How to Make Your Garden Look Good

The first step in achieving a well-designed garden is to decide the best aspect in your garden, which in turn will help you to decide what plants to use and where to place them, based on the sunlight and shade needed by different plants.

Your next decision is – “What style of garden would I like?”

Mediterranean Garden:

This is a garden that tolerates dry and windy conditions, with popular plants being Bougainvillea, olive trees, citrus trees and all types of geraniums.

English Cottage Garden:

A wide choice of plants for this type of garden includes roses, lavender, daisies, different types of ivy, jasmine, daffodils and many other popular flowering plants and bushes.

Tree Garden:

Depending on the aspect of garden, if you are looking for shade, a tree garden delivers a lot of shady areas and there is a great variety of suitable trees. I am a fan of citrus trees because they usually have good foliage cover and additionally supply you with fresh home-grown fruit. Generally, trees from the citrus family – lemons, oranges, limes, mandarins – are quick growing and very popular. You can ‘topiary’ the trees or let them grow naturally, and all these trees look very colourful when they are fruiting.

Olive trees are also prolific growers, they bear olives every year, they don’t need a lot of maintenance and they have beautiful silver-coloured and very thick foliage. I’ve recommended these fruit trees because they suit small courtyards or small garden areas.

However, there is a huge variety of spreading and tall trees to choose from if you have the land to accommodate them

Formal or Structured Garden:

This type of garden has become very popular due to the small gardens now commonly offered in building developments. Creating this type of garden usually requires trimmed lawns surrounded by clipped hedging as borders, topiary trees in among the hedging and espaliering of plants against uninteresting brick walls. An extra benefit with espaliering is that you can use all types of fruit trees, such as apple, lemon, oranges and lime. This looks very affective and has the extra bonus of fresh fruit to pick.

Tropical Garden:

If you live in a tropical climate, decide whether it’s dry or wet tropics, as different plants thrive in these different tropical climes. Also remember that plants grow very fast in the tropics, so – unless you want to be constantly trimming back – try to avoid hedges, vines and some rapid-spreading types of ground cover. The bonus is that palm trees, exotic ginger and Fijian fire bushes and gorgeous plants such as Kangaroo’s Paw and Bird of Paradise will grow happily without any attention except some fertiliser and mulching. Mulching is the key to a good tropical garden – it keeps the moisture in the soil on the hottest days. It’s also wise to include a reticulation system in your garden layout, so watering is not a time-consuming everyday chore. You can cover an area with reticulation for just a low-cost.

Vegetable Garden:

Well, this speaks for itself – all those fresh vegetables growing in your back yard – how exciting is that? A practical and popular way is to have your vegetable garden growing in mobile planter boxes.

Remember that it’s not about how much money you spend on your garden but how creative you are. Listed below are some ideas to make your garden more interesting, so you can really enjoy your surroundings.

When you want to keep your garden colour scheme stylish, white flowers are indispensable. A single white climbing rose against any backdrop can look fantastic.

Hand-cut natural sandstone has a brilliant texture and look; it ages well and is easy to shape to fit.

Limestone walls with wide uneven grouting give a great European look

Water adds an extra element to any garden design, no matter its size or style.

To create a stunning effect introduce changes by creating different levels.

Try to include a few fun elements when designing your garden by creating garden art. It can be simple as combining objects in imaginative ways – you don’t need to be a highly skilled artisan to do this.

Fake lawn has become popular, and a clever way to use it is by placing it between pavers creating a very interesting courtyard.

Pots, pots and more pots – in all different shapes and sizes – some large pots and some small ones placed strategically. Always remember with small pots that you should group them and not sprinkle them around the garden. One very large pot can make a real statement, more so than two or three small pots.

Statues add mystique to any type of garden.

Finally, a water tank is a must, so if you can manage to fit it in your garden, save water and keep your garden looking gorgeous at the same time!

I hope this article has given you a few ideas and made you want to get into your garden to give it a special and interesting look!

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Freedom of Association Law and Employment Contracts

One of the most important international labor standards is the freedom of association. This is expressed in Article 41 of the original constitution of the International Labour Organisation and it is considered, in that document and its successors to be at the level of a fundamental human right which in the context of labour law is associated with the right of the workers to assemble and form labor organisations. It also appears to be universal that there must be a level of respect and observance of the right to freedom of association by employers for workers in order for economies to function effectively in developed and developing countries.

Interestedly, also at the international level there is the operation of the international labour organisation’s special procedures for inquiring into an alleged failure to respect these principles. The first of these procedures is the Fact Finding and Conciliation Commission on Freedom of Association. This first procedure appears to have suffered from under utilisation and now appears to have been relegated to the role of dealing with complaints against countries that are members of the United Nations but not of the International Labour Organisation. The second major procedure in operation is the Committee on Freedom of Association. This committee has remained active and engaged in the purpose that it was originally envisaged for. It has 9 sitting member states and has examined nearly 3000 complaints since its establishment in 1951. The committee has heard a number of complaints relating to the breach of the principle of freedom of association. The committee will hear the complaints from a variety of sources including employers and employee organisations. However, there is a need to notice that a state is only bound by the terms of the committee’s decision if the State has ratified conventions number 87 and 98. However, the United States has not ratified these conventions and is therefore only subject only to the jurisdiction of the committee rather than the conciliation commission.

The United States has always had an active interest in the International Labor organisation from the time of its formation to the present time. However, there are a number of issues which prevent the deep implementation of the principles of the International Labor Organsiation in the United States. The bulk of the jurisdictional requirements for labor laws in America are dealt with at state level with only a handful of employment matters, most notably in the area of discrimination on the grounds of race, sex and age at federal level. There is therefore only limited application of the principles of freedom of association as a human right in the labor laws of the United States.

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Assessing a Real Estate Market — Jobs

Given the fact the blazing hot real estate market has cooled off, one must wonder whether it is worth buying now in any location. One way to identify a good area deals with jobs.Assessing a Real Estate Market – JobsFirst things first – national trends in real estate mean little when it comes to assessing a local area. During the recent red hot real estate market, national trends would have led one to believe you could buy anywhere and reap insane appreciation rates. This simply was not true. States like Texas and Colorado, for instance, generally showed miserly appreciation rates in the four to six percent range. Simply put, the national trend in real estate was a reflection of an average movement across the country, not a predictor for certain locations.Without a doubt, the national figures for the real estate market have cooled off dramatically. We are seeing price drops and appreciation rates stagnate in many formerly hot markets. Las Vegas, for instance, was a market that was blazing hot with 25 percent appreciation rates for a couple years running. Now, the market in Vegas has cooled significantly. This is a trend being repeated in numerous markets that were previously hot, hot, hot.Does this cool off mean you should avoid purchasing real estate? No! It just means you need to pay closer attention to what is happening in the community you are considering. One of the biggest issues to focus on is the job market. This is an issue most people fail to consider, so you can reap huge profits if you get it right.When considering jobs, you want to look for an area that is exhibiting solid job growth in white collar industries. The fact that 50 McDonalds are opening is not really going to spur the real estate market. On the other hand, the fact that Boeing is opening a massive construction facility in the area is going to bring a boon to the real estate market. White collar jobs lead to housing demands. The more demand there is, the higher prices and appreciation rates go regardless of any national trend.Five or six years ago, I was taking a flight to Portland. The plane was loaded with employees of a large corporation that were commuting between their homes in California and Portland. It turned out the company was in the process of moving to Oregon and 5,000 employees were going with them. Although I don’t recall the company name, it was in the computer industry. Given this migration of jobs, do you think Portland would have been a good place to buy?There are many factors that go into the status of a real estate market. If you focus on job growth, you may just find some gems in an otherwise cool real estate trend.

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3 Important Aspects to Know About Life Insurance in Canada

WHAT TO ASK BEFORE BUYING LIFE INSURANCELife protection is an extremely important part of financial planning, but not many people want to talk about it. To make this topic more accessible, we are laying out the statistical facts and other useful pieces of information to inform Canadians about life insurance. After discussions with consumers, we have identified the main questions and concerns of Canadians:• What amount of life insurance should I choose?• How much insurance protection do I need if I have children?• What kind of life policy do I need?TOPIC 1: HOW MUCH LIFE INSURANCE SHOULD I CHOOSE?If you get Life Insurance, you want make sure that all essential financial aspects are covered so they do not become a burden for your family. These aspects can include:• Income substitution for your family• Taking care of your children’s education (e.g. university or college costs)• Paying down assets (e.g. mortgage on your house, car loan)• Dealing with outstanding financial debt (e.g. lines of credit, credit card debt)• Other costs (e.g. funeral)So, how much life protection coverage do Canadians choose? Our analysis shows that most approx. 60% Canadians choose life insurance under $250k:Coverage Amounts chosen by Canadians:- Less than $100,000: 30%- $100,000-$250,000: 31%- $250,000-$500,000: 20%- $500,000-$1,000,000: 10%- $1,000,000-$2,000,000: 7%- Over $2,000,000: 2%We recommend speaking with a knowledgeable insurance broker or insurance representative before making this big decision. There might be other potential financial responsibilities that you have not calculated. If you have children, the costs can be much higher than you think – just take a look at the next section.A separate word on Mortgage Life Insurance: In most cases having separate mortgage insurance is not recommended. Having enough life and disability insurance can encompass a mortgage, avoiding policies overlaps.TOPIC 2: I HAVE CHILDREN – HOW MUCH COVERAGE DO I NEED?If you have kids, there are several areas that you need to calculate into your financial planning (based on analysis from Money Sense):• Food• Clothes• Health Care (e.g. dental services, braces)• Personal Care (everything from diapers to deodorant)• School and recreation (school supplies, sports, activities etc.)• Transportation (E.g. public transit or minivan)• Housing (E.g. larger house with more bedrooms, furniture, additional utilities etc.)• Child Care (e.g. nanny, daycare, babysitters)Overall costs add up to $243,660 as the total cost of raising a child to the age 18. This means $1,070 per month over the course of 19 years. You should consider that this number does not include any post-secondary education costs. Having several children will obviously increase this amount correspondingly. Have you calculated these numbers into your future coverage?TOPIC 3: WHAT TYPE OF INSURANCE DO I NEED?There are several types of life insurance – here is brief overview of different insurance types:Term Life: Life protection that will expire at the end of a set term (e.g. after 5, 10, 20 years) and which does not accumulate any value. It is a pure insurance product: simple and easy to understand.Universal Life: A combination of life protection and an investment component. A portion of your premiums go into your account, increasing your net worth. You can choose how the investment component is invested. Universal Life typically comes at a higher cost than a Term Policy.Whole Life: One of the most complex life products. Like Universal Life, a Whole Life policy also has both insurance and investment components. However, they typically offer less flexibility (e.g. the insurer decides how the investment component is invested). This product is also more expensive than Term Life insurance.While each type of life insurance has its pros and its cons, we believe, the best choice for most people is very often Term Life insurance. It’s the simplest product to understand, it’s the cheapest protection you will get, and it fully fulfills its purpose – to protect.One of the fans of simple Term Life is Suze Orman, one of the leading personal finance gurus in the U.S.A.According to our analysis, Term Life is the most popular protection type in Canada. Nearly 45% of our users, who have Life insurance, report that they have purchased Term Life.Please speak with a qualified insurance broker or advisor before making any important decisions associated with such an important topic. This article is provided for educational purposes only.

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Comparing Hydroponic Watering Systems

A Common Choice: Hydroponic Drip SystemThere are different places where hydroponic system plans can be found, either for free (DIY) or for purchase at a retailer. There are companies that will sell hydroponic drip systems pre-made. These systems can be more simple than trying to follow a plan to build a drip system. Building a system from scratch, although fairly simple, still leaves the possibility of not doing something correctly which will make the system ineffective. Buying a pre-made system allows you to have a system that is up and running quickly and that is guaranteed to work for years to come.Wick versus DripThere are two systems that are most commonly made from scratch and those are the wick system and the drip hydroponic system. The wick system is very simply constructed. It uses a tray that holds the plants which sits on top of the reservoir that holds the water and nutrient solution. These two pieces are held together by a wick which allows the water solution to transmit these elements into the tray with the plants. The down side to this system is that there is not a way to regulate the amount of solution that is getting to the plants, which means that a small amount of plants can be grown at one time. This would make an ideal choice for someone wanting to grow a limited amount of plants or with very limited space.The drip hydroponic system is built in much the same way with the tray that sits on top of the reservoir. In this system, however, instead of using wicks to transmit the solution to the plants, there is a submerged pump system that transmits the solution to the plants at whatever rate the gardener sets on the meter. The solution goes into the tray a drip at a time so that there is a constant flow of nutrients without the plants becoming overly submerged like in other systems.There are benefits to using the drip hydroponic system, such as the fact that you do not have to monitor the system as often as other systems because the pump and timer handles everything automatically. Also, since the flow rate can be regulated, plants tend to grow larger, have a higher yield, and higher numbers of plants can be grown at one time in the system. One down side to using the drip hydroponic system is that it is more expensive than the wick system since the pump for the system has to be bought as well. However, this is a popular system, especially for use in greenhouses where larger numbers of plants are grown at a time.

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