Category Archives: Gardening

12 Christmas Decorating Ideas For Minimalists

One of the many things that we look forward to during the holidays is the sight of Christmas decorations. This article provides some great ideas for minimalist Christmas decorations.

Christmas decorations for people who don’t do Christmas decorations. Chic, simple ideas with just the right amount of sparkle…

1. In this sitting room designed by Rose Uniacke, floral designer Nikki Tibbles of Wild at Heart has created arrangements to complement the simplicity of the interiors. ‘We incorporated elegant statement arrangements, that were clean and sophisticated,’ says Nikki. ‘For both arrangements, we’ve used a base of Scots pine, soft grey pine, soft grey eucalyptus and asparagus fern. On the mantelpiece we’ve added flowering white jasmine and white euphorbia, while the grey vases have been padded out with lichen branches and eucalyptus buds.’

2. Solenne de la Fouchardière the co-owner of chic home-furnishings company Ochre, has given the interior a relaxed look, using muted colours. Her Christmas decorations are similarly understated. ‘I have stuck to a white and silver palette – the traditional red and green would have been too harsh,’ she says. The results are cool and stylish, yet pretty.

3. This simple, natural arrangement works especially well in a smaller space or above a console table. Tie string around each end of a fir branch and hang it from a central point with twine. After a short amount of time, it will form this lovely relaxed shape. If you find that it falls back like a hammock, an additional length of string running between the two ends to form a triangle should keep it facing forward. Hang little bud vases at random lengths and fill with tiny berries or winter flowers. Red berries are festive, while bold flowers like hellebores would look very chic. Alternatively, attach brown envelopes with string or tape for a different take on an advent calendar.

(C) houseandgarden.co.uk

(C) houseandgarden.co.uk

Read more: http://www.houseandgarden.co.uk/christmas/ideas/simple-christmas-decorations

 

How to Build a Living Fence

If you own and maintain a garden, consider enhancing your garden with garden living fencing. So, let’s get this beautiful element of garden architecture as functional and as beautiful as it can be. A personal touch makes it more attractive.

Using standard pruning techniques, you can train dwarf fruit trees to form a living wall that will enhance your yard’s privacy and provide beauty and fresh produce. In an espalier (pronounced es-PAL-yay), plants grow along a usually flat, symmetrical framework against a wall, trellis, or freestanding support. Frequent pruning and tying of new growth directs the plants into a decorative pattern such as intersecting diamonds, or horizontal arms or elbows.

What You’ll Need

(C) Gardening Know How

(C) Gardening Know How

Plan your espalier to meet your needs. If you want fruit, select a dwarf apple, peach, or pear that is rock-solid hardy in your area. For a purely ornamental fence, choose a blooming tree or shrub such as flowering crabapple, magnolia, or doublefile viburnum.

Although creating an espalier isn’t particularly difficult, it does take time. Expect to wait three years for fruit, and plan to spend some time each year doing light pruning and training of branches.

Bamboo can be a good living fence, too. Learn how to grow it.

Supplies:

  • three or more plants (dwarf fruit trees, for example)
  • posthole digger (optional)
  • 4×4 posts (treated for soil contact or rot resistant cedar or similar wood)
  • 2×4 top rail, 8 feet long
  • 14-gauge wire
  • hand pruners
  • cloth-covered wire plant ties

Read more: http://www.bhg.com/gardening/trees-shrubs-vines/trees/how-to-build-a-living-fence

 

Dressed to Kill: 7 Haunted Houseplants for Halloween

This year, if you are planning to host the Halloween party in your neighborhood, then be prepared to turn your house into a haunted house with the help of these haunted houseplants. Check out the list of the plants.

First, a disclaimer. No houseplants were harmed in the creation of this post. Well, at least not fatally. But we did force them to dress in creepy costumes for Halloween, despite knowing they’d rather be growing outdoors in their native climates (for most of them, that would be the tropics). Tough job, being a houseplant.

This DIY decor project was pretty easy on humans, though. First, we chose our victims for their theatrical foliage. Then, to create a darkly tortured Little Shop of Houseplants, we cloaked the plants’ nursery pots in washable black Paper Storage Bags (a set of three in different sizes is $34.27 from Warm Grey Company via Etsy). Tip: You can also give your houseplants a haunted look by simply painting their pots a dark color (see our Ikea houseplants below, painted in Farrow & Ball’s bruise-black Railings).

If they know what’s good for them, on Halloween our haunted houseplants will gather by the front door, where they can scowl menacingly at the trick-or-treaters:

Photography by Mimi Giboin for Gardenista.

Peacock Plant

(C) Our House Plants

(C) Our House Plants

Botanical Name: Calathea ‘Marion’

Care and Feeding: Calatheas will fade if they get too much light; keep yours away from bright sun to preserve the distinct veining and colors of its leaves.

Design Tip: With its stiff leaves and strong silhouette, Calathea contrasts nicely with ferns or other lacy-leafed plants.

Read more: https://www.gardenista.com/posts/dressed-kill-7-haunted-houseplants-halloween

 

5 Useful Tips to Decide the Kind Oil for Lawn Mower

This article lets eager lawn groomers know how to properly prepare their lawn mower for the spring and summer. One of these ways in minting it is to check the lawn mower oil.

When it comes to decide the kind of oil for lawn mower most people usually ignore the importance of careful and thorough selection. It is one of the little things to think about that’s for sure but getting the wrong oil can cause a bigger problem and most likely more expenses too. Although as less important as other gardening tools, do not neglect to research and choose the right lawn mower oil.

(C) Husqvarna

(C) Husqvarna

Lawn mower is a very important type of equipment in gardening. It is specifically designed to cut grass and apparently keep your lawn neat and beautiful. A single lawn mower, whether it’s a push type of a tractor, can be very expensive, so it’s wise to maintain it and be useful for years. To ensure it’s perfectly working fine and last longer, regular oil change is required.

On average, oil of a new lawn mower must be changed right after when the first 5 hours have been consumed. After that, it should be after every 50 hours or once during summer or spring. Changing oil is as important as to decide kind oil for lawn mower.

Read more: https://www.growgardener.com/5-useful-tips-decide-kind-oil-lawn-mower

 

Top 10 Varieties Of Tomato For Short And Long Growing Seasons

When growing tomatoes it is most definitely helpful to know the different tomato varieties so that you can choose tomato plants that suit your growing situation. I will share this article of the 10 best tomatoes available to grow for short and long growing seasons.

Whether you have a short or a long growing season, the range of organic, heirloom tomato varieties means that you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing which seeds to plant in your garden, greenhouse or polytunnel. This list outlines some of the best varieties of tomato seeds that will give you some of the best tomato plants possible come harvest time. It is of course an incomplete list but will certainly give you some ideas when it comes to choosing which type of tomato plant to grow. All the plants on this list are heirloom tomatoes, as these will allow you to collect seed from the plants and grow again next year and eventually, to breed plants ideally suited to your climate and local soil conditions.

1- Brandywine

Easily recognizable from its unusual foliage which resembles potato leaves, this heirloom variety is one of the best known and most highly regarded around. It is suitable for growing outside or in a greenhouse or polytunnel and is generally considered to be one of the best tasting ‘beefsteak’ tomatoes. It dates from 1885 and has a long history as an organic garden favorite. Brandwine tomato plants will grow to a height of around 2m with a spread of around 50cm and are best grown as cordons. They will flower and then fruit between July and September. Fruits are slower to mature than other varieties, taking 80-100 days to grow to full size, but these fruits can reach a weight of 0.7kg.

(C) Urban Seedling

(C) Urban Seedling

2- Galina

An heirloom alternative, perhaps, to the popular hybrid variety, Sungold, this super-sweet and super early, yellow tomato variety comes from Siberia and could be a good choice for those who want all kinds of tomatoes in a variety of different colors. With these tomatoes you can make a great yellow tomato soup or yellow tomato ketchup – for something a bit out of the ordinary. Galina produces an abundance of fruits of around 3cm in diameter in bunches on tall plants. These potato leaf foliage plants grow to around 1.2m in height and the fruits do not fall off when ripe which makes harvesting easier. Galina can be harvested early and will continue to fruit for longer than other varieties, perhaps bearing even until November.

Read more: https://theselfsufficientliving.com/top-10-varieties-of-tomato-for-short-and-long-growing-seasons

 

The Right Way to do Spring Lawn Care

Spring is a time for you to have a look at your lawn and take necessary methods to promote its growth and health. The inclement weather conditions of winter makes a lawn exhausted. Using a few simple steps can help the lawn recover its lush green coloration and flourish. Raking, repairing damaged areas, renovating the lawn’s appearance and correct fertilizer applications recover a lawn to its pre-winter glory.

To ready the lawn and gardens for healthy growth and new plants this spring, follow these basic steps.

Preventative Weed Control

A pre-emergent product should be applied to your lawn in order that broadleaf weeds, nutsedge, dandelions as well as other weeds may be stopped from germinating. Such a product are available at several home and garden stores. A safer option though is to purchase in contact with a lawn care company and get them to set up your lawn with a program for weed control and fertilization. By doing so, you are able to be certain that your yard is free of weeds and will be fertilized properly.

(C) Yelp

(C) Yelp

Mow the Old Material

Trim and mow your lawn. Make it happen if your lawn is over grown, or maybe you are doing your spring clean up late in the season. Your lawn mower will pick up the debris from the previous step.

Add Mulch or Pine Straw

On this spring lawn care, it’s time you put down mulch or pine straw. You need to refresh your grass beds in order to add color in your lawn. Weeds also needs to be avoided from growing since it can block out the sunlight from your lawn.

Fertilize

Fertilizing in the spring replenishes the grass plant’s food supply. The fertilizer will encourage the grass to develop healthy, new growth and a strong root system. A satisfactory, balanced fertilizer can create a thick lawn that will be able to more readily fight weeds by choking them out. Apply fertilizer if the grass begins to show indications of breaking dormancy.

Pressure Wash Home and Driveway

Your property and driveway must be pressure washed. This is because the fall and winter time could have left a lot of grime and dirt. It is strongly recommended that you pressure-wash once each year to be able to give your landscape a boost as well as help your home look clean.

There, you will discover tricks and tips for spring lawn care and having the greenest, fullest lawn possible. You’ll also find business packages, equipment and tools for all your yard care needs, whether you are a home owner, property manager, or full-time lawn care professional.

 

5 Tree Surgery Techniques

A tree surgeon (or arborist) helps to treat sick or damaged trees. Additionally they get rid of dead ones that could be problematic. The treatment of a sick tree might involve anything from removing parts, to removing fungus and bacteria with insecticides. In addition they help to remove branches which might present a falling hazard.

1. Tree Pruning

(C) Forest and Garden Timber Services

(C) Forest and Garden Timber Services

Tree surgeons spend a huge proportion of their job cutting back trees that could be causing a falling risk, or growing too closely to powerlines etc. This can be a delicate job that uses a great deal of consideration to avoid stressing the trees. This task is of certain interest to power companies who use tree surgeons to prune trees growing near power lines to keep their network running.

2. Felling and Lowering

For those who have a tree that’s growing too near to a house, or one whose branches are resulting in a hazard by overhanging too far or growing close to utility lines, a tree surgery quote is crucial. These are jobs so simple must not be attempted by someone without the essential skills. The felling procedure results in the piling up of timbers and debris within your garden as well as the service providers in this context take them off so that your garden looks tidy and clean.

3. Tree Thinning

Just like a big pile of human hair, trees have to be thinned from time to time. An aborist should be able to tell just how much trimming has to be done, for the required foliage to be removed. Otherwise this can be considered by a third-party expert to the exact percentage. As soon as the amount of thinning is determined, the aborist should begin eliminating secondary and even primary branches and also young new growth. The end result is a tree that allows natural light to go through.

4. Removal

Tree Surgeons frequently have to cope with fallen, or dead trees. The might have to felled as a result of distance to a house, or because they’re dead and present a falling risk. As soon as felled, they have to be cut into manageable sizes. Only then can the roots and stump be removed, which can involve stump grinding, a lot of digging, or the usage of chemicals.

5. Reduction

It is routinely done for tall growing plants which are placed directly under utility lines or electric cords. It must be performed regularly reduce that height or spread of branches to avoid obstruction and untoward incidents. Cutting back specifically branches that are terminal to lateral ones big enough to imagine the later role does it.

 

How to Cut Lettuce So It Keeps Growing

The delicious flavor of homegrown lettuce is more than worth the tiny effort it takes to get it.Lettuce is easy to grow and a good crop for the beginning gardener. One of the secrets in growing lettuce is by cutting them. But how do we cut the lettuce in a proper way?

Few things beat a salad made from a large handful of fresh lettuce (Lactuca sativa var. capitata) straight from the garden. While you can allow both loose-leaf and head-style lettuce plants to reach full size in the garden, then pull or cut them at the roots to harvest a whole lettuce, growing lettuce lets you prolong the season by cutting it leaf by leaf or using a technique called cut-and-come-again.

(C) bonnieplants.com

(C) bonnieplants.com

Leaf by Leaf Cutting

You can cut leaves of edible size from the stem of the plant, leaving the small-leaved center intact and growing. Leaves can be pinched off by hand, but cutting may damage less tissue than pinching. Wipe the scissor blades clean between cuts with a 1:9 solution of bleach and water, to keep from spreading plant diseases. A 1/3 cup of bleach in 3 cups of water will keep tools clean for cutting and other garden chores.

Cut-and-Come-Again

The second cutting method is more drastic but still allows the plant to continue growing. For cut-and-come-again, cut the entire plant parallel to the ground and approximately 1 inch from the soil. The center will regenerate first, and the plant will then begin to form new leaves that grow to edible size. Clean your tools before cutting each plant.

Read more: https://www.hunker.com/12508325/how-to-cut-lettuce-so-it-keeps-growing

 

Should You Plant Seeds or Seedlings?

Should you start your own garden from seeds or seedlings? As for me, I started planting vegetables from seeds. However it’s still up to you since there are things that you need to consider when you start planting them.

Several years ago, I interviewed many esteemed gardening experts for advice on how beginners should approach their first attempts to grow food. The major takeaway was that novice gardeners should be especially wary of biting off more than they could chew—or more precisely, what they could reasonably manage to get planted, weeded, watered and harvested. It’s so easy to imagine a bountiful garden in winter, and then find out that you can’t keep up with the demands of a truly productive garden all summer long. That adds up to more hassle, work and stress, and less bountiful crops. Roger Doiron, founder of Kitchen Gardeners International, summed it up perfectly with this simple tip: “Start small and scale up as you encounter success. Start by planting things you like to eat.”

So, for beginner gardeners trying out a new hobby, it can certainly be helpful to spend a few bucks on established seedlings, also known as transplants, from garden centers and farmers markets instead of trying to grow all of your plants from seed. But not all plants actually work best as transplants; some seeds should be planted directly where they will grow. And when it comes to transplants, we recommend that more experienced gardeners make the leap to start growing some of your own seedlings.

(C) shawnacoronado.com

(C) shawnacoronado.com

Reasons to Choose Seeds

There are many, many, many good reasons to start food plants from seed rather than buying transplants. First, consider the obvious cost savings—seedlings often cost $4 or more each, whereas premium seeds cost around $2 a pack and can last two years or more. Another important reason is that seeds can offer more control over your food supply—when you grow your own seedlings, you know what kind of soil they grew in, what kind of fertilizer they’ve received, and if any chemicals were used. It’s not easy to find completely organic plants everywhere.

Read more: http://www.motherearthliving.com/gardening/vegetable-gardening/seeds-or-seedlings-zmgz16jfzhou

Which Are The Best Patio Umbrellas – What To Look For When Buying?

Summer is coming and it’s the time where we can enjoy the great outdoors in our backyard. With the variety of styles available they’re equally well suited to protect you on a patio, garden, or even around the pool.This article will share information and tips in selecting and buying the right patio umbrella.

An important accessory for the garden and balcony, something that we all need during hot summer days – that is the patio umbrella. Which are the best patio umbrellas and what to look for when buying? We shall give you some tips on how to choose the right umbrella because there are so many different models, which are suitable for the very different ways of use. There are huge differences in manufacturing, UV protection, the stand, the cleaning and protection options differ so you may find this article quite useful.

Best patio umbrellas: design options, cleaning and UV protection

(C) Pinterest

(C) Pinterest

Buyers are faced at an enormous choice as nowadays a wide variety of models have conquered the umbrella market. There is almost everything: from classic patio umbrellas with central pole, innovative off set parasols or weatherproof gastronomy umbrellas. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages that you have to take into account when choosing your patio umbrella. For example, a sunshade is particularly suitable to shade tables and gastronomy umbrellas offer a reliable protection against the weather. Patio umbrellas are not meant to only look good. They must be functional and more importantly – to provide protection against the harmful UV rays and provide shade. Therefore, you should pay a particular attention to the UV protection when you buy your patio umbrella!

Patio umbrellas for balconies or gardens

Patio umbrellas are offered in two main types – standing and off set. The classic umbrella is often seen on balconies as it is offered in smaller versions. The umbrella can be installed in different ways – centered in tables, with bases that are filled with water or sand, or fixed to the house wall or the balcony railing. Cantilevered patio umbrellas are getting very popular as the pole is set aside of the canopy. The popularity is due to the great convenience of these models as the umbrella casts a shadow over a table, for example, without the pole being in the way.

Read more: https://www.minimalisti.com/best-patio-umbrellas-garden-shade.html