Evergreen Plants Make The Best Foundation PlantingFoundation plantings make for the basis of landscape design, not only in looks but also in purpose. Good planning results in foundation plantings that compliment, balance, take up excess water keeping it off of the foundation, screen, and block the home from sun and wind. The curb appeal that good foundation planting provides increases the home's value and desirability when selling. In some neighborhoods, they are required by covenant bylaws to not only exist around the home, but to look kept and beautiful. If you're installing, adding to, or completely redoing your foundation and are looking for plant choices that are going to be absolutely low maintenance, look no further.

Here are some suggestions for you that will require little work and provide beauty, all while adding function and purpose.

Evergreen plants are absolutely vital in a beautiful foundation design. They are functional and are beautiful year round. They also offer native songbirds and other animals respite, all while they do what foundation plantings should be doing and being absolutely simple to maintain. Not all evergreens are suitable. Here are some of

Perennial PlantsGardening for some, no matter the amount of work goes into it, is a very enjoyable task - from hauling the dirt, to cutting the brambles, to pulling the weeds - it's all good stuff. But for many of us, we love our gardens and don't mind a little weekend upkeep, but we certainly don't find the idea of making it a full time job enjoyable. Thankfully, there are some pretty awesome gardening hacks that make gardening a whole lot easier. Great tools and time saving materials and habits like putting down a good mulch regularly are a couple of hacks that help, but one is so simply obvious yet dismissed that it might boggle the mind. Simply put, if you plant the right perennials in your garden, your life will be a lot easier. It's true - many perennial plants make gardening easy.

Here are some of our favorite perennials that make gardening easier with the biggest amount of "WOW" factor to boot!

Perennials in their own right save you a lot of time and headache. Once established, they come back year after year without a

Attract Hummingbirds to Your GardenA lot of people think that hanging out a quick hummingbird feeder is enough to encourage hummers into their gardens. While hummingbirds will stop by and eat from these feeders, they tend to quickly move on to more welcoming gardens. Creating an ideal garden for hummingbirds offers more than just food. They offer all of the basic essentials for bird life. Hummingbirds come and stay in gardens that are perfectly suited for them. Here's what you need to create an ideal garden for hummingbirds.

Many hummingbirds are a migratory species of bird that spend the winters in South and Central America, and in the spring travel all the way up to North America and even into parts of Canada where they spend the warm season breeding, raising young, and preparing to fly south again. Hummingbirds rely on the nectar found in flowers, which they get plenty of in South America. But, they need the abundant insects found in the spring and summer in the lands of North America and Canada to successfully raise healthy babies. They also spend a lot of time resting- usually about

Making Room for Something New in the GardenI am making progress and room in my garden for new things with the guidance from Jack Canfield's book - The Principles of Success: Principle #28 Clean Up Your Messes and Your Incompletes.

There will always be new tasks/projects/missions that need completing and in competing stages - so this is an ongoing mission of mine.

I often walk around my garden and take notes of what tasks I must complete, transplant, and coordinate the placement of new plants. I decide which textures, colors, or sizes of plants I need and where I want them included. This is my primary garden task - the overall planning while viewing the garden in smaller sections within the entire garden design.

Jack Canfield stated, "Get into the completion consciousness. Continually ask yourself, What does it take to actually get this task completed? Then you can begin to consciously take that next step... Rather than start fifteen projects that end up incomplete and take up space, you'd be better off if you had started just three and completed them."

I discovered some of those

Benefits and Tips to Mowing in FallA Few Benefits of Turf Grass

Many people plant grass to enhance the appearance of their yard, or to make it a safe place for children to play. Some people plant grass so they can enjoy playing and watching sports. But many people who plant grass are unaware of all the benefits that turf grass brings.

    • Turf grass, when properly and regularly maintained, will capture the carbon emitted from lawn mowers. The grass draws the gas into its roots which in turn reduces emissions that would pollute the air we breathe.
    • It is a great source of oxygen. A family of four will receive enough oxygen from just a 50' x 50' lawn.
    • Ground temperatures are more easily controlled where turf grass is planted. The grass essentially acts like an outdoor AC unit.
    • Do you get a lot of runoff water? Turf grass is a great way to reduce runoff as it works like a sponge to soak up excess water.

Why Continue to Mow During Fall?

When fall weather settles in many people retreat to the indoors. The summer activities are over,

Garden Furniture SetsGarden furniture sets are a type of furniture specifically designed for outdoor use. They are typically made of weather resistant materials which do not rust. Many people's perception of outdoor furniture is simply that of a patio set consisting of a table and chairs and quite frequently a parasol which provides shade from the sun or shelter from rain. The range today, however, is enormous and garden furniture has been adapted to suit all space sizes from large garden spaces to patios to conservatories and foldable tables and chairs are ideal for balconies. Today you can choose from tables, chairs, sofas, arm chairs, loungers, weather proof cushions, parasols and gazebos which now come with UV protection. Usage of garden sets is enhanced by the addition of a patio heater which allows people to sit outside at night or in cold weather.

A garden is often referred to as an outdoor living room so you need to choose outdoor furniture sets wisely so that they enhance and make a statement in your garden without of course dominating it. It is

Avocado TreeMost avocado trees are grown in tropical climates, primarily in Mexico (the world's leading producer of avocado), California, Hawaii, and Florida. California is the number one producer of avocados in the United States, with most of the crop being of the Hass variety. But why not growing an avocado tree at home?

Growing an avocado from seed...

To grow an avocado tree, you need to get an avocado seed, clean it off and poke three toothpicks into the side of it. Then immerse the seed halfway in the water while the three sticks rest on the rim of a drinking glass. Set the seed with the wider portion down.

Place the glass with the seed somewhere warm with not too much direct light. The water should be changed at least every couple of weeks, before it gets dirty and depleted of oxygen.

In four to six weeks, the seed should split and out should come roots and a sprout. Once the stem has grown a few inches, place it in a pot with soil. Avocados have been known to grow large, so you will have

Create Your Own Mini Meadow GardenWith attention paid to the plight of diminishing wildlife, especially populations of pollinators such as native bees and butterflies, people have responded with an interest in ways they can help keep what pollinators are left and even help increase populations.

This has resulted in a heavy interest in native plants as alternative choices in landscapes, and has changed much of the approaches we take when designing landscapes, as to make benefitting wildlife a priority in design. Ultimately, creating gardens and landscapes that resemble a healthy, established native ecosystem is the ultimate goal, but doing so takes a lot of space, money, and time. So what's the typical eco-conscious gardener living in the urban jungle to do?

Many gardeners are falling in love with the ideas of mini-meadows. While it's not acres of native restored prairie gardens, it's still a beautiful way to enjoy wonderful, healthy plants in the landscape while helping out the bees and butterflies (and birds and a plethora of other native wildlife).

Native prairie plants have evolved over hundreds of thousands of years in tough climate conditions. They can

CompostingA walk through the woods off of the beaten path, or paved path in the case of city parks, will point out the ease of composting. Take a look at the big birch or maple or ash or oak or whatever other tree grows beside the path in your neighborhood. Depending upon the time of year, the tree is covered with leaves, losing leaves or bare of leaves. All those leaves fall to the ground. If you have a similar tree in your yard, every year you rake up what seems to be at least a foot of leaves. Why are there not at least thirty feet of leaves under the trees in the woods accumulated over the last thirty years of growth? Surely the wind has not blown all of them away.

The answer is found beneath the few leaves left under the tree. A quick scuff of the foot reveals black earth full of organic matter, compost. First a layer of last year's leaves with the general detritus of a woodland floor, then that layer of black matter, the leaves of past years broken down by bacteria,

Growing Plants From SeedI wonder about growing plants from seed every year, even though I used to start over twelve hundred every year. Still, it is amazing to see them grow and flourish when the seeds are often so tiny. On the other hand, there is a lot that says for us to relax and just plant them and let them grow the way want to grow.

I have watched small children and even tried to help them plant seeds to grow up to be everything for beans to marigolds to sunflowers. Their hands are small and fine coordination is lacking and their enthusiasm makes everything spill and water pour too hard and seeds go to deep. When the leaves appear and the plant grows on I am not sure who is more excited, me of them. Certainly I am amazed at how the enthusiasm has succeeded over careful manipulation and my years of practice.

When you look out our living room window you can see a bird feeder hanging from a branch of the pine tree. It is visited by all sorts of birds from chickadees to

Maintaining Your Zoysia GrassZoysia is a particular variety of hardy grass that grows well in a wide range of conditions. This type of grass also requires far less watering and mowing than most grasses. This particular variety of grass can also create a natural thick and soft carpet that feels great for bare feet. Zoysia is also ideal because it actually grows differently. It expands sideways and doesn't grow higher in a short span of time. Because of this, this type of grass can become so dense and becomes effective at choking out most summer weeds and replacing existing grass that you don't want on your lawn anymore.

Although Zoysia is a low-maintenance type of grass, it still needs proper care and maintenance to make sure they maintain their appeal and good condition. Below are some useful tips you can follow to maintain your Zoysia grass:

Fertilize. All well-maintained lawns are fertilized with the right amount and kind needed for that particular grass and on a schedule based on the growing season. When you fertilize, you keep the grass healthy

Design Layout for a Small GardenEveryone loves a beautiful garden whether big or small. Designing your ideal garden is easy when proper planning is done in advance. A small patio garden is very private and easy to maintain, depending on where you would like your garden to be laid out. If you are living in a small complex where there is no space for a garden, you can design the garden on your patio. If you have small but enough space, then go on and design the ideal garden you want.

If it's your first time designing a garden you can either hire a professional landscape architect, or you can do it yourself. Designing your own garden shouldn't be very difficult especially if you have ideas on how you would want it to look. Either way, designing your garden should be a fun and relaxing experience. Get all the information you would require to design a garden and do it yourself. You will get a list of garden items such as flowers, plants, spade, wheel barrow, garden fork, paving bricks, cobblestones and other garden tools. Think about where

Use Organic FertilizerMany of us are concerned about how safe our home garden's fertilizer is. We want to grow our own healthy veggies, but don't want to add to the problem of illness and pesticide poisoning. This can be a challenging task. It seems like all the great gardeners, the ones that bring in the mega harvests, have an awesome fertilizer by their side. Who knows what this fertilizer contains? All we really know is the amazing effect it has on our plants.

What if I told you there was a fertilizer you could be sure about? One that will give the plants in your garden all the nutrients they need, but in a natural one. Yes, I'm sure you want a fertilizer that can explain itself, and list an honest disclosure of all the ingredients it posses. If this is your wish, then you're looking for an Organic fertilizer.

Organic fertilizers aren't hard to find. I'm not saying that you'll be able to find them in the garden section of Walmart, but if you go to a gardening store, you should be able to find at least

Growing Your Own VegetablesVegetable gardening is making a comeback! If you're looking for reasons to raise your own vegetables, here are a few you may or may not have considered.

1. You can grow your own more conveniently than going to the store. Done right, gardening is easier. A small garden bed of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and peppers and I have the freshest salad I can get anywhere and I didn't have to fight traffic to do it.

2. It's a hobby with a practical purpose. Though you could be golfing, playing baseball, hand gliding, skydiving, bungee jumping, camping, buying antiques, candle making, quilting, crocheting, ball room dancing, cooking, face painting, or oil painting, though some are quite practical, not one of them that is more practical than growing at least a part of a daily meal.

3. Using simple garden tools for gardening makes gardening economical. Although, you could also spend thousands of dollars for a couple hundred dollars' worth of food, because you bought one of those expensive tillers because some advertisement convinced you needed it, you should spend a few dollars on good quality

Conservatory and an OrangeryFor many people who enjoy looking at their gardens and the outdoors from the shelter and warmth of the indoors, a conservatory or an orangery can be the ideal extension to the home. Many people are confused, however, about the difference between these two structures which seem to have a lot of similarities.

Indeed, the orangery and the conservatory are very similar. Both are structures which are simple extensions to the home, and make use of a large number of glass panels to allow a clear view into the garden. They act as a way to experience more natural light within the home, and even serve a practical purpose when it comes to growing plants indoors.

Initially, the orangery was an extension of a property or a stand-alone building, which was built with the purpose of growing citrus fruit plants and trees. This is where the name comes from of course, as oranges were some of the most popular citrus fruits that were grown in this kind of building, due to the exceptional light and warmth offered by the large windows.

The difference between

Decorating Your Garden Romantic IdeasIf you are a couple living together then a time may come when you are so comfortable together that you forget about romance. Well, keeping the love burning and the romance going is essential for any committed relationship. If you have a garden then you can make use of it by adding some romance and surprises for your loved one.

Have a garden picnic. Get some mason jars with wiring around them that allow them to hang. Place a candle in each jar and hang them from the trees in your garden. Place about six to ten of the candle-lit jars around the picnic blanket. Place a carpet under the blanket so that it is a bit more solid for your picnic basket and drinks. Get a few fairy lights and hang them in your garden tree. You'll need to get a bit creative with this part. Print a few hearts, glue them on to cardboard and cut them out. Pierce a hole at the top of the heart and pull a string through it. Then hang these heart ornaments from the tree. This will

Organic GardeningIn this age of global warming of our planet, increasing pollution and fast food, many people no longer are confident of fresh products that are offered as many try to exert some control over what they eat.

Similarly, chemicals that have been used for so long within gardens are no longer accepted as the only means of channeling the vicissitudes of nature.

One of the key ways to improve our environment (and our health) is to 'be organic. "

Why organic gardening?

Organic gardening is one that uses only naturally occurring materials and does not use artificial fertilizers or chemicals.

Try to work with nature rather than against it.

Advantage

Organically grown foods taste better than those grown with artificial fertilizers.

Costs: the organic material can be created by returning all waste back to the land, which is a cheap process compared to Inorganic which tend to be way more expensive in the long run.

Same with chemical sprays, If an orchard where parasites do not prove a problem is created, it saves a lot in the cost of chemicals.

Cemetery Rose CollectionsOne of the spring activities which I notably enjoy doing is to seek out the older cemeteries in our area and seeing what manner of antique roses are growing wild there. These beautiful but forgotten rose beauties are not restricted to cemeteries alone but can occasionally be discovered in the yards of old abandoned houses as well as in unused vacant lots. The sad part of this is that these wonderful plants have been forsaken by their planter and the rest of society.

Preserving heritage roses found in the local graveyards can readily reveal hundreds of antique and old garden rose varieties and in some cases rare specimens that are difficult or near impossible to obtain. Emphasis is usually placed upon those roses which are retrieved from abandoned sites, homesteads, cemeteries or along roadsides throughout the nation.

The one training topic which I have found to be lacking is the availability of hands-on workshops which deal with the topics of pruning climbing roses and re-rooting them. Remember some of the tales you heard years ago on how so and so would place a small rose stem

Conservatory to Your HomeAs home is a place that we spend most of our leisure time, therefore making it a relaxing and enjoyable place is paramount. For those who have a garden and like to experience some of the pleasures of the outdoors whilst indoors, adding a conservatory or an orangery to your property is a great idea.

There are several specific benefits to having such an extension to your property; the first one is that it can actually add significant amount of value to your home. If you have the space for it and you have an enjoyable view to the exterior of your property, a conservatory is considered a highly desirable feature for many. This is especially true if your conservatory gets a lot of natural light.

It is true that the amount of value that your conservatory or orangery adds will all depend on the quality of design and build. There are many leading companies such as Ultraframe that are dedicated to supplying high quality frames and stunning finishes that will leave a strong positive impression on not only you, but anyone who decides to

BroccoliFor those who are interested in gardening and want to explore the different ways of growing plants, aquaponics is a method that deserves some strong consideration. Aquaponics, as the name suggests, involves the use of the aquatic ecosystem to grow plants and also breed aquatic animals. In a way, it aims to recreate the aquatic ecosystem in order for the plants and animals to grow as nature intended..

If you are interested in starting an aquaponics system, then there are some things that you should take into consideration. Just as there are selected plants that grow on specific mediums, the aquaponics medium, too, has some specifications. In this article, we take a look at what plants can be grown on a hydrated medium, so that you can be well informed before you start your own aquaponics practice.

Plants That Can Be Grown with Aquaponics

There are a number of plants that can be grown with aquaponics. These are of different classes and types, which makes the entire system more versatile and better suited for an increase in yield. The plants that thrive best in an aquatic medium