— Milly Sod

A topiary garden is an ancient horticultural practice of clipping perennials to form various shapes of animals, people, and objects such as shapes. They are seen in places, such as parks, theme parks, and community buildings, such as libraries and state mansions. They are big in European countries with stately homes and castles. The United States has their share of topiary gardens; they can be seen in cities, states, and national recreational spots. It has been said that the Chinese were the first to create this type of garden, although no one has ever located the first plant created into a topiary piece.

The plants used are mostly evergreens with small leaves and stems. Horticulturalists use hedge trimmers to make these shapes into a reality. With hedge trimmers, the sculpture is shaped depending on the theme of the garden. When first starting the garden, plants have to be grown to a certain height to give it depth, so it may take a while before the “training” begins. During that time, the artist will draw out the sketches needed to make the necessary cuts. After the height has been reached, the artist can begin his work.

They first start out with long handed shears. These are used to get rid of the excess leaves and twigs and cut the plant down to a specified height. Next, they may use a topiary shear to begin the actual shaping of the bushes. These date back to the early 1700s and originate from England. The real shaping of the garden is with the hedge trimmers. These tools can level off and form shape of hedges, animals, spirals, and even cars.

It is best this practice is kept up year after year with the shearing and hedging of these perennials. To do this, hedge trimmers are used to continually shape and re-shape the evergreen. The best thing about evergreens is that they do not need much watering throughout the year. Also dead leaves need to pruned from the sculpture. With these practices, a topiary garden should be able to last for years to come.  I highly recommend here or here to get a new hedge trimmer.

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Go outside from time to time. That is the best advice children could receive from their parents. In fact, individuals of all ages should do more outside to enjoy nature. Take advantage of these activities to enjoy what the outdoors has to offer.

Camping outside is a great way to see the world from a different perspective. You do not actually have to go out into a desolate, woody location. Instead you can camp in the safety of your own backyard. Many local parks also provide camping areas that are there for your use once you have met specific regulations. Get the family together and have everyone meet for a night outside. Afterwards they will really appreciate the scenery.

Hiking trails are another way you can enjoy nature. An added boost is that you will receive an impactful workout as you march along the trails. Various national parks offer hiking trails that can take you along mountains, rivers and other types of natural landmarks. Experts can even plot their own course for hiking, but this should only be done if you are properly trained and prepared for the wilderness.

Instead of sitting inside the house all day, do more outside to enjoy nature around us. There may be a time when it does not exist in such quantities so get your fill while you can.

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When shopping for quality, dependable lawn mowers consumers have lots of brand names to choose from. Here are some of the top-rated and well-known, and not so well-known, companies.

Husqvarna – Not exactly a household name, the Husqvarna Group, headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden is actually the world’s largest manufacturer of lawn mowers and other outdoor equipment. They specialize in garden tractors, zero-turn mowers, and other walk-behind mowers. Some recognizable product lines, other than mowers, include McCulloch, Poulan, and Weedeater.

John Deere – This company has been around since 1837 and is one of the more recognizable names in the country.

Snapper – Another recognizable name and maker of quality push mowers, and riding lawn mowers.

Bosch – a quality global company of lawn mowers particularly popular in Europe. I especially like the Bosch Rotak 40

Troy-Bilt – Makes both riding and walk-behind mowers. Troy-Bilt manufactured the very first roto-tiller in1937.

Toro – Toro has been around since 1914, making several lines of lawn mowing products for consumers and commercial contractors. They also work closely with many professional golf clubs, and ballparks.

Yard-Man – Acquired by MTD in 1975, Yard-Man is still a well-respected brand name of lawn mowers and other outdoor lawn and garden products.

Ariens – A well-respected company and maker of all sorts of winter and summer outdoor equipment, such as walk-behind mowers, riding mowers, and professional mowers.

MTD – Maker of the MTD Pro lineup of self-propelled lawn mowers.

Lawn-Boy – A leading manufacturer of budget-friendly, walk-behind mowers.

Craftsman – Possibly the most recognized and trusted name in the tool and power equipment industry, they also make quality tractor mowers.

Honda – Makers of just about anything and everything that is driven or walked behind, including lawn mowers. Products include push mowers, self-propelled mowers, and professional mowers.

There are many other manufacturers of mowers. Most people tend to gravitate to what they know, what their friends and neighbors have, and company reputation. The first thing a consumer should do is to think about what kind of equipment is needed. These days, many of these mowers have a lot of specialized features. Think about what is really needed to do the job efficiently and safely. Don’t spend money on something with features that are either over-kill or will never be used.

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