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Category Archives: Gardening

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.

About Garden Benches

The goal with any garden bench is to create a place of solitude, a place where you can sit and relax to enjoy the beauty of your garden. If you look at the Japanese garden, there are garden benches throughout so people can rest and meditate as they look at the flowers or listen to the flowing water. That same concept has been recreated in gardens of all types across the country. The key is to remember that when choosing or making your garden bench, it does not have to be perfect. After all, you want the garden bench to blend in with the garden or at least enhance its natural beauty. Therefore, while you might find something colorful and over the top, take time to consider your garden and how you want the bench to look.

When choosing a garden bench, remember that certain woods do not withstand the outside elements well. You will do well choosing cedar, teak, cypress, and mahogany, for instance. Another option, although some people believe it takes away from the natural look is a wrought iron garden bench or a plastic garden bench. Finally, concrete, marble, stone, and granite are also beautiful and durable but unfortunately, unless they have a cushion, they are not very comfortable. When buying or building a wood garden bench, remember the cardinal rule – the fewer screws and bolts the better the finished bench will look.

When it comes to size, again this is mostly a personal preference but in general, a four-foot bench will provide amble room for one or two people without taking up too much room in the garden itself. You also want to think about price so you want to determine your budget first. Typically, you can buy a nice wooden bench of cedar or redwood for around $200 – $300. Then for the larger teak benches, prices usually jump to somewhere around $1,000 or more.

When you are ready to buy a garden bench, if possible, you should try to buy from an online manufacturer that pays for shipping. The reason is that while you might find a great garden bench, the shipping costs can eat you alive. Many benches ship by freight adding at least another $100 to your order. Keep this in mind when you think you might have found a super deal from an online manufacturer.

Now that you have decided on the perfect garden bench, make sure to spend some time each day sitting on it while enjoying a cup of coffee or a beautiful sunset. That is what it is all about.

Gardening for Therapy

Social and therapeutic horticulture also develops social and work skills, literacy and numeric skills, an increased sense of general well-being and the opportunity for social interaction and the development of independence. In some instances it can also lead to employment or further training or education. Obviously different groups will achieve different results. Groups recovering from major illness or injury, older people, offenders and those who misuse drugs or alcohol, can all benefit from the therapeutic aspects of gardening as presented through specific therapy related programs. In most cases, those that experience the biggest impact are vulnerable or socially excluded individuals or groups, including the ill, the elderly, and those kept in secure locations, such as hospitals or prisons.

One important benefit to using social and therapeutic horticulture is that traditional forms of communication aren’t always required. This is particularly important for stroke patients, car accident victims, those with cerebral palsy, aphasia or other illnesses or accidents that hinder verbal communication. Gardening activities lend themselves easily to communicative disabled individuals. This in turn builds teamwork, self-esteem and self-confidence, while encouraging social interaction.

Another group that clearly benefits from social and therapeutic horticulture are those that misuse alcohol or substances and those in prison. Teaching horticulture not only becomes a life skill for these individuals, but also develops a wide range of additional benefits.

Social and therapeutic horticultures gives these individuals a chance to participate in a meaningful activity, which produces food, in addition to creating skills relating to responsibility, social skills and work ethic.

The same is true for juvenile offenders. Gardening therapy, as vocational horticulture curriculum, can be a tool to improve social bonding in addition to developing improved attitudes about personal success and a new awareness of personal job preparedness.

The mental benefits don’t end there. Increased abilities in decision-making and self-control are common themes reported by staff in secure psychiatric hospitals. Reports of increased confidence, self-esteem and hope are also common in this environment.

Prison staff have also noticed that gardening therapy improves the social interaction of the inmates, in addition to improving mutual understanding between project staff and prisoners who shared outdoor conditions of work.

It’s interesting that studies in both hospitals and prisons consistently list improving relationships between participants, integrating with the community, life skills and ownership as being some of the real benefits to participants.

But in addition to creating a myriad of emotional and social benefits, the health benefits of being outdoors, breathing in fresh air and doing physical work cannot be overlooked. In most studies, participants noted that fresh air, fitness and weight control where prime benefits that couldn’t be overlooked.

Although unable to pin down a solid reason, studies have shown that human being posses an innate attraction to nature. What we do know, is that being outdoors creates feelings of appreciation, tranquility, spirituality and peace. So it would seem, that just being in a garden setting is in itself restorative. Active gardening only heightens those feelings.

With so many positive benefits to gardening, isn’t it time you got outside and started tending to your garden? Next time you are kneeling in fresh dirt to pull weeds or plant a new variety of a vegetable or flower, think about the tranquility you feel while being outdoors in your garden. Let the act of gardening sooth and revitalize you. Soak up the positive benefits of tending to your own garden.

If you have someone in your life that could benefit from garden therapy, contact your local health unit to find out more about programs in your area. Not only will the enjoyment of gardening help bond you together, but it will also create numerous positive mental and physical benefits for both of you.

Teakwood Garden Furniture

Indonesian teak garden furniture is a great place to start for your outdoor improvement project. Dining tables with matching chairs are very useful additions to your patio. Once you decide on the size of your table you can choose chairs with or without brass hardware. Brass is used in the construction of folding teak chairs because it will never rust. This makes the chairs easier to recline, fold and unfold, and can also help create a more intricate design. Teakwood chairs can also be made without hardware and they are just as durable. Teak patio furniture is the best investment for your outdoor garden and living space.

Teakwood is very simple to care for because the high oil content of the wood makes it very resistant to the elements and many owners leave their furniture outdoors all year. Teak oil can be used once a month to retain its luster and you can find it at your local home improvement center at minimal cost. It can be applied with a soft cloth and rubbed into the wood to produce a natural shine. You should oil your teakwood if it is outside on a regular basis to keep the nice light brown color. But, if you choose not perform a monthly application to your teakwood it will still retain is strong structure. Teakwood that is not maintained with teak oil will turn a beautiful silvery gray giving it a more rustic appeal. Furniture that is kept indoors and is oiled a few times a year will maintain a light brown color.

The tight grain and high oil content of teakwood make it resistant to the forces of Nature that can destroy other outdoor furniture. It can withstand wind, rain, and sunlight without warping, shrinking or rotting. Lawn furniture can make a dramatic improvement to your outdoor space when choosing furniture made from teak wood. You may start off with a simple teak garden bench and then add to your outdoor collection when both you and your budget are ready. But whatever you choose for your teak garden furniture it will be an investment that will last you a lifetime.

Must know about Gardening with Bamboo

Bamboos can create a wall or screen to provide privacy, used in containers for your deck, terrace or patio, or create a bamboo forest, maze or retreat – whatever you like!

Bamboos compliment perennials and annuals well and can be used as a background or an accent plant or low border depending on the variety of bamboo used.

Bamboos are actually a grass colony plant with over 1200 species world wide. Approximately 200 species can be grown without complications in North America.

Certain species of bamboos are runners while others grow in clumps. Some bamboos have narrow leaves and others have wide leaves. When the main stem (known as culms or canes) emerge from the ground or media, they sprout at the diameter they will remain into maturity. Successive clumps will emerge with wider and taller than previous season’s.

The clum is typically hollow except at the nodes, the area where horizontal branches grow. A rhizome is a horizontal “creeping” stem on or just above the ground, from which new shoots grow and roots descend.

Running bamboo’s rhizomes may spread a considerable distance from the mother plant. On the contrary, clumping bamboos grow in-place and do not spread out as much (some pruning may be necessary).

Bamboos have two types of root systems. First are the runners, which is found in temperate environments and is known as runners. The second types are the “clumpers” which are typically found in tropical varieties. This variety will also spread, however, it’s not as invasive and only requires pruning to control.

Bamboos are available in various heights and can be trimmed if it gets too tall. A general rule is that taller bamboos require more sunlight than smaller varieties. Tall-growing varieties, like the yellow groove prefers several hours daily, while a smaller variety may tolerate partly shaded environments well.

During the spring, the leaves will yellow and fall from the plant. The loss is gradual as with other types of plants and the leaves are replaced with new foliage.

About Backyard Landscaping Ideas

Perhaps the most common of evergreen trees is the pine. It’s noted for its long, soft needles and its rapid growth. In fact, they often attain 60 to 80 ft. maturity very quickly.Red pine is popular as well and useful for creating textured backgrounds and windbreaks. The Ponderosa pine is a more compact tree that is often used for wind protection and ornamental purposes. The Austrian or black pine, with its spreading branches is very commonly used in the Midwest.

Perhaps the most widely planted evergreen that is used for a windbreak is the Norway spruce tree. It grows very fast, it’s very hardy, has short dark green needles, and is shaped like a pyramid. The Black Hills spruce tree is also very tough and resistant to drought. It grows much slower than the Norway spruce but can still achieve a height of 40 ft. in time.

White spruce on the other hand, can mature close to 60 to 70 ft. in height and is often used in landscaping designs. Colorado blue spruce is generally hardy, however it does suffer some in extreme heat and drought conditions.

Red Cedar is perhaps the most popular of the evergreen Cedar trees. It’s often used as an ornamental tree for both hedges and windbreaks. It tends to be very tough and hardy, and takes winter very well.

Perhaps the best overall Evergreen tree for windbreaks and screening is the Douglas fir tree. It’s hardy and drought resistant, grows fast, has a pyramid shape, and looks great in most landscape designs. The Balsam fir, which is also known as the Christmas tree, is well-known for its fragrance and unique appearance. On the other hand, the white fir tree has an attractive silver color instead.

The Juniper family of Evergreen trees is often used in planting, with the tall types such as the upright Juniper being used as a textured background, and the spreading types like the Pfitzer juniper being used for groundcover and edgings.

Yew, has thick glossy needles and upward reaching branches, and can be used as both a shrub and a tree. In fact, they can even grow well in sun and shade, making it one of the most versatile evergreens.

Evergreens as a whole can be adversely affected by hot, dry weather conditions and need to be watered every couple of weeks or so at this time. Be sure to water it enough so that the moisture will reach deep into the ground at least 6 in. or so. Applying a layer of mulch in dry weather can also help protect against moisture loss during this period.

Trees in Landscape

If properly located and planted, trees can help control energy costs. A large shade tree planted on the southwest side of the house can provide cooling shade in the summer, helping reduce air conditioning costs. Once the leaves drop in the fall, the winter sun is free to warm your house on cold winter days. Evergreen trees, planted to block cold winter winds, can help reduce winter heating costs.

Have you wondered what you could do to reduce greenhouse gases and address global warming? Planting trees will help! One of the greenhouse gases causing the most concern is carbon dioxide. Plants take this gas out of the air and use it in photosynthesis. Carbon is stored in the wood and living tissues of trees. When leaves fall and are composted, carbon is added to the soil. This improves the soil for plant growth and stores more of the carbon in the form of soil organic matter. Carbon can be stored for hundreds of years in the trunks of trees or in the form of lumber, furniture, and other wood products. By planting trees in your yard, you can help reduce greenhouse gases.

Trees also provide shelter and food for a variety of wildlife. While installing bird feeders will help attract birds to your yard, providing them with nearby trees and shrubs to escape danger, build nests, and obtain food, will be even more effective. Squirrels and other small mammals use trees for nesting sites and food sources. When selecting trees, consider what food value they may offer to the wildlife in your community.

Trees can offer years of enjoyment. Planting trees and watching them grow can be part of your family’s memories. Consider planting a tree to commemorate a milestone in your family’s life. While raking leaves may seem like a chore as you get older, jumping in piles of leaves can be a treat for children. Hanging a swing, building a tree house, or simply relaxing under the shade of a tree on a hot summer day can be a memorable experience.

Kids Grow a Garden

Mark off the garden area and turn the soil. Kids can help break up any lumps with their hands. Work in some organic compost.

Choose seeds that will grow quickly. Small children get impatient if their plants take too long to sprout. Radishes, Snapdragons, Cosmos, and Sunflowers will all germinate quickly. Carrots and strawberries are also easy to grow– and yummy to eat.

Large seeds like beans and Morning Glories are easy for small fingers to push into the ground. You can start your seeds indoors in an eggshell carton. When the seedlings are an inch high, tear off the egg carton, and leaving the soil intact, transplant the seedlings outside.

Or, try placing beans on a wet paper towel inside a zip top bag. Tape the bag to a sunny window and wait for the seeds to germinate. I can remember, as a child, checking my beans every morning before school. The first shoots appeared to my delight and we carefully transplanted the beans outdoors.

Make garden markers by painting small rocks. This will help kids keep track of their selections.

Make it fun! Grow a sunflower house by planting the sunflowers in a circle with a space in the middle big enough for your kids to hide. Be sure to leave room for a door.

Grow a spaghetti garden. Plant herbs such as basil, oregano, rosemary, and parsley. My kids love to snip fresh herbs. They stuff their pockets full of scented “spaghetti” herbs.

Share your garden with butterflies and hummingbirds. Zinnias, Verbena, and Cosmos are butterfly favorites. Hummingbirds love the nectar from Nasturtium and Lantana, and Hollyhocks.

Children love to pick up bugs and worms. Poke holes in the top of an old jar. Add some dirt and a few, new found specimens. Be sure to release the critters back into nature after a few hours.

Arm your kids with cameras to take photos throughout the summer. They will enjoy remembering the fruits of their labor. And, the pictures will help your budding gardener plan for next year.

Happy planting. And, don’t forget to pick a few bouquets for mom.

All about Organic Gardening

Our personal diet and health is a major topic of importance as more attention is being paid to the relationship between food and health. Research has demonstrated that organically grown vegetables are higher in vitamins and minerals than those grown with inorganic fertilizers. Gardening organically and growing as much of our own food as possible is one of the steps we can take to start healing the earth on which we live and in the process healing ourselves. Several key components are fundamental to the practice of organic gardening.

Practical Steps to Organic Gardening

1. Soil. The soil is kept healthy by working with Nature rather than against it. Practices include using organic fertilizers such as manure to replenish the earth and all refuse produced by the garden should be recycled back into the garden. Organic gardening uses all of the waste produced in the garden such as grass clippings, leaves, and leftovers from the kitchen to make compost that feeds the soil and keeps it full of the nutrients necessary to grow crops.

2. Avoid the use of all synthetic chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. Eliminating the use of chemicals in the garden allows gardeners to not worry about children, pets, and wildlife coming in contact with synthetic weed killers and fertilizers on the lawn and shrubs. The food grown is pesticide-free, additive-free, and nutritious food for the table.

3. Sustainability. In his book, Gardening Organically, John Fedor defines sustainability as “the ability of a society or an ecosystem to function indefinitely without squandering the resources on which it relies.” Organic gardening does this by ensuring there is no loss of nutrients or topsoil in the garden.

4. Environmental Stewardship. Gardening organically means that the environment benefits from the reduction in contamination of the water supply and air pollution. It means that we provide a habitat for wildlife including beneficial insects and animals.

5. Wildlife-friendly Habitats. Informal areas can be created to assist wildlife in their search for habitat where they can survive the destruction of many areas; destructions that have now endangered many species.

6. Intensive planting. Plants are spaced closely together to conserve water and shield the soil from sunlight thus helping to prevent weed seeds from germinating and growing.

7. Biodiversity. Biodiversity ensures that when a change in growing conditions occurs, a single crop from a monoculture does not lead to a crop failure. The food supply does not become jeopardized when a diversity of species are planted.

8. Rotating Crops. Crop rotation assists in the control against soil-borne pests and diseases. This rotation makes a difference in the productivity of the garden as those diseases that affect the plants are kept in check by the rotation of the crops to other areas of the garden.

9. Watering and Weeding. Rainwater can be saved to water the garden. Soaker hoses, drip irrigation, and watering by hand conserve water. Mulches are invaluable in both water conservation and slowing down weed germination.

10. Saving Seeds. Save some seeds from your best plants when harvesting crops. Many old varieties are being lost at an alarming rate and preserving this biodiversity is important. Some of these saved seeds have been used to develop new strains after disaster has affected commonly cultivated varieties.

Landscape Fabric

First. There is no such thing as a no maintenance landscape. In many instances landscape fabric can make your life a lot easier. However, there is an upside and a downside to using it. And as with most everything else, proper installation and maintenance is required if you intend to use it.

Also, keep in mind that I’m referring to professional quality grade materials and not the flimsy products sold in do it yourself and home centers. If you’re going to use that, you might as well use newspapers or cardboard boxes under your groundcover.

Landscape fabrics have their applications. They aren’t necessary in all applications but might be preferred in regards to the type of groundcover you use.

Our company uses weed barrier in 95% of the designs we create. It’s the nature of our business as we use decorative rock as the preferred groundcover around here. When using rock for groundcover and path work, it’s necessary to have a separator between the soil and groundcover. Otherwise, you’ll have mud rocks by the first rain storm.

In theory you should be able to use almost anything as a separator. I’ve seen do it yourselfers use anything from plastics to newspapers and cardboard boxes to old carpet remnants. Of course, as a professional, I can’t use or even suggest something like this to my clients. You’re on your own there.

Now personally, on any given project, I would much rather do away with fabrics altogether. I prefer to create living soil planting areas that are mulched and tended rather than being covered and forgotten. However, some areas are simply too large to apply this method and some folks just outright prefer to cover an area with decorative rock.

Both mulched living beds and rock beds underlain with fabric will require some work to keep them beautiful. Neither is maintenance free. As long as there is wind, rain dirt, and blown in seed, there will be something for you to do in your yard.

When we create a design using landscaping fabric and rock, I make the client aware of a few things. 1) There will be blown in seed and dirt. 2) Something will have to be done about it to keep it from accumulating. I assure them that with the quality of fabric we use, nothing will grow in from the bottom. However, we have no control of what blows in on the top.

Spraying the unwanted weeds with herbicide will take care of the weed problem. However, this does nothing for the dirt, leaf, and plant particles that are hiding under your rocks. And if you allow these to accumulate, they’ll continue to accumulate and you will never get rid of them. So periodic maintenance is required even if you do use landscaping fabric.

Periodically using a blower on your bedding areas will slow down the accumulation of dirt and in some cases eliminate it altogether. How easy and thorough this is depends a lot on the type and size of rock you use.

Small pea gravel accumulates and holds onto dirt, and is harder to clean than rock of a 1 ½” + nature. Not only does it hold onto dirt but has a tendency to be blown all around when being cleaned with a blower. Pea gravel works well for paths, walkways, and smaller areas but I don’t recommend it for covering larger areas.