Category Archives: Gardening, Landscaping & Environment

Gardening, tropical rainforest and beachfront landscaping and whats best for the Caribbean environment.

Maintaining an Idyllic Caribbean Garden

Caribbean Garden's foliage

Caribbean Garden’s foliage

So, you are living the dream with your house in the Caribbean and are loving life from a luxurious pool deck overlooking turquoise waters – well that’s the idea our friends outside of the Caribbean will always have!

However, reality can be slightly different and we do have to worry about the maintenance of our gardens, gutters, cars etc, like everyone else.  In the Caribbean whether you are an avid gardener or not, the surrounds of your home have to be kept neat and tidy otherwise it will quickly become a nightmare of vines and new species of bugs. So, here are a few ways that you can keep your garden in tip-top shape without over working and leaving ample time for enjoying the Caribbean sunshine. Continue reading

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The Importance of Effective Household Plumbing

Bahamas Villa Photo Credit : Caribbean Land and Property

Bahamas Villa
Photo Credit : Caribbean Land and Property

According to the Caribbean Environment Programme, the effective management of wastewater is a huge challenge in the Wider Caribbean Region with up to 85% of untreated wastewater currently being discharged in rivers, bays and seas.

While current and prospective home owners can do very little about larger sources of waste like, factories and refineries we can certainly make a big difference by controlling our domestic sewage.
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Gadgets for Caribbean Roofers

toolbox-caribbean-roofing-supplies-150Technology plays a pivotal role in the day to day running of many business, homes and personal lives in the Caribbean. Today’s ever changing technological environment encourages inventors who are constantly revealing new products and gadgets geared at making professional and personal lives more efficient, practical, convenient and adaptable.

The more common gadgets are found in education, marketing, sports and networking however, the quiet occupation of roofing does have its own “gadgets collection”. Roof installation entails a number of different processes, and manufacturers are continually coming up with new tools to make the modern roofer’s job more efficient. Here are some old and new tools that just might come in handy when you’re next roofing a Caribbean villa. Continue reading

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Building with Quartzite Stones

Building with Quartzite Stones in the Caribbean

White Quarzite tiles

White Quartzite tiles

Quartzite is a great alternative to mass produced ceramics and other common flooring options where durability and natural beauty are required.

Finishing touches to the floors of Caribbean properties can be a hectic phase for homeowners. The choice of flooring material is always dependent, firstly, on whether it is an indoor space (kitchen) or an outdoor space (garden paths or pools) and secondly the type of material that will give the best finish.

By choosing quartzite, you have a solution that gives both a first class finish and that is durable both indoors and outdoors. Additionally, it is easily accessible being available in Trinidad and Tobago!

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Life’s a Garden in Dominica

Life’s a garden in Dominica!

Violet Delphiniums.

Violet Delphiniums. in an island garden.

Life’s a garden in Dominica!  On other less mountainous Caribbean islands, life is more of a beach!

Dominica’s mountains reach up to nearly 5,000 feet and are habitually topped with rain-giving clouds, which keep the rivers full with more than twice as much rainfall as any other Caribbean island.

Anything and everything grows in Dominica soil, from avocado to aubergine, from breadfruit to broccoli, from cashews to carrots, its an a-z market gardeners’ paradise!

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Caribbean Christmas Sweet Delights

Caribbean Christmas Sweet Delights

turkish-caribbean-delight

Caribbean Christmas Sweet Delights – Caribish Delight

Turkish delight is one of our family Christmas favourites and its very hard to find in Dominica, or indeed in many of the islands. So sticking to my principles of trying to create recipes using as much of what we grow on our Caribbean property as possible, I have made a thinly disguised Turkish Delight with a mystery twist from my garden and called it Caribish Delight.

Naturally it did’nt stop there, and so we now have an interesting selection of Christmas Sweets to offer visitors dropping in.

Gelatine is readily available locally as a gelling agent, so I used that to set my sweets, although there maybe better alternatives elsewhere.

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Agouti The Celebrity Gene

Agouti The Celebrity Gene turns Cat into Tabby

The lowly Caribbean Agouti, which always gets to my growing broccoli before I do, turns out to be a big cheese in the science of genetics!  In future I will have more respect whilst planning ways to prevent them using my vegetable garden like their own!

Agouti the celebrity gene

Agouti the celebrity gene: An agouti munching on a guava

The Agouti gene which governs banding and spotting on mammals is so-called after the dark unusual fur colouring, (brown streaked with grey)  found on the genus Dasyproctidae.  The genus covers a large group of about 12 different types of South American rodents, known to us more commonly as the Agouti.

Back to the gene; some cats are tabby because of the Agouti Gene, some horses are bays, and some dogs have sable and tan points, all to do with recessive and dominant genes!  Tigers, leopards and zebras are all effected by it and the list goes on.

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5 Steps to Homemade Coffee

5 Steps to Homemade Coffee – the Caribbean way!

5 Steps to Homemade Coffee

5 Steps to Homemade Coffee – From berry to cup

A breakfast cup of coffee is healthy for most of us it seems, and even several more throughout the day!

Recent studies over the last ten years indicate that coffee drinkers are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s, colon cancer, and diabetes compared to non-drinkers, and they are also less likely to die from heart disease.

A group of Japanese women who drank three or more cups of coffee a day halved their risk of developing colon cancer, compared to those who didn’t drink coffee, and other comparative studies seem to show that coffee drinkers have a 41 percent lower risk of developing liver cancer.

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A crash course in the formation of black sand beaches

Black Sand Beaches

White sand beach Trinidad

White sand beach Trinidad

Somewhere in most tropical vacation fantasies you will find a white, golden sand beach complete with palm trees, crystal clear water, and tall tropical drinks with tiny
umbrellas. The little known black sand beach is often nowhere in this picture. However, for ecotourism enthusiasts, and travelers just looking for a change from the typical tropical vacation fair, the beauty of black sand beaches have become more recognized as a wonderful alternative.

 

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Energy Efficient Exteriors for Caribbean Homes

Caribbean Homes : Upgrading Energy Efficiency

Do you know that by letting heat escape through improperly sealed windows and doors, you are wasting money on higher energy bills?If we were to spend just a couple of hours twice a year, we can find ways to make the outside of our home more energy efficient. At first it may seem overwhelming, but it is time well spent. The savings on your energy bills will be well worth it.

Here are a few culprits that can drive energy bills higher:

By not properly sealing windows and doors, you are letting way too much of the heat in your home to escape. To save money on your heating bills, find and fill any drafts in your home.

Do a walk around the outside of your home and observe if there are any areas that need to be sealed. Because our home exteriors are constructed with more than one material, be sure to look where these different materials come together, like the foundation and exterior brick. Also check where the chimney joins your aluminum siding. Be sure to look at all the outside corners of your home also.

You must seal any and all cracks in the exterior of your home. Find the appropriate materials to seal your home. Do the job right the first time. Your work will last longer when it is done with the right materials.

Inspection of exterior pipes and faucets are a must. Exterior plumbing fixtures must be sealed all around leaving no gaps. Windows and doors should be checked during the inspection. Caulk any gaps and make sure they have a tight seal.

You can eliminate leaks by mounting your air conditioners into the wall instead of window mounts. Ensure that there are no gaps around your air conditioners. Look at getting a vinyl or plastic cover to place over the outside of your unit during the cold months. This will prevent drafts through the unit during the winter.

Check to make sure your home is properly insulated. This will save you an incalculable amount of money. Thoroughly inspect the attic. Your attic must have a vapor barrier under the insulation to be effective. Water vapor passes through the ceiling. Excessive moisture can lead to ineffective insulation and future structural damage. Look at the different vapor barriers that can prevent this from happening. For your home to be energy efficient, make sure all gaps are sealed.

If it is economically feasible, replace your doors and windows with energy efficient models. The initial investment will be justified by lower energy bills. The cost to heat your home during the cold months, makes ensuring that the exterior of your home is properly sealed is a necessity.

Steve W. Davis is a home energy expert. For more great tips on
energy saving exteriors, visit http://www.savehomeenergysavemoney.com

Article Source:

http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Steve_W_Davis

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