Christmas

End of season wrap up: My favorite plants of 2017

Now that the garden has gently shifted into architecture and mush, it’s time to reflect on the plants we grew this season and decide whether we’ll continue to grow them for seasons to come.
Whether sexy new introductions or old favorites, plants ex – source

canning

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Five Things Friday

The five little things that made my week…
1. If you’re a canner, you know that little pop! of your lids sealing after coming out of their boiling water bath is music to the ears, amiright?!
It’s been insanely hot and humid this week in Southern Cali – source

A New Trend in Gardening: The Fairy Garden

Have you heard of those adorable Fairy gardens?

They’re becoming increasingly popular and more and more people love that new addition in their house or backyard.

What are Fairy Gardens?

A Fairy Garden is basically a miniature garden made of natural materials such as pebbles, wood and living plants. It’s meant to be an enchanted green scene where live tiny magical creatures such as Fairies, but also gnomes, dwarfs, elves etc. supposed to bring good luck to your home.

They usually include several components like fantastical figurines, but also miniature benches, houses, pathways, bridges and rivers that create this unique small universe and give it a charming soul.

What setting for a Fairy Garden?

Since the Fairy Gardens are created and imagined from scratch, there is an unlimited number of different types, design and themes out there!

If they are placed inside the house, they more likely will be small and grown in containers garden such as pot plants, jars or glass containers.

If they’re part of a backyard, there is no size limitation and other themes become possible like a woodland Fairy garden (installed at the food of a tree) or the use of an existing water feature (mini boat, bridge, dock).

Fairy Garden Design

Once the theme is chosen, the different landscaping elements are gathered and assembled together in order to create the scaled miniature garden in a most realistic way as possible.

Very often, pebbles and gravel are used in order to reflect a path or courtyard just like in real life.

A different and recent decorative use for the crushed rocks and recycled coloured glass especially, that are able to suit any crazy idea!

Gravel binder comes also very handy in the project, since it can be used with any stone and holds the pebbles in place. And because it let the water come through, the surrounding small living plants can be watered without any issue!

Benefits of a Fairy Garden

Aesthetically beautiful and low maintenance, they are a great option for putting a green addition in small spaces like a small living room or a balcony.

They’re perfect for children who can be educated about nature and gardening while being inventive and having a lot of fun.

They are also loved by older people who love gardening but find it physically too taxing.

For all, it encourages imagination and creativity and brings that magical touch in our everyday lives!

Gardening Information – Choosing Your Perfect Garden

What is the perfect garden for you?

Now that you’ve been thinking of a garden for yourself perhaps your considering what type of garden to create. The choices are unlimited and the kinds of gardens are as varied as the number of gardeners. Yet you will want to think about some basic issues related to making the perfect garden for who you are and your lifestyle.

A flower garden will add color and look nice in several areas of your yard. You can choose perennial flowers which will be there next year and the years to come, or you can choose annuals which will need to be replaced every spring with new plants. The benefit of perennials is you only plant once the benefit of annuals is no commitment. Say this is kind of like dating and marriage isn’t it? With annuals you never get stuck with wort’s, start again next spring. Perennials you adjust to habits you may not be happy with, though thankfully you never have to worry about the toilet seat. Ha!

You must decide for yourself how much time you want to spend on gardening, if you haven’t gardened before perhaps just do a little as time permits till you get a small garden underway. If you find yourself with more time, energy and desire later start another garden. Next season you will have an idea of how much time and thus how large a garden you can comfortably commit to.

As a seasoned gardener you know what kind of gardener you are and what your time commitment is thus you need only decide on how to change this years gardening from what you have done in the past. Perhaps you want to grow a certain kind of plant to blue ribbon status. Tomatoes and Squash in the vegetable garden of certain flowers, roses to see how well you can do concentrating on one or two varieties.

Many folks are turning to vegetable gardens to offset the cost of food. It’s appalling to realize that nowadays the “good” food is nearly beyond the financial reach of many people with oranges running as high as $1.69 yesterday where I shopped. If you have the climate you may want to plant a few fruit trees. I have had years of enjoyment from my two, Bing Cherry, cherry trees my favorite summer fruit.

Tip: with the demise of the honey bee in our nation, I had to order mason bees and install their nest under the eves of my house closest to the cherries in order to get the blossoms pollinated. You can order them online no problem. Also with trees you need to be able to prune and harvest, I also sprayed my trees for insects such as aphids every year, some considerations for you to think about.

A benefit if the vegetable garden is the pay off of course, fresh veggies and oh my, I can just taste that fresh corn on the cob and new potatoes, oh yeah. Though perhaps more time consuming the vegetable garden is so rewarding to work in, talk about a stress reliever. Also it is place for quite conversations with family members something for everyone to do together and I have yet to meet a child or grandchild who is not interested in the garden.

I enjoy all aspects of gardening, even the weeding as I think most gardeners do. Not only to deal dirt and fertilizer, choosing a pesticide thinning out excess plants or branches, its all out doors fulfilling because you get to enjoy the results of your labor. Indoor or outdoor a garden can provide comfort and soothing release from stress, a place and time of reflection, a family project.

Whatever your reason for gardening you’ve only to decide what you want to plant, how and where to plant it and then, dig in (literally).

Factors to Consider About Indoor Gardening

There are several reasons why some people indulge themselves into indoor gardening. The use of plastic plants as a home decoration has become obsolete because people are already aware of the benefits of having living plants inside their homes. For one, plants absorb carbon dioxide and other pollutants giving you a healthy fresh air to breathe.

Plants for indoor gardening should be able to adapt to the conditions inside the house. Take into consideration some factors which are necessary for the growth of your plants. Some of these factors are the amount of light your house can offer to your plants and the time and money you are willing to spend for your indoor garden.

If money is not a problem to you, buy plants that are already grown. But if you are on a tight budget, you can start with seedlings. In choosing plants to be grown indoors, you also have to consider if you want plants that are seasonal or perennial.

Growing herbs is a good idea for indoor gardening. They are nice decorations and at the same time you can benefit from them if you also love cooking. Compared to other plants, herbs grow faster and you can see the results in just a short period of time.

Some of the common herbs that you can grow for indoor gardening are dill, sage, chives, thyme, and oregano.

When choosing plants for indoor gardening, you have to consider also the amount of experience you have as a gardener. If you are just a beginner, choose plants that are stronger and do not easily die when not properly taken cared of. Some of these plants are Cyprus, Popular Succulents, Fatsia, Bromeliads, and Coleus.

Sometimes, there are rules in outdoor gardening that cannot be applied in indoor gardening or the other way around. For instance, in indoor setting, plants are not getting the same amount of sunlight as the outdoor plants.

It is important that you know how much light your plants need or better yet, get plants that need low amount of light such as ferns. If you opt to buy other types of plants that need more amount of light, you can supply some artificial lighting. Once you have the plants inside your house, you should regularly rotate the plants to allow upright growth.

Also remember that your indoor plants also need water. Again, the amount of water you will give depends on the type of plants you have. It is very important that water can run out of the bottom of the pot.

It is a good idea that the water you will give to your plants is about the same temperature of the room. Be sensitive also to the temperature inside your house. Rapid changes in temperature may be unhealthy for your plants.

Indoor gardening does not only make a good decoration inside your house but gives a cleaner air as well. Indoor plants are not also very difficult to maintain. It can also be an advantage of having the plants inside your house because you do not need to worry about the strong winds, frosts or insects that may destroy your plants.

New to Gardening? Read These 6 Tips to Grow Beautiful Plants

Having a healthy and beautiful garden is bliss. But, not everyone has the time and zeal to pursue their horticultural activities. If you wish to learn some simple tips that can help you have that garden of your dreams, then here you go! Read the tips mentioned below and you will never think yourself as a gardening novice again.

Tip #1 – Go for organic fertilizers

Rather than buying and using synthetic fertilizers, it is important to go for organic ones that are derived from once-living sources. Synthetic products should be avoided for all possible reasons, one of them being their characteristic to alter the soil chemistry of the plants. Thus, using organic fertilizers is a must for all the gardeners.

Tip #2 – Keep them healthy

The health of your plants depends on their roots. If the roots are healthy, the plants will be healthy too. Use soil that is rich in compost and gives enough nutrients to keep the plants healthy. You can make your own compost with various things that are found in your home, such as vegetable peelings, egg shells, garden trimmings, paper, and the rest.

Tip #3 – Let there be proper drainage

Potted plants need proper drainage. This is the reason why it is important to make drainage holes in them. Most of the plants require holes to let the water go out so that they do not drown. You can either pick pots that already have drainage holes or create them on your own.

Tip #4 – Grow vegetables, if possible

Having fresh and healthily grown vegetables right at your place is nothing less than a boon. So, if you can, then grow your own vegetables from seeds. This will not only give you a great garden, but will also help you save money and do your bit in keeping the environment safe with reduced fossil fuel emissions that are caused by transporting food in vehicles.

Tip 5 – Keep insects away

Another important tip that you can try is to plant such herbs that have a strong scent. This will help in keeping the insects away from your garden. Some of these herbs that you can include in your garden are spearmint, sage, mint, basil, fennel, etc.

Tip #6 – Get the right machinery

One of the most important tips for any gardener is to get the right machinery. There are many companies that supply high end horticultural machinery in Kent. You can contact one such company and get the most suitable machinery that can help you grow plants and trees in your garden in a convenient manner. When you get the right type of machinery from a renowned brand, you take a huge step forward towards a beautiful and healthy garden.

So, who said gardening needs huge expertise and experience? Just follow these simple tips and you will definitely find gardening a lot easier and much more fun than what it was before. You can also share these tips and help others take advantage of them and create a healthier environment to live in.

Importance of Using the Right Gardening Tools

Spring and summer are great times for growing plants and in order to do that correctly, you need to use the right gardening tools. As long as you use the correct tools and equipment in gardening, one can effectively and efficiently plant anything in your backyard. From producing yummy vegetables and herbs to maintaining beautiful flowers in your garden, one cannot do these properly with poor and inappropriate tools. Just like how a soldier needs his weapons or a writer needs his pen, so with planters and gardeners that depend on appropriate gardening tools.

Having the right gardening tools for the job is just as important as picking out the seeds or plants you want to grow. If you don’t have the proper tools to tend and toil your garden or to take care of it after you plant it, then it won’t grow very well or would yield less.

Getting the Right Tools for the Job

First, you will need something to dig up the ground so that you can plant your seeds or seedlings. Some of the gardening tools that do this are shovels, trowels, spades, and garden forks. Each of these does a specific job. For instance, you will need a garden fork or a shovel to initially break up the ground and get it ready for planting. Which one you use may depend on if you have a small garden area to work with or as large one, or how hard the dirt is where you want to place your garden.

It is also a good idea to get a hoe, as you will have to deal with weeds and need a way to clear them out. If you have a large garden, this example of gardening tools is very vital. In a small patch of ground, the spade or trowel will probably work to get up the weeds. A garden hose, weed cutters, and water sprinklers would then be needed to maintain the garden.

Since gardening tend to be rigorous where tasks would include digging into hard ground and removing stubborn weeds, this requires gardening tools to be durable and should be made of the toughest materials. The garden shovel, spade or trowel should be able to dig up any kind of ground no matter how wet or dry it is. That would require these tools to be made of steel in order to function well. While some of these tools come with a rubber handle, it would be wise to wear gloves for added protection when gardening.

When harvesting fruits and vegetable, it might not be a bad idea to add a cart or wheelbarrow to your gardening tools. This way you can carry both your tools and equipment out to your garden, as well as the fruits of your labor from your garden and equipment. So, the bottom line is that if you plan on growing a garden you will need the proper tools with the right strength and function to plant, maintain and harvest crops. Remember to store them properly as well. Clean and remove dirt attached to your gardening tools before storing to prevent rusting and deterioration.

Health Benefits of Bonsai Gardening

Health Benefits of Bonsai Gardening

Bonsai’s are very unique and beautiful. They are a very intriguing art form and a creative outlet. Bonsai Hobbyists who own and cultivate Bonsai’s love and are passionate about what they do. It shows when people see these amazing creations. Those looking at getting into the bonsai hobby are going to be rewarded with more than just a beautiful Bonsai Tree.

Gardening has become a large topic for stress relief and bonsai gardening is no exception. They are a great stress reliever that other hobbies may not offer. Working and living with nature, and the feeling of caring for nature is like no other. Bonsai gardening can offer satisfaction beyond measure for those who are willing to invest their time into this hobby. As with anything the amount of energy one puts into an activity the more successful one will be. A sense of accomplishment that may be missing in everyday life can be found from caring for a bonsai tree or any other type of garden for that matter. Plants, trees and shrubs can add décor and make a home look great and can add peace and fulfillment to ones life. By physically working in one’s garden they are taking a step to a healthier lifestyle. Gardening therefore can be looked upon as a way to attain both internal (health and piece of mind) and external (garden, bonsai trees) health and beauty.

Bonsai Trees require strict regular attention! You must be constantly concerned with the proper care (watering, fertilizing, and pruning). Unlike the plants trees and shrubs that stay outdoors, one must trim the roots of the bonsai’s. This is an art form, and just like painting, one can gain serenity and accomplishment by just stepping away from their everyday lives and enter into the peaceful world of their bonsai garden. This type of hobby takes an enormous amount of patience, a characteristic that we desperately need in this world we live in. As a conclusion we can say that tending Bonsai trees can offer benefits for their care giver. Not only is this hobby quite peaceful, it is also a living art. Like painting or any creative art form, bonsai’s needs constant love and attention to achieve its full beauty. With one’s personal care a bonsai garden can prove to be the centerpiece of one’s home.

Indoor plants can also clean the air. The good news is that a classic NASA study found that common house plants could improve air quality. In fact, they reported that houseplants were able to remove up to 87 percent of air toxins in 24 hours. The recommendation? Use 15 to 18 “good-sized” house plants in 6- to 8-inch diameter containers for an 1,800 square-foot house.Plants can remove a variety of toxic air emissions including ammonia, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, benzene, xylene and trichloroethytene. See the box above for some of the best plant varieties to choose, and remember-the healthier the plant, the more purifying it will be.

Plants Fight Fatigue and Colds. according to a University of Agriculture in Norway study, indoor plants can reduce fatigue, coughs, sore throats and other cold-related illnesses by more than 30 percent, partially by increasing humidity levels and decreasing dust. So the art of Bonsai can be a very healthy lifestyle to take part in. It will leave you with a great sense of accomplishment guaranteed.

Importance of Using the Right Gardening Tools

Spring and summer are great times for growing plants and in order to do that correctly, you need to use the right gardening tools. As long as you use the correct tools and equipment in gardening, one can effectively and efficiently plant anything in your backyard. From producing yummy vegetables and herbs to maintaining beautiful flowers in your garden, one cannot do these properly with poor and inappropriate tools. Just like how a soldier needs his weapons or a writer needs his pen, so with planters and gardeners that depend on appropriate gardening tools.

Having the right gardening tools for the job is just as important as picking out the seeds or plants you want to grow. If you don’t have the proper tools to tend and toil your garden or to take care of it after you plant it, then it won’t grow very well or would yield less.

Getting the Right Tools for the Job

First, you will need something to dig up the ground so that you can plant your seeds or seedlings. Some of the gardening tools that do this are shovels, trowels, spades, and garden forks. Each of these does a specific job. For instance, you will need a garden fork or a shovel to initially break up the ground and get it ready for planting. Which one you use may depend on if you have a small garden area to work with or as large one, or how hard the dirt is where you want to place your garden.

It is also a good idea to get a hoe, as you will have to deal with weeds and need a way to clear them out. If you have a large garden, this example of gardening tools is very vital. In a small patch of ground, the spade or trowel will probably work to get up the weeds. A garden hose, weed cutters, and water sprinklers would then be needed to maintain the garden.

Since gardening tend to be rigorous where tasks would include digging into hard ground and removing stubborn weeds, this requires gardening tools to be durable and should be made of the toughest materials. The garden shovel, spade or trowel should be able to dig up any kind of ground no matter how wet or dry it is. That would require these tools to be made of steel in order to function well. While some of these tools come with a rubber handle, it would be wise to wear gloves for added protection when gardening.

When harvesting fruits and vegetable, it might not be a bad idea to add a cart or wheelbarrow to your gardening tools. This way you can carry both your tools and equipment out to your garden, as well as the fruits of your labor from your garden and equipment. So, the bottom line is that if you plan on growing a garden you will need the proper tools with the right strength and function to plant, maintain and harvest crops. Remember to store them properly as well. Clean and remove dirt attached to your gardening tools before storing to prevent rusting and deterioration.

Tips For Better Vegetable Garden Planting Before Your Next Home Garden Party!

Tips For Better Vegetable Garden Planting Before Your Next Home Garden Party!

Many beginners wrongly assume that there can’t be too much of a good thing. Water, like fertilizer, should be applied correctly to produce healthy vegetables. Deep watering with sufficient intervals will coax plants to develop deep root systems. In general, a vegetable garden planting needs one inch of water per week. Avoid overhead sprinkling, which can promote fungus and mildew. The ideal watering system is a slow-drip method, as with a drip-irrigation system. If you can’t afford an installed system, water with a hose by moving it around the garden, positioning a slow flow of water at the base of plants.

The first step in planning a low maintenance vegetable garden planting is to have home garden plans. Many gardens just evolve over a number of years. Friends give you plants you have to find a place for, and you have moments of inspiration that lead to years of maintenance. If you take the time to plan your garden layout and content as a single paper exercise, you can design-in features that mean you have less work to do and not more. To get a working diagram of the current layout, use Google Earth to get an aerial view of your garden and print it as a base to work from.

Use compost rather than chemical fertilizer. It is free and safe. All those eggshells, coffee grounds, and food scraps are exactly what your garden needs. Leaves and lawn cuttings make great compost too. Many home made solutions can replace store bought pesticides. A spray of soap and water will stop aphids in their tracks. A shallow dish of beer will drown dozens of slugs overnight. Ants avoid cayenne pepper. Marigolds are said to keep grazing deer and rabbits away. Ladybugs and praying mantis can be purchased and added to the garden to control pests. Organic liquid fertilizer can also be a good way to go to get your garden to its fullest potential. And hey, what the heck, throw in a yard gnome or two. They have been known to scare off a neighbourhood critter or two.

In addition to nutrients, many plants also have differing light requirements, especially as the season progresses. Using containers allows you to move plants from one spot to another, and in some cases can allow you to actually extend the growing season of some vegetables. Spinach, lettuce and asparagus growing are three great examples. While these plants generally prefer the cool, lower light conditions of spring and fall, by moving them into a shaded, cooler area as the season grows warmer, many cool-weather crops will continue to produce long after their ground-anchored cousins have gone to seed.

And when it is in its fullest harvest, why not throw a home garden party to share with all your friends and relatives! A Home garden party is a great way to show off your garden and encourage others to begin a vegetable home garden of their own!