Spring house-cleaning, if you happen to be a gardener, should not be restricted to your home. It should continue out into your garden, which, alter all is an outdoor living room. Keep in mind that your plants will be happier, and healthier, in a clean and wholesome environment. In addition, your entire landscape will assume a "well dressed" appearance.

Getting things in order and keeping them that way is certainly one of the most important essentials of good housekeeping. This principle is as true in the garden as it is in the home. Almost every locality is subject to a certain amount of wind. It may be Just a light breeze but forceful enough to move small fragments of refuse, depositing them in your garden. Debris that is dropped In corners of your garden will probably remain unless you move them yourself. A few sweeps of a bamboo rake should solve this problem in no time.

This is also an excellent time for attaching the loose ends of vines to an adequate support. Many of these plants, with the approach of warmer weather, will be entering their active growing season. Unless properly trellised, they very quickly may become topheavy; then if a wind comes up they may be ripped to shreds. Further, vines that hang in a sloppy manner are certainly not very attractive; plant ties that are weatherized and easy to handle are now available at most garden supply stores. For just a few cents you can buy a quantity of them sufficient to last a whole season.

One of the most important house-cleaning jobs in your garden consists of getting rid of weeds. This chore, formerly looked upon with disgust, has now been made comparatively easy by selective weed killers. Today you can spray a lawn with a selective weed killer which will kill the weeds but prove non-injurious to the grass plants. So there is no longer any reason for having thousands of weeds cluttering up your lawn, proving an eyesore and depriving your grass plants of their necessary food and drink.

A grass shear and a lawn edger are two important tools for cleaning up your garden. Lawns that creep beyond their regular confines, trespassing across the sidewalk are definitely a bad eyesore. A lawn edger will take care of them in no time and it should be used each time after the lawn is cut. Also if you have trees in your lawn the watering basins should be clearly outlined. Use a hand grass clipper for this purpose.

Spraying or dusting at regular Intervals is also part of your spring garden-cleaning program. During the active growing season you should keep after the bugs about once every seven or 10 days. Also, prune back hedges that have lost their good looks; cut off flowers before they become full blown and go to seed; and apply sufficient food and water so your plants will look fresh and healthy.

Tag : garden,home garden,garden decor,garden plants

When the Christmas roses come to you for fall planting the flower bud is already formed deep down among the black roots. To enjoy blossoms that winter, the plant must be set in a hole much deeper and wider than the roots, generally 18 inches deep and a foot wide. At the bottom, place five inches of crushed rock plus a little rotted manure and compost.

After spreading the roots on top of a small pyramid of earth, additional rotted manure and compost and good soil, mixed with a teacup of bonemeal, is pressed around the roots until the hole is full. Water the plant well and add buckwheat hulls for a mulch.

The location for Christmas roses should be east to north so that the handsome evergreen foliage will flourish the year round without burning. Sun or a late spring freezes and lack of quantities of fertilizer and water will cause injury. The best plants I have seen in a Louisville garden were on the northeast side of the house between the base of a picture window and a small fish pool 18 inches away. Here dozens of blooms enliven the winter scene two to three months each year.

My plants are against the brick edging of the northeast side of a small rose plot, just outside my study window, where the lovely design of the foliage all year-round and the blooms in winter are a constant source of pleasure.

Success in Michigan

When my mother sent me several small plants of Christmas roses a number of years ago, I knew nothing about them and was frankly unaware of any plant that would flower through the winter months, with the snow on the ground.

To try them out, I selected a moist site in the partial shade where the drainage was good and placed some well rotted manure in the soil which was alkaline. They were planted in early spring, but I have since learned that the fall is a better planting time. When winter came, each plant produced two or three flowers, but the following year they bloomed profusely.

When cut for use in the house, I select any type of evergreen foliage like golden pothos plant, since the plant needs its own leaves for proper development. Blooms may be cut when frozen, then thawed out in the basement. I personally prefer to leave the blooms outside and buy flowers for the house, as the real thrill of a Christmas rose is to admire it in bloom in the snow. The plants actually need little care and no cultivating is necessary, though watering in summer is required.

I have tried dividing my plants, but they resent disturbance, which sets them back several years. I move them only when they are not doing well, being careful to take a large ball of soil. The late summer or fall is best.

The Lenten rose (Helleborus orientalis) has greenish white or purplish flowers, which hold very little thrill for me, as they appear in the spring with crocus and other early flowers.

Tag : garden,garden decor,home garden,garden plants

As the days become warmer and spring rains are prevalent, discoloring fungus plants (commonly called mildew), rust and numbers of bugs and insects may attack garden plants. Inspection of the garden several times a month for these pests will warn you in time to stamp out real damage.

The two types of mildews attack suddenly. Powdery mildews usually appear as thin, flour-like patches of white on the surface of plants and do their damage by means of tiny sucking organs which either km or stunt the plans. They attack -about 1500 species of flowers, fruits, stems and leaves, chief among them apple, peach, grape, gooseberry, currant, cherry, grains, roses, vines of all kinds including bean, cucumber and squash. So many vines are subject to mildews that many gardeners are recognizing the value of espaliered shrubs to take their places.

Powdery mildews usually can be checked if the plants are dusted with dry sulphur or controlled with all-purpose dusts and sprays that contain rotenone, pyrethrum and copper. Fumes of boiling sulphur are also helpful. However, use no sulphur in any forra on cucumbers, melons, and squash.

Mildews that develop within the plant and thus cannot be detected as easily as the powdery type are called downy mildews. These fungus growths appear on the surface when they begin to shed their summer spores and are like soft, whitish, hairy outgrowths. Plants most frequently attacked are grape, lettuce, cabbage, spinach, onion, and alfalfa.

All-purpose sprays and dusts, Bordeaux mixtures, and other fungicides are used for downy mildews. Bordeaux is also fine for rusts. Plants badly affected with rust should be removed and burned.

The two classes of insects and bugs that damage garden plants are juice suckers and plant eaters. All-purpose sprays and dusts are used for sucking pests. Insecticides containing poisons such as arsenate of lead, rotenone, and pyrethrum, with or without copper compounds, are used on leaves of plants to combat chewing insects.

Special attention should be given undersides of leaves. Never forget that food plants sprayed or dusted with poisons should be well washed before use. Consult your nurserymaa about any of the products for pest control about which you have any doubt.

Arsenate of lead and molasses mixed with wheat bran and placed under heavy boards so children and dogs cannot eat the mixture usually trap nightworking cutworms and slugs, or prepared pellets may be used. Nematodes usually can be checked with dichloroethyl ether and copper, or specially prepared products on the market. Virus-infected plants, particularly tomatoes, should first be dusted with an all-purpose preparation, then removed and burned. Use prepared products or summer oil emulsion for mealy bugs and aphis.

If worms eat underground root vegetables, sprinkle naphthalene (mothball flakes) in two-inch trenches near roots. Cover with soil. Mothballs hung in sacks near vegetables will help keep back chickens and dogs.

Pluck off foraging insects by hand and destroy them daily. And do not forget to encourage the presence of nature's allies, the toads, frogs and birds. A single toad has been observed snapping up more than 100 green flies in one-half hour.

Toads and frogs can be encouraged in a professional capacity with daytime hiding places of rock piles in shady places, with small cement pipes under shrubs, or with small boxes placed on their sides in cool, dark corners.

Bird baths, drinking stations, suet, and other bird foods, protection from cats, boxes of nesting material, etc. will attract feathered assistants in the garden industry. Some birds will scratch out and eat flower and vegetable seeds, but this can be prevented largely by covering newly planted ground with wire screen.

Tag : garden,home garden,garden decor,garden plants

Gardening isn't hard. Just some folks think it is. It's easy and it's fun and it's good exercise if you'll just give it a try. And besides, with only a little effort and only a small patch of ground you can GROW ALL THE FOOD YOU'LL NEED. You can eat all you want when you want.

And if you'll can what's left over in your garden, you'll have enough food to last you all winter. And when you do, you cut down on the need for transportation to bring your food and help conserve fuel! Do YOUR part this year for the environment and yourself by GROWING YOUR OWN FOOD.


Before plowing, burn the rubbish and vegetable vines us they may carry disease or injurious insects. Apply a good coating of manure if you can get it. Tree leaves are also fine. Some gardeners say cover the seed four times its greatest diameter. Seed can be planted deeper on loose mellow soil than it can on clay or gumbo. The same seed should be planted deeper late in the season when the soil is warm and more likely to dry out. After planting very small seed, especially among the flowers, cover with a mulch to hold the moisture near the surface until the seed sprouts. Plant some for the worm, some for the crow, some to pull out, and some to grow. Plant abundantly enough for yourself and some to spare.


The kitchen garden should be located, close to the house. This gives protection against animals and thieves (makes it a lot handier too if you have a few odd moments to spend in it). The main or big garden should be so located and planned that it can be cultivated with regular farm tools. It saves a lot of weeding.


Don't make your garden in the shade of big trees or in soils full of tree roots if you can avoid it. Most garden crops like sunshine and all of them appreciate and respond to good soil. Stony land and poorly drained soil are not the best.


Plow or spade deeply in the fail, especially where there sod to be turned under. Do a good job. Leave the land rough to hold snow and moisture. Rake thoroughly before planting. Good preparation will save a lot of cultivation.


There is only one rule I would give and that is to 'Plant! Plenty." What you do not need for the day to day table needs, can.


Plant radish seed very thin and follow at once with parsnip, carrot, parsley. asparagus, onion or leek right in the same row. Pull the radish and use when at is large enough. Plant Beets. Kohlrabi. Lettuce, 'Milliard, Spinach, Onion Sets. Radish or early Beans or Pens between rows of late Cabbage, Melons, Squash or Tomatoes. Plant radish very early followed by early Cabbage plants set every two feet in the row and after the cabbage is off sow late turnips or Chinese Cabbage. Plant two rows of tomatoes between each two Watermelon row and dig potatoes after the Melons are gone. Follow early Peas and Beans with late Cabbage. Celery may follow early Peas, Beans. Lettuce, Radish or Spinach. Plant late turnips in vacant about the garden. spaces.

Tag : garden,gardening,garden decor,garden plants

For most of us who live in the temperate zones of the northern and southern hemispheres, summer cannot come fast enough. When summer does come, if it is not raining, we want to spend as much time as possible out of doors and as much time as possible in the garden, which is why so many of us have patio furniture.

There are several types of patio furniture and some are more comfortable than others, but the most hard-wearing and the most popular is garden furniture manufactured from hardwood. Unfortunately, hardwood is exactly what it says it is - hard wood. It can be fairly uncomfortable to sit on hardwood furniture for more than an hour.

The simplest way to get round this is to use outdoor throw cushions. These outdoor throw cushions can be just indoor throw cushions, if you remember to take them in each day, otherwise they will soon start to rot after the first time you leave them out in the rain. It is easier said than done to take the cushions in each night.

Therefore, it is worth giving some thought to making special cushion covers for your outdoor cushions. These cushion covers have to be waterproof and the zip fastener should be protected too so that water cannot enter through there either.

This can be achieved by covering the zip with a flap, as used on standard bed pillows, and sealing it with Velcro. You could use poppers, but Velcro is simpler and better.

If you are purchasing new garden furniture, you might get throw cushions supplied with the package. If not, and you would like to buy outdoor cushions at the same time, check them for waterproofness as talked about above. The other thing to look out for is that the cushion covers match the style of the furniture and the sort of garden that you have.

The covers of the garden outdoor throw cushions can be patterned or plain, but do consider the colours already in your garden. Is there a lot of colour from flowers or is green the predominant colour? And do not forget the colour of your garden furniture either.

You will also need to make sure that these cushion covers are washable, because they will get unbelievably dirty fairly often, if you leave them outside. They will be rained on, splashed on, cats and dogs will sit on them, and they might even blow about the garden unless you tie them down, which is not a bad idea. You could sew short ties onto them to keep them on the furniture while you are not using them.

If the covers are washable, then make sure that the colours on the cushions are permanent and will not fade or run. Lastly, a lot of materials will tolerate a couple months of sun, but some will not tolerate the freezing temperatures of winter, so remember to take them in for the winter months.

Your success in gardening this year will depend, to a large extent, upon careful planning and preparation. Experienced gardeners know this and will have a plan, even though it may be only a mental picture. Most home gardeners have already been looking over seed catalogs and many have ordered seeds, fertilizers, and supplies. You'll find them also in hardware and garden supply stores, looking over tool and equipment displays, looking for new ideas for saving work and doing a better job.

Gardeners who like to grow their own plants may not save themselves much money, but they can e reasonably .sure of having the plants they wish at the time they plant them. They know the history of the plant and can take their awn precautions against bringing disease into the garden along with the plants.


Whenever soil is either too acid or too alkaline, other plant foods are not readily available and plants may show deficiency signs.

Here are some steps to follow in gardening:

1. Get started early and have a definite plan.

2. Have a soil test made. Soil test kits are available at your county agent's office.

3. Use lime, fertilizer, and organic matter if test shows they are needed.

4. Use adapted varieties. Where ornamentals are concerned, check on hardiness.

5. Treat seeds for disease control or get disease free plants.

6. Plant according to season, hardy plants early, tender plants after danger of frost is over.

7. Follow through on care after planting with cultivation, weed control, and irrigation, if needed.

8. Plan your garden for use. It is possible to have fresh vegetables and flowers for cutting and an interesting garden nearly the year round by planning and careful selection.

Here are some things you can do now:

Plant onion sets, spinach, lettuce and early peas out of doors. Start tender plants such as tomatoes and peppers in hotbed or window box. Transfer to cold - frame later.

Sow flower seeds in window boxes or in coldframes. Remember some do not transplant well. All kinds of ornamental shrubs, including roses, should be planted as soon as possible. Old neglected shrubs can be given a renovation now. Old wood which will not flower well should be cut out. Early spring flowering shrubs are to be again primed after flowering.


Small fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, and currants are more satisfactory for the home gardener than tree fruits. The require less spraying and occupy less space. It is a mistake to try to use fruit trees for shade. They require too much spraying and if this is neglected, the rotting fruit attracts flies and wasps. If you have an uncontrollable urge to grow apples, try dwarf trees. They are small enough to spray with a small sprayer.


Much good lawn seed is often wasted in spring seeding of new lawns or trying to patch up old lawns. Most lawns suffer either from starvation and neglect or the the other extreme of pampering. Many lawns are fertilized too much at the wrong time, cut too short and sprinkled too often. Your lawn will do best if given juts enough attention at the right time and, at other times, intelligently neglected. Don't fertilize too heavily in early spring; don't cut shorter than one and a half inches; don't sprinkle unless there s a real drought, and don't let the grass get higher than three inches before cutting.

Patch up the bare areas with rye grass this spring, plan to control weeds, including crabgrass this summer and postpone the renovation job until late summer or early fall. Soil tests are also helpful here to determine fertilizer needs.

For water ponds nothing, of course, takes the place of the queenly water-lily, both hardy and tropical varieties, but for shallow pools there are some lovely plants that will lift your pond out of the just-water-lily class. None of the following asks for more than six inches of water to grow in, although they will accept more.

Water hyacinth, Eichhornia azurea, produces gorgeous lilac-colored spikes. This prJustify Fullincess-of- the-pond grows rampantly and so needs occasional checking, especially if you wish to combine other water-plants with it. The big yellow hardy water-lily contrasts beautifully - with it, so if the pond is deep enough in the center, you might try growing the yellow water-lily there and "edging" it with the floating hyacinth. If you wish to have the lilac color in the center, you could use as an "edging" the delightful primrose willow, Jussiaea longifolia, which has yellow evening blooms.

For fragrance, the water-hawthorn, Aponageton distachyus, will delight you. The flowers are Y-shaped and come in white and rose. If you are lucky, the water-garden nursery you patronize might have a violet variety. The water hawthorn blooms even in shady ponds, a fact that may be worth noting in your case.

Water poppies, Hydrocleys nymphoides, make a gay picture alone or grown in combination with other plants. They look like large California poppies floating on the pool water. The rounded leaves are very attractive, too. Although the blooms last only a day, new ones constantly pop up to replace them.

For excellent cutting flowers, grow marsh marigolds, Caltha palustris, In colors of yellow, pink, or white. The pond should be fairly large even though not necessarily deep to accommodate them, for they grow three feet tall.

The sacred lotus makes a fine oft flower, too, for large pools, for the blooms of pink, cream, or red "are immense and fragrant, and the foliage and seed pods are beautiful and interesting.

The bog-bean is a plant that grows well in the water near the edge for it will travel up a moist bank. The foliage is lush and soft, and flowers are dainty and white.

Dracocephalums also will clamber up the bank. Particularly attractive are D. palustre with rose-colored blooms similar to snapdragons, and D. forrestii with blue flowers.

Water-garden nurseries usually have on hand aquatic-garden catalogs. In them you will learn of other desirable plants for your pond. However, if water-lilies are indispensable with you, by all means grow at least one or two varieties even though you try other water plants.

Things to keep in mind for a beautiful garden

Main principles on the garden's design

Bring the Japanese feeling into your garden with these basic steps. First of all, embrace the ideal of nature. That means, keep things in your garden as natural as possible, avoiding to include things that could disrupt this natural appearance.

For example, don't include square ponds in your design as square ponds are nowhere to be found in nature. Also, a waterfall would be something closer to what exists in nature if we compare it to a fountain. So you also have to consider the Japanese concept of sumi or balance. Because one of Japanese gardening design main purposes is to recreate large landscapes even in the smallest place. Be careful when choosing the elements for your garden, because you don't want to end up filling your ten by ten courtyard with huge rocks.

As a miniaturized landscape, the rocks in the garden would represent mountains and the ponds would represent lakes. A space filled with sand would represent an ocean. By that we assume that garden masters were looking to achieve a minimalistic approach, best represented by the phrase "less is more".

The elements of time and space

One of the things westerners notice at first are the many portions of empty space in the garden. In fact, these spaces are an important feature in Japanese gardening. This space called ma, relates to the elements around it and that also surround it. The concepts of in and yo are of vital importance here, they are best known to the Western civilization by the Chinese names yin and yang. If you want to have something you have to start with having nothing. This is an idea quite difficult to understand, but it is a rule of thumb in Japanese gardening.

An important clue in the development of a garden is the concept of wabi and sabi. There's no literal English translation for those words. Wabi is about uniqueness, or the essence of something; a close literal translation is solitary. Sabi deals with the definition of time or the ideal image of something; the closest definition might be time strenghtened character. Given the case, a cement lantern that might appear unique, would lack of that ideal image. Or an old rock covered in lichens would have no wabi if it's just a round boulder. That's why it is important to find that balance.

Ma and wabi/sabi are connected to the concepts of space and time. When it comes to seasons, the garden must show the special character of each one. Japanese garden lovers dedicate time to their gardens every season, unlike the western gardener who deserts in fall just to be seen again in spring.

A very relaxing view in spring is given by the bright green of new buds and the blossoms of the azaleas. In summer, the lush foliage in combination with the pond offer a powerful and fresh image. The vivid spectacle of the brilliant colors of dying leaves in fall are a prelude for the arrival of winter and its white shroud of snow.

The two most important gardening seasons in Japan are spring and winter. Japanese refer to the snow accumulated on braches as Sekku or snow blossoms. Yukimi, or the snow viewing lantern, is another typical element of the Japanese garden in winter. The sleep of the garden in winter is an important episode for our Japanese gardener, while for the western gardener spring is the beginning of the work at the garden. Maybe because of the eastern point of view as death like part of the life cycle, or perhaps the western fear to death.

About garden enclosures
Let's see the garden as a microcosm of nature. If we're looking for the garden to be a true retreat, we have to 'set it apart' from the outside world. Because of that, fences and gates are important components of the Japanese garden.

The fence and the gates have both symbolism and functionality. The worries and concerns of our daily life have to stay out of this separate world that becomes the garden. The fence protects us from the outside world and the gate is the threshold where we leave our daily worries and then prepare ourselves to confront the real world again.

The use of fences is based in the concept of hide/reveal or Miegakure. Fence styles are very simple and are put in combination with screen planting, thus not giving many clues of what hides inside. You can give a sample look of your garden by cutting a small window in the solid wall that encloses your garden if that's the case. Sode-gaki, or sleeve fences, are fences attached to an architectural structure, that will only show a specific view of the garden from inside the house. Thus, we're invited to get into the garden and enjoy it in its entirety. That's what makes the true understanding of the garden, to lose in it our sense of time and self.

Basic Arrangements
Despite the fact that certain rules are applied to each individual garden, don't think that there's just one type of garden. There are three basic styles that differ by setting and purpose.

Hill and Pond Garden (Chisen-Kaiyu-skiki)
A China imported classic style. A pond or a space filled with raked gravel fronts a hill (or hills). This style always represents mountainous places and commonly makes use of vegetation indigenous to the mountains. Stroll gardens commonly use this style.

Flat Garden (Hiraniwa)
It derives from the use of open, flat spaces in front of temples and palaces for ceremonies. This is an appropriate style for contemplation and that represents a seashore area (with the use of the right plants). This is a style frequently used in courtyards.

Tea Gardens (Rojiniwa)
Function has a greater importance than form in this type of garden. The Roji or dewy path, is the main point of the garden, along with the pond and the gates. This would be the exception to the rule. The simple and sparse plantings give a rustic feeling to the garden.

Formality has to be taken in consideration
Hill and pond and flat styles may be shin (formal), gyo (intermediate) or so (informal). Formal styles were to be found usually at temples or palaces, intermediate styles were suitable for most residences, and the informal style was used in peasant huts and mountain retreats. The tea garden is the one that always fits in the informal style.

The garden components

Rocks (ishi in Japanese) are the main concern of the Japanese garden. If the stones are placed correctly, then the garden shows in a perfect balance. So here are shown the basic stone types and the rules for their positions.

The basic stones are the tall upright stone, the low upright stone, the curved stone, the reclining stone, and the horizontal stone. These must be usually set in triads although this doesn't happen always. Two almost identical stones (by way of example, two tall verticals or two reclining stones), one a little quite smaller than the other, can be set together as male and female, but the use of them in threes, fives, and sevens is more frequent.

We have to keep away from the Three Bad Stones. These are the Diseased stone (having a withered or misshapen top), the Dead stone (an obviously vertical one used as a horizontal, or vice versa, like the placement of a dead body), and the Pauper Stone (a stone having no connection to the several other ones in the garden). Use only one stone of each of the basic types in any cluster (the rest have to be smaller, modest stones also known as throwaway stones). Stones can be placed as sculptures, set against a background in a two-dimensional way, or given a purpose, such as a stepping stone or a bridge.

When used as stepping stones they should be between one and three inches above the soil, yet solid underfoot, as if rooted into the ground. They can be put in straight lines, offset for left foot, right foot (referred as chidori or plover, after the tracks the shore bird leaves), or set in sets of twos, threes, fours, or fives (and any combination thereof).

The pathway stands for the passage through life, and even particular stones by the path may have meaning. A much wider stone placed across the path tells us to put two feet here, stopping to enjoy the view. There are numerous stones for specific places. When observing the basic design principles, we can notice the exact character of the Japanese garden.

Water (mizu in Japanese) plays an important part in the composition of the Japanese garden because of Japan's abundant rainfall. Water can be represented even with a raked gravel area instead of water. A rushing stream can be represented by placing flat river stones closely together. In the tea garden, where there isn't any stream or pond, water plays the most important role in the ritual cleansing at the chozubachi, or water basin. As the water fills and empties from the shishi-odoki, or deer scare, the clack of bamboo on rock helps mark the passage of time.

The flow of water, the way it sounds and looks, brings to mind the continual passage of time. A bridge crossing the water stream is often used as a landscaping complement. Bridges denote a journey, just as pathways do. Hashi, in japanese, can mean bridge or edge. Bridges are the symbolic pass from one world into another, a constant theme in Japanese art.

Plants or Shokobutsu may play a secondary role to the stones in the garden, but they are a primary concern in the design too. Stones represent what remains unchanged, so trees, shrubs, and perennials have to represent the passing of seasons. Earlier garden styles used plants to make up poetic connotations or to correct geomantic issues, but these have little meaning today.

As the the Heian style diminished under the Zen influence, perennials and grasses fell out of use. So, for a long time, there were only a few plants that tradition allowed for the garden. However, in modern Japan, designers are again widening the spectrum of materials used. It is highly recommended that native plants are chosen for the garden, because showy exotic plants are not in good taste. Be aware that native plants are used in the garden, because it is in bad taste to use showy exotic plants. Although pines, cherries and bamboo immediatly remind us of Japanese gardens, we encourage you to use native plants of your locality that you can find pleasing. If we choose evergreens as the main plant theme and combine it with deciduous material that may provide seasonal blooms or foliage color we can recreate the look of the Japanese garden.

Now the next thing taken in consideration in a Japanese garden are the ornaments or Tenkebutsu. Stone lanterns are, for westerners, a typical impression of Japanese gardens.Stone lanterns are not important components of the Japanese garden. The reason is that ornaments are subjected to the garden's design. Lanterns, stupas, and basins are just architectural complements added when a point of visual interest is necessary to the design.

A good way to finish yor garden design could be a well-placed lantern. The three main styles (although with many variations) are: The Kasuga style lantern, is a very formal one featuring a stone base. In the Oribe style lantern, unlike the Kasuga style, the pedestal is underneath the ground. The Yukimi or Snow-Viewing lantern is set on short legs instead of a pedestal. Consider the formality of your garden setting to choose the appropiate lantern.

When possible, elements from outside the garden can be included in it. For instance, you can work a far away mountain including the scenery in your design, framing it with the stones and plants existing in the garden.
The borrowed scenery (shakkei in Japanese) can be: Far (as in a far away mountain); near (a tree just outside the fence); High (an element seen above the fence) or low (like a component seen below a fence or through a window in the fence).

As much as it is perceived to contradict our sense of enclosure, it reminds us of how all things are interconnected.

The feel of your garden
The Japanese garden is a subtle place full of contradictions and imperatives. Where firmly established rules are broken with other rules. If you meet the Buddha on the road, you must kill him is a Zen paradox that recommends not to stick so tightly to rules, and the same goes for Japanese gardens.

When building a Japanese garden, don't get too attached to traditions that hold little meaning for you. It would have no function to recreate a Buddhist saints garden. This also applies to trying to remember the meaning of stone placements, as this method is no longer used in Japan, or even in the United States, due to the lack of meaning for us in the modern world.

That's why we have selected a few gardening suggestions that do hold relevance and integrate them into a garden. These three ideas on gardening will give direction to achieve perfect results.

The overall setting of the garden should always be right for the location, not the other way around.

The stones should be placed first, next the trees, and then the shrubs.

Get used to the concepts of shin, gyo, and so. This is of great help to start working on the garden.

Have in mind that the real Japanese gardens are the traditional ones in Japan. What we can do in America is to shape a garden in the Japanese style. Rikyu once said about the perfect Roji: "Thick green moss, all pure and sunny warm". In other words, techniques are not as important as the feeling you evoke in your garden. Said in other way, the feeling is more important than techniques.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Hoyce_Choyce

Garden watering used to be a painful process. Slow, irritating, damaging to the garden and (in the eyes of the modern world), ridiculously labour intensive. Imagine, now, the amount of hours spent actually in the garden, overseeing garden watering – watching the sprinkler, trailing the hose around, tramping over a sodden lawn with a watering can.

To the modern eye, the garden watering habits of even 20 years ago seem archaic in the extreme. Why? Because new methods of garden watering have developed that require no more attention than the flick of a switch or the setting of a timer. The new school of garden watering rather swishly refers to itself as “garden irrigation”, and – though there are different stripes of the same enterprise – works by automating garden watering with systems of pipes and nozzles.

Basically, this new way of garden watering takes the hosepipe underground, or conceals it in borders, and splits it up like a capillary system so that its water is delivered to exact locations (rather than sprayed around at random, as was the case with old style garden watering). A simple garden watering system is attached to a normal water source: whenever a person wishes to water the garden, they turn it on, and when they want to stop watering, they go back and turn it off.

More complex garden watering systems can be linked to timers and control panels. They’re obviously a little harder to set up (a simple garden watering system is simply hooked up to the garden tap and then it’s ready): but, when they are set up, high end garden watering systems require no maintenance at all. Top flight garden watering systems can be programmed to take seasons into account; to water specified bits of the garden with differing frequency; and to turn on and off again of their own accord.

It’s amazing, looking back, how much time in the garden was taken up just by watering it: and how much water was lost in the process. New garden watering systems, of course, save gallons of water daily simply by directing the stuff to exact point rather than spraying it all over the place. And all that time freed up by the modern garden watering system means that the 21st century gardener can devote more attention to doing stuff they actually want to do – planting, weeding, introducing new colours and scents to their outside spaces.

Garden watering has come a long way since the galvanised watering can. And with modern garden watering systems as simple or as complex as an individual needs them to be, there’s nothing to stop everyone installing them. Certainly not price. Modern garden watering systems can be installed as basic set up packages for as little as £20.

By: Amazon Irrigation Ltd

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Organic container gardening is an excellent way to grow flowers and vegetables at home. It has removed the limit that associated home gardening with a large yard space. It makes possible for urban gardeners to grow plants in their high-rise apartments and compact condominium units. It is so space efficient and beneficial that even countryside gardeners still have some plants growing in pots despite owning a sizeable garden area.

The biggest and obvious difference is that instead of planting directly in the ground, you'll be using containers to grow your plants. But using containers is where the added benefits come into play.

Containers double as barriers protecting plants from soil-born diseases and pests larvae that are present in the soil. It offers flexibility to move plants around as and when needed, to protect from unfavorable weather conditions such as hot summer and freezing winter days, for example. It allows for easier plantscaping, giving you more freedom to design a functional and attractive organic garden, as often as your whim dictates. Best of all, organic container gardening makes it possible to bring your garden indoors where you can enjoy the same benefit as you would outdoors.

And if that's not enough, growing plants in pots is also fairly easy and requires no special effort. To illustrate the point, here are seven simple ways to grow vegetables and flowers in containers.

1. Choose the size of the container based on the size of the mature plant and its root system. Plants with expansive root system need large containers. The size and material of the container affects its ability to hold moisture. But moisture-retention capability can be improved through the soil or by lining pots with non-porous and non-absorbent materials. Choose decorative pots with provision for collecting drained water for indoor plants. Choose durable containers that can withstand the elements for outdoor gardening.

2. Ensure that containers are fitted with enough drainage holes to prevent standing water. Line the bottom of the container with coarse gravel to ensure proper drainage.

3. Start with a good standard potting soil mixture. Add compost to the potting mix to supply nutrient to the plant. Use organic liquid fertilizer to give your plants instant boost. Use slow-release fertilizers for a steady and longer nutrient supply.

4. Place plants in containers where they can enjoy adequate sun exposure everyday. Five to eight hours are recommended depending on the plant's light requirement. Turn your plants regularly for equal exposure of all side to the sun.

5. During extremely hot days, move your plants under a shade to avoid wilting. Consequently, move them indoors to protect them from frost once winter sets in.

6. Water plants in containers more frequently than you would plants in the ground. Containers can only hold relatively small amount of soil and dry out quickly. Don't water too often. Overwatering will suffocate the roots causing them to rot. Frequent watering also washes away the fertilizers in the soil. Don't wait until your potted plants start to wilt before you water them.

7. Maintain 1:1 plant-container ratio for bushy flowering plants and vegetables. If you're going to grow more than on plant in a container, make sure that they have the same sun, water and fertilizer requirement. Don't have too many plants in a single container. Overcrowding impedes good air circulation that plants need.

By: Nova Person

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