Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Principles of Organic Gardening

 There are many reasons why you should learn organic gardening principles. Maybe you want to start a garden, but you don’t want to make a big impact on the environment. Maybe you want to change your current garden for the better. You can even put some delicious, organic fruits and vegetables on your table. No matter what your motivations are, you should always consider certain things when building a garden.

The goal of your organic garden should be to put out as much produce while using as little outside resources as possible. According to organic principles, this means that you should not buy any nutrients, fertilizers, or pesticides from the store. It’s even better to avoid using water from your hose, and instead gather rain water. Instead, you should try to use your resources as best you can to create a healthy crop. It’s a bigger challenge, but it’s worth it in the end.

Instead of throwing away vegetables and other food waste, you should start a compost heap. This is, by far, the best way to manufacture your own nutrients for your garden. You will find that there is no shortage of material to add to your compost heap. When you mow the lawn, put all of the clipped grass into the heap. Put all of your food waste into the pile. Once it’s hot and ready, you can spread it on your garden and watch the plants flourish.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Basics of Landscape Gardening

 Landscape gardening is the process of creating a complete scene through the growing of bushes, trees, shrubs, flowers, and other plants in strategic locations. In essence, you grow an entire yard.
Before you get started on landscape gardening, you need to envision what you want your yard to look like when you are several years into the landscape gardening process. If you’re low on ideas, you can look in a gardening magazine to see the layouts that are most popular with professional landscapers. You don’t have to copy them exactly, but you can at least get some inspiration. The first element of your landscape will be the things that you don’t have to grow. So if you plan to have a rock patch, or an area with mulch, you should take care of that first. After that, you can start looking at the longer term project.

If you can plan long enough in the future to place a tree well, it can add a lot to the overall aesthetic of your yard. You can choose between a single tree, or a small cluster of trees. There are many different options when it comes to the type of tree. You will want to choose a tree with an attractive shape, with bark and leaves and flowers that you won’t mind seeing in your yard indefinitely. If you want to get several things done, you could install a fruit tree that thrives in your local climate. Not only do you get the beautiful tree in your landscape, but you also get some delicious fruits every season.

Shrubs are another important part of your landscape. There is a huge amount of shrub varieties in any given region, so you should definitely do your research so that you can choose the ones that you want the most. Consider the seasons in which they bloom. If you can plan it correctly, you can have the right varieties of shrubs so that at least one group is in bloom almost all year. You can use shrubs to provide focal points across the yard, or you can line them up in a row to create a hedge.

So plan all of your trees, shrubs, and flowers beforehand, and you will gradually grow a beautiful landscape in your yard. Think about the technical aspects, such as what you will use to build your flowerbeds and what you will use as drainage. Incorporate everything into your master plan.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Getting Started with Indoor Gardening

 In many climates, it is extremely difficult to maintain an outdoor garden. If the temperatures are below freezing for a good portion of the year, it might be wise to bring your plants inside and start indoor gardening. Alternatively, you can do indoor gardening just to give your house a more natural feel, along with some nice decorations. Flowers blooming in your house add a lot to the décor, especially if you have the pride of having grown them yourself. If you are interested in starting to garden indoors, read on and find out some of the basics.

Some plants are simply not suited for growing in an indoor environment. If they take a large amount of water, then you will probably want to keep it outside. Watering a plant a lot, you can easily end up drowning it with too much water, or not giving it what it needs out of caution. So try to pick a plant that doesn’t require too much water. Another bad aspect of indoor gardening comes when a plant drops leaves or flowers all over your floors. Make sure you’re familiar with what the plant does during all seasons, so that you don’t end up with a huge mess on your floor.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Necessary Gardening Supplies for Beginning Gardeners

 When you start a garden, one thing you need to consider is the supplies that you will use. Depending on the type of garden you have, you will probably be dealing with all sorts of different operations, such as digging small holes, digging large holes, raking, planting, and many other more fine procedures. So if you have the right tools for the job, you can get it done quickly and with relatively small amounts of hassle. So consider all of the following things when you are looking to get started with your garden.

First, you have to do some research about the companies that you are buying supplies from. Some companies use processes to make their items that are harmful to the environment, or unethical. There are countless resources devoted to discussing which companies are reliable and decent, and which ones the consumer should avoid. So find out about company practices, and try to find a few companies that you will stick with when buying garden supplies.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Gardening Gifts for Your Green-Thumbed Friends

 Almost everyone has at least one friend who is a gardening enthusiast. You know, that person who spends every waking moment perfecting their garden. Well, when it comes time to giving that person a gift, it can quite often be a challenge to think of exactly what they would like. However, it’s always possible to come up with something that will suit them well, so here are some ideas of things that you should consider.

The first type of gardening gift is something that will make their gardening easier. Sometimes this could be a gardening tool. Lots of gardeners spend lots of time doing repetitive actions, such as planting bulbs or pruning their bushes. While you can get these jobs done with basic tools, it’s possible to get them done easier and quicker with specialty tools. You can get a bulb planter, a pruner, a lawn aerator, or any number of other handy gardening tools. So if you hear your friend complaining about how difficult a certain task is, you can make it easier by getting the right gift.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Modern Gardening Equipment

The types and quality of equipment you use to take care of your plants not only have an effect on your plants' health, but your own as well.

Defective tools could cause damage to your plants, but it is worse if they are so uncomfortable to use that they give you blisters or a bad back. To avoid this, look for the gardening equipment that will do the best job for your type of gardening. It must have the right amount of power to be energy efficient while also being able to do the job without causing you any more strain than necessary.

Here is a review of gardening equipment from the gardening experts themselves.

1. Garden Shredders

JCB SS2400 received five stars out of five from the gardening equipment reviewers from It has a 2400 watt motor and comes with a silent gear crushing system. It is one promising tool to improve and hasten your shredding activity.

Ryobi ESR - 2240 Electric Shredder is an easy to assemble garden shredder suitable for prunings up to 40mm. It comes with built-in wheels and a plunger for increased portability.

2.  Hedge Trimmer

Bosch AHS42-16 Electric Hedge Trimmer also received five stars out of five rating from the gardening equipment reviewers from It has 420 watt output.

3. Cultivators

Mantis Tiller Cultivator comes with patented tines to aid in cutting smoothly through hard, compacted soil. It is perfect for preparing vegetable plots, flower beds, etc. It also helps in thatching, aerating and cleaning moss. It also comes with a free border edger.

4. Lawnmowers

Brill 78370 Luxus Push Reel Mower rated 4.5 out of 5 stars customers. It has a large top cover that protects shrubs and overhanging flowers.

American Lawnmower Deluxe Light Reel Mower 1815-16 received 4.5 stars out of 5 from buyers.  A push-mower, it does not cause pollution, but is not suitable for tall grass.

5. Leaf Sweeper

Agri-fab 26 Push Leaf Sweeper is for smaller lawns and is available with 200 litre collector. It also comes with an infinite height adjustment feature.

Monday, April 29, 2013

3 Tips in Landscaping your Garden

Landscaping is usually a fairly big task, consuming much time and energy. But before you hire that professional, here are some tips that could save both time and money.

1. Spend some time thinking about exactly how you want the final design to be. You need to take account of the style and function of your landscape. Do you want to include an area for entertaining? A barbeque? Is there to be an area for children to play, a fishpond or a swimming pool? An idea of the plants you want to be there will also help. Focus on the area where you spend most of your time. That's a good place to start.

2. Think twice before hiring a pro. An independent designer might cost you hundreds of dollars when you may be able to access free plans on the internet or at a nursery. But if you have an awkward block such as very steep ground, a pro might give you the expertise to save costly mistakes.

3. The style of your home must be taken into account. If you have a rural cottage, formal gardens surrounding it will look out of place. Think also about your lifestyle. Do you want to spend hours caring for many beds of annuals or pruning beds of roses? If so, go ahead and plant them, but if you'd rather spend your free time at the beach, then go for an easy-care garden and landscape.

Here are the various landscape styles you can choose for your own garden:

a. Formal. This style uses lots of straight lines and perfect geometrical shapes. Orderly arrangement of plants instead of random positioning is employed. Close arrangement and pruning is seen on many landscaped gardens with this style.

b. Informal. This kind of landscaping workds well with cosy cottages. Beds with curved edges instead of straight lines and random placement of plants suit this landscape style.

c. English Garden. This style emphasizes the harmony between the house’s architecture and the garden.

d. Formal/Informal Garden. This style often comes with a brick walkway that exudes formality. This walkway leads to the rear with a circle of plants. The arrangement of plants resembles the English garden style but it has no formal borders.

e. Oriental. It is often the kind of garden found in small backyards. It uses rocks, evergreens and water. A wide variety of plants create several interesting angles with this style.

f. Woodland. This landscaping suits a house that has a wooded backyard and sloping ground.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Healthy hands are the Gardener's Best Tools

Here are the major reasons why one should consider getting a pair of trusty gardening gloves:

Gloves protect your hands from blisters, thorns and cuts while doing rough work like digging or pruning in the garden. Investing in one or more pairs of quality gloves is a good decision.

Here are some tips on how to choose the pair that will suit you best:  
1. Look for quality leather gloves with a cloth back; this will let the gloves breathe and keep your hands dry, cool and comfortable.

2. If mud bothers you, select rubber gloves with cotton lining.

3. When spraying pesticides or chemicals choose gloves that are made from neoprene. Gloves made from latex or any type of plastic may not offer the best protection.

4. When pruning roses, use gloves that reach up to the arms.

5. If you usually operate large garden machinery, buy gloves in brown instead of red as the latter may dye your hands.

6. Light cotton or even fingerless gloves may be useful for transplanting seedlings. They will allow more dexterity and so help to prevent the tiny roots from being crushed.

7. And of course, make sure that the gloves you buy actually fit your hands. If you have small hands, try the children's gardening section. there's nothing worse than trying to garden is gloves that are too big.

Your gloves must be comfortable as well as give protection to best serve your gardening needs.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Hydroponics Gardening

Hydroponics was derived from the Greek word hydro, which means "water" and ponos, which means "labor or water-working". Hydroponics gardening involves growing plants with their roots in other nutrient solutions and without soil.

Hydroponics gardening is as simple as ordinary gardening. Both of them necessitate sufficient light, water, temperature, light, and humidity. But with hydroponics, no soil is used. Instead a soil substitute holds the roots while nutrients are carried by the water. Indoor hydroponic gardening is not that hard and plants respond well to this method of growing.

This is one of the major considerations in hydroponics gardening since it sustains the plants. One has to make sure that this nutrient solution maintains a pH level of 5 to 6 after dilution. In hydroponics gardening, the plants should be watered more than three times a day. this is usually done using a pump and timer.

If your hydroponics garden is located indoors, the most suitable temperature is between 71 to 76 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, this temperature may change depending on the different types of plant you are working on, e.g. tropical plants.

Place your plants somewhere they can receive ample amount of light. Otherwise artificial light must be used. High pressure Sodium lights or bulbs are a suitable substitute for natural light.

Humidity is good. When the room’s temperature rises, the air will be able to hold the sufficient amount of moisture your plants will need.

A hydroponics system can be fully automated. Since it is water-based, the gardener has no soil to dig or weeds to pull. Also, the water can be re-used to prevent wastage.

With hydroponics, an excellent yield of quality plants can be easily achieved. Home hydroponics systems and DIY kits are are readily available in most hardware stores.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Care of the Flower Garden

Knowing how to care for your flower garden can make a big difference in the look and over-all health of your plants. Here are some simple hints to make your garden bloom with health

1. The essentials must always be given major consideration.

Your flower garden must have an adequate supply of water, sunlight, and fertile soil. Any lack of these basic necessities will greatly affect the health of plants. Water the flower garden more frequently during dry spells.

When planting bulbs, make sure they go at the correct depth. When planting out shrubs and perennials, make sure that you don't heap soil or mulch up around the stem. If you do, water will drain off instead of sinking in, and the stem could develop rot through overheating.

2. Mix and match perennials with annuals.

Perennial flower bulbs need not to be replanted since they grow and bloom for several years while annuals grow and bloom for only one season. Mixing a few perennials with annuals ensures that you will always have blooms coming on.

3. Deadhead to encourage more blossoms.

Deadheading is simply snipping off the flower head after it wilts. This will make the plant produce more flowers. Just make sure that you don't discard the deadhead on the garden or mildew and other plant disease will attack your plants.

4. Know the good from the bad bugs.

Most garden insects do more good than harm. Butterflies, beetles and bees are known pollinators. They fertilize plants through unintentional transfer of pollen from one plant to another. 80% of flowering plants rely on insects for survival.

Sowbugs and dung beetles together with fungi, bacteria and other microorganisms are necessary to help in the decomposition of dead plant material, thus enriching the soil and making more nutrients available to growing plants.

Other insects like lacewings and dragonflies are natural predators of those insects that do the real damage, like aphis.

An occasional application of liquid fertilizer when plants are flowering will keep them blooming for longer.

Always prune any dead or damaged branches. Fuchsias are particularly prone to snapping when you brush against them. The broken branch can be potted up to give you a new plant, so it won't be wasted.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Benefits of Gardening For Kids

Apparently, we can see how nature is treated these days.  It is a sad thing to know that people do not pay attention so much anymore to the environmental problems.  What can we do about this?  It's as simple as starting with the children.  It is good to see the children's involvement with environment-friendly activities. One such nature-loving activity that children could easily get their hands on is gardening. Why should you consider gardening for your children?

Here are the benefits that gardening could easily provide the children with:

1.  Science

In planting, children are indirectly taught the wonders of science like the plant's life cycle and how human's intervention can break or make the environment.  They can have a first hand experience on the miracle of life through a seed.  This would definitely be a new and enjoyable experience for the kids.

2.  Life

Watching a seed grow into a tree is just as wondrous as the conception to birth and growth of a child.  In time, kids will learn to love their plants and appreciate the life in them. Gardening could actually help simulate how life should be treated -- it should be with care. The necessities to live will be emphasized to kids with the help of gardening - water, sunlight, air, soil. Those necessities could easily be corresponded to human necessities, i.e., water, shelter, air, food.  By simply weeding out, one could educate how bad influences should be avoided to be able to live life smoothly.

3.  Relaxation

Studies show that gardening can reduce stress because of its calming effect. This is applicable to any age group.  More so, it stimulates all the five senses.  Believe it or not, gardening may be used as therapy to children who have been abused or those who are members of broken homes.  It helps build one's self-esteem.

4.  Quality Time with the Family

You can forget about your stressful work life for a while be soothed by the lovely ambience in the garden.  You can play and spend quality time with your children.  You can talk while watering the plants or you can work quietly beside each other.  The bottom line is, always do what you have to do, together with your kids.  You might discover a lot of new things about your child while mingling with them in your garden.

Let kids become aware of their environment's needs. And one way to jumpstart that environmental education may be through gardening.  It's hitting two birds with one stone -- teach them to respect life while you bond with them.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Butterfly Gardening

What is butterfly gardening? Simply put butterfly gardening is the art of growing flowers and plants that will attract these colorful and dainty creatures to your garden. Delight your family and visitors with beautiful butterflies, but be sure to create a safe habitat for them. If you own cats rethink your plans, because it would be a shame to attract these lovely insects to their death.

The design your butterfly garden is a matter of personal preference. Typical points to consider are the size of your garden and the types of flowers and plants you want to grow. Pick a style of garden that appeals to you, but ensure it also contains the plants and flowers that appeal to the butterflies you wish to attract.

It is important to find out which plants and flowers will attract the species of butterflies. that live in your area. This information can be found at the local library
To create the kind of environment that they find attractive, you will also need water of some kind. A birdbath will look attractive and keep the butterflies up off the ground, away from stray cats or mischievous puppies. A shallow dish on a post or hung in a tree will do just as well.

When planting your butterfly garden be careful how you coordinate the colors you choose for your flowerbeds. Although butterflies do not care about your choice of color, you don't want your garden to be a hodgepodge of unrelated colors and textures. Butterflies are attracted to those flowers that have nectar rather than pollen, like honeysuckle, milkweed, summer lilac, Valerian, daisies, Purple Coneflower, Yellow Sage, day lilies and lavender.

Some people find it helpful to draw and color a layout of their butterfly gardening plan to see what the finished product would look like. Keep in mind that warm colors like red and orange are flashy and showy. These colors have a greater impact against a strong green background. Cool colors such as blue and purple are soothing and toned down and would work better with a white contrast to create the look of freshness and brightness.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

In Search of the Best Gardening Tools

Different kinds of gardens require different kinds of garden tools. Hardware stores mostly cater for a wide range of tools, but there are shops that specialize in the more expensive kind of garden tool that shouts quality. Wherever you decide to shop, here are a few pointers to advise you.

Do you have small garden or a large one? A small garden will not require the same large equipment that would be of use in an extensive one. A ride-on mower is unnecessary if you only have a small strip of lawn. Another point to consider is who does most of the gardening? Some tools are too heavy for use by women.

When you buy secateurs make sure the blade always stays sharp to avoid damaging the plant. Look for models that have blades that can be sharpened or replaced, models with tension control and with sizes that best fit your hands. Secateurs usually cost around $50 - $130.

Hedge trimmers or shears are handy - but only if you have a hedge, or plan on growing one.  Some hedge trimmers have curved blades to stop branches from sliding out when cut.

Forks are used for turning and aerating compost and breaking up lumps of soil. The cheaper ones are often not strong enough for heavy soil, so go for sturdiness instead of price. Forks usually cost around $30 - $100.

A shovel has a scoop blade and is best used to move around dirt and garden soil. A spade has a flat blade great for cutting edges, digging and dividing plants. The edge of a spade should be kept sharpened for clean and efficient cutting will cause the least amount of damage to plants. These are a basic garden necessity and usually cost from $30 - $50.

A pruning saw is used for pruning trees and larger shrubs, while secateurs are for plants like roses. Pruning saws have a narrow curved blade that fits between stems or branches and easily and cuts them as you pull the saw backwards. They are approximately $27- $55.

A chipping hoe is a handy tool for getting rid of small weeds. The Dutch or push-hoe is slightly more user-friendly as the action required to use it does not jar the neck and shoulder quite so much.

A rake is also a basic requirement for the garden. The strong rake with the flat head and sharp metal prongs is used for smoothing a garden bed and getting out the last of the bumps and weeds. The plastic rake is used to gather leaves and grass clippings only.

Gardening tools don't have to be expensive. Flea markets and garage sales can be excellent places to pick up great tool bargain.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Choosing the Best Plants for your Garden

Many times we buy plants on impulse then find there is nowhere in the garden that really suits them. Before buying plants carefully examine your garden to see how much sun and shade it gets, whether the soil is well drained or waterlogged and whether your aspect is sheltered or windswept. You'll then be equipped to go and buy the best plants for your situation; shade-loving plants for the sheltered areas, sun-lovers for the warm spots, drought-resistant plants for the parched areas which may be either sunny or shaded, and swamp plants for the poorly-drained parts.

But wait! Test your soil first, to determine the pH level of your soil and what kind of nutrients you need to add, if any. Is the soil acid or alkaline? Most plants prefer soil that is slightly acidic, but there are some that must have alkaline soil to grow.  You can alter the soil's pH level, but it's much easier to simply plant for the soil you have.

Now you are ready to plant. Well - almost. Will you plant in groups or singly? If you buy 'one of everything' your garden may seem rather spotty. Group plantings are organised, harmonious and you can vary the color for interest.

Before planting out, place your chosen plants around the garden bed in their pots to see how they will look. Re-arrange them until you are satisfied. Grouping plants in sets of threes or fives usually looks better than planting in groups of even numbers. Be sure that you have an interesting combination of colors and textures of plants. Tall plants should go to the back, or the centre if your garden will be viewed equally from all sides. Try to keep your plants away from trees. The roots of trees are fiercely competitive and will steal all the nutrients and moisture meant for your flowers.

The right color scheme is one way to maintain the harmony in your garden. Imagine the color of the flowers when they are in bloom. Some colors may clash with others, but can still be planted side-by-side if they have a different blooming season. Foliage color is also important. Many flower plants have silver, grey or purplish foliage that is just as attractive as the flower. This means that they are still attractive well past the blooming season and so have added value.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

5 tips for making the most out of your garden workspace

A few years ago I bought a flat with a shed. This is no ordinary shed – in fact to call it a shed may actually be doing it a disservice. It’s more a very small house, with double glazing, electricity, internet connection, wooden blinds and carpet. As a freelance writer, this little slice of shed heaven was indeed a deal breaker in our first-time buyer property hunt.
After spending many a happy work day toiling away at the bottom of my garden, I decided to put together 5 top tips for making the most out of shed working.

1. Room with a view

Not only can a garden office provide you with well needed extra space (I have a small flat so it’s a real blessing) it can also provide an inspirational setting to work in. Getting out of the confines of your home and having a completely separate, designated work space can be very productive. Particularly if your ‘shed’ is for creative pursuits – being surrounded by the nature in your garden can certainly prove a stimulating setting.
If you’re having a working space installed in your garden, think carefully about where and how it’s positioned. What will your windows look out on to? Try to ensure you get the best view from your shed – it’s much more inspiring to watch the birds and admire the flowers rather than your neighbour’s fence!

2. Shed matchmaking

If you’re not fortunate enough to inherit a fully kitted-out shed (I should really refer to it is a ‘garden office’), you may be considering having one installed. There are numerous types of garden-based workspace available, so it’s a good idea to fully research the different types and different companies.
Depending on what you need it for, you might need a specific type of construction or certain dimensions. For example, the space you require for a writing retreat may be quite different from the requirements of a sound-proof music studio.
If you’re worried about how the construction will look in the ‘flesh’– make sure you see an example of it before parting with any money. Some companies have showrooms to display different models while others might put you in touch with someone in your local/nearby area who already has one of their models installed. It could be hugely helpful to see how this looks and feels in someone else’s garden before taking the plunge yourself.

3. Location, location

Of course, the possibility of having an outdoor office will depend on the amount of external space you have at your property. If you’re fortunate enough to have a large area to play with – I’d suggest locating the office at a good distance away from your main property. If it’s very close, I will guarantee you’ll keep popping inside for various reasons – snacks, drinks etc…
My garden is long and thin with the office located right down the bottom. I feel far enough from my house to separate work and leisure time when I’m home. It also makes me fully equip myself with all I need to stay down at the bottom of the garden for a good few hours at a time.

4. Get wired

If your WiFi signal doesn’t extend to your office, there may be other ways to get your little hideaway connected. When my outdoor office was installed (admittedly, nothing to do with me) a cable was run through the wall of the house, along the length of our garden and into the office. Presumably this is via some kind of waterproof, weatherproof casing. It’s worth thinking about internet and electricity connections at the point of installation.

5. Keep it safe

Finally, make sure your ‘shed’ – whatever design it may be, is fully covered by your home insurance. If you’re having a new structure installed, make sure you tell your home insurance provider about this addition to your property. Some garden offices can cost thousands of pounds, so you’ll probably need to extend your cover to make sure it’s fully insured under your policy.
In addition, don’t forget about any equipment or possessions you keep in this space. Again, your contents insurance might not automatically cover items kept in an outbuilding – so make sure you check.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

New Garden Revealed

After seven months of workers and inspectors and three-jurisdiction permit purgatory, my life is at last quiet. And heres where I spend hours a day on this 11 x 17-foot screened-in porch. A bug-free place to work and read and nap, with my three indoor cats. Heaven.

With the porch done, it was time to install the flagstone patio and walkway. Whats left for me to do is to plant more plants, and to make enough concrete pavers to form a path to the storage shed door. A DIY job right up my alley (no skill required).

Plant suggestions?
Above you see the largest area that needs filling in. At the back of this section, along the property line, I planted a Shasta doublefile viburnum, which you have to imagine at 15 or so feet tall, and a Ghost Weigela, which has yellow-green foliage and will soon be 5 x 5. In front of it are three Morning Light Miscanthus from my old garden, and then bare mulch awaiting maybe swaths of a couple of perennials. The space gets about four hours of sun.

Above you see the 3 Abelia species that I planted in April and have seen sprout up with impressive speed. Go, Abelia! Id never grown them before and had always loved their smell. To their right is a Fothergilla, another plant Id never grown before, and I must say its taking its sweet time growing.

Above is the view from the sidewalk at the bottom of the yard, where I planted three Cryptomerias to provide screening. Theyre gorgeous, soft to the touch, and grow surprisingly fast. To cover some of the shed Ive planted a crossvine and a climbing hydrangea.

Heres another somewhat empty and definitely problematic space between the porch and the neighbors privacy screen. On the left are some of the Blue Billow lacecrap hydrangeas I found on sale for 15 bucks each, and on the right, some of the Blue Maid hollies that are supposed to screen the screen. Im looking for someplace to hide the garden hose maybe one of those round terra cotta holders?
Problems, failures so far
  • Some of my new plants are dying! Yes, the Blue Maid hollies are infected with some fungal disease or other (according to the garden center diagnosticians) and you know how that goes those fungicides are much better at prevention than cure. So of the seven hollies I bought in April that are super-important for providing screening, one is gone and another is done for. Damn.
  • Speaking of screening, as I sit on my porch my primary view is of the back-neighbors storage area. So Im wishing Id spent more and bought Cryptomerias already tall enough to accomplish that job. (Patience is something I could use more of in this department.) I checked the before photo of the garden and noticed that a large burning bush did a splendid job of hiding the storage area, but I hated it and it had to go. So this is a case of things getting worse before they slowly get better.
  • Finally (for now), the soil here is crappy hard-packed clay. My original plan to hire someone to amend it with compost was itself amended by the reality of the humongous amount of compost involved almost a thousand bucks worth in bags, since theres noplace to dump a truckload. Instead, I paid a worker just to remove the existing shrubs that burning bush, and a bunch of misshapen azaleas. Soil amendment will have to come plant by plant, as I mix compost into each planting hole. Plus, Im counting on earthworms to turn the nice organic mulch Im using into decent topsoil, eventually. Maybe in time for the next gardener here.

Monday, January 28, 2013

home improvement

Home improvement options are somewhat private in general. If you will be living in your house for many years, then you can make judgements about what you like the best. Should you be marketing within a relatively short time, then there are plenty of things to take into account. This article will give you ideas on the best way to make good choices with regards to your property-development projects.
Before beginning any demolition work in your house, take steps to reduce the chaos. Lie down plastic-type material and have the location you may be employed in. Keep your tools confined to the job location also.Sac Hobo Longchamp Pas Cher Demolition is actually a messy career and having to clean a clutter throughout the entire residence may take time of extra time.
If you want to beautify your home, the most significant effect would be to fresh paint your wall surfaces.A whole new jacket of painting will give you immediate final results and then make the home appear new again. Painting doesn’t cost much, and when you don’t like the ultimate final results, it is possible to get an additional paint shade and check out once again.
Shield surfaces using a covering up in the course of any redesigning jobs. Flooring ought to be covered with a tarp or painters plastic in case you are painting.Sac Hobo Longchamp Pas Cher For other assignments that involve pounding or tearing down walls or cabinets, include all surface areas to safeguard them from scrapes and problems, like the surfaces.
Take into account purchasing second hand treasures from community firms that reuse things drawn from residences possibly lately demolished or renovated. These things are often totally stunning and then in superb condition usually the past owners’ preferences transformed or perhaps the products will no longer fit visually.You might even choose to foundation your brand-new styles all around these restored treasures!
Deal with all your home’s surface areas to keep them resistant to harm when do renovations.Sac à Main Longchamp Pas Cher When piece of art then make use of a tarp to pay the floor, if you’re demolishing walls or cabinets then protect any done area to ensure there is no scratching or another damage takes place. Also protect any surfaces which you aren’t gonna repaint.
When you have fixes that ought to be carried out on your condo, as well as your landlord is not doing them, you can withhold your hire.While there is no need to cover rent payments for anyone weeks, you have to set the profit an escrow profile and publish a qualified message to your landlord detailing why.
It can be not a good idea to produce any major home renovations while you are about to market your property. The greatest thing to function on is the way that your home looks from the outside given that plenty of possible buyers will check out the entrance charm because the initially sign of if they like a home or not.
As an alternative to hang on generations to save within the cash for the complete transform, why not look for home improvement jobs of any size and scales? By simply following the recommendation in this post, you may uncover the pleasures of earning the occasional enhancements and upgrades to your home without the need of waiting for a day that could never appear.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Do you want an elephant or a goat in your garden?

If you have never bought yourself a peice of original artwork before, the place to start is and their metal sculpture. We found their workshop near Kenmore in Perhshire, when we were in Scotland last week. I think the rest of the world discovered Heather and her mother, Morag, before we did. But, if you want a goat made from a car radiator, a daschund made from a fire extinguisher or any other bird or creature to brighten up your life and make you smile, this is the place to go.
[We bought a flock of swifts - photo coming soon.]

The Horrors Of Travelodge

We often have to stay in Travelodges when touring the UK visiting our garden office clients. We use them because there is one in every town, their website is very easy to use and they allow you to bring your dog.
But we don't stay there through choice.
As soon as the dog is old enough to be trusted in a smaller, more intimate space we will be reverting back to staying in pubs or bed and breakfasts where ever possible.

The whole business in run on the doubtful premis that they are the cheapest hotel. They rarely are, unless you want to stay in the back of beyond on a Saturday night.

Here are seven thing you should never do in a Travelodge.
  1. Never move the sofa in the family room. You don't want to know what has been left underneath it.
  2. Never expect the plumbing to work correctly. You will find a cynical little notice tied to the towel rail suggesting that you help save the planet [they mean help save their laundry bill] by not having clean towels every day, if you are staying for more than one night. Meanwhile the bath trap will be dripping and will have been dripping for months. We have experienced this in Stowmarket Travelodge. We stayed in the same room on two occasions, months apart and the tap hadn't been repaired.
  3. Never stay in the Stevenage Travelodge. The central heating system shakes and vibrates and the staff tell us that this has been going on for a year without the manangement doing anything to fix it. It seems is cheaper/easier for them to refund money to customers that complain than fix the heating.
  4. Never expect the floor to have been vacuumed. I've never heard one or seen one in a Travelodge. But do be reassured that we dog owners have paid an extra £20 so that the room can be 'deep cleaned' when we have left. The dog normally does the deep cleaning by eating all the items left under the sofa. See point 1 above.
  5. Never expect there to be a picture on the wall or .......
  6. In the newly refitted Travelodge rooms never expect enough space to be able to put anything down, hang anything up or store anything.
  7. But the biggest NEVER of all. Never expect any response or useful comment from their customer services, who can only be contacted by email or letter.
Any finally, in smaller, rural Travelodges you will meet kind, helpful and friendly staff who have to fend off complaints because the Travelodge management are not interested in giving their client a clean, well maintained, basic hotel room. They are only interested in the bottom line.