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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Small footprints: Your flower garden

Having small flower garden at your door steps will help you to enjoy the natural benefits of flower gardens. Planting the aromatic flowers and culinary herbs in your garden, you can maintain the fresh atmosphere in your surrounding and get the fresh herbs whenever required. Flowering shrubs are also good choices for mini flower gardens. Shrubs are small plants with beautiful visual appearance. Here are some important flowers gardening tips for planting the flower garden at your door step. 
Mini Flower Garden Tips:
Mini flower garden or indoor gardening is the best option if you are living in the apartment system and don’t have space to plant an ordinary flower garden. These indoor gardens can be planted in pots and containers and require much less space. You also have the advantage of changing the design of your flower garden when you are planting it in containers. By moving the containers, you can design your flower garden as required.
Initial preparations are very much necessary for planting the indoor flower gardens. First of all you have to select the pots and containers for your garden depending on your available area. Then selection of plants is the next important thing. Choose the plants that do not grow taller. If you are growing the garden in your balcony, make sure that it receives sunlight for maximum time of the day. If it remains in shade for most of the time, select the plants that grow well indoor. 

Containers and pots are generally made of ceramic or clay material. They should have drainage holes for the escape of excess water. If your container does not have drainage holes, fill half of container with river pebbles and then add soil to the container. This will help to drain out the excess of water without risking the plant roots. 

You can plant useful plants in your flower garden. Herbs have medicinal and culinary uses. Some herbs have beautiful visual appearance. Fresh herbs can add flavor to your food. While choosing the flower plants, select the plants with varied colors. Flowering shrubs can also be planted in your home gardens. 

After planting the mini garden at your door step, it is important to take care of it. Watering the plants on daily basis is necessary. Spray water on the leaves with the spray pump at least thrice in a day. Protect the plant from harmful insects. Spray insecticides on the plant leaves every month.

You can place the center piece in your garden and place the containers around the enter piece for better appearance.  Along with growing and taking care of the flower plants it is equally important to harvest the flowers when they are completely grown. If they are not harvested, they will consume excess of plant energy and lower down the plant growth. Same is the case with dead branches and twigs. All the dead branches and twigs should be immediately separated from the plant to enable faster growth. 

Having the colorful flower garden indoors will keep the ambiance at home fresh and cheerful.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Resolutions for the New Year

Never, ever chat with a mature well-trained teacher (even if he or she is on holiday) about making and breaking New Years Resolutions. My mistake, as I introduced the topic with a friend while we aquajogged in the swimming pool on New Year's Eve.

Stake the Dahlias!

New Year's Resolutions? She didn't believe in them personally. I chipped in - I always have the same ones, and I never manage to keep any. My favourite is to remember next year to stake the dahlias. This is a great New Year's Resolution, since these plants start flowering in January, and non-staked dahlias flowering at ground level are fairly obvious.

 My cerise dahlias flower on and on and on - until the first frost.
You have to set 'smart goals' which are attainable, said my friend, and, what's more, you have to then provide the 'smart framework' for them to be successful. Aargh! Nobody can be more instructively helpful than a teacher on holiday.

It goes something like this. Immediately I've written this article I get a bucket and label it 'Dahlia Stakes'. OK. I can do this - if I can find my permanent marker pen. I choose a prominent place for the bucket - perhaps the front porch?

Now I address the provision of the 'smart framework'. I ask myself politely when I should be staking these floppy dahlias. Possibly about November? I should know the answer to this! But I never really notice the dahlias until they've flopped over with flowers...
Ha! Now let the rendering of the New Year's Smart Resolution begin. For I must start collecting dahlia stakes, and popping them deftly into that well-named bucket. How many will I need by next November? This gives me my monthly quota. And each month I must do a stake count, and write the number up on my kitchen notice board. Aargh! I don't have one - that's my next job.

By November that bucket should be full. And hopefully nobody will have had the nerve to move it out of the way, or use the stakes therein for other garden purposes. Certainly (if my permanent ink hasn't faded) it should be obvious to all passers-by that I am collecting something terribly important.

 I love the red dahlias in my garden - as do the bees!
Red Dahlias
I've asked my friend about the usefulness of having written instructions for myself pinned up on e.g. the toilet door. 'HAVE YOU COLLECTED TODAY'S DAHLIA STAKES?' She says no - this is old-school thinking, and could well trigger a rebellious negative response. Smart goals work positively, with self-encouragement and warm fuzzy signposts, and perhaps a reward (like buying a new rose) when I reach 50 stakes. Phew!

My whole gardening attitude could benefit from setting 'smart goals'. My front porch covered in well-labelled buckets, one housing my ill-kept and much neglected garden tools so I won't lose them... Ha! This immediately suggests my New years Resolution Number Two...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

2010 Garden Roses

 I think this is the correct name - she came from my old garden.
Tree Climbing Lavender Lassie

 Two very fat roses.
Honorine de Brabant and Complicata

No, I don't have two thousand and ten roses - well, not yet - but this summer I'm really enjoying my collection of over four hundred. 2010 is a wonderful year for the big roses, and the smaller shrub roses are just as showy. And the climbers - magnificent!

My traditional 'big' shrub roses, like Complicata and Honorine de Brabant, are stunning this year - I've never seen them looking 'fatter'. And my English roses are splendid, too. Hurray for Benjamin Britten - sorry, I mean Sir Benjamin Britten - whom I pruned rather severely last winter. I did wonder if this chap would get the sulks... No way! Sirs don't sulk...

Happy Tree-Climbers

The tree-climbers are particularly happy this year. The first to bloom was the spring-flowering yellow Banksia, splendid and high in the big plum tree. The later, more modest climbing roses have surprised me - Buff Beauty in the Crab-Apple and Lavender Lassie in her apple tree are huge. A white Iceberg now covers the top of the large conifer in the driveway, and Cecile Brunner has escaped her fence-line, energetically reaching up and over a nearby weeping Prunus. Constance Spry, a most beautiful once-flowering rose, is pottering gently through the greenery by the septic tank. Dear Constance - she is one of David Austin's early creations.

The hybrid musk rose Moonlight is perfect for tree-climbing rose duties, and I can't imagine growing this rose in any other way. One of my Moonlights did bring down the old apricot tree a month ago - well, that's what Non-Gardening Partner reckons, but I don't believe him. The tree has been dead for years - and Moonlight is a beautifully restrained, modest climber with the gentlest of intentions...

 Bloomfield Courage, unknown white, and Phyllis Bide
Archway Roses
The archway-drapers are having a wonderful season, too. The orchard archway roses are in high spirits, though Souvenir de la Malmaison is in big trouble for balling her blooms. And some of the roses (like Coconut Ice) need to aim just a little bit higher. By the house the tiny-flowered Bloomfield Courage partners a large white - they share a rose archway at the side of the house, and both are blooming well. On the second archway Phyllis Bide shows her impeccable sense of timing - flowering at exactly the same time as the nextdoor Philadelphus.

 Such an easy rose - no problems!
Santana Climbing Red Rose
Yippee for the Moosey ramblers - the cherry pink Chevy Chase in the orchard, the apple-blossom pink Woodshed Rambler, name unknown, and the collection of lemon beauties in trees here and there (I think they're all Alberic Barbiers). Their weeping rose canes do present a slight lawn-mowing hazard - nothing too serious.

Tribute to the Red Roses

I'd like to pay a special tribute to some of the red roses in this year's rose garden. Santana on the pergola is simply gorgeous (thanks to me pruning it, I reckon), and my new hybrid teas Ingrid Bergman are a delight - well, two delights, actually, planted by the water race.

Now if only Dublin Bay would behave. This is a most over-rated red rose with no fragrance, no colour depth, and a tendency to grab whatever fungal spores happen to be floating around at the time. So why do I put up with it? Hmm...

New Rugosas with Rust!

Apart from a few surprises, like the two new rusty rugosas Vanguard and Sarah Van Fleet in the Shrubbery, all my roses seem to be in reasonable health. Climbing Masquerade is always a worry, but this year I have my little hand-held bug and fungus puffers.

 A naughty, rusty rose!
Vanguard Rugosa Rose
And so I'm able to keep a stern and more consistent eye on dodgy rose leaves. Masquerade, however, should thank its lucky stars it has sentimental value (it came from my old garden)...

Thanks, Thanks, Thanks, Thanks...

So I need to say thanks, over four hundred times, to this year's roses and their grand display. Thanks, all!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

How to grow beautiful roses?

Roses have always been the attraction for the garden lovers. There are varieties of roses that you can plant in your flower garden. Some people think that roses take too much time to grow while some think that they are easy to grow. Growing roses can be fun and you need not require taking much effort for rose gardening. Follow the basic flower gardening tips to make your flower garden beautiful and blossom with colorful and healthy flowers. 
Planting Beautiful Roses:
Roses are beautiful and attractive and interesting flowers that add beauty to any landscape. They are easy to grow and require very low maintenance. With appropriate knowledge and proper care, you can grow beautiful roses in your garden. Rose gardening can also be economical. Knowing the proper flower gardening tips will help you to design a beautiful flower garden. Below are some rose gardening tips:

  1. Roses are the sun loving plants. They require direct sunlight for several hours in a day. Hence while planting the rose garden, it is important to choose the appropriate location for roses where they will get a sufficient amount of sunlight. It doesn’t mean that it will not require shade at all. Choose the location that receives 5-6 hours of direct sunlight and few hours of late shade. 
  2.  Plant the roses away from bigger plants. Planting them closer to bigger plants will pull the water supply away from them.
  3. Add natural compost to the soil regularly. This will help to increase the soil nutrient contents. Organic manure is the best fertilizer for your garden. 
  4. Clip or cut the dead branches and leaves from the plant. When planting, if you are beginning with the bare root plants, soak the roots overnight in water before planting. If you are using the potted plants, you can just loosen up the soil before planting. 
  5.  If you are planting a bare root rose plant, dig about 15-20 inches in the ground sand place the plant in the ground. If you are planting the potted plants, you can place it directly in the hole after loosening the soil around the roots. 
  6. Add water at regular intervals after planting so that the roots get sufficient moisture. Do not overwater the plants. Do not fix the soil around the roots too tightly. This will not allow the roots to get enough oxygen. 
  7.  The rose plants will require frequent watering. Rain is the best source for water. If rain is not available, you will need to water the plants regularly several times a week. Always water at the base of the plant. Damping the leaves and blooms will invite number of plant diseases. 
  8. Roses dwell well in slight acidic soil with pH higher than 7. If the garden soil is more alkaline, add coffee grounds around the base of the rose plants.
Keep track of the health of your rose plants. Spray pesticides on the plant regularly to keep it safe from insects and pests. Following the above instructions, you will definitely end up in creating a beautiful rose garden.