Only gardening dabbling

At this time of year (north of the Tropic of Cancer anyway) gardening usually slows down.  This is not without its compensations.  Keeping up does become less hectic.  Still, most of us do not want to really hibernate so what do we do to keep the show rolling forward?

For those of us with a large garden there is always something to do even it is just trying to keep it tidy by gathering up leaves and broken branches.  This is also the time of year to put most of any new spring bulbs into the ground.  For those of us with a small garden or a balcony a little thought can go a long way.  At this time of year we tend to be short of fresh items.  Growing a few herbs can do so much to liven up a meal without much effort.  Some of the hardier items can still be kept out of doors but others really must be kept indoors.  One word of caution, be very wary of bringing pots indoors if they have been left outside.  Insects tend to leave eggs in and around food that we like to eat.  Once the eggs come into the warmth they hatch and the resulting plague can be most unwelcome!  Of course going the other way has fewer problems and one really has to be wary of the frost in the spring.

One can have a splash of colour very cheaply by planting pansies, roses, gardenias or azaleas, in containers with compost out of doors.  These items can easily be obtained from your nearest gardening centre or even your local florist.  Throw in some cheap spring bulbs such as narcissus or daffodils and one can have a boost of colour just as the other plants are beginning to fade.

One can be a real enthusiast and start from seeds but if you are starting out it is more reliable to buy seedlings.  Nowadays just about every supermarket sells growing herbs such as parsley and basil which are beyond the seedling stage in pots.  If one wants the plant to keep on growing through the winter one should “pot up” into larger containers with good quality compost.  The plants should thrive on that for a few weeks if they are watered and have sufficient light but if you want them to thrive into the New Year and beyond you will have to give them some fertiliser.  Do harvest quite often as this helps the plant bring forth fresh growth.  Uncut and some of them will become a bit stringy.  With a bit of luck the plants will still be healthy at the end of spring and can be put into the ground outdoors for the summer!

Article written by London Florist – Flowers24hours.co.uk

 






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Cheap Fall Landscaping Ideas

The changing of the trees into their brilliant gradients of reds, oranges and yellows can only mean that fall is here again. To most people, fall brings pleasant thoughts of Halloween, fresh apple cider, leaf piles and pumpkin pie. For many, it can also stir a desire to do some fall landscaping. With nature in the height of its colorful glory, there are so many ways to accentuate your home during the fall.

Fall-Blooming Flowers

This time of year, you can find great selections of flowers that bloom profusely in autumn. Chrysanthemums, ornamental kale, pansies and even marigolds are just a few of the available choices that look good and don’t cost much. Each of these plants comes in an enormous variety of colors and bloom sizes, so don’t be afraid to get creative. Some autumn flowers, such as chrysanthemums and pansies, will bloom clear up to the first frost. Many will even survive the winter and provide you with equally lovely color in the early spring.

Gourds

You can’t have fall without gourds. Some decorative gourds are very small, but there are also large varieties that make fantastic fall landscape accents. Pumpkins are also popular choices for their cheerful orange color and slow decomposition. Another fun idea for using gourds as landscape decorations is to paint them. Gourds with long, curved necks can be painted to look like geese, while others can be painted with faces or designs. Because painting doesn’t involve any dangerous objects, it’s a great alternative to letting the kids carve pumpkins!

Autumn Accents

More than anything, it’s the little things that remind you of fall the most. To spruce up your lawn in the fall spirit, try adding some hay bales and cornstalk bundles. They’re great for arranging your gourds around, as well as any flower containers you have. In fact, you can even plant your flowers directly into the hay bales! Just cut a hole into it, add a little soil and put the plant’s root ball inside. Make sure it stays moist.

Baskets

Baskets are closely associated with fall’s bounty. They’re also inexpensive and can be easily found at thrift and dollar stores, garage sales and antique shops. Furthermore, baskets can be found in all kinds of sizes, colors and shapes. You can place anything inside of a basket as decoration, too. Gourds, dried flowers, colorful leaves and fresh-picked apples are just a few ideas. If you have a garden, you can also use them to transport your harvest for a delicious autumn meal. Did you remember to grow sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner?

Whether you’re planning a fall festival or just enjoy changing your landscaping with the seasons, Lawn Connections Landcapers in Keller can help.

 

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Preparing our garden for winter

October is almost over and it keeps on getting cooler here in Toronto. Most of our trees still have their leaves, but I’m sure that won’t be for long!

We spent yet another weekend – Or rather at least one day this weekend doing some more yard work in order to prepare our garden for winter. This time we were busy putting away things like our solar lights, garden ornaments and trimming back some of the plants that had become overgrown. I also took some time inspecting my rose plants and I cut out any dead branches that I noticed.

When the trees finally start to drop their leaves we’ll gather up some of the leaves and put them on our garden beds as we normally do each year. A good layer of maple leaves on our plants seems to help protect them through the winter.

Most winters we don’t get a lot of snow. Oh we get snow, but it snows, then it melts and we have a week or two of deep cold but no snow cover .. so if the plants are bare and exposed to all that cold it can really hurt them – so at least the deep leaf cover helps. Then of course it will snow again and our garden will have a foot or two of snow on it for a week or two until it melts again and that will keep the plants and ground insulated for a short while .. but the temperature changes the garden goes through through the winter because of our lack of good snow cover yet fairly cold temperatures can be quite hard on the plants if they aren’t prepared in the fall.

Do you put mulch or leaves on your garden beds in late fall to protect your plants over the winter?

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