Creating A Beautiful Superb Garden Requires The Right Garden or Hydroponic Supplies

Choosing the best supplies is the key determinant of healthy, quality and outstanding plants thus, giving your garden a more pleasant look. There are varieties of garden supplies that will help you give your plants all the necessary care required during growth. The hydroponic supplies are meant to improve your plant’s performance as well as making your organic gardening work easier and fun.

The aim of this article is to provide you with more insight that will help you make better decisions based on the following gardening categories

Water Filtering Systems: It ensures that your plants remain healthy by pre-treating your water. Water that is used to water your plants is passed through these filters that remove any chlorine from water that can cause adverse effect to soil and plants in your organic gardening. Water filters eliminates the chlorine which could have otherwise killed soil microbiology in the soil. Therefore, purchasing a good water filter system will ensure that your garden soil remains fertile by providing the much needed minerals and vitamins that ensure your plants grow healthier in your garden.

Soil Treatment: Treating your gardening soil is the first step that you should emphasize on to ensure your plants get the required optimum soil conditions for proper growth. Major soil treatments in gardening usually focus on nutrients level, soil PH and mineral deficiencies.

Bud Trimming Machine: They are useful garden equipment that helps you prune the unwanted protruding leaves. You can as well use them to cut roots and in the preparation of flower petals. They ensure that you handle your plants safely without making any unnecessary damage. They are found in different varieties to suit your gardening preferences.

Grow Tent: Grow tents enable you to develop a perfectly controlled garden area a micro-environment Grow Room / Grow Cabinet where you can specifically control temperature and humidity levels and photoperiod lighting. They are made of light proof construction that does not allow light leaks which can lead to possible plant problems during the growth and flowering period.

Aeroponics Systems: Aeroponics systems have widely been used by many individuals in their effort of growing clones, veggies as well as herbs. The method entails growing of plants without use of any soil. Water with nutrient solutions is used where the roots of the plants are spread in order to absorb the essential nutrients. Aeroponics systems are available in different varieties at affordable prices.

Greenhouse Controllers: Use of a green house controller in your garden ensures that your plants are within the optimal environment for proper growth. All your crops will be protected from harmful pests and diseases as well as from harsh environmental conditions. Purchasing a greenhouse controller will ensure that your plants remains protected at all time and you are assured of better quality produce at the time of harvest.

PH/EC/TDS Meters: They are necessary equipment that every gardener must have. Whether you do indoor gardening, hydroponic gardening or green house gardening, they are equipment that will help you test for many issues. This equipment will enable you test your soil pH levels quickly so that you can know the best ways to adjust the soil Ph. In addition, they will also help you make calibrations on your Ph meters.

Plant Pots and Containers: Growing your plants in plant pots or containers is the most convenient form of gardening. There are many benefits that come with containers gardening. Plant pots and containers are easily movable and thus, you can even choose to grow your plants either on your balcony, courtyard, indoors and many other places. With containers, less weeding is needed and you also avoid using heavy gardening equipment. Plant pots and containers also give your plants an optimum environment for their growth because monitoring is easy.

Garden Accessories: Having proper accessories makes your garden appear more attractive and eco-friendly. These amenities will make your gardens a better place to visit and enjoy. Garden accessories such as furniture for gardens, lightning, outdoor cooking or outdoor heaters are some of the best garden accessories that you should consider purchasing so as to give your gardens an elegant look and style.

Hydroponic Nutrients: Use of plant nutrient in gardening is a modern trend that every gardener needs to embrace. It involves growing your plants without soil and instead uses solutions containing essential nutrients that your plants require for proper growth. Hydroponic nutrients provide an easy way of farming as it does not require any soil testing or much labor which saves you a lot of gardening costs. It supplies your plants with all the required nutrients thus ensuring that your plants are grown in the best conditions.

Pest and Disease Control: Controlling pests and diseases in your garden is very essential. For your plants to grow and thrive well, they require a disease and pest free environment. Therefore, you should ensure that you have set aside proper mechanism for your pest and disease control. In fact, pests are the ones that transfer diseases to your plants. Thus, purchasing the proper supplies will ensure that all your plants remains healthy and yields more at the harvest seasons.

Rooting and Propagation: This type product provides faster plants generation by rooting the stem cuttings and propagating the cuttings. They easily produce roots after a short while and you can use them to increase the amount of crops that your garden produces. This method saves you the cost of purchasing seeds and it also reduces the germination period of some plants. The process of rooting and propagation is not labor intensive because plants take less time to produce roots and develop.

Growing Media: Despite the fact that hydroponic gardening is a soil-free gardening, growing media are necessary as they provide support to your plants roots. They also help in maintain the necessary oxygen/water ratio so that your plants remain healthy. There are different varieties of growing media to choose from in the market that comes with different features according to your preferences.

Fans and Blowers: Are you having problems with frequent falling leaves in your garden? To maintain cleanliness and keep a good condition in your garden, fans and blowers are the best choice for all your landscaping needs. Blowers ensure that you remove fallen leaves from your garden with ease compared to using other tiresome tools such as hand rakes. Fan and blowers are available in the market with different features at affordable prices. They will help you conduct all your landscaping needs with ease.

Grow Lights: Grow lamps are the best choice for your indoor gardening. Especially when you want to start seeds, growing lights provides optimal conditions that ensure you get healthy green seedlings. Selecting an indoor lighting system that matches your preferred plants will ensure that your crops grow in a well controlled environment with the right light intensity required by plants.

Odor Remover: Bad odor smell in our gardens is something that can make them unpleasant for us to visit and work. That’s why it’s necessary for us to ensure that we get rid of all odors and make our gardens fresh and smart. Odor removers are found in different forms that you can spray to your garden and they eliminate any bad smell in your garden and you stay protected for up to one month. Charcoal filters are the preferred choice for indoor gardens.

Air Ducting: Air ducting equipment ensures that your gardening containers or greenhouses remain air-tight. They are designed to give you a tight waterproof and prevent unnecessary leakages. They are also primarily used for moving air in and out of your indoor garden or green house.

Garden Irrigation Systems: Garden irrigation systems have gained a lot of popularity in modern gardening today. They have been designed to ease the gardening work and make it enjoyable. By relieving the gardener of the hassles and legwork of irrigation, gardeners now spend little time when watering their plants. The other benefit of using the garden irrigation systems is improved efficiency through systems such as drip irrigation compared to traditional methods. Gardeners should embrace these irrigation systems for optimum gardening benefits.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9263329

10 Useful Tips About Wooden Summer Houses and Sheds for Gardens

Building regulations and planning permission

“My garden and my rules” is unfortunately not exactly the way it works with setting up a summer house or any other building in your garden. Whether you need to apply for a planning permit or not depends on the size and height of the building, ways of use, location in the garden and other details. There are two separate issues when considering a new garden building – Building Regulations and Planning Permission. In most cases, if the building has an internal floor space up to 15m² and its overall height is less than 2.5m, it is very unlikely that you’ll need any Building Regulations or Planning Permissions at all. Even if your garden building is within the limits, it is still wise to contact your local planning office and get all the answers to your questions. This will give you peace of mind to be sure that everything goes to plan with your new garden office or a hobby room. Should your desired summer house or a garden room exceed the limits, don’t worry and don’t give up your dream! In this case you should call or visit your local planning office and get a proper instruction of what you need to do in order to meet all the rules and get the required permissions. Our previous experience with clients getting planning permission for larger garden buildings, is that it takes no more than 4-6 weeks.

Peculiarities of wooden buildings. Proper care.

Wood is a natural material, growing and adapting depending on the temperature, humidity and other weather conditions especially during the first month after the assembly. It is common that you must adjust doors and windows a few times during the first month after the wooden cabin has been erected and then once or twice in a year to keep them functioning properly. Small cracks, knots and color tone differences are not errors but inherent qualities of wood. It is important to treat your garden house with wood preservative stain or other protective coatings straight after the assembly. Untreated wood becomes grayish, and can turn blue and become moldy or rot. We recommend that you treat floor boards with a wood impregnation agent before installation, especially the bottom sides of the boards, because after the assembly you have no more access to that side. Having been properly treated, your log cabin’s lifespan has been increased significantly. It is wise to inspect your summer house once in the year and retreat accordingly to the instructions set by the wood preservative manufacturer.

Size of your garden building

It is very important to think about the use of your garden building and buy the right size. Wooden summer houses are something we want you to enjoy for many years and not just a season. Therefore we would recommend you involve all the family members or users of the summer house, ask everybody’s opinion and make a collective decision.

What will I get, what is inside the package and how are the log cabins are delivered?

Your log cabin or garden building will be delivered in water proof packages, so that they will not be influenced or damaged by the weather during the shipping or if your packed summer house or garden office stays packaged for several weeks outside before the installation. Delivery of your order is curbside delivery and the driver is not able to assist with the unpacking of your garden building. The size of vehicle and method of delivery will depend on the size of the building you have ordered. It will be delivered on a vehicle equipped with one of the following facilities: tail lift, forklift truck or hiab crane able to unload and move heavy packages (700-2500 kilos). All wooden details and panels have been prefabricated, precut and ready to install (like a giant Lego set!). Standard log cabin kit consists of impregnated foundation beams, untreated wall logs / panels and other wooden details, roof and floor boards, windows and doors, roofing felt, screws, nails and other fixings, storm braces, user manual and assembly instructions. All details are numbered to make assembly as easy as possible. All you need to supply is the tools!

Foundations / Base for your Garden Building

Required foundation type depends on the size of your garden building and the firmness of the ground in your garden. The easiest and cheapest foundation type is concrete slabs set on sand and gravel. This foundation type is fairly simple to construct and can be done by a DIY novice without having to hire in a professional. This type of base is suitable for smaller cabins up to 10 m2. To achieve this base you will need to dig out 25-30 cm ground, fill it with gravel and then a good layer of sand to provide a level surface. Then, finally lay down the concrete slabs, blocks or similar. It is vital that your base is level as your cabin will only be as level as your base! The most popular, but more expensive and durable foundation type is a concrete base. A concrete base is a perfect fit for all types of garden buildings. For preparing that kind of base you will probably need to hire a local professional or small building company, because concrete foundations involve more know-how and you really have to know what you are doing. These two are the most popular foundation types for garden buildings, but there many other ways to do it. It is good to consult with local experts before you choose, taking in to account the firmness of the existing ground and size of your intended building. Whatever your choice, you have to know that a firm and level foundation is crucial! If you fail with the foundation you will fail with your entire garden building. Twisted walls and non functioning doors and windows as well as very short life span and voided warranty will mean you do not enjoy your garden building!

Self assembly or hiring a building company?

The assembly of most garden buildings, summer houses and log cabins is achievable by a competent DIY enthusiast. Especially small and mid-sized summer houses and sheds up to 8-12 m2. We would always recommend that two people undertake the assembly and that care is taken with lifting as some of the panels are heavy. Our statistics show that 85% of our clients do the assembly themselves or hire one local expert for assistance to make sure that everything goes well. For the assembly of your garden building you need at least 2 adults, tools (hammer, saw, pliers, drill, screwdriver, measuring tape, ladder, knife and spirit-level) and not forgetting 1-3 days of your precious time, depending on your skills and the size of your log cabin. If, at least, you or your companion is familiar with fixing some things at home or doing some small DIY projects in the garden, assembly with prefabricated details, proper installation instructions and user manual should be achievable for you. But, if you are not confident in your DIY ability or just don’t fancy the assembly then we would recommend you hire a local professional.

Wall thickness

Most popular wall thicknesses for garden buildings are 28 mm, 40 mm, 44 mm and 50 mm. You can find 19 mm walls on the market, but these are mostly very small tool sheds or very poor garden houses with a very short life span. We would not recommend you to go for less than 28 mm wall thickness. 28 mm walls are usually single tongue and groove logs and suitable for storage sheds and smaller garden houses up to 8-9 m2. If you are after a smaller garden building with a very affordable price, these garden rooms and storage sheds with 28mm wall thickness are a smart choice. 40-50 mm wall logs have double tongue & groove and with these walls you can easily go for 20 m2 garden buildings and even larger. Compared to the 28 mm walls they are not only sturdier but also provide better insulation and a really solid feel. As a conclusion, 28mm walls are more than enough for storage sheds and 4-9 m2 garden summer houses, but if you are looking for a larger building with better insulation make sure you choose walls 40mm or thicker.

Single or double glazed windows?

If you intend to use your wooden cabin mostly during the summer season then you do not need the expense of double glazed windows. Single glazed windows are usually 3mm glass and come without sealing. Single glazed windows are mostly used for smaller garden buildings with 28-40 mm wall thickness. In particular 28 mm walls have pretty poor insulation and using double glazing for these walls does not make any material difference. If you would like to use your garden building all year round, we would suggest you may like to consider insulating the roof and floor. In addition, we would recommend the use of double glazed windows. Double glazed windows are sealed by the factory and have good insulation properties. As a general rule, garden buildings with with less than 40 mm wall thickness have single glazed windows and all garden log cabins with 40 – 50 mm wall thickness and up come with double glazed windows.

Multi-functional log cabins

One garden building with several functions helps you to save money and space in your garden. Buying a summer house with terrace is a significantly lower cost than buying a garden room and a gazebo or a summer house with shed compared to the price you pay when buying them separately. So, before you buy, get your family together and think about all the needs and functions that could be useful and make your garden life brighter and more versatile with one smart multi-functional garden building.

Can I use my garden log cabin all year round?

Yes you can, but if you intend to use your garden building all year round (garden office, hobby room, table tennis or billiards room or others), we would recommend a building with 40mm and above wall thickness. Make sure that windows have double glazing and insulate the floor and roof. There are 4 areas to be insulated: floor, walls, roof and windows. Choice of materials that you can use for insulating your garden house is very wide, depending on your local weather conditions, your budget and ways of use. It is also very important to choose the right foundation type and insulate the floor first. Having a layer of insulation beneath the floor boards will contribute towards keeping the contents of the garden house toasty. Roof insulation is crucial, because of the fact that warm air rises and approximately 35-40% of warmth exits through the uninsulated roof. Then walls, windows and heating if necessary. Installing a log burner in your garden building is a great way to ensure you get year round use. You may get a burner that you can cook on too! It is obviously important that any combustion device is installed by a professional installer and that ventilation requirements are met and functioning carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are installed in your garden building.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9301335

Vegetable Gardening – A Hobby for Everyone

The Rewards of Vegetable Gardening

If you love to have fresh produces in the spring and summer, you should consider creating a home vegetable garden. Growing a vegetable garden is a fun and healthy hobby that anyone can excel at.

While gardening, you may find that your troubles and stresses of the day simply float away. Home vegetable gardening relieves stress and allows you to be out in the sun. Vegetable gardening is proven to lower blood pressure and clear the mind. Also, the act of nurturing plants and watching them grow is rather soothing. And it can look good too!

The Pros of Organic Gardening

One great aspect of home vegetable gardening is that it does not require a bunch of chemicals. Therefore, home vegetable gardening allows you to have more natural, juicy, and healthier vegetables that are also better for the environment. Using a lot of chemicals on vegetables is not only unhealthy for your body, but also takes a large toll on the environment. Growing your own vegetable garden and using less chemicals yields natural food.

Organic vegetables are always the best-tasting because they will not be picked until they are completely ripe and you are ready to pick them. One more pro of growing your own organic vegetable garden is that it will save you money. Instead of buying all your organic vegetables at the store, you will have your own selection of vegetables at your disposal whenever you want them.

Anyone can create a home vegetable garden. As long as you have dirt somewhere, you can create an outdoor vegetable garden in the solid ground. Even if you don’t have a plot of dirt, you can buy a few pots and create a container garden.

Vegetable Gardening on Solid Ground

Before starting your vegetable garden, should keep in mind these simple thoughts: size, location, and soil.

First of all, we’ll discuss the location. You must plot your garden in an area with plenty of shade and sufficient drainage. You must nurture your plants by putting them in a place that receives about 6 hours of sunlight each day. Every plant is different and requires a different amount of light, but the average is six hours a day.

Therefore, do not plot your garden in a shady place! Also, make sure that your garden has adequate draining. If you place your garden at the bottom of a hill, water will flood your plants during the wet season; this is a common mistake that many beginning planters make. By locating your gardens away from bottoms of hills and other spots where water is likely to collect, you will prevent your vegetables from drowning!

Second of all, let’s talk about size. You should decide how big you want your garden to be initially. Remember that you should start out small and expand later; otherwise the size of the garden may overwhelm you. I recommend starting out with a garden space of 25 square feet or less. After you get the hang of it, you can expand your vegetable garden as much as you would like.

Third, let’s talk about soil. Soil is one of the most important aspects of gardening, so it is very important to have good soil to produce a good garden. The best type of soil is slightly loose and easy to till. Therefore, stay away from soil that is hard-packed. If your yard does not have a lot of good soil in it, you can fix this problem by using mulch or compost in your garden. Alternatively you can buy good soil from your local nursery.

Mulch is usually an organic covering, such as straw, leaves, compost, or peat that you can cover your garden with to enrich the soil, prevent weed growth, and prevent excessive evaporation of water. Compost consists of any organic particle, such as dead leaves, manure, or (most commonly) kitchen scraps. People put compost in their yards to improve the soil and provide nutrients for plants. Composting kills two birds with one stone; it is great for your garden and cuts down on your trash.

If you address the location, size, and soil of your garden, you will have a booming vegetable garden in no time. Also, some of these tips will also help those of you who choose to have a container vegetable garden.

Vegetable Gardening in Containers

Container gardening is the best type of gardening for many people. If you do not have a good plot of land to garden on, container gardening is your best bet. It is the most practical way to garden for those of us not lucky enough to have large plots of soiled land to garden on.

There are many pros to container gardening. You can place your plants wherever you want: in your living room, on your patio, etc., so that you can add color and radiance wherever you would like. With container gardening, you can easily place plants wherever they receive the best growing conditions. Another pro is that you will have fewer pests eating your plants if they are in containers rather than in the ground.

Although almost any plant will grow just fine in a container, there are some that grow exceptionally well in containers. These are: salad greens, spinach, tomatoes, eggplant, Swiss chard, radish, beets, peppers, and bush beans.

The con of container gardening is that they require more upkeep and maintenance. You must check up on and water many container plants everyday.

Most vegetable crops grow well in 5-gallon containers. No matter what size container you use, make sure it has adequate drainage to ensure a bountiful garden. You should add about 1 inch of coarse gravel in the bottom of the container to monitor drainage. Learn how to prepare the containers of each type of plant for a nice and low-cost indoor garden.

Gardening Problems You Can Tackle

There are two notorious enemies of gardening: weeds and pests. Here is some basic information and helpful hints on how to tackle each of these problems:

One problem a person may have in plant gardening is staying on top of all of the weeds. In order to prevent weeds from taking over your garden, you should go out daily and pick the weeds. Picking weeds may seem like a dull task, but if you have the right attitude, it can actually be quite relaxing and stress relieving.

Where there’s a garden, there are bugs. Unless you want to use a bunch of chemicals, you must go outside and kill any damaging bugs on your plants. But make sure not to kill the good bugs, such as ladybugs or praying mantis, because they kill the bad bugs that eat your plants. In fact, you can buy good bugs at your local plant store and put them in your garden to help kill pests. Because no bugs kill big pests such as grasshoppers, you must pick off these big pests by hand.

The Love of Vegetable Gardening

Vegetable gardening is very rewarding because it makes you feel better, less stressed, and produces delicious vegetables for you to eat. If you like the fresh vegetables at farmer’s market, you’ll love to have a garden vegetable of your own to tend to and eat from.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/939886

The Basics of Japanese Gardening

Things to keep in mind for a beautiful garden

Main principles on the garden’s design

Bring the Japanese feeling into your garden with these basic steps. First of all, embrace the ideal of nature. That means, keep things in your garden as natural as possible, avoiding to include things that could disrupt this natural appearance.

For example, don’t include square ponds in your design as square ponds are nowhere to be found in nature. Also, a waterfall would be something closer to what exists in nature if we compare it to a fountain. So you also have to consider the Japanese concept of sumi or balance. Because one of Japanese gardening design main purposes is to recreate large landscapes even in the smallest place. Be careful when choosing the elements for your garden, because you don’t want to end up filling your ten by ten courtyard with huge rocks.

As a miniaturized landscape, the rocks in the garden would represent mountains and the ponds would represent lakes. A space filled with sand would represent an ocean. By that we assume that garden masters were looking to achieve a minimalistic approach, best represented by the phrase “less is more”.

The elements of time and space

One of the things westerners notice at first are the many portions of empty space in the garden. In fact, these spaces are an important feature in Japanese gardening. This space called ma, relates to the elements around it and that also surround it. The concepts of in and yo are of vital importance here, they are best known to the Western civilization by the Chinese names yin and yang. If you want to have something you have to start with having nothing. This is an idea quite difficult to understand, but it is a rule of thumb in Japanese gardening.

An important clue in the development of a garden is the concept of wabi and sabi. There’s no literal English translation for those words. Wabi is about uniqueness, or the essence of something; a close literal translation is solitary. Sabi deals with the definition of time or the ideal image of something; the closest definition might be time strengthened character. Given the case, a cement lantern that might appear unique, would lack of that ideal image. Or an old rock covered in lichens would have no wabi if it’s just a round boulder. That’s why it is important to find that balance.

Ma and wabi/sabi are connected to the concepts of space and time. When it comes to seasons, the garden must show the special character of each one. Japanese garden lovers dedicate time to their gardens every season, unlike the western gardener who deserts in fall just to be seen again in spring.

A very relaxing view in spring is given by the bright green of new buds and the blossoms of the azaleas. In summer, the lush foliage in combination with the pond offer a powerful and fresh image. The vivid spectacle of the brilliant colors of dying leaves in fall are a prelude for the arrival of winter and its white shroud of snow.

The two most important gardening seasons in Japan are spring and winter. Japanese refer to the snow accumulated on braches as Sekku or snow blossoms. Yukimi, or the snow viewing lantern, is another typical element of the Japanese garden in winter. The sleep of the garden in winter is an important episode for our Japanese gardener, while for the western gardener spring is the beginning of the work at the garden. Maybe because of the eastern point of view as death like part of the life cycle, or perhaps the western fear to death.

About garden enclosures
Let’s see the garden as a microcosm of nature. If we’re looking for the garden to be a true retreat, we have to ‘set it apart’ from the outside world. Because of that, fences and gates are important components of the Japanese garden.

The fence and the gates have both symbolism and functionality. The worries and concerns of our daily life have to stay out of this separate world that becomes the garden. The fence protects us from the outside world and the gate is the threshold where we leave our daily worries and then prepare ourselves to confront the real world again.

The use of fences is based in the concept of hide/reveal or Miegakure. Fence styles are very simple and are put in combination with screen planting, thus not giving many clues of what hides inside. You can give a sample look of your garden by cutting a small window in the solid wall that encloses your garden if that’s the case. Sode-gaki, or sleeve fences, are fences attached to an architectural structure, that will only show a specific view of the garden from inside the house. Thus, we’re invited to get into the garden and enjoy it in its entirety. That’s what makes the true understanding of the garden, to lose in it our sense of time and self.

Basic Arrangements
Despite the fact that certain rules are applied to each individual garden, don’t think that there’s just one type of garden. There are three basic styles that differ by setting and purpose.

Hill and Pond Garden (Chisen-Kaiyu-skiki)
A China imported classic style. A pond or a space filled with raked gravel fronts a hill (or hills). This style always represents mountainous places and commonly makes use of vegetation indigenous to the mountains. Stroll gardens commonly use this style.

Flat Garden (Hiraniwa)
It derives from the use of open, flat spaces in front of temples and palaces for ceremonies. This is an appropriate style for contemplation and that represents a seashore area (with the use of the right plants). This is a style frequently used in courtyards.

Tea Gardens (Rojiniwa)
Function has a greater importance than form in this type of garden. The Roji or dewy path, is the main point of the garden, along with the pond and the gates. This would be the exception to the rule. The simple and sparse plantings give a rustic feeling to the garden.

Formality has to be taken in consideration
Hill and pond and flat styles may be shin (formal), gyo (intermediate) or so (informal). Formal styles were to be found usually at temples or palaces, intermediate styles were suitable for most residences, and the informal style was used in peasant huts and mountain retreats. The tea garden is the one that always fits in the informal style.

The garden components

Rocks (ishi in Japanese) are the main concern of the Japanese garden. If the stones are placed correctly, then the garden shows in a perfect balance. So here are shown the basic stone types and the rules for their positions.

The basic stones are the tall upright stone, the low upright stone, the curved stone, the reclining stone, and the horizontal stone. These must be usually set in triads although this doesn’t happen always. Two almost identical stones (by way of example, two tall verticals or two reclining stones), one a little quite smaller than the other, can be set together as male and female, but the use of them in threes, fives, and sevens is more frequent.

We have to keep away from the Three Bad Stones. These are the Diseased stone (having a withered or misshapen top), the Dead stone (an obviously vertical one used as a horizontal, or vice versa, like the placement of a dead body), and the Pauper Stone (a stone having no connection to the several other ones in the garden). Use only one stone of each of the basic types in any cluster (the rest have to be smaller, modest stones also known as throwaway stones). Stones can be placed as sculptures, set against a background in a two-dimensional way, or given a purpose, such as a stepping stone or a bridge.

When used as stepping stones they should be between one and three inches above the soil, yet solid underfoot, as if rooted into the ground. They can be put in straight lines, offset for left foot, right foot (referred as chidori or plover, after the tracks the shore bird leaves), or set in sets of twos, threes, fours, or fives (and any combination thereof).

The pathway stands for the passage through life, and even particular stones by the path may have meaning. A much wider stone placed across the path tells us to put two feet here, stopping to enjoy the view. There are numerous stones for specific places. When observing the basic design principles, we can notice the exact character of the Japanese garden.

Water (mizu in Japanese) plays an important part in the composition of the Japanese garden because of Japan’s abundant rainfall. Water can be represented even with a raked gravel area instead of water. A rushing stream can be represented by placing flat river stones closely together. In the tea garden, where there isn’t any stream or pond, water plays the most important role in the ritual cleansing at the chozubachi, or water basin. As the water fills and empties from the shishi-odoki, or deer scare, the clack of bamboo on rock helps mark the passage of time.

The flow of water, the way it sounds and looks, brings to mind the continual passage of time. A bridge crossing the water stream is often used as a landscaping complement. Bridges denote a journey, just as pathways do. Hashi, in japanese, can mean bridge or edge. Bridges are the symbolic pass from one world into another, a constant theme in Japanese art.

Plants or Shokobutsu may play a secondary role to the stones in the garden, but they are a primary concern in the design too. Stones represent what remains unchanged, so trees, shrubs, and perennials have to represent the passing of seasons. Earlier garden styles used plants to make up poetic connotations or to correct geomantic issues, but these have little meaning today.

As the the Heian style diminished under the Zen influence, perennials and grasses fell out of use. So, for a long time, there were only a few plants that tradition allowed for the garden. However, in modern Japan, designers are again widening the spectrum of materials used. It is highly recommended that native plants are chosen for the garden, because showy exotic plants are not in good taste. Be aware that native plants are used in the garden, because it is in bad taste to use showy exotic plants. Although pines, cherries and bamboo immediately remind us of Japanese gardens, we encourage you to use native plants of your locality that you can find pleasing. If we choose evergreens as the main plant theme and combine it with deciduous material that may provide seasonal blooms or foliage color we can recreate the look of the Japanese garden.

Now the next thing taken in consideration in a Japanese garden are the ornaments or Tenkebutsu. Stone lanterns are, for westerners, a typical impression of Japanese gardens.Stone lanterns are not important components of the Japanese garden. The reason is that ornaments are subjected to the garden’s design. Lanterns, stupas, and basins are just architectural complements added when a point of visual interest is necessary to the design.

A good way to finish yor garden design could be a well-placed lantern. The three main styles (although with many variations) are: The Kasuga style lantern, is a very formal one featuring a stone base. In the Oribe style lantern, unlike the Kasuga style, the pedestal is underneath the ground. The Yukimi or Snow-Viewing lantern is set on short legs instead of a pedestal. Consider the formality of your garden setting to choose the appropriate lantern.

When possible, elements from outside the garden can be included in it. For instance, you can work a far away mountain including the scenery in your design, framing it with the stones and plants existing in the garden.
The borrowed scenery (shakkei in Japanese) can be: Far (as in a far away mountain); near (a tree just outside the fence); High (an element seen above the fence) or low (like a component seen below a fence or through a window in the fence).

As much as it is perceived to contradict our sense of enclosure, it reminds us of how all things are interconnected.

The feel of your garden
The Japanese garden is a subtle place full of contradictions and imperatives. Where firmly established rules are broken with other rules. If you meet the Buddha on the road, you must kill him is a Zen paradox that recommends not to stick so tightly to rules, and the same goes for Japanese gardens.

When building a Japanese garden, don’t get too attached to traditions that hold little meaning for you. It would have no function to recreate a Buddhist saints garden. This also applies to trying to remember the meaning of stone placements, as this method is no longer used in Japan, or even in the United States, due to the lack of meaning for us in the modern world.

That’s why we have selected a few gardening suggestions that do hold relevance and integrate them into a garden. These three ideas on gardening will give direction to achieve perfect results.

First
The overall setting of the garden should always be right for the location, not the other way around.

Second
The stones should be placed first, next the trees, and then the shrubs.

Third
Get used to the concepts of shin, gyo, and so. This is of great help to start working on the garden.

Have in mind that the real Japanese gardens are the traditional ones in Japan. What we can do in America is to shape a garden in the Japanese style. Rikyu once said about the perfect Roji: “Thick green moss, all pure and sunny warm”. In other words, techniques are not as important as the feeling you evoke in your garden. Said in other way, the feeling is more important than techniques.

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Gardening Styles Revisited

Each gardener has his or her own set of gardening guidelines that correspond to certain predetermined gardening styles. If you know your gardening style and if you can apply that style to creating an organic garden, then you have pretty much captured an edge over other gardening enthusiasts. But, if you do not have a gardening style that you can apply to organic vegetable growing, then you could be at a strong disadvantage. What are the different styles of gardening that actually apply to successful organic vegetable harvesting? Here are some of the types that you could consider:

Residential Gardening

This is the most common of all gardening techniques. It is often referred to as “backyard gardening”. If you are just a novice and not seasonally experienced in vegetable gardening, then residential gardening is your best approach. The primary purpose of the residential garden is to feed a family. A steady supply of home grown vegetables can not only feed your family now, if you understand canning and preserving, your garden can nourish your family long after the production period of your garden has ended.

The second appeal of residential gardening lies in its aesthetic appeal. Your garden can add color and depth to your landscape. It is quite transforming to see what was once only grass, a wooden deck, or a concrete balcony develop into an eye pleasing sculpture.

Residential gardening does not require a great deal of space. A window sill, deck, balcony or other small area that has sufficient light can easily produce a small crop. These small confined areas are easy to monitor and at the same time, easy to maintain. Protecting your garden from pests is much easier in a smaller area. The great thing about residential gardening is the ease with which it transforms the gardening wannabe into the gardening professional. It takes the rookie, having no knowledge of planting, growing, and harvesting, to a level of understanding where other gardening styles become the dream and the possibility.

Specialized Gardening

Specialized gardening usually involves non-residential areas. Common examples of specialized gardening include amusement parks, botanical gardens, zoos, commercial landscaping along highway right of ways, and many more. Making the landscape more attractive seems to be the most common underlying theme of the specialized garden. These landscaping endeavors are rarely the responsibility of a single person. Often times a staff of botanists and gardeners work together to maintain the garden’s aesthetic attractiveness. These gardens are often created to support or deliver revenue to their owners or the organizations supporting them.

Specialized gardens rarely sport vegetables like corn, tomatoes, potatoes, peas, or beans. They, in agreement with their type, focus more on the special or more rare type of flora. Unique flowers, shrubs, even trees are often found in these areas. But, when a specialized garden does focus on vegetable planting, wide row techniques, sewing seeds in a wide band rather than in a single row, are most often applied.

Impact Gardening

By definition, impact gardening focuses on getting the most out of a small space. It involves using a relatively small gardening area and finding ways to maximize its gardening potential. In order to accomplish this objective, plants are strategically organized and systematically planted in a “crowded” format. This type of gardening requires a basic knowledge of plant types; annuals, perennials, shrubs, trees, and even ground cover. Understanding the types of plants most suited to the environment and the climate is paramount to successful impact gardening.

Impact gardening requires planning. A haphazard approach will not work. A layout of which plants will be placed where is paramount to successful impact growing. The best approach is to actually draw out a schematic of the garden labeling specific areas and then filling those areas with the appropriate plants. These designs or surveys should be as detailed as possible to include plant specifics and cost analysis.

There are four basic steps to successful impact gardening.

  • Step one, survey a space for the garden and mark off the specific site. It is best to have the long side of the plot aligned with the sun, from east to west. This helps keep the plants from burning in the summer heat, and ruining your crops.
  • Step two, design the garden. It should be attractive yet maintain its functionality.
  • Step three, make long thin beds, eight feet longer than they are wide. This makes it easy to weed and plant. Build the bed frames out of long 2×8’s. If you make several, you can lay them end to end, parallel to the sun.
  • Step four, use soaker hoses to water. Place them up and down the rows, about one foot from the edges of the bed.

Indoor Gardening

Growing plants indoors is not only a science, it is an art. This type of gardening can be as small as a few potted plants kept on the coffee table or near the front door; or as large as a greenhouse with thousands of plant varieties housed in a climate controlled environment. These greenhouses or conservatories are designed and built with controlled systems for heating and air conditioning, whatever the plants require. Unfortunately this hot house type of gardening is more suitable to the commercial grower because of the expense factor involved.

For the home owner, the greatest benefit of indoor gardening is the simple fact that plants can be grown year round, completely independent of extreme climatic conditions like heat, cold, wind, or rain. Light is the most common limiting factor for indoor gardening. Most plants do not do well indoors, so it is important to match the light needs of a particular plant with the amount of light you can offer it. There are three general light categories–high, medium and low light. An easy way to measure how much light is in a particular area is to use a light meter, which is typically available at local nurseries, or simply hold your hand between the source of light and the spot where the plant is to be set. The amount of shadow gives a rough indication of available light. If there is no shadow or if a shadow is difficult to see, then that is an indication of low light.

Water Gardening

If you like low supervision gardening and love fish and aquatic plants, then water gardening is your style. Perhaps the most important consideration in water gardening is location selection. Most aquatic plants and fish need plenty of sun, so a place that gets 6-8 hours of direct sunlight is your best bet. Choose a site away from tall shrubs and trees. This site will then provide the best lighting and hopefully prevent the accumulation of leaf debris on the pond surface.

Planning is once again very important. Make sure you apply both common sense and some basic gardening principles to your site plan before you begin construction. Consider the overall size of your property, the size of your site selection, and your ability to maintain your garden before you scoop the first shovel of dirt. It goes without saying, small ponds are best for small properties. A container on a deck may be all that your need in accordance with the space you have available. Features like waterfalls, rock work, lighting and fountains are budget dependent. They may add style, but they could be overly costly.

Aquatic plants should cover no more than 50 – 60 percent of the water surface. Some are free floating while others are marginals or partially submerged. Selection depends on pond size and your personal preference. Water lilies are very popular and can add drama and fragrance even in small gardens. Some plants oxygenate the water and they help keep the water clear and the pool healthy. Fish can be a beneficial addition, because of their scavenging activities. They naturally clean up debris that would otherwise accumulate in the garden. They also can help control mosquito larva, and other insect development.

Community Gardening

Community gardening is becoming quite popular especially in highly populated urban areas. It involves concentrated efforts from different members of the community to help plant, maintain, and then harvest a garden. It is a huge undertaking, but the members of the community are given autonomy to style their areas in whichever way they choose. Locally, the Master Gardner program, through local Agricultural Extension Services, can provide just the right atmosphere for a community to plant a garden, maintain its integrity, and harvest its produce.

Neighborhoods pull together and transform vacant lots into green space. Building tenants gather on rooftops to plant and grow vegetables. Everyone shares in the responsibility and the harvest. This is community gardening in its purest form. These community gardens are a great way to get both children and adults involved in beautifying the neighborhood while at the same time working with nature.

No matter which style suits your needs best, it can be effectively applied to organic gardening. Each gardening style requires some level of planning and site preparation. Once planting is complete, the actual work of gardening begins. Caring for the plants in your garden is very similar to caring for your pets. They need regular food and water. Their space needs to be cleaned or weeded regularly. And, the more attention you give them, the more they respond and produce.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1385751

Finding Your ‘Garden of Eden’

As one travels the path of life, one begins with externalities as their reality.  As the passage of time reveals that internality is the path homeward, and they discover if they venture into it, one finds the beauty and grace of the internal world.

As we begin our life journey, we tend to think that everything we see outside with our senses are real and anything else we don’t see as an illusion.  For this reason, since time began as we evolve, we have been told of this wonderful place called the ‘Garden of Eden’, the place where everything began, this place is heaven.  As it is, we seek outside for this heaven, this Garden of Eden.  We go to the furthest reaches of the world in search for this garden, but we fail over and over again to finding such a paradise called the Garden of Eden.

Why?

We go outwards, just as we venture from our home only to return later in the night.

We seek for this Garden of Eden outside, but actually it is inside, at home, all the time.

We have been looking at the wrong place, it is always with us, it never left us, only that we were too blind to see and not know, because our perceptions overwhelms us to believe the external world is the only one there is.

There are two worlds for this discussion.

A world inside us that is constantly creating and a world outside of us that is the result of our creating inside, the world of the created.

A world inside and a world outside.

Everything that is created in our world, our reality is from our ‘mind’, inside.  Other then nature to which was created before we, the humanity came into being.  Other than what nature is, everything else is ‘human made’, human created.

The world within is a world of creating!

The world without is a world of created!

The world within IS the Garden of Eden!

The world without IS the world of the Fallen!

Lets put it this way…

The world was created perfect, called the garden of Eden.

Then as the outer world was created, the garden of Eden was surrounded by, in the world outside became, hence it was subject to the world outside’s influence, the environmental factors like wind, insects, birds, water etc.

The wind blew, the seeds of weeds was blown into the garden of Eden.  The seeds gets hold and began to grow, the weeds.  Soon the garden no longer looks like the perfection it was, it was hidden in weeds, the garden still exist, only hidden from view!

Someone begin to ponder and look outside but fails to find, because the weed were so long they no longer see the big picture, the garden to which it all began, then someone decided to remove the weeds in the world outside to slowly reveal the garden.  Slowly but surely the weeds are removed and soon it was revealed and the more excited the person became, the more passionate the discovery began and soon the weeds are all gone, the garden revealed itself and the person took rest to enjoy the garden.

Many people stop there, to enjoy.

The journey continues, the weeds were ‘pulled’ out, soon, the garden because of the rest, begin to grow again, the weeds fill the garden again, the gardener is left un-aware of the weed growing because the gardener has taken holiday, only to find when the gardener returns, the garden of eden was once again gone.

Because the gardener knows where it is now, the gardener sets to work on clearing and revealing the garden once more, pulling out the weeds, this time more effective, shorter time required to clear the weeds to disclose the garden of Eden… Only one thing, every time the gardener cleans it, pulled away the weeds, the weed will grow back in a shortest time.  Even though the gardener was more effective at pulling the weed away, it still comes back.  The gardener is confused and wonder, wonder the gardener did.  The garden wonders away from the garden of Eden in search of a solution of the growing weed, the gardener wants to remove the weeds once and for all without having to repeat, routinely remove the weeds and allow the garden of Eden to remain the garden of Eden, absence of weeds.

Confusion sets in to wonder how to clear the weeds once and for all, the weeds grow taller and taller until the gardener can no longer find its way out of the garden, the gardener is totally lost and confused, frustrated at the same time.  One gardener would slash out at the weed only to grow tired and fall asleep, another would sit quietly among the weeds to wonder about the solution of the growing weeds.

One would soon return to the garden of Eden when the gardener awakes, the weeds were miraculously cleared and gone, it is again at the garden of Eden, again with the passage of time, the weed began to grow away and the situation repeats itself, only that every time the gardener awakes, he also forgets about the past, the tending to the garden was forgotten, the garden of Eden process is repeated over and over again…

The other gardener who sit quietly to ponder and wonder, finally realizes that the garden of Eden is right here all the time, the weeds grow because the ’cause’ is still there, the ‘seeds’ of the weeds exist below the soil, blown in from the world without (external world).  To solve the weed issues once and for all, all the gardener need to do was to ‘pull the weed out and remove the seed’, this way, the weed will end its reign and the weed stop populating the garden of Eden.

This was a realization that the gardener needed, now the gardener sets out to clear the weeds at the cause.  Slowly but surely the weeds was cleared and never to return again.  The gardener now lives in the garden of Eden, free from the weeds of the external world.  The interesting thing was this, the gardener realizes, when the garden of Eden is maintained, the world outside changes also, it begins to mimic the garden of Eden and soon, the world external, our reality becomes the world within, the garden of Eden.

The gardener realizes that, in order to change the world outside, it must first begin from the world within, from the garden of Eden, by slowly removing all the weeds from the world within, at its cause, then and only then will have the time to appreciate all its work to live in the beautiful garden of Eden from which it began its journey called life!

Maintaining a garden takes time and effort.

It is your garden of Eden, if you treasure your garden, maintain it.

Sure there will be weeds here and there, slowly discover the roots, pull it out and ‘remove’ the seed below and it will slowly be cleared.

It is your garden, you are the gardener, tend to it, maintain it, slowly but surely, thy work be done, thy garden of Eden be revealed with your insistence of seeing and living in your garden of Eden.  Sooner or later, with the maintenance, you will have the paradise reflected in the world without, soon heaven be here in the world without and you are in heaven, for you have found your garden of Eden to which you live in now!

Now you know, begin to tend to your garden of Eden today!

By the way, the Garden of Eden in ‘external world’ terminology, it is called ‘mind’.

Tend to your mind, weed out what you don’t want slowly, one at a time, remove the causes and all is revealed.  How to remove it?  That’s another story!

Happy clearing the weeds from your Garden of Eden.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3035637

Designing Your Garden – What Makes a Good Garden?

Garden design is a very personal thing and is often an expression of your personality. What I like you, you may not and vise versa. Some people like neat and tidy gardens where there are no surprises, others love the thrill of windy paths, lots of different plant material and not knowing what is around the corner. There are three main styles of gardens formal, semi formal and informal. They can then be divided into many types of gardens and that depends on what you would like. Garden design can be intimately tidied to the style of your house as in example of the grand french chateaux where the geometric patterns of the garden mimic the geometric construction of the house or it can have no connection to your house at all.

Some people are lucky and have this innate gift of knowing how to design space, making it a pleasing place to be in. Others don’t have this gene and find it very difficult to visualise how the space will work. To create a good design it is important you understand that design is about managing space and people moving around it. The core of good garden design centres round patterns and the space within these patterns. By using geometrical shapes, circles, triangles, rectangles etc. you can achieve a unified feel to your garden. So you need to think about ground patterns and movement around your garden. Where would you like people to go? Ground patterns can be achieved with the use of bricks, paving and plant material such as cut grass etc.

Formal gardens are symmetrical and geometrical and are strict in terms of repeating patterns and plant materials on either side. It is very controlled, plants are clipped, shaped, manipulated regularly and today is often suitable for small gardens like court yards. Urns, balustrades, stone, gravel paths, parterres, formal pools and framed views are all part of the formal garden. There are no surprises, you know what to expect.

Informal designs are asymmetrical and not as regimented. Plant material is allowed to spill over the structural elements such as walls, steps and paths. Plant material is allowed to self-seed and wander around the garden. Informal garden design is softer, full of surprises thus you don’t know what to expect.

And semi formal is the combination of the above two. Usually it is the built structures such as retaining walls, paths and steps that are formal and the informal element is the plant material which is allowed to spill over them, softening their hard outlines.

Within these three types, there are many different styles of gardens to choose from such as contemporary, Japanese, Mediterranean, cottage, courtyard, kitchen garden or secret garden.

Contemporary is a modern style that likes to reflect the surrounding but also use a wide range of plant material. Form and texture of foliage are as important as flowers. Hard landscaping is woven into geometrical shaped buildings; all of which flow into the wider landscape. Plants are used as focal points to highlight the architectural forms.

Cottage was a late nineteenth-century ideal to return to the simple cottages of the country. They were planted with hardy bulbs, flowers, fruit bushes and herbs and vegetables. They were geometric, colours were harmonised and luxurious as plants grew well as they were heavily manured regularly.

Mediterranean is not limited to one particular area but are defined according to hot summers and low rainfall. They encompass entertaining areas, shade, good views and dramatic shadows. Hot colourful plants are used and lots of lush green foliage plants to create a cool atmosphere. Plants need to be drought tolerant. Evergreen plants are popular because they cast shade on hot days. Walls are white washed to reflect the sun, pergolas built to create shade and use terracotta pots. There is often a water feature and water provides cooling vibes.

Japanese gardens encompasses religion and Japan’s cultural history. Japanese gardens are very symbolic often the symbols relate to nature. Plants are ‘tamed’ and there is an emphasis on evergreen trees and shrubs. They are very controlled and often minimalist. True Japanese gardens are contemplative a place of meditation and great calm.

Planning

If you feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start when designing your garden, I suggest you break it up into areas called rooms thus dividing one big space into several smaller spaces. For example: there is the front garden, the side garden and the back garden. Once you have decided where they begin and end you can then divide each of those areas up again. For example in the back garden you could have the entertaining area, the grass/children’s area, the utilities area (includes the compost heap and shed), the pool area and the vegetable/orchard area. Once you have defined the areas/rooms you can tackle one at a time, thus making a huge project into several smaller projects.

The Three Planning Stages

To create an interesting and exciting garden there are 3 sets of plans (may be four if you need an engineer’s structural plans) you need to devise:- Site Analysis Plan, Concept Plan and Planting Plan, usually all drawn to scale.

The First Steps

To design a garden that works there are several things you need to do before buying plants and planting them. If you follow these steps you are more likely to have a successful garden.

Site Analysis

It is important to make an inventory of the area you are designing. Things to include are:

Levels – steep/flat
Aspect – North/south
Sun/shade
Sun Summer/Winter
Shadows
Existing trees and buildings
Wind
Views – good and bad
Soil conditions
Entrances – Front/back doors
Power lines
Underground cables and pipes
Clothes line
Fences
Sheds and garages
Paved and unpaved areas
Patio/BBQ
Lighting
Drainage – runoff of storm watered

Once you have noted the above, it is time to draw up the space. You can draw it roughly (not to scale) but eventually you will have to draw it to scale. Start by measuring the area you are designing, draw it to scale ie. 1:100 and put all the above points onto your drawn plan. All these influences need to be drawn on paper, so that you can gauge any trends. For example there might be a paved path from the back door to the garage, but everyone takes a short cut across the lawn, creating a desire line. No – one uses the paved path. So perhaps pave the desire line and make it the official path.

The next step is the concept plan and this is the plan where you put down you ideas. It can be as wild and as adventurous as you like. Forget cost, enjoy your creativity. This is the stage where you put down your dreams of what you have always wanted. Later on, you hip pocket will decide for you whether you can have them. Anything is possible, so don’t be shy, dream away. Again this can be roughly drawn or to scale, it is up to you.

The third and final plan is the planting plan and it is preferable that it is drawn to scale as this allows you to know exactly how many plants you will need. It incorporates all the ideas you have decided upon and shows you how the finished garden is going to look. It is the road map which will guide you to building your new garden.

There may be a fourth plan if your site is steep or you are having major elements built, as you may need the advice of an engineer.

Points to Consider

Think about your soil conditions, is it heavy clay or light and sandy? What plants will grow in these conditions? Are some areas boggy and some always dry?

Sun conditions

The sun is higher in the sky during spring and summer and shadows are shorter. Whereas in winter, the sun is lower in the sky and casts longer shadows. So a plant might be in full sun in summer and complete shade in winter. Can it tolerate this? Also think about the conditions the plants require. Are they full sun plants like roses or shade loving plants like azaleas?

Wind

You also need to think about wind direction. Which way does the prevailing wind come from? Screens and hedges are one way of managing this problem but what problems are they going to cause? Making the block feel narrow, casting shadows etc? It is important to know because some plants don’t like wind and it is no good putting the BBQ/entertainment area in an uncomfortable spot.

Views

Views out your window or from your garden are very important. Some are intrusive while others are desired. If you wish to block out flats/neighbours etc. you may need to put in a higher fence or a hedging screen of some kind. Or you may want to design your garden to enhance the view of the mountain, ocean etc.

Utilities and Service Lines

You also need to be aware where your services and utilities are; things like clothesline, overhead power lines etc. If you damage the gas, telephone or electricity lines, you are liable to pay for their repair.

Principles of Garden Design

To create a well designed garden, it is important to put the right plant in the right position. This means considering the cultural requirements of the plant. For example putting a full sun plant such as rose into a shady position isn’t going to work, because the rose won’t be receiving the right amount of sunlight for it to grow. The idea of good garden design is to follow this philosophy, using the placement of plants to create mystery, tension and surprise by using tricks of the eye, colours and textures.

Tension, mystery and surprise make a garden interesting. One way to create these is to use hedges, low walls, screens, paths, steps to make individual ‘garden rooms’ with tension points that captures your attention on the way. For example a narrow oblong garden can be made more interesting if you can’t see the back fence – that there is a feature (plant or statue etc.) that obscures the fence. It also becomes more interesting if the path way is narrow then opens up into another room. A winding path adds mystery to the garden if you can’t see what is around the corner. Surprise comes when you go around the corner and discover a focal point.

A focal point is something like a seat/statue/water feature that leads your eye directly to it. For example – a pergola that has a statue at the end of it. The statue is the feature and is the reason why you look/walk to see it. Another example of a focal point is a pathway leading through a door that is open and shows a vista of the wider landscape.

The success of the focal point can depend on the how successfully the ground patterns lead you there. If the paving encourages you along this path thus creating some tension and mystery, you are more likely to follow the path to see what’s there because you have become inquisitive. Narrow paths encourage you to walk quickly and not to dilly dally along the way, where as wide paths say stroll, take you time, look at the surrounding vegetation. A gentle curve can be negotiated at speed, but a tight curve can’t be so people slow down as there is risk involved. Paving is used as a directional tool says don’t walk that way, but walk this way. Edging bricks say don’t step over this – this is a boundary. Paving can also be used to reflect the ground plane of the house or other shapes in the garden.

Long narrow gardens have a strong directional emphasis that needs to be broken up. Square plots are static. To solve these problems the space’s shape needs to be changed. A circular design distracts the eye from the straight lines of the boundary fence. You could also use a series of rectangles using the boundaries as part of the design.

Another method is to turn the garden onto a 45 degree angle. A long diagonal line will immediately create a feeling of space. The paving near the house could be done on an angle and high light the diagonal line of the entire garden.

Gardens with a dog-leg in them can utilise the bend by using tension, mystery and surprise to lead you around the corner to a focal point of some kind.

Unified space is created by controlling the movement around the garden. It is the way areas are linked together by paths, bridges, pergolas, steps and terraces that determine whether a garden is successful. Careless placing can ruin the flow of the garden. If you wish to direct someone’s attention to a particular point then there must be a clear reason in the design for following this pathway.

Ground levels are very important when designing a garden. If a slope is too steep to walk down safely, steps may be needed and if the entire block is on a slope, the whole area may need to be terraced. What material you use is also important. Steps should not be of slippery materials and gravel may wash away. The surfaces need to be flat otherwise they could be dangerous and people will not want to walk along them and instead they may create a desire lines.

Levels help to create interest and ‘rooms’ in a garden because you move from one place to another by steps/paths/etc. Allow your levels to gently flow into one another and keep them simple. Don’t over decorate them. A slope up from the house will appear foreshortened whereas a slope down from the house will appear larger.

Choosing Plant Materials

There are 3 types of gardens:- the plants man, the garden designer and the gardener’s (mix of the first two). The plants man gardens consist of lots of singular plantings, unconnected and often rare and difficult to source. The garden designer’s garden consists of plants that are tried and tested – they use plants that they know and how they perform. The gardener’s garden has learned that their favourite plants can be more effective if planted in a scheme.

When choosing plants you must consider what the conditions are of your garden. There is no point putting alkaline tolerant plants in acid soil or vise versa. It won’t work! You need to think about what your plants you have chosen require moist soils, dry soils, shade, sun, well drained, boggy soils. If you do your research correctly and place your plants in the right position, you are well on the way to a successful garden.

The height and spread of your plants also needs to be considered. Tall growing plants are placed at the back of the garden bed, graduating down to the low plants. Remember some plants send up flower spikes that may be much larger than the plant itself, so they need to be positioned according to their flower spike height. Some plants are bushy so don’t forget to leave sufficient room for them to spread. They may need annual pruning to keep them in check.

Colour

Another trick in the designing tool bag is using colour. Colour is the sensation of illumination which is light. The way colours inter-react with each other depends on their position in colour wheel. Manipulating colour is great fun and can create all sorts of illusions. Colours are divided into 2 groups primary red, yellow, blue and secondary green, violet, orange. Secondary colours are made of combining two primary such as mixing blue and yellow together to create green. You can make a space look cold or create distance by using pale and brown colours. You can also make a space looker bigger than it really is by using warm colours such as oranges, reds or yellows. If you want to make a space look closer to you, again use warm colours. As reds, oranges or yellow are very busy colours to the eye, it is a good idea to intersperse white flowers or grey foliage plants to calm the visual scene down. White and grey also intensify blue and pale colours.

One thing to remember about the Australia sun is that the best time to look at our gardens is in the late afternoon when the sunlight is not as strong. Our hot sun tends to fade our flowers colours and the glare at mid-day tends to wash the colour out.

If you are feeling overwhelmed about designing your garden, divide your space up and take it slowly, completing one section at a time. Don’t start another part until you have finished the section you are working on and very soon you will have a beautiful garden. Remember gardens are ephemeral, it is a process that is for ever evolving. You never really finish.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4945933

Designs For the Perfect Garden Sheds

Gardens are not only for lawns and household play fields, but can also be perfect locations for storage sheds wherein one can just basically stock unused household stuffs in the shed. As part of the entire house exterior, it is only but proper that garden sheds will also look presentable and in-relative to the house’s design.

In order not to be a total complete eyesore, garden shed designs should be well-planned. Shed plans should be in harmony with the available space in the garden as well as the design befitting the house’s style. Furthermore, garden shed designs should serve its purpose to the owners in general.

The following are some basic tips on how to build your garden shed:

* Space. Before one make his/her own storage building plans, one has already the estimate of the space where the garden shed will be placed. Aside from the space available, decide also which part of the garden it will be located. Make sure that it will not be located somewhere near the main road so as to avoid blockage of the pathway in the future.

* Layout. On a piece of paper, have a layout of your garden shed designs. One needs not to be an architect or engineer for this matter; a basic design of the garden shed – such as how it looks like – will do since this will only serve as a guide to the carpenter or designer in building the shed. If one is really very intricate about it, he/she can hire a designer or architect to make the storage shed plan.

* Materials. In the storage building plans, also include the kind of materials which you like for your garden storage shed. Most of which are made out of wood as woods are deemed as perfect materials for a garden storage shed. Aside from the fact that woods are cheaper, it can also blend well in the environment of a garden wherein shades of green and earth colors fill the area. It is advisable, however, to put wood treatments in certain parts of the garden storage shed. This is to prevent pests or house bugs in getting into the woods.

If you cannot do it on your own, find someone who is learned and skillful in carpentry and designing storage sheds. Look for highly qualified individuals who can construct your garden storage shed. This does not only entail a sturdy garden storage shed output, but also a saving from time and materials used.

Basic Garden Shed Designs

Common garden shed designs today include the A-frame type and barn-style sheds. There are also many other styles such as pet barns, saltbox greenhouse, playhouses, cottages, pool cabanas, or a miniature version of your own house. Outdoor storage may be fitted with a porch and other accessories. When looking at garden shed designs, check what each manufacturer has to offer.

For a garage shed where you intend to park toy vehicles, bikes, motorcycles, and even cars, there are shed kits that come in various sizes available. In choosing, you would of course have to tally the number of vehicles in the household. Usually, garage sheds are also designed to house auto repair tools, parts, supplies, and cleaning equipment. Since garage sheds are valued for their interior quality, exterior designs are usually minimal and simplistic.

Outdoor garden shed designs for vehicles need to have strong foundation. You may choose from concrete, concrete block, pressure-treated lumber, brick, or plywood sheets to support the entire structure. The roof height must give adequate room for people to move in and out while the doors may be single, double, or roll-ups. Garden shed designs may include windows to encourage proper ventilation inside the shed. Another of the most popular garden shed designs are those for constructing potting or greenhouse sheds. Just like garage sheds, outdoor structures for plants need good ventilation because of sprays, fertilizers, insects, and soil. It is a good idea to erect a potting shed near a water source for better plumbing capabilities and maintenance. Greenhouse sheds may include a work bench, hooks for which to hang garden tools, and shelves.

If you are planning a shed to serve as a nursery for seedlings and young plants, as well as a greenhouse for orchids and foliage, you might want to look at larger garden shed designs. You can have the roof be made of either plastic or glass. The best flooring for a custom greenhouse is concrete. Hooks may also come in handy for baskets and ladders. Electricity is also a must for potting sheds as well as plumbing fixtures.

Depending on the type of outdoor shed you wish to have, you may opt for accessories to make garden shed designs even more interesting. Items such as skylights, cupolas, alarm systems, motion detectors, and storage units may be bought separately from shed kit manufacturers or your local home and garden store. You may have shelves installed or purchase storage containers to better organize items to be stored.

Garden sheds are very popular among neighbors throughout the nation. In fact the demand for garden sheds has spread fast from coast-to-coast. Today, there are many garden shed designs on the market to decide on; the problem is choosing which one to use.

Finding the right design is important; it may depend more on the landscaping of your backyard, the style of your home, what windows to use, what accessories to add, and the space available to build a garden shed than anything else.

Sheds are used for storing garden tools, lawn movers, gardening supplies, equipment, surplus items, outdoor projects, tillers, and even the children’s toys. There are many designs available with step-by-step instructions, videos, and even workshops to assist you in building a shed of your own.

Building a garden shed today is easy once you have chosen a design that meets the needs and desires you are seeking. With a solid design or blue print, you can build a durable shed that will last a lifetime. The key to building a great shed is in the planning. It will also be more cost efficient if you have a solid design that you know you will enjoy.

Many people go to Lowe’s or Home Depot, buy their timber, equipment and tools and start building without a plan in place. This may turn into a real catastrophe and end up costing them much more than they anticipated.

The goal is to first understand what kind of soil you are building on to make sure you have a solid foundation to work on. It is wise to check with the city ensure no city or county building ordinances are going to hinder your project.

Next, if you want to have electricity, water, and air-conditioning it is important that you build next to an access point that will allow you this luxury.

The foundation may be constructed of cement if you want a more permanent location but if you think you may move in the future, it is best to build a garden shed that will allow you the flexibility to move it later. With a pre-built shed you are limited to existing choices on design and functionality. However, they are pre-cut and simple to put together if you don’t have much knowledge in this field.

Common garden shed designs have domes and windows to improve the air quality and lighting. Today they have wider door entries as well to allow enough space for larger equipment items.

Garden sheds usually have shelves for storing pots. They also have pegs for hanging garden tools and yard tools. Sometimes they even include indoor potting benches. Drawers and bins where you can keep small hand tools, gloves and other small items are also commonly found in garden sheds.

When building your shed, do not rush as this can cause errors. Keep a concise plan and stick to it. Measure twice, cut once. Have a list of all the parts, tools, and equipment you will need to complete the project. Remember that your garden shed design can also be customized with decorations, accessories, and colors to change the mood and look of your shed. There is much to consider when building a shed but you can have the garden shed of your dreams with little time and effort.

Finally, if you don’t have the right equipment or experience, make sure you find a neighbor that can assist you that has experience in this field and one that may even have a nail gun, an air hose, an electric saw, and that’s good with a hammer.

Building your own shed will give you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that you built something you can be proud of and enjoy for years. Once you have planned ahead and you are ready to build, just get started and enjoy new garden shed designed just for you.

A garden shed is a great idea if you are looking to store extra items or tools. They can also be very useful because not only do you get extra storage space but you can keep all of the things you need to maintain your lawn and garden all in one convenient place. If you check around you will find that there are all kinds of shed designs available that are both easy to construct and budget friendly.

Here are some helpful tips to assist you in choosing which shed design is right for you. First decide if you want to purchase a pre-made shed or if you want to build your own. Pre-made sheds can be more expensive but then you don’t have the hassles of constructing your own. Although with a pre-made shed you are somewhat limited to the design and functionality. If you choose to construct you own shed, you get total control over both the design and the functionality.

The next thing to consider is, what you will store in the shed and what kind of function it will serve. Make sure you choose a garden shed design that provides you with the appropriate amount of storage pace you will need. So really think it through before making your choice.

Planning ahead is the best way to achieve success. Choosing a garden shed design that addresses all of your needs really comes down to the actual planning. Be prepared for any problems and challenges that can arise and things will go much smoother. Take your time and don’t rush through the project because this can cause mistakes and create more problems. Keep a concise plan and stick to it. A good rule of thumb is “measure twice, cut once”. Make sure that you have on hand, a list of all the parts, tools and equipment you will need to complete the project.

Garden shed designs typically incorporate wider doorways to make it easier to push larger equipment, like tillers and mowers in and out. Some designs have one wide door while others have two smaller doors that conveniently open together to make a larger doorway. Aside from wider doors, garden sheds quite often have cupolas and windows for better ventilation and light. The larger the windows the more light you have so you avoid the cost of adding electrical lighting. Garden sheds also usually have shelves for storing pots, garden accessories and other lawn and garden tools. Sometimes they even include indoor potting benches, drawers and bins to keep small hand tools, etc.

Just remember your garden shed design does not have to be plain or boring. There are many ways to customize the look of your shed. Color is one of the quickest and easiest ways to change the look and feel of your shed. Adding decorations and accessories is also a good way to spruce up your shed. Although there is a lot to consider when buying or building a garden shed, with a little time and effort you will soon have the garden shed of your dreams.

7 Tips to help you choose the right garden shed design.

1) Decide if you want to build your own shed yourself instead of buying a ready-built shed. Obviously a ready-built shed is faster, but it can cost more, and it limits you to someone else’s design. What’s great about using your own garden shed plan is that you have control.

2) Work out the volume of what you plan to store in your shed and what you want the space for. Don’t skimp on size; you’ll only regret it later. The secret to getting what you want is to choose a well-designed garden shed plan. But however good your plan is, expect challenges and problems. Then when they come you wont’ be.

3) Give yourself plenty of time to build your shed and don’t rush it. This way, you maker fewer mistakes.

4) Make a list of all of the tools, parts and equipment you need to complete your project. Measure twice, cut ONCE.

5) Remember, follow the shed instructions always. They’ve already gone to the trouble to troubleshoot all the problems and work out the design.

6) Many garden shed designs show wide doorways, either one large door, but usually two. This makes it great to move items such as mowers in and out. Apart from wide doors, many designs show cupolas and windows for better light and ventilation.

7) Garden sheds usually incorporate shelves for storing pots, garden and yard tools. You can even put in potting benches. Extras such as drawers and bins for storage of small hand tools, gloves, etc are really useful.

Garden shed designs don’t have to be boring or unimaginative. It’s easy to personalize the final look with a some paint and a few finishing touches. With a little elbow grease, you can build yourself a shed that compliments your home and yard, and enriches the value of your home.

Wooden Garden Shed Designs and Plans – Things to Consider in Building One

Ever feel like there’ simply shortage of space where you can properly store your gardening tools and equipment? Brace up, it may be high time for another addition to your yard. I’d suggest you get started looking over some wooden garden shed designs and plans.

If you have an inherent talent for building stuff and tinkering around with your hands, there’s no reason why you can’t build a garden shed yourself. But I do suggest you use wood as your material because it is a lot easier and cheaper to use wood. Not to mention, it would blend right in your yard with your garden.

If you go over different wooden garden shed designs, you’ll find that aside from the construction process, there’s a whole lot more that goes into building a shed. That’s what we’re going to discuss below:

Location

First thing you need to do is to find an ideal location for your shed. An ideal location would have to be somewhere where it’s not very obtrusive in your garden. Also, make sure that the area is not somewhere where the water drains. Muddy or wet grounds would make a bad choice for the location of your shed. The soil can easily shift, and once it does, the shed could easily disintegrate as well.

Additionally, make sure that the shed is not built on property lines or you may face some trouble with your neighbor in the future. Above a septic tank is also a bad choice. It would have not provide a solid ground for a shed.

Size and Budget

Another thing you need to consider is the size of the shed you’re going to build. How much space you have available in your yard as well as your specific need would have to be kept in mind in deciding on the specific size of your shed.

Additionally, once you’ve decided on the size of the shed, it is just as important to calculate how much you’re going to spend for the project. Paying a visit to your supplier and getting a quote would be a good idea. Of course, you will need a complete list of materials to do this.

Wooden Garden Shed Designs

Aside from functionality, you also have to consider aesthetic value in choosing the right wooden garden shed design. Something that would add character and blend perfectly in your yard would be the perfect shed design.

Obviously, you can only choose the perfect designs once you’ve gone over several shed designs. And that is something I strongly suggest you do. A garden shed after all does not only serve your purposes, it has to accentuate the beauty of your home as well.

So, if you’re in the process of going over wooden garden shed designs, I suggest you check out this really helpful resource here:

Projects for Woodworkers: Garden Shed Designs

Gardens can be filled with colorful flowers and trees or delicious fresh vegetables lovingly grown by you and your family. No matter the style of your garden, it requires tools and equipment to keep them growing and healthy. If you’ve been storing those things in your garage or under the back porch, if may be time for some kind of storage unit to be placed in the garden itself.

If you like to work on outdoor projects, deciding on a garden shed design that can take care of gardening tools and supplies while giving you a space to work can be a dream come true. A shed for your garden is not only a functional solution to a storage problem, but it is a fun project your can do yourself.

Before moving ahead with putting a garden shed on your property, first ask yourself a few questions:

Pre-made shed or build your own? Pre-made sheds are fast and easy, and saves a lot of time; but it is a lot more expensive. Also, you are limited to standard sizes and styles. When you build, you can choose the style, the size, special options and detailing that you want.

What will you be storing in your shed, and what do you plan to use it for other than storage? Choose a garden shed design that gives you enough room for everything you need to do.

What about a plan? Start with a set of blueprints and instructions, and move along step by step. Set out the tools and supplies you need before you start work. That way you will save time by having everything at your fingertips. Make sure you have all the materials, parts, tools and equipment you need before you start.

Doors are a very important element in garden shed design. Choose a wide or double door to allow large equipment, like mowers and tillers, to fit through it without a problem. Cupolas and windows provide ventilation and light. If the windows are large enough, you won’t have to add electricity to your shed – though you may want to anyway as it can come in handy. Add some shelving and hooks for yard tools and accessories. Lastly, putting in drawers or bins will give you additional storage for small hand tools and gardening gloves.

A garden shed should reflect the style of your home or garden. Customize it to take care of what you need. Paint it to match the house or leave the wood natural so it blends into the landscape. You are the boss. Though a lot of time and effort goes into building something from scratch, your garden shed can be one you will enjoy for years to come and well worth it.

Garden Shed Designs – Build Your Shed With Step-By-Step Instructions

Here’s what you must consider building your own shed:

1. Decide on the type of the shed
Free shed designs can either be made to be permanent or movable. If you think in the future that you might need to move this to another site or you wish to do a landscaping and you need to relocate it, settle for the mobile garden shed.

2. Know what size you need
Garden shed designs are similar to storage building plans; they have their own separate standard sizes. Standard sizes are your basis and determining factor on what size you really need. You can change the size according to your own preference and needs.

3. Decide on your flooring
A simple garden shed design can be a small structure that only needs simple flooring. If you opt to do something that is permanent, you still need to have a good and sturdy foundation but not as elaborate as a free storage shed plans concrete foundation.

4. Decide on your wall
Assemble your walls in a prefabricated style so you can easily attach this on the sides surrounding the floor going all the way up. Make sure that frames and attachments are complete and properly attached.

5. Determine your roof design
After the frames of the walls are attached, you can start attaching the roof. A garden shed normally consists of a simple flat roof slightly leaning to either side to avoid accumulating water during the rainy season.

6. Know your door size
Make sure you have the right door size. Others make the common mistake of building too small doors that prevent bigger tools and equipment from being stored inside.

7. Sealing it right
Do not forget to seal especially your roofing. This will prevent leakage during the rainy season. Your woodworking storage should be dry and clean inside to protect the things you store.

Building your own shed is easy. Just follow the steps above and you’ll be working like a pro. One of the best things you should consider when getting your own shed plan is its ability to be expanded.

Garden Shed Design – Wood Or Metal?

Are you thinking about getting a garden shed? There are a few things to consider first. First of all, wood or metal. The second thing is, do you buy or build it yourself? You can learn from my mistakes, keep reading and find out the best option for you.

When I first decided to get a new garden shed I made the mistake of ordering a ‘build it yourself’ premade metal shed. It took me about a day to construct and I knew right from the start it probably wasn’t going to be the shed I wanted.

after I had built it I tried to convince myself that it would do the job. The sliding metal doors made such a horrible noise when closing them and even though I had bolted the whole thing down to the ground it still didn’t feel very safe.

It wasn’t until a few days later I noticed that some of my tools and equipment were wet. As I looked up at the roof I realised it was damp. Condensation. The whole roof was covered with condensation which didn’t disappear until late afternoon by which time as soon as the sun had gone down it was already starting to come back.

I put up with it for a couple of months until I finally made the decision to pull it down and get a wooden shed. The original reason I didn’t get a wooden shed was because of the price. Metal sheds seem to be so much cheaper, I now know why.

Being a keen DIY person there was no way I was gonna buy one. I invested a little bit of money and downloaded a whole load of plans from the Internet. After choosing the right plans I took them to my local lumber yard where they gave me a quote from materials. It wasn’t much more than the original metal shed I had wasted my money on.

A few days later the shed was built and it is now my pride and joy. All my tools are safe and dry and I’ve got a load of room to spare. The best thing is people can’t believe that I made it myself. It’s great to show off my DIY skills!

In conclusion, forget about getting a metal shed. They’re just a waste of money. Nothing beats a good old-fashioned wooden shed and building it yourself is definitely the way to go.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6392824

Cornwall’s Gardens

The ‘Garden Capital of the World’ is often how Cornwall is thought of throughout the world. Cornwall enjoys the power of the Gulf Stream with its temperate climate of warm summers, mild and wet winters which in turn allows exotic and rare plants to thrive.

Where else can you find so many gardens with history dating back to the Iron Age? As long ago as the early 19th century Cornish gardeners were part of the Victorian plant hunters who collected exotic plants and seeds from all around the world.

That gives us what we have today: over 60 fabulous gardens to explore with lush vegetation and sub-tropical theatres of colour brimming with exciting, rare and beautiful plants. Cornwall’s gardens are found in our magnificent Castles, Manor Houses, grand Farm Estates, Mill Houses, sheltered valleys, high up on blustery moorland and nestled in woodland and seaside gardens which meet the turquoise hues of the water’s edge.

Cornwall’s gardens are so diverse as they vary in size from small and intimate to acres of rolling countryside. Some with enchanting lakes and a Victorian boathouse to water gardens with tree ferns, rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias. Others have walled gardens and manicured lawns to the newest of all two magnificent Biomes filled with magic from around the world.

All around Britain you will be hard-pressed not to find a ‘Veitch’ plant or one derived from their nurseries. The Veitch family sent many collectors all over the world to bring back seeds and plants. These included two Cornish brothers, William and Thomas Lobb. William Lobb died in San Francisco in 1864 but his brother Thomas lived in Devoran until his death in 1894.

In the East of Cornwall Mount Edgcumbe have The Earl’s Garden with ancient and rare trees including a 400-year-old lime. The Formal Gardens are found in the lower park and were created over 200 years ago in English, French and Italian styles. Cothele tells the story of the Tamar Valley and Antony was recently used as a backdrop for the film Alice in Wonderland. Also in the East is Ince Castle which overlooks the River Lynher. The garden enjoys woodlands filled with rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias, vibrant shrubs and formal gardens. Pentillie Castle’s gardens are only open on specific days and their orchard was replanted with old Tamar Valley varieties of apple and cherry.

The South is awash with fabulous gardens which proves how sheltered this coast is in Cornwall and many are overflowing with collections of Cornish rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias. We can start with Hidden Valley Gardens, Near Par. These gardens won the Cornwall Tourism Silver award 2010 for small visitor attraction. Tregrehan is a large woodland garden and is home to the Carlyon family since 1565. The Pinetum Park and Pine Lodge Gardens, Near St. Austell is a 30-acre paradise with over 6000 labelled plants. Ray and Shirley Clemo travelled the world collecting seeds and plants for this garden and a pair of black swans have made it their home.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan at Pentewan have been voted Britain’s finest garden and has scooped the title in the Countryfile Magazine Awards 2011. Celebrating 21years since Heligan’s Lost Gardens were discovered, this beauty provides 200 acres to explore. Discover the Northern Garden, the Jungle, the Wider Estate and the Horsemoor Hide and Wildlife Project.

Next on our list would be Caerhays Castle Gardens which is situated in a valley above Porthluney Cove. A horticultural treasure covering 100 acres of woodland gardens and holder of the National Magnolia Collection. Lamorran at St. Mawes is a Mediterranean-style garden with sea views over Falmouth Bay. History says that it is the most Northerly Palm Garden in the world. From Lamorran you can see the lighthouse at St. Anthony’s Head. St. Just in Roseland has a 13th century church and is set in a sheltered sub-tropical riverside garden filled with magnolias, azaleas, bamboos and giant gunnera. Trelissick Garden at Feock was planted 200 years ago and has views down the Falmouth estuary. It has year-round plant colour, an orchard, woodland walks and an art and crafts gallery. In the autumn 300 varieties of apples will be on display in the Georgian stables. Enys Gardens at Penryn is one of Cornwall’s oldest gardens dating back to 1709. Penjerrick at Budock Water is unspoilt with historic and botanic interest; relax among tree ferns and hidden paths.

Moving on down the coast to Mawnan Smith is Trebah and Carwinion, these are gardens with great historic interest. Trebah is on the North bank of the Helford River and in this garden you can wander among giant tree ferns and palms. Carwinion has a renowned collection of bamboo and has 14 acres of tranquil gardens. Glendurgan lies in a sub-tropical valley running down to the Helford River. Have fun in the 180 year-old cherry laurel maze and wander through the garden and down to the hamlet of Durgan. Potager is a new organic garden and is close to Constantine, five miles from Falmouth.

Down the coast further to Cornwall’s Lizard Peninsula, Bonython Estate Gardens has an 18th century Walled Garden, a potager garden, an orchard of Cornish variety apple trees and woodlands. Bosahan at Manaccan is again close to the Helford River enjoying the Cornish microclimate and described as “the most Cornish of all Cornish gardens” in The Gardener magazine in 1909! Trevarno Gardens are the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ of their estate with a magnificent 70 acres. Several interesting features include a Serptentine Yew Tunnel and the production of organic skincare products and soaps. Carleen Subtropical Gardens are open by appointment only and are home to collections from South America, Mexico, Central and South Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Southern USA and the Mediterranean. The Hardy Exotics Garden Nursery at Whitecross, Near Penzance can create “Barbados in Birmingham” – “Mauritius in Manchester” and “Hawaii in Hertford”.

Now we come to the beautiful St. Michaels Mount, walk across the causeway at low tide or travel by boat at other times. These gardens are steep but thrive in the shelter of the granite cliffs and you will find exotics from Mexico, Canary Islands and South Africa. Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens is a wonderful valley setting with St. Michaels Mount in the background. The National Trust owns Trengwainton and this historic garden is home to banana plants and enormous echiums. Finally in this part of Cornwall is Penberth which has 5 acres and is a natural valley garden incorporating sea views.

Now we move on to North Cornwall which is a more rugged coast fronting the Atlantic. Our first port of call is the Japanese Garden and Bonsai Nursery in the beautiful Lanherne Valley at St. Mawgan. Just 1.5 acres but includes Water Gardens, Stroll Garden and a Zen Garden inspired by the East. Moving on up the Coast to Padstow we find Prideaux Place that has 40 acres of landscaped grounds and a deer park overlooking the Padstow estuary and the River Camel. Last but not least on this coast is Longcross Victorian Garden at Trelights, Port Isaac. This is 4 acres and gives a fine example of coastal gardening and hedging with views towards Port Isaac and Port Quin.

Cornwall has some more fine gardens that are a bit more inland than the others we have mentioned before but when you are in Cornwall you are never more than sixteen miles away from the coast at any time.

The 4 acres at Ken-Caro, Nr. Liskeard is another garden with a woodland walk, magnolias and rhododendrons, small but beautiful and set high above Bicton Manor Woods. Another one in the same area is Moyclare established in 1927 in 1 acre and arranged around the house. The broom “Moyclare Pink” and the astrantia “Moira Reid” originated in this garden. Pencarrow is a garden of 50 acres and this is where the Monkey Puzzle tree got its name. In this garden you can even walk on the grass! If you like one of the plants you will probably be able to buy a cutting from it. At Pinsla Garden, Cardinham there is something for everyone, an idyllic haven, and a hideaway full of secret paths with hazel arch and fantasy garden created by garden artists.

Moving on once again to the National Trust owned Lanhydrock, a garden for walkers and a historical garden that has a woodland of 1000 acres. Boconnoc at Lostwithiel bas a beautiful spring garden and has camellias and azaleas from the 1850 original planting. These gardens are only open for the Spring Flower Show and Sunday afternoons during May. Trewithin close to Grampound means ‘house of the trees’ and has 30 acres of woodland gardens and more than 200 acres of surrounding parkland. The horticulturalist George Johnstone, who inherited the house in 1904, cultivated many of the seeds that came from abroad thus ensuring the reputation that Trewithin has today. Trewithin is an unforgettable garden gem.

Next is the Eden Project close to St. Austell which is the newest of all our Cornish gardens. Created from a disused china clay pit in the year 2000 and the site opened on 17th March 2001. Two Biomes, one Tropical and the other Mediterranean are both constructed from a tubular steel space-frame clad in thermoplastic ETFE. At Eden you can travel around the world in a day!

At Bosvigo on the outskirts of Truro an awkward wing of the house was demolished and using stone from the house the walled garden was created. This left a 100-year-old Victorian Conservatory standing. All the plants that are for sale in this nursery are growing in the Gardens. Burncoose at Gwennap is a 30 acre woodland garden and has achieved gold medal displays at Chelsea and Hampton Court flower shows. The Nursery stocks a wide range of shrubs and herbaceous plants. Back up the coast we find Trerice, three miles from Newquay, which is a 6 acre garden but there is still space to find seclusion at any time of the year. The National Trust has owned this garden since 1953.

Finally, we cross the water and arrive on the beautiful Isles of Scilly and then head for the Abbey Gardens on Tresco. This amazing sub-tropical garden is home to species of plants and trees from 80 countries ranging from Brazil to New Zealand and Burma to South Africa. The building of tall windbreaks ensures any inclement weather is forced up and over the walled enclosure. The terraces at the top are hotter and drier than the ones below which give more humidity. In 1990 hurricane force winds created dreadful damage to the shelter belts and the loss of many plants but the shelter belts and garden are now restored and looking ‘better than ever’. This is one that you should not miss.

Many Cornish gardens belong to the National Gardens Scheme who publishes The Yellow Book each year which is a guide or ‘bible’ to garden visiting. Most of these gardens are privately owned and only open on specific days.

Lots of our gardens have tremendous interest in the Autumn such as Ellis Gardens at Polyphant, Wave Cottage at Lerryn, Half Acre at Boscastle, Primrose Farm at Skinners Bottom and Kennall House at Ponsanooth. The Homestead close to Helston is 7.5 acres and has a Wildflower Wood with over 1000 trees and a further 800 trees for a shelter and wildlife habitat.

There are of course many more gardens in Cornwall, many of them small but beautiful and a lot of our gardens are Dog Friendly. So don’t leave part of the family at home, bring them along as well. It would be wise to check first with the garden you are intending to visit just to make sure that it is ‘dog friendly’. Some of our Cornish gardens are more accessible than others so again if part of your group is less agile check with the garden to make sure you will enjoy your visit.

For more information on our Cornish Gardens most of them have their own website which will give you opening days and times, how to get there, what facilities are available and ticket costs.

I was born into the Cornish farming world, my Dad was a farmer and his Dad before him. My early childhood was spent following my Mum around the farm doing all the chores that went with being a farmers wife. From milking our cows and collecting eggs, to making Cornish cream from the fresh milk, this was all part of my life. As was picking fruit, digging potatoes and cutting broccoli. At harvest time I would accompany Mum up to the thrashing machine to give the men their lunch and crib, which is what a mid morning snack is called in Cornwall!
At the age of 18 I married Chris a local Garage owner whom I am still married to today. During our married life I have been involved in a Sea Rescue Club and showing our German Shepherd Dogs at dog shows all over the country. As well as running our own Petrol Filling Station and Village Shop we also opened the Asalt & Battery, a fast food fish and chip takeaway where I spent many a “Happy” time preparing and frying fish and chips.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6571219

Rearranging Your Garden

All the gardens reach a point where they need a little renovation. Renovation is a huge work. It requires a lot of new ideas, time, and knowledge. Most of the people want to rearrange their garden to be more beautiful and more comfortable. Some people want to install a pond or a swimming pool. “The best place to plan your yard is just sitting in it”, says A Dutch gardening expert W. Oudshoom. In this article we will give you a few useful tips and make your rearrangement easier.

First, take a look at a plan of your yard. This plan should incorporate the current look of the garden and the future look of the garden. In your scale plan you should leave some space for the notes, abrupt ideas, plants’ names, and a lot of more. Do not forget to note how the light shifts in your area. Light is dramatically important for the plants and the need of the light for individual plants differ considerably. Later, decide where do you want to build your garden buildings. These buildings can be built in a sunny or shady area.

Moreover, carefully select the plants for your garden. And remember that not every plant in your yard must be moved or removed. You definitely have some great and beautiful plants. Let them grow in your yard. Gardeners think of the plants and trees throughout the year. Do not forget to pick the plants which will grow well in your climate. If you are not sure that your selected plants will grow well in your climate, you can always ask nurseries, country agriculture extension agents, and other institutions. They will recommend you suitable plants by climate zone. Pick proper trees, bushes and fences in order to form the structure for your yard.

You should think about the vertical landscape. It is recommended to choose tall plants and flowing vines in the garden because these plants can hide the walls and fences. What is more, these plants create a great atmosphere. Include big trees, plants, and walls as a background in your yard’s plan. Outline the items you want to add on tracing paper and lay the sketch over main drawings to see how the items look together. If you decided to try gardening, you may think about an area in your garden with as much sun as possible, because fruits and vegetables will not grow in a heavy shade. Be sure to grow recommended varieties of vegetables for your area. You can ask for help at the local garden store for varieties available. Usually it is better to buy high quality seeds and plant them not too deep.

If you want to have more space for unused garden tools and other equipment, it is important to decide which garden building you need in your garden area. There are several options for garden buildings. You can build a log cabin, wooden gazebo, garden shed, wooden garage or other building. Keeping gardening tools somewhere in a corner of your garage is not bad, but a lot of people want something more than this. For example, a beautiful garden shed or a log cabin where the garden tools, mower and other equipment have their place.

Of course, most of the gardeners can do a lot of work without an expensive garden shed, but when the gardener’s garage is full of gardening tools, a great garden shed no longer seems a ridiculous idea. It is said that a garden shed for the gardener is like a kitchen for a cook.

If you want to have a small garden and grow vegetables for your family, you need a place to keep all your gardening tools and equipment. There are different garden buildings because everybody has different needs. There are a lot of advantages of owning a garden building. Some garden sheds are used as gardeners’ offices with the space for tools, and a desk for writing gardening notes.

Today, most of the log cabins or garden sheds are modern and not big enough to put the mower. Small garden sheds now are common items in the gardens. The demand for the garden sheds have increased dramatically these days. It does not matter how big your garden is, it has to meet all your needs. Garden sheds are sturdy, durable, and functional. Do not forget to plan your garden building with a lot shelves. These shelves will make some spare place to put all your things. Gardeners without their space can feel uncomfortable and can lose their passion to plant and grow vegetables.

There are a lot of types of yard buildings, but the garden shed is the most popular. Garden sheds are most popular because of the great look and curb appeal. Wooden buildings, such as a garden shed or log cabin, vary widely in their construction methods, complexity and the size. Their decorations of wooden building depends on the walls, the type of logs used, the overall look, but if you need just a place to put all your gardening tools, garden shed will definitely meet all your needs.

If you think about the renovation of your garden, it is highly recommended to talk to your family members because your garden is a place for the whole family to meet, relax, and spend their time together. Today, gardening is one of the most popular activities in the United States. A lot of people are turning to gardening as a mean of relaxing and supplying themselves with fresh vegetables. Do not miss your chance to make your yard more comfortable for you and your family members.

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