep your baths looking good and functioning properly.check here

There are many ways that you can remodel a bathroom. Here are a few ideas.

  1. Wall Tiles: Most contractors will tell you that 4 by 4 inch wall tiles are outdated. Replace them with 8 by 13 inch glazed ceramic tiles. The new tiles will be attractive and will help prevent mold. They will also keep your lower walls from being damaged by splashes from faucets. As part of your bathroom remodeling, paint the upper walls, and run a decorative border of tiles between lower wall tiles and the upper, painted wall.
  2. Floor tiles: Visible, light flooring can create a feeling of increased space. If your bathroom remodeling project is, at least in part, because your bathroom seems small, install 12 by 12 inch light-colored floor tiles diagonally. The lines and the light color will give the illusion of much more space.
  3. Heated Floor: Before you lay those floor tiles, consider heated floor as part of your bathroom remodeling project. Your whole family will appreciate them, and when it comes time to sell your home, heated bathroom floors will be an enormous selling point.
  4. Vanity: Use your bathroom remodeling as an opportunity to get clean, free lines. Replace the vanity with a new “floating” type that does not touch the floor. Choose one with a granite or marble countertop. If you like the granite when you’re done, your bathroom remodeling project can prepare you for replacing kitchen countertops later. You may want a granite vanity top with one of the new vessel sinks.
  5. Faucets: Faucets at the sink and tub are a wonderful place to begin a bathroom remodeling project. Once thought utilitarian, faucets have become stylish fixtures. At little cost, you can replace yours with vintage Victorian faucets, or sleek bamboo faucets resembling the bamboo fountain in an Asian garden.
  6. Toilets: Relocating a toilet can call for major bathroom remodeling. Replacing it, however, is a simpler task, and can quickly update an old bathroom. If you want to further update your bath, consider adding a bidet. This bathroom remodeling project may require a contractor.
  7. Lighting: Much bathroom remodeling falls short of its goal because overhead lighting is allowed to remain. While moisture resistant can lights above tub or shower can be helpful, an overhead light should be replaced by wall lights to increase the value of your bath.
  8. Shower: If space allows, consider adding a separate shower to your bath area. Keep the tub for a spa-like retreat, but install a shower, too, with body sprays. If you like the natural, spa idea, look for a shower that has stone surround tile. This bathroom remodeling idea is bound to increase the value of your home.
  9. Colors: The simplest bathroom remodeling project, and often an effective one, is to change the colors in the bathroom. If the bathroom remodel is being done to increase home value for sale, avoid unusual color combinations. Apply the tried and true 60-30-10 rule to your colors: 60 percent of your bathroom should be a dominant color, 30 percent a secondary color, and 10 percent an accent color.

Bathroom remodeling ideas are many because people have many different tastes. Different locations also inspire different ideas. Bathroom remodeling in Seattle is bound to be different from bathroom remodeling in Pensacola. Many things will come to bear on your bathroom remodeling ideas, but in the end, you should create something peaceful and functional for you and your family.