How to Transition Outdoor Plants Indoors for Winter

By: admin | Posted on: Oct/13/2017

Bringing plants inside your home for the upcoming winter season is not as easy as just moving their pots into a different location. Remember to apply a few precautions in order to avoid causing shock to your outdoor plants and to ensure that the transition is successful to you can continue to enjoy them!

 

To successfully transition outdoor plants indoors, you may use the following tips.

 

Check Them Thouroughly

 

transition outdoor plants indoorsLook for small insects such as spider mites, mealybugs and aphids, and remove them if spotted. These pests may hitchhike on the plants that you’re bringing in for the winter, which can then cause an infestation on all of your houseplants. Yuck! You can speed up the process by using a hose in washing off your houseplants prior to bringing them indoors. You can also treat your plants with neem oil.

 

Consider Repotting or Pruning

 

When you prune, avoid pruning back over one-third of your plant. For root pruning, it’s important to prune a similar amount off the roots as when you prune off the foliage. Use at least a container that is 2 inches bigger than the current one when you are repotting the plant.

 

If you’re looking at moving a larger item, such as a small fruit tree, consider trying some of the lightweight planters we feature on the Garden-Fountains.com site, such as this Bardo Square Planter above.

 

transitioning outdoor plants indoors Precondition Your Houseplants

 

Give your houseplants the preparation they need for their transition from outdoor light to the lower light found indoors. Start by temporarily placing them in sunny spots such as a window that faces westward or southward. After several weeks, move the plants to a different window that faces eastward or northward. Once again, leave the plants at this spot for several weeks. Decrease the level of light gradually for your plants until you place them in their final location.

 

You can also use artificial lights in growing your plants which is enough to keep them looking good during the whole winter season.

 

Add Some Humidity

 

You can consider using a house humidifier to keep your houseplants happy even when there’s a sudden blow of heat inside the house. Another option is to mist your plants a few times a day. Lastly, you can place them in humidity trays. Fill a low tray with pebbles and water that reaches just below the topmost part of the pebbles. By the way, adding a little moisture to the air in the winter is good for us, too!

 

transition outdoor plants indoorsWater Moderately

 

Most plants need very little water during the winter months so it’s important not to overwater them. You will know that it’s time to give them water when the top part of the soil which can measure from one to two inches has dried out.

 

Feed Them in the Spring

 

Don’t fertilize your plants until one month prior to placing them back in the outdoors for the spring. Use a half-strength solution of an all-purpose, liquid and organic type of fertilizer.Bardo Square Planter

Greenhouse Basics: What You Need To Know

By: admin | Posted on: Oct/09/2017

Greenhouse Basics Garden-Fountains.com

 
A greenhouse is a type of enclosed structure designed to provide space for gardening and growing plants in a temperature-regulated environment. In this type of setting, plants can grow no matter the season which makes gardening easier and more sustainable.

 

Greenhouses provide an all-encompassing solution to growing gardens in climates that can be too cold, too wet, or too hot. With a regulated environment, useful plants such as vegetables, fruits and herbs can grow and thrive effectively.

 

Things To Consider In Building A Greenhouse

 
Planning to build your own greenhouse? Here are a few things to consider to get the best results.

 

Location

 
Choose an area where the plants can get the most sunlight. A north-south alignment is best, where the morning sun extends its rays, as opposed to the afternoon sun. Make sure the area has sunlight for at least 6 hours a day. Pay attention to trees, houses and other structures which may pose a problem during winter, when the sun has a lower angle.

 

DIY vs. Buying

 
Do you have friends or family members who can help you? If so, you can easily build your own greenhouse from scratch! However, it also means you need to handle everything else yourself such as the watering, temperature monitoring and controlling and more. That’s why it is highly recommended to opt for smart and modern greenhouses that can be monitored using digital devices. You can purchase these high-tech and easier to set up greenhouses from professionals.

 

Separate vs. Lean To

 
Having a separate building for your greenhouse or choosing an area against a building for constructing a simple lean-structure each have their own advantages depending on your requirements and available resources. If you have a brick wall structure, you can take advantage of the heat from the building in providing your greenery with steady and warm temperatures.

 

Other Building Essentials

 
Here are some other things that can be useful to have in a greenhouse:

  1. 1. Carefully crafted soil for providing nutrition to your plants
  2. 2. Windows for regulating heat and cold
  3. 3. An appropriate water system
  4. 4. A compost heap as an organic plant food option
  5. 5. Grow your own natural deterrents for bugs and rodents, such as onions, garlic and tobacco which are fragrant plants and chrysanthemums, petunias and marigolds which are pest-deterring flowers
  6. 6. Use several thermometers placed at different levels

 

Greenhouse Kits

 
Buying a greenhouse kit is probably the best option for anyone who has little experience in building or if there are few people who can help in the building process. You can easily get a polycarbonate or pop-up one from most home improvement centers as well as Amazon. These kits can have prices that range between $300 and $3,700 and can be designed with aluminum frames or polycarbonate panels. There are even mini pop-up types for individual plants which are of course, less expensive.

Greenhouse Basics Garden-Fountains.com

How To Grow Gorgeous Climbing Plants

By: admin | Posted on: Oct/09/2017

Climbing Plants Garden-Fountains.com

 

There are many climbing plants that you can grow in the garden to give it a new and refreshing look. Most any climbing plant looks great when they are growing against a wall. Particularly if your garden is decorated with mellowed brick or stone wall. While some of these plants will thrive, sometimes the foot of a wall can be an inhospitable environment. Which means it’s best to avoid any type of plant that cannot tolerate drought, heat or strong sunlight.

 

Best Soil For Climbers

 
Walls tend to deflect rain which cause any soil on its foot to be poor and dry. Moreover, foundations and buried rubble would usually soak up any trace of available moisture in the area. Some plants such as those that are true blue drought-tolerant can be grown using well-rotted compost that was added to beef up an existing soil. However, you may need a good quality topsoil mixed with well-rotted organic material if you’re planning to grow sun-loving climbers, wall shrubs and fruit-bearing plants. If this is the case, first dig out all the soil including the rubble until you’ve reached a depth of up to 18 inches. Next, replace the soil with an even mix of good-quality topsoil and well-rotted organic matter. Make sure that the bed measures up to 2 feet wide and stretches up to the full length of the wall section that is covered.

 

Best Climbers For Your Garden

 
There are at least 4 types of climbers that you can choose to add in your garden.
 
1. Woody – This includes Ampelopsis brevipedunculata Elegans, purple grape vine, jasminum, trachelospermum, and trumpet vine.
 
2. Warmth-loving – This includes certain rose varieties such as Rosa banksiae cultivars, Rosa Madame Gregoire Stachelin, Rosa Mermaid and the bush rose Madame Isaac Pereire.

You can also grow warmth-loving fruits that include grapes, figs, kiwis (plant male and female to ensure pollination), apricots, nectarines, peaches and pears (choose gourmet varieties such as Doyenne du Comice and Williams’ Bon Chretien.”
 
3. Drought-loving – Popular drought-loving perennials include tulip, crocus, sedum, osteospermum, bearded iris, and hardy hippeastrum and nerine.
 
4. Sun-loving – Sun-loving and bedding plants include pelargonium and argyranthemum.

 

Best Type Of Support Used By Climbers

 
Understanding the way a climbing plant climbs can help you choose the best support you can use for your climbers. Here are some ways that climbing plants support their climbing,
 
1. Clinging stem roots – These plants can cling to almost any type of surface using their short and stout roots. Irish ivy, euonymus and English ivy belong to this category.
 
2. Adhesive pads – Plants such as the Virginia creeper and Boston ivy can stick to almost any surface using their stem tendrils with touch-sensitive adhesive pads.
 
3. Scramblers – These plants (rambling roses and bougainvillea, for example) may need to be tied with wire or sturdy string to help them climb up a trellis, pergola or arbor.
 
4. Twiners – These plants have twining stems that can twist around anything they touch, whether it is a branch, a pole, a chair leg or wire. There are also plants that have twining leaves which are used as tendrils. Provide a support that is thin enough for the leaf stem for curling around.
 
5. Tendrils – Plants with tendrils need support such as horizontal handholds, netting, brushy branches, and a thin string or wire.

 
Climbing Plants Garden-Fountains.com
 
Posted by Jean Widner of the Garden-Fountains.com Team.

How to Winterize Garden Décor

By: admin | Posted on: Sep/27/2017

It’s so important to take the time to prepare your outdoor garden items for the freezing temperatures of winter. Without taking these essential steps the freezing and thawing process can permanently damage and even ruin certain outdoor items. Especially those made from cast stone.

 

You may have stumbled upon our blog in the past and seen our notes on how to winterize, or maybe you are new stopping in (Welcome!), either way we want to remind or teach you how you should properly care for those outdoor pieces.

 

Tivoli Lightweight Wall FountainDisassemble or Move Lightweight Items

 

Many fiberglass fountains are lightweight enough to bring indoors for the cooler months.  You should start to consider the transition of these pieces inside once the weather begins to reach the freezing mark.

 

Lightweight fountains that can easily be disassembled, should be taken apart and stored indoors.  This will truly help prolong the life of your water feature.  Even lightweight pots should be brought indoors wherever possible.

 

If you need to leave your fountain outdoors, please make sure to at least remove the pump from the fountain and bring it inside.  With the electrical components inside, it is important to protect the pump. You should also make sure your fountain is empty if leaving it outdoors.  Drain all of the water out and cover, if possible, to eliminate any water or precipitation that could possibly collect inside.

 

Statuary and Outdoor DecorStatues and Décor

 

How about my garden statues you ask?  Well garden statues are a bit easier.  If made from cast stone, these pieces can easily be left out during the winter months.  Most statues do not have areas where water can collect so it is much safer to leave them in the elements.

 

If you have your statues out in the garden, or another location where they are touching ground, consider lifting them off of the ground where possible.  This can easily be done with wood strips or shims so that the statue cannot freeze to the ground.  We often forget that precipitation not only collections, but when the ground collects water it can also freeze to garden accents.

 

Cast Stone Fountains

 

If you purchased a cast stone fountain this year and opted not to purchase a fountain cover along with it, now is the time to order one.  Covering your fountain during the freezing months is one of the most important up-keep elements of owning outdoor decor.

 

All cast stone fountains should also be drained completely. On most cast stone fountains this can easily be done by removing the stopper that is located in the basin of a fountain.  Pumps should be removed, and stored indoors. After you have removed all of the water and pump it is time to dress your fountain for winter.

 

Winterizing Outdoor Fountains Fountain covers

 

Fountain covers are the easiest thing to use as they are designed specifically to cover fountains from the elements. We will be able to tell you which fountain cover the manufacturer suggests for your fountain if you are unsure. If you have decided to not purchase a fountain cover, then it is time to dig for some old blankets and a tarp!  It is very, very important to remember that cast stone fountains cannot be covered with just a tarp.  A tarp will actually cause moisture to remain trapped inside.  This can lead to peeling of a finish and cracking of concrete.

 

Wrapping your fountain in an old blanket or towel is the first step to properly winterizing your fountain. After wrapping with the absorbent material, you then want to cover the fountain with a tarp. Secure the tarp so it does not come loose in wind, rain or snow.

 

With these few simple suggestions, you can easily make sure your fountains, statues and planters make it through to celebrate another spring!  For more information on winter care, please visit our Use & Care Section.

 

If you are ever unsure about how to properly winterize, feel free to contact us by email, or call – we’re happy to help!

Create An Authentic Japanese Garden

By: admin | Posted on: Aug/18/2017

Japanese gardens began as a space made for Japan’s ruling elite class. This is where they seek calmness and refuge from their country’s strife and war. Over time, these gardens have transformed into a way of life and become spaces of reflection and meditation.

 

Known for its minimalistic beauty and its sense of unmistakable calm, Japanese gardens continue to gain popularity in many parts of the world. Inspired by centuries of tradition, ceremony-rich culture and breathtaking natural landscape, authentic Japanese gardens may seem very difficult to conceptualize and re-create.

 

If you’re attempting to achieve this type of landscape at your home, it may be helpful to get some inspiration by understanding the design principles of balance and restraint.

 

Elements of a Japanese Garden

 

Depending on the size and space available at your house, you can opt to choose which element you would to like to have in your intended Japanese garden. We’ll cover several of those common elements here.

 

Teahouses

One of the first, most common features of an authentic Japanese garden is a teahouse. Think of an outdoor room where you can enjoy calm, peace and reflection while being surrounded by a naturalistic garden.

 

Water basins

Next, is the common use of water basins. Traditionally, guests wash themselves before entering a teahouse or home. Thus, wash basins are common outside a teahouse. A good wash basin is surrounded by carefully arranged stones. A simple water basin can easily give your Japanese garden a sense of calm.

 

Walkways

Third, are walkways. You can incorporate a walkway by using stepping stones designed in such a way that it inspires a meditative walk. These stones will allow any visitor to slow their path through the garden. The spacing encourages visitors to savor every step of their journey.

 

Miniature mountains

Most Japanese gardens have miniature mountains made up of large stones or boulders. If using a boulder, give it a more natural look by partially burying it with plants are nestled around its base. You can also add some small shrubs near the stone that would match its size and scale.

 

An illusion of water

Finally, but most importantly, is the use of water. Creating an illusion of water in a Japanese garden can bring a soothing effect in any landscape design. You can easily achieve this by digging a shallow depression which will act like a dry steam bed. Next, fill it with dark gravel. Gather fieldstones and place them along the banks. Lastly, fill it in with tufts of sweet flag (Acorus gramineus) and ferns.

 
Japanese gardens commonly contain small trees, verdant moss and a composition of rocks. Popular plant types that you can add in your garden include Japanese maples, flowering cherries and gold ginkgo trees (Ginkgo biloba). These trees can give your Japanese garden a seasonal feel ranging from summer to winter thereby creating a stunning and soothing effect you can enjoy all year round.

 
After you have finished all of your hardscape and plantings, you can carefully accent your Japanese garden with inspired statues and bowls, such as these from our web site at www.Garden-Fountains.com.

 

 

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