Success With Bulb Container Gardening

There is nothing to give you the feeling that Spring is on it's way to see bulbs come into spectacular flower. Even if you do not have much space or you are affected by other factors such as poor soil, an uncertain climate, not enough sun or limitations in your own mobility then growing in containers provides the solution. Also container gardening is slightly easier in the sense that you can more readily guard against plant diseases and pest problems.

Part of the fun of creating a container garden can be in the unique items you choose to house your plants. As well as the standard terracotta, plastic, china or earthenware plant pots you could recycle and use watering cans, buckets, beer or spirit barrels, wooden planter boxes / crates, hanging baskets or even old tires. You can also use a range of sizes so there is something for everyone from the window-box in an apartment or balcony through to the other extreme of a large garden. Let your imagination run riot and you could create something really special.

Key Points To Remember When Creating Your Container Gardens:

  • All containers should have drainage holes and these are best sited in the sides rather than the bottom of the pots so that the roots do not get waterlogged. If the pots already have drain in the bottom then perhaps thing about lifting the pots on to bricks or small blocks of wood – anything really to elevate them slightly so that the water can drain away. Obviously the problem is solved if your container is hanging – so well done you!
  • The soil is the next step and this should be light, moisture retentive and well drained. It is best to avoid garden soil because as well as this possible being tainted by disease or insect problems it is also going to be too heavy. Thus only use as a last resort. Your plants will thrive best if they are in a blend of vermiculite or perlite, sphagnum moss and some finished compost.
  • Because your plants are in containers and to some extent can not spread their roots and fend for themselves you are going to have to keep a careful eye on watering. Check on your plants at least twice a day or alternately install a drip-irrigation system, use self-watering containers or water-holding crystals mixed in with the soil. None of these are essential, it just depends how much time you have to dedicate to the upkeep of your containers.
  • Again when it comes to container gardening your plants will be totally dependent on you for nutrients therefore when you are planting it is important to add granular organic fertilizer and then follow this up by weekly watering half-strength, water-soluble fertilizer.

As you can see container gardening really does offer something for everyone and it really is relatively easy to care for your plants and with such rich rewards. There are huge ranges of stunning bulbs and plants about and everyone from the beginner with a small window-box to the seasoned gardener with a large patio area can benefit. What's nicer that sitting with a nice cup of tea or chilled glass of pinot and gazing at all that blooming glory .

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Learn The Steps To a Successful E-Commerce Business

Have you ever imagined living a life without cars which means trekking long distances, without tractors and the likes which means tilling the soil with hoes, without basically the things that’ll make living easier and enjoyable but all thanks to technology and its inventions we have everything at our finger tips. And yes this has widened our horizon and everyone thinks it’s amazing owning a business cause once technology is involved, it can be swift and interesting.

We have various kind of businesses that have thrived and survived but our focus here is E-commerce and what is entailed setting up such. Its true there are many benefits that come with owning a business like being called a C.E.O or M.D, having that big catchy brand name, great siting of business premises with its frivolities, flamboyance and of course the most sought after which is the ‘steady profit and income’. But many a times, focus is lost as to the issues and difficulties encountered alongside the startup, let’s have a quick overview of e-commerce.

What Is E-commerce?

Have you at one point in time purchased shoes or clothes via the internet, sold your phone or gadget using your laptops or even had one or two bank transactions using the online method? If yes, you’ve taken part in e-commerce, if no then stay tuned as it’s served you now. E-commerce is an abbreviation of electronic commerce which can be defined as a platform, method or business model established for sellers and buyers for the sole purpose of carrying out business transactions of buying and selling through electronic medium. And stores that function by selling their products online are referred to as electronic commerce (e-commerce) stores and we have them around us. This platform allows customers to successfully exchange goods and services without the time or distance barrier coming between the parties involved and this has helped bring about good customer base and fostered unity across the globe.

Starting-up Your Successful E-commerce Business.

Starting up a successful e-commerce has a lot entailed as there are many things to look out for while starting up, you need to get started in the right direction so there won’t be mistakes that could sabotage your idea and pursuits; Let’s have a run through.

a. Have Your Idea Ironed Out and Processed

For you to think of starting out your business you have an idea of what exactly you’re bringing to the world aside the funds or capital to start. Do you intend going into clothes, gadgets, automobiles or what precisely? When this is thought out and processed successfully then you’re on your way to having a successful business.

b. There Are Various Types Of E-commerce

When starting up, you have to understand that there are various types of e-commerce businesses in the world today so this would determine what type your idea falls into. Note the very common types below;

B2B: The b2b model is called the business to business model and this is when a business is selling to other businesses across the globe thus the prices are low and given out at wholesale prices to help the purchasing business encounter some profit too.

B2C: The b2c model is called the business to customer model and this is when businesses open for the sole aim of selling to customers. So if you find yourself opening or starting up your e-commerce or online store then it’s most likely this category it falls into.

C2C: The c2c model is called the consumer to consumer model and this is when consumers are selling to other consumers. This is better known as when average people sell products they own be it second hand or used, whatever way it is it’s a consumer to consumer interaction and thus has its uniqueness as the above mentioned types. Once this is settled and you know the type you intend running or starting up then you have to do what’s next.

c. The Right Domain Name and Web Designer Is Vital

Purchasing a domain name is very important as this is the web address people input to find your website, and finding a good hosting would help promote your business to the level you anticipate it to get to. More so, a good designer who has special experience in e-commerce website building is vital so as to have both a touch of professionalism and good customer interaction arena. Never make the mistake of creating one yourself because this is just the beginning of failure, so never be cheap. Invest and sit while it works wonders.

d. Stay Legit

There is nothing as good as legitimacy when it comes to business startup as this would help avoid many issues that could arise in the future to crumble the business you would say you spent a long time building. Remember the type of legal business entity you’ve settled for would determine the kind of legal involvements and taxes associated and even the insurance that would help yours thrive and survive amongst many that may start up alongside yours. Thus, getting a good attorney does the trick as he helps you with the legal backing and if you have vendors involved in your business, you definitely would need a vendors license from your local state agency. Secure the business in advance and sit back while the initial struggle pays off in the long run.

e. The Best Theme Works

For every good business to flourish online, there has to be a good theme that would get the attention of your visitors and customers which would make them come back again and again. Make them come back? Yes, make them come back and stay. Thus the best theme and layout should work the magic. You don’t know how to go about getting that? Check for good websites that can aid your theme purchase and acquisition as this saves time, money and is stress free. Go for the best.

f. Have Your Customers At Heart

One of the reasons why businesses fail is because there is a wrong focus which is on the profit rather than on the target audience; the customers. Create a good platform for customers to interact on the product of desire before it is purchased. Use quality images to showcase your products with correct details to sell it to them. Patience and understanding I would say is the key to having your customers and keeping them on your site.

g. Never Forget The Payment Access and Input

This is very important as I’m certain you aren’t giving out your services for free. There has to be a secure payment service be it through Pay-pal or any other method of payment but what’s important is that it is secure and working adequately. This may take a while to process as it deals with Privacy Policy, Return Policy and all that determines your shipping and delivery functionalism so be patient so you wouldn’t have to run at loss be it now or later. Nobody wants futile efforts.

h. A Tip Of The Ice Berg Doesn’t Hurt

While at the setup process and all, why not give your visitors and future customers a tip of the ice-berg? A tip or two wouldn’t hurt. Use themes like coming and other related terms to publicize your soon to be e-commerce platform. This helps create awareness in the mind of users and enables them go through what the intended offer would include as this keeps them talking and anticipating the big drop.

i. Go Over The Launch Process Again and Again

Although it is said humans are not perfect but we aim at perfectionism to bring about the best thus testing, testing and testing is very important. It would be disastrous to launch a website and the user interface is non-functional. Go through the site yourself presuming you’re the customer and see how it goes, this would help know the kind of impression your customers would have about the site in progress. We don’t want to stress our customers or frustrate them, therefore test, test and test again.

j. Make Use Of The Right Social Platform

Using the right social platform aids in the successful run of your business as this helps to promote your goods and services aside the use of your website. When these social accounts are properly set up and handled, you’re on the go to giving the best. Therefore never rule out the importance of social media because it helps the world know about you and connections around the world and among individuals is realized.

k. Tracking Is A Necessity

Never forget that helping your customers track their goods is essential because you would be dealing with people outside your locality and even across the globe. These method helps to ensure their goods arrive safe and secure, never forget it’s a necessity.

l. Be Focused And Stay Positive

Having a positive mindset is essential to having a successful business. Stay focused and know their you’re your greatest competitor. Competition and competitors would sprout but never lose focus as you’d excel more than you can imagine. Remember the sky is your starting point and you never rushed up your set up so you’re in for the best. Go commercial already, get started!

Conclusion

The only person who can stop you from actualizing your dreams and maximizing your potentials is you. Never stop believing in your self and the things you can accomplish, trust me it’s never too late to start and you’re never a failure if you fail but you become one if and only if you stop trying. It’s never too late to become that independent person you’ve always wanted to be. Believe in yourself, you can do it.

Sand From the Beach – How to Clean & Keep the Sand Out of Your Home & Car From the Beach!

Sand belongs on the beach and not in your car or home. Everyone loves the beach, but unfortunately the sand loves to follow you when you leave. Though it is virtually impossible to keep every grain of sand on the beach and not in your car or home, a few basic steps can tremendously lower the amount.

1. Always wear sandals on the beach and not shoes that can trap sand.

2. Always carry toys, magazines, snacks, towels and other beach accessories in a mesh bag to allow the sand to fall out verse getting trapped in the bag to eventually end up in your car or home.

3. Place a tote in your trunk to place all beach bags, towels and chairs. The tote can be taken out of your car when you get home to wash off everything inside it.

4. Keep a small hose with attachment to wash feet off before entering your home.

5. Keep a bowl with water by the door and a towel on a hook. Clean your feet off before entering the house when coming home from the beach by sticking your feet in the bowl. Remember to put fresh water daily in the bowl to prevent bugs from attracting like mosquitoes.

6. Consider buying the Hoover Nomad Cordless Pressure Washer. Great to keep in your trunk to hose off feet, toys or chairs before getting into the car. This small unit holds 3.5 Gallons of water and is great at the beach, sporting events and anything imaginable outdoors. Long hose, 90 PSI and long battery life.

7. Keep your doormats by your home clean and new. Doormats do a tremendous job in attracting dirt when newer. Shake out regularly and spray down with a hose periodically. Keep your indoor mats clean daily and wash them weekly.

8. Consider an outdoor changing area to allow sandy bathing suits to stay outside and not inside a bedroom or bathroom. Rinse off the suit before bringing in a home.

9. Have a good stick vacuum near your entry areas to the home to capture the sand quickly. The three best stick vacuums are the Hoover Platinum Stick Vacuum, Oreck Rechargeable PR8000 and Karcher Sweeper.

10. The best vacuums indoor for capturing sand once inside the home are the Oreck XL 2000, Hoover C1404 and Koblenz Upright Vacuum.

The beach can be a very relaxing experience. Following these steps can make leaving the beach less stressful by bringing less of the beach sand home with you.

Graphic Design: Degree Or No Degree?

Through my design career I have come across many job adverts for a graphic designer 'with a degree'. It always made me feel a little frustrated – "If I do not have a degree do you automatically assume I will not be good enough to join your company?". Surely a designer's portfolio and / or experience should say more than a piece of paper with a qualification on it.

I studied for a higher national diploma in graphic design at college and when the course finished I had the chance of pursuing a degree in graphic design or go for an advanced diploma in art and design. One of my lecturers told me that the degree contained more theory work where the advanced diploma was more practical. I opted for the practical work … after all that's what graphic design is.

The advanced diploma was only a year of study but most of the work was project based even if the deadlines were a bit too generous at times. However, since leaving college (armed with my qualifications) I admit that I learn more during my first design role and by teaching myself. That kind of education never stops with the design world and technology continuously changing.

This led me to question the importance of a degree as a designer and I know that I'm not the only one to ask this. In my honest opinion a degree does not automatically make someone more creative and successful than a designer who is self taught or who has learnt on the job. Their portfolio should be the strongest reflection of their skills and abilities especially when it comes to finding employment. Do companies advertising for a designer 'with a degree' honestly think that they are going to employ a better designer or is it a status thing?

Now I know that things have changed since I was at college so I thought I had a look at what degree courses my local college offers and found that they offer a BA in Art and Design. Here are the modules:

Year 1: Visual arts; applied crafts; digital arts; site specific design; graphic design; performance related design; web design; animation; self-employment; video production; community art; textile design; teacher or lecturer.

Year 2 : Creative skills and concepts; integrated project; visual literacy; digital applications; specialist options: skills development; contextual studies; personal development planning.

Year 3: Creative practice; contextual practice; specialist options: skills application practice; research skills; critical and contextual studies; pathways and concepts; professional and studio practice; professional and contextual studies; creative futures.

I did not study most of this stuff and I've spent 9 years in design studios working on a wide variety of projects of all sizes and with good feedback. I'm now working full-time as a freelancer trying to grow my own business. I like to think that I turned out okay without a degree.

So I guess my question is … does a degree make a better designer or is it all down to natural creative flair, experience and keeping up-to-date with the latest trends?