Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

How to make a Japanese garden

I find Japanese gardens fascinating.  One of the main concepts in these gardens is to instill a feeling of beauty in the person viewing the garden. This article I’ve found contains useful information on how to give any common garden a Japanese atmosphere with harmonious results.

Tips For How To Make a Japanese Garden

  1. Less is more: stick to just a few types of plants. Japanese gardens are often sparsely planted, so the spaces around the plants are as important as the plants themselves. This can also help to create the effect of a bigger garden.
  2. Japanese gardens often ‘borrow’ the landscape around them. So if you have a good view, frame it with some choice Japanese maples.
  3. Hard landscaping can include gravel, rocks and stepping stones. Try tying pieces of bamboo together with twine to create Japanese-style fences.


  4. Encourage mosses to spread in nooks and crannies. Japanese gardens often showcase the different shades of green and moss is used in many Japanese temple gardens.
  5. Think calming and serene: Japanese gardens are used for contemplation. For inspiration, look at tea gardens and the temple gardens of Kyoto.

10 best Japanese garden plants

1. Japanese maple, Acer palmatum ‘Sango-Kaku’ (syn ‘Senkaki’)

Think of Japan and you’ll immediately bring to mind the beautiful autumn colours of the Japanese maple. Acer palmatum is a small tree with hundreds of cultivars, but this one is popular for its magenta pink stems and bright green leaves with pink tints. It doesn’t disappoint in autumn, either: the leaves turn yellow-orange and seem to glow when viewed from a distance. Slow growing, it’s good for small gardens where it will eventually reach 6m. Other trees for Japanese gardens include Pinus thunbergii or flowering cherries, such as Prunus ‘Shogetsu’.

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10 of the Best herbs to Grow in Your Garden

Herbs are some of the most useful plants in the world. These plants that do grow fairly easy but even so a certain amount of care when planting will ensure a good crop to use. Keep reading to find out the several herb types along with how to plant them and their purpose.

Find out how to grow herbs at home and which herb plants are best for herb gardens.

Nothing beats cooking with home-grown herbs so we called upon the expert knowledge of RHS chief of horticulture, Guy Barter, and asked for his advice on what herbs are the best to grow in the garden and how we should take care of them to help…


1. Herbs can be grown in any reasonably fertile, well-drained soil. Where drainage is questionable, create raised beds or plant your herbs in pots.

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2. Good, all weather access is vital to growing herbs. If a hard path of light-coloured, reflective paving can be created, so much the better. At RHS Wisley, pebble/concrete panels are used in the herb garden, which reflect light back into the plants, and create warmth to ameliorate chilly nights.

3. Herbs generally need little fertiliser and crop well without much feeding. Over feeing can in fact decrease the concentration of flavours.

4. Most herbs need a neutral to alkaline soil.

5. High levels of sunlight is particularly important for obtaining good herb flavour, and so herbs should be planted in the best lit area of the garden.

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Planning And Planting Your Flower Garden

Learning how to set up a striking flower garden is not hard. What you need to do is follow your own intuition with a little help and advice. When learning how to make a flower garden you have to consider two significant components into consideration, design and space.

(C) Better Homes and Gardens

Work with the space which you only have for your garden. Even if you have a small space, you could still get the most from it and create it as superb as you want it to be. The best strategy in making it work is by installing a center of attention to begin everything with. Focal point or also known as the principal focus or focus the point is main attraction for your garden. It could be a water feature, bird bath or a tree. Additionally, do not be enclosed at the idea that gardening is only about plants and flowers and trees, there are more to that. To address the issue on the space, it is easy to add mirrors or glasses on your garden. This has been a strategy for years now for home spaces. So that is the reason why its been applied to gardens also. Wall mounted garden mirrors can create the illusion that there is a way to one other garden and consequently allow the impression of a larger space. Garden mirrors with shutters let you manage just how much or how little can be viewed anytime. These mirrors are ideal for indoor or outdoor use and tend to be easy to hang up.

These days the way your garden seems is equally significant as how your house looks. It is essential to really think about the appearance of your garden as well as what type of atmosphere you desire to give it. You can actually decide to go the modern way, with harsh lines and metallic characteristics in between the flower beds itself or go the old direction where plants and flowers will be the major feature in the garden. It is also important to keep in mind that the design of your garden still has to be practical. At the end of the day you need the garden to fulfill the demands of yourself and your household. In addition to that, you’ll need to be capable of maintaining your garden conveniently. If you intend to discover how to set up a striking flower garden then you’ll need to look at all of these areas into account.

An important aspect of the garden will be the flowers and plants so choosing and deciding on them should be performed very carefully. You can try researching for perfect annuals, perennials, bulbs and roses for the garden since they have different characteristics that just suits for a certain the weather or season.

In case you have a patio at your house, you may also include some flowers and plants. You could put flowers in pots and place them in your patios or some artificial decorations. For that reason, you can have a beautiful green patio that needs little maintenance but has the same appeal of your garden.


Protect Your Lawn with Organic Lawn Care

Organic lawn care is the natural, healthier, and safer way of maintaining your lawn. More and more people have to know this and bear in mind of its advantages. In addition there are methods of lawn care like the utilization of insecticides along with other chemicals. These methods still exist yet have shown to have bad effects on the environment and to human beings. Growing an organic lawn might seem to be a daunting task initially yet knowing the positive aspects will truly end up being worth it. The following are the top 5 amazing benefits of organic lawn care.

It is safer and healthier for the environment and the ones in it.

You will find side effects of using synthetic chemical fertilizers. Aside from the instant chance of using chemicals around people and pets, 1/3 to 1/2 of water-soluble fertilizers are leeched away in the groundwater in which they find their way into water and waterways. With your organic lawn, you could guarantee the safety and health of your love ones.

(C) Jurassic Lawn Care

Organic lawns preserve and conserve water.

Water has become scarce and what much better approach to assist in preserving and conserving water than by doing it by your lawn. You won’t have to be worried about water systems being contaminated because you won’t be making use of hazardous chemicals.

There will be soil improvement.

A healthy organic soil contains the nutrition and moisture that is needed to grow a healthy plant life, and also other benefits like, disease and pest control, water conservation and weed reduction. Using a natural soil conditioner and compost is the perfect approach to begin to restore the life that once lived in your lawns soil naturally, and to make use of as a part of your soil management plan to keep the soil healthy naturally.

Reduce long term costs.

Once the lawn has become heavily dependent on such chemicals, the costs will not end. These items also can damage the environment. By simply producing your own organic yard care product, you get a naturally green and healthy lawn minus all the high expenses. You happen to be also doing your part in preserving the environment.

Use of raw waste.

Instead of chemiclas, those thinking about organic lawn care may use organic fertilizer – present in most home stores – combined with compost for an environmentally friendly lawn; use mulch in landscaped areas; and make use of only herbal pest repellants when needed.

Overall how you take care of your lawn will affect the outcomes that you’re left with. Organic lawn care can help to bring out the best in the lawn and it also enables you to appreciate the garden that little bit more. You will find quite a bit of reading material at your local library or bookstore that provides recommendations on maintaining a green home like the implementation of organic lawn care.


The Best Type of Sprinkler System For Your Garden

Watering your lawn, plants, or garden is essential if this does not get enough rain. There are various different ways to water or irrigate these areas and it is important to determine the correct way, so that the process is simple and easy for you to do. Sprinklers are amongst the most common methods that people make use of to water their lawns and gardens because it is affordable and easy to put in. There are numerous different kinds of sprinklers on the market, so you need to be sure that you know how each one of these operates to get the right one for your needs.

Single stream lawn sprinklers are a great choice for large or medium-sized yards. The 360-degree arc that they travel to water your lawn covers a wide area, to ensure that there is not any place missed. They rotate around to ensure all of the lawn or garden is covered. When they’re not in use, they simply collapse down, so as to easily mow the lawn, be in the lawn, or do whatever you wish with no worry of tripping over the mechanism.

(C) Amazon

Oscillating sprinklers use a curved piece of metal or plastic with small holes that move back and forth to supply the water in a rectangular pattern. By pausing once the spray is furthest away this sprinkler does a much better job of supplying the water in a more effective pattern. More updated models will enable you to adjust this pattern as well as adjusting the width of the spray.

Drip Sprinkler is yet another consideration for watering the plants. The advantages of have a drip sprinkler is that it’s more economic on water – it is an particularly important point if you live in an area with minimal rainfall. It is said that efficiency is over 90% so long as it has been installed and set up properly. Drip irrigations happen to be utilized commercially for several years by farmers growing vegetables etc.

For a huge area an impulse or impact sprinkler is a good choice. Simply by using a combination of a jet internally and a hammer externally this sprinkler could shoot jets of water in a circular motion. On numerous models the head can be adjusted from a fine mist to a strong pulse or anything in between. Coverage is good using this type of sprinkler.

These sprinklers are normally used in residential areas, but they can be used commercially in agriculture and much more. By choosing the right sprinkler for your certain area and requirements, you will allow your lawn or garden to stand up to the harsh sun of summer with great health. Sprinklers could make watering any area much simpler on you and more efficient for your lawn or garden.


6 Ways To Look After Your Garden When You’re On Holiday

This coming Christmas holiday, you and your family may already be planning for your long holidays away from home. However you start to worry about your garden. But if you are planning a week or two’s vacation, then the following tips should help to save much of your potential harvest.

There are so many things to think about when going on holiday, from sorting out travel insurance to trying to remember where you’ve put your passport.

It’s easy to forget about garden maintenance when you’re searching for those missing flip flops, or forcing your bulging suitcase shut, but a few simple steps will ensure you minimise the amount of work to do when you get back.

(C) Better Homes and Gardens

Rune Sovndahl, co-founder and CEO of domestic services company Fantastic Services, shares his tips for looking after your garden when you’re away.

1. Preparation is key

“The key thing about maintaining your garden when you are going away is preparation and making sure you have done everything you can to limit the work you will have to do upon your return,” says Rune.

“Get rid of all the weeds, cover any bare soil with mulch and trim the hedges to protect these areas of your garden.”

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Gardening – Importance of Soil Testing

The quantity and quality of what you can develop in your garden depends upon the quality of its soil. Plants are only as healthy as the soil they are grown in. If you would like plant a healthy garden filled with beautiful flowers and good things to eat, then you require fertile, well-drained soil. You will have to figure out what your soil needs and probably do some work to help it along.

We often here about soil but how about soil testing? Soil testing gives information on the mineral nutrition of a soil. It is usually assessed by identifying the acidity of the soil pH and the level of different soil nutrients(sodium, potassium, calcium, copper, zinc and etc). Once test soil is completed it helps a garden owner choose which fertilizers to make use of and what pest to eliminate.

(C) Walrath Landscape Supply

One of the major troubles of obtaining a garden are over-fertilization and abnormal plant growth. This can cause to dreaded diseases. While soil testing aids minimize water pollution, when nutrients are put through by plants(which they don’t require) the tendency is it is scattered through groundwater which often happens during thunderstorms and torrential rain typhoons.

You can see whether your lawn has the right nutrients by doing a pH test on your soil. You need to get a soil test lab to do the testing, because is much more accurate and reliable. But, if cost is a concern, you may also do it yourself by getting a DIY soil test kit from the nursery. It’s easy to comprehend the precise requirement of the agricultural land through such analysis.

One of the significant things to verify also is the Nitrogen level. When the nitrogen content is inadequate it could harm the plant and will cause diseases. Likewise when it is excessive nitrogen is applied to plant retardation is likely to happen.

The presence of harmful weeds and pathogen may be reviewed with the help of these testing kits. Specific chemicals could be combined with the land to remove the existence of harmful weeds and prepare the land for crop cultivation.

There are various forms of testing soil kits that exist in the market today. Testing kits that can analyze the level of nitrogen, phosphorus, saline content, nitrogen content and saline content. However in any rate, testing the soil is quite crucial. Sanitation should be noticed at all times when starting garden. Hence, in testing the soil content, the results must properly be examined and granted proper action.


Why We Love Small Trees

Most of us have small gardens and normally we want to take full advantage of them. A tree can set the atmosphere of a garden quicker than almost anything else and so deciding on the best one can be important. If you decide on the wrong one you could spend several years being disappointed and more years waiting for a replacement tree to establish itself. Sometimes, we are also reluctant to plant one as they may grow too big for your garden. But listed below are a few tips which will allow you have them in your garden.

(C) Baby Trees  (Eastern Redbud)

The Paperbark Maple is surely an fascinating tree because the cinnamon colored bark peels off during the year. It brings dimension and texture as well as a talking point for your yard and this tree does great in all types of soil though it does like well drained soil, thanks all the same. It’s mature height is from 20-35′ but it’s still regarded as a small tree and since its so undemanding, exactly what are you waiting for? This tree is fantastic for people living in zones 4-8 across the country.

The Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum) can also be known as the Japanese Mountain Maple. These grow more like bushes rather than trees. The Japanese maple has a diverse variety of hybrids, by some counts a lot more than 300. The leaves of Japanese maples range from light green to deep burgundy. Much like the trident maple, Japanese maples are usually durable trees. They are excellent addition to the garden because they are not only small but additionally very colorful sight to see.

Two other trees which are popular are the Snow Gum and the Tibetan Cherry. The snow gum tree is a year-round tree that has grey, cream, and green bark. The evergreen leaves are a grey-green color and has small white flowers in the summer. It grows up to 8 meters and prefers full-sun. The Tibetan cherry can be another great year-round tree. It features a red bark and flowers white in the spring and has red-yellow leaves in the fall. This tree grows 10 meters high so these two are on the larger side.

The Eastern Redbud opens spring by having an explosion of pink flowers and it’s flexible to a wide range of soils. It is great for yards within zones 4-9 and at full height it’s going to only be around 30 feet. What a great way to decorate your yard!


Deciding Which Lawn Aerator Is Right for You

Have you ever secretly adored the lush and delightful searching lawn in your neighbor’s house and wondered why yours never seems to appear healthy enough? This could be your neighbor regularly aerates his lawn making it appear lush and green all the year round. Lawn aerators are garden tools that happen to be required to aerate your lawn grass so it remains green and healthy. Aeration makes it possible for air and moisture to seep into the root system therefore permitting the roots to develop deeper and compact along with thickening the turf. Frequent aeration ensures that the roots have become deep to the soil after which frequent watering isn’t required to keep your lawn looking lush and green.

(C) Lawnsmith

Which aerator you select may ultimately rely on your requirements, and on the size of your lawn. If your lawn is small, or if you only need to aerate a small area of the lawn such as a garden, a manual aerator may be enough to do the job. Pros normally suggest a core aerator for major jobs, but for small areas that you’re planning to aerate frequently a spike aerator or garden fork may possibly do. In any case, aerating a lawn by hand is time-consuming, thus if you have a larger lawn, you may want to consider a different method.

Rolling lawn aerators are often pushed or towed behind a vehicle and consist of a drum or axle that has rows of spikes mounted on it. Rolling aerators with hollow tines, permeate into the ground, pulling out dirt cores that are then left on the surface to break up and return to the soil. The resulting holes allow better movement of water, air and nutrients to the roots.

Spike lawn aerators are the most easily available ones both online and also in department or hardware stores. This is no equipment or machine but rather a pair of boots which are fitted with unusual looking spikes at the sole. You should walk around the lawn wearing these heavy boots which in turn will spike the soil loosening it up. It is okay to utilize these for small patches of grass but is not suitable for large lawns or where heavy growth is needed just like a stadium or park.

Another type is the liquid lawn aerators that aerate the grass chemically; the equipment is mounted on a hose and the chemical that is diluted with water is then sprayed on the lawn. The liquid chemical has got the property of attaching to dirt molecules, expands and then breaks down the soil leaving it loose and making it more prone to air, water and fertilizers. These may be used efficiently for small lawns but for greater ones, a liquid aerator is utilized along with coring equipment for best results.



Using Wood Ash in the Vegetable Garden

The richer the soil, the tastier vegetables in your garden. The plants in your vegetable garden need calcium as well and they get it through your soil.  Wood ash is a good source of calcium and a bit of potassium. Here’s what you need to know to get started properly.

(C) Serenity in the Garden

Bonfires are a contentious issue, what with smoke and global warming. Personally, I love them, though I go for the fast and furious approach of an incinerator, piling everything in and (a personal best) achieving a spurt of flame two-foot high from the chimney. Reservations aside, a fire gives you the great satisfaction of getting rid of perennial weeds, branches too thick for the shredder, and diseased material while, at the same time, producing a valuable by-product: ash.

Wood ash (as opposed to coal ash) can be a great addition to the garden. It contains potassium or potash (they’re not identical but – scientists look away now – the terms are often used interchangeably), and potassium is a vital nutrient for crops.

Just as it does in humans, potassium regulates plants’ water balance (so tissue is firm and juicy), and has a part in transporting food within the plant and creating sugars and starches. Without enough, vegetables are more vulnerable to drought, frost, pests and diseases.

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