Tag Archives: Home and Garden

Bears in the Garden

The end of the winter season is approaching and as the snow melts, common winter birds begin to head back north. Dapper gray and white juncos, beautiful finches, and other species that took advantage of the backyard feeder leave and are replaced by robins and other birds of the summer. As the weather changes, we might also see other types of animals visiting the backyard. If the backyard is big and close to forested areas and green space, such wildlife can include raccoons, opossums, wild turkeys, and even deer. However, as much as we enjoy watching wildlife in the backyard, there are certain animals that we would probably rather see elsewhere. One such animal is the Black Bear, a large animal that has become surprisingly common in certain parts of the eastern United States.

The Black Bear ranges in fairly wild, woodland habitats in much of Canada and Alaska, and a small population also lives in the mountains of northern Mexico. It also occurs in the lower 48 states in parts of the Great Lakes region, New England, the Appalachians, the Ozarks, the Rocky Mountains, the coastal Pacific states, and small populations in coastal forests of the southern states. Historically, this species lived over a much larger area but deforestation and constant hunting caused it to disappear from various parts of its range. Despite those declines, decades of reforestation and hunting regulations have given a boost to Black Bear populations in many places, especially the north-eastern states.

One such place where bears have made a notable increase is northern New Jersey. The proximity of heavily forested state parks to small towns has resulted in many sightings of bears in urban areas, on trails in parks, and some even visiting big backyards. Although most bears stay away from people, some do become so accustomed to people that they lose their fear of humans, rummage through garbage cans, and look for hand-outs. These bears are the ones that can cause problems and even become dangerous because they associate people with food and can lash out when they don’t get what they want. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to avoid such problem bears by just keeping a safe distance from any bear that seems tame, and never giving them food. Instead of throwing it a snack or two, if a “tame” bear is encountered in the garden or elsewhere, the animal control authorities should be called as soon as possible.

The easiest way to keep bears out of the backyard is by removing any sources of food. Some suggestions include not leaving garbage outside or keeping it in a locked container, putting bird feeders into storage until the bear has been removed, not leaving pet food outside (which also attracts other animals), and quickly harvesting berries and other fruits before bears can come and eat them. Large dogs can also keep bears away but it’s better to keep the dogs inside if bears are around because dogs of any size can be injured or even killed by a bear, and small pets could become easy prey.

Although some folks might love to see a bear or two in the garden, both us and the bears will be much better off if we leave those encounters to the wild places. Instead of bringing wild Black Bears into the garden, we can still enjoy the beauty and wild, curious nature of these wonderful animals by way of realistic animal garden sculptures. These include detailed statues like “The Expert Fisherman” Black Bear Statue, and the Lemont the Lovable Lounger Black Bear Statue.

Find the best selection of high quality animal garden statues at Design Toscano.

Redecorate the House for Spring

A change of seasons is the perfect excuse to redecorate. As neighborhood trees gain leaves and temperatures climb, why not mimic those changes in the garden with modifications inside the home? It’s a chance to celebrate the end of winter and the concurrent start of spring, and an opportunity to mark new beginnings. This fresh start in redecorating can be carried out in a number of ways, and involve anything from a few indoor statues to a major make-over of every room in the home.

Before getting started with redecorating for spring, it’s worth it to take a walk through the home and think about the winter decor that can be put back into storage, and the extent to which we would like to modify the home. If we don’t feel anything good about the look of a certain room or hallway, we might want to go as far as changing the color of the room in addition to replacing the decor. More commonly, we notice a need for a few small changes here and there, and can make those happen with a variety of unique, high quality items.

We can also redecorate to match the change in garden decor. As we inaugurate a new backyard with classic outdoor garden water fountains and beautiful angel statues, we can also decorate the living room with angel-themed wall decor, and a cute animal statue or two. Angel decor for the interior of the home can take the form of items like the classy Guiding Angel Sculptural Wall Frieze by artist Ellen Mary Rope (1855-1934), and functional, elegant decor like the Brixton Abbey Angel Wall Sculpture.  These and other angelic sculptures and decorations lend a blend of class and peaceful elegance to any room, and many such items can also be admired on garden walls or on the back porch during the summer months.

Speaking of wall decor in general, the texture and storied appearance of a high quality frieze can lend a breath of fresh air to any room and augment its atmosphere. It’s also another easy way to give a home or place of business a touch of elegant class, and thus impress guests and clients.

Colorful decor also works well when we want to influence the atmosphere of the home interior, especially at the start of spring. Just as tulips and other flowers begin to peek out of the ground, and color comes back into the garden, we can match that natural palette with beautiful stained glass decor. The Fruit of the Vine Stained Glass Window and other, similar, high quality stained glass items glow with rich, cheerful hues when placed in a window. For this reason, they act as an easy way to give the home a beautiful touch at any time of the year although spring might be the most suitable month to enjoy their bright fresh colors.

In keeping with cheerful, fun decor, spring is also the perfect season to decorate with good-natured items like the Hog Heaven Twinkle Toe Pig Statue. The small size, colors, and details of this happy, dancing pig make it an ideal addition to a living room, mantel, or dining table. This and other happy decor also work well at the beginning of spring because they can match our relief that winter is finally over. As with any humorous decor, dancing pig statues and similar, creative, unique interior decor will also put a smile on the face of every guest and act as a conversation piece.

Find unique, high quality decor and beautiful garden statues for the home, garden, and place of business at Design Toscano.

Tips to Make the Most of Post Holiday Sales

It’s the first day after Christmas but the holidays aren’t over yet? That doesn’t really happen until we have to use a new calendar in January. Until then, we still have several days to enjoy time with family, make a snowman or two, and admire the beauty of treasured ornaments on the tree. After looking for gifts for the past several weeks, we might also feel like we are through with shopping for a while. However, given the great deals and sales going on during these post-Christmas days, we really shouldn’t call it quits on shopping yet. There are just too many savings to be had and still plenty of wonderful items that would look great in the garden, home, and even places of business.

These are some suggestions to make the most of post-holiday sales:

Go shopping today: A lot of things will be on sale until the end of the year but the best discounts usually happen today and tomorrow. Since some items could go out of stock, it’s worth it to get some shopping time in today, December 26th. Not to mention, that same sale might not be happening in a few days. When it comes down to it, we shouldn’t wait to save a lot of money on purchases of fine decor and whatever other items we would love to have.

It’s also just as important to know where to shop so we can avoid crowds and find the best deals. Don’t leave online stores out of this equation because they might have just what we are looking for, we won’t need those items right away, and we wouldn’t have to brave traffic or wait in any lines to buy them.

Check prices first: We shouldn’t buy on impulse because we see the word “sale”. Some places have discounts for more, and others offer discounts that differ little from the ones we saw before Christmas. If you aren’t aware of the usual price for an item, check prices at a few places before clicking that “buy now” button. It will be worth it if we can save even 25% instead of 20% on beautiful wall art, an exquisite mahogany table, or other items for the home and garden.

It’s a long, dark winter: We are just getting started with the winter, and for folks who love sunny weather, unfortunately, we literally have a lot of dark days ahead of us. The lack of sunlight can be trying even if we do manage to break up the cold weather with a two week trip to Cancun, Jamaica, or Costa Rica. This is a worthwhile thing to keep in mind while shopping during these discounted days because we might come across some items that will lend the home a bright, cheerful look. Keep an eye out for discounts on sculptural floor lamps like the eye-catching Peacock Goddess Torchiere, and the fun Heads above Giraffe Floor Lamp. We should also look for deals on unique sculptural wall sconces, cute table lamps, and other cheerful interior decor.

Keep spring and summer in mind: It can hard to imagine the pleasant warm days of summer when the garden is a frozen landscape of ice and snow, but in a few months, spring will be here again and fresh green shoots of grass will be coming up in the backyard. It will be time to think about decorating the garden, and if we shop for decor now, we can be prepared for it while saving money on beautiful animal garden statues, sculptures of angels, and other high quality decor.

Find the best deals on fantastic high quality decor, beautiful antique furniture replicas, and more at Design Toscano.