Dress The Yard Blog

What’s a Whirligig?

A whirligig usually combines the functionalities of a windmill and a weathervane.  Basically, it’s a weathervane that has a windmill on one part to assist it in better catching the wind. Even though whirligigs are designed to have a practical purpose in the show of wind direction, they have become more related to their use as children’s toys and in yard ornamentation. Most have amusing or artistic designs so that the windmill’s function will drive mechanical movements in wooden figures that are shaped like animals or people.

Most professionals think the whirligig is extremely old, which dates back as far as the 1100s inside Europe, yet they definitely were a common kid’s toy a couple of hundred years later within the medieval age. During that time, they also were used in farms in order to show wind direction. Specialists think the whirligig toys within those times highlighted individuals spinning swords or additional implements, amongst numerous potential designs. The version utilized in farms might’ve been more practical without any special ornamentation.

Whirligigs may be utilized either with an individual’s hand or inside the ground as an ornament or for another purpose. Using them as a hand toy generally is related to a time when kids relied on simple wooden toys. With time, it has become increasingly common to witness a whirligig as a yard decoration. As a matter of fact, some individuals collecting these devices might place dozens of them inside their yards.

Occasionally a whirligig is designed so that a figure's arms are its windmills, yet they also can be somewhat more complicated than that. A few are designed to harness the wind’s power and utilize it to drive complicated mechanical movements. For instance, a whirligig might be designed with a figure that sits on a bike. The windmill might capture the wind power then cause the figure to pedal its bicycle, potentially making its wheels turn.

In most instances, a whirligig might be designed of plastic, yet traditionally, they’re designed of wood. They might be weatherproofed to an extent; however, that is not always enough to keep a whirligig from becoming damaged by exposure to outdoor moisture. Most of them rotted away over time. For that reason, older whirligigs are pretty difficult to locate, and they’ve become a huge collector’s item. Also, there are several craftsmen who make them using traditional methods, and they’re also collected.

Hanging Wind Spinners

Garden spinners, or wind spinners are pinwheel-like, colorful decorations you may use to brighten up a garden, patio, yard, or a home. Available in multiple designs and styles, wind spinners fly as the wind blows, and also can serve a vital purpose: These spinners keep annoying critters away from the yard. Ranging from brightly colored canvas spinners to shiny metallic ones, the decorations are available in various sizes and shapes that complement yard decor. Liven the place up and keep pests far away from the patio as you add the calming motion of spinning designs to an indoor or outdoor area. In this section we discuss how to hang wind spinners:

Tree Hanging

There will include several places to hang garden wind chimes or a spinner, which includes on trees. Buy an S-shaped hook which fits over a horizontal tree branch then loop it around the tree branch. Be certain the hook securely fits. Utilize the hook’s bottom to hold the spinner. Merely loop the hook via the hole inside the top of the spinner then slide it to the middle of the hook for solid installation. Next, watch your whirligig rotate in the wind.

Installing into the ground

You might opt to install your decoration into the ground, particularly if you want to place it inside the garden and there aren’t any nearby trees. Also, several spinners look great lining a sidewalk, nestled inside bushes, or put around the backyard patio, deck area, or pool.

To put the decoration into the ground, utilize a shepherd's hook. Grasp the hook and hammer then tap the hook inside the soil, a minimum of 6” into the ground for optimum firmness. Slip your spinner over the tip of the shepherd's hook then adjust it if needed. One other option for a bigger decoration includes using a ground mount that secures your spinner into the ground.

Flagpole Spinner

You don’t need to have a flag on a flagpole. Become creative and instead, hang the spinner there. To add the wind pinner to the house's flagpole, whether it’s close to the door or inside the yard, buy a swiveling eyelet in order for the decoration to have the ideal area to secure onto. Swiveling eyelets include small holes that allow you to easily and safely hang the spinner from a flagpole. When the wind blows, the eyelet will rotate, allowing the wind to move the decoration side to side and around to offer the most pleasure.

Hook Hanging

Search the patio and think about where you’d enjoy placing the wind spinner. Use your drill to make a tiny hole then put in an S-shaped hook where you want the spinner to go. Drill a hole somewhat narrower than your hook. You also can utilize a plant-hanging kit to do it. Push the hook through the hole then slip the wind spinner over your hook. They double as planter hooks for using outdoors or indoors.

Hanging Inside

A gorgeous wind twirler will add dazzle to an inside sunroom or atrium, or merely livens your kitchen or sitting room up. To connect the spinner right to a window, utilize a clear suction cup then loop a fishing line or hook over it that secures the spinner to the window. One other concept for indoor hanging includes using clear fishing line that hangs a line of twirlers from a curtain’s rod in order for the decorations to reflect in the sunlight.

As with patio hanging, it’s possible to use a threaded hook that is similar to the hooks used for indoor planters then drill the threaded part into the ceiling and hang the hook included through the loop. Next, hang your spinner on your hook and appreciate the appearance of the wind spinner anywhere inside your house.

Creating Garden Spaces in the Spring

If you were able to associate the spring with a room, you would not find it inside a house, as it’d be outside within the garden. Our yards are the place in which most of us like to spend time in the hotter months. Whether you’re a skilled gardener or weekend patio grower, that time is approaching to integrate new ideas to the garden. Local garden and yard centers or online retailers such as Dress the Yard are filled with unusual and new selections that await your imagination. You may locate art for your garden in various yard decorations, such as statues, in conjunction with most other things such as chimes, birdbaths, candles, bells, flags, whirligigs, water gardens, and more. These items are partially influenced by the new design trend that includes moving the outside in and the inside out.

One prevalent influence that impacts the soul of garden design is Feng Shui. It’s the Chinese art of placement. Feng Shui has been well-known for thousands of years within the Far East, and just recently has the Western world started to notice.

According to this Chinese art, and most other soulful and metaphysical traditions, the external and internal is a mirror of each other. Physical external areas reflect our state of mind, as well as contribute in a negative or positive way. Cluttered yards that are filled with no-longer-loved or needed items, oftentimes reflect thoughts that are cluttered.

Soul Feng Shui is concerned with how to make spaces which align a positive energy flow for the benefit of success, vitality, and health of those who use the space. Gardens especially are critical for our well-being because they offer spaces which assist in moving humans toward an inward experience. With time greatly slowed down or stopped, it’s possible to reflect and contemplate.

To start to integrate a soulful approach to the outside area consider these ideas: Have every path follow the lines of a soft curve. It’ll encourage us to slow down. One other idea includes choosing certain types of garden spaces which reflect certain moods. Shade gardens represent the concealed aspects. Moon gardens whose flowers just bloom in the evening convey the wild mysterious part of us. Rock gardens are wonderful contrasts in texture, color, and feeling close to a multi-colored flower garden. Encourage other people, as well as yourself, to spend more time inside the garden by putting up a hammock, chairs or benches. A solo chair, referred to as a spirit chair, is put into an intuitive space as a reminder to welcome guests to celestial nature.

You may heighten your senses by adding in sounds and sights. Planting bamboo or additional ornamental grasses, and adding whirligigs, chimes, or anything which moves is going to make sounds. Allow other critters to call the garden home. Additional life forms such as dragonflies, butterflies, birds or fish, bring great luck and offer the missing connection in the link of the plant, human, and animal worlds. Whichever the type and size of garden there is, bringing a soulful feel to it may infuse fresh life into those areas and offer a richer, deeper experience.

8 Design Ideas for Eclectic and Creative Backyard Retreats

Is your personality or style full of color, playful, and imaginative? Do you adore art, nature, and maybe an element of whimsy? Why not have an ideal blend of your love for nature and your style within an outdoor, unique space? This section will share 8 ideas that will assist you in designing a backyard retreat which is going to reflect your individual creativity.

Consider yourself an artist and the backyard as your blank canvas. The garden space becomes your own masterpiece. There isn’t any wrong or right. It is about pulling the elements together that you adore from numerous sources and those that make you happy! Here are 8 ideas to get you started:

  1. Plants which Speak to You. The palette of nature is chock-full of intriguing "part pieces". You’ll find flowers that have whimsical designs, from Rorschach-like splashes to polka dots and bright color combinations for instance. Other ones have interesting antenna-like appendages or unusual shapes. Look through the tropical plant isle at the local nursery, perform an Internet image search or go to local garden exhibits to get ideas. You’ll be shocked at the amazing array of patterns, shapes, and textures The best part in releasing your creative side inside the garden is that there aren’t any established expectations – you’ll set the rules. Which plants are calling your name?
  2. Razzle Dazzle Combo's. You may design any kind of visual mosaic you want. A couple of thrilling color combinations include: magenta's and chartreuse, pinks and dark blues, yellows and purples or hot pinks and lime greens. Plus, you do not have to stick to just two--for instance, adding whites might add to the dramatic effect. When you come across a combination of colors which strikes you, take note. It not just applies to the plant options, yet also to your fabric selections and decorative outdoor accents. For instance, mixing stripes and circles or floral patterns with non-floral motifs will add diversity.
  3. What is a Garden Party Without Art? Stained glass includes an incredible method of adding beauty to a garden. Panes may be used as a tabletop, hung or connected with ground stakes which greet guests in unforeseen places. Framed artwork of any type will make a bold and fresh statement. Make a wind chime or mobile out of uncommon pieces. Arrange wood stumps, stones, colored glass, or shells in a pattern then put them within a strategic area in the garden. Handmade mosaic flowerpots, birdbaths, and steppingstones additionally make for great projects. One other good idea includes hosting a backyard party and inviting your friends over to bring a homemade garden art piece you’re able to display.
  4. Surprise Me! The element of surprise which reminds us of our childhood sense of wonder. Where and how you arrange and place the elements which comprise the one-of-a-kind garden adds to the overall sensory adventure. It might be something which pops out of the ground in conjunction with a garden path or something that peers at you from behind the tree. Maybe it’s something which reflects light or causes sound or motion when there’s windy weather. It might be an extraordinary or humorous item that hangs from a tree or which greets you when entering an unexpected alcove. Pleasant surprises always are a joy!
  5. Special Something. Which accent piece is certain to draw attention or get used as the rest of your garden’s focal point? Consider an odd sculpture, water feature, or whimsical birdhouse which may be a visual delight. Think outside-of-the-box while selecting containers to plant in. You may use a watering can, teapot, an old trunk, pair of old boots or wheelbarrow. Train flowering vines or climbing roses to wrap around items such as a coat rack or that will swag and dangle between trees. Even better, if you have an artistic spirit, make a signature piece which will surely provoke conversation.
  6. In the eye of the beholder. Search antique stores or check shops out which specialize in eclectic furniture. It’s possible to locate an unusual or old piece at a second-hand store or garage sale which you may modify or paint. Consider methods of re-purposing unconventional objects into tables, benches, or chairs. For instance, you might turn a wine vat upside down and add a colorful seat cushion or turn an intriguing door or window into a tabletop. Attempt to merge a modern style with old-fashioned surprises. The way you wish to feel inside the special garden setting will assist in guiding the numerous components you bring together.
  7. Got Color? Put color splashes around the garden which will be certain to catch your eye. For instance, colored bottles that are secured on the end of a tree limb are a surprising and fun method of soliciting attention and they’re beautiful as the sun filters through. And what about a vibrantly painted birdhouse, bench, or chair. Plant exciting plant combinations and contrasting flower colors that make the garden stand out. Murals also can be personal and fun. Strategically spaced statuary, colored containers, decorative fabrics, bobbles, and outside pictures also are excellent options.
  8. "Fab" Fabrics. Whether you are shopping for tablecloths, chair or bench pads, outdoor draperies, umbrellas, or pillows - inspire drama by picking patterns, prints, and colors which are atypical. It’s possible to mix-and-match vintage and/or store bought gems. If you are feeling particularly inventive, buy precisely what you want from an online or local fabric store and create an original! Tying or draping customized fabric to pavilions or gazebos also can add a creative flair. Make certain that you choose fabrics which wear well outdoors and do not forget to bring them in during wet weather.
Not only are you going to have lots of fun within the process of designing the backyard retreat—it’ll be a pleasure to share it with the ones you love spending time with!
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