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Category Archives: Home and Garden

Little Forest with Bonsai Trees

Everyone should consider the fact that, especially during the growing period, there are some really important things to take care of. When it is only about a small collection of Bonsai, it is enough to just water the plants. The soil must be slightly moist most of the time. Leaves must be controlled from time to time, in order to prevent bugs and diseases. When this happens, you have to take the plant out from the tray. In the summer, during the growth period, they must be cut to keep their shape. In the winter, the Bonsai tree doesn’t require some special care, but they should, still, be provided a free space outside, where they should not freeze. More, every few years, the plants need to be moved in bigger trays. These few lines might not show how important it is to take care of your Bonsai trees, but regular care is very important, including the holidays, when you might leave.

In Europe and Northern America, Bonsai trees came in the early ’70s. Since then, a lot of clubs, unions and associations appeared that organize a lot of activities: expositions, fairs, seminars and more.

Being a member of a Bonsai Club is not the most important thing when growing Bonsai trees. The most important thing is to enjoy what you do and have fun while doing it.

Info of Decorative Garden Accents

Gates:
Whether they are part of an existing fencing system or just free standing, a gate will add an architectural detail. Wooden, iron, plain or whimsically decorated let the gate reflect your personality.

Gazing Globes:
Beginning in Victorian times gardeners have tucked these decorative spheres into their gardens. Available in a wide array of colors and sizes ranging from 10 to 14in, place one on a pedestal and watch how suddenly things begin to look magical.

Decorative Planters:
Terra Cotta, Stone, Metal or Resin – Plain, Colorful, Textured or a Whimsical piece.

Placing decorative planters filled with beautiful flowers within your garden adds interest and a focal point. These can be moved around the garden or replanted later in the season with new plants.

There are so many types of planters to choose from, just have some fun with them. Also, any container you happen to have whether it’s an old watering can or one lone rubber boot can be made into a decorative container as long as it has some type of drainage.

Statues:
Choose from Cherubs, Religious Figures, Lions, Birds or Frogs. They can be large or small made of marble, stone or resin. Adding one or several give interest and whimsy to any size garden.

Furniture:
Place a bench in or near a garden and it immediately says, “Sit, Relax and Enjoy”.

Choose materials ranging from Cedar, Pine to Metal, buy something new or scrounge around your attic or basement for an older piece not being used anymore.

Birdbaths:
A functional and decorative focal point. Most commonly seen birdbaths are shallow simple basins that sit on a pedestal, usually made of cement, porcelain or plastic. Mini versions are becoming popular for placing on patios and walkways.

Fountains:
Water is a necessity in the garden; therefore having a fountain just seems natural. They provide a soothing sound and become a beautiful accent. The most common styles include; wall mounted, free standing, single basin and multi-tiered.

Birdhouses:
Found at nurseries, home improvement, discount stores and flea markets, this is probably the easiest of accessories to add. They can be simple square wooden boxes to elaborately detailed versions; you might even try your hand at making your own.

Grow in Basement

First, seeds must have moisture to germinate and grow. And the soil mix must be moist, but not soggy, or you’ll drown the new plant, since it must also have oxygen!

Second, while heat is essential, temperatures must be maintained in a narrow range for ideal germination to occur. Most vegetable seeds germinate quickly between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. After plants are up, many of them will grow in cooler temperatures, but most all will become dormant (stop growing) at temperatures below 50 degrees.

Third, light is not necessary for seed germination, but as soon as your seedlings begin to emerge from the soil, maximum light is required immediately for proper development. Therefore, to grow in your house, make sure your plants have a strong (but not hot!) light source directly on the plants, for up to 16 hours per day.  The metal one is 6-shelf Commercial Chrome Shelving, from Sam’s Club costing only $70, and will hold 20 flats of plants. Suspend shop lights with 2 cool and 2 warm 40-watt tubes 2 to 4″ above the plants.

The fourth principle relates to feeding. A balanced nutrient mix of 13 minerals is essential to plants immediately after germination. Those nutrients are mineral salts and must be very dilute in the soil moisture, otherwise osmosis will cause the salt to draw the life-giving moisture out of the plants, and they will die. To ensure you never burn your plants, water seedlings daily using the “Constant Feed Solution” of one ounce (2 level tablespoons) of Weekly Feed dissolved in 3 gallons of water.

Next, it is important to separate your small plants before their leaves begin to overlap with others’, or the tiny stems will become very weak and spindly as the plants all stretch – looking for more light. By the time the plants have their first or second true leaf, this step should be completed. Failure to wait even a few hours can result in spindly, weak plants, which never recover. Transplanting seedlings into 2″ 6-paks or pots will provide adequate space for them to grow an additional 2-3 weeks, depending on variety. If it’s still too early to put them out into the garden by the time plant leaves are again beginning to overlap, prune the leaves, transplant again into larger pots, or separate pots, so the plant leaves always have maximum light.

Before transplanting into the garden, “harden-off” your plants outside, off the ground for 2 to 3 days, to acclimate them to direct sunlight, temperature, wind, etc. This is important so the plant doesn’t have the shock of a new environment added to the shock to its root system caused by transplanting. If the weather turns cold at night, bring the plants back in the house. The temperature adjustment needs to be gradual.

Canopy Swings

Canopy swings offer a haven of comfort on extremely hot and sunny days or cloudy days when brief showers threaten. Instead of having to remain indoors and only getting to enjoy nature through the window, a canopy swing allows you to relax in your favorite spots no matter what the weather. Canopies also protect your valuable outdoor furniture from irritating messes such as bird droppings.

And you do not have to go out and buy a whole new piece of furniture to be able to enjoy the comfort associated with a canopy swing. You can take your existing porch swing and find a matching frame and canopy that will look like you bought them together. But if you do not have a porch swing, do not worry. That just makes shopping for your canopy swing that much more fun because you get to pick your favorite style of swing also.

The most durable canopies made for swings are made with Sunbrella fabrics. Sunbrella fabric is the premium outdoor fabric and is also the leading brand of outdoor fabrics in America. Sunbrella fabrics have been used successfully through the years to create beautiful, stain resistant and fade resistant awnings, umbrellas and furniture cushions that have withstood the test of time and the elements beautifully.

Sunbrella fabrics are made with a woven acrylic material. They are water repellent, mildew resistant and colorfast. They are UV treated to not fade for three or more years, and they are guaranteed to remain beautiful summer after summer with little maintenance on your part.

Most swing canopies are available in a Sunbrella navy or green colored fabric. They can be mixed and matched with almost any style of swing including Western, Adirondack, Cottage, Newport and Classic to create the perfect canopy swing to fit your unique tastes and decorating style.

Take for instance the Western Red Cedar Mission porch swing. This swing is beautifully constructed using kiln-dried, select grade cedar and is double-dipped oil stained to bring out the natural beauty of the cedar and to maintain it for years. You can take this gorgeous swing and add a Western Red Cedar A-Frame and a canopy to create an amazing piece of outdoor furniture that will quickly become the favorite piece of furniture in your home.

Yellow Roses for Garden

Yellow roses are one of a number of different colored roses that are available in garden centers and even discount department stores. But, there are so many varieties to choose from that you shouldn’t limit yourself to whatever those places have on hand. Check out your local garden center for an idea of what they offer, but then explore the yellow rose varieties online as well. It is not a difficult task to find rose distributors who are able to supply yellow roses to the average customer. And, in doing so, you allow yourself to have many choices at your fingertips!

To find a distributor of yellow roses, simply use any major search engine like Yahoo or Google and type that phrase in. Hit go and you’ve got at your fingertips a wide selection of choices. Begin your search by comparing color, size, hardiness, and even price. Once you know what you want, try a couple of different places to find just the right characteristics and features available.
With the Internet as a tool, it is easy to see how you can accomplish this in just a few minutes.

Remember to take into consideration the type of soil you will use, the surrounding area where you will plant the yellow rose, the amount of sun it will receive, and the temperatures it can tolerate. With all that said, finding gorgeous yellow roses isn’t too bad of a task at all.

Some Ways to Grow Bananas

Bananas grow from rhizomes, which are stems that take root and send shoots (suckers) up through the soil. Banana plants may also be propagated through suckers (also called pups or ratoons) that grow from the main stem of the banana plant. If you have difficulty in finding banana rhizomes at your local nursery, you can find them in most garden catalogs as well as Internet garden outlets.
Site and soil

The banana plant grows best in full sun in soil that provides excellent drainage. Good drainage is crucial since saturated roots may die in less than an hour. It is also important to shelter the banana plant from heavy winds that can tatter the banana plant foliage.

The banana plant is a very heavy feeder. Soil should be nutrient rich, slightly acidic, and loamy enough to retain moisture and keep nutrients from leaching below the shallow roots of the plant. Amendments of good organic compost and green sand or kelp meal will help maintain the banana plant’s high mineral requirements.

Planting Banana Rhizomes

Dig a hole about a foot wide and ten to twelve inches deep. Set the rhizome in the hole so that the union between it and the sucker stem are about six inches deep. If your site isn’t level, the eye of your banana rhizome should be on the uphill side of your hole. Fill the hole with soil and tamp down firmly to remove any air pockets. If planting more than one rhizome, plants need to be spaced at least ten feet apart so that each gets the benefit of full sun. Water your planting sparingly to keep the rhizome healthy until the plant is established.

Banana Plant Growth

Because of its rapid growth, the banana plant is one that you almost can sit back and watch grow.
When the banana plant is about three-quarters grown, it produces several suckers at its base. Remove all of these, save one, by trimming them at ground level with a sharp knife. The saved shoot is called a follower. It will become your banana plant’s main stem after the mother plant fruits.

The “trunk” of the banana plant is actually a densely packed group of concentric leaves, a pseudostem. After the banana plant has grown about thirty leaves, the fruit stem shoots through them from the rhizome and emerges as a terminal inflorescence (a group of flowers at the tip of the stem). The fruit stem matures three to four months after its emergence. Flower bracts soon cover the stem and then roll back almost daily, each exposing a “hand” of bananas. At the beginning of their development, the little hands grow downward, but as they grow, they turn their fingers towards the sun and appear to be growing upside down. This phenomenon is called “negative geotropism”.

Orange Perennials

Butterfly Weed – This flowers in summer and can get as high as three feet. It has compact clusters of flowers and as the name implies, it does attract butterflies!

Day Lily – I see this beautiful flower growing wild all over the place here in New Hampshire. It blooms in summer and sits on 30″ tall stalks. These perennials are virtually care free and will grow in most locations. Since 1 stalk can have over forty flowers, you can have a bed of these that blooms for a month or more in the summer.

Gaillardia – This comes in a regular size that has 4″ daisy like flowers and a dwarf size. The plant is short growing to about 2 feet and blooms in summer. These like to be planted in the full sun but are quite hardy and you can extend the bloom time if you cut off the fading flowers. And the best thing is that they also attract butterflies!

Helianthemum – Blooms This is a good ground cover that blooms in summer It is easy to grow on rocky slopes and creates a border of color. If you are lucky it will bloom twice, once in early summer and then again in late summer.

Oriental Poppy – Beautiful orange flowers that bloom in spring and grow to 24″. These beautiful perennials like a sunny spot with well drained soil.

Torch lily – This interesting perennial blooms in summer and produces spikes of orange cone shaped flowers that can grow to 6 feet. It likes to be planted in a sunny location and is great for zones 5 – 10. This plant attracts hummingbirds!

Greenhouse Calamities

1. Never assume that your seeds are not growing and then buy plants instead. I started growing tomato seeds, in the proper seed tray, and within a month nothing had happened. However, I used pretty expensive potting soil and didn’t want to waste it so I dumped it on the floor of the greenhouse and turned it in. Then, I planted 6 tomato plants into the ground and had homemade salsa recipes salivating in my head. A month later I had well over 30 tomato plants tumbling over each other. The worst part was that I didn’t label the plants and wasn’t sure which ones to thin out. I thinned and ended up with the orange pixie variety mostly and they were about the size of a mutant cherry tomato.

2. Never assume that just because your garden is now “indoors” that you won’t get an insect infestation. If you are afraid of insects, greenhouse gardening is not much better than being out in nature. After you plant your garden, whether in grow bags, on tables or directly in the ground, look up. There he is…Sammy the Slug peering down on you with a slight smirk on his face. If you are allergic to bee stings, every year at least one gets in your greenhouse and seems to twoddle around in there for what seems like an eternity.

3. Never think you are a pack mule and can water your plants enough by using a gardening can or bucket. You can’t! With the heat and the sun shining through the glass the plants need more water than the outside plants. You need a mister, some type of irrigation system, ideally, and at bare minimum a hose. This means you’ll require a water source. Think about it when you are putting the greenhouse in place. If you’re water source is close to the house you must put the greenhouse within reach. Or, you can be like me… carry about 20 buckets of water out each night and only water ¼ of the plants before you give up. (That said, the cursing involved in the greenhouse creates more carbon dioxide and makes plants grow better).

Climbing Roses

Climbing roses are different from the regular roses that are planted as they are trained to grow upward like vines. Some of them are hybrid teas, wichuraine, and large flowered climbers. They are a beautiful addition to the look of one´s house

Would you like more information about climbing roses? It is easy to learn about this great beauty. First of all, there are many types of climbing roses. They range in color, texture, and look. They also range in hardiness as well. Of course, you need to know what you are looking of in your climbing rose. When choosing climbing roses, some things that you need to consider are size, shade tolerance, disease resistance and colour.

Most important is knowing your hardiness level. This tells you what will grow in your area. Also as important is to pick varieties that will grow in the element you are placing them. What type of soil will you use? Will the area have full sun, partial sun, or will it be in shade.

Before getting discouraged, though, realize that there are many varieties of climbing roses to choose from and more then likely, you will find something to meet your needs. To find variety, forget about choosing your local hardware store, discount department store, or even the local gardening outlet. While these places often have a good selection, they don’t have the most.

TricksManage Algae

The things that I’m talking about are as follows to manage algae. First, you will need to have some kind of pond filter. There are many different kinds on the market in many different price ranges. Personally, I think submersible pond filters are the best. They’re in the water and out of sight. I’m not trying to be pushy, but you might want to check out my homemade pond filter, it works fantastic.

The second thing you need to help manage algae is a UV filter. These filters should be at the top of your list when it comes to things you must have for your pond. What they do is kill the algae as the pond water passes by the light inside the tube that encloses it. They can be hooked up in conjunction with your pond filter and water pump, or separately.

The third thing that you must have is plenty of pond plants. You should have both underwater and surface plants. Pond plants help break down the organic waste from the fish and help manage algae. Great underwater plants include Anacharis and Hornwort, while good surface plants are Water Hyacinth and Water Lettuce.

I would prefer not to use any chemicals, and I haven’t, so I cannot comment about them. The three things mentioned above should be just about all you need to keep the algae under control. Try and keep ahead of the game and not let the algae get out of control, because if you do, you could have a battle on your hands at getting rid of it completely. It’s up to you to manage algae, don’t let it manage you.