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The Zoo In My Backyard: Bringing Life To Your Garden

imageThere is nothing that creates a more surreal and bustling atmosphere in a home than a garden that is abuzz with both flora and fauna. Animals of different shapes and sizes help bring an exciting dimension to your garden. Though it may seem difficult to encourage animal life into your garden, there are a few things you can do to make this a reality. The added bonus of having animals in your garden, unlike pets, is that these creatures require minimal care and supervision. By simply providing basic amenities like shelter and food, you will enjoy the wild variety of animals, insects and birds in your backyard.

An inventive way to attract animal life to your garden is building a pond. Because of the vital role that water plays in all forms of life, by just having a pond, many species of animal life will gladly visit your garden. The biggest advantage to that is you can regulate how big and deep the pond can be, hence having a say in the type of creatures you attract to your domain.

Compost heaps are also a great way to promote biodiversity in your garden. In addition to providing nourishment to your plants, compost piles serve as a home and food source for all sorts of insects and invertebrates. Anything from earth worms to hedgehogs may find its way to your space. Once again, you can determine how big you want the heap to be.

Another manner in which you can bring a buzz to your garden is by planting nectar rich flowers. Varieties such as dandelions, rosemary, and lavender are all flowers that have an abundance of nectar to attract all sorts of pollen seeking insects. The best part is you can choose which type of insects you want to have around you as different kinds of nectar draw different insects. In this regard, once the flowers are in bloom, you can look forward to bees, moths, butterflies and hummingbirds becoming frequent visitors to your space.
As can be seen, there are various ways in which you can bring in an added dimension to your garden by introducing animal life. The plus is that you have some leeway on the size, number and type of animals you can have.

Keeping Your Garden On A Healthy Diet

green-waste-513609_640Gardening has long been a therapeutic and highly rewarding exercise for most people, whether in the country side or for urban dwellers. One of the most frustrating things however, can be a garden that fails to thrive, regardless of how much time and effort put into it. Among many reasons, it can be the case that a garden lacks the required nutrients in terms of quantity and / or quality. Just as people are leaning to more healthy, organic diets, so too should be the case with a garden. Though synthetic fertilizers may provide a quick fix, for long lasting results, it is necessary to provide your garden with wholesome nourishment. A sure way to do this is by making a compost heap.

The first thing to consider is the containment that will be used. Since a compost is basically a mix of decomposing organic material, there is no need to construct an elaborate structure. What is of great importance is to have a framework that can hold all the ingredients intact, allowing the complete decomposition of plant matter within it. Ideally, the structure should allow free flowing air movement and be extendable.

When it comes to the mound itself, the type of items that you include is of great significance. If possible, there should be a good combination of dried out and green organic matter, mainly plants. Another important consideration is to keep the compost humid, by watering periodically. Leftover newspapers, old wood and dry leaves along with food waste and lawn cuttings make for a perfect combination.

It is also a good thing to figure out what type of compost will work for your specific space. Composts usually come in two forms. One can either opt for a stationary variant or a rotating model. A stationery compost is most convenient for small spaces or crowded apartment blocks, where something as simple as a bin containment can be used. With rotating composts, a tumbler that aids in the mixing and humidifying process is employed, making for a richer humus, at a faster rate.

These are all proven techniques that can be used to improve your garden’s state of being and assure that any gardener’s best efforts pay off.

Early Intervention To Help Flowers Bloom

beautiful-2703_640Spring is upon us and many are looking forward to the lovely aromas and scents that define this wonderful time in the year. However, anyone who has tried their hand in gardening will tell you that it is not always the case that flowers will bloom as desired and flourish with the turn of the sun. Sometimes that extra touch is required to turn that garden you have been carefully nurturing, into the colorful paradise that you desperately want it to be.

To make sure that your garden is dazzling throughout the season, peppered with different shades, hues and fragrances, make sure to populate it with plants that bloom at alternating times throughout the season. This gives a gorgeous, cyclical spectrum in which one set of flowers blooms and as that group is beginning to die off, another group of plants is picking up, in bloom. Resultantly your garden will exude an endless exotic feel to it, all season long.

The next hint will sound counterproductive but it actually works. The idea is to keep a lookout for your plants as they start to bloom. Once the first sign of flowers appears, gently nip the initial blossoms. While it may feel like you are damaging the plant, this activity actually assists the plant, as it promotes the movement of liquids and valuable nutrients within the stem and flower. In no time, new blooms that look fuller, more colorful and are generally stronger will appear.

A more obvious option is to add supplemental nutrition to the flowers. Though many gardeners put focus on the wellbeing of the plant as a whole, not many take note of the fact that the flowers themselves also need essential nutrients for their livelihood. Most garden and home stores have a wide variety of fertilizers such as osmocote, that contain important nourishment for the flower. Combining this with regular watering and adequate light can be enough to create your dream garden.

By following these simple techniques, one can aid the garden in reaching its full potential. It is important to view the plant in its totality and tend to both its needs and the ecosystem in which it exists.


Things To Remember, Gardening In Spring

sunflower-448654_640The familiar warmth of sunshine gently caresses the front porch as birds tweet away to usher in the morning. It is that unmistakable mark of spring as the weather turns friendly and inviting. While the first instinct may be to jump into a swimsuit and slap on some suntan lotion, there is another consideration that often goes unchecked. Your garden has been battle – hardened by the winter season and now it’s time for some well – deserved rejuvenation. In doing this, there are a couple of simple cues that one can follow to give one’s garden the sprucing it needs.

The first step is to do some spring cleaning. Make it a point to rid your gardening space of any rubble, leaves and twigs that may have accumulated over winter. Weeding and mulching are also recommended so as to give your new plants a fighting chance, as they will have minimal competition for sunlight, water and nutrients.

After clearing out your working studio, comes the fun part. The winter is usually a harsh period in which the soil undergoes a lot of stress and nutrient deficit. Adding supplementary nourishment to the soil will help to give your garden the foundation it needs. Although fertilizers offer a quick solution, it is always a good idea to go with organic material or compost. In the long term these will prove to be beneficial for both the plants and the whole ecosystem revolving around them.

Focus also needs to be put on the plants themselves. Having gone through the extended cold and possible snow, the plants need to be pruned giving them a chance to grow new leaves and branches that are stronger and will deliver water and nutrients more efficiently throughout the plant. If some of the plants are badly damaged it may be a good idea to uproot them and replant as necessary.

To complete the picture, adding new plants and flowers is a good way to give the garden a new and improved look. To fit the spring feel, flowers with warm, bright colors such as daisies and roses give an ambiance and aroma that makes any garden irresistible.


Living The Country Life In Metrospaces

garden-509550_640With the majority of the working population living in urban areas, space is always a long desired consideration that is often expensive and in some cases impossible to come across. For this reason, many people living in cities and towns have resorted to spending time at parks and recreational areas to unwind and de – stress. However, achieving a sense of calm and sanity in one’s daily routine needn’t be costly nor require traveling to a designated venue. With a bit of creativity and DIY work, one can create a little haven of tranquillity, by way of an urban garden.

It is important to note that a city garden can take numerous forms. Depending on your setup, the garden can be on a terrace, balcony or in some cases on your apartment rooftop. In addition to providing a calming past – time, a garden can also provide healthy, fresh produce throughout the year. One way to achieve this is by using containers to grow vegetables, herbs and flowers. This type of agriculture is best suited for plants that typically have thin roots. Examples of such vegetables include lettuce and carrots. It is a fairly simple method which is dependent on sufficient drainage and lighting, something that is easily accessible to any home.

If you wish to have bigger plants or those that have deeper roots, an alternative to container gardens exists. By making use of a balcony or building’s rooftop, a city dweller can utilize what would otherwise be idle space. These gardens require minimal weeding and cultivating due to the limiting soil quantity typically available. This type of gardening is also very convenient as there is optimum exposure to both rainfall and sunlight.

Those who may be doubtful as to whether they have ‘green hands’ need not worry. The manner in which city gardening is done is pretty much the same as ordinary gardening. The same principles apply, requiring cultivating, weeding and watering. Because of the compact nature of urban gardening, it can actually be more interesting as one can plant a variety of vegetables on different shelves, containers or baskets. This can prove to be a relaxing and fulfilling hobby that can enrich one’s lifestyle. It just goes to show that indeed the finer things in life are free.