Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

Decorate mystery With A Climbing Garden!

May 2, 2010

Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a climbing wisteria on a trellis! What a lovely site! Roses, Clematis, wisteria, annual morning glories, jasmine, grape vines and ivy of all shapes winding their way upwards stretching toward the heavens to add beauty and privacy to your home!
Do you have a patio that could use a little more shade in the afternoon, or wall of color to obscure the neighbor’s driveway? Would you like to create a little get away in the back yard for that late afternoon reading time? How about creating movable bursts of color to punctuate your garden? Having a high rise wall of foliage can create mystery in the yard or garden by allowing the visitor to your garden a sense of adventure and intrigue. By introducing vertical elements into your garden, you build a mild suspense. What is on the other side of that dense green tapestry?
Climbing gardens are nothing new, dating back to at least the 18th Century when traditional European gardeners style decoration  to punctuate their areas with wooden structures where plant life wove itself into the inviting openings of the architecture. These movable structures can be a great addition today as well in your Earthen Garden
In order for plants to climb, they need a structure to cling to. Perhaps the most popular structure for plants to climb is a simple trellis. This usually consists of thin pieces of wood, metal or plastic brought together in a criss cross pattern. Depending upon how creative you are, your trellis can take on attributes that make it an elaborate work of art!
A simple treillage obelisk structure can be made by building three triangular wooden frames out of pine wood, or whatever 1X2 or 2X2 wood you happen to have; and covering the area with a sub straight for the plant to attach itself to. This sub straight can be wooden or plastic lattice purchased from a store and cut to size, or a screen material or chicken wire stapled to the wooden frame.
After completing the construction, lean the three frames together to form a point at the top (think tall pyramid), and secure them together with wire, string or wire ties (plastic straps that ratchet as they close in a ‘one way’ fashion). There you have it, a treillage obelisk! Don’t be too concerned if the initial structure seems a bit unsteady or unsightly, the strength of the piece will increase as the planting grows and intertwines with the structure, and your construction however crude or elaborate will soon disappear behind a living wall of beauty!
Items you may need for a do-it-yourself project:
• A quantity of 1X2 or 2X2 or 2X4 wood (depending upon the size of the project)
• Staples, nails or wire
• Stapler, stapler gun
• Lattice, wide mesh screen or chicken wire
• Plant material
Selecting the plant material is a matter of choice based upon your personal color choice, and plant likes and dislikes. As mentioned above some of the varieties include:
• Roses
• Clematis
• Wisteria
• Annual morning glories
• Jasmine
• Grape vines
• Ivy (Boston ivy, Virginia Creeper)
• Trumpet vine
• Black Eyed Susan vine
• Climbing Snapdragon
Placing your Treillage facing south will give the best sunlight for maximum growth during the growing season, but it may not give you the desired effect you had in mind. Many gardeners find the idea of concealment to be the prime motivator in a climbing garden, and the area they want to conceal may not always be facing south. That’s not a problem. Choose the area you feel will have the greatest impact in your yard or garden, and begin building and planting!
As spring turns into summer, your climbing gardens will turn into unique lush works of art that will to your Earthen Garden!

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Making Cultivating Asparagus

April 30, 2010

No vegetable is held in higher esteem than asparagus. The false impression that its culture involves considerable expense is perhaps the only reason why it is not more extensively grown in small gardens. That such an idea is erroneous is obvious when it is considered that a well-made bed, properly maintained, will yield good crops for a period of twenty years and more. The edible varieties are all descended from Asparagus officinalis.

The greenhouse species popularly known as asparagus fern and smilax are amongst the most decorative of foliage plants. Asparagus Sprengeri is a favourite for hanging baskets, while Asparagus plumosus and its varieties nanus and tenuis-simus are chiefly esteemed for cutting. Smilax is botanically known as Asparagus medeolioides. Both of the last-named species are useful for clothing greenhouse walls.

The first essential for the edible aparagus is thorough preparation of the bed in the initial stages. Drainage is an important point, and on heavy land it is advisable to raise it 1 foot. above the general level, trenching the ground 3 feet. deep in the autumn and adding a good dressing of sand, burnt earth, and old mortar rubble, together with a generous portion of well decayed manure. The bed should be about 4 feet in width and will be ready for planting about the beginning of April.

If plants are purchased they must be planted immediately on arrival, as the less time that elapses between lifting and planting the better. A bed 4 feet in width will take three rows, allowing 15 inches between the plants in the row.

No heads must be cut until the second year after planting. During the first season an ample supply of water should be given during dry weather and also a dressing of a good artificial fertiliser to encourage free growth. About the first week in November the old growths can be cut down and the bed covered over to a depth of 3 in. with well-decayed manure.

The following spring the roughest of the material may be raked off into the alleys and a good dressing of agricultural salt applied. Cutting may commence in the second year, but should not be continued after early June. Sufficient growth to maintain the plants in sturdy health must always be allowed to remain. Annual top-dressings with good manure and fertiliser will maintain continuous growth in later years.

The greenhouse species will thrive in a compost of two parts loam and one-third part each of leaf-mould, peat, and silver sand. Asparagus plumosus and Asparagus medeo lioides can be grown in pots or planted out in a bed and trained to wires running up to the roof of the house. Asparagus Sprengeri is best grown in pots suspended from the roof. Pot or plant in March and maintain a minimum temperature of 50 degrees to 55 degrees. During the growing period water and syringe frequently.

Plants are easily raised from seeds sown in the bed or in a nursery bed of light soil. Sow thinly in drills 1 inch deep and about 1 foot apart in early April. The seedlings must be ultimately thinned to 1 foot apart, and if raised in a nursery bed will be ready for planting in their permanent quarters in the following year. The greenhouse species can be increased by means of seeds sown in light compost in a temperature of 70 degrees in spring.

Use Cultivating the Azara and the Bamboo

April 30, 2010

The Azara are hardy evergreen shrubs :
Only one species of azara is of much importance from the gardener’s standpoint, and this is Azara micro-phylla, an evergreen shrub or small tree which is usually grown in this country as a wall climber. It has the distinct merit that it will thrive on a sunless wall and is very suitable for north aspects. Nevertheless, it will also succeed in sunny positions.

Azara micro-phylla is not absolutely hardy in all parts of the country, and even in the south may be cut to the ground in a severe winter if planted in exposed places. A good loamy but well-drained soil is ideal. If in the open, pruning is not necessary. When trained on a wall, straggling shoots should be shortened or removed in early summer. Young plants should always be raised in pots and transplanted in September, April, or early May.

Azara microphylla can be propagated by means of cuttings of well-ripened growth pulled off with a small heel of older wood and inserted in very sandy soil in a frame in August or September.

Bamboo are hardy and half-hardy evergreen plants :
The plants that are familiarly known in gardens as bamboos are divided by the botanists into three distinct families under the generic names Arundinaria, Bambusa, and Phyllostachys. However, the gardener need not trouble himself with the scientific differences which separate them, as all require much the same cultural care. One or two species are really too tender for cultivation outdoors in most parts of the country and are best grown in the conservatory with a minimum temperature of about 40 deg. Two notable examples of this type are Bambusa arundinacea and Bambusa vulgaris, both very large species, which in their native countries attain heights of 50 feet or more.

Even the hardiest bamboos should be planted in places where they are sheltered from high winds. Unless this precaution is taken the foliage is apt to become brown in patches and soon presents a shabby and untidy appearance. All bamboos succeed best in a good loamy soil which is neither so sandy as to dry out badly in the summer nor so heavy as to be cold and sodden in winter. Peat or leaf-mould of a good quality may be worked into the soil freely before planting, and it is an excellent plan to give the plants an annual mulch of well-rotted manure when growth starts in the spring. This will greatly improve the quality of the foliage. Bamboos usually look their best when established near ornamental water, and benefit from the extra moisture in the soil during the spring and summer. It is not advisable, however, that the crowns should be constantly soaked or standing in stagnant water during winter. For these reasons plants should be established sufficiently above water level to ensure reasonably good drainage at that season. April and early May are the best times for planting bamboos, and they should never be disturbed during the winter.

Propagation is most easily effected by division at planting time. Seed, if procurable, also offers a possible method of propagation. It should be sown very thinly during February or March in a light peaty compost in well-drained pans, and should be germinated in a warm greenhouse with a temperature of about 65 degrees.

Making A Community Garden

April 27, 2010

Starting a community garden is a rewarding project that benefits a lot of lives. Some people have a knack with the green thumb, but scant resources to begin a garden of their own. However, in the tradition of community spirit and some wise planning, you may be the first to launch a community garden center and reap the rewards of freshly grown fruits and vegetables and a sense of accomplishment of a job well done. Someone has to get the ball rolling and it might as well be you. To launch your community garden project, follow these 10 easy steps:

1. Select a community garden site: In this initial phase of community organizing, you will select a growing site that can accommodate a generous portion of land. Before making a final choice, be sure you have had soil samples analyzed to be sure that the soil conditions are compatible for the types of vegetation you wish to plant.

2. Seek Sponsorship: You may wish to explore your financial options by seeking out a sponsor for your community garden. It may be a non-profit organization, philanthropic grant foundation or a religious ministry that will back your project and even acquire or donate the land.

3. Make a list of up-front expenditures : Your working capital must include the necessary elements to get the community garden up and running. Excluding the land costs, you will need fencing, gardening tools, fertilizer, shading canopies, seeds and young plants, trash cans, sheltered storage, locks and gardening accessories to make the cultivation process smooth sailing.

4. Elect a leader : Assemble together all those who have taken an early vested interest in the community garden and elect a designated leader and officers. Someone has to be in charge of the garden recruiting process, how many shares are to be doled out, what the minimum tasks will be to participate in the community garden and if the project will collect any fees. A charter should be drawn up that clearly states the goals and objectives of the new garden, and keeps the officers separated with clearly defined duties.

5. Choose a name : Your community garden will grow in popularity, and in no time at all, will be the talk of the town. Give your community garden a catchy name, preferably one detached from the names of the chief officers.

6. Tenant selection : You must have a written plan of who and how your tenants will be selected. Will they have a fixed term of occupancy and for how long? Will you charge an up-front fee or monthly dues for tenant residency? Will you set forth an advertising budget to grow the garden occupancy? All the variables must be submitted in writing to your tenant list and returned to the community garden supervisor with signatures.

7. Insurance. Your new community garden should be covered with insurance for injuries and vandalism. The larger insurance companies that handle a multitude of scenarios are your best bet for this unique coverage. The insurance company may discuss and suggest to you some valuable security measures to safeguard your garden and protect your investment.

8. Management. Every good garden has sound managerial principals that are submitted in writing and strictly enforced. You will need to establish a chain of command and draft a contract for the garden occupants. This includes deadlines for fees, community garden safety regulations, whether or not you will admit an unaccompanied minor, etc.

9. The application process. To be fair and equitable to all members of society, you will need to draft an application form and make the necessary fees adjustable for senior citizens and any other group you wish to help with garden payments. Have a checklist that defines your membership applicants so that they may communicate effectively their need or financial situation, such as a box for seniors, disabled persons or someone due a discount through a referral.

10. Get to work. Once everything is in place, waste no time in getting your garden going. If the early stages prove too cumbersome for a skeletal crew, you may ask for volunteers from civic and clergy groups to help you set up and get the show on the road.

Your Topsy Turvy Tomato Benefits

April 27, 2010

Gardening is one of the most rewarding and relaxing hobby. And for home gardeners, growing tomatoes is the best crop to grow. Tomatoes are easy to grow, but one thing that needs to be considered is their need for a strong support as they start to grow taller and bear fruit. This is why most gardeners resort to topsy turvy tomato planter as this is the most ideal gardening partner for tomato growers.

The topsy turvy tomato planter is designed to provide ideal home for growing tomatoes. Even if the topsy turvy tomato planter is designed to hold the plant in an upside down position, they can host any tomato variety efficiently. Traditional tomato planting usually require a lot of maintenance like weeding, digging, and checking every now and then for some pests. But with topsy turvy tomato, wherein the plant is placed on a soil bag and hanged upside down, gardeners can have a better yield because ripe tomatoes can easily be seen unlike those which are planted on the soil wherein there can be more rotten tomatoes on the ground because the gardener couldn’t harvest them on time. There are various benefits that can be acquired from topsy turvy tomato planter and one is easy access to the topsy turvy tomato. This makes pruning, inspecting, and harvesting a lot easier.

Second benefit is better air flow. Since the topsy turvy tomato is hanged, better air flow is expected. This inhibits any bacterial or fungal diseases because moisture is easily dissipated. With this, healthier tomatoes will definitely be harvested. Third benefit is that, topsy turvy tomato is kept safer from pests. Since moisture is avoided and the entire plant is away from land soil, instance of worms and other pests are avoided. Compare topsy turvy tomato to land planted tomatoes when watering.

Topsy turvy tomato is watered directly to the soil where its roots are planted while land planted tomatoes gets watered from the leaves to the branches then to the soil. This allow lots of moisture to be locked in between leaves and branches thus instances of pests is increased. Lastly, there is no staking in topsy turvy tomato. Finding a cage or a stake for a tomato that can fully support it while allowing easy access is tough so growing topsy turvy tomato is best because it eliminates the need for stakes.

With all the mentioned benefits from topsy turvy tomato, it is no doubt that it really is the most ideal way to grow tomatoes nowadays. It requires less maintenance yet great yield. But remember that even though topsy turvy tomato proves to be highly successful, still its healthy growth depends on you. Also, it is highly important to pick the best varieties for topsy turvy tomato. Consider the season too because some tomatoes die out easily during summer season while some are resilient in hot weather. A good information about the different varieties of tomatoes is essential to get the best results and successful harvest.

Decorating Growing Plants Indoors

April 27, 2010

Growing plants indoors can be a wonderful way to decorate your living space and bring a little nature indoors.   From hard to kill potted plants to a wonderful edible garden, An Associates apartment dwellers to know that there are many methods of bringing the beauty and joy of plants to your cozy home. One easy way to get started is with low maintenance plants that require little light.  Hardier houseplants such as the Spider Plant, “lucky” bamboo , and Pothos are easy to grow and do well in a variety of conditions.  Also try philodendrons, Aspidistra, the Jade plant, and the money plant.

Plants such as these, as well as other plants in containers and planters, allow you to move them around your space—an advantage that is not available with permanent plantings.  You can move your plants where it’s sunnier or shadier, depending on the needs of the plant and the season.  You can also bring blooming plants to more visible areas of your apartment to show them off.  It’s up to you what you want to use as your container.  Get creative!  Try your old Snoopy lunch pail, a desk drawer, a teapot, or   Just make sure that whatever you do choose has holes drilled in the bottom for drainage.

There are still other ways to find space for plants in your apartment, while still providing them with what they need to flourish.   A trellis or hanging pole is a great space saver  and of course, there’s not much else that can bring beauty to your home like a window box full of colorful flowers.  Many apartment dwellers have patios or balconies that provide the opportunity to grow numerous types of plants.

One of the most rewarding options for the apartment dweller is to create an edible garden.  Vegetables such as carrots and lettuce can be grown in containers if placed near a window that lets in at least six hours of sunlight.  With a special grow light, you can even grow tomatoes and strawberries.  Try various herbs, grouping them according to their soil, water, and sun requirements.  Sage, thyme, need full sun, so can grow on your balcony in a sunny window box.  Mint and spearmint need semi-sun, so can be placed accordingly.  Use your mint in deserts, drinks, and even as a way to repel ants. However small, growing food in your own garden not only saves you money, but is also good for the environment. With some simple planning, plants of all kinds bring life and beauty to your home and to your apartment.

How To Plant Hardy Palm Trees in Your Garden

April 24, 2010

Hardy palm trees are a species of palm (Arecaceae) that are able to withstand cooler temperatures and thrive in places not typically considered in the natural range for palms. Several are native to the higher cities in Asia and can tolerate hard freezes with little or no signs of damage. Many of these species can be cultivated at high latitudes, and in places that regularly see snow in winter.

The minimum temperature a palm can grown depends on a variety of factors, such as the humidity, size and age of the palm, daytime high temperatures, or the length of time the temperature is at the minimum. A temperature of -5 for several days will do alot more damage to a palm than an overnight low of say -8 for an hour.

How to plant Hardy palm trees:

You can learn how to plant Hardy palm trees with the Cold Hardy Palms Central eBook, which covers the following:

* Detailed Zone map to determine the proper Palms for your area
* Complete list of Palms for your zone
* Planting Instructions
* Places to buy your palms online or locally
* How to select your palms.
* Landscaping Ideas
* How to plant cold hardy bananas, citrus, grapefruit, and eucalyptus

Hardy Palm trees can be grown virtually anywhere. These tropical landscapes are no longer limited to beach houses or Florida homes. Not to mention, you can also plant cold hardy bananas, citrus, grapefruit, and eucalyptus too!

Do You Know How Maintain Rattan Garden Furniture?

April 24, 2010

An investment in rattan furniture is indeed a big deal. This variety of furniture is top of the range highend garden decor that is relatively prier than the ordinary garden furniture. These are luxury pieces of furniture that are generally accommodative of all weather variations, are durable, and will provide the overall outlook of your home with a luxurious and stylish feel.

Rattan garden furniture is generally durable but may as well need maintenance to keep them in perfect condition for as long as a decade. One way to maintain your furniture is to protect it from moisture, as it will develop molds that could cause blemish. If you can afford a small conservatory, then you can place the furniture in there over the cold and wet seasons. You may as well as well dry off the moisture often over the dry cold season.

Cleaning your rattan furniture only when it is necessary will keep the cushion fabric from wear and tear. It is also important to change the fabric frequently if you live in a hot and humid environment because the heat could discolor the fabric thus leaving your furniture with an unpleasant appearance. When wiping of the rattan itself use a soft cloth that has been damped with polish and not water and soap. Water and soap will certainly fade out the lustrous appearance of the furniture while the polish will enhance the appearance it is advisable to use the same oil or polish for cleaning your furniture to avoid the ugly steaks that may result from using different cleansers.

To protect you rattan garden furniture from spills and stains it is advisable to use coasters and pads to dry off the spill. Using this method as opposed to rubbing it off will ensure that the stain does not stick in the furniture; this will also keep you from cleaning the fabric too frequently. However, if you do clean the fabric follow the laundry instructions to avoid shrinkage and discoloration.

Maintaining rattan furniture from abrasion will require that you keep the pets away from the furniture as they may scratch of the coating or topple over any fragile components of the garden furniture. Ensure that you use a natural bristle brush because it is soft enough to keep the rattan from damage and flexible enough to reach the hidden parts of the furniture. In an effort to avoid damage to furniture, see that those around the furniture sit on the cushions and not on the arms or any other structure.

Make Mini Herb Garden On A Windowsill

April 23, 2010

Putting things by the windowsills is usually meant for decorating the house, or drying something. One of the best ideas for things to put by the windowsill is the herb garden. Regardless of where you stand with the green movement, it’s always a good idea to have some plants indoors. There are plastic plants, of course, but these don’t serve any other purpose besides decorations. Windowsill herb gardens can make the room look better, and more.These are herbs. Herbs can be used in a lot of ways. To give you a better picture, here are a few advantages of having a windowsill herb garden.

Scented rooms :

There are herbs that you don’t want to have indoors, while there are others that emit nice aromas that you’ll enjoy. There are herbs that grow great flowers, but may not have strong fragrances. If you want your home to have a natural air freshener, grow a scented herb garden and put them by the windows. Some of the best-smelling herbs are bergamot, lavender, pineapple sage, and scented pelargonium. These same herbs are more than just to give out that nice scent. These same herbs can be used to add to the taste of dishes as well.

Easy seasonings :

The best thing about having an indoor herb garden is that you can have your seasonings at arms reach  just grab the herb, and throw it into the cooking pot. Also, since you have your herb garden inside your house, you can take care of them more effectively and prevent them from getting infested with pests. Obviously, a pest-free herb garden is most useful for those who use the herbs in cooking. Some of the most popular culinary herbs that you might want to grow first include parsley, oregano, sage, chives, coriander, thyme, and rosemary. A little note about rosemary,  it’s a slow growing herb, so it would be better to get a young plant instead of a seedling unless you’re willing to wait until you can cook a dish with rosemary in it.

Healthy house :

Herbs have long been known as medicinal in a lot of ways. Most of the drugs today take their important components from herbs as well. Do you know Chinese medicine? That is the alternative medicine that makes efficient use of herbs. As with other gardens, know what you need to grow. Medicinal herbs include mint, rosemary, chamomile, lemon balm, parsley, and oregano. These same medicinal herbs are used in the kitchen; in case you didn’t notice.

Windowsill herb gardens give you a lot of advantages over an outdoor one. For one, you have easy access to your herbs that keep your house looking good. It’s actually also a must for you to put the herbs by the window since your herbs will be needing some sunlight.

Outdoor Garden Gazebo living

April 23, 2010

An outdoor gazebo is a free standing structure that is commonly seen in gardens, parks or sometimes even in residence. It is also called as pavilion, a bandstand, a summerhouse, a belvedere, or a cabana, even a vendor’s booth. They have many uses, whether it’s just a place to hide from the warm sun or brutal rainfall, maybe even just to add some feature to your landscape, a gazebo can easily add value to your property.

It comes in many shapes, sizes and materials and can be installed to be permanent structures or temporary or seasonal structures and many are can be bought as DIY kits.

Today, you can find a gazebo made from a wide variety of different materials including:

1. Aluminum gazebos

They are commonly erected for special occasions or seasonal use, easy to customize and can be a terrific way to create privacy for small urban rooftop and the “roofs” of this gazebos are made of waterproof canvas coated with UV protection.

2. Wooden gazebos

What most people think gazebos are made of. Modern contemporary to Japanese style is possible with wooden structure. The best outdoor woods are Southern yellow pine (Pinus palustris), Northern white cedar (Thuja Occidentalis) and redwood, all American woods that weather beautifully without the need for staining, painting or pressure treating.

3. Wrought iron gazebos

It’s old and antique look though it’s brand new that adds sophistication and elegance to any garden.  The great part about wrought iron gazebos is that they can be assembled and build with ease as the parts come with ease to use hooks and bolts. But in reality, wrought iron is not used much today. It is quite heavy and can be very brittle. One of this is the wrought iron fence surrounding the Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts that was being stolen at an alarming rate.

4. PVC Resins are used in creating fascinating small gazebo

With stunning greenhouse effect and with this it’s a great way to start vegetable and annual plants for an early start to the growing season. You can also purchase models that come with clear vinyl sides and a zippered doorway and enough room for shelves.

Your imagination and budget are all that determines how involved your outdoor gazebo can become your room of choice for all summer long once you have designed it for maximum comfort.