Category Archives: Gardening

How to Choose a Potting Soil

“If you’re a new gardener, choosing soil for potted plants from the many types of potting soil available in garden centers can feel a bit overwhelming. However, once you have some knowledge of the basic components of potting soil and the most common potting soil ingredients, you can select the best product for your particular needs.”

Choose the right potting soil is easy when you know your plants' needs.

Potting soil comes in many types and textures. The best soil for your needs depends on the kind of plants in your garden and the specific properties of the soil. Many plants benefit from rich, loamy soil; but some prefer sandy soils, and pH preferences also vary. “Soilless” potting mixes contain everything that your potted plants need and are used in the same way. Understanding the types and properties of potting soil mixes can help you choose the right potting mix for your container gardens…

 

Read more: http://homeguides.sfgate.com/choose-potting-soil-76465.html

Lilac Bush Growing Tips

“Flowers can range in color from pink to purple; however, white and yellow varieties are also available. Lilacs are among the most carefree of all shrubs.  Their needs are simple: plenty of sunlight, good drainage, fertile soil and annual pruning. Choose your planting site carefully and the only care you’ll need to provide is yearly pruning to maintain a nice shape. In the spring, you’ll be rewarded with clusters of fragrant blooms.”

Lilacs (image) are big, beautiful, fragrant. The purple flowers bloom in May.

Plant taxonomy classifies common lilac bushes as Syringa vulgaris. An example of a cultivar of this plant is ‘Wedgewood Blue.’ Mention of these plants almost surely does not evoke thoughts of the extra virgin olive oil you find so essential when you cook Italian meals, yet Syringa is, in fact, a member of the olive family, along with other such ornamental plants as ash trees, forsythia shrubs, and privet shrubs.

Most kinds are deciduous shrubs. ‘Wedgewood Blue’ is one variety that has a compact growth habit. But because of the height some varieties attain at maturity, people sometimes refer to them as “lilac trees,” lumping them in with the other wonderful flowering trees of spring…

 

Read more: https://www.thespruce.com/lilac-bushes-growing-tips-2132722 

 

How to Grow Air Plants

“Air plants (Tillandsia) are supposed to be some of the easiest plants to keep alive, indoors. For starters, they don’t even need soil, absorbing water and nutrients through scales on their leaves.   They’ll do best with some air circulation, so they really shouldn’t live in an enclosed container for long durations. They’ll need to be watered more often than plants kept inside, especially in dry periods, so grab the garden hose or dunk them in the pond, whatever is easiest.”

Growing Air Plants

Air plants (Tillandsia) are a fascinating contemporary gardening trend. These perennial evergreen plants are one of the easiest to grow species of plants out there. Unlike most plants, air plants don’t require soil, so they can grow almost anywhere.

Air plant leaves are the providers of water and nutrients for the plant. Air plant roots provide a system of anchors to help the plant adhere to trees or rocks. The roots can be removed with no harm to the plant. This enables you to place your air plant almost anywhere.

 

Read more: https://www.gardeningchannel.com/how-to-grow-air-plants/

Gardening 101: How to Use Eggshells in the Garden

Crushed egg shells add valuable nutrients to soil. You can put eggshells in compost, in soil or use them as a kind of organic insecticide, which means that not only are you helping reduce trash, but helping your garden too.

Last fall, I started collecting eggshells after I read an article on Realfarmacy.com that touted their usefulness in the garden, for everything from fertilizer to organic pest control. This spring, I’m using crushed eggshells in the garden five ways:

Above: During the winter, I saved the shells from all the eggs we ate by simply rinsing them and placing them in an open container where they could dry out. (No, they did not smell. Everyone who came to my house and saw them asked me this question.) After my containers were full, I set the kids to pulverizing them into little bits with wooden spoons, thus compacting the shells so that I could collect more.

Eggshell Fertilizer

(C) Gardenoholic

(C) Gardenoholic

Above: When tilled into the soil, ground eggshells provide your plants with calcium.

Though nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are most vital for healthy growth, calcium is also essential for building healthy “bones”—the cell walls of a plant. Composed of calcium carbonate, eggshells are an excellent way to introduce this mineral into the soil. To prep the eggshells, grind with a mixer, grinder, or mortar and pestle and till them into the soil. Because it takes several months for eggshells to break down and be absorbed by a plant’s roots, it is recommended that they be tilled into the soil in fall. More shells can be mixed into your soil in the spring.

By the same token, finely crushed shells mixed with other organic matter at the bottom of a hole will help newly planted plants thrive. (Tomatoes especially love calcium.) For an exciting recycled garden cocktail: try mixing your eggshells with coffee grounds, which are rich in nitrogen.

Read more: https://www.gardenista.com/posts/diy-5-ideas-to-use-eggshells-in-the-garden-pest-control-mulch-fertilizer

 

How to Grow Your Own Bonsai Tree

Bonsai is, as I’m sure you know, the art of growing miniature trees. Creating bonsai trees is a captivating hobby and can be enjoyed by anybody with an interest in plants. This article discusses some of the very important know hows for growing bonsai trees.

There are five main ways of raising your plants for bonsai:

  • Seed
  • Seedlings
  • Cuttings
  • Layering
  • Plants collected from the wild

    (C) Bonsai Bar

    (C) Bonsai Bar

In addition to these methods of obtaining a bonsai some firms are now supplying bonsai which have already had their initial training, and sometimes they are planted in suitable containers. These ready made bonsai may or may not be entirely to a buyer’s liking; if they are not they can, to a certain extent, be altered and improved by the new owner by well thought-out training and pruning. If the tree has not been planted in a way that pleases, this can also be adjusted when it is repotted.

Grafting and layering are also used in nurseries, but on the whole amateur bonsai growers would be well advised to content themselves with other methods.

Each method is quite simple and may have advantages over the others, depending on the species concerned and whether or not large numbers are required.

Read more: https://dengarden.com/gardening/Growing-Bonsai

 

21 Bamboo Garden Design Ideas To Bring Fortune Inside Home

Bamboo gardening involves a little bit of care in the beginning, but the rewards are definitely worth it. It’s a great indoor plants also which you can modify its design to fit your style. We have one in our living room which is designed based on Feng Shui.

If you are looking for a houseplant which needs very little light and minimal care, then bamboo is the best choice. Bamboo is an essential element in traditional Asian style of decorating home. It is an ideal choice for modern eco style of home decoration using house plants.

(C) Decor10blog

(C) Decor10blog

Bamboo garden helps you to pursue gardening, decorate home and also at the same time, has got some importance in Feng-shui as well. Lucky bamboo is considered the best plant for doing Feng-shui cure for your home. It is an amazing plant which gives very peaceful atmosphere and energy to your home.

Bamboo garden ideas for Feng-shui

Bamboo plants combines five elements of Feng-shui cure which are essential for harmonious and happy universe. Wood (bamboo plant wood), Earth (soil in which bamboo grow), Water (water you provide for your house plant), Fire (red ribbon tied to the plant) and Metal (pot in which your plant is growing) are five elements of Feng-shui cure.

Read more: http://smallgarden-ideas.com/bamboo-garden-design-ideas

 

Sculpture Can Bring Life to Your Garden

Garden is a part of your property that you could relax and breathe in good and fresh air. It is also a spot where the young children can enjoy and have fun. So it is great for those who have a garden that can give you a beautiful feeling to stay with.

One of the good landscaping ideas is by using the use of outdoor garden sculptures. This stuff comes in several designs and it depends upon what you would like. Aside from the plants, they are also attractive to the eyes and of course it might emphasize an area of your garden. They could be placed anywhere since not only do they vary in designs but they also are available in different sizes. You may already plan your own garden and include these accessories to get a better landscaping design which brings value to your house.

(C) Pinterest

(C) Pinterest

When placing your art, look for places that require some visual interest added. You should place it at a focal point, where eyes will be drawn to it. Find bare areas that require something added. You can put the art to anchor the end of a path, in order that the path will seem to have more purpose than simply a walkway through the garden. If there’s a fence along the garden, hang something on it to break up the long monotonous lines.

The laughing Buddha is a good choice of statue that make the garden away from the negative energies. The child with a statue of sunflower is a nice add-on to your garden. Bond statues and statuettes flower are the sensible choice for nature lovers.

Sculptures are always known to be made of marble stones and granite. These will take time to sculpt out and so are to be chiseled to a finish. Nonetheless, when done, they become beautiful showpieces that are ready for adoring any garden. Even you can buy one of these garden sculptures for your own private garden. It is considered that the more the sight of water falling from a height, the better the financial luck of that household. The figurines with pitchers positioned at the correct place in the garden help in understanding this principle of Feng Shui to a better extent.

Garden sculptures can always be ordered on the internet. Go online and search for the typical garden sculpture of your choice. You would find your requirement available in one or the other internet shop in the country. The most obvious benefit of online shopping is the fact that you could see the picture of the product you’re buying.

 

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