5 Ideas To Make Your Garden POP

All gardens are beautiful, but if you want design features your guests will remember and your family will treasure, you might have to think outside the box. Creativity is the key to making a strong impression. Don’t do anything the way everyone else does it. Try something new. Go with something bold and out of the ordinary and adapt these exciting ideas to your unique style.

1. Add and Aquaponics Water Feature

Water features can be practical as well as beautiful. Consider a working waterfall raining down upon hanging or fixed planters to water them. The planters are filled with grow bed medium and beautiful plants, so your water will stay clean. Finally, after working through a system of numerous planters and waterfalls, the water babbles quietly through a final waterfall into a 300 to 600 gallon decorative fish pond. You could raise Koi for their beauty or Tilapia for your table.

Aquaponics system designs could be natural or something quite modern and abstract. Materials could be stones and concrete, decorative hammered copper and glass or any number of decorative materials. Many people are creating practical aquaponics systems that are utilitarian and designed to grow vegetables and fish, but it is possible to create intense beauty with an aquaponics system as well. Aquaponics systems self water plants, using bell siphons so they require very little maintenance, and the sound of their many waterfalls is absolutely enchanting.

2. Build Matching Walkways, Seating and Planters

There are many methods and materials that can be use to build a wonderland in your garden. Stone is always a good choice, but stamped or decorative concrete can mimic stone, brick, wood, marble or any other surface very convincingly at a fraction of the cost. A good concrete contractor can build both vertical and horizontal surfaces with the same patterns and materials. You will find his fees quite reasonable compared to the price of stone and the entire job will look like it cost a fortune.

3. A Custom Archway Trellis or Arbor with Built In Planters

Trellises and arbors can be so beautiful, but it takes forever for plants in the ground to reach the top of the trellis. Why not design an arbor with planters along the sides and built into the top for flowering plants. By combining the idea of vertical gardening with the old fashioned arched trellis one can have an amazing look almost immediately instead of having to wait for vines to grow to eight feet high? This way all types of flowering plants could be incorporated easily.

4. Build planters on the Top of your Garden Fences

Why not attach long planters to the tops of your fence posts so that they sit on top of the fence in a uniform row. This will add height, not only to your fence but to your garden. You and your guests will be able to enjoy your tall garden as a row of flowers or greenery at a new and unexpected height. This idea would work with any fence height including tall privacy fences. Consider filling the new fence planters with native violets and allowing them to trail down the fence in ample cascades of mauve and white blossoms and deep green foliage.

5. Consider an Exciting Designer Hammock

There are two stunning hanging furniture designs by Dedon, an Italian furniture company. Either would provide a stunning impression. Dedon makes an exciting 2 meter wide hanging teardrop shaped pod made of woven Dedon Fiber and stuffed with exciting outdoor cushions. Another possibility might be their Swingrest daybed. This round garden bed can be suspended or its swivel Corian base can be placed on the ground.

Mike Smith is a home decorator who uses Premium Pools and Gardens for all of his outdoor needs.






Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google Plus
  • Google
  • YahooBuzz
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Top Tips On Redesigning Your Garden For The Summer

With the arrival of spring often comes people’s desire to get out in the garden and change it up in order to recreate garden magic in time for summer BBQs with friends. However, redesigning a garden isn’t always easy and it can also be quite expensive, which is a real pain if the British summer turns out to be a wash out.

 

Redesigning your garden doesn’t have to be so pricey and stressful, however, and below you will find a number of top tips that will help save you money in the long run and get your garden looking as good as you want it to.

1. Remember what happened last year!

One of the biggest things to keep in mind, upon deciding you want to give your garden a makeover, is to remember exactly what you did in the garden last year and the years preceding that. You will then be able to steer clear of doing anything that didn’t work. For example, did you plant a particular flower that didn’t bloom? Did you successfully grow a plant but hate the scent it gave off?

You need to learn from your mistakes and ensure you know everything about the plants you are planting, i.e. what soil types they prefer, climate, should they be in direct sunlight and so on. This forward planning will ensure your garden looks as perfect as you want it to.

2. Test the pH of your soil

Even if you believe your garden has good soil, it is still important to test it before trying to grow anything. Even more so if you are planning to grow any foodstuffs and have a vegetable patch. So many people just feed their soil with composts and nutrients before they know what their soil is lacking in. Do not do this.

Buy a pH soil test form your local garden centre and then you will be able to see exactly what is going on with your soil and adapt your soil feeding to suit its exact nutrient and mineral requirements. Soil planning is essential if you want your garden redesign to be a success, so do not ever miss out on this step. If you choose to forgo testing your soil, you will only end up wasting your money buying plants and seeds that will not grow and bloom to their full potential.

3. Make your garden smell beautiful

The majority of people, when redesigning their gardens, tend to only focus on the visual sense, however, this is a mistake. When planning what you’re going to plant and grow you should not only think about colours, height and spread but also smell. Some of the best gardens are a true sight to behold but have a greater impact because they smell heavenly too.

Take care when buying your plants and flowers because unfortunately, many will have very limited fragrance because unfortunately it has been lost over time as breeders have worked to ensure plants have longer blooming periods. For instance, there’s no harm in choosing flowers like roses for their visual beauty but their fragrance will now be rather limited. Therefore try to also plant many of the more old-fashioned plants like gardenias, nicotianas and dianthus as these will not only provide colour but are also still strong in perfume too.

4. Create a focal point

As with interior design, where you might make a fireplace or central wall a focal point in your living room, you should look to make a focal point within your garden. You will have a much wider choice of where to make your focal point in your garden as opposed to inside your house and can even vary it on a year by year basis if you so choose.

Many people buy water features and make them a focal point of the garden. They do this by installing a lovely garden path that leads right up to them or by setting them apart from the rest of the garden by setting up ornamental handrails around the feature. Focal points don’t have to be water features though; they can be anything from a distinctive plant to a garden patio.

5. Make sure you have the right tools

This should go without saying and if you are particularly green fingered, no doubt you will have a stock of useful garden tools in your shed. However, there are many people who start off redesigning their garden without many of the key tools they need, simply because they’ve not planned what they’re going to do to their garden in advance.

You don’t need to spend a fortune; however, it is definitely worth investing in some good quality tools, in order to make sure your garden redesign goes smoothly and looks professional once you have finished. At the very least you should have the following:

– Rake
– Shovel
– Pruners
– Garden knife
– Trowel
– Hard-wearing gloves
– Knee pad
– Water hose
– Watering can

Take good care of these tools and you will be able to use them for years. For instance, each time you use any of the metal based tools, rinse off any soil and grime thoroughly, dry them and then place them into a bucket with a sand and motor oil mixture. This will prevent rusting and ensure your tools stay sharp and shiny – perfect for helping you redesign your garden.

Attached Images:
  •  License: Image author owned

Laura writes for Seagull Balustrades. When not blogging about banister rails, she’s usually trying to wipe childrens’ fingerprints off hers.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google Plus
  • Google
  • YahooBuzz
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Beauty And The Beasts: Care For Your Orchids By Getting Rid Of The Pests

Orchids are beautiful and exotic blossoms that are very delicate to care for. There are about 20,000 pieces of orchid plants that are divided into over 700 genra and they are all a symbol of love and beauty. They are prized for their uniqueness, elegance and beauty, thus the reason for many gardening hobbyists to care for them. In fact, orchids are so exquisite that they are quite expensive too. Unfortunately, they are also victims of pest infestations which are a nuisance. The best way to deal with pests on your orchids is to prevent them from the very beginning.

 

Caring For Your Orchids

Orchids are just like any plants that can be infested by pests and diseases. To prevent this from happening you must first be very observant and make a habit of inspecting your plants regularly. When you are vigilant about it, you can avoid having to deal with pests or diseases in the long run. It is also a good idea to sterilize your gardening tools before you work on your orchids and invest in new one sided razor blades for cutting. Never use a blade on an infected plant and then on a healthy one. Knowing what type of pest can infest orchids is also necessary so you can apply the proper treatments.

Identify Pests That May Be Infesting Your Flowers

When you learn to identify the different types of pests that can infest orchids, you will find it easier to care for these beauties. Here are a few common pests that infest different varieties of orchids:

Aphids

This is a common pest found in a variety of plants and they can be easily distinguished by their black, orange, pink, red, yellow or beige colors. Aphids are normally seen on flower buds, new leaves and shoots feeding on the plant. Sadly, these pests can deform orchids and infect them with virus and bacteria, but hey can be washed off with water or you can spray them with orange oil or isopropyl alcohol.

Scale

Scale is a pest with a hard shell to protect the soft hidden body from danger, making it more difficult to eliminate it with alcohol or other natural remedies. If you look on the underside of leaves or on the edge or bracts of leaves, you will find this pest feeding. Getting rid of it can be tiresome, but with plenty of patience, you can simply pick them off your orchids. When you remove this pest from your plants, you can expect your orchids to become healthy.

Slugs

These are also common orchid pests and they can do serious damage to your expensive plants from the roots all the way to the flowers. You can easily find them at night hiding under flower pots and in cool damp places. However, you can eliminate slugs by simply placing a few broken egg shells around your orchids as these shells can cut through slugs.

Mealy Bug

Resembling cotton masses, this pest can be found hiding on the growing tips, stems, bracts and buds.  Usually, they can be seen together with aphids. Unfortunately this pest is quite difficult to eliminate as repeated treatments are necessary.

Orchids are indeed one of a kind and extensive care is recommended for these exquisite plants. If you think that the pests you find infesting your garden and orchids seem to be great in number, you must consult with a pest control professional to get rid of the tiny beasts to save your beauties.

Citations:
Attached Images:
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://mrg.bz/S9b1DL

Valerie Williams is a freelance writer specializing in gardening and natural forms of pest control in gardens. She also provides information about natural pest control methods in homes and in the garden, how pests can affect plants such as orchids and how the services of Las Vegas Ant Control professionals from help treat severe infestations.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google Plus
  • Google
  • YahooBuzz
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS