Steps in Making Mini Herb Garden

Many people wanted to start herbal gardening, but they do not have any idea on what to do first. If you are a first timer gardener, start with a mini herb garden. It is a great introduction to gardening. Here are some steps on what to do. The following steps are included.

1. Garden location: It is very important to choose the right place for your mini herb garden because it can affect your growing herb. If you choose to plant indoors windowsill is advisable it must face either south or west. If you choose to plant outside there must be a shade at least half a day. It is not good for the herb plant to expect all day to the sun. The site is very important for it will affect the growing herb.

2. Right container: We must consider the night pot or right container for our herbs. This will affect their growing process if they do not have enough space for them to grow. If possible it must be in a plastic or clay few inches in diameter. See to it that the pot provides enough space for them to grow. Not too big and not too small exact size must be required.

3. Exact soil mixture: Potting soil and sand must be in an exact mixture, they must be proportionate to one another, soil and sand. Adding half tablespoon of lime for the soil grows herb best. See to it if there is a great mixture for almost perfect herbs.

4. Planting: In planting seed, it is not necessary to plant your herbs deeply. The exact measurement is the nail on your index finger. Push the seed into the soil until you do not see your nail. Correct measurement in planting allows your plant to sprout once it germinates. The more you plant will sprout if you loosen the soil.

5. Watering: One of the components in order for your plant to grow well is to provide them waters. They are like human being that can not live without water, the same with the plants they will not grow if there is no water. The right amount of water is very important for mini herb garden. Incorrect amount of water can cause plant to drown and create diseases that will result in unsuccessful growth of your herbs in your mini herb garden. Therefore, it is necessary to have enough water for your herbal plants, not much nor not less.

6. Light: As we have known every plant needs sunlight. However, there are some plants that can not grow when exposed to so much sunlight. Most herbs can only sustain sunlight at about seven hours directly to the sun. Some can sustain long under the heat of the sun but some need semi-shaded condition. So all you have to do is to look at the back of the seed package, it will give you an idea on how much sunlight the herb needs.

7. Air / Wind: …

How to Start Your Own Art Collection For Your Home

1. DE-CLUTTER YOUR HOME – Before you begin you need to start with a ‘blank canvas’; I’m sure if you had booked an art consultant or interior designer to make their recommendations you’d tidy up, so make this your starting point. It is also a fundamental feng shui principle that de-cluttering your environment will de-clutter your mind. If you don’t have the time or the job is too big call in an expert.

2. THINK LIKE A GUEST – Now walk through your home imagining you’re a visitor or guest so you can understand the logistics of entering your home for the first time and what impression or atmosphere you wish to create. Important areas from a guest’s point of view are: the entrance (this is their first impression) the path from the entrance to the main living/entertaining area and an outdoor area if you have one. Look for what you think they would notice: as you enter your home, is it obvious where the kitchen/living areas are from the entrance; are private rooms or areas such as bedrooms ‘on show’ as guests walk through the house to the living area. Can any outdoor areas be seen from the main living area?

3. DETERMINE ZONES – This time, when you walk through your home again, think from your own perspective and classify it the following zones; entrance (front garden, path, front door, entry) traffic zones (hallways, gardens) formal entertaining (dining room) informal entertaining (family room, games room) function-specific zones (home theatre, kitchen) private zones (bathroom, toilet, bedrooms) business zone (home office, studio). This will assist you to think about where to place art plus what purpose or mood you wish to create in each zone.

4. MAP WHERE YOU WOULD LIKE ARTWORK – List each zone and room and table the atmosphere you wish to achieve and the number of artwork to suit the space.

5. DO SOME RESEARCH – Through your own research you will feel more confidence to make an informed decision when you discuss your needs or view art with an art consultant, interior designer, gallery manager or artist. Plus as you regularly go back to research you will gain an increased knowledge about art and therefore a deeper understanding which will only enhance your appreciation of your collection. To begin:

‘Google it’ search online about art buying advice and tips

Browse online art galleries

Look for articles in your local newspaper about local artists, exhibitions and galleries

Visit local Art Galleries

Talk to local gallery managers and artists as you meet them

6. LIST YOUR PREFERENCES (STYLE, SIZE, MEDIUM) – Return to your planning chart again after your research to put in your preferences of style, size and medium. Style refers to if the artwork is classified within a broad category such as Abstract, Traditional (landscape) or (figures), Surrealism, Pop Art, Impressionism, Digital Art, Still Life, Realism and many more.

Size mainly described as dimensions in centimetres. Also be aware if the dimensions include framing or …

The Art of Caring For Roses

Roses are one of the most beautiful and highly treasured flowers. Their appreciation could have been observed in old literature and even children's fairy tales where the themes of flowers like roses are part of the story. In everyday life, roses are connected to themes of love and courtship, of desire and the expression of such.

But roses have a reputation of being a hard plant to care for. While some gardeners find this true and give up on cultivating roses in their gardens, others exert effort to research on what their plants need in order to care for them better.

One of the most basic necessities that plants need is water and roses are no exception to this. Their bloom would be at best if they are well watered about about one inch of water per week. You should remember though that their roots dig deep and they are capable of 'pulling' water from the sub-soil when the surface soil is dry.

Watering the roots of your roses encourages them to grow their roots deeper into the soil. If a plant rower tends to do frequent, light watering of the plant, the roses would not expand their roots further down and they will die from being unable to adjust to the drying of the upper layer.

Adding fertilizer should also be considered in the process of taking care of your flower beds. Many species of roses could live for years without feeding, as long as they are planted in rich soil. Plants depend on the nutrients available to them through the soil by millions of beneficial organizations that thrive in their. However, if too much fertilizer is used, plants would depend heavily on man-made fertilizer and the organisms thriving in the soil would eventually die.

But gardeners can still add fertilizers as long as the plant is coming out of its dormancy period in early spring. Fertilizer can also be add after it blooms but not after midsummer. Roses would be okay with both organic and inorganic fertilizer materials although organic fertilizer can be digested by bacteria in the soil and the nutrients. The most effective combination of inorganic fertilizer is 5-10-5 or 4-8-4.

Pruning or removal of unwanted parts of the plant, mostly after winter, is very important. At this stage, pruning is done to remove the dead, broken, or diseased wood from the plant. Pruning can also be done to creatively transform plants into different shapes but mostly to give it volume when looked at.

The next stage of pruning is when the plant has bloomed. During this time, removing the actual flowers encourage growth of a new and better plant.

Caring for your roses requires time, patience, effort and commitment. One needs to be properly equipped with the correct knowledge of handling such and the patience to apply that knowledge. It would take time before you could reap the product of your efforts but in the end, the priceless creations sitting on your lawn or garden …

Importance of Organic Gardening

Organic gardening can simply be described as the process of growing and producing fruits and vegetables naturally – only the things provided by nature. Gardening is known to add extra quality and quantity to one's life thanks to the benefits that come along with the process. Of particular importance to note, tending to a garden makes one forget the things that might be bothering them.

First and foremost, what better way to feel good knowing that your garden acts are helping secure the future of the next generations? This is because organic gardening is less harmful to the environment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 38 states have had reported cases of contaminated ground water. A further finding from the Soil Conservation indicates that 30-32 billion tonnes of soil erodes from American farmlands each year, which is attributed to commercial farming. Thus, organic farming has residual impact on ground water and protects the top soil from being eroded.

The second reason why most people embrace organic farming is the mere fact that the food contains less harmful chemicals that can be consumed by your family. It is a fact that toxins found on pesticides have a major purpose of killing any living thing. Organic gardening on the other hand is preferred for its zero tolerance to use of pesticides. It is for this major reason that organic gardening has grown broadly in popularity.

Whereas the general process of gardening can be boring, organic gardening is anything but boring. For instance, organic gardening allows you to make your own compost from kitchen waste and from the garden. It is true it is time consuming as compared to purchasing ready made fertilizers and chemical pesticides, but you get to learn about agriculture and of course it is a rewarding activity, to say the least.

Living in such harsh economic times, one would do anything to cost cut and save that extra hard earned cash in the most affordable way possible. Organic gardening does not need any costly chemical pesticides and fertilizers. For instance, you can make use of organic fertilizers of stale coffee and coffee grounds. If you wish to get rid of aphids from your vegetables, why not plant marigolds?

Still on point, you can mix 1 cup of cooking oil and a tablespoon of liquid dishwashing soap. Then take 3 tablespoons of the concoction and mix with water then spay on your plants. On the other hand, if you have to retain moisture and keep the weeds out, you could do mulching using pine needles and grass clippings.

By and large, finds indicate that children ingest 4-5 times cancer-causing pesticides from what they eat than adults. This only means that it can lead to various health complications in the future life of the child. Organic gardening is the only sure way to minimize such incidents. …

Container Water Gardening Ideas

Thought about having a small container water garden for your patio or deck? Water gardening is a great hobby, but a container with aquatic plants and perhaps some fish will also look great greeting visitors by the front door. Here are some container water gardening ideas that will help you decide just how to create one or more.

A container water garden can be created using any type of container provided it is water sealed. A container that is not otherwise considered or designed to function as a fountain, must be fixed up so it can hold water and not deteriorate form being wet. Large ceramic pots work well as long as the insides are water sealed. Probably the most popular idea is to purchase a kit that uses a Whiskey Barrel design with a pre-formed plastic liner that fits inside to hold the water while still maintaining the rustic outer whiskey barrel appearance.

The larger the water surface area of the container, the more aquatic plants you can have. So you may want to get several containers and group them, perhaps even create a tiered grouping to create more visual interest and variety of heights. These container water gardening ideas ares also used when dealing with traditional containers for plants alone. You can work them in with your regular planting containers.

A container water garden should be designed primarily around the kind of aquatic plants you would like. You may want to create a Zen like container water garden with a low profile container with a single Lotus or single Water lily. The design principles of arranging plants in a conventional container apply to a water garden as well. Groupings of plants that provide contrast, a variety of textures and colors will add to its appeal. Select plants of different shapes and size and make sure you read about how large they grow and their tolerance to freezing temperatures. Also consider the balance of water surface to the plants so it doesn’t look crowded or overgrown.

If you add fish to your water garden, the volume of water the container can hold will be important. The more the volume the better as the temperature of the water will not undergo drastic extremes which most fish do not like. Mosquito fish however, can tolerate warm water quite well. If your container holds more than 20 gallons of water you can add any type of goldfish.

With the addition of fish, along with the plants, you are creating a mini ecosystem and as such, a harmonic balance must be achieved between the capacity of the bacteria in the container and the debris and waste contributed by the fish. Adequate oxygen levels must also be provided and so a small recirculating pump that has some kind of way to aerate the water should be included. This could also provide the element of sound and splashing. It will also disturb the water’s surface and prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs.

If you have ever …

Rock Gardening – An Expressive Medium That You Can Use To Create Enjoyment For Years

Rock gardening is a great way for you to express your artistic side while using your gardening skills and an alternative medium as well.

There are plenty of creative choices for the rock garden enthusiast. The Japanese Zen garden is my favorite but you can be just as happy building the most common form, the basic rock garden.

Since Japanese Zen gardens are rockier and less plant-filled, if you're going to put together a basic rock garden with more plants and flowers, there are some things that you should think about.

If you're working in an area that is already quite rocky it will be much easier to start your garden. However, you'll still need to plan well to make the picturesque garden you desire.

Starting at the most troublesome spot (every garden has one!) Is a way to tie long run frustration. Build or use an existing slope where there's plenty of sunshine.

Obviously the easiest rocks to use are the ones already in your garden or around your house. However, do not worry … most gardening supply store have plenty that you can purchase.

For aesthetic reasons, your plants and rocks should follow a color scheme. Make sure that the design has a natural look and feel to it. And when choosing your plants, use ones that will not need lots of water since the water will drain through the rocks.

Once you've picked your rocks and plants the plant spacing, elevation, slope, and design should reflect your artistic habits.

It should only take a day or two to build the rock garden of your dreams. And days, months, or years for you to enjoy it! …

Tips and Techniques For Watering Your Container Garden Plants

The importance of proper watering can not be stressed enough for your container garden plants. Container Gardens are exposed to wind and sun so they dry out quicker than plants in the ground. There are no exact rules about watering your container garden plants. You have to become acquainted with the needs of various garden plants. The best tip is to examine them daily and water the plant when the surface of the soil begins to look dry. Feeling the soil will also help you determine the moisture needs of your container garden. Or, take the easy way and invest in a water meter if you are not sure.

How much and when to water will depend on the kind of plant and soil, the type and size of container, and the amount of exposure to sun and wind. Climate and the weather also play their part. During hot spells most plants in your container garden need daily water, except those in small clay pots, which may require it twice. Some plants, like fuchsias and tuberous begonias, wilt when dry, but geraniums and succulents are not so sensitive to neglect. On the other hand, it is good to let soil dry out a little between watering. This results in the soil from depleting its nutrients.

Since unglazed containers dry out quickest, watch them more closely. Wooden tubs, window boxes, and planters dry out more slowly; metal is the slowest of all. Groups of plants in large containers keep moist longer than single specimens. A good technique to avoid excess dryness is to have groupings of plants, arranged close together. This allows the container plants to shade one another to keep cool and stop moisture evaporation.

There are several methods of watering the plants. If you have many containers in your container garden, depend on the hose, allowing water to flow slowly and gently. Water small pots with a watering can that has a long spout or buy one of the self watering containers now available. When plants are grouped closely in a container garden, set up a sprinkler or hose with a fine spray nearby, allowing it to run for a long while, until the soil is soaked. In many states where the climate is dry, an automatic sprinkler system is a must to keep your whole garden hydrated. Remember this tip with geraniums and petunias, avoid sprinklers which spot blossoms.

One thing is certain; you must not depend on rain to keep your container garden plants hydrated. Even heavy showers deposit a surprisingly small amount of moisture, and without rains are frequent and lengthy, you must do your own watering. Remember those window boxes and other containers near houses or under trees can stay dry in spite of an all-day downpour.

Although it is essential to give enough water to your container garden, it is equally important not to over water and so cause root rot. Over-watering also prevails aeration of the soil, and will cause the plant to …

4 Terrific Ideas for Functional Outdoor Spaces

Your home is your pride, and as such, you want it to look exquisite. It is, therefore, a refreshing twist for you to step out of the confines of interior remodeling and decorating and spend time creating a lovely functional living space outdoors. With the right setup, you can easily turn your yard, porch, patio or any other outdoor area into a superb space where your family can enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.

1. Outdoors Call For Bold Colors

While earth colors may be excellent for indoor decoration, they tend to blend in with the environment and thus disappear when used for outdoor decoration. On the other hand, black will absorb heat and may get super-hot when used for outdoor decoration during sunny periods. Brightly colored furniture and accessories are therefore your best option for outdoor living spaces.

Tip: bright colors, when used outdoors, add an element of fun, excitement, and playfulness.

2. Be Creative With Your Lighting

Time spent on the living space should not be limited to daytime only. In fact, one of the best places to host an evening party, dinner or event is outdoors, of course if the weather is conducive. Efficient lighting is the key to setting the mood and appeal of an outdoor living space at night. Employ tasteful and dramatic outdoor lighting by incorporating colored electric bulbs, lanterns, torches and even candles. Let your lighting accentuate the impressive aspects of the outdoor space while leaving the unattractive elements to fade in the shadows.

Tip: light around the house that is pointed upwards emphasizes the architecture while light pointing downwards creates a soft, cozy glow.

3. Have An Outdoor Kitchen

The heart of every home definitely is a kitchen. With the right set up, you can save yourself the hassle of making countless trips in and out of the house by having a second kitchen outdoors. In fact with this kitchen, cooking becomes an utterly pleasurable activity. The open air kitchen could include a grill, fridge, a sink, food prep area and even a pizza oven.

Tip: the Kitchen will become the center of your outdoor activities, so you have to go big on an outdoor kitchen.

4. Include A Water Feature

Water will add a soothing sound that creates appealing tranquility to the serene environment of your outdoor space. You have a vast variety of options here, from store-bought fountains to magnificent cascading waterfalls. You could even create a small garden pond filled with colorful fish.

Tip: it’s best to go for a less labor extensive and cheap water feature for outdoor spaces.…

Raised Bed Gardening A Gardening Idea For This Weekend

Raised Bed Gardening What do you mean by raised beds ? A raised bed is a framed planting area which the soil exists above the surrounding ground level. The bed size is anything that enables you to work on without stepping directly onto the bed of soil itself. Why have raised bed gardens ? There are many reasons people decide to make use of raised bed gardens. For example: raised bed gardening gives you much better soil conditions. Pests are far easier to control. If the raised bed is at least 2 feet or 60cm high then you will have a better back with far less bending to dig or harvest crops. And finally you will conserve water as more water reaches the plant roots meaning you use less. Every time you walk up and down a non raised bed garden you typically compress the soil.

Occasionally the earth becomes hard and compacted creating various problems for plant roots, drainage problems and of course future digging difficulties. How do I make a raised bed garden? You can make frames out of old railway sleepers for that chunky look or old floorboard planks. However it is better to use pressure treated timber. As this will last longer and there will be less danger of damage to the crops from using preserving treatments like creosote. Mark out where you would like to place these raised beds by using flour, sand or even lay out a hosepipe. Then knock in some short stakes of 12 inches or 30cms at each corner. Tie string between the stakes to work out your levels.

Then fix the frame to the stakes. Remove any vegetation by digging it out or using sheets of old cardboard. The cardboard can be left in place for a few months and then removed or if it is thin enough it can be left there as it will eventually rot away. The frame can now be filled with soil up to the level edge of the frame.Try not to make the bed more than 4ft or just over a meter in width. Or if you do then you must have a plank of wood to stand on that is long enough to rest on the edges of the frame. You can have the length any with the only limitation being the length of the garden or plot. For low growing crops it is best to have the beds in a north south orientation as this way the plants will get maximum light exposure on both sides of the bed. Taller crops such as runner beans would be better in an east west configuration with ground level crops on the south side.Here is a project for you this weekend. The simple guide to creating a raised bed garden .

The Utilitarian Charm of English Garden Design for Cottages

The English cottage garden is a style that is in re-discovery today. As in every successful revival, the new version improves on tradition with new insights and ideas. The English garden designed after the cottage style has been around for as long as there have been cottages in England. Of course, up until relatively recently, they weren’t considered a style of English garden design at all. It’s just that their beauty caught on with the gardening writers of the country after a while. People began to notice that the traditional English garden design used in poor cottages across the country really possessed a lot of excellent gardening know-how and aesthetics to hand down.

To look at the traditional English garden design for cottages, one thing is clear. The humble gardener always fills every space available in his garden with every useful plant he can get his hands on. The most useful kitchen garden plants are the ones that come first – fruit, vegetables and herbs. If blooming plants are found clinging to all kinds of places in an oddly recognizable way in the traditional English cottage, it’s because these enter the garden in a supporting role – flowers and all of the herbs are always brought in as a way to fight pests with. And sometimes, to help supply the family medicine cabinet.Yarrow, for instance can help fight a fever.

The traditional English garden design in cottages was one of a recognizable kind of chaos. Rambling roses would be all over the house, cabbages, Larkspur, gooseberries and poppies would always line all the garden paths, and hollyhocks would go along the boundary walls. The cottage garden was always so full of color and so delightful that there was a charm there in the way everything seemed to be on top of everything else. It was the very image of domestic bliss, and it’s a style that’s in revival all over North America now. To do the same for your own home and garden, here’s what you need to do – leave out all decorative plants, and instead, decorate with useful plants.

Begin your English garden design with an apple tree instead of the flowering crab. And plant it in a flower bed surrounded by flowers rather than out on its own. Plant those flowerbeds densely with kitchen herbs alongside of the flowers. Cabbages, carrots and other vegetables can be quite beautiful and they shouldn’t be considered alien to the theme of the garden. In an English cottage garden design, they are the theme. Give them the most prominent placing, and raise sunflowers and runner beans up their stalks. You could have a tidy layout even if you do choose an English cottage garden. The basic theme is to fill every available space and to not judge plants for being what they are. You can plant marigolds to keep rodents away, and you can plant garlic right alongside a flower bed to keep insects off. It’s all about utilitarianism and how …