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The Rich History of Chrysanthemums
Did you know that those lush, colorful blooms called chrysanthemums are rooted in beliefs of human immortality and perfection? Today the "mum" graces gardens, cut flower arrangements and even salads (yes mums taste great), but they were taken much more seriously after T'ao Yuan Ming started it all in China around 500 A.D.
Over long periods of careful cross-pollination and selection, he developed stunning varieties of the flower and when he died, his birthplace was renamed Chuhsien. The City of Chrysanthemums. His efforts had produced a legacy that would bring pleasure to this world for centuries.
When China imported the first chrysanthemums to Japan, the people there bestowed many honors upon them. The Japanese wrote legends. To sip dew from the petals meant long life. To eat the flower meant immortality. Philosophers said that the systematic opening of the "ray" flowers symbolized both the sun and the perfection of orderly life.
By 800 A.D. the chrysanthemum had become so prestigious that only royal and noble families were permitted to cultivate it. Among the highest honors that could be bestowed in Japan was admittance to the Order of the Chrysanthemum... a reward granted to nobility for service to the Emperor.
In great contrast to this, the "mum" didn't make much of an impression when traders introduced it to Europe in the 1600s. But when in finally did catch on, it became one of the most popular blooms for both flower shops and gardens.
Today the mum comes in dozens of varieties. Fuji mums project rays with curly ends. Spider mums have straight-ended rays. Starburst mums have forked ends, while spoon-ended mums have a loop at the end of their rays. China mums are called "standard" and "football" because of their large, round heads. Daisy-like mums are called pompons. And those forming tight little balls are called button pomps.
Whether associated with spoons, forks or footballs, or with royalty or immortality, "mum" is the word for beautiful gardens and long-lasting floral arrangements. When you care for them as cut flowers, try to keep their ancient beauty away from such modern-day contraptions as air conditioning, TV sets and heaters. Don't place them in drafts or direct sunlight. Do watch their water, and replace it when needed. This way, a bouquet of mums can make your day every day for at least a week, maybe two.
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Hills and Holes: Not Part of Your Landscaping Design?
Do pests 'gopher' your lawn? Chances are, if you have a lawn, you risk the chance of having pests, such as the gopher and his cousin the mole. And, perhaps even those pesky six-legged creatures- ants and other insects- call your grass patches home. Why are these animals and insects attracted to your lawn? And, what can you do to stop them from burrowing and nesting? Those answers and more will follow in this article.
Teak Garden Furniture: A Natural Extension of the Home
In the past, the garden has traditionally been a separate entity, with wrought iron or plastic furniture dotting the landscape in no particular design pattern. Seen as simply a place to have a picnic or, perhaps, read a book on a nice day, attention wasn't given to the fact that the garden is a natural extension of the home.
Why Teak Furniture is the Better Choice
For centuries, it has been known that teak has qualities unlike any other wood. With an average lifespan of 75 years, teak wood has long been commended as the ideal choice for outdoor furniture.
Lap Pools ? Great Exercise Inside Or Any Size Backyard
Do you love swimming? Do you dream of an in ground pool in your backyard; but you just don't have the room for it? If space is an issue; in ground lap pools allow you the exercise you desire for any size backyard. They are so great because they allow you to go swimming and get some exercise in a very small space. It doesn't matter if you own a mansion or have a small backyard. Lap pools are versatile in their style and design and you can configure your own pool to the size and shape of backyard you have. A lap pool was once typically a long and narrow pool and usually only 3 feet deep. Sizes range everything from 6 x 30 to 12 x 44. It was meant purely for the enjoyment to swim back and forth. Health spas or gyms often have these types of pools because they are meant for exercise instead of just recreation. Since they are just for this purpose; more space is needed for these pools, but you can customize them to fit right alongside the house. You can also configure the pool to be an L shape or whatever is needed for your space. If you don't want this kind of in ground pool for doing laps there are other choices available to the homeowner.
The Advantages of Both a Liner Pond and a Preformed Pond, Rolled Up Into One Box!
Fish Health in Hot Summer Heat
Summer is over, but for many of us - the heat remains. Here a couple of things to do to keep your fish healthy and your pond clear going into winter. First, remember to keep your pond well aerated. This is very important to your fish because the pond water actually holds less oxygen at higher pond temperatures. So if it's still hot in your part of the country, keep those waterfalls and fountains running! This will keep your pond water full of oxygen, and reduce stress on your fish.
Wind Chimes Soothe The Soul
They can be pretty to look at and soothing to hear, but did you know that that wind chimes also have healing effects? Just listening to the tones of the chimes can help calm your mind and release stress. Calming your mind, the tones of the chimes help to release all that stored up stress. This soothing effect helps open our spiritual awareness and has been used by many cultures for centuries.
Fertilizers - What you Need to Feed Your Lawn
Just like humans need food, water and shelter to survive, lawns depend on certain elements to live, sixteen to be exact. Most of these elements are already found naturally in the environment, but several others need to be added to your lawn. Adding fertilizer with these three elements, nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, does the job.
Homemade Hydroponics System Plan
Building your own water works system is quite simple and can be fun, if you know how to follow instructions. This particular type of system is best suited for water loving plants such as lettuce. Only a few items are required to get you up and running in no time. The things you will need to build a water works hydroponics system are listed below.
How to Build a Waterfall For Your Garden Pond
Building a waterfall is easier than you think and will add a new dimension to your pool.
How to Choose Between Goldfish and KOI
Many people have asked us over the years "Should I add goldfish or KOI (or both) to my pond? The answer is "it depends."
Ultra Violet Pond Filter
Having an ultra violet pond filter will give you a much better chance at keeping your pond water clear. When used in conjunction with your regular pond filter, it's more than likely that you will have nice clear pond water.
16 Lawn Mower Safety Tips
1. Always read the instruction manual before operating your lawnmower. I know it sounds boring but there is a very good reason you are supposed to read it (didn't you ever wonder why you were never able to set the time on your vcr?).
Gardening For Birds
What a cruel trick the weather is playing on us.
Lifes a Beach--A Shore Theme in your Outdoor Space
Twentieth century American architect Phillip Johnson once said, "I hate vacations. If you can build buildings, why sit on the beach?" Mr. Johnson evidently didn't how to relax, but as another summer is slipping away, you can. Did you visit the beach this year? Do you wish you had? Either way, you can create a seaside feel in your outdoor space and enjoy memories of the shore at home! Here are some quick tips.
How to Grow Blueberries
Along with lip-smacking sweetness, flower and foliage are also worthy reasons to grow blueberries. White, bell-shaped blossoms make a lovely addition to a spring garden and fiery scarlet foliage adds drama to a fading autumn landscape. In addition to taste and appearance, blueberries are ripe with medical advantages; they help lower cholesterol and studies suggest that blueberries also reduce the risk of some cancers.
Easy to Grow Roses
There are many different types of roses. If you are new to rose gardening, then it is wise to choose varieties of easy to grow roses to begin your rose garden. Some roses require constant attention and caring for while others require none. Roses come in varieties of high maintenance to no maintenance. Most roses, though, do require a certain amount of time to get started and to care for adequately. Minimal care roses that produce maximum results are ideal for beginners or those still somewhat new to rose gardening. Not only will it teach you the basics without working you to death, it will also encourage your gardening experience, perhaps leading you to take on other rose types that are a little more challenging to care for.
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.
Roses - Creating Beautiful Cut Roses
Many gardeners like to enjoy their roses twice - first in the garden, then indoors as cut flowers. By choosing the right roses, cutting them at the proper time of day, and conditioning them after cutting, you can enjoy your cut roses for the longest possible time - up to five days or more after cutting.
Patios And Garden Pavers
Is your concrete or asphalt driveway an eyesore? Do you need to create an attractive retaining wall? Although most people use garden pavers to create patios, driveways and other hardscaping elements are often created using garden pavers, as well.
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