July Garden ChoresWritten by Sandra Wilson
It's getting hotter every day or so it seems. There are still some things that can be done in garden even at this time of year. Below are a few gardening tips for those that love summer warmth. For you who aren't particularly appreciative of hot hot, then do your gardening chores early in morning.
As flowers in your garden start to fade, you should see seed pods begin to appear. What does this mean as far as plant's growth is concerned? How does it affect appearance of your garden?
It means that plant puts most of its resources towards seeds and creating them. If seed pods are allowed to remain, plant will not continue to give you flowers like it would if seeds were removed once flowers go by. You could end up with a garden with lots of seeds and few blooms. This of course, depends on many factors. Therefore, faded flowers should be cut off. You can go around every day as you go about youyr gardening with some type of trimmers or scissors and cut off all dead flowers. You can add this organic matter to your compost pile.
But,there are, of course, exceptions to every rule. There are a some plants that are grown because of their colored or shaped seed pods. Among these are Chinese lanterns plants. It is a low-growing plant with white flowers that some may think are not as pretty as many other flowers, but when flowers have gone by, balloon-like seed pods gradually appear. At first these are green, but in time they will change to a brilliant orange-red. They can be used in vases in house throughout winter to brighten decor.
At this time of year, you might find a beautiful flower on some plant in your garden and you just want to save seed. Tie a piece of string around stem so you can identify it later and very carefully remove other flowers from plant as they fade. Then, when seed is ready, you can cut stem bearing seed. After leaving it in a warm dry place for a few days, carefully seperate out seeds and put them away for another day. They should be kept perfectly dry. This is one technique towards creating your own special garden and an interesting gardening technique as well.
In some cases, it is a good plan to sow seed as soon as it is ready as it grows more quickly and more surely than seed that has been kept. For annuals, this may not be practical this late in season. This, of course, depends upon your growing season, how long individual plant actually takes to set seed and other factors. With perennials, you might be able to get a head start on next spring by planting seed in a protected area for winter. Maybe in a cold frame in a protected area. On other hand, there are some seeds that just do not grow for a long time. Some seeds require a certain number of hours of cold temperatures or even below freezing temperatures before planting. You will have to research individual plant you have seed from to see what is practical.
How to make your Backyard a Wonderland OasisWritten by Robert Gravestock
Home and garden accessories make difference between house and home. Unfortunately, quality accessories can be notoriously expensive and in today's economy, finding beauty at a price one can afford is sometimes difficult but can be done. The difference between an empty backyard and a lush garden oasis comes down to details. Visual and aural grace notes can transform any space.
Creating a relaxing atmosphere has as much to do with sound as with visual details. For instance, a simple white hammock suspended between two trees or a solid-wood swing becomes a perfect spot for Sunday afternoon naps and quiet conversations. Accompany that with tea-light candle lanterns, arranged attractively on a treated outdoor cocktail table placed next to a rose bed makes a perfect place for morning coffee. Hang a wood and steel wind chime nearby, hung high in trees, sending pleasant notes over air. Depending on materials used in construction, wind chimes can sound like tinkling bells, or have rich, sonorous chimes. Finally, place a gently flowing fountain just behind is always an elegant finishing touch. Voila. You've incorporated all elements: fire, water, steel and wood, and created your own Feng Shui paradise.
For those fond of outdoor pieces, like garden statues, birdbaths and fountains, be sure to take height of surrounding plants (if any) into consideration. If you have a lush garden, full of tall grasses and flowering plants, consider foot tall or higher plaster statues of children gathering flowers, angels whispering to one another, or playful rabbits. Small plaster statues in form of either sweet cherubs or amusing gargoyles (believed in ancient times to keep evil spirits away) are very charming when placed in garden beds featuring low growing border plants.
When choosing home and garden accessories to enjoy in your backyard wonderland, don't forget to think of very birds, bees and butterflies which also call your backyard home. The friendlier a backyard is to flora and neighborhood fauna, more inviting it is to people, too. Watching robins in spring, hummingbirds in summer and sparrows in fall is one of more relaxing aspects of backyard living.