Today’s Garden Ideas

What’s New In The Garden Today!

Butterfly Gardens

Tropical butterfly

Many people in the gardening world are turning toward creating butterfly gardens. These gardens can attract many different types and variations of butterflies. Butterfly gardening is very quickly becoming more and more popular. It is said to be one of the fastest growing and most popular hobbies today. People get great joy from seeing beautiful butterflies fluttering around their gardens. Butterflies also add color and life to gardens.

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Slugs!

slug1Just call my man the slug whisperer… He never lived down the reputation so creatively given by our neighbours. It all started years ago when we decided to plant a herb garden and the basil was scented by slugs from a 20 mile radius. Slugs like basil, it appears. We caused a mass exodus down the back gardens in our street. Our neighbours were fascinated, and rather pleased, I’d imagine…
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Flying pests – Dodge the fliers!

flying-pestsAlthough wasps are a familiar summer time pest, one that has seen a re-emergence recently is the mosquito. These two fliers can make your spring and summer garden a nightmare instead of the haven it should be. As the weather becomes sultrier, insects will proliferate and become more active so what can you do to minimise their effect on your and your neighbours’ lazy warm relaxing evenings?
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Bird of Paradise

What is the most gorgeous, visually extravagant flower you can think of? If you were to go by the name alone, it would have to be the Bird of Paradise. Admittedly, it fails its adoring fans by lacking any marked scent, only making up for this deficiency by being very possibly the most spectacular cut flower to be found at the florist, and it lasts for weeks in the vase. But is it possible to grow the plant itself at home? I just had to find out.

In order to understand how to care for this Bird, it is important to know about its natural habitat. It is related to the banana and naturally grows in coastal areas or on river banks in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. This has a tropical, humid climate, so in temperate regions the Bird of Paradise needs a hothouse or conservatory.
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Early Chores as You Prepare for Your Spring Garden

All of us are anxious to see bulbs sprouting, buds unfurling and color splashed throughout the garden. And yes, even though it is a bit early to get your hands in the dirt, there is plenty you can do to gear up for the gardening season. Read the rest of this entry »

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Use Fireplaces Ashes in Your Winter Garden

Since Roman times, wood ash has been recognized as a useful amendment to the soil. In fact, North America exported wood ash to Britain in the 18th century as a fertilizer, and today, 80 per-cent of the ash produced commercially in the Northeastern United States is applied to the land. Read the rest of this entry »

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Winter Garden Chores to Keep You Sane and Busy in the Winter Months

There are plenty of things that you can get a start on now as we see the loom of spring months ahead. There are some gardening chores that can be done outside now as well as some indoor activities that will help you maintain your sanity.
This is a great time of year to get outside and prune fruit trees, ornamental trees and shrubs. Prune to thin plants, remove dead wood, train growth, reduce size and rejuvenate declining plants. Limit the amount of material removed at any one time to 1/3 of the plants mass. Removing more is considered heavy pruning and can cause problems, although some situations require this type of pruning. Read the rest of this entry »

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Caring for Garden Ponds During the Winter Months

As temperatures continue to fall and snow is in the forecast, many of us with backyard ponds begin to worry about our friends under the water’s surface. It’s the snow, cold and ice that we need to prepare our fish and plants for, and with a few simple steps you can ensure the survival and health of your pond throughout the winter months. If you haven’t already, make sure that all of your plants have been cut back and put in the deepest part of your pond so their foliage does not continue to decompose causing gases to build up. All fish feedings should stop and not resume again until water temperatures reach 50 F. After all the fish and plants have been put to bed for the winter, most people wonder what is the best thing to do…keep their pond running all winter, or shut it down for the season. Either one will work fine as long as you take the right precautions. Read the rest of this entry »

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More Thoughts on Winter Bird Feeding

Now is the time to be thinking about feeding the many beautiful, fine-feathered friends who remain in our area for the winter. Providing food and water will attract a variety of birds, delighting us with their beautiful colors against the snow and perching on barren tree limbs singing melodic tunes. We can enjoy their presence all winter while we are housebound. Read the rest of this entry »

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Garden Lunacy – A Must Have for Winter Reading

The beauty of winter is hardly lost on the avid gardener. This is the time to sit back and contemplate the successes of last year and plan for the new one. What better way to keep the gardening ideas flowing than to pick up a good book and read what other gardeners are doing? Here are some titles that are sure to stimulate your thought processes and invigorate your gardening spirits.  Art Wolk’s book, Garden Lunacy, (AAB Book Publishing LLC, 2005) is great way to brighten a dreary winter night. And, if your plans include competitive gardening, this book shows you the way.

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Today's business leaders are coming up with great ideas for keeping our planet healthy. The chairman and CEO of Dow Chemical, Andrew Liveris has partnered with the Nature Conservancy over the next 5 years to plant trees, protect ecosystems and much more. Check out Nature.org and get involved!