Beautify Your Winter Wonderland With These 5 Plants

Beautify Your Winter Wonderland With These 5 Plants

Winter is a beautiful and enchanting time of year. With pure white snowfalls and the smell of chimney smoke in the air, it is a time for wonder and awe. While there are many upsides to winter, there are also quite a few drawbacks. One in particular is the frigid temperatures. If your green-thumb is forced to hibernate all winter long, consider some cold hardy plants to spruce up your winter landscape. It will be able to lift the spirits of everyone who walks by right in time for the holidays. Take a look at these five excellent examples of plants that have no problem with a little chill.

Winterberry Holly

Starting off with the most obvious of selections, the Winterberry Holly Bush has become a staple of Christmas. It has beautiful glossy green leaves adorned with the trademark red berries it is known for. This plant should be planted in the spring in order for the roots to take hold and survive the winter. Over the warmer months white flowers will add a decorative touch and will turn to berries when the air grows colder. Once planted this bush will last all year round making sure you never have to worry about a bare yard again.

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Winter Glow Pigsqueak

You may want something a bit more subtle than red berries in your yard. If this is the case, consider the Winter Glow Pigsqueak. This shrub has gorgeous bright green leaves that look amazing in contrast with the snow. The only time it may change color is during the fall where it could take on a bronze tone. Aside from the color, this plant is also perfect for the winter because it requires very little upkeep. It grows best in the shade so just make sure you have some trees in your yard as well.

Jacaranda

Some people can never get enough flowers. After the first frost hits, it is often time to say goodbye to the soft petals and sweet fragrances. There is, however, a few types of flowers that may be able to bring some color to your home. Jacaranda trees are able to overlook the winter frost and bloom as if it were springtime. The blueish-purple flowers form in clusters making it truly eye catching. Moon Valley Nursery offers a few different varieties of this tree to make sure you can find the perfect fit for your home.

Winter Jasmine

While the plant itself will last all year round, the flowers will open up in late January. Winter Jasmine gives the bleak winter scenery a pop of bright yellow. It is a climbing plant which make it excellent for decorating a fence or trellis. Being an immensely resilient plant, it will survive through heat and frost, as well as dry or wet soil. Though it will not take much work on your part to keep this plant happy, it will always make it a point to keep a smile on your face.

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Lemon Tree

Adding a few more trees to your yard is never a bad idea. They provide shade and picturesque scenery that can always be appreciated. Purchasing a lemon tree has these same advantages and more. If you live in a warmer climate you can have lemons any time you want. Even in cooler weather you will be able to look at your perfect landscape and wait for spring for your fruit. Either way, this is a tree that will always have a way to give back.

Winter does not always mean you have to put away your gardening gloves. Though cold hardy plants usually do not require all that much maintenance, plants always grow better with proper attention. For advice about seasonal plants as well as a wide selection of their own, enlist the help of a professional in your area.

An Introduction to Home Garden Landscaping

So, you’ve realized that your garden can be turned into a thing of beauty and you’ve got time and money to invest? Congratulations and welcome to the club of amateur garden landscapers. We don’t meet once a month to discuss new ideas, nor do we ever stop making changes to our design. There is always room for improvement, as they say, but before you can improve you have to start with something. What do you need to take into consideration?

An Introduction to Home Garden Landscaping

Space

Obviously. Don’t be discouraged by how small or intimidated by how big your garden is. There are many solutions and options to choose from. Finding a suitable one, to begin with, depends on many factors, especially finances.

Elements

Do you want to use your own tomato for that gazpacho in late August? Would you like to be able to entertain friends by a grill or would you rather allow kids some space to roam freely? Your wishes and plans can be saved on a piece of paper, though many are turning to free software for help.

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Know your space

You need to know which part of the garden gets the most sunshine, where excess water flows as well as which way the wind usually blows. These are all important factors for your final design. Perhaps they will make you realize that your first sketch is not really the best idea.

Start small

Choose a small segment of the garden to work on first. It will be easier for you to focus on, cheaper, and you’ll get an idea about what it takes to cultivate a space. If you can’t come up with an original design, fear not. There are so many wonderful and creative garden landscaping ideas you can use to inspire you. A small improvement might give you great satisfaction.

Basic design principles

You’ll have to learn about colors, sizes, shapes and materials and how they interact. This is quite important if you want to achieve the right effect. It is also good to know when each tree or shrub blossoms, and if they do, what color the petals are.

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Terminology

This may not seem crucial, but in order to make the most of all the help available, particularly on the Internet, you need to be able to understand what people are talking about. Here is a glossary to help you get started.

Experiment if you wish

Not every plant needs to be in a bed. Think flowerpots, for example. If you’re not obsessed with symmetry, you can let your imagination run wild and create a masterpiece. Luckily, you may change any part of your work if you realize that’s not what you had in mind.

First things first

Which part of the garden you need to work on first? Is it the lawn, so that kids can play? The backyard, because it’s small and all you can afford at this moment? Whatever the answer, you need to be aware that converting your garden is usually a long process. Don’t be fooled by those TV shows where dozens of knowledgeable, young and strong people storm out of trucks and pick-ups and transform a lucky homeowner’s garden in a day or two. In your case, it will take time. Much more time. And patience.

If you approach garden landscape design as a never-ending process, you won’t be wrong and you’ll be able to appreciate every phase. Ideally, you should equally enjoy the process and the outcome, and learn from the mistakes you’re bound to make. Hopefully, your loved ones will get on board with your idea(s), which would make it even more special and precious. The time spent planning and implementing the plan will most likely be very exciting, but you shouldn’t let it turn into too much stress. The whole point of having a nicely designed garden is to relax and enjoy it, and we hope that’s exactly what you’re going to do.

 

 

 

Smart Solutions for Garden Rainwater Storage

rainwater collection

There’s no denying the fact that owning a garden is a true blessing, but one that comes with certain responsibilities. Along with all the hard work needed for keeping it functional and presentable, it can require substantial funds and any savings that can be made without jeopardizing any important features should be taken into serious considerations, particularly if they provide long term effects. One of the biggest savings that can be made surely is maximizing the use of rainwater on the expense of tap one. Storage is the biggest concerns here and these smart solutions will make it both possible and convenient.

Initial concerns

rainwater collection barrelBefore you choose the most convenient storage solution, think about where you will be using the collected rainwater. If you plan to use a central container which will hold all the collected rainwater in one place, you will need to make sure that all your downpipes are connected and that the all rainwater ends up in one place. On the other hand, if you want to have rainwater on several locations, then a centralized collection system would be inadequate and several individual outlets would be a more convenient solution. Also, check online or at your local authorities whether you are entitled to a rebate for using rainwater.

Garbage bin

Let us start with the simplest and the cheapest possible solution that uses what everyone probably already has in their gardens, a garbage bin. Even if you do not own one, buying it at the local store will not cost much. Naturally, it needs to be watertight so check it thoroughly for any cracks or holes and fix them if needed. All you need more are rubber washers, a faucet, a suitable hose and a hose clamp. Attach the faucet close to the bottom of the bin using the washers and the hose clamp. Drill the hole on the top of the bin, cover it with fabric that will keep the residue and dirt out and place it under the matching downpipe.

Plastic containers

Using a second-hand plastic container is another affordable and efficient rainwater storage solution. They come in so many different shapes and sizes that everyone should be able to find a suitable one for their terrain specifics and needs. However, there is one important consideration. When you are in the process of choosing a suitable plastic container, make sure you opt for a food grade one. This guarantees that the rainwater collected will not change if stored for a long time and you will be able to use it whenever and wherever. The preparation and connection principle is similar to the garbage bin one explained in the previous paragraph.

Go pro

On the other hand, if you prefer professional approach and want to have the highest quality solution that will probably outlive you, modular baffled Rainwater_harvesting_tankcartage tanks deserve the top spot on the list of smart solutions. Made of lightweight shock and corrosion resistant polyethylene, they come in various sizes and capacities and are equipped with a scale that enables you to know level of liquid contained at all times. They are easy install and maintain and can even be linked together if a higher capacity is eventually needed. The same goes for one of those larger sprayers, which you can use both for storage and different spraying application.

Rain barrels

This is probably the first solution that comes to mind of the majority of people. And, this is not surprising, given the easiness of setup and use. Metal and plastic ones are equally used, the former being sturdier and more convenient for static use and the latter ones more practical for relocation. The biggest limitation is their capacity which is fairly easy to fill, but if you do not require too much rainwater on a regular basis everything else works to their advantage.

As you can see, there is rainwater storage solution for any requirement. Dedicate enough time to initial consideration and you will surely end up with the most convenient and long term affordable solution for you garden.

 

 

 

Spruce up Your Garden for Spring

When the temperatures start raising once again, the sun starts sending those warm rays of light and the cold winds become replaced with the soft breeze, we all start looking forward to yet another spring. But of course beside these delightful things the spring brings with it, there are those not so cheerful chores that we are not looking forward to. Of course, we are talking about spring cleaning. And when you are done with cleaning your entire house you know it is time to spruce up your garden a bit. So what are some of the essential things that you must not miss while preparing your garden for another spring?

Spruce up Your Garden for Spring

Squeaky Clean

Before you start doing any serious work, first you need to clean up your yard. During these few lengthy months there are certainly all kinds of piled up rubbish, different kinds of debris, fallen leaves or branches that you should take care of. Also, do not forget one of the most tedious jobs – weeding. After you have finished, make sure to mow your lawn, so it would welcome spring looking fabulous.

Feed the Soil

When you are done with cleaning up, it is time to prep your soil. This means giving it a round of feed and seed and making sure that your garden is up and ready to grow some new plant life. To feed soil, add organic matter such as compost, manure, cover crops, straw, or grass clippings from a non-treated lawn. Make sure to protect your garden soil structure from copaction. This is a crucial step as you want to make a good and healthy foundation for all your plants to grow.

Start Planting

The next step is deciding on what you wish to grow this time. If you want to have a mixed garden with veggies, fruits and other decoration plant life, the best option is to start with the foodflower garden plants as some of them need to be planted in early spring. After that, decide on your flowers, prepare your pots, containers and flower beds and start planting!

Spring Trim

Of course, you must not forget your already grown plants. It is a good idea to give your bushes and trees a nice spring trim. A good idea is to use an ewp for those high reachable areas that you need to prune. This way you will encourage healthy growth and flowering of your plants, but also, make your garden look neat and healthy.

Mulch It Good

When you have finished with everything, the final step is to re-mulch your garden. This is always a nice touch, as it truly gives your yard a strong base for another warm season. This step is quite similar to feeding the soil, as your garden needs to be taken care of before and after planting as well.  Just make sure before re-mulching to turn the old mulch to allow air, water and nutrients to reach plant roots. Do this step by using a metal rake, garden weasel or pitchfork. Also, you will need about an inch deep, light topdressing of mulch. Never apply mulch over three inches deep.

Finishing Touches

After all is said and done, it is time to give it some last finishing touches. A garden is a perfect place to get in touch with Mother Nature and feel closer to home. That is why it is important garden finishing touchesto create a pleasant ambient by placing some accessories and decorations. You could try repurposing a few of old things like bicycles or crates, placing garden gnomes or making miniature fairy gardens to add a bit of charm to the place. Also, consider placing a patio with a few lawn chairs, just so you could enjoy the wonder of nature in all its glory. Do not forget to check your old pots and containers whether they need some fixing up or should you simply use your wits to create new ones.

Most of us simply adore spring and all the wonders it brings with it. Of course, if we wish to completely enjoy in the fruits of our labour, we need to work for it. So get busy and spruce up your garden to make place for another amazing spring season.

Six Simple Springtime Renovations for Your Yard

backyard

Renovations can improve your home and make it more enjoyable, but you don’t have to focus on just the interior. This year, make some changes to your yard and create an outdoor space you’re sure to love. When you want a private retreat where you can relax and unwind after a long day, consider making these smart upgrades to your yard.

Fabric and Wood
Build an arbor over your deck or even a nice grassy spot in the yard. Drape a lightweight fabric over the top to help shade the area and give it an elegant feel. It doesn’t take much skill or craftiness to construct one, and you can always change out the fabric for a constant new look. You’ll love the combination of materials, and this just may become your favorite spot in the yard.

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Water and Sun
Thanks to Blue World Pools above ground pools, it’s easy to add some water to your yard. You can give yourself the space you need to float away on a hot afternoon, and your kids will love hopping in to play some water games. Measure the space carefully so you can choose the largest size possible, and make sure you have a path to mow around it.

Storage Benches
You can always use more seating, but you also need storage. If you’re trying to decide on the right railing, consider going with storage benches instead. You’ll effectively use the available space, and you’ll make it easier to keep the deck neat and tidy. This is also a great option for your pool deck. Put a few drain holes in the bottom the bench and you can toss wet toys inside when the kids are done playing.

Clean up the Landscaping
If your backyard is an overgrown jungle, then it’s time to reclaim the landscape for your family. Take the time to push back the wilderness, clear out the weeds, and expand your turf. Not only will you create a more visually appealing space, but you’ll also cut back on the bugs.

Warm it Up
Make it easy to enjoy a roaring fire at night by adding a fireplace, or even an open fire pit. A carefully designed and crafted fireplace will direct heat to a certain area, but you can fit more friends around the open design. Either way, you’ll love the ambience while kids will enjoy roasting marshmallows.

Definable Areas
If you already have a large and functional space, then it may be time to give each area a little more definition. You can use curtains to turn a covered area into more of an outdoor room. Gather chairs around a fire pit in another area for gathering with friends, and put your dining table and chairs in a set location.

Most of these ideas won’t cost a great deal of money, but can all make your space more enjoyable. You’ll love having a functional area where you can relax, and the whole family will look forward to spending time in your oasis.