The Magic Of Gardening

Gardening is great, and we learn to appreciate not only outstanding gardens when we visit one but also the gardener, who is putting a lot of time and energy into his garden. We are so accustomed to the fact that some people enjoy working in their gardens that we often forget that this is not something that is forced upon them, gardening is an acquired hobby, it takes time and a lot of learning to get to being a gardener and it is not a thing that can be achieved in a short time.

Let us leave aside for a moment the classic gardener that we know and think of, that middle aged, sometimes even older, man or woman that spends a lot of his or her time in the garden manicuring every leaf on every flower and examining the roots of every tree, these are the people who have made their decision about gardening a long time ago.

What makes a gardener, what are the deciding moments for a gardener and how does it start. Most will say that it starts simply by having a garden or a backyard, since most gardeners own a garden they can take care of and it is usually located in their own property, although there are some amateur gardeners that take care of a garden that is not located on their property – most gardeners do own their garden.

The passion for gardening is universal, you will find dedicated gardeners on every spot in the world, and in almost every possible climate, there is someone that is waiting for spring to arrive so he could start planning his garden. The other thing about gardens are that they need careful planning, and it is no wonder that when you meet an experienced gardener and ask what is the firs thing you need to do, the answer will most probably be to plan your garden and make sure you understand what you want to have in it before you start making it so, this way you will guarantee that you can deal with all the potential difficulties that await a beginner.

The amateur gardener will most probably need the basic working tools, a pair or tow of working gloves and a few good books about the flowers and plants that are the ones that are popular in that area, the reason for this modest beginning is very simple, if you start building your own garden you will want to start and enjoy it as soon as you can, and since it is almost certain that you have a lot of work ahead of you, it is only sensible to try and shorten the waiting period as much as possible.

Depending on the size of the garden that you intend to develop it is important that you start working on a relatively small part, making it your testing ground, whatever you will find that works on that part you can then apply to all the other parts of the garden and you will also have the knowledge of how much effort and time it will take. Developing your own garden will than start, and it will probably last you for the rest of your life. Gardening is more than just a hobby.

How to Choose the Best Garden Design

The garden is one of the most beautiful and peaceful parts of a home. It brings us closer to nature, gives us a glimpse and feel of greenery with the comfort of our lawn. You can spend a perfect afternoon in your garden reading a book or unwind after a tiring day enjoying the beauty of green, all these will bring you such solace which you cannot find even if sitting in a fancy decorated room. But in order to get peace and happiness in the garden, its look and design should be pleasing. If you are not happy about the look of your garden then you will hardly find any peace there over all the grumping. The design of garden plays an important role in your outlook towards it. So choose the design carefully.

Before choosing the design for your garden you need to understand the shape and condition of your yard. If the shape of your garden is small then you should not opt for a large number of tall trees. It will hog up extra space, leaving you only a much smaller portion. Medium plant pots with will well-trimmed grass and patio furniture will be a suitable option for small gardens. However, for big gardens, you can choose any design you want. Availability of space is a benefit.

The design of the garden also depends on the fertility of the soil you are reaping and the climate. Every season demands different plant. For example, if you wish to plant a tree which grows in autumn then all your effort will go to waste. Also the climate of the region you live in plays an important role. It is better to do some research before putting your hands in the soil. Make sure the plants receive the appropriate amount of sunlight to grow plus shade exposure as well.

Also, choose your design and theme according to the people living in your home. If your house is one of the kids then choose a theme which they find cute and attractive, like giving it look of a playground. This way they will be spending some time outdoors, doing some outdoor activity rather than just sitting in front of the television. If you are a bachelor then choose any design you find appealing.

Another tip, make your garden your look attractive so that you will be compelled to spend some time there. A garden is a great place for morning exercise. Not only you will get enough space for movement there, but you will also inhale fresh morning air, which is good for your health, plus walking on the grass blades barren feet is really good for brain and body. It is suggested by doctors also.

Types of Greenhouses

A greenhouse is a plastic or glass enclosed building which is used to grow a variety of plants. The purpose of this structure is dependent upon how the gardener wishes to care for their plants. The style and design of the greenhouse is dependent upon the types of plants, amount of available space, location, and utilities.

Three basic types of greenhouses:

  1. Cold Frame Boxes: Portable framed boxes which service seedlings or plants to become stronger or acclimated to withstand an environmental change before being transplanted into the traditional garden.
  2. Lean-To Greenhouse: The lean-to green house is a three-sided structure which is attached to the side of a stable building, wall, or fence. Its design presents the appearance of a half-house with a slanted roof and three sides covered with plastic, shade cloth, or glass.
  3. Free standing building: A permanently constructed building for the serious horticulturist.

The cold frame box is a square portable container usually constructed of wood with a slanted lid covered with glass or 6 ml polyethylene sheeting. The purpose of the cold frame is to transplant young seedlings from an indoor setting to a temporary controlled environment before being planted into the main garden area. It helps the seedlings to not experience sudden shock or die from the abrupt temperature changes.

The Lean-to is often referred to as a half-house with a vertical slanted roof. The convenience of this style is its placement. It is most often placed against the wall of a house, barn, shed, or other stable structure which allows for the added convenience of utilities, storage space, and walking distance for hauling. This structure may be simple or designed to meet the architectural style of the stable wall.

The free-standing building is for serious horticulturists or commercial usage. For instance, you may live in a four-season state and raise tropical plants. These plants will not survive without the controlled environment of the greenhouse.

This permanent structure will stand for many decades. This building is fully equipped with hanging rails, shelves, sink and plumbing fixtures, controlled heat and air conditioning, lighting, fans, work bench, and other accessories which the gardener utilizes.

Other benefits for investing in this added protection includes protection from inclement weather, insects and critters, year-round growing, a hospital for sick plants, light-weight tools, automatically controlled utilities, and less stressful labor.

Are you passionate about gardening? Do you love watching seeds, bulbs, or young plants grow and mature into beautiful flowers, fruits, or vegetables?

The four seasons of the year offer an array of flora which we pursue with enthusiasm. It is because of this passion that a green house is given much consideration.

This type of building is an asset for growing our favorite plants under controlled conditions. The less our plants need to battle Mother Nature the easier it is for them to grow healthy and beautiful.

Gardening Without a Plan

Not sure if you realize it but even “gardening without a plan” needs a plan. Ooops, wow! This kind of gardening doesn’t take a ship-size plan but requires just a little pre-thinking or pre-planning.

What are the most important things to consider?

  • Where you live
  • What your neighborhood statement is (condo -living?)
  • What is your budget?
  • What are your goals?

Now, what’s your plan?

Condo Gardening

If you live in a condo or in an apartment, then your gardening might be limited to flowerpot gardening, or windowsill gardening or patio gardening. Whatever the case, you can still garden! There are ways to do this –even in apartments and even in the strictest condos. Ears open now?

Private Home Gardening

If you live in a home, your own home, you might have less rules than a condo has, yet, even in most neighborhoods, you have that “unspoken” rule, “green grass rules”! Not to worry, you, too, can garden. You can still have your own personal space, your own style and stay right where you are.

Mansion Gardening

If you live in a mansion, yes, a mansion, you can still be a personal gardener for your own space. The key to happiness is all in knowing or realizing that, yes, “YOU CAN DO IT”!

What’s your message?

So, what is your neighborhood “statement” or unwritten rule? Look around you to find out what that is. Are all the yards bright green, no wholes in the lawn, just perfect, rectangular pieces of real or fake grass? Are all the houses, trim, slim, unencumbered, and just plain the same? As you look down the block, is it hard to tell one house from another? Does it look like the Stepford Wives live there? Really? What is the unwritten, unspoken rule of your block, of your neighborhood? Is there hope for your creative or different mind, right where you are? Yes, indeed! There’s always hope. If you keep an open mind, and are willing to really hear me, I’ll share my ideas about individual gardening or “gardening without a plan”.

What is your plan?

Do you want your garden to look like a professional? Do you want your space to say, “Hey, landscaper here”! Or do you want your green space to say, “Wow, that’s a lot of work”! Or do you want your gardening space to say, “Welcome to my wonderful, natural garden”! Or is your message, “No dog poop allowed”!

Are you gardening to bring attention to your cause or to your charity or to your line of work? Would Bonsai fit the plan? Is your plan to have people stop, pause and slow down in this busy city? Do you garden to promote peace? Or is your garden saying, “I believe in God”! Do you want the neighbors or people passing by to keep on walking or to stop and pause and to enjoy the green space? Ask yourself these questions and a few others and you just might have a plan for your unplanned garden.

Budget?

Can you afford the best for your garden? Or are you on a very limited budget? Is gardening part of your budget in a different way? Are you going to grow certain plants just to avoid buying things in a grocery store? Are you ready to plant Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, and other herbs because you want to be able to pick your cooking ingredients every day — rather than shop for these things?

Budget or No Budget?

Or is your budget unlimited? Can you afford the top of the line in gardening get ups and accessories? Are you willing to put your money where your mouth is and begin creating a most magnificent garden, perhaps the most magnificent garden in your whole area? Ready for that?

Gardening Goals

Now, what is your real goal? What’s your real message? What is the “why” of your gardening?

Does your garden say, “Freedom”? Or does your garden say, “Hey, I’m fitting right in here”! Does your garden remain quiet, serene, unencumbered by whatever anyone else has to say or do — about your gardening? Are you looking to create and organize a mini-farm? Do you want a country environment, a natural environment or are you willing to ditch all that grass and trade it in for common sense groundcover? Do you want to mow grass? Or do you want to have a goat eat all the grass? The choices are all yours!

Or do you want your garden to remain “no work; no stress”?

Whichever is your goal or your statement, this is the place for you because all garden topics will be covered and then a few more. Over the next few weeks or months, I’ll cover practically every kind of gardening that there is. Hope you enjoy the ride!

Over time, we will discuss almost all the aspects of gardening and of other hobbies and of other nature topics.

What are your goals?

You will need to think about your gardening goals, financial goals, environmental goals and your spiritual goals.

Have other ideas? Are there goals that I have not mentioned? Feel free to send a comment. Looking forward to hearing from you

Starting with a Water Garden

Gardening is one of our primordial fascinations. For thousands of years humans have gardened and for most of that time a major part of our diet came out of our gardens. As we became better at feeding ourselves, we also gained the time to indulge in activities that weren’t directly linked to our very survival. Flowers, ornamental shrubs, decorative trees all became a part of gardening for beauty and pleasure.

Water is a source of life. We are actually composed of 50 to 70 percent water and without water we can die in hours or a few days – far faster than from lack of food. Throughout history, water has been a necessity, even a source of warfare. We find comfort in sights and sounds associated with water, whether the source is the sea, a lake, river, stream or pond. I believe that the sense of comfort and relaxation most of us feel around water is deeply embedded in our being.

Water gardens of various kinds have a long history. From elaborate fountains with statuary to the simplest aquarium (yes, I include aquariums as a form of water garden despite the usual focus on the critters rather than the overall concept), water gardening is an ancient activity.

Currently, water gardening is considered a new trend for some reason. I’d guess this has to do partly with advances in technology, the widening availability of pre-constructed ponds and pumping systems, a growing awareness of the alternative forms gardens can take, and the fact that presenting something as new and trendy often improves sales.

Water gardening can be done using waterfalls and streams, ponds, fountains, and containers of various kinds some of which are as simple as a small indoor fountain with a recycling pump. The variety goes on and on and most can be further enhanced through using rock work combinations, various types of lighting both above and below the water surface (or behind a waterfall), plants, and, of course, fish or other water dwellers.

Water gardening doesn’t require a pond or natural water source either. It can consist of just a plastic tub, basically anything that can hold water. Many garden supply outlets can provide anything from the most basic setup to incredibly sophisticated water gardens consisting of waterfalls, pools and streams (with or without bridges).

The very first thing to consider is your budget since that will place some limits on how ambitious a project you can undertake. Water gardening can get expensive if you decide on a big garden full of plants, rocks, fish, and lights. Next you need to consider how much space you have available for a water garden. You probably won’t want a 15 foot waterfall with a 200 foot stream and a half acre pond in a suburban backyard. Be reasonable in what you choose as a first project, but also keep in mind the possibility of extending your water garden later. Size also affects the amount of maintenance your water garden will require.

If you plan to include fish and plants, you’ll want to choose a location with sufficient direct sunlight. Remember that if the garden is located close to trees and bushes, leaves and debris will end up in the water and need to be cleaned out regularly.

When you choose aquatic plants, don’t forget that the plants should, at most, cover about half of the water. Plants can be free floating, submerged, or marginal (near or at the edges). The types you choose are up to you. Some may be good for their scent, some are simply beautiful, and some plants provide more oxygen than others which helps keep the pool healthy. As well as being pleasant to watch, fish will assist in keeping debris to a minimum and in insect control.

Algae can be a major difficulty in water gardening. Most frequently, the problem results from having too many nutrients in the water either from fish food or plant fertilizer. Proper construction, feeding and fertilizing will keep algae to a minimum. Chemicals can be used to reduce algae but they can also kill fish and plants.

Like everything else, garden pools need to be maintained throughout the year. And it really doesn’t matter what size they are, even small ones will need care. However, with proper planning you can balance the living and decorative features of a water garden both to simplify and minimize your maintenance tasks.

You can eliminate algae through reducing the nutrients that cause algal growth by cutting back on feeding and fertilizing, adding more plants, putting in a filter system, or replacing existing water with fresh water. Chemicals are generally not recommended since overuse can kill.

An intriguing new method of algae control is through the use of ultrasonic waves. The use of ultrasound to destroy algae can be traced back to the early experiments with sonar for detecting submarines when it was discovered that some micro organisms were destroyed by ultrasonic waves. Transducers developed to control algae will not harm humans, animals, fish or aquatic plants. (They can also be used for swimming pools).

If your garden lacks a natural continuous water supply, you have a situation much like an aquarium. You will need to monitor both water quality and water level. Keep in mind that in many locations, tap water contains chlorine and a large amount should not be directly added to water containing fish (and some plants). Allowing tap water to stand in an open container for at least 24 hours will normally eliminate the problem. Closed systems will require added water as the surface water evaporates. A large water garden that relies on tap water and which contains fish and plants, should probably have small quantities of water added daily. For water gardens without circulating, aerated, or filtered water, maintaining water quality may be more difficult.

Still, water gardening really doesn’t take any more time than regular gardening and could well take less time once you have it set up and have your maintenance tasks well organized. It is different, however, so while you may not be able to grow anything but weeds in dirt, you might be superb at water gardening. As a hobby and a way to beautify your landscape, water gardening is excellent. And there’s nothing quite like the sound and sight of water to calm and relax you after the stresses of modern life.