Give Your Garden a Rippling Effect: Add a Tranquil PondWritten by Mary M. Alward
A pond is a landscaping tool that creates a tranquil, relaxing retreat in which to unwind after a busy day – a tranquil haven where all of your stress will disappear.
A pond will bring your garden alive. It will transform a still image in to one that is full of life. You will enjoy abundant wildlife that visit, including birds, butterflies, dragonflies, frogs, toads and other small creatures that are attracted by sound of moving water.
A love of nature and gardening will help you keep your garden environment in balance while you’re designing your garden pond. Even if you are inexperienced in subject of water gardening, you will be able to create a project that will bring a touch of nature’s magic into your garden.
Your pond will be your garden’s focal point; centerpiece where all main activity is focused. Beautiful blossoming water lilies will rest among lush lily pads while goldfish glide through water. Watch dragonflies circle over pond and perch at water’s edge to lay their eggs. Your pond garden will be a tranquil, soothing place where blooming plants and wildlife will create an enchanting natural ecosystem.
While a pond can be totally self contained, it will be more successful if it is coupled with a bog garden. The plants used will provide opportunities for aquatic flora to flourish, as well as decorate area around your pond. Plants included in your bog garden will allow you a unique opportunity to grow flora that would be impossible to develop in any other type of garden.
If your space is limited, or if a traditional pond is too large, container water gardens can be created. A half barrel fountain converted into a pond where gnomes rush and pygmy water lilies flourish makes a profound accent for your garden. If a barrel isn’t your idea of an attractive container, use old sinks, livestock watering troughs or a bathtub, covered in mosaics to create a unique container water garden.
When you are choosing a site for your pond, siting and safety are very important. The site is crucial to success of your pond. It must be in a position to be highly visible and ecological factors must be considered. Plants won’t prosper unless pond’s profile is suitable.
Ladybugs, Ladybugs, Come to My GardenWritten by Lesley Dietschy
Ladybugs, also called lady beetles or ladybirds, can be a gardener’s best friend. The ladybug’s bright coloring brings welcomed cheer to garden, as well as helping with pest control. Since medieval times, ladybugs have been valued by farmers all over world. Many believe that ladybug was divinely sent to free crops of insect pests. In fact, that is how ladybug got its name. People dedicated bug to Virgin Mary and therefore called it “The Bug of our Lady”, which was eventually shortened to present name “ladybug”.
Adult ladybugs are usually oval or domed shaped and have red wings, yellow wings or shades and variations of these colors. The number of black spots can range from no spots to 15 spots and they are typically about one quarter inch in size or smaller.
The length of life cycle of a ladybug varies depending upon temperature, humidity, and food supply. Usually life cycle from egg to adult is about three to four weeks, and up to six weeks during cooler spring months. During spring adult female ladybug can lay up to three hundred eggs in an aphid colony. The eggs normally hatch in two to five days. The newly hatched larvae feed on aphids for up to three weeks and then enter pupae stage. About one week later, adult ladybug emerges. There can be as many as six generations of ladybugs hatched in a year.
The ladybug enjoys popularity around world. These pretty insects have long been considered a symbol of good luck and fortune because of their ability to eat an enormous amount of aphids. One ladybug can eat as many as 50 to 60 aphids per day. Aphids (also called plant lice) are herbivores and are one of worst groups of pests on plants. They feed in colonies and damage plants by sucking juice out of leaves, stems, or roots. While aphids feed, they damage plant tissue creating a loss of plant fluids and photosynthetic tissue needed to produce energy for plant growth. Some plants will show no adverse response to aphids, while others react with twisted, curled or swollen leaves or stems. Aphids also transmit many plant diseases from one plant to another.
Apart from aphids, ladybugs eat a variety of other insects and larvae including white flies, mealy bugs, spider mites, and other types of soft-bodied insects. They also require a source of pollen for food and for that reason are attracted to certain types of plants. Their preferred plants have umbrella shaped flowers such as dill, fennel, angelica, tansy, caraway, cilantro, yarrow, and wild carrot. Other plants that attract ladybugs include cosmos (especially white ones), dandelions, coreopsis, and scented geraniums.