Landscapes That Help Conserve Resources

By: admin | Posted on: Jan/08/2018

Landscapes that help conserve garden-fountains
Landscapes that are built to conserve resources are designed and incorporate low-impact development, environmentally sensitive features, non-invasive native plants, and integrated pest management. Basically, the intention is to build a diverse landscape that aims to protect clean water and air, support wildlife, and support a healthier and more beautiful human environment.

 

Earth-Kind Landscape

 

This type of landscape uses environmentally friendly management practices in order to build gardens that are sustainable, low-maintenance and most of all beautiful. Building Earth-Kind landscapes have certain purposes that include reducing the use of pesticide and fertilizer, conserving energy and water, and recycling landscape wastes.

 

There are five easy-to-implement practices that can help you transform your current landscape into one that is Earth-Kind:
 

  • 1. Turf Maintenance
  • 2. Irrigation Auditing or Evaluation
  • 3. Cycle and Soak Watering Irrigation
  • 4. Low-Volume Irrigation
  • 5. Fertilizing Based On Soil Tests

 

Wetland Garden

 

Constantly changing and brimming with life, wetland gardens make a nice focal area in any backyard. These gardens provide great habitat for birds, dragonflies, reptiles, and frogs. Likewise, wetland plants are versatile, hardy and can cope with long dry periods. Which means they can be suitable for a number of garden situations, even in dryer climates.

 

Rainforest

 

Rainforests are the earth’s most diverse ecosystems. They thrive in high moisture locations although, the soils in the area are often poor. Made up mostly of tall trees, these living plants and litter their leaves onto the ground. That litter stores most of the nutrients which is in turn cycled rapidly through the ecosystem. This is because of the many fast-acting invertebrates found in the leaf litter. The fruits and flowers found in many rainforest trees are usually of huge importance for birds and butterflies.

 

Bird Garden

 

Bird gardens are designed to attract birds into the yard. By incorporating your garden with a huge variety of local native plants that bear fruits, flowers and seed at varying times in a year, you can expect to see many birds flying in for a snack. To attract the larger, more aggressive species such as the Noisy Miners, design your backyard with uniform garden beds that have nectar-rich shrubs. To attract smaller birds, provide them with a place that’s safe sheltered where they can go about their everyday rituals. Plant a variety of groundcovers and shrubs densely so they create a layered garden with lots of good hiding places.

 

Butterfly Garden

 

This type of landscape displays local plants that are hosts during the larval stage of a butterfly as well as plants that will provide food to adult butterflies. Just plant a variety of flowering plants to provide butterflies with a lot of nectar.

 

Coastal Garden

 

Many coastal trees have great windbreak capacities since they are accustomed to stiff coastal winds and have the ability to withstand storms. Moreover, they are fast growing which is important in moving sand dunes. Coastal plants are among the toughest plant variety which makes them the best plants for gardens that are near the coast.

Hanging Art, Mobiles and Wind Chimes

By: admin | Posted on: Jan/03/2018

 
Mobiles and Wind Chimes Garden-fountains

 
In general, hanging mobiles can just about anywhere inside and outside your home. They can be in your garden, on your patio, on your windows or deck, from inside your porch, and any other place that you can imagine.

For thousands of years, mobiles have been in existence in the form of wind chimes. People in Rome, Greece and Asia made these art forms using bronze or glass and attached them with bells before hanging them outdoors in order to bring good luck or to ward off evil spirits. Others, such as the people in Finland, would make traditional hanging sculptures made of straw (himmelis) and place them above the dining table in order to earn a good crop for the following year.

 

Traditional Bamboo Wind Chimes

 

Wind chimes made in traditional bamboo material have been around a long time yet managed to remain popular until today. Usually, these bamboo mobiles are hung in the balconies of traditional homes that are on stilts. If you’re a fan of anything that has an orient feel, you can opt for bamboo or wooden chimes.

 

Sun Catchers

 

Make your own dangling “chandeliers” and watch them spin, dance and sparkle under the sun. Use your imagination when putting together various materials such as fan rosettes, seashells, tiny umbrellas, glass shards, and hanging beads.

 

Dangling Lamps

 

Gather and collect lamps then suspend them from a rope in order to have a great décor piece over your window or door or any part of a wall. You can also hang your favorite items such as twigs and branches, beaded necklaces or even old shoes that you can’t bear to throw away just yet.

 

Hanging Bottles

 

Find old glass bottles of any size and shape and easily transform them into a cheap yet decorative art form. Suspend them in a row on a rod or on a clothes line in your garden. You can even fill the bottle with water and fresh flowers and then replace them at any time that you wish. You can also use dried flowers and branches if you want to create a rustic look. Be sure to hang them under a covered part of the house to protect them during the rainy days.

 

Wooden Discs

 

This type of mobile art can work both inside and outside the house. Use rainbow-colored circles to create a simple yet captivating mobile art. You can also add a wooden initial or another shape or form.

 

House Keys

 

Got a lot of old keys that are hanging around and are no longer in use? Turn them into a wind chime by applying bright colored paints and suspending them on a painted tree branch.

 

Bottle Caps

Use small hooks or simply a strong thread for hanging together your bottle caps. They make good outdoor décor and can add more character to any space in your house.

 

Souvenirs

 

A unique way to display your small knick knacks from trips is by turning them into a Boho Mobile art. You can use anything such as display figurines, oversized charm bracelet, holiday bells and more. This mobile art can also turn into an instant conversation topic that leads to a fun exchange of travel stories and anything else under the sun.

Extend The Life of Holiday Plants

By: admin | Posted on: Dec/21/2017

 
Holiday plants garden-fountains
 
We all love our Holiday plants. They even make great gifts, add color and fragrance and if you live where the snow flies, they help bring greenery to your indoor space. But how do you keep your holiday plants longer? We’ve got a few tips for you…

 

Fresh Cut Trees

 
Keeping your Christmas tree longer with its needles intact starts right when you get it. So if you haven’t already followed this advice, then make a note for next year!
 
Right after your purchase, remember to re-cut the trunk and then place your tree in a water reservoir as soon as possible. If you’re not ready to decorate or put it in its stand, you can store the tree by keeping it in a bucket of water then placing it in a cold garage before finally placing it in the house.

 

There’s lots of advice on additives, but so far, adding one aspirin it is the only additive shown by research to have a preserving effect. However, the results are often mixed…

 

Planting A Live Tree

 

If you’re buying a live tree so you can plant it in your landscape when the holiday season is over, you need to pre-dig the planting hole in your yard before the ground reaches a freezing state. Use a tarp for storing the backfill or the soil that was taken out of the planting hole. Drag the backfill to the garage. Then cover the planting hole with plywood. Place leaves over the wood in order to provide insulation to the soil.

 

Remember to plant the tree as soon as the holiday season is over. Then stake the tree right after planting. Be extra watchful on the tree in the spring and check to see if it’s necessary to water. Normally, you would need 10 gallons of water a week on the event that there’s no rainfall.

 

Poinsettias

 

Poinsettias are the most popular Holiday plant. If you intend to keep a poinsettia to last throughout the year, make sure to give it the right care that it needs indoors. This includes giving it less frequent but thorough watering; removing any standing water from the pot cover every time you water; providing occasional light fertilizer applications or a slow-release fertilizer with micronutrients; and keeping them away from the cold draft of windows and doors and in a place that won’t be hit by the warm, dry airflow that comes out of furnace vents.

 

Holiday Rosemary

 

Rosemary needs at least 6 to 8 hours of full sun every day to thrive. If you live in a warmer climate, you can take your rosemary cone outside and plant it in the ground or favorite planter. If you’re in a cold climate, then a grow light is your best bet. Put the plant under a grow light that’s above the plant by 4 to 6 inches, for about 14 hours a day.

 

Amaryllis

 

Once your amaryllis has bloomed, keep the post out of direct sunlight. That will extend the blooming period. If you’re planting the bulb, be sure the pot is filled with professional growers mix. Never use soil that came from the garden. Place the pot where there is bright, indirect light. Keep it watered just enough so the soil is always moist but never soggy.

 

 

Christmas Cactus

 

During fall and winter, remember to water your Christmas Cactus less frequently as compared to watering them in the spring and summer. To make it bloom right during the holiday season, place your cactus in a totally dark area during the night without using any artificial light for a period of 12 hours or more. Then place it where there is indirect sunlight during the day. You can begin this process in mid-October. Keep the room temperature cool and the watering limited. Fertilizing should be continued only until the first buds start to appear which usually happens around the end of October.

Keep this handy guide for next year too!

 

 

Hot Garden Trend: Pollinator Gardening

By: admin | Posted on: Dec/19/2017

pollinator gardening garden-fountains

Pollinator gardening refers to growing a healthy garden where pollinators can nest and gather nectar and pollen from the flowers. This type of garden help in preserving essential pollinators. In turn, these pollinators will help in making any garden thrive.

 

What You Should Consider

 

Did you know that 75 percent of the flowering plants in the world depend on pollinators? Having said that, it’s important to know that pollinators need your help.

 

The following are some of the things you need to consider to achieve a successful pollinator garden:
 
1. Create “landing zones” by planting in clumps as opposed to planting single plants. This will help pollinators in finding and using your garden.
 
2. Plant your garden in the sun. Bees like to visit flowers that are in the sun.
Install a hummingbird feeder and create an artificial nectar. You can create the latter by using four parts water to one part table sugar.
 
3. Put something that is red in color on the feeder. Keep it free of mold by cleaning it at least twice a week using hot soapy water.
 
4. Place a bowl, shallow dish or birdbath and then fill with clean water for pollinators. Add half-submerged stones to allow perching.
 
5. Leave some areas conducive for the bees to build their nests. These can be either a bare ground or prefabricated cavities in wood. Also, leave some parts of the garden un-mulched to attract ground-nesting insects.
 
6. Use dead tree trunks and branches in the garden as essential sites for wood-nesting beetles and bees. You can also put a bee condo in the garden with a piece of scrap lumber that’s mounted under the leaves or to a post. Simply drill holes of varying diameter around 3 to 5 inches deep into the lumber.
 
7. Create a structured design by arranging the plants in your garden. By planting the tallest plants in the back part while the smaller-sized ones are planted in the front, you can have the opportunity to observe and enjoy pollinators that visit your garden.
 
8. Limit or eliminate using pesticides or herbicides in your garden. You can also incorporate plants that draw beneficial insects in order to control pests.
 
9. Create a damp area for butterflies and bees with the use of a drip irrigation line, a dripping hose, or a birdbath on bare soil. Place a small bit of wood ashes or salt into the mud and allow them to mix.
 
10. Choose plants with overlapping flowering times. This will allow pollinators and bees to forage continually in the garden.
 
11. Consider plants that are native to your region. Native plants are more likely to attract local pollinators.
 
12. Choose a variety of plants (at least 20 plant types) to create a garden with diverse sources of pollen and nectar.

 

Soil Testing – Why it Matters

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

 
Soil test why it matters Garden-fountains
 
Soil testing is the process of measuring and analyzing the presence of important nutrients in the soil. It’s the ket to understanding its current health and fertility level. Basically, a soil test can provide homeowners the information they need to start a fertilization schedule. With periodic soil testing, homeowners can use fertilizer more effectively to help create a healthy garden or lawn.
 

The Importance Of Soil Testing

 
As the seed or fruit, fallen leaves, and other plant debris decomposes, the nutrients that a plant needs in order to grow get released back into the soil. When flowers or vegetables are harvested, these nutrients leave the soil and therefore need to be replaced. One way to do that is by fertilizing. However, fertilizing  without knowing the needs of your soil, can actually cause more harm  than good. When you fertilize too little, the plants will not benefit sufficiently. Likewise, too much fertilizing can cause damage to the environment. This is why soil testing becomes essential – you already know what your garden needs.
 

When To Do A Soil Test

 
The most ideal time to do a soil test is during the fall season. Most gardeners wait until spring before they start testing their soil. When you send your soil sample at fall, you can get the results faster. As long as the ground is not frozen, even wintertime is a good time to begin this process.
 
You want to get the results in time so you can make purchases on things such as fertilizer, lime or other matter. If the soil’s pH levels are too low, you can use lime to correct its alkaline level and prepare it for spring planting. Bear in mind that lime takes some time to react with the soil. For this reason, you can always opt to send a sample of the soil test to the testing center at any time and day of the year.
 

What You Should Test For

 
It’s important to decide what you should test for in order to achieve the desired results. Here are some basic soil tests that you can do:
 
pH Test – Determines the soil’s level of alkalinity to acidity. The best level is a pH of 7.
 
Organic Matter Content Test – Expressed in a percentage, garden soils usually have approximately 4 to 8 percent of organic matter content. Organic matter is essential in providing a place for soil organisms to perform functions such as breaking down the fertilizer and making the fertilizer available to plants.
 
Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) Test – This type of test helps determine the availability level of potassium, magnesium, calcium and nitrogen which is in the form of ammonium. It also helps in determining what should be added to change pH if the issue is non-calcium related.
 
Nutrients Test – This test reveals the availability of every nutrient. One type of nutrient that is emphasized in most laboratories is nitrogen which is the most common limiting nutrient for gardeners and farmers.
 
Others – At times, laboratories will conduct a test for local conditions such as sodium test which is common among areas that are prone to flooding by salt water. Northern locations can also benefit from this type of test when they become affected by driveway and road salts.
 
Getting a soil test done is like getting a roadmap for your garden. After all, you and your garden do go on an annual journey together. So taking this extra step and pay big dividends by the year’s end!

 

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