Learn the basics of raised bed gardening in this online video guide to vegetable gardening by Scott Reil. Scott Reil is an accredited nurseryman and longtime horticulturalist with over two decades of experience in the field.
Roses have gotten a bad wrap over the years for being difficult to grow and maintain. If you are thinking of rose gardening don’t let this rumor stop you. While rose gardening can prove to be challenging, once you get the hang of it, it really isn’t that bad.
When you first start rose gardening, you will have to choose what type of rose you wish to plant, and no, I’m not talking about the color. You will have to choose between bare-root, pre-packaged, and container-grown roses. Bare-root roses are sold in the winter and early spring. They should be planted as soon as frosts are over and the ground is warm and workable. Pre-packaged roses are bare-root plants that are sold in a bad or box with something around the roots to retain moisture, such as sawdust. Container-grown roses are grown; you guessed it, in containers. They will be either budding or already in bloom when they become available in the early spring.
Planting in rose gardening is not that much different than any other type of plant. The most important thing, as always, is good, healthy soil and a prime planting area. It doesn’t matter whether your roses are bare-root or container-grown, the planting methods are the same as any other shrub. Make sure the spot you choose has good drainage, gets plenty of sunlight, and will not overcrowd your roses. Before planting, any dead leaves and thin or decayed shoots need to be cut off. Any damaged or very long roots also need to be trimmed. Soak bare-root roses in water about 10-12 hours to restore moisture in the roots before planting and water the soil before planting as well. Make sure the hole you have dug is large enough for the root growth of the rose. Also it is a good idea to use compost or mulch. After all, roses like extra nutrients just like any other plant.
Roses need the same things as other plants; they are just a bit needier. One of the most important things to remember in rose gardening is that roses are heavy feeders and will need several fertilizer applications. Fertilizing should be started in early spring and discontinued in early fall. Make sure not to over-fertilize (fertilize should come with instructions) and water after each feeding. Roses require large amounts of water; a thorough watering twice a week should be enough.
Pruning is an essential part to flower gardening. It increases blooms and encourages healthy plant growth. Different varieties of roses have different instructions for pruning, so you might want to read up on your rose types and see what is suggested.
The main thing to remember in rose gardening is to water, water, and water some more. One other thing about rose gardening is the amount of fertilizer and nutrients you will need to use, and the pruning that needs to be done to keep your roses under control and healthy. Even though rose gardening takes a little more time and roses are more work, they are one of the most unique and beautiful plants, and definitely worth the extra work.
Roses are arguably the most beloved flowers in the world. They symbolize love, friendship, and sympathy with an elegant beauty. “101 Tips For Growing And Enjoying Your Own Great Roses!” contains all the information you need to add life to your yard with all types of roses. If you feel adventurous and have some time, you can even learn to plant hybrid teas right outside your front door.
If you have an interest in the landscaping that surrounds your house but you are at somewhat at a loss for not knowing exactly where to begin, then you can quite easily discover many different inspiring examples. It might be simply driving around your neighborhood and stopping the vehicle to take a picture of a landscape design that is appealing to you. You may even knock on one of the doors and see if the homeowner will give you some advice on whether they use a professional or if they did it themselves.
Resources of Inspiration
Another good place to get many different ideas for your landscaping projects would be the numerous magazines and books that are published on the topic of design landscapes. Also, nowadays there are numerous different resources that are available online for designing and embellishing the landscape that's around your house. Quite a few of these websites even offer sample landscape design plans, numerous pictures of various ideas, as well as tips from experts for do-it-yourselfers, and contact information for professional landscape design that are around your area.
Some of the most common features in landscaping for homes are patios and decks. Patios and decks not only provide beauty and are a type of centerpiece to overall landscape design, but they can also add a functionality to your house and furnished outdoor living space as well.
Decks and patios provide you with an excellent place to host family gatherings as well as other types of entertainment. While at the same time, a small patio can be added to a special garden area to make a place for you to get away to relax and be refreshed by the beauty of your natural surroundings. Adding patios and decks, or making different improvements to existing ones, is also an excellent way to add more value to your home as well as increase your equity.
Fountains and Rock Gardens
Nowadays, more frequently, fountains are steadily becoming features of home and garden landscaping. There are the more traditional types, multi-tiered fountains that are reminiscent of European villas and country estates which can add an old world charm to your surroundings.
There are also more modern types of fountains that use specific types of rocks and stones or large ceramic pots which are steadily becoming very popular in different types of landscape architecture. Naturally, there are numerous other creative and beautiful styles that are available on the market today to meet any style and taste.
Rock gardens are also becoming quite popular. These type of gardens have the benefit of being highly attractive, however they generally integrate very few, if any, types of plants. The end result of this is that they are very low maintenance as they need either no watering, or very little, and virtually no weeding, and generally speaking need almost no attention, except to simply sit back and admire how your rock garden adds to the beauty of your overall landscape design.
English Cottage Gardens and Lawns
Emulating an English cottage landscaping garden is an additional home and garden inspiration. These type of gardens are notable for their overall lack of a formal plan. There is very little rigidity in their design with English cottage gardens since the whole idea behind them is to let the plants themselves “just grow” and to let them develop in a more natural, or organic method. These type of gardens have a specific charm to them and very often make individuals feel more relaxed as well is embraced by nature.
Lush green lawns are, in all probability, the most common and largest component of most of the landscaping design plans. A beautiful lawn is very popular since it provides for homeowners with an area where the family can enjoy numerous different types of activities. Lawns are also one of the simplest of the landscape components to maintain as well as staying beautiful for many years afterwards with basic maintenance routines.
About the Author
Listen to Corbin Newlyn as he shares his insights as a avid writer in the field of gardening and home. If you would like to learn more go to Building Koi Ponds advice and at Garden Ponds Designs tips.
Before you plant a summer hanging basket it is a good idea to think about what plants you like and what you would like to put in it.
First you need to choose your basket:
Fiber baskets – although not as long-lasting as plastic ones they have a more natural look.
Plastic baskets – usually have a built-in drip tray or have one that can be clipped on. They can usually be bought in green or terracotta versions.
Wooden baskets – are decorative and often available in kit form. They tend to be more popular for indoor use than for outdoors.
Wire baskets – are the most popular form of hanging basket. The wire is usually plastic coated and wrought iron versions are sometimes available.
The fiber and plastic ones are also called ‘closed’ baskets. They are usually easier to fill and plant although it is hard to achieve a ball of flowers effect as the sides cannot be planted.
Open baskets like the wire and wooden varieties offer more scope because the sides and top can be planted with flowers. They need to have a waterproof liner added otherwise they have a tendency to dry out quickly and drips coming from when watered can be a problem depending on where they are hanging.
Next you need to choose your plants:
Hanging baskets are normally planted with a variety of summer flowering plants and then placed outside after all risk of frost has passed. One idea is to have a ‘centre-piece’ in the top centre which stands out above the others. Then you can have a range of dwarf summer bedding plants and some trailing plants as well.
The centre piece could be chosen from Geranium, fuchsia or dahlia for example. Bushy bedding plants include, Bedding Begonia, Impatiens, Petunia, Pansy, Viola, Coleus, Nemesia, Alyssum, French marigold and Cineraria.
For the trailing plants Lobelia is a popular choice as is the dwarf sweet pea.
Planting the hanging basket:
Before planting, water the plants thoroughly. If you are using a basket with a rounded base you can get more control if you place it on top of a plant pot. This is so it doesn’t move about when you are trying to plant the flowers.
If using a wire basket it will need a liner. Pre-formed ones are readily available at garden stores or you can make your own with sphagnum moss. It is advisable to have a polythene liner as well otherwise the moss can dry out quickly.
Using a multicompost or peat-based potting compost half fill the basket. Press it down and then make a few slits in the liner. Choose some trailing plants and push them through the slits so the plant ball is resting on the compost. Continue doing this at intervals all the way round the basket.
Next add more compost to within an inch of the top of the basket and gently press it down.
Plant the ‘centre piece’ and then plant the other plants round it. Once completed water it thoroughly and hang in position.
You now know how to plant a summer hanging basket the choice of basket and plants is entirely up to you. You may decide to have a variety of colors although a single color with a variety of dwarf and trailing can look equally striking. Now just sit back and wait for it to grow.
Apparently, we can see how nature is treated these days. It is a sad thing to know that people do not pay attention so much anymore to the environmental problems. What can we do about this? It’s as simple as starting with the children. It is good to see the children’s involvement with environment-friendly activities. One such nature-loving activity that children could easily get their hands on is gardening. Why should you consider gardening for your children?
Here are the benefits that gardening could easily provide the children with:
In planting, children are indirectly taught the wonders of science like the plant’s life cycle and how human’s intervention can break or make the environment. They can have a first hand experience on the miracle of life through a seed. This would definitely be a new and enjoyable experience for the kids.
Watching a seed grow into a tree is just as wondrous as the conception to birth and growth of a child. In time, kids will learn to love their plants and appreciate the life in them. Gardening could actually help simulate how life should be treated — it should be with care. The necessities to live will be emphasized to kids with the help of gardening – water, sunlight, air, soil. Those necessities could easily be corresponded to human necessities, i.e., water, shelter, air, food. By simply weeding out, one could educate how bad influences should be avoided to be able to live life smoothly.
Studies show that gardening can reduce stress because of its calming effect. This is applicable to any age group. More so, it stimulates all the five senses. Believe it or not, gardening may be used as therapy to children who have been abused or those who are members of broken homes. It helps build one’s self-esteem.
4. Quality Time with the Family
You can forget about your stressful work life for a while be soothed by the lovely ambience in the garden. You can play and spend quality time with your children. You can talk while watering the plants or you can work quietly beside each other. The bottom line is, always do what you have to do, together with your kids. You might discover a lot of new things about your child while mingling with them in your garden.
Let kids become aware of their environment’s needs. And one way to jumpstart that environmental education may be through gardening. It’s hitting two birds with one stone — teach them to respect life while you bond with them.
What is butterfly gardening? Simply put butterfly gardening is the art of growing flowers and plants that will attract these colorful and dainty creatures to your garden. Delight your family and visitors with beautiful butterflies, but be sure to create a safe habitat for them. If you own cats rethink your plans, because it would be a shame to attract these lovely insects to their death.
The design your butterfly garden is a matter of personal preference. Typical points to consider are the size of your garden and the types of flowers and plants you want to grow. Pick a style of garden that appeals to you, but ensure it also contains the plants and flowers that appeal to the butterflies you wish to attract.
It is important to find out which plants and flowers will attract the species of butterflies that live in your area. This information can be found at the local library usually.
To create the kind of environment that they find attractive, you will also need water of some kind. A birdbath will look attractive and keep the butterflies up off the ground, away from stray cats or mischievous puppies. A shallow dish on a post or hung in a tree will do just as well.
When planting your butterfly garden be careful how you coordinate the colors you choose for your flowerbeds. Although butterflies do not care about your choice of color, you don’t want your garden to be a hodgepodge of unrelated colors and textures. Butterflies are attracted to those flowers that have nectar rather than pollen, like honeysuckle, milkweed, summer lilac, Valerian, daisies, Purple Coneflower, Yellow Sage, day lilies and lavender.
Some people find it helpful to draw and color a layout of their butterfly gardening plan to see what the finished product would look like. Keep in mind that warm colors like red and orange are flashy and showy. These colors have a greater impact against a strong green background. Cool colors such as blue and purple are soothing and toned down and would work better with a white contrast to create the look of freshness and brightness.
Different kinds of gardens require different kinds of garden tools. Hardware stores mostly cater for a wide range of tools, but there are shops that specialize in the more expensive kind of garden tool that shouts quality. Wherever you decide to shop, here are a few pointers to advise you.
Do you have small garden or a large one? A small garden will not require the same large equipment that would be of use in an extensive one. A ride-on mower is unnecessary if you only have a small strip of lawn. Another point to consider is who does most of the gardening? Some tools are too heavy for use by women.
When you buy secateurs make sure the blade always stays sharp to avoid damaging the plant. Look for models that have blades that can be sharpened or replaced, models with tension control and with sizes that best fit your hands. Secateurs usually cost around $50 – $130.
Hedge trimmers or shears are handy – but only if you have a hedge, or plan on growing one. Some hedge trimmers have curved blades to stop branches from sliding out when cut.
Forks are used for turning and aerating compost and breaking up lumps of soil. The cheaper ones are often not strong enough for heavy soil, so go for sturdiness instead of price. Forks usually cost around $30 – $100.
A shovel has a scoop blade and is best used to move around dirt and garden soil. A spade has a flat blade great for cutting edges, digging and dividing plants. The edge of a spade should be kept sharpened for clean and efficient cutting will cause the least amount of damage to plants. These are a basic garden necessity and usually cost from $30 – $50.
A pruning saw is used for pruning trees and larger shrubs, while secateurs are for plants like roses. Pruning saws have a narrow curved blade that fits between stems or branches and easily and cuts them as you pull the saw backwards. They are approximately $27- $55.
A chipping hoe is a handy tool for getting rid of small weeds. The Dutch or push-hoe is slightly more user-friendly as the action required to use it does not jar the neck and shoulder quite so much.
A rake is also a basic requirement for the garden. The strong rake with the flat head and sharp metal prongs is used for smoothing a garden bed and getting out the last of the bumps and weeds. The plastic rake is used to gather leaves and grass clippings only.
Gardening tools don’t have to be expensive. Flea markets and garage sales can be excellent places to pick up great tool bargain.
Many times we buy plants on impulse then find there is nowhere in the garden that really suits them. Before buying plants carefully examine your garden to see how much sun and shade it gets, whether the soil is well drained or waterlogged and whether your aspect is sheltered or windswept. You’ll then be equipped to go and buy the best plants for your situation; shade-loving plants for the sheltered areas, sun-lovers for the warm spots, drought-resistant plants for the parched areas which may be either sunny or shaded, and swamp plants for the poorly-drained parts.
But wait! Test your soil first, to determine the pH level of your soil and what kind of nutrients you need to add, if any. Is the soil acid or alkaline? Most plants prefer soil that is slightly acidic, but there are some that must have alkaline soil to grow. You can alter the soil’s pH level, but it’s much easier to simply plant for the soil you have.
Now you are ready to plant. Well – almost. Will you plant in groups or singly? If you buy ‘one of everything’ your garden may seem rather spotty. Group plantings are organised, harmonious and you can vary the color for interest.
Before planting out, place your chosen plants around the garden bed in their pots to see how they will look. Re-arrange them until you are satisfied. Grouping plants in sets of threes or fives usually looks better than planting in groups of even numbers. Be sure that you have an interesting combination of colors and textures of plants. Tall plants should go to the back, or the centre if your garden will be viewed equally from all sides. Try to keep your plants away from trees. The roots of trees are fiercely competitive and will steal all the nutrients and moisture meant for your flowers.
The right color scheme is one way to maintain the harmony in your garden. Imagine the color of the flowers when they are in bloom. Some colors may clash with others, but can still be planted side-by-side if they have a different blooming season. Foliage color is also important. Many flower plants have silver, grey or purplish foliage that is just as attractive as the flower. This means that they are still attractive well past the blooming season and so have added value.