Gardening

Selecting the Right Garden Flowers for Your Climate

Looking to spruce up your garden and add beautiful flowers? Great! There are so many options for plants and flowers and choosing the right ones can sometimes be overwhelming. Knowing your climate and what flowers thrive in those conditions will make picking your plants a lot easier. Here is some information on selecting the right garden flowers for your climate.

Dry or Desert Climate

I love cacti, and succulents, their low maintenance, and easy care make them excellent choices for any climate but particularly in desert areas. The desert can be harsh with very little water, and cacti/succulents store water in their leaves to help get them through long spells without water. You can also opt for shrubs like a Chihuahuan Sage or Compact Texas Ranger that offer beautiful lavender flowers.

Temperate Climate

In temperate climates, things can be a bit tricky, since in winter the weather can be well below freezing as it also has moderate summers. There are still options though, like Tulips (who doesn’t love tulips?), Dutch Hyacinths and Daffodils with all of those coming in a wide range of colors and are also very fragrant.

Sub-Tropical Climate

With the sub-tropics seasonal differences being more subtle than other climates, you have some room to work with. Being that your flowers will still need to withstand a lot of sun and humid conditions, there are still great options like Frangipani’s, Bougainvillea’s, and Kaffir Lily’s. A personal favorite of mine is the Bird-of-Paradise being that is an easy, tolerant, and sturdy plant.

Tropical Climate

Slightly different than the sub-tropics, in tropical climates there a lot of direct sun, heavy rainy seasons and humidity. You can plant the sub-tropic options and with other options like; Pentas, Lantana, Moon Flowers, and another personal favorite, the Hibiscus, with all of these coming with different gorgeous colors.

Mountain Climate

In mountainous regions, your flowers are going to need to be able to withstand, high altitudes, dryer air, and possibly strong winds. Flowers that you can plant are Alpine Aster, Bergenias, and Boltonias which all are beautiful and will add value to your garden.

Subarctic Climate

Being one of the harsher of the climates with brutal winters and not so great soil to boot. There are still options like; Willow Herb, Purple Mountain Saxifrage and Northern Monkshood, all of these being native to their landscape and will still give you some color.

Anywhere Flowers

For a bonus, here are some super sturdy power perennials that you can grow pretty much anywhere!

  • Daylily
  • Buddleia
  • Coreopsis
  • Baptisia
  • Russian Sage

Whether you are starting a project or adding to your existing space, there are many options for you to choose from. No matter where you live, you can find amazing flowers to add to your home and garden.

Gardening

Keeping Weeds Out of Your Garden

When it comes to your garden, one of the tasks you will have to do regularly is weeding.  Wherever you have plants, you are going to have weeds right there beside them.  As much as you use herbicides, pesticides, and fabrics, keeping weeds out of your garden is still a big chore.  As a last resort, you can yank those pesky weeds out by hand.  Pulling them out by hand is one of the better ways to make sure that they don’t come back.  Here are some tips on getting rid of weeds.

How to Pull Out Weeds

The easiest way to pull out weeds is to grab it by the base as close to the soil as you can get and give it a yank.  This way, it doesn’t leave the roots behind to start growing again.  There are tools you can to help you get the weeds out.  Using a forked tool to loosen the soil around the weed will make it easier to pull out.  Bear in mind as well that if you leave weeds to grow, they become even harder to pull out.  Try and wet the soil with a watering can around the weed to loosen up the soil and make them easier to pull out.

Weed When it is Cooler

You will be more inclined to weed your garden regularly if you do it when it is comfortable outside.  Weeding at high noon when the sun is hottest is probably not a lot of fun.  If you’re a morning person, then you can weed in the morning before the sun gets too warm.  If you prefer to weed later in the day, then give it a try in the early evening when it is cooler.  You can take the weeds that you have yanked out and add them to your compost pile to help improve your garden later on.

Regular Weeding Lets You Keep an Eye on Your Garden

When you pull weeds out by hand, you get a closer look at all of your other plants.  You can find problems and nip them in the bud (pardon the pun).  You can see if you have any insect infestations if wildlife has taken a bite or two out of your plants.

If you have a large garden then weeding by hand may get tiring pretty quickly and you may need to look at some methods that will keep the weeds from growing.  Check with your local garden center for a chemical weed killer or ask the staff about some organic solutions to killing weeds you can use.

Gardening

How to Create a Japanese Garden

If you have never seen an authentic Japanese garden, then it is time that you should. These stunning gardens stemming from a deep-rooted culture to help promote meditation and reflection are great places for you to relax and unwind. In today’s stressful and busy world, these gardens are a great place to find inspiration and have a peaceful area of your own. Good news is, you don’t have to go to Japan to see one! Yes, you can create a little piece of the rich history and beauty these gardens have to offer. Here are a few tips on how to create a Japanese Garden.

Japanese gardens primary focus is usually based on Zen. The definition of Zen is- The value of meditation and intuition, also that everything has a purpose. A cluttered garden equals a cluttered mind, and that is the opposite of what you are trying to achieve.  Here is a look at designing a Japanese garden.

 

Stay true to the culture. Educate yourself on history, look at examples to find inspiration, and make sure that you have some background knowledge or understanding of what you are wanting. Remember, you are always trying to work towards Zen.

Learn the basics of a Japanese garden. What do they consist of? What type of garden am I looking for? Those are the questions you will want to be answered before you begin. Most Japanese gardens “borrow” from the landscape around it, here are some examples:

Rock Gardens – If you live near mountains, this would be the right choice with rocks being a primary focus to help blend in with the surroundings.

Moss Gardens – If your terrain has a lot of greenery, moss gardens will be perfect to match the environment.

Pond Gardens – This option will work well if you have a body of water nearby.

Keep your garden small and straightforward. You don’t want to have a huge space that can be overwhelming (and that’s not Zen), but rather simple and easily maintained. Use natural elements like bamboo fencing, stone pathways, and two or three mossy/crawling plants. You can add flowers, but you don’t want too many as some of the brighter colors could be distracting, being that green hues are the primary color you want to dominate the space with.

Now that you have some necessary information on how to get started, here are a few plants that you could use for your new Zen place.

  • Japanese Maple
  • Black Mondo Grass
  • Azaleas
  • Siebold’s Wood Fern
  • Lilies
  • Japanese Forest Grass
  • Japanese Catmint

Remember, those are just a few suggestions that you could look into, as there are many attractive options out there to explore. Research the history behind your design, and when you are finished, the benefits are undoubtedly worth it.

Gardening

Planting a Vegetable Garden in Your Backyard

If you are starting a vegetable garden in your backyard, you begin by selecting the area for your garden. After you have picked a place for your vegetable garden, there are some steps to keep in mind for a better vegetable garden. Some of the steps are.

The designing phase of your vegetable garden

In this step, you would need to come up with the best layout for the plants that you will be planting. First, measure the allocated space for your vegetable garden. After that, write down all the plants you would like to grow and roughly sketch an arrangement of where they will all be. Spacing is crucial for plants to grow correctly and produce healthy crops, so you need to make sure that you are allowing enough room for each vegetable that you plant.

The next step would be to evaluate the type of soil you have

Your soil determines the health and growth of your vegetable garden. To ensure that the soil in your new vegetable garden is fertile and healthy enough to grow crops, you need to get it checked. You can go for the cheaper commercial approach by using a soil testing kit found in most garden stores or opt for a testing agency. The latter option would be the better one, as you would be able to get a complete analysis. By getting your soil tested, you would know if it has the nutrients that your plants would need. You would also be able to know which fertilizer to use and if you need to add more humus if it lacks some essential nutrients.

It is imperative that you remember not to over water your plants

You can determine your watering schedule by checking your local weather. If it rains once a week, you don’t need to water them. On the other hand, if you are facing a dry season or a drought, you can use a trickling system to water your plants. This is to ensure the water doesn’t dry up fast and can reach the roots.

Make sure you harvest your crops often and get rid of weeds in your vegetable garden. Check your crops. This is both good for them and an excellent way for you to break a sweat. You will feel relaxed and sweaty after proper harvesting. You not only get to burn some calories but get to eat fresh fruits and vegetables afterward, too.