Monthly Archives: January 2017

  1. 2017 Garden trends

    2017 Garden trends

    What have the blockbuster film La La Land, Donald Trump and The Pantone Color Institute got to do with plants? Well, they all influence trends – even in gardening. Yellow (that dress – so I'm told!), the gold of Trump Tower and green (Pantone 15-0343 to be precise) are all in.

    Looks like primroses are the plant of choice this spring then. Yellow is all over the place – daffodils, achillea and the stunning foliage of Choisya Sundance will all be in high demand. And as for that gold – it's something you will either love or hate. A broom called Allgold would be a good bet to storm up the charts, and the mock orange with golden leaves, Philadelphus coronarius 'Aureus' is a sure-fire hit.

    Yes, the Pantone colour of 2017 is officially 'Greenery' – and a stunning shade it is. Described as being fresh and 'zesty' it also, apparently,

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  2. Easy kids garden projects

    There is no doubt that summer is one of the most exciting times of the year for kids, but when school is out, it doesn’t mean that your kids should be inside all day playing video games and ignoring the beautiful weather. While being a parent can sometimes make it difficult to encourage children to spend some time outdoors, involving them in some fun gardening activities can provide plenty of opportunities to enjoy the weather as well as teach them about the wonderful world of nature. Whether these activities involve watching a seed grow that they planted themselves or creating a one-of-a-kind picture from fallen leaves and petals, there are numerous memorable moments that await a growing family in a garden.

    The below activities are suitable for young children, although adult supervision is recommended.

    Kids gardening activities

    Toilet paper tube planter

    For the beginner gardener, this activity is very simple and gives children the opportuni

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  3. Keep your garden looking good this summer

    The summer is a time of bloom: where everything grows a little bit bigger, a little bit faster. While careful planning in the spring can help prevent overgrowth and unsightly garden messes, many of us get a little too carried away in our springtime preparations for the summer. This isn't the end of the world, though. It's just a matter of doing a little bit of work now to ensure a garden is kept looking great throughout the season.

    Top garden maintenance tips

    Weed prevention

    Weeds have quite a bit of negative press. While they do make things very unsightly in for our gardens, they're just miss located plants at their heart. They're generally seen as invasive, though - something that gardeners want to eradicate from their soils. Unfortunately, the complete elimination of weeds is impossible and gardeners won't stop them popping up from time to time, there are ways to ensure there are fewer places for them to grow in the first place.

    The most common

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  4. Design features to include in small gardens

    Design features to include in small gardens

    Designing a small garden may seem like a simple affair compared to designing a very large garden that is seen in many public gardens. Space in a large garden allows for whimsy and certain elements can be seen from a distance. If there are some weeds or other imperfections they can or will often be overlooked by the viewer, but in a small garden space every bit of the design will feel like being under a magnifying glass. Nothing is hidden because it is so up close and personal. The space must be well planned and have strong bones. Thought must be given to how much the garden will be used throughout the year. Notes must be taken as to where the sun falls during the day. This information will dictate the placement of certain plant choices and seating choices. Decisions will have to be made like if a stunning stone wall is going to be kept and what needs to be added to it. It is not a difficult process, but it just takes a little thought. 

    Garden design tips for small gard

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  5. Small ponds for small gardens

    Small ponds for small gardens

    One landscaping idea that is good for front or back gardens is the installation of a small pond or some type of water feature. The addition of any type of small pond, waterfall, or water feature such as a fountain creates a feeling of peace and tranquillity in a garden. They often create a retreat where people can not only enjoy the garden, but also the nature that it may attract. There are plenty of small ponds that will work nicely in small gardens to create the desired charm and beauty. The following is a list of five types of small ponds that can be placed into small gardens. They include a wildlife pond, an ornamental fish pond, a container pond, a modern pond, and a natural pond.

    Wildlife pond

    This is an attractive feature for any small garden that creates a haven for wildlife. This type of pond is especially beneficial since many areas within and surrounding cities have lost their natural habitat. Just about any size body of water has some value to wildlife,

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  6. Tips for growing food from seeds

    Growing food from planting seeds can be accomplished by anyone with a bit of patience. The benefits include a wide range of plant options to choose from, the opportunity to practice 100% organic gardening, saving money compared to buying grown plants, and experience the joy of the gardening process. 

    Growing your own food 

    1. Choosing the seeds for your garden

    The first consideration is choosing plant varieties that will thrive in your local environment, unless the plants will be grown entirely indoors. The seeds you purchase will be determined by ideal soil temperature, water requirements, nutritional needs, light requirements, and of course, personal preference.

    2. Preparing the soil mixture for planting seeds

    Early in the spring seeds can be planted outdoors, but most have a higher risk of dying from cold temperatures or various plant diseases and insects that may be present in garden soil. To reduce the risk of loss seeds c

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  7. DIY garden edging and borders

    For most people the garden is an extension of the home; a place where they can interact with nature, spending time and becoming familiar with elements of the outdoors. The beauty of the garden or of flowerbeds comes from the maintenance. Maintenance of the garden edges and the garden borders are very important. These are what create the boundaries between the lawns, paths, and various other landscaping features and the gardens. Though it is easiest to create the various types of garden edges during the installation of the garden or flowerbeds, garden edges and garden borders can be added to an existing garden. The clean, smooth line of garden edges or garden borders will give the garden a finished look and a sense of clarity. 

    Four simple steps to garden borders

    Step 1

    When creating a new bed a garden hose can be utilised to outline the desired lines that made up the garden edges or garden borders that need to be cut. If the garden edges or garden bo

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  8. Growing fruit in the garden

    When it comes to growing a beautiful garden full of organic foods, many assume that you need a large space to grow a variety of fruits or vegetables. However, the fact of the matter is that even the most limited spaces offer plenty of options for those who possess a green thumb. If you fancy having your own selection of delectable strawberries, juicy watermelons, fresh squash, or even a few apple trees, there’s something to suit any size garden.

    Depending on what time of the year you are planning to start growing fruit in your garden, there will be different varieties available that produce fruit during certain times of the year. Below you will find some of the easiest fruit to get started with in your garden.

    Getting started with growing fruit

    Before choosing the types of fruit to grow in your garden, consider how to best utilise the space you have available. For example, if you are planning on planting trees, be aware of the potential size they will

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  9. The definitive guide to herb planting in winter

    Who can honestly say they don't enjoy traces of herbs to enhance the taste of their favourite food, summer or winter? Yes, most of us do. In harsh winter climates we need to understand how to ensure we do have our favourite herb ready for use during those lovely summer months. What follows here is a guide with suggestions helping us choose some of the herbs we like best, and where to plant and care for them.

    A good suggestion is to grow your winter herbs indoors, on the kitchen windowsill, for instance. There will be sunlight there and your herbs won't perish outside in the bitter cold. If you have a porch or good-sized balcony you can use bigger pots. A barn that gets enough sunlight, or even a small greenhouse area, are obvious choices too. Important is to protect your little (or not so little) garden from cold winds and snow. Some people even grow their winter herbs outside but they cover the plants with straw in very cold temperatures.

    Care for your plants and en

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  10. Space saving ideas for small gardens

    So often people who live in ''smaller'' homes feel frustrated with the lack of garden space they have available. However, with proper planning this problem seems do disappear to a certain extent and what follows are some space saving techniques. If you have only a patio, balcony, porch or small garden area available, have a look at the following to help you achieve the best garden for you.

    Maximising available space

    Clever container gardening

    Decide what containers you like best. There are various possibilities to choose from, such as earthenware or porcelain. To avoid a cluttered look it is a good idea to stick to white and brighten things up with the flowers you choose. Remember too that pots need to allow proper drainage.

    Position planters close to one another to save space. Arrange pots of similar size to create certain patterns, such as squares (6 – 8 planters) or circles (again 6 – 8 or even more in a larger area) with one bi

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