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What You Need to Know About Giving Gardening a Shot

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To look outside your window and enjoy the view of various flowers in bloom throughout springtime… is it not delightful? Several of the beautiful flowers you can grow in your yard are sunflowers, roses, calla lilies, hydrangeas, and orchids. If you have a green thumb, then you should use that great present.

The term garden emerged from the Middle English word “gardin” which just implies enclosure. People all over the globe have been engaging in various designs of gardening since the olden times. The art of gardening is not just about growing flowers or plants; it’s also an expression of elegance through visual designs. If you’re someone who appreciates fantastic scenery, or if you just adore to travel, you could try seeing one of the most popular and breathtaking gardens in the globe.

In Scotland, you will discover the Garden of Cosmic Speculation, cultivated in 1989 by the couple Charles Jencks and Maggie Keswick. This yard has an incredibly unique design and theme, being influenced by science and mathematical ideas. What are possibly the most popular of all, are the grounds in Versailles, France. The French have been known to provide much importance to the size and design of their yards. Versailles’ yards comprise about 800 hectares of land with intricately groomed lawns, flowerbeds, fountains, and statuaries. You can discover more of the world’s renowned gardens on the World Wide Web.

While there are different styles and techniques in gardening, it’s better to begin with the fundamentals and look into how to create a garden according to your personal preference. You initially need to be clear about your purpose for having a garden. When your objective is set, you can continue to the planning stage. What do you wish to cultivate in your yard? Do you like to cultivate simply fruits or flowers, or veggies too? Exactly how will you make it? Those are just a couple of questions you need to address prior to anything.

The next phase is preparation, then action. You need to know your soil, the plants you want to cultivate, and the equipment you need. When this is set up, you can start the actual planting. There are several sites that could possibly assist you in getting strategies on how to design garden spaces and how to appropriately grow a garden.

If you don’t have time for all the work in producing a yard, you can try making terrariums as an alternative, effortlessly making use of the plants and even animals you like. A terrarium is like your own miniature garden, and is usually much simpler to manage and maintain. For more support on terrariums and gardening, you can visit http://www.styleathome.com/homes/gardens/how-to-create-the-garden-of-your-dreams/a/538/2.

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Will Today’s Quotations Become Tomorrows Gardening Proverbs?

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We are all able to quote one or two gardening proverbs, even if we don’t really understand what they mean. Most of these will have been handed down to us, by family members, of an older generation. No-one knows where most of these old sayings originated, or why they were first coined. But one can imagine the first time they were spoken, that they were meant more literally than they are today.

Compare if you will, the Chinese proverb “A thorn defends a rose, harming only those who would steal the blossom”, with the modern sayings, especially those from the youth culture, and imagine any of them being passed on to the next generation.

Many of the so called quotations from “celebrities” are nothing short of vulgarities, with coarse language and profanities. Will people who hang on their every word and action, really want to recall them in years to come?

As with all proverbs, those related to gardening are thought provoking and can in fact fit many situations. An African proverb says “knowledge is like a garden, if it is not cultivated, it cannot be harvested”. What a profound thought that really is.

Some garden proverbs such as “don’t make mountains out of molehills”,”you reap what you have sow” and “fresh as a daisy”, are well known all over the world. Despite television, the internet and other forms of the media, one cannot imagine the words of, for example Big Brother contestants, being remembered for a few weeks, let alone for hundreds of years, by people around the globe.

Perhaps as gardeners, we should be proud of these wonderful words of wisdom, and put a few of them in our gardens. What could be better, than something like “he that plants thorns must never expect to gather roses” in your rose bed? “Friends are flowers that never fade”, in your border, where your visitors are able to see them?

Yes, some of them mat be sentimental, but what is wrong with that? After all, you are probably very proud of your garden and enjoy showing it off to friends and family. Why not let them see that the reason for your beautiful garden, is that you have a romantic heart.

Or, perhaps you would rather have something more modern and catchy? What about something by John McEnroe – “you can’t see as well as those f*****g flowers, and they’re f*****g plastic”.

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The 3 Golden Rules of Decluttering Your Kitchen

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The kitchen is probably one of the hardest areas of the house to declutter and organize because it is one of the most used and has the most items. The key to successful decluttering is organization. And think about how worth it it’s going to be – don’t you want to walk into a clean and clutter-free kitchen? You’ll be more inspired to cook and prepare meals more!

Rule # 1 – Only display items you use most

It’s not practical to visit cupboards and drawers just to make a cup of coffee, while you have plenty of items you barely use sitting on your counter. To make your kitchen work for you and not the other way around, store infrequently used items in the cupboards/drawers (if you don’t use it at all, get rid of it) and only bring out the items you use regularly.

Rule # 2 – Get rid of your spares

Why do you have cutlery for a family of 15? Do you really need 12 mugs when there’s only 4 of you at home? How come you have 5 frying pans when you clearly use just your favorite one? Think about how many extra plates, glasses, cutlery etc. you have that no one ever really uses and are just taking up space in your kitchen.

Realistically, you only really need one of each per member of the family, plus a few spares (for visitors and in case of breakage). Of course, there’s also that special set you only use during special occasions and there’s nothing wrong with that. But other than that, get rid of spares you don’t actually use.

If you must keep spares (for parties or whatnot), put them in a storage box and store them in the attic. You can also opt to use disposable for parties, which won’t clutter your kitchen!

Rule # 3 – Organize food properly

Speaking of spares – have you experienced buying new spices for a recipe, only to find out that you have 2 more bottles in the cupboard? To save money, avoid food wastage and get rid of clutter, position food and cooking items where you can see and access them properly. Display herbs and spices in a rack, store pastas in jars and place snacks in one place. Labelling the containers will also help a great deal in keeping your food items organized.

You don’t need to do something drastic to keep your kitchen organized and clutter-free – just practice these golden rules of decluttering your kitchen and you’ll be good to go!

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Winter Gardening – Winter Activities to Cure the Gardening Blues

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Winter can be a hard time for us gardeners. Especially in the months after Christmas when the decorations and lights have been packed up and our gardens are covered in a thick layer of snow. But just because there’s nothing to do out in the garden doesn’t mean we can’t plan for this coming spring’s garden.

The winter is a great opportunity to plan for next year’s garden. As an avid gardener, I relish the chance to take stock of last year’s successes and failures and figure out how I can do things bigger or better. Just like a well built house starts from a set of plans, a fantastic garden requires forward thinking.

Towards the end of winter, when the warm days are starting to return, go out into your garden with a pen and notebook and take a survey of what needs to be done. Do perennials need to be moved or divided? Would you like to put in any new beds, and where? It’s a good idea to pay attention to how much light vs shade different spots in your garden receive.

Different plants prefer different amounts of light and this information can be found in most catalogs. If you’re planting veggies, draw a general diagram of what you want to plant and where. Don’t forget crop rotation!

Once the soil thaws it’s a good idea to get a soil test; especially before you start any new garden beds. You can usually send in a sample to your local extension office or university for a small fee.

Other activities to keep you busy in the winter months are:

Clean and repair your garden tools – Cleaning your hand tools of mud and rust, sharpening them up and then coating them in oil for protection will make them last for decades to come.

Take care of houseplants – My houseplants always seem to get neglected during the summer months, when I’d much rather be outside. Now is the time to give them some love. Take care of any pest issues. Divide or root prune the plants that have become pot-bound. The divisions you make can be used as gifts for Easter or Mother’s day.

Feed the birds – Build or buy a bird feeder. The wildlife that you attract can provide many hours of entertainment for the whole family.

Start sprouts – Sprouts are an easy way to keep growing your own nutritious greens through the winter. All you need is a mason jar and a window sill. Many healthfood stores carry seeds for sprouting and instructions are usually on the packaging.

Grow an indoor herb garden – If you have a large, south-facing window you’re all set. Otherwise you can buy high output grow lights that let you grow herbs and greens indoors all year. There are even kits online that come with everything you need to get an indoor herb garden going.

Visit a local greenhouse or nursery – Taking in all the colors and scenery can be cathartic when the winter blues got you down.

Attend gardening seminars and garden shows – Many seminars and shows are scheduled in the winter, when serious growers have time to attend.

Buy more books – I don’t know about you, but I can never have enough gardening books.

Whatever you do, don’t despair! I hope these activities can help keep you sane doing the winter months.

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