Landscaping Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated

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It may seem overwhelming when you’re staring at a vacant lot and wondering how you’ll ever be able to turn it into anything resembling a backyard. Or perhaps you’re tired of the vast expanse of lawn and want something more interesting and less work. Below are a few Simple Landscaping Tips to get you started.

What Do You Want?

relaxation-area-in-a-gardenBefore lifting that first shovel full of dirt, think about what you want your landscaping to do. There’s no sense in putting time and money into designing an area for formal entertaining if most of your get-togethers are family and friends. Do you have children that would like a play area? Do your dogs need an enclosure for romping? Would you like to have a quiet cup of tea in the morning sunlight in a secluded part of the garden? Write down all your ideas for your garden design.

How Much Time Do You Have?

gardeners-hand-planting-flowers-in-pot-with-dirt-or-soilLush lawns, glorious roses, and babbling fountains are beautiful but take time and effort to maintain. If you can’t put in several hours a day on maintaining your gardens, scale it down, use less fussy plants, or use native plants that don’t care if you neglect them. Another alternative is hiring a gardening or landscaping service to maintain your landscaping for you.

What’s Your Budget?

pink-roses-climbing-on-white-fenceYou may want a champagne garden but be stuck with a beer budget. Determine what you can realistically afford for new landscaping for the next few years. Once that’s done prioritize your wish list. For example, hardscaping — new patios, walls and terracing — can be expensive. So get those installed first because they form the bones of your garden. It doesn’t make sense to plant the rose garden only to have to rip it up the next year to allow the equipment to build the new patio room to work.

Bigger isn’t Necessarily Better

friendly-team-harvesting-fresh-vegetables-from-the-rooftop-greenhouse-gardenWhen planting your garden leave enough space between plants so they don’t crowd each other when full grown. Those little trees may look scrawny and you’re tempted to plant closer together. If you do, the trees won’t have the room they need when they’re full size. Instead fill in the barren areas with annuals, either planted from seed or from small packs purchased from your local garden center.

Solar Candle Lights (Solar Candlesticks for the garden)

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Everybody has seen the Harry Potter films and is likely to have been encapsulated by the excellent lighting effect that the crew managed to create; particularly in the more atmospheric evening scenes. Walking through the castle at night, the gang are illuminated by a flickering array of candles which provide the viewer with a sometimes eerie, yet exciting image.

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Of course, candles are impractical for outdoor use in reality; it simply would not work to have a small flame outside when there is wind and rain all threatening to extinguish your flame before it even gets going!

Yet, this should not put an end to your dream of creating a Hogwarts atmosphere in you garden. Far from it, all that is needed is a bit more technology. Solar powered candles are a fantastic source of artificial light that almost perfectly recreates the light emitted by a candle. Indeed, it is even better; you don’t run the risk of it going dark if the weather turns against you!

Being solar powered, it will not run out of electricity, yet will not add extra costs onto your household electricity bill.

You will have a very cheap alternative to the standard lights that can be found across the country. The individuality will not go unnoticed by your neighbours who are likely to be bowled over by the effect the candles have on enhancing the aesthetic qualities of your garden. The only thing you have to worry about is whether they will copy you!

How to Pick the Right Solar Powered Water Feature for your Garden

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Sun Cover in your Garden

If your garden doesn’t get decent sunlight, then you might want to consider whether a solar feature is right for you. If the solar cells don’t charge enough, your feature wouldn’t work as its supposed to. As such the first main thing  to consider is the location in your garden. Make sure that there is plenty of light coverage, especially in the early evening if possible.

In particular make sure that trees or large bushes don’t block out sunlight, and make sure that you maintain any plants that might grow to cover the solar area.

Other Location Factors

Make sure that you have at least a rough idea of the area where you want to set up your garden water feature, in many cases people buy these, without realising that some need to be on flat surfaces. In particular if you are buying a heavy feature, say one made out of concrete, you ought to make sure that there is adequate support for it, and that it wont damage your lawn.

Get an idea of where you want to place the feature and actively measure the dimensions, that will help you narrow the choice based on the maximum size of a water feature that you can have in your garden.

If you buy one that requires plumbing, make sure that you have access to water supply, though most smaller solar water features tend to be self sustaining units.

Getting the Right Solar Panels

As you quite well know, the primary power is via your solar panel, which means that its one of the most important parts, and as such you should try and keep a few things in mind.

Consider detachable panels if you have limited access to sunlight – often placing a detachable solar panel over an area that has better sun cover, you could maximise the time that your feature works.

You should most certainly make sure that your garden feature comes with a number of solar panels that seem reasonable for the size of the feature, the more the panels, the more energy is being stored. Small panels for a large water feature typically means a low daily working life.

Best Solar Path Lights for the right Landscape Lighting

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Solar powered Garden lights took a while to get popular in the UK, but they are certainly building some traction with garden and landscape lighting DIYs . One of the coolest solar garden light install that you could opt for is the the simple, yet effective and elegant path light.

Quite simply put, solar path lights are like normal garden path lights, but have the benefit of being powered by the energy of the sun, enhancing the night look of your pathways and garden. They are mostly used in gardens, but I have even used them on my rive to add a bit of free lighting to the front of my house, and they look absolutely lovely.

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  1. The primary benefits of solar powered path lights are numerous, but some of the top ones are:
  2. They need no wiring, making installation a breeze
  3. They are cheap (well basically free!) to run as they don’t add to your electricity bills
  4. they are fairly portable, which means you can change whee they are placed to a new location or path if you get bored of the way they look.
  5. They are eco friendly, as they dont contribute to pollution
  6. LED based solar path lights last very long
  7. Due to increased supply, they are fairly cheap to buy.

The great thing about solar path lights is that usually each post comes with its own mini solar panel which powers a small rechargeable battery in each unit.

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Due to their growing popularity in the UK, there is a fairly large choice to choose from, and come in some interesting designs, from diamond shapes, to colourful LED bulbs for those who would like to try a less traditional light. They also come in various shades, from normal yellowy glows to startling bright whites.

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I struggled to decide which path lights were ideal for my home, as a result I made a list of some of the most recommended styles, configurations and brands, as well as prices that suited my budget. Below I have shared this information in the form of the ten best solar path lights that I shortlisted, so as to help you make the choice, should you need it, after all, why do you you have to spend hours finding the best light for your garden and home if I have done most of the leg work?

How to Grow Roses: 5 Tips to Grow Healthy Roses

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Summer is coming and there’s nothing more beautiful than a rose bush covered with lush blossoms and healthy green leaves. How to grow roses without a lot of strain and effort? Follow these 4 tips and you can grow healthy roses.

Prepare the soil If you’re planting a rose bush dig a hole about 1 and half times as deep as the rose bush container and twice as wide. Add slow release fertilizer per package directions to the bottom of the hole, then a shovel full of compost, a shovel of the soil you removed and a bit more fertilizer.

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Remove the rose bush gently from the container and set in the hole. The soil line on the rose bush from the container should be the same as in your garden. If it’s too high remove a bit more soil from the planting hole. If it’s a bit too low add another shovel of soil. When it’s just right, gently scratch the roots from the bottom of the root ball and around the sides. That will encourage the roots to start branching out into the new hole. Fill the hole half way, alternating soil and compost with a sprinkle of fertilizer. Water thoroughly. When the water has been absorbed by the soil, fill the hole to the top and water again.

Refresh the soil. Dig a few inches deep around the base of your rose out to the edges of the bush. Remove about half of the soil and replace with compost, or bagged topsoil, mixed with slow release fertilizer � follow package directions. Add a layer of mulch a couple of inches deep to retain the moisture in the soil. The mulch will break down over the season and add organic matter to the soil.

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Catch problems before they start If you see aphids or other buggy creatures remove them immediately. Don’t wait until you get to the nursery for bug spray. Most creatures can be washed off with a strong spray of water. Aphids can be sprayed with a mixture of � teaspoon dishwashing liquid to one quart of water. Spray on the aphids. If you don’t have a sprayer handy use a sponge. It’s messier but it works.

Look at your roses as they grow and treat problems right away. Look at the leaves for disease or brown spots. Don’t get too worried if leaves are a bit yellowish-greenish or new growth is kind of reddish, that can be normal. If the veins of the leaves are dark green but the leaf itself is yellow it could be a sign of iron deficiency. That’s easily treatable. If the entire leaf is yellow that could be a sign of nitrogen deficiency, again easily corrected.

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Water but don’t over water. Roses don’t like getting their leaves wet and they don’t like keeping their feet wet. Don’t water on a preset schedule. Water when the top 3 or 4 inches of soil is dry, then soak the plants.

In very humid climates don’t crowd your roses with other plants, it invites fungus diseases. In hot dry climates don’t water everyday, plant the roses so they receive afternoon shade. Remove sent blossoms The only purpose of a flower is to produce seed, well at least to the plant that’s the only purpose. Remove the spent blossoms and the rose will continue to bud and flower. The exception is if the rose is of a variety that only blooms once a year. In that case leave the blossoms and enjoy the display. Follow these easy tips and you’ll have no problem growing healthy roses.

Benefits of Solar Powered Water Features

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Energy conservation is another primary advantage that these features offer to consumers. Again, as these water features do not require a connection to the public power grid, they do not contribute to the use of fossil fuel-based energy. Instead, the only requirement is access to direct sunlight. This means that no matter how many water features one chooses to place in a garden, they are virtually free of charge when it comes to keeping them in operation.

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When it comes to a solar water feature, there are dozens, if not hundreds of style and design options. From reproductions of classic works of art by Michelangelo and Tivoli, to more modern, abstract pieces; there is bound to be something for every taste and preference.

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However, they can vary considerably in cost, depending on the specific nature of the feature. Obviously, size is one of the main factors, as larger designs tend to be much more expensive than those of a smaller stature. The internal workings of the feature can also have an impact on price, as those with multiple pumps and waterways are generally more expensive than simpler models.

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If you’re in the market for a unique accessory for your yard or garden, a small solar water feature can be ideal. They are relatively inexpensive (in most cases) and can add a calming touch to any landscape design.

How to Grow Organic Roses

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Organic rose gardening is simple and inexpensive. Despite their reputation for being fussy plants, most are very hardy and there is a huge number of rose varieties to choose from.

Wild or Species roses

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Wild roses are native to many parts of the northern hemisphere, including North America and Europe. Rose fossils 40 million years old have been found in Colorado. Strangely, they never seem to have crossed the equator and there is no evidence of wild roses having appeared in the southern hemisphere until introduced by mankind. Article continues below.

Hybrid roses

The cultivation of roses began early with hybrids being created by cross-breeding. Many traits such as color varieties and larger, longer-lasting blooms have been bred into the roses that we see in gardens all over the world these days. Hybrid roses can be classified as either Old or Modern according to whether they were developed before or after 1867 when the first tea rose was bred.

Encouraging growth

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The principles of organic gardening stress the importance of creating the right conditions for growth, with the aim of preventing rather than controlling pest attacks and disease. One important factor is companion plants – plants that will benefit your roses if grown nearby.

The best known companion plants for roses are garlic and onions. Growing garlic between your bushes can have an amazing effect on your roses. However, some people are deterred by the smell, which is not what one might expect from a beautiful scented rose garden! If this is an issue for you, alternative companion plants are marigolds, mignonettes and any flowers from the allium (onion) family. Nasturtiums can be very helpful for aphid control, and rosemary and thyme will attract friendly insects.

Bush roses do not like to be crowded and should be planted about 2 feet apart, depending on full-grown size. Organic garden design favors planting in staggered spots rather than in formal rows. You will also fit more into your bed in this way. Climbing roses should be planted around 10 feet apart.

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They will grow best in well-drained soil which is very slightly acidic – a pH of 6.5 is ideal. Well-composted humus can be used to adjust the pH value of the soil if necessary. Making your own compost is best, since most bought compost is not sufficiently broken down for direct use on your organic garden. You can also buy organic rose fertilizer to apply during the growing season.

Roses require many beneficial soil organisms to grow well. One example is mycorrhiza. This fungus attaches to the roots of rose bushes and other plants and grows to interconnect through the soil, providing something like a back-up root system for the plant. Many gardeners do not dig near to rose bushes to avoid disturbing the mycorrhiza networks.

Roses like a lot of water in the growing and flowering season but heavy, deep watering of the roots once or twice a week is much better for them than a little every day. Aim to supply at least 4 gallons per bush per watering.

Disease

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Diseases or pathogens are considered by organic gardeners to be a sign of suboptimal soil, climate or garden planning. In the case of roses, some hybrid or grafted varieties are naturally weak and susceptible to disease. Choose a hardy variety and avoid grafted roses for best disease resistance in an organic garden.

Pruning, especially if done to excess, also opens the door to pathogenic attack. When pruning, always cut at an angle to avoid creating a flat surface where rain water can collect, holding spores and other organisms that will soak into the stem. Pruning is best done just before growth restarts in the spring (late February or March, depending on your climate).

The fungal disease black spot is hard to avoid but your roses can survive for many years in spite of it. Helpful preventive measures include providing plenty of air around the plant. Organic fungicides can be used in organic rose gardening immediately after pruning when the rose is most susceptible to attack, or if the problem becomes severe.

Solar Technology for your Garden

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Modern solar technology is vastly superior to what was available just a few decades ago. Solar panels are no longer the large, bulky eyesores that were seen atop homes during the 1980’s.

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Improvements in materials and design have allowed for much smaller, more efficient units that are capable of generating the same amount of power within a more compact package.

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This in turn has led to a number of small, solar-powered devices that can be used without any connection to a dedicated power source. The water pump is just one such device; but they are essential to the operation of a proper water fountain.

Top 10 Plants For A Beautiful Water Garden

A water garden can be an absolutely stunning feature in the outside space of your home. Water gardens are both peaceful and beautiful. They are quite easy to start as well. For those starting a water garden of their own, here are the top 10 plants for a beautiful water garden.

 

1. Lotus

Kết quả hình ảnh cho growing lotusThis plant is a great representation of elegance. With its large flowers that bloom beautifully, this is a great addition for any water garden that needs a pop of brightly colored blooms.

2. Sweet Flag

 

Kết quả hình ảnh cho growing Sweet Flag

 

3. Pitcher Plant

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This plant is both beautiful and carnivorous. It feeds on insects. Although underused in many water gardens they have very nice leaves and bloom colorful flowers during spring.

 

4. Canna

Kết quả hình ảnh cho growing Canna

 

5. Rain Lily

Kết quả hình ảnh cho growing Rain Lily

Very pretty plant that produces pink, yellow, purple and white flowers during the summer.

 

6. Japanese Primrose

Kết quả hình ảnh cho growing Japanese Primrose

 

7. Perennial Hibiscus

Kết quả hình ảnh cho growing Perennial Hibiscus

This is a great addition for any water garden in need of big bold flowers. They are also easy to grow and can grow up to 8 feet.

 

8. Japanese Iris

Kết quả hình ảnh cho growing Japanese Iris

 

9. Taro

Kết quả hình ảnh cho growing Taro

Gorgeous tropical plant known for the elephant ear shape of the leaves. The taro plant can also grow up to five feet.

 

10. Water Lily
Kết quả hình ảnh cho growing Water Lily

 

Find the best and cheapest solar water features

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UK summers can make your garden a place you love to enjoy, and adding water features to your  backyard landscape creates an even more inviting environment for you and your guests. Read on to see what kind of garden water features can transform your yard into a relaxing, rejuvenating place.

Waterfalls

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If you like the idea of a waterfall without the maintenance of a pond, then you can create a waterfall that begins and ends without standing water. Whether it’s a small water feature similar to a fountain or a series of steps that cross your outdoor space, this particular feature is great for the sound of flowing water without the more involved care of ponds.

Ponds

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A calm pond and its lush aquatic plants lend a natural focal point to your backyard, and the addition of majestic fish brings more than beauty to this kind of backyard water feature. Large and colorful fish are known to be relaxing to watch and can even help reduce stress.

Streams

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Tranquility comes naturally with water features such as streams. With waterfalls or without, streams are limited only by the imagination and can curve, surround, or run through any part of your garden at home.

All of the Above, Please

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You can make combinations with any of these water features to create your own unique water scape outside your garden. Whether you decide on the ultimate fish pond or a simple babbling brook, the possibilities are endless and the results always stunning.