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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...