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Flower gardens are for enjoyment. They provide you with visual beauty, the joy of working with soil and plants, and the pride of showing others what you have created. As a gardener, one is always experimenting and learning anew what delights a flower garden may bring forth. This enjoyment can be intensified by creating your garden, or a room within the garden, with a theme.
Think of the old formal gardens with their hedges uniquely designed to provide a visual appeal that has survived the ages. Think of the Japanese Garden with its calm Zen-like quality. Theme gardens can be based upon a historical time or place or special types or colors of plants. They can be created for the wild creatures we hope to draw to our garden such as butterflies or hummingbirds.
Each type of garden has an unique appeal and some even more pleasing gardens can be had by using combinations. We Americans are famous for being the "Melting Pot", for combining things we have brought from the rest of the world. Imagine having a butterfly garden surrounded by old rose varieties. Imagine a vegetable garden with a Zen garden in the middle. The combinations are endless.
The book Theme Gardens by Barbara Damrosch is a great starting place. She has several types of theme gardens with pictures and layouts. Use these plans to create your own just like her suggestions. Or lay out a garden that is uniquely yours using these plans as a starting point. There is no real right or wrong way to lay your garden out, so learn as you go and have fun.
© 2005, Sandra Dinkins-Wilson.
Gardeners: Contain Yourselves!
Whether you live in a tiny city apartment or on a large country estate, gardening in containers is a way to add colour and the beauty of nature to your surroundings. The three main elements of creating successful containers gardens are:
The Difference Between Large and Small Ponds
If you think that a large pond is simply a small pond that "grew up", you're in for some pond maintenance problems. Let's start off my defining the terms that we'll be using here. A large pond is anything over 1,000 gallons (5,000 liters). A pond that holds over 4,000 gallons (20,000 liters) is a very large pond.
How to Grow Apples
The first thing you need to grow apples is a long-term commitment. Growing apples takes considerable time and quite a bit of work. Still, if one of your fondest childhood memories is the apple tree in your backyard, producing your own apples is a satisfying part of gardening.
Create a Hummingbird Garden Habitat
It's not difficult to create a garden that will attract hummingbirds, but if you'd like to build a habitat in which they will happily nest and live throughout the northern summer, you need to provide them with more than a sugar-water feeder and a plant or two. An active hummingbird garden doesn't need to be large, but it will have all of the following key ingredients to attract and keep the attention of "nature's fairies".
Unique Flowers make a memorable gift!
Think "outside of the box" when sending your next floral gift! The possibilities are endless! Floral Design is an art and florists can customize a masterpiece of flowers!
Safety On Lawn Tractors
Every gardener riding a lawn tractor should be concerned about safety. But, most homeowners don't take much time thinking on how risky can be driving lawn tractors. It is obvious the indestructible feelings that you feel when driving a large lawn tractor. You are there, sitting on top of a extremely powerful machine which responds to your orders instantly. However, there are many things, not desired, that can happen very quickly, putting you as operator and others in a terrible danger. Statistics out there say that year after year, many people experience lawn tractors accidents due to either an incorrect or unsafely use.
Planting Roses in Pots
In years past, serious rosarians would never consider having a potted rose on their property unless it was just waiting for its home to be prepared in the garden.
Preparing Successful Seedlings
Growing your own seedlings is very gratifying and far more economic than purchasing them. It also gives you far greater control over your existing growing conditions.
The Home Garden
The garden should be near the house and away from trees. If it's some distance away from the house, it will not be as well looked after, nor will most use be made of vegetables grown. Vegetables near trees cannot get full sunshine; even more important, tree roots will rob them of water and fertilizer they need to do their best.
The Importance of Garden Decor
The Quest for Significance
Gardening - Natural Science NOT Rocket Science
Don't force yourself out of the most profitable hobby in the universe because you think it's too hard to learn ...It isn't!
7 Factors Needed for a Compost Pile
Compost, made from decomposed grass clippings, leaves, twigs, and branches, becomes a dark, crumbly mixture of organic matter.
A Rose is a Rose?
There are many varied definitions of what each color of rose symbolizes. Florists and floral experts alike will agree that flowers hold the meaning we give them and the feeling with which they are given.
Hot Feeding Tips
Summer is the most enjoyable water gardening season and the time to watch for potential problems caused by high water temperatures during extreme or extended hot periods.
Compost YES, Epsom Salts NO
You'll often hear garden writers recommending the use of Epsom salts in the garden as a general rule. First off, I'm not one of those writers. Secondly, Epsom salts are essentially magnesium so if your garden soil is magnesium starved, adding the Epsom salts will seemingly work miracles. If your soil is not magnesium starved, adding Epsom salts is a waste of time, effort and money.
It?s Gardening Season!
It's gardening season again! Are you ready? Whether you are a seasoned gardener, or are looking to start gardening, you will likely need supplies and plants. If you shop smart, and use the tips below, you can get that garden running with very little money. And you can save a lot of money on your grocery bill as well.
Composting - aka: The Circle of Life!
Composting is where the gardening thing comes full circle. You've created your garden bed, you've nurtured your plants.
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.
Cast Aluminum Furniture
In days gone by, outdoor furniture was cast from iron. Today, cast aluminum furniture is used more often. Cast aluminum carries all of the grace and charm of cast furniture, but avoids the blight of rust and peeling paint.
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.
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