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Verbascum – Rock Mullein

The stately 6 ft Mulleins which grace the back of the border have three lowly relatives which are at home in the rock garden. The family traits are there – the need for a sunny home, leaves which are hairy or spiky and profusion of saucer-shaped blooms.

Varieties: The rockery species is closest in growth habit to the border Mullenies is V.dumulosum – height 9 in., spread 1ft, flowering period June-July. The flowering spikes bearing yellow blooms grow firm and upright from tufts of greyish, woolly leavs, V. spinosum is quite diferent – the leaves are toothed and spiny, and the yellow blooms are borne in loose flower-heads. These two species are accidentally crossed at Wisley Gardens and the resulting hibryd has become. the most popular Rock Mullein – V. Letitia. The basic details are height 9in., spread 1 ft, flowering period June – August. It si a shrubby perennial with velvety leaves and is covered 1/2 in. yellow blooms in summer.

Site Soil : Requires well-drained soil and full sun.

Propagation: Plant root cuttings in a cold frame in late winter.

Garden Jobs In May

Garden Jobs In May – May usually brings out the best weather for gardening – it is not too hot or too cold; just right to begin planting vegetables and flowers that will reach their peak in summer.

May is an ideal month for planting almost any flowers.  Plant warm season annuals in May such as begonia, chrysanthemum, geranium, marigold, petunia and verbena. While annuals come and go, perennials will bring backyard enjoyment for years to come. Perennials to plant now include African daisy, delphinium, fuchsia and lavender.

Thin out fruit. By now, many fruit trees are beginning to bear small fruit. Thin the smaller or excess fruit so the stronger fruit will have the nutrients to grow. This is especially important for younger trees.

Maintain an early morning watering schedule. Water your garden during morning hours. Watering at night can cause fungus to grow in moist areas. By watering in the early morning, your garden will be sufficiently dry by the time the sun warms up your plants and lawn, but moist enough to offset the heat of the day.

Use mulch. Mulch absorbs water, reduces erosion and keeps weeds in check throughout the year and especially during the growing season. Its value dissipates with time, however, so maintain about three inches of fresh mulch around plants and in areas where weeds are a problem.

Naturally reduce pests. Spring attracts bad bugs to the garden. While it may be tempting to buy a pesticide to rid your garden of these bugs, there are plenty of all-natural options. For example, ladybugs can control infestations of aphids (small round bugs that feed in colonies on vegetable gardens, roses and other plants). To control snails, put boards around your garden. The snails will be drawn to their shade to avoid the hot sun. Pick up the board, pluck off the snails and put them in the trash.

Aerate and dethatch warm season lawns. Warm-season lawns need attention during May. Aerate and dethatch these lawns so water can easily penetrate to the roots. Apply a light layer of lawn topping to keep in moisture and reduce water usage.

Plant herbs. If you love to use fresh herbs in your meals, an herb garden is almost mandatory. The cost to purchase an herb plant and keep it watered is much less than buying expensive cut herbs at the grocery store. Herbs to plant now are basil, chives, cilantro, dill, fennel, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon and thyme.

Plant something exotic. Lemons, oranges, peaches and plums are the mainstay of many gardens. Try something new this year by planting bananas, pineapples, guava, mango and other subtropical fruit. Check with your local nursery to see what will grow best in your climate zone.

Spring Cleaning Tips

 

Spring cleaning season is upon us. Some of us dread the thought of cleaning and organizing, while others thrive off the idea. Here are a few tips to make your spring cleaning easier and more efficient.

Makeup
Makeup is an item that naturally gets cluttered and very, very messy. To keep things organized during your spring cleaning, throw away expired makeup. A helpful tip is to write on the product the date you opened it so you know exactly how old it is.

Closet

This is the area most of us need help in. Everyone gets attached to their clothing. During your spring cleaning, think about how many times you wore an item. If it’s been over a year, toss it. If it’s out of style, toss it. If you don’t feel any personal attachment to it, toss it. To make things look neat and organized, colour-coordinate your clothes and roll them in your drawers so you can see everything you own.

De-clutter
We all have things we definitely do not need. Studies show that a messy home leads to increased stress levels. Clean through your drawers to have a more relaxed mind.

Clean your cleaners

Most of us neglect this step! The cleaners too, need to be cleaned. Change the filter on your vacuum, clean the bristles, vacuum the ends of your broom to get rid of dust, and of course disinfect them.

Make a list
Spring cleaning can be overwhelming because it seems like you have 101 things to do and clean, but putting it down on paper can make it easier to know where to start. List everything you want done and begin checking them off one by one.

Should You Rent a Skid with an Operator?

Skid steers are important, earth moving machines used for landscaping and a lot of other functions that involve moving the earth and digging up land. They are mostly used at construction sites for lighter jobs so it is not something that you might have stored in your garage or shed.

Skid steers are quite expensive, but you can always rent one for your projects from Skid steer rental, especially if you only need it for a one-time project. Like any other machine used at such site, you need specialized knowledge to operate this machine. Since this is not something you can learn at a whim, it is important that you hire one with an operator. Here is why you should do that.

Skill and Experience

In any project, a skilled and experienced individual will do a better and a clinical job than armatures or do-it-yourself individuals. Skid steers operations are no different. Digging, scooping, and carrying heavy loads with this machine is not such a simple task. You need an operator since they already know the controls and know what to use to carry out a particular function. As an armature, you might end up messing your work environment instead of getting the job done.

Save Time

Projects have deadlines that must be achieved. If you do not know how to operate a skid steer, you will waste a lot of time trying to learn the controls and then finally using the operator without any guidance. This process may hinder the progress of your project and delay it a great deal. You can save yourself from all these by just hiring a machine that comes with its operators. You will save a lot of time since the operator comes prepared to accomplish his tasks. You only need to give basic instructions to the operator and wait to see your land being leveled up.

Safety

Safety is paramount when using these machines. As mentioned, it requires experience and skill to operate this machine. Without such, you and the people around the site may be exposed to fatal danger. It is possible to run over other people considering the speed at which this machine moves with. As an operator, you can get trapped within the machine parts or even have a heavy load fall over you. A skilled operator is adept or conversant with the controls inside this machine. These operators will significantly reduce the risks associated with these machines.

Regulations

In some states, skid operators must be licensed to operate these machines. Such machines are not your everyday automobiles that one can just get into and operate. They are complex machines that require specialized handling by professionals specifically trained for this purpose. You can be arrested and charged if found operating such a machine without the qualification. If you are in such a state, it is better to get one with an operator rather than hire one without then start the tedious process of trying to get a good operator. If you get one from the company, they will most likely give you a qualified one.

Seasonal Spring Flowers For The Garden

Seasonal Spring Flowers For The Garden – Which flowers are in season during the spring depends greatly on your climate zone and weather conditions. In warmer areas the earliest flowers will show their color before winter wheezes its last breath. The most prominent spring flowers are those that come from bulbs. They arrive in wonderfully pastel colors from the first pure white snowdrops to low growing lilac, mauve or yellow crocuses, closely followed by delicate cyclamens, sometimes showing through a skiff of snow.

By early spring, depending again on the growing zone, sunny yellow daffodils, or narcissus, have presented their welcome heads. They range in color from a deep yellow to paper white with yellow centers. They are closely followed by other bulbs including anemones whose common name is wind flowers. These are showy with generally red heads and black center but can be purple, light pink, white or blue. Anemones are actually a herb and have a romantic history. They mean ‘forsaken’. Stalks of purple grape hyacinths not only add color to which flowers are in season during the spring, but they add a wonderful fragrance.

Tulips, a popular and colorful addition to any garden, do well in almost every climate zone. They come in many bright colors and are very hardy. Stalks and blooms can be low to the ground or taller and more upright. By May they should be in full bloom. The iris arrive and the garden comes alive with a rainbow of glory. Iris plants were actually named after ‘Iris’ the Greek Goddess of the Rainbow. Their fragrance and beauty is unrivaled.

Among the perennial flowers that are early spring bloomers include dianthus, a frill edged bloom that ranges from pale pink to dark pink. Salvia, a spiky, tall bloomer is part of the mint family of herbs. Sea thrift, sometimes known as sea pink makes an early cutting flower for the spring bouquet and the unbranched bright clumps of Lungwort bring life to the early perennial garden.

Which flowers are in season during the spring is, of course, governed by which you plant. Early annuals that will bring quick color are the every popular Impatiens. They grow rapidly and bloom profusely. For delicate color under shrubs or taller plants the shy Viola makes a nice presentation. For nonstop action in your spring and early summer garden geraniums win hands down. They come in varied colors, their large heads inviting your line of vision. They are hardy and require little care except a daily ‘deadheading’ or pulling off dying blooms. Petunias is an old fashioned favorite that adds special charm to the cool weather garden, although they will bloom throughout the season when provided the right sun exposure. New breeds of Petunias have been introduced over the years including the wave petunia, a vine variety that works well in hanging pots. For cutting flowers remember to plant Bachelor Buttons and traditional snapdragons. Gypsophila, or pure white Baby’s-breath is a must for texture in the garden and accent in flower arrangements.

Home Decor Trends 2019

Photo: https://www.instagram.com/muk.vl/

Minimalism

A big trend right now is minimalism and the idea that less is more. You don’t need a crazy patterned rug or the trendiest couch for a gorgeous room. Sometimes simplicity is key and this year, it is. Neutrals with the necessary furniture is just perfect.

Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/BtQH5C8AwQL/

Floral Wallpaper

Can easily add a gorgeous touch to a room whether it be a neutral colour or a bright one. Perfect for an accent wall, or if you dare, an entire room.

Photo: https://www.homedit.com/geometric-designs/geometric-table-lamp-base/

Geometrics

From light fixture’s to patterned rugs and everything in between, geometric shapes in the home are an ongoing trend that break up any plainness in a room. They add uniqueness and a point of differentiation.

Photo: https://www.kathykuohome.com/blog/mixing-metals-the-dos-and-donts/

Mixing Metals

An intended contrast in a room makes all the difference. Think: the Kitchen. Metal knobs to the cabinets with a different type of metal bar stools or sink fixtures. It’s a very cool look.

Photo: https://homishome.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Lovely-Colourful-Sofa-Ideas-10.jpg

Velvet

Velvet will be much more popular this year than previous years. The texture is comfortable and looks gorgeous in various colours. It used to be considered ‘old fashioned’, but is now seen as luxurious and bold.

 

Creative Ways to Upgrade Your Beautiful Backyard

Not all the people are lucky enough to have a backyard in their house; even if it is a small space you can make this place full of celestial beauty using backyard upgrading tool.

A beautiful green backyard helps you to stay fresh. Passing time there in the morning and evening is really mind-soothing. It works like an anti-depressive agent – when you keep yourself in a touch of nature it protects you from being attacked by depression.

To arrange a family party or to remove the tiredness from your body and mind after a long tiring day a beautiful backyard is the best option. Check out the Tools Freak to find out more about garden improvement projects and tools.

Sometimes people cannot implement the organized idea and finally, the backyard becomes a bush, so here we have brought some creative ideas for upgrading your beautiful backyard.

10 Creative ideas to Decorate Your Backyard

  1. Eliminate the Unused Stuff

The first task is to make the area free from unused stuff so that you can get enough space and implement the backyard upgrading ideas easily.

Gather the unused pile of kids’ bikes, gardening tools, or extra plant pots and sell or give away this stuff. If you think that you need some products, you can store these for future use but store these in an organized way.

  1. Prepare the Backyard for Planting

To prepare the backyard for planting flower plants, vegetables or other decorative plants pull up dead bushes, weeds and trim overgrown shrubs. You can use spades, rakes, hoes, trowels and many more garden tools for this purpose.

Always keep a good distance from one plant to another, otherwise, when the plant will grow up it will create a bush.

  1. Choose Plants Wisely

While choosing plants for your backyard tries to choose plants of multiple types. The same type of plants will make the environment monotonous.

The type of plant you will choose for your backyard depends on the type of soil, the entrance of sunlight and many more factors. Well, here I am not going to describe all of these factors in detail but I would like to give you a tip to make your garden a celestial place.

Pay attention to the color of the flowers or plants you are going to plant. It is better to make a combination of both colorful and white or green flowers or plants because both of these have a different impact on your mind.

While colorful flowers help to bring a feeling of joy white flowers to help to bring a feeling of peace and tranquility in your mind. For a healthy mental condition, you need both. Also, do not forget to add some fragrant flower plants to decorate your backyard.

  1. Invest in Lighting

Lighting is another important factor that has a strong impact on the outdoor ambiance of your house. It is better to install stair lights since they meet both security and aesthetic needs. On the back entrance, you can install a gooseneck light that will give a wonderful downward glow.

Along the pathway of your backyard, you can install a solar light. To bring a romantic ambiance you can add some mounted lights up the trellis or the tree.

  1. Make Your Own Walkway

If the backward has no walkway, make one by yourself using stone, gravel or sand. You can mark the garden area, play area, pool area and deck using the trail.

  1. Invest in Your Deck

Decorate your deck using comfortable patio chairs, a table, and a storage box. Organize the furniture in such a way so that space looks spacious.

Lighting is an important factor that has a great impact on the beauty of your deck. You can install staring lights, string lights, under table light, recessed deck light, in-floor light, under rail deck light, lantern and much more lighting system in your backyard deck.

  1. Invest in Your Pool or Pond

Having a private swimming pool has so many benefits. Once you invest in your swimming pool you can enjoy the luxury of swimming whenever you need without paying.

You can also dig a pond and plant there different types of water plants like lotus, water lily, water lettuce, mosaic flower, blue iris, cardinal flower etc. You can also cultivate fish there.

  1. Invest in a Waterfall

Investing to make a waterfall in your garden makes the environment of the outdoor space tranquilized. Depending on your budget you have to choose the method and type of making a waterfall. There are both expensive and inexpensive methods for making an outdoor waterfall.

You need Rocks, Submersible pump, Tubing to run from pump to top of the waterfall, Large plastic flower pot (or similar) to house tubing, Rigid pond liner, Carpenter’s level, Shovel, Sand and Garden hose to make your own outdoor waterfall.

  1. Invest in Making a Gorgeous Swinging Bed

To take a nap in a breezy place or to spend some quality time with your partner a swinging bed in your backyard can be the best place. Only a few hundred dollars and a couple days are enough to complete this type of project of hanging a swinging bed in your backyard.

  1. Make an Outdoor Pizza Oven

Have you ever tasted real Neapolitan pizza? It is a wood-fired pizza that is backed at around 1000 degrees and only takes 90 seconds to cook. It is very delicious.

To beck Neapolitan pizza you can install a pizza oven in the outdoor space of your backyard.

Conclusion

If you want to do the entire upgrading task at once, it will be overwhelming and cost you pretty high at a time. If you do not have any problem with budget and can employ all the necessary manpower you can do it, otherwise, you can implement the upgrading ideas gradually.

A beautiful backyard is one of the best places to spend a good time with friends and family and not only that but also it helps to increase your level of creativity.

Violas In Early Spring Garden

Violas In Early Spring Garden – The traditional viola, long-famed for its fragrance, produces scented blue or white flowers in early spring garden. Do not expect the perennial violas to produce the large and colorful blooms associated with the pansies and violas grown in parks and gardens as bedding plants. The old-fashioned violets, once so popular and now uncommon, produce blooms which are 1/2 in. or 1 in. in diameter.

Use them for ground cover or edging at the front of the border – they will flourish in most soils, but they do need good drainage and some shade. Mulch in spring and water when the weather is dry in summer. Dead-head regularly and every three years lift and divide the clumps.

Viola odorata

Violas varieties

Viola odorata is the sweet violet which was so adored by the Victorians. The basic details are height 4-6 in., spacing 1 ft, flowering period February – April and again in fall. The leaves are heart-shaped and the flowers blue or violet. Other colors are available — ‘Christmas’ (white) and ‘Coeur d’Alsace‘ (pink). ‘Czar’ (purple) has a the reputation for being the most fragrant.

Viola cornula is the horned violet — height 6 in.—1 it, spacing 1 ft, flowering period May – July. Named varieties include ‘Alba’ (white), ‘Jersey Gem’ (purple) and ‘Lilacica’ (lilac).

Site and soil

Any well-drained soil will do – thrives best in light shade.

Propagation

Divide clumps in fall or plant basal cuttings in a cold frame in summer.

Starting Seeds Indoors For Early Spring Herbs Garden

Starting Seeds Indoors For Early Spring Herbs Garden – Early spring is a cold and wet month and this is the perfect time to start working on indoor garden tasks. Outside at this time of year is a good time to do your pruning, weeding and getting the garden beds ready for the growing season.

What are you planning for?

Imagine a full bed of basil and fresh rosemary, lush bushes of tomatoes for making pizza, salad and spaghetti sauce. You can also grow extra to share with friends, family and neighbors, and also catnip for the cats.

Indoor herbs garden

What you decide to grow in your herbs garden may depend on your climate or how much room you have. That is OK, as long as you plan ahead.

Starting seeds indoors

If you have not the patients to wait for the weather outside to reach optimal temperatures before you plant, you get a jump on the season by starting my little seedlings indoors.

Propagating from seed for your indoor herbs garden is not as hard as some might think. You simply need to find a technique that works for you. It simply takes a little time along with some tender loving care.

To start your seeds, soak them for several hours before you plant them. This will give you an added advantage.

If you have seeds that you have been holding onto for a long time and are not sure if they are still capable of sprouting, you can use the pre-sprout method. This is done by folding a thick paper towel in half and getting it moist. You can do this by using a clean spray bottle. Space your seeds out and place the moist paper towel inside of a zip lock baggie.

About the time we think they should be sprouting (according to the directions on the seed package) we take a peak each day until we see life. If they sprout, we then take each sprout out carefully and transplant them either in a pot or outside in the garden, depending on the current climate.

Make sure to keep your seedlings at an optimal temperature. Below is a short list of some herbs and the best germination temperatures.

Basil – 70 degrees F
Days to germinate – 5 – 14 days

Catnip – 70 degrees F
Days to germinate – 5 or more days

Chamomile – 70 degrees F
Days to germinate – 10 – 14 days

Chives – 60 to 70 degrees F
Days to germinate – 5 or more

Cilantro – 55 degrees F or higher
Days to germinate – 7 to 10 days

Greek Oregano – 65 degrees F
Days to germinate – 14 days

Lemon balm – 60 degrees F
Days to germinate – 7 to 14 days

Parsley – 65 degrees F
Days to germinate – 5 or more days

Sage – 60 degrees F
Days to germinate – 7 or more days

How to Feed the Wild Birds in Your Garden

There are many ways in which you can invite the beautiful wild birds into your garden and one very successful way is through feeding them. Feeding wild birds is really quite simple, but it’s important to know what you’re feeding them and how you’re doing this to ensure they are safe and healthy. From specific feeders to the right seed, continue reading to find out exactly how you can feed the wild birds in your garden.

Bird Tables

Whilst many people see bird tables as more of a stylish garden feature than an actual aid for birds to benefit from, they’re really useful to have in the garden. By placing a bird table in your garden you’re branding your garden as bird friendly, which over time will become appealing to the wild birds within your area. You can find a selection of bird tables designed with or without a roof for you to use to feed the birds that visit. Depending on the time of year, you may find that tables with a roof are ideal through the winter, to shelter the birds and the food from any bad weather conditions. Bird tables are perfect for scattering a selection of juicy mealworms, mixed seeds and even left-over food from your most recent meal for the birds to enjoy.

Bird Feeders

One of the most popular ways of feeding wild birds is with a bird feeder. Bird feeders are ideal for placing in the garden to attract the birds in. A huge number of wild birds eat seeds, and seeds are predominantly what you’d be putting into your feeders. With a selection of sizes available, you can find the right style to suit your garden and start to invite the birds in. The best thing to do with your bird feeder is to hang it up from a sturdy branch to ensure it’s not going to fall or blow off. You may also want to check the type of feeder that you’re using, as there are lots of unwanted visitors such as squirrels and foxes that will try their very best to get into the feeder and steal the seeds for themselves, so you may want to invest in a bird feeder that has a durable cage surrounding it to protect the contents from unwanted diners.

With so many different styles of feeders available, it’s important to choose the right one for your garden. The most popular form of bird feeders are Nyjer Feeders, Seed Feeders, Hopper Feeders and Nut Feeders. Whilst all of these feeders serve the same purpose, you’ll find they suit different seeds/feed so it’s best to know what your birds are interested in before you invest too much into the type of feeder you’ll be using.

Alternative Options

If you’re not too keen on the idea of introducing a plastic bird feeder or wooden bird table to your garden, there are other options to choose from. A really unique yet environmentally friendly way to feed the birds that visit your garden is to recycle a large log. Cut some holes into the log and scatter the seeds/mealworms into the holes for the birds to find. This is ideal as it looks natural in the garden, so the birds are more likely to take an interest in this type of food display.

What's New

Verbascum – Rock Mullein

The stately 6 ft Mulleins which grace the back of the border have three lowly relatives which are at home in the rock...

Garden Jobs In May

Garden Jobs In May – May usually brings out the best weather for gardening – it is not too hot or too cold;...

Spring Cleaning Tips

  Spring cleaning season is upon us. Some of us dread the thought of cleaning and organizing, while others thrive off the idea. Here are...

Should You Rent a Skid with an Operator?

Skid steers are important, earth moving machines used for landscaping and a lot of other functions that involve moving the earth and digging...

Seasonal Spring Flowers For The Garden

Seasonal Spring Flowers For The Garden – Which flowers are in season during the spring depends greatly on your climate zone and weather...