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Lemon Grove Lawn Care Services

Calling all residents of Lemon Grove in San Diego County, California if you're in need of some lawn love then contact us for an appointment for a free estimate. Estimates and maintenance services are available same day if you love the rate we offer, as we know you would, making the process of cleaning up your property especially easy. Simple and straightforward estimates and clear scheduling of service is our special key to a smooth and easy process for you.  If you're in the market for a new gardener and lawn maintenance service provider then give a shot at earning your business!

Spring Valley Yard Clean Up

Calling all residents of Spring Valley in San Diego County, California if you're in need of some yard love then contact us for an appointment for a free estimate. Estimates and maintenance services are available same day if you love the rate we offer, as we know you would, making the process of cleaning up your property especially easy. Simple and straightforward estimates and clear scheduling of service is our special key to a smooth and easy process for you.  If you're in the market for a new gardener and lawn maintenance service provider then give a shot at earning your business! Whether it is on going maintenance, one time clean ups, or something different let's talk through what your needs are and see if we can help.

5 Tips For Planting Roses

When spring is on its way and the ground is soft, it is the perfect time for planting roses. Roses have been a very popular bloom over the years, not only do they look good, but they smell wonderful too.

However, planting roses cannot be done just anywhere or in just any climate. They need special care and treatment. Here are some tips that you need to consider in order to successfully grow roses:

1. Roses require about 4 to 6 hours of sunlight everyday. It would be best to plant your roses in a clear area where there are not too many trees or other types of plants. The reason behind this is that the rose may lack sunlight exposure and the roots are also likely to become intertwined with the rose and throttle its growth. If you wish to replace an old rose bush, you should remove about 1 ½ cubic feet of the old soil and replace it with new soil so that the newly planted rose will have fresh soil to start with.

Grow Your Own Organic Vegetable Garden

Organic systems recognize that our health is directly connected to the health of the food we eat and, ultimately, the health of the soil.

Here are some of the main features of organic growing:

- Organic growing severely restricts the use of artificial chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
- Instead, organic growers rely on developing a healthy, fertile soil and growing a mixture of crops.
- Genetically modified (GM) crops and ingredients are not allowed under organic standards.

Excellent May Gardening Tips

May in Southwestern New Mexico & west Texas can be hot, dry and/or windy. Take precautions to make sure all watering systems are working at their best.

Use Cypress mulch to help keep roots insulated from the HOT sun. This helps keep moisture in the root zone as well as the keeping weeds down to a minimum.

Lantana, red bird of paradise, Oleander, and other winter damaged plants may be emerging at this time. Do NOT remove them prematurely. These plants will emerge if watered occasionally during winter.

Dealing With Garden Pests

While tending to my own garden, I have found that one of the most frustrating things that can happen to a gardener is to walk outside to check on your plants. It’s just a routine walk to make sure that your garden is thriving, but you end up finding holes in all of your plants that looked fine only hours before. The explanations for some of these plant-destroying holes are garden pests. Some of the main garden pests are slugs, worms, caterpillars, birds, snails, and the occasional gopher. Although you can never wipe out these pests entirely, after all your hard work in the garden you have to do something.

Beautifying The Garden Or Yard With A Bench

Most homes have gardens or yards. Some of these can be as big as those in mansions while some of these can be small. Despite the beauty of the flowers, trees and grass that make up the garden, the one thing that people take for granted is not being able to enjoy watching it longer. When one frequents public places such as parks, campsites, playgrounds, the zoo, one will notice that there are benches for people to stop and view what is there. It also provides a break from walking and makes someone catch ones breath. A lot of advice on making the garden look better would instruct to buy new plants or make something unique using ceramics. Just like everything else, a bench is an accessory that one must also consider. No one can appreciate the beauty of a garden and the surroundings if no one is able to sit there and appreciate it. That is where the importance of the bench comes in.

1. Know The Area

A garden or yard as mentioned earlier vary according to the size of the home By identifying the places where one can best appreciate the garden, one will not have a hard time buying the right bench for that particular location. The size of the area where the bench will be placed is also very important since this will determine the number of benches one may one to put this after these have been purchased.

2. Know The Kinds Of Benches Available

Parks usually have benches made out of wood or marble. Rest areas along the interstate or even in the zoo use those made out of wood. After identifying the locations, one can easily check out what is available in the market then see which models are suitable for the garden. Some benches have an arm and backrest. Others have a table that go with it so one can enjoy a family barbecue in the back yard. These are some examples of what are available in the market and all it takes is for one to visit the neighborhood furniture store or do some research by the Internet. There are a lot of retailers who offer the same items online and the prices of these are quite competitive. Once the person finds a good bargain, one will just have order it then wait a few days for the delivery to arrive.

3. High Or Low Maitenance?

Benches like an automobile require some maintenance. If a bench is made of plastic and it gets dirty, one can simply wash off the dirt and wipe it making it good as new. Wood on the other hand requires high maintenance. To keep the varnish intact and sparkling, one would have to buy a spray and cloth to keep it in good condition. Benches made out stone or marble don’t require that much maintenance. They do not rust like benches made out of steel or aluminum though these do chip off.

4. Usage - The Most Important Factor!

- Read a book
- Chat with the other members of the family
- Enjoy the garden
- Watch a sunset
- Eat outdoors
- Barbecue in style

5. An Addition To Your Home - Not Just A Bench

The best of way of buying the right bench for the yard or garden is to figure out the best possible bench money can buy. This does not mean the most expensive but the one that is there for a purpose and not for aesthetic purposes only. The other way if getting the ideal bench will be to build one. If the person were crafty, it would be no problem to build one after buying the right materials. Some pieces of wood, a bunch of nails, and a good hammer and saw. When in doubt how to begin, one can always purchase from the local bookstore an instruction manual or book since there have been several authors who have written about woodwork that show the various designs on how to do it.


Wonderful backyard landscaping idea

A good backyard landscaping idea is one that everyone can make use of. There are many different backyard landscaping ideas and most of them are pretty good but to find the one that is right for you and that is just what your yard needs may take some reading. This article will help you to find the perfect backyard landscaping idea for your home.

A good backyard landscaping idea is to use evergreens. The use of these fabulous trees will do o much for any yard. They will add a stately nature to the feel of your home while keeping it welcoming and warm. Many people like to use deciduous trees in the yard and this is always a good idea but it is the evergreens that will give the yard the structure and the stability that it needs for a good backyard landscaping idea and design.

You need to look for a backyard landscaping idea like the one above that will benefit you all year round. Deciduous trees will not be gorgeous in all seasons, most perhaps, but not all. Evergreens on the other hand are always fantastic and they look as beautiful in the winter as they do in the summer and this is why they make for such a great backyard landscaping idea. The key to any great landscaping design is to find a backyard landscaping idea like this that will keep your yard interesting no matter what time of the year it is.

Another good backyard landscaping idea is to use hardscape. This is the use of things like rocks, fences and walls. These can make your yard look very interesting during all of the seasons. You can have climbing plants on it in the summer and spring and pretty trees around it that will look great in the winter. When looking for a good backyard landscaping idea you need to look for other options besides just plants. There is much more to landscaping than just plants and trees.

Walls and fences can frame your property beautifully and using them is such a great backyard landscaping idea because they will just accent all of your other wonderful backyard landscaping ideas. They will frame your yard as a picture frame frames a gorgeous painting. Look at this kind of backyard landscaping idea as well in your search for the one.

An Introduction to No-Dig Gardening

The idea of no-dig gardening was developed by an Australian named Esther Deans. It was originally both developed both as a labor saving idea, and a method to rejuvenate badly depleted soil in a vegetable garden.

The process involves starting with layers of newspaper, and by adding lucerne hay, straw and compost in succeeding layers, you can create a growing medium without resorting to heavy digging, and one that is rich in nutrients and which will simplify weeding and encourage your much desired plants to grow. The layers compost together, and greatly encourage earthworms. The gardens are maintained by adding manure, compost, etc., and should not be dug up, as this will undo the good work. I have used this approach to creating vegetable gardens, and it certainly does work.

The principle of not digging has sound foundations. Excessive cultivation of the soil, especially when very wet or very dry, will damage the structure of the soil, and lead to compaction. Such excessive cultivation can also discourage the earthworms, and they are the best free labor a gardener has.

Some followers of permaculture and organic gardening have translated no-dig into never-dig, which I believe is sadly mistaken. If you start with a base soil that is badly compacted, then your no-dig garden will initially work well, but you may find your garden does not continue to perform well. The fertile layer you have built up will encourage the earthworms, but we do know that the worms need to shelter from excessively hot, dry, cold or wet conditions. They have been found to seek shelter from extreme conditions by burrowing more deeply into the soil, sometime many feet down. If they cannot shelter in this way, it is my contention that they will die out or move out.

My belief is that an initial cultivation of the soil before you apply the no-dig system will guarantee a better environment for the worms, and thus a better garden for growing your plants, over the longer term.

By all means give the no-dig approach a try – you will be pleased with the result.


Amazing Tips to make your own Garden

A look at Plants and the colorful flowers on it at the garden or backyard calls for creativity. The plants to live for a long time require beautiful planter boxes with concrete structure or wooden structure.  Planter boxes are available in different styles and shapes and colors. Planter box is a functional exterior d├ęcor that adores the patio.  Planter boxes are portable.   Different kinds of materials are used to make Planter boxes such as terra cotta, plastic, teak or cedar wood and concrete blocks.  Planter boxes can be filled with beautiful flowers according to the choice of individual. Planter boxes help to make the patio as paradise.

Even people who do not have much space for a vast garden can create small flower garden or vegetable garden in the balcony area or roof top with the help of planter boxes. Small trees can also be raised in planter boxes to keep them indoor. Recycled plastic is also used to make planter boxes.
So, if you live in the city and think that it is impossible to bring a little green into your outdoor space that is made of concrete, think again. All you have to do is purchase some lovely planter boxes. An ideal option for planting almost anything, they are exactly what you have been looking for and would be a wonderful addition to any outdoor area. Remember, that includes that twelfth story balcony.
When choosing the planter boxes, the principal of feng shui i.e., simplicity must be kept in mind.  Planter boxes made up of natural materials like terra cotta or wood is better than plastic material.  These add good appearance to the garden or patio.

The boring front porch area can be converted into a beautiful place by placing planter boxes with bunch of flowers. Planter boxes made up of redwood or cedar will please anybody in the porch area.  These planter boxes are very strong and durable Planter boxes are available in rectangle, hexagon and square shapes also.  Planter Boxes provide safety, beauty and security to the street or entrance and can also serve as safety barriers.  There is also drainage facility inside the planter box.   Road side lawns, parks, corporate lawns also use planter boxes.   Planter boxes are also used indoor and outdoor for waste water management.

In many countries separate programs are charted for  beautifying the cities  by using  planter boxes filled  with beautiful  plants and small trees around the cities.  Planter boxes are the best way to display the beautiful flowers and plants and create interest among who visit the garden. 
Planter boxes made up of teak or cedar wood is an ideal investment for a long time.   Wooden planter boxes  is perfect fit to  all weather and act as insulators and also protects the plants from winter and summer.  Wooden planter boxes painted or varnished with natural colors appears fantastic.   Wooden Planter boxes definitely makes the porch area very decorative and  attracts those who  walk through the area.


All About Gardening

Gardening is perhaps one of the best hobbies that a more laborious nature lover can take up. The reason why I choose to call this hobby laborious is because it surely does involve a good deal of physical activity. This hobby is not meant for those nature lovers who simply want to bask in the natural beauty that already exists. Rather it is an ideal pass time for those who want to make their own contribution to the nature.

In order to be successful in gardening one must have the following qualities: -

1.) Besides having a love for gardening you should also have the will and determination to pursue your hobby.

2.) You must be physically fit and agile. Laziness and gardening are anonymous to each other.

3.) Learn to exchange your ideas and information with like-minded people who can show an equal passion for gardening.

4.) Try laying your hands on almost any books, magazines or articles that can enhance your knowledge on gardening.

5.) Be prepared to invest a small amount of your earnings in purchasing the “Can’t do without”, gardening tools.

The world of gardening is wide and it has immense possibilities for those who want to explore it with the right zeal and enthusiasm. You can choose from indoor gardening, outdoor gardening, landscaping, cultivating exotic herbs, growing bonsais and thus the list is endless. However it is important to do a fair amount of research work before delving into any of the above fields. You should master up the art of choosing the right plants and also learn the techniques favorable for their productivity and growth.

Growing plants is not enough. Deciding where the plants should grow is also an important aspect of gardening. Nothing can be more distasteful than a garden which has color clashing flowers growing all around in a haphazardly manner. So be careful about allocating the plants their respective locations. Arrange the assortments of flowers in accordance with their heights, textures and colors so that they complement each other without diminishing the beauty of your garden.

Keep aside one day from the entire week to be your gardening day. Generally week -ends would be a good choice. On this day, equip your self with all the essential gardening tools and accessories and get down to your work. If you have children or friends who are equally interested in gardening call for their assistance. The more the merrier!

Once you are done for the day clean your tools well and store them in their right place. Be sure to maintain your gardening tools because well maintained tools can give you years of good performance. After all tools aren’t something that you can afford to buy every week.

Whether you are an efficient gardener or not can be best proved by your garden itself. So stop twiddling your thumbs and put your green fingers to use. As far as gardening is concerned, if you have really put in hard work your efforts will never go futile.


5 Must Know Tips For A Better Looking Landscape

There is no doubt that when landscaping one wants to save money, as well as have an attractive property. Not only can landscaping help you beautify your home, but it can also provide a source of satisfying exercise in the fresh air. When you take care of your yard on your own, it is possible to save money and to improve your physical conditioning. But if the landscape turns out to look bad, then that is so much time and money wasted. However, it is possible to ensure a better-looking landscape by following a few tips that can help you take better care of your yard.

Know your soil type. Some plants thrive in soil with more acidity, and others prefer a little more alkali. Additionally, sandy soil and clay soil, as well as the presence of a loamy soil, can make a difference in what types of plants will thrive in a landscape. You should have your soil evaluated in order to determine what types of vegetation should be planted on your property. When you purchase plants that will succeed in the soil conditions present in your yard, then you make a wiser money decision, and you end up with a more attractive landscape. If there are plants that you would like to use in your soil, but the soil is not quite ideal, it is possible to improve the soil to proper conditions. You need only add mulch or peat, or to add crushed limestone or clamshells, depending upon what you hope to accomplish. As long as there is not a great difference in what you have and what you hope to achieve, it is possible to make soil adjustments to be more accommodating.

Understand how much space each of the plants need. There are some plants that require more room for their root systems than others. If you choose one plant that tends to grow everywhere, and you do not have adequate space, you will find that your other plants may be crowded out or that they may choke and die. Also, make sure you understand the spacing requirements for between plants. Many shrubs and small trees need to be planted at least three to four feet apart to have enough room to grow.

Use native plants in your landscape design. One of the most effective things you can do to ensure a good-looking yard is to make use of native plants. Find out what plants grow best in your area, and what plants are indigenous to the region. This way you will already be ahead, in that you know that the plants you choose are adapted to the climate. You will not have to struggle against natural inclinations to keep your landscape looking beautiful. If you due use non-native plants, assure yourself that they come from a place that shares a climate similar to the one in which you live.

Plan your landscape around different blooming times. Different plants bloom at various times throughout the year. If all of the plants in your landscape are at their most attractive all at the same time, then your yard will look beautiful for a few weeks each year, but quite possible ugly the rest of the year. One way to help avoid this is to choose attractive bushes and shrubs that look good green, but also have some sort flower. However, it is a good idea to stagger plants among each other. Plant tulips and crocus among later-blooming plants so that in early spring the bulbs bloom, and then when those flowers’ time is up, the next plants will be in bloom. In this way the cycle of your landscape is in keeping with the seasons, and looks attractive all year round.

Use wood chips around shrubs, bushes and trees. Wood chips can help the ground around shrubs, bushes, and trees look more attractive. Not only do the chips cover the ground (often looking better than dirt), but they also help keep in moisture, repel weeds, and provide natural food as they break down. Likewise, attractive groundcover like chicks and hens placed around trees and shrubs can make the area more interesting and pleasing to the eye.


Aloe Vera and other Beneficial Houseplants

Many families have grown up with an aloe vera plant in the kitchen. This succulent plant is great for indoor gardening as it is hardy and easy to care for. Moreover, they are great for skin care and minor cuts and burns that can happen in the kitchen while cooking. To use as a first aid item, cut a portion of one of the leaves and squeeze the inner gel onto the hurt area. With repeated use, the aloe vera will aid in healing and sooth the pain.

 In addition to the aloe vera plant there are other helpful plants that are good to have around the house. An herb garden is a convenient way to add flavor and natural ingredients to many dishes. From fresh dill in a homemade tzatziki sauce to chives mixed in with cream cheese for a delicious bagel.

 Many herbs can be dried and used for loose leaf teas not only a relaxing beverage, some herbs are known for their medicinal qualities too. Some herbs that can be used as tea leaves or as part of a mixture are peppermint and ginger.

 There are many edible plants that you can grow indoors to aid in digestion. They can be broken of the plant as needed or some may need some preparation first.

 * Anise is a popular and widely used for aiding in digestion and easing colic in infants. * Coriander in addition to helping with digestion it is also a tasty addition to salsa.
* Fennel oil is used to ease upset stomachs too. It is also used for increasing the amount of breast milk produced in mothers.

 This is just a brief look at some of the other uses for houseplants. It is recommended to research your plants before ingesting any to ensure they are safe.

A Terrarium as an Indoor Garden

There is a solution for you if you love the look of plants indoors but don’t have the time or a green thumb to take care of them. A terrarium is a self-contained plant habitat. Once you have set-up the terrarium and closed the lid (on the jar or other container you have chosen) the plants inside create their own eco-system – all you have to do is enjoy it.

The choices for terrarium containers are only limited by your imagination. Traditionally a smaller aquarium is used with a lid but a glass jar or other container will work nicely too. Plastic will work as well, just make sure that it is a clear plastic or you won’t be able to admire your handiwork once it is completed. Whatever size or material you choose for your terrarium the most important factor is that it does not leak. You need the water and moisture to stay inside for it to work and you don’t want a mess inside your house.

The plants that you choose should all thrive in similar conditions and grow well in a humid environment. Popular plants to put into a terrarium are carnivorous (Venus Fly Trap, sundew, or pitch plant) or rain forest plants (chamaedorea palms, small ferns or fittonia).

Terrariums are a low-maintenance indoor garden. They need indirect sunlight (not too bright) and no water is needed after the initial water is added. The heat from inside the terrarium evaporates the water and then it condenses on the lid falling back down to the plants. This process will continue keeping your plants alive. If there is too much water present, you may need to vent the terrarium (with a vented lid or opening the top a small amount) just be sure to keep an eye on the soil’s moisture level (not too wet or dry).

Giving your Indoor Plants Enough Light

The three things that all plants need to survive are food, water, and dirt.  The food for
plants is created when enough light is provided.  The water and dirt part of the equation
are pretty straight forward as long as you follow the recommended care instructions and
don’t forget to water your plants.  But how do you ensure that your indoor plants are
getting enough light?  Finding the right location in your home may require some trial and
error before you find the perfect spot.



Before deciding on what type of plants you will have in your house, look into the light
requirements.  The four categories that describe the different light requirement for plants
are low, medium, high, and very high.  If you have a sunroom or skylights in your home
and can position your plants in or under them you can purchase plants that need high or
very high light exposure.  Be aware that some plants can get too much sun, in which case
the light that comes in from a regular window should suffice.

There are options you can utilize if you want a certain type of plant and know that your
house is not going to provide it enough light.  You can purchase specially designed grow
bulbs to supplement the amount of light the plant is getting.  Be aware of the light
requirements for your plants when choosing this lighting method.  Although plants
require a lot of light to grow there is such a thing as too much light too.  The exact ratio
for your plant may differ but a good guideline to follow is 14 hours of sunlight to 10
hours of darkness.

Your plants will let you know if they are getting too much or not enough light (either
they will begin to look dry or will become limp).  Try different locations in your home to
find the best place for them.

Creating an Indoor Herb Garden

Fresh herbs can make a world of difference in your meals.  Instead of buying them at the
grocery store and getting too much at once or a bunch that isn’t as fresh as it could be,
grow your own.  Grow a variety or just your favorite, in a window box or on the kitchen
counter.  It is an easy introduction to indoor gardening.

To start your own herb garden you have two options, you can go to your local nursery
and purchase some seedlings or grow your own from seed.  Either way is fine, but if you
are a novice the seedlings are the way to go.



Once you have your seedlings at home, you can replant them or for the first season you
can leave them in the small plastic pot that they come in.  If you do decide to replant
them, do not pack in the soil too tightly and place a small amount of gravel or woodchips
at the bottom of the pot for good drainage.  If you want to grow your herbs from seeds,
follow the instructions on the package carefully and use a container large enough to
accommodate future root growth.  Herbs also like air circulation, placing near an open
window can provide both the sunshine and air movement that they need to thrive.

If your herbs are growing too large for their pots, you can separate a portion of them
(including the roots) and transplant them outside in the spring or summer time.  You will
double the amount of herbs you can grow.  On the flip side, if you already have an
outdoor herb garden it is a simple matter to take a portion of each plant indoors to have
fresh herbs all winter long too.

Read the recommendations and information that comes with your herb plants, not all are
suitable for indoor gardening.

A Better Weekend Gardening Experience

It's vital to start the process of having a hassle-free garden. This article gives you that first step and helps achieve some sound understanding of what you face as a weekend gardener. Our goal is to create a garden that practically takes care of itself.

Unlike my neighbor, Fred.

Fred never found a way to escape the prison of responsibilities and hard, never-ending work required by a high-maintenance garden.



If you want to avoid Fred's fate, you need to start by making a critical examination of the maintenance of your yard and garden.

Start by taking a stroll around your property and make note of how much time you take to tend to various areas.

• Which plants require the most care, right now?
• Are there areas that please you and take less care?
• Are there some areas that you love so much that no matter how much maintenance they take you'd not want to change them?
• Can you visualize any areas being scaled down in size, or that can be improved with a low-maintenance design or gardening technique?
• Where is the problem weeding area?
• Which is the most difficult mowing area of your lawn?

In my book: "The Weekend Gardener"- The Busy Persons' Guide To A Beautiful Backyard Garden, I present very specific ways to combat your problem areas as you think critically about the current maintenance problems you must take into account. Take this tour with a critical eye and a notebook. Make some notes to yourself about what you see, what you imagine, and what you are currently faced with.

As you do this preliminary overview, remember it is okay to consider what you "hate" to do in regards to gardening work. We want to get rid of these areas first and foremost.

Everyone has a different take on this subject. Some hate mowing the lawn, others actually enjoy the exercise and like getting out in the sun. Some find weeding tedious, others will enjoy the process of grabbing weeds by the fistful and yanking them forcefully out of the ground. I have a cousin who has actually been found to wonder into neighbors yards yanking the critters up (much to the surprise and cheerful appreciation of his neighbors) after he had run out of them in his own yard.

So, part of your ‘yard tour' is to make note of the areas that require work; how you feel about each one, and listing which are particularly time-consuming.

Once you're done, take your list and make a check mark (!) next to those items that you intend to keep no matter how much maintenance they may require. Then put a question mark (?) Next to the ones you enjoy looking at, but are nonetheless high-maintenance and take too much work. Later you will discover time saving techniques you can surely apply to many of these problem areas.

Now plan on making your aim to eliminate those areas left UNMARKED. You'll want low maintenance ways to turn these areas into sources of pleasure, instead of drudgery. However, you can't DO anything to lessen the strain until you first SEE the problems out there in your yard. So do this tour as a first step to achieve true joy and freedom in your gardening experience.

A Beginners Guide To Garden Bridges

Garden bridges could be just what you need to turn those mediocre garden areas into something quite splendid.

Just because you dont have huge, elaborate gardens does not mean you cant accentuate what you do have with l garden bridges. Garden bridges could be just what you need to turn those mediocre garden areas into something quite splendid.
 
Garden bridges can add a touch of country or formal design to a garden. Small garden bridges are easy to find. There are many garden bridges that you can find in garden centers or home improvement centers. One of the best places to find small garden bridges may be online. There are lots of sites that have many ideas for small garden bridges.
 
If you are good with a hammer and nails you may even be able to make your own garden bridge. Plans are available at building stores and at online sites. You will find many choices for garden bridges at these online sites and you can also see photos of many different bridge styles.
 
A garden bridge can be a big benefit for your garden space. A small garden bridge will look attractive in a smaller garden and draw attention to a specific area.
 
You can choose the right small garden bridge if you do a little planning ahead of time. If you have a smaller garden you will want a smaller garden bridge. Look at the space you have and decide where a bridge would fit in. Consider more than one area and then choose your favorite.
 
There are some lovely gardens that are small in size but large in beauty because garden bridges have been added in just the right places.


A beautiful garden is a work of heart

There is immense satisfaction in creating your own garden plan -- the satisfaction derived from relaxing or entertaining in the garden as well as the satisfaction that comes from a job well done.

How do you begin to create a garden space that is unique to you? Here are ten simple steps that will help you move effortlessly through the process.

1. Identify WHY you want a garden.
How will you use it? Who else will enjoy the garden? Remember that you may not be the sole inhabitant, so get input from all family members on how your outdoor space will be used.

2. Do a little dreaming.
Now that you know why you want a garden and how you intend to use it, let your imagination play with all the possible features in your special space. A little dreaming will uncover those attributes that will put your personal imprint on the garden.

Also decide whether you want a formal or an informal garden. Formal gardens are highly structured, divided by a strong central axis and cross axes. Informal gardens have a more natural look with strong, flowing curves.

3. Make a list of "must haves".
What items are essential? Listing your needs up front ensures that your final plan won't be missing anything important. Do you need a retaining wall? A privacy fence? A path to the garage? More parking space? Do children need a place to play? What about pets?

Walk around your property and make note of everything that is essential. Your final design should balance dream features and "must haves" to create a satisfying and functional space.

4. Evaluate what you already have.
To get where you are going, it helps to know your starting point. Is your space large or small? Is the site flat or sloping? What is the climate? What type of soil do you have? How much water is available and from what sources? What are the predominate views?

7 Timeless Garden Decor Practices

7 great garden decoration tips!

Are you looking for a way to add to your garden decor? Want something everlasting, nature-based or stylized? There are many things that you can add to your outdoor living space to make it comfortable and inviting and still provide you with few hours of work on maintenance. Here are 7 ways to add decor to your garden.



Tip 1: unadulterated Is Best. When adding products outdoors, from furniture to statuary, you should always look towards the most organic of products. When you do this, you'll allow for something that fits within the landscape, not something that sticks out in it.

Tip 2: Flow Is Essential. If you have a large garden or landscape, you can create a flow throughout it to make it a much more livable and organic environment. For example, a pathway leading through the garden is important as it provides for a way to move through the area enjoying all of the principle sights along the way.

Tip 3: Overboard Isn't Good. Over crowding a space with too much decor or even too a multitude of plants is bad business. Instead, look for a more nature-based landscape component. Overcrowding plants can cause them to eventually die or take over the entire garden. To much decor can make it look cluttered instead of lavish.

Tip 4: Use Lines. Lines from your home or your edging can help to create a lovely look within the garden. The roof line of the house can be a line that leads the eye to something excellent at the end. Use the lines that you have to create a flow to the eye.

Tip 5: Charm Means Theme. While you don't need a specific theme throughout your garden decor, you should look towards the same or similar offerings. For example, if you place a white metal table under your trees to produce a restful place, make sure that the chairs that go with it match it. Add a white picket fence or other matching pieces to tie certain areas of the garden together as well.

Tip 6: Uphold it. a large amount of of the aspects within a garden are going to need some upkeep. If you pull your weeds, don't let this be overshadowed by the fact that you haven't washed that white possessions in a year. Keep up on broken or misplaced items as well. Within the duration of harsh winter months, make sure to put as much as possible in storage that can be broken.

Tip 7: Garden decor is not done without the look for lovely patio items. Allow it to mesh with the settings that you have created too. For example, in a woodsy area, look towards an organic, lovely product such as teak to keep it looking as if it belongs there.

The aforementioned points can help to contribute to a lovely and fashionable garden decor that is everlasting, easy to manage and a welcoming place to call your own.


7 Reasons to grow your own organic vegetable garden

Seven reasons are given to grow our own organic vegetable garden

During the last decades there has been a change towards mechanization and homogenization of farming, which uses pesticides, additives, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers and mass-production techniques. All this is clearly affecting mankind's health, and new diseases are spreading rapidly amongst humans and animals (bird's flu being the most recent one). 

The World Health Organization produces reports to show how the use of chemicals and other products on food, coupled with the manufacturing processes involved, are actually a threat for our health. 

If you have space for a few pots or even a small piece of land, it is a wise decision to grow your own organic vegetable garden. Today I'm presenting you with seven reasons for doing this:

1. You will have no additives in your vegetables. Research by organic food associations has shown that additives in our food can cause heart diseases, osteoporosis, migraines and hyperactivity. 

2. There will be no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers used. These chemical products are applied to obtain crops all the time regardless plagues or weather conditions, and affect the quality of the vegetables. Besides, pesticides are usually poisonous to humans.

3. Your vegetables will not be genetically modified (GM). Antibiotics, drugs and hormones are used on vegetables to grow more and larger ones. One of the consequences of this practice are vegetables which look all the same and are usually tasteless. Besides, we end up consuming the hormones that have been used on the vegetables, with the potential risks for our health.

4. Eating your own organic vegetables will be much more healthy for you. They will not contain any of the products or chemicals named above, and they will be much more natural than any ones you would find at the supermarket. Your health will not be at risk because you will then know that nothing has been added to your vegetables.

5. Your own organic vegetables will be much more tasty. The use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, hormones and antibiotics make vegetables grow unnaturally and take the taste away from them. With organic vegetables, your cooking will be enhanced as their flavour will show fully.

6. Organic farming is friendly to the environment. Because you won't use pesticides or other equally harming products on your vegetables, you will not damage the soil or the air with the chemical components.

7. When you grow your own organic vegetables you are contributing to your own self-sustainability and the sustainability of the planet. Small communities have been founded where members exchange products that they grow naturally, thus contributing to create a friendly and better place for us all.


In the end, eating organic products only means that we do not add anything else to them than they would naturally have. As you can guess, additives, fertilizers, pesticides or hormones are not components of naturally grown food. To better care for your health, grown your own organic vegetables -and a few pots is all you need.


5 Quick Gardening Tips to Save You Money

It’s easy to spend a fortune every year creating a beautiful yard. These five tips can help save you money in both this, and future gardening seasons.
It’s easy to spend a fortune every year creating a beautiful yard. These five tips can help save you money in both this, and future gardening seasons.

1. Plan your vegetable garden according to what your neighbors are planting so you can share your vegetables when they’re ready for eating. Often I’ve had too many of one kind of vegetable I couldn’t give away because my friend’s were ripe at the same time. 

2. Select perennials rather than annuals for your flowerbeds. As they multiply each year, cut them back and exchange with your friends so you both have lovely gardens and save money at the same time.

3. Compost your kitchen scraps, as well as your coffee grounds.  The end result is much better than any potting soil you can ever get buy from a nursery or hardware store. The price is right, and this is definitely recycling!

4. Instead of using mulch, try pebbles or small rocks in your garden as ground cover.  This will save you lots of cash since you won’t need to buy mulch in the spring and fall of every year. 

5. Spend more money now by purchasing better quality gardening tools and you will save in the long run.  They will last for years, saving you dollars because you don’t need to replace them every planting season.  Same goes for gardening gloves- make sure you buy the best you can afford so they last all season.

Happy Gardening!

5 Must Know Tips For A Better Looking Landscape

There is no doubt that when landscaping one wants to save money, as well as have an attractive property. Not only can landscaping help you beautify your home, but it can also provide a source of satisfying exercise in the fresh air. When you take care of your yard on your own, it is possible to save money and to improve your physical conditioning. But if the landscape turns out to look bad, then that is so much time and money wasted. However, it is possible to ensure a better...

There is no doubt that when landscaping one wants to save money, as well as have an attractive property. Not only can landscaping help you beautify your home, but it can also provide a source of satisfying exercise in the fresh air. When you take care of your yard on your own, it is possible to save money and to improve your physical conditioning. But if the landscape turns out to look bad, then that is so much time and money wasted. However, it is possible to ensure a better-looking landscape by following a few tips that can help you take better care of your yard.

Know your soil type. Some plants thrive in soil with more acidity, and others prefer a little more alkali. Additionally, sandy soil and clay soil, as well as the presence of a loamy soil, can make a difference in what types of plants will thrive in a landscape. You should have your soil evaluated in order to determine what types of vegetation should be planted on your property. When you purchase plants that will succeed in the soil conditions present in your yard, then you make a wiser money decision, and you end up with a more attractive landscape. If there are plants that you would like to use in your soil, but the soil is not quite ideal, it is possible to improve the soil to proper conditions. You need only add mulch or peat, or to add crushed limestone or clamshells, depending upon what you hope to accomplish. As long as there is not a great difference in what you have and what you hope to achieve, it is possible to make soil adjustments to be more accommodating.

Understand how much space each of the plants need. There are some plants that require more room for their root systems than others. If you choose one plant that tends to grow everywhere, and you do not have adequate space, you will find that your other plants may be crowded out or that they may choke and die. Also, make sure you understand the spacing requirements for between plants. Many shrubs and small trees need to be planted at least three to four feet apart to have enough room to grow.

Use native plants in your landscape design. One of the most effective things you can do to ensure a good-looking yard is to make use of native plants. Find out what plants grow best in your area, and what plants are indigenous to the region. This way you will already be ahead, in that you know that the plants you choose are adapted to the climate. You will not have to struggle against natural inclinations to keep your landscape looking beautiful. If you due use non-native plants, assure yourself that they come from a place that shares a climate similar to the one in which you live.

Plan your landscape around different blooming times. Different plants bloom at various times throughout the year. If all of the plants in your landscape are at their most attractive all at the same time, then your yard will look beautiful for a few weeks each year, but quite possible ugly the rest of the year. One way to help avoid this is to choose attractive bushes and shrubs that look good green, but also have some sort flower. However, it is a good idea to stagger plants among each other. Plant tulips and crocus among later-blooming plants so that in early spring the bulbs bloom, and then when those flowers’ time is up, the next plants will be in bloom. In this way the cycle of your landscape is in keeping with the seasons, and looks attractive all year round.

Use wood chips around shrubs, bushes and trees. Wood chips can help the ground around shrubs, bushes, and trees look more attractive. Not only do the chips cover the ground (often looking better than dirt), but they also help keep in moisture, repel weeds, and provide natural food as they break down. Likewise, attractive groundcover like chicks and hens placed around trees and shrubs can make the area more interesting and pleasing to the eye.


3 Easy Tips for Successful Container Gardening

Here are three easy things to do to guarantee a successful container garden - no matter the plants you're growing



Here are several tips for creating a wonderful hanging basket or container this summer.  The first is to use an artificial soil composed mostly of peat moss.  Good soils such as Fafard or Pro-Mix use perlite, peat, and other ingredients to produce a soil that will not compact over the summer.  Real garden soil compacts and turns into concrete under the pressure of regular watering.  And when it does, plant roots stop growing because they require good open spaces to move into and absorb nutrients.  Hard, compacted soils do not grow good plants so do not use real soil in your containers.  I re-use my artificial potting soil from year to year.  I dump it out of the pot. Chew it up with a shovel to cut up all last year’s roots and add approximately 10 % by volume of compost. The compost increases air spaces and gives plants a boost in healthy nutrition.

Feed your plants weekly.  Nitrogen, the engine of plant growth, is water soluble and as you water your containers from the top the dissolved nitrogen is leaving from the bottom.   I use a fish-emulsion liquid feed with seaweed to provide all the trace nutrients my plants require and recommend it highly.  You can use any liquid plant food (like Miracle Grow or Shultz) to promote growth.  Compost tea is the Cadillac of liquid plant food and if you make your own compost tea, your plants will respond with bigger and better blooms as well as increased vigour.

And finally, no matter the size of the container, it is important to soak it all the way to the bottom at each watering.  Continue watering until water emerges from the pot bottom.  This ensures the roots can reach all parts of the container and grow properly.

5 Steps To A Better Lawn And Garden

Your lawn and garden should be a source of pride and beauty. You don’t need to spend lots of money on expensive items. A little commonsense and thought can go a long way in any garden.
If you’re lucky enough to have a lawn with a good topsoil base, much of the hard work of keeping a lawn beautiful is already done for you. But many of us do not have this luxury, and besides, even with a good topsoil base, you still have to work hard to keep a beautiful lawn and garden.

1. The best time to mow a lawn is when it is cool and dry. Wait for the morning dew to dry off, and before the afternoon heat takes hold. Alternatively, late afternoon or early evening following a watering in the morning is also a good time.

2. A hedge is a much better boundary divider than a fence. It will provide better privacy and keep pets and children in – or out. It will attract birds to its shelter, and provide a great backdrop for plants and flowers.

3. Bring the beauty of your garden to you; plant hyacinths near walkways and doors. Their magnificent perfume will swamp the spring air and make your garden really come alive.

4. Add your garden to non-garden items, such a lampposts and mail boxes. Surround these items with flowers planted to take advantage of the earliest to the latest flowerings. You could have white snowdrops, purple and gold crocus, blue hyacinths, and various colored tulips. You could also surround the posts with rocks to provide added interest.

5. Simple, but effective weed control can be achieved on your lawn by mowing often during spring. This will prevent dandelions spreading by eliminating the yellow blossoms and preventing seed formation. Mow high during late spring and early summer. This will allow grass blades to shade the ground, and will help prevent crabgrass from sprouting.

Your lawn and garden should be a source of pride and beauty. You don’t need to spend lots of money on expensive fertilizers and herbicides, or fancy lawn furniture and ornaments. A little commonsense and thought can go a long way to making your lawn and garden a much better place.


5 Tips For Shooting Winter Landscapes

Some of us, regardless how harsh the weather gets, will brave the tough elements in search of the crisp winter light. Planning well in advance will help make your trip more enjoyable.
Winter brings out the toughest elements in our climate, with many people putting away their camera bags ‘till early spring. But, if you do put away your camera you are missing out on the raw beauty that this magical season brings. 

Here are a few tips to make the trip more enjoyable.

1. Wear the right clothes: It’s very important to wrap up warm when out shooting winter images. The winter season brings the toughest elements, so if you are planning to spend a few days out and about always be well prepared. 

2. Watch the weather: It’s very important to know what the weather is going to be like. You don’t want to travel for a couple of hours and then hear a weather report that tells you that: the weather is wet for the next few days.  During the winter months the weather can dramatically change in a matter of hours. 

It’s always advisable to let someone know where you are going and which route you’re planning to take. If you do get injured or ever caught in a storm someone may be able to help.


3. Carry only what you need: Carry only the essentials. You don’t need to upload your camera bag with every piece of equipment you own. If you are going to be out taking pictures all day you are much better off going as light as possible.  Carrying a light load will also help preserve energy.  You could be climbing icy rocks or crossing snow filled hills; a warm flask would serve you a lot better than a third camera. 

 
4. Look for detail: Snow, ice and frost bring out texture and atmosphere in most subjects.  The early frosty morning is an ideal time for close-up photography. The frosty morning also brings out patterns in our landscapes.  

Take care where you place your camera: if you are taking pictures early in the morning try placing it at oblique angles to the sun - this will give your images strong shadows. This will also add mood to your landscape images.  Once you have found the perfect spot pay extra attention to foreground interest as this will  add depth to your image.

5. Expose carefully: Snow and ice are extremely difficult to expose properly. Snow usually confuses your cameras metering system or your hand held light meter. When you take a light reading from snow you will automatically get an underexposed image. The meter will record the snow as grey. 

Now is the time to start bracketing your shots.   If you bracket your shots add 1 - 2 stops of light to compensate for your light meter reading. Using an 18% grey card, which I described in a previous article, should also give you a perfect light reading.


6 Indoor Plants That Love The Dark: A Tip From The Garden Center Nursery

It was a long search that took me more than ten years. But finally I found it - the indoor house plant that will brighten up the end of a corridor 5 meters from my front door. The Aspidistra, commonly known as the Cast Iron plant, has graced the drawing rooms of many an otherwise drab Victorian English manor, and now graces my suburban Sydney brick home.

Many gardening experts describe the Aspidistra as one of the toughest and most adaptable house plants. Its long blades o...
It was a long search that took me more than ten years. But finally I found it - the indoor house plant that will brighten up the end of a corridor 5 meters from my front door. The Aspidistra, commonly known as the Cast Iron plant, has graced the drawing rooms of many an otherwise drab Victorian English manor, and now graces my suburban Sydney brick home.

Many gardening experts describe the Aspidistra as one of the toughest and most adaptable house plants. Its long blades of slender dark green or variegated dark green and white leaves shoot straight out from the soil but in clumps and up to 75 cm in height and 15 cm wide.

It is such a low maintenance plant much like an even-tempered woman who does not need any fussing over but still maintains its sweet nature. It needs very low light, average temperature and humidity and just occasional watering.

Other plants that do not need much light

Low-light plants are usually defined as those that can survive in 25 to 75 foot candles - that is, a spot that is 4 to 5 metres from a bright window, just enough light to read by comfortably, but where artificial lighting switched on by day would give a brightening effect.

You can easily find the Aspidistra in your local garden center nursery. In addition, five other plants that will suit very low light situations are the following:

Aglonema (Chinese Evergreen) which are among the few plants that prefer only moderate light and adapt well to low light. It has large dark green oval then tapering leathery leaves later developing a caney base.

Drachaena deremensis varieties (also know as Happy or Fortune Plants) which are slender leafed and usually white variegated. The Drachaena family are caney plants crested with decorative rosettes of straplike foliage.

Holly fern which adapts to low light and Boston fern a fishbone type of fern that will remain in low light for many months but need a spell in brighter light to rejuvenate.

Neanthe Bella or Parlor Palm which is more suited to low light situations than most palms.

Sanseviera (also known as Mother-In-Law’s Tongue) which stands low to very bright light has waxy, erect straplike leaves usually with cream-colored margins and an unusual banding of the grey-green center.

If you are finding it difficult to find a plant that will brighten up that dark corner, why not try one of these hardy and lovely favorites of mine?


8 Tips To Get Your Kids Enjoy Home Gardening

Dirt has always been one of the kids' best toys, so home gardening could just be one fun activity for your children. Excite them by allowing them to pick whichever plant they want to grow. Here are some tips to help you make your little ones become enthusiastic with home gardening.

1. Choose the right plants

Kids will more likely choose plants and flowers with bright colors, so have a load of varieties of plants. Examples of bright flowers are zinnias and cosmos; these ...
2. Starting seeds

Give your children the freedom to help you with the staring seeds. Some seeds might be too small for the tiny fingers, but their digits can be of help in covering them with dirt.

3. Home Gardening Memoir

To last the kids' enthusiasm until the plants grow, make them create a home gardening journal. This activity will allow them to use their imagination to sketch on what the plants will be like and write down when they placed in the ground the seeds and when they first witnessed a sprout pushing up.

4. Make sure that the garden is somewhere very visible for the kids.

 Before you start home gardening, pick a spot where the kids often play or walk by. Every time they see and pass by their garden, the more they will sight changes. 

5. Dirt playing

Always remember that children are fond of playing with dirt or mud. They can help you ready the soil, even if what they are only doing is stomping on the clumps. To make home gardening with the kids more fun, you can provide them with kid-sized tools to make home gardening very engaging for them.

6. Your kids own the garden

A picture of each plant will enable the children to foresee what the flowers will look like. You can also put your child's name on a placard, so everyone can see that it's their garden.

7. Playing with the water

Playing with water is right up there with playing with dirt. Look for a small watering can that they can use to water their garden. You can show them how to let the water go right to the roots of the plants. Hoses want only trouble. They are simply formidable for little hands to control.

Rose Garden Tips and Advice

Dealing with Rose Diseases

To make sure that your prized roses remain in the best of health, simply follow these tips.

1. Black Spots on Leaves

This disease is commonly known as black spot. Black spots appear as circular with fringed edges on leaves. They cause the leaves to yellow. Remove the infected foliage and pick up any fallen leaves around the rose. Artificial sprays may be used to prevent or treat this kind of rose disease.



2. Stunted or malformed young canes

Known as powdery mildew, this is a fungal disease that covers leaves, stems and buds with wind spread white powder. It makes the leaves curl and turn purple. Spray with Funginex or Benomyl to treat this fungal disease.

3. Blistered underside of leaves

Known as rust, this disease is characterized by orange-red blisters that turn black in fall. It can survive the winter and will then attack new sprouts in the spring. Collect and discard leaves that are infected in fall. a Benomyl or Funginex spray every 7-10 days may help.

4. Malformed or stunted leaves and flowers

This is caused by spider mites. They are tiny yellow, red or green spiders found on the underside of leaves where they suck juices. The application of Orthene or Isotox may help in treating this infestation.

5. Weak and mottled leaves with tiny white webs under them

This is caused by aphids. They are small soft-bodied insects that usually brown, green or red. Often clustered under leaves and flower buds, they suck plant juices from tender buds. Malathion or diazinon spray may help roses to survive these bugs.

6. Flowers that don't open or are deformed when they open.

Thrips could be the reason behind this problem. They are slender, brown-yellow bugs with fringed wings that also suck juices from flower buds. Cut and discard the infested flowers. Orthene and malathion may also treat this problem.

Remember that roses are hungry feeders that require much fertilizer to become healthy bushes.

10 landscaping design ideas to enhance your home garden

A landscape garden need not be just a bunch of decorative plants and lawn. Read this article to know about many creative items you can use in your garden.
A home garden is a place, which can give identity to your home building in a neighborhood. You can use very little creativity to enhance to look and feel of your garden so that it stands out from the rest of the gardens in the neighborhood. Here is a list of probable elements you can add to your landscaping garden so that everybody loves it and you get the credit.

1) The compound wall of the home plot defines the boundary of the garden as well. Use paintings on the wall surface (inside), that will add excitement to your garden . You can go for a theme based paintings such as nature, waterfalls, sunsets etc..

2) Use stone sculptures of actual human size. These statues greatly add a uman touch to the garden and also defines a scale to the space. Everything we use in our daily lives such as clothes, kitchen utensils, office equipment, computer parts, are all always related to human measurements. If this is the case with all other objects, why exclude a garden from it.

3) Use a fountain with artificial mood creating lighting. This adds a great amount of curiosity during night.

4) Use Japanese stone lanterns instead of the normal ones. This is because stone has its own rough texture as against the smooth and fresh look and feel of the plants in a garden. This creates "hot-spots" in the garden if you plan to use light bulbs inside the stone lanterns. These stone lanterns can also be used along a pathway to define the direction of movement.

5) Design a pond that flows partially into the home building. This is a great way to seamlessly connect the interior and exterior of a home landscape.

6) If your garden has a swimming pool, then instead of having normal diving boards, be little creative and make it into the shape of a house or the person coming out of the mouth of an animal etc...Your kids will love this and will be remembered whoever visits your garden.

7) Create private semi-open patios in your garden. This is a great place to sit around and chat with your loved ones and also can be used as a small deck during a small party.

8) If you love pets, then try rabbits, ducks along with a small pond, in the backyard. These pets have very fresh colors and add great amount of liveliness in the garden.

9) If possible plants flowerings trees with fragrance. This is a free and absolutely amazing way to keep your garden fresh.

10) Create levels in your garden to distinguish various areas as per the function of the garden. A leveled garden always creates interest and curiosity.

If you have read this article completely you can see I have hardly talked about plats and their species in landscaping. So landscaping design is also about using creativity with materials and their finishes. I hope this article helps you to start thinking creatively about your home garden and generate more unique ideas.

Copyright Shrinivas Vaidya