Archives for Home gardening tips category

What’s Your Favorite Gardening Magazine?

Home gardening tips | 5 Comments

Q: I’ve been thinking of subscribing to some magazines, I don’t know much about gardening but I’d like to start one next spring, vegetables and flowers, and I’ll probably be planting some stuff this fall, too (tulips! maybe other stuff too?) So some magazines with lots of information and tips would be nice. I was thinking of getting Better Homes and Gardens, but I’m not sure, maybe that and another one.. Any suggestions?

A: Backyard Living! http://www.backyardlivingmagazine.com/

This magazine has no advertisements. It has lots of great contests with small (wind chimes) and large (garden tractor) prizes. It also has lots of stories (funny and helpful) written by readers.

Backyard Living’s entire magazine is devoted to landscaping, planting, and gardening, while Better Homes and Gardens also features indoor decorating and cooking, as well as some self-improvement articles. It isn’t as gardener-intense as Backyard Living.

I am a landscaper/planter/gardener by hobby, and Backyard Living is a “never throw away” magazine!

Another poster suggested Birds and Blooms. This is also an excellent “no advertisement” magazine; I believe it’s published by the same folks that do Backyard Living and Taste of Home.

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Garden Wedding Ideas?

Home gardening tips | 9 Comments

Q: Getting married August, so having a garden party at our own home. I have brought two Marques and have thought about balloons and ribbons, but really have no ideas…have thought about a dance area, but will it not be difficult to dance on grass???? Any decorating ideas or tips would be much appreciated as the web seems empty.

A: Unless someone is ballroom dancing, or tap dancing… dancing on grass is fine. Plus, 1/2 of the women in the group will be grateful for a reason to take off their shoes. As far as decorations go… balloons strike me as "Birthday Party" or "Retirement Party" or "Real Estate Open House Party". Not worthy of a wedding, the embarkment on a new life. Ribbons (if they aren’t plastic) draped along stairways and fences would be nice. Candles in an enclosed vase on each table is nice, assuming you will have tables. Even inexpensive flowers like daisies can look gorgeous depending on the arrangement. 

If you are getting married in the evening or having the reception after dark, you can use inexpensive white Christmas lights on the trees and bushes to create an air of mystery and fantasy. Once people are actually at the garden party… they really won’t care about the decorations., particularly if you have a dance area! I guess it’s a matter of what is important to the 2 of you. If you have tables, placing a disposable camera on each table is great gift… that keeps on giving. Everyone will take candid shots, and send the camera back to you! (Or that’s how it’s supposed to work). Even if you get a couple of them back, you will get some great photos of what went on during your wedding party that you didn’t possibly have time to notice!  Trying to do a wedding on a budget?  Check out the link below:

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How Do You House Train an Impossible Puppy – Tips Suggestions Desperately Needed ?

Home gardening tips | 8 Comments

Q: We have an 11 week old puppy. IMPOSSIBLE to house train. When you walk him, he will wait until he returns home, then dirty in the house. It’s 50/50 if he will use the paper on the kitchen floor. He will be let out in the garden regularly, but still dirties the house. ANY IDEAS,TIPS? PRODUCTS?  Will he be an impossible dog to stop being dirty in the house? We have had the puppy since he was 6 weeks old, This is NOT my first puppy. I am quite aware what’s involved in raising a puppy. However this pup is impossible in as much in the six weeks I’ve had him, he’s not showing any interest in being paper-trained using the garden area to mess in or now that he’s being walked to do so when he’s walked. ~ THANK YOU TO THOSE SO FAR WHO OFFERED UNSARCASTIC FRIENDLY ADVICE, The crate idea is useful not one I had used in the past ~ All ideas very much appreciated — I know he’s still a baby, but same is true he’s old enough to have routines put into practice. My previous and other current dogs did show some interest in at least being paper-trained by this age.

A: "Impossible" puppy? If he’s only 11 weeks, I’m not sure why you’d be saying that. When it comes to housetraining, 11 weeks is nothing at all. When you get a puppy, you need to be ready for a long, messy process. If you’re getting this frustrated with him, and he’s only 11 weeks old, I’m not sure how you expect this "having a puppy" thing to work out. Many puppies are not reliably housetrained until 4 to 6 months of age, and it could even be longer than that; some breeds are notoriously difficult to housetrain. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and have a pup that will train lighting quick, but for the most part, everything you describe is completely normal for many pups that age. Welcome to the joys of puppyhood.

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How Do I Make a Floating Lantern for My Garden Pond?

Home gardening tips | 3 Comments

Q: I am looking for some creative help. We are having a fall themed wedding in September ’07 at our home. We have a beautiful pond that will be a backdrop to our ceremony and reception. I would like to put in the pond some floating lanterns (preferebly using candles in them) to let the water sparkle after dark. Unfortunately, we are on a very strict budget, so I was planning on just making them. Would anyone have any creative ideas or know of any websites that could explain or give tips of how to make them?

A: Get a big thick-ish (30-40cm) tree trunk. Chop it into 15 cm bits. Use various tools (hacksaw and a kind of scoopy thing, forgotten what its called) until they look relatively bowl shaped. See it it floats. If not try again. When it floats put a stumpy candle or a few tea light candles in the bottom. There you go. Might require a visit to a timber yard but wood isn’t very expensive. They can probably help with the scoopy thing too!

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Any Ideas for a Pretty Flower Bed? My First One!?

Home gardening tips | 5 Comments

GladiolasA: I live in a duplex with a small "flower bed" next to my front steps. It’s aprox 4 1/2 ft long and 2-3 feet deep. I want to plant some pretty flowers there to make it more welcoming and pretty. Plus I love flowers and gardening. This is our first home and my first time doing anything like this, and I was wondering if anyone had some tips. I really have no idea what kind of flowers look good together or if there was anything fun and creative you’ve done before. i really love colorful and exotic looking. I live in northern Illinois and the flowers will be in direct sunlight all day long. And I don’t have a hose, so if possible, know of any plants that do well with less water, seeing as how I’d have to bring it outside is a water can or something. Any suggestions are more than appreciated; also if you know the best place to purchase the flower (Home Depo vs Lowes or Walmart) Thank you so much all for your help in advance!

A: Depending on how much money you’re willing to spend, you could consult a landscaper. But if you would like to plant and set up the bed all yourself and have it be showy right away, one option is to try it with annuals and tropical bulbs the first year. These may include Petunias, portulaca (especially good for hot dry spots), gladiolus, dahlia (the last two of which you can overwinter indoors). In arranging these plants, if the bed is kind of up against a wall, put the tallest ones in the back, shorter ones up front. Another possibility, you could get a wildflower seed mix appropriate to your area, follow the directions on the seed packet, and use that. If done properly and maintained as per the instructions, it should give a pretty field of flowers effect. Some of the plants are perennials while others reseed themselves every year. You could also buy already growing native perennials too. Check out the website of Prairie Nursery.

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Dahlias Petunias

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I am Trying to Design a "Victorian" Era Garden?

Home gardening tips | 3 Comments

Kew Gardens Formal Bedding by Bestfor

Q: I have recently purchased a 1905 home in Melbourne’s Dandenong Ranges in Victoria, Australia. I’m currently renovating the house, in a classic traditional style and I want the garden to match. Any thoughts/ideas/ on plant types or style/design tips? www.justinbishop.com.au

A: The underlying theme of the Victorian garden, as in much of Victorian life in general, was man’s conquest over the elements. Nothing exemplifies this so much as the lawn. A front and rear lawn were considered imperative in a formal garden. The push mower, for more modest lawns, was patented during Victoria’s reign. The previous eras had cottage gardens. This was a garden for the household’s use so it contained a lot of medicinal and food plants in as little space as possible. This meant no grand views but a lot of scrap or twig trellises to hold sprawling plants from taking to much ground. Nothing was planned but all was meant for utility. Trees were also used to frame the carriage drive or approach to the house. In the city, trees were often planted along the street to aid in privacy. This was the era of exploration and discovery in plants so specimen trees with unusual shape or color were popular. Garden ornaments were very popular. Increasing technology made made ornaments more available and affordable. Cast iron, glass gazing balls, and concrete. Concrete was made into fences, fountains and buildings, often with fantastic detail. A bird bath might look just like a tree stump when made from precast stone. Carpet bedding, the use of same-height flora, was popular. Most often used to depict a motif or design such as a clock or badge. Old-fashioned plants typical of grandmother’s garden cottage garden, such as hollyhocks, sunflowers, daylilies, sweet-williams, blood-red peonies, poppies, nasturtiums, larkspurs, snapdragons, and pansies were out of style. These were replaced in Victorian gardens with large and bold foliage plants such as castor beans, cannas, dahlias, lilies, and ornamental grasses. Bedding plants included ageratum, celosia, convolvulus, four o’clock, geranium, portulaca, salvia, sweet alyssum, gladiolus, petunia, and begonias. Foundation plantings are more modern in concept. The great vegetable gardens of the Victorian era gave us items such as glass cucumber straighteners, rhubarb forcers, cloches and unusual garden tools, all interesting additions to the potager or potting shed. Then there were the gardening vicars. They bred many of our modern cultivars.

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how often should a lawn be watered by a sprinkler system?

Home gardening tips | 5 Comments

all other tips would be helpful, i purchased a home with professional landscaping that has a beautiful lawn, trees, shrubs, flowers and comes with a sprinkler system, i don’t know the first thing about landscape or gardens

A lawn needs one inch of water per week. The next time you sprinkle put out a clean soup can and time how long it takes to accumulate one inch of water in the can. For your system that is the amount of time the lawn needs per week. So if it took 40 minutes you should sprinkle for 40 min a week, unless nature helps you out.

I usually recommend breaking the 40 minutes into 2 sessions 3 or 4 days apart. That way the moisture content is more stable–and if nature does help, you don't end up wasting water by putting an inch on top of what nature does.

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