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Getting Started with Garden and Patio Design
The art of managing outdoor space
Use Clustering to make the most of your outdoor space
Try to think of each plant, statue, plaque or other accent as having its own personality, and place them together in groups that allow them to relate to each other in pleasing and complementary ways; place two low flowering plants on either side of a larger fern, or place a small statue between a palm and a vine - the possibilities are endless and are only limited by your creativity and imagination!
Take your visitors on a journey
Try to create special accent zones to show off your most treasured items by placing them right in the visitor's path, or by placing them at eye level, or by surrounding them with unique accessories that set the entire cluster apart from the others. If you take a little time to consider what people will see and where they will go as they make their way through your garden space, you'll find that creating a relaxing and pleasant garden or backyard is just a matter of common sense!
Don't neglect the vertical space
Walls or fences can be beautified with the simple addition of a garden plaque, a wall fountain or a planter on a shelf. If you want a more functional wall item, try a garden thermometer. Training a vine or some ivy up a trellis is a great way to use some vertical space and create a sense of intimacy and privacy as well.
Then, of course, there are the hanging items.. hanging plants are a great way of lifting the eye up to a new vantage point and adding a vertical element to your green space. Windchimes are a special prize, because they are not only a delight to the eye, but a treasure for the ears as well. Suncatchers also add a unique beauty with their ability to catch the sunlight and turn it into yet another decorative accent. When placing hanging decor, think 'outside of the box'... hanging items can be part of the clusters you create with your plants and statuary or they can hang by themselves, defining turning points along the garden path or providing embellishment to the open space between clusters.
There are so many ways to use vertical decor I can only mention a few of them here: Hang them from eaves and overhangs to adorn borders, suspend them from awnings and overhead beams for a more enclosed and intimate effect, and if you have a tree or two in your garden how about hanging a plant from a branch or placing a planter in the crook of a bough? Now you're using clustering and vertical space at the same time by using a plant to hold a plant!
Winged visitors - your mobile decorations!
Dare to dream
Brian Dalton owns and maintains the Springtime Gardens website, and spends countless happy hours decorating and maintaining his own patios and container gardens.
Springtime Gardens - Affordable Garden and Patio Decor
Copyright 2005 BKD Enterprises
Gardening is Good Therapy
Many of us garden just for the sheer joy of it. But did you know that all over the country the healing aspects of gardening are being used as therapy or as an adjunct to therapy? Although this might sound like a new concept, garden therapy has been around for decades. For example, the Garden Therapy Program at Central State Hospital in Milledgeville, and in regional hospitals in Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Rome, Thomasville and Savannah, has been helping people for over 40 years through gardening activities known as social and therapeutic horticulture. So what exactly is social and therapeutic horticulture (or garden therapy)? According to the article "Your future starts here: practitioners determine the way ahead" from Growth Point (1999) volume 79, pages 4-5, horticultural therapy is the use of plants by a trained professional as a medium through which certain clinically defined goals may be met. "?Therapeutic horticulture is the process by which individuals may develop well-being using plans and horticulture. This is achieved by active or passive involvement." Although the physical benefits of garden therapy have not yet been fully realized through research, the overall benefits are almost overwhelming. For starters, gardening therapy programs result in increased elf-esteem and self-confidence for all participants. Social and therapeutic horticulture also develops social and work skills, literacy and numeric skills, an increased sense of general well-being and the opportunity for social interaction and the development of independence. In some instances it can also lead to employment or further training or education. Obviously different groups will achieve different results. Groups recovering from major illness or injury, those with physical disabilities, learning disabilities and mental health problems, older people, offenders and those who misuse drugs or alcohol, can all benefit from the therapeutic aspects of gardening as presented through specific therapy related programs. In most cases, those that experience the biggest impact are vulnerable or socially excluded individuals or groups, including the ill, the elderly, and those kept in secure locations, such as hospitals or prisons. One important benefit to using social and therapeutic horticulture is that traditional forms of communication aren't always required. This is particularly important for stroke patients, car accident victims, those with cerebral palsy, aphasia or other illnesses or accidents that hinder verbal communication. Gardening activities lend themselves easily to communicative disabled individuals. This in turn builds teamwork, self-esteem and self-confidence, while encouraging social interaction. Another group that clearly benefits from social and therapeutic horticulture are those that misuse alcohol or substances and those in prison. Teaching horticulture not only becomes a life skill for these individuals, but also develops a wide range of additional benefits. Social and therapeutic horticultures gives these individuals a chance to participate in a meaningful activity, which produces food, in addition to creating skills relating to responsibility, social skills and work ethic. The same is true for juvenile offenders. Gardening therapy, as vocational horticulture curriculum, can be a tool to improve social bonding in addition to developing improved attitudes about personal success and a new awareness of personal job preparedness. The mental benefits don't end there. Increased abilities in decision-making and self-control are common themes reported by staff in secure psychiatric hospitals. Reports of increased confidence, self-esteem and hope are also common in this environment. Prison staff have also noticed that gardening therapy improves the social interaction of the inmates, in addition to improving mutual understanding between project staff and prisoners who shared outdoor conditions of work. It's interesting that studies in both hospitals and prisons consistently list improving relationships between participants, integrating with the community, life skills and ownership as being some of the real benefits to participants. But in addition to creating a myriad of emotional and social benefits, the health benefits of being outdoors, breathing in fresh air and doing physical work cannot be overlooked. In most studies, participants noted that fresh air, fitness and weight control where prime benefits that couldn't be overlooked. Although unable to pin down a solid reason, studies have shown that human being posses an innate attraction to nature. What we do know, is that being outdoors creates feelings of appreciation, tranquility, spirituality and peace. So it would seem, that just being in a garden setting is in itself restorative. Active gardening only heightens those feelings. With so many positive benefits to gardening, isn't it time you got outside and started tending to your garden? Next time you are kneeling in fresh dirt to pull weeds or plant a new variety of a vegetable or flower, think about the tranquility you feel while being outdoors in your garden. Let the act of gardening sooth and revitalize you. Soak up the positive benefits of tending to your own garden. If you have someone in your life that could benefit from garden therapy, contact your local health unit to find out more about programs in your area. Not only will the enjoyment of gardening help bond you together, but it will also create numerous positive mental and physical benefits for both of you. So get gardening today for both your physical and mental health. You'll enjoy the experience so much that you'll immediately thank yourself.
Herbs: Growing Your Own
The first thing you need to do when deciding to create your own Herb Garden is to decide on the size of the plot of land you want to use. This will depend on what herbs and how much you want to grow. Unless you are an experienced gardener or a herb fanatic don't make your plot too big at first. Remember, you can always add to it later. You can create a raised bed to grow your herbs in and always add more when you decide you need to grow more. Remember to plan out your planting sequence and keep records of what is planted where as well as marking your planting with plastic nametags.
Making Memories with Flower Gardening
Flower gardening is not only about the present, but can be about the past as well. Although this article is ostensibly about flower gardens, it is really more about carrying memories forward. This will enrich your flower garden.
How to Win the War Against Slugs and Snails
Slugs are one of the most hated of garden pests. You may have spent time carefully planting out your seedlings into the bed, but when you return next morning, you find chewed leaves, the growing points nibbled away and a mass of slimy trails all around. All clear evidence that garden slugs, or sometimes snails, have been enjoying a nocturnal feast at your expense.
Want a Garden but Not Enough Room or Soil? Then Hydroponics Gardening could be for You
Hydroponics gardening is a great idea for anyone who wants a garden but doesn't have enough land or soil. Hydroponics gardening is, essentially, a way to cultivate plants using a nutrient solution instead of soil. With hydroponics gardening, it's easy to grow lovely flowers and succulent vegetables virtually anywhere you want! It's true that hydroponics gardening needs much less time than an ordinary garden. In fact, you might spend only five minutes a day maintaining you're hydroponics garden. Once a month the nutrient solution will have to be changed but this will only take a few minutes. Big fruiting vegetables like peppers and tomatoes may not be able to thrive but most other vegetables and flowers will do great.
Many individuals are fascinated by hummingbirds. So much so, that they will do anything in their power to attract these petite creatures to their yards. So what is the best way to attract these wee feathered friends?
How to Install a Liner Pond
Liner ponds are ideal for the experienced water gardener because they allow for very forgiving installations, which consequently promotes greater creativity. However, for the very same reasons, liner ponds also take require some pre-planning. Before you commence a liner pond project, you should purchase a pond liner that is of the appropriate size for your pond dimensions. To determine the appropriate liner size, it is recommended that you use a pond liner calculator (I.e. like the one on GardenSM.com's website). To follow are instructions and tips on how you can install your very own liner pond.
The Truth About Tulips
Roses may be beautiful but Tulips are magnificent. The huge colorful blooms we associate with Holland make stunning bouquets. Did you know that Tulips did NOT originate from Holland? Actually, most species of wild tulips came from central asia and western asia. Tulips that originated in Europe were mainly from the Mediterranean. How much would YOU pay for a tulip bulb? Did you know way back in 1635, a single tulip bulb could fetch the equivalent of $35,000 in present day money. No other flower ever generated such an insane following. But why? Part of it is due to the beauty of the flower and the rarity of the tulip back in those days. It became a status symbol. People wanted to outdo one another with tulips. So the demand for tulips went sky high. The insanity that came next can be compared to the insanity in the stock market prior to stock market crashes. Investors would then buy tulips at ridiculous to sell at even crazier prices. Needless to say, when the inevitable crash came, fortunes were lost. Lessons learnt from that incident can be applied to the stock market today. Same thing happened in the dot com boom and bust. Same thing is going to happen over and over again. Greed leading to blindness. The only remedy is to keep your eyes open and look at the facts. The important thing is how much something is really worth. Not what others say it would be worth in the future. Tulips are valued for their beauty. They are treasured across nations. The Dutch crown princess fled to Canada for refuge during the world war. At the end of the war, Tulips became their gift of friendship. The Dutch gave Canada 1 million tulips in gratitude for the friendship displayed in the war. Such is the value of Tulips. Tulips are considered to be a symbol of friendship. Even today, you can see that magnificent display of Tulips in Canada. Reminding one about friendship in times of need. These days, tulips are no longer as expensive as back then. An entire garden blooming with tulips during spring time is very affordable. All you need are some great tulip bulbs. Tulips bloom after snow. So if you live where there is snow, then plant them in September. Tulips need the cold before then can bloom. If the winters are harsh, then cover the bulbs with straw or leaves. Uncover them in spring. What do you do if you live where there is no snow? Well, if you have a refrigerator, use it. Put the tulip bulbs in a paper bag and refrigerate it for 6 to 8 weeks, but keep them away from the fruit. Then plant the tulips.
How to Grow Bamboo
Bamboo is a mysterious and elusive plant that baffles taxonomists who try to contain it within a botanical class and gardeners who try to contain it within a limited garden space as they learn how to grow bamboo. For many years, bamboo was thought to be a primitive grass but recent DNA testing has shown it to be one of the most highly evolved forest grasses. There are over 1200 forms of bamboo that grow in a broad spectrum of color including the familiar green and gold as well as burgundy, blue and even black grasses. Some varieties of bamboo can grow up to a foot a day and ultimately reach 130 feet tall while the smallest bamboo cultivar attains only six inches of growth.
The Basics of Growing Roses
So you want to grow roses? They are a beautiful choice for your garden and not nearly as difficult to grow as you might think.
Greenhouse Buying Guide - Choosing The Right Greenhouse
When choosing a new greenhouse for your garden there are several things to bear in mind if you are going to get the most from your choice. A wrong decision can prove costly in the long run so be sure you know exactly what you need before you buy. Here are some of the most important things to consider:
The Perfect Yellow Roses for Your Home or Garden
Yellow roses are beauties, aren't they? Don't they look beautiful on a sunny morning? Yellow roses say spring just their look and color. The yellow rose, while somewhat rare in its natural habitat, is becoming a popular item in the floral shop. Yellow roses might be what you are looking for, and if so, there are several ways to find the perfect yellow rose for your home or garden.
Secrets of Growing Killer Tomatoes
Tomatoes have always been my favorite garden vegetable to grow and to eat. I have had success with the other standard garden vegetables, such as cucumbers, bell peppers, cauliflower etc. but tomatoes became my specialty over the years.
Lazy Fish Worries
If your fish hang out at the bottom of the pond, or act restless and lazy, then it's likely that your pond is suffering from poor aeration.
What Is One Flower Benefit That You Know Of?
The biggest flower benefit of all is the fact that flowers make you happy.
Imagine Your Own Orchid Garden In A Pond
Who doesn't love to hear the water rushing and flowing through a very pretty orchid garden in a pond? Yes, this does not have to be only a dream. You can make it a reality.
Choosing Pond Plants
A pond without plants is like cake without icing. Pond plants fight algae, give fish a hiding place against predators, and beautify our own little slice of paradise to plunk down in at the end of a tiring day.
Amish Furniture on the Front Porch
While shopping on line the other day at www.stoveramishfurniture.com, I looked at the Amish Hickory Rocker. Now I have looked at this rocker many a time, but I have never thought about it. Think about how many times a rocker like this, over the generations, has rocked a baby to sleep, or a grandpa. Think about those spring, summer and autumn nights on the porch watching the kids play on the streets, or just drinking a glass of cool sweet tea listen to the crickets. How many times has one of these rockers sat in front of the fireplace, and comforted someone to sleep on a cold night.
Hydroponics Gardening verses Organic Gardening: Which Grows the Best Cannabis?
Copy-write 2005 Jan Money.
10 Tips to Care for Your Antique Ceramics
To care for your antique ceramics you need a gentle touch and they'll last you a long time. This month we'll give you some useful tips to help you care for them.
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